bethard no deposit bonus code_Welfare offer bet at home poker_login bonus bodog casino no deposit bonus codes https://www.google.com//fbe/ Celebrating Films of the 1960s & 1970s en Serendipity 1.5.2 - http://www.s9y.org/ Fri, 10 Nov 2017 04:08:26 GMT /fbe/templates/default/img/s9y_banner_small.png RSS: Cinema Retro - Ernie Magnotta - Celebrating Films of the 1960s & 1970s https://www.google.com//fbe/ 100 21 PART TWO: "THE INCREDIBLE HULK" A 40TH ANNIVERSARY TRIBUTE: A CONVERSATION WITH THE SHOW'S CREATOR, KENNETH JOHNSON https://www.google.com//fbe/index.php?/archives/9859-PART-TWO-THE-INCREDIBLE-HULK-A-40TH-ANNIVERSARY-TRIBUTE-A-CONVERSATION-WITH-THE-SHOWS-CREATOR,-KENNETH-JOHNSON.html Ernie Magnotta /fbe/index.php?/archives/9859-PART-TWO-THE-INCREDIBLE-HULK-A-40TH-ANNIVERSARY-TRIBUTE-A-CONVERSATION-WITH-THE-SHOWS-CREATOR,-KENNETH-JOHNSON.html#comments /fbe/wfwcomment.php?cid=9859 0 /fbe/rss.php?version=2.0&type=comments&cid=9859 nospam@example.com (Cinema Retro) <p><!-- s9ymdb:9370 --><img class="serendipity_image_center" width="450" height="302" src="/fbe/uploads/hulk31n-1-web.jpg" /> </p> <p> </p> <p>(This is the second and final part of Ernie Magnotta's exclusive interview with Kenneth Johnson, creator of the classic 1970s TV series &quot;The Incredible Hulk&quot;, which debuted 40 years ago today.)&#160;&#160;</p> <p><strong>BY ERNIE MAGNOTTA</strong></p> <p> <strong style="text-indent: 0in; font-size: 9.5pt;"><em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">EM: </span></em></strong><em style="text-indent: 0in; font-size: 9.5pt;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Nice¡­I¡¯d like to talk about Jack Colvin for a sec.</span></em></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></em></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><strong><em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">KJ: </span></em></strong><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Sure.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><strong><em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">EM: </span></em></strong><em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">I really loved him as McGee. I thought he was terrific. Did he enjoy playing the role?<o:p /></span></em></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><strong><em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">KJ: </span></em></strong><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Yeah, he did. But he was frustrated sometimes and he would say to me, ¡°How many times can I say that I¡¯m looking for a hulking, green creature?¡± So, we tried to really write episodes where he had meaningful stuff to do.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><strong><em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">EM: </span></em></strong><em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Yeah, that was actually my next question because the character changed a bit. He was a little unlikeable in the first season; like a weasel.<o:p /></span></em></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></em></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><strong><em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">KJ: </span></em></strong><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Yeah, that¡¯s it. I love those yellow rag journalists. The tabloid type people are just very colorful folks, so I thought it would be fun. But Jack was so substantive and such a fine actor and a brilliant acting teacher that we just realized that we had an asset we needed to develop more and we needed to write more for him. And there are some episodes, as you know, where he really takes center stage for a good portion of them.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><strong><em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">EM: </span></em></strong><em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Yeah, there¡¯s one that¡¯s just completely about him. I think Bill Bixby only shows up in flashbacks.</span></em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"><o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><strong><em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">KJ: </span></em></strong><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">I think you¡¯re right. I think that was near the time of the death of Bill¡¯s son, although Bill really just wanted to keep on working through that.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><strong><em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">EM: </span></em></strong><em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">That¡¯s totally understandable.<o:p /></span></em></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><strong><em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">KJ: </span></em></strong><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">It was a terrible time and that was Bill¡¯s way of dealing with it; just getting on the set and doing it. He was terrific and I still miss him to this day. He was a force of nature. (Laughs) We had many, many, many knock-down, drag out arguments, but, Ernie, there was never one that was about bullshit. There was never one that was about nonsense or ¡°star¡± stuff. It was always about character and he would come to me and say, ¡°Dr. David Banner would never say this line!¡±<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><strong><em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">EM: </span></em></strong><em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">That¡¯s so great and it answers part of my next question which is about how much input he had and how much he got into the character.<o:p /></span></em></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></em></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><strong><em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">KJ: </span></em></strong><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">I would be in bed at night and he would have finished a day of shooting and gone to the looping stage late at night because we had added a wild line or two to help clarify something and he would call me at home, ¡°Dr. David Banner wouldn¡¯t say this line!¡± And I¡¯d tell him, ¡°Yes, he would. I wrote it.¡±<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><strong><em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">EM: </span></em></strong><em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">(Laughs)<o:p /></span></em></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><strong><em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">KJ: </span></em></strong><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">And we¡¯d go back and forth and our agreement was whoever was right got to win. And sometimes it would end up with Bill saying, ¡°All right. I¡¯ll say it, but I don¡¯t think Dr. David Banner would say it.¡± (Laughs) But we had a good working relationship and he was a total pro all the way.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><strong><em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">EM: </span></em></strong><em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">I know that, at the time of the pilot, Lou Ferrigno didn¡¯t have any acting experience, but I thought he did a fantastic job; especially his final scene with Susan Sullivan.<o:p /></span></em></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></em></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><strong><em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">KJ: </span></em></strong><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Louie grew into the role very quickly and I gave him time on the set to get there and to find it. I also helped him by giving him like acting 101, but he picked up on everything very quickly and it got so we really enjoyed writing those scenes when the Hulk was coming down from the anger and was a simplistic child in many ways.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><strong><em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">EM: </span></em></strong><em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Like when he was confused by something.<o:p /></span></em></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><strong><em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">VP: </span></em></strong><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Yeah, exactly. I remember Mickey Jones teaching him how to open a pop top soda can; that kind of thing. Or he¡¯d be resting under a tree, petting a deer. And Louie really got into those and began to enjoy it and he did a really fine job. He just progressed so well and so far. These days, Lou is an inspirational speaker and he¡¯s working for the Sheriff¡¯s Department as well, so he¡¯s an asset to the community.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><strong><em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">EM: </span></em></strong><em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Still a hero. That¡¯s really great.</span></em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"><o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><strong><em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">KJ: </span></em></strong><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">He¡¯s a great guy.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><br /></p> <br /><a href="/fbe/index.php?/archives/9859-PART-TWO-THE-INCREDIBLE-HULK-A-40TH-ANNIVERSARY-TRIBUTE-A-CONVERSATION-WITH-THE-SHOWS-CREATOR,-KENNETH-JOHNSON.html#extended">Continue reading "PART TWO: &quot;THE INCREDIBLE HULK&quot; A 40TH ANNIVERSARY TRIBUTE: A CONVERSATION WITH THE SHOW'S CREATOR, KENNETH JOHNSON"</a> Fri, 10 Nov 2017 15:22:00 +0000 /fbe/index.php?/archives/9859-guid.html http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ PART ONE: "THE INCREDIBLE HULK" A 40TH ANNIVERSARY TRIBUTE: A CONVERSATION WITH THE SHOW'S CREATOR, KENNETH JOHNSON https://www.google.com//fbe/index.php?/archives/9857-PART-ONE-THE-INCREDIBLE-HULK-A-40TH-ANNIVERSARY-TRIBUTE-A-CONVERSATION-WITH-THE-SHOWS-CREATOR,-KENNETH-JOHNSON.html Ernie Magnotta /fbe/index.php?/archives/9857-PART-ONE-THE-INCREDIBLE-HULK-A-40TH-ANNIVERSARY-TRIBUTE-A-CONVERSATION-WITH-THE-SHOWS-CREATOR,-KENNETH-JOHNSON.html#comments /fbe/wfwcomment.php?cid=9857 0 /fbe/rss.php?version=2.0&type=comments&cid=9857 nospam@example.com (Cinema Retro) <p><!-- s9ymdb:9361 --><img class="serendipity_image_center" width="450" height="591" src="/fbe/uploads/hulkab.jpg" /> </p> <p>To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the classic TV series &quot;The Incredible Hulk&quot;, Cinema Retro's Ernie Magnotta sat down for an extensive discussion with the show's creator Kenneth Johnson.&#160;&#160;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"><strong>BY ERNIE MAGNOTTA</strong><o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><em><span lang="EN" style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Dr. David Banner¡ªphysician</span></em><em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">, scientist</span></em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">¡­<em>searching for a way to tap into the hidden strengths that all humans have. Then, an accidental overdose of gamma radiation alters his body chemistry. And now, when David Banner grows angry or outraged, a startling metamorphosis occurs.<o:p /></em></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></em></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">The creature is driven by rage and is pursued by an investigative reporter. The creature is wanted for a murder he didn¡¯t commit. David Banner is believed to be dead. And he must let the world think that he is dead until he can find a way to control the raging spirit that dwells within him.<o:p /></span></em></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></em></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Kids who grew up in the 1970s remember that narration well. Every Friday night at 9pm (until it was later moved to 8pm) we¡¯d sit in front of our television sets, switch on CBS channel 2 and listen to the late, great Ted Cassidy (Lurch from <em>The Addams Family</em>) recite those very words before another exciting, hour-long episode of <em>The Incredible Hulk </em>TV series would begin. However, before there was a series, there were two very successful made-for-TV movies, and before that, a very popular comic book.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">The character of the Hulk was created in 1962 by legendary Marvel Comics masterminds Stan Lee (writer) and Jack Kirby (artist). In the comic book, Dr. Bruce Banner was a nuclear scientist for the United States Army who, while trying to save a teenager who wandered onto a test site, was accidently bathed in gamma rays when a bomb he created was detonated. This forever caused the mild-mannered scientist to change into a hulking green-skinned creature whenever he became enraged. (The first few stories had him change whenever the moon was full just like a werewolf. Also, his skin was originally grey.) Most of the exciting comic book tales revolved around Army General Thunderbolt Ross¡¯s obsessive need to find and capture the destructive, but good-hearted Hulk who he felt was a danger to the country he had sworn to protect.