Saturday, April 29, 2017

Edward Mannix Week: The Shark Hunter

And we are back. Normally I don't blog on the weekends but this could not be helped. I attempted to find The Manhunt 1975 with Henry Silva but no dice so it is time for another Enzo Castellari flick again and no wars in sight. Boobage seems assured, men folk so simmer down. And for you ladies the awesome that is Franco Nero. This is The Shark Hunter a.k.a. Guardians of the Deep and Django and the Sharks.

Hulkamania comin' at ya brother!

Director Enzo Castellari ( High Crime, Street Law, The Heorin Busters, The Shark Hunter, 1990: The Bronx Warriors, Escape from the Bronx,Warriors of the Wasteland and Hammerhead ) is no stranger to action, adventure and sadly creature features where I cannot confirm if animals were killed or just dummies with blood bags. Shark hunter/recluse/woman pleaser/martial artist Mike di Donato (Franco Nero of Django, Street Law, The Last Days of Pompeii, Gaaribaldi the General, Django Strikes Again, Run for Your Life, Il Magistrato, Die Hard 2 and Django Unchained) a gruff and scruffy looking nerf herder spends his days hunting sharks with either a Bowie knife or a harpoon. The dude is intense. Pretty sure his sperm will make decathalon winners so ladies watch out.

Fabio hair can get you into fist fights.

When he isn't making records, love and a living; he is deep sea diving to a broken plane. The lagoon and coral that surrounds said plane has plenty of sharks at the ready no matter which route you took. Personally I envision sticks of dynamite to stun or kill the sharks and make my way down to the plane that smuggled more than 100 million dollars. The depths are too great for Mike as his equipment cannot be relied on, but fate or writer's twist he meets Acapulco (Jorge Luke of Ulzana's Raid, The Shark Hunter, Salvador,Trampa mortal, Cartel mortal and Clear and Present Danger) a savvy diver of a oceanographer's big rigged deep sea vessel who Mike tells of the treasure inside and has spent more than 2 years figuring out how to retrieve it.

Cabo's only bar apparently...they were allowed to shoot at.

But Mike may not be the only aware of the treasure co-ordinates as Douchy McWhitey Americano (Michael Forest of Ski Troop Attack, The Virginian, 100 Rifles,The Message, The Shark Hunter and Cast Away) seems to be chummy with a one Captain Gomez...voiced by our basso toned fellow Edward Mannix and sadly we do not hear him for 40 minutes but thank the Gods he was given a title named character. After Redneck Bastard via The Inglorious Bastards, my hopes felt dashed but Enzo was not about to disappoint me a second time.

With a gorgeous location of Mexico near Cabo, the cinematography is astounding, the cast is rounded out minus the female types as they are nothing more than eye candy and I was a trifle pissed at this. Granted they aren't well developed as characters as a whole but dammit a bit of fine tuning and they are backing up Nero or Forest as partners/Femme Fatales. Maybe that is just my take on it. Could have had the cliche' trope of the internal squabble for the money between partners and back and forth who gets it and so forth but nope. Relegated to eye candy jiggly girls.

Mike after the death of his wife and son, he threw himself in the Organization i.e. Mafia and a show down with Nero and Edward Mannix's voice is impeding. A running gag is Nero sticking chewing gum on people's heads. I guess a slight or insult there. Kind of gross I suppose. Mike is continuously has woken by nightmare flashbacks from the loss of his family or the plane crashing.

The music is confusing from having an almost Miami Vice feel to soft core porn music and at inappropriate times. Hell the boat/plane chase sounds like an industrial version of Sisters of Mercy tune. It has all the themes of having loved and lost, action, adventure, gunfights, fist fights and even a few decent chase scenes. Not a brilliant movie by half but I have seen far worse. Give it the once over if any of this sounds entertaining.

Walt, we let them get a bit closer and then eat them.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Edward Mannix Week: The Inglorious Bastards

And we are back. Sorry about the no-show yesterday. Household chores had to come first. Delving back into some more Edward Mannix I noticed his name attached to an Enzo G. Castellari flick. Who you ask? Well you know of his work in explotiation as well as Italian Post-Apocalyptic films such as: (High Crime, Street Law, The Heorin Busters, The Shark Hunter, 1990: The Bronx Warriors, Escape from the Bronx,Warriors of the Wasteland and Hammerhead) and any cat that has cast Django Franco Nero himself that many times deserves a look over. Deep in the mountains of France, deserter American soldiers are being transported for a military prison during World War II in 1944. This is The Inglorious Bastards.

No I am not Chuck Connors!!

No not the Tarantino remake of the same name, I am talking about what "inspired" him for his homage. No, I speak of the film with the tagline "Whatever the Dirty Dozen did- They do DIRTIER!" A gathering of men after off to face the tribunal/imprisonment which amazingly enough during one of the heaviest wars they didn't just out and execute them under articles of being a traitor but hell wouldn't be much of a movie if they did that.

Man, don't be bothering Tommy Gibbs right now.

Our company consists of officer/fighter pilot Lt. Robert Yeager (Bo Svenson of Breaking Point, Snowbeast, Gold of the Amazon Women, Day of Resurrection, Walking Tall TV series, The Manhunt and Wizards of the Lost Kingdom), Bigot murderer Tony (Peter Hooten of Prisoners, Orca, Dr. Strange TV Movie, Fantasies, 2020 Texas Gladiators), big bad Pvt Fred Canfield (former Oakland Raiders/Kansas City Chiefs and blaxploitation legend Fred Willamson of M*A*S*H, Black Caesar, Hell Up in Harlem, Three the Hard Way, Bucktown, No Way Back, Warriors of the Wasteland, From Dusk 'Till Dawn and Revamped), the thief/scrounger Nick (Michael Pergolani of The Inglorious Bastards, Lost and Found and Il pap'occhio) and yellow bellied coward Berle (Jackie Basehart of Stream Line, The Black Corsair, the Iron Hand of the Mafia, Ciao nemico, Festival and Tea with Mussolini)

During the ride out, their convoy is stopped by German air raid, an assault happens ripping up the convoy. Our boys hustle out of gun range and into the foothills of France in their new APC. With the idea of heading to Switzerland because of its neutral border plus it being about 160 miles (257 km for everyone else)from their location, it seems like a smart move versus escaped convicts getting shot.

The Hammer gonna burn you down.

Down the road, German mortars threaten to obliterate our freshly sprung jailbirds but they hightail into the woods with Nick stopping by a previous convoy to (Get this) loot the bodies. Yup our thief managed some treasure perception rolls and made off with a few more handy items.

Making their way through yet another fire fight and bombardment, the boys find themselves "volunteered" for a suicide mission to steal rocket engines, blow a bridge and suppress as many of the Nazis as possible.

Will they go along with this? Can their chances of survival be higher than 30%?

It is wild this flick. Saw Donald O'Brien from Zombie Holocaust as a German soldier and even the director himself Enzo as a German officer. But worry not fans of Edward Mannix, he has be tasked with voice work for quote "Redneck Bastard"end quote. Yup, not even a titled character this time around in spite of Donald O' Brien being there so no Doctor Butcher vibes this time. I won't lie, Wooten's racist character started to grate on my nerves but I guess they felt it necessary for the plot.

The writing surprised me. The dialogue doesn't feel like the ramblings of Platoon, Casualties of War or the like. It is solid. Only used when needed, the actors portray a lot of their character through intimidation, humorous behavior or just right now eerie ass stares worthy of John Carradine's creeper eyes. These men are not heroes. They are human, flawed and even scared at times. They haven't been soldiers in a long damn time and even if they were, they don't give a damn about the chain of command. Yet they seem to have bonded with Yeager. One of us and that sort.  

Orgy river party!!!

 I cannot decide definitively who my favorite is cause I am a huge Fred Willamson and Bo Svenson fan but the thief/scrounger hippie was warming to me. The cinematography is astounding, the action scenes are hard hitting but the dark comedy will raise more than a chuckle. And yes fellas, this being a seventies made war flick there is boobage. I know you would have been adrift without it.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Edward Mannix Week: A Bay of Blood

Welcome back readers if I have any left after the cannibal/zombie showdown film of Zombie Holocaust. Trust me, I suffer its scars more than you. Unless you went out and saw it. WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT??!!!! Anywho, hows about a scary Italian horror movie? Okay stop running, it is not Bruno Mattei. I'm talking the master of the Giallo movies, the cream of the crop of scare, the building blocks that made Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci want to be directors. The one and only Mario Bava (Hercules in the Haunted World, Black Sunday, Evil Eye, Blood and Black Lace, Kill Baby, Kill, Danger: Diabolik, Blood Brides, Baron Blood, The House of Exorcism and Beyond the Door II). This is A Bay of Blood a.k.a. Twitch of the Death Nerve, The Last House on the Left Part II, The Antecendent, Bay of Blood, Bloodbath, Blood Bath, Ecology of a Crime, Chain Reaction and Bloodbath Bay of Death.

Robert Evans Italiano!

This film is better known by Twitch of the Death Nerve in the states but that's a bunch of savages that know no better. Pity them. No offense fellow Americans but A Bay of Blood just sounds soooOoO much better a title. Twitch of the Death Nerve sounds like an organ harvesting film.

Our macabre tale opens with some 360 pans and a view of the lake house. Photo phobics, it wasn't bad tracking like an Uwe Boll flick. You will be alright. A spinster wealthy wife (Isa Miranda of Everybody's Woman, The Secret of Helene Marimon, Abandoned, A kiss for a Killer, When Stangers Meet, Compact and The Avengers TV series) has met her end of days violently. The reason? Well it was either too many bedpan changing or the sick amount of money she was worth.

Hangin' out. Hangin' out with my homies..Gonna have ourselves a party.

Won't lie to you, her "suicide" is creepy from the gag for air, to her body swaying limply from hanging. With a suicide note planted by her dearly grieving husband, a mysterious switchblade is jabbed into is back by person unknown. Hmm guess this is a lot of dough offhand.

Soon family members, daughter Renata (Claudine Auger of Thunderball, Yoyo, Black Belly of the Tarantula, The Devil's Lieutenant, Secret Places, The Repenter and Love of a Woman) and her husband Albert (Luigi Pistilli of For a Few Dollars More, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, The Great Silence, Illustrious Corpses, Antonio Gramsci: The Days of Prison and Luigi Ganna detective) start poking around the lakehouse trying to make heads or tails of Renata's late mother's suicide and where has her father gone off too. A real estate agent Frank (Chris Avram of Time to Live, The Rage Within, Sentence of God, So Sweet, So Dead, Cuore, Enter the Devil, Voodoo Sexy and Emanuelle in Bangkok) is hoping to charm and swarm his way into Renata's heart for the signature on the house for some cool breezy cash for land development. He can't miss, right?

And I am told I never put up nudity. Pshaw!

Two couples zip off around the lake in what looks like Jon Pertwee's Bessie to frolic and be teens/twenty somethings...only they seemed to have by one.

With a bit of sleuthing, Renata seems to feel as though there may be more people involved for the land and money of her mother's. She even starts questioning whether Albert didn't have a hand in it. With this amount of dough on the table, everyone and anyone is a suspect.

Will these murders be solved? Are there still more to come? Who is to blame?

Worry not readers as Edward Mannix graces us with his insidious voice as Albert's English dubbing. Thought I forgot, didn't you? WELL ANSWER ME!!!

