Movie A Day! Gruesome Night of Spanish Fly

Not much for news this week. Time seemed to drag and go by to quick to accomplish much at the same time. Now it’s daylight savings time Sunday and I already feel jet lagged so I’m keeping things short.


063 03/06 The Gruesome Twosome (1967) 2.5/5   Herschell Gordon Lewis attempts a horror comedy that is baffling in its ineptitude. The first 5-10 minutes is made up with a bit with two Styrofoam wig display head puppets discussing matters to set up the plot. The only reason is to shamelessly pad the run time to 70 minutes since the film fell short in editing. Once the film begins it barely improves. A wacky old woman wig maker who talks to her stuffed wild cat Napoleon has a drooling idiot son that she gets to scalp young college girls for her wigs. The gore is the only reason to watch this, despite being crappy and actually looking worse in spots compared to Lewis’s earlier pictures (The beheading by electric night bit being the exception). This is one of those films that you have to wonder why it exists since it’s not the worst plot in the world but the planning and execution of it is so piss-poor. Take out the comedic wackiness that doesn’t work and play up a Psycho rip with the boy and his mother and you would have something. As is, it’s a bonkers curio more than anything.


064 03/09 A Taste of Blood (1967) 2/5  Another HGL opus, this one see’s him doing an update on Dracula. A smarmy business man gets a mysterious shipment of blood-laced brandy, becomes a vampire and learns that he is an heir to Dracula himself. He’s then tasked with killing of the heirs of Van Helsing and all the other people responsible for killing the original Dracula in the book. It’s not a bad plot, it’s the execution that is horrendous. The usual HGL cheapness shines through, bad set-ups, ine-take acting, things out of focus, but it’s the pacing that really kills this one. Extraneous scenes go on forever, eating up the screen time to a glacial paced two hours. On top of all this, Lewis cut back on the gore so there’s no payoffs. Yet despite all that, it’s not his worst film.


065 03/10 Gilmore Girls Season 6 (2006) 3/5   This season improved over the last in that it felt like they pushed the characters ahead instead of spinning the wheels like the last one. That said, instead of just making Luke unlikable they also made pretty near every other character infuriating in their actions. Which is either brilliant writing in that it fits their patterns as established, or an unfair challenging of the audience’s patience. Main plot is Rory and Lorelai dealing with the end of last season blow out and Luke having a life changing revelation. Which are interesting plot points for sure, but had me tearing out what little hair I have left when watching them make one bad decision after another. Jess comes back for a couple of episodes and ends up being the voice of reason. Who would have thought? After all that, I’m curious to see how they wrap it all up in the next and last season.


066 03/10 The Night of the Spanish Fly (1976) 2/5   This one was the co-feature on the DVD with The Night Bird (reviewed last post) and was certainly the weaker of the two. Go-Go Wieners have been unknowingly laced with a potent spanish fly that causes the hot dog loving women of a metropolis to become overwhelmed with desire! It’s a fun plot to type out but the execution kills it with a jokey annoying voice-over setting up and rambling over uninspired sex scenes with a mostly unknown cast. I found it plodding and uninspired.

With this post I’m halfway though the Herschell Gordon Lewis boxset. I might take a time out and spend the week back in Silent Movie Land with the Mack Sennett set since My plan was to watch one disc (two films) from the HGL and spend the rest of the week watching the silents. I’m not getting in the time to do that, and I feel like I need to give my brain a break from genre films. Especially when the next pack of filth from Vinegar Syndrome is on it’s way. So maybe next post will be a little different?

Don’t hold your breath….

Movie A Day!: 2000 Mountain Moonshine Slaves!

Another week of existing! This one is a short post. All the Oscar noms I planned to watch got watched last blog and this week saw me catching up on other things. The week was also a real pain in the ass. Why does everything have to seem so hard?

The day of this post sees the passing of Bill Paxton. One of those actors who was great in everything he did. Probably best known as James Cammeron’s scene stealing dependable  in Aliens and Titanic,  I recommend checking out his directorial debut Frailty, as well as A Simple Plan and Near Dark as they are my favourites. And Fish Heads, of course. I already miss him.

