Thursday, June 3, 2021

Junesploitation 2021 Day 3: Henry Silva!

67 comments:

  1. HENRY SILVA'S WORK TRAVELOGUE THROUGH THE DECADES!

    THE 60's: SAN FRANCISCO/ITALY -
    Emilio Miraglia's FRAME UP, aka THE FALLING MAN (1968, YouTube -English Version-) for the first time.

    Long before Harry Callahan established San Francisco as his playground (or Henry starred in a string of Italian "Poliziotteschi" hits throughout the 70's), there was Inspector Sterling (Silva) going about trying to crack the case that resulted in the death of his son and end of his marriage from a shootout meant to take him out. Unlike most cop-on-the-edge flicks from this era (or much later), Sterling is already suspended by his too-understanding captain (Keenan Wynn) at the start of "Frame Up." So he pushes the law as far as he can without breaking it to beat up suspects (or conveniently shoot them in self-defense), coerce confessions from suspects and stalk a pretty blonde model (Beba Loncar's Janet) that Sterling is sure will lead him to the unknown mastermind behind it all, the mysterious "Charlie."

    Despite extensive on-location shooting in San Francisco at the peak of the late 60's counterculture (you can smell the patchouli in the den full of drugged hippies that Silva busts into) this is an Italian-made cop drama with the meanness dialed down. Though we get some nudity and violence (including Sterling forcing a surgeon at gunpoint to remove a bullet from his back) it's Silva's intense performance and the slowly-unraveling plot (including well-timed flashbacks that flesh out the grieving inspector's methods) that makes "Frame Up" a standout. A little slow and uneventful, but worth seeing if you're patient. 3.5 BULLETS PROPPED ON A FIRE ESCAPE LADDERS (out of 5).

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  2. THE 70's: ARIZONA - FIVE SAVAGE MEN, aka THE ANIMALS (1970, TUBI -Spanish Version-) for the first time.

    So much wasted potential in this post-modern western that lays the basic groundwork for Don Siegel's "Death Wish" but with a twist. A band of outlaws chase after an Arizona stagecoach to free their leader Pudge (Keenan Wynn, again!) and steal some gold. Young teacher Alice (Michele Carey) is kidnapped, sexually assaulted (not graphically, but plenty uncomfortable for '70) and left for dead. She's rescued by an Apache warrior named Chatto (Silva sporting a wig and clothes from the Sears Catalogue's dress-like-an-Indian section) who nurses Alice back to health. Since Chatto witnessed the rape (but was powerless to stop it) he trains the willing-to-use-her-female-charms teacher (face palm!) and becomes the Tonto to female Keemosahbee's quest to find and kill the scum that raped her. A posse of AZ lawmen is always not too far behind, trying to both rescue Alice and arrest whoever's taken her... gulp! :-(

    There is a reason you've never heard of this revenge western while Paul Kersey and "Death Wish" are household names... among cinephiles. A talentless director who never went on to do anything else (Ron Joy) does absolutely nothing creative with the framing, pacing, editing, etc. to get us into the mindset of an abused white woman who has nowhere to go or a place to call home. Michele Carey doesn't earn sympathy, engender respect for her actions... she's just there. Alas, Henry Silva carries "Five Savage Men" on his shoulders and makes it watchable (with almost no dialogue) despite playing essentially a "Lone Ranger"-type Native American deus ex machina. Alice needs clothes and a horse to travel? Long distances are jump-cut skipped to kill all the outlaws before we get to Keenan Wynn? Chatto delivers, and earns whatever sympathy the seen-coming-a-mile-away final scene ultimately delivers.

    Great 2:35:1 AR and decent print streaming on TUBI, but if you're not fluent in Spanish don't even bother; no English CC options either. 3 EAR-TO-EAR, CHATTO'S-IN-LOVE SILLY GRINS (out of 5)

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  3. THE 80's: WASHINGTON, DC (aka CANADA) - Kinji Fukasaku's VIRUS, aka DAY OF RESURRECTION (1980, Amazon Prime -International English Version-) for the first time.