A quick bit of trivia, this film has had an impact on Friday the 13th Part 1 and 2 as two of the murders in it are lifted and almost shot for shot exact as homage. Hell even the locations where the murders take place are so similar it is eerie as hell.

The shooting locations had no woods to speak of, so Bava waved several different tree branches in front of the cameras to give the illusion of a run or romp through the woods. According to Laura Betti, it looked so silly to view this, the cast and crew had a hard time not laughing at the simple yet brilliant solution to a lack of woods in the area. Yeah a dude waving sticks at the camera would have made me chuckle too. Hell the tracking shots are so steady and smooth, you would swear they are dolly tracked but no. Turns out Bava with years experience in cinematography shot these amazing images with...get this. A frigging kid's wagon. Yeah the little red wagon saved the day. The camera was mounted on a pole, surrounded by sandbags to reduce any wiggle and just rolled along. Awesome right?

Because of its intensity, unearthly vibes, good story presentation and decent casting a lot of folks consider this a precursor to the slasher genre and I am inclined to agree. I mean Black Christmas, The Town that Dreaded Sundown and even Halloween have to tip their hats to their grandfather of macabre. Still love Last House on the Left Part II title considering Craven released the original a year after this flick but who needs nutty things like timelines and consistency?

Hold me closer, Tito Fuentes...

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Edward Mannix Week: Zombie Holocaust

Welcome back to the week. Yeah last week was crazier than rats trapped in an outhouse after four alarm chili but I am still in the process of a move. This week we focus on Edward Mannix. "Who in the nine hells is that?" you ask. First off, very specific swear there, gentle readers. Secondly, I am not referencing Mike Connors' Mannix. All my fifty plus readers may have just laughed. For you younglings, eh what some Nick at Nite if that is still a thing or Netflix it. I speak of the unsung voice actor of no less than 106 film projects ranging from Umberto Lenzi's cannibal films such as: Cannibal Holocaust, Cannibal Ferox, Eaten Alive to popular Anime English dubbing for Ninja Scroll, Castle in the Sky, Macross Plus and Artimage III.

I'm pompous, white and well-armed.

Oh FYI, for those of you that think that is the Tobe Hooper's Eaten Alive, that came out in 1976. Umberto Lenzi's Eaten Alive came out in 1980 and involves cannibals and animal mutilations on film. Important to know the difference for viewing pleasure. Today's voice over dubbing hails from Italy so next to no censoring and I probably won't find a trailer without some boobage but I am game to check. A mad scientist operating out a small island in the Moluccas or East Indies is doing experimentation on corpses.. Oh no. This is Zombie Holocaust a.k.a. Island of the Last Zombies, Zombie Inferno, Zombie Death Cult, Zombie Cannibal Ferox, Doctor Butcher and Dr. Butcher, M.D.

Danny Devito sheds a few pounds.

Yup, fell for another zombie flick under an alternative title. Oh well. The Zombie Cannibal Ferox title makes no sense as that isn't even directed by exploitation director Umberto Lenzi but on with the review. No huge drama just right into the title cards and some eerie ass synthesizer music courtesy of composer Walter E. Sear (US version of The Beyond, Prime Evil, Blood Sisters and Lurkers) and a pair of feet moving around a morgue as a little late night organ harvesting is underway. Guess daylight corpse violation is still out in this little island.

Dr. Chandler (Ian McCulloch of Zombi 2, Survivors, Contamination, The Ghoul, The Nearly Man, High Road and Diamonds) is not your typical M.D.and if he was, malpractice suits would be in the billions. I'm teasing, he is actually part of an expedition alongside Susan Kelly (Sherry Buchanan of Emauelle and Joanna, Tentacles, The Heroin Busters, Escape from Galaxy 3, Seagull Island, The Secret of Seagull Island andCrawlspace), Lori Ridgeway (Model and Eurohorror scream queen Alexandra Delli Colli of Catherine & Co., Marche pas sur mes lacets, Zombie Holocaust, The New York Ripper, Onl'apple Catastrophe and Fratelli d'Italia) and bunch of othe guys I don't care about. Their quest to find a lost cannibal tribe that worship Kito, the cannibal god. So now we have a hybrid of Ursula Andrews' The Mountain of the Cannibal God and Zombi 2??

Ah, the uncommon bacon wrapped zombie.

Unbeknownst to our plucky explorers they happened upon the same island where on Dr. Obero a.k.a Dr. Butcher (Donald O'Brien of The Train, Grand Prix, Run, Man,Run, 2020 Texas Gladiators, Ghosthouse and The Devil's Daughter) a radical scientist is performing his experiments on the dead. Worry not gentle readers as he has been re-dubbed by the basso tones of the one and only Edward Mannix. So what we really have an exorbitant amount of half naked, mud crusted Filipino young men ripping around getting "finger foods" and zombies shuffling about in the jungle waiting for flesh as well. Some decent gore effects and even the cannibals are wary of zombies roaming about.

Will the expedition make it out? Will they be zombie snacks or cannibal stew?

The film wasn't released uncut until 2000 due to almost following under the UK's Video Nasty Obscene Publications rule. Most of the sets where our opus was filmed was oddly enough the same sets as Lucio Fulci's Zombi 2. A further bit of trivia, Edward Mannix voiced for Fulci's Zombi 2 as well but that time around only titled character "Boat Cop". There is a lot of complaints about the gore and mostly the nudity and I agree. I was not prepared to see that many naked Filipino men! Or and Alexandra Delli Colli gets stripped down, painted in flower child patterns rather than some ceremonial hunter/gatherer paints and was quite perky. SO YES, DON'T let the kids see this particular zombie movie. You stick to your zany I, Zombie viewings!

Mmm, Grog tastes good.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Burn Notice Season 6

Howdy readers. Cox is still not on yet so finding alternative means to blog has been a challenge. But enough of that, howzabout the further adventures of everyone's disavowed spy? No? Too bad, we are going over that anyway. This is Burn Notice Season 6.

The Sun!!  It burns us!!!

We we last left Weston and gang, Michael was framed for a murder he did not commit, The CIA wanted answers and his balls were on the chopping block. Michael has been re-instated with the CIA and is trusted to handle missions again all the while still helping the little peoples. That is until Dead Larry (Tim Matheson) makes another appearance after escaping and faking his death in an Albanian prison that Michael set him up for his misdeeds. As Larry has always viewed Michael as a son, you can imagine Poppa's plenty pissed. With a break-in to the British Consulate, Larry is shuffled off to his well-earned demise with a focused detonation courtesy of Fi but additional explosions take the lives of guards working there and Fi blames herself. Enter head shrink/supreme jackass Anson (Jere Burns of Dear John, Good Morning, Miami, Las Vegas, Kim Possible,All of Us, Burn Notice and Love Begins) who blackmails Michael to getting the ceased funds, his personal records expunged and recruiting new agents i.e. Burn them for a new and exciting endeavor or Fi goes to Federal prison.

Split screen brings the TV show closer to you...I guess.

Watching Michael work with Anson, Fi surrenders to the proper authorities in order to get him out from under Anson's thumb.

The CIA finally on Michael's side believes him about Anson and prepares a manhunt only to watch him die from a sucking chest wound. The questions Michael had just got amplified. If Anson was in charge of this off the books black ops team then who killed him? What will be come of this concept? How many more innocents have to die to keep their secrets safe?

Naturally Michael is not alone in the search for the truth as he is backed up by Sam and Jessie, even his little brother Nate and mom Maddie. Will that be enough to keep his nearest and dearest safe while unraveling the mysteries laying ahead?

