Movie A Day! 061-070: Not As Long As You Think

Don’t worry, this post isn’t as huge as it looks. I haven’t gone back to the ten movie posts. I’ve had the week off work and have been watching tons of stuff while re-organizing my movie collection. So this one is larger than usual since I’ve combined some reviews.


061 02-19 The Naked Cage (1986) 2.5/5
062 02-19 Savage Island (1985) 1.5/5
These two are a couple of women in prison films that wrap up the CULT MOVIE MARATHON VOLUME 2 set that also had the previously reviewed ANGELS FROM HELL and the deliriously wonky CHATTER BOX. Anyway, Cage is about as 80’s as a film can get without shooting cocaine out of the screen. It’s a typical WIP film with an innocent girl getting wrongfully stuck in the clink and having to deal with lesbians and whatever. It’s funny enough, and since it’s from Cannon Films, it’s perfectly 80’s cheese that manages to barely hold your interest as it clicks through the tropes.
Savage Island stars Linda Blair (THE EXORCIST) as a woman who escaped from a deadly south american prison where women are slaved out and forced to work in an emerald mine. At least that what the opening and closing 5-10 minutes are about. The middle of the picture is an ineptly cut together hodge podge of two Italian WIP pictures dubbed over with the emerald plot. It doesn’t make any sense at all, and no amount of Linda Blair narration can help it.
So the set of four films kind of wimpers out, but considering this 4-pack can be found for $10, it’s not that bad of deal for the first disc.


063 02-19 They Made Me A Criminal (1939) 3.5/5
John Garfield stars as a boxer set up for murder who lams it’s to California and ends up working on a date farm with the Bowery Boys. It’s much better than that description would lead you to think, with a solid performance by Garfield, and mixing of film noir and juvenile delinquent films. Also, it was directed by Busby Berkeley who is better known for his amazing and crazy musicals. So it’s kind of neat to see a crime picture from him.


064 02-19 Big Bucks: The Press Your Luck Scandal (2003) 3.5/5
As promised last blog, I watched this special examining how Michael Larson figured out and ran up a record win on the game show. It’s a bit cheesey in presentation but the footage of the shows is absolutely riveting and fascinating. The Dollop podcast is funnier though.


065 02-20 For Single Swingers Only (1968) 2/5
066 02-20 Her Odd Tastes (1969) 3/5
067 02-20 Marsha the Erotic Housewife (1970) 2/5
It’s a Don Davis triple feature in this Vinegar Syndrome release. It’s a trio of sexploitation films, none of them all that great frankly. HER ODD TASTES stands out since it gets a bit wackier with a satanic bit and other weirdness. The other two are pretty typical sex films for the era.


068 02-20 The Counselor (2013) 2/5
I had no idea that Ridley Scott did a film between PROMETHEUS (which was really good) and EXODUS (I haven’t seen it yet, but it seems to have a lot of hate going at it, for the wrong reasons), but he did and this was it. Star power galore, with Michael Fassbender, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Brad Pitt, Javier Bardem, hell John Leguizamo even shows up in a cameo. The basic plot is about the title Counselor getting mixed up in a big drug deal, but man, does this movie have fat to chew. It’s written by Cormac McCarthy (THE ROAD), and it feels like the screenplay is full of the stuff that might be interesting in a novel but plays ridiculous on film. Forty five minutes go by before you have any idea what the crime is going to be, and then it plods on for another hour and a half, with more extraneous scenes like a literal car fucking that just shouldn’t be in the movie. Maybe it’s due to watching the extended versions, but typically the extended versions are Scott’s “Directors Cut”, which is why I always pick them That said, I wont be revisiting this one anytime soon to watch the theatrical.


069 02-21 Fantastic Orgy (1977) 2.5/5
070 02-22 Champagne Orgy (1978) 2/5
Another Carlos Tobalina Peekarama double feature from from Vinegar Syndrome finds the director throwing all plot to the wind and just flat out orgy’s. The first film seems to be made up from outtakes from other films, including footage that is flat out miss-shot with camera flare and whatnot. none of it makes any kind of logical sense, with scenes being cut all willy. The second feature has Tobalina himself in it, inviting the crew to a lavish champagne wrap party after shooting some dumb movie. This is all an excuse for more daft group sex scenes. FANTASTIC gets a bit of a bump due to the absolutely golden narration that attempts to make sense out of the nonsense.

See? That one wasn’t too bad. Other then the stupid Counselor movie that’s sticking in my craw.

Movie A Day!:311-320 – Off the Wagon

Sorry gang, I fell way behind on my updates for the first time this year. I was supposed to be off work this week, but had to go in Monday and Tuesday to cover for a co-worker. Tuesday afternoon, my flu like poops came back. I’ve now had near constant diarrhea for 7 odd days. It’s the worst! Anyway, I’ll be posting a bunch to get caught up since with the flu, I watch even more movies.

311 10-20 Up From The Depths (1979) 1.5/5
I’m fine with a “Jaws” knock-off, provided it’s good. This one was terrible in every way. A weird shark like fish has shown up of the coast of a Hawaiian resort and is attacking people. So it’s Jaws, only a completely garbage version with terrible acting, effects and a weird dubbed soundtrack. The plot can’t decide if it wants to go the Jaws scary route, or the fun Piranha route so it just fails miserably. This is grade z level Corman stuff, and sadly not fun in any way.

312 10-20 Demon of Paradise (1987) 2.5/5
Directed by Cirio H. Santiago so you know what you’re getting into. Fishermen illegally using dynamite awaken a lizard man then proceeds to attack a resort. Not the greatest, but it’s light years better then Under From The Depths that it shares a DVD with. It’s from 1987 but the look of the film leads me to think it sat on a shelf for a while.

313 10-21 Crawlspace (1986) 3/5
Klaus Kinski stars as a nutty doctor son of a nazi war criminal who has taken to being a landlord who has tricked out his apartment building so he can crawl around spying on the women tenants and kill them. It’s pretty bonkers stuff that really doesn’t make any sense. Kinski is good in it though and manages to hold the thing together despite how ridiculous it gets. The scream factory blu-ray has short film about working with Kinski by the films director, “Please, kill Mr. Kinski” that it pretty great stuff too.

You're Next Movie Poster

314 10-21 You’re Next (2011) 3/5
This one is a home invasion movie, and everything about it made it look like a direct rip of “The Strangers.” So it’s nice that they twisted things up a bit. Not a whole lot, but enough that I think this one is the better movie. Anyway, a family is having a big get together in the woods and some killers show up. Not the most original thing in the world, but it’s good enough despite things getting a bit Ewok in the last third.

315 10-21 Dracula’s Daughter (1936) 4/5
The first sequel to the classic film that of course doesn’t star Bela Lugosi. It’s still pretty good film on it’s own right that makes the right choice in setting it’s own pace instead of trying to copy the original. Dracula’s daughter has shown up and is kind of sympathetic in that she doesn’t really want to be a vampire. It’s primarily known for a scene that supposedly has lesbian overtones but I don’t really see it. It’s no Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2 by any means. Still, worth checking out.

316 10-22 The Amazing Transparent Man (1960) 2/5
The most amazing thing about this run of the mill programmer is legendary monster maker Jack Pierce did the make-up. When you have the man responsible for creating Frankenstein’s monster and the Wolf Man, and have the only cool effects being invisibility, you failed. Nothing about this is amazing, so nuff said.

317 10-22 The Beast Within (1982) 3/5
I might be rating it higher than it deserves. I figured it was basically “Teen Wolf” done straight based on the cover, and could not have been more wrong. A woman is raped by a weird monster, and 17 years later her son from the rape is having issues with an unknown illness. This one gets pretty nasty and goopy, on top of the rather nasty plot. It manages to mostly work too. Not the greatest film you will watch in the challenge, but a good enough one.

318 10-22 Reptilicus (1961) 2/5
Godzilla was a big hit, so everyone wanted in with their own monster movie. This one is Denmarks submission. A copper miner finds bits of meat buried, the regenerate into a giant, acid goo spitting snake monster thing that rampages over Copenhagen. based on a weird section before the monster mayhem that plays like a travelogue to visit Copenhagen, I’m pretty sure this one was actually produced by the country. The monster is painfully bad in execution, which of course helps make it fun to watch.

319 10-23 The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) 5/5
Yup, this one is still one of the all time great films. I don’t have much to say since so much has been written. If you haven’t seen it, see it.

320 10-23 Deadly Eyes (1982) 2.5/5
Contaminated grain infects and causes rats to mutate. One of the goofiest Canadian cheapies you’re likely to see is still pretty fun since the giant rats are dachshunds in costume. Scatman Crothers slums it for a couple of scenes and the movie is committed enough to it’s bonkers plot that it works.