This adds up to this one being short and sleazy. Blame Vinegar Syndrome and Arrow Video. At least one of the films is a bonafide masterpiece.


053 02/19 The Love Slaves (1976) 3/5   A drug dealing syndicate is snatching up women to hypnotize into love slave assassins and detective John Leslie is on the case. Not a bad hardcore feature from Bob Chinn, it never really fully embraces its sleaziness and doesn’t convince as a drama so it ends up a little flat compared to others in the genre.


054 02/20 Two Thousand Maniacs! (1964) 4.5/5   Herschell Gordon Lewis follows up Blood Feast with his masterpiece, Two Thousand Maniacs! A group of Yankees get roped into the centennial celebrations of the southern town Pleasant Valley. It’s a rip on Brigadoon of all things, with the southerners wanting vengeance for Northern atrocities committed during the Civil War. It’s a gleeful mess of a film, with the infamous “Barrel Roll” scene being the height of ridiculous for any splatter film in the genre. An absolute must see.


055 02/22 Moonshine Mountain (1964) 2/5   Herschell Gordon Lewis does a hicksploitation with this one. A country singer travels to the mountains to get a feel for “real folk music”, gets all twisted up in moonshining shenanigans. It’s an absolute mess of a film that’s tonally flat out does not work. The southerners are all hick stereotypes and appear to be played for laughs. One of the girls characteristics is being sexually abused to the point that she’s practically mute, which is NOT funny, but not really depicted seriously either (despite a resolve near the end). Then there’s the bit in the last 3rd where shit is going down with the crooked sheriff that features a federal agent getting stomped to death and his body dumped in a still that is better fit for Two Thousand Maniacs since there is zero humour about it and despite editing is brutal to watch. None of it works with the usual Lewis knack of bad takes and stiff performances. With no gore or sleaze to heighten it, it ends up as a real patience tester of a failed comedy. If it’s supposed to be a comedy, Lewis says in the extras that he was asked to make a rip-off of Thunder Road, the moonshine hit with Robert Mitchum. This does not resemble that film at all.

That’s it for this week. I don’t have much to say. Last night a friend I haven’t seen in years do to a falling out contacted me out of the blue in separate straights wanting to borrow money. I don’t have it to give him. I don’t owe him anything, but it leaves a mixed, bad feeling of guilt and other things.

The world gets exhausting.

Movie A Day!: Blood Face

After a week of sunny skies and spring temperatures, today finds the sky back to the gloomy grey that is Edmonton in the winter. Perfect weather for hermit-ting up with movies and other things to distract from the political climate.

This post is a real mess theme wise. Friends who followed my Snapchat during the horror movie challenge will know that one of the greatest boxsets of all time arrived on my door step near the end, SHOCK AND GORE: THE FILMS OF HERSCHELL GORDON LEWIS. After staring at it for months and frankly being intimidated by it, I finally broke down and cracked that sucker open. My plan was to watch one disc a week. Then the February pack from Vinegar Syndrome showed up three weeks early. And I’m still watching the Oscar best picture nominations. So your stuck with classy films, gore films from one of the worst directors of all times, and porno from one of the hardcore masters who literally helped create the porn industry.

This blog may be a psychiatric profile of a cry for help.


042 02/12 59th Annual Grammy Awards (2017) 3/5   I don’t know why I watch these but I always find a reason to. Ends up this year was pretty good. Katy Perry debuted a new song that’s actually kind of a clever protest, Lady Gaga performed metal with Metallica (my excuse to watch this years awards, her halftime show at the Superbowl was amazing) and aside from a dead mic on Hetfield, she rocked. Lady Gaga may be the the legendary performer of this generation. She can sing anything and do so convincingly. The real highlight though was oldie rappers A Tribe Called Quest who performed as an assault unit, attacking Trump (President Agent Orange, as dubbed by guest Busta Rhymes) and it was exhilarating. Oh, and Beyonce did a really artistic performance piece on black womanhood. I think. So yeah, despite all this fun, it still managed to feel like it would never end.


