Saturday, June 11, 2022

Junesploitation 2022 Day 11: Free Space!


  1. Top Gun: Maverick (2022 – Joseph Kosinski)
    A lot of good things has been said about Top Gun: Maverick in the past couple of weeks that I could agree on. Tom Cruise is still in life as in this movie the larger-than-life star. A name that pulls people into the cinema and in front of a screen. And as his real-life persona, the name Maverick is known in the encapsulated world of fighter pilots as he is probably the one who should have made it to higher class (in Hollywood probably winning an Oscar), but was held down due to his love for the things he does like no one else: Flying (or producing great action movies). TG:M manages to be a tribute to Top Gun itself, cutting away the things that wouldn’t work in a modern movie, while keeping the core itself alive, combining it with a genuine story of its own. The latter is the weakness of the movie. No, I didn’t expect a self-aware movie about the US military is something people want in the Top Gun world – it is what it is, I guess. The flight action itself is marvelous and something you need to see in the cinema. I was entertained, staring at the things those actors had to go through in the cockpit. The making-offs made this movie even better. Watch it for the action!

  2. Aaron Norris' DELTA FORCE 2: THE COLOMBIAN CONNECTION (1990, Amazon Prime, 111 min.) for the first time.

    OG "Delta Force" was a dumb disaster/action hybrid with Chuck Norris killing Arab terrorists left and right and waving the American flag sky high, but it had its moments and that unforgettable Alan Silvestri theme song really sold the action beats. "Delta Force 2" feels like the Cannon guys (the few left as the studio was about to shut down) saw 1989's "Licence To Kill" and said 'That, but more sadistic and with a third act that feels like it goes on forever' (which it does!). Billy Drago seems to enjoy playing asshole villains (like the henchman in "The Untouchables"), and they don't get more deserving of their final dispatch than Ramon Cota here. The compound from "American Ninja" returns as Cota's headquarters, and it hasn't aged in the five years in-between films. John P. Ryan has a little bit of fun as a U.S. general looking pleased to blow San Carlos drug plantations while Norris kicks butt in his own separate movie within this one. Average and depressing, without the sparkle and relish for cheese that characterized even the low-end Cannon releases from the 1980's. 2 STUNTMEN WITH FAKE BEARDS VISIBLY PERFORMING CHUCK'S STUNTS (out of 5).

    Tsui Hark's DOUBLE TEAM (1997, Netflix, 93 min.) on Netflix for the first time.

    Denis Rodman's Yaz, an arms dealer, is barely in the movie he's supposed to be one half of the dynamic duo of action heroes taking down terrorist mastermind Stavros (Mickey Rourke, looking buff and mean). In an ironic twist with fellow 1997 release "Face/Off," here the villain's little kid dies near the start of the flick because of the last-minute hesitation of special operative Jack Quinn (Jean-Claude Van Damme) about taking down a father in front of his child. EVERY DAMN LINE BETWEEN JCVD and Rodman are either sports chiches, sports metaphors, basketball puns or bad one-liners. I mean every... single... line. It's fascinating, except not really. Cool action beats, but that CG Colosseum and runaway tiger were done so much better in "Gladiator" a couple of years later. Glad I've seen it now, but not sad that I missed 25 years of its existence up to now. 2 EXPLODING SWIMMING POOLS (out of 5).

    1. Will try to catch-up with the reviews from the past few days that I couldn't post due to Blogger error (including my two reviews from Monsters! Day that just plain vanished and I foolishly didn't make copies of! :'( ) throughout the day. Already started on a bad note as my review of "Ricochet" was erased when I posted the reviews for "Delta Force 2" and "Double Team" (all three part of '90's Action! Day'). The bug in the software really is ruining Junesploitation! for me and many others this year. :-(

  3. NATO Commando (2005, dir. Ville Lähde)

    A retired NATO commando is called into action one more time when his old commanding officer's kidnapping leads him to a global corporation's plot to use alien DNA to develop a biological weapon that turns people into mind-controlled zombies.

    A silly little action movie from amateur filmmaker group Trash Video, based in my home town of Tampere. (Some of the same guys also host Cinemadrome, the local genre film festival, so they're familiar faces.)

    It's made with no money and it shows, the story's a mashup of action and sci-fi movie clichés, and the acting's... well, let's call it amateurish. All that means it's either horrible trash or a delightfully fun experience, depending on your mood. I really had fun with it. Could've done without the homophobic jokes though.

    I watched it on a DVD, but it's on YouTube too (with English subs and uploaded by the filmmakers themselves).

  4. Drag Me to Hell (2009, dir. Sam Raimi)

    The practical effects are fun, the digital effects are dodgy, the scares are effective, and the plot is secondary. The movie's not subtle, and at times, it toes the line of parody, but never fully crosses it. Definitely a Sam Raimi film.

  5. Pushed to the Limit (1992)
    The youngest of five children born in Hollywood to a Greek father and a Latino mother, Mimi Lesseos started learning martial arts at the age of six. She came to the attention of wrestling fans in 1988 when she wrestled for the American Wrestling Association and feuded with Madusa Miceli over their women’s title before wrestling in the LPWA (Ladies Professional Wrestling Association), for CMLL in Mexico and in Japan before going into stuntwork, appearing in Man on the Moon, The X-Files, The Scorpion King and Million Dollar baby, as well as often working as Jane Kaczmarek’s stunt double.

    She wrote, starred in and produced the movie, raising half of the $600,000 budget through an investor while she provided the other half, sby elling property and fighting in Japan.

    Mimi claimed this movie was autobiographical. Then again, we already know Bloodsport was supposed to be that way for Frank Dux and he was stretching the truth too.

    Well, imagine if Van Damme stopped the action to go visit his parents, catch his racist brother doing blow and then went to Vegas to be a showgirl — a moment that has nothing to do with the rest of the movie — instead of just doing the splits straight for the Kumite?

    Because Pushed to the Limit has a Kumite too.

    Her brother Johnny (Greg Ostrin) gets shot up being a moron to crime boss Harry Lee (Henry Hayashi) and her man Nick (Michael M. Foley) gets hurt too, so she decides that she needs revenge. As she tells her Miyagi-figure Vern (Verrel Reed), “I’ve been pushed to the limit.” As you may know, I react to the title of a movie being said in a movie as if Pee Wee just said the secret word. Imagine my sheer joy when the mentor answered back, “You’ve been pushed to the limit?”

    So how does she get her pound of flesh? By entertying Harry Lee’s basement casino Kumite and kicking the hell out of Ms. Inga (Christl Colven, who only acted in this movie and otherwise has done makeup for Full Moon movies) but not until that gigantic butch brawler breaks the neck of Mimi’s best friend.

    The training that she gets to get to this point is without a doubt the dumbest martial arts training I’ve ever seen committed to a film and I’ve watched tons of Jackiesploitation ripodds of Drunken Master. I get what Miyagi wanted to teach Daniel-San with fence painting. I have no idea what Vern’s lesson of hide and seek around palm trees, much less his “become the tree” mantra and then asking her to punch the tree is supposed to teach. She also uses flying dropkicks in an actual fight and then Vern sends four dudes to jump her in an alley and the moment she starts killing them, everyone gets an extended sitcom end credits laugh out of the whole misunderstanding. Vern may also have low level ESP and never takes off his headband; he seems like every sensei I’ve ever met making a killing from teaching the secrets of the Orient to white kids who only learn synchronized katas and never the much needed way of the exploding fist or poison hand Dim Mak Death Touch of Count Dante.

    None of the sitcom level music matches what is happening on screen. Phones randomly ring in the middle of dialogue which isn’t microphoned well at all. The action is so poorly directed that you wonder if the old WCW camera crew made this. The ending — the ending! — has a misdirection kill of the boss, a total pro wrestling ending where Inga gets knocked out, Lee runs in with a gun and Inga comes to and breaks her boss’ neck instead of her opponent’s because she’s confused. Also body slams are used in fights to the death.

    I tell you all of this to tell you that I loved this movie. I loved every single second because it seems like — and is — a vanity project that made its way to me thirty years after it was filmed, aging like only finest of wine can.

    Read a longer version at

  6. The Last Run (1971, dir. John Huston and Richard Fleischer)

    An existential George C. Scott contemplates life while in the middle of one last getaway driving job. This is more of a philosophical drama than an action chase movie, although there are a couple cool extended shots of cars driving very fast through winding mountain roads. Reading about the making of this movie is probably more interesting than watching it, apparently there was lots of drama during filming and Scott at the height of his powers was able to get John Huston fired/quit from the movie. I'd say you can skip this one unless you are a George C. Scott completionist.

  7. US Marshals (1997) 90s Action!

    Been interested in checking this out ever since it inexplicably wound up on the Screen Draft for 90s action. It's...fine. Time hasn't been very kind to US Marshals, with a plot nowadays that would be better suited as a NCIS: Los Angeles 2 parter. while the cast is absolutely stacked, Jones is more or less sleepwalking through his role. I know it's unfair to compare this to the Fugitive, but its impossible not to. The script is written like Sam Girard fan fiction. However, not to be all negative, the action scenes are mostly well-conceived and well-shot.

    1. I prefer Stuart Baird editing movies (anything by Richard Donner, early Craig 007 movies) than directing them (this, Star Trek: Nemesis, Executive Decision, etc.). 🤕🤧

    2. Lol I like Executive Decision, but US Marshals ain't it. Ironically, I think it suffers from poor editing, running a bloated 131 minutes.

  8. Terminal Velocity (1994)

    Bad Synopsis (with very mild *spoilers*): Charlie Sheen is awesome at skydiving, but terrible at closing doors behind himself. He fights against Tony Soprano and Slim Shady Shooter McGavin to get his hands on a tiny pizza cutter, which reveals a dastardly plot that is tricky to follow, but doesn't really matter.

    Terminal Velocity isn't among the most tightly plotted or logical actioners out there, but it's pretty doggone fun to watch. If you go skydiving, jump out of the plane, then start thinking, "Why am I hurtling toward potential doom? What if my parachute doesn't work? What if I hit a bird? What if I land in quicksand?", you're not going to have a good time. If, instead, you don't think too much and just experience the adrenaline rush, the fantastic view, and the rush of wind in your face, you'll probably have a good time. This is the way to watch Terminal Velocity. Charlie Sheen is the good guy--you want him to beat the bad guys.

    The movie opened strong, dipped a bit in the middle act for me (a lot of plot reveals that I didn't totally follow, kept afloat by a sufficient number of fun action beats), and really had a fantastic finish. The brief pep talk that Charlie Sheen gives his pilot before undertaking the last big stunt was one of the funniest exchanges you'll see in an action movie. In a weird coincidence (mild *spoilers* again), I rewatched Furious 7 (a movie I like a fair amount) last night, and the final set piece of Terminal Velocity really makes the equivalent F7 scene feel tame by comparison (the result of a pretty clever sequence of additional complications, along with the practical/SFX combo approach trumping F7's CGI-centricity). It's really an all-timer. To put a cherry on top, the brief coda is equal parts hilarious and charming.

    1. True story. Sometime in the mid-to-late 2000's I was flipping channels and caught the end of "Terminal Velocity" (which I'd never seen) around the scene where they're plummeting to the ground near the end. Then just as Charlie Sheen and his friend are getting up from the ground after landing near those wind mills a figure comes from the sky and kicks Charlie to the ground. And then the reveal that this enemy from above is... TONY SOPRANO??!! :-O :-P I howled with laughter at that moment, since "The Sopranos" was or had just been the zeitgeist of pop culture. Will never forget that unexpected-to-me Gandolfini reveal for as long as I live. :-D

    A pterodactyl is flying around 1911 Paris, terrorizing the city. Meanwhile, travel writer and treasure hunter Adele Blanc-sec is in Egypt, searching for a mummy's tomb that she believes contains the cure for her sister's paralysis. There's also clueless cops, a celebrity big game hunter, and an elderly professor with telekinesis. Director Luc Besson goes full weirdballs in this one. Just like The Fifth Element (and, I guess, Valerian) he has a million ideas, and he's going to put them all in one movie. The tone is more quirky comedy than it is action adventure. That might turn off a lot of viewers, but I kind of liked it.

    Bonus Lloyd Kaufman-sploitation, day 11: THE TOXIC AVENGER PART II: Unrated Edition (1989)
    To get rid of Toxie, an evil corporation tricks him into going to Japan to search for his long-lost father. I imagine the one-two punch of filming in Japan plus filming two sequels back-to-back stretched Troma's resources to the max. This movie relies on a ton of voiceover to fill in gaps and give the movie some sort of narrative, otherwise it'd just be scenes of Toxie bumbling about. Fortunately, Toxie's bumbling is pretty entertaining. The movie is ambitious yet unfinished, but there's some charm to that.

    1. I'm with you, i love Adele Blanc-Sec. After the movie i got some the comics and there are as fun and weird as the movie. I think Besson did a great job catching the tone of the character

  10. Mardi Gras Massacre(1978) dir. Jack Weis

    Thirty years before Herzog’s inspired New Orleans reimagining of a steadfastly New York story, Jack Weis attempted his own, much less inspired Big Easy semi-sequel/semi-remake of a regional cult classic. This 1979 take on Herschel Gordon Lewis’s Blood Feast trades out the original’s wonderfully garish Miami palette for a much seedier setting in Weis’s hometown of New Orleans. There’s not much new in the way of plot points or really new ideas at all, but the saving grace is the setting, which goes a long way in saving this from totally forgettable schlock to mostly forgettable schlock set against a genuinely interesting portrait of a hyper specific time and place that looks great thanks to the recent Severin restoration.

  11. The Great Yokai War (Yōkai Daisensō) (2005, dir. Takashi Miike)

    A young boy gets mixed up in a war between yōkai, Japanese folklore creatures, and an evil force capturing them and turning them into mechanical monstrosities.

    Ostensibly a loose remake of 1968's Yokai Monsters: Spook Warfare, which I wrote about on Monsters! day, but Takashi Miike paints with a markedly broader brush. It's 45 minutes longer, the simple and contained story makes way for a massive epic that hints at a convoluted mythology, and special effects techniques have (obviously) made some leaps in the intervening decades.

    The sheer inventiveness here is impressive and the movie constantly throws new stuff at the audience, so you definitely won't get bored. The whole four-movie Yokai Monsters boxset was pretty great, with four very different movies, all with their own unique tone.

    Bonus short film: Limbo (2019, dir. Nalle Sjöblad)

    For each Free Space! day, I'll include a Finnish short film.

    Two work collagues, a young woman and an older man, enter a stairwell together, the former having just fired the latter. Tensions flare and heated words are exchanged, until they realize the stairs go on forever.

    An interesting little tale dealing with power structures and tensions between generations and genders.

  12. Death Wish Double Feature!

    Death Wish (1974)
    This was a lot more low-key than I expected. After one of the most grimace-inducing sexual assault scenes I've ever seen (I shudder to think of how the women on set felt), I was surprised how it sort of mellowed out after that and became more about vigilante vignettes than a pulsing race to the end. Still enjoyed what 1974 had to say about crime, policing, gun control - doesn't feel like much has changed.

    Death Wish (2018)
    Looks like Eli Roth didn't feel like much had changed either when he decided to remake the property with Bruce Willis. He takes the scene from the various Metropolitans that Bronson lurched around to the suburbs of Chicago, which takes it from the 70s "Look what's happening in our cities!" to a "We aren't even safe in the 'burbs!" - but that is how the dialogue seems to have changed over the past few decades, so I'll give it to him. I'm just not so sure that Roth stands on the side of the debate that I would want him to. When he makes some of the original film's subtext into text, it doesn't seem like his perspective is one I want to listen to. Still a perfectly fine action thriller, even if the commentary is a bit unhinged.

    1. Saw the Roth "Death Wish" remake one time and, except for Vincent D'Onofrio trying to make the most of his stock brotherly character and a messy car crush demise, don't remember much about it.

  13. Drop Zone

    After watching Terminal Velocity this morning, I was spontanesouly inspired to go for a skydiving double feature.

    Drop Zone starts a bit abruptly with a full plane takeover movie packed into the first ten minutes, but really settles in once Wesley Snipes joins up with the motley band of good guy skydivers to learn the ropes of falling fast from way up high. Yancy Butler is great as the captain of the crew, and the whole team has a fun camaraderie, giving each other (especially Snipes, as the newbie) a good-natured hard time. Their good-time lifestyle really made me question what I'm doing with my life, and why what I'm doing isn't full-time skydiving.

    The main reason Snipes inserts himself into the skydiving community is to do some undercover sniffing around to see if he can identify the perpetrators of the opening plane-jacking/prisoner-breakout. The bad guy skydivers are also an entertaining crew in their own evil way. Gary Busey does his typical unhinged villain thing as well as ever, and Michael Jeter is fun as the gang's nine-fingered hacker who actually sort of hates falling out of planes.

    There's a lot of goofiness in Drop Zone, including some rough greenscreen skydiving action, and a lot of bad (but also hilarious) mid-air ADR from Snipes. On the other hand, there's also some good actual skydiving footage, a decent helping of solid action scenes on the ground, and the cast of characters are just fun to be around.

    If forced to crown a skydiving movie champion (which you don't--they're both fun), I think I'm going with Terminal Velocity. Drop Zone has a slight edge in the non-action scenes due to its zany portrayal of the skydiving community, but I think Terminal Velocity has the clear advantage in its big action set pieces.

    1. You watched Terminal Velocity and Drop Zone on the same day!? You may have just won Junesploitation...

  14. Two-Lane Blacktop (1971, dir. Monte Hellman)

    Cars! This movie begins as two groups of people are going to race across the mid-west. However, the movie gradually loses interest in that, and it’s more of a road trip than a race. There are lots of hitchhikers, and stops at diners. More of a “vibe” than about anything, but I quite enjoyed it.

    Eastern Condors (1987, dir. Sammo Hung)

    Kung Fu! I’ve found my favourite movie of Junesploitation, and possibly the best movie ever made! I thought it was a kung fu movie, but it was more of a war/action movie with absurb amounts of kung fu sprinkled throughout. It just an action packed extravaganza from start to finish. Machetes, guns, rocket launchers, knives, kicks, punches, flips, explosions. There is a girl that stabs a baddie right in the asshole. Lots of humour mixed in as well. Sammo Hung stars as well as directs.

  15. ...from my ambitious "'90s action" stack...
    FULL ALERT (1997)
    D/P/W: Ringo Lam
    W: Sammy Lau / M: Peter Kam
    Arrested for murder, Francis Ng (GOD OF GAMBLERS 3) is found to have materials to make explosives & the floor plans to a vault. Inspector Lau Ching-Wan (EXECUTIONERS, MY DAD IS A JERK!) digs into the possibility of a heist, but Ng allows himself to be sentenced & jailed for the committed crime. His partners, led by Jack Kao, (THROW DOWN, TIME AND TIDE) must try to facilitate a breakout so they can pull off the job. Francis Ng seems to lack the cold-bloodedness of his partners & begins to engage his police nemesis in a mix of personally directed attacks & attempts to find common ground. I wouldn’t call this an exceptional heist flick, but it’s really good. Some ingredients from older films show up, (I’m thinking primarily of FAST-WALKING & LOOPHOLE at the moment) but Lam makes his own dish here. The personal drama feels trite, but a great car chase, a foot chase, bombs & the final act make up for it.
    EUREKA! BluRay

  16. The Limey (1999)

    My second 1999 blind spot of the month.
    Steven Soderbergh is a bit hit-and-miss for me. There's movies of his I realy like, and some that leave me cold. The Limey unfortunately falls in the latter category.

    This neo-noirish tale of an ex-con father looking to avenge his estranged daughter who got swallowed up by a sordid world full of sordid people has a lot going for it on paper, but the pieces never seem to gel into something special. Maybe it's the dry tone, maybe it's the characters who aren't very engaging (despite a dedicated performance by Terence Stamp), maybe it's the extremely fancy editing style which is supposed to be artful but to me just felt showy and needlessly complicated. The movie's definitely not bad, but for whatever reason it failed to resonate with me.

  17. ....ongoing "'90s action" spillover...
    D: John McTiernan
    This was my first DIE HARD & remains my favorite. A child in the '80s, my mom was none too keen on violent action movies. So that aided my nerdiness by cutting me off from such important touchstones. And look what good it did...
    In any event, I was quite happy with the first film when I got around to it late in the 1990s and, like many, had nothing but frowns for part the second. When I had the chance to see DIE HARD 2 on the big screen around Christmas about 8 or 9 years back, my opinion was solidly changed. I remember a roommate some years before that nudging me not unsuccessfully toward dropping the hate. So whoever, whatever... uh.. something, these original three rank high for me. I've never seen a DIE HARD beyond WITH A VENGEANCE.
    The real question remains: is it JUST a coincidence that Irons calls Sam Jackson "The Samaritan", only for the man to star in THE SAMARITAN 17 years later....?
    20th CENTURY FOX BluRay

  18. Exorcist 2: The Heretic (1977)

    Another Morricone score, but man the movie itself is just an absolute mess, from the whole mind synchronizer device to a long detour into Africa. I'd like to say this movie has ideas that just didn't come out right in the execution, but really I can't even give it that much credit.

  19. Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes (2021)

    Available on Prime, has a short runtime, and has a fairly clever concept of a two TVs/monitors that have an odd temporal connection allowing viewing into two minutes into the future or past. It's a little repetitive at times due to the nature of how the story is told, but has some clever bits to it. Highly enjoyable.

  20. SHOGUN’S JOY OF TORTURE (1968, dir. Teruo Ishii)

    Even when Japanese directors indulge in the most sordid subject matter, they can make a beautiful film. And this is a beautiful film to look at. SHOGUN’S JOY OF TORTURE is an anthology film showing criminal punishments during the Edo period. The old-fashioned exploitation trope of showing the terrible deeds to discourage them from happening again is employed. The first segment, about an incestuous relationship, is fairly light on the torture. It is by the far the classiest one. The second segment, a Japanese take on nunsploitation, focuses on the cruelties of a lustful Buddhist nun. The final segment is by far the most exploitative, featuring a shogunate official torturing several western women arrested for spreading Christianity while a tattoo artist observes it all to create the perfect image of pain. By today’s standards the violence is very stylized and fairly tame, but it was pushing the envelope for what was acceptable in the late 1960s.


    Alex Garland's MEN (2022, theater, 100 min.) for the first time.

    Saw this for the first time a few weeks back, but rewatched it on Thursday (for Monsters! Day) because I needed a second viewing to clarify my thoughts. Any movie titled "Men" by well-known filmmaker is begging for its premise (Jessie Buckley recovering from an abusive relationship tragedy by spending time alone in the quaint English countryside) and its depiction of a gender (mostly personified under different CG/make-up layers/camera trickery by Rory Kinnear) to be taken seriously and analyzed for symbolism, deep meaning, etc. That kind of thinking works for about 75% of "Men," when Garland indulges in artsy-fartsy genre touches (Kubrickian imagery/musical chants meant to disorient, gorgeous cinematography, human behavior by Harper that screams 'horror movie trope,' etc.) before completely unleashing a freak show finale that out-"Xtros" "Xtro" at its own game. Like "Annihilation" before (and "Ex Machina" if you really think about it), Garland ending "Men" with the cinematic equivalent of a primal scream is both part of the main attraction and (to a lesser degree) a desperate plea to realize the shit Jessie Buckley goes through is universal for half the population. And that, my friends, is more terrifying than the on-screen monsters Garland conjures up to close the show... and these are some fucked-up creatures, let me tell ya! :-O 3.5 ON-CAMERA FLOPPY WEINERS MORPHING INTO... BARF! :'( (out of 5).

    Colin Trevorrow's JURASSIC WORLD DOMINION 3D (2022, theater, 146 min.) for the first time.

    So Patrick penned 'Monsters! Day' in the Junesploitation! calendar for the same day this movie went into day-before-release previews? The dude knows what he's doing, and he abides! :-P Anywho, every "Jurassic Park" sequel after the 1993 original has been decent-enough to at least see and enjoy ONCE, mostly on account that each seems to a reboot of the previous one. Frankly the only reason I remotely wanted to see "Dominion" was to see how the filmmakers were going to retcon that jaw-dropping line the little girl just dropped toward the end of 2018's "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" about her genetic make-up... and I wasn't disappointed at how shitty the screenwriters got themselves out of that dumb corner and steered into a ton of dumber corners (starting with the premise itself). Bloated beyond belief and lacking any standout scenes (even the 'money shots' of dinos and horses running together, or the airbound plane with the pterodactyls feel CGI stock, not a master storyteller's idea) with leads not giving more than the absolute minimum required of them (Chris Pratt is more visibly bored than he ever was in 2015's "Jurassic World"), "Dominon" feels like a soulless exercise in franchise continuation. The movie itself, more than the CGI dinos and the horrible humans it depicts (including BD Wong for some reason), turns out to be the biggest monster of them all... but again, an IP creature worth seeing once in the biggest screen possible. 3 OG "JURASSIC PARK" ACTORS VISIBLY SLEEPWALKING THROUGH THEIR PROMINENT ROLES FOR A T-REX SIZED PAYCHECK (out of 5).

  22. LOVE HUNTER (1972, dir. Seiichiro Yamaguchi)

    In the early 1970s, Nikkatsu, the oldest Japanese movie studio, was in serious financial trouble. It turned to “eroductions”, soft core films, for a new source of revenue. Love Hunter is one of the earliest films of what became known as the Roman Porno line. It possesses the good qualities of those films. The story revolves around a rich woman, Kyoko, who lives a decadent life. When she meets a college couple, she cannot resist the desire to draw them into her world. The boyfriend is more than compliant with her whims, but the virginal girlfriend proves to be far more difficult to initiate. Things to go in some weird directions by the conclusion. On a technical level, there are many shots to admire, and some scenes have a charming psychedelic atmosphere to them.