Monday, December 26, 2016
This is a very slow-moving, made-for-TV version of the famous Edgar Allan Poe mystery. It has an all-star cast including Val Kilmer and Rebecca DeMornay and features George C. Scott in the main role of a retired inspector coming back on duty to solve the titular murder case. While Scott is always great and believable as an ass-kicking tough fellow this is not the greatest place to see him do this. We do get one slightly bloody double murder, a guy in a gorilla suit and then the rest is tough to slog through as it becomes your standard mystery tale. I probably shoulda watched the old Lugosi version or that 70s one instead.
Floaty heads, aahh!!:
This title did make for a great Iron Maiden song!:
Sunday, December 25, 2016
The first BLACK COBRA flick is kind of a rip-off of Stallone's COBRA with Fred "The Hammer" Williamson in the role of a Dirty Harry-ish police lieutenant ridding the streets of deplorable criminals and punks. By the time we get to this third film it's mostly just another Filipino mercenaries-in-the-jungle, exploding huts action movie. In fact if you had told me this was one of those cheap-o Cirio H. Santiago films from the 80s I would certainly believe it. In actuality it's an Italian production filmed in the Philippines where blowing up lots of stuff is apparently cheaper to do. "The Hammer", or Malone as he's called here, gets a male and female partner who run around the jungle, shoot many people and even do some almost Dolemite-level of bad kung fu. Maybe if they had sped-up the fight scenes like Rudy Ray Moore had it would have been slightly more exhilarating to watch.
There is a BLACK COBRA 4 but from what I've read that one is basically a rehashing of clips from the first 2 movies so I might not need to be in any rush to view it.
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Unlike many of these Taiwanese movies with the word 'ninja' in the title this one actually has a ninja in it(or at least a guy with a very ninja-like outfit on), so that's something. It's also a pretty decent blend of action/kung-fu and for about the first half of the runtime it's a crime drama before morphing into your more standard kung-fu flick. There's quite a bit of variety on display besides your standard fist and foot-fighting you get gun-fu, motorcycle-fu, Frankenstein-fu, skiing-fu and even some unexpected rollerskating-ninja-fu. Muzak versions of Procol Harum's 'Whiter Shade of Pale' and 10CC's "Not in Love" play on the soundtrack which are not songs I would ever pick to be in an action-packed film, but what do I know? AKA NINJA AND THE THIEF and TO CATCH A THIEF. The director on this is credited as Tommy Lee but I'm pretty sure it's not the drummer of Motley Crue.
This was recut by the specialist of re-cutting and splicing cheap crappy things together, Mr. Godfrey Ho, and released the same year as NINJA THUNDERBOLT. This version is pretty similar except that you get some additional scenes of Richard Harrison to give it more appeal to those American round-eyes.
Thursday, December 15, 2016
This movie was originally released in 1947 under the title UNTAMED FURY and it was only an hour long but I guess that was too long for somebody so it was cut down to a half-hour and re-released in 1951 with the way sexier title of SWAMP VIRGIN. While I've never seen the full-length cut I don't really think I have to since from what I can tell all the action scenes are here. You get two young boys thrown into swampy lakes by their hillbilly dads and used as human gator-bait, a young lady cutting her dumpy overalls into a skimpy jean-bikini, some alligator-wrassling, a wise old black man who conveys this whole thrilling sorta-love-triangle tale to us and it all ends with some gunfire and quicksand antics. While not the most amazing thing I've ever seen at least it didn't waste much of my time.
A slice of 60s hicksploitation that takes place in the Okefenokee swamps of Georgia. A lady is strangled to death and the law pursues the suspected murderer through alligator(and bear and bobcat!) country. Also while this is going on country singer Baker Knight plays a lazy bum who sings a couple of sweet tunes(my favorite being one called "The Misfits" which sadly The Misfits never did cover) and tries to get with the sheriff's gal pal. Also Lyle Waggoner(who I really only know from all his TV appearances in the 70s on stuff like THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW and WONDER WOMAN etc.) plays the handsome deputy who oddly enough has no love interest of his own here. There's some bear wrestling, quicksand death, mafioso scumbags and a guy who makes the odd choice of wearing Chuck Taylor All-Star sneakers to roam around in a swamp?? While this doesn't really have all that many sleazy exploitation elements which I woulda appreciated it did hold my interest if just for the groovy songs and hillbilly action.
He's a misfit!!:
On glorious VHS!:
Monday, December 12, 2016
Having just seen director Cirio H. Santiago's FUTURE HUNTERS in a theater recently, a film that starts out as a ROAD WARRIOR-rip-off and then moves into modern-day 80s action flick, it was interesting to see this earlier film of his where he goes full-blown post-apocalypse epic. Not that the movie is all that interesting. You've seen it all before, the Earth's freshwater-supply is all gone for some reason that's never explained, people dress like punk rockers and souped-up vehicles explode a lot. Similar to FUTURE HUNTERS there's a gang of midgets(did Cirio just keep these guys on his payroll?) and an all female troop of amazons(who of course where super-skimpy short-shorts because that's so functional in a desert wasteland but I'm not really complaining). The main hero here(Steve Sandor) is also pretty dull. I did find it interesting that there's an image referring to this as MAD MAX 3 and if I had to choose my favorite between this and that stupid THUNDERDOME movie it might be a toss-up.
Saturday, December 10, 2016
Dracula, or Alucard as he's called here gets himself a Wolfman, or a Jackal-Man as he's called here, servant to get him some ladies for his blood drinking and sexual needs. So it's sorta like that Bela Lugosi movie RETURN OF THE VAMPIRE except this is way more of a softcore porn situation where our vampire villain has sex with, aka rapes, naked gals while still completely dressed using some weird, rarely seen vampiric powers. Also it's dubbed to make it a comedy giving Drac a very Jewish accent and also strangely giving one of the ladies here an old grandma voice.
Apparently Woody Allen's first movie WHAT'S UP TIGER LILY?, made a few years earlier and similarly dubbed except a bit wittier, was enough of a hit that this was made along the same lines. It is pretty humorous for about half the movie then it starts to get a bit monotonous but still worth a look for lovers of obscure weirdness. Tits are bitten, Irving Jackal-Man gets in on the raping, women are insulted(or fat-shamed as all the sensitive types call it now) and it ends in a monster brawl.
Sunday, December 4, 2016
A girl is raised in the Georgia swamps by a black fellow she calls "Pa" after being left there by her mom with an old doctor who drops dead. This slice of hicksploitation doesn't turn into a female version of Tarzan like it would have if it was made back in the 30s or 40s but instead just concerns itself with some local yokels and a couple on the run from the law who can't leave our poor "Swamp Girl" alone. There's some long stretches of not much going on. Country singer Ferlin Husky stars as the swamp ranger and sings us the title track and snakes mess people up with their fangs. This was rated PG(or GP as it was called back then) so nothing very lurid happens despite what you might expect. Watchable but not really a 70s exploitation highlight for me.
Fun for the whole family!:
Saturday, December 3, 2016
OK, so this movie starts out in the future year of 2025 where it's a cheap-ass ROAD WARRIOR rip-off. After about 15 minutes or so of that the hero(Richard Norton) jumps back in time to the current day of 1986. We meet our new replacement heroes(Linda Carol and Robert Patrick(the T-1000 from TERMINATOR 2 in his first movie role)) and some Nazi villains. Then we travel to Hong Kong and meet up with Bruce Li where the film becomes a kung-fu movie for awhile. From there it's off to the Philippines where there's Mongols that look like they rode out of the 13th century, a village of midgets who look they are from the stone age and finally a tribe of Amazon women who like to feed people to their hungry alligator pets. Directed by crap-meister Cirio H. Santiago this is clearly not the best-made action movie you could watch but I do love his kitchen-sink/running-the-gamut approach to filmmaking on display here and this might be my favorite(and the easiest to stay awake for) of his movies I've viewed so far.
Shown on TV and with presumably edited out boobs as DEADLY QUEST. Here's a promo:
Based on a real life house invader/rapist/murderer from the 60s in Brazil but don't expect to get too many facts about him from watching this because it falls squarely into the dreaded "artsy-fartsy" genre of film making. You get crazy weird-angle camera-shots, quick cuts and a lot of intentionally anarchist nonsense. Kind of how modern-day action movies are shot minus the cgi.
It starts off with some voice-over narration that seems more like a trailer for a movie than an actual movie itself. This sort of reminded me of how a couple of Russ Meyer's films start out except instead of then following giant-boobed ladies you get a side-burned and snazzily-dressed crook going about his nefarious business. There's an off-screen rape, gun-murders, nudity and tons of political and social commentary which I'm sure worked a lot better for Brazilians at the time it was released since they were dealing with a military dictator. There is a very chaotic feeling to the whole thing which I can certainly appreciate so maybe check it out for that or just as a goofy comedy.