'LIFE IS CHEAP, AND SO IS THE TECH' SPACED-OUT FOURSOME!'Claire Denis' HIGH LIFE (2019, Showtime, 113 min.) for the first time.Remember last year's kids-will-be-kids, "Lord of The Flies"-inspired sci-fi flop "Voyagers"? Same basic premise in "High Life" (a years-long space experiment with live human subjects) except very bleak (death row youthful prisoners led by convicted filicide scientist Juliette Binoche), very indie (A24 release with Robert Pattinson at the height of his pre-"The Batman" acting prowess), very French (masturbation and full frontal from both genders) and most importantly for Junesploitation!, very Claire Denis (persistent bleakness intermittently prompted by the faintest of hopes). It's rare to see the director of "Trouble Every Day" and "White Material" operate on such a large scale in a genre she's never tackled before... but when the rapes start happening and the metallic dildos prop up from below the operating table, you can tell that's our Claire! :-O The aforementioned Binoche, André 3000 (going by his real name) and Mia Goth have choice moments, but this is another misery porn space flick made interesting by Robert Pattinson's acting choices and his great bonding with a cute baby girl. Worth seeing if you can stay awake through the artsy smut the narrative drowns itself with. 3.5 INDIAN HEADS CATCHING FIRE (IN B&W) (out of five).
RIDERS TO THE STARS (1954, Amazon Prime 4K, 81 min.) for the first time.The bad news is that I just caught this as it was leaving Prime at the end of May 31st. The good news? It left Prime so you don't have to see it. :-P But seriously folks (tip your waitresses!), what a dreadful piece of anti-Communist propaganda masquerading as a low-budget, early 50's space race action flick this is. The whole first act (the first 33 minutes!) is the whittling down of 13 white men in suits and hat who smoke selected by a super computer (which clearly knows females or minorities can't fly machinery or stand to pressure... FUCK YOU!), which is as exciting as watching me visit my dentist. There's only one woman in the entire no-name cast that matters (Martha Hyer as Dr. Flynn), but she's saddled with the same boring technobabble and 'nothing is happening' narrative as the guys. Only a test of zero-gravity that looks like the great-grandparent of a similar scene in "Moonraker" raised my pulse for a brief second or two. The rest is the same mix of stock footage and poverty row production values most 50's science fiction flicks dabbled on. Even the title is misleading as there is only one "Rider to the Stars" that matters... and it ain't the pudgy middle-aged sweaty guy (Richard Carlson, who also happens to be the flick's director). 1.25 MEANINGLESS APTITUTE TESTS (out of five).
Arati Kadav's CARGO (2019, Netflix, 119 min.) for the first time.Bollywood's take on the 2016 movie "Passengers" (only two people alive in a distant-from-Earth, self-sustained space ship), but in a universe not unlike the Will Smith film "Bright" in which creatures and people with special abilities (healing, making objects float, etc.) interact with humans and have formed alliances. Also, the Pushpak 634-A ship where decades-old-despite-looking-very-young veteran Prahastha (Vikrant Massey) and just-arrived rookie Yuvishka (Shweta Tripathi) work together is a receptable of the souls of the recently deceased ready for their final destination, which leads to plenty of "Six Feet Under"-meets-"The Good Place" manner of situations where the duo are overwhelmed by people not ready to admit to themselves they know they're already dead. It's a rare-to-me Hindi movie that is both introspective and deep, but also has a sense of humor about itself and the never-explained tech choices (monitors with TV dial-ups, ATM machines as communicators, etc.) powering up the ship. It's also more about adapting to your workplace and remaining true to yourself than romance, another rarity for a Bollywood flick in my book. "Cargo" (not to be confused with the 2017 horror movie of the same name) 'is fine' (FTM trademark here) and not that Junesploitation-y!. 3 CONVINIENTLY TIMED METEOR SHOWERS (out of five).
INFINI (2015, YouTube: Free With Ads, 110 min.) for the first time.This 2015 Australian action thriller sure knows how to play the golden oldies of science fiction lore on a shoestring of a budget (under a million bucks, and it shows). Everything from "The Thing" (frozen corpses that thaw), "Aliens" (team of macho men/women sent to rescue the day), "Blade Runner" (the movie's "hero" either sublets Deckard's apartment or lives right next door), "Event Horizon" (human flesh hung out to dry in strings at the infirmary), "Alien 3" (isolated colony in the outer reaches of the Slipstream Division's time-traveling tech), etc. Though Daniel MacPherson's tortured Whit Carmichael is the lead of the movie, when the supporting cast has a Hemsworth brother among them (Luke, who appears to be doing a Jim Gaffigan impersonation) he's gonna steal the show. And despite anticipating everything "Infini" threw at me from my cinephile sci-fi muscle memory, the very last act of the movie threw me for a loop because it was attempting something new and rarely (ever?) done in this genre. Can't spoil it here, but it's a good-enough ending to lift the entirety of "Infini" way above its paygrade and make it worth a good ol' Junesploitation! blind try. And isn't that what this month is all about, taking chances? Recommended with reservations. 3 WIND-POWERED OUTER SPACE TURBINES (out of five)Let the mayhem begin! :-D
Inseminoid (1981)Amazing poster that the movie never quite lives up to. It's pretty fun nonetheless. A spacecrew full of utterly inept women and similarly incompetent (though vastly more confident) men find themselves being hunted by a pregnant woman. But is she pregnant with a human child, or with extraterrestrial twins???? It's hard to say even by the time the movies over because the alien bubs initially look more like they've got a hairlip than anything. Best scene:A woman needs to connect a yellow and blue wire to free her trapped leg but finds this too intellectually taxing so chooses to cut off her own foot instead.
My first Junesploitation! I started listening to F This Movie! when I was home alone for the holidays with COVID, so I've been looking forward to participating for awhile now. With my work schedule, I'll have to watch things the night before so I can have something written when the thread goes up. Hope that's alright. GHOSTS OF MARS (2001) on HuluThis movie is often considered Carpenter's worst. Yes, it is truly terrible, but I found so much to love in it. (I've found myself digging a lot of the Carpenter B-sides, like Body Bags). It's got Ice Cube doing his N.W.A. persona, Pam Grier as a badass military woman, and an early-career (and head of hair-ed) Jason Statham - and it has all of these things IN SPACE. Carpenter gets to do what he loves to do, making westerns disguised in other genres, and he does it here with giant interstellar sets, over-the-top Martian makeup, and did I mention Pam Grier? When Carpenter "fails", he does it with so much more discharge than anyone else. I think this deserves a second look from the masses. There is such a thing as "so bad it's good."
Welcome aboard, Patrick R. If somebody gives you crap about watching movies the night before (I'm on the same boat, also because of work conflicts) just type 'LOOPHOLESPLOITATION!, mother effers' and you'll be left alone. ;-)
Welcome! Hope you have a great month!!
Anything goes... you don't even have to watch a space-themed movie... or an exploitation movie... though why wouldn't you? I couldn't wait to see my pick for Blaxploitation so I watched it yesterday. Will probably still post about it when the Blaxploitation day rolls around.
Welcome to the madness have fun!!!!!
The Black Hole, Gary Nelson, 1979First of all I am never going to completely hate a mad scientist movie. And I do love how The Black Hole really leans into that. Even if the pacing is really really slow. But I do get to stare at Robert Forster more so that is a bonus. And I am always going to be happy to see Anthony Perkins.Also a nice touch to have the robots for the most part (including Vincent) to be dicks. You know like the humans that made them. A quiet start to Junesploitation - but a good way to ease me in.Yay - my favourite time of year is here!
Disney+, right? If so "Black Hole's" got one hell of a 4K transfer that shines even on bit-starved streaming. :-O
Those reds did pop!
