Thursday, June 24, 2021

Junesploitation 2021 Day 24: Free Space!

47 comments:

  1. '"B&S ABOUT MOVIES" SHOWED ME THE PATH' TRIPLE THREAT!

    James Glickenhaus' THE ASTROLOGER, aka SUICIDE CULT (1975, TUBI) for the first time. Also streaming on YouTube, but the TUBI transfer is much cleaner and widescreen; if you have an option, go with Tubi.

    'I believe this [First Century Ethiopian document] will bring us closer to a genuine verification of the Virgin Mary's birthdate. We can then finally determine the Madonna's zodiacal potential. Have you ever seen a graph of the Virgin Mary's zodiacal potential?' -- Old white guy in suit and tie.

    What are the odds that two batshit-crazy movies named "The Astrologer" would come out within weeks of one other in late 1975/early 1976? The more conventional of the two is the directorial debut of then-future exploitation auteur James Glickenhaus ("The Exterminator," "Shakedown"), which explains why this low-budget feature looks much bigger than it actually is. The U.S. government-backed Interzoid Organization, headed by Alexei Abarnel (Bob Byrd), is trying to fend off the negative zodiacal potential of Hitler-in-the-making, dangerous Hindu cult leader Kajerste (Mark Buntzman, also the film's producer). Somehow this requires Byrd to convince a U.S. congressman (Al Narcisse) and female dirty ops operative (Alison McCarthy's Khan) to infiltrate Kajerste's hideout and implant some sort of device that will prompt the cult leader to stab himself with a poisoned knife. And believe me, this is the easiest-to-describe plot thread of the many in "The Astrologer '75" that make no goddamn sense. The second easiest would be that Abarnel's 5-month marriage to his young bride Kate (11/73 Playboy Centerfold Monica Tidwell) is in the dumps due to sexual inadequacies... but that's resolved during a latter scene that rewards patient viewers with ample, sexy nudity.

    With a 'meh' soundtrack by Brad Fiedel ("Terminator 1 & 2") and judicious use of stock footage from India, the real attraction of "The Astrologer '75" is seeing Glickenhaus stack the narrative with increasingly loony conspiracy/astro numerical nonsense. Somehow a palm reader (Anahid) and a race car driver (James G. himself!) come to rescue Kate from a gypsy camp a day apart, and both times the lack of tension build-up and underwhelming climax are hysterical. Worth seeing for Glickenhaus completists (the man only directed nine movies total) and fans of 70's conspiracy films with the crazy dialed up to 10. 3 NAKED BURNED CORPSES WASHING ASHORE (out of 5).

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  2. Craig Denney's THE ASTROLOGER (1976, Archive.org) for the first time. Theatrical Trailer.

    I'm not even going to try to match B&S About Movie's excellent attempt at a plot summary of "The Astrologer '76". If anything B&S undersold how deep into "The Room" and "Manos: The Hands of Fate" territory this singular piece of narcissistic vanity project comes across. Craig Denney strutting his pasty, unattractive shirtless body every other scene (including at a Kenyan prison with buff local prisoners) tells you the type/size of ego we're dealing with here. Once you strip the obscene amount of off-screen dialogue ("ADR: The Movie"), jarring time jumps (Boyd and Rita's greet-and-meet during a cemetery picnic), lengthy sailing and pearl diving montages (which go on FO-RE-VE-RRRRR!), sudden outbursts of laugh-out loud violence (with gratuitous 'N' word use) and unnecessary restaurant urinal close-ups (to complement the unattractive topless patrons), "The Astrologer '76" is a simple rags-to-riches story. Craig (the movie version) starts dirt-poor at a carnival, eventually makes movies that earn $145 million at the box office ($685,997,803.16 in '21 dollars!), and toward the end loses it all. But who cares as long as we're having fun, right? ;-)

    The main difference between this "Astrologer" and the '75 version is that Glickenhaus was trying to tell a story dealing with astronomical symbols and technology driving certain people to try to predict future events, to the point of obsession. "The Astrologer '76" pays lip service to this by making Craig's astrological work (drafting horoscopes with the U.S. military, creating multiple shows/movies, writing books, etc.) the background, with the focus squarely on how many bodies he steps over (some buried in quicksand) on his way to the top. Darrien Earle (real-life Craig's cousin) has a few choice scenes as the woman in Craig's life (her prostitution room is a highlight), but Arthyr Chadbourne steals the movie as the #1 man Craig appoints to run his empire. BTW, at 1:14:00 a fake newspaper appears with a secondary headline that reads "Ford says GOP has 'hit bottom.'" So apparently nothing's changed in the last 45 years. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ A must-see for so-bad-it's-good Z-grade cinema. 4 TELEGRAMS FROM THE RAISIN DETECTIVE AGENCY (out of 5).

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    1. You have to love a movie so insane that a magic window to the universe is treated as an “oh that’s nice let’s move on” moment.

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  3. Pupi Avati's ZEDER, aka REVENGE OF THE DEAD (1983, YouTube) for the first time.

    My first Pupi joint. Try saying that with a straight face five times in a row. :-P B&S About Movies' review for Zombies! day got me intrigued enough to watch this, but I can't say I'm impressed. If "Zeder" was my first Italian horror flick then the bonkers lack of logic, crazy leaps in logic, unemotional amateur-hour English dub and inappropriately histrionic scary music hits (really, Riz Ortolani? --eye roll--) might have made an impact. And I can see why B&S likes "Zeder," because connoisseurs of bad cinema (like me) can find joy in watching a filmmaker pad a movie with filler to reach an appropriate running time. When done correctly it's a work of art, but when not it drags.

    There's only so much I can tolerate "Zeder's" dumb lead protagonist (Gabriele Lavia) dragging himself and his lovely wife (Anne Canovas, a dead ringer for Katie Holmes) deeper into easily-avoidable trouble. Argento, Fulci and the better Italian horror/giallo directors get away with the civilian-compelled-to-pursue-a-mystery trope because there's usually an entertaining payoff at the end. "Zeder" not only cuts away when the money shots/reward to lengthy suspense sequences finally climax, but it ultimately adds up to nothing surprising, scary, gory or dramatic. "Zeder's" opening 10 minutes and the last 15 are decent, but the languid and sleep-inducing middle put me in a 'ZZzz' K-zone of my own. :-( 2 RIDES ON MIRKO'S SCOOTER (out of 5).

    Sorry B&S. But hey, 2 out of 3 ain't bad. :-)

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    1. I watched thirty Bruno Mattei movies in five days. My taste is not always to be trusted. Thanks for watching these!

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  4. Mamoru Oshii's GHOST IN THE SHELL (1995, 4K UHD BD). Also streaming with ads on YouTube, IMDB TV, VUDU, TUBI and PLUTO.

    Was going to watch this for 90's Action! but had a last-minute change of plans. "Ghost in the Shell" is a short movie, but it packs a dense story (which was futuristic in '95 but feels prophetic in '21), makes stock police/military characters interesting (even the supporting ones like police hacker Ishikawa) and introduces a technology-driven dystopian-ish universe both influenced by what came before ("Blade Runner," "Akira") and influenced movies made after it (there's no way the Wachawski siblings didn't have "GITS" in the brain when they created "The Matrix"). Very few action scenes (it's mostly characters monologuing about what it means to be human), but when one of them is the iconic Major Kusanagi vs. tank battle in an abandoned building you can forgive Mamoru Oshii and his animators for indulging their artistic senses. Last but not least, Kenji Kawai's music score is outstanding and helps lift "GITS" from great anime feature to all-time classic.

    Despite being the best it has ever looked, this 4K transfer of the best cinematic adaptation of Shirow Masamune's manga work doesn't blow me away. Not enough pop on the resolution or colors, but at least Lionsgate is selling the UHD BD cheap (less than $10 during online sales). Casuals can stream "GITS" for free, but if you're a Batô/Motoko shipper you know you want to see/hear them discuss the intricacies of underwater deep sea diving in glorious 4K with Japanese/English Dolby Atmos on. 4.5 GARBAGE TRUCKS RUNNING LATE (out of 5).

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  5. Mamoru Oshii's GHOST IN THE SHELL 2: INNOCENCE (2004, Blu-ray).

