Movie A Day! 041-45: Deceptive Practice

A real mixed bag in this post. Regional sleaze, bikers, magic, and two very different noirs. Movies are fun guys!


041 02-01 Murder on the Emerald Sea (1973) 3/5
Vinegar Syndrome do it again, digging out a previously thought lost film, this time presented on an extremely limited edition DVD. Someone is killing the winners of the “Artists & Models” ball on the fancy cruise ship Emerald Seas, so a detective gets rooked into going undercover in drag to solve the mystery. This one might be one of the campiest films I’ve seen in a long time, and while it’s certainly cheap and goofy, it was pretty funny. Plus they somehow got Henny “Take my wife, please!” Youngman and Johnny “Tarzan” Weissmuller to cameo in it. Maybe if you’re lucky, VS will stream it on there streaming application when it goes live, see last blog for details.


042 02-02 Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay (2012) 4/5
Ricky Jay is arguably the best card magician living today. Most will probably recognize him from his acting career in such films as BOOGIE NIGHTS and the TV series DEADWOOD. I’m a huge fan, and as such I really enjoyed this documentary. It follows his path and career in magic. He’s cagey about personal details, says he left his family when he was seventeen but never explains the details. Instead he goes into the lives and experiences with the magicians he learned from. Lots of great clips, card tricks that will melt your brain in ways that flashy magicians like David Copperfield and even my beloved Penn & Teller never do. So it gets a recommend from me both as a look at Ricky Jay, and as a history of card magic.


043 02-05 The Stranger (1946) 4/5
Orson Welles directs this one, playing a Nazi war criminal hiding in a small American town, with with war crimes special agent Edward G. Robinson hot on his heels. This one is a top notch noir and Welles’ direction is stunning. Even basic set-ups are dazzling in composition. Add in a dead on cast (Loretta Young more than holds her own as Welles’ unknowing wife) and a tight script and this is one hell of a film. The only problem with it is that it slipped into public domain, so it’s tricky to find a copy that does the cinematography justice. The version I watched was shit transfer wise, but it’s such a damned fine film that you can look past it. I’ll have to track down a better copy.


044 02-06 Scarlet Street (1945) 4/5
Edward G Robinson is at his meekest in this noir directed by the great Fritz Lang. He plays a schlubby, lovesick clerk who runs into a girl one night, and ends up getting manipulated in typical Femme Fatale fashion. Lang pulls no punched, the film is desperate from the start and the fall seems never ending. One of the more emotionally brutal noirs you’ll see.


045 02-07 Angels From Hell (1968) 3/5
Pretty much a lost genre now, the biker picture. This one was quite fun though. A guy comes back to town, gets his bike gang back together and start hell raising all over town. It’s funny that they try to portray the gang sympathetically as people who just want to their own thing without hassle from society, man, a be free! The problem is, they’re a bunch of assholes. so you never really feel sorry for the guy as he tries to keep his gang together and what not. Still fun though.

It was interesting watching these. Edward G. Robinson was considered a leading man. I couldn’t imagine someone looking like he does being a leading man these days. Times sure have changed, we’re much more superficial right? I think the closest actor we have to him would be Paul Giamatti, who is about hundred times better looking, but rarely gets leading parts despite being amazing in everything he does.

A friendly reminder, it would be cool if you could kick some bucks to the Vinegar Syndrome crowdfunder I talked about last time since they are in their final week.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/vinegarsyndrome-tv-instant-digital-exploitation/

Movie A Day! 036-040: Indiegogo Playbook Confession

So this one features a couple of Vinegar Syndrome releases (not the best ones they have to offer, but two all the same). Anyone who’s read this blog should be able to tell, I’m a pretty big fan of this company. They are doing the big work protecting, restoring and preserving a genre of film, exploitation, from disappearing. They’re doing the work that most of the major studios refuse to do (See MGM and the protection of John Wayne’s THE ALAMO for an example) as an independent. They are introducing a new initiative this year, a streaming channel that will start off offering over 200 films, porn, horror, who knows what else, in a Netflix like service. They are currently offering an indiegogo campaign to get the project started. So if you’ve ever been curious about the films I review, but don’t want to purchase, it’s a great way to check them out, help them out, and keep the movies that influenced a generation of film makers alive. Click the link, share the campaign, and watch their video, it’s pretty cool.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/vinegarsyndrome-tv-instant-digital-exploitation/


