Friday, December 31, 2010

42nd Street Forever Vol. 2: The Deuce (2006)

I love this series of trailer compillations from Synapse Films. They're a blast to bang through and they're great for background noise/video for parties. This is the second of 5 (so far) and it's a must-have for anyone who is a fan of any of these types of flicks.

01) REVIEW - TRAILER - Ms. 45 (1981)
02) REVIEW - TRAILER - Born Losers (1967)
03) REVIEW - TRAILER - Rolling Thunder (1977)
04) REVIEW - TRAILER - Dixie Dynamite (1976)
05) REVIEW - TRAILER - Hell's Angels on Wheels (1967)
06) REVIEW - TRAILER - The Hellcats (1967)
07) REVIEW - TRAILER - Dragstrip Riot (1958)
08) REVIEW - TRAILER - Stingray (1978)
09) REVIEW - TRAILER - Van Nuys Blvd. (1979)
10) REVIEW - TRAILER - Burnout (1979)
11) REVIEW - TRAILER - Dirt (1979) (UNABLE TO FIND - please help)
12) REVIEW - TRAILER - Savage! (1973)
13) REVIEW - TRAILER - Kenner (1969)
14) REVIEW - TRAILER - …tick…tick…tick (1970)
15) REVIEW - TRAILER - Take a Hard Ride (1975)
16) REVIEW - TRAILER - Black Samson (1974)
17) REVIEW - TRAILER - The Guy from Harlem (1977)
18) REVIEW - TRAILER - Sugar Hill (1974)
19) REVIEW - TRAILER - When Women Had Tails (1970)
20) REVIEW - TRAILER - I, A Woman (1965)
21) REVIEW - TRAILER - The Curious Female (1970)
22) REVIEW - TRAILER - The Babysitter (1969)
23) REVIEW - TRAILER - Street Girls (1975)
24) REVIEW - TRAILER - College Girls (1968)
25) REVIEW - TRAILER - The Pom-Pom Girls (1976)
26) REVIEW - TRAILER - Helga (1968) (UNABLE TO FIND - please help)
27) REVIEW - TRAILER - Invitation to Ruin (1968)
28) REVIEW - TRAILER - Pick-Up (1975)
29) REVIEW - TRAILER - Delinquent Schoolgirls (1975)
30) REVIEW - TRAILER - Savage Sisters (1974)
31) REVIEW - TRAILER - Female Jungle (1955)
32) REVIEW - TRAILER - Gigantis, the Fire Monster (1955)
33) REVIEW - TRAILER - The Giant Gila Monster (1959)
34) REVIEW - TRAILER - The Hideous Sun Demon (1959)
35) REVIEW - TRAILER - The Monster of Piedras Blancas (1959)
36) REVIEW - TRAILER - Murders in the Rue Morgue (1971)
37) REVIEW - TRAILER - The Woman Eater (1958)
38) REVIEW - TRAILER - The Dark (1979)
39) REVIEW - TRAILER - The Evil (1978)
40) REVIEW - TRAILER - The Evictors (1979)
41) REVIEW - TRAILER - Deadly Blessing (1981)
42) REVIEW - TRAILER - Rabid (1977)
43) REVIEW - TRAILER - The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
44) REVIEW - TRAILER - The Clones (1973)
45) REVIEW - TRAILER - Mission Mars (1968)
46) REVIEW - TRAILER - Mr. Billion (1977)
47) REVIEW - TRAILER - Spy in Your Eye (1965)
48) REVIEW - TRAILER - The Last of the Secret Agents? (1966)
49) REVIEW - TRAILER - Trunk to Cairo (1966)
50) REVIEW - TRAILER - Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die (1966)
51) REVIEW - TRAILER - Amazons of Rome (1961)
52) REVIEW - TRAILER - Samson and the Slave Queen (1963)
53) REVIEW - TRAILER - Revolt of the Slaves (1960)
54) REVIEW - TRAILER - Revenge of the Gladiators (1964)
55) REVIEW - TRAILER - Shogun Assassin (1980)
56) REVIEW - TRAILER - Skatetown U.S.A. (1979)

Mad Max 3: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Directors: George Miller & George Ogilvie

Starring: Mel Gibson, Bruce Spence, Adam Cockburn, Tina Turner, Frank Thring, Angelo Rossitto, Paul Larsson

More info: IMDb

Tagline: A lone warrior searching for his destiny...a tribe of lost children waiting for a a world battling to survive, they face a woman determined to rule.

