Thursday, June 15, 2017

Junesploitation Day 15: Free Space!

The greatest duel ever fought between deathless courage and endless evil!

82 comments:

  1. DING! DING! DING! DING! WINNAH, WINNAH! One of the greatest Junesploitation! evenings of my life.

    James Glickenhaus' SHAKEDOWN (1988, 94 min.) in 35mm at New York City's Quad Cinema for the first time.

    Imagine if "Law & Order" was a shot-on-location 80's NYC TV action show with Larry Cohen or William Lustig directing episodes. That's "Shakedown" in a nutshell, a rare grindhouse pic that lucked into studio distribution when DEG went bankrupt and Universal acquired it. Instead of a cop about to retire it's a burned-out public defender (Peter Weller in quirky mode) trying his last case before willingly selling out to Wall Street and marrying up. A crack dealer ("Firefly's" Richard Brooks) is on trial for allegedly shooting an undercover NYPD officer, but Weller smells police corruption. Enter "Lethal Weapon"-inspired Richie Marks (Sam Elliott), the only rogue-but-honest cop Weller trusts to help him find out the truth. Richie even lives and works out of a 42nd St. grindhouse theater showing the likes of "Nightmare on Elm Street III," "The Hidden" and flicks from writer/director James Glickenhouse ("The Soldier," etc.).

    A handful of jaw-dropping action sequences (massacre in Times Square, Coney Island Roller Coaster shootout, etc.) didn't prepare me for its insane final action piece. It's as if "Shakedown" loses its goddamned mind and brings Luigi Cozzi to guest-direct. I could lose the "L.A. Law"-style melodramatic subplot of Weller rekindling his relationship with an ADA as they're clashing in court. Then again, this is the type of flick in which a miscarriage is greeted with smiles as liberating news. ARE-YOU-EFFIN-KIDDING-ME-SPLOITATION!? :-O

    What's even better than seeing Sam Elliott's gunpowder-stained mustache in 35mm? Seeing that 'stache clean and in person. In town to promote his new movie "The Hero," Sam dropped by Quad Cinema for an hour to talk about his career after "Shakedown" screened. He got carried away telling so many stories, anecdotes and behind-the-scenes tales that we barely got up to his mid-80's role in "Mask" (which Quad Cinema showed immediately afterwards in 35mm and I also saw for the first time; terrific flick, I had no idea Peter Bogdanovich had a mainstream audience-pleasing movie in him). Imagine hearing The Stranger from "The Big Lebowskyi" talk about himself, get so emotional he gets quiet and represses tears, then treating the sold out crowd in attendance as his personal friends. At one point Sam dropped his water bottle to the floor and I picked it up and handed it back to him. 'Thank you kindly, son' he told me in that inimitable voice of his as he looked me in the eye and smiled. So, for a split-moment that evening, I was literally carrying Sam Elliott's water. How fucking cool is that?

    I win the Junesploitation! lottery! :-D

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  2. Angel of Death (2009)

    Obviously this could have been better with a bigger budget and a more experienced Director, but Zoe Bell gives it her best and it definitely feels like Brubaker's non-superhero writing. Also it was free on Crackle so no complaints there.

    Big Bad Mama (1974)

    This was a fun one and not just because of the occasional nudity or Tom Skerritt's character having sex with Angie Dickinson as the titular Big Bad Mama, and then subsequently having a threesome with the two daughters once she's pushed him aside in favor of William Shatner. Ok, those might actually be the main reasons and it helps that one of the daughters is played by Robbie Lee (Lace from Switchblade Sisters). There's also some bank robbing though, a little bit of bootlegging, some family bonding, and a shootout or two. It drags in a couple place, but overall I'd recommend it.

    Carnival of Souls (1962)

    Plot-wise it takes a while to get where it's going but it's a movie that seems to have a lot more to say than it first appears and by the last third of the movie it had me and it feels like something I could get more out of on a second viewing.

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    1. I'm not sure to what you're aheming, but if it's because I was watching your girlfriend Zoe Bell, I'm sure was thinking about you the whole time.

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    2. Ross, I think you just won the prize for best comment of the day.

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    3. Although I did accidentally leave the word "she" out.

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  3. Man From Hong Kong (1975)

    I am ashamed to say it, but this is my first Brian Trenchard Smith movie. But this movie is legit awesome!

    Hong Kong Special Branch Wang Yu travels to Sydney to take down drug king pin and part giant George Lazenby (whose every fourth line is a racist dad joke), and it is marvelous. The action is off the hook, the movie has this amazing ability of constantly topping itself. All with the skill of a Shaw Brothers movie and this very australian 'she'll be right' attitude' and you're half wondering if anyone was seriously hurt during production.

    Plus Sydney really does look gorgeous here, Trenchard Smith really does show off her best side, with the harbour, Surry Hills, even taking a trip out to the Blue Mountains. And as a general Aussie film rule, Bill Hunter makes his mandatory appearence.

    This movie was so much fun!

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    1. This movie is SO entertaining. So much hang gliding. So much soft rock.

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  4. Wolf Guy: Enraged Lycanthrope (1975, dir. Kazuhiko Yamaguchi)
    I lusted after this movie for years. Sonny Chiba as a werewolf vs the yakuza?! I was ecstatic when Arrow announced they'd be putting a bluray out; the movie was floating around online, but without subtitles, and I wasn't going to half-ass this movie. So, after a long, long wait, I've finally seen it, and I loved it. It's a gorgeous, lurid, bloody movie, with little patience for dead space, and an excess of machismo. I can imagine many being disappointed by it, because Sonny doesn't really ever turn full werewolf; in this story, werewolves always look normal enough, but become more and more generally invincible as the full moon approaches. If you like stuff like Lady Snowblood or Tokyo Drifter, you should scope this out in a hurry.

    Bruce Li in New Guinea (1978, dir. Kong Hung)
    Instead of high quality pulp like Wolf Guy, this is just goofy, stupid fun. Bruce Li and his best friend are kung-fu expert anthropologists studying native tribes The Snake Clan and The Devil Clan. The evil chieftain of the DC (in a rubber skull mask) is trying to force the Snake princess to marry his doofus son using intimidation, witchcraft, and the magical Snake Pearl (a pinball.) Bruce beats the shit out of beaucoup tribe guys, including one Bolo Yeung. There are comic relief native guides with crossed eyes, some gratuitous nude scenes, and a gorilla suit. What else could you want??

    I had a hankering for some short features, so all three of these were about an hour long apiece:
    Lesbian Rape: Sweet Honey Juice aka The Glass Silencer (1991, dir. Hisayasu Sato)
    Hisayasu Sato, if he is known stateside, is only known for his gore movie Splatter: Naked Blood, in which a lady eats her own eyeball. The rest of his 60 or so short features are extra-arty pink films. I'm seen a handful of them, and while they can be challenging to get in to, they also leave an impression. His movies are all sort of a mix of Sex, Lies, and Videotape and David Cronenberg... or Videodrome directed by Jim Jarmusch?? I don't know. He's not everybody's cup of tea, certainly, and his movies are very artificial and grim. This is about a love triangle between a narcissistic lesbian, a straight woman longing for motherhood, and the gun-obsessed man the lesbian hires to rape the straight woman. That is a very simplified outline of what goes down. The guy figures out how to build a gun that impregnates women, for one thing. Loved it.

    The Savage Girl (1932, dir. Harry Fraser)
    I love jungle girl movies, and this was a pretty nifty demo of the genre, but the girl's a brunette... not a platinum blonde, not a real jungle queen, sorry. The guy in the gorilla costume doesn't show up til the last five minutes, either. One of the characters is drunk the entire movie, and one is a black guy in a loincloth who ends every sentence with the word "boss".

