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 What Eurocult films have you been watching?, Yeah, it's that thread again...
Brian Camp
Posted: Feb 5 2008, 10:21 AM


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In the mood for something slow and methodical, I pulled out my tape of NIGHT FLIGHT FROM MOSCOW (1973, aka THE SERPENT), a German/French/Italian co-prod. directed by Henri Verneuil and starring Yul Brynner, Henry Fonda, Dirk Bogarde, and Philippe Noiret. I've never watched it before and my main reason for purchasing this used VHS some years ago was because it has a score by Ennio Morricone. There's even a big credit for him: Music by Ennio Morricone/Conducted by Bruno Nicolai.

Only trouble is...there ain't hardly any music in the film. I kept waiting to hear at least a single note and nothing came up on the soundtrack until the 107-minute mark. And then the movie ends at 111 minutes. So we only get some Morricone music for four minutes at the very end. A bit of a cheat if you ask me. Can't get much of a soundtrack album out of this one.

Not a bad movie for a Euro spy drama. It was indeed slow and methodical. It's fun watching these old pros at work, even IF their dialogue is all post-dubbed. And you've got Farley Granger, Robert Alda (with a bad toupee), Michel Bouquet and the always-lovely Virna Lisi in smaller roles.

They shot a lot of it at some huge institution subbing for CIA headquarters in Langley, with rooms and rooms full of those old wall-sized computers with giant reels of computer tape. And 16mm projectors. And early reel-to-reel videotape.
Tons of CIA workers are on display, yet not a single one of them looks American. (Where's Valerie Plame when you need her?) Interesting. I wonder where this was filmed.

I didn't exactly understand the resolution. Apparently one person knew ahead of time something that would have affected the outcome and at the end makes a big deal out of it yet there's no explanation of why he didn't act on it and avert a series of catastrophes. Made no sense to me.


This post has been edited by Brian Camp on Feb 5 2008, 10:28 AM


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Christian Keller
Posted: Feb 5 2008, 11:34 AM


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QUOTE (Brian Camp @ Feb 5 2008, 10:21 AM)
Only trouble is...there ain't hardly any music in the film. I kept waiting to hear at least a single note and nothing came up on the soundtrack until the 107-minute mark. And then the movie ends at 111 minutes. So we only get some Morricone music for four minutes at the very end. A bit of a cheat if you ask me. Can't get much of a soundtrack album out of this one.

That's strange because there is a CD of this soundtrack containing 13 tracks. I wonder if the US/UK/international or whatever version took some creative licence there.
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Mark Tinta
Posted: Feb 12 2008, 05:54 PM


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TRAGIC CEREMONY aka FROM THE SECRET POLICE FILES OF A EUROPEAN CAPITOL (1972) - Director Riccardo Freda reportedly disowned this long-lost 1972 misfire that tries to blend an old-school Gothic atmosphere with then-modern horror (the film references the Sharon Tate murders and the Manson "family") and the burgeoning emphasis on gore, courtesy of some primitive splatter effects by Carlo Rambaldi, including a head splitting that looks dodgy the first time it's used, let alone the 15th time Freda repeats it. Unfortunately, Freda, working from a script by Mario Bianchi (aka "Alan W. Cools," director of SATAN'S BABY DOLL) never gets any momentum going and this is among the dullest, most tedious Euro horrors I've come across.

Dark Sky's transfer is acceptable, but they're clearly working with less-than-pristine elements. This Italian-Spanish co-production wastes a fine cast that includes Camille Keaton, Luciana Paluzzi, Luigi Pistilli, Tony Isbert, Fulvio Mingozzi, the unavoidable Carla Mancini C.S.C., and Paul Muller, who gets to do a Simon Oakland wrap-up to the incoherent proceedings. Actually, it's not so much "incoherent" as it is "a big buildup to nothing." This actually has a lot in common stylistically with Jose Larraz's BLACK CANDLES, only minus the constant sex and overabundance of body hair...both male and female. Freda may have been the first prominent Italian horror figure, but hey, even the masters have to have a worst film.

The 13-minute featurette with Camille Keaton recounting her time spent in the Italian film industry is by far the most interesting part of this DVD. If there was ever a time I'm glad I Netflixed something before buying it, this is it...all due respect to Mr. Freda.


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William S. Wilson
Posted: Feb 12 2008, 09:53 PM


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SATAN'S BABY DOLL - Didn't really enjoy this one. How could a movie so sleazy be so boring?


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Mark Tinta
Posted: Feb 15 2008, 10:50 PM


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EMANUELLE AND THE WHITE SLAVE TRADE (1978) - Of the three titles in Severin's new BLACK EMANUELLE'S BOX 2 (this, BLACK EMANUELLE 2, and BLACK EMMANUELLE, WHITE EMMANUELLE), this is easily the most entertaining, and it's obvious that the key to the BLACK EMANUELLE flicks was the combination of Laura Gemser and Aristide Massaccesi/Joe D'Amato (and to some extent, Gabriele Tinti).

As usual, Emanuelle is an intrepid photojournalist pursuing a story involving a shady businessman (Venantino Venantini) based in Nairobi. Of course, her work comes in between assorted dalliances involving her nympho friend (Ely Galleani), and a prince (Pierre Marfurt), and even Eurocult stalwart Venantini. Because of this film, I've now seen a fully nude Venantino Venantini in a three-way, complete with an hysterical song where singer Malaika just orgasmically moans "Oh yes...more...wait...oh no...slowly...enough...again...love!"

Emanuelle ends up following the trail of a mystery man (Tinti) all the way to NYC (KENTUCKY FRIED MOVIE on a marquee!) then to San Diego, where she uncovers a prostitution ring and gets gang-raped after a bowling alley brawl that clearly influenced THERE WILL BE BLOOD. Or not. Will Emanuelle infiltrate the illicit ring? Will she seduce everyone in sight? Will citizens of NYC ever get used to Italian crews shooting on their streets and NOT look directly into the camera? Will Laura Gemser spend the entire film pointing Emanuelle's secret camera-in-a-lighter the wrong way?

This is the perfect BLACK EMANUELLE flick, if there is such a thing--a threadbare plot, plenty of gratuitous sex, Laura Gemser, great 1970s NYC location shooting (some of which was recycled from EMANUELLE AND THE LAST CANNIBALS), some ridiculous songs (how Malaika's "Run Cheetah Run" didn't top the charts is beyond me), and, if it even needs to be mentioned, wigs by Rocchetti-Carboni.

The Severin DVD also includes a 1994 interview (in English) with Massaccesi, where the auteur discusses, among other things, the finer points of horse masturbation.

This post has been edited by Mark Tinta on Feb 16 2008, 09:57 AM


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Marty McKee
Posted: Feb 17 2008, 02:14 PM


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LIGHT THE FUSE…SARTANA IS COMING (1971)—Directed by Giuliano Carmineo. Stars Gianni Garko, Massimo Serato, Piero Lulli, Jose Jaspe, Nieves Navarro, Frank Braña. A typically complicated Sartana story with some of the craziest gadgets of the entire series, most notably a deadly pipe organ that comes through for the hero during the climax and a tiny mechanical robot named Alfie that serves as a cigarette lighter, grenade launcher and more. Every western hero should have one.

Sartana (Garko), after shooting down a trio of corrupt lawmen, turns himself in to the corrupt warden of a nearby prison, where he is beaten and dumped into “the hole.” There he encounters his old pal Granville (Lulli), who promises him half of a $500,000 gold fortune if he helps Granville escape. They blast their way out, and Sartana heads to the town of Mansfield, where Granville is accused of murdering his business partner and hiding not only the gold, but also $2 million in counterfeit cash.

There’s no shortage of suspects in Mansfield, including the (what else?) corrupt sheriff (Serato), the vicious General Monk (Jaspe), the dead man’s beautiful widow (Navarro) and a one-eyed scoundrel (ubiquitous white-haired Spanish character actor Braña). When Santana isn’t guarding his back from these treacherous opponents, he’s shooting down dozens of minions who work for them, racking up a solid body count in the upper double digits.

Aided by Bruno Nicolai’s score and some unusual settings (such as a Turkish bath in this one-horse Old West town!), LIGHT THE FUSE… is a highly entertaining spaghetti western with enough action and oddball stunts to keep you smiling. While Garko never returned to play Sartana again, he did continue to appear in several European genre pictures and even guest-starred on the British TV series SPACE: 1999.


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Mark Tinta
Posted: Feb 24 2008, 12:14 AM


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THE EROTICIST aka THE SENATOR LIKES WOMEN (1972) - Severin's R1 DVD of this obscure Lucio Fulci comedy is the uncut 109-minute version, which was drastically cut down to 75 minutes for a 1975 US release under the title THE SENATOR LIKES WOMEN. The uncut version of this Italian-French co-production is an intriguing mess, and it's likely that the US re-edit focused on the broadly comedic, raunchy elements as opposed to the biting cynicism of the complete version.

POSSIBLE SPOILERS

Senator Puppis (Lando Buzzanca, bearing a strong resemblance to Bruce Campbell in this) is being touted as a possible future president of Italy. That is, until a scandal erupts when he can no longer control his penchant for grabbing women's asses. That's probably all that the US cut deals with, but Fulci's uncut version is all over the place, and frankly, isn't very funny. This is one of those films that improves as it proceeds--unfortunately, it doesn't really improve until around the 100-minute point, and concludes with a remarkably potent, angry climax with an almost-NETWORK/IDIOCRACY level of cynicism as Fulci and co-screenwriters Alessandro Continenza and Ottavio Jemma take shots at everyone as they wrap things up: the politicians, the police, the Mafia, the clergy (represented by astonishingly corrupt cardinal Lionel Stander), and the Italian citizenry in general.

The ending of this film was powerful enough to make me wish Fulci and the writers jettisoned the slapstick, butt-pinching stupidity that took up 90% of the film and just focused on making a condemning, bile-soaked screed. I'm sure this was very much a product of its time and its country of origin, but the comedy just isn't funny. Well, it is amusing watching Buzzanca get all bug-eyed and sweaty and nervous when a grabable derriere is in front of him, but it's pretty spent the tenth time it happens. The film works best in those too-sporadic periods where it rails against the corruption taking place all over Italy (and Stander's method of "canonizing" people is almost horrific by the end). It's too bad the tone is so uneven and that the first 100 minutes are an interminable chore to sit through--the last ten minutes are a complete suckerpunch.

Severin's DVD looks great, and it's in Italian with English subtitles (Stander is dubbed, but in some scenes he's clearly speaking Italian, but in others, he seems to be speaking English). The cast is a who's who of Eurocult stalwarts: Laura Antonelli (it takes Fulci forever to get her disrobed, but then again, she's playing a nun), Feodor Chaliapin, Renzo Palmer, Anita Strindberg, Agostina Belli, Arturo Domenici, and Corrado Gaipa. The DVD also includes a 42-minute retrospective featuring new interviews with Buzzanca, cinematographer Sergio D'Offizi, and makeup man Giannetto De Rossi. Buzzanca tells some interesting stories about working with Stander, saying he was very much in a hurry to get his scenes done, "probably because he had a 25-year-old wife he wanted to get back to."

This one seems like a real missed opportunity, all things considered. Or, maybe it's that it just wasn't what I wanted it to be.

This post has been edited by Mark Tinta on Feb 24 2008, 12:18 AM


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Alan Maxwell
Posted: Apr 5 2008, 09:50 AM


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A GUN FOR 100 GRAVES (1968)

Picked this one up as I was intrigued by the notion of Umberto Lenzi directing a spaghetti western. It's not as violent as you'd expect from the man, with the really brutal stuff taking place off screen, but there's still a trip into slightly darker territory with the use of a small band of escaped lunatics, including a rapist, a pyromaniac and the psycho leader of the band, played by spaghetti regular Eduardo Fajardo.

He's joined by other cult stalwarts Peter Lee Lawrence (the hero of the film, a clean-living Jehovah's Witness who swears never to touch a gun - until, predictably, his family is murdered and revenge is called for), John Ireland and Piero Lulli.

It's fairly run of the mill with a very entertaining final twenty minutes packed with shoot-outs and double-crosses galore.

The print on this German DVD is slightly faded with very minor damage, but very presentable. The English audio option has several noticable hiccups and brief dropouts but they're bearable.

THE IGUANA WITH THE TONGUE OF FIRE (1971)

Don't be fooled by the opening - just five minutes in, a woman has acid thrown in her face and her throat slit, in a graphically entertaining but far from convincing way - as there's a real lack of action in this run of the mill Dublin-set giallo from Riccardo Freda. Most of the gruesome stuff takes place off-screen, although the film still manages to throw in a few decent set pieces (including a brutal finale involving the policeman's elderly mother and his teenage daughter - let's see that one get past the BBFC).

A murder investigation leads to more murders, and even the washed-up cop assigned to the case (Euro-cult veteran Luigi Pistilli) doesn't escape suspicion as the film goes out of its way to make sure everyone in the cast is the potential villain. The conclusion is as loony as you'd expect from most gialli.

The audio on the English track is bearable but little more (and I never thought I'd hear Pistilli dubbed with an Irish accent) but the picture is ropey. It's dark, murky and the colour is wildly variable, and it looks like it's been taken from an old video source or at least a pretty crap print. It's anamorphically enhanced and still very watchable, but you'll certainly not be using this disc to show off your home cinema.
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Eric Cotenas
Posted: Apr 5 2008, 10:04 PM


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re: IGUANA WITH THE TONGUE OF FIRE

Is this one of the films directed by Freda's daughter. The direction is extremely heavy-handed. The stinger every time we see the pair of sunglasses is a bit annoying as is the zoom in on the face of the butler every time he goes in and out of the secret passage in the library. In contrast, a lot of the dialogue scenes, even the arguments seem rather lifelessly captured.


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Alan Maxwell
Posted: May 25 2008, 09:52 AM


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Zombie Lake (1981)

It's hard to comprehend how you can make a film involving beautiful, naked women being molested by Nazi zombies dreadfully dull, but wow, this film really knocks it out of the park. Cheapest looking zombies ever, plodding pace, recycled (and oft inappropriate) music (including Female Vampire if I'm not mistaken) and a thoroughly daft story - it's a real indictment of a Eurocult film when the bad dubbing is actually the highlight, but there you go. What a steaming turd of a movie.

This post has been edited by Alan Maxwell on May 25 2008, 09:52 AM
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Mark Tinta
Posted: Jun 21 2008, 11:41 PM


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THE BEAST IN SPACE (1980) - Wow. I don't know what to say. This is the kind of movie that makes you question not only your devotion to cinema, but also your will to live. Alfonso "Al Bradley" Brescia has always been my pick for the worst of the Italian auteurs, and nothing on display here makes me reconsider that opinion. If you liked his classics like COSMOS: WAR OF THE PLANETS, and WAR OF THE ROBOTS, or whatever they were called, and you can't get enough of Robert Goulet lookalike Vassili Karis, AND you want the added bonus of nonstop softcore porn in the last half hour, then by all means treat yourself to THE BEAST IN SPACE.

I have to admit, it IS interesting to see this last gasp of the Italian space opera, popularized by Antonio Margheriti in the 1960s with WILD WILD PLANET and WAR BETWEEN THE PLANETS, and others, before the Italian sci-fi exploitation scene focused on an endless, mind-boggling, and hugely entertaining string of post-nuke ROAD WARRIOR ripoffs (many of which have yet to be released on R1 DVD)...but that sense of nostalgia lasts about two minutes. Plodding, poorly-paced, incomprehensible (something about a planet run by an old computer called Zocor that makes everybody horny, while hopefully lowering their cholesterol), and agonizingly overlong even at 92 minutes, there ain't much to enjoy with THE BEAST IN SPACE. It's not even entertaining in a "so bad, it's funny" way, unless you count subtitles reading "Don't break my asteroids!" and "You Venusian son of a bitch!" and "I'm overwhelmed by a feeling of torpor" (there's only an Italian-language track, with English subtitles). It's things like this that make me appreciate Netflix even more: I can't imagine the debilitating bout of buyer's remorse I'd be enduring if I plunked down $29.99 for this. Glad I saw it for the curio value, and glad Severin Films released it, but damn...glad I didn't buy it.

About 16:12 in, watch Karis throw the worst punch in film history at Venantino Venantini. The punch doesn't even land on the same set.

This post pertains to the "unrated" version. Severin also released a XXX version with porno inserts and money shots. The unrated DVD contains an interesting featurette with Venantini, now an artist. There's some footage of VV at a recent gallery showing of his work (impressive work, by the way), and you see him kibitzing with the likes of Barbara Bouchet, Giuliano Gemma, and Franco Nero. THAT was far more interesting than anything contained in the profoundly unerotic THE BEAST IN SPACE.

This post has been edited by Mark Tinta on Jun 21 2008, 11:49 PM


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Eric Cotenas
Posted: Jun 22 2008, 03:15 AM


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QUOTE
and Paul Muller, who gets to do a Simon Oakland wrap-up to the incoherent proceedings. Actually, it's not so much "incoherent" as it is "a big buildup to nothing."


Muller's speech is not present in the Spanish version. His appearance in that version is similar to his screen time in FANGS OF THE LIVING DEAD/MALENKA.


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Marty McKee
Posted: Jul 1 2008, 03:24 PM


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THE RELENTLESS FOUR (1965)—Directed by Primo Zeglio. Stars Adam West. When future TV legend West got the call to play the Caped Crusader in his life-changing series BATMAN, he had just returned from Spain, where he colorlessly portrayed a fictional Texas Ranger named Sam Garrett in this Italian western. If MGM released it during the first half of 1966, it may well have made quite a bit of dough, even though it isn’t good. The teetotaling Garrett is framed for murdering a popular rancher by four bounty hunters, whom he had prevented from collecting a reward for an innocent man they shot. The sympathetic sheriff tries to protect Garrett from an angry lynch mob, but Sam takes proactive steps toward saving his skin by breaking jail and searching for the real killers. West is a dud (another actor dubs his performance) and doesn’t even look good doing the poorly choreographed fight scenes. A lack of peppy direction, colorful co-stars and a rousing score sink this oater, which looks terrific in MGM HD’s widescreen print, after years of availability only through faded bootlegs and Encore Western’s beat-up pan-and-scan telecasts.


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Alan Maxwell
Posted: Jul 27 2008, 10:58 AM


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Inglorious Bastards (1978)

With the sort of timing I'm sure we've all demonstrated at one time or another, I bought the Koch Media release of this one just shortly before Severin announced their superior release. I just got round to watching it, the latest in my occasional exploration of the spaghetti war genre, and it's the best of its kind that I've seen yet.

A lot of these films I confess have been a little dull for much of their screen time, livened up by the occasional set piece. Not so with this one, which delivers huge amounts of action from start to finish, not really surprising since Castellari is always reliable for such things.

Great cast, a decent score and plenty of action - all in all a great fun movie. The final assault on the train is the highlight of the film, but I could certainly have done with a few minutes more of the naked machine gun women.
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Jonathan Barnett
Posted: Jul 31 2008, 01:38 AM


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EXORSISIM (1975) **

A priest must exorcise a girl possessed by an evil spirit. And that is about it. Not much here you can’t find anywhere else. It is fun to see Paul Nashey as a Priest. The conclusion is a creepy for those sensitive to the subject matter. I for one am. Even the most low rent entry can haunt me. At one point a dead husband communicate with his wife through his daughter. I’m not sure why that works but it did. There is also some effective but fleeting nudity. The facial hair is epic and fashions are also a marvel. The over all direction and execution is standard at best. It’s not dull but very standard. Its as if it rolled off the assembly line for devil movies. The canine conclusion was cute. It was funny in a half-assed sort of way.

DO YOU LIKE HITCHCOCK? (2005) ***

A college student thinks his lovely neighbor has taken her love of Hitchcock films just a little too far. But which movie does she love too much? Is it ROPE, STRANGERS ON A TRAIN, or has he just watched REAR WINDOW too many times? This is one of those movies that people may not like because they may notice idiosyncrasies that remind them of other movies. Or maybe it will be way too contrived for them. Don’t let that bother you. When one peers into to this Dario Argento film you’ll have boobs, blood, windows, movies, hands, and enough obvious foreshadowing to ruin all of the Agatha Christie’s novels, but that’s okay. Yes it is derivative but you’ll find yourself to be concerned and care for the principle characters. All and all, this is a good pulpy mystery with likable but flawed people. But at least they are ultimately trying to right a wrong. Highlights include “the break-in” and “the bathtub”. Stylish and effective, this is as enjoyable and humorous as those moments from CAT O NINE TAILS, FOUR FLIES ON GREY VELVET, and certain parts of TENEBRE; the death by train, the gay detective, and Saxon’s hat. Argento delivers the kind of warm humor that only he can do, set against a backdrop of murder. Bravo.

Of course the big mystery is why aren’t there any Brian De Palma movies in the video store?

This post has been edited by Jonathan Barnett on Jul 31 2008, 02:08 AM
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Terry Barhorst, Jr.
Posted: Aug 23 2008, 10:02 PM


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5 Dolls for an August Moon

Basically a variation of 10 Little Indians. Lot's of eye candy (Edwige Fenech, yummy), which is good, cause the plot's not quite all there. Best to sit back enjoy the pretty pictures and euro-jazz sound track.

There is a twist at the end that's good, but it ain't enough. Considering what he was handed to work with, Bava did pretty good, but he still couldn't make it into a silk purse. A lesser Bava, (many consider it the least), but still worth a look, even if you spend it all wondering what the hell's going on.


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Richard Harland Smith
Posted: Aug 24 2008, 09:26 AM


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QUOTE
It is fun to see Paul Nashey as a Priest.


OMG u misspelled Naschy LOL, your a loser.*











I fully accept that correctly spelling "misspelled" effectively invalidates the whole text message theme of my post but that was honestly my first reaction.


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Michael Blanton
Posted: Aug 24 2008, 01:30 PM


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Cemetery without Crosses (1969) – Robert Hossein
Gli intoccabli / Machine Gun McCain (1969) – Giuliano Montaldo
Chi Sei? / Beyond the Door (1974) – Ovidio G. Assonitis
Avere Vent’anni/To be Twenty(1978) (Italian) – Fernando di Leo
Mark il poliziotto/Mark the Narc (1975) – Stelvio Massi

CEMETERY WITHOUT CROSSES

I watched this recently for the first time and really, really enjoyed it. The B&W cinematography that opens and closes the film, The Rope And The Colt (sung by the always excellent Scott Walker), the excellent guitar & horn driven score with chorus and solo female backing, the close-ups of characters against deep azure skies gives the film an unreal studio bound feel, as if the they're posing - almost statuesque like mythic greek gods - before an artificial backdrop or a bluescreen, the surreal sequence at the Roger's dinner table, reminiscent of both Sam Fuller's FORTY GUNS and Tony Richardson's TOM JONES, with the tension building and abruptly ending up in a big Dadaesque joke, and the film's climax, operatic and tragic, all mark this as an atypical, but worthy Spaghetti Western.

If you like DJANGO KILL, this will probably be right up your alley.


MACHINE GUN McCAIN

I've watched McCAIN twice in the last two months, the TCM P&S and the French DVD, and I think this is a highly underrated film.

VERTIGO's cinematography has nothing on McCAIN's breathtaking cinematography of San Francisco, not to mention the beautiful almost traveloguesque cinematography of the other U.S. cities in the film, Las Vegas' Neon, New York's Times Square, Los Angeles' Freeways, New Orleans' French Quarter (and to a lesser extent, Chicago's Loop). The voice-over narration has a documentary feel (very reminiscent of the early 50s film noirs with a pro-FBI or pro-law enforcement slant). The acting is also top notch, with nary a weak perfomance in the bunch, from the Americans, Cassavetes , Falk and Rowlands to the Euro regulars, Ferzetti , Randone, Pistilli, Ekland and Bolkan , who is especially brutal in her short time on the film. Rowland's last speech in the film is also incredible, reminiscent of Thelma Ritter's in Sam Fuller's PICKUP ON SOUTH STREET, but ten times as intense, given her complex relationship and history with McCain. The film's finale (and last third really) is very prescient, pre-dating films like the THE GODFATHER, GOODFELLAS and CASINO in it's don't f*ck with the Mafia, this organization will grind the individual down, no matter how special that individual is.

I don't think I can emphasize enough that Cassavetes is great, great, great in this film. It's been noted many times that Cassavetes considered acting in other directors' films to be just a paycheck to finance his own films and personal projects, but a look at his resume reveals that he gave some great perfomances, in films he didn't direct, that people will be watching a century from now, Roman Polanski's ROSEMARY'S BABY and Robert Aldrich's THE DIRTY DOZEN and other great films like Don Siegel's THE KILLERS, Elaine May's MIKEY AND NICKY and I'd argue Montaldo's MACHINE GUN McCAIN plus my own personal guilty pleasure, THE INCUBUS.

Cassavetes also directed two crime film classics, which should be required viewing, THE KILLING OF A CHINESE BOOKIE, with Ben Gazzara, Timothy Carey and Seymour Cassel (I bet Abel Ferrara saw it before directing BAD LIEUTENANT) and GLORIA with Gina Rowlands (his real-life wife) giving a great performance as a good hearted neighbor who goes on the run with a young boy (John Adames, great too) who has witnessed the Syndicate execute his family but managed to escape. Great stuff.

Cassavetes definitely died way too early at 59.


BEYOND THE DOOR

I just watched this recently for the first time, and it really blew me away. The title song from the recording session, Bargain with the Devil (I believe), is a funk classic and really kicks the film into high gear from the get go. The rest of the score sounds like a traditional Euro lounge score that was handed over to Brian Eno with instructions to Enofy it. I'd love to get my hands on the soundtrack.

I also dug the foulmouthed kids and the scene where their bedroom becomes possessed. Other great scenes - off the top of my head - include: when the little boy watches his mum float across her bedroom; when the black musicians follow the husband throught the streets of San Francisco (which also looks great in this film); and the scene on the houseboat where the women informs the doctor that Dimitri died a few years ago and appears to continues talking after the doctor has left. Surreal shit!

A very psychedelic, over-the-top, depraved piece of possession cinema.


TO BE TWENTY

Watched the longer 94 minute of the film. It's too bad that di Leo didn't make the film ten years earlier when he wrote the script, because the first half of the film would have been more authentic, but of course there would have been no Lilli Carati in the film. The last 30 minutes of the film, however, is quite harrowing and brutal, and reminds me of Fulci's DON"T TORTURE A DUCKLING, with it's rural, insular mentality, fear of the outsider and feeling threatened by that which is different.


MARK IL POLIZIOTTO

It was great! The scene where the car wrecks, flips over and slides past Franco Gasparri upside down made my jaw drop. If Gasparri's other poliziotteschi are as good as MARK 1, he's right up there with Merli, Milian, Merenda and Lovelock in that genre. I like Massi's other films, EMERGENCY SQUAD, THE LAST ROUND, CONVOY BUSTERS, etc., and I put MARK right up there with 'em!

This post has been edited by Michael Blanton on Aug 24 2008, 04:36 PM


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"Don't ever tell anybody that they're not free, 'cause then they're gonna get real busy killin' and maimin' to prove to you that they are. Oh, yeah, they're gonna talk to you, and talk to you, and talk to you about individual freedom. But they see a free individual, it's gonna scare 'em."
George Hanson
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Neil Sarver
Posted: Aug 24 2008, 02:13 PM


Mobian


Group: Members
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QUOTE (Michael Blanton @ Aug 24 2008, 01:30 PM)
CEMETERY WITHOUT CROSSES

I watched this recently for the first time and really, really enjoyed it. The B&W cinematography that opens and closes the film, The Rope And The Colt (sung by the always excellent Scott Walker), the excellent guitar & horn driven score with chorus and solo female backing, the close-ups of characters against deep azure skies gives the film an unreal studio bound feel, as if the they're posing - almost statuesque like mythic greek gods - before an artificial backdrop or a bluescreen, the surreal sequence at the Roger's dinner table, reminiscent of both Sam Fuller's FORTY GUNS and Tony Richardson's TOM JONES, with the tension building and abruptly ending up in a big Dadaesque joke, and the film's climax, operatic and tragic, all mark this as an atypical, but worthy Spaghetti Western.

If you like DJANGO KILL, this will probably be right up your alley.

I enjoyed this one a lot. I'd say more than Django Kill, although I may have allowed that one to be overhyped in my mind and fully intend to revisit it some time. But this one was just fun and weird, and I love the song. I sat and let it repeat over and over on the menu screen of the DVD... and I never, ever do that.


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Michael Blanton
Posted: Aug 24 2008, 04:38 PM


Mobian


Group: Members
Posts: 1,562
Member No.: 194
Joined: 26-October 04



QUOTE (Neil Sarver @ Aug 24 2008, 02:13 PM)
I enjoyed this one a lot. I'd say more than Django Kill, although I may have allowed that one to be overhyped in my mind and fully intend to revisit it some time. But this one was just fun and weird, and I love the song. I sat and let it repeat over and over on the menu screen of the DVD... and I never, ever do that.

The Walker Brother's also do the theme song to DEADLIER THAN THE MALE. smile.gif


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"Don't ever tell anybody that they're not free, 'cause then they're gonna get real busy killin' and maimin' to prove to you that they are. Oh, yeah, they're gonna talk to you, and talk to you, and talk to you about individual freedom. But they see a free individual, it's gonna scare 'em."
George Hanson
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