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August 28, 2015

Movie Review: Sometimes Aunt Martha Does Dreadful Things

Review By: James DePaolo

1971 was a weird time in film, you had so many studios just putting out films at a rapid rate that if you blinked you missed at least four new films. For better or worst this film sort of hid under the cracks until just recently when they re-released it. This film centers around two criminals who decide to hang low in a small town in Florida. Which if you know Florida, there are a million places to hang low in. Paul and Stanley, (Maybe that is where we got the name for the Kiss vocalist) hatch this idiotic plan for Paul to pretend to be Stanley’s Aunt Martha. The whole while it seems that a local woman takes a liking to Stanley and invites him to go out with her and the friends. Paul on the other hand seems to be the brains and in his disillusionment decides that the only way they can maintain their cover is by murdering people that the paranoia would have them believe are catching on to them.

This film covers sexual confusion, dysfunction and sleaze fairly well in its oddness. Paul as we learn is a homosexual and Stanley is a teenage lover of his that really comes across as a generation clash of sorts. You have the restless youth who does what all teens do, and the older man who is possessive to the point of over controlling. We watch as one starts to blossom on the world outside of them and the other becomes desperate. This film has some scenes that are set up for shock value and at times works decently.

August 27, 2015

Movie Review: Tig (2015)

Tig Notaro is a comedian I have enjoyed for longer than I can remember. In 2012, after battling a horrible health scare and losing a close member of her family, she found out that she had cancer and broke the news on stage during a show. The result was a set that broke her career wide open. Just as she thought life was at its worst, some of the best things she could hope for started to happen.

Tig was on the set of the movie In a World when she started to feel ill. She was rushed to the hospital, and she was soon diagnosed with C-Diff. This is an often deadly disease that destroys your digestive system. Though the battle was difficult, Tig survived, but thuis was only the very beginning of her struggle.

During her recovery, she got a message from her stepdad. Her mom had fallen and hit her head, and it looked like she wouldn't make it. Tig went home to deal with this new tragedy, and it didn't stop there.

Movie Review: Flesh and Bullets

Review By: James DePaolo

On March 1989 the film industry lost the man who could be singled out for my blindness, Carlos Tobalina. To me, he was one of the king of the adult film world with his love of romancing the camera and getting those shots that other directors seem to stray from. When I heard he did a film that was not a porn my first reaction was that it was a porn in hiding, but needless to say this film is nowhere near porn which still should be said, it is a good enough film to recommend nonetheless.

The humor for me comes from the fact that the original print of the film he changed his name to hide the fact of who he was. In a somewhat odd retelling of sorts from Alfred Hitchcock’s Stranger on a Train, we meet two unhappy married men both of whom have shady pasts meet in Vegas and hatch a scheme to murder one another’s ex-wives. Well as you can guess there will be a catch to this plan and each of them fall in love with the other’s ex.

August 26, 2015

Movie Review: Insurgent (2015)

The sequel to Divergent picks up where its predecessor left off.  The film follows Tris(Shailene Woodley) and Four(Theo James) who are known as Divergents in a world that has separated all people into factions.  If you haven’t seen “Divergent,” this film will make no sense to you.

Alliances are tested as are the wills of the characters in “Insurgent.”  Tris is having difficulty dealing with the guilt of the people she lost.  Four is right there by Tris’ side, as he was in the first film.  Miles Teller reprises his role brilliantly as Peter, a character that keeps you guessing as to which side he is on.

Kate Winslet is still the baddie for this film as she plays Jeanine, the person keeping order and hunting down the Divergent people.  In this installment, you find that Jeanine is not just interested in the Divergent folk to eradicate them, but for another reason altogether.

The sweeping landscape scenes look incredible in “Insurgent.”  The green of the forest and the shots of the city ruins gives this film a distinct and beautiful look.  There’s also a ton of violence and characters that were killed in ways I did not expect.

“Insurgent” receives three out of five pile drivers.  I don’t think it was quite as good as the “Divergent,” but the film ends in a way to make you look forward to the next.

August 25, 2015

Cinema Head Cheese: Podshort! - The Fantastic Four (1994)

In honor of the failure of Josh Trank's Fantastic Four, Kevin Moyers finally watches the unreleased Roger Corman version.

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

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August 23, 2015

Movie Review: The Young Lions (1958; 20th Century Fox/Twilight Time) really has to give prolific director Edward Dmytryk a respectably just comeuppance of appreciation, as far as his ability in not pigeon-holing himself into one particular film genre. When one considers his spectrum of film productions, we're talking about seeing him dip into just about every film genre under the sun, and then some...and prove himself respectably exceptional in each and every one. An under-appreciated filmmaker by name ( infamous 'socialist blacklist' stigma took care of that, which in itself...encompassing a rather vast number of yet another provocative Hollywood story, altogether...a tale to be later told, to be sure), his films, nonetheless spark great acclamation and appreciation by sheer mention of their eclectically varied titles, alone. A little steamy intrigue, set in a New Orleans bordello, in 1962's "Walk on the Wild Side"...the classic horror of 'ape, into woman, into ape-woman', with 1943's "Captive Wild Woman"...corruption and crime in the boxing ring, as revealed in 1940's "Golden Gloves" up a dusty, one-horse town, plagued by gun-toting cowboy thugs, in 1959's "Warlock"...the entwining, film noir-ish mystery and intrigue, found in 1944's "Murder, My Sweet"...blackmail and terrorism, on the cusp of a fledgling computer age, in 1975's "The Human Factor"...and the ever genre-shifting list goes on, and on, and on...

August 18, 2015

Movie Review: 1990: The Bronx Warriors (1982; Deaf Internacional Film/Blue Underground)

...funny thing, about the passing of time; it has a way of affecting, re-affecting and de-affecting certain things. 'Certain things', as far as how the general masses see them. How one looks at a certain thing, one day, and then years later, see that very same thing in a different light. The old story of how time is kind to some things, and not so forgiving on others...the old adage of some things aging like fine wine, and for other things...well, they turn to vinegar. And so, considering the particular subject matter at hand, as the classic pop song lyric so succinctly goes, "...if you think you know where all this is heading..."...yeah, we're talking Italian trash cinema, with the moniker of 'trash' not only being poignantly applicable to this specific film review, but also, as an endearing token of affection, with regards to this rather eclectic brand of cinema... as much as this reviewer has very much embraced and appreciated Italian cult film cinema, regardless of all of it's ever-shifting, ever-changing, even ever-mimicking incarnations, stemming back to the early '60's, and reaching up through the years, to...say, about the late '80's. The gothic-flavored horrors of the '60's...the tense, visceral giallos of the '70's...the gore-soaked zombie & cannibal buffets of the '80's. And all of the war-sploitation, shark-sploitation, prison-sploitation, Rambo-sploitation, Star Wars-sploitation and post-apocalyptic future-sploitation flicks, prolifically sprinkled amidst it all. And it's one of those latter categories, and a specific film therein, that we're gleefully jumping all over, in this focus...

August 16, 2015

Cub Scouts Encounter Evil in the Woods in this Film Festival Favorite

It was only a weekend camping trip for a troop of innocent cub scouts and their older teen chaparones. What could go wrong? Well, start with a evil psychopathic killer, add his ferel young protoge, have them place some ingenious traps in the woods and the results are kind of violent and bloody. This imaginative fairy tale draws on such influences as Lord of the Rings, Friday the 13th and The Devil’s Backbone as it tells the story of 12-year-old outcast Sam who, along with his fellow cub scouts, are forced to confront unspeakable evil!. A wildly entertaining “killer in the woods” actioner that has been a hit in it festival run.

“Kinetic and brutal, gory and graphic with comedic beats in-between.” –

“A brutal new spin on standard camp horror fare.” – Dread Central

“CUB is a rock solid piece of genre entertainment presented bluntly and without irony.” – Fangoria

August 13, 2015

Movie Review: Police Story: Lockdown (2013)

The incomparable Jackie Chan stars as Zhong Wen, a cop who has had a rough go of life.  He’s lost his wife and he is growing distant from his daughter Miao Miao(Tian Jing).  Chan’s character agrees to meet Miao Miao at the beginning of the film in the hot new destination, Club Wu.  The walk from the cab to the club is a pre-cursor to the struggle that Zhong has in his life.  Should he stop and uphold the law when things go slightly awry, or should he continue on to the night club to repair his relationship with his daughter?  This is the theme of his character throughout. 

Zhong and Miao Miao clearly need to patch things up but things go a little crazy and Chan’s character ends up being knocked out and kidnapped.  His captor, the club owner Wu Jiang(Liu Ye) who also happens to be Miao Miao’s new beau.  Miao Miao has no idea she was with such a cruel individual.  The movie from here is set around finding out Wu Jiang’s motives.  Why did he capture Zhong?  Why does he have so many hostages?  What are his true demands?  It’s all part of the ride.

August 11, 2015

Movie Review: The Dead Lands (2015)

We have a film that starts with a chase and a kill using primitive Maori weapons.  What a cool way to get a movie going!  "The Dead Lands" takes place around the 16th century in New Zealand, prior to any European exploration.  Two tribes have a long running truce until someone defecates on an ancestor’s skull(literally).  Without their chief present, Wirepa(Te Kohe Tuhaka) is representing  his tribe and he is ready for war.  Wirepa frames the film’s hero Hongi(James Rolleston), who is the son of the rival tribe’s chief(George Henare).  The chief does everything he can to get out of going to war but Wirepa is insistent.

Wirepa and his tribe attack Hongi’s people at night killing off all men except Hongi who, during the attack, ends up at the bottom of a cliff.  The next day, Hongi sees the aftermath and decides he needs revenge.  Hongi has a vision in his sleep of his grandmother(Rena Owen) and she offers advice within the dream.  He tells her he will go where no one dares go, to the Dead Lands where it is said there is a man, possibly a monster, does not welcome outsiders and eats people.   It is then that Hongi decides he will recruit the warrior from the Dead Lands to assist him in his quest to find Wirepa.

August 10, 2015

Movie Review: Some Call It Loving (1973; James B. Harris Productions/Etiquette Pictures) really has to hand it to the experimental filmmaker...the determination...the creativity...the tenacity...sometimes, the outright gall and daring, to somehow manage to get the approving salute, in producing a vision wrought from a most unexpected and unconventional ilk, whether it be from a first-time filmmaker...or a protege of a more high-profile filmmakers, who want to throw his hand into the arena...or a filmmaker who has garnished and nurtured a reputation for a certain style, and out of the blue, wants to do something outrageously different, not unlike an inch that one just has to scratch. And then, there's the experimental filmmaker, who's a seasoned pro at always dipping one's big toe into the fray...always coming out with something totally off-the-wall...something that's wholly expected from that particular filmmaker, but nonetheless, something we as anticipating viewers remain unprepared for, each and every time...

...without a doubt, y'all know some, if not all of these provocative filmmakers; heck, a mere four reviews ago, on this reviewer's docker, we examined the humble, albeit eclectic beginnings of one such fledgling director...E. Elias Merhige, who's higher-profile "Suspect Zero" and "Shadow of the Vampire" was preceded by the wholly experimental, unflinchingly visceral, religiously allegoric horror film, "Begotten". Of course, there's the renowned filmmaker Christopher Nolan, of "Memento", "The Prestige" and "The Dark Knight" fame, who hit the scene early on, with a daring vision of human study, called "The Following". Director Darren Aronofsky went on to bigger things, but still remained within the 'let's try this on for size' experimental venue, with films like "Requiem for a Dream", "Black Swan" and "The Wrestler"...but before all that, he just had to get 1998's "Pi" out of his system. And leave us not forget filmmaking auteur David Lynch, who quite literally has made a career out of outrageously unconventional and provocative filmmaking...his production repertoire is as widely spectrumed as it is immense, starting with a classic amongst classic experimental film productions...that being 1977's understatedly bizarre and surreal "Eraserhead"...

August 6, 2015

Movie Review: All American Bully (2015)

It seems that over the past few years that one of the best companies to find the more eclectic and delightfully horrific titles to come out of the low-budget and micro-budget film world has been Wild Eye Releasing. If you've seen titles like Disco Exorcist, Blood Soaked and The Electric Chair you know exactly what I'm talking about. Recently they've released a film that carries what is an unquestionably very topical and relevant problem that troubles so many youth across the world, bullying.

The premise for All American Bully is somewhat unique here as you have two young men (played by Daren Ackerman and Alexander Fraser) who were friends when they were very young. Like many kids though as they hit their teens, they grow apart. John (Ackerman) begins to initiate some really nasty bullying to Devon (Fraser) and his friends. It seems that John's hostility goes a little deeper though to a humiliating incident from several years earlier. Something so embarrassing to John, that as a way to fight back, Devon takes to social media thanks to the urging of his friends. While momentarily satisfying, this opens up some horrible events that happen later.

August 5, 2015

Movie Review: Barely Lethal (2015)

This is the story of a secret assassin whose training began at a very young age who has decided she wants a normal teenage life.  Agent 83 (Hailee Steinfeld), or Megan as she prefers to be known as, fakes her death during the capture of the notorious Victoria Knox (Jessica Alba).

Gathering intel into the teenage world, Megan utilizes the films Clueless, The Breakfast Club and Mean Girls to determine how to fit into the high school world.  Through watching these films, Megan determines how to label everyone.

Barely Lethal, unfortunately, has a hard time determining what kind of movie it is.  At times it feels like it caters to the audience that would enjoy the Spy Kids franchise but at others, it definitely goes the PG-13 route.  The dialogue early on felt very 1980s action era and seemed like it was only there to get the cliché story going.  Once Megan reaches high school, the dialogue improves, especially when Liz (Dove Cameron) is able to deliver the film’s more memorable lines like, “…ass baby of Criss Angel and Russell Brand,” when describing classmate Cash (Toby Sebastian).

Despite how predictable the movie was throughout, there were a few comical performances that had me chuckling.  Rob Huebel’s character has very awkward discussions with his son Roger (Thomas Mann).  Dan Fogler as the teacher who has a man-crush on Cash (Tony Sebastian) who is the lead singer of the local band, Emotacons.  Steve-O was actually kind of funny as well as Pedro, the sympathetic torturer.  As stated earlier, Dove Cameron’s lines really help this movie along.  There’s a really small part where you’ll see Topher Grace in this movie – blink and you’ll miss him.  Throw in Rachael Harris (who had one of my favorite characters on the TV show Archer) and you may be able to get through this film.

