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Woodyanders

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3644 reviews in total 
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Going my way, mister, 1 September 2014
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Pop Bartlett (a lively performance by Charles Maurice) discovers that his roadhouse cabins are being used by a prostitution ring run by ruthless pimp Slavick (smoothly played with lip-smacking panache by Julian Harris). When Pop refuses Slavick's offer to become partners with him, Slavick has his gal Billie (an appealing turn by Diane Winthrop) seduce Pop's naive son Bob (likable Don Hirsch) so he can monopolize the cabins for his seamy business. Director Patrick Carlyle relates the entertainingly tawdry story at a zippy pace and maintains a so-clumsy-that-it's-oddly-endearing earnest tone throughout. Pop's heavy-handed preaching about the dangerous permissiveness of modern society provides a few hearty unintentional belly laughs. The decent cinematography boasts neat use of wipes. This film further benefits from choice footage of an old fairground. However, it's this picture's conservative sensibility and the tame handling of the potentially trashy subject matter which give this exploitation relic a certain quaint ramshackle period charm.

Fine episode, 29 August 2014
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Unscrupulous wealthy art dealer Harte (a splendidly slimy portrayal by Bruce MacVittie) purchases a stolen 16th century painting from a thief that turns out to be more than he bargained for after Harte finds himself on trial as a heretic in a Court of Inquisition. Director Gerald Cotts relates the intriguing story at a steady pace and ably crafts a spooky enigmatic atmosphere. The uniformly ace acting keeps this one humming: MacVittie makes for a perfectly smarmy and unrepentant jerk, Michael O'Hare contributes a lively and amusing performance as lowly thief lackey Jimmy, Alan Scarfe does stand-out work as a monk who offers Harte a chance to redeem himself, and, best of all, quirky veteran character actor Roberts Blossom makes the most out of his juicy role as a stern and merciless grand inquisitor. Edithe Swensen's smart script delivers a spot-on central message on how you reap what you sow. The potent religious angle gives this overall worthy episode additional provocative substance.

Enjoyable slice of hicksploitation sleaze, 28 August 2014
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Lecherous old Texas oilman Shugfoot Rainey (a perfectly slimy portrayal by George Edgley) decides to kick his aging and bitter line-in girlfriend Linda (fiercely played with venomous aplomb by Annabelle Weenick of "Don't Look in the Basement" fame) to the curb so he can shack up with his conniving stripper niece Jonelle (voluptuous brunette knockout Lacey Kelly). However, Linda claims to be Shugfoot's common law wife and stakes the foul geezer's house out as her territory, so Jonelle concocts a plan to bump off Shugfoot so she can still inherit his considerable fortune. Directors Eric Sayers and Larry Buchanan do a solid job of crafting a seedy atmosphere while the engrossingly sordid story delivers the satisfying white trash drive-in exploitation goods: We've got incest, blackmail, betrayal, a rough'n'tumble brawl in a nightclub, murder, poisoned moonshine, and a real doozy of a violent bummer ending in which everybody loses. Grace Nolan's seamy script offers a troika of remarkably reprehensible main characters; these three rotten folks are without a doubt amongst the most hateful, selfish, and morally bankrupt individuals to ever ooze their vile way onto celluloid. As a tasty bonus, the delectable Mrs. Kelly shows off her fine full figure with pleasing frequency. The stark black and white cinematography gives this picture a suitably scroungy look. The groovy jazz score hits the swinging hepcat spot. A real scuzzy hoot.

Jackie Chan ain't joking this time, 27 August 2014
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Tough and determined police inspector Eddie Chan (a fine serious performance by Jackie Chan) has to work fast to solve a nefarious kidnapping case before things spiral out of control. Matters are complicated considerably after Chan discovers that his corrupt and cynical partner Detective Hung (a nicely slimy portrayal by Kent Cheng) is the mastermind behind the abduction. Director Kirk Wong keeps the gripping story rattling along at a breathless brisk pace, maintains a hard-hitting gritty tone throughout, builds a substantial amount of tension, and stages the assorted fights, shoot outs, car chases, and explosions with rip-roaring gusto. Moreover, the bloody realistic violence packs a fierce kick, the kidnapped rich guy isn't entirely sympathetic (he's a smug wealthy jerk with dubious ethics), and main villain Hung is drawn with a good deal more depth and complexity than one would expect. This movie further benefits from a refreshing dearth of either silly humor or cliché sentiment (Chan goes after the kidnappers because it's his job rather than has some kind of personal vendetta against them). Leu Wai-Keung's dynamic cinematography gives this picture an impressive moody look. The rousing score by James Wong and Mark Lui hits the stirring spot. Naturally, Chan tackles the exciting action set pieces with his trademark breathtaking agility, but it's Chan's able handling of the more demanding moments between him and Hung that make this picture so special and laudable.

A choice chunk of sizzling Southern-fried sleaze, 27 August 2014
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Shameless hussy Emily (sharply played with saucy aplomb by sultry brunette Eleanor Vaill) stirs up trouble in a small Florida town. Emily hooks up with a rowdy biker gang at a local club and after her pathetic drunken pop (essayed with deliciously hammy élan by Kenneth Douglas) catches Emily having a literal roll in the hay with smitten black guy Daniel (likable Lewis Galen), she falsely claims that Daniel raped her. Director Jose Prieto, who also co-wrote the blithely trashy script with Reuben Guberman, not only does an ace job of presenting a flavorsome evocation of the seedy downhome atmosphere, but also nicely captures the harsh racial mores and intense religious fervor of the Deep South in the 1960's. Moreover, this picture certainly delivers the enjoyably sordid hicksploitation goods: We've got abundant tasty nudity from the buxom Mrs. Vaill, rough'n'tumble fisticuffs, steamy interracial sex, moonshine runners, an unapologetically seamy tone, energetic go-go dancing, and a pleasingly cheeky surprise ending. Bill Rogers contributes a lively turn as a slick charlatan hell'n'brimstone traveling evangelist. Better still, this movie makes inspired use of the classic gospel tune "When the Saints Go Marching In." Ralph Remy Jr.'s scrappy cinematography provides an appropriately tawdry look. The groovy jazz score by Frank Linales and the fabulous theme song both hit the get-down swinging spot. Irrisistibly lurid fun.

Bizarre family fare, 26 August 2014
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Little boy Paul (an earnest and engaging performance by Eric Foster) befriends a friendly Bigfoot (burly Tom Folkes in a goofy looking suit). Meanwhile, Paul's forest ranger dad Will (overplayed with eye-rolling panache by Maurice Grandmaison) and several others venture out into the woods to capture an escaped tiger. Man, does this flick register as a definite head-scratching oddity: Director/co-writer Jay Schlossberg-Cohen and co-writer Philip Yordan clumsily blend sappy sentiment, cutesy animal antics (a family of adorable comic relief raccoons rampaging in a kitchen needs to be seen in order to be believed), and standard, but pretty tense and absorbing trekking through the woods action adventure thrills into a truly baffling oddball affair. And if that isn't kooky enough, our beefy Sasquatch drinks Coca-Cola and enjoys listening to rock music. Moreover, the adult actors ham it up like nobody's business, with John Tallman as jolly Native American Jim, Griffin Casey as obnoxious musclehead big game hunter Morgan Hicks, and Navarre Perry as jerky teacher Mr. Douglas rating as the most flagrant histrionic offenders of the bunch. Naturally, there's also lots of footage of animals in the wilderness and, surprisingly, a good deal of tension as well. Joseph D. Urbancyk's slick cinematography makes the most out of the breathtaking sylvan scenery. Fritz Heede's mechanically bouncy synthesizer score adds to the overall loopiness. A real curio.

Django (1966)
Superior spaghetti Western landmark, 25 August 2014
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Shrewd, tough, and formidable ex-Yankee soldier and expert gunslinger Django (the incomparable Franco Nero in a strong and charismatic star-making performance) arrives in a godforsaken US-Mexican border town dragging a coffin behind him. Django finds himself caught in the middle of a bitter feud between the Klu Klux Klan and a gang of mangy bandits. Director/co-writer Sergio Corbucci does a masterful job of vividly evoking a dingy and dangerous dirt-caked west: The pungent atmosphere of the miserable mud-spattered hamlet where greed, vice, brutality, and amorality reign supreme along with the uncompromisingly gritty tone, the astronomical body count, and startling moments of over-the-top savage violence -- one guy has an ear sliced off and shoved down his throat! -- all give this picture an extra ferocious sting. Moreover, Corbucci not only stages the copious shoot-outs with brio and skill, but also further spices things up with a slyly amusing sense of spot-on cynical humor. Franco's potent brooding presence holds this picture together; he receives sturdy support from ravishing redhead Loredana Nusciak as sympathetic prostitute Maria, Eduardo Fajardo as the evil Major Jackson, Jose Bodalo as the vicious General Hugo Rodriguez, Angel Alvarez as amiable old-timer bartender Nathaniel, and Gino Pernice as slimy lackey Brother Jonathan. Enzo Barboni's crisp cinematography offers a wealth of striking visuals. Luis Bacalov's spirited moody score does the rousing trick. Mandatory viewing for fans of the genre.

Robert Morgan rocks!, 25 August 2014
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Robert Morgan reigns supreme as perhaps the world's coolest authority on Bigfoot. Compact and bald, with a mustache and goatee that makes him resemble a more virile version of Donald Pleasence as Loomis in Halloween, this self-described "tough, hard driving" man's fiercely rugged personality and boundless determination when it comes to finding Sasquatch and confirming that the creature does indeed exist to a skeptical outside world makes for positively galvanizing viewing as Morgan leads an expedition into the Pacific Northwest wilderness in Washington state in search of the legendary forest-dwelling giant. Accompanied by a catchy banjo and harmonica bluegrass score and a loyal band of hippie-like fellow believers, Morgan braves intense heat and perils aplenty while embarking on his quest, but not even bruising his ribs is enough to stop Morgan from plugging away. Alas, a forest fire rains on everyone's parade, thereby leading to a simply devastating bummer ending. Boasting lots of breathtaking footage of the gorgeously verdant sylvan scenery as well as a plethora of fascinating information on Sasquatch, this documentary further benefits from its endearingly sincere and honest tone to its subject matter: The Bigfoot researchers are treated with utmost respect and there isn't even the faintest trace of any snarky cynicism to be found at any given moment. Essential viewing for Bigfoot buffs.

Entertaining episode, 22 August 2014
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Sweet young Audrey (a winningly perky portrayal by Theresa Saldana) lives in a trailer park with her mother Mildred (sharply played with considerable pluck by Margaret O'Brien). Audrey is just about to get married to the scrawny Robert (a lively and likable performance by Joe D'Angerio). However, Audrey doesn't know about a nightmarish family secret that makes itself apparent on her wedding night. Director Karl Epstein, working from a nicely quirky script by Michael McDowell, relates the enjoyable story at a steady pace, maintains an engaging tongue-in-cheek tone throughout, and elicits a few solid laughs from the amusing sense of cheery gallows humor (a gag involving spider webs being used as clotheslines in a bedroom in particular is quite clever and funny). Moreover, O'Brien and Saldana display a charming and unforced chemistry. The (not so) special effects are pretty goofy and unconvincing, but nonetheless possess a certain lovably ramshackle charm. A fun show.

A perfectly warped final entry in this supremely sick series, 21 August 2014
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Unhinged weapons expert Richard Jennings (ripely played with lip-smacking evil relish by writer/director Michael Findlay) continues his vicious misogynistic killing spree: He not only bumps off hookers and strippers, but also plans on killing his wife's swinging bisexual sister and her kinky boyfriend. The almighty sleaze cinema duo of Michael and Roberta Findlay crank up the deliriously twisted sadism and carnal depravity to the nice'n'nasty ninth degree: Jennings kills his victims with such novel things as an acid douche and his own poisoned season, plus we've got voyeurism, lesbianism, incest, oodles of yummy female nudity (full frontal this time, which was pretty racy stuff for the late 1960's), brutal torture with a lobster claw (!), bondage, and even a sex scene involving anal beads that's downright painful to watch. Voluptuous blonde Uta Erickson burns up the screen as the saucy Maria. Buxom brunette Rita Vance likewise provides a scrumptious eyeful as a horny hitchhiker. The rousing conclusion on the beach hits the stirring spot. Roberta Findlay's stark black and white cinematography gives this fetid flick a suitably seedy noir look. A scuzzy treat.


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