Sunday, April 8, 2018

#10 - Get Christie Love

Oh boy, this movie.

In a sentence: A sassy black cop uses her sass, and occasionally judo, to break up a drug ring.

This movie seemed so familiar, I wasn't sure if I'd seen it before or if I saw a lot of movies that were this movie.

It features some corny / uncomfortable 70's tropes.  There's the time Christie breaks in to a suspect's house using a credit card without a warrant to obtain evidence that would be inadmissible in a trial.  There's her boss's repeated advances on her, which she tries to use as leverage to get the assignment she wants.  Casual violations of doctor client confidentiality.

It all seems to blend in with the studded jean jackets and rotary phones.

It was popular enough to spawn a television show that ran a couple of seasons, and a reboot was in the works as recently as last year.  Was it worth 17 cents?  I guess some people thought so, sugar.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

#9 - The Proud and the Damned

Oh boy, this movie.

In a sentence: A group of former confederate soldiers you don't care about wander Central America from place to place you don't care about and get mixed up in a civil war that who cares.

From the get go this one felt like a long one.

I had hoped the presence of Caesar Romero would help, but it did not.

No event in this movie feels worth relating, and no part of it feels worth 17 cents.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

#8 - Rogue Male

Oh boy this movie.

Let's get this over with early, Peter O'Toole easily makes this worth 17 cents.  So does the man who plays his uncle, who has some great lines.

In a sentence: Peter O'Toole plays an assassin, fugitive, sportsman, aristocrat, hobbit, outlaw in pre-war England.

Now you see a movie called Rogue Male, and you might wonder if Peter O'Toole is a dubious stage name for an adult film actor, but it's the real deal.

Sir Robert Hunter ( bit on the nose ) is caught in the midst of the slowest assassination attempt of Hitler.  After the Nazis botch an attempt at framing his murder in a way that won't upset his influential uncle, he makes his escape and becomes the hunted.  After being followed around London, he goes to ground in the familiar countryside.

It actually looks like they're in the process of remaking this movie starring Benedict Cumberbatch, and I can see why.  It's a good movie, though it definitely has the pace of a 70's film.

It's available here for free, but I'm going to award it the highest award for this project: a Full Quarter.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

#7 - Wacky Taxi

Oh boy, this movie.

In a sentence: A guy who looks like Manos quits his job at the can making factory and buys the most used car in existence to run as an unlicensed taxi.

Pepper, our hero, runs all the way home so that you know he's a passionate man even before we reach his house and see his four kids, and his pregnant wife.

This is probably the heaviest "G" rated movie I've ever seen.  There are themes of class warfare, and cultural shame.  A woman undresses in the back of Pepper's taxi on the way to Tijuana for a dubious appointment.  There are repeated demonstrations of how the institutions of society don't work for a person on the margins.

Pepper's lawyer brother-in-law is cast as the bad guy, poo-pooing Pepper's dream.  Does encouraging your brother-in-law to keep a steady job to feed his family rather than run an illegal taxi really make you a bad guy?

This seems to be a moot point when Pepper's taxi gets stolen.  But the neighborhood children scour the area and find the car in a junkyard.

Pepper's jerk brother-in-law bank rolls Pepper's licensing, and we squeeze in a happy ending in the last few minutes of the movie.

The movie is available to watch for free.  But for 17 cents, buying it was cheaper than a taxi meter.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

#6 - Against a Crooked Sky

Oh boy this movie.

Man, it's been a whole several weeks since a western, so that's something.

After a medicine woman goes off to cure a case of cholera, a small, unknown band of Native Americans chase down her children.  The boy, characterized early when he punches a calf out of frustration, gets away.  The girl, who gives a little speech on how she would give her life for any member of her family, even her jerk brother, falls off the horse, breaks her leg, and is captured.

Pa and the boy sort of take it in turns to go out searching for her.

It's one of that genre of western where people say "Injun" a lot.

It's a movie where the boy tells his horse, "We got to swim this."  But what he really means is, "You got to swim this while I sit on your back."

It's a movie where someone says "dangnabit" unironically.

It's a movie whose best actor is the rust red and sage green vistas of the southwestern desert seen in the background.  Its themes have not aged super well.  Its only peace offering is a completely bananas ending.

In a world where westerns are a dime a dozen, is it possible for this one to be worth seventeen cents?  Maybe?  But it's also available for free here.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

#5 - Crypt of the Living Dead

Oh boy this movie.  Also known as Hannah, Queen of the Vampires, this is the first black and white film in the collection.

One sentence summary: A group of people on an island avoid doing the one thing they know will work to stop the vampire terrorizing them until the end of the movie, when they do it.

It opens with a murder by dropping a sarcophagus on a man, and follows his son's efforts to solve the crime.  But oh no, there's a vampire in that sarcophagus!  And there's a fur covered laughing wild man peeking in windows!  And a stone faced blind fisherman who has things figured out right after his dog gets eaten by the vampire in wolf form.

The audio sounds like everyone is talking into a coffee can.  The close ups are very close.  Attempts at dialogue constantly devolve into monologue.

After last week's movie I had high hopes.  That was my fault.

Is this Spanish/American production worth 17 cents?  I suppose it depends on the exchange rate.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

#4 - The Klansman

Oh boy, this movie.

I thought, well Lee Marvin, sure.  Richard Burton, great.  The Big Lebowski, uh huh.  Linda Evans, cool.  O.J. Simpson, okay?

There are some uncomfortable scenes in this movie, and not in an amusing, The Office sort of way.  The exception may be when gimpy Richard Burton uses karate chops to kick some ass.  You see, it's Jujitsu he learned in the Marines.

There were parts where I wished I was watching The Last of the Belles.  But on its plus side, it does have a couple of car explosions, and a big ol' ( well smallish to medium ) gun fight at the end.  The sort of gun fight where no one puts in too much effort aiming.

I can't emphasize how little seventeen cents is, but maybe this movie can.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

#3 - The Last of the Belles

Oh boy this movie.

It doesn't open with a hanging, so that's new.

If you love exposition, this movie delivers right away.  If you love F. Scott Fitzgerald as a douche bag diner and his wife Zelda as just this side of catatonic, the movie delivers just after the exposition.

Most of the film is spent in flashback as Fitzgerald is a young officer waiting to be sent to the great war, which he will eventually miss.  He spends his time hopelessly fawning over Allie Calhoun ( Susan Sarandon ), a favorite pastime for many young officers.

Titles preface each act, but I find they aren't properly descriptive, so I have re-titled them.

Act I - Dinner for Too Long
Act II - Speak Uneasy
Act III - Susan Sarandon Is In This Movie
Act IV - Dance Scott Fitzjealous
Act V - Fitzgerald Gets Schoen Up
Act VI - Janes, Trains, and Autobiographies

It's available on YouTube, but that doesn't mean you should watch it.  Is it worth seventeen cents?  Well sugar, it is awfully sincere.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

#2 - The Gun and the Pulpit

Oh boy this movie.

In what is a bit of a surprising start to this project, The Gun and the Pulpit has started something of a streak of westerns opening with a dubious hanging, though it has traded the religious undertones of The Hanged Man for religious overtones.

Marjoe Gortner plays Ernie Parsons, a ne'er do well chased out of town into the desert where he finds a reverend dead from a shot in the back.  Like you do.  There's no blood or decay, no scavengers have picked at the body, which allows him to slip in to the dead man's clothes, which fit surprisingly well, and assume his identity.

There is almost as much staring in this movie as in the last one, though most of it is directed by Parsons at Sally Underwood ( Pamela Sue Martin ).  The whole town is about the business of burying her recently murdered father when Parsons arrives.  No doubt the arid climate accounts for the fact that none of the dead man's family have tears in their eyes.

The movie quickly and firmly establishes that Sally is 18, which it turns out in this town makes her something of a spinster.  She is eager for some smooching, a fact she brings up with Ernie repeatedly.

With a combination of awkward sermons and precision pistol shots, Parsons fends off Mr. Ross' thugs and miracles away hired gunfighters.  With the help of Billy One-Eye ( Slim Pickins ), and through the use of victim blaming the terrorized town, Parsons gives the town folk the courage they need to shoot into the sky and distract Ross' gang while he chases down the big boss.

I can't lie, some of the faces familiar from Blazing Saddles made me wish I was watching that instead.  Slim Pickins alone brings at least a full nickle's worth of value to the movie, and Martin's earnest accent elevates what could have been a flat role.  In a world where Wild Wild West costs $9.99 to buy, is this 17¢ worth of movie?  Sure.  Why not?

Sunday, January 28, 2018

#1 The Hanged Man

In 1974's The Hanged Man, James Devlin is an outlaw horseman whose botched hanging leaves him an outlaw hoarse man.

Though some regard his coming back to life as a miraculous resurrection, he still finds himself in legal limbo as the authorities are not able to decide whether he should be executed a second time or if he has in fact served out his sentence.

Devlin's corpse cold hands drive off his woman, and he is left adrift and alone in the world.

Fortunately he comes across a boy practicing his lantern signalling (in the middle of the day) just in time to watch the youngster get bit by a rattlesnake and bleed the poison out of the bite with a dirty knife.

Devlin returns the boy to his widowed mother who is, this being a western, quite comely.

With nothing much else to do, he stays on with the family to protect the mine from evil silver magnate Lew Halleck and his team of muscle lead by Billy Irons.

Honestly, this movie has everything you could want out of a western.  Characters staring at other characters.  Pulling up horses to talk to people.  Characters staring back.  Gun fights.  Even a touch of dynamite.

Sure you can watch it for free on Youtube.  But I still say it's worth every penny of $0.17.