Random Film of the Week: Future Women

The Girl From Rio 1969 MPHey, I love looking at naked ladies in bad movies as much as the next guy or gal who loves looking at naked ladies in bad movies, but a film like the incomprehensible mess that is Future Women (or The Girl From Rio, Rio ’70, City Without Men, The Seven Secrets of Sumuru, Sumuru: Queen of Femina, and of all things, Mothers of America) makes me want to shift that hobby to watching paint dry or grass grow instead.

Directed by cult schlockmesiter supremo Jesús “Jess” Franco and seemingly edited by a team of eyeless chimps who probably dropped the film into a blender (and who also did some of the wretchedly amusing “special” effects), this is one of those lame Bond copycats that gets nothing right because its source material never should have been altered into the 007 wannabe nonsense-fest that will have your brain running out of the room about halfway in. But yeah, it’s got a bunch of naked and half-naked ladies and is kinda sorta of based on a story by Sax Rohmer , so there’s that. Continue reading

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Random Film of the Week: Detour

(thanks, TheVideoCellar!) 

detour_xlg“Whichever way you turn, fate sticks out a foot to trip you.”

I’ve seen Detour so many times since I first discovered it back in 1992 that I sometimes have dreams about it that stick to the plot but play from different viewpoints. If you thank that’s loopy, guess what? I’ve actually dreamed numerous times about writing a review of this and posting it here to the point that I even wrote a post last year saying I thought I did. Yeah, I got it bad for this one. Sure, it’s got its technical issues and every print I’ve seen from film to tape to DVD over about thirty years looks as if it’s been dragged under a bus going cross country on four flat tires. But the combined efforts of writer/screenwriter Martin Goldsmith, director Edgar G. Ulmer, actors Tom Neal, (the aptly named) Ann Savage, Edmund MacDonald, Claudia Drake along with composer Leo Erdody, editor George McGuire and cinematographer Ben Kline all add up to what I think is one of the greatest American film noir movies ever made (warts and all).

Granted, if you’re picky or looking for perfection and haven’t see this before, as an exercise in Moviemaking 101 this may not wow you much thanks to its numerous technical flaws and what could be called a one-note performance by the lead actor. On the other hand, the film’s simple story and how it’s told hits that sweet spot in the brain as it delivers its karmic blows to its principals and leaves the residue of cheap diner food, cheaper booze, cigarettes and bile swirling around in your skull. “Poverty Row” budget and short shooting schedule aside, the film’s impact is immediate and lasting thanks to the short run time and every shot meaning something (yes, even the bad ones). I bet you’ll get it bad when you see this for the first time, too… Continue reading

Because You Need Something To Do: “The Phantom Creeps” Could Use Some Watching…

(Thanks, Audiovisualchannel!) 
Okay, okay… I’ve been too busy this week, but I needed to go see all those toys and games this week because that’s part of my Cure for Everything (TM) treatment when I start to feel aged and creaky. Hey, better fun stuff than draining the blood of “wer-gins” any day of the week, right? RIGHT? Anyway, enjoy the movie, people. I’m going to go have a small dinner and pass out for a spell after that…

Random Film of the Week: The Big Heat

(thanks, MJmichand!)

The Big Heat MPSergeant Dave Bannion has absolutely ZERO luck with attractive women in Fritz Lang’s absolute classic 1953 noir The Big Heat. Granted, our initially 100% by-the-book cop (ably portrayed by Glenn Ford) IS a married man with a young daughter, so he doesn’t need to be around the ladies he ends up getting into trouble at all. Unfortunately, in one way or another they’re part of the case he’s working on, so he’s like a black cat in a suit here. Nearly every lady he comes across in this film goes through some sort of hell when and after he’s around that makes him some sort of magnet for bad luck and worse outcomes.

It’s a wonder he makes it through the film in one piece at all despite the efforts of some bad men to keep him off their cases and yes, far away from those doomed dames. For its time, the amount of violence and even some language was probably considered shocking by some viewers, and in at least one respect the film still packs a wallop. That wallop being Gloria Grahame’s portrayal of Debby Marsh, girlfriend of Lee Marvin’s overly brutal gangster-type, Vince Stone. But Stone is the least of Bannion’s problems when he investigates the suicide of a fellow police officer and gets wrapped up in some other things a wee bit over his head… Continue reading

Yep, Werner Herzog Will ALWAYS Be A Better Loser Than You…

(thanks, Acheronitapie!) 

The next time you lose a bet for a small or large amount of coin, just pay up and be glad you don’t have to cook as eat your damn shoe like Werner Herzog did back in 1980. Yes, it’s a REAL shoe as you’ll soon see. I was going to do this one as a Random Film of the Week, but as it’s only about 21 or so minutes long, it works better as today’s life lesson. Lose gracefully and if you’re going to cook a shoe, make sure you wash it a few times and maybe boil it afterward BEFORE you stuff and stew it for a mere five hours. I’ve respected the man ever since and that respect even bought him a pass for the great and truly bizarre Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call – New Orleans which isn’t a “bad” film once you get in on the fun bits and stop holding the original up on that pedestal.

Random Film of the Week: The Man With the Golden Arm

(thanks, OMP Drama!) 

The Man With The Golden ArmSure, drug addiction isn’t a laughing matter at all, but Otto Preminger’s 1955 classic The Man With the Golden Arm manages to be more hilarious each time I see it for a few reasons. Although it’s packing in a classic Elmer Bernstein score, a great Saul Bass title sequence, Preminger’s strong direction, some powerful performances from Frank (One Take) Sinatra, Kim Novak, and a bunch of very familiar faces, the simple fact is the film hasn’t aged well at all (but that’s a good thing).

What may have been seen as a deathly serious subject for a cautionary tale almost 60 years ago can now be enjoyed as a nearly non-stop riot of scenery chewing performance art with two of the funniest demises in a “serious” film. Granted, if you’re in a totally unfunny mood, the film still has its story and dramatic pacing to keep you hooked in. On the other hand, it’s hard not to get in a laugh at the film’s expense in a few spots…

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Random Film of the Week(end): Invasion of the Bee Girls

(Thanks, DST3K!) 

Invasion of the Bee Girls Was Invasion of the Bee Girls a modern feminist film disguised as a stupidly sexy 70’s exploitation flick? I’d say hell no, but for all its nudity and pervy middle-aged to old coots getting bedded and bumped off by a bevy of shapely babes with the power to kill any guy they mate with, there’s probably a message in there somewhere. I actually remember seeing this one as a kid one afternoon when it popped up on TV as a heavily edited (but still ridiculously racy) flick and it being a pretty hot topic at school the next day.

As I’ve “matured” and checked out the uncut version a few times since (hey, ONLY for research purposes!), it’s clear that all those hot and bothered guys (and a few gals) knew a while lot more about the birds and the bees that I did at that tender age…

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Random Film of the Week: A*P*E

(THANK YOU, Geno the Giant!!!) 

APEOK, I’ve been a bit busy and not keeping up with getting more of these RFotW posts up as I’d like when I’d like to, but here’s a case where having a huge backlog of future posts might be a good thing. I looked at my long (and growing) list of films and instead of randomly selecting one, picked the first one on that list and thankfully, didn’t need to go far to track it down. I wanted a trailer, but the first thing I found was the full movie, always a good thing when it’s legal.

On the other hand… this particular post is about the horrifically terrible and stupid Korean King Kong pastiche that is A*P*E, so you may not agree at all. Then again, it’s hard to hate a film so bad it starts off unintentionally hilarious, gets a tiny bit “serious” turns into a parody of the film and genres it’s trying too hard to copy then goes back to (sort of) being serious at its finale. Yeah, A*P*E swings both ways and then some. Yes, that’s the full film above – pull up a chair or couch and make sure you’re sitting close to the floor, as you may fall off whatever you’re sitting on a few times…

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Random Film of the Week(end) – (Summer Edition!): Ball of Fire


(thank you, Victor Creed!) 

ball of fire p2longImagine this as a movie idea today: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs with Snow being an extremely talented exotic dancer type and those dwarfs a bunch of stuffy but eager to learn elderly eggheads she ends up hanging out with to teach them all the things they didn’t know. Once you get your eyeballs above the obvious jiggle-tease material and plentiful opportunities for modern day humor sixteen writers working together come up with, the results would probably be pretty darn terrible.

I can see the trailer now: two minutes, thirty eight or so of slow-mo cleavage shots and some special guest cameo coot rattling off one-liners, plus someone getting hit in the nether regions with a golf, basket or other ball, maybe a nice pratfall, a fart joke, a fat girl joke and some annoying music on that soundtrack that doesn’t even fit. Yeah, that’s not a movie I’d want to see at all. Fortunately, Howard Hawks’ 1941 film Ball of Fire takes the Snow White and thanks to a wonderfully funny and sassy Barbara Stanwyck helping loosen up those old guys (and an even stuffier Gary Cooper), a great script and plenty of screwball humor, it still holds up today as a total riot.

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It’s Tuesday, Right? Time To Take A Little DETOUR…

(thanks, TheVideoCellar!) 

Yeah, you had a bad day at work, right? You look like you could use a break from that grumbling and mumbling about chasing your boss around the office with a blunt object as well as a little lesson in karma. Here’s probably the best cure for your troubles in one of the most amazing film noir gems you’ll ever hit your eyeballs with. I think I did a Random Film of the Week on Detour previously, but I’m too tired to check.

EDIT! Nope, I did NOT do one – this will be rectified soon!)

Anyway, pull up a seat, Pete and feast your eyeballs on this dusty jewel that still packs quite a punch. Watch out for Ann Savage as Vera here – she’ll cut you if you don’t watch your back… or worse… maybe.