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La revanche d'Emmanuelle (1993)
Emmanuelle looking her age.
This film is an official sequel to the original 1974 release directed by Just Jaeckin and starring Sylvia Kristel. Alas, Jaeckin's lush, erotic style is poorly imitated by director Francis Leroi (rumored to be a pseudonym for European porn pioneer, Lasse Braun) and Kristel's better days were already well behind her when this movie was made. The basic premise involves a now older Emmanuelle (Kristel) regaling a businessman (George Lazenby of ill-fated Bond fame) with stories of her past erotic exploits while on a flight to God knows where. The film then reverts to flashbacks in which said exploits are depicted in typical softcore fashion, with pouty Marcela Walerstein in the role of the younger Emmnauelle. This was actually one in a series of 6 films made back-to-back by producer Alain Siritzky, all with the same cast, sets and basic premise. The others being: Emmanuelle Forever, Emmanuelle's Love, Emmanuelle in 7th Heaven, Emmanuelle's Magic and Emmanuelle in Venice.
Troll 2 (1990)
My brain hurts.
Anyone even remotely involved in the making of this movie should be shot on sight. The original negative should be destroyed. The lab where the film was processed should be burned to the ground. All video copies and theatrical prints should be used for landfill. We must rid the earth of this cancer once and for all.
The Executioner (1978)
More cojones than The Godfather.
Duke Mitchell's THE EXECUTIONER looks like it was shot for fifty bucks over a long weekend. That said, it is still one of the very best American gangster films ever made. Alternately mean-spirited, tragic, poetic and downright hilarious, it pushes the envelope beyond the bounds of acceptability and offers no apologies. This is about as raw and honest as it gets, folks. An absolute must-see.
Planet of the Apes (2001)
Being a big fan of the "other" PLANET OF THE APES films, I rented this DVD despite my aversion to all things Tim Burton. Once again, he doesn't fail to disappoint with his uninspired direction. Even the ape makeup looks second rate, which is unforgivable considering the monstrous budget of this monstrosity. Mark Wahlberg proves once and for all that he is not an actor (as if BOOGIE NIGHTS wasn't proof enough). I was embarrassed for genuine talents such as Tim Roth and Helena Bonham Carter. No doubt their paychecks motivated them since it couldn't possibly have been the cliche-ridden screenplay. I rented this DVD on a special $1 night and I still feel ripped off.
There Was a Little Girl (1981)
Better than expected.
Okay, I admit this film isn't a masterpiece by any stretch, but slasher aficionados should find it enjoyable. I certainly did and was rather surprised by all the negative reviews I'd previously read. Granted, it's slow going in places, but the murders are genuinely creepy, as well as performances by Dennis Robertson as the twisted Father James and Allison Biggers as the deformed sister, Mary. Some ample doses of blood (in the unrated version) also add to the proceedings. While the film may not appeal to erstwhile horror fans, anybody with a taste for slashers will surely appreciate this entry in the genre.
Note: Some reviewers have condemned this film for lifting a scene out of HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME, but the the fact of the matter is that both films were released in the same year (1981), so it's debatable as to who stole what from whom. Personally, I preferred the scene as it was staged in this film, regardless of which came first. See it for yourself and you be the judge.
Bersaglio sull'autostrada (1988)
See Ernest Borgnine sink to new depths!
What a shame to see the star of MARTY and THE WILD BUNCH, the great Ernest Borgnine, forced to accept roles in such pedestrian films during the latter stages of his often brilliant career. The only thing noteworthy about this waste of celluloid is that it co-stars Janine Lindemulder (credited as Janine Linde), who went on to become a porn star when her mainstream career obviously didn't pan out. Watch this film to find out why.
Mafia Connection (1989)
Karin Schubert goes hardcore
Unless you have a penchant for fisting or golden showers, this film serves only as a curiosity in that it features former softcore/pseudo-mainstream actress, Karin Schubert performing in a hardcore sex scene. Note: She does not engage in any of the nasty aforementioned acts. Just straight sex.
Io, Emmanuelle (1969)
The first Emmanuelle.
To some extent, "Io, Emmanuelle" can be considered a film of historical significance, if only because it marks the first screen appearance of the infamous Emmanuelle character later immortalized by the likes of Sylvia Kristel, Krista Allen and also Laura Gemser in the offshoot, single "M" Emanuelle series. Here, the free-spirited beauty is played by Italian Euro-Goddess, Erika Blanc, best known as the succulent succubus in Jean Brismée's "La Plus Longue Nuit du Diable" (aka "The Devil's Nightmare"). However, apart from its title, this film shares little in common with the erotic exploits of the Kristel/Allen series, nor does it much resemble the all out exploitation efforts starring Laura Gemser (and most often directed by Joe D'Amato). Instead, this is basically an artsy, Euro treatment with very little story or character development and seems mainly an excuse to have Blanc cavort about in various states of dress and undress. Surprising since it was directed by Cesare Canevari, who would later helm the Nazi-exploitation classic, "Gestapo's Last Orgy." Interesting as a curiosity, but that's about it. For Emmanuelle collectors and Erica Blanc fetishists only.
Top notch low budgeter
After reading the other reviews of this film, it seems many people measure quality by the amount of money that went into a production. Go figure... Truth or Dare? - A Critical Madness was indeed made on a shoestring, but writer/director, Tim Ritter displays more imagination in 5 minutes than any of today's big budget horror films can manage in 2 hours. Ignore the naysayers and see this little gem from the 80s. Serious horror fans need only apply.
La veuve de Buda-Fesse (1994)
Angelica Bella rocks!
The hungry Hungarian beauty, Angelica Bella does it all in this sordid tale of a horny widow out to settle her late (rich) husband's estate. From steamy action with the maid to a free-for-all with four of her husband's business associates, Angelica puts all of her assets to good use.