stevenfallonnyc

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Reviews

Yesterday
(2019)

Very uneven but OK (and a HUGE gyp, explained)
Like some others have said here, the premise of "Yesterday" is fantastic. The execution, however, is nowhere near as good as it could have been.

Of course, the plot where everyone in the world forgets who The Beatles are ( as well as Oasis, Coca-Cola and cigarettes) so Jack "writes" their songs and becomes a huge star, is creative and fun. The film though, is overlong, drags on in spots, and could use some severe tightening up.

The stars of the film are likeable enough (Jack's roadie friend is a particular scene-stealer) but the film is kind of like a cheap junk food treat - tastes kind of good, but has a lot of air in it.

Jack's rise to the top singing Beatles songs is done fairly decently, but there are just so many scenes with unneeded dialogue and dead space that the film becomes really dull and tiresome in certain spots.

Ed Sheeran is also in it a lot as himself - how the heck is this guy arguably the biggest music star in the world right now? In the film he's as flat as a pancake, no charisma or personality whatsoever.

It definitely helps if you are a Beatles fan, as you'll see and listen to clever nods to the group in various scenes. Plus, Jack's versions of their songs are all pretty decent. However, the film won't knock you out and is not as good as the trailer. If you don't expect much though, you can have a relatively pleasant viewing, but you'll never watch it again.

NOT REALLY A SPOILER involved something in the trailer. This is the "huge gyp" I was talking about above in the subject line. There was a certain scene in the trailer that looked to be a MAJOR part of the film, and is a major "this will help get people into the theater" scene. However, while the scene is in the movie, it's not exactly what it seems. Therefore, the scene is a gigantic fraud (just like Jack in the movie), with absolutely zero payoff. This actually angered me as this was the scene I was looking forward to the most, but it meant absolutely nothing and led to absolutely nothing. This part of the trailer was a complete scam.

Another rip-off was another scene in the trailer, in the same setting as the "gyp" scene, that never made the final cut. It's in the deleted scenes on the DVD, and it's a great scene. Why did they delete it? It's really SOMETHING.

The Monkey Hu$tle
(1976)

Horrific movie, entertaining cast
The main thing one needs to know about "The Monkey Hu$tle" is that it makes absolutely no sense at all.None. Zero. It doesn't even have anything remotely resembling a plot until the last fifteen minutes, and even then, the "plot" is so thin as to almost be nonexistent. So yes, this is a bad film.

However, the cast is fantastic, in that you have a lot of familiar 70s faces doing their thing with the bad material they are given. The great Yaphet Kotto leads the way, and behind him are Rudy Ray Moore, Rosalind Cash, Thomas Carter, the gorgeous Debbi Morgan, and others you will recognize from 70s blaxploitation films and TV shows.

As entertaining as the cast is, it's hard to imagine any of them knew what the heck they were actually acting in, and probably just took it scene-by-scene according to the script, never really knowing all the context. I can't imagine any of them reading the script and saying "What a plot, this looks good I'll do it." Instead, it was probably more like "What a mess, but I have a lot of scenes, I'm in." Or simply just doing it for the paycheck.

The film was shot in Chicago so there are a lot of interesting location scenes, and the film is shot halfway decently. Those things, and the cast, do make the film fun to look at. However this is a real mess due to the missing "plot" but it is worth a viewing for the pluses. You'll never watch it again, tho'.

Teen-Age Crime Wave
(1955)

Solid hostage drama
Kind of surprised at the low rating here at the IMDB for this flick (3.1 as of this writing). There were many JD flicks around the time but this one is a cut above the rest.

Thing is, even though there's an intro about the "teen" problem in the beginning, the movie really isn't about that, or a "crime wave" at all - it basically just centers on a few teens who take a farm family hostage (along with a girl who inadvertently gets involved).

Sounds very standard but there is some pretty decent drama and suspense, and the two main young girls are very attractive (bad girl Molly McCart especially). The finale is exciting and although there are some inconsistencies (like why the bad boy teen shoots some people and not others), and also some odd shots (like a telephone ringing six times, we get it the recipient isn't home) this is still a good way to spend watching some 50's low-budget action with girls, guns and an interesting resolution.

The Dead Come Home
(1989)

Much fun, better than it looks
It's a simple premise - four dudes (and two chicks) go to an old house which one of them rented or bought, where there was a brutal killing a long time ago, and they all get trapped in the house with an old dead woman out to kill them.

The movie poster is funny - none of these "dudes" are in the movie. And actually, only one of the guys is like a corny "dude" at all - he's a hard-edged California tough-guy type who needs beer, hates when people whistle and is sarcastic to everyone.

The dead old lady killer pops up every now and then to kill one of the gang, and the film almost runs like a videogame, with her being the "boss" of a round - if you don't kill her, you sneak around more, finding and making weapons, and eventually confront her again. And the ones she kills come back to life not as traditional zombies, but as talking and rationalizing undead, who are also out to kill the remaining friends.

The gore is pretty good, and of course this being Troma, there's some laughs in between the scares, but it doesn't get insultingly silly. Two characters in the house actually just kind of disappear without being mentioned again, and we never really understand why the dead old lady is super-strong or why she seems to control the house's actions, but that's all part of the mindless fun.

There's decent suspense, lots of cheesy horror cliches and dialogue, and pretty girls, a decent way to spend some horror time.

The Bionic Woman: Motorcycle Boogie
(1977)
Episode 7, Season 3

Evel and the Beauty
I'm not really a big fan of "The Bionic Woman," but am of Evel so of course I had to check this out. Evel in the seventies was a gigantic star, and kids everywhere (myself included) had his toys and merch.

In this episode, halfway across the world, Jaime hitches a ride with Evel (who just happens to be performing nearby) and leads him on an adventure to steal back a "computer tape" full of American secret codes. This is a fun episode actually as Evel and Jaime trade quips, Evel keeps looking shocked at Jaime's feats of strength, and Jaime's refusal to believe that Evel is who he is.

Jaime of course looks very beautiful and fit, and Evel struggles his way through the script with cheesy (but fun) dialogue, particularly using the expression "my eye" a lot. It's an exciting ride as the unlikely duo are chased by helicopters, cops, make escapes, avoid being shot and blown up, and mix in (Evel speaks fluent German?).

Why, we even get a good look at Evel's awesome pimpmobile at the end, which drives off with both Evel and Jaime, hopefully starting a beautiful relationship. I would imagine this episode is one of the highlights of the Bionic Woman series.

Easy Rider
(1969)

Very boring overrated movie
Oddly enough, despite being a lifelong film fan, I've just watched "Easy Rider" for the very first time. Given its reputation and the celebration of the film's fiftieth anniversary, I was finally prompted to watch.

I was pretty mystified at what I found, which was a very boring, slow-moving non-movie which resembled more of a travelogue of sixties America.

In short, for almost the entire duration of the movie, nothing happens. This is a 20-minute short film stretched out into an excruciatingly dull full-length feature. What you mainly get are three things - plenty of shots of Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper riding their bikes, views of the countryside as they are riding their bikes, and them hanging by the fire at night speaking gibberish either between themselves or with whomever they are giving a ride to.

There is almost none of the supposed "bigotry and hatred" from small-town America that is supposed to be a focal point. There is one scene in a small diner where they felt some tension from the locals, and they got out of there quick. Even when a bunch of young girls pay attention to the bikers - even following them outside - the locals remain inside, simply peeking out the window.

They're heading to New Orleans for the Mardi Gras, and hoping to find, I don't know, something along the way, peace maybe, or who knows. This horrifically dull trip picks up a little interest when Jack Nicholson joins them, but even he can't save the movie from being dull, especially with his bad fake accent.

Even when the two hook up with Karen Black and Toni Basil, things still remain dull, and the movie then hilariously goes into "Magical Mystery Tour" territory by trying to be all "psychedelic" due to a drug trip.

Most people know the ending, but by then, it's really kind of unemotional, because did we really care about these characters anyway?

Apparently, there were many scenes cut out of the film, and going by their description (they sounded like good scenes), it almost seems like there was an actual effort to make the film as boring as possible by taking the good scenes out.

