So, a small town is invaded by a life form from space that looks a lot like a giant multiple headed lamprey with a penchant for making slug like babies (lots of them), and eating the locals. A group of four geeky science nerd teens and a young boy do their best to save the town (and most likely the world) from this infestation. It’s kind of weird that three of our movies had similar themes and creatures (Slither, Night of the Creeps and Deadly Spawn), not in that they are alien infestation movies (it’s kind of the theme), but the fact that the three creatures in the mentioned movies all propagate by releasing slug like grubs, liked to enter through the mouth id possible, and the main “mother” creature found someplace out of the way to grow and develop. Well, if they copied each other, this is the progenitor of all of ‘em. A silly movie, Deadly Spawn stays entertaining, and cheezy which is perfect for me. Lots of campiness to go around, and some really questionable actions by it’s characters may make you moan at times…but don’;t let that stop you from enjoying the movie. A true representative of it’s time, the early 1980’s, it still stands out as a fun, throwback to the creature features of the 50’s and 60’s…
Watch this film, my friends!
Having just watched Slither (again),last night and remembering the outcry from a lot of fans of the classic 1986 Night of the Creeps due to the many similarities between the two movies, I just had to watch Night of the Creeps (again), tonight.
Night of the Creeps is a neat Horror/Sci-Fi/Comedy about an infestation of alien slug like creatures when they are released on the unsuspecting Earth during the 1950s, landing in a town/city in the states. Initially infecting an escaped lunatic, and a young man on a date with his girl, resulting in a couple of deaths. Cut to the 1980’s where a couple of friends, Chris Romero and J.C.are new to college and trying to fit in. Chris has a crush on a hot girl, Cynthia Cronenberg. Cynthia, though has a meathead boyfriend who is in charge of the frat house that the two want to join (so Chris can hopefully impress Cynthia). In order to join, the two are given the task of stealing a cadaver and leave it on the steps of a rival frat house. While the two manage to enter a lab where they think they will find a corpse, they actually manage to stumble upon a body in cryogenic suspension,. They decide one body is as good as another, and try to take this one. When the corpse opens it’s eyes and grabs a hold of one of the two, they take off “screaming like banshees” (you’ll know why I put that in quotes when you watch the film). Well, turns out this is the corpse of the guy that was infected by the alien life form way back in 1959. So, now we have a reanimated corpse, under the control of an alien life form… The corpse, a sort of alien zombie kills a scientist in the lab and heads out…on the town, eventually ending up on the steps of a girl’s frat (the same one Cynthia calls home). Cynthia sees the zombie and sees his head explode, releasing a bunch of those alien worms… and they spread out. Soon a crap load of the town is infected, including the dead, which rise (hence the Zombie word), animated by there worms. J.C. himself falls prey to the creatures also, but not before he learns the secrets to the destruction of the worms…
Of course everything ramps up to a big good versus bad scene, but I have told you more than enough of the story. You should watch this movie, as it is damned fun. Definitely an homage to the sci-fi creature flicks of the 50’s and 60’s, if you enjoy sci-fi, horror and comedy then you have to see this one, folks. Check out the trailer below:
2006’s Slither does something very difficult: it manages to mix horror with Science Fiction (Sci-Fi), and adding a large dose of comedy…and gets it all right. I’ve reviewed the move in the past (here is the original, tiny write up: Slither 2006). It was so good, that I decided we should watch it again, and maybe put a little more effort in the write up this time.
