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My monthly Grindhouse marathon


#1

Something I thought of for fun and in preparation of Grindhouse.

Since I took part in a Academy Award marathon-challenge last month, why not go at it again? But this time, go for an anti-Oscar marathon. Hence, a marathon of nothing but exploitation, cult, grindhouse classics!

Feel free to join in! Just a simple task,All month long try to watch as much as you can.

Writing reviews of the movies is optional

The 3rd movie of my marathon (Born Losers) is about to begin, previous 2:

(Italo-Crime/Action)
1.The Last Round (1976). Just another good ol’ ripoff of Yojimbo/Dollars in a Northern Italian setting. I was curious about this one to see how the lead-actor Carlos Monzon (Middleweight champion of that time) could pull it off. Sadly, not too much to write home about. (Watched it via No Shame DVD)

(Propoganda/Hippie)
2.Riot on Sunset Strip (1967). No big riot ever appears, but you get an awful lot of “Dealing-with-Youth-Gone-Wild” matter. What’s most distracting is that the entire movie looks and sounds like an episode of 60’s TV (Dragnet, etc) But there’s a few highlights which include concert footage of The Standells (These guys were awesome) and a never-ending “acid dance” from the innocent-turned-pot head, hot chick. (Watched it via Showtime Extreme)

(Biker/Revenge)
3.The Born Losers (1967). Still one of the most roughest PG-rated movies out there. Even after all these years! And even though the character of Billy Jack would return for a few more sequels, he still remains as one of the most unsung badass movie heroes in cinema history, IMO. BTW, never recognized Jeremy Slate in this movie. (The Movie Channel)


#2

LB: I have Born Losers in my Billy Jack Collection box set. Its actually not one of my fave biker films. I thought it was sort of boring. I def like Billy Jack more (even though its not a biker film). I own The Last Round on DVD. Its not too bad. Cant say its one of my fave Italian polizioteschi though. I havent seen Riot on The Sunset Strip yet. Gotta check it out sometime.



NOTE: Ive written reviews of alot of Grindhouse films already so whichever ones I watch Ill put my old reviews with them (these two are edited down):



1. Dolemite (1975)



1975 was really the end of what cinephiles know as the “Blaxploitation era”. Hollywood had pretty much used up all of the different themes and storylines and it was running out of steam. Comedian Rudy Ray Moore wanted to cash in on the craze so he brought his standup character “Dolemite” to Drive ins and Grindhouse across the USA. Dolemite has to be one of the worst directed films I’ve seen, but for some reason, that doesnt matter when you watch it. The acting is horrible too, but theres a certain charm about the film that will pull you in, thats if you like low budget Grindhouse fare from the 1970s.



Look out for some hilarious scenes, including: Dolemite’s creative use of the word “MOTHERF*CKER”, the boom mic hanging in shots, the All Ho Kung Fu Army battle and Dolemite’s great street poetry featuring his classic “The Signifying Monkey”.



Rudy Ray Moore is a legendary comedian who was influential on comedians like Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock and the entire genre of hip hop music. Dolemite is one his classic gems from the Blaxploitation era.



2. Foxy Brown (1974)



In this follow up to Jack Hill’s 1973 Blaxploitation classic Coffy, Pam Grier stars as Foxy Brown, another badass babe thats out for revenge. Foxy Brown was originally meant to be a sequel to Coffy, but Hill decided to create a new character for Grier to play.



Pam Grier shines once again as Foxy Brown. Its another excellent Exploitation film by Grindhouse auteur Jack Hill. He creates a great atmopshere and his snappy dialogue and fun characters are really some of the best in the 70s Grindhouse era. A highly rewatchable film as well.



If you got creamed by Coffy, you’ll go crazy for Foxy!


#3

3. Wipeout! (1973): What I enjoy most about Fernando DiLeo’s films is the honest depictions of Italian underworld characters and the light and dark humor that runs through his work. He both wrote and directed some of the best works in the polizioteschi genre. Films like Milano Calibre 9, La Mala Ordina, I Padroni Della Citta, Il Boss give viewers a very clear look into the mafia life in Italy in the 1970s. The main difference between the Italian mafia films and the Hollywood films were that the Italians didnt glorify the gangsters, instead they showed them for the true treacherous, traitorous lowlifes they really were.



