Good weekend to everyone! Though some of my watches this week would be appropriate for Junesploitation, I am still focusing on seeing some serious films before the exploitation mayhem commences. A TASTE OF HONEY (1961, dir. Tony Richardson) – A lively production that delves into British working-class life. The bleakness of the industrial landscapes is mirrored in the bleak prospects for the characters. Rita Tushingham gives a charmingly naturalistic performance as Jo, a teenager who only has herself to rely on as she begins the challenges of adulthood. The main issue she faces is a pregnancy. In a touch that I was not expecting, Jo finds a supportive friend in a homosexual man, who is portrayed in a very sympathetic way. The handheld camerawork and spontaneous energy of the editing is very inspired by the French New Wave.THE TRUE STORY OF THE NUN OF MONZA (1980, dir. Bruno Mattei) – Mattei is one of the most infamous Italian schlock directors. With that in mind, and considering the usual nunsploitation elements (sex, nudity, and various sacrilege) of MONZA, there is something of a classy polish to the film that elevates this above other Mattei projects. The seriousness of the story, moreover, makes it feel less like a B-movie, although it unapologetically is one. Apparently based on a true story, the Nun of Monza is about a nun who indulges in some very worldly behaviors, sometimes against her own will. The film came out on blu-ray through Severin, but my DVD is still satisfactory. THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH (1934, dir. Alfred Hitchcock) – Judging from this film and The Lady Vanishes (1938), Hitchcock was trying to scare Britons from traveling to the Continent. A British couple visiting Switzerland with their daughter unexpectedly get caught up in some political intrigue. The couple end up having to decide between divulging what they know or saving their daughter from kidnappers. I will not spoil anything else. This is an entertaining and taut thriller that gets more and more interesting as it goes on. Any Peter Lorre fans should be very satisfied with this filmSHE-FREAK (1967) – Being a Something Weird Video fan for a long time, I was very aware of this film’s existence. I just did not sit down to watch it till it was aired this morning on TCM Underground. She-Freak is… what it is. What that is is a mash-up of the plot of the 1932 classic Freaks with a documentary about an American carnival. The combination does not gel together, with the ending hardly built up to in any way, yet I still had fun watching the film. I know that the producer, David F. Friedman, loved carnivals and the Carny life. The affection comes through. The AGFA restoration looks terrific.
The True Story of the Nun of Monza looks like a good Juneploitation candidate. It's not streaming anywhere, but maybe I'll see if I can get the DVD in time for June. I've seen Benedetta already 3 times, so I need to get some new material to fill that Nunsploitation hole in my life!
I am not sure MONZA has had a DVD release for a while. My DVD (part of a nunsploitation set from Exploitation Digital) was acquired in 2010. It is one of the oldest things in my collection. Last year Severin put out a four-movie nunsploitation box set containing MONZA called Nasty Habits. Having gone down the nunsploitation rabbit hole already, I do not have much interest in upgrading.
Yeah, it doesn't look like I'll be watching Monza. The DVD is available used for $40, and the Nasty Habits blu ray set is $127. That's definitely out of my budget.
I'm looking forward to the Juneploitation schedule to be released. Previous years I mostly watched stuff that I already had been meaning to watch, and rented a bunch of things that other people were watching. But this year I purchased a bunch of DVD's (many of my free days are going to be Kung Fu days!). Hopefully I can fit everything into the categories.
OMG....i literally cant believe how close we are to Junesploitation....SQUEEE!!!!
The hockey playoffs are here, so I've been watching much less movies than usual. But I still did see some good ones.Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood (2022, dir. Linklater) was a nostalgia driven recounting of the first moon landing, as seen through the eyes of a kid (I think it's based on Linklater's own childhood). It mixes up his fantasies with reality, and is done with a pretty unique style of animation. I believe they filmed it with actual actors, then used that to make the animation afterwards. Very pleasant to watch. While I wasn't alive during that time, I was born in the 70's and grew up in the shadow of that era, so it all felt very familiar.Soylent Green (1973, dir. Richard Fleischer). After watching The 10 Commandments, and then this, I'm slowly realizing how much I like Heston as an actor. His weirdly stilted style of talking is unique. Soylent Green is a fine movie, but lags a bit in parts. It might have had more impact had I not already known what the "twist" was. The scene where Edward G. Robinson ends his life is the highlight of the movie. Wish I could go out like that!The Ballad of Cable Hogue (1970, dir. Sam Peckinpah was surprisingly a comedy-western, which I didn't realize going in. It was pretty entertaining, but I kept think it would be better if it was more of a comedy (or more of a straight western). The melding of the two doesn't always work. This is my least favourite Peckinpah so far, and doesn't have much violence in it. Maybe that's the main attraction of his movies?The Northman (2022, dir. Robert Eggers) was awesome! Loved the foggy cold rainy setting of most of the movie. There were weird fantastical elements mixed in which could have been real or imagined. Nicole Kidman is fantastic in this, and although not in most of the movie, she completely steals the scenes she is in. Interestingly, male pattern baldness seemed to be completely absent among these people. Perhaps because they all died young haha. This reminded me of The Vikings (1958, dir. Richard Fleischer), which was a little more accessible and "fun" as a movie. They would make a good double feature together.
Junesploitation is so close! I have a bunch of more serious movies I've been trying to get through before June, most notably War and Peace (1966-67), the 4 part Russian movie series directed by Bondarchuk. I want to watch it all in one go (perhaps over 4 evenings), but I'm worried I'll run out of time, and it'll be interrupted by Junesploitation. I might just wait until afterwards.
The Ballad of Cable Hogue is one of my favorite Peckinpah films, Paul. I can understand your reaction to it. Maybe the comedy does not always work, but there is a gentleness to it that I appreciate. "Gentle" is generally not an adjective applied to Peckinpah film. The larger than life fable aspect of the story also appeals to me. Talking about buying movies, two packages (Kino and Hamilton Book) arrived this week with DVDs and blu-rays, and I put in a couple of orders last month for things. With no single item costing more than $20, and many for $10 or less, these were bulk acquisitions. I should be able to find a watch for most Junesploitation categories from my collection now. I also received a lot reinforcements for Scary Movie Month. Let the watching begin!With all of these purchases, I will be slowing down for a while. I will skip the Vinegar Syndrome sale next week, but the Severin sale next month might be tempt me to pick up something.
Although I said it was my least favourite Peckinpah, I still quite enjoyed it. You're right that it has a lightheartedness and "gentleness" to it, which stands out among his other films. The score was quite good too. I still haven't seen his first 2 movies, Junior Bonner, the Killer Elite, or Convoy. I'll watch Convoy for Junesploitation if there is a Cars day.I decided to watch all of his filmography, but that began pre-pandemic, so I'm really taking my time with it!
Actually, I haven't seen The Wild Bunch either. I am saving that one for last.
RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY, Peckinpah's first film, and THE WILD BUNCH are Peckinpah essentials. The evolution of the western in the 1960s evident in those films. The two major Peckinpah films I have not seen are MAJOR DUNDEE, which I have on DVD, and PAT GARRETT AND BILLY THE KID, which has been on my DVR for forever. Since there are other westerns that I want to get to first, I doubt either will be a watch this June.
You should have an interesting cinematic journey next month, Paul. Part of the fun of Junesploitation is balancing the exploration of films that you know nothing about with the watch-list that is already in your head. Every June I try to discover at least one cinematic path I have not been on before.
Major Dundee has one of the wildest western battle scenes ever, with loads of stuntmen and stunt-horses. Also, a great movie at breaking down the concept of "what it means to be a man", a common theme in Peckinpah's films. I'm very much looking forward to Ride The High Country. I had initially thought it was a lesser movie in his filmography.
Indeed, that's one of my favourite parts of Junesploitation. Reading everyone's reviews, and watching some of the more exciting recommended ones on free days (or whenever, if they fit the theme).
Jackass 4.5 (Netflix)The release of this so soon TOTALLY caught me off guard. Im almost wondering if Nflix pushed up the date based on recent bad stock news? Anyhoo as with my review of Jackass Forever, super easy review, if you are a fan of the show and movies..WATCH IT...its wonderful. 4.5 acts as an exceptional "making of" for 4.0 along with a bunch of hilarious new bits. I think its safe to say that this will likely be the last official Jackass movie with the original cast doing insane stunts..i have no doubts we'll see more of them in the TV show or future but as for crazy stunts...proooobably it. And if so, its kind of the perfect ending as they did NOT phone it in. Ok party boy...press play on the boombox and dance us out.
I saw this on Netflix yesterday, and nearly put it on. However, I still haven't seen Jackass Forever, so I decided to wait. I don't remember how much the .5 movies had to do with the main ones. Whether they were outtakes, or just additional material.
AHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I just read that Rob Reiner is getting the band back together....LITERALLY...and setting off to make a mostly improvised sequel to This is Spinal Tap. I think its a bit of a fools errand as the original is untouchable on every level....however...i cant.frigging.wait. Especially considering i always ride the fine line between stupid and clever!
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Started the weekend off with Mute Witness (dir Anthony Waller, 1994), a 90s thriller, which takes place in Moscow on a film set where a mute makeup artist witnesses murder, which really fits the title. What you get is top notch suspense that harkens some De Palma and some Wait Until Dark vibes. Highly recommend for next month's Junesploitation onslaught(Updated with the correct director 😀)
Love this film. Shame Waller's career stalled after American Werewolf in Paris
I agree, if only AWiP wasn't beleaguered by those CGI werewolves and that crass late 90s soundtrack
I have a soft spot for AWIP but that's probably because I was never fussed about the original (hot take: it's fine). I like that Paris leans much more on the comedy side and some of the gags are pretty good.
Any day now the schedule for Junesploitation will be released. I'm positively shivering with anti-ci... pation!My June prep agenda was on hold this week but at least I managed to show Jaws to my daughter for the first time. What a picture!
Is that a Rocky Horror reference or am I just too hungover again? Booth?
George Carlins American Dream (pt1 2022 HBO-max)OUTSTANDING. As a comedy and comedian loving kid of the 70s, Carlin's impact and influence cannot be overstated. This part 1 of 2 documentary is a facilitating look at his early years and rises/falls. Its wonderful to revisit classic bits but moreso learn about him, his family, and his evolution. Im hoping this documentary introduces alot of younger folks to him and they seek out his incredible portfolio of comedy and life observations. There will never be another like him.
You Are Not My Mother (2021 Dir. Kate Dolan)Awesome. It was a little rough at first for someone who had to deal with parents/family members who struggle with emotional issues (so watch out for that), but that fades as the movie goes along. The mythology is a bit muddy, and the message maybe unclear, but it was haunting, will stick with me for a while, and Carolyn Bracken was amazing. Looks like she's mainly done TV and shorts so far, but I'm going to have to watch some of it. She was incredible.
Yesterday afternoon I partly napped through The Ox-Bow Incident (1943, William A Wellman) which my son really enjoyed and I woke up in time to see the ending and Fonda's heartbreaking monologue.
I recently bought the super cool and big Akira Manga Box Set, which i never read. I started it and it's as good as advertised by my friends. Obviously it made me want to rewatch the movie. It's obviously a good movie and those who say it's bad because it's not like the manga can bite me. Both are good in their own medium.
RRR (2022). I'm happy to say this lived up to the hype. Just big blockbuster spectacle from beginning to end. Recommended. CHIP 'N DALE RESCUE RANGERS (2022). This was amusing enough, I guess, but I feel like the whole meta-comedy-with-tons-of-inside-jokes has been done before. This is basically just one big episode of Animaniacs. HANSEL AND GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS (2013). Absolute nonsense, but filmed with enough Army of Darkness/Hellboy energy that there's plenty of fun to be had. MORTAL KOMBAT (2021). This is marketed as an R-rated grown-up MK, but really it's just as camp as the '90s ones. My knowledge of the games is limited, so I spent most of this movie not knowing what the heck was happening. CHOPPING MALL (1986). Jim Wynorski goodness! TRILOGY OF TERROR (1975). I don't know, that doll's acting seemed kind of... wooden.
Are you planning to watch Prom Night II this June, Mac?Trilogy of Terror was watch for October last year. I give Karin Black a lot of credit for making that third segment work so well. I doubt it is easy to make an audience believe that a static doll is attacking you. The first segment was one that probably surprised me the most, though. Black's character goes about being empowered in such an unusual way.
A) RRR is hyped up around the world. Sadly, no cinema near me showed it, and I believe that a full theater would help with the experience. Have you seen it with or without a crowd?B) I really like HANSEL & GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS for the same reasons that you've stated. Personal fun fact: I live in the city where parts of the movie were shot on location (Braunschweig).
Derk: RRR was added to Netflix last week. It's dubbed in Hindi instead of the original Telugu. It's a little distracting, but the movie's really about the bombast and not the dialogue. Casual: No plans for Mary Lou this year, but you never what might happen during the zaniness of #Junesploitation.
Didn't you watch "30 days of Chinese fantasy movies" last year? I added several to my watchlist, and at least one I bought and will watch this year. That was a fun project. Watching Hello Mary Lou every day was an curious and unexpected idea, but watching a range of movies I would guess would be more satisfying.
there is a documentary about this made in 1992(its on youtube and amazing, just search 'quiz show scandal'). I'm convinced the producers of the movie saw it, ordered a screenplay, and went from there. if you watch the doc it's almost beat for beat like the movie. I love it.