Starring Canada’s own (hell,we were in the same high school at the same time), Nathan Fillion (Firefly anyone?), as Chief of Police of the town of Wheelsy, South Carolina, where a meteorite crashed to earth, carrying an alien life form. Shortly after it crashes to earth, local, well to do guy, Grant Grant (played by Michael Rooker), gets taken over by the creature after poking at the gelatinous, pulsing mass in the nearby woods (after almost, but not quite cheating on his wife). Soon Grant starts craving fresh, raw meat, and also starts mutating. When Grant’s lovely wife, Starla (Elizabeth Banks), see’s a misshapen Grant, he explains he had a reaction to a bee sting. Well, soon other things start happening, including the disappearance of neighbourhood pets, as well as Barbara, a local drinkin’ floozy…
Well, you see, Grant is now the host of an alien intelligence who spreads through taking over individuals, either through assimilation or through infection via a parasitic worm/slug like form. The creature can also use a life form as a host to breed the aforementioned worms/slugs…and it does – boy does it ever. Of course this turns in to a battle of a few against a lot, and is tense and action packed… as well as a lot of always cool grossness. The creature design is fantastic, and the whole cast does a great job in creating what feels like a heartfelt homage to the alien invasion/creature films of the 1950’s and 1960’s. This is a great Sci-Fi/Horror/comedy that I strongly suggest you check out.
Here is the trailer:
There are very few actors with a career as long as Eastwood’s, and for the ones that do, very few can say they made as many good movies as Eastwood has. From the toughest damned cowboy you’ve met to an Orang-utan owning prize fighter to the toughest damned cop you’ve ever seen, Clint has rocked it.
I know the blog is called I Like Bad Movies, but if you’ve read it long enough, you know that the truth is, I just plain like movies. So, don’t go thinking these are bad movies, because they are not – you’ll know when I watch a bad movie, and I don’t think that’s happening this week.
Yep, this is going to be a damned good week.
In 1971’s Godzilla Vs. Hedorah , Japan has a new enemy: a new creature that has evolved to live on the pollutants of our modern society. Not only that, but it is producing deadly pollution itself, incapacitating and humans that may get close. This is a disaster!!! Oh, and guess what? Godzilla doesn’t like to see other monsters on it’s own turf. Yeah, Godzilla and Hedorah are heading for a showdown. I pity the Japanese that get caught in the middle!
So, this is a time when the Godzilla character was transitioning from a bad guy who seemed to get kicks from beating the crap out of Tokyo and other Japanese cities, to a protector of the Japanese people. That doesn’t mean that you won’t be injured or killed if you get too close: Godzilla is a Big Picture kind of monster, and may stomp the occasional person or building on the sidelines. Heck – you might even get drowned in a big piece of polluted monster if you are not careful – should have stayed away from Godzilla, idiot…
Godzilla Vs Hedorah is actually one of my favourite Godzilla movies, and I really like the three stage design of the Hedorah – pretty cool, and add a neat, cheezy transition effect between the stages and you’ve got gold. Add to that the hippiness of the movie – lots of trippy music and psychedelic gels, and some trippy animated series really reminds you of when this movie was made – and that in my opinion is a very good and neat thing. Without a doubt, I would say that this is the most unique Godzilla movie that I have watched (so far, at least). Should you watch it? You should watch ALL Godzilla movies (with the exception of the Mathew Broderick version), but you should especially watch this Godzilla movie.
Check out the trailer below:
1963’s King Kong vs Godzilla is a movie that I saw as a very young child and I tell you, it stuck with me through the years. Heck, I thought this movie was in black and white – turns out I watched it on a black and white TV back in the day! Well, this movie is in glorious colour.
So, a Godzilla has escaped from a frozen chunk of an iceberg, and recently King Kong has been discovered to be a real thing. Okay, he’s a bit of a lush (or junkie), having become addicted to a narcotic berry juice that the locals on the the south Pacific island that Kong calls home. Back to Godzilla: Of course Godzilla is bent of some big time Japanese destruction. From their previous encounters with Godzilla, the Japanese know they are in trouble. Why not play Godzilla off against Kong and maybe the two monsters will destroy each other and Japan can go back to it’s daily normal schedule? Well that is just what is done, in this epic meeting of two iconic movie monsters.
King Kong Versus Godzilla is a fun monster mash of Japanese destruction, tied together with and interesting concept: The action is being described and reported (between scenes), by what appear to be reporters working for the United Nations. Fun stuff!
So, check out this amazing monster movie!
