Monday, March 27, 2017
Director/animator Ralph Bakshi followed up his classic FRITZ THE CAT and HEAVY TRAFFIC cartoon flicks with this mostly animated, but also some live-action, version of a blaxploitation movie. It starts out with the unforgettable tune "Nigger Man" sung by the great Scatman Crothers, from there we get Scat and a younger buddy attempting a prison break and while this goes on he tells(and we get to see in cartoon form) the old story of Brer Rabbit but updated to a very urban environment with some crazy violence and sex thrown in. The whole film is a statement on being race in America. It is a film that was made in an era when being offensive was not seen as the ultimate sin as it is in these sad days. While it may seem most offensive to black folks on the surface due to the characterization and stereotypes on display it does not give very positive depictions to the white police or the Italian mafioso-types either. In fact I'm pretty sure the design and intent of this film is to offend everyone watching and therefore at least make some people think after viewing. Of course this would be wasted on today's audience which will never lay eyes upon anything that makes them in the least bit uncomfortable.
A couple of stars beside Scatman include Barry White and his smooth deep voice and Philip Michael Thomas(aka that black dude from MIAMI VICE). Give it a watch if you're not an overly-sensitive, politically-correct piece of human-garbage(aka almost everyone still alive in 2017) or you just dig weird psychedelic cartoons. AKA STREET FIGHT and re-released as BUSTIN' OUT
The less offensive title:
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
While it's true that the world doesn't really need anymore zombie movies in it I figured I would give this one a chance since I am generally a fan of modern Korean horror flicks. I'm glad I did because this one is a pretty entertaining watch. There are some highly unlikely scenarios including people fist-fighting their way through gangs of zombies and surviving similar impossible scenarios but that's what can happen when you mix high-speed action movie with horror. They manage to make you care for the passengers on this train through zombieland and there's a couple of nods to NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD(the big one being that the main asshole character is named Mr. Coo in homage to NIGHTS' Mr. Cooper). One detriment, which seems to be mandatory with these newer Korean films, is the length of seems a bit long while viewing it but at least they kept it at only 2 hours so it coulda been worse. If you can deal with modern action and some zombie antics that might remind you of that stupid WORLD WAR Z(which is actually a movie I've never even bothered to watch but I have seen the dumb-looking trailer and that was enough!) give it a look.
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Hammer studios horror involving a cult of vampires who set their sites on a honeymooning couple. As with many of these old Hammer flicks this one is pretty dull. You do get all the classy stylish Hammer touches and vampire chomping action you would expect and there's a big ending involving angry bats that was cool. Uniquely there is a way to be saved after being bitten by a vamp according to this movie. It involves a magical seance and a priest and if you can't get those two thing apparently you can just burn the bite marks right away and you will be just fine. Maybe it's all just a little too stodgy and classy for me, and there's no Christopher Lee or Peter Cushing to be found, but I'm sure all the old-time horror fans still love this one.
There is a supposedly longer version of this titled KISS OF EVIL.
Handy vampire facts!:
Hammer double-feature spook-show!:
Sunday, March 12, 2017
Being more of a fan of the reality-based 70s Shaw Brothers films than their later 80s fantasy-filled epics this one is a bit of a letdown. The story is mainly about a marriage gone bad and a grudge that lasts for like 20 years and it involves lots of kung-fu and wizardry/magic-fighting between a martial-arts master who's haunted by his ex-wife. There's also a master swordsman and the daughter of our blood-sucking, body-possessing ghost-lady who drive the story. In addition to these 4 folks there's also about 10 zillion other characters to try and keep track of which is a little rough. If you are a fan of 80s wackiness though this is filled with lots of flying around on wires, explosions and the usual great Shaw studios sets even if there's not really much in the way of any good actual kung-fu.
Saturday, March 11, 2017
The follow-up to Hammer's 1st Dracula movie. In this one Dracula is already dead so we don't get any Christopher Lee returning instead we get a Baron Meinster(David Peel(not to be confused with the New York hippie singer David Peel)) as our lead vampire and a bunch of his lady-vampires. So I guess technically this should be titled THE BRIDES OF MEINSTER but who the hell is gonna watch that? Anyway we do get Peter Cushing back as Van Helsing and since it's a Hammer film everything looks really great including the sets and the leading ladies. This doesn't really live up to the first film and doesn't get as sexy as the latter films but still a decent monster romp for a Saturday afternoon.
Paired on an unlikely double-bill with this film about the perils of teenage pregnancy!:
The other more rocking David Peel!:
Friday, March 10, 2017
One of the sleazier Shaw Brothers movies. This one is a women in prison flick set during the Japanese occupation of China during World War II. The story concerns some Christian nurses, including a few white chicks, taken captive and put through the ringer by those evil Japanese. While it's not quite as insane and there's way less pubic hair than it's Eurotrash counterparts there's still quite a bit of sleaze to please the typical pervy viewer of this stuff. We get whipping, raping a blind lady on broken glass, boot-licking and some all-around general torture all set to one weird-ass snazzy soundtrack. It also all culminates with a bunch of gun, sword and kung-fu fighting veering things slightly towards the more standard Shaw Brothers style.
DOLLS around the world!:
British anthology written by the guy who wrote PSYCHO(Robert Bloch) and released by Amicus studios featuring a bunch of big English names like Peter Cushing, Herbert Lom, Charlotte Rampling and Britt Ekland. Oh and that guy in the wheelchair from A CLOCKWORK ORANGE(Patrick Magee) whose strange over-acting style I always enjoy. The main story involves, you guessed it, an asylum, with a bunch of wackos who don't seem all that nutty except that they all tell these ridiculous stories which we get to see play out in individual segments. There's a wife murderer, a magical life-giving suit, a brother murderer and a little killer robot(which is the story that seems to stick in people's memories the most out of these). While British horror isn't my favorite this one is OK, especially for something rated PG, and is so inoffensive you could probably show your grandma and not worry about freaking anyone out. Also there's some nice wallpaper that I couldn't help but notice during some of the more boring scenes.
Released in America as HOUSE OF CRAZIES:
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Director Roberta Findlay's first foray into the world of 80s horror after doing a bunch of pornos going all the way back to the 60s. While there are a few segments that keep this from being a total waste it's not her best work(that would be TENEMENT made this same year). The plot kind of melds a story of a serial killer with the tale of a haunted ghostly planchette( that thing you put on Ouija boards) that makes people kill themselves(was this the inspiration for WITCHBOARD??). There is some gore to be seen, the blood does flow pretty freely but there is one early prostitute murder sequence that seems very censored and cuts away before anything graphic happens for some reason.
The oddest thing about this whole movie is the psycho murderer is played by a heavyset woman(Pam La Testa) whose voice is overdubbed with this weird sounding Divine-like drawl and she is constantly referred to as a man up until the scene where she disguises herself as a waitress. So I'm not sure if she's supposed to be some kinda tranny but it definitely adds a unique element here.
I was lucky enough to catch this at a screening where Miss Roberta did a rare appearance along with one of the stars, Pam La Testa, which was great to see and did give me this fond memory even if this is probably not something I'm ever gonna watch again.
Monday, March 6, 2017
Pretty unnecessary remake of the John Woo action classic and Mr. Woo is a producer here.
While this a good movie, done really well, with excellent acting and lots of crazy gunplay towards the end I would still say the original tops it. For one thing there's no one as charismatic as Chow Yun-Fat here, for another, like most of these modern Korean action flicks, it's over 2 hours long with a lot of dramatic downtime in-between gangster fights and explosions. Still if you're a fan of the original and aren't disgusted by the very idea of a remake this one does Korean-ize things and change some stuff around. There's also a pretty nihilistic ending which is something I'm usually a fan of though I don't think it worked all that well here. As usual stick with the original formula.
Sunday, March 5, 2017
Rather dull FRANKENSTEIN-rip-off flick from England. The main problem here is that our titular mad doctor, who is actually named Doctor Blood, doesn't bring his walking corpse creature to life until right near the very end of the film so most of it taken up with a bunch of talk about ethics and morals. Not a formula that will deliver maximum thrills and excitement. There are a couple of scenes where the naughty doc is doing heart-removal surgery(you see unlike Dr. Frankenstein, Dr. Blood transplants hearts instead of brains) on fellows who are still alive in a comatose state and have their eyes open during this procedure which is at least a horrific thought even if it's not really depicted all that shockingly. This is one you could most assuredly skip except I believe it's a public domain title and therefore in every collection of cheap-o horror DVD's and on many cheap-ass horror hosts programs out there.
Rated X in England where just about every horror film seems to have been similarly rated!:
Friday, March 3, 2017
This one is kind-of a porno rip-off of the Tarzan story, except that Tarzan, called Evor here, instead of being a little boy raised in the jungle by apes is in fact an immortal being created by God at the same time that he made Adam & Eve and instead of throwing him into the Garden of Eden he made Evor go into the jungle with no chicks at all. The main plot concerns a couple of hippie/criminal types who massacre a whole village of Evor's native pals and steal some jewels that just look like worthless trinkets. This is not the only thing that you will have to use your imagination with since all of the acting is up to typical 70s porn standards. There's a bit of unexpected bloodshed here as our baddies continuously try and snuff Evor by multiple gunshot wounds and by having his genitals chomped on! Ouch! There's also tons of 70s pubic hair that end up filling ladies mouths during a couple of the lesbo scenes. Evor's pal Chico the gorilla who is a guy in an ape suit with a real black cock sticking out of it that gets to hump a few ladies which makes for some memorable spectacles. Quite a unique melding of crime, jungle-sploitation and fuck flick that you will remember after viewing.
One odd thing about this is that everytime Evor has a sex scene they do close ups on his genitals and it's clearly John Holmes junk or if not a very close facsimile of it.
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
One of the most influential movies when it comes to all the action movies, buddy-cop movies, vigilante flicks and many of the anti-hero characters that followed. Not to forget all the Italian poliziotteschi(crime) movies that hoped to emulate this classic. Clint Eastwood makes the smooth transition from westerns to gritty urban thriller. There's also some pre-politically correct Hollywood examples of racism thrown in to make the character more realistic. The psychopathic Scorpio character is a genuinely creepy degenerate that you can't wait to get his comeuppance and the ending is a nightmare to many of the more ultra-liberal types out there. A young girl gets offed, a schoolbus full of kids gets threatened and Harry does much gun-fu.
There were 4 official sequels to this and a whole mountainous heap of rip-offs.
Thursday, February 23, 2017
The Hitchhiker, Edwin Neal, from THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE plays a homicidal, armor-plated, mask-wearing victim of the nuclear age in the far off future world of 1980s Austin, Texas. This movie starts off like an 80s teen-sex comedy complete with frat-boy pranks before our stupid main characters end up on the "bad" side of town where no-nuke protesting punk rockers have taken over. Things then take a turn for slasher movie territory and the whole thing sorta feels like a shitty version of THE WARRIORS as our gang of knuckleheads, led by main jerk/musclehead Steve(who's name they repeat quite a bit), have to battle their way back to the safety of the frathouse. Marilyn Burns aka Sally from TEXAS CHAIN SAW is also a member on the punk side of things. Some blood is spilled and clunky fight scenes ensue. The main problem most people have with this thing is that the memorable movie poster, and VHS cover, art by H.R. Giger is way better-looking than anything that appears in the movie but if you can overlook this it's an ok dumb 80s action/horror thingamajig with some horror legends. The other problem is that it feels almost like 2 different films shoehorned together but as a lover of genre-melding I don't view this as much of a negative. AKA SPLATTER
This German VHS cover looks a little less classy:
To further play up the Giger/ALIEN connection this was retitled NIGHT OF THE ALIEN: