Thursday, June 7, 2018

Junesploitation 2018 Day 7: Free Space!

The killers of the future are ready now!

126 comments:

  1. MAC-McENTIRE-SPLOITATION! Four movies in one fell swoop, all watched recently at various Gotham theaters. Jealous? :-P

    Eloy de la Iglesia's TO DIE, PERHAPS TO LOVE (1973, 80 min.) in 35mm at Brooklyn's Alamo Drafthoue for the first time. Theatrical trailer.

    Just returned from watching this. In its original Spanish form this was a "Clockwork Orange" ripoff designed to cash-in on Kubrick's movie being banned by the Franco regime. In this severely-cut-down English version (the shitty dub adds a whole layer of unintentional laughter) the "CO"-influenced gang violence and scenes of hoodlums terrorizing civilians in a futuristic society have become the 'B' plot. The bulk of the movie is a giallo-style slasher in which an attractive nurse ("Lolita's" Sue Lyon) gets off stabbing her lovers in the heart right after bedding them. Only when an outcast from the gang (Chris Mitchum, son of Robert) watches nurse Ana disposing of a body do the two parallel stories interject.

    A scene set at a gay bar (you know, where queer folks play loud opera tunes while everybody holds hands... seriously?!?) feels transgressive-for-'73 weird. Other than Lyon looking hot while slowly going mental, though, this compromised English version feels incomplete. Even the "CO" plot about behavior modification of young criminals is present, but reduced to a one-joke dinner scene about what happens when bad boys are turned into mannered pussies.

    Larry Cohen's PERFECT STRANGERS (1984, 91 min.) in 35mm at New York City's Quad Cinema for the first time.

    Johnny (Brad Rijn), a mafia hitman, knives someone to death in an alley. The only eyewitness? Two-year old Matthew (Matthew Stockley), baby boy of single mom Sally ("Liquid Sky's" Anne Carlisle). At the behest of his capo (Zachary Hains), Johnny starts dating Sally so he can get close to baby Matthew and eliminate the only witness to his crime. Neat premise, which writer/director Cohen wrings for all the tension he can by making a killer struggle with murdering a toddler. Great use of early 80's New York locations (particularly Brooklyn Pier docks and footage from a 'Take Back the Night' rally), plus every trick in Larry's book to make it seem like baby Matthew is about to have an "accident." It's a decent pic that you expect will go off-the-rails at any moment because Cohen made it, but never does.

    Coralie Fargeat's REVENGE (2018, 108 min.) at New York City's IFC Center for the first time.

    Too bad for me this was shown at IFC's smallest theater. It's as good as many have mentioned before, and kudos to the writer/director for refraining from showing Jen do the "water rebirth" thing in Richard's infinity pool. I personally can't bring myself to love it because I don't like Jen and can't buy that she could survive her injuries, let alone master weapons she can't possibly know how to handle. But the men that wronged Jen are such douchebags I can't help but get swept along the crimson wave everybody leaves behind as they crawl away from each other. SHOPUSA-SPLOITATION! ;-)

    UPGRADE (2018, 100 min.) in theaters for the first time.

    The only thing missing to make this a perfect modern day exploitation experience is a Lionsgate or Nu Image vanity card at the start. It's "Iron Man's" Jarvis (voiced here by Simon Maiden) taking over the damaged-beyond-repair body of a mechanic (Logan Marshall-Green) dying to avenge his murdered wife. There's a lot more to "Upgrade" than the futuristic revenge tale it's being sold as, and I encourage you to find on your own what the actual movie is about. Other than Detective Cortez (Betty Gabriel) never calling for backup (nitpick), "Upgrade" is a gory and butt-kicking fun ride that ends with a ballsy, thought provoking conclusion.

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    1. Here's a NSFW six minute scene from the uncut version of "To Die, Perhaps to Love" (actual name: "Una Gota de Sangre Para Morir Amando") that clearly shows its "Clockwork Orange" influence. The person who introduced the screening at Alamo (Screen Slate's Jon Dieringer) even mentioned the print we were about to watch had this scene in it. Naturally we all surrounded Jon at the end and asked him where the hell was that home invasion scene he talked about.

      Even though it's in Spanish, there's a cool joke early on in which the TV announcer in this future society says her TV network's about to show Stanley Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange," that old movie made by Warner Brothers back in 1971... and a kid in the room's ready to watch it along with his parents. Cute. :-)

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    2. I learned/copied from the best. :-)

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  2. Nightwatch (1997)

    Let's talk about Nightwatch. It stars Ewan McGregor, Patricia Arquette, Josh Brolin, Lauren Graham, Nick Nolte, Brad Dourif and John C. Reilly. And was co-written by Steven Soderbergh. How could this go wrong? I kept thinking during the movie that this was written by someone who had never interacted with humans before. The actors seemed confused about what they were supposed to be doing. I'd be interested to hear from the actors about this one. I wonder if Josh Brolin enjoyed playing a guy who picked upon underage prostitute and told them he was his friend. And if Ewan liked getting a HJ from said prostitute as a joke. I bet they get together as a group every year on its anniversary to talk about all the great times they had on the set of Nightwatch.

