Movie a Day! : 052-062 – The First Half of March

Well, I’m a day late on this one since I had the day off Monday and was so stupidly busy I didn’t get a chance to post. Not a single person reached out to me to check that I hadn’t died. So that’s where we stand huh readers? All 3-5 of you? Not to alienate, but I had higher expectations. I’ll forgive you for now. You can make it up to me by sharing the blog!

Since I can wrap up March in two posts, I’ll post today and hopefully Thursday this week. A lot of good movies in this batch, and one of the most distressing things I’ve ever seen.

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052 03-01 Anatomy Of A Psycho (1961) 2/5
A low budget thriller that has a really great title. The set-up is good, a guy goes bonkers after his brother get’s the electric chair. The problem is he never goes full out psycho, but more of an out of control delinquent. So it never really delivers what you hope with that awesome title and poster. Speaking of which, the guy in the “Shocking” box sure looks like Dennis Hopper, but it’s not him.

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053 03-01 The Lonely Sex (1959) 2.5/5
This is the second feature on Vinegar Syndromes Drive-In disc, paired with the above “Psycho”. It’s also the better picture. This one it pretty much a no budget picture, about a pervo who kidnaps a girl. The cheap look actually helps the picture and it ends up delivering a bit better than the main draw.

Vinegar Syndrome deliver yet another great value pack. Both pictures have their issues with print damage and scratchy soundtrack, but they’re both more than watchable and I can’t imagine them looking much better since I’m guessing original negatives are long gone.

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054 03-01 So Dark The Night (1946) 3/5
This is the first picture on the latest “Film Noir Classics” set from TCM. It’s a real doozy, about a Parisian detective forced to go on vacation who gets wrapped up with a girl and a murder in a small French village. The only thing more ridiculous than the big plot twist is that it actually works and the whole picture doesn’t fall apart because of it.

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055 03-08 The Suckers (1972) 2.5 /5
Just look at that poster! Obviously this is the greatest movie ever made! Sadly, it’s a cheap-o sexploitation version of “The Most Dangerous Game”. A rich big game hunter hires and hunts a few models. It’s too caught up on the softcore sex scenes which are all ridiculous compared to the much more fun action of the hunting finale. Good for a laugh, and to see how ball heavy films were during the transition to full on hardcore porn, but not much else.

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056 03-09 The Corner (2000) 4/5
Prior to “The Wire”, Simon did this mini-series telling the true stories of junkies and other people living on one of the main drug slinging corners in Baltimore. While not necessarily a happy film, it’s a damn fine one.

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057 03-10 The Love Garden (1971) 2/5
This one is the second feature of the Vinegar Syndrome “Drive in Collection” that also featured the previously reviewed “The Suckers”. This one is a softcore feature about a guy obsessed with getting a girl who moved into his building. Spoiler alert: The girl is gay, and surprisingly, the film deals with gay politics surprisingly well for the era. That said, it’s cheap and a bit plodding in it’s melodrama.

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058 03-11 Johnny O’Clock (1947) 2.5/5
This one is a gangster/noir genre picture, about a gambler club manager trying to stay ahead of a business rival and the women who are actually controlling his life. Dick Powell is the title character, and despite playing many tough guys in his career, I never buy him in those roles. So despite being solid plot wise and shot in the wonderful noir style, I never really got into it.

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059 03-14 King of the Hill (1993) 4.5/5
060 03-15 The Underneath (1995) 3/5
These are Steven Soderbergh’s third and fourth pictures, and both his first studio pictures. Both were lovingly released recently by the Criterion Collection, so you know they look and sound great. “King of the Hill” remains as wonderful as I remembered, telling the true story of a kid living on his own during the depression. A beautifully shot film, with some fantastic child acting.

“The Underneath” is Soderbergh’s first crack at a caper film. I know I’ve seen it before, but I couldn’t remember it at all. It’s not bad, a bit plodding and over stylized, but still pretty solid.

One of the best parts of the set are the interviews with Soderbergh where he candidly slags off both films as being mostly failures in retrospect. If only more “failures” could be this good.

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061 03-15 The Erotic Memoirs of a Male Chauvinist Pig (1971) 3/5
What do you get when a convicted felon with a long career of forgery, smuggling and abuse charges makes a porn film? Something that should be more interesting than this one ended up being. Granted, it was made before all the above felonies happened, and it is pushing the envelope for 1971. It’s just never really gets as dark a comedy as it’s aiming for so it kind of plods along.

062 03-16 Box Ball (1977) 4/5
This is a porn loop found on the above “Pig” disc, and holy crap is it cringe inducing. It’s ten minutes of a woman twisting up a guys nut sack in ways you would not believe. Not for the faint of heart, it packs into ten minutes what “Pig” missed accomplishing in it’s feature length.

I continue to have random panic attacks from “Box Ball” to this day.

The End

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