HK and Cult Film News's Fan Box

Friday, May 29, 2009

July Releases From CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Entertainment

The small farming community of Hooterville provided the setting for this highly successful rural situation comedy. Kate Bradley was the widowed owner of the only transient housing in town, the Shady Rest Hotel. Helping her run the hotel were her three beautiful daughters, Billie Jo, Bobbie Jo, and Betty Jo. Also assisting was the girls' lazy Uncle Joe, who had assumed the title of manager. In addition to her involvement with the hotel, the romantic lives of her daughters, and her association with the townspeople, Kate was constantly at odds with Homer Bedlow, vice-president of the C.F. & W. Railroad. Homer was determined to close down the steam-driven branch of the railroad that ran through Hooterville, scrap its lone engine (the Cannonball), and put its two engineers (Charlie Pratt and Floyd Smoot) out of jobs.

Actors: Bea Benaderet, Edgar Buchanan, Jeannine Riley, Pat Woodell, Linda Kaye Henning
Format: Box set, Color, DVD-Video, Full Screen, NTSC
Language: English
Number of discs: 5
Rating: Unrated
Studio: Paramount
DVD Release Date: July 7, 2009
Run Time: 919 minutes
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"Matlock" is a legal drama series starring Andy Griffith as defense attorney Ben Matlock--a Harvard-educated, fiery Southerner who charges $100,000 a case to brilliantly defend his clients by finding the real killer.

Actors: Andy Griffith, Kene Holliday, Julie Sommars, Nancy Stafford
Format: Box set, Color, DVD-Video, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
Language: English
Subtitles: English
Number of discs: 5
Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Paramount
DVD Release Date: July 7, 2009
Run Time: 953 minutes
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An elegant hotel in San Francisco is the setting for each multi-plot episode involving employees of the hotel and an entertaining variety of new guest each week.

Actors: Shari Belafonte, Heidi Bohay, James Brolin, Nathan Cook, Shea Farrell, Connie Sellecca, Michael Spound, Anne Baxter
Format: Box set, Color, DVD-Video, Full Screen, NTSC
Language: English
Number of discs: 6
Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Paramount
DVD Release Date: July 21, 2009
Run Time: 1169 minutes
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After the death of her husband, Lucy Carmichael and her friend, the recently divorced Vivian Bagley, move into a house together with their children. The series follows the adventures of the widow Lucy as she grapples with the comic complications of life on her own.

Actors: Lucille Ball, Vivian Vance, Jimmy Garrett, Ralph Hart, Charles Lane, Dick Martin, Candy Moore
Format: Box set, Color, DVD-Video, Full Screen, NTSC
Language: English
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Number of discs: 4
Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Paramount
DVD Release Date: July 21, 2009
Run Time: 773 minutes
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An hour-long drama about Chicago native Gary Hobson who becomes a reluctant hero when his morning newspaper reports tomorrow's headlines. Commodities trader Gary Hobson is losing it: his job, his home, and his brilliant attorney wife. He thinks he may even be losing his mind when tomorrow's newspaper mysteriously arrives today--giving him a disconcerting look into the future. What will he do with tomorrow's news? While his best friend Chuck sees the newspaper as a ticket to personal gain, co-worker Marissa convinces Gary that the "early edition" should be used to better peoples' lives. So each day Gary begins anew the struggle to make sense of a world turned upside-down by the changing course of events that come from reading the "early edition."

Actors: Kyle Chandler, Shanesia Davis, Fisher Stevens
Format: Box set, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Full Screen, NTSC
Language: English
Number of discs: 5
Rating: Unrated
Studio: Paramount
DVD Release Date: July 28, 2009
Run Time: 1002 minutes
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The widely popular, award-winning Chicago Public Radio program of the same name is now a Showtime series. Drawing on a different theme each week, viewers hear compelling stories from everyday folks culled from six months on the road. Host Ira Glass and company create a captivating look at the American Life in a series that's not quite documentary, not much of a news magazine and definitely not a reality show--it's simply unlike anything else.

Host: Ira Glass
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC
Language: English
Number of discs: 1
Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Showtime Ent.
DVD Release Date: July 21, 2009
Run Time: 201 minutes
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CANNON: SEASON 2, VOLUME ONE -- DVD review by porfle

If you're old enough to remember when "Cannon" first hit the airwaves, you'll know that Cannon's big schtick was that he was fat. That's right--in a world of bald detectives, old detectives, nerdy detectives, Hawaiian detectives, eccentric millionaire detectives, and even the occasional sexy detectives, Cannon was The Fat Detective. In fact, Sonny and Cher even did a spoof of the show once called "Detective Fat."

William Conrad's deep, booming voice had gained him fame on the radio as Marshall Matt Dillon in "Gunsmoke", but when the show migrated to television, Conrad was deemed--you guessed it--too fat to play the character. So in 1971, CBS finally made it up to Conrad by concocting a character specifically tailored for him. One whose most distinctive characteristic was the fact that he was--drumroll, please--fat. ("Jake and the Fatman", which just came right out and said it right there in the title, would come later.)

But was the show itself "phat"? This new 3-disc DVD set, CANNON: SEASON TWO, VOLUME ONE, provides ample evidence that it was indeed pretty good. Not great, mind you--the production values are a little iffy at times, and the overall look of the show is somewhat low-rent--but definitely not without its charms. The main one of these, of course, being the big guy himself.

William Conrad was an easygoing, engaging screen presence who could elevate a pedestrian script and make the most of whatever character moments he was given. His "Frank Cannon" is a tough but affable ex-cop who "tends toward the gut" (as John Wayne put it in THE COWBOYS) but doesn't let that stop him from being an action-oriented kind of guy. When the need arises, Cannon uses that extra weight to push bad guys around and can level a mean karate chop with those ham hands of his. He's handy with a gun, too, and rest assured there's lots of gunplay in this series. As a card-carrying private dick, he can also spout some of that hardboiled dialgue when needed, as in one scene in which a blue-haired Patrick O'Neal finds him difficult to bribe:

"What is it with you? Why are you so hard to do business with?"
"Maybe because we don't deal in the same coin."

Another element in the show's excitement factor is Cannon's beautiful Lincoln Continental Mark IV, which I like to call "the Fatmobile." Whenever a fleeing suspect is speeding away, Cannon hops into this awesome land-yacht and participates in that holiest of 70s cop-show cliches, the car chase. CANNON has a car chase in just about every other episode, because they can always be counted upon to liven up even the blandest script. One episode has three carloads of baddies chasing Cannon through the Los Angeles River and features some satisfying fender-bending action along the way. In another, we even see him chasing a backhoe in a pickup truck down a dirt road. This guy'll chase anything.

Plotwise, we find the standard procession of guest characters seeking Cannon's help for various reasons. Some are wrongly accused of murder, while others have more unusual needs for his services. The scripts are mostly pretty involving although light on any kind of real, hard-hitting drama. This was one of my dad's favorite shows, and the networks' goal back then was to offer this kind of familiar, easy-to-take programming to older viewers like him who just wanted to kick back with some boob-tube after work and didn't care for all the preachy "relevant" stuff currently being aimed at the young folks. Heck, I can relate to that.

The Quinn-tessential 70s-era Quinn Martin production, CANNON fulfills that requirement very well with the kind of scripts that could've been passed around amongst any number of TV flatfoots with only a few details changed (and probably were). What makes the show unique is the main character himself. William Conrad is supremely relaxed and confident in the role, and seems to enjoy playing it. (If you ever get to see some of the show's bloopers, they'll attest to his funny, lighthearted attitude during filming.) He likes interacting with his guest stars, whether tickling the ivories in a bar for Sheree North or sparring with Marj Dusay in the kitchen over whether or not to add milk to his omelet recipe. A gourmet with discerning tastes, Cannon is often seen whipping up fine cuisine or dining out with the likes of Jessica Walter.

In one episode, he spends so much time at the police station doggedly pouring over mug shots in search of a suspect that he actually has to skip a few meals. When at last he pinpoints the right picture, Cannon frantically grabs the phone away from a detective and delivers an urgent directive: "I need the numbers of all the delicatessens in the area that deliver!"