    Glenn Ford, Chuck Connors, Edward James Olmos, Robert Vaughn, Olivia Hussey, Bo Svenson, George Kennedy and Henry Silva ARE NOT the stars of this movie. They're the bait that Japanese filmmakers and financiers used to sell this Japan-made (from the director of the "Battle Royale" series), $16 million-budget disaster epic around the world. Very far-out and unbelievable premise, too: a deadly flu-like virus (MM-88) brings death and destruction to all the major cities (Tokyo: 10 million, New York City: 7.6 million, etc.) and brings the world to its knees due to lack of a vaccine to cure it. Yep, "Virus" is "The Final Countdown" to "Contagion's" "Top Gun." :-O Naturally the U.S. military sees a Communist motive behind "the Italian flu," making top U.S. military chief Garland (Silva in a... 5 star uniform?) convinced the "WarGames"-like ARC computer should be turned on. If you're going to skip this movie at least watch the scenes where General Silva, Senator Vaugh and U.S. President Ford are at each other's throats in the Oval Office (YouTube, 14:30 to 22:56). Henry is one of literally dozens of actors coming and leaving, but not only does he leave an impression but sets into motion the third act's ticking clock doomsday scenario... like a boss! :-D

    The rest of "Virus" is the "Tora! Tora! Tora!" of "The Day After"-like post-world disasters extended for years, just one miserable life-extinction scenario (should women give up one-to-one relations for the sake of the species?) after another (contaminated submarine crew begs for assistance) after another (an earthquake) after another ("The Thing"-like suicide pacts) and so on and so forth. Since the Japanese made the picture their actors (Sonny Chiba, Masao Kusakari, etc.) are prominently featured, which only highlights how chemistry-deficient the pairings of actors (Connors with Kusakari, George Kennedy with anybody else, etc.) end up. There's a complete 2 hrs. 36 min. English version on YouTube, but this is the rare case where the 4:3 butchered-and-shorter international version is the better JUNESPLOITATION! option. Because character development and human emotions, who needs them when we've lived through a slightly-toned-down version of the same story 24/7 for the past 15 months? :'( 3 FLYING DRONES COLLECTING AIR SAMPLES OVER POLLUTED TOKYO SKIES (out of 5).

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  4. THE 90's: TEXAS/CHIGAGO - Fred Williamson's THREE DAYS TO A KILL (1992, YouTube -VHS Rip-) for the first time.

    It's a good thing for this one Silva's on paycheck mode and only appears the minimum amount of scenes (mostly indoors) needed to establish he's a Colombian drug lord. Because let's face it, director/producer/star Fred Williamson doesn't like to be upstaged in his movie vehicles. Anywho, an important U.S. politician is kidnapped outside of a Chicago military base and under the nose of U.S. Capt. Damian Wright (Chuck Connors in his last movie role). His superior officer (Van Johnson, also in his final role) tells Wright to get that ambassador back in three days or his career's over. So Damian calls in a favor from his favorite mercenary friend (The Hammer), who in turn recruits an imprisoned bank robber (another "Virus" veteran, Bo Svenson) and an undercover contact (Kim Dakour) to get things moving. You'd think that the movie would take us to Colombia (or a set that looks like South America) for a military-style rescue mission, but 90% of the plot takes place in strip joints (20 minutes!), parking lots, warehouse-like homes and other cheap-to-shoot-at locations. Because damn it, Fred Williamson's such a cool mofo that Perez (Silva) flies to him instead of the other way around... because...¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Not the finest hour for anybody involved in this flick (an HBO original movie co-produced by Menahem Golan's 21st Century Film Corporation, aka Cannon 3.0), but there's a little bit of charm to just how cheap and flimsy the production comes across. Soundtrack music is either endlessly repeated keyboard drum solos or music from "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" (or both), the dick-measuring-contest dialogue between Williamson and Connors is clearly trying to pad out the running time, and not even Sonny Landham (Billy from "Predator") as Silva's main henchman can save this for the few minutes he gets to ham it up. At least there's this out-of-nowhere gem of a scene involving a pimp, his hoe and a car trunk full of toys (aka, THE MOST JUNESPLOITATION!-E THING I'VE SEEN SO FAR: 56:30 to 58:48) in what turned out to be a waste of a Henry Silva Day pick. :-( 1.75 EXPLODING HENCHMEN (out of 5).

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    1. As your viewings show, J.M., Henry Silva's filmography offers a lot of different options for today. I tend to be drawn to the earlier part of his career. For the 1980s and '90s, Silva was generally in bit parts or doing cameos. Even in those small roles, however, he could leave an impression.

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    2. This is a one-man JUNESPLOITATION! machine. Multiple decades, multiple genres, and Silva's either solid and/or memorable in most movies he appeared on. You bet we'll be seeing more Henry Silva movie reviews during upcoming Free Days. :-)

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  5. Amazon Women on the Moon (1987, dir. Joe Dante, Carl Gottlieb, Peter Horton, John Landis & Robert K. Weiss)

    A.k.a. the less successful cousin of the awesome The Kentucky Fried Movie. The hit to miss ratio isn't great, but there are a couple of highlights. Ed Begley Jr. is funny as Son of the Invisible Man, two critics very reminiscent of Siskel & Ebert review a random guy's life, and today's star, Henry Silva, appears as the host of "Bullshit or Not?", putting forth the theory that Jack the Ripper was actually the Loch Ness Monster. But the best sketch is Joe Dante's loving recreation of 30's propaganda films about the dangers of sex, weirdly placed as a mid-credits scene.

    The Finnish title for Amazon Women on the Moon translates as Box of Joy - An Unforgettable Night of Television! The Finnish distributors were pretty wild with their titles back in the day, especially with comedies. (Riemurasia translates literally as "box of joy" or "joybox", but it's also a crude euphemism for... ahem... a woman's genitalia.)

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  6. THE MANHUNT or MANHUNT IN THE CITY (1975, dir. Umberto Lenzi) – Italian Version on Youtube

    I did my best to follow the story by reading the Italian closed captioning, looking up words when they seemed important. There were a lot small things I missed, but the general story was pretty easy to comprehend.

    Henry Silva goes vigilante when his daughter is murdered during a robbery. When the police make no headway in the case, he undertakes his own investigation into her killing. Along the way, there are numerous other crimes committed against Silva’s character. He is in wrathful mode throughout. Though all of this is very “inspired” by Death Wish, Lenzi always put a uniquely Italian stamp on his films. Silva’s 1970s Italian period offered the meatiest roles of his career.

    ESCAPE FROM THE BRONX (1983, dir. Enzo Castellari) – On Amazon Prime

    Now this a worthy Junesploitation flick! With the residents of the Bronx either being expelled or exterminated, resistance to the cleansing campaign has grown increasingly fierce. Trash, one of the main leaders of the resistance, has had enough and is willing to take drastic measures to stop the carnage. The man in charge of clearing the Bronx is Wrangler, played by Henry Silva. This is a fun and fast-paced rip-off of Escape From New York that accomplishes a lot with a small budget. There are plenty of explosions, gun battles, and chases through underground tunnels to keep you entertained.

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    1. "Escape from New York," aka "Escape 2000," is also a hell of a "MST3K" experiment in Season 6 in which Mike and the bots pay ample attention to Silva's "good looks." :-P

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    2. Looking around Youtube, I found an English version of THE BOSS. That is a solid Henry Silva film. A very recent upload (yesterday) is for the film ALLIGATOR, a creature feature that I have not seen. With a script by John Sayles and Robert Forster in the lead role, it sounds like a film with potential.

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  7. Thirst (1979)

    Me for most of the run time: Man, Henry Silva doesn't really have much to do here, this pick might have been a mistake.

    Me when Silva falls from a helicopter into power lines near the end of the movie: Nope, this was totally worthwhile.

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  8. Cane arrabbiato aka Man Hunt (1984, dir. Fabrizio De Angelis)
    Ethan Wayne, who is promoted as John E. Wayne, I guess to get some money of his father's name, buys a few horses, rides through the desert of Arizona, gets arrested for allegedly stealing the horses (blamed by a farmer played by Ernest Borgnine), arrives in a prison that is run by Henry Silver, gets abused and tries to redeem his name by showing Silver the papers that would show that he's bought the horses. For this, he breaks out of prison (twice), gets hunted through different towns, a lot of cops crashes (and cop cars explode) and a friend he made in prison (and a Kirk Hammett lookalike) dies because he tried to help him.
    All of this does not change our hero, there is no progress at all. No one changes, no one in response receives justice for their actions... only bystanders really get hurt - and the one black guy who is killed (he did his time, he was free and good to go - so he dies...).
    Not a great movie, not a good one either, I don't really recommend it. MAYBE it's all because of the version I've seen: ten minutes were cut from it... but I don't think so.
    One out of four flesh ripping whip lashes.

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    1. So many of Silva's Italian films have been given the English title "Manhunt".

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  9. BULLETPROOF (1988)
    Gary Busey plays McBain (!) a cop who’s a former secret agent. He gets called back into the spy game to recover a stolen high-tech tank from terrorists. Silva is one of the villains’ leaders. They’re described as a multi-national, multi-ethnic terrorist organization, which I guess is the filmmakers’ way not offending everyone. Busey-versus-terrorists-versus-tank might sound thrilling, but this is pretty generic. The action scenes are just guys standing around shooting guns, with no real sense of pacing, etc. A real clunker of a movie.

    30 days of Chinese fantasy movies, day 3
    L.O.R.D. LEGEND OF RAVASHING DYNASTIES 2 (2018)
    Embarrassed to admit that I missed the “2” so I watched a sequel without seeing the first one. I’m missing a lot of context, but the gist is that there are good magic-using lords in conflict against evil magic-using lords. This is a good flick for the Underworld and/or Bloodbourne fanbase, because a lot of it is filmed in that blue-tinted wannabe goth style. What’s interesting is that I thought I was looking at actors in front of greenscreen, only to learn that all the humans are CGI via mocap. That’s damn impressive.

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    1. Henry Silva's filmography reflects the styles and trends of the time period he worked in. Ridiculous and generic 1980s action films are definitely in it. Considering the quality of Gary Busey's acting, Bulletproof frequently strikes me as a comedy.

      Any chance you are going to watch Prom Night II this month, Mac?

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    2. Haha I wasn't planning on it, but you never know...

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  10. Putting on CODE OF SILENCE. never seen it so i’m very excited.

    Anyone know if TRAPPED (1982) is available anywhere to stream or buy? Cannot find it anywhere

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    1. Code Red put out a Blu-ray of TRAPPED a few years ago. That's one of the ones I'll be watching today. Might be available second-hand or through Screen Archives?

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  11. Bulletproof (1987, dir. Steve Carver)

    This aggressively stupid action vehicle features none other than Gary Busey as the loose cannon Los Angeles cop, McBain (strong chance this inspired Simpson's Schwarzeneggar parody). He takes on big gun runners (fronted by a super young Danny Trejo) only to find himself shanghaied by the CIA to help stop a communist incursion just "over the border." This movie nails the reactionary 80's bad guy trifecta: Russians, Arabs and Mexicans. They're after a nuclear-powered cybertank called "Thunderblast," and the CIA wants to deliver it right into their hands to start a war. But, they don't count on aggressively stupid McBain, who is bulletproof (it's either literal or figurative, I honestly don't know which).

    McBain is dropped off over the border where Colonel Kartiff (Henry Silva in a bewilderingly poor attempt at playing some kind of nationality from the Arabian peninsula, but it just isn't working) and Mexican General Brogado (Rene Enriquez) plan to meet up with the Russians to hand off the tank, and oh boy is it a cavalcade of offensive stereotypes. Silva is really coasting here as the gruff, evil commander but they also double down on the evil by making him the opportunistic rapist as well... ugh. This was clearly inspired by Rambo and Arnold movies, but Busey just isn't believable as an action badass and the plotting is awfully dull and rote.

    Bonus points for blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo by Cary Hiroyuki-Tagawa in a flashback sequence... boy, he could have livened up this movie if they gave him something to do.

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  12. Code of Silence (1985)

    Chuck Norris scowls intently as he single-handedly takes on every mobster and corrupt cop in Chicago. One of the better Norris movies (courtesy of it being an Andrew Davis joint which also means it’s a great Chicago movie) but these days it’s difficult not to see it as a bit of a love letter to the militarization of police, particularly once Chuck is joined by a machine-gun-equipped robot to mow down some bad guys.

    The main one of those bad guys is man of the hour Henry Silva and as always he’s creepy, strange, and next-level bonkers. He doesn’t have a tremendous amount to do (I didn’t count how many lines he had but I’d be genuinely surprised if it was more than twenty total) but he makes a meal out of every word and that’s a big part of why we love him. Also, this is the only movie I’m aware of other than my beloved Running Scared in which the hero is threatened with death via Colombian necktie…is that a Chicago thing?

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  13. Above the Law (1988)

    I originally planned to watch it on Cops day, but then realized I can move it here and free up the other slot for something else. Efficiency!

    Predictably, the movie didn't do much for me as I'm really, really not a Seagal person, and, like any Seagal vehicle, the whole thing lives and dies on his questionable charisma and stiff physicality. Our today's hero Henry Silva is appropriately creepy and intimidating as the bad-to-the-bone villain (shame he's not in it more), the queen Pam Grier does her best to liven things up (she really is the greatest), and poor Sharon Stone is completely wasted, relegated to the role of a concerned wife. There's some decent chases and brawls and shootouts, but everything gets bogged down in an overly busy, headache-inducing plot (which somehow manages to involve the police, the FBI, the CIA, the military, US Senate, Vietnam war, political assassinations, international drug trade, undocumented immigrants and the Catholic church). Not a movie I'll be going back to very often, but I'm still glad I could check it off the list. Moving on!

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  14. South Beach (1993, dir. Fred Williamson)

    Fred Williamson directs, and stars as Mack Derringer, P.I. This was pretty enjoyable trash and the cast is stacked: Gary Busey, Peter Fonda, Vanity, Robert Forster, and of course, Henry Silva as Santiago the mob boss. He only gets about a minute of screen time but he makes it count. Silva has just the coolest sounding voice and diction. Honestly, I'll probably forget most of this movie, except for the opening credits scene which is Williamson and Busey playing golf, smoking cigars and goofing around. I could have watched that for 90 minutes. Recommended.

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  15. Sharky's Machine (1981, dir. Burt Reynolds)

    I love the relationship Sharky's team has with each other and with their commanding officer, Charles Durning. Durning takes the frustrated captain archetype up another level. Silva is as intimidating as always. Really enjoyed this, definitely will come back for the hangs.

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  16. Ocean's 11 (1960)

    I am happy to dive into some Henry Silva especially because I didn't really know him by name. He was more of a "oh, it's that guy." He doesn't have a ton to do in this with it being an ensemble. It's hard to take this too seriously having seen the newer, much better Oceans. The heist in this seemed to be a couple of people opening some doors. I enjoyed it nonetheless.

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  17. The Secret Invasion (1964)
    Directed by Roger Corman

    Bit of a precursor to The Dirty Dozen, Five criminals are recruited by British intelligence to start a second front in the Balkans during the invasion of Italy. My only complaint is the movie isn’t exploitative enough, and too restrained.

    Silva plays “John Durrell, Alcatraz, nationality unknown, origin unknown. Believed to be a paid assassin awaiting execution for the slaying of his mistress.” The crew of convicts are offered pardons for completing the mission, probably akin to “committing suicide.”

    Some screen time is dedicated to establishing Silva as a psychopath. “Never have I seen death walking around like a man.” Another character refers to Silva as “…the one with the dead eyes…”

    At one point, Silva’s character accidentally smothers an infant to keep the child’s cries from betraying their location to the Nazis. Even though script makes a big thing out of what a cold bastard he is, Silva so broken up about it, the mom/Silva’s love-interest bizarrely puts down her dead child to comfort Silva.

    Silva is in the whole thing, outlasting all but one of his crew. In the final sequence, he sacrifices himself by acting as a Nazi to kill a Yugoslavian general double-agent, inspiring the Yugoslavian resistance to take up arms against the Nazis. In some weird way, he did become death “inspiring” a whole lot more death to come. Henry Silva is, without a doubt, the best thing in this.

    Movie looks great, done in Panavision with Eastmancolor, shot in Dubrovnik in the former Yugoslavia by Arthur Arling. He also shot Lover Come Back, Pillow Talk, and Strait-Jacket. The compositions of the outdoor photography during battle scenes look way too good for an exploitation picture. Corman got more money than typical for his films, about $600K, and you can see it; way higher production values than a typical Corman production. The take cleared 3 million, so Roger still didn’t lose a dime.

    Watched on Amazon Prime for:
    Junesploitation 2021
    https://boxd.it/caPy8

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  18. he Secret Invasion(1964) Roger Corman

    A man on a mission movie about liberating a General to lead his army against the Germans. The team is made up of 5criminals seeking pardons. Although we have a large team of actors and each contribute, Silva is the star here. Not only earning an "and" before his name in the opening credits. but his character seems to have the biggest arc. He starts as an assassin and by the end is the romantic lead, sympathetic figure and finally the hero of the story. Its not a great movie but worth the viewing especially on Henry Silva day.
    I almost recommend watching for Mickey Rooney alone though. Not because he is good or anything but because it seems like they decided to give his character an Irish accent in post via ADR but only added it to certain scenes. His character's hero moment has some of the worst adr in the history of film.

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    1. Try to make a correction. killed the title.

      *thumbs high*

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    2. I watched this sometime in the past year (Friendly Fire, a war movie podcast, covered it and I was watching along every
      week), and was surprised by how good it was. When I saw it was directed by Corman I was expecting a low budget affair, but I thought it was really well done. It's a discount The Dirty Dozen to be sure, but I thought it stood well on it's own. I didn't know who Silva was at the time.

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  19. Cry of a Prostitute AKA Quelli che contano, Guns of the Big Shots, The Ones Who Count, American VHS title Cry of a Prostitute: Love Kills

    It’s hard to pick just one Henry Silva movie, but I picked perhaps one of his most brutal.

    Playing as Quelli Che Contano (Those Who Matter) in Italy, as well as Love Kills and Guns of the Big Shots, this Andrea Bianchi-directed film is made of everything mean you can imagine. What else would you expect from the maker of Strip Nude for Your Killer and Burial Ground? A meditation on the value of mindfulness?

    When the Italian mob families of Don Ricuzzo Cantimo and Don Turi Scannapieco keep their battles and crimes going to such a degree that they’re smuggling heroin in the body of a dead child — yes, this is how the movie begins — the big bosses leave the decision as to how to handle business in the hands of Don Cascemi.

    He calls in an expert — Tony Aniante (Silva) — and tells him to kill everyone, which he does with no small amount of Yojimbo/A Fistful of Dollars influence. There’s a lot to deal with, like the fact that Scannapieco has it in for Cantimo because he killed his son-in-law and made his daughter go off the deep end while also crippled her son. And oh yeah, Ricuzzo’s week (Barbara Bouchet, more on her in a minute) decides that she’s got to get some Silva stirring up in her guts. If that doesn’t get confusing enough. Ricuzzo’s youngest son and Scannapieco’s younger daughter are also ready to play an eternal game of hide the cannoli.

    Before it’s over, we have heads exploding as they’re shot, a child’s body on an autopsy table, a head goes flying out a windshield, multiple dead bodies smashed by a steamroller, a bandsaw go clean through someone’s head and Silva drag Bouchet around a barn, beat her with a belt, then beat her in the face with the belt buckle, then have violent bloody sex with her in a grimy barn. Earlier in the film — because this is an Italian film where women come to enjoy all manner of upsetting couplings, our hero shoves her head into a bloody pig carcass while they make love — well, not really, right? — in the kitchen. To make things worse, Bouchet is totally turned on by this experience. Then she tells her husband all about it, because that’s the only way they can make love. Yes, this movie is the scumbag movie that scumbag movies warned you about.

    Tony is brutally efficient, whistling his signature song before quickly blasting guys in the head with his Luger, like some unholy Italian western character combined with his Johnny Cool role. He’s death itself, as a scene of him walking into a Sicilian town has everyone closing their windows rather than even seeing him show up. Stick around for the end of the film, which neatly explains exactly why Tony whistles that tune as he murders everyone around him. Released in the US with a garish poster by Joseph Brenner Associates — the people who brought you Eyeball, The Devil’s Rain!, The Girl in Room 2A and many more — Cry of a Prostitute was sold with the tagline, “For a lousy twenty-five bucks, some people think they can do anything!” along with Bouchet’s abused face.

    Bouchet would tell House of Freudstein, "That was unpleasant I didn’t remember it being that unpleasant when we made it. In fact I prefer not to remember too much about that one. When Quentin Tarantino arranged a screening of some of my movies in LA he opened with that one and I wish he hadn’t…” However, in Eurocrime! The Italian Cop and Gangster Films That Ruled the ’70s, Silva claims that Bouchet was tougher than nearly any of the men he met in those movies and intimidated him.

    More at https://bandsaboutmovies.com/2021/06/03/junesploitation-cry-of-a-prostitute-1974/

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  20. Code of Silence (1985) - 8/10 PROWLER crime-fighting robots

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  21. Alligator (1980)

    My oh my Robert Forster was a hunk

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  22. The Hills Run Red (1966, dir. Carlo Lizzani)

    Not the Dave Parker slasher. Spaghetti western in which Henry Silva plays an evil ranch hand, because he's Henry Silva. He goes up against Thomas Hunter as a man looking for revenge after spending five years in prison and losing his wife and son. It's pretty good! I've got three more Henry Silva movies I want to fit in today. Doubt it will happen.

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  23. Thirst (1979)

    There were definitely some interesting takes on vampires in the 70s. I was viking with it more than understanding what was happening. Silva has kind of a minor role but he has a hell of a payoff. It was missing something to make it a really good movie but worth a shot.

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  24. Bulletproof (1987 or 1988)

    When the dialogue opened with "You got a strange sense of humour McBain" I stood up from my seat, my mouth agape in surprise. They seemingly go out of their way to say "McBain" as much as possible in this. That is, when they're not calling him Captain Bulletproof!

    Henry Silva was pretty good in this. He was playing an evil dude, but the rape scene felt out of place and didn't fit with the tone of the rest of the movie. But overall the movie was a good mix of action and silliness, pulling from movies like Rambo as well as Lethal Weapon. Mcbain even plays the saxophone at one point.

    "McBAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIN!!!"

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    1. I actually bought this on DVD around a year ago, after they recommended it on the We Hate Movies podcast. Hadn't ever gotten around to watching it, so I'm glad the opportunity came up today.

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  25. Escape from the Bronx (1983)

    I saw 1990: The Bronx Warriors a couple of years ago, but I don't remember it well. I know the main character is the same, but does anything else carry over? In any case, a solid amount of Silva in this one, playing a genocidal police officer (is there any other kind?). Some interesting parallels to the conversation of today--gentrification, etc.
    The first of many Italian films of the month!

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  26. Johnny Cool (1963)

    Finally, Henry Silva front and center. This is my favorite Silva of today because you get the full Henry. The title doesn't lie, he's cool. Elizabeth Montgomery knows it and she is on board quickly. They looked great together. I now see how awesome Henry Silva is. I'm sorry it took me so long.

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    1. I've heard a rumour that Telly Savalas has has hair in this movie?

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  27. The Tall T, Budd Boetticher, 1957

    There's this way that Boetticher frames a Well at the beginning of the movie; that you can't help think: huh they really like that Well.

    Even though The Tall T is about the interconnecting realtionships between the three leads. It's Silva that will often steal every scene he's in. Maybe that's why Boetticher keeps filming him on his own. He's an absoutle cool sociopath who also really likes a good deep Well.

    I really loved this lean mean movie.

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  28. The Tall T (1957, dir. Budd Boetticher)

    Awesome looking restoration, the only thing I struggled with was buying Henry Silva as a murder loving sadist.

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  29. Went with COde of Silence 4/5 loved watching a dirty gritty Chicago from the 80s. But thanks to everyone I will be adding Alligator and Johnny Cool to my watch list.

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  30. Code of Silence (1985)

    Might as well call this one “Big Parade of Great Character Actors:” besides Henry Silva, you got Dennis Farina, Bert Remsen, Molly Hagan, Ron Dean, John Mahoney, Les Podewell (the homeless man in Groundhog Day) and Ralph Foody (the dispatcher who approves “unnecessary violence” in The Blues Brothers.) One supporting performance the film does not need is that stupid Prowler police robot, which date the film immeasurably. ThNk God its screen time is short. Two words: “alligator farm”

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  31. Code of Silence (1985)

    Might as well call this one “Big Parade of Great Character Actors:” besides Henry Silva, you got Dennis Farina, Bert Remsen, Molly Hagan, Ron Dean, John Mahoney, Les Podewell (the homeless man in Groundhog Day) and Ralph Foody (the dispatcher who approves “unnecessary violence” in The Blues Brothers.) One supporting performance the film does not need is that stupid Prowler police robot, which date the film immeasurably. ThNk God its screen time is short. Two words: “alligator farm”

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  32. Alligator 1980

    As a native Floridian I've long since let go of any expectations of realistic portrayals of alligators. Thank goodness because this movie is an absolute blast.

    It's a dumb story but the characters are mostly presented as logical and the alligator looks fantastic for the time period. Robert Forster is so charming and sexy in this role that it makes me want to watch Jackie Brown all over again.

    The reason for the watch is Henry Silva and he is the only truly illogical character in the whole movie. Who is he? How did he get brought in to this situation? Who met this man and thought "let's put him in charge"? He is over the top sleaze as the great white hunter and it adds an extra layer to this creature feature.

    The alligator seemingly can teleport which allows for a scene where he eats a child in a swimming pool to be right next to an attack in an alley in the middle of a city.

    Turn off your brain and enjoy, that's the best advice for this quirky film.

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  33. Trapped(1982) alt title Baker County, USA Dir: William Fruet

    Henry plays Henry in this grimy 'mountain folk' multi-genre movie that starts and just keeps going with the crazy. Henry is a jealous man with a sever temper problem. After catching his wife with another man henry tar and feathers the man but the man escapes. College hikers witness Henry and the crew as they catch up to the man and the movie just keeps going from there. Silva is a special kind of crazy in this and is fun as hell to watch in it. The movie really has the feel of a 70s tv movie I mean that as a compliment. One second its a character drama then its back to being about kids fearing for their life. But theres plenty of violence and nudity to remind you its not..

    Thanks JM Vargas for the link!

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  34. Escape from the Bronx (1983)

    This is exactly the type of movie I want to watch this month!

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  35. ALLIGATOR (1980, dir. Lewis Teague)

    Robert Forster and Robin Riker are so damn adorable together.

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  36. The Boss (1973)

    Thanks to A Casual Listener for pointing out this way on YouTube, not that I mind subtitles. This was some PRIME Silva right here. Dude is cold as ice and the soundtrack slaps as the kids say.

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    1. Glad to be helpful. Silva's Italian period is full of great films.

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  37. Johnny Cool: I was not particularly inspired today, but when I read that Elizabeth Montgomery was playing the dame, I was in. I was just disappointed that we got a little too much Samantha and not enough Serena.
    As for Mr. Silva, it was like someone had taken a knockoff Lee Marvin doll, wound it up and set it loose. It was fun, kinetic, but a little thin.

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  38. I had NO idea where to go with this one. So I took to the comments on here and picked what I thought was most interesting... so I went with..... Virus (1980).... thanks, Mr. Vargus. It was pretty alright! I love Junesploitation because I always end up watching a few things that never would have ended up on my radar otherwise!

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    1. That's the beauty of JUNESPLOITATION! Taking a chance on flicks, genres, actors and/oror opinions/reviews that you normally wouldn't pick or even consider as your daily viewing's first choice. And Scott, it's MR. VARGAS to you if you're nasty! πŸ₯ΆπŸ₯³

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    2. The beauty of a career like Henry Silva's is that there are so many movies to discover. At least half a dozen titles have been added to my watch list today.

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  40. Love and Bullets (1979)
    Dir: Stuart Rosenburg and possibly John Houston

    Charles Bronson plays a cop that is sent to Switzerland to get the girlfriend (Jill Ireland) of a mobster (Rod Steiger) to testify against him. Steiger is forced by his underlings to send a hit man (Henry Silva) to kill said girlfriend to prevent that. While on the run, Bronson and Ireland have a surprise connection.

    I was pleasantly surprised that this was still the period where you could get a good Bronson performance (sorry, Cannon-era...era Bronson!). A lot of it might do with the natural chemistry he and spouse Ireland had. And once you get past her hilarious American accent, Ireland is pretty good as well. In fact, the film has a solid line-up of character actors (Strother Martin, Bradford Dillman, Michael V. Gazzo, Paul Koslo, and Val Avery) peppered throughout. Speaking of Silva, his performance as the main hit man is noteworthy for how smart and clever he actually is and for the fact that he (Spoiler) escapes Bronson's wrath is surprinsing.

    Definitely a solid action film and worth checking out.

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  41. Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold (1986)

    I feel bad for everyone involved with this. Silva jumps in with no regard for how bad everything is and gives it his all. I haven't seen anything so bad and incoherent in a long time.

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  43. Johnny Cool (1963) looked right up my alley and I wasn't disappointed. Darker than I was expecting but that only made me like it more. I'm not entirely sold on Silva as a leading man but it mostly worked for the character he's playing.

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  44. Code of Silence (1985)

    I assume Chuck Norris would hate this movie now. I didn't. I enjoyed the heck out of it! Norris has to do it on his own because all the other cops suck, except for Dennis Farina! Silva is great in this but that apparently is nothing new.

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  45. The Bravados (1958)

    This one snuck up on me. 4 men are awaiting execution. They've never done one and are waiting for an executioner. Gregory Peck shows up and helps the town track down the men when they escape. He has his own reasons for helping and the payoff for that is unexpected. At first, Silva seems to have a back up roll but when it's his turn, he delivers.

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  46. Sharky's Machine (1981, Dir. Burt Reynolds)

    Burt does Dirty Harry and does it pretty well. Ably supported by a truly menacing and unhinged Silva.

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