Sunday, June 18, 2017

Junesploitation Day 18: Code Red!

They'll do anything for money!

34 comments:

  1. CODE RED! HIT-AND-MISS DOUBLE FEATURE:

    THE UNDERTAKER (1988, 83 min.) on Amazon Prime
    for the first time. Uncensored Vinegar Syndrome Blu-ray also available via Amazon.

    Vitamins, the Inspector General's warnings against smoking and people exercising more have taken a toll on Holland Mortuary's bottom-line. So undertaker Roscoe ("Maniac's" Joe Spinell in his final lead role) decides to drum up some business in his sleepy New Jersey town. Constantly referring (and cutting away) to Bella Lugosi's "The Corpse Vanishes" as its inspiration when it isn't ogling at women exercising and/or disrobing, "The Undertaker" is a sleazy and nasty little psycho-sexual horror flick. Whether due to incompetent filmmaking, censorship or self-restrain, the clearly-implied necrophiliac acts Roscoe performs on his victim's corpses (Spinell dressing sexy and sipping beer in a champagne glass is all we're shown, which is plenty horrific in an IMAGINE-AT-YOUR-OWN-RISK-SPLOITATION! way) and the violence aren't as explicit as the abundant female nudity.

    The acting isn't Troma-level bad but it's in the neighborhood (hello Hazel!), music is bad and repeated often (except for the 'Death Merchant' rock tune) and editing borders on "Birdemic"-caliber bad. The flick around him may be garbage, but Joe 'You Moron' Spinell's intense performance (his cackle and smile to the camera after dispatching a particularly nasty character made me cheer and clap) carries the entire thing from beginning (stalking victims in Times Square) to confusing-as-heck ending. Only worth seeing if you need exposure to the 'fat Elvis' portion of Spinell's acting career.


    NIGHT OF THE DRIBBLER (1990, 87 min.) on YouTube for the first time.

    A psycho with a smiling pumpkin mask is maiming and/or killing the players of the Watergate Plumbers (!) high school b-ball team one by one, increasing the chances that 'equipment manager' Stan (Gregory Calpakis) will be allowed to take the court against the Greenfield Gators in time to impress his hot girlfriend (Flavia Carrozzi) during the big game. Standing between Stan and Beckula (!) getting it on are Coach 'can I have a word with you?' Cherry (Fred Travelina, aka the comedian Johnny Carson would bring on when Rich Little wasn't available... ASK-YOUR-PARENTS-SPLOITATION!) who clearly dislikes Stan, inspector Danny Gibson (Travelina again) snooping around and the why-won't-he-shut-up-already sideline announcer (Travelina pulling a Peter Sellers... badly).

    Are we laughing yet? Of course you're not, because this is movie hell! "Night of the Dribbler" thinks and acts like everything it's doing is funny, from the low-res "Batman" TV show-style graphics when a basket-bomb explodes to an even worse black-cop-being-incompetent sidekick than the one in "Samurai Cop." It's not only unfunny, but the mystery of who the killer might be is constantly undermined by the fact THERE IS ONLY ONE CHARACTER IN THE ENTIRE CAST AS TALL AS THE DRIBBLER! ARRGHHH!!! Made in 1990 but not released in the States until 2009, this Canuxploitation toxic dump of a movie should have stayed buried wherever in Quebec it is that Code Red unearthed it from. A-FUCKING-AVOID, a flick so soul-crushingly awful it could make weak-minded FTM regulars quit Junesploitation! for life. And for my sins, indeed. :'(

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  2. Truck Stop Women (1974)

    Already had this in my Amazon watchlist and then saw Patrick mention it in his column so I figured I'd go ahead and watch it. I'm not too sure what to say about it though. I could summarize the plot here but that would almost be missing the point. There's big rig hijacking, copious sex and nudity, murder and betrayal. The action isn't great but the cast seem to be having a lot of fun and Claudia Jennings looks fantastic (she tragically passed in a car accident a few years after this).

    Mark L. Lester would later go on to direct movies like Commando and Showdown in Little Tokyo. His more recent work doesn't seem to be nearly as well regarded although a number of his films from the last 15 years appear to be free on Prime so maybe I'll check them out at some point.

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  3. BROTHERHOOD OF DEATH (1976)

    "Three Vietnam vets becomes vigilantes against the KKK-inspired racism abounding in their Southern hometown in this violent drama. The African-American trio soon help their neighbors rise up and violently face down their Caucasian oppressors." Currently streaming on Prime.

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  4. Viva l'Italia! Viva l'George Eastman! Viva l'anno 1983!

    2019: After the Fall of New York (2019 - Dopo la caduta di New York) (1983, dir. Sergio Martino)

    Only a few days ago I watched Hell Comes to Frogtown, which was all about the last fertile man in the world. Now we're on the search for the last fertile woman in the ruins of New York, destroyed by a nuclear war started by the evil European-Asian-African alliance (yeah, sorry about that).

    A fun movie, in that cheap and schlocky 80's Italian scifi sort of way.

    Ironmaster (La guerra del ferro) (1983, dir. Umberto Lenzi)

    A prehistoric adventure with tall, buff and oiled cavemen, hot cavewomen in skimpy outfits and makeup, and angry ape monsters. Oh, and the cavemen go literally overnight from finding a piece of iron to forging swords. Historical accuracy is for pussies! Stupidly entertaining.

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    1. Patrick should change the 'F' in the 'F This Movie' logo to green as a permanent sign of our collective surrender to the exploitation might of filmmakers working under the colors of the Italian flag. :-)

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  5. Savage Streets (1984)

    Oh Danny Steinmann you crazy bastard!

    I am not sure where to begin with this movie. Look, Steinmann either doesn't understand tone, or he is a genre genius. Cutting a between sex comedy style shower fight to a harsh and brutal rape scene feels like maddness. Then to go from melodrama to revenge. All with these bizzare touches that only Danny (The man who gave use Reggie, hey want a tacco, in Friday 5) Steinmann can do. Such as Blaire not being able to light a cigarette, doctor's hospital, or the two naked girls having their own fight during the main shower fight.

    But in saying that, this movie is insanely (and I do mean insane) consistant in being just entertaining. It doesn't let up. Something is always happening, even if it feels mean spirited or just nutty. This is movie I am going to watch again and again.

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    1. Oh and I am a little in love with Linda Blaire's perm

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    2. I watched this too Lindsay, I had never seen it before. I'm with you, I couldn't believe how crazy it got. Mean-spirited stuff in movies bothers me sometimes, but when the overall mean-spirit is kind of the point of the whole movie I have to get on board. More than anything I really liked Linda Blair in this. And yes her perm (especially when backlit) is my spirit animal.

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    3. Your right, Blair totally carries the emotional weight in this. But also everyone else feels completely commited, especially when they are going completely over the top.

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  6. Hot Moves (1985) Dir. Jim Sotos

    A decent entry in the horny teen sub genre though nowhere near as fun as something like Loose Screw: Screwballs II, Snowballing or Hot Dog: The Movie. Typical story of 4 high school friends whose goal for the summer is to get laid. What I loved about this is that it really showcases all of the best of the 80's filmmaking: no less than 8 music montages with full length songs (and there's almost never a song playing in the background), "fashionable" beach culture, boom boxes, payphones, brick sized answering machines, jazzercise, heavy metal, breakdancing, it's all there. There's a scene where the kids go to buy "rubbers" and the song in the background is called "Rubbers" with a dude singing about "rubbers". Jill Schoelen (The Stepfather, Popcorn) is super cute and has an Olivia Hussey vibe going on. Only worth a watch for all of the nostalgia and location shots. Oh, and unlike some of these in the genre, they don't just tease with the boobs, almost every girl bares skin.

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    1. I love Jill Schoelen so much. I always thought she had more of a Winnie Cooper's older sister vibe. She's in her 50s now and still looks great; as she's aged, she's kinda developed a Sandahl Bergman meets Pamela Adlon kinda look. I meant to get to Cutting Class on '80s horror day but never made it.

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    2. No doubt. I thought about Winnie as well while watching the film.

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  7. Porno Holocaust (1981, dir. Joe D'Amato)
    Oh boy, this was terrible. Nobody should have to sit through this movie.

    The Love Butcher (1975, dir. Don Jones & Mikel Angel)
    Oh my god, I loved this movie. Kind of like if Herschell Gordon Lewis had directed Maniac. This one deserves to be re-discovered strictly based on the performance of lead actor Erik Stern; I don't know if anyone here knows the movie, but the style of it reminded me of Psychopath (the one with 'Mr. Robbie.') The transfer looks fantastic too!

    Wheels of Fire (1985, dir. Cirio H. Santiago)
    Santiago's second Mad Max knock-off after Stryker. I think they hired the lead actor because he (wincing) kiiiiiind of looks like Mel Gibson? This isn't bad. I think it vaguely also wants to be a Star Wars movie, based just on the music used, and the adding of stuff like psychics and Morlocks to the typical post-nuke imbroglio.

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    1. The Love Butcher has been on my radar for awhile. I'm even more excited to see it, now!

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    2. Equalizer 2000 (1987, dir. Cirio H. Santiago)
      Another of Santiago's post-nuke movies (his fourth,) starring Richard Norton (Zamir from Gymkata!) Zamir wants to take out the evil military organization ruling the wasteland, so he builds a gun with like seven barrels, and that pretty much cinches it. The busty lady playing his love interest was Ken Wahl's wife!! A pre-fame Robert Patrick is in it too, wearing a Civil War uniform.

      Hide and Go Shriek (1988, dir. Skip Schoolnik)
      Oh gosh, oh lordy, this was really, really awful. A gang of high schoolers wander around a furniture store, and yes, they're playing hide and seek. Somebody kills them. The acting is amusingly suicide-inducing, but this is still the definition of tedium, and easily one of the worst slashers I've ever watched. Luckily, ol' Skip Schoolnik never got to direct another feature again.

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  8. THE EERIE MIDNIGHT HORROR SHOW (1974)
    Religious-based supernatural horror. The filmmakers don’t even bother with subtlety by making a haunted crucifix the source of demonic possessions. This movie is one big angry middle finger directed at religion. So angry, though, that it circles back around to being unintentionally comical. Lots of gross-outs during the finale, if you’re into that.

    TEENAGE HITCHHIKERS (1975)
    “Teen” girls hit the road for some comedic hippy/free love misadventures. Basically a loose framework for a bunch of softcore scenes. I thought this was a Jean Rollin movie, but I was wrong, mistaking it for Rollin’s 1973 movie Schoolgirl Hitchhikers.

    GHOSTKEEPER (1981)
    Snowmobilers stay overnight at a remote lodge, where there is weirdness and murder. There are a couple of good scenes and some nice wintry atmosphere, but this one is mostly dull.

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  9. Truck Stop Women (1974)

    I’m not sure how I feel about this one. I liked it well enough, but it seems to whipsaw between tones much too abruptly, especially (SPOILERS) when the film reaches towards high tragedy at the end. The movie seems to work best when it keeps things light and goofy, and focuses on Anna’s ramshackle “family” at the truck stop / brothel. Claudia Jennings is of course a law unto herself as bad girl Rose. I feel bad that poor Paulie managed to somehow survive that whole “cannoli” affair in 1972 only to get himself run down a few years later.

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  10. Sweet Sixteen (1983)

    The good news is I got to watch Don Shanks play a badass, that was fun. That (along with an appearance by Michael Pataki, a character actor I love from his brief tenure as Captain Barbera on the 70's Spider-Man TV show) is the highlight of an otherwise fairly forgettable slasher with an overqualified cast and a pleasantly goofy theme song ("Melissa's Theme" by Joel & Mark Wertman).

    Bo Hopkins, Susan Strasberg, Patrick Macnee, and even Larry Goddamn Storch deserve much better than this boring nonsense. A teen girl living in a racist Texas town (many of the redneck townsfolk seem to get their kicks picking fights with Native Americans) meets boys and the boys keep getting killed...but by whom? By the time it's revealed, who cares? It's a dull, by the numbers slasher, albeit one with some pretty scenery. I think Patrick digs this one but unfortunately for me it was pretty disappointing all around. That being said, the ending was agreeably nutty, it just wasn't enough to save the movie for me.

