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Old 03-30-15, 11:42 PM   #38
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Re: Sixth Annual Drive-in/Exploitation/B-movie Challenge List Thread (April 1-30, 201

04-08-15: Added titles 1-6
04-15-15: Added titles 7-14
04-22-15: Added titles 15-22
05-02-15: Added titles 23-27; added reviews
05-03-15: Added reviews
05-04-15: More reviews

LAST YEAR: 33 films

All films are DVD format unless otherwise noted.
Bold = first-time viewing
* = wildcard selection
  1. Warrior Queen (1987) - Youtube.
  2. Reform School Girls (1986) - Jenny (Linda Carol) is sentenced to a girls' reform school run by a crooked warden (Sybil Danning). She befriends the virginal Lisa (Sherri Stoner) and becomes a target of the butch Charlie (punk rocker Wendy O. Williams) in the process. Part "Women in Prison" movie parody, all the inmates spend the majority of their screen time traipsing around in flimsy lingerie and looking like they wandered off a hair metal video shoot. The gravel-voiced Williams looks like the world's oldest juvenile delinquent. What really sells the movie is how all the actors play their roles dead straight. Director Tom DeSimone and company miraculously find the right tone for the material. Any hint of self-awareness would have been disastrous. Tack on a great rock soundtrack, and you have a true trash masterpiece.

  3. Malibu Express (1985)
  4. Profile for Murder (1996) - Youtube. When a self-proclaimed "master of manipulation" (Lance Henriksen, probably on break from shooting Millennium) is held as the prime suspect in a series of gruesome murders of young women, an attractive forensic psychologist (Joan Severance) is called in to get him to confess. However, she soon finds her clinical objectivity weakening in this hybrid of Silence of the Lambs and Basic Instinct (with the genders switched). A major problem with the film is that Henriksen, while intense as always, is never quite convincing as a Casanova. The twist at the end also will leave you scratching your head (It would have been partly solved with better casting). It's also emblematic of larger problems with the rest of the plot.

  5. In Dark Places (1997) - Youtube.
  6. Angel (1984)
  7. Cover Girl Models (1975)
  8. Fly Me (1973)
  9. Hustler Squad (1976) - It seems like I see this every year for the challenge, and I never get tired of it. It just looks like it was fun to make.

  10. She Wolves of the Wasteland (A.K.A., "Phoenix the Warrior") (1988) - Youtube.
  11. Gold of the Amazon Women (1979)
  12. War Gods of Babylon (1962)
  13. Son of Samson (1960) - Long-running Italian film hero Maciste is the titular son of Samson in this rote peplum. The Persian Empire has conquered Egypt and has placed a figurehead queen (Chelo Alonso) in power. The son of famous Israelite Samson leads the Israelites' former enslavers(!) in a rebellion. Aside from Alonso's sexy dance sequence, and some shots of startling brutality at the beginning and end of the film, there's not a whole lot more to hold a viewer's attention. Muscleman Mark Forest has the requisite physique, but he lacks presence.

  14. Hercules and the Tyrants of Babylon (1964)
  15. French Quarter (1978)
  16. Hot Target (1985) - From the Third Annual Drive-In/Exploitation/B-Movie Challenge:
    Originally Posted by nezumi View Post
    The American wife (Simone Griffeth) of a British businessman (Bryan Marshall) begins a dangerous affair with a mysterious American expatriate (Steve Marachuk) in this Kiwi production. It's a serviceable erotic thriller with effective performances (especially Marachuk), and yet there's really nothing particularly groundbreaking about the story to recommend it. There is an outdoor sex scene intercut with a cricket match, so I guess there's that.
    I revisited this film to see how it holds up to a repeat viewing. Griffeth is still as attractive as I remember. The suspense elements of the plot were less thrilling the second time around, but I suppose that was to be expected.

  17. The Man from Hong Kong (1975) - Youtube. When a Hong Kong drug mule (Sammo Hung, credited as "Hung Kam Po") is arrested during a bust at Australia's largest rock formation, an inspector from Hong Kong Police's special division (Jimmy Wang Yu) is sent to escort the criminal home. However, the inspector quickly sets his sights on bringing down Sydney's biggest crime lord (one-and-done Bond actor George Lazenby) once he arrives. The movie moves at a quick clip, and the fights are capably staged; but was it really necessary for Wang's character to have two romantic interests? Credit to director Brian Trenchard-Smith (making his feature-length directorial debut) and fight coordinator Sammo Hung for making the final knockabout between Wang and Lazenby look good.

  18. The Dream Sword (1979) - A disgraced scholar develops the "Dream Sword" fighting school and embarks upon a quest along with his two disciples to challenge the six governing houses of the martial arts world and to win back the love of the scholar's former flame. The crosses and double-crosses fly fast and furious on the Dream Sword's road to success, and they soon learn that life at the top isn't so easy. The fight sequences are decently staged, and the performances are adequate. Boilerplate, but entertaining enough.

  19. Shaolin Invincible Guys (1978)
  20. Crazy Horse, Intelligent Monkey (1981) - Or as seen in the credits:

    A young rural kung-fu master on his way to see his uncle about his missing mother befriends a scheming pickpocket, and they encounter a female martial artist dressed as a young scholar (capably played by Candy Wen Hsueh-erh) while on the road. When they arrive at the uncle's estate, the hero and pickpocket quickly suspect that everything is not as it seems. The fight scenes are fine, but the pickpocket character is annoying. Also, the crazy horse in the title isn't really crazy -- it's drunk! Now that would have vastly improved the title.

  21. Drunken Tai Chi (1984) - First time on DVD.
  22. Godzilla vs. Hedorah (A.K.A., "Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster") (1971) - Viewed in observance of Earth Day. Nuclear testing and pollution create a new foe for the Big Green Guy to face. Godzilla uses his atomic breath like a rocket to propel himself through the air. It took a while for me to remember that I had actually seen a print of the old AIP release of this film at a revival house years ago, but it all came rushing back to me when I saw the crying baby buried up to its shoulders in muck. Definitely one of the weirdest entries in the Showa series.

  23. Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973) - Although widely acknowledged as being the worst of the Showa series by fans and critics, there's still a little fun to be had from this nearly Godzilla-free outing. The shot of Godzilla delivering his ridiculous flying kick can be seen in the opening of early Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes.

  24. Message From Space* (1978) - The princess of an endangered alien civilization (Etsuko Shihomi) threatened with extinction by another warlike civilization sets out on a galactic quest in a space galleon to find the recipients of eight mystical seeds prophesied to save her people. Those eight recipients include a drunk military officer (Vic Morrow!) and his Twiki-sized robot sidekick, a couple of gearhead space jockeys (one played by Hiroyuki Sanada), and an exiled alien prince (Sonny Chiba! In heavy makeup!). If you haven't guessed yet, the movie's a bit of a mess. However, it's never not watchable. Loosely, loosely, adapted from the classic Japanese novel, Nansō Satomi Hakkenden, director Kinji Fukasaku would adapt the story again a few years later with more success as Legend of the Eight Samurai. With an estimated budget of six million dollars, Message was the most expensive Japanese movie ever made at the time of its release.

  25. Pray for Death (1985) - A Japanese businessman (Sho Kosugi) moves his family (including real-life sons Shane and Kane) to the United States to fulfill the American Dream, but they quickly become embroiled in the theft of priceless jewels. Unfortunately for the gangsters looking for the loot, this particular salaryman also happens to be one of the last remnants of an ancient ninja clan! It may be third or fourth in the ranking of ninja movies with Sho Kosugi, but I personally think it features the best Sho Kosugi performance. This is probably due in no small part to veteran film and television director Gordon Hessler (The Oblong Box, The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park). At least you get to hear Sho's actual voice on film for the first time. Character actors Parley Baer ("Mayor Stoner" on The Andy Griffith Show) and Robert Ito (Quincy, M.E.'s "Sam") make brief appearances.

  26. Bring Me the Head of the Machine Gun Woman (2013) - Google Play. When I saw the digital "film scratch" filter and CGI squibs at the beginning, I was ready to hate this film. I didn't end up hating it, but it's still not a very good film. In spite of its faux exploitation trappings and the title's reference to the work of Sam Peckinpah, the movie's a blatant homage to the Grand Theft Auto video game series, right down to the mission-based structure. I am sick of slacker protagonists. The title character is certainly attractive, but a sexy outfit and superior firepower are not enough to make a character compelling. At least it was short (the outfit and the movie).

  27. 88 (2014) - Google Play. A young woman (Katherine Isabelle) emerges from a fugue state at a diner and finds a pistol in her backpack. From there, the story jumps between the past and present to show the audience the traumatic event that caused her to slip into her fugue and how she goes on a violent journey to avenge her lover's death as the sultry "Flamingo" in this Memento-Lite. Putting a handful of shots aside, one can't help but feel that prime opportunities to do something remotely interesting with the premise were squandered by director April Mullen and co-writer Tim Doiron. Isabelle does fine work, as expected. Christopher Lloyd and Michael Ironside also make appearances.

First-time Viewings = 21

Last edited by nezumi; 05-04-15 at 11:24 PM.
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