Saturday, June 28, 2014
Though the title makes you think this might be a blaxploitation film in reality it's a spaghetti-western starring Klaus Kinski and doesn't have any black folks in it at all. There are quite a few Mexicans though(or at least dark-skinned Italians/Spaniards? playing Mexicans). For a lot of this film I couldn't help but feel that Mr. Kinski is wasted as a lawyer who hands out legal advice instead of some insane gunman running amuck. It's also unclear for parts of the film if Klaus is a hero or villian. He does get some law books with guns hidden in them that he uses from time to time. There are also some memorable bits including an Indian-gal getting gang-raped and some nudity which is rare in a lot of these old westerns(at least in the edited/censored versions floating around). Overall I think this coulda been way better with more Klaus insanity. Which is something I could also say about most westerns.
Mediocre movie but cool soundtrack:
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
This is an AIP version of a kung-fu flick. It's also produced by Cirio H. Santiago so it has that crappy Filipino action movie feel to it. Also the main couple in this are black so it has a blaxploitation feel. As you might suspect by all this it really feels like quite the mish-mosh of genres and overall it's a pretty standard unexceptional viewing experience. The one thing this has going for it is there's quite a bit of female nudity for a martial-arts movie. Outside of all the naked Asian ladies I'll probably forget most of this within a few days. One thing I'll probably not forget is that this might be the only movie that ends with the whole cast in black-face(even the black folks!).
The 70's, when people still listened to the radio:
Sunday, June 22, 2014
So this is the last movie Mario Bava directed and it really doesn't feel like a Bava movie for the most part. It's probably the grittiest and most realistic of his films with none of the colorful flourishes that he was most famously known for. The story concerns a group of savage killers(including the huge man-monster Luigi Montefiori aka George Eastman aka The Grim Reaper) who are trying to get away from the law and grab a few hostages along the way to torture and kill. Most of the action takes place inside of a car which really negates any of the fancy camerawork which was another Bava trademark. Besides lacking what you might expect of the master of Italian thrillers this is still one of my favorites of his films. There's a scene that's reminiscent of LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT where a girl is forced to piss in front of her tormenters and a generally sleazy tension-filled atmosphere throughout the whole thing. The ending also throws a nice curve-ball that wraps it up in a fitting manner.
This movie was never totally completed by Bava before his death and wasn't released until 1996 when it was finished by Mario's son Lamberto and released in a different version with newly shot scenes under the title KIDNAPPED. I've never seen this version but from what I hear it's not as good as the original. The original cut, RABID DOGS, came out the following year.
While this is a pretty typical heist movie there's a few things that make it stand out to me. One is Klaus Kinski as a German criminal. Kinski can really make any movie he's in a little better just by being his insane self. The second is the ending. I'm not an expert on American heist films from this time I imagine the Italians(and in this case the Germans and the Spanish) get a little bleaker in their "crime doesn't pay" analogies, here being more of a "crime kills you dead" motif. There is at the same time also a bit of humor thrown in which I think really separates the European movies of the 60's from the darker tone the 70's brought on. This was also interesting to me since it's probably the oldest example of a Eurocrime film I've seen and while it does seem very old-timey and creaky in spots, and it's run time feels quite long at just over 2 hours, I think the pay off finale made it worth the watch. It also helped that I saw this in a theater on a 16mm print in scope as opposed to some crappy full-screen version. It should also be noted that the rest of the cast, including Janet Leigh and Edward G. Robinson, are pretty great here also.
Monday, June 16, 2014
This is an adult feature made by a couple of gay brothers(The Amero Brothers). This might explain why there are drag-queens, leather-daddies and big flashy Broadway-style set-pieces in the middle of a straight porno about two gals(Dory Devon and Suzy Mandel) looking for stardom. The movie starts out seemingly set in the past on a farm but then clearly zooms right on into the 70's when our two leading ladies make the trek to New York to make it big. I don't think I've ever seen these two gals in anything before but they do a good job, one(Suzy) portraying the dumb-blonde stereotype and the other(Dory) the older wiser lady, though I very possibly have seen Miss Mandel before since she started off as a Benny Hill-gal back in England. In fact she was a big enough star when this was filmed that she had a body-double do all of the sex scenes her character is involved in. Much more familiar to me are the male stars including R. Bolla, Eric Edwards and Jamie Gillis who has a short but memorable scene as a flamboyantly gay director shooting a reenactment of GONE WITH THE WIND as a group orgy. Overall this is a pretty fun flick which looks like it had a bigger budget than it actually did. I was lucky enough to see a 35mm print of this last night at a local showing and am glad I didn't pass it up. This is probably the only porno that ends with a police-raid and riot in a gay club and I think it would be fabulous if more movies ended on this note.
The censored trailer:
The whole movie!:
Saturday, June 14, 2014
Director Alex de la Iglesia is a fairly popular name amongst cult/horror film fans. Having only seen a couple of his movies I can't say I'm a huge fan and after watching this one that hasn't changed much. This film isn't totally terrible. You get a bunch of witches who jump around like those running cgi-zombies and walk on ceilings, including a very hot one played by Carolina Bang(who surprisingly isn't a porn star despite her name) who enjoys humping broomsticks dressed only in bra and panties, a little cgi blood & gore, a silly feminist message and a giant-boobed naked earth-mother goddess/monster(who's also a dreadful cgi-creation of course). My main problem with this, besides all the modern-day crappy computer FX, is the abundance of dumb humor thrown in every 2 seconds which gives the whole thing an extra cartoony feel. The English title, WITCHING AND BITCHING, gives you an even clearer indication of how dumb the whole thing is. Although this wasn't really my thing if you do dig your horror films with humor that runs the gamut from very black to Three Stooges-style slapstick maybe give this a watch.
This Italian crime film concerns a doctor and his wife who get some unwelcome guests in the form of a group of murderous jewel thieves. Rape, murder, lesbianism, cuckolding and double-crossing ensues. The first bit of this film is actually sorta reminiscent of RESERVOIR DOGS where one of the bandits gets shot and thrown in the backseat of a getaway car which then necessitates the need for a doctor. Luigi Pistilli plays the main cop on the trail of our gang and he looks about as bad-ass as I've ever seen him with some Wolverine-sideburn/mutton-chops. The film ends up with some crazy plot-twists which are always my favorite parts in Eurocrime movies like this. I see this is labeled as a giallo in a few places and although it does have a sorta-giallo-esque title and possibly a similar atmosphere in a few places from the way it was shot, it's totally not that kind of thriller.
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
If you took the story of TARZAN, threw in a pinch of THE WOLFMAN and topped it all off with 70's INCREDIBLE HULK story-lines you might end up with something a lot like LUCAN. This was a made-for-TV pilot movie that would go on to be a short-lived series about a boy raised by wolves who goes on to get all civilized(a la TARZAN) and then wander from town to town searching for his human parents(kinda sorta like how David Banner does on THE HULK). The movie has a sorta 70's superhero show feel and is pretty hokey but it did make me want to search out the rest of the series just to see what absurd adventures ol' wolfboy gets into. This would definitely make a good pairing with BIGFOOT & WILDBOY(which came out the same year) for a night of 70's TV insanity.
This is the opening to the TV show which looks like it changed some of the story from the movie:
A nice Friday night double feature:
Sunday, June 8, 2014
There's a really amazing story that could be told about the life of porn-icon Al Goldstein. Unfortunately this movie only sorta gleans the surface when it comes to telling that sordid tale. Rather than taking an in-depth look at the man and his insane adventures it feels more like a collection of random footage shot in 1996 that plays with no narration which mighta helped out a lot to convey some sort of sense of historical relevance to the events taking place onscreen. Having been produced by Todd Philips, the guy who made the epically awesome GG Allin documentary HATED, you would think this had a good chance to be much better. That being said though this is still an interesting assembly of footage. I think it would be hard to make anything about Goldstein and for it to be too boring. You go behind-the-scenes with Mr. Screw and encounter the expected filth and debauchery.
We're one sick nation:
In 1981 this film, along with THE HOWLING, took the werewolf movie and updated it for modern(at the time) audiences. Amazing special FX work and modern-day story-lines had a young me anxious to see what the future of horror would bring. Little did I know that these films would pretty much be the apex and horror, and film-making in general, would devolve into a lifeless form of commercialism over artistry. Watching this back-to-back with THE HOWLING recently I have to give it to WEREWOLF for being a slightly better-made and more fun watch. Then again if you're looking for a more straight-forward horror film with less comedic bits HOWLING is the way to go. Either way they do make a great double-feature!
