HK and Cult Film News's Fan Box

Saturday, November 30, 2019

POWERBOMB -- Movie Review by Porfle




Just for the record, I don't care for wrestling and never have. Therefore, for a wrestling movie to be one of the most fun and impressive low-budget indy flicks I've seen in a long time, it would have to be a pretty darn kickass wrestling movie. Which is exactly what horror-thriller POWERBOMB is.

Directors R. Zachary Shildwachter and B.J. Colangelo got some actual wrestlers to act in this, including star Matt Cross as himself. He and the other wrestlers do a surprisingly good job of acting, not just in the wrestling scenes but later when they're reminiscing about old times and chiding Matt for playing the small venues and not going for the big time because he's got a wife and kid to take care of.

The opening wrestling scenes are the real thing too, setting the film's realistic tone which carries over into Matt's personal life and that of his wife, ex-wrestling star Amy (Roni Jonah) who also gave up the big time for momdom and is constantly nagged about it by her friend Kelsi Roxx (Britt Baker), also a former ring star who quit only because of a disabling injury.


It's these conversations between the real wrestlers about real wrestling issues and how the profession affects their personal lives in profound ways that give the movie an added dimension of authenticity to go along with the more fanciful events later on.

Speaking of which, what sets the plot into high gear is when Matt is kidnapped by his rotund and very fanatical #1 fan Paul (Wes Allen), who shackles Matt in the basement of his house where he tends his invalid mother and stews in his overwhelming lifelong obsession with wrestling in general and Matt in particular.

Paul, while serving his chained-up captive pizza and showing off his custom-made Matt Cross action figure, speaks at length about how he's going to prepare Matt for a return to stardom by forcing him to get his mind and body back on track. Like everyone else in this film, Wes Allen's performance as Paul just goes full-tilt and never slacks up.


Meanwhile, Josh Miller goes beyond the slime barrier as Matt's super-shady S.O.B. of a manager, Simon, a crooked cokehead who doesn't care how much he cheats and connives to get ahead (while secretly socking away most of Matt's moolah).

This includes sliming his way over to Matt's house and trying to intimidate Amy herself after Matt fails to show up for a match, which places him in an awkward position with some local underworld creeps.

For most of POWERBOMB, we see Matt and Amy pushed to the limit of their endurance and patience, placed into untenable situations and dealing with idiots who are beyond empathy or rational thought either due to inherent evil or a severe disconnect with reality.


So when at last the fickle foot of fate stomps right down on their last good nerve, we get to see what happens when two fed-up professional wrestling superstars go medieval on some well-deserving asses and push things into horror territory.

At about 77 minutes, POWERBOMB is short and sweet, drawing us in quick and getting the job done with no muss or fuss and giving both wrestling and horror fans an exceedingly entertaining time along the way. The finale is bloody and cathartic, and even if you don't love wrestling it's liable to have you cheering.






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Great 3 Stooges Running Gag: "Moe Gets The Point!" (video)




While the Stooges are digging...

...Moe keeps getting hit in the head...

...by the other two Stooges' digging tools.


CASH AND CARRY (1937)
YES, WE HAVE NO BONANZA (1939)
CACTUS MAKES PERFECT (1942)
HAVE ROCKET -- WILL TRAVEL (1959)


I neither own nor claim any rights to this material.  Just having some fun with it. Thanks for watching!


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Friday, November 29, 2019

Porfle's Trivia Quiz #18: "STAR WARS Cantina Scene" (1977) (video)




How much do you remember about this classic scene from the original "Star Wars"?
 

Question: Obi-Wan's first contact in the cantina is with...

A. Han Solo
B. Chewbacca
C. Greedo
D. Jar Jar Binks
E. Boba Fett

Question: When a thug threatens Luke, Obi-Wan does what?

A. Runs him through
B. Cuts off his arm
C. Beheads him
D. Talks him out of it
E. Pays him off

Question: The Millennium Falcon made the Kessel Run in less than ____ parsecs.

A. 14
B. 13
C. 12
D. 11
E. 10

Question: Who originally shot first...Han or Greedo?


I neither own nor claim any rights to this material.  Just having some fun with it. Thanks for watching!




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Thursday, November 28, 2019

LORE -- Movie Review by Porfle




Way up in the craggy mountains of the vast Northwest, surrounded by deep dark forests through which skulk creepy, crawly things that howl in the night, estranged couple Ann and Rich are desperately searching for their missing son Eric in the supernatural horror-thriller LORE (2018).

The basic plot is just that simple, but it manages to generate a lot of suspense and eerie atmosphere, along with a few genuine scares.  I kept expecting Bigfoot to lumber out from behind a tree, although what the local indigenous population claim may be lurking there makes even the big guy seem not quite as threatening.

Ann and Rich's Native American guide John (Sean Wei Mah, IT WAITS) doesn't believe in all that mystical mumbo-jumbo...much.  But when weird things start to happen to them in and around their campsite, and what appear to be dark phantom figures flit around in their periphery, he begins to doubt his own doubts.


The grieving parents must push onward, however, obsessed with the hope that their missing son might still be alive. And with our nerves on edge, we're swept along with their (possibly) doomed quest, watching as these wilderness neophytes survive only through the tenuous presence of their forest-saavy guide and hope nothing happens to him, which, of course, it does.

Eventually the worst happens at every turn as LORE begins to resemble THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT without the "found footage" angle (the direction and photography, in fact, are quite good) and things get more and more hopeless. 


They get scarier, too, as bad things continue to happen to our intrepid trio until the mysterious presence in the woods--if it indeed exists--seems to draw them ever deeper into its sinister clutches.

As all this goes on, the human side of the story comes to the fore when Ann and Rich's shared fear and desperation to find their son bring them to the verge of a reconciliation. 

This adds to our empathy for them and raises the stakes ever higher as their search gradually becomes a struggle for survival and, ultimately, a confrontation with their worst fears.


Lyndsey Lantz (CICADA SONG) and Max Lesser (CYRUS) are totally convincing as Ann and Rich, while Sean Wei Mah (IT WAITS) plays John as a reliable, no-nonsense guide constantly warning against wandering blindly into the unknown.  (The great Eric Roberts shows up for a single scene as a sheriff early on.)

Is there really some supernatural evil lurking through the miles of dark, dense forest, luring them all to a horrible fate? That's the question that keeps us on the edge of our seats in LORE, a nifty chiller-thriller in which survival may mean more than just staying alive.




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John Wayne's Coolest Scenes #51: Fiddle Concert, "THE FIGHTING KENTUCKIAN" (1949)




Duke (along with special friend Oliver Hardy)...

...finds himself on the concert stage with a fiddle.

Unfortunately, he doesn't know how to play it.

Still, he manages to strike the right note.


I neither own nor claim any rights to this material.  Just having some fun with it. Thanks for watching!



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Wednesday, November 27, 2019

THE LURKER -- Movie Review by Porfle



Nice to see that current slasher movies are no longer required to possess a SCREAM-style self awareness and can just go back to being slasher movies.  A case in point is the low-budget, very 80s influenced THE LURKER (2019), which takes its story of a troubled high school senior  and her classmates being terrorized by a masked killer very seriously.

Not a stellar production by any means, this is a perfectly adequate and at times above-average effort that spends enough time focusing on Taylor (Scout Taylor-Compton), her personal problems, and her volatile interactions with various classmates to raise it above the usual "obnoxious teens get slaughtered one by one during a party" drivel.

Taylor, it turns out, yearns to be an actress and is currently playing Juliet in the senior play to a Romeo who's little more than an obnoxious horndog.  Meanwhile,  some mean girls have gotten Taylor at a disadvantage by learning her most dreaded secret and are using it to push all her buttons as often as possible.


As if that weren't enough, Taylor comes from a broken home (her father disappeared, leaving her with a caring mother and her current boyfriend) and, for some reason, the play's director has developed a raging hard-off for her, vowing with considerable contempt that she will fail in her acting aspirations.

The film concentrates so much on Taylor's personal problems, in fact, that the first couple of kill sequences seem tacked-on.  This will change later on, however, when a cast party at "Romeo's" house becomes a hunting ground for the deadly stalker in the black hoodie and bird-beak mask. 

Up until that point THE LURKER moves at a leisurely pace that's punctuated by the brutal murders of a school counsellor who suffers multiple stabbings with a sharp, jagged object, and a classmate whose head is pulverized by a cinder block behind the theater during a break in the play. 


Later, when the party's bloody festivities get under way, gore fans will be treated to several killings but may not be entirely satisfied with the rather run-of-the-mill throat slashings, chokings, blunt-object bludgeonings, and the like, some of which occur either off-camera or in very quick shots.

Still, things remain lively throughout the film's second half, during which everyone ends up back at the school (I missed exactly how that happened) for more bloody mayhem and a plot revelation or two.  The real shock ending comes later at the hospital, where the massacre's survivors discover that the carnage is yet to reach its final horrific peak.

As the story unfolds, we're treated to a few possible candidates for the title role.  These include a creepy long-haired janitor named Drew (Eddie Huchro) with an unhealthy interest in Taylor, as well as her co-star's even creepier dad who shows up at the party drunk and wielding a shotgun, and who has an even unhealthier interest in Taylor when she asks him where the bathroom is.


Technical aspects are nicely done--director Eric Liberacki (SPOILED FRUIT) does a solid job--and the performances are good. The doctor in the hospital scenes is played by none other than the original Jason in "Friday the 13th", Ari Lehman. Scout Taylor-Compton (THE LUMBER BARON, 247°F, CYNTHIA) will be familiar to many as Laurie Strode in Rob Zombie's "Halloween" films.

Slow spots and improbable story points are pretty much forgiven once the action gets going, which it does in fairly good style for such a modest, well-meaning shocker.  THE LURKER sets out to be a bloody 80s-style slasher movie that doesn't kid around, and it does so in entertaining fashion.


TECH SPECS
Runtime: 80 minutes
Format: 1:78 HD
Sound: Dolby Sr.
Country: USA
Language: English
Rating: Pending - should be an R



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THE FARE -- Blu-ray Review by Porfle




A checkered cab glides slowly over a long stretch of dark desert road, but it's going to be one bumpy ride for this harried hack before the night's over in the riveting new supernatural mystery thriller THE FARE (2019).

Make that about a hundred bumpy rides, because for Harry, the same night seems to be happening over and over again although he doesn't know it at first. He only has brief flashes of deja vu in which things seem familiar--the talk radio chatter, an exchange with a gruff dispatcher, a jarring bump in the road...

...and the lovely passenger Penny (producer and scripter Brinna Kelly, THE MIDNIGHT MAN), who gets into Harry's cab in the middle of nowhere and strikes up a friendly conversation with him until suddenly, without warning, she disappears into thin air.


This keeps happening with only minor differences each time, as Harry slowly realizes he's caught up in some kind of temporal loop and Penny, who seems to already be aware of this, encourages him to join her in that knowledge so that they can work out their shared existential crisis together and find a way out of the trap they seem to be stuck in.

That's all of the plot that I'm going to give away regarding THE FARE (not to be confused with the similarly-titled cab thriller FARE, which we covered HERE), because much of my enjoyment of this wonderfully intriguing tale was due to the fact that I knew nothing about it going in. 

I will say, though, that this is one strange story, full of surprises and revelatory moments upon which we hang with keen anticipation.


Gino Anthony Pesi (LOVELESS IN LOS ANGELES, 42) is instantly likable as the strong, easygoing Harry, a guy who chuckles along with the silly radio chatter about time-traveling aliens until gradually he begins to think he may have just come into contact with some.

Brinna Kelly, whose screenplay is just brimming with creativity and snappy dialogue, is effortlessly appealing as the mysterious Penny.

Much of the film resembles one of those single-setting, two-character plays, yet director D.C. Hamilton (THE MIDNIGHT MAN) keeps finding ways of making this cinematic and visually pleasing.  The dark desert setting is deeply eerie and atmospheric, with some great drone-camera shots of the cab making its way down that endless desert road.

Inside the cab, things grow warmly intimate between Harry and Penny (the film switches from black-and-white to color to reflect their moods) whose dialogue is sparked by humor and even some nerdy comic book talk (Penny loves Jack Kirby).


Then things get strange and scary when Harry suddenly finds himself alone in what resembles a scene out of "The Fog" or a Romero zombie flick.  One thing's for sure--I didn't see the final revelation coming at all.

The Blu-ray from Epic Pictures is in 2.35:1 widescreen with English subtitles.  Bonus features consist of an engaging commentary by Brinna Kelly, gag reel, alternate, deleted, and extended scenes, and the making-of featurettes "Secrets of The Fare" and "The Look of The Fare."

I was reminded a lot of "The X-Files" while watching this scintillating, absorbing tale of romance, the supernatural, and other creepy things.  But most of all, THE FARE is true-blue "Twilight Zone" stuff.








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Saban Films Adopts "TWIST" Starring Michael Caine, Lena Headey & Rita Ora from Arclight Films




SABAN FILMS ADOPTS “TWIST” STARRING MICHAEL CAINE, LENA HEADEY & RITA ORA 

From Arclight Films



LOS ANGELES (November 25, 2019) – Saban Films announced today that they have acquired North American rights to Martin Owen’s (Killers Anonymous, L.A. Slasher) Twist.  From a script penned by John Wrathall (Good, The Liability), the modern take on Charles Dickens’ classic Oliver Twist stars Academy Award® Winner Michael Caine (The Quiet American, The Dark Knight series), Golden Globe® Award nominee Lena Headey (“Game of Thrones,” Fighting with My Family), Rita Ora (Pokémon Detective Pikachu, Fifty Shades of Grey franchise), Raff Law (Repo Men) and Sophie Simnett (“The Lodge,” “Daybreak”).  Twist is produced by Noel Clarke and Jason Maza for Unstoppable along with Pure Grass Films’ Ben Grass and Knuckle Sandwich’s Matt Williams.  The film is co-produced by Sky. Saban Films will release the film theatrically Q1 of 2021.

Set in contemporary London, Twist follows a gifted graffiti artist who is lured into a street gang headed by a father figure, Fagin, who plans a series of audacious art thefts.

Arclight Films’ Chairman Gary Hamilton states, “Twist boasts a really fantastic cast that crosses all generations so we are thrilled for new audiences young and old to enjoy this wonderful interpretation on Oliver Twist’s classic story. We are overjoyed to be working with our friends at Saban again – they are the perfect partner to bring this film to US audiences.”

Saban Films’ Bill Bromiley commented, “Martin Owens seamlessly transports Charles Dickens’ timeless characters into the present with this ensemble cast, who injects a new energy into the classic tale.”

Bill Bromiley and Jonathan Saba negotiated the deal for Saban Films along with John Fremes from Arclight Films.  Arclight Films is handling worldwide rights.  Financiers include MEP Capital, Blue Rider, Arclight and Lipsync Productions.

This marks Saban Films’ fourth acquisition during the American Film Market with previous titles including: Nicol Paone’s Friendsgiving with Malin Akerman, Kat Dennings, Chelsea Peretti, Jane Seymour and Aisha Tyler; Jason Lei Howden’s Guns Akimbo starring Daniel Radcliffe; and John Suits’ Breach starring Bruce Willis.

Saban Films continues to grow its presence in the industry, remaining active in the acquisition, production and distribution space. The company’s successes have run the gamut from critically acclaimed theatrical films such as The Homesman starring Hilary Swank, to two of the biggest Fathom events with horror icon and heavy metal mastermind Rob Zombie’s 31 in 2016 and 3 From Hell earlier this month, as well as Kevin Smith’s highly successful Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, the sequel to the 2001 comedy Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back which the company partnered on after coming onboard at script stage. Its upcoming slate includes: Steven C. Miller’s Line of Duty; Will Forbes’ John Henry starring Terry Crews and Ludacris and executive produced by Matthew Antoun; and Darren Lynn Bousman’s Death of Me starring Maggie Q and Luke Hemsworth.


