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Hannah Takes the Stairs (2007)
Does Shot Without A Script Ever Work?
Let's be honest. Your movie could have Tom Cruise, Greta Garbo, Robert DeNiro and many other "stars" in it. It could be a collaborative piece co-directed by Martin Scorsese, Howard Hawks, Jean-Luc Godard. Sven Nykist could be doing the camera work. You could bill it as Robert DeNiro having real on screen sex with Greta Garbo and on and on and on. However, if it doesn't have a script or has just a minimal outline, then it will never be what it could be. Shows like Reno 911 are the exception to the rule. They are both no means the norm.
"Hannah Takes The Stairs" suffers from having no script. It is its glaring weakness and what, in the end, makes it wholly unsatisfying. As a whole, the story wanders around way too much and does not give its viewer a reason to really care for any of its characters. It is the kind of film you watch once and then forget about totally. If you were to ask me, should I see "Hannah Takes The Stairs", I would say, "Definitely. Watch it once but you won't ever want to watch it again."
Ignore Other Review
First off, I think the other reviewer was himself too wrapped up in the sex scenes and completely missed the charm of this film. Yes, this is a sex movie and yes the sex scenes do go on for quiet a while and yes the lead actress Emi Kuroda is nude quite a bit. For some, all that can either be a deterrent but you should neither dismiss nor approve of this film.
I can say this. The film is offbeat and has a distinct charm and sense of humor to it. In this world where Transformers is the number 1 movie in America (God help us all), The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai is a much needed change of pace.
Again, I will stress. Do not dismiss this film because of the sex and nudity in it. Watch it through and you will like it. Also, ignore the box calling it "a mixture of Godard and the South Park crew." Godard could never make a movie like this
In spite of the 2005 date, this enter is much older. I do not know this for a fact but the fact that Tina Krause, billed in it as Mia Copia, should attest to that fact. Unlike what my moronic brother from Canada stated about this film, it has very little plot but if you are watching it for plot, then there is something wrong with you. Notable in this film is Ruby Larocca, not for her acting but because she is naked a lot in this featurette. Misty Mundae and Tiger Lilly float around with no purpose except to do Ruby Larocca. Tina Krause also adds her charms but not as much as Ruby Larocca does. All the actresses are naked in full frontal fashion and bump and grind a lot throughout the hour. Not Shakespeare but why would you expect it to be.
The Sexy Sixth Sense (2001)
Not Very Good Seduction Cinema
What makes a good Seduction Cinema film? I know that may sound like an oxymoron but when you search out a Jess Franco film or any other genre film you want staples of that genre to be included, correct? Well, the Sexy 6th Sense falls short. Sure, there are the Seduction Cinema staples of digital film-making, no script, and bad acting. However, the largest staple, and let's be honest the most important one, is largely missing in this barely one hour feature. Sure Ruby Larocca, Barbara Joyce, Darian Caine and two uninteresting actresses do the whole lesbian thing but it is uninspired. Rather than "acting", the lesbian scenes for more like a Marilyn Chambers compilation on Cinemax rather than a Seduction Cinema film. On top of that, the actresses only are ever topless and that is it. In all, The Sexy 6th Sense is a sex film without the most important staple of a sex film, long gratuitous, fully naked sex.
Of note on the DVD is an interview with the lovely Barbara Joyce. Ms. Joyce is topless in the interview segment conducted by Director Terry West, a good addition, but Ms. Joyce does not talk about anything particular about herself or her career. Thusly, it is too little to justify a good rating.
Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS (1975)
Probably the Greatest Exploitation Film Ever
First off, understand my rating of Ilsa. Ilsa by general movie standards is not a good movie. If you were to put it up against any of the so called "classic" movies, it would not stand up. But those who search out Ilsa She Wolf of THe SS or any of the others in the series aren't doing so because they want to see a tense, well acted, well directed movie.
Ilsa is first and foremost an exploitation film and, realizing that, I have to say it is in the upper echelons of its field because it wallows in filth and does so unapologetically. It boils down to this. If you search out a Euro Trash film, be it an Italian Giallo or English 70's horror, you desire it to be as sleazy and un politically correct as possible but also you want the movie to have some semblance of a plot, be it ever tiny. Ilsa scores big on all these points. There is wall to wall nudity, all female. Gratitutious torture scenes that are more ridiculous than offensive, (I mean every time Ilsa drags a prisoner down for torture they are completely naked as they are being tortured). And all most everyone of the female cast members at some point is completely naked. Let's be honest, It ain't Shakespeare, nor does it pretend to be.
Of note is the lead actress Dyanne Thorne. Apparently Ms. Thorne had lofty ambitions of being a serious actress at one point in her career but the fickle finger of fate lead her to Ilsa fame. In her mid 40's, Ms. Thorne is competent enough not to look like an amateur on screen. She has a several nude scenes throughout the movie and anyone who watches Ilsa will no doubt remember her more for her large breasts than her acting ability.