Plot: Bartertown is a city on the edge of a desert that has managed to retain some technology if no civilization. Max has his supplies stolen and must seek shelter there in a post apocalypse world where all machines have begun to break down and barbarians hold what is left. He becomes involved in a power struggle in this third Mad Max film where he must first survive the town, survive the desert and then rescue the innocent children he has discovered.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again? Sure, in another 20 years.

OK, as a piece of entertainment goes, as an action movie goes, it's fun. I dug it. Tina Turner surprised the hell out of me in that she didn't suck. It's the longest of the three Mad Max pictures but it doesn't feel like it. The action scenes were fun and the prerequisite car chase at the end wasn't as inspired as the previous films but it was still exciting. It's too bad that Brian May wasn't back for the score. Instead we get Maurice Jarre who did a pretty decent job of it.

The kids were handled OK (except for when they start attacking in Bartertown) It was done better than most movies would have dealt with them but that still doesn't help the fact that this is a really weak story. There's no story arc for starters. Max goes to Bartertown, fights a guy to the death but doesn't kill him so he's banished to the desert. Some kids find him and think he's their savior. Max and some of the kids go chasing after a couple of them that escaped to the desert in the night and they all end up at Bartertown where they liberate a prisoner who knows how to drive the train out of Bartertown. There's a big chase ending with Max sacrificing himself so the kids can fly safely back to their little paradise. Where's the arc? It's pointless that max did what he did because the kids ended up back where they started.

Hell, what's the point of even having the tribe of kids anyway? They were a cross between the Peter Pan kids and Ewoks and that ain't good. It didn't really occur to me that there wasn't a good plot until after it was over but the funny thing is, I enjoyed it far more than I should have and that's largely due to Miller and the cast and I was surprised with what they did with a weak story and a larger budget. To paraphrase Tina Turner, we didn't need another sequel but since it's here, we'll take it.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)

Director: George Miller

Starring: Mel Gibson, Bruce Spence, Michael Preston, Max Phipps, Vernon Wells

More info: IMDb

Tagline: In the future, cities will become deserts, roads will become battlefields and the hope of mankind will appear as a stranger.

Plot: A former police officer is now a lone wanderer, traveling through a devastated Australia after a nuclear war looking for now-priceless petrol. He lives to survive and is none too pleased when he finds himself the only hope of a small group of honest people running a remote oil refinery. He must protect them from the bike gang that is terrorizing them whilst transporting their entire fuel supply to safety.

My rating: 9/10

Will I watch it again? Guaranteed!

For as fun as MAD MAX (1979) was, THE ROAD WARRIOR is even better. It was only a few years ago that I watched this all the way through for the first time. I recall I had a bad feeling about it when they introduced the dog. Oh, great, I thought, they're going to do the same typical bullshit with the dog that they do in every other movie. Nope. They didn't and I liked what they did with it. Then the same thing happened when they introduced the feral kid and they totally surprised me with how well they treated that character. NICE! That's just indicative of the whole picture, really. George Miller & co. took cliches and did the unexpected with them.

The story is all too simple but it's how it's treated that makes it stand taller than most action movies from the past forty years. The stunts are bigger than the last movie and the whole thing wraps up nicely. The desolated Australian landscape is put to great use and you really get the look and feel for a post apocalyptic world without them spending an awful lot of money. It's a stellar ride and a whole lot of fun.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Flesh Eaters (1964)

Director: Jack Curtis

Starring: Martin Kosleck, Byron Sanders, Barbara Wilkin, Rita Morley, Ray Tudor

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Behind this Membrane...You Will Be Driven To a Point...Midway Between Life and Death!

Plot: An alcoholic actress, her personal assistant, and their pilot are downed on a secluded isle by bad weather, where a renegade Nazi scientist is using ocean life to develop a solvent for human flesh. The tiny flesh-eating sea critters that result certainly give our heroes a run for their money - and lives.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again? Yeah.


Well blow me down! I thought this was going to be a standard cheesy horror flick and it turned out to be pretty damned good! For what it was the acting, beautiful camera work, story, surprisingly gory effects, direction, score - it all worked; and that it was shot in a widescreen format was icing on the cake! I'm shocked that this is the only movie for Curtis as director and Carson Davidson as cinematographer!

It's a fun flick and Dark Sky has put out a fantastic looking DVD with some extras including a short and long version of the trailer, an unused sequence showing the Nazi experiments Professor Bartel describes and outtakes from that sequence. It's been sitting on my shelves for years and I figured I'd end up giving it away after viewing it. Nope. This one's a keeper.

Zombie Strippers! (2008)

Director: Jay Lee

Starring: Jenna Jameson, Robert Englund

More info: IMDb

Tagline: They'll dance for a fee, but devour you for free.

Plot: In the not too distant future a secret government re-animation chemo-virus gets released into conservative Sartre, Nebraska and lands in an underground strip club. As the virus begins to spread, turning the strippers into "Super Zombie Strippers" the girls struggle with whether or not to conform to the new "fad" even if it means there's no turning back.

My rating: 4/10

Will I watch it again? Not even with your dick.

I remember my first dead stripper like it was yesterday...

ZOMBIE STRIPPERS is almost as bad as the tagline. In the tradition of great exploitation, the title is what sells it. The poster could have been better although I like the attempted 70s grindhouse look. Robert Englund is fun as the shady titty bar owner. I watched this while making the most amazing chocolate chip cookies from scratch. FUCK ME SILLY they're delicious. I'm glad I did it that way because you don't need to see a great deal of this movie. I was taken aback that there were some gags that actually made me laugh (but not until the zombie action hit full force far too late in the movie for me to care anymore).

What didn't do anything for me were the dance numbers that lasted the whole fucking song. That's great if you're into that and all but I prefer the strip routines of the 40s, 50s and 60s. You know, tassles, feathers and shit. I was able to shave a lot of time off this 90 minute flick by fast fowarding through 'em.

The biggest detriment for me was that not a single one of these broads had natural boobs. WTF? I know guys that don't care about fake boobs because their logic is bigger is always better. I completely disagree. My feeling on the whole breast implant issue, as I'm sure you're just dying to know, is that implants, should one decide to get them, should only be used as an enhancement, not a replacement. I can't stand women with perfectly gorgeous A or B cups going straight to a D. That boggles my mind. THEY DON'T FUCKING MOVE! See, I like tits that talk. You know, when a girl is walking toward you and her breasts have that subtle movement that speak to you saying, "Hello, darling, it's so wonderful to see you again.". That's what I'm talking about. Breasts should be free to frolic (I'm a mixed bag when it comes to bras) and when a chick is lying on her back, they should naturally move to the sides a little bit (but not touch the floor, bed, kitchen island, front porch, sidewalk, car trunk, fishing pier, grave site, etc.). In a situation like that the last thing they should be doing is absolutely nothing. Those are the kind of tits that have their arms crossed, stomp their feet and refuse to cooperate.

Before zombification...

After zombification...

YIKES! That's quite a botched boob job you've got there, Ms. Jameson.

And judging by those tits, I'd say she was on her way to being a zombie before she agreed to do this picture. Look, I kind of knew what I was in for going into this but I did expect something more enjoyable. There a few decent laughs scattered throughout and more story than a picture like this deserves but there's just too much dull to avoid NOT reaching for the remote and wanting to move onto some other bad movie that has a much higher chance of having natural boobs. Plus, call me crazy, but I demand a better quality of acting from my strippers.

Jonah Hex (2010)

Director: Jimmy Hayward

Starring: Josh Brolin, John Malkovich, Megan Fox, Michael Fassbender, Will Arnett, John Gallagher Jr., Tom Wopat

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Revenge Gets Ugly

Plot: The U.S. military makes a scarred bounty hunter with warrants on his own head an offer he cannot refuse: in exchange for his freedom, he must stop a terrorist who is ready to unleash Hell on Earth.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again? Yeah.

