Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Porn Star: The Legend of Ron Jeremy (2001)

Director: Scott J. Gill

Writer: Scott J. Gill

Composer: Carvin Knowles

Starring: Ron Jeremy, William Margold, Al Goldstein, Al Lewis, Seymore Butts, Sharon Mitchell, Larry Flynt, Try Duffy, Adam Rifkin, Lexington Steele, Rodney Dangerfield, Chris Cannon, Tabitha Stevens, Veronica Hart, Anita Cannibal, Phoebe Dollar, Susan Yannetti, Samantha Stylles, Kenny Dollar, Shanna McCullough

More info: IMDb

Tagline: The Story of America's Most Unlikely Sex Star

Plot: Porn Star: The Legend of Ron Jeremy offers audiences a penetrating look inside the world of Ron Jeremy, America's most unlikely sex star and hero to millions. With nearly 25 years in the adult film industry and over 1,600 films to his credit, Ron Jeremy is huge. In his world, Ron reigns supreme-he's made millions of dollars and slept with thousands of beautiful women, and is indisputably the industry's biggest star. And everyone who's anyone knows Ron-a pop icon to millions, he is a beacon of hope for many American male, since he stands as living proof that pretty much anyone can get some. So how did such a classically unhandsome, big and hairy guy ever get to be such a super stud? In one of the most fascinating and entertaining comedies of the last year, audiences finally get a chance to get inside the life and times of Ron Jeremy, and find out what's really behind the hardest working man in show business.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again? Nah.

To me, Ron Jeremy comes across as a really funny and fun-loving guy who is eager and professional.  This documentary confirms that.  To look at him, you'd never know he's probably the most famous male porn star second only to John Holmes.  He's not the physical model of what you'd expect from a porn actor. He's got lots of personality but that alone won't get you very far into the industry.  Personality and a 10 inch dick that can cum on cue is what will get you a lasting career in the porn industry.  This film covers the major beats from his childhood and early adult career as a special ed teacher (!) to his getting into porn and how he has built a career out of it to be the most known and recognizable porn star today.  He's lived long enough to become a living legend.  It's a fun film loaded with nudity and laughs.  It's a shame that there's such a stigma in the film industry that prevents porn actors to become legitimate actors.  Ron Jeremy is an exception but as of 2001 he was still struggling to gain mainstream acceptance.

Fuel (2008)

Director: Joshua Tickell

Writer: Johnny O'Hara

Composers: Ryan Michael Demaree, Edgar Rothermich

Starring: Joshua Tickell, Richard Branson, Larry David, Sheryl Crow, Larry Hagman, Woody Harrelson, Robert Kennedy Jr., Willie Nelson, Julia Roberts, Neil Young

More info: IMDb

Tagline: The world is addicted to oil... It's time for an intervention.

Plot: Director Josh Tickell takes us along for his 11 year journey around the world to find solutions to America's addiction to oil. A shrinking economy, a failing auto industry, rampant unemployment, an out-of-control national debt, and an insatiable demand for energy weigh heavily on all of us. Fuel shows us the way out of the mess we're in by explaining how to replace every drop of oil we now use, while creating green jobs and keeping our money here at home. The film never dwells on the negative, but instead shows us the easy solutions already within our reach.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again? Nah.

After watching THE BIG FIX (2012) last week I thought it'd be fun to watch Tickell's earlier picture.  You get some history about diesel fuel and about Rudolf Diesel, the inventor of the engine.  That was fascinating.  Then there's biofuels and how well they were doing until suddenly they got a wave of bad press.  It sounded like there was more to the story that was being told but that's alright, I'll roll with it.  It's really a compilation of ways we can get a way from oil and move over to alternative energy sources.  While Tickell makes a passionate plea, it's not overly preachy in that cheesy way.  He calmly and without malice presents these issues in an easily digestible and entertaining manner that doesn't leave you feeling like you're an asshole for not adopting these ideas but rather a sense of we should do them because it's a better way to go.

Monday, December 30, 2013

The Man Who Came Back (2008)

Director: Glen Pitre

Writers: Chuck Walker, Glen Pitre

Composer: Phil Marshall

Starring: Eric Braeden, Billy Zane, Carol Alt, James Patrick Stuart, Sean Young, Ken Norton, Jennifer O'Dell, Peter Jason, George Kennedy, Armand Assante, Al Hayter, Richard Jackson, Kate Clarke

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Revenge was his only answer.

Plot: When local legend Reese Paxton is wrongly accused of murder by the corrupt and racist town leadership and sentenced to prison, he accepts his fate willingly, hoping his innocence will eventually set him free. When the self-appointed mayor brutally murders Paxton's wife and son, he has nothing left to live for.  In a town that writes its own rules...a land where the innocent are killed...and a system with no justice, Paxton decides to take the law into his own hands. 

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? No.

The film's lead actor and executive producer, Eric Braeden (who plays Reese Paxton), says in the DVD extras that this film was 9 years in the making.  It's also based on a true incident that happened in 1887 where black plantation workers went on strike and their subsequent slaughter by the plantation owner ended with nearly 300 workers and their families dead.  Interesting. Did you see the cast?  It's impressive to have so many names in this picture.  Learning after seeing it that Braeden was the EP makes more sense in how they were able to pull together such a big list of talent.   Speaking of talent...

I'd like to say that Braeden did a great job but I can't.  See, he's got a great Western look and voice but that's where it ends.  His speech is soft and his movement is slow.  It was bugging the bejesus out of me for the whole picture.  After watching it I looked up his IMDb page and saw that he's been the lead actor in a soap opera for more than a couple of decades.  Now it makes sense.  He was acting in soap opera mode which is very different than anything else...and slower.  I love George Kennedy but his Southern accent wasn't what it should be for a plantation owner.  It would have been better if he'd just used his regular accent.  Otherwise, it's great seeing him in anything.  Armand Assante looks like he's trying too hard but he does play a great slimeball.  Billy Zane looks like he had the most fun and spills charisma all over the place and his performance was the most enjoyable.  It's too bad he had very little screen time but at least it's sprinkled in small doses throughout.

As for everything else, the fight choreography is slow and clumsy, the music was pretty good, ah, forget it.  It's not a bad picture.  It would have helped A LOT if it had been shot on film or if the video quality looked a little weathered.  But with all of this, it's nearly two hours long.  Usually this spells boredom but it doesn't feel that long and I really wasn't bored at any point.  Sure, I was wanting things to move faster but I wasn't clock-watching which really surprises me now that I've watched it.  It has some good but it's loaded with things that could/should have been better.  If you're into Westerns, give it a shot.

Split Second (1992)

Director: Tony Maylam

Writer: Gary Scott Thompson

Composers: Frances Haines, Stephen W. Parsons

Starring: Rutger Hauer, Kim Cattrall, Alastair Duncan, Michael J. Pollard, Alun Armstrong, Pete Postlethwaite, Ian Dury, Roberta Eaton, Tony Steedman, Steven Hartley

More info: IMDb

Tagline: 2008. The future has never looked more dangerous.

Plot: In a futuristic London, the rising sea levels mean that large areas are under feet of water. Harry Stone is a cop who lost his partner to some strange creature. Now the creature is back and it's after him.

My rating:6/10

Will I watch it again? No.

I loves me some Rutger Hauer so I was tickled to see this, a sci-fi actioner that I hadn't seen.  I liked the bleak outlook of the landscape in this futuristic dystopian world even though it takes place only 16 years into the future.  It seemed like it should have been longer.  Anyway, it was made in 1992 and Hauer had gained quite a bit of weight since BLADE RUNNER (1982) but he's still Rutger Hauer so who cares, right?  He plays Harry Stone as a tough as nails badass but he's weird and ridiculous.  He's a coffee and chocolate fiend.  We're told he's worked every hell hole on the planet but he's currently working in London.  Once you settle into the tongue and cheek of it all it becomes more fun.  By the time you get to the end Harry Stone has transformed into a likable character as opposed to being a one note badass.   It's no classic but Hauer fans will dig it, even with its odd tone.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Death on High Mountain (1969)

