Who is Lloyd A. Simandl?
Lloyd A. Simandl is a director (Escape Velocity, Starfire Mutiny) and producer (Project: Shadowchaser, Xtro II: The Second Encounter) of under appreciated mid- to low budget genre fare. According to IMDB he has some 38-42 credits in his collective filmography. So how is it I didn't know who he was before I started to write the review for Chained Heat 2? Actually, and I couldn't believe this when I found out, I had a few of this director's movies in my DVD library and I've even seen some on the Sci-Fi channel!
So who is the mystery man behind the name on my DVDs? Mr. Simandl is one of those rare throwbacks to the 70s era of exploitation filmmaking currently specializing in WIP- "women in prison" or "women in peril"- movies. At a time when most directors have been running scared from their own shadows and hiding behind the skirts of political correctness Mr. Simandl has chosen a politically incorrect genre niche and run with it. More than that he's managed to work that niche well, and often, without burning out on the subject or running that proverbial well dry.
Let me back up to the beginning. This all began with Chained Heat 2, when I noticed a déjà vu familiar name in the credits as I was compiling my review: Lloyd A. Simandl.
"Lloyd A. Simandl?" said I, "Who the f--- is that?"
I couldn't quite put my finger on why the name seemed familiar. After a search online I realized why. I had previously looked the director up after purchasing DVDs of two minor epics of fun sci-fi sleaze Fatal Conflict and Last Stand. Last Stand I really need to do a proper review of. It's bad movie gold. Seriously this little gem plays like a short film treatment that became a expensive proof of concept that snowballed into a full bore movie. It's perfect for a three kegger bad movie night party!
As I recall the first viewing of this movie had me running to my print references and Google to find out more about it, which led to my discovering Mr. Simandl was also responsible for such elusive post-apocalypse titles as Empire of Ash and Empire of Ash III. (They're AWOL on R1 DVD.) Oddly I've never been able to properly confirm if there ever was an Empire of Ash II, if there was it's not been mentioned in any of my print references. Perhaps one day this minor mystery of the universe will be solved. Until then here's what I do know: Mr. Simandl's most recent output has been late night skinemax quality exploitation movies with salaciously suggestive titles like Slaves Of The Realm and Medieval Fleshpots 2: Hot Wenches.
Yet more research led to the discovery of the ineffable Bound Heat site, which apparently is dedicated entirely to Mr. Simandl's current direct to DVD projects. (A word of caution before clicking that link. The site contains stills and screen caps that are NOT work safe.) Of note are the pending movies for 2008 with attention-grabbing titles like CALIGULA'S SPAWN, a Sapphic costumer about raunchy Romans and the slave girls they love to dominate and abuse..
And the other movie that caught my eye was BLOOD COUNTESS, a blood curdling vampire story about history's most debauched sexually depraved predator of young women: Countess Bathory..
And I thought Countess Dracula pushed the envelope! Looks like those two might be scary fun. Sadly they probably wont be carried by most, if any, brick and mortar stores. So that still leaves us with the lingering question: Who is Lloyd A. Simandl?
To summarize: Lloyd A. Simandl is the Roger Corman of WIP flicks. His movies, at least the one's I've seen, have that same 80s era polished look that Corman's movies did. They're just as cheesy and, as with Corman, Simandl's movies are love them or hate them affairs. Most reviews of his movies come in two categories: 1) those that praise them for the gratuitous nudity, and ; 2) those that heap contemptuous scorn on them for the gratuitous usage of stock footage and nudity (or lack of the latter).
Not that there is anything wrong with beautiful scantily clad females. Nudity is the cheapest, and often most effective, special effect a movie can have. So long as the sets are suitably warm and the women are comfortable who are we to criticize. As for overusing stock footage. .
Recycling is green, being green is good for the planet, so if you see one of Mr. Simandl's movies on the shelf somewhere check it out it's probably good for the planet. If nothing else that may just be the best excuse for why you've rented a WIP flick.
Copyright © C. Demetrius Morgan