Friday 18 October 2019


The 49th Parallel (1941 - b/w) - Michael Powell's the Beachcombers Went Day The Well?

Give Us This Day (1950) - Edward Dmytryk noirish drama about Italian-Americans. Except it was made in the UK, hence Sam Wanamaker as the lead, but it looks convincing. It looks almost indistuinguishable from a kind of Hollywood New York milieu. However, Sid James appears. Imagine if Sid was in Mean Streets. It's that odd. It has a great quicksand death. Also featuring Bonar Colleano, George Pastell, Rosalie Crutchley, and young Robert Rietty.

Chinatown At Midnight (1949-  b/w) - Dull Sam Katzman crime procedural with Hurd Hatfield.

Experiment Alcatraz (1950 - b/w) - Dull Prison film.

The Killer that Stalked New York (1950 - b/w) - Atmsopheric but confusing little noir.

Johnny One Eye (1950 - b/w) - Somewhat schmaltzy Runyon noir with Pat O'Brien.

Double Deal (1950 - b/w) - b-melodrama which ends with Maura Windsor laughing as oil rains on her.

The Capture (1950) - A rare singing cowboy film done seriously, with Lew Ayres and Teresa Wright. Directed by John Sturges. Does a Shyamalan-type twist fifteen minutes in, as we realise this is also a noir set in the present./

Mary Ryan, Detective (1950 - b/w) - Boilerplate light mystery with Marsha Hunt.

When Willie Comes Marching Home (1950 - b/w) - Forgotten, and even for the time dated WW2 morale booster with Dan Dailey being goofy in the war. Directed by John Ford.

Are We Men or Corporals (1955) - Baffling, Wisdomesque comedy starring Toto.

Dublin Nightmare (1958 - b/w) - William Sylvester is the inevitable transatlantic lead in  this partly Irish shot suspenser which is basically like every other B-film, but David Kelly is in it in his twenties, still looking like David Kelly.

Romulus and the Sabines (1961) - A typical Italian peplum, but with  adecent cast. Has Two Saints in Jean Marais and yes, Roger Moore, who basically is just Roger Moore. And yes, thankfully, he dubs himself as Romulus.

Borman (1966) - Aka NaziSS. Obscure techno-Nazism that is actually a very boring bit of Eurospy.

Any Gun Can Play (1967) - Never noticed the resemblance before between Gilbert Roland and Richard Johnson. There are some nice Bava-esque tableaux from Enzo G. Castellari, who manages to make it decent enough though a shaggy production, despite Edd "Kookie" Byrnes' US-pleasing participation.

Today We Kill, Tomorrow We Die (1968) - Written by Dario Argento, allegedly starring Troy McClure if you believe the Simpsons, and starring Bud Spencer and Kurosawa favourite Tatsuya Nakadai. But this isn't one of those Red Sun-type East meets West affairs. Nakadai plays a Mexican, quite convincingly. Yes, he wields a sword, but that's just because he was excellent at swordplay.

Johnny Hamlet (1968) - Another Castellari western. A spooky, horror-tinged take on Hamlet. Wonderfully photographed, but doesn't go far enough into the horror.

A Minute To Pray A Second To Die (1968) - Robert Ryan, Alex Cord and Arthur Kennedy in a rote spaghetti western.

The First Time (1969) - The first modern teen sex comedy. But it is basically a goofy Disney-ish thing with an added brothel and Jacqueline Bisset.
Secrets (1971) - A pervy, arty, nothingy London-set sexy drama with Bisset and Robert Powell.

They Paid with Bullets (1969?) - Terrible gangster schlock with Peter Lee Lawrence, basically a spaghetti western with 30s cars and pinstripe suits and fedoras, to simulate Chicago.
Long Arm of the Godfather (1972) - Another Lee Lawrence gangster blandarama, though some nice Arab foot-chase scenes and Adolfo Celi try to make it something.

Borsalino (1970) - period gangster shenanigans with Delon and Belmondo.
The sequel, Borsalino and Co (1974) has Delon trying to make up for the death of his pal, but it's rather uninvolving.

Popsy Pop (1971) - Flimsy Cannon-distributed Italian tropical romantic crime comedy starring Claudia Cardinale, Stanley Baker and Henri Charriere, Papillon himself.

Fortune and Men's Eyes (1971) - Sleazy, cheesy gay prison romper.

Dirtymouth (1971) - Sleazy, tit-heavy softcore that is allegedly a biopic of Lenny Bruce.

The Unholy Four (1971) - Leonard Mann and Woody Strode in an average Italian western that feels like it is from the 50s.

Making It (1971) - Forgettable teen dramedy with Kristoffer "Cluedo" Tabori.

Such Good Friends (1971) - Dreary, pervy romance-comedy with Dyan Cannon.

Crime Boss (1972) - Predictable Eurocrime with Television Savalas.

Redneck (1973) - More Telly Eurocrime. Here, he and Franco Nero kidnap Mark Lester, and it becomes a bit NAMBLA.

I Will Walk Like a Crazy Horse (1973) - Sub-Jodorowsky surrealist mess from Fernando Arrabal.

Cannibal Girls (1973) - Disappointingly tonally all over (maybe the jokes work), and that's a shame because Eugene Levy and Andrea Martin are geniuses. And SCTV is wonderful. This isn't. This needed Count Floyd, rather than Tom Baker-alike Ronald Ulrich. It doesn't feel like a spoof, but a genuine trashy serious horror. 

Shoot it Black, Shoot it Blue (1973) - Dreary agitprop crime drama with Michael Moriarty.

The  Night Porter (1974) - Italian kink-nonsense with a budget. Dirk Bogarde tries to look like he enjoys making out with Charlotte Rampling, but he looks forced, bless him.

La femme aux bottes rouges (1974) - Juan Bunuel artsy-fartsy with Deneuve and Rey.

Oz (1976) - Camp but not very fun Australian musical version of the Wizard of Oz, with Bruce Spence.

The FJ Holden (1977) - Forgettable Aussie teen-sexcom/car chaser with Foster's-drinking teens in flannel shirts and Maggie "The Freak" Kirkpatrick.

Love and the Midnight Auto Supply (1977) - Cut-and-paste hicksploitaton I-suppose-it's-a-comedy with Michael Parks in a hat bigger than his head and Linda Cristal and various ex-B cowboys.

My Boys are Good Boys (1977) - Ski-masks and skinheads in this amateurish juvenile crime film (one of the youths is the dead spit of Roland Browning from Grange Hill) with Ida Lupino, Lloyd Nolan and David Doyle as the adult "stars". A bid for cromulence from softcore pornocrats Peter Perry and Bethel Buckalew.

Mirrors (1978) - Dreary, confused, post-Cuckoo's Nest thriler with Kitty Winn.

Fast Charlie - the Moonbeam Rider (1979) - Confused, tedious, TV-movie like post-western with David Carradine. Rather anachronistic hicksploitation feel, considering it is set in WW1.

California Dreaming (1979) - AIP try to do a Beach Party film for the post-American Graffiti/Big Wednesday generation. So, it's serious, but it feels like an afterschool special. 

Manaos (1979) - Ridiculous Italian-Mexican Amazon plantation drama that ends with Fabio Testi and some interchangeable Mexican hunk fighting in a garden shed that's going over a waterfall.

Prom Night (1980) - It's actually a weak, undistinguished, bland little slasher. No excitement. The dance scenes are padding. 
Prom Night II - Hello, Mary Lou (1987) - Almost a horror version of 3 O'Clock High. 
Prom Night  III - The Last Kiss (1990) - Kind of fun and demented in a 90s kids show way.

Chanel Solitaire (1981) - Turgid Europudding biopic with Marie France Pisier, plus Timothy Dalton, Rutger Hauer and Karen Black.

Kiss Daddy Goodbye (1981) - Forgettable killer-twin horror with Fabian. Like an amateur fan-film of the Witch Mountain films gone wrong.

Silence of the North (1981) - Another turn-of-the-century Canadian melodrama in the North, freezes you while watching it.

Love and Money (1982) - Pervy Central American melodrama - directed by sleazy gobshite James Toback and starring sleazy gobshites Ray Sharkey and Klaus Kinski. A sleazy gobshite's Winter Kills.
Toback's Exposed (1983)  is almost a twin. It's a blandly glossy international melodrama-thriller where even good actors barely register on screen, because he's pawing his dirty camera-fists on Nastassja Kinski.

A Time to Die (1982) - Dreary Mafia-infused Nazi story made in the Netherlands by Matt Cimber. Rex Harrison luckily suffers in this cheap exploiter, also with Raf Vallone, Edward Albert and Rod Taylor. Albert is chased by an assassin, while laughing. Freeze frame. End credits.

Partners (1982) - Horrible comedy version of Cruising. John Hurt is the queer who has to die at the end. Ryan O'Neal his straight partner. Except I think I misremembered the end as being opposite.

The Verdict (1982) - Not my thing, but it is undoubtedly a great film of its type. It feels very Canadian, being shot in Toronto, and Milo O'Shea actually rocks his terrible Joe Dolan-esque haircut.

Lies (1983) - Ann "Miss Amity" Dusenberry stars in a sub-DePalma though relatively stylish erotic thriller about a B-movie actress by the Wheat boys who wrote Pitch Black and directed one of the Ewok films.

Antarctica (1983) - Basically a  documentary travelogue with added Ken Takarura  and Tripitaka.

The Devil's Gift (1983) - Amateurish unofficial adaptation of a Stephen King story. 

Flashpoint (1984) - Another southern-fried film with another member of the cast of the High Chapparal. Here, it's Mark Slade, but Kris Kristofferson's the star. Lots of bare-chested shots of Big Kris here, that would probably make even my LGBT-allergic dad go stiff, plus lots of character actors - Rip Torn,Kevin Conway, Kurtwood Smith as a corporate asshole... But it's nothing I haven't seen before. And plus they don't even have Kris singing the theme song. Made by HBO. So the HBO ident pops up, which sadly never happened with any of the films made by Yorkshire or Granada (ITC is a different matter, as the ITC ident(s) was different to ATV, and did appear).

Bad Manners (1984) - A Disney film that Disney got cold feet so they sold it to Corman. It's basically the Warriors meets the Red Hand Gang. 

Heart of the Stag (1984) - tonally confused, sweetly-soundtracked NZ drama with the inevitable Bruno Lawrence.

Finders Keepers (1984) - Unfunny sub-Mad Mad Madness directed by Richard Lester on the same locations as Superman III, but without any British character talent.

Beyond Reason (1985) - More Telly Savalas, this time a tiresome mental health-themed vanity project made in 1977.

Pizza Connection (1985) - Basically a spinoff from RAI-TV's the Octopus, this smeary NTSC-glazed Eurocrime nasty feels like a TV show. By Damiano Damiani - for Cannon.

Latino (1985) - The lost Lucasfilm. Robert Beltran plays a Vietnam War vet named Eddie Guerrero (not the wrestler) who is sent to Nicaragua  to help train Contras fight the Sandinistas. Not my thing, but somewhat powerful. It packs a punch.

Static (1985) - Bland, arty religious-infused art-nonsense.

Down by Law (1986 - B/W) - I don't get Jarmusch.

Native Son (1986) - Decent enough American Playhouse, but casting Oprah as the mother of someone her age confuses.

Pirates (1986) - Polanski does Tai-Pan with jokes. Weird to see Damien Thomas, Richard Pearson and Tomorrow People baddie-turned-Nollywood legend Olu Jacobs getting starring billing, while Roy Kinnear, David Kelly, Bill Fraser and Ferdy Mayne (who has a large role) are "and", and Michael Elphick, Anthony Dawson, Daniel Emilfork, Cardew the Cad and Ian Dury (at the time probably the second most famous person in the film next to Walter Matthau and maybe Kinnear) only get end credits. It doesn't work. It feels too expensive to work. Polanski is trying to be Terry Gilliam, down to a cast of British character stalwarts. It is very clearly made by the same man who made the Fearless Vampire Killers. In fact, I'm surprised it was not called the Fearless Sea Scourges or something. It has the same character dynamics and all. And poor Charlotte Lewis. It feels very sleazy when she pops up.

Django Strikes Again (1987) - Interestingly assembled steampunk Rambo-alike with Franco Nero in his old role, now known as Ignatius (Ignatius!),  going up the Amazon. Bizarrely made by Berlusconi and Reteitalia to rival Rai's similarly genre-muddled Tex and the Lord of the Deep (1985 - which has Giuliano Gemma, a Sallah-ish fezzed bloke and lots of grey desert). God bless Italian TV.

Playing Away (1987) - Film4 directed by Horace Ové, as the likes of Norman Beaton, Ramjohn Holder, Gary Beadle, Stefan Kalipha and Joseph Marcell play an all-black Brixton cricket team who find themselves playing in a lilywhite veddy English village.

Funland (1987) - Basically about a Ronald McDonald type restaging the film Rollercoaster at William Windom's amusement park played by Six Flags. A jokey but uncinematically-shot and characterless thing.

Chameleon Street (1989) - Agitprop political arthouse-satire about race. 

The Indian Runner (1990) - Dreary Springsteen translated to film. And it has Bronson in it. 

Tatie Danielle (1990) - Annoyingly quirky French comdram. 

Bugsy (1991) - Why did I even watch this sleazy Warren Beatty vanity crime-biopic?

29th Street (1991) - Anthony Lapaglia plays Frank Pesce, the bloke who won the lotto and starred in Killer Fish. Very TVM.

The Pope Must Die (1991) - A character is called Joe Don Dante. paul Bartel appears. Silly, nonsensical, but it is from the Comic Strip.

Poison (1991) - Insufferable though somewhat nicely visual queer magic realism anthology that is a random shuffle of three stories, by Todd Haynes. 

A Midnight Clear (1992) - Gary Sinise an a bunch of soldiers freeze in fake-France.

Poor White Trash (1957 - b/w) - Peter Graves in another forgettable routine Southern fried potboiler melodrama.

Funny Things Happen Down Under (1965) - CFF-ish featurette from Roger Mirams, spun off from TV series the Adventures of the Terrible Ten, featuring a young Olivia Newton-John when she actually was a teenager.

Island of Crime (1968) - Rotten Charlotte Rampling Euro-suspenser.

Assignment Skybolt (1968) - Greek Eurospy awfulness by poverty row vet Gregg Tallas.

The 5th Day of Peace (1970) - The likes of Richard Johnson, Franco Nero, Bud Spencer and T.P. McKenna prop up another Eastern Bloc-Western coproduced war movie that lasts two hours and never registers.

Heavy Traffic (1973) - Horrible, pervy, artsy live-action/animation nonsense, art-porn cartooniness from Bakshi.

Where the Red Fern Grows (1974) - Waltonesque rural Americana with Osmonds/Andy Williams soundtrack. Basically cinematic Branson, Missouri.

It Seemed Like A Good Idea at the Time (1975) - Godawful Canadian comedy. I did not realise that Find the Lady was a sequel to this. That had Dick Emery, this has Anthony Newley. John Candy and Lawrence Dane appear as their detective characters. And John Candy doesn't register in this. This is just before Second City TV, and it's also where you see this thing that angers me. John Candy was misued in cinema. SCTV portrays that he was a versatile, funny-boned character actor, and people didn't cop onto this until it was too late.

Gemini Affair (1975) - Shoddy Matt Cimber-directed lesbian melodrama with Marta "Judy from Lost in Space" Kristen.

The Con Artists (1976) - Sergio Corbucci manages to make this substandard Italian The Sting imitation with Anthony Quinn, Capucine, Adriano Celentano and Corinne Clery actually look quite expensive.

Chatterbox (1977) - Silly,  idiotic AIP musical about Candice Rialson's talking vagina.

Tanya's Island (1980) - Vanity in arty, sophisticated drama about bestiality on a desert island, with a ridiculous-looking baboon thing.

The Little Dragons (1980)  - Curtis Hansen-directed kung fu exploitation, roughly done - for kids. Odd to see Charles Lane being top-billed.

Charley Bravo (1980) - Silly French Nam movie.

The Greenstone (1980) - Strange though unique 38-minute featurette narrated by Orson Welles where a kid encounters all kinds of fantasy imagery. Well-done. Was this a demo for a feature?

Firebird 2015 AD (1981) - Doug McClure and Darren McGavin in a cold though pacey Canadian B-movie racing film.

Reborn (1981) - Forgettable religious nonsense from Spain with Dennis Hopper.

Signe Furax (1981) - Baffling, weird Fantomas/Pink Panther knockoff with Coluche, Mylene Demongeot and Daniel Gelin, a brass laser-chicken and a Teletext Martian.

The Plains of Heaven (1982) - Experimental drama from Australia where the dad from Round the Twist and Australian Mr. Mash from Are You Being Served? Down Under watch Welsh news bulletins in a satellite station.

Tuxedo Warrior (1982) - Biopic of Cliff Twemlow, with Blake's 7 guest stars John Wyman and Carol Royle the leads. However, Big Cliff wasn't happy. No longer about a bouncer/Granada extra/stock music composer in Manchester, it's played as a would-be epic, and the location moved to Zimbabwe. It's rubbish.

Midnite Spares (1983) - Subpar Aussie racing film with once-ubiquitous Anglo-Australian DJ Jono Coleman.

Bullamakanka (1983) - Aussie cross between the Boys in Blue and the Cars that Ate Paris, featuring Angry Anderson and Rose Tattoo, Australian Savile-alike Molly Meldrum, John Farnham, and Frank Thring.

Abwarts (1984) - Derrick-like German thriller in a lift.

Treasure - In Search of the Golden Horse (1984) - Kit Williams-influenced experimental interactive movie with an old-looking little girl that nonetheless is actually kind of visually beautiful, almost a proto-Myst.

Heaven Help Us (1985) - Cheesy, bland, almost Canadian story about Catholic schoolboys. Donald Sutherland is very Tom Baker.

Death in the Shadows (1985) - Continental Video-released dreary Dutch teen-thriller.

Istanbul (1985) - Dreary Dutch thriller with Brad Dourif that meanders into another plot.

The Climb (1986) - Uninvolving Canadian Himalayan mountaineering saga, apparently a BBC coproduction.

Man on Fire (1986) - Yes, this was remade. This has Scott Glenn minding the girl. Jonathan Pryce and Brooke Adams pop up. It's a typical 80s glossy but not-exciting Eurocrime. Somehow, our Scott can imitate his ward's voice.

The Rosary Murders (1987) - Cold, unfeeling, though watchable enough Donald Sutherland mystery. It feels Canadian, but it is shot and set  in Detroit.

Apprentice to Murder (1988) - PBS-like, lush but empty true crime drama set in the US, shot in Scandinavia, with Donald Sutherland again.

A Night At The Magic Castle (1988) - Empty Arte Johnson-starring kidvid/magic show/fantasy.

Mr. North (1988) - Danny Huston-directed, sweetly bland period fantasy-comedy.

Incident at Raven's Gate (1988) - Stylish but uninvolving Australian alien-invasion movie.

Fast Food (1989) - Jim Varney plays a cowboy-hatted fast food magnate in this nothingy sex-lite comedy.

Quicker than the Eyes (1989) -  Garish but unadventurous magician-espionage saga with Ben Gazzara and Christoph Waltz.

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