Showing posts from July, 2018

Massacre Mafia Style (1974)

Who was Duke Mitchell?  That was the question I had when I saw the credits come up for this.  I was wondering if this was going to be another Italian production where someone used an American sounding name to hide the fact that it was a foreign film.  However, no dubbing, Los Angeles locations instead of New York or Rome; had to be American, but definitely not a typical Hollywood film. I should have known who he was. Not from music, surprisingly.  He was a crooner, the "King of Palm Springs" in fact, and friends with Frank Sinatra.  However, recorded output from him is pretty scarce.  Since primarily I collect records, it may be a surprise that I didn't know who he was, but even someone with a large collection will not know 99 per cent of the artists that have recorded in the last 140 years unless they get something in their collection.  Surprisingly, I knew who Vic Caesar was immediately, even though he is an even more obscure crooner. Mitchell's main claim to

Ten Violent Women (1982)

There are many what-if scenes in movies.  "What if they had hired someone who could make a realistic looking digital shark?  That would have been one of the best unexpected movie deaths ever!"  Instead, Samuel L. Jackson suddenly turns into a bunch of pixels as an effect the makers of Sharknado would have rejected takes him out. What if George Lucas had someone else write the dialogue for the prequels?  What if Blake Edwards just accepted the fact the Pink Panther series was over when Peter Sellers died? And, in this case: what if Ted V. Mikels ever used some of the money he earned from his cheap drive-in films to buy a lighting rig?  Yes, the movie is obviously supposed to be run-of-the-mill exploitation, promising some skin and some blood, but that's no excuse for the fact that it is this difficult to actually see the movie while watching it. Our title characters are working alongside a number of other young women as gold miners when the one man on their crew, wh

The Doll Squad (1973)

Get this: you decide to get a bunch of beautiful b-movie actresses together and play James Bond out in the California desert.  You even have a friend with a boat that can arrange it so you can film some exotic scenes on the ocean.  Your little spy movie may bomb with critics and get the usual reaction most of your films do but, 45 years later, it has spawned a television show (which itself spawned two movies of its own) and influenced one of the biggest action films of the 2000s. This is what Ted V. Mikels's The Doll Squad accomplished.  An unabashed exploitation film like most of his work, it is surprisingly devoid the the T&A one would expect from this title (especially from the poster) and is a largely serious attempt at making an action film on a budget.  And, although Mikels is known more for Astro-Zombies and The Corpse Grinders , this seems to be where he actually decided to seriously buckle down and do a coherent movie. CIA agent Victor Connelly (Anthony Eisley)

Breaker Morant (1980)

When you hear about a "new wave" in film, I am sure that the first thought you have is of the French New Wave of the late 1950s and early 1960s.  Those films, to varying degrees of success, had a certain feel of time and place and liberation as well as similar thematic issues.  That is why it is hard for me to understand why a number of Australian films get grouped under the "Australian New Wave" moniker.  The one overwhelming theme, if there is one, is the fact that the censors backed off to the point that it was worth it for Australian directors and actors to stay at home and have an actual film industry rather than heading to Great Britain or the United States.  The Australian New Wave, therefore, encompasses everything from Picnic at Hanging Rock to Mad Max , as well as a number of war films, art films and movies that are commonly called "Ozploitation" in the U.S.  About the only unifying theme is that the movies are, first and foremost, proudly A

Café Flesh (1982)

A bit of a warning here.  Typically I stray away from adult films, largely because they are barely films and more because they are inherently silly.  Since recently, for the interest of a podcast  that I am doing with a friend critiquing, song by song, the works of Electric Light Orchestra, I checked out a film from 1976 called Ecstasy in Blue.  The reason for that was because that particular film uses ELO's music (without permission) as well as the closing music for Carrie , a piece by Wendy Carlos and I am sure several other bits of stolen copyright material.  The opening made it look like something I would review here but, alas, it ended there.  The director obviously had some talent, but the movie was your basic extremely low-budget 1970s porno, made after the whole porno chic trend had ended. While that film in no way fit the format of my typical reviews, it got me thinking of one of the few adult films I have actually wanted to see over the years:  Café Flesh .  It was a