Original title: La Morta Sull'alta Collina

Director: Fernando Cerchio

Writers: Eduardo Manzanos Brocher, Lorenzo Gicca Palli, Jose Mallorqui

Composer: Luis Bacalov

Starring: Peter Lee Lawrence, Luis Davila, Tano Cimarosa, Anges Spaak, Antonio gradoli, Nello Pazzafini, Silvio Bagolini, Giampiero Littera, Barbara Carroll, Jesus Guzman, Empedocle Buzzanca, Jose Marco Davo, Juan Antonio Elices, Nazzareno Natale, Manuel Segura, Ricardo valle, Rufino Ingles, Frank brana, Romano Puppo, Rafael Hernandez

More info: IMDb

Plot: Braddock (Gradoli) is an influential and highly respected citizen of the town of Two Arrows. He also represents a group of Mexican outlaws led by General Valiente (Cimarosa). Braddock plans an important robbery with only two young men, Loring (Lawrence) and Parker (Davila), standing in the way of the bandits.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? No.

OK Spaghetti Western that's elevated by a strong performance by Luis Davila as Parker, a man with more to him than meets the eye.  Lawrence is playing a happy go lucky young pool playing rowdy type that we've seen a million times before in these kinds of pictures.  Tano Cimarosa plays the Mexican General Valiente whose only goal is to get all of the money for himself.  Unfortunately he's somewhat incompetent and Cimarosa plays him for laughs with lots of silly yelling. I can't stand that kind of character.  You know the type, the silly Mexican who moves and says everything with such broad gestures.  Ugh.

Hey, the General uses storyboards to plan his heist...or were these used for the film?

What makes this different than ANY Western I've ever seen is the inclusion of a billiards tournament!  How about that?!?!  I dug it.  Luis Bacalov's score isn't that bad except for the blatant use of his music from A BULLET FOR THE GENERAL (1966) which is a superior score.  I'm sure it was used for a good reason - that theme alone will elevate any picture as you can tell in the clip above that gives you the first few minutes (the BULLET theme is used as the opening credits theme here).  As far as the story and action go, it's OK.  I'm sure it won't take but a few days before I've forgotten most everything about it.  There are much more enjoyable Spaghetti Westerns than this one.

Woman Wanted (1935)

Director: George B. Seitz

Writers: Leonard Fields, David Silverstein, Wilson Collison, Otis Garrett, Kubec Glasmon, Leon Gordon, Kathryn Scola, George Hanneman

Composer: William Axt

Starring: Maureen O'Sullivan, Joel McCrea, Lewis Stone, Louis Calhern, Edgar Kennedy, Adrienne Ames, Robert Greig, Noel Madison, Granville Bates, William B. Davidson, Richard Powell, Erville Alderson, Gertrude Short

More info: IMDb

Plot: Ann Grey is wrongly convicted of murder. On her way to jail a car accident gives her the opportunity to escape. She is helped by young lawyer Tony Baxter. He hides her from the police, as well as his fiancée, with the help of his butler Peedles. Ann is also wanted by the mobsters who really committed the murder as they think she knows where $250,000 worth of bonds are hidden. When the mobsters find and abduct her, Tony enlists the help of the D.A. and the police to try to get her back.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again? Nah.

Here's a delightful crime/drama/comedy that hits enough right notes to make you forget about everything else.  O'Sullivan and McCrea have great chemistry together.  The scene when they're in the car one rainy night is priceless.  They really look like they're having a wonderful time.  There are a lot of cute moments like that one that elevate this a notch or two.  Robert Grieg deftly plays Peedles, Tony's (McCrea) butler.  He's a lot of fun, too.  Edgar Kennedy shows up for a bit.  I love that guy.  I'm such a huge fan of his from the OUR GANG/LITTLE RASCALS shorts (he almost always played police officer Kennedy) that he gets a smile out of me without even trying.  The story is pretty fun, too and the whole picture moves along at a pretty good clip.  Before you know it you've flown through 67 fun minutes.  I taped this off of TCM years ago.  I'm glad I did.  It doesn't look like it's made it to DVD yet. 

The Faculty (1998)

Director: Robert Rodriguez

Writers: David Wechter, Bruce Kimmel, Kevin Williamson

Starring: Jordana Brewster, Clea DuVall, Laura Harris, Josh Hartnett, Shawn Hatosy, Salma Hayek, Famke Janssen, Piper Laurie, Christopher McDonald, Bebe Neuwirth, Robert Patrick, Usher Raymond, Jon Stewart, Daniel von Bargen, Elijah Wood

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Six students are about to find out their teachers really are from another planet.

Plot: A horror tale set in a High School where the students suspect the teaching staff of being aliens, who are intent on making the students their victims.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? No.

Here's a somewhat interesting take on INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1956) that strictly confines the situation to a high school.  They're able to stretch the picture out to an hour and forty four minutes for a story that probably didn't warrant that much but Robert Rodriguez was able to make it work.  There are a lot of now familiar faces both young and older which was nice.  Half the cast are currently people that a lot of folks would recognize.  It's well acted and executed but it left me kind of middle of the road.  It's a better than average horror flick with 'teens' that sits above most of its type that have come out in the past twenty years but not so high that it needs to be seen.  I'm really surprised at how mainstream it is considering it was directed by Rodriguez.  It was his third theatrical picture but it doesn't feel like one of his.  He was just a director-for-hire, not something I would associate him with.   I don't know...I guess I expected more.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Free Enterprise (1998)

Director: Robert Meyer Burnett

Writers: Mark A. Altman, Robert Meyer Burnett

Composer: Scott Spock

Starring: William Shatner, Rafer Weigel, Eric McCormack, Audie England, Patrick Van Horn, Phil Lamarr, Jonathan Slavin, Deborag Van Valkenburgh

More info: IMDb

Tagline: The Shat hits the fan

Plot:  Free Enterprise is a dysfunctional love story about two avid "Star Trek" fans, Robert (Rafer Weigel) and Mark (Eric McCormack), who meet their idol, William Shatner, and discover he's nothing like his fictional counterpart. With their illusions shattered, the two friends must face their fears about the future

My rating: 8/10

Will I watch it again? Absolutely.

Holy shit is this funny!  I laughed my ass off.  It shares a few vibes with SWINGERS (1996) including one of the cast members.  The performances are great and funny, the script is hilarious and William Shatner is a total blast to watch.  This picture is loaded with references ranging from STAR TREK and STAR WARS to LOGAN'S RUN (1976) and FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE (1963).  I've seen so many movies that I felt like I caught at least 95% of them but then I could have missed a bunch by not recognizing them as references to begin with.  Anyway, this has got an awful lot of laughs and for people like me that are into the geeky stuff like movies, toys, fanzines, etc, this is a MUST-SEE.  The rap song with Shatner that closes the film was weak and I totally didn't dig the girl taking the guy back but outside of that, this is fucking hilarious and it's a great ride.  I'm looking forward to digging into the many extras on the DVD.  Until one of my friends brought it to my attention, I'd never heard of it.  Now I want everyone to see it. 

Group Madness: The Making of 'Yellowbeard' (1983)

Directors: Michael Mileham, Phillip Schuman

Writers: Sam Baldoni, Ron DeZure, Ben Schuman

Composer: ???

Starring: Peter Cook, David Bowie, Peter Boyle, Graham Chapman, Tommy Chong, John Cleese, Marty Feldman, Martin Hewitt, Michael Hordern, Eric Idle, Madelin Kahn, Cheech Marin, Kenneth Mars, James Mason, Spike Milligan, Stacey Nelkin, Harry Nilsson, Susannah York

More info: IMDb

Plot: A camera crew follows the film makers of YELLOWBEARD (1983) as they create a wild and crazy pirate comedy filled with some of the biggest names in comedy.

My rating:  8/10

Will I watch it again?  Maybe.

Hee hee hee.  This is more enjoyable than the film itself.  I liked YELLOWBEARD (1983) but it's too light on jokes considering the talent.  This, though, is 45 minutes of fun.  There's very little footage from the finished film which means it's nearly all behind the scenes footage while being filmed and loads of interviews with all of the principles.  They're all very funny and it's informative. Go figure.  Kenneth Mars is funny like I've never seen him. If you're a fan of any of these people (which kind of goes without saying that you'd also be a fan of all) then this is a must-see.  When you bring together members of Monty Python, Cheech & Chong and members of Mel Brooks' troupe, it's a home run. 

