Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Hellcats (1967)

Director: Robert F. Slatzer

Starring: Ross Hagen, Dee Duffy, Sharyn Kinzie, Del 'Sonny' West

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Motorcycle mamas on a highway to Hell!

Plot: The brother and fiancee of a dead policeman infiltrate a female-led biker gang to uncover his murderer.

My rating: 3.5/10

Will I watch it again? Nope.

#6 on 42nd Street Forever Vol. 2: The Deuce (part of the TRAILER TRASH PROJECT)

Yet another dull 60s biker flick. There's LOTS of riding around and lots of biker shenanigans. I don't know what it is about this genre and the uncanny amount of shitty pop songs and THE HELLCATS is no exception - there's plenty of crappy tunes to go around! Get some lengthy shots riding around and boring nonsense then let's play a song and dance for 3 minutes. There's about 4 or 5 of these moments and the songs are baaaaad. The stock library score, however, is fucking awesome! It conjoures up images of a 50s TV detective show or a jet-setting 60s super spy. The swingin' horns are smokin'. It's not the kind of thing you expect in a biker flick, that's for sure, but is sure as hell made this movie a damn sight more watchable/listenable than it otherwise would have been. Run, don't walk, away from this one. It's on a double feature DVD with CHAIN GANG WOMEN (1971) and neither is worth your time unless you're like me and you like wading through shit to find the gems.

The Teacher (1974)

Director: Howard Avedis

Starring: Angel Tompkins, Jay North, Anthony James

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Her best lessons were taught AFTER class!

My tagline: Dennis the Menace gets LAID! or Dennis the Menace loses his virginity to his next door neighbor and it ain't Mr. Wilson!

Plot: 18-year-old Sean's first summer after completing high school is much spent with 28-year-old teacher Diane, who's husband is too often motorcycle-racing instead of with her. Wacko Ralph also has "the hots" for Diane; and it doesn't help that Sean was with Ralph's younger brother, Lou, when Lou died.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? Nah.

#53 on Dusk to Dawn Drive-In Trash-o-Rama Show Vol. 1 (part of the TRAILER TRASH PROJECT)


For starters, that poster is not entirely truthful. Surprise! The only youth she corrupts is her 18-year-old-just-graduated-from-high-school next door neighbor. This is one of those pictures that was probably conceived with the ending fleshed out with nothing else in mind except a skeletal plot to get us there. The best parts of the film are the first fifteen minutes and the last fifteen.

There's something about dummies falling off of buildings that makes me laugh...

After the creepy ass Anthony James (as Ralph) accidentally kills his brother, he bullies Jay North (as Sean) into keeping it a secret or he'll blame him for it. North ends up having an affair with his hot teacher neighbor, Diane (played by Angel Tompkins), at the urging of his mother! So after the first fifteen minutes you get a love story for the next hour an ten with a little intrigue from James thrown into the mix. THEN the balls out awesome final act happens.

Fuck almighty that song is annoying and this isn't the only time you hear it, either.

After a fuck session, Sean answers Diane's phone and it's her soon to be ex husband saying he's coming back to work things out. Sean's justifiably bummed out but Ralph's waiting in Sean's van and forces him to drive to the warehouse from the beginning of the picture. Ralph strangles Sean (yep, he's really dead) and then Diane shows up on a hunch that they might be there. Ralph rapes Diane. She takes the sword he put down and kills Ralph with it. Then she goes over to Sean's limp body, cradles it and cries (no music at this point which was a very nice touch). Roll end credits over continued silence. Nice! I will say this, even though it was 109 minutes long and much of it was a love story of sorts, I didn't really get bored which was a shocker. If you want to see TVs Dennis the Menace all growed up with a place to go and you want to see your hot high school teacher naked, then this is for you.

The Rape Killer (1974)

Director: Kostas Karagiannis

Starring: Lakis Komninos, Dorothy Moore, Vagelis Seilinos, Dimitris Bislanis, Fragoulis Fragoulis, Jane Paterson

More info: IMDb

Tagline: He forced his victims to submit to abnormal sexual behavior!

Plot: A wealthy cad grows tired of his trophy wife and makes the decision to knock her off in the gruesome fashion. Because he’s too meek to do it himself, Jim hires a deranged rapist and murderer to carry out the dirty deed in exchange for a pricey cache of heroin.

My rating: 5/10

Will I watch it again? No.

#51 on Dusk to Dawn Drive-In Trash-o-Rama Show Vol. 1 (part of the TRAILER TRASH PROJECT)

AKA DEATH KISS (the title of the version I watched), it's not that bad of a picture except that it's not being anything more than a Greek giallo (murder thriller) dressed up to look like an Italian giallo. The plot is very simple. The acting and dubbing of the husband was about as bland as water in a well-stocked bar. It's reasonably paced, Yannis Spanos's score works well only sometimes and there's a great dance scene at a club that's got some wonderful Greek music and dancing. DK isn't doing anything different that countless other giallo of the era did so there's really nothing special about it except that it's a Greek production, something you didn't find much of in those days.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Girl in Room 2A (1973)

Director: William Rose

Starring: Daniela Giordano, Raf Vallone, John Scanlon, Angelo Infanti, Karin Schubert

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Now you can see it...

Plot: A sadistic killer cult kidnaps and sacrifices beautiful women. A young girl, just paroled from prison, moves into a strange house and appears to be the cult's next victim.

My rating: 4/10

Will I watch it again? Nooooop.

#52 on Dusk to Dawn Drive-In Trash-o-Rama Show Vol. 1 (part of the TRAILER TRASH PROJECT)

Man, that plot synopsis sounds a hell of a lot more exciting than it really is. Woof. It's not a horrible picture but when you've got something that's essentially a thriller (with horror elements), it's not thrilling until the last ten minutes. That's when things really start to move but by the time they do, they'd lost me. I didn't care anymore. Berto Pisano turns in a really good score, though, except in the last half hour when not much is happening (or I should say when not much is continuing to happen) and the music sounds like it was lifted from a rousing swashbuckler! WTF? I liked it but it didn't fit at all. I'm guessing the director or producer threw it in to pick things up a bit. It sort of helped but then you're left wondering what the hell's going on that deserves this.

The Naked Bunyip (1970)

Director: John B. Murray

Starring: Graeme Blundell, Barry Humprhies and a cast of dozens and dozens of everyday people you'll never meet

More info: IMDb

Tagline: The first serious study of sex in Australia (in a funny sort of way).

Plot: A shy young man is hired by an ad agency to conduct a survey on sex in Australia. The somewhat clueless young man investigates homosexuality, transvestites, prostitution, and strip clubs along with every other variant on the "norm". While doing his interviews he meets celebrities, self proclaimed sex experts, prostitutes, female impersonators, pop stars, actors, and legislators as well as self appointed morals guardians.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? Nah.

#5 on my on-going quest to watch every film from the amazing documentary, NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD: THE WILD, UNTOLD STORY OF OZPLOITATION! (2008)

While this isn't one of those "everything you always wanted to know about..." kind of flicks, it does cover an awful lot of ground on a wide range of subjects, all pertaining to sex and sexuality. Barry Humphries (as the very funny Edna Everage - not yet Dame Edna) was one of the brighter spots but he/she is only in it in the beginning, but the survey she takes, with all manner of questions, is hilarious.

On the question of "Do you believe in circumcision?"

"The only thing about circumcision, I feel, is that it really isn't taken far enough!"

One great reason to watch this is not for the few laughs (which are front-loaded in the film, btw. There aren't nearly as many laughs for the rest of the picture as in the first twenty minutes) but for the clothing styles, music and overall late 60s culture in Australia. It's wonderful to watch. And it's funny (or not) how much we as a society, in a lot of ways, haven't changed all that much. The more things change, the more they stay this same isn't too far off the mark. But the biggest surprise for me was that at no point in the TWO HOURS AND SIXTEEN MINUTES (!) did I get bored! It was quite entertaining. It's actually kind of fun...or maybe it's just that everything sounds better when spoken with an Australian accent...

True Grit (1969)

Director: Henry Hathaway

Starring: John Wayne, Kim Darby, Glen Campbell, Jeremy Slate, Robert Duvall, Dennis Hopper, Strother Martin

More info: IMDb

Tagline: The strangest trio ever to track a killer.

Plot: A drunken, hard-nosed U.S. Marshal and a Texas Ranger help a stubborn young woman track down her father's murderer in Indian territory.

My rating: 7.5/10

Will I watch it again? Yeah.

Having watched the 2010 remake a few days ago, I was in the mood to check out the original that's been on my "to watch" list for more than twenty years. I was very surprised at how much the remake retained from this (and I presume the novel). The biggest difference was just the tone. Being a John Wayne horse opera, this isn't going to be as gritty as a Spaghetti Western but that doesn't mean it's going to be a kiddie matinee, either. The remake is darker but I was surprised at the places the original was allowed to go like the scene where the trio come upon Moon (played wonderfully by Hopper) and Emmett (Slate) at the cabin. The remake has a grisly scene involving someone losing some fingers before being stabbed to death. I thought for sure there was no way that was in the original but I was completely wrong. It's cringe-inducing watching it now. I can just imagine how audiences took to it forty years ago.

Strother Martin was delightful as Col. Stonehill, the man Mattie (Darby) does some horsetrading with. I prefer his scenes to the remake's equivalent. Kim Darby did a wonderful job as Mattie and I was taken aback when someone pointed out she was John Cusack's mom in BETTER OFF DEAD (1985). I felt silly for not spotting it sooner. John Wayne was great as always and it made me realize that he was a better actor than most naysayers give him credit for. Did he deserve an Oscar for this role? I'm not too sure about that but he was very good, especially during the scenes where he was drunk. But that's like saying Courtney Love was really good at playing a crack whore in THE PEOPLE VS. LARRY FLYNT (1996). You'd be good at playing a crack whore, too, if you had years of practice at it. Same with Wayne. I'm not trying to discount his performance but the man did like to hit the sauce.

The weakest role was Campbell. He wasn't bad but he wasn't particularly good, at least consistently. Some of his, and others', line readings didn't feel natural. You could tell they were acting if that makes any sense to anyone but me. Elmer Bernstein's fine score was more lively and adventurous than I would have hoped for, especially when it harkened back to his rousing score for THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (1960). Overall, though, I really enjoyed this one even though the remake edges it out as a more consistent film and true to the overall theme. Great. Now I can't get THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN theme out of my head. Damn, you Elmer Bernstein!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Rio Bravo (1959)

Director: Howard Hawks

Starring: John Wayne, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson, Angie Dickenson, Walter Brennan, Ward Bond, Claude Akins

More info: IMDb

Tagline: You've seen nothing like 'em together... and in the heat and hate of Rio Bravo nothing can tear 'em apart!

Plot: The sheriff of a small town in southwest Texas must keep custody of a murderer whose brother, a powerful rancher, is trying to help him escape. After a friend is killed trying to muster support for him, he and his deputies - a disgraced drunk and a cantankerous old cripple - must find a way to hold out against the rancher's hired guns until the marshal arrives. In the meantime, matters are complicated by the presence of a young gunslinger - and a mysterious beauty who just came in on the last stagecoach.

My rating: 8.5/10

Will I watch it again? Yup.

True story. Many years ago I met a young woman who took my breath away before she uttered a single word. When the topic of movies came up she mentioned that John Wayne was her favorite actor, Dean Martin her favorite singer and RIO BRAVO her favorite movie, I knew I was in love. I came awfully close to marrying that girl. That a classic Western was her favorite movie blew me away and she was proof that there just might be someone out there for me yet. Now if I can just find someone who shares that same love for ILSA: SHE WOLF OF THE SS (1975) I'd be in business once again...

If you never thought of Dean Martin as an actor all you need to convince you is to see this. He's heartbreaking to watch as he struggles to overcome his love of whiskey. He sells it like he's living it. John Wayne is a lot of fun, too and I don't care if he's largely a one-note performer. I like that tune he plays and he plays it like no other. I can seriously do without Ricky Nelson, though. He's like a second-rate Elvis Presley in this thing and it's a clear case of stunt casting to get the kids to see it. Outside of that it's a fantastic classic Western with one helluva performance by Martin and Wayne. I love it and the Blu-ray looks magnificent!

Dixie Dynamite (1976)

Director: Lee Frost

Starring: Warren Oates, Christopher George, Jane Anne Johnstone, Kathy McHaley, Stanley Adams, R.G. Armstrong

More info: IMDb

Tagline: They got 'em mad ... now there's no stoppin 'em!

Plot: When their moonshiner father is killed by a corrupt deputy, two young girls decide to take over his business and get revenge on the men who had him killed.

My rating: 4/10

Will I watch it again? Noop.

#4 on 42nd Street Forever Vol. 2: The Deuce (part of the TRAILER TRASH PROJECT)

Made by our old buddy Lee Frost (director of such classics like CALL GIRL 77 (1962), Hollywood's World of Flesh (1963), and Chrome and Hot Leather (1971)), this low budget's only appeal is seeing Oates, George and Armstrong together in the same film. I think this might just be Warren Oates' worst picture. I haven't seen them all yet but it's a good bet. Hell, there's no real reason why his character is even in it. He doesn't serve the plot at all. You can completely remove him and, with very little re-writing, you'd never know the difference. And for Frost, who started out making titty pictures, you'd think there'd be some hicksploitation nudity. Nope. I'm not pissed about the movie it's just frustrating when you've got some talent that's being underutilized. Oates is great as always and George and Armstrong are fun, too, but the lead girls that go on a Bonnie & Clyde-esque crime spree were lacking in talent. I didn't go in expecting much but it would have been nice. Dynamite this ain't!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

True Grit (2010)

Directors: Joel & Ethan Coen

Starring: Jeff Bridges, Hailee Steinfeld, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, Barry Pepper

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Punishment comes one way or another

Plot: Following the murder of her father by hired hand Tom Chaney, 14-year-old farm girl Mattie Ross sets out to capture the killer. To aid her, she hires the toughest U.S. marshal she can find, a man with "true grit," Reuben J. "Rooster" Cogburn. Mattie insists on accompanying Cogburn, whose drinking, sloth, and generally reprobate character do not augment her faith in him. Against his wishes, she joins him in his trek into the Indian Nations in search of Chaney. They are joined by Texas Ranger LaBoeuf, who wants Chaney for his own purposes. The unlikely trio find danger and surprises on the journey, and each has his or her "grit" tested.

My rating: 8.5/10

Will I watch it again? YES!

Please support good movies like this in the theater. We need more of them.

Damn, I love the Coen brothers. I love a good Western and these guys delivered in spades! The acting is top notch. I'm shocked that Hailee Steinfeld (playing Mattie Ross) is about the age she plays in the film. She was able to hold her own with all of these big name players like nobody's business. It'll be a shame if she doesn't get an Oscar nomination for this. It is a crime, however, that her name is not among those on the poster. I'm sure that's purely a studio marketing decision since she is an unknown. Assholes.

The location shooting is always a plus. The beautiful landscapes of the American Southwest are like no other (well, except for Almeria, Spain and parts of Canada but they're still no match) and the Coen's use it very nicely.

I was looking forward to seeing Josh Brolin in another Western and his portrayal of Tom Chaney, the man Mattie wants to see dead, was much different than I expected. He's a slow witted simpleton and, if he had tried, he could have easily made you feel sorry for the guy if it weren't for the fact that he's a very naughty boy. Brolin amazes me at every turn.

Another shocker was how quickly the 110 minutes flew by. It really felt like it was over not long after it started. That's great film making and it's a testament to how good and solidly entertaining film this is. For 30 years the Western has been a genre that has fallen by the wayside to other shitty-ass films. Since the beginning of cinema through to the 1970s there were more Westerns made annually than any other genre. The movie Western is a genre defined by the beauty of the American West and it's a shame that that part of our history and culture is now largely ignored.

Please support good movies like this in the theater. We need more of them.

The Death Collector (1976)

Director: Ralph De Vito

Starring: Joseph Cortese, Lou Criscuolo, Joe Pesci, Bobby Alto, Frank Vincent

More info: IMDb

Tagline: He always collects...or you pay with your life!

Plot: After being away for a couple of years, Jerry Bolanti is back in his tough, North Jersey neighborhood, close to swampy meadowlands where bodies get pulled from the trunks of cars and dumped. He's short on cash, so a local boss, Anthony Iadavia, throws him some work - as a collector and a holdup man. But Jerry's cocky and a hothead, so he makes enemies faster than he can deliver on the jobs. Whatever bag or case of cash he touches doesn't seem to make it back to Iadavia. But Jerry's resilient and persistent, so he just may get his revenge as well as a chance to go caravan camping with his girl.

My rating: 8.5/10

Will I watch it again? Definitely!

It's just as potent as the first time I saw it. I know I seem to say this a lot but you need to see this movie. If you like GOODFELLAS (1990) or gangster pictures then this is one of those hidden gems you'll bust out for your friends with a giddy smile on your face. You can easily tell that Scorsese took some inspiration from this picture in more ways than one.

The acting across the board is great. The story and dialogue are sharp. I recently watched the extras on RAGING BULL and Scorsese said he cast Pesci based on seeing him in this one. You can see in TDC that Pesci's got a tremendous screen presence and it's easy to see how Scorsese was drawn to him. He's marvelous.

Frank Vincent is practically unrecognizable with his giant fro. His appearance definitely improved with age. It's amazing how many movies he gets the shit kicked out of him.

Of all the movies out there that get DVD releases it's a crime that this one has never gotten anything more than shitty print fullscreen DVDs. It might be low on the budget but it's loaded with greatness and it stands in the same company (albeit a couple of steps back) as THE GODFATHER (1972) and GOODFELLAS in my book!

Stunt Rock (1978)

Director: Brian Trenchard-Smith

Starring: Grant Page, Monique van de Ven, Margaret Gerard, Paul Haynes

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Death Wish At 120 Decibels

Plot: Australian stuntman Grant Page goes to Los Angeles to work on a television series. He uses his spare time to lend his expertise to rock band, Sorcery, whose act features duels between the King of the Wizards and the Prince of Darkness, with his cousin playing the Prince. Page helps the duo develop pyrotechnic magic tricks for their shows, and also finds himself in a budding romance with a magazine writer as he recounts to her his own exploits as a stuntman and daredevil as well as various stunts by other greats.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again? Yeah, I can see that happening in another twenty years.

#43 on my on-going quest to watch every film from the amazing documentary, NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD: THE WILD, UNTOLD STORY OF OZPLOITATION! (2008)

If you dig the whole stuntman scene then this is right up your alley. You almost wouldn't suspect that Grant Page is not an actor but a stuntman (well, until he starts doing a shitload of stunts). He does a great job on both fronts. He's very charismatic and his enthusiasm is contagious. There's enough stunts to keep anyone like me happy but that's only half the picture.

It's split between two worlds, the stunts on and off the set and the band Sorcery (a real rock group with a Spinal Tap vibe) as they perform on stage. They put on quite a show. Their rock music is fine but it's their wizard show, complete with smoke, fire and magic, that take the focus. Sometimes it can feel overstayed but overall, STUNT ROCK is an unusual and interesting film that I'm sure I'll have to check up on in a few years.

The Stuntmen (1973)

Director: Brian Trenchard-Smith

Starring: Bob Woodham, Herb Nelson, Warren Campbell, Grant Page

More info: IMDb

Plot: An Aussie documentary on their greatest stuntmen of the day, showing various types of stunts first as they would look in a movie, then breaking them down and showing how they're achieved.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again? Maybe.

I've been a fan of stunts since I was a kid and I really appreciate the quality and the risks involved. This documentary, shot by Trenchard-Smith (director of such amazing Ozploitation greats as TURKEY SHOOT (1982)), is split into different categories of films you would find stunts like a war picture, western, etc showing us stunts from explosions, motorcycle stunts, man on fire, falling off a horse and so on. The stuntmen are very likable and funny. It's always nice watching things like this that give personalities to people you know are there but you rarely get to meet. A lot of these folks turned up in the fantastic documentary, NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD: THE WILD, UNTOLD STORY OF OZPLOITATION! (2008).

Black Shampoo (1976)

Director: Greydon Clark

Starring: John Daniels, Tanya Boyd, Joseph Carlo, Skip E Lowe, Gary Allen, William Bonner

More info: IMDb


Plot: Jonathan Knight is the owner of "Mr. Jonathans", the most successful hair salon for women on the Sunset Strip. Jonathan is tall, muscular, black and ballsy. His reputation as a lover has become so awesome that he is sought after almost as much in that capacity as in his expertise as a hair stylist. Everything is cool for Jonathan until he messes with the mob in an effort to protect his young, attractive receptionist from her former boss. Action explodes when the "lovin' machine" becomes the "killing machine". Jonathan, equipped with chain saw in hand, gets down on the vicious mob gang.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? I think I could.

#26 on Blaxploiteasin' (part of the TRAILER TRASH PROJECT)

DRINKING GAME: Take a drink every time someone says, "Mr. Jonathan". You'll be wasted just from the number of times the gay says it alone!

Put this one in the so-bad-it's-good category. The acting can be downright painful at times and there's not a good actor in the bunch. The story and dialogue are fine, the direction is OK and the music's alright. It's just astonishing how hard it is to find anyone who has any charisma. You'd think Daniels would have had some as the lead but he doesn't and he almost doesn't look the part. The opening credits with Mr. Jonathan shampooing some broad's hair and her getting off on it is surprising erotic! Yeah, I know, right? I started thinking this might be pretty decent. Well, it's only fun if you're watching it with friends. It's a good group movie in that you'll be laughing your asses off at line deliveries and chicks getting naked every couple of minutes. There's A LOT of nudity and it's done in a fun, playful way and the big chase & fight at the end was fun and it'll make you glad you stayed 'till the end. I was.

The Rats Are Coming! The Werewolves Are Here! (1972)

Director: Andy Milligan

Starring: Hope Stansbury, Jackie Skarvellis, Noel Collins, Joan Ogden, Douglas Phair

More info: IMDb

Tagline: A gruesome tale of man-eating rats and blood-sucking werewolves!

Plot: Concerns a family, the Mooneys, struggling with genetic lycanthropy. One daughter, Diana, is sent to a Scottish medical school in order to help save the family, and returns with a new husband, Gerald. The family disapproves, especially Diana's wicked sister Monica, and spends most of the movie trying to convince Gerald to leave. The family patriarch, Papa, warms to Gerald once he learns that Diana is pregnant, because a normal baby could save the bloodline. Subplots involve Monica's hatred for her animalistic brother Malcolm, who is kept chained in a room, and eldest sister Phoebe's dark secret concerning her relationship with Papa. The inevitable full moon causes the entire family to turn into werewolves, attacking Diana, Gerald, and each other.

My rating: 3.5/10

Will I watch it again? No!

#48 on Dusk to Dawn Drive-In Trash-o-Rama Show Vol. 1 (part of the TRAILER TRASH PROJECT)

Yaaaaaawn. There is a TON of dialogue. You'd think Milligan was getting paid by the word and some of the British accents were so bad I'd swear half the cast were Americans. With so much dialogue, the story has to be sold by the actors. It's not like they're delivering the lines too slowly, either. No, on the contrary - often times they're firing off their lines like they're in a hurry. The acting hurts this picture plus there's just far too much time to fall asleep before the action kicks in for the last five or so minutes. Whoever played the guy that sold the chick the man-eating rats was quite good and stood out among the rest of the cast. The old man had a couple of moments where his line delivery actually worked. I'm really stretching to find anything good to say about this. The music, while nice at times, didn't fit and it was clear that Milligan permeated the movie with stock library tracks. There's a reason this isn't on DVD but it should be...there are people out there who need reliable sleep aides.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Battle of the Worlds (1961)

Director: Antonio Margheriti

Starring: Claude Rains, Bill Carter, Umberto Orsini, Maya Brent, Jacqueline Derval

More info: IMDb


Plot: A runaway asteroid dubbed "The Outsider" mysteriously begins orbiting the Earth and threatens it with lethal flying saucers.

My rating: 5/10

Will I watch it again? Nope.


The ONLY reason to see this is for the fantastic performance of Claude Rains as the crotchety old professor with an acerbic wit. He's funny as hell as he cuts down just about everyone. And it's not like he's only in it for a couple of scenes, no, he's the star of the show and he owns every moment he's on screen.

"A match! Somebody please give me a match!"

Click, click, click, click, click

When he's not on screen it's pretty dry, dull stuff except when Bill Carter (as Cmdr. Bob Cole) speaks. I swear he sounds just like Snagglepuss from the Hanna Barbera cartoons. OMFG is it hilarious! Other than that, it's snoozeville with an OK story and effects but I can forgive the latter as it's a 1961 low budget Italian picture.

The Swiss Conspiracy (1976)

Director: Jack Arnold

Starring: David Janssen, Senta Berger, John Ireland, John Saxon, Ray Milland, Anton Diffring, David Hess

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Dirty Money, Dirty Secrets...

Plot: When a Swiss bank finds that the confidentiality of some of its more vulnerable customers has been compromised it calls in an American investigator, who soon uncovers a web of deceit and blackmail. With old debts being paid off his own health is soon in danger, but at least he starts to gets to know one of the bank's female customers pretty well.

My rating: 5/10

Will I watch it again? Noop.

#46 on Dusk to Dawn Drive-In Trash-o-Rama Show Vol. 1 (part of the TRAILER TRASH PROJECT)

It's right down the middle; it's neither that good nor that bad. It's an average crime thriller. It was nice, though, seeing Hess in a role where he's not 'crazy' for a change. Klaus Doldinger's score was uninteresting, the plot was nothing to write home about, the performances were OK and, being filmed in Switzerland, the scenery was beautiful. There's absolutely no reason to or not to recommend this to anyone outside of fans of any of the particular stars. In a word...meh.

Zebra Force (1976)

Director: Joe Tornatore

Starring: James Mitchum, Mike Lane, Richard S. Slattery, Timothy Brown, Rockne Tarkington

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Running with the mob can be deadly!

Plot: A band of ex-soldiers who served in Vietnam follow their former squad leader into ripping off the mob in a string of hits that will net them enough money to be set for life.

My rating: 5.5/10

Will I watch it again? No.

#43 on Dusk to Dawn Drive-In Trash-o-Rama Show Vol. 1 (part of the TRAILER TRASH PROJECT)

The story is the best part by far. The squad of white guys don masks and makeup to look like blacks in their heists from the mob. The local mob boss suspects it's the rival black gang which pulls them closer to starting a race gang war. The mob boss calls in a pro to find out who's stealing from him which leads to the killing of a detective on the take. While there might not seem to be anything that different about it so far, it's the ending that REALLY made me sit up and take notice.


The guy leading the squad actually died in a hospital in Nam but he outlined his plan to one of his men (a black guy who's been disguising himself as the white squad leader all along!) for him to execute after he dies!!! And, after a huge shootout at the end of the picture, our man in disquise is the last one standing and he's got two suitcases full of dough as he's ready to board his plane. Great ending!


HOLY FUCKING SHIT! The reveal at the end was completely unexpected and this suddenly went from a 4 to a 5.5. I would like to rate it higher but there was so much bad from the acting and dialogue to the boring editing that I can't do it. I will say this, though, Charles Bernstein's got a really good main theme. The music doesn't always work but that theme sure was cool and funky and in pictures like this, every little thing counts!

Savage Sisters (1974)

Director: Eddie Romero

Starring: Gloria Hendry, Cheri Caffaro, Rosanna Ortiz, John Ashley, Sid Haig

More info: IMDb

Tagline: BEWARE! They are still at large...the Playgirls of the Liberation Army. Activists in both politics and love.

Plot: A corrupt General plans on smuggling one million US dollars out of the Banana Republic he dominates. Local revolutionaries plan on stealing the cash but are thwarted when a bandit leader they are working with double crosses them. A tough cop and her boyfriend help two of the female revolutionaries escape from prison hoping that they will lead them to the cash, which they plan on keeping for themselves.

My rating: 5.5/10

Will I watch it again? Nah.

#44 on Dusk to Dawn Drive-In Trash-o-Rama Show Vol. 1 (part of the TRAILER TRASH PROJECT)

Standard shot in the Philippines, early 70s jungle revolution adventure with chicks that take their tops off flick. The only difference is (besides the sad fact that the version I saw had the nudity clearly edited out - sniff, sniff) this one's got some good laughs. There's an ambitious (and played for laughs) Captain who has his personal photographer take his pictures at every opportunity since he predicts he will one day be a famous military leader. As he lies dying at the end of the picture he says...

"The camera...quickly...while...we've still got light."

His delivery is great. The MVP in this picture is definitely John Ashley. He's got the best lines and out-acts everyone else in the picture. He's funny as hell, he's good and it's too bad he only did 28 movies (all low budget) from '57 to '77 and didn't do another before he died in '97.

[to the 3 girls that betrayed him and tied him up]
"Yeah, but I used to think I'd let all of ya pee on my face just to see where it came from but, hell, not anymore!"

The movie is OK but the bits I mentioned are about the best parts. Sid Haig is fun as the resistance leader and there's a decent, lengthy chase & fight at the end. It would be best to watch the last half hour and skip the rest. That's where all of the comedy is and everything that's worth anyone's time.