Probably back tomorrow to play more catch up! Share it if you enjoy it!

Movie A Day! 258-265 – The Scary Movie Challenge Begins!

It’s Monday, and boy is it a “Monday” around the old P-Bunker. Work continues to prove that a lot of the humans we have to deal with are just the worst.

Here it is, the first batch of watched films for this years scary movie challenge! The rules are broad, I’m not getting into them here, just know these all count and oddly, don’t look much different than my usual lists. I guess I like sleazy, violent movies! I began with a slasher, because you should always begin horror marathons with a slasher.

258 10-01 Graduation Day (1981) 3/5

Started my scary movie challenge with a first time viewing of this one. You can tell by the title that this is another slasher knockoff of HALLOWEEN, and it’s certainly the ugly stepchild to HALLOWEEN and FRIDAY THE 13th. Maybe it was because I hadn’t seen it, but I really enjoyed it. Sure, it’s basically a killer attacking high school kids, but it actually has a bit of a plot to try to give it some mystery as to who the killer is. The gore effects are cheap and pretty crap compared to what Tom Savini was doing in FRIDAY THE 13th, but the overall look and editing of this one is really good and helps elevate it. I watched this via the new blu-ray from Vinegar Syndrome, and it’s looking and sounding great. If you’re a fan of the film, this bluray is for you. A word of warning though, once you Gangster Rock, you will never not Gangster Rock.

259 10-02 Guru, the Mad Monk (1970) 2/5
I’m probably being generous with the 2 out of 5 since this is not a good movie. Written and Directed by cult legend Andy Milligan, it stars Neil Flanagan in the lead role of the crazy monk who has a vampire mistress for an old lady and deformed hunchback serving him, trying to keep control of his church posting in 15th century Europe. The best thing I can say is Flanagan is pretty good and keep the film together. I had previously seen him as the mincing transvestite hooker in Milligan’s “Fleshpot on 42nd Street”, and he’s still a bit camp in this. Otherwise, the film is that type of delightfully terrible that is just plain fun to watch. You get 1970’s New York, complete with cardboard garbage and mini scooter in the exteriors subbing in for a European Island, mannequin hands and ping pong balls being severed with a blood that makes a Herschel Gordon Lewis film from the same period look like a Tom Savini film and a plot so bonkers it’s not worth repeating. At 56 minutes or so, it doesn’t overstay it’s welcome. So if you’re into this kind of psychotronic trash, you can download it for free (among other goodies) from Vinegar Syndrome!

260 10-02 The Jekyll & Hyde Portfolio (1971) 2.5/5
What do you get when you combine the Hyde mythos with seventies astrology, sexploitation and gore? This! It’s an odd mish mash of sexploitation horror that is more ridiculous than it should be. A killer is killing girls in a nursing school, that seems to be turn of the century but it’s hard to tell since it’s another cheap-o horror so they don’t really have the budget to pull it off. It’s light years ahead of that GURU: THE MAD MONK though as far as production design goes. Anyway, it’s pretty much by the numbers, the main draw being the HGL type gore and ample nudity, some of it supplied by cult legend Rene Bond. I’m knocking it a bit for having a bit too much of a preoccupation with dissected frogs (complete with fake blood). Don’t worry though, it’s not CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST type animal cruelty, I just like frogs and critters. 😛 I watched via the limited edition Vinegar Syndrome blu-ray and while the print is in rough shape, I can’t imagine it ever looking better since I don’t think it ever found it’s way on home video before this. It is available in a DVD version, and is backed with another film from the company, A CLOCKWORK BLUE which has nothing to do with Kubrick’s film, and everything to do with being a crappy Russ Meyer’s type comedy knock off without the comedy.

Screamy!

261 10-02 Dracula (1931) 5/5
Not much to say other than I love this movie. Sure, its got some pacing problems. Bela Lugosi makes up for it. You can’t even read his name without your brain doing that Lugosi accent. That’s how amazing he was in this, and the picture holds up even though David Manners is a terrible Harker. Worse than Keanu Reeves. I said it and I’m sticking to it. Anyway, if you haven’t watched this than get on it already!

262 10-03 The Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake (1959) 3/5
Ages ago I picked up one of those cheap discs that Shout Factory put out via “Timeless Media” that has four movies on one disc. I fired that sucker up, and this was the first movie. Now, when you pay $10 for four movies, you have low expectations. So when I say this one is pretty great, you might not believe me, but you would be wrong. It was fucking great! Basic plot is a couple of older brothers are trying to figure out why their family is cursed. When the men hit 60 years old, they die of heart attacks and their heads go missing. What the hell right? The curse is corny as hell with shrunken heads, but man, they really go for it and works. Surprisingly graphic for the day, some neat ideas, and a set of fingerprints with skulls in the patterns mean this is a hell of a movie. I still have 3 movies on this disc and it’s already $10 well spent!

263 10-03 Frankenstein (1931) 5/5
Not much to say about this one other than it’s one of my all time favourite movies, Karloff is perfect as the monster, the rest of the cast are perfect in their roles and while it manages to be pretty brutal and intense, it’s also sad. I love this movie and the blu-ray is beautiful.

264 10-03 Necromania: A Tale of Weird Love (1971) 2/5
This is a lost Ed Wood Jr. porn film, and I’m learning quickly that the thought of watching a “lost” Ed Wood Jr. skin flick is more fun that actually watching one. I’m a big fan of Wood’s classics since while they are “bad”, they are delightfully goofy bad that are fun to watch since you can tell he’s trying really hard but just doesn’t have the talent. This one though you can tell he’s not trying. Basic plot is a couple seek guidance for their love making problems by signing up to see a Necromancer. There are some Wood tropes, mainly in the goofy witch plot and setting, but it’s mostly a run of the mill, patience testing skin flick. I watched the “cool” version recently put out by Alpha Blue Archives, and while it looked pretty good, it’s hard to recommend. The disc included the XXX inserts as a “bonus” (along with 3 other shorts that all look terrible), I don’t see the film improving by being the “hot” version. It’s a shame, plot wise it sounds like it could have been good, and I think this is the last film he directed. It’s based on a book he wrote, I can’t imaging that book. I might have to track it down since there is barely any plot in this movie.

265 10-04 Runaway Nightmare (1982) 2.5/5
I wanted to like this one more since I bought it blind via the limited edition blu-ray that Vinegar Syndrome had on offer, but I just didn’t. The plot sounds amazing; two worm farmers in Death Valley see some men bury a box in the desert. They dig it up to find a woman inside, and are quickly kidnapped by a female cult who force the two into helping them steal back some platinum that the mob took from them. Pretty great right? The positive for this one is the look. Considering how cheap it was, it looks great and I’m not just talking about the transfer. Shots are set up in such a way, and with the pacing, it really does have a dreamlike quality. Add in the strangeness, shots of a vampire woman, other oddness, and it should of been great. The problem sadly is everything else. It’s acted in a deadpan style, and the two worm farmers are basically presenting the film like an Abbott & Costello meet The Monsters update, and it completely falls flat. The deadpan just feels inept and awkward, which added to the slow pace, just makes the film crawl for eternity with little to no payoff. There’s not even any boobs since this is the directors cut, they included boob inserts from the VHS release that were added in later as a bonus.

I’m going to be going through a bunch of Universal Horror films. If you’ve never seen FRANKENSTEIN, DRACULA, THE WOLFMAN, etc, you really owe it to yourself to get watching them.

That’s it for now, there may be a blog tomorrow before the Doctor Who one on Wednesday, you lucky ducks!

The End

 

Movie A day! 186-193 – “I’m On A Vacation!”

Right, so my staycation ended with me feeling under threat of a summer cold. I still feel like I’m on the verge of coming down with something, where the snot-hole in the back of your head feels iffy but you don’t have any actual symptoms of fever and runny nose and grossness. It’s horrible feeling like you might get sick with a cold when it’s 30C outside and it’s been going on for 3 days. So far I’m holding it off with pills. Keep thumbs held!

Due to potential oncoming sickness, I WATCHED MORE MOVIES! So you get two posts this week, you lucky lovelies! Here’s the start of August. AUGUST! Already August, what a crazy world we live in where months roll by so fast. Maybe it’s just me.

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186 08-01 The Rolling Stones: Sweet Summer Sun – Hyde Park London (2013) 4/5
This one is a concert film featuring the last show of their fiftieth anniversary tour. Features mostly concert footage with some narration, it’s surprisingly solid considering the near mummified state of the band. The set list is pretty much all hits by this point, I can’t imagine any fans of the Stones being let down by this release. As old as they are, there really is no sense in them stopping if they don’t wish too, they continue to deliver the goods. I’d argue that they are performing better now than they did in the late 70’s, early 80’s, only with the added thrill of wondering if their emaciated, petrified like limbs might break off mid-song.

