FREE DAY! DONALD PLEASENCE 70'S TWO-FER (because SEXY-BOLD-MAN-SPLOITATION! :-P).Ted Kotcheff's WAKE IN FRIGHT (1971, 108 min.) on ConTV.This qualifies as Ozploitation from its footage of kangaroos being hunted/shot on-camera in "Cannibal Holocaust"/"Wild Beasts" graphic detail (viewer discretion strongly advised). Underneath its unsparing depiction of everyday life in a remote Australian Outback mining town (you can taste the beer, sweat and flies on the screen), director Ted Kotcheff ("First Blood") crafts a character study of a city folk (Gary Bond) who thinks himself better than the yahoos that surround him. A few gambling strikeouts, though, and Bond finds himself stranded among these folks, eventually descending to their primitive way of thinking, acting and drinking. And yes, that's the director's then-wife (Sylvia Kay) offering herself sexually to Gary for the same reason local men (who outnumber women) constantly get into drunken fights: the need for physical contact of any kind.While everyone's performance is excellent Donald Pleasence steals his many scenes as Doc Tydon, a Brit expatriate that trades medical service for booze. Donald standing on his head while sipping a pint, Pleasence spitting beer into the mouth of the hot chick he's having sex with and a sexy shirtless dance are a few highlights. When he isn't bringing the sexy into this unpleasant-to-look-at-but-super-atmospheric slice of rural Australian life, Pleasence serves the not-unimportant role of showing Bond what the latter will end up like if he doesn't manage to escape the intoxicating appeal of embracing the repressed yahoo inside every civilized man. Highly recommended, a dramatic work of art hidden in plain sight as an Ozploitation flick.Gary Sherman's DEATH LINE (1972, 88 min.) at Brooklyn's Nitehawk Cinema for the first time. Pictures of the event.Attended a screening last night of a 2K restoration of "Death Line" (aka "Raw Meat") held at Nitehawk Cinema, with writer/director Gary Sherman and Blue Underground's Bill Lusting in attendance to promote next Tuesday's Blu-ray release. Gary was frank about how the censorship by the American distributor of "Death Line" and other misadventures making features (he name-dropped "Dead & Buried," the NBC made-for-TV movie "Mysterious Two" and "Lisa") crushed his spirit and made him concentrate on lucrative TV commercial work. Gary defended "Poltergeist III" as better than its critics think it is, and became emotional remembering young Heather O'Rourke. Those of us that came to watch a movie about cannibals living beneath London streets got more than our money's worth. :-)"Death Line" is like "C.H.U.D." set in early 70's London, except it's actually good with socially-attuned comedy whenever the police are shown investigating the disappearance of a big-shot government official. Donald Pleasence's Inspector Calhoun is a hoot (his tea-related outbursts never get old), particularly during a two-minute dick measuring contest against MI5 bureaucrat Christopher Lee. Despite some disturbing scenes (including a lengthy 'oner' that introduces us to the world of the surviving cannibals) Sherman manages to make the monster (Hugh Armstrong's 'The Man') a lot more sympathetic and likable than the attractive young people (angry American David Ladd and girlfriend-in-peril Sharon Gurney) that cross his path. A lot classier than its title and premise might indicate, "Death Line" is worth seeing just for Pleasence riffing and joking his way through a most unusual (and bloody as hell) case.
Sexy-bald-man-sploitation has got to be a day next year. Wake in Fright has been on my que for some time now but I'll have to bump it up the list now! :)
You're welcome. :-D
I have also had the intention to watch Wake In Fright for some time now. I definitely should get to it.One of Donald Pleasence's early films that you should seek out is THE FLESH AND THE FIENDS from 1960. The film is a wonderfully staged and well-written retelling of the Burke and Hare murders in Edinburgh in the 1820s. It stars Peter Cushing as Dr. Knox. Pleasence plays William Hare with a memorable cold-bloodedness. Some of the violence in the film is quite shocking for the period. A Casual Listener
Just got the Halloween Blu-ray box set in the mail yesterday. Hmm, what to watch first...? Let's face it, there's only one possible answer.Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982, dir. Tommy Lee Wallace) with Tom Atkins' commentary!Interviewed by Michael Felsher, Atkins is having fun, telling stories from throughout his career, cracking jokes and singing the Silver Shamrock song. They could've focused a little more on this movie instead of The Ninth Configuration, but it's still a good time. Definitely the second best audio commentary for this movie I've ever heard.Btw, I love this movie unironically and I'm not gonna apologize for it.
Bonus: Garth Marenghi's Darkplace S1E1: Once Upon a Beginning (2004, dir. Richard Ayoade)Garth Marenghi's Darkplace is a faux 80's horror TV show about strange occurrences in a small town hospital. Beautifully badly written, directed, acted and edited. Highly recommended for fans of bad horror movies and British comedy. I have the DVD, but I believe the whole show is available on YouTube.
All 6 episodes of Darkplace are available on YouTube (or at least they were last month). The series is a grand tribute to crappy 80s TV, as well as a satirical take on regressive sexual politics. Matt Berry is a comic genius, and the music video that unexpectedly pops up in one episode (performed by Berry) will remind those of us of a certain age of the early days of MTV.
I LOVE this show. The best parody song ever - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b987jvUE8Gc
NIGHTBREED: THE DIRECTOR'S CUT (1990/2014)I'm using this Free Space day to celebrate the excellence that is Scream Factory, and this is where I'm starting.This is such a unique flick, and I'm a big fan of this restored cut. Except maybe Anne Bobby singing, not really for sure about that part.
Creature From The Haunted Sea (1961)The transfer wasn't great on this movie, like the apperence of light a scene with a guy with a torch quality. But it gave the movie a cool hand made quality. But as a movie, it's a strange little beast. A secret agent is on a boat off Cuba to infiltrate a gang who are killing other people for gold, but they find more than gold. It's complete with Anton Carbone, anothr guy who sounds like a muppet and with a special talent for animal impressions, and well Grimace in an early role. But as I said before, this movie has a gorgeous homemade feel, almost taking the camera out to sea to see what happens. Though, this is a Corman movie, and I can't imagine him leaving anything to chance, even if the movies dips in and out a bit.Actually this movie might be a good pairing with Raw Force.
The Trip (2010)Not really exploition, but maybe impression-ploitation, or food-ploitation?I do love, Coogan and Brydon's combative yet comfortable friendship is wonderful, especially when they make each other laugh. And their impression competitions of Michael Caine and Christopher Lee's Scaramanga is posisbly genuis.
Though seriously how many scallops were consumed during this movie!
Such a comfort film.
Smokey and the Bandit (1977)The return of Burtsploitation!Now THIS has converted me to a Burt fan! This has got to be one of the most fun, charming and delightful films I have ever seen! I think I had a big dopey grin through the whole damn thing. I think my favorite thing was the dialogue for how terrific and funny it was. Burt is just the man. I can't wait to watch more of his movies!
I did not expect Smokey to be as charming as it was.
Adios, Sabata (1970)The next Sabata film stars Yul Brynner, as Lee Van Cleef was ironically starring in a sequel to Brynner's The Magnificent Seven. It's less a film and more a disjointed collection of elements ripped off from other spaghetti westerns (i.e. the musical pocket watch from For a Few Dollars More makes an appearance). The movie is still fun; it's just not nearly as good as Sabata .
From a Whisper to a Scream (1987, director Jeff Accent)One of the worst anthology horror movies I've ever seen. If you were to ask me what each individual segment was about, I don't think I'd be able to tell you; that's how unmemorable it is. Played a couple games of solitaire. Had to do something to stay awake. Beat my previous top score, so it isn't all bad.Not even worth it for Vincent Price affecting a soft southern burr.
I saw it, and you're right. I can't tell what a single one of those was about. I remember some creepy guy and his sister but that's it.
The Valley of Gwangi (1969)First time viewing.I watched this yesterday in anticipation of Sci-Fi Day, but I think this would work as a Western, or Sci-Fi, or Monsters, or Animals... And, so, I've decided to play it safe and post it one day later on a free day. Whichever way you want to count it, I really loved this movie and I'm so glad I finally saw it! I don't know if this will make sense, but I find the visual effects of Ray Harryhausen to be oddly soothing. Nobody's going to confuse these dinosaurs with, say, the velociraptors at the end of Jurassic Park. There's a distancing effect to his work that keeps me slightly removed from the narrative and constantly serves as a friendly reminder: "Hey, isn't this fun?! We're watching a MOVIE here!..."
Rope and Skin (1979, dir. Shogoro Nishimura)This was a goodbye vehicle for Naomi Tani, the biggest name in Pink Films, who starred in over 70 movies in year during her ten-or-so year run, including Flower and Snake, the flagship film for the genre. And as such, they upped both the production value and the classiness from your usual product. For one thing, they push the softcore sex scenes waaay into the background. This is a 70 minute long movie, longer than most Pink films, and nothing sexual really happens until 45 minutes in, as opposed to the usual being the first fucking thing that happens. They spend all that opening space developing their characters(!). This is a Lady Snowblood style revenge tale about a turn of the century female gambler being harassed by rival Yakuza after deciding to retire. They kill her fiancee, her old boss, and try to force her into prostitution. They clearly demonstrate their aspirations by copying the nude bathing fight from Sex & Fury in the first 10 minutes. When the sex stuff does come into play, it's pretty depressing (which for some reason seems to be the idea for a lot of these movies, despite the supposition that they should be titillating.) I liked it!Satan’s Blood (1978, dir. Carlos Puerto & Juan Piquer Simon)Juan Pieces Slugs was behind this, but it doesn't reflect the craziness of those two movies. I watched this because I wanted some old-fashioned Satanism, with floor pentagrams and orgies and sacrifices, and it delivered, but I dunno, it just felt toothless.Thundering Mantis (1980, dir. Yeh Yung Cha)Excellent fucking kung fu flick. Our hero, who looks kinda Kristofferson-y, pisses off the local goon squad by standing up for the area little guys, and has to convince an old dude to teach him Mantis Style (boilerplate so far.) The movies got a nice, goofy sense of humor that isn't above having characters getting slipped laxatives or farting in each other's faces, and the music and exaggerated acting style of the lead and charming; but the real reason to watch it is the final fight. The way it's handled is so bizarre and so unexpected, but also so slowly earned... it's the only movie I can think of that ends like it does. Pretty fascinating!Terror y encajes negros (1985, dir. Luis Alcoriza)...or, Terror and Black Lace. A Mexican sorta-slasher about a cloistered housewife who doesn't know her downstairs neighbor is a sexual deviant who beats up prostitutes so he can steal chunks of their hair, which he keeps in a hidden display cabinet, and who is perilously close to crossing the thin edge over to straight murder. It takes it's time building up the characters before giving us the goods we're there for (hey, just like Rope & Skin!), which is an extended chase through their apartment building, her in black lingerie, him with an axe. This is an alarmingly misanthropic movie, where everyone is stupid or evil, and it's also really well made, with a likable class. I'd been meaning to see this for over ten years, and I think it was worth the wait!
Hokey smokes, I should get some sleep. These are some shittily written synopses here. I think my brain needs to take a sy-naps!! Suicide
Newcomers to this website may not be aware that Matt, aka E.S.A.D.D., the Evan Michael Tanner of F This Movie, has his own podcast, The Watching Machine.It's very good and extremely listenable. To. It's extremely listenable to. No, just extremely listena... look, just listen to the feckin' thing. It's good. Is listenable even a word?
Thank you, Non! I so appreciate the love for the show, especially since the show is so small. My favorite Tanner novel is The Bus That Couldn't Slow Down.
Get some rest, for fuck's sake, Matthew. I don't like sleep-deprived podcasters. Remember the Music Box Massacre cast when Patrick thought he was a hummingbird because he'd been awake for so long? He'll tell you that I'm misremembering and that was Apu in The Simpsons, but he's wrong.
And it's 'like'. I love F This Movie; I like your podcast. Don't get above yourself.Bless him, he's fast asleep and probably chasing rabbits and whatnot. Everybody keep the noise down, please.
hehehe...this exchange is funny. I'm liking the Watching Machine podcast too.
Thanks, Oscar! Just posted a new episode, too!
The Big Hit (1998)Saw this in the theater with some friends in '98. Their reaction: "It's weird"But that's what I like about it. It's weird. It crosses genre lines.It's big, Hong Kong style action, mixed with random humor, and offbeat characters. It is a unique movie, especially considering how that period in the late '90s was filled with crime films trying to be Pulp Fiction. I'll take an odd duck any day.
I love this movie, but I'm not sure how much of it is because it is such a late-90's time capsule.
I love it too! I saw this TWICE in the theater for some weird freakin' reason. Oh, China Chow, nevermind.
Plus it's the only movie where a VHS of King Kong Lives is a plot point. That has to mean something..
I saw this at a drive-in as a double feature with Godzilla. I didn't care for Godzilla but loved The Big Hit! It's been awhile but I gotta check it out again.
Even though Godzilla sucked, that's a strong Drive-In double feature, man!
I'm so glad I'm not alone in my enjoyment of this.
JADE (1995) A murder investigation uncovers corruption and sexy secrets among rich politicians. Director William Friedkin is clearly hoping to recreate the success of The French Connection, complete with an elaborate car chase at the movie’s mid-point. Instead, it’s just another of those hokey erotic thrillers that were direct-to-video throughout the ‘90s, except this one has better production values.BOXING HELENA (1993) A surgeon is obsessed with a beautiful woman, so he abducts her, and… things happen. This one is frustrating in how it’s more about the mind games between the two, rather than the specifics of how any of this is possible. “Who’s doing her hair and makeup?” is just the first of many, many questions. Then, it ends with such an enormous screw you to the audience that the whole thing just ticked me off. FUNKY FOREST: THE FIRST CONTACT (2005) Two and a half hours of Japanese weirdness. Basically an anthology film, but with the segments divided up into separated chapters throughout the movie. The first hour is just a lot of goofiness with characters hanging out, making you wait for the truly crazy stuff. There's Cronenberg-style body horror and small fleshy creatures -- but jokey and comedic this time. There’s also a bunch of dance numbers because of course there is. Recommended because everyone should see this at least once.
Love Funky Forest. Want to second that recommendation for the adventurous readers out there. This is from the director behind the anime Redline (a must see) and the movie Shark Skin Man and Peach Hip Girl; it was pretty buzzy when it was new, but it doesn't seem to have stuck as a cult favorite... for instance, they made a sequel to this five years ago that I didn't even know existed until just now!
Goosebumps (2015)This was a pleasant surprise! Being a child of the 70's and 80's, I was too old for the Goosebumps books when they were originally released (I had already moved on to Stephen King, who gets a pretty funny name check in this) so I've never read them and I only have a passing familiarity with the menagerie of malevolent monsters on display here. That being said, I imagine this will be a great gateway horror movie for kids, even more so for ones who were raised on the books.It's colorful, fast-paced, and has an infectiously adventurous spirit. There's a nice variety of creatures (even though of course they're all realized with CGI, just gotta deal with that these days) and the movie is just a dizzying whirlwind of monsters and fun. It made me feel like a kid, and that's maybe the best feeling a movie like this can give. I'm fully on board for the impending sequel now, this was a treat.
I was too old for the Goosebumps book too, and my kids were too young for them. We really loved this movie though. I showed them it, in an attempt to introduce them to "horror". They really resisted but ended up loving the movie, as did I.
Watched this with my then-six-year-old niece a few months back. It was okay, carried mostly by the likable young actors and Jack Black committing to the role (as Mr. Stein, though, not the annoying dummy).
Completely agree. I was just that little bit too old for the books or I was already onto Pike and King. But I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. The overly colourful monsters worked within the context of the movie.
John Wick 2 (2017)It was quite good, but after a while seemed like repetitive action. The first 20 odd minutes were the best part. The ending seemed to be entirely setting itself up for a sequel.
Malone (1987) (First Time Viewing):Burtsploitation continues! As far as action movies go, this is middle of the road. Burt doesn’t really shine in this one as he did in his earlier days, but he’s still pretty darn watchable. The plot and character relationships are pretty nonsensical and sometimes unintentionally creepy; but Burt is good, the action is OK, and Cliff Robertson makes a pretty great evil villain.
Halloween: Resurrection (2002, dir. Rick Rosenthal) with Rosenthal and editor Robert Ferretti's commentaryRosenthal and Ferretti actually sound proud of the movie they made (Rosenthal especially), pointing out all the "clever" references to the original. Unlike the H3 commentary I listened to earlier, there's no entertainment to be had here.
Bonus: Rakka (2017, dir. Neill Blomkamp)After Blomkamp's Alien movie failed to materialize, he decided to take matters into his own hands and started his own production company, Oats Studios. Right now they're making short films, any of which could be expanded to a feature film if there's enough public interest, according to Blomkamp.The first of their films, Rakka, was released a week ago. It's a bleak and creepy 22-minute alien invasion story starring Sigourney Weaver. The problem is, it's a demo reel for a movie, not a short film. It introduces a lot of interesting stuff that I wouldn't mind seeing expanded on, but it doesn't work as a self-contained story. Go to their site or YouTube if you want to see it, it's free.
I checked this out last week and thought it was interesting to look at, but yeah, made me scratch my head as to why it was released like this. Maybe to promote "Steam"?
Black Christmas (1974)One of the best and truly unsettling horror movies I've seen. If you are like I was before today, and had seen this talked about on the site, but never gotten around to seeing it, change that now.
Olivia Hussey standing on the bottom of the stairs calling out is on of the most unnerving things in movies for me.
Sweet - I just got the Scream Factory blu-ray yesterday but I'm thinking I might hold off on this one until Scary Movie Month...
I still find Olivia's jumper sexy It's those hands, I dont know why but it does it for me
"Hello? Hello? Hello?"
Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965)After watching this I was thinking about how I'd explain the plot to somebody and I noticed that on a very superficial level there's some similarities to Don't Breath. Specifically, there's unscrupulous trio who hear about a disabled old man's large settlement due to an accident and that he keeps the money hidden somewhere rather than in a bank. The two movies obviously don't have much in common beyond that but I thought it was somewhat interesting. This was solid Junesploitation viewing. Tura Satana seems like she's having a lot of fun, and Sue Bernard is impossibly cute as the kidnapped Linda.Viva (2007)An earlier work from The Love Witch director Anna Biller, this made for a good double feature with Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill although due to length and pacing it drags a bit in several spots. Also, while Viva has some of the visual appeal of The Love Witch, it leans a lot harder into overacting which can get a bit tedious at times over the course of the movie. As an observation of sexual liberation and exploration in the 70's there's a lot going on here but it didn't entirely work for me. As a throwback to sexploitation movies of the era (era), it certainly gets the copious amounts of nudity right I suppose.
7 Witches (2017) Dir. Brady HallAt a short 71 minutes that flies by, "7 Witches" is an ambitious indie that looks great, is not terribly acted and has some things going for it that I found interesting. The story is simple - a woman is getting married to a witch after a 100 year curse and both families are gathering together for the wedding. Filmed in Seattle, the location chosen for this movie is beautiful. We had to look it up cause at times we would have sworn it was some small town in Ireland. The characters are well defined though to a fault where the writing feels forced at times. Honestly, the script isn't that great. Most of the comic relief falls flat though there are a couple times where it was welcome with the alcoholic, care-free Granddad. There's also one character who is awfully miscast and probably the worst actor of the bunch. The costumes were really well done, the score was simple yet really effective but the biggest highlight was the lead played by Persephone Apostolou whom I had never heard of nor seen before. She was great with what she had to work with and I hope she gets more work. It's hard to recommend this though. It's rough around the edges in many ways and most "casual" big budget Horror film viewers probably hate it. It's not amazing or anything but I think it's good and I liked it. I couldn't find the source but I thought I read that this was made for less than $2000.00.
ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 (1976)-and-THE THING (1982)Because F This Movie! aren't the only ones who know what they're doing.
GINGER SNAPS (2000)Shit, forgot to post this one earlier.It rules.
I've been fascinated lately with 80's Fantasy, partly because I'm so unfamiliar with it. If you have some recommendations in the genre I'd love to here them! Here's today's double feature from 1982.The Dark Crystal (1982)This all puppets film is so beautiful and so weird. I love that something like this got made. I could have looked at it for a lot longer, but it's pretty tight as is.Beastmaster (1982)Pretty cool movie! Entertaining throughout and I have little to complain about. It's cheesy fun and I had a good time.
Lindsay Wilkins said...I love Dark Crystal - its so beguiling. I watched Return To Oz and Something Wicked This Way Comes a few weeks ago. Both totally worth a watch. Also I would recommend Time Bandits, Dragonslayer and Lady Hawk. And Neverending Story if you've never seen it.
I saw 6 of the 7 of these in the theater as a kid :) Love it!
Thanks! I'm happy to see you mention Dragonslayer because I so love the title I want that to be good. haha
HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH (1982)What I've learned is that I should have a Scream Factory day more often; this has been PHENOMENAL.
Tenebrae (1982)I'd like to think I'm starting to "get" Italian Horror, but I think this movie is probably just plain fucking awesome no matter what you're into. Really, really loved it and as much as much as there's something kind of fun about it, it's also genuinely intense and unsettling at times.A note re the blu-ray which I blind-bought based on Patrick's and Shockwaves' recommendations and couldn't be happier - it's fantastic in every way - I believe Patrick mentioned in a podcast that the less fancy, non-collector's edition of the Synapse release doesn't have the very worthwhile Giallo documentary bonus feature but I can attest that it does, so don't hesitate to pick up the more affordable version of this must-own disc!
I stand corrected, but I'm super happy to hear that. The doc is worth the price of the disc alone, but it doesn't hurt that it's also one of the best horror movies ever made. So glad you dug it.
Thanks so much for the info! That's what had been holding me back from getting it.
Cool Daniel - it's why I thought I should mention it - it's the kind of thing that might hold me back too and as much as I would now love to have the super-special edition, it's selling for north of a hundred bucks worth of Canadian moose-nickles.Patrick, if you make it back to this thread - would you recommend holding off on the documentary until I've actually watched some more giallos or is it the kind of thing that will get me pumped for more?
I think you can watch the doc right away. It will only make you want to check out more of these movies and will put some of them in the proper context.
Torture Dungeon (1969, dir. Andy Milligan)Typical Andy Milligan effort: self-serious costume drama with just the right amount of graphic violence. Milligan writes way too much dense dialogue for his amateur actors to handle, but that's a big part of what makes his movies so fascinating. I've yet to see any that I would call good, but I love to study them. They're made with such passion and feel so personal, despite being what most universally accepted criteria would evaluate as "bad" movies. It all makes me want to study him further.
Oof, Andy Milligan. I don't know if he's worth the trouble. Might be better to just read his biography and be done with it. He's what George Kuchar would be like if he had no sense of humor. I think if he were alive today, he'd be a massive player on the fan fiction or self-publishing scene, and probably never have directed anything.
I find Andy Milligan's films not to be all bad. VAPORS, his short film from the mid-1960s about gay men meeting up in a bathhouse, is an effective drama. FLESHPOT ON 42 STREET is a terrific film about life on the margins in New York City in the early 1970s. A woman, portrayed forcefully by an actress working under the name Laura Cannon, finds herself sinking lower and lower just to keep herself eating. This is one of the most uncomfortable depictions of prostitution I have ever come across. The sleaziness of the story is enhanced by some impressive- for the budget - location shooting around Times Square. This film might make you feel like taking a shower afterwards. A Casual Listener
Double Feature!!Rock and Roll High School (1979)Heart burstingly wonderful. Just about the most fun I can have watching a movie. Joey Ramone's voice makes me want to cry. Paul Bartel is peak Bartel. Phantom Of The Paradise (1974)I was semi dreading this rewatch. I hadn't seen it since VHS and I didn't get into it first time around. I was BLOWN AWAY. One of the most musical musicals I've seen. Visually thrilling and just great looking at all times. I'm so relieved.
The Raid: Redemption (2011): I can do that. I choose not to.