Monday, May 22, 2017

Forgotten Fantasy: Amazons


How do my readers! A fine greetings for the week as we pull up some obscure Sci-Fi Fantasy titles. Yeah I know in my heart there is a better than 60% chance of topless and full frontal nudity but I wanted to see if any of these B movie sword and sorcery flicks would be entertaining. Remember Beastmaster was dubbed a B movie and most folks enjoyed that...in spite of the accidental poisoning of the tiger.  Moving on, we speak of tales and saga of a tribe of vicious warrior women as they are froth with danger, sorcery, rival tribes and unknown consequences. This is Amazons a.k.a. Amazon and the Tribe of Amazons.


Strut girl, strut.














Guided by producer/director Alejandro Sessa (Amazons, Stormquest, Deathstalker, The Warrior and the Sorceress, Barbarian Queen, Cocaine Wars and Wizards of the Lost Kingdom) our title card sequence opens with some synthesizer scoring worthy of Goblin brought to us by composer Oscar Cardozo Ocampo (I Did Kill Facundo, El gordo catastrofe, Cerro Cora, From the Abyss, Deathstalker, Funny Dirty Little War, Amazons, Stormquest, Babilonia and Two to Tango) and produced by none other than Roger Corman, I know I am in for a whirlwind. We open to a woodland/desert area and it looks like they took over a national park but in fact is Bueno Aires in Argentina. We have soldiers in dubious leather/chain-mail with spears and shields roaming about this kingdom and evening katas with deer skinned draped females making me think this lost tribe is easier to find than the synopsis on the DVD suggested. Also my print is clearly a badly translated VHS copy to DVD so not feeling good about this already.


I have a rock in my bikini and your knees are on fire.














The ladies work out with pole arms and staves when then it becomes a shaolin monk style training as they smash hanging clay pots that clearly have not been fired and allowed to harden. Love the stock sound of thunderclouds in a clear night sky. We have a dark robed sorcerer king attempting to be all empowering but lacking the Sir Christopher Lee height, basso voice and creeper Dracula stare, King Kalungo (Joseph Whipp of Escape from Alcatraz, General Hospital, A Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream) threatens the harmony of the land, the elder warns the young warriors without the Sword of Azundati (Magical MacGuffin or plot device) all is lost to combat against Kalungo's magics and his vile army. Just then cheesy post-production lighting strikes happen in random intervals allowing the pyrotechnics to blow up their mild squibs...uh I mean evil sorcery is clearly at work here!


Aren't you glad you used Dial? Don't you wish all the Dark Ages did?














With the main village under attack it is the king's command that the Spirit Stone (yet another MacGuffin of magical content) be removed from the city for safe keeping by Tashinge (Danitza Kingsley of Amazons, No Man's Land, South of Reno, Jack's Back and Where Sleeping Dogs Lie), warrior woman general of the Amazons and spokes model of leather brassier. With the Spirit Stone in tow, Tashinge leads her warriors out of the city. Kalungo appeases his demon master Baliguri (Francisco Cocuzza of Night of the Pencils, Amazons, Two to Tango, Play Murder for Me, The Plague and Ever Changing Waters) who appears in the form of a balding man of 5'8". Residing hairline! The work of the dark master!!! Thank the gods for no wavering bikini lines. Well aside from this being a female protagonist tale there is plenty of male sexist pigdom in it. Convenient bathing times, a shape-shifting lioness and so on. Warriors Dyala (Mindi Miller of Hell Up in Harlem, Body Double, Deadly Embrace, Return Fire, Caged Fury and Batman Returns)and Tashi (Penelope Reed of Amazons, The New Mike Hammer, Gung Ho, Far Out Man and Hollywood Boulevard II) must journey to the high mountains through the were lands (land of creatures and demons) to gain the Sword of Azundati to defeat Kalungo.




Okay the fight/sword choreography was clear that they did not hire the late Bob Anderson(most sought-out swordsmaster/fight choreographer and stunt coordinator from The Master Ballantre, Crossed Swords, Casino Royale, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Superman II, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Highlander, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and The Revenant) but Arturo Neal (Barbarian Queen, The Warrior and the Sorceress, Stormquest, Highlander II: The Quickening, Two to Tango and Corrupt Police) understood enough from the equivalency of the SCA's quarterstaff, broadsword and pole arm combat. The cinematography on the other hand was lacking a stabilizer for more than 40 percent of the film, I got the feeling some of these cameramen were hanging off cliff edges getting aerial shots, some cherry picker shots vs using a crane angle, loads of mount the tripod in the grass and hope the trained horses don't bump into it. That is if the cameras could ever stay in focus.


Robert Duvall??!!  No wait. Nah it isn't.