Lanzetta (Henry Silva) works for Don Corrasco (Richard Conte) and his associate Don Giuseppe Danielo (Claudio Nicastro). Like a good soldier, Lanzetta takes out a rival family at the opening of the film (this is one of the most badass violent openings ever). When the family associate Cocchi (Pier Paolo Capponi) sees the bloody burnt mess of the hit, he is enraged and plans on getting revenge on Don Giuseppe. He figures out a way to hit him the hardest: kidnap his daughter! The only thing Cocchi didnt see coming was that Rina Daniello would be a complete sex crazed nymphomaniac. When Cocchi and his men get Rina back to their hideout, they begin to berate Rina and tell her how much shes going to be used like a ragdoll. Instead of being afraid, she asks “Got a drink? Im thirsty”. Cocci’s men give her the Italian cinema drink of choice, J&B Scotch and Rina gets liquored up and ready to play.



Meanwhile, Don Giuseppe is in anguish over his daughter being taken. Don Corrasco explains that Rina will probably die because the family will not cooperate with Cocchi. This would humiliate the family and make them look weak. Lanzetta gets an idea to pretend that they will give a ransom for Rina, but this is just a ploy to give him enough time to find out where she is. Lanzetta plans on bringing the money to Cocchi’s men with Don Giuseppe and another friend of the family. When they arrive, Lanzetta gets out of the car and Don Giuseppe proceeds to thank him for all his help. Then BANG, Lanzetta takes out Giuseppe and his friend. Lanzetta’s friend Pignatro (Marino Mase) is waiting. They take their bodies and throw them in a furnace. Lanzetta takes the money and meets with one of Cocchi’s men and gets the whereabouts of Rina.



Lanzetta sneaks into Cocchi’s hideout while the men and Rina are having an orgy (what else would they be doing?) He shoots the two men, grabs Rina and brings her back to his pad. These scenes between Henry Silva and Antonia Santilli are really hilarious. He slaps her around and calls her a “dirty fucking slut” one minute, then the next they’re kissing tenderly like its a love story. Santilli is a foul mouthed wiseass and she continously instigates Lanzetta into smacking her and telling her to get lost. Since they’re holed up while Cocchi and his men are buzzing like angry Italian hornets, Lanzetta has to stay put until he gets word from Don Corrasco for his next move.



The thing I love about DiLeo’s films is that EVERYONE is corrupt. Noone is safe from being knocked off at any time for any reason. If someone raised you and took care of you, but you see a better place to be, BINGO, you get rid of them. If someone is your boss and you have “loyalty” to them, it doesnt mean jack. Noone really has any honor and noone can be trusted in the Mafia which is really what DiLeo was trying to get across with his crime films.



One of the films main highlights is the great Gianni Garko (The Psychic, Five For Hell) as Police Comissario Torri. Instead of being the tough hero representing the police force, hes just another one of Don Corrasco’s stoolies. He has some great lines in the film and really makes the most of his screen time.


#4

^Would love to see that.



An idea I had was to watch a couple of trailers before I started my feature. Sure gets you in the right mood!



Trailers I watched last night:

The Big Bird Cage

Scum of the Earth

Vampyres

The Bloody Pit of Horror

Marihuana

Dr. Black and Mr. Hyde




(Blaxploitation/martial arts)

4.TNT Jackson (1975)

Ah, here it is, Jeanne Bell’s lone solo outing as the immortal “TNT Jackson”. Been a while since I’ve seen it and despite some moments that I never get sick of which include memorable booty-kickin’ footage and blatant dialogue:

TNT Jackson-"Look, who I am and what I am is none of your business"

Elaine-“Bitch!”

(The line delivery makes it better)

There still is a major laziness all over this flick. Which is too bad because the atmosphere (Even though The Philippines looks nothing like Hong Kong) still provides an interesting setting. And the characters really do appear to be cool and appealing, but everything is dead-pan serious. Someone should’ve told Director Cirio Santiago, “Hey, we’re making a great crappy movie. Why not have some fun with it?” Still though, we’ll always have the memorable black-out fight.

“You want it black? You got it!”

(VHS)



Trailers:

The 3 Dimensions of Greta

The Gruesome Twosome

Almost Human
(Billed as “The Executioner”)

Fearless Fighters



(Biker/Zombie)

5.Psychomania (1971)

First time seeing this and what a treat it was! After a slow, WTF? kind-of start, this puppy sure turned into a fun and chaotic ride!

Keep in mind (For the noobs) the zombies featured in this movie aren’t the decayed,mindless flesh-eaters that we all know and love. “The Living Dead” in this flick are the same as their Brit incarnations previously were—But they’re much more violent in the afterlife! And if you’re indestructable (Thanks to some mysterious Pagan-Frog potion) you might as well be bloodthirsty! This gets 3 solid stars from me!

(Geneon DVD)


#5

I really liked TNT Jackson. I thought some of those kung fu sequences were great. Acrobatic type stuff!


