Early western entry by one of Italy's finest directors - Enzo G. Castellari. If you're expecting something epic, like his western masterpiece Keoma, have another thought coming: this is a goofy western comedy very much in the Terrance Hill/Bud Spencer territory. Being such a juvenile movie, i'm surprised that Castellari's next film High Crime would turn out so serious.
Young con man Tedeum inherits a gold mine, and knowing his con men relatives he's sure it's worthless. He teams up with a sleazy ex-con turned monk and tries to sell the worthless mine to some poor sucker. Soon his family finds out that the mine is real and full of gold: will they get to him before he sells the mine to the evil major and his henchmen?
Although no Trinity, the movie works fairly good. It looks pretty good, have some pretty funny characters and a really catchy theme song (I can't get it out of my mind!). The plot is really simple, but suits the lightweight comedy fine. The movie made me laugh a few times, even though I insist that its got waaay too much slapstick humor for its own good.
I saw an undubbed/non-subtitled version of this René Cardona wrestling flick, so naturally my judgment is kind of clouded. It's very similiar to the director's former Night Of The Bloody Apes, although there is very little gore and nudity. The sets, story, style have the same feel and the rapist man/monkey monster has a small part. A mad doctor is using a super-strong robot to kidnap various people (probably politcians or rich industrialists, as usual). Somehow a female wrestler and her cop boyfriend finds out about the doctors diabolic plans and runs to the rescue. The robot itself is just a big Mexican with silver color sprayed on his face. His whole act concists of walking through cardboard walls and sink people with one fatal blow. I lost track of how many cardboard doors and walls he must have walked through during the film's brief 90 minutes, but it must have exceeded 20+. Although I loved the robot and the wrestling, amongst other things, the movie has far too much dialouge for its own good, making it pretty dull for non-Spanish talking people like me. Thus, I cannot really recommend this film to others than Hispanic viewers or fans of Mexican wrestling.
Sicilian Connection's basic idea is to follow a large shipment of opium from turkey to Italy and then, finally, to America. Joe Coppolla, a small-time dealer trying to make it big-time, is the egocentric and unsympathetic lead character and owner of the shipment. Will he succeed in selling the drugs or will the police or the mafia get to him first? Wooden acting, awful dubbing, uninspired camerawork and bad direction made me not care at all...
If you're a fan of Italian crime movies and seen all the classics (like Castellari's fantastic movie High Crime), this might do the trick. In fact ANYTHING would to the trick. Sicilian Connection is for italian crime buffs what warm, cheap beer might be for an alcoholic: It will take the urge away for a while, but it won't give you any real satisfaction. Addicts take note, others better stay far, far way.
Night of a 1000 Cats was not the masterpiece of Mexican exploitation I expected it to be, but is still a solid little gem of low budget filmmaking. Hey, René Cardona Jr. is directing it, and Hugo Stiglitz plays the lead, and thats all I needed anyway. As usual Hunky Hugo plays a rich playboy womanizer, but in this film he is a little more psycho than usual. He lures women to his old gothic mansion, makes sweet love and kills them. He feeds his hungry cats with their bodies, but preserves their heads and adds them to his "collection". No reason is given for Hugo's deviant behavior and his "minimal face expression" approach to acting certanly isn't helping us understand the character. We do get ordinary "I want you to stay with me forever. FOREVER" -clichés thrown in our faces, but they don't make much sense since Hugo seems to be a well-adjusted fellow with no social problems. The other problem I had with "1000 Cats" is the same one that another commentator pointed out: it's very hard to separate Hugo's women, since they all look pretty much alike and all share the same (minimal) personality. The film's constantly moves in and out of flashback, which only adds to the confusion. So, here we have an underwritten, underplayed (but hunky!) character killing what seems like the same woman over and over again. The characters in the film just doesn't work, (except for Hugo's mute butler Dorgo, the mad monk. Right on!). The film could have been slightly faster paced too.
So, what DOES work?