For fans of the show and the TV movie: Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe they will be happy to see what happened to the two CIA twits stationed in Columbia both Bailey and Manaro reprise after 5 years from the incident that got Sam an "honorable" discharge. Hey go watch the film if you want to know more or stick around. Maybe I will review it. That's all for now, folks and seriously give these seasons a view. Did I mention stand-up comedian/character actor and now newly added alumni to the rebirth of MST3K Patton Oswalt is in as well? 

Ta dah!  Villain.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter

Hey gentle readers, Happy Easter weekend.  I know it has been quiet on these fronts for almost a month.

 Forced to live like a gypsy out of hotels, my lady and I finally have a new place so we just need to set up everything and then audio reviews and written will appear once more.  Rotten Riffs will also commence shortly as we have gotten a lot of love from the Captain America serials.

Bored this holiday?  Watch ICWXP  back to back for riffing fun.

As for Rotten Ramblin', I will work with my co-host to get that back on YouTube and Sound Cloud as well.   Happy Easter, get that wascally wabbit and be good to each other...except Carrot Top.  Throw rocks at him.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

TV and Movie Medley: Arrow Season 3

Howdy readers! Sorry for the delay! Abrupt moving is a trifle hectic but what can you do about that? For the time being there will be fewer posts but that is mostly due to work, looking for a new apartment and dealing with Californians. That being said, let's get on with today's topic. As Season 2 wrapped up, Queen and his growing band of merry men (insert pervy or Robin Hood joke here) had defeated the awesome might of Deathstroke a.k.a. Slade Wilson and his Mirakuru super soldiers from destroying Starling City...and pretty sure Ollie left town to hit the island and work on his tan. This is Arrow Season 3.

Fighting skills by the League, Hair by Paul Mitchell.

Ollie ( Stephen Amell of Hung, Private Practice, Heartland, Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, Injustice: Gods Among Us, Arrow and The Flash) is leading his team against crime with Roy Harper as Arsenal (Colton Haynes of The Gates, Look, Teen Wolf, Arrow, Arrow: Blood Rush and Triumph) Diggle (David Ramsey of Con Air, The Good News, All of Us, Dexter, Outlaw and Blue Bloods) and tech support/hacker Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards of Soldiers of the Apocalypse, Romeo Killer: The Chris Porco Story, Arrow, Arrow: Blood Rush, Normal Doors, Vixen and The Flash) as they deal with the aftermath of Slade's super soldiers, petty crime and the impending "Big Bad" of the season. Queen is attempting to make "The Arrow" a symbol of justice and not a killer as he was as "The Hood" but it is slow going.

Meet your Mystery Date!!


With the loss of Queen Consolidated to a perspective buyer a one Dr. Raymond Palmer (Brandon Routh of Superman Returns, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Fling, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Chuck, Arrow, The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow) whose technological savvy, marketing and being a beacon of enterprising hope breathes new life into Starling City with the hopes of prosperity and much needed capital. But does Palmer have...other ideas as well? With his brief encounters with the League of Assassins, a friend has fallen and a mystery needs unraveling. As if that was not terrifying enough, Ollie is being weighed and measured by Ras al Ghul (Matt Nable of Killer Elite, Riddick, Son of a Gun and Hacksaw Ridge) but to what end? Does he view Ollie as a threat, potential ally or hell he may be going the route of Bruce Wayne/Batman in the comics and looking for an heir to the throne.


What does this hold for the city?? How come no one has up and outright abandoned this town??? How long can they stand this level of madness??

This season brings out some new characters of note including the Atom of the Justice League, Nyssa Al Ghul and some reprising characters as well. The budget got steroids for the season and my God the stunt coordinators earned their money from gun fights, mixed martial arts, grappling attacks and tons of wire work. The story progresses well, the flashbacks embodies Ollie as a whole but dammit the only well rounded female character is an assassin. Yeah CW, not every girl needs to be the following one note concept: Bitchy, judgemental, clingy, ambivalent or pathetic. Not a good way to portray women CW. 

Hey kids, it's Clark Kent!!!