Kicking off Junesploitation with style: a triple feature of Italian sci-fi from the 60's! Viva l'Italia!Assignment: Outer Space aka Space Men (1960, dir. Antonio Margheriti)In 2116, a reporter from the Interplanetary Chronicle of New York is sent to an orbiting space station. He causes an accident but saves a life, clashes egos with the station's commander and falls in love with the only woman in the crew. When a runaway spaceship threatens to destroy Earth (I'm not exactly sure how), the reporter has to save the day.Everything happens very slowly (to simulate low gravity I guess?) and the actors treat the material so seriously that it becomes funny. No matter what life throws at these characters, they face it with stone-faces stoicism. Either that or the actors were just reciting their lines and forgot to act. The sets and miniatures are pleasingly janky.Star Pilot (2+5: Missione Hydra) (1966, dir. Pietro Francisci)Aliens from the constellation Hydra come to Earth to investigate why we're stupid enough to experiment with nuclear weapons, but their ship malfunctions and crashes in Italy. A group of scientists (and the lead scientist's daughter) investigate, with Chinese spies in tow. The aliens kidnap them and force them to repair their ship, then start their trip home and take the humans along. But the return trip doesn't go as planned...The first half of the movie takes place on Earth locations, the second half mostly in cardboard sets, interspersed with stock footage of space from other sci-fi movies. Another one where the actors take it way too seriously, but this time it's offset by one character, the scientist's daughter, who's chirpy and ditzy and annoying as hell. The alien language is definitely just random sounds the actors ad-libbed on the spot.I applaud the filmmakers for going for a weird, offbeat ending.Mission Stardust (...4 ...3 ...2 ...1 ...morte) (1967, dir. Primo Zeglio)Astronauts who land on the Moon are surprised to be met by aliens. They need humanity's help both for repairing their ship and curing one of their own of leukemia. But a dastardly criminal gets wind of this and replaces the doctor sent to cure the alien.Right from the psychedelic opening titles, this one feels a little different from the others I watched today. It's more colorful and fun, and while most of it takes place on Earth, the miniatures, sets and props we get are much better quality and, more importantly, fun designs. Easily the most entertaining of the bunch. The acting isn't great here either, though.Apparently it's based on a long-running book series, and it feels like it. The ending definitely leaves room for more adventures, but looks like this is the only movie adaptation they've ever made.All in all, definitely a rising curve in both production quality and entertainment value. Junesploitation is underway!
I saw Star Pilot during an exploitation festival many years ago. The cheapness of the production was very off-putting. All I remember about it is the outlandish costumes one of the actresses wore.
Sunshine (2007, dir. Danny Boyle)Almost awesome sci-fi movie w/ a pretty good cast derailed by some third act problems. Worth seeing for presenting interesting ideas (some of which are not followed through), as well as some cool cinematography and an excellent score by John Murphy (who may be doing some self-plagiarizing from his 28 Days Later score...). Recommended.
The Humanoid (1979)Fairly shameless in the ways it rips off Star Wars, this movie is notable in that it stars Richard Kiel, who loses his ability to speak in full sentences early on and then gets to lumber around and throw people for most of the movie.Morricone's score is only a handful of tracks, which then get repeated quite a bit, but it's fun hearing him do some goofy sci-fi stuff.
Mission to Mars (2000)On the flipside here, Morricone's score here is a little more serious, and at times maybe feels a little too grounded for the movie it's in. There are bits and pieces of otherworldly sound though.The movie itself isn't anywhere near as good as it could have been given De Palma and the cast, but it's watchable.
The Quartermass Xperiment (1955)Ive heard this movie (and its two sequels) referenced randomly in a lot of podcasts for some time. figured it was worth a watch. Glad i did as its an excellent classic sci fi horror. The premise is that an early attempt to send 3 men into space results in lost contact with the ship and it crash landing back on earth with only one survivor. That survivor comes back..different...changing. I got strong influence vibes for movies like The Thing while watching. Cant wait to see the others in the series.
Eolomea (1972 – Herrmann Zschoche)For the first day of Junesploitation I went into a direction I really haven’t visited before – East German movies from before the reunification with West Germany in 1990. Eolomea takes place in a utopian future. The human race has set their sight into space and has been traveling it for a while – with no great discovery yet. All of a sudden, spacecrafts disappear, which leads to an investigation by the heroine of the movie (portrayed by Cox Habbema). The movie isn’t very suspenseful, dialogue heavy and other than the space theme not very exploitive, but it looks gorgeous, especially in the few space scenes itself. If you’re interested and able to speak German, you can watch it for free on YouTube.Happy Junesploitation!
The Black Hole (1979)First time viewing. I know this was a big deal at the time, and it's wrong to judge a movie like this by comparing it to what has come after, but this one just didn't do it for me. It's a great cast, but the (amazing) score (including an overture!) is doing a lot of the dramatic heavy lifting here. Parts of this movie just made me think of the table read scene in "Argo." I mean, "Alien" came out 6 months before this movie did, so how much leeway are we supposed to give?I just noticed that Lindsay watched the same movie. What a cool way to start Junesploitation!
Twins! Yeah I agree with on that John Barry Score!
TEENAGE SPACE VAMPIRES (1999) The titular vampires are invading Small Town USA, so a nerdy teen and some SETI eggheads team up to stop them. I'm assuming this is an unsold TV pilot, no doubt to cash in on the success of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and/or the X-Files. It's also Spielberg-y, with the suburbs being a magical, whimsical setting. But a numbingly slow pace and go-nowhere plotting kill any fun this might have been. One character dyed just his sideburns bright green, so at least that was something. Bonus Lloyd Kaufman-sploitation, day 1: THE GIRL WHO RETURNED (1969) Before he became the Troma guy, Kaufman was once a New York artsy/intellectual type. Filmed in black and white with only narration instead of dialogue, this movie gave me big student film vibes. Then I looked it up, and Kaufman did indeed make this while a student at Yale. It's about an idealistic athlete who clashes with her domineering coach, with an attempt at battle-of-the-sexes satire. Watchable only as a curiosity piece.
The Philadelphia Experiment (1984)One of the greatest memories of my life is a vacation to Washington D.C. when I was 12. I can’t remember it as being perfect. We didn’t have much money, we had to sleep in our van at least one night, we almost got caught in a flood and it was blistering hot. But that stuff never mattered. And sure, I’d come home to my first days of awkward middle school and wondering if I’d ever fit in. But for one blissful night, I sat under the stars somewhere in Virginia and saw a drive-in double feature while eating snuck in sandwiches we made from ham salad and bread we bought cheap at a local grocery store.PSA: Don’t sneak food into drive-ins. There are so few in the U.S. and many of them survive based on their food sales. Spend a lot on food. Get a Chilly Dilly, the personality pickle.The first movie we saw was Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, a mind-blasting onslaught of adventure, non-stop shreiking, monkey brains being eaten right out of their skulls and chest tearing gore. Years later, that film’s writers, Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz, would do the same thing to me all over again with their classic Messiah of Evil, a movie I was in no way prepared for at a pre-pubescent age.The second film — which we knew nothing about — was The Philadelphia Experiment.Based on the book The Philadelphia Experiment: Project Invisibility by Charles Berlitz (yes, the very same Berlitz that was part of the family that is The Berlitz School of Languages, as well as a military intelligence officer accused of inventing mysteries and fabricating evidence, which we now call disinformation) and William L. Moore (who circulated the Majestic-12 document that later in my teenage years would overload my Commodre 64 and convince a seventeen-year-old possibly on drugs me that government troops were coming out of the woods to silence me and kill my family; I woke everyone up and ran into the yard screaming, I was a handful; Moore is also a disinfo agent), the original script for this movie was written by John Carpenter, who couldn’t figure out how it should end, never mind that it was based on a true story.That’s because it was directed by Stewart Raffill, who made The Ice Pirates the same year. But afterward, his career is filled with the kind of movies that crush minds. Movies like Mac and Me. Mannequin 2: Mannequin on the Move. Tammy and the T-Rex.By the time he got to this movie, the script had been written nine times. Despite Michael Janover (who wrote the horrifying Hardly Working), William Gray (Humongous, Prom Night) and Wallace C. Bennett (The Silent Scream, Welcome to Arrow Beach) being in the credits for the script, Raffill says that he dictated the script and had someone type it.As for the story, United States Navy sailors David Herdeg (Michael Pare) and Jim Parker (Bobby Di Cicco in 1943 and Ralph Manza in 1984) are on the USS Eldridge in 1943 as Doctor James Longstreet (Miles McNamara in the past, Eric Christmas — who was Mr. Carter in Porky’s — in 1984) makes the ship invicible to radar, but as things go wrong, David and Jim jump overboard and end up in the future — or our past are you confused? — and kidnap Allison Hayes (Nancy Allen) and get into military related hijinks before Jim gets zapped back in time.There’s some wild science in here as David eventually has to go into a vortex and smash stuff with a fire axe to free the ship, which ends up with burned sailors and men being fused into the ship.This movie went from theaters to video stores faster than any movie had before. Maybe people thought that they had already seen it as The Final Countdown.None of that is important to me. I have a wonderful memory of sitting in movie theater seats — outside no less — and getting to see two wild movies that I’ve thought of so many times since. We should all have a vacation so wonderful.Read more about this movie -- including the strange origins o its source material -- at BandSAboutMovies.com! YAY JUNESPLOITATION!
Thanks for your in-depth and personal reviews during Junesploitation! B&S. They're really appreciated. :-D
It! The Terror From Beyond Space (1958)This film is most famous for being a heavy influence on Ridley Scott's Alien, and it very, very much shows. It's a grim '50s Sci-Fi/Horror movie without any camp or humor to be found. I really dug it.The thing with a lot of these '50s Sci-Fi movies is they might have boring characters, but the storytelling is economical enough to keep things moving and keep the films themselves from being boring.
That economical storytelling probably was dictated by small budgets, yet I think the 1950s sci-fi movies benefit from it. In around 80 minutes the movie is over.
Space Truckers (1996) - It's fine, but not half as much goofy fun as it should be considering this cast.
DELTA SPACE MISSION (1984)D: Călin Cazan / D/W: Mircea Toia,Victor Antonescu / P: Elena Manuilă,Constantin Maxim / M: Călin IoachimescuGreen-skinned journalist Alma travels to Earth to report on the launch of the state-of-the-art Delta Space Station. She marvels at it’s intelligent brain, which sends the colossal creation into an intergalactic tizzy of sorts. Obsessed with the foxy Alma, Delta pursues her to a psychedelic planet upon which many creatures are faced. The crew that designed Delta is doing its best to help our heroine. There’s nothing monumental or mindblowing in this tale, but it’s gorgeous to look at. The figures resemble action figures with “He-Man” style smooth movements. The creatures look cool, the painted backgrounds are beautiful & the the low-fi electronic score is just right for this 70-minute animated flick from Romania. This is a fun adventure for all ages, though the subtitles will be a barrier to the sub-literate. Not recommended for folks upset by a frog-like “alien dog” that eats metal.DEAF CROCODILE FILMS BluRay
I caught this one last month, and I love that the inciting incident is that the AI Brain gets super horny for Alma and that's what fucks everything up.
Couldn't be simpler!
had some fun with Starcrash (1978) David Hasselhoff looks like he is laughing through most of his lines.
Planet of the Vampires (1968 Dir: Mario Bava) and Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women (1968 Dir: by Peter Bogdanovich)Both are about finding new planets inhabited by "monsters". One is a classic that inspired Alien, LifeForce, X Men costumes and countless other films. The other is a re-edited Russian film with added scenes of Mamie van Doren and friends.
The Transformers: The Movie (1986)"You got the touch! You got the powerrrr!"I have a feeling I saw this once as a young kid but as I remember absolutely nothing about it, it's practically a first-time watch.In the distant future of 2005, the eternal war between robots in disguise is taken to the next level courtesy of Unicron, a planet-devouring robot Galactus, speaking with the booming voice of one Orson Welles. Who will prevail? Who will manage to harness the power of The Matrix? Who will sell the most toys?It's interesting to note how the movie offers no exposition to try and ease in anyone who's not already familiar with the story. The film is very much a tie-in with the TV show, and you better be caught up with the whole Autobots vs Decepticons business because there's zero attempt to explain any of this stuff to newcomers or casuals. The animation is pretty good, the fights are actually quite violent with plenty of robot death, and everything's spiced up by an appropriately punchy 80s soundtrack. I just have to mention a particularly goofy fight-turned-dance-party sequence set to Weird Al's "Dare to be Stupid", which is either an incredibly ballsy declaration of geek pride or an epic self-own, I'm not sure. And then, of course, there's "The Touch", one of the quintessential 80s songs (shout out to Dirk Diggler), deployed twice to punctuate the two biggest moments in the film.In short, a fun way to kick off the month. Junesploitation, here we go!
I was in grade 4-5 when this came out and I remember, even having not seen it, that the death of Optimus Prime was the subject of much conversation during recess. I eventually ended up watching it sometime later at a friend's birthday party
The Humanoid (1979) Richard Keil is out boppin' about space with his robot dog when he lands on a planet and oh no! A laser turns him into THE HUMANOID who is mostly the same only now he only growls and throws people! Will the leather daddy not-darth guy rule the universe or will a child be able to stop him? It is a must see for fans of strange bloodletting moments in film and people throwing. 5- Star Wars inspired films out of 5.
ET: The Extra Terrestrial (1982)We didn't own this when I was a kid, and I somehow never caught it on TV so, at 35, I have finally watched TV for the first time. I am now proud to announce that one of the most successful and celebrated movies of all time is good.
Wing Commander (1999, dir. Chris Roberts)Creator of successful PC game franchise directs Freddie Prinze Jr., Matthew Lillard and a bevy of EXTREMELY overqualified old actors (an utter waste of David Warner, David Suchet and Jurgen Prochnow) in a middling space action story. Aside from retreading Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica and every space movie made since 1977, there's nothing really that special going on. Its theatrical run was infamous for premiering the Phantom Menace teaser, for which tens of thousands of people paid to see this movie, and walked out before its opening credits rolled.There's some plot elements that are truly baffling, like Freddie's character is half-Space Christian, a persecuted minority who has the special power to do math really well(?). His special ability lets him do the Kessell Run in less than 12 parsecs over and over again. This movie would have been gangbusters had it been released before Independence Day and Starship Troopers, but given that it shared its release year with Episode I and The Matrix, it is visually obsolete by a few years. The brightest spot, for me, was Tchéky Karyo playing the mysterious freighter captain Taggart, who somehow succeeds in creating a real character among so much blandness.My biggest script confusion: The female wing commander, Deveraux, refers to the pilots as “Ladies”, suggesting a kind of weaponized emasculation of the sort R. Lee Ermey would be doing, but two of the best pilots on the team are women. Is it a compliment now, or is she only selectively insulting her team? Lazy, lazy writing.
EVENT HORIZON (1997)EH came out the summer after I graduated high school. The manager of the local Suncoast Video (who would, in a twist, end up a couple years later being the boyfriend of my college girlfriend's dad) said of the film, with a healthy dose of dismissal, "it's just Hellraiser 5". To which I smiled & said, "totally!". I had read the Fango coverage, so I felt ready for something horrifying, but the film still knocked my socks off. The aspects of the story that are plenty derivative didn't, & still don't bother me in the slightest. In our wonderful modern IP-reliant era, I want more riffs & rip-offs with even a modest budget behind them rather than part 17 of a 20-part sub-series that lets me finally understand what happened between the third & twelfth films of the _________ saga. It's probably been at least a decade since I last watched EH & it still makes me feel all smiley inside.And yes, I'm listing to The Prodigy while I type this.
And we are off on another Junesploitation! I am looking forward to sharing the cinematic journey with all of you. THIS ISLAND EARTH (1955) – I knew that I wanted to go with something from the 1950s, and this is one of the major sci-fi films of that era I had not seen. The general plot involves the recruitment of scientists for a project that appears more than a “little out of this world.” It turns out that it literally is. Filmed in Technicolor, which allows for some beautiful color saturation, This Island Earth is a relatively compact story with 1950s style and some poignant moments toward the conclusion. Though the special effects are not quite at the level of Forbidden Planet (1956), they are impressive for what was not a big budget.
My Tubi experiment for Junesploitation..search Tubi for the day's category and pick a movie. SPACE Raiders (1983)This was a super low budget movie trying to cash in on Star Wars popularity. James Horner's music in the film is great. It's a kid's movie and only like 80 mins. 2/5 stars.
We started off the month with Inseminoid and we got exactly what one should expect when watching a film called Inseminoid.It's a super-low budget Alien knock off that's less gory but waaaaaay grosser in other ways as a space archaeology team falls prey to a team member impregnated by an alien bought from a Spirit Halloween store sale . Judy Geeson and Stefanie Beacham give admirably and improbably committed performances.Should have stuck to Battle Beyond the Stars.
Apollo 13 (1995)Saw it on the big screen!!!! Haven't watched this in a very long time...like, we probably rented the VHS from family video, but damn this holds up.
Apollo 13 (1995)It's still great! This might be the best movie ever made about cooperation.
I started with Dark Star 1974 followed by Space Adventure Cobra 1982 and Battle Beyond the Stars 1980 and finished up with Sunshine 2007. Started with a Pinback and ended with a Pinbacker
Event Horizon (1997)This movie felt like it was written by a 6th grader who watched an Alien/Hellraiser double feature and said, "That was boring--hold my Red Bull." That kind of sounds like a perfect Junesploitation recipe, but this flick just wasn't to my taste. A wild plot can be fun, but there needs to be some breathing room to enjoy it. Event Horizon just felt so overstuffed and schizophrenic that I was constantly trying (and mostly failing) to figure out what new catastrophe had just happened, why the characters were responding the way they were, and what sort of remedy I was supposed to be rooting for them to accomplish. There were some fun moments, particularly toward the end when the movie leaned closer to a wacked-out horror tone, and I wish maybe it had gone for that vibe a little more consistently.I won't quote it for fear of spoiling anything, but there is a line of dialogue in this movie that is very close to a line from Back to the Future, delivered pretty much exactly the way Doc Brown delivers it. However, I don't think the circumstances under which the line is delivered could be any more insanely different. It is truly hilarious. I know people who love this movie, and I'm glad they do. It just wasn't for me.
This comment has been removed by the author.
Starcrash (1978)Starcrash (1978)First Time Watch. Cheesy and occasionally fun in a Corman Distributed Flick kind of way. Caroline Munro looks great in a Barbarella-ish skimpy outfit and the cheap sets are goofy cool, but it is just a little too boring and convoluted. Fun way too start Junesploitation ; )
Starcrash (1979)Kicking off my first Junesploitation with this great slice of Italian space cheese from the great and utterly shameless Luigi Cozzi. I mostly know his work through horror- but given the amount of lasers he manages to work in portraying witches and demons, I figured sci-fi to be a pretty reasonable fit. I knew this mostly as a Star Wars clone, which is pretty hard to deny in parts, but there was a lot of campier elements that felt closer to Barbarella than Bobba Fett- including some quite charming stop-motion bits that look like they were created by Ray Harryhausen’s non-union equivalent. I do love that Cozzi insisted his film was conceived before Star Wars, and was totally original design- I suppose it’s possible, but It feels a bit like a guy selling Rasta Bart shirts at a flea market and insisting that they’ve never heard of the SimpsonsI’d actually planned to watch Contamination - I picked up the Arrow disc of that a while back and have been meaning to get to it, but didn’t realize that one’s set on earth, and wanted to go fully literal with the clue for my first outing at least.See y’all down at the Saloon tomorrow.
Lifeforce (1985) Tobe HooperEnjoyed this one even more than I have in the past. Just wild and crazy. Score sounds great cranked up! Happy Junesploitation!!
Shout! Factory has just put out "Lifeforce" on remastered 4K Blu-ray (along with "The Craft," "Candyman," "Escape From New York," etc.). We truly live in the greatest age for physical media collecting... if you can afford it! :-P
I love this site - I'm always reading but almost never posting. I thought I'd change that by posting every day throughout Junesploitation. The posts may be short/long, abrupt, unwieldy, stream-of-consciousness and unformed. Let's see what happens.Sci fi - Rollerball, 1971.This was wayyy better and more interesting than I expected given its reputation (which isn’t super positive from what I’ve gleaned). What did I take away from it? Life in its absolutist sense for some people, perhaps many of us, was, and is, subtlety influenced - if not outright controlled - by corporate power. Consider the degree to which our lives now are influenced and structured by corporations – many of us rely and interact with them far more than we do with the government, our ‘communities’ (if they even exist) or even our neighbours. Also, interesting to watch this as I've just finished Severance (a 5 star show and the smartest thing I've seen on TV in a while - check it out if you haven't already). Both, to me, speak to something like a dream world we inhabit – indeed Caan’s character seems perpetually confused throughout Rollerball; he exists in a world where he has to do something because he’s told he must do it. Why should he be forced out of the game, he wonders? There’s no sense to it given he is the best player. He’s not over the hill. He’s a great leader. It makes no obvious sense – the answer is that the bosses simply need to show their control and power. It’s that simple, isn’t it? Ensuring their hold on power will ensure the perpetuation of the existing system and hierarchy; the end product and objective of corporatism must be its perpetual reproduction.
APOLLO 13 (1995, dir. Ron Howard)Got to host a screening of this movie for Space day. It's better than I remember.
Galaxy of Terror (1981, dir. Bruce D. Clark)This Corman production does a whole lot with a small budget and maintains a level of tension throughout. Great way to start Junesploitation.
Yay! Junesploitation 2022 ! It is on! And I stray with the glorious Roland Emmerich s Moon 44. Nothing is cooler than some Michal Pare action.
Dark Star (1974, Dir. John Carpenter)Carpenter's feature debut which started out as a student film with a beach ball alien and sassy computers is about as mad as you'd expect.