Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Junesploitation Day 17: Icons!

Hotter than Bond! Cooler than Bullitt!

114 comments:

  1. JUNESPLOITATION ICON THREESOME:

    VINCENT PRICE & CLU GALAGER; FROM A WHISPER TO A SCREAM (1987, 99 min.) on Blu-ray for the first time.


    Bought this solely because (a) Patrick pushed it really hard and (b) even if the movie had sucked the bonus features on the Scream! Factory Blu-ray should make up for it. Not only does this anthology of four stories (five if you count the wrap-around) not suck, it’s actually one of the better and more consistent horror anthologies I’ve seen. No weak segments here, although the two involving The Civil War are closer to “Twilight Zone” fantasy than the “Tales from The Crypt” horror vibe you get from the rest. He’s old, frail and confined to one room, but damn it if Vincent Price doesn’t bring it as the librarian sharing the local history of mayhem and horror to a journalist. Ditto for Clu Gallagher, who owns his segment (the best one of the anthology) and makes his Stanley Burnside character simultaneously pathetic, evil and worth my sympathy. And look at the murderer’s row of exploitation icons in the cast: Cameron Mitchell, Terry Kiser (shades of Stephen King in “Creepshow”?), Lawrence Tierney, etc.

    Oh, and if you’re in Tennessee and want to visit Oldfield, RUN IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION!!! Seriously, that place is whacked, yo!

    CHRISTOPHER LEE; George Lucas’ STAR WARS EPISODE II: ATTACK OF THE CLONES (2002, 142 min.) on DVD.

    Think of Lucas back when he was planning out the prequels and coming up with new a̶c̶t̶i̶o̶n̶ ̶f̶i̶g̶u̶r̶e̶s̶ characters. When the idea of the CG Yoda lightsaber fight sprung, the obvious next step was to decide who would go up against him. It had to be a badass character that would be cool enough to stand up to Master Yoda in “Clones,” only to turn around and die a wimpy death in the opening minutes of “Revenge of the Sith.” Sound familiar? It’s one of Patrick’s main complaints about the ‘final girl’ surviving a horror movie only to not make it past the opening of the sequel.

    Lucas has a reputation of not caring about characters and human relationships in his “SW” universe, but he sure knew how to pick iconic character actors. By casting Christopher Lee as Count Dooku/Darth Tyranus (bleh!) a ton of backstory and presence is automatically brought onboard with minimal set-up. And even though fans look back at that Yoda lightsaber fight as a low point of the “SW” prequels, Lee did not get tainted by that stench. How cool of a mofo is Christopher Lee? He fought to a draw with Yoda and played ‘final girl’ for the “Star Wars” prequels without losing an iota of stature. He and Ian McKellen belong in a Mt. Rushmore of older character actors who only got better with age. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't believe I just read you comparing Count Dooku, and in effect Christopher Lee, to the final girl in a slasher film. Wow. It's all right for a laugh, though.

      If Christopher Lee were on any kind of Rushmore monument, it would have to be one solely of him, Price, and Cushing. Ian McKellan can have the next one over.

      Delete
    2. That's exactly what I'm saying. Even in the shit role of badass in "Clones" turned wimpy early casualty in "Sith" (to artificially raise the stakes and signify the alleged growing badassery of Anakin) Lee still stands out and is the coolest dude in the room. Then again, unlike 90% of people, I don't have any love or affection for "Star Wars'" characters or universe. To me they're just crappy movies in which, suddenly, Saruman (or Dracula, or Sherlock Holmes, etc.) shows up wearing a cape and swinging a laser sword. How fucking cool is that? :-)

      Delete
    3. I'm a Star Wars nerd so I look at it like this: Anakin warned Dooku that his powers had grown since their last meeting (ever the prideful one), and it turned out to be true. Anakin was way too much for him, he overtook Dooku, and with prodding from Palpatine, went too far.

      Delete
    4. I don't think Lee was a wimp in Revenge of the Sith. I think a badass character died a badass death.

      Delete
    5. ^^^ That's where my analogy for the "final girl" comes in. The chick that was strong-enough to take down Freddy or Jason in the previous movie can't hack it against the new and improved model, so she's offed early. Boom, the stakes are raised for the new batch of characters up against the antagonist. Dooku fits that description to a tee. I guess I can't bring myself to admit that Dooku died a badass death when it's fucking what's-his-name beheading him, so I have to turn Dooku into a wimp to justify his losing to Lucas' storyline puppet. God, these movies are bad! :-P

      Delete
    6. I realize why you applied the analogy. And I know your reason for calling him a wimp has prejudicial ground. But Lee doesn't deserve to be called a wimp because you don't like Hayden Christensen. If you hate him that strongly, why give him the edge by calling Lee a wimp? That's a cruel way to treat Christopher Lee.

      Delete
    7. (sigh) Fine! Lee is a badass playing a badass who gets killed by an even bigger badass (or someone we're supposed to buy as an ultimate-badass-in-the-making, even though nothing about the actor or character reflects that). We cool?

      Delete
    8. We were never uncool, sir.

      I didn't expect you to go THAT far. Damn.

      Delete
  2. House of the long Shadows (1983)

    Vincent Price! Christopher Lee! Peter Cushing! and...Desi Arnaz Jr.?

    I wanted to watch a Christopher Lee movie so I found this on Amazon Prime. You've got 3 heavyweights and this fuckin guy. Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball's son in a tour de force. I love that Desi and Lucie are there kids names. Get over yourselves. Lee, Price and Cushing are great of course but cannot make up for Desi's monkey miming and horrible dialogue. I TOTALLY didn't see the twist coming and I TOTALLY didn't fall asleep 3 times trying to watch this. Lucy, you've got some splaining to do for your terrible son. Sorry, Christopher Lee...I should have just watched Gremlins 2 again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A movie from my childhood. I've always wanted to revisit this. I recently revisited Charlie Chan and the Dragon Lady, with Peter Ustinov, Lee Grant, and Roddy McDowell. If you never saw it as a child and saw it for the first time now, it could be a hard watch.

      Delete
  3. Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)

    Bruce Campbell as Elvis, 2 icons in one!

    In a Texas nursing home, 70 year-old Elvis teams up with JFK (African-American actor Ozzie. Davis) to take down a soul sucking mummy.
    Ya know, that old familiar story ;)

    This movie is a good time. A really small budget but no less enjoyable because of it. Great performances, an interesting mummy design, a great story, and a cool score.
    Check it out if you haven't seen it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Joe R. Lansdale is really just a genre badass of a writer.

      Coscarelli did his usual "take miniscule budget, stretch to respectable levels and never skimp on creativity OR cool" job.

      This flick is something all fans with a taste for the weird (or just Bruce Campbell scorching the screen like the legend and icon that he is) should check out.

      Delete
    2. On paper there is nothing about this movie that I shouldn't love, but I remember not caring for it much when I saw it way back when. I feel like I really need to give this one another shot.

      Delete
    3. Thumbs up for this choice!!!!!!

      Delete
  4. Sometimes you are in a certain mood that where only a double douse of Swayze will do.

    Point Break 1991

    It was more ridiculous, dirtier, cooler and better than I remembered it. Just awesome.

    Dirty Dancing (1987)

    I don't care what anyone says, nobody puts baby in the corner. Even with all the problems this movie has and there are a few (though I will argue that a second act that is just a dance montage is a good thing), I will always love this movie. I think it is a little smarter than it has any right to be, and did I mention the second act dance montage? And Swayze, well his cheeks could cut glass.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. With you. I've seen this like 300x thanks to my sister who has autism, who forced us to watch it day and night for YEARS. It's not as embarrassing or juvenile as I used to think. My fav scene is Swayze's realization that women are actually using him. That's grown up stuff.

      Delete
  5. Ooh. Swayze double feature. I might have to take your cue and do Road House/Next Of Kin day.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hard Times (1975)

    Took time out for some Bare-knuckle Bronson. Set in the Depression, Bronson (Chaney in the movie) street fights his way into a group of men who make pretty unfathomable amounts of money for the time. Chaney is as wooden as an old oak tree, but he's written that way on purpose. Don't expect to learn much about him. The key to the movie is James Coburn as his manager and character foil "Speed." Overall, the movie isn't very "exciting" for a fighting movie, but the fights are really well staged and feel pretty brutal. It also has alot to say about what people will do for money.

    I'm not gonna say it's a great movie, but you should check it out if you like 70's Bronson. Hell, it's free on Amazon Prime.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel (2011)

    Documentary about the patron saint of Junesploitation, Roger Corman. In all honesty it's not much of a documentary, it's mostly just a whole bunch of people talking about how great/smart/cheap Corman is, but I'm ok with that because I love the guy and I could listen to people wax rhapsodic about exploitation movies all day.

    There's a tremendous collection of big names here, and my favorite line came from one of the biggest stars to come out of Corman's movies: "We make 12 circuses a year and very few movies" -Jack Nicholson on the state of the modern Hollywood blockbuster, hitting the nail very hard directly on the head. If this movie taught me nothing else, it taught me that I really want to hang out with Jack. Anyone have his number?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When Jaws and Star Wars overwhelmed the studio system, Corman commented that Spielberg and Lucas made the kind of movie he would have, only with bigger budgets, and it would set a trend. (John Landis has made similar observations.)

      40 years later we have what I can only call a full Cormanization of the Hollywood studio system. Today the grindhouses are gone and the drive-in is not what it used to be. There used to be a distinction as to what kind of movie you were going to see based on the venue in which you going to see it, or the market for which the movie was meant to attract -- exploitation and B pictures in the drive-ins and grindhouses, and the prestige pictures everywhere else. Now every type of movie plays under the same roof, and sometimes it may be difficult to make the proper distinctions. CG can make an expensive genre movie look as cheap as a Crown International picture, or make an obvious exploitation picture look all slick and glossy. If Corman had the budgets a lot of the directors today are able to play with, I can only imagine what he'd produce.

      There have been a bevy of books on Corman, the man and the career. There's a new book published recently called Crab Monsters, Teenage Cavemen, and Candy Stripe Nurses: Roger Corman -- King of the B Movie. If you don't have it yet, pick it up. It's fantastic.

      Delete
  8. Hero and the Terror (1988)

    Chuck Norris! I've been meaning to see a movie with him for awhile now, since I never have before. This one finds Chuck as a cop hunting down what is basically a horror slasher killer. I'll say this, the movie isn't as good as I wanted it to be, but not as bad as I suspected it would be. I know Chuck has taken a lot of heat on the podcast, but I really didn't think he was bad. I think because of jokes people expect to be a larger than life super badass. Instead he was very natural as a normal guy. The movie had me for the first hour, and then the story reeaalllyy screeches to a halt for the third act. And it is boring. Yikes. And the when we get to the final showdown fight scene, its in the dark and is hard to see. What a pity. Not terrible overall though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have Hero and the Terror on my Netflix Instant queue. I was gonna try to get it watched this month. I've never seen it all -- only bits and piece on cable back in the day. I've been curious to find out which was the last good action movie he made pre-Walker Texas Ranger before he fell from B movie grace. Maybe this... isn't it? Maybe it is?

      Delete
    2. Fuck. I was afraid of that.

      Delete
    3. It's not really good. It's half of a decent movie, and half of a really dull movie. But I would say it was better than my bottom of the barrel expectations.

      Delete
  9. Raze (2013, dir. Josh Waller) (First Time Viewing): There is no more of an F This Movie Icon than Zoe Bell (rightfully so). How about a movie starring her about hot women being forced to fight to the death. Awesome, right? Wrong. This movie is terrible. Patrick pretty much nailed it in his review from a couple years ago. I found absolutely nothing redeeming about this movie. It’s just bad filmmaking at almost every level. Zoe Bell is fine, the rest of the cast is embarrassing. It’s poorly directed, edited, shot, set-designed, choreographed, etc. Zoe deserves better. This is a Junesploitation low point for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like Raze. I liked mostly everyone in it. Even if it were poorly made, even if some of the performances are considered shoddy, it's an exploitation film, it's allowed to be that way. I got a Roger Corman WIP vibe from this picture, and that's a good thing to be. I can imagine Roger saying, "How much did our last movie make? Oh, really, that little? Okay, well, take that money, make a WIP bare-knuckle fight to the death movie with it." This is definitely the kind of movie that would have made it on drive-in screen in the early 80s. And maybe directed by someone like Cirio Santiago. And probably would have had a reasonably okay run. And to be clear, Zoe actually had a hand in getting this movie made. She was a producer on the film, choreographed the fights, hired members of the stunt team, cast some of the roles. They had 30 days to shoot this movie, which involved 19 fight sequences. Not too shabby if you ask me. I give em props.

      Tracie Thoms won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Supporting Actress at the Las Vegas International Film Festival. Again, not too shabby.

      Delete
  10. Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985, Mel Gibson) (First time viewing) I always loved the Road Warrior, and I like the original Mad Max. Fury Road made this a perfect franchise for me because I had never seen Beyond Thunderdome. Unfortunately I couldn't avoid it for much longer. I didn't enjoy this movie. Even the chase at the end was tarnished by the horrible pace of this movie. The first hour I was intrigued. The opening was different and the Thunderdome idea seemed cool. As this movie plays out it gets slower and slower. I laugh every time I hear Tina Turner say "But he's such a raggedy man." I think the only way to get this bad tast out of my mouth is to go see Fury Road again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad to see this! I've always said that "Thunderdome" is boring as hell.

      Delete
    2. If Thunderdome is boring, I would argue it doesn't become boring until the Lord of the Flies/Peter Pan's Lost Boys/fairytale section. And even then, I still wouldn't kick it out of the Blu ray player or change the channel if it were on tv.

      And I LOVE the dialogue.

      Saw Fury Road for the 3rd time yesterday. Glorious. What a lovely day.

      Delete
    3. That's my problem, enough with the hanging out with kids. That's almost 2/3 of the movie!

      Delete
  11. Mad Max (1979)

    This iconic character is getting a second wind at the moment so I thought id finally get around to watching his first outing.

    It was hard for me to imagine the setting as a dystopian future, considering the setting looks just the drive to my grandma's house. I was surprised the setting was so civilized to be honest, considering how desolate and baron the series becomes. Its all budgets, I know. If George Lucas made Mad Max, when he got the budget to do it properly he would have gone back to this one and digitally removed all the fence posts and buildings. When George Miller gets the budget he makes Fury Road. I think I prefer Miller's approach.

    ReplyDelete
  12. THE MASK OF FU MANCHU (1934)

    Icon: Boris Karloff! There’s a lot to like about this movie. It has huge production values, big action set pieces, and a stellar performance by Karloff. The things he does with his voice and his mannerisms show how he was truly a master. Unfortunately, his horrifyingly offensive Asian stereotype makeup and the overall cultural insensitivity are overwhelming. I wish I could shrug it off and say the movie was made in a different time and whatnot, but there’s no doing that this time.

    Accompanying short film: RIVALS: LUGOSI AND KARLOFF. Tiresome TV special about the two, not saying much that movie fans don’t already know.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Body Double (1984; Brian De Palma)

    Hitchcocksploitation

    What happens when you combine Vertigo and Rear Window? It's no secret that De Palma is the biggest Hitchcock fanboy around, but while that might turn off other viewers, for me it's just a sign that he's taking his lessons from the right sources. And while much of the plot can be tranced back to those two of Hitchcock's classics, the style is something that could only have come from the idiosyncratically trashy b-movie sensibilities of Brian De Palma. Body Double is a tense thriller from the director's unique tradition of artistic garbage. I enjoyed it quite a lot, but I doubt it will be changing the minds of anyone who's not already a fan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Body Double isn't DePalma's best, but it is an epic monument to 80's sleaze. From the porn world setting to the synth music accompanying "the routine" to the Frankie Goes to Hollywood music video, this is trash at its best.

      Delete
    2. I love Body Double since I saw it in theaters in 1984. To me this is the classic case of people getting it or not. I cannot count all people I recommended this to over the years but most people don´t get all the references, they don´t get the sleazy dark humor and they don´t even notice the clever visual tricks combined with certain music cues which are De Palmas trademarks.

      Delete
    3. @Steve: even the ways it changes Hitchcock's formulas are part of this monument to sleaze. Change the regular girl into a porn star? The detective into a b-movie actor? Brilliant!

      @Oliver: that sounds about right to me. Some of De Palma's more idiosyncratic stuff like this can be harder for wide audiences to enjoy maybe, but in my book that makes it that much more fun since you won't find anything like it elsewhere!

      Delete
  14. Total Recall (1990)

    Arnold Schwarzenegger has to get his ass to Mars in this Paul Verhoeven classic. This flick is a crazy watch which at times feels like a really serious sci-fi picture and then other times turns into your standard Arnold kill line fest. It’s kind of a crying shame that they messed up the recent remake as I do like this movie a lot I would totally be up to seeing the mpre thoughtful version of this story. I could go on and on about how cool this movie is but I gotta roll, I got 5 kids to feed.

    8 Word Review (In Preparation for SMM)

    “Enjoy this then get home for Corn Flakes”

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A few weeks ago I watched both versions. The 1990 version is still fantastic and it´s all because of Verhoeven and his specific sensibilities and his dark humor. Same goes for his other masterpieces RoboCop and the gloriously misunderstood Starship Troopers.
      I think the 2012 version would be considered as an entertaining and perfectly fine action movie - if there wasn´t the 1990 film.

      Delete
    2. The remake is fine. No one in it embarrasses themselves, the look is effective, and the action is exciting enough. It does entertain.

      The problem is simply that, as conceived and executed, there's really no reason for it to exist. It apes the original whwn it wants and when it diverges, there's nothing different enough to make it feel like it's own thing.

      I suspect this will be the case with Point Break.

      Delete
  15. Horror of Dracula (1958)
    Christopher Lee is a must for Junesploitation, so I decided to finally check out his inaugural outing as Dracula. First, the good news: the movie's great. The not so good and possibly blasphemous news: his performance is pretty...underwhelming. I feel terrible saying this as a fan (not to mention the man just died), and it's such an iconic role for him that I have to wonder if I'm just missing something. But he veers from super English, stately nonchalance at the beginning to almost entirely non verbal hissing monster through the rest. I read a review saying that he never just relied on his fangs in this movie but--yeah, he does. A lot.
    The real star of the film is Peter Cushing, who deservedly got top billing. This is really the story of Van Helsing; Dracula is barely even in the film. Cushing shows such dedication to every aspect of the role (he looks like he's been performing blood transfusions for years!) and has a natural charisma that left me unable to take my eyes off him.
    So my choice for Icon started out as Christopher Lee but really ended up being Peter Cushing. Nonetheless, I'm going to watch his Sherlock Holmes now--after all, you don't give up on Christopher Lee.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is my personal favorite Dracula film. I actually love Lee as Dracula. I really enjoy what a straight up monster he is here. Not normal for Dracula, but an approach I enjoy. My favorite part is when he strokes his face against Mina and then bites her. Its so creepy. I just think he nails it. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

      Delete
  16. Love and Bullets (1979)

    Charles Bronson plays a cop sent to Switzerland to find and bring back the girlfriend of a mobster so she can testify against him. I'm sorry to say that this one's kind of a dud. After a promising start, it grinds to a halt. Most of the movie tediously follows Bronson and Jill Ireland as they try to make their way back to his FBI handlers. There's a few run ins with the bad guys, but they're short and few. I know this isn't trying to be a straight up action film like some of Bronson's other works. It's much more of a thriller, but it fails on that level too. Rod Steiger plays a great character as the neurotic stuttering mobster though. I'd say skip this one. Bronson has so many better movies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No disrespect intended toward Jill Ireland (RIP) but boy did she not bring out the best in Bronson, at least not in the movies they did together. I can't imagine it's worse than Assassination, but the thought that it could be disturbs me on several levels.

      Delete
  17. Icons day and im going for one of the biggest quintessentially British icons

    Sherlock Holmes 2009

    Let's get a Yank to play a Brit ?

    Oooh, this has disaster wrote all over it, firstly I love Sherlock Holmes, I have read all the Novels by Sir Aurther Conan Doyle and most of the newer love letter type books adaptions too, so im gonna be a tough audience, Iron man as a British detective!

    Short answer, I loved it, Hats off to Mr Ritchie I did not think you were gonna pull it off, take a bow

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is interesting. I love some of the books, and the 40s film series the most. I enjoy Sherlock the show. I didn't enjoy this. But it really kind of has a Junesploitstion vibe

      Delete
    2. Basil Rathbone is my favourite Holmes and Benedict is also better than expected, I guess it's the lowered expectations thing, it caught me off guard and I liked it a lot, I really wasn't expecting it to work

      the same thing happened with Jack Reacher, ive read all the Lee Child Novels and anyone else who has knows what Jack Reacher looks like and its not Tom Cruise, but once you get over that its great fun

      Delete
    3. I loved this movie also. I remember being very excited for this movie when it came out. Sherlock Holmes and Avatar were out around the same time and I remember making a very easy decision to go see Sherlock Holmes instead. Guy Ritchies take comes off as more of a summer blockbuster than a tradition Sherlock Holmes story would but it works for me. I don't believe this movie is very well received here on F this movie.

      Delete
    4. I agree with Gabby, I never did like R.D.J as Sherlock something didn't stick. I am more a Basil Rathbone girl and I really like Benedict Cumberbatch. There has to be a specific arrogance with Sherklock, and as much as I love R.D.J he was more smug. Though in saying that I really liked Law's Watson. But this is a summer block buster version and on that the movie does work, and there are so many versions you can pick the one you like and go with it. As we speak I am waiting for a copy of Secret Life of Sherlock Holmes to wing its way over to me.

      Delete
    5. I agree with Eric B that he made the correct decision to see this instead of Avatar. Sherlock Holmes '09 isn't good at all but Avatar is almost unwatchable.

      Delete
    6. Very polarising movie then, sounds like good fodder for a podcast

      Delete
  18. THE KILLER (1989)
    I consider this a two-fer, in that while every regular visitor to this site probably already knows that Chow Yun-Fat has more than earned his icon status, I think directors can be just as much an icon of films as the great actors that star in them. Therefore: John Goddamn Woo, y'all.

    This was the first movie of Woo's I had ever seen, or Chow's for that matter (it was around '94 or so) and it's safe to say that the next day, I was a dude trying to get his hands on some John Woo movies. Next was Hard Target (which I loved and will rock on 90s Action day)...but then I got my hands on Hard Boiled and that was pretty much that.

    I went with this over that not just because I've watched HB more recently, but because while Chow was cool in an utter badass way there, here he has that but also a sort of slick, stylish cool that illustrates just what a phenomenal MOVIE STAR he is. Dude is just charismatic as hell, and we are not worthy...unless you watch his flicks.

    Then you wanna put a toothpick or match in the corner of your mouth, grab 2 Berettas with 80-round clips, and just get down to gettin' down.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome choice!!!! It's still one of my all-time-favorites!!!!

      Delete
    2. I read that as "John Goodman Woo" and now I want a sequel to Matinee, but with doves.

      Delete
    3. I feel like I always feel like watching The Killer. I just love it so much.

      Delete
    4. LOL, I read "John Goodman Woo" too. This is your brain on day 17 of Junesploitation, kids.

      Delete
    5. Senor Gigante Verde, you never let me down. "Matinee...With Doves" is now something I NEED in my life.

      Delete
  19. The Skull (1965):
    Peter Cushing & Sir Christopher Lee - So gla to have been seeing so much love for Christopher Lee. He was such a rockstar and will always be a treasure. I am glad I watched this, the cover art gives quite a few clues as to what the film will be, and it goes for it.

    Cop Land:
    This one is filled with them! I enjoyed all the secondary characters, the performanxes from Keitel and DeNiro are good for this day as it was kind of typical. I wasn't the biggest fan of it. But it was worth a go. Some good dynamics, I liked Janeane Garofalo's character the most.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mainly by filled I mean Kietel, DeNiro and Stallone.

      Delete
    2. I really love Cop Land. I don't know if they actually filmed that movie or just poured a bucket of testosterone into a projector and that's what came out.

      Delete
    3. "I offered you a chance to be a cop and you BLEEWWWWW ITTTTTT!"

      Delete
    4. Brilliant quote Adam! I agree Green Man. So much masculinity, which I can really like in movies but it was maybe a strange follow up to the campy wacky time with The Skull. But that's one of the things I looove about Junesploitation. A chance to try out the weirdest combinations possible!

      Delete
    5. Best part about that scene is that DeNiro is eating a sandwich with his mouth full while he kills it with that - "Listen to me you deaf fuck, I offered you a chance when we could of done something I offered you a chance to be a cop and you blew it...you blew it." Brilliant.

      Delete
  20. She Killed in Ecstasy (1971, dir. Jess Franco)

    Icons: Jess Franco, Soledad Miranda. I think it says something about the current entertainment climate when a Jess Franco movie feels downright classy to me now. It has a gothic, dreamy vibe that I think clashes with Jess' accepted reputation as a sleaze-slinger. He loves his sleaze, but it's gotta be a classy, Aubrey Beardsley kind of sleaze. This is a straight-up knock off of The Bride Wore Black, which I hear he plagiarized more than a couple times. Soledad wears an ornate, comically impractical metal bikini, kills someone with an inflatable pillow, and her husband keeps lots of preserved fetuses in jars around their apartment. This was the third of Jess & Soledad's collaborations I've watched, and I've liked all of them; I especially just like seeing them on screen together. The score, the same one shared with Vampyros Lesbos, is still an all-timer, and at 71 minutes, it's a perfect length for what it is. NSFW Trailer.

    Golden Bat (1966, dir. Hajime Sato)

    Icon: Sonny Chiba. Yeah! The planet Icarus (?) has veered out of orbit, and is going to collide with Earth. It's the work of six-eyed space pillowcase Nazo, who also has a metal claw and a werewolf henchman and flies around in a giant drill bit. Super scientist Sonny Chiba discovers a fragment of Atlantis with a hidden tomb on it and a sarcophagus containing skull-faced superhero Golden Bat. There are tons of lasers, evil clones, and some champion over-acting by a guy who looks like Two-Face. I think this was a pilot for a series, because on three separate, pretty evenly spaced instances, the largely absent GB shows up just in time to save the day. It's gold! Trailer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention how Golden Bat's whole gimmick is laughing maniacally. It really makes him seem more heroic!

      Delete
    2. I don't think people realize how iconic Soledad Miranda is. She was something special. Good pick.

      Delete
    3. Jack Hunter published a book on Franco's films last year, and another one, by Stephen Thrower, is coming soon. I'm looking forward to the Stephen Thrower. I thought Tim Lucas was writing a book on Franco, but I suppose I was wrong.

      Delete
    4. Tim Lucas' entire career is an ongoing, never ending oral history about Jess Franco.

      Delete
    5. Well, when he's not talking about Bava, J.M.

      And... well, haha, that actually sounds a little dirty. "Never-ending oral history of Jess Franco," indeed.

      Delete
  21. TODESGRÜSSE AUS SHANGHAI
    a.k.a
    FIST OF FURY (1972, Lo Wei)

    On day 17 of Junesploitation I choosed a movie I discovered the first time when I was a very young kid (I think I was 8 or 9 years old!).
    When I got bored, I pushed the armchair to the cupboard, climbed on top of the armchair, opened the cupboard and looked through my dad's (not so big) VHS-collection!
    One day a very special tape got my attention!
    I put the tape into the VCR and I immediately got soaked into a story of a guy whose master got poisoned and died.
    So this guy was so freaking pissed and he started to kick a lot of idiots' asses in furious anger!!

    This guy is played by no one else
    than Bruce Lee!!!
    FIST OF FURY has a pretty simple story, but Bruce Lee enriches the plot with his memorable intense acting and his jaw dropping fights!!

    Bruce Lee was, is still, and will ever be an icon and FIST OF FURY will ever be my first love in Bruce-Lee-movies!!!

    ReplyDelete
  22. The Mighty Quinn (1989): Denzel Washington heads up a great tropical noir inspired crime mystery as a fantastic character / hard nosed detective. I will definitely see this again!

    ReplyDelete
  23. HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH (1982)
    I coulda done this on a number of previous days, but saved it because Tom Atkins IS one hell of an icon for those who know what's up (everyone here, I'm sure).

    This flick is batshit crazy and also it is awesome. That's about all I need to say.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great flick and Atkins is a great pick!

      Delete
    2. My 3rd favorite in the Halloween series behind 1 and 4

      Delete
  24. Blood and Black Lace a.k.a Six Women for the Murderer (1964) Dir. The Great Mario Bava (2nd viewing - 20 years apart)

    I LOVE Bava. This viewing just solidified that this is in my top three Bava films along with "Lisa and the Devil" and "Twitch of the Death Nerve" a.k.a "Bay of Blood". Everything works for me in this movie. The colors and lighting are amazing (of course) the kills are great, the score is perfectly effective, the pacing is great for 1964 and the atmosphere is thick. There are so many times I saw a shot, had to pause the film in awe and at the same time all of these scenes from other filmmakers kept running in my head. I was like "Damn, that's where they got that from!"*

    For Icons! day, I choose "Blood and Black Lace" for a few reasons: 1. I wanted to revisit a Bava film I saw years ago and didn't remember very well. 2. Not only is Bava an Icon; but "Blood and Black Lace" is considered by many respected filmmakers to be the blueprint of the Slasher film and some consider it the first real Giallo; I completely agree with both. 3. I wanted to spread the word about Bava and just how important he is in case anyone was wondering if they should get into him. You absolutely should.

    *It is well known that master filmmakers have cited Bava as a major influence. Tarantino (Yep, I'm beating you to it, MIke G!) wanted to release this when he was doing his "Rolling Thunder" series but couldn't find a good enough print. (apparently this has been corrected as I believe Arrow is working on the Blu Ray release). Scorsese has stated that "Kill, Baby Kill" was an inspirarion and Bava's best film and there is a very interesting article about the influence that Bava had on Fellini. Just search both names if your interested but please note that it contains a ton of spoilers if you are unfamiliar with either director's work.

    Sorry to go all Vargas-length on this ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Repost. Sorry, had to edit grammatical error.

      Delete
    2. I don't mind at all, Chaybee, you fucking ROCK! I love Bava. I love all of his films. Well, Dr. Goldfoot was... hmmmm.

      Now don't forget the main inspiration for Pulp Fiction other than Black Mask magazine was Bava's Black Sabbath.

      Question: Do you have Tim Lucas's massive tome on Bava's life and career? If not, it's OOP, but hunt for it. Even if you have to pay an exorbitant fee for it, it's worth it.

      I would also recommend Troy Howarth's very good examination of Bava's career and legacy.

      Delete
    3. It just occurred to me, I think there's a digital download of Tim Lucas's book, at a more reasonable price.

      Delete
    4. Pshhh...Books. All books do is cut into movie watching time! Nah, I don't have it but thanks for the heads up, Mike.

      Delete
  25. Dracula aka Horror of Dracula (1958) - First viewing

    Christopher Lee's Count Dracula is a terrifying presence but is given surprisingly little screen time. The film focuses much more on Van Helsing, played by Peter Cushing, another screen legend (or should I say... icon?). The story takes huge liberties with Stoker's book, but who cares about that when the film's this good. An excellent movie, but doesn't quite hold a candle to Lugosi (but then again very little does).

    Btw, it's well over midnight here as I'm writing this, but you'll have to take my word for it that I watched the movie hours ago.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Horror of Dracula (1958) first time viewing

    I really enjoyed this version of Dracula. As elithebutcherboy said earlier Peter Cushing is really fantastic in the movie. However, when Christopher Lee is onscreen he is really a presence and kills (pun intended) it as Dracula. Also, the final battle between Van Helsing and Dracula didn't disappoint. I'm a newbie as far as hammer films go, so with this good experience I will be checking out more. Especially more Lee as Dracula films.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For more Hammer films, Curse of Frankenstein is freaking brilliant. In my humble opinions.

      Delete
  27. Road House (1989)

    Earlier today Lindsay Wilkins reminded me that Patrick Swayze is an icon that deserves a place alongside the greats of his generation.
    Swayze ripping out a mans throat after said man declared "I used to fuck guys like you in prison" is one of the best moments in the history of action movies.

    ReplyDelete
  28. SOUTHERN COMFORT (1981)
    Walter Hill. Powers Boothe. Hell, I'd count Fred Ward, my ownself.

    After Extreme Prejudice, this is probably my favorite Hill movie. Actually I just need ro take a day and do a Hill-a-thon. And eat lots of red meat as I spontaneously grow a full beard.

    This movie is superb and kinda slasher-ish at times and has remarkably effective action when it comes and a transcendent score and a stupidly tense final twenty minutes. It is AWESOME.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I only recently saw this for the first time about a year ago or so. It's incredible.

      Delete
    2. I see the Cajun dogmaster, Mr. Stonecypher, from Django Unchained, in a totally different light after seeing Southern Comfort.

      Delete
  29. The New Barbarians (aka Warriors of the Wasteland) (1983, dir. Enzo Castellari)

    Fred Williamson? Icon! Castellari? Icon! Another Italian Road Warrior rip-off that's goofy and sublime. Lead actor Giancarlo Prete is like a post-apocalyptic Eric Bogosian. All The Hammer does is stand around in a completely silly costume and fire exploding arrows and people, who then explode. It never stops being the best. Have I mentioned how much fun this movie is?

    ReplyDelete
  30. Jackie Brown (1997)

    Pam Motherfucking Grier. I love her so much, and after the earlier "Off the Shelf" post, I knew it was time to finally see this one. I can't believe I waited so long.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So many people refer to this as lesser Tarantino, but I think it's one of his best. What a great movie.

      Delete
    2. Even "lesser Tarantino" isn't lesser Tarantino.

      Delete
    3. I have such a difficult time ranking his movies. I think as I'm watching them, I think, this could be my favorite...

      Delete
    4. I'm the same way. Only, Inglourious Basterds has been my favorite movie of all time and hasn't budged.

      Delete
  31. Nobody's Fool (1994)

    Decided to squeeze in one more. Late-career Paul Newman in his version of the old curmudgeon movie. Kind of like Gran Torino but without all the action and racism. Just a semi-likable old guy who don't give a damn anymore. It's a pretty good movie, it just doesn't really go anywhere. I feel like this film falls into a category of using old icons to elevate an average story. It might could even be considered "Iconsploitation."

    ReplyDelete
  32. THE TERMINATOR (1984) IN A THEATER!
    I was not yet born when this movie came out and I therefore had never seen it in a theater. It is waaaay better on the bigscreen. I mean, I liked it a lot before, but my estimation of it is much much higher after seeing it on the big screen. You would think that the effects would be weaker on a bigger screen, but honestly most of them look even better than at home. A few of them seem a little hokey (the stuff with the fake Arnold head stands out to me the most, honestly I'm perfectly ok with the stop motion Terminator at the end) but most of them are only complimented on the big screen.

    P.S. I've been lax in my Junesploitation for the last week or so due to a major move, but I'm super excited to finally be back in it.

    ReplyDelete
  33. In this case, I would say the franchise is the icon. Or the t-rex.

    Jurassic World (2015)

    This was my second time, and my opinion really changed. I thought it was a dumb but fun blockbuster the first time. But now I really don't like it. The movie really doesn't work. I just have way too many problems with it. Chris Pratt constantly spouting exposition. The complete misuse of the theme. The ridiculous way the T-Rex and Raptors are handled. And about a couple dozen other messy issues. I think I'm done with the darn thing.

    Jurassic Park (1993)

    Right after my buddy and I went to watch this again. What a palate cleanser. I've probably seen this more than any other movie ever made, and it still completely takes me in. I'm so moved by it. I watched it this time really critically to find problems, and I came up with nothing. I literally do not have a single problem with the film. I love it so much. Everything about it. It's honestly beautiful and maybe the best blockbuster of all time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Spielberg can be an icon too.

      Delete
    2. If any director is, he is. haha And Jeff Goldblum. He's the man.

      Delete
    3. Regarding Jurassic World, I liked it but I had low expectations and that always helps. You´re right, it has lots of problems I won´t get into here.

      But the chase sequence with the raptors and the motorbike doesn´t go out of my head.
      That was nothing short of spectacular to me. The pace, the camerawork, the editing and the perfect CGI in this sequence are simply amazing. That was the high point of the movie for me.

      Delete
  34. Death Proof (2007)
    I would watch this on Carsploitation Day, but I already have two movies synched up, and if this month has taught me anything so far, it's helped me realize anything, it's that I never have enough viewing time in a day to watch everything I wanna watch. The amount of movies I wanted to watch on Spaghetti Western Day was astronomical. I didn't even have a chance to write two reviews for movies I DID watch. Junesploitation has left me with a Greek scroll of titles to check out once Junesploitation is over, and for that I thank all of you.

    Death Proof, how I love thee, let me count the ways. Oh yeah, I have to limit what I write. Okay, another time, perhaps.

    It's got icons galore. QT. Kurt Russell. Michael Parks. A screenplay dedicated to Charles B. Griffith. Stuntman Jeff Dashnaw. Greg Nicotero.

    And since it just wouldn't be right to conclude with a fun Tarantino fact, I've got one. You know the Michael Parka scene, and how it pays homage to the end of Psycho? Well, Quentin is NOT the biggest fan of Hitchcock's Psycho. In fact, he prefers Gus Van Sant's remake to the original. He considers it more "real." His favorite Hitchcock film? Torn Curtain. But it sounds like he's either watched or owns a print of it with the Bernard Herrmann score -- and that's the version he likes the most.

    If there's anything I wish Death Proof had -- it's practically a perfect film for me, regardless of its status in QT's filmography -- it's a scene where Rosario, Zoe, and Tracie roll up on the farmhouse and beat the everliving shit out of that hick Jasper, maybe even kill the sumbitch, and rescue Mary Elizabeth Winstead.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Yuen Woo-ping's DREADNAUGHT (1981, 91 min.) in 35mm at NYC Anthology Film Archives' 'This is 35mm' Retrospective for the first time.

    Slashers and masked killers were the rage in the early 80's, so it makes sense that Asian filmmakers would jump on this trend. Though closer to a horror spoof than an actual slasher (think kung-fu version of "Student Bodies" or "Saturday the 14th") there's no mistaking the slasher influence on the kabuki make-up, fucked-up trauma and stalking behavior that 'White Tiger' (Yuen Shun-yee) exhibits as he goes about beheading poor animals (on camera!) and chasing timid 'Mousy' (Yuen Biao) all over town. It's a good thing that 'Mousy' has been trained by his family into the art of laundry-fu, which Master Wong Fei-Hung (the amazing Kwan Tak-hing) correctly identifies as the 'Eagle Claw' technique when he considers taking Mousy in as a student.

    "Dreadnaught" is actually two or three different stories mixed together (school rivalries, cartoony police procedural, etc.). It's all one big excuse for the director of "Drunken Master" and fight choreographer of "Kill Bill" to stage some sweet martial arts stunts, fight choreography and dance. It says something that, in a movie in which there are a handful of kick-ass fight scenes, the standout scenes involve characters dressed in lion costumes fighting while dancing. "Dreadnaught" is available on YouTube, so feel free (16:17 to 26:18 has the lion costume scene). It's not as immaculate and blemish-free as the 35mm print that I saw, but hey, we can't all live and work in NYC. :-D

    ReplyDelete
  36. FREDDY VS. JASON (2003)
    Icons.

    I actually love this flick and do not understand the hate some have for it. I think the way they tied them together totally worked. I don't care that in this one Jason is magically scared of water suddenly, either.

    It's tons of fun with great kills for both of them, wonderfully bloody and gory, and surprisingly funny at times. I dig it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I also love the film.

      There's a scene early in the film where a few notes from the Friday the 13th Part III score can be heard. When I heard that, my ears perked up.

      Delete
    2. I don't normally thank people for enjoying the same movies I do, but as I usually feel so alone about this one among my film loving friends...thank you, Mike.

      Delete
    3. Not a problem. I dug that movie a hell of a lot. I'll stick up for it anytime I can. And fellow fans, too.

      I even have a theory about that Jason being scared of water thing. Nobody ever seems to be on board with me about it, so here goes:

      Jason's alive because of a death curse on Crystal Lake, correct? And logically (yes, I'm using logic on a Friday the 13th film; bear with me), it's the death curse that is driving him, propelling him to kill. In Jason Goes to Hell, we see the Necronomicon on Pamela Voorhee's mantelpiece in the den. It's logical (again, I know) to assume she used it to set up the curse, that in the event of her death, Jason would come back to life and continue the murders, basically unstoppable. The only time this hulk of stalking dead flesh has any connection to his former life is in the moments when he is subdued, and the curse is, in a way, set on pause. When he's in that state, the curse has no dominion, and he's that scared little boy again, petrified of water and the way he died. Freddy knows this, and takes advantage of it when he can, in the dream. When Jason awakes, the curse is in full control again, so there is no longer any fear.

      There ya go.

      Delete
  37. Q - The Winged Serpent (1982) (first time viewing)

    Richard Roundtree & David Carradine play New York cops looking into Aztec rituals and a dragon flying about in modern day. This movie is bizarre. It cuts back and forth between being a straight 70's/80's era (era) cop drama and a Harryhausen-esque monster flick. It seemed weird that the cops were so non-chalant about a dragon flying around when you could tell that this was supposed to be a world where this was not normal. I don't know. It was day 17 of Junesploitation, so I was really tired while watching this. I'm gonna say recommend, for the bizarreness.

    ReplyDelete
  38. The Freshman (1925)

    Harold Lloyd is awesome. The Freshman is great (especially the last 15 minutes). Criterion is the best. That is all.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Beyond The Valley of the Dolls (1970)

    What an oddball of a movie. Written by Roger Ebert (I assume this wasn't what he won his Pulitzer prize for) and directed by Russ Meyer, who is an icon for a whole other set of reasons this is both a movie very much of its time, but still with a lot of self awareness that has probably contributed to it becoming a bit of a cult favourite.....well that and the boobs.

    ReplyDelete