Saturday, 25 September 2021

MOVIES PART 43

ONE SENTENCE REVIEWS OF RECENTLY RE/WATCHED MOVIES



Despite the poster & title (Well the Italian title makes perfect sense, properly translating as Those Who Sing) this is a primo OTT Italian Mob war between two families.
 


Even though Jane Fonda gets top billing this Dmytryk film really belongs to the love story between Capucine and Laurence Harvey's characters that's set in a New Orleans Brothel.
 

This crazy 1989 Japanese flick is like David Lynch on crystal Meth!


Girl clowns come under the spell of rapey & torturous Vampires in this 70s Jean Rollin movie.


A demented fangirl of an 80s electro pop band in Germany goes mental in this transgressive horror film.

Academy award winning Jules Dassin directs cop noir shot on location in NYC about the investigation of a models murder and then some. 


A very entertaining Jail break picture with Burt Lancaster as the the main protagonist that goes gloriously bananas! 

Mixed up teen girls including a young Dianne Lane accidentally become famous in punk band but then realise they sold out. 

Cops, gangsters & murder in this top Fritz Lang noir starring two icons of the genre Glenn Ford and Gloria Grahame.

One of the most most fun delirious giallo flicks with Edwidge Fenech and George Hilton.


An International bunch of young female uni student get slain in a small picture-esque town Italy.

Murder, prostitutes, cops, madames, murder in balmy entertaining Giallo with Bogey look-a-likey.


More insane giallo shenanigans with a female ex-con in a strange mansion. 




Lazy legs (Joan Bennett) lead hapless old dude (Edward G Robinson) to wrack and ruin with her seductive charms in Lang's absolute classic noir.



Dreamy noir favourite where the woman in the window (Joan Bennett) comes to life and Professor Wanley's (Edward G Robinson) dreams come true until thing go murderously awry in this Fritz Lang classic.


Dick Powell gets out of prison ends up in a trailer park and starts looking for his share of the loot but he gets set up, shot at and fucked over several times in quite possibly my favourite American crime/noir flick!


Robert Siodmak directs this richly detailed and beautifully crafted depiction of Italian-American life in the 40s which contains mirroring, mania, matriarchs, madonnas, malevolence and murder.

Glossy but very disturbing 1976 rape revenge drama with two Hemingways.


Friday, 24 September 2021

MOVIES Part 42

 ONE SENTENCE REVIEWS OF MOSTLY REWATCHES 



Criss Cross (1949)
Ex cons, mobsters, armoured truck robberies and femme fatales in choice 40s crime flick from legendary noir director Siodmak.



Angel (1983)
Underage high school girl becomes a hooker due to bad financial circumstances.



Too Late For Tears (1949)
A bag of cash is thrown into a couple's car by mistake, noir shenanigans ensue.


Walking The Edge (1983/5)
Taxi driver gets embroiled in one woman revenge odyssey. 


The Black Marble (1980)
Strange cops and an even stranger dog show groomer in dog mystery.


Squeeze (1976)
Ex-cop alcoholic tries to stop kidnapping from becoming a disaster.


The Killer Inside Me (1976)
Seemingly anodyne cop has bad thoughts leading to even badder circumstances.


The Undercover Man (1949)
I reckon this is the only bad film I've ever seen Glenn Ford in. 



Possible Worlds (2000)
Man picks up same woman several times in different dimensions. 


Woman On The Run (1950)
Ace noir with mucho seedy seaside carnival action.


Pay Day (1973)
The country & western Mean Streets.


The Last American Hero (1973)
All American underdog wins a car race.


White lightning (1973)
Good old boy involved in grass cutting, bootlegging and revenge.


Carny (1980)
Bunch of lost souls degenerate into worse lost souls.


Cruising (1980)
Straight cop goes undercover as leather gay man to solve a series of murders in seedy NYC era but does he become a gay & a murderer himself?

Friday, 23 July 2021

KID FROST - TERMINATOR

SPACE DEBRIS GOES TO THE ELECTRO DISCO AGAIN!


Tuuuuune! Is this Kid Frost dancefloor killah the best electro jam ever? Many agree, there's a lotta love out there for TERMINATOR! What's the point of words! Crank this sucker up to 11 and the truth will reveal itself to you!

