Tuesday, September 30, 2014
This is the 4th movie in the German SCHOOLGIRL REPORTS series with a snazzy English title thrown onto it. I've only seen these first 4 films so far but I think as the series go on I like the films more and more with this one being my favorite so far. This has a little bit of everything you could wish for in a pervy 70's sexploitation film. It starts out with a teacher banging one of his underage students, another guy posing as a doctor to get multiple underage gals naked and fondled, a High-School prostitution ring and even a brother and sister(Christina Lindberg) incest romp. The standout bit though has to be a totally racist part where the only black gal at school gets set-up and gang-raped because all her white girlfriends are jealous of her exotic looks. The amazing thing about this scene is it, along with pretty much everything else that happens in the movie, seems to be played for light-hearted laughs. Either that or watching this film in 2014 it's hard to imagine such a clearly voyeuristic exercise to have been made with any kind of earnest educational intent. Either way though this is a real amazing bit of exploitation cinema that would soon be made extinct due to hardcore porn. Amazingly they would go on to make a bunch (8 or 9?) more of these SCHOOLGIRL REPORT flicks up until the late 70's so I guess at least in germany softcore was still a somewhat viable genre. AKA SEX EDUCATION, BARELY INNOCENT, SCHOOLGIRL REPORT PART 4: WHAT DRIVES PARENTS TO DESPAIR
Monday, September 29, 2014
With this title you might assume this would be a very sleazy documentary about dirty-movie maker Joe Sarno. You would only be kinda right since just like many of Sarno's films this is actually a bit classier than that. It's really partly a love story about the relationship between Joe and his wife of many years, Peggy(who was in attendance when I viewed this theatrically). And it's also a view of the way adult movies changed from the sexploitation-filled 60's into the hardcore, show everything 70's. These later penetration-filled epics, which look like classic films in comparison to the overlong loops being churned out today were not what Sarno was all about though. His vision was more about turning on the audience by using a more subtle approach and it seems like he really wanted to make art films but ended up doing what he had to in order to survive the changing times. Swedish filmmaker Wiktor Ericsson really does a great job here presenting the whole story behind the filth including commentary by John Waters, Annie Sprinkle, Jamie Gillis and others and also sadly chronicling Mr. Sarno's last days to ultimately create a surprisingly touching tribute to one of the classier directors in a sleazy business.
Sunday, September 21, 2014
This kung-fu movie set in San Francisco manages to be completely wacky and totally boring all at the same time which I think is quite a feat to pull of. The story involves Bruce Lee-look-a-like, Bruce Li, playing a guy named Bob who attempts to teach some Chinese kung fu but runs afoul of those evil white-people, and also some dirty Asians, who don't like this idea. It's all loosely based on Bruce Lee's real-life story of setting up a school in the U.S. but I doubt the real Bruce spent all his time having martial-arts battles with gangsters in the streets. I mean guns did exist in the 1970's but apparently this film takes place in some alternate dimension where they were never invented. It's all really dumb, there's a little kung-fu boy who uses nunchucks and it all ends in a big orgy of violent chop sockey. Try any of the other hundred Brucesploitation flicks instead. AKA BRUCE LEE'S SECRET, STORY OF THE DRAGON, A DRAGON STORY and HE'S A LEGEND HE'S A HERO
Not to be confused with the 50's giant bug movie of the same name this is a Shaw Brothers kung fu flick also known as SHAOLIN MANTIS about a fellow who infiltrates his enemies clan and lots of drama and political intrigues ensue. He also eventually marries the daughter of the leader of these "bad guys" so there's even more drama going on there. Being more of a fan of far-out action sequences this one does drag quite a bit and feels a bit long at times. The fighting scenes though are typically good Shaw Brothers stuff and Gordon Liu shows up in a way-too-brief role as a monk who looks just like his character from MASTER KILLER. Also it's cool to see a guy learn kung fu from a preying mantis teacher who looks like a little Yoda. One big thing that does drag this one down a lot for me is the confusing ending that seems to come out of left field where I was left not really too sure who the good guys and bad guys were supposed to be. While moral-ambiguity isn't always a bad thing in martial arts movies it sure made it hard to figure out who I was supposed to be rooting for to be successful throughout the movie.
Sunday, September 14, 2014
Following up his disgusting classic epic CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST director Ruggero Deodato churned out this nasty little flick which is obviously an Italian riff on LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT. It uses that film's star creep David Hess to full effect and is quite the ride. It also has it's own flow to it though and seems to comment on class issues and male-bonding. Of course these themes are enveloped in a rape-filled sadistic tale of two slightly unhinged mechanics who end up in a house full of upper-class types. Bloody violent antics ensue. The other psycho, who's really more of a slow-witted follower, is played by Giovanni Lombardo Radice of MAKE THEM DIE SLOWLY and THE GATES OF HELL fame. Also from ..DIE SLOWLY Lorraine De Selle is here as a potential victim of our two malcontents. Throw in one big plot-twist for a finale and you have an uncomfortable but interesting watch for horror/violent-thriller fans.
