Sunday, June 9, 2013
Junesploitation Day 9: Prison!
Today's Junesploitation entry takes us behind bars and into the hell of a cell.
Note: For some reason, the platform we're on is shooting a lot of comments to 'spam' even when they are not. We will be diligent about checking a couple times a day, so if you're comment isn't showing up right away, try to be patient (unless it's time sensitive for some reason) and we'll get it to show up. Not sure why this is happening, and it's super annoying/frustrating. Just bear with us. Clearly the internet is overloaded by the awesomeness of Junesploitation!
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Death Warrant (1990)ReplyDelete
JCVD's an undercover Mountie. "Dammit wait for backup this isn't Canada there are rules here in LA". When too many convicts are disappearing in the joint JCVD's put behind bars. Also main villain The Sandman! Then watch JCVD get laid mere minutes after his girlfriend's sexually molested. Fun Roundhouse Kicksploitation!
Baahaa - it's true - ALL of our Mounties are LOOSE CANNONS!Delete
CAGED HEAT. Just what sorts of things go on inside Jonathan Demme's mind, I wonder? Dude's filmography is all over the place. Anyway, this is one plotless, meandering movie, that can't decide on a tone. There are times when it's just a few pubes short of full-on porn, but then it has old-timey vaudeville shtick and half-hearted political rhetoric. (Randomsploitation!) Just ugh.ReplyDelete
Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky (1991)ReplyDelete
Thanks for the suggestion Patrick.
Full blown, over the top, graphic cartoon violence. I dont know what else to really say about this one actually, except I think there is a mistake in the translation into English because "Best at kung fu" seems to actually mean "Im secretly a giant rubber monster".
A Man Escaped (1956)ReplyDelete
Minimalism isn't really my thing, but now I'm convinced it might exist just to make this movie great. It's methodical, a little slow, but intensely entertaining. It takes things one step at a time: first we have to get past the door, then the cell block, on and on until glorious freedom! Just as good if not better than Shawshank.
Just saw "A Man Escaped" in the past couple of years during a Bresson retrospective and it rocketed into my top 20 favorite movies. Talk about a movie whose power resides in elevating the minutia (the stuff other movies skip as they race to the exciting escape/action scene) to the forefront. It's like "The Great Escape" but on a more intimate, personal and, dare I say it, religious level.Delete
I'm not familiar with this one at all but you've definitely piqued my curiosity.Delete
Caged Heat (1974)ReplyDelete
I couldn't pass up the excuse to watch this - cute chicks and all but like Macsploitation said above, as a movie it's a bit of a mess. Didn't hate watching it though.
Junesploitation is starting to change me - about an hour in, I'm thinking, "Hm, disappointing lack of rape in this prison movie." SPOILER ALERT: Super-creepy rape scene followed soon after.
The Big Bird Cage (1972)ReplyDelete
Somehow the filmmakers never realized that Pam Grier is the real star of this movie (and getting top billing doesn't count). Watching "Blossom" wield a submachine gun and kick ass is the main reason to watch it. It makes perfect sense that the rebels, upon witnessing the pure awesomeness that is Grier, come to the logical conclusion that their revolution needs more women. And yet she's never more than a supporting player (she even gets knocked off in the big breakout at the end - boo!). All the women-kicking-ass stuff may have been a boon to women's liberation, but geez, did gay liberation take a hit in this movie.
DEATH WARRANT (1990)ReplyDelete
Canadian super-cop Van-Damme goes undercover at a prison to investigate suspicious deaths. However, for someone who's undercover, he really isn't great at creating a low profile, kicking much ass along the way. Has an interesting supporting turn by Robert Guillame(Bensonsploitation!) and perennial bad guy actor Patrick Kilpatrick as "The Sandman". There are some HUGE plot holes but very entertaining.
The Big Bird Cage (1972)ReplyDelete
Female F-Heads take note, it is physically impossible to get into any sort of altercation without either getting covered in mud, losing your top, or both.
Not a great movie (homophobiasploitation runs rampant) but Sid Haig is pretty terrific as Django (the D is silent....um, the D in Django, that is, not the D in Sid). As far as Pam Grier vehicles go I liked Foxy Brown a lot more, but prison movies have never really been my thing to begin with.
Edward James Olmos' AMERICAN ME (1992) on HD-DVD for the first time.ReplyDelete
Olmos stars in his directorial debut, a brutal and powerful crime drama about the youthful criminal offenders that, over their decades of incarceration in the L.A. prison system, create the Chicano Mexican mafia La eMe. The struggles of Santana (Olmos), JD (William Forsythe) and Little Puppet (Danny Villareal) to adapt to the outside world when they come out, as well as the circumstances that led to their going to jail (caused by both personal choices and society prejudices from decades past) allow the excellent cast and Olmos' skillful direction to give the movie an epic scope of lives lived (most wasted, some with a sliver of hope) that subvert the expected movie prison cliches.
Spawning several decades and shot on real locations (East L.A., Folton Prison, etc.) with real inmates and gang members as extras, "American Me" exploits our expectations of a rags-to-riches Latino "Goodfellas" by delivering instead a dramatized 'Scared Straight' vision of why being part of a gang or doing drugs sucks ass... gulp!
Escape from L.A. (1996)ReplyDelete
I know. Escape from New York is legitimately better. It just is. But I'd rather watch this one any day. It's part of my guilty pleasure list of terrible movies that I watched as a kid and loved. Waterworld is on this list to give an example of the awful movies I liked. But I think this movie is great, and while I've been trying to watch new-to-me movies, I couldn't resist. So if you haven't seen it, just go watch it. Right now.
I won't judge you for liking either movie, because I do, too. I don't think either one is terrible. I might save Escape from L.A. for post-apocalypse day.Delete
Get The Gringo (2012)ReplyDelete
This one's been sitting on my shelf for a long time because of who stars in it. I have not quite written Mel Gibson off, but it's certainly made watching his movies more work than it should be. I THINK I'm glad I watched this, though. Mel Gibson gets caught fleeing the scene of a crime near the border and ends up in Mexican prison. I like the balance that it finds between revenge movie, prison movie, and fish out of water movie. It feels like a throwback to the 70s at times. And thankfully, there's no hate speech. In fact, this is 100% Mexploitation.
Female Convict Scorpion (aka Sasori: Prisoner 701) (2008)ReplyDelete
Remake/reboot of the famous Japanese series from the '70s is a mess, with inconsistent direction, unintentional tonal shifts and bad plotting. It starts as a brutal women in prison movie before becoming a standard revenge film; the former works better than the latter. Oh well.