Wednesday 5 May 2021

Movies Part 40

Streetwalkin' (1985)
A brother and sister are runaways from upstate left to fend for themselves on the mean streets of NYC in the mid 80s. Cookie (Melissa Leo) soon becomes a prostitute after being charmed by Duke (Dale Midkiff) a psycho pimp (are there any other kind?). Soon enough she and her brother Tim (Randall Batinkoff) have an apartment they share with fellow prostitute Heather (Deborah Offner). Heather is being beaten to a pulp by Duke so a pimp intervention is in order. It's got all the sleaze, nudity, drug use, violence and depraved fuckers from back when New York seemed like a whole lottla scary lawless fun. Look out for TV's Cat Woman from Julie Newmar as the wise ole hooker Queen Bee. Do a double bill with Angel (1984) which is like the LA equivalent. 

Dragonwyck (1946)
Gene Tierney once again stars with Vincent Price in this compelling dark melodrama. It might be one of Price's best performances. It's better when he plays slightly unhinged, flawed or spooky characters. I find him a bit off when he's trying to play a relatively normal man. One suspects PTA would be a fan of this film, perhaps it was an influence on Phantom Thread (2017). This is notably produced by Ernst Lubitsch as well as being the auspicious directing debut flick for Oscar winning director/writer Joseph L Mankiewicz who would go on to direct the much more famous A Letter To Three Wives (1949), All About Eve (1950), Suddenly Last Summer (1959) and Cleopatra (1963)

Yield To The Night (1956)
This brilliant British film puts things like French New Wave into perspective. This is so stylish at the start you might be forgiven for thinking that perhaps you'd stumbled across a lost Melville or Antonioni film. This is basically Dead Man Walking (199?) 40 years early except it's awesome. Mary (Diana Dors) is convicted of cold blooded murder and we watch  her play out the rest of her days reminiscing in her gaol cell before her hanging or her reprieve from the governor. All the acting here is in a superior class as is the script and direction from J Lee Thompson. The Best!

Shot (1973)
Bizarre low budget but highly ambitious 70s crime film. Did this film make any sense? I'm not so sure. I think I'll need to watch it again. It was worth it though for the 70s clothes, cars, buildings and stuff. It's all about the violence, car chases and nihilism. The helicopter cinematography is splendid, it captures snowy regional outskirts of wherever-ville USA gloriously. A film in search of a cult audience or is it already a cult film? Who decides these daft things? I'm guessing if you get a blu-ray release from the fabulous Vinegar Syndrome label you instantly become a cult film.

Suddenly, Last Summer (1959)
I'd never seen this film. It was not what I was expecting one bit. As soon as I saw Tennessee Williams' name hit the screen I got concerned though, thinking isn't he the most pompous middlebrow writer of the worst kind? For the first hour I just wanted to turn it off as a wall of non-stop words hit me in my head. This may has well been a radio-play as far as I was concerned. Elizabeth Taylor finally appearing kept me in and the story was pretty compelling in the end if totally bloated. It only really become cinematic in the last twenty minutes when Catherine (Liz Taylor) describes how and why her male cousin Sebastian died. This was s shown in flashback sequence. I wonder if films such as these gave melodrama a bad name and eventually made them unfashionable? Liz's famous bathing suit only makes a brief appearance. It's hard to imagine how it became so iconic! Still this overblown mysterious tale of deplorable behaviour is very sickening. 

From a cinematic point of view I would have just told the crime story in the Spanish seaside town straight. Cutting out all the self important time wasting monologues (particularly those of Katherine Hepburn) and all the stupid psychiatry but leaving in the transgressive taboo horror. That would have been a lean and mean nasty flick though, making it perhaps unpalatable for the time. Then again many noir films and Budd Boetticher Westerns did this previous to 59. Anyway It is worth watching for Taylor's performance alone which is as per usual pretty spectacular. In a word TURGID.

RaBID DOGS (1974)
One of the most fun and definitely the most compelling Mario Bava movies ever made! You cannot look away or lose interest during this entire 96 minutes. It been categorised as many things but I reckon it's just the ultimate depraved black comedy road movie ever. If an insane criminal threatens to chop off your kidnapped sons balls and make them into earrings for you, then offers to make you a broach from his winkle you know you're on a deranged movie trip of a lifetime!

The Damned (1962)
I only knew this was one of Joseph Losey's British era flicks. That's all you need to know. Just drop everything and go watch this immediately. I gotta say I dunno how this got past me for so many years because surely this is one of the ultimate batshit crazy cult movies. Just look at the two posters above...yes they are THE SAME MOVIE! 

Border Incident (1949)
It's got quicksand seriously what more do I need to say! They could remake this today and they wouldn't have to change one thing. No director would have the guts though. This subject matter couldn't be more relevant as the Mexican/USA border humanitarian crisis has deepened with Creepy Joe in power. This is an unbelievably brutal tale of people smuggling. The American and Mexican feds are in cahoots to try and capture some of these rotten people smugglers. John Alton and Anthony Mann once again collaborate and along with great actoring create create a unique piece of cinema. Border Incident's captures all the claustrophobia that noir westerns have and way way more malevolence.   

The Gunfighter (1950)
Gregory Peck is Ringo a bad arse gunslinger. Based on a story by legendary director/screenwriter Andre De Toth but directed by Henry King. Due to the ageing Ringo's reputation as the fastest gun in the west all the young upstarts wanna have a crack at him. Ringo's looking to settle down and make up with his estranged wife though. 

SPOILER ALERT! I mean this film is 71 years old so whatever... I find it hilarious that some experts have read Peck's character as morally upstanding. Some movie writers are dumb as fuck! The fact of the matter is by not retaliating to his killer Ringo gets supreme vengeance upon him before he croaks by bestowing a life sentence of anxiety, looking over your shoulder and never having a moments inner peace as you never know where your next potential killer is coming from. Ringo tried to redeem himself, it didn't happen so he bitterly handed out this bleak vengeance. He died in vane and left an inhumane legacy upon his killer. This is the ultimate in vengeance! This could have been the plot-line for an episode of Deadwood so if you're a fan of that spectacular tv show this is right up your street. Top Western.

La polizia ha le mani legate aka Killer Cop (1974)
Excellent Poliziotteschi film directed by Luciano Ercoli who directed a trio of distinctive gialli The Forbidden Photos Of A Lady Above Suspicion (1970), Death Walks On High Heels (1971) & Death Walks At Midnight (1972). A terrorist bombs a hotel lobby in Milan. It's up to Commissioner (Claudio Cassinelli) a NARC who inadvertently became embroiled in the saga and the DA (Arthur Kennedy) to figure out who the bomber is as there seems to be corruption somewhere along the chain of command in the Milanese police squad. La polizia ha le mani legate, while not as OTT as most Italian action crime movies of the time is a compelling and tense cop drama.

Victim (1961)
A grim bit of social commentary right here folks. I like my films to be as morally reprehensible as possible so I usually don't go for movies with social consciences but this one is so brilliantly executed you cannot deny it. Victim tells horrific tales of gay men being blackmailed out of their hard earned cash otherwise they'll be dobbed into the coppers for being homosexual which was illegal at the time. In fact it wouldn't be until 1967 that homosexual men were granted some freedom in England & Wales. Basil Dearden piles on the mystery and suspense until we wind up with the callous extortionists being revealed but not before sad collateral damage has occurred. Dearden as per usual assembles a cast of master actors including Dirk Bogarde, Sylvia Sims, Denis Price, Nigel Stock, Peter McEnery, Donald Churchill etc. 

Interestingly several of the most famous actors of the time who had appeared in other Dearden films turned down the role of Melville Farr. Farr is a gay barrister living in a traditional marriage to Laura (Sylvia Simms) but has to come out so that the blackmailers can be punished for their fiendish deeds. Bogarde a gay man himself took on this role fearlessly but saw it as a no brainer because a large part of British society was already permissive and accepting of homosexuality. Perhaps he was being modest as his character was not only the film's hero but he became a real life hero too. Bogarde was commended for his bravery for portraying such a character with great sympathy and dignity. 

The Prowler (1951)
Unpredictable Joseph Losey directed creepy crime flick. Webb (Van Heflin) a cop is called out to a house to investigate a prowler. He discovers Susan (Evelyn Keyes) is all alone at night as her husband is doing the late shift on the local radio station. Soon enough Webb has coerced Susan into a diabolical relationship. What's the word for a femme fatale in masculine form? Anyway that's essentially what Webb is. Nefarious plans go awry of course and this film ends up in a most peculiar and unexpected place. Great stuff of the high recommendation merit!   

Quicksand (1950)
Unfortunately there is no actual quicksand here but this is a notch crime story anyway. Quicksand starts with Dan (Mickey Rooney) taking 20 bucks out of the work cash register so he can take the glamorous Vera (Jeanne Cagney) on a date. A downward spiral then ensues with atrocious consequences. Peter Lorre steals the show as the dodgy blackmailing arcade owner Nick. This script doesn't miss a beat with its enthralling & absurd plot that'll have you glued to the screen for the duration. This is entertainment of the high order.

Lolly-Madonna xxx (1973)
A pitch black crazy Hillbilly feud flick. A turf war between two neighbouring rural families up a mountain in Tennessee, America escalates to insane nihilistic levels. We get violence, gang rape, grannies with shotguns, clapped out pick up trucks, mucho denim, bootlegging, kidnapping, love, demented macho men, animal cruelty and general lawlessness. They call this kind of film hillbilly-sploitation these days. This one is aiming somewhat higher than typical fare in this sub-genre though. Lolly-Madonna xxx is based on a Sue Grafton novel, has high calibre actors, fine film-making execution and was even produced by MGM. We get young Gazza Busey, Randy Quaid & Jeff Daniels plus ragged veteran actors Rod Steiger & Robert Ryan

The titular character is played by Season Hubley who is a curious figure on the peripheries of cult cinema. She also appeared in Hardcore (1979), Elvis (1979), Escape From New York (1981), Vice Squad (1982) and that's about it apart from a bit of telly. This flick is for exploitation completists, 70s Americana fiends and "New Hollywood" fanatics. Oh, the best thing here is the brilliant score from Fred Myrow of Soylent Green (1973) and Phantasm (1979) fame. 

Poor Pretty Eddie (1975)
We're still in Hillbilly exploitation territory here. This film is pretty deranged so it's not going to be for everybody. In fact it's hardly going to be for anybody except for the most die hard of exploitation fans. How much disturbia can you handle? This is an el-cheapo Southern Gothic Horror Film innit? Almost every scene is designed to make you uncomfortable à la Lars Von Trier. The tonal shifts here are bizarre and rapid adding to the overall queasy vibe. 

Liz Wetherly (Leslie Uggams) is a beautiful famous black jazz singer who runs into trouble when her car breaks down in a remote hillbilly town. Everybody she meets seems to be a lecherous creep. Liz's car is deliberately not being fixed which basically makes her a hostage at Bertha's Oasis, a skanky rundown bar/motel run by Bertha: A Norma Desmond (Sunset Boulevard) type of faded showbiz character, flawlessly depicted by the magnificent Shelley Winters. Look out for Slim Pickens as the sleazy sheriff, Dub Taylor as the mental justice of the peace and Ted Cassidy as the scarfaced oddball Keno

Oh... I almost forgot then there's smiley Eddie (Michael Christian) the psycho but handsome Elvis wannabe who is being kept by the much older Bertha. Since Liz's arrival in town though Eddie's got one thing on his rapey mind and nothing is gonna stop him. Just how the hell is Liz going to get out of this horrific nightmare? The Horror!

Les Diaboliques (1955)
I've been waiting 30 years to get around to watching this famous French Horror/Thriller directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot. So I was totally enthused to break out the blu-ray as the time was right. I was so excited! However it turns out waiting that long ruined the whole thing for me. I was thinking "Geez some of this has been ripped off!" Then by the time of the hamper scene scene I'd put two and two together. I'd seen this exact film before in the guise of a bloody American ABC tv movie of the week from the 70s. I knew it had Tuesday Weld and Sam Waterston from Law & Order but I had to look it up right here on my own blog. It's called Reflections Of A Murder from 1974. 

Les Diaboliques is still brilliant though. So many characteristics of film suspense started here. This murder mystery horror has a plot so perfectly watertight (haha) it's astounding! Most of you have already seen it but if you haven't you gotta watch it because it's THE BEST. Just steer clear of all the remakes and rip offs beforehand.

Dirty Weekend (1992)
This feels more like a 1989 film than a grunge era flick. Michael Winner is a fine director of some awesome (The Mechanic) and some outrageously controversial but bloody entertaining movies (The Mechanic, Death Wish 1, 2 & 3, Scream For Help). Dirty Weekend is in the latter category with its joyous depiction of sex, violence & revenge based on the 1991 best selling novel by Helen Zahavi. It's pretty hard not to enjoy this illicit piece of cinema. We get sleaze, more sleaze, sleazy peeping toms, obscene sleazy phone calls, a sleazy psycho Persian clairvoyant, shit friends, sleazy bad cops, sleazy fat psychologists, sleazy amoral gun dealers, picturesque Brighton Beach, sleazy rape, a sleazy rapey dentist, an assortment of murder methods, not one but two serial killers and a whole lotta stupid vengeful fun! 

Bella (Lia Williams) is a boring unnoticeable plain girl who's been fucked over one too many times by men. She transforms into a depraved sexy murderous avenging angel. The scene with the psychologist fat man (Michael Cule) is the pièce de résistance of Dirty Weekend. It has to be seen to be believed especially when he strips naked and slaps his flabby man boobs in what he thinks is a sexy time come on move. Your life will not be complete without witnessing this historic moment of cinema! This is 100% The Lia Williams Show with terrific dialogue. The script was written by Winner and Helen Zahavi. Lia Williams should have won awards for this depiction of a character who totally transforms from beginning to end. Oh... nearly forgot: Mike from The Young Ones plays a cameo role as a homicidal maniac named Small One. If gleeful rape revenge depicted on celluloid is your idea of fun then this is for you.

Gator Bait (1974)
Keeping with the American country bumpkins but this time we're not up a mountain in Tennessee we're in the muddy alligator territory of Louisiana swampland. This time it's male cops & crims in cahoots against a cajun woman Desiree the gator poacher. She's played by Playboy playmate Claudia Jennings (Truck Stop Women 1974) so she is exceptional eye candy. The best thing about the movie is the music which is harmonica and banjo led folk. Gator Bait is another exploitation flick that is also beautifully photographed but maybe that's not that hard in such spectacular wilderness. The other great thing is the boat chase sequence which I was totally digging and had me thinking we need more boat chase action set pieces in movies. We also get manslaughter, attempted rape, the hunters becoming the hunted, liberal use of racial slurs, implied incest and general daft dumb-arse country macho bullshit. Despite this assortment of ingredients for a backdrop and a plot there's not really a good story here...well there sort of coulda been but the interesting part isn't developed. They just throw a major dramatic arc away like litter, perhaps because they were in a rush to just cash in. The atmosphere and location on their own just aren't quite enough to hold this film together, a missed opportunity. Although if you are from the area or have visited, it's probably worth a nostalgic look.    


Final Exam (1981)
A hybrid of of almost sex comedy & slasher film. Likeable characters always push a slasher to a much better place. Even the numskulls are bearable in this college set movie. I love how they to try to make a good looking actress the plain one by just not making her hair cool, using less make up and giving her personality common sense. Look out for terrorist scene that would not get okayed today. Includes terrific arbitrary Carpenter-esque score. Better than most. 

Just Before Dawn (1981)
One of the few slashers that transcends its sub-genre and gets to be considered a very good film by some. This just gets better and better each time I watch it. It stands apart because it's not just a slasher, it also has Deliverance vibes and some pretty spectacular set pieces. The filmmakers somehow make a bunch of College kids going camping in the woods and getting harassed by in-bred maniacs not just interestingly tense but fresh and er... strangely touching. Just Before Dawn's got beautiful cinematography, a great Brad Fiedel score and a transformed fist pumping final girl in very small shorts! Tops.

Slumber Party Massacre (1982)
Everybody's favourite feminist slasher. Jackie (Andree Honore) puts the pizza box from the slaughtered pizza delivery boy onto his chest then proceeds to eat a slice of said pizza. I assume she's got the munchies from smoking pot earlier on but I'm sure the anxiety of a seemingly random massacre happening around you would be enough to put you off your food at least until the killer is captured!

Mutilator (1984)
This is probably the worst of this batch but it's not the lowest you can go in the sub-genre. In fact in the right frame of mind and at the right time of night this is sufficiently entertaining. Some of the acting here is very ropey. Boobs, blood, beer and bad dads.

Intruder (1989)
Directed by Sam Raimi's mate Sam Spiegal this is an el cheapo slasher set in a supermarket with pretty inventive kills, good gore and an unusually likeable cast. I even like the killer. For slasher completists and those willing to go deep into the dodgy 80s VHS shelves. Includes appearances from Bruce Campbell, Sam & Ted Raimi. There is also dodgy pizza shenanigans here.

My Bloody Valentine (1981)
A huge cult favourite amongst slasher aficionados. I'm beginning to come around on this one. I hated this when I first saw it. For a start I'm loving the way the cars, streets and fashions of the time are filmed. It's sort of like a Stephen Shore or Langdon Clay photo come to life. Some real suspense is built up in the mine sequences making me realise why this particular slasher has such a rabid cult following. My Bloody Valentine actually seems have actual high production values and maybe even a reasonable budget to almost match Halloween (1978)

Nightmare Beach (1988)
An Umberto Lenzi directed Slasher/Biker/Electric Chair/Police Procedural/Spring Break hybrid made in Florida in the late 80s! Need I say more? If you understand and like the idea of that sentence this is for you and if you don't move along. Next.

Offerings (1989)
Prom Night meets Halloween 10 years too late in regional Oklahoma. Offerings is a demented yet sad love story with some black comedy chucked in, like a proper Greek tragedy. John Radley (Richard A Buswell) is the tragic figure trying to communicate his love to his childhood crush of ten years ago Gretchen (Loretta Leigh Bowman) the only way his damaged brain knows how. He offers her body parts, a bit like when your cat delivers you a dead birdy or puts something in your shoe because they love you. Offerings contains one of the great John Carpenter scores not actually by Carpenter. This is not too bad considering how late in the cycle it is. While the pizza delivery boy is murdered à la Slumber Party Massacre this pizza should definitely not be eaten!


Siege (1983)
Release Date: 20/7/21
I asked for this blu-ray in my last film post and violà here it is. Thanks to the blu-ray gods & Severin Films. Cult Canuxploitation that is awesome low budget goodness. Anarchy reigns supreme in Nova Scotia due to a police strike. A battle ensues between The fascist New Order gang and the tenants of a block of flats.

Years Of Lead Box Set (1973-1977)
Release Date: 21/6/21
I also asked for "a stack of Poliziotteschi movies" and violà here's five in one boxset! We are told these are five classic crime thrillers. I've only seen one from this set so how excitement. The Movies appearing in this new box set are No The Case Is Happily Resolved (73), Savage Three (75), Like Rabid Dogs (76), Colt 38 Special (76) and Highway Racer (76). 

Vengeance Trails: 4 Classic Westerns (1966-1970) 
Release Date: 26/7/21
I didn't ask for this one but what is better than two cult genres coming together at once. That's the Spaghetti Western and the Revenge Film. Let's face it westerns are only worth watching if they've got revenge so Hallelujah! We get Fulci's Massacre Time (1966), Lucidi's My Name Is Pecos (1966), Dallamano's Bandidos (1967) and Margheriti's And God Said To Cain (1970). What about that for a list of directors?! 

*I had a good strike rate in the last wish-list so let's see how we go this time. Still no California Split, After Hours, Cockfighter, Straight Time or Night Of The Juggler announcements. We also want Quicksand, Side Street, Blast Of Silence, I Walk The Line, Payday, Fear Is The Key, Minnie & Moskowitz, The Last Of Sheila, Going In Style (79), Stir, Pure Shit, Arrebato, Breaking In, Possible Worlds, Ladies & Gentleman The Fabulous Stains and more 40s/50s English & American crime movies I can't remember the names of right now because tired. 

Saturday 1 May 2021


The sound in my head every day. The noise, chaos & frustration is like a day in the life of being a walking clusterfuck headache, sore skull, stress headache, headache, blistering head pain migraine-man. Plus all the collateral damage on your life that entails. The destruction of brain capacity and quality of one's active living lifestyle. That's just a personal health rant!

Back to SPK! This song is fucking bananas-ly brilliant. Pioneering Australian experimental noise, industrial, electronic & whatever music from this era is so so amazing and underrated. It's especially underrated in Australia. That's a fucking disgrace! Wake up Australia! Imagine if NIN or any Death Metal was 10% as intense as this? Then shit would have been going right on target! But nah that shit's for soft cocks. Hardest of Cores!

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)
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). 

One important fact was missing. These films were based on fictitious pornographic novels about exploits in the Joy Division. These books were named Stalag fiction and broke bestselling records in Israel in the 60s. A pretty fucking important missing piece of information doncha' think. It's like making a Gialli documentary failing to mention Giallo paperbacks and Agatha Christie!

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 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 beat up honky tonk piano 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 stupid 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 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. Once you've seen First Blood can you go back to trivial naval gazing rich kids? 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 the brutal rural Australian Catholic high school reality, not that they had to. I think some of my friends wanted to have really specific cliques while maintaining their hegemony, watered down subcultures (but didn't have the guts to be say be a goth or whatever), American style middle class wealth, school cafeterias, American fashion, general all round middlebrow values and dialogue written by an adult man coming out of their mouths. It was middle class 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, (IRS) REM, Nick Cave, Died Pretty etc. 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. The music from bands everyone liked like Midnight Oil, INXS, U2, Prince or Crowded House got an airing.

Tangental slide there... 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 & 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! there was no need for such a twat. 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 all the Aussie guys on our 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 on 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 terrific like Wings Of Desire, Jean De Florette, Brazil, The Quiet Earth, The Year Of Living Dangerously or Raising Arizona because I haven't watched them for over 25 years. It doesn't mean they're not still great. These listed flix have all stood the test of time whereas most of that instagram list haven't. 

Blue Velvet
The Hitcher
Elephant Man
Mad Max 2
First Blood
The Thing
Night Of The Creeps
Ladies & Gentlemen: The Fabulous Stains
Dogs In Space
Blue Thunder
Dead & Buried
Sharkey's Machine
Breaking In
The Hidden
The Fog
From Beyond
Blood Simple
Evil Dead
Withnail & I
Ms 45
Love Streams
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
Maniac Cop II
Night Of The Comet
Savage Dawn
Friday The 13th
Friday The 13th II
Blood Beat
Happy Birthday To Me
Sleepaway Camp
Slumber Party Massacre
Just Before Dawn
Next Of Kin
The Changeling
The Dead Zone
Repo Man
Something Wild
The Fly
The Shining
Fatal Attraction
Bad Timing
The Long Good Friday
Mona Lisa
The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover
The Fourth Man
Raging Bull
Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid
Crimes & Misdemeanours
Hannah & Her Sisters
Broadway Danny Rose
The Purple Rose Of Cairo
Bad Taste
The Year My Voice Broke
Ghosts Of The Civil Dead
The Killer 

...and I could probably add at least another 50  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....