August 4, 2015

Interracial Sex Havoc #9: 1985 – 1990

The Interracial Sex Havoc project is a reviews selection of films that contain at least one interracial sex scene. The present chapter is about movies released from 1985 to 1990. Many goodies are presented, including a Dennis Hopper film and a flick with Mickey Rourke. So, enjoy!

Foreword on Compilations

For this Interracial Sex Havoc instalment I had to ignore the Afro Erotica film series that (from 1986 to 1989) produced 33 volumes, and the Black Ass, White Gash film series that I believe it produced 10 volumes, because although they are both very important compilations of ethnic pornography and among the first too, these videos were still a patchwork of unrelated sex scenes and no matter how hot many of them are (some of them coming from classics of the era) there is really not much you can write about plot-less intercourse sessions. The bottom line is that I will try to avoid compilations as much as possible.

Irrelevant Introduction

Up to around 1988 (roughly the end of the golden age of porn), movies usually portrayed interracial sex as something exotic. From around 1988 onwards things changed a bit and usually interracial sex worked as a vehicle for fetishsized racism. Some subgenres of porn do that with several subjects, including rape. Racism and rape are undeniably the greatest evils in this world. They are occasionally eroticized in some porn subgenres, but I don’t think that we should make quick conclusions of the films that do that (or any film). After all, adult films work as a fantasy (no matter how realistic) and contrary to prostitution they actually keep perverts off the streets when they offer them harmless orgasms through masturbation. Rape and racism are cultural problems that society needs to solve with education and other means, but to ignore them by simply banning them on film is outright stupid.

Another problem with porn from around 1989 to 2009 is (in most cases) the lack of story. The rise of the so called gonzo porn killed storytelling. This seems to be changing the last few years with the introduction of genres such as the staged casting videos and those work solely because we the audience get introduced to the performers. Sure, most of what the performers say is bullshit, but a character development of sorts takes form there. This works as a masturbation material because it is absolutely vital to know a thing or two about the performers even if that is only a fake name and a fake date of birth. It looks like the ‘amateur’ genre won’t go away any time soon, but it also seems that many people are now bored of seeing people portrayed as fuck meat. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely find many ‘amateur’ videos to be very hot, but as a reviewer I find it impossible to write an article about two (or more) people fucking in a room.

Another thing I noticed is that although the adult film industry was always producing comedies, somewhere around the late ‘80s parodies and self-mockery themes became very frequent. And it has been said by various theorists that when one film movement stops taking itself seriously then it is dead. Well, porn proved this argument to be wrong.

The Reviews

Angel Heart (1987)

The beginning of this film is set in New York in 1955 where Louis Cyphre [Robert De Niro who around the same time was also in The Untouchables (1987)] delegates private detective Harry Angel [Mickey Rourke fresh off 9 ½ Weeks (1986)] to find singer Johnny Favourite.

Harry goes on a mission in Louisiana (which is very stereotypically portrayed as uncivilized) where dead bodies start piling up around the hunt for Johnny. It is there that he will meet underage mother Epiphany Proudfoot [Lisa Bonet from High Fidelity (2000)] and between them the sole interracial sex scene will happen. It is a very interesting scene which is pivotal to the plot and gorgeous to look at with its use of the small space that a single room is providing and with the rain that comes through the ceiling and later becomes blood which is showering the couple.

There is a twist ending to the film, which nowadays may seem very obvious, but back then it was quite original as nobody in the audience was so well trained to such surprises. Also, the names given to the characters are a bit stupid and obvious. This being a neo-noir, the main character is smoking cigarettes throughout the entire running time which makes you want to take a puff too. This is in my opinion the greatest film by director Alan Parker [Pink Floyd The Wall (1982)].

August 2, 2015

Movie Review: Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser (2015)

Joe Dirt is one of those movies that I can watch over and over. When it was in heavy rotation on Comedy Central, I had to stop and watch no matter where I came into it. When I heard the news of a sequel, I got excited. I did. Judge my taste if you want, but the world needs silly comedies. The interesting thing about this movie is that it was released exclusively on Crackle. It's not their first original release. They have a few movies and TV shows, and oddly enough, this might be their biggest yet.

We find our lovable dipshit of a hero on a bus bench attempting to tell his story to a stranger sitting near him. Yes, this is very Forrest Gump, which the stranger points out before calling Joe a bitch waffle. Another stranger comes along and decides to hear the story. The weirdest part is that radio host Zander Kelly (Dennis Miller) is telling the story of Joe telling his story to two yahoos at an auto shop. This isn't even the weirdest this movie gets.