The stop motion transformation of the lioness to human was a bit hokey with stock footage as well, the lightning strikes were...a bit painful and the grappling,fist fights looked too staged so no real aid on set but standard first aid my guess. Most of the sets looked like cardboard, Styrofoam and less than believable and despite all of this, you have a tale of two women putting aside their family squabbles in order to save their kingdom, matriarch and the people they have sworn to protect. The nudity isn't overwhelming and surprisingly tastefully shot. Funny that is were I expected the shaking of cameras. Yeah I was kidding. Implied rape scenes seem to be a Post Apocalpyse and Sci-Fi Fantasy need. Ugh. Half of the time these fur clad bikinis are actually less tasteful then 1,000,000 Years B.C.


Oh look boys, a nude scene...kinda.


Friday, May 19, 2017

TV Titanics: Z Nation Season 1


TV Titanics returns! So decided to tap into a zombie fueled bit of goofy because...well I really cannot sit through The Walking Dead. So damn chatty and not enough zombie skull cracking. Stop reminiscing of things and places gone by,Grimes!!! Okay moving on or this will be a Walking Dead rant. Instead let's talk about 3 years after the zompocalypse tearing the US a new one and the survivors are picking up the pieces. Charged with a mission to journey through zombie infested towns to get a cure to California, our reluctant heroes trudge on. This is Z Nation Season 1.

Knew we shouldn't have eaten at Red Robin.
















Produced by The Asylum (Almighty Thor, 2012: Ice Age, Battle of Los Angeles, Nazis at the Center of the Earth, Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies, Rise of the Zombies, Social Nightmare and Alone for Christmas) home of the modern day mockbuster with sneaky titles similar to the features they are attempting to cash in on got in bed with Sy-Fy to create a series to either rival or simply competition in the zompocalypse stories, films and TV already out there. 3 years have occurred since the outbreak, The US is a wasteland of consumer products, bands of vehicles, good decent folk, raiders and even the odd gathering of cannibals.


RAD ZOMBIE!!!!














For a small group of survivors, a Special Forces Lt. Hammond (Harold Perrineau of Romeo + Juilet, Lost, Blade the Series, Transit, Sons of Anarchy, Zero Dark Thirty, Constantine, Goliath and Criminal Minds) and his prisoner Murphy (Keith Allan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Star Trek: Enterprise, Air Collision, Social Nightmare, Zombie Night and Rise of the Zombies) have fled from one of the major infestation sites at the lost of Hammond's men covering their escape. Arriving in Upstate New York, Hammond meets a group of survivors made up of civilians and some National Guard, he tells these people he needs help to bring Murphy to California.

Captain Garrett (Tom Everett Scott of That Thing You Do, An American Werewolf in Paris, Dead Man on Campus Bloodline, Enemies Closer and The Last Word) and Lt. Warren (Kellita Smith of The Bernie Mac Show, King's Ransom, Feel the Noise, Conspiracy X, The First Family and Z Nation) are iffy about this as they gather up stragglers from their crew when the entire encampment is attacked by water logged zombies popping out of the lake. Knowing their settlement has been completely overrun, our small group decides to hoof it with Hammond and Murphy.


You goin' down, cameraman!!!

 












Joining on this zany quest is drug chemist Doc (Russell Hodgkinson of Big Fish, We Go Way Back, ZMD: Zombies of Mass Destruction, Mystery Case Files: The 13th Skull, Grimm, 21 & Over, A Bit of Bad Luck and 7 Minutes) Ballbat wielding melee momma Addy (Anatasia Baranova of 7th Heaven, Veronica Mars, Rise: Blood Hunter, The Darkness II, Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z and Z Nation) her crackshot boyfriend Mack (Michael Welch of Star Trek: Insurrection, Hey Arnold!, Joan of Arcadia, Stargate SG-1, Day of the Dead, The Riches, Twillight, Unrequited and Criminal Minds).

Meanwhile in the Antartic, NSA Communications Specialist Simon or Citizen Z (DJ Qualls of Road Trip, Cherry Falls, The New Guy, Comic Book Villains, Last Day of Summer, Supernatural, Perception and Z Nation) has complete access to every existing satellite, relay station, cameras and social media and no authority to tell him he can't do that, he leads the team to locations that last he checked have anything from supplies to less stinky fleshbags roaming about. His task is to not go mad from loneliness and keep the survivors up to date on weather changes, zombie uprise and any human elements that may be completely bat shit crazy.

Along through Philly our crew encounters a young woman name of Cassandra (Pisay Pao of Simply Fobulous, Your Lucky Day, Door to Door, NCIS: Los Angeles, and Z Nation) left in a cage surrounded by the deaders and she joins up with them on their moderately insane quest. With limited resources, raiders, zombies and freak weather our people have their work cut out for them.

Will the team get Murphy to California?? What awaits them at the next town or even next state?



With shows like The Walking Dead, The Strain, iZombie and Fear the Walking Dead, it is nice to see a show not taking itself serious all the time but creating new strains of zombie like these speed freak zombies that were taking massive doses of pills, rad zombies thanks to a power plant unattended. The characters are diverse, the story lines can have some funny episodes but they also include some of the more darker aspects of the human psyche. Any Zombie Post Apocalypse fans should enjoy this. I hesitate to shoot this through a time hole so the Incognito Cinema Warriors XP crowd can enjoy this but in the year 20XX, zombies so y'know too much art imitating life. I'll just send them Zone of the Dead instead.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

TV Titanics: Luke Cage


Back to TV Titanics. Hope you all have been enjoying the week. If you have any TV suggestions I wouldn't be amiss to hear it. Today I am writing about the phenomenon of Netflix causing their servers to crash after no less than 6 million viewers enjoying their binge watching of this show. From its stellar cast, music and Black History. An unlikely hero emerges in Harlem due to circumstances unforeseen by the man himself. This is Cage.


Hey, that's not Shaft.















A quiet, gentle man Luke Cage (Mike Colter of Million Dollar Baby, Zero Dark Thirty, Salt, Men in Black 3, Agent X, The Good Wife, Jessica Jones, Cage and The Defenders) a barber shop street sweep, glass cleaner and bartender working for Pop (Frankie Faison of A Man Called Hawk, Betsy's Wedding, Silence of the Lambs, True Colors, Roommates, The Langoliers, Prey, Hannibal, The Wire, The Good Wife and The Sounding) the barber being an institute in the neighborhood even deemed a neutral meeting ground even among the gangs,syndicate and thugs.


You floatin' air biscuits there, white boy?














With the renewal of Harlem, the councilwoman Mariah Dillard (Alfre Woodard of Miss Firecracker, Passion Fish, Blue Chips, Primal Fear, Star Trek: First Contact, Mumford, Desperate Housewives, Memphis Beat, 12 Years a Slave and Copper) takes her neighborhood improvement project to bed with her cousin, club owner and gangster Cornell "Cottonmouth" Stokes (Mahershala Ali of Threat Matrix, The 4400, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Crossing Over, Treme, Alphas, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part 1, The Hunger Games: The Mockingjay-Part 2 and Moonlight) a second generation muscle and thug feeling he can carve up and control New York were Fisk had failed.


The original Cottonmouth King.














With a failed arms deal bringing the cops around, Stokes keeps his hands clean of most of it and keeps the cops at bay. Except Detective Misty Knight (Simone Missick of K-Town, A Taste of Romance, Douglass U, Everything I Did Wrong in My 20s, Scandal, Wayward Pines, Luke Cage and The Defenders), a girl of the neighborhood, a woman of the streets and above average intelligent investigator, who has the mindset maintaining the belief that Stokes is dirty and she will drag his ass to jail.

With the aftermath of the Hand, the murders in the hospital, Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson of Josie and the Pussycats, Men in Black II, Sin City, This Girl's Life, Clerks II, Death Proof, Wonder Woman, Unstoppable and 10 Years) moves out of the kitchen and back to Harlem with her mom trying to figure out where to go next and bumps into Cage after tending to his wounds via shotgun blast to the face. An imposing height, strength lies also a keen intelligence, street smarts and attitude only when needed, Cage wears no mask to conceal his identity as almost a symbol of hope and a natural connection vs most of the men and women in tights. Would Harlem give this much love to an ex-con if they knew? Where did he get these powers?




The greatest threat is still an unknown quantity manifests under the name, Diamondback (Erik LaRay Harvey of Twister, Law & Order, K-PAX, Proud, Crazy for Love, Boardwalk Empire, Wolfenstein: The New Order and Luke Cage) who has such seething hatred for Cage that he refuses to let anyone destroy Cage but him.


What is captivating about this series, is the collection of flashbacks of more or less each character, the love of the land and its history and the music of Faith Evans, the widow of Biggie Smalls, Gang Starr, D'Angelo and Mobb Deep envelopes you and is timed so well.

I have read other reviews claiming that this show lacks the intensity of Daredevil and Jessica Jones and to be honest the second half of the season goes a bit slow but I think it was simply to ratchet up the tension of the story and the secondary characters are fleshed out so well that it feels like a coherent saga. Give it a view. It is completely worth your time and viewing. So much talent in one series.

I remember when Tarantino made the statement of wanting to create a Luke Cage/Power Man film back in the early 90s and I thank God I didn't have to hear that many "N" bombs with a guy that just doesn't fit as Cage.

Gonna put you in one of these pine boxes.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

TV Titanics: Arrow Season 4

And we are back for TV Titanics. Thought we would check in on Starling City's Emerald Archer and crew. This is Arrow Season 4.


Vigilante carpooling is rough.  Bet Batman doesn't have to.














When last we left them, tension was high when even his own crew thought Ollie (Stephen Amell of Hung, Private Practice, Heartland, Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, Injustice: Gods Among Us, Arrow and The Flash) was believed to have join Ras al Ghul (Matt Nable of Killer Elite, Riddick, Son of a Gun and Hacksaw Ridge) and his quest to eradicate evil by the most extreme of measures, including unleashing a terminal virus in his own city. Ollie thwarts and even kills off Ras but the trust of his team has been damaged. He and Felcity (Emily Bett Rickards of Soldiers of the Apocalypse, Romeo Killer: The Chris Porco Story, Arrow, Arrow: Blood Rush, Normal Doors, Vixen and The Flash) head off to the suburbs to play house and Ollie appears to be genuinely happy.


Knocked, locked and ready to rock.














So of course Thea a.k.a. Speedy (Willa Holland of The O.C., A Summer in Genoa, Legion, Straw Dogs, Tiger Eyes, Gossip Girl and Arrow) and former girlfriend/assistant district attorney/crimefighter Black Canary (Katie Cassidy of 7th Heaven, Black Christmas, Spin, Supernatural, Harper's Island, Melrose Place, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Arrow The Wolves at the Door) so up explaining about high-tech robberies, paramilitary trained and armed men and an end game they cannot predict. They need the Arrow.

Dr. 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) boy billionaire with his high-tech super suit...say that sounds vaguely familiar but I think Robert Downey Jr.did that better.  Oh well.   An experiment caused the top floor of what is now Palmer Consolidated to explode and no sign of Palmer anywhere. Leaving Felicity as the acting head of the company.


Villain monologue, people. Take 5.














Diggle a.k.a. Spartan (David Ramsey of Con Air, The Good News, All of Us, Dexter, Outlaw and Blue Bloods) has reservations with working with Ollie again after his shadow-play with Ras damn near got the mother of his child almost killed. With all this drama, clearly we need a main villain. Enter Damien Dahrk (Neal McDonough of Star Trek: First Contact, The Incredible Hulk, Ravenous, Band of Brothers, Captain America: The First Avenger, RED 2 and Mob City) a man with an organization, drive, ambition and sights on ruining this city and many others.

Will Darhk put the city's lights out? Will Team Arrow be able to recover??





This season gets to expand well on Season 3's existing story line making Thea a weapon thanks to "Daddy" Malcolm Merlyn via John Barrowman and his League of Assassins. Also Team-ups occuring with other DC characters like Hawkman, Hawkgirl, along with the Flash (Grant Gustin of 90210, Glee, Affluenza, Superhero Fight Club, Vixen, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow and The Flash) being further established. So yeah the budget got upped, performances are a bit over the top, we have magic, metahumans and all thing expected of this comic book universe. And did I mention a new lightweight nomex kevlar body armor and hood combo?

Gimme some sugar, baby.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

TV Titanics: Supernatural Season 6


And we are back. Sorry for the very insanely short week of Cult Classics. Aside from random WiFi I have no real connection until funds get to me and I get Cox Cable up and running. Bright side is I am out at a coffee shop scrolling down the events of this season. TV Titanics is the name of the week. Hey more than welcome to come up with better titles as I check on those wacky hunters, the Brothers of Winchester. This is Supernatural Season 6.


Beer is best enjoyed in a flashback.. That's just science.














A quick highlight as Sam and Dean managed to get Lucifier into his cage it meant Sam had to go with him as he was possessed by Michael. Oh and their half brother was possessed by the Morningstar as well. Yup lot of CGI, practical effects, wire work and me wondering how Dean can even walk let alone hunt as both fellas are dragged to the Pit. Dean is all alone with a lovely lady Lisa (Cindy Sampson of Supernatural, Being Human, Charlie Zone, Camion, Long Gone Day, Rookie Blue, Rogue and Private Eyes) and her son Ben trying to lead the "Apple Pie" life he and Sam laughed about ever having. He's a grease monkey, a surrogate dad and a decent man to Lisa buUuuUuut....this is Supernatural so creatures, ghoulies and ghasts are bound to be afoot.


Oh no, Father Kibbler is under the possession of the evil lamp!













Being unable to sleep after having Lisa for the night (Still confused on the having energy afterwards) Dean thinks he noticed something and is in fact attacked by of all things, a Djinn (Genie) and no it is nowhere near as friendly as the late Robin Williams genie. Less pop culture references too. Dean is saved by of all people, Sam?! Sayeth Whaaaat???!!! Sam proceeds to tell Dean he got out of the Pit a little over a year ago and thought it best to just continue hunting but not drag big brother back into it.

So he hooks up with the Campbells (Their mother's side of the family) with a couple of cousins Gwen (Jessica Heafey of Ciao Bella, Four Extraordinary Women, M.V.P., Supernatural, Baby Sellers, FSM, Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak and iZombie), Mark (David Paetkau of Final Destination 2, Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, Man of Steel, Flashpoint and The Space Between) and Christian (Corin Nemec of Tucker: The Man and His Dream, Parker Lewis Can't Lose, Drop Zone, Stargate SG-1, Mansquito, Dragon Wasps, Rise of the Dinosaurs, Robocroc, Sand Sharks, Lake Placid vs. Anaconda, Star Trek: Renegades and Renegades). Oh yeah and the man in charge of this hunting hootenany is Sam's namesake, Samuel Campbell (Mitch Pileggi of Three O' Clock High, Return of the Living Dead II, Alien Nation, Falcon Crest, Dallas, The X-Files, Supernatural, Stargate Atlantis, The Batman, Sons of Anarchy and Kings of Con) who died before either of the boys where born...is on his feet directing battle and barking orders. Huh?


That was no raccoon.














Nobody is questioning Sam being alive or Samuel back from the grave or what in tarnation is a goin' on??!! So Castiel checks in on the brothers and asks for their help as it would appear that some of the more dangerous artifacts of Heaven have gone missing. Maybe sold off, maybe tossed about for the talking monkeys to find, who can say for certain? With vampires rampant, mysterious deaths, a few demons here and there, the boys are quite busy and yeah Cas has long since earned their trust.




Crowley (Mark Sheppard of Soldier of Fortune, Inc, Sliders, Firefly, 24, Burn Notice, Battlestar Galactica, Doctor Who, Leverage, White Collar, Warehouse 13 and MacGyver) still teasing and tormenting Bobby Singer but he will work away around losing his soul plus pimp slap Crowley as well. Bobby is a sharp cookie. This season brings something the others did not and the closeness of the brothers,the elder monsters (or the first of their kind) are coming to a head, the disturbing thought of being a husk (soulless body) and some fairy tale creatures as well. Well done Season 6, well done indeed.

That does not seem like proper child health care.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Return of the Cult Classics: The Lair of the White Worm


And we are back. Well while getting the bathroom remodeled (Not our choice at all) I thought I would get back at the week. Today's film in RETURN OF CULT CLASSICS...we skibble across the pond from director Ken Russell (The Devils, Tommy, Altered States, The Lair of the White Worm, Lady Chatterley, Treasure Island, Tales of Erotica, Dogboys and Trapped Ashes) and brought loosely based on Bram Stoker telling of the English legend of the D'Ampton Worm. Recognizing the cast from several BBC series, ranging from comedies, dramas and science fiction, it does my heart good to have a small sense of culture. Heir to the D' Ampton Estate in County Durham, John D'Ampton was said to have done battle with a giant worm that was terrorizing the local villages. So we are watching that...with boobies. This is The Lair of the White Worm.


Must be warm in her house.  Honest.














A young Scottish archeologist name of Angus Flint (Peter Capaldi of The Secret Agent, Chandler & Co, Neverwhere, Fortysomething, The Best Man, Waking the Dead, Doctor Who, Torchwood and Paddington) is excavating the site of a covenant near at the Derbyshire bed and breakfast (in spite of it feels more like a tavern) which is ran by the Trent Sisters, Mary (Sammi Davis of Mona Lisa, Hope and Glory, Lionheart, Homefront, Four Rooms, Woundings and The Double Born) and Eve (Catherine Oxenberg of Dynasty, The Love Boat, Roman Holiday TV Movie, Acapulco H.E.A.T., Treacherous Beauties, Watch Over Me and Starship Troopers 3: Marauder). An bizarre and large skull is unearthed and holds certain snake like characteristics with the flint and burial mound about it giving it a rough date of at least a thousand years ago, almost giving credit to the legends of the D'Ampton legend of the wyrm.


Dr. Ian Malcolm will have a field day with this!













In a nearby manor, the Temple House, Lady Sylvia Marsh (Amanda Donohoe of Castaway, The RainbowDark Obsession, L.A. Law, A Woman's Guide to Adultery, Liar Liar, One Night Stand, The Calling and Trafficker) returns to the region after a prolonged hiatus. At a gathering, Angus encounters Lord James D' Ampton (Hugh Grant of The Last Place on Earth, The Dawning, The Lady and the Highwayman, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Sense and Sensibility, Extreme Measures, About a Boy, Love Actually, The Rewrite and The Man from U.N.C.L.E.) direct descendant of John D'Ampton who recently inherited the manor and the lands not far from Temple House. The two begin to strike up a friendship as well as their own theories on whether there is truth to the legends. The folk song of the D'Ampton Wyrm was catchy and enjoyable.


Fear the superimposed flames of damnation!!!














Shortly after this, people in the nearby villages are missing. A few at a time, raising all sorts of questions and concerns. The skull has been taken from Angus's room, The Trent sisters have their father's fob watch that was missing for more than a year with their parents discovered at Stonerich Cavern miles from the farmhouse/bed and breakfast and folks are skittish as hell. James and Angus postulate that an ancient cult was formed around the time of that land being Mercia, the Roman creation for England against the Saxons and that they may have been Wyrm Worshippers treating this ancient monster as a god fulfilling it with blood sacrifices. All this ties around the arrival of Lady Syliva...hmm I wonder if there is a connection.

Will the Wyrm turn again? Will the cult revive? Does Angus have a beef with James?






Quick bit of observation was seeing one of London's hardest working character actors, Paul Brooke. Who? Well my first introduction to him was the Rancor Keeper in Return of the Jedi.  A talented chap to be certain but not really wanting to see him without his shirt again. PC Erny (Paul Brooke of Return of the Jedi, Reilly: Ace of Spies, Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes, The Kit Curran Radio Show, Mystery!: Campion, The Fool, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles and Agatha Christie's Marple) Well there is a fair degree of nudity so the menfolk should be happy...unless depictions of Romans raping nuns might freak them out.   There's an issue with a stick. I have heard of a devining rod or dowsing rod if you will for finding natural water springs or even oil but um...this one detects virgin women. Yeesh. Aside from that, you do have a suspenseful ghost story/legend, the practical effects are fair minus the giant snake puppet and I felt our antagonist was revealed a touch too early.   Might want the kiddies to skip this one too. 


Blimey, another Four Weddings and a Funeral fan.
 

Monday, May 8, 2017

Return of The Cult Classics: Attack of the Crab Monsters


Welcome one and all back to the page. For those of you who read over last week's Italian Exploitation Week...let's just say I do not want to have to give further examples of such for a bit. No more requests for that for a few, please. This time around I thought it would be fun to dust off these particular films and give them a view. I speak of..THE RETURN OF CULT CLASSICS!!!!

That being said I checking out films that have been requested or some that have been deemed too obscure for the readers of younger ilk and will spark memories for those of you that are 40+. Today's cinema treat hails from an old friend of ours on Rotten Reelz Reviews, Roger Corman and you cannot get more cult than the man with the nose for talent. Howabout a movie with atomic mutations? Tough, that is the film of the day. Lump it. This is Attack of the Crab Monsters.


Get me, I'm attacking the credits.














A gathering of scientists are off exploring a remote island (Santa Catalina Island in the Channel Islands in Cali) to observe, record and document the effects of nuclear weapons testing on the island's fauna and flora. Well this is the fifties, so bound the be radioactive giant monsters one would think. Trolled in via boat and seaplane, our team of fact finders is lead by Dr.Karl Weigand (Leslie Bradley of The Crimson Pirate, Attack of the Crab Monsters, Tarzan and the Trappers and Teenage Cave Man). His team consists of: geologist James Carson (Richard H Cutting of Magnificent Obsession, South Pacific, The Monolith Monsters, Attack of the Crab Monsters, Wagon Train and The Green Hornet),biologists Jules Deveroux (Mel Welles of Abbot and Costello Meet the Mummy, The Little Shop of Horrors, Wolfen, Chopping Mall, Lazer Tag Academy, Commando Squad and Invasion Earth: The Aliens Are Here) Martha Hunter (Pamela Duncan of The Ring, Fireside Theater, Dragonfly Squadron, Return from the Sea, The Undead, Blondie and My Gun is Quick) Dale Drewer (Richard Garland of Dragnet, Friendly Persuasion, Attack of the Crab Monsters, The Undead, My Gun is Quick, Lassie, 26 Men and Cheyenne) and technician/handyman Hank Chapman (Russell Johnson of This Island Earth, Lux Video Theatre, Badman's Country, Black Saddle, Gilgan's Island, Gunsmoke and The Horror at 37,000 Feet)


Staaaaaay..on those results, dear.














No sooner have they landed on the island that earthquakes start sheering the island down and one of the sailors falls in the water and he dies. Shocker. Dale and Martha go for a dip behind the rocks when Martha hears a voice from the distance sounding like an old colleague. One believed to be dead from the previous expedition. She and Dale explore a cave (That is the fricking Bronson Caves of Bronson Canyon of Griffith Park!!!) to find two energy based, giant crabs that seem to have the intelligence of their former friend.


Folks, back in the boat. This is Dinosaur Island.














