Friday 15 November 2019


Oliver Twist (1933 - b/w) - Stagey, melodramatic, silent-esque Monogram adap - so cheap London is represented by a photo of a screen-print painting.

In the Wake of the Bounty (1933 - b/w) - Errol Flynn as Fletcher Christian in what is mostly a travelogue of Polynesia with a few stagey bits dramatising the Mutiny on the Bounty.

The Kennel Murder Case (1933 - b/w) - The highlight of this Philo Vance film with William Powell, an otherwise average mystery is a bit where a large dog seemingly rapes the villain.

The Emperor Jones (1933 - b/w) - The portrayal of slaves has dated, and  it does feel a bit "30s jungle programmer", but Paul Robeson's star quality shines.

Crime and Punishment (1935 - b/w) - barely resembling the original novel, just an attempt to make Peter Lorre a leading man.

My Man Godfrey (1936 - b/w) - Not a fan of screwball comedies, I'm afraid. I often feel, "do I get this?".

The Amazing Adventure (1936  - b/w) - Forgettable quickie romcom inexplicably starring Cary Grant.

Curtain Call (1940 - B/W)   - Average wartime stage-comedy with Alan Mowbray.

The Missing Million (1942 - b/w) - Another indistinguishable Edgar Wallace movie. 

Pittsburgh (1942 - b/w) - Weird seeing Randolph Scott billed over John Wayne. And Dietrich above them. And it's not a western. It's just a boardroom drama.
Dakota (1945 - b/w) - Another western land saga. Wayne and Vera  Hruba Ralston. An attempt at A-filmdom from Republic.

Jane Eyre (1943 - b/w) - Lewtonesque take, basically a Mercury Theater Motion Picture.

Salome, Where She Danced (1945) - Slushy western-romance retelling of Middle Eastern stories with Yvonne de Carlo.

The Spider (1945 - b/w) - Dreary Orleans-set Richard Conte vehicle.

The Dark Corner (1946 - b/w) - Another boilerplate Lucille Ball noir.

The Big Lift (1950  -b/w) - An average US war docudrama with Montgomery Clift.

Double Confession (1950 - b/w) - Derek Farr in a quickie that wants to be Brighton Rock, with William Hartnell in carnival backgrounds, and a spastic, drunken Peter Lorre.

Bedtime for Bonzo (1951 - b/w) - Walter Slezak's mad scientist is the best thing of this Disney-ish, silly Ronald Reagan-raises-a-chimp comedy. Bonzo Goes to College (1952 - b/w) instead has Edmund Gwenn and Maureen O'Sullivan, and is even worse.

Little Boy Lost (1953 - b/w) - Sentimental Bing Crosby in Europe slop.

Man in the Dark (1953 - b/w) - Undistinguished rollercoaster noir with Edmond O'Brien - in 3-d.

Dance Hall Racket (1954 - b/w) - From Lenny Bruce and the director of Robot Monster, a silly little action-free, suspense-free cheapie, despite Timothy Farrell.

Highway Dragnet (1954 - b/w) - Corman cheapie in the desert. Undistinguished, unmemorable.

Charade (1954 - b/w) - Sub-Maugham anthology by Roy Kellino, his ex-wife Pamela and her-then husband James Mason.

The Wild Party (1956 - b/w) - Downbeat, half-baked Anthony Quinn noir. Not my thing.

Carousel (1956) - Heaven is a place of plastic Christmas stars on visible strings. The main odd thing though is that Shirley Jones' performance of You'll Never Walk Alone sounds weird. It sounds out of tune, because one is so used to hearing thousands of smashed Scousers singing an out of tune version of the strikingly different, less operatic Gerry and the Pacemakers arrangement that it doesn't sound like the same song.  Also, weird to see Cameron Mitchell in something expensive. Not a fan of musicals, to be honest.

Death in Small Doses (1957 - b/w) - Dozy drugsploiter with Chuck Connors.

Zero Hour (1957 - b/w) - Airplane from the 50s. Weird to see Geoffrey Toone in a US role.

The Wayward Bus (1957 - b/w) - Undistinguished, time-killing Steinbeck adap, an excuse for Joan Collins and Jayne Mansfield.

Battle of the River Plate (1957) - A lot of sameyness being a war movie, but the Hispanic setting livens it up a bit.

The Sad Sack (1957 - b/w) - Silly comic-strip comedy with Jerry Lewis and Peter Lorre as an Arab.

Cry Baby Killer (1958 - b/w) - Jack Nicholson in a tawdry, silly JD murder joint.

Lost, Lonely and Vicious (1958 - b/w) - A dowdy, silly Howco teen movie.

When Hell Broke Loose (1958 - b/w) - second-rate war movie with Charles Bronson in his big break.

Maracaibo (1958) - Another Paramount colour South American tediurama, with Cornel Wilde.

Cavalry Command (1958) - Amateurish color western set in the Philippines with John Agar.

Blind Date (1959 - b/w) - Typical British noir, by Joseph Losey, starring Hardy Kruger as a Dutchman and Stanley Baker.

Cuban Rebel Girls (1959 - b/w) - Cheesecake-heavy indulgence for Errol Flynn.

High School Caesar (1960 - b/w) - Corman-produced overage teen schlock.

David and Goliath (1960) - Italian peplum with Orson Welles and his own voice and his old pal Hilton Edwards, whose name is mangled in Italian faux-English style as "Hilton Hedward", to the extent one might think this doyenne of the Dublin theatre scene was some Italian luvvie.

Pirate of the Black Hawk (1960) - Another basic Italian pirate film, marketed as starring Bardot, not telling the viewer it is not Brigitte but her sister Mijanou.

Stowaway in the Sky (1960) - Effectively a travelogue, but eccentric and lovely from the director of the Red Balloon.

Paradise Alley (1962 - b/w) - Juvenile delinquents and Hugo Haas as himself in this strange, unsuccesful noirish comedy-drama.

Terror of the Blood Hunters (1962 - b/w) - Jerry Warren jungle grot.

A Prize of Arms (1962 - b/w) - Typical British crime movie with Stanley Baker. Downbeat.

Jacktown (1962 - b/w) - Grody, jailbait juvenile delinquency with Patty McCormick.

We Shall Return (1963 - b/w) - Amateurish Cubansploitation with Cesar Romero.

Girl in the Headlines (1963 - b/w) - A typical British B-movie, generic enough, but with a bit more of a budget, with Ian Hendry and Ronald Fraser.

The Greenwich Village Story (1963 - b/w) - semi-documentary variety showcase. A Psychotronic choice. Distributed by Compton.

Sandokan the Great (1963) - Colonialist, racist garbage (is this set in Africa or India?) with a browned-up Steve Reeves.
Also watched Morgan the Pirate (1960), another boilerplate, generic Reeves actioner, just a standard pirater.

Goliath And The Sins Of Babylon (1963) - Another junky historically dubious peplum.

Johnny Cool (1963 - b/w) - Henry Silva leads an incredible cast in a rather strange, unlikeable but interesting faux-Italian gangster film. Like a Eurocrime shot on the lot, like a noir.

My Son the Hero (1963) - Generic Giuliano Gemma peplum known only because the trailer was dubbed in a comedy style by Mel Brooks. Sadly, not the film itself.

Honeymoon of Horror (1964 ) - A sexy movie disguised as a pseudo-Monogram cheapie with a faux-Indian butler. Similar to H.G. Lewis' stuff.

Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald (1964 - B/W) - Lazy, uncinematic, stagey Larry Buchanan counterfactual.

Back Door To Hell (1964 - b/w) - Another ramshackle, nearly-worthless Filipino war movie with young Jack Nicholson.

The Secret Invasion (1964) - Impressively mounted, simultaneously grim and silly WW2 actioner by Roger Corman, Stewart Granger, an incongruous Mickey Rooney (remember he can play anything, Japanese, little girl, Fallout Boy), Raf Vallone, Henry Silva and Edd Byrnes storming Dubrovnik.

The Legend of Blood Mountain (1965) - Amateurish, erotic yet supposedly family-friendly Bigfoot comedy, a vehicle for Atlanta horror host Bestoink Dooley, played by George Ellis, who played Boss Hogg in the original Dukes of Hazzard movie - Moonrunners. Terrible, terrible.

Hallucination Generation (1966)  - Dreadful drugsploitation.

The Fat Spy (1966) - Idiotic Beach Party for the older folks with Phyllis Diller, Jayne Mansfield, Jack E. Leonard and Brian Donlevy.

The Swinger (1966) - Another televisual, unlikeable swinging sex com, starring Ann-Margrock.

The Bang Bang Kid (1967) - Silly spaghetti western/steampunk comedy hybrid with Tom Bosley as a rocketship-flying robot gunslinger in a strange medieval/Wild West hybrid town.

The Jackals (1967) - Peculiar, below-average B-western, shot and set in South Africa, starring Sean Connery-alike Robert Gunnar and featuring a bizarre turn by Vincent Price as an elderly cowboy patriarch.

Devil's Angels (1967) - Another rote biker film, despite John Cassavetes.

Three  in the Attic (1968) - Christopher Jones is pretty but a creep in this annoying countercultural AIP sex comedy semi-musical with Chad and Jeremy.

Lock Up Your Daughters (1969) - Irish-shot Tom Jones-y sex farce. Not funny, but Christopher Plummer does well as a camp fop named Lord Foppington. That's the level of humour. Glynis Johns does a lewder version of Mrs. Banks.

Twinky/Lola (1969) - Squeaky Susan George and miscast Charles Bronson have a romance. Every top-rate British character actor appears. And Jimmy Tarbuck as Norman Vaughan and vice versa.

Laughter in the Dark (1969) - Arty, pervy Nabokovery from Nicol Williamson and Anna Karina. Peter Bowles appears.

Les Cannibales (1970) - Liliana Cavani arthouse. Not my thing, but it has Britt Ekland as the world's sexiest priest, and a nice Morricone score.

Musical Mutiny (1970) - Barry Mahon does Woodstock.

Dr. Frankenstein on Campus (1970) - A rather dreary, amateurish Canadian student film.

Jud (1971) - Forgettable vigilante movie, not by Greydon Clark, but feels like it. John "Bud" Cardos appears.

The Pink Angels (1971) - Astonishing, terrible but shocking transvestite biker film with an incredible ending.

The Alf Garnett Saga (1972) - Despite an all-star cast of cameos, I've never found Alf Garnett  that funny. He always seemed to be a one-joke character. Without a laugh track, it feels very bleak, plus Una Stubbs and Tony Booth have been replaced by Adrienne Posta and Paul Angelis.

The Witches' Mountain (1972) - Idiotic Spanish horror with the inevitable Victor Israel and lots of wandering about a villa with an old gypsy.

Superfly TNT (1973) - Still not on DVD. This is the one in Rome and Senegal, and with the likes of William Berger, it is effectively a Eurocrime. Roscoe Lee Browne is in it too, always a plus, and he is convincing as an African tyrant, which is rare for an American actor (who usually mangle the African accents and sound daft). Directed by Ron O'Neal himself.

Mean Streets (1973) - Not much to say. Scorsese doing what he'd do several times later on, but on a small budget, in a guerilla/exploitation style.

Superchick (1973) - Crown International Pictures (who appear as an airline company) try to combine action with the stewardess genre. What we get is an idiotic comedy with dopey karate and John Carradine.

Some Call It Loving (1973) - A nice opening, as bored with live-in sex toy Carol White, Polanski-ish sex mogul Zalman King buys a sleeping beauty Tisa Farrow from carny Logan Ramsey, and attempts to awaken her. Soon gets weird and pervy with bald nuns, but there is a nice round twist ending.

The Savage is Loose (1974) - George C Scott vanity project about a family on a desert island and the mother and son incest that results. Yeah.

Diagnosis Murder (1975) - Made by HTV, and it shows. Christopher Lee headlines this not-a-horror-actually-a-boring-sub-Clemens-mystery.

The Kingfisher Caper (1975) - Boring Afrikaner diamond smuggling with Hayley Mills and David McCallum.

Cornbread, Earl and Me (1975) - It's basically an After School Special feature-length, with its story of a dead black basketball player, but Laurence Fishburne is unusually good for a child actor. You could tell he'd have a good career.

Crazy Mama (1976) - Amiable enough, with a decent cast. Basically Happy Days with gangster women.

All the President's Men (1976) - I suppose it's well-made, but it's too clinical for my liking.

Journey to the Beyond (1977) - John Carradine-narrated documentary.

Throw Out The Anchor (1977) - Interminable regional family-com with Richard Egan and Dina Merrill.

Leopard in the Snow (1977) - Mills and Boon attempt to start  a film franchise, with Susan Penhaligon travelling through (a Canadian facsimile of) the Lake District and falls in love with Keir Dullea. As much as slush as you expect.

Death Game (1977) - Shot in 1974, this has possibly-teenage lesbian psychos Sondra Locke (playing half her age) and Colleen Camp tormenting a dubbed Seymour Cassel.  Silly in that Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny and Girly way, with a Mockney theme song sung by a bunch of Americans trying to sound like Jack Wild.  Cassel's character is called George Manning, not to be confused with the fat English bloke from Glenroe. Set dressers include Bill Paxton (who was still a struggling semi-actor) and Sissy Spacek (already a name, but helping her husband Jack Fisk).

Outlaw Blues (1978) - Why am I watching this country and western crime movie with Peter Fonda? It was free.

Dark Eyes/Satan's Mistress (1980) - Britt Ekland, Lana Wood and Kabir Bedi and John Carradine star in a shitty consensual version of the Entity.

Health (1980) - Unreleased Altman dreadfulness. Glenda Jackson plays a character who Henry Gibson in drag convinces Carol Burnett is a transwoman by dressing up as another transwoman.

Target... Earth? (1980) - Victor Buono and a talking computer review Earth's history to see if it is worth saving, in a strange UFO documentary/drama hybrid. A discovery.

The Alchemist (1981) - Charles Band attempts to make a period horror, and it's undistinguished, has no period detail and Robert Ginty is out of place.

Student Bodies (1981) - Hard to say. Despite Michael Ritchie, its non-union status makes it feel rather amateur even in comparison to Wacko or Pandemonium.

Memed My Hawk (1984) - A film that once a slight running joke for me and a friend, mainly because of the ridiculous title. It is just as silly as the title.  I imagined it to be a kind of faux-Middle Eastern Kes, basically the Black Stallion Returns but with a hawk. But no, based on a classic Turkish novel, Memed is actually a Robin Hood-type bandit in turn of the century Turkey, played by a tanned Simon Dutton, the forgotten Saint. Peter Ustinov directs, produces, writes, narrates and stars. He doesn't attempt an accent, but then nobody does. Well, I think Eileen Way tries to sound foreign, as the wise old woman. Herbert Lom appears, sounding like himself. T.P. and Siobhan McKenna are unconvincing as Turks. Michael Gough is one of myriad RP-accented luvvies making no attempt to register as foreign, in his case as a carpet tycoon sheik. Dutton fades into the background. It's just an excuse for loads of British and Irish character actors to don brownface, go to Yugoslavia and ham it up. Michael Elphick gets the last shot as a Cockney in a Fez.

Broadway Danny Rose (1984) - I thought I'd enjoy bits, but I guess I don't get Woody. Though Nick Apollo Forte was a find.

Gremloids/Hyperspace (1984) - Earl Owensby's regional Star Wars parody. As slapdash as it sounds. Stars comic Chris Elliott and introduced Lord Buckethead to the world.

Code of Silence (1985) - Despite the likes of Dennis Farina, this is still a rote Chuck Norris vehicle.

Streetwalkin' (1985)- 25-year-old but convincingly teenage-looking Melissa Leo (unrecognisable  as the modern stalwart character actress she is today) helps make this Corman produced New York riposte to the variable teen-vigilante-hooker nonsense of Angel (1984) possibly a better film than the film it is imitating. Though Angel was helped by the likes of Dick Shawn and Rory Calhoun as LA eccentrics.

Ratboy (1986) - The film that killed Sondra Locke's career, produced by Clint and Malpaso. Whose idea was it to make a film about a vermin-child played by a middle-aged woman (Sharon Baird)? It's like making the Adventures of mutant Jimmy Krankie.

Dark Tower (1987) - Michael Moriarty, Jenny Agutter, Carol Lynley, Theodore Bikel, Kevin McCarthy fight an evil Spanish tower block, in Freddie Francis-helmed Spanish sludge.

Killing American Style (1991) - Oh God, a rape-revenge story with a bloke who looks like one of Boyzone on the Late Late, and a random Jim Brown. Dreadful.

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