Sunday, April 25, 2010

Poster Hunt #9 - Blood Bath

A fairly late-in-the-month Poster Hunt, this classic and enticing poster comes from the B-movie super house that was American International Pictures.

This actually sounds pretty intriguing! From IMDb:
Roger Corman, noted producer/director, hired Jack Hill in 1964 to write and direct a horror film with the condition that he make liberal use of footage from "Operation Titian", a thriller Corman produced with Francis Ford Coppola (!) in Yugoslavia, but deemed unworthy of USA release. Hill was given actor William Campbell, Titian's star, and hired Lori Saunders (still using her original name of Linda Saunders, and soon Petticoat Junction-bound).

However, Corman didn't like the resulting film about a murderous sculptor possessed by the spirit of his ancestor, who was killed by a beautiful witch. So he shelved it for a year, bringing it out for director Stephanie Rothman to revise. Rothman turned the possessed sculptor into a vampire, shot extensive new footage (using a few members of the supporting cast) and---bingo!---"Blood Bath" was out in the theaters at last,

Might have to hunt this one out!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Terror on the 40th Floor

Sometimes, a review just doesn't tell you whether you want to watch it. Sometimes, writing a review just isn't appealing.

With these two things in mind, I present to you the ultimate im gimmick-y blog posting: the first 30 minutes of the film, blow by blow. There's no spoilers (there's hardly a plot), but hopefully it'll give you an idea of whether you want to watch it (you don't).

Here, then, is Terror on the 40th Floor. A disaster movie about a skyscraper. Die Hard, this ain't.

29secs: Awesome synth tune kicks in. This has started well. And look! Father Christmas. It must be set at Christmas.

1min: The strings kick in. The music’s nice, but the credits are otherwise pretty dull.

2mins: There’s an office party going on and they’re all drunk.

3mins: Woman on the phone is arguing with her mum about whether she should be with her son,
rather than at the party. She probably should. This is all going to end badly.

5mins: A guy sneaks off with two girls and bursts in upon his morose father brooding in his office. They’re invited in for a drink.

6mins: It’s champagne. Wow.

7mins: Another guy burst in with two girls. Suddenly the party is relocating to the office.

8mins: Most of the drunken revellers are heading home, the security guard shepherds them out.

9mins: Kelly who should be locking up and checking the building is clear is encouraged out of the building by the boss.

10mins: Charley arrives and er… rather implausibly has been demanded to perform maintenance work on the building ON CHRISTMAS EVE.

11mins: Back to the remaining party group upstairs. Champagne flows as they begin to flirt…

12mins: Oh noes! Charley the maintenance man is drinking from a bottle of liquor! How terribly irresponsible. He just knocked something on the floor too.

13mins: More boring flirting. The dialogue is pretty crappy.

14mins: Charley is doing something strenuous in the dark. Not sure what. He takes another big swig of liquor.

15mins: Ahahaha, he just kicked over a tiny lantern, which set everything on fire. Including his legs. What a shame. The security guy is running around too.

16mins: Oh, the ambulance has arrived ever-so speedily. But one of them has already died. Hard luck, buddy. The other man, merely injured, was the security guard who has informed the emergency services that there’s no-one inside the building. BUT THERE IS!!!11!!!!

18mins: The fire has climbed seven floors in the last three minutes of film. What’s going to happen in the next 80 minutes?

20mins: There’s a little bit of boozy seduction going on here. And some comparison of notes between old flame and new.

20mins + 30secs: He has a wife! Eeek!

21mins: Guys are fighting fire. It’s not very clear what’s going on. Sirens wail. They’re cutting the power.

23mins: He seducing her by describing the boardroom. What a player…

24mins: The music’s gone really dramatic… not a lot’s happening though. Until…. Snogging!

25mins: Ah! But up comes the topic of his wife.

26mins: Hazy flash-back (or is it flash-forward) to games of badminton in the sunshine. And then she drops the bomb: “Jim.. I…I’m pregnant

28mins: “So.. we can have an abortion or get married?”

29mins: He’s gotta think about it.

29mins: Back to the now, sirens wail. Not a lot else is happening.

In conclusion: unless you're gripped by these details and care about the cheating businessman or any of the other boring, thin characters... I really wouldn't bother with this one.

Thank you and goodnight.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Angel Blade

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The last thing I posted here (see below) was a rant/argument about how the "b" in "b-movie" didn't mean bad. Sadly, as is so often the way when you try to make an argument, the next thing to come along so totally undermined my point that I'd have quite happily pretended it didn't exist. But I shan't, if only because admitting that there are exceptions to any argument is a good thing to do.

That next thing that came along was Angel Blade.


Now, I'll be straight about this from the begining; I bought Angel Blade on DVD for £0.99 at the nearest er... 99p shop. So I'll admit that I wasn't necessarily expecting a masterpiece (although I did pick up a couple of Dario Argento films there too... Wine some, lose some). And masterpiece it most certainly wasn't.

I would have no hesitation in naming Angel Blade as one of the worst films I have watched in recent memory.

The creative 'team' doesn't exactly bode well. From the "Deavid Heavener Entertainment Group" comes a film that is written by David Heavener, produced by David Heavener, directed by David Heavener and starring David Heavener. The guy has taken the role of the auteur to a higher degree. You feel it was only really physical impossibility that stopped him giving himself all the other parts in the film. Oh yeah, and the fact that his (and only his) numerous sex-scenes wouldn't have been as fun for him to write/direct/star in if there wasn't anyone else around...

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I'm getting ahead of myself though. I'll go back to the premise of the film. A mysterious killer is murdering prostitutes in LA. So far so good. Anyone who's seen Franco's New York Ripper or indeed pretty much anything made in Italy between 1960 and 1980 can tell you that this is a fine starting point for a film. It guarrantees you a good dose of sleeze, gore, intrigue and action. Perfect. Who could mess this one up?

David Heavener, that's who.

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By null at 2010-03-30

The plot manages to be both confusing and dull, the sex scenes bear very little relation to the film - more like sexual interludes than actual scenes - and the 'astonishing' secret of the film is laughable. (Oh yes, here come the spoilers...) Not content with merely being writer/producer/director/lead policeman character, David Heavener's character is also the psycho killer. His reasons? Just wait and see... (drumroll) The reason that David Heavener, once-good cop, has gone on a pregnant-prostitute killing rampage in LA is because... his pregnant girlfriend/wife walked off a roof and died.


I'll write that again. The reason that David Heavener, once-good cop, has gone on a pregnant-prostitute killing rampage in LA is because... his pregnant girlfriend/wife walked off a roof and died. It wasn't that she was killed in the line of duty. It wasn't that she was even killed at all. She was looking through the viewfinder of her camera and, in perhaps the most implausible moment in cinema history, she walked. off. the. roof. of. a. building. Splat.

Oh dear.

If however, all this gives the impression that I didn't enjoy this film, you're very much mistaken. Cinematic genius apart, Angel Blade is a stunning example of just how badly you can tell a nonsense story and, as such, is totally worth a watch! I might leave it a while until a second viewing though...

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