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Author Topic: RANDOM REVIEWS OF GENRE CINEMA  (Read 17443 times)
Arizona Colt
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« Reply #30 on: May 23, 2007, 03:28:53 PM »


THE LOSERS- 1973

William Smith, Paul Kosloo, Jack Starrett

A biker gang led by bad ass William Smith is hired by the military to break a political prisoner out of a vietnamese prison camp. Realizing their bikes and fists aren't enough, they fashion machine guns and rocket launchers to their motorcycles and take on the Viet Cong.

During the first half, the film isn't very serious but soon, the violence level is raised culminating in a wild kamikaze finale where the bikers launch a final assault on the POW encampment. The general storyline itself is a bit silly, but it definitely delivers the type of gung ho low budget thrills inherent in violent 70s grindhouse actioners.



William Smith, as in all his movies, is an attention getter. He need only look at you to be intimidating. Called "the toughest guy I ever fought", by Fred Williamson, Smith made a career out of playing tough guys whether good or bad in movies like RUN, ANGEL RUN, HAMMER, PIRANHA, PIRANHA, GRAVE OF THE VAMPIRE, INVASION OF THE BEE GIRLS, ANY WHICH WAY YOU CAN, MANIAC COP and RED DAWN. Smith also writes poetry. One of my favorite actors.

Paul Kosloo, who normally plays weasely bad guy roles, gets to play one of the anti-heroic bikers. He can be spotted in numerous 70s movies like JOE KIDD and the great Charles Bronson flick MR. MAJESTYK.

Director Jack Starrett was a master at working fast and coming in under budget. He directed many great 70s drive-in favorites. Among them, RACE WITH THE DEVIL (1975), SLAUGHTER (1972), FINAL CHAPTER-WALKING TALL (1977) and THE STRANGE VENGEANCE OF ROSALIE (1974) the movie that Stephen King obviously borrowed for his book MISERY. Starrett also had cameos in all his movies. He even played the drunkard Gabby Johnson in BLAZING SADDLES.

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« Reply #31 on: May 23, 2007, 03:34:20 PM »

TICK...TICK...TICK- 1973

Jim Brown, George Kennedy, Don Stroud



A new sheriff, who happens to be black, causes much rumblings amongst the local bigots and Klan members in a small Alabama town. The former sheriff he replaced is torn between helping him restore order to the town and his own racial feelings.

A fascinating and thought provoking movie about racism and standing up for what's right and just. What could have been a typical black action movie with the black heroes taking on the white criminal elements, becomes an often times incendiary but thoughtfully and seriously done dramatic feature about one man's acceptance in a town where people of color are not accepted.

Jim Brown, who is a much more capable actor than the seemingly more popular Fred Williamson, puts in a fine performance as the uncomfortable sheriff who through trial and error, finally wins over the town by the conclusion; The normally bigoted townsfolk band together to halt a deadly, violent encounter after Brown arrests the son of a politician and his father gathers a posse of angry gunmen to kill the black sheriff. Brown was the first black actor to get serious notoriety in American cinema beginning with ICE STATION ZEBRA. Once the blaxploitation movies came along, he fell comfortably into the genre with his most famous being SLAUGHTER (1972) and its sequel. He also appeared in BLACK GUNN and alongside Fred Williamson in TAKE A HARD RIDE, ORIGINAL GANGSTAS, 3 THE HARD WAY and in the sloppy Williamson directed ONE DOWN, TWO TO GO also starring Williamson, Richard Roundtree and Jim Kelly.

Kennedy of course, is convincing as the hard feeling ex-sheriff. It's obvious he shares the racially charged sentiment of the rest of the town, but he doesn't let it show. At least not in dialog but in body language. Kennedy ultimately sides with Brown which in turn endangers his own life. Kennedy can be seen in a variety of movies including GUNS OF THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, CAT BALLOU, the AIRPORT film series and the horror movie JUST BEFORE DAWN where he played a forest ranger dealing with psychotic hillbilly inbreds who are preying on vacationers.

Reliable villain Don Stroud is on hand to provide another bad guy role to his resume. He's so good at it. He previously squared off against Brown in the blaxploitation movie SLAUGHTER'S BIG RIP-OFF where he played the head stooge to a villainous Ed McMahon! A very good actor, he never realized his full potential as an actor but got steady work in cinema and on television.



This is a very well made movie that shouldn't be placed alongside the blaxploitation movies as it just isn't that kind of picture. It doesn't really belong in the race hate genre either. At least not in the exploitation sense of the word. It's much more serious and a bit less sensationalist compared with movies like FIGHT FOR YOUR LIFE, GOODBYE, UNCLE TOM, HIGH YELLOW, IF HE HOLLERS, LET HIM GO and BUCKTOWN. It definitely needs a remastered DVD release but this is doubtful in this day and age. Another classic example of a bygone era that in all probability, will never be repeated.

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« Reply #32 on: May 23, 2007, 03:52:55 PM »

Noodles, DRUM is a bit different from MANDINGO. It's way over the top and really pushes its exploitation buttons. Seeing Baltar from BATTLESTAR GALACTICA trying to get inside Norton's back door is hilarious. There's so many zany moments in this one. During the final 15 minutes it all turns into a siege movie complete with squibs, rape, explosions, immolation and angry slaves hacking white folks to death with sharp implements. Warren Oates performance is worth the price of admission alone.

Thanks AC.   At some point maybe I'll rent both of them.  Kind of surprised Pam Grier's part was so small in Drum.  I remember the commercials on radio and television, and they really emphasized her being in it.  When I was growing up, my friends' older brothers were all crazy about Pam Grier.  They had her pin ups and all they would talk about is Scream Blacula Scream, Coffy, Sheba Baby, Friday Foster and so on.   We would be playing baseball in the park until sundown and they would be telling the plot stories of those blaxploitation films.   

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« Reply #33 on: May 23, 2007, 04:01:33 PM »

She's good in BUCKTOWN as well. Oh, and also THE BIG BIRD CAGE, BLACK MAMA, WHITE MAMA and THE ARENA

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« Reply #34 on: May 23, 2007, 11:09:07 PM »

i havent seen Black Christmas yet but i did see the scene where the girl is strangeld with a bag? i dont know but then the next shot is her dead by the window pretty creepy.

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« Reply #35 on: May 28, 2007, 04:31:41 PM »

Tick...Tick...Tick... gets shown regularly on UK TCM which unfortunately is no longer a free-to-air channel.I'll have to wait till Sky Digital screen the next England away match so i can re-subscribe for a month to give this another look.A very good movie i recall. Smiley

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« Reply #36 on: May 30, 2007, 12:35:46 PM »

5 PER L'INFERNO -FIVE FOR HELL (1969)

Gianni Garko, Klaus Kinski, Margaret Lee, Aldo Canti, Sal Borgese

Garko plays Lt. Hoffmann who is the leader of a rag tag group of military misfits who are assigned to steal "PLAN K" which is hidden inside a Nazi fortress lorded over by Col. Hans Mueller (Kinski).

That's the plot more or less. Parolini uses the same troupe of performers he would use in his SABATA films. He seems to have a fascination with acrobats as the 5 soldiers carry around small trampolines for Canti (who was the acrobatic Indian in SABATA, here he is an acrobatic soldier) to jump over walls and high tension fences. Parolini, along with the other members of the cast all appear to be having a great time with this one as the film possesses, aside from a couple of scenes, a light hearted tone. The film itself reminds me of KELLY'S HEROES which came out the following year.

Garko is convincing as Lt. Hoffmann who alternates between a stern military leader and the carefree antics of his men when he uses baseballs to subdue the enemy and even explosives hidden inside the balls at times.

Kinski must have enjoyed this role as he is much more "alive" here than in many of the spaghetti westerns he appeared in. He is a pleasure to watch and the role is somewhat biographical as he spends much of the screen time trying to bed down the stunning Margaret Lee who plays an undercover agent within the Nazi stronghold. I believe he dubbed his own voice here as it sounds like him.

Canti, as mentioned above, gets to show off his acrobatic skills as well as dancing(!) here and gets to speak as opposed to his silent Indian from SABATA.

Borgese shines also as Al who, unlike the rest of the group, plays an Italian. Borgese is a good character actor who has popped up in numerous spags, polizia thrillers and Bud and Terence movies.

The member they call "Chicken" (I don't remember his name) would later play sleazy bad guys in italian action movies but plays a likeable guy here.

The other member whose name I don't know, looks like he stepped out of an Italian peplum movie.

Margaret Lee...I can only say she's stunningly beautiful. It's a shame you are teased on several occassions with naked frame but you never see it. I wouldn't doubt if Kinski didn't claim her as one of his MANY sexual conquests as the two did a handful of movies together.



Overall it's not a bad film amd it's not a good one either but it is competently shot, light touches of comedy, lots of action, explosions and machine gun battles to recommend it. If you are a fan of either Garko or Kinski you should check it out to see them play characters different from the westerns they were doing around this time. A good time can be had here with the right frame of mind. An entertaining 95 minutes that is far better than the glut of awful spaghetti westerns that were coming throughout the 70s.

Alfa Digital have apparently used the Japanese print from the ITALIAN WAR BOX SET released there.


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« Reply #37 on: May 31, 2007, 05:34:46 AM »

I've just seen this movie in the last week,and obviously with me being a big Parolini/Sabata/Sartana fan,i love this movie!!

All the the "five" have their own skills,Garko deadly accurate with a baseball,Canti the acrobat,and theres also a strongman,a safe cracker and an explosives expert.Like Sabata the heist in this movie is very imaginative and well handled.

Yes the sequence of Canti tap dancing together with one of the other guys prancing around while brushing his teeth is very funny indeed.

And Kinski is excellent.

For entertainment value,highly recommended. Afro

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« Reply #38 on: June 07, 2007, 03:47:33 PM »

HERCULES- 1983

Lou Ferrigno, William Berger, Sybil Danning, Gianni Garko

The adventures and trials of the Greek mythological hero are told in this, the first in the short lived resurgence of the Italian peplum movies that were immensely popular in Italy and the US during the 60s.

Luigi Cozzi directs this laughably bad Italian peplum in an effort to apparently revive the genre. The effects are awful and not in a particularly fun way. They’re so brazen and in your face, it’s as if the filmmakers believe they’re making the Italian equivalent to STAR WARS. You’ll be in total awe of its badness made all the more shocking that MGM distributed the film wide in ‘83.

The sequel was shot back to back but this was such a turkey, it went straight to tape. But to be fair, the effects utilized here had never been previously done or attempted in Italian cinema so it’s a good try anyway.



Lou Ferrigno, whose voice is dubbed, is perfectly cast as the Greek mythological hero. Ferrigno would also headline the sequel as well as partake in two more Italian peplums-Bruno Mattei’s THE 7 MAGNIFICENT GLADIATORS and Enzo Castellari’s SINBAD OF THE 7 SEAS, both 1987.…..and both awful. Ferrigno will always be remembered as THE INCREDIBLE HULK.

Sybil Danning provides some juicy eye candy as an evil seductress. A popular grindhouse favorite, Danning has appeared in CHAINED HEAT, THE PHANTOM EMPIRE, WARRIOR QUEEN, THE TOMB, HOWLING 2 and REFORM SCHOOL GIRLS among others as well as getting her own video series called Adventure video where she presented kung fu and italian crime flicks.

Spaghetti vets William Berger plays the main villain King Menos. Spaghetti western hero Gianni Garko has a minor role as well.



Director Cozzi, while an admitted sci-fi and monster movie buff, is suited for Saturday Matinee style pictures. One of his best is the wonderfully cheesy STARCRASH starring Caroline Munro as Stella Starr, Marjoe Gortner, Joe Spinell, Christopher Plummer and David Hasselhoff(!) An obvious take on STAR WARS, the effects are plentiful and even feature light sabre style weapons and a space attack on a battle station at the conclusion. Probably his most accomplished feature would be the 1972 giallo THE KILLER MUST KILL AGAIN. He also directed the gory ALIEN clone CONTAMINATION which found itself on Britain's video Nasties list during the mid 80s witch hunts in the UK.