Friday, December 27, 2013

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

Director: Martin Scorsese

Writers: Terence Winter, Jordan Belfort

Composer: None.  Scorsese rarely employs one and instead uses pop music of the era.

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Matthew McConaughey, Kyle Chandler, Rob Reiner, Jon Bernthal, Jon Favreau, Jean Dujardin, Joanna Lumley, Cristin Miloti, Christine Ebersole, Shea Whigham, Ethan Suplee, Edward Herrmann, Jordan Belfort, Fran Lebowitz

More info: IMDb

Plot: Based on the true story of Jordan Belfort, from his rise to a wealthy stockbroker living the high life to his fall involving crime, corruption and the federal government.

My rating: 8.5/10

Will I watch it again? Yes.

Martin Scorsese, in his 70s, still amazes me. 30-40 years after some of his best work, he's still a powerhouse of a film maker directing some of the finest films to come out of Hollywood.  Take out a few short films and TV episodes, he's directed about 45 feature films and several of them are among the finest in the past 40 years.  My favorite of his, and one of my favorite movies in general, is GOODFELLAS (1990).  In many ways WOLF gives off the GOODFELLAS vibe but that's not unwarranted since they both deal with the rise and fall of charismatic and interesting men.  DiCaprio feels like he's channeling Ray Liotta and if Liotta were 20 years younger I'd wager he'd be playing Belfort instead and giving an equally outstanding performance.

This is possibly Scorsese's funniest picture.  I'd call it a comedy sprinkled with a little drama.  He also revels in the excesses of drugs.  The scene where Belfort tries crack for the first time is so much fun, watching him go from nothing to high as happy can be, that it's almost an invitation for the audience to try it, too.  The supporting cast is terrific, too.  It was neat seeing Ethan Suplee (Randy from MY NAME IS EARL) and She Whigham (Eli from BOARDWALK EMPIRE) in small roles.  And then there's the scrummy Joanna Lumley.  Oh, the things I would do to her...still, at her age.  She's certainly aged from her days on ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS but she's still got it and she's elegant and beautiful as shit in this picture.  Jonah Hill owns his roll as Belfort's best friend and business partner, Donnie Azoff.  Hilarious performance.

The picture is right at three hours long.  Yeah, you might be feeling it in your butt by the end but the picture is loaded with laughs and nudity, something you don't expect with Scorsese.  I laughed my ass off and enjoyed the shit out of it.  I knew nothing about this going into it except having watched the trailer so I was surprised that this is based on a real guy. Neat-o.  The IMDb trivia says this has the most uses of the word "fuck" of any Scorsese picture at 506 times.  Did I mention it has lots of bewbs?!?!  That's the pig in me trying to give it that extra 'sell'.  It's also written by Scorsese's BOARDWALK EMPIRE partner, Terence Winter.  There's another BE reference when Belfort's parents are watching THE EQUALIZER that guest starred Steve Buscemi in one of his earliest roles.  This flick is very funny and it's just damn fine film making no matter how you slice it.  Go see it in the theater and enjoy yourself.  Make sure you hit the bathroom before it starts, though.

The Light Touch (1952)

Director: Richard Brooks

Writers: Richard Brooks, Jed Harris, Tom Reed

Composer: Miklos Rozsa

Starring: Stewart Granger, Pier Angeli, George Sanders, Kurt Kasznar, Joseph Calleia, Larry Keating, Rhys Williams, Norman Lloyd, Mike Mazurki, Ben Astar, Hans Conried

More info: IMDb

Tagline: If she knew what he was, she'd never give him her youth and innocence!

Plot: Sam and Felix are art thieves. Sam has just stolen a picture from a museum in Italy, but told Felix that it was lost in a boat accident. He wants copies made to sell while he will sell the original and get paid both ways. To find an artist, they pick the young, beautiful, naive Anna. When Anna has doubts, Sam strings her along and then marries her and go to Sicily on their honeymoon. Anna finds out that Sam is a thief and is very disappointed. Felix finds out that Sam has the original and is out to get it. The police are also waiting along with the buyer that Sam has for the painting.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? No.

I like Stewart Granger but I'm discovering with each of his pictures that maybe he was just an average actor that got big roles. SCARAMOUCHE (1952) is one of my favorite movies and it might be his finest moment.  He excels playing roles where he's carefree and smiles a lot.  But when he isn't, he can be awfully dull and average.  I hate saying that because I like the guy but this picture illustrates my point.  When he's smiling, he's delightful and when he's not, he's rather flat in much of his screen time with Pier Angeli (playing Anna). The role of Felix feels better suited to Cary Grant's talents than Granger. George Sanders (as Felix), on the other hand, is delightful as much as a cad can be.  He's one harsh cat.  Watching Felix and Sam (Granger) spar with each other is fun but I find myself rooting for Felix except that he's a bastard and I'd kind of like to see the 'happy' Sam win.  The film itself isn't bad but it's not exactly a fun romp in Italy, stealing art.  Shooting this in Rome is a big plus as is having a fun score by Miklos Rozsa, one of the greats. Even though this picture was a bit disappointing, I still won't pass up an opportunity to miss anything with Granger or Sanders.

The Pimp Primer (1970)

Director: Nick Millard

Writer: ???

Composer: ???

Starring: Tommy Toole, Sue Peters, Michael Donovan O'Donnell, Shen Jackson, John Dullaghan, Uschi Digard, John Holmes, Donna Young

More info: IMDb

Plot: Carl, a low-end hustler and pimp, uses his girlfriend to start his own prostitution ring. Trouble begins when Carl recruits Sherri, a local waitress who likes sex.  At first she resists but she soon comes through and performs at an orgy they've been hired for.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? No.

#33 on the Uschi Digard Needs to Have My Babies Project

Yet another softcore porn but this one is kind of special.  We have a very pleasant narrator telling us about how to be a pimp. 

Meet Carl.  He's been pimping his girlfriend, Gerry (Sheri Jackson), out for some extra money.

He gets the crazy idea that he can make more money (it's for their nest egg) if he brings on more girls.  That's where Sherri comes in.  He tells the two gals that they'll sometimes need to fuck each other for paying customers to watch.  He wants to see what that looks like.

Then it's off to the orgies!  Say, is that legendary porn star John Holmes on the far left?


Uschi Digard shows up, almost unrecognizable sporting a strange wig but as soon as I saw her lips I knew it was her.

And her tits, of course.  That's her lying on her back on the lower right.

 And that's it.  Like most of these simulated sex flicks, it's less than an hour.  They're usually boring as hell but what makes this one fun is the silly narration and the outrageously strange background score.  It's comprised of cues that feel right at home with a light-hearted romantic comedy from Warner Bros..  It's not the sort of thing you'd expect to accompany a picture like this but it works in spades.  I laughed my ass off.  This one's actually pretty fun.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Blood on the Moon (1948)

Director: Robert Wise

Writers: Luke Short, Lillie Hayward, Harold Shumate

Composer: Roy Webb

Starring: Robert Mitchum, Barbara Bel Geddes, Robert Preston, Walter Brennan, Phyllis Thaxter, Frank Faylen, Tom Tully, Charles McGraw, Clifton Young, Tom Tyler, George Cooper, Tom Keene, Bud Osborne, Zon Murray, Robert Bray, Harry Carey Jr., Iron Eyes Cody

More info: IMDb

Tagline: When there's BLOOD ON THE MOON...death lurks in the Shadows!

Plot: When a shady-looking stranger rides into town to join his old friend it is assumed he is a hired gun. But as the new man comes to realise the unlawful nature of his buddy's business and the way the homesteaders are being used, the two men draw apart to become sworn enemies.

My rating: 7.5/10

Will I watch it again? No but I wouldn't be opposed to it.

Gee, I didn't anticipate anything as good as this.  Mitchum is great.  He doesn't say much and I think he works best that way.  He's got a way about him where he's able to play more complex, darker characters.  In a way this has moments of feeling like a film noir, from the story to the nice use of shadows.  It's no surprise that this came from director Robert Wise who came up from the school of Val Lewton.  The rest of the cast does a wonderful job as well.  I was mostly taken in by the story.  It's more complex and it's darker than most from this period.  Hell, even though the ending is upbeat, it's not overly cheerful like most Westerns from the 30s and 40s. I really enjoyed it.  It's engaging with plenty of action and intrigue to kill an hour and half and feel good about it. 