043 02/12 Blood Feast (1963) 4/5   Exploitation legends Herschell Gordon Lewis and David Friedman invented the splatter genre with this one. The effects are primitive at best, the acting not so great and while people always say Ed Wood Jr. was the worst director of all time, I think Lewis fits the crown better since there is a unenthusiastic workman like feel to Lewis compared to the glee in a Wood Jr. picture. That said, it’s an irresistible picture. I’ve forgotten how many times I’ve watched it, but I love it more each time. People joke about the effects, but they really aren’t that bad compared to the regular make-up. The grey hair on younger actors looks like they rubbed a bar of soap on their heads. That’s far more unforgivable than creating a more than decent tongue being yanked out of a girls head effect. I like to think so anyway. This one is a must see (along with the other films in the “Blood Trilogy”, I’ll get to those later) for anyone with an interest in horror history.

scum_of_earth_poster_01
044 02/13 Scum of the Earth (1963) 3.5/5   1963 was a pretty big year for Herschell Gordon Lewis. Not only did he invent the gore film, he was one of the first to put out a film that would be known as “Roughies”. Roughies were the horrible children of the “Nudie Cuties”, instead of wholesome nudist camps full of nubile innocents, roughies were more urban and had pervos creeping on and corrupting women. This one was about a porno photography outfit that hoodwinks High School girls into being models before getting them to shoot nude and then blackmailing them to do hardcore. It’s very innocent despite that description since actual porno wouldn’t be shot for nearly a decade and the brief nudity in the picture is actually sort of tasteful with the real rough stuff happening off camera. Shot in black and white it actually looks classier than it is, and ends up being one of Lewis’s more accomplished pictures. Sexploitation would keep on pushing after this one, Lewis would mostly drift into gore (which based on his final film, the hardcore Black Love, is a very good thing…). Well worth checking out as it doesn’t have some of the pacing issues Lewis’s films tend to have.


045 02/14 Lion (2016) 3.5   A young Indian boy gets lost and ends up adopted by Nicole Kidman’s terrible haircut that is a perfect representation of Australia in this Oscar pick. I quite enjoyed this one in that it sticks with telling the kids true story without getting too over the top with the melodramatics (I think) and without the “Forrest Gump-Ness” of Slumdog Millionaire. Don’t think it was best of the year stuff though.


046 02/14 Carving Magic (1959) 4/5   This one is an industrial short about a guy hosting a dinner party and wows his dickhead friend with his turkey carving prowess. Why would I watch a carving instructional film? It’s on the Blood Feast blu-ray as an extra! It features Blood Feast star William Kerwin as the guy who learns how to carve, but more interesting is that Harvey Korman plays the dickhead friend, this being his first film role. I love Harvey Korman! Go watch Blazing Saddles again and see what I mean! This one was also legit educational, I think I might be able to carve a turkey properly now!


047 02/15 Moonlight (2016) 4/5   This one is about a kid growing up and navigating himself through Black Miami culture. I really liked this one in that it’s the kind of film that is usually made about white people in that it didn’t have any black genre trappings despite dealing with lower income/gang/drug culture. Dead solid performances that ring true in that they are frustrating to watch. There’s no hand holding the audience. I wouldn’t mind if this one won.


048 02/15 Slaughterhouse (1987) 3/5   1987 seems a bit late to try to pull a rip on Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but when it’s as fun as this one, why not give it a go? A bunch of cool kids decide to hold a party in a foreclosed slaughterhouse. Unbeknownst to them, the owner and his deranged son (who talks in pig-squeals) have decided to kill the people who fucked him over business wise. It’s all an excuse for some typical 80’s slasher mayhem and it delivers which is all you can ask.


049 02/17 Arrival (2016) 4/5   I really enjoyed this one. I had heard it compared to Contact (another one I really enjoyed) but Arrival really is it’s own thing. Aliens have come down and language specialist Amy Adams has to figure out how to communicate with them. It leads to a thoughtful Sci-Fi that is actually pretty rare in these days of action blockbusters. Good stuff, I wouldn’t mind if it won Best Picture.

050 02/17 Parochial Passion Princess (1975) 2.5/5  Depraved hardcore short from Alex deRenzy about a teen prostitute. No one does sleaze like deRenzy, you have to give him credit.