#6

Walking Tall (1973)

This has to be one of the best Hixploitation movies out there. Stars the great Joe Don Baker in the role about a man who walks tall and carries a big stick. After Buford Pusser(Joe Don Baker) has his stomach sliced open by a group of rednecks at a bar he than seeks revenge with a thick piece of wood in his hands and shows them he’s not one to mess with. Later on Buford Pusser is elected sheriff and starts taking down the scum in the town. What makes this movie so great is that it’s actually based on a true story.


#7

Trailers:

Revenge of the Living Dead,Curse of the Living Dead,Fangs of the Living Dead (Billed as “The Orgy of the Living Dead” triple feature)

The Godson

The New York Ripper

Please Don’t Eat My Mother!

Burial Ground
(Billed as “The Nights of Terror”)



(Euro-Horror/Erotica)

6.Vampyres (1974)

Another first-time viewing for me, but less than impressed. Very slow-moving and once you expect the movie to take off, it never really gets kicked into high gear. It just seems to stay in the same mode. But even a flick like this has it’s merits. I found the lead vamp, Fran (Marianne Morris) to be extremely alluring and seductive. And with what little vamp-feasts to be found in the movie are well-handled with exceptional FX.

(Blue Underground DVD)


#8

4. Night Of The Bloody Apes (1969) - Director: Rene Cardona



The title of this low budget Mexican horror film leads you to believe that it revolves around a gang of bloody apes, well its not true. There is only one ape in the film and its actually a half ape-half human monster thats the main subject. A scientist, Dr Krallman (Jose Elias Moreno) has a son Julio (Agustin Martinez Solares) who is very ill and on the verge of dying. Dr. Krallman gets an idea to save his son by performing a heart transplant, the only thing is, he needs an ape’s heart for his idea to work. He hits the zoo and brings one of the apes back to his lab. In the film, real footage of a heart surgery was used, which really brings a disturbing edge to the proceedings. Meanwhile, a female Lucha Libre wrestler Lucy Ossorio (Norma Lazareno) has badly injured one of her opponents. Lucy is very worried that she has permanently injured the girl and she is rushed to the hospital. Lucy’s boyfriend is Lt. Arturo Martinez (Armando Silvestre), a dapper policeman that is a big fan of Lucy’s talents in the ring. The transplant is finished and successful, but Dr. Krallman and his sidekick Goyo (Carlos López Moctezuma) dont know that Julio is now infected with a strange disease that will turn him into a psychotic Man-Ape. The transformation occurs and Julio changes into a deranged half man-half ape. His face looks like someone hit him in the face with a chocolate cake, needless to say, the Man-Ape makeup FX in this film aren’t very good, but when you see the attack scenes, the blood and gore is very explicit and brutal. Julio begins to walk through the darkness, as he stalks, rapes and maims any woman he sees. When he attacks men, he rips their throats open and tears their heads off!

After finding out about Julio’s attacks, Dr Krallman and Goyo track him down and shoot him with a tranquilizer. He knows that he must try to reverse Julio’s condition, so he decides to kidnap the female wrestler Lucy injured and perform another heart transplant. Its successful, but Julio only changes back to his normal state for a short time. With the ape blood still in his system, he once again transforms back to his Man-Ape state and his trail of bloody terror continues…Night Of The Bloody Apes may not be the best horror film, but it definitely delivers in the gore and nudity. I was surprised at how graphic the Man-Ape attack scenes were. You also get some nice T&A. The film really is a fun little shocker that B-movie fans will enjoy if you can get past the more laughable aspects.


#9

5. THE CANDY SNATCHERS (1973) - Director: Guerdon Trueblood



A rare Grindhouse film from the early 1970s, The Candy Snatchers is something of an oddity. The film is a “kidnapping” subgenre Crime film, something I personally haven’t seen much of in other films from the 70s Grindhouse era. The Candy Snatchers has a low budget approach, but its a well made film with all the charm of another favorite 70s Exploitation film of mine: Switchblade Sisters (1975). So I found myself quickly becoming wrapped up in the story and characters, not to mention, laughing at the dark humor which runs through the film in a great way. This was actually director Guerdon Trublood’s only directorial outing, he was mainly a television writer who went on to write scripts for other cult films like The Savage Bees and Ants.



Three hoodlums: Jessie (Bonnie’s Kids Tiffany Bolling), Eddie (Vince Martorano) and Alan (Brad David) have made a plan to kidnap a rich man’s daughter on her way home from school. Everything goes according to plan and after they snatch her, they bring her to a vacant lot on top of hill overlooking Los Angeles. There, they have a small pit dug with a box and they place Candy (Big Bad Mama’s Susan Sennett) into it, then cover it up with boards and sand, leaving only a small air pipe sticking up so she can breathe. The three don’t know it, but a little boy named Sean (Christopher Trueblood) who lives down the hill, is spying on the whole situation from the bushes. When the three leave, Sean walks over to the air pipe and listens for any noises. Then he takes out some peanuts and when Candy cries out he drops peanuts down the pipe, creating a comical scene for us, but for Candy, its definitely more torture. Jessie, Eddie and Alan have planned to make Candy a pawn to get her rich father’s diamonds.



The ending of this film will definitely be a huge surprise to viewers and its one of the best twist endings Ive seen in a movie, nevermind a 70s Exploitation film. Director Guerdon Trueblood really didnt go for the cliched ending for a crime film. It stands out as one of the coolest ways to end a film ever. Its also a choice that really can’t be copied. The Candy Snatchers is a must see for cult film/Exploitation lovers. It rises above the standard 70s Exploitation fare and yet it still it gives you all the thrills, laughs and blood that most Grindhouse films are known to have. Its a well made, black comedy with plenty of twists and turns and an ending that will leave you awestruck.


#10

Yay! Another guy who had fun with BLOODY APES! And I actually feel that the movie would still be cool even without the gory inserts. Didn’t get to finish CANDY SNATCHERS (Passed out during the middle of it) but it did look kinda interesting.



Trailers:

The Arena

Mantis in Lace

The 44 Specialist

Sexcapade in Mexico




(WiP)

7.The Big Bird Cage (1972)

It was fun to re-visit this one. Even though Anitra Ford gets equal billing and equal screentime as Pam, I still feel that she holds her own. Hell, the whole cast does. There’s such an enjoyable cast of characters here that it certainly makes up for the standard plot. Only Jack Hill can put some charm into sleaze, IMO.

(VHS)



Trailers:

Axe (“Pretty Lisa took an axe, gave her captor 40 whacks. When she saw what she had done, she gave his partner 41”. Good quotes in this one!)

Shocking Asia

Ebony,Ivory,and Jade

Copkillers




(Spaghetti Western)

8.Django The Bastard (1969)

Despite the terrible quality of this bootleg I got, I was still able to make out a fairly entertaining flick out of it. The ingredients of a good SW are there. Good music, imagery, and one of Anthony Steffen’s best characters in the genre. Probably the thing I like most about it is that the audience never knows if Django is really a ghost or a mortal.

(VHS with Dutch subtitles)



Trailers:

G.I. Executioner

Twilight People

Vengeance!

A Taste of Blood




(Slasher)

9.Pieces (1982)

So bad, it’s almost good. It’s a safe bet that the killing sequences are the main highlights of the movie while your mind wanders off during other scenes. But try and pay close attention to a few of these scenes because you’ll miss some odd, and I do mean, odd things going on with the “supposedly” scripted lines. Aside from that, you’ve got a few other WTF? moments which include a kung-fu guy attacking the heroine (Who kinda looks like an older Heather Graham) and brace yourself for the great “Bastaard!” moment!

Hey, I actually wonder if Lucky McKee was inspired by this movie. If you’ve seen his May then maybe the weird conclusion of Pieces makes sense…Maybe.

BTW, Great rip-off of the DAWN OF THE DEAD score, here.

(Brentwood DVD)


#11

2.Dragon Princess (1980)

Even though Sonny Chiba has a small role in this revenge movie, he plays the role great. This movie is great from the music to the fight scenes. This movie is so entertaining and I could watch over and over. It uses the music like Halloween uses their music and they do it very well, without the music some of the scenes wouldnt have been as powerful as they were.



3.Street Fighter (1974)

This is definitely my favorite Sonny Chiba movie, I can watch this movie a million times and I will never get bored of it. The fight scenes are so great with the street fighter theme song playing and Sonny Chiba’s face when he’s fighting scares the living crap out of me.


#12

6. SABATA (1969)



During the heydey of the Spaghetti Western, Lee Van Cleef was one of the biggest stars of the genre. With Sabata, Van Cleef was given a role more similar to that of Clint Eastwood in Leone’s Dollars films and what audiences got was a highly entertaining and interesting take on the usual Western story. Director Gianfranco Parolini aka Frank Kramer injected this story with a whole rogues gallery of offbeat Western characters. He also was known to add lots of James Bond-esque gadgetry to his films.



This film has several incredibly cool sequences including a standoff between Banjo and five men. This is where we are introduced to the “banjo gun”. You can see this particular idea show up again in Robert Rodriguez’s Desperado and Once Upon A Time In Mexico in which machine guns are hidden inside guitar cases. The acrobatic aspect in this film is really interesting because Parolini uses the character of Alleycat to bounce and jump from building to building. The final battle with Sabata, Carrincho and Alleycat Vs. Stengel at his compound is literally explosive!!



