Shitty Movie Sundays: Death Wish II

Forget for a moment that Death Wish II is one of the defining films for The Cannon Group and its producing pair of Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus. Forget that it was this film, along with Enter the Ninja, that would come to define a style of shamelessness that has brought endless amounts of joy to both the shitty movie fan and the wider action flick audience. Forget that a film like this scratches a primal itch that high culture would like to pretend doesn’t exist. Instead, revel in the fact that Jimmy Page did the music for this flick. That’s right. Jimmy Page. From Led Zeppelin. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Death Wish II”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Chrome and Hot Leather

Chrome and Hot Leather walks and talks like drive-in outlaw biker gang flick, but it’s missing the two most important elements of true exploitation cinema: blood and nudity. It starts out promisingly enough, and, overall, it’s a quite enjoyable shitty movie watch, but it’s like a cake with no icing. It’s still good, but it wouldn’t be all that hard to make it better.

From way back in 1971, Chrome and Hot Leather was directed by Lee Frost, from a screenplay by Michael Haynes, David Neibel, and Don Tait. Whomever came up with the title isn’t listed in the credits, but that mysterious person certainly did more for this film’s longevity than anything that was captured on film. Perhaps it was producer Wes Bishop. No matter who is responsible, they did a nice job. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Chrome and Hot Leather”

Empty Balcony: True Grit (1969)

True Grit, one of John Wayne’s most celebrated westerns, was released in 1969. The day it was released, it was already somewhat of an anachronism. The ’60s saw the western genre embrace more depth in its storytelling, something that was already common in many other genres. Before True Grit, there was the trilogy of films by Sergio Leone featuring Clint Eastwood as the man with no name. Just a week after True Grit was released, Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch hit theaters. The western has rarely been a genre that strived for realism, but the violence of The Wild Bunch was a direct challenge to a film like True Grit, where violence and death are done by rote, removing much emotional punch. Continue reading “Empty Balcony: True Grit (1969)”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Bone Dry

We all have egos, right? There’s no use in pretending that we don’t. Personal and professional relationships can be thought of as a constant battle between our egos and our desire for successful interactions. In other words, not being a dick is learned behavior. I thought of this at the end of Bone Dry, a neo-noir flick released in 2007. That’s because right after the final shot of the film, the credits begin, and they read, “A Brett A. Hart Vision.” Oh, please. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Bone Dry”

Shitty Movie Sundays: The Perfect Weapon

What a gloriously stupid movie. Fans of either Steven Seagal or Jean-Claude Van Damme, or even Michael Dudikoff, will probably turn their noses up at the mere mention of Jeff Speakman. But, I say that type of closemindedness is unwelcome here at Shitty Movie Sundays. We welcome almost all comers. The only discrimination we abide is that directed against high-quality pictures, and the occasional rapist character. Who needs any of that, really? Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: The Perfect Weapon”

October Horrorshow: Steel and Lace

An injustice has been done in the shitfest that is Steel and Lace. A title like that, coupled with knowledge that this film is an early 1990s straight-to-video b-movie, raises all sorts of possibilities in the mind of the discerning shitty movie fan. There should be guns, gratuitous nudity, men wearing sport coats with shoulder pads (still a thing in 1991, when this film was released), business mullets, and statuesque women with big hair — something along the lines of a Shannon Tweed. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Steel and Lace”

Empty Balcony: Mr. Majestyk, or, Charles Bronson is Charles Bronson in Charles Bronson: The Movie

All Vince Majestyk (Charles Bronson) wants to do is get his melons in. But, ole Vinnie has an insatiable need to antagonize everyone he meets, resulting in some very bad people wanting him very dead.

From 1974, Mr. Majestyk was directed by the prolific filmmaker Richard Fleischer, from a screenplay by none other than legendary crime novelist Elmore Leonard. It’s also just about the perfect Charles Bronson flick. Continue reading “Empty Balcony: Mr. Majestyk, or, Charles Bronson is Charles Bronson in Charles Bronson: The Movie”

October Horrorshow: Maniac Cop

With a title like Maniac Cop, there’s no way this movie is going to be good, right? The title is simple and to the point, and instantly conveys a large amount of plot to any potential viewer that happens to pass by the marquee. But boy, oh boy, it sounds like a first draft title. If all other films had used their initial titles, we wouldn’t have Alien, 2001: A Space Odyssey, or Unforgiven. Instead we would have Star Beast, Journey Beyond the Stars, and The Cut-Whore Killings (although it would have been ballsy for Clint Eastwood and company to try that last one). Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Maniac Cop”

October Hammershow: Frankenstein Created Woman

Baron Victor Frankenstein is back. At the end of the previous film, The Evil of Frankenstein, the series’ antihero was dispatched along with his box-headed creation. It was a scene of ultimate finality, even if there wasn’t a shot of a dead Frankenstein putting an exclamation point on his story. But death is never permanent in film should the producers wish it. I don’t just mean the death of a character, either, but the actor who plays the part. This film’s star, Peter Cushing, finds his character resurrected for further use in this film, but Cushing himself was resurrected digitally, more than twenty years after his death, to make an appearance in the latest Star Wars flick. It won’t be much longer before actors find themselves under the same threat of obsolescence as the rest of us in the workforce. But I digress… Continue reading “October Hammershow: Frankenstein Created Woman”

Stallone Month: Bullet to the Head

If there is one positive from Hurricane Katrina, one not worth the cost yet still a positive, it has been the emergence of a Louisiana style of crime filmmaking — a bayou noir. Filmmakers have been drawn to the state in a show of solidarity with the residents of Louisiana and to take advantage of tax credits. It’s a win-win for the film industry and for local economies. Whether or not it’s a win for audiences rests on whether or not these films are worth watching. Continue reading “Stallone Month: Bullet to the Head”