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« Reply #39 on: June 07, 2007, 03:48:39 PM »

HERCULES 2- 1984

Lou Ferrigno, William Berger

Here, Hercules must retrieve Zeus’s 7 magical thunderbolts (in the form of various monsters and supernatural villains) to battle the evil Menos once again.

Even more craptastic fun from Luigi Cozzi. This one is even more brazen than the first film successfully raping CLASH OF THE TITANS in the process in a redux of the Medusa sequence. Here, it’s nearly a note for note copy without the suspense and minus decent stop motion animation. Ferrigno does his best to imitate Harry Hamlin’s acting. There appears to be a special effect lifted from FORBIDDEN PLANET. An electrical monster appears that is identical to the one in that movie and it moves in the same way.

Berger returns as well. There’s nearly twice as many effects as the first film and they’re still just as funny. The opening credits also violates SUPERMAN 2’s opening credits sequence with the titles whooshing past the camera with light trails and accompanied by clips from the first movie in case you missed it. The final battle in outer space must be seen to be believed. Words cannot do it justice. Herc transforms into a neon outlined cartoon giant gorilla while Berger changes into a likewise neon snake in addition to slinging special effects at each other.

Shot back to back with the first but released direct to video, it's actually a bit better than the first film, but that really isn't saying much at all. Both deliver some very funny moments and are much easier to watch than the atrocious SINBAD OF THE SEVEN SEAS also starring Ferrigno and directed with no style whatsoever by the at one time reliable Enzo Castellari. Mattei's SEVEN MAGNIFICENT GLADIATORS fares a little better as this also had Ferrigno, Brad Harris, Sybil Danning and Dan Vadis in his final movie before being killed in an auto accident after a supposed drug overdose.


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« Reply #40 on: June 07, 2007, 10:21:34 PM »

C'mon, AC, be a little bit more PC. The guy is deaf, after all! Actually, I kinda enjoyed Herc II. As you say, it was "craptastic" but it had it's moments! Kind of a welcome break from Arnie's battles with James Earl and Grace Jones.

« Last Edit: June 08, 2007, 02:15:27 PM by Man with no dame » Logged
Arizona Colt
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« Reply #41 on: June 08, 2007, 02:02:02 PM »

I did enjoy them a lot but for (mostly) the wrong reasons. I did meet Lou Ferrigno. He's a friend of a friend's girlfriend. He's a very nice man. A lot of people think he's rude but most don't know he's deaf. His voice isn't very good either a result of the deafness I hear.

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Man with no dame
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« Reply #42 on: June 08, 2007, 08:31:21 PM »

I did enjoy them a lot but for (mostly) the wrong reasons. I did meet Lou Ferrigno. He's a friend of a friend's girlfriend. He's a very nice man. A lot of people think he's rude but most don't know he's deaf. His voice isn't very good either a result of the deafness I hear.
  Hence, the Hulk role. I've got 35+ years of power tools and ex-wives and girlfriends making me deaf. Or selective hearing, whatever you want to call it. Cheesy

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Man with no dame
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« Reply #43 on: June 10, 2007, 10:01:11 AM »

Hey, AC, have you ever heard of a flick called Sadismo? Came out in the late 60's. Kind of a Mondo. Also Bloody Pit of Horror. Think it had Mickey Hagarity in it.

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Arizona Colt
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« Reply #44 on: June 10, 2007, 10:28:49 AM »

Is SADISMO an aka for DELIRIUM? Then there's Lenzi's SPASMO then there's another italian giallo sex horror called ORGASMO. BLOODY PIT had Hargitay as the Crimson Executioner. He was much smaller here than when he played Hercules a few years earlier along with his wife in their sole movie together THE LOVES OF HERCULES aka HERCULES VS THE HYDRA.

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