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  11. Messiah Of Evil (1975)

    I can't believe this movie wasn't huge. It is absolutely gorgeous and terrifying. The story is very reminiscent of HP Lovecraft or Richard Matheson and had some really surreal moments. Every shot was beautiful, I really enjoyed this movie. Definitely would recommend.

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    1. This is one of my faves and have a song on my last record inspired my it. I even sampled the vocals from the end cause this was in the public domain at one point. I hope code red doesn't sue me now :P

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    2. That's awesome! I'd love to hear it if you have it up somewhere! :)

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    3. https://brahmbroadcasting.bandcamp.com/ Track 8

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  12. Viva l'Italia! Viva Franco Nero!

    The Visitor (Stridulum) (1979, dir. Giulio Paradisi)

    Franco Nero as Space Jesus. Need I say more?

    Okay, I'll say more. I guess there's a battle between Good and Evil going on here, but who the hell can say for sure? It feels like they filmed an incomplete script, with weird visuals that I'm sure symbolize something and subplots that go nowhere. And I loved it. It doesn't make much sense, but certainly leaves an impression. The movie world would be a much more boring place if it weren't for the Italians.

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    1. I'd love it if Patrick & Co. made a commentary for this one so we can hear their lose their minds as it goes batshit crazy, then tops itself and continues topping itself until the very end. It even stars a young-ish Lance Henriksen, for God's sake. More BISHOP-SPLOITATION! FTM commentaries, please. :-)

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    2. I would love a Visitor commentary! But not before Exorcist II...

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    3. Agree. First "The Exorcist II" and then "The Visitor" for FTM commentary track treatment, because DEVIL-POSSESSED-HOES-BEFORE-BROS-SPLOITATION! :-D

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  13. Cut & Run (1985)

    Ruggero Deodato's weird combo platter plays like an action/horror hybrid. The plot(s) involve(s) drug smuggling, savage natives and a missing son. It's got b-movie all-stars Richard Lynch, Michael Berryman and a totally wasted Karen Black (wasted as in underutilized, not hammered). The hammy and godawful Willie Aames must have been on hiatus from history's most inaccurately titled show, Charles In Charge (he was a nanny, I'm pretty sure the dog outranked Charles). Lynch's character comes off as a very poor man's Colonel Kurtz. Somehow all of this ties together in fairly watchable package complimented by a whole bunch of practical gore gags. There are way worse ways to spend a Sunday afternoon.

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    1. You mean hearing God-awful Joe Buck talking during Fox's coverage of the US Open Final Round? Absolutely. :-(

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  14. Sweet Sixteen (1983)

    JP summed this movie up pretty well in his earlier comment. It's certainly original, and I liked the characters, but I don't know that I really liked the movie. The ending is very weird, but I guess I didn't think it was earned. Maybe I'll revisit this in the future, and like it more.

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  15. Julie Darling (1983):

    Some good shock value in places, but it wasn't as sleazy or fun as I was expecting. Still, Sybil.

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    1. It's a great Father's Day movie at least.

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  16. The Visitor (1979)

    Damn! Should've saved this for killer kids day!

    It's wacky! It's also boring at times and almost never makes sense. But hey, we can forgive a lot for how weird and unusual it is. I don't love it, but I appreciate the wackiness. If you have nothing planned for tomorrow you could do a lot worse than this thing on Shudder. #RingingEndorsementSploitation

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  17. The Babysitter (1969, dir. Don Henderson)

    I wanted to watch one of the Code Red titles I own for this day, but a) The Babysitter boasts a running time of just over 60 mins. and I needed something quick to squeeze in and b) I've read a dozen times on the Code Red forums on Blu-ray.com that this movie is actually good. I was happy to find it streaming on Amazon Prime.

    It's fine. It doesn't feel like the other exploitation movies I've been watching this month. It's a black and white drama with salacious elements -- a married older man starts fucking the babysitter (Patricia Wymer), who's, like, far out. There are several musical montages to pad the short running time. Honestly, this feels like something JB would write about in Glutton for Punishment, which isn't to say it's terrible, but just that it has the vibe of a Something Weird sex drama instead of the usual stuff Code Red puts out. Glad to have seen it; don't need to own it.

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