Best trivia about this tune is that it's produced by David Storrs! Yes all you new age heads heard that right. Champion Valley Of The Sun New Age recording artist, composer and producer extraordinaire made this music right here. That might explain the incredibly adept use of atmosphere on this trak.





Saturday, 17 July 2021

Sylvia - Sweet Stuff

SPACE DISCO GOES TO THE DISCO FOR THE CLOSING TIME TUNE


Sylvia's Sweet Stuff (1974) must have been a final tune at closing time of many a disco back in the day. The last chance to pair off and as we like to say in Australia "Pull a root!" If I was a DJ in a club today I reckon this would still be my closing tune. 

The production on this (pun intended) is sweet stuff. It's sonically delectable. As seductive as its lyrics. That bass with those drums along with the keys and strings are right on the money, making the magic music! Then Sylvia Robinson's sultry vocals are the soul candy on the top of the cake. 

"I’m not trying to be fresh
Please understand where I’m coming from
But I like what I see
And hope you like me
Mother Nature will do the rest"

She's not trying to be fresh. She just can't help being a human woman being with all the natural desires, impulses and mating rituals that that entails.

"I’ve got a crib with a water bed
And a bottle of wine on ice
So what do you say we go over to my pad
Bet you it could be really nice"

She probably didn't need to do the hard sell as she was well foxy but hey a water bed and wine on ice sounds fucking awesome so yes please. Although anyone who's ever had a go of waterbed knows that they are much better in theory.


Sylvia co-wrote and co-produced this with Al Goodman & Harry Ray from The Moments. Harry also plays the choice electric piano. That rhythm section is damn fine and correct me if I'm wrong but it's Frank Prescod on that extraordinary bass while Clarence Oliver is the astounding drummer. The luxuriant strings make me wanna stay inside this aural world and keep rewinding. I'm guessing the string arrangements are courtesy of Robinson and Sammy Lowe. The Sweet Stuff 7" was issued in 1974 on Sylvia's very own record label Vibration. Confusingly this tune was not included on her 1975 LP that was also called Sweet Stuff. However it turned up on her 1976 LP Sylvia


Sylvia Robinson's Vibration, Stang & All Platinum record labels would close later in the decade to make way for the paradigm shift defining Sugar Hill Records which she owned and operated with her husband Joe. Sylvia produced two just slightly legendary early hip-hop tunes you might know Rapper's Delight & The Message.

LEGEND!

Monday, 12 July 2021

MAN PARISH - BOOGIE DOWN BRONX

SPACE DEBRIS GOES TO THE 80S ELECTRO DISCO



MAN PARISH - BOOGIE DOWN BRONX (1984)
80s 80s 80s!!! 

I heard this yesterday and thought I'd had it on a compilation (?) unless it used to just get played at discos when I was a kid. I couldn't name it though until I figured out what the vocodered vocals were chanting. So I've been trawling the interweb tonight and violà here 'tis. Now I wanna spray paint a train!  Haha... it's not bloody Mantronix (who I also love) it's MAN PARISH. GET DOWN & BOOGIE. PUT ON SOME ROLLER SKATES! ALL ABOARD FOR FUN TIMES!!!

Shout out to the beautiful people who used to make your life better, and still do, by bringing fun, joy and dancing into your life!!! These are gifts of LOVE and need to be cherished. Even adults need to play for the nourishment of their souls. 

EVERYBODY GET DOWN & PARTAY!!!

*Don't let the un-fun political thought police beat you down with their hateful trickery and deceit designed to schizophrenia-ize your mind! 

Sunday, 4 July 2021

The Assembled Minds - Dirty Workshop Magick


Mathew 'Patterned Air' Saunders released a bunch of stuff recently under his fabulous moniker The Assembled Minds onto bandcamp. I've known for a while that he's had a stack of unreleased material waiting around have I? I think I even told some people to sign him up or was that Position Normal? Perhaps both*. My influence can't be that far reaching though as Mathew has released these himself. Hey I gave it a go! Anyway after purchasing all the everything which is both old & new, I'm just stuck on the first digital album I put through the bluetooth speakers. 

That's this terrific compilation DIRTY WORKSHOP MAGICK. First of all: Best album title in the haunty-logic game since Mordant Music's Dead Air. This compilation contains tracks that The Assembled Minds contributed to other compilations over the last seven years. So we get six trax from 2015 to 2020. Assembled Minds came to CardroosManiac2 prominence in 2016 with their brilliant LP Creaking Haze & Other Rave Ghosts which was a Top 10 LP in my end of year list. The brilliant second track The Face In The Mirror Is Not Mine made my 2016 Top 5 tunes list. So if you're across the goodness of this fine music you're in luck here.

