Saturday, October 22, 2016
Great title and packed with nudity and sexy scenes, sadly this isn't a very good giallo. It crawls like a snail for long stretches and has some irritating musical cues that repeat over and over until you can't stand them. There is one scene of an acid rock band and Camille Keaton of I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE fame does a decent job as a member of a family of cursed horny wackos with a witch slashing them up one by one. It is a different sleazy take on the giallo just not done quite that well.
I've been watching(or re-watching) a few of director Ted V. Mikels' films since he died last week. This one I remember not being very good from my last viewing. It's basically a crappy version of the TV-show CHARLIE'S ANGELS except that it came first so I guess technically it may have been the inspiration for that show. Thanks for that then Mr. Ted. It is cool to see Tura Satana, and we get her first appearance here in skimpy stripper apparel which is pretty sweet! I guess one of my main gripes with this is that Tura is not the leader of the Doll Squad since she's clearly the baddest-assed of the chicks in this. The leader we do get(Francine York) does do an OK job in some interesting funky outfits. Overall it's a mildly amusing story of karate-using secret agent gals which maybe if it was edited better(perhaps down to TV-show length) and had a better soundtrack it would be a more fun watch. AKA SEDUCE AND DESTROY.
THE DOLL SQUAD was released on video as FEMALE MERCENARIES and the 1984 Euro-trash Sybil Danning movie THE PANTHER SQUAD was released as it's sequel even though it isn't:
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Gary Busey is in this 70s biker flick but he's not the star despite what some of the VHS or DVD covers promise. He's not even a biker just a peace-lovin hippie. Jonathan Demme, who went on to direct SILENCE OF THE LAMBS and a bunch of other Hollywood crap, wrote the screenplay here. So there's a couple of famous links here.
The film itself takes a little while to get going but if you stick around long enough a plot actually does pop up. It's basically the story of a clash between 2 biker gangs, The Angels(no, not The Hells Angels just The Angels) and The Dragons(who are sadly not all bad-ass Asian karate killers). There's also a group of pacifist hippies that are unwittingly in the middle of all this violence. Things get rapey, revenge gets dealt out and acid gets dropped. Good but middle-of-the-road, kinda-sleazy biker action flick. AKA ANGELS, HELL ON HARLEYS. Released on video as ROLLING THUNDER which I imagine may have led to confusion with this better movie.
I haven't seen every single one of his movies but I think this might be director Ted V. Mikels best-made film that I have seen so far. It tells a decent story, about a sorta-love triangle situation with a dancing gal and never meanders too much off into Dullsville like some of Ted' s other efforts tend to do. It stars some attractive women and is a kinda proto-SHOWGIRLS with some added bikers, gangsters and a haunted house-themed nightclub for additional snazziness. While it doesn't contain any of the bonzo-horror elements that make Mikels' THE CORPSE GRINDERS or ASTRO-ZOMBIES such memorable classics it's still up there for me towards the top on the list of his most rewatchable films.
Up until recently I hadn't watched this in it's original version and had only seen the MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 episode that features it, which makes the movie seem way worse than it is. So check out the real cut if you have any interest in cheap b-movie dramas with go-go girls and 60s junky garage rock.
Monday, October 17, 2016
This Mexican weird-o artsy/horror flick seems to me to be almost a not-quite-as-good version of a Jodorowsky film. This isn't to say it's not good at all, since anything that reminds me of Jodorowsky, even inferior Jodorowsky, is still worth checking out. There is a direct connection here as director Juan Lopez Moctezuma was a producer on EL TOPO. I feel like some of the visual choices here are really interesting and possibly could be very beautiful if made by a better filmmaker but while it's captivating to watch it's mostly all very ugly at the same time. It tells the tale of what happens when literally 'the inmates take over the asylum'. It gets a bit rapey, there's a man named Mr. Chicken who clucks around a bunch and everything gets more and more insane as things progress/regress until there's a big violence party.
