Sunday, February 25, 2018

The Erotic Adventures of Pinocchio (1971)

Director: Corey Allen

Writers: Chris Warfield, Corey Allen, Carlo Collodi

Composer: John Barber

Starring: Alex Roman, Monica Gayle, Dyanne Thorne, Karen Smith, Eduardo Ranez, Lavina Dawson, Debbie Osborne, Vincene Wallace, Neola Graef, Gwen Van Dam, Elizabeth Bell, Uschi Digard

More info: IMDb

Tagline: It's not his nose that grows!

Plot: This is a bawdy burlesque version of the famous fairy tale. Instead of Gepetto, the old-man woodcarver, we have Geppeta (Gayle), an apparently frustrated and nubile young virgin. Geppeta carves Pinocchio (Roman) for herself as a gorgeous young hunk. Geppeta's fairy godmother (Thorne) magically transforms the young stud Pinocchio into a living man, who is quickly brought to work in the local whorehouse as a prize stud and exhibitionist.

My rating: 4/10

Will I watch it again?  No.

#44 on the Uschi Digard Needs to Have My Babies Project

These storybook adult movies are generally pretty bad.  This one is no exception.  The good thing about this (and them) is the gratuitous nudity but this one is softcore so as not to offend the kiddies. There are LOADS of tits, a little ass and no dicks (sorry straight ladies and gay guys).  There's also a lot of comedy that rarely lands.  It's groan-inducing at times.  What hurt my ears is the incredible amount of screaming, loud sounds and people.  It's a noisy as fuck picture.  Besides the gratuitous nudity (and the women are naturally attractive with lovely bodies) the only other thing I liked was Eduardo Ranez as Jo Jo, the man who exploits Pinocchio as a sex performer.  He's great and he also had the only laughs as far as I'm concerned.  And I'm shocked that he's only got this one credit on IMDb.  If you like your bevy of boobs in a loud and obnoxious movie then this has your name written all over it.  And another thing, did Dyanne Thorne get a boob job after this?  There's a remarkable difference between her lovely self in this and her lovely self in ILSA: SHE WOLF OF THE SS (1975).  Just sayin'.  Oh, and if you're an Uschi Digard connoisseur like me then you're going to be very disappointed.  She's literally in this picture for about a half a minute. 

OMFG.  I want her to have my babies.  I don't care how old she is now. 

$ (Dollars) (1971)

Director: Richard Brooks

Writer: Richard Brooks

Composer: Quincy Jones

Starring: Warren Beatty, Goldie Hawn, Gert Frobe, Robert Webber, Scott Brady, Arthur Brauss, Robert Stiles, Wolfgang Kieling

More info: IMDb

Tagline: The BIG bank-heist is on!

Plot: A bank security expert plots with a call girl to rob three safety deposit boxes containing $1.5 million in cash belonging to three very different criminals from a high-tech security bank in Hamburg, Germany.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again?  No.

Don't be fooled by the trailer or the poster.  This is not a comedy.  Goldie Hawn giggling a lot doesn't make it so.  It's a straight up heist movie that leans light.  The first hour is the setup, the next half hour is the slow process of getting the money (which really takes up too much time for what little is done) and the last half hour of this two hour flick is eluding the criminals Joe (Beatty) and Dawn (Hawn) stole from.  That's rather dull, too.  I'm disappointed to say the least.  Writer/director Richard Brooks was an immense talent who wrote and directed an impressive amount of classic films.  Check out his credits.  I'll wait.  The pacing is what hurts the film the most I think.  Well, that and the story needs help.  The build up should've been shorter, as well as the heist and climax.  It's not thrilling, funny, cute, romantic or fun.  Beatty is being Beatty and Hawn is adorable but they do as much with their roles as was there I suppose.  It was great, though, seeing Gert Frobe and speaking English with his own voice instead of being dubbed as he often was for English speaking audiences.  The score by Quincy Jones is often fun.  And there's boobs!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Iron Man (1931)

Director: Tod Browning

Writers: W.R. Burnett, Francis Edward Faragoh

Starring: Lew Ayres, Robert Armstrong, Jean Harlow, John Miljan, Edward Dillon, Mike Donlin, Morrie Cohan, Mary Doran, Mildred Van Dorn, Ned Sparks

More info: IMDb

Plot: Prizefighter Mason loses his opening fight so wife Rose leaves him for Hollywood. Without her around Mason trains and starts winning. Rose comes back and wants Mason to dump his manager Regan and replace him with her secret lover Lewis.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again?  No.

Released between two of Tod Browning's greatest known films, DRACULA (1931) and FREAKS (1932), this flick tells the origin of Kid Mason (AKA Tony Stark/Iron Man) and his quest to be the boxing champ of the world (AKA fly around the world killin' bad guys and bangin' hot broads).  His manager and best friend, George (AKA Happy Hogan), does his best to keep the Kid focused on what he needs to do (AKA ridding the world of bad guys and bangin' hot broads).  Now, when the Kid falls for a bad news dame, Rose (Harlow) (AKA Pepper Potts), and marries her, his world goes to shit and he fights hard to keep his title in the climactic fight against a low ranking challenger (AKA pick any boring ass villain from the MCU that never gets enough screen time to develop).  So there you go, kids, that's Iron Man!

It's OK.  The only music in the film is sourced from radios and whatnot.  It could've benefited from a score but that was how things were in the early days of sound pictures.  The acting is just as you'd expect for the period as is just about everything else.  Robert Armstrong is good for some laughs (intentional) and he plays a big part in moving the picture along.  The ending is great, too.  Overall it was a pleasurable experience but nothing notable enough to ever need to see again.  In case my jokey sarcasm didn't come across, this has absolutely nothing to do with comic book super heroes.  The film came across my radar from the name and then the talent involved.  Now if I could only find a 1930s movie called GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY about a union boss trying to start a local on Mars I'd be tickled to pieces.

Soul Patrol (1976)

Original title: Death of a Snowman

Director: Christopher Rowley

Writer: Bima Stagg

Composers: Trevor Rabin, Fransua Roos, Robert Schroeder, Patric van Blerk

Starring: Nigel Davenport, Ken Gampu, Peter Dyneley, Bima Stagg, Madala Mphahlele, Morrison Gampu, Joe Lopes, Hal Orlandini, Steve Cohen, Stuart Brown

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Rougher & Tougher Than Anything You Have Seen Before

Plot: A white cop and a black reporter join forces to investigate apparent vigilante killings in the South African underworld.

My rating: 5.5/10

Will I watch it again?  No.

I really wish the print I saw were better.  It was rough, dirty and dark (there's a joke there somewhere I think), the sound was rough which all made it difficult to watch.  I'm a huge fan of Davenport so there's that.  I also watched this because it's the only South African Blaxploitation picture I know of.  I hope there's more and that they're better than this.  It's OK.  The story is interesting enough and there's more to it than your typical Blaxploitation picture.  The performances are fine and what I could see of the action looked alright.  I'm almost certain I would've liked it more had I seen a good looking widescreen print (hell, I would've settled for a good looking fullscreen one).  The above trailer is in much better shape than what I saw.  Geez.  It's at least got a nice, bleak ending. 

Friday, February 23, 2018

Red Eye (2005)

Director: Wes Craven

Writers: Carl Ellsworth, Dan Foos

Composer: Marco Beltrami

Starring: Rachel McAdams, Cillian Murphy, Brian Cox, Terry Press, Robert Pine

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Fear Takes Flight

Plot: A woman is kidnapped by a stranger on a routine flight. Threatened by the potential murder of her father, she is pulled into a plot to assist her captor in offing a politician.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again?  No.

As soon as I starting thinking about what was going on this picture turned to shit.  This is far more convoluted than it would ever be in real life.  To go through this much trouble to do one simple thing, as to kill a man, is an exercise in stupidity.  Why approach Lisa (McAdams) on a plane?  Why not somewhere easier like, uh, anywhere else?  Hell, why go through all of the bullshit they did just to get a man moved to a different hotel room?  And that Rippner (Murphy) spent two months following her in preparation for this crazy scheme to begin is utterly stupid.  There are far too many things that could go wrong for him to think this was the best and easiest means of achieving his end.  Despite all of the cliche'd BS, it's base level entertainment but be damned if you don't check your brain at the door and end up rubbing two brain cells together, enough so that a spark ignites and you begin to think about how dumb this plot is.  At the very least you can thank this movie for giving Brian Cox an easy paycheck, not that he'll ever share it with any of us. I'm probably being generous by giving this a 6 but it didn't bore me.  My yelling at the TV gave me some pleasure.

The Unknown (1927)

Director: Tod Browning

Writers: Tod Browning, Waldemar Young, Joseph Franham, Mary Roberts Rinehart

Starring: Lon Chaney, Norman Kerry, Joan Crawford, Nick De Ruiz, John George, Frank Lanning

More info: IMDb

Plot: A criminal on the run hides in a circus and seeks to possess the daughter of the ringmaster at any cost.

My rating: 8/10

Will I watch it again?  Yes.

I'm embarrassed to admit this but I just watched my first Lon Chaney picture.  I'm shocked that I haven't seen any of his films before, despite the number of horror classics he starred in.  It's criminal, I know.  He's utterly amazing in this.  I was captivated by his presence in every single scene.  He demands it almost.  Joan Crawford is so young that she's unrecognizable (to me, anyway).  Wow.  What a picture this is.  It's remarkable how Chaney was able to hide his arms.  I mean, you really believe he's armless.  He really sells it.  The story might sound simple but there's a lot more to it plus it's got heart right along side the horror.  You feel for Alonzo (Chaney) even after you uncover his past and you see his actions.  There's some messed up stuff going on.  This was the second of three excellent movies I watched in a row over the course of three nights which is rare.  There's usually a crappy movie that breaks up the good stuff.  I sift through a lot of garbage searching for that hidden gem but every once in a while I go blind into pictures only to come out the other side seeing a whole new world in front of me and this time, that new world belongs to Lon Chaney. 

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Wild Wheels (1969)

Director: Ken Osborne

Writers: Ken Osborne, Ralph Luce

Composer: Harley Hatcher

Starring: Don Epperson, Robert Dix, Casey Kasem, Dovie Beams, Terry Stafford, Johenne Lemont, Bruce Kimball

More info: IMDb

Tagline: They Wreck Each Other's Wheels and Steal Each Other's Girls!!

Plot: A group of surfers use dune buggies to protect their beach from a gang of invading bikers.

My rating: 4/10

Will I watch it again?  No.

It's bad and far from so-bad-it's-good.  There's barely any action and the most you get is a brawl on the beach at the end shot at night and it's difficult to see anything.  It's just a jumbled mess.  It didn't help that the print I saw was lousy VHS quality.  Everything about this picture is at best mediocre which is probably giving it too much credit.  Some of the main characters are in a band that plays at the local bar or something and they get way too many songs to perform.  I guess they did that so they could release a soundtrack (which they did).  If you're looking for a decent biker flick, this isn't it.  I keep hoping to find a good biker flick but they are a rare breed.