First of all, this is a René Cardona Jr.-flick and it is my firm belief that everyone of his films are worth watching, at least once. His films always have a certain "feel" to them, that I can't explain but enjoy very much. They all have that little extra something that seperates them from similiar (some say identical, but what do they know?) films. Although low budget productions, he always manages to squeeze the best out of his pesetas and present a good looking, well edited and charmy product that delivers the goods, whatever they might be. "1000 Cats" is no exception. In many aspects, it's not what it shows, but what it doesn't show that makes it work. Sure the characters are flat, and the story doesn't make sense, but at least it's everybody and everything is nice to look at, fairly fast paced, well crafted and directed. Just imagine how awful it COULD have been if none of those components would have been there.
Very entertaining, hilariously schlocky italian monster movie, which by the way has nothing to do with sharks what so ever. Monster Octopus would have been a far more appropiate title, but if the italians wanted to squeeze the last buck out of the shark craze it's ok with me. Lamberto Bava obviously didn't inherit his fathers talent for grand filmmaking, but at least he had the sense to make his stupid little movies fun and fast paced. Monster Shark is no exception, plus it's a feast for lovers of rubber monsters and italian homoerotism.
This is one strange shark movie. It's basically a movie about some kind of superior underwater race who for unknown reasons uses mind controlled sharks and the Bermuda triangle to kidnap fishermen... or something like that, I've seen it twice and still ain't sure. Although long parts of the movie is pretty dull (the Italians never seem to get the dramatic part working, but who cares?), parts of it has a surreal feel and is actually pretty damn scary. The ultra low budget really shows in the action scenes. Cardboard boats sinking in an aquarium gets to symbolize the Bermuda triangles devastating force, and there's even a cardboard sunken city. Hey, it works for me. There's one fantastic scene in the movie - it will haunt me forever: A bunch of people hang out at a yacht and a bearded guy sets the mood by playing a creepy song on his acoustic guitar. It goes something like "The sun is shining - on the beautiful ocean". A girl is walking around with a deformed doll in her hand. For no reason at all she suddenly throws the doll in the sea and then jumps after it. People start throwing themselves in the sea, one by one, and for no given reason. Blood starts coming out of the deformed doll and sharks appear, but they never attack...
Shark's Cave tries to be a Jaws clone with a twist (it even copies the "dead-guy-popping-out-of-the-sunken-ship" - scene from Spielberg's masterpiece), but ends up being something completely different: a solid work of Italian madness. To this day, it remains director Tonino Ricci's only decent effort; he's bad even by Italian standards. Well, Shark's Cave must have done something right - against better judgment I've just started my search for his 1987 follow-up: Night of The Sharks...
First of all, this is an incredible bad film. Before I saw it, I to believed that anything Fassbinder touched would turn out to be pure works of genius. You are reading the comments of a very disillusioned man. Kamikaze -89 is ugly, stupid and impossible to take seriously. It shoots at a million different directions, but fails to hit anything but its own feet. After 100 minutes in the company of Kamikaze -89, my brain started hurting.
That said, it's not a complete waste of time. Seeing a pi***ed, drunk out of his mind, Fassbinder strousing around in leopard outfit, like a wounded walrus, DOES have its perverse charm. In fact, seeing Fassbinder and some of his regulars degrade themselves in this totally psychotronic film is the only thing that makes it somewhat worthwhile.
The story takes place in the near future... 1989 to be specific. Everybody wears the ugliest new wave outfits on this side of Culture Club and Germany has become the most advanced and powerful country in the world. All social and political problems have been solved and everybody is happy. Or so it seems. The state of Germany have but one enemy, a person or organization called Krystopompas (!), who believes that the people of Germany has become pacified and dehumanized by the regime. He starts giving bomb threats, and the state of Germany puts their best man on the case, police lieutenant Jansen (Fassbinder in a leopard suite). Then a lot of nonsense takes place. People start pointing fingers at Jansen, yelling "Krystopompas!" for no apparent reason. Jansen goes to a strip-joint where everybody is laughing hysterically for no apparent reason. Lots of other nonsense follows. And then the film takes some awful 1984-inspired turns and mysterious conspiracies like "The blue panther", "unexpected deaths" and "the 31st Floor" become visible. Needless to say, Fassbinder somehow cracks the case and then he screws a picture of an astronaut. The end.
This shoddy Italian crime film perfectly captures the feel of a five cent pulp novel: some detectives with a cool names (James Steele? I can't remember...) protects a middle east king from being murdered by political opponents. The evil doers have hired the world's number one hit man for the job, a perfectionist loner who for some reason eats candy all the time. The ingredients for the film are the following: 1) a lot of fighting 2) a lot of badly written "tough" dialouge 3) a little bit of conspiracy 4) a little bit of sex, and 5) an awesome easy listening soundtrack complete with "ba-di-ba-daba-da" choruses. The running gag is that the happy-go-lucky/comical relief detective time after time tries to get it on with a cute nurse, but always gets interrupted by the I'm-a-serious-motherf**ker detective. The Killer Likes Candy is OK pulp, I guess, but I must admit I was getting a little bit bored near the end. Never the less, I can think of far worse ways to have spent 90 minutes of my life.
I expected a Jaws clone and got a movie about threesomes. After I got over the initial shock I actually found Tintorera to be a sweet, almost classy, little male fantasy. Tintorera is actually a sex/beach-flick, and thus perfectly captures the feel of the seventies take on sexual revolution; an era of hedonistic disco parties, sexual experimentation and short, loveless sexual encounters. Rene Cardona Jr. regular Hugo Stiglitz looks great as a wealthy boy on vacation, Esteban, who "finds himself" in a three part relationship with the cute Gabrielle and his former sexual competitor Miguel, the Shark hunter. Meanwhile the feared Tintorera, a big-ass tiger shark, is having a feast on the sexed-out beach community. The "f***-and-die" concept, usually seen in slasher films, is clearly visible and you could say that Tintorera's attack on the swimmers are really an attack on the sexual revolution. If you want cheese you'll have no trouble finding it (the Darth Vader-like breathing of Tintorera or the underwater conversations between Esteban and Miguel directly springs to mind...), but don't look to hard since the larger parts of the movie is actually pretty well-made and totally undeserving of its bad reputation (which I think is more due to the whole idea of a shark/sex movie, than the movie itself). Chances are you might actually enjoy it, as I did.
Also, if you are a gay man interested in exploitation cinema you are bound to like it: the homosexual overtones between Esteban and Miguel are painfully obvious and there are numerous shots of Hugo Stiglitz cute little ass.
If you're looking for a die hard action movie with wild car chases, bloody shootings, international terrorism and (to top it off) a disco soundtrack - look no further! Hostages! is THE action movie of the seventies. I'm no fan of the action genre in general, but Hostages! gets my adrenaline pumping like it's bloody hunting season! Do yourself a favor and rent this movie. it deserves to be cut some slack.
The father and son directors Rene Cardona Sr. and Jr. (the king and prince of Mexican exploitation!) first international hit movie. The Cardonas has given me hours and hours of quality entertainment and my expectations for Survive! was naturally mountain-high, being their most talked about and hyped efforts (amongst exploitation fans that is). I was really surprised to find out that the movie is actually a pretty dull affair. I suppose the negative imdb reviews should have scared me off, but the Cardona-flicks always get bad reviews, and hey - I would have seen it anyway. You all know the story, based on an actual incident: A plane crashes in the Andes and the survivors are forced to eat parts of the crash victims in order to stay alive. Much of the running time is filled up with endless talking and the moral issue of their survival is stretched out far too long for it's own good. The movie is not at all as gory as they say - I saw the uncut version and still feel that Alive was much gorier. I'm no real gorehound, but in such a slow moving picture as this a little more flesh and blood really would have spiced things up a bit. I would not say the movie is a complete waste of time, it does have its moments, but unfortunately it lacks the speed and charm of movies like Carlos, Hostages!, Night Of The Bloody Apes and Guyana (amongst others). See them before you see this.
I have nothing good to say about this dated biker-flick. It has no entertainment value what so ever, being one of the most ugly shot, slowmoving and boring film I have ever sat through. If I were a more mentally well-balanced person I would probably have turned Outlaw Riders off after ten minutes, but I just HAD to see if anything even remotely interesting or surprising would happen. It didn't. It's just the same biker clishés all over again, but never done so incompetent and boring.
The only actor that somebody possibly could recognize is Bambi Allen, who acted in some Al Adamson-misses. At least they were fun.
Watching Vacas was an incredible experience for me, to say the least! This was the second, and probably the last, movie-experience that totally blew me off my feet in ways I didn't think was possible (the first similar experience was watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre in my pre-teen days). After the credits stopped rolling my eyes were all misty and my head full of strange, strong emotions that I couldn't, and still can't, explain. I could not utter a word for hours. Excuse me for sounding so pretentious, but this movie really hit a nerve in me, it obviously triggered something deeply hidden in my subconsciousness. I'm afraid I would only ruining your own experiences by telling you about the story and the characters, since this is a movies thas has to take you by surprise to be fully enjoyed.
Although I liked all of director Julio Medem's films, I'm willing to bet my last dime that he could never outdo this; he's already done the picture he was born to. The only filmmaker I can think of that has explored the same realms as Medem was when he did Vacas, is the great Soviet director Andrei Tarkovsky, although Medem's film works on a much stronger, more emotional and less intellectual, level.
Outstanding English-language effort by the great Swedish actor/director Mai Zetterling (anyone who have seen her brilliant Night Games will agree she kicks Bergman's sorry ass!).
Although the video box art tried to sell it off as a cheap Women-In-Prison-exploitation flick, it is really serious stuff. As other commentators have pointed out the film share a lot of similarity with Alan Clarke's grim masterpiece Scum, even sharing the same screenwriter. The main difference is that Scrubbers takes place in an all-women juvenile prison, making it both a great complement to Clarke's film and an interesting study of the differences of the sexes in the patriarchal society. Didn't sound that interesting, did it? Well, it really is when you think about it! For instance, how do the girls behavior to one another differ from the boys? How do girls backgrounds, views of themselves and reason for inprisonment differ? What issues do the girls from Scrubbers lack, that the boys from Scum has to deal with, and vice versa. It's really interesting.
The film is well-acted, well-scripted, thought-provoking and unpleasant. A must-see if you like your movies hard and unembellished. 8/10
NOTE FOR NON-ENGLISH VIEWERS: I saw a non-subtitled copy Scrubbers, and although this usually is no problem for me, in this case I had some trouble understanding parts of the dialouge. My American-born girlfriend had the same problem. Unless you've majored in ugly working-class English, local swearwords or prison-jive I would advise to see a subtitled version.
Burt Reynolds (who never looked more homoerotic macho) plays an American criminal/gundealer in the middle east. After losing all his guns and money in a bust, he starts helping a beautiful blonde and her elderly sugardaddy dive for gold in the shark-filled waters of Sudan. What saves this pretty routine story is the "Fuller edge" put on the charcters: once again he is dealing with cynical, greedy anti-heroes, actually more complex than the lightweight story requires. Imagine a b-movie version of (the overrated) John Huston movie "Treasure of Sierra Madre" set in Sudan and with a bunch of hungry sharks thrown in for good measure, and you got a pretty good idea of what to expect. Also, it's interesting to see a pre-Jaws (pre-Jaws clone, pre-lousy italian Jaws clone, pre-computer animated Jaws clone...) shark-movie. It makes you realise just how groundbreaking Spielberg's movie actually was.
Conclusion: Director Samuel Fuller has made both worse and far better movies than this. If you're a fan of his, or simply want a REAL film in these days of plastic moviemaking, by all means check this out. You probably won't end up loving it, but you'll probably agree it's a perfectly acceptable way to spend 90 minutes of your life. Give it a try.
What's up with you people? How could you NOT love a movie as silly and fun as Krocodylus? This film contains more sex, violence, adrenaline action and general stupidity as a dozen of other recent films? In short, Krocodylus is the embodiment of E-N-T-E-R-T-A-I-N-M-E-N-T. It's also the best of the modern b-films about giant animals... but that's not saying much, is it? The best scene includes something called "croc-teasing", but i'm not going to ruin that one for you... rent it and see for yourself!
A lot of people have been thrashing this film for it's tacky special fx - I'm sorry, I can't see it. I think the fx works just fine, combining a moderate use of computer generation with some of the old "rubber-crocodile and fake blood" stuff.
"ride the next wave in terror" - I think I will! 8/10
This movie is unique; it's both good in a "so bad it's good" way, and good in the ordinary sense of the world. The cinematography cinemathogory, photography and sets give this b-movie an artsy feel, while the acting and the goofy script gives the film a feel of unintentional comedy.
The cold-shower effect this twist gives is actually quite refreshing. I had fun watching the film from beginning to end, and so will you. Extra plus for the nerdy "hot-chick-on-gargoyle" fantasy cover.
Some people have been trying to justify this film as "disturbing social commentary" and giving it silly meanings ("who are the REAL savages?")... don't belive them! This film is unjustifiable and has no other intention than shocking its viewers. And shock it does. After watching the film I almost feel mind-raped, and god knows what horrid images now lurks in my subconsciousness. If you accept that the films only purpose is to shock us, it works really well. You might even call it a masterpiece in it's genre. Therefore I find it really hard to rate the movie, anything from 1 to 10 seems fitting. Just see it, I guess.
New fans of Deodato should skip the boring "Last House on the Left" and jump directly to "Dial: help" from 1988. It HAS to be the silliest film ever made!
bad but sympathetic horror-flick for patient viewers
Is this movie really as bad as the former comments made it out to be? Personally I don't think so. Sure, the acting is (sometimes painfully) bad, the special fx are laughable and the lightning sucks (some parts are so dark you can hardly follow what's happening) but who rents forgotten curiosities like this for it's production values? And does a minimal budget, inexperienced crew and a very 'functional' script necessarily result in cheezy, grade Z 'good for laughs'-kind of movie? I strongly disagree. Somehow the B movie seems to have got mixed up with the grade Z-movie...
Anyway, to the film: the plot is about a devilish fiend (some kind of evil spirit in a human form) that has to kill people and steal their 'lifeforce', so thats it's stolen human body won't decompose. The fiend is a pathetic walrus-looking guy who spends his time giving violin-classes and listening to bad synthesizer music in his lonely apartment. The only people who get in the way of his killing spree is a nice, typical smalltown, middle class couple who of course starts playing detectives. The couple works great, and gives the films greatest performances. The actors are no professionals, but they act and look so normal it gives the film a genuine feel, and even moments of real warmth. The film has no fright or speed, so you'll have to have both patience and appreciation for the rare glimpses of creativity, dreams and simple humanity that sometimes surround B-movies like this one.
I somehow kind of ended up liking this little oddity, but don't take my recommendation too seriously - I often end up liking this kind of nice-spirited, slow horror-sleepers that nobody seems to remember. Also worth mentioning is that there is no gore or nudity, so gorehounds and fans of euro-horror cinema better stay far away.
I'll give it 5/10 for it's heart and humanity. Failure can be beautiful.
First of all, I don't get it with you Americans... Everytime you discuss grade-z thrash movies you start nagging about MST3K. One one side I think it's great that MST get these movies played on TV and all, but on the other side I think that it ruins the whole unique experience of watching truly awful movies. It's like studio laughter - it tells us what is funny and where to laugh - things you and you're friends are supposed to find out yourself. It's a safety net you simply don't need. Secondly, I can't figure out why this movie is rated as the #1 worst movie ever made. Sure, it's an awful movie, but it's nothing compared to the more recent disaster 'Troll 2' (amongst others). They DO make 'em like they used to. And that's another thing I don't get with MST3K - why do they only pick up 50s and 60s grade-z movies when equally awful movies are today! See 'Sinbad Of The Seven Seas' or 'Troll 2' and judge for your self...
I didn't really had any expectations for this flick to begin with, I merely went because I loved some of Scott's earlier features like Alien and Blade Runner. Black hawk Down wasn't nearly as bad I expected it to be... it was much, much worse! As a modern action film it worked descent enough, I guess. I must admit though that i'm getting really tired of computer generated fx - unless it's used to express something new (like in Cronenbergs eXistenZ) it just ruins the action and make things dull. Anyway, the action part was quite well made.
This is what made me disgusted and angry: this movie is described by the director as a documentary-style war movie, that doesn't take sides and just show the truth of what war really is like. Ridley is either the biggest liar alive or simply unaware of what signals the movie is really sending out to it's viewers. It's a flag-waving morale-booster/recruiting film for the American public. It tells us that all American involvement in foreign affairs is good and honest, and that being a soldier equals being a hero. The Somalies are portrayed in a very one-dimensional, and in a way racist, way. The movie was partly funded by the pentagon so i'm sure it doesn't take sides I'm not saying that patriotism is a bad thing or that America is a bad country (it's in many respects a great one), but i'm positively sure that this movie is not the movie that should unite Americans after 11 September. It will only add to the already dominant American view that "we are the best & we're always right" that I think is very destructive (both for America & the World).
So if you're really want some flag-waving see American Beauty again and rediscover the America we all love. If war movies are your genre, I recommend Three Kings, a fun and human third world-war movie that shows a more complex view on modern warfare and humanity in general.
But avoid Black Hawk Down by any means necessary. Ridley Scott - you're out of my good-book.
This movie is pretty boring, but it DOES have a young Eugene Levy in a big messed-up afro, sideburns and sunglasses. That aside, it's either scary or funny and I woulden't recommended it. But it's watchable, most due to Eugene Levy (the genius from Waiting for Guffman and American Pie I & II).
This is without any doubt one of the worst movies i've ever seen. I mean that in a good way. I was laughing hystericly from start to end! Unlike campy b-movies like 'astro-zombies' or 'plan 9', this one's got intentions, it is trying to tell us something. Which of course makes it even more of a tragedy. The plot is about a french nightclub singer who falls in love with a cheesy spanish guy named Bruno or something. They have sex the whole movie through, while the nightclub singer narrates about the flowers at her child home. In one incredible scene she attaches an earing in her vagina and gives us some of the most pretentious and stupid dialouge in years! Apparently the actress who played the singer also wrote this piece of s**t, so I guess she deserved every rotten tomato she got. I'm no fan of Tarriers earlier work but this has got to be the lowpoint of his entire carrier. I catched this on tv a few years ago, and i've been wanting to see it again ever since. I think it's one of those really good grade-z movies that you can watch over and over again, like 'Glen or Glenda'. And just like that movie, it got HEART. Highly recommended for grade-Z movie fans who doesn't limit themselves to american and italian cinema only.
Rent it, borrow it or steal it - lady M has got to be seen. 10/10
Spermula is a great, intensionally funny sex/sci fi flick, and it got Udo Kier (the world's most handsome man!) in one of the major roles. What more could you possible need? The story is based around "spermulites", the alien inhabitants of a dying planet. The only way they can save their planet is by sucking the men of planet earth dry of sperm, kind of like horny vampires. Of course they take the shape of sexy girls, but Udo's character is mistakenly transformed into a man with a 1 centimeter long penis. It's a very dumb movie, but it got heart and wit. Unfortunely it's a bit overlong. And Udo's voice has been dubbed, ruining the day for all us "Udolites" who love to hear his sexy mid european accent.
But it's still a good and fun flick, too well made to be labelled camp. They don't make erotic movies like this any more. Recommended.
You might have some trouble trying to find a copy of this lost Udo gem, but it's well worth the effort.
I loved it! I ate it up, bit by bit! Paul Morrissey's painfully underestimated 1981 punk/commie/thrash-comedy may have come a few years to late (the thrashy and tacky white thrash aesthetics used in this film were already explored by John Waters in the 70's, and punk was getting way to over-exposed). But that doesn't matter since this is one of the funniest films of the 80's! It's the kind of film you just have to watch over and over until every act and line is memorized. Practically every scene in this film is notorious. And it's got a very original, great outlandish humor that almost got me killed the first time i saw it. For example we got a fat transsexual (perhaps not so original in this type of film) who talks about hamburgers for ten minutes, swap-market irony, disco dancing guru's and a homosexual man who quite literally like to polish his doorknobs all day long. The main story is centered around a young, beautyful communist man who is stranded i the U.S, looking for Jane Fonda. But the only things he finds are human thrash, money hustling and a never ending talk about the fabulous punk club-ownerer Madame Wang who is going to make them all stars. I'm not much for overanalyzing pictures so I leave you with these words: buy, rent or steal Madame Wang's tomorrow! If you have any kind of humor you will not regret it. I give this flick ten doorknobs out of ten possible.