Monday, April 30, 2012

Female Jungle (1955)


Director: Bruno VeSota

Starring: Lawrence Tierney, John Carradine, Jayne Mansfield, Burt Kaiser, Kathleen Crowley, James Kodl, Duane Grey

More info: IMDb

Tagline: As the night grows dark, the women turn deadly.

Plot: A blonde actress is murdered across from a bar. An off-duty cop has been getting pleasantly sloshed, but becomes worried about his innocence when he finds out he was seen leaving the establishment with a blonde, but doesn't remember. As he investigates, he interviews a columnist who was going with the actress, a caricaturist who drew the victim, the caricaturist's wife who works at the bar, and the caricaturist's lover, and slowly begins to put the pieces of the deadly puzzle together.



My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again? I'm on the fence but probably not. There are too many movies to watch to come back to this one.

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

This is a pretty dark noir picture with an unusually darker ending. The acting is on par with what you'd expect from a crime film of the era as is the dialogue. The story keeps you guessing until the last few minutes but for my money, it's the ending that makes this stand out above a lot of the typical detective stories of the 1950s.

THE SPOILER JUNGLE...

Once the killer is revealed and before the coppers get to him, he kills his girlfriend, Candy Price (Mansfield), by choking her to death!!! What makes this cool in my book is that it's typical to have the fuzz show up just in the nick of time. Not in this picture.

END OF SPOILERS...YARRRRRRR!

That's some badass shit for 1955. Overall this is a good flick and I recommend it. At 70 or so minutes, it's easily digestible and satisfying but not enough to keep me coming back. I'm very glad I watched it.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Woman Eater (1958)


Director: Charles Saunders

Starring: George Coulouris, Vera Day, Peter Wayn, Joyce Gregg, Joy Webster, Jimmy Vaughn, Robert MacKenzie

More info: IMDb

Tagline: See the nerve-shattering Dance of Death!

Plot: A mad scientist captures women and feeds them to a flesh-eating tree, which in turn gives him a serum that helps bring the dead back to life.



My rating: 5.5/10

Will I watch it again? Noop.

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

I really don’t know what to say. THE WOMAN EATER is a typical, middle-of-the-road B-horror movie from the 50s. It neither bored me nor more than slightly entertained me. The acting was fine (it’s a British flick and they know how to act, even in their low budget pictures), Edwin Astley’s score was sufficient, the story was serviceable and it’s a competently made flick but it’s nothing more than a standard killer of 70 minutes. I love the poster, though.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Zeta One (1969)


Director: Michael Cort

Starring: James Robertson Justice, Charles Hawtrey, Robin Hawdon, Anna Gael, Brigitte Skay, Dawn Addams

More info: IMDb

Tagline: It's Sexcitement in Time and Space

Plot: A race of topless, large-breasted women from the planet Angvia, in another dimension, come to earth to kidnap women to repopulate their planet.



My rating: 3/10

Will I watch it again? Space NO.

#16 on SCI-FI TRAILERS VOLUME 9 & 10 (part of the TRAILER TRASH PROJECT)

The UK churned out some dreadful sex comedies in the 1970s but apparently they got started earlier than I thought. They’re not the only ones by any means. I think we here in the USA can give any country a run for its money when it comes to cranking out shitty movies. Anyway, ZETA ONE bored the piss out of me for the first twenty minutes with nothing but what was supposed to be witty, sexy dialogue between the male and female leads. They finally stop beating around the bush and beat the bush. Post coitus, James Word FINALLY tells the story he’s been alluding to for a quarter of an hour and that’s when it gets…well, uh, gee, less boring.



At least we get out of his flat. We spend a little time with Zeta on her planet or something and then there’s the Earthlings who are trying to do something or another (I just finished watching the damn thing and already the crux of the plot has escaped me). The ONLY thing that was interesting or remotely fun was this…



Nice, right? I thought so. This is during the exposition on how things work on the all-girl planet of Angvia. I liked that bit and not just because of the nudity. It looked cool and it was even less boring than what proceeded it which was pretty boring but not as boring as the opening. With me so far? Then there’s the only saving grace of the picture...



...the big showdown between the girls of Angvia and the evil humans that played kind of like something out of THE BENNY HILL SHOW except it wasn’t sped up with the Yaketty Sax tune. It would have been a hell of a lot more fun if it did. I’ve spent way too much time talking about this turkey. Moving on.

Pick-up (1975)


Director: Bernard Hirschenson

Starring: Jill Senter, Alan Long, Gini Eastwood, Tom Quinn, Bess Douglass, Don Penny, Elizabeth Sinn, Nate Clark

More info: IMDb

Tagline: It was the longest ride of her life!

Plot: Sexy hippie chicks Carol and Maureen get more than they bargained for when they hitch a ride with groovy hippie dude Chuck in his nifty mobile bus home. The trio get lost in the Florida Everglades following a fierce rain storm and embark on a startling spiritual journey of self-discovery.



My rating: 3/10

Will I watch it again? Derp-di-NO.

