Saturday, April 19, 2014
If you took HOSTEL and mixed it with FIGHT CLUB and maybe added a pinch of MARTYRS this might be the end result. Zoe Bell, who's best known for her Tarantino connection, is our main gal here who is kidnapped, stuck in a what's basically a women's prison/dungeon and forced to fight her fellow female inmates to the death with the threat of her daughter being murdered if she doesn't comply. This is all done for the entertainment of some weirdo geek couple who I'm assuming is very rich and has ton of free-time on their hands. What I liked about this movie is the fact that it doesn't flinch on the extreme violence and is pretty bleak throughout it's run-time. Unfortunately you never really learn all that much about most of the characters to care all that much about any of them beyond the most basic things(one gal is the sadistic "bad-gal", one gal is the "innocent-gal", one gal is the tough "black-chick" etc.) It's also a pretty slim plot to hang a full length movie on and gets a little repetitious with the non-stop bloody gal-on-gal face-smashing, bone-breaking annihilation. But if you're into that kinda thing and wanna see an action movie that teeters way over into the bloody horror genre or maybe if you just hate women in general and want to see them all beat each other to a bloody pulp I guess this would work equally good for either of those purposes.
I saw this in a local theater last night with an intro by Miss Bell and felt it was worth a viewing even with it's clunky narrative and highly improbable ending.
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Back in the 80's I was too busy watching Hong Kong action movies to give any of these American straight-to-video movies a chance and looking at this one now I can see why. First of all this title alone is about as dull as you can get without just calling your movie "ACTION". Secondly, Gary Daniels, while a good enough martial artist, is a pretty bland and forgettable hero. I know these action movies stars were a dime-a-dozen at this time but why they picked this particular fellow I'm not very sure except that he looks fit enough. He's basically an even more run-of-the-mill version of Michael "AMERICAN NINJA" Dudikoff with an English accent but apparently he was a good kick-boxer in real life so that works. On the positive side this movie is wall-to-wall action and it looks like they spent a bundle on the bunch of cars that they're constantly wrecking throughout this(which makes me think this possibly might have had some kinda theatrical run?). Also they kill kids here so that's something different. Ultimately if you're just looking for explosions and crazy car chases this will probably work well enough for you. I think I'd rather watch anything from Asia from this time period instead but that's probably cuz I'm more of a kung fu fan than an explodey-action guy.
As crappy a title as RECOIL is there's a few other RECOIL's out there. One is from 2011 and stars "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and Danny Trejo, there's one about a killer mutant snake from 2009 starring Luke Perry and there's one from the 50's about gangsters amongst others. Who knew such a shit title could be so popular?
Friday, April 11, 2014
Mark Forest plays the title role of Goliath here(in the original Italian version he's just Hercules and why they felt the need to change that I'm not sure) and he gets to battle a variety of creatures including a big fire-breathing, three-headed dog, a fucked-up-looking Man-Bat monster, a bear(or at least a guy in a shit-ass bear costume), and naturally the titular dragon(who's sometimes a stop-motion character and sometimes looks like a big rubber puppet-head). The scene that kinda blows my mind here though is the one where we get an elephant whose job is to execute people by stomping on their heads like he's making wine or something. This might be the most bad-ass role an elephant has ever played. He also gets to wrestle our muscular hero of course. Just to round things out a heroic midget and an evil half-man/half-horse centaur guy show up. So while this is pretty typical of the swords and sandals genre in many ways they at least pack enough off-beat stuff in it to make for a good bizarre 3a.m. viewing. AKA VENGEANCE OF HERCULES and HERCULES' REVENGE
Thursday, April 10, 2014
New movies suck! New shot-on-video zombie movies really suck! Strange as it may seem this movie actually ended up playing at a local theater for a few days. How that happened I have no idea. A friend of mine dragged me to this and, not surprisingly, we were the only two people in the theater. It occurred to me while watching this that pro wrestlers should theoretically be better actors. I mean they spend their whole lives playing the part of a "good guy" or "bad guy" but I suppose that's mostly improv because, judging by this movie, when it comes to reading already written lines they're not so good at it. There's not really much good to say about this. The main wrestlers(Roddy Piper & Shane Douglas) are past their prime, "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, in particular, looks like he might require a walker to get around. There's way too much horrible nu-metal music playing through almost every scene! Whoever this shitty band is that did this soundtrack I now feel like I've heard their entire discography and it hurt me. The gore is really badly done. They do use practical effects as far as I could tell but they're just really awful ones and the whole thing comes off as a super amateurish home video that really has no business playing anywhere someone would have to pay for it. I wonder if they could have possibly sold more than 2 tickets?