Yup, crabs that hunger for brains and assimilation. Giant Zombie Borgs...that are crabs. Immune to conventional firearms (because every expedition needs guns and rifles) our plucky collective have to thing fast on how to handle these creatures before there is no more island from them to hatch a scheme to leave. What if the crabs mate? Will their brood be able to get to the mainland, scuttling from the bottom of the ocean?





Interesting side note is this film was released to the drive-ins as a double feature along with the original Not of This Earth. VHS, LaserDisc, DVD and even Blu-Ray have done the very same thing. Well DVD usually lumps the two movies in with some other Corman flicks but those are the less than official releases. Standard Black & White 35 mm, this film had a budget of 70,000 and the effects for the creatures are really not bad for the time period. The print was so bad I had to take screen captures from one of the many trailers I found on Youtube.

Actor/Producer Beach Dickerson was the crab operator and it was said that Jack Nicholson was bored being nothing more than a gaffer at the time also was a crab wrangler as well. One could say The Irishman has come along way since that. You gotta feel for Corman not being able to afford have Jack back on the sets. Many of you MST3K fans will recognize Richard Garland as Pendragon and Pamela Duncan as Diane/Helene from Season 8 of the title, The Undead. STAAAAAAAYYY!!!!!

I still feel a sonic screwdriver made of coconuts is the answer.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Italian Exploitation: SS Girls


Welcome back. We are at Day 4 of Italian Exploitation Week and...well I am a bit tired from jiggly girls, gore and yet decent working scripts and subplots. So today we look at an example of Naziploitation (Typically sex crimes involving sadism gore and degradation in a women in prison or camp) under our favorite Italian Exploitation director Bruno Mattei (Guardian of Hell, Double Target, Shocking Dark, Rats: Night of Terror, Zombi 3, Born to Fight, Cruel Jaws and Land of Death) so yeah this is going to be a bit of a butt clencher. So how does the SS keep its men in line? Extensive interrogation? Jumper cables to a car battery to the scrotum? Nope you need an elite cadre of high-end prostitutes that answer to the Fuhrer!

This is SS Girls a.k.a.Private House of the SS, Private House of the SS Girls and Erotic Nymphs of the Gesatapo.


Volunteers for the Fatherland!















Dedicated officer Hans Schellenberg (Gabriele Carrara of SS Girls, Women's Camp 119 and Mutant Sexual Behaviour) hearing whispers, hints and scuttlebutt of potential traitors looking to overthrow Hitler and he decides to recruit 10 women as active whoring and getting vital information. Our film opens with a spooky manor worthy of a Scooby Doo intro and some eerie organ music lifted from Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera which...yeah I really didn't feel bad about that. Their training montage kicked in and I was waiting for the Rocky music to kick in but it feels like Tinto Brass's Salon Kitty only more ample amounts of perversion and yet, still doesn't hold that many candles to Fifty Shades of Domestic Abuse. The funniest thing is Carrara reminds me of Steve Martin's character from Little Shop of Horrors. His dentist character but in monk robes and he is so over the top it is a treat. Naturally this is this highest order of the Fuhrer..along with the breeding camps, torture camps, supernatural methods enhancing humans to the proper √úbermensch from werewolf or vampire blood.


How do you do a striptease to Flight of the Valkyries?














Professor Jurgen (Luciano Pigozzi of General Della Rovere, Two Women, Blood and Black Lace, Werewolf in a Girl's Domitory, Castle of the Living Dead and Yor, Hunter of the Future) puts the lotion on to protect the girls' skins...oh wait I mean he did several comprehensive and intricate examinations and procedures. At one point one of the girls gets pregnant and the professor slaps her calling her a little slut. Um..what protection was there in 1942?


Right now Indy is stopping the Ark being used.














The Nazis were depicted as hedonistic perverts and...um if you are looking for me to be pro-Nazi, you will be waiting on that bus stop for a long damn time. So with X amount of sex scenes of which there has to be well past 12 short scenes but this flick is only 95 minutes long. Why is there any reason for a story line to continue? So women tied up, whipped, hot candle wax and ugh. It just a conglomerate of smut that Bruno Mattei put this out there and while he was portraying horrific atrocities and sadly many Mattei fans consider this his magnum opus. I have no idea what to take away from this. He did try to put some emotional depth to it and give the film some sense of wanting it to weigh on society but this is NOT Citizen Kane folks. You will not rank this with Casablanca any time soon. Hans was either knee deep in orgies or he was playing his organ. Goofy scenes but again not a genius film.





Not going to lie to you, folks. The softcore porn, bondage and vast levels of gratuitous nudity is so much it almost feels the actual meat and potatoes of the story doesn't even need to be. Sitting through Salon Kitty it wasn't anywhere near as smutty as this film. Got to be honest this is about as erotic as getting teeth pulled...with rusty pliers. So yes if you need Nazis in a brothel, ridiculous sex scenes and bondage, yeah this is your flick. I think I am going to go read a book and save some brain cells.

Professor Creeper at the ready.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Italian Exploitation: So Sweet, So Dead


And we are back for another helping of Italian Exploitation Week. Well after getting drafted into the Emanuelle series I thought I could find something wholesome to watch and then I remembered the week so on to the Horror Erotica. So a pleasant tale of a serial killer offing unfaithful wives and leaving compromising pictures to show their guilt. Not sure that warrants being stabbed to death but what do I know,eh? Feeling Giallo like this can only mean one thing, the cops are bumbling asses with the exception of maybe two of them. This is So Sweet, So Dead a.k.a. Bad Girls, Penetration, The Slasher...is the Sex Maniac, Romance Mortal and Confessions of a Sex Maniac.


Their forbidden love is subtitled.















Rife with alternative titles, let's see if my print for this is grainy than Cheerios or if it was deemed worthy of a cleaned up print to better show the gacking of unfaithful women. No title cards, music or build up. Boom. Dead blond on the bed, naked, stabbed and throat slashed. Well that sets a new record for me. The Inspector Capuana (Farley Granger of Rope, Strangers on a Train, The Edge of Night, The Prowler, The Imagemaker and Very Close Quarters) surveying said dead girl and cut to orchestral opening, title cards and whisked away to the morgue. The girl's death was the slit throat and the rest of the wounds were post-mortem. Yup, our villain was so pissed off at this girl he attempted to mutilate her. Boy you guys do suggest the best film genres.


Inspector, the subtitle agrees with you.















Deeper investigation points out the late girl was wed to a high ranking general making the investigation tricky as some racy photos indicates her stepping out on her man. After a lengthy interviewing/interrogation of small time thieves, thugs and hookers the inspector heads home trying to make heads or tails of this horrific murder with next to no suspects or relatives of the deceased to talk to without raising a scandal. Over coffee his lovely wife,Barbara (Sylva Koscina of Man of Iron, Hercules, Hercules Unchained, Lisa and the Devil, Dracula in the Provinces, The House of Exorcism, Clara and Nora and Some Like It Cool) and she pleads with Capuana to tow the line and make the Commissioner happy. Leaving no evidence aside from the naughty snaps, they have to figure out who the lovers are to the victim. Meanwhile another gorgeous girl is out on her husband getting some action.


Gurgle.















Our killer/photographer is stalking these women and keeping records of their misdeeds on film. Serena (Femi Benussi of The Hawks and the Sparrows, Blood Brides, Stripe Nude for Your Killer, The Bloodsucker Leads the Dance and Corpi nudi) finished with her mustachio Lothario and opts to freshen up so her husband is not suspicious. The day for night lens is incorporated in the chase and honestly it actually works this time around. Avoiding clouds and even the waves in afternoon tide could be as easily explained as late evening tide. Frankly I am confused how this fits in the Horror Erotica subgenre when it feels more Giallo but I guess they could go hand-in-hand.

With a second death in a high ranking circle of people the inspector's job just got difficult, Serena's lover confesses her loss and is worried the police will track and blame him for her death but his well paid lawyer tells him to not worry and all will be handled. The morgue attendant, Professor Casali (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) are busting ass trying to find a connection to these wealthy and powerful people. Are they doing a copycat murder to off their wives thus avoid almony? Is there something sinister going along with these brutal murders? How come none of the men these women were cheating on with didn't also die?

The inspector has a heart-to-heart with the professor's attendant swimming around the obvious red herring and no clearly not the killer but a perv taking snaps of the dead girls..for his own entertainment. Yeah I think he needs to be fired but creeper aside he doesn't seem driven enough for a killer. Barbara chatters with her high society friends and it is revealed they knew the other girls and I don't think Barbara bothered to tell her husband that. GASP!!! PLOT POINT!!


With the upper crust tying the inspector's hands for the sake of reputation and avoiding scandal, they sure are up to their adultery. Politics are as usual, dragging this case into the dirt.




The sex scenes are softcore but steamy enough. The composer Giorgio Gaslini (But You Were Dead, The Sisters, The Pacificist, Night of the Devils, So Sweet, So Dead and When Women Were Called Virgins) captures a bit of disco, jazz and suspenseful music. Blended together brings out the scenes rather well telling the story. Overall the story is fair, the gore mild and the nudity isn't slapping you in the face. I had the uncut Euro release so sadly no English dubbing. A friend of mine told me that one of the credited voices for the Inspector was supposedly legendary porn star Harry Reems. 

Late night jog obviously.