21 August 2016

Movies : Don't look in the basement

Don't look in the basement (1973)
We open with an army flashback, in what (we presume) is a psych ward. The old nurse is saying farewell to her patients. Gus is now murdering people with an axe.
The new nurse has arrived, she's a bit confused by things. and the inmates are targeting her. huzzah.
Everyone is over acting, and they're all very shiny.
there is a lot of exposition. Dr Stephen's looms large, non of us very sure why.
A new character, a phone repairer, has arrived. Things don't look good for him. There has to be a nympho character and she's now talking to the phone guy. Meanwhile a knife is being inflicted on our nurse. 50 mins and no hint of a plot or character development yet.

Really bad boring movie.

14 August 2016

Movies: Driller Killer

The Driller Killer
I think they were going for a gritty New York cinema verite approach. It doesn't work. Down on his luck artist, with a painting which has a eye watching them. Our artist (reno) is starting to have nightmares, which may not bode well for everyone else.
Note, this isn't the 2 disc limited edition, this is a poor quality transfer on another one of my 12 movies for £4 sets :)
Our artist is trying to get money out of his manager/agent to pay for a phone bill. Yeah, I know. It doesn't go well.  A band practicing in the next studio is annoying our mentally unstable artist, to their credit they sound good (very Pere Ubu actually), but it's 2am and our artist is upset.
But in a teaser, they're still alive !!! However there is tension within the band, Tony is not listening. NOT LISTENING. To a very NY sounding woman. Artist is now stabbing a hunk of meat. I'm guessing we should imply his mental state is degenerating.
I will note we're 35mins in and although we've had some boob, there has been no murder.

Ahh significant improvement. The Driller Killer has arrived, those damn bums are gonna get it.

We're back to the band now, they're called The Roosters we've just discovered. They riff a lot off Mancini's baby elephant walk.

Still finance problems. More killing, but now, maybe a commission, from the musician.
One of the girls has run off to her ex. And our DK is bringing the agent down to his studio at night, after the agent refused to buy one of his paintings. More tension, more drama. More drilling. And Reno (DK) is looking for a new agent, the old one being found by one of his housemates. She acts. And then, thankfully her acting is curtailed by Reno.
DK pops over to where the other housemate ran off to (Stephen's) and gives Steve a damn good drilling while she's in the shower. She climbs into bed with supposed Stephen ... and the film ends.

Overall, pointless story, bad acting, and quite good music. Worth a spin.

5 August 2016

Movies: Picasso Trigger

Picasso Trigger.
More Andy Sidaris. This one is going for international classy by opening with shots of Paris. Then cuts to, what the director will hope we call, a chateau. Except it looks very Californian. Our (presumed) hero is in a dressing gown, which he loses revealing a scar on his chest. He's donating a Picasso to France.

Side note: Howard Wexler was the DoP. Howard is justly famous for his work on such classics as the Evil Bong series.

Sadly our hero is no longer with us. Another dressing gown man is ringing another chap wearing budgie smugglers and living on a boat.
Everyone is, apparently, spies. Including the strippers, who are line dancing. I have been unable to find you some of that action, I'm sorry, so so sorry.
I now have beer. This will help (for those playing at home: Brewdog Mashtag 2016).

Having planted a bug on some of the spies, some of the other spies (same team as the art dude, who we learn was a drug smuggler) follow in a chopper, then blow up the car. Back to big haired women discussing the Agency. More spies are dead. There is bad poetry involved - 'Give 'em a lei, blow 'em away'.

Little disappointing for an Andy movie, it's taken 17mins before breast sighting.
The girls' (also spies) boat has been blown up by a remote control plane (was osama a Andy Sidaris fan?). Followed by more explosions, of various people. LG is now calling Travis. None of these people mean anything to me. More Hawaii shots, and reference to the Agency. Cue Synths. Many Synths.
More Line Dancing, and seduction. There's now a boat chase, I recognise some of the protagonists, but in all honesty my beer is more interesting. But hey, there's guns, girls and g-strings - as the advertising for this Sidaris boxset went...
The guy has a phone in his desk drawer. But they also have a nice looking car, I think it's a Lamborghini, but really, expecting me to know these things is a bit silly.  It's got that big fat arse that I seem to recall Lamb' had...
Story threatened to intrude, so we're back to stripper line dancing. Now there's a writer/director who knows his audience.

Overall, delivers on what it promises. Works with beer, and presumably pizza.

2 August 2016

Movies : Bloody Pit of Horror

Bloody Pit of Horror
Italian horror movie dubbed into English, with lots of exposition. Why yes, I did like it.
The Crimson Executioner died many years ago, but in a convenient plot device, he's back to terrorise a castle where [NOTE: even more coincidence] some sexy Italians are shooting photos for horror book covers.
Yes I know. You may also need to read this afterwards.

People die. Blood is bright red. Exposition rules OK, and the dubbing is as bad as the acting. Imagine Hammer Horror, dubbed from italian into english, but with better looking actors, and very cheesy sounding american voices. Eg 'how could you, you're a monster, a monster!' and 'you, you mean nothing to me now, even if I missed you after I abandoned the world.'
The bad guy is called Travis. Make of that what you will.

Here ya go, the entire movie:

30 July 2016

Movies : Silent Night, Bloody Night

Silent Night, Bloody Night (1972)

Not the best transfer, but an enjoyable romp. Not too much exposition, but enough so we're hammered with the fact the inherited house used to be an asylum. Which never ends well.
It doesn't drag too much, but it doesn't really engage either. It's a bit dull, and could do with more horror. Although it's implied, it's not particularly good.

Good way to fill in 80mins on a Friday afternoon, but nothing great.

14 July 2016

Announcing a new series !! Explore Opera with Bruce!

I like opera. But I do tend to stick to what I know well (Wagner mainly, and the ring cycle in particular), so I think I need to push my boundaries out. Sure, I've got other opera's on the NAS, even Roger Water's Ca Ira is lying around on SACD (and yes, I like it), but I think I need to spin/watch more.
So, for my cultural edification, I'm going to explore an opera (plot, history, impact) then watch/listen to it - and if the plan works, make comments here.

I'm going to try to plan for one opera a month. I have fond memories on watching operas on a Sunday afternoon when I was a nipper, admittedly no-one else in the house liked opera so it never lasted (I grew up in a house of philistines, Gilbert & Sullivan was far more popular with them - I hate G&S), so as winter comes in later in the year I may try and move to a Sunday afternoon slot too.

I think I'll revisit the Bluray's I've already got, and I think I'm heading to some opera at the Proms, so that'll get a mention (I'm reasonably sure I booked some Bartok, who I also love).

me x

10 July 2016

Movie: Gymkata

Todays quality viewing doesn't come the current pile of 12 movies on 3 DVDs for a fiver pile, rather a friend recommended this. In a "it's your kind of movie' way, based on err, well, most of the movie reviews I post here (in my defence, I have also watched The Revenant and Tale of Tales in the last few weeks...).
For a little context, the writer was my friends next door neighbour, and even cooler - this is his father.

So, Gymkata (1985).
Following the credits we've had some guy doing gymnastics, and now Ninjas! Fuck yeah. The guy is now being shot at by a Chuck Norris look alike, but with a bow and arrow. And now back to gymanastics (parallel bars, for those following at home). Our champion gymnast has been recruited by the US government, to prevent nuclear attack. I'm not making this up. Honest. They have to enter Palmistan, and 'play the game', which isn't, apparently, prostitution. Lots of other countries are also training their atheletes for this event. The tension is making my pants blow up. OMFG they've even got Palmistan's princess to help train him. She's promptly tied him up and smacked him over. Brilliant.
A generic looking asian is spouting nonsense aphorisms, with a hawk on his arm. It's so bad, I have to give you an image.
Following some very appalling acting/script Princess is now massaging him with a gaping blouse, and he rolls her over for a soft focus romantic shagfest [cut away]. Christ almighty.

After wandering through a very fake looking salt mine, we're in a souk / market. Princess is very excited. Everyone looks like Borat, and now one of his minions has been shot (with an arrow). So it's time for appalling kung fu !!! huzzah !!!!
He's also very keen on a red (white n blue) jumper, I suspect this acts a highly effective prophylactic. The generic foreign town they're running around looks more Italian (maybe Spanish?) than anything else. But he's doing martial gymnastics!! Oh thankfully he's also a superb shot with a gun. American action hero gymnasts, everything you need ...
And now a very long chase, gun fight, scene. Painfully long. There is no continuity in this movie, it lurches from scene to scene even worse than Harry Potter.
But we have ninja's. Again. so all is not lost. And now, for the race, they're running through cornfields, being chased by ninja's.  And now feasting on the day before the race. Plot is very confused. If it's there at all.
Not wanting to look to closely an continuity issues: but why is the princess Thai looking, and her father a very white chap?
More cornfields!!! And walking over pigs. Yes, pigs. I don't pretend to understand it either.

26 June 2016

Movies: The Terror

As a title, yes it is apt given recent events. But no, this is the 1963 movie with Boris Karloff and Jack Nicholson. A young cavalry officer is lost on a beach (Nicholson), and follows an attractive (read, bosomy brunette) woman.
So far, there's been a lot of screeching strings, trying to build tension. Not sure it's worked, but eh. Our hero follows her into the water, is attacked by birds, and has just awakened in a castle while being looked after by an old crone. [tick and tick].

Our attractive woman has reappeared and we've just found out she's possessed. I also like that Nicholson's inability to act came from the start, the character is always Nicholson.
He's now met a Baron and questioning him about the young woman, who the Baron assures him doesn't exist.
"for a ghost, she's a very active woman"
Oh more ticks, graveyard castle, puffy shirts, and the baroness (cute babe) is still dead. But oddly active.
Jack's acting is still wooden, but he's challenging people. There's also an Eric. Yeah, Im confused too, but my bagel was nice. The Baron is getting an earful from Jack, for exposition purposes. The servant is very suspicious, followed by a lot of wandering around the castle by Jack. It's not riveting stuff by any stretch. Honestly, the football is better... In a predictable plot twist, Jack's trying it on with the ghost. My money's on her succumbing....I was right, wonder what I win? There's an awful lot of misty graveyard shots in this, and yet it's not a hammer horror. My mind, figuratively blown. The old crone appears to be controlling everything. "mesmerism, you fool" yes, it's scintillating stuff.
The soundtrack would make old Korngold happy, but it's by some dude Ronald Stein, who composed for a large number of b-grades I've seen. Classy.

Roger Corman, and F.F.Coppola.
Viewing has been brought to you by Beavertown Bloody 'ell, and Brewdog Black Hammer. Both highly recommended. Far more than the movie.

30 May 2016

Movies: Unknown World (1951)

It's not all Bgrade and classic movies, but bank holiday mornings do seem to attract coffee and movies.
Bank Holiday Monday is kicking off with :
Unknown World (1951)
Dr Morley wants to save us from nuclear disaster! Fuck me, there's a female scientist, she's blonde and cute. All the others are elderly males. Morley wants to drill down into the earth to create a safe location for humanity. There's a lot in common with Jules Verne (and Rick Wakeman!) here. Society to Save Civilisation. Brilliant name that. He's using the Cyclotram, sadly no theremins  involved, yet.
Ahhh the 50's, they're smoking inside the Cyclotram, the female biochemist is making notes on people, ohhhh she's judgemental *gasp*. Cripes, even more rip from JV, they've found some notes from people who went that way in 1938! there's conflict in the team. Toxic Gas! Andy's dead. I know, I'm pretty cut up about it too. They've found an underground world, with waterfalls and everything. "Like a dream, or a nightmare".
Could have been worse, pottered along nicely, excessive sexism, all the usual 50s tick boxes.

29 May 2016

Movies: Savage Beach & Little Shop of Horrors

Savage Beach  (1989)
More Andy Sidaris. Opening with some guy doing vague moves with a sword on a beach, he's 'the warrior'. He's just bowed to a rock. Blondes in jeep with big hair? Check. Ohhh they've used other hot babes as a diversion, and are sneaking into the Delight Pineapple company, where they're putting a white powder inside pineapples !!! Well I never ! Just so they can arrest them, all the girls are narcotics agents!! Now all four are topless in a pool. As you do.
lots of car / motorbike chases, and shooting people. With pulsing 80s music underneath.
For some reason, they're searching for a sunken japanese warship. Everyone is looking very intense, and meaningful. Our blondes are flying through a thunderstorm, I've lost track why they're doing this, and they've been hit !! There are also generic asians looking for the gold, they're now doing karate. Ahh our blondes have crash-landed on the island where everyone else is heading.
I have fuck all idea what the plot was.

The Little Shop of Horrors 1960
A very early jack nicholson movie. With a great jazz soundtrack, and directed by Roger Corman, how could it fail...
More Jewish jokes than you shake a dreidel at. It's more snappy than the remake, but lots of the lines were kept between the two. This holds together really well, and maybe darker than the remake. Jack plays a pain obsessed chap, Wilber Force, visiting the dentist. And there's a Mrs Fishtwanger. More movies need a Mrs Fishtwanger.