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Der heiße Tod (1969)
Some Lovely Ladies On An Island Prison
I'm not familiar with Mr. Franco's work and I'm sure he has more interesting films than this one. Luciana Paluzzi is barely in it. Rosalba Neri is sensuous as always. Elisa Montes, a real beauty, gives the best performance. Maria Rohm resembles Chery Ladd (TV's Charlie's Angels). Mercedes McCambridges is a tough commandant. Maria Schell is compassionate and kind as her replacement with Herbert Lom playing the sleazy lecher Governor.
Rating: 4/10. The ending was very ambiguous with a terrible song that also opens the film. Some interesting jungle shots and the babe factor pushes this one along with little result, but I'm glad I saw it.
Get Yourself a College Girl (1964)
Fun-filled college romp with 3 1960's sweeties!
This film was exactly what I expected with some fun mid-60's music. Mary Ann Mobley, who basically only made this type of film, is lovely as always as the songwriter college girl who in a fun way is somewhat of a pre-feminist. Chris Noel as Sue Ann, the beautiful blonde, who also specialized in 60's beach films is delightful, and Nancy Sinatra (although she doesn't sing) appears in one of her first films and looks so young. The men are nothing to speak of.
Interesting musical groups including The Animals and The Dave Clarke Five make this better than some from this genre. Best performance = Chris Noel. Enjoyable, silly jokes, watusi dancing, and just fun stuff.
She Demons (1958)
Interesting Shlock Island Flick!
Nazis, she-creatures, Hop Singh & the lovely Irish McCalla (Sheena, Queen of the Jungle on TV) populate this low-budget mess that couldn't be more fun. Bad dialogue abounds, Victor Sen-Yung (from Bonanza), Tod Griffin as a less than charismatic hero, and of course the beautiful, tall, athletic spoiled rich girl played by Ms. McCalla. Comical SS soldiers, beautiful dancing girls getting "make-overs" that don't quite work out and a "deserted" island. All the ingredients necessary for a shlock epic.
A 5 out of 10. Best performance - the head Nazi doctor. Not to be missed if you have a hankering for b/w drive-in fare from the late, great 1950's. It's too bad I. McCalla didn't make more of these. She couldn't act a lick, and admitted that in interviews, and later became a well-known artist (painter) in the 60's. One of the real beauty pin-up queens of the 50's.
La femme et le pantin (1959)
B. Bardot Is Most Striking
Another vibrant creature in Ms. Bardot's growing gallery of young temptresses is a joy to behold. Filmed in Spain in glorious technicolor, her beautiful golden hair cascading around her shoulders, she proves once again that no man is her match. Teasing and flirting with a well-to-do bull-breeder (who has a lovely invalid wife), this flamenco student is the ultimate sex kitten and proved she was the most irresistible sexual creature ever put on film. She plays him like a fiddle as well she should. Dressed in various bolts of red, yellow AND black, usually barefoot or wearing tiny slippers, flaunting her trademark dancer's walk, Ms. BB is at the top of her game with her confidence shining through.
A melodrama similar to THE NIGHT HEAVEN FELL ('58 as well) with beautiful locales that are exceptional. I don't think this did well at the box office with many bloated critics sneering at her blatant sensuality. Don't watch a dubbed version of this where they stick Ms. Bardot with a terrible voice, as they did many times.
A 7 out of 10. Best performance = B. Bardot. Gorgeious and seductive, holding out until it suits her needs, this young woman should be applauded for showing true sensuality in those censor-ridden and repressed 1950's. Bravo BB! The 1st truly independent woman in film at a relatively young age; 23 at this time. This film surprised me. Very few actresses nowadays, even in their thirties could project a maturing young woman's inner workings. Most of them still seem like teenagers. Oh well.
Les biches (1968)
Beautiful Adran; Boring Film!
Although I've usually enjoyed Chabrol's film and his (then-wife's) Stephane Audran's ice-cool looks, this is down the ho-hum trail from beginning to end (picking up a bit in the middle). Trintignant is his usual passive self and Jacquelline Sassard is strange and disturbing-looking with no apparent acting talent.
A 3 out of 10. Best performance = S. Audran. If this is supposed to be erotic, mysterious, and dark - it missed the mark by a mile. Beautiful French locales with extra supporting characters who serve no real purpose. Don't waste your time unless you're really a Chabrol junkie. Have wanted to see this for years...what a pity.
Please! Explain It!
Michael Sarrazin had such a promising career when he was young (They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, The Sweet Ride, The Film-Man Man). What happened? I guess losing the part (because of his agent) of Joe Buck in Midnight Cowboy did him in. Anyway, this piece of 18th Century JUNK is beyond description. The most horrifying musical score in memory.
A 2 out of 10. Best performance = Ursula Andress (the only saving grace in the film - beautiful & fiery). Ms. Andress is used to this style of goofiness. Most "comedies" portray Napoleon as an idiot or mentally unbalanced, but this one takes the cake (let them eat it). Unbelievable waste of money spent on this European turkey that makes you cringe with the bad gags, overabundance of stunt men, thousands of extras and just plain creepy. AACKK.
Shanty Tramp (1967)
B/W Sleaze with Potential! (Spoilers)
This low-budget strange film (released in '67), but probably made in '63 has a phenomenal opening shot with the main woman strolling down the wooden boulevard to the strains of "When The Saints Go Marching In" while she proceeds to (on high heels) mess with folk who are already where she has been.
Throw in a corrupt minister, a naive black (young) guy, and a lecherous drunken father and the title of the movie hits you like a rock. But, well-filmed cinematography (B/W); some bikers (who are punks), great locales where they filmed it (Florida or California) and you have a fascinating piece of American Pie with actors who never acted again....but I liked it (and the poster is cool). Can't imagine what people thought when they saw it in a theatre (drive-in or otherwise; in any state) back in the 60's, but well worth the trip. A 5 out 10. Best performance = lead actress (can't remember her name). Check it for gator, cajun, preacher, high-heeled, b/w, jumbo, almost-educational morality types, and just plain American tale of woe and excitement on a Saturday night below the Mason-Dixon Line. Thoroughly captivating and choice, but not a great film.
Surpringsly Sly B/W Coolness!
For some reason, I expected more crass (and I've seen Russ Meyer films from the late 60s and early 7s) and exploitive (although they are in docu-creepy realistic funny way) rendition of a story like this. I couldn't have been more mistaken. Perfectly cast - Hal Hopper (the ultimate sleaze-bag in a worn linen suit, babes galore - Lorna Maitland and her beautiful mute sister (can't remember her name) who was mute (and has no lines)...the "crazy" and hilarious mother of the these two "Lil Abner" rejects who makes moonshine ..on the side - whose name is Princess something (in real life)...Anyway, I'm making it sound complicated and it's not and it's not "dirty" (even for then). It's funny, serious (darkly later), kind of sexy, great b/w cinematography and the ending is on the plains.
I never thought this film would be good. Meyer's best film (that I've seen - which is about half his output). Well-done.
The Alligator People (1959)
Ms. Garland walks the walk!
This typical "drive-in" flick of the late 50s is actually fairly complicated that gets very interesting in the last 45 minutes. "Starring" the totally under-appreciated Beverly Garland (a scream queen of the 50s) and Tuesday Weld's mom in PRETTY POISON in the 60s, this sly "gator" tale is walked through Cajun swamps into unknown realms where George MacReady and Lon Chaney, Jr. live every day. Thankfully, Ms. Garland (beautiful, talented, and finally on the color MY THREE SONS episodes) is SO believable in her character's plight about her husband's "condition" ..you're sucked it.
Best performance - Ms. Garland. A 7 out of 10. The husband (who looks the same to me ..even when he's "afllicted" is good), but the Mom, the servants, the HOUSE. It has all the ingredients that make "B" movies fascinating with a lot of help from Beverly Garland playing a lead Chara ..along with Bruce Bennett and various types. Recommended for it's breed of cat.
La tarantola dal ventre nero (1971)
Italian Murder Mystery Draws Blank Stares
I couldn't make head nor tail of this Euro-mess. Even with 3 of my favorite European beauties from the 60's (Stefania Sandrelli, Barbara Bouchet, and Claudine Auger) AND Barbara Bach, this gloomy Italian mystery tale has no value, story-wise. Some interesting locales, but went from bad to worse. Even Giancarlo Giannini seemed bored.
A 1 out of 10. Ms. Bouchet has a fetching derriere. I haven't seen many of this type of film, but it was pointless drivel at best. I hope the actors were paid well. This film is an immediate sleeping pill. I dozed off four times just trying to wade through it. Forget it. The director fell asleep at the wheel. Great music...