hollywoodshack

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Reviews

Hart to Hart: You Made Me Kill You
(1979)
Episode 5, Season 1

Plot unusually shallow
After viewing a few other episodes, I was surprised at the shallow plotting here. We know Jonathan is being stalked by an employee from the accounting department with a love crush on him, but we don't know why. Who are her friends, relatives, or enemies that might frustrate her into doing something like this? Absent also is a more powerful group or person who orders the scheme to be carried out. It was shown a week before Halloween so it seemed rushed together just to come up with a scary show for that time of year. It was quite nail biting, even though I could spot some clichés from horror movies made that we something like it.

The Killer Shrews
(1959)

Feel sorry for the shrews
Really, there's very little sympathy for the main characters, a scientist and his daughter on a remote island attempting experiments in overpopulation and cannibalism. James Best and Ken Curtis fight over the girl, drinking too much as often as the daughter is. Shrews are clipped in every five minutes during the second half, chewing through the walls and running through the kitchen and basement. When they're shot and they die, it's so sad, a big close up of their ugly faces while they're dragged away. Eating these folks for dinner could have given the poor beasts a pretty bad case of indigestion or alcohol poisoning.

Wonder Woman: The Pied Piper
(1977)
Episode 6, Season 2

Strange casting choices
My least favorite of any comic book series on TV are episodes that portray a sympathetic villain seeking revenge for some great wrong done to them, like most of season 2 episodes. Here, Martin Mull plays a rock musician who has his fans robbing the safe of his concert money to keep it away from his managers and promoters. Eve Plumb (Jan from The Brady Bunch) plays a fan who wins an audition to be his stage dancer. She is also the daughter of Diana Prince's boss, bringing Wonder Woman out to uncover the scheme. Like, the first names on earth anyone might associate with pop music are Martin Mull and Eve Plumb, right? It's quite entertaining until piper Hamlin gets his comeuppance, mostly a sermon from Wonder Woman about losing his ideals and principles for a life of greed and crime.

Giant
(1956)

Excellent performances in the supporting characters
James Dean rivals his other two major screen roles as Jed Rink, the field hand who strikes oil to bring out his evil greed and prejudices. Look for the scene with him covered head to toe with oil! Carroll Baker is also excellent in one of her few major film roles before leaving for Europe to semi retirement, filming low budgeters while she recovered from the trauma of Dean's tragic death. Recall Dean's lines were dubbed in the final fight scene because of his premature death before the filming completed. Hudson and Taylor were at their best as usual.

It's My Body
(1985)

It's my body and I'll cry if I want to, come if I want too...
You would cum too if it happened to you! The cast of seasoned pros are at their peak of hotness in this film..(Paul Thomas, Christy Canyon, Tracy Lords, Randy West, Honey Wilder and Tom Byron) but the dull plotting, directing (Jerome Bronson) and photography dampen my crying towel a lot. Traci stars as a loose-virtued girl whose sister (Canyon) and mom (Wilder) would like her to meet a nice guy and get married instead. The bland photography takes too many long shots of nearly the whole room while there seems to be a lot of double looping during the sex scenes that draw it out too long. Randy does it with Cara Lott in a car standing up above the sun roof in full view of traffic while the music fails to capture the humor or pacing of the event, playing for a candlelight dinner and velvet cushions, instead. I really think the best scene was with Stacy Donavan and Hershel Savage on a yard chair. Traci does it with 3 guys in one hot scene. No doubt this fed a rumor that she once gave every member of the UCLA swim team a blow job at a party.

World Without End
(1956)

Excellent, thoughtful futuristic drama
When astronauts are taken by accident through a time warp to a planet destroyed by war in the future, a careful look reveals it really planet earth. So, they help the timid underground humans fight off the mutants that inhabit the top surface which was emptied because of radiation. Excellent allegory of the tragic human quest for continuous warfare, even when confronted with a planet deserted and ruined by it.

A Star Is Born
(1954)

Too long, too many details
I was very impressed by the shorter version of this film. The last I checked it wasn't available on home video. That said, I don't see why restored snapshots of every car door shutting or other small details does anything except ruin the dramatic impact of the story. One reviewer mentioned that Warner disliked MGM where Judy spent most of her screen career and got into problems with drugs and booze. It's ironic that through Ted Turner they now own most of MGM's movies made before 1990, at least for releasing them which is only the reason they're still valuable.

Wonder Woman
(1975)

Best filmed version of the comic
Wonder Woman is one of the best live action comic book series ever made for TV. The special effects are impressive and Linda Carter was perfect for her part. It's such a disappointment Metv cancelled showing the series. The last episode had Leif Garret play a pop star and his twin brother seamlessly. Everyone who likes the show should let Metv know you don't want it cancelled.