Why all the hate for this flick? I don't get it. I actually enjoyed it. Sure, it's largely due to Josh Brolin's badass performance. I'm glad to see he's in the new Cohen bros. flick TRUE GRIT (2010) 'cause he belongs in the Western genre. I sincerely hope he does a lot more of 'em. Malkovich isn't doing anything but being Malkovich (ahahahaha) which is just fine because, well, he's reallly good at it and he's fun. I love how he killed 300+ people in a town as they're coming out of church. That kind of behavior is something I dig in movies along the lines of killing children 'cause you just don't see it that much and it takes some guts to put something that edgy in a movie these days.

It's obvious that this character has comic book origins and I really dug the animation showing Hex's origin, the stylized look and lighting of the film. Brolin's face makeup effects are great and he really knows how to sell it. The pacing is really quick to the point that by the time you get to the end an hour and thirteen minutes later (before the credits roll) you need to take a break because it barely lets up. Not having enough time to breathe is not JONAH HEX's biggest problem, though.

Nope. The biggest issue is Megan Fox. See, Brolin's got A LOT of great one liners and he's a good actor so his delivery makes them work. Fox is not a good actor so her line delivery is atrocious. She's terrible and needs to stop. This is the first thing I've ever seen her in and I'll quit while I'm ahead. I don't care how good her tits look in a bustier, that's not enough reason to hurt your movie and try to sell more tickets. There are plenty of attractive gals out there that can act that deserve a paycheck more than this talentless tramp.

Stop. Just...stop!

I thought Marco Beltrami & Mastodon's rock score worked much better than I would have expected. JONAH HEX isn't a bad movie. Megan Fox is horrible and needs to stop and it could use a couple of nice, slower moments to even it out but other than that, it's fun and not the abomination everyone loves to hate. And that's probably the biggest shame because all of that hate kept a lot of people away from the theaters, including yours truly, which means there won't be any more Jonah Hex adventures...and that makes me sad.

Battle Royale (2000)

Director: Kinji Fukasaku

Starring: Takeshi Kitano, that schoolgirl chick from KILL BILL and a bunch of kids

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Could you kill your best friend?

Plot: In the near future, when the society of Japan is crumbling, 42 students find that their field trip is actually a military-sponsored game known as Battle Royale. The kids' sadistic teacher, Kitano, sends them to an isolated island and gives them three days to kill each other until only one remains. Two of the kids, Shuya and Noriko, stay together and further develop their already-formed bond. A transfer student, Kawada, sympathizes with the two and chooses to help them. Others develop a plan to bring down the military game, try to find their crush before they die, or lose their minds and go on killing sprees.

My rating: 7.5/10

Will I watch it again? Yep.

This is officially my 800th post which means I've watched 800 (a little more, actually) movies since 10/1/2007 and that's not nearly as many as I would have liked to have seen. I expect I'll reach 1,000 by August.

BATTLE ROYALE is one of those flicks that it seems like only the Japanese have the balls to make. There's no way Hollywood's going to touch this one. Kids killing kids? They're too chicken shit to go near it and if they did, they'd water it down severely. The concept is simple and the opening through to the start of the game are quick and harsh. Overall it's a really fun flick and they make great use out of familiar classical music. It's not as gory as its reputation suggests (yes, I only watch the uncut version) but it's too damn long. TWO FREAKIN' HOURS! The problem is that there's a shitload of kids and there are a lot of back stories - too many back stories and some of them go on far too long. I dig some of them but this is a problem of the weight of it all bringing the whole picture down. Seriously, if it were trimmed down a good twenty minutes and tightened up a bit it would be a much more solid flick and a lot easier to digest and more frequently.

Almost Human (1974)

Director: Umberto Lenzi

Starring: Tomas Milian, Henry Silva, Laura Belli, Gino Santercole

More info: IMDb

Tagline: It doesn't matter how loud you scream.

Plot: A psychotic small-time criminal realizes that the everyday robberies, rapes and murders he commits aren't making him all that much money, so he figures to hit the "big time" by kidnapping the daughter of a rich man.

My rating: 7.5/10

Will I watch it again? Sure.

I loves me some Umberto Lenzi pictures and it's always exciting to see one for the first time. Tomas Milian, on the other hand...I like him best when he's not over the top. When he's over the top it's borderline silly and it takes me out of the picture. I hate that. In ALMOST HUMAN he's doing it again but it's not as bad as some others. Henry Silva I just don't get. I'd swear I've seen him in something where I liked his performance but everything I've seen him in over the past few years he always looks like he's sleepwalking and phoning it in. Take those two out of the equation and I really dig what's left. I guess the 'grand gesture' thing is an Italian thing. Great story, they kill a kid (always a plus when a film maker has the balls to do that), lots of people die for no good reason and it sports another great Ennio Morricone score. All of that equals a very good Italian Poliziotteschi flick.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Candy Snatchers (1973)

Director: Guerdon Trueblood

Starring: Tiffany Bolling, Ben Piazza, Susan Sennett, Brad David, Vince Martorano, Bonnie Boland, Jerry Butts

More info: IMDb

Tagline: It started as such a simple crime. For 16 year old Candy, dying would have been easier! Was a piece of Candy worth a fortune in diamonds?

Plot: With their eyes on a hefty ransom, three bungling kidnappers cart off the 16-year-old Candy and demand diamonds from her wealthy stepfather...only he doesn't want her back!

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again? Yeah

This has got a GREAT story. The acting is not horrible but some of the casting could have been better. Something else that put me off was the light comedy. There were several spots where it was just too damn silly and it felt out of place. It gave it that TV movie of the week vibe. That and Robert Drasnin's score had that TV sound that bugs me. Turns out this was one of only 3 feature films he scored but he did A TON of TV shows and made for TV movies. My ears didn't deceive me.

There's a little mute boy that witnesses the kidnappers bury the girl (they made it so she can breathe). His story arc is great and the end of the film IS BALLS OUT INSANELY FUCKING AWESOME!!!!!!!! I'm not going spoil anything because you need to see this and I've got to move on. In this age of remakes every week I'm flabbergasted that this hasn't been remade. If the ending were kept in tact and it were in the right hands, it could be an amazing flick.

Angels from Hell (1968)

Director: Bruce Kessler

Starring: Tom Stern, Ted Markland, Jack Starrett, Arlene Martel, Paul Bertoya

More info: IMDb


Plot: Mike (Tom Stern), a biker, returns to California after serving in Vietnam. He uses his war-hero experience to organize a new, united super outlaw gang. When one member is shot by police because he killed a girl at a pot orgy, an all-out cop vs. biker war results.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? Sure.

Well, fuck me stupid - two good biker movies in a row. I felt like I'd been cursed for a while with one lame as biker flick after another. I feel much better now. Yeah, it's a cheesy B-movie but it's a fun one. The soundtrack is fantastic (Stu Philipps did the score)! Check out the main title tune by The Peanut Butter Conspiracy!

Groovy, baby!

And there's more great music throughout. That really surprised me 'cause you usually don't get quality music in these things; it's quite the opposite. The acting's fine. Starrett's (as Sheriff Bingham) so laid back it's cool.

Right off the bat Mike (Stern) makes his intentions know to the current leader of his old gang...

It's a biker flick so you've just GOT to have some Go-Go dancing!

Arlene Martel (who plays Ginger) is just too cute for words. She needs to have my DARK CRYSTAL babies!

There's a nice scene where the gang meets up with some flower children. More groovy tunes and the offscreen (sigh) murder of a flower child!

There's some of the typical 'crazy' bikers acting like morons hopped up on happy dust but it's more tolerable than usual. Man, I can't get over how groovy the tunes were. I loved it. This shit's goin' on my ipod. I guess you can tell I dug this picture more than I probably should have but with such a killer soundtrack and having a cool, laid back Jack starrett in one of the leads, it was kind of hard not to. I don't know how you'll get your hands on this but at least try.