Archive for the '70’s movies' Category

May

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switchblade sisters

“On my planet this shirt attracts the females of my species.”

I’m not what you call a proficient grocery shopper. I don’t stock up on coupons or scan through the Sunday paper looking for the latest deals on canned tuna and toasted Wheat Thins. I only know it’s time to shop when I can no longer make a full meal from the refrigerator’s remaining survivors.. usually some condiments, a jar of olives, and a box of baking soda. So putting on a coat over my PJ’s I’d head out for that late night grocery run.

Late nights food runs you’d often find the store empty of customers so it was difficult to even find a checkout lady to wave me over to her conveyor belt. This time I was forced to confront the newest shopping breakthrough that was the new self checkout machine. Hey I’m a man of the world, a technology connoisseur, I could surely conquer this fancy slot machine wanna-be. First the Cheetos bag wouldn’t scan and when it did, It told me I bought 25 bags worth forever bestowing me the title “the crazy Cheetos guy.” Then placing the items in the bag a condescending computer voice would keep telling me to “Please place the item in the bag”… “Oh you mean the item that’s already in the bag?” The computer didn’t seem to understand any sense of irony. My arms had grown weak from the numerous failed attempts at scanning some cantaloupe and the Fonzi method of banging the machine on the side didn’t seem to help any so eventually a technician had to show me where to put my crinkled dollar bills. Who would have thought groceries need IT support.

I thought technology was supposed to make things easier. When was it decided that “easier” was just do it yourself? Self-serve gas station, ATM banking, and self scanning checkout lines, these are advances in modern convenience? No I want someone else to do this for me because I’m American and laziness is my God given constitutional right. if you’re not going to give me a real person to do the job then at least give me a robot. This 2009 after all, I should have my own jetpack and hover car by now. I shouldn’t be standing in my PJ’s swipping cans of lima beans while a lady in a purple mu mu waits behind me with her big box of glazed chick peas. Next time I will just go when a friendly cashier lady is available that will gladly talk with me about the weather as she scans my groceries while perfectly bagging things so my bread isn’t crushed by the 2 gallon mayonnaise jar and bag of ice (Hey I like potato salad and it was hot that night.)

Do you have tickets to the gun showSpeaking of ladies that excel at their jobs. Switchblade sisters introduces us to a gang of street-wise ladies called the Dagger Debs who’ve made a career at beating up elevator passengers and picking fights at the local Dairy Queen. The Debs are led by Lace, a high-strung snappy dresser who works out her dialog through clenched teeth like she’s got a case of lock jaw. She and her gal pals beat up a helpless landlord, go jay walking,  and then take a break at the ice cream shop. Here they run into a cute blondie named Maggie who is hogging one of their favorite seats. Maggie’s your sorta typical girl next door…if your typical girl is packin’ heat and has inner rage issues. Little do they know she’s the kind of girl that will cut you deep for even looking at her Oreo Blizzard the wrong way so she slices one of the gang members across the face with a knife. The police suddenly show up like a swat team before it can turn really ugly. Apparently a doughnut shop was very close by.

The Debs all end up in a juvenile detention center where some big burly lady wardens try to make the night moves on the new girls but end up getting the snot beat out of them instead. Maggie is finally freed from juvi-jail but has an even worse time on the outside when she’s raped by Lace’s boyfriend Dom. Dom is the leader of another powerful gang called the Silver daggers, a ruthless gang of thugs who resemble the cast from Welcome Back Kotter and enjoy playing billiards between felonies. Lace trusts Maggie and invites her to join the Debs not knowing that her and Dom just did the nasty at her apartment the night before. The resident cyclops “Patch” happily points out that Maggie has to be initiated first before becoming a true Deb and then starts whining about how she “lost her eye for this gang.” But really, how can you take a pirate seriously?

The New Chevy VoltThey send her on a mission to recover a toy prop necklace from a rival gang leader who goes by the unfortunate name of crabs. Great way to impress the ladies when you’re named after a venereal disease. Crab runs a fake community center where they give out narcotics under the disguise as vitamin pills so that he can buy even more hideous shirts for his wardrobe. Maggie stops by at their headquarters and  pretends to be attracted to Mr. Crabs which is probably the most impressive acting you’ll see in the whole film. In the middle of her seduction act she bites him on his Shootzle Deetzle, grabs the necklace and breaks through a office wall like the Koolaid man. Maggie returns to the Debs triumphant with her newly won trophy. Now there’s no questioning Maggie’s loyalty  with her ability to steal novelty prop jewelry.

