Movie a Day : 118-122 – “What if it was your sister?”

Ha! I bet you all thought I bailed on this blog since it didn’t get posted at the start of the week. I fooled you! It’s been crazy busy both here in the bunker and at work, I just didn’t have the time to get this together.

Why does spring yard work have to be so hard? I planted a vegetable garden that features more than just the usual potato. I have high hopes for corn and blueberries this year. I know that blueberries are not a vegetable. I have no idea if I’m watering them enough or too much, and I’m pretty sure some flowers in the front bed are dead. I’m watering them anyway just in case. This is stressful stuff. As a result, I didn’t get many movies in and I’m late with the blog. At least you get it this week, and on a Friday so you can waste time at work!

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118 05-17 Pretty Peaches 2 (1987) 3/5
This is the first of what is presumed to be many releases of the films of Alex De Renzy by Vinegar Syndrome. Who’s that? Why, he’s one of the legendary porn producers of the golden age who worked right up into the 90’s when the industry flipped from being film based to video product. Anyway, this is the first half of a double feature. Basic plot is a porn take on “Candide”, where Peaches goes out on an exploration to discover sex. It’s got some fun performances by legends Ron Jeremy and Jamie Gillis, not to mention 80’s star Tracey Adams as Peaches domineering mom, but it’s also so sex heavy that it’s practically a loop carrier as opposed to a proper narrative film (not a complaint). Which is ultimately the point of these films, especially in the pre-gonzo video age. Still a fun movie, and pretty good looking seeing as it was shot on film instead of video.

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119 05-18 Bamboo Gods & Iron Men (1974) 2/5
So after watching that awesomely dumb Gary Busey film last week, I sat down to the movie I actually bought the set for. Of course it wasn’t very good. It’s an odd mash-up of martial arts and blaxploitation, so you can understand my disappointment when it ended up not being the greatest movie ever made. Basic plot is, an American boxer visiting the Hong Kong (the Philippines, since Vic Diaz is in it) on his honeymoon gets mixed up with a cartel when he buys a Buddha that has some ancient formula in it. Anyway, it’s dumb with bad fight scenes, corny gags and “Black” Cal Jefferson is no “Blackbelt Jones” Jim Kelly.

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120 05-18 Breaking Bad Season 1 (2008) 4/5
Not sure if you guys and gals have heard of this one. It’s a TV show that ran on some channel about a high school science teacher who gets diagnosed with cancer and starts cooking meth. It’s pretty good.

(By “pretty good” I mean it’s fucking great. Been watching it with mum, and mum’s going out of her god damned mind. I might have to cut her off. Lots has been written about the show, so nuff said.)

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121 05-19 Trackdown (1976) 2/5
So Robert Mitchum had a son who was born with the same iconic sleepy eyes, so of course he had be an actor in the movies. This is one of those movies! I’m guessing being a more redneck Mitchum wasn’t in demand, since this is a pretty low budget sleaze fest. Jim Mitchum plays a redneck from Montana who treks out to Los Angeles to look for his runaway sister. She of course got mixed up with a prostitution ring. So Mitchum has to team up with Eric Estrada from “CHIPS” to try to save her. It’s all a bit of a mess, and plays like a redneck version of “Dirty Harry” or “Death Wish”. Mitchum is a terrible actor, especially when compared to his old man, but Estrada is pretty good. Still, not worth watching.

Love this poster I found, obviously to cash in on both Eric Estrada after he broke big with “CHIPS” and Cathy Lee Crosby who was hosting “That’s Incredible” at the time and completely cuts out Mitchum.

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122 05-21 Scorchy (1976) 1.5/5
This one is the last film in that 4 movie set that included “Trackdown”, “Bamboo Gods & Iron Men” and that dumb Busey “Bulletproof”. This one features Connie Stevens as an undercover agent trying to crack down on drug dealers in Seattle who are smuggling dope in a larger Buddha than the one featured in Bamboo Gods. So “smuggling drugs in Buddhas” is apparently a sub-genre I never knew existed. Anyway, it’s a piece of shit that plays like a crappy TV Movie. Who is Connie Stevens anyway? She’s the type of actress that everyone seems to know by name, but for what? Her IMDB page doesn’t feature any amazing movies. Or am I just being miserable since the best movie in this stupid set was the Gary Busey one?

Not a total loss for a weeks worth of viewing. The best was Breaking Bad, by far. Now that the hooks are in, we’re on season 2 and that’s taking up a lot of the movie watching time. So there might not be a movie blog next week. I’ll see if I get 5 or more titles. I might post something else. I’ll see how it goes.

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Movie a Day! : 112-117 – Hey Butt-Horn!

Right you lucky fiends, more movie reviews of movies you have NO INTEREST IN! I’m doing the big work here, let it stand up to history! A wild bunch this go round. An academy award nominee and a trashy film you can download for free! FEEL THE LOVE!

112 05-05 Roadie (1980) 2.5/5
I was quite excited by this one which is probably why I felt let down. Basic plot is; Meatloaf plays a Texan who’s kind of like “MacGyver” when it comes to fixing electronics, and he gets roped into being a Super-Roadie for a bunch of bands while helping a groupie get to New York so she can loose her virginity to Alice Cooper. So basically this should be an excuse to have a bunch of cool bands showcase songs. And there are cool bands, Blondie and Roy Orbison both make appearances alongside Alice Cooper. The problem is the film is so hell bent on being a wacky comedy that it just annoys the shit out of you. Every musical performance is interrupted by some dumb shenanigans. Then you find out that the groupie is 16 and Meatloaf is in love with her. So yeah, it’s not great.

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113 05-09 Bulletproof (1988) 2/5
The problem with being a collector like myself is that you see a 4-movie DVD set that has a movie in it that sounds amazing (“Bamboo Gods & Iron Men”, still not watched) and since the set is only $10, you buy it and watch all the movies in it instead of just the one you bought it for. Which is why i watched “Bulletproof”. This one stars Gary Busey as “Bulletproof” McBain, a tough as nails, ex-army guy who has to go undercover in Mexico to get back a stolen super-tank and save his ex-girlfriend. If you didn’t know it was from 1988, you would think it was a perfect satire of 80’s movies. It has EVERYTHING. A “one-man” super cop who doesn’t follow the rules ala “Lethal Weapon.” Terrible dialogue with bad “Bulletproof” puns and Busey calling everyone a “Butt-Horn”. A flashback to Busey playing the saxophone on the beach while the kidnapped ex-girlfriend comes out of the surf. The villains are a mix of Russian, Cuban and Middle Eastern revolutionaries… it’s INSANE how shit and cliched it is. Wondrously, laugh out loud insane that has you shouting “SERIOUSLY?!?!?” every 10 minutes. So really, it’s a 1.5/5 movie, but due to being so gloriously dumb, I’m giving it a 2/5 since it’s the type of bad movie you force your friends to sit through. (I no longer have movie watching friends. 😦 )

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114 05-10 Fleshpot On 42nd Street (1973) 2/5
What, you thought I’d have a week were I didn’t watch some 70’s smut from Vinegar Syndrome? Silly you! This one has the best description ever on their website. “A street whore desperately seeks love and acceptance against the backdrop of the criminal element of early 1970s Times Square.” That really is the picture in a nutshell, except that the “whore”, Dusty, is a real criminal, ripping off guys left and right. She’s best friends with a sad sack transvestite that is really priceless to watch. This one looks like a hardcore porn that had the hardcore cut out of it, and was quite a fun little watch. Sadly, the film elements that VS own are really in rough shape, which is why they are giving it away as a free download! Tips are welcome.

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115 05-10 The Wolf Of Wall Street (2013) 4/5
I’m writing the review on this one a couple of days after watching it, and I’m thinking my initial 4/5 might be a little high. Don’t get me wrong, it’s top of the line Scorsese. Brilliantly shot with acting to match, it’s a whirlwind ride with the douche-bags of high finance who are ruining all of our lives that is at times exhilarating and laugh out loud funny. A couple of days later thinking about the picture, I’m wondering “What’s the point?” It’s not like we didn’t know that the mega rich are a bunch of assholes right? I did really like this one though, I’ll have to give it a second spin. This is the first Scorsese film since “Kundun” that I missed seeing in the theaters, so that’s kind of bittersweet.

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116 05-10 Angel on Fire (1974) 2.5/5
This is the second feature on the disc featuring the previously reviewed “Altar of Lust”, which was also directed by Roberta Findlay. This one was the better picture. Basic plot is, a total asshole misogynist gets hit by a truck and is forced by Angel #9 to go back to earth as a woman so as to experience what it’s like for a woman to deal with assholes like himself. So it’s kind of a neat idea for a porn since again, it’s coming from a woman’s point of view. Of course, the asshole misogynist on the second go round is played by world class creep Jamie Gillis, so the plot seems like an excuse to show women being degraded instead of being a feminist message on how women should be treated. Ah yes, the good old exploitation days.

So in the end, another fun edition in the Peekarama line from Vinegar Syndrome.

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117 05-11 Game Change (2012) 3.5/5
This one tells the story about how Sarah Palin got picked to be John McCain’s running mate on his bid for president. It’s a pretty fine film that shows Palin in a surprisingly human light at first before she morphs into the monster we know her now to be. Strong performances by Julianne Moore (If you thought Tina Fey was the best Palin, see Moore as she plays a person, not a caricature), Woody Harrelson and Ed Harris and direction that keep the story moving. Political films always intrigue and depress me, and this one was no different.

There it is, another batch of movie watching. My pick of the week will be “The Wolf of Wall Street.” It delivered, and Scorsese films always charge up my movie battery.

As always, feel free to comment, share, offer suggestions, etc. now that I changed the name, I have more access to my own blog so should be able to reply and interact more. Maybe someone can explain to me how “tags” work and if I should bother using them.

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Movie a Day! : 104-111- “Get Up Off Your Ass and Show Yourself!”

Right, time for a round up. Here are all the things I watched last week. It was a short week blog wise since I tend to start a new week with Monday, but I watched a whole bunch of films over the weekend seeing as to how a video game I’m trying to complete has gotten boring and I’m dragging my heels on it.

Here we go!

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104 05-02 The Making of Nashville (2014) 3.5/5
This is the feature length documentary found on the blu-ray of the previously mentioned “Nashville”. It’s good, with lots of neat stories though no real behind the scenes footage. Anyway, between, the film and the additional extras (the Robert Altman interviews are must see), I give this disc a 5/5. Criterion really know how to put out a movie.

105 05-02 Sadie (1980) 2.5/5
Back in February I watched a Rita Hayworth film called “Miss Sadie Thompson” in which she plays a former dance hall girl (prostitute) who gets mixed up with a missionary while stuck on an island on her way to Australia to start a new life. This is a porn version of the same story. Directed by porn legend, “Johnny Wadd” director Bob Chinn, who you will know as the basis of Burt Reynolds character in “Boogie Nights”. Anyway, the story actually works as a porn, and he cleverly updates the villain from being a missionary to being a ultra right wing senator bent on censorship and what not. Surprisingly, the film seems more intent on telling the story instead of the sex scenes, which are all over quickly and seem per functionary to meet distributor guidelines instead of driving the film. The problem of course is the shit porn acting and the incredibly cheap island set that is used that ends up making this look like a dirty high school production that doesn’t really work as a non-sex film or a “proper” porno that has a story as an excuse for the sex scenes. It’s probably this weird thing that makes it kind of interesting.

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106 05-03 The Great Gatsby (2013) 3/5
I am not a Baz Luhrmann devotee. While I liked his “Romeo + Juliet” , “Moulin Rouge!” was lost on me and I couldn’t bring myself to watch “Australia” (Mad Max is all the Australian history I need). All that said, this one was pretty good. The performances are all fine, and the story, I‘m guessing, is well told. I never read the novel. My only problem is in the execution. While “Rouge!” left me flat, it was a lush, colourful picture. This one is too, but it’s all CGI, and the type of CGI that screams “I AM CGI! LOOK AT ME! CGI!” and when films rely on digital effects like this in such an obvious way it draws me out of the picture. Much more than hearing Jay-Z on the soundtrack of a movie that takes place in the twenties. So it’s “The Pretty Good But Not All That Great Gatsby” in the end. The blu-ray has a trailer for the 1926 version, I want to see that one.

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107 05-03 The Seductress (1981) 3/5
This is the second film on the double feature PeekARama disc from Vinegar Syndrome that featured “Sadie”. Also directed by Bob Chinn, this is a more traditional porn. Basic plot is that of a woman who works with a guy in seducing men and filming them so that their wives can blackmail them for divorce. Ends up she’s a junkie (which means she’s unreliable), and figures out she can get even more money by blackmailing the wives into sleeping with other men for additional blackmailing. It’s all very convoluted. Way more convoluted than it should be. Still a cheap production, but it works better than “Sadie” did since it doesn’t rely on sophisticated staging that can’t be provided on a cheap set and the plot better serves the necessary inclusion of sex scenes.

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108 05-04 TNT Jackson (1974) 3.5/5
Cheap-o “Pam Grier” type knockoff about a woman who travels to China (The Philippines) to find her brother, only to discover he’s been killed by a drug gang. so she has to use her Kung-Fu skills to kick the shit out of everyone. It’s pretty damned great, with laughably corny fights, hilarious dialogue and unnecessary nudity. Add in some ridiculous gore, and this one is a fun watch. It should be noted that to my memory, not a single thing on that poster is represented in the movie other than Jeanne Bell herself.

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109 05-04 Firecracker (1981) 3.5/5
This is the third film of the same set with “TNT Jackson”, and “Too Hot to Handle”, which I reviewed last blog. I had low expectations, but it ended up being a lot of fun. Another film where a woman goes to the Philippines (actual Philippines, not pretend China/Chinatown Philippines), this time to find a missing sister, and has to use her Kung-Fu skills to kick the shit out of everyone. This one is by the same director as TNT, and features Vic Diaz in a larger supporting role than he usually gets. I should have started a tribute page to Vic Diaz, taking pictures of him in all the films shot in the Philippines that he ends up in. Anyway, this one is as corny as the last one, with the difference being that the lead actress is actually a pretty good martial artist. On par with a Cynthia Rothrock anyway, so the fights are actually pretty good.

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110 05-04 Used Cars (1980) 3/5
This was one of the very first VHS tapes dad brought home when we got our first VCR around 1983. I wasn’t allowed to watch it, though I do remember watching it for some reason. I hadn’t seen it since. Prior to making the pop culture hits with “Back to the Future” and “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”, Robert Zemeckis put out this raunch comedy. I’m guessing “National Lampoon’s Animal House” kicked off this trend of comedy, were guys are total guys and do wacky pranks while trying to get in girls pants. This one features Kurt Russell as a salesman for the titled Used Car lot, in battle with a rival car lot owner who’s trying to take over his land. As dated as it feels, it still offers some great laughs and the entire cast is pretty likeable as well. That said, it’s definitely a “Bro” type comedy. Still worth a watch for a chuckle. Plus it has Guy Caballero himself, Joe Flaherty in a supporting role.

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111 05-04 The Altar of Lust 2.5/5
I don’t even know where to begin with this one. The title makes it sound like a Satanic thing, but it’s not at all. The basic story is about a young woman (played by, no joke “Erotica Lantern”) who escapes from Sweden after being raped by her stepfather, and winds up in New York very sexually confused. This is all told via the device of her talking to her psychiatrist, so the sexual vignettes stream out from that. It’s absolutely dreadful production wise, in that no dialogue was recorded. It’s all dubbed and read in a monotone that has to be seen/heard to be believed. It’s so bad, that when the psychiatrist talks, they show the woman reacting, and vice versa so that you will never see a line of dialogue coming from a persons lips.

That said, it IS entertaining and interesting. The director is Roberta Findlay, who with her husband Michael made the notorious roughies known as “The Flesh Trilogy”. Here she wrote, filmed, produced and directed (and I think dubbed) the picture, so it’s interesting since it is from a woman’s point of view. Usually softcore stuff like this is very male centric. Also, this one is from the period where softcore would turn hardcore, and as the picture moves forward, the scenes get harder until eventually you see Harry Reems (a year before “Deep Throat” would make him a star) receive oral. So it’s a bizarre time capsule of the period, and of the filmmakers literally pushing the boundaries of censorship within the film, pre-porno chic. Which is why I’m giving it 2.5 out of 5 instead of a 1.5-2, since it really is laughably BAD bad.

 

So there it is, more movies than most watch in a month! It’s ridiculous that I have more to say on dumb movies like “The Altar of Lust” then most other things I enjoy. My pick of the week is “TNT Jackson.” I’m such a sucker for blacksploitation at this point that I’m probably considered racist. The movies are just so goofy, they’re irresistible damn it!

Movie a Day! : 94-103 And The End Of April

Yet another blog! I’m sure my ones of readers thought that I had abandoned the project or died due to it’s lateness. Both being perfectly valid reasons based on my history of blogs. Abandoning them, not dying. I’m not some weirdo who’s constantly killing myself for short periods of time like those goofs in “Flatliners”. Anyway, last week really shit the bed on a personal level, I decided to wait until April was over before posting, then work completely blocked my blog due to the title. So I changed the title as a compromise. Don’t let it be thought that I am precious or have any principles with this blog. I CAN BE BOUGHT! BUY ME PLEASE! Next week will probably be a short blog since it will cover May 1st to 4th.

So here’s the last films I watched in April. There are some amazingly good ones here. In that I watched another Zatoichi film and I just love those goddamn Samurai!

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094 04-23 Adventures of Zatoichi (1964) 3.5/5

Plot wise, this isn’t much different from the previous films. Zatoichi arrives in a town to celebrate New Years, only to get mixed up with corrupt officials and the Yakuza. That said, I could watch these movies all day. There’s a subplot that elaborates more on Zatoichi’s childhood that is interesting, but the main draw is still Katsu in the leading role who is perfect as the blind swordsman. The subtlety of going from childlike naivete to threatening, scary killer primarily through body language never fails to send chills down my spine.

 

095 04-26 Game of Thrones Season 3 (2013) 2.5/5

***Why can I not copy and paste an image of a poster for this fucking series and have the link remain unbroken? How does this image stuff work? I’ve had it happen on other images too. But this GOT bullshit is ridiculous. Anyway, enough May 2nd bitching about WordPress/internet/my ignorance.****

Decided to get caught up on Game of Thrones since on social media people are creaming their jeans right off their bodies over whatever is currently happening in the currently airing season 4. I still don’t like this show! Season 3 was supposed to be amazing with a capital “A”, but after season 2, I didn’t quite believe it hence I never watched it until now. Ends up Season 3 is better than season 2, but it’s still a lot of walking and talking with little action. Which is actually an odd complaint since one of my favourite shows is “The Wire” which is very walking/talking over action heavy. I guess it’s a case that when it comes to medieval fantasy, I don’t give a shit about the Kings banking situation (a stirring conversation featured in episode 3). I do like the performances (periodic nudity and gore), so I will keep on watching. Is Dinklage’s accent the worst or the best? It’s not real right? Discuss.

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096 04-27 Ginger (1971) 2/5

097 04-27 The Abductors (1972) 3.5/5

098 04-27 Girls Are For Loving (1973) 3/5

So once upon a time Cheri Caffaro married Don Schain and Don loved Cheri so much he decided that he had to make her a big movie star. It was decided that she should be a female “James Bond”, and this trio of films were the result. Where James Bond is the epitome of male fantasy and class (IE: a classy asshole), “Ginger” is decidedly not that. Schain chose to feature his wife in nearly constant situations of nudity with her either being the aggressor or the victim. This is total sleaze-ville.

The first film, “Ginger”, introduces the character, obviously, with the plot being that she’s needed to infiltrate a Jersey Shore gang (of at least 6 people) that is running drugs and prostitutes during the tourist season. So already the series is starting out cheap and sleazy compared to the Bonds. “The Abductors” is a similar plot, except this time it’s a white slavery ring abducting women and forcing them into sex slaves. This one was the grimiest of the bunch, which means it was the most entertaining. The last film, “Girls Are For Loving” was unashamedly shot in the Philippines, which means it kind of looks like a Bond film with an international flavour. The plot is similar, Ginger has to fuck her way through a gang. The head of this gang though is another women, so it’s like Ginger is going against someone similar to herself except bad. So that’s interesting? Ginger also starts off undercover as a lounge singer/stripper, and if Caffaro is actually singing, it’s truly sad because she is not a good singer. Anyway, the third film is still sleazy as hell, but has better production values than the first film so I’m rating it higher.

So why did I watch all these Ginger films? A year or more ago I bought a DVD set that featured Caffaro in the last film she made with her husband, “Too Hot To Handle”, and I couldn’t bring myself to start that DVD set of 3 films (all unrelated) until I watched her in the unconnected Ginger movies. It’s a special movie loving sickness that I have…

099 04-27 Thief (1981) 3.5/5

This one is director Michael Mann’s feature film debut. It stars James Caan as an asshole, ex-con safe-cracker who gets mixed up with the mob while trying to do that last heist so he can retire to the family life he always wanted. It has a nice balance of 70’s character piece while setting the stage for the 80’s stylish gloss that Mann will become known for with “Miami Vice” and what not. So in the end it works, the heist stuff is pretty cool, and it’s got James Belushi in it from before he someone transmogrified into a total dick.

100 04-28 Masterchef Canada Season 1 (2014) 3/5

So this cooking show finally wrapped up. I had sworn off the Masterchef series last year, but then they announced a Canadian version so I had to watch it to see how they did it. I was curious if the judges would be total assholes like the American one, or polite and Canadian. They were mostly assholes, and the sad thing was you could tell they were TRYING to be assholes but were actually good guys, as opposed to being total, true assholes. So that’s it. Some guy won and no one cares.

101 04-29 99 and 44/100% Dead (1975) 2/5

This is the second half of a double feature DVD set I have, paired with “The Nickel Ride” which I watched I think last year but forgot to list. How many lost films have I watched and forgotten to list due to laziness? Anyway, this one I remember hearing about for ages and thought it was maybe a cult classic. It features Richard Harris as a hit-man who is hired out by gangster Edmond O’Brien to help quell a gang war. The problem with the film is that it plays like a dopey, slapstick satire at first, but then tries to get a bit serious and action film-y. So it never really works as a spoof or a satire or an action film, it’s just annoying and bad. So watch “The Nickel Ride” and skip this one.

102 04-29 Too Hot To Handle (1977) 3/5

So having watched all the “Ginger” films, it was time to watch this one. Produced by Roger Corman, this is a pretty typical 70’s cheap action film shot in the Philippines. It might as well be a Ginger movie since Caffaro is essentially playing the same character. Instead of a secret agent, she’s an assassin who’s hired to take out some guys. That’s really all you need to know. It’s not as sleazy as the “Ginger” pictures, but still pretty good since the assassination set-ups are a nice change of pace (though she still fucks her way through most of it). Plus there is a remarkably shit Kung-Fu fight on a boat that is worth the $5 this cost seeing as the set of three films was $15. I’ll review the other two next month.

103 04-30 Louis Theroux’s LA Stories (2014) 4/5

Been a fan of Theroux since discovering him on the old “TV Nation” series. Anyone remember that show? Remember when Michael Moore used to be fun instead of a self righteous asshole? No? It was a long time ago. Anyway, this is Thoureux’s latest series and it was as good as any of his other stuff. It’s 3 episodes, the first one is on stray dogs in LA, the second about end of life care and the last about registered sex offenders. So these ones are more serious than some of Thoureux’s shows. So while they may not be as fun as watching him wrestle or act in a gay porn, they are interesting and well worth your time. Theroux has really mastered his journalism style of appearing kind of idiotic in order to get people to open up.

So there it is, April all done! Let’s look at my numbers.

31 Watched    31 First Timers   0 In Theaters

So for the first time since January, I watched more movies than days in a month. I also broke the 100 film mark, but sadly with a stupid cooking show since I never plan my viewing properly to make it special. I believe this is also the first month since I started keeping track where I had no repeat viewings. Everything watched was a first timer. That said, I’m still down from last year where at this point I had watched 135 movies. So I’m 32 films behind from last year. I need to get bed ridden for a week! Is that wrong to hope to be bed ridden so you have an excuse to do nothing but watch movies?

We shall see what next week brings, so far it’s not much. I realized I should probably do a “Best/Worst of the month type of thing. Maybe I’ll do that next time.

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