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Morgane et ses nymphes (1971)
original piece of art-house film-making for its time. *contains spoilers*
purchased this previously censored french erotic/horror/fantasy film after viewing the trailer from mondo macabro. didn't have any high expectations for this film but after viewing was pleasantly surprised by how much i enjoyed it. a very simplistic storyline which can be slow and trodding at times if not for the presence of many beautiful, European starlets. francoise and anna the two main characters at the start of the film are on vacation and taking a road trip when their car has engine trouble and breaks down. they decide to spend the night in a deserted barn and like so many erotic films before have a romp in the haystack. in the morning however, francoise awakes to find anna missing and goes out looking for her. it is her that she is approached by a dwarf by the name of gurth who takes her through the forest before stopping at the sea where boat conveniently awaits to take francoise across to a castle. upon reaching the castle she is welcomed by a trio of beautiful young sirens dressed in flowing almost sheer gowns as they take her into the castle to be introduced to the lady of the house. it is here that francoise meets the sorceress morgana le fay. and she is stunningly beautiful and has may striking physical features played coolly and icy by dominique delpierre. the six lead actresses are stunning to look at. while not a lot goes on in this move, there is enough eye candy, nudity and countless love scenes to keep the viewer interested. the director said when he was casting for the extras he had to find women who were not ashamed of performing nude scenes with one another. he said he enjoyed shooting and directing the many lesbian love scenes because he wanted those scenes to be tender and loving...nothing vulgar or pornographic. the many scenes shot of the french countryside are stunning and breathtaking and i thought the director had a real eye for detail. an original piece of film making though it is for certain tastes and audiences.
60s lesbian pulp fiction
based on the long-censored novel by Laure charpentier and finally brought to the big screen and directed by the author as well. Lou Dillon stars as the titular character and she suited the role exquisitely. the move is set in the 1960s lesbian underworld of Paris, and the way she carries herself to her mannerisms and strut she is every bit the refined young man she portrays. Dillon relishes the character that she plays and looks every bit the part of gigolo who spends her evenings wandering through the lesbian nightclubs and cabarets flirting and ca noodling with potential suitors. gigolo eventually begins a relationship with a wealthy, older aristocrat by the name of Odette who lavishes gigolo with money and a sports car in return for sexual favours. that saying, the sex/love scenes which there are plenty of are not particularly graphic and are tastefully shot. i found the storyline a bit too fast paced and scenes were quickly cut off before moving onto the next one. one needs to be fairly quick when reading the subtitles and understanding what is going on in the storyline. i liked the musical numbers and the classy feel and look inside the nightclubs and how everyone took part in the festivities and were not ashamed of being openly lesbian or gay. an interesting piece of cinema for people looking for something different.
Hobo with a Shotgun (2011)
best exploitation flick and kicks-ass for a Canadian made film *spoilers*
saw the trailer for this and decided that i was going to get my hands on this film once it hit the home DVD market. soon enough it was released in a two-disc special edition complete with a set of hobo postcards. i didn't have high expectations for this film and was pleasantly surprised by how much i enjoyed watching it. this film was shot on a budget of 3 million dollars and i loved what was produced and show on screen.
the only actor that i was remotely familiar with was that of rutger hauer of blade runner fame. i thought he suited the role very well of the nameless hobo who enforces his own version of street justice when he grows tired of the crime, lawlessness and rampant destruction of the town he is now a part of. his weather-beaten features tells a story of a life lived hard and ruined by a series of unfortunate events that led him to becoming a hobo.
the film is loaded with gory death scenes which includes but not limited to a decapitation, a foot being smashed with a sledgehammer and of all things someone getting their penis blown off with a shotgun. the effects were realistic enough to make me cringe, so kudos to the people responsible for the special effects.
i have seen a lot of exploitation flicks in my time most recently, machete and planet terror but this one was hands down the best. the title alone won me over. it kept me entertained from start to finish and that's all i was looking for. a film that didn't take itself too seriously, the actors were giving over the top performances and having fun with it and it had enough gore, violence and nudity to keep me glued to my chair.
well-written and executed film *possible spoilers*
the storyline is simple enough; a former child star,jackie who was on a hit sci-fi TV series grows up and decides to leave the show business and pursue an education at a local college where she starts mixing with her peers and getting to live life away from TV sets and other fellow actors. she clearly wants to live a regular life and start doing things on her own terms but gains un-wanted interest, admiration or jealousy of being famous by her her peers.
while at a department mixer, she meets and is instantly attracted to psychology professor catherine stark who has a reputation of seducing her students. so it's not much of a surprise when these two start a secret affair. by all accounts, catherine is attentive, giving and caring towards her much younger lover. the two lead actresses had great chemistry and enough sexual tension between them for a believable relationship.
while controversial student and teacher relationship have been portrayed on screen before ie. loving annabelle and madchen in uniform, this one is legitimate as both are consenting adults and this does not take place in a boarding/high school. jackie is an adult who has made up her mind to further her education and start living in the real world.
i had read reviews where people were disappointed with how the storyline ended since both characters did not end up together. while attending school, jackie is offered an opportunity to reprise her role in the hit TV show that made her famous to the big screen. she is hesitant and un-sure if she is ready to make that step back into the show business as it would clearly change the course of her life and relationship with catherine which at that point is flourishing.
i felt the ending to the film was left on a positive note and was realistic. since jackie hasn't identified her sexuality she isn't ready to go public with her relationship with catherine as it could possibly jeopardize and end her future career. this part is brought up in the film during one of the climatic scenes.
i really liked the film and thought it was well-paced, directed and excellently acted.
Elena Undone (2010)
Nicole conn's best film to date *spoilers ahead*
saw the trailer for this movie and waited patiently for it to be released on DVD. Nicole conn is just a handful of lesbian filmmakers out there and this was the best of the bunch...aside from the awful Claire of the moon. it has the standard and predictable story of a married woman with a teenage son who is having difficulties in her marriage and realizes she has fallen out of love with her husband who just happens to be a pastor of the local church.
Elena the title character and her husband Barry are trying to have another child. Elena decides to visit an adoption agency as an alternative option, where she meets lesbian novelist Peyton. the two hit it off and start spending a lot of time together and getting to know each other. eventually things heat up when Elena realizes that she has developed a strong attraction to Peyton who is wary of the situation. Peyton knows that Elena is married and has a child and tries to end the friendship before it leads to something more. but poor Elena can't stop thinking about Peyton and the times they have spent together and keeps coming back...phoning her, showing up at her her doorstep.
Elena's husband Barry is all too clueless to figure out his wife's extracurricular activities. Elena tries to initiate a physical relationship with Peyton who lets her know that once they go forward there is no going back and the consequences that may surface if their relationship is discovered.
the two lead actresses are attractive and have very good chemistry, so the love scenes were believable and sensual...nothing too graphic.
however, i do feel that Elena was neglecting her husband and son and eluding her responsibilities as a wife and mother in order to carry on her affair with Peyton. knowing that she was no longer in love with Barry but stringing him along was selfish...she was un-willing to communicate with him or talk about her feelings.
yes, Barry had no backbone when it came to preaching his homophobic sermons mostly due to pressure from his congregation who were also organizing pickets against gay rights and marriage. but i don't think that should be a reason for Elena to cheat on him regardless of gender. she should have been up-front about their marriage and problems she was experiencing. at least Barry tried to open the walls of communication but Elena completely shut him out.
Elena's son Nash, who discovers the affair, goes haywire ie. shoplifting, drinking and cutting school...his way of dealing with the devastating situation...fully aware that his parents marriage may be over.
aside from the above issues i had with the movie, it was over-all a positive film watching experience. one of the better and positive lesbian films. check it out for yourself.
The Fly II (1989)
not a bad sequel
the sequel tries to pick up where the original left off. though seth brundle died in the original directed by David cronenberg, the follow-up focuses on seth's son, martin, and his transformation from an infant to a young man within a short period of time as his appearance and intelligence accelerates due to experimental drugs and injections.
i didn't mind the sequel though it could have taken a different turn in plot had cronenberg re-prised his role in the director's chair. it was a rather basic plot which i felt relied more on the gore and special effects wizardry in order to keep audiences glued to the screen. i felt that the graphic nature of the gore and violence in the original was more believable and realistic and essential the plot. here, it seems more gratuitous and there to gross-out or amuse the audience.
either way, it isn't a bad effort, though most sequels or remakes never like up to the original.