Later on the Debs and the Daggers are vengefully ambushed by the Crab gang at the local rollerskating rink.  Lace gets punched in the baby maker whose oven was already preheated with Dom’s unborn kid and Dom gets a shotgun blast to the belly by the big Red Lobster himself. Maggie and Lace have to leave him to bleed to death in the center rink while Donna Summers music still blares on… a truly horrifying fate for anyone.

Maggie and Lace decide they want to avenge Dom’s death so they enlist some black power lady militants who drive pimped out armored Cadillacs and get their kicks making white hippies in disco shirts run and scream like little girls. I think that’s something anyone can really enjoy though. But not everything is as it seems there’s plot twists a plenty as jealously and secrets are threatening to destroy the gang. Who set up whom, who had an affair with who…who is loyal to whom. And when should the word whom actually be used in a sentence? It all ends up in a good old dance of death with switchblade divas giving us a great Shakespearean twist to this little exploitation romp.

Tarantino released this as his second film in his Rolling Thunder film series so be sure to check out his intro and outro on the DVD extras. His movie clerk geekiness clearly shows as he talks in great detail about the film and why they changed the name from The Jezebels to Switchblade Sisters. You can tell he was just up late one night at the videostore wired up on Jujubes and diet Coke while watching it. Also Keep an eye out for Don Stark who plays Hook. Yes it’s the same Don Stark that played Bob Picnciotti in that 70’s show and by gosh he still had the same hair and side burns. A great cheesy exploitation film, Retroman says check it out and be sure to be packin some heat.

– Multiple gang shootings
– 1 neck stabbing
– Medallion-fu
– Wacka-chicka-wacka fu
– Welcome Back Kotter doppelgangers
– Dairy Queen Dagger Queens
– Face plunging
– Swirly-fu
– Vita-van vandals
– Cadi-tanks
– Bellybutton ashtrays

Rated 8.9 out of 10

Check out the trailer for Switchblade Sisters

Apr

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“This has to be the worse salad bar I’ve ever seen.”

You know we’re living in a rough economy when even an American foundation like Playboy is struggling. They recently announced a net loss of 2.1 million dollars and they would have to lay off employees and tighten the company’s budget or face potential bankruptcy. I only wonder how is Hugh Hefner going to cut back? Will Playboy bunnies be forced to buy their own rabbit ears and sleazy lounge uniforms? Will there be less air brushing in the centerfolds? Will Hugh have to settle with only a couple girls on on his arms instead of the dozen or so buxom blondes normally surrounding him. It would be an American tragedy if he was forced to turn in the smoking jacket and pipe for a Walmart greeter uniform and smiley button flare. I mean how can this man survive in those conditions? The long established tradition of teenagers hiding their stash of Playboys under their mattresses is now at risk. Millions of them are at risk to be forced to read Sears underwear catalogs, playboy playmates out on the streets holding up signs that read “will tell you my likes and dislikes for food.” We simply can’t allow that to happen.

a meeting of the hat club for menSpeaking of men that  really like their melons, Charles Bronson plays Vince Majestyk, a Vietnam vet turn watermelon farmer and a collector of denim jackets and goofy hats. Vince is approached one day while working out in his fields by a scraggly Owen Wilson wanna-be named Bobby Copas. Bobby finds combing his hair difficult and likes to dress in cheap western wear while trying to talk farmers into hiring some of his gang of drunks and homeless. He’s sort of the used car dealers of cheap labor but Chuck Bronson will have no part of his shenanigans as he’s totally content with his $1 an hour illegal immigrant work force and smashes him in the groin with the end of his own shotgun. Now that’s how you negotiate a labor dispute. Majestyk has to serve some time at the county jail for that little fruit smashing incident and is worried about not being able to get his crops in on time but the sergeant doesn’t really care for fruit salad and makes him serve his sentence. While being transported on a prison bus along with a Mafia big fish, Frank Redna, a breakout attempt occurs along with big 70’s style shootout that gives Vince the chance to kidnap Frank and use him as leverage to help clear the charges against him. Though the thought of hiding out in a tiny cabin with a loud mouthed mobster might be a worser fate than any jail time. Frank is eventually picked up by his rail-thin girlfriend and Vince has to squeeze into the back seat of a 70’s Ford compact.

The drop off to the police doesn’t go as planned and Vince ends up tumbling out the backseat like a tossed watermelon into a ditch. Frank tries to shoot at him with typical bad guy accuracy and Vince easily escapes fleeing into the woods. Being the upright citizen Vince turns himself in to the police station only to find that Bobby Copas has dropped the assault charges against him so that he and his new Mafia friends can put some major hurt on Vince when he’s set free. Haven’t any of these guys ever seen a Death Wish movie?

With the help of a pretty immigrant union organizer named Nancy, Mr. Majestic goes back to his normal life of melon tossin’ and squinting in the sun until his workers start ending up getting bullied by Frank and company. Vince’s right hand man has his legs smashed, his workers are forced out of their homes at gunpoint, and policemen in Porta-Potties turn up dead…but that is barley even enough to curl his mustache.

I sense a scrawny cowboy is nearThe final straw is when a mobster hit squad shots up his watermelon crop with some semi machine guns while Vince is out putting the moves on La Senorita Nancy. Nothing makes a farmer angrier than a pointless melon massacre and he goes on a vengeful shooting spree against this gang of Gallagher impersonators. Finally, a fruit cup of justice is served. Some great cross country truck racing, cars getting pushed off cliffs, and a log cabin stand-off make the highlight reel in this 70’s film classic as Charlie Bronson becomes the ultimate watermelon vigilante. Retroman says check it out and don’t forget to spit out the seeds.

– 3 Shoot-outs
– 1 Mobster kidnapping
– Shotgun butt to the groin
– Multiple car chases and car explosions
– Water-melon-fu
– Drive by Porta-Potty attack
– 2 by 4 smack down
– Vehicular leg crushing

Rated 9.4 out of 10

My Uncle told me when I was a little kid if I didn’t spit out the watermelon seeds that a watermelon would grow in my stomach . So I thought that pregnant ladies were just carrying around watermelons in their bellies. So began my unhealthy fear of fruit…and of pregnant women.

Check out the trailer for Mr. Majestyk

Mar

posted by admin | March 26, 2009 | 70's movies, B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Cult films, Drama, Horror movies, Sci-Fi

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Look man, I told you to bring your ray-bans with you!  Now we look like dorks!”

The movie starts with Colonel Robert Neville, M.D. (Charlton Heston) discovering a vaccine which counter-acts a bio-warfare germ released in a war between the Soviets and Chinese.  Neville manages to inject himself at the last moment, but everyone else dies, leaving Neville alone and really, really lonely for a girlfriend.  Neville spends the next couple of years tearing bikini posters off of walls and indulging his female mannequin fetish.

Omega ManIt turns out not everyone infected by the germs dies; some of them turn into hippie-zombie-luddites.  Yes, they’re hippies with long hair who want to tear society down, they’re mostly undead, and they hate technology.  Just in case 1971 white America didn’t get the point of this movie, they also hate “honkys”.  For reasons that are never really explained, the infected dress up as monks and call themselves “the family”.  They also build catapults and use guns, despite the fact that they’re supposed to be against technology.

About an hour into the movie Neville finds other survivors and wastes no time getting busy with Lisa (Rosalind Cash), who’s infected but has no symptoms.  There’s a really creepy scene where Neville smiles broadly at Lisa and we get a close-up of Neville’s teeth.  Wow, that really should have been edited out.  Hopefully the NRA was able to offer him better dental care.

Inspired by his new found love interest, Neville uses his own “Anglo-Saxon blood” to synthesize an antidote to the bio-warfare germs for Lisa and her brother, who are both African-Americans.  Things are looking up until Lisa’s little brother, fresh from being saved by Neville’s blood, is killed by the zombies.  After that, all heck breaks loose as Lisa turns into a zombie, Neville’s home is burned down, and he takes a spear to the chest while trying to save Lisa.  In the last scene, he hands a bottle of the antidote, an extract from his own blood, to the remaining survivors.  He promptly dies in a pose just like Jesus on the cross, amidst a pool of his own blood.

Omega-manCharlton Heston, Zombie-Hippies-Luddites, the collapse of civilization, race relations in America, white America as Jesus on the Cross, they’re all here.  In this case Neville represents traditional American values of the time; technical superiority, moral superiority, spiritual superiority, military superiority, masculinity, and guns, lots and lots of big guns, the way god and Uncle Sam meant it to be.  Neville spends roughly half the movie running around without his shirt, armed with a machine gun, drenched in sweat, perhaps in a bid to knock-out the zombies with his personal aroma or bullets, whichever works first.

This film is a moment in time, a reflection of the social and racial paranoia and unrest of the early 70’s.  The zombies are hippies and minorities who have no respect for culture, tradition or the benefits of modern life in America.  They’re ruining everything white Americans worked to build and making the cities scary!  The only way to escape it was to move out and away from the city.  Honey, let’s move to the suburbs, and fast…

– Homicidal Hippie-Zombie-Luddites dressed as monks
– NRA going out of business sale
– Zombie Catapults!
– Mannequin fetish
– Charlton Heston’s teeth
– Saxon Blood super formula – now with world saving power!
– Neville as Christ on the Cross

rated 7.0 out of 10

Check out the trailer for Omega-man

Oct

posted by admin | October 13, 2008 | 70's movies, B-movies, Comedy, Cult Film, Cult films, Musical, Uncategorized

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“So a mouse, a French leprechaun and an Indian walk into a bar…”

You know I often wonder why people refer to high school as the best years of their lives. Do these people actually remember what is was like back then, or do they get those years confused with a “Saved by the Bell” episode? This adolescent socialist prison system had to be some sort of evil physiological test confined to a rat maze of smelly lockers. Perhaps it was created by an ancient race of aliens in order to understand human behavior. If you’ve seen some of the school board members, you’d believe it, too. High school was divided into social cliques in their own 70’s street-gang style. There were the nerds, the geeks, bandzies, spazes, jocks, ice queens, druggies, snobs, and other lesser-known sub-categories like “fans of David Hasselhoff” or “kids that can play Casio keyboards.” And yes, I belonged to that last group ( I can still play Van Halen’s “Jump.”). It’s amazing lunch time didn’t erupt into a turf war. My money would be on the nerds…they had skills like MacGyver and could rig-up some explosives with a napkin, a couple of wires, and some day-old burritos. Watch out for the ice queens, though; they were like brain Ninjas…they’d leap from the rafters and attack your self-esteem and poor fashion sense. It’s strange looking back and wondering why we ever cared about who likes who; will I be able to learn to play Axel-F on my keyboard; will I ever pass Algebra? Guess what? Algebra…you’ll never use it again. That’s why they build calculators into shopping cart handles now. Gym class? I haven’t had the need to climb a rope since then, and don’t plan to, unless I’m involved in a prison break someday. Chemistry class…I seem to remember something about a periodic table, but I get that confused with the term “occasional furniture.” Just remember, kids: these are not the best years of your life; those are coming later and it’s called “college”…and possibly “retirement” for others. But do count your blessings. No paying taxes, no house payments, no responsibilities, and an unlimited amount of time to play Halo 3 on your Xbox. Curse you, Snipermaster07 and your unlimited training time. I will defeat you someday.

Wizard!!!!!!Speaking of high school kids with too much time on their hands, “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School” is a 70’s musical featuring the Ramones and a wide assortment of teenagers who are most likely to break out and dance at any moment. Gym class turns into Jazzercise; freshmen get stuffed into lockers; and hallways become punk rocking mosh pits. PJ Stolls of “Halloween” fame plays Riff Randal, the always-perky rock ‘n’ roll rebel whose obsession in life is to write a song for the Ramones and have them serenade her in her bathroom. Kate Rambeau (not the Vietnam vigilante) is her nerdy friend who has a crush on the football captain, Tom, played by Vincent Van Patten. Tom just happens to be even geekier than Kate with his name proudly embroidered across his jersey, as well as his lame pickup lines about the weather and driving around in his Dungeons and Dragons Warlock van.  Hey haven’t I seen this van somewhere else?

 

Johnny and Kate are trained in dating techniques by none other than the gigolo of cool, Clint Howard. He’s Ron Howard’s more handsome brother. He plays Eaglebauer, the school’s one-man, one-named Mafia, who runs a very profitable business from within the boys’ bathroom stalls, complete with his own secretary and voice-over announcer. I see a future corporate CEO position for this guy. Embezzlement and corruption sure…but the man’s got moxy, and already has a receding hairline as a teenager.

A new principal is brought to clean up the school, Miss Togar the Ogre (Mary Woronov). She is a tall Nazi-like warden, whose hair buns are wound tighter than Princess Leia’s. She also enjoys blowing up mice with blaring rock music. Hey, all this lady needs is a date and a day at the spa. Her plans is to rule Vince Lombardi High School with an iron fist, along with her Boy Scout hall monitors Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum. Riff fights back by camping out to buy tickets for the town’s big Ramones concert. The band shows up in a big pink Cadillac with the phrase “Gabba Gabba Hey” blazoned across their license Plate, while eating chicken and playing guitar. Yet Riff still wants to buy the ticket and doesn’t run away screaming. Nothing against the Ramones, their music defined punk rock, but they sure were a homely group of rockers, and Joey, their lead singer, was the definition of eccentric. The man lived off wheat germ and riboflavin, and would cower in the shadows to avoid the deadly rays of the sun. Also an honorable mention to Paul Bartel, who plays the wacky music professor and recently converted Ramon-ite. He shows up to the concert in a French-Leprechaun outfit, complete with beret, rocking out with a giant white Rat, and an Indian Chief. Now there’s something you won’t see in “Grease.”  The Ramones show up later at the school for yet another concert (Why did the students even have to buy tickets to begin with for the town concert?), and after a good old-fashioned album burning by the parents, they end up blowing up the school with some homemade dynamite, mixed by Kate Rambo…Yes, she finally lives up to her namesake. The TV announcer signs-off by reminding us “if your principal gives you trouble and you want the same to happen at your school, then give Screamin’ Steve a call.” Screamin’ Steve is now on a terrorist watch list, and the students are serving time in Guantanimo.

If you liked cheesy musicals like “Little Shop of Horrors”, “Grease”, or “Hairspray”, I think you’ll rock out to this cult classic and lasting film tribute to the Ramones. It was originally titled “Disco High School”, and they thankfully changed the title out of fear that nobody would see it, except Travolta fanboys. And you can only handle so much on-screen Bee-Gees. Retroman Steve says, “Gabba Gabba grab a copy and check it out.”

Roadside Attractions

-Boy Scout hall monitors
-blow-up doll sexual assaults
-freshman locker stuffing
-remote-controlled airplane flying
-explod-o-mice
-rock ‘n’ roll gym class
-bra- fu
-music instructors in berets
-Ramones bathroom attendants
-extreme hall monitoring
-record-ka-bobs
-lunch lady firing squads
-shag carpeted vans

rated 8.6 out of 10 for the movie

most memorable quote: “If you don’t like it, you can put it where the monkey puts the nuts.”

Check out the trailer for Rock ‘N’ Roll High School

Sep

posted by admin | September 19, 2008 | 70's movies, Grindhouse, Review by Barry Goodall

Comments Off on Black Mamma, White Mamma



“I only wear this shirt to distract people from my face. It’s my only defense.”

On some undisclosed island in the South Pacific, Pam Grier plays Lee Danier, an angry hooker in an evening dress who gets sent to a not-so-classy women’s reform prison in the middle of the jungle. Do not pass “Go”, do not collect $200.  There’s also Karen, played by Margaret Markov,who has likewise earned herself some prison time, due to her nasty habit of trying to instigate revolutions on communist islands. But she looks more like she barely escaped her last photo shoot. Karen and Lee don’t play well together, especially in confined spaces. So when they misbehave in the cafeteria, they’re forced to stand in a walk-in Easy Bake Oven out in the sun for the day as punishment. Fortunately we’ve got a non-stick cooking Pam as our star. The wardens are fed-up with having to break-up their catfights, which cuts into their group shower ogling time. So they chain the two together; make them wear yellow, prison issued mini-skirts; and send them on a bus trip to be interrogated. The bus ride comes to a quick halt, though, when Karen’s rabble-rousing friends attack the convoy. We know they’re revolutionaries because of the amount of their facial hair. The longer your mustache, the more you’re fightin’ “The Man.”

Lee and Karen barely escape into the jungle during the poorly planned rescue attempt, and are forced to hitchhike as nuns across the island and negotiate with oily, fat guys before stabbing them with a screwdriver. They sure make Catholic school nuns almost look tame by comparison. A corrupt cop is sent to track the nuns on the run, but only if he can break away from watching the local drunks play pool long enough. There’re also some hired thugs who are looking for Lee since she is one their prized hookers–their “best in show ho.” They inconspicuously drive around in a giant, decorated, clown jeep, blaring Mexican show tunes, possibly hoping for some women prisoners to just suddenly dart out in front of them, but instead they end up in pointless gunfights or wrestling around in their underwear with the locals. Not quite sure who’re the good guys and bad guys in this one, but I do know that hired thugs look particularly disturbing in baby blue western shirts.

Wouldn’t you think that would hurt your street cred a bit if you wore a shirt like that? Ruben is the head thug with the worst fashion sense, played by Rob Zombie’s favorite psycho, Sid Hag. He reminds me a bit of a local used car salesman, but without the charm and trustworthiness. “Come on down to Ruben Ford–free drug bribes for the kids!”

This is a good little exploitation film, light on the exploitation but heavy on the facial hair and gunfights. Also check out Pam Grier in “Coffy”, another great early blaxploitation movie from the 70’s. She’s all Coffy…without the caffeine.

Roadside Attractions

-Peeping Tom wardens
-chain chockin’
-convincts in a can
-jungle cat fights
-nuns on the run
-jump-starting hookers
-gratuitous use of a western shirt
-puppies with underwear hats
-21 breasts
-37 deaths
-multiple shootouts
-circus mercenary jeeps
-tempera paint blood splatters

rated 7.7 out of 10 for the movie

Check out the trailer for Black Mamma, White Mamma

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