Make-up artist Rick Baker won an academy award for this. 17 years later they made a CGI-laden lame-ass sequel, AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN PARIS, and if you want to see how far movies had fallen in that time-span just watch 5 minutes of that crapfest.
Friday, June 6, 2014
This is the 6th movie starring Mexican masked wrestler Santo(dubbed Samson here) and also one of the two movies imported into America(along with SAMSON IN THE WAX MUSEUM) by the great K. Gordon Murray. This one gives us a coven of lady vampires as well as three buff male vamps(who conveniently also wrestle) for Santo to battle in and out of the ring. One confusing bit has a vampire fella disguise himself as a masked wrestler but then get unmasked to reveal that he now has a werewolf face? How did that happen? Do vampires turn into werewolf-faces when they get angry enough?? But besides that this is a goofy flick for people who don't take themselves too seriously. Also I think it's the only Mexican wrestling movie they featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000, so that's something to check out. AKA SAMSON AND THE VAMPIRE WOMEN and SANTO VERSUS THE VAMPIRE WOMEN.
Thursday, June 5, 2014
This Italian giallo follows the standard formula pretty closely and gets a bit draggy in large chunks. You get your typical black-dressed, black-gloved, razor-wielding maniac slicing up women with artistic flair and a musical accompaniment. It's also a mystery that's wrapped up in the regular manner after throwing you a whole bunch of red herrings. Pretty much all the tropes are here with the exception of making the killer a cripple who needs a cane to get around. This will probably only interest hardcore giallo connoisseurs but there are worse things you could view.
There's a bunch of AKA's including DEATH CARRIES A CANE, MANIAC AT LARGE, THE TORMENTOR, TRAUMA and DEVIL BLADE.
This might be the only western that has a gang of ninjas in it. It might also be the only western where Mexican banditos are played by Filipino gentleman with big Mexican hats and I'm certain it's the only western where the Indians(aka Native Americans for you sensitive types)are played by midgets(aka little people for you PC-robots). The story involves our 3 foot tall hero Weng Weng, his very tall buddy Gordon(who looks like the Philippines version of George Eastman) and their mute pal(who's mute because he had his tongue cut out) Lupo, who take on a vicious gang of girl-snatching bandits and ninjas. I would probably rate this Weng Weng adventure slightly under his two James Bond-rip-offs (FOR Y'UR HEIGHT ONLY and THE IMPOSSIBLE KID) simply because you don't get as many insane stunts from Mr. Weng but he does get into the expected kung-fu and gun-fu and any Weng is still good Weng!
Workout with little Weng!:
Monday, June 2, 2014
The first half hour or so of this porno take-off of Michael Jackson's THRILLER is somewhat entertaining. The main guy does look more like Prince than Mr. Jackson but you do get him turning into a werewolf and ejaculating black monster sperm on Taija Rae so that's something to see. Also there's a ridiculous scene with a pair of nerds(one played by Taija) having nerdy sex while saying oddball unsexy things like "Let me put my dickie in your mouth" and "Suck my wanger". Unfortunately the movie goes on for much longer than 30 minutes and you get a bunch of musical dance scenes that I can't imagine anyone wanted to see. Overall this is more of an oddity to watch once just to say you saw it than anything that you would recommend to anyone else.
Director Roger Watkins, of LAST HOUSE ON DEAD END STREET fame, was one of the producers on this and it's too bad he didn't direct or I imagine it would have been more interesting.
Sunday, June 1, 2014
The main vampire in this, in addition to killing people and drinking their blood is also a rapist. This leads to the birth of a half-vampire son played by one of my favorite actors, Mr. William Smith. Smith is not too happy about his lineage and goes looking to destroy his vampire dad. Unfortunately for most of the film it's pretty slow-moving. You do get a classic William Smith brawl to end things and I couldn't help but wonder if the creators of the comic-book character Blade, who debuted the next year, got the idea of a halfbreed vampire hero from this film. Also there's a scene of baby Smith feeding on his mum's blood which they used in some newer baby vampire movies that I vaguely remember since they probably came out in the 2000's which are, so far, a totally forgettable century.
Zombies and vampires! A good combo!: