Retro Review : She

Directed by

Avi Nesher

Written by

Avi Nesher

Starring

Sandahl Bergman

David Goss

Quin Kessler

Music By

Justin Hayward

Motörhead

Rick Wakeman

Continental Films

1982

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDA9XDXcD18[/youtube]

 

Holy shit, y’all. This movie was all sorts of B-Movie awesome. The plot is a little silly, but we like silly. SO the apocalypse happened…nay the “cancellation” happened, and society is all sorts of different. The land is divided by different factions; one of which is led by a Goddess named “She” (Sandahl Bergman). In her land women rule and men are slaves. She knows her way around the land which is why 2 hunks kidnap her ass because one of the hunk’s sister was kidnapped by this creepy dude (Quin Kessler). From here on out the group encounter numerous perils and leave a high body count.

This film was a ton of fun. It had it all…werewolves, giants in tutu’s, nazi’s, you get the drift. The action was pretty terrible…hell, Power Rangers had better fight choreography, but for whatever reason I didn’t mind. The soundtrack is awesome. When you think post-apocalyptic warrior movie what springs to mind? Some strings…heavy percussion…something that rings “period piece.” Well this movie said “hells no” to that bullshit. This film has a heavy metal soundtrack…and it works.

I did notice something that made my eyebrows tingle. So this film takes place in the future, right? Well that racist in your family will be happy to know that in this future there are no ethnic minorities…just whities. This made me frown.

Frowning aside, this film was a lot of fun and definitely worth a little Netflix streaming.


Retro Review : Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter (Chardonnay Edition)

Directed By

William Beaudine

Written By

Carl K. Hittleman

Starring

John Lupton

Narda Onyx

Estelita Rodriguez

Cal Bolder

Jim Davis

Music By

Raoul Kraushaar

Embassy Pictures

1966

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3xxOg4k5eI[/youtube]

 

What a pile of shit. First off, Jesse James does not meet Frankenstein’s daughter, he meets his granddaughter. Perhaps “granddaughter” seems too far removed for the title…but still, come on folks. The script was terrible, the acting laughable, and the special effects non-speciable. I loved it.

I did. It has a certain charm that low budget films from the era possess in spades. Sure, there were the flaws…like this Jesse James is not the “ex-confederate soldier turned outlaw” Jesse James but the “folk hero, Robin Hood-y” Jesse James…and somehow the Frankenstein’s shifted from being German to being some sort of Latin…but ok, this is a movie, right?

So Jesse James (John Lupton) has this Of Mice and Men like relationship with beefcake Hank Tracy (Cal Bolder). And they are doing their thing being all outlaw-y and shit when some crazy shit happens and Hank gets injured. Well, unluckily for them, the town all this shit went down in is also home to the Frankensteins, who are tilling along trying to create a perfect monster. Basically, Jesse and this feisty latina (long story) take Hank to the Frankenstein’s place to patch up Hank…and patch him up they do. Hank becomes their monster (minus the original monsters neck plug thingies.)

So why should you watch this movie? Good question. It was bad, but it could possibly make excellent background noise at your next party, especially if adult beverages and/or pharmaceuticals are included.

 


Retro Review : The Garbage Pail Kids Movie

Directed By

Rod Amateau

Written By

Linda Palmer
Rod Amateau

Starring

Mackenzie Astin
Anthony Newley
Katie Barberi
Phil Fondacaro

Music By

Michael Lloyd

Atlantic Releasing/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Original Release Date : August 22, 1987

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lXmuXVGidY[/youtube]

‘You can’t change the world by locking it away’

I was sure this movie would be shit. I mean, it did make the rank on more than one “worst movies ever made” lists, it was made in the eighties, and it was made solely to capitalize on a trend.

Honestly though, it wasn’t that bad. I enjoyed this film oogles and joogles more than last week’s She-Devils on Wheels. Ok, so here is the plot. This young man named ‘Dodger’ (Astin) is totally a nerd and is bullied by a group of greasers led by a guy named ‘Juice.’ Juice’s girlfriend is named ‘Tangerine’ (Barberi). She’s a slutty bitch, so naturally Dodger is head over hills in love with her.

Dodger works at an antique shop run by a wizard, and among the antiques is a garbage pail. This garbage pail is home to the Garbage Pail Kids. I was shocked to find that Rush Limbaugh was among them. Photo evidence is below.

So amidst a scuffle the Garbage Pail Kids (GBK) get released and end up saving young Dodger from drowning in the sewer. Fastforward….Dodger learns that Tangerine loves fashion and the GBK are free child labor. The GBK agree to sew a fashion line Project Runway Style if Dodger will help find their other friends (who are locked up at the State Home for the Ugly). They shake on it. Tangerine double crosses the GBK and they end up at the State Home for the Ugly. Dodger and the Wizard break everyone out and tear up Tangerine’s fashion show. The End.

There were some instances of eye-brow raising social commentary. The GBK borrow some sewing machines from the “Non-Union Sweatshop.” The prisoners inside the State Home for the Ugly included prisoners who were either “too fat,” “too thin,” “too pale,” and a cross-dresser who was labeled as “too weird.” Dodger and the GBK were ultimately successful by working together. Although at the time parents were outraged by the film, I found the meaning (it is OK to be different, work together, friendship, loyalty, etc.) to be a great one for children, and the vulgarity (vomit, snot, farts etc.) will also keep them entertained. I’d let my kids watch it. You can watch it too, right now. The Garbage Kids Movie is currently available to stream instantly.

 

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/12520137″]

The Garbage Pail Kids “We Can Do Anything (by working with eachother)”

Retro Review : She-Devils On Wheels

Directed by

Herschell Gordon Lewis

Written by

Allison Louise Downe

Starring

Betty Connell
Nancy Lee Noble

Music by

Larry Wellington

Mayflower Pictures

Original Release Date : May 7, 1968

 

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dy1QwtclnWE[/youtube]

`We don’t owe nobody nuthin’, and we don’t make no deals, we’re swingin’ chicks on motors, and we’re man-eaters on wheels!’

The year was 1968. Draft cards were burning. Students were protesting. On April 11th, LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act of 1968, and just one month later She-Devil On Wheels hit theaters.

The film follows this gnarly female biker gang called “The Man-Eaters.” Although their name may create some confusion; sadly they are not cannibals. In fact, they don’t seem to be committing any crimes one would expect a biker gang to commit. No drug dealing, no firearm smuggling, no chop shop. Nah, this is a special biker gang. What do they want? Mens. And they got a whole gaggle of men waiting for them in their dilapidated clubhouse. Members of the Man-Eaters shalt screw the men, but shalt not fall in love with the men…because that would be bad? Yea, the Man-Eater’s rules make absolutely no sense. Anyways, the horny harlots race one another, and whomever wins the race gets to call dibs on the hunk of her choosing. So, so romantic. Things are all groovy until a Man-Eater named Karen (Christie Wagner) is caught banging the some clown over and over again. Then the HBIC, Queen (Betty Connell) roughs up the lucky bastard and pressures Karen to go all Achilles on her beau and drag him around on her bike. Then some other all male gang get their asses handed to them by the ladies (I can’t explain it), there is some gang rape and a be-heading and some people end up handcuffed by film’s end. Not all is shit, however, as the theme song is very catchy. Josie Cotton even covered it.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UK3PPWrDk6o[/youtube]

Historical context…two words to always remember. By today’s standards this film is so very tame…ok…the beheading and gang rape may constitute a strong PG-13 rating…but by 1968 standards this film was shocking. Remember that in 1968 the production code had only been abolished for barely a year…so the “orgies” (although fully clothed) must have been titillating.

Still, this movie was underwhelming. There were too many plots flipping around that the whole damn thing seemed schitzo. Karen was about as interesting and tough as argyle and was easily upstaged by Queen and the BBW named “Whitey” (Pat Poston). If I were to remake this I would scrap Karen and her plot and focus on Queen. We are to believe that these women are tough ass biker chicks…yet it seems as if they just learned to ride. Seriously, their races don’t exceed 35 mph. The fight scenes are just as laughable. The tough men they fight couldn’t bang on Seseme Street.

Yes, there is a feminist edge to the film. The women discard the roles society places on them and adopt roles attributed to the worst of men…the promiscuity, the violence, etc.  Yet here is how you can tell that a man was behind this piece; the beefcakes at the clubhouse seem all too eager to be sexually exploited…and although this may be stereotypically realistic it places them as equal to the Man-Eaters, not lesser than. I feel that if the roles were reversed (which it is all too often in film) the women would not be as eager to be used and would be subjected to humiliation and sexual violence. Here it was just a party.

This film is filed under “exploitation,” and I am sure that it was in 1968. When I think “exploitation” I think I Spit On Your Grave or Cannibal Holocaust. Films that really turn your stomach. Films that were still ten years away from hitting the streets. This film, although underwhelming, was pure camp. And Whitey and Queen made it fun.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcrL19rK0yo[/youtube]


Retro Review : Them!

Directed by

Gordon Douglas

Written by

Ted Sherdeman
Russell Hughes
George Worthing Yates

Starring

James Whitmore
Edmund Gwenn
Joan Weldon
James Arness

Music By

Bronislau Kaper

Warner Bros.

Original Release Date : June 19, 1954

 

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2PLls02gOU[/youtube]

About 10 years ago I was living in a posh apartment in Frisco, and one night I invited my friends over for some drinks and debauchery. Later that evening we took a jaunt over to Wendys for some late night foodage. The partying continued and in the destruction a plate of french fries was buried under a pile of pillows. The following day I woke up to a trail of ants coming from the patio to the double fried potato sticks. There is nothing more disgusting than the sight of insectual feasting…all those little ants ripping the shit out of the fries and taking it back to the colony. So, so gross.

Well, I first heard of the movie THEM! by playing Fallout 3. During the game the player must save a city overrun by giant, mutated ants. This mission was called….you guessed it… “Them!”

This film follows a group of heroes battling an army of mutated ants. The mutation was a result of atomic radiation created from nuclear testing. Although the group were ultimately successful,  the film ends on a ominous tone with the lead scientist saying, “When man entered the atomic age, he opened the door to a new world. What we may eventually find in that new world, nobody can predict.”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UR0XbTcs2Us[/youtube]

Kaper’s musical arrangement is incredibly effective, as was the chilling  Sound the ants used to communicate. The acting was, for the most part, above average given the style of the time period. Everyone knows that no suspense film is complete without a creepy child. This child, played by Sandy Descher, fills this role in spades. The half broken doll was a nice touch.  There was also a feminist edge to this film that made me cheer. In one scene, Dr. Pat Medford (Joan Weldon) was prepared to enter the colony because her father, Dr. Harold Medford, (played by Edmund Gwenn) was unable to due to his age. The able bodied men originally protested, exclaiming that the dangerous colony was no place for a woman. Dr. Pat Medford appealed to their common sense…a scientist was needed and no other one was present. Remember folks, this was the 1950’s.

The special effects, while obviously dated, are still pretty impressive. I also had no idea that they had flame throwers back then. I know, duh…if they can make the atom bomb, they can make flame throwers.

Them! is available to watch instantly on Netflix. If you are a fan of sci-fi, like monster movies, or are interested in films from the 1950’s, this one is worth checking out.