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May 19, 2017
It may be hard to believe, but
of the Long Shadows is the 13th adaptation of Earl Derr
Bigger's novel Seven Keys to
Baldpate (1913). Twice on Broadway with actor/playwright
George M. Cohan; seven motion pictures (three silent, four with sound);
two radio adaptions; and two television productions.
Cohan deliberately made the
stage play "old fashioned" in 1913, and that sensibility stuck with it
ever since. Golan and Globus probably OKed the production because
by 1983 it was in public domain and wouldn't have to pay royalties.
So it is no surprise that a
copy of a copy (of a copy, etc.) fails to catch fire.
Thanks for the enjoyment your
web page has brought me,
Enjoyed your Riverbend
review. I agree, Steve James was an underrated presence. He was
excellent in movies like The
Exterminator and To Live and
Die in LA as well.
Someone ripped a VHS copy of Riverbend
and put it out on YouTube.
Hopefully it will make it to a legit DVD/blu ray release one day but in
the meantime here it is in all its haggard glory:
[re: An Enemy Of The People]
This movie was broadcast on Channel 4 in
the UK in or around 1985. The review on Ceefax (which might still be
available) said that although the movie and most of the other actors
were stiff, McQueen was excellent. I watched it and entirely agreed. I
still remember the way he delivered his lines, the whole body acting,
the conviction of his inflections in delivery.
I have little interest in
McQueen the action star, and feel this movie is unjustly overlooked
because it is too much of a challenge to people's expectations, and
therefore prejudices. Just like McQueen's character in the film! For
that reason alone it deserves wider release - it could actually help
create the world based on truth Dr. Stockmann fights for in the film!
February 27, 2017
Thanks for your entertaining review of the film Disk-O-Tek
Holiday (1966). Though I'm not sure when you initially
published your review -and am aware content online has expanded
exponentially- please be advised that, according to Discogs.com, the
once-unknown Casey Paxton went on to become legendary (imho) disco-era
artist D.C. La Rue.
Danny de San Francisco
February 22, 2017
I've been enjoying your
reviews. I've even seen a few of these movies myself. Some
of my favorite obscure films are: Deathstalker
II, Raiders of the Sun,
and Expect to Die.
I used to see this movie on
local UHF tv regularly, and it might be right up your alley: http://m.imdb.com/title/tt0083198/
On my station KBHK 44 it aired
as Tut and Tuttle. It's a
made-for-TV children's fantasy adventure where a 1980's boy goes to
ancient Egypt and helps young Tut and his sister fend off a coup.
Points of interest include actors Robbie Rist, Jo Ann Worley and Vic
Tayback, and director Ron Howard in his early days as a director. I
remember a magic crystal, a football helmet, a lot of sand, and Tut's
sister pensively addressing the main character "Bobby Tuttle." I
don't know how "unknown" you would consider it, but it popped into my
head recently and a few googles later I tracked it down. Haven't seen
it in at least 20 years, and I probably never saw the entire thing. Fun
November 1, 2016
[re: Death Riders]
Every once in a while I get curious about
my past and punch in "Death Riders" on whatever search engine I happen
to be enamored with at the time to see if anyone is aware of the Death
Riders Motorcycle Thrill Show of which I was a member for 6
years. Sitting here at work this morning, I got curious and found
your review of the Death Riders
movie and found it to be fascinating. I do agree with on one
point in particular, a point I had when the movie was released; why did
we do what we did?
You're right, the movie never
really explored that. For me, It was that I was going to break
the world's record for distance on a motorcycle and become so rich and
famous that I would do only 4 major shows a year, as opposed to the 60
or 70 shows we did in 4 months out of the year. In trying to book
shows, no one would take me seriously even though I had built my own
ramps, had a good bike and leathers (actually, canvass at the time, I
was a vegan) but only 18 so no one would care to take me
seriously. Ended up with Floyd who turned out to be a really
great guy, a father figure for me and for that matter, all of us in the
Floyd and the show gave me an
experience that would require a book to describe so I will leave the
details to imagination right now but offer that it did help groom my
character for the rest of my life. I joined the Marines after the
show where I got technical training, did well in leaving the
Marines after 4 years at the rank of Sargent and went on to a
successful career in medical devices. Danny became an
owner/operator over-the-road trucker, his big brother Floyd Jr. owned a
number of doughnut shops in Danville, Cheese (Ron) ran his own plumbing
company, Steve is a retired cop for Danville as of a few years ago,
Larry hooked up with Hollywood from our movie experience and became an
audio expert - I see his name pop up in movie credits from time to
time, Rusty, our clown, passed away a couple years ago.