    Cyclops (1987, dir. Joji Iida)
    Straight to video Japanese body horror from the director of Battle Heater and (the abysmal) Dragon Head. Unsubtitled. Lots of set-up, and then a total body mutation freak-out in the last five minutes. Very impressive make-up, of course, and well shot, with that appealing '80s Japan vaporwave kinda vibe.

    Midori, the Camellia Girl (2016, dir. Torico)
    Live-action adaptation of the horror comic about a girl who gets kidnapped by circus freaks. A mysterious magician joins and they fall in love, sort of. This got an animated adaptation in the '90s that was truly grotesque, unforgettable, and great. This version opts for flashy camp, and it doesn't do it any favors... but the story is so hateful that I couldn't help liking it anyway.

    Massacre in Dinosaur Valley (1985, dir. Michele Massimo Tarantini)
    Pretty standard tasteless and nasty Italian cannibal-ish adventure (which means I liked it.) Now I've seen all four Michael Sopkiw movies!

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    1. There's a writeup of Wolf Guy going up on the site in just a few hours. I had the exact same reaction as you. Everyone should see it.

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    2. How many hours are in a day on the planet E.S.S.A.D. lives on? There's no other explanation how he manages to see so many movies in so little time. I'm jealous. :'( :-P

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    3. He must have those google glasses, and he secretly watches movies as he goes about his daily business.

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    4. Either that or he's part of some experiment that's a cross between MST3k and the treatment from A Clockwork Orange.

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    5. He has a problem. As far as problems go, though, it's a pretty great one.

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    6. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    7. Wow - a well deserved barvo to you sir!

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  5. Running Scared (2006)
    Wayne Kramer's brash and brutal crime thriller may be, in my opinion, Paul Walker's best work.
    We follow Walker, and his neighbor kid, through an ever descending trip through urban crime hell.
    Pimps, dealers, mobsters, dirty cops, (and the one secret evil I won't spoil if you haven't seen it), populate this stylish and insane thriller.
    It is over the top modern exploitation at its finest.

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  6. Raw Force (1982)

    There's been some chatter about this one in the comments this year, and for good reason. Streaming on Shudder, it encapsulates everything you want in a #Junesploitation flick. It should be titled "Tits and Other Stuff". The party scene on the cruise boat alone makes it worth watching. I learned a new way to make ice for my cocktails. Oh yeah, there's also kung fu, cannibal zombies, explosions, and a Hitler-look-a-like villain.

    Life (2016)

    Space monster! I loved the first half of this - I thought the build-up was great and although the story is somewhat formulaic, there were enough surprises and tense moments to keep me entertained. The latter half dragged on a bit, but I thought the ending was awesome. The monster is entirely CGI, but so is Ryan Reynolds, so it's fair.

    Blow Out (1981, first time viewing)

    Not really exploitation but I had to mention it because it's so good. Probably Travolta's best performance other than Pulp Fiction. De Palma is on fire with this one weaving together a fantastic neo-noir thriller that utilizes the cast beautifully. Lots to enjoy here for film geeks as Travolta's character is a sound design man that works on B-grade horror schlock, which plays an essential role in the story. Recommend.

    The Belko Experiment (2016)

    I had heard going in to this one that it is extremely violent (which it is). I though that maybe the violence would be played over-the-top for laughs as more of a satire, but no, they play it pretty straight. With that said, I still really enjoyed this 90 minute gore-fest. You can probably guess where the movie is going within the first 20 minutes but seeing how it gets there was the fun part.

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    1. Raw Force is something special.

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    2. I watched it with a furrowed brow and my mouth slightly agape the ENTIRE time. 10/10 would watch again.