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Flash forward 15 years. After achieving great success writing and directing episodes of the super-popular cyborg television series <em>The Six Million Dollar Man </em>as well as creating and producing its sister show <em>The Bionic Woman</em>, Kenneth Johnson received a call from Universal Television head Frank Price. Price, who had just acquired the rights to five Marvel Comics superhero titles, asked Johnson to pick one that he¡¯d like to develop for TV, but Johnson, who was not a comic book follower, declined. However, while reading Victor Hugo¡¯s <em>Les Miserables</em>, Johnson thought about how he could combine the structure of that book with the characters of Bruce Banner and the Hulk while, at the same time, going for a more realistic approach than the comic book.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">First of all, Johnson knew that he didn¡¯t want any connection to comic book styles and, so, he immediately eliminated everything from the comics except for the main character of Banner (which he renamed David in order to avoid comic book alliteration) and the fact that, due to radiation poisoning, he metamorphoses into a hulking green creature whenever he becomes angry or endures great pain. (Johnson originally wanted to change the Hulk¡¯s skin color to red, but Marvel vetoed the idea due to the already well-known look of their popular comic book character.) He then eliminated scientist Banner¡¯s ties to the military and, instead, made him a California physician who was desperately trying to uncover the secret as to why, while trying to save another human life, certain people acquired almost superhuman strength while others did not (like himself when, after a car accident, he failed to turn over the flaming automobile and save his beloved wife). Also, Johnson not only eliminated the Hulk¡¯s <em>Tarzan</em>-like speech and, except for growls, kept the creature mute, but, in order to maintain as much realism as possible, he made the Hulk less powerful than the indestructible creature in the comics.</span></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <div class="serendipity_imageComment_center" style="width: 450px;"> <div class="serendipity_imageComment_img"><!-- s9ymdb:9369 --><img class="serendipity_image_center" width="450" height="296" src="/fbe/uploads/hulkjohnson.jpg" /></div> <div class="serendipity_imageComment_txt">Kenneth Johnson (center) with Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno. </div> </div> <p> </p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Banner (played brilliantly by two-time Emmy Award nominee Bill Bixby who was Johnson¡¯s first and only choice for the role) soon discovers that the answer is due to having a low Gamma count, so he immediately takes a higher dose. Unbeknownst to him, the equipment he used was calibrated incorrectly and he wound up taking a much higher dose than originally planned. This causes the change into an incredibly powerful, almost Cro-Magnon-like, green-skinned creature that, although destructive, retains Banner¡¯s benevolence and does not kill (although, one day, it could inadvertently kill someone which is Banner¡¯s biggest fear). Johnson added an Inspector Javert-like character in the form of tabloid reporter Jack McGee (played by talented character actor and acting teacher Jack Colvin) who becomes obsessed with learning about and capturing the Hulk (portrayed by legendary bodybuilding champion Lou Ferrigno). Due to McGee¡¯s zeal as well as Banner¡¯s burning desire for a cure, the good doctor¡¯s colleague and unrequited love, Dr. Elaina Marks (played beautifully by Susan Sullivan), is accidentally killed in a lab explosion. However, McGee believes that Elaina (and Banner) was murdered by the creature and, after informing the authorities, a warrant for murder is put out for the Hulk. David Banner (a character with similarities to Jean Valjean), now believed to be dead, begins to travel the country in search of a cure while, at the same time, doing his best to avoid transforming into the green-skinned goliath; for the transformations bring the intrepid Mr. McGee who is always just one step behind him.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">An intriguing, solid and perfect set-up for a television series (and one that was used several times before in shows like Quinn Martin¡¯s classic series <em>The Fugitive </em>starring David Janssen and <em>The Immortal </em>starring Christopher George; both of which contain the <em>Les Miserables </em>structure of a benevolent man on the run being pursued by a relentless authority figure). However, before going to series, there would be a second TV-Movie of the week titled <em>The Return of the Incredible Hulk</em> (aka <em>Death in the Family</em>) which aired on November 27<sup>th</sup>, 1977 (just weeks after the amazing (and just discussed) original pilot, <em>The Incredible Hulk</em>, which aired on Friday, November 4<sup>th</sup>, 1977). This entertaining movie showed exactly how the future series episodes would play out. Banner, under an assumed surname always beginning with the letter ¡®B¡¯, arrives in town looking for work while simultaneously searching for a cure. He gets involved with other people¡¯s dilemmas, honestly tries to help them and, before long, is made to change into his hulking alter ego who ultimately winds up saving the day (and, many times, Banner¡¯s life). More often than not, Mr. Magee shows up after the first transformation (in the hour-long episodes, Banner always transforms twice, but here (in a two-hour movie) he metamorphoses four times) and Banner has the added headache of staying out of sight while the reporter is around. After saying his goodbyes to those he¡¯s helped, a usually penniless Banner takes off alone, hitchhiking his way to a new town where he will continue to search of a cure, help those in need and avoid contact with McGee and the authorities.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><br /></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <br /><a href="/fbe/index.php?/archives/9857-PART-ONE-THE-INCREDIBLE-HULK-A-40TH-ANNIVERSARY-TRIBUTE-A-CONVERSATION-WITH-THE-SHOWS-CREATOR,-KENNETH-JOHNSON.html#extended">Continue reading "PART ONE: &quot;THE INCREDIBLE HULK&quot; A 40TH ANNIVERSARY TRIBUTE: A CONVERSATION WITH THE SHOW'S CREATOR, KENNETH JOHNSON"</a> Fri, 10 Nov 2017 15:21:00 +0000 /fbe/index.php?/archives/9857-guid.html http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ MASTERS OF DARK CINEMA: REMEMBERING GEORGE ROMERO AND TOBE HOOPER https://www.google.com//fbe/index.php?/archives/9843-MASTERS-OF-DARK-CINEMA-REMEMBERING-GEORGE-ROMERO-AND-TOBE-HOOPER.html Ernie Magnotta /fbe/index.php?/archives/9843-MASTERS-OF-DARK-CINEMA-REMEMBERING-GEORGE-ROMERO-AND-TOBE-HOOPER.html#comments /fbe/wfwcomment.php?cid=9843 0 /fbe/rss.php?version=2.0&type=comments&cid=9843 nospam@example.com (Cinema Retro) <p><!-- s9ymdb:3869 --><img class="serendipity_image_center" width="431" height="300" src="/fbe/uploads/nightdead.jpg" /> </p> <p><strong>BY ERNIE MAGNOTTA</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><br /></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">The world of horror films lost two of its most important and influential figures recently with the passing of filmmaking geniuses George Romero and Tobe Hooper. Although the careers of these two great artists can fill (and have filled) entire books, I¡¯d like to briefly mention their most important works and pay my respects to them both.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">When I was around ten or eleven-years-old, I had snuck out of bed late one night to watch some old movie on TV; a Tarzan flick I think it was. In order to avoid waking my parents, I had to keep the volume on the television set very low, but sit close to the set so that I could hear. As I sat alone in my parents¡¯ dark living room waiting patiently for the commercials to end, a bunch of zombies appeared on the screen and quickly lurched forward with their arms outstretched! I jumped back while simultaneously screaming which, of course, woke my mom. Needless to say, I never got to finish the Tarzan movie, but I made up for it by having my first taste of the cinema of writer/director (and sometimes editor and actor) George A. Romero; even if it was only a TV spot for his 1979 zombie masterpiece <em>Dawn of the Dead</em>.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Romero¡¯s feature film debut, 1968¡¯s immortal <em>Night of the Living Dead</em>, which was made independently for the paltry sum of $114, 000, not only began his immensely popular zombie series (six films which lasted until 2009), but also singlehandedly created the entire zombie mythology which is still being used today. As a matter of fact, anyone who has made a zombie film after 1968 not only owes a debt to Romero, but a royalty check as well. <em>Night</em>, which deals with the dead returning to life as flesh-eating ghouls and surrounding an old farmhouse filled with seven frightened and bickering humans who cannot get along, was filmed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (where Romero lived for much of his adult life) and combines scares/graphic violence with social commentary; a formula the master filmmaker would return to many times. The creepy, atmospheric and nihilistic film reflects the turbulent time in which it was made and its graphic tone was mainly inspired by the Vietnam War.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">If I had to pick one film in the Romero canon that I feel is an underrated masterwork, it would have to be his amazing, 1976, modern-day vampire film <em>Martin</em>. This enthralling piece of cinema, which Romero himself has said to be his favorite of all the films he¡¯s directed, concerns a shy and confused young man (excellently portrayed by John Amplas) who may or may not be a vampire. Romero leaves this up to the audience to decide. The master filmmaker also touches upon subjects such as religious beliefs (both too strict and too casual), mental illness (perhaps caused by a strict, religious upbringing), the healing/saving power of love and understanding, disbelief in things that have yet to be proven, and how such disbelief can allow someone/something dangerous to move about freely in the world, just to name a few.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Although he is known for a plethora of thoughtful and entertaining films (<em>The Crazies </em>(1973)<em>, Creepshow, Knightriders, Two Evil Eyes, The Dark Half, Bruiser, </em>etc.), many of which he made alongside special makeup effects master and longtime friend Tom Savini, the pioneering Romero will forever be remembered for his series of scary, gore-filled and thought-provoking zombie films.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">If the word zombie has become synonymous with George Romero, then there¡¯s only one phrase that springs to mind whenever someone mentions writer/director Tobe Hooper: ¡°chain saw¡±. A native of Austin Texas and a former college professor, Hooper¡¯s name was put on the horror map after the 1974 release of his now legendary, low-budget, living hell of a horror movie <em>The Texas Chain Saw Massacre</em>; a film about a crazed family who hunt, kill and eat humans (in this film, it¡¯s a group of hippie friends) in order to survive after ¡°progress¡± has made them obsolete. <em>Chain Saw</em>¡¯s savagery was inspired by violent Vietnam War news reports which Hooper would view nightly on television. Few who saw this indie masterwork back in the day have ever forgotten the absolutely shocking first appearance of the film¡¯s central villain, Leatherface (the late Gunnar Hansen); a cannibalistic, chain saw-wielding killer who wore a mask made of human flesh. The terrifying film, which shows very little onscreen gore, not only became an enormous hit which, to date, has spawned four sequels, a remake and two prequels, but its influence on horror cinema is immeasurable. A true artistic work, <em>Chain Saw</em>, which also stars the late Marilyn Burns and features narration from John Larroquette, now has a permanent place at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><br /></p> <br /><a href="/fbe/index.php?/archives/9843-MASTERS-OF-DARK-CINEMA-REMEMBERING-GEORGE-ROMERO-AND-TOBE-HOOPER.html#extended">Continue reading "MASTERS OF DARK CINEMA: REMEMBERING GEORGE ROMERO AND TOBE HOOPER"</a> Tue, 31 Oct 2017 13:57:00 +0000 /fbe/index.php?/archives/9843-guid.html http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ REVIEW: ¡°BOBBIE JO AND THE OUTLAW¡± (1976) STARRING MARJOE GORTNER, LYNDA CARTER AND JESSE VINT; KINO LORBER BLU-RAY https://www.google.com//fbe/index.php?/archives/9697-REVIEW-BOBBIE-JO-AND-THE-OUTLAW-1976-STARRING-MARJOE-GORTNER,-LYNDA-CARTER-AND-JESSE-VINT;-KINO-LORBER-BLU-RAY.html Ernie Magnotta /fbe/index.php?/archives/9697-REVIEW-BOBBIE-JO-AND-THE-OUTLAW-1976-STARRING-MARJOE-GORTNER,-LYNDA-CARTER-AND-JESSE-VINT;-KINO-LORBER-BLU-RAY.html#comments /fbe/wfwcomment.php?cid=9697 0 /fbe/rss.php?version=2.0&type=comments&cid=9697 nospam@example.com (Cinema Retro) <p><!-- s9ymdb:9129 --><img class="serendipity_image_center" width="450" height="550" src="/fbe/uploads/BOBBYJOE.jpg" /> </p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"><strong>BY ERNIE MAGNOTTA<o:p /></strong></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">There¡¯s nothing I like better than getting hold of a movie that I¡¯ve been searching over three decades for and adding it to my collection. At my age, there aren¡¯t many vintage films left that I don¡¯t own in one format or another, so when I heard that the 1976 cult classic <em>Bobbie Jo and the Outlaw </em>was getting a Blu-ray release, I was quite enthused. This movie has somehow always managed to elude me. It never seemed to play on any of my cable stations in the early 80s, we never had a copy of it at the video store I worked at in the mid-80s and I was still never able to find a copy of it anywhere throughout the 90s. To be honest, by the time the 21<sup>st</sup> century hit, I completely forgotten about this movie, so I was pretty surprised and even more excited to find out that it was not only being released on Blu-ray, but also with quite a few special features. Why? To begin with, I¡¯m a tremendous fan of the director; not to mention the entire cast and, last, but not least, I just love fun, action/crime/drama exploitation films from the 1970s. <o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Produced and directed by Mark Lester (<em>Truck Stop Women, Roller Boogie, Class of 1984</em>), written by Vernon Zimmerman (<em>Unholy Rollers, Fade to Black</em>) and released by American International Pictures, modern western <em>Bobbie Jo and the Outlaw</em> tells the tale of quick-draw expert and Billy the Kid enthusiast Lyle Wheeler (Marjoe Gortner, <em>Earthquake, Food of the Gods, Viva Knievel!, Starcrash</em>) who, together with waitress and aspiring country singer Bobbi Jo Baker (TV¡¯s one and only <em>Wonder Woman</em>, Lynda Carter) experiences a dangerous cross country adventure filled with love, robbery and murder. <em> </em><o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">So, was the movie worth the wait? I certainly think so. It may not be in the same league as <em>Bonnie and Clyde </em>(1967), but it¡¯s still an extremely enjoyable, well-directed, written and acted low-budget feature that definitely deserves to be seen. To begin with, Mark Lester¡¯s direction is not only solid, but he is just at home directing the quiet, more character-driven and dramatic/romantic scenes as he is directing a sequence involving heavy action and stunts. Next up, Vernon Zimmerman¡¯s wonderful writing not only creates an engaging story, but interesting and likeable three-dimensional characters as well. Lyle Wheeler aka the Outlaw, seems to live by his own code and has definite ideas of good and evil; right and wrong. Marjoe Gortner effortlessly and believably gets all this across and makes his character quite likeable. (This may be my favorite Gortner performance.) The stunning Lynda Carter gets to show a bit more range then she did as Wonder Woman and is extremely convincing as the hopeful and somewhat na?ve Bobbi Jo. The rest of the outrageously talented cast not only add immensely to the film, but clearly came to play. Jesse Vint (<em>Chinatown, Forbidden World</em>) perfectly plays Slick Callahan; a wild, not too bright cocaine fiend and boyfriend of Bobbi Jo¡¯s sister, Pearl. Gorgeous Merrie Lynn Ross (<em>Class of 1984, </em>TVs <em>General Hospital</em>), who also co-produced the film, brings a hardened heart quality to slightly ditzy stripper Pearl, and the always welcome Belinda Balaski (<em>Piranha, The Howling</em>) shines as hippie waitress Essie Beaumont. Rounding out the top-notch cast is Gene Drew (<em>Truck Stop Women</em>) as a no-nonsense sheriff, B-movie legend Gerrit Graham (<em>Beware! The Blob, Phantom of the Paradise, The Annihilators, C.H.U.D. II: Bud the C.H.U.D.</em>) as a helpful hippie, Virgil Frye (<em>Graduation Day</em>), who replaced Dennis Hopper, as a macho gas station attendant with something to prove, Peggy Stewart (<em>Alias Billy the Kid, Beyond Evil</em>) as Bobbi Jo¡¯s alcoholic mom, and James Gammon (<em>Major League</em>) as a fast talking salesman.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><br /></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> <o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <br /><a href="/fbe/index.php?/archives/9697-REVIEW-BOBBIE-JO-AND-THE-OUTLAW-1976-STARRING-MARJOE-GORTNER,-LYNDA-CARTER-AND-JESSE-VINT;-KINO-LORBER-BLU-RAY.html#extended">Continue reading "REVIEW: ¡°BOBBIE JO AND THE OUTLAW¡± (1976) STARRING MARJOE GORTNER, LYNDA CARTER AND JESSE VINT; KINO LORBER BLU-RAY"</a> Wed, 21 Jun 2017 13:07:00 +0000 /fbe/index.php?/archives/9697-guid.html http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ BIG E¡¯s ¡°BAD¡± MOVIES THAT HURT SO GOOD! TONIGHT'S FEATURE: "EMPIRE OF THE ANTS" (1977) STARRING JOAN COLLINS https://www.google.com//fbe/index.php?/archives/9590-BIG-Es-BAD-MOVIES-THAT-HURT-SO-GOOD!-TONIGHTS-FEATURE-EMPIRE-OF-THE-ANTS-1977-STARRING-JOAN-COLLINS.html Ernie Magnotta /fbe/index.php?/archives/9590-BIG-Es-BAD-MOVIES-THAT-HURT-SO-GOOD!-TONIGHTS-FEATURE-EMPIRE-OF-THE-ANTS-1977-STARRING-JOAN-COLLINS.html#comments /fbe/wfwcomment.php?cid=9590 0 /fbe/rss.php?version=2.0&type=comments&cid=9590 nospam@example.com (Cinema Retro) <p class="MsoNormal"><em style="font-size: 9.5pt;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></em></p> <p><!-- s9ymdb:9009 --><img class="serendipity_image_center" width="450" height="336" src="/fbe/uploads/EMPIREANTSPOSTER.jpg" /> </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">By&#160;</span><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 10pt;">Ernie Magnotta</span></strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><em style="font-size: 9.5pt;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">¡°If a movie makes you happy, for whatever reason, then it¡¯s a good movie.¡±</span></em></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left: 5in; text-indent: 0.5in;"><em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">¡ª</span></em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Big E<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></em></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*******WARNING: REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS*******<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Giant bug movies have always been a favorite of mine; <em>Tarantula, Black Scorpion, The Deadly Mantis, Earth vs. The Spider, </em>etc. The best of them all has to be <em>Them!</em>, the 1954 classic about atomic testing causing ants to mutate to gigantic proportions. It was the first and best of the 1950¡¯s cycle of big bug movies.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">In the 1970s, bugs and just about every other form of nature, struck back against irresponsible humans who were poisoning the planet in a plethora of nature-runs-amok films such as <em>Frogs, Kingdom of the Spiders, Squirm, </em>etc. They may not have been gigantic like they were in the 50s, but they were just as deadly. However, Mr. B.I.G. himself, Bert I. Gordon, the man responsible for entertaining, 1950s giant creature classics like <em>The Amazing Colossal Man, Beginning of the End, Village of the Giants </em>and the aforementioned <em>Earth vs. The Spider</em>, had already brought back giant wasps and worms in 1976¡¯s <em>Food of the Gods</em>,<em> </em>and felt that 1977 was the time to bring back the best giant insects of them all¡­the ants. Using the great H.G. Wells¡¯ popular short story as his inspiration, <em>Empire of the Ants</em> was born.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">The movie begins when a canister of toxic waste, which was dumped and supposed to sink into the ocean, washes up on shore and leaks its toxic sludge into a neighboring ant hole.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Nearby, con woman Marilyn Fryser (Joan Collins) and her lover/partner Charlie (Edward Power) attempt to sell some worthless land called Dreamland Shores to a large group of potential buyers including nice guy Joe (John David Carson), middle-aged Margaret (Jacqueline Scott), beautiful Coreen (Pamela Susan Shoop), two-timing Larry (Robert Pine) and his poor wife Christine (Brooke Palance).<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">As the group surveys the land, a few members break off on their own. Cautious Margaret, while flirting with boat driver Dan (Robert Lansing), asks him if he thinks the land is a good investment; Larry gets Coreen alone, puts the moves on her and gets a knee to the groin for his trouble, and Coreen eventually hits it off with Joe. All the while, the ants silently watch them.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">The entire group is gathered and taken on a leisurely tour of the area. The tour doesn¡¯t last long though as the dead body of one of Marilyn¡¯s crew (Tom Ford) is found. Joe and Coreen volunteer to check things out and find the remains of a married couple (Jack Kosslyn and Ilse Earl) that were originally part of the group. To their horror, they also find a horde of giant ants and all hell breaks loose as the intelligent insects attack and destroy Dan¡¯s boat. With no way off the island, the terrified group starts a campfire in order to keep the ants away.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">The next morning, a storm begins and the rain puts out the fire. The group frantically decides to make a run for it with the ants hot on their tail. An elderly couple (Harry Holcombe and Irene Tedrow), who can¡¯t keep up, hides out in an old shack. Christine falls, sprains her ankle and is killed by the ants, and, while helping a tangled Marilyn escape from a tree branch, Charlie also meets his demise. As the rain stops, the elderly couple, thinking that it¡¯s safe, emerges from the shack only to find an army of ants waiting for them. The remaining group members stumble upon a rowboat and slowly take off down the river. The ants attack again, turning the boat over and killing Larry.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">The group realizes that the ants are leading them toward a specific destination upstream and, as they continue to move along, they come across an old couple (Tom Fadden and Florence McGee) who contact the sheriff (Albert Salmi) for them. The sheriff drives them into town, but the relieved survivors soon realize that something still isn¡¯t right. They can¡¯t seem to find a working phone and everyone in the small town acts very suspiciously.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">The group decides to hotwire a car, but while trying to escape, they¡¯re captured by the authorities and taken to the local sugar refinery. While there, they discover that the queen ant is using her pheromones to control every human being in the town and forcing them to feed the giant ants. Marilyn is the first to come under the queen¡¯s control, but when they try to control Dan, the clever boat captain burns the queen with a road flare he took from the abandoned car. Dan escapes with Margaret, Joe and Coreen, but Marilyn, who snaps out of her trance too late, is killed by the out of control queen.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Knowing that if the gigantic ants aren¡¯t stopped they will multiply and eventually take over the world, Joe drives a leaking fuel truck into the refinery and blows the insects to kingdom come. As the entire place goes up in flames, Joe, Coreen, Dan and Margaret reach a speedboat and drive off to safety.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><br /></p> <br /><a href="/fbe/index.php?/archives/9590-BIG-Es-BAD-MOVIES-THAT-HURT-SO-GOOD!-TONIGHTS-FEATURE-EMPIRE-OF-THE-ANTS-1977-STARRING-JOAN-COLLINS.html#extended">Continue reading "BIG E¡¯s ¡°BAD¡± MOVIES THAT HURT SO GOOD! TONIGHT'S FEATURE: &quot;EMPIRE OF THE ANTS&quot; (1977) STARRING JOAN COLLINS"</a> Sat, 06 May 2017 13:49:00 +0000 /fbe/index.php?/archives/9590-guid.html http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ REVIEW: ¡°DRIVE-IN COLLECTION-MARSHA, THE EROTIC HOUSEWIFE/FOR SINGLE SWINGERS ONLY/HER ODD TASTES¡± (1970/1968/1969) STARRING MARSHA JORDAN AND ANN MYERS; VINEGAR SYNDROME DVD https://www.google.com//fbe/index.php?/archives/9339-REVIEW-DRIVE-IN-COLLECTION-MARSHA,-THE-EROTIC-HOUSEWIFEFOR-SINGLE-SWINGERS-ONLYHER-ODD-TASTES-197019681969-STARRING-MARSHA-JORDAN-AND-ANN-MYERS;-VINEGAR-SYNDROME-DVD.html Ernie Magnotta /fbe/index.php?/archives/9339-REVIEW-DRIVE-IN-COLLECTION-MARSHA,-THE-EROTIC-HOUSEWIFEFOR-SINGLE-SWINGERS-ONLYHER-ODD-TASTES-197019681969-STARRING-MARSHA-JORDAN-AND-ANN-MYERS;-VINEGAR-SYNDROME-DVD.html#comments /fbe/wfwcomment.php?cid=9339 0 /fbe/rss.php?version=2.0&type=comments&cid=9339 nospam@example.com (Cinema Retro) <p><!-- s9ymdb:8696 --><img class="serendipity_image_center" width="450" height="638" src="/fbe/uploads/MARSHASINGLESWINGERS.jpg" /> </p> <p><strong>BY ERNIE MAGNOTTA</strong></p> <p> <span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 10pt; text-indent: 0in;">Remember the days when you would wear a baggy raincoat, visit your local independent theater and abuse your genital region while watching ¡°naughty¡± films? Maybe the younger ¡°internet porn¡± readers don¡¯t (I actually don¡¯t either. I just remember hearing about it while OD¡¯ing on VHS porn in the 80s), but I know some of you older perverts know what I¡¯m talking about. You see, during the 1960s and early 70s, you could hit your local grindhouse theater and see films that are now classified as sexploitation. These low-budget independent features contained plenty of nudity, but showed very little in the way of actual onscreen sex, giving them the nickname ¡°soft-core.¡± Until hardcore classics like 1972¡¯s </span><em style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 10pt; text-indent: 0in;">Deep Throat </em><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 10pt; text-indent: 0in;">and </span><em style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 10pt; text-indent: 0in;">Behind the Green Door </em><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 10pt; text-indent: 0in;">as well as 1973¡¯s </span><em style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 10pt; text-indent: 0in;">The Devil in Miss Jones</em><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 10pt; text-indent: 0in;"> arrived on the scene rendering the tamer stuff almost obsolete, these soft-core flicks (which were also frequently viewed by couples) were all the rage. And now, the nice folks at Vinegar Syndrome have unearthed three of them for you to relive or to discover for the very first time.