Legendary Alby never fails to entertain. This slightly more planned adventure starts in with Alby traveling through the middle of Australia whilst promoting and screening his first World Safari to locals. He is joined by a mate and introduces his faithful dog Sam. Early film hijinks involves mostly drunk larrikins in the outback messing around spear fishing, horse riding, and boxing, with one guy getting gored to the bone by a wild boar, but we get to see some footage of genuine aboriginal cowboys throughout. Alby's mate helps him mine for opals in Coober Pedy and he ends up with a handful of rare rocks that he hopes will fund the new World Safari. He finally finishes the new boat which he names The Gretta Maria and sets sail but almost immediately, one of his ship mates has a 'long fall into shallow water', breaking his neck and leaving him a paraplegic and ultimately dead within a year. The curse of Alby is in high gear from this point on, but as Alby himself seems invincible, he sets sail again but not for long, The Gretta Maria burns and sinks off an island, taking the opals to the bottom of the sea with it. Alby is devastated but is determined to travel, so he sends his dog home and heads for Papua New Guinea. The film becomes increasingly haphazard with random events that will plague this adventure for its entirety. During all this, we see Alby pick up chicks every step of the way, from the Amazon to Peru, and much more, but it is in South America that an Australian model Judy Green is nearly killed when their jeep collides with a bus, leaving Alby with a smashed shoulder and neck injuries. He is completely doped up slurring his way through an interview on the hospital bed explaining how Judy is worse off than he is with severe head injuries. After he slumps slowly back down to rest we see Judy being transported for further medical attention in a stretcher. To add insult to injury Alby arrives home in Australia to find his loyal dog had been shot. A moving little montage of Sams escapades with Alby is shown, accompanied by music. I believe the same music is later used at the end to signify Alby falling in love with a young Michelle that he meets, when a heartfelt goodbye is given and the credits roll as he journeys forth into the unknown on motorbike. Most of the people Alby joins up with in this film become severely injured or dead, but there are many legitimate highlights and rare tribal footage from all over the world, such as the 'smoked dead', which are corpses of loved ones posed on a mountain side. This Safari is much different to the first, plagued with bad luck and Visa problems, but a very real sense of danger. Whether that danger is staged, self imposed by stupidity, bad planning or circumstance is hard to distinguish but is still very entertaining.
The most interesting part about this film for me was how similar John Murray behaves like his brother Bill, and that's a good thing. I still watch this film to this day and wonder.. Is he acting like Bill? Does John & Bill naturally act the same. Does John always act like him or just for this film? Are they copying each other? Was John told to act like Bill. Maybe both Bill & John adopted this style from an older brother, or even their father? It's the famous conundrum, which came first, the chicken or the egg?? We know Bill is hugely respected and well known, so what of his little bro who shows the same potential? Is Bill the lucky brother but they are all talented? So many questions from such an unassuming 80s film. Sadly there isn't much of a John Murray acting career to dissect. This film is pretty much his only major role, leaving us with very little else to analyse. All that aside, this film has some major laughs. Mix Police Academy with License To Drive. It's great relaxed fun.
Sigourney isn't known for her chest bursting cup size but she sets a bar for 70s pantie shots. This film isn't just about Sigourney in panties though. It's about Sigourney in panties fighting super cool aliens. And not just any aliens! Acid blood, drooling aliens designed by H. R. Giger! The giant Space Jockey pilot alien you see in this film is awesomely impressive. The visionary version of the future and the way this ordinary work crew is organised all feels very authentic. Many similarities to The Abyss and just as visually exciting. The conceptual art is only part of how cool this film is. The casting is impressive too. All roles are played with subtlety that seems more common in the 70s, but works. And of course you get your strong female lead in panties at the tail end of the film.
Fun jail break film. I get the impression this film is mostly ad-libbed and just lets the 'comedy duo' play in each scene. In fact the scenes seem so loose that it almost suffers in some parts. Some scenes are unforgettably funny, and others are plain bizarre but i enjoy the fearlessness of both actors. It's the usual naive and optimistic Wilder versus street wise and pessimistic Pryor, but it works for whatever reasons. People seem to find this film on a comedic par with Hear No Evil See No Evil, despite them being made nearly a decade apart. There is definitely some weird magic happening on screen, and the supporting cast is at their best. Stands strong for 1980.
The DVD commentary reveals many interesting things about this film, and shows how tight Kurt and Carpenter were and still are. That relationship is preserved in this film and can be seen in every scene. It shows that a fun film can be made with a simple a mutual trust between actor and director. The comedic direction this film was given was not appreciated or really understood at the time of release, but is now rarely seen in any movie. It's old school classic action fun: guns, swords, trucks, samurais, monsters, girls, kung fu oriental magic, etc. But the comedy comes from a level of self awareness that lets you enjoy the fun for what it is. Most of the movie is moving very quickly with no time wasted trying to make us empathise with characters and all that jazz. You just have to trust John Carpenter will entertain.
Two Coreys at their finest. I'll leave it up to you to decide what 'their finest' entails. The super slim plot summary would be 'high school kid wants license, car and girl'. The parents are very funny and have some of the best scenes. The 'girl' is named Mercedes Lane (pun overload?) and comes off as a privileged spoiled rich white kid with no morals or values, and the car that is the key to a date with her is a Cadillac. Luckily for us she spends most of the film passed out drunk in the back of this Cadillac. Questionable plot elements upon closer inspection are: grand theft auto, driving without license, reckless driving, endangering motorists, teenage drinking, etc and the fact our main character gets away with it all, whilst destroying the Cadillac with no repercussions is a testament to the state of cinema in the 80s. A surprisingly fun movie. Even Corey Feldman is tolerable.
Stephen King novellas transformed very well onto screen by George A Romero. Let's face it, Stephen isn't known for logic, but that's also why we usually love his twists. OLD CHIEF WOOD'N'HEAD sets up some likable characters, and suddenly introduces some unlikable young punks who seem to embody all the 7 deadly sins, with their leader caught up in vanity. The Chief sorts them out. THE RAFT has a school jock and nerd going to a lake and getting stoned. There are of course 2 chicks with them. It has possibly the cheapest SFX by way of a black floating blob resembling a garbage bag floating on a lake that eats its prey in mere seconds. Through clever tension, it is somehow terrifying, and our 4 characters don't have many options as it surrounds their small raft. THE HITCHHIKER is interesting as our main female character talks to herself through this entire story. A necessity of letting us in on her internal dialogue. This woman is cheating on her guy, and obviously self absorbed, but soon becomes the victim of a relentless hitchhiker that just will not die. Intense music drives this story through the best parts. All up, as our hitch-hiker says best: "Thanks for the ride lady!"
Unexpected treat in every scene. I highly recommend getting a good print of this film for the artistic quality in every frame. This is the sort of thing that could only have been born out of the 70s, and you will never see anything like it again. In fact there doesn't seem to be anything like it at all. Some info about this movie differs from the version I saw, such as the number of girls and their names. Either it's an error, translation issue, different version or a combination. Either way, I'm sure any version would retain its artistic uniqueness. I'm glad to see it has developed some cult appreciation, and even some deep analysis of the plot and intent. I would love to own the soundtrack too, as I discovered it was released on vinyl.
Save yourself from this abomination of cinema. This movie not only expects you to suspend disbelief, but to put on hold every brain cell function for its entirety. Somehow they have blended the slow southern hick style with a ridiculous space story and spread it painfully over the course of nearly 3 hours. I did not make through even half for fear of becoming violently depressed. The plot treats you like a moron. If every hour in that wormhole is 7 years back on earth then this movie felt like an eternity in hell. Matthew should stick to comedy. There is mountain of further problems with the acting and pace, but I've already wasted enough time watching this cinematic cyanide pill.