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  7. Hard Boiled (1992)

    This just might be John Woo’s masterpiece, one of the greatest action films ever made. It takes place in a strange alternate universe where guns have unlimited ammunition, shotgun shells have the impact of bazooka rockets, and every round fired makes tons of sparks just for the hell of it. Chow Yun-fat is of course terrific as the “hard boiled cop” Tequila, but Tony Leung has the best part as Alan, an undercover officer who is gradually seeing his soul fade away. And we can’t forget “Mad Dog,” a ruthless killer who nonetheless has his own code of honor. I cannot recommend this one highly enough.

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    1. Non-Sploitation Bonus:

      The Best Worst Thing That Ever Happened (2016)

      If you’re a musical theatre nerd like me, you have to see this wonderful documentary about the making of the Stephen Sondheim musical Merrily We Roll Along. The show was cast mostly with young people, ranging in age from 24 all the way down to 16. They felt on top of the world when they got their parts, but then had to deal with the fallout after the musical flopped hard. Then the film becomes something else, a meditation on what we do when our dreams don’t work out – and how life can take you places you never expected. The film was directed by Lonny Price, who was one of the original cast, and you can see what an emotional experience it is for him to revisit memories both joyful and painful. It’s streaming on Netflix. See it.

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  8. Lazy day Triple Feature
    Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)
    Fright Night (1985)
    Road House (1989)

    The lazy day well spent, the only way thing missing here was Sam Elliott's moustache in Road House but he was still cool as f**k. I'm trying to make this Junesploitation one of movies I really should have seen before now but never got around to so the free spaces are a great help to knock a few off the list.

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  9. Navajo Joe (1966)

    This is a movie that is both problematic (on a political correctness and gender roles level) and progressive (on a social and political messages level). I loved the constantly blaring score. I loved watching the insane amount of bad guys bite the dust. I loved calling out every single time I saw something Tarantino stole. Not for everybody but absolutely the right choice for me.

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    1. This was my second favorite pick from last years Junesploitation.

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    2. One of my all time favorite westerns. It defines badass.

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  10. Hell Comes to Frogtown (1988, dir. Donald G. Jackson & R.J. Kizer)

    Starring "Rowdy" Roddy Piper and Sandahl "She" Bergman, a post-apocalyptic action with just the right amount of camp and comedy. After the nuclear war, Sam Hell (Piper), one of the few still fertile men alive, is forced to rescue a group of women held captive by frog mutants and then impregnate them (the women, not the frog mutants). Roddy and especially Bergman, who plays his "handler", mostly play the ludicrous script pleasingly straight.

    My seven word review:
    It's Fury Road, only slightly less feminist.

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  11. HEY GOOD LOOKIN’ (1982)
    Ralph Bakshi’s semi-autobiographical tale of teen greasers looking for love and trouble in the tough-guy streets of 1950s Brooklyn. I know Bakshi isn’t for everyone, but I’ve always found him to be a dynamic storyteller with a wholly original voice. This movie is fun, with a rockin' soundtrack.

    VALERIE AND HER WEEK OF WONDERS (1970)
    An adolescent girl has that very special blossoming (you know the one) and then discovers her village is overrun by bloodsucking vampires. It's beautifully filmed in that artsy Euro-horror way, but the metaphor is obvious and it’s all very, very pervy.

    THE GORE GORE GIRLS (1972)
    A kind of/sort of giallo in which a black-gloved killer stalks strippers. I never know what to make of Herschell Gordon Lewis. I get that he’s beloved and his stuff was groundbreaking at the time, but it looks so cheap when watched today. Also, what kind of strip club plays marching band music?

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    1. I love Valerie and Her Week of Wonders. I don't know what that says about me...

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    2. Wow, what a great triple feature!! Hey Good Lookin' used to come on Cinemax/whatever all the time when I was a teen, and I grew a real fondness for it. I lot of people give Bakshi one shot and give up on him, confused about his reputation; but he always has the same flavor, it's just a matter of acquiring the taste for it. I lucked into catching Valerie when it was still out through Facets, and freaked out over it, recommending it recklessly and fruitlessly; it's Criterionization has only made me even more insufferably arrogant today. If you liked it, see Black Moon now, too. And Gore Gore is HGL's grimiest, grossest movie, IMO. The cheapness of it is the appeal. After all, Russ Meyer gave John Waters his voice, but HGL defined his look. A lot of the stuff Something Weird built their name on was the '60s equivalent of '80s Shot-On-Video.

