• Published a book you want to tell us about? Uploaded a YouTube video you want to share?

    Normally you'll need 100 posts to self-promote, but with an upgraded membership you can do so with your first post.

    Find out more here: Become a Supporting Member

What was the last movie you saw?

Victoria Silverwolf

Vegetarian Werewolf
Joined
Dec 9, 2012
Messages
5,725
Location
Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA
The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974)

Blend of Gothic Horror and Martial Arts from the unlikely team of Hammer and Shaw. Starts with a Chinese fellow wandering around in Transylvania in 1804 after what must have been one heck of a long walk. He finds Dracula's castle. The infamous vampire (played by somebody who is not Christopher Lee) rises from his coffin. It seems the Chinese guy is the un-vampiric head (or something) of the temple of the 7 Golden Vampires, who are no longer in action for some reason. He wants Dracula's help restoring the status quo. Dracula being an arrogant so-and-so, he instead takes over the body of the Chinese man and heads to China to run the temple himself. Fast forward to 1904. Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) is lecturing students in China. He relates the Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires to the class, further confusing the timeline by sending us into a flashback. It seems a farmer went to the temple where the bloodsuckers were holding women captive to drain their blood. These vampires wear gold masks and gold bat symbols, ride horses, and fight with swords. They can also call up huge numbers of their dead victims as zombies to battle their enemies. The farmer, just before he gets killed, places one of the golden bats (apparently holding the vampire's life force or some such) on a statue of Buddha. The vampire tries to grab the bat, touches the statue, gets destroyed. Back in 1904, a young man tells Van Helsing that he's the grandson of the farmer. He, his six brothers, and his one sister, all masters of martial arts, each one with a different weapon gimmick, set out with Van Helsing, Van Helsing's pretty boy son, and a pretty young Swedish widow who is paying for the expedition. Tons of martial arts battles ensue, both with huge numbers of bandits, the 6 vampires (remember, one got destroyed in the flashback), and the army of zombies. Some of the good guys get killed, the remaining vampires get destroyed, Van Helsing confronts Dracula at the end. It's all ridiculous, and quite fun. It's interesting to note that the timeline wipes out everything that happened in Bram Stoker's novel, since Dracula has, apparently, been in China in another body from 1804 to 1904. Which raises the interesting question: Why does this film's Van Helsing say that he's battled Dracula before?
 

HanaBi

Nexus 9.1 For Sale. One Careful Owner
Supporter
Joined
Jul 4, 2007
Messages
1,179
Location
Seascale, England
Sexy Beast (2000 -UK) - Ray Winstone, Ben Kingsley

Summary (Credit to Rotten Tomatoes) -
Gary (Ray Winstone) is a former gangster who has made a modest amount of money from his criminal career. Happy to put his life of crime behind him, he has retired with his wife Deedee (Amanda Redman) to the sunny bliss of rural Spain, where he lives an idyllic life with his family and a few close friends. But Gary's contentment is ruptured by an unwelcome visitor from his past -- Don (Ben Kingsley), a former associate who has been hired to assemble a team of criminals to rob a heavily guarded bank. Don wants Gary in on the job, and is less than pleased by Gary's unwillingness to volunteer his services. What ensues is a battle of wills between the two men, with Don intimidating, prodding, and manipulating his onetime friend to get what he wants, forever changing the lives of those around him in the process
Your typical British crime gangster film consisting of your standard "well 'ard" Cockney geezers all shouting at each other, fighting, getting drunk, fighting and shouting a bit more!

But despite 1970s Sweeney stereotypes, the film is quite a revelation, helped somewhat by a deeply brooding script, kinetic camera work; loud, solid rock music for a score, and above all some truly outstanding acting from both Winstone and Kingsley (this is the same guy who played Gandhi in the film of the same name back in 1982!)

Given that all these gangsters are far from lovable, and yet for the likes of Winstone's Gary character you do feel some sympathy given that he wants to turn his back on crime and lead a new life in Spain.

Many memorable scenes, and the violence is hideously raw and OTT, yet somehow feels in keeping with the mood of the film.

And if the violence doesn't put you off, the industrial-strength language certainly might - lots and lots of effing & Jeffing. In fact I don't think I went through 5 minutes without some character calling some other character an F word, W word and C word - and sometimes all in one sentence (hats off, Ben!)

Tough, relentless, brutal - and yet quite intoxicating for all that.

4/5
 

Jeffbert

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 23, 2011
Messages
761
Filipino Fright Films Double Feature:

Mad Doctor of Blood Island (1968)

Starts off with a hilarious, gimmicky sequence where the audience is invited to drink green blood, which must have been some harmless liquid given to folks who attended a theatrical showing. This stuff is supposed to protect you from turning into a monster. I guessed it work. The real movie concerns three folks arriving at the title island for various reasons, eventually running into the Mad Doctor and the monster he created when he tried to cure a guy's leukemia by injecting a special kind of chlorophyll into him. All the scenes of the monster are filmed in a really annoying fashion, with the camera moving in and out rapidly. There's a slight twist in the plot when we find out who's controlling the monster. Otherwise, typical cheap monster stuff.

The Beast of the Yellow Night (1971)

Made by the same folks, and with the hero of the previous film now starring as the monster, but much weirder. In 1946, the Filipino military is tracking down a deserter/murderer. They shoot his female accomplice dead. Starving after having been on the run for some time, he eats some poison berries. The strangeness starts when Satan shows up to offer him life in exchange for serving him. He then gives him food, in a nice, neat shopping bag. It's body parts from the dead woman, and our antihero devours it. This all takes place before the credits. Fast forward to the present day. Satan has been putting this guy into the bodies of various folks to make them do evil. On a whim, he causes the next body he's going to inhabit an accident that requires plastic surgery, which makes him look exactly like the guy. Whenever the guy gets upset, he changes into a murdering monster. The film alternates theological/philosophical musings with typical monster stuff. A real oddity.
A few years ago, I saw a documentary that included coverage of the entire BLOOD ISLAND series. I was able to buy 4 of the 5 films, and this was among them. My kind of film! :love: Cheap laughable special effects, somewhat dumb plot, etc.

Border Incident (1949) NOIR ALLEY gave the before and after coverage, which was as usual, very in depth. But there was one character left out of his discussion.

So, the bad guys are smuggling desperate Mexicans across the U.S. border to earn money for their impoverished families, then robbing and killing them when they attempt to return to Mexico. They have a particular way of disposing of the bodies that must be shown in the beginning, because it will be featured at the film's end. So Pablo Rodriguez (Ricardo Montalban) a Mexican cop, and Jack Bearnes (George Murphy) an American cop go undercover to infiltrate the smuggling gang. Muller noted that neither of these actors was known for dramatic roles, but, rather, MGM song & dance. He also noted that this film had some very violent scenes, even for one of this genre. I definitely agree.

So RM becomes the migrant worker, whose hands are not those of a laborer. He must explain this. GM shadows him, to make sure he succeeds in infiltrating the gang.

Supporting cast includes both races, in roles primarily of villains but some are Mexican or U.S. immigration officials (cops). Owen Parkson (Howard Da Silva) as the farmer who hires the men. He knows little of the way the smugglers work, but is far from a nice guy. Cuchillo (Alfonso Bedoya), better known as the 'Badges' guy from The Treasure of Sierra Madre, as one of the smugglers. Jeff Amboy (Charles McGraw), the boss smuggler. One other man, whose name I cannot recall, but I know he is somewhat familiar. The overseer of the laborers, as I recall. These are the ones I recall.

To classify this as NOIR, to me, seems to stretch the definition, as I know it, anyway. My idea of NOIR usually has a Femme Fatale in it. None here, though. But as the story takes place almost entirely outside, as opposed to in a bank, jewelry store, etc., it seems a poor fit for the definition. But, that is just my opinion. Brutal drama, and that is what counts.
 

Happy Joe

Apprentice Geezer
Joined
Feb 9, 2007
Messages
569
Location
Colorado, U.S.A.
Mortal Engines; as expected good special effects, some quite good actors and acting and action , However the story line (Mad Max(Thunderdome) meets a earthbound (never got off the ground) steampunk, Star Wars with a small Terminator sub plot) felt somewhat contrived and pretty much of a mishmash (the battle at the end was very reminiscent of Star Wars). (...Must, resist, spoiler...)
The traveling predator city thing was done in John Carter.
Great sets.
... in a word, disappointing; especially considering the production team.
I'll give it 2 stars out of 5.... rent it or wait for it to hit the discount bins.
Was thinking of reading the books but no longer...(unless I get them free).

Enjoy!
 
Last edited:

J Riff

The Ants are my friends..
Joined
Apr 11, 2010
Messages
4,648
Location
Sleeping in Lab
Time Warp 1981, well. This one is something. Adam West is at his absolute queesiest in this. He commands the Space Force, there's a goofy jokey astronaut up there, things go wrong, he sort of... disappears in time, kinda... but he's still around being invisible... somehow,,,
as West absolutely chews up all scenery, our astronaut somehow takes the onboard computer and makes it into a ...small computer like phone-sized, which talks to him... and they go hang around being invisible, but, by golly, turns out he can communicate, with his wife, who West is crazy over and wants to marry, but our guy can...talk using the family's pet bird, which can see him somehow... and he makes the bird talk, it warns the wife and kid, and I think the ending is happy, at least it stops West from further acting, and it ends.
One wonders how Adam got all these acting gigs, rather than, say, the man from the off-licence or just some random guy off the street.
 

Bick

A Member of the Forum
Supporter
Joined
Jul 26, 2012
Messages
2,078
Location
Auckland, NZ
... some truly outstanding acting from both Winstone and Kingsley
Great film - Kingsley is bleedin' terrifying! Makes American Hollywood bad guys look about frightening as my mum. A genuinely unnerving character.
 

FibonacciEddie

0112358132134
Joined
Mar 11, 2014
Messages
258
Location
UK
Shazam:
I watched Shazam yesterday and was disappointed by the script/story arc ... it felt very cliched ... but my teenage kids liked it ... I guess that it was written for kids (empowerment of teens) ... all the usual tropes (orphan, bullied, 'loser', awful parents, wonderful fosters) ... there were some good bits ... I won't be buying the BluRay
 

Cathbad

Level 30 Geek Master
Joined
Dec 9, 2015
Messages
8,997
Location
Everywhere.
I never read the Shazam comic book, but the old series presented us with a very mature-acting, concerned teen. The clips I've seen of this movie show a very UNmature teen, playing with his new-found powers and showing no concern even for the safety of others.

Is this better?
 

Toby Frost

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2008
Messages
4,491
John Wick (2014)

Funny one, this. Keanu Reeves is surprisingly good as a retired hitman who takes vengeance when Russian mobsters steal his car and kill his dog. Violent and thoroughly cartoony, to the point where I was surprised that it wasn’t based on a comic book. It’s perfectly alright but slightly overpraised, and too much time is spent with people telling each other how deadly John Wick is and then being killed by him without any difficulty to prove the point. I’ve seen a few action films that spent too much time being cool and didn’t generate enough excitement and sense of jeopardy: this is one of them. Not bad.
 

Jeffbert

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 23, 2011
Messages
761
I saw John Wick about a year ago. I agree that it was, as you say, "thoroughly cartoony," which, in my opinion, applies to just about any film in the action genre. But, it is entertaining!


99 River Street (1953) A washed-up ex-prizefighter, currently a cab driver is framed for his own wife's murder by a jewel thief. A NOIR ALLEY presentation, and a good one, at that. Never slows down, keeps my interest. I did not realize I had seen it before, until a friend Linda James (Evelyn Keyes) uses the cabbie, who had just seen his wife in the arms of another man, to win a role in a play.

She had convinced him that she had just killed a man, and went through a very dramatic appeal to the guy, to help her dispose of the body. Just as he suggests putting the dead guy in his cab, and dumping him somewhere, the theater light come on, and the execs appear, congratulating her for her performance. He is furious, because of his own stress, which only he knows about. So, he clobbers the men, turns to leave, and they call the cops.

Ernie Driscoll (John Payne) is the cab driver, Pauline Driscoll (Peggie Castle) as his faithless wife. She constantly reminds him of her expectations of wealth when she married him, but because of an eye injury during a boxing match, the physician banned him for fighting. Now, they must live a life not meeting her high expectations. So she goes with Victor Rawlins (Brad Dexter), whom I mistook for Mark Leonard (Sarek) because of similar features. Unbeknownst to her, he is a criminal, who had just killed the guy hw had robbed. All she knows about this guy, is that he is or at least, seems to be wealthy.

Christopher (Jay Adler) is the fence, to whom Rawlins intends to sell the diamonds he had stolen While Rawlins does not know he had killed his victim, the Fence knows it, and no longer wants the goods.

Also, angry that VR had brought a woman to the meeting. Says that the deal is off. So, VR goes out and has the cab driver's wife call the cab company, and specifically request her husband pick her up. Now there is a record of his picking her up. But when he arrives, nobody is waiting for a cab. he goes inside the building. Still nobody. He is upset, and when he returns to his cab, he fails to notice that his wife's dress was caught in the rear door, and her corpse is in the back seat.

Mickey (Jack Lambert) as the fence's henchman, and he has the face for it. He could never be mistaken for the good guy.

5/5! This fits the noir genre perfectly. Unlike Border Incident (see my previous post), this has all the elements of the genre. The poor guy who is set-up to take the blame for the criminal's work. The Femme Fatale, whose greed gets her killed. The good girl, who marries the good guy at the end. The robbery, the scheming, etc.
 

HanaBi

Nexus 9.1 For Sale. One Careful Owner
Supporter
Joined
Jul 4, 2007
Messages
1,179
Location
Seascale, England
Crank (2006) - Jason Statham

Summary (Credit to Rotten Tomatoes) -
A one-time freelance hitman who was just attempting to turn his life around is forced to keep his heart pumping when his vengeful former employers inject him with a lethal poison that will permanently stop his ticker if his pulse sinks beneath an active rate.
Forget the plot, despite a good premise, this is just join the action dots to form one big shootout between one badish guy (Statham) and lots of really bad guys with big bad guns.

Stylish and layered this with thrash/rock music, Statham excels as the 00s Action Man: a character he will always be associated with in a Willis/Stallone kind of way. He knows the plot is pretty thin, but for him he has reached his dream of being a lead man in a Hollywood action film, so what the hell, enjoy the ride.

And you may as well too!

3/5
 

Parson

This world is not my home
Supporter
Joined
Oct 11, 2006
Messages
8,027
Location
Iowa
Watched an Independent flick: Polycarp (2015) and was stunned. I expected that it would either be some pretentious mock history or an uncritical poorly acted Christian docudrama. It was neither. It was a Christian docudrama but the acting was superb, the history was strong, and there was no sugar coating what it meant to be a Christian in the 2nd century. --- Later I did some research and the driving forces behind this movie were a brother and sister, now in their early 20's who began producing award winning video when they were 15 and 16! I found this buried in the recommendations of Amazon Prime Video.
 

Victoria Silverwolf

Vegetarian Werewolf
Joined
Dec 9, 2012
Messages
5,725
Location
Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA
Crescendo (1970)

Psychological shocker from Hammer. Stephanie Powers is working on her thesis on a great composer, now deceased. The composer's widow takes her into her fancy home to do research. Inhabiting the place are her son, confined to a wheelchair, a maid, and a manservant. Things don't seem too bad at first, but then the audience finds out about the various skeletons in the closet, long before the heroine does. It seems the son is a heroin addict. His mother is his main source, but she doesn't give him enough to keep him from going into fits of painful withdrawal. The maid keeps him supplied, intending to force him to marry her so she can inherit the estate. Besides all this domestic drama, we have somebody playing the piano in the dead composer's music room. The story moves very slowly, the first killing (you knew there were going to be some, didn't you?) not arriving until an hour into the film, but it all builds up to a wild climax at the very end. Not the most plausible twist ending in the world:

The man in the wheelchair has an insane identical twin brother kept hidden. James Olson, best known to me for The Andromeda Strain, does a good job in both roles.

The whole thing is more like chamber music than a symphony, with a very small cast and almost all scenes taking place in the house.
 

Teresa Edgerton

Goblin Princess
Staff member
Supporter
Joined
Nov 1, 2004
Messages
13,647
Location
California
Aquaman, just a few hours ago on my Kindle. I thought the special effects were fun—loved those undersea kingdoms—script did not especially impress me, but the ... um, eye candy was very nice.
 

Victoria Silverwolf

Vegetarian Werewolf
Joined
Dec 9, 2012
Messages
5,725
Location
Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA
Blood of the Vampire (1958)

Not a Hammer film, but it sure seems like one. Transylvania 1874: A huge stake is driven through the heart of a corpse prior to burial. Before that can happen, a badly deformed fellow stabs the gravedigger to death and absconds with the body. He pays a doctor to perform a heart transplant on the dead man. The physician demands more money, so he gets the knife too. Six years later, a doctor gets sentenced to life in prison because a patient died while he was attempting to save his life with a blood transplant. He gets assigned to an institute for the criminally insane, to assist the man in charge with medical experiments. Well, you can put two and two together. The head of the institute is the resurrected corpse, taking blood transfusions from the prisoners to keep himself alive. The rest of the film consists of the hero's attempts to defeat the bad guy's nefarious scheme and escape, with the help of his beloved, who gets a job as the villain's housekeeper. No actual vampires show up; it's much more of a Mad Scientist movie, and a decent example of one.
 
Top