Monday, 14 April 2014


As the blog I previously contributed to is now in retirement I've decided to start out on my own. Shelf Life will be concerned with personal preoccupations, ongoing obsessions and current items of interest, mostly books but probaby anything I bring home and put temporarily on the shelf in my hallway. A bit like Bagpuss's shop but with less charming puppets.

Lets begin gently with some fluffy bunnies.

This is a one of a series of postcard-sized books reproducing 1930s photobook stories for children, featuring domestic animals dressed up and performing a variety of daft capers.

We're all aware of exploitation in cinema, in particular the sexploitation and blaxploitation sub-genres. Let's take a brief look at a less well known micro-genre: Dogsploitation. In case things ever get too serious and dull on Shelf Life, just remember it began with The Dogway Melody, directed by Zion Meyers who went on to work on the wonderful Three Stooges films.

The only place I can find the full film online is via Facebook, so please excuse the peculiar link, which comes in two parts. (You don't need to log into FB to view)

MGM made a series of nine 'All Barkie Dogville Comedies' short films in 1929-1931, employing/exploiting trained mutts, dressing them up and dubbing them with human voices, which was not without controversy. I'm no dog lover but I hope the pooches weren't actually harmed in the making of this short.

The same cannot be said for my sanity, which took a good hammering the first time I saw the film, included on a delightful VHS video compilation tape I received for my birthday about 12 years ago. It all seems rather quaint now.

The Dogville Collection is available on Region 1 DVD.

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