Monday, June 12, 2017

Junesploitation Day 12 - Lethal Ladies!

She's killed a man, been shot at, and made love twice already this evening...and the evening isn't over yet!

78 comments:

  1. John Hough's TWINS OF EVIL (1971, 87 min.) in 35mm at Brooklyn's Alamo Drafthouse for the first time.

    Popped my Alamo Drafthouse cherry at their newish Brooklyn theater with a sold out 35mm screening of this Hammer flick. Well-endowed orphan twin sisters Maria and Frieda (Playboy Playmates Mary and Madeleine Collinson) are sent from Venice to live with their puritanical uncle Gustav (Peter Cushing) in Central Europe's Karnstein. Gustav leads a group of witch-hunting fanatics known as the 'Brotherhood,' but his group's reach can't touch the Emperor-protected Count Karnstein (Damien Thomas). Bored with pretend virgin sacrifices the count embraces Satanism, brings back to life Countess Mircalla (Katya Wyeth) and becomes a vampire. The count has his eyes set on the twins because (a) they're gorgeous and (b) wants to get back at Gustav by poking him where it hurts the most. Alas, while Maria remains a virtuous and good girl, sister Frieda embraces her dark side and becomes one with the vampire.

    While not as violent or explicit as advertised (though that beheading scene must have stunned audiences back in '71), "Twins of Evil" is firmly anchored by an above-average performance from Peter Cushing. Made soon after his wife passed away, you can feel the actor's inner pain sipping through his Gustav character (MOFF-TARKIN-ANGUISH-SPLOITATION!) going from Bible-thumping a-hole to Van Helsing-caliber badass. The Collinson twins are as sexy as advertised, but only one of them (along with Katya Wyeth) turn out to be the titular female double trouble. Not the best Hammer horror I've seen but far from the worst, "Twins of Evil" is the type of flick Junesploitation! inspires one to sample. :-)

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  2. The Big Doll House (1971)

    This was actually my first viewing of this classic, and my first 'women-in-prison' flick. It's a truly fantastic film! It's really been a pleasure to see more of Jack Hill's work lately. If you haven't seen it, it's on amazon prime in terrific quality and it's a perfect pick for this day!

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  3. Switchblade Sisters (1975)

    All I want to do is gush over this movie. So I am just going to put this movie straight in my happy.

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    1. It's so great - if it only did not have that one scene. You can probably guess which one I mean.

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  4. This is a special day. Probably the most Junesploitationy day of Junesploitation.

    Wonder Women (1973, dir. Robert Vincent O'Neill)
    I feel like this is the movie this day was designated for. It was shot in the Phillipines, has mad scientists, secret agents, afros, an all-girl army of kung-fu killers in mini-skirts with machine guns, and features Sid Haig, Vic Diaz, and Roberta Collins in supporting roles, amongst other surprises. Plus, it's on Amazon Prime. So go watch it, ffs.

    Pink Force Commando (1982, dir. Yen-Ping Chu)
    This is the 'sequel' to Golden Queen's Commandos, also from director Yen-Ping Chu and released the same year. Chu also directed Fantasy Mission Force. All three are highest tier cinematic essentials, the most exploitationy exploitation movies I've ever seen. Don't expect any coherence whatsoever, because they're nonsense. Just let them wash over you, and be prepared for anything. Sexy women in crazy costumes gun down dozens and dozens of bad guys. The rest is up for interpretation.

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    1. Jungle Virgin Force (1988, dir. Danu Umbara)
      Lady Bloodfight (2016, dir. Chris Nahon)

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  5. Faster Pussycat Kill Kill (1965)

    It's all fun and games, till someone get their neck broken. I really liked the general over the topness, especially Tura Satana -oh some of those one liners!

    I got a vauge and most likely very superficial 'Texas Chainsaw' vibe, mainly in the lunch scene and if it had been told from Linda's perspective.

    It was an interesting movie, from the point of view that each character is trying to take the moral highground, depending on the scene and who is doing what to whom.

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  6. Wonder Woman (2017)

    As a comic book movie it's very good. For a DCEU movie it's f'ing fantastic. At no point did I think, "Why the hell did that character just do THAT?" which is where all of the other ones fall apart for me. And it's kinda fun sometimes! And Wonder Woman actually acts consistently heroic! Yay!

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    1. W.W just felt right to me. Even if the movie wasn't perfect. This may had a lot to do with Gadot. But it really worked for me.

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    2. I agree! And people who defend the other DC outings often accuse the people who don't like them of demanding perfection or at least "too much" from a comic book movie and this is where Wonder Woman kinda proves them wrong. It's not perfect but it does do all that I really ask from a movie like this and that's not make really stupid and easily avoidable character/story mistakes. At the risk of sounding "reverse sexist" (ugh) I'm going to say that there being a female director had something to do with it - she wasn't lead around by whatever weird hard-on the directors of BvS:DoJ and Suicide Squad were, which felt like "masculine" superhero movies in the absolute worst meaning of that word.

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    3. I think you are right, about that, I think the female perspective kept that aspect kinda neutral. And every moment of that movie, even the parts I didn't love as much were in service of W.W's character.

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    4. Wonder Woman (2017): I just came home from watching it and I agree with you both: I loved it! I will definitely be watching this again, at least by the time it comes out on DVD/Streaming. I really like Gadot too.

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  8. Rabid (1977)

    After experimental surgery, a young woman (Marilyn Chambers) finds she can only "eat" blood, and so starts feeding on those around her through a strange mouth under her arm. Yeah, it's a Cronenberg film, all right. Before this, Chambers was best known for the porn film Behind the Green Door. Cronenberg makes clever use of her history, staging several scenes as if they were right out of a porn film (e.g. two woman in a hot tub) before they turn horrific. The film ends up becoming a fairly standard zombie flick by the end, but all in all it's not bad.

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  9. Doomsday (2008)
    Rhona Mitra is Eden Sinclair.
    If Sarah Connor and Snake Plissken had a daughter, Eden would be the result.
    This is Neil Marshall's homage to the action greats of the '70s and '80s. Basically take a large dose of Escape From New York, mixed with a bit of Mad Max, a pinch of Aliens, and just a dash of Gladiator, and you have Doomsday.
    It's not an original idea, but it's executed in a way that hits all my apocalyptic nostalgia buttons.



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    1. I liked Doomsday. But it does lurch wildly from one "It's this kind of movie" to the next.

      The car chase scenes at the end were awesome. And knights showing up?!? Oh yeah..

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  10. Dracula's Daughter (1936, dir. Lambert Hillyer)

    Gloria Holden is mesmerising as the titular reluctant vampire, but unfortunately there's all too little of her in the movie, instead a lot of it is a dull detective movie, with the characters investigating something the audience already knows. Edward Van Sloan, the only returning cast member, is also relegated to a bit part.

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    1. Bonus: Batman S1E19: The Purr-fect Crime (1966, dir. James Sheldon)
      Bonus: Batman S1E20: Better Luck Next Time (1966, dir. James Sheldon)

      In memory of Adam West, a Batman double episode. And in keeping with Lethal Ladies! Day, Catwoman's first appearance in the show.

      Adam West, Burt Ward and Julie Newmar in a classic game of cat and bat, what's not to like. And look out Spock, Bruce Wayne has an even more difficult 3D chess board. Quote of the month: "Catwoman, you are not a nice person!"

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    2. I meant to see The Mummy and Wonder Woman in the theater today, but life got in the way. So I went with a Universal horror movie and a classic DC superhero instead.

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    3. I want to see this, I am interested in the lesbian vampire stereotype angle that I hear tell about.

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    4. I recommend checking out this old article from JB (if you haven't already). He goes into that somewhat.

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    5. Thank you Mikko, it has been a while since I read that one. I will check it out again!

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  11. Audition (1999):

    Doesn't matter; had sex.

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    1. I'm a little bit ashamed of how loudly this just made me laugh.

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  12. May (2002, dir. Lucky McKee)

    Funny, disturbing and disturbingly funny. And a tour de force from Angela Bettis. I don't remember seeing Anna Faris in anything other than a comedy before, and this is definitely the least I've ever disliked her. Best film of the month so far. Now I can finally listen to the podcast episode.

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  13. The Big Doll House (1971)
    Pretty entertaining movie that does exactly what it says on the tin. Best food fight scene I've seen in a while.

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  14. Vicious Lips (1986)

    It's true, it's all true: the triple boob existed well before Total Recall. This semi incoherence from Pyun is a fun time. The intergalactic girl group has better than average songs and some fun performances. About 5 minutes of it's brief runtime are montages of earlier scenes. Ha! Unfortunately these ladies don't end up actually killing anybody, which is why we're watching:

    Graveyard Tramps (1973)

    AKA Invasion Of The Bee Girls. I've watched this so many times that my wife just recognized it and that's saying something. I'm not noticing any differences with The Graveyard Tramp(s) Amazon version. Admittedly slow, the transformation of the new "bee girl" is one of my favorite exploitation scenes. Charles Bernstein does some pretty good pre Elm Street scoring.


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  15. Just a recommendation as I am in line waiting to buy tickets to Wonder Woman (2017) at the cinema, Wonder Woman (2009) is really something and has a lot on its mind. If you're looking for inspiration I think a lot of people would like it and it is a very short one!

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  16. The Temp (1993)

    I chose this one because I had never gotten around to seeing it and I have a soft spot for yuppies-in-peril thrillers. As it turns out, as the movie unfolded I realized that I was wrong and I had seen it before. That should tell you pretty much everything you need to know about this bland, cookie-cutter (pun somewhat intended, see below) thriller.

    Timothy Hutton is an exec at a big-time cookie company (I warned you) who finds that since he hired a temporary secretary (Lara Flynn Boyle, proving that her ridiculous "Bad Donna" histrionics from Twin Peaks were really how she would play a femme fatale and not just Lynchian parody) strange things start happening to the competition. A game supporting cast including Faye Dunaway, Steven Weber, and Oliver Platt can't do anything to save the material, and director Tom Holland never seems able to elevate it above the Lifetime movie it probably should have been in the first place. Disappointing.

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    1. I really feel like that movie has a good opening and seems like it's going to be something and then it all falls apart. I know Tom Holland had a bad experience on it, but you're absolutely right to call it a disappointment. I got excited thinking it was an undiscovered gem and then I got past the first 30 minutes.

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  17. Foxy Brown (1974)

    Pam Grier is a strong woman hero fighting to take down the strong villain played by Kathryn Loder. A great movie where the male characters just play secondary roles. There's no subplot to give a male costar equal screentime this one is all about the ladies. Kathryn has Foxy's informant boyfriend killed resulting in Foxy stopping at nothing to get revenge fighting anyone who gets in her way male or female.

    In her prime Pam Grier was fantastic she looked great and always came across as a believable ass kicker.

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  18. Sweet Sugar (1972, dir. Michel Levesque)

    Another good find this month. Phyllis Davis, who is from another planet of hotness, plays a prostitute named Sugar who is set up and sent to one of those lady prisons that only exists in exploitation movies. Live every one of these films, it ends with the women busting out and killing all the sadistic guards who have mistreated them over the course of the movie. There's a lot of energy and weird touches like a scene in which the guards throw live cats at the women. Phyllis Davis might be my new Junesploitation crush. Recommended.

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    1. Had to look her up and, wow! Her filmography is a what's what of TV shows I watched growing up and also led me to see that she played Joan in a made-for-TV movie version of Mr. MOM?!?! On it...

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    2. Available on Prime so I've added it to my watchlist and will work it in somewhere this month.

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  19. Get Out (2017)

    It barely counts, but I wanted to show it to some of my family. Hey folks, there's some lethal ladies in here! I still love it, and my fam dug it too. Awesome new horror film that feels truly fresh.

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    1. I cannot stop thinking about Allison Williams eating fruit loops.

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  20. Innsmouth (2015 dir. Izzy Lee) on Shudder

    A detective investigates a bizarre death where the body has an egg sac attached to it. A clue sends her to Innsmouth, where she meets the seductive and deadly host.

    At less than 15 minutes, this short flies through the plot but tells a complete story while still being mysterious. It has Tristan Risk, who is always a huge plus in any movie she's in. A definite recommend, worth it the for the WTF moment(you'll know it when you see it).

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  21. Body Heat (1981)

    I don't think I have seen a movie this well cast in a while, everyone fits like they have been walking around in this world for awhile. It also works a little against type, even if it is in retrospect. William Hurt is not the smartest man in the room (even if he thinks he is). Kathleen Turner (who by the way - damn!), who I grew up loving in the likes of War of the Roses and Romancing The Stone is the plot and is in complete control. For me this is Turner's movie She had this soup opra mixed with Rita Hayworth swag, she's a brilliant femm fatale.

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  22. The Last Seduction II (1999) Dir. Terry Marcel

    Joan Severance trying to take Christopher George's title as the human cigarette. Nothing fun or sexy here. Fiorentino has more sex appeal dressed as Clark the Cub than the two leading ladies in this. Skip it. Revisit (or visit) the original.

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  23. Recently rewatched the original, which is still a gem. Briefly considered checking this out but realized it probably wouldn't be worth the effort. Glad I skipped it.

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    1. (This was supposed to be a reply to Chaybee. Oops.

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    2. Yeah, original is legit! This one, no dice.

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    3. Thirded. The original "Last Seduction" is one of the best film noirs of the past 30 years and easily Linda Fiorentio's, Bill Pullman's and Peter Berg's best on-screen performances... ever. How's that for an actor hat trick? :-)

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  24. So I Married An Axe Murderer (1993, dir. Thomas Schlamme) on Amazon Video

    Likeable lightweight entertainment. Mike Myers be Myers-ing. I found that the various cameo bits (Phil Hartman, Charles Grodin, Michael Richards, etc.) amused me the most.

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  25. Logan (2017)

    Yeah, it's still awesome, and Daphne Keen is still a fuckin' revelation.

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  26. SHE (1982)
    Post-apocalypse adventure with Sandahl Bergman as a rockin’ warrior woman. The near-future setting means the filmmakers can use any random junk they have in storage for props and costumes. That’s visually interesting, but it also feels like a different movie every ten minutes. I guess I liked it, but it’s probably best enjoyed with under the influence of questionable substances.

    A NYMPHOID BARBARIAN IN DINOSAUR HELL (1990)
    Troma! It’s another post-apocalypse, and dinosaurs once again roam the Earth, where a jungle girl longs for love. Slow-paced at times, and not as sleazy as the title suggests, but there was enough cheese and silliness that I had fun with it.

    WONDER WOMAN (2017)
    This is a cheat because I saw it yesterday, but whatever. It’s just as great as everyone’s been saying. I had low expectations after the last three DC movies were garbage dipped in more garbage, but WW does superheroing right. The only bummer is some lady actually brought her dog to the movie with her, and it was barking all through the previews. The manager threw them out, but still.

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    1. Never done a drug in my life and SHE is one of my favorite movies ever!

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    2. She She She She She She She She She She She

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    3. Yeah, it's a crazy movie, and not at all what I expected. I'm sure I'll return to it again in the future.

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  27. The Love Witch (2016)

    I've been wanting to get around to watching this and in fact the night it went up on Prime I got about 15 minutes in before getting interrupted. It makes a perfect fit for today though and of course it's no surprise to most of the people here that it's a great movie. If I have time I'm going to try to work Viva into one of the Free Space days as well. I'm sure I could go on and on about the colors, the costumes, and the acting, but more than anything this is a movie that just feels right to me.

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  28. La Femme Nikita (1991) (First Time Viewing):

    Prime Luc Besson. A great action movie / art movie hybrid. Besson can (could?) direct the hell out of an action sequence. Loved the squib work! #RIPSquibs. I really enjoyed Anne Parrillaud's performance. She shows a lot of range and ultimately is just really cool and charismatic as she transforms from a slob (killer) to a snob (killer). Eric Serra's electronic score is cool as well. In fact I like his scores in general, even the much-maligned GoldenEye. Are they dated? Absolutely. I just happen to really like the date. Highly recommended.

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  30. Come Drink With Me (1966)

    I had to go to court for an undeserved parking infraction, and the prosecutor was yelling as me and threw me right off..and fuck.
    So this movie played but I was fuming and pacing with fists clenched the whole time. The movie was fine. I wish I had given it more attention, because the martial arts movie scene is woefully bereft of female protagonists. I'll rewatch it sometime, but it was nothing special. 70's Shaw Brother is much better than 60's Shaw Brothers is my predictable take.

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    1. Also, that trailer for Gator Bait is amazing! I'm going to fit that in sometime this month.

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    2. Gator Bait is so good. Anything with Claudia Jennings is worth watching.

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  31. Fright Night (1985)

    My favorite horror film of all time is still my favorite horror film of all time. Amy is two tons of cuteness in this.

    Until the dance club scene and the vampire transformation when she becomes two tons of sexiness.

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  32. The Vampire Lovers (1970)

    A Hammer film loosely based on Carmilla, Vampire Mircalla adopts various aliases and gets taken in by families with attractive daughters that she can seduce and drink from. Peter Cushing is featured in a small role, and it was followed by Lust for a Vampire and Twins of Evil.

    It's not bad although maybe a little slow paced. Having seen a couple other adaptations of Carmilla though such as Blood and Roses, it seems like the pacing is just something inherent to the story. Nothing about the story or the acting particularly stands out enough to make it worth recommending, but it isn't bad either.

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  33. Cleopatra Jones (1973)

    Kinda bummed that one of the better blaxploitation flicks I've seen is marred with some of the worst homophobia you can imagine.

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  34. Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965)

    Started watching Jawbreaker but lost patience with it and pulled an audible. FPKK is my first Russ Meyer movie and it's pretty good. It's a little pokey but at times really thrilling and strange (in a good way). I like the vibe of it more than the movie if that makes sense. The music is a highlight, especially the title song!

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  35. Serial Mom (1994)

    Oh man this was hilarious. Kathleen Turner is turner is amazing in this, she plays a loving suburban Mom who begins murdering people in the neighbourhood over the most menial things (grading her son poorly, not rewinding their VHS rentals etc...) Hearing her call the other women in the neighbourhood the most obscene names is absolutely hilarious. The scene where she excuses herself from dinner had me laughing more than I had any right to. Perfect pick for Lethal Ladies! 5 legs of lamb out of 5!

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  36. Under the Skin (2013)

    I've been meaning to watch this for a long time now, because I read the book it's based on like over a decade ago. The two only have the basic story in common as the film really diverges from the book, which was definitely a good thing. If you haven't seen it, try to learn as little as possible. I think it would have been fun to watch not knowing what was going on.

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  37. Wonder Woman (2017)

    I take my daughters to just about every kids movie that gets released in theaters. Most of the time we leave the theater and they'll tell me they liked whatever it was we just saw, they may talk about it for a little while, then it's on to the next thing. After Wonder Woman tonight, however, my daughters have been on a fucking high. They're begging me for WW costumes, asked to watch their DC Superhero Girls DVD before bed, and have already requested that their mom curl their hair like Diana Prince. I liked the movie (it's been a good summer for comic book movies), but their reaction to WW made it pretty special.

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    1. As sweet as this is, I just don't get the 'representation' bit. When I was a kid, I looked up to Gizmo, Baby Gonzo, Super Grover, Steve Urkel, and Megavolt from Darkwing Duck. No judgement intended, but I just don't understand regular kids.

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    2. And, oh yeah, Wednesday Addams. Used to do that whole arms folded, sleeping like a mummy thing that she did.

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  38. Black Mama White Mama (1973)

    Pam Grier and Sid Haig again! They're both terrific, but I can't deny finding the movie itself a little dull. I feel pretty indifferent to this one.

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  39. Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965)

    I love a good desert movie. This one definitely feels like a Tarantino influencer and I was super into it. Deadly women, loose morals, and fast cars make for fun stories.

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  40. I'm hoping to replicate this experience with my just-turned-seven-year-old niece this weekend. So cool to finally have a female superhero flick you don't have to feel embarrassed about sharing with anyone ("Supergirl," "Catwoman," etc.).

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    1. This was meant as a reply to Mike Pomaro's "Wonder Woman" review. Kids, don't drink and type at 2AM. No es bueno. ;-)

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  41. The Fan (1982)

    I decided to watch a favorite of mine that I have discovered in recent years (thanks to the release from Mondo Macabro), but I feel it's still one that not many people know about. The plot is pretty simple. It deals with a young girl who is obsessed with a New Wave singer and will do anything to be with him. It sounds like it could be a cute plot for an '80s teen comedy. I'm warning you... it's totally not. This chick is downright vicious. If you're in the mood to watch something that will leave you scratching your head by the end then I highly recommend seeing this.

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    1. Some of us have heard about this one, son. You should read the old Junesploitation! archives more often. ;-)

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  42. Savage Streets (1984)

    There's nothing new about the kind of downward trajectory Linda Blair's career took after her star making never-to-be-lived-down role in The Exorcist.
    But there's something about her I find so fascinating, and so much of her work post The Exorcist is perfect Junesploitation material.

    Here she plays a rebellious school kid vigilante hellbent on avenging the brutal rape of her deaf and mute sister.....which is such a cheap and nasty shortcut for a reason for revenge. Even movies like this deserve a little more thought and consideration.

    It's Death Wish with Blair in the Bronaon role but nooooowhere near as good, because once Linda decided to take bloody revenge NOTHING HAPPENS. It's like thee ran out of whatever minuscule budget it was shot for.

    It's constantly on the verge of becoming trashy fun but never quite gets there.

    Shout out to my Aussie buddy John Farnham for the music which was an 80s rockin surprise.

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