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September 29, 2015

Cinema Head Cheese: The Podcast! #141 - Dudley Has To Take His Shirt Off

Inebriated duo Kevin and Jeff get together to talk about their favorite sitcoms of the 1980s.

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September 27, 2015

Movie Review: American Buffalo (1996; Samuel Goldwyn/20th Century Fox/MGM/UA/Twilight Time)

...OK, let's get it out on the table, right here and now...though, in all honesty, there'd be little-to-no surprise or disagreement, in the proclamation. With countless notable, significant, and yes, acclaimed roles credit to him, stemming as far back as...well, as far back as however long this reviewer has set foot in life (...uh nope, we don't need to go there; we just have to say, yes, it's that far back)...well, let's just come out and say it: Dustin Hoffman is one of the greatest American actors, if not the greatest American actor of the past half-century. There's very few productions, indelibly etched in Dustin's wide-spectrum of films which, given a specific title, doesn't strike most with a sense of deep affection, familiarity and appreciation...not so much in the film title itself, or even the subject matter depicted, but more so, those which bear Dustin's unique and well-accomplished stamp alone. One of those actors whom has starred in many a film, often good...rarely bad, but despite how good or bad the film might have been, Dustin's performance has, for the most part, has always managed to shine through, and that affect...especially if the particular film wasn't particular good...has at least raised the film up, from what might have been considered 'bad', by definition, to at the very least, significant...

September 22, 2015

Cinema Head Cheese: Podshort! - The Visit (2015)

Peggy Christie reviews the latest from M. Night Shyamalan.

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September 17, 2015

Movie Review: "The Flying Acquaintances" (1973; Vinegar Syndrome)

...back in this reviewer's good ol' early Navy days...that is, before the onset and convenience of home video, and those occasional late-night 'gathering of the buds', at one of the 'buds' conveniently located homes...those smokey & darkened back rooms, and the flickering chatter of an overheated film projector...the murmuring and the snickers and the 'woo-wooing' and the clinking of beer cans...this reviewer's fondest memories of having been 'formally' introduced to the steamy and provocative arena of sexploitation cinema, were the late-night trips we all made, to the local, albeit tucked-away-back-in-the-fields drive-in theaters, in the early eighties. Passion pits, found while stationed in Orlando, Florida...Groton, Connecticut...Great Lakes, Michigan...Norfolk, Virgina. Breaking away from our arduous pre-weekend Naval school studies, or the dust and grit of a Friday workday in the shipyard, once the sun hit the level of dusk, a dozen of us...all young, dumb and full of (...what?? Did I just hear a high pitched 'cuckoo'?? Never mind...) would pour ourselves into a couple of rickety, run-down vehicles, and do some wayward, random bar-hopping. A couple of us would occasionally 'get lucky', and that'd be the last we'd see of them, that night...a couple others, green behind the gills, being unable to hold their 'Milwaukee's Best' (...and that's after the first 12 or 15 of them; hey, you just can't beat a case of beer, for a mere three bucks and change, right??), would pass out, and a readily available taxi would pigeon the wimps back to base...

...the rest of us, beaten down by rejection, but still enjoying a respectable buzz...still, with another case or two of the ol' 'MB' to polish off, and nothing else to do...would roll on over, sometimes on mere gas fumes, to the local, though quite out in the sticks, late-night drive-in theater, which...once the midnight hour rendered a subtle cymbal strike...would covertly screen some of the best, albeit some of the most wildly outrageous softcore film classics...most of which were dated back to the golden age of '70's 'blue' movies. Edgy sex scenes, but not too explicit...wacky fantasy scenarios, which could never possibly happen in real life, save for what might be imaginatively written in 'Forum' magazine...comical interludes, to break up the monotony of the steam sex moments (...oh yeah right...they were so-o-o-o bo-o-o-oring, too...again, yeah right)...shoddy production values, and ridiculously looking cardboard sets...and some of the most ludicrous, over-the-top performances, both in character interaction, as well as during the sex scenes...and all this for the stuffed carload price of five bits...

