Thursday, May 28, 2015
I first caught this movie back in the VHS days sometime in the 80's and boy was I disappointed! I mean look at that video box that was staring back at me up there. Already being a fan of stuff like ZOMBIE and NIGHT OF THE ZOMBIES I was all ready for agore-filled Italian gut-munching jamboree and when I got home what I actually got was a boring, talky, sorta science-fictiony thing about a doctor who's trying to reanimate dead bodies or something like that. It was a terrible letdown for young me. Fast forward to last weekend and I got a chance to revisit this teenage nemesis as the last film playing on a drive-in zombiefest marathon. Well my opinion hasn't changed much. Why this was even included is sort of a mystery because except for the cool poster and misleading ads this has no gory living dead action at all! The original Italian title for this was ZEDER which is the doctor's name and is way more boring but also way more appropriate for this terrible movie. I guess it does serve the purpose of facilitating naps in your car at the drive-in at least.
Director Pupi Avati did redeem himself in my eyes after I saw his HOUSE WITH LAUGHING WINDOWS which was a pretty creepy giallo.
Throughout the 1990's, after the rise in popularity of Mr. Tarantino, there were a whole slew of these PULP FICTION-rip-off gangster flicks. Looking back at them now most of them were pretty lame. This is another one but luckily it comes from outside of the U.S. from some faraway land called Denmark so that's different. Also it was directed by Nicolas Winding Refn who I hear has made some good Hollywood movies like DRIVE and that movie where Vikings walk around(VALHALLA RISING) but I've only seen this one(and it's two sequels) and that BRONSON movie which was an interesting mess of a film. Here we deal with a fellow who has a pretty shitty week being a low-level drug-dealer. His friends fuck him over, the cops get involved with his illegal activities, his stripper/prostitute girlfriend is a bit unreliable as stripper/prostitute girlfriend's are wont to be and things go on what can best be described as a downward spiral. Like Mr. Tarantino's films a lot of time is taken up with witty dialogue but here it does help flesh out the main character and get into his head so we can actually relate and give a crap when shit starts to go bad so there is a purpose to it all. There is also the expected smattering of violence and we get a head blown off with a shotgun, a head bashed in with a baseball bat and a few gunshot wounds. Overall I would say this is worth a look if you dig gangster flicks and can deal with a subtitled one. The only bad thing is that since the whole trilogy works together as one big story the ending of this first part makes you want to immediately view the sequels, which, from what I recall, are equally entertaining but quite time-consuming since each one is almost 2 hours long and who has that kinda spare time?
There was a Bollywood remake of this in 2010(which amazingly doesn't have any song and dance numbers in it!) and then another remake in 2012 which I've heard nothing good about.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Of course the title here rips-off the tagline from ZOMBIE but the actual film seems to exist because someone watched THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE and said we can take this Leatherface character and throw him into a crazy kung-fu movie and hell, as long as we're doing that why not make it a whole village of cannibalistic Leatherfaces? Then they said we also need a very large horny tranny in this film for added strangeness so these people may have been insane. Usually in these nutty kung-fu/horror flicks the kung-fu isn't all that great but this one manages to have quite a few Jackie Chan-style battles involving a detective who takes on whole villages and kicks ass. Also it's filmed with some unique angles which makes me think the director, Tsui Hark, may have thought he was making some kinda art film which may also be another clue to the lack of sanity on the part of the filmmakers. They were however smart enough to throw tons of blood and gore into the mix with people getting ripped-apart, disemboweled and of course ultimately eaten just like the title promises. Add in some absurd subtitles, sound effects stolen from SUSPIRIA and the aforementioned tranny/would-be rapist and you have a pretty unique martial-arts flick which has been one of my favorites since I watched it back on a shitty VHS bootleg with barely visible subtitles years ago. Luckily there is now an official DVD release so you can actually decipher the dialogue.
Thursday, May 21, 2015
This movie is pretty awesome! You get a group of models dropped into the middle of a jungle. Instead of running into cannibals they encounter Paul L. Smith(Bluto from that Robin William's POPEYE movie) who runs a cocaine empire with his evil step-sister Sybil Danning and their arrow-slinging henchman Woody Strode. From there it turns into a rapey women-in-prison/jungle action flick. Also John Vernon shows up as a mafioso guy. Heads roll, many large boobs are on display, Smith kicks ass as always and it ends with some big explosions and much gunfire. A pretty entertainingly wacky journey that I'd somehow never heard of until it popped up on this women-in-prison DVD set that I acquired. One of the main appeals is the great cast including Marjoe Gortner playing a douchebag and Ava Cadell playing a sexy lady! The only drawback might be that it's technically not all that much of a women-in-prison movie except for a few scenes but don't let that stop you from checking it out if you dig sleazy stupid action flicks.
Apparently the rumour is that Dennis Hopper was supposed to play the Marjoe Gortner role but he was arrested for being naked and drugged out of his mind before that commenced and I imagine the film woulda been quite a bit stranger with his involvement.
One of my first viewings of this movie was at a drunken party where I drank so much alcohol that the room started spinning and I passed out. I think that may have been an appropriate method of viewing this film since it is a somewhat excessive film. At least excessive in it's display of car-crash porn which this may be one of the best examples of ever. It's a pretty basic revenge plot turned up to 11 due to the filmmaking, crazy-ass stunt work and Mel Gibson being a badass. Of course Gibson would go on to be a big deal and make a bunch of crap I don't care about and then ultimately piss off Hollywood by not being a good liberal or something. The movie isn't really a post-apocalypse film(it's more of a society falling apart kinda deal) since there's still a police force and some form of society still functioning although it gets lumped in with them and is basically the spiritual predecessor to that whole sub genre. Most people, at least in America, seem to like the sequel, THE ROAD WARRIOR, more than the original, and while that one is a fun watch I think it goes really far over the top into comic-book-land while this one is way more realistic and stands out as a great example of an action film and technically also a really cool biker flick. There's also a third film with Tina Turner but that one was rated PG-13 and had a bunch of little kids in it which is a bad combo.
My last viewing of this was at a screening where free beer and popcorn was handed out and the new remake/sequel/cgi-cartoon-whatever the hell it is-version was promoted. So at least this new version got me 2 free beers which is more than most remakes have going for them.
Thursday, May 14, 2015
Two years after CHAINED HEAT Lind Blair returns to the ol' women-in-prison formula. This is a little weird since she wasn't all that proud of it the first time around but I guess when ya gotta pay bills ya take the job. Basically this is a crappier version of CHAINED HEAT with the setting switched to Communist East Germany(referred to as The People's Republic). The main villain in this is the original Emanuelle herself, Sylvia Kristel and I've never seen her play such a badass before so that's something. Unfortunately it takes about a half hour before we even get to the prison and then it's pretty standard stuff involving catfights(including on between Blair & Kristel!) and gals raped with plungers and that sort of thing. Towards the end a paramilitary group battles prison guards and it all becomes more of an action movie so if that's your thing check it out if more sleazy hijinks is your bag go watch CHAINED HEAT instead.
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
This is sort of an Asian, Shaw Brothers version of the movie WILLARD except instead of an army of rats our "hero" uses a bunch of snakes and a couple of monitor lizards to get his revenge on the cold, cruel world full of people that beat him half to death just for bumping into them. I put the word hero in quotes because this fellow is a pretty terrible human. I guess if you're picked on enough it can make a person a complete mess in the brains department might be the message here. There are some pretty repulsive scenes involving all kinda snakes including some very large ones that get wrapped around victims, wrestled with and even shoved in vaginas! It starts out with some violence against a snake which is cut open and has it's gallbladder removed, so if you're a fan of slithery reptiles you might want to skip this. From there it's a pretty straight ahead revenge journey with a few twists. There is one very ridiculous scenes including three lizards who just walk around a naked tied up gal, gently flicking there tongue at her and she dies. Some super-red blood is smeared on there claws and face but it doesn't make this scene any less laughable. Shaw Brothers horror flicks usually give me a bit of an unsettling feeling, probably due to all the bugs and gross junk and this one works in the same way. Check it out if you're curious what a Hong Kong/ animals-run-amuck/WILLARD take-off looks like.
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
There's both an R and an X-rated version of this but in reality neither one is all that hardcore from what I've seen. In 1974 though I imagine all the pubic hair, tits and sex talk was a bit shocking in a big budget film. There's gotta be the best special FX in any"adult" film on display here including stop-motion animation featuring an homage to Ray Harryhausen's skeleton warriors from SEVENTH VOYAGE OF SINBAD(a young Rick Baker was involved here). It's also a pretty entertaining ride including rape-robots, a penis-shaped spaceship, a doctor named Jerkoff, Candy Samples playing an evil hook-handed baddie and people having spontaneous orgies due to a sex-ray from outer-space. Obviously nothing is taken very seriously here and I think that works and even though I generally hate spoofs I've rewatched this one many times over the years and always had a good time.
There was a sequel made almost 20 years later, called FLESH GORDON MEETS THE COSMIC CHEERLEADERS, which I sorta recall seeing, possibly on some late-night cable channel, but I don't really remember anything about it which says a lot.
Released in 1977 in Japan as SPACE WARS! Very sneaky!: