Director: Giuseppe Vari Starring: Lou Castel, Adolfo Celi, Beba Loncar. Italy. 1h 32m
One of the easily overlooked Giallo/Politizen films which has a storyline which trips over into the Psychotropic realms there’s a ton of sleeze to get through in Vari’s vibrant thriller.
Fashion photographer Carlo (Castel) and hit model girlfriend Olga (Loncar) are rolling in the dunes when Carlo notices a shady encounter, a couple of men start beating a third man unconscious and set fire to him in his car, Carlo catching all these on film, knowing they are onto something big and take the photos to Uncle Fifi, Olgas wheelcharir bound porno director relative, for advice on how to get the most money for the precious photos.
Director: Fernando Di Leo Starring: Gastone Moschin, Mario Adorf, Barbara Bouchet. .UK. 1h 42m
Well famed for being the ultimate super cool, cult hit, this is the first of a trio of virtuoso politicization films, the following movies, La Mala ordina/The Italian Connection and Il Boss/The Boss, are all based on a short story collection all using the original names by Giorgio Scerbanenco. Each film stands out for their own powerful impact with straight forward stories harnessing beautiful women, treachery and tons of gratuitous violence.
AKA Hired to Kill, Manhunt in the City, Manhunt in Milan, Manhunt
Director: Fernando Di Leo. Starring. Mario Adorf, Henry Silva, Woody Strode, Adolfo Celi. Italy. 1h 40m.
After a shipment of drugs vanishes a rather charming Corso (Cyril Cusack) settles down two confidants and describes the mood for them, Dave Catania (Silva) and Frank Webster (Strode) listen patiently while they are given clear instructions to travel to Italy, where they are to act as American as possible in order to gain the attention of their target, both men speak the language fluently and are more than capable of finding the man suspected of being responsible for the missing drugs and making him suffer. A beautiful local assistant will be waiting on them hand and foot and aiding their mission but the blundering idiot they are sent after might not be quite a useless as everyone suspects.
Small time pimp and crazy headbutting tough guy Luca Canali (Adorfi), seems pretty low key, not the shifty character you’d expect to accidentally lose such a precious cargo. The film partially opens with him spending a pleasant day with his “girlfriend/bottom bitch”in the park then beating up two douchebags using Tekken 2 tactics.But the magic of this film is that Luca is a family man, his stunning ex and beautiful daughter get all his love and attention, and pretty soon the movie shifts from the two tough guys high tailing and it turns into the “Luca show” while he tries to keep ahead of all the mobsters who are now suddenly hot on his tail and all in his slightly comedic style.
Director: Peter Newbrook. Starring. Robert Powell, Robert Stephens, Jane Lapotaire, Alex Scott, Ralph Arliss. USA. 1h 39m.
A moralistic story written with a heavy gothic horror backdrop by Christina and Laurence Beers has been cleverly adapted by Peter Newbrook in a pseudo Hammer Horror-esque style. In a large opulent mansion a brilliant Victorian scientist becomes obsessed with the idea of becoming immortal. Continue reading The Asphyx (1972/3)→
Director: Fernando Di Leo. Starring. Henry Silva,Woody Strode, Adolfo Celi, Mario Adorf , Luciana Paluzzi Italy. 1h 35m.
Following on from Caliber 9, De Leo hits back with another violent manhunt movie.
After a shipment of drugs vanishes a rather charming syndicate boss Corso (Cyril Cusack) settles down two confidants and describes the mood for them, David (Silva) and Frank (Strodey) listen patiently while they are given clear instructions to travel to Italy, where they are to act as American as possible in order to gain the attention of their target, both men speak the language fluently and are more than capable of finding the man suspected of being responsible for the missing drugs and making him suffer. A local assistant, Eva will be waiting on them hand and foot and aiding their mission but the blundering idiot they are sent after might not be quite as useless as everyone suspects.
Director: George McCowan. Starring.Ray Milland, Sam Elliott, Joan Van Ark, Adam Roarke, Judy Pace, Lynn Borden, Mae Mercer, David Gilliam USA. 1h 31m.
You’ll have to forgive me for the review you’re about to read, but I adore this low budget eco horror which is widely considered to be a very poor movie, but for me it’s cinematic gold and I make very few apologies for adoring it, and thankfully writer Fran Lebowitz agrees with me when she called this movie “the best bad movie I have ever seen in my life.”
If YOU Are Squeamish Stay Home!!!
Many eco horror movies are quite subtle in their approach, the most famous is probably Long Weekend (1978) where a couple struggle to deal with their personal issues while taking it easy in the outback until nature decides to throw them a curveball, but others are more dramatic and usually after some kind of negative human influence, be it radiation, pollution or a truck load of PCP, the wildlife come to life and rally against mankind. From the dynamic Birds from Hitchcock, to Franco Prosperi ‘sWild Beasts (1984) where a zoo’s water supply is compromised, sending an array of wildlife into a frenzy stalking the city streets.
Director: Brad F Grinter and Steve Hawkes Starring . Steve Hawkes, Dana Cullivan, Randy Grinter, Heather Hughes. USA. 1h 26m
This film is often classed as one of the worst of the worst and while it’s cringey as hell I do to try and take a film serious, even if it’s about a bloodthirsty killer turkey man hybrid… At some point during horror history nearly every animal, creature insect and persona has had their own killer version so it had to be done at some point although unfortunately for the turkeys it’s just resulted in one giant Turkey of a movie. But playing Devil’s Advocate I would have to say that there is an interesting back story and concept of the film unfortunately it was just executed so badly, but I don’t hate it.
The movie opens with a biker helping out a woman on the highway it turns out the swimming is a god-fearing Christian who invites him back to her place where she shares with her sister unfortunately has sister it is one of the no smoking hippie chicks from the 70s and the tooth start fighting over this tall dark handsome biker obviously with any good horror film everybody makes the worst choices and he ends up with the druggy sister. Continue reading Blood Freak (1972)→
Director: John Huston . Based on Fat City by Leonard Gardner Starring. Stacey Keach, Jeff Bridges, Susan Tyrell, USA. 1h 36m.
There’s something magical about John Huston’s Fat City. I’m not sure if it’s the relatable characters, which are more realistic than cinema usually allows, or the detailed social dissection by the masterful Huston himself. For years I had overlooked this believing it just is another poor relation to Rocky, but in fact it’s the opposite way around. I have always adored the Rocky story that eventually turned into an epic Saga which is still going 40 years later, a man with true grit and determination, rising up to great heights to live the American Dream and fighting with a true heart…Continue reading Fat City (1972)→
After seeing the epic Dogtooth (2009) by the cult director Lanthimos, I was mystified by the circumstances, the basis of the story is a man raising his family in such isolation, their offbeat lifestyle seems so extraordinary to the eye of any outsider, the whys were never really answered the film just happens. But after a little digging i discovered that the film isn’t a remake but has a similar storyline to El castillo de la pureza, an excellent Mexican drama where a man isolates his family to protect them from “the evils of human beings”. While I thoroughly enjoy Dogtooth everytime I see it, there’s something deeper in this retro classic as it digs under the skin of the abnormal situation.
Gabriel Lima (Brook) and his gorgeous wife Beatriz (Macedo) have invented a brilliant homemade rat poison, their children all have roles in helping them manufacture this brilliant powder. Each day they get up and get to work, always in silence when working, then their father gets dressed in formal clothes and goes out to sell the rat poison to local shops and businesses, meanwhile the children have to exercise, learn and for a while they play. Things start to breakdown, slowly at first, but as the movie builds pace it becomes a waves of crushing emotions for the disciplined and sexually driven father and more jail time for the children. Leaving their poor mother looking on at the madness.Continue reading El castillo de la pureza / Castle of Purity (1972)→