Shun'ya Itô's FEMALE PRISONER SCORPION: JAILHOUSE 41 (1972, 90 min.) on Amazon Prime for the first time.Despite not knowing before watching it that this was the second entry in a trilogy (you bet I'll be watching the other two before the month ends) I knew this women's prison flick had a heavy dose of artistic touches. Think Nobuhiko Ôbayashi's "House" meets "The Defiant Ones," except revenge is equally strong between the main antagonists. Nami Matsushima (Meiko Kaji) is such a badass she spends a year in the deepest dungeon of prison (which in movie time is about two minutes worth of opening credits) carving a spoon into sharp knife with her mouth. Her nemesis, Inspector Goda (Fumio Watanabe), can't wait to leave "Matsu" locked in jail for the rest of her life after she took out one of his eyes in an earlier escape attempt. Neither of these characters is likable or says much, and they're willing to let those on their team (guards for Goda and female escapees for Matsu) die horrible deaths for what we all know will be the climax: Goda and Matsu facing each other to the death. It's rare for this type of genre picture to (a) interject artsy touches alongside the expected rape/gore while (b) making the revenge an equally strong driving force between "good" and "bad" characters. Very entertaining and enjoyable, and worth seeing on its own even without knowing how Matsu ended up locked in Jailhouse 41. Highly recommended. :-)And Junesploitation! is off and running, hooray!
You will like the other films in the Female Prisoner Scorpion series, Vargas. Jailhouse 41 is one the entries I have not yet seen.That combination of aesthetics and sleaze you mention is what has kept me coming back to Japanese exploitation.
So happy that a lot of Arrow Video's library of Blu-ray titles (including the rest of the "Scorpion" flicks) are available for streaming on Amazon Prime. It's like year-round Junesploitation! at Jeff Bezos' place. ;-)
I have the Arrow set. As Casual Listener said, if you liked this one, you'll definitely like the other ones
Hooray, indeed!A little Japanese exploitation is a perfect way to kick off Junesploitation.CRIMINAL WOMAN: KILLING MELODY (1973) – With a gang of sexy ex-cons behind her, Maki schemes to take down a yakuza clan. She has her reasons. Part of a series of Pinky Violence films pairing the actresses Miki Sugimoto and Reiko Ike, Criminal Woman encompasses several exploitation genres, including women in prison. The yakuza section is the weakest part of the film, containing shootouts and fights that are awkwardly choreographed at best. However, that is where the very satisfying revenge scenes are. Maki is not certainly not afraid to get a little blood on her hands. This is a good example of how style and sleaze co-existed in 1970s Japanese exploitation.
Lady Snowblood (Shurayukihime) (1973, dir. Toshiya Fujita)First watch for me, but as a fan of Kill Bill, it felt instantly familiar. Kill Bill definitely shares a lot of DNA with this one.Meiko Kaji is a badass and I love that theme song (the one that was also in Kill Bill). Great start to the month!
Nice! I've always wanted to check this out myself. Gotta get around to it.
Saw this at IFC Center three years ago, but reading your review I just now made the connection that Meiko Kaji is the same actress from "Female Prisoner Scorpion!" (and Casual Listener's "Criminal Woman"). Looks like Kaji-san is the first rising star/discovery during the early hours of J̶u̶n̶e̶s̶p̶l̶o̶i̶t̶a̶t̶i̶o̶n̶!̶ MEIKO-SPLOITATION! :-)
That one has been on my list for a while. I really need to do something about it
JM, not only that, Kaji also sings the theme songs to both Lady Snowblood and Female Prisoner Scorpion.And Tarantino used both songs in Kill Bill, Snowblood's Shura no Hana (aka The Flower of Carnage) in Vol. 1 and Scorpion's Urami Bushi in Vol. 2. The Kill Bill soundtracks were the reason I was familiar with her name.
That was my choice aswell. Great revenge flick.
Rolling Thunder (1977)This movie is gooooooooood. Really really really good. As probably most of you already know. This movie is solid and to the point or the hook as it were. But I adored all the little character moments throughout, like how a prositute hangs her dress up.I started Junesploitation the right way.
Yes you did, Lindsay.
I’ve been meaning to catch up with this one. Sounds like a perfect start!
I'll get my gear.
"... I'll get my gear." Damn I love Rolling Thunder.
haha I just want to show it to everyone I know now.
Going to have to work this one into my month somewhere.
Dangerous Men (197...uh...199...hmmm...200...5?)Notorious for its 26-year-long gestation period, this movie is a feat of persistent, if not always consistent, film-making. Best watched for the choppy editing, superliminal dialogue, and character turns so quick you're not sure if the whiplash you received is intentional. Written, directed, produced, and scored by Iranian architech turned autuer John S. Rad, the story follows 2(?) concurrent(?) narratives of revenge, set seemingly whenever the next check cleared. A true novelty film, I'd recommend it particularly for the idiosyncratic synth score, and for the overt camp quality of the story.
I watched this one three years ago during a midnight screening at Brooklyn's Nitehawk Cinema. It's simultaneously a laugh riot and an Ed Wood-worthy cinematic monument to persistence. :-D
That date made me laugh, as the kids say, OL.
Saw this for the first time this week. The meandering theme song has lodged itself firmly in my brain.
I Saw The Devil (2010)This movie has one of the most violent things I have seen on screen, thus far. It's a twisted and bloody movie. And I freaken loved every second of it. How have I not seen this movie before now? Just they way the movie is shot, how the relationship builds between Kim Soo-hyeon and Kyung-Chul. This movie is epic.
Such a good and dark movie. That knife scene in the cab yeeees. Korean thrillerst definitely need to be a theme one year.
I watched this one a whim a year or two ago, trying to recapture the thrill of finding Man From Nowhere and I was totally caught off guard. It went to some places that I did not see coming.
Did you like it?
This movie is so good. I need to re-watch it very soon. Maybe tonight!
Yeah I really liked it! Sometimes it was definitely hard to watch but over all it was totally awesome.
Savage Streets (1984) Dir. Danny Steinmann 25 year old Linda Blair plays a teenager who goes after the gang that raped her deaf sister(Linnea Quigley) and brutally murdered her engaged and pregnant friend. John Vernon is there to play the principal as an authoritarian creep(surprise,surprise). This has a sleazy and unpleasant vibe from the get go, cause Steinmann gotta Steinmann. But is the finale worth it?...Maybe? It gets pretty ridiculous. Also, how was this not a Cannon production?
This movie is nuts. I watched it last year. It is either the most tone death (not to use a pun) or a is a piece of genius in the way Steinmann mashes them together. I am still not sure.
The Exterminator (1980, dir. James Glickenhaus)Robert Ginty's best friend and fellow Vietnam vet (Steve James) gets attacked by a street gang, so Ginty avenges him. And I guess he enjoyed himself, because he follows it up by going after every other criminal in the city. Human Cigarette Christopher George is on his trail, but not in so much hurry he doesn't have time to hit on the doctor who's treating one of Ginty's victims. He makes up for the lost time by having lunch in the office though, cooking a hot dog by running electricity through it!I guess by 1980 the vigilante movie was such a familiar trope that you didn't have to bother with setting up the main character's motivation. The movie cuts straight from his buddy's hospital bed to Ginty interrogating a tied-up gang member. Later we're introduced to a mob boss, who Ginty then kidnaps without any kind of setup. Either there are some scenes missing (even though the Finnish DVD cover boasts being "Uncut"), or the movie's edited very choppily.Ginty isn't much of a leading man, but the movie's fun in how quickly it escalates. Plus, he kills a mob boss with a meat grinder, so that's a plus. I have two complaint though. Steve James has way too little screen time, and you can kill all the punks, perverts and mobsters you want, but you didn't have to kill that dog!Boy, I missed Junesploitation!
Deadly Daphne's Revenge (1987, dir. Richard Gardner)Happy Junesploitation, everyone! I'm going to have a watch another revenge movie today, because this one didn't cut it. It opens and ends with Deadly Daphne, but mostly centers around a 17-year old girl deciding whether or not to press charges against the men who raped her. It's...a drag. So much rape stuff, so many gross messages about rape, so many scenes of people talking to lawyers, not nearly enough revenge. I'm not completely positive it's a movie. I may watch The Exterminator just to salvage the day. I know it can be done. In Junesploitation I trust.