Cape and Cowl One: Superman!

With the proliferation of the superhero movie, it is a good idea to remember our roots and see how the various media outlets have portrayed our favorite heroes and villains, that is the purpose of the Cape and Cowl series! Supes has gotten the absolute most screen time (far more than Batman, Spider-Man, Hulk, etc.). Still, with the thousands of comic book adventures, feature films, television shows and stage productions there are only a handful of people that have donned the tights and represented truth, justice and the American way in the media.

I know I say this all the time, but it is an incredible honor to be able to work in Superman’s world. Being part of that small handful of artists that populate Metropolis, Smallville and Krypton is something I will cherish for the rest of my days. How will we stack up against the following roll call of the world’s biggest Boy Scout? Join us at The Blog of Steel and watch the journey unfold. Until then… this looks like a job for, well, for me.

September 16, 2015

Check Out Full Moon Features' Indiegogo for "Killjoy's Psycho Circus" and "Evil Bong High-5"!

SAVE THE DATE: Not Seen in More Than 40 Years: THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW: THE LOST EPISODES Arrives in a 6-Disc Collector's Set on 9/15

"The Carol Burnett Show helped define the golden age of television" -- The New York Times



Showcasing the Birth of a TV Legend, the 6-Disc Collector's Set ($59.95srp) Features the Best Original Broadcast Episodes from the Legendary Variety Show, Hand-Picked by Carol Herself!

Includes 16 Episodes and Nearly 5 Hours of Specially-Created Bonus MaterialIncluding a Backstage Tour of CBS Studio 33, Never-Before-Seen Bloopers and Outtakes, and Exclusive Interviews with Alan Alda, Julie Andrews, Bill Hader, Queen Latifah, Don Rickles and More!


Movie Review: "Mandingo Sex Addict" (2014; Full Circle Filmworks)

...truth be known, often times, one cannot help but rally around and appreciate a filmmaker who, in having garnished a successful career and respectably celebrated reputation, feels ready to take his or her efforts to that next plateau, moving away from a genre expectedly known for...taking things up a notch, so to speak, as far as grander ideas, financially higher-tiered production values and more readily available resources. To be sure, it's a personal growth process, and it has to be absolutely elating, not to mention a boost to a filmmaker's ego, knowing that in being critically upheld, as far as one's work, that the talent comes looking for the filmmaker, rather than the other way around. Considering that, it's even cooler when, despite the intentful desire to move on to bigger and better things, the filmmaker feels equally compelled to get that very last obligatory fist-pump in last hurrah on that lower-rung genre, if at the very least, for personal satisfaction, closing that particular chapter in one's career, taking care of an itch one just has to scratch, and at the same time, affording the devotees of his work, an appreciative genre finale, before moving on...with promise of greater and more diverse things, soon to come...

...will such a 'genre finale' be a creatively conceived and satisfying crescendo moment, or will the overwhelming desire to get to that next level be so great and alluring, that the proposed 'crescendo moment' seems rushed, forced and cookie-cutter standard...even sub-standard?? Like something which one just has to get out of one's system, before moving other words, as the saying goes, 'just phoning it in'?? (...the latter suggestion of which, for good instance, we definitely saw just recently, when director Tom Six, motivated and drawn toward 'getting it out of his system, once and for all' and moving on to something other than his infamous and notorious 'Human Centipede' franchise, punched out a third and final chapter in the gratuitously grotesque and gory 'saga'...and the resulting finale proved...well extraordinarily 'ordinary', at least by what might have been expected on the Tom Six Standard...but that's another story, altogether)...

September 15, 2015

Movie Review: Super Infra-Man

Alright, tonight I am watching Super Infra-Man from 1975. It's a Chinese  Ultra-Man/Kamen Rider type movie. If you ever wondered where they got the idea for Rita Repulsa of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers this is it. Princess Dragon Mom is a mix of Rita and Scorpina.  Dragon Moms lair scenes with monsters volunteering to fight the human is exactly like the Rita scenes. This is just good fun! Definitely not as good as Ultra-Man. It Is a good homage to the Japanese Tokutatsu of the era. The Shaw Bros. got a lot of help from many Japanese creators. 
Don't get me wrong it is bad, but at the same time it's fun and oh so campy! Now Infra-Man himself is a definite amalgam of Ultra-Man and Kamen Rider!  The stories pretty basic, you have this horde of monsters that invade Earth led by Princess Dragon Mom. A group of scientists decide to create a superhero, Infra-Man. They genetically engineer him, what you get is a hero who looks like Kaman Rider with the same colors and powers of Ultra-Man. He can grow to gigantic sizes and battle giant monsters! And, battles he does! 

Now the big difference between Infra-Man and his Japanese counterparts is, Infra-Man has 
decent Kung-Fu action! 

September 13, 2015

Movie Review: Z Storm (Blu-ray)

Reviewed By:

James DePaolo

In my 5 years plus now doing reviews I have watched a lot of movies. Add to that going to the movies and watching films that I do not review that are on Netflix or I go out and buy. So, one can say I am a rabid and avid movie watcher and try not to miss too many titles. I know in my heart of hearts not every film can be a winner, some films fall short intentionally and others unintentionally. Z Storm, is a great premise and I bet in the right people’s hands could make a great film; this was not the right people to handle this film.

Z Storm borders on self-parody and idiocy almost immediately and never fails to stop for one minute and try to come up with something that could save it from its fate. This film I want to think wanted to be taken serious and it just did not have a clue how to do it. It is Z Storm that really lowers the bar on what is acceptable in modern film and this film should never have seen the light of day. I feel all people involved should be on line on their hands and knees apologizing to us for even thinking about watching it.

September 9, 2015

TV Review: The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

I've reviewed quite a few TV shows on this site over the years, but talk shows aren't something I'd ever think to write up. I probably should have after the debut of The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, because I absolutely love the replacement for The Colbert Report. In fact, it's the first late night show I've watched regularly after dropping off from its predecessors. I didn't drift from The Daily Show and Report for any reason other than being busy with other things. With the advent of Netflix and Hulu, appointment television isn't a thing for me anymore. I only remembered that this debut was happening because of a Facebook post. Normally, I'd catch these things a day or two later.

That being said, I was interested to see what Colbert was going to do with Letterman's old spot. The Late Show debuted when I was in high school, and I watched it almost every night for several years. Letterman always did his own thing, and I knew Colbert would carry that torch in a great way. Through a slightly awkward start, he definitely did.

September 7, 2015

Cinema Head Cheese: Podshort! -

Jeff Dolniak reviews a new channel available online and through your Roku.

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September 6, 2015

Movie Review: Ex Machina (2015)

Caleb(Domhnall Gleeson) who works for the largest internet search engine in the world wins a trip to hang out with the founder(Oscar Isaac) of the company.  When Caleb meets Nathan, he finds out he is part of something much bigger.  Nathan is in a very secluded and highly secure compound where he is developing Artificial Intelligence.  Nathan wants Caleb to perform interviews/tests to see if his creation, Ava(Alicia Vikander), has a conscience.

Caleb is excited for the opportunity despite the odd behavior of his employer Nathan.  The interactions between Caleb and Ava were shot incredibly well.  Caleb starts to feel things are amiss when he gets into the artificial mind of Ava and his dealings with the heavy drinking Nathan.

Plenty of plot twists keep you wondering what may or may not be real inside this film.  Why was Caleb brought here?  What does Nathan really want?  Can Ava love someone?

On a scale of one to five pile drivers, I'm giving "Ex Machina" four pile drivers.  The film kept me interested from start to finish and really kept me guessing.

September 5, 2015

Movie Review: Escape from the Bronx (1983)

When I first looked at the CD art on this I thought Jeff sent me Escape from NY. Okay. Maybe John Carpenter re-released it or something, wanted to get it back in front of the general population. I enjoy Kurt Russell. But on closer inspection I realized this is a film that obviously tried to cash in on the popularity of Snake Plisskin and his band of merry thugs (I mean, they had a character with an eye patch for crying out loud. AN EYE PATCH!)

Escape from the Bronx tells us the story of what a shit hole the Bronx is and some douchebag CEO of the GC Corporation wants to raze it to the ground then rebuild all of New York with nicer housing and no crime. Riiiiiight. How can this guy run an entire company and be so fucking stupid at the same time?

The gubmint assures everyone that they will receive alternative accommodations, better than what they have now, in beautiful New Mexico. Why they have to go live all the way across the country is unclear. As you can imagine, some people are pissed and don’t want to leave. Well, too bad for you because if you don’t get out when they ask nicely, you are fried up extra crispy via the flame throwers carried by the DAS - Disinfestation Annihilation Squad.

Wow. They don’t even PRETEND to sugar coat it, do they? Though I can appreciate their honesty.

Meet Trash, one of these stubborn tried and true New Yawkers (played by Marco DiGregorio from Rome, Italy - I wonder if he’s related to Cha Cha?). He and a bunch of other folks live in the tunnels under the city, lead by Dablone. He thinks the death squads are too chicken to come down and run them out so he does nothing to fight back. But after Trash’s parents are murdered, he enlists the help of a plucky journalist, Moon Grey (who has been trying to get the truth out to the rest of the country about all the bat shit craziness) and a former bank robber, Strike, to kidnap the CEO of GC Corp which will in turn force the government to negotiate terms.

September 3, 2015

Movie Review: When the Wind Blows (1986)

Directed by Jimmy Murakami

Movie Review by Greg Goodsell

As author David J Moore states in his authoritative book on Apocalyptic cinema, “World Gone Wild,” “This is no bag of candy for the kiddies, friends.” Indeed.

Jim (voiced by Sir John Mills) and Hilda Bloggs (voiced by Dame Peggy Ashcroft) is an elderly couple who live on their storybook farm outside of London. The talk, bicker and remember the good old days when they learn about the possibility of nuclear war in three days’ time. Jim busies himself by following official government pamphlets by painting all the windows white and constructing a shelter of three doors lying on their side in a hallway. The unspeakable happens, their home and farm is reduced to rubble. The Bloggs continue on talking, bickering, and remembering the good old days … until they eventually crawl into paper bags to await their deaths from radiation poisoning.

Cartoonist Raymond Briggs decided to let the world have it with both barrels after the winsome yuletide fantasy The Snowman in 1982. Taking his all-round circular figures and overly pleasing pastel colors, Briggs took on the Ronald Reagan Cold War era for an altogether bleak and despairing vision. When the Wind Blows runs neck and neck with Grave of the Fireflies as the most despairing animated feature film EVER.

Secondhand Smut #6: Interracial Sex Havoc Leftovers and Other Oddities

Yes, this is another collection of Porn reviews and you ask why. Let me clarify that I believe that porn is the most intimate film genre. It is the only corner in the history of film in which performers allow their fellow performers to penetrate them literally and if this is not performance art I don’t know what is. The performers exchange bodily fluids, and they encourage the viewer to touch himself and even orgasm. If that’s not audience participation or engagement with the subject material, I don’t know what is.

I was originally planning for this sixth installment of Secondhand Smut to review the entire Debbie Does Dallas film series, but I failed to track down the myriad of films associated with it so this plan went down the drain. I then wanted to review the Loose Ends films series, and although I could get my hands to copies of all those films, I did not as I could not find as much information about them as I wanted. You see, I know that they were the first adult feature-length films to include BSDM and I always get charmed by firsts, but in order to write an article I had to find out more background stories than I did. So, finally, what was I left with? I compiled this May 2015 - October 2015 Secondhand Smut issue with reviews that for some reason or another were left out from my more regular column, namely Interracial Sex Havoc. I hope you enjoy as much reading the piece as I did writing it.

9 Lives of a Wet Pussy (1976)

Most of the time the mainstream directors that had a past in porn, had a past which was decent. For example Wes Craven had made The Fireworks Woman (1975) which is highly regarded by both scholars of classic smut, but also the director’s fans who like digging a bit further. Even Lloyd Kaufman’s Sweet & Sour (1974) is a very good effort. Well, in the case of Abel Ferrara this is not the case.

Abel Ferrara went on to make many favorite films of mine, including the early masterpieces The Driller Killer (1979) and Ms .45 (1981), but 9 Lives of a Wet Pussy (1976) which was his first feature-length project is an utter failure. Sure the girl-girl interracial sex scene is interesting (and I should have included it in my Interracial Sex Havoc column back when I was still researching the ‘70s) but this film makes a very boring viewing experience with its lack of a real story (it was written by Nicholas John who went on to pen several screenplays for later mainstream Ferrara fare).

Hot summer in the City (1976)

September 2, 2015

Movie Review: Cub (2015, Artsploitation)

Review By: James DePaolo

Artsploitation Films has to be one of the best indie labels out there right now. They have put out some horror films (among other genres) that have really changed the perception the average fan would have of horror and the boundaries of what is acceptable and controversial. I am in the majority that thinks French horror should be credited with some of the most vicious and satisfying horror films I have ever seen. Jonas Govaerts debut Cub really keeps my faith in the French strong.

What on the surface sounds like a standard horror films of watching a group of cub scouts head into the unknown wilderness for an adventure, it turns into something all-together different as the film rolls on. The cubs find themselves in the middle of some kind of killing grounds of a psychopath. To add to their dilemma, there is also a young mask wearing psychopath in the woods as well. We meet Sam who is a disturbed and troubled lad who is treated differently by others. Some of the scouts and at times the scout leaders pick on him and one in particular named Baloo is cruel to him. We watch in one instance that Baloo sets his dog on Sam for his kicks. Like all camping films, we get the scary stories and this time it is about a werewolf boy named Kai.

September 1, 2015

Movie Review: Skin Trade (2015, Blu-ray)

Listen to this cast: Ron Perlman, Peter Weller, Dolph Lundgren, Tony Jaa, Michael Jai White and Celina Jade. Dolph plays a copy from New York named Nick Cassidy he is on this human trafficking case. During this case he encounters a Serbian gangster named Viktor played by Perlman. During a police raid, Nick kills Viktor’s son. Viktor now has lost his mind and is on a revenge kick. Revenge leads him to killing Nick’s family. Well he chases Viktor back to Southeast Asia where he encounters a Bangkok cop named Tony played by Jaa.

The story as in all these movies, at first hey clash then later they team up to bring down the human trafficking network. This film has a very good flow to it, the pacing is uneven but the acting makes up for it with some standard fun camp. My main issue with this film is that it is just your basic revenge film that does not try to incorporate any new ideas or change the formula up. The film has some very well-choreographed fight scenes that include White and Jaa and Dolph and Jaa that are amazing to watch.

Movie Review: Vendetta (2015, Blu-ray)

Review By: James DePaolo

The Soska Sisters have had an interesting career so far, one that contradicts itself on every turn but interesting nonetheless. They debuted 5 years ago with a “Grindhouse” like film called Dead Hooker in a Trunk. Some fans loved it, and others loathed it, but the one thing that was for sure, everyone was talking. The follow up American Mary again split the community. The interesting thing during their director’s commentary Jen and Sylvia made an interesting revelation. “We will never do any remakes, sequels or non-horror films, we would never sell out. We respect our fans”. Their follow-up to American Mary was See No Evil 2 and then a segment in ABC’s of Death 2. And now, they are giving us a prison revenge film.

Vince McMahon has always had this hard on for Hollywood. WWE studios were born out of him wanting to create films using faces that he feels could attract a crowd. He failed trying to do with Hogan, which is not a fault of Vince it is all Hogan who has the personality and believability of a yard gnome. Then came The Rock, and all the money he made on films that he carried made Vince think that maybe he should try it again and create a studio and write and produce films and hire directors for zero to nothing to just fill a role that his people have no time for.