I do like the general idea - two pals going their own way and forging their own path hit the road and have adventures while on their "search" for whatever. I just wish it wasn't all so darn dull.

Strawberries Need Rain
(1970)

One of the best boring films I've seen
I say "boring" because "Strawberries Need Rain" is on the dull side. However, there is enough to keep your interest going.

The plot is simple - Death (played by "Mentor" from "Shazam!," Les Tremayne) comes to claim a beautiful farm girl named Erika, who talks her way into one more day of life. She then sets out to have sex, knowing that in 24 hours, Death will visit again, taking what he came for.

The print I caught was decent, but had washed-up colors and lots of lines, but that gave it a good grindhouse feel. Erika is incredibly beautiful, and we get some tasteful nude scenes. There are many gorgeous shots of her prancing in the countryside as sweet folksy music plays on the soundtrack.

We follow Erika's adventures on her last day with great anticipation, wondering what will happen when Death finally comes around for her. Without giving anything away, of course we hope for the best for her, and the ending actually makes perfect sense.

It's a slow moving film definitely, but the atmosphere is so serene, and again, Erika is so strikingly gorgeous that it is easy to stay with it until the end. A fantastic lost 70s gem of a movie.

Face-Off
(1971)

Three stars for the movie, ten for the hockey
*Whew* just in case it wasn't made clear in any other review, I'll just say it flat-out....this is a horrible movie, but the hockey scenes are fantastic.

First, the movie part. It's touted as "the Canadian 'Love Story'" so that tells you where it's going, only it hardly ever feels like the film goes anywhere. The acting is horrible. There's no chemistry at all between the two leads. We're subjected to some long "romantic" scenes that are painful due to the lack of chemistry. The direction is abysmal. This is a very drab and dull film....except for the hockey.

I remember seeing "Face-Off" as a kid on TV here in NYC in the early 70s, and have searched for a bootleg for years. Finally the film had a proper release and I picked it up immediately. As a lifetime NHL and NY Rangers fan, I vaguely remembered all the great footage. And great it is. Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito, Gordie Howe and many others in fantastic action on the ice. Where else are you gonna see Orr pass to Espo for a beautiful goal from a view behind the goalie? The footage is just amazing.

So if you like old-time hockey (no, Eddie Shore is not in it, but 'Moe' is!) with some of the game's greatest and most legendary players, there's just no doubt at all that this film is a must. However, if you couldn't care less about hockey, this is a flat romance pic that even fans of 70s films will find difficult to stay awake for.

Holmes & Watson
(2018)

Devastatingly horrific
I admit, the reviews here at the IMDB inspired me to see this movie without exactly going to the theater, and check it out. I love "so bad it's good" movies, and when I come across a "so bad it's just bad" film, I like to see for myself just how bad.

Well, this is bad.

Did I say bad? I meant, unfathomably bad, as in you simply will not believe how incomprehensibly dreadful this utter garbage is. So void of any humor, wit, charm, heart, or talent whatsoever, if you actually pay money to see this craparama, you will most likely be enraged....at yourself, for taking a chance on this anyway, despite these reviews, and wasting good cash.

This is a film of immeasurable ineptitude. And I won't even discuss Will Ferrell too much - never have I seen any human being in my entire life as incredibly unfunny as he is in this movie. I'll leave that at that.

Whether for yourself, or as a couple, or as a family, there are infinitely more choices to spend that money on than seeing this. If you still want to see this, I suggest you either burn the money in the oven or toss in down the toilet and then go to sleep, because that's easier than going to see this film, with the same result. (Incidentally, I actually made it just halfway through.)

Maybe the most amazing thing is how this train wreck unbelievably passed through every step to actually have a theatrical release, and in almost three thousand theaters no less. You must, and I mean must, take heed with these reviews and save yourself the torture. This movie is an absolute colossal waste of time and money.

Rape
(1966)

Not sure what to make of this
I can't figure out if this is supposed to be serious, or a warped comedy. The plot is as basic as it gets - nun walks in the woods, guy stalks her, rapes her (which you don't actually see, just a tree shaking), fixes himself up afterwards, and then he walks away. Ten minutes of nonsense really, don't even waste time trying to figure out "what it all means." Early nunsploitation, this short is a waste of time unless you're really curious.

Joshua
(1968)

Fantastic short film teaches a good lesson
I'm very surprised that at the time of this writing, there are no reviews or ratings votes for this great short film, "Joshua." I remember seeing this film on television over forty years ago, most likely on some Saturday morning show on channel 13 PBS, which always played educational programs, or maybe in elementary school.

Joshua is a black student who has won an athletic scholarship to a college in Texas, and enjoys one last day in Harlem, mainly hanging out with a girlfriend, and running through Central Park. He watches animals with a young white boy who refers to Joshua as the "n-word" (I'm assuming the IMDB won't allow the full word) without realizing how hurtful the word is. Angry, Joshua runs off and starts a fight with a white teen flying a kite.

Sometimes, when something isn't overdone, it can do a lot more good than if the lesson was hitting you over the head like a hammer. "Joshua" is very simple story about racism that just feels natural, as if the viewer is more of a "fly on the wall" watching something very real unfold.

Joshua himself may not be the smartest guy (he got the scholarship with his running, not his brain) but he is by no means stupid, and he proves to have a lot of common sense. By the time the film ends, you are cheering for him to do well, and you feel he's going to make it in what must be a scary new place outside of his safe haven in New York City.

One of just two pieces of music in the film, the hit song "Cry Like a Baby" by The Box Tops, fits in perfectly and places you right in the late sixties as Joshua enjoys his last day.

It would great if "Joshua" and other films like it from the era can be cleaned up and released. Today's kids can use lessons like the ones this film offers.

Deliver Us from Evil
(1973)

Good, watch for the actors
"Deliver Us from Evil" definitely stars a number of heavyweights, namely Jan-Michael Vincent and George Kennedy, who portray two men of a group who come across an airplane skyjacker with six hundred thousand dollars while hiking in the mountains.

As far as 70's TV movies go, this isn't up there with the best ones, but it's far from being one of the worst ones. The film has a lot of outdoors sequences and it's good to see actors actually roughing it for the camera a bit.

My main problem with the film is that it seems to end too early, like there are a few more chapters missing. Someone mentioned "Deliverance," imagine if "Deliverance" ended a half hour early, and that's kind of where this film ends up.

As disappointing as that is, this is still a halfway decent 70's TV-movie viewing. Kind of tough to find but it's out there in internet-land.

Report to the Commissioner
(1975)

Gritty, scarce NYC cop flick
It's great to watch a film you remember as a kid, but haven't seen in a long time. "Report to the Commissioner" is one of those films I remember liking a real lot, and I just watched it for the first time in forty years.

Funny how time makes you remember some things incorrectly - for instance, somehow I remembered Yaphet Kotto being in the elevator with Michael Moriarty, not "Stick" the heroin dealer played by Tony King. (The elevator scenes are nothing short of spectacular.)

"Report to the Commissioner" starts off a little slow and hap-hazard, but really picks up after a short while, mainly due to Moriarty's fine acting (although everyone else in the cast also does a great job). He's a tortured soul who really doesn't want to be a cop, and who gets into some serious trouble. Moriarty puts on one of his best performances.

Yaphet Kotto is great in anything he's in, and Susan Blakely was easily one of the most beautiful actresses of the seventies. Other familiar faces are all over as the drama builds to a harrowing final half hour.

Another thing I didn't remember was the ending, which hits hard, and kind of makes sense when you think about it. There's also a wild foot chase through the rooftops and streets on Times Square (love the crowds watching the filming).

The seventies was such a fantastic time for films - no political correct nonsense, just real street elbow grease film making, with actors and actresses who didn't mind getting their feet dirty (in Tony King's case, literally). "Report to the Commissioner" is a good viewing.

Girl
(1975)

Watch a girl stare at you for 20 minutes
"Girl" may be interesting to the "artsy" crowd (as this is obviously supposed to be an "art" film) as they try to convince themselves that this is good, but that's all in their own imaginations. "Girl" is pretty much nothing but a girl standing on a small rug in what looks like a slum apartment looking into the camera.

Obviously, it's not easy to just stand there, so she squirms a bit, wiggles a little, even squats down halfway through, I supposed to not bore herself to death too quickly. Finally she sits down on the rug for good and it's all over.

I'd like to think that this film is just a way to punk the artsy crowd, making them contemplate what it all means, when in reality, it all means absolutely nothing.

Even though the film is marked as a 1975 film, the end credit shows 1971.

The Dummy
(1982)

Fun horror short
"The Dummy" is an interesting short film I caught on early 80's cable TV a few times, when they'd show interesting stuff in between movies. The premise is simple - the husband leaves for work, and his childhood toy, the dummy, terrorizes the wife when she is left home alone.

Running less than eight minutes long, "The Dummy" has a few creepy moments, such as when the dummy peeks in on the wife from under a door, or waits on the toilet for her to finish her shower. The wife is pretty and also has a really nice body which helps keep the viewers interested, and having her run around in short shorts certainly doesn't hurt.

One can look at "The Dummy" as what a full-length horror film may be like if you trimmed every bit of fat off it.

Justice for All
(1968)

Interesting first "All in the Family" pilot
Having been lost for many years, this very first "All in the Family" pilot finally surfaced and we get to finally see how one of the greatest shows in TV history was born.

Of course, as with all pilots, tweaking was in order, and it's rather obvious that the original Mike and Gloria (Mike being "Dickey" here, and Irish, not polish) are pretty bad. They don't fit with the roles, and their delivery is pretty rough. It's a harsh contrast to the superb professionalism of Jean Stapleton and Carroll O'Connor as Edith and Archie Justice (not "Bunker" quite yet) respectively, who seem right at home playing their characters. They are so good in fact, that during All in the Family's heyday, there really isn't too much difference in their characters then from here.

D'Urville Martin gives a respectable Lionel (he also played Lionel in the second unaired pilot), but, while better than the other two supporting actors, it's obvious he doesn't quite fit. Martin of course went on to have a pretty decent career as a supporting actor.

The house layout is different, which is a little unsettling as we're so used to the "classic" home. Outside of Lionel, there are no neighbors mentioned or seen. Jean and Carroll pretty much completely run the show and take off with it, that's how good they are.

This is definitely a must-see for all All in the Family fans, as you don't always get the chance to see the origin of such a historic show.

Death Race 2050
(2017)

Unfathomably horrific
"Death Race 2000" is without a doubt one of the greatest, if not the greatest, B-movie ever made. It was funny, clever, had some good subtle points, and full of action and beautiful girls. Of course, it was directed by the late great Paul Bartel, who is still sorely missed.

"Death Race 2050" however, is without a doubt one of the worst pieces of garbage that has been filmed in at least the past twenty or so years, maybe much longer.

There is absolutely nothing here that is in the least bit clever, interesting, or even good in the least. As far as the basics go, the acting horrendous, the cars ridiculous-looking, the FX abysmal, the characters annoying, it's all just a complete mess.

Even when the cars "race" they are going so slow and look so bad, they resemble a warped bumper car attraction at the local fair more than anything.

And my goodness, Malcolm McDowell, what happened, what happened. Did he really need the money that badly?

The very most I can say about this movie that doesn't completely tear it apart, is if you are into miniatures, watch for some scenes where they're used, they're probably the best things about this movie.

This isn't even as funny and clever as "Hardware Wars" was to "Star Wars" if you can possibly believe that.

This truly is such a poor blight on the original classic, it's a complete disgrace that this garbage was ever even considered to be filmed, let alone made. If you really, really must see this movie, torrent it, do not buy it, do not waste your money on it, do not pay a dime to see this movie.

Paranormal Activity 3
(2011)

Boring comedy is short on laughs
After sitting through the torture of the first comedy in the series, "Paranormal Activity," I'm not sure why I sat through this one as well. I guess I figured there had to be something decent about the series, since they keep making these movies, kind of like how the "Police Academy" movies kept being made for a while.

So I watched "Paranormal Activity 3" hoping it would be as funny as the first, and I'm not sure it was, but it was at least just as boring.

