Movie A Day! 141-151: Sprout Wings Super Soul Brother!

So much for getting the blog under control. This one looks longer than it is, but it’s still pretty long. I watched some double feature stuff that hit around the five film marks and didn’t want to split them into two blogs. So you get a little extra and I’ll try to get this thing back to the fives next time.


141 04-27 Supersoul Brother (1978) 2.5/5
“Wild Man” Steve takes a page from Rudy Ray Moore’s DOLEMITE playbook and tries to make a his own blaxploitaton action comedy. He fails in almost every regard. Steve plays a wino who gets picked up by a couple of thieves to be injected with a super serum so he can be used to rob a jewel safe. It’s dirt cheap, the acting is atrocious, but it does have it’s charms as both a spoof on THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN (the original title, and the one on the print on Vinegar Syndrome’s DVD is THE SIX THOUSAND DOLLAR NIGGER) and for the gusto of Wildman himself who tries his darn-dist to spin straw into gold and fails pretty much completely. A hell of a time capsule, and as the first in Vinegar Syndromes collaboration with the American Genre Film Archive, it’s going to be fun to see what they bring out next.


142 4-28 A Life In Dirty Movies (2013) 3.5/5
A pretty good documentary on Joe Sarno, one of the first and best of the sexploitation filmmakers at the dawn of the genre. This one mostly deals with Sarno at the end of his life trying to get one last film financed. I would of preferred more of an overview since I can only imagine some of the stories he has, but what we do have in here is still interesting. Having people like John Waters, Jamie Gillis and Annie Sprinkle on hand to discuss Sarno and his work also helps to keep the film moving. Now we need someone to tackle restoring Sarno’s surviving films.


143 4-30 Garlic Is As Good As Ten Mothers (1980) 3/5
Les Blank skips the profiles of people and goes straight to food and music with this one. It’s a history of garlic, showing many of the ways it is prepared as well as the folklore. Some of the fanatics come off a bit hippie dippy and crackers, but it is a fun watch. Since it’s literally about the food, this one is missing the heart found in his other pictures.


144 05-01 When Taekwondo Strikes (1973) 3/5
A pretty good chop socky feature starring Angela Mao about Koreans revolting against Japanese rule. Lots of different styles of martial arts are in view, and it also features Jhoon Rhee, known as the father of American Taekwondo. So there’s lots of fun to be had in this one.


145 05-02 Little Miss Innocence (1973) 2.5/5
146 05-02 Teenage Seductress (1975) 2.5/5
This is a pair of softcore features from Chris Warfield that Vinegar Syndrome put out in their DRIVE-IN COLLECTION. The first features a pair of hippie girls who shack up and torture an older music executive when he picks them up hitchhiking in LA. It’s the most porn-y of the two since they emotionally abuse him with constant sex, and it’s as sleazy as it sounds. TEENAGE though downplays the sex to be more messed up dramatically as it features a woman who is out to find her father that skipped out when she was born, in order to sleep with him and try to ruin his life that way. Did I mention it was messed up? Anyway, the pair are actually pretty decent watches since they play more serious than the usual goofy that is sexploitation, and are looking great in these DVD restorations.


147 05-02 Escape From New York (1981) 3.5/5
John Carpenter’s cult classic features a breakout role for Kurt Russell who stars as Snake Plissken who in the future dystopia of 1997 has to retrieve the President of the United States who has crashed into the prison island of Manhattan. It makes zero sense, but Carpenter and Russell totally pull it off. I don’t love this one as much as others, but I have no knocks against it, it delivers and the cast featuring genre legends like Lee Van Cleef and Isaac Hayes doesn’t hurt either.


148 05-02 Champagne For Breakfast (1980) 3.5/5
Chris Warfield again, this time with a later porno chic effort that manages to work. The script, about a guy who plays gay in order to get a job as a chauffeur/bodyguard to a young woman who has recently become vice president of an ad agency, genuinely works on it’s own both dramatically and as a comedy. The actors, featuring stars like Leslie Bovee, John Leslie and Kay Parker all have the chops to pull it off, they could of cut the sex out and still had a decent late seventies comedy. A short comedy though since ther is a ton of sex in this one, which makes the story working aspect of it all the more unusual. Typical of everything they put out, the Vinegar Syndromes presentation is top notch.


149 05-03 Sprout Wings And Fly (1983) 4/5
150 05-03 Julie: Old Time Tales of the Blue Ridge (1991) 4/5
151 05-03 My Old Fiddle: A Visit with Tommy Jarrell in the Blue Ridge (1995) 4/5
Another trio of documentaries from Les Blank. SPROUT features fiddle player Tommy Jarrell, in his eighties when it was shot, telling stories of life in the Blue Ridge mountains (nearly all of them about whisky and death), and playing a ton of amazing fiddle songs. It’s a brilliant piece of work, and Jarrell is one hell of a storyteller. This Les Blank blu-ray set just never fails to please. JULIE was shot at the same time, and is a short film featuring Tommy’s older sister telling stories and singing a couple of songs, while MY OLD FIDDLE is more of Tommy playing and talking. As a whole, they are not only a entertaining films, but a record of a lost time.

See? It wasn’t so long and at least the movies were varied eh?

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Movie A Day! 056-060: X-Rated Bears

This one is a weird update!


056 02-17 Carnal Haven (1975) 2/5
Another Carlos Tobalina double feature Peekarama from Vinegar Syndrome kicks off with this one. It’s another one of those films that has couples seeking sex therapy as a way to justify the film as educational. Which is all the excuse Tobalina needs to poorly shoot another massive, dull orgy that takes up most of the picture. I’ve recently learned that Tobalina shot most of these to show in his own theaters, which explains why they are so wonky and workman like compared to the better directors. That said, you have to kind of admire him since he wrote, shot, cast, and even scored his own films which makes him more of an auteur then most of the auteurs out there. I just wish the films weren’t so dull since the goofy dialogue can only carry things so far.


057 02-17 X-Rated: The Greatest Adult Movies of All Time (2015) 3/5
Clip show! They hit the 70’s Porno Chic era dead solid for the most part, then completely blow it by skipping the 80’s completely to concentrate on some films from the 90’s on, most that I never heard of. I’m guessing people were more interested in catalogue sales than a true list, because when you skip the 80’s, you skip the Dark Bros. and NEW WAVE HOOKERS, which is bullshit. That said, it’s not a bad starting point for anyone interested in the genre, and the interviews are pretty great featuring old and new stars.


058 02-18 Her Last Fling (1976) 2/5
A young woman is diagnosed with a fatal disease, so since this is a Carlos Tobalina movie, she uses the little time left to participate in a bunch of uninspired orgy’s. Thankfully, all that orgy-ing cures her in the end. Spoiler alert. This one wraps up the double feature with Carnal Haven, they’re certainly not the highlight of Vinegar Syndrome’s catalogue.


059 02-18 Disney Nature: Bears (2014) 4/5
The latest Disney Nature film is another winner for the series. Gorgeous photography, cute-ass bear cubs and John C. Reilly providing perfect narration, this one is the best on since AFRICAN CATS. If you’re looking for hard science, watch one of those stuffy Attenborough nature docs. If you want a cute, fun story like the old True-Life Adventures, this is the goods.


060 02-18 Millionaire: A Major Fraud (2003) 3/5
I stumbled on this one after falling down a Youtube well. It’s a program examining how Charles Ingram cheated his way to winning a million dollars on the UK version of “Who Want’s To Be A Millionaire.” Plotting with another contestant, it shows how a simple timed cough was all it took to feed him the answers. Pretty neat stuff, and I’m glad he was caught.

Bears, fraud and porn. Pretty typical, I guess. As a coincidence, I ended up listening to an episode of my favourite podcast THE DOLLOP about a guy who scammed PRESS YOUR LUCK in the 80’s. It was even more interesting then the Millionaire one, and there’s a documentary on it on youtube, so expect that review to be coming soon!