I found your review
fascinating in that I gave me somewhat of insight to your character and
how you perceived our movie which takes it to a personal level.
My reaction was, "Wow, a real person actually watched our movie, scene
by scene and was interested in that part of our lives". Now it
will be difficult to focus on work without thinking of this time of my
life. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on the Death
August 23, 2016
In A Blue Moon (1995)]
Have a copy of Kenny and
Co. and thought it was fantastic. Their '70ish translated
pretty much much to my '77 in Canada. Only grade 2 at the time, but did
encapsulate that time (looking at the older dudes that were way cooler
than me). Just want to bring up a Canadian one that is probably of the
same calibre, just with a twist of humour, Canadiana, and chicken that
comes in a bucket (delicacy at the time)...Movie hard as hell to find,
but heartwarmingly obscure... Just FYI
August 12, 2016
I've been a long, long time
fan silent admirer of your site since at least '05. I went from high
school through college reading your site and I loved the unique
perspective you brought to these "Unknown" movies. I want you to know,
your site has led me to [At Least] 3 movies that I absolutely love with
all my heart. Without The Unknown Movies, I wouldn't have come across
(and blind bought) Emperor of the North (Pole), Sonny Boy,
Shadows in an Empty Room. Also, I've got a huge fondness for
PM entertainment movies now-my heart skipped a beat when I purchased
the Robert Patrick movie Zero
Tolerance and saw that familiar logo!
Anyway, keep up the good work,
if I may be so bold as to suggest some, I'd love to see some more
spaghetti westerns like Mannaja,
or Massacre Time.
Keep upholding those REAL
very much for writing in, Ross! I'll be reviewing a spaghetti western
in a few weeks, and I'll certainly review more in the future. And don't
worry - I'll continue to tell readers what real movies are!
July 16, 2016
Thank you! You answered an ancient
whats-that-movie question of mine. I googled my way to your review of Goliath
Awaits. I remembered the mutual suicide in a flooding church
basement. And Nazis. But that was it.
be of help!
May 4, 2016
I enjoyed your review of Valdez Is
Coming and would like to add a thing or two...
This film is, in many ways, an
homage to Hombre. Here's why I
Hector Elizondo, an actual
blue-eyed Latino in a role that was seemingly written in just for him
and which mirrors the role of the Vaquero in Hombre, which was, as I'm sure you
know, played to perfection by Frank Silvera. His money scene is a
veritable re-write of the scene in Hombre
where Silvera climbs the hill to parlay with Newman, right down to the
playful wave of the hand.
The attitude that Segundo
takes at the end toward shooting Valdez (he refuses) is, again, a
rewrite of the final scene in the mining cabin in Hombre...."She's not my woman." It
explains both the macho attitude toward fighting for your own woman
(the men in both films who should, don't) as well as the secondary
status of women in general in these films.
In both fils the hero is being
chased because he has something of value to the
bad-guy...money&water in Hombre...a
woman in Valdez.
Finally, both films are about
the expected role and behavior of Latinos in a White West. In Hombre, Mendez lectures Hombre on
knowing his place and lives a life of servitude himself, as if it were
the natural way of things. In Valdez,
both Valdez and the Silvera character show this same deference and nod
at their acceptance of it. It is this understanding of power that keeps
Valdez so low-key until he shows out.
Of course, this is further
shown by the addition in both films of an even lower caste, Apaches
and, in Valdez, Blacks.
Just my two cents...good
for writing in with those observations. I think a big reason the two
movies are similar are because they are both based on novels written by
the same author (Elmore Leonard).
April 23, 2016
[re: The Phantom Kid]
I'm pretty sure the reason there
were any musical numbers at all in this film was because it's
basically a follow-the-leader to Bugsy
Malone. It's possible there were more numbers (not having
seen the film, I can't say) that were edited out for pacing and/or low
be right. That could explain why there was more than one director on
January 12, 2016
Longtime (early 2000s) reader here; love
to catch up on new reviews every couple of months. Thought you would
get a kick out of this
excellent article on the rise and fall of PM Entertainment.