Sabata is one of my personal favorite Spaghetti Westerns because it is filled with really interesting and colorful characters and I think Parolini’s twists on this already offbeat genre are fresh and fun. Composer Marcello Giamibini’s score for Sabata is no doubt influenced by Morricone’s work, but it still has a unique flavor that genre fans will appreciate. I feel the Italian Westerns were every bit as exciting and entertaining as the Hollywood Westerns and Sabata is a perfect example of them at their best.



7. THE BLACK GESTAPO (1975)



For my money The Black Gestapo is one of the best low budget Blaxploitation genre films of the 1970s. The real reason the film is so enjoyable is because of the script by Lee Frost and Wes Bishop who co-wrote and produced several classics of Exploitation cinema like The Thing With Two Heads, Policewomen and Dixie Dynamite.



The story revolves around a black empowerment group called The Peoples Army who have formed a special neighborhood program to keep out white corruption as well as drug dealers and pimps. When the Peoples Army begin to be bullied by white gangsters, things start to get really out of hand. The two main leaders of The Peoples Army are General Ahmed (Rod Perry) and Colonel Kojah (Charles H Robinson). Ahmed is the Martin Luther King personality and Kojah is the Malcolm X personality. Throughout the film, the two butt heads several times.



The white gangsters begin to cause more troubles for the local blacks and they openly harass the black women and one night, two of them beat and rape a female friend of The Peoples Army. This is where Col. Kojah leaves the rules of the game behind and he pays a visit to one of the white rapists. This guy is taking a bath and about 8 soldiers come into the bathroom and surround him. When Colonel Kojah walks in and unfolds a straight razor you know whats coming next. Its one bloody mess.



The main reason I love this film is because even when theres no big action taking place, the great dialogue by Lee Frost and Wes Bishop completely fills in the gaps. All the characters are interesting as well. The white gangsters come off as total sex crazed clowns that have no rulebooks until The Black Gestapo steps in and begins knocking them off one by one. Theres a great sequence in the film where one of the white gangsters gets knocked off the road by a car full of white girls who belong to the Black Gestapo. The car rolls down a hill and when the guy inside miraculously survives, his first reaction is to put his sunglasses back on! Gotta look cool even in a car crash eh? Meanwhile, Kojah and his men are outside and they open fire on the guy until he throws out all the money he has collected from the black stores he extorts. Now if you look closely, this guy is laying down under a car but when he tosses out the bags they fly up a hill about 30 feet. Its really funny.



As a big Grindhouse film fan, I can safely say that this film won’t dissapoint you if you can get past how bad the film looks. It may be a grade Z low budget exploitation film but its very entertaining!!


#13

[quote=“PopeyePete”]
6. SABATA (1969)



Sabata is one of my personal favorite Spaghetti Westerns because it is filled with really interesting and colorful characters and I think Parolini’s twists on this already offbeat genre are fresh and fun. [/quote]

Really? It’s one of least favorites, although it does have its moments.


#14

Really? Thats too bad. I love that one. Ah well, to each his own. :slight_smile:


#15

8.THE CHINESE BOXER (1970) Chinese Boxer opens like many other kung fu films do. A bad guy walks into town, kicks some children’s toy ball away and challenges the students of a kung fu school to show what their made of. After getting their asses kicked hard, one student runs to find Lei Ming (Jimmy Wang Yu) who works in a quarry breaking rocks with a large hammer. Lei Ming runs back to find his school in turmoil. That is, until his Master Lee (Fong Min) takes out the abrasive fellow with a punch that makes him spit blood. In shame, the baddie leaves the school and things seem to be alright for the moment.



After his big failure, the main baddie leaves and comes back to town with some pals from Japan. The main one being a super karate fighter named Kita (Lo Lieh). This is where the film begins to get fun. The Japanese trio show up at Lei Mings school one night and they take on the entire place. When you see Lo Lieh do his thing you will go nuts. This guy doesnt just fight, he is a ruthless badass and he makes his character Chao Chi Hao in King Boxer look like a joke.



The next day Kita and the other men relax in a local bar, but when one of Lei Mings fellow students shows up in the place, He sees Kita and the Japanese rival walks over to taunt the young man. When the young man insults the leader, Kita hears this and he goes BUCKWILD. He literally goes through the roof, breaking the stone ceiling and the two other karate fighters take on Lei Mings friend. He holds up a little while but then he goes down hard when his eyes are gouged out and blood runs out of them like faucets.



The trio of Japanese karate men take on the entire kung fu school and destroy the place, killing Master Lee and the others. Heads get cracked, blood spurts like water fountains!! The Chinese kung fu school is decimated by these ruthless karate toughs. This action is heavy and brutal much like Sonny Chiba’s Streetfighter karate films that came out a few years later. After the intense and earth shaking battle, the only one left alive (barely) is Lei Ming.



Lei Ming slowly recovers, now covered in bandages with the help of a girlfriend. He takes his time and tries to rejuvenate himself by chopping wood and exercising. The next sequence is where Lei Ming begins to dip his hands into hot iron thus creating the Iron Fist style. I really loved how Jimmy Wang Yu shot this scene. We see different ancient chinese statues faces inserted as Lei Ming painfully burns his hands in the wok of white hot iron. Lei Ming also trains in “light step” techniques by putting weights around his ankles and tries to vault over some high bars hes made. After several days of doing this, he takes the weights off and he can jump as high as Kita can. Since Lei Mings hands are severely burnt from the Iron Fist technique, he now wears large white mitts to help them heal.



In a local casino, Kita and his thugs are now bullying the local owners to give up their money to them. They dont see Lei Ming sitting in the restaraunt drinking a cup of tea. When the thugs begin to hit the owner and knock him down, Lei Ming puts this surgical mask hes wearing around his neck, over his face. He runs to the mans aid and kicks the thugs out. This is the first appearance of the vigilante Lei Ming is becoming. He looks like a Chinese doctor now, only he operates using his deadly kung fu skills. Too cool.



One night, Lei Ming sneaks into the Japanese clans home and pours gasoline all over, then throws a lantern into it and just turns the whole place into a bonfire. He doesnt beat around the bush! This was another prime example of the anti-Japanese sentiment that Chinese people had at this time. You can also see it show up in Bruce Lee’s film The Chinese Connection aka Fists of Fury. Word gets out that Lei Ming is someone to get rid of. The Japanese have plenty of tricks up their sleeves too. They bring in 2 samurai fighters. To show how their nasty skills are, Kita opens a birdcage and throws some chickadees up in the air, the 2 samurai assassins slice them up into bite size chunks.



Lei Ming shows up the towns casino where all the men are playing cards and such. The only difference between the locals and Lei Ming is he has a surgical mask over his face and white mitts on his hands, so he sort of stands out in the crowd. When the dealers see him, they begin to whisper and make faces at him. We can see they know who he is and the next thing they do is have a soldier run and tell the Japanese leader that hes there. As Lei Ming watches the game, suddenly about 100 thugs begin to pour into the casino from all sides. They all carry chains, axes, knives, staffs and other deadly weapons. Lei Ming is stunned, but as he waits for something to happen, he ominously taps the coins in his hand (listen to the sound come through the speakers). This sound elevates the tension, but with a flash, Le Ming is into the fight, surrounded on all sides, but he quickly takes out all the thugs, he crushes their sternums with his Iron Fists. This fight scene is one of the best ever put onscreen. Its totally brutal and choreographed brilliantly by Jimmy Wang Yu. After getting rid of all the thugs, Lei Ming exits the casino. Now, as snow falls all around him, The Japanese leader shows up with the 2 samurai assassins with more waiting in the field nearby.



The last battle takes place on a nountain in the cold harsh weather. Lei Ming shows up at the top of the mountain where his last opponent Kita is waiting. As backup, Kita brings his two cohorts to fight Lei Ming in a pre-fight. When Lei Ming is ready, he finally removes his mitts from his Iron Fist hands. I have to say, this is some of the best martial arts hand to hand combat put on film. Jimmy Wang Yu puts these scenes together wonderfully and when you see them you will cheer in excitement. The fights against each thug is brutal. One thing I love about these flilms from Shaw Brothers is they are not cut or edited to please censors like we have iun the USA. For example, in Bruce Lee’s Enter The Dragon (1973), after beating O’Hara (Bob Wall) in the tournament, Bruce ends the fight with a deadly sternum breaking death stomp but we never see the actual death blow. We just see Bruce’s face. In Chinese Boxer, when Lei Ming stomps an opponent, we see the actual sternum crunch, and the blood flying too. Its called ACTION!! After Lei Ming takes out both men (he breaks ones arm and gouges out the others eyes, and the blood covers his body). Now, its time for the final battle against Kita.



“How cool is it to watch Jimmy Wang Yu battle Lo Lieh” you ask? In my kung fu loving opinion, its pretty damn awesome. Oh man, the fight these two have is incredible! They go at it like two rabid kung fu wolverines. They throw fists, kung fu/karate kicks miss and trees break, fists puncture torsos, bodies fly through the air in superhuman flight. I cant even put into words how great this face off is. So I wont try to. I will let you see for yourself when you check the film out.