You have chosen... poorly! Better luck next time... later today. :-)
Dead in Tombstone (2013)The thing with Danny Trejo is that he’s a great presence, even if he’s not a particularly great actor. His line readings are pretty stiff, but he’s still fun to watch as an old west outlaw murdered by his own gang and resurrected by Lucifer himself (here depicted as a bloated Snausage™️ in the shape of Mickey Rourke) to exact revenge against Anthony Michael Hall and the rest of his turncoat posse. I still haven’t gotten used to seeing TonyMike so far past his gawky teenage years, but he plays menacing surprisingly well and holds his own against Trejo nicely. All in all it’s an entertaining ride, though the lighting is so muddy it’s sometimes difficult to tell what’s going on. Also of note, Trejo’s first post-resurrection kill is pretty great and involves a goon taking a cannonball to the face. If all the kills had been as memorable it would probably be a higher recommendation, but it’s still worth a look. I liked it enough that I’m looking forward to checking out the sequel at some point later this month, anyway.Happy first day of Junesploitation everybody!
Rolling Thunder (1977)The best damn movie I've seen in a long time.Thanks to Pure Cinema for bringing this in my life! I've long been aware of William Devane, but I'd never seen him in a starring role before. He's incredible in this. This is also one of the best Tommy Lee Jones performances I've ever seen. It's an amazing revenge movie, but is about so many other things. What it's like to lose loved ones but be incapable of grief. What it's like to fall in love with a complately broken person. And of course, what it's like to come home from war and lose everything you were. It's a great film on multiple levels. Junesploitation is on!!!
I did not think Devane had that performance in him. He's amazing. I loved how the 'I'll get my gear' is during a family dinner, definetly no time for desert. It was such as great way of showing how dislocated the characters were.
Cold Sweat (1970)Not necessarily revenge per say because Bronson's family is "merely" kidnapped and he's with them most of the time, but this is a Bronson movie, so I'll count it. Bronson's past comes to haunt him as old friends return for a shady deal and force the reluctant hero to play a part. Good one liners here and there and good car chase.Belladonna of Sadness (1973)Following a rape on her wedding night, a young woman banished from town makes a deal with the devil to exact revenge on those who wronged her. Some really great animated sequences and a strong score. Anime being a blind spot for me, it took a while to get into, but this is mesmerizing to look at. Kept thinking a live action remake (somehow) starring Lauren Ashley Carter would be terrific.
Slaughter High (1986)Revenge of the nerd. Good campy fun with some decent kills with Ted’s probably being the highlight.
This is an inspired revenge pick, you had me cracking up. Well played!
Machine Gun McCain (1969, dir. Guliano Montaldo)Better, but still didn't quite scratch the itch. Decent Italian crime movie that's worth seeing for the Ennio Morricone score and the cast, which includes John Cassavetes, Peter Falk, Gena Rowlands, and Britt Ekland. It's more of a gangster movie than a revenge movie, so I'll keep trying.
Man, you just can't catch a break today! :-O It's an okay movie, but for such a catchy title and with that great a cast "Machine Gun McCain" both underdelivers and underperforms. It's the "Solo" of 1969... ouch! :-P
I don't know this for sure, but I have a guess that one Gena Rowlands scene was the template for Christopher Walken's shakedown of Dennis Hopper in True Romance.
The Crow (1994)I thought about going with a revenge movie I had not seen, I thought about going obscure. But then I saw The Crow BluRay sitting on my shelf still in cellophane, I saw the headline that the reboot/remake had lost yet another director and actor.So I decided that there isn’t one I’d rather watch today than this.We don’t need a remake anyway.
good choice. i love this movie, and we don't need a remake, and the sequels don't exist
The production design and soundtrack of this film makes it one of my all-time favourites
Revenge (2017)Held off watching this for Junesploitation after reading Patrick's review and it did not disappoint. This is a debut feature? Wow. Someone I'll be keeping my eye on for future releases. Happy Junesploitation everyone!
Revenge (2018):What a rip-roaring way to start Junesploitation! Masterfully shot, beautifully acted. It does the exploitation thing while commenting on the exploitation thing. Easily one of my favorites of the year so far!
It's still playing in one theater on NYC (one showing per day) until next Thursday. Hmm... maybe. ;-)
Upgrade (2018, dir. Leigh Whannell)Grey Trace is left paralyzed with his wife murdered after a brutal mugging. When a rich tech genius "upgrades" his body, he goes on a bloody revenge mission for the men responsible. Robocop meets Death Wish!It's really nice to see a small genre movie in wide release these days. The movie is entertaining and I enjoyed it. I think what I liked least was how it looks. It's just so slick. I wouldn't preferred something more gritty and practical. That being said there's some really fun violence, and it has a really gutsy ending. It's nice to get that in a modern movie!
Just got back from seeing this and totally agree. I really liked the movie throughout and then the ending happened and all of a sudden I loved the movie. Still cringing from that first post-enhancement kill, too.
You Were Never Really Here (2017, dir. Lynne Ramsay)A movie like this comes out on Revenge! day, I'm gonna go see it. (I'll just assume Patrick chose today as Revenge! day because today was this movie's premiere in Finland. #heknowswhathesdoing)Not your typical Junesploitation movie, but wouldn't it be boring if every movie was Rolling Thunder? (Well, no, but that's beside the point.) It's a slowly building character study that gives you pieces of the puzzle one by one and doesn't hold your hand putting them together. It's also beautifully shot, well acted and occasionally brutal. Fun might be the wrong word but I enjoyed myself immensely.Also saw a trippy Hungarian movie called Jupiter's Moon on the same trip to the theater, but couldn't find even a little revenge in it, so that's all I'll say about that.
Ms. 45 (1981)This was one I had in the watch list for the better part of a decade and had almost accepted that I'd probably never watch it, until Junesploitation rolled around. There was a point in the movie I was afraid it was going to just turn into a female Death Wish movie, but then it took another turn. Is this where Archer got the idea of putting the Italian prime minster's body in different trash cans across the city? I'd be curious to hear some thoughts on this one because I'm not quite sure what to think of it.
I own the Blu Ray; love this movie. I mean, it can be a tough watch, for sure. But think of how many revenge films use the device of a husband's wife being killed/raped, and he seeks revenge, etc. This one has the woman exacting her own revenge, and all in spectacular fashion. Certainly, a perfect candidate for the beginning of Junesploitation!
I get what you're saying. I could just tell he had little money and had to stretch the length with surrealist sequences. Overall not bad. I loved that they turned the Manhattan....homage? scene around on itself a couple times. Glad I finally got around to seeing it.
I'm going with the Coen brothers version of "True Grit" for day one. Why this and not the original? No Glen Campbell.
Good choice. Life is too short not to enjoy it. :-D
M.F.A. (2017 dir. Natalia Leite)I picked this one because of the tagline, "Mastering the ART of revenge."(FUCK YEAH!!!) When I began the movie though, I found that I wasn't watching schlock, but rather a woke AF, feminist AF, good movie! It deals with an old-school exploitation plot, the rape-revenge story.What's different here is that fully deals with its subject, Rape. It depicts a more accurate rape. One where the guy honestly doesn't think he did anything wrong. When Noelle (played by Francesca Eastwood... Yes, the daughter of THAT Eastwood) goes to confront him and she accidentally kills him. Then Junesploitation ensues.It's a movie that asks hard questions and makes you sit and think about what the right way to handle the situation.I'll have a more in depth review of M.F.A. on my website (deathbyzamboni.com) but I HIGHLY recommend you check this out (It's Streaming free on Amazon Prime!). Be warned though, there are graphic (and unfortunately necessary) depictions of rape in this movie.
UPGRADE (2018) had NO idea this was a revenge movie because I didn’t watch any trailers, just went off cool poster (red and black already screamed “revenge”) and word of mouth. It’s pretty cool. Bobo Tom Hardy does a nice job. It has some very comic booky feels to it.
