Sunday, September 27, 2009

Tokyo Drifter (1966)

Tokyo Drifter (1966)
Aka: The Man from Tokyo, Tôkyô nagaremono

Directed By: Seijun Suzuki

Starring: Tetsuya Watari, Chieko Matsubara, Hideaki Nitani, Ryuji Kita


Plot: Tetsuya Watari plays Tetsu, a gangster looking to get out of the business. He’s loyal to gang leader Kurata (Ryuji Kita) who act as a father figure for him. But Otsuka, a rival gang leader wants tetsu to work for him, When Tetsu refuses his beaten up. Next Otsuka sends some men to kidnap Chiharu (Chieko Matsubara), a singer in his club that Tetsu might have a relationship with. Of course tetsu saves her but that doesn’t stop otsuka he then buys off one of Kurata’s last building. Otsuka Next goes to kurata place with some men to make him pay off the building or give up tetsu. Of course all doesn’t work out and it leads to gun fights. After all the mayhem Tetsu finally quits. But as soon as he does Kurata caves in and makes an alliance with Otsuka. This leads to a climactic gun fight between Tetsu and Otsuka men.


Review: The Films of Seijun Suzuki are colorful pop art mind trips. They normally take a simple by the numbers plot and add surreal images. Tokyo Drifter is one of his best films, next to Branded to kill (1967). Every frame is candy coded with details and odd colors. Hell some of the scene selections are named after the colors of a set.

Tokyo Drifter is a violent movie. Almost every 5 minutes there seems to be a fight, chase, or shootout. I mean gangsters are so posted to be violent but this film takes it to an outlandish level. The shootouts are filmed well and almost seem like they were filmed hand held. They do go on for a long time but are still enjoyable. The gun fights are also well planed and fun to watch. Quick spoiler: the flying gun trick at the end was too damn laughable.

The Acting on the other hand is not so good. Everyone just looks like a bunch of action figures with no real emotion. The Only emotion that does shows is mostly just faked by Kurata. This kind of acting does help some movies but not here. Without the emotion the movie feels like an over stylized pop crime movie. Well I guess that’s what this movie is. Also one more bitchy thing about the acting and emotion. The Love between Chiharu, the singer, and Tetsu seems rashly plotted and useless. As it is it feels like a bittersweet romance at best as Chiharu keeps trying to catch tetsu, and ask him for a date.

The Music of Tokyo Drifter is haunting and weird. It consists of Harmonica music and guitar. There this one song, the main title music that makes it so haunting and odd. It’s played like the Music from The Third Man (1948), playing when the Tetsu has won a battle or is becoming sad. It works very well and stays in your head way after the movie is over.

Overall: Even thou I sounded pissed at some parts of this movie, I still think this is one of the best gangster movies I’ve have yet to see.
7/10 got to love those brightly colored sets.

Phenomena (1984)

Phenomena (1984)
Aka: Creepers
Directed by: Dario Argento
Starring: Jennifer Connelly, Donald Pleasence, Daria Nicolodi, Dalila Di Lazzaro, Fiore Argento
phenomena Pictures, Images and Photos

Plot: After the death of a tourist (Played by Dario’s daughter Fiore) in the Alps, an insect specialist played by Donald Pleasence is assigned to help the police find the killer. While this is happening 13 year old Jennifer Corvino (played by Jennifer Connelly), daughter of a famous actor, arrives to Switzerland to attend a private all girls’ school. But Jennifer is not your what you would call a normal girl. She sleepwalks and she has telepathic communication with insects. Because of this no one expect her roommate likes her. Later on while she is sleepwalking she witnesses a murder. She then meets Donald’s character and he suggests that Jennifer try to find who the killer is using her powers over bugs to help. Soon Jennifer goes hunting for the killer, or is she the one being hunted.

Review: This is one of most bizarrely plotted movies I’ve seen. But it’s all done well. The camerawork in this is just incredible, It’s all shot like this movie is a dark fairly tale. There are lots of well detailed long shots and great pans. One other great camera tricks is the bug cam in which it shows beautify shot close ups of the insects and there point of view. The Best scene involves the bug cam; it’s when Jennifer calls forth hundreds of insects to the school to help her escape the school girls. All of bugs look awesome and creepy, it’s no surprise why all the school girls where scared shitless.
The cast is great. Jennifer Connelly surprised me with how well she acted, even if she looks sleepy most of the time and the character she plays is a rich bitch. Donald was great to. I like how he plays it with a little Scottish accent, you also feel bad for him because his in a wheelchair. Also in the cast is the great Daria Nicolodi who does a good job of going from fake ass teacher to crazy maniac. On a sour note, Fiore Argento does seem to be a weak actor; it’s a good thing she was killed off so quickly because I doubt she could hold her own horror movie.
The music is also great (duh it’s an argento movie). The main title is cheesy at times but it’s played beautify by Goblin. Added to the mix are some songs by Bill Wyman, Iron Maiden, Andy Sex Gang and Motorhead. The Iron Maiden Song “Flash of the Blade” is used twice during two random scenes in which silence would have been better.

The kill scenes are well shot and some of the oddest of all argento’s canon. The Stand outs being the knife thru the mouth and the sheet of glass cutting someone’s head off. The effects on the deformed kid are also awesome. Another random thing about Phenomena is the monkey which helps out Donald’s Character. At first it’s a pain in the ass to watch. But after Donald is killed it goes crazy jumping on cars, chasing the killer, and cutting up crazy chicks. Man this movie rocks.
Overall: Phenomena was a wild ride. The music and kill scenes kicked ass, and I don’t know how anyone couldn’t enjoy this movie. It’s one of Argento’s best and weirdest.
Best line in the trailer: Jennifer: “I love you, I love you all”. , sexy and creepy at the same time.

The main title music(the cheesy one.)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Les Bonnes Femmes (1960)

Les Bonnes Femmes (1960)
Aka: The Girls,
The Good girls
Directed By: Claude Chabrol
Starring: Bernadette Lafont, Clotilde Joano, Stephane Audran, Lucile Saint-Simon, and Pierre Bertin.

LES BONNES FEMMES Pictures, Images and Photos

*warning some spoilers ahead*

Plot: Les Bonnes Femmes is about a group of shop girls. Their lives are boring and dull, and all they do at their jobs is sit around and wait for the day to end. They dream of real love and freedom but when one of them finds it, it comes at a cost.
Review: This is an odd movie. At first glance it looks like just another dull French new wave movie, but by the end it takes a shocking turn. I was stunned by the end of the movie, because it turns out the whole time the movie was acting in reverse of a murder. All in all what it boils down to is that the least likely girl is always the one to die.

The set up of the plot is the weirdest part. First it’s starts with two of the girls getting picked up by two sleazy yet funny guys. They then go to a nightclub and one of them leaves the party. The girl remaining goes off when the men where both try to sleep with her. She gets pissed and leaves. So- far -so- good. For about 45 minutes this kind of crap keeps on going on. Then they notice the stranger. By this point everything just goes out of whack.


The Tension starts to build right after the girls get to the zoo. In one of the best scenes of the picture, the girls are going to every animal and making fun of them by the time they reach the end they notice the stranger. It’s hard for me to believe how good some of parts of this movie are. This movie is like a breath of free air after all of the dumb thrillers I’ve seen recently. It’s just amazing. There something brilliant in almost every shot.

Sorry about that, I was losing myself, back to the review. The cast is also great. Bernadette Lafont is witty and sexy. She’s great as the party animal of the group. The way she plays it is so well done. On one hand you can’t stand her because she’s so flirty but by the end you feel sad for her as she has found no real love at the end of the movie. The next best actor in it is Stephane Audran; this is her first role for Chabrol. She’s really the only nice one of the girls, and she at least has more self worth. An interesting note is everyone in the movie wonders about her and what she does at night when no one’s watching. As it turns at she plays as an Italian signer in a nightclub. On a side note she just has one of those faces you could never forget. Truly they don’t have faces like her’s anymore. The last girl I want to bring up is Clotilde Joano who is the glue that keeps this movie together. She’s the love sick one, who never realizes that falling in love with a stranger, could lead to murder. She has the perfect puppy dog look on her face at all times.

This is the 4th Chabrol movie I have seen, and only by these movies I’ve already decided that he is one of the greatest French directors of all time. He pretty much the" French Hitchcock". Almost all of his films are well done new wave thrillers with odd twists that have inspired almost all thrillers after the 60’s. Every one of his movies is fresh and original, and the way he fools us with his plots is just amazing. They all start out odd and slow (sometimes boring), but by the half way point the changed into something different and interesting.

Overall: I had a lot of fun watching this movie. All in all it’s a great thriller that tricks you into thinking you’re watching a slow dull movie and then turns around last second to surprise you.
8/10 highly recommended Chabrol at his finest

In this video just watch how great Stephane Audran is.

Eegah! (1962)

Eegah! (1962)
Directed by: Arch Hall Sir
Starring: Arch Hall Jr, Marilyn Manning, Richard Kiel, William Watters (aka Arch Hall Sir)

Eegah Pictures, Images and Photos

Plot: Richard Kiel plays a caveman/giant who almost gets ran over by a dumb rich girl named Roxy. She passes out from the fright of seeing a caveman giant thing and when she comes too she tries to explain to her father and boyfriend what happened. Of course they don’t believe her. So she bugs the crap out of them till they decide to go on a journey to find this so called caveman.

Review: This is one of the greatest “so bad it’s good” movies ever made. Everything about this is pure high grade cheese. From The bad title music till the pool party at the end, it’s all poorly done. The Opening credits are a hoot. It consists of fake blood on rocks for titles in eegah’s cave, goofy looking toy corpses, a smoke machine set on median and bad guitar music in the background. It really sets us up for the crap storm to come.

large Eegah! Pictures, Images and Photos

Arch Hall jr is one of the worst actors I’ve ever seen. The way he reads his lines always makes me start laugh uncontrollably. It’s like he’s half drunk with an earache. His best scene involves him singing to a group of teenagers. Only thing is that it’s about a girl named Vicki and his girlfriend’s name is Roxy. God What a goofball. For some reason everyone thinks he’s the star, but that job goes to Mr. Kiel. The Look on his face while he plays eegah is priceless. It looks like he’s half pissed and half” I’m about to pass out”. Also most of his dialogue is just yelling “eegah” or some strange mix of that and another word. He hams up the whole show. Now on to Roxy, she’s played Marilyn Manning who goes for the dumb valley girl with a heart of gold. Her acting is not as bad as Arch’s but it’s still pretty bad. Last and least is Arch hall sir. I have to be honest if this was a slasher flick I would want him to die first. His not that bad as a actor it’s just I can’t stand him.

eegah Pictures, Images and Photos

The setting of this film is why I like it so much. It’s a desert and I love movies in deserts. It gives the movie a cheaper feel and you can tell that’s why they choose it. The Cave set is awesome; it’s so cheap and goofy. It looks just like the one used in Robot Monster (1953).

One of my favorite scenes in the movie is when the trio goes to the place where Roxy saw the caveman. While there walking out of the blue some random voice yells “watch out for snakes”. I don’t know where it came from; it’s not one of the cast members. My only guess is that it’s a blooper where the director was warning the actors and it was left in.
Another scene that’s stuck in my mind is where the young couple is riding in a dune buggy. As they race around they both yell “wee”. Man this movie is cheesy gold.

Overall: Eegah was a fun monster/caveman movie and one of the worst in a good way.
5/10 Remember to watch out for snakes.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Day of the Panther (1988)


Directed by: Brian Trenchard Smith

Starring: Edward John Stazak, Michael Carman, John Stanton, Jim Richards

Plot: Edward John Stazak plays as Jason blade, one of the “panthers”, a secret group of martial-arts fighters who also work as Triad mercenaries. After his partner is killed he goes undercover to the drug lord that helped kill her. Yep that plot’s been used a million times before.

: God it hurts to watch this movie. The first thing that sticks out as to how bad this movie is the opening credits. It’s set up like a workout video, with its shitty titles and cheesy 80’s music which never ends. Edward John starak, who plays the hero, is one of those dumb beefcakes everyone loves to see in 80’s flicks. He’s susprisely good with his lines and is good with the action. The Villain is played by Michael Carman who looks just like an Australian Nick Cage, he’s one of those cheap bad guy types used in all shitty action movies. As a bad guy he gets the job done, but I’ve seen better extras in chuck Norris movies that can act better compared to him. (Wow that might be too harsh). Jim Richards (yes I know no one’s ever heard of him) plays Baxter the dumb ass bully sidekick who hates Jason blade. Baxter (god I love that name) is the kind of guy who goes from kicking ass and looking cool to pushing chicks into swimming pools. Jason also has love interest but I don’t think I could handle talking about her without getting ticked off big time. The only thing worth bringing up is when she’s does (the way at of date) dance for Jason blade as his working out. Pure cheese.

Most of the movie is just Jason faking working for the bad guys and fighting. Almost every 10 minutes theirs an awesome 80’s style fight scene (with that shitty music). Hell the first 30 minutes of the movie are mostly cheesy action. Including a lot of dudes wearing weird animal masks. The Action scenes do work oddly enough. The only real issue is that they do run too long.

*Spoiler warning*
Now don’t get me wrong. I do like the ending fight. But why in the hell did Jason let Baxter stay alive. What kind of bullshit is that where the f*cking hero can’t kill the damn cornball sidekick.
*spoiler over*

Day of the Panther was not a waste of time but it was a little mind numbing.
4/10 worth at least one view.

The young ones - Dr martens boots song

I love The 80's bbc show The Young Ones. This is best song from it. Believe or not i bought a pair of doc martens after listening to this

Movies I need to track down: Day of the Cobra(1980)

Day of the Cobra (1980)
Based on the trailer,
Franco Nero plays a badass cop with a confusing mission. On said mission he meets a lot of weirdoes like Sybil Danning!! From the trailer alone I want this movie. It has it all chases, bad dubbing, great shootouts, weird kids, a chick kicking Franco’s ass (Cheesiest thing I’ve seen in a long time), and the worst theme song of all time. It has a midlife to old man singing poorly about not giving a damn and that he is the cobra.
It looks like fun and I can’t wait to buy it.
Best line in the movie:
Franco to Sybil: “your like a encyclopedia and I like to read in bed”.