Friday 10 August 2018

More European stuff - 31

Les 1001 Nuits (1990) - De Broca-directed Arabian nights tosh, meta-framing work involves television, a pre-Darling Buds Catherine Zeta Jones (when she was still Welsh) as Sheherazade, Vittorio Gassman as "Sindbad". Forgettable.

A Maldição do Marialva (1991) - Forgettable, foggy RAI-TVE medieval quackery.

Un piede in paradiso (1991) - Bud Spencer, French star, Thierry Lhermitte, Ian Bannen as Lucifer and Sean Arnold off Grange Hill/Bergerac in Italian Bedazzled-type fare. Assistant directed by Victor "man with bottle" Tourjansky. Produced by Berlusconi. Doesn't do anything. Just sits there.

Jackpot (1992) - Italy's answer  to Mike Reid, Adriano Celentano and a slumming Christopher Lee in futuristic comedy. Features a Martin Prince-type super-genius kid at an altar. Lee is the butler. It's not great - basically a cash-in on the multimedia boom.

Window to Paris (1993) - Sony Classics' Franco-Russian tale of a Russian who finds a literal window to Paris. Charming but plotless. Insubstantial.

Taxandria (1994) - Awful Gilliamesque German-Belgian semi-animation with Armin Mueller-Stahl and Andrew Sachs (yes - remember that Manuel is from Berlin).  Dead Ernest  (l982) likely to better. Star Elliott Spiers died before production.

Volere volare (1991) - Maurizio Nichetti slowly turns into a cartoon, i.e. the film is almost over. From New Line and Tartan.

De Zeemeeerman (1996) Dutch comedy coufunded with TROS TV. Maritime nonsense. Couldn't understand it. Turns out the lead can't get girls cos he  smells of fish. One of the worst Dutch films ever, apparently. I can see why.

Le Leopard (1984) - Claude Brassuer and Marius Weyers in aimless French spy-in-the-desert nonsense.

Nestor Burma, detective de choc (1982) - Baffling, Michel Serrault in a clown nose and Jane Birkin as a punk.

Banzai (1983) - Though very attractively shot in deserts and in Asia and the US, this vehicle for Coluche, another mononamed rotund oddball is little different from the typical Bud Spencer vehicle doesn't quite translate. It feels very reminiscent of Revenge of the Pink Panther and Live And Let Die (in the scenes of a white man in a nice suit walking through filthy NYC streets in an otherwise black community). The ending is astonishing though - a slapstick but convincing model shot of a commercial airliner crashing into an aircraft carrier while attempting a landing.

L'Africain (1983) - Philippe Noiret and Catherine Deneuve in a take on the African Queen that is wonderfully photographed - capturing the dense foliage and humid nature of Africa. It is rather too leisurely for its own good.

Summertime Killer (1972) - Karl Malden, Chris Mitchum, Olivia Hussey, Raf Vallone, Claudine Auger and Gerard Barray in a  Spanish actioner that begins with a soppy theme accompanying slow-motion dog and motorbike racing with Chris. Interesting that Malden is both dubbed in Spanish by someone, in unsubtitled scenes, while dubbing himself in English elsewhere. There's some interesting motorcycle stuff, but rather too much mooning over Olivia Hussey.  Lots of zoom shots per this sort of junk.

L'Invite Surprise (1989) - Featuring French comedy regular/thief in European Vacation, Victor Lanoux - it has  a great opening - a Christmassy shiny floor light ent spectacular is being televised live, and an assassin waits in the back and shoots a game show contestant - a black man. But it just doesn't live up to that. It's a rather light comedy that doesn't work.

The Crazy Charlots (1979)- Monkees-esque unfunniness from Les Charlots, stars of Bons Basiers du Hong Kong.

Les Longs Manteaux (1986) - From TF1 and UGC, nice footage of Peru but it is a slog.

Tendre Poulet (1978) - Thriller with Philippe Noiret that forgets it is a thriller, and becomes a dull romcom.

Teheran 43 (1981) - Told non-linear, this Mosfilm coproduction with the West featuring Alain Delon and Curt Jurgens feels like a Soviet Heaven's Gate. Almost 3 hours long, never quite holds, even though it looks great. The scenes in London look especially spectacular.

Uranium Conspiracy (1978) - Early Golan-Globus Arab relations thriller. Utterly forgettable. Threadbare travelogue features a bad restaging of the Amsterdam canal boat chase from Puppet On A Chain, and a depressing ending. Love interest Janet Agren dies early on, but hero Fabio Testi doesn't know until the very end.

Sgt. Klems (1971) - Expensive looking but incompetent action film with a slumming Peter Strauss.

Le Mans, Scorciatola per L'Inferno (1970) - Lang Jeffries and Edwige Fenech in a ripoff of the equally tedious McQueen film. Though the racing scenes have energy.

Sfida sul Fondo (1976)- Frederick Stafford in basically the Spy with the Cold Nose, but serious. Has an Alsatian as the lead. A timewaster. Clearly inspired by the success of White Fang movies in Europe at the time.

Sette Assassine dalle Labbra di Velluto (1969) - Rene Cardona Jnr. pic. Another tired rehash of Thunderball.

Sette ore di violenza per una soluzione imprevista (1973) - It is shoddily made, so nowhere near good enough to be a discovery, but an oddity. An Italian kung fu movie with George Hilton, or at least it is supposed to be. Mostly done at a dock.

Blood and Bullets (1976) - With a theme that tries to be Shaft, by notorious hack Alfonso Brescia and starring George Eastman, with barely any Jack Palance, godawful crime shite.

Italian Graffiti (1973) - This shouldn't be as interesting a film as it is. A 30s Chicago-set crime comedy with Ornella Muti and some bloke calling himself Alf Thunder that resembles an adult Bugsy Malone, it seems to be an average entry in the annals of sub-Spencer/Hill comedy. In many ways, it is. But look closer. Though set in Chicago, the exteriors were mainly filmed in Dublin. One time Fair City and Strumpet City actor Brendan Cauldwell has an uncredited but meaty role. But it isn't a good film.

Le Complot (1973) - Crime film with Jean Rochefort and Raymond Pellegrin, mostly forgettable bar an insane full-body burn.

 Kottan - Den tuchtigen gehort die Welt (1981) - Alias the Uppercrust, an Austrian TV spinoff with Nigel Davenport, Frank Gorshin and Broderick Crawford. Goes from sex comedy to crime thriller. Feels like an episode of Derrick.

The Last Escape (1972) - Martin Jarvis and John Collin stop opposite Stuart Whitman in dreadful stock footage-laden WW2 twaddle.

ORAPRONOBIS (1989) - Cannon-coproduced Filipino-French drama directed against the wishes of Cory Aquino, by Lino Brocka. Rather flat, and devoid of energy, like a TV movie.

Manila in the Claws of Light (1975)  - Not European, but by Brocka, but a better film. A bit rough, but it captures life in 1970s Manila perfectly.  Not my kind of thing, but the use of energetic quick-cut flashbacks is memorable.

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