Bully (2001, dir. Larry Clark)Definitely didn't get me in any sort of holiday spirit. I've been interested in watching this for over a decade, and though I couldn't remember how closely tied to the revenge theme the story of the film is, once I considered it as a possibility I couldn't shake the desire to watch it. Turns out the film sublimates feelings of adolescent ennui, aimlessness, and self-destruction into an act of revenge that, for the characters, is anything but cathartic. I really loved it, especially after considering it through my expectations that it be a revenge film. It's kind of a subversion of the bravery and confidence often displayed by the protagonists of those movies. Like a more understated version of Super. I'll probably watch something that lends itself better to junk food eating a little later, though.
Seeking Justice (Roger Donaldson, 2011)First time viewing, on Netflix Instant (US). Was hoping for one of those Nic Cage over the top disasters; instead it's a sleepy thriller. The revenge part of the film is really the setup. Will Gerard (Nic Cage), an English teacher, is an unassuming fella living his best life. Happily married to his musician wife, Laura (January Jones), enjoys playing chess with his best buddy and Principal, Jimmy (Harold Perrineau, who I'm always happy to see on screen). It goes bad when Laura is brutally attacked/raped. While at the hospital, Will is visited by a stranger, Simon (Guy Pearce), who offers to have the monster responsible killed...as long as Will agrees to do a favor in the future. Will's in, and within hours, is given proof that the deed is done. But 6 months later, Simon comes back to get his favor. And Will isn't so keen on helping, spending the rest of the film trying to figure out who this organization is, and how they can be stopped...before they kill him and or his wife.It's competent, but not particularly compelling. The good supporting cast helps. I would have actually preferred a worse film that was more bonkers than this mild mess. Grade: C-Hopefully better luck on the next one!
FEMALE PRISONER 701: SCORPION (1972) Our heroine is Matsu, who is jailed for a crime she didn’t commit. She fights back against her oppressive jailers with bloody violence. This is sleazy and trashy, but it’s filled with flashy camera work, crazy dream sequences, and an overall sense of cool. I’m sure young Tarantino and young Raimi were both fans.FEMALE PRISONER SCORPION: JAILHOUSE 41 (1972) Picking up where the last movie left off, Matsu is finally out of jail and now a fugitive. That’s when things get really, really weird. The dream sequence stuff is off the charts, as is the sex n’ violence. If you’re only going to watch one of these, make it part 2. FEMALE PRISONER SCORPION: BEAST STABLE (1973)Matsu is now full vigilante, lurking in the mean streets and back alleys of the big city. She befriends a troubled woman and enacts revenge. This one is all exploitation sleaze, with little of the weirdness and/or flashy camerawork that the made the previous two stand out. FEMALE PRISONER SCORPION: GRUDGE SONG (1973) More vigilante/crime thriller action as our heroine again befriends a poor soul stuck living in the crime-ridden part of town and unleashes revenge on wrongdoers. These movies are allegedly based on a comic book series, and there is a slight Punisher feel to the sequels -- only less shooty and more stabby.
DEATH WISH (2018): so this is what an actor actually sleeping on the job looks like. it's boring, pointless and the perfect example of a bad remake. i won't say this is an unnecessary remake, because not remake is ever necessary. i think anybody other than Bruce Willis would've been better. the man doesn't care anymore
You poor soul watching this thing on revenge day...
i knew what i was getting. i was keeping it for exactly this day.
Now if D'Onofrio played Willis's role, it probably would have been perfect.
REVENGE (2018)Guys, it's really good. Such an experience, and it actually being from a woman's point of view is incredibly satisfying and important. Worthwhile in every way.
SCREAM 4 or SCRE4M:after buying a blu-ray set of the first 3 movies and watch them all in a row, i had to get the 4th one. definitely not the best of the bunch. and after listening to Patrick and JB podcast on the movie (from a few years ago), i expected to hate it. i didn't. i didn't love it either. performances have never been the high point of any of the movies in the series, and this one is no exception. it's passable and does the job it's supposed to, nothing more. i have to admit that i find Hayden Panettiere super cute in this, so it help liking the movie a little bit more. and the opening of the movie is kinda fun.
When I said before it had one of the best sequences of the franchise, I was referring to the beginning. I didn't want to say which part so it would be a surprise!
well, thanks for not spoiling it, knowing i would probably watch it eventually
I like this one too. I try to pretend the hospital sequence at the end doesn't happen. I think if the movie ended right on the newspeople, it would have worked better for me.
Gator Bait (1974), first view The perfect way to start Junesploitation! This is a fun movie which follows a bunch of dudes hunting Desiree, a croc poacher. Once of these dudes had previously cut up Desiree's mom and used her for gator bait, and when they attempt to obtain sexual favours from Desiree ("pull over in the name of the law, and drop yer britches!"), she decides to take revenge. The movie kinds of ends with a bombshell reveal, followed by a sick burn! Which came out of nowhere and isn't as effective as it was on paper.Although it drags a bit in the 2nd half, there are enough barefoot women, dudes splashing through knee high bayou swamps, and boats chases to make this very entertaining.
My goodness do I love Claudia Jennings in that movie. And always.
Got this one set for later in the movie.
Death Wish (1974)Pretty straight forward movie. I was surprised by the violence in the scene in which Charles Bronson's wife is killed. I can understand why they chose to remake it though. I was kind of surprised to see that Charles Bronson is mostly just playing a real person rather than a badass. Vincent Gardenia is really fun to watch as the cop trying to track Bronson down.
The Assignment (2014, dir. Walter Hill, First Time Viewing) Well, I've certainly never seen a movie do some of the things this movie does. Sigourney Weaver gets revenge on Michelle Rodriguez (playing a man) by turning her into a woman. Other than that insanity, it was pretty uninteresting. I saw Sigourney Weaver collect a paycheck, I saw Walter Hill's bizarre obsession with comic book transitions continue. Junesploitation starts with a whimper. On a positive note, while heading into a facility for my job today, I told the front desk personnel I had to go get my gear (my laptop) in honor of Rolling Thunder, revenge day, and the beginning of Junesploitation!
John Tucker Must Die (2006):I think I did this wrong, I need to redo it. But it is super late here, so I will try again tomorrow! One of my favourite categories for Junesploitation, as always, noting down recommendations!
Nocturnal Animals (2016, dir. Ford)I saw the word revenge used in association with this film today, so that was enough to make me adjust my plans, stop confusing this movie with Collateral Beauty, and finally watch it. Can't think of another film that has so many actors I adore, and if I wasn't already a big fan of any of the leads, I would be won over. Those performances combined with a neat execution of a simple premise make it hard not to be hooked. A trojan horse of a revenge film.
Any revenge movie (even an artsy one like this) starring Michael Shannon as a Texas ranger can't go wrong. You dig? :-)
Just finished watching Dead Man's Shoes (2004) for the first time. Highly recommend it, great revenge flick- streaming on Shudder!
Ms.45 (1981) Very bleak NY grime. Wonderful kooky landlord that you’d expect in such sleaze. Long live Phil! Had only seen Zoe Lund in Bad Lieutenant, had spent a good amount of time being even more bummed out reading about her personal life and early death.
Jaws: The Revenge (1987)THIS TIME IT'S PERSONAL. Somehow the titular shark (or family of sharks?) has decided that the Brody family must pay for the great white carnage they have left in their wake over the previous 12 years. The shark in this movie is like a Terminator. Sweat, bad breath, everything, and he absolutely will not stop until you are dead! Alternate ending on the Blu-ray fixes some of the problems with the finale. This is the worst movie in the JAWS franchise, but it's not nearly as unwatchable to me as the 2.9 IMDB score would suggest. no movie with a mechanical shark, the Bahamas, and Michael Caine should get a score that low. Definitely campy, but still fun, in a ultra-cheap way. I bet The Cannon Group was jealous of this one.
Revenge (2018)I'll echo what everyone else is saying. It's really good and satisfying in the way the best revenge movies are.
BLIND FURY:Last movie of the day, just under the wire. From the Mill Creek Payback Time Triple Feature blu-ray set. 3 movies on one disc, but it look surprisingly good. Directed by Philip Noyce (Patriot Games, Sliver, The Saint), featuring Rutger Hauer, Terry O’Quinn, Nick Cassavetes, Randall Cobb to name only a few. Kind of Rambo meet Zatoichi. B movie at its finest, some overacting, editing in action scenes to hide the low budget, cheezy dialogues. Everything’s there. Rutger Hauer plays a little too goofy at times, but it’s always a delight to see him act. There’s a kid in it, and kids are always a hard sell for me. This movie is no exception, I cringed a lot. So yeah, in the words of the great Patrick Bromley… it’s fine.
