Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Junesploitation Day 3: Animals!

Welcome to the bottom of the food chain!

135 comments:

  1. Samuel Fuller's WHITE DOG (1982) on Criterion DVD; also available in the Criterion section for Hulu Plus subscribers.

    Over the years exploitation movies have had their share of pretentious prestige entries that were meant more for the arthouse than the grindhouse (i.e. every movie Monte Hellman ever directed), and Sam Fuller's last American film before his self-imposed exile to France fits the profile. Directed with his trademark straightforward-and-pulpy embrace of marginal-to-society side stories for the sake of making a socially relevant point, "White Dog" uses an attack dog's beaten-into-his-DNA instinct to be aggressive and maul black people as a metaphor on which the human characters surrounding him get their comeuppance. Kristy McNichol (TV's "Family") seems hopelessly naive about the real world outside of her acting career (Fuller spitting in the face of Hollywood liberals), Paul Winfield (the black police captain in "The Terminator") achieves mad scientist levels of obsession in his efforts to cure the dog from his racist tendencies (to the point he covers for the animal when it goes on a killing rampage), and Burl Ives is the jolly owner of the Thunderdome-like California retreat where the experimental treatment of the dog takes place. Blink and a tiny role by Dick Miller with a baby monkey in his nursing arms flashes by, as well as Fuller sticking a couple of pointed jabs (literally) at "the enemy," R2-D2 from "Star Wars." This flick is a bunch of different things (existentialist drama, sociopolitical commentary, animal attack porn, a chance for Ennio Morricone to experiment with music, how to make images of a dog express emotion, etc.), but subtle isn't one of them.

    That "White Dog" sacrifices entertainment value and fun to get a socially relevant message across (think TV After School Special masquerading as a feature film) doesn't meant it's a preachy or dull movie. This is Samuel freaking Fuller we're talking about here, a director that knows that a morality tale goes down easier on the audience when it's wrapped tightly around a juicy mouthful of pulp cinema. It just happens to delve occasionally into showbiz, which allows Fuller to really stick it to the people he worked with and controlled this flick's rocky destiny. From the dogs (five canines playing the never-named titular canine) performing some pretty sweet stunts (jumping through glass plate windows, crashing a street sweeper into a posh Beverly Hills boutique, etc.) and horrible actions (the kid and his mom... yikes!) to McNichol getting off on the original owner of the dog when she finally confronts him (which works both ways since her naive taunts makes them both look bad), "White Dog" is never a dull or uninteresting movie. It's just not what the Paramount of 1982, flooded with "48 Hours" and "Flashdance" cash, wanted to deal with. Any movie that its studio deems so controversial that it shelves it until the 1990's (when attitudes and political correctness were more 'with it') it's an exploitation movie I want to see, and an 'Overlook' column that I'd definitely would want to read on F This Movie. That JB hasn't gotten around to doing a column on "White Dog" surprises me, as this movie is the very essence of what his column is supposed to be: a little-seen and undiscovered movie whose behind-the-scenes anecdotes are a lot more interesting and fun than anything that's actually in the movie itself.

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    1. Come on JM you know the rules. You were doing really well. Have another go yeah?

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    2. Thank you Gabby

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    3. OK, Gabby, I'll try (T-R-Y!) to cut it shorter next time. PITHYSPLOITATION ;-)

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    4. Don't try do it! You wouldn't on SMM right? It's part of the fun. If you want to talk about it longer you can. We're a community and we can discuss it here, on facebook and twitter. That's something that makes it great! Get the buzz going. #Excitplotation.

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    5. I wanna be like Gabby when I grow up. First to come to someone's aid when they need it. First to call someone out when they need it. Always constructive. You truly are one of the good ones.

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    6. Thank you Matt, that means a lot.

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  2. Frogs (1972)
    Could this have been The Happening of its day? The animated frog with a severed hand in its gob at the tail end of this picture is an insult to the film and the audience. The frogs aren't eating anybody in this movie. At best, their throaty song is causing the other animals in the swamp area surrounding Ray Milland's island plantation to attack and gorge on his family, and reluctant house guest Sam Elliott. Even the fauna is effected! No doubt M. Night was inspired.

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    1. But how about that moustache-less Sam Elliott beefcake for the win? Come in, ladies (and some guys too), this one's for you. ;-)

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    2. Michael GiammarinoJune 3, 2015 at 1:52 PM

      Did he even get down with Joan Van Ark? Like, at all? And she was giving him all the signals, too. If he's not careful, she's gonna end up with a Ewing, and where will that lead them, then? I know where it'll lead her? It'll be drama... seven days a week!

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  3. Big Ass Spider! (2013)

    It's called Big Ass Spider.
    You get a big ass spider.
    What where you expecting?

    All kidding aside, it is called Big Ass Spider, it knows what it is. There's a big B-level CG monster, so don't expect art. Quality wise , it's one step above the fare from the Asylum that appear on SyFy. If you can accept this type of movie, it'll entertain you, but if you despise Sharknado and it's ilk, this won't change your mind.

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    1. Big Ass Spider is awesome and so is director Mike Mendez.

      If he ever gets a decent budget (his biggest was probably The Gravedancers and that was spookshow fun all the way) we genre fans are in for a real treat.

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    2. This was one of my favorite discoveries from last year's Scary Movie Month. I do despise Sharknado and its ilk, but I loved Big Ass Spider. It's just so much fun!

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    3. I caught this one last year and really enjoyed it. I'm a bit arachnaphobic, so spider movies are always right up my alley cause they scare the crap out of me no matter how cheesy they are.

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    4. Thanks for the reminder on Gravedancers, Albert! I loved Big Ass Spider when I saw it for SMM and I've been meaning to catch up with his other stuff

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    5. Big ass spider is super fun!

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    6. I agree, I'd love to see what this director could do with a healthy budget.

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  4. THE VOICES (2014)
    Some people may not feel this fits but...yeah, it kinda does. Especially if you've never seen a flick where a Scottish-accented cat with a FOUL mouth incite its owner to commit acts of mayhem. Which I had not.

    It's seriously pitch black stuff and gets darker as it goes along, but sickly funny, surprisingly bloody and truly well acted. I know, I know -- it's become cool to hate Ryan Reynolds, but if you have ever doubted the man's talent...watch him in this. It could change your mind.

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    1. Of course this fits! I really liked The Voices as well and not sure where the hate comes for Ryan Reynolds. He was great in this as well as Egoyan's The Captive so it appears he's trying to do some different things.

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    2. I haven't seen that yet but Egoyan is capable of great work; I'll check it out!

      Also, The Voices has Anna Kendrick doing what Anna Kendrick does, which is be ridiculously appealing and irresistable, if anyone needs a further selling point.

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    3. Egoyan was one of my favorites but recently he has been doing some awful stuff, most notably "Devils Knot", the dramatization of the West Memphis Three. I went into The Captive with low expectations and found it to be Egoyan making a step forward to being back on track.

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    4. I just saw this film and I liked it a lot.
      Very interesting and clever concept, good visuals and fine performances.

      By the way, Gemma Arterton is also in this movie, being "ridiculously appealing and irresistable" to everyone who likes her ;-))

      But I will stay with Ryan Reynolds. I always liked him, especially in "Buried" and "Safe House". I never understood that hate, which I think was triggered by the "Green Lantern" disaster, of which he was the least responsible, at least in my opinion.

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  5. Piranha 3D (2010) is cheap and tacky in kind of a calculated, cynical way. Still entirely watchable and fun though. Pretty good cast, although the mileage varies.

    Piranha 3DD (2012) is decidedly more calculated and cynical. Generally harmless, but it’s not fun anymore. Shouldn’t have bothered with this one.

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  6. Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid (2004) - First viewing

    Attention everyone: don't watch this movie. Seriously, don't.

    (That was under 50 words, right?)

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  7. Xiong Mao a.k.a Evil Cat (1987) Dir. Dennis Yu of "The Beasts" fame

    Demoncatposessionsploitation! A demonic "cat" (someone in a "Thundercat"outfit) is unearthed from the ground and has been killed 8 times for centuries. He's now back in 1986 possession people and on his 9th life.

    Horror/Comedy from Hong Kong. This was a lot of fun and the horribly translated English subs make it that much better! It uses the classic panther roaring sound effect to the fullest and to my surprise, the film actually looked really good, has some awesome "Ghostbuster-eque" special effects, wire work, plenty of explosions and classic "red and blue" lighting throughout. Highly recommended!

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  8. Rise of the Animals (2011)

    It has the production value of a student film, but I had fun watching it. It has shades of Evil Dead and dare I say The Happening (in a good way). They had my heart when the deer puppet exploded in a cloud of blood after being kicked into a tree.

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    1. "when the deer puppet exploded in a cloud of blood after being kicked into a tree" - that sounds incredible.

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    2. It was funny, but I don't want to over sell it. Most of the effects budget seemed to go towards fake blood.

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    3. I almost watched this just because it popped up on Prime when I searched "Animals." I may have to go back and see it anyway based on your exploding deer critique.

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    4. People and animals tend to pop like blood filled balloons with only the slightest cause.
      Most of the acting is wooden, but they seem to be having a good time making it even the killer dog featured in the opening scene.

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  9. The Wolf Man 1941 (thank you uncle - in - law's DVD collection)

    This movie has a lot of charm. Plus my man Claude Rains. I have noticed with these monster movies (when I say these I mean Bride of Frankenstein) there is as much sympathy for the monster as with the victims. There is a sadness that the remake never had. And also what I have learned the gypsy is always right.

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    1. Have you gone fown the crazy spin off route yet? I recommend it. It is a journey! (Son of Frankenstein, House of Dracula ect)

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    3. No, the monster thing is new for me. I just bought a blue ray collection of universal monsters, but I am going to have hunt the spin offs out.

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  10. Grizzly (1976, dir. William Girdler) (First Time Viewing): Would have rather watched a 5-minute supercut of all the bear attacks; they’re pretty great. The rest of this movie is inane and nonsensical bickering, mixed in with bear-vision as it stalks its prey. So boring! Grizzly learned all the wrong lessons from Jaws as it blatantly ripped it off. For shame. Human-Cigarette Christopher George makes for a watchable lead though, and the bear attacks are great, so see it!

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    1. "Human Cigarette" is the best way of describing Christopher George I've ever heard. I'm still laughing.

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  11. Bambi (1942)
    What a beautiful movie. I love being dropped into the forest world of Bambi and just witnessing the circle of life in all its whimsy and splendor along with the dark and sad times. The music for Man is so genuinely terrifying, and Thumper is probably one of my all time favorite Disney characters. This movie is definitely in my Disney Top Ten.

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    1. This is why I love Junesploitation.

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    2. I always preferred the sequel, "Bambi Goes Crazy Ape Bonkers With His Drill And Sex"

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4uuasUO1eE

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  12. A Boy and His Dog (1975) - First viewing

    Since there's no post-apocalyptic category this year, I thought I'd watch this today. 'Cause, you know, there's a dog.

    Don Johnson plays a young man with a telepathic connection with his dog in a post-apocalyptic world where most of his time is occupied with the search for either food or sex. A beautiful woman lures him to an underground city, the "Down Under", the only place where civilization and rule of law still exist. Turns out it's not such a happy place after all...

    Like the Mad Max films, A Boy and His Dog throws a lot at the viewer without explaining it all, and it's left to the viewer to fill in the gaps. It's a mixed bad, sometimes working and sometimes less so. An interesting film nonetheless.

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    1. I've been meaning to rewatch this for a while since I don't think I really knew what to make of it when I first saw it. The "down under" bits are fascinating though.

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  13. Alligator (1980)

    First of all, baby alligators really are surprisingly cute. I'd absolutely take one home, except for the whole growing-to-enormous-size-from-snacking-on-irradiated-dog-carcasses-and-then-going-on-a-people-eating-rampage thing. I mean, it's not a TOTAL dealbreaker, but insurance premiums in my neighborhood are gonna go up.

    This was a really fun movie, and a reminder that Robert Forster is a big pile of awesome. The script by John Sayles (!) revels in the goofiness inherent in the premise and the low-budget effects are tons of fun. Really glad I finally caught up with this one.

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    1. How did you watch this JP? I've been wanting to watch it for awhile now.

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    2. Hey TravisL, hope you don't mind me chiming in as you asked JP, but the film is on YouTube. Always check there as I am finding tons of stuff on there that cannot be found elsewhere.

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    3. Oh awesome thanks a lot Chaybee

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    4. I watched it on DVD from Netflix because I'm one of the 3 people who still subscribes to that service. I'm planning on listening to the Lewis Teague/Robert Forster commentary track tonight too, because Forster is the BEST.

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    5. I'm watching it right now and he really is the best. He sales the shit out of this premise haha

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  14. BEASTER DAY (2014)

    The idea here is that the Easter Bunny is a giant rabbit monster that kills you. Sadly, the movie doesn’t live up to this great premise. This thing is so cheap that the monster is a marionette puppet superimposed onto the backgrounds. They couldn’t even afford a guy in a rabbit suit! The filmmakers really are trying, though. You tell when they’re thinking, “This is our Evil Dead scene” and “This is our Jurassic Park scene” and “This is our Friday the 13th scene.” Unfortunately, what kills the movie is the comedy, with the creators’ attitude of “We’re totally in on the joke, see?” and that’s what ruins it.

    Accompanying short film: SHAUN THE SHEEP: IN THE DOGHOUSE (2009). How is a sheep the breakout character in a franchise that has diamond thieves and killer robots? That said, this ‘toon is so charming that it could melt the most cynical hearts.

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  15. Shakma (1990, dir. Tom Logan)
    Research students playing a Live Action Role Playing Game led by Roddy McDowell are attacked by a killer baboon. Sounds awesome, right? It is at times. The baboon is genuinely scary and, as a kid who grew up with a crush on Ari Meyers, the supporting role played by her midriff is welcome. But the movie draaaaaags and needed an editor VERY BADLY. Christopher Atkins' performance and the recurring sight of him carrying/stacking up dead bodies becomes unintentionally funny. Still happy to have see in it, as it wasn't really on my radar at all.

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    1. Maybe there could be a Roddy McDowell day next Junesploitation?

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    2. When I was a kid, one of my favorite supporting roles was Jennifer Love Hewitt's cleavage in I Know What You Did Last Summer. I steal think it carries the film.

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  16. The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996)

    The story of Marlon Brando and Val Kilmer's ongoing competition to see who can wear the silliest thing on their head (computer chip? bucket of ice?) in what seems intended to be a Shakespearean special effects vehicle with dialogue scrapped together from clippings recovered from the cutting room floor of the previous year's Judge Dredd (“Is there still law?” “But how can there be law without the father?”). The make-up is impressive but the story lacks any sense of coherence either in tone or character, and the final insult comes when the last scene rubs the film’s central metaphor in your face (Do you get it? Man was the real animal!).

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    1. There is a cool documentary called Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr. Moreau that explains some of the craziness

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    2. Yeah I've heard about that I'm really interested in seeing it!

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    3. The story is crazy and fascinating but you've gotta wear an Ice bucket on your head when you watch it ;)

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  17. Shakma (1990)

    See Patricks comment above

    Video era movie making at its blandest. Not even Roddy McDowell's charm (which is in full effect) could save it. This movie is Un-McDowellable.

    The highlight is when Christopher Atkins goes from being the all American good guy, to a hardened vet who's seen some shit in the space of half a scene. He screams, and the baboon runs away. Because the Baboon knows, man. He fucking knows.

    Oh, and there is about a 2-3 minute scene of a girl throwing forks and marbles out of a window to no effect. So, you know, its must see film making!

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    1. So, we should throw in the proverbial McDowell and skip this one?

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    2. I agree that the fork throwing stuff is maddening because it leads to nothing, further evidence of this movie's desperate need for editing. But I liked that it showed the characters trying EVERYTHING to get help. Until, that is, they easily find a phone and contact 911. Took the impact out of the fork throwing, that.

      As far as skipping, I guess you could...unless...wait, did I misspell 'Ari Meyers' midriff?'

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    3. Sorry Mr.Bromley, you guys just have me too curious and besides Roddy McDowell's midriff...

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  18. The Killer Shrews (1959)

    It was one of the best reviewed creature movies on a hasty Amazon Prime search, so I watched it. I gotta say, it's exactly what I wanted. Nothing more and nothing less. It's a fun late 50's sci-fi movie with genetically altered super shrews. By the way, if you've ever watched a documentary on normal shrews, you know that they're terrifying anyway. I enjoyed James Best in a pre-Roscoe-Coltrane role, when his southern accent was casual rather than iconically over-the-top. The shrews were portrayed by unassuming blue-tick hounds who had fur thrown over their backs. What more could you want?

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    1. Random BTW's: I just noticed on Wikipedia that James Best died about two months ago, which was very sad news. RIP. This movie shows some of his great early work in small films.

      Also, I forgot to note that there's some pretty blatant period racism early in this movie, in the form of a token black character who gets called "boy" and says he can play ragtime jazz. He's a very lovable character, though, and it's not anything bad enough to deter you from watching. Just a pre-warning.

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    2. Have you seen the "MST3K" version of "Killer Shrews"? One of their most popular episodes, they really went to town on the puppies-as-shrews canines and on Roscoe... I mean, Best's mannerisms. Worth a look, I'm sure it's on YouTube somewhere.

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  19. Bandolero! (1968)

    Lots of horses in this movie. I'm going to count it!

    This is a really terrific film. It stars my favorite actor, Jimmy Stewart, and one of my favorite singers, Dean Martin. Both are wonderful here. Dean Martin, who normally phones it in in garbage movies, gives what might be the performance of his career. The film is brilliantly written as a fantastic character piece for every major character, Every beat in it is believable. The action is great, there's some impressive stunts, and the leading lady is very beautiful and charming. I loved this film. I think it's fantastic.

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    1. Sounds great! I actually really like Dean Martin as an actor. I mean two words, Rio Bravo!

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    2. Yeah, I notice he's really good in westerns. But I would advice against seeing any rom-coms with him. haha

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  20. Ghost Cat (2003)

    I thought I was getting a horror movie about a vicious ghost cat haunting people. What I got was a sweet, heartfelt family friendly movie about a ghost cat helping to save an animal farm. I walked away feeling pretty positive about life though, so I'd say I came out ahead.

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  21. Burning Bright (2010) - First viewing

    A young woman and her autistic little brother are stuck inside a house with a tiger. Yeah, that's the plot.

    There were a few great moments of suspense, but that's about it. The "plot" about why the tiger is in the house was nonsensical (I won't spoil it here) and the tiger's behavior didn't seem natural to me (though I'm no expert). On the plus side, it's under 90 minutes long.

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    1. I loved Burning Bright simply for what it was and Briana Evigan.

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  22. Savage Harvest (1981, dir. Robert Collins)

    Philandering safari guide Tom Skerritt is given a chance to win back his estranged family when a pride of hungry lions traps them inside their home on a Kenyan bean plantation. Since there's only around eight lions instead of 100, it's like a much less stressful version of Roar, released the same year. The lions get into the house through the chimney, but the family escapes by building a protective cage out of bed frames. I thought the highlight was a scene where a family sing-along of "Love is All You Need" is interrupted by a lion dragging their dead butler into the living room. No trailer, so here's a clip.

    But that was just an appetizer for:
    Magic Lizard (1985, dir. Sompote Sands)

    Magic Lizard is a six-foot tall frilled lizard with a little girl's voice who we first meet rollerskating with a bunch of guys in lizard hats. Evil robots come to his cave in a pink UFO and steal a giant diamond. Magic Lizard is friends with a Thai god who flies off to the moon to get it back. The plot is Magic Lizard wandering around aimlessly and causing mischief while being chased by an alligator statue he accidentally brought to life. He meets some guys hiding in a cavern who are being harassed by a golden water buffalo that shoots fireworks out its mouth, but I think they get killed by some giant mosquitoes. The alligator eats five people, and Magic Lizard beats it by hitting coconuts into its mouth with a bat until it's too fat to move anymore. He then uses his own head as a propeller to fly the alligator into space, where it gets turned into a constellation. There's a part where he wrestles a bear, a part where he dances to "Baby Elephant Walk" with some baby elephants, and a part where a buffalo poops in his mouth. No trailer, so here's a clip.

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    1. What?! This looks freaking amazing.

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  23. Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark (2014)
    It's impossible to hate a movie when the opening scene has a giant shark destroy the Great Sphinx with a tugboat. This is my first experience with Asylum, and it's exactly what I expected. It's gleeful trash and clocks in at a brisk 86 minutes. Elisabeth Rohm continues a career long streak of refusing to move her face to express--well, anything, and the Jaws references come thick and fast. Also, the leads make out at the end covered in shark gore, so it's pretty classy. I certainly won't be revisiting this one, but I feel like I got what I paid for.

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  24. Wolfcop (2014)

    Being a new film I was worried this was going to be quite played purely for laughs ala Sharknado, but I have to say this is great. Lou Ferou is an alcoholic cop who in a satanic ritual is turned into a werewolf, then administers some hairy vigilante justice. It's everything you could want from a film like this, in that it's violent and funny, plus there is a sex scene that has to be seen to be believed....

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    1. And the Wolfcop rap at the end makes you smile :)

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    2. Really looking forward to finding this one!!

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    3. I think it is still on Prime and maybe netflix? Fun stuff! And read Patrick's review!

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    4. It answers all your werewolf transformation questions that you never knew you had

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  25. Day of the Animals (1977)
    Tourists on a nature hike choose the absolute worst time to go hiking -- ozone layer depletion is making the animals go all wonky. Amd the cruelest animal of them all? Leslie Nielsen.

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  26. Late Phases (2014)

    Well I originally had “Shark Week” picked for my film for today but upon seeing the “Asylum presents” credit I made an audible to Late Phases and I’m very glad I did. This one stars a Vietnam vet who’s new retirement community is being attacked by a strange dog like creature. I don’t want to say too much about this one as I liked kinda discovering it along the way. The best I can say is if you want a more grounded version of Bruce Campbell’s Bubba Ho Tep then this is the pick for you. Also very nice to see practical animal effects.

    8 Word Review (In Preparation for SMM)

    “Nick Damici earns his great Charles Bronson moustache”

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    1. I enjoyed this film a lot. I love a good werewolf movie!

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  27. Cujo 1983

    Vic Trenton: There are no real monsters. 

    Tad Trenton: Except for the one in my closet! 

    Typical Spielberg set up with you getting to know the mixed up slightly dissfunctional family first and then bring in the horror later, but the tension is still good and the attack scenes hold up well for a film over 30yrs old, I had a fun time revisiting it

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    1. I love Cujo. In my opinion this is one of the best King movies and one of the best animal horror films.
      Mostly true to the book with really very good performances by Dee Wallace and little Danny Pintauro. Jan de Bont`s lensing is also aces.
      It has tension and terror. Although I like the ending, I would have preferred they had been using the original one from the novel, as bleak as it is.

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  28. Komodo vd Cobra: I thought this would be ridiculous camp. But it ended up being the longest hour and a half since Dinosaurus! (1960). Was Dinosaurus 85 minutes or 875 minutes? Anyway I gave it a shot!

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  29. Shakma (1990)
    Oh, it's very McDowellable, Brad L. I'm gonna fault the miniscule editing on low budget and limited production time. Aside from that... nothing about this movie makes sense, least of which playing a game like that. And yet, I loved every ridiculous, nonsensical, stupid moment of this, as long as it brought more baboon freakouts, chases, and maulings. And there was hardly enough Amanda Wyss in this. I laughed and had such a positive reaction to the inane dialogue and ridiculopathy, I started screaming Shaaaaakmaaaaa! during those drags Patrick mentioned, just to keep the momentum going. This would make for a great party movie.
    Shaaaakmaaaaaa!

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    1. I clearly want interactive enough. I need to put more DO into my McDOwellings

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  30. Roar (1981)

    I had never even heard of this movie until Patrick mentioned in a podcast recently. The concept alone was enough to entice/disturb me into watching it:
    "Director" Noel Marshall, backed by a studio production, puts his entire family, including Tippi Hedron and Melanie Griffith in huge amounts of danger by surrounding them with countless wild lions, tigers, leopards and pissed of elephants.

    Why wasn't he charged with attempted murder? Makes the dude from 'Grizzly Man' seem rational and sane.

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  31. Snakes On A Plane (2006)
    Holy shit what is this movie? This movie is the plot of Air Force One mixed with snakes and executed exactly like Airplane! Gross cgi and weird stereotypes mixed with every SLJ performance combined into one. Either way, all praise to the PlayStation.

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    1. I remember the first time I saw the ad for this was during Saturday Night Live, and I thought it was a brilliant fake commercial/sketch. Little did I know...

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  32. I feel like my Junesploitation finally kicked in with the insane Day of the Animals (1977, directed by William Girdler), in which a shirtless Leslie Nielsen goes full-blown Colonel Kurtz because aerosol cans. If you do a shot each time the movie cuts to innocuous stock footage of animals accompanied by a punchy stinger you’ll be dead before act two and THE ANIMALS WILL HAVE WON. Midway through the film I looked my dog square in the eyes and warned him not to get any smart ideas.

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  33. The Ghost and the Darkness
    This was one of the most thrilling movies I'd ever seen when I first saw it at age 13. Now: still a bunch of fun, Michael Douglas is really good, and why do I love the weird soundtrack so much?

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    1. Because it's awesome! Love that movie.

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    2. Right, it´s awesome. One of Goldsmith´s best score´s with it´s sweeping themes and unusual instrumentation.

      I saw this on one of Hamburg´s biggest screens in 1996. Back home I started my computer, went to the IMDB and rated it 10 out of 10.

      Today I would put this a little lower but back then seeing it on a giant screen with big sound and hearing Goldsmith firing on all cylinders was simply amazing.

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  34. What happens when a Parisian single mother of three, drugged and kidnapped by the trust fund hungry butler, befriends a man under a bridge to return her family to safety?

    Tune in to The Aristocats (1970) and find out!

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    1. The Aristocats is my favorite Disney movie, and it's not even particularly close. I hope you liked it.

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  35. Lake Placid (1999)

    Bill Pullman AND Oliver Platt?! That's almost TOO much animal for one movie.

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    1. I love this movie too. Haters be damned. It's really entertaining.

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    2. I listened to the How Did This Get Made? podcast on this movie and they're not wrong about any of the points they make, but I still like it too.

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    3. For my money, this probably the last good movie Steve Miner's ever made.

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    4. And Bridget steals the show for me, even above Oliver who is brilliant to

      " Stop throwing head's at me "

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    5. ...and don´t forget Betty White. Best casting idea for this movie.

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  36. Shakma (1990)

    I guess it's officially SHAKMA day at F This Movie! :-)

    I did not love this one. It's really, really one note but at times entertaining. Is it just me or does the girl who played Kim look like a combination of Jessica Simpson and Topanga?

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    Replies
    1. I didn't know who Topanga was until I looked it up just now, and you are totally right.

      Delete
  37. Tusk (2014)

    I was actually on board with this movie until about 1/2 way through then I don't know what the hell Kevin Smith was thinking. That third act just took me out of the movie. Michael Parks puts on a good performance as usual.

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  38. Spider Baby

    I guess technically the animals here are the members of the Merrye family, but the film features a few of the title arachnids, and I had to watch it anyway for review so here we are. Part Addams Family, part Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and part Rocky Horror Picture Show (which I'm convinced borrowed heavily from this film), Spider Baby is weird in the best possible way. It's creepy without being gruesome, and has some great stylized performances by Beverly Washburn, Jill Banner, Lon Chaney, and Sid Haig in one of his earliest movie roles.

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  39. Alligator (1980)

    Max Cherry takes on a super gator! I've been wanting to watch this for awhile now and it really is a blast and knows exactly what it is. The premise is ridiculous but thanks to the great performance by Robert Forster it becomes a really good B movie. He's awesome and I just want to watch more stuff with him in it. The romantic lead/ top gator expert was also super cute which was just a bonus. Highly recommended.

    (Thanks to Chaybee for letting me know this was on YouTube so I could finally watch it)

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  40. Jaws (1975)

    I know this is high end but it's definitely exploitation. Just watch that kids leg fall to the bottom of "the pond".

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    Replies
    1. And Ben Gardner's head.

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  41. Link (1986)
    Like everything else today, a first time viewing.
    College student Elizabeth Shue, interested in Zoology, gets a job as Professor Terence Stamp's assistant at his home in or around the Scottish isles. She's mainly there to assist with his projects, which involve two chimps and an Orangutan named Link, who, when Shue arrives, acts like the butler of the place. He even wears a butler's coat. But, shortly after Shue arrives, Link begins to exhibit more of territorial command over his environment. The movie isn't terrible. My biggest issue with the movie is its score. It's out of place. It sounds like the score for Gremlins. In a few places, it's fitting. But in most of the film, during serious conversations, it's quite jarring. Stamp is also kind of a sexist in this movie. His way of offering Shue the assistant job is by asking her if she cooks and cleans. I'm still trying to decide if I think the point of all the sexism is to make a point about male primate, animal behavior. If that is the point, it's a clunky way of driving the point home. (There is a random moment when we get to hear a portion of a radio dissertation concerning animal husbandry.) And since this is a exploitationy kind of month, we get an interrupted (Bad Link! Bad!) Elizabeth Shue bathtub scene. Sideboob, guys.

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    Replies
    1. Oh, and Terence Stamp has Einstein hair.

      Delete
    2. I had a mad crush on Elizabeth Shue in the 80's (who didn't?). How have I never even heard of a movie that has Shue sideboob?

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    3. And Jerry Goldsmith composed a very interesting funny electronic score to this movie.

      And by the way, this is also a Cannon film, kind of... ;-))

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  42. JAWS (1975)
    The big one. Like Charles said above, high-end it may be, but it's definitely responsible for the existence of a TON of movies that may have ran with the exploitation angle a tad more...but this is still, first and foremost, very much a horror movie.

    The underwater screaming gurgle that is the last thing we hear of poor Alex Kintner always chills my blood.

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    Replies
    1. It's being rereleased to theaters on June 21. Seeing this on the big screen again is a moral imperative.

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    2. Oh man. Gotta catch this on the big screen. Thanks Mike.

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    3. That is AWESOME. Totally there.

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    4. http://www.fathomevents.com/#event/jaws

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  43. Cujo (1983) (first time viewing)

    Who names a big, friendly dog Cujo? That just sounds like the name of a dog born to become rabid. Poor Dee Wallace in the early 80's....aliens, werewolves, critters...and a giant, rabid St. Bernard. She just can't catch a break, but she puts in a good performance here. This movie built up well and had great tension in the last half. Glad I finally got around to seeing it.

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    Replies
    1. It really is very well done. Haven't seen it in years...should probably do something about that.

      Delete
  44. The Killer Snakes (1975, Chih-Hung Kuei)

    Oedipal BDSM fantasies, vengeful snake pals, delirious porn reveries and mass PETA violations.

    When I was 14 we finally got the internet at my house. This would have been 1997. Search engines barely existed. Most websites couldn't be found unless you knew the exact url. Sometimes just going into a chat room would cause some weirdo to spam private messages asking you to accept small JPEG files. Curiosity often got the best of me and I usually said yes.

    Due to this tendency, one of the first pornographic images I saw on the internet was of a snake inside a woman's vagina. I probably haven't thought about that picture in over a decade. Thanks to this movie, I remember it clearly. Thanks, The Killer Snakes.

    Thanks a lot.

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  45. The Fly (1958)

    Corny and slightly camp, but satisfyingly dark in places. Ultimately it gave me a greater appreciation of Cronenberg's remake which I like but have never loved. Pretty amazing that it was made in the 50s, though.

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  46. The Ghost and the Darkness (1996)

    Not nearly as good as I remembered but not terrible. Michael Douglas's American hunter is a little TOO American but he's still probably the best thing about it.

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  47. Zombeavers (2014)

    Okay, aside from being horribly offended by the depiction of my country's national animal (I will get revenge by making Zombeagles: Death From Above), once the beaver puns played out and the violence started I actually laughed out loud (for you younger kids that means LOL) several times and enjoyed a lot this in spite of myself. And I'm starting to like this Jake Weary (of It Follows) guy. Recommended!

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  48. Congo (1995)

    We all strive for greatness. Except for John Patrick Stanley. He strives to take a pretty decent book and turn it into a giant piece of garbage. Tim Curry's character is from Jupiter. None of it makes any sense. What is Bruce Campbell doing in this movie? If you like this monstrosity then you are a very stupid person who hates America. 1 banana out of a million bananas.

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    Replies
    1. i like congo a lot. like how uncomfortably sexual the guy's relationship with amy the gorilla is. actually everything about amy the gorilla is super funny to me. and delroy lindo and ernie hudson both having a lot of fun. my biggest complaint is that i wish it had more diamond laser.

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    2. "What is Bruce Campbell doing in this movie?"

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIwTvrpT-8w

      Delete
  49. ALLIGATOR (1980, Lewis Teague)

    I know it's too late for this review!!
    I watched this nice and well made animal-horror-movie starring the adorable Robert Forster!
    It was the very first time I watched and it was great entertainment!!
    Do yourself a favor and give this old gem a try!!

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  50. First I watched Stephen King's Cat's Eye, which was fun, and then I threw in ANIMA MUNDI which exploited, animals, Godfrey Reggio and Bulgari equally.

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  51. Dumbo (1941)

    A pretty wonderful film with excellent animation and great music (the pink elephant dream was a highlight).

    I know I'm late, but I'm trying to catch up.

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  52. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)

    Went with a comfort movie after my expedition to the closest Half Price Books for Jaws 3 or 4, in the interest of keeping Junesploitation schlocky, proved a failure.

    I don't know if there's much else to say about this movie. It's full of joy, the jokes still work, and the message is solid without ever being too preachy. It's probably the biggest single piece of art Leonard Nimoy leaves behind. I couldn't stop thinking about that last night while watching it. Made the experience bittersweet in the best way possible, if that makes sense.

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  53. Big Ass Spider! (2013): pretty terrific and fun and clever until it stops being all those things.

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