"...a half remembered misty rural rave among blurry faced dancers with only their teeth shining bright in a marsh that might not have even existed, where you never belonged. Suddenly your brain connected 'ardcore to the sinister/anodyne conjured by the brown British world of 70s homemade telly where Radiophonica was surreptitiously squished in. In this moment library theme tunes mutated into hardcore rave trax that weren't in this dimension but a possible world of parallels between raves. Seven buttered english muffin people hunted you until you arrived back in an urban town planning nightmare as the suburban lights glowed in the early AMs, comforted by the cars splashing by in the night rain. Feeling good that all this never happened except did it? It's all a dilapidated sound and vision but weren't your parents synthesiser robots? Who've now rusted into squeaky regressed babies. Now including the super soundz of helium voices incorporated with vague slowed down distressed monSTer tones? Were you ever anywhere? Is your brain just an experiment inside a chipped tea cup within a room where the windows have no outside? So wrap yourself up in a beautifully patterned 70s curtain, but hang on, it's just withering satanic wallpaper turning into the ashes of that fireman's suit you'd stolen from an unknown village's station. Weren't you going to wear that to a rural rave at a misty marsh as you couldn't find an actual train driver's outfit in time. There was a whistle in your pocket though... I'll come to you... " 
[This is an excerpt from Tim's Haunted Bollocks Fiction] 

Dirty Workshop Magick is a 6 piece sonic jigsaw. A transmission of shadows of music's former self from this dimension, I think.
  

*Unfortunately amnesia has crept into some of my memory zones so I'm not sure anymore what I thought I knew or whether I even did the things I thought I did. The scans are fine but that's about what it rules in now as opposed to what it rules out! As many less sinister things have recently been ruled out. Now that I think about it, that's very Haunty-Logical although it's definately (sic) not fun or awesome. It's frightening.   

Sunday, 27 June 2021

TEARS FOR FEARS RULED THE WORLD

ON FOUR SINGLES!


INSPIRATIONAL! This is powerful stuff! What an incredibly superior live act they were at this point. Their daggyness is now so so becoming. I am so appreciative of their lack of cool now. This is joyous music but I now realise the pain they've been through to bring you a fucking four leaf clover. This is spiritual and so damn uplifting the smile won't come off my face! THIS IS OUR FOUR LEAF CLOVER!!! Put your hands in the air! Clap and click those fingers Roland Orzabal stylee! Lose yourself! Celebrate while you can. The 2020s do not deserve such ecstatic beauty. This is chills down your spine. It's the hair standing up at the back of your neck and on your arms. This is the good goosebumps. Divine light rarely gets filtered through pop music so fucking dig on it. The humanity of it all is overwhelming. The music from 4.10 onwards is an astounding noisey workout and this is done live (!?). Masterful. Fuck me...I am moved! 

When Tears For Fears first arrived on the scene, was it Aussie top 10 hit Mad World in 1983? I was in grade 6 so I thought I knew what was cool, sexy, daft and whatever else. The Sunnyboys were youthful charm personified, INXS were sex-funk, Madonna was trendy but great, DEVO were pop art, wow Midnight Oil were like political man how interesting right? (said in Tim & Debbie's voice), Lionel Richie was just Lionel Richie, The Birthday Party were scary & satanic (Hey I was little but I had a much older brother), Cyndi Lauper was so quirky she had to be boringly normal, The Church were poetically mysterious, Duran Duran were for the girls to lust after, Prince was otherworldly, New Order were the best, Depeche Mode were on the verge and about to become astronomically devastating and U2 were totally onto something because they were so rockingly anthemic, But Tears For Fears, right....were fucking odd. They didn't seem to be playing the same game.

They did not care about appearing cool or sexy or arty or punky or quirky or new-wave or weird. Even most synth pop whilst great fun was often cynical, perverse, cold, sad, dark, sexual or all of the above. Nik Kershaw & Howard Jones seemed a bit sooky (I'm Antipodean, look it up!) even whilst having terrific radio pop tunes. Tears For Fears were smiling onstage! Fuckin what??? Tears for Fears didn't seem to care enough about their clothes or haircuts or being aloof or sullen or ironic or miserable or funny. There was a darkness to be sure but it was about bringing the light in. They may have seemed generic, "oh more schlock aimed at Smash Hits Magazine kids", but even when I first heard them there was something rare that set them apart. There's a reason why people still care about this band during this era of their first two LPs while say The Thompson Twins are now forgotten despite superficial similarities at the time.

Maybe a year later I recall an interview, perhaps when Shout was released, where it sounded like they were kinda new age or involved in some kind of hippy cult-y therapy nonsense that I wouldn't have understood properly at the time except for being able to compare it to John & Yoko when they were in their balmy therapy phase. Primal screaming didn't seem far from their name tears for fears. I'm sure this was all in the back of my mind. Well it's pretty hard to miss it's scattered throughout their tunes. 

Now in JUNE 2021, even compared to their wonderful and much more critically acclaimed contemporaries TALK TALK, they stick out like a couple broken sore thumbs. I've done no research on them for this piece by the way so this is all off the top of me head and from experiencing their music again today. TEARS FOR FEARS stand out because this is fucking spiritual music! It's healing music. It's positive music. The onstage smiling is fucking magic, beautiful and infectious. They are like nothing else in the 80s except for maybe The Chameleons. The chameleons (who are probably now my favourite 80s British guitar band to exist solely within the 80s decade) are a totally dedicated guitar band though! Their sonic sorcery was beautiful, buzzing, spiritual and ecstatic post-punk of the highest order as I've attested on this blog before

As I've gone through life and pain but also reached ecstatic heights (haven't we all!) this music from Tears For Fears makes much more sense. That's not to say the youth of today can't enjoy it though, because it's meticulously crafted spectacular pop. I mean Curt & Roland were pretty young when they created the music from their precious 1982-85 (?) era. 


It's like they are pushing too many buttons of your humanity emotions. Mad World is so expressionistic right down to that synth break...hang on how the fuck did they make a synth break so full of pathos? Then we get Roland's dancing on the jetty which is an emotional expressionistic interpretive dance, all the words I'm not meant to say about rock but I'm saying it and I love it and I don't fucking care! Even the fake marimba synth soundz are emotional and passionate. Curt Smith's poignant vocal interpretation of Roland's words is so damn touching. They were striking early earth shattering gold here. 


What a great live band. They were so on it right here and they knew it. They were ruling the world at this moment and it's a gift that it was captured on video. What an anthem! I dunno what it means but to me it's about ruling my world which I rarely get to do any more, so this stirs me to my emotional core. Curt is so feeling it. He's clapping, he's dancing in rapture and his hands are in the air like a spiritual guru, this is twenty years before Nick Cave's transformation into a devotional performer. Curt's charismatic divine energy can't help but spill onto the stage and inspire all those within his presence. His joyousness is contagious and absolutely loveable. I'm kinda in love with Curt right now. Roland, the drummer and the synth dude in the singlet are exuding spiritual exuberance too. Then there is that bridge. Oh Lord! That is THE bridge of 80s pop: None more ecstatic. They know and Love, Love, Love... it's all in the air. Then Curt hits the fucking splash cymbal for maximum elation, the money and the show.


Holy fuck if you haven't heard this since you were a kid you are in luck. There's a reason why we all owned the 7" and why this was number one forever in 1984/85. Perhaps this is the most fervent of their anthems. Everything is 80s 80s 80s & switched up to 11. Firstly Roland's vocal performance of this endless mantra is outstanding, he's defiant, angry yet euphoric. Then there's that wicked mental synth bass, that neon tube synth sound, the heavy guitar, the pipes bit, the organ and just the humanity in the impassioned melody. Then we get the release of human agitation and frustration in the vocals and lyrics to reach a heavenly healing plateau. At about the 2.45 mark, signalled by the unforgettable drumming across the floor sequence in the film clip, there is a break down to that Tears For Fears signature percussion sound and it's party time! A 'lil bass break then it gets really fucking heavily psychedelic during and after Roland's insane epic lead break which he does atop a seaside cliff (80s, 80s, 80s!!!!) where all the music just keeps going higher and higher and noisier and louder and keeps enthusiastically climaxing which continues on with the totally mesmerising "SHOUT" chant and the circular harmony's in the round reaching fever pitch that feels like it will swell infinitely until an arbitrary fade out. They could have kept it going for another 10 minutes where eternal delirium may have set in but blissful it would have been! 

A strange revelation to be having, well actually it's not that strange at all as all of the music about to be mentioned has its beginnings in 60s psychedelia, is that Shout is comparable to psych-noise/shoegaze as sonically this just keeps repeatedly blissfully swelling infinitely like a Loop or My Bloody Valentine tune except they weren't fetishising guitars, it was about the noisey overload of incanting human voices & emotions culminating in a trance-like state. The music too does get on a deafening mantra-ride. Whoever produced this sonic document is to be commended. The particular spellbinding buzz of Tears For Fears seems to be about healthy natural spiritual jubilation though. I can't see nihilistic hedonism being part of their lifestyle like say Spacemen 3, but who knows though? Not that that particularly matters on pop records though as the music is the hit, the aural drug, the fizzy pop endorphin rush you crave for and get in spades. 

The video is human and celebratory and smiley and family friendly (Babies & Nannas??? What??? Where's their generation gap???) and so fucking heartwarming: All the stuff that you weren't meant to be in rock because it wasn't cool but it now puts Tears For Fears in a very significant and a really unprecedented esteemed position in 80s pop. Shout was one of the most unique worldwide number one hits ever. One of a kind.

Saturday, 19 June 2021

MOVIES 41

RECENTLY RE/WATCHED 


THE SNORKEL (1958)
Never even heard of this British murder mystery/suspense flick until Indicator released this blu-ray in February. I've come to realise over the last 10 years that there's an entire parallel history of British film out there to the one we already know and love and it's just as good if not better! The Snorkel is an absolute classic thriller that I reckon Hitchcock would have been proud of. Best to go in to this one with as little knowledge as possible. Highest recommendation. 


RUNAWAY TRAIN (1985)
I must have seen this classic 80s action thriller on telly before but I couldn't remember it so it was like I was watching it for the first time. As Peter from Britain's Dragon's Den likes to say "It does what it says on the tin!" ie. It's about a Runaway Train and it's edge of the seat of your pant stuff. John Voigt is outstanding in this Cannon Films production. This is pop art action entertainment!



FROM BEYOND (1986)
You know how Re-Animator (1985) is pretty much the best Sci-Fi Horror movie of the 80s, along with The Fly (1986) & Aliens (1986), well Stuart Gordon's second directorial effort is just as good. It's another HP Lovecraft interpretation. Nutty scientists bugger about and end up creating a "Resonator" which has all sorts of affects on dimensions and sexuality with weird & horrifying consequences. I mean sure it's all about Barbara Crampton in leather underwear, if you saw it in the 80s as a teenage boy but it's more than that, I think. You should watch it again if you haven't seen it since the 80s as it's an exciting wild trip into body horror. TOP SHELF 80s VHS!


DEADLY MANOR (1990)
It's hard to believe José Larraz the director of one of my all time favourite 70s horror movies Symptoms (1974) directed this bottom of the barrel 90s slasher. Only die hard slasher fans are going to find anything of interest here and I suspect they're not even going to extract too much enjoyment here. Steer clear!


THE GOOD DIE YOUNG (1954)
I'm beginning to sound like a broken record with all these ye olde British crime films but here's another gem I haven't watched in a while. I'm surprised by the amount of great British films that don't make the "so called" cannon lists. Is that because cannons are bullshit? It was mentioned on a podcast a while back so a re-watch was in order. Miles Ravenscourt (Laurence Harvey) is a degenerate gambler but with a set of great social skills to enable him to round up three other down and just about out blokes in London to help him pull off a heist. Three quarters of this film are dedicated to the ins and outs of the minutiae of manipulating such relatively good men into criminal and diabolical circumstances. Worth the build up for the terrific ending. 

The Good Die Young has a stellar cast including legendary Gloria Grahame and a a young Joan Collins along with stalwarts Stanley Baker, Richard Basehart and John Ireland. Directed by Lewis Gilbert who went onto fame helming such films as Alfie, You Only Live Twice, The Spy Who Loved Me, Educating Rita and Shirley Valentine


SAVAGE DAWN (1985)
Well this is a pretty good fun outlandish 80s action film with plenty of bad-arse motorbike action in a desert town. We get crazy firearms, tanks, betrayal, revenge, insane military weapons, tractors and even lassos! Stars Lance Henriksen, Karen Black, George Kennedy, Richard Lynch, William Forsyth etc. With characters called Tick, Stryker, Virgil, Zero, Meatrack, Joyboy, Spyder and Lipservice you know you've entered deep into the 80s VHS shelves of bonkers late night action entertainment. 



Ms .45 aka Angel Of Vengeance (1981)
Abel Ferrara's Ms .45 seems to get better with age. This rape-revenge movie is not going to be for everyone. Set in the trendy but sleazy garment district of NYC at the start of the 80s our mute protagonist Thana (Zoë Tamerlis) works as a seamstress. After work one day she is raped in a laneway by a masked man, as if that's not bad enough, when she she gets home she is raped again by a different dude whom she kills. There's more carnage to come as Thana becomes totally unhinged and revolted by any sexual advances from men. The final costume party mayhem extravaganza is actually quite ethereal, befitting Thana's alternative title as an angel of Vengeance. If I spit On Your Grave (1978) is way too much for you perhaps you'll be able to hack Ms .45 but it's still bloody rough going. There's no doubt though that this is a spectacularly put together exploitation film which must have been very unexpected in 1981 after the dross of his debut feature Driller Killer (1979). Ms .45 belongs in the higher echelons of the vengeance and rape-revenge genres. Zoë Tamerlis is brilliant as Thana. Whatever happened to her? er....drugs and lots of them but she did co-write Ferrara's 1992 depraved cop classic Bad Lieutenant before dying in her late 30s of too much drugs. 


THE BLOB (1988)
Wow when I first put this on I thought geez I've underrated this for 30 years. I loved it with its outa space slime falling out of the sky, squishing out of hospital and oozing into the sewer system. But then after half way through comes the the buzzkill information that it's a government scientific military warfare experiment. I couldn't even be bothered trying to read the subtext. Was it anti-Reagan, anti-war, anti-government, anti-military, anti-who gives a fuck?! Why not just have a scary gloopy blob destroying everything in its path without the tedious politics. Still it is worth checking out for the excellent old school effects and the top mysteriously scary first two thirds. For 80s VHS sci-fi horror enthusiasts. A missed opportunity but then again it seems to have quite the cult following.


DOMONIQUE (1979)
This blu-ray was in the Vinegar Syndrome sale so I took a chance and it payed off! This is a quaint British horror film set in a bucolic mansion owned by a very wealthy couple. Inheritances, chauffeurs, gaslighting, death, ghosts, and other assorted monkey business takes place for a splendidly entraining evening of light spooky viewing. Top thriller/horror to watch with your grandma.



POOL OF LONDON (1951)
Here we go again! Another British crime movie of the highest calibre. This is a heist movie with twist then a few more twists and some romance. Basil Dearden directs so what could go wrong? Nothing. The pace, the plot, the scenic London being rebuilt post-WWII, the acting and just the whole vibe is enticing. Surely this one makes some of the canonical lists. Two Merchant seamen and best buddies Johnny Lambert (Earl Cameron) & Dan MacDonald (Bonar Colleano) get the weekend off whilst their ship is docked in London. Johnny finds a woman who he falls in love with while Dan is up to all sorts of shady shenanigans in the streets, pubs and dancehalls of post war London. The duo find themselves inadvertently involved in a jewellery heist. What will become of these two? 

This is right up there with the best British films of all time including Dearden's other top efforts League Of Gentleman, Victim, All Night Long, Sapphire, Blue Lamp, The Mindbenders etc. For my money Dearden is the greatest British director of all time to not cross the pond. A quick look at the Time Out & BFI lists of The 100 Best British Films Of All Time reveals no love for Dearden whatsoever, with no entries in either list, which is perplexing and a disgrace! Next time you read such a list have a good think and you'll realise they are in no way indicative of the greatest films of all time that they purport to be. There is always a narrative being followed or an agenda or some sort of commercial interest but you can become a heterodox thinker so make your own real list. I mean come on! 24 Hour Party People over every single brilliant film in Dearden's entire filmography, that's a bullshit list innit?

LINE OF DUTY THOUGH


But I haven't been in movie mode really because LINE OF DUTY SEASON 6. Anti Corruption Unit 12 are back in full swing! This season's special guest star is legendary Scottish actress Kelly MacDonald and she absolutely kills it as the dodgy copper DCU Joanne Davidson. Adrian Dunbar, Vicky McClure and Martin Compston as our AC-12 trio of Ted, Kate & Steve are brilliant once again. Anna Maxwell Martin returns as the god awful DCS Patricia Carmichael. Then there's Gregory Piper as PC Ryan Pilkington, the all grown OCG housing estate kid from series one and Nigel Boyle returns as the incompetent twat DSU Buckles. These are the greatest actors on telly right now and they put in an unbelievable ensemble performance. It is a joy to watch people at the top of their game and thanks to the writing of Jed Mercurio plus the art of his three directors (special mention to Gareth Bryn for helming episode four) it all comes together spectacularly. This is impeccably put together with not a second wasted. You cannot look away. There's no looking at your phone or knitting to be done during this extraordinary, meticulous and intense Cop V Cop drama!



First we had to watch the new season but then we had to watch all the previous seasons again. So now we're in the middle S6 again. One of the top three episodes ever is in the new season that being episode four. DI Steve Arnott even agrees. Of course the best ever is episode six of season three followed by episode four of season five. Fans you know what I'm talkin' aboot! But there's NOT a bad episode in the entire six seasons. So that's over 36 hours of television (pretty dense) perfection. Nobody can touch the Brits when it comes to telly of the outstanding variety!

Is this the end of the line for Line Of Duty though? I remember a few years back Jed Mercurio was promising seven seasons. The end of the sixth season feels like it's done and dusted though. It all seems wound up. There's only really a couple of questions about Ted Hastings past that remain unanswered. Maybe they could do a prequel of Ted as a youthful copper in his Northern Ireland days. Perhaps it's good to just leave it alone now though. I'm sure Jed's got some other fabulous ideas for other shows percolating in his brain. Maybe that is what's worth looking forward to.


I've watched a bunch of other films and old favourites that I couldn't be bothered writing about or reviewing again like all of the Umberto Lenzi & Sergio Martino poliziotteschi movies, Chopping Mall (1986), The Blood Spattered Bride (1972), Maniac (1980), The Night Train Murders (1975), Der Fan (1982), Bunny Lake is missing (1965), Endless Night (1972), 11 Harrowhouse (1974), The Trinidad Affair (1952), Blood On Satan's Claw (1971), Radio On (1979) and probably some others I've forgotten. 



FIRST TIME ON BLU-RAY FOR THESE CULT MOVIES


ONE ARMED BOXER (1971)
RELEASE DATE: NOW
Kung-fu blu-ray debut of One Armed Boxer on EUREKA CLASSICS. Jimmy Wang Yu the original One Armed Swordsman (1967) is back to fight an array of malicious martial artists in this cult Hong Kong movie from The Golden Harvest Co. After becoming famous as the one armed swordsman whilst under contract at The Shaw Bros Studio now he gets his arm severed again to become the One Armed Boxer...aww no. How does Jimmy do it because he actually has two arms in real life! Amazing, plus he also directs this one with one arm tied behind his back.


THE CRIMES OF THE BLACK CAT (1972)
RELEASE DATE: 6/7/21
One of my all time favourite Gialli gets the blu-ray treatment from Cauldron Films. This is set in the picture-esque city of Copenhagen, Denmark. Blind movie composer Peter (Anthony Steffen) becomes the amateur sleuth after his ex-girlfriend dies. The police don't think its murder but Peter knows better. I mean he's blind but even he can see its murder. Hold on to your hats: We get overheard conversations, a modelling agency, a fashion house, adultery, a deadly cat, a phoney drug addict, sex photo extortion, silk shawls, 70s restaurants/bars, pet shops, a bus chase, a shocking death shower scene, blackmail, a white caped murderer, a body count, a butler, red herrings, tape recordings and more. Unusually we get an incredible set piece on a construction site (?) with the blindman Peter having to dodge murderous machinery whilst on dangerous scaffolding. This is an intense action sequence that sets this Giallo apart. The best (Original review from 26/6/20). 



COLUMBIA NOIR BOX SET #4
RELEASE DATE: 20/10/21
Six More 40s & 50s crime films from Indicator Blu-ray. All debuting on blu-ray. Four of which I've never seen! We've got the lot here: Glamour, Guns, Nihilism, Femme Fatales, Gangsters, Spies, Hitmen, Seedy Cops on the take, Scuzzy NYC, Love and an array Creepy Miscreants. Acting from Kim Novak,  Abbe Lane, Fred MacMurray, Richard Conte, Jean Simmons etc. Directing from Phil Karlson, John Farrow, Richard Quine et al. Plus commentaries and introductions from the likes of Marty Scorsese, Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, Frank Krutnik etc. No Adrian Martin though (aww but why though?). Plus the usual Three Stooges shorts sending up noir motifs. Can't wait!

* I'm not gonna say we need a blu-ray of Cockfighter, After Hours, Night Of The Juggler, Straight Time or Minnie & Moskowitz any more. I give up.

What about The Well (1951), The Phenix City Story (1955), Don't Deliver Us From Evil (1971), Hollywood Man (1976), The House With The Laughing Windows (1976) or Possible Worlds (2000)? Come on blu-ray people! 

POSSIBLE WORLDS. Best film Of the century?


*RANT ALERT! BLU-RAY BUSINESS'S ARE THE NEW DJS!
It befuddles me that not one of these boutique labels has carved out a niche by getting hold of like the 20 best Krimi titles or why it's only been 88 Films championing Hong Kong's amazing yet neglected 60s/70's/80s/90s film legacy up until now that other business's have started barging in on 88 Film's Hong Kong film love. It's like nobody's out there thinking differently. All these labels seem to be covering similar stuff. Something tells me these blu-ray people can't seem to think for themselves and are a bit clueless except for 88, Indicator, Kino Lorber, Vinegar Syndrome and a couple of others. The rest seem keen to just follow trends and chase the same cult films as one another.


Early Krimi THE STRANGE COUNTESS (1961)

Labels like Studio Canal's Vintage Classics, BFI & Network are quietly brilliant because they just do their own thing without trying to be trendy or cool with their ye olde British flicks, British telly and miscellaneous excellent movies. Nobody ever raves about those labels and maybe that's a good thing as they are all about The Movies. One day I just realised that half the movies in my collection are manufactured by these labels.


I mean these  other blu-ray label people are hardly creative types. They are just releasing old stuff that they had absolutely nothing to do with when it was being made. Unless you are Warner Archive or William Lustig running your own fabulous cottage industry in Blue Underground which is keeping his own creative legacy alive and visible. There's nothing particularly cutting edge about this game. It's a bit like DJs in the 90s getting all this notoriety & adulation by simply playing records made by other incredibly creative/innovative artists. That's the crux of the entire curatorship problem. It's now historic. The creativity is finished long ago and never belonged in the hands of these new third party business owners. They are the end of the line. It's bottom feeding innit? The more I think about it, the fustier it all seems, a bit gross, sycophantic and sort of film necrophilia. The cult of boutique blu-ray labels is daft.

Joe Spinnel MANIAC 1980 (Bill Lustig)

I'd say most people probably pay no notice, as they should, and just say "Awesome I've found a blu-ray of Over The Edge! I love that movie. How good is Matt Dillon? Plus all those kids who were non-actors. Jonathan Kaplan rules and the soundtrack is so like excellent!" 

Poliziotteschi classic STREET LAW (1974)

It's puzzling and somewhat suspicious that Arrow are now getting involved in releasing Poliziotteschi Movies after 88, Code Red and others have been releasing that stuff for years. Plus Arrow??? They're slipping in quality and value with not one commentary on any of the the five films on only three discs in the Years Of Lead Box. They're cutting corners and losing respect! Why are we paying premium prices still for that box set, as good as it may be, that seems like it should be a budget product? I think something is definitely up over there at Arrow Films. They are no longer exciting. They're posting apologies and cancellations of blu-ray features. They're repackaging their old titles like Sergio Martino Gialli & Jules Dassin Noirs to make them look like new products. This of course will make obsessive collectors buy the same material again. There was even an instagram post earlier in the year saying they were dropping the excellent esoteric film buff's Arrow Academy line so they have changed their MO to what appears to be a more business-centric model as opposed to a bunch of movie fanatics putting out stuff they love. If I had to guess I'd say there's been a changing of the guard at Arrow HQ and their future is fading fast as it now appears to be being poorly run. Their time might be almost up if they don't get it together and keep the faithful happy....anyway whatever....

Grace Jones in COLT 38: SPECIAL SQUAD (1976)