For a less gory but far better-made wrestler battling zombies flick go watch SANTO VS. THE ZOMBIES.
Thursday, April 3, 2014
There's a scene in the early part of this movie where Joey Silvera(billed here as Joseph Nasi) gets head from what we are led to believe is a guy wearing a ski-mask. It turns out to be a bit of trickery going on but that's not something you would see presented in very many straight porn flicks. Besides this unique touch we get a few gang-rapes set up by Mr. Silvera. The assailants do use knives to threaten their victims but nothing all that super violent happens except for women getting taken against their will as bras and panties are sliced. A few interesting touches like this, including a cop looking to figure out what the hell is going on, make this one at least a slightly more memorable watch than many of your more basic pornos.
The Japanese don't fool around, they get the raping right on the poster!:
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
I was a little disappointed in this one. Mostly because I was expecting more of a horror/kung-fu kind of a situation and this one is more of your straight ahead classic Shaw Brothers martial arts with warring clans kind of deal. There technically is a witch here but she doesn't really do anything very witchy and just serves as your standard lead baddie of a group of wily ninjas. There is a little bit of female nudity thrown in and also some blood, including a decapitation, which is exciting but overall I don't feel that this one is near the top of the heap when it comes to old-school Shaw flicks. Still even an average Shaw flick can be an entertaining viewing.
There's apparently also a 1970 Taiwanese kung fu flick with this same title but from what I've seen of that it's not much of a horror film either.
Faces get bloody!:
Sunday, March 30, 2014
Satan was super popular in the 70's and this here is another example of the fear of Satan creeping into your life. In this one a hooded Satanist cult perform human sacrifices in caves by spiking people or burning them alive. These parts are pretty exciting, unfortunately there's a whole bunch of other parts in between this where we just have people hanging out in the desert and not much of anything interesting happens. Maybe if this wasn't a PG-rated horror flick it woulda been more memorable. I did like how things are wrapped up at the end and completely undersold as the sheriff just refers to the mass of human-butchery as a bunch of foolishness. I'd say watch the 1975 William Shatner/Ernest Borgnine classic THE DEVIL'S RAIN instead of this for a better time with a Satany group of weirdos. AKA DISCIPLES OF DEATH(this is also the name of the cult)
Apparently this played in Texas on a double-bill with another really obscure horror(or is it a western?) flick:
Harry Reems does his best interpretation of Charles Bronson in this sleazy porno take-off on DEATH WISH. Of course in DEATH WISH the focus is mostly on revenge. In this the focus is split between scenes of rape, torture and murder and scenes of regular old sex(the worst parts of the movie!) and bits where Reems is trying to find the killer of his fiance. The killer is a disgusting piece of work played by Zebedy Colt(also the director here) who acts like a little boy(who's really into bondage games) one minute and then a whip-happy sadomasochistic adult the next. He beats the shit out of his victims, slices people up with his sword-cane and even castrates one unfortunate black fellow. There's also one actress(Deanna Darby) who shows up in this, playing one half of a bi-sexual couple, who might be one of my favorite porn actresses ever! She come complete with bruises all over her body and a big scar across the belly. She has a great scene where she gives Mr. Reems the idea to seek vengeance for what has happened to him. Of course she tells him this with a face full of his cum which I would find way more encouraging if it happened to me. CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST star R. Bolla is also here as a cop in a smaller part.