There is a cut American version of this titled DR. TARR'S TORTURE DUNGEON which I babbled about here. It's been awhile since I watched that cut but from what I recall it seemed a lot duller. Although this time I was in a theater so maybe that's what made it seem more fast-paced. I would recommend the uncut version since that's almost always the way to go. AKA HOUSE OF MADNESS
Thursday, October 13, 2016
Remake/reboot/resurgence? of the original GODZILLA that rolls things back to basics. It delves really deeply into the politics of Japan and answers the question of how Japan can battle a giant monster when it hasn't had any real army since World War II which is something that's never addressed in any of the early GODZILLA films that I've seen. It also shows the United States in not such a great light for the most part but I think the same can be said of how it depicts the Japanese government.
Despite the use of C.G.I. instead of a guy in a suit the fx work looked pretty decent which was a shock to me. From what I've heard there was guy-in-a-suit fx shot but the director wasn't happy with the way that looked so they stuck computer FX in instead.
While the whole movie does get dragged down in lots of dialogue and there's no Ghidrah or Mothra showing up to battle our monster god it's still worth watching especially if, like me, you were underwhelmed by the last U.S. version of GODZILLA with Bryan Cranston. This just shows again that Japan is the king of these types of films. AKA GODZILLA RESURGENCE
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Watching this right after viewing one of it's predecessors in the "girl boss" series BLOSSOMING NIGHT DREAMS I can't help but see some very similar plot points here. It all starts off with a riot in a women's prison and ends with a girl-gang samurai-movie-like sword battle just like in that earlier film. In between there's lots of melodrama and things never get quite as sleazy, with the exception of our main gal being forced to strip for some gangsters, a smutty nudity shop and some sexy go-go dancing ladies, as many other "pinky violence" films do. Still, as with pretty much all of these films, it's all really well done despite there being too many characters to deal with at times. If you're looking for a drama-heavy gangster flick almost bordering on being a martial arts movie with a moderate amount of sex and violence thrown in, but nothing really over-the-top insane, give this a watch. The ending sequence alone makes it worth it. AKA DELINQUENT GIRL BOSS: UNWORTHY OF PENANCE
Saturday, October 8, 2016
This is the first in a four-part series of DELINQUENT GIRL BOSS films. This one seems a bit tamer than the other GIRL BOSS series that Toei studio put out but this one came first so maybe that's why. You do get a rape and women are beaten up but it doesn't show or linger quite as much as I've come to expect from some of the other movies in the "Pinky Violence" genre. The big boss bad guy here is rather sleazy just in appearance and a lot of this film just seems like a spoof of more serious Yakuza movies from Japan. There is a junkie and trannie character which are two things that really set this one aside from being too generic. Also a lot of the scenes take place in a super-stylish hippie bar complete with go-go dancers and some groovy tunes. Come for the fashions stay for the sword-fighting gangsters.Take a look at this one if you want to see a well done film that's not as extremely lurid as you might think. AKA TOKYO BAD GIRLS
The "delinquent girl boss" series:
1. DELINQUENT GIRL BOSS: BLOSSOMING NIGHT DREAMS (1970)
2. DELINQUENT GIRL BOSS: TOKYO DRIFTERS (1970)
3. DELINQUENT GIRL BOSS: WORTHLESS TO CONFESS (1971)
4. DELINQUENT GIRL BOSS: BALLAD OF YOKOHAMA HOODS (1971)
Friday, October 7, 2016
Follow up to GIRL BOSS GUERILLA featuring the same leading actress and gang leader, Miko Sugimoto. In this they swap the name of the gang from The Red Helmets to The Gypsies and it's not actually a sequel but just another similar tale of gal gangs going up against the mob. This one cuts down on the humor and instead ups the nasty violence and rape to a pretty high-level making you really hate the gangsters in this by the time it's payback time. As is the case with many rape/revenge-type films I'm always left with the feeling that the vengeance never equals the torture that the protagonists are put through. Maybe if I had a fetish for tying up and/or slapping around Japanese women this wouldn't bother me so much. You get plenty of catfights, some glowing-hot metal shoved into ladies orifices, double-crossing Yakuza and low-life street-trash ladies showing they have higher loyalty than classy-looking gangster fellows. A well-made fi9lm that you probably shouldn't watch with your mom.
Thursday, October 6, 2016
I don't watch a whole lot of modern horror movies, since they more often than not suck ass, so I occasionally wonder how they treat the whole issue of cell phones in these movies. I mean if you're in some crazy dangerous situation being stalked by a psycho or monstrous-being why not just call for help? I know some films do the "we're getting no signal/there's no phone-service here, aaahh!!"-thing. This movie apparently just exists in a world devoid of cell phones altogether so I guess that's the other route you could take to avoid that question. I guess my point is that there doesn't seem to be any thought put into this besides taking the most basic slasher-movie plot and instead of having a Jason-type character insert a mutated Tasmanian Devil. Reggie Bannister of PHANTASM fame is the only actor I recognized here and I will give this movie props for being a modern movie with no cgi and instead actual fake blood and body parts. I almost fell off my couch when I didn't see any cheap-shit asshole computer blood! Sadly with the bad acting and stupid lame-ass characters this is just about the only positive thing besides a nice pair of tits on display by the standard dumb-blonde chick character(Kristin Novak).
This song doesn't show up at all in this movie:
Tuesday, October 4, 2016
One part biker flick, one larger part girl gang/crime-drama this one is up there near the top with STRAY CAT ROCK: SEX HUNTER as one of the best "Pinky Violence" movies from Japan. This one is part of a whole series of "girl delinquents(aka sukeban)" films. I recently picked up a bunch of these and am working my way through them. This one is chock full of catfights, exposed breasts, sex scenes that range from comical to rapey, s & m, rope-bondage and a burned vagina that's guaranteed to piss off feminists, they also throw in some toilet humor to top it all off. There's naughty nuns, evil Yakuza, a rockin' soundtrack(besides the weird folk music from a guy who has an acoustic guitar that sounds like a piano) and a great opening scene featuring a biker fellow with an EASY RIDER t-shirt and stripey pants getting his ass kicked by badass biker chicks. It's basically got everything you want in a 70s exploitation flick except for maybe a werewolf or Pam Grier.
The "Girl Boss/Sukeban" series:
1. QUEEN BEE STRIKES AGAIN (1971) -this sure sounds like a sequel to something but it isn't
2. QUEEN BEE'S CHALLENGE (1972)
3. GIRL BOSS GUERILLA (1972)
4. GIRL BOSS REVENGE: SUKEBAN (1973)
5. GIRL BOSS: ESCAPE FROM REFORM SCHOOL (1973)
6. GIRL BOSS: DIAMOND SHOWDOWN (1974)
7. GIRL BOSS: CRAZY BALL-GAME (1974)
Darna is the Philippines version of Wonder-Woman(although she can fly which makes her a bit more like Supergirl really). I'm gonna guess she's pretty popular in that country since they've been making movies featuring her since the 50s. This is her 15th film appearance and as far as I know this was the final one. She takes on Pagbabalik who is a snake-haired Medusa-looking villain/goddess and her snake-people helpers. Right at the beginning Darna loses her magical powers so for a good portion of the movie she's just a regular gal. I think this woulda been a lot more exciting viewing experience if this wasn't the case. To add to this sadness Darna's civilian alter-ego, Narda, unfortunately has a little annoying kid-brother with a terrible high-pitched voice. Also this thing is 105 minutes long which is a bit much for such a silly film. On the positive side the couple of fight scenes are so ridiculous that they really stand out from the rest of the film. Also the actress playing Darna(Anjanette Abayari) looks exceptionally good in her skimpy super-heroine outfit! Sadly this was the only film featuring this lady in the starring role. So watch it just for that.
AKA DARNA: THE RETURN
Sunday, October 2, 2016
This is the most modern Filipino movie that I've seen and oddly enough it looks almost identical to something that woulda been made in 1980 with maybe the cameras being upgraded and giving you a slightly crisper picture. The plot here has to do with a college student going off into the backwoods(back-jungles?) of The Philippines to write a great horror novel just like Stephen King or Anne Rice. While there he runs into a magician who gives him some magic seeds that grow into a tree that hatches into a beautiful lady who also happens to transform into a snake-lady version of THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON and kill people occasionally. Complete with kung-fu, arrow-fu and gun-fu this is as wack as it sounds. It does drag a bit and the runtime goes on for a bit longer than necessary but it's good to know that The Philippines can still (or at least still could 16 years ago) be counted on to make an off-the-wall creature feature even if most other countries had turned into cgi-heavy shit-mills by this point