One of the show's best qualities is that it doesn't always take place in a grungy urban setting or some overused backlot. Cannon may be a variation of the standard gumshoe character, but he likes to get out and enjoy the wide-open spaces once in a while. In "The Predators" (with guest stars Phyllis Thaxter and fanboy heartthrob Pamela Franklin), we're treated to some breathtaking northern California settings. "Stakeout" finds Cannon soaring through the skies in a glider with Belinda Montgomery, while "Sky Above, Death Below" allows him to shoot a few bad guys on a scenic mountaintop. This goes a long way toward making up for the sometimes low-budget look of the show.

Other guest stars of interest include Michael Tolan, Severn Darden, Leslie Charleson, Richard Hatch, Ken Lynch, Lloyd Bochner, Scott Hylands, Jesse Vint, Robert Webber, Mike Farrell, Frank Maxwell, 50s genre icon Kenneth Tobey, Dana Elcar, Charles Cyphers, James A. Watson, Sandy Kenyon, Tracy Reed, George Maharis, Stefanie Powers, Jeanne Bates, Kathleen Freeman, Clue Gulager, Julie Adams, H.M. Wynant, Lois Nettleton, Bert Freed, William Daniels, Linden Chiles, Alex Rocco, Carl Betz, Andrew Duggan, Olan Soule, Katherine Justice, and even former Monkee, Mickey Dolenz.

John Parker's familiar "Cannon" theme leads us into the first twelve episodes of the second season in this set. The pictorial quality is good considering that the show never looked all that great to begin with. The sole bonus feature is an option to view episodes with the original pre-titles teasers, which are simply brief montages of upcoming scenes. If I remember correctly, these were originally a regular part of the show.

CANNON: SEASON TWO, VOLUME ONE isn't quite on par with the best that classic television has to offer, but it's still an above-average and fun example of the 70s detective show. Just the thing for when you feel like gorging on some tasty junk food for the brain.

Buy it at

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

PERRY MASON: SEASON 4, VOLUME 1 -- DVD review by porfle

A lot of people seem to have the same childhood memory of the "Perry Mason" TV show--the music used to scare them. I myself recall hearing it from the other room and being afraid to go in there. It sounds so ominous and threatening, like horrible things must happen on the show that would give you nightmares. Anyway, Fred Steiner's "Park Avenue Beat" is one of the coolest TV themes ever. I have a Tubes live album where they do a really good cover of it, but nothing beats the original version.

Now that I'm officially a grown-up and neither the music nor the show itself actually scare me anymore, I've been enjoying a Perry Mason marathon with the 4-disc DVD set PERRY MASON: SEASON 4, VOLUME 1. In fact, I think this is the first time I've ever watched episodes of it all the way through. It's still a pretty serious show--there isn't a whole lot of comedy relief when every episode is about someone getting murdered and someone else being wrongfully accused of it.

The fact that the show was so damn serious was another thing that made me steer clear of it as a kid, in addition to my never being able to follow the story. Too much talk, too much information to process and plot to keep up with. But now, I find the show just complicated enough to engage my curiosity and keep me guessing. Sometimes I'm able to figure out who the real killer is in advance, and other times it's a complete surprise.

Funny thing is, Perry himself is usually the most easygoing character on the show. This is mainly because he's so smart. Whatever happens, no matter how messed-up, Perry can rely on his brilliant intellect and infallible instincts to help him weave his way slowly but surely toward the solution of any mystery. So he can afford to be cool as a cucumber at all times. Sometimes during a trial, he'll allow himself a subtle smirk at the hopeless attempts of the D.A. to trip him up and prove his client guilty. (Although there are times when some unexpected development or revelation makes him visibly apprehensive.) Perry has such an incredible record of success that by now, the judge should simply save the taxpayers' money and automatically dismiss the case against anyone who hires him as their attorney, because everything after that is just a formality.

As Erle Stanley Gardner's literary legal eagle, Raymond Burr always struck me as a mountain of beef in a gigantic black suit. If you're a kid, he can be pretty scary-looking with those impossibly broad shoulders and those big black circles under his eyes. As an adult, I see him and think: "This is the guy I want on my side." Each episode begins with someone getting themselves into a situation in which there's a murder, and all evidence points to them as the killer. Then, as soon as we see them sitting in Perry's office, we breathe a sigh of relief and know that everything will eventually work out okay. Unlike real-life defendants, Perry's clients are never actually guilty--their innocence is established in our eyes as soon as he takes the case--so he never has to resort to legal sleight-of-hand or shady technicalities in order to get them off the hook. That way, his character can always remain a purehearted crusader for justice with his integrity firmly intact and his conscience clear.

I like Burr better as the irascible IRONSIDE in his later series, in which he got to be more animated and action-oriented even though he was confined to a wheelchair. But his Perry Mason character is still fascinating to watch. Barbara Hale as his efficient secretary Della Street and William Hopper as private detective Paul Drake, who does all of Perry's legwork, lend solid support and a comfortable comradery. Distinguished character actor Ray Collins is always fine as crotchety old homicide detective Lt. Tragg, whose dogged efforts to nail a suspect for murder are constantly being thwarted by Mason's superior deductive skills.

Each episode spends about half an hour setting up the situation, establishing a murder and an innocent suspect, and showing us what a seemingly airtight case Lt. Tragg has against the unfortunate chump. The second half of the episode covers the tense courtroom drama, with the hapless D.A. doing his best to outwit Mason, Lt. Tragg confidently testifying against the accused, and Mason methodically putting together a defense that will invariably blow the case right out of the water at the last minute and reveal the identity of the real killer.

More often than not, this results in one of those frantic witness-stand confessions that lawyers say never happen in real life, but which are an integral part of shows like this. There's a lot of verbal cat-and-mouse stuff going on here, which I find engrossing and mentally stimulating when I'm in the mood for that sort of thing. If you're looking for explosions, car chases, and fistfights, this show won't do much for you. But if you're the kind who likes to curl up with a good whodunnit, this is wonderful stuff.

As is the norm for shows of this era (circa 1960), the guest cast is often filled with familiar faces. Morris Ankrum, Frank Wilcox, and Bryan Morrow are some of the actors who show up as judges. The revolving line-up of prosecutors includes Christopher Dark, 50s genre favorite Kenneth Tobey, and, most effectively, H.M. Wynant as a hotshot young deputy D.A. who's just aching to prove himself by getting one over on Mason. As for regular castmember William Talman, who is well-known as Perry Mason's usual nemesis Hamilton Burger, he only appears in three episodes in this set--numbers 1, 2, and 15--since this is the season during which Talman was fired after being arrested (in the nude) during the raid of a Beverly Hills party in which marijuana use was suspected. Charges against him were later dismissed, and with the support of Burr, along with the rest of the show's cast and many of its fans, he was rehired.

Other notable guests in this set include Robert Redford, James Coburn, a very young Louise Fletcher, Sue Randall (Beaver Cleaver's teacher in "Leave It to Beaver"), Stephen Talbot (Beaver's friend Gilbert), Whit Bissell, Ken Curtis, Bert Freed, Virginia Christine, Hal Smith, William Campbell, Dabbs Greer, Harry Townes, Casey Adams, Coleen Gray, Robert Cornthwaite, Robert Clarke, Kathie Browne, Robert Lowery, Francis X. Bushman, Jeanette Nolan, John "Sgt. Schultz" Banner, Regis Toomey, Bruce Gordon, Corey Allen ("Buzz" in REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE), Richard Deacon, Robert Brown, Arthur Franz, Philip Abbott, Dave Willock, James Westerfield, Vaughn Taylor, John Hoyt, John Lupton, Barry Atwater, and Tony Travis of THE BEATNIKS' fame.

The show is filmed in lush, atmospheric black-and-white and the image quality on these digitally remastered DVDs is very good. Each of the four discs contains four episodes. No bonus features.

PERRY MASON is one of the genuine milestones of classic television, very evocative of its era, and each episode is like a well-produced mini-movie. With sixteen of Perry Mason's most baffling and exciting cases, PERRY MASON: SEASON 4, VOLUME 1 is solid entertainment all the way.

Buy it at

42nd St Pete Reviews A Sci-Fi Channel Movie this is Actually Good: Vipers

Vipers 2007 from Genius Entertainment with Tara Reid, Jonathan Scarfe & Corbin Bernsen. Directed by Bill Corcran

Usually I stay far away from these Sci-Fi Channel films, but this one isn’t bad, even with the CG snakes. A bunch of genetically engineered vipers escape from a lab and wind up on an island in the Pacific Northwest. Not only are they venomous, but carnivorous as well. Several victims are eaten, bones and all.

Bernsen, who has played the mad scientist or corporate prick in a bunch of films lately, sends a team to rescue the population of the island. Of course he has a plan to destroy the place to cover up any wrong doing. Bet he misses those LA Law paychecks.

Inasmuch as I hate CG effects, these are pretty good and the gore will appease some of the most jaded gorehounds. Sometime with the made for the Sci Fi Channel stuff, you have to get the DVD as they still cut out language, nudity and extreme violence. Hint: rent it before you buy it.


42nd St Pete Reviews Jack Ketchum's The Lost

Lost 2008 from Anchor Bay Starring Marc Senter, Shat Astar, Alex Frost, Dee Wallace Stone & Ed Lauter. Directed by Chris Siverson.

It was about time that someone made a movie out of a Jack Ketchum novel. Jack is perhaps one of the best horror writers out there, but one who has been overshadowed for many years.

Lost is a twisted tale of a sociopath, Ray Pye, who terrorizes his small town. In the opening, Ray cold bloodily kills two girls who are camping (Misty Mundae & Ruby Laroca). One survives, but is brain dead. A detective(Michael Bowen) knows that Ray is guilty and is out to get him. Ray keeps his two companions in line with threats of violence.

Ketchum’s twisted tale of dead end, small town life is excellently done here. Rather than give up the ending, this is one that you have to see for yourself. Marc Senter gives a chilling performance as Ray Pye, a guy a lot of us knew during our high school years. These characters, in my life, always met the bad end we thought they would. This film captures the small town, dead end ambiance. All the performers are excellent and I hope to see more of Ketchum’s work translated into film. Let’s see who has the balls to do Off Season or Ladies Night.


42nd St Pete Reviews Crap That Makes Him Want To Rip His Eyes Out: 100 Million BC, Feast 2, and Hell Ride

Some Reviews on some current stuff that is just a waste of electricity

100 Million BC 2008 Asylum Home Entertainment Starring Michael Gross, Greg Evigan, & Christopher Atkins. Directed by Louie Myman

Time travel epic with an elite team sent back in time to retrieve another team that was sent back in the 40’s . Premise is good, but the bad CG stuff kills it. Raptors attack and kill most of the rescue team. The T-Rex is red and Michael Gross looks pretty gross with his balding head covered with liver spots. Guess the budget didn’t allow for make up.

The 40’s women have 2000 style enhanced boobage, the CG stuff sucks and nobody noticed a bright red T-Rex roaming around LA at night. Christopher Atkins seems to be a fixture in these crappy films as of late.

Hell Ride 2008 from Dimension Extreme Starring David Carradine, Dennis Hopper, Larry Bishop & Vinnie Jones. Directed by Larry Bishop. Presented by Quentin Tarentino.

OK, in the Grindhouse scheme of things, biker films were low on the Richter scale. Most weren’t that good and if someone was going to write a book on that genre , it would be about 50 pages. The good ones were The Wild One, The Wild Angels, The Losers , Hells Angels ‘69 & Stone Cold. The rest pretty much sucked.

So now we get another QT presents 90 minutes worth of BS. A threadbare plot, a treasure that we never see, throat slashings, immolation's, sluts, shooting, and no freaking plot to go with them. This played for two whole days in my area before it was yanked because no one gave a shit. You would think with all the money Grindhouse lost that someone would reign QT in a bit. Hopper & Carradine seem to be there for name value as Carradine dies rather quickly. Total waste in my estimation.

Feast 2: Sloppy Seconds Starring Jenny Wade, Clu Gulager, & Diane Ayala Goldner. Directed by John Gulager. From Dimension Extreme.

I did have high hopes for this as I really liked the first one. Now this is being billed as a new “classic” horror series. Someone better look up the definition of classic because this isn’t it. Two survivors from # 1, the Bartender & Honey Pie are now holding off the CG monsters in a small town with an all girl biker gang, two midget wrestlers, and some other disposable characters. This plays out like a video game and that seems to be it’s target audience.

Some of it is funny, most of it sucks, especially the “autopsy” scene were people puke, get slimed, and get ejaculated upon. Yeah, you read right, the dead monster’s Ron Jeremy like wazoo winds up all over the cast. I could read into something here, but I won’t .Highlights are a baby getting eaten, a monster screw a cat, Clu beating the shit out of Honey Pie for running off in the first film, a dissolving old lady, and more slimy, pukey, fluids than an Annie Sprinkle porn film.

Obviously this film has an audience, but I’m not in it.


Splinter DVD Review by 42nd St Pete

Splinter 2008 Directed by Toby Williams Starring Shea Whigham, Paulo Costanzo, Jill Wagner and Rachel Kerbs Released by Magnet DVD

Considering the pile of poop that is passed off for horror movies these days, this one was a real pleasure to watch. It’s a monster movie, a real goddamn monster movie with no CG, rap, or handicam nonsense. One location, four principle players, gore, shocks, and, for once, a credible storyline.

A gas station attendant is opening the place for the day when he is attacked by something furry and full of spikes. A couple is heading in that direction to camp out. Also headed in the same direction is an escaped con and his junkie girl friend. The two campers are taken hostage when the con’s car breaks down. They run over some kind of animal and blow out a tire. The animal has spikes sticking out of it like one of those sea urchins. They was also a sign by the road saying that this is a government test area.

While changing the tire, the Con gets a splinter in his finger, hence the title. The “dead” animal comes to like and the "Junkie Chic" freaks out. They arrive at the gas station to find it’s deserted. The junkie find the attendant in the rest room. He begs her to kill him. She runs back to the others, but is attacked by the attendant who “rips right through her”. The Con shoots the attendant who dies. They lock themselves in the place. The junkie seems to still be alive. The Con drags her toward the door, but she morphs into something and attacks. Her hand breaks off and gets in the place. The boyfriend, who is a biologist, sees that it feeds on blood.

He thinks it’s a fungus type parasite that uses it victims as hosts to attack others. The dead girl’s bloody corpse hammers her head into the glass door , trying to get in. It becomes a nerve racking game of cat and mouse as the creature attacks and absorbs a lady cop who shows up. The splinter in the con’s finger starts taking him over so an amputation is performed using a Stanley knife and a cinder block. I’m not going to reveal anything else as this has to be seen. A good plot, characters that you actually care about for a change, nasty effects, and overall, a great little film. I give it four stars easily.

Get the Blu-Ray and DVD of Spliner at Amazon


Taken DVD Review by 42nd St Pete

Taken 2009 Directed by Pierre Morel Starring Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen and Maggie Grace

This one was a real surprise as the usually reserved Neeson is cast against type as an ex-CIA operative searching for his daughter, who is kidnapped by white slavers while vacationing in Europe. Using every dirty trick he knows to locate her, Neeson ups the violence quota by demolishing anything and anyone in his path.

Albanian white slavers(real scumbags) kidnap teenage tourists, hook them on drugs and put them in assembly line brothels. Neeson’s daughter and friend are “taken” soon after arriving in Paris. Neeson is informed that if he can’t find her in a certain amount of time, he will never see her again. Neeson outwits the law and the scumbags at every turn. Seems the head scumbags are well connected with the law. When the leader tells Neeson , that “it’s not personal, it’s business”, Neeson retorts by emptying a Glock into his twitching body.

Taken has its roots firmly planted in grindhouse exploitation. The crowd cheered Neeson as he cuts his way though an army of villains and bureaucrats. One of the better scenes has Neeson drive two iron spikes through the guy who kidnapped his daughter thighs and then attach jumper cables to them. He zaps him a few time then, after he gets what he wants, turns the juice on full blast and leaves the guy cooking. Neeson is a one man wrecking crew as he leaves a body count worthy of Charles Bronson. A must see.

You can get the the Blu-Ray and Regular DVD of Taken from Amazon.


Black Emmanuelle, White Emmanuelle DVD Review by 42nd St Pete

Black Emmanuelle, White Emmanuelle Starring Laura Gemser , Annie Belle, Al Cliver, and Gabriele Tinti. Directed by Bunello Rondi. Released by Severin Films.

Also known as Emmanuelle in Egypt, this rather obscure entry in the Black Emmanuelle series has Laura Gemser being called Laura, her real name. She is a world class model with an abusive photographer(real life husband, Tinti). He forces her to pose with a dead dog in the stinking desert. They go to mansion and meet some weird people, including a crazy holy man(Al Cliver).

Another trip to out in the desert finds some recently dead bodies. He wants Laura to pose with them. She does, but the short haired, Anne Belle, gets a little pissed off. Eventually so does Laura and is chased across the desert and raped by her photographer. The two are constantly telling each other to go fuck themselves or calling each other pieces of shit. Makes you wonder about their off screen relationship. Laura runs away with Anne for some fun after she balks at posing on a huge pile of camel dung.

This film is very strange. One of the classy white women gets drunk and is raped by two Arabs in the desert. She is found by Anne, who tells her she doesn’t need men. Some of the film is in English, some parts, obviously restored, are in Italian. Laura flips out at a party. The Holy Man seduces Anne, who says she is leaving with him. Then changes her mind and wanders away with Laura as they both get naked and ‘fini” scrawls across the screen.

A bit too confusing and contrived for me, but Laura looks great, naked, half naked, or fully clothed. That is the reason for getting this DVD, if you’re a Laura Gemser fan, you want it, actually you need it and that’s the bottom line.

You can get Black Emmanuelle, White Emmanuelle from HK Flix


The Story of Prunella DVD Review by 42nd St Pete

Story of Prunella 1982 Directed by Phil Prince, Starring Geoge Payne, Ron Jeremy, Ambrosia Fox, Niko, Dennis Christopher & Cher Champagne. Part of the Avon 7 Collection from After Hours.

Where most of your 1980s adult film directors stroked your libido with a velvet glove, Phil Prince stoked it with a fist wrapped in barbed wire. Phil made the nastiest films in porn history. While his output of films was small as compared to his contemporaries, Phil’s brand of erotica was soul corroding.

Story of Prunella is a well crafted descent into psycho sadism thanks to the acting talents of George Payne. Early on , Payne turns a prostitute (Cheri Champagne) into a disciple. Payne and two other lowlifes escape from prison and are met by Cheri who forgot to bring an escape vehicle. Cheri plays dead to trick a motorist into stopping. The vehicle that does stop contains the warden’s wife and daughter.

They force the women to take them to a bridal shower planned for Prunella. The three men and the woman sexual abuse and torment all of the women for an extended period of time. Hot on the trail of the foursome is detective Paul (Ron Jeremy), Prunella’s husband to be. Some of this may be hard for a first time viewer to watch. If your not familiar with Avon’s product, this ride may be too rough for some viewers, but Avon wasn't meant for everyone.

Payne’s tour de force performance is completely unhinged. He virtually destroys Prunella’s mind with his brutal rape and the filth that he spews out at her during the degrading rape may appall some viewers. Prince, a lot of his detractors said, took it too far. This may have been adult films climatic moment, as no one today, except our friends in Europe, would have the balls to go where Phil did.

The DVD comes with a Phil Prince Documentary. The documentary was interesting, but it seems that no one really knows much about Phil and what happened to him. Bill Landis (of Sleaziod Express) claimed that he shot an associate and was put back in jail. This has been proven inaccurate. Just watching Phil in the documentary makes you realize he may be a little off. Sources have said that Phil admired the work of Andy Milligan and other low budget film makers and tried to emulate them. Phil wanted to make movies. In Prunella, he succeeded. The plot is decent, though you can see a Last House on the Left influence. The players could actually act, which made all the degradation that more believable. Off the women, none were raving beauties, which also added to the back alley ambiance and realism of Prunella. The men all looked the part of degenerate thugs. Anyone wandering into the Avon 7 back in the day, thinking this was your typical sit down and enjoy it kind of a film, quickly had their libido flatlined.

Of course, a lot of viewers flocked to these films. Men who reviled in the degradation of women, were repeat viewers. From a historical aspect, this was one of the films singled out by the dreaded Meese Commission as the "most vile and violent examples of mob controlled pornography". Poor George Payne was put in the uncomfortable position of having to testify before that commission.

This release is only the tip of the Avon 7/After Hours iceberg. Check out the trailers, all of them are coming soon. These are taken off original prints that made the rounds of the Avon Grindhouses back in the day.

You can buy The Story of Prunella from Amazon and help support this website.