Archive for the '70's movies' Category

Mar

posted by Tiger Sixon | March 29, 2013 | 70's b-movies, 70's movies, Horror movies, Review by Tiger Sixon

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sssssss

You gotta love any film with a title consisting of just one repeated letter. Sssssss (1973) is on that list, along with XXX and…uh…AAA: The Movie (the towing scenes are GREAT).

That’s seven S’s, kids and don’t you forget it. As the row of S’s suggests, Sssssss is about, you guessed it, snakes. Now, y’all might think a b-movie about snakes like this would be just chuck full of puppets, garden hoses with googly eyes, or toy snakes. Wrong. Sssssss prides itself on using real snakes. Real venomous snakes no less, like the Black Mamba and the King Cobra. In fact, there is a big disclaimer at the front of the film stating the use of real snakes—and you can tell they are real. This film was shot in the 1970s, and fake snakes looked like fake snakes back then.

Fans of The A-Team and the original Battlestar Galactica, take note: Dirk Benedict is the young star of this here feature. And I do mean young—he looks straight outta high school. Benedict gets the gig as crazy snake doctor Strother Martin’s assistant (only three S’s? Lame). Martin has a filmography longer than an anaconda, and is perhaps best remembered as the “Failure to communicate” guy from Cool Hand Luke (he’s also in Slap Shot and The Wild Bunch).

snake milking sssssssMartin has other companions too, mainly his daughter, played by Sound of Music’s Heather Menzies, and his “obedient serpent” Harry. Yes, obedient serpent. Harry is prone to drinking whiskey throughout the film, which is worth a watch on its own, and I’m sure inspired Nickolas Cage’s performance in Leaving Las Vegas.

The awkward snake lingo doesn’t stop with obedient serpent, either. Lines like, “I’ll milk you tomorrow,” and “Put your finger in there,” slither throughout the film. In addition to Martin’s hilarious snake-speak, Benedict suffers through a few crazy hallucinations scenes—complete with stock footage of volcanos and other weird stuff.

sssssss

Two scenes really stand out, however. Actually. Three. First, is a scene where Martin has a duel with a King Cobra. A real King Cobra, no less. Sure, there’s some creative shooting and editing going on, and probably a puppet shot or two, but it is still impressive. Second, there is a scene involving an alleged ’snake-man’ at a freak show. Without spoiling too much, I’ll just say it is down right creepy. Third, and this is something really special, is the skinny dipping scene with Benedict and Menzies.

Don’t get your hopes up. Instead of seeing what nature gave the pair, laughable graphics of huge leaves are superimposed over anything questionable. It is a sight to behold.

Sssssss is a hoot and insanely entertaining, so give it a watch—but ya might wanna pass if’n ya suffer from a fear of snakes. I’m lookin’ at you, Dr. Jones.


Tiger Sixon is forced to watch B-movies from the comfort of a secret government base in Death Valley. He looks nothing at all like Daniel J. Hogan (@danieljhogan) who draws the comic Clattertron.

roadside attractions

  • Toothless Mechanics
  • Creepy Profs Hitting on Students
  • Killer Snakes
  • Transformations
  • Hallucinations
  • Green Skin
  • Sideshow Freaks
  • Slo-mo Snake-shower-scene
  • Snakes Drinking Whiskey
  • Dancing Girls
  • Leaves Covering Naughty Bits
  • Squeaky Snakes
  • Real Snakes
  • Confusing Venomous and Poisonous
  • Dirk Benedict Biting People
totals

8

blood

BLOOD

There isn’t too much blood throughout the whole film, but things do get nasty here and there, especially with the snakebites.

2

blood

BREASTS

The carnival scene features a top heavy dancer in a skimpy outfit, but she keeps covered up. There is implied nudity in the skinny dipping scene.

10

beast

BEASTS

Snakes, snakes, and more snakes. There are snakes everywhere. It is like Showgirls, but with snakes instead of dancing girls.

6.66 OVERALL
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Dec

posted by Tiger Sixon | December 19, 2012 | 70's b-movies, 70's movies, Cult movies, Horror movies, Review by Tiger Sixon

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dunwich horror
There is a right way and a wrong way to woo a lady. 1970’s The Dunwich Horror is mostly ’bout the latter.

And that’s Horror with no W, kids. The Dunwich Horror with a W is a whole other kinda movie, and I don’t need to embarrass Aunt Sally by talkin’ ’bout it here.

But enough about found family memories–back to the flick. The Dunwich Horror takes its name from the H. P. Lovecraft short story of the same name, which means this flick is gonna be like my last visit to the voting booth: spooky an’ weird. That’s right: Old Ones, cosmic horrors, human sacrifices, and an appearance by everyone’s favorite book, the Necronomicon (sound familiar, Evil Dead fans?).

A young Dean “Quantum Leap/BSG” Stockwell stars as Wilbur Whateley, a smooth talking fellow who is quick with the glad eye when it comes to Nancy, played by Sandra “Gidget” Dee. (A bit o’ trivia: Stockwell would play a supporting role in the 2009 made for TV version of Dunwich Horror). Wilbur wants the Necronomicon, and it ain’t because it makes a great coffee table book.

dunwich horror

Yep, Wilbur is fixin’ to summon some kinda bein’ from another place, and I don’t mean relatives from Cheboygan: something far, far worse. And he will do anything to get the book, even if it means breaking into a library with all the lights on in the middle of the night and having an awkward fight with a security guard.

Wilbur needs Nancy for his devious plans—she’s kinda like the quarter for his phone call to the Other Side. Wilbur proceeds to hypnotize, drug, and manipulate Nancy. Not the best start to any relationship, especially when Wilbur breaks her car on purpose, so she can’t leave his super-creepy house.

Boyfriend of the Year, Wilbur ain’t. Next time, just try flowers, or even a drawing of flowers might work.

Fans of Rocky and The Godfather, take note: Talia Shire (as Talia Coppola) has a role as a nurse.

Since this was made in 1970, there are a few straight-up ‘freak out’ scenes when Nancy is under the influence of Wilbur’s mind altering drugs. These scenes include, but ain’t limited to: orgies, ancient people in loin clothes, body paint, sacrificial altars, beds in fields, stomach tattoos, and crazy super-imposed shots of faces and colors, and what-have-ya.

dunwich horror

Then there is the Dunwich Horror itself, no, not Wilbur’s hairdo: the thing kept in a locked room, at the top of the stairs, which someone lets out.

B-movie Survival Tip: Never open a locked, shaking door at the top of a staircase.

Once the creature is released, all Hell breaks loose. There are some pretty good ‘less is more’ scenes with the beast, and it is one of the stranger Hollywood creatures caught on film.

While downright bizarre in a few parts, The Dunwich Horror is worth a watch for any H. P. Lovecraft fan. Sure, it is obvious this flick was made on the cheap (it is a Roger Corman and Samuel Z. Arkoff joint), but that is part off its charm. The plot does keep you guessin’ and there are a few ‘WTF’ moments, which makes any b-movie worthwhile. Plus, the animated title sequence is all kinds of interesting.

And if that ain’t enough to convince ya: The Dunwich Horror was co-written by future L. A. Confidential/Losin’ It/8 Mile director, Curtis Hanson.

Tiger says, give this one a watch.


Tiger Sixon is forced to watch B-movies from the comfort of a secret government base in Death Valley. He looks nothing at all like Daniel J. Hogan (@danieljhogan) who draws comics and writes humor for Clattertron.

roadside attractions

  • Old Ones
  • Old Men
  • Old Women
  • Belly Tattoos
  • Strange Rocks
  • Beds in Fields
  • Groping
  • Cosmic Horrors
  • Human Sacrifices
  • Creepy Houses
  • Awkward Fights
  • The Necronomicon
  • Mind Control
  • Creatures Behind Locked Doors
  • Strange Dreams
totals

4

blood

BLOOD

There isn’t a whole lotta blood, but there is still some crazy stuff here.

2

blood

BREASTS

You see some during Nancy’s crazy dreams. I think. There’s all kinds of weird stuff.

7

beast

BEASTS

Wilbur is down right creepy on his own, and then there is the titular Horror itself.

4.3 OVERALL
dripper
Sep

Year: 1977 Runtime: 88 min

Director: Nobuhiko Ôbayashi

Writer: Chiho Katsura (screenplay), Chigumi Ôbayashi (original story)

Starring: Kimiko Ikegami, Miki Jinbo and Kumiko Ohba

After the massive success of Jaws, the suits at Toho contacted Nobuhiko Ôbayashi to develop a similar script. What they got was a ketamine fueled wet fart or, in common parlance, a screenplay both twisted and swarming with juvenile poo-poo humor. I cannot imagine the demented fever which destroyed the writer’s fragile grip on reality as he wrote this. Sweet Sweating Christ outside Mary Magdalene’s door! What ungodly torture to endure, even for a moment.

See. The mere mention of it brought me to a frenzy. I have to relax, there is more to tell.

The final product can only be considered a film only in the strictest meaning of the word. That is, it’s a collection of pictures, one after the other, playing at 24 frames per second for 88 minutes. Truth is, Hausu is something you experience, like love or LSD or a colostomy. Each has their allure, but rarely do they make sense. Even in retrospect.

Hausu is the story of a young girl, Gorgeous (Kimiko Ikegami), and her six friends who visit Gorgeous’ aunt over summer break. Gorgeous and her friends are named for their asset: Gorgeous is beautiful and fashion conscious; Prof is the smart one with glasses and her face in a book; Melody can play any musical instrument; Kung Fu is a master of martial arts; Mac is the fat, hongry one; Sweet is sweet; and finally, Fantasy is the overly imaginative one.

Aunt, who is never named, broods in her mansion on the hill, the titular house. For thirty years she has haunted the place, waiting—love never effectuated. She and her fiancé had made a pinky promise to marry once he returned from WWII. Because he never did the years of solitude twisted Aunt into a malevolent demon.

That ends the logical portion of the film. The rest is a hellish string of things-that-happen in Hunter S. Thompson proportions, if he were a Japanese school girl in a Jaws reinterpretation.

The madness experienced first hand by the girls is usually explained away as “an illusion.” I tend to agree with that assessment. How else would you explain disembodied fingers playing a piano, or a grown man transformed into a pile of bananas or skin falling away to reveal a new body of flame, a la Johnny Storm, or equality for all in the eyes of the law?

Never watch this film before going to bed. Strange and terrible things will stalk your slumber. I will speak of it no more because my blood runs cold remembering my dreams. I ask that you trust me on this.

I do not want to spoil the roller coaster ride, so I will just say this and be done with it: Hausu is the epitome of schizophrenic genius. The absolute best anti-drug propaganda I have ever witnessed. And, just for the record, as diametrically opposed to Jaws any film could be.

roadside attractions

  • killer mattresses
  • disembodied head biting her friend
  • painting projectile puking
  • awesome Kung Fu action
  • Monkey’s style musical montage
  • gratuitous
  • cat tossing action (but NOT to scare you)
  • hongry, hongry piano
  • Watermelon Man transformed into a skeleton because Mr. Togo likes bananas
  • house under six feet of cat’s blood
totals

10

blood

BLOOD

Houseful

4

blood

BREASTS

Four. Exactly the right number for two naked women. A bit of sanity in the midst of the bedlam that is this film.

10

beast

BEASTS

Awful and depraved hysteria presented in hyper-unrealistic papier-mâché

8.0 OVERALL
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Check out the trailer for “Hausu”

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Sep

posted by Tiger Sixon | September 28, 2012 | 70's b-movies, 70's movies, Cult Film, Review by Tiger Sixon, Sci-Fi

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Tentacles review.
When the opening credits proudly proclaim: “Special Appearance by,” you know you are in for a treat.

This is the case with the 1977 Italian-made Jaws homage, Tentacles. The special appearance is by Hollywood legend Henry Fonda (he musta needed a new water heater)—but the who’s who doesn’t stop there. John Huston plays some kind of aging reporter who had a bizarre relationship with his sister. If the name doesn’t ring a bell, well, bone up on yer film history. Huston directed The Maltese Falcon, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, and The African Queen, to name only a few. He can also be seen in Chinatown, but most importantly he played The Lawgiver in the Battle for the Planet of the Apes and provided the voice for Gandalf in the animated version of The Hobbit. Tentacles

Oh, and Huston’s sister is played by the one and only Shelley Winters.

Bo Hopkins, of The Wild Bunch and TV fame, rounds out the intrepid cast. Hopkins plays a scientist what trains orcas for…science, I guess. It is all very scientific. The training, not the orcas. They just swim and eat fish.

Huston is trying to solve the mystery behind the dead bodies piling up on the shores of Ocean Beach (yes, Ocean Beach). Or what is left of the bodies anyway—the skeletons have been picked cleaner than my checking account after my last divorce. No one is safe: not even babies or peg leg ship captains.

As the title suggests, the killer is, wait for it, an octopus (even though an octopus’ limbs are usually referred to as ‘arms’). This results in many blown-up, close up shots of a normal octopus, and a few rubber tentacles for good measure. Toy boats are laid to ruin in a few scenes, which is always a joy to watch, plus there are even a few bikinis which are thankfully nearly toy-sized.

Speaking of flesh, one of Winters’ kids has my favorite line of the film: “Mommy, you’re plump! There’s more to love!” Ah, kids. When they ain’t bein’ ate up by a giant octopus, they say the darnedest things. Winters also sports the craziest hat this side of Kurt Russel’s from The Thing, and seems more focused on her son’s urinary tract and having awkward conversations with her brother than the killer octopus.Tentacles

Later on, after a feeding frenzy, Hopkins decides to take the fight to the octopus, and boxes up his trained orcas. By which I mean, he sticks them in a giant metal tube, and hauls them with his boat. Not knowing if the whales will actually fight upon being set free, Hopkins delivers a heartfelt soliloquy via the tube’s food hole (followed by tossing in a couple of fish).

Like any good Jaws ripoff, Tentacles is hilarious. Being a foreign production, there are plenty of absurd moments, which only make the film more endearing. Huston and Fonda don’t seem to phone in their performances either—they give it their all, which is the cherry on top. Plus, this was made in the late 1970’s, so the wardrobe is outstanding. There are lapels you could land a jet fighter on.

Tiger says, give this one a watch.


Tiger Sixon is forced to watch B-movies from the comfort of a secret government base in Death Valley. He looks nothing at all like Daniel J. Hogan (@danieljhogan) who draws comics and writes humor for Clattertron.

roadside attractions

  • Peg legs
  • Neglected Babies
  • Grizzled Sea Captains
  • SCUBA Shenanigans
  • Rubber Tentacles
  • Toy Boats
  • Wide Lapels
  • Crazy Hats
  • Whales in a Tube
  • Hollywood Legends
totals

7

blood

BLOOD

We see more skeletons than blood, but folks done get ate all over the place.

4

blood

BREASTS

Plenty of bikinis, but they all stay tied on.

10

beast

BEASTS

A giant octopus fights two orca whales. Yes, please.

7.0 OVERALL
dripper
Apr

It's Alive

“Parenthood”, a word that conjurs up all sorts of images in the pre-breeder’s imagination. A mom carrying some frozen pizza rolls with a screaming kid clinging to her sweatpants, or it’s the dad with the t-shirt that says “This is the roof to my tool shed” as he’s tossing kids into the back of a truck telling them to “go limp” if they hit anything. For some it’s fond memories, for others nightmare fuel and while the thought of a mini drooling poop maker of your very own is a bit scary, it can’t be half as bad as what the Davies family have to deal with in the 1974 cult classic “Its Alive.”

It’s been 12 years since their first child was born and the Davies finally get the chance to pump out another one, but this time it’s killing surgeons and wiping out the nursing staff. Yeah, this kid is either going to grow up to be a mass murder or a medical malpractice lawyer. No real reason is given to why the baby is a deformed killer but there’s talk of pollution, prescription drugs, and that binding crotch area of 70’s leisure suits.

John P. Ryan plays Frank the proud daddy. His happy days of fatherhood are soon snuffed out when he realizes his new born son is a cannibalistic mutant and will probably be talked about around camp fires for years to come. His wife played by Sharon Farrell goes completely bonkers after giving birth to the hell spawn but still wants to protect her mother lovin’ mutant. Maybe she could feed him some raccoons while it watches Barney reruns in the basement.

Frank’s life soon begins to unravel as his boss fires him from their PR firm so they can still maintain a “fresh wholesome image.” Nevermind all those swingers parties and cocaine hookers. His wife is pretty much off her rocker by now and Frank has to send their other non-mutant but still dimwitted son Chris over to their friend Charley. He’s hoping this whole killer baby thing is going to blow over so he tells his buddy to keep it on the down low about the little mutant brother. Chris would be so jealous. Frank has no intention of playing daddy and tracks the todler down at a school for some show and hell right after it tears through a lactose intolerant milkman and a cage dancing go-go girl. The baby escapes and the press continue to hound the family while some mad scientists are hoping to try to study it (or to create a master race of mutant killer babies, because that’s what scientists do.)

Chris ditches Charley’s house and runs back home finding his new brother locked away in their basement vowing to protect him and play endless games of “Chutes and Ladders.” That’s just before Charley bust in and gets his neck chewed into a pound of ground chuck. The infant flees into the sewers and Frank chases after him with a shotgun. He finds the baby hiding in a tunnel but totally wusses out when it puts on the sad puppy dog face and has to wrap the infant up in a blanket to sneak it home. Unfortunately the cops are waiting just outside so he hot potatoes the kid to a nearby scientist which it attacks and they’re both shot and killed by trigger happy cops. We’re left with the police informing Frank and his wife that another mutant was just discovered in Seattle thus finally revealing how grunge music was born.

Barry Goodall says go check out “It’s Alive.” It’s the sort of movie they should show in all those reproductive health classes to scare kids into abstinence. “And remember folks, don’t forget your baby’s feeding time or you could lose a finger.”

roadside attractions

  • Multiple throat rippings
  • No crying over spilt milk
  • Non-swinging dead cat
  • Sewer baby attack
  • Surgery room massacre
  • Monster baby cam
  • Go-go dancer ankle assault
totals

8

blood

BLOOD

Multiple throat rippings and an entire hospital team gets massacred. There’s more milk in this film than blood though.

0

blood

BREASTS

None…zippo, natta tatta. Not even a mutant breast feeding.

7

beast

BEASTS

Just one little blood thirsty ankle bitter but he does plenty of damage. Somebody should get this kid a pacifier.

8.6 OVERALL
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Check out the trailer for “It’s Alive!”

trailers

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About the Highway

Lost Highway is your satirical detour down the twisted back roads of b-movies and cult films reviews. learn more >>