Saturday, July 4, 2020

Weekend Open Thread

Happy 4th!


  1. Anybody else feel lost in their movie watching since the end of Junesploitation? I actually really enjoy having a blueprint to follow be used otherwise my movie watching is just scattershot and all over the place haha. So anyway, here are a couple things I watched post-Junesploitation:

    Robocop 2: I will continue to defend Robocop 2 forever. Doesn’t touch the greatness of the original and loses pretty much all the subtext, but it still a fun and entertaining sci-fi/action movie.

    Femme Fatale: I love De Palma, but this was my first time seeing this one. I think I’m quoting Patrick here when I say it plays like a greatest hits of De Palma. It was a really great and stylish thriller with lots of twists and turns, which is pretty much what I would expect from De Palma.

    Guns Akimbo: Ooh boy, I did not care for this one at all. I hate to shit on movies too much, so I won’t say too much, but wow, this was just really obnoxious. Imagine some horrible bastard child of Wanted, Nerve, and Scott Pilgrim with the mindset of a 12 year old boy who is hopped up on Mountain Dew. Some of the action is decent and Daniel Radcliffe and Samara Weaving do their best, but yeah, this one just wasn’t for me.

    Oh, and I watched the Blob (blub) remake and it’s still as great as always.

    Hope everyone has a good weekend!

    1. Lots of soccer (Spain, Germany, England, Portugal, etc.) and a metric ton of classic gameshows on Buzzr ("Classic Concentration," "What's My Line?", etc.) for me since Junesploitation! Maybe next week l will drift back to movie viewing during the East Coast heatwave. 🥵🥳

    2. Holy crap! I did see a movie this week I completely forgot about. Joined Joyce Godsey and other DVD Verdict refugees on the Facebook Jury Room Thursday night screening of 1996's THE PHANTOM. The consensus of the group viewing is that (a) Catherine Zeta Jones gives the better performance (even more than Treat Williams) and is fully aware of the movie she's in, (b) a dog talking to a horse is hysterical (especially w/o subtitles) and (c) Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa would have made an excellent villain if he had been introduced early and given a backstory. For a project brimming with so much potential and clearly given carte blanche by Paramount suits smelling their next Indiana Jones franchise, "The Phantom" is so old-fashioned (half the audience it's aimed at were already dead by '96, and the other half was too old to go theaters to see it) it feels like a movie made for nobody. Shame, because smarmy self-assured Billy Zane in purple suit riding in slow-motion through the African forest still cuts a striking look. :-)

  2. Hi everyone! Hope you're having a good weekend and are staying safe.

    So I went to the movies today, for the first time since early March. The local genre festival that was supposed to happen in April obviously didn't, so once the theaters opened again, they threw together a one night special thing. There's been zero new confirmed corona cases for over three weeks in the Pirkanmaa region where I live and they only sold the theater 40% full, so I felt pretty safe in going.

    The first movie was a mystery screening, which turned out to be a trashy softcore porn with a few murders thrown in called Evil Come Evil Go. The main character is a woman who thinks she's on a mission from God to preach against casual sex and murder men who seek it, so it's a perfect vehicle to show plenty of both sex scenes and murders. Unfortunately neither is very well done, but it managed to entertain the crowd with odd editing and an unhinged portrayal of the main character for the whopping 72 minutes it lasted.

    The second movie was Alley Cat, an unremarkable 1984 revenge movie about a woman who goes after her grandmother's muggers, as well as a number of rapists (the town the movie takes place in seems to be knee-deep in rapists) with her karate skills. Some fun scenes, but overall pretty meh. They also showed Hard Ticket to Hawaii, but I skipped that because I've already seen it at that same festival a couple of years ago.

    In other news, The Vast of Night is pretty good, and I'm glad people seem to be liking Eurovision, but I found it pretty intolerable. And the 1998 comedy Free Enterprise has its moments, mainly when Shatner is making fun of himself.

    1. Evil Come Evil Go is not good, but it is a product of a period of low-budget cinema that I have a lot of affection for. (Hence the appearance of Preacherman on my Junesploitation list.) Sister Sarah Jane at least is an engaging character. I liked the film when I saw it many years ago on a Something Weird release.

  3. My top five from this year’s #Junesploitation:
    5) WILD ZERO (1999). Zombie killing, rock n’ roll, and an ahead-of-its-time love story make this one a winner.
    4) ANGEL (1984). For a movie that’s supposed to be scandalous and shocking, it’s more of an absurdist comedy.
    3) ARCADE (1993). Pyun and Full Moon tell a tale of VR turned evil. The ultra-cheap effects just add to the weird/cool vibe.
    2) SOLO (1996). Terminator ripoff better than it should be, thanks to fun performances from Mario Van Peebles and William Sadler.
    1) LEGEND OF THE ANCIENT SWORD (2018). Renny Harlin (!) directs this Chinese fantasy adventure that’s as many sword n’ sorcery tropes as they could get in one movie.

    Honorable mention (because it’s not really exploitation) for THE HATE YOU GIVE (2018). Not just relevant to everything that’s happening, but also top-notch acting dialogue throughout.

    How early is too early to start making my #ScaryMovieMonth list?

  4. So far my only post-Junesploitation viewing of note isn't really movies. Like so many other people, I watched Hamilton yesterday and unsurprisingly thought it was great.

    Today I noticed that Netflix released Ju-On: Origins recently which I hadn't even heard about. 6 half hour long episodes which started out more or less as I expected (a little slow but creepy) before going a little more hardcore in the back half. Overall better than I was expecting, although it's a bit convoluted.

  5. Still basking in the afterglow of Junesploitation, but now I'm working my way through my backlog:

    1. Yeelen [Brightness] (1987, dir. Souleymane Cissé) - I've never seen a film from Mali before and was overjoyed with this one. A retelling of a Malian legend of a young sorcerer being pursued by his vengeful father across West Africa in the 13th century. It's a spartan, bizarre and utterly singular kind of narrative that comes from what was obviously an oral tradition. I cannot recommend it highly enough, if you can get your hands on it.

    2. The World's Greatest Lover (1977, dir. Gene Wilder) - This movie shares a lot of DNA with Mel Brook's 'Silent Movie,' not least of which is Dom DeLuise's riotously funny outbursts. Gene Wilder plays Rudy Hickman, a misfit who moves to Los Angeles with his wife in an attempt to break into the silent movies. It doesn't all land, as often Wilder's eruptions of rage stop being amusing and become disconcerting. Still I love watching the passion projects that studios give to big stars when they're striking out into writer/directors; they're usually uneven and confounding, but still fascinating.

    3. Carry On Up the Khyber (1968, dir. Gerald Thomas) - One of the British "Carry On" series, a slapstick farcical romp in early 20th century India. There's the usual dose of Benny Hill-style blue humor, and fast-motion pratfalls, but also what I saw to be a fair amount of the British making light of their fallen standing in the world. It was a refreshing watch.

    Looking forward to Atom Egoyan's next movie starring David Thewlis, Guest of Honor, coming out on the 10th. Also, Werner Herzog's movie about Japanese impersonators-for-hire, Family Romance, LLC and I've had Come and See (1985) on my docket for months, but it's hard to ramp yourself up to watch that intense of a film.


    1. Blood Games
    2. Call Me
    3. Blood Tide
    4. The Last Hunter
    5. Sorceress
    6. Private Resort
    7. Gas Pump Girls
    8. Across 110th St.
    9. Cannibal Apocalypse
    10. McBain

    1. Are these movies you chose to watch for J!, or suggestions from others during J! for latter viewing? 🤐🤫

    2. movies I watched! I do have a list of suggestions tho!

  7. Hello to everyone. It has been another busy week, but I was glad to get a couple of movies in. I have also experienced a strong withdrawal from Junesploitation, so my choices satiated my desires for exploitation fare.

    DEATH WISH II (1982) - This film is so wrong in the current political climate, but I do enjoy it so much. This viewing I noticed how many of the characters condone Kersey's vigilantism. Knowing that Bronson and Jill Ireland were married in real life, I have always been struck by how awkward the two can seem when acting together.

    SPECIES (1995) - This was on television last night at the house I was dogsitting at, and I could not have been happier. It was a first watch. This is a fun sci-fi creature feature with a lot of nudity thrown in. Species feels like it could have come from the 1970s, but it does have that unmistakable 1990s ambiance. The cast is surprisingly strong, with Forrest Whittaker giving a standout performance. The one aspect that I did not appreciate was the CGI. By today's standards, the effects are pretty shoddy.

  8. Here are my Juneploitation top ten first-time watches.

    1. Police Story (1985)
    2. Eugenie de Sade (1973)
    3. Ninja III: The Domination (1985)
    4. Private Parts (1972)
    5. The Sure Thing (1985)
    6. Killer Cop (1974)
    7. Drum (1976)
    8. Kiss of Death (1947)
    9. Bonnie's Kids (1972)
    10. Preacherman (1971)

    I miss it already and am looking at my collection to see what films I would like to include for 2021. I frequently consider my purchases for their Junesploitation value. It takes me a while to get into the SMM mood, but I am sure that the excitement will grow as October approaches.

  9. Top 10 First Time Watches of Junesploitation 2020

    1. The Ninth Configuration
    2. Bringing Out the Dead
    3. The Flying Guillotine
    4. Repo Man
    5. Nightmare Castle
    6. If You Meet Sartana Pray for Your Death
    7. Hellbound: Hellraiser II
    8. Black Caesar
    9. Animal Factory
    10. The Rover

    1. Runner-ups

      The Debt Collector
      The Monster
      The Trust
      Bloody Birthday

    2. It looks like you had a good Junesploitation.