Death Wish 3 (1985)“What are those?”“Teeth!”
Cut-Throats Nine (1972)I've been wanting to see this for a while, a western in a snowy landscape sounded amazing. Thankfully Amazon Prime streaming has been supplying some more obscure titles as of late and this one was included. Had to watch it in 3 chunks, which I hate doing, and is a rough way to start the month. But at least I got to see something I've been keen to and start Junesploitation on day one.I'm so happy this month is finally here. Happy Junesploitation everyone!
But... did you like it?
Rolling Thunder (1977)Well I believe this is the type of thing we all came to see. Leads up to a bloody good shootout. Fun day of movies all around, can't wait to do it again tomorrow.
Also I picked up on the fact that shootout takes place in Acuna, which inspired Tarantino to use the name Acuna Boys.
John Wick (2014)So when I heard this movie described it really sounded like my kind of movie, but I guess it wasn't. Anyway, I don't really wanna yuck anyone's yum, especially because I can't truly put my finger on why it didn't do it for me, so I'll shut up now. But I saw Revenge a couple weeks ago and that was wonderful, so I guess I got my fix of gleeful revenge already.
So I decided that for at least the first week of Junesploitation that I'm going to try to do Double Features, starting with a "mute women take revenge on their abusers" DF for Revenge day.Ms. 45 (1981):Zoë Lund is amazing in this and it felt like a good start to Junesploitation, and sadly this movie still feels extraordinarily relevant as well. Even as Thana starts to go off the rails you still kinda understand.Thriller: A Cruel Picture (1973):Good, but I didn't like it as much as Ms. 45. I think the pacing kept me at a bit of a distance from it since it takes a long time to get to the Revenge part and there are some uses of slow-motion in some actions scenes that go on for a long time. Also I just have to mention that in a car chase towards the end, random cars just burst into flame from the smallest collision in an amazing lack of restraint on the part of whoever was in charge of special effects, which was fun.
Upgrade (2018)It's totally fine and completely acceptable. The premise is interesting, but it is a bit heavy handed and wears thin at times. Lots of characters to deliver lots of exposition as well.
Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989, dir. Othenin-Girard)Subtitles are dumb. Danielle Harris is great, but not as great as she could have been had they committed to this being a continuation of the story put forward in the previous film. Instead, it’s just a mechanical installment of a franchise. Pretty disappointing that it’s not even bold enough to risk being terrible. Maybe I should’ve watched Resurrection again instead. Resurrection is sort of a synonym for revenge, right?
Upgrade (2018)Happy Junesploitation, everybody! How fortuitous for this movie to drop today. The biggest surprise I got from Upgrade was that it wasn't just a revenge movie. I knew Leigh Whannel wrote and directed it, so that was a big deal for me. But I never anticipated it to be an Ozploitation flick. That just made the experience a whole lot more fun!
Next Of Kin (1989)All you really need to know is...Liam Neeson & Patrick Swayze as hillbillies vs Adam Baldin & Ben Stiller as Chicago mobsters. End of the day, not enough cheez or trash as i had hoped for.
22 Bullets / L'immortel (Richard Berry, 2010)First time viewing, on Amazon Prime (French with English Subtitles)This is the type of revenge flick I was looking for. Charly (Jean Reno, great as always) is a retired mobster, except someone would rather have him dead. He gets shot up in a parking garage...you guessed it, 22 times. Not very efficient shooters, as Charly ends up with some scars, nerve damage, and a sorta limp. Now it's a chase between him and the cops as to who will get to the guilty parties first. Couple of great car chases, plenty of solid gun play and revenge kills. The attempts at story/drama are a bit cheesy/trite, but not awful. Even some strong quips sprinkled throughout. Recommended, for sure. Grade: B
The Exterminator (1980, dir. James Glickenhaus)I had to call in a ringer just to be sure I watched something super Junesploitation-y today. There's still so much about this movie that's weird and out of place, but I will never not love these early '80s vigilante movies -- especially one as nasty as this one is willing to be.Django Unchained (2012, dir. Quentin Tarantino)This was the first Tarantino movie I've revisited since he admitted to being somewhat complicit in the Weinstein stuff. It added a layer of disappointment overall, but I do still love this movie.
The Nun (2005)Check this out. What if a nun was scary but also...made of water! Boring and terrible CGI? You got it! Don't worry, there's a twist. But you won't care. If you want a better movie from 2005 that isn't this, try Urban Legends: Bloody Mary. Written by Michael Dougherty of Trick 'r Treat and Krampus and directed by Mary Lambert of Pet Semetary One and Two(better than the first).
Death Rides A Horse (1967)Really interesting twist on the revenge western. It tells the story of a young man and a seasoned cowboy (An always cool Lee Van Cleef) who meet while both tracking this one man for separate reasons. It flips the formula in a way I hadn’t seen done, and pleasantly surprised me. John Wick Chapter Two (2017)Just a blast (no pun) to watch. That whole sequence in Rome is amazing. Keanu for life.
Charlie Varrick (1973) Mob revenge! Ok it wasn’t the best fit for today’s theme but it’s got Walter Matthau and Joe Don Baker! I’ve been looking for a reason to watch since I heard about it from Elric on Pure Cinema and was not dissaponted. There’s definitely some weird stuff with the female characters in this movie but beyond that it’s very good. Really dark while keeping an ennergetic and peppy tone (partly due to the score and use of color), and the dialogue is so quick and witty. Definitely can see how this one inspired some modern crime movies like Jackie Brown.
Revenge (2018)I liked quite a lot the way the movie is put together (the camerawork, the cinematography, music, all great) even the very obvious symbolism kinda worked for me but in the end I was just a tiny bit disappointed. Probably the hype raised my expectations way too high. It was nice feeling that french extremity vibe again though. Pretty, pretty good on the whole.
Showdown in Little Tokyo (1991)I had seen this one before but this time out everything changed. It's magic. Dolph and Brandon are incredible, the dialogue is my kind of stupid, the action in abundance. It's very #problematic but so is the Yakuza.
I have this lined up for later this month. I want to watch as much Dolph as possible.
The Quick and the Dead (1995)Very basic revenge western plot told via Raimi's huckster puppet show full of smoke and mirrors. Amazing cast, all of whom are performing to the rafters. Sharon Stone is amazing and badass and vulnerable and capable all at the same time. Gene Hackman looks like he's having a blast. I remember watching this movie all the time on cable in the late 90s/early 00s and it still holds up today. Lots of fun.
Upgrade (2017, dir: Leigh Whannel)I haven't read all the comments but I'm guessing a lot of people used this as a convenient pick for the inaugural day of Junesploitation. It was awesome. Basically a ultra-gory extended episode of Black Mirror. A quick pace, exciting action and fights, brutality, an emotional core, a fun twist, and body horror. Doesn't offer anything new, but what it offers it does with about as much panache as you could want. A solid 8 out of 10.
Of course, that should be 2018, not 2017 ...
Bent (2018)As far as DTV stuff goes, it's pretty damn good. It feels like it could have had a theatrical release had it been produced in the nineties. Karl Urban is great, he has some fun little quips and he does this thing where he puts on a super friendly, nice-guy persona when he's trying to get information from people ("Hey buddy, Jack Bagby, nice to meet you!"). The revenge quotient is almost an afterthought, as he spends most of the movie helping solve the murder of an acquaintance's sister, but theres a calendar with a looming date, circled in red – the day the guy who set him up is released from prison.
Get Carter (1971)There is it. Movie 1, day 1 and Junesploitation 2018 is already a success. Couldn't be happier to have finally watched this gem. Dark, bleak, nihilistic and very very British. Michael Caine (pronounced "My Cocaine" never better.
Hannie Caulder (1971)There is a lot of this movie in Django Unchained. It didn't quite work for me. I liked it, I guess, but it felt longer than its short run time, despite a lot of recognizable faces in the cast, like Jack Elam, Strother Martin, Christopher Goddamn Lee. Most of the scenes with the protagonist lacked a little energy, they felt just a little flat. I do always love Ernest Borgnine. His name may be Borgnine, but to me he's a Borgten.