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">In the first feature, <em>Marsha, The Erotic Housewife</em>, a young woman (soft-core queen Marsha Jordan also from <em>Count Yorga, Vampire</em>) whose businessman husband (Mark Edwards) is cheating on her, decides to teach him a lesson by fulfilling her sexual fantasies with other men. The second feature, titled <em>For Single Swingers Only</em>, tells the tale of Gracie (Ann Myers) who moves into an apartment complex for swingers, but gets much more than she bargained for. Last, but not least, <em>Her Odd Tastes </em>once again stars Marsha Jordan, this time as a woman who goes from having an incestuous relationship with her sister to becoming a door-to-door vibrator saleswoman. She eventually kills a man in self-defense before being hired by a book publisher to research sexual pleasure and pain. The insatiable woman travels the world, visiting Hong Kong, Africa and the Middle East in order to satisfy her strange sexual cravings.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">All three films (which were directed by Don Davis) may contain washed-out colors and plenty of pops, scratches, jump cuts and lines; not to mention drab-looking locations, but hey, no one buying a ticket to see these movies was interested in things like cinematography or production value. They paid to see some skin and there¡¯s plenty of nudity on display here. There¡¯s also a lot of kissing and groping (in lieu of everything else) as well as a bunch of unintentional laughs thanks to silly dialogue, stiff acting and quite a few so-bad-it¡¯s-good moments. Highlights include a hilarious ¡°Marsha¡± theme song, a woman with a very thick Swedish accent, a satanic orgy where one guy wears a silly-looking goat head mask and, finally, death while boinking on an electrified chair.</span></p> <p><!-- s9ymdb:8697 --><img class="serendipity_image_center" width="450" height="342" src="/fbe/uploads/SINGLESWINGERS.jpg" /> </p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">On the downside, the three movies, although each one only running a little over an hour, all move along at a somewhat slow pace. Still, I enjoyed them all<em> </em>for what they are. (I found <em>Her Odd Tastes </em>to be the better paced and most entertaining of the three).<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">The three films<em> </em>have all been released on one dual layer DVD by Vinegar Syndrome. The disc is region free and the movies are presented in their original 1.33:1 aspect ratio. The aforementioned pops, scratches, jump cuts and lines (which us grindhouse cinema junkies adore) never detract from the story, and the images, although far from Blu-ray quality, are more than watchable and pretty much what you would expect something from this genre to look like. There are no special features, but the DVD sleeve and disc both contain the original poster art for all three films; my favorite tag line being ¡°In Throbbing Color.¡± If you¡¯re a fan of soft-core sex flicks or are just curious to see what they were all about, I recommend giving this retro drive-in collection<em> </em>a look.</span></p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00RUD431M/cinemaretroco-20">CLICK HERE</a> TO ORDER FROM AMAZON</strong> </p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> Sat, 08 Oct 2016 10:40:00 +0000 /fbe/index.php?/archives/9339-guid.html http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ REVIEW: ¡°THE MONSTER THAT CHALLENGED THE WORLD¡± (1957) STARRING TIM HOLT, AUDREY DALTON AND HANS CONRIED; KINO LORBER BLU-RAY https://www.google.com//fbe/index.php?/archives/9338-REVIEW-THE-MONSTER-THAT-CHALLENGED-THE-WORLD-1957-STARRING-TIM-HOLT,-AUDREY-DALTON-AND-HANS-CONRIED;-KINO-LORBER-BLU-RAY.html Ernie Magnotta /fbe/index.php?/archives/9338-REVIEW-THE-MONSTER-THAT-CHALLENGED-THE-WORLD-1957-STARRING-TIM-HOLT,-AUDREY-DALTON-AND-HANS-CONRIED;-KINO-LORBER-BLU-RAY.html#comments /fbe/wfwcomment.php?cid=9338 0 /fbe/rss.php?version=2.0&type=comments&cid=9338 nospam@example.com (Cinema Retro) <p><!-- s9ymdb:8695 --><img class="serendipity_image_center" width="450" height="546" src="/fbe/uploads/CREATURECHALLENGED.jpg" /> </p> <p><strong>BY ERNIE MAGNOTTA</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><o:p /></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Who doesn¡¯t love watching giant monster movies from the 1950s? <em>The Beast from 20, 000 Fathoms </em>(1953), <em>Them! </em>(1954), <em>Tarantula </em>(1955), <em>Godzilla, King of the Monsters! </em>(1956), <em>20 Million Miles to Earth </em>(1957) and <em>Attack of the Crab Monsters </em>(1957) are just a few of my favorites. Some of those titles are better than others and there are many more that are worse such as 1957¡¯s unintentionally hilarious <em>The Giant Claw</em>, but the decade that gave us rock 'n' roll also created a giant monster flick that never seemed to get the respect it deserved, which is ironic being that it¡¯s a top-notch production with a pretty convincing and scary monster. Of course, I¡¯m talking about the often overlooked 1957 classic, <em>The Monster That Challenged the World</em>.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Directed by Arnold Laven (<em>The Rifleman</em>), <em>The Monster That Challenged the World</em>, which was solidly written by Pat Fielder (<em>The Vampire, The Return of Dracula</em>) and based on a story by David Duncan (<em>The Time Machine, Fantastic Voyage</em>), begins when an underwater earthquake releases a horde of enormous, prehistoric creatures from California¡¯s Salton Sea. After one of these creatures kills a sailor, Lieutenant John Twillinger (Tim Holt from <em>The Treasure of the Sierra Madre </em>and <em>The Magnificent Ambersons</em>) discovers an unknown, slimy substance which he brings to Dr. Jess Rogers (Hans Conried, <em>The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T</em>). Rogers analyzes it and not only deduces that it comes from a giant mollusk, but also figures out that, if the creatures aren¡¯t stopped soon, they¡¯ll multiply by the thousands and destroy every human being on the planet. With the help of Dr. Rogers¡¯ beautiful secretary (Audrey Dalton, <em>Mr. Sardonicus</em>), the lieutenant and the good doctor do everything in their power to stop the creeping terror before it¡¯s too late. <o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Made for only $254,000, <em>The Monster That Challenged the World</em>, which was originally titled <em>The Kraken</em>,<em> </em>is an entertaining monster movie that always seems to be overshadowed by many of the titles I listed earlier. This is strange because the fun movie is filled with tight, solid direction, plenty of atmosphere and a great-looking, mechanical creature created by August Lohman (<em>Moby Dick</em>). The well-made film also benefits from an interesting story as well as some pretty pleasing performances. To begin with, Tim Holt is appropriately calm, rational and, at times, a bit stiff as Lieutenant Twilliger, but he also gives his character much-needed doses of humanity and likeability. Up next, the great Hans Conried is totally convincing as the knowledgeable Dr. Rogers. He delivers his dialogue about the giant creatures completely straight and because he seems to believe everything that he¡¯s saying, we believe it too. Last, but not least, the beautiful Audrey Dalton is wonderful as secretary, single mom and love interest, Gail. Dalton brings an inner strength and intelligence to her role, making her character more than just a screaming, helpless woman who needs saving. All in all, <em>The Monster That Challenged the World</em> is a well-done creature feature and a bit more than you would expect from a late 50s, sci-fi monster mash.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">The Monster That Challenged the World </span></em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">has been released on a region one Blu-ray by Kino Lorber and is presented in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The beautiful HD transfer boasts sharp, crystal clear images and the disc not only contains the original theatrical trailer, but also an extremely informative and enjoyable audio commentary by film historian Tom Weaver who tells us just about everything we ever wanted to know about this entertaining film; great stuff. (Weaver leaves briefly to allow 50s monster music expert David Schecter of Monstrous Movie Music to discuss the film¡¯s effective score by Heinz Roemheld). If you¡¯re a lover of 1950s giant monster movies, this one is definitely above average and I highly recommended the excellent Blu-ray.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> <strong><a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00YQTCPTU/cinemaretroco-20">CLICK HERE</a> TO ORDER FROM AMAZON</strong></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> <o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p> </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> Wed, 31 Aug 2016 10:33:00 +0000 /fbe/index.php?/archives/9338-guid.html http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ REVIEW: ¡°ZONE TROOPERS¡± (1985) STARRING TIM THOMERSON, TIMOTHY VAN PATTEN AND ART LA FLEUR; KINO LORBER BLU-RAY https://www.google.com//fbe/index.php?/archives/8782-REVIEW-ZONE-TROOPERS-1985-STARRING-TIM-THOMERSON,-TIMOTHY-VAN-PATTEN-AND-ART-LA-FLEUR;-KINO-LORBER-BLU-RAY.html Ernie Magnotta /fbe/index.php?/archives/8782-REVIEW-ZONE-TROOPERS-1985-STARRING-TIM-THOMERSON,-TIMOTHY-VAN-PATTEN-AND-ART-LA-FLEUR;-KINO-LORBER-BLU-RAY.html#comments /fbe/wfwcomment.php?cid=8782 0 /fbe/rss.php?version=2.0&type=comments&cid=8782 nospam@example.com (Cinema Retro) <p><!-- s9ymdb:7947 --><img class="serendipity_image_center" width="450" height="546" src="/fbe/uploads/zonetroopers.jpg" /> </p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"><strong>BY ERNIE MAGNOTTA</strong><o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Throughout most of the 1980s, prolific filmmaker Charles Band ran the (sadly) now defunct distribution company Empire Pictures. Empire, whose fun movies had their own unique style and humor, released a plethora of enjoyable, low-budget action/sci-fi/horror/fantasy titles the likes of <em>Walking the Edge </em>(1985), <em>Crawlspace </em>(1986)<em>, From Beyond </em>(1986)<em>, Troll </em>(1986)<em>, Dolls </em>(1987)<em> and</em> <em>Cellar Dweller </em>(1988). The company, however, is probably best known for the amazing cult classic <em>Re-Animator </em>(1985) as well as the popular <em>Ghoulies </em>and <em>Trancers </em>series. If, like me, you¡¯re a fan of Empire Pictures¡¯ entertaining output (as well as a fan of Band¡¯s later company, Full Moon Pictures, which is best known for the iconic <em>Puppet Master </em>series), you can rejoice as their much-sought-after cult favorite, <em>Zone Troopers</em>, has finally been released on Blu-ray.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Solidly directed by Danny Bilson (<em>The Rocketeer</em>) who also co-wrote with his long-time friend Paul De Meo (<em>Arena</em>), <em>Zone Troopers</em> tells the enthralling tale of a small group of American soldiers who, while battling the Nazis in Italy in 1944, stumble across a crashed spaceship from another galaxy. Led by tough-as-nails Sergeant Stone (Tim Thomerson from <em>Trancers</em>), the soldiers not only do everything in their power to stay alive, but also to ensure that the aliens and their advanced technology do not find its way into the hands of the evil Nazi horde.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Zone Troopers </span></em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">is a unique and extremely fun combo of old-time war films and B-movie science fiction fantasy. The highly enjoyable movie also boasts an amazing cast. Timothy Van Patten (<em>Class of 1984, The White Shadow</em>) is dead-on as young, New Jersey soldier Joey Verona. Van Patten goes all out delivering the innocence and patriotism (as well as the requisite East Coast accent) necessary to bring this wonderfully clich¨¦d role to life. Art La Fleur (1988¡¯s <em>The Blob</em>) is terrific as tough, but loveable Corporal Mittinsky aka Mittens, and Tim Thomerson, who conveys quite a bit of info through very subtle facial expressions, is excellent as the indestructible Iron Sarge. Rounding out the group of stalwart heroes is Biff Manard (<em>Trancers II)</em> who makes his character of writer/reporter Dolan more than likeable. The lighthearted film is filled with action, adventure, camaraderie and humor, and, at times, feels like a 1940s comic book. It also benefits from a fun musical score by talented composer (and brother of Charles) Richard Band (<em>Re-Animator, The House on Sorority Row</em>), wonderful special alien effects by legendary makeup artist John Carl Buechler (<em>Friday the 13<sup>th</sup> Part VII: The New Blood)</em>; not to mention<em> </em>top-notch cinematography and editing by long-time Charles Band associates Mac Ahlberg (<em>Prison</em>) and Ted Nicolaou (<em>Subspecies</em>) respectively<em>.</em> Filmed in both Italy and the US, the well-paced film also contains intentionally dated and, therefore, intentionally corny and priceless dialogue (mostly from Van Patten) as well as a bunch of 1940s references which makes the war section of <em>Zone Troopers </em>feel entirely authentic.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Zone Troopers </span></em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">has been released on a region one Blu-ray by Kino Lorber. The high definition transfer looks fantastic and the movie is presented in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Special features include the original theatrical trailer, an interesting onscreen interview with the great Tim Thomerson, and an amusing and informative audio commentary by director Danny Bilson and writer Paul De Meo who both seem to enjoy revisiting their cult film (and rightly so). Whether you¡¯re a lover of war movies, retro science fiction, or you¡¯re just looking for something fun and different, <em>Zone Troopers </em>is definitely the Blu-ray for you.</span></p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00X99C9LM/cinemaretroco-20">CLICK HERE</a> TO ORDER FROM AMAZON</strong> </p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> <o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> Mon, 07 Sep 2015 20:01:00 +0000 /fbe/index.php?/archives/8782-guid.html http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ SWEET NIGHTMARES: REMEMBERING WES CRAVEN https://www.google.com//fbe/index.php?/archives/8803-SWEET-NIGHTMARES-REMEMBERING-WES-CRAVEN.html Ernie Magnotta /fbe/index.php?/archives/8803-SWEET-NIGHTMARES-REMEMBERING-WES-CRAVEN.html#comments /fbe/wfwcomment.php?cid=8803 0 /fbe/rss.php?version=2.0&type=comments&cid=8803 nospam@example.com (Cinema Retro) <p><!-- s9ymdb:7985 --><img class="serendipity_image_center" width="450" height="300" src="/fbe/uploads/Wes-Craven.jpg" /> </p> <p><strong>BY ERNIE MAGNOTTA</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Although I was barely ten years-old, I remember feeling terrified while watching horror master Wes Craven¡¯s 1978 made-for-TV thriller <em>Summer of Fear </em>(under its alternate title <em>Stranger in Our House</em>) as well as thoroughly enjoying his adaptation of the comic book <em>Swamp Thing </em>four years later, but it wasn¡¯t until November of 1984, while viewing the trailer for some new horror flick called <em>A Nightmare on Elm Street</em>, that I recall hearing and remembering the name Wes Craven. After being thrilled by this masterpiece which, in my opinion, is Craven¡¯s greatest work, I certainly wanted to learn more about this extremely talented filmmaker. After doing a bit of research, I quickly discovered that I had already seen Craven¡¯s original and very interesting <em>Deadly Blessing </em>(1981) and, also, his other masterpiece (in my opinion): 1977¡¯s <em>The Hills Have Eyes</em>. Whenever someone mentions Wes Craven, I immediately think of <em>Nightmare </em>and <em>Hills</em>, so, due to hearing the very sad news of his passing, I¡¯d like to focus this article on those two masterworks because if any movies from his amazing filmography show Wes as a writer/director to be reckoned with, they are, without a doubt, <em>The Hills Have Eyes </em>and <em>A Nightmare on Elm Street</em>.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Craven¡¯s first movie as writer/director (and editor) was 1972¡¯s controversial, but important <em>The Last House on the Left</em>. The disturbing film, which was inspired by Ingmar Bergman¡¯s <em>The Virgin Spring </em>(1960) and produced by Sean Cunningham (<em>Friday the 13<sup>th</sup></em>), was made during the height of the Vietnam War and seemed to be Craven¡¯s outcry against the rise of violence in the United States at the time. It also rightly depicted that violence as brutal and horrific instead of glamorizing or sanitizing it. Lensed in New York and Connecticut for only $87,000, the film¡¯s poster featured the immortal tagline ¡®To avoid fainting, keep repeating, it¡¯s only a movie¡­only a movie¡­only a movie¡­¡¯, dealt with revenge, booby traps and a civilized family vs. an uncivilized one. The last two would show up again in Craven¡¯s next film.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"><!-- s9ymdb:7986 --><img class="serendipity_image_center" width="306" height="480" src="/fbe/uploads/hillshaveeyes.jpg" /> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Five long years later, Craven would write and direct again and it was definitely worth the wait. On July, 22<sup>nd</sup>, 1977, <em>The Hills Have Eyes </em>was released upon an unsuspecting public. The $230,000 budgeted film dealt with the Carters; an average, middle-class family whose car breaks down near a deserted bomb range in the Nevada desert while driving cross-country. Once stranded, night falls and the Carters are repeatedly attacked by an uncivilized, cannibalistic, mutant family who live in the hills and have been surviving in the desert for years by feeding off of anyone foolish enough to cross their path. The cannibals, who go by names such as Mars, Mercury, Pluto and Papa Jupiter, brutally murder Mr. and Mrs. Carter, their oldest daughter Lynne, and Beauty, one of their two dogs. The deranged mutants also kidnap Lynne¡¯s infant daughter, Katie, leaving only Lynne¡¯s younger siblings, Bobby and Brenda, along with Lynne¡¯s husband, Doug, and their second dog, Beast, to face the crazed family, hopefully rescue little Katie and survive.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Although still a hardcore piece of horror cinema, <em>The Hills Have Eyes </em>is a more enjoyable experience than <em>The Last House on the Left</em>. Where <em>Last House </em>went for and achieved stark realism, <em>Hills</em> deftly balances realistic, identifiable, likeable characters with somewhat over-the-top/comic bookish, but still terrifying, villains (who Craven based on the supposedly real-life, 16<sup>th</sup> century, cannibalistic Sawney Bean family). The film chillingly shows that in a life and death situation, an intelligent, passive, civilized person may have to become just as uncivilized as his or her attackers. The film¡¯s memorable tagline, ¡°A nice American family. They didn¡¯t want to kill. But they didn¡¯t want to die.¡±, pretty much sums up the entire movie. <o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">The cutting edge, low-budget film, which introduced the world to future horror movie icons Dee Wallace (<em>The Howling, Cujo</em>) and Michael Berryman (<em>Deadly Blessing, The Devil¡¯s Rejects</em>), went on to gross $25 million and quickly became a cult classic, further solidifying Craven¡¯s name as a major and original talent in the world of horror cinema.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Over the next seven years, Craven would work in both film and television and, with the exception of the aforementioned <em>Swamp Thing</em>, would always direct films in the horror genre. Immediately following <em>Swamp Thing</em>, Craven completed an original horror screenplay which he<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">shopped all over Hollywood. Every studio felt that the script didn¡¯t have potential and passed on it. With almost no money to his name and just about ready to give up on the project, Craven finally saw a glimmer of hope as a tiny, independent company called New Line Cinema gave the film a green light. New Line head Robert Shaye, whose company dealt mostly in distribution, but had recently moved into production by making a few low-budget films including an underrated 1982 horror called <em>Alone in the Dark</em>, believed in Craven¡¯s script and production immediately began with Wes once again in the director¡¯s chair. The screenplay¡¯s title was <em>A Nightmare on Elm Street</em>.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">The frightening film tells the tale of a group of four teens who all begin having nightmares about the same creepy, burnt-faced man who skulks in the bowels of an old boiler room and wears a dirty red and green sweater, a beat-up, old fedora and a self-made glove of sharp ¡°finger-knives.¡± When her friends begin dying one by one, intelligent teen Nancy deduces that if this mysterious figure kills you in your sleep, then you die for real. After getting almost no help from the adults around her, Nancy does some digging and finds out that the murderer¡¯s name is Fred Krueger and that his motive is to kill the Elm Street kids as an act of revenge in order to punish their parents who burned him alive ten years earlier due to him being a filthy child murderer. Armed with only her wits and a few self-made booby traps, Nancy prepares to face Krueger in a desperate battle for survival.<o:p /></span></p> <p> </p> <p><!-- s9ymdb:7987 --><img class="serendipity_image_center" width="440" height="587" src="/fbe/uploads/nightmareelm.jpg" /> </p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Made for under $2 million dollars, the expertly crafted film was released on November 9, 1984 and, little by little, gained momentum as horror fans slowly began to discover what an unexpected gem it was. After all, the trailer made it seem as if it was just another in a seemingly endless cycle of formulaic dead teenager flicks still being released due to the massive success of both <em>Halloween </em>(1978) and <em>Friday the 13<sup>th </sup></em>(1980). But <em>A Nightmare on Elm Street </em>was different. It was something special. More of a psychological thriller than a by-the-numbers slasher film, <em>Elm Street</em>¡¯s extremely original story, much like <em>The Hills Have Eyes</em>, was partly influenced by real-life events. Wes Craven read a series of articles in the <em>L.A. Times </em>which detailed several young men who were afraid to go to sleep and tried everything in their power to stay awake. When they inevitably nodded off, they died. Craven immediately thought ¡°What if a person, like a boogeyman, was killing them in their dreams?¡± With the story now in place, Wes then began to construct his soon-to-be iconic villain. Craven based him on a scary childhood incident where, one night, while little Wes was looking out his bedroom window into the alley below, a creepy man wearing an old hat continued to stare up at him with a look of evil. Craven then took the name Fred Krueger from a school bully who constantly tormented him (he did the same thing twelve years earlier with <em>The Last House on the Left</em>; naming one character Fred and the other Krug) and decided on Elm Street because it was a street close to the school where he used to work as an English teacher as well as being the name of the street where JFK was, unfortunately, assassinated on. Wes said that he wanted a name/place that evoked pure Americana. Craven then chose the razor-sharp glove because he was thinking of what early man may have feared and thought of the claws of a bear. He also wanted Freddy to be a painful, optical effect, so he decided on red and green for Freddy¡¯s sweater after learning that they were the two colors which were the most difficult for the eye to see side by side. Lastly, Craven decided that Freddy would be very different from the plethora of mute, masked, cinematic psycho killers which were inundating theaters at the time. Freddy would talk (including a few darkly humorous lines of dialogue) and, although covered in burnt scar tissue, remain unmasked. The chilling monster would also take great pleasure in terrifying his victims-to-be.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><br /></p> <br /><a href="/fbe/index.php?/archives/8803-SWEET-NIGHTMARES-REMEMBERING-WES-CRAVEN.html#extended">Continue reading "SWEET NIGHTMARES: REMEMBERING WES CRAVEN"</a> Mon, 07 Sep 2015 03:18:33 +0000 /fbe/index.php?/archives/8803-guid.html http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ REVIEW: ¡°DERANGED¡± (1974) STARRING ROBERTS BLOSSOM, COSETTE LEE AND LESLIE CARLSON; KINO LORBER SPECIAL EDITION BLU-RAY https://www.google.com//fbe/index.php?/archives/8781-REVIEW-DERANGED-1974-STARRING-ROBERTS-BLOSSOM,-COSETTE-LEE-AND-LESLIE-CARLSON;-KINO-LORBER-SPECIAL-EDITION-BLU-RAY.html Ernie Magnotta /fbe/index.php?/archives/8781-REVIEW-DERANGED-1974-STARRING-ROBERTS-BLOSSOM,-COSETTE-LEE-AND-LESLIE-CARLSON;-KINO-LORBER-SPECIAL-EDITION-BLU-RAY.html#comments /fbe/wfwcomment.php?cid=8781 0 /fbe/rss.php?version=2.0&type=comments&cid=8781 nospam@example.com (Cinema Retro) <p><!-- s9ymdb:7946 --><img class="serendipity_image_center" width="450" height="546" src="/fbe/uploads/deranged.jpg" /> </p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"><strong>BY ERNIE MAGNOTTA</strong><o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">The notorious exploits of real-life, Wisconsin serial killer Ed Gein have inspired several horror films over the years; three of the most well-known being Alfred Hitchcock¡¯s immortal <em>Psycho </em>(1960), Tobe Hooper¡¯s legendary <em>The Texas Chainsaw Massacre </em>(1974) and Jonathon Demme¡¯s Academy Award-winning <em>The Silence of the Lambs </em>(1991). These three masterpieces took bits and pieces of Ed Gein¡¯s horrific methods and personality in order to help build their own iconic cinematic villains. For instance, instead of wearing a female victim¡¯s skin like Ed did, <em>Psycho</em>¡¯s Norman Bates dressed as his own mother who the disturbed boy had an unhealthy attachment to (Gein also had an unhealthy attachment to his mom). <em>The Silence of the Lambs</em>¡¯ Buffalo Bill planned to dress in the skin of his victims, but was not obsessed with his own mother and, also, desired a sex change which Gein did not. (That film¡¯s Hannibal Lecter actually did dress in the skin of one of his victims, although it seemed to be just a one-time thing for him.) Lastly, <em>Chainsaw</em>¡¯s Leatherface also wore his unfortunate victim¡¯s skin and, much like Ed, decorated his home with human body parts. However, unlike Gein, Leatherface used a chain saw, had a demented brother and father and could not function within normal society. Right now, most of you are thinking that a more accurate depiction of Gein¡¯s atrocities has never been filmed. Not true. All you need to do is to take a look at a lesser-known, but very well-made, low-budget thriller called <em>Deranged</em>.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Written by Alan Ormsby (<em>Children Shouldn¡¯t Play with Dead Things, My Bodyguard</em>) and co-directed by Ormsby and Jeff Gillen, <em>Deranged </em>aka <em>Deranged: The Confessions of a Necrophile</em> tells the gruesome story of middle-aged, Midwest resident Ezra Cobb (Roberts Blossom from <em>Escape from Alcatraz, Christine </em>and <em>Home Alone</em>) who has lived with his religious and woman-hating mother, Amanda (<em>The First Time</em>¡®s Cosette Lee), his entire life. When his mother finally passes away, Ezra begins to slowly lose his mind. One night, he digs up her corpse and convinces himself that she is still alive. The lonely and disturbed man eventually begins exhuming more corpses which he uses to decorate his home. It isn¡¯t long before Ezra completely descends into madness and stalks fresh, young female victims. He brings them back to his farm, dresses up in his mother¡¯s skin and performs unspeakable acts upon them.<em><o:p /></em></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></em></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Horror fans (and cinema buffs in general) will be delighted to know that, although uncredited, the late, great filmmaker Bob Clark (<em>Black Christmas, Deathdream, Murder by Decree, Porky¡¯s, A Christmas Story</em>) helped out quite a bit on this film. Made for only $200,000.00, <em>Deranged </em>was released in early 1974 by American International Pictures and grossed $6 million at the box office. The powerful and disturbing Canadian-American production, also features several highly recognizable faces from 1970s &amp;80s Canadian cinema such as Leslie Carlson (<em>Videodrome, A Christmas Story</em>) and Marian Waldman (<em>Black Christmas, Phobia</em>). <em>Deranged </em>also benefits from a wonderful musical score (partly made up of Gospel hymns) by talented composer Carl Zittrer (<em>Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things</em>, <em>Deathdream</em>) as well as amazingly realistic-looking effects by legendary makeup artist/director/stuntman Tom Savini (<em>Dawn of the Dead, Friday the 13<sup>th</sup>, Creepshow</em>) in one of his very first cinematic efforts.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">So, how does <em>Deranged </em>stack up against the Ed Gein-inspired movies mentioned earlier? It may not have the amazing structuring and nail-biting suspense of <em>Psycho</em>, the well-defined characterizations of <em>The Silence of the Lambs </em>or the relentless terror of <em>Texas Chainsaw</em>, but it does contain solid-enough characters (especially Ezra) and the film builds quite nicely, culminating in an orgy of violent madness. Like the three aforementioned classics, <em>Deranged </em>is<em> </em>also filled with quite a bit of black humor which helps immensely by giving audiences some much-needed relief from the gruesome subject matter. Speaking of humor, the movie is mostly carried by Roberts Blossom who gives a wonderfully balanced performance as Ezra, making the dangerous and scary killer extremely funny in spots as well as relatable and even likeable. No, the film is not in the same league as the others, but it¡¯s still an extremely well-made, engaging and creepy little movie which is not only a much more (although, not completely) accurate depiction of the life of Ed Gein, but also a film that deserves to be seen.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Deranged </span></em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">has been released as a special edition Blu-ray by the fine folks at Kino Lorber. The film is presented in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio and the high definition transfer looks absolutely amazing (I¡¯ve owned a copy of this film for 25 years and it doesn¡¯t look anywhere near as beautiful as this transfer does). The audio is also excellent and the disc contains the original theatrical trailer as well as an onscreen interview with Producer Tom Karr who candidly talks about many interesting subjects such as not being allowed to film in Wisconsin, Christopher Walken and Harvey Keitel both almost being cast as Ezra, and the possibility of a <em>Deranged</em> remake. We are also treated to not one, but two audio commentaries. The first, which is wonderfully moderated by director Elijah Drenner (<em>American Grindhouse</em>), features personable writer and co-director Alan Ormsby who gives us a ton of terrific behind-the-scenes info as well as his recollections of working alongside Bob Clark, Tom Savini and co-director Jeff Gillen. The second commentary is by film historian Richard Harland Smith from Turner Classic Movies. Smith gives a highly absorbing and exhaustive commentary which not only covers Ed Gein and <em>Deranged</em>, but every conceivable piece of cinema even remotely related to this subject matter including <em>Caddyshack</em>! The poster¡¯s original, effective images and highly memorable tagline, ¡°Pretty Sally Mae died a very unnatural death!...but the worst hasn¡¯t happened to her yet!¡±, are featured on both the Blu-ray¡¯s sleeve and menu. The often overlooked film is a real find for retro horror fans/lovers of early 70s cult cinema, and this impressive Blu-ray collection is an absolute must.</span></p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00X8RORRO/cinemaretroco-20">CLICK HERE</a> TO ORDER FROM AMAZON</strong> </p> Thu, 27 Aug 2015 11:48:00 +0000 /fbe/index.php?/archives/8781-guid.html http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ REVIEW: "HERO AND THE TERROR" (1988) STARRING CHUCK NORRIS, BLU-RAY RELEASE FROM KINO LORBER https://www.google.com//fbe/index.php?/archives/8753-REVIEW-HERO-AND-THE-TERROR-1988-STARRING-CHUCK-NORRIS,-BLU-RAY-RELEASE-FROM-KINO-LORBER.html Ernie Magnotta /fbe/index.php?/archives/8753-REVIEW-HERO-AND-THE-TERROR-1988-STARRING-CHUCK-NORRIS,-BLU-RAY-RELEASE-FROM-KINO-LORBER.html#comments /fbe/wfwcomment.php?cid=8753 0 /fbe/rss.php?version=2.0&type=comments&cid=8753 nospam@example.com (Cinema Retro) <p><!-- s9ymdb:7912 --><img class="serendipity_image_center" width="450" height="546" src="/fbe/uploads/HEROANDTERROR.jpg" /> </p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"><strong>BY ERNIE MAGNOTTA</strong><o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">By 1988 Chuck Norris was firmly established as an international action movie star who was spoken about in the same breath as Charles Bronson, Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. The six-time world karate champion had shown us his stuff in more than a half dozen entertaining martial arts/action flicks such as <em>Silent Rage </em>(1982), <em>Forced Vengeance </em>(1982) and <em>Lone Wolf McQuade </em>(1983) before somewhat breaking away from his karate roots and moving into almost pure action films the likes of <em>Missing in Action </em>(1984), <em>Code of Silence </em>(1985) and <em>Invasion U.S.A. </em>(1985). Although Chuck eventually tried his hand at comedy (1986¡¯s <em>Firewalker</em>), his fans (including me) were happiest at seeing him play the lone hero who kicks ass, takes names and makes the world a better place. In 1988, we got our wish as Chuck continued his successful association with now legendary film studio The Cannon Group and starred in a brand new action film entitled <em>Hero and the Terror</em>.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Directed by William Tannen (<em>Flashpoint</em>), <em>Hero and the Terror</em>, which was based on a novel by actor/writer Michael Blodgett (<em>Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, Turner &amp; Hooch</em>), concerns Homicide detective Dan O¡¯Brien (Norris) who, a few years earlier, had been given the nickname ¡°Hero¡± due to ¡°capturing¡± notorious Los Angeles serial killer Simon Moon (<em>Superman II</em>¡¯s Jack O¡¯Halloran). Since then, O¡¯Brien has been mentally torturing himself because he believes that the praise he has received is undeserved. He also suffers from nightmares that stem from almost being murdered by the monstrous psychopath. While Dan and his girlfriend (Brynn Thayer from TVs <em>One Life to Live</em>) are busy preparing for the birth of their first child, Moon, who the media has dubbed ¡°The Terror¡±, busts out of prison and picks up exactly where he left off, leaving a string of bloody corpses in his wake. Can detective O¡¯Brien not only summon the courage needed to face this horrific madman once again, but, also, prove to himself that he has the right to be called ¡°Hero¡±?<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Hero and the Terror </span></em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">is a bit of a unique Chuck Norris movie in that it isn¡¯t just the usual guy flick. Besides being a well-balanced combo of action film and suspense thriller, it also contains a mature, romantic subplot; not to mention the fact that Chuck (believably) plays a more realistic and human character as opposed to the almost indestructible supermen he¡¯s portrayed in the past, making this film appealing to women as well as men. Brynn Thayer, as Chuck¡¯s girlfriend, helps this along by giving a very likeable and sometimes humorous performance.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">The entertaining film is loaded with even more top-notch acting talent. To begin with, professional boxer turned actor Jack O¡¯Halloran is appropriately creepy as Simon Moon. O¡¯Halloran never utters a word and, instead, gets his character across through expressions and body language alone. Next up, is the late, great Steve James (<em>American Ninja, I¡¯m Gonna Git You Sucka, Weekend at Bernie¡¯s II </em>and Norris¡¯s <em>Delta Force</em>) as Chuck¡¯s cool, funny and fearless partner. Also, the legendary and sorely missed Ron (<em>Super Fly</em>) O¡¯Neal (who also co-stars in Chuck¡¯s <em>A Force of One</em>) makes a brief appearance as the mayor; the always welcome Billy Drago (<em>Pale Rider, The Untouchables </em>as well as Chuck¡¯s <em>Invasion U.S.A. </em>and <em>Delta Force 2</em>) appears in a rare, normal role as a psychiatrist; talented musician Murphy Dunne (<em>The Blues Brothers</em>) gives an amusing performance as a hotel manager, and likable Jeffrey Kramer (<em>Jaws, Hollywood Boulevard, Jaws 2</em>) as well as highly recognizable character actor Tony DiBenedetto (<em>The Exterminator, Raw Deal</em>) show up as cops. The movie also features Joe Guzaldo (Chuck¡¯s <em>Code of Silence</em>) as the mayor¡¯s right hand man; not to mention cameos by 9<sup>th</sup> degree black belt Bob Wall (<em>Enter the Dragon </em>and<em> Way of the Dragon</em> which also featured Chuck), the beautiful Karen Witter (<em>Out of the Dark, Buried Alive, </em>TV¡¯s <em>One Life to Live</em>) and <em>Renegade</em>¡¯s Branscombe Richmond as a thug. The fun movie boasts solid direction, decent characterizations and, with the exception of the well-done and refreshing romantic subplot, is exactly what you would expect from a late 80s action film.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Hero and the Terror </span></em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">has been released on a region one Blu-ray by Kino Lorber and is presented in its original 1:85:1 aspect ratio. The beautiful HD transfer boasts sharp, crystal clear images and the disc not only contains the original theatrical trailer, but the trailer for Chuck¡¯s enjoyable 1981 actioner <em>An Eye for an Eye </em>as well. If you¡¯re yearning for an entertaining, yet more mature Chuck Norris action-thriller, <em>Hero and the Terror </em>won¡¯t disappoint.</span></p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00VHAG06A/cinemaretroco-20">CLICK HERE</a> TO ORDER FROM AMAZON</strong> </p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> <o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> Tue, 11 Aug 2015 11:42:00 +0000 /fbe/index.php?/archives/8753-guid.html http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ REVIEW: "AN EYE FOR AN EYE" (1981) STARRING CHUCK NORRIS AND CHRISTOPHER LEE; BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FROM KINO LORBER https://www.google.com//fbe/index.php?/archives/8754-REVIEW-AN-EYE-FOR-AN-EYE-1981-STARRING-CHUCK-NORRIS-AND-CHRISTOPHER-LEE;-BLU-RAY-SPECIAL-EDITION-FROM-KINO-LORBER.html Ernie Magnotta /fbe/index.php?/archives/8754-REVIEW-AN-EYE-FOR-AN-EYE-1981-STARRING-CHUCK-NORRIS-AND-CHRISTOPHER-LEE;-BLU-RAY-SPECIAL-EDITION-FROM-KINO-LORBER.html#comments /fbe/wfwcomment.php?cid=8754 0 /fbe/rss.php?version=2.0&type=comments&cid=8754 nospam@example.com (Cinema Retro) <p><!-- s9ymdb:7913 --><img class="serendipity_image_center" width="450" height="546" src="/fbe/uploads/EYEFOREYE.jpg" /> </p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"><strong>BY ERNIE MAGNOTTA</strong><o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">After his iconic battle against the legendary Bruce Lee in 1972¡¯s <em>Way of the Dragon </em>(and with the encouragement of cinematic superstar and karate student Steve McQueen), six-time, undefeated world karate champion Chuck Norris felt it was time to move permanently into the world of cinema. In just a few short years, he was already headlining low budget martial arts/action films such as 1974¡¯s <em>Slaughter in San Francisco </em>(as a villain), 1977¡¯s <em>Breaker! Breaker! </em>and 1978¡¯s <em>Good Guys Wear Black </em>(his first box office hit). This success led to Chuck¡¯s 1979 karate classic, <em>A Force of One. </em>The cool and entertaining film really started to get him noticed by action movie fans and was quickly followed by <em>The Octagon </em>(1980), an exciting and suspenseful ninja thriller. With Norris and karate/action movie audiences now hungry for more, Chuck immediately started work on his next feature, 1981¡¯s highly enjoyable <em>An Eye for an Eye</em>.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">After his partner is murdered by powerful international drug lord Morgan Canfield (played by the late, great Christopher Lee), detective Sean Kane (Norris) is berated by his captain (Richard <em>Shaft</em> Roundtree) for using excessive force in his quest for answers. Fed up with how the law works, Sean willingly relinquishes his gun and his badge. However, Sean Kane doesn¡¯t need a weapon. Sean Kane <em>is</em> a weapon!<em> </em>Seething with rage and hell-bent on revenge, Sean, along with a grief-stricken father (the sorely missed Mako from <em>Conan the Barbarian </em>and Chuck¡¯s <em>Sidekicks</em>) of one of Canfield¡¯s recent victims, sets out on a quest to find the mysterious drug kingpin and bring him to his knees.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Directed by Steve Carver (<em>Big Bad Mama </em>and Chuck¡¯s <em>Lone Wolf </em>McQuade), <em>An Eye for an Eye</em>, which was the last film to be made by famed independent film studio Avco Embassy Pictures (<em>The Fog, Phantasm, The Exterminator, The Howling</em>), was written by William Gray (<em>Prom Night, Humongous</em>) and James Bruner (Chuck¡¯s <em>Invasion U.S.A. </em>and <em>The Delta Force</em>), and shot entirely on location in San Francisco, California.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">The nicely paced, entertaining and well-structured film is filled with solid direction as well as memorable and diverse characters; not to mention wonderful performances. As is usually the case with his engaging action films, Chuck Norris is cool, a bit humorous and totally believable as a courageous, but dangerous hero. It¡¯s also no surprise that the legendary Christopher Lee brings a touch of diabolical class to his villainous role while the great and always reliable Richard Roundtree delivers another solid performance. The rest of the top-notch cast shines as well. Academy Award nominee (for <em>The Sand Pebbles</em>) Mako is extremely lively and witty, making his character the perfect sidekick for the low-key and semi-serious Chuck; Matt Clark (<em>The Outlaw Josey Wales </em>and Chuck¡¯s <em>Walker, Texas Ranger</em>) delivers a wonderfully balanced and subtle performance as fellow cop McCoy; beautiful Maggie Cooper (TV actress turned news commentator) does well with her role as Chuck¡¯s love interest; three time WWWF (now WWE) Tag Team Champion Professor Toru Tanaka (<em>The Running Man </em>and Chuck¡¯s <em>Missing in Action 2: The Beginning</em>) is completely convincing as a deadly and intimidating Bond-like henchman; the lovely Rosalind Chao (TV¡¯s <em>Star Trek: Deep Space Nine</em>) gives a powerful, but, unfortunately, brief performance as a news reporter; Stuart Pankin (<em>Arachnophobia</em>) is quite comical as an effeminate pimp and, in their brief roles, Terry Kiser (<em>Weekend at Bernie¡¯s</em>, <em>Walker, Texas Ranger</em>) is warm and likeable as a cop while action movie regular Mel Novak (Chuck¡¯s <em>A Force of One</em>) exudes slimy evil as a street snitch. The simple, yet intriguing story moves along at a fast clip and the skillfully directed action sequences (especially the very suspenseful chase scene between Rosalind Chao and Professor Tanaka as well as an exciting helicopter attack that could rival a Bond film) will no doubt keep you watching. Add to all of this a kick-ass musical theme by talented composer William Goldstein (Chuck¡¯s <em>Forced Vengeance</em>) and you have an early 80s action/adventure that is a real joy to watch.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">An Eye for an Eye</span></em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> has been released on Blu-ray by Kino Lorber in a brand new, HD, anamorphic (1.85:1) widescreen transfer and although the film shows some slight grain in the darker scenes, the movie is otherwise crystal clear and the colors are vibrant. I love this film and this is the absolute best I¡¯ve ever seen it look. Needless to say, it¡¯s a tremendous improvement over the previous DVD release. The region 1 disc also contains a very informative audio commentary with director Steve Carver who not only discusses numerous aspects of the film¡¯s production, but also talks about many interesting things such as working for Avco Embassy and how the late Professor Tanaka was really taking those hits and kicks Chuck was dishing out in the big finale. Carver also has some wonderful and fascinating things to say about Chuck Norris, Christopher Lee, Richard Roundtree, Mako, Toru Tanaka and the rest of the talented cast. The disc features the original theatrical trailer (¡°White Lightning is back!¡±) along with a trailer for Chuck¡¯s enjoyable 1988 action-thriller <em>Hero and the Terror </em>(also on Blu-ray by Kino Lorber).<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> If, like me, you¡¯re a fan of Chuck Norris¡¯s early 80s martial arts/action films, I highly recommend this Blu-ray release of <em>An Eye for an Eye</em>.</span></p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00VHAGG0U/cinemaretroco-20">CLICK HERE </a>TO ORDER FROM AMAZON</strong> </p> Mon, 03 Aug 2015 10:54:00 +0000 /fbe/index.php?/archives/8754-guid.html http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ REVIEW: ¡°DEVIL¡¯S ANGELS¡± (1967) STARRING JOHN CASSAVETES, BEVERLY ADAMS AND MIMSY FARMER; MGM LIMITED EDITION COLLECTION DVD https://www.google.com//fbe/index.php?/archives/8678-REVIEW-DEVILS-ANGELS-1967-STARRING-JOHN-CASSAVETES,-BEVERLY-ADAMS-AND-MIMSY-FARMER;-MGM-LIMITED-EDITION-COLLECTION-DVD.html Ernie Magnotta /fbe/index.php?/archives/8678-REVIEW-DEVILS-ANGELS-1967-STARRING-JOHN-CASSAVETES,-BEVERLY-ADAMS-AND-MIMSY-FARMER;-MGM-LIMITED-EDITION-COLLECTION-DVD.html#comments /fbe/wfwcomment.php?cid=8678 0 /fbe/rss.php?version=2.0&type=comments&cid=8678 nospam@example.com (Cinema Retro) <p><!-- s9ymdb:7820 --><img class="serendipity_image_center" width="353" height="500" src="/fbe/uploads/devilsangels.jpg" /> </p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"><strong>BY ERNIE MAGNOTTA</strong><o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Biker films have been around for decades. Although most cinephiles cite Marlon Brando¡¯s <em>The Wild One </em>(1953) as the first great biker movie, it wasn¡¯t until the mid-1960s and the release of the 1966 Roger Corman-directed classic <em>The Wild Angels </em>that biker films really exploded onto the scene. Made for $360,000 and grossing close to $16 million, <em>The Wild Angels </em>started a cinematic cycle trend that lasted well into the 1970s.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Noticing that other enterprising filmmakers were cashing in on their film¡¯s success, legendary studio American International Pictures quickly decided that another biker flick was in order. They gathered Corman (to produce); <em>Wild Angels </em>scribe Charles B. Griffith (<em>Rock All Night, A Bucket of Blood, The Little Shop of Horrors, Death Race 2000</em>) to write and, together, came up with the next biker extravaganza, 1967¡¯s <em>Devil¡¯s Angels </em>aka <em>The Checkered Flag</em>.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Directed by Daniel Haller (<em>Buck Rogers in the 25<sup>th</sup> Century, The Wild Racers, Dunwich Horror</em>), <em>Devil¡¯s Angels </em>concerns a group of rebellious, anti-establishment bikers called the Skulls who are searching for a police-free place they¡¯ve dubbed Hole-in-the-Wall. They roll into the small town of Brookville and are immediately ordered to leave by the intimidated mayor (Paul Myer). The Skulls¡¯ leader, Cody (played by independent filmmaking icon; the late, great John Cassavetes), informs the sheriff (<em>Tobruk¡¯s </em>Leo Gordon) that they¡¯re not looking for trouble and that he, his girl Lynn (the beautiful Beverly Adams from <em>How to Stuff a Wild Bikini</em>) and the rest of the posse just need a place to crash for the night. The sheriff decides to give Cody a chance and agrees to let the group spend the night on the beach if they promise to remain there and then leave first thing in the morning. Cody gives his word and the bikers take off along with a local beauty contestant (Mimsy Farmer from <em>Four Flies on Grey Velvet</em>) who¡¯s infatuated with the group. The mayor berates the sheriff for letting them stay in town, but the lawman doesn¡¯t budge. While at the beach, the group gets the girl high, teases her a bit and sends her running back to town in fright. The mayor lies by telling the sheriff that the Skulls raped the unharmed girl and Cody is arrested. When the sheriff learns the truth, he immediately lets Cody go, but orders him and his friends to leave town. Meanwhile, the Skulls, who don¡¯t like being accused of rape, decide that the town needs to be taught a lesson. With the help of a larger group of bikers called the Stompers, they ride back into town (against Cody¡¯s wishes), completely take it over and put the authorities on trial. The mayor¡¯s lie is revealed and he is sentenced to a public beating which Cody goes along with. The Skulls also feel that, because they were accused of rape, they are owed a rape. Cody is totally against this. He tries his best to stop it, but all hell winds up breaking loose. As the Stompers and the Skulls (including Lynn) tear Brookville apart, Cody, realizing that his Hole-in-the-Wall doesn¡¯t exist, quits the group and rides off alone before the state police arrive.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">With only a $4 million gross, <em>Devil¡¯s Angels</em> may not have been a major hit for AIP<em>, </em>but it¡¯s still an interesting and well-done biker film which features several highly recognizable faces from 1960s/70s cinema and television such as Marc Cavell (<em>Cool Hand Luke</em>), Russ Bender (<em>Bonanza</em>), Buck Taylor (<em>Gunsmoke</em>), Bruce Kartalian (<em>The Outlaw Josey Wales</em>) and Mitzi Hoag (<em>Deadly Game</em>).<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> <o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Although not nearly as well-remembered as the Dennis Hopper/Peter Fonda 1969 classic <em>Easy Rider </em>nor as hard-hitting as Al Adamson¡¯s <em>Satan¡¯s Sadists </em>from the same year, <em>Devil¡¯s Angels </em>is a solidly-made, quirky and enjoyable exploitation film that benefits most from a wonderfully complex performance by the legendary John Cassavetes as well as an entertaining and thoughtful screenplay by the extremely underrated Charles Griffith. There¡¯s also a terrific musical score written by Mike Curb and performed by Sidewalk Productions. Not to mention a catchy theme song by Jerry and the Portraits with additional music courtesy of Dave Allen and the Arrows.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">As far as the Skulls go, they¡¯re mainly benign (but not as cool as the goodhearted bikers from 1976¡¯s <em>Northville Cemetery Massacre</em>) and<em> </em>just looking for a place to be free. The havoc they cause (with the exception of an accidental death) is mostly light (and presented humorously) and they¡¯re never really violent until the very end, so if you¡¯re looking for an intimidating band of evil hell raisers, look elsewhere. As for me, I thoroughly enjoy this film; always have. It¡¯s a fun biker flick with a strong cast and a thought-provoking story. If you¡¯re a biker film fanatic or just a fan of AIP/Roger Corman in general, I definitely recommend checking it out.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Devil¡¯s Angels </span></em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">has been released as a DVD-R from the MGM Limited Edition Collection. The film is presented in its original 2:35:1 aspect ratio and, although it¡¯s far from Blu-ray quality, the movie is more than watchable. Also, the audio is clear, and the DVD¡¯s sleeve and menu feature the original and very cool-looking poster artwork.<o:p /></span></p> Thu, 18 Jun 2015 12:44:00 +0000 /fbe/index.php?/archives/8678-guid.html http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ REVIEW: "THE SURVIVOR" (1981) STARRING ROBERT POWELL AND JENNY AGUTTER; DVD SPECIAL EDITION FROM SCORPION RELEASING https://www.google.com//fbe/index.php?/archives/8644-REVIEW-THE-SURVIVOR-1981-STARRING-ROBERT-POWELL-AND-JENNY-AGUTTER;-DVD-SPECIAL-EDITION-FROM-SCORPION-RELEASING.html Ernie Magnotta /fbe/index.php?/archives/8644-REVIEW-THE-SURVIVOR-1981-STARRING-ROBERT-POWELL-AND-JENNY-AGUTTER;-DVD-SPECIAL-EDITION-FROM-SCORPION-RELEASING.html#comments /fbe/wfwcomment.php?cid=8644 0 /fbe/rss.php?version=2.0&type=comments&cid=8644 nospam@example.com (Cinema Retro) <p><!-- s9ymdb:7781 --><img class="serendipity_image_center" width="450" height="635" src="/fbe/uploads/survivor.jpg" /> </p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"><strong>BY ERNIE MAGNOTTA</strong><o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Most cinema scholars not only cite Alfred Hitchcock¡¯s 1960 masterwork <em>Psycho </em>as the start of the modern horror film, but also its iconic shower scene as the beginning of a new level of acceptability of violent content in cinema. Over the next few years, violence (and gore) would escalate in genre films such as the Herschell Gordon Lewis splatter-fests <em>Blood Feast </em>(1963) and <em>Color Me Blood Red </em>(1965). By the end of the decade, George Romero¡¯s excellent zombie-munching classic, <em>Night of the Living Dead </em>(1968), as well as non-horror masterpieces like Sam Peckinpah¡¯s <em>The Wild Bunch </em>(1969), left no doubt in the minds of cinemagoers that they were in a new era of in-your-face, cinematic violence and gore. As far as horror movies go, the trend continued throughout the 1970s with now legendary films such as Wes Craven¡¯s<em> The Last House on the Left </em>(1972), William Friedkin¡¯s <em>The Exorcist</em> (1973), Dario Argento¡¯s<em> Suspiria </em>(1977) and Romero¡¯s <em>Night of the Living Dead</em> sequel, the ultra-gory, semi-satirical zombie masterpiece <em>Dawn of the Dead </em>(1978)<em>. </em>As the 1980s began, most horror films were copying the structure of John Carpenter¡¯s phenomenal 1978 classic, <em>Halloween</em>, but, due to being incapable of duplicating that film¡¯s expertly- mounted suspense, they instead added <em>Dawn</em>¡¯s grisly effects. By 1981, horror fans expected to see plenty of blood and guts on the big screen, so almost every genre film released during that time happily obliged. Not all horror movies took this approach, however. For instance, there was an Australian-made film that deviated from the current violent trend and, instead, went for more cerebral scares. That film was called <em>The Survivor</em>.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">After miraculously walking away unscathed from a plane crash that killed almost 300 innocent passengers, 747 pilot Captain Keller (<em>Jesus of Nazareth</em>¡¯s<em> </em>Robert Powell), in an attempt to discover exactly what caused the crash and why he was the only one to survive, joins forces with a psychic named Hobbs (Jenny Agutter from <em>Logan¡¯s Run </em>and <em>An American Werewolf in London</em>) who strongly feels the restless spirits of the newly dead.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Directed by accomplished British actor David Hemmings (<em>Blow-Up, Barbarella, Deep Red</em>), <em>The Survivor </em>is an adaptation of a story of the same name by famed horror novelist James Herbert (whose first novel, <em>The Rats</em>,<em> </em>was also adapted into a movie; 1983¡¯s <em>Deadly Eyes</em>). The supernatural chiller, which co-stars Australian actress Angela Punch-McGregor (<em>The Island</em>) and, in his final role, Hollywood legend Joseph Cotton (<em>Citizen Kane, The Third Man, Shadow of a Doubt</em>), was produced by Antony I. Ginnane (<em>Snapshot, Dead Kids </em>and <em>Harlequin, </em>which also stars Robert Powell as well as David Hemmings). The $1, 200, 000 budgeted film also features a wonderful, but unusual soundtrack by talented composer Brian May (<em>Mad Max, Road Games </em>and the Ginnane-produced <em>Patrick</em>) and contains an interesting story, powerful acting, beautiful daytime cinematography by Academy Award-winning director of photography John Seale (<em>The English Patient)</em>,<em> </em>as well as impressive and somewhat frightening imagery (although, it would have benefitted from a few more creepy images, atmospheric sequences and a clearer narrative; not to mention slightly speeding up the pace).<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">So, was the idea to do a more psychological horror film the way to go or should the filmmakers have gone ahead and added the excessive gore that was demanded by horror audiences at the time? I have to say that, artistically, the filmmakers, without a doubt, made the right decision. It¡¯s difficult to imagine this very suggestive movie soaked in bloody effects as the gore would seem out of place and make the film feel extremely unbalanced. However, <em>The Survivor</em>¡¯s failure at the box office was mostly due to it not packing enough of a bloody punch that 1981 audiences demanded, so, in a business sense, I suppose the no-gore decision was a bad one. Still, I¡¯m glad the decision was made. Although by no means a horror classic, <em>The Survivor </em>is a well-made and evocative thriller that, almost 35 years after its release, can finally be appreciated for what it is and not panned for refusing to meet audience demands of its time.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">The Survivor </span></em><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">has been released on DVD by the fine folks at Scorpion Releasing. The film is presented in its original 2:35:1 aspect ratio and, although the night scenes are a tad too dark and the film contains very minor scratching, the movie is otherwise extremely sharp and more than watchable. Special features include a humorous and informative introduction by Scorpion DVD hostess (and former WWE diva/TNA knockout) Katarina Leigh Waters as well as an interesting and eye-opening audio commentary by producer Antony I. Ginnane (moderated by Katarina) who talks about, among many other subjects, David Hemmings¡¯ visual style and the reasons as to why the film was originally cut down prior to its release (the version here is the full 98 minute cut). The disc also contains the original theatrical trailer as well as trailers for a plethora of other great Scorpion releases such as <em>Mortuary, The Devil Within Her, Don¡¯t Answer the Phone </em>and <em>Final Exam</em>. If you¡¯re looking for a moody, adult and more cerebral horror film, give <em>The Survivor </em>a whirl.</span></p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B006X08DH8/cinemaretroco-20">CLICK HERE</a> TO ORDER FROM AMAZON</strong> </p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> <o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> Sat, 30 May 2015 13:12:00 +0000 /fbe/index.php?/archives/8644-guid.html http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ REVIEW: "THE TOXIC AVENGER PART II' (1989), BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FROM TROMA ENTERTAINMENT https://www.google.com//fbe/index.php?/archives/8646-REVIEW-THE-TOXIC-AVENGER-PART-II-1989,-BLU-RAY-SPECIAL-EDITION-FROM-TROMA-ENTERTAINMENT.html Ernie Magnotta /fbe/index.php?/archives/8646-REVIEW-THE-TOXIC-AVENGER-PART-II-1989,-BLU-RAY-SPECIAL-EDITION-FROM-TROMA-ENTERTAINMENT.html#comments /fbe/wfwcomment.php?cid=8646 0 /fbe/rss.php?version=2.0&type=comments&cid=8646 nospam@example.com (Cinema Retro) <p><!-- s9ymdb:7783 --><img class="serendipity_image_center" width="450" height="643" src="/fbe/uploads/TOXICAVENGER2.jpg" /> </p> <p><strong>BY ERNIE MAGNOTTA</strong><span style="font-size: 9.5pt;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">While working at the Tromaville Health Club in 1984, goodhearted, 98lb. weakling Melvin ¡°The Mop Boy¡± was tricked into wearing a pink tutu and teased unmercifully until he fell from a two-story window and landed in a vat of nuclear waste. The toxic chemicals changed little Melvin, transforming him into a hideously deformed creature of superhuman size and strength. Melvin became The Toxic Avenger, the first superhero from New Jersey!<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Written and Directed by the great Lloyd Kaufman (and co-directed by his partner-in-slime, Michael Herz), <em>The Toxic Avenger</em>, which is a thoroughly entertaining and unique combination of the superhero genre, raunchy and over-the-top comedy, as well as full-on horror movie-type gore,<em> </em>not only became an instant hit, but singlehandedly built Troma films (Toxie is the company¡¯s mascot much like Spider-man is to Marvel Comics). The Toxic Avenger character became so popular that, over the years, fans were treated to Tromatic goodies such as Toxie comic books, action figures, a children¡¯s cartoon series (<em>Toxic Crusaders</em>) and even a musical; not to mention three hilarious sequels (with a fourth on the way). The first sequel, also written by Kaufman, and, again, directed by Lloyd and Herz, appeared in 1989.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Thanks to Toxie¡¯s past heroics, <em>The Toxic Avenger Part II </em>begins with the little people of Tromaville living in peace and harmony. That is, until the evil chemical corporation Apocalypse Inc. comes to town and blows up the local home for the blind which, incidentally, happens to be where Toxie (played by Ron Fazio and John Altamura) is working, along with his blind girlfriend, Claire (singer/musician/artist/poet/filmmaker Phoebe Legere). After Toxie mops up the floor with the corporation¡¯s top henchman, the evil Chairman (Rick Collins from <em>Sgt. Kabukiman, N.Y.P.D.</em>) and his partner Miss Malfaire (<em>Class of Nuke ¡®Em High 2</em>¡¯s<em> </em>Lisa Gaye) devise a diabolical plan to rid Tromaville of the Toxic Avenger once and for all. They convince Toxie to travel to Tokyo in order to locate his long-lost father, Big Mac (Rikiya Yasuoka from <em>Black Rain</em>). Not only will Toxie¡¯s absence allow Apocalypse Inc. to take over Tromaville hassle-free, but, while he¡¯s in Japan, Miss Malfaire and the evil Chairman will order their Tokyo contacts to use state-of-the-art Japanese technology in order to rid Toxie of the Troma-tons within his body which not only give him his superhuman size and strength, but also act up whenever he¡¯s in the presence of evil. Will the oblivious monster-hero figure stop the evil corporation from taking over both Tromaville and Japan or will Apocalypse Inc. reign supreme?<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">I first saw this film in 1989 at a (sadly) now defunct grindhouse theater on New York¡¯s famed 42<sup>nd</sup> street. I was a bit disappointed as I felt that the sequel didn¡¯t live up to the greatness of the original. Over 25 years later, I still feel that it doesn¡¯t come close to the original film, but I do find it a lot more entertaining than I did back then (probably because this is the Director¡¯s Cut and not the chopped up, R-rated version I saw on its original release). Like the first film, it¡¯s still a wild combo of super heroics, raunchy, over-the-top comedy and excessive gore, and the movie barely stops to catch its breath during the 109-minute running time. The larger-than-life acting is a real joy to watch too. In particular, Lisa Gaye (who studied under Strasberg) and Phoebe Legere both shine in their insane roles and these two lovely ladies prove to be extremely gifted comic actors. Also, for those who enjoy seeing stars before they hit the big time, the incredibly talented Michael Jai White (<em>Tyson, Spawn, Black Dynamite</em>) makes his film debut as an evil, yet humorous henchman.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Although, the film runs a bit too long and isn¡¯t as focused as the original, <em>The Toxic Avenger Part II </em>is loaded with enjoyably campy humor and wonderfully comic bookish situations, characters &amp; performances as well as insane (in a good way) direction. It also contains a fun, Heavy Metal Toxie song and the classic theme of good vs. evil.<o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">If you¡¯re a true-blue Tromaniac, you¡¯ll be happy to know that Lloyd Kaufman and the terrific Troma team have put together a lovely remastered, Troma-rrific HD transfer presented in its original 1:85:1 aspect ratio. The region free Blu-ray/DVD is also packed with a ton of special features (most of which have been carried over from previous releases). Along with the original theatrical trailer, we also get trailers for the remaining three <em>Toxic Avenger </em>films as well as several other Troma classics like <em>Troma¡¯s War </em>and <em>Return to Nuke ¡®Em High: Volumes 1 &amp; 2</em>; not to mention the featurette: <em>The American Cinematheque Honors 40 Years of Troma</em>, two humorous, retro features: <em>At Home with Toxie </em>and <em>Toxie on Japanese T.V.</em>, a brief interview with Lisa Gaye who happily discusses her association with the fiercely independent company, a brand new introduction by the King of Troma himself, Lloyd Kaufman, as well as a retro DVD intro and, last, but certainly not least, a full-length, hilarious and informative audio commentary from writer/director Kaufman, who discusses a plethora of interesting subjects such as filming in New York, New Jersey and Tokyo as well as his many battles with the MPAA. My only complaint here is that the commentary is out of sync, as Lloyd seems to be six minutes ahead of the visuals. Other than that, it¡¯s over four hours of toxic goodness, so if you¡¯re a Troma fanatic, a lover of Toxie or just enjoy off-the-wall insanity, this Blu-ray is an absolute must. <o:p /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0in;"><strong><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"><a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00S5KJIDW/cinemaretroco-20">CLICK HERE</a> TO ORDER FROM AMAZON<o:p /></span></strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"> <o:p /></span></p> Mon, 25 May 2015 19:33:21 +0000 /fbe/index.php?/archives/8646-guid.html http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/