Frankenstein 1970
(1958)

Slow paced, corny at times
Karloff delivers a lot of monologue time to explain his great twisted ambitions to build an atomic Frankenstein from human body parts of a film crew at his house. Like many of these testy concepts, the victims stand frozen several minutes waiting for him to strike when they could just turn around and run out of the room. The filmed scenes that turn into a real event were the only ones gathering any chills or suspense, they were far too few than enough to hold interest.

The Monolith Monsters
(1957)

Mono-tonous--slow pokey and boring
Still awake at 3 in the morning? Here's the cure. A movie that needs spoiler warnings written into the plot! The scientists have an antidote ready nearly a half hour before it's over. They explain it every step of the way. No suspense or doubt will be left in your mind the monsters might invade the town. The weatherman can explain no rain in the forecast in five difficult sentences suggesting a flood. I've given it 4 stars because Lola Albright is colorful and entertaining compared to the plain Jane leading ladies in most of these sci fi operas containing more excitement. The giant gumby rocks deserve a bow towards the end, too. The poor little girl was cured too early, leaving you with more suspense less snooze time.

The Ghost of Frankenstein
(1942)

The kid stays in the picture too long
There's a loose string in the plot to this movie that gnaws away at me like a big holiday dinner that fills me up only to get hungry again an hour later. Frankenstein retrieves a ball for a little girl that likes him, then towards the end when Dr. Frankenstein wants to choose a brain for his transplant, his monster just pops into the room carrying the little girl again. We're told he kidnapped her, completely unnoticed by the villagers and came back to the castle. It was almost as funny as Frankenstein getting Ygor's voice. The castle burns down and it's never explained how the girl escaped or was taken home. Now, that I've marked spoilers, I don't know why every Frankenstein movie, and many like it, always end with the castle or mansion burning down.

Traci's Fantasies
(1986)

Traci in some of her favorite best scenes
Traci introduces her favorite fantasy scenes in an interview with Kay Parker. John Leslie does best as a royal knight from the middle ages.t Second, Hershel Savage as a gardener on a porch swing where Traci and her girlfriend really make the cushion rattle a lot. She then does a girl dressed up as her twin (Taija Rae), has a hot night in a hotel bed with Tom Byron, then does Leslie twice, she liked him so much. Last she meets horny photographer Billy Dee for one hot photo shoot. It's a must see. I think. Surprisingly polite and tasteful.

The Beast with Five Fingers
(1946)

Poorly written, talky, full of plot holes
It would be difficult to describe in a space shorter than a five page blog all the flaws with this film. It's never quite explained how the hands move and the detective sees it when we're told it was all Hillary's {Peter Lorre's) imagining. He and his co servant (Andrea King) have every opportunity to leave the dangers at the end and just go away. The hand, and hands just crawl after him as slow as a snail. It's never explained how the pianist lost one hand. That might have made the film frightening.

The Ghoul
(1933)

Almost a comedy
The last half could almost be considered a comedy after the Ghoul dies and they're all fighting over who will keep the diamond and which one of them has it. It starts us out thinking Karloff's undead character will kill them all off to get his diamond back and it never happens. He seems to have strangled a woman in an elaborate scene and then she gets up and walks away, says, "No, I wasn't hurt. He only frightened me." Had a lot of possibilities in the serious realm, but maybe the budget was too small to have them filmed.

Wild Things
(1985)

Film is wild, but a few scenes are well..tame
I mainly found this film because I discovered Traci Lords was in it with Jamie Gillis. It seemed the big names in bay area porn at the time didn't feel much enthusiasm for Traci, not being champagne drinking cigar smoking buddies with her agent like her stepdad was. The Mitchells and DeRenzy both featured her in one scene and clipped it out later. The scene compared to most of her work was pretty tame. Jamie Gillis plays a dirty old gardener who meets naughty Traci in her school uniform for a rather mundane cum shot. The other scenes are much better for the movie as a whole, more fast paced and continuous. Kim Carson also makes the tame list as a religious zealot who wants surrogate partner Savage to position himself better for making her baby. The opening with the escaped female convicts was the best, then sort of downhill from there. Traci's underage exclusion was very much like the 50's blacklist, victimizing her and those she worked for without proof any intentional crime ever happened. I could even compare it to Baldwin and the Rust shooting accident, as far as we know now. Ferrar, the film's narrator, appears to have had a few too many gin and tonics.

Attack of the Puppet People
(1958)

Ending a letdown
Could think of three better ways for an ending. There's just no since of revenge or resolution, the fate of some characters is unresolved. Was an interesting idea, just didn't explore it enough.

