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April 18, 2014

Movie Review: Badges of Fury (aka Bu er shen tan, 2013)

Movie Review by Greg Goodsell

Directed by Tsz Ming Wong

An action film star plunges to his death without his parachute. A dancer is crushed to death by his overweight partner. A high diver plunges to his death during a competition. All three men die with smiling grimaces on their faces, to the consternation of the Hong Kong Police Department. Veteran cop Huang Feihong (Jet Li) and eager-to-impress rookie Wang Bu’er (Zhang Wen) trace the victim’s mysterious deaths to aspiring action starlet Liu (Shishi Liu). While the toast of action cinema, Liu has had little luck in the romance department. The three aforementioned men who died in freak accidents were all at one time betrothed to her, before they were stolen out from under her by her – according to the subtitles – “catty skank” older sister, Angela (Michelle Chen) who lives very comfortably in spite of her most unglamorous position as a life insurance salesperson. There are lots of “hilarious” fight scenes and “wire fu” involving peripheral characters, until Bu’er has a capital suggestion: Why doesn’t he draw out the killer by proposing marriage to Liu? There is a big slam-bang surprise ending.

April 16, 2014

Movie Review: Frightmare (Blu-ray,1974)

It seems whenever there is some strong discussion on controversial horror directors from the UK, one name that almost always gets thrown around, is Peter Walker. The sleazy and often bloody works of Peter Walker (The Flesh and Blood Show, Die Screaming Marianne, House of Whipcord) aren't for everybody but neither is Tyler Perry.  Recently Walker’s films have gotten the high definition treatment thanks to the folks at Redemption Films. One of his masterpieces of note that fans of 70’s horror and Peter Walker might want to track down is the latest incarnation on the Blu-ray format for Frightmare.

After over a decade and a half in an insane asylum an elderly cannibalistic fortune-teller (Shiela Kieth, The Comeback, and House of Long Shadows) is released to snack on the unknowing townsfolk. For all they know she’s just another polite granny, who in a lot of ways looks a bit like Mrs. Doubtfire. Her husband, Edmund (Rupert Davies) doesn’t help matters as he continues to enable her, as bodies begin to pile up in their farmhouse. Of course the local police are on it but like most lawmen in horror they just chase their tales.

Movie Review: The Truth About Emanuel (2013, Blu-ray)

“You can’t handle the truth!” And if by truth you mean that the title character in this movie is not the whiny little bitch you think but actually a deeply caring and vulnerable young girl then yeah, I can’t handle it. Mostly because I don’t buy it.

The Truth About Emanuel stars Kaya Scodelario as Emanuel, a brooding 17-year old girl who considers herself a murderer because her mother died while giving birth. She spends her days being all intense and dark. And each year, as her birthday approaches, she turns the annoying brat-o-meter up to 11 by making her father retell the story of her mother’s death. Minute by agonizing minute.

What an asshole.

But this year is a bit different. A mysterious woman, Linda, moves in next door and she just happens to look a lot like Emanuel’s dead mom. Naturally Emanuel is drawn to her and becomes her friend, basically replacing something she’s never had with a doppelganger. A demented doppelganger but I move too soon.

Because of this blossoming relationship, Emanuel seems to come out of her shell a bit. She’s nicer to her coworkers, reaches out to a cute boy on the commuter train and starts dating him but don’t worry. She still manages to maintain her spiteful angry attitude toward her step-mom. Because remember, she’s all dark and avant-garde and unique.

What. An. Asshole.

April 14, 2014

Movie Review: "20ft Below: The Darkness Descending" (2014; Blue Dragon/Vertical Entertainment)

...yeah, yeah...I know; go ahead and say it..."...sheesh!! Another Danny Trejo flick??" Well, far be it for this viewer to diss ol' Danny...clearly the hardest working character actor, working today, as well as the most formidable, reputable and dynamic...even in his most minimal presence, in some of his films. And yet, far be it for this viewer, in beating a dead horse, with repeated commentary about that very thing; in brief, just check out Danny's work to date, over at the IMDB website...what he has done, what he is presently doing, and what still waits in the wings (...your jaw will assuredly drop). Anyways, 'nuff said about that, right??...

...speaking of 'wings', this viewer cannot help but appreciate having initially viewed a screener of Danny's latest direct-to-video entry, "20ft Below: The Darkness Descending"...once again, he's headlining, but making minimal presence, here; the advance screener comprised of just the disc, bearing the cover art, as depicted here, and did not include anything else...and for anyone out there, haunting the dollar-rental obelisk, just outside their local convenience store, 'anything else' might well be manipulatively deceptive, as "20ft Below..." is most assuredly something different...dare I say, something perhaps better, on a genre or exploitation film level, than what is seemingly promised in the sensationalist synopsis, on the DVD cover, which this viewer was later privy of (...yep, bought this one outright, myself). In short, there's no denying that this Trejo entry has bite, but at the same time, it also has something important to say...and to the fine advertising folks, who scribbled the synopsis, this viewer cannot help but say, "...hey, let the film stand on it's own merit, OK?? A respectable force unto itself, the film didn't need any help from the sensationalist peanut gallery..."...

April 13, 2014

Movie Review: Battle of the Damned (2013)

Reviewed By: James

Dolph Lundgren meets Resident Evil, 28 Days Later, Pacific Rim and World War Z. We start the film off with the infection threat. Dolph is on a mission to go with his crew and rescue a very important scientist’s daughter in a city that holds very few survivors but a ton of zombies. A military blockade surrounds the city and no one is allowed to enter it or leave it. So, Dolph who plays Major Max Gatling is going thru this city looking for his daughter named Jude. The first ten to fifteen minutes you get the fast running zombies who destroy all of Dolph’s team except him. After the opening credits which happen around the 15 minute mark we meet Jude who is a pretty badass fighter and zombie killer herself. When Dolph rescues her, is when we learn that Jude is part of a survival group that is led by Duke. The film goes into story mode with us learning about all the survivors and watching Max try to get Jude to leave with him. There is just one catch; Jude wants all of them to leave together not just her. Which fumbles the plan of Max because he knows her father is going to burn down the whole city and everyone will die. The robots come into serious play around the 50 minute mark, and I will admit it was not as hokey as I thought it would be.

Impulse Pictures Brings on the Memories, and the Mammaries, with Two Flicks from 1973 and 1974, the Years of the Deuce!


Mary Ellen and Sally, two lovely maids at a local hotel, are tired of their boring, dead-end cleaning jobs.  To liven up their work, these two horny honeys decide to give the guests a little extra “room service.” When some honeymooners and businessmen arrive, the humping and bumping gets even hotter for our heroines as the night goes on.  In the morning, will they decide to keep their jobs after all?

The amateurish camerawork, microphone shadows, elevator music, terribly recorded sound and “you are there” extreme sex close-ups, will bring you back to the days when adult films were cheap and fast and VERY sleazy.  Re-mastered from a scratchy, barely surviving, theatrical print, THE CHAMBERMAIDS is a steamy slice of 70’s sex cinema that will have you cleaning up your own room after you watch it! 

April 11, 2014

Movie Review: The Black Torment (1964)

By Greg Goodsell

Directed by Robert Hartford-Davis

Buy Black Torment on DVD

Eighteenth-century aristocrat Sir Richard Fordyke (John Turner) returns to his country estate in Devon with blushing bride Elizabeth (Heather Sears). They are met with an extremely chilly reception, as the nearby villagers are dealing with the rape and murder of farm girl, which with her dying breath declared Fordyke as her killer. This simply can’t be true, as Fordyke has just spent the last three months in London with his new wife – but skeletons, literally and figuratively begin to emerge from the family’s closet. Elizabeth learns that her husband’s previous wife, Anne, leapt to her death from a high window as a mysterious ghostly woman in white is seen haunting the grounds, chanting “murderer!” Even more illogical things begin to occur around the newlyweds. A leather craftsman comes forward to insist that Fordyke ordered a new saddle in person while he was ostensibly in London, with his dead wife’s name stitched upon it. Is our hero mad, or being haunted from malevolent spirits from beyond the grave? Bodies pile up, and the truth is shockingly revealed.

Franco's DEMONS and More Coming Soon From Kino and Redemption Films!

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 9, 2014 - Kino Lorber and Redemption are proud to announce the release of Jess Franco's THE DEMONS in its complete, uncensored cut on Blu-ray, newly mastered in HD from the original 35mm elements, and THE BLACK TORMENT, a Gothic horror film by Robert Hartford-Davis that will be released on DVD, mastered in HD from 35mm archival elements.

Continuing its releases of the best in European horror in newly-mastered editions from original film elements, Kino Lorber and Redemption are pleased to bring these two films to horror fans on April 29th with special features including interviews that give new insight into the creation of these stylish and atmospheric films. 

THE DEMONS is the latest of Kino Lorber and Redemption's digital restorations of the films of Jess Franco, including such critically-acclaimed releases as FEMALE VAMPIRE, A VIRGIN AMONG THE LIVING DEAD, and the Rondo Award-nominated THE AWFUL DR. ORLOF.

April 10, 2014

Movie Review: L’immortelle (1963, Blu-ray)

Movie Review by Greg Goodsell

Directed by Alain Robbe-Grillet

How can one accurately review a film that is inherently beyond criticism? The screenwriter behind the prototypical art-house snoozer Last Year at Marienbad (1961), Alain Robbe-Grillet bravely goes beyond mere cinematic syntax to drag the viewer through a series of tableaux that are by themselves beyond comprehension. Seeing that this probably wouldn’t have sold tickets, Robbe-Grillet had the good sense to hire the frostily beautiful Françoise Brion and hinge the story on “kind of, sort of” sexual acts. 

A morose-looking professor (Jacques Doniol-Valcroze) arrives in Istanbul. He’s glum and forlorn, a Stranger in a Strange Land. Aforementioned pretty lady (Françoise Brion) gives him a lift. He informs here that he is in Istanbul for the next two years. They go to a party. The camera drifts over several people, they get and leave, the camera is obscured by people walking in front of it, etc. We learn that the professor’s name is Andre. Not knowing anyone, he asks his newfound female friend to translate Turkish. “I don’t know a word of Turkish,” she says, and then turns around and uses perfect Turkish to a tour guide. The professor confronts her and she says something to the effect of “I don’t know Turkish, I only know how to speak Turkish when I talk to the Turks.” I have no idea.

April 9, 2014

Movie Review: The Eddy Duchin Story (1956, Twilight Time Blu-ray)

Review By: Rob Sibley

Twilight Time is becoming one of my favorite labels. They continue to release everything from Peckinpah classics to Bruce Campbell B-movie shlock fests and even the classics. "The Eddy Duchin Story" starring two legends of the silver screen, Tryone Power & Kim Novak. With such legends as the great James Whitmore in supporting roles.

I personally felt ashamed that I never saw this film because it's that good. I consider myself a huge Tyrone Power fan. Even in films with weak screenplays his performances were always top notch. He never pay-checked it even when he was in a turkey. Then we have Kim Novak another legend. A woman who starred in two of my favorite films of all time. "Man with the golden arm" the grim Sinatra classic and Hitchcock's Vertigo (My personal favorite).

April 8, 2014

Cinema Head Cheese: The Podcast! #135 - You Go Now!

Kevin gets into an all comedy movie lineup. He talks about How to Be a Man and How to Lose Friends and Alienate People. He then goes into a whirlwind of stand-up specials that include Ben Stiller, Mike Myers, Seth Meyers, Tom Segura, Bob Saget, Amy Schumer, Tom Papa and more.

He also talks about the passing of Mickey Rooney, John Pinette and The Ultimate Warrior, as well as David Letterman's pending retirement.

Click here to listen or right click and choose "Save Link As..." to download.

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Movie Review: The Dinosaur Experiment (2013)

Not exactly sure why someone thought the world needed another dinosaur movie, particularly one that touts Lorenza Lamas as a ‘star’ of the film (can Lorenzo still be considered a draw when his screen time adds up to maybe 15 minutes?). You know, Jurassic Park set the bar pretty fucking high and this, sir, is no Jurassic Park.

The Dinosaur Experiment begins with crazy old Dr. Cane as he goes to feed his dinosaur. You heard right. He talks to the damn thing like it’s his pet, about how much he loves her, and how annoying his wife was but how easy it was to get rid of her. Wait, what?

Let’s a do a quick roll call for the rest of the cast, shall we?

April 5, 2014

Lingerie Fighting Championships: Leather Vs. Lace Coming to DVD April 22nd from Wild Eye Releasing

New York, NY - Wild Eye Releasing is bringing home a look at world's first all-female MMA league.  Following a successful debut on Pay-Per-View, Lingerie Fighting Championships: Lace vs Leather will be available to own on DVD April 22nd.   The Lingerie Fighting Championships were founded by Roni Taylor after seeing two ring girls get into a fight at an MMA event and realizing the audience was more interested in that fight than any of the real fights. She runs the league with an iron fist and recruits only the hottest girls to fight for her.  Lace vs Leather is the first match of the wildly successful series.
Lingerie Fighting Championships: Lace vs Leather features the world's most controversial MMA league where beautiful mixed martial artists, dressed only in lingerie, train and do battle.  Starring Lingerie Football star Michelle "Scrapper" Blanchard and ex-pro wrestler Arik Loegen, go behind the scenes for an action-packed mix of combat sports, drama and humor in the tradition of UFC and WWE.

April 2, 2014

Movie Review: Thanatomorphose (2013; Thanatofilms/Monster Pictures/Unearthed Films)

...for this viewer, one of his fervored favorite horror sub-genres, are films having to do with gradual and involuntary change. Mind you, not the normal, complacent and wholly accepted kind of change, which we as a human species, mature through, in the various stages of our lives. Nor the degradative and erosive effect of known disease...the undesirable cancers, tumors, stunted growths and cellular shifts, which often plague the human condition. No siree, we're talking the kind of change that culminates into something well out of the norm...unearthly, even monstrous, for lack of a better term. Reckless and unorthodox scientific self-experimentation. Contamination of one's system. Genetic mutation. Viral transmission. Bodily invasion or possession. Or even simply, through a bite from something...or perhaps, some thing. You feel the gradual see the even try to fight the change, if it's within your capability; however, time after time, in films of this horrific ilk, one eventually grows weary of the fight, and accepts the change...embracing it...surrendering to it's invasive purpose...even adapting one's mindset, to parallel with the progressive, ensuing, relentless and inevitable ugliness of what the body is becoming. In a way, it's almost a sensual thing...even erotic, in a rather skewed and twisted way. But what if the change is instigated from within...not willingly, per say, but on a deep, subconscious level, compelling one's outer form to change into, and conform with what & how the person truly is and feels, inside??...

Movie Review: The Front (Blu-ray)

Review By: Mike Heenan

With all the recent media attention and personal attacks on Woody Allen from his crazy ex, it’s hard to remember that at one time he was actually a respectable filmmaker, writer, and in the case of The Front, an actor.  It was the first film that he didn’t have any control over writing or directing and was simply just an actor.  Allen was quoted as trusting director Martin Ritt as Ritt had survived the McCarthy years of the HUAC (House Un-American Activities Committee), as did co star Zero Mostel.

Allen stars as Howard Prince, who works as a cashier in a diner and is a bit of a con artist and gambler. One day one of his old friends Alfred Miller, played by Michael Murphy, stops by to tell Howard that he’s been blacklisted from his industry, of which Howard assumes to mean he has some sickness.   Over a game of chess, Miller comes up with a scheme to present to Howard that apparently has worked in the past, which is a “front”.  The blacklisted writer would write his scripts, but use an unknown person to be the public writer of the script.  Howard easily accepts his cut of 10% of the sales due to his many gambling debts.

April 1, 2014

Movie Review: Attack of the Crab Monsters (1957)

There’s an STD joke in here somewhere…

I’ve always enjoyed the Edgar Allan Poe movies of the 1960s directed by Roger Corman. But I realized I haven’t seen more than a small fraction of RC’s work, particularly the sci-fi monster movies from the 50s (with the exception being The Wasp Woman - that shit was awesome!).

And so I’ve rectified my terrible short comings by taking a gander at Attack of the Crab Monsters. The opening credits alone scream cheese ball as they’re hand drawn and look how Ariel’s world would have ended up if Ursula had succeeded in defeating King Triton.

There is a lot of talking in this flick because I can only guess the available money went to pay for the actors and that’s about it. So not as many action shots as there are looooong minutes of explanation as to why the people are on this particular island, and one character actually tells us (via random naval crew guy #2) the names and occupations of every fucking person.

Basically a crew of scientists and Navy guys need to search a little spit of an island for a research crew that disappeared from there earlier. And wouldn’t you know it but people start dying two minutes in: random crew guy #4 falls out of the dinghy and is pulled back up without his head. That’s less than optimal.

Interracial Sex Havoc Part #3: 1975

We continue our journey through interracial sex in the movies, and this time we’ll take a look at films from 1975. Not all films included here are pornographic, but they had to have at least one interracial sex scene in order to qualify. For this chapter I wrote about plenty of golden age porn [one including legend John Holmes], a couple of art films [one by Pier Paolo Pasolini] and more. So, enjoy!

La bête (1975)
This English, French, Italian co-production is set in France and it concerns the adventures of the title’s beast which is raping women in the woods. Bestiality you say, but all I see is a man in a suit. There are a lot of horses fucking each other in this film too. I wish I was making this up.
The director’s name (Walerian Borowczyk) says a lot to some people, but I am not a fan of his work. Anyway, this exploitative “art” film contains several interracial sex scenes between a sexy white girl and a black servant [Hassane Fall]. Those are always interrupted and the poor girl has to masturbate afterwards, but said scenes don’t seem pornographic when compared to the sequences described in the above paragraph. The humour is also lame, and the icing on the cake is a disgusting masturbation scene that involves a rose. I’m grossed.

Count the Ways (1975)
Cunt the ways! I always wanted to write that. Now, on with the film... It was written and directed by Ann Perry and when it doesn’t focus on hardcore sex scenes, it looks like a decent exploitation movie from its era.
The story revolves around a teacher who loves his poetry, but above all loves young flesh (well, not so young judging by the apparent age of the female stars). The first (rather quick) sex scene happens between him and one of his students. They start to make out in soft-core fashion, then the shot goes out of focus, then in focus again and the thing becomes hardcore.
The second sex scene happens in the back of a van between a moustached man and a hot girl. It’s actually hot and impressive considering how risky it was to film it as the van’s windows were open and the vehicle was driven in the middle of a busy highway. You can see other cars passing by, whilst obviously their drivers had no idea they’d become part of classic smut history. It’s amazing how this film doesn’t stick to cheap interiors, unlike much of the era’s crap quickies.
Anyway, a bit later, the van’s student couples go in a cabin where they fuck each other’s brains out, whilst the moustached guy wears Super-Man underwear. And here we have the film’s only interracial scene of interest: it happens between a white guy and a black girl.
The film’s hottest scene though happens between a black man and a black girl who get it on in a bathtub. Her breasts are gorgeous beyond belief.
And there’s also a scene in which the teacher is fucking a student in the snow. I’m not sure how he managed to get a hard-on in such a freezing environment, but he did. I’m sure they got pneumonia from the stunt though.
The last scene is quite arty and it reminded me of the late-night ‘90s soft-core TV movies, only this is hardcore.

March 31, 2014

Movie Review: "The Booker" (2012; IndiePix Films)

...oh, how this viewer misses the good ol' days of professional wrestling...those gritty, sweaty renaissance days of yore...say, about the late '50's, to the mid-to-late '70's, when the action spoke louder than the words...even louder than the often aggressively confident, sometimes boisterously arrogant fighters...back in the days when it was much more about the fight, than about outrageously colorful and self-heralding extrovert, the 'product'...or rather, the fighter, presented himself. OK, admittedly, even the awesome and spectacular fights back in the day, were carefully choreographed...indeed, the fighters truly knew how to put on a was hardly as 'fake', as some naysayers might suggest. And some righteous body slams...the sound, unlike that of raw meat being pummeled and slapped onto the taut canvas...and heck, even some respectable bloodshed, definitely made things much more grueling, and well, much more 'realistic'. In the advent of the almost ridiculous, clown-like personalities, wrought from the '80's, as well as the introduction of the respectable Ultimate Fighting Championship, in the '90's, the professional wrestling venue's spectacle seems to have become more about the flash, than the fight...

...that balance between the sport and the show...looking at professional wrestling in a much more artistic meld, rather than the low-brow and commercial stigma, which it has since been pigeon-holed into...fighters, who are less 'showboat', and more 'hungry'...yes, that's also what fight promoter Steve Scarborough (...aka Steve Platinum, in labeling his proposed wrestling championship brand, the Platinum Champion Wrestling) remembers, back in that exciting time. And if he has anything to say about it, he would see quote a medieval term...'fair time' come to pass, once again. His vision...his dream...his journey is the subject of intrigue, turmoil and measurable triumph, in the documentive study herein, called "The Booker"... 

TV on DVD: Monsters: Complete Series Collection

During the mid to late 80’s genre fans were treated to some solid horror and sci-fi television with the popularity of the Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead producer Richard Rubinstein and George Romero collaboration Tales from the Darkside. Following Darkside we got hour-long series Friday the 13th: The Series and the subpar Freddy’s Nightmares to squeeze in a TV scare after 9pm on a weekend night.

Tale's from the Darkside producer Rubinstein returned with another half-hour horror show in Monsters, which ran for three seasons. Thanks to the folks at Entertainment One, Monsters: The Complete Series is making its debut on DVD in a nifty nine disc box set that is sure to make fans of this show very happy. All 72 episodes from the three seasons are included on this box-set and to my knowledge are in their uncut format as they were shown originally on network TV.

The Feverman and Holly’s House episodes do a nice job in getting Monster’s in particularly ghoulish gear. The Feverman shows off some fun make-up with a morbidly obese demon terrorizing a group of folks in a basement. In Holly’s House is another enjoyable episode on the first season that crosses the children’s TV show (Ala Pee Wee’s Playhouse) with the horror of Chucky from Child’s Play. This time around the killer doll is the animatronic puppet named Holly.

March 30, 2014

Movie Review: Nurse Girl Dorm: Sticky Fingers (DVD,1985, Nikkatsu)

Review By: Rob Sibley

Ah, Nikkatsu.... you can never really go wrong with anything from this company can you? A Japanese company that specialized in producing erotic films shot on 35MM. Every-time I review a Nikkatsu film I'm never sure on what I'm going to get. It's like the prize at the bottom of a cracker jack box.

"Nurse Girl Dorm: Sticky Fingers" despite the lurid title is maybe the most tame film from Nikkatsu. Now that's not a bad thing, in fact now and then Nikkatsu is a bit much for me. But this film is a straight up sex-comedy. You could easily replace the Asian cast with an American cast and you'd feel like your watching Porky's. My guess is American sex comedy's were big in Japan in the 80's and Nikkatsu wanted part of that. So we get Nurse Girl Dorm.