There were some laughs though in this dull comedy. The wife runs out of the kitchen area in terror when the furniture and more hilariously drops from the ceiling (after the ghost lured her out of the room with a well-timed doorbell ring (an old but gold prank), the ghost pulls the hair of a little girl and she just hangs in thin air (I hate laughing at a little girl, but it was pretty funny), and there's even an impressive scene in a bathroom with one of the little girls and a friend of the family which got some good laughs, and the actors get to show their comedy chops a bit.

There's also some of the typical "people dragging" that reminded me of Chris Farley being dragged around in some of his comedies. But mostly it's a very dull show in between the comedy bits. Like the first movie, you can condense this movie in a 20-minute short. Maybe tightening it up would highlight the comedy bits more.

Perhaps I'll check out the others in the series I missed. If you are willing to wait a while, often a long while, in between the laughs, maybe these Paranormal Activity comedies will be worth sitting through to you.

The Good Son
(1993)

Not bad as a funny cult film
Macaulay Culkin was a darned good child actor, and I was looking forward to finally seeing this film after years of hearing about it. He plays a bad seed son, and his cousin warns people but no one believes him.

I didn't really find this to be a good film, since it feels there's about a half hour or so missing. Culkin's mom gets suspicious without enough evidence really, and his parents never really have it sink in (the father remains clueless the entire film).

However, if you view this film to see Culkin act like a very disturbing kid, and to see him say lines like "don't f**k with me," it's a pretty funny movie. When he casually takes out a cigarette and starts puffing, what can I say, it was hilarious. Watching him play dumb and dead-pan his way through situations to avoid being suspected of wrongdoing makes for great laughs.

Even Elijah Wood has his share of funny scenes, with his bulging eyes and acting crazy (the "food massacre" scene is great). And his trading barbs with Culkin's Henry is decent.

They do a good job, it's just that the film again, really isn't good so you have to enjoy it for what it turned out to be, an unintentionally hilarious romp for Culkin.

Taylor Wayne's World
(1992)

Amateurish
I get a kick out of the "parody" adult films, a genre which is immensely popular today. Some may not realize though that parodies were always made, and there's plenty to be found from the 80's and 90's.

While I certainly don't expect the older ones to be as elaborate as some of today's parodies (like the superhero ones, or "Star Wars"), "Taylor Wayne's World" is one of the worst I've seen. The girls are pretty, and the story virtually non-existent, but this is one of the worst shot adult films you will ever see. I mean, it's literally like someone mentally incompetent did the camera-work. Absolutely horrendous.

It's not even a matter of production values - it's just a matter of aiming the camera correctly, and you'd swear this was shot by a three-year-old. If you want to see what this one is all about because you like "Wayne's World" and/or Taylor Wayne, try to download it somewhere for free first.

Fantastic Four
(2015)

Shameful horrendous film disrespects a great comic, but not a bad "bad" film
I should start this off by saying I am a lifelong Fantastic Four fan - they're my favorite comic, so much so that I managed to possess almost all the original series run. The Thing has been my favorite superhero since I was ten years old.

As a big fan of superhero flicks in general, I was always disappointed that a great FF film seemingly could never be made. The Corman '94 version is still the best one as far as keeping close to the classic material. The "Alba" movies are horrendous. Then I heard this was coming out.

Let me get this out of the way - there's been all this complaining about the black Human Torch, and let's be clear, it has absolutely nothing to do with "racism." Again, this has been my comic since I was ten - speaking for myself, I simply want to see the source material respected, and the characters that now have been part of the American Fabric for 54 years (again, I repeat...54 years!) to simply be who they are. The race change was a very obvious politically correct pander to get a black audience - but last time I checked, many blacks have always been big comic fans, of the black AND white heroes. And the Torch is a classic hero - one of Marvel's very first, if you count the "golden-age" Torch of the 40s and 50s. Change simply for the sake of change does absolutely no one any good at all. There was no need for a Torch race change and that part of the film is simply ridiculous.

There will still some that will say that's "racist" - well, go cry me a river, because you're wrong. I'd say the exact same thing, being a comics fan, if they made Luke Cage white in his movie. And they will make it...and guess what race he'll be? That out of the way, obviously other liberties have been taken and changed - the characters are all younger, the origin has been drastically changed, the backgrounds of the main four have all changed....it's a mess, really, and all unnecessary.

The best way to watch this flick is to think of it as a movie version of the old "What If?" Marvel comic series, where they would take some heroes and change something about them and/or their story. So this would be like, "What If the Human Torch was black? What If Sue was adopted? What if the FF got their powers in a vastly different way?" And so on.

But the "What If?" comic was not part of the "Marvel Comics Universe" and they made that clear. This film, however, is presented obviously as "real" and all the changes again, are extremely disappointing to fans like myself, so you have to watch the film as if it really doesn't "count." (Not paying to see it also helps a bit.) With that mindset, it's actually something of an enjoyable B-flick, which kind of runs like an older sci-fi film, with lots of metallic hardware, scummy government guys that want to "help" and other typical stuff like other dimensions and the like. The friendship between Reed and Ben is kind of touching (though not nearly explored enough, again, it's a B-movie) and the Sue actress is pretty.

But really, there's no doubt that the film is bad. There's only a few minutes of actual "superhero-ing" in the entire film, near the end, with the supposed "big battle" with Doom. So the movie is virtually action-free. There's so many holes it's like celluloid swiss cheese. And just when the four establish themselves as a team, bang! The movie ends.

The Fantastic Four, again, has been part of the lexicon for almost six decades, and even vague superhero fans know what should be there. The film has almost none of what makes the FF great. The heroes are never named, so we don't hear the familiar names we know and love. Heck, the film doesn't even ever say "Fantastic Four" in the dialogue. There's no costumes. There's no Fantasticar. There's no classic Human Torch (blond haired/blue eyed handsome hot head) to draw the girls into the theater. There's no relationship ever established between Reed and Sue. No "cosmic rays in space" in the origin. No "Latveria" for Dr. Doom. And the incredible charm and humanity that made the FF comic usher in a new age of comics, it's all gone. Augh, I could go on.

Something else that is greatly missed is New York City. Sure, NYC is where the Baxter Building is, but the city was always a huge part of the Marvel Universe, a character all its own. The FF, The Thing especially, who in the comics was a Lower East Side tough guy who grew up in poverty with a hard edge, but in the film now resides in Oyster Bay, Long Island (!), are "New York" but you'd never know that here.

I can go on, but you get the drift. Really, all the liberties and changes they made to such a classic team are, to put it mildly, simply disgusting. Given the ending, which obviously assumes a sequel will be made, I am glad this disaster bombed and the planned sequel seems on hold (which usually means it'll never be made).

So yes, you really have to watch this (for free if you can) with the expectation that you will be watching a severe and wretched entry in the superhero movie world, and enjoy it on a "Plan 9" level. One day, one day, maybe someone will actually make a decent FF film.

Crash!
(1976)

Unwatchable garbage
I'm giving this a "3" because despite it being garbage, as a car chase fanatic, I have to acknowledge that there are a few decent car crashes.

But man, is this true tripe. From what I gather, this was rushed into the cinema to beat out "The Car" by making a film about their own killer car, namely a classic driverless Camaro convertible. Oh yeah sure, there's a silly revenge plot mixed in there somewhere that is supposed to be "horror" (wife with strange powers vs. ex-husband) but will scare absolutely no one over two years old, but it's the car action we all want to see.

Frankly, the car crashes are really weird, because it's obvious they only had one of these Camaros and didn't want to put nary a scratch on the one they had (until the final scenes), so they made sure it barely touches other cars.

For instance, the Camaro smashes through a police roadblock, but we don't actually "see" it smash through - convenient explosions go up right at the time we should see it, blocking our view, and the Camaro zooms on through, without a scratch.

The film does have some decent crashes though, even though many of these have those "invisible ramps" that make cars go flying through the air.

It all comes down to the finale, the proverbial Big Battle - demon Camaro vs... an old guy in a wheelchair. Yes, you read that right. Who will win? This film is so poor, at one point a little over the hour mark, it decides to kill some running time by replaying all the previous crashes we've seen! When that's done, we get some new crashes, and the aforementioned Camaro/wheelchair battle.

If you can get a hold of this one, do yourself a favor, and just FF to all the road scenes. You will thank me. Oddly enough, the best part of the DVD is a rare 30-second clip of John, David and Keith Carradine fooling around.

Wet Wilderness
(1976)

Boring pseudo-classic
I guess "Wild Wilderness" is a classic in certain circles for its daring themes (violence, racism, etc), but truthfully, this is a pretty dull outing.

I enjoy checking out the very early "grindhouse" porn, not so much for the sex (which often is quite dull, like here), but for the DIY filmmaking, locales (especially the NYC ones) and basic genuine sleaze factor you cannot find nowadays.

The plot is simple - yellow-masked manic with a machete makes a mom and her daughter and son perform sex acts on him, and each other (after killing a friend of theirs). A random black guy tied to a tree (for "days" but looking quite energetic and awake) is forced to join in the action, as the maniac seems to like watching as much, if not more, than participating. It all comes down to an abrupt ending where we have to assume what happened next (is there a version out there that shows it? I saw the supposed "uncut" Alpha-Blue version).

And yes, this runs like a cheap 70's home movie where the "actors" can't act (and frankly, seem like they can't wait for it to be over) and it's shot in some backyard woods. One bit of hilariousness is that most of the close-up shots of the maniac's face/mask have a bright-green background, obviously shot in some kind of room, when he's supposed to be outside in the woods. The stolen "Psycho" music is loud, and the girls are pretty but yes, bored as heck, like the viewing audience.

A much superior similar film would be "The Farmer's Daughters" from the same year, about an abused farmhand who gets his revenge on a family, as well as three escaped convicts. "Wet Wilderness" looks like it was shot by some who picked up a camera for the first time. Even the supposed "racism" is so mild, you can't even get any big laughs out of it (like, say, in "Fight For Your Life").

Is "Wet Wilderness" worth watching? Yes, as long as you FF through the boring sex scenes, and make sure you catch all the maniac's funny comments, easily the best part of the movie.

Vigilante Force
(1976)

70's redneck action
If anyone is wondering if "Vigilante Force" is going to be worth a viewing, just look at three things: 1) Jan Michael-Vincent; 2) Kris Kristofferson, and 3) made in 1976. Now that is the formula for a great time! The plot is simple: Kris and his war buddies are recruited by the town to clean it up, but then rule it with an iron fist (and guns, and even a bazooka). His bro Jan doesn't take kindly to this, and it all leads up the the proverbial Big Showdown.

Now, when a film starts off with goofy redneck music while scenes of violence are happening, you know it's the 70's and you know you're in for a good time. There's tons of gunfire and fighting as well as bar brawls and heck, even a rootin' tootin' cockfight.

The girls are absolutely gorgeous - Bernadette Peters and Victoria Principal are at their hottest.

As for the cast - this is a flick with tons of familiar 70's faces, just when you think you've seen them all, another one pops up. I mean heck, even Dick freaking Miller is in this for a few seconds! And plenty of others you don't know the names of but who you definitely will recognize.

Kristofferson is an actor of limited talent, playing every role he gets pretty much the exact same way, but it's all good because he's always fun to watch. Jan is always ready to mix it up, and is also a blast to watch. "Vigilante Force" is definitely a great movie to eat half a pizza to.

Wild Riders
(1971)

Great 70's sleaze
Not so much a biker flick, as very little time is actually spend on bikes, as much as about a pair of two sleazy bikers who weasel their way into a rich woman's place, and terrorize her and her pretty guest to no end.

Pete and Stick (the always awesome Alex Rocco) seem friendly enough at first, but then it gets real as things get pretty violent, and there's the usual rape, slapping, destruction, etc. Pete is the leader, the good-looking guy who is protected by his "ape" Stick.

There's also a small bit of drama with their biker gang, and a fence Pete uses to ditch some stolen goods. Definitely good of its type, with some decent twists and turns, and even a few laughs. Very nice build-up to the expected violent ending.

The Pete actor actually has had a pretty decent career, and reminded me of the 70's porno actor Mike Ranger ("Taboo"). The main lessons here are never let strangers in your home, and never close your eyes to the music. Absolutely a very entertaining viewing for exploitation fans.

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