Sunday, December 29, 2013
This is the 2nd part of Fernando Di Leo's Italian mafia trilogy which includes MILANO CALIBER 9 and THE BOSS. This is a trilogy in theme only since these films aren't really connected plot-wise. Mario Adorf plays our main character here and he's a small-time pimp who becomes a scapegoat for a heroin deal gone bad. He's really good going around giving headbutts to anyone who fucks with him and it's kinda like the reverse of his sleazy low-life role in CALIBER 9. Henry Silva and Woody Strode play two hit-men who are on his trail for most of the movie. If you're at all a fan of eurocrime-type films you need to check out these Di Leo films since they're really the best examples of this genre. AKA BLACK KINGPIN, THE ITALIAN CONNECTION, MANHUNT IN THE CITY, HIRED TO KILL and HITMEN.
There's also an Umbeto Lenzi crime flick called MANHUNT which also stars Henry Silva but in that one he's in the hero role.
Released in America by AIP:
The original title of this Italian flick was SEDDOK, L'EREDE DI SATANA, which means Seddok, The Heir Of Satan which makes a little more sense than the English dubbed title since there are no vampires in this at all except for this one bat who appears on the title screen who might be a vampire. What you do get is a sort of variation on the old EYES WITHOUT A FACE tale of a lady who gets some horrible facial scars in a car wreck and then hooks up with a mad-scientist-type of a fellow who helps her with her facial problems by extracting cells from ladies that he kills. He also uses atomic energy for this which makes at least half of the title make sense. Also for some reason he turns into a crud-faced monster halfway through the movie to aid in his lady-stalking. All in all this an OK mash-up of weird story elements that always seemed more like one of those crazy Mexican monster movies than anything very Italian but I guess in the early 60's a lot of these foreign horror flicks were kinda similar.
The producer credit here is for someone named Mario Fava which seems like a weird misspelling of Mario Bava but I'm not sure if that's true or not.
The version I watched of this was 86 minutes. There's also a 101 minute version, that I haven't seen, which includes a scene with the mad doctor killing a lady in a bath tub among other things.
Saturday, December 28, 2013
Jean Rollin churned out a whole bunch of these sexy French female vampire flicks. This one I would say is about average for him. It has the dream-like pacing where Rollin is seemingly in no hurry to tell his story. It has ample nudity from all the vamp-chicks, it has ridiculous neck-biting scenes and equally absurd stakes through the heart scenes. It would be easy to dismiss this except that it's all done so fucking poetically and artistically that it burns it's memory into my brain. Of course that memory is also jumbled up with all the other Rollin nudie-vampire movies but it's still there.
The plot, which doesn't really seem to be all that important(it's all about the atmosphere), has to do with a guy who's trying to find this gal who was nice to him when he was young. He ends up running around Paris and unleashing some blood-sucking naked ladies. There's one part where he stops off to watch a theatrical-showing of Rollin's earlier THE SHIVER OF THE VAMPIRES, even though the poster outside advertises his THE NUDE VAMPIRE. I haven't seen either of these yet but they both look delightful.
There's apparently an X-rated version of this titled SUCK ME, VAMPIRE which seems pretty nutty.
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
The legendary K. Gordon Murray brought this weird Mexican holiday film to America and would release it theatrically for many years right around Christmas throughout the 60's and 70's. I have vague, half-remembered memories of actually being taken to see this in a theater by my mom but I was so young at the time that it possibly could have been some other holiday travesty that I saw. This is the story of Santa who lives in the clouds with a bunch of little kids that he uses as slave-labor, a giant telescope to peep on children and his sidekick Merlin The Magician. He also has some creepy wind-up reindeer. Pretty much everything in this movie is creepy including Santa's nemesis Pitch who's a rather effeminate demonic character in a devil costume who encourages kids to do naughty stuff like vandalize storefronts and shoplift. This is such a strange, surreal(African kids wearing bones in their hair and a computer with big Rolling Stones-lips and a dick-nose included) movie that I can't help but give it a watch almost every Christmas even though it's a really bad movie made even worse by the fact that a big chunk of it features a bunch of kids singing terrible songs. Still it might be the weirdest holiday movie ever made with only stuff like SANTA AND THE ICE-CREAM BUNNY or SANTA CLAUS CONQUERS THE MARTIANS even coming close. Check it out if you're a weirdo.
Luckily there is a Mystery Science Theater version of this out there for added laughs.
Amazingly this was directed by Rene Cardona who also gave us the super-gory NIGHT OF THE BLOODY APES and many other Lucha-Libre Mexi-classics.
Sunday, December 22, 2013
I saw this movie earlier today at a very strange screening. It was strange for one thing because this wasn't the movie that was originally supposed to be shown(the original film was supposed to be the great cannibal-fu classic WE'RE GOING TO EAT YOU which is one of my favorite kung-fu movies ever making me dislike this film right away), secondly the title is supposed to be MAGIC OF SPELL but this is what was on the version they showed, thirdly the final battle scene was missing allowing the audience to make up our own minds about who won this ridiculous battle of good vs. evil. Luckily I have found the conclusion online so I can finally sleep tonight knowing the outcome. The film itself is a complete barrage of stupid, bizarre things thrown at you right from the start. It also seems like a total kiddie film except for the sub-titled cursing and one particular scene where a lady with a bird hand pecks another ladies eye out in a gory fashion. The list of oddball stuff in this is pretty extensive; you get an annoying kid who is a living ginseng root, another guy who's a rhubarb or something, females playing male roles and vice-versa, giant peaches used as weapons, a guy who turns into a giant rock with a chomping face on it, some skeletons that look like cheap-ass versions of the ones in ARMY OF DARKNESS, fighters who are part monkey, part dog and part bird respectively, a blue-skinned demon, some dumb children's music and probably a bunch of other stuff I'm forgetting. The whole thing is based on a Japanese fairy-tale and if you're in a crazy Asian Mother Goose meets martial arts type mood maybe you would dig this more than me. Also this might be the only movie in the world where peaches are bad-ass.
This is basically a drama about a guy losing his son to the mean city streets but luckily it was made in Mexico so they threw in all kinds of cool exploitation(Mexploitation?) elements to make it better. The main one is there's this gang of kids running around mugging, stabbing, lighting on fire, blowing up and generally terrorizing people including the police and an Asian prostitute. Then on top of that you get various sleazy criminal types and corrupt cops. Our main character is played by the writer and director of this, Valentin Trujillo, and although he starts out pretty bland, he becomes quite the ass-kicker once his kid goes missing. I've gotta look for more of Mr. Valentin's work since it looks like he specialized in these gritty low-budget crime dramas.
On a negative note don't try watching the release of this from VideoAsia since their DVD has some awful fucked-up audio thanks to their shitty transferring process.
Saturday, December 21, 2013
This nerdy chick, who kinda looks like Olive Oyl, gets a horrible prank pulled on her, gets smashed by a car and ends up being put in a coma. From there it's time for her psychic revenge or something. Wait a minute, wasn't there already an Australian movie about a guy in a coma getting revenge called PATRICK? Yes there was and although I don't recall much about that one I do remember the Italian sequel PATRICK STILL LIVES being a super-gory dumb film. This Fulci version of this similar story, mixed with elements lifted from SUSPIRIA, is pretty much a shit-storm of crap. It's filled with really dumb death scenes that belong in a ghost movie which this sorta is I guess. In one bit, that is one of the dumbest things I've ever seen, a gal gets killed by snails crawling on her?? This even manages to top the stupidity of the tarantula attack scene in Fulci's THE BEYOND. Also disappointingly, since this was made by the "godfather of gore", there's not much gore outside of a schoolgirl who chomps on a guy in a dream and some bloody heads that never get explained. Stick with Fulci's early 80's gore films.
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
An unlikely group of 5 blind guys, who are also conveniently really good at kung fu, gets put together to rob a bank in the Philippines. One of the gang is that bad D'Urville Martin of DOLEMITE fame who plays a bit of a rape-happy fella here. We get to see how most of these guys became blind which includes everything from acid in the face to the ol' Moe two-finger poke to eyes gouged out with an electric drill. Besides these little shock bits it's fairly standard action movie/martial-arts stuff. Once the movie is just about over and you forget his name was even in the credits Fred "The Hammer" Williamson shows up to save the day in what almost seems like another films ending tacked on to this one. There's an epic battle atop an IHOP restaurant which is obviously L.A. and not southeast Asia. Strangely, unlike just about every other exploitation film I've seen from the Philippines, this was not directed by Cirio H. Santiago.
Monday, December 16, 2013
Most releases of this have Jackie Chan advertised as having starred in it and have his picture all over the DVD or VHS box. Unfortunately for his fans there's no Jackie in any of this as far as I could tell but supposedly he did choreograph the fight scenes so I guess there's at least that connection and a few fights do have that goofy comedic Chan style to them. Overall this is a pretty dull kung fu flick with your basic revenge plot. The only thing that kinda stands out is that there's two teachers and then two heroes at the end who battle the main white-haired evil villain guy. Watch some actual classic Chan movies instead of this. AKA JACKIE CHAN'S BLOODPACT, THE 36 CRAZY FISTS, JACKIE CHAN AND THE 36 CRAZY FISTS, JACKIE CHAN'S 36 CRAZY FISTS, BLOOD PACT and MASTER AND THE BOXER
and there are no ninjas in this either:
Sunday, December 15, 2013
As with every film I've ever seen from Turkey this is a weird one. It's basically a super-hero movie but it plays like a mix between a 1930's serial(technically this is a remake of a serial called THE MYSTERIOUS DR. SATAN) and a 70's Mexican-wrestling film. Our hero here, played by someone with the tantalizing alias of Kunt Brix, is a glittery-masked fellow named Copperhead and he has a comedic sidekick who dresses like Sherlock Holmes. His enemy is a very Fu-Manchu like character named Dr. Satan. Not to be confused with that stupid Dr. Satan from those dumb Rob Zombie movies, this guy has a big clunky robot accomplice who looks like he escaped from the set of ROBOT VS. THE AZTEC MUMMY. If this isn't enough for you there's a guy who throws metal playing-cards like ninja-stars and some ladies that don't mind getting nude for our trashy viewing pleasure. Good for a goofy night of insane trash-cinema.
Saturday, December 14, 2013
This Japanese pink film is the 6th movie in Nikkatsu Studio's "Female Teacher" series which includes other wholesome titles like FEMALE TEACHER: TWICE RAPED and FEMALE TEACHER: DIRTY AFTER SCHOOL. I've never seen any of the others but just reading about them I'll assume they're all pretty similar with maybe varying degrees of perviness as the years went on. This one starts out with a teacher raped in a school shower by a masked man which leads to a bit of mystery. Of course in her quest to find her attacker she manages to get raped by just about everyone she meets. It all ends with our main character/perpetual victim uttering the immortal words "I must have wanted it" which I'm sure has endeared this movie in the hearts of feminists worldwide since. I would recommend this one to perverted Asianphiles who don't require much of a plot to go with their naked Japanese ladies.
This creepy scumbag pretends to be a cop in order to go on crazy power-trips and rape and degrade women. This is a very sleazy 70's porn that falls into that too-depressing-to-imagine-anyone-ever-jerking-off-to category but I guess degenerates need something to get-off to also. This stars no one recognizable to me except Uschi Digard in a small part and while it's not the most entertaining porn I've ever seen it will probably appeal to most fans of the roughie genre for it's creepy vibe. You get cross-dressing, a woman rolling around in and masturbating in mud and what might be one of the worst car chases in cinema history. Director Lee Frost, under the pseudonym F.C. Perl, started out making weird sex flicks in the 60's like HOUSE ON BARE MOUNTAIN so this wasn't anything new for him. He would also go on to make the awesomely strange BLACK GESTAPO.
Friday, December 13, 2013
This is the 6th film in Paul Naschy's Waldemar Danisky werewolf saga, not that there's really any chronological narrative between the films, and it features a meeting of our Spanish Wolf-man and Dr. Jekyll. Jekyll here is played by Jack Taylor in his usual wooden-acting style but it actually works OK here. That's a few wacky things that take place in this movie. The main one is the sight of El Hombre-Lobo running around England, including tearing up a disco, like some-kinda hairy Jack The Ripper which predates AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON by many years except in that movie the monster was a giant ferocious wolf and in this one it's a guy with a furry head and hands wearing a shirt and pants which looks pretty ridiculous. Later on Naschy also gets turned into a Mr. Hyde-character which robs us of the battle promised in the title but is equally strange to see since he looks like he stepped out of the 30's and this part of the film seems clearly set in the 70's. Story-wise the most absurd thing is that somehow Dr. Jekyll figures out that turning a werewolf into a Mr. Hyde will somehow cure him of his wolf-curse? The mythological-logic here is a little hard to follow. On the plus side we get to see Naschy bear-hug a guy to death using his massive barrel-chest which is pretty bad-ass.
I've only seen the cut version of this but there is a longer version titled DR. JEKYLL AND THE WOLFMAN so I'm not sure what I missed exactly but it's probably some boobs.
This is a TV-movie version of a werewolf movie and it's really not all that exciting. It plays like a mystery for most of the film up until we figure out who the wolf-man is. Geoffrey Lewis who was in almost every show on TV in the 70's and 80's plays a hillbilly here. The monster in this might have the worst werewolf makeup ever which consists of furry gloves, a beard and a cute little black nose. As dumb as it is it's still better than anything produced for television in, at least, the last 20 years.
This is available on a bunch of cheap-ass dollar DVD's and they always use a much better looking wolf-monster for the cover photo, sometimes just slapping a pic of ol' Lon Chaney Jr. on there just for the hell of it. Very sneaky!
Was Tuesday night really a big movie-viewing night in the 70's?:
Thursday, December 12, 2013
This mixes the sword 'n sandal flick(though technically these people are more like cavemen so I guess it would be a clubs n' furry booties flick) with the giant monster movie by throwing in a few large rubbery creatures in the middle of a story of two warring tribes. You get a Loch-Ness monster with a lion-face, a big lizard and a three-headed underwater thing-a-ma-jig. The one tribe, the Sun People, get some help from this muscular fellow named Maxxus, who's really Maciste in the original Italian version but re-dubbed here to be an offspring of Hercules. It's pretty funny since every time he says his name it's in a completely different voice.
There were a whole series of these "Sons of Hercules" movies released to American TV stations in the 60's featuring mostly Maciste movies that I guess they didn't want to bother releasing theatrically.
I used to watch a lot of these swords n' sandals movies when I was a kid and set my VCR to record stuff that played at 2am. They were never really my favorite when they would show up. I preferred a nice biker or horror or even a cheap-shit kung fu flick but I'd watch them anyway. The Hercules ones were basically superhero movies set in ancient times. In this one Hercules (who's really Maciste but in the dubbed version they call him Hercules) takes on an evil queen who's in cahoots with some golden-headed, skull-faced character and his henchmen (who are made of rock and come from a meteor that fell from the moon). A gorilla-monster also shows up briefly to get it's ass kicked. It's all pretty ridiculous but might give you a laugh here and there. I also have to imagine these movies were probably pretty popular in the gay community of the 60's with our oiled-up, ripply-muscled hero flexing and posing. So if you dig muscular guys in togas or just absurd B-movies check it out.
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
I imagine the concept of television in 1935 was pretty futuristic and maybe even a little bit scary since probably not everyone knew exactly how it worked. This film capitalizes on that fear and shoehorns it into a murder mystery starring Bela Lugosi. Now throughout the first half of this film I kept thinking to myself this might be the worst mystery ever since if you have Lugosi in the cast you know he's got to be the murderer. Luckily they do throw a twist in for the big reveal to make it not totally predictable. This plays more like a Charlie Chan movie, there's even a Chinese butler character who quotes Chan and Confucius, than any kind of typical Lugosi haunted house flick and just like the Chan films you get a stereotypical black maid who shouts out stuff like "Oh lawdy, lawdy! I dun seen a ghost!" which will either make you chuckle or feel embarrassed depending on your silly political viewpoints.
Worth a watch if you dig the creaky classics with Lugosi and as a bonus you get a TV death-ray!
Sunday, December 8, 2013
I guess the closest thing I would compare this ridiculous kung fu epic to, with it's over-sized weapons and outrageous characters, is an episode of the DRAGONBALL Z anime. It starts out with a saying that this movie is dedicated to children and besides the fact that it features a little kid in a main role it also feels like a crazy daydream of a kid raised on chopsockey movies and comic-books. It does fall a little too much into the overly silly category for me personally but if I saw this when I was about 7 years old this might have been my favorite movie ever. You get all kinds of cartoonish characters including a birdman, a guy with stretchy arms, a bald guy who grows some crazy red hair when he gets pumped up, a fat & skinny elf, a hermaphrodite, an alcoholic named Old Naughty and a whole bunch more. Definitely the most kid-friendly Shaw Brothers film I've seen yet.
An evil warlord and his five brothers take on some rebels, among them is Dragon Lee who has some Bruce Lee-sound-alike yells dubbed in while he's kung fu fighting. This isn't the best martial arts film since it gets bogged down in political espionage and has quite a few dull bits. There are some cool elements though including a lady ninja in white who has a hat that doubles as a flying buzz-saw and a guy with a detachable metal hand(very possibly inspired by Mr. Han from ENTER THE DRAGON) who also uses a flying metal hand-fan. The main hero, Dragon Lee, is pretty generic in comparison.
Also this might be one of the coldest-looking kung fu flicks I've ever seen with occasional snow on the ground and frost coming out of everyone's mouth when they speak. This doesn't seem to stop guys from getting shirtless and showing off their muscles during fight scenes though. AKA THE ANGRY DRAGON
Saturday, December 7, 2013
Probably the best thing about this movie is it's rockin' theme song which gets stuck in your head. Besides that you also get America's #1 nerd, Eddie Deezan, in a big role which is something you don't see often.
The plot itself, like everything else in this movie, is pretty dumb. Written by Fred Olen Ray it's a about Brinke Stevens renting a haunted house from Michael Berryman then getting possessed. Then a goofy demon shows up and takes a shower with her naked sister. Then a priest comes along and they do a spoof of the exorcism in THE EXORCIST. Now some zombies appear and finally Mr. Deezan shows up as a pizza-boy which might make you chuckle or just annoy you some more. He ends up having off-screen sex with Brinke which seems strange since he was supposed to be sacrificed as a virgin just moments earlier.
The title lies to us since there's no teenagers of any sort in this but maybe they were referring to Deezan's character who I'm guessing is supposed to be pretty young. Altogether pretty forgettable if not for the bare boobs and butts and Stevens making for good eye-candy being half-naked and demonic for most of the film.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Before watching this I'd only seen Mantan Moreland in supporting roles in stuff like Charlie Chan movies and the great SPIDER BABY but here he stars in his own film. Apparently they made a bunch of these all-black-cast films back in the 30's & 40's and many of the ones starring Mantan, like MANTAN MESSES UP and MR. WASHINGTON GOES TO TOWN, have been lost over the years. This one features Moreland and his buddy, F.E. Miller, as a couple of gambling bums who win a nightclub by shooting dice then they get spooked by some ghosts and a couple of skeletons. It's all pretty basic and I can't help but feel Mr. Moreland's schtick works better in smaller doses but this movie is only about an hour long so it never feels too tedious. Worth a watch for it's novelty value and just too see what's essentially the first wave of blaxploitation films even though these were much sillier and didn't have much of a social message beyond the most superficial. AKA LADY LUCK
I've read that Moe Howard had considered Mantan as a replacement stooge after Shemp died and after watching this I can see why he thought he would be a good fit. There's gotta be some crazy-ass alternate universe where The Three Stooges broke racial barriers and are seen as modern-day Abraham Lincolns or something.
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Well this movie certainly would explain where all of the fake Bruce Lee's came from, apparently they're all cloned from the original Bruce's blood by a mad scientist. You get three Lee's here; Bruce Lai, Bruce Le and Dragon Lee. Of course they don't really look all that much alike or even that much like Bruce Lee but if you slap the correct sunglasses on them I guess you can fool enough Westerners to get by. Unfortunately outside of this novel origins of the fake Bruce's story they didn't bother with much more of a plot and just added long fight scenes. There's also a training scene set to music from ROCKY, the great Bolo Yeung sounding a little like he was dubbed by John Wayne, stock footage of the actual Bruce Lee and a crazy bit with a bunch of naked ladies at the beach rubbing oil on their boobs and attacking male passers-by which might have been the highlight of the whole film.
This one's kinda weird for a Bela Lugosi flick because he's not a mad scientist or other sort of miscreant and pretty much a nice guy throughout most of the movie. He's really more of a victim who just happens to fall into a hypnotic and psychotic state when he occasionally sees his allegedly dead wife appear to him. You get the typical DRACULA-like walk from Bela and a black butler who gets all the comic-relief lines. Technically, despite the title, there aren't any ghosts in this movie and by their very nature wouldn't ghosts usually be invisible? Also the plot doesn't really make much sense, like why would seeing his deceased spouse set Lugosi on a murder-happy rampage anyway?, but if you like the moldy-oldies this one is OK for a quick dose of Bela goodness.
Not to be confused with the earlier CRIPPLED AVENGERS or the later FIGHTING LIFE(aka CRIPPLED MASTERS 3) this is the story of a guy who has his arms hacked-off and a guy who has his legs destroyed with acid that meet up and then get trained by a weird yoga-master guy who teaches them some handicapable-kung fu moves. The main bad-guy here has a scarred face and a strange iron-hump(or is it some sorta magical turtle-shell?) on his back. There's also an iron-headed bald fellow, a sorta-Bruce Lee-rip-off guy and your standard fat bully character. Though not as well-done or inventive in the weapons department as the Shaw Brother's AVENGERS movie it's definitely worth a look for being one of the more oddball of martial-arts flicks.
These two crippled fellas would go on to be in CRIPPLED MASTERS 2: TWO CRIPPLED HEROES which I've never seen but might have to since apparently they get a pet chimpanzee in that one which sounds just delightful.
This isn't one of the best nazisploitation flicks out there but it's also not the worst. It's pretty average in most ways for this sleazy sub-genre. You get the expected women-in-prison touches; multiple shower scenes, big escape scene etc. and then they throw in some torture-porn type stuff with our nazi-doctors setting live women on fire to try and find cures for burns and a few bits that look like they were inspired by MARK OF THE DEVIL including a head-crushing and a tongue-removal. Oh and some actual footage of World War II concentration camps in case you were still in a good mood after all that. In between all this excitement there's boring parts involving a Jewish doctor, rape, abortion and organized prostitution. One memorable scene involves a black prisoner with a strap-on banana pleasing her Aryan captor. At least these movies will never be accused of being too P.C. for anyone. AKA SS CAMP 5: WOMEN'S HELL and SS LAGER 5: A HELL FOR WOMEN.
Director Sergio Garrone specialized in these lurid nazi/prison films. He also directed SS EXPERIMENT LOVE CAMP and wrote screenplays for a whole slew of women-in-prison films including THE BIG BUST-OUT, HELL BEHIND THE BARS and HELL PENITENTIARY.