Love and bullets
Love and bullets starts off with beautiful vistas stunning landscapes and sweet music that makes it feel like a lifetime film. I’m not sure what to think of that, and Switzerland seems an odd setting for Charles Bronson movie, fortunately we switch right towards Charles Bronson going in to look at corpse and I think we’re back on track.
Love and bullets is really the epitome of Charles Bronson film. He’s playing a cop he’s using guns and protecting a gangsters moll from the assassins that the gangsters sent after her to keep her from testifying. Bronson is very much playing Bronson and looks extremely good at 57 years of age here.
When the blonde bombshell is forced to remove her wig and make-up it really is a stunning difference. We sometimes forget just how big a difference that makes in an image, and how manufactured so many of actresses are. Her line when presenting herself to Charles Bronson is priceless “Yeah I should’ve known you’d like this. you’re used to looking at dead people.”
The film is very Bronson and very 70s. It reminds me a lot of the kind of movies they used toplay late at night on channel 43. Perfect thing to watch while you’re doing something else.
This another one of those movies I love to look at- full of stars before they were really big, at the start of their careers before their more iconic roles…
It stars Kirsty Alley, Bill Pullman, Carrie FIsher, Sam Elliot, Scott Backula, and Ed Oneil, not to mention being directed by Carl Reiner. It’s funny I really like Backula and O’Neil in most things, but not in their signature roles (Quantum Leap/Enterprise and Married With Children respectively), and I’ve always really love Kirsty Alley. Let’s see what IMDB has to say here:
Marjorie Turner is suffocating. Her younger sister Jeanine has no ambition, and her 8 year marriage to Harry puts her in constant competition with his family (all doctors), whom he is also competing for the affections of. One day, she snaps while food shopping, and beds a mysterious man, who die during the moment of passion. When she forgets her wallet, a vertical-blinds salesman finds it, and things get complicated from there…
It’s a smart farce, but really I wouldn’t expect anything less from Carl Riener who created so many of my favorite comedies. I got it on VHS for a buck but It is available on DVD and occasionally surfaces on Netflix. Definitely one to check out on rental first and very likely one you’ll want to own.
Baron and the Kid
There’s a pool table in my Library. i like to put this film on when I play or have people over to shoot pool.
The Baron and the Kid 1984
Johnny Cash stars as a legendary pool hustler, back in town after a long absence. He encounters a young punk who’s got more swagger than skill at pool, and who turns out to be his son
The film plays itself very straight and doesn’t really earn that kind of serious tone, especially for a TV movie. It’s predictable but what saves it is how much fun it is to watch Johnny Cash chew the scenery. Richard Roundtree shows up and I’m in B movie heaven.
It’s not to hard to find the DVD (and it tends to be inexpensive) and definitely a great movie to put on while you do something else.
No trailer for this by the way, but we do have the music video of the song that inspired the film, and it does a great job of conveying the feel of the movie
I think I’m just going to dive straight into the IMDB description on this one.
Hollywood Knights 1980
Led by their comedic and pranking leader, Newbomb Turk, the Hollywood Knights car gang raise hell throughout Beverly Hills on Halloween Night, 1965. Everything from drag racing to Vietnam to high school love.
God I wish this was better. I mean, look at this cast! Fran Dresher, Tony Danza, Robert Whul, Michelle Pffiifer most of these before these people were really famous..or to put it another way, at the time, Tony Danza was the biggest name here.
It’s weird, there are really two separate stories going on here…enough to make me wonder if the “A” storyline and the “B: storyline were even conceived together or if this was a mashup of two different scripts.
It’s just to raunchy humor for me to really get into. To many scatological gags, fart jokes and vulgarity. On the other hand, I know a lot of people dig this kind of movie. My friend Sean loves it and Imagine William would really like it too. If this kind of comedy is your cup of tea, I really highly recommend it, especially to see so many of these people at the start of their careers!
This is a movie that I have very fond memories of. It is not the Gladiator movie you normally think of, but rather a low budget DTV boxing movie starring Cuba Gooding Jr. and Brian Dennehy and I adore it.
My friend Mike got this on VHS back in the day, it was a strange copy – a screened for the video store to watch and decide if they wanted to carry it. every now and then you’ll see a warning about this not being for distribution come up on the screen.
From IMDB :
Tommy Riley has moved with his dad to Chicago from a ‘nice place’. He keeps to himself, goes to school. However, after a street fight he is noticed and quickly falls into the world of illegal underground boxing – where punches can kill.
This really doesn’t do the movie justice.
There’s really a great deal of drama happening here, with Gooding boxing to support his family, and a friendship developing between the two main character – something Dennehy will not allow to happen.
Just as important to this film is the soundtrack. In an era where every film had a meaningless soundtrack of songs “inspired from the film” this had a great 90’s soundtrack album with every song in the movie. I can not emphasize how great this record is…Mike went out and immediately got a copy (which I promptly copied. Man, I wish I had a copy of this on CD or mp3 instead of cassette…)
Mike doesn’t have a VCR anymore so the tape is now in my possession and I suspect I’ll always love it. I’m not sure if this ever got a DVD release, but I know you can watch it on the pay Youtube channel for just two dollars and it’s well worth it!
Tales From Beyond
I totally bought this out of a two dollar box at Cinema Wasteland because I saw Adam West on the cover. IMDB dosen’t tell us much about it though –
Tales From Beyond 2004
When a trendy young couple enter a quaint-looking antiquarian bookstore seeking a present for their friend, they find more than they bargained for. A mysterious shopkeeper takes them into the world of his books, leading them through four amazing stories.
The DVD cover doesn’t tell us much more than that either really. It looks like horror, but it’s really more Sci-Fi. You do know going in that it’s an anthology (which I usually don’t really dig) but it ended up being far better than I expected. The middle sections with West as the shopkeeper presenting the books (the stories of the movie) to his customers are fun. a little underacted, but passable. The stories themselves have a wonderful Twilight Zone quality to them. If it weren’t for some of the language, I’d swear I was watching one of the modern versions.
I think of the selections the time travel story in the diner is my favorite, very similar to Nightmare Cafe (a TV series that lasted about five minuets before it was cancelled, but boy did I love it.)
The shame is that it falls apart at the end. We see two new books write themselves – obviously the customer’s stories. That’s fine. I can get behind that, it’s when we get taken to the back of the shop, past the books into some wierd cryotube where the “stories” I guess are kept…I’m not sure what that was supposed to be or what they were thinking.
It’s still worth a watch and I suspect you can find it relatively cheap in dump bins or movie conventions. Definitely take a look for this stuff. It’s worth a watch or two.
Under the Rainbow
I fist discover “Under the Rainbow” because part of it deals with the creation of the Wizard of Oz with Judy Garland.
Under the Rainbow 1981 In World War II era Los Angeles, the manager of the Culver Hotel leaves his nephew in charge for a weekend. The nephew changes the name to the Hotel Rainbow and overbooks with royalty, assassins, secret agents, Japanese tourists, and munchkins (from the cast of _Wizard of Oz, The (1939)_ ). Secret Service agent Bruce Thorpe and casting director Annie Clark find romance amidst the intrigue and confusion.
This is an interesting film in that it’s got some infamy amongst those that know about it mostly because Carrie fisher undresses – not down to much, underwear that covers more than most bathing suits actually. Much like Corvette Summer, it’s kind of a “What they did next” movie. Fisher is ably paired up with Chevy Chase and a fairly well thought out script. It’s a farce with a great deal of “misunderstandings” creating the humor. I really should have enjoyed this more, it seems custom made for me. Perhaps I was just disspaointed that it didn’t have a closer relationship to OZ (as I had assumed) or it’s just my indifference to Fisher, but this never really clicked for me. Check it out if it shows up on netflix, otherwise it may not really be worth seeking out.
Race With the Devil
You ever watch a horror movie and find yourself screaming at the screen because the people are so stupid?
Yeah, that’s this movie.
From IMDB :
Race the Devil 1975 Two couples vacationing together in an R.V. from Texas to Colorado are terrorized after they witness a murder during a Satanic ritual.
Now I get that you can’t help but stumble upon a satanic cult preforming a rite from time to time…but it sure does seem like they flaunt it. They keep mentioning it to the wrong people and as we see, this cult reaches far and wide. You get a real sense that they’ve traveled hundreds of miles and are still running into cult members who are all on the lookout for them, not to mention the ones who are pursuing them.
The movie is tense and keeps up the dread. There’s a constant sinking feeling when town after town, cop after cop, they’re all involved with the cult. it’s well acted – this is Peter Fonda after all. It’s also got Loretta Swit in a pre- M.A.S.H. role. It’s really a good film, but suffers from writing these people as dopes – you’ve been chased across the southwest U.S. by crazy cultists and yet you’re still concerned about how dry the martinis you’re going to drink tonight are…. (maybe you ought to stay sober just in case a group of Satanists suddenly surround your camper with torches burning? But hey, that’s just my opinion)
The film ends abruptly, but I think we can guess what happened after the credits role. Definitely a good movie and available on DVD, but might be hard to find outside Amazon.
The Fast and the Furious
Bet you didn’t know that fast and furious was a remake did you?
I mean the original is typical Corman exploitation featuring no one special, but just look at this description from IMDB :
The Fast and the Furious (1955) A man wrongly imprisoned for murder breaks out of jail. He wants to clear his name, but with the police pursuing him, he’s forced to take a beautiful young woman, driving a fast sports car, hostage and slip into a cross-border sports car race to try to make it to Mexico before the police get him
It’s not a ring of thieves driving Hondas, but it is cops chasing the fugitive in sports cars…..
except the cars aren’t really that sporty….and it looks like they were under cranking the camera to make them look like they were going fast…..still it’s a trip. I still see these in the dollar bins and dollar stores. If you spot one, pick it up for the camp value alone.
This was just the strangest concept I ever heard of. Here – listen to the description off of IMDB.
Little Cigars 1973
A gangster’s former mistress hooks up with a troupe of circus midgets who, as a sideline, rob banks and casinos
They aren’t kidding about the “Hooking Up” part either. Angel is sleeping with the leader o the little person gang…and that’s a little creepy, not because he’s a little person, but because he’s like sixty years old and she’s twenty.
I’m not sure what this is. It’s funny at times, but it’s not a comedy. The premise is just too goofy to be a serious crime drama though, and there’s not enough action for it to be an adventure flick.
Still, it’s entertaining. You get to see Jerry Marin from the Wizard of OZ (in one of the better performances of the movie actually) and Felix Silla (Cousin IT, Twiki and many other parts) run around as gangsters and tough guys. That’s my poster signed by both of them up there in the corner! Seriously, the movie’s a trip.
I linked to it once before up here but it looks like it’s been taken off Youtube. All I could find was this clip, so you’re going to have to track down a full copy yourself!
Corvette Summer from 1978 gave Mark Hamil something to do between Star Wars movies. It also stars Annie Potts and actually has a small role for Danny Bonaduche!
From IMDB : High School Senior Kenny Dantley’s only love in life is cars. For a shop class project, he and his classmates build a Corvette (“Stingray”). The car is a big hit — so big, in fact, that gets stolen! Kenny, having fallen in love with the car, sets out on a summer-long adventure in Las Vegas to find it. Along the way, he meets up with a “hooker-in-training” named “Vanessa”. The two encounter danger and romance as they try to steal back the Stingray.
I don’t have a lot to say about this movie. To say Hamil’s character is stupid is an understatement- there were times I genuinely wondered if he was supposed to be mentally handicapped. Not plastic helmet short bus level, just a slight retardation. He’s completely unlikable and the premise is ludicrous without being funny. The car is ugly by the way and Annie Potts is way to nice to be a hooker.
I miss the days of late-night UHF movies, because that’s a perfect way to see this – and you really should It’s a great bad movie, perfect for background noise or party screenings. It’s something everyone should see, but you’re going to feel ripped off if you have to spend any money on it.
The Devil’s Rain
The Devils Rain from 1975 starring – get this- William Shatner, Ernest Borgnine, and Tom Skerrit. This is a post Star Trek Shatner, but still a pre-TJ Hooker one. Interestingly enough, Skerrit is really well groomed in this. I always assumed that the look he had in Alien was his normal look for the 70’s and that by the time Top Gun came around he’d gotten older and trimmed everything up. Apparently I was wrong.
This is also John Travolta’s first film role, but don’t strain your eyes looking for him, he’s hidden under a black robe most of the time.
From IMDB : A bunch of Satanists in the American rural landscape have terrible powers which enable them to melt their victims. However one of the children of an earlier victim vows to destroy them.
A good enough description. Tom Skerrit comes to town trying to solve the mystery of the satanic killings and wondering what happened to Captain Kirk. It’s standard Satanist fare, and if you’re a fan of that kind of movie you’ll like this. It’s mostly made notable for the cast. Earnest Borgnine’s devil makeup really has to be seen to be believed.
This was a discount title for the longest time, but it’s mostly vanished off the shelves (if it was ever on them). Take your chances on Amazon or eBay.
Mother, Jugs and Speed
We’ve got a new column this year, showcasing weird but fun films that I keep discovering and wonder why I never heard of them before.
We’re kicking this off with “Mother Jugs and Speed” from 1976
Look at this films stars for a moment….Bill Cosby, Raquel Welch, Bruce Davidson from before he was quite as well known (though I spotted him immediately. I’m a big fan not only form X-Men, but also Kingdom Hospital, Lords of Salem and a whole slew of other stuff).
Larry Hagman’s in this too! This is before Dallas, he still had the good guy image from I Dream of Jeannie (although this film would manage to kill that noise real quick) and Harvey Kitel!
From IMDB : Competition between privately owned LA ambulance companies is played for humour.
Yeah, that really doesn’t begin to describe it.
It’s very much a product of it’s time, with ambulance calls going awry, Raquel fighting to be taken seriously despite her gender, Cosby popping beers while he drives…but good fun, never particularly raunchy even though it may seem like that kind of movie.
Things get serious a couple of times, but never enough for you to mistake this for a drama. Seriously, give this a try, I found it on Amazon for under $10. It’s great vintage Cosby, shaggy Bruce Davidson and really fun to watch just how big a douche Larry Hagman plays!