The Batman vs. Dracula (2005)

Directors: Michael Goguen, Seung Eun Kim, Sam Liu, Brandon Vietti

Writer: Duane Capizzi

Composer: Thomas Chase

Starring: Rino Romano, Peter Stormare, Tara Strong, Tom Kenny, Kevin Michael Richardson, Alastair Duncan, Jeff Bennett, Richard Green, Neil Ross, James Sie, Kevin Carvell

More info: IMDb

Plot: Gotham City is terrorized not only by recent escapees Joker and Penguin, but by the original creature of the night, Dracula! Can Batman stop the ruthless vampire before he turns everyone in the city, including The Caped Crusader, Joker and Penguin, into his mindless minions?

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again? No.

Not a bad picture.  It's pretty neat the idea of throwing Dracula into the Batman mix.  I like having bat against bat.  The story plays out nicely and it was a nice touch including the Penguin and the Joker.  I didn't care for the score's inclusion of the electric guitar but that's a minor nitpick I suppose.  That's about it, really.  It's no classic but if animated Batman is your bag, you'll probably dig it.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Girl from Pussycat (1969)

Director: Smythe David

Writer: Roman Hans

Composer: ???

Starring:Inga Daar, Gay Lamour, Bayard King, Genevieve Wilde, Karin Catlin, Fanny Rickles, Uta Bergen, Konrad Blau, Ken Starr, Yani Graco, Anthony John, Noel Richards, Oscar Collins, Wendal Coe

More info: IMDb

Tagline: The hard-loving girl gang goes big time!

Plot: The Girl from Pussycat wants you to join her gang of sex-crazed semi-lesbian sociopath sex-kittens as they pick up guys, make love to gals, and even rob a bank. And what better way to celebrate stealing a cool $250,000 than to throw the money on the floor, invite some friends over, and have an old-fashioned orgy on top of it. But when one of their dumb boyfriends threatens to call the cops, butch boss Bobbi promptly cooks his fingers in a toaster.

My rating: 4/10

Will I watch it again? No.

Man, I really dig these opening credits!!!

Not a bad way to start a picture, either!!!

Island of Terror (1966)

Director: Terence Fisher

Writers: Edward Mann, Al Ramsen

Composer: Malcolm Lockyer

Starring: Peter Cushing, Edward Judd, Carole Gray, Eddie Byrne, Sam Kydd, Niall MacGinnis, James Caffrey, Liam Gaffney, Rogher Heathcote

More info: IMDb

Tagline: How could they stop the devouring death...that lived by sucking on living human bones!

Plot: A small island community is overrun with creeping, blobbish, tentacled monsters which liquefy and digest the bones from living creatures. The community struggles to fight back.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? No.

What a silly yet watchable horror film.  It starts out with an interesting concept, a creature is loose and reproducing (it splits in half, creating two creatures out of one and it does this a lot).  When it touches you it releases an enzyme that liquifies your bones leaving no trace of calcium in the bodies of the victims.  Then you bring in the always amazing Peter Cushing (as Dr. Brian Stanley) only he hasn't a fucking clue of what to do so he brings in Edward Judd (as Dr. David West) and he doesn't have the other fucking clue and somehow they figure out how to rid the island of these things.  Cushing is unusually care free and happy in this and he's surpisingly so minutes after having his hand chopped off.  He's cracking wise about it and everything, like he was at a cocktail party charming the pants of the crowd.  I'd like to think I'd do the same.

But the real scene-stealer is Edward Judd.  He's soooooooo melodramatic it's too funny for words.  His physical emoting is so over the top that once you notice it you won't be able to not snicker every time he moves afterward.  It all ends well for the islanders but there's a surprise non-shocker tagline that suggests all is not well in another part of the world.  If it weren't for Judd's over the top performance and the earnestness of all of the other actors there wouldn't be much to this.  But you've got Terence Fisher behind the camera (director of lots of the best Hammer films like HORROR OF DRACULA (1958) and THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1957)) and he milks as much as you probably could out of something like this.  It's fun but lower your expectations.