December 29, 2015
[re: The Man With One Red Shoe]
The fact is that the French sense of
humour is so different from that of the English-speaking world - they
think Jerry Lewis is a genius, for goodness sake! - that any attempt to
translate a French comedy is doomed to fail. When they say "the
French, they are a funny race", they don't mean "funny ha ha".
From what I've seen of French comedies, they like slapstick a great
deal, but have no real sense of the ridiculous.
When I was in college, I saw a
production of Jean-Paul Sartre's The Respectable Prostitute
which was played as a jolly farce, and was pretty darn funny.
Sartre, of course, didn't intend it to be a comedy. French
philosphers aways take themselves very seriously. And of course they
can never just do something,
they have to philosophize about it. Sartre's philosophy can be
summed up as "Nothing matters, so why bother ?" As in, why bother
thinking about Existentalism ?
I have seen both the French Cage Aux Folles and the
American Birdcage, and the
French one is much funnier IMO.
Anyway, I don't care for
Hollywood's habit of making remakes of foreign films. If I was
interested, I see the original, as I did with Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, a
Swedish writer's story about Swedish people, set in Sweden - I think a
Swedish film is more likely to understand the characters. Know
what ? If you keep typing the word 'Swedish' it begins to look really odd.
December 29, 2015
I stumbled on your great site while
trying to solve a little puzzle.
There's a pop band here in
Canada called Stars that I'm fond of, and their lead singer did a small
solo album a few years ago. It begins with a cheesy voice-over
"It began one stormy night in the Aleutian Islands..." and I was
curiously where it came from. With a bit of Google-fu, I ended up
at your review of The Golden Seal.
It turns out that singer Torq
Campbell was the young star of this film.
And this solo side project is
called "Dead Child Star" - which strikes me as both poetic and a bit
tragic, especially in the context of his recurring themes of holding on
to one's innocence and playfulness.
Anyway, neat site - I look
forward to digging to find some interesting gems in your trove of
Hope you had a Merry
Christmas, and have a great 2016!
October 7, 2015
A long time ago, I read your
review of Rituals and as I result, I
developed this weird fascination with the movie (probably because it
sounded very creepy as well as impossible to find). It wasn't until
very recently that I managed to buy my own copy and I have to say, it
was everything I hoped it would be. It's a movie that manages to stay
tense throughout most of its running time (especially the last couple
of scenes) and even the severed head managed to throw me off guard when
it appeared, despite that scene being in the trailer.
Anyway, I just wanted to say
thanks for introducing me to such a great movie!
P.S. Nice to see some
appreciation for Golgo 13 as well! He's very underrated
in North America, which is a complete shame.
August 8, 2015
[re: Little Ninjas]
I used to love this movie and watch it all the time as a kid (27 now).
I just finished re-watching it, and after having that "did I really
just sit through this?" reaction I decided to look it up online to see
if anyone had an opinion on the movie. I didn't expect to find
anything let alone a full in-depth review that pretty much described it
to a tee. Anyway I just wanted to say I enjoyed reading your
review and it gave me a really good laugh, and I needed one, so thanks.
July 27, 2015
I'm fond of that movie myself. It's one
of the few 70s tv movies that still show up occasionally and are worth
another look when they do. Another is The Norliss Tapes. I didn't think of
the Gargoyles as 'demonic forces', though; the script seemed to me to
say that our idea of demons is based on sightings of them. I also
doubt that they would be able to conquer humanity, since only the
winged ones are able to breed, and even if the females lay thousands of
eggs at a time, we outnumber them millions to one. Plus there's
that reeeeally long incubation period.
June 17, 2015
[re: The Mouse And His Child]
I just read your review of that film and
can empathize with your tale of being haunted by it because of your
encounter with it as a child. Not because I saw the film as a child but
because of the book which it was based on. I suspect it might come
closer to justifying the real estate the film version has taken up in
your brain all those many years if you ever wanted to check it out.
At any rate, I read The Mouse and His Child
back in middle school and still not only recall portions of the book
but the actual reading of it. I may have read it once or twice in the
decades since but particular sequences are almost certainly permanently
etched into my brain and from the first time I read it no less
The dog food label for one.
That had a much larger role in the book than in the film with much of
it being a deep explanation of the religious movement that sprang up
based around "The Last Visible Dog". The Mouse and His Child has
been described as the only children's book which doubles as a treatise
on existential philosophy and the film doesn't particularly do a good
job of carrying that across. Manny's ultimate fate was the same in each
version but the book made it quite obvious how hellish he would
consider that fate while the film doesn't really set up the character
that way. The shrew armies are another instance that didn't come across
as well because they were portrayed as borderline comic relief rather
than the murderous lunatics of the book.
As for the other moment you
mention burning into your brain, I would hazard a guess that it was
either "PEANUT BRITTLE!" or the parts harvesting. The former was more
violent than I recall the book sequence being while the latter actually
managed to be less.
June 8, 2015
[re: The Naked Face]
"Can you name a non-Bond movie [Roger
Moore] appeared in while doing James Bond?"
Ffolkes, aka North
Sea Hijack aka Assault Force,
in 1979. A very underrated film, I think.
Yes, I guess I should have included that
movie. Though I'm pretty sure the rest of Roger Moore's non-Bond movies
made during his Bond period are pretty unknown to most people.
June 7, 2015
Howdydo, and thanks for giving The Angry
Red Planet a fair shake. More Flash Gordon than Gravity, but they still got some
things right. First-time scripter Sid Pink knocked out the
initial draft in 5 days with no pre-formed idea of how it would
conclude. Naura Hayden, under contract to Pink, suggested that adding
scientific elements might make it more credible. Sci-Fi guy Ib
Melchior, who recently passed @ age 97, offered a free rewrite if
allowed to direct.
Pink admitted that the
'Cinemagic' gimmick didn't work out as expected. Developed
by comics artist Norman Maurer, who also designed the Martian aliens
and landscapes, the process intended to make actors appear as a
live-action comic. (Freeze any Mars scene, and it DOES kinda look
like a comic.) Test stills convinced them that it would
work. Regrettably, when filmed it looked like what it was:
B-movie types going thru the motions while trying not to embarass
Cinematographer Stanley Cortez
(Night of the Hunter), unhappy
with being shut out of indie productions due to his rep of being slow
and tempermental, offered to work for union scale. (The entire
crew, as well as fading Bogart clone Gerald Mohr, also worked @ union
I recall seeing this when it was in the
theatres. The bit I remember best is Einstein asking Fry's
psychologist character "How are the rats?" Fry: "I've
switched to experimenting on the students." E says, "My God, the mazes
must be HUGE."
My favorite two stories about
Einstein are probably apocryphal, but fun:
1. Somebody noticed that
Monday to Friday a little girl would enter Einstein's house shortly
after school let out, stay a few minutes, then leave. Asked what
that was about, Einstein explained, "I do her mathematics homework and
she gives me the cookies from her lunchbox.";-)
2. This one comes from Shelley
Winters' first autobiography, Sheila
or Sharon or whatever
( I can't
remember) Called Shelley,
so it has to be taken with a grain of
salt. Shelley never let the truth get in the way of a good story:
When Shelley and Marilyn
Monroe were starlets, they were room mates. One night, after
Shelley had just broken up with Burt Lancaster and Marilyn with whoever
she was seeing, the two of them, presumably after a few drinks, said
"Why can't we just be like men and make notches on the bedpost?
Why do we always get involved ?" So they decided to make a list
of all the men they'd like to boink. First name on Marilyn's list
was Albert Einstein.
: Isn't he kind of .... old ?
Marilyn: Yes, but I hear he's really healthy.
Several years later, after the
two of them had made the bigtime, Shelley noticed a framed photograph
of Einstein on Marilyn's mantelpiece, with the inscription To Marilyn, with gratitude.
[re: Sword Of The Valiant]
I'm surprised to learn that someone made
a movie based on Sir Gawain
and the Green Knight, a medieval poem written by someone
who was not Chaucer. I believe the same individual also wrote The Pearl, in which the
narrator, mourning the death of his baby daughter, has a vision of her
as a heavenly maiden, dressed in white, and asks, poignantly ; "Art
thou my pearl, that I have plaint?"
Well, enough about that.
One thing that always
irritates me in historicals is when the interiors are brightly
lit. "Where's the light coming from?" I yell. Fireplaces
and candles don't produce all that much light, particularly if the room
is large. If you have watched Wolf
Hall, for instance, it's dark
once night falls. If you have ever tried to read or sew or
whatever by candlelight, its a good way to go blind.
If the movie ever shows up on
tv, I might watch, just because of the connection to the poem, but I
won't have any expectations.
May 7, 2015
[re: The Legend Of Black Thunder Mountain]
Hello, I read your critique of
the movie and I was smiling when I came across the part about the crazy
old mountain man (Glen Porter). That man was my father and I remember
visiting the set and meeting Bozo and feeding her marshmallows, and
looking at all the animals. My dad stopped acting due he had three kids
and it was real hard back than to find work if you did not know the
right people. Thank you for writing about this movie - it was not a
flattering review but you talked about it so thank you.
Jake Porter (Son of the Crazy
May 7, 2015
I read your review of Scarface
Killer and thought you might like to know that The Cop In Blue Jeans also starring
Jack Palance is out on dvd on The Swingin' Seventies 50 movie pack from
Mill Creek. Both of these movies are in the collection. I
hope this is of interest to you.
May 4, 2015
I've been a fan of your site for quite a
while and I just wanted to say that I really admire the work you put
into every review. I'll admit, it also saves me from being very bored
at my job!
I do have one film suggestion
The Meateater, a very low budget
horror movie from 1979. It's basically about a horribly burned guy
living in an abandoned movie theater who starts killing people (or at
least tries to scare them off) when a family buys it.. The acting isn't
very good, a standout being a scene where an old man is asked if he
wants something and replies by repeating "No" while slowly shaking his
head while the camera zooms in on his face. It's a rather surreal
experience, to say the least.
Again, love your site. Keep up
the amazing work!
[re: The Traveling Executioner]
"Why would anyone want to be
an executioner?", like "What kind of woman decides to become a guard in
a men's prison?" or "What kind of person applies to become the one who
picks up dead bodies and takes them to the morgue?" or "Why would a
doctor spend a career looking up people's rectums?" (I asked my
gastroenterologist and she pointed out that she sees things nobody else
does - such as my intestinal tract) - is one of those questions with no
answer except, "People are weird. "
Hi, big fan of your site. Also I'm a big
fan of weird animated films, and they don't get much weirder than The Elm-Chanted Forest. Made in
Croatia(!), this is the story of the painter aptly named Peter Palette.
He can speak to the animals (like Dr. Dolittle on LSD). There's a bad
guy who's a total prick (in more ways than one) but the man (mushroom?)
who really steals the show is the more-than-borderline-offensive Magic
Michael Mushroom (kinda Sambo/mushroom/Michael Jackson). I'm leaving
SOOOOO much out. I've had 3 copies of this flick in my 30 years of
life. It's like a bad penny (I got the latest copy in the bargain bin
of a thrift shop I go to, lost it in my closet, AND FOUND IT DURING
SPRING CLEANING!!!). I think you could find a VHS on Ebay or maybe some
cheapie company has put it on DVD. Hope you find it Happy Trails!
I'm always up for a bizarre animated movie,
so I'll definitely keep an eye out for this one. Thanks for the
I just read your review of Bloody
Birthday. I can't say I'd ever heard of it before. Have you
ever seen Peopletoys aka Devil Times Five? As you might guess
from the title, it features five killer kids, which is probably some
sort of record!
For every child actor like
Peter Ostrum (he played Charlie Bucket in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,
was offered a 3-picture deal, decided the life of a child actor wasn't
for him, went home and became a veterinarian) there's a Bobby Driscoll
(he played Jim Hawkins in Treasure
Island, among other roles, became a junkie when he grew up, was
found dead in an abandoned house, and his body wasn't even identified
until after he had been buried in a potter's field).
Yes, I've seen Devil Times Five. I
thought it was disappointing for the most part, with its annoying adult
and children characters, and it unfolded with no surprise or tension.
Hard to believe someone thought it was worth issuing on DVD twice!
September 5, 2014
Just happened to find your
site via the recent review of Death Riders.
I live in Champaign, IL, just
an hour away from Danville where the thrill show was based in its
heyday. I have been noodling around for info about it for a couple of
years now. Coincidentally, I finally watched the doc for the first time
The Death Riders provided
stunt work for a narrative feature that came out a year after this, Death Driver, produced by the
southern B-film maker Earl Owensby (Wolfman,
I recently picked up an
original program for the stunt show off of eBay, and it was sent and
autographed by none other than Floyd Reed, Sr., the founder of the
show. He included a note saying that other DR memorabilia would be
offered. The program gives a better idea than the doc about the
structure of their shows. (You do see their announcer hawing them once
or twice in the doc.) I didn't grow up here so their history is news to
I do agree with the lack of
"human interest" material in the doc. The voice overs from the team
were probably only a small portion of interviews that were recorded.
Thought you'd be interested!
Keep up the review work, I'll have to
look around your site more.
September 1, 2014
It occured to me as I was
reading your review for Starchaser that've I've been
reading your work for years now and I have never told you how much I
This email was sent to rectify
Keep up the excellent work.
The Wit and Weirdness of Al
August 31, 2014
I just read your review of Running
Delilah this morning and
agree with you one hundred percent. My wife and I watched it last
night, and I said to her, after Delilah learns to cope with her new
body, "Steve Austin and Jaime Sommers had more anguish than her!"
I noticed that, really, most
of what she accomplished in the final confrontation could have been
handled by ANY agent.
We only watched this movie as
it came on a DVD set - Movies for the Man Cave - which I purchased
solely because of a William Shatner/Andy Griffith made-for-TV movie
(which is pretty good) called Pray
for the Wildcats.
I enjoy a lot of the old
made-for-TV movies of the 60s and 70s, but often the only way to find
them is to buy a collection of
crap! Fortunately, these DVDs are usually pretty cheap.
Last week I found the
excellent made-for-TV film I will
Fight No More Forever about Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce,
starring Ned Romero, Sam Elliot and James Whitmore. That one came
in a collection of 1940s John Wayne westerns!
Have a great day.
Richard S. Drake
August 28, 2014
[re: Eye Of The Eagle 3]
Hey, read your review, nice to see you
enjoy a Santiago film, though I have to disagree with on the majority
of depictions of Vietnam vets in films being negative, I think most
portrayals have been fairly positive as while the characters situations
don't as a whole typically start out not so great, they more often then
not end up better by the end of the film and they generally aren't
portrayed as bad people (I don't think they're usually portrayed as a
"losers" either, i'd say "outcast" is a better term), and the
unfortunate thing is that the portrayals are really not all that
inaccurate (I wouldn't call them "unfair" either), a lot of vets did
fall on pretty hard times after returning from the war (some because
they felt betrayed at having been forced into an unnecessary war), one
of the most tragic depictions of a vet I've seen in a movie is in Operation Nam (the ending is
July 16, 2014
[re: Your Three Minutes Are Up]
I saw this for this for the first and
only time on uk tv on 10/05/1982. It was never transmitted again. I was
only 12 yrs old at the time and I really enjoyed the movie. It's a real
I too have an interest in
unknown films although my bias is more uk ones- and I've watched more
than most. Luckily, one of my work colleagues shares my interest and i
never thought I would see the day when someone would say "Yes, I've
watched The Liberation Of LB Jones"
(that's one for your list!)
June 30, 2014
[re: The Gong Show Movie]
I saw it late one night on one of the
Showtime channels and I was just stunned. I was born in 1975 so
I'm too young to have seen the show when it originally
aired. IMO, it's sort of like what Ed Wood might
have been like if Burton had focused on Wood's post-Lugosi decline into
alcohol and soft-core porn movies and novels. I think
the whole Gong Show itself
was like some kind of bizarre missing link between Ed Wood and "reality TV."
April 21, 2014
[re: Tweety's High-Flying Adventure]
I just happen to be searching the internet when your review of this
cartoon movie shows up. In your review, you noticed the background
design...which pleased me, because I was the background designer. You
"got" what we were trying to accomplish. Thank you.
I have another film that you may want to
is a 1988 Australian thriller/neo noir starring Bill Hunter, Mary
Regan, Gary Sweet and Jim Holt. A police sergeant, his duplicitous
younger wife, her trivial lover and a police constable vie for a
suitcase of drug dealer's cash. You may be able to obtain a copy on
Good on you for your review of
I enjoy it, too.
April 19, 2014
I haven't seen Bandidos,
and probably never will, but I have seen a fair number of spaghetti
westerns, so am tolerably familiar with the genre. I'm not good
at remembering titles, though. For instance, there was one with
John Philip Law; when he was a small boy his father was murdered by
five (I think) men and the house set on fire. He tracks them
down, aided by the fact that, although he doesn't know their names, or
why they killed his dad, each of them had something distinctive that
identifies him, like a scar or a tattoo. He hooks up with Lee Van
Cleef, who, of course, turns out to be one of them. When Law is
all set to kill him, he asks "How did you get out of that burning
house?" Then Law remembers Van Cleef carried him out; otherwise
he wouldn't be alive to seek vengeance. I can't remember if he
kills him or not.