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    3. Thanks! I daresay Valerie and Her Week is indeed a truly great film, even if it is troubling at the same time.

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  12. Mazes and Monsters (1982)

    I had never heard of this film until I read about it recently. It's a cautionary tale starring a pre-Splash Tom Hanks (!) about how playing Dungeons and Dragons will make you go crazy and ruin your life. Ahhh, Reagan-era hysteria, I miss you so! It has one of the strangest, most tonally inappropriate soundtracks I can remember, but it's filled with actors you'll recognize. Rudy from Meatballs! The Mayor from Jaws! It's on Amazon Prime streaming if you want to check it out and tell me why the Meatballs kid wears a different wacky hat in every scene and it's NEVER MENTIONED.

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  13. The Sinful Dwarf (1973) (First [and only] Time Viewing):

    Aside from the outstanding title, there is nothing worthwhile here. Completely exploitative and ugly, but not in a fun way. Maybe more seasoned exploitation aficionados will dig this but I just felt like dirty while watching it.

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    1. E.S.A.D.D. You must be the seasoned exploitation aficionado I speak of..

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  14. The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970)

    This giallo is the first film by Dario Argento, which makes it absolutely essential viewing. Glad I finally caught up with it! It's extremely entertaining, and the ending was much better than I had guessed and really subverted my expectations. Highly recommended!

    Also, Suzy Kendall had got to be one of the most beautiful women to ever walk the earth. New movie crush...

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  15. The Similars (2015)

    From the desaturated color palette to the Bernard Herrmann-esque score to the opening and closing narration, this Mexican import is a movie that wears its Twilight Zone influence on its sleeve and wears it proudly. It's particularly reminiscent of a specific episode of The Twilight Zone, but to say which one would be heading into spoiler territory and I don't want to do that at all, watching where this movie goes is part of the fun.

    In the late 1960s, a group of strangers stranded together in a bus station during a massive storm are faced with a strange plague that appears to be infecting them one by one. That description does the movie a bit of a disservice, it's not an Outbreak-style medical thriller in the slightest, but to reveal more would, I believe, do it a greater disservice. Try to go in as cold as you can, I hadn't even watched a trailer and I'm glad I hadn't. It's creepy, haunting, darkly funny, and absolutely worth your time if you're into that twilighty show about that zone. It's rough around the edges, but that's forgivable. One of the best surprises of Junesploitation for me so far.

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    1. Been meaning to check this out for a while now. Thanks for putting it back on my radar.

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  16. Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970):

    Russ Meyer is a dirty sex pervert.

    Unrelated: This movie is good.

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    1. Related: Roger Ebert was a dirty sex pervert.

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    2. I know it's pretty late to be adding anything here, but I just wanted to say that I think you have to be some level of pervert to truly love movies. It gives you the right temperament for it, and you bear witness to so much deviance across the history of film, both in front of and behind the camera, that you'd be too repelled by most movies if you weren't one. But this is probably just my own wishful thinking regarding other movie fans, because I know for sure that I'm a pervert, and just want everyone else to be too.

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  17. Return of the Living Dead 2 (1988)

    Using the same actors from the first movie to play different characters who do the exact same thing all over again? What the hell is happening???

    I love the first one, but this felt like a Goosebumps episode that way overstayed it's welcome. I liked the silly practical effects, but other than that this was tedious and a bit annoying.

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  18. Fire in the Sky (1993)

    I've heard a lot of good things about this movie. There are definitely a few scenes that are pretty awesome. Overall, though, I thought it was alright. The alien parts were kind of terrifying but I'm not completely sold on the actual aliens(if there are any in the movie which I can neither confirm nor deny). The acting is decent but my favorite was Lucas' uncle from One Tree Hill. He seemed to be in a very different movie. It's not in the same league as something like Signs but it's worth checking out. 6 out of 10

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  19. How To Make A Monster (1958)

    I enjoyed this one! After a legendary makeup man is told his services are no longer needed, he devises a plan for his "children" to exact revenge. This one unfolds just about the way you would expect, but stays fun and engaging. An unexpected transition from black and white makes this #colorsploitation I suppose.

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    1. Where can this be seen? Sounds intriguing.

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    2. I watched it on Shudder. Let me know what you think.

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  20. Grease 2 (1982):

    Ballsier, sleazier, and more sex-positive than the original (our friend BJ Colangelo described it on Twitter as "John Waters-esque," and she's right on). Your milage will vary depending on what (if anything) you like about Grease, but I enjoyed this one quite a bit.

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    1. I have a lot of affection for this movie. Like, it's pretty terrible, but I will watch it whenever I catch it on tv...

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  21. Anyone know - are there like a lot of movies that come out in theaters, then they just never get released again, even on any streaming services? Is that a common thing? What could the hangup be if it was already released in theaters - in getting it to a streaming service soon afterward?

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    1. It's a case-by-case, film-by-film issue. But yeah, some flicks are owned by studios/producers who either block the rights to release them on home video until they get their asking price or just fall in a legal black hole in which different parties that financed the picture keep it from being shown or released in public. That's where podcasts, the internet and boutique labels like Scream! Factory and Arrow come to the rescue of a few missed-in-the-crowd hidden gems (like "Blood Rage"). It's a good time to be a fan of exploitation and genre cinema.

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    2. Thanks, JM! I guess it should make me appreciate films more. Each one goes through its own big process.

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  22. A Night of Nightmares (2012) Dir. Buddy Giovinazzo (Combat Shock; 1984)

    Ever since I heard about Ben Wheatley tweeting Adrian Utley (Portishead), saying he's a fan and asking if he would do a song for High Rise (in which Utley agreed to) I always keep that in the back of my head because, fuck it, it never hurts to ask. I've had "Night of Nightmares" in my watch list since it played at limited festivals back in 2012. I decided to email the director and ask him if it would ever see a release.
    To my surprise, he wrote me back and said "unfortunately I highly doubt it, but here is a private link to watch the film and thanks for the interest." WHOA! How freakin' cool?! The movie is pretty great too! A surreal, ever changing moody film. Quirky, in a good way, at times and mysterious throughout. It's basically a two person show (the always great and underutilized Marc Senter and Elissa Dowling) who play off of each other to near perfection while the creepiness lays beneath the surface until the third act just ramps up everything. Only downfall - Jason London but, hey, at least it wasn't Jeremy.

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    1. Sometimes I think that's what Jason London's parents say when he comes home to visit.

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    2. Jason London is actually the son of author Jack London. No need to look that up. It's a fact. #TheMoreYouKnow

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  23. STREETS OF FIRE (1984)

    Because it is fucking awesome.

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    1. I rarely go a day without listening to No Where Fast

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  24. Copycat (1995): I really enjoy Holly Hunter and Sigourney Weaver being in the same movie. A well built suspense that I have seen before but wanted to re-watch as it popped out on my shelf. I still wish this movie was gayer. I think we all would have appreciated it.

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    1. Copycat has one of my favorite scores by the great Christopher Young.

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    2. I haven't seen it in years but I remember digging this movie

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  25. The Zero Boys (1986)
    The best paintball team in town goes for some well deserved R&R in the woods. The stumble upon what appears to be an unoccupied cabin. However, the locals have others plans. Bras optional. It's fine. Not over the top enough to be memorable, while not original enough to stand out. Keeps referencing, openly, better movies.

    The Girl with All the Gifts (2017)
    A good new entry in the zombie. I'm still not sick of zombies though. But this has a good take on the material without reinventing the wheel.

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  26. Cathy's Curse (1977)
    I can't start this review without mentioning the dad and the terrible editing of this first scene. He's hugging his daughter consoling her then jerk cut and hes 3 feet back yelling out "Your mother is a bitch!" It really is a microcosm of the whole movie.

    Within the first 15 minutes we already had a flashback to earlier in the movie.

    A new neighbor stops by and decided to bring her psychic friend. She proceeds to scream and smash a framed photo, then casually explains that she hoped she didn't scare anyone, and leaves. No one questions this. Shes invited to come back next time shes in the neighborhood.

    A love scene is crudely interrupted by Cathy slamming her head into a pillow full force repeatedly. The love scene wasn't doing much for me anyway, but what a mood killer.

    The dad casually calls the dog a stupid bitch. I chuckle.

    I was talking to a friend on messenger about Cathy's Curse when this happened:
    LOL
    cathys mom was talking to her
    and she just straight up vanished
    with the best sound effect ever
    HAHAH SHE DID IT AGAIN

    My friend never replied back.

    The psychic comes back, just lets herself into the house, finds Cathy and Paul (not sure who Paul is, friend of the dad?) in a stairwell. Paul is drunk and tells the psychic to leave. Cathy chimes in and calls her a "fat dried up whore." I don't understand this movie, but I already sort of love it.

    Paul mystery solved I think. He's the house handyman. Every house needs its own handyman I guess, maybe its a rich person thing. Also, even though he lives five minutes away, the dog I thought belonged to the family actually belongs to Paul. I now assume it's customary you allow the handyman's dog to stay at your house as well.

    THE PSYCHIC JUST LETS HERSELF INTO THE HOUSE AGAIN. NO BOUNDARIES. THAT KID IS BACK ON THE ESCALATOR.

    This whole movie feels like one of the end sketches of SNL where they just get really weird and stop caring.

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  27. All Eyez on Me (2017)

    The reviews have been terrible but they're leaving out how entertainingly terrible this movie can be at times. Truthfully, I don't think the movie all that bad. It's just TV movie quality. The performances are sometimes pretty strong especially the lead actor playing Tupac who (for his first role ever) is really good at making you forget he's not Tupac - - except when he's performing...then it's bad...or when they show music videos...or when he's acting in Juice (that part is hysterical). I had a very good time overall. Review coming next week. #Pacsploitation

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  28. Wild Beasts (1984)
    Forget everything I said earlier this week about the animal action footage in Day of the Animals. Holy shit...

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    1. Yep, isn't it glorious? And that ending, they actually went there. Oh Italian exploitation filmmakers, don't ever change. :-)

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  29. Bubba Ho-Tep (2003)

    I'm so on board with this movie. Old Elvis and old/black JFK fight off a soul sucking mummy. And it's amazing because one uses a walker and the other a scooter. The music was great, Bruce Campbell is always great, and I loved the animatronic scarab beetle!

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    1. That's a legitimate masterpiece in my opinion. You can't pull something like that off without the greatest of skill.

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    2. I'm mad at myself for waiting so long to watch it.

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  30. Moonshine County Express (1977, dir. Gus Trikonis)

    Incredibly entertaining drive-in picture about a group of women (including the otherworldly Claudia Jennings and a grown-up Maureen McCormick, aka Marcia Marcia Marcia) who take over their murdered father's moonshine business and run afoul of William Conrad's big bad. John Saxon is also on hand to be incredibly loose and charming. Everything about this movie is fun and entertaining.

    Scream for Help (1984, dir. Michael Winner) Holy fucking shit. I've had a couple friends from L.A. recommend this one to me after seeing a screening of it last week, and I can now say that I'm incredibly jealous of anyone who was at that screening. The chance to see this with a crowd escaped me. I will say that it's just as insane watching it alone at home. A girl (who is a terrible actress) is convinced her stepdad is trying to kill her mom, so she spends much of the movie walking in on people having sex. I expect a Michael Winner movie to be sleazy and tasteless, but this one goes above and beyond. It's also weirdly incompetent for one of his films, which I wasn't expecting. The nonstop score might be the craziest part. I can't recommend this enough. It's a Junesploitation miracle.

    Adam and Eve Meet the Cannibals (1983, dir. Enzo Doria) Don't be fooled by the title, which promises more excitement than the movie actually delivers. The real title is just Adam & Eve and it's just what you expect: an Italian Blue Lagoon rip-off contextualized as a story about the first two people on Earth (though a bunch more people show up during the movie, so I guess it's like calling Christopher Columbus the first person in America). Mark Gregory plays Adam, so that's a plus. When the film gets weird with mutant cavemen or terrible bear suits or underwater childbirth scenes, it's hypnotic. Some of that is too few and far between, though. The weakest of the three movies I watched tonight.

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    1. "Scream for Help" sounds like a winner. And nothing like Alex Winter's thoughts about Michael Winner in the "Electric Boogaloo" Cannon documentary to let me know I need more of this guy's flicks in my Junesploitation! diet.

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    2. Scream For Help is just sublime and written (though I understand heavily re-written by Winner) by none other than Tom Holland... It is just hypnotic in its incompetence!! I hate to watch film "ironically" BUT this just has to be seen to be believed!!

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  31. JOHN WICK:CHAPTER 2 (2017)

    Uh...YEAH

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  32. Ninja (2009)

    This movie is my highlight of Juneploitation so far. I need to catch up!

    Also, it's not easy to find as a movie called Ninja Assassin was released the same year, unfortunately (I guess...I've not seen it)

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  33. SCI-FI! DYSTOPIAN DOUBLE THREAT:

    JUST IMAGINE (1930, 113 min.) on YouTube
    for the first time.

    The first American science fiction movie, one that took visual inspiration from Lang's then-new "Metropolis" to show its dystopian view of a 1980 New York in which everyone's names are codes and marriage licenses are granted by a tribunal that decides who's the best man. The plot descends into silliness when a pilot (John Garrick's J-21) flies to Mars in order to get the NYC tribunal to allow him to wed LN-18 ("Tarzan: The Ape Man's" Maureen O'Sullivan) over newspaperman tycoon MT-3 (Kenneth Thompson). And that's AFTER a man from 1930 (El Brendel's Single O) is brought back to life in '80 for the sole purpose of giving the two leads a comic relief sidekick. THEY-DIDN'T-KNOW-WHAT-THEY-WERE-DOING-SPLOITATION!

    "Just Imagine's" many lulls are tolerable because you can tell the filmmakers were experimenting with old silent era techniques (title cards) and new ones (Broadway-inspired musical numbers, none too memorable). Have fun identifying the sci-fi clichés/tropes started in this one that are still with us to this day.


    Roger Spottiswoode's THE 6TH DAY (2000, 123 min.) on Hulu for the first time.

    Apparently somebody watched Arnold Schwarzenegger having scenes with a digital double of himself in "Total Recall" and "Last Action Hero," then green-light this vanilla-flavored, neutered-by-its-'PG-13'-rating sci-fi action movie built entirely on Arnie and a clone fighting (separately at first, then together) against the corporation that is secretly cloning humans against '6th Day Laws' of the near future. Robert Duvall drops by to collect a paycheck for playing the most benign 'mad scientist' ever. Two Michaels (Rooker and Rappaport) are wasted alongside Terry Crews as henchmen to Tony-Goldwyn-playing-Steve Jobs' main bad guy. And what's better than Arnie yelling 'Get to the chopper!!!'? Two Arnies yelling that about rocket-powered choppers used to ferry extreme sports athletes to the mountains. For Schwarzenegger completists only.

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