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  3. Cathy's Curse (1977 - dir Eddy Matalon)

    Yeah, Cathy's Curse lives up to it's repuatation. It makes no sense (and we watched the international cut that had some exposition) and is entertaining in the worst and best way. It's batshit crazy.

    This is a movie that can go from 1 to 11 and back again in a second. The thing about Canadians I am starting to gather is that you have amazing wall paper, and have impressive annunciation. There is some serious annunciation going on in this movie.

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    1. Sounds like ideal viewing for Canuxploitation later this month. :-)

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    2. It's absoutely perfect for Canuxploutation. What starts of as as a typial excorist rip off goes off into many inappropriate aveunes.

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    3. Have you ever seen Abby 1974?

      It my favourite rip off movie ever

      A blacksploatation version of the Exorcist

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    4. No, Dennis. Seen "Xtro," but no "Abby." Darn! :-P

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    5. Abby is definitely on the wishlist.

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    6. It's a one off

      It's not Xtro but nothing is

      It makes me smile, it's like nothing else, you both will be glad if you see it, any film lover will enjoy it for the audacity of it

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  4. CAGED WOMEN, A.K.A., VIOLENCE IN A WOMEN’S PRISON (1982, dir. Bruno Mattei)

    It is time to take out some trash for Junesplotation, and Mattei’s super sleazy women in prison flick meets all the requirements. Laura Gemser, the gentle star of many works of Italian exploitation, leads the cast as a new prisoner facing the wrath of the prison staff. Her character, though, has a big secret that could get her in even deeper trouble. You get the usual litany of abuse in WIP films, with rats added as a special form of torture. Caged Women overdoses on all of this in the most gleeful manner possible. It also has a terrific exploitation cast: Gemser, Gabriele Tinti, Franca Stoppi, and Lorraine de Selle. There happens to be a men’s section to this prison as well, which adds more badly staged fights and homophobic humor to the film. In spite of the repetitious nature of the scenes, Caged Women is an extremely entertaining bit of crap. (For me at least.)

    There is now a Blu-ray out for it under the title Violence in a Women’s Prison, but I cannot imagine that that version makes the film any better than my fullscreen DVD copy does.

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  5. Is there such a category as cutesploitation? I would define it as the exploitation of cute things to manipulate an audience.

    This morning I found a children's film on TV that I originally saw when it came out: BENJI THE HUNTED, from 1987. It is about a dog lost in the woods that tries to save cougar cubs after their mother is killed. There is a cute dog and four cubs that you follow along on their journey. Along the way they are menaced by other creatures, but Benji successfully finds a new cougar family for them. There are seemingly endless images of the cubs playing and following Benji. It is all very manipulative, which got me thinking about cuteness being an exploitable element in a film.

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    1. Cuteness is absolutely exploitative. Children, older ladies and every race/gender/demographic in-between can be swept by cute kitties, nice puppies, lovable cubs, etc. The best exploitation filmmakers use that to lower viewers' guard, then shock them when said cute animals winds up with a woman's heel through their skull. Now you want the a-hole that hurt and/or killed the poor animal to die a glorious death in the most brutal way imaginable. See? CUTESPLOITATION! :-)

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  6. Battle Beyond the Stars (1980)

    This was the movie I was going to watch yesterday for John Saxon day yesterday. It's Battle Beyond the Stars, it's fun, ernest and everything it needs to be. It was my first time seeing this but it felt comfortable like a comfy chair.

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  7. Dolemite (1974)

    More costume changes, spit exchanges, facial rearranges than any of you jive suckas seen on any given day. The return of the mack, Dolemite is back, and out to crush all of you Junesploitation fever dreams. So sit back, relax, watch Ruby Ray put on a show that you know ain't gonna go outta your condo til tomorrow. Dolemite!

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  8. Blue Thunder (1983):

    When Brian and Elric referred to this as the last entry in Roy Scheider's "Land, Sea, and Air" trilogy that began with Sorcerer and Jaws, I knew I had to see it. It's outstanding. Helicopter pilot Scheider squaring off with Malcolm McDowell with Daniel Stern as his apprentice? Fughetaboutit.

    Roy Scheider is my movie dad.