Here is the trailer:
A Japanese film, through and through, Gojira tells the tale of an ancient beast, a creature of legends, that has been released from it’s lair beneath the ocean when it’s home is destroyed by atomic tests being conducted in the Pacific ocean (this is the early to mid-1950s, after all). At first a few boats go missing with no clues. When a few survivors are found, they speak seemingly gibberish about the ocean exploding. Seems only an old and grumpy man, knows what’s happening when he starts talking about the old legends of a giant lizard beast that would emerge and wreak havoc, and how they used to appease the beast by setting the occasional girl adrift on a raft for the creature’s snacking pleasure. Finally enough sightings and reports of the creature start coming through that a scientific research team is put together to study the beast. Once they discover that Godzilla is real, it’s then up to the military to destroy Godilla, who is now working it’s way towards Tokyo. As usual, (though not “as usual” for the audiences of 1954), traditional tactics do nothing but piss the monster off, and just causes more destruction. It’s not until a physically and emotionally scarred scientist is convinced to use his discovery, a device that destroys oxygen and liquefies living flesh, that Japan has even a slim hope of surviving the monster’s attack.
Gojira is as good as an introduction to a movie beast as any I’ve seen. The creature design has proven solid, as this 1954 Godzilla still looks like the same Godzilla that you would find in the 60’s,70’s and beyond (except for that crappy American Godzilla movie). Also, the creatures iconic roar is there, right from the start. It’s also interesting to watch this film with the knowledge that this was made in a Japan that is very different from today’s Japan. This is a Japan that was still healing from a World War that almost decimated them. The war is mentioned, and the testing of nuclear weapons are highlighted as a bad thing. If you like Godzilla, then you have to watch this film. If you are unsure if you like Godzilla, then you have to watch this and a number of other Godzilla movies if you really want to decide if you are a fan or not. I know I am.
Check out the trailer below:
Staring Peter MacNicol (better known to some as the short, curly haired lawyer, John Cage, from the TV show Ally McBeal), as Galen Bradwarden, a young apprentice of the Wizard, Ulrich of Craggenmoor (Ralph Richardson), who takes up the Wizard’s quest to slay the Dragon, Vermithrax Pejorative, after Ulrich is apparently killed while proving a point by brutish henchman Tyrian, right hand of King Casiodorus (Peter Eyre). Ulrich had just accepted the task of killing the Dragon when a delegation of peasants approached him asking for his help. Kind Casiodorus had implemented a lottery, offering up a female virgin each year to appease the beast. The people have had enough of the Lottery and living under the fear of the Dragon, and are at their wits end. Now seeing their hopes die almost immediately, with the death of Ulrich, they head back to their town. Soon, though, they are joined by Galen, who has just inherited the Wizard’s magic amulet, who states that he will take up his former Master’s task and slay the Dragon himself. Along the way he risks strong resistance from the King, who believes his lottery system is best for his people, and is temporarily jailed so as not to meddle with the lottery. It’s not until the King’s own daughter is in jeopardy that the King releases Galen in the hopes Galen can actually end the Dragon menace. Along the journey, Galen discovers one of their party is not what they seem (no, not a traitor)…
So, this early 190’s fantasy film still looks beautiful (not something that most movies with special effects from that era can say), and is still interesting. As stated in the title of the review/write up, the Dragon in this movie is still one of my favourite designs of a Dragon in movies, ever. Maybe it’s second to Smaug, now, though I’ll decide that after the third and final Hobbit movie. Still, this movie, in my opinion, still hold up well. I heartily suggest this as a must watch for any fan of the Fantasy genre.
When 1974’s horror movie, It’s Alive was released, there was the creepiest commercial for the movie where you see a baby carriage, and hear what appears to be a normal baby cry…but as the camera pans around the baby carriage, you see a big monster hand coming out from inside the pram… Well that commercial used to scare the living crap out of me… seriously (hey, I was 4 or 5 at the time). Well, today I finally faced down that fear and watched the movie.
Check out that scary (for a 4 or 5 year old) TV spot here:
It’s Alive tells the tale of a couple, Frank and Lenore Davis (John Ryan and Sharon Farrell), who give birth to a child that is nothing short of a monster. The initial birth is a little tough, as the baby is larger than a normal baby, but the doctor is still confident is all right… Next thing you know the delivery room is full of the dead or dying bodies of the doctors an nurses that were assisting in the birth… and a monster baby is on the loose in the city of Los Angeles.
Dad wants the baby dead because it’s an abomination who’s existence has caused the loss of his job, and the ruination of his family. The big drug companies want the baby dead in the off chance he’s a by product of there chemicals. And the police want the baby dead… because it’s killing people. The only one that seems not to want the baby dead is the mother… at first, at least.
This is definitely a creepy movie, and reasonable well done, if a little slow. Having been as scared as I was of the damned commercial as a child, I do wish the movie was scarier than it is, though I am happy that it doesn’t totally suck. An interesting concept and if the idea sounds like something that you’d like, then definitely watch it.
Check out the trailer below and decide for yourself:
True Romance is a crazy, wild ride of a movie. Written by Quentin Tarantino, and starring Christian Slater as Clarence Worley and Patricia Arquette as Alabama Whitman, a young couple who meet at a Sonny Chiba triple play at a theatre in Detroit. They hit off real good, have dinner and then both end up at Clarence’s apartment, having sex. Alabama then admits she’s a hooker hired by his boss, to help him blow off some steam. She also admits that she’s managed to fall in love with him over the course of the evening. This is fortunate, as apparently Clarence has fallen in love with her also. Having known each other for a whole night, they do the logical thing and get married. Now Clarence has to deal with Alabama’s Pimp, Drexl (Gary Oldman). What confronting the pimp, and after a ruckus, and a visit from Clarence’s muse/alter ego/imaginary friend in his head, Drexl ends up dead, and Clarence accidentally ends up with a suitcase full of cocaine. The newly webs hatch a plan to sell the cocaine and restart their lives somewhere warm… Well, the coke was the Mobs, and soon the two are being tracked down by some unsavoury characters, one being the always awesome Christopher Walken as gangster Vincenzo Coccotti. Before the duo leave Detroit for California, they stop by Clarence’s estranged fathers, a police officer by the name of Clifford, played by Dennis Hopper a Detroit police officer, to find out what the police believe the motive for Drexl’s murder. After they leave, Coccotti and his crew end up at Cliffords to drill him on the location of Clarence and Alabama… A great exchange between two great actors happens…only one survives.
Off to Cali, the dynamic duo meet up with an old friends of Clarence, who begrudgingly agrees to help him sell the cocaine to a director he kind of knows, using a go between, played by Bronson Pinchot. Things go wrong, cops get involved, a meeting happend and everything goes to crap…
This movie is crazy and cool – crazy cool? Yeah. Unlike the Kill Bill movies (and the others I will be reviewing), this is written by Tarantino, but directed by Tony Scott, and therefore has a different feeling than Tanatino directed films – but don’t think that is a bad thing, it’s just different. This is a great film and deserves to be watched.
Check out the trailer:
So, I finally got around to watching the 2002 movie, Resident Evil movie. Based on a video game, this movie was better than I expected but definitely not awesome. Most video game based movies, in my not so humble opinion, usually suck badly, but his one was okay.
Telling the story of a viral outbreak in Raccoon City, from a lab run by the Umbrella corporation, and the group of people that are trying to get out of that lab (and look for the anti-virus). Starring the always good Milla Jovovich as Alice, an ass kicking agent of Umbrella, with some serious issues (including memory loss), and a rag tag group of paramilitary… and a couple of other people that die. There is a lot of action and some cool looking infected mutants. The move is very similar to a Zombie tale (and I guess it is a Zombie tale), and has a decent budget. The acting, for the most part is acceptable… except one thing: Michelle Rodriguez, who plays Rain (one of the mentioned paramilitary), is just a crappy actor (actress?). Seriously – she only has one character: Tough Latino Chick. And I am tired of that friggin’ character. Honestly, take a break and try a different role Michelle…
So, the movie is action filled and fun for what it is. Not great but entertaining.
Check out the trailer below:
Westworld (1973)–When Will Mankind Learn That Robots Always Go Rogue and Destroy Their Human Keepers?
Imagine a time when you you can vacation as a gunslinger in the Wild-West, or as a Roman citizen. Imagine being able to indulge in all the vices that a certain age was known for. Want to shoot a man for cheating at cards? Go ahead. Want to take part in a huge Roman orgy in the Emperor’s palace? No problem. Well, the movie 1973 classic Science- Fiction movie, Westworld, takes us to a future where all this and more is possible through the use of complex, very human like robots (well, Androids to be more accurate).
Starring James Brolin and Richard Benjamin as two friends, John Blane and Peter Martin, who have decided to vacation at the Delos Amusement park. For $1000 a day each, they will live as if they are in the Wildwest in Delos’ Westworld, the wild west recreation. John, having been here before, is showing Peter the ropes as he is not convinced of the authenticity or value of the Delos park. Soon Peter is engaging in a shootout in a western bar with an intimidating Gunslinger, dressed all in black and played by the naturally menacing Yul Brenner. Quickly dispatching the gunslinging android, Peter starts getting an feel for the place, though it does take some convincing to make sure he knows he didn’t actually kill a human. An amorous encounter with a female ‘droid later further cements Peter’s buy in to Westworld. Occasionally we see the people overseeing the operations of the park. We hear of little malfunctions here and there, minor at first, but increasing in severity. One of the main operators argues for shutting down the park until the issues are corrected, but is voted down. Eventually the issues become so severe that the safety of the park’s guest is in danger – and eventually people start being killed. Sh… Stuff has hit the fan.
This is a great example of Science Fiction that is smartly written – in fact it’s written and directed by the great Michael Crichton. The movie isn’t perfect, but it is good. One warning: there are quite a few “Porn-stache” moustaches in this movie! lol.
Check out the trailer below, and then head out to your local seller of DVDs/Blu-Rays and get yourself a copy of this Sci-Fi masterpiece.
Wow… I had never heard of the Basket Case movies until my buddy suggested we watch them about a month ago. Well, last night we finished the last of the three movies and I have to say that I was left pleasantly surprised at how much these movies entertained me.
The Basket Case movies tell the story of two Siamese, or co-joined twins, separated in childhood. One twin, Duane Bradley (played hilariously cheezily by Kevin Van Hentenryck) is a fully formed, mostly normal looking guy, but his brother, Belial, is a disgusting blob of flesh with one dangerously powerful arm and, a very strong leg and a disturbingly human face with a mouth full of jagged, dangerous teeth. Belial is a dangerous character who is understandable unbalanced. Spending most of his time in a basket (hence the name of the movies), he and Duane have a psychic bond and can communicate without words). Duane and Belial were separated against their will when children in a horrific home surgery. Now Belial and Duane are looking for revenge on the doctor’s that did the brutal operation. Belial, extracting his revenge – this little guy is a damned efficient killing machine – having killed a large number of people, gets into a scuffle and he and Duane fall out a window together. Apprehended and brought to a hospital, they both escape.
Basket Case 2 picks up where Basket Case left off – now Duane and Bradley find themselves in the home of Granny Ruth (played by Annie Ross), a woman who has taken it upon herself to provide sanctuary for horribly and bizarrely deformed people. The cast of strange creatures is interesting and funny – I thing the creature designer on this film most likely had a great time. This is a place where Belial can feel at home and not have to hide from the world. Duane, though is having a tougher time fitting in, as he feels like the outsider. That said, he manages to fall in love with Granny Ruth’s assistant, Susan (played by Heather Rattray), a seemingly normal young lady – and it seems that she loves Duane, too. Also, Belial finds love himself when he falls for a similarly mutated Eve. Soon Granny Ruth’s sanctuary is threatened by a sleazy reporter and photographer. Duane and Belial decide to organize the ragtag group of mutants into an efficient and deadly defence. After saving the day, Duane and Susan start to get it on… and Duane finds out the real reason Susan stays with Granny Ruth. Duane flips out and goes off the mental deep end (and something happens to Susan)… And the movie ends. Oh, I can’t forget to mention the weirdest love scene ever between two lumps of mutated flesh.
Basket Case 3, starts the moment Basket Case 2 ends. Duane wakes up to find himself in a straight jacket, calling out to whomever claiming that he’s all better now. Granny Ruth enters his padded cell and explains how long he’s been there and why. She also gives him some good news: he’s going to be an uncle, as Belial has impregnated Eve. Eve, being massively mutated, is starting to go into labour, and Granny Ruth is concerned that she may require medical attention. She packs up the entire group of mutants into a school bus and they take off to a sympathetic Doctor referred to as Uncle Hal. Uncle Hal has been taking care of a genius, multi-armed mutant, Little Hal. Duane, still a loose, mildly crazy loose cannon, is trying to escape at any cost. Meanwhile Eve Gives birth to a…a lot of little Belial copies, despite the fact that Belial loses it and attacks Uncle Hal (due to a flashback). Getting the attention of the Sheriff’s daughter, who he stupidly trusts, he soon finds himself behind bars, while the stupid deputy’s decided that they want to capture Belial for a reported $1,000,000 reward offered by a rag newspaper. Yeah, well that doesn’t go very well and one escapes with his life and a basket full of baby Belial looking offspring. The mutants aren’t going to stand for that, and they launch a brazen attack on the jail in order to save the babies. Things get even weirder.
Okay, these are low budget movies that leave a lot to be desired. That said, I really enjoyed them. Duane is an unbelievable silly character that while fake, is super fun to watch. Belial is such a weird character that it’s hard to find him scary, and the gallery of mutants under Granny Ruth’s roof are very… crazy. Still, I really liked these movies – they have a certain charm that is very rare in the horror genre, and if you can suspend your sense of disbelief, you might just have a good time watching these crazy movies.
Chock full of actor’s you’ve heard of, Pawnshop Chronicles is a circular tale of lost love, meth heads, kidnapping and the battle between good and evil.
Mathew Dillon plays Richard, a man about to begin his honeymoon with his second wife when they stop by a Pawnshop, hoping to get a little extra cash when something goes wrong with their banking. Quickly he spots a ring – the ring he gave he had custom made for his first wife, who disappeared without a trace 6 years prior. Abandoning his new wife, he takes off on a renewed search for his long missing love.
This begins a twisted tale that brings the viewer on a roller coaster ride – we encounter meth-heads, murder and white slavery (hint: you might not look at Frodo the same again). You’ll meat a failing Elvis Impersonator (played compellingly by Brendan Fraser). You’ll see bad guys screwing over bad guys, and a town split down the middle by which Barber they choose.
Add to this a character that offers salvation for your soul, leaving you wondering if he’s God or the Devil…
This movie may be weird, but I freakin’ loved it.
Check out the trailer below:
So, you see there was this little TV series back in the late 1960s called Star Trek, and it’s male lead was played by a cool, dashing, hip and awesomely hammy actor by the name of William Shatner. While Star Trek did okay in the ratings there was a cult following around the show and it’s cast. Well, White Comanche stars William Shatner, and it’s pretty clear this was an attempt to cash in on Shatner’s new found popularity, because other than William Shatner, this doesn’t have much else going for it.
William Shatner plays the roles of twin brothers, Johnny Moon and Notah, twin half breed (their words, not mine) brothers of Comanche/White persuasion. Johnny lives the life of a white guy (who happens to know how to fight and is quick on the draw), and Notah is known as the White Comanche and is an over the top, out of control killer/raider/raper – a total prick of a killer. This causes a lot trouble for Johnny since they are twins, he’s always getting mistaken for Notah and people want to kill Notah (and rightly so)… So people, wanting to kill Notah, unknowingly are trying to kill Johnny – the innocent brother… Okay? Well Johnny is friggin’ tired of this and has laid it out: meet me in 4 days at the town of Rio Honcho – two will enter, only one will survive. When Johnny gets into Rio Honco, of course everybody mistakes him for Notah… and all that stuff Notah did makes everyone want to kill Johnny… wait, I explained all this already. Notah’s evil escapades catch up to Johnny again in the days leading up to that big showdown. Add to the mix the fact that the town is divided into two factions with only a good but under resourced sheriff (played by Joseph Cotten) to keep them both from each other’s neck, which up until now has worked. Add this new Johnny/Notah thing to the mix and the whole situation boils over – and we haven’t even got to the big Johnny/Notah battle. One bad guy shoots the sheriff and then the two factions fight… Eventually Johnny and Notah have it it out, and then there’s peace.
Well, I guarantee that all that sounds better than it really is. Not actually a “Spaghetti Western” as this was a Spanish production, this movie severely lacks a budget and direction. It definitely feels and looks different from your standard Spaghetti Western and weirdly, the copy I have is 4×3 – I find most Spaghetti Westerns are shot in widescreen. On Shatner: I like William Shatner, but his Comanche “war cry” is one of the most pathetic things I have ever heard – he sounds somewhere between a small dog that had a paw stepped on and a deranged bird.
Is this a good movie? Oh, HELL no. Should you watch it? Well, that’s a different matter all together. Honestly, I am glad I watched it just to see such a ridiculous Shatner movie.
I can’t seem to find a trailer, but apparently this movie is now public domain, so here is an entire copy of the movie for you to stream if you are a masochist!
White Comanche (Entire Movie)
Sergio Leone’s 1964 movie, A Fist Full of Dollars, took a little known American TV actor, put him in the roll of a Man With No Name, and propelled him to stardom as well as taking a waning genre, the Western, and with a twist, giving it a new lease on life. That actor? Clint Eastwood.
Joe, or “The Man With No Name, played by the then up and coming Clint Eastwood, arrives the the tiny Mexican town of San Miguel. Quickly proving himself quiet and a loner, and more importantly a really quick draw. Soon he realizes that there are two factions, the Rojo Brothers and the family of the town’s sheriff, John Baxter, both fighting for control of the town. Seeing an opportunity for profit, he works at getting the two sides to fight each other.
Witnessing a massacre of Mexican Soldiers by Rojo’s men, dressed as American Soldiers, Joe takes two of the bodies, planting them at at the local cemetery and sells information to both sides – both groups rush to the cemetery – one side to get information, the other side to silence the information before it gets out. Soon we can add kidnapping and murder to the pile of crimes both sides commit. Joe, or The Man With No Name eventually let’s his own motives shine through…
This movie is actually a retelling of the Japanese classic, Yojimbo by Akira Kurosawa and it is a wonderful, dark film that should be watched and watched often. This is the first of three “Dollars” or “Man With No Name” films to be released. The other two being For a Few Dollars More and the pinnacle of the Spaghetti Western, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. All three are amazing testaments to the genre and deserve their places in the annals of movie history. Watch them soon and watch them often.
Check out the trailer below:
Beyond The Law (1968) – A Coolness Only Lee Van Cleef Could Deliver (Entire Movie at Bottom of Post)
One of countless Spaghetti Westerns that surfaced in the 60’s and early 70’s, you might not even know this one existed – I didn’t, until recently, that is. You see, about a year ago I purchased a DVD set, titled. “Spaghetti Westerns” that is chock full of Western goodness (and badness to be honest). It’s a five disc set that includes 20 movies – Beyond the Law was one of them.
Beyond the Law tells the story of a group of bandits that dupe a mining company of the cash it is having delivered to pay the wages of the miners. Through deception, the actual crooks look like heroes, and are actually asked to help out. The brains of the unit, Billy Joe Cudlip (played by Lee Van Cleef), befriends Ben Novack (played by Antonio Sabato), at first pitying him and then gaining respect for his abilities as the movie goes on. Soon Culdip and his gang is helping protect the mining operation from a gang, controlled by the villain, Burton (played by one time muscle man turned actor, Gordon Mitchell).
Gaining respect, Culdip is asked to become the new Sheriff, kind of ironic…really. He takes the position, much to the chagrin of the members of his small band of thieves, especially when they realize that he might just be taking the job seriously.
As noted at the beginning of this post, this is far from being a perfect film, but Lee Van Cleef raises it up and makes it entertaining. Also, the theme song is simply amazing. If you already like Spaghetti Westerns, then this one will be okay – If you are on the fence about the genre, then maybe leave this one be and try something like a Fist Full of Dollars or God’s Gun.
Here is the trailer:
And, for as long as it lasts, here is a link to the whole movie (let me know if it stops working):
In the 1960s there was an explosion of Westerns made in Italy by Italian film makers. These were dubbed “Spaghetti Westerns” and are/were the Western equivalent of Grindhouse films, and while most of these movies were pretty damned bad, occasionally one would actually turn out to be a good movie – 1967’s Death Rides a Horse is one of those good ones.
Starring John Phillip Law as Bill Meceita, a man seeking revenge on the bandits that he witnessed killing his family when he was a young. The only evidence he was able to gather, as a boy. was a single, unique spur that one of the murdering bastards left behind. Years later a recently released convict, Ryan, played the always great, flinty eyed Lee Van Cleef, kills two men in self defense that were sent to kill him. The Sherriff noticed that one of the dead men was wearing spurs that exactly match the one that had been left at the scene on the Meceita family massacre so many years before. The sheriff informs Bill, and tells him the name of the stranger, Ryan thinking that perhaps Ryan can help lead him to the men who killed his family.
When Bill catches up to Ryan, he finds him sympathetic but not willing to help, as he has a large amount of money owed to him by the same bastards that killed Ryan’s family, and if Bill kills them, Ryan can’t collect. Leaving Bill temporarily stranded (in order to gain a head start), but not defenseless. Of course this only works for a bit as Bill is extremely motivated to get these guys. Ryan is looking at collecting $15,000 from each member of this gang, as he spent 15 years in prison for something they ALL took part in. Bill, killing these guys, makes it harder and harder to collect. Add to this a sub plot where one of these banditos is now a town official, promising to improve the lives of the town folks, but actually planning on taking off with all the town’s money, in a faked heist, and making it look like Ryan is part of it. Bill comes to Ryan’s aid, and for the rest of the movie they work together as a team. An interesting twist near the end makes the relationship between Bill and Ryan even more twisted. Add in some great shootouts and you have this film.
This is a long movie, and the conversion from film to digital (at least the version I have), is very crapilly done. There are bit where you can tell a few seconds of film are just missing. It’s dirty and very low resolution. Some of the actors voices are very obviously dubbed (hey, most of them were bit part Italian actors working for very little money) and not particularly great thespians. Even so, this movie oozes cool, especially with an awesome soundtrack from the amazing Ennio Morricone I absolutely enjoyed every second of this film and most likely will go on a minor Spaghetti Western binge.
And… we’re in luck folks: Not only is this movie available for really cheap on almost countless cheap bin DVD compilations, it’s also available for streaming for free (for now at least).
Check out the trailer below and the entire move below that (please let me know if the link is broken):
Death Rides a Horse (1967) – Trailer
Death Rides a Horse (1967) – The Entire Movie
So I found my self with a little extra time on my hands and decided to watch the 1995 version of the Rodger Corman classic, Piranha. Now, you might be thinking that you read one, no two reviews of Piranha on this blog already. You’re right, and now here’s a third.
This 1995 release has a new story (mostly) and new actors but reuses the actual piranha attack clips from the original 1978 release – Hey, it’s good to recycle, right?.
Like all Piranha movies, the fish are accidentally released into a river or lake (river that dumps into a mam made lake this time), and a few good people have to convince some bad people to cancel an even that takes place at a beach. And like all other Piranha movies, the bad people refuse to believe them until it’s too late.
There really isn’t anything in this version that screams must watch, though it is fun. One little tidbit: the young daughter of the main character, Paul Grogan (played by William Katt of The Greatest American Hero), is played by a very young Mila Kunis. I did not know this while watching the movie, and despite not having a lot of lines, I was thinking that this child actor is the only one in the whole movie that seems believable. Looking up the cast after I was done watching is when I found out it was Mila – good job!
So, to summarize: This version of Piranha doesn’t bring anything new to the table an early performance by Mila Kunis), but it is fun nonetheless,and if you like these B-Movies then this one is as good as most and might bring a smile on a boring afternoon.
Check out the trailer below, and below that a link to the entire movie, for as long as that works (please let me know if the link is dead!):
Here’s the whole movie on Youtube: