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?