Saturday, 10 April 2021

Burning Sky - Marc Acardipane Feat Miro/Metal Man - Marc Acardipane feat The Horrorist & Satronica

The remasters of THE MASTER keep coming! Two of the three* titans of Euro 'ardcore meet uptown on this unreleased tune that is only now seeing the light of day. It features on The Most Famous Unknown - Expansion Pack 4 released a month ago on bandcamp. This is the only collaboration Marc Acardipane & Miro worked on. The annoying thing about these remasters is a lack of dates. I'm assuming this is around the turn of the millennium but I really don't know!

*The third Titan being Guillaume Leroux with his many aliases including Lunatic Asylum, Renegade Legion, French Connection & Dr Macabre! My brain is spent was there ever Miro/Dr Macabre collaboration or did I dream that?

The first track from Marc Acardipane's The Most Famous Unknown - Expansion Pack 5 released a week ago. I certain this is from 2000. Am I right in thinking a lot of people hate Oliver Chesler & his moniker The Horrorist? I mean I enjoy his work but he's not in the same groundbreaking league as those aforementioned three LEGENDS!

Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Movies part 39


I Walk Alone (1947)
Well this one is lodged in my brain forever because like Sorry, Wrong Number it was part of the 80s Collage classic Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid. However I don't really know if I've seen it before. Anyway for some reason I wasn't expecting much but thankfully it was top notch hardboiled crime drama. Burt Lancaster is excellent here as Frankie the angry, frustrated and discombobulated ex-con looking for his dues. He took the fall and did 14 years but his old crime partner Dink (Kirk Douglas) is not forthcoming with Frankie's share of the loot though. Douglas is great at playing creepy little turds. The gorgeous Lizabeth Scott is Kay a singer in Dink's nightclub and also his bit on the side. It wouldn't be a 40s crime drama if switches of allegiance and murderous shenanigans didn't ensue. I guess this is one of the early examples in film of gangsters going legit to try to cover up their criminal ways. Highly Recommended.

Raw Deal (1948)
You cannot go wrong with an Anthony Mann and John Alton collaboration. That's a director and cinematographer match made in heaven! More 40s crime movie gold. This one's a gaol break film with a difference. Our main protagonist the prison escapee Joe (Dennis O'Keefe) is on the run but there's trouble everywhere, coming at him from every angle: A femme fatale Pat (Claire Trevor), a treacherous crime buddy, his old prison case worker Ann (Marsha Hunt) and a million cops. This story goes all sorts of places no other crime film of the time went. There's even a park ranger on a horsey which I can't help but think was a fun future nod to Mann's other great genre Westerns. Raw Deal is also one of the most brutal of 40s movies I've ever witnessed as Joe's former crime buddy is a psychotic mobster Rick played deliriously by Raymond Burr. Oh and there is fog, fire, boats and guns. It doesn't get better than this when it comes to the movies so it's highly recommended for crime film buffs of any generation.

52 Pick Up (1986)
Just in case you don't know about this cult movie, get this: It's a crime film written by Elmore Leonard directed by master John Frankenheimer starring ageing silver screen icons Roy Scheider and Ann-Margaret and produced by Cannon Films. How could you go wrong? It could only go more right! And thank heavens it's little beauty. Really what's the point of saying anything else? I guess it's one of the most underrated films of the 80s. 

Bellman & True (1987)
This is a first for me. This was a blind buy first time watch as it came with a huge recommendation from Pure Cinema Podcast regular Philip Blankenship. Phil is also a renowned film programmer, celluloid collector, a documentary talking head and Quentin Tarantino's right hand man at The New Beverly Cinema. The only other movie fiends who could possibly make me buy a blu-ray just by talking/writing about it now would be Samm Deighan, Kat Ellinger, Kier-La Janisse and me old favourite Melbourne Critic from The Age in the 90s, now blu-ray commentary track legend Adrian Martin. I met him at a party once I'm sure he remembers, not.

Anyway Bellman & True a pretty good lil' crime film. For a start it's got Bernhard 'gissajob' Hill who became immortalised as Yosser in the brilliant but bleak British 1982 telly drama Boys From The Blackstuff. This is a bank heist thriller with added kidnapping, computer hacking and obligatory pyrotechnics. Worth a look for heist movie enthusiasts.   

Fascism on a Thread: The Strange Story of Nazisploitation Cinema (2019)
A below average documentary on perhaps the most bizarre chapter in film history ever. Fascism on a Thread is a little apologetic and not a full celebration of Nazisploitation that fans would want. I know next to nothing about the genre except that I'd seen several of the movies mentioned and that Ilsa is legendary. Film historian extraordinaire Kim Newman is always a welcome face and worthy to put in his tuppence. There were too many sweaty dudes as talking heads, perhaps subconsciously giving the sub-genre a creepy man vibe which is enhanced by not using one female critic, historian or fan. It was as if to say this is a bunch of movies only to be enjoyed by sad weird sleazoid men, women wouldn't be interested in this kind of thing or aren't fans of such a deplorable sub-genre as Nazisploitation. 

I do not understand why the perfect expert candidate and WWII movie expert Samm Deighan is not in this film or why say other great film brains/writers on exploitation movies like Rebekah McKendry, Kat Ellinger, Alexandra Heller Nicholas et al. are not involved. Did they not fit the agenda? Maybe they weren't approached, it was an oversight, they weren't available, contractually unable to participate or it had something to do with Severin Films budget? Who knows? The documentary is definitely worse off due to these missing voices though. While this documentary was presented on tubi as a stand alone film the reality is it was made cheaply as a bonus feature for Severin's blu-ray release of The Beast In Heat (1977) aka SS Hell Camp. This explains why composer Guiliano Sorgini's appears with all his morally superior negativity (Hero to zero in a few short sentences).

The good news for fans of the genre is that Dyanne Thorne, the blonde bombshell of Ilsa: She Wolf Of The SS (1975) and it's sequels, is interviewed here. Thorne really celebrates her work and fans unapologetically. She is wonderfully grateful for her career as the icon of this sub-genre. It is revealed that Thorne later became a marriage celebrant in Las Vegas. What's cooler than getting married by an Elvis impersonator in Vegas? Getting Married by Dyanne Thorne in full Ilsa costume of course. Well it was. She died in January 2020 not long after this extra was put together.

Malisa Longo the Italian rip off of Dyanne Thorne also makes an appearance. She infamously played a character called Elsa a rip off of Ilsa in the French movie cash in Fräulein Devil (1977) aka Captive Women 4 aka Elsa: Fraulein SS aka Fraulein Kitty. She also starred in a couple of other Nazisploitation flicks.

I couldn't help thinking: "Imagine if you tried to make one of these films today?" The whining, illiberal & humourless kids with their sanctimonious authoritarian minds would be all over you with life destroying consequences. You would be witch hunted, un-personed and probably left destitute as you would not be allowed to be employed as employers would fear repercussions from angry authoritarian mobs, activist mainstream media and big tech (the real governors of our day).  

Edge Of The Axe (1989)
José Larraz directs this atypical 80s slasher. He was late to the slasher party as that boat had already sailed five years earlier and the self referential revival was still 7 years away. This is pretty entertaining though. I've seen so many terrible slashers so it doesn't take much for one to be alright. While Edge Of The Axe was ok for me, it is nowhere near the same league as his cinematic masterpieces Symptoms and Vampyres both from 1974. So I guess this would only really be of interest to slasher fanatics, 80s VHS nutters going for the deep cuts or people wondering whatever happened to that Spanish dude who directed some classic horror movies in Britain during the 70s. 

This will keep slasher aficionados happy now that Arrow have given it the blu-ray treatment. Edge Of The Axe is a pretty weird film and it's all the better for it. Like War Games (1983) this has early computers interacting with one another. I'm not sure, as I'm no computer expert, if what was happening computer-wise in the movie was actually a reality then or just a Star Trek-esque sci-fi future that was eventually coming. Anyway guess what? We get a masked psycho killer on a killing spree in a small picturesque American rural town. This maniac is non discriminatory when it comes to killing so look out ladies, pigs, dogs and dudes. Just who is causing all this havoc and why? What can the computer tell us? If you're intrigued check it out.   

Betrayed aka When Strangers Marry (1944)
Good el-cheapo suspenseful crime-mystery. Millie a naive small town girl (Kim Hunter) marries Paul (Dean Jagger) a travelling salesman whom she barely knows. Apparently "quickie" or "whirlwind" marriages were not uncommon during WWII. The couple arrange to meet up in New York because Paul was called away on business at short notice just after their wedding. Millie unexpectedly runs into Junior a dog she knows in her hotel's lobby, then she sees its owner her ex-boyfriend Fred (Robert Mitchum). What's he doing here? What's going on in Philadelphia? Where's her husband Paul? All is revealed in a swift 67 minutes. 

There are some spectacular set pieces in this flick. These flashes of pizzaz didn't go unnoticed. Orson Welles was very impressed at the time saying it had better acting and direction than 1944's most famous and acclaimed crime-dramas Laura & Double Indemnity. The Big Jim's jazz club scene in particular captured my attention. It features a bloke (Who is this guy? He doesn't even get credited in the people who are uncredited list!) playing some wicked pre-Rock'n'Roll R&B on a honky tonk while couple Marie Bryant and Lennie Bluett dance as the patrons look on. This is years before white mainstream music lovers got to know the likes of Fats Domino so I wonder if this scene blew peoples minds? I mean, it fucking blew mine 75 years later! Special mention must also go to Junior the Boston Terrier who is integral to several scenes but rarely garners any praise. 

He Walked By Night (1948)
Classic crime drama very loosely based on a 40s true crime story of from California. The cinematography is by the one and only John Alton. The direction credit goes to Alfred Werker but we all now know it's directed to perfection by Anthony Mann who was uncredited at the time. I'm not sure what happened behind the scenes but I'm guessing Werker was a wanker and the history of film is all the better for it. Anyway this suspense filled game of cat and mouse leans heavy on the police procedural side of hardboiled crime drama. 

The cops are out in force as an off duty patrolman has been killed. We follow the mysterious killer Roy (Richard Basehart) who is a fraud pretending to be a scientific electronics whizz who makes a living from renting out stolen innovative experimental electronic equipment. Roy's got a little flat in a low rise estate where he is hiding out, listening to police radio with with his clever (uncredited) dog. Anyway as Roy's violence escalates he tries to change up his MO to avoid capture but will he be outwitted by the coppers Marty (Scott Brady) & Chuck (James Cardwell)? This police force are hellbent on his capture and are quickly connecting up a string of crimes against him with the help of their forensics expert Lee (Jack Webb). There is a cool scene where a bunch of witnesses help The Captain (Roy Roberts) make a photofit of Roy which had me flashing forward thirty years to a similar classic sequence in The Mad Bomber (1973). There are other historically noteworthy scenes particularly the storm drain sequence which has been ripped off a million times including in the following year's The Third Man (1949), Female Convict Scorpion: Beast Stable (1973), The Fugitive (1993) etc. Plus the dislodging of the bullet to avoid going to hospital scene. I haven't done the research but this could be the first scene in film history to do that. It's at least an early example of a scene you have seen over and over throughout your movie viewing life probably without ever thinking about its origins. Considering there must have been some trouble behind the scenes making this picture you would not know it as it is a meticulously crafted film with an intricately detailed plot. 

Roy remains just as mysterious in the end as he was at the start. That is no mean feat, very rare and atypical for the era! Highest recommendation. 

Side Street (1950)
This is one of my favourite hardboiled crime films of this golden era. Farley Granger and Cathy O'Donnell are reunited two years after starring in Nick Ray's promising directorial debut They Live By Night (1948). Set in New York, a down on his luck father to be spots an easy opportunity to gain $30G from a dodgy lawyer's office. Sure we've got cops and robbers but we get a whole lot of non judgemental grey area too. We get a nightclub chanteuse, a precocious streetwise kid makin' a buck from the schmuck adults, thugs, murderers, milkmen, inconvenient nosey neighbours, barkeeps, shonky lawyers and tough cops. Have lawyers and cops always been viewed with vehement disdain? This tale winds its way in the most delicious but brutal way. Side Street is notable for its cool car chase though the NYC streets. Side Street's a film put together with great style by the legendary Anthony Mann. This crime classic should be up there in the pantheon of prime 40s & 50s crime dramas. It doesn't get better than this!

Pit And The Pendulum (1961)
A bit of horror fun in a castle with a torture chamber and Vincent Price. I've never read this story so I had no preconceived notions going in. Roger Corman makes tremendous use of the Panavision cinematography, colour and eerie filters in flashback sequences. The costumes and castle were immaculate and perhaps a little silly. I guess by the late 60s the kind of situation here, that is the centrepiece of the film's dramatic arc, was in use in every second Get Smart or Batman episode. The trope of someone whose eminent demise can only be stopped if a saviour arrives in time to beat the ticking clock. That isn't a spoiler it's the title of the film, so you know its coming! Enjoyable late night movie.

The Thin Man (1934)
I didn't know what to expect going into this film really. My Dad recommended it but all I knew was that it was a murder mystery with a clever dog and William Powell. I didn't know it was going to be so charming, spontaneous, anarchic and fun. In a nutshell it's a comedy whodunnit film. It was totally disarming. Myrna Loy was fabulous, charismatic and a treat to discover. The spontaneous chemistry between her and Powell was delicious. You can't write that spark into a script no matter how hard you try. Director WS Van Dyck and script-writers the married couple Albert Hacket and Frances Goodrich struck casting gold with this duo! Asta the dog didn't disappoint either. While this is quick fire and riotous to almost Marx Bros levels there is also a lightness of touch which makes the film an exquisite pop cultural feat. Eighty seven years later this is fresh as a daisy. For enjoyment.

The Asphyx aka The Spirit Of Dead aka The Horror Of Death (1972)
Very cool bonkers sci-fi horror film that is a whole lot of fun. Some science chaps in Victorian England who are part of the Parapsychological society discover personal asphyx's while filming death. It's all pretty tricky to explain but Hugo (Robert Stephens) figures out a way to capture your death spirit/personal grim reaper thing that comes for you at your time of death. What consequences will this science breakthrough have? I dunno what this is but it's very enjoyable batshit crazy entertainment. Late Night Movie Of The Week. 

After The Thin Man (1936)
More of the same for the second movie in the Thin Man series. Of course you can't recreate that surprise magical touch of the first Thin Man (1934). It's not as anarchic or quick fire either but it still retains a lovely lightness of touch, spontaneous banter and charm that most sequels never achieve.  

The League Of Gentlemen (1960)
Absolute classic pitch black comedy heist flick with incredible ensemble cast and flawless script. One of the finest filmmakers ever Basil Dearden directs with aplomb. I dug out me old dvd to watch this again after it was discussed on a podcast where Edgar Wright and Quentin Tarantino blabber on about a bunch of British movies recommended by the master film-maker and historian Martin Scorsese. Tarantino is often obnoxious but I quite like his taste in film however sometimes his ego gets the better of him and he believes his own hype. He wrote off the third act of this celluloid masterpiece. I'm glad the much younger Edgar Wright pulled him up telling him it was a great ending. I obviously concur with Wright in this instance. Movies don't come better than this. If a film doesn't give you the ending you want that is not the fault of the film or the novel it's based on. It's your bad luck! Sometimes, particularly in crime films, you want it to go a certain way but that doesn't always happen. If it did I think it would make crime movies and stories redundant. The crème de la crème of character actors assembled here must have been having a ball making this picture. This is quite possibly the best ensemble cast performance you'll ever see. Just look at that roll call of actors, need I say more!

Another Thin Man (1939)
The third in the series of Thin Man films is the most cohesive so far and Asta the brilliant dog actor is outstanding. He even did an out of the blue gymnastic spin in the air. The relationship between Asta and Nick & Norah's new baby is very cute. This is definitely Asta's best performance so far. The outrageous rapid fire wit of the first film is all but gone as this is almost the 40s but this is alright with some good moments. I think I prefer it over the second one.

Framed (1947)
First time watch of this hardboiled crime melodrama that is included in Indicator's Columbia Noir #2 blu-ray boxset. It's the best going into a film knowing nothing about it. All I knew was that the terrific Glenn Ford was in it and it was a crime movie. The mystery unfolds without missing a beat. It's a top story with all the best crime accoutrements: embezzlement, murder, brake failure, intrigue, shady bank managers, mining prospectors, nosey parkers, safety deposit boxes, excessive drinking, femme fatales, a large sum of cash, suspicious barkeeps, smoking, illegal gambling and the omnipresent newspaper headlines. What would film-makers have done back then without the classic device of the latest newspaper with its headline hitting the streets or being yelled by the paperboy? Anyway this is another 40s suspenseful gem with a fine diabolical duo Paula (Janice Carter) and Steve (Barry Sullivan) but will everything go according to plan? I didn't realise this was an el-cheapo B-movie as it's put together with such panache by Richard Wallace. Framed is right up there with other 1947 noir classics like Brute Force, Out Of The Past and Lady From Shanghail. In fact it might be the best of the lot! Great stuff. It doesn't get better than this!

Journey Into Fear (1942)
A flick where the 40s crime drama meets WWII espionage thriller. It's hard to know who is good or bad in this picture as they all seem a bit shonky & treasonous. A boatload of treacherous characters from various different nations leave Istanbul on a ship carrying livestock. A nazi assassin is hunting the main protagonist an unlikeable arms dealing American bloke. With 20 minutes left I realised I was bored! I just hated this film, didn't care what happened to any of these characters and thought it was stupid! So I stopped* the film. Where was the suspense, mystery, film-craft or intrigue? Proof that not all 40s crime flicks are good. Although this seems to be a very rare exception.

*An idiot podcaster recently stated "Before streaming nobody would stop a film once you had started it." 

This is absolute bollocks. I used to to terminate viewing of VHS videos and dvds, rented from the video shop, all the time during the 90s & 00s. This is why I've never seen the end of 27 Dresses, Burn After Reading, Gods & Monsters, Hilary & Jackie and all the other shite films that were so forgettable, I've forgotten their names. Also walking out of the cinema wasn't out of the question either. I did this during a screening at Melbourne's Cinema Nova of the highly acclaimed but fucking awful film Japanese Story

Here's 4 exciting titles that are finally COMING SOON to Blu-ray this year.

21 years after its Anchor Bay dvd release. The new kid on the block in boutique blu-ray labels Fun City Editions will be releasing a blu-ray of this underground little seen cult classic starring Bob Forster, Nancy Quan & Joe Spinell

SMILE (1975)
Fun City Editions have this listed as coming soon on their website too. Michael Ritchie's forgotten satirical comedy (remember them) about beauty pageants featuring Bruce Dern and Barbara Feldon will finally get a blu-ray. Look out for young Melanie Griffith too. In the 17 years since a dvd of this surfaced then disappeared Smile has gained huge cult status so this is a no brainer release for this terrific fledgeling label. 

Release date: 31/5/21.
The alarming Teen V Adult drama about a new but isolated housing estate New Granada that hasn't been thought through properly by town planners. This film reveals the consequences of such civil neglect. It is in my book just one of the most brilliant movies ever made. Matt Dillon and a bunch of other non actor kids tear it up in Jonathan Kaplan's ultimate cult film. This is the most exciting thing Arrow have released in almost two years since The Female Prisoner Scorpion Box Set. 

California Split (1974)
I actually emailed Indicator earlier this year to see if they were still planning to issue California Split for the first time on Blu-ray and luckily the answer was "Yeas we are. Later this year!" Quite possibly the best career performances of both George Segal & Elliot Gould in perhaps Robert Altman's best ever film. 

*Now we just need blu-rays of So Long At The Fair, Stolen Face, Sapphire, Nowhere To Go, The Servant, Play It As It Lays, The Mack, Cockfighter, The Dion Brothers, Hustle, Straight Time, Night Of The Juggler, Siege, Going Down, After Hours, The Hitcher, a bunch of 40s/50s crime films, a stack of Poliziotteschi movies plus... 

Tuesday, 16 March 2021


"Contrary to popular belief all 80s kids did not worship the corny & embarrassingly phoney teen movies of John Hughes & his copycats. In fact lots of us kids/teens in the 80s hated them with a passion!"

This was some crap list posted on instagram. I was 8-18 during the 80s. It was pointed out that perhaps this list wasn't for 80s kids/teens as it would have virtually been impossible to avoid any of these movies at the time especially at my age and if you were a bit younger or a bit older too as they were so ubiquitous. My question was "Do I have to tick which ones were good?" (I couldn't read that white print on my small i-phone 6). So I said "Three." This meant I thought no matter what age you are/were three undeniable classics are on that list: Back To The Future, Raiders Of The Ark and The Temple Of Doom. I guess it should have been four as I missed Airplane! at the bottom but assumed that was a mistake because was it not a film from 1979? A quick look on the www revealed that Flying High which Airplane! was called in Australia was in fact released in 1980. Hey that could still be wrong though.

I got dragged along to see ET at age 11 and hated it. I thought it was for cheesy 7 year olds like my little sister. Hey I already had two Devo albums taped off a friend. So how on earth were bullshit  films like this supposed to be appealing. A year earlier I had seen my first sort of grown up film in Raiders Of The Lost Ark. Now that was a rush of adrenaline that changed my life a little. I loved the follow up The Temple Of Doom even more. The next big one was Back To The Future which became the first film I saw multiple times in the cinema. What a masterpiece that kept getting better every time I watched it. How was that possible?! 

That 85/86 era was great! Me and my best mate loved Better Off Dead, The Sure Thing, Hiding Out, Repo Man, Bachelor Party and everything we could find in the video shop with Steve Martin in it such as Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid, The Jerk et al. 

Aliens was THE film everybody loved in the mid 80s though, the girls, the boys and probably the adults. So that really should be on this list. I still recall the night eight of us went to the cinema to see it four girls and four boys. Perfect we were gonna get some action. Not the sexy action we were expecting no it was the thrilling edge of your seat horror action that was amped up to levels we'd never seen before. This was nail-biting stuff of the highest order. Sometimes I think it's the best film ever!

I fucking hated John Hughes films. Our girl gang that we hung out with loved them though but then again some of them also liked Bon Jovi. That was all about boys in bands and movies though. Their hormones were getting in the way of their objective taste I thought. I just thought John Hughes's characters were phoney, smug and patronising as they were written by old people. They also did not really transpose to rural Australian catholic high school reality. I think some of my friends wanted to have like really specific cliques and subcultures (but didn't have the guts to be say be a goth or whatever) and American style middle class wealth and school cafeterias and American fashion and dialogue written by an adult man coming out of their mouths. It was exotica really not really mirroring our dusty monoculture of the time. 

Nobody was particularly cool in my school I mean some people had different taste in music to the heavy metal, Cold Chisel and AC/DC (Don't get me wrong I love me Acker Dacker & Chisel mate) prevalent on school bus trips. People did like ace 80s music like The Sunnyboys, New Order, The Smiths, The Go-Betweens, The Triffids, The Church, Tom Waits, The Replacements, REM (when they were underground), Nick Cave & Died Pretty. Well that was me and a couple of female friends in my year level anyway. Suffice to say these tapes never got aired on school camp bus rides but Queen and Accept did. Perhaps the music from bands everyone liked like INXS, U2 or Crowded House got an airing I can't recall.

Tangental slide let's get back to the topic of er... 80s Movies that's right! I recently watched Ghostbusters and Better Off Dead and thought they were both fucking awful movies. So I decided to leave this stuff in the past where it belongs. 

Star Wars Sequels always sucked along with the original film. I'm just not in the Bruce Willis gang but I think everyone else was on board with Die HardBatman, The Karate Kid Kid, Roger Rabbit were all daft kids shit for me by the time they were released. Tom fucking Cruise - he was beyond the pale. An American pretty boy Hollywood smug fuck! We had Aussies on film like Vince Colosimo in Moving Out and Street HeroNoah Taylor & Ben Mendlelsohn in The Year My Voice Broke. Not to mention Aussie telly. 

By the time we got Blue Velvet and Dogs In Space on VHS in 1987 a year after their theatrical run and watched them to death at the age of 16, all of those commercial Hollywood films that list ceased to have any relevance. My world would never be the same again. I mean how could I regress to shite like Big ffs? So on Instagram I wrote I’ll give you a proper list of 80s movies, which I thought I'd share here. Most of these are probably in my blog profile under favourite movies but hey most of you probably haven't read that. These flicks have all been re-watched in the last five years. So I'm not adding films I have hazy recollections of being good. These have all stood the test of time whereas most of that instagram list haven't. 

Blue Velvet
The Hitcher
Elephant Man
Mad Max 2
The Thing
Night Of The Creeps
Dogs In Space
Blue Thunder
Dead & Buried
The Hidden
The Fog
Blood Simple
Evil Dead
Withnail & I
Paris Texas
Goodbye Pork Pie
White Of The Eye
Going Down
Threads (Telly Movie)
Fortress (Telly Movie)
King Of Comedy
After Hours
Night Of The Juggler
Walking The Edge
Maniac Cop
Night Of The Comet
Friday The 13th
Friday The 13th II
Blood Beat
Happy Birthday To Me
Sleepaway Camp
Slumber Party Massacre
Next Of Kin
The Changeling
The Dead Zone
Repo Man
Something Wild
The Fly
The Shining
Fatal Attraction
Bad Timing
The Long Good Friday
The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover
The Fourth Man
Raging Bull
Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid
Crimes & Misdemeanours
Hannah & Her Sisters
Bad Taste
The Year My Voice Broke
Ghosts Of The Civil Dead 

...and I could probably add another 50 at least but I think it shows how much that original list was lacking.

Thursday, 11 March 2021

B.O.F. - I Got Your Number


B.O.F. - I Got Your Number 12"

Yo Yo Record shop on instagram introduced me to this slice of choice R&B from 1985 that I had not heard previously. Which is staggering considering the amount of discos I went to in the 80s plus all the compilations of 80s soul-disco-boogie/R&B I have but this maybe didn't even get in the dance chart. Correct me if I'm wrong! No Research Day! Anyway it's ace! The good vibes and grooves all year round 24/7. It's Dj Space Debris with golden hits and non memories to make new ones too.... 

Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Mo Movies 38

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
A finely made film by Milos Foreman with a wonderful ensemble cast. Here we go: Dissenting opinion. It doesn't really matter what I think though, the boomers and the other (My Dad's) generation before them have already decided this is a masterpiece and a classic. I'm not always on board with the popular actors of the 60s & 70s, for instance the smug fucks Eastwood Connery. Then again I love me some Lee Marvin, Bruce Dern, Charles Bronson, Peter Fonda, Walter Matthau, Burt Reynolds etc. Jack Nicholson lies somewhere liminal. Sometimes he's terrific (Five Easy Pieces 1970 & The Passenger 1975) but sometimes he's so unsubtle (King Of Marvin Gardens 1972 & The Last Detail 1973) it drives me mental! His performance here is a perfect example of the latter. The rest of the cast are all wonderful and playing at a particular level and tone. Nicholson just bum rushes the show by overacting. He's switched up to 11. This film's set in a mental institution for Christ's sake! One person cannot be way more over the top because he's got another twenty contenders for the crown (unless this is a point Foreman was trying to make. In which case more fool me). Nicholson's ego fucked up this consummate ensemble's brilliant collective performance to the point where he's just embarrassing. Anyway that didn't stop everyone from loving it. 

A smart-arse criminal McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) fakes his way out of prison and hard labor into Oregon State Mental Hospital where he is to be assessed. Shenanigans ensue as McMurphy's rebellious streak goes up against Head Nurse Ratched's (Louise Fletcher) tightly controlled authority. While there's nothing particularly wrong with this film apart from the aforementioned, this story just doesn't excite me. Perhaps this film can't live up to its reputation and I have given it several chances. This is a film for other people.

Double Indemnity (1944)
Is this the best crime movie ever? Or for that matter, the best film of all time? Alfred Hitchcock thought so back in 1944. With a script written by Raymond Chandler & Billy Wilder how could you go wrong? They didn't and this is movie perfection! Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray are brilliant as the diabolical duo Phyllis Dietrichson & Walter Neff trying to pull off a murderous insurance scam. However Neff's boss Barton Keyes (Edward G Robinson) is one smart cookie so they're doomed from the start. This is no spoiler of a 76 year old film as Walter reveals his doom at the beginning then the story is told flashback style. That's the amazing trick they pull off, making a film so suspenseful, even though you know the ultimate fate of the main protagonist. It doesn't get better than this.

It's funny that French film critics made gritty American crime dramas pretentious by calling them the cringe-y moniker film noir. Then the French critics made great visionary American directors pretentious too by calling them auteurs. My dad is 81 and he loves his 40s crime/mystery dramas but he has not once uttered the word film noir in his life. He loves Hitchcock & Scorsese too but they're just fabulous directors to him not bloody auteurs

Where The Sidewalk Ends (1950)
Otto Preminger has such a good strike rate he deserves to be in the top echelon of finest film directors of the Movie history! Preminger once again teams up with Dana Andrews and Gene Tierney who he had worked with on the 1944 classic Laura. Andrews plays an unhinged cop from the wrong side of the tracks who accidentally get entangled in murder and romance. Compelling stuff! 

Nightmare Alley (1947)
Tyronne Power plays a sideshow charlatan with big dreams of making it out of the carnival scene to become a pop culture superstar. He has skeletons in his closet though and he has to dodge and weave three femme fatales, cops and other sundry nuisances to get to the top. Where will it all lead? I think you all know the answer to that. One of the finest psychological thrillers these eyeballs have seen. 

Sunset Boulevard (1950) 
This was a first time watch for me. Don't be so surprised! I've never seen Dr Starngelove (1964) or All About Eve (1950) either. I tried to watch this straight after one of director Billy Wilder's other crime masterpieces Double Indemnity (1944) but the tone was so different I had to come back to it a few days later. I was not disappointed. What's not to love here? A young Hollywood scriptwriter Joe (William Holden) becomes entangled in the life of a once famous, ageing and eccentric silent movie actress Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson). Strange, eerie and downright sinister shenanigans ensue in the eternally seedy scene of the Hollywood motion picture industry. Fifty years before Curb Your Enthusiasm we had A-list celebrities playing themselves ie. Cecil B DeMille, Buster Keaton, Hedda Hopper, Anna Q Nilsson and Sidney Skolsky. Rewind forever!

Fallen Angel (1945)
Dana Andrews once again stars in an Otto Preminger directed crime drama. While Fallen Angel isn't as renowned as Laura (1944) or Where The Sidewalk Ends (1950) its still a mighty fine entry in the 40s cime-murder-mystery film cannon. A drifter named Eric (Dana Andrews) finds himself in a seaside bar somewhere between LA and San Fransisco. Eric meets the gorgeous Stella (Linda Darnell) who works in the bar. It seems every man falls head over heals for Stella with her dark seductive power. Murder, marriage, money and twisted intrigue are the order of the day here. Top notch pitch black crime drama!

Whirlpool (1949)
Another great post-WWII American crime thriller! Kleptomania, hypnotism, recordings of therapy, psychiatry, amnesia, extortion, grumpy detectives, a delectable leading lady and serial murder are all present and accounted for in this Otto Preminger directed classic. 

Leave Her To Heaven (1945)    
This was a startling change following on from the previous six crime thrillers of the same era as it was in stunning technicolor. Wowee! The blu-ray transfer is spectacular. This diabolical crime thriller is different too as it is set in a host of bucolic settings throughout the USA. Don't let that serene countryside fool you though this is just as pitch black as any any crime story set in the gritty urban American cities of the day. Gene Tierney is at the top of her game as the chilling Ellen. Cornel Wilde is tops too. Horrific.

Gilda (1946)
As stated on Instagram this was a first time watch for me and wow was I astounded! Rita Hayworth's sparkling charisma jumped out of the screen and swallowed me whole. A crime-melodrama-adventure-romance with a few tremendous musical numbers thrown in. Gilda has the works. The term film noir has never been more obsolete. Along with Hayworth's fashion, hair, glamour etc. there are some blokes who put in outstanding performances too ie. Glenn Ford, George Macready and Joseph Calleia. Best movie of 1946? It's got some stiff competition in The Big Sleep, The Killers & The Postman Always Rings Twice.

Then I lost the will to write as the 40s & 50s crime movies had me in a whirl. I didn't want to write. I just wanted to enjoy the seedy, cynical and calamitous world of these pictures. I'd seen half of them but they were only half remembered as I was a teenager the first time I saw that half. It might seem strange these days that a teenager in the 80s had seen so many hardboiled 40s crime flicks but there was a reason for that. That reason being Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982). The clever collage film where Steve Martin and Rachael Ward were inserted into a hilarious narrative featuring clips from many classic movies of this era. This was all put together by Carl Reiner and editor Bud Molin. Me and my best mate Scott were totally obsessed with this film a couple of years after it was released. So finding these movies or anything similar on video or taping them off the telly was of utmost importance.

Jean Brooks in The 7th Victim

Anyway I watched The Dark Mirror (1946), Phantom Lady (1944), PickUp On South Street (1953), The Hitch-Hiker (1953), Murder My Sweet (1944), Escape In The Fog (1945), Laura (1944), 5 Against The House (1955), Out Of The Past (1947), They Live By Night (1948), Roadhouse (1948), While The City Sleeps (1956), The Seventh Victim (1943), Shockproof (1949), The Lady From Shanghai (1947), The Naked City (1948), The Maltese Falcon (1941), Thieves' Highway (1949), Sorry Wrong Number (1948), The Reckless Moment (1949) and there's probably one or two I've forgotten. 

Patricia Knight in Shockproof

All the good names in the directing, producing, cinematography & writing game are represented: Samuel Fuller, Jules Dassin, Jaques Tourneur, Robert Siodmak, Fritz Lang, Ida Lupino, Nicholas Ray, Orson Welles, Budd Boetticher, Otto Preminger, John Huston, Anatole Litvak, Max Ophuls, Phil Karlson, Edward Dmytryk, Mark Robson, Douglas Sirk, Val Lewton, Nicholas Musuraca etc.

Jean Peters in Pick Up On South Street

Then we had all the beautiful and beaut actresses of the era: Ida Lupino, Mary Astor, Gene Tierney, Patricia Knight, Kim Hunter, Celeste Holm, Rita Hayworth, Barbara Stanwyck, Joan Bennett, Valentina Cortese, Olivia de Havilland, Ella Raines, Kim Novak, Cathy O'Donnell, Jane Greer, Anne Shirley, Nina Foch, Jean Peters, Jean Brooks, Thelma Ritter, Claire Trevor, Rhonda Fleming, Sally Forrest, Geraldine Brooks, Isabel Jewell, Mary Newton, Dorothy Hart, Ann Richards and many more. 

Richard Widmark & Murvyn Vye
in Pick Up On South Street

Plus there was first class actoring from the dudes of the era: Humphrey Bogart, Richard Widmark, Cornel Wilde, Burt Lancaster, Lee j Cobb, Robert Mitchum, Richard Conte, Elisha Cook Jnr., George Sanders, Franchot Tone, Alan Curtis, Brian Keith, Dana Andrews, Vincent Price, Clifton Webb, Farley Granger, Howard Da Silva, Dick Powell, Guy Madison, Edmond O'Brian, Frank Lovejoy, William Talman, Otto Kruger, Kirk Douglas, Thomas Mitchell, John Drew Barrymore, James Mason, Orson Welles, Glenn Anders, Everett Sloane, Murvyn Vye, John Baragrey, Tom Conway, Howard Duff, Barry Fitzgerald, Ted De Corsia, Wendell Corey, Ed Begley, Peter Lorre and way too many to mention.

Ida in Roadhouse

My new found faves (ie. the films I hadn't seen previously) of the non-reviewed 20 are Sorry Wrong Number, The Lady From Shanghai, Roadhouse, Phantom Lady and Shockproof. The good news is I think I've got more than enough of these crime-mystery-thriller-melodramas from the golden era to get me through to the end of the year! Thanks to awesome blu-ray labels such as Arrow, Indicator, Imprint, BFI & Eureka.

Burt in Sorry Wrong Number

Barbara in Sorry Wrong Number

 *Perhaps I'll do one line reviews of the non-reviewed 20 in my next post.