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Old 03-25-12, 12:19 AM   #35
DVD Talk Special Edition
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Ghost World
Posts: 1,512
Re: List Thread-Third Annual Drive-In/Exploitation/B-Movie Challenge Mar 31-Apr 30 20

Indie's Exploitation Frenzy

Goal: Fun!

Rating System
Gold ticket or 100% purely splendid fromage
I'd buy that for a dollar
Cool sh*t!
Somewhat interesting (T&A or good action)
Meh...move along

In addition to double and triple-features I also have a couple of special series this month that I'm including as a part of my challenge efforts.

SPECIAL SERIES #1: Playboy Playmates

In celebration of Easter this month, I'll be watching and reviewing films that feature former Playboy Playmates in major or supporting roles or films that feature actual Playboy bunnies/playmates as subjects, characters, or cameos. This will begin on Easter weekend, but I will try to squeeze in a few throughout the challenge.

SPECIAL SERIES #2: "Jail-bait"

My second special series will features films concerning young women who are below the age of sexual consent that are either depicted in sexual situations or storylines or more innocent films that may be read that way (just as you might mistake the above picture of teen Wal-Mart models as being of a sexual nature). These are typically stories of lolitas, nymphettes or the femme fatales who lure men down forbidden or dangerous paths or any films that depict the "exploitation" of young women.

April 1

01. WRESTLEMANIA XXVIII (2012) (wildcard #1) Somewhat interesting (T&A or good action) - Silver City Gloucester Cinema 16
This event has sort of delayed my official start to the challenge, but I thought I'd list it as a wildcard. It seems fitting enough as it's basically the biggest annual exploitation event that isn't actually a movie. I've seen about four WMs now and this was the least impressive. I had fun watching this with a crowd, though. CM Punk felt like the crowd favorite, but I think Undertaker vs. Triple H was the crown jewel. Some of the Divas looked nice but weren't exploited enough for me. Okay, time to get to the flicks now.

April 3

02. THE WICKER TREE (Robin Hardy, 2012) Cool sh*t! - DVD Screener
I actually enjoyed this follow-up despite it being my first selection in the "bad sequels to well-regarded films" checklist category. The acidic word-of-mouth relaxed my expectations and I had fun with this bizarre sequel. I'm a sucker for offbeat sequels (Exorcsit II; The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2) or really delayed ones by the original director (Return to Sleepaway Camp). Nice to see Christopher Lee back, despite the brevity of his cameo. I felt this one took some interesting chances, particularly in early scenes. It remained weirdly engaging even when the final act became more routine. Nobody in the cast brings the acting chops that Edward Woodward did and it lacks that ominous sense of mystery and dread of the original. But I still recommend it to anyone remotely curious.

03. KILLING FOR LOVE (Mike Kesey, 1995) Somewhat interesting (T&A or good action) - VHS-sourced download
The first of several '90s softcore thrillers I plan to check out during the challenge. In terms of copious nudity and sex it certainly delivers. Standout is the lovely Penthouse Pet Brady Ledford. Despite multiple murders apparently happening at the remote cottage location the couples in the film always have time for a little sex play. There are some great one-liners in the film which kind of escape me now as I try to recollect. One bitchy female character corrects someone's grammatical error just moments after the group found two of their copulating friends impaled with "something". The would-be splatter elements are offscreen and we just stumble upon the bodies (makeup effects are very minimal). It all makes sense in the end, sort of. Total cheese but the nudity most likely kept Cinemax-era kids happy.

April 4

04. THE VIOLENT KIND (The Butcher Brothers, 2011) I'd buy that for a dollar - DVD
This one chewed up my brain, spat it into the toilet, flushed it, and then dug it up again. And the whole ordeal felt pretty good! Deranged doesn't begin to describe this f*ked up mess of new school exploitation. I went in expecting little more than an action-packed biker flick and emerged feeling like I was channel surfing Charles Manson's nightmares. If there's a movie club in a prison filled with America's most dangerous criminals, I'd expect they'd make a feature like this. Total disregard for ANY rules and a need to cram is as many exploitable elements, and genres, as possible. Hell, The Butcher Brothers is the perfect name for those responsible for this sickly appealling mess. Tiffany Shepis fans should take note of her creepy and raunchy performance as a possessed biker chick. Joe Egender is like Giovanni Ribisi on crack (think about that for a second). Scored 17% on Rotten Tomatoes and I can't wait to read some reviews.

05. DEATH OF A CHEERLEADER (A FRIEND TO DIE FOR; William A. Graham, 1994) Cool sh*t! - DVD
Here we have a pretty entertaining MOW from 1994 based on events that occured in Orinda, California ten years earlier. What is it about cheerleaders that causes such jealousy amongst peers in the American school system? As the title tells us, a cheerleader will die. The story feels kind of pre-Lifetime Network and it wears that "educate our kids" mask of approval on its exploitative shoulders pretty confidently. When a trial Judge concludes that he's worried this tragic incident has played out in his court for mere entertainment, it sounds ironic. Although the film isn't nearly as sensationalized as the Network Amy Fisher stories I've seen (I've saved my last for this challenge) and the story doesn't have the tabloid push of characters you love to hate like Fisher or Tonya Harding of that period. I liked Kellie Martin as the troubled teen that is willing to do anything to become friends with Spelling's ultra-popular Stacy. Spelling is also fine, but I just can't buy her as Miss Thing. I know it's mean, but she's pretty homely. Seriously, why the long face Tori? When you have lovely Marley Shelton on hand as a friend to both leads, I feel this is a bit miscast even if Spelling was the selling name in those years. Terry O'Quinn turns up in a few scenes as an influential principal just a few years past his signature cult performance as The Stepfather. It would be another decade before he really makes a splash with TV audiences in Lost.

06. SOUTH BEACH ACADEMY (Joe Esposito, 1996) Somewhat interesting (T&A or good action) - DVD-r
Corey Feldman's hideous sideburns threaten to upstage him a few times but the dude looks pretty much the same in 1996 as he does today, so I'll give him some cred for that. This turkey showcases its Miami locations mostly in the delightful forms of abundantly topless and nearly bottomless beach bunnies. It's the same threadbare (pun, yup) plot we've seen in countless films about schools/camps/institutes that will be sold or closed if a game isn't won (this time it's beach volleyball). Feldman has been down wind of this kind of crap before in Meatballs 4. The Hedgehog shows up for a cameo but better laughs are earned from veteran character actor James Hong in too few scenes as the perverted villain. Lots of nice T&A here, though. LOTS. A drinking game surely exists for Corey's awful one-liners which include a Beavis and Butt-head impression during his first painful bit of dialogue. Mostly harmless fun.

07. CALIFORNIA GIGOLO (Bob Chinn, 1979) Cool sh*t! - DVD
My first full-length encounter with John Holmes. But is it more about the girth? I think this was getting toward the back end of his career when offscreen drug escapades threatened his prowess. He's pretty flaccid when it counts. I was very surprised to see the film open with Holmes following a pretty debutante onto the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway circa the same time I was on it as a kid. I guess expecting a sex scene aboard the thing was unrealistic, but it would have been fun. Holmes is featured in every sex scene except one that he passes off to bellboy Don Fernando. The women are of the very sexy and mature kind which I kind of dug. Most impressive sequence involves a female client by the name of Veri Knotty who has uncanny control of a certain part of her body. Don't want to spoil it, but her screen name can be taken two ways...quite literally. I'll be happily checking out more vintage porn during the challenge.

April 5

Roger Corman Birthday Double Feature
08. SHARKTOPUS (Declan O'Brien, 2010) Meh...move along - BD
Some movies are just better as trailers, or taglines, or titles. Corman-produced schlock features a nifty hybrid sea-beast but desperately needs more of the over-the-top sex and gore of the recent Piranha redux. The attacks are too often repetitive and uninspired and, worse still, all of the glorious bikinis stay on. The shot on video look does echo the handmade cheapies of the VHS era but it's all just too squeaky clean. SyFy stuff tends to feel like homogenized exploitation to me and while it doesn't have to be a hard R to be a fun film, it does need to try a bit harder than this. Eric Roberts is unremarkably stiff and there's nothing to really cheer for, sneer or leer at. Slipshod tripe except for maybe the creature's great "snatch and grab" of a nervous bungee jumper...but wasn't that laugh already in the trailer? Put it this way, it's no Shark Attack 3. Dead in the water.

Roger Corman Birthday Double Feature
09. WOMEN IN CAGES (Gerardo de Leon, 1971) Somewhat interesting (T&A or good action) - BD
Not sure how many WIP films I'll hit up during the challenge, but I figured I'd pop the cherry on another Roger Corman blu-ray. Pam Grier plays a wicked warden named Alabama (QT, was this your inspiration?) who likes to play with her girls in a depraved torture chamber. Brisk pace to the scuzzy proceedings here and some colorfully photographed scenes that look eye-popping in this fresh transfer to hi-def. Having heard some of the first hand experiences of this kind of exploiter in Machete Maidens Unleashed last year, the locations look particularly unfriendly for not only the onscreen characters, but for the actual cast and crew. I like the dynamic between the female prisoners. Roberta Collins is a standout as the backstabbing heroin-addicted Stoke who secretly tries to kill her newbie cellmate, Jeff. The ending is fittingly dark and abrupt ands pulls no punches with its extreme subject matter. Corman contracted de Leon, a Filipino director with a much harder edge than some of his American counterparts. Still not as sexy or sleazy as I like my WIPs, but I'm glad I watched.

10. THE RAID: REDEMPTION (Serbuan maut; Gareth Evans, 2012) Gold ticket or 100% purely splendid fromage - Empire Theatres World Exchange Cinema 1
I've been hearing the rumblings of this one since a couple of friends returned from TIFF last September. The other fan favorite Kill List didn't quite live up to the hyperbole. That is SO not the case this time. I'm the first to admit that I need to brush up on my Asian actioners because nearly every time I have one recommended to me, I end up loving it. I strongly recommend taking the time to see this one on the big screen if it's in your area. The action is staggeringly cinematic and relentlessly brutal. I saw it at a free screening tonight with a lot of people in the audience clueless as to what they were about to see. Three women in front of me left when the violence became overbearing, allowing me to focus more on the film's brilliant visuals and spectacular choreography. What has happened to the American big-screen action film? Please filmmakers, study this work. I actually felt a sense of danger and immediacy to this violence that was achieved without obnoxious shaky-cam and jump-cuts. Can't wait to own it so I can see it again!

April 6

11. NIGHTDREAMS (Stephen Sayadian AKA Rinse Dream credited as F.X. Pope, 1981) Cool sh*t! - DVD-r
Surreal porn '80s style. Of all the segments in Nightdreams that are still swimming around in my skull the morning after, it's the sequence where DePalma's Dressed to Kill poster literally comes to life that I'm most smitten with. The film is tawdry but far removed from the "ain't it cool" glibness and HD gloss of contemporary adult films sporting arthouse ambitions. I followed it up with this week's dissection panel on Mike White's outstanding movie podcast The Projection Booth which features ("Pauline Kael of Porn") Susie Bright. I'm ready for more Rinse Dream and hopefully some Andrew Blake before this challenge is out!

SPECIAL SERIES #2: "Jail-bait"
12. AMERICAN REUNION (Jon Hurwitz-Hayden Schlossberg, 2012) Somewhat interesting (T&A or good action) Silvercity Gloucester Cinema
I'm calling this sexploitation and a "bad sequel sequel to a well-regarded film" and I don't care what the critics are smoking. This is lowbrow stuff and most of the pranks and toilet humor is more like something out of King Frat than Porky's. That's not to say there weren't enjoyable elments; stuff is still funny and well-staged by the team behind the Harold and Kumar films (John Cho and Neil Patrick Harris show up and feel like bigger stars than the headlining cast). This one was more nourishing than the wedding film and Chris Klein has returned from his awesome career as an action star. I'm not totally mocking him because the guy's like a guilty pleasure all on his own and I really do have to add that Street Fighter flick to my line-up. This Pie doesn't feature too much hair "pie" except for some choice nudity by the story's jailbait character played excitedly by Ali Cobrin (I'm happy to learn that she's in season 1 of Look - the Showtime voyeurism series). Like The Fast and the Furious films it was bittersweet seeing everyone back together again in their desperate bid to keep this series going. I actually preferred some of the sleazier DTV entries.

April 7

SPECIAL SERIES #1: Playboy Playmates
13. BOUNDARIES (Erotic Boundaries; Mike Sedan, 1997) I'd buy that for a dollar - DVD-r
Featured Playmate: Kathy Shower
Playboy Playmate of the Month May 1985
Playboy Playmate of the Year 1986
Measurements: 35-24-35

Kathy is a decent actress for a former Playmate and she is plenty naked here, however, I felt a much stronger erotic charge from her co-star and onscreen rival played by sexy Carolyn Renee Smith. Smith is tantalizing as a femme fatale who strips to her thong atop an office desk in one of several attempts to seduce her boss. Va-va-voom!

April 8

SPECIAL SERIES #1: Playboy Playmates
14. BOAT TRIP (Mort Nathan, 2003) Meh...move along - Netflix Canada
Featured Playmates:
Victoria Silvstedt
Playboy Playmate of the Month December 1996
Playboy Playmate of the Year 1997
Measurements: 35 1/2-25-36 1/2
Jami Ferrell
Playboy Playmate of the Month January 1997
Playboy (Germany): Playmate of the Month January 1997
Measurements: 36-22-35
Natalia Sokolova
Playboy Playmate of the Month April 1999
Measurements: 34D-22-34

No Playmate can save this sinking ship. Not even three of them can. Hell those girls get less combined screen time than Roger Moore's hairspray. The hottest performance in Boat Trip comes from Puerto-Rican Rosalyen Sanchez playing Razzie nominee Cuba Gooding, Jr.'s comely lust interest. Rather than wasting your time with this doomed cruise, just click here to check out Sanchez's "show me the money" moment as she rehearses fellatio on one lucky banana:

April 9

15. THE BLOB (Irvin S. Yeaworth Jr., 1958) Cool sh*t! -Netflix Canada
Happy to finally get a token sci-fi flick in. The remake of this is one of my favorite horror films of the 1980s and I was happy to see the original was such a fun film. Always enjoy the innocence of the period and the ladies were pretty fetching in their tight little sweaters. The blob itself was a gooey freaky things and it creeped and crawled its way into my B-movie lovin' heart. Steve McQeeun already looked to be in his thirties here and he has a nice drag race moment that foreshadows his iconic "behind-the-wheel" roles.

April 10

SPECIAL SERIES #2: "Jail-bait"
16. NEW WAVE HOOKERS (Gregory Hippolyte Brown credited as Gregory Dark, 1986) I'd buy that for a dollar -DVD-r
It's only taken me 27 years to finally see Greg Dark's "New Wave Hookers". I totally had The Plugz track "Electrify Me" on the brain the morning after. I need to see "Repo Man" again for their musical contributions alone. If that's what you call Mexi-punk then I'm down with it...hell so was Bob Dylan. The film itself holds up really well and some of the male cast members are really funny. Was surprised as hell to learn that Jack Baker was star of a short-lived children's show called Wonderbug and had appeared in many mainstream TV shows and films before he moved into porn. Sadly, he died in 1994 of bladder cancer. If you're wondering why I've included this in my "jail-bait" version you might have to do a little research of your own. I saw the original version before a certain notorious porn icon had to have her scenes excised due to a slight legal matter. She's red hot in this, if you know what I'm talking about! She's also on the safe list but this is an UNSAFE appearance. Still not sure?...see my checklist.

April 11

17. CARNAL CRIMES (Gregory Hippolyte Brown as Alexander Hippolyte, 1991) I'd buy that for a dollar -DVD-r
This wasn't even planned but by coincidence I followed up New Wave Hookers with another Greg Dark AKA Greg Hippolyte film. This one among his first of several erotic thrillers and featuring the pulchritudinous young Linda Carol whose figure is made for designer lingerie. Enjoyably undemanding yet fun little plot. There's an unexpected cameo by the reliably cool and slickly sleazy Danny Trejo as an employee at an adult movie theatre where Hippolyte appears to be quoting his darker days while creating one of the film's more surreal moments. There's also a kinky photo shoot that mixes sex and a little blood on the bedsheets. This one is worthy.

SPECIAL SERIES #2: "Jail-bait"
18. COMMAND PERFORMANCE (Dolph Lundgren, 2010) Somewhat interesting (T&A or good action) -Netflix Canada
This mildly engaging DTV actioner would have worked better twenty years ago. It may have even managed a theatrical release back then and its star may have been more believable as the drummer of a rock band. Still, Dolph Lundgren looks pretty great for his age...maybe not enough to draw fire from the loins of lolita-ish pop diva Venus who pants and drools over Dolph even though he's a pushing sixty band member who could pass for her Dad and she's apparently popular enough to earn a command performance for the Russian president's daughters. Venus' sexy routines and outfits are mimicked by the President's spoiled pre-teens who and will, along with their idol Venus, become the "damsels in distress". It's not particularly sleazy, but there is an attempted rape on one of the young girls (more jail-bait) that is cut short but by one of several ultra-violent kills. Lots of bullets and CG blood splatter as Dolph stages his variation on the old Die Hardformula. It's okay for a Netflix quickie.

April 12

19. GOD BLESS AMERICA (Bobcat Goldthwait, 2012) - Meh...move along -Download
Since this caused a stir at last year's Midnight Madness at TIFF I've been pumped to check this one out. I'm a huge fan of Bobcat the auteur...yes I now consider the comedian who played the annoying Zed from the Police Academy sequels an auteur. His previous films as writer/director are all worth your time:Shakes the Clown; Sleeping Dogs Lie; World's Greatest Dad. Unfortunately I was quite underwhelmed. It started off as great satire, with some amusing riffs on all that is tacky about reality TV and the TMZ zeitgeis but later became repetitive and didn't really take the concept in bold enough directions to maintain the snarky contempt set-up in early scenes. I really liked those first bits that creatively showcased Joel Murray's misanthropic dark fantasies and the amusing rant with the co-worker that helped fuel his rage. Most of the film's ideas were summed up in those early bits. I think this is a film that Goldthwait needed to make but it's probably his weakest. The leads weren't convincing and were no more likable than most of their victims. It became less cinematic as it went along, too, after some technically inspired work. I just expected more from the Bobcat.


Watch one film from every decade of film history.
* 1890 - (insert film title here)(Optional)
* 1900 -(optional)
* 1910 -(optional)
* 1920 -(optional)
* 1930 -
* 1940 -
* 1950 -The Blob
* 1960 -
* 1970 -California Gigolo; Women in Cages
* 1980 -Nightdreams; New Wave Hookers
* 1990 -Killing for Love; Death of a Cheerleader; South Beach Academy; Boundaries; Carnal Crimes
* 2000 -The Wicker Tree; The Violent Kind; Sharktopus; The Raid: Redemption; Boat Trip; God Bless America

Watch a film for each rating:
* G - (optional)
* PG (TV-PG) Death of a Cheerleader
* PG-13 - (optional)
* R - The Wicker Tree; Killing for Love; The Violent Kind; South Beach Academy;Women in Cages; The Raid: Redemption; Boundaries; American Reunion; Boat Trip; Carnal Crimes; Command Performance; God Bless America
* X (or NC-17) - California Gigolo; * Unrated or NOT RATED (post-MPAA 1968) - Sharktopus; Nightdreams; New Wave Hookers

Watch films in at least three formats (DVD, BD, HD DVD, Laserdisc, TV, online, Streaming Netflix type, UMD, theater, iPod, VHS-sourced{VHS transferred to DVD-+R is fine}).
* First format, DVD The Violent Kind; Death of a Cheerleader; California Gigolo
* Second format, BD Sharktopus; Women in Cages
* Third format, Netflix Boat Trip; The Blob; Command Performance

Watch a film in an actual Drive-in. (optional) (insert title)

Watch a film in the following genres:
A Token Science Fiction B-Movie: Sharktopus; The Blob
A Token Horror B-Movie:
Italian (or European) films of the following Genres:
* Eurospy (James Bond ripoffs)
* Giallo
* Sword & Sandal
* Spaghetti Western
* Cannibal Film The Wicker Tree
* Mafia/Gangster Film
Martial Arts film:
* Bruce Lee-sploitation (Starring any variation on Bruce Li, Le, etc.)
* Hong Kong (or other Asian) film The Raid: Redemption
* American film
* Any "Ninja" film
* Bonus* Actual Bruce Lee film
Biker Film The Violent Kind
Stoner Film
Carsploitation Film
* Any type Killing for Love; South Beach Academy; Boundaries; American Reunion; Carnal Crimes
* Nudie Cutie
* Roughie
* 70s Porn California Gigolo
* my addition: Porno chic/'80s classicsNightdreams; New Wave Hookers
* Emmanuelle Film
* Teen Sex Comedy
Shocksploitation The Violent Kind; God Bless America
Rape/Revenge Film
Vigilante Film Command Performance; God Bless America
Women in Prison Women in Cages
Eschploitation (religious end times, or general religious exploitation)
Roadshow Exploitation/30s-40s "Cautionary" films
"Hood" Film ("Gangsta")
Hollywood Gangster film (Film Noir era)
Juvenile Delinquent Film The Violent Kind
60s Beach Movie
Film starring Musical Group or Music Star (that did not become a legit actor)
* *Bonus* Elvis film
Mexican Wrestling Film
Foreign "Ripoff" film (such as Turkish cinema)
Eco-Terror Film Sharktopus; The Blob
"Mondo" Film
Documentary ABOUT B-Movies/Exploitation/Drive-ins or those involved in their production
Video Nasty
TV-Movie Death of a Cheerleader
* Lifetime Channel Movie
Bad Sequel to a "Well regarded film" The Wicker Tree; American Reunion
DirectToVideo sequel
Critical Bomb (Less than 20% Rotten Tomatoes or Metacritic or IMDB Bottom) The Violent Kind (17% RT); Boat Trip (7 % RT)
100 {Bottom 100 archive})
Financial Bomb Boat Trip
MST3K/RiffTrax (or Cinematic Titanic) version of a film
Non-MST3K version of a film featured on MST3K (or CT)

Watch 10 films starring anyone from the actors safe list.
* 1 Corey Feldman in South Beach Academy
* 2 Pam Grier in Women in Cages
* 3 Traci (Tracy) Lords in New Wave Hookers *banned version
* 4 Dolph Lundgren in Command Performance
* 5
* 6
* 7
* 8
* 9
* 10

Watch 10 films Directed/Produced by anyone from the directors/producers safe list.
* 1 Roger Corman for Sharktopus
* 2 Roger Corman for Women in Cages
* 3
* 4
* 5
* 6
* 7
* 8
* 9
* 10

Watch 5 films from those in the Studio/Distributor safe list.
* 1 Shout Factory! for Women in Cages
* 2
* 3
* 4
* 5

Last edited by indiephantom; 04-13-12 at 04:51 AM.
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