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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
With "The Best of Sex and Violence," tons of awesome cinema is
distilled, in trailer form, for your viewing pleasure. Presented here
are some of the best bits from some of the coolest exploitation movies,
from the greatest exploitation era: the 70s.
And what's more, you get stuff from both ends of the exploitation spectrum: erotica and violence. Alice in Wonderland (the adult one), Emmanuelle Around the World, Tanya's Island, Zombie, I Spit On Your Grave, Terminal Island, Dolemite, Disco Godfather...and more still!
Seriously, this is good stuff. In my opinion, the 70s were the best time for these kinds of movies. You didn't have to be PC; you could have as much nudity and gore and bank-robbing dogs (you gotta watch the video) as you wanted.
And these trailers really are fun to watch. The diologue is hilarious, the plots are outrageous, and the visuals are always in-your-face. Not to mention John Carradine's super-bad one-liners that he deadpans in-between the trailers.
It might be hard to find, but trust me, it's worth it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The wonderfully lurid lay it all out on the table outrageous title does
not lie! This resolutely seamy pip does indeed spew forth 28 of the
most spectacularly loopy, torrid and trashy 70's and 80's exploitation
trailers to ever ooze their slimy way across the big screen. In fact,
this blithely brazen schlockfest is often downright mesmerizing in all
its marvelously meretricious magnificence.
There's plenty of sexy, shapely and positively succulent unclad distaff skin on gloriously abundant display throughout: Among the luscious ladies who doff their duds and bare their beautiful bodies are the adorable Cheryl "Rainbeaux" Smith (the soft-core musical version of "Cinderella"), vampy Russ Meyer starlet Edy Williams ("Dr. Minx" with William Smith), superb six foot drink of dirty blonde water Dixie Lee Peabody ("Bury Me An Angel"), the perpetually naked Laura Gemser ("Emmanuelle Around the World"), a pre-Prince Vanity ("Tanya's Island"), and a double dose of the delectable Claudia Jennings ("The Singles Girls" and the rowdy redneck romp "Truck Stop Women;" the latter also features Uschi Digard). Fans of the awesomely bountiful Phyllis Davis get to see a lot of this under-appreciated actress' substantial assets in the memorably sleazy trailers for "Sweet Suger" and "Terminal Island." Even better still, the ravishing Cassandra "Elvira" Peterson shows off her considerable smoking hot stuff in the fantastic promo for "The Working Girls."
Other transcendently tacky trailers include the eerie "Tourist Trap," the enjoyably dippy "Beyond Atlantis," the simply daft "Fairytales" (one of Linnea Quigley's first-ever flicks), the still quite disgusting after all these years immortal jewel "I Spit On Your Grave," the histrionic "Zombie" ("If you loved 'Dawn of the Dead,' you'll just eat 'Zombie'!"), and much more. The biggest laughs stem from the uproariously insane "Dr. Black and Mr. Hyde" spot, thanks to said plug's inspired use of profane free-form proto-rap phrasing ("Don't give him no sass/Or he'll kick yo a**!"). However, the arrogant Rudy Ray Moore's mighty troika of over-the-top ridiculous ads for "Dolemite," "The Human Tornado," and the especially gut-busting "Disco Godfather" ("We're flying high on a disco trip!") are likewise totally sidesplitting. Hosted by an obnoxiously supercilious and seriously under the weather John Carradine (sons David and Keith briefly pop up at the very end), directed by Ken Dixon of "Filmgore" infamy, produced by the tireless Charles Band, scripted with a wince-worthy emphasis on dreadful puns by Frank Ray Perilli (who also wrote "Laserblast," "Parasite," and "Mansion of the Doomed" for Band), and topped off with a hard-thrashing Richard Band rock score, this cheerfully degenerate cavalcade of pure rancid cinematic swill qualifies as essential viewing for hardcore fans of celluloid depravity.
It's not really any thanks to Mr Dixon that this is such fun. The John Carradine links are at best vaguely amusing and at worst, inaudible or embarrassing. It is astonishing towards the end when even sons David and Keith are somehow talked into appearing, but dad does say something to the effect that have they no work to do to which there is a mumbled reply suggesting that maybe not after this! So embarrassing for the Carradines and just a few blaxploitation fight scenes too many, that seem not even to come under the overall title, but still the sordid 70s product shines through! Particularly good to see the 'I Spit On Your Grave' trail and an interesting one for 'Tourist Trap' and a film called, 'Single Girls', which was new to me and had the line; (whether from the film or just the trailer) 'If we can't get a man easy, then we get him hard'. the overlong blaxploitation segment starts well with, 'Dolemite' and 'Human Tornado' both spoken over by the man himself. All in all an interesting document and a super snapshot of a unique period of cinema history.
Best of Sex and Violence, The (1981)
** (out of 4)
John Carradine hosts this documentary that shows trailers to countless horror, exploitation, sexploitation and blaxploitation pictures from the 60s to the late 70s. I'm sure when this film was originally released it was a great guide for fans of the genres to see pictures and then try to rent them at their local stores. I'm sure store owners would love having a copy of this because if people were willing to rent this then more than likely they were willing to come back for the films featured here. Many people love watching trailers but I'm not one of them yet I enjoyed this video because of Carradine. I was expecting just random jokes and discussion but that wasn't the case because everything Carradine says matches up to watch we're actually seeing. If we see a trailer for THE DOBERMAN GANG he will make a joke or comment on that film. There's a section on sexploitation that shows trailers for Cinderella (1977) and EMANUELLE AROUND THE WORLD and Carradine mentions that these sex pictures are great for certain things because when he was a kid he only had the Sears Catalog. The screenwriters also allow Carradine time to joke about his own life including some of the films he's made as well as a very funny joke about his old buddy Errol Flynn and another joke about Cecil B. DeMille. What really shocked me as well is how energized Carradine is. He was certainly just picking up a paycheck but that doesn't keep him from going all out and delivers a fun little performance. He also manages to show off his comic timing and he actually makes the majority of the jokes work. One of the best moments happens towards the end when his sons David and Keith make a cameo appearance and joke with their dad about borrowing the car and money. This little sequence is quite a priceless moment. It's also worth noting that the majority of the prints shown look horrible and it's funny to think that before DVD this is how fans had to view these films. Other trailers include: THE SIN OF ADAM AND EVE, THE BOOGEYMAN, I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE, ZOMBIE, BEYOND ATLANTIS, THE TWILIGHT PEOPLE, DR. MIX, DR. BLACK MR HYDE, SHE DEVILS IN CHAINS and countless others.
1981's Wizard Video release "The Best of Sex and Violence" features 28 trailers from the 1970s, the last decade of drive-in heaven, where it's likely that not one of these titles lost money at the box office. Apart from some bleeped language they're uncensored, with violence and nudity aplenty, exactly what the title promises, and no doubt helping producer Charles Band move quite a few units in his early 80s VHS catalog. 'Special Host' is the legendary scene stealer John Carradine, working with quips written by regular Band screenwriter Frank Ray Perilli, whose career as a forgotten actor included a teaming with Bob Ball in the 1962 Jonathan Haze-scripted AIP cheapie "Invasion of the Star Creatures." Some of these films are known under multiple titles: "Emmanuelle Around the World" aka "Confessions of Emmanuelle," "Sweet Sugar" aka "She Devils in Chains," "Ebony Ivory and Jade" aka "Savage Sisters" (several of the sexy scenes were reused in another Charles Band compilation from director Ken Dixon, "Famous T&A," hosted by Sybil Danning). 1980's "The Boogie Man" is the one John Carradine film included, and many of his comments must have been ad-libbed, discussing some of his earlier features like "The Sign of the Cross," "The Invisible Man," "Bride of Frankenstein," "The Prisoner of Shark Island," "Jesse James," "The Grapes of Wrath," and "The Invisible Man's Revenge," actor friends such as Basil Rathbone and Errol Flynn, and director Cecil B. DeMille (an archival cameo from Angelo Rossitto comes from a newsreel). He frequently references his experience in horror films, lamenting that as Dracula he never got any naked girls, conveniently forgetting 1978's "Vampire Hookers." Five minutes from the end, sons David and Keith show up for some priceless comic banter with their famous father, delightfully off the cuff, with Keith finally convulsed with laughter. We even get a climactic glimpse at the explosion from Band's 1978 "End of the World," a film that had been announced for Carradine, who did not appear (a major reason for star Christopher Lee's disappointment). A ubiquitous presence in video stores of the era, this compilation inexplicably also played occasional drive-ins under the title "Screams of Flesh and Blood," as part of an all night horror show with Paul Naschy's "Night of the Howling Beast," Herschell Gordon Lewis' "The Wizard of Gore" (retitled "House of Torture"), George Romero's "Night of the Living Dead," and Al Adamson's "Dracula vs. Frankenstein" (retitled "They're Coming to Get You"), making for a 1980s John Carradine/Lon Chaney Jr. twin bill. The 2011 DVD release is notably worse than old VHS copies, but is at least inexpensive, a pleasant reminder of a bygone age when cinema was still no-holds-barred, and delightfully politically incorrect.
THE BEST OF SEX AND VIOLENCE is a rather mistitled trailer compilation. The trailers are cobbled together with nothing in common; some don't even feature sex or violence! They are pretty memorable, though, and it's great to see them all on one tape. But John Carradine was a mistake. His dialogue is embarrassing and stupid; how did he feel doing this? Then again, how could he have any shame? Over 3/4 of his movies are pieces of garbage! I recommend BEST OF to those looking for a nice sampler of psychotronic titles to seek out, but nothing more.
My god! Did the producers of the movies these trailers were from really
think that anyone would spend their hard earned two dollars to watch this
trash. What is surprising is how many of them really thought this trash
However, collectively this compendium is a hilarious reminder of the simplicity of the human mind and how little it has evolved over 70 to 80 years of movie making.
If any words over two syllables gives you a headache and you have the attention span of a firefly, you will love this film?
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