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  9. Space Truckers (1997, dir. Stuart Gordon, First Time Viewing) Dennis Hopper stars as legendary space trucker John Canyon unknowingly transporting killer robots. Things go wrong and this movie goes right. I loved this movie so much. Really loved the low budget practical effects, Stuart Gordon as usual makes the very most out of his limited resources. Did I mention George Wendt gets sucked out into space through a small port hole? Plus end credits sequence set to Cotton Eyed Joe by Rednex? Junesploitation Win!

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  10. 8 MILLION WAYS TO DIE (dir. Hal Ashby)

    Unlike ANYTHING Ashby ever directed, as this was my last film to see in his filmography.... but awesome little cocaine noir. Ashby was actually fired after filming which in Easy Riders book says he took really hard and kinda gave up afterwards....Oliver Stone punched up some dialogue while Robert Towne also rewrote some of the script. Jeff Bridges plays Matt Scudder, who Liam Neeson also played in Walk Among the Tombstones (which is underrated).

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    1. I watched this last year and it's a weird movie but there's a lot to like. Apparently some of it was improvised (such as the infamous snow-cone scene). The opening shot is awesome as well as the shootout at the end. This is worth watching.

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  11. WAY OF THE DRAGON (1972, dir. Bruce Lee)

    I had too much fun with this. I've not seen many Bruce Lee movies or Kung Fu movies in general and I feel like this is a pretty great entry point. The tone here is a little lighter and sillier than other Lee movies I've seen, especially the first 30-45 minutes, but if you can get through the first half you'll be rewarded with some great Bruce Lee fights in the second half, culminating with an awesome final showdown between Bruce and none other than a young and very hairy CHUCK NORRIS! (There's a hilarious scene where a bad guy gets on the phone and is like "I need to call America!" And apparently American answered the phone and sent over Chuck Norris.) Norris actually surprised me quite a bit with his athleticism. I'm so used to 80's emotionless Chuck but this scene showed me why he was able to start a career in genre films. Highly recommend!

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    1. Better than his fight with Chuck is Bruce's reaction afterwards. That is how you know you're watching a superstar, when Lee's behavior after he's proven he's a badass (I know, spoilers!) both confirms it and runs counter to your modern day expectation of how a movie hero behaves.

      And thank God someone left cameras rolling at the Coliseum to capture the showdown between Norris and Lee. Otherwise that darn cat doing double takes, pigeon-in-"Moonraker"-style, would have been the only witness to such a historic bout. :-P

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    2. That Coliseum set piece is friggin' great. I was cracking up at the cat.

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  12. Species 2 (1998)

    Super fun! Not sure what else to say about it. Species 2 doesn't have many dull moments. Peter Boyle is in it. James Cromwell is in it. So far, the Species franchise has done a nice job of pairing reasonable production value, character actor casts, crazy plot lines, and fun action.

    Eraser (1996)
    Arnold and James Caan! Cool gun! Wal Mart $7.88 bin.

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  13. Five Element Ninjas (1982, dir. Chang Cheh)

    I do not watch these Shaw Brothers movies enough. Anytime I do I have a great time, and they exist in a world I so love living in. The sets, the costumes, the crazy sound effects. So much fun! This one is almost non-stop martial arts badassery. It doesn't have as great a cast of characters as The Kid with the Golden Arm, but they're good enough for sure. This is what you want out of one of these movies.

    Also, the only version of this on Prime is dubbed. I was expecting to watch it in the original language. Is dubbed the common way to watch these movies?

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    1. It depends on your preference. I tend to watch the kung fu films of that era in Mandarin if I have the chance. They were originally seen in dubbed versions in Western countries, however.

      If you are looking for some more martial arts fun, Daniel, seek out Master of the Flying Guillotine. It is not Shaw Brothers but still perfect for Junesploitation.

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    2. Sweet! I'll look into it, thanks.

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  14. Who Killed Captain Alex? (2010 dir. Nabwana IGG)

    Ummm...where to begin? Billed as "Uganda's 1st Action Movie", is mostly focused on the search for the killer of the local military's top soldier, Captain Alex. Is it the head of the "Tiger Mafia", whose brother was recently captured by Alex? Alex's Shaolin monk brother decides to take matters in his own hands. Also, a VJ's(Video Joker) voiceover comments throughout(Just imagine an DJ Khaled-version of MST3K) and ranges from amusing to annoying. For a $200 production, the action is pretty compentant. However, the editing is very confusing and the digital effects are "Birdemic" level bad. Also, an action scene is scored to a woodwind version of Seal's "Kissed by a Rose", so yeah.

    (SPOILER) You don't find out who killed Captain Alex.

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  15. Pets (1973, dir. Raphael Nussbaum)

    Candice Rialson gives Claudia Jennings a run for the title of Patron Saint of Junesploitation. Without trying, I have now seen all of her movies, I think. Here she plays a free-spirited young woman who's willing to shack up with whoever will take care of her. The movie doesn't become what you think it's going to be until the last 15-20 minutes, which is fine by me. It's weird and interesting when it gets there, but watching that for 90 minutes would have left a really bad taste. Instead, I'm happy to watch the adventures of Candice Rialson.

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    1. No, I'm keeping track. Claudia Jennings is safely sitting atop a pedestal of your own making. :-)

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  16. Lady Terminator (1989)

    The world of ripoff cinema has always intrigued me, but few have the consistent WTF flavor of this film. Once the Indonesian folklore prologue about curses, vagina snakes, and magic knives is out of the way, it literally becomes ‘Terminator’ beat for beat but in the best lo-fi, bad dubbing, non-sequitur, what-the-hell-am-I-looking-at-? kinda way. One-liners from multiple Arnold movies are thrown around, lots of random western movie tropes (like a coroner sloppily eating in the morgue) are sprinkled throughout, characters come and go with the tenuous threads connecting the ‘Terminator’ dots, and plot elements are dropped in with a “don’t think too hard about it” approach. It’s fun. It’s weird. It’s wonderful.

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    1. It is wonderful. The shot-for-shot copying of sequences from The Terminator I found absolutely hilarious.

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  17. Doubled up on Ozploition movies about being trapped and wanting to escape.

    Dead End Drive-In (1986)

    and

    Wake in Fright (1971)

    Dead End Drive-In's lead Crabs is struggling to escape a makeshift community of teens who lack ambition or hope after the police start trapping people in a Drive-In which has essentially been turned into an interment camp. In Wake in Fright, John Grant is first trying to escape the debt that keeps him teaching in a town out in the middle of nowhere. On his vacation he ends up recklessly gambling all of his money away and gets stuck in the mining town of Bundanyabba where his interactions with the locals eventually cause him to hit rock bottom before eventually learning some amount of acceptance. Thematically at least I found them both at least a little relatable and had a good time with them although Wake in Fright certainly feels like the slower-paced of the two.

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    1. Events unfold at almost the pace of real life in Wake in Fright, so the pace of the film would naturally be slower.

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    2. Bought Dead End Drive In on blu-ray after reading Patrick Bromley article on it. Watches it twice in a week. I loved it

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    3. For some reason Dead-in Drive In is still not readily avaiable in Australia (or at least last time I checked). Though I love Wake in Fright. It's nightmarish. It captures a certain aspect of Australia that I can't really argue against. And Donald Pleasence is amazing in this. For me anyway.

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  18. My Chauffeur (1986)

    Well that was surprisingly adorable. What seems like the setup for yet another snobs vs slobs comedy is actually developed into a charming screwball farce about Casey (Deborah Foreman), a free-spirit full of bubbly confidence coming on board to work at a male-dominated limo company.

    The repartee between her and paramour Sam Jones (Flash Gordon himself) is sweet and funny, and even a scene where he’s naked and drunkenly running around a park comes across as sweet rather than crass. The only real misstep is actually what led me to watch the movie, an extended sequence where she drives Penn & Teller (not playing themselves, but also not not playing themselves) around for a night of debauchery. Penn is at his most grating, which for him is saying something. That notwithstanding it’s a really fun movie, with plenty of charm and humor to spare (even if it’s much less Junesploitationy than I was initially expecting).

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    1. I watched this just before Junesploitation and also really enjoyed it. Deborah Foreman is amazing and now I feel I have to see Valley Girl.

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    2. I haven’t seen Valley Girl yet either but I will definitely rectify that soon!

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  19. The Supernaturals (1986, dir. Armand Mastroianni)

    This was going to be my "Zombies!" entry. The zombies of dead Confederate soldiers eventually attack a group of privates camping out for training. I say eventually becauae it's a good half hour before anything happens. The gore effects are minimal the zombie makeup isn't great. Also, Maxwell Caulfield is not the actor to lay most of your movie on. You had Lavar Burton and Nichelle Nichols right there! It mostly makes the huge sin of being boring and wastes its premise.

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  20. BAAHUBALI: THE BEGINNING (2015)
    This is described as a “historic epic,” except everybody has super-powers. A young man with superhuman strength grows up in a tiny village, knowing nothing about the outside world. He eventually learns it’s his destiny to overthrow an evil king. Then the story screeches to a halt for a feature-length flashback, about two princes competing for the throne. It’s as if somebody pressed pause on the movie and then started playing the prequel. That aside, this is some terrific fantasy adventure. The sets, effects, and battles are all massive, making for a sword-swinging, castle-storming good time.

    BAAHUBALI 2: THE CONCLUSION (2017)
    Picking up right where the last one left off, most of this movie continues the flashback about the two princes. I wonder why the filmmakers didn’t just make that the movie, and save our Hercules-style hero for his own sequel/spinoff. Nonetheless, I really liked these. They’re gigantic action blockbusters in the best way. The final battle is especially eye-popping. Hardcore LOTR fans should definitely check them out.

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    1. I love The Beginning. I was mildly disappointed with The Conclusion. I thought it felt cheaper and somehow less bombastic. The Beginning just rocked me a bit, and the sequel just lacked that impact.

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  21. The Stendhal Syndrome (1996)

    I feel about this one the same way I felt about Mother of Tears. It's not a bad movie but it's not a good one either. And it's 2 hours long. I could deal with this if it was 90 minutes...maybe. It's nearly impossible to maintain greatness from one movie to another let alone across many decades. Check out his earlier movies before you check this one out. I wonder what Asia and Dario talk about when they are alone. Never mind, I don't want to know.

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  22. Wish Upon (2017)

    I have Mr. Riske to thank for this. So, we already share the common ground of The Bye Bye Man and Truth Or Dare (sorry... BLUMHOUSE's Truth or Dare), two totally bonkers movies that would make for some great midnight programming. I hadn't given Wish Upon its day in court yet, and knowing how we'd already seen eye to eye on those two other flicks, The Bye Bye Man and Truth Or Dare (BLUMHOUSE's Truth or Dare), I figured it was about time I gave it a watch. And it was just like you said. But also, as I was watching it, there were little things that just felt off. So I keep going, and everything plays out, and then I get to that ending. And just like my reaction to the bonkers ending of Truth Or Dare (BLUMHOUSE's Truth or Dare), the ending of Wish Upon kinda made the whole movie come together for me in such a way, it's got me wanting to watch the movie again just to confirm a theory for me. (It involves several little moments throughout the film and multiverse theory, but I don't wanna get ahead of myself.) So I'll be watching it again, probably after midnight like the first time. Because some movies only really work at specific times of day and night, and this is one of them.

    Thank you, Adam! That was awesome!

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  23. I finally got my region free blu-ray player, and to go with it i got the Arrow release of The Thing. The disc contain a commentary track featuring our own Patrick Bromley, and 2 other guys. Good stuff

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    1. Where did you get your player from? That’s a purchase I’ve been considering for a while now.

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    2. I got the samsung BD-J5100 on amazon.ca

      I'm sure it's on amazon.com also. Just make sure the description mention region free

      If you google region free blu-ray player, you'll find a bunch of sites selling various brands

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    3. Patrick - if you are in the US I highly recommend 220-Electronics. They have great deals, great customer service and are based in Chicago. I got my region free player from them 6 or 7 years ago and have had no issues.

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    4. Thank you both for the info. Those look like great places to start.

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  24. The Appaloosa (1966)

    Finished this up today which I started yesterday for John Saxon day. The irony being that I was watching a movie to see John Saxon play a role he should have never been cast in. I suppose casting a white actor for a Mexican role was fairly of the norm then, but hard not to apply 2018 sensabilities. Then you have the casting of Brando long past his prime. I've watched a lot of westerns and this one doesn't really stand out, maybe with the exception of the scorpion arm wrestling.

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    1. How do you feel about white actors in Native American roles in westerns? I see that as something that sometimes needs to be overlooked because of the time period. The racism is part of the films.

      Marlon Brando still had The Godfather, Last Tango in Paris, and Apocalypse Now ahead of him, but the consistency in his acting was undoubtedly gone by the 1960s.

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    2. Which films feature whites as Natives? I guess I hadn't really noticed it. An extensive search should always be done to find an actor of the race you're wanting to portray. I'd say always, but I know Bella Tarr had to use non-Hungarian actors for his films because there just weren't any.

      As for Brando I can give you Godfather, but he's a bit of a blemish on Apocalypse Now and should have been replaced but production was just too far along and he'd been given too much money. Can't speak to Last Tango as I've never watched it.

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    3. Saxon did apologize for the role so that counts for something.

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  25. Fatal Pulse a.k.a Night Pulse a.k.a The Untitled Yuppie Fear Thriller (2018) Dir. Damon Packard - 4th watch

    If you know me, you know I LOVE Packard. I reached out to him 2 years ago as a fan and he directed/edited three of my music videos for my 2016 album, "Ratimis". We have become friends so maybe I'm a little biased but fuck all that - even if I didn't get the know the guy this is hands down my favorite film of the year and a mind melting experience of a film. It has absolutely no regard for copy write infringement (love it), pays homage to so many things and makes a bunch of statements that really speak to me. The description on Amazon is actually pretty great and hilarious: "Damon Packard's four-year in the making epic follows the exploits of husband/wife moguls trapped with a deadbeat couch potato brother in a hallucinogenic 1-900 world of 1991. Everyone is plotting the kill everyone else including themselves and ultimately do. Inspired by the corporate take-over era of the late 80s/early 90s and all the dark, atmospheric, neo-noir thrillers that came along with it."

    Release just 2 weeks ago, this is my 4th watch. It's probably not for everyone; some has said this is Packard's Inland Empire (a Lynch film that I defend non-stop as one of his best) but, hell, it's already free on Amazon Prime!! I would watch it before it gets attention and is taken down.

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    1. Added to my watchlist and I'll try to get to it on the next free space day.

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    2. This is an incredible, essential movie, made by one of the only true geniuses working in the film world right now. It's a masterpiece, but like Chaybee said, it's definitely not for everyone; it's extremely messy, disjointed, shabby, and aggressively unpleasant (like most of Packard's work), but it's also deeply layered, inventive, and sincere. I'd go so far as to say that Packard has taken narrative filmmaking to it's farthest extremes, nearly it's breaking point. He plays with film as a medium the same way Ryan Trecartin does, only he does it totally independently, where Trecartin got a Pew Fellowship. You haven't really experienced everything film has to offer until you're familiar with his work.

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    3. Managed to squeeze it in for tonight and that was quite an experience. It's got a lot of style but it could be a while before I really have an idea what's going on plot-wise. I do kinda want to do a double feature of The Guardian and New Jack City now though. Going to have to let this sink and (and probably revisit it at some point as well).

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    4. Right on, Ross. I'm not sure Packard even knows exactly what's going on haha

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  26. Crippled Avengers (1978) Dir: Chang Cheh

    This one has been on the list for a long time and decided to save it for this month. I was going to save it for Kung Fu day, but after hearing Patrick and Mark talk about it again on the podcast I decided to watch it today.

    This movie rules fam. I love old Shaw Brothers movies and this one has to rank up near the top for me. A violent warlord and his son with iron arms cripple four men for standing up to them. The four vow revenge and learn to use their disabilities as assets Daredevil style. Much wicked awesome kung fu follows, as well as some of the copious blood Chang was known for. I still think The 36th Chamber of Shaolin is the pinnacle of Shaw stuff for me, but this one is highly, highly recommended!

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    1. I think I heard it's a sequel to Five Deadly Venoms. Is that true? Do I need to see it first? Because I really want to watch this one.

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    2. No, it's self contained and I didn't realize it was a pseudo-sequel until reading about it after.

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    3. Yeah the Venom Mob was a group of Shaw Brothers actors who starred in a bunch of movies for them. They were mostly unrelated but often incorporated the Venom name as advertising, especially outside of China. The idea that Crippled Avengers was a sequel was because it was released in the West as The Return of the Five Deadly Venoms. But the movie is completely self contained and has nothing to do with the original Five Deadly Venoms.

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  27. Abraxas, Guardian of the Universe (1990)

    So much exposition in the first 25 minutes, and I still don’t get what is happening. So much exposition. Apparently there is an Anti-Life Equation that can destroy universe. Sven-Ole Thorsen as a bad guy, with speaking lines. They shouldn’t have given him lines or a voice over. For some reason the soundtrack sounds like 80s porn. It gets a bit awkward with the porn soundtrack playing during the fight scenes. Especially when they roll around on the ground.
    The Answer box is a weird McGuffin that has a lot of uses. Jesse Ventura is really bald. Bald like a 40 year old unemployed trucker with a rat tail…

    I feel exploited…

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    1. Anti-Life equation? Somebody stole Darkseid's backstory from DC!

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    2. Tie in, no. An influence from '80s comics, ya never know...

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  28. Sweet Sweetback's Badasssss Song (1971)

    This isn't what I was expecting going in. A lot of the later blacksploitation films lean into the silliness, like anything featuring Rudy Ray Moore. The movie opens with the bold choice of having a naked child embrace an adult prostitute in an act of molestion, a move that could only be pulled off I suspect because the child was portrayed by the director's own son. Many of the usual blacksploitation scenes are here, intercut with arthouse montages.

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  29. Dementia 13 (1963)

    This was one of the few Coppola movies I had yet to see. I'm glad I picked it. It's super-short and a lot of fun.

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  31. Red Sparrow (2017)

    I thought I'd use this free space to check out a new release I hadn't seen yet. Red Sparrow was actually more appropriate for Junesploitation than I expected. Its a really hard R movie with a lot of unexpectedly disturbing scenes.

    Overall, I found the movie to be sort of meh. I never really got that engaged. I did applaud Jennifer Lawrence for going all in for this movie though.

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    1. i really liked it. it help that Spy movies are maybe my favorite genre.

      but i do agree the movie has issues. it drags at times and it's too long.

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    2. I don't think I'll ever rewatch it, but it gave me a really good theater experience. I was constantly engaged and it is surprisingly disturbing. It's as gory as a horror film, and that doesn't even get into the sexual stuff.

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    3. When I saw Red Sparrow in the theater, I couldn't help thinking, if Marvel had ever wanted to do a Black Widow/Hawkeye origin story, Red Sparrow made it very difficult.

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    4. Deadpool: "Red Sparrow, are you so dark because you want to belong to the DC universe?" :-D

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  32. Torso (1973, dir. Sergio Martino)

    I love Italian Horror, but this one really wasn't for me. I recognize the final 30 minutes are impressively made, but the first hour gave me no reason to care about it. I felt pretty gross watching that first hour, as it just seems to be women getting naked, men gawking at them, and then there's a murder here and there. There isn't really a plot or a protagonist. It seemed like just sleaze to me, and not much else. I know this has lots of fans, so they must be enjoying it on some level I didn't pick up on.

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    1. The opening of that one...the first 30 seconds. You get a girl...and then her shirt comes off, and it pans down, and down, and down, and you think my she's got quite a hairy...oh no! It's a doll. And then someone pokes the doll's eyes out. Jesus H!

      Weirdly enough, I often get that theme song in my head from time to time. I'm pretty sure I've watched that opening scene too often.
      Too bad it didn't work for you. I liked it, but I might just be under some magical theme song spell.

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    2. No, I think you're probably right and I'm probably wrong. I may give it another chance one day.

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  33. Crippled Avengers (1978)

    It opens with some of the best action I've ever seen in a Shaw Brothers movie. Limbs off. Smash zoom. Smash zoom. SMASH ZOOM! So much fun!
    Although I found the ending to be a little underwhelming. The fights felt super choreographed, and more acrobatic than dangerous.
    But after that opening, there was no way they could keep it up, so it was still worth it, and one of the better movies I've seen this month.

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    1. Awesome- this is my pick for Kung Fu day. Can't wait!

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  34. Sorcerer (1977)
    I was really excited, but also nervous to watch this one. This is a movie the so appealed to me for a really long time, but I never got a chance to see it for whatever reason. I was worried I had built it up too much in my head, but I was blown away. I see a lot of people complain about how slow the first half is, but it is such a good build up to the actual meat of the film. That bridge scene might be one of the most impressive things I have ever seen in a movie. It's one of those things were you can read about the production, but still not believe that they actually filmed it. So happy with this one. Easily my highlight of the month so far.

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    1. To me, this is a masterpiece

      I strongly suggest the original french version of the story, Le Salaire De La Peur (Wages Of Fear). Also a masterpiece, but a different movie

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  35. Life of Brian (1979)

    I was going to watch this for 80's comedy day, but realized at the last minute that it was 70's. I'm really looking forward to it, because I haven't seen it for 10-15 years.
    The first time I saw it was a double feature with 2001: A Space Odyssey, on New Years Eve with a couple friends, and one of the first times I smoked pot. Good times.

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    1. Hahaha...this was probably the first movie I ever saw full frontal nudity...And it was male nudity! Followed shortly after by female nudity..

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  36. THE GREAT SILENCE:
    it a new movie to me. it was evidently a huge influence on Tarantino's Hateful Eight. i wanted to keep it for western day, but i couldn't wait any longer (i have a couple of Terrence Hill movies waiting, so i'm fine). the movie is great. more than great. for my money it's right there at the top of the Spaghetti Western genre (the best western genre). never heard of it before the blu-ray announcement, but when i read the actors, the director and saw the cover art, i jumped on it. the disc has a great transfer and full of extras.

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    1. Can't believe this wasn't on my radar. Thanks for the heads up! And it's on Prime!

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    2. Easily a top five spaghetti western. Great cast, beautiful cinematography, a haunting Morricone score (a personal favorite), and one the most unique endings of any western.

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    3. strangely enough, the alternate ending available as an extra on the blu-ray is interesting. not better of course, but worth a watch. can't say too much because of spoilers, but it has to do with the sherrif

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    4. I didn't love this one the first time I watched it, but I suspect that's because it's just so jarring compared to so many other westerns. I'll have to give it another watch day. Bet I'll like it more.

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  37. I watched Welcome The Stranger. And I loved it. Did anyone see this? I thought it would be up Chaybee’e alley.

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  38. Rolling Thunder (1977):

    Homeboy goes Death Wish with hook hand!

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  39. Replies
    1. I just got back from it... My head hurts.

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    2. Unfortunately there was a group of young couples in the theater who clearly had no idea what movie they were about to watch. Not only did they talk through out the whole movie, they were laughing through out as well...

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    3. We might have been in the same theater (rhymes with Goodwield).

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    4. I just got back about an hour ago from seeing. It left me so frazzled I had to stop at McDonald's and get something so I could decompress.

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  40. HOTEL ARTEMIS (2018)

    Definitely qualifies for Junesploitation. Good characters, good thrills, good spills!

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  41. The Grand Duel (1972)

    This may be the first time I watched a movie based on the use of song I heard in a totally different movie, but that's Tarantino for you. Speaking of, I don't think any one single person is responsible for me checking out more films than he is, and that's not even counting his own filmography.

    The movie was great, but I am a bit biased towards westerns. I think what I enjoy so much about the spaghetti westerns is the sense of going on an adventure the viewer gets. Also they almost always have this rich history with their characters, they existed before this particular story took place and you can feel it. The way the flash back in the train yard is shot is simply breathtaking. This may be my favorite of the 13 movies movies I've watched so far this month.

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    1. you can't go wrong with Lee Van Cleef

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    2. You're not wrong.

      I meant to ask in my post, does a done know why the town people take their shoes of and use them to clap?

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    3. I love this movie! Did you get the blu ray? It comes on a double bill with KEOMA which is also awesome.

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  42. Fist 2 Fist 2: Weapon of Choice (2014) Dir: Jino Kang, Tony Urgo

    I love indie martial arts movies the way Patrick loves indie horror. It's where some of the best and most creative on-screen fighting is happening right now. Unfortunately that also means you have to wade through a lot of junk. This unfortunately was junk.

    Written, co-driected by, and starring Jino Kang it's a typical kidnap/revenge film with the expected bad writing and acting. I watch these movies because I want a fast plot and exceptional fighting. The last 20 minutes delivers but the 90 minutes leading up to it is such a slog that it's not worth it. Streaming on Prime, just fast forward to the last 20 and skip the rest.

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  43. Bikini Beach (1964)

    The best of the beach party movies, if only because it features the Potato Bug.
    We’ll talk...

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  44. Sorceress (1995)

    Jim Wynorski: Linda, you gotta do this movie with me.
    Linda Blair: Do I have to get naked?
    Jim: No but everybody else will.
    Linda: Am I the Sorceress?
    Jim: Sure, whatever.
    Linda: You know that I was I nominated for an Oscar.
    Jim: Nobody gives a shit.
    Linda: I'll do it!

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    1. Oh the days when Julie Strain was in like 15 movies a year. Good times

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  45. Puppet Masters (1994)

    I'm a sucker for a good body snatching movie. Especially one that was ripped off by Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the episode Bad Eggs. Great nods to Invasion of the Body Snatchers and The Thing by starring both Donald Sutherland and Keith David. Body Snatchers from 1993 is a little better and scarier but this wasn't bad. I'm excited to check out Tobe Hooper's Invaders from Mars later this month.

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  46. Hereditary (2018, dir. Ari Aster)

    I'm sorry to be hyperbolic, but that was probably the most frightening movie theater experience of my life.

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    1. Dude... I was shaking when I walked out of the theater.

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    2. Dude.... I was in the seat practically hiding behind my knees.

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  47. Free Fire (2017)

    With a name like Free Fire, I was expecting an actionfest. What I got was a more paced experience, but still really enjoyable.
    What we have here is basically one extended shootout, in one location, playing out in realtime.
    This is not a movie full of stylish diving and slow-mo shooting
    Instead it’s a lot of taking cover, taking potshots, and squirming from place to place as everyone takes a bullet (or two, or 5) throughout the movie.
    The cast is great (although not everyone gets to show all that they are capable of) and, again I’ll say, I was entertained the whole time.

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  48. Ocean's 8 (2018): I had a really good time at the cinema with this one. I love the cast so I was already in but the dynamic between the women was really entertaining. I thought it was well put together as a heist movie. I also loved the fact it was a diverse all female crew of characters. Progress!

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    1. It only took until 2018... with a man still directing. Nothing against Gary Ross, but if you're going to go all-female with the "Ocean's 13" formula that should also extend to behind-the-scenes personnel (not just producers and one co-screenwriter). Just saying.

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    2. Even if it's not a perfect step, it's still a step in the right direction .

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  49. Graham the Haunted MarshmallowJune 8, 2018 at 3:36 AM

    Slither (2006, dir. Gunn)

    Just a blast. Even the closing credits are comfy.

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  50. Night Terrors (1993)

    This was rough. It's hard to believe Tobe Hooper had anything to do with this. I will give him a pass on this one because he wasn't the original director. He was brought on after Gerry O'Hara bowed out. I was watching it with my wife and I said "this is the same guy who did The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Poltergeist." She laughed and said "that's impossible." It's bad and not in a fun way. But I still love you, Tobe.

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