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Having worked up a thirst in bed, Paula (Jabie Abercrombe) and her new
lover take a trip to the local liquor store for a little post-coital
refreshment. While in the store, Paula's man reveals his true colours
by drawing a pistol, shooting the cashier, knocking Paula to the ground
(when she understandably refuses to act as getaway driver), and then
hightailing it, leaving the poor young woman to take the rap.
Unjustly sentenced to a stint in a minimum security correctional facility for women, Paula attracts the attention of lesbian inmate Kat, who forcibly instructs her in the art of 'girl on girl' before insisting that she become the fifth member of her gang, who are planning to break out of prison to go in search of a hidden stash of stolen loot.
If, like me, your knowledge of the work of Ed Wood only extends as far as infamous sci-fi /horror klunker Plan 9 From Outer Space, then Fugitive Girlswhich the legendary film-maker co-wrote and starred inmight prove something of an eye opener: it's as trashy and as inept as one would expect, but it's a whole lot raunchier, with frequent sex scenes that look as though there wasn't much in the way of acting required from the performers.
While the raunchy scenes and regular doses of gratuitous nudity are undoubtedly the film's major selling points, the film also benefits from lousy dialogue, un-PC racial slurring, very unconvincing acting (the guy trying to resist being raped by one of the buxom beauties is hilarious), and clichéd characters (including boisterous bikers and sex-mad hippies), all of which adds up to a whole heap of trashy fun for avid fans of drive-in, sexploitation fodder.
Sirpa Lane stars as Jew Hannah Meyer, whose idyllic life with her
German boyfriend Klaus is interrupted by the madness that is war: Klaus
is enlisted in the army while Hannah is rounded up and sent to become a
prostitute in a 'joy camp'. Plucky Hannah resists her assigned fate and
is eventually sentenced to execution, but is rescued by an SS Captain
Kurt Von Stein, who admires her chutzpah and takes her to be his lover.
When Von Stein is tasked with operating a brothel for high ranking officers, he gives Hannah a new identity and makes her madam. Hannah plays along, realising it might be her only hope for survival, but fate intervenes, reuniting her with Klaus and spurring her on to fight back at those who have made her life hell
Just when I think that I've seen all the sleazy Nazisploitation movies available, another one crawls its way out of the sewers, this one making an appearance on YouTube of all places, a fact that is made all the more remarkable given that it is one of the less camp examples of the genre (despite the inclusion of a lesbian commandant), a downbeat, more realistic effort replete with mean-spirited violence and X-rated sex scenes. With events based on real-life Nazi exploits ('joy divisions' really existed, as did experiments on creating a race of perfect Aryan children), the film is not just a good opportunity to ogle countless naked women, but also a harrowing reminder of the extreme evil that mankind is so often capable of.
Sugar Hill stars the delectable Marki Bey as Diana 'Sugar' Hill, foxy
girlfriend of Langston, owner of the successful Club Haiti. When
Langston is kicked to death by a gang of thugs for refusing to sell his
business to greedy gangster Morgan (Robert Quarry), Sugar enlists the
help of wizened voodoo priestess Mama Maitresse (Zara Cully) to avenge
her man, summoning voodoo Lord of the Dead Baron Samedi (Don Pedro
Colley) and an army of silver-eyed zombies to terrorise and kill those
Directed by Paul Maslansky, producer of the Police Academy series, blaxploitation/zombie film Sugar Hill ain't exactly a 'classic' of either genre, lacking the grittiness to be found in many a blaxploitation movie and missing the outrageous gore of many a zombie flick. That said, the film is still plenty fun: the lovely Bey provides the eye candy, looking fab while wearing some truly funky outfits and switching her hairstyle back and forth from straightened to afro with ease; Colley is great hamming it up as Samedi, rolling his eyes and grinning malevolently in a variety of guises; there's a welcome cat fight between Sugar and trashy mob girl Celeste (Betty Anne Rees); the seventies fashions are hilarious (check out the scalloped lapels on Langston's sparkly jacket!); and who can't help but be entertained by the gloriously un-PC slurring from both sides? The dated racial insults fly thick and fast, making it unsurprising to find that a R2 release of this film has yet to happen.
6.5 out of 10, rounded up to 7 for the disembodied chicken leg attackyou don't see that every day (unless you happen to watch this film every day, that is, which is unlikely).
With an interest in both extreme Japanese horror and the theme of snuff
films in general, I simply had to see Muzan-e, which by all accounts
was pretty messed up. As I expected, I found myself quite sickened by
this film, although surprisingly it wasn't the brutal violence that
upset me the most, but rather the taboo-busting and rather
stomach-churning scenes that centred on the bizarre world of fetish
porn, all of which only go to reaffirm my idea of Japan as a Mecca for
the truly twisted!
Muzan-e seems fairly routine at first: shot in faux documentary form, it sees a female reporter investigating the disappearance of an AV starlet famed for her 'specialist' work. After unearthing some background information on the missing girl and conducting several interviews with those who worked with her (during which we snippets of her 'performing'), the reporter gets her hands on a video tape that purportedly shows the woman being tortured and killed on-camera by two brothers, fans who abduct their idol only to decide that they have the wrong person. Although it's strong stuff, after what had gone before, I wan't too phased by the realism of the tape or the gore effects, which is par for the course for this kind of thing.
However, in an unexpected twist (that I have to admit doesn't completely make sense to me), the reporter eventually becomes a victim of the brothers herself, but while she too is subjected to torture and mutilation, it is revealed that well, I won't spoil it for you, but don't be surprised if you are left a tad confused by what you have seen. Overall, though, this is a bold, bloody and disturbing film and a must-see for fans of the rough stuff.
In Robert Rodriguez's Machete Kills, Danny Trejo's characterdeadly
Mexican secret agent Machete Cortezis about as three-dimensional and
grounded in realism as a Looney Tunes cartoon character tripping on
peyote. For many, this move towards a crazier style with even more
unbelievable splatstick violence will be a step too far, the
live-action-cartoon style antics exceeding many people's willingness to
suspend disbelief. However, those who can find their way safely past
this potential stumbling block should have a whale of a time.
Rodriguez directs proceedings with a carefree attitude and sense of fun that I found infectious, with all ideasno matter how dumb they must have looked on papermaking their way into the final film. Thus, we a Bond-style baddie in the form of megalomaniac Luther Voz (Mel Gibson), our hero killing numerous henchmen in a variety of creative ways, some innovative sci-fi weaponry, plenty of cool in-jokes for us movie geeks (I loved the visual reference to Mad Max II) and a bevy of lovely latino babes in sexy gear (including Alexa Vega in PVC and Michelle Rodriguez in tight, cleavage enhancing top). Hell, Rodriguez is having so much fun that he doesn't even care about the quality of his CGI, which only adds to the gleefully gaudy vibe.
It all gets very silly, and with the next sequel featuring Machete in space, it's set to get a whole lot sillier; I for one will make sure I've booked my seat for the ride.
7.5 out of 10, rounded up to 8 for being marginally more fun than the first one.
I'm very wary when a film is frequently described as either
'atmospheric', 'haunting', hypnotic', 'poetic', 'eerie' or 'dreamlike':
nine times out of ten, 'dull', 'dreary', 'uneventful' and 'boring' seem
to be more apt adjectives as far as I'm concerned. Let's Scare Jessica
To Death is a prime example.
The film stars Zohra Lampert as Jessica, a recently discharged psychiatric patient who is still struggling with her sanity (her troubled thoughts made audible for the viewer to analyse). Together with her husband and a hippie friend, Jessica travels to a remote island, where she hopes to start a new life. These idyllic plans soon go awry, the prejudiced townsfolk treating the newcomers with disdain and their new home occupied by squatter Emily; worse still, Jessica starts to see visions of a girl who might be a vampiric ghost. Then again, Jessica might simply be off her rocker.
Is there really something supernatural afoot or is Jessica lapsing into insanity once again? I cannot say with any certainty because I frequently found myself lapsing into sleep, such is the soporific effect of the ambiguous but ultimately very tedious storytelling. Moving at a snail's pace, Let's Scare Jessica To Death didn't so much 'scare me to death' as 'bore me stiff'.
In a misjudged attempt to move with the times, British studio Amicus
punctuated the three short stories of their final film, The Monster
Club, with musical numbers from a variety of new-wave/rock acts,
including B.A. Robertson and The Pretty Things. These daft interludes,
which see the bands singing their songs in their entirety (and which
come complete with a ridiculous rubber-masked monster audience) spoil
what is otherwise a very effective horror anthology.
The film starts with a wraparound story in which popular horror author R.Chetwynd-Hayes (John Carradine) is fed upon by thirsty vampire Eramus (Vincent Price), who thanks his victim by taking him to The Monster Club, a members-only establishment where monsters go to drink and be entertained. There, the writer hears three tales guaranteed to chill the blood...
Tale one: A pair of con-artists plan to steal a valuable collection of antiquities from a lonely weirdo who turns out to be a Shadmock, a strange creature with a deadly whistle. A touching tale with a tragic ending, helped by a strong performance from James Laurenson as the lovelorn Shadmock.