    Since Adam Oh reviewed the sequel for Sequels! Day, I piggy-backed a rewatch of "Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence" immediately after watching the prequel in 4K. Only an auteur of the stature of Mamoru Oshii could get away back in 2004 with making an expensive, heavily-CG sequel to a seminal work of anime in which fanboys can't wait for Batô (hardcore supercop) and Major Kusanagi (disappeared into the cybernetic world) to meet... but all the writer/director wants to focus on are the expression-less gynoid sex bots and Batô's basset hound pet (patterned after Oshii-san's own dog). There are lots more action scenes, but nothing approaching the iconic status of the first "GOTS" tank battle. Deprived of the chemistry between the Major and Batô, "Innocence" often feels like a depressing, futuristic police procedural. The supporting cast (Togusa, Chief Aramaki, Ishikawa, etc.) gets more screen time and bigger shades of personality, but ultimately this is The Batô Show from start to finish (with a fittingly unsatisfying appearance by the Major as a last-moment guest star). The traditional flying boat parade with female Buddhist chants is impressive, but again, plays second fiddle to a similar scene in the original.

    The cutting-edge-in-'04 CG animation looks really dated today, unlike "GITS's" timeless hand-drawn animation. Mamoru O. even tried to pull a George Lucas-style history re-write by re-releasing "GITS '95" with CG scenes inserted, but thankfully it's optional (not included in my 4K UHD). "Innocence" tries to be deeper and please more anime fans (the 'PG-13' rating due to skillful lack of on-screen nudity doesn't mean the violent beheadings and shootouts come across any less bloody), but ultimately it makes me glad the movie series stopped here. In the vernacular of F This Movie, "GITS 2: Innocence" 'is fine.' (TM) 3.5 DOG FOOD BOXES FOR GABRIEL (out of 5).

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    1. I'm honored, truly. I think I liked the sequel slightly more than you did, but it's hard to argue with anything you pointed out. One thing I forgot to mention in my review is that I thought the dog was delightful.

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    2. Of course he is, it's basically the boss' dog turned into a cartoon. 😊

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  6. Mouse Hunt (1997)

    I actually watched this with the kids way back on Revenge Day!, but never posted anything about it. The kids had their last day of school, and were heading off for a holiday trip with their mum, and in our recount of the Junesploitation movies we saw, this was their favourite.

    What a delightful movie! They're kind of screw ups, and then the mouse decides to go against them, well that's when it gets really fun. It's definitely my "movies I never knew existed, but should have" pick for the month. What a great movie.

    I can't wait to show it to my parents when I see them this summer (It's been so long, damn covid). My dad was a big Laurel and Hardy fan, and used to rent out a movie projector, reels, and a screen from the library when we were kids to show us Laurel and Hardy. Good memories.

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    1. I have faint memories of visiting next-door neighbors and watching 8mm films (very short and without sound) projected on their living room wall, usually "Mighty Mouse" and "Felix The Cat" cartoons. :-)

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  7. Rad (1986, dir. Hal Needham)

    Local teenage BMX prodigy Cru (yeah, that name is RAD!) wants to go pro, and when a cadre of businessmen and local bigwigs bring the ultimate BMX racing circuit to town, the Helltrack (yeah, that name is also RAD!), he sees his chance. But, the bigwigs don’t want to disgrace the top three hotshot racers on national TV so they conspire to disqualify Cru from the big race.

    You get what you pay for with this movie: dudes pulling BMX tricks in slo-mo, an embarrassing teenage love story (with Full House’s Lori Loughlin) and a on-the-edge-of-your-seat final race where the local boy makes good. I was a bit disappointed that the music isn’t shredding guitars, but instead really tame synthy new wave pop.

    The filmmakers deserve credit for trying to capture what would later become an “extreme sport” before it went mainstream. It’s just a shame that it’s packaged with a story that’s so cheap and wooden. Imagine what this movie had been like if the dramatic centerpiece would have been a Point Break-style heist crew! Xtreme!!!

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  8. HUNTER KILLER (2018)
    U.S. and Russian submarines battle each other in the arctic, due to threats of a Russian coup. Unlike most submarine movies, this one isn’t about cat-and-mouse tension of subs trying to find each other in the depths. Instead they’re going ahead and firing torpedoes and blowing the s*** out of each other. You can tell Gerard Butler is having a blast being the captain, as this is a total Gerard Butler movie, but Gary Oldman, Linda Cardellini and Common aren’t given much to do. The movie’s a little too long, but fun if you’re in the mood for a mindless explosion-fest.

    30 days of Chinese fantasy movies, day 24
    THE YIN-YANG MASTER: DREAM OF ETERNITY (2020)
    An evil snake-demon-spirit thing is prophesized to arise and kill the empress (I think?) so four demon-hunters arrive in the city for demon-hunting action. This is a massive big-budget spectacular, with gigantic production value. When it goes into full wire fu versus CGI monster action, it’s genuinely thrilling. But this is also a royal palace setting, so in the long stretches of dialogue the actors play everything very stiff and formal, which gets tedious. So the good scenes are really good, but the boring scenes are really boring.

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  9. The Deep (1977)

    In all honesty, going in I thought this was a horror movie about some sort of sea-beastie but it turns out it’s just about sparring treasure hunters and (I imagine) keeping Nick Nolte and Robert Shaw sober enough to remember their dialogue. Unfortunately there’s something else it is as well: not very good.

    There’s some very pretty underwater photography, so it’s not a total loss, but there’s surprisingly little life to any of it. There is also a pretty gnarly villain death (hooray for ‘70s PG movies) and a final freeze-frame that comes off as unintentionally funny which is the kind of thing I always appreciate.

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  10. Iron Monkey (1993)


    Thanks Mark Ahn for the recommendation. Top notch movie.

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    1. One of my top 10 all time martial arts favs!

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  11. Tremors (1990)

    First Time Viewing. (Sigh...) I have read so many great things about this movie over the years (including JB's review on the site), so perhaps my expectations were too high. Maybe I was just in the wrong mood. I genuinely feel bad that this one didn't connect with me. I feel like the actors knew they were shooting a B movie, and the performances were pitched at a level that was conscious of that and commenting on it, rather than playing the situation. Just so much trying to make the characters seem cartoonish or ridiculous. And, with all the POV camera work from the worms (in addition to the genre of horror/comedy), I just couldn't shake the thought of "Would I be enjoying this more if Sam Raimi had directed it?" I don't know what my problem was. I will have to give it another shot someday. For what it's worth, I liked the worms! Don't hate me!

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  12. The Banker (1989; dir. William Webb)

    Nope

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  13. Fortress (1985, dir. Arch Nicholson)

    Australian grade-school invasion movie, in which the teacher (Rachel Ward) and her students must escape, fight, or die. This movie goes there. I loved it. This is my favorite discovery of Junesploitation so far. Highly recommended.

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    1. Agree. Even on HBO in 1985, this looked soft and muddy. 🙂

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  14. The Uppercut Man (1988, Sergio Martino)

    Sergio Martino made some truly baffling and wonderful movies in the late 80s. Perhaps even stranger, two of them -- this film and American Rickshaw -- were made in Miami, a place that Italian directors loved in the wake of Miami Vice (see also: Cy Warrior, Cop Target, The Last Match, Mean Tricks, First Action Hero, Plankton, Karate Warrior 2, Primal Rage, Moving Target, Nightmare Beach, the Bud Spencer version of Aladdin, Brothers In Blood, Striker, The Wild Team, Cut and Run, Miami Golem, Super Fuzz*, Go for It* and Atlantis Interceptors*).

    Also known as Qualcuno Pagherà (Someone Will Pay), Punhos de Exterminador (Terminator Fists, which is a great title), Vaincre ou Mourir 2 (Win or Die 2), Bloodfight and The Opponent, this movie is seriously everything I love about late 80s Italian bootleg cinema.

    Daniel Greene was once Paco Queruak in Hands of Steel, which is why that Terminator Fists title makes sense, and now he is Bobby Mulligan, a boxer who works for Martin Duranti (Giuliano Gemma, Silver Saddle). His wife, Gilda (Mary Stavin from Strike Commando 2 and Born to Fight) ends up working our hero's speedbag -- if you know what I'm saying and I think you do -- and Martin declares a vendetta against our hero.

    Bobby was already in love with Anne (Keely Shaye Smith, who was in the "Stuck with You" video with Huey Lewis before marrying Pierce Brosnan), whose father Victor (Ernest Borgnine!) was once a boxer, which will come in handy later. He doesn't trust anyone who is a fighter with his little girl, especially after he gets in a slaphappy battle with our hero in his grocery store.

    Duranti, learning that he's been cucked, wants Bobby to do the job in a fight against Eddy (James Warring, who was the World Kickboxing Association World Cruiserweight Champion), but Bobby has no idea what that means and wins the fight. So the mobbed out Duanti sends his men to break our hero's right hand, pretty much ending his boxing career. However, Victor comes around and starts respecting our hero because he also refused to throw a fight. Guess what? His daughter comes around too.

    Remember that opportunity for Victor I mentioned? That comes when the mob takes our hero's ex-drunk coach Larry (Bill Wohrman, Porky's), forces him to drink chemicals and drowns him in a scene that is a narrative and tonal shift, but so is the end of this movie, when our hero goes from the championship match to rescuing his woman in a junkyard and getting horrible and bloody revenge, but not before the bad girl turns good and pays for it with her life.

    I really wish Martino had made more of these cover movies, because I love every single one of them. It starts with the conventions of the accepted boxing movie and just gets wild, as you hope that it will.

    The montage where Borgnine teaches Daniel Greene to box with only his left hand is beyond joyous, as is the scene where our hero tries to do some road work and a car runs him down. Man, I got so excited writing about this that now I want to watch it again.


    *Yes, I know, these were made years before Crockett and Tubbs got to town.

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  15. THE CALLER (1987)

    Junesploitation provides an opportunity to clear my DVR of some of the films I have recorded from Turner Classic Movie’s TCM Underground programming. The Caller is one of those recordings. This was the most interesting watch of the month so far because it played with my mind more than any film I have watched for a while. Though I would not say The Caller is a great film, it is clever in the way the mystery unravels. The leads, which includes Malcolm McDowall, skillfully ramp up the tension. It kept me guessing what was going on for most of the running time. Since the best watch of it comes from knowing nothing beforehand, I really do not want to give anything away. I am not sure this would hold up to multiple viewings, however.

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    1. The general idea of The Caller is that a man shows up at a woman's house in the woods. Strangeness ensues.

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  16. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010, dir. David Slade)

    Watched it with Blank Check Podcast's commentary. At least it's an actual movie with a beginning, middle and end, unlike the previous movie. Unfortunately, two thirds of it is just running in place with the same drama over and over. The commentary's fun as always though. And there's a couple of good songs on the movie's soundtrack.

    Weirdly, the Finnish title translates as Twilight - Suspicion. (The four parts are Temptation, New Moon, Suspicion and Dawnbreak, so they came up with new names for two of them and translated the other two directly.)

    Devil's Pass aka The Dyatlov Pass Incident (2013, dir. My Boy Renny Harlin)

    Five American college students decide to take a trip to the Ural mountains, in an effort to investigate the infamous real-life mystery known as the Dyatlov Pass incident from 53 years earlier. A month later, the students are missing, but their camera equipment is found...

    Since it's a horror movie, obviously what they find isn't a natural explanation for the mystery, but the movie makes the interesting choice to connect it to another, completely unconnected real-life incident that's also a favorite of conspiracy theorists. I really like the audacity of that choice.

    It's a pretty well made found footage movie, but the two pitfalls of the genre are present here: a lot of the shots are annoyingly jerky, and when the shit stars hitting the fan, it's really hard to justify that the characters would just keep filming.

    Renny's obligatory Finland reference: one of the students has the Finnish flag on his backpack and mentions his compass was made by Suunto, a Finnish company.

    Hard Ticket to Hawaii (1987, dir. Andy Sidaris)

    After all the talk about Andy Sidaris movies in general and this one in particular on Julie Strain! day, I had a hankering to see it again.

    As has been already stated, Sidaris knows exactly what kind of movie he's making. The plot it secondary to beautiful women, pretty vistas, silly action and comedy (so quinary?). If there's exposition to be delivered, Sidaris stages it in a gym with sumo wrestlers in the foreground of the shot, or has has two women deliver it topless in a jacuzzi.

    Everybody talks about the frisbee scene, but my favorite part of the movie is the skateboard assassin.

    And now I have the theme song stuck in my head. Again.

    Midsommar (2019, dir. Ari Aster)

    It's only two days until midsommar (and its Finnish equivalent, juhannus), so it felt like the right time to finally get around to seeing this movie.

    A bunch of Swedes are having a perfectly nice midsommar, taking hallucinogens, dancing and having sex rituals, and then these four pesky Americans come meddling and try to ruin it all.

    I was expecting horror, but I didn't know it would also be this funny! Many scenes go from slightly disturbing to kinda funny to totally terrifying to outright hilarious. I was a big fan of Hereditary, but I might like this one even more. 146 minutes sounded a bit intimidating, but the movie kept me in rapt attention from start to finish.

    The Finnish title translates as Midsommar - Endless Night. Not sure if that's dumb or entirely brilliant.

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  17. Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains (1982)

    Due to time constraints I had to change my viewing plans and switch to something with a shorter runtime. Movies about bands don't exactly meet my definition of a musical, but they're a nice substitute, and I had this on my watchlist anyway, so...

    For a rock and roll flick, it starts out pretty grim, like a gloomy, angry and dead serious version of This Is Spinal Tap. The first act is actually where the movie works best for me, including Diane Lane's prickly performance as teen punk rocker who wants to stick it up to everyone. But the further along we get in The Stains career (rushing through every stage so fast, it barely makes any impact), the shakier the story becomes, until things really fall apart in the confused (and confusing) climax. For a while the back and forth between Lane's character and fellow aspiring rock star played by Ray Winstone feels like the strongest part of the movie, but even that loses steam by the end. I wish there was more attention paid to the other members of The Stains (including Laura Dern in one of her first roles), but their characters are left mostly undeveloped. All in all, I found it a bit of a disappointment, but certainly not a waste of time (I'm such a sucker for movies about bands that they always get bonus points for the subject matter alone).

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  18. Yes, God, Yes (2019)

    A high school student who attends catholic high school deals with her emerging sexuality.

    Funny and a bit cringey (how high school can be).

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  19. BROKEN PATH (2008, dir. Koichi Sakamoto)

    I was well prepared that this movie is mostly just fighting. In fact, I was so well prepared that I ended up pleasantly surprised by how much dialogue and story there actually is. Despite the "conventionally low-grade acting" (think faith-based movie level), there was more than enough here to get me to care because the main couple seemed sweet and I liked the actors. Since I was on board emotionally, the shockingly high quality of the almost non-stop fight scenes blew me away. If you want action, this movie DELIVERS with a side of bloody soaked horror.

    I'm not telling you what to do, but this might be the most Junesploitation movie you can seek out this month!

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  20. Son (2021)

    Man this throws everything at the wall - ALL the horror tropes and cuts and sounds and stories and just not much worked for me. Andi Matichak is aight tho.

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  21. Rurouni Kenshin Part I: Origins (2012)

    I've got no experience with the anime or manga but I figured I'd give it a shot since I'd seen some people have been talking about the most recent movie. I figured if nothing else it would probably be a decent samurai movie, and that's more or less what it is. It's a little long, and I don't know that I was ever able to get myself to care about Kenshin's refusal to kill (he was previously an assassin). Not bad but I don't know if I'll get around to watching the other movies in the series.

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  22. House (1986) Dir. Steve Miner

    80s Horror. What a mixed bag. The script puts a lot of pressure on William Katt to carry most scenes by himself. He's mostly up for the task, but sometimes falls a little flat. It starts strong, the first 15 minutes does a lot of heavy lifting in setting everything up, but then it drags a bit. The second act plays mostly like vignettes, isolated scenes that don't necessarily build on each other. Overall, I liked it, at least enough to give The Second Story a shot.

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  23. Athlete A (2020)

    Heartbreaking. Infuriating.

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  24. THE PALEFACE (1948, dir. Norman Z. McLeod)

    Super racist comedy with a funny, racist script by Frank Tashlin. I love Jane Russell a lot.

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  25. WONDER WOMEN (1973, Vincent O’Neill)

    I have not watched as much low-budget schlock this Junesploitation as usual. I have missed it. When my Vinegar Syndrome order arrived this week, I immediately gravitated to Wonder Women, a cheesy Filipino blast of 1970s drive-in fun. It is a mixture of Dr. No, The Island of Doctor Moreau, and campy exploitation. Wonder Women begins with a hilarious montage of lovely women kidnapping various people accompanied by the Vinegar Syndrome theme tune. The soundtrack is a funky gem, one of the highlights of the film. When a prominent jai alai player is taken by this gang of women, an American private investigator is brought to Manilla to track him down. The final destination is a mysterious island ruled by a female mad doctor played by Nancy Kwan. Along way you get a chase through the streets and markets of Manilla (full of a gawking onlookers who might not have been aware of a film being made), poorly choreographed and edited fights, and some surprisingly colorful operating room scenes with people dressed like Star Trek extras. The cast is a who’s-who of Filipino B-movie actors. Though some scenes do drag a little, the pace and productions values are better than most of these films. Heartily recommended for exploitation fans.

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  26. F9(2021) Justin Lin

    First time back in the theater since Rise of the Skywalker and my first b-day movie in 2 years so I'm sure that helped my enjoyment but I liked this. I for sure liked it more than the last few. One thing I liked is it seemed more about the team again and less "Vin is cool". Of course the action is over the top and hyper edited but its still fun. The magnet scene was especially entertaining even if I did keep hearing an old lady's voice in my head saying "Thats not how they work". I thought the F stood for "fast", I know now it stands for "Fuck your physics". ba dum tiss.

    It's in theaters

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    1. Surprised you didn't wait an hour or two and post this under Friday's CARS! Day.

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    2. @Mikko Thank You very much!

      @JM I didn't even think about that.

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  27. Nightmare Sisters (1988) David DeCoteau

    In spite of the gratuitous nudity and ultra low budget, this movie feels fun and kinda wholesome instead of gross. Making this one was a weekend well spent.

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  28. Dr. Alien (1989) David DeCoteau

    Had to keep the goofy DeCoteau vibes going with this one. He might be my Sidaris.

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  29. Orca (1977 - Michael Anderson)
    This film was produced by Dino De Laurentiis after the huge success of JAWS just two years prior... and it doesn't hold back what it feels about the danger of great whites... NOTHING. You think those were bad? You don't know killer whales - and boom, the first shark went flying and dying in this movie.
    Other than that, this movie doesn't have a lot going for it. Richard Harris is a grumpy man that I don't really find likeable at all, and his chemistry with Charlotte Rampling isn't really there. Some settings are nice, but anything else, it's pretty bland.

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    1. This movie F@#$ed me up as a kid. Havent seen it for 40 years but still remember a scene with Orcha's mate being caught and brought up on the boat. I wanna revisit but whoo boy that scene.

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    2. Oh boy, yes. That scene stands out and is gross.

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  30. Tanya’s Island (1980) Alfred Sole

    Decades before Del Toro realized his dream of having The Creature make love to the lady, Sole had Mighty Joe Young making not-love to Vanity. Rob Bottin and Rick Baker designed the ape. I’m not making this up.

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  31. Humanoids From the Deep (Shudder, Last Drive In S3 finale).

    Im always looking a way to shoehorn in a Joe Bob Briggs flick when possible. This flick has been on my schlock-dar for years (sploitation-dar?) but ive never watched. I gotta say, I LOVED it. Its very much a mashup of Jaws, Creature From the Black Lagoon, and Alien, but is never not entertaining. There's even a very well done "small town racial issues" subtext and an evil corporation aspect. If you have shudder i HIGHLY suggest you watch this on The Last Drive In as Joe Bob interviews the amazing Roger Corman who, at 95, has more recall of his work and more to educate than most half his age. He's the man. Also..if you've never seen it...i suggest watching part one of the two parter finale as they do the original Little Shop of Horrors. Its low budget as they come (made in like a week or less) but its amazing to see how much of its DNA made it into the hilarious musical movie adaptation AND its got a killer final scene.

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