#16

9. SEVEN NOTES IN BLACK (1977): A young woman drives to the edge of a cliff in London and jumps off commiting suicide. Hundreds of miles away in Rome, Italy, her daughter sees this taking place in her mind. She is a clairvoyant. Years later, we meet the young girl as she is now. After dropping her husband (Gianni Garko) off at an airport Virginia Ducci (Jennifer O’Neill) makes her way back to their home, but as she drives through the country roads, she begins to have visions once again. She sees images of an older woman with blood on her head, a beautiful young woman on a magazine, a broken mirror, a lit cigarette and a man limping in the dark. She is frightened. Fulci uses a special zoom into her eyes whenever these visions come to her. Virginia finds herself back at her home, she is half asleep and a man tells her to wake up.



Virginia talks with her psychiatrist Luca Fattori (Live Like a Cop, Die Like A Man’s Marc Porel) about her visions, and she claims she’s seen a murder from the past. Her doctor asks her why she is coming to him instead of the police. Virginia lets him know that she trusts him more and that the police probably wont believe her. Virginia continues to have visions of a house and a woman being trapped behind a wall.



She leaves to goto her husbands’s old villa to try to restore it. While shes in one of the rooms she sees that this is the very place she saw in her mind. She sees that this wall, is the one where the woman was bricked up, so she takes a large pickaxe and begins to break the wall open. In the next scene, we see she has found a skeleton inside the wall and the police are taking pictures. Now they need to find out just who the dead person is.



The police find out that the woman found in the wall was around 25 years old. Virginia tells the police that the dead woman she saw in her vision was alot older, around 50. They are all confused by this. The police have no choice but to take Virginia’s husband into custody because he owns the villa. The next day, the Italian paper has his name all over the front page. Later, Virginia receives a mysterious call from an older woman telling her she has info about who really killed the young woman in the wall.



Virginia realizes that the young woman who was murdered must be the one from the magazine. She gets a copy of the magazine from 1972 with the young woman on the cover and it turns out its from an equestrian magazine. She finds a clue on the cover connecting it to her visions of the older man. She comes to the conclusion that it is a local equestrian owner named Giovanna Rospini (Salvatore Puntillo). The clues are coming together nicely. Virginia decides to go visit Rospini at his home. She introduces herself as a reporter from the New York Times. When Virginia asks Rospini if he had anything to do with the woman who was killed, Rospini gets really angry and tells her to get out of his house. Virginia now suspects that he really is the one who killed the girl.



It turns out that her husband is found innocent because the woman who died was killed while her husband was out of the country as Virginia’s idea stated. The proof she finds is right on the cover of the equestrian magazine taken during a horse race. Virginia is able to get her husband out of jail, but her psychiatrist later finds that the cover of the magazine has a hidden clue that destroys Virginia’s original theory. This is where the film takes a big twist and as time ticks on to the sounds of Virginia’s Seven Notes Watch, things get even more thrilling…and deadly. The climax of the film is brilliantly executed and the last shot of the film is stunning.



Seven Notes in Black is really one of Fulci’s finest works of cinema not because it contains alot of violence or gore, but because its restrained and more about plot than anything else. It works like a puzzle to intrigue the viewer into trying to figure things out, but its not even a typical Giallo. Its a unique work that Giallo fans will really find captivating.


#17

[quote=“PopeyePete”]
Really? Thats too bad. I love that one. Ah well, to each his own. :slight_smile:
[/quote]

I liked it, just not my favorite. The only Spaghetti Western I have ever disliked is A Bullet for the General… it did not need the stupid commie subtext shit.


#18

Sabata’s one of my favorites because of the things I mentioned in my review. Its a fun one. Believe me, Ive seen alot of Spaghettis that were completely boring. Sabata has cool characters, music, action. Its great across the board IMO.


#19

[quote=“PopeyePete”]
[b]

As a big Grindhouse film fan, I can safely say that this film won’t dissapoint you if you can get past how bad the film looks. It may be a grade Z low budget exploitation film but its very entertaining!!

[/quote]



I’m gonna give this a look later on in the month. It may have been a grade Z low budget, but they sure had the costumes to make it look epic!



Trailers:

Black Belt Jones

Django, Kill! If you live…Shoot!

Teaserama

Way of the Dragon




(Martial Arts)

10. Chinese Super Ninjas (1982)

Had to start my kung fu movies with a bang!

And even though the copy I got is dubbed and foolscreen, the movie still manages to be a blast. Seconds into the movie and your watching two schools going at it in a tournament. Then a samurai shows up to join the contest. And when he exits, prepare for everyone to be doomed!

I swear, there’s only like 5 or 6 strictly dialogue scenes. And then after that we’re just looking at nothing but about 96% action. And that’s what makes this one so amazing. Given all the screentime devoted to action, the fight scenes with the five element ninja just never get monotonous (Even if they’re one-sided) and OUCH! That first Earth element-ninja fight still makes me shudder.

(Ground Zero DVD)



Trailers:

The Man From The Deep River

Teenage Mother

Mondo Cane 2
(Billed as “Mondo Pazzo”)

Forbidden Beauties



(Sexploitation)

11.The Godson (1971)

Since this one isn’t well-known, might as well ellaborate on it a little.

What we got here is a soft-core porno which follows the adventures of mob enforcer, and the Don’s Godson, Marco Santino (Played by Jason Yukon, who packs a nifty afro and sideburns) Marco’s currently stuck with brothel business and has dreams of moving up in the organization. All the while, he gets it on with the clients and we see the clients get it on with the customers.

That’s all the plot really. Of course, there’s an eventual showdown between Marco and a rival in the end, but the outcome doesn’t really matter 'cause you’ll be bored and won’t care. Might not be hard to believe, but despite alllllll the skin and allllllll the sex, this flick is really tedious. But since this is a fairly early production from Harry Novak which uses a crime story with sexploitation, I’ll give him a pass. Because things would eventually flow a little bit better in future entries like A Scream in the Streets, for instance.

Do wanna point out that voluptuous favorite of that era, Uschi Digart makes an appearance in this. And I’ll gurantee you this won’t be the last I see of her in this marathon!

(Something Weird DVD)


#20

I started watching trailers last night. Decided to go with a WIP theme :slight_smile:



Trailers:



The Big Doll House

The Big Bird Cage

Black Mama, White Mama




10. CAGED HEAT (1974) Director Jonathan Demme is known to most as the director of mainstream classics like The Silence of The Lambs (1991) and Philadelphia (1993), but Demme actually got his start working for Roger Corman in the world of 70s Exploitation. After making his debut with Caged Heat (1974) he went on to make two more cult classics, Crazy Mama (1975) and Fighting Mad (1976).



After a robbery goes bad and her two accomplices are shot by the police, the female of the gang, Jaqueline Wilson (Erica Gavin) is arrested and sent off to Connorville Women’s Prison (which is also an agricultural farm). The film begins with some great lines from the Prison’s resident physician Dr Randolph (Warren Miller): “Girls, this isn’t something I enjoy either but I need you to get undressed…now we’re going to begin with some calistenics…I want you to do some deep squat thrusts…”. Yep, the Exploitation starts very early here!



Exploitation film fans will be thrilled to see none other than Cheryl “Rainbeaux” Smith as one of the babes in the prison. She plays Lavelle and is featured in an opening dream sequence being felt up by a mysterious stranger.



Jaqueline meets the other gals in the prison including Belle (The Big Doll House’s Roberta Collins) and Pandora (Ella Reid). The girls give Jaqueline the rundown of what to watch out for. The main troublemaker in the place is Maggie (Foxy Brown’s Juanita Brown). Maggie doesnt take shit from anyone and we see this when her cigarettes are stolen by one of the girls. She walks right into the cell, tosses the belongings around then finds the cigarettes and proceeds to bitchslap her. Ahh, prison life is so grand.



The warden of the prison is Superintendant McQueen (the beautiful Barbara Steele). McQueen is handicapped, so she drives around in a wheelchair. During a stageplay put on by Belle and Pandora, McQueen is offended by a sexually explicit part of the show, so to punish the girls, she puts Pandora in solitary confinement. Of course, her clothes are taken away and shes thrown in the cell naked. Belle feels responsible for Pandora’s predicament, so during the daily showers, she climbs through the prison’s air ducts and steals food from the lounge room and throws it into Pandora’s cell from above. Those solitary confinement cells sure are tightly sealed!



Meanwhile, Jaqueline gets into trouble herself for fighting with (who else?) Maggie. Instead of being thrown into solitary, McQueen decides Jaqueline needs something to help change her bad attitude so she is given shock treatment. The perverted Dr Randolph also drugs Belle and basically rapes her, taking pictures of her and things of that nature.



During some agricultural work out in the orchards, some of the girls decide to make a break for it (think a female version of Cool Hand Luke), but the only ones to make it are Maggie and Jaqueline. They steal one of the prison trucks and the two decide to throw their differences aside and work together to stay out of prison for good. Will they make it on the outside without being caught again?



Caged Heat is pretty much your standard WIP genre film on the surface. All the ingredients are here: Nude shower scenes, girl fights, an evil, sexually repressed female warden and an explosive break out. For his first feature film, Jonathan Demme made Caged Heat a rollicking, sexy, humorous work of cinema with lots of action with his own personal artistic flourishes.