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An O.K. night at the drive-in.
Stanley is enjoyable Drive In hokum, but it might have been a real classic if director Grefe had kept a little pace and not let long pauses and other nonsense pad the action. This film could lose about 25 minutes and be all the better for it. It's like they were afraid it was going to come out too short so they had everything go SLOW........
An obvious attempt to cash in on the success of "Willard" it is interesting that both central charactors start sympatheticly and turn bad. Actually, a more distinct arch in this case as Willard is kind of a creep from the get go.
Nightmare in Wax (1969)
I guess it's wrong to be dissapointed in a film like "Nightmare in
Wax" but the first half is lively, redicuous junk, and in the second
half they just seem to lose intererst in there own shlockfest.
Right about the time the dumb blonde character shows up (badly written and probably not the actresses fault for fizzeling) the film degerates into a series of chase and action sequences that go nowhere slow. Then a "was it all a dream?" ending to which, at that point, we can only answer "who cares?"
Terrible sound and soundtrack. Again, if you can just watch the first half, which is fun juck, you can stay ahead of the game.
The Defilers (1965)
Boring and unpleasant trash
Just because a movie is bargain basement explotation does not mean it's any good. The soft core sex scenes bores, the "roughie" scenes are dull and repelant. The wrap around story is barely there. I like he half hearted attempt to give this some weight by showing the mean defiler's parents. A film with little to reccomend it.
Scum of the Earth (1963)
Where have you gone, Lawrence J Aberwood?
If anything of "SOTE" is to survive, it is the monolouge and direction of Lawrence J Aberwood's speech as Lang, where he dresses down a young model and the fury of the earth's mysogony pours fourth from his repulsive gob, as Lewis cuts closer and closer into this strange piehole of hell. I think it's probably the best sequence Lewis ever directed.
If it appeared in a less rediculous film it might be more recalled, but I guess "Blood Feast" stole it's thunder. I like that when Lang knows the jig is up, he is pretty philosophical about ditching his business. I mean, how much money can you make selling cheap cheesecake in the High School underground?
Aberwood's excellent work is matched by William Kerwin, who is quite believeable as the morally conflicted photographer. The rest of the cast stubbles along. As this may have been the first "roughie", there is only one rough scene and it's not that rough.
I was looking for another film called SOTE, but accidently ordered this one which I had seen years ago. The "You're dirty!" speech makes it more than worth seeing again.
Dangerous Men (2005)
Funny Time Waster
This film has been developing a bit of a cult rep in the area of "so bad it's good" films. The fact that "John Rad" was a bit of an eccentric weirdo seems to have helped the cause. Indeed, the stagijng of the attempted rape/murder is the
Yes, there are funny bits, and you can't help but giggle a bit at the terrible score. On the whole, though, it's not that different than many a Crown International stinker of a slightly earlier time and not as much fun as many (the great "Death Machines" comes to mind) of them.
It could well be that a certain nostalgia for this kiind of terrible film is what propels this cult. The triumph of the film being in one theater for a week seems to what has sparked a lot of interest. in the end, funny, but forgettable.
The Creep Behind the Camera (2014)
Look, maybe it's not important that the story of "The Creeping Terror" is told with historical accuracy, but some of this movie is not only exaggerated for laughs, it's a lot of nonsense. Charles Manson was in Prison and had not come to California yet when "The Creeping Terror" was filmed. I was hoping this would be a well researched film which actually told the true story of the making of the film.
Splendor in the Grass (1961)
The Fifties Last Stand
While a modest hit and the bringer of a career Oscar for Inge, "Splendor In The Gas" in fifties social relevance drama running on fumes; a picture that labors mightily to be a little moving. Beatty is fine in his first film, it was probably enough to make him a star. Natalie Wood is caught straining, too little is given her wild mood swings in the way motivation. Pat Hingle is method hammy in the most one dimensional of the film's characters.
The films last quarter, where the cliche's are given some balance (though we learn the two worst have predictably perished by their own folly) and the pain is reconciled, is probably it's best. The poetic coda is too trite but does not offend.
Kazan would never find his way into the sixties, and while some misbegotten projects would follow, he was finished as a creative force. His capitulation with HUAC left him something of a pariah in Hollywood, but he never found a real handle on the medium beyond brilliantly executing the written word, and the medium was going beyond that.
Night Train to Terror (1985)
Sometimes weird is not good enough...
One of the posters says this film was cobbed together from other incomplete projects, though says two were actually finished. I wonder if they were released in some other form. At any rate, this movie is garbage. It has a car accident quality for awhile, you can't look away, but it's overcharged tempo even wears thin, and it becomes very tiresome. It is amazing that somebody gave somebody money to make this, but it might have been tainted South African money. Just totally bad. No attempt to credit names John Phillip Law or Cameron Mitchell, which is probably just as well for them, poor guys. The rest has all been said. We always seem to blame the decade for this sort of bad film, "it's so seventies" "it's so eighties" but really it just is bad and would be in any ten year span.
"Let me help you or we will be late for dinner!"
This is a stupid movie with a set up somewhat like the dumb fun of "Orgy of the Living Dead," with a bus and it's unlikely passages headed into real bad luck. A pointless prologue doesn't set up much, and you get the feeling they couldn't quite decide what this movie was about and may have turned it into a (very) soft core porn about halfway through.
On the plus side, the middle section is funny in a so-bad-it's-good sort of way, with the terrible dubbing helping, but it can't sustain this. The House Butler telling the horrific story of each room to the hapless guests is the comic high point.
Also, the guy who plays the devil does have a creepy vibe going on, something like Death in "The Seventh Seal." But you are likely to be more than ready for it to be over by the time we get to the end.
Eye for an Eye (1996)
leaves the audience blind
Sometimes stars have to appear in crap to keep the studio happy, but what happened to the great director John Schlesinger was really sad. He was reduced to doing tripe like this female Death Wish along with the equally routine "Pacific Heights".
A long way from "Midnight Cowboy" and "Sunday Bloody Sunday" to be sure. Oh well, his quality films will live on. This garbage will only be there to satisfy revenge film fans. Those people might as well be watching Monster Truck Rallies.
Schlesinger showed some skill with violence in "Marathon Man" but
you don't see it in this stinker.
Sexy bloody Vampire fun
"Vampyres" comes down to a few memorably shot images that can't lift the film out of mediocrity due to it's essentially nonsensical story. As director Jose Ramon Larraz tells it, it's a story about a killer coming back to the scene of the crime. Nice, but.....
What then do the couple have to do with the story, and for that matter,
why don't they leave when the girl is terrified?
If these are vampires, why can they be killed with guns?
Well, sometimes a film can overcome it's nightmarish plot holes, but the
problem here is too much is padded by gore, soft core sex, and people walking
around in search of something happening.
I like this film a lot, if you are a horror fan you will probably enjoy it. Yet
it can't be considered first rate.
Worth a second look
I saw this when it came out at the Nuart in L.A. The whole Wood thing had kind of been played out, several Docs had been done already and the Ed Wood feature had come and gone. Bombed really.
My friend and I made it all the way through and though it was O.K. So I was really surprised when I brought it home the other night from the library and was really impressed. The director tracked down a lot of people I don't think had been interviewed elsewhere. The setting of most of the interviews in there own costumed frame was unique.
I thought it was great that Bela Jr. took back some of the mean things he said on the commentary track! After all, Bela was making bargain basement movies long before he met Ed, some terrible, some pretty good. None as interesting or entertaining as "Plan Nine: though.
One flaw: no credit is given to Ed's cameraman, who is often treated as a joke but I think did some great work making Plan Nine look like no other film.
All an all, though, if Wood interests you at all you should check this out. It's quite funny, and quite moving.
Flash Gordon (1936)
A Great Movie
"Space Soldiers" is the precode Flash, hilarious, sexy, innocent, Freudian classic. The follow up serials are fun but Universal had to tone down the sexual tension of of the Blonde Good girl and the steamy, sexual brunette. Jean Rodgers is unbelievable as the blonde Dale, and they should have kept her that way.
As the end of the world beckons, absolute viral good is pitting against craven, impotent evil for it's own sake. Sex is good, this movie says, and even the bad Princess is good, She just SO much better when She's bad.
"Space Soldiers" should be cleaned up (the print, I mean) and put on Criterion.
train wreck noir
Coming off their career high hit "The Longest Yard" Reynolds and Aldrich tried a highly stylized LA thriller. That was all She wrote for Roburt" productions.
Even at a very young age I took a look at the reviews this film got and was
surprised how easy the critics went on it. Mostly it was ignored and allowed to die.
Aldrich has done good work ("Flight of The Phenix" is among my favorite movies)
but he is so out of his element trying to be stylish here. His efforts come off as
a tasteless slob trying to be classy.
Steve Shagen was slightly hot at the time, with his turgid "Save The Tiger" being
taken seriously in some quarters. But Aldrich should have known this script needed
some serious work or better yet, should have been thrown out all together.
The Dirty Harry/Death Wish element ( A double murderer somehow is let out
out of jail for good behavior, you know, just like real life) is perhaps the worst
bit of audience pandering. Then there is a consenting adults rape that
probably wouldn't go over today.
Visually ugly, terribly edited ( a sign of desperation and bad audience
testing, the film still has a train wreck sort of quality, we all become
bad cinema lookie lous. A great partnership of Burt and Bob was not
to be. Also, when something this cynical is this unconvincing, the result
is oddly upbeat.
The Blob (1958)
Maybe because McQueen went on to be such a big star, perhaps because it was seen by many as kids on afternoon T.V.; but "The Blob" has become a favorite of many, the defining film of it's type.
And that really too bad, because "The Blob" really stinks. Tedious, amateurish, poorly executed at every level. In one scene (due to the connection to producer Jack B. Harris) the audience is laughing at John Parker's fascinating "Daughter Of Horror" and one wants to gag at this derision for a vastly superior film.
It's like watching every cliché of Drive-In teenage movies, and no doubt that is also why people like it. But it's like watching those clichés played in slow motion with no with and style. Which makes me suspicious this is the favorite of this sort of thing for people who really don't like this sort of thing.
The Mummy's Curse (1944)
The last Tana Leaf on the Tree
If "Bride Of Frankenstein" was the crown jewel in Universal Horror, the Mummy sequels were the ankle bracelets from a Cracker Jack's box. Oddly, many kids probably loved these more than the strange and wonderful Karloff "Mummy" where you only got to see him fully wrapped at the beginning.
There must have been some Barton Finks who passed these silly stories around as if they were wresting movies. The idiotic plot is basically retold from the first film. Still, the striking form of the Mummy, oddly invisible to the world beyond the stock characters (didn't anybody EVER notice him?) was oddly effective, as he ever so slowly, inch by inch, approached his prey.
That's about all "Curse" has going for it. The unintentional laughs of the more fun "The Mummy's Ghost" are mostly gone. Thank goodness Boris quit after one.
The Monster Maker (1944)
"Nice work Steve!"
For fans of the odd, PRC delivers again. In a sort of a preview of his Al Adamson days, Naish plays an obsessed Dr. Markoff (if you want good care, mark him off) with one thing and one thing only on his mind. Actually, what's interesting about this movie is how the low budget forces the filmmakers to boil all the plot down to it's absolute basics. Why does the not bad looking nurse go for Markoff? Well, nobody ever said human beings made sense. If your looking to get silly, as Bob Dylan once sang, you could hardly do better. Speaking of Dylan, the plot is not unlike his song, "Seven Curses." And what did happen to Steve once the movie was over? He was only trying to be a good employee, which is about the closest to a decent instinct anyone character has in this movie.
Sisters of Death (1976)
A film to punish dirty old men with...
Stupid. Vulgar. Trashy. Sleazy. Garbage.
8 out of 10 times, I'm there! But "Sisters Of Death" is one of those very, very rare films that can shoot for a lowly, lowly target and miss. This film seems to be made by people who would try and make a porno film and then, keeping the actors fully clothed, have them arm wrestle. I can have great affection for bad or dubious films, but I truly hate "Sisters of Death." I can't stand the people who are in it, the people who made it, or the people who overrate it on IMDb!!
Another thing I hate about SOD is that so many people have apparently seen it on cheap videos. I saw it on my nook on a cheapo public domain movies app. Truly, this is one film that should have never emerged from the lab. Yuck.You can probably see it free on Youtube, as it infects the world with it's presence.
Ring of Terror (1961)
"Jolly Old England..."
The awful "Ring OF Terror" would probably be forgotten about were it not for the excellent MST show it was transformed into. Yet it is an odd genre film with a feel all it's own, a tawdry, inept, bad film to be sure. We keep coming back to the boring issue, and surely it is that.
What no one mentions is the whole thing builds to a SLOW climax regarding the death of Moffit, but the crux of the whole thing is how Moffit accidentally scared himself to death, and it feels like at that point the intention was to explain how he did it (they certainly didn't explain it very well) but at that point the old cemetery narrator has to rap things up fast: the movie has wasted too much time endless scenes of unfunny comic relief, lackluster talk, and slow moving unnecessary pacing. In short, it's a casebook example on how not to make this kind of movie.
Some of the actors went on to have kind of careers, which is nice. And as others have stated, this looks like it was made some years before it's actual release/escape. It does have a sense of dullness all it's own, but check out the MST3K version if you need to slog through it. And kill that guy.
How Awful About Allan (1970)
You can call me Alful
Perhaps it's because these two extreme talents are now gone that the waste of "How Awful About Allen" seems more acute. As a made for TV affair it would just be forgettable dreck where it not for the presence of Perkins and Harris, two great stars with one genre classic each to there credit long before they punched the clock on "Allen." From the dubious pen of the much loved "Whatever Happened To Baby Jane", though I find that one of the more distasteful films in horror history. But there is nothing to repel you about Allen. The answer to the title question would actually be: "Not so awful. It helped put me to sleep." The wonderful Joan Hackett is pretty much wasted too.
Sexy Beast (2000)
For Those Who Find Implausibility a Turn On SPOILERS
This type of Brit Noir was just coming into vogue when "Sexy Beast" came out; though I find it sort of a cross between "The Hit" and one of those dumb things by Madonna's ex husband. A clever touch here and there, but this is a woefully overrated film.
I guess if you can understand how Spanish Airport security would be intimidated by an absolutely ridiculous claim of sexual molestation from an obvious lunatic, well, this is your movie. Not much else here is more credible than that, from the heist of the super villain of the impenetrable fortress which obviously lacks the most basic alarm system. Super ruthless, powerful bad guy shows up at your door in the middle of the night? Sure, let him in, he probably won't kill you.
Kingsley's celebrated performance is fine but he's been better elsewhere. No fault can really be found with any of the cast. Often Noir is concerned with the desperate lives of the hopeless people who turn to crime. This is sort of an interesting wrinkle on that, though we are never really told just what Gal's hapless buddy did, and how such a person could have been much of a criminal in the first place.
Worst in Show (2011)
Pretty amusing account of The Ugly Dog show competition that has for some reason become Top Dog. Deals with some of the issues raised by the event without getting too heavy. I might have liked this better as an hour cable special, it feels like there is a bit much of everything. Most of all, of course, the one owner who uses these events for bizarre self promotion. There is one in every crowd, as they say. But even the sympathetic owner of the dog who wins the contest near the end we might have enjoyed more without hearing her whole life story. An enjoyable little Doc though, to be sure. Any dog lover will enjoy it. The DVD contains some out takes for those who can't get enough.
This stinker barely played in theaters, at least in Chicago, then was trimmed for late night TV, before vanishing until the days of DVD. The movie is caught somewhere between "what were they thinking?" and "Meh". Burton gives a few of the sketches his best shot, but the movie never more than scrapes up against funny. Burton would sink to even greater depths, and also come back for a few good moments.
The big story here is tragic sexpot Joey Heatherton, who gives it her all in what would be, really, her only shot at breaking into features. I'm almost sure She also did an early low budget feature IMDb somehow missed. A stunning beauty hampered perhaps by a chipmunkish voice, She looks stunning and hangs in there in shot after shot. Her amazing nude scene probably destroyed her chances of being taken seriously, but it does not rob her of her dignity. Showbiz is not for sissies, and She deserved a better break.
The movie redeems itself in the scenes where it really attempts to work as farce, it simply always falls a little short. Perhaps the bright colors and costumes actually work against it a little.
Scener ur ett äktenskap (1973)
Overrated and shallow work from a Master
Poor Paul Mazursky. Hounded for life by portraying a rape as a somewhat ambiguous, even comic manner in "Blume In Love" he felt guilty for life and even made the film "An Unmarried Women" as a sort of apology to his critics. In "Scenes From a Marriage" Bergman has his sniveling hero lock his wife in a room and beat her before signing divorce papers. And She, of course, loves him all the more. I've never heard anyone object to this this, and the film is generally hailed as a classic. Well, an international rep as a genius has it's privileges.
Generally a big Bergman fan, with a couple of his films among my very favorites, I was surpassed how repellent I found "Scenes From A Marriage." Men are worms, and women love them for it, would pretty much sum up things here. The picture would be more offensive, perhaps, if it were more credible. It is said Bergman wanted to "stay with the couple" but the Husband's utter disinterested in the children, and his wife's indifference to said, is either not believable or marks the couple as such coarse dunderheads that it's impossible to care about them.
Or, it makes it fashionable with the era's feminism, or male bashing if you like. Either way, the notion that this women works with couples going through the agony of divorce but is oddly indifferent to the suffering of those going through the process is another salvo Bergman aims at contemporary life, but another oddly vacuous one. There is an element of snobbery here, Bergman seems to view these people as empty middle class mediocrities with pretensions to Art they are unworthy of. No wonder Woody Allen loves this movie. In terms of executions, the movie is all you could as for-it's unsloppy Cassavettes. In terms of ideas, however, it's even lower than Cassavettes.
Slaves in Bondage (1937)
Even the Grindhouse, I guess, can be a grind. I have to agree with the house here, this is a roadshow movie about brothels that manages to be a little dull. The great thing about this out of bounds genre of film is that in the case of, say, a "Maniac" it delivers something totally odd and out of left field. Here, with the production values at least up around the quality of the better poverty row, we get tame and very conventional fare, still a long way from conventionally good. For hard core students of this kind of thing only. IMDb want me to say more about it, but that pretty much tell the tale. Don't waste your time. It's bad.