I found it funny that
Hollywood soon started making imitation Spaghetti Westerns, like Hang Em High and Two Mules For Sister Sarah. An
imitation of an imitation! I recall reading an interview with an
old director - I think it was John Ford - who was asked what he thought
of SW (I refuse to type the whole phrase again). He thought the
interviewer was kidding. Assured that they were real, he asked
what they were like. "They're very long, they don't have any plot
and they are incredibly bloody and violent." is the reply. Yeah,
well, Hollywood may have thought the western was about bringing law and
order to a lawless land, but the Italians thought it was about
As for Bandido, it's a pity one of the
characters is named "Richard Martin" and another one "Ricky", because
now a loop of La Vida Loca is
playing in my head. "Ricky Shot"? Wouldn't "Ricky Shay" have been
a better name?
The villain murdering everyone
(except Martin) he just robbed ought to be enough to qualify him for
Total Villainy without him having to do anything more.
Incidentally, I have seen that slow pan across the dead bodies in other
Pasta Pics. I would have thought it as common as the extreme
closeups in which you can count the pores in peoples' noses and the
twangy Morricone style music.
The John Phillip Law/Lee Van Cleef
spaghetti western you were thinking of is Death Rides A Horse, which is a pretty good movie. It's in
the public domain, so it would be pretty easy to track down a copy if
you wanted to.
Hey I just stumbled upon your site doing
a search after having watched Cracking Up. You hit the nail on
the head with that one. Although I too had one laugh during it, but
unlike you it wasn't the diner sketch. It was the first sketch with the
Credibility Gap. Funny to see that the director contacted you.
Also enjoyed your review of Dark Night
of the Scarecrow. I remember to this day seeing that when it
first aired on TV. Always stuck with me. Haven't seen it since. I'll
have to revisit it.
I recently saw a film
streaming on EpixHD. It's one of those 70s SoCal-set rip offs of Car Wash titled Record City. If you get the chance
you should check it out. I'm not suggesting it's a good film, but it's
one of those films where you stare at the screen and wonder how the
hell did this get made?
Anyway looking forward to
digging through your site. Keep up the good work......
Thanks for writing. I did see Record City
years ago, though I've pretty much forgotten everything about it. I
still own a bootleg of it, so maybe I should dig it out again.
When the author said:
"If you showed Abraxas to Mike Nelson, Crow and
Servo, they would vomit. No quips or jokes, just 90 minutes of
listening to robots puke. Is that what you want?"
I couldn't stop laughing. Why?
Yes, I did buy it. ;-)
Take it easy, man.
Hey, just dropping you a line to say that
I've loved your site for a long time. I've always liked that you chose
your movies not because they were bad, but just obscure. There is also
lots of research (and follow up!). Truly a great resource. If I had one
critique, it's that I've always wanted to be able to see the review
dates even after they fall off the front page.
Also wanted to let you know I
had a hard time finding the new site since bad movie planet apparently
exploded. B-Masters Cabal still has a link to that site which seems to
send you to a random link. I got porn the first time!
Anyways, thank you again.
Joel Reed Parker
Thanks for writing in. Your suggestion
about the review dates is a good one. From this point on, I will add
the posting dates inside the actual reviews as well.
[re: Cirio H. Santiago]
I just wanted to recommend some of his
other films, I'll admit The Muthers and his other films
from that same period were far from his best work (I do like some WIP
films, the Caged Heat films
being my faves) but I think for the most part his films are pretty well
done and entertaining.
Anyways here's some films of
his I think you should check out:
Raiders Of The Sun
When Eagles Strike
Demon Of Paradise
Wheels Of Fire
for the suggestions. I didn't like Firecracker (or the
movie it was remade from, TNT Jackson, which
Santiago also directed), and I
also didn't like Strkyer (which
I've reviewed on this web site)
and Dune Warriors.
However, I do remember liking Wheels Of Fire - I'll
have to see if I can track that
one down again.
Your mention that we never actually see
the plane crash in Sole Survivor
reminded me of another film in which we don't see it. It's an
Australian film called The Survivor,
starring Robert Powell. A plane crashes just after takeoff,
and the pilot alone survives. It too, bears a certain similarity
to Carnival of Souls, though
it is based on a novel by James Herbert, who for all I know may have
seen CofS, or perhaps that Twilight Zone episode with Inger
Stevens. By the way, I wanted to see CofS ever since I first heard of it,
and finally got my chance recently. Thank goodness for cable tv, eh
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