Saturday, December 29, 2012

Van Nuys Blvd. (1979)

William Sachs, the director of the awesome low budget sickie Incredible Melting Man brings us this stupid late 70's sex comedy.

Yeah they really don't get more pointless then this one. In case you haven't noticed they based a whole movie around the hot cruisin spot in California. Van Nuys Blvd. is the street and this is where we see all the naked girls, drag races, fights, bad disco and destruction of vehicles.

Here's the plot if you can call it that. A bored young man leaves his small town trailer home, nympho girlfriend, job and television behind for a life of sex and partying on Van Nuys Blvd. He makes new friends almost instantly and I personally couldn't help but hate everyone in this movie. They are all so fucking cheery, I just want to puke. Its as if the cast from Happy Days made it into a sex comedy. Yuck!

Van Nuys Blvd. is very random and chaotic. You never know whats going to happen next except that it will most likely involve some gratuitous nudity. My personal favorite scene shows two young cruisers smashing the shit out of each others cars. Its total pointless destruction in the same vein as something like Herschell Gordon Lewis's Just For The Hell Of It. Some of the naked female flesh isn't all that bad to look at while others should probably have been avoided. The best looking girl in the whole movie is a blond biker babe who comes complete with leather bra, pants, gloves and studded belt. This one also sports a lot of sweet 70's mustaches, stupid cops, stupid kids, stupid adults, a horrible theme song, a worse disco song, a sex food fight and a very awkward scene where an old man hops in bed with his naked daughter and plays with her boyfriends ass.

Not really my kind of movie but if stupid comedies with lots of tits and cars is your thing you might wanna check this one out. From Crown International.

Naughty Girl (1956)

Brigitte Bardot was a busy girl in 1956. With six titles that year alone and one of them being the great And God Created Woman. Naughty Girl follows in the tradition of God Created Woman and Brigitte Bardot does what she does best and plays an irresistible brat.

The sad truth is that Naughty Girl is probably the worst Brigitte Bardot movie I have ever seen. The plot is all over the place and it would take ages to try to explain it. To make it short and sweet we have a nightclub owner who has some illegal shenanigans going down. Young Brigitte Bardot hides out at the nightclub owners home and the sex kitten makes his life a living hell. She sets his house on fire, destroys everything she touches, gets him in trouble with his soon to be bride, gets arrested, attracts criminals, brings animals into his home and many other outrageous things. Fortunately for us she spends most of her time in skimpy clothing such a ballerina tutu, a bikini, or this nice burlesque get-up with black fishnet stockings. Of course no matter how much pain and trouble she brings to the club owners life he can not resist the worlds hottest sex symbol. I don't blame him. In fact he holds out a lot longer then I would have been able too, or any other man for that matter.

The movie could have been a typical simple Bardot sexy comedy but the plot goes so deep into ridiculous territory and doesn't make much sense. It becomes a bit painful to watch this one and we find ourself just waiting for the next sexy Bardot wardrobe.

Aside from the fact that the plot is way over stretched this one is filled with song and dance numbers which also get very annoying. Plenty of ballet, plenty of burlesque type stuff. What we need here is some of that heart throb dancing from And God Created Woman.

On a higher note Naughty Girl sports one of the funniest bar fights I have ever seen in a movie. I can only relate it to the fight scene in They Live. It goes on and on and on but this time around we have bare breasted ladies (not Brigitte Bardot unfortunately) midgets and violence towards women. The nudity, the bar brawl and some of the very nice images of the beautiful Brigitte Bardot make Naughty Girl worth looking at but it isn't the kind of movie you are going to go back to very often.

Only for Brigitte Bardot obsessed maniacs like myself.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Cool Hand Luke (1967)

I first saw Cool Hand Luke as a young boy with my grandfather. The images of the car washing blond bombshell has stuck with me all these years even though I have not went back and looked at this film again until now. As a young boy I think my eyes were going to pop out of my skull as I watched those soapy boobs molest that car. I think any man can relate to the prisoners in that scene. A female vision of perfection that is there for the taking but somehow beyond reach. Just an amazing scene.

Looking at this movie now I can't help but relate it to the juvenile delinquent flicks of the 50's like Rebel Without A Cause. Of course by nature Cool Hand Luke is not a true juvenile delinquent flick because Luke (Paul Newman) is an adult and not a youth. Still the message, feel and pace is very similar to something like Rebel Without A Cause or even Blackboard Jungle.

Paul Newman's character  is a complete rebel. He can't make it in society and finds himself locked away as a prisoner and part of a chain gang. The young rebel is sentenced to two years for cutting the heads off of parking meters during a drunken reckless night. Luke proves to be just as rebellious on the inside as he was on the outside and being a man full of integrity it is not long before the other inmates look up to him as a sort of leader.

Not only does Luke struggle with the establishment and the powers that be but also with the insanity of religion. Being a man of strong convictions Luke has no room for a god in his life. Or is it the other way around? If there is a god it certainly didn't cut Luke any breaks in life. There are images within the film that show Luke himself as a crucified figure and he takes his share of abuse mentally and physically.

Amongst the inmates is George Kennedy (Creepshow 2, Just Before Dawn) as Dragline, a bad-ass boxer. We got Harry Dean Stanton (Wild At Heart, Repo Man) as Tramp, a cowardly follower and even the great Denis Hopper shows up as another number in the chain gang.

Cool Hand Luke has made its mark upon society. Even those who have never seen the film know the line "What we have here is a failure to communicate" Those who have seen the movie are not likely to forget the images of Cool Hand Luke's fight scenes or the egg eating contest and especially Joy Harmon's breasts. An amazing piece of cinema!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Attack Of The Crab Monsters (1957)

Directed by Roger Corman, Attack Of The Crab Monsters is everything and more that you could want from a 50's monster movie.

First off it clocks in just over one hour and it moves along at a nice speed with a fair amount of monster mayhem, gore and a ridiculous scenario that one can't possibly take seriously.

Attack Of The Crab Monsters opens up good and proper with a nice & bloody decapitation. The giant killer crab rips a mans head from his body and the headless shoulders are pointed straight at the screen for our viewing pleasure. Sure from time to time these 50's monster flicks offer up some severed heads but it is very rare when a film would open up with a scene like this. The only other one I can think of off hand is The Crawling Eye. As the film moves on we are treated to other beautiful scenes of dismemberment such as a severed hand which rolls across the screen in gory delight.

Aside from the decapitation and the flying hands Attack Of The Crab Monsters displays big breasted 50's women who come complete with tight sweaters and night gowns. However aside from the boobage our lead actress isn't all that nice to look at in the face and she really does cake on the makeup but lets face it we came here to see giant crabs killing humans, not titties from the fifties.

This one plays like a sort of early version of Attack Of The Giant Leeches considering both showcase telepathic monsters who lure new victims in with their superior intelligence.

By the end of the movie things are looking pretty bleak for the humans. The monsters have pretty much killed off every character in the movie and destroyed most of the land around the survivors.

The truth is that it all ends rather abruptly and seems a little rushed when it is all said and done. However this is a small price to pay for a bad-ass quickie from the 50's with monsters, blood & guts.

I place this cheapie in the same ranks as movies like The Monster Of Piedras Blancas, The Crawling Eye and Brain That Wouldn't Die for examples of early, schlocky monster movies with gore and dismemberment.

This ones just awesome!

Parents (1989)

Parents is a psychological thriller with a very dark sense of humor. It follows an alienated kid named Michael who doesn't fit in at school and definitely doesn't feel comfortable around his parents.

Randy Quaid plays daddy and as you would have guessed he is a complete weirdo. Michael is completely intimidated by his parents. They are awkward and just plain creepy. Michael has been having some very strange dreams and pictures his parents as monsters. The young boy is also a vegetarian and mom and dad just can't figure him out. As the film moves along Michael becomes obsessed with his parents eating habits and everything is pointing at cannibalism. It never becomes clear until the end of the movie whether or not Michael's mom and dad are in fact eating people but it does all end in tragedy and of course death.

I liked this movie for multiple reasons. The first being that the viewer never really knows where it is all leading to. Secondly it portrays Parents as the weirdo's that they really are. I think every kid has looked at their mom and dad in complete confusion.

Personally not being a vegetarian and very fond of meat I have to admit that Parents does make meat eating look very horrible. I would think the main audience for this movie would be vegetarian horror-hounds. Especially those who didn't enjoy eating meat from childhood.

Randy Quaid is awesome, the character of Michael is cool in a alienated loner kind of way and Parents offers up some very funny moments mainly between father and son.

Not a bad change of pace from the normal sleaze-fests and slasheramas that I am used to and it would go perfect with a BBQ ribs diner.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Nazi (1991)

Part of Richard Kerns hardcore collection this short film is basically a music video which shows a naked babe in a S.S. outfit stripping nude and dancing in front of an American flag. She throws American military salutes at the camera and Nazi salutes as well.

Not exactly hard to figure out what Kern is trying to say in this one.

Nazisploitation fanatics and perverts alike are the main main audience for this quickie. Unless of course you consider yourself amongst the artsy-fartsy.

On with the tits!

Single Room Furnished (1968)

Single Room Furnished is the last of Jayne Mansfield movies. Released after the sex symbols tragic death we have Jayne as three different characters that all link together before the film is done.

The truth is that this movie is as boring as the title. It tries its best to be dramatic and ends in tragedy which I guess is suiting for Jayne Mansfield's last film. Jayne plays Johnnie, May and Eileen all of whom turns out to be the same character in the end.

The way I see this movie is probably not the way it was intended to be taken. Jayne is crazy, shes in love... Jayne is crazy, shes heart broken... Jayne is crazy, shes a bitch... She just seems crazy from begining to end.

Its hard to say what the worst part of this movie is. Is it the absurdity of the dramatic story? Is it the stupid characters? Is it the awful Go-Go dancer scene? No it is got to be the acting. The acting is awful in this movie and the worst performance probably comes from Miss Mansfield. Just watch for the scene where she comes in from the rain soaking wet and sneezes. Its just amazing how awful she really is in this.

Single Room Furnished has it all wrong. Why make a serious drama movie when you have a talentless beauty like Mansfield? This is when you be a gentlemen about things and make a good and proper sexploitation film. Throw in some underwear scenes, some sexy dancing or bubble baths. Anything but more dialogue. Another thing that really bothered me was how all of the actors seemed to be putting on a stage show. I guess we can also blame the director for this, who would go on to do the blaxploitation biker flick The Black Six which also isn't all that great.

If you are looking for Jayne Mansfield sexy stuff you could probably skip right over this one. Sure she looks good in some of her outfits but it just doesn't make up for the lack of over all quality. What they should have done was cast Briggite Bardot in this movie for more sex appeal and much better acting.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Chillerama (2011)

When I saw the trailer for this I didn't expect anything all that spectacular. First off its from 2011. Secondly its very low budget. The only thing that made me want to see this movie at all is that it was obviously made by fan-boys and it would most likely play like one big throw back to a time when horror films were still watchable. That and of course the fact that it looked pretty raunchy.

Well I pretty much hit the nail right on the head. This schlocky monster comedy is a total fan-boy movie. Chillerama is an anthology horror movie homage to movies like Creepshow and Tales From The Crypt. The first flick is done in total bad taste and goes by the demented title of Wad-Zilla. Yep you guessed it... Wad-Zilla is a giant sperm monster who takes over NYC and leaves a slimy mess of destruction and carnage in its wake. This one is pretty damn funny in a very sick way. It holds this child like humor similar to something like Monsturd. So if you like childish potty humor you might actually enjoy this movie. Where it goes wrong is the massive use of CGI. It seems that these ass-hats behind Chillerama could not make up their mind if they were going to use practical special effects or use computer graphics. They end up using both and it makes for a pretty uneven mess in the end.

The next short feature is a mockery of the 50's Juvenile Delinquent films called I Was A Teenage Werebear which I didn't like at all. This one was obviously thought up by a homosexual and plays as a silly metaphor for gay adolescents coming to terms with the sexuality. In this case our gay lead is bitten on the ass in a wrestling match by a werebear and becomes a carnivorous homosexual. The theory is that when a Werebear becomes aroused he kills members of the same sex rather then facing up to his own sexual needs. This one is basically a cross between Rebel Without A Cause and of course I Was A Teenage Werewolf but it also throws in elements of those 60's Beach Party flicks. I didn't enjoy this one for multiple reasons. Despite the fact that it was over bearingly gay and lacks female flesh it just wasn't funny. We get all these stupid Grease like song and dance numbers which really sucked any of the life out of it that it could have possibly had. Then we have this dip-shit with a Justin Beeber flip cut and fucking hell I hate those haircuts. I never liked A Nightmare On Elm Street Part 2 and all of its homo antics but imagine if they threw in silly songs. It could drive one to suicide. This one just sucks.

Next up we got The Diary Of Anne Frankenstein which I thought was a very funny and very witty title. This one also has its ups and downs. It plays like a cross between They Saved Hitlers Brain and Frankenstein but never has the balls to be a Nazisploitation movie, to ensure that nobody gets their p.c. little feelings hurt. Since this short film was created mainly by Jews they chose to go the complete and total comedy route which is very typical of boring fucking film makers in this wretched decade of shit. Its to bad to because I kind of liked this movie. The whole cast speaks in German with the exception of Hitler who does a rather convincing job of faking it until he throws a random and ridiculous line in. Hitler creates a monster to kill off all the Jews but it turns on him when he learns he was built with the bodies of other dead Jews. Its pretty funny but a bit to wimpy to be great.

Last we have Zom-B-Movie which links all of the short films together and shows modern day geeks hanging out in a drive-in theater while zombies go on a sex crazed killing spree. This segment is full of naked female flesh and offers up castration, eye violence, exploding heads, flesh eating, penis eating and a whole lot of 50's homage. The worst thing about this segment is a pussy-boy, horror-geek with a 311 T shirt on. It was a honor to watch somebody in a 311 shirt get killed. I just wish I could do it myself some day.

This one brings back that sick childish charm that Wad-Zilla offered up. I would say the best audience for this movie would be fans of Monsturd which I actually do like very much. Young horror-nerds who have not yet become overly jaded and judgemental would also probably like this movie but die-hard exploitation fans and lovers of 50's, 60's and 70's schlock are bound to get annoyed a bunch with the non stop use of computer graphics and embarrassingly modern shenanigans that unfold on the screen.

I am not about to throw this movie away or call it a complete waste of money and time but it could have been vastly improved with a little more love and dedication to the oldies. Worth a look for fan-boys who can take a joke.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Stray Dogs (1985)

Part of Richard Kerns Cinema Of Transgression, Stray Dogs depicts a homosexual who craves affection so badly that it is tearing him apart... Literally. Limb by limb we witness a man crumble to the floor in a pool of blood.

Rejection can be horrible when you are young but fortunately for us cine-maniacs it is damn fun to look at in this early art film from nihilistic artist Richard Kern. No films have ever capsulated punk rock, nihilism and anger like these films in Cinema Of

Its sick, its twisted, its angry, its art!

The Hidden Fortress (1958)

Akira Kurosawa is often thought of to have been influenced by American film makers, John Ford especially. While I do not have any doubt of this in my mind I find it strange that nobody ever makes a connection between Kurosawa and Alfred Hitchcok. There is a genius simplicity that runs through the films of Kurosawa which I can only relate back to Hitchcock. Its not that the films themselves are simple. They are quite genius but they play more as a giant set piece. The story itself is simple but the way it is told is not for the simple minded.

The Hidden Fortress is told from the point of view of two moronic cowards. These piss-poor peasants have no back bone at all and fear everything but each other. The two cowards attempt to get home but are stuck between enemy boarders in a time of war. They pussy-foot around until they come across a legendary Samurai named General Rokurota Makabe played by the great Toshirô Mifune (Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, Throne Of Blood) and nearly two hundred other titles. The Samurai plays off the greed and arrogance of the two cowardly peasants to help pass a sixteen year old princess over enemy lines.

Bribed with gold the peasants fall right into the scheme of things. Of course they have no idea that the young beauty is a princess. The princess humiliates her self for the benefit of her people and poses as a mute and the two cowards take every chance possible to try to get their greedy little hands on her nubile body.

There is this twisted sense of humor that flows throughout The Hidden Fortress which Kurosawa fans should be familiar with. There is almost a sort of Three Stooges thing going on in here. Its almost as if you threw the Stooges into a Hitchcocks Rope or Rear Window. It really has to be seen to be understood.

The Hidden Fortress sports some epic Samurai action. Nothing overly bloody but epic none the less. We have casts of hundreds rioting through the fallen barren lands of a Japanese war zone. We also have a really cool chase scene on horse back where men are sawed into with Samurai swords. The sex appeal comes from the sexy princess who for some reason wears silly looking shorts and in the films sleaziest moment the camera peeks pretty close up those shorts. The dialogue is exceptionally funny in this one. "I hate your face" "I hate the way you look, you shit worm". "Shit-Worm" is used quite a bit in this one. I don't exactly know what a shit-worm is but I like the sound of it. I guess its like a maggot or something unless of course its one of those crazy bugs that you only see in Japanese movies.

For a good time with swords play, shit-worms, action and comedy check this one out. Like most Kurosawa films it can be a little slow at times but the set pieces are just to good to pass up.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Return Of The Fly (1959)

For the best review of this movie you could always just listen to The Misfits song "Return Of The Fly with Vincent Price. You Guinea pig! Yeah Return Of The Fly" Yes this follow up to the classic 50's monster movie The Fly is actually my favorite in the series. Far more campy then the original with more monster mayhem and more corpses left in its wake.

Return Of The Fly takes off 15 years after Andre crushed his head in that vice. His son Philippe, now a grown man is determined to continue his fathers insane work. The series of events start all over again and we have a giant fly-man running around killing people.

Philippe teams up with a criminal named Alan who plans on stealing the discovery and selling it to the military. Vincent Price does everything he can to stop the duo from messing around with the cursed machine but he ends up catching a bullet in the guts instead. Its a classic example of nice guys finish last in this one. I have to admit on thing that always annoyed me about The Fly movies is that Vincent Price is a good guy. It just doesn't seem right. Well I hope youre enjoying that bullet in your stomach, Mr. Nice Guy.

This movie is great. Aside from the expected man with a giant fly head we also have a man who has his atoms crossed with a rat. The rodent is crushed and killed under a mans boot and we see these human hands reaching out from under the boot. Next we see the rat-man. A man with the hands of a rodent. Its pure camp at its best. The sequel also offers up a bigger bodycount including a dead cop which is always a nice touch.

I mentioned earlier that Return Of The Fly is my favorite in the series but I am yet to see Curse Of The Fly which is the third instalment so perhaps I spoke a bit to soon but I definitely prefer this one over the 80's remakes. Probably because Return Of The Fly was directed by the great Edward Bernds the man who was responsible for so many of the Three Stooges shorts. Edward Bernds would also do Reform School Girl and the wacky space babes movie Queen Of Outer Space one year earlier to the Return Of The Fly.

Return Of The Fly was shot in black and white to save some money. The acting in this one isn't all that great. The story seems a bit rushed and its nothing more then a cheesy monsterama mess but it makes for high camp entertainment. I personally feel it makes a better cult film but thats just me.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Blood Mania (1970)

Are you sure this is an American film? Blood Mania is a strange one. Most people knock it and say it is way to talky with not enough murder and bloodletting. This may be true but they are missing everything that is cool about the film.

Blood Mania plays like a cross between a soap opera and a Giallo. I say soap opera because yes the film is a bit talky and the murders are very spaced out but the camera angles and lighting make for a really nice looking horror gem that American movie goers could look over just a little to easily. Look at this movie. Its beautiful. You can see some Argento in there. You see some Bava in there. Even a touch of early Polanski. Blood Mania looks fantastic and has a pretty good story to go with the cinematography.

A young good looking doctor is being black mailed for a large sum of money over some illegal abortions that he was doing while in medical school. If this information leaks out it will cost him his job and he didn't go to school all these years and pull all those bloody babies out for nothing. One way or another the doctor will have to come up with the cash. Luckily for him he is a bit of a playboy and girls really seem to like him for some reason, especially Victoria a rich nymphomaniac who enjoys taking off her clothes in front of young men just for a reaction. The doctor goes to Victoria in his time of need and she promises him that she will get him the money as long as he becomes her personal sex toy. Little does Dr. dumb-ass know that Victoria plans on killing her invilid father and collecting the inheritance money. Now not only has Dr. dip-shit been covering up an abortion scandal but murder as well. Things get worse and worse for the doctor as the plot becomes more complex and it becomes quite evident that this is all gonna end in more tragedy.

As I mentioned Victoria is quite the nympho and lucky for us guys out there we are treated to plenty of full frontal female nudity. All of the girls in this movie are pretty good looking, including Victoria's sister who has some giant early 70's hair. Blood Mania offers up jealous lesbians, a rape scene, a few creepy moments including a murder by poison, sex, drugs, a gory murder sequence in which a woman has her achy-breaky skull smashed in with a candel stick, a really cool necrophilia painting which I wouldn't mind hanging up in my own house and crazy Italian style cinematography. I think the real audience for this movie would be anyone who really digs the work of the Italian masters. Lucio Fulci fans are sure to enjoy the sexual nature of the film.

The only thing I could agree with some of the others who like to shoot this one down is that it wouldn't have hurt to throw in a few more murders here and there but in Blood Mania's defense it is not a slasher film nor does it try to be. Instead Blood Mania makes a macabre statement about greed and the sociopathic tendencies of money hungry lunatics. There really aren't many good characters in this movie and it comes complete with a typical 70's downer ending.

Also known as Pornomania which I thought was very amusing and catchy.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Raging Bull (1980)

When Martin Scorsese and Paul Shrader team up you know you are in for something powerful. There specialty seems to be damaged people and that is exactly what we have here. Raging Bull follows Jake La Motta a prize fighter who seems fixated on self destruction.

With a screenplay from Paul Shrader (Taxi Driver, Blue Collar), direction from Scorcese and some of Americas greatest actors Raging Bull really couldn't fail. Robert De Niro was such a great actor back in these early days (Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Deer Hunter). Yet again he delivers an excellent performance of a man with a warped mind. Its to bad he just coasts through lame-o comedy roles now-a-days. His performance in Raging Bull allows the audience to fear him and feel bad for him at the same time. It is a very emotional film and packs a pretty heavy punch, literally.

The thing that separates Raging Bull from other American boxing classics is the heavy drama that is layed out for us. Jake La Motta is filled with angst. When he steps into the ring his hatred takes down the opponent and sends Jake to the top but when he is home that hatred explodes onto his friends, wife and especially himself and we witness this talented man self destruct. Like most early Martin Scorsese films Raging Bull doesn't paint a pretty picture. The disturbed character falls deep to the pit of despair and he doesn't ever seem to want to come back up. Jealousy, anger and great ambition make for a pretty unforgettable character. The black and white cinematography, the intensity of the fight scenes, the drama and the terror all make Raging Bull the unforgettable classic that it is.

I wouldn't recommend watching Raging Bull with your girlfriend if she is amongst the feminist type. You might just find yourself in the ring with her afterwards. Raging Bull is set in the not so tolerant 40's where women were supposed to be seen and not heard. Jake La Motta's wife endures so much abuse in this movie. It becomes very unnerving even for a man to watch so I would imagine that this movie could invoke a bit of hatred deep within a woman.

I can not imagine what it would be like to be hit by a professional middle weight boxer, let alone being a woman subjected to that torture. Robert De Niro takes this role and owns it. He is the Raging Bull. He is a mad bull but the one he hurts the most in the end is himself.

Just about everyone and anyone who is into boxing as a sport has probably seen this movie for historical reasoning alone but it is a movie that should be looked at by everyone who is into cinema all together. The only problem I have with this movie at all is that it seems to just slowly die off in the end. I kind of wish it ended in complete nihilism like Taxi Driver or Mean Streets.