051 02/18 La La Land (2016) 4/5   Hollywood finally does a traditional musical. That’s how this one is billed. The opening number had me cringing since it was so modern Broadway in style, thankfully the film settles down and ends up being really good, and yes, pretty traditional. I don’t think it works quite as well as it wants to- it never reaches the insane dancing fever pitch of the classics- but it’s welcome all the same.


052 02/18 Babyface (1977) 4/5   Feature length film by Alex deRenzy about a guy who gets shanghaied into working in a brothel owned by women for women clients. One of the sleaziest films I’ve seen, it practically is checking off a list of triggers for things deemed politically incorrect and will make you feel squeamish watching it. It’s also done with so much showmanship and glee that it’s hard to be mad about it. deRenzy was a master at this stuff and this one was one is no exception.

So which one should win best picture? I honestly don’t know. None of them wowed me. None of them are bad films, more a case of none of them feeling particularity exceptional or memorable. The only one that really feels like a broken thumb is Hacksaw Ridge, and that’s due to the first half being so schmaltzy. The second half in the war is brilliantly over the top. If I had to pick one I’d go with Moonlight since it’s the only one that didn’t have something in it that made question the filmmakers choice, with Arrival, La La Land and Manchester By The Sea following. Yet despite that, I think I enjoyed Hidden Figures best but found the film technically problematic. It looks like this years Oscars will be mostly blah for me since I don’t have a horse in the race that I really  want to see win. It’s not the first time, and wont be the last.

Which is okay, I got more terrible movies and Gilmore Girls to keep me company.

Until next time.

Scary Movie Challenge 2016 Part 3

The world continues to be scary, but not as scary as the past. Last October anyway when I ventured deep into the scary movie cannon and really started to binge hard. Join me, wont you?

054 10/20 Microwave Massacre (1983) Blu-ray 3/5   Call it low expectations, but this one is pretty good. Stand up legend Jackie Vernon stars as a man who’s so sick of his wife’s fancy microwave meals that he eats her. It’s played for laughs, but there’s few laughs to be found. It’s cheap, the acting is terrible, the gore is lousier than Herschel Gordon Lewis but it manages to work. This is one I would of skipped in the VHS era but it managed to surprise me.

055 10/20 Slugs (1988) Blu-ray 3/5   Another one from the VHS era I would of skipped, and another case of low expectations. Surprisingly they play this one pretty straight considering the stupid plot of slugs attacking an American small town. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not going to unseat Jaws or anything, more of a case of it’s not completely shit.

056 10/20 The Bloodstained Butterfly (1971) Blu-ray 3/5   Pretty typical giallo that focuses more on police procedure than the actual murders. The plot is the typical convoluted “Who done it?” thing, this time trying to find the “Park Killer”. That said, it’s good enough to keep you interested.

057 10/20 Vamp (1986) Blu-ray 3/5   A couple of frat boys looking for strippers stumble upon a club full of VAMPIRES! I had forgotten all about this one having not seen it since the VHS debut. It’s not bad. Grace Jones manages to pull off a silent performance, it’s garish in the 80’s look and it’s fun despite being a bit shit.

058 10/21 Dracula Bites The Big Apple (1979) Blu-ray 3/5   Short film from the director of Vamp is basically a mini-version of “Love At First Bite.” It’s fun and at 20 minutes, better than “Love at First Bite.”

059 10/21 Dead-End Drive-In (1988) Blu-ray 3/5   This one is more of a Mad Max style Ozploitation than a proper horror. People love this one but it left me a bit flat. Youths are corralled into a Drive-In Prison camp. If it didn’t have such good action set pieces I would have given it only 2.5/5. UPDATE: The Arrow blu-ray of this one is fantastic with a couple of shorts: The Stuntmen and Hospitals Don’t Burn that are both amazing!

060 10/21 Basket Case 2 (1990) Blu-ray 2/5   Continues right where the last one left off, this one finds the brothers being cared for in a home for freaks. It’s lacking all the charm that the first one had, and the make-up is terrible for the most part. It’s played mostly for laughs, only it’s not funny.