About Saban Films
Saban Films, an affiliate of Saban Capital Group (“SCG”), is a film acquisition and distribution company which acquires high-quality, feature films to distribute in North America.  Focusing on commercial, talent driven films, the company looks at projects in all stages of production for release across multiple platforms, including a day and date theatrical/VOD release strategy. Based in Los Angeles, Saban Films was established by Haim Saban, SCG Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and is led by Bill Bromiley who serves as President, Shanan Becker, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer and Ness Saban, Vice President of Business Development.

ABOUT ARCLIGHT FILMS

Arclight Films is one of the world's leading international sales companies for theatrical, television and home entertainment.  Arclight Films has sold over 300 motion pictures including the Best Picture Oscar® winner Crash, Golden Globe® Best Picture Nominee Bobby and Lord of War starring Nicolas Cage, Jared Leto and Ethan Hawke and the recent Oscar® nominated feature First Reformed (for Best Original Screenplay).

Arclight Films’ slate includes the Australian the action thriller Long Gone Heroes starring Ben Kingsley, Guy Pearce, and Maggie Q, Twist currently in production and starring Michael Caine and Here are the Young Men starring Travis Fimmel, Dean Charles Chapman, Finn Cole and Anya Taylor-Joy, the true-life prison break story, Escape From Pretoria, starring Daniel Radcliffe and Daniel Webber, the sci-fi thriller Possessor starring Andrea Riseborough, Christopher Abbott, Sean Bean, Jennifer Jason Leigh, directed by Brandon Cronenberg, the 2019 Berlin Film Festival official selection Öndög from Berlin Golden Bear winning director Wang Quan'an, and the big budget Chinese co-production Killer 10 to be directed by Phillip Noyce.

The company’s recent films include the highly anticipated Hotel Mumbai starring Armie Hammer, Dev Patel, Nazanin Boniadi, Anupam Kher, and Jason Isaacs, directed by Anthony Maras released in the US by Bleecker Street on March 22nd, the powerhouse actioner Triple Threat starring Chinese stars Tony Jaa, Iko Uwais and Tiger Chen, and the Vietnamese action thriller Furie both films released by Well Go USA in March 2019, and the successful biopic Jungle starring Daniel Radcliffe released by eOne.

Arclight's past films include 2016 Official Cannes Directors' Fortnight selection Dog Eat Dog starring Nicolas Cage and Willem Dafoe, The Confirmation starring Clive Owen and Maria Bello, directed by Academy Award-winner Bob Nelson (Nebraska), 2016 Sundance Official Selection Frank & Lola starring Imogen Poots and Michael Shannon, Predestination starring Ethan Hawke released through Sony Pictures, Last Knights starring Clive Owen and Morgan Freeman, Paper Planes starring Sam Worthington, and Shangri-La Suite starring Emily Browning and Luke Grimes.

Arclight Films additionally encompasses subsidiary labels Darclight Films, the edgy genre-driven division of the company whose films include the worldwide horror hits Wolf Creek, Wolf Creek 2 and action thriller Bait 3D (the highest grossing Australian film in the history of Chinese cinema), and Easternlight, a specialty arm showcasing Asian cinema with the largest film library of any non-Asian-based indie film label. Films sold under the Easternlight banner include the worldwide blockbuster Forbidden Kingdom starring Jackie Chan and Jet Li, 14 Blades starring Donnie Yen, and legendary auteur Chen Kaige's Sacrifice.

The latest additions to Easternlight includes Guardians Of The Tomb starring Kellen Lutz and Bingbing Li, Snow Girl And The Dark Crystal starring Bingbing Li, Wolf Warrior starring Wu Jing (which opened #1 at the Chinese Box Office, earning more than $32.5M in one weekend) Outcast starring Nicolas Cage, Special Id Starring Donnie Yen, and Badges Of Fury.

Arclight Films maintains a presence at all major motion picture and television festivals and markets with offices in Los Angeles, Sydney, Hong Kong, Beijing and Toronto.

About Sky

With 24 million customers across seven countries, Sky is Europe’s leading media and entertainment company and is proud to be part of the Comcast group. Our 31,000 employees help connect our customers with the very best of Sports, News, the arts and to our own local, original content. Following the success of Sky originals like Chernobyl, Patrick Melrose, Das Boot and Gomorrah we launched Sky Studios and now plan to more than double our investment in original drama and comedy over the next five years.

Our technology allows customers to watch what they want, when they want, how they want, and as we connect millions of families to content they love, it is our responsibility to do it safely – that’s why we offer services like Sky Broadband Buddy and the Sky Kids app. And our online streaming service, NOW TV, brings viewers all the enjoyment of Sky with the flexibility of a contract-free service.

We also believe that a company of our scale has a responsibility that goes beyond our business, and into the community. Our Sky Ocean Rescue campaign has reached millions across Europe, we’re on track to be free of single-use plastic by 2020, we’re investing £25million over five years in ocean-saving tech and we’re a proud employer – recognized by The Times and Stonewall for our approach to inclusivity.


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Great 3 Stooges Running Gag: "Dressed For Bed" (video)




After the Stooges wake up in the morning...

...they take off their pajamas and reveal...

...that they already have their clothes on under them.

(threestooges.net)

DIZZY DOCTORS (1937)
ROCKIN' THRU THE ROCKIES (1940)
CACTUS MAKES PERFECT (1942)
MONKEY BUSINESSMEN (1946)
UP IN DAISY'S PENTHOUSE (1953)
GOOF ON THE ROOF (1953)
RUMPUS IN THE HAREM (1956)

I neither own nor claim any rights to this material.  Just having some fun with it. Thanks for watching!



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Tuesday, November 26, 2019

FRITZ LANG'S INDIAN EPIC (THE TIGER OF ESCHNAPUR and THE INDIAN TOMB) -- Blu-ray Review by Porfle




Sometimes legendary director Fritz Lang wanted his magnificent visuals to convey an important message (METROPOLIS, THE TESTAMENT OF DR. MABUSE, M) and sometimes he just wanted to offer audiences grand escapist entertainment.

The latter goal Lang achieved in spectacular style with the films THE TIGER OF ESCHANAPUR and THE INDIAN TOMB, known collectively as FRITZ LANG'S INDIAN EPIC (Film Movement Classics, 1959).

A forerunner of more recent two-film narratives such as KILL BILL and IT, this double feature tells the sprawling story of a catastrophic love triangle that develops when German engineer Harald Berger (Paul Hubschmid) is summoned to India by Prince Chandra (Walter Reyer) to oversee the construction of several buildings as well as shoring up some of the crumbling infrastructure of the palace itself.


As fate would have it, a beautiful temple dancer named Seetha (Debra Paget, THE TEN COMMANDMENTS) with whom the prince has fallen madly in love is being transported to the palace in the same caravan as Berger, and when the European valiantly saves her life from an attacking tiger during the trip, she becomes hopelessly smitten with him.  This soon develops into an all-consuming passion that will invoke the jealous prince's white-hot, vengeful wrath.

Amidst a backdrop of splendiferous Indian locations and incredibly opulent sets, photographed in sumptuous color with rich production values, this steamy melodrama is soap opera of the highest order mixed with scintillating political intrigue (the prince's brother and former brother-in-law are plotting against him) and irresistible "boys' adventure"-style action involving swordfights, man-eating tigers, mysterious underground passages, and other fun stuff.


While some have compared these films to RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, viewers expecting non-stop thrills will be disappointed. Instead, we're allowed to settle in  for a stately paced parade of visual treats (I haven't seen such regal eye-candy since the "Sissi" films with Romy Schneider) charged with constant tension and suspense and punctuated here and there with action sequences that have a Rudyard Kipling flavor.

The tension increases as Prince Chandra's suspicions toward his intended bride Seetha and the European stranger are eventually made evident, bringing out the arrogant, petulant worst in him.  When Berger finds it necessary to escape Chandra's wrath, he finds himself lost in the catacombs beneath the palace where he encounters a colony of lepers banished to the underground.

We're also introduced to Chandra's compound of deadly caged tigers into which, at one point, Berger is tossed with nothing but a spear with which to defend himself. Here, Lang's attention to gilt-edged realism falters a bit when a lunging tiger is noticeably fake (as is a monster-sized cobra in the second film) but I found such shortcomings easily forgivable in view of the scene's entertainment value.


Performances are earnest, with Debra Paget a standout not only for her talent but also thanks to her incredible beauty and sex appeal. Her temple dance in this film is a highlight of sheer sensuality (to be surpassed in the sequel) while her acting adds depth to a very sympathetic character.  Reyer, on the other hand, ably conveys the prince's incredible arrogance, selfishness, and cruelty. (A young Luciana Paluzzi appears all-too-briefly as Seetha's loyal servant.)

Finally, the two forbidden lovers make a desperate escape attempt, with the prince's soldiers doggedly pursuing them from the steamy jungles to the parched, wind-seared desert.  It's there that the dashing European engineer and the beautiful Indian temple dancer meet their apparent doom as part one of Lang's Indian epic, THE TIGER OF ESCHANAPUR, ends in classic cliffhanger style.

The second installment in Fritz Lang's sprawling two-part saga of Indian intrigue and forbidden romance, THE INDIAN TOMB, picks up right where its predecessor THE TIGER OF ESCHANAPUR left off. This time German engineer Harald Berger's sister Irene (Sabine Bethmann) and her husband Walter (Claus Holm), who is also Harald's associate, have come searching for him.


They're told that Harald went missing during a tiger hunt, but become increasingly suspicious of the prince and his motives. This is especially true when Chandra orders Walter to design a tomb for his wife Seetha, in which she is to be imprisoned on their wedding day. When Walter balks at creating what is in essence an execution chamber, Chandra threatens him and his wife.

Political tensions grow to a boiling point as Chandra's brother Prince Ramigani (René Deltgen), passed over for the throne and eager to amend that oversight, plots against him with the help of the prince's former brother-in-law who also despises him. Even the temple priests grow angry toward Chandra when he persists in his desire to marry Seetha (and then execute her) after she is discovered still alive in the desert.


This second film's highlight comes when Seetha performs a cobra dance in the temple which is meant to decide whether the gods wish her to live or die.  In a costume that's the very definition of "less is more" (it makes a string bikini look like a parka) the incredibly gorgeous and physically fit Debra Paget's dance number is, to put it mildly, memorable, despite the very fake-looking cobra which menaces her character throughout.

Suspense builds as Berger's sister and her husband bravely plot to locate where he's being held prisoner beneath the palace and free him.  The story, which has been rather sedately paced up till now, really picks up steam with Irene's encounter with the frenzied band of lepers and Berger's desperate escape from bondage just as he's about to be executed in his cell.

There's swordplay and other violent clashes when Ramigani's armed rebellion against Chandra kicks into gear, and Lang finally shows us why we keep seeing all that dynamite stored in the passages underneath the palace, leading to a flood populated by hungry alligators.


The 2-disc Blu-ray from Film Movement Classics is an exquisite 4K digital restoration of both classic films with an aspect ratio of 1.37:1 and mono sound. Each film features a verbose commentary by film historian David Kalat. Bonuses also include the making-of documentary "The Indian Epic" and the video essay "Debra Paget, For Example" by Mark Rappaport, as well as trailers and an enclosed illustrated booklet with an in-depth essay by film scholar Tom Gunning.

One thing's for sure, when this story finally comes to a head, it pays off in all sorts of fun ways.  Viewers who stick it out through both installments of FRITZ LANG'S INDIAN EPIC not only get to enjoy some of the screen's most dazzling opulence and eye-pleasing production values, but also a romantic, exotic action-adventure ending on a satisfying note that makes it all wonderfully worthwhile.


Buy it at Film Movement.com


THE TIGER OF ESCHNAPUR
NEW 4K DIGITAL RESTORATION
Film Movement Classics
1959
101 Minutes
Country: Germany, France, Italy
Language: German w/ English subtitles
Classics, Romance, Thriller
Not Rated
Blu-ray
Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1   
Sound: Mono   


THE INDIAN TOMB
NEW 4K DIGITAL RESTORATION
Film Movement Classics
1959
102 Minutes
Country: Germany, France, Italy
Language: German w/ English subtitles
Romance, Thriller, Classics
Not Rated
Blu-ray
Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1   
Sound: Mono


Here's the poster of the American theatrical release in which the two films were edited into one:




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Stunt Horsemen Pretend They Can't Ride In John Ford's "Fort Apache" (1948) (video)




It takes a good horseman to play a bad one!

Victor McLaglen
Pedro Armendáriz
Dick Foran
Hank Worden


I neither own nor claim any rights to this material.  Just having some fun with it. Thanks for watching!



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Monday, November 25, 2019

Great 3 Stooges Running Gag: "Socks Appeal" (video)




A Stooge mentions that he cleaned his socks...

...or changed them...

...and he's very proud of himself.

(threestooges.net)


3 DUMB CLUCKS (1937)
THREE LITTLE SEW AND SEWS (1939)
LOCO BOY MAKES GOOD (1942)
CACTUS MAKES PERFECT (1942)
THREE DARK HORSES (1952)


I neither own nor claim any rights to this material.  Just having some fun with it. Thanks for watching!


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Sunday, November 24, 2019

Porfle's Trivia Quiz #17: "BONNIE AND CLYDE" (1967) (video)




"Bonnie and Clyde" is one of the best films of the 60s.

Directed by Arthur Penn, it was acclaimed as a new and exciting kind of filmmaking...

...which is still just as fresh today as it was then.
 

Question: What Is Bonnie's occupation when she meets Clyde?

A. Secretary
B. Waitress
C. Librarian
D. Grocery clerk
E. Unemployed

Question: What auto trouble does C.W. Moss (Michael J. Pollard) fix?

A. Busted water pump
B. Sugar in the gas tank
C. Dirt in the fuel line
D. Battery corrosion
E. Leaky radiator

Question: What is the occupation of Eugene Grizzard (Gene Wilder)?

A. Butcher
B. Policeman
C. Undertaker
D. Lawyer
E. Prison guard

Question: What are Bonnie and Clyde eating in the last scene?

A. Pear
B. Apple
C. Peanuts
D. Grapes
E. Mango

I neither own nor claim any rights to this material.  Just having some fun with it. Thanks for watching!


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Saturday, November 23, 2019

Porfle's Trivia Quiz #16: "TRUE GRIT" (1969) (video)




TRUE GRIT is the classic story of Marshall Rooster Cogburn. John Wayne won his only Best Actor Oscar in the role.   

Question: Who does Rooster say that Mattie reminds him of?

A. His ex-wife
B. His mother
C. Himself
D. His father
E. Betsy Ross

Question: Rooster once shot Ned Pepper in his lower lip. What was he actually aiming at?

A. His nose
B. His Adam's apple
C. His hat
D. His upper lip
E. His horse

Question: Before their big shootout, Ned Pepper calls Rooster a -- ?

A. Squint-eyed law dog
B. Potbellied old geezer
C. One-eyed fat man
D. Pig-eyed boozer
E. Half-blind halfwit

Question: Rooster tells Mattie to "Come see a ___ sometime." A what?

A. Fat old man
B. Lonely old cuss
C. Blustery old blowhard
D. Fat old fool
E. Big old baby

I neither own nor claim any rights to this material.  Just having some fun with it. Thanks for watching!


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Friday, November 22, 2019

John Wayne's Coolest Scenes #50: Gauntlet, "FORT APACHE" (1948) (video)




Henry Fonda's glory-seeking commander is about to risk getting his entire regiment killed.

John Wayne's conscientious captain is trying to avert a senseless massacre...

...and honor a previous truce he has made with Cochise.


I neither own nor claim any rights to this material.  Just having some fun with it. Thanks for watching!



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Thursday, November 21, 2019

Adult Swim's Hit Anime Series Is Coming To Blu-ray Combo Pack - "FLCL: PROGRESSIVE & ALTERNATIVE" - Hits Shelves 2/4/20




Join Haruko To Fight Medical Mechanica And Fraternity With The Cult Anime Series

FLCL: PROGRESSIVE & ALTERNATIVE COMBO PACK

Available on Blu-ray February 4th
FLCL: Alternative Also Hits Shelves on DVD The Same Day!


BURBANK, CA (November 21, 2019) – The wait is over! Adult Swim’s popular anime series FLCL: Progressive and FLCL: Alternative, both release for the first time ever as a Blu-ray combo pack from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on February 4th. Based on the original anime series written by Yōji Enokido and from director Kazuya Tsurumaki, the collection propels Haruko and her yellow Vespa back into action with 12 episodes from FLCL: Progressive and FLCL: Alternative. The Blu-ray Combo Pack is priced to own at $44.98 SRP ($52.99 in Canada). FLCL: Alternative will also be available on DVD on February 4th for the low price of $19.99 SRP ($24.99 in Canada).

From the legendary anime studio Production I.G and Adult Swim, FLCL: Progressive & Alternative Combo Pack will include a 15-minute never-before-seen documentary that dives into the making of both seasons featuring interviews with voice talent and crew. Additional special features include a “Meet the Creators” piece focused on the new era of show creators, a segment about “The Pillows” relationship with the series, a glimpse at the English voice actors behind FLCL together, and a look into the production of FLCL: Alternative.


The highly anticipated sequel to the 2001 original FLCL, FLCL: Progressive tells the story of 14-year-old Hidomi and her classmate, Ide, as the war between Medical Mechanica and Fraternity continues. Now in the form of their teacher, Haruko Haruhara returns alongside another otherworldly being, Jinyu, a gorgeous Chrysler Bel Aire and her yellow Vespa to unleash their hidden potential.

FLCL: Alternative, the third and final season centers on the misadventures of 17-year-old Kana and her friends, Mossan, Hijiri and Pets. Living a seemingly normal life, the group’s lives are flipped upside down when Mecha falls from the sky and arrives with the guitar-wielding Haruko Haruhara. Once again determined to take out Medical Mechanica, Haruko works to awaken Kana's N.O. channel before the relentless iron takes over the world.

“During its twelve-week run on Adult Swim’s Toonami, FLCL was #1 in its timeslot, and garnered a huge fan following,” said Mary Ellen Thomas, WBHE, Senior Vice President, Originals, Animation and Family. “We think both the fans and newcomers are going to love the Combo Pack with it exciting behind the scenes extra content, in addition to the final 12 highly anticipated episodes from the fanatical series."

BLU-RAY COMBO PACK SPECIAL FEATURES

    The Making of FLCL: Progressive & Alternative: An in depth look behind the scenes featuring interviews with the cast and crew.
    Meet the Creators
    The Pillows
    English Voice Actors
    Production: Behind-the-Scenes

FLCL: ALTERNATIVE DVD SPECIAL FEATURES


    English Voice Actors
    Production: Behind-the-Scenes

COMBO PACK INCLUDES ALL 12 EPISODES


    RE: Start
    Freebie Honey
    Stone Skipping
    LooPQR
    Fool On the Planet
    Our Running
    Flying Memory
    Grown-Up Wannabe
    Freestyle Collection
    Pit-a-Pat
    Shake it Off
    Full Flat

DIGITAL
FLCL: Progressive & Alternative Combo Pack is available to own on Digital. Digital purchase allows consumers to instantly stream and download all episodes to watch anywhere and anytime on their favorite devices. Digital movies and TV shows are available from various digital retailers including Amazon Video, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu and others. A Digital Copy is also included with the purchase of specially marked Blu-ray discs for redemption and cloud storage.

BASICS
Blu-ray/DVD Release Dates: February 4, 2020
Blu-ray and DVD Presented in 16x9 widescreen format

BLU-RAY COMBO PACK
Price: $44.98 SRP ($52.99 in Canada)
Running Time: Feature: Approx. 264 min
Enhanced Content: Approx. 35 min
2 BD 50s
Audio – English (5.1)
Subtitles – English
UPC# 883929707584
Catalog#1000757643

FLCL: ALTERNATIVE DVD

Price: $19.99 SRP ($24.99 in Canada)
Running Time: Feature: Approx. 132 min
Enhanced Content: Approx. 10 min
2 DVD-9s
Audio – English (5.1)
Subtitles – English
UPC# 883929707577
Catalog# 1000757642

About Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Inc.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) brings together Warner Bros. Entertainment's home video, digital distribution and interactive entertainment businesses in order to maximize current and next-generation distribution scenarios. An industry leader since its inception, WBHE oversees the global distribution of content through packaged goods (Blu-ray Disc™ and DVD) and digital media in the form of electronic sell-through and video-on-demand via cable, satellite, online and mobile channels, and is a significant developer and publisher for console and online video game titles worldwide. WBHE distributes its product through third party retail partners and licensees.

About Adult Swim
Adult Swim (AdultSwim.com), launched in 2001, is a WarnerMedia network offering original and acquired animated and live-action series for young adults. Airing nightly from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. (ET/PT), Adult Swim is basic cable’s #1 network with persons 18-34 and 18-49 and is seen in 94 million U.S. Homes.


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Just Announced - "SNATCHERS" Horror Comedy Coming to Digital Jan. 7, Blu-ray Combo Pack & DVD Feb. 18 -- See Trailer HERE!




 “…giddily entertaining horror comedy” – Variety

SNATCHERS

Available on Digital January 7
On Blu-rayTM Combo Pack, and DVD February 18


BURBANK, CA (November 20, 2019) – Chosen as one of Variety’s “11 Best Movies of the 2019 SXSW Film Festival,” Warner Bros. Home Entertainment brings you Snatchers - an original horror comedy feature film on Digital January 7, and Blu-ray Combo Pack, and DVD on February 18, 2020. Described as a cross between ALIENS meets MEAN GIRLS - the full-length film was initially released in new media as a successful short-form series that follows a status-obsessed high school teenager who loses her virginity and finds herself pregnant the next day…with an alien! The movie is priced to own at $19.99 SRP for Digital, $24.98 SRP for Blu-ray Combo Pack ($34.97 in Canada), $19.98 SRP for the DVD ($24.99 in Canada). Both disc sets have an order due date of January 14, 2020.

 WATCH THE TRAILER:


Senior year is going to rule! Thanks to her relationship with clueless hunk Skyler, Sara is totally in with the cool girls. But Skyler contracted an extraterrestrial bug during his summer vacation. After just one night together, Sara discovers she’s Nine. Months. Pregnant. Desperate to keep her condition on the DL, she turns to the only person she can trust: her nerdy ex-bestie, Hayley. The girls soon realize this alien problem is only just the beginning. Aliens had best beware in this hilarious comedy filled with action and tongue-in-cheek teen spirit.

“Snatchers is a tale of friendship, self-worth and…aliens,” said Mary Ellen Thomas, WBHE Senior Vice President, Originals, Animation and Family. “The film brings the spirit of horror combined with gut-busting comedy with its edgy humor and bloody alien creatures. Snatchers is sure to keep you glued to your screen until the very end.”

Snatchers stars Mary Nepi (Not Cool) as Sara, Gabrielle Elyse (Nickelodeon’s “Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn,” “The Thundermans”) as Hayley, J.J Nolan (“The Mindy Project,” “Silicon Valley”) as Kate, Austin Fryberger (“Huge In France”) as Skyler, Nick Gomez (“Longmire,” “Dexter”) as Oscar, and Rich Fulcher (“Those Who Can’t”) as Dave. Written by Stephen Cedars, Benji Kleiman, & Scott Yacyshyn, and directed by Cedars & Kleiman, the film is a Stage 13 presentation with award-winning producer Paul Young for Make Good Content production in association with The Olde Money Boyz. The Snatchers new media series was an official selection at Sundance 2017, and won the 2018 Cynopsis Short Form Video Festival, as well as a Bronze Telly Award. The Snatchers movie was an official selection at the 2019 SXSW Film Festival and the 2019 Sitges Film Festival.

 SPECIAL FEATURES


    The Birth of Snatchers: A Behind-the-Scenes Look
    Unexpected: The Snatchers Blooper Reel
    Commentary featuring Directors and Writers Stephen Cedars, Benji Kleiman and Writer Scott Yacyshyn

DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION ELEMENTS
On January 7, 2020, Snatchers will be available to own in high definition and standard definition from select digital retailers including Amazon, the Apple TV app, FandangoNOW, PlayStation, Vudu, Xbox and others. On February 18, 2020, Snatchers will be made available digitally on Video On Demand services from cable and satellite providers, and on select gaming consoles.

ABOUT MOVIES ANYWHERE
Movies Anywhere is a digital movie platform that enables movie fans to discover, access, and watch their favorite digital movies in one place. Movies Anywhere brings together a library of nearly 7,500 digital movies from Sony Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox Film, The Walt Disney Studios (including Disney, Pixar, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm), Universal Pictures (including DreamWorks and Illumination Entertainment) and Warner Bros., and will continue to expand the consumer experience as more content providers, digital retailers and platforms are added. By connecting participating digital retailers that include Amazon Prime Video, the Apple TV app, FandangoNOW, Google Play, and Vudu, movie fans can now bring together their digital movie collections (whether purchased or redeemed) in one place and enjoy them from the comfort of their living rooms, and across multiple devices and platforms, including Amazon Fire devices; Android devices and Android TV; Apple TV, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch; Chromecast; Roku® devices and popular browsers. Movie fans can also redeem digital codes found in eligible Blu-ray and DVD disc packages from participating studios and enjoy them through Movies Anywhere. Movies Anywhere – your movies, together at last.

ABOUT DIGITAL
Digital movies or TV episodes allow fans to watch a digital version of their movie or TV show anywhere, on their favorite devices. Digital movies or TV episodes are included with the purchase of specially marked Blu-ray discs. With digital, consumers are able to instantly stream and download movies and TV shows to TVs, computers, tablets and smartphones through retail services. For more information on compatible devices and services go to wb.com/digitalmoviefaq. Consult a digital retailer for details and requirements and for a list of digital-compatible devices.

BASICS
Blu-ray/DVD Release: February 18, 2020
Order Due Date: January 14, 2020
Blu-ray and DVD Presented in 16x9 widescreen format
Run Time: Approx. 96 min
Enhanced Content Run Time: Approx. 117 min

DVD
Price: $19.98 SRP ($24.99 SRP in Canada)
1 DVD-9s
Audio – English (5.1), French, Spanish
UPC# 883929697977
Catalog# 1000749305

BLU-RAY

Price: $24.98 SRP ($34.97 SRP in Canada)
1 Blu-ray + 1 DVD + Digital Copy
BD Audio –DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 – English, French, Spanish
UPC# 883929697984
Catalog# 1000749306

About Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Inc.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) brings together Warner Bros. Entertainment's home video, digital distribution and interactive entertainment businesses in order to maximize current and next-generation distribution scenarios. An industry leader since its inception, WBHE oversees the global distribution of content through packaged goods (Blu-ray Disc™ and DVD) and digital media in the form of electronic sell-through and video-on-demand via cable, satellite, online and mobile channels, and is a significant developer and publisher for console and online video game titles worldwide. WBHE distributes its product through third party retail partners and licensees.

About Stage 13

Stage 13 is an award-winning, fearless, original content studio showcasing a new generation of inspired talent and voices in scripted and unscripted storytelling. The brand’s series are available on the Stage 13 platform, Facebook, YouTube, as well as its distribution partners including Netflix, CW/CW Seed and HBO. Creating dynamic series for a multidimensional audience, Stage 13 is part of Warner Bros. Digital Networks.


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Great 3 Stooges Running Gag: "How Many Shirts?" (video)




A Stooge pulls one shirt off...

...only to reveal another shirt under it.

This keeps going on and on...

...until he finally gets to the last shirt.

(threestooges.net)

FROM NURSE TO WORSE (1940)
THREE PESTS IN A MESS (1945)
CORNY CASANOVAS (1952)



I neither own nor claim any rights to this material.  Just having some fun with it. Thanks for watching!



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Wednesday, November 20, 2019

THE BELLS OF ST. MARY'S -- Blu-ray Review by Porfle




Like its Paramount predecessor, "Going My Way", the RKO sequel THE BELLS OF ST. MARY'S (Olive Signature, 1945) was, to that point, the highest-grossing film for its studio. It's easy to see why it was and continues to be so popular, especially for war-weary audiences looking for something uplifting and inspirational.

Both films starred Bing Crosby as unconventional singing priest Father O'Malley, in this case having just been transferred to St. Mary's, an urban Catholic school presided over by nuns. 

Their leader, Sister Benedict (Ingrid Bergman), will establish a fond though often adversarial relationship with the easygoing but opinionated priest, especially in regard to the teaching of their young students.  In time, both their adverse methods as well as their personalities will begin to compliment each other.



Other subplots involve miserly old millionaire Mr. Bogardus (Henry Travers, IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE) erecting a shiny new building next door and hoping to acquire the school itself to tear down for a parking lot.  Sister Benedict, meanwhile, prays constantly for the mean old coot to have a change of heart and donate the building as the new St. Mary's.

Meanwhile, a woman named Mary Gallagher (Martha Sleeper) implores Father O'Malley to take in her daughter Patsy (Joan Carroll) and give her the kind of secure, decent upbringing she alone can't manage.  Fatherless and withdrawn, Patsy's mental and emotional welfare becomes a major concern for the priest and nun, who will differ greatly  on how to deal with the troubled girl.

It's interesting how the Production Code-era writers clue us in on what's what when Patsy's mother hesitantly tells Father O'Malley she has "done everything she can" to support her daughter.
 

Also of note is O'Malley's warm, non-judgmental response, especially considering that Patsy was clearly born out of wedlock although the dialogue doesn't quite spell it out.  This single element alone elevates our opinion of the priest and of the film's benign intent.

While each subplot is vital, they sort of swirl around each other during the film rather than jostle for attention. There's a good deal of gentle humor to lighten things up along the way, beginning with the very first scene of Father O'Malley moving into his new boarding house as the housekeeper, played by the delightful Una O'Connor (BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, THE INVISIBLE MAN) warns him ominously that the school's previous resident priest had to be carried away in a wheelchair in frightful condition.


Another wonderful scene occurs when the smallest children put on a nativity play. Here, director and co-writer Leo McCarey told the boy playing Joseph the general story of the play and then had him improvise the entire thing, telling the other castmembers what to do. McCarey then secretly filmed this and the result is a charming sequence which ends with the children gathered around a toddler playing Baby Jesus and singing "Happy Birthday To You."

At one point O'Malley and Benedict clash yet again over how to deal with a boy being bullied on the playground. O'Malley praises the victor for having what it takes to make it in a "man's world", while the sister takes it upon herself to teach the other boy, Dickie (Eddie Breen), how to defend himself after reading a book on the art of pugilism.

In what I consider to be the film's most amazing sequence, Bergman improvises a lively boxing lesson composed of several long, largely unedited takes. Keeping up a steady stream of banter about defense, footwork, bobbing and weaving, various jabs, and other tips, she conjures a magical moment for her character with a charm and spontaneity that I found utterly disarming.


With her classic beauty downplayed, Bergman has the chance to create this memorable character mainly through dialogue and presence. Der Bingle, of course, is his usual honey-smooth self, getting to croon a song or two along the way.  Though never getting particularly worked up over anything, his Father O'Malley exudes a gentle caring and empathy even when we may not agree completely with his methods.

The entire film has a noticeably reserved, restrained tone--even the humor often seems rather solemn.  We pretty much know right off the bat how each situation is going to work itself out, so we just settle in comfortably and watch it happen.

I found myself settling in quite a lot during the sweetly sedate THE BELLS OF ST. MARY'S. A bit corny and maudlin at times, it's genuinely heartfelt at its core and even evokes a few well-earned tears. McCarey's vision of a spiritually uplifting family entertainment is exquisitely rendered and, in this day and age, warmly nostalgic.


Buy it from Olive Films


YEAR: 1945
GENRE: DRAMA
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH (with optional English subtitles)
LABEL: OLIVE FILMS
TOTAL RUNNING TIME: 126 min
RATING: N/A
VIDEO: 1.37:1 Aspect Ratio; B&W
AUDIO: MONO

BONUS FEATURES:
    Mastered from new 4K restoration
    Audio commentary by Bing Crosby biographer Gary Giddins
    “Faith and Film” – Sr. Rose Pacatte on The Bells of St. Mary’s
    “Human Nature” – Steve Massa on The Bells of St. Mary’s and Leo McCarey
    “Before Sequel-itis” – Prof. Emily Carman on the film in the context of Hollywood production history
    Screen Guild Theater radio adaptations
    Essay by cultural critic Abbey Bender




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John Wayne's Coolest Scenes #49: Traitor, "Rio Lobo" (1970) (video)




Former Union officer Cord McNally (John Wayne) has been searching...

...for the lowdown traitor Ketcham (Victor French)...

...who caused the deaths of several of his men during the Civil War.

And when he finds him, it's a really bad day for Ketcham!

John Wayne
Victor French
Jack Elam
Jorge Rivero

I neither own nor claim any rights to this material.  Just having some fun with it. Thanks for watching!



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Family, Friends, and Fans of Hollywood Blvd. "Superman" Christopher Dennis Raising Funds For His Funeral




FAMILY, FRIENDS, AND FANS OF HOLLYWOOD BLVD. "SUPERMAN" CHRISTOPHER DENNIS RAISING FUNDS FOR HIS FUNERAL


HOLLYWOOD, CA (November 19, 2019) – Christopher Dennis, AKA Hollywood Boulevard Superman, tragically passed away November 2 at the age of 52. Chris had been homeless, off and on, for three years prior to his passing, sometimes sleeping in shelters. Family, friends, and fans who had helped him find lodgings over the years, hope to raise funds to give him a final resting place where he can be at peace for eternity.

A crowdfunding campaign has been launched to raise funds for a funeral service, cremation, grave/niche plot, and a memorial plaque at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

https://www.gofundme.com/f/funeral-service-for-hollywood-superman

The GoFundMe page was created on behalf of Christopher’s widow, Bonnie Finkenthal Dennis, by Vladislav Kozlov, his long-time friend and director, who produced of a short film starring Christopher, as himself, and film legend Franco Nero, called “The Kid,” and has been filming with Christopher for the hybrid documentary feature about Christopher’s life, called "American Superman" since 2013.

The news coverage of Chris’s untimely passing and reporting on his life and the mark he made in Hollywood have been a beautiful tribute to Christopher Dennis and his memory. The crowdfunding campaign strives to help Hollywood Superman find his final rest in the Hollywood land to which he truly belongs.

June 10, 1991 was the date Chris first stepped foot on the boulevard as Hollywood Superman, according to his Instagram profile. Chris gave smiles to the millions of tourists from all over the world for over 25 years of his Hollywood Boulevard residency and there are thousands and thousands of photographs of Chris with visitors to Hollywood Boulevard online and in photo albums around the world.

Hollywood Superman, along with the world-famous Hollywood sign, and the Hollywood Walk of Fame, have been part of the Hollywood experience for millions of U.S. and international tourists in Hollywood for decades. Sadly, Hollywood Superman has taken his last bow on the boulevard.

People are invited to post their photos and videos and share good memories of Christopher on social media.

https://www.instagram.com/hollywoodsuperman/

https://www.facebook.com/Hollywood-Superman-290026524352180/

For more information about the crowdfunding campaign, please visit:
https://www.gofundme.com/f/funeral-service-for-hollywood-superman



Christopher Lloyd Dennis
Christopher Lloyd Dennis AKA Hollywood Boulevard Superman was born on June 16, 1967. When he was 6, he was put into orphanage by his father. Chris spent his childhood in shelters and group homes. At the age of 18, Chris came to Hollywood to pursue his dream of becoming an actor. When he was waiting tables, numerous people told him that he resembled Christopher Reeve who famously portrayed Superman. Chris decided to dress as Superman and go out on the Hollywood Boulevard in the hopes of being noticed by studio producers. Eventually, Chris started coming to the strip every day since he found out that he was a huge hit with the tourists who wanted to take a picture with him as Hollywood Superman.

This is how he became the first costume character on Hollywood Boulevard. Chris went on giving smiles to the millions of tourists from all over the world for over 25 years. He appeared on numerous episodes of Jimmy Kimmel show, was featured in a documentary "Confessions of a Superhero" and appeared in Jared Leto’s 30 Seconds to Mars music video “City of Angeles.”

Christopher married Bonnie, a fellow Superman fan, in 2006. They separated on 2011. In 2013 Chris began collaborating with a Los Angeles based director Vlad Kozlov on different indie projects and Chris starred as himself in Kozlov's short motion picture "The Kid" also starring the famous star Franco Nero.

Chris and Vlad became close friends and they decided to make a movie about his life adventures. Vlad started documenting the story of the real-life Hollywood Superman, trying to discover his past and his inner self, for the film which they decided to call “American Superman.”

In 2016 Chris became homeless due to a chain of unfortunate events and was fighting to get off the streets. In 2017 two fundraisers were started to help Chris get out of the streets, but by that time he was beyond accepting help due to substance abuse. Chris spent another two years in different shelters trying to eventually get into subsidized housing.

Sadly, on November 2nd, 2019 Christopher Dennis tragically passed away in Van Nuys, just 10 miles away from Hollywood Blvd. He will be remembered by those who loved him, and the countless people he met on Hollywood Blvd.


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Tuesday, November 19, 2019

THE BOYS NEXT DOOR -- Blu-ray Review by Porfle




Penelope Spheeris may be best known for her comedies, but she gave us one of the hairiest, scariest thrill-killer flicks of the 80s when she directed THE BOYS NEXT DOOR (Severin Films, 1985).

Maxwell Caulfield (GREASE 2, "Dynasty") and Charlie Sheen (YOUNG GUNS, HOT SHOTS!) play high school misfits Roy and Bo, just graduated but faced with the dull prospect of going to work in a local factory for the rest of their lives.

These kids are filled with aggression and frustration and are just itching to take it out on the world, starting with their classmates whom they terrorize at one of those graduation parties held by someone whose well-to-do parents are out of town.


But that's not enough to quell the fire in their bellies, so they head for Los Angeles, where cruising Sunset Strip is just the beginning of a weekend of wild abandon that will quickly escalate into violent crime and, eventually, murder.

THE BOYS NEXT DOOR makes a halfhearted effort to "say something" about violence in society, serial killers, etc., but it pretty much boils down to total exploitation with some slasher-horror elements. (Which, of course, is a good thing.)

It's actually not all that scary--it never gets as intense, horrific, or graphic as, say, HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER. It's more like an edgy adrenaline rush that gets the blood going while leaving a sour taste in your mouth.


Caulfield is so much better here than in his pretty-boy, nighttime soap opera-type roles, never overplaying but giving us just enough "crazy" bubbling up beneath the sweaty surface.

His sociopathic young "monster-in-progress" character is always wire-taut and on the lookout for people he can violently take out his impotent frustrations on, channeling his pent-up sexual aggression into narcissistic rage.

While his friend Bo is constantly on the prowl for girls, especially ones that remind him of his unobtainable blond heartthrob from school, Roy seems so sexually paralyzed as to be violently asexual.

We wonder if his biggest problem is impotence with girls or a fear that he's actually gay, one which he acts out by attacking an innocent homosexual who invites them back to his apartment after meeting them in a gay bar.


Sheen gives an equally strong performance as an impressionable, easily-led type who tries to maintain a cool fascade while his own deep-seated emotional problems are coaxed into action by the stronger personality. 

We wonder if he would be capable of such antisocial behavior on his own, and, like so many serial killer duos, the two disturbed youths combine into one very dangerously psychotic entity that thrives on acts of swift, senseless violence and murder.

Iconic 70s-80s actress Patti D'Arbanville (BILITIS) plays Angie, a sophisticated Hollywood girl who unwisely lets herself be picked up by these two very bad eggs.

The film  also follows the progress of two dogged, world-weary police detectives (familiar faces Christopher McDonald and Hank Garrett) who are on the killers' trail.



Each murder sequence builds inexorably as the unsuspecting victims are dispatched in quick, jarring bursts of rage that come seemingly from out of nowhere, mostly at the hands of the ever-unstable Roy as Bo either looks on in shock or is compelled to join in.

Spheeris (WAYNE'S WORLD, BLACK SHEEP) directs it all in taut, crisp fashion, giving us plenty of action (including a couple of exciting chase scenes) as Roy and Bo head nonstop for the inevitable bad ending. 

The Blu-ray from Severin Films looks and sounds great, and comes with a well-stocked bonus menu which includes a commentary track with Spheeris and Caulfield, several interviews and featurettes, alternate titles and extended scenes, and the film's trailer.

Watching THE BOYS NEXT DOOR is like watching a driver speed down the wrong way on a freeway and knowing he's eventually going to crash, taking out a number of innocent people along with him and doing it just for sick, suicidal thrills. 


Buy it at Severin Films

Special Features:
    Audio Commentary with Director Penelope Spheeris and Actor Maxwell Caulfield
    Blind Rage: Interview with Stephen Thrower, Author of Nightmare USA
    Both Sides of the Law: Interview with Actors Maxwell Caulfield and Christopher McDonald
    Give Us Your Money: Interviews with Street Band Performers Texacala Jones and Tequila Mockingbird
    Caveman Day: Cinemaniacs Interview with Director Penelope Spheeris and Actor Maxwell Caulfield
    Tales from the End Zone: Interview with Actor Kenneth Cortland
    The Psychotronic Tourist – The Boys Next Door
    Alternate Opening Title Sequence & Extended Scenes (Silent)
    Trailer



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Porfle's Trivia Quiz #15: "CARRIE" Prom Scene (1976) (video)




SPOILER ALERT!

Don't even read the questions if you haven't seen the movie!
 

Question #1: Who dumps the pig's blood on Carrie?

A. Norma
B. Sue Snell
C. Tommy Ross
D. Billy Nolan
E. Chris Hargensen

Question #2: Principal Morton (Stefan Gierasch) gets Carrie's name wrong when he says, "We're all sorry, ____."

A. Cammie
B. Kelly
C. Cassie
D. Correy
E. Kimmy

Question #3: How does Miss Collins (Betty Buckley) die?

A. Fire
B. Electrocution
C. Trampling
D. Crushing
E. She doesn't

Question #4: Who besides Carrie survives the prom?

A. Billy Nolan, Sue Snell, Tommy Ross
B. Sue Snell, Chris Hargensen, Billy Nolan
C. Chris Hargensen, Norma, Tommy Ross
D. Billy Nolan, Tommy Ross, Norma

I neither own nor claim any rights to this material.  Just having some fun with it. Thanks for watching!


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Monday, November 18, 2019

THE PERILS OF GWENDOLINE IN THE LAND OF THE YIK YAK -- Blu-ray Review by Porfle




I went into THE PERILS OF GWENDOLINE IN THE LAND OF THE YIK YAK, aka "Gwendoline" (Severin Films, 1984) expecting to see the usual "so bad it's good" cheesefest. What I didn't expect was for it to be "so bad it's epic."

The film starts with a beautiful minute-long tracking shot of a Chinese shipping dock that's so detailed and crowded with costumed extras, so well-choreographed, and so artistically layered that it's worthy of comparison to Ridley Scott's city exteriors in BLADE RUNNER.  

This lavishly detailed eye-candy continues throughout the early part of the film, leading to equally impressive exteriors when director Just Jaeckin (EMMANUELLE, THE STORY OF O) takes us outside for some location shots in jungles and deserts which boast magnificent exotic vistas.


(Unfortunately, while these scenes might temporarily make you think you're watching a David Lean movie, they're poorly served by the rinky-dink musical score.) 

And then the film finishes with even more opulent interiors, this time rivaling those impregnable bad-guy fortresses from the Bond films with impressive sci-fi/fantasy design and more armies of extras (this time they're gorgeous female soldiers in service to an evil queen), all there to wow us before being destroyed in a fiery display of SPFX pyrotechnics.

The weird part is that all of this technical prowess and visual opulence forms the backdrop of a hokey, derivative action/fantasy tale that would usually be told on a low budget with less than stellar production values.


And being in the midst of all this cinematic finery just seems to make the incredible hokiness of Tawny Kitaen's gorgeous but naive Catholic school runaway searching the Orient for her missing father and Brent Huff's macho, swaggering soldier of fortune who ends up helping her seem somehow even more endearing.

I'm not sure if it's their exaggerated performances or just the strident dubbing, but the characters of Gwendoline and Willard are wonderfully over-the-top as they fully embody all the usual cliches of the plucky damsel in distress and the self-centered cad turned reluctant hero.

As per John Willie's classic bondage comics, Gwendoline ends up bound and gagged several times during the course of the story and rescued by Willard, who goes into action against martial arts masters, hulking thugs, and weird tribal zealots before the two of them, along with Gwendoline's faithful sidekick Beth (the very cute Zabou), make their way to the exotic underground land of Yik Yak where her father disappeared searching for a rare butterfly.


It's like a mash-up of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "The African Queen", with all the naughty sexploitation elements of an old "Cinemax After Dark" flick from the 80s. 

This is especially true when our heroes' captivity by the evil Queen (Bernadette Lafont) and her minions turns into a real kink-fest of exotic bondage and weird sexual rites climaxing (!) with Gwendoline herself battling against several warrior women and Willard's virtue hanging in the balance for a change.

I got the same vibe from all of this as I did watching Jim Wynorski's sexy fantasy adventure THE LOST EMPIRE (1983) way back in the VHS days, only with much better production values. I was also reminded a bit of BARBARELLA.


It's as though the makers of some big-budget epic were allowing director Jaeckin to come in on alternate days and use their sets, extras, and facilities to shoot his own low-budget movie.

The Blu-ray from Severin Films is scanned uncut in 4k from the original negative recently discovered in a Paris vault. Severin has outdone themselves with a bonus menu too loaded with goodies to list here (see below for full details) including an alternate U.S. cut and two commentary tracks.

Not as heavily kink-oriented as John Willie's original comics and with a much more lighthearted tone, THE PERILS OF GWENDOLINE IN THE LAND OF THE YIK YAK nevertheless revels in sexuality both frothy and lewd while taking us on a grand adventure that's like an express train through bad movie land with first-class accomodations.


Buy it from Severin Films


Special Features:

    Alternate US Release Version: THE PERILS OF GWENDOLINE IN THE LAND OF THE YIK YAK
    Audio Commentary with Director Just Jaeckin
    Audio Commentary with Stars Tawny Kitaen and Brent Huff
    The Butterfly Effect: 2019 Interview with Director Just Jaeckin
    Bondage Paradise: Interviews with Costume & Concept Designers & Comic Book Artists François Schuiten and Claude Renard
    The Perils Of Production: Interview with Executive Producer Jean-Claude Fleury
    Gwendoline’s Travels: Interview with Production Designer Françoise Deleu
    Blu-Ray Promos with Tawny Kitaen & Brent Huff
    The Last Temptation Of Just: 2006 Interview with Director Just Jaeckin
    Dr. Kinsey Interview with John Willie, Creator of SWEET GWENDOLINE
    Revealing Tawny Kitaen Photospread for French LUI Magazine
    Trailers
    Reversible Cover


Alternate Cover:





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