Archives for November 2009 | Varied Celluloid - Page 2

Archive for November, 2009

Il Boss

Posted by Josh Samford On November - 13 - 2009
The Plot: Italy, 1973, the mob has been fractured by heavy police involvement in all of their forms of business. All of the old leaders have left for hiding, leaving behind their Lieutenants which has caused an immense amount of destabilization. There’s no order to the crime world anymore and all of the younger captain’s are taking aim at their new bosses in order to form a more stable union. After the massacre of several rival mob bosses in a theater, Don Giuseppe (Claudio Nicastro), a captain under Don Corrasco (Richard Conte) who gave the order, has recently had his daughter kidnapped by the villainous Cocchi (Pier Paolo Capponi) who plans on getting his hands upon Giuseppe in order to torture information out of him while eventually going after Corrasco’s empire. The one thing they didn’t count on though is Nick Lanzetta (Henry Silva), a cold blooded and calculating hit man who will stop at nothing to protect the family. Nick hits the streets and before long he’ll find these men… and make them pay!

The Review: Henry Silva is a dog. A true beast of a man in every way fashionable. What makes him so special one might ask? How about his bizarre masculinity and very different facial structure for starts? Piercing features that give any film geek a very homo-erotic feeling of super charged manimal lust… well, maybe the infatuation that we movie geeks have isn’t quite that strong, but best to believe the guy is really great at what he does. His unconventional look is just a part of what makes him such an iconic character. The roles he so often portrays is another building block in what makes the myth out of the man. Il Boss here (That’s Eye-Talian for THE Boss!) is certainly a cornerstone in both his career as well as in director Fernando Di Leo’s, who directed plenty other Italian genre films but may be best known for this particular feature. Why? Because Il Boss kinda takes everything you’ve heard about the Euro-Crime genre and then amplifies it. It is not a nuanced or complicated movie, even if the plot at times starts to become so. Really, all you need to know about Il Boss is that Henry Silva is a bad scary man and he’s here to mess other people up in a big way.

Sure, the movie has more going for it than just that. And I’ll get to those things in a moment, but what carries the movie is the performance from Henry Silva. What is crazy about that though is that he really doesn’t have to do a whole lot here in terms of actual acting. The character of Nick Lanzetta is such a HARD guy. Silva literally avoids all emotion in his role. His range goes from “sneer” to “annoyance” to outright “anger” in nearly all scenes. Even when this guy makes love he still looks like he’s ready to crack someone’s sternum. Really, when you start getting to know this character your first thoughts would be that surely this guy has no interest in the opposite sex. Doing so would somehow crack that veneer of invulnerability. That this monster could somehow engage in an extremely intimate or sentimental action such as sex doesn’t seem at all logical. That’s sort of what makes him interesting though, as when we see Nick’s apartment during the film it’s hard not to notice the littering of pornography all over his walls. He takes sex and he makes it into something primal and the least bit emotional; which is so fitting for this guy. Silva may not have to do much, but he does get his point across in tremendous fashion.

Aside from the presence of one Henry Silva, what caught my attention most from Il Boss would be the interesting choices made in the script. The issue of having the don’s daughter not only being promiscuous, but being… well, there’s no other way to put it, but being a slut. Say what you want about the women’s liberation movement of the era, but this girl is taking on two guys at a time simply because they are there. Not to mention these are men who have kidnapped her and are wanting to kill her father and will more than likely kill her. It’s an interesting decision and it gives a somewhat unnecessary but interesting background excess that the actress is able to play off of. Her history with her father, her rebellion, all very interesting 3D dynamics that gloss over the fact that she was obviously just there to show off her fantastic body. Aside from this, there’s also the music by Luis Enriquez Bacalov which may make for the most excting music I’ve heard in a Euro-Crime flick to date. A mix of hard rock with snyth jazz, the music really escalates the film to another level. Especially when the hard rock beat starts thumping over the soundtrack, you can’t help but nod your head and expect to see some guys get made dead, real good.

Although the violence in these sort of films are often pretty hyped, far beyond their delivery, I think Il Boss makes good. Certainly not what I would consider gory or bloody by any means, the body count kind of makes up for that. Especially during the intro and the finale. Wow, the introduction, I mean really, how do you even describe it? Without question one of the most insane openings for any Italian crime flick on the market. Death, destruction, mayhem and most of all: Henry Silva with a rocket launcher blowing mafia thugs up. I am so not even joking on that one. Hard to believe this is based upon a novel (that being Mafioso by Peter McCurtin). Rarely did you see the full on body explosion gag in movies before CGI came along and ruined our world, but here we’re given an entire room full of dummies blown to smithereens followed by one other poor unlucky soul getting blasted to kingdom come. How over the top is your movie when you start it off with death by rocket launcher? The last ten minutes are equally as creative in the use of violence, although I’ll not spoil it for anyone. Let’s just say there are bodies dropping everywhere and even a massive explosion. How can you go wrong?

If there was anything wasted here, I would say it had to be Gianni Garko who unfortunately plays the squirmy informant police officer. When I first saw Garko pop up I found myself getting pretty excited at the prospect of a Garko Vs. Silva meet-up at some point but his character just becomes less and less masculine as the movie seems to go on. It’s just unfortunate that Garko didn’t get to play the heavy alongside Silva, but at the same time I have to commend him for his performance as it is most assuredly worm like. Doing a lot of acting with his hands here (much like his chief at the precinct), the character just seems hyperactive at times in comparison to the cold blooded and always collected Henry Silva. Also along for the ride is Richard Conte, best known as Barzini from The Godfather, who shows up here in the role of Don Corrasco. Conte is great and adds a certain level of class to the project, as crazy as that may sound. He is grizzled in his performance and although he doesn’t get to chew much scenery, his presence is definitely felt throughout. Director Fernando Di Leo keeps his film in check with these three stars very much at polar opposite ends of one another. Especially in the case of Garko and Silva who never actually share any screen time together until the very end of the movie. Which brings me to another point, as the film seems to follow two different directions, one focusing on the police procedural direction as they try to piece together just what is going on with the inner workings of the mafia and then the other from the actual vantage point of the mob itself. However, aside from the very beginning when the law gets involved, for the most part these scenes almost seem disconnected from the rest of the movie. As things play out it’s easy to forgive, as it all gets tied together fairly well, but for most of the scenes shot from the side of the law we spend all of our time in the police department which seems so very far from the streets where all of this violence is currently taking place.

Il Boss isn’t your average cops and robbers chase like the majority of Italian crime flicks. It takes a very Mafia story approach but also mixes things up with its changing up of tradition. It is not perfect though. Even with it’s grilling pace, there are still moments that slow the movie down and the amount of dialogue based around names can get slightly confusing when keeping up with all of the characters. Don Giuseppe, Don Corrasco, Cocchi, etc. You really have to listen to the dialogue and get the inflections of just who is who and what is what. This comes no doubt from the fact that it is based upon a novel where you don’t run into these issues, but there probably could have been an easier solution. Regardless, I still loved Il Boss. For fans of Euro Crime, this could be the holy grail if you haven’t seen it already. Brilliant violence, tougher than nails leading men and.. well, a rocket launcher! I give it a four out of five and am very happy with this classic. Check it out!


Lady Terminator Review

Posted by Josh Samford On November - 7 - 2009
Hey everybody! Gotcha another one. This bit of Indonesian insanity has been on my list to watch for quite a while now. Just look at that title, Lady Terminator, who doesn’t want to watch that? Well it was certainly worth the search as it delivers in every b-movie way that it could. Check out the review for more penis destroying fun!

The Plot: Lady Terminator is a little tricky to synopsize, since it’s almost a tale of three different stories. First we start off one hundred years ago as the South Sea Queen beds her 100th husband who then forbids her from continually killing off the male population with her magic. She vows vengeance in one hundred years against her husband’s great granddaughter. Skip forward to present day (well, 1983) and we run into a young archeologist, Tania Wilson (Barbara Anne Constable ), who is interested in the story about the South Sea Queen. When asking around she’s told there have been many divers who have looked in the south sea but they all came up missing. So she of course charters a boat for herself. When she dives in she is captured by the South Sea Queen and thus allows the South Sea Queen to come back to life using her body. Her first order of business is to track down her husband’s great granddaughter, named Erica (Claudia Angelique Rademaker ), who is now a burgeoning music starlet. However, along to protect her is Max McNeil (Christopher J. Hart), a police officer still coping with the death of his wife. Will they be able to stop this ruthless witch, or will the South Sea Queen take over the world!?



CONTINUE READING THE REVIEW HERE

Lady Terminator

Posted by Josh Samford On November - 7 - 2009
The Plot: Lady Terminator is a little tricky to synopsize, since it’s almost a tale of three different stories. First we start off one hundred years ago as the South Sea Queen beds her 100th husband who then forbids her from continually killing off the male population with her magic. She vows vengeance in one hundred years against her husband’s great granddaughter. Skip forward to present day (well, 1983) and we run into a young archeologist, Tania Wilson (Barbara Anne Constable ), who is interested in the story about the South Sea Queen. When asking around she’s told there have been many divers who have looked in the south sea but they all came up missing. So she of course charters a boat for herself. When she dives in she is captured by the South Sea Queen and thus allows the South Sea Queen to come back to life using her body. Her first order of business is to track down her husband’s great granddaughter, named Erica (Claudia Angelique Rademaker ), who is now a burgeoning music starlet. However, along to protect her is Max McNeil (Christopher J. Hart), a police officer still coping with the death of his wife. Will they be able to stop this ruthless witch, or will the South Sea Queen take over the world!?



The Review
Let’s not get things twisted here, I can’t review Lady Terminator with the same set of standards that I would something like “Two Men in Manhattan.” There are certain reasons that would obligate a viewer to search out anything with the title “Lady Terminator”. This isn’t that gem of a title that you’ll find on the shelf in your local Blockbuster. This isn’t something that is going to be highly regarded by most critics. I honestly wouldn’t even define it as a “so bad it’s good” movie. Truthfully, if there’s anything that is going to haul in audiences to see Lady Terminator, it is the same golden fact that drew me to it: This is one weird flick.

We’re talking vaginas biting penises. We’re talking mullets and machine guns. We’re talking about bad eighties fashion and panzer tanks. God bless Indonesia, because when this country was sitting back and watching all of the over-the-top action flicks that were pumped out by Hollywood during the eighties, they only saw the most outrageous moments. It’s like they were blind to anything but the most insane and unbelievable things that were crammed into flicks like Commando, because their take on the action genre is like this insane mix-mash or greatest hits of everything that simply couldn’t be taken serious about the Hollywood action feature. It is for this reason that so many of these films are really developing in their cult audience here in the states, because for those of us who grew up on Hollywood action – these films almost work like spoofs of the entire genre but for some reason they actually take themselves serious.

Lady Terminator has been the real leader of the pack as far as recent resurgences of popularity. “Why is this?” You may find yourself asking. Well, I’ll put it this way. When making my notes, I went back and found that nine out of ten were simply insane moments (I hear the kids refer to them as ‘WTF moments’) throughout the movie. Stuff like Vaginas somehow eating the manhood off some four or five gentlemen (I know I’ve mentioned it a lot at this point, but c’mon!) or a biker actually urinating in his own mouth like that old viral video of that chimp who did much the same thing. Beating that monkey to the punch by DECADES! Groundbreaking? I’ll let you make the call on that one. We’ve got lasers from breasts, lasers out the eyes and enough really awful dialogue to keep you entertained for hours. It’s the perfect party movie because not only is it pretty darn bad, but it’s still somewhat entertaining for the right reasons. Namely, the action. Whether it be Lady Terminator’s hostile take-over of a military base or the highway chase scene with Max McNeil hanging outside his window firing an M:16, this flick actually gets the job done!

Not to play down just how bad Lady Terminator really is because let me tell you right here and now, this most certainly defines the term. Normally when watching a dubbed flick, like this one was, there’s a certain amount of flack that you can spare the actors due to the language barrier and such… not the case with Lady Terminator. Normally when dealing with low budget cinema you become accustomed to a fair amount of over-acting but unfortunately with Lady Terminator you’re served up a smorgasbord of performances with almost no Emote-ing whatsoever. I think some over the top scene chewing would have been just what a flick like this could have really used, but I suppose it just wasn’t in the cards. Oh well, at least we still have the depraved violence to hang onto! Certainly not what I would call ‘gory’, but the gunshots and bloody violence of Lady Terminator isn’t something to scoff at. There’s a really brutal head shot via Uzi, at least two or three scenes of random guy’s being shot in the testicles (with exploding squib!) and a Robocop ED-209 style bit of overkill with someone being blasted until the Lady Terminator’s clip simply runs out. Bloody violence is certainly the special of the day and it doesn’t disappoint.

If there’s ever a glass ceiling of how far a movie should go, in terms of camp or absurdity, then Lady Terminator shatters through it at rocket speed before leaving the earth’s atmosphere. Then as it is propelling towards the moon or some other foreign planet unknown to the general populace, it takes a big fat dump on everyone watching. Yes, it is a glorious spectacle. You’re left almost in tears after the initial viewing. So many questions will be pumping through your mind. Why do mall security guards carry UZI’s in Indonesia? Is mall violence really that rampant? Did no one think continuity was an issue when Lady Terminator was taking four and five shotgun blasts to her abdomen, yet showed no signs of ill effect? Then twenty minutes later into the movie she’s shown with dozens of bullet wounds all over her body? Was it simply a joke that during the boating sequence that one of the sailors was named Popeye? Why wasn’t Max’s good friend Snake the star of this movie? With his EXTREME mullet and awesome catchphrases such as “F**KIN EH!!! ARRIGHTT!!”. Then there’s the musical interlude. Whew, prepare to be taken back to the very worst of the eighties in one very quick segment as the lead actress takes to the stage. Thankfully the Lady Terminator brings us back to reality with her newly found Uzi. This movie does not play games!

The mix of legends with “contemporary” ideas is an interesting mix for the film. Apparently a lot of this Indonesian craziness is actually rooted in the religious beliefs and older tales from the nation. So there are at least some interesting ideas behind the film, aside from all of the blatant stealing from the Arnold Schwarzenegger classic. You’ve got the old meets new motif, but it’s all overshadowed by the insanity crafted from the exploitation. Lady Terminator is a cinematic oddity that certainly appeals to a minor audience, but for those of us who really dig weird but fun stuff – it’s a treasure trove of great things. So many quotable lines here. Within the first few minutes we’re greeted to this universe as the South Sea Queen uses her vaginal powers to destroy some man’s genitals, then when she meets the next man who she humps but can’t kill he jumps up and shouts “You’re my wife now, I want you to stop the killing!”. The logical response to that? “In 100 years I’ll have my revenge on your great grand daughter!” Wait, WHAT!? It blows the mind, but watching with a friend there’s no way you won’t have fun.


The Conclusion
Lady Terminator is a solid four out of five kinda flick. It could be argued that it could even be higher, but I won’t say this one is perfect. As fun and insane as it is, there’s more that could have been improved upon to make it the absolute best cult movie that it could be. This one isn’t going to be for those types who consider cinema as simply a form for the creation of art. If you can accept that some flicks are just meant to be fun and you’re not above laughing at a bad movie, then by all means search this bad boy out because few can reach these heightened levels of pure wackiness.



VCinema V: Haymaker for the Rainmaker And OTC Alleigance!

Posted by Josh Samford On November - 4 - 2009
Hey everybody, just to keep you guys up to date on the latest VCinema partying action, here’s the latest! Written by our dear friend Coffin Jon:

VCinema motors on to its fifth movie event. For those of you who haven’t attended, you’re missing out on a lot of fun so try to be there for…

VCinema V: Haymaker on the Rainmaker



The VCinema page: http://www.livestream.com/variedcelluloid

No registration required, just click on the above link to ‘show up’.

Date and time: Sunday, November 29th at 5pm PST/8pm EST

Pre-movie webcast will be hosted by Coffin Jon and include movie reviews, music, trailers, voting for December’s show, and a full length feature film, The Stabilizer!

About the film: The Stabilizer is a 1984 Indonesian action film directed by The Punjabi Brothers and distributed by Troma Entertainment. The movie stars American born actor Peter O’Brian who plays Peter Goldson, a.k.a. The Stabilizer. He is an FBI agent who is sent to Thailand to retrieve a brilliant professor who has been captured by the drug lord Greg Rainmaker. Goldson and Rainmaker go way back. Goldson put a bullet in Rainmakers leg during a drug bust, and Rainmaker took revenge a little further by raping and killing his fiance. Now Goldson takes on Rainmaker’s entire Golden Triangle gang in this action packed blockbuster with fighting, explosions and the Indonesian Mr. T!

(source: Wikipedia)

Also a special VCinema and Varied Celluloid related announcement: VCinema is proud to announce that we are teaming up with Outside the Cinema (www.outsidethecinema.net) on Sundays for a double dose of cult film fun. Join the OTC crew at tv.outsidethecinema.com every Sunday at 3pm Pacific/6pm Eastern for their movie discussion show, OTC Live. After that, jump over to VCinema on selected Sundays at 5pm Pacific/8pm Eastern for our own movie show.

Terrifying Girls’ Highschool: Lynch Law Classroom Review

Posted by Josh Samford On November - 2 - 2009
Back here for November everybody! I’ve been sitting on this review all of October since I had it written and completed before I realized: ‘whoops, I need to do some Horror Reviews!’. So, here’s another contribution to my growing series of Pinky Violence reviews. This immortal bit of excellent Japanese exploitation really can’t be beaten. It along with Delinquent Girl Boss both have me very excited about dominating this genre if possible. Read on!

The Plot: At the School of Hope, an all girl home for juvenile delinquents, a young girl named Michiko is found dead from a dive off the top of the school. Although the principals, who are in tight with the police department, have the incident written out as an accident – the reality is that the ‘disciplinary committee’ were behind it. This disciplinary committee is made up of a group of students put in charge of handling anyone who steps out of line, given free reign by the psychotic vice principal. However three new arrivals at the school are about to shake things up forever. Noriko (played brilliantly by Miki Sugimoto, well know for her juvenile delinquent flicks) takes on a leadership role amongst the girls. Her background as the leader of one of the most powerful girl gangs in Japan follows her, and she is in search of the truth behind Michiko’s (her former right hand) death. ‘Razor Blade’ Remi Kitano is a young woman most noticeable for her appearance as she wears a cowboy hat, boots and carries a razor blade with her at all times. Koyoko Kubo uses her sexuality to get what she wants, with either men or women! These three girls, along with the help of a nosy reporter looking to find a lead on the young woman killed at the school, are in search of the truth behind this awful school and won’t stop until the School of Hope is split wide open!



CONTINUE READING THE REVIEW HERE

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Varied Celluloid is a film website intent on delivering views on movies from all genres. Started in 2003, the website has been steadfast in its goal and features a database of over 500 lengthy reviews. If you would like to contact us about writing for the website or sending screeners, please visit the about page located here.

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