036 01-29 An Act of Confession (1971) 2.5/5
The final film in this Peekarama edition (unless you count a soft version of CRY FOR CINDY) is a bit of a mixed bag. Barely released, never distributed in New York and thought lost, Vinegar Syndrome found a print of this Anthony Spinelli Nunsploitation in the archives of fellow porn legend, director Alex de Renzy. Sadly, it’s not fully uncut, but it is as complete as it’s likely ever going to be. I’m going to guess time wise this one came after Ken Russell’s THE DEVILS (still not released uncut by Warner Bros. despite a HD restoration) since it shares a similar look to whatever version of THE DEVILS I saw (a patched together uncut version from the UK). Explicit films based around nuns getting horned out due to erotic fantasies are always problematic I guess, whether it’s a porno or a Warner Brothers film. Anyway, this one isn’t that bad, and actually plays a bit arty instead of exploitative. Though it is exploitative, there’s a bit of hardcore thrown in/not fully cut out (?) and most importantly, the final scene with the main nun and Jesus(!) is mostly intact. That said, the constant Gregorian chants and rather uninspired plot leave it meandering a little bit, like a less interesting WAKEFIELD POOL’S BIBLE! (also by Vinegar Syndrome). So it’s more of an interesting curiosity than a proper “Good” film.


037 01-30 Silver Linings Playbook (2012) 4/5
It’s technically a rom-com with a stupid title, but I really enjoy this one. I think because it deals with mental illness in an open way, yet never makes actual fun of it. Humour comes from situations, but never the disease itself. Anyway, it’s good, and Bradley Cooper is about as good as he gets in it. Jennifer Lawrence steals the show despite Chris Tuckers attempts in a role that requires him to tone down his usual film persona. Good stuff all around this one.


038 01-31 The Comedy (2012) 2.5/5
I’m a big Tim & Eric fan, so I’ve been wanting to see Tim Heidecker’s dramatic debut for a while. Finally took the plunge, and it’s not great. Tim is fine, the movie is about a wealth fund kid kicking around New York being an asshole. The film is pretty much plot-less as a rambling character study that never really finds a point. Or I just didn’t get what they were trying to achieve.


039 01-31 Impact (1949) 3/5
A B-level noir starring Brian Donlevy as an industrial magnet who’s gold digger wife plots to have killed. The first fifteen minutes play in a burst of energy that would be the plot of most film noirs with the Donlevy’s attempted murder and a mistaken identity plot that then wanders for the rest of the film as Donlevy, presumed dead, lives a new life as a small town mechanic. Shave a bit out of the middle and this could of been a twisty, noir classic. As it stands, it wears out it’s welcome a bit, especially since the film could of ended at the twenty minute mark with a a single call to the police.


040 01-31 Oriental Hawaii (1982) 2/5
When Carlos Tobalina (JUNGLE BLUE) uses an assumed name on a directors credit, you know you’re in trouble since none of his films are all that great. This one is about a family who rents a couple of rooms to some asian university girls for some extra cash. That’s it. The most base of porn plots for a very base porn. This half of the Vinegar Syndrome Peekarama double feature is far from their best effort, though the actual transfer quality is right up there like all their releases. I’ll probably get to the more interesting second feature MAI LIN Vs. SERENA next week.

That’s about it for this one. Be sure to shoot a couple bucks over to the VS campaign if you have some extra bucks to shoot. They, and genre fans everywhere will thank you!

Movie A Day! 021-025: “Gone, Really Gone, Girl!”

Here we are with two movies you might actually watch! Balanced with some filth and another Doctor Who.

021 01-15 Touch Me (1971) 3/5
Cracked open another one of Vinegar Syndromes PEEK-A-RAMA sets. This one features three films (CRY FOR CINDY, TOUCH ME and the previously lost ACT OF CONFESSION, 4 if you count an alternate version of CRY FOR CINDY. Those VS folks really know how to deliver the seedy goods) by Anthony Spinelli who did such good work on SEXWORLD. This first film pre-dates DEEP THROAT and is in the “classic”, for it’s time, educational style. A psychiatrist is introducing the viewer to the form of therapy known as “Encounter Groups” because the stress of the modern world and Vietnam has us all hung up man! It’s all an excuse to eventually getting around to showing people having sex, with the BS documentary form in place to try to give the film merit so the makers don’t get chucked in the clink for being dirty pornographers. Anyway, this was one of the best of this type that I’ve seen with the writing more sincere than these typically are (no “professors” telling their students to whack off to playboy like in the Ed Wood written one) and the Doctor, while a total quack (and not actually a real doctor of course) actually coming off as concerned for the mental health of the “patients”. It’s also in form with others from the era where it’s mostly a softcore picture with hardcore inserts, until the final reel or so anyway. So as a porn flick, you can do better on a tube site. As a relic of a forgotten era though, it’s a fun watch.

022 01-16 Gone Girl (2014) 4/5
Finally got my hands on the latest David Fincher film and it didn’t disappoint. Technically perfect like all his films, I loved this noir throwback. The less you know the better, go with the ride and you’re in for a real treat as this one could sit quite comfortable at the table with VERTIGO and LAURA. Affleck has never been better, we can stop shitting on him for PEARL HARBOR and ARMAGEDDON, he’s the real deal. Rosamund Pike is no slouch either, and I’ll leave it at that out of fear of spoilers.

023 01-17 Doctor Who S02E02 (6parts) – The Dalek Invasion of Earth (1964) 3.5/5
This is the story that should have been the season opener! The Doctor, FINALLY get’s the group back to contemporary London at their regular size, only to find London decimated by a Dalek invasion! The Daleks are enslaving humans, turning some of them into cyborg guards, to mine into the earths core so they can get their hands on the magnetism. I mean come on, how badass are the Daleks? Anyway, the Doctor solves everything, but the most notable aspect of this one is, he leaves his granddaughter Susan behind with only one shoe! She’s fallen for some guy, and he thinks it’s best for her to stay, even though she doesn’t want to! The Doctor is such an asshole! Looking forward to the next one now since I’m curious if they acknowledge the Dalek decimation of Earth as cannon or some dumb alternate dimension type thing.

024 01-17 Rush (2013) 3/5
This movie proves that even one of the most boring sports to watch, auto racing of any type, can make for an exciting movie. Or it’s just me oddly enjoying movies based on sports I hate. Anyway, this tells the true story James Hunt and Niki Lauda, sport rivals in the Formula 1 circuit in the 70’s. Ron Howard does a good job on his second car picture (GRAND THEFT AUTO was his first, it’s arguably better), and the actors are fine I guess. I mean, Thor plays the handsome Brit playboy Hunt and some guy no one’s heard of plays the miserable German, it’s about as base and stereotypical as two real people can be. Still, it’s a good one worth checking out, though admittedly I’d rather just watch an actual documentary.

025 01-17 Cry For Cindy (1976) 3/5
Anthony Spinelli goes for tragedy in this adult film from the porno chic era. It tells the story of Cindy, a girl who gets into hooking to help get her boyfriend through doctor school. It’s told as a remembrance from the people who knew her, since the film pretty much starts with her suicide. Hits all the plot points you would expect, but manages to hold your interest. Not for least the near constant queefing of Cindy on the soundtrack. Drinking game!

After a few days, if you think too hard about GONE GIRL it doesn’t make a lot of sense. But like Fincher’s THE GAME, it’s still a hell of a ride, plot issues or no. I’m already itching to watch it again. I also knocked half a star off RUSH. I really would rather just watch a documentary on the two racer guys. They lived a public life, their races were all taped. Just make a fucking documentary already!