061 10/21 Basket Case 3: The Progeny (1991) Blu-ray 2.5/5   Continues right were part two left off, and finds the gang of freaks on a road trip to visit a Doctor to help with the birth of Belial’s child. It sucked, but it’s better that the second one. Skip these and watch the original cult classic. I give that one a 4 out of 5.

062 10/21 The Vampire (1957) DVD 3/5   A Doctor accidentally takes pills derived from vampire bats and becomes a Dracula. This is a typical cheap 50’s monster film, which means I enjoyed it and am probably rating it higher than I should. It had everything I look for in a cheap 50’s monster film: terrible monster make-up, incredibly stupid scientific explanations and a plot that moves briskly.

063 10/21 Fright Night (1985) Blu-ray 4.5/5   Loved this one in 1985, still love it today. Easily one of the best films of the 80’s. I continue to have no interest in the remake.

064 10/22 In The Mouth of Madness (1995) Blu-ray 2.5/5   Revisited this one and I still find it mostly boring. Carpenter does Lovecraft to a degree, only its more silly than scary and oh so serious.

065 10/22 The Green Inferno (2013) Blu-ray 4/5   Eli Roth does his take on the cannibal picture. This one seemed to get hated on by pretty much everyone but I don’t know why. It’s as good as any other cannibal picture (so your taste may vary…) only without the gross animal cruelty. I thought this one was just fine and one of the better ones.

066 10/22 The Cat and the Canary (1939) DVR 3.5/5   A group of heirs must spend the night in a haunted house in order to see who gets the inheritance of their deceased uncle. Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard star in this horror comedy, and they are perfect in it. The film manages to balance the spooks and the laughs. I might have to check out more Bob Hope films.

067 10/22 Knock Knock (2015) Blu-ray 3.5/5   Eli Roth updates “Little Miss Innocence” (though Chris Warfield gets zero credit since they technically remade “Death Game”). Two girls show up in the rain and torture a dad who has the house to himself while his family is away. I really liked this one. Roth goes subtle (which in Roth terms means no gore) with this one and allow Keanu Reeves to do some character work. It get’s a little over the top plot wise in the third act, but not enough to ruin the film.

068 10/22 The Witch (2015) download 4/5   A pilgrim family is banished from their town and must contend with the woods. I really enjoyed this one. It plays out like a drama with a rather slow burn and skips the typical jump scares and horseshit you typically get in modern horror. It makes for a spooky film that can stick with you.

069 10/23 The Blob (1988) Blu-ray 3.5/5   This remake amps up the gore but otherwise stays pretty true to the original. As updates goes, this one is not only pretty good but might be better than the original.

070 10/23 Hardware (1990) Blu 3.5/5   In a “Mad Max “like apocalyptic future a scavenger brings his girlfriend home a robot head that ends up being a military robot that terrorizes her in her apartment. It is at it’s bone a Terminator knockoff, but it’s done with such style and flair that it mostly holds up as it’s own thing. The problem is the small scale ends up compromising it.

071 10/23 Street Trash (1987) Blu-ray 3/5

072 10/23 Street Trash (short film) Blu-ray 3/5   A liquor store owner starts selling contraband hooch to the homeless that causes them to literally melt. The only thing missing from this one is the “Troma” label in that it’s plot is just an excuse for every gross out gag in the book. Which is fine by me. I just found it a little tedious between the gross outs.

073 10/23 The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967) DVR 3/5   Roman Polanski does a Hammer Horror send up that largely left me flat. I didn’t find that the gags held up and it couldn’t seem to find it’s footing between broad spoof comedy and something more subtle.

074 10/23 Possession (1981) DVR 3.5/5   This one starts off more as a drama about a marriage unraveling in one of the most brutally portrayed ways I’ve seen. Then in the second half it gets completely fucked up. To say any more is to ruin it, just trust me, this is absolutely a horror film.

075 10/24 Sugar Hill (1974) Blu-ray 3/5   A woman recruits a voodoo zombie army to get back at the gangsters that murdered her boyfriend. Probably one of the more gonzo blaxploitation epics you’ll find. I didn’t think it held up as well on this second viewing, but that may be due to my first viewing taking place in a bar full of drunken film fans. That said, the plot is irresistible.