Candy
(1968)

Oh, it's daddy!
Ewa Aulin is bored in her civics class taught by her father (John Astin) who wants her to stay away from boys. Especially the nasty gardener (Ringo Star) and the guest speaker poet Mephisto (Marlon Brando) She runs away on an epic journey to discover new dimensions about herself. Great music from The Byrds adds to the flavor of an underground classic, I think. I often watch it over again.

Goosed
(1999)

Could be renamed Can't Think of Sex Comedy to Write for Jennifer Tilly
Just filled with crude stereotypes of Jewish parents and blacks, this film keeps feeling like someone is improvising from an empty story to start with. Tilly keeps chasing men until she can find the predicted love of her life, Dr. Steven, but only finds one disaster after another. Some name puns get overkilled with Richard, an annoying guy at work. The Uncola man even shows up to analyze what she learned from all these guys and why she keeps chasing them. It was an endurance test to view more than 10 minutes before quitting.

Earth vs. the Flying Saucers
(1956)

Stretches believability as it goes along
It's kind of depressing to see, hey, the earth creatures are winning when they develop magnetic rays to shoot the saucers down so that they destroy the Washington Monument and the Capitol building, plus almost every other landmark in Washington, DC. It just seems they're really battling against themselves. Then Hugh and Carol (Joan Taylor) are celebrating this "victory" on the beach with almost the entire nation destroyed. It's kind of obvious the script was written for using the special effects more often than logical cohesion. The reason for attacking the earth wasn't too clear, oh, the satellites orbiting were a sign of the earth creatures invading a galaxy millions of miles away, sure. I just missed hearing some kind of moral statement used in other films like it, i.e The Day the Earth Stood Still, War of the Worlds, etc. The main characters were a bit witty and unsympathetic.

Beyond the Valley of the Dolls
(1970)

Underrated drama
I often like to watch the musical montage scene where The Kelly Affair drives west to Hollywood where they're discovered by Ronnie Barcell who renames them The Carrie Nations. It's interesting to note that Fox probably abandoned a sequel written by Jackie Susanne because Sharon Tate had been murdered by the infamous Manson cult so her part wasn't continued for another movie. We have a drama here very similar to those events and also the all girl band is very reminiscent of Ronnie and the Ronnettes. The bizarre marriage of Ronnie Spector to Phil Spector has some similarities in the story, too. Music was good, much like Spector's famous "Wall of Sound" recording style.

The Saga of the Viking Women and Their Voyage to the Waters of the Great Sea Serpent
(1957)

Fine performance by Abby Dalton
Film has a rare lead role for Abby Dalton as leader of the Viking Women. Susan Cabot is menacing as a traitor who joins up with a Barbarian leader (Richard Devon) that imprisoned the Viking men and worshipped the sea serpent. Quite a lot of character development for a low budget picture and dramatic moments reminiscent of Shakespeare's The Tempest. Could do without some exploitative violence toward the end.

Dirty Pictures
(1985)

Can't knock a porn movie with both Traci Lords and Burt Reynolds in it
Tom and Ami play a bored couple who pay a sleazy porn director to make a home sex video for them to use privately, but he sees great potential in the pair and releases it to the public without their permission. Tom waits to confront him at his film set, but finds himself rehearsing with a quite exciting black couple for an inter racial threesome. He finally finds a way to convince the director not to release his movies by threatening to tell a sensitive relative about his porn career. Now Tom gets his wish to have Traci and Ami gets to be intimate with Burt Reynolds look alike. Sasha Gabor. Thin plot is wrapped around a few exciting scenes. Traci and Sasha Gabor are not quite the hot shots they could be here. Traci's scene is too long and Sasha's scene too short.

The Devil's Rain
(1975)

You know you're in hell when..
You find out you've kissed Ernest Borgnine. Either that or a gay swinger's retreat. Maybe you got on the wrong Navy boat. Have to say the plot is quite entertaining with a lot of mysteries to solve. Special effects were a bit overlong and overdone.

Dondi
(1961)

Nice blend of slapstick and kindhearted humor
I was going to say it mixes Jerry Lewis and Frank Capra, but blends it all just right. David Kory gives his only screen performance as Dondi, a little Italian orphan adopted by an Army troop before they return to the United States. Here, the Capra style emerges while David Jansen and his fellow vets rally to give their stowaway pal citizenship. Cory gives quite an engaging performance for an amateur, a kid recruited off a New York City street to play the part. Patti Page singing tugs at the heartstrings a lot and so does the harmonica solo for a soundtrack. Parts made me laugh and others made me cry. Really an enjoyable film.

Erotiki teleti
(1979)

Scratch the plot, just play it in a booth for putting quarters in
I never thought I'd write those often seen words on this site, I want 90 minutes of my life back, until I saw this movie. Greek porn film is cold, strangely un arousing, and pads nearly half the time with suck off shots. Some scenes cut off unfinished.

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