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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!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

THE SHARK HUNTER (1979)


 Franco Nero Vs. JAWS? Kinda, sorta. Unlike the other movie I have this on a double-feature DVD with, DEADLY JAWS, this one does feature people getting ripped apart by sharks and Mr. Nero, or at least his stunt-double, does spend a lot of time hunting down and wrestling with sharks. Just like that other JAWS-reminiscent feature though this one is mainly concerned with a treasure in the ocean and some gangsters battling our hero to get their hands on it and really isn't any sort of horror film. Nero wears a wacky long blond wig that gives him the 70s glam-rocker look and director Enzo G. Castellari does a decent enough job with the action sequences but I would definitely recommend their earlier collaboration KEOMA over this but maybe if I was able to view this on a better looking DVD and it all not look so dark and murky I would rate it a bit higher. AKA GUARDIANS OF THE DEEP.  The German re-title of DJANGO AND THE SHARKS makes it sound like it might be an interesting spaghetti-western.





DEADLY JAWS (1974)


 Not to be confused with the sexploitation flick DEEP JAWS this is a completely different movie meant to be mistaken for JAWS only in it's American release that was obviously after JAWS premiered in 1975. The original film from Germany, titled NO GOLD FOR A DEAD DIVER, isn't similar to the Spielberg classic much at all and is actually an adventure film about finding some lost treasure. There's a couple of scenes where 2 sharks do show up, one of which is a hammerhead which doesn't seem all that scary, and also an octopus(so I guess they coulda just as easily retitled this to be a ripoff of that movie TENTACLES if they wanted to) but all of these creatures seem to be stock-footage which is pretty underwhelming. There's some dramatic scenes with a love triangle, double-crosses and a bunch of silly gun battles with Mexican pirates but this one doesn't really stand out much and I will probably forget about it a couple of hours after viewing.

There's also an out of place theme tune that seems like it escaped from a blaxploitation film which you can hear right here:


Original poster has no mention of sharks on it:

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

STREET WARS (1992)

                                               

                                                        "They killed neck-bone!"

 Being a big fan of all of director Jamaa Fanaka's films that I have seen so far, which at this point is all but one of his features, I had to check out a local retrospective on his work in the artsy-fartsy theater that's currently playing. While I would never classify Mr. Fanaka's movies as high-brow snobby art-flicks they do always have a message about the struggle of being an African-American and more broadly of just being a poor-person in America and they are squarely within the exploitation with some of the more far-out ideas in them all. This one is no exception and might be one of the only good true examples of the blaxploitation-genre made in the 1990s, not exactly a decade known for campy-depictions of urban environments thanks to the beginnings of the ultra-politically correct movement we have in full disgusting bloom these days. There's a clear message about how crack-cocaine and battling drug-dealers are keeping the ghettos a real shithole but also and equally aload of absurd comedic elements including the main one about our gang-leader character's brilliant idea of outfitting his group of uzi-wielding crack-dealers with ultralight aircraft, basically little shitty go-karts with wings, to battle his rival gang("Whoever controls the skies. Controls the streets!"). There's also the more typical elements like a super-racist white mobster, characters with ridiculous names like Sugar-Pop, Neck-Bone and Humungous(not to be confused with that guy from THE ROAD WARRIOR) and a bunch of gun-violence. If the movie fails anywhere it's in that the budget was obviously super low and it does look it but it's so high in camp-value, including some very wacky original rap-tunes and out of place funeral dance numbers that it has to be seen to be believed. It's a real shame that Mr. Jamaa stopped making features after this, because the 90s surely could have used more stuff that wasn't boring unwatchable crap.




                              The 90s sure had some shitty-looking cover-art on everything!!:

                            A little sample of the insane world of Street Wars!:

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

SPIDER'S VENOM (1971)

This is a weird little obscure British movie that seems more like a mainland 70s Eurotrash horror flick. Mainly because it takes place in Germany but also because it has that typical plot of a stranger(Simon Brent) in a strange village where he can't trust anyone and lots of  unexplained strange stuff happens. To be fair I have to say the crappy cheap-o DVD I watched of this was transferred directly from an old pan-and-scan VHS tape and it looks and sounds like garbage and I imagine it may have been sourced from a censored cut since it looks like whatever blood is present may have been chopped out. Even if this was in pristine condition though I'm not sure I would have a much better opinion. There's a spider goddess character(Neda Arneric) who ends up getting anyone who dares to touch her killed by spiders(of course) except I'm not sure if those scenes are just dreams or imaginary or what the hell is going on and that's the main problem with this. Also there's a pretty dumb suicidal ending which leaves things off in a pretty unexciting way. There are some creep-crawly spider hijinks and a little nude skinny-dipping but not quite enough to get excited over. AKA THE LEGEND OF SPIDER FOREST and VENOM