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

I have no idea what I just watched but it wasn’t interesting or entertaining. There’s lots of soft-core 70s drive-in sex, TONS of nudity and a bus. There’s very little story, not that there needs to be much of one, but this picture could have used something to serve as a reason to make this picture besides getting a couple of girls and a guy naked. Nudity is fine and all but it can get old. There is an attempt to inject an antagonist but his role is utterly pointless and his Southern accent is annoying and insulting. The music is juvenile and the songs are ‘soft rock of the 70s’ cheesy with the female singer off pitch for a few notes. Ouch. This isn’t the kind of film the trailer promises and it’s not the grindhouse exploitation flick I wanted to see. It’s more of a drama with boobs and a boring one at that. It makes MONSTER A-GO GO (1965) look a lot more fun at this point.

Monday, April 23, 2012

War of the Zombies (1964)


Director: Giuseppe Vari

Starring: John Drew Barrymore, Susy Anderson, Ettore Manni, Ida Galli, Mino Doro, Ivano Staccioli

More info: IMDb

Tagline: See the blood dance of the zombies! See the Goddess of the night star whose gaze mummifies men!

Plot: In a deliberately non-defined pseudo-historical setting in the Roman Empire, the Sarmatians attack and defeat a Roman legion, stealing the gold they had with them. Since Rome doesn't hear of the legate in the region, it sends a consul (Manni, the hero) to inquire. He soon finds out that the Sarmatians are manipulated by an evil magician, Adherbad, and priest of the 'daughter of Osiris', a three-eyed goddess which seems to demand human sacrifice. The Roman legate happens to be a traitor, and so is his wife Tullia (Anderson). The consul catches her interest, but he falls in love with her slave (Galli), who happens to be a priestess of the goddess...



My rating: 5.5/10

Will I watch it again? Nah.

#13 from SWORD & SANDAL TRAILERS VOL. 1. (part of the TRAILER TRASH PROJECT)

You know how I loves me some Italian Sword & Sandal pictures. This one’s pretty dull. It’s not helped by the rather tired vocal performance by the lead (it’s the same guy that did the English dub voice for the lead in WILD, WILD PLANET (1965)). The print I have is widescreen but dark and dirty which doesn’t help during the night scenes and there are enough to make it a trial to sit through.

John Barrymore makes a great villain and I dig his sorcery bits. The zombie army is more akin to the ghost army in LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING (2003) and less like any zombie you might imagine. While that might be a huge disappointment, it’s actually pretty cool and not the kind of thing you would expect in a S&S picture. As genres run their course they tend to stray from their origins. This is a long way from HERCULES (1958) but that’s a good thing. ZOMBIES isn’t exactly a great flick but it’s got a lot going for it. I can certainly see watching this again someday but it’s going to have to be a better looking print and preferably in Italian.




Red Heat (1988)


Director: Walter Hill

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Belushi, Peter Boyle, Ed O'Ross, Laurence Fishburne, Gina Gershon, Brion James

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Moscow's toughest detective. Chicago's craziest cop. There's only one thing worse than making them mad. Making them partners.

Plot: Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a Russian policeman sent after a Georgian drug dealer who has escaped to the United States and is awaiting extradition in Chicago. Jim Belushi plays his temporary partner on the Chicago police. When the drug dealer escapes, the two police must overcome their differences in order to recapture him.



My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? Niet.

It's been over 20 years since I last saw this. I don't remember much about it. There's a reason for that...it's not memorable. Watching it again last night jogged my brain a little but I'm willing to bet that in a couple of months I will have forgotten most of it...again. It's just not really any fun and it's my second least favorite of Arnold's 1980s pictures (with a very distant RED SONJA (1985) taking the prize for the worst). In this picture Arnold doesn't so much as crack a smile (very much like a robot with a performance like one, too), Belushi is his usual wisecracking self but a lot less playful and it was nice to see Gina Gershon in an early role. I usually dig Walter Hill's movies (OK, so I've only seen (except for a couple of his later pictures) everything he did up through 1982) but this one, while well-crafted, just doesn't have any sense of fun to it. It just felt like a flick that's done by the numbers but without that spark of life that makes a movie enjoyable. I won't be coming back to this well again.

Monster a-Go Go (1965)


Director: Bill Rebane

Starring: Phil Morton, June Travis, George Perry, Lois Brooks, Rork Stevens, Peter M. Thompson

More info: IMDb

Tagline: The picture that comes complete with a 10-foot-tall monster to give you the wim-wams!

Plot: A space capsule crash-lands, and the astronaut aboard disappears. Is there a connection between the missing man and the monster roaming the area?



My rating:4/10

Will I watch it again? No.

#11 on SCI-FI TRAILERS VOLUME 9 & 10 (part of the TRAILER TRASH PROJECT)

Yes, there is a connection between the missing man and the monster roaming the area. No, it isn't exciting. Yes, it has cheesy actors but many of the performances are earnest and not all that bad, all things considered. No, it's not nearly as bad as many would lead you to believe. Yes, the music is groovy and there's even a scene with some mid-60s Go-Go dancing! No, it's not so bad that it deserves to be on the IMDb Bottom 100 List. Yes, the ending is retarded and wraps up way too conveniently (the monster just disappears mid-chase and there's some narration to suggest that maybe he's walking in space, just like in the start of the film - it's super weak). No, I can't recommend this to anyone but lovers of cheesy bad cinema but, yes, I can recommend renting the Something Weird Video because it includes LOTS of trailers and extras as well as a second feature, PSYCHED BY THE 4D WITCH (1972) (I haven't seen it yet). Yes, I'm done. No, this picture did not, in fact, give me the wim-wams although I did get them back in college. Ahh...college...