Monday, 28 September 2020



Over the Moon (1939) - Color Merle Oberon vehicle. 

Zaza (1939)  - Claudette Colbert semi-musical. 

The Day will Dawn (1942) - rote war film. 

Way to the stars (1945 - b/w) - Generic Brtiish warfare.

The Affairs of Susan (1945 - b/w) - Joan Fontaine comedy.

Margie (1946 ) - Rote teen semi-musical. 

wicked city (1947) - Rote vehicles for Jean Pierre aumont and Maria Montez.

john Loves Mary (1949)/The Hasty Heart (1949) - Imagine if Ronald married Patricia Neal instead of Roald. 

Adventures of Captain Fabian (1951) - Errol Flynn slumps to Republic, with badly-done Creole maids, vincent Price and Howard Vernon.

Lorna Doone  (1951) - England with American accents ahoy. 

The Brothers Rico (1957) - Dreary gangsterism. 

Rhapsody (1954) - Routine Elizabeth Taylor quasi-musical weepie. 

Francis of Assisi (1961) - Routine religious biopic.

Ten Little Indians (1965)  - Well-paced little adap. 

Room at the Top (1959) - Dreary. The sequel, Life at the top (1965) at least has Jean Simmons, Honor Blackman, Michael Craig, a returning Donald Wolfit all given starring billing, but Robert Morley isn't. The bits with Wolfit feel very mad science-y. "like fish and chips wrapped in a  News of the World"

The Fox (1967)  - Striking but overlong Canadian DH Lawrence adap. 

Finian's Rainbow (1968) - What a strange film. Leprechaun Tommy Steele solves racism by turning Keenan Wynn "black". 

king Solomon's Treasure (1977) - Bizarre South African-Canadian adap from Harry Alan Towers.

house of 1000 dolls (1967) - The worst AIP Price vehicle.

See also 99 Women (1969)

Rewatched the Glory Brigade (1953), Five Came Back (1939 - b/w), Flying Tigers (1942), Five Finger Exercise (1962), Time of Indifference (1963 - b/w), the Affairs of Susan (1945), Charlie Chan in Egypt (1934), A Hatful of rain (1957), Little Big Shot (1935 - b/w),  Endangered Species (1982), Darling (1965 - hey it's about UK Tv), Modern Problems (1981), Kotch (1971), A Breath of Scandal (1961), Caddyshack (1980),Ladies' man (1931) and Boots  Malone (1952) - which I thought was about a cowboy but it's William Holden training a delinquent jockey.

Also caught up on two Gary Cooper flicks - Now and Forever (1934) and One Sunday Afternoon (1933), the former with Shirley Temple, so I watched Temple's version of Little Miss Marker (1934), and then Thanks for the Memory (1938) and my Favourite Blonde (1942) with Bob Hope.

Von Richthofen and Brown (1971) - Might be one of Corman's best. Something close to Samuel Fuller. Hell, even the Irish actors seem convincing. 

Blackjack (1979) - Not the (1979) blaxploiter but a dreary Leon Garfield adap from noted kids adventure specialist Ken Loach. 

Red Sonja (1985) - Even at the time, the effects looked dated.

The Dead (1987) - God Sean McClory is good. The idea of an Irishman writing for the Daily Express is derided. Maybe he wrote Rupert. One of the great Irish films, and it was all shot in California.  young Maria McDermotrroe shocked me, being used to her in  Killinaskully. She had Kate Mulgrew vibes.

The Sect (1991) - Herbert Lom classes this bloody Italian thing up.

Wednesday, 23 September 2020


 Midnight (1934 - b/w) - Rote family drama, featuring Humphrey Bogart. 

Page Miss glory (1935 - b/w) - Forgotten Pat o'brien/Marion Davies musical. 

Where's That Fire (1940 - b/w) - Routine Will Hay.

First of the Few (1942 - b/w) - passable wartime biopic with Leslie Howard as Reginald "Spitfire" Mitchell. 

The Man in Grey (1943 - b/w) - The ultimate in Gainsborough.

see also Ealing's Saraband for dead lovers (1947)

Eve of Saint Mark (1944 - b/w) - samey Fox war fare.

Mystery of the 13th Guest (1943) - Forgettable Monogrammer.

See also The Way Ahead (1944), which with it shares David Niven. But it has the greatest cast of character actors - Niven, Stanley Holloway, James Donald, John Laurie, Leslie Dwyer, Hugh Burden, "Jimmie" Hanley, Billy Hartnell, Reginald Tate (ooh - first Doctor and first Quatermass), Leo Genn, Renee Ascherson, Tessie O'Shea, AE Matthews, Jack Watling, Peter ustinov "and Raymond Huntley", plus Esma Cannon

The Strange Mr. Gregory (1945 - b/w) - Rote Monogram mystery. 

They Were Not Divided (1950 - b/w) - Terence Young war pic starring Edward Underdown. 

Room to let (1950 - b/w) - One of two Lodger variants starring doomed Limerick-born Constance Smith, one of seemingly dozens of Rank charm school grads abandoned and then left to die young, 

Four in a Jeep (1951 - b/w) - Rote war Europud.

Something to live for (1952 - b/w) - Rote weepie. See also Ray Milland in Three Brave Men (1956).

Tom Brown's Schooldays (1951 - b/w)  - John Howard Davies does the old chestnut. With Robert Newton, James Hayter, Michael Hordern, Max Bygraves, Glyn Dearman (the other JH Davies - known for playing a Dickensian character, and then became a BBC radio producer)

Scared Stiff (1953) - Like the Karloff vehicle The Man with Nine Lives (1940), I swore I had seen this. Maybe just felt like it. See also Spooks Run Wild (1940), Doomed to Die (1936), The Miracle Man (1932 - b/w)

Julius Caesar (1953 - b/w) - It feels so small. 

Albert,  RN (1953 - b/w) - Routine British war fare, but with a dummy. Not to be confused with Carrington, VC (1954). 


Shark River (1953 - b/w) - Generic southern. 

The Black Tent (1956) - Dreary desert adventure.

The Naked Truth (1957) - The usual 50s comedy. Peter Sellers' turn as a Scottish TV personality in the McKeller/Stewart mould is terrifying. See also Carlton-Browne of the F.O. (1959 - with Nicholas Parsons!), The Battle of the Sexes (1959) and Wrong Arm of the Law (1962), Only Two Can play (1962), Trial and Error (1962), Where Does it Hurt (1972), and the bizarre Yellowbeard-for-kids Ghost in the Noonday Sun (1973)

Tom Thumb (1958) - Charming. Peter Sellers looks like Tim Healy.

Daddy O (1958) - Miserable AIP rockery.  See also Rock all Night (1957), Runaway Daughters (1956),  High School Hellcats (1958)...

Carve Her Name with Pride (1959 - b/w) - Typical WW2 film. 

Machine Gun Kelly (1958 - b/w) - Rote gangstery from Corman, an early lead for Charles Bronson. 

Operation Dames (1959) - AIP fluff with pervy soldiers and singing nurses. See also Tank Commandos (1958) and Paratroop Command (1959). 

El Cid (1961) - Typical epic. 

See also 55 Days at Peking (1963). 

The Last Judgment (1961 - b/w) - All-star DeLaurentiis fantasy comedy partly set in Liverpool. 

Sodom and Gomorrah (1962) - An Italian biblical epic, cinematic junk food on a large scale.

The Young Racers (1963) - Dreary Corman racing pic. 

See Also Pit Stop (1969)

I Maniaci (1964) - all-star Fulci comedy.

The Born Losers (1967) - Routine biker trash that launched Billy Jack. 

Mission Phantom (1967) - Fun visuals in this Euroheister with Fernando Sancho.

The Bride wore Black (1968)  Like the Paul muni Europic Stranger on the Prowl (1952), long thought I had seen this. 

Black Angels (1970) - The worst Hell's Angels picture?

A Man Called Horse (1970)/The Return of the Man Called Horse (1976)/Triumphs of a Man Called Horse (1983) - the last one is pure stale spaghetti, but these are intriguing films. Despite the heavy amounts of brownface and bag pigtail wigs. Harris is an ideal presence. 

Tragic Ceremony (1972)  - ?

Dillinger (1973) - so generic I swear I had seen this. But its a decent gangster fick. 

Five on the Black Hand Side (1973) - Pleasantly confrontational black family drama.

The Voyage (1974)  - Typical turgid vehicle for La Loren. By De Sica?!?!

Caged Heat (1974) - Rote women in prisoner.

Arabian Nights (19740 - Pasolini doing his usual. 

Adolf Hitler - My Part in his Downfall (1974) - Dullish biopic of young Spike Milligan, even though Jim Dale is way too old, the resemblance just gets uncannier year by year. 

Death Weekend (1976) - No matter how tough this rape-revenge flick gets, I can't take it seriously because Brenda Vaccaro I can only associate with Andrea Martin in SCTV no matter how many things I've seen her in, and as this is a Canadian production (SCTV associate Ivan Reitman producing) , it doesn't help. 

The Missouri Breaks (1976) - A western, yes, but Brando is so convincing as an Irishman. Really. Not just the voice, the body language. 

Robin and Marian (1976) - Is it supposed to be ludicrous? The ending is a tear-jerker, and the soundtrack is one of Barry's best.

A Bridge Too Far (1977) - A film no matter how much its epicness and scale and the fact I visited Arnhem age 12, I associate with being that film "Cos worked on", Cos being a family friend. 

See also Yanks (1979) and Cross of Iron (1977).

Hound of the Baskervilles (1978) - A Waste. Yet I'd lie if I said I wasn't partly amused. Cook and Williams should have switched parts, though. Kenneth Williams would have been a genuinely brilliant serious Sherlock. 

Force 10 from Navarone (1978) - It begins with a Patrick allen narration/montage, and because of Reeves and Mortimer, I can't take this seriously. 

The Fish that Saved Pittsburgh (1979)/Roller Boogie (1979) - Flip Wilson does two awful novelty disco movies for UA???

Don't Go in the House (1979) - I wish I didn't. 

see also The Slumber Party Massacre (1982), Final Exam (1981), Graduation Day (1981) and He Knows You're Alone (1980)

Night School (1981) - Feels like a slightly-above giallo because of the presence of the American but previously Rome-based Leonard Mann. The twist makes no sense. Is Rachel Ward the killer?

Encounters of the Spooky kind (1980)  - Some interesting gore. But quite indebted to Iron Fisted Monk (1981). 

City of Women (1980) - huh?

See also Il Bidone (1953) and Variety Lights (1950). Finishing up on Fellini. 

Charlie Chan and the Curse of The Dragon Queen (1981) - Why was this made? If it was a Tv pilot, it'd explain a lot. But it ain't. 

Comin at Ya (1981) - Whata beautifully strange western.

Knightriders (1981) - Flawed because of how strange it is - a creative anachronist knight of the realm finds himself living his delusion of being King Arthur, but Romero's ace up his sleeve is the casting of storyteller Brother Blue as Merlin.

Excalibur (1981) - It's bacially just nutters roaming about Wicklow. Even Clive Swift suggests my childhood. 

Enter the Fat Dragon (1981)   - Sammo at his best.

A STranger is Watching (1982) - TV movie-ish Kate Mulgrew thriller. 

See also Visiting Hours (1982), which features UBS, the titular Network of the 1976 film and American Nightmare (1983, equally generic, down to the Canadian setting). 

Handgun (1984) - Tough but well-made kitchen sink vigilante rape flick from Tony Garnett. Has a weird cod-reggae theme from Harry Nilsson. 

The Company of Wolves (1984) - The effects are so trashy, but the film is so "classy", but the performance from Rea and the tone projected by Mr. Neil Jordan of Bray  is pure Wanderly Wagon. Hey, product placement for DC Thomson. What a waste. Never noticed that Graham Crowden and Brian Glover were double-billed first, though we have introducing credits and "and David Warner". In the end credits, Crowden and Glover and 3rd and 4th billed, but still, Neil, you had a great cast. We could have monster hunter Angela Lansbury. 

Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) - Yawen. 

The Pope of Greenwich Village (1984)- ZZZ.

Yes, Madam (1985) - Typical Hong Kong coppers. But you can see that despite all the posturing from Cynthia Rothrock, that it would be Michelle Yeoh who'd be the major Anglophone star. 

The Doctor and the Devils (1985) - Weird to see Lewis Fiander billed over Beryl Reid, TP McKenna and Patrick Stewart. The performances from Stephen Rea going full stage Dub, Jonathan Pryce and Phil Davis don't help. 

Lethal Obsession (1987) - Erotic German thriller with Elliott Gould. 

Shanghai shanghai (1990) - Ropey Sammo Hung vehicle, too glossy for its own good. 

Rewatched The Elephant Man (1980 - which I finally understand and see is a great film), Scanners (1981), Somewhere in Time (1980), the bollocks Hellraiser (1987), Don't look now (1973), Ashanti (1979), Zulu (1964), Zulu Dawn (1979), The Tamarind Seed (1974), a Hard day's Night (1964), Thunderbirds are GO/Thunderbird 6 (1967)/(1968)), The Bridge at Remagen (1969), Yellow Submarine (1968), Chitty chitty, bang Bang (1968)...

 Convicts Four (1962) - Rote prison film, Allied artists spending the money on an incredible cast.

Dirty Weekend (1973) - Peculiar Italian buddy comedy with Oliver Reed and Mastrello Mastroianni.

Wolf Lake (1980) - Dreary revenge film with Rod Steiger and the soon-to-be-murdered David Huffman. Set in Canada, shot in Mexico. 

Circle of Two (1982) - Canadian march-january romance with Richard Burton and Hammer fan Tatum O'Neal. 

Pit and the Pendulum (1991) - Typical Band ambition doesn't meet success.

Monday, 21 September 2020


Absolute Quiet (1936 - b/w) - Forgettable comedy with Lionel Atwill. 

See also Big City Blues (19320, featuring early Bogart.

This Happy Breed (1944) - Attractive encapsulation of pre-war Britain by Lean. features IPC's the Sunday Pictorial. 

Face to Face (1952 - b/w) - rotund maritime with James Mason + westerning with Robert Preston.

Les Espions (1957) - Dreary Ustinov spy caper from Clouzot. 

Carnival rock (1957) - Rote B-rate rocker from Corman, with the Platters.

Date with Disaster (1957) - Rote British B with Tom Drake, William Hartnell and Shirley Eaton.  Features ads for Oxo.

High Tide at Noon (1957)  Despite being set and partly shot in Nova Scotia, begins with "a British film" in big words to tell us that it is a Pinewood production, despite the presence of William Sylvester, Michael Craig, Patrick Allen (the middle two actually partly raised in Canada) and Flora Robson. Typical Rank romance starring Betta St John.

Creature from the Haunted Sea (1961) - Hard to believe I hadn't seen this Corman piece. But I suppose I already had. 

rag Doll (1961) - One of the last films by an ironically by-that-point-London-based Mancunian Film Corporation, but distributed by Butcher's, and Manson distributing, this dreary sex drama's only notable factor - the much-hated-by-Kenny Everett Jess Conrad theme, "why am I Living?" haunts this film. Conrad costars opposite Christina Gregg. With Pat Magee and Hermione Baddeley

Taste of Violence (1961) - Robert Hossein and Mario Adorf in the first modern Euro-western...

Reach for Glory (1962) - Offputting Lord of the Flies variant in wartime England. 

She'll Have To Go (1962) -  Rote black comedy starring Bob Monkhouse, Hattie Jacques, Alfred Marks and Anna Karina. That's right. a nice gothy ending where Monkhouse tries to kill Karina in a Heath Robinson organ-powered trap, only for he and Marks to fall in. 

Donovan's Reef (1963) - John Wayne "comedy". 

Strike Me Deadly (1963 - b/w) - Striking if mostly uneventful drama with some nice camerawork, from Ted V. Mikels, who as unique his cinematic vision was, was a better cinematographer.

Baraka X-77 (1966) - Forgettable Eurospy. 

Die Nibelungen (1966) - Luxuriant epic, the most expensive German film of its era, and a rare pre-80s sword and sorcery flick. Sweeping locations and a great mechanical dragon. And Herbert Lom! Plus a-pre-Terence Hill Mario Girotti. 

Mother Goose  a Go-Go (1966) - Ludicrous psychedelic erotica with Tommy Kirk.

Dutchman (1967 - b/w) - Under an hour, but a memorably angry, powerful turn from Al Freeman Jr. 

Maharlika (1970) - Pro-Marcos propaganda with Paul Burke and Broderick Crawford. Marcos' white American actress mistress Dovie Beams plays  a Filipina girl. 

Cold Sweat (1970) - Rewatched this rote Bronson Eurothriller.

Corbari (1970) - Stirring but rather dry biopic of a WW2-era partisan with thirtysomething Giuliano Gemma as someone who died age 21. 

Tarzan and the Golden Grotto (1970)/Tarzan and the Brown Prince (1973) - Though unofficial, these Spanish Italian knockoffs do feel expensive. With the likes of Peter Lee Lawrence and Fernando Sancho supporting the unremarkable but physically passable Steve Hawkes (whose Tarzan cry is alarmingly off), and some nice Eastmancolor cinematography, they do have  slight overtones of Italian cannibal movie sleaze and danger about them. The secondis a Filipino coproduction, with future British based Hollywood CGI whiz Robin Aristorenas as the titular young lad. 

May Morning (1970) - Depressing italian fare set in Oxford, soundtracked by the Tremeloes.

Kill (1971) - Romain Gary/Salkind insanity beginning with a fake-TV documentary on child drug addicts. Then, becomes a Euro-adventure with Stephen Boyd, James Mason and Jean Seberg. Mason I think is dubbed by someone doing a bad James Mason impression in some scenes, but not others. There's exposition scenes in front of  Arabs jumping on invisible pogo sticks. 

 The Incredible Two Headed Transplant (1971) - Ropey AIP twaddle.

Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me (1971) - Samey 50s-set nostalgic drama.

Slaughter Hotel (1971) - Attractive but garishly exploitative Klaus Kinski-Rosalba neri Eurosleaze.

Fox Style (1973) - Ropey Tex-blaxploitation with Juanita Moore.

The Harder They Come (1972) - A perfect capsule of 70s Jamaica.

Return of the Evil Dead (1972)/The Ghost Galleon (1974)/night of the Sea Gulls (1975) - Blind dead cobblers. 

Red Psalm (1972) - Typical Jancso. 

The Magnificent Daredevil (1973) - A fictional British TV reporter interviews racing driver Giuliano Gemma in a pub. Faux-British mix of action and sub-Alfie larks. Has a fight in  front of an ad for Yellow Pages. Cameo from Jackie Stewart.

The Trial of Billy Jack (1974) - Bonkers. How did this make 89 million dollars? Delores Taylor looks disconcertingly like crusading journalist/Irish patriot Gemma O'Doherty. She also reminds me of a late aunt. The end is just a load of crying, like a bloody televised funeral. This never got a release in the UK and Ireland. Thank God.

125 Rooms of Comfort (1974) - Amiable Canadian drama.

Zardoz (1974) - An accurate picture of Wicklow.

Deranged (1974) - Pervy Canadian Geinsploiter.

Eliza's Horoscope (1975) - Peculiar canadian odyssey with "Tom Lee Jones" in his film debut. Feels quite similar to Paul Bartel's Private Parts, down to lead Elizabeth Moorman having a similar aura to Ayn Ruymen. With Lila Kedrova  and a strange RP-voiced Australian-Chinese astrologer, one Rose Quong.

Train Ride To Hollywood (1975) - A baffling musical comedy vehicle for the r&b group Bloodstone set in a train that's also 30s Hollywood with Guy "Loving you Has Made Me Bananas" Marks as Bogie, Jay Robinson as Dracula,  lookalikes of Gable and Leigh (Phyllis Davis as Scarlett O'Hara), Jeanette McDonald and Nelson Eddy in Rose Marie surrounded by snow that only rains on them, WC fields, Roberta Collins as Jean Harlow. Bloodstone are basically a black 70s Ritz Brothers. 

Kidnap syndicate (1975) - Italian cop yarn, again surprisingly solid, with Luc Merenda and James Mason as a crime boss. Features placement for TicTacs and J&B.

Linda Lovelace for President (1975) - It feels so ugly and voyeuristic.

The Iron Super Man (1975) - Oddly steampunky Mazinger Z knockoff with Godfrey Ho.

The Masters (1975) - Dry Mafia drama with Jennifer O'Neill, Franco Nero and James Mason.

Nick the Sting (1976) - Amiable, slightly jokey Sting in Eurocrime drag from di Leo with Luc Merenda as Nick Hezard, Lee J. Cobb, Luciana Paluzzi, Valentina Cortese and Gabriele Ferzetti. 

la polizia interviene ordine di uccidere (1975) - rote Eurocrime with Leonard Mann, Janet Agren, James Mason and Stephen Boyd. 

Viva Knievel (1977) - Evel can't act, so he just looks as baffled as the audience, as weirdness abounds. 

Blood and Diamonds (1978) - Routine Fernando di Leo Eurocrime. 

Cyclone (1978) - Despite sharks, cannibalism and dog-death, this is a rather dreary Mexican exploiter.

Magnum Cop (1978) - Decent Maurizio Merli cop show, in Austria, with Joan Collins in her The Stud era. 

See also Convoy Busters (1978) - not a trucker flick, but a rather downbeat but decent actioner involving Italian music shows and murdered girls. 

The New godfathers (1979) - Dreary Italian-Turkish-Iranian Godfather knockoff.

Running Scared (1980) - Unusual, confused 60s war/regional action hybrid with Ken Wahl, Judge Reinhold, John Saxon, Annie McEnroe, Bradford Dillman and Pat Hingle. A late imitation of Macon County Line.

The Club (1980) - Graham Kennedy and Jack Thompson sporting a magnificent tache in a film that somehow makes Aussie rules football exciting. Kennedy was an underappreciated character actor, despite being his country's most beloved broadcaster, their Wogan (and not just cos he did Blankety Blanks). Wonder can someone make the great GAA movie?

Bruce Beresford also did the same for teenage girls with the similarly truthful but trashily grim Puberty Blues (1981), based on the Kathy Lette book.

Bad Blood (1981) - Might be Mike Newell's best film, forgotten and buried at its release by being a product of the instantly stillborn film arm of Southern Television, it's a true crime story based on a real-life New Zealand crime case, with Jack Thompson as a farmer gone mad. Transformed into a 50s-set Kiwi western, it is savage, brutal and held together by performances from Thompson, Prisoner Cell Block H's Franky Doyle - Carol Burns, and Denis Lill, in a rare screen lead, for once playing his own nationality, as the local constable. 

The House by the Cemetery (1981) - Haunted house/franken-zombie nonsense from Fulci.See also City of the Living Dead (1980)

Station for Two (1982) - Two Soups - the Soviet Romance.

Bloodbeat (1983) - Bizarre French slasher shot in Wisconsin, with a  Darth Vader-esque samurai killer.

Monkey Shines (1988) - Dreary 80s romero despite for Romero, a great cast - Joyce van Patten, Stephen Root ("Lenore!"), Stanley Tucci!!!

The Carrier (1988) - What the hell is this? Begins in the present as a kind of slasher, then tunrs into an insane sub-Crazies post-apocalyptica?

Terror in Beverly Hills (1988)  - What begins as a promising sub-sub-Cannon actioner by Israelis the Bibiyans becomes increasingly boring. with Frank Stallone, William Smith and Cameron Mitchell.

Meet the Hollowheads  (1989) - A cult film without a cult.

Transylvania Twist (1989) - Ambitious Corman/Wynorski ZAZ-type parody. Not great but ambitious and with a few fun jokes. Robert Vaughn, Angus Scrimm, Jay Robinson, howard Morris as Prof.  Lilloman from High Anxiety...

Escape from the Liberty Cinema (1990) - A polish Jerry Lewis lookalike censor deals with a Purple Rose of Cairo-type film. Shot like an episode of Boon. Being Polish, a number of the cast were  in Soupy Norman. 

The Public Eye (1992) - Visually gorgeous neo-noir with Joe Pesci that suffers as it was marketed as a pulpy comedy. With Barbara Hershey and baby Jared Harris as a bull-headed Culchie doorman. 

Carnosaur (1993) - Despite its ambition, this Jurassic Park cash-in can't go beyond the dull visual dowdiness of most Corman films post-1985.

Saturday, 12 September 2020


The Four Feathers (1939) - Rote colonial bull loved by grandads. 

Let The people Sing (1942) - Routine British comedy with Fred Emney and Alastair Sim.

I Know Where I'm Going!, (1945) - I thought I did. 

The Shop at Sly Corner (1947) - Rote Scotland Yarder with Oskar Homolka. 

Lady Godiva Rides Again (1951) - An all-star cast  (Dennis price,  Stanley Holloway, Kay Kendall, George Cole, Diana Dors, Eddie Byrne, Renee Houston, Richard Wattis, Sid James, Michael Ripper plus uncredited appearances from alastair Sim and Trevor Howard in cameo, and the likes of Dana Wynter, Anne Heywood, joan Collins, Jean Marsh and Ruth Ellis as the beauty pageant contestants) in this comedy that captures the world of Workers' Playtime and one-channel British television. 

The Quiet Man (1952) - The albatross hung around Ireland's neck. Best watched in a restored print, or else it'll like look like Trucolor, even though for once Republic did the full Technicolor on a film. An ad for Lyon's Tea and Wills' Gold Flake helps establish some authenticity. Yes, I know Wills is British, but still, at least it's not an American brand. if only it had been Wills' notorious Strand range, but that wasn't established until 1959. 

The Ladykillers (1955) - Darker than one expects. 

The Court Jester (1956) - Danny Kaye at his fantastical best.

Les Violents (1957) - Rote Paul Meurisse rougher. 

Dead Lucky (1960) - Rote british quickie with John le Mesurier. 

Two Way Stretch (1960) - Sellers, Cribbins, Denham and Jeffries do Porridge. Typical charming if not exactly rib-tickling 60s comedy. 

Les Petits Matins (1962) - Arletty, Blier, Brialy, Ventura, Becaud, Gravey, Gelin, Hossein, Noel-Noel, Aznavour  in what feels likea  French beach party lick 

Blague dans le coin (1963) Fernandel vehicle. Like any other.

Avec la peau des autres (1966) - Rote Lino Ventura trenchcoater with Coca Cola product placement  See also Sursis Pour Un Vivant (1959)

The Virgin Soldiers (1968)  - Typical 60s army comedy, but with a marvellous cast. Hywel Bennett, Lynn Redgrave, Nigel Davenport, Nigel Patrick, Rachel Kempson, Christopher Timothy, Lord Melbury, Christopher Timothy, "and james Cosmo", a discomfortingly attractive Geoffrey Hughes, Wayne Sleep, and an uncredited turn fro a young actor named David Jones. Bowie's appearance in a bar behind Shelley and Onslow, a literal blink-and-miss is like a hidden message from the future. 

igorota (1968) - Bizarre Filipino tropical erotica.

Stoney (1968) - Ropey but surprisingly nice looking Filipino actioner with Barbara Bouchet, Mike  Preston, Michael Rennie and Richard Jaeckel. 

Daddy's Gone a Hunting (1969) - Overlong studio-glossy but empty melodrama told over a number of years, with Carol White (playing a character called Cathy - so technically this can be seen as a sequel to Cathy Come Home - what happens when she abandoned Ray Brooks and her kids) arriving in the US with a Union Jack bag, falling in love with Scott Hylands, getting an abortion, driving him into a mad killer. There's a soap opera-y, Transatlantic tripe feel. Cathy marries Paul Burke, has a child and  now outraged Scott Hylands is determined to kill mother and child in revenge for the death of his own child. 

And God Said to Cain (1970) - Memorable at times horror western with klaus Kinski. Unusually solid looking village sets. 

Brain of Blood (1971) - Being Al Adamson, a special kind of terrible. Set in a supposed south Asian country with white actors without any makeup using their own accents, but dressed in karakuls and a postcard representing a palace exterior. Angelo Rossitto in a tam o'shanter is the sinister sidekick. Features Khalid Television and an ending that makes no sense. 

Get Carter (1971) - It is in many ways a perfect film. Even if it can be too grim, there's just the details that rivet. 

The Jesus Trip (1971) - Grim biker/nun teamup with a emroably hautningly angelic Tippy Walker as the heroic nun. 

La Scoumoune (1972) - Belmondo and Cardinale in a routine 30s Gallic gangster vehicle with an island prison interlude. 

Sweet Sugar (1972) - the incidental music used in this faux-Filipino women in prison plantation quickie is the same that soundtracked the Dave Nice Deptford Draylons ad.

A Full Day's Work (1973) - bonkers Wacky Races-ish assassin on a motorbike comedy directed by Jean Louis Trintignant, with an uncharacteristically jolly Bruno Nicolai score. 

Don't Just Lie There Say Something (1975) - Typical Rix farce. Even Derek Griffiths MBE wasn't immune from the curse of BAME actors of being billed lower than their role dictates.

Costar Peter Bland was also in the amiable NZ comedy Came A Hot Friday (1985)

Operation Lady Marlene (1975) - Allo Allo-ish antics with Michel Serrault.

Dolemite (1975) - Interesting but baffling Rudy Ray Moore vehicle. 

Slade in Flame (1975) - Some kind of masterpiece.

Don's Party (1976) - interesting Aussie drama set amongst the changeover of government. 

The Likely Lads (1976) - Along with Porridge, being a Clement/le Frenais production, the two sitcom films that feel like proper films. I like this less than Porridge, maybe because the Likely Lads sitcom I've never really been interested in, but it's still a decent film. And proper 70s shops. Timpson's! 

The Stud (1978) - pornographic disco muzak. 

Meteor (1979) - I quite enjoy the batshit scale of it. Shaw/AIP nonsense at its best. 

Scum (1979) - Harsh but accurate title. 

Boardwalk (1979) - A peculiar film, begins as a light dramedy with Lee Strasberg and Ruth Gordon as an old Jewish couple who watch the Price is Right, but then turns into a gang-attack movie, and eventually pre-empts Death Wish III in its story of old Jews fighting against Hispanic gangs.

When You Coming Back, Red Ryder? (1979) - Bleak, unusual, confusing southern drama with Marjoe Gortner as auteur-star, and a curiously miscast Peter Firth with a black quiff, plus Candy Clark, Lee Grant, Hal Linden and Pat Hingle and the Andy Williams Show..

Kamakalawa (1981) - Epic if  overlong but likeably ambiitous Filipino fantasy from Eddie Romero.

Spaghetti House (1982) - Starring Nino Manfredi, Rudolph Walker, "special guest appearance" from Rita Tushingham "and Derek Martin", while David Burke, Renato Scarpa and John Woodvine are listed in alphabetical block. Seeing two members of the cast in EastEnders in lead roles with solo billing in an Italian actioner (albeit written by Peter Barnes and shot in England) is nice. It feels nasty in an Italian way, like a dirtier version of Juggernaut. however, the best thing about is Walker. Despite a CBE for his  services to drama and charity and his twenty year run in EastEnders, Walker is still an underrated presence. He is both terrifying and terrified. He succeeeds  in being both threatening and yet likeably  sympathetic enough so that eventually he can soften and become friends with Manfredi's character. He looks genuinely scared at times of his own actions, while Nino Manfredi and his Italians play for wacky comedy. In a just world, Walker would have had a long career in Italian pictures, or at least would have been given better roles in British films. As it was, this was never released in Britain.  Features such 80s sights as punks outside a Ladbrokes and ads for Lyon's Maid.

Two of a Kind (1983) - Travolta and Newton John let Heaven wait. 

Savage Dawn (1984) - routine biker fare.

After Hours (1985) - Scorsese can't do zany without feeling bleak. 

De Ja Vu (1985) - Boring british Cannon ballerina reincarnation drama with Jaclyn Smith, Shelley Winters, Nigel Terry and Claire Bloom, set at the Daily Mail offices. 

Codename Emerald (1985) - TV WW2 hokum that got a theatrical release.

Gtohic (1986) - Ken Russell on autopilot. Feels like it was shot in wicklow thanks to Gabriel Byrne and Benjy Riordan. Very indebted visually to Women in Love (1969)

The Pink chiquitas (1987) - SCTV-related Frank Stallone retro sf chintz.

Rita, Sue and Bob Too (1987) - The girls watch Madness on telly. Tyical 80s grimy council house film on four. Find it odd to say but Kulvinder Ghir was pretty when he was a young lad. 

Masquerade (1988) - Typical bland 80s thriller. Nice if entirely generic John Barry soundtrack that fuses Frances and The Legend of the lone Ranger. 

Dans le Ventre du Dragon (1989) - Very strange Gilliam-meets-Cronenberg Quebecois mad science. 

Grim Prairie Tales (1990) - James Earl Jones and Brad Dourif in Western Tales from the Darkside. 

Assassin of the Tsar (1991) - boring Soviet mental illness drama with Malcolm McDowell. 

Warlock II - The Armageddon (1993) - Ambitious, interesting opening but goes into blanderama 90s horror territory.

Dazed and Confused (1993) - Certainly.

Brainscan (1994) - If the West Memphis Three was a Goosebumps episode. about the dangers of full-motion-video games. 

Snake Eyes (1995) - Rubbishy De Palma on autopilot. 

 Orphans (1998) - RoutineScots black comedy, with Peter  Mullan directing.

love liza (2002) - Indie dramedy with Kathy Bates and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Satan's Little Helper (2004) - Terrible load of shite. Katheryn Winnick here a dead ringer for Ivanka Trump. 

Tuesday, 1 September 2020


The sin of Nora Moran (1933)  - Average poverty row melodrama. 

East Meets West (1936 - b/w) - George Arliss up the Khyber.

The Citadel (1938 - b/w) - Typical MGM prestige product, based on the AJ Cronin novel, though made in Wales and England. Has ads for Wrigley's, and Crosse and Blackwell's. The 1983 adaptation from BBC/MGM is much better, and doesn't cut off the story halfway to create a happier end. 

Vendetta (1950 - b/w) - terrible Howard Hughes period vanity project for his love Faith Domergue. Almost poverty row level. 

Hindle Wakes (1952 - b/w) - routine adaptation of the play with Leslie Dwyer, Lisa Daniely, Joan Hickson and Bill Travers.

Touchez pas au grisbi (1954 - b/w) - Rote Gabin gangsterer.

One Way Ticket to Hell (1955) - Dreary narrated-but-no-dialogue juvenile drug saga. 

Faces (1968)/Shadows (1959)/A Woman Under the Influence (1974)/Opening Night (1977) - Cassavetes isn't quite the sort of cinema   I'd watch otherwise. I can see why he is revered. 

Tall Story (1960 - b/w) - rote high school comedy with Jane Fonda and Anthony Perkins.

All the young Men (1960) - Rote Korean war drama with Alan Ladd and Sidney Poitier.

Platinum High School (1960 - b/w) - astonishingly not directed by Al Zugsmith. 

This Rebel Breed (1960) - Jew Mark Damon plays an Afro-Mexican cop fighting delinquents. With Rita Moreno and Diane Cannon before she decided that she'd stick out if she spelt her name Dyan.

The Sinister Urge (1960) - Dreary Ed Wood vehicle.

The Angel Wore Red (1960 - b/w) - well, if it was either Ava or Dirk, I couldn't tell, the film was in black and white. 

Bridge to the Sun (1961) - depressing Japanese-set WW2 melo with Carroll Baker and James Shigeta.

The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond (1961) - Rote gangster drama with Ray Danton.


Black Gold (1962 - b/w) - ropey 1920s-set neo-western. 

81/2 (1963) - Get this confused with la Dolce Vita.

In The French Style (1963 - b/w) - Typical Jean Seberg studio froth, with Stanley Baker and a French fella who looks a bit like Stan.

Wall of Noise (1963) - Ty Hardin melodrama nonsense about a jockey. 

the Stripper (1963) - Joanne Woodward is Kim Novak.

Twilight of Honor (1963 - b/w) - Tiring legal drama with Richard Chamberlain, nick Adams and Claude Rains. 

Wives and Lovers (1963) - bland romcom.

Allez France (1964) - Anglo-French comedy with an all-star cast showcased And You Have been Watching - Jean Richard, Mark Lester, Ronald Fraser, Diana Dors, arthur Mullard (pronounced Mull-er), Percy Herbert, Bernard Cribbins ("Bernar Cribbins"), Colin Blakely, Godfrey Quigley, Ross Parker (the man who wrote) , Georgina Cookson, Colin Gordon, Ferdy Mayne, Reg Lye, a chicken,  but though credited, "Donal Donally" and Tim Brinton, John Comer and Billy Kearns don't get the treatment. 

Also watched Jean Richard in sentimental b/w Louis de Funes comedy Mon pote le gitan (1959). 

See also Certains l'aiment froide (1959)

the Interns (1962)/the new Interns (1964) - turgid medical soap.

Dear Heart (1964 - b/w) - rote family comedy with Glenn Ford.

In Harm's Way (1965 - b/w) - typical bloated Preminger. 

Monster A Go Go (1965 - b/w) - Did I see this boredom before?

The Slender Thread (1965 - b/w) - Heartbreaking, angry turn from Sidney Poitier as he tussles with suicidal Anne Bancroft.

Seealso A Patch of Blue (1966).

Synanon (1965) - Bleak b/w mental drama with Chuck Connors, Alex Cord, Eartha Kitt and Stella Stevens. 

Doctor Zhivago (1965) - It's what you think it is. 

Guide (1966)/Jewel Thief (1967 ) - 60s Bollywood films look better than any other era.

Camelot (1967) - Everything looks slightly wrong. And Franco Nero as an ersatz Robert Goulet, shorn of his tache and therefore not himself, poor fella. Especially as he ended up meeting the wretched Redgrave woman. 

UlysseS (1967) - What a disgraceful, rude film. But with a staggering cast of almost very actor in the country  - Milo O'Shea, Barbara Jefford, Maurice Roeves being Scottish as Dedalus, TP McKenna, Anna Manahan. Chris "father Jim of Rugged Island" Curran, Fionnuala Flanagan before she emigrated, Geoffey and Eddie Golden, Martin Dempsey. Maire Hastings, David Kelly, Des Perry, Rosaleen Linehan and Des Keogh, Maureen Potter, Maureen Toal (then Mrs. O'Shea), jim Bartley, Barry Cassin, Brendan Caldwell, Danny Cummins, May Cluskey, Tony Doyle, Eugene Lambert without judge, Thomas Macanna, Pamela Mant, Derry Power, Ann "he got his lad out" Rowan, Cecil Sheehan, Cecil Sheridan, OZ Whitehead and Biddy White Lennon, that's basically a good chunk out of the entire Irish acting population plus import tax and a box of Ritz crackers. And Pauline Melville, too, before she went alternative. 

Memories of Underdevelopment (1968) - Cuban political-artiness.






Violent City (1970) - Breakneck Italian action at its best. Bronson, Savalas, Ireland and a golly doll. 


Fantasia Among the Squares (1971) - Baffling French comedy but lovely European view of the US, with added Lino Ventura and Weetabix. 

Glen and Randa (1971) - Unlikeable hippie teen apocalyptica. 

Melody (1971) - 18 year old Jack Wild almost convincing as a  12 year old, but his voice is crackling (Flight of the Doves was shot after this, I presume). Mark Lester and Tracy Hyde as the lovers. What a strange film. James Cossins' head and the ending are pure CFF. 

Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971) - The angriest film ever made. Features people called Nick Ferrari and Bob Maxwell, who have nothing to do with British tabloids. 

Les Hommes (1972) - Rote Eurocrime with Henry Silva, Michel Constantin and Marcel Bozzuffi.

Horowitz in Dublin (1973) - A forgotton curio filled with time capsule footage of the Irish capital, seemingly a pilot for a Brannigan-style series starring Harvey Lembeck a world away from either Bilko or Beach Party as a New York cop in Dublin, with Sinead and Cyril Cusack plus Al lettieri and Cesare Danova, plus the likes of Liam  Redmond, Martin Dempsey and Tom Hickey.  Seeing Lembeck surronded by Jacob's biscuit products is certainly a sight. Future Fair City regular Clive Geraghty plays the heroic sidekick. Was there an Irish Sunday Express?

The Happy Hooker (1975) - How did lynn Redgrave get into this POS?

Brotherhood of Death (1976) - There is some energy in this mostly dreary blaxploitation cyborg Vietnam vet anti-Klan picture.

Mad Dog Morgan (1976) - A rotuine western with Dennis Hopper as an Irish hoodlum, but in Australia with the usual great Aussie faces. 

The Seniors (1978) - Dodgy sex comedy with Dennis Quaid.

The Crippled Masters (1979) - Seemingly an average kung fu quickie, but then the titular characters appear. Jesus. A kung fu Freaks.

Out of the Blue (1980) - Bleak Canadian teen drama with the unforgettable Linda Manz as an Elvis obsessive plus directed/starring Dennis Hopper, with Raymond Burr and Sharon Farrell. 

The Jazz Singer (1980) I'm betting the lords Grade and Delfont insisted on Neil Diamond blacking up. "The Minstrels are still big with northerners. Trust me, Mr. Fleischer."

Tales of Ordinary Madness (1981) - Arty, erotic Bukowskiploitation with Ornella Muti, Ben Gazzara and Susan Tyrrell.

Sorceress (1982) - Appealingly junky sword and sorcery. Bits of the score of Battle Beyond the Stars and Piranha are used.

Greystoke The legend of Tarzan Lord of the  Apes (1984) - Moments hit at pulp goodness and there's lovely Al whitlock mattes,, but a post-Raiders Tarzan shouldn't have been this stately. but it's an origin story. It's a prequel to a film never made. 

The Cotton Club (1984) - Typical Coppola. 

Alphabet City (1984) - Arty no wave New York gang pic.

My Beautiful Laundrette (1985) - actually, it's quite grotty.

Truly Madly Deeply (1990) - a typical 90s BBC drama.

King Lear (1986) - It's like Godard served up a plate of rubbish just to make the Cannon Group look deliberately lazy. 

The Messenger (1986) - Fred Williamson tosh. Still, the man has charisma. 

Belly of an Architect (1987) - Brian Dennehy roams around Rome. Not Greenaway's best. 

Timesweep (1987) - Idioitic though intriguing-sounding horror set in a haunted film studio. With a dull, mainly middle-aged cast of amateurs. 

Moonstruck (1987) - it's nice enough. John Mahoney was a bit of a surprise. 

Nightfall (1988) - Dreary Asimov adap with Sarah Douglas, David Birney and Alexis Kanner.

The Carpenter (1988) - bleary-eyed fauxmerican Canadian thriller starring a Poundland Sigourney Weaver/susan Sarandon/Jenny Agutter hybrid, and Wings Hauser.

The Rainbow (1988) - Ken Russell erotica that somehow looks cheap as chips. It looks like a BBC Sunday serial. Bits look to be on videotape. McGann has an aldi Robert Powell vibe here. 

Deepstar Six (1989) - Another bland underwater Alien of 1989. 

Casualties Of War (1989) - typical 80s Nam drama, but why did De Palma bring back the female lead in the coda, put a flase nose and then get Amy Irving to dub her in her Far Pavilions voice? A thin John C Reilly?

The Bride with White Hair (1993) - Sumptuous wuxia ghost sotry. 

Diggstown (1993 ) - Routine boxing comdram with Lou Gossett, Bruce Dern and James Woods.

Cold Fever (1995) - Sub-Jarmusch quirkiness. 


Pups (1999) - Natural born kiddie killers.

The Hours of the Day (2003)  -sleazy Spanish serial killer.

Frozen Land (2005) - SOV Finnish noir.

Madame Edoard (2004) - Baffling french chef-in-drag comedy with Michel Blanc and Andrea Ferreol.

Why Don't You Just Die (2018) - Interesting Russian domestic western. 

Wednesday, 12 August 2020


Father Brown - Detective (1934 - b/w) - Just as ludcrous an adaptation as the BBC TV show with Mark Williams. 

The Proud Valley (1940 - b/w) - Paul Robeson shines.

Susana (1951 - b/w) - Routine Bunuel melodrama.

Follow the Sun (1951 - b/w) - Glenn Ford plays golf. God, this was a chore. 

Island Monster (1954 - b/w) - Godawful Italian crime movie with Boris Karloff.

The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) - Possibly the Hitchcock from his golden era I like the most, if only for the weird London stuff. And the sinister organist, and Doris Day standing outside a corner shop with prominent ad placement for Walls' Ice Cream and Polos. And Reggie Nalder. And Bernard Miles and Brenda De Banzie.


True as a Turtle (1958 - b/w) - Routine Rank comedy with John Gregson. 

Gangster Story (1959 - b/w) - Allied Artists crime cheapie directed by and starring Walter Matthau when he was just a character actor.


The Day they Robbed the Bank of England (1960 - b/w) - Forgettable IRA period caper with Hugh Griffith as a Welsh-accented Irish revolutionary and posh-voiced Peter O'Toole and Kieron Moore. 




Ladies who Do (1962) - Routine British comedy. Though magnificent to think once upon a time, someone like Peggy Mount could be  a film star. Solid cast - Robert Morley, Harry H. Corbett, Miriam Karlin, Ron Moody, Avril Elgar, Dandy Nichols, Jon P'twee, paedo Stark, Arthur Howard, Harry Fowler, Nigel Davenport, John Laurie, Ernest Clark, Cardew Robinson, and paedo Arthur Mullard.

Kitten with a Whip (1964 - b/w) - Juvenile delinquency with Ann-Margrock.


The Thrill-Killers (1964) - Sure I logged this Ray Dennis Steckler folderol before. 

The Gendarme in New York (1965)/Le Gendarme se Marie (1968)/Le Gendarme en balade (1970)/Le gendarme et les gendarmettes (1982) - Routine, colourful Louis De Funes farces. New York has more yellowface/Chinese jokes than NY jokes, despite a West Side Story spoof and a US music show called Hurri Houra Hurricane. 

 Le corniaud (1965) - Rote De Funes/Bourvil vehicle. 

Thunder of God (1965 - b/w) - Baffling French comedy with Jean Gabin. 

Gumnaam (1965) - Bizarre adaptation of Ten Little ____/And Then There Were None. Here, they are literally Indians. Because it's Bollywood. And one of them is a comedy Hitler butler.

Star Pilot (1966) - Rough though attractively put together and characterful Italian space opera with the inevitable Gordon Mitchell.

Please Don't Eat the Daisies (1960) - Doris Day-yawn. 

MONSIEUR GANGSTER (1965 - B/W) - routine Lino Ventura gangsterism.


Spring Night, Summer Night (1967) - Amateurish but interesting pseudo-southern gothic Ohio erotica. 

Hell's Chosen Few (1968) - More like 1958. Tedious neo-Nazi bull.  Barely the biker picture it purports to be.
See also H.G. Lewis' She-Devils on Wheels (1968).

Star (1968) - What a mess. Julie Andrews tries to do a big-budget musical for Robert Wise again. Michael Craig the second romantic lead opposite Richard Crenna. Daniel Massey scarily similar in voice as Noel Coward, and a mix of British character faces and Hollywood Raj leftovers, great swathes of whom are uncredited. One scene illustrates this. Coward and Gertrude Lawrence are with the Lord Chamberlain (Lester Matthews) and his assistant (Bernard Fox) where the French Ambassador (Roger Delgado) is visiting. Now, Delgado and Robert Rietty as his assistant are looking through a window on location in England. Through the window, we see Matthews, Fox, Massey and Andrews back in Fox's studios. 


Girl from Rio (1969) - Awful bollocks from Jess Franco and Harry Alan Towers, allegedly a sequel to the HAT/Shirley Eaton/Lindsay Shonteff Sumuru picture, except Eaton is now playing Sumitra. 
See also Franco's nonsensical Venus in Furs (1968). 

Orgasmo/Paranoia (1969) - Routine, vaguely Clemens/Sangster-y giallo with Carroll Baker. Prominent ad placement for Skol in Piccadilly.  Ludicrous and hard to follow. Has characters going mad listen to some British radio station and die. Lenzi uses freeze frame when the characters are still talking. See also Knife of Ice (1972), which is equally dopey and revolves around a girl's Peanuts fan-fic (with badly-drawn Woodstock/Snoopy hybrid),  and the non-Lenzi but Baker-starring Flower with the Deadly Sting (1973), at the ropier end of the giallo scale.

How Did a Nice Girl Like You Get Into This Business? (1969) - Rough German-American sex comedy with Barbi Benton as a majorette. A weird cast - Klaus Kinski, Blade Runner writer Hampton Fancher, Ed Begley Jr, Lionel Stander don't help. 


Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970) - It has energy, it attracts the eye, it still has one foot in Jacqueline Susann-type melodrama, and is the very definition of pornographic muzak. Dolly Read seems too British for the role. Marcia McBroom is extraordinarily pretty. The whole Z-Man thing is weird. I THINK they're supposed to be a trans-man. But the sideburns don't help. 

The Lickerish Quartet (1970) - Radley Metzger sex odyssey. Begins as a German fairground. Sleazy nonsense, but it looks good. Star Frank Wolff died before this was released.

Jo (1971) - Louis De Funes can be a bit hard-wearing after a while. Based on the Gazebo. See also La Vendetta (1962), Un Drôle de caïd  (1964) and the Sheep has Five Legs (1954 - actually a Fernandel vehicle with De Funes on the side).

Four Flies on Grey Velvet (1971) -Argento and Michael Brandon (pre-Dempsey and Makepeace when he was  an actual Hollywood actor and not him who appears in British shows when they need an American) do a confused mess of a giallo. Not one of Dario's best. 

Necrophagus (1971) - Made in Spain, but desperately trying to be British, which amounts to having a headscarved old biddy on a train reading IPC's Ideal Home magazine (the only sign this isn't a period piece - the costumes and sets all suggest otherwise). Usual Spanish horror rubbish.Alias the Butcher of Binbrook.


 The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972)/That Obscure Object of Desire (1977) - Bunuel artiness.

Vanessa (1972) - Rough Mexican erotic thriller from the Cardonas,set in Galapagos. 
See also Los Valle de los miserables (1974) - Victor Hugo via Papillon.


Country Blue (1973) - Half-assed country grot with David Huddleston and Dub Taylor.

A Taste of Hell (1973) - Filipino war hokum with William Smith.

Don Juan (or If Don Juan Was A Woman) (1973) - Vadim smut. 

The Black Godfather (1974) - Miserable blaxploitation.

Ilsa - She Wolf of the SS (1974) - Horrible, horrible film. Only watched this story of Nazi perversion because I also watched the sequels. Ilsa The Wicked Warden (1976) keeps Dyanne Thorne, but it's a Jess Franco cash-in. However, Ilsa - Harem Keeper of the Oil Sheiks (1976) is entertaining, with a surprisingly well-realised Arab setting, though some of the most unconvincing portrayals of MENA people, especially the boy prince at the end. And some of it is offputtingly queasily sleazy, but there's a Henry Kissinger parody who seems more Arabic than the supposed Arabs. Ilsa The Tigress of Siberia (1977) is disappointingly mostly set in a Montreal aquarium. 

Cold Blood (1975) - Ropey German actioner with Rutger Hauer and Horst Frank.


A Nous Les Petites Anglaises (1976) - Pseudo-Lemon Popsicle-ish French sex comedy set and shot in exotic Thanet, featuring Amazin' Raisin Bars and Picnic bars in the 50s (yes, really) and Rynagh O'Grady as a sexy Irish girl. Yes, Mary O'Leary from Father Ted. The theme, Sorrow by Viva Las Vefas writer Mort Shuman 

The River Niger (1976) - TVM-ish black drama with Cicely Tyson and James Earl Jones.

Bloodsucking Freaks (1976) - Certainly an experience in gross-out carnyism. But too sleazy for my taste.


American Raspberry (1977) - Half-assed sketch show with Warren Oates.

The Adventures of Kosuke Kindaichi (1979) - Baffling Japanese film from the director of House.

Shalimar (1979) - Bollywood coproduction with Rex Harrison, John Saxon and Sylvia Miles (dubbed with a sweet high girly voice)  alongside the likes of Prem Nath, Dharmendra and Shammi Kapoor, with Asha Bhosle and RD Burman doing one of the great Bollywood soundtracks. The actual film is a slog. Neither fish nor foul. A dreary James Hadley Chase adap. Has a terrible-looking newspaper headline or two with doctored copies of the Sunday Mirror. It's not too far off Gumnaam, but not as fun. Harrison's a jewel thief. Everyone's on an island.

Shark Boy of Bora Bora (1981) - Alias Beyond the Reef, a bafling pseudo-Blue Lagoon vehicle for Polynesian Dayton Ka'ne, a discovery of Dino DeLaurentiis, from his remake of Hurricane. A strange film, half-family adventure, half-sleazy exploitation, with lead Maren Jensen constantly being nearly-raped or nearly-eaten. It seems that Ka'ne was being prepped to be the Sabu of the 80s.   It's terribly dubbed for some reason, "dialogue supervision by Robert Rietty".  Turned up once on BBC2, and I was baffled. It feels very Italian. The Jean Musy score and scenes with Jensen suggest erotica, and there's a lot of near-nudity, but somehow it got a morning slot.

The Demon (1981) - Crummy South African supernatural slasher with Cameron Mitchell and a zombified killer stalking a strangely unspecified setting. 

Of Unknown Origin (1983) - Bland fauxmerican Canadian rat film. From George P. Cosmatos.

Yellowbeard (1983) - Such a clusterfuck. John Cleese gets a "with", Beryl Reid gets an "and". Ronald Lacey and Bernard Fox don't even get front billing, unlike Nigel Planer. Features a Mexican child actress trying to sound English, because that's the price you pay for shooting in Mexico. Hordern gets his name in the starring bill, but Susannah York and Spike Milligan and Kenneth Mars get "also starring". Mostly rape jokes. Kenneth Mars' English accent is good to the point I thought he was Jack Watson. The Portsmouth sets look quite decent. 

Bad Girls Dormitory (1986) - Awful women in prison shite. Only bought it because I found it lying on the street in a bag left by a bin. 

Hands of Steel (1986) - RIP John Saxon. Typical Iralian post-apocalyptic twaddle.

Empire State (1987) - Martin Landau and Ray McAnally appear in this Euston-ish clubland drear. Landau seems comfortable being in a channel 4 thing. Maybe Space 1999 robbed the novelty of him doing UK TV. 

Blue Vengeance (1989) - J Christian Ingvordsen, a prolific but even amongst fans of low-budget New York genre cinema, relatively unloved filmmaker made this bizarre Manhattan serial killer/motorcycle joust/sword and sorcery/Satanic heavy metal/Marvel comics fan-gone-apeshit vigilante fantasy epic. Undoubtedly his best work, it's patchy but it has ambition. And it looks more expensive than it probably was.

Ring of Fire (1991) - Routine Don "The Dragon" Wilson vehicle. 

In the Mouth of Madness (1994) - It has memorable imagery and a decent cast (Neill! Warner! Heston! Prochnow!) but it feels like Carpenter is trying to go Kneale, Lovecraft and indeed metal all at once. It feels blandly glossy. That's what happened to Carpenter. The 90s killed his style. 

Strictly Sinatra (2002) - Tonally all over the place. Starring Ian Hart looking about 12 as a Scots-Italian crooner (I remember this being advertised in papers but misremembered Hart as being Michael Sheen), Kelly MacDonald (her real accent sounds disconcerting now that it is so clearly the voice of Disney's Princess Merida), Brian Cox (a replacement for Ian Bannen, who died during shooting), Alun Armstrong, Tommy Flanagan and Iain Cuthbertson (great to see him in a largish role, even though he is shockingly gaunt, but this was some years after the stroke), plus Una McLean and Jimmy Yuill who are unlike the others, not on the poster. Directed by Peter Capaldi. Is it a comedy? Is it a drama? Ask the Doctor

Thursday, 23 July 2020


Daughter of the Dragon (1931 - b/w) - Routine pulp with Anna May Wong as Fah Lo Suee.

Keep Your Seats Please (1936 - b/w) - Forgettable 12 chairs-inspired vehicle for George Formby, bar launching When I'm Cleaning Windows. With Alastair Sim, May Whitty, child star Binkie Stuart...

The Criminal (1960)- Routine decent prison movie with Stanley Baker and tons of Great British character actors.Plus ads for Cliff Richard.

Heavens Above! (1963) - Not-very-funny, "charming" Peter Sellers-with-a-Midlands-twang-as-a-priest clerical comedy. Brock Peters plays a Car
ibbean immigrant. Tons of British character faces pop up,  plus Ludovic Kennedy. Ends in space!

Sting of Death (1966) - Dreary if colourful William Grefe jellyfish-monster flick.

The Devil's 8 (1968) - Forgettable cheery biker-Dirty Dozen from AIP, with a Z Cars-ish theme. A rewatch.

The Emerald of Artatama (1969) - Rory Calhoun stands and walks about Egypt in this 50s-style Europen pulper.

How To Commit Marriage (1969) - Bob Hope and Jackie Gleason try to catch up with the Permissive Society, and fail miserably.

Devil Rider (1970) - Random karate inserts in this junky Floridian biker pic.

Dangerous Games (1970) - Rote Nikkatsu sukeban actioner.

Angels Die Hard (1970)/Bury Me An Angel (1972) - Routine biker saga.
See also Angels Hard as they Come (1971) - starring Scott Glenn as David Carradine.
And AIP's Hell Belles (1969) despite having the sub-Chuck Connors Jeremy Slate and British starlet Jocelyn Lane duking it out in a Brillo-filled services.

The Girls from Thunder Strip (1970) - Incompetent David L. Hewitt exploiter.

Swamp Girl (1971) - Bizarre but somewhat charming Southern exploitation item with Simone Griffeth in a hovercraft and Kenny Everett favourite Ferlin Husky.

Sweet Savior (1971) - Nice New York photography helps this sleazy post-Manson item with Troy Donahue. Thought that the soundtrack sounded particularly Nial Diamond-ish. Turns out it is by Jeff Barry, who discovered Diamond.

When Women Played Ding-Dong (1971) - Baffling Italian caveman comedy.

Asylum of Satan (1972) - Dingy Satanic madhouse nonsense from William Girdler, with horror host Charles Kissinger as  a brother and sister.

Brute Corps (1972) - Dingy, unlikeable sex-film-version-of-the-Most-Dangerous-Game-without-the-sex.

The Loners (1972) - Billy Jack knockoff with Dean Stockwell, of all people as a half-breed biker, with Scott Brady and Gloria Grahame.

The Final Comedown (1972) -Angry exploitation-with-a-purpose coproduced by Corman and the AFI, with Billy Dee Williams. The anger it seethes rates stronger than the quality.

The Devil and Leroy Bassett (1973) - Nonsensical amateurish regional modern western.

Honeybaby, Honeybaby (1974)  - Diana Sands and Calvin Lockhart star in a ropey blaxploitation actioner about a female spy and her  annoying sub-Jimmie Walker teenage cousin. Has footage of a Beirut fleapit showing Terry Bourke's Noon Sunday and spaghetti western Sundance Cassidy and Butch the Kid. Thomas Baptiste, one of the leading black British actors of the era plays the baddie.

The Manhandlers (1974) - Ropey sub-Andy Sidaris action.

The Treasure of Tayopa (1974) - Modern-day poverty row western trash with Gilbert Roland.

Macon County Line (1974) - Weirdly British-feeling AIP nostalgic regional exploiter with Bobbie Gentry theme.

Almost Human (1974) - Expertly-paced Italian crime film. Not quite my thing, but worth it for a scene where Tomas Milian stands outside a load of Tex Willer and Zorro comics. The Morricone score is reused from Plot, and would itself inspire the soundtrack for Exorcist 2.

Ride in a Pink Car (1974) - Sub-Billy Jack/Walking Tall Florida exploitation picture, not the sexy comedy that the title perhaps suggests, with Glenn Corbett and Morgan "Lazuuullli!" Woodward.

Savage Sisters (1975) - Routine Filipino-shot exploitation.

Dr. Minx (1975) - Junky sexploiter with Edy Williams and William Smith.

Demon Witch Child (1975) - Ropey Spanish horror that thinks a Satanic knife is a beautiful doll.

Slaughter in San Francisco (1975) -Junky Golden Harvest kung fu shot in the US, feels like the whole thing was shot without the actors being told, and that includes Chuck Norris.

Sixpack Annie (1975) - Routine Southern sex com with Stubby Kaye, one of the few people to do both British and American  sex comedies of this era.

Black Gestapo (1975) - Nasty, unlikeable blaxploitation item.

Killers on Wheels (1976) - Hong Kong Psychomania without the Zombies, but with knockoff Rubettes on the radio.

Blue Jeans and Dynamite (1976) - Dopey, slightly more serious Hill and Spencer-type action with Chris Mitchum,Claudine Auger and Aldo Sambrell.

Trackdown (1976) - Bleak modern-day Searchers with Jim Mitchum, Erik Estrada, Anne Archer, Cathy Lee Crosby and a theme by Kenny Rogers, that predates Paul Schrader's Hardcore.

Death Promise (1977) - Low-budget, energetic but threadbare urban martial arts actioner.

Hitch-Hike to Hell (1977) - Tawdry, nasty Boxoffice International pic from the Berwicks, with the domestic life of a black detective shoehorned in.

Double Nickels (1977) - Typical low-rent car-chase thrills.
See also the sleazier Joyride to Nowhere (1977).

Cherry Hill High (1977) - Bizarre Cannon sex comedy, for some reason post-synced, despite being American. Features CB truckers, sub-Emanuelle arty erotica, shark diving, bikers, aliens (a Metalunan from This Island Earth, by the looks), ghosts, and then at the end it turns into an erotic version of the Lost Islands, with the girls crewing a ship. A Discovery. I expected something like Cheerleaders' Beach Party  (1977), but that's not what I got.

Speedtrap (1977) - Shoddy car chase film with Tyne Daly, Joe Don Baker, Robert Loggia, Timothy Carey and a visible boom mic.

Exorcist III (1977) - Unofficial erotic sequel with Richard Conte as a priest fighting a demonic twink.

Abar The First Black Superman (1977) - Utterly nondescript alleged parody, but actually serious.

Blood Stalkers (1978) - Horrific regional yokel terror cheapie.  The gospel padding reminded me of Maxine Barrie in the Fiend.

Blue Collar (1978) - Schrader gives me a headache.

I Miss You Hugs and Kisses (1978) - Canadian TV-themed erotic thriller with Elke Sommer, Cec Linder and George Chuvalo. Inexplicably a video nasty.

Blood and Guts (1978) - Dreary Canadian wrestling picture with William Smith, and characters taking influence from Marvel Tarzan comics. Features regional Canadian country radio stations.

Terror on Tour (1980)- Dreary, dank, badly-photographed slasher, the ostensible gimmick about a glam rock band called the Clowns is merely padding.

Ups and Downs (1981) - This Canadian teen sex comedy feels heavily indebted to Gregory's Girl. It's like a Bill Forsyth fanfilm. Amiable, shot at a real boarding school, with the staff as themselves. Leslie Hope, of 24 fame is one of the girls.

The Head Hunter (1983) - Routine Chow Yun Fat actioner set amongst ATV Hong Kong (formerly the HK arm of Associated Rediffusion).

Lovelines (1984) - Forgettable musical teen comedy with a bunch of ageing yoots.

Devil Story (1985) - Ropey French horror with a cavalcade of monsters in a gallic Florida.

The Night Stalker (1986) - Ropey Charles Napier serial killer thriller.

Highlander (1986) - I grow to like it more and more. Even though it never quite gels.

Lethal Pursuit (1988) - A 70s regional exploitation ovie made 15 years late, with "teenage" "punks".

Voodoo Dawn (1991) - Tony Todd runs a voodoo plantation.

The Bone Yard (1991) - Zombie Phyllis Diller attacks.

The Pelican Brief (1993) - There are pelicans.

Fear (1946 - b/w)/The Pretender (1947 - b/w) - Routine poverty row prestige.

Beat Girl (1960) - Grimy yet supposedly glam British rock movie with Gillian Hills, Adam Faith, David Farrar and Christopher Lee grateful not to be in a horror.

Bikini Beach (1964) - God I can't stand the beach party movies. Like tits and arse for Disney kids.Despite Keenan  Wynn and a gorilla. The musical setpieces always feel padding to an already boring teen saga.However, I can see the charm when you have Little Stevie Wonder before the voice broke and Karloff together, almost in the same scene.
See also the car racing variant Fireball 500 (1966).

The Glory Stompers (1968) - Routine AIP biker film.
See also Chrome and Hot Leather (1970), though it adds Marvin Gaye and Green Berets.
Also Fanfare's Rebel Rousers (1967), which blends into one, with the Glory Stompers.
However, the cheaper, less expertly produced likes of William Grefe's The Wild Rebels (1966), The Tormentors (1971) and K. Gordon Murray's Savages from Hell (1968) and Angels from Hell (1968), The Hellcats (1968) and The Sidehackers (1969), Run Angel Run (1969), Hell's Angels '69 (1969) are just plain terrible.

Murder a  la Mod (1968) - DePalma was always this voyeuristic, huh.

The Tough and the Mighty (1969) - Sardininan melodrama from DeLaurentiis, with Terence Hill in his serious phase.

Miss Leslie's Dolls (1973) - Bizarre exploitation film which got its biggest release in Britain, thanks to Poverty Row leftovers Grand National. About a transvestite possessed by a woman desperate to get a new body. Utterly indescribable.

A Name for Evil (1973) - Ropey TVM-ish Canadian-ish horror with Robert Culp and Samantha Eggar in a huanted house.

Paperback Hero (1973)/The Hard Part Begins (1973) - Canadian attempts at countryploitation.

Girls for Rent (1974) - Another Al Adamson movie, the same old desert runaround but with Georgina Spelvin.

Hot Summer in Barefoot County (1974) - Generic moonshining tosh.

Mama's Dirty Girls (1974) - Subpar sleaze - Gloria Grahame does Bloody Mama business.

Truck Stop Women (1974) - Mark L. Lester at least makes this rural sexploiter look like a real film. Photoplay alert.

Thunder County (1974) - Mickey Rooney and a rather quality villain in Ted Cassidy enliven this sub-Cell Block H women in prison movie, which literally features death by piranha and a helicopter gunship at the end.

Gina (1975) - Better-made-than-you'd-expect for a Montreal crime cheapie, but it's by Denys Arcand the bloke behind Jesus of Montreal and the Barbarian Invasions, so not your usual exploitation hack.

Tommy (1975) - Possibly Ken Russell's best, if only for Oliver Reed as Ted Bovis. It's so gorgeously shot, though. Of course, Uncle Ernie drinks Newcastle Brown. It uses TV too in  a really weird way, seguing into ads for beans and characters watching the telly and cuts to horse racing.

The Pom Pom Girls (1976) - One of the better cheerleader movies. A true time capsule.

Nashville Girl (1976) - An underage country singer (played by nearly-30 Monica Gayle) gets raped, goes to Nashvile, gets raped, and then breaks free. Tonally all over the place. Is it a light comedy, a coming-of-age drama or a dirty expose on paedophilia in country music...

Deadly Harvest (1977) - Canadian apocalyptica with Kim Cattrall and Clint Walker surviving the drear.

Stand Up, Virgin Soldiers (1977) - Starring Robin Askwith, Nigel Davenport, George Layton, John LeMesurier, Robin Nedwell, Edward Woodward, with guest stars Irene Handl and Lynda Bellingham plus a browned up Miriam Margolyes and Pamela Stephenson. An expensive-looking but kind of forgettable sequel. Warren Mitchell does an Indian accent as a Welsh character.

Aliens from Spaceship Earth (1977) - Ludicrous documentary hosted by Donovan.

A Hero Ain't Nothin But A Sandwich  (1978) - A well-made Afterschool Special.

The Tattoo Connection (1978) - Forgettable Jim Kelly vehicle, marketed as Black Belt Jones II. Heavy with Hong Kong TV news bulletins.

The Bloodstained Shadow (1978) - Routine giallo.

Lady Iron Monkey (1979) - A Cockney dwarf harrasses an ape-girl in this Lo Lieh kung fu-er.

Pinball Summer (1980) - Canadian kids pretend to be Californian, play pinball, have it on and watch Krakatoa - East of Java.
The Edmonton-based Powder heads (1980) on the other hand is firmly Canadian.With the air of an SCTV sketch without the jokes, and Catherine Mary Stewart instead of O'Hara.

Defiance (1980) - Sleazy vigilante movie, but John Flynn brings class, and Danny Aiello and Art Carney add class. Who knew there was such a thing as Carnation Ice Cream? Poor Theresa Saldanha, who herself became the victim of similar violence shortly afterward, though lived to tell the tale in her own TV movie biopic.

Ruckus (1981) - Dirk Benedict does Rambo before First Blood, via Walking Tall in this Willie Nelson-soundtracked southern fried vengeance movie while Richard Farnsworth and Ben Johnson fumes, and Linda Blair looks doe-eyed. Feels kind of outdated for 1981. Serviceable. Never have I seen so much Royal Crown cola.

Eyes of a Stranger (1981) - Sleazy, miserable slasher with "dumb" Jennifer Jason Leigh.

Running on Empty (1982) - Routine Aussie car-chaser with the seemingly ubiquitous Max Cullen (also in Midnite Spares).

Starstruck (1982) - Pugwall-ish  feelgood Aussie teen musical, featuring Lucky "Bluey" Grills and a pre-Neighbours Mark Little.

OC and Stiggs (1983/1987) - WTF? Robert Altman makes a teen sex comedy, and then rips the piss out of teen sex comedies.

Killing Cars (1986) - Rubbishy B-thriller about killer automobiles with Senta Berger and Jurgen Prochnow.

Frenchman's Farm (1987) -Forgettable, unwatchably-lit time-travel horror with Ray Barrett.

Ultra Warrior (1990) - Ludicrous Peruvian Corman sword and planet post-apocalyptic schlock with a villain dressed like Mandrake the Magician.

A Nymphoid Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell (1991) - Typical Brett Piper production - ace animation, boring live action stuff.