That’s about it for this posting. I’m exhausted and can’t think of much to write.

Movie A Day!: 364-368 – Not Quite A Movie A Day

Not a big week of movie watching this past one. I’ve been catching up on shows I fell behind on with the horror challenge, as well as had some evenings blown out.

Of course, the big movie news this past week was that it ends up that Bill Cosby is a horrible, serial rapist. I always find these things conflicting. I, like most people, grew up with Cosby, both with his stand-up and his TV shows like Fat Albert, that magic pen educational thing, The Cosby Show. God damn it Bill, why did you have to be a monster? I nearly bought the complete Fat Albert a while back, and part of me still want’s to re-watch them, but I don’t want to give him my money. Kind of like how I always planned to watch all of Woody Allen’s films, and now will probably steal copies rather than buy the discs, if I bother to even do that. Not that I’m so morally high minded, I’m still picking up Roman Polanski discs. Does the weakness of the creators invalidate their art? I don’t know. I’m not the only hypocrite though, that fucking monster Mike Tyson continues to get movie roles, and now a cartoon series on Adult Swim. Why is he given a pass?

I hate this decade. It seems like for the past few years, every week has some new horror happening. The movies have mostly gone to shit too.

364 11-16 Doctor Who (2005) Season 8 (10 Episodes) 3.5/5
As some of you know, I was blogging recaps of these, so you know I was really enjoying them at the start. The first few episodes were pretty solid, and Peter Capaldi as the new Doctor is doing a great job. My issues were with baggage from the old series. Clara is awful, and the romantic stuff with here is equally awful. There was a few episodes, especially “Kill the Moon” that just weren’t as good as they could of been, and it was largely due to Clara being a dead-faced side kick, and the producers constantly bringing in kids for the Doctor to deal with. Too many fucking kids, frankly. Thankfully the two part finale rights most of the wrongs, so I’m still in for next season. Plus they prick-teased a Christmas special with Nick Frost as Santa Claus, so that’s a must watch.

365 11-16 The Wolf Man (1941) 5/5
Lon Chaney Jr. gets his starring role, creating the title monster on the Universal Horror classic. This one is really pretty great, even if Chaney Jr. is a bit miscast as Larry Talbot, returning to his home town to reconcile with his old man, the great Claude Rains. Once he gets werewolf-ed though, it gets great, and Chaney is great as the Wolf Man. This one has it all, Bela Lugosi as a gypsy, cool Wolf Man make up, foggy moors. On top of that, pretty much everything you know about werewolf’s comes from this movie. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

366 11-17 D.O.A. (1950) 3.5/5
I finally got around to seeing this one after seeing the remake from the late 80’s with Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan. I liked that one, and I liked this one. Edmond O’Brien is in the lead as the man who is poisoned and has 48 hours to find his killer. It’s good stuff, I just wish this one wasn’t public domain since the copy in the admittedly cheap DVD set I got is the pits and barely watchable.

367 11-22 The Last Hurrah (1958) 4/5
This one stars the great Spencer Tracy as a long running mayor looking for re-election. Since it’s 1958, the old ways of politics are fading away as television and photogenic candidates are becoming important. There’s some nice commentary in this one, as well as bits that get a little over melodramatic, as is often the case when director John Ford deals with Irish leads. That said, it never wanders or annoys, and the support cast featuring many John Ford regulars (and Basil Rathbone, who almost steals the picture) is top notch.

368 11-22 Purely Physical (1982) 2/5
This is the first film in yet another PeekARama collection from Vinegar Syndrome. This set features two films from Chris Warfield, a director I never heard from. The basic plot is a woman takes a job working the desk of a motels night shift so she write about the patrons. That’s it for plot, the film is basically loops and never all that interesting.

That’s it for this round-up. Next week I should hopefully get some more movies in. I can;t believe I didn’t get a Zatoichi in! I have to get them wrapped up, I just received a massive Bruce Lee set so I can re-watch all of his films. As a bonus I got a four film collection of Jimmy Wang films. No idea what those will be like.

The End

Movie a Day! : 063-072 – The End of March

Well, here we go. The end of March! More classic movies and filth to look at! Let’s dig in!

https://i2.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/f9/Walk_a_Crooked_Mile_Lobby_Card.jpg

063 03-16 Walk A Crooked Mile (1948) 3.5/5
Another film to be found in the “Film Noir Classics IV” set. This one is more of a police procedural as opposed to a proper noir. Basic plot is: Two federal agents, one American and one Brit on loan from Scotland Yard are after communist spies that are stealing nuclear secrets from one the leading Nuclear testing base in California. It’s a pretty good picture, that has a noir look of deep shadows, but not a noir plot. That said it’s a fun watch that isn’t hyperactive in “Red Scare” propaganda, and it features Raymond Burr in an early role as one of the commie heavies.

https://i1.wp.com/www.tvshowsondvd.com/graphics/news3/FunnyOrDiePresents_S2.jpg

064 03-16 Funny or Die Presents Season Two (2011) 2/5
The last set/season from HBO. This is one of those shows that you want to like more but just flat out don’t. It’s largely not funny or inspired. Some of the better bits, like the recurring “Lady Refs” and “United States Police Department” start strong but peter out really quickly. The rest feel like filler. That said, my biased love for everything “Tim & Eric” means I needed this set, and I did love their contributions. The other exception was Rob Huebel’s “Do You Want To See A Dead Body?’ series which was the only other highlight to the set. Since it’s so miss over hit, you’re better served just finding the good stuff off Youtube or wherever it posts online.

https://i0.wp.com/www.tuxboard.com/photos/2012/10/Film-Flight.jpg

 

065 03-21 Flight (2012) 2/5
Basically this is a “TV Movie of the Week” with a big budget and name actors. Denzel Washington is a pilot who’s plain crashes, caused by mechanical failure. He manages to pull off an amazing maneuver that saves most of the passengers. He’s also a coke-head drunk, so now it’s a big problem. That’s the set up. This movie is a total mess that despite being preachy (drunk pilots are bad), makes it really clear that this guy is a pretty awesome drunk pilot. It’s directed by Robert Zemeckis, and as of now, all the good will he earned with “Back to the Future” and “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” is burned.

https://i0.wp.com/images.moviepostershop.com/grey-gardens-movie-poster-1975-1020235434.jpg

066 03-22 Grey Gardens (1975) 4/5
067 03-23 The Beales of Grey Gardens (2006) 3/5
This is a pair of documentaries by the Maysles brothers about Edith and “Lil Eddie” Beale, eccentric cousins to Jackie Onassis, as they hold out living in their East Hampton estate. There’s not much to say, the Maysles are so personal with the subjects that it’s awkward and fascinating to watch despite not really having a “story”, you just spend 90 minutes with a reclusive mother and daughter, and wonder how and why they live the way they do. The original film is rightfully a cult classic that is both tragic and hilarious in equal parts. The follow up film is assembled from outtakes filmed at the time of the original and feels like more of the same (which it is) where as I would of personally liked to have learned more about them as opposed to witnessing them. Still, the pair makes for an interesting watch for sure, and both can be found on the Criterion Collections recent Blu-ray.

https://russonabus.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/36063-checkitoutwithdrstevebrule_s1.jpg

068 03-23 Check it Out! With Dr. Steve Brule Seasons One & Two (2010) 4/5
This is a series spun off from “Tim & Eric Awesome Show Great Job”. Like everything Tim & Eric, you either love it or hate it. Where am I on that spectrum? The “Boats” episode is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. Nuff said ya dingus!

https://i1.wp.com/galestorm.tv.hostbaby.com/img/Between_Midnight_and_Dawn/Between_Midnight_and_Dawn_poster.jpg

069 03-25 Between Midnight and Dawn (1950) 3/5
Another from the “Film Noir Classics IV” set, this one is more of a police procedural crime picture that a proper noir. Follows a pair of prowl car cops as they negotiate a romantic triangle and a small time mob boss about to kick start a mob war. The romance feels forced and light which causes the more serious crime angle to suffer. Still, Edmond O’Brien is always fun to watch, and this is no exception.

https://i1.wp.com/postermuseum.com/11111/USfi241UNKNwalkeast1952.JPG

070 03-28 Walk East On Beacon (1952) 2.5/5
The final film in the previously mentioned Noir Classics set is another procedural film that has the “Red Scare” panic cranked up to 10. While beautifully shot, acted and featuring the style tropes found in noir, it just never really works. The switch from following the cops to following the commies is distracting so you never really connect with any of the characters, which causes the film to plod along and feel much longer than the running time. I’m also going to go on record that despite the promise of the poster, I doubt this is the “Crime of the Century”.

https://i1.wp.com/classicflix.com/images/columbia_noir_4.jpg

So that’s it for this TCM set, I give the whole thing a 4/5. While none of the films in it will change your life, on the whole they’re still pretty good and you can do a lot worse with your dollars.

https://i2.wp.com/images.moviepostershop.com/what-price-hollywood-movie-poster-1932-1020143316.jpg

071 03-29 What Price Hollywood? (1932) 3.5/5
This one is about a waitress who gets discovered by a big time movie director and put into the pictures. It’s my understanding that this film was the template of the “A Star Is Born”genre, and it certainly hits all the plot points of that movie. Heck, the director of this one later did the Judy Garland version! Anyway, it was pretty good, with Constance Bennett excellent as the waitress. She plays the part more brassy and ambitious, as opposed to completely naive and wonder-eyed, and it makes for a better picture since the men come off more weak and base. I’m guessing it’s due to being a pre-code, or at least on edge of the code line that women could still be strong instead of victims. That said, the very end is a let down, and I’ll leave it at that.

https://i2.wp.com/www.cinemaretro.com/uploads/winterheat.jpg

072 03-29 Abduction of an American Playgirl (1975) 3/5
This one is a roughie porn put out by Vinegar Syndrome as the debut of their “Peek-a-Rama” double feature line. I’m guessing that they are using it to separate the hardcore porn from the softcore exploitation of the “Drive-In” collections. Anyway, this one is about a couple of broke horn dogs who kidnap a girl to rape in a cabin since they can’t afford to go out and pick up a girl due to being broke. That said, it’s all played for laughs since the two are buffoons, and the girl they kidnap is more game for them than they are for her. So it’s a reversal and theme that is still going to be offensive to pretty much anyone these days, but actually plays pretty good with some genuine laughs to be found in the situation.

So that wraps up March! Here’s my totals:

21 Watched   19 First Timers  0 In Theaters

I’m well off now for the “Movie A Day” goal, and way off from my totals for March last year.

41 Watched, 37 First Timers, 1 In Theater

I’m screwed!

Feel free to offer suggestions of what you would like to see me rant about. Also, please do share and spread my brain around.

noir,

The End

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.

https://i1.wp.com/images.moviepostershop.com/anatomy-of-a-psycho-movie-poster-1961-1020433006.jpg

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.

https://i0.wp.com/posters.flickchart.com/posters/1959/posters/1488E23555-432f.jpg

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.

https://i1.wp.com/image.tmdb.org/t/p/w342/vaZaPFQJKWcRR3SNVR7ELSwkdWS.jpg

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.

https://i2.wp.com/images.moviepostershop.com/the-suckers-movie-poster-1976-1020255565.jpg

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.

https://i1.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/e/ea/The_Corner.jpg/250px-The_Corner.jpg

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.

https://i1.wp.com/www.iceposter.com/thumbs/MOV_563dd7db_b.jpg

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.

https://i2.wp.com/images.moviepostershop.com/johnny-o-clock-movie-poster-1947-1020414206.jpg

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.

https://i2.wp.com/www.soundonsight.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/koth1.jpghttps://i0.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/9/9d/UnderneathPoster.jpg/220px-UnderneathPoster.jpg

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.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BbYHx28CEAAmkmd.jpg

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