HK and Cult Film News's Fan Box

Monday, December 31, 2018

Pearl Harbor Attack Without Airplanes: "In Harm's Way" (1965) (video)

For this WWII epic starring John Wayne and Kirk Douglas...

...director Otto Preminger recreated the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.

But although we see  a couple of brief stock shots of airborne Japanese planes...

...Preminger didn't use a single actual airplane in the entire attack sequence.

We hear the attacking airplanes, but we never seen them.

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


Sunday, December 30, 2018

Richard "Jaws" Kiel As The Solarite Monster In "Phantom Planet" (1961) (video)

Sixteen years before gaining screen immortality as "Jaws"... the 1977 James Bond film "The Spy Who Loved Me"...

...Richard Kiel had his very first credited screen role.

He played the captive Solarite monster in "The Phantom Planet." (1961)

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


Saturday, December 29, 2018

Was The Beverly Hillbillies' "Granny" in "Mighty Joe Young"? (1949) (video)

Irene Ryan played crotchety old "Granny"... the hit 1960s TV series "The Beverly Hillbillies."

But in her younger days, Ryan made a brief comedic appearance... the SPFX-heavy monster thriller "Mighty Joe Young" (1949).

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


Friday, December 28, 2018

John Wayne's Coolest Scenes #23: Flashback, "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" (1962) (video)

In this John Ford classic, Tom Doniphon (John Wayne) reveals a dark secret... senate candidate Ranse Stoddard (James Stewart).


...and Duke notches up one of the greatest performances of his career.

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


Thursday, December 27, 2018

Stunning End Credits For "In Harm's Way": A Metaphor For WWII (1964) (video)

Saul Bass designed this incredible montage, which uses ocean images...

...along with Jerry Goldsmith's stirring music... express the chaos, turbulance, and violent upheaval of World War Two.

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


Wednesday, December 26, 2018

When Ava Gardner Co-Starred With The East Side Kids ("Ghosts On The Loose", 1943) (video)

This East Side Kids comedy was Ava Gardner's first credited role.

She played "Betty", bride of Rick Vallin and sister of "Glimpy" (Huntz Hall).

Ava grew up on a North Carolina tobacco farm, the youngest of seven children.

She got her first break in Hollywood on the strength of a single portrait... the window of a photographic studio.

Ava was once dubbed "The World's Most Beautiful Animal" in a publicity campaign.
A director once gushed, "She can't talk, she can't act, she's sensational!"

By 1945 she smoked three packs of cigarettes a day...
...and was known for her drinking and salty language.

She was married to Frank Sinatra, Artie Shaw, and Mickey Rooney.

She was nominated for Best Actress for "Mogambo" in 1953.
And later won critical praise for her role in "Night of the Iguana."

Ava died of pneumonia in 1990 at age 67.

Her last words were: "I'm so tired."

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


Tuesday, December 25, 2018

John Wayne's Coolest Scenes #22: Four Rail Fence, "TRUE GRIT" (1969) (video)


The emotional ending to "True Grit"...

...the film that won John Wayne his only Oscar for Best Actor.

Rooster Cogburn and Mattie Ross discuss where they will spend the hereafter.

Rooster takes his leave by attempting a daring feat for a "fat old man."

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


Monday, December 24, 2018

When King Kong Killed Gary Cooper's Wife! ("KING KONG", 1933) (video)

When KING KONG was re-released years after its initial run...

...several scenes were removed due to violence or sexual content.
These scenes would not be restored until the 1970s.

One of these censored scenes showed the demise of a sleeping woman...
...plucked from her bed and dropped to the street below.

The actress was billed as Sandra Shaw, otherwise known as Veronica Balfe...
...or, the future Mrs. Gary Cooper.

She and Gary were married in December of that year.

It's still a shocking scene.

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


Sunday, December 23, 2018

Overdramatic Heroin-Test Guy From "THE FRENCH CONNECTION" (1971) (video)

This drug test guy (Pat McDermott) is hired by potential buyers to test the imported "product."

But instead of just doing it, he puts on his own little show...

...with cutesy names for the levels of heroin potency.

Later, he's called upon to do a quick on-location test.

But instead of just doing it, he has to draw out the suspense...

...glancing from one guy to the other...

...before doing his patented "nod and smile" move.

And that's how you tell the amateur heroin testers from the real pros.

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


Saturday, December 22, 2018

Magic Door Trick In Alfred Hitchcock's "STAGE FRIGHT" (1950) (video)

Marlene Dietrich enlists Richard Todd's help...with ulterior motives.

He rushes to her house and through the front door.

When he closes it, light turns to dark and street noises are muffled.

Except...he doesn't close it.

Todd mimes closing the door. The lighting and sound design do the rest.

And that's the magic front door trick.

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


Friday, December 21, 2018

WARM NIGHTS HOT PLEASURES (1964) -- Movie Review by Porfle

Another of Joe Sarno's delectable early black-and-white melodramas, 1964's WARM NIGHTS HOT PLEASURES is the torrid tale of three smalltown girls who drop out of college and head to the Big Apple with fervent (but slim) hopes of making it in showbiz.

Of course, the road to success is littered with just this kind of roadkill.  But singleminded Cathy (Marla Ellis) is too determined and blinded by ambition to be deterred even when every lead she follows turns out to be just one more horny, sleazy con man telling her to "show me what you got" before leading her to the casting couch.

Meanwhile, prim Vivian (Sheila Barnett) hooks up with Paul, a seemingly decent man who claims to have connections and assures her there are no strings attached.  (Paul is played by SIN IN THE SUBURBS's Richard Tatro, whom original-series Star Trek fans will recognize as the android Norman in the episode "I, Mudd.")

Paul's frustrated wife Ronnie (Carla Desmond) befriends simple, down-home girl Marsha (the cute-as-a-button Eve Harris) and offers to teach her some of the tricks to becoming a showgirl.  Ronnie will also develop a tragically one-sided infatuation with Marsha that adds to the story's substantial emotional gravitas.

The idea of a trio of naive girls striking out on their own into a world of fast sex and deceptive strangers seems a comfortably familiar one, and Sarno's lean, colorful screenplay, in addition to his endlessly inventive direction and expert handling of actors, allows us to settle back and enjoy the ride from one dramatic turn to the next.

Things get sleazy right away when Cathy's first surrender to a repugnant talent agent's sweaty sexual come-on leads only to one two-bit producer after another as she struggles to make her way up the food chain. She ends up dancing and hustling drinks in a bar run by Dick (played by familiar character actor Joe Santos in his film debut under the name "Joe Russell") who drags her sense of self-worth even further into the mud by also demanding dirty sex from her.

Welcome comedy touches enter the picture when the girls rent a room from a sassy, sultry nudie model who's constantly posing for fetish photos down the hall, in the apartment of a young Irving Klaw-like photographer.  While the big lug's constantly trying to get Marsha to pose nude for him, he's all business and becomes a valuable ally.

Fans of familiar vintage nudie model Alice Denham will be delighted to see her in the flesh (so to speak) as the landlady, who's equally adept at single-girl glamour pics or the kinkier bondage and S&M stuff.

As usual, the black-and-white photography is exquisite as the camerawork and staging consistently bring out the best in Sarno's typically expressive cast. The musical score is a cacophony of hepcat jazz, like one of Fred Katz's scores for Roger Corman, and I recognized at least one cue from the same library music used earlier in THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN'T DIE.

Sarno admirers should scarf up this concoction of illicit sex, brief nudity, drama, tragedy, despair, debasement, disillusionment, and betrayal, with occasional bits of lighthearted fun to keep things from getting too heavy.  At least one of our our heroines will find a glimmer of hope that may lead to success, while the other girls' luck goes bad in ways that play heavily on our sympathy without ever getting maudlin.

The print used by Film Movement Classics has the usual wear and tear of these early Sarno films which we're lucky to have in any condition (this one has been lost since 1964) despite being cleaned up as much as possible for this Blu-ray release.

I think it looks great, and any imperfections only give it that unique grindhouse feel which, as I've stressed on numerous occasions, only adds to my nostalgic enjoyment of older films.  (I like a print that looks like it's been around the block a few times.)  No extras this time, but the film itself is its own reward.

WARM NIGHTS HOT PLEASURES finds the director continuing to wield his keen story sense and artist's eye to give us a nudie sex flick that feels as substantial and worthwhile as many Hollywood potboilers, but a lot more naughty, taboo-twisting fun.

Read our reviews of other Joe Sarno films HERE


John Wayne's Coolest Scenes #21: Pick It Up, "RIO BRAVO" (1959) (video)

A hired gun runs into a bar...

(stop me if you've heard this one)

...with two determined lawmen on his trail.

The hired gun just murdered a friend of theirs.

The other gunmen in the bar don't take them seriously.

They're about to learn their lesson the hard way.

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


Thursday, December 20, 2018

SNOWFLAKE -- Blu-ray Review by Porfle

While some of the blurbs describe the 2017 German film SNOWFLAKE (aka "Schneeflöckchen") as being Tarantino-esque, a modern Grimm's fairytale, and other such colorful phrases, don't let that put you off (if it does) or mislead you. 

This is really an enjoyably offbeat tale that manages to deconstruct the usual narrative and throw the viewer a few wicked curves, but it isn't a mind trip of LSD proportions that will leave you strung out in the middle of a surrealistic wasteland.

The Tarantino comparison is mainly due to the fact that two of the protagonists, Javid (Reza Brojerdi) and Tan (Erkan Acar), trade some quirky "Royale with cheese"-type dialogue while casually killing people during their nocturnal prowl through the streets and fast food joints of a violently dystopian near-future Germany. 

There's also the somewhat fractured storyline, due mainly to the fact that they find, in the backseat of their stolen car, a screenplay in progress which features them as the main characters and has the exact dialogue that they've just spoken moments before. The screenplay, it seems, has recorded their exact words and deeds in the past, present, and, to their greatest shock, the future.

Meanwhile, an emotionally-damaged young woman named Eliana (Xenia Assenza) and her devoted bodyguard Carson (David Masterson) are seeking hired killers to avenge the deaths of Eliana's parents at the hands of none other than Javid and Tan.  Carson's father Caleb (David Gant), who thinks he's God, gives them a list of killers to approach with their proposal.

Eliana wants to hire them all, setting off a series of encounters that include a deadly clash with two insane brothers (one thinks he's a pig, both are bloodthirsty cannibals), another pair of assassins who keep a human robot as their slave and engage in playful roleplaying games with their prey, and, finally, a fascist paramilitary leader with an underground army who, as we discover, may have touched off the entire convoluted storyline himself years before.

Director Adolfo J. Kolmerer brings all this to life without trying to overly dazzle us with style, while the script by Arend Remmers (who named the film's writer character after himself) avoids unnecessary pretensions or profundities while still keeping us mentally on our toes. 

Javid and Tan are constantly trying to stay one step ahead of their written destinies, even seeking out scriptwriter Arend--a dentist with dreams of breaking into movies--and torturing him into writing a happy ending for them. 

This gives their scenes a pleasant brain-teaser aspect often found in time-travel stories, tossing in an interesting paradox or two along the way.  We also ponder the signficance of their meeting with the angelic Snowflake (Judith Hoersch), whose beatific innocence borders on the simpleminded. 

Fans of horror and violence won't be disappointed when the story swings into "Texas Chain Saw Massacre" territory a time or two (especially when the cannibal brothers are busy processing their victims for future consumption) and the frequent gunplay leaves plenty of bullet-riddled bodies in its wake.  Even superhero fans will thrill to the exploits of Hydro Electric Man, a vigilante zapping the bad guys on the mean streets.

The Artsploitation Films Blu-ray is in 5.1 Dolby stero with German and English soundtrack and English subtitles.  Bonus features consist of a making-of featurette and a trailer.

As all the various story threads come to a head, SNOWFLAKE finds Arend furiously bent over his laptop with fingers flying, writing and rewriting until the killers he's imagined into existence are satisfied with the outcome.  The result isn't enough to blow you away or leave your mind frazzled with phantasmagoria, but it's a delightfully disorienting and mentally stimulating tale nonetheless. 

Official website


Charles Bronson vs. Roy Rogers ("The Knockout", 1952) (video)

Charles Bronson acted in movies and television for years...

...under his real name, Charles Buchinski.

In 1952 he appeared on "The Roy Rogers Show" in "The Knockout."

His character, Willie Conley, was an aspiring boxer with a crooked manager.

In the end, Conley is vindicated and the bad guys are defeated.

But not before he and Roy go at it in the ring a couple of times.

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


Wednesday, December 19, 2018

John Wayne's Coolest Scenes #20: Swimming Lesson, "HONDO" (1953) (video)

John Wayne plays a Cavalry scout helping a widow and her son...

...part of which includes teaching the little boy how to swim.

But his unusual method meets with the mother's disapproval.

John Wayne
Geraldine Page
Lee Aaker

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


Tuesday, December 18, 2018

All The Monster Scenes From "The Beach Girls And The Monster" (1965) (video)

Actor Jon Hall ("The Invisible Man's Revenge", "The Hurricane")…

...directed and starred in this low-budget horror/beach film.

The monster costume is decidedly unconvincing, even when compared to "The Horror of Party Beach" (1964).

The musical score is rather good...
...including a main titles song co-written by Frank Sinatra, Jr.

Sue Casey plays Hall's sexually-unfulfilled wife Vicky.

The film is listed in The Official Razzie Movie Guide... one of "The 100 Most Enjoyably Bad Movies Ever Made."

(STOP reading now if you don't want the main plot twist spoiled.)

That's right...the film has a "Scooby-Doo" ending.
It turns out director-star Jon Hall was the monster all along.

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


Monday, December 17, 2018

Terror Films Unleashes "HELL HOUSE LLC II: THE ABADDON HOTEL" via A Wide Digital Release on January 4th, 2019

Terror Films Unleashes


Via A Wide Digital Release on January 4th, 2019

Los Angeles, CA. - (Monday, December 17, 2018) – The highly anticipated sequel HELL HOUSE LLC II: THE ABADDON HOTEL was initially released September 20th on the genre streaming site SHUDDER.

After a 3-month exclusive window on this platform, TERROR FILMS will make this exciting haunter on several more Digital hosters, including: Amazon Instant, iTunes, Vudu, Steam, Google Play and Xbox. This latest release will also take place in multiple countries, beginning Friday, January 4th, 2019.

Upon the initial release of HELL HOUSE LLC II: THE ABADDON HOTEL, writer/director Stephen Cognetti’s sequel set off an online frenzy among fans leaving them hungry for more. Although an official announcement has not been made, the attached banner was uploaded to the TERROR FILMS’ official Facebook page several weeks ago, clearly hinting at a third installment coming this October 2019, titled HELL HOUSE LLC III: LAKE OF FIRE.

In case you missed the initial announcements, the official trailer and poster for HELL HOUSE LLC II: THE ABADDON HOTEL can be found below. A future DVD release will be announced shortly, on the official HELL HOUSE LLC Facebook page.


To Learn More about Terror Films:
And here:

To Learn More about Hell House LLC:


"Magnum Force" (1973) Blooper: Swimming Pool Killer Misses A Guy ("Dirty Harry" Sequel) (video)

So, this vigilante cop decides to kill everyone cavorting around a mobster's swimming pool.

And we assume that means everyone.
Even a pre-stardom Suzanne Somers.

Suzanne gets topless in the unedited version.

This isn't the unedited version.

Anyway, the killer kills everyone.
Except for this guy.

Why not this guy?
We call that a blooper.

Anyway, is this cop a jerk or what?

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


Sunday, December 16, 2018

Was James Dean's Final Scene In "Giant" (1955) Voiced By Another Actor? (video)

Days after completing his final scene as aging, drunken oil tycoon Jett Rink in "Giant"...

...James Dean was tragically killed in an auto accident.

Some of his slurred speech in that scene was later deemed difficult to understand.

Sadly, however, Dean was no longer available to re-record it.

So some of his lines in this last scene were dubbed by his actor friend, Nick Adams.

Therefore, we hear both Adams and Dean speaking during Dean's final filmed performance.