Italian poster! Sadly she never turns into this spider-creature in the movie:




Sunday, September 17, 2017

THE KILLING OF AMERICA (1981)


 I first saw this shockumentary back in the VHS rental days along with all the other FACES OF DEATH, TRACES OF DEATH etc., etc.-type videos and those all kinda blend together in my foggy memory. Just yesterday I got the opportunity to see the Japanese cut of this, which is also sometimes known under the snazzy exploitation title of VIOLENCE USA, and hear the director(Sheldon Renan) give his thoughts on making the film and what it all means to him. While this one does get lumped in with all the other shock videos that came out in the 80s I think it delves a bit deeper and hearkens back more philosophically to the mondo-movies that came out in the 60s and 70s with the main glaring exception that in this case all of the footage is actually real and mostly culled from news sources or security cameras. There is, at least in this Japanese version, a strong anti-gun bias and it all ends in a big hippie love-fest with John Lennon that kinda made me want to shoot my brains out but besides this it's a pretty compelling look at what living in a large multi-racial, easily media-manipulated western country is like when anger(or as in many cases here just insanity and/or stupidity) leads to violent outbursts. I do need to re-watch the USA cut to see all the differences besides some strange feel-good stuff with a dog playing with a Frisbee, footage of the grand canyon and a less grim-sounding Japanese narrator.



                                                                   Mexican poster!:



The perfect punk song that shows up in the film!:

LADY GANGSTER (1942)


 Probably the most interesting thing about this 40s gangster/crime-noir flick is that it features Jackie Gleason as one of the tough-guys in a criminal gang of bank-robbers. Having been raised on a nightly diet of HONEYMOONERS reruns it's a bit jarring seeing Ralph Kramden himself running down the police and getting into knock-down brawls with our hero character(Frank Wilcox). Mr. Gleason does turn out to not be all that bad though and has a soft spot for the titular "Lady Gangster" by the time the film credits roll, which only takes a snappy 60 minutes which is the perfect length for a fairly basic film like this. It was also pretty neat to see what turns into a 1940s version of a women-in-prison flick for a long part of it's run time which is obviously quite a bit less graphic and way more wholesome than it's 70s incarnations. An interesting watch for old-timey gangster fans.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

THEY MADE ME A CRIMINAL (1939)


 This is an early Bowery Boys flick, back when they were still known as The Dead End Kids, having to do with a boxer who gets framed for a murder and ends up on the run from the law. Claude Rains "The Invisible Man" is the detective on his trail. This earlier Dead End Kids incarnation is not as comedic as the boys would become later but they're still pretty goofy in what is mostly a pretty heavy dramatic film. This was directed by Busby Berkeley who is known mostly as a choreographer of big garish musical numbers from the 30s to the 50s but there's none of that crap here and apparently he was a fellow of many talents since this is a pretty solid epic and held my attention throughout even though it's unusually long for a 1930s movie. I guess I just dig the even more serious Bowery Boys stuff. AKA THEY MADE ME A FUGITIVE

 

Monday, September 11, 2017

I SAW WHAT YOU DID (1965)


 The great William Castle directs this cautionary tale about the perils of crank-calling. It mixes together, a very sit-com-like story of a couple of teenage girls having a sleep-over and a homicidal, kill-crazy fellow who just can't stop stabbing the ladies in his life. Joan Crawford does a pretty amazing job as the nagging older neighbor-lady in our perpetually annoyed murderer's(John Ireland) life.  The tone of this thing is a bit jarring with someone being killed one second and then some jaunty BEACH PARTY-style tune starts playing but it still somehow manages to work as an effective thriller and as a bonus I learned what the word "uxoricide" means thanks to some of the posters.
 There was a made-for-TV remake of this in the 80s but I've only read bad things about it.



                                      On a double-bill with a Vincent Price Poe flick!:


Sunday, September 10, 2017

CRAZED COP (1986)


 I suspected that this was going to be a shot-on-video piece of crap before viewing but it turned out to actually be shot on film, which seems kind of amazing to me since I can't imagine it was shown in theaters for very long anywhere. While I wasn't as disappointed as I thought I was going to be, the main flaw with this film is it's main "action" star Ivan Rogers(who also wrote the script) is a black fellow who sorta resembles comedian Steve Harvey, but only Mr. Harvey if he had been lobotomized and no longer was capable of displaying any human emotions or a sense of humor. This robot-like performance is sorta explained during the film by saying that our detective's wife had been raped and sliced up with razor-blades by the mafia leaving him a depressed shell of a man, though I'm not sure that what Mr. Rogers portrays is so much depression as it is a complete unemotional blankness. He does display some sped-up kung-fu and running skills which reminded me of DOLEMITE and the whole thing basically plays like a crappier/low-budgeted version of DIRTY HARRY. There's also a scene featuring a gang of murderous break-dancers and some brief strip-club boobs to liven things up. While it doesn't work so much as an action flick and many scenes are so dark you can barely tell what's going on, thanks to it only being available on shitty-looking VHS, the unintentional comedy is pretty epic and worth a look. AKA ONE WAY OUT

 

Saturday, September 9, 2017

HELLS ANGELS ON WHEELS (1967)


 Before Jack Nicholson starred in the classic EASY RIDER, and went on to big Hollywood success, he was the main character in this way sleazier, more exploitation-y version of a biker flick as a gas-station attendant who quits his job and tags along with some Hells Angels. This leads to some criminal activities including some barroom brawling, police hassling, the occasional murder and driving squares' cars vehicles off the road because they drive too slow. Real-life Hells Angels leader Sonny Barger shows up for a second and apparently was a technical consultant of some sort. While some of the things that may have been considered more shocking back when this was released, like two male bikers smooching away or the whole partner swapping thing, might seem pretty mild today to the super-liberal mainstream this one still manages to be a pretty solid and watchable love-triangle story about some not-very love-filled people. The tunes could be a little more rocking but still worth a look for some classic exploitation of what might be the CITIZEN KANE of biker cinema.

 


                                Given a shorter, blunter title in this Italian? poster:



Monday, September 4, 2017

THE EVIL THAT MEN DO (1984)


 While this may not be the best of Charles Bronson's 80s revenge flicks if you like one of them you probably will enjoy all of them and this one is no exception to that rule. Things start off pretty dire with a guy being tortured to death by having his nipples and genitals electrocuted by what is essentially a Joseph Mengele/Nazi-doctor-type and quickly Bronson, who was a retired hitman, springs back into action to avenge his friend. Lots of gun-fu and a little knife-fu to change things up happen. I kinda thought from the downbeat opening that this one might be a little darker than normal but it all kinda plays how you expect. To me though even typical Bronson from this period is enjoyable enough. I've only seen the R-rated version of this but there is an unrated cut with some extra bloody violence floating around which might improve things a bit.
 Raymond St. Jacques from lots of 70s blaxploitation shows up as one bad-ass henchman which is neat.

BRONSON will!:

Sunday, September 3, 2017

THE BIG SNATCH (1971)


 Working my way through a box-set of  twelve 1970s pornos that I picked up recently this has, so far, been my favorite of the bunch. Probably due to the fact that it's from one of my favorite genres, the sleazy rape/revenge one. While it's a simple tale of a purse-snatching that quickly turns into a very consensual "rape" session which then leads to our main junkie character beating his victims face in for no good reason, it's the little grimy things that make this one stand out. The fact that the revenge is dished by an all-girl gang called The She-Devils is pretty cool though banging our villainous men silly before disposing of them doesn't seem like the worst way to go out. A tough hooker, a smack-shooting scene, shots of L.A. streets and movie marquees and a general feeling of 70s sliminess help round things out.
 There's another film from 1971 made by Dave Friedman called THE BIG SNATCH about a couple of psychos kidnapping 5 gals and doing naughty things to them that I guess I have seen since I've written about it here before but it might be time to revisit it since I have no memory of that viewing.

Sweet 70s stache!!:

Saturday, September 2, 2017

THE EROTIC ADVENTURES OF HERCULES (1971)


 This really boring porno version of a Hercules flick starts off with a really disgusting scene of a king eating a bunch of roasted chicken with his bare hands like a fucking slob while getting head from one of his servants who gets chicken grease all over her hair. If this isn't gross enough the king is a rather old-looking gent who never bothers to get an erection but none-the-less ejaculates very fake-looking semen. In fact there's a bunch more fake cumshots if that's your thing and more very dull sex between not particularly attractive(besides ol' Herc of course) folks, a couple of lesbians and some senior citizens to liven things up. Hercules gets taken hostage and sorta half-assed whipped and then the baddies get knifed and bear-hugged to death. Mercifully this thing only runs about 1 hour before we can get put out of our viewing misery.
 It looks like there was also a gay-porn version of this movie shot at the same time with the male cast members with the exact same title. Don't think I need to watch that one but even if you swing that way I doubt it could be much better.

                                                       Unenthusiastic sexual hijinks!: