Saturday, March 8, 2014

Last Month's Movies #19

I've decided to finally put an end to my reviewing of every damn thing I watch. At least on this blog. My focus is now entirely on Mondo Exploito. And I'll be moving my crappy short reviews to Letterboxd!

Akasen chitai (1956)
10/10
Harrowing and brutally realistic drama from Kenji Mizoguchi, and one of the best films about post-war Japan.

The Awful Dr. Orlof (1962)
8.5/10
Proof that Jess Franco could be a great filmmaker when he wanted to be.

The Ballad of Narayama (1983)
9.5/10
Imamura's retelling of Narayama is a staggering achievement. Harsh, cruel and sensitive, Imamura does not shy away from reality.

Blood Thirst (1971)
6.5/10
A surprisingly enjoyable horror/thriller with lovely, cheap black and white cinematography.

The Boat (1921)
7/10
Lacklustre in comparison to some of Buster Keaton's better shorts. Still a great viewing for fans of his work.

The Conjuring (2013)
8/10
I did not expect to enjoy this film. One of the best looking horror films in years.

Convict 13 (1920)
8/10
An early and excellent short from Buster Keaton. One of his most unashamedly ludicrous and cartoonish films.

Cruel Jaws (1995)
?/10
Reviewed on Mondo Exploito.

Death by Invitation (1971)
4.5/10
An excruciatingly slow movie shot with a certain amount of flair and featuring a handful of impressive sequences.

Dungeon of Harrow (1962)
5/10
A truly awful film yet somehow incredibly entertaining. Some absolutely hysterical scenes.

Erotic Ghost Story (1987)
7/10
It drags in its middle act, but Erotic Ghost Story features enough mad scenes to keep most Cat III fans entertained.

The Goat (1921)
8/10
Another extraordinarily entertaining short from Buster Keaton. Endless, wonderfully executed gags.

Gretta aka Death Wish Club (1984)
6/10
A fascinating mess of a movie (one of the three films spliced into Night Train to Terror). Utterly bizarre and kind of terrible, but also amazing somehow.

Hard Luck (1921)
7/10
A rather dark short from Buster Keaton. Quite a mess of ideas but enjoyable nonetheless.

The Haunted House (1922)
9/10
I absolutely love this Buster Keaton short. It features some brilliantly inventive stunts and some great effects.

Heroine Zankoku Monogatari III (2004)
-/10
Reviewed on Mondo Exploito.

Heroine Zankoku Monogatari XI (2008)
-/10
Reviewed on Mondo Exploito.

Heroine Zankoku Monogatari XVI (2011)
-/10
Reviewed on Mondo Exploito.

The 'High Sign' (1921)
8/10
Buster Keaton thought this unworthy to be his first independent two-reeler. I don't agree. It's a blast.

The Insect Woman (1963)
9/10
A typically bleak but brilliant picture from Imamura with an unbelievable lead performance.

In the Line of Duty 4 (1989)
9.5/10
Incredible actioner from Hong Kong. The fight scenes are phenomenal.

King Kong (1933)
10/10
It's King Kong. That is all.

Neighbors (1920)
7.5/10
A fun short from Buster Keaton. While not my favourite of his, it features one of Keaton's most exciting stunts involving a three person shoulder ride.

The New York Ripper (1982)
9/10
Fulci's sleaziest and meanest movie is also one of his best. Plus it features a killer that talks like a duck, which makes it an instant winner.

Night Train to Terror (1985)
?/10
An amalgamation of three shelved films, Night Train to Terror is one of the strangest things ever made. I can't even give it a rating because I can barely consider it a film. It is, however, ridiculously entertaining. HIGHLY recommended.

Nishi Ginza Station (1958)
6/10
While not entirely worthless, Nisha Ginza Station doesn't exactly hint at Imamura's coming talents.

One Week (1920)
8.5/10
Buster Keaton's debut independent two-reeler (not the first he filmed) is the perfect example of his comedic genius. The film builds to chaotic heights that remain visually stunning and jaw-dropping to this day.

The Play House (1921)
6.5/10
Though it features some amazing film techniques, I find The Play House a little underwhelming after its excellent opening moments.

The Saphead (1920)
6.5/10
Buster Keaton's first feature is one of my least favourites of his work, but it's still a must-see in terms of cinema history.

The Scarecrow (1920)
10/10
Perhaps my favourite of Buster Keaton's short films. The Scarecrow is absolutely perfect. The breakfast scene performed by Keaton and Joe Roberts is particularly memorable.

Sex and Zen (1991)
8/10
A classic of Cat III that lives up to its reputation: funny and madcap with some truly nutty sex scenes along the way.

Sharp Guns (2001)
5/10
Disappointing actioner from the once great Billy Tang. While it features a few decent action sequences, it stinks heavily the of early 2000s in its stylistic choices.

Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
8.5/10
Personally, I don't think this is the masterpiece some claim it to be. Still, a very enjoyable and competently put together film.

The Thirsty Dead (1974)
6/10
An unremarkable but oddly watchable sort-of-horror film. Slow and hypnotic.

Tiger Cage II (1990)
8.5/10
A fast-paced action flick from Hong Kong. It has nothing to do with the original Tiger Cage.

Under the Rose (1992)
5.5/10
Reviewed on Mondo Exploito.

The Vixens of Kung Fu (A Tale of Yin Yang) (1975)
4.5/10
Atrocious kung-fu porn with a star-studded cast. Enough laughs for a viewing.

When a Stranger Calls (1979)
8/10
One of the greatest horror movie openings ever. The rest of the film is not bad either.

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
9/10
Just another film to add to Scorsese's never-ending output of excellent films.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Last Month's Movies #18

So for a long time, I've written a weekly post entitled "Last Week's Movies" where I review everything I watched during the week. It's become apparent that I can't really keep up with these posts. My reviews have become shorter and shorter as my focus shifts further towards Mondo Exploito. I still like to keep track of what I watch, so I'll continue these posts in the form of "Last Month's Movies" where I'll keep my "review" for each film to one or two sentences!

Angry Ranger (1991)
6.5/10
Forgettable but fun actioner from Hong Kong.

Another Earth (2011)
7.5/10
A flawed but rather touching film that proves you don't need an enormous budget to pull off big ideas.

Baron Blood (1972)
7/10
A heavily flawed Bava film with some stand out scenes.

Battling Butler (1926)
7/10
Far from his best work, but Keaton still delivers a fun little film.

Black Sabbath (1963)
8.5/10
Solid Gothic horror fun from Mario Bava with a hilarious ending.

Dial M for Murder (1954)
9.5/10
One of my personal favourites from Hitchcock.

Duel (1971)
8/10
Simple, tense and beautifully executed. Incredible early effort from Spielberg.

Elves (1989)
6/10
Reviewed on Mondo Exploito.

Enough Said (2013)
8.5/10
A gentle and straightforward comedy-drama with excellent lead performances.

Final Justice (1988)
7/10
Entertaining Hong Kong nonsense.

Go West (1925)
7/10
An enjoyable, though somewhat unremarkable, effort from Buster Keaton.

Guzoo (1986)
6/10
Reviewed on Mondo Exploito.

Kick-Ass 2 (2013)
6/10
A shockingly mindless and obnoxious sequel, yet still somehow entertaining.

Killer's Nocturne (1987)
7/10
Fun and straightforward crime story from the director of Story of Ricky.

Make Way for Tomorrow (1937)
10/10
An amazing, amazing film.

Punk Vacation (1990)
6/10
A truly odd piece of shitty cinema with a handful of hysterical moments.

Shield of Straw (2013)
5.5/10
A pretty lacklustre and commercial effort from Miike. Not terrible, but still a disappointment.

Take the Money and Run (1969)
6/10
Not Allen's finest moment, but an interesting piece of cinema history.

Topaz (1969)
7/10
Hitchcock at his worst is better than most.

Vital (2004)
7/10
An interesting effort from Tsukamoto with a few brilliant scenes and ideas on display.

Voices from Beyond (1991)
7.5/10
Reviewed on Mondo Exploito.

We're the Millers (2013)
2/10
Total garbage.

What Maisie Knew (2012)
9/10
A beautiful film that whips up some strong emotions.

The Wolverine (2013)
3/10
Exceptionally silly stuff, which would be fine if it wasn't all so boring.



Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Last Month's Movies #17

So for a long time, I've written a weekly post entitled "Last Week's Movies" where I review everything I watched during the week. It's become apparent that I can't really keep up with these posts. My reviews have become shorter and shorter as my focus shifts further towards Mondo Exploito. I still like to keep track of what I watch, so I'll continue these posts in the form of "Last Month's Movies" where I'll keep my "review" for each film to one or two sentences!

Ants (2006)
7.5/10
This short film is part of a trio of films (Wiggly, Ants, The Laundry Room) by Giuseppe Andrews that are sort of related. This one was my least favourite of the three, but it still provided a lot of laughs and squirms.

At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul (1964)
8.5/10
The first Coffin Joe film is an excellent mix of creepy and weird.

Bad Grandpa (2013)
7/10
Some really, really funny moments scattered among a somewhat lacklustre film.

Bananas (1971)
8.5/10
An incredibly enjoyable early effort from Woody Allen with quite a few hilarious scenes.

Barry Lyndon (1975)
10/10
Possibly my favourite Kubrick film.

Binge & Purge (2002)
4/10
Clearly a lot of work has gone into this no budget horror film, and I have to send some respect its way for that. However, it was very difficult to sit through.

Braindead (1992)
10/10
Peter Jackson's greatest achievement (yep). Hilarious, gory and with endless replay value.

Certified Copy (2010)
8/10
An engaging effort from Kiarostami, though not quite at the level of his best work.

Chocolate Strawberry Vanilla (2013)
8/10
Reviewed on Mondo Exploito.

Evil Bong (2006)
0/10
The worst sort of bad movie. Excruciating to sit through.

Female Prisoner Scorpion: Grudge Song (1973)
7/10
Not the best in the Female Prisoner Scorpion series, but entertaining nonetheless.

The Fine Art (1992)
5/10
An early work from Eric Stanze. Quite well made for a no budget film.

Ghost Snatchers (1986)
6/10
Reviewed on Mondo Exploito.

Ghoul School (1990)
5/10
Watchable... though I've never seen a film break the line so many times.

Gut-Pile (1997)
5.5/10
Reviewed on Mondo Exploito.

Hard Knocks (1980)
7/10
A rather meandering story, but it's fun to see late 70s scummy Melbourne set to a brilliant soundtrack of Aussie tunes.

The Laundry Room (2006)
8/10
The last and the best of three sort of connected shorts by Giuseppe Andrews.

Lone Wolf and Cub: White Heaven in Hell (1974)
7/10
The final Lone Wolf film is mostly pretty great, but suffers from a deeply unsatisfactory finale.

Mulva: Zombie Ass Kicker! (2001)
2/10
Horrible.

The Mummy's Shroud (1967)
7/10
An enjoyable Hammer film with a brilliant performance from Michael Ripper and tense death scenes.

The Navigator (1924)
9/10
The Navigator is not Keaton's best work, but it's certainly one of his most flat out enjoyable films. The finale is brilliantly chaotic.

Our Hospitality (1923)
7.5/10
A gentle film from Keaton with a great concept.

Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959)
?/10
You can't really rate a film like Plan 9. Bad, yes, insanely entertaining, double yes.

Red Scorpion (1988)
7.5/10
Dolph Lundgren murders a lot of people in this film.

The Reptile (1966)
8/10
The Reptile is one of Hammer's most underrated pictures. A great monster, a fast pace and an excellent performance from Michael Ripper who gets far more screen time than usual.

Saboteur (1942)
8/10
A tense thriller from Hitchcock with a fantastic ending.

Serial Mom (1994)
9/10
My introduction to John Waters from way back. It's still very funny.

Seven Chances (1925)
10/10
Definitely up there with Keaton's greatest achievements, Seven Chances features some truly jaw-dropping scenes wrapped around an entertaining and sweet story.

Sherlock Jr. (1924)
10/10
My personal favourite of Buster Keaton's films. The visual trickery he pulls off in this - both cinematic and theatrical - is incredible.

Silent Running (1972)
8/10
A rather bizarre sci-fi film with an equally odd lead performance from Bruce Dern. Not entirely successful, but fascinating.

Tetsuo: The Bullet Man (2009)
4.5/10
An extremely disappointing third entry in the Tetsuo series and perhaps the only Tsukamoto film I've seen that I haven't particularly enjoyed (and I think I've seen practically everything he's made).

Three Ages (1923)
7/10
Not one of my favourite Keaton films. The three period structure becomes a little weary. The scene with the lion is hysterical though.

Torn Curtain (1966)
7.5/10
Hitchcock may have hated making this film, but it's still enormous fun (though obviously far from his best work).

Touch Me in the Morning (1999)
8.5/10
I'm not sure if Giuseppe Andrews is a total lunatic or a genius. Either way, this film is an experience like no other.

Urban Flesh (1999)
6/10
Pretty awful, yet also really, really entertaining.

A Virgin Among the Living Dead (1973)
8.5/10
This could be my favourite Jess Franco film, though certainly not for all tastes.

Where the Wild Things Are (2009)
8/10
While it doesn't always work, this is an interesting adaptation of a book I would have previously thought impossible to adapt. The film's lead, a child actor, also gives a stellar performance.

Wiggly (2006)
8/10
More insanity from Giuseppe Andrews. This short I particularly liked.