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.

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