076 10/24 Blacula (1972) Blu-ray 4/5   It’s easy to write this one off as simply a “Black Dracula” movie, but it’s actually one of the better contemporary versions of the Dracula myths that helps it to transcend its exploitation bases. It ends up being a ton of fun.

077 10/24 Tentacles (1977) Blu-ray 2/5   I’m fine with a Jaws rip-off, and I can get by with cheap effects. There is no excuse though for horrendous plotting, stunt casting – I’m sure Henry Fonda didn’t spend more than a day on set – extraneous scenes that do nothing and worst off all, setting up a joke with no punchline. I hated this one. I’m only giving it two stars out of respect for Fonda, John Huston and Shelley Winters.

078 10/24 Dark Water (2002) Blu-ray 3/5   This one arrived yesterday fresh from Arrow Video so I thought I would spin it. Everything great about J-Horror is here, stylish atmosphere, creepy sound design and a unique ghost story. It just all leaves me flat.

079 10/25 Scream Blacula Scream (1973) Blu-ray 3.5/5   The sequel sees the good count resurrected by voodoo. It was fine for what it was but I prefer the original.

79 films and still not done! It was an epic challenge for me, so there will be one more post next week provided the internet isn’t abolished.

Movie a Day! : 123-129 – The End of May

Right, having started binge watching “Breaking Bad” has cut into a lot of my movie watching, which is why there was no post last week. Plus it’s the end of the month, so I figured let’s wrap it all up. Was everyone okay? My lack of posting didn’t cause anyone concern?

First, let’s look at the movies I watched the last week of May. A really good documentary and some kick-ass Kung-Fu beside the usual porn and garbage!

123 05-25 Rewind This! (2013) 3.5/5
This one was a really good documentary on the rise and fall of VHS. It concentrates on the collectors, but also gives a good history of the first VHS/Beta tapes, sell through etc. I love these type of documentaries, as they both make me feel relieved that my collecting isn’t as insanely nerdy as others, and jealous of other collectors nerdy achievements and that they’re not seen as losers and have a peer group to hang with and stuff. I wonder what that’s like? Hanging out with a group of friends?

124 05-25 Miss Nymphet’s Zap-In (1970) 2.5/5
So, in 1968 a new sketch variety comedy show appeared on American television called “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In.” It was pretty hip stuff, very sixties and made fun of American pop culture while celebrating it. It proved to be popular enough that the Godfather of Gore himself, Herschel Gordon Lewis, decided to go back to his nudie cutie roots and make a sexy spoof. This is the result. So painfully bad and cheap that Lewis used a pseudonym. When I say “bad and cheap” I of course mean by Lewis standards, which were shockingly low to begin with. We’re talking cheaper than Ed Wood here. Basically it’s a quick series of the worst puns and jokes disguised as skits, interspersed by staggeringly high/disinterested topless go-go dancers, and a group of people walking in a circle and fake freeze framing while shouting “ZAP!” Being from 1970, it’s completely out of touch with the audience it’s trying to attract. Too stupid for the comedy to be a draw, and with softcore transitioning to hardcore, to tame to draw the perverts. Actually, it’s too stupid to be anything but a curio really. The version I watched was in pretty rough shape, so Vinegar Syndrome gave it away! Free movie HERE! (Pay if you can)

125 05-25 Breaking Bad Season 2 (2009) 3.5/5
Not as exhilarating as the first season, but still a damn fine show. Nuff said.

126 05-25 Lady Whirlwind (1972) 3/5
So after the near constant complaining I’ve been doing recently over the “4 Action Movie Pack” set with the Gary Busey movie, I ended up buying a “Martial Arts Marathon” double feature disc by the same company. I will NEVER learn from my mistakes! This one is the second movie in the set, based on the cover art, but the first film on the disc based on the menu when you load it. It’s a proper 1970’s Hong Kong, Kung-Fu picture, so the first thing you have to do is turn on the shitty English dub track and turn off the subtitles. The only way to watch these is via the bad, Australian sounding dub tracks. I don’t know if the film is more dramatic in it’s original Mandarin, I will never know since I love watching these types of movies with the shitty dubs. Basic plot is “Lady Whirlwind” is after some guy who broke her sisters heart, causing the sister to commit suicide. Ends up the guy has his own vendetta going, and he asks Lady Whirlwind to hold off on kicking his ass so he can kick some other guys ass and fulfill his vengeance vow first. So it’s really convoluted, and the bad thing is that once the guy shows up, the film follows him more centrally than Lady Whirlwind. Which is a shame since Lady Whirlwind is really kick ass and the girl don’t need no man taking over her film! That said, the fights are pretty great and the movie moves and that’s good enough since I’m going to blow my brains out if I type “Lady Whirlwind” one more time.

*Just found the above poster. To cash in on “Deep Throat” it was released as “Deep Thrust”, despite not having anything remotely sexual in content. LOVE IT!

127 05-29 Hapkido (1972) 3.5/5
This one was the second film in the set with “Lady Whirlwind”, and boy was it good! Released the same year and also featuring Angela Mao, the basic plot is that of a trio of Chinese Hapkido students returning to China to open a school to help the Chinese people living under ruthless Japanese occupation. Of course, their peaceful plan doesn’t last long and a series of excellent shit-kicking Kung-Fu fights proceed. One of the trio is Sammo Hung, looking impossibly young and holy hell can he fight. This double feature set was a steal at $10, which is a good thing since I just received a 4-pack of martial arts movies from the same company. Remember, if it’s 70’s Kung-Fu, WATCH IT WITH THE SHITTY ENGLISH DUB!

128 05-30 Pretty Peaches 3 : The Quest (1989) 3/5
This is the second film in the Vinegar Syndrome double feature by Alex de Renzy. This one is again as much of a remake as opposed to a sequel, with the plot being pretty much the same. In this one Peaches (played by Keisha) is once again having confusing sexual dreams and heads out on a spiritual quest of sexual enlightenment. This one definitely has a cheaper budget, and framed for a direct to video release. That said, it actually has better production design, with the first few sex scenes having a surprisingly glossy and surreal look to them. The performances are on the whole better, with Jamie Gillis as a “Jimmy Stewart” pervo preacher and Jack Baker is genuinely hilarious as a tricky pimp. Being made this late in the 80’s, and on the cusp of the gonzo revolution, this one plays a bit like a last grasp by the filmmaker to make a proper narrative feature. He would make a few more in the 90’s, but will primarily concentrate on loop carriers that feature the word “anal” in the title under the pseudonym “Rex Borsky.” Anyway, it’s a lot better than I remember it from back in the 90’s when I more interested as porn as a device than a form and it should be interesting to see de Renzy’s earlier films since I’ve only seen a handful of his work.

129 05-31 Eat My Dust (1976) 3/5
This one is a Roger Corman produced car crash comedy. There was a bunch of car crash movies in the 70’s, “The Gumball Rally”, “Smokey & the Bandit”, lots of them! This one stars Ron Howard as a kid who steals a stock car off a track in order to impress a girl, and they take off on a massive car chase. It’s actually not bad considering the only reason Ron Howard agreed to star in it was for the chance to direct his first movie which ended up being for Roger Corman. We’ll get to that one next blog.

There it is! Corman!, Kung-Fu! TV! Wowsers! Let’s look at my totals for the month:

26  Watched    24 First Timers   0 In Theaters

Rats! I’m still off for a stupid movie a day! Sadly, most of it is due to added responsibility from Dad being so sick, he’s been in hospital since January. Which isn’t fun. Of course, watching a TV series is going to cut into the watching too. These days though, TV is better than most movies which is why I haven’t lost any sleep about not going to the theater.

Movie of the month: It’s a tie. I’m going with “Wolf of Wall Street” and that shitty “Bulletproof” with Gary Busey. The goddamned thing HAUNTS ME! Runner up is “Pretty Peaches 2” and “Rewind This!”.  Oh, and “Hapkido”. That one was pretty awesome too.

This month sucked, bring on June. I’m debating having a dark period for the summer where I turn off Twitter and Facebook. If I do, I’ll keep posting this blog.

The End

Movie a Day! : 024-034 – The End of January

Howdy film fans! Welcome back to the blog! 10 big films in this one to finish off the month of January. Don’t be scared, the comments are as short as ever so it wont take you all day to read. I figured since at this point my movie watching dipped I would compile more films in here. My movie watching continues to be rather slow, so I’m thinking by next week we should all be caught up.

Let’s get on with it, here’s the last films I watched in January!

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024 01-24 Cover Girl (1944) 2.5/5
B-Level Musical starring Rita Hayworth and Gene Kelly. It’s well done and notable for being more serious and psychological than a typical musical, but it kind of plods along as well. Many of the numbers with Kelly will be sort of revisited later (and done to perfection) in “Singing in the Rain”. The standout number is of course a Gene Kelly ballet featuring him confronting a spectral image of himself, and dancing both parts. Also notable for Phil Silvers in a supporting roll as a song and dance man.

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025 01-25 Hayseed Romance (1935) 2/5
026 01-25 Tars & Stripes (1935) 2/5
027 01-25 The E-Flat Man (1935) 2/5
These are 3 more of Buster Keaton’s sound films for Educational, and none of them are very notable so I don’t have much to say. The best gags in each of them where done better in his silent pictures.

028 01-25 The Timid Young Man (1935) 3.5/5
Just when I’m ready to write off the rest of Keaton’s sound shorts, Mack Sennett shows up to produce and direct one and saves the day. So far this is the best one yet, with some more inspired gags and a big push in the pacing. So i guess I’ll watch disc 2.

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029 01-25 The Act of Killing (2012) 4/5
This is the type of documentary that sits beside “Shoah” and has a depressing chat. It’s not pleasant by any means, but still a brilliant, disturbing and fascinating film. It tells the tale of the mass killings that happened in Indonesia in 1965 by having the military enforcers responsible re-enact their crimes in different film styles. Watch it.

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030 01-26 Herschell Gordon Lewis: The Godfather of Gore (2010) 3.5/5
Pretty damned fine documentary by Something Weird Video on HG Lewis. Lewis is notorious in film for two reasons; introducing extreme gore to the “Nudie Cutie” exploitation circuit, and being horrendously cheap and borderline inept at making movies. This doc  pretty much sticks to the films as opposed to personal stories, with lots of interviews and clips, including some fun outtakes. I thought it odd that they skipped some titles, but ends up they’re on the hour or so of outtakes. Also included on the disc is a pretty fun additional short film. Basically, if you ever wondered about Lewis and the invention of the gore film, this is $20 very well spent.

031 01-26 Hot Night at the Go-Go Lounge (?) 2.5/57
This is the short featured on the “Godfather of Gore” disc, a nudie running about 10 minutes featuring a couple of topless dancers dancing for a handful of guys in a basement made to look like a club. So rare I can’t find a release date for the thing (I’m guessing 1964), it’s pretty fun in the wacky dumb way these things typically are. Notable for an extended version of “The Monkey” and a pretty good twerk. I think, I might not know what twerking is.

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032 01-28 Tonight and Every Night (1945) 2.5/5
Another Rita Hayworth musical, this one telling the true story of a music hall show in Britain that never missed a performance during the blitz. Surprisingly serious in tone for a musical, and not as “Rah-RAH!” on the propaganda front as you would suspect. Hayworth is absolutely gorgeous to watch in this one, but the end result with a forced romance is a little flat.

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033 01-29 Lord of the Flies (1963) 4/5
The first adaptation of the William Golding’s book continues to the best one. Natural acting kids, all shot on location, it feels as much like a documentary than it does a fiction.

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034 01-31 Gilda (1946) 4/5
This one is a really well done film noir starring Glenn Ford as a down on his luck schlub trying to escape the memory of a woman, and Rita Hayworth as the woman. Beautifully filmed with a plot that isn’t afraid to take it’s time to tell it’s story. Rita’s striptease doesn’t hurt the film either.

So my final totals for January are as follows:

34 Watched, 29 First Timers, 0 In Theaters.

So off to a strong start in the challenge. With the ongoing cancer dad situation though. we’ll have to see if I can keep the numbers up. Suspense! Let me know if 10 films is too much. I plan once caught up to do a “Weekly” round up.

The End