Hess himself considers this the 2nd part in a sort-of trilogy with LAST HOUSE.. and HITCH HIKE making up parts 1 & 3 and although the stories aren't related in any way he is basically playing the same character in each film so I guess that makes sense.
This trailer may have been made by a slightly dyslexic person:
As far as swords n sandals flicks go this one is pretty decent. Of course these films are famous for their half-naked beefcake-men but this one is nice enough to also give us a whole bunch of scantily-clad Italian ladies to ogle. Many of which wear an outfit that has one of their boobs hanging out the whole movie! Of course this is 1960 so there's no actual nudity on view but it gets close, especially when our ladies are bathing in streams. The main hero here, played by appropriately named actor Ed Fury, is called Glaucus and not Colossus but if you kind of mumble his name enough it sounds pretty similar. He gets to wrestle a bear in one scene, so that's something. The other thing about this one that's different is it's clearly a comedy and not to be taken seriously. There's gay-parodies and of course women realizing they're better off with some muscley men around. Very 1960's! Also the soundtrack is a weird one for this genre and consists of jazzy swinging bachelor-pad kinda tunes. Definitely one of the campier HERCULES-knock-offs. AKA COLOSSUS AND THE AMAZONS
This poster seems way too good for this cheese-fest!:
This trailer is in black and white yet the movie itself isn't:
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
"To know death, Otto, you have to fuck life... in the gall bladder!"
Udo Kier might be the most incredible actor to ever overact his way through a film based solely on his performance here. In addition to his insane portrayal of monster-building Baron Frankenstein you get Joe Dallesandro portraying, I think, a Serbian villager who, along with his friend who supplies his head to the monster, gets mixed up with the whole Frankenstein family. It's a bit hard to believe he's Serbian or even a villager from anywhere in Europe since he speaks in a strong Brooklyn accent throughout the movie but this just adds to the amazing insanity on display.
Filmed back-to-back, and sharing the same sets, with BLOOD FOR DRACULA this movie might be as close to being a perfect film as I can imagine. It has everything; blood, gore, laughs, nudity, ridiculousness, creepy incest, over-the-top acting by everyone and there's even a couple of little kids who by some miracle manage not to be annoying(this is most likely due to the fact that they have almost no lines). It's also highly re-watchable. I've seen it a bunch of times and even got a chance to watch a print in the theater a few nights ago which made me love the film even more. Originally released in 3-D(you can tell this by how everything is shoved right out at the audience), I've yet to see it presented anywhere in that version. Hopefully a print still exists somewhere out there. AKA ANDY WARHOL'S FRANKENSTEIN(Warhol was a producer), FRANKENSTEIN, THE DEVIL AND DR. FRANKENSTEIN and UP FRANKENSTEIN
Friday, September 5, 2014
Director Werner Herzog is one of my all-time favorite humans to ever make a movie. He might also be one of my all-around favorite humans to exist. His visual style is amazing and blows away so many other so-called film-makers in this regard. Here he remakes the 1920's classic vampire tale in color and with Klaus Kinski in the starring role. It trades the abstract expressionism of the original for more typical artsy flairs. Kinski adds that special extra kookiness that he always does and actual shows some range here playing a role outside of the usual insane sort that he would become known for and he also looks radically different then anything else I've seen him in. I can't say that there aren't some stretches in this movie that go one for too long where not much happens because there are a few super slow points where I feel like nodding off but luckily I'm always pulled back into the film enough to never want to give up on it. This film proves that remakes can be a worthwhile endeavor if you have the imagination to make them work. Unfortunately after the 70's/80's were over remakes seem to just be repackaged garbage designed to squeeze a few dollars out of the most gullible robotic viewers. AKA NOSFERATU THE VAMPYRE
Monday, September 1, 2014
It was an almost surreal night watching this on the big screen from a last-minute/hobbled together 35mm print last night. Star Sharon Mitchell and director Harley Mansfield were in attendance to speak about the making of the film which was cool but the weirdest part for me was sitting in a row between legendary actor Richard Bolla on one side and 80's porn director Larry Revene on the other.
The movie itself is kinda strange also. It's basically a comedy, albeit a comedy that basically uses the plot of DEATH WISH, including a couple of nasty rapes, as it's main inspiration. Instead of following down the typical rape-revenge path this one veers off into male-fantasy-land where our innocent virgin Joy(Mitchell) decides in the middle of being raped that she really likes it and instantly becomes a nymphomaniac who stalks the streets in search of more men to vanquish. "I want more!" is her battle cry as she goes from "victim" to "victim"(including Mr. Bolla) satisfying her desires. Strangely(well not really since these movies were made primarily for men) she seems to get off mostly by just giving blowjobs to random strangers. Besides probably being totally offensive to modern social-justice warrior-types I found a screwy message of female empowerment buried under all the male-wish-fulfillment. Then again I doubt many feminists will site a film where the star is penetrated by a handgun when looking for positive examples of girl-power. Luckily I'm not a feminist so I thought the movie moved along really quickly and was alternately funny and dark where it was supposed to be. AKA SEX CRAZY
Fear City U.S.A.!: