Thursday, November 23, 2017

Mad Foxes (1981)

Original title: Los Violadores

Director: Paul Grau

Writers: Hans R. Walthard, Paul Grau, Melvin Quifiones, Jaime Sesus Balcazar

Composer: E-Flat

Starring: Jose Gras, Laura Premica, Andrea Albani, Peter John Saunders, Brian Billings, Hank Sutter, Garry Membrini, Ana Roca, Diana Miller, Irene Semmling, Mary-Ann Vaughn, Guillermo Balcazar, Eric Falk, Helmi Sigg, Paul Grau, Antonio Molino Rojo, Hans R. Walthard

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Furious Hell's killers carve out a bloody revenge in a vicious vendetta.

Plot: A man seeks revenge after a biker gang murders his family.

My rating: 8/10

Will I watch it again?  YES!!!


This movie is off the fucking chain!  I first watched it alone and loved the shit out of it so much that I called a group movie night a couple of days later and we all had a friggin' blast!  This Spanish action revenge picture (and fortunately dubbed in English) is bizarre and violent as fuck.  It starts with Hal on the make with a young hottie on her 18th birthday.  On his way to his bar to get her liquored up so's he can bang her, at a stop light he's met with some nasty bikers.

They get into a chase, one of the bikers is killed by his own stupidity.  They split after giving him shit and Hal hits the bar scene.  Now the dialogue is ridiculous as is the dubbing.  It's so bad it's good territory.  It's the kind of thing where people say things that have nothing to do with the other as if to kill time like, "Springtime in France is lovely.  I like pants.  Are you trying not to be seen?".  At first it's just bad but it grows on you and suddenly you're in what the fuck territory and you're laughing your ass off. 

This is a regular dance club like disco and shit and then suddenly some swing tune comes on and it's literally one and a half minutes of this!

The fuck is that shit? If I had to edit anything out of this, this one scene would probably be it.  Now that Hal has his gal proper lubricated enough to leave they come across the bikers outside the club.

The girl is raped and they're both beaten pretty bad.  She's in the hospital.  He's bandaged up and makes a call to these guys...

Check out sexy in the window!  Hal gets his buddies to help kick some biker asses!

The next day Hal is home banging another chick and the bikers find out where the karate dudes hang out.  Then it's one of the most violent massacres you've ever seen.

It's bloody as hell and proves to be a real shocker.  Now this is where the spoilers end.  We're 24 minutes in with 52 more to go.  There are some scenes that drag the picture down just a little but that didn't bother me a bit because after these little breathers the film goes batshit violent.  It's campy, unintentionally funny, unpredictably violent and bloody.  There's also a good deal of nudity and that goes for the dudes, too.

And the ending will blow your mind.  I really want to talk about every single scene and back it up with pictures but that would take time away from watching another movie and it wouldn't be fair to spoil any more because you really need to see this for yourself.  It's a fantastic trashy movie that would best be served on the biggest screen you can muster up and have your friends over and the liquor flowing.  It's a real hoot.  Finding gems like this makes suffering through days and days of shit worth it.


The Day Time Ended (1979)

Director: John 'Bud' Cardos

Writers: Wayne Schmidt, J. Larry Carroll, David Schmoeller, Steve Neill

Composer: Richard Band

Starring: Jim Davis, Christopher Mitchum, Dorothy Malone, Marcy Lafferty, Natasha Ryan, Scott C. Kolden, Roberto Contreras

More info: IMDb


Plot: Aliens visit the solar-powered house of a middle-class family, and the house is suddenly sucked into a time warp that transports it back to prehistoric times.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again?  No.

Good flick.  It's low budget, sure, but Cardos & co. did a great job with making what might seem like a simple story into something that's interesting and more compelling than the usual low budget sci-fi offerings of the day.  It held my interest.  I like how the aliens are not explained.  It's kind of like, ummm, you know, real life.  These dudes show up and there's something of a bad alien in addition to the good ones and all kinds of weird things happen in the sky and then dinosaur creatures show up and disappear and so on.  If you're confused then you're not alone.  It all gets summed up by Grant (Jim Davis) with a simple line about they must have *insert some sci-fi jargon about the space time continuum*.  That was good enough for me.  The low budget means the effects aren't up to snuff but that didn't bother me at all.  Hell, there's a lot of stop motion animation and that's always a plus.  The performances are pretty good and I Richard Band's score has some very nice moments.  If you read the comments on IMDb you'd get the idea this is a moldy turd.  It's a low budget sci-fi flick that tells a good sci-fi story without holding your hand and relying on the effects to distract you.  Check it out.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Eaten Alive (1976)

Director: Tobe Hooper

Writers: Alvin L. Fast, Mohammed Rustam, Kim Henkel

Composers: Wayne Bell, Tobe Hooper

Starring: Neville Brand, Mel Ferrer, Carolyn Jones, Marilyn Burns, William Finley, Stuart Whitman, Roberta Collins, Kyle Richards, Robert Englund, Crystin Sinclaire, Janus Blythe

More info: IMDb

Tagline: He's out there and he's got murder on his mind!

Plot: A psychotic redneck, who owns a dilapidated hotel in rural East Texas, kills various people who upset him or his business, and he feeds their bodies to a large crocodile that he keeps as a pet in the swamp beside his hotel.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again?  No.

I hate to do this but if you're looking forward to seeing some killer alligator action then you're barking up the wrong tree.  You barely get a glimpse of it and most of that is in the final minute.  Seriously.  What you get in stead is some weird backwoods mo-fos kidnapping and terrorizing.  Neville Brand does fine as the main baddie.  It's the kind of role that ten years earlier would've most certainly gone to Lon Chaney Jr..  I wouldn't say this is a minor classic but it does deserve a look if only for Tobe Hooper completists and for fans of the plethora of once-bigger stars such as Carolyn Jones, Stuart Whitman, Mel Ferrer (I've never seen him so bad as he is in this film) and an early role for Robert Englund.  There's a little nudity (yay) and a little gore (goody) but don't expect anything on the level of THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (1974) from a couple of years earlier.  A couple of things that bothered me were the obvious sets.  The entire picture is shot on a sound stage and the red light outside the cabin makes it even more obvious as it lights up the surroundings.  I'm glad I watched it but it's not necessary to see it again.

The Bitch of Buchenwald (2009)

Director: ???

Writer: Gerry Mahr

Composer: ???

Starring: Peter Morgan Jones (narrator), Ilse Koch (archive footage)

More info: Amazon

Tagline: A history of Buchenwald death camp & its notorious commandante, Ilse Koch

Plot: Ilse Koch has won a diabolic kind of immortality as the lady with the lamp made of human skin. She was never convicted for having owned this possession, but there was still enough against her for her to be jailed for life, released, and then jailed for life again. This groundbreaking program puts her career in the context of Nazi Germany, with the SS to which she belong in control, and the social life that as the wife of a concentration camp commander, she was to grow accustomed. This life, financed mainly through embezzlement, and her criminal activities saw her brought before 3 courts: that of the SS, the American Military Tribunal, and finally the German High Court.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again?  No.

Before seeing this, I'd only heard the most basic information about Koch in that she was the sadistic wife of a concentration camp commander and the stories about her having lampshades made from the tattooed skins of the prisoners.  That and that she was the inspiration for the entertaining as hell, ISLA: SHE WOLF OF THE SS (1974).  What I liked about this 80 minute documentary is that it exists at all and it was a chance to learn more about her than just boring old reading about her.  This film doesn't spend hardy any time with her life prior to arriving at Buchenwald but it covers the essentials for what you need to know.  It spends most of the time at the camp with the rest on the events that led to her and her husband's getting in trouble with the law (SS) and the aftermath including her trials and death.  One thing that I found interesting was something I'd never thought about and that's how the Nazis dealt with their own who broke the law.  This film spends a few minutes on how this pertained to the Kochs.  

Visually we see lots of photographs, some video (none of Ilse), and footage of locations as they were at the time this was made.  A few of the photos are used so frequently that you'd think there aren't many available.  That gets old.  The only voice you hear is the narrator's so there are no experts or anyone else chiming in.  And the narrator's voice is closer to monotone.  There are a few facts that are repeated unnecessarily.  All of this combined makes for a dry film.  There's such a lack of variety in all areas that this ends up being a straightforward telling of events.  Now there's nothing wrong with that in theory.  I'm not looking for fancy graphics, sound effects and punchy editing.  I hate that sort of thing.  It's just that everything they used in this picture was so dry and on the dull side that I found myself drifting away and that's not something I do when watching documentaries of this type.  I was eager to learn more about this woman and I came away thinking that I would've been better off spending a few days reading a book (which translates into many hours keeping me away from movies).  It's not easy finding out much about this film and I get the impression that this is probably something that you'd find in the camp's gift shop.  Someday I'd like to visit some of these sites and learn even more.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Smokey and the Hotwire Gang (1979)

Director: Anthony Cardoza

Writer: T. Gary Cardoza

Composers: Danny Bravin, Valerie Jeanne

Starring: James Keach, Stanley Livingston, Tony Lorea, ALvy Moore, Skip Young, Carla Ziegfeld, George Barris, Timothy C. Burns, Randee Lynne Jensen

More info: IMDb

Tagline: It's Heavy Truckin', Hard Drivin', and Free Lovin'!

Plot: CB runaways attempt to rob an armored car.

My rating: 3/10

Will I watch it again?  No.

Boy, oh, boy is this dreadful.   The Hicksploitation genre probably has the worst track record.  This is a late entry with the only thing going for it should be starring Stacy Keach's brother, Alvy "GREEN ACRES" Moore and George "creator of the 60s Batmobile & many other classic movie and TV cars" Barris.  Now I don't recall having ever seen Barris in anything but he's iconic in the industry for his car creations.  It looks like this was the last of three pictures he acted in so this is nothing more than a curiosity for Barris fans.  He's over the top and ridiculous.  It's not his fault, everyone is like that.  I'm guessing it's the script to blame.  Most of the characters are inept and it's painful.  Normally with pictures like this you get some nudity.  Not in this one although there's a lot of teasing going on.  I call bullshit.  The action is silly along with everything else.  It's just bad on all counts.

The Adventures of Busty Brown (1967)

Director: Barry Mahon

Writer: ???

Starring: Laurie Dane, Susan Evans, Lotus Lee, Keith McConnell, Gretchen Rudolph

More info: IMDb

Tagline: She broke the case with every weapon she had available!

Plot: Large-breasted private eye Busty Brown is hired to rescue a kidnapped Oriental girl, so she gets a job at a sleazy nightclub where she believes the owner is involved in the kidnapping.

My rating: 5.5/10

Will I watch it again?  No.

This 49 minute exploitation picture is quick and easy to get through.  Of course it helps when you have some of this...

I would definitely sleep better knowing that Busty Brown is on the case.  It literally plays out just like you expect it to and that's OK.  It's mildly entertaining with less nudity than normal for this type of thing and some bad acting but it works well enough to serve its purpose.  The trailer gives you a taste.  Whatever you think of that will carry over to the picture.  I dug it.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Al Capone (1959)

Director: Richard Wilson

Writers: Malvin Wald, Henry F. Greenberg

Composer: David Raksin

Starring: Rod Steiger, Fay Spain, James Gregory, Martin Balsam, Nehemiah Persoff, Murvyn Vye, Robert Gist, Lewis Charles, Joe De Santis, Sandy Kenyon

More info: IMDb

Tagline: His True Shocking Story...Filmed with Bullet Force!

Plot: This factual biography of gang lord Al Capone follows his rise and fall in Chicago gangdom during the Prohibition era.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again?  Probably.

If you're looking for lots of action and excitement in your Capone movies then keep looking.  There is some of both but it's doled out in tiny bits at a time.  The reason you watch this is for Steiger's powerful performance.  This role gives him a lot of room to yell and rage and he does it well.  He's an intense actor playing an equally intense real life gangster.  The picture is leisurely paced and I'm OK with that.  It's not so slow that it drags or I lost interest.  I think this is the second time I've seen it and I'd forgotten everything about it except for what Steiger brought.  I'm sure that'll happen the next time I plop this in.  If I do, it's because I'll want to be yelled at for 110 minutes, and it'll probably be on a Sunday...about tea time.