Satánico pandemonium (1975)
a nice slice of seventies nunsploitation *possible spoilers*
one of the few stand out films during the nunsploitation invasion during the early seventies. not really much of a plot as it follows the exploits of a god-worshipping and selfless nun by the name of sister maria. she is kind, caring and devoted to helping the less fortunate and has a natural bond with animals as it showcases in the beginning of the film.
it isn't too long before she has an encounter with a naked man who offers her a bite of his red apple. frightened she runs away and back to the convent, confused and bewildered by what this all means. to the viewer it is clear that the man is the devil in disguise, trying to tempt sister maria as he continues to re-appear to her. from there, maria begins a descent into sexual depravity, loss of her sanity and eventually, murder...three to be exact.
the actress who portrays the title character did an admirable job in conveying the anguish and torment the sister is going through...battling her many demons and darkest desires all the while, trying to do the right thing and continuing her worship of the lord.
while the film is over thirty years old, it has aged well over time and i admired the cinematography and the direction of it. beautiful scenery and sharp contrasting images and colour as well.
anyone interested in taking a peek into the nunsploitation genre should check out this rare Mexican film as it has all the right elements to a good exploitation.
Bob's Burgers (2011)
liked the second episode and hoping the show wil stick around*possible spoilers*
saw a preview of bob's burgers on fox and unfortunately missed the first episode but was lucky enough to sit in for a viewing of the second. and i was pleasantly surprised by what i saw. while the animation isn't the greatest of quality i got a few good laughs from some of the zingers and lines said by the colourful characters mainly from the title character bob. the second episode dealt with bob's hatred of his mother in law and his attempts of avoiding having to spend time with her. while complying with his wife, Linda's request to clean out the attic he lies and tells her he is stuck and unable to come out from there just as his mother in law arrives. what ensues is without a father at home to help with the child rearing, their three kids run afoul at school and are all ceremoniously sent to the counsellors office who misinterprets everything they have to say. fox isn't known for having great animated programs with the exception of long running series the Simpson's and the now defunct king of the hill. i'm hoping that audiences will stay and tune into the many shenanigans that this little show has to offer. i think if the writers continue with their offbeats story lines injected with some good laughs, they will gain a following.
Double Impact (1991)
early nineties action fodder
bought this movie new for five dollars so i wasn't expecting too much. thoroughly enjoyed after viewing it because it has van damme as an action star playing dual roles as twin brothers who avenge the murder of their parents. it's van damme in tip-top shape coming off the success of his earlier films bloodsport and cyborg. in this feature he gets to show quite a bit of skin as he kung-fu's his way through an array of henchman and villains. it's nice to see the film being shot on location in hong Kong as it shows the city social scene at night. i though the nineties fashion was also fun to see and groan at. while van damme is no Shakespeare, he gets through the movie fine enough with his boyish good looks and charms. the action sequences and his one on one combat scenes are well choreographed and fun to watch. it doesn't hurt either that alonna shaw is in the film too. a film worth watching if you're a fan of action stars at their finest before age sets in and their physique is longer prime.
Flash Gordon (1980)
flash Gordon; saviour of the universe *possible spoilers*
remember watching this movie back in the eighties when it was first released and years later found it for sale at a video store and purchased it right away. i don't remember much of the plot from when i was watching it growing up as a kid but after viewing it again...there really wasn't much of one. i found myself liking this film which is based on a comic strip all over again, in large part due to the casting ie. 007 timothy Dalton as prince barin, max Von sydow as ming the merciless and here he plays the role for laughs and camps it up for the audience. i'll admit now, the special effects are terrible, the acting is choppy at best and the main score performed by rock icons queen is downright cheezy. but i think that is the charm and appeal of this movie which now stands as a cult favourite. the set designs and costumes are colourful and creative and not easily forgotten. everything just seems so sharp and vibrant. i thought that ornella muti who plays ming's daughter princess aura was incredibly hot throughout...wearing very tight and skin-hugging outfits and her seductive smile and charm that seemed to entrance the men around her. the actress, melody Anderson who played the role of dale Arden got on my nerves after a while. it was her neediness and clinging to flash Gordon that really irked me. all she was given to do in her role was pine and long for flash when he was captured than executed for defying ming's orders. when he was resurrected, all she could do was hope he would come and rescue her after ming selected her as one of his muses and later a bride. still worth a look, though. it's fun and nostalgic and remind of other cheezy, schlock filled cult classics of a by-gone era.