Friday, June 21, 2019

Junesploitation 2019 Day 21: Greydon Clark!

You'll never look at a cat the same way again!



    MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 #622: ANGELS REVENGE (1995/1979, 90 min.) on DVD.

    My introduction to Greydon Clark cinema. And no, after seeing half-a-dozen of his movies on their own ("Satan's Cheerleaders," "Wacko," etc.), I cannot stand to watch 'em without Mike and the bots talking over GC's shitty dialogue and editing down the flick. Of the two Clark films that made it to "MST3K" (this and Season 10's "Final Justice") "Angels Revenge," aka "Angels' Brigade," is the slightly more entertaining of the two because it doesn't take itself seriously. It's a cheesy B-grade remake of TV's "Charlie's Angels" template, except the half-a-dozen women (and one bloodthirsty teen) that take on local drug dealers and right-wing nuts appear to have learned their craft from the Benny Hill school of bad jiggly acting (with stunt fighting to match). It's as if GC slipped into the brains of both Andy Sedaris and Ted V. Mikels and tried to make a movie just to please these two men's shared cinematic libido.

    The amount of old-school Hollywood talent slumming in "Angels Revenge" (Jack Palance, Jim Backus, Alan Hale Jr., Arthur Godfrey, Pat Buttram, Neville Brand) is staggering, and continues Greydon's pattern of utilizing a sizable portion of his movie budgets to hire past-their-prime actors in semi-prominent roles. And no, neither on "MST3K" or as a movie proper (yes, I've seen it) does cinematographer Dean Cundey ("Jurassic Park," early John Carpenter) get to work his magic. Worth seeing on "MST3K" form, if only to hear Crow's awesome Peter Lawford impersonation and for an unexpected fly-by cameo by Aaron Spelling's mansion. :-)

    UNINVITED (1988, 91 min.) on Amazon Prime for the first time.

    By far the best Greydon Clark movie I've seen, which was initially going to be for Vinegar Syndrome! Day. A cat escapes from the lab (government or private industry?) where he was subject to government experiments. I won't spoil what the cat does when he's cornered or angry, but it's revealed early, happens often and it's FUCKING GLORIOUS! :-D So naturally this cat ends up aboard the yacht of financial embezzler Walter Graham ("Airwolf's" Alex Cord), who just happens to invite a group of young people aboard to assist his escape into extradition free lands. Even though he's protected by his two old-school thugs (George Kennedy and Clu Gulager), Walter and his guests eventually find out money can't buy happiness... or safety passage from a pissed-off kitty.

    "Uninvited" is "Dead Calm" with a killer cat. Simple, clean, and if it wasn't for the typical bad acting that accompanies GC movies (except for the trio of veteran performers who ate a sizable portion of the $200K budget) it would have easily gotten my 'DING! DING! DING!' endorsement. You haven't enjoyed exploitation filmmaking at its finest until you see George Kennedy being attacked by a fake puppet cat! Amazon claims the version streaming is 'PG-13,' but I think it's too sexy (no nudity, but an awful lot of cleave and butt shots) and graphic (body parts oozing blood, severed fingers dropping, etc.) to fall within that rating. The bordering-on-enjoyable execution of its absurd premise is the star of "Uninvited," and that's something I can't say about any other Greydon Clark flick. Highly recommended.

  2. Without Warning (1980)

    It's if Clark read the orginal script for Friday the 13th, and decided the more intersting character was Crazy Ralph and then cast Jack Palance and Martin Landau who are dialed up past 11. Then just added in some frisbie brain eating aliens just to make it more fun. And it was. And even with Amazon's terrible transfer you could still see the Cundey cinematography.

    Oh and shout out to David Caruso's tiny tiny shorts.

  3. Uninvited (1988)

    This movie is bananas.
    George Kennedy shoots first and asks questions later.
    Sex scenes break out AFTER the discovery of a killer cat on a yacht that is out to see with a broken down engine.
    Kennedy's foot is nearly chewed off in front of everyone on board.. By a cat!
    A fun watch.

  4. Dark Future (1994)

    Greydon Clark seems to have directed a community theater troupes dystopian production.

    Recycled ideas. Poor performances. Boring. Boring. Boring.
    I suggest skipping this one.

  5. Wacko (1982)

    Now this is my kind of spoof! Wall to wall gags.
    Norman's mother drinking water while singing at the dinner table had me howling.
    A great cast, and a very entertaining script.
    I really loved this flick, and HIGHLY recommend it.

  6. Wacko (1982)

    It's certainly not the best slasher/horror spoof out there, but there are some jokes here and there that are actually quite funny. It kind of falls apart at the end, but I'd still recommend it.

  7. Dance Macabre (1992)

    Hoo boy. Where to begin? Apparently this was originally conceived as a sequel to Dwight H. Little’s Phantom of the Opera, which is a favorite of mine. I’m very glad that was abandoned because this is one of the worst movies I’ve seen in months, if not one of the worst full stop.

    Robert Englund, who it should be noted is giving it his all, plays dual roles as a male choreographer with a newly-opened Russian ballet studio and a female...uh, creepy person. I’m not really clear on her role at the ballet other than to glower suspiciously, to be honest. It’s framed within the movie as though her identity is supposed to be a surprise, but the filmmakers have done nothing to hide Englund’s distinctive features. Naturally murders start to occur, and viewers will be just as surprised by every turn the movie takes as they are by the whole dual-identity thing: not at all. It’s a dull, repetitive, amateurish bore. Go watch Joysticks.

  8. Without Warning (1980, dir. Greydon Clark)

    A sci-fi movie that plays out kinda like a slasher. Jack Palance plays the gas station attendant from The Cabin in the Woods and Martin Landau (like Lindsay said) is Crazy Ralph.

  9. Psychic Killer (1975)

    I've owned the VHS for years and just a few months back decided to buy the dvd. Ironically, today I watched it on Amazon Prime.
    Maybe it got a Junesploitation bump, but I really had a blast with this today. The guy in prison that gives the amulet to the titular Psychic Killer is my favorite character. I love when he jumps off the roof and becomes a dummy. Classic.
    It's also got Eaten Alive! alum Neville Brand as a butcher who is a real asshole.
    If you haven't seen this one, it's definitely worth a watch. I feel like it would be a good double with The Manitou. In terms of tone and mood and psychobabble mysticism.

  10. Satan's Cheerleaders (1977)

    Okay, even at 90 minutes this movie may have been a little over long. There's only so much I can take of watching people running over hills again and again. But I really loved the concept, a bedazzled rapey janitor tries to curse some cheerleaders. John Carridine plays a character who I imagined is the same one from Black Sleep in 1956 (shared universe), John Ireland who is giving his best Tommy Lee Jones completely is over it performance, and when Kerry Sherman gets going she's really affective. It goes from beach party to satanist pretty quicky, and it was entertaining, mostly.

  11. "Satan's Cheerleaders" 1977

    Well, this charmed the fuck out of me. And I'm not sure how I feel about that.

    Lindsay, above, says it better than I can.

    Greydon Clark has been my favorite discovery of 2019 #Junesploitation.

  12. ANGELS REVENGE (1979)
    Everybody in the world says this was Greydon Clark’s attempt to cash in on Charlie’s Angels, and, yeah, I can kind of see it. If it was just female vigilantes kicking scumbag men’s asses, it would be pretty cool, but half the movie is hokey comedy bits that land with a thud. Jim Backus (Mr. Howell!) is especially baffling as a bumbling supervillain who’s in a whole other movie. But at least the van looked cool.

    Bonus #Godzillasploitation: GODZILLA VS. SPACEGODZILLA (1994)
    I guess the filmmakers finally realized we’re here more for the monsters than the human characters, because the only human drama is about stopping the monsters. I’m not quite clear what SpaceGodzilla wants, exactly. He comes to Earth to destroy Godzilla, then kidnap Baby Godzilla, then destroy Earth? Whatever. The battle is a nice long one, and it must have broken Toho’s fireworks budget, because everything explodes not once but multiple times.

  13. Joysticks (1983)

    13-year-old Mike is furious it took until he became 40-year-old Mike to finally watch this movie.

  14. Black Shampoo (1976)

    Check this out. There's this guy, right. He gets all the chicks, man. And you know what else? The dude shampoos and styles their hair. One more thing, he kicks ass. I mentioned that he bangs all the chicks, right?

  15. Angel's Brigade (1979)

    When women are pushed to the edge, they get together in sexy groups and take down drug cartels. They often find a much younger girl that can one day join. If she doesn't get shot first. Jack Palance is in this movie.

  16. The Return (1980)

    When you get older, meet me back at this cave and I will give you glow sticks to party with.

  17. Uninvited (88)

    Yo dawg, I heard you like killer cats. Legitimately one of my favorite movie creature executions I've seen in some time. Wish I pulled the trigger on that vinegar syndrome blu.

  18. ANGELS' REVENGE (1979, MST3K Edition):

    "You know what? I'm just giving in and looking at the breasts."

    "It's the T-and-A Team!"

    "Wait, I've got more barnyard analogies!"

    "It's Jim Henson!"

  19. Without Warning (1980, First Time Viewing)

    Fun little Alien Invasion movie that is greatly enhanced by a crazy performance by Martin Landau, and Jack Palance and Neville Brand trying to out-grizzle each other. I enjoyed it.

  20. Satan's Cheerleaders (1977, dir. Greydon Clark)

    Dopey as hell but hard to dislike. A group of cheerleaders run afoul of some Satan worshippers. That's the movie. There's something charming about how groan-worthy so many of Greydon Clark's one-liners are.