Tale two: The B-squad are a special branch of the police dedicated to hunting vampires. Unaware that his own father is one of the undead, awkward loner Lintom Busotsky (Warren Saire) unwittingly leads the chief of the B-squad (Donald Pleasence) to his home. A wonderfully tongue-in-cheek story with great performances from both Saire and Pleasence, this proves to be a lot of fun, a jaunty Transylvanian folk violin score adding tremendously to the enjoyment factor.
Tale three: horror director Sam (Stuart Whitman) scouts a location for his new movie, unaware that the rural village is home to flesh-eating ghouls. Director Roy Ward Baker definitely saves the best for last, this memorable final segment oozing atmosphere and dripping with tension. Whitman does a cracking job and the final 'twist' is a corker.
7/10 for the three stories, minus one point for the terrible scenes that take place within The Monster Club.
Just one of many trashy, low-budget Italian flicks to gleefully rip-off
George Miller's classic Mad Max movies, 2020 Texas Gladiators is set
against a typically barren, post-apocalyptic landscape and sees a brave
band of warriors fighting back against the evil fascist regime that has
been enslaving their people (with a little help from a gang of
dirt-bike-riding, bare-chested punks in S&M gear).
Directed with very little style or finesse by Joe D'amato, and featuring a cast clearly chosen for the definition of their pecs or willingness to expose their tits rather than actual talent, the film is low on genuinely gritty exploitational content, the absence of any really nauseating gore or outrageous sleazeboth specialities of the directorbeing particularly noticeable.
Despite the welcome presence of smoking' hot blonde Sabrina Siani, and the inclusion of such blatant silliness as futuristic soldiers armed with electric bullet-proof shields (which have ***important plot point*** massive holes in them!), the derivative nature of the plot, D'amato's lifeless treatment, the lacklustre stunts, and the unremarkable performances (with the notable exception of Donald O'Brien as Black Onethat guy is hilarious) all go to make this a frustratingly dull affair as a whole.
17-year-old Lena (Christine Lindberg) is prone to flights of fancy,
most of which involve her being sexually abused or killed. Torn between
two lovers, boyfriend Jan and hedonistic pig Helge (who is blackmailing
her with naked photos), Lena decides to run away, but after a few days
on the road, during which she imagines herself raped, murdered and
killed in a car crash, she returns home to confront her problems, all
of which might only be inside her head anyway.
The subtitles for my copy of Exponerad lagged a couple of minutes behind the film, meaning that I found matters really hard to follownot that I care that much, because the story was dreadfully dull from what I could gather and isn't what drew me to the film in the first place. No, I sought this one out for the same reason that I imagine most men do: the presence of beautiful exploitation sexpot Lindberg, who being a liberal-minded Swede in the early 70s, frequently disrobes and indulges in soft-core hanky-panky for the pleasure of the viewer.
Apart from the regular nudity from the star, there isn't much else to recommend about Exponerad: Lena's violent daydreams are fairly jarring I suppose, and certainly make the viewer wonder what the hell is going, as does a trip to the cinema in which we are treated to several minutes of a Johnny Weismuller Tarzan classic, but everything pales in comparison to the other Lindberg films I have seen so far (my other Lindberg viewings being revenge flick Thriller: A Cruel picture and pinku Journey To Japan).
Without Christina, this would probably only be a 3/10 tops; with her, It's got to be worth a 5.
The only survivor of a horrific massacre when she was six years old,
Rebecca Verlaine (Natacza Boon) has blocked out all memory of the
terrible event, so she is understandably shocked when she begins to
experience visions of her dead father and his mutilated pals, urging
her to find those responsible for their deaths so that they can seek
Garden of Love? Don't worry Olaf Ittenbach hasn't gone soft on us and made a romantic drama; despite the soppy sounding title, it's business as usual for the German splatter director, meaning extreme gore by the bucket-load, with heads squished, bodies torn asunder, guts ripped out, and blood splashed all over the place. The only problem is that, in order to get to the good stuff, one has to endure those other Ittenbach movie traits: iffy acting (English dialogue with a strong Teutonic twist), questionable direction, and uneven pacingin this case the film takes an age to get going, explodes into violence for the film's standout scene, drags again, and then gets nice and bloody for the ending.
Still, fans of the director's other work should be well aware of what they're getting into and will no doubt hang on in there though the less eventful bits, safe in the knowledge that, when Ittenbach does open his bag of special effects, it is guaranteed to get very messy indeed.
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