Reviews written by registered user
|252 reviews in total|
Helmut Berger, leisure suits, Jamaica, the 70's..you know what you are in for. "Order To Kill" delivers all the style, the great music and atmosphere that we expect from this genre. Helmut is down in the tropics, an assassin targeted by other assassins. He's got a gorgeous, but emotionally messed up girl, who happens to be the possession of his arch rival. There are prostitutes and gangsters and espionage. And the only 70's figure that can match the coolness of Helmut Berger, is Fabio Testi who, sadly is not in "Order To Kill." Recommended for fans of the genre. I would love to find an original widescreen print because this movie contains some beautiful location photography as well. Also check out "Mad Dog Killer," also with Helmut..you won't be disappointed.
"Roma Drogata" is a disaster on every level. The film as aged terribly, where most Italian crime films from that era look better now than they did then. Tired story centers on the son of a wealthy family, who for some reason has plucked eyebrows more severe than Joan Crawford, and is wearing more makeup than a clown, who wants to get his hands on some hard drugs. He wants to throw a party and provide the party favors, so a bunch of ugly, drugged out hippies can hang out at his house and use him for drugs. Bud Cort, looking seedy and creepy is a drug pusher along with his girlfriend. There are some hallucination scenes which are hilariously dated and cheesy, and the rich boy's father is a rabid right winger who feels that all drug dealers, addicts, and thieves should be burned at the stake. And this features the worst soundtrack ever. The cheesy, dated songs made me nauseous. Complete drivel. It doesn't help that the cast is so damn unattractive either. Don't bother with this one. If you want to see a good drug-themed film from Italy, search out "Amore tossico." Now that is a well-made and serious film about the drug scene.
Wow, I find it hard to believe that THIS 19 minute piece of glossy, soft core garbage created such controversy in the UK. Basically this is 19 minutes of a "nun" who looks like an 80's hooker, writhing around on the floor to cheesy, awful 80's synth music. Then she has a lesbian coupling with another bimbo, then she bangs a dude who is supposed to be Jesus, but looks more like the singer in an alternative band. Laughably bad and dated, with not a word of dialogue. It's not even artistic. no more so than you will see in a late night cable production, or Playboy TV. A big waste of time..at 19 minutes this is too long.
Here it is, the movie that inspired Bryan DePalma's "Scarface," and when you see "L'ambizioso" you will recognize it immediately. The story is the same, changing only the locales. Aldo, played by cult actor Joe Dallesandro in possibly his biggest role, is a New York born, small time criminal, who comes to Naples to make a name for himself. He goes from a small time gig of hawking black market cigarettes, and methodically claws his way to the top of the criminal underworld, after being betrayed by a colleague. The story arc is the same as DePalma's iconic film, which came a decade later. Filled with action, bloody shootouts, and searing drama, this is one epic movie. Little-known director Pasquale Squitieri made a series of these gangster movies, and they are all brilliant. This guy really knew his stuff. He seemed to have an understanding for bad guys as he tells the story always from their point of view. and he makes us sympathize with them, and even have immense respect for them. Which is why these movies might not be appropriate for young, impressionable minds. For fans of crime cinema and Italian mafia films, "L'ambizioso" is required viewing, and is worth tracking down.
This is one strange piece of exploitation, which is probably why it is so obscure. We have a gang of over privileged teens, led by one extremely over privileged sociopath named Marco, who's father is a completely amoral industrialist who seems to get off on his son's nihilistic behavior. This baby faced gang leader, Marco, rules his crew in a clubhouse decorated with WWII Nazi flags and photos of Hitler. Obsessed with far right politics, Marco seems to hate everyone who is different from him. He also hates women, and I lost count of how many females get raped and beaten in this twisted exploitation gem. This one is pretty twisted, but it never fails to fascinate. Has a similar tone to "Clockwork Orange," as the kids are committing acts of violence just for the thrill of it. They go from one victim to the next, never showing a thread of remorse. The cast is very good looking, and there is no shortage of nudity and sex throughout. This is actually an interesting study of how one person can control and earn respect from his peers, simply by being vicious. Obviously this film isn't for all tastes, but for exploit connoisseurs, and fans of the Italian 'Poliziatti' genre, "I ragazzi della Roma violente" is worth tracking down.
There is something so strange about this production. The film stock
they used is definitely not the same as is used by mainstream
filmmakers. It looks almost like Super 8mm or something primitive and
cheap. The performances are all beyond awful, like they cast
good-looking non-actors to act in it. As far as Clu Gallager's
presence, I suspect somebody got the man drunk and tricked him into
signing a contract to appear in this seemingly student-film production.
But as poor of a film as "Teen Vamp" is, I still give it 6 stars here, first, because it is so weird and obscure. And it has some other qualities too. For some reason I found it kind of erotic, despite the fact that there is no graphic sex. The vampire is a strange looking guy who is obsessed with an unattainable female classmate who snubs him for being a loser. But when he is transformed into a blood sucker with creepy white eyes, she suddenly gets all hot for him. Simultanaesly she shows that, even though she is a pretty blond airhead, she actually has a fascination with evil. She even takes him to an abandoned house where a man decapitated his twin babies and switched their heads! Also, you keep expecting it be a comedy, but it never really gets there. Instead it remains quite dark and sinister. Others bitched about the make-up effects but I thought they were fine, and the white vampire eyes were suitably creepy. And I'm surprised nobody mentioned the heavy atmospheric quality it has. The washed out film stock, the 1950's cars and clothes, and this seedy quality somehow comes together nicely. The actor they cast as Murphy the vampire is suitably skinny and creepy-looking, but also kind of sexy. He reminded me of Ryan Gosling, if Ryan Gosling smoked a lot of crack and had some mental issues. Weird, very obscure title, that I'm sure is not easy to find. But worth searching for if you are obsessed with vampires..or just truly strange cinema.
Rare, earlier Rudy Valentino film from 1918, and one where Rudy gets to
play a truly evil character. As the Count Roberto Di Fraccini, he is a
fortune hunting gigolo, who uses his sex appeal to seduce a young
virgin into becoming his wife. He cares nothing for the innocent girl,
but has an eye on her vast inheritance. When blackmailing her father
doesn't work, the Count and his lover, (the young girl's mother-in law
no less!) devise an evil plan.
High drama, broken hearted damsels, and villains; it's what the Great Era of Silent Cinema was all about. Valentino might have shown more brightly in later, more high profile films like "Four Horsemen of the Apocalaypse" and "Blood & Sand," but here is a chance to see him in a more stark, and edgy performance. It's wonderful that this early film has survived through the years, and has even had a DVD release. "The Married Virgin" is absolute essential viewing For Valentino fans. Another reviewer commented on the 'choppy script' and inconsistencies, but I saw none. Maybe this person saw a different, or incomplete cut of the film. I thought this was near perfect..and it took years for me to acquire this title, but it was worth the effort.
Not really a "vampire movie" as the title suggests, this ultra-obscure
Iranian film is still quite haunting and atmospheric. A handsome
playboy visits his best friend in the Iranian countryside, only to
discover that he he has a younger sister who is stunningly beautiful.
She is also very naive and innocent, but he cannot resist the young
girl's beauty, and he seduces her. She falls for him, her first love,
and gives him her virginity. This is a very risqué subject for an
Iranian film, as sex before marriage is strictly forbidden in this
culture. Anyway he departs soon after, promising the girl that he will
return for her. But in the city of Tehran, he meets a married woman,
embarks on another affair, and soon forgets about his country
sweetheart. Invariably this selfish man ruins the lives of both women,
as the young girl ends up pregnant with his child, and the marriage of
the city woman is destroyed. Well the two women decide to plan a very
clever revenge for this man, that involves an evil curse and vampires.
As is the case with most Iranian films, this is a moral tale, that teaches a lesson in morality as it entertains. As I said, this title is ultra-rare, and the only copy I was able to find was an ancient transfer of a poor quality VHS tape. I'm sure this was gorgeous to look at in it's original form. But even watching the awful quality video, the beauty shines through. "Vampire Woman" is worth tracking down for fans of Iranian cinema. Hopefully some day it will be restored and released for a new generation to enjoy. Featuring many wonderful scenes of both Tehran, and the countryside, and offering a fascinating glimpse of Iranian music and culture, this is one film that deserves to be rediscovered.
The version I saw of this very obscure title, ran roughly 58 minutes,
so I'm not sure what is missing from this print. This site lists the
original run time of 73 minutes. If plot and story was cut, then I
would surely love to see this in it's full length version.
"Blue Balloon" is sleazy, grindhouse porn, to be sure. But the storyline does draw you in, if you let it. This young woman is spotted at the airport, by a truly despicable woman in a wig and dark sunglasses, who pretends to be concerned about the girl's welfare. Having just said goodbye to her boyfriend as he goes away to the army, she is distraught, and allows herself to be drugged and taken to a seedy apartment. She is kept high on marijuana joints laced with heroin, in order to keep her in line, as she is repeatedly raped by paying male customers. At one point she escapes, but her new addiction keeps her working the streets, until one night a familiar face reappears..
These 1970's exploit films sometimes have this strange, atmospheric quality, and "Blue Balloon" is certainly one of those. If there was just a little more story, or some more non-sexual scenes, this could have been better. And I suspect that the long version might be just that. Even so, this is a curiosity piece that will be interesting to fans of vintage grindhouse cinema.
After seeing the enjoyable "Coming of Sin" and the horror classic
"Vampyres," I decided to give this one a try, despite it's low rating.
What a difference a decade can make. This ugly, artless "Rosemary's
Baby" rip off, possesses none of the beauty and artistry as the stuff
from the 70's. Instead we have synth music, big hair and tons of tacky
sex scenes, possibly to make up for everything else this movie is
lacking. A woman, played by an actress who can't seem to stop pushing
her petrified hairstyle back with her hand, (a pointless gesture as
nobody in this crap has hair that moves.) She arrives with her husband
at the estate of her brother, who has died mysteriously. She finds that
her sister-in-law is not what she pretends, and she begins to suspect
that she is a devil worshiping witch. Cue the 'special herb tea' ala
'tannis root' and the naked old people at Satanic sex rituals, and the
old shtick about the wife being the last to know etc..
I know the 80's was a time of filmmakers copying earlier, more successful films, and there have been some good ones. But "Black Candles" is really a waste of time. And I forced myself to sit through the entire thing, just so I could say I had seen it..only to find the worst, dumbest, and most incoherent ending I have ever seen. So unless you need to see a woman having sex with a goat, there really is absolutely no reason to waste your valuable time. Just revisit "Vampyres" from this same director, which is a horror classic.
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