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A mad journey into the mind of the depraved!

A mad journey into the mind of the depraved!
Recommended for devolved primates only!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

CAPTAIN OF COSMOS (1983)

                                     "How can you bite a lady's rear-end like that?"

 This Korean animated(and pretty badly animated at that!) feature came out originally in 1979 but the dubbed version wasn't released until the 80s. Most of the film is fairly typical stuff with a hero battling some evil alien-types(including a huge green-skinned robot that looks like a Frankenstein monster). The one thing that did stand out to me is our hero's sidekick who is a little boy robot who bites ladies on the ass if they refer to him as a mechanical being and not a real boy. Sadly this only happens once and the rest is rather dull space battles and people getting zapped with disintegration rays. There is some really odd dubbing in the English version which is good for a few laughs if nothing else.
 There are supposed to be references to the MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM show where various characters are just recycled but I've never seen that program so it's all new to me. There were a few bad guys that looked like various SPIDER-MAN or DAREDEVIL villains from the 70s comic books to give this thing a real international rip-off flair. AKA JOHNNY DESTINY: SPACE RANGER and JOHNNY DESTINY: SPACE NINJA(The producer of this, Joseph Lai, was also responsible for a gazillion of those cheap-ass retitled composite ninja VHS movies throughout the 80s like GOLDEN NINJA WARRIOR , NINJA THUNDERBOLT etc.)




                                                                 Ass-biter!:

The Southern California Motion Picture Council must've had a bad year: 



Saturday, July 22, 2017

THE DAY OF THE WOLVES (1971)


 In addition to THE TAKING OF PELHAM ONE TWO THREE this looks like a big inspiration for Quentin Tarantino's RESERVOIR DOGS in that it's the tale of a gang of anonymous gangsters(who each get a number here instead of a color like in R.D.) gathered together to pull off a big job. In this case the job is ransacking a whole town and splitting with over a million dollars. On the other side of the law we get a sheriff who's being forced to turn in his badge by a corrupt city council who turns into a real Rambo character when the shit hits the fan.
 All in all this is a really good heist flick despite having an obviously very low-budget for some of the action scenes attempted and is definitely something Tarantino fans should give a look at.

Comes complete with wonky hippie folk theme song!:



Thursday, July 20, 2017

SATAN'S SCHOOL FOR GIRLS (1972)



This is one of those made-for-T.V. movies but it's from the 70s so that's not necessarily a negative thing. In this case the most of the movie plays out like a mystery with some decently creepy atmosphere involving a young gal(Pamela Franklin) trying to solve her sister's murder that was made to look like a suicide. Then it all just ends with some fire in a fairly uninspiring manner.
 This might only be of interest to fans of the CHARLIE'S ANGELS program since 2 of the ladies from that (Kate Jackson and Cheryl Ladd) appear here a few years before that show launched. For fans of better 70s television horror this seems pretty skippable. Great title though!
 For some reason there was a remake of this in 2000 starring Shannen Doherty which was also made-for-T.V. but watching anything on television from the year 2000 is something I don't have much interest in. 



ACROSS 110th STREET (1972)


 Great soundtrack(including the classic title tune that was reused in JACKIE BROWN amongst other places), great dialogue and a cool plot about some gangsters getting ripped off and murdered and all hell breaking loose in Harlem as a result. It's like if you took a classy mobster flick and added a helping of blaxploitation and mixed it all up into a standout 70s epic. All the actors here, including Anthony Quinn, Yaphet Kotto and Anthony Franciosa are perfect in their respective roles. My personal favorite Antonio "Huggy Bear" Fargas dons some sweet vines before the shit starts to get really heavy. We get an offscreen castration, lots of gun-fu and a bunch of 70s-style racism. A great example of why the 70s were the high-point of cinema and even a seemingly simple crime-drama can be a thought-provoking(besides the obvious racial questions raised there are ponderings on age and suicide brought up) piece of art.




This version of the theme song, that's on the soundtrack, is actually different, and better, than the one that's actually played in the opening of the film:




Italian style!:


and Japanese style!:



Sunday, July 9, 2017

DIE! DIE! MY DARLING (1965)


 Tallulah Bankhead was a big deal back in Hollywood's golden age but more so for her stage acting and being a real character than any big movies she was in. I know of her mostly from her appearances on TV in things like I LOVE LUCY and the BATMAN program. She also was allegedly a very free spirit when it came to sex and nudity way back before the hippies came along and made that kind of stuff a little more culturally acceptable.
 After WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE? was such a big hit a lot of these older female stars found roles in horror (or thrillers as this one is more of) films and this is Tallulah's. The character she plays is about as far removed from what I know of the real Miss Bankhead in that she's a super religious nut who kidnaps her late son's fiance and holds her captive until she see's the light. Murder and catfights ensue. Tallulah does a great job as expected since you kind of feel sympathy for her character even though she's a really terrible person. Sadly this was her last film appearance but she would go on to be The Black Widow on BATMAN so that's a pretty cool ending. AKA FANATIC






The Misfits added an extra "Die" cuz that's the kinda guys they are!:




MANIAC (1963)


 Not to be confused with the 80s slasher movie or that 30s movie where they rip out a cat's eyeball, this is the Hammer studios MANIAC. The movie starts right out with a dad getting some sweet revenge with an acetylene torch after his daughter is attacked(and apparently raped but this is 1960 so this is never made all that crystal clear) by some creep. Unfortunately he takes things too far and is thrown in an asylum and branded a "maniac". Then for a long time it becomes a boring love triangle story between our maniac's wife and his daughter and some American dude. Then it gets weird when the imprisoned maniac's wife convinces her new lover to break her husband out of jail and he agrees to this for some bizarre reason? This part made very little sense to me. It all ends with a few twists and that's nice and all but I think my main problem with this is that the guy who's dubbed a maniac seems pretty justified in his initial revenge. I mean sure you shouldn't torture anyone with a welding torch but the man's daughter was just viciously attacked. Who wouldn't be a tad peeved off over this? Then this American fella comes along and hits on his wife and daughter?  This villain doesn't seem all that bad of a guy to me in his initial reaction and on the other hand this American doesn't seem like much of a hero in the story.  Hammer would head into mostly more monster and gothic stuff after this and that seems to have been their strong suit and a better idea than trying to do their version of PSYCHO.



            On the bottom of a double-bill with a William Castle directed Hammer remake:





THE BLOODY JUDGE (1970)



 As much as I generally love director Jess Franco I've never been much of a fan of this burn-the-witches flick that he did with Christopher Lee. Lee is great as always in the title role but the film overall pales when compared to it's obvious inspiration CONQUEROR WORM and it never gets as sleazy or bloody(with it's PG-rating) as MARK OF THE DEVIL from this same year.  It is probably one of Jess' most professional and best looking films and it's not terrible it just suffers for reminding me of  better movies in this sub-genre. Franco regular Howard Vernon is pretty great as the executioner/torturer of accused witch-ladies but the movie sadly isn't all about him and his limping sadistic ass. There are a bunch of alternate titles for this which were various cut versions including NIGHT OF THE BLOOD MONSTER, THRONE OF THE BLOOD MONSTER, TRIAL OF THE WITCHES, WITCH KILLER OF BROADMOOR and WITCHES' TRIAL




                                      Didn't spot this monster anywhere in this movie:


Saturday, July 8, 2017

TRAINED TO KILL: USA (1973)


 I've been a fan of Vietnam-Vet-revenge tales since I was 11 years old and first saw FIRST BLOOD in the theater with my mom. My favorite ever has to be ROLLING THUNDER but this one  here is a pretty decent slice of 70s exploitation where we even get a biker flick jammed into the last third. The bike gang is led by Sid Haig who is a real highlight as a shit-kicking, chain-swinging character named Pill Box. Why he's called this I'm not exactly sure except that perhaps it's because he deals drugs? He isn't the main villain though, that honor goes to Mr. BLACK SAMSON himself, Rockne Tarkington. He's exactly the opposite of SAMSON here as a badass murdering scumbag who takes no shit from anyone. The film ends with a great climactic massacre and a ballad that seems totally out of place after watching all that crazy violence.
 Originally released as THE NO MERCY MAN, which is also the title of the wonky tune that plays at the beginning of the movie,  and then re-released as TRAINED TO KILL and then finally put out on video as TRAINED TO KILL: USA so we can all be clear and proud of where all this carnage takes place.


                                                             

                                                           The glorious VHS!:



Monday, July 3, 2017

WILD ZERO (1999)



 Being a fan of the Japanese punk-a-billy band Guitar Wolf I've been wanting to see this movie since it came out but haven't had the chance. So when it got a showing down at the local artsy-fartsy theater over the weekend I couldn't pass it up. It was definitely worth the trip since this one is a great Asian mash-up of insanity where you get a rock 'n' roll band that are basically superheroes who look like the Japanese Ramones taking on zombies who come from flying saucers. There's also some baldie bad guys lead by this one snazzy fellow who wears extra tight hot pants and crazy wigs. There's also a strong pro-tranny message which I wouldn't've thought would be in a movie from '99 but I guess the director(Tetsuro Takeuchi) was a little ahead of the times. This film might not be very serious and there's cgi exploding heads but I still found it to be more entertaining than most American films made in the 90s and it made me love Guitar Wolf even more

Sunday, July 2, 2017

THE DAY THE SKY EXPLODED (1958)


This starts out with an astronaut traveling in orbit around the Earth, which in 1958 was still some pretty science-fiction-y-type stuff. Then, for reasons I'm not quiet clear on, this causes a bunch of meteorites to head towards our planet meaning certain doom when they collide. The reason I'm not exactly sure how these two things are connected is that this is a really boring, talky, old, dubbed Euro-sci-fi flick and staying conscious while viewing was a bit of a challenge. In fact calling this sci-fi is a bit of stretch since just about everything takes place on Earth in a command center where some dull pseudo-science dialogue takes place. Not exactly nail-biting action. I think the high-point was watching some stock-footage of horses galloping away from coastal flooding.  Avoid this unless you really feel the need to watch Italy's very first sci-fi film.
 Mario Bava apparently was the director of photography here except on the English-dubbed print he's called Mario Baja which doesn't really sound much more American to me. So maybe this thing looks good if you find a good print of it somewhere but I've only seen the crappy-looking cheap-o version that's on Youtube.






French poster:


Saturday, July 1, 2017

NEVER TAKE CANDY FROM A STRANGER (1960)


 I'd never heard of this movie until seeing it on a Hammer films box-set that I picked up recently. The idea of a Hammer movie about a child-molester seems pretty strange to me since when I think of that studio, Dracula and other gothic horror is what mainly springs to mind. Something this based in reality, and a pervy sick-o reality at that, is quite far removed from all that stuff. Being made in 1960 things never get too graphic outside of what is talked about, and that mainly concerns little girls dancing naked in front a dirty old perv-o. Overall this is a really well-made film that uses it's black & white palette very effectively to create some tense moments and makes some social commentary about power and wealth and corruption. It does turn into a courtroom drama for a while which is not my favorite genre but it all ends on a pretty shocking note and I'm sure it was especially shocking at the time it was made. Give it a watch for something from Hammer that's very different from what you would expect. AKA NEVER TAKE SWEETS FROM A STRANGER