Friday, November 29, 2013
If you want to see a kung-fu flick mixed together with a re-imagining of the classic Trinity spaghetti-western movies this would be the place to look. Unfortunately the only thing they kept from the westerns is the music and the Bud Spencer/Terrence Hill characters. These aren't the best interpretations of these two fellows I've seen. The Trinity character, played by someone named Steve Tartalia, is particularly repugnant. I guess since it was the 90's he resembles Zack from SAVED BY THE BELL more than he does the gun-slinging hero of the 70's films. The Spencer Bambino character, played by a fat man named Roberto Lopez, is slightly better although he never gets the head-bonking right and for some reason here he has a pet pig(that's sometimes a hand-puppet or stuffed animal of some sort) that I think is supposed to tug on our heart-strings(yuck!). There is also a Bruce Lee-rip-off character(played by an actor with the cool name of Sky Dragon), a take-off on the Lone Wolf and Cub movies with a pig in the cart instead of a baby, ninjas and dragon-balls. Bambino also copies the old "don't laugh at my mule" speech from FISTFUL OF DOLLARS. All these homages and rip-offs just make me want to go watch the originals instead of this. Only worth a watch if you wanna see a chubby fella kung-fu a bunch of ninjas.
Fighting in their pajamas:
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
I have this movie on a DVD box set of spaghetti-westerns which is a little strange since this isn't a western at all but a modern-day(modern-day of 1975 anyway) comedy about two bumbling idiots who unwittingly get involved with truckin' guns for the Mafia. Apparently they were trying to emulate the slapsticky Trinity-westerns with Michael Colby in the Terrence Hill-role and Paul Smith(from POPEYE and PIECES) as the Bud Spencer-type character. In fact Smith was billed as Bob Spencer in the American ads for this, which is something he ended up suing the filmmakers over. While I am big fan of those original films this one is really overly dumb and really only worth watching if you want to see Smith do an impression of Spencer right down to his patented head-bonking. AKA CONVOY BUDDIES
There's also a sequel to this called THE DIAMOND PEDDLERS which I'll probably check out at some point since it's also on this set of westerns where half the movies aren't even in that genre.
Sunday, November 24, 2013
The title lies. While we do get the guy who played Trinity in a bunch of movies, Terrence Hill, he's sure not playing him here. In fact he's about as super serious as can be and this movie is about as far from a comedy as possible. It's also one of those political spaghetti-westerns(technically a Spanish/Italian western) which are my least favorite type. This one concerns some peasants fighting against a corrupt rich fellow. When I say "fighting" I mean mostly just talking about stuff and the occasional gunfight. I, like me, you enjoy westerns where more exciting stuff actually happens you might want to look elsewhere. To top it all off the DVD I have of this looks like crap also which didn't add to my enjoyment. AKA THE WIND'S FIERCE, THE WIND'S ANGER(both more suitably dull titles) and TRINITY SEES RED
Before viewing this I was excited to see William Smith top-billed on IMDB, unfortunately he gets whacked before the title even shows up, so I'm not sure why he's the first actor listed in the credits on there. I knew right away that this was a bad sign and the rest of the movie didn't give me much more reason to get excited. It's just an overall very stupid movie about a veteran who's back from the dead, dressed up like Uncle Sam and killing people in pretty dull ways. I guess if you really need to see a Fourth Of July-themed slasher movie watch this but don't expect much gore or any kind of a half-way decent film. It does keep in tune with the rest of the horror-crap that the 1990's spewed out. The sad thing is that there is a decent cast in this including Isaac Hayes, Robert Forster and PJ Soles but the only one who really stands out is Bo Hopkins as a sleazy general character who makes a habit of banging the widows of those K.I.A. He also isn't in the movie enough to matter though.
Director Bill Lustig, who's films MANIAC and VIGILANTE I really love a lot, was at the screening of this that I attended last night and gave a few reasons why this didn't turn out the way it was originally intended including the budget limitations and the script being rushed. Lustig's original intention was to make this something closer to DEATHDREAM which certainly would have been a better template than trying to copy every bad slasher movie trope from the late 80's/early 90's was. He also said that there was some demand for a sequel from the distributors(this was released direct-to-video when it first came out) luckily that was never made.
Tom Savini does what's some of his best gore-FX work in this 80's slasher. You get lots of nasty slashings and stabbings with a pitchfork and a bayonet, head explosions and other nasty gunshot wounds. After seeing this on VHS and DVD a few times in the past I finally caught this in a theater last night at the bottom of a horror triple-feature and while I always enjoy seeing a good bloody stalk-and-kill flick this has never really been one of my favorites mainly due to the fact that outside of the amazingly gruesome sequences there's not a whole lot going on that you care about. I mean the characters are completely forgettable and even though I've seen this a bunch of times I can never recall who the killer is because the story doesn't really make much sense. I mean if this is the same killer from the 40's and now it's the 80's wouldn't he be a little old for all this strenuous murdering and rampaging? Also Lawrence Tierney is totally wasted here as a peeping-Tom/pervert in a wheelchair who doesn't do much of anything. I know slasher flicks don't generally have great characters or stories but at least they usually throw in something memorable or relate-able and outside of the crazy World War II killer soldier and gore there isn't much of that here. Still if you're a fan of the classic-era of slashers you should probably check this out anyway. AKA THE GRADUATION and ROSEMARY'S KILLER(this title is weird because it seems to be a play on ROSEMARY'S BABY which this is a pretty far cry from). Director Joe Zito would go on to make the more exciting killer-on-the-loose movie FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE FINAL CHAPTER.
"I died for you... the least you can do is die for me."
This has to be the weirdest zombie film(or is he a ghost or some sorta vampire?) and at the same time one of the weirdest crazy Vietnam Vet movies. Directed by the great Bob Clark who also gave us the classic BLACK CHRISTMAS and the wacky CHILDREN SHOULDN'T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS, before going mainstream, this is the story of a soldier returning from a battle in which he may have been killed. Things aren't spelled out that clearly though and it's all done in a cool CARNIVAL OF SOULS-ish way where we're not always sure what the hell is going on. This is a good example of a movie that takes it's time but never really becomes boring. Everything is done well from the acting to the creepy atmosphere. This is obviously an allegory for the returning veteran and how they feel dead inside but taken to a more literal level. More intelligent people than me could probably write long essays about this aspect of the film. For me though it's just an awesome dark-trip through an inverted-nightmarish view of the American family.
Apparently Christopher Walken was an earlier choice for the lead role which probably would have been awesome but I think Richard Backus here is pretty spot-on in his portrayal. It's too bad he went on to TV stuff and didn't make any more features after this. Tom Savini did the makeup FX work on this but there's not really much in the way of gore. There's a great scene of mayhem in a drive-in theater showing a double-bill of DEATH IN SPACE and THE SPACENAUTS, unfortunately I don't think these were real movies. AKA DEATHDREAM, NIGHT WALK, THE NIGHT ANDY CAME HOME, WHISPERS and THE VETERAN
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
This guy with his face painted red and white like Two-Face from Batman, who hangs around renaissance fairs and I guess is supposed to be either Satan or Satan's helper, goes around helping horny people get laid and curing impotence for the exchange of souls. Of course this is all just an excuse for some uninspiring 70's porn sex scenes. You get pretty basic humping and a little vagina-petting lesbianism thrown in. Gay porn star Rick Cassidy is the main male lead playing a straight fellow. The version I watched of this was only about an hour long and I'm not sure if there's a longer cut in existence out there but this one seems quite long enough. There's also a softcore-version known as THE LUCIFERS released on Something Weird Video which seems like it would be an even worse thing to watch.
Monday, November 18, 2013
Unlike almost all of the other DJANGO-Rip-off movies out there this one is sort-of an official pre-quel to the original movie. It actually features the character of Django and was originally supposed to have starred Franco Nero. Instead of Nero though we get Terence Hill in the lead role and while he's not bad, after seeing him in so many comedy-type westerns, it's sometimes hard to take him super seriously here. The great George Eastman also appears in his usual role of a large bad-ass villain.
There's not really much here plot-wise that's all that unique. Django's wife gets killed, he becomes a hangman and a bunch of gold is fought over. It does get a little exciting when Django's Gatling-gun shows up but you have to wait almost the whole movie for that. This is only really interesting as a footnote to the vastly superior original iconic spaghetti-western classic. AKA VIVA DJANGO, DJANGO SEES RED and DJANGO, PREPARE A COFFIN.
Sunday, November 17, 2013
This movie is just fucking terrible! I mean there's just nothing good to say about it. It's got sort of a film-noir feel to it but it has to be the most boring film-noir I've ever seen. It stars a big, goofy, Curly from The Three Stooges-looking guy named Coleman Francis who's also the writer and director of this crap as an escaped con who ends up in Cuba as part of a Bay of Pigs-inspired invasion. The worst thing in this whole movie, besides the dumb plot, abrupt editing and horrible camera work, might be Coleman's acting style which is the most dreary, dull, lackadaisical thing you might ever witness. Every scene is like a chore to get through and the only way I made it through to the end was because I saw this on an episode of Mystery Science Theater, otherwise it would probably be impossible. John Carradine shows up for a hot second and then wisely disappears. Almost anything is a better choice than this. Even Coleman's previous film THE BEAST OF YUCCA FLATS, which is also very crappy, is a better watch than this. AKA NIGHT TRAIN TO MUNDO FINE
The only positive thing in this whole film is the awesome theme song sung by Mr. Carradine himself:
First off there's no character in this kung-fu movie named Bruce or Bill. Obviously they're referring to the actor's names of Bruce Le and Bill Louie even though those aren't their real Chinese names. Bill Louie is a particularly stupid-ass alias since it sounds a lot like Balooey when spoken out loud and that doesn't really make me think of a tough martial arts master but more of bumbling doofus. The Bruce Lee-rip-off character here, Bruce Le, acts like a complete dick through almost all of the movie. This seems like a bad choice to portray one of your main heroes as an ass-hat but OK. Also he has a pet bird that he travels around with which is another thing that makes me not think of a tough street-fighting ass-kicker. They do start out fighting before having a change of heart and joining forces so at least the title didn't lie to me.
The movie itself starts out with a guy getting his hand chopped off and from their things get pretty generic with the mob looking for some keys to a treasure chest or something with just a sprinkling of oddball elements thrown in to keep it from being a total snoozefest. The main white-guy villain has a ridiculous painted-on mustache, there's some hatchet-fu on top off a moving train, our heroes are tied to train tracks like they're damsles in distress in a 1920's serial and there's lots of chopsockey. There's way better more over-the-top Bruce Lee-wanabee flicks than this, like this one here for example, that you should check out first.
Saturday, November 16, 2013
This classic kung-fu movie starts out in a pretty standard fashion with two warring factions, Shaolin and Manchu, fighting over who's fighting style is best. From there it goes along pretty straight-forward up until they throw a monkey wrench into everything by killing off a couple of main characters who we've watched train for a long time. I think the best thing about this film is how completely bad-ass and unbeatable they make the villains here. I mean one guy is basically completely invulnerable by making his entire body, including his crotch, hard as steel. The other guy kills people by letting them punch him and then sending all their energy back at them. The film is kinda on the long side since it pretty much starts over from scratch after all our hopes are crushed midway through it's run-time. But it's all worth it because when you get to the big finale you get to see a guy's guts ripped right out of his body and another guy's eyes poked out in a bloody tribute to Moe Howard.
A bit confusingly this is produced by Run Run Shaw but isn't officially credited as a Shaw brothers film. Instead it carries the "Chang's Film Company" moniker which I'm assuming is an offshoot for director Chang Cheh's flicks.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
I'll pretty much watch any movie with the word "massacre" in the title and usually this means you're gonna get some type of horror film. In this case you get a biker flick but there is an actual massacre that happens in the movie so they're not lying. The plot involves a scumbag police officer beats up and rapes a hippie chick and then blames it on this biker club. From there on it's open season on bikers and it all ends up in a big Vietnam-metaphor ending with a helicopter and grenades and lots of bloodshed. Probably my favorite thing about this movie is that the sleazy bikers are the heroes, or in this case the victims, of the story and the authority figures are shown for the phony, corrupt, murdering lowlifes that they often can be. Of course it takes lots of scenes of bike-riding before we get to the good stuff but that's the way most of these 70's biker flicks go.
The wacky music in this is done by Michael Nesmith of The Monkees. This was apparently shot around 1972 and not released for a few years for some reason. Strange since the whole Vietnam-allegory thing might have been more powerful while the war was still going on. AKA FREEDOM: R.I.P. and WHEELS OF DEATH
Played on a weird drive-in double-feature with this obscure Mexican vampire flick:
Sunday, November 10, 2013
Fernando Di Leo directs this crime-drama about a guy who's son is kidnapped. While it's technically a Eurocrime film it's really more of a revenge story focusing on one man's quest for justice more so than with the mob or anything like that. The story is similar to the one in Kurosawa's film HIGH AND LOW and though I've yet to see that one I imagine this is done a bit more gritty. It's got your standard car chase scenes, gun-fights and a crazy prog-rock soundtrack complete with wild flute-playing. While this isn't my favorite Di Leo flick(some of the plot-twists don't make a lot of sense) it's still done well enough and has enough emotional impact to make it worth a watch.
AKA DIRTY DEAL(the music in this preview is way more 80's than anything in the actual movie itself):
If you mixed a shitty spy-movie spoof with an exceptionally stupid sex-comedy(that doesn't really have any nudity in it) you would get this. It consists of a love story about a couple of idiots who are pursued by a bunch of Russians including a gang of midgets. There's also a dog that narrates the film sometimes, a guy in drag that looks like Milton Berle playing an old gypsy woman, a bunch of old bikers, comedian Pat McCormick as a Soviet escapee, a couple of fat people that eat a lot and lots of horrible, horrible un-funny jokes. This was originally supposed to star David Carradine but he wisely stayed out of it and instead you get what might be one of the world's worst actors, Mario Romeo Milano, who's also the writer and co-director here. A man who's annoying to look at and seemingly gay but playing a straight fellow. Also he's not even a nerd as the title promises but just a clumsy oaf. Crap-movie specialist George "Buck" Flowers shows up in a small part. This was released on video by Troma which is pretty appropriate since they have tons of dumb crap like this available. There are way better stupid movies from the 80's with actual boobs in them that you could watch instead of this.
Thursday, November 7, 2013
This is a Turkish version of one of those 60's Italian swords and sandals movies. Being Turkish though it goes a bit more over-the-top with it's beheadings, monsters and general weirdness. The main character is a guy who's very proud of being a Turk and defeats armies of Vikings with his toughness and his pet dogs who are supposed to be wolves. These Vikings have their own pet though, a giant squid, that they sacrifice people to like he's King Kong or something. Now this squid looks more like an inflatable pool toy than a horrifying sea-monster but there's a lot of suspension of disbelief here. Unlike many of the Turkish films I'd seen before this one you actually get some female nudity here, especially during the Viking's raping and murdering orgy-party. Worth a look if you're into exploring the genre of weird world cinema or you just dig dumb Conan comic-book style adventures.
This is the third in a series of 5 Tarkan movies.
The others were:
TARKAN AND THE SILVER SADDLE -1970
TARKAN: THE GOLD MEDALLION- 1972
TARKAN AND THE ARMLESS HERO- 1973
This squid ain't fucking around!:
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
In the history of great monster match-ups, KING KONG VS. GODZILLA, FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLFMAN, FREDDY VS. JASON etc., this would probably be around the bottom of the list of enemies you can't wait to see battle it out. Maybe if this robot looked more like the one from ROBOT MONSTER it woulda been more epic but that's not exactly what you get, though this robot is almost equally dumb-looking. This is the 3rd film in the Aztec Mummy saga, following THE AZTEC MUMMY and CURSE OF THE AZTEC MUMMY, and up until the big final battle at the end it recycles footage of the mummy from the 1st two movies explaining his origin and all that. You would think that the human robot might be the good guy in this fight, since the mummy is a revenge-seeking murdering bastard, but this standard big clunky 50's robot with a human face is actually controlled by a mad scientist, which makes the mummy our hero by default. Like most of these 50's/60's Mexi-horror flicks this one has some slow talky bits, but luckily it has a pretty short run-time and it does deliver what it promises.
K. Gordon Murray dubbed this and released it in the U.S. in the 60's as THE ROBOT VS. THE AZTEC MUMMY. The print of the original version of this that I saw looked a lot better than any of the dubbed ones that I've ever seen.
The mummy would go on to battle some wrestling women in the 60's and was even in a more recent porn flick that I'm sort of afraid to watch.
This trailer for this sweet double-feature spook-show is way scarier than anything in this movie:
Monday, November 4, 2013
One of the more popular complaints people have with the rape/revenge movie I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE is that the raping takes up way more of the film than the revenge does. Well in this movie here, which is sort of a Hong Kong-version of ISOYG, they rectify that by getting right through the raping and spending most of the movie dealing the revenging or "her vengeance" as the title promises. It works out pretty good in this case because this is more of an action movie melded with the trappings of your typical revenge plot. I still don't think it would have improved SPIT though since that movie is presented as more of a horror film.
There's some typical crazy Asian elements in this, the highlight of which has to be when our heroine goes to see a doctor after being attacked and after he peers into her vagina announces that she has AIDS, her breasts are going to shrink and her hair and hymen are going to fall out. I'm pretty sure that's not how AIDS works but I'm no doctor.
Since this was made by Golden Harvest films, known mainly for their kung-fu flicks there's lots of pretty awesome fight scenes and it ends things with an amazing climax battle that includes wheelchair-fu, hundreds of fish-hooks to the face, big-ass crossbows and all kinds of crazy homemade implements of destruction.
Sunday, November 3, 2013
This is a documentary about Canadian prostitutes. It focuses heavily on the transvestite/drag-queen variety of street-walkers but also has a few real gals sprinkled in. It's done in a pretty straight-forward, non-exploitational style and is an interesting look at the seedy side of Vancouver back in the 80's which I hear has now been all cleaned up just like New York. Sorta similar to HBO's later HOOKERS AT THE POINT but without that film's narration. The street-people here do all the talking for themselves without any director's moralizing or opinions thrown in. It raises the question of legalizing prostitution which I'm pretty sure has been done in Canada now for the most part so I guess these hookers were trailblazers.
While watching this in 2013 you can't help but wonder what became of these people. I imagine not a lot of good things but who knows? Not sure if there ever was any kind of follow up film but that would be an interesting thing to see. AKA WORKING DAVIE STREET
If you ever wanted to see Ralph Malph(Donny Most) from HAPPY DAYS in a dumb 80's sex-comedy then this would be the place to look. In addition to him you get Mr. Jefferson(Sherman Hemsley) who pops up briefly, Judy Landers (who I know mostly from that 80's puppet sitcom MADAM'S FAMILY) as a hooker and Wendie Jo Sperber who plays the fat chick in a lot of these types of films. Here she uses her big ass to plug up a hole in an airplane and save the day. It's the type of thing you would see on USA's UP ALL NIGHT or CINEMAX late at night. Exceedingly dumb and not all that funny but it gives you exactly what you expect. There's a shower scene with boobs, bikers, stripping, a brightly-haired new-wave/punk chick who listens to Twisted Sister, a terrorist on a plane played for laughs and lots of other lame jokes.
Friday, November 1, 2013
As with many of these Filipino "Blood Island" movies (this isn't officially part of the "Blood Island" series but it has the same feel as those) this one has quite a few slow bits to get through. Produced by infamous bad-movie director Cirio H. Santiago they at least throw some colorful monsters into this, which are usually the best parts of these movies anyway, that is unless they also throw in some naked ladies which they don't do here. Our main creature is a bald-headed vampire fellow who looks a bit like Marlon Brando in APOCALYPSE NOW. He has the power to turn invisible at whim, which makes him pretty much unbeatable. His sidekicks consist of a hairy-faced humpback, who's also a vampire, a vampire-lady, a big fake-looking, shaky, rubber bat(who originally only had one appearance but in the English cut they liked his performance so much they put him in a bunch of scenes) and a midget who might be a vampire also, I'm not too sure. One weird aspect of this film is that they shot some scenes in color and others in black and white and tinted them blue or red which gives the movie a strange look at times. While this might not be my favorite of these Philippines flicks(I think the official Blood Island movies are a little more fun) this is worth a look for monster fans who want to see something weird. AKA BLOOD IS THE COLOR OF NIGHT and COLOR OF NIGHT. Shown on TV, in a cut version, as THE VAMPIRE PEOPLE.