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187 08-02 A Serious Man (2009) 2.5/5
This is another Coen brothers film, and the only one of theirs that managed to sneak by me when it came out. This one is basically about the life of a Jewish teacher in 1967 working on getting tenure or whatever they call it, and all the troubles that follow him. It’s a comedy, and it just isn’t all that interesting. You get a sense that it might be a bit biographical seeing as the Coens are Jewish and from the midwest, but it doesn’t really play that way either. It’s a bit of a broken thumb, following the also less than stellar BURN AFTER READING. Thankfully they’ll return more to form with their next picture, TRUE GRIT.

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188 08-03 Game of Thrones Season 4 (2014) 3.5/5
It took 4 years, but the show finally got good! Not much to say since it’s still has way too convoluted a plot. It’s made up for it by balancing all the talking and intrigue with some action. So I’ll stick it out and go for season 5.

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189 08-03 A Good Day to Die Hard (2013) 1.5/5
I heard that this one wasn’t very good, but really, how bad could it be? It’s DIE HARD! C’mon, fuckin’ John McClane ripping shit up in Russia! Ends up it’s pretty terrible. Willis couldn’t be less interested to be McClane one more time, with 80% of his dialogue being variations of “I’m on VACATION!” There is a plot, but it’s doesn’t matter when nearly the entire first third of the film is a car chase that makes no sense and is actually as boring as it is stupid. The look of the picture has such a digital polish that it doesn’t even look good. Even the poster sucks. Hopefully this picture kills the series. You can all make your own Die Hard jokes.

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190 08-04 The Manchu Boxer (1974) 2/5
This one is a pretty typical Raymond Chow Kung-Fu production. The title character gets kicked out of his house when he accidentally kills a guy in a fight due to his training where he punches hot gravel. He then gets mixed up in a big brouhaha of a martial arts contest which he doesn’t want to be a part of in case he kills someone again. It’s a bit plodding, and none of the fights are all that memorable. Sammo Hung pops up an extra in a couple of fights, but it’s not worth watching just for him. Actually, the most fun thing in the movie is recognizing stolen music cues, unless Pink Floyd did license material to this.

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191 08-04 The Big Parade (1925) 4/5
This one is King Vidor’s silent epic based on WW1. Seeing as it’s the anniversary of WW1 today, and I’m trying not to get sick with a flu that seems to be insisting on making me sick, I figured it was the perfect day to lay around and watch it. It’s widely considered to be one of the best silent films, and the first hour might have you wondering why. The basic plot is, WW1 is breaking out for America and a privileged do nothing signs up after being pressured by friends and his fiance. the first hour or so largely details his life in France, where not much happens as him and his two army buddies kick about waiting for orders. Once those orders come through, the whole picture shifts into battle mode and the horrors of WW1 trench style warfare start to knock the wind from you. A hell of a movie, with an incredibly natural performance by John Gilbert in the lead. Gilbert is mostly remembered now as the actor who lost his career when sound ended the silent era, and it’s a shame since he’s really good, including the odd performance I’ve seen of his in speaking parts.

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192 08-04 Marty (1953) 4/5
This is the original, live on TV broadcast version starring Rod Steiger. He plays a 37 year old butcher who’s henpecked by pretty much everyone in Queens to get married. The ending is a bit of a let down, but the journey there is amazing. Steiger is all wounded emotion, and puts in an absolutely incredible performance. It’s amazing that this was broadcast live once, and then the tape stuck away in a vault until the late seventies. It’s kind of a shame that TV doesn’t do this type of live drama stuff more often.

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193 The Skyhawk (1974) 2.5/5
This is on the same disc as MANCHU BOXER, and is a better movie. The Skyhawk is an older master of Shaolin Kung-Fu, or some such horseshit where he flips around a bunch when he fights, and his disciples (one of them Sammo Hung, again playing a character called “Fatso” in the crummy English dub) get mixed up in some crime intrigue while Skyhawk is visiting a relative in Thailand. It’s not the greatest chop-socky you will watch, but the fights are pretty decent and the film worked better than MANCHU BOXER did.

That’s probably it for this week. Time to take more pills and try to keep this cold away.

The End

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!