Sunday, July 31, 2016

Pretty Peaches

Director - Alex de Renzy (Deep Dish Booty Pie)
Starring - Desiree Cousteau (Superwoman), John Leslie (L.A. Raw), and Paul Thomas (The Devil in Miss Jones: Resurrection)
Release Date - 1978
Genre - Comedy
Format - Bluray (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
     One man can't survive on just one sleazy flick at a time can he?  After I recently watched Vinegar Syndromes' release of Star Virgin I decided it was time to check out another Vin Syn release.  A few years ago they sent over the sexploitation/vintage porn Pretty Peaches on bluray.  The film was released in 1978 and starred Desiree Cousteau in one of her most memorable roles.  When I received the film I was later told that Vin Syn would be releasing the Pretty Peaches trilogy on blu.  I thought it would be counter-productive to review just this film when I would be reviewing the entire trilogy later so I put it off until I could get my grubby little hands on that set.  Sadly, that set did not come out until well over a year later but when it did I was grateful that my friends over at Vin Syn sent it my way.  
     The film follows Peaches (Cousteau) who is traveling to her father's wedding.  She meets her new step-mother and the two try to be friends but eventually Peaches hates all the attention her new mother is receiving from her father and leaves in a hurry.  She has an accident and is ejected from her jeep.  Two men find her and discover she was knocked out by the collision.  Before she wakes one of the them decides to fuck her a little.  She awakens and has no memory of who she is or how she got there.  She lie to her and tell her that the jeep is theirs and then take her back to their place to stay.  They convince her to get a job so she can pay their bills while she works and finds herself in random sexual encounters until one day she finds herself at an orgy blowing her dad before all her memories come back to her.
     I'm going to be completely honest and admit that I was curious to check this one out.  I had actually heard about this film before it was sent my way from Vin Syn.  I was a member of several horror forums for years before social media and I had heard a couple mention how much they enjoyed it.  I looked it up a few times and shied away from it when I saw Cousteau.  I was just not into her look.  She was pretty but not in a way that I like my women.  However, after actually seeing the film I have to say that the film's artwork does not do her justice.  The acting in this one is far, and I mean far, from perfect but the cast is still fun to watch.  Cousteau is great at playing the cute and innocent character that is very naive when it comes to sex.  She was brilliant at this and does a great job.  With that being said, this little gimmick gets old very quickly.  The remainder of the cast is a little hard to watch and are clearly there for the sex and not the acting.  The story for this one is all over the place.  It flows and feels just like a comedy.  There is scenes full of dry humor and gags and the set up feels like it has a big punch line that is never delivered.  We then get weird doctors giving enemas, sex craved men, lusty women, and wild orgies.  The story really is more than your normal porn flick.  Finally, those of you looking for action will not find it here unless the action you are looking for is sex.  The film is full of it.  However, if you want some humor then you will find some spread throughout.  Overall, Pretty Peaches is a surprisingly sleazy good time.  Desiree Cousteau is great and carries the film all the way until the happy ending.  If you want a raunchy good time then be sure to check this one out!


Star Virgin

Director - Howard Ziehm (Flesh Gordon)
Starring - Kari Klark, Kevin Thompson, and Tracy Walton (Sex Mood Ring)
Release date - 1979
Genre - Comedy/Sci-Fi
Tagline - "An orgasmic explosion"
Format - DVD (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
     The porn parody has become an art form by this point.  The porn industry has been taking pop culture and turning it into a porn for decades now.  Anytime something comes out and gains any kind of recognition you can bet it will be made fun of on Family Guy or South Park and eventually a porn will be made about it.  There has been hundred of porn parodies over the years that has gained just as much attention as the thing it was parodying.  However, one that I have heard about more than all the others was the sci-fi porn flick Flesh Gordon.  The film was so successful that it spawned a sequel which is something that the original source material was unable to do.  The director of that film, Howard Ziehm, would go on to direct several other porn flicks.  Vinegar Syndrome released the 1979 Star Virgin starring Kari Klark sometime ago and was kind enough to send a review copy my way.  Thanks guys!
    The film follows a Star Virgin (Klark) who lives with a robot in space when one day she starts to become aroused.  She starts to question the robot about sex where he gives her several tales involving sex.  The first is a young couple who find themselves in the Garden of Eden.  The second is a vampire tale as Dracula finds himself a new bride, The third follows a quarterback who gets hurt in the big game and is out cold.  They take him to the locker room where two cheerleaders fuck him back to life.  The fourth tale follows a special strip club when men pay a price and gang bang the strippers.  The Star Virgin hears these stories and starts getting even more horny which results in the robot's owners telling him to cool her down or he will be permanently shut down.
     I was pretty excited to see this film after I heard it was directed by the same man that created the now iconic Flesh Gordon.  Though I had never seen Flesh Gordon I still had pretty high hopes for this sleazefest.  Sadly, it let me down.  The acting in this one is what you would expect from a porn flick.  The cast makes no effort at trying to deliver a solid performance.  They just spit out their dialogue in an attempt to speed the story up and start fucking.  I have seen so many sexploitation flicks before and the acting in this one is by far the worst.  The story for this one is pretty weak.  The wrap around story was pretty fucking cool and could have been a damn fine sci-fi based sexploitation flick but this segment was pretty short.  Instead it broken up segments that have nothing to do with the real story and was clearly filmed for another purpose before it was added to this story.  If they segment that was used as the film's bookends was used in greater detail it would have been one hell of a film.  Finally, those of you that are looking for action (not sex action) or humor will greatly be disappointed.  The film lacks both which was a huge let down.  Overall, Star Virgin is a film that could have been just as amazing as Sexworld but was unable to hold it together.  The cast is pretty bad and the story is lacking but the film still deserves at least one watch.  Check it out but remember it has no replay value.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Friday Foster

Director - Arthur Marks (The Dukes of Hazzard, Detroit 9000)
Starring - Pam Grier (Coffy, Foxy Brown), Yaphet Kotto (Alien, Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare), and Godfrey Cambridge (Beware! The Blob, Cotton Comes to Harlem)
Release Date - 1975
Genre - Action/Crime
Tagline - "She's a fascinatin', assassinatin', high-livin', fun-lovin' chick!...and the company she's keepin' is mighty heavy"
Format - Bluray (Personal Collection) (screener)

Rating (out of 5):
     Pam Grier is one hell of an actress.  I was floored when I first saw Coffy.  She was such a powerful on screen presence.  She was very commanding and took control of every scene she was in.  Grier in Foxy Brown was just as good.  She was a powerful character and her acting ability really brought it on home.  After watching Foxy Brown I had to go ahead and give Friday Foster a spin.  I knew nothing of the film before hand but I knew that Pam Grier would fucking kill it...and she did.  I want to once again thank Olive Films for sending this film over on blu for me to check out.
      The film follows photo-journalist Friday Foster (Grier) who is sent to the airport to photograph the arrival of billionaire black man Blake Tarr.  However, she is not alone.  A group of men are their to assassinate him and fail.  They are able to shoot him but not in a deadly capacity and his body guards fight back.  She soon finds herself in the center of several more deaths attached to the name Black Widow.  She partners with the police and her editor and is able bring down a web of conspiracy that is bigger than they all thought.  
     Sad time here for me.  It looks like I'm coming to an end to my no horror July and it will be a while before I get to spend a month watching sexploitation and blaxploitation.  What better film to watch as my last blaxploitation flick for the next 6 months than to go with the Pam Grier lead Friday Foster.  The film was another knockout and sits proudly on my shelf with her other films.  The acting is once again phenomenal.  Grier shows again why she was the queen of blaxploitation.  Her character is not as strong and powerful as her other roles but that is why it sets her apart from the others.  Her character is helpless at times and at others it finds her using her brain and not her fighting skills.  This was a whole new side to Pam and I fucking loved it.  Shows how well she can adapt to her role.  With that being said, she had one hell of a supporting cast.  Everyone carried their weight and made every scene hit hard.  The story for this one is a little unconventional for a blaxploitation flick and more like an action mystery flick.  It has some great actions, a solid "who-dun-it" if feel and some of the blaxploitation cliches that we know and love.  Finally, those of you wanting an early 70s action flick will be happy with this one.  The action is fast paced and spread out evenly throughout the film resulting in very little down time for the film.  Overall, Friday Foster is another exceptional blaxploitation film that shows just how amazing Pam Grier is.  Solid action, some great acting, and a well written story.  What else do you need?

The Big F Buy Here

Friday, July 29, 2016

Suture Blu-Ray
Inspired by the paranoid visions of John Frankenheimer's The Manchurian Candidate and Seconds, the desert noir of Detour and the black and white widescreen beauty of Hiroshi Teshigahara's The Face of Another and Woman of the Dunes, Suture is one of great feature debuts - by writer-directors David Siegel and Scott McGehee - and a truly unique piece of cinema.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Foxy Brown

Director - Jack Hill (Coffy)
Starring - Pam Grier (Friday Foster, Coffy), Antonio Fargas (I'm Gonna Git You Sucka), and Peter Brown (The A Team)
Release Date - 1974
Genre - Action
Tagline - "Foxy's in town, so gather round and watch a real shake down cause she;s got drive and that aint jive.  She don't bother to bring em back alive!"
Format - Bluray (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
     After watching a few sleazy sexploitation flicks I decided to head back to check out some blaxploitation.  Back in January when I first attempted to go an entire month with out horror I reviewed the Olive Films release of Coffy.  I ended the month with a bang.  It was an outstanding female lead blaxploitation flick.  Olive Films had sent over two other Pam Grier blaxploitation flicks.  Friday Foster and Foxy Brown was on my list to check out but the month ended and I put them off until this month when I tried it again.  When I could I quickly tossed in Foxy Brown in hopes it would be just as good as Coffy was!
     The film follows Foxy Brown (Grier) who is dating an undercover officer.  After a successful sting, he has facial reconstruction surgery so the mob can not find him and kill him.  Sadly, Foxy's brother owes the same people a lot of money and rats him out.  They kill her man sending Foxy on a killing spree to bring down organized crime and kills all those that had their hand in her man's death.  

     Back in January I finished the month with Pam Grier's classic Coffy.  The film was such a delight to watch and I loved every minute.  This month I made sure to watch a few more blaxploitation films and end them with two more Grier films in hopes they would be just as good.  They were!  The acting in Foxy Brown is sensational.  Pam Grier shows once and for all shows why she is considered the queen of blaxploitation.  She's sassy, sexy, seductive, and deadly.  Very few could pull this off but she was built for this role.  Her supporting cast is just as great which makes Grier look even better.  The film would not be as good as it is if it wasn't for the cast.  The story for this one is your typical revenge action flick following a scorned woman who was wronged and seeks revenge on those that wronged her.  This is the plot to so many rape revenge films except she was never raped.  Instead her husband was murdered in front of her and then she kills.  The story is able to incorporate a great deal of crime drama, as well as, some action making it feel like it that can transcend cliches.  Finally, those of you looking for action will find it here.  There is car chases, gun fights, fist fights, cat fights, and death.  The action is spread evenly throughout the film as well which does pick up the pace of the story.  Overall, Foxy Brown is a must have for any fan of blaxploitation.  Pam Grier is a living legend and this film is proof of that.  Check it out!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Hang Up

Director - John Hayes (Grave of the Vampire)
Starring - Tony Vorno (Garden of the Dead), Sharon Matt (Infrasexum), and Genene Cooper
Release Date - 1969
Genre - Drama/Crime
Tagline - "All cop...except for the 'hangup"
Format - DVD (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
     My sleazy no horror July continues as I spend the 31 days of July staying away from my beloved genre.  I would be lying if I said I wasn't having fun.  I'd also be lying if I said I didn't miss horror.  Most of the month I spent my time checking out releases from Olive Films, Impulse Pictures, and Vinegar Syndrome.  I recently set my sights on the Drive-In Collection series from Vinegar Syndrome.  The double feature I went with was two John Hayes films. I previously reviewed the first film Sweet Trash and now its time to check out the second film in the set, The Hang Up.  Thanks Vin Syn for hooking Horror Society and myself up with a review copy!
     The film follows two undercover cops who go deep undercover to catch sexual deviants and the like.  After catching a corrupt politician looking for trannies, one officer, Sergeant Robert Walsh (Vorno), finds himself in the middle of a huge conspiracy.  He finds a young prostitute and soon falls in love with her once she tells him she's of age.  She takes him into the seedy side of the city where he meets the degenerates that he swore to hate and finds peace.  That is until he finds out that the age of the prostitute is actually 17 and their love affair has been caught on tape.  Now he must comply with a crime boss and lie about busting the politician or have his love with a 17 year old exposed ruining his career.  
     The first John Hayes film in the set, Sweet Trash, had some sleazy moments but told a pretty solid story that was rich in crime and drama.  The sex was there but nowhere on the scale as most of the other Vine Syn releases.  The acting in this one is what you would expect from a sleazy crime drama with softcore porn scenes scattered throughout.  The film's lead, Tony Vorno, does a decent job and is the film's high point but is far from the best actor I have ever seen.  The supporting cast does a decent job but no one really stands out.  Their dedication is obviously not there.  The story for this one is similar to Sweet Trash but follows a copy who is on the wrong side of the law instead of a longshoreman who owes the mob money.  Both follow men who dislike morally corrupt women who are loose between their legs.  The film still flows like your traditional crime drama that almost feels like a cat and mouse film.  The sex scenes are also at a minimum which is nice if you want a story driven film and not something to beat off to.  Finally, the film does have some action.  We have more gun fights, a car chase, and a little fighting but nothing outstanding or amazing.  The story is the real focal point of this one.  Overall, The Hang Up is a sleazy crime drama that deserves at least one watch but has no replay value.  The cast is far from perfect and the action is somewhat dry but the story is enjoyable considering.  Check it out at least once.