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


Saturday, December 15, 2018

William Smith's Bit Part In "Ghost Of Frankenstein" (Lon Chaney, 1942) (video)

William Smith is one of the most familiar actors in the business.

But most people are unaware of just how far back his career goes.

In 1942, he appeared in the Universal monster classic "Ghost of Frankenstein."

He's sometimes mistaken for the boy who kicks the ball...

...but he's actually one of the background kids.

Even at such a young age, he had that familiar "William Smith" face.

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


Friday, December 14, 2018

THE COMEDIANS -- DVD Review by Porfle

As a bad-movie fan, I've seen some obscure stuff. But THE COMEDIANS (Indiepix Films, 1984) is such an obscure, oddball oddity that it not only isn't on IMDb, but I couldn't even find it on the website of the company that released it on DVD.

It's one of the South African apartheid-era films made for black audiences who weren't allowed access to mainstream cinema.  Once on the verge of being lost (many already are), these films are being preserved and restored for posterity and released through Indiepix Films' "Retro Afrika" series.

Like the rest of the ones I've seen, THE COMEDIANS is a no-budget affair assembled from the most meager resources. But while the filmmakers' talents often transcend low budgets and sparse conditions on other titles, this one is about as crude as it gets, making even MANOS: HANDS OF FATE look almost lavish in comparison.

It stars Hector Mathanda, the most familiar face I've yet encounted in these South African films (he was also in FISHY STONES, UMBANGO, and GONE CRAZY) and by far the most talented actor. The gap-toothed comic is a natural performer and seems entirely at ease in front of the camera, delivering his lines with a loose improvisational style that's often quite funny. (He even refers to himself as "Hector" in one scene.)

He stars here as Mr. Bono, a con man who convinces his straight-arrow friend Mr. Slu to lend him his magic ring (we never find out where it came from or how Mr. Slu gained possession of it) in order to heal his sick wife, Pretty.

Bono, of course, wants the ring in order to amass ill-gotten wealth, a big house, and fancy cars, and even tries to use it to make his wife even prettier (which backfires with amusing results).

His entire plan ends up backfiring after he hires a gang of young toughs to break into Mr. Slu's house and rob him blind, including, presumably, his magic ring.  What happens after Mr. Slu gets wise to the scheme forms the satisfying conclusion to the story.

Till then, though, we get to watch Hector Mathanda perform the most comically craven, greedy, and egotistical character imaginable to his heart's content, dominating the film entirely and apparently having a wonderful time doing so.

Even the amateur-level supporting cast get into their roles and act as adequate straight men for Hector.  Once the big plan goes awry and all of his hired minions end up destitute and in rags (literally), they launch into a surprising acapella song lamenting their fate as they skulk through the ruins of their crumbling shacks.  It's a wonderfully unusual moment.

Technically, THE COMEDIANS is rock-bottom stuff that would get a D-minus if submitted as a student film.  At times you may find yourself wondering if the cameraman even bothered to look through his viewfinder--it's only through sheer luck that he manages to keep the actors in frame, and he often gets lost looking for them.

While many of director-photographer Japie Van Der Merwe's takes are amazingly long, mostly extended master shots without a cut, the actors seem to have the script memorized enough to at least ad-lib their way through it all without a pause.

Hector Mathanda, of course, is in his element here, reveling in his character's bald-faced deceit as he brags to his hired lackeys about such American friends as Michael Jackson, Dionne Warwicke, George Foreman, and even President Ronald Reagan, and pretending to chat with them over the phone.

The film gives us an interesting look at everyday surburban life in South Africa and what was considered upper and lower class among its residents. But mainly it's a fascinating example of utterly artless, basic, primitive-level filmmaking.

Some will have no desire to watch a single frame, while others (including myself) will wish it could go on for another hour or more.  THE COMEDIANS is a cinematic artifact like few others you'll ever see.

Format: Color, NTSC, 3:2, Stereo
Language: Zulu
Subtitles: English
Number of discs: 1
Rated: NR
Studio: Indiepix Films
Run Time: 87 minutes
Extras: Trailer


Astral Comedy "MANDAO OF THE DEAD" Haunts Amazon Instant Video -- Watch the Trailer HERE


Premieres on VOD
Available Now Exclusively on Amazon Instant Video
Sci-Fi Horror Comedy to Haunt iTunes February 2019

"Dunn beats the odds and delivers an impressive horror comedy that hurls the classic duo dynamic into '90s slacker culture" -- Film Threat

Los Angeles, CA - Mandao Films has announced a resurrection of Halloween spirits with the Digital HD debut of writer/director Scott Dunn's Mandao of tAhe Dead.  The spectral sci-fi comedy is now available exclusively on Amazon Instant Video, ahead of an iTunes release in February 2019.

The second feature from filmmaker Scott Dunn and producer Gina Gomez, Mandao of the Dead combines temporal hijinks with chills from beyond the grave in a film Horror Fuel calls "a charming winner of a flick."

The unambitious Jay Mandao lives frugally off his late father's cereal royalties. He wants nothing more than to live in solitude, but is duped into taking in his adult nephew-in-law, Jackson.
As Halloween approaches, Jay begins having odd dreams, and comes to find that he has the ability of astral projection. Jay and Jackson are approached by a ghost who has a small window of opportunity to reverse his death at the hands of Jackson's murderous ex-girlfriend.

Mandao of the Dead: USA / 74 min  / English



Something Not Quite Right About "STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE" (1979) (video)

A standing joke in "Star Trek" has always been Dr. McCoy's fear...

...of getting his "molecules scrambled" in the transporter.

The gag is revisited in "The Motion Picture"...

...even though, mere hours before...

...two people got their molecules scrambled permanently.

All things considered, we're with Bones on this one.

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


Thursday, December 13, 2018

BLACK PANTHER Featurette "Welcome to Wakanda" -- Watch it HERE!

In "Welcome To Wakanda," the cast and crew of Black Panther discuss creating the world of Wakanda, and what making the film meant to them. 

Black Panther is director Ryan Coogler's take on a modern African hero and a utopian vision of what an uncolonized Africa might look like. The film explores the conflict between two powerful men, one African and one African-American, who are mirror images of each other, each grappling with his own history, home, and very identity.

When Prince T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) becomes king of the hidden, technologically advanced kingdom Wakanda, he is forced to defend his throne against rogue mercenary Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan).

Wakanda is also alive with strong, intelligent women--from Wakanda's elite all-female security force, led by Okoye (Danai Gurira), to the international spy Nakia (Lupita Nyong'o), to T'Challa's tech-savvy sister (Letitia Wright) and mother (Angela Bassett)--who are portrayed as equals to the men they protect and advise.


Shocking Effects Of Marijuana On Users: "REEFER MADNESS" (1936) (video)

More vicious...more deadly...

...even than the soul-destroying drugs opium, morphine, and heroin... the menace of marijuana!

The next tragedy may be that of your daughter...or your son...

...or yours...or yours...OR YOURS!

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


Wednesday, December 12, 2018

CHARLIE STEEL -- DVD Review by Porfle

If you've been searching for a bland, ultra-low-budget imitation of '70s blaxploitation flicks that comes off like somebody's student film, the 1984 South African thriller CHARLIE STEEL (Indiepix Films) is the pot of bad-film fun at the end of your rainbow.

Charlie (Sol Rachilo), a poor man's poor man's Shaft, is a private dick who's called into action by a rich friend whose daughter Dudu (Sonto Mazibuko) has just been kidnapped by a gang of bad guys led by the Boss (Thapelo Mofokeng) and is being held for ransom in their secluded hideout. 

As a super-cool action hero, Steel leaves much to be desired, but part of his charm is the way this lanky, hangdog dude in a baggy suit and tiny Fedora, who looks like he's been around the block a few too many times, schleps around town looking for leads before stumbling into trouble and getting himself captured two or three times. 

Meanwhile, as the incompetent bad guys endlessly play poker around the kitchen table and take turns guarding Dudu, we find that one of them, Tony (Charles Joloza), has a crush on her and may turn out to be an ally, while another, Jimmy (Davis Diphoko), is a former military compadre of Charlie's whose seething animosity toward him will ruin the private eye's attempt to infiltrate the gang.

This is one of many low-budget films made in South Africa for black audiences during apartheid, when their access to mainstream films was prohibited, and subsequently rediscovered and restored as part of Indiepix Films' "Retro Afrika" series.  As such, it's a fascinating example of really indy filmmaking that tries to make something entertaining with severely limited resources and manages to succeed in spite of itself. 

In this case, the fun is in watching writer-director Bevis Parsons and his cast of earnest but unpolished actors put together a semi-watchable detective thriller that is endearing in its badness, filling it with tough-guy dialogue, limp action scenes, and a simple, repetitive plot that plays like a feature version of a grade Z serial.

After playing private eye for awhile, Charlie gets serious and goes into military attack mode, trading his rumpled suit for black cat-burglar attire and launching a one-man seige on the bad guys' backwoods HQ. 

Naturally he gets captured again, but that merely sets up the mildly exciting finale in which he and the Boss face off against each other one on one.  Along the way super-suave Charlie even finds time to meet a comely lass and give her his address so that they can meet for dinner the next evening. 

Technically, the film is a bit more competent that some of these apartheid-era films I've seen, but that's not saying a whole lot.  Still, for bad film fans, that's exactly what gives movies like CHARLIE STEEL their irresistible charm, something this one is steeped in.  And with expectations thus adjusted, one almost can't help having a good time watching it.

Tech Specs
Format: Color, NTSC
Language: English
Subtitles: English
Number of discs: 1
Rated: NR 
Studio: Indiepix Films
3:2, Color, Stereo
DVD Release Date: December 18, 2018
Run Time: 87 minutes
Extras: Trailer


John Wayne's Coolest Scenes #19: Poker Game, "Tall In The Saddle" (1944) (video)

Just a friendly poker game...

...until some tinhorn pulls a gun on Duke and accuses him of cheating.

What happens next? Let's find out!

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


Tuesday, December 11, 2018

REVENGE -- DVD Review by Porfle

During apartheid, hundreds of South African films were produced for black audiences who didn't have access to mainstream entertainment.  Many of them are now lost, but several are now being rediscovered and preserved, including this 1985 western, REVENGE.

The story is about as simple as it gets: a young couple and their son come to a small town where they've purchased a farm, but encounter a gang of sadistic gunslingers.  Descending upon the tiny farm, the outlaws rape and murder the wife, beat the young boy, and set fire to the house.

The man, Shala, vows revenge and is aided by an old ex-gunslinger, who teaches him how to shoot while the boy, Kitso, recovers from his injuries.  When he's finally ready, Shala straps on the old man's guns, borrows his horse, and goes into town to confront his enemies.

Just as the recently-reviewed UMBANGO (also part of Indiepix's "Retro Afrika" series), this South African "western" with an all-black cast is a captivating novelty where elements of both the American West and Italian spaghetti westerns are combined in a rural African setting to create a sort of low-rent fantasy world.

With its scaled-down western town consisting of a few small wooden shacks, none-too-convincing costumes (the cowboy hats look like the kind I wore as a kid), and small cast of non-professional actors, there's an "amateur night at the movies" ambience to REVENGE that's transcended by the filmmakers' earnest efforts to concoct a modestly compelling entertainment with the meager resources at hand.

To this end, the film is a pleasant diversion whose makeshift qualities add to its watchable charm.  It's fun to see director Coenie Dippenaar staging little homages to scenes from more expensive westerns, and giving us his versions of the standard saloon brawls and gunfights as well as the traditional bad guys vs. farmers conflict that sparks our hero's singleminded quest for revenge.

As it plays out, the finale is as low-key and simple as the rest of the story, but somehow satisfying nonetheless.  On the whole, this is a familiar throwback not just to 60s and 70s western cinema but to the matinee oaters of the 30s and 40s as well, albeit with an almost non-existent budget and distinctly anachronistic setting.

All of which adds up, for me anyway, to an irresistible curiosity piece. REVENGE isn't like anything else, and that, despite its shortcomings, makes it a pleasantly unique experience.

Buy it from Indiepix Films (DVD, digital, streaming)

Tech Specs
Actors: Roy Dlamini, Vusi Gudazi, Alex Ngubane
Format: Color, NTSC
Language: Zulu with English subtitles
Number of discs: 1
Rated: NR 
Studio: Indiepix Films
3:2, Color, Stereo
DVD Release Date: December 18, 2018
Run Time: 54 minutes
Extras: Trailer


Something Not Quite Right About "STARMAN" (1984) (video)

Karen Allen's character in "Starman" is so sweet and caring.

She can't stand the idea of a poor animal being killed for food.
Or the people who would do such a thing!

But then she goes into the diner...
...and orders a "Super-Burger."

Later, Starman resurrects the dead deer.
It's wonderful...

...but what about that poor Super-Burger?

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


Monday, December 10, 2018

Universal Pictures and DreamWorks Pictures' "WELCOME TO MARWEN" Opens In Theaters Nationwide Dec. 21

Steve Carell in Robert Zemeckis'

“I have hope, and I have my town.”

Academy Award® winner ROBERT ZEMECKIS — the groundbreaking filmmaker behind Forrest Gump, Flight and Cast Away — directs STEVE CARELL as a new kind of hero in a movie unlike any that has ever been made before. Based on a miraculous true story, Welcome to Marwen reveals one man’s fight to heal himself, and restore his spirit, through the power of his artistic imagination. 

When a devastating attack shatters Mark Hogancamp (Carell) and wipes away all his memories, no one expects him to recover. But Mark, putting together pieces from his old and new life, meticulously creates a mythical Belgian town, Marwen, where he can be Captain Hogie, a World War II fighter pilot. Here, in Marwen, Mark can be a hero, fight his enemies, and rely on his friends. As he builds an astonishing art installation peopled with breathtakingly life-like dolls—a testament to the most powerful women he knows—he draws strength from his fantasy world to triumph in the real world.

A bold, wondrous and timely film from a revolutionary pioneer of contemporary cinema, Welcome to Marwen shows that when your only weapon is your imagination…you can find courage in a most unexpected place.

Starring alongside Carell in this genre-defying film is LESLIE MANN (Blockers, The Other Woman) as Nicol, the compassionate neighbor who captures Mark’s heart and becomes the newest addition to Marwen. The other significant women in Mark’s life, who become his protectors in his fictional town, include Emmy Award winner MERRITT WEVER (Showtime’s Nurse Jackie, AMC’s The Walking Dead) as Roberta, who works at the hobby store Mark frequents; EIZA GONZALEZ (Baby Driver, Highway) as Carlala, a strong-willed co-worker with whom Mark works at the Avalanche Roadhouse; GWENDOLINE CHRISTIE (HBO’s Game of Thrones, Star Wars: The Last Jedi) as Anna, the dedicated homecare worker who visits him monthly; JANELLE MONÁE (Hidden Figures, Moonlight) as GI Julie, who befriends Mark during his struggle to walk again; and LESLIE ZEMECKIS (A Christmas Carol, Beowulf) as Suzette, an actress from his favorite adult-fantasy videos who becomes a sexy French Resistance fighter.

DIANE KRUGER (Inglourious Basterds, In the Fade) portrays Deja Thoris, the alluring and enigmatic doll who toys with Captain Hogie, and NEIL JACKSON (HBO’s Westworld, Quantum of Solace), who portrays Nicol’s former boyfriend – and becomes Captain Hogie’s arch enemy in Marwen: an SS Major in the Nazi regime. FALK HENTSCHEL (Transcendence, White House Down) plays one of the men who attacked Mark and who, in Marwen, becomes a sadistic Nazi named Captain Topf.

Working from a screenplay Zemeckis penned alongside CAROLINE THOMPSON (Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas), the director leads an accomplished behind-the-scenes crew that includes cinematographer C. KIM MILES (The Flash, Lost in Space), production designer STEFAN DECHANT (Pacific Rim: Uprising, Kong: Skull Island), editor JEREMIAH O’DRISCOLL (Rings, Allied), costume designer JOANNA JOHNSTON (Allied, The BFG), visual effects supervisor KEVIN BAILLIE (Allied, Star Trek: Beyond) and composer ALAN SILVESTRI (Avengers: Infinity War, Ready Player One).

The film is produced by Oscar®-winning producer STEVE STARKEY (Forrest Gump, Flight), JACK RAPKE (Cast Away, Flight), Zemeckis, and CHERYLANNE MARTIN (The Pacific, Flight) of Zemeckis’ Universal-based production company, ImageMovers. Welcome to Marwen is executive produced by JACQUELINE LEVINE (Allied, The Walk), and by JEFF MALMBERG, who directed the riveting 2010 documentary, Marwencol, which inspired the film.


All The Scary Vampire Scenes From "NOSFERATU: A Symphony Of Horror" (1922) (video)

"Nosferatu" was an unlicensed film adaptation of Bram Stoker's 1897 novel "Dracula."

Count Orlok the vampire was played by an actor named Max Schreck.
Unlike the suave count of later films, Orlock was cadaverous and almost ratlike.

Many consider Shrek to be the most frightening movie vampire of all time.

"Schrek" in German means "terror."

Much of the film's imagery remains unmatched in the annals of horror.

Bram Stoker's wife sued the filmmakers for copyright infringement.
She won the case, and all copies were ordered destroyed.

Luckily for cinema history, some survived.

F.W. Murnau's film went on to become an invaluable classic of screen terror.

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

Music by teknoAXE


Sunday, December 9, 2018

John Wayne's Coolest Scenes #18: Airplane Attack, "Shadow of the Eagle" (1932) (video)

In this 1932 Mascot serial, John Wayne stars as stunt pilot Craig McCoy...

...who works for a carnival beset by a mysterious phantom saboteur.

The phantom steals his airplane, then launches an aerial attack...

...against Craig and his girlfriend Jean (Dorothy Gulliver).

The scene is similar to a later one in Hitchcock's "North By Northwest", which we pointed out HERE.

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


Saturday, December 8, 2018

SIN IN THE SUBURBS (1964) -- Movie Review by Porfle

SIN IN THE SUBURBS (1964) is writer-director Joe Sarno continuing to come into his own as a filmmaker who takes the genre of naughty, softcore sex potboilers and invests it with an unusual dramatic heft and interesting characters who trade dialogue that's sharp and fun to listen to.

Not to say that the obligatory sleaze and tawdriness of such films are missing here--it's the sort of world Sarno's characters exist in, whether they be conniving lowlifes using sex for gain or well-to-do hypocrites posing as model citizens while indulging forbidden sexual perversions behind closed doors.

The term "when the cat's away" really fits this normal-looking 60s suburb in which lonely, sex-hungry wives, feeling neglected by their working husbands, have it off with various neighbors, workmen, or, in the case of Mrs. Lewis (Audrey Campbell, THE SEXPERTS), her teen daughter Kathy's high school friend.

Meanwhile, we see local sex-bomb Yvette lounging around the house in lingerie and paying the furniture bill by seducing the collector.  Yvette lives with her supposed "brother" Louis (W.B. Parker), and together they're hatching a scheme to start an illicit sex club which they hope will have frustrated neighbors shelling out hundreds of bucks for.

What starts out a bit like a sex comedy (the bill collector guy is funny) soon veers toward the dramatic as the sexual vortex so many of the characters seem caught in starts to spin out of control.  Lisa, left alone while husband Henry is at work, starts guzzling booze and luring abusive workmen into her home. Mrs. Lewis has daytime swingers' parties with friends in her own house, one of which is walked in upon by a her shocked daughter Kathy.

Kathy, it seems, has the wildest life of them all when she's molested by her would-be boyfriend and then seduced into a hot lesbian affair with Yvette. Judy Young plays her with just the right balance between still just a kid and becoming a troubled, sexually-confused young woman.

It's almost the stuff soap operas are made of, but it's all so edgy (for its time) and starkly compelling that we're constantly transfixed by what's going on and eager to see what happens next.  Sarno's evolving as a director with an instinctive talent for staging interesting shots and bringing out the best in his cast.

The story content is strictly adults-only for 1964, with elements such as adultery, attempted rape, lesbianism, and other sensitive subjects that were still taboo.  It feels like we're watching something on the shady side, getting a voyeuristic glimpse at these desperate sinful lives.

Sarno's screenplay goes beyond simple sexploitation and builds to an emotionally jarring ending after one of Yvette and Louis' illicit sex parties, which is staged remarkably and with lasting effect.

Sarno's black-and-white photography is crisp, noirish, and constantly interesting to look at.  The print used for Film Movement's Blu-ray edition is very good, even with the occasional scratches, specks, etc. which, for me, give it a nostalgic feel that recalls the well-worn prints we used to see at the local theater or on late-night TV.

Having just watched the original Star Trek episode "I, Mudd" the night before, I was surprised to see the actor who played the android "Norman", Richard Tatro, as the dangerous guy Lisa foolishly opens her front door to.

Yvette is played by none other than Dyanne Thorne (billed here as Lahna Monroe) of "Ilsa, She-Wolf of the S.S." fame, looking almost unrecognizable with her jet-black bouiffant hairdo. The film's one bit of actual nudity is a fleeting glimpse of her bare breasts.

SIN IN THE SUBURBS ends with a shadowy, poignant shot that looks like it might be straight out of early David Lynch.  And with it continues my fondness for Joe Sarno's exquisite black-and-white early films, which are unlike anything else I've seen.

Read our reviews of other Joe Sarno films HERE


Does Larry Talbot Fight Off a Wolf or a Man? ("The Wolf Man", 1941) (video)

In "The Wolf Man", Bela the Gypsy (Bela Lugosi) is a werewolf...

...who sees the sign of death in his next victim's palm.

The werewolf attacks Jenny in the forest, and Larry Talbot (Lon Chaney) rushes to her aid.

But does he fight off a wolf, or a wolf man?

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


Friday, December 7, 2018

All The Giant Lobster Scenes From "PANTHER GIRL OF THE KONGO" (1955) (video)

"Panther Girl of the Kongo" is a 12-chapter serial from Republic Pictures.

Phyllis Coates plays Jean the Panther Girl, an anthropologist in Africa.
Her work is interrupted by the sudden appearance of giant lobster monsters.

The "claw monsters" are created from ordinary crawfish by a crooked scientist...
...who wants to chase the local natives away from his illegal diamond mine.

Jean summons her adventurer friend Larry Sanders (Myron Healy) to help fight the monsters.

The special effects were created by Howard and Theodore Lydecker.

"Panther Girl of the Kongo" was the next-to-last serial produced by Republic.
It used extensive stock footage from their 1941 serial "Jungle Girl."

A 100-minute edit was released to television with the title "The Claw Monsters."

Read our review of the "PANTHER GIRL OF THE KONGO" serial HERE

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


Thursday, December 6, 2018

John Wayne's Coolest Scenes #17: Backdoor Ambush, "El Dorado" (1967) (video)

Cole Thornton (John Wayne) and Mississippi (James Caan) almost run out the back door of the saloon...

...and into a hail of bullets from hired guns waiting in ambush.

But when they recognize the two men who are leading them into the trap...

...then it's the unfortunate Milt and Pedro who must go out the door instead.

Will a sudden flare-up of Cole's old spinal injury get him killed anyway?

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


Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Supernatural Plague Thriller "ANTIDOTE" With Randy Couture -- In Theaters and On Demand 12/14 | Gravitas Ventures

Gravitas Ventures


SYNOPSIS: Dispatched to a village plagued by a deadly disease, Anna (Natali Yura) and her finace Manuel (Rafael de la Fuente) work tirelessly to relieve the suffering of the villagers. They soon come to learn that the villagers believe the White Witch brought the deadly disease. 

To save themselves and the village, Anna and Manuel are forced to team up with Victor (Randy Couture, THE EXPENDABLES 3) a cocky treasure hunter, who only wants to find the Lost City of Gold. 

The trio realize that the White Witch and the Golden City are viciously interconnected and that they must join forces to uncover the Mayan legend of the White Witch to have any hope of surviving.  Also starring Chuck Zito, Wil Travel (“Jessica Jones”) and Mindy Robinson.


WRITTEN BY: Jason Cominetto, Scott Windhauser

CAST: Randy Couture, Chuck Zito, Natali Yura, Will Traval, Celeste Thornton, Rafael de la Fuente, Alyona Chekhova, Thom Rivera, Toktam Aboozary

GENRE: Thriller, Independent, Drama
DISTRIBUTOR: Gravitas Ventures


Who Did This Child Actor Grow Up To Be? (video)

Talented child actor Bart Bradley got around a lot in the 50s-60s...

...including a prime role in the sci-fi/monster classic "Twenty Million Miles To Earth" (1957).

He also appeared on such TV shows as "Telephone Time: Pit-a-Pat and the Dragon" (1957)...
...and "Have Gun Will Travel" (1958) with Richard Boone and John Carradine.

But at some point along the way, child actor Bart Bradley disappeared...
...and was replaced by adult actor Bart Braverman.

Bart then co-starred with Robert Urich as "Binzer" in the hit TV series "Vegas."
He also appeared on several game shows such as "Password Plus" and "The Match Game."

He remains a busy actor to this day.

Song video: Meghan Ashton Kirk

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


Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Terror Films Teams with Code 3 Films forThree Picture Slate including Horror Title "RED LETTERS"

Genre distributor TERROR FILMS has teamed up with fellow executive and head of acquisitions, Jim Klock and his CODE 3 FILMS’ slate for a three Picture deal.

The first film under the deal, RED LETTERS is currently in post-production and was produced by Code 3 Films’: Darrell Martinelli, Emily Adams, Kelsey Trainer and Jim Klock. Klock also wrote, directed and stars in the film.

Additional cast includes: Mike Capozzi (Shockwave & Trace), Chad Ridgely (Massacre on Aisle 12),  Robin Baker(6:66 PM: Evil Has an Hour to Kill) and Kyra Kennedy, fresh off the national tour of (Waitress the Musical & Blue Bloods). 

In addition to his executive duties at both Terror Films and Code 3, Klock’s acting career has kept him busy with roles in: Alex and Me, Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger, “Scream Queens,” “True Detective,” SyFy’s Santa Jaws and the recently released feature film, The Green Book.

RED LETTERS tackles the classic theme of “good versus evil.” The film centers around two private investigators, who embark on an assignment, which leads them into the hands of darkness. Neither investigator is prepared for what lays in wait.

The Red Letters Teaser: 

TERROR FILMS’ president, Joe Dain, will act as executive producer and oversee the film’s distribution strategy, which is currently set for release in March of 2019. 

The film’s official release date, poster and trailer will be announced at a later date but in the meantime the genre distributor is sharing a few stills and a sneak peek teaser.

To Learn More About Terror Films:

And here:

To Learn More About Code 3 Films:

And on Facebook: