Sunday 19 July 2020


Passport to Pimlico (1948) - I keep forgetting that this has Charters and Caldicott in it. See also Crook's Tour (1949 - b/w).

You're Only Young Once (1937) - I don't get the Andy Hardy franchise.

Eight O'Clock Walk (1954) - Routine Richard Attenborough vehicle, the sort of mystery where Maurice Denham of the Yard turns up.

Blue Murder at St. Trinian's (1957)/The Pure Hell of St. Trinian's (1960) - These are all the same film. Flash Harry, girls, ministry members. The Great St. Trinian's Train Robbery (1966) adds Frankie Howerd, hypnotic TV signals, a Biggs-chasing plot with Stratford Johns, and an ill-fated stab at currency with a long-haired Jeremy Clyde.
The Wildcats of St. Trinian's (1981) is terrible. The only original cast member is Thorley Walters, now playing Culpepper-Brown, rather than his assistant, as Eric Barker had his stroke. It's even worse than Carry On Emmannuelle. It's a probable model for Carry On Banging. Instead of Sir Norbert Smith, we have Michael Hordern. Joe Melia is rotten and empty as Flash Harry. Not very flash either. What on earth is Sheila Hancock doing as the supposed lead headmistress? Alex Kingston and reality TV staple Lisa Vanderpump are students, headed by 24-year-old Veronica Quilligan. There's Spider-Man and Wonder Woman cutouts. Julia McKenzie, Rodney Bewes and Maureen Lipman are the other star names. It's like a cross between a Children's Film Foundation short and the non-sexy bits of some sub-Confessions allegedly erotic lark.

Ben Hur (1959) - It's what it is. Christian propaganda on a glorious scale. Nice to see the Welsh represented.

Kings of the Sun (1963) - Ropey faux-native Americana.

Repulsion (1965) - Feck off, Roman.

Pippi Longstocking (1969) - The Swedish answer to the Children's Film Foundation, but more ragged. Watching this original TV/theatrically-released-in-the US adaptation, the Pepi Longsocks sketch from SCTV seems even funnier. The music's even almost identical. The 1988 film I saw as a kid. I was desperate to see it, and when I did, I was disappointed.

Chinese Boxer (1970)/Return of the Chinese Boxer (1970) - Standard period martial arts with Jimmy Wang Yu. The latter has Chinese actors as Japanese samurai who say "Chi-ner". Some have RP English accents.

Lust for a Vampire (1971)/Twins of Evil (1971) - This lesbian end of Hammer just feels tired, and trying to catch up with Europe. But they still manage to conjure up atmosphere in scenes.

The Rowdyman (1972) - Watching this and kept forgetting it was set in Newfoundland. Parts of it even look like Cork. One of the great Canadian films.Gordon Pinsent really sells it, so it's weird when someone so American like Will Geer pops up.

Seven Bloodstained Orchids (1972) - Routine giallo/krimi, with a cameo for German mad and a theme sung by the bloke behind Star Turn on 45 pints.

Knight Errant (1973) - Routine but enjoyable modern-set Jimmy Wang Yu actioner.

Chinese Hercules (1974) - Rough but entertaining, I suppose Hong Kong gangland action.

Dan Candy's Law (1974) - Alias Alien Thunder, actually a fairly interesting but rather messy Canadian mountie Northern with Donald Sutherland pursuing First Nations people Gordon Tootoosis and Chief Dan George.

The Vampires' Night Orgy (1974) - Slightly above average Spanish-set Eastern European horror on account of not having Paul Naschy.

Death Journey (1975) - Standard Fred Williamson vanity project.

The Old Gun (1975) - Routine French WW2 drama with Philippe Noiret and Romy Schneider.

The Great Texas  Dynamite Chase (1976) - Better than average Corman car chaser.

Flash and the Firecat (1976) - Rote car-chase movie from Ferd and Beverly Sebastian.

One Armed Swordsman vs Nine Killers (1976) - Ropey wuxia with Jimmy Wang Yu.

Master of the Flying Guillotine (1976) - Splendid death device, but an otherwise standard, well-made Wang Yu period piece.

Dixie Dynamite (1976) - Undistinguished Southern car chase film, with Warren Oates and stunts by Steve McQueen.

The Keeper (1976) - Interesting, cold but ambitious mental home horror from Canada, with Christopher Lee.

Project Kill (1977) - Routine Filipino action with Leslie Nielsen and Nancy Kwan.

Bad Georgia Road (1977) - Forgettable Smokey-alike with Gary Lockwood and Carol Lynley.

Hi-Riders (1978) -  Routine biker/car chase exploitation. Bizarrely and officially uses Rock On by David Essex.

Fighting Mad (1978) - Passable-for-a-Cirio-Santiago blaxploitation semi-samurai actioner.

Swap Meet (1979) - Doughy sexcom with Danny DeVito.

Magnificent Butcher (1979) - Sammo Hung teams up with 70-odd Kwan Tak-Hing as Wong Fei Hung. When is this set? It should be the 1910s, but everything feels 70s.

The Victim (1980) - Routine Sammo vehicle.
See also the bloody awful Taiwanese production Shaolin Traitorous (1976).

Silver Dream Racer (1981) - This is Traveller Pride week. So, what else to celebrate than watching a David Essex film? Watching this, and to think that jive-talking British stereotype of black America is Clarke Peters, now a universally acclaimed actor from the Wire and Broadway musical creator.   Patrick Ryecart gets big "featuring" credit.   Harry H Corbett's last film, and seeing him as  lab-coated motorcycle boffin just makes me wonder would he have been  a good Quatermass. He's faintly Doctorish too (Elisabeth Sladen is his assistant too).  Beau Bridges proves he is the brother with the career more like his dad by popping up as the US import in a British film. Cristina Raines is wooden. Essex just does his "cheeky Cockney traveller chappie". The end is one of the true WTF gut-punches. Bruce Boa is a commentator. A Moonraker poster appears in the tube.

Legend of a Fighter (1982) -  Solid kung fu from Yuen Woo Ping.

Aces Go Places (1982)/Aces Go Places II (1983) - Ambitious and occasionally wowsers stuntwork but the  usual baffling Hong Kong comedy. The sequels, IV (1986- Ronald Lacey and New Zealand) and V (1989) blend into one. Alias the Mad Mission films.

Mad Mad 83 (1983) - Similar Shaw Brothers alleged comedy.

The Devil's Sword (1984) - Astonishing Indonesian fantasy picture.
Also with star Barry Prima, The Warrior (1981) - the irony is the Eurasian actors playing the Dutch look more Asian than supposed native Prima (himself Eurasian), and the fake facial hair and wigs don't help.

The Adventures of Taura: Prison Ship Starslammer (1988) - Begins with the most litigious knockoff of the Raiders March. Fred Olen Ray splits the whole thing into serial-style segments.  An amiable, competent but nothing especially memorable space opera.

Jungle Fever (1991) - Spike Lee interracial romance. Not my kind of film. Inner-city romances don't appeal.

From Beijing with Love (1994) - It opens with a Scania. A lovely Scania (Scanias are the type of trucks that make my dad go moist). Then, it turns into One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing, with actual Chinese people. There's a Doctor Doom/Klytus-type. Then, we cut to Stephen Chow as a fry chef.

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