Ilsa She Wolf of the SS is a noteworthy entry into the world of exploitation films and should be the starting point for anyone who journeys into this genre. I rate it as a 10 because it knows what it is and does not pretend to try for anything higher
Qui a tué Bambi? (2003)
You may not want to go to a hospital ever again.
That was in essence the tag line for this french film by Gilles Marchand. While I would not go that far, I would say that Marchand has crafted an excellent "what if" scenery for this tale about a doctor who molests some of the female patients in his hospital who are recovering from operations.
As usual, the protagonist, this time Isabelle, as portrayed by the very interesting Sophie Quinton, a nurse in training at the hospital knows something is not quite right about Dr. Phillip. Odd occurrences are happening around the hospital with a couple of female patients disappearing and nobody can figure out quite why. Later on, we find out that Dr. Phillip is using an anastephic to keep his female patients unconscious while he molests them. To make up for the lost drugs he is using on his victims, he dilutes it with water, thus a couple of patients being operated on wake up in the middle of the operation.
Marchand has to be commended on how he crafts his tale. The movie is slightly over two hours but one is kept interested by the characters and the storyline. Sophie Quinton is superb as the lowly nurse in training who takes on the powerful, yet evil Dr. Phillip. She is very cute and demure, yet is well at ease being the lead performer in this piece. The actor who plays Dr. Phillip, whose name escapes me at the moment, is truly terrifying as the sexual predator. His is not an easy role for it has been done so many times over. Dr. Phillip is a silent loner with obvious problems, yet the actor does not go overboard with him. Instead, the actor makes Dr. Phillip a subdued character with something definitely evil lurking below the surface.
A lot of writing about this film has made comparisons to David Lynch in style. I shall refute that now. While this movie definite borders on the surreal side, it does not fall in some of the ridiculous pitfalls that Lynch tends to lead his movies.
Ah, the 70's
This movie can come from no decade but. There is very little action and some weird trippy sequences in it. I will not rehash the plot but I will say that this movie is worth seeing. If you are tired of the bland boring thriller/chiller pieces that are being made today, this is definitely worth renting. Subversive Video has released a cleaned up version on DVD so it is more readily available than in the past. Of note in the film is Millie Perkins, of Diary of Anne Frank fame. She plays the clichéd role of psycho on the verge but she does it with such muted tones and acting that makes you forget how many times the role of Molly has been rehashed in the horror genre.
Also, I would say a word on the production value. While other reviews have noted its shodiness. Let me just remind you this movie was made in 1976. As anyone who has seen 70's movies are aware, a lot of them look like they were made for nothing.
My nomination for worst movie ever.
Granted, tagging a movie with the worst title ever can be problematic, because frankly there are a lot of bad movies that have been made. Bad movies, in and of themselves, are a genre of their own. The recent CABIN FEVER was a bad movie but could it be called one of the worst movies ever made? No, not quite. Cabin Fever falls under the category of bad director and script. But seldomly has there ever been a good story where the setting is the back woods of hick America( IE Deliverance). Storylines about hillybillys and the back woods of the south are doomed for disaster. Another type of bad movie is the big budget Hollywood disaster, where the thinking is that if you throw enough money at it, it will succeed. Each of us has our own movie we would put in this category (Waterworld, Bad Boys 2, Cold Mountain). These types are probably more un excusable than all the others because they showcase lack of basic abilities in the filmmakers. Lastly, we have the "Overdrawn at the Memory Bank" category, the bottom of the barrel types, which have been inhabited by the Jess Franco, Al Adamson and Ed Woods of the world. As with the previous post, I saw this movie on MST 3000. Believe, there is no other way to watch it. Made in the early eighties for New York public television, this has to be the most inept production ever staged. Bad lighting, bad sound, terrible "futuristic"sets, goadawful acting, crass, morornic dialogue, idiot names given to the characters and most importantly one of the worst stories ever told (How someone read this script and agreed to produce it I'll never know). Basically, in all facets of the production, a gross lack of talent is evident (I would say amateurish but that would be insulting amateurs). Plus to top it off, The story melts into a false realization of Casablanca by Raul Julia's character that further insults one's senses. Never see this movie except on MST 3000. Shame on you Raul. If you were broke at the time, porno would have been less degrading
Scarlet Diva (2000)
Argento exorcises personal demons in Scarlet Diva
Basically, Scarlet Diva, at least in my view, is Asia Argento exorcising some personal demons, most likely from her past and maybe some of her friends. It's the story about a druggy actress and her struggle for normacy/sanity in an insane world. It is a very personal film filled with episodes from Argento's past, at least you get that impression. It's a good film and is not the shockfest that it has been portrayed as. Worth a see.
Compagna di viaggio (1996)
A Good Little Story
A good little comedy/drama with Asia Argento and Michel Piccoli. Very little plot actually involved but still a very interesting story. One of the few films Argento actually looked like she was interested in. She has very good chemistry with Piccoli and their scenes together make the movie. Movie is very good when it stays light.