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Nest of Vipers & Tails, You Lose…

Guest Reviewer Lee Broughton is back, with another Italo Western double bill DVD review. Wild East’s ongoing Spaghetti Western Collection continues to grow and this double bill release is particularly welcome since it features two obscure and wholly idiosyncratic genre entries from 1969. Italian Western directors had found it relatively easy to appropriate key plot points and ideas from Sergio Leone’s Dollars films during the genre’s early years but when Leone’s sprawling, mega-budgeted, meta-Western Once Upon a Time in the West was released in 1968 it was clear that this was one genre entry that local filmmakers would not be able to easily emulate.

With scriptwriters and directors now essentially being forced to come up with their own ideas and generic trends, a new wave of Spaghetti Westerns were produced that effectively took the genre in a multitude of new directions. The two films featured here were part of that wave.
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Rolling Thunder Midnights April 8th and 9th at The Moolah

“You learn to love the rope. That’s how you beat ’em. That’s how you beat people who torture you. You learn to love ’em. Then they don’t know you’re beatin’ ’em.”

Rolling Thunder (1977) screens Midnights next weekend (April 8th and 9th) at The Moolah Theater and Lounge (3821 Lindell Blvd, St. Louis, Mo 63108) as part of Destroy the Brain’s monthly Late Night Grindhouse film series.

Paul Schrader followed his Taxi Driver screenplay with the one for Rolling Thunder, a gritty revenge thriller directed by John Flynn in 1977. Similarities abound as both are about Vietnam vets who are ticking time bombs pushed to the brink by the violence they’ve come home to. But Rolling Thunder’s plot eventually veers from character study into a Death Wish-style vigilante thriller. Like Taxi Driver, it leads slowly toward a cathartic bloodbath finale. Rolling Thunder is highly regarded by fans and critics alike,
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

16mm Screening of Easy Rider March 7th at Schlafly Bottleworks

“You know, this used to be a helluva good country. I can’t understand what’s gone wrong with it.”

Easy Rider screens in 16mm at 7:30pm Monday March 7th at Schlafly Bottleworks in Maplewood

The perfect film to watch in old-school 16mm!

Easy Rider (1969) is much more than a 60s relic – it’s still a great movie even today. I find it fascinating that Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda took Roger Corman material and gave it an European- influenced arthouse approach. Combined with breathtaking visuals, a well-chosen rock soundtrack and some classic, stoned, improvised dialogue Easy Rider is still an impressive movie all these years later. Fonda had recently made The Wild Angels, Hopper the less remembered The Glory Stompers, and Jack Nicholson Hells Angels On Wheels, but Easy Rider reinvented the biker movie (or technically created a new subgenre: the “hippy” Biker Film), and things were never
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Superficial 'News,' Mineo-Dean Bromance-Romance and Davis' fading 'Star': 31 Days of Oscar

'Broadcast News' with Albert Brooks and Holly Hunter: Glib TV news watch. '31 Days of Oscar': 'Broadcast News' slick but superficial critics pleaser (See previous post: “Phony 'A Beautiful Mind,' Unfairly Neglected 'Swing Shift': '31 Days of Oscar'.”) Heralded for its wit and incisiveness, James L. Brooks' multiple Oscar-nominated Broadcast News is everything the largely forgotten Swing Shift isn't: belabored, artificial, superficial. That's very disappointing considering Brooks' highly addictive Mary Tyler Moore television series (and its enjoyable spin-offs, Phyllis and Rhoda), but totally expected considering that three of screenwriter-director Brooks' five other feature films were Terms of Endearment, As Good as It Gets, and Spanglish. (I've yet to check out I'll Do Anything and the box office cataclysm How Do You Know starring Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, and Jack Nicholson.) Having said that, Albert Brooks (no relation to James L.; or to Mel Brooks
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

16mm Screening of Easy Rider October 5th at Schlafly Bottleworks

“You know, this used to be a helluva good country. I can’t understand what’s gone wrong with it.”

Easy Rider screens in 16mm at 7:30pm Monday October 5th at Schlafly Bottleworks in Maplewood

The perfect film to watch in old-school 16mm!

Easy Rider (1969) is much more than a 60s relic – it’s still a great movie even today. I find it fascinating that Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda took Roger Corman material and gave it an European- influenced arthouse approach. Combined with breathtaking visuals, a well-chosen rock soundtrack and some classic, stoned, improvised dialogue Easy Rider is still an impressive movie all these years later. Fonda had recently made The Wild Angels, Hopper the less remembered The Glory Stompers, and Jack Nicholson Hells Angels On Wheels, but Easy Rider reinvented the biker movie (or technically created a new subgenre: the “hippy” Biker Film), and things were never
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Easy Rider Screens on 16mm August 3rd at Schlafly Bottleworks

“You know, this used to be a helluva good country. I can’t understand what’s gone wrong with it.”

Easy Rider screens in 16mm at 7:30pm Monday August 3rd at Schlafly Bottleworks in Maplewood

Easy Rider (1969) is much more than a 60s relic – it’s still a great movie even today. I find it fascinating that Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda took Roger Corman material and gave it an European- influenced arthouse approach. Combined with breathtaking visuals, a well-chosen rock soundtrack and some classic, stoned, improvised dialogue Easy Rider is still an impressive movie all these years later. Fonda had recently made The Wild Angels, Hopper the less remembered The Glory Stompers, and Jack Nicholson Hells Angels On Wheels, but Easy Rider reinvented the biker movie (or technically created a new subgenre: the “hippy” Biker Film), and things were never quite the same in Hollywood for the rest of the Seventies.
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

‘The Beast Within’ Blu-ray Review (Arrow Video)

Stars: Ronny Cox, Bibi Besch, Paul Clemens, Don Gordon, R.G. Armstrong, Katherine Moffat, L.Q. Jones, Logan Ramsey, John Dennis Johnston, Ron Soble, Luke Askew, Meshach Taylor, Boyce Holleman | Written by Tom Holland | Directed by Philippe Mora

The Beast Within is a strange movie, you spend a lot of the time thinking it’s a strange werewolf film and the rest wondering just what the hell the beast is. The fact is though if you take your time and watch it you realise that the so-called Beast is unique, by listening to the commentary and watching the documentary included in this release you realise that the creature is in fact a cicada. I know, I had to look up what it was too.

The Beast Within starts with newlyweds Eli and Caroline MacCleary (Ronny Cox and Bibi Besch) enjoying their honeymoon until their car breaks down on a cold dark country road.
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »

‘The Beast Within’ Blu-ray Review (Scream Factory)

Stars: Ronny Cox, Bibi Besch, Paul Clemens, Don Gordon, R.G. Armstrong, Katherine Moffat, L.Q. Jones, Logan Ramsey, John Dennis Johnston, Ron Soble, Luke Askew, Meshach Taylor, Boyce Holleman | Written by Tom Holland | Directed by Philippe Mora

When I was a kid, there were two movies that terrified me as a kid. This wasn’t the creeping dread I felt when I watched Night of the Living Dead or The Twilight Zone. No, this was outright fear, the kind that sends you under the covers, sleeping in a sheen of sweat with the lights on. And maybe it sounds silly but as someone with a highly overactive imagination who lived in the woods, I don’t find it silly at the time. But now when you’re older, you look back and feel stupid about some of the things that terrified you or the film just isn’t that good. The
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »

Blu-ray Reviews: The Beast Within and Crawlspace

  • DailyDead
Scream Factory, ever busy preserving horror’s cinematic legacy, recently released another pair of cult classics on Blu-ray, The Beast Within and Crawlspace. Today, we have another double review taking a look back at these two often overlooked genre films.

The Beast Within: The Beast Within is the first theatrical screenplay by now genre vet, Tom Holland (Fright Night, Child’s Play). It follows a sickly 17-year-old named Michael MacCleary (Paul Clemens), who, as it turns out, has the misfortune of being the offspring of a violent encounter between a murderous swamp beast and his mother (Bibi Besch). And as Michael begins awkwardly transitioning into a man on the eve of his 18th birthday, he’s also forced to deal with the terrifying evil growing inside that he must overcome. Because, if he doesn’t face his true nature, Michael may forever be lost to his swamp beast lurking
See full article at DailyDead »

South Of Heaven, West Of Hell – The DVD Review

Review by Sam Moffitt

I think everybody knows Dwight Yoakum as a hell of a good singer, an excellent song writer and one of Country music’s biggest stars. How many people know he directed a terrific western with all the elements we expect of a good western movie?

Yoakum shocked me, quite frankly, with his appearance in Sling Blade, Billy Bob Thornton’s masterpiece. From everything I’ve heard Yoakum is a very nice guy with his feet firmly on the ground and treats his fans with a great deal of respect. In Sling Blade he was all too believable as a complete son of a bitch. Where did a non actor get those kind of chops? In fact he is so good at playing an evil character it’s shocking. When Carl finally lays into him to put an end to it you want to stand up and cheer.
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

‘Nest of Vipers’ showcases Giulio Petroni’s complex plotting and atmospheric set pieces

Nest of Vipers (Night of the Serpent)

Directed by Giulio Petroni

Italy, 1969

Though Giulio Petroni has only rather few titles to his name when compared with his prolific, and better known, counterparts, the Italian director does have the bragging rights of working with both Lee Van Cleef (Death Rides a Horse, 1967) and Orson Welles (Tepepa, 1969).

It’s Petroni’s Nest of Vipers, recently released alongside Pierro Pierotti’s less successful Tails You Lose (1969), by Wild East Productions, that showcases the director’s talent for complex plotting and atmospheric set pieces.

Similar to the earlier Ringo series by Duccio Tessari, and to the now time-honored traditions of Leone and Corbucci, the structure of Nest of Vipers pits the outsider (here, and often, the“gringo”) versus a band of outlaws, where a largely unassuming and tight-knit community is caught in between and unawares.

Luke Askew, probably best known for roles in Easy Rider and Cool Hand Luke,
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Donna Summer's Lung Cancer, Explained

Donna Summer's Lung Cancer, Explained
Disco legend Donna Summer has passed away at age 63, from what news reports say was a battle with lung cancer.

TMZ reported that Summer was private about her illness, and that there may have been a connection between debris from 9/11 and her lung cancer:

TMZ has learned ... Donna died from lung cancer. Several sources are telling us Donna believed she contracted it by inhaling toxic particles after the 9/11 attack in New York City.

However, there are very few details about Summer's cancer, or if there were any complications that were involved with her death.

The family of the "She Works Hard for the Money" singer issued a statement, Afp reported, which said: "While we grieve her passing, we are at peace celebrating her extraordinary life and her continued legacy. Words truly can't express how much we appreciate your prayers and love for our family at this sensitive time."

Lung cancer is the No.
See full article at Huffington Post »

DVD Playhouse--May 2012

DVD Playhouse – May 2012

By Allen Gardner

Shame (20th Century Fox) Director Steve McQueen’s harrowing portrait of a Manhattan sex addict (Michael Fassbender, in the year’s most riveting performance) whose psyche goes into overload when his equally-troubled sister (Carey Mulligan) visits unexpectedly. Exquisitely-made on every level, save for the screenplay, which makes its point after about thirty minutes. While it tries hard to be a modern-day Last Tango in Paris, this fatal flaw makes it fall somewhat short. The much- ballyhooed sex scenes and frontal nudity are the least-interesting things about the film, incidentally, which is still a must-see for discriminating adults who seek out challenging material. Also available on Blu-ray disc. Bonuses: Featurettes. Widescreen. Dolby and DTS-hd 5.1 surround.

Being John Malkovich (Criterion) Spike Jonze’s madcap film of Charlie Kaufman’s script, regarding a socially-disenfranchised puppeteer (John Cusack) who finds a portal into the mind of actor
See full article at The Hollywood Interview »

5 May DVD Titles You Should Know About Including '1900,' 'Castle In The Sky' & 'Flareup'

Well we're back again with the bumper crop of must-have DVDs and Blu-rays for the month of May – from historic Italian epics to underground American sensations to a chilly, expressionistic film noir to movies where Raquel Welch plays a Vegas showgirl fleeing a murderer – we’ve got them all hear for you. So look on below to see what's worth your money this month....

"1900" (1976) Blu-ray

Why You Should Care: At the time of its release, Bernardo Bertolucci's historical epic was said to be the most expensive (requiring the financial commitment of three major studios – 20th Century Fox, Paramount, and United Artists) and ambitious ever mounted in Italy. It's a tale of two friends (played by Robert De Niro and Gerard Depardieu), born on the same day at the dawn of the 20th century, and the way that their lives crisscross, intersect, and diverge wildly over the rocky course of history.
See full article at The Playlist »

Daily Briefing. The Far East, Megacities and Music

  • MUBI
The Terracotta Far East Film Festival is on in London through the weekend, presenting, as Electric Sheep notes in the introduction to its newish issue, "the UK premiere of Sion Sono's Himizu [review: John Bleasdale], using a comic to tackle the fallout from Fukushima." Es takes "a look at manga adaptations with Takashi Miike's stylized, violent high school movie Crows Zero [comic strip review: Joe Morgan] and Toshiya Fujita's 70s revenge tale Lady Snowblood: Blizzard from the Netherworld [review: Virginie Sélavy]."

Hiroyuki Okiura's A Letter to Momo, seven years in the making, opens in Japan next week after a run through the festival circuit and, in the Japan Times, Mark Schilling gives it four out of five stars: "Hayao Miyazaki is the obvious point of comparison, but unlike many of Miyazaki's more fanciful landscapes, Okiura's port is vividly, recognizably real — so much so that you can almost smell the salt in the water and feel the warmth of the stones.
See full article at MUBI »

Actor Askew Dead At 80

  • WENN
Actor Askew Dead At 80
Character actor Luke Askew has passed away at the age of 80.

He died at his Lake Oswego, Oregon home after a long battle with ill health on 29 March.

Francis Luke Askew first attended the University of Georgia and honed his acting skills in several Off-Broadway plays.

He later made his feature film debut alongside Michael Caine and Faye Dunaway in Hurry Sundown and he subsequently played a sadistic prison guard in Paul Newman's Cool Hand Luke.

He also took on the role of Sergeant Provo in John Wayne's The Green Berets but Askew is perhaps best known for portraying the wayward stranger who led Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper to a hippie commune in 1969 classic Easy Rider.

Askew additionally appeared in several hit TV shows throughout his career, including Walker, Texas Ranger, MacGyver, The Six Million Dollar Man, Everwood, and most recently Big Love.

Luke Askew – Character Actor Dead at 80

He may be best known as the hitchhiker who took Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda to the hippy commune in Easy Rider (1969) or as “Boss Paul” in Cool Hand Luke (1967) but my favorite Luke Askew moment was when, as the scary “Automatic Slim”, he shoved William Devane’s hand down the garbage disposal in Rolling Thunder (1976). Tall, intense, and imposing, Askew was often cast as villains and in westerns such as Will Penney (1968), Pat Garret And Billy The Kid, and The Culpepper Cattle Company (both 1973). Askew did a ton of TV work including a most recent stint as Hollis Green on Big Love. I don’t recall him ever in a leading role but he was a familiar, dependable character actor who I always enjoyed seeing on screen. Askew died at his home in Oregon last Monday at age 80 and I have not yet heard the cause of death.
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

What to buy this week: DVD & Blu-Ray releases for Monday 17th January

Well, three weeks into January and the DVD and Blu-ray releases are heating up, with some of last summers biggest movies finally hitting the home formats, and some classic re-releases… Here’s the weeks highlights:

Grown Ups (DVD & Blu-ray)

In the tradition of The Big Chill, five childhood friends (Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade and Rob Schneider) reunite after 30 years to attend the funeral of their beloved youth basketball coach over the Fourth of July weekend. They all stay at the late coach’s lake house with their families in tow. Comedy ensues as they relive old times, tease each other, and try to show their kids how to have fun the old fashion way. The hilarious reunion shows them not only how different their lives have become, but how much they still have in common.

The Switch (DVD & Blu-ray)

Seven years after the birth of his son,
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »

America Lost And Found: The Bbs Story Criterion Collection Blu-Ray Review

Bob Rafelson started a production company called Raybert (a combination of his name and producer Bert Schneider) when he was working on the Monkees television show. But Rafelson had cinematic aspirations, and so he took the Monkees to the big screen and started a production company with Bert and Steven Blauner called Bbs. Between Raybert and Bbs they made seven films: The Monkees’ feature film Head; Dennis Hopper’s seminal biker movie Easy Rider, Rafelson’s masterpiece Five Easy Pieces, Jack Nicholson’s directorial debut Drive, He Said, Henry Jaglom’s first film A Safe Place, Peter Bogdanovich’s career starting film about small town sexuality The Last Picture Show, and Rafelson’s The King of Marvin Gardens. Seven film in four years, with regulars Karen Black, Jack Nicholson, Bruce Dern, Ellen Burstyn, and stars like Peter Fonda, Cybil Shepherd, Jeff Bridges, and Orson Welles, made during one of the
See full article at Collider.com »

DVD Playhouse--November 2009

DVD Playhouse—November 2009

By

Allen Gardner

Watchmen—The Ultimate Cut (Warner Bros.) Director Zack Snyder’s film of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ landmark graphic novel is as worthy an adaptation of a great book that has ever been filmed. In an alternative version of the year 1985, Richard Nixon is serving his third term as President and super heroes have been outlawed by a congressional act, in spite of the fact that two of the most high-profile “masks,” Dr. Manhattan (Billy Cruddup) and The Comedian (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) helped the U.S. win the Vietnam War. When The Comedian is found murdered, many former heroes become concerned that a conspiracy is afoot to assassinate retired costumed crime fighters. Former masks Nite Owl (Patrick Wilson), Silk Spectre (Malin Akerman) and still-operating Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley, in an Oscar-worthy turn) launch an investigation of their own, all while the Pentagon’s “Doomsday
See full article at The Hollywood Interview »
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