I got to experience this in a theater on glorious 35mm film last night and while it wasn't the best made thing it was certainly a memorable ride into lowlife porno-land.
I take all my important life decisions from sluts in bars!:
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
There's a lot of long boring stretches in this one by cult-movie favorite William Girdler but I still find it a pretty good 70's gore flick. It's kind of like a crappier version of THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE( both were based on Ed Gein's antics). You do get decapitation, death by pick-axe, shotgun mayhem and exactly what the title promises which is often a rare thing with these kinda movies. There's also a long interlude where some 70's rock band jams. Of course it's tough to live up to the awesome title but you could do worse if you're looking for some cheap bloody thrills.
This might be one of my favorite trailers ever! What great narration!:
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Outside of FREAKS, this might be one of the purest forms of exploitation cinema ever. The star of this film is a deformed fellow who suffered from acromeglia named Rondo Hatton. Now the thing that makes this so exploitative is that they just took Hatton's real life story and tweaked it a little bit and turned him into a murderer and came out with this story of an ugly wronged man seeking vengeance on a society that fears him. By the time this movie was over I felt pretty depressed, mostly because Hatton, or The Creeper as he's called here, is treated like crap throughout this movie but is still portrayed as the villain of the film. He even manages to make friends with a blind gal at one point and even that ends in betrayal. Of course on the bright side at least ol' Rondo was able to make a few bucks pretty much just playing himself as a back-breaking/strangle-happy killer before he died of his ailment(which was shortly after making this movie) though this movie was released after he was already dead so I'm not sure how much he made anyhow. So while this isn't the most uplifting thing you could watch it is an interesting relic from the good old days when filmmakers would pretty much exploit anything terrible. AKA THE BRUTE(why they didn't just call it THE CREEPER, since that's what the villain is called, I'm not sure)
Pretty as a picture!:
Monday, March 17, 2014
Director Cirio H. Santiago made crazy action and exploitation movies in The Philippines all the way through the 70's and on into the 2000's. By the 90's I'm pretty sure most all of his stuff, like this movie here, went direct to a video release(at least here in America they did). This movie mixes martial arts(there's a tournament backdrop) with a revenge plot(Cat Sassoon looking for her sister's murderers) and rolls it all up in ample nudity including multiple shower scenes and even some topless kung fu which is one of the best types of kung fu there is. I've never seen any of the other Cat Sassoon movies, mostly just because they're from the 90's which is never a good sign, but if they're as wild and naked as this one I might have to give them a chance.
Got to watch this in a theater yesterday which is probably a pretty rare opportunity and it's definitely an entertaining watch with a crowd of bad movie lovers. AKA KICK ANGELS
Saturday, March 15, 2014
I guess you could call this Martin Scorcese's dry run for GOODFELLAS. They both deal with gangsters but this one feels like a much more personal film dealing with religion, morality and the code of the streets. Also the gangsters here seem pretty amateurish compared to the big-time grand-theft criminals in his later films. This movie also is less violent and really works mainly due to two things; an amazing soundtrack and great dialogue. Seeing this recently in a theater from an actual film print the soundtrack was the major highlight. I also couldn't help but be reminded of Abel Ferrara's BAD LIEUTENANT which also stars Harvey Kietel, borrows at least one song and has a similar ending to this. Both films work equally well though and this one has to get extra credit for creating the modern-day mobster film.
THE GIRL WHO KNEW TOO MUCH was technically Mario Bava's first giallo but this one from the following year does things a lot better. For one thing this is in color which Bava famously uses to his advantage. Lots of bright reds help tell the tale of a white-masked maniac who tortures and kills folks. It's as if Alfred Hitchcock attempted to make a slasher movie. You get a ladies face burned, a clawed out face and other homicidal slashings which were probably pretty shocking in '64. While I can't say this tops BAY OF BLOOD as my favorite Bava it's a good watch and certainly laid down a blueprint for guys like Argento to follow.
Get your emotions lacerated!: