Friday, July 3, 2020

Week of July 4 - 10, 2020

To answer these trivia questions, please email me at

Brain Teasers:

In which Italian Western is a pig named after Union General Hooker?

In which Italian Western does a main character have a trick holster that detaches from the gunbelt without him having to draw the gun out?
No one has answered this question yet.

From the English language version of which Italian Western comes the line, "For five thousand dollars I'd take you to China and I won't even ask your name."?
No one has answered this question yet.

Which Italian Western begins with The Stranger gunning down Paco Diaz, Jose Huerta and Jesus Sanchez?
George Grimes, Rick Garibaldi and Bertrand Van Wonterghem knew it was VADO... L'AMMAZZO E TORNO, I'LL GO... I'LL KILL THEM AND I'LL BE BACK, aka GO KILL AND COME BACK, aka ANY GUN CAN PLAY.

From the English language version of which Italian Western comes the line, "But you told me it's bad not to trust a friend, but to trust a friend is bad, too."?
No one has answered this question yet.

Which Italian Western featured the song "Heart of Stone"?
No one has answered this question yet.

And now for some new brain teasers:

Which Italian Western, in its English language version, has the line, "God bless his soul. Aw the hell with him."
Which American actor, who played Hercules, was awarded the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports Award on February 9, 1978?
Which American actor, who made an Italian Western, appeared in a Broadway show with Carol Channing?

Name the movies from which these images came.

George Grimes, Rick Garibaldi and Bertrand Van Wonterghem identified last week's photo of Henry Silva in UN FIUME DI DOLLARI, aka THE HILLS RUN RED.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

George Grimes, Charles Gilbert and Bertrand Van Wonterghem identified last week's photo of Folco Lulli and Chelo Alonso in NEL SEGNO DI ROMA, aka SIGN OF THE GLADIATOR.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came? 

George Grimes identified last week's frame grab from DELIRIUM.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

George Grimes identified last week's photo from THREE OUTLAW SAMURAI.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

I am interested in knowing what movies you have watched and what you enjoyed or not. So please send me an email at if you'd like to share. Here's what I watched last week:

Highly enjoyed:

WHITE BOY (2017) - Shawn Rech's documentary about Richard Wershe Jr., aka "White Boy Rick", is compelling and infuriating. It is also unusual. Have you ever heard about corrupt Black cops colluding with corrupt Black politicians to get an underage White boy sentenced to life in prison? This film certainly taints the memory of Gil Hill, the Detroit cop who appeared in BEVERLY HILLS COP.



Johnny Cash Music In Review (2007)


Cat Stevens Majikat American Tour '76 (2004)

Sparks Lil' Beethoven Live In Stockholm (2004)

Mildly enjoyed:

Dragnet "The Big Trunk" (1954) Partnered with Ben Alexander, Jack Webb investigates the murder of a former vaudevillian actress. Jim Anderson is one of the suspects.

Dragnet "The Big Seventeen" (1952) Partnered with Herbert Ellis, Jack Webb investigates narcotics in High School. "He was lying face up in the water near a clump of trees. He was a good looking boy; dark hair, good build: handsome. Took only one look and you knew right away he was too young to be dead. You could argue for a week, but you couldn't change it. He was dead."

Dragnet "The Big Producer" (1954) Partnered with Ben Alexander, Jack Webb goes after obscene literature and pictures peddled in High School. Marty Milner is Stephen Banner who gets the books from a character named Bud Spencer. Caroline Jones (later Carolyn Jones) is one of the "dumb girls" who gets taken in by an old guy promising her a part in a movie.

Dragnet "The Big Family" (1955) Partnered with Ben Alexander, Webb is working Missing Persons. Robert Knapp plays Keith Jarrett, the tennis bum son of a millionaire. His father fakes his death to leave his family.

THE HUMANITY BUREAU (2017) - I'll watch anything featuring Sarah Lind, and this one is pretty good. It is the future and the U.S. has been ravaged by economic catastrophe, climate change, famine and civil war. The Humanity Bureau has been set up to deliver people deemed "unproductive" to "New Eden". Nicholas Cage plays Bureau agent Noah Kross. (Is it a coincidence that his is the same name as John Huston's character in CHINATOWN?) When a man would rather shoot-it-out than go to "New Eden", Cage suspects that "New Eden" isn't the nice place it is said to be. It isn't readily explained why he decides that his next case, a mother Sarah Lind with an 11 year old boy Jakob Davies, should try to escape to Canada - kind-of like THE HANDMAID'S TALE - but an explanation comes near the end of the story. Hugh Dillon is the operative sent to stop them. A road movie that suffers from lousy green screen interior car scenes, but has spectacular Canadian mountain scenery - playing Montana, THE HUMANITY BUREAU is an obviously sincere effort on a low budget. Those viewers who have seen SOYLENT GREEN might think the government solution in this story to overpopulation is a bit short-sighted. And a Canadian film about oppressed citizens of the United States seeking refuge north of the border is kind of patronizing. 

VENOM, aka THE LEGEND OF THE SPIDER FOREST (1971) - This was the first of three collaborations between director Peter Sykes and writer Christopher Wicking and all three films attempt to create an air of mystery with incoherent storytelling. Whether the blame goes to Sykes or Wicking is kind of a toss-up, but Wicking's scripts for other directors tend to have the same fault. At least Sykes seems interested in creating a sensual aura around an attractive female lead. Here is it Neda Arneric and when she is running around a forest with most of the buttons on her top undone, she holds your attention. Most internet sources summarize this film's story beginning with information that the viewer doesn't get until very nearly the end of the movie as if to combat the film's narrative jumble. Trying to get this movie to make sense is a disservice as it pretends that the film has a coherence that it doesn't have. This is the best role that I've seen Gertan Klauber get.

FULL MOON HIGH (1981) - Like most movies from director Larry Cohen, this movie is a jumble. Scenes do not follow one another with a sense of continuity and the jokes are mostly flat. After about an hour, Alan Arkin shows up as a wacky psychiatrist and the movie seems to jell around him. Adam Arkin plays an high school student who is infected with being a werewolf during a visit to Romania with his father, Ed McMahon, who is on a mission for the CIA. There's a skit wherein Adam A. becomes a werewolf and thwarts a plane hijacking, but it has no payoff and could easily be taken out of the movie without affecting the storyline. Back in the U.S., Adam A.'s shenanigans leads to newspaper headlines like "Werewolf Annoys Community" and "Playful Nippings Continue - Police Fail to Muzzle Monster - Citizens Moving Away In Wave of Terror - See Real Estate Listings". McMahon does a spoof of the Alpo commercials he was doing on The Tonight Show with Adam A. taking the doggie dish away from the dog and eating it himself. After McMahon accidentally shoots himself, Adam A. drops out of high school and leaves town leading to a montage where in the portraits of presidents are changed and newspaper headlines are shown: from the New York News "Hairy Fiend Bothers New Yorkers - Wolfman Chews Out Mugger - Mayor Chews Out Police", from the London Express "Jack The Nipper Still At Large - Australian Tourish Bitten Down Under" and from The Hong Kong Express "Wolfman Eats Chinese - Thirty Minutes Later, Hungry Again". At the end of the presidential montage, Shirley Chisholm is shown to follow Jimmy Carter. Eventually, Adam A. decides that his destiny is to return to Full Moon High's football team and and fulfill his promise to score their first touchdown in a game against Simpson High School. Since he is immortal and doesn't age, Adam A. passes himself off as his own son and ends up having relations with mousy teacher Elizabeth Hartman (in her last on-screen appearance). Many scenes look like they were improvised by the cast including Louis Nye, Demond Wilson, Kenneth Mars, Pat Morita and Bob Saget. Laureen Landon, aka Laurene Landon, makes an appearance but doesn't get to do much more than dance in a crowd.

Gary Moore Blues For Jimi (2012) - Originally performed and recorded on October 25, 2007, this live concert by Gary Moore, Dave Bronze and Darrin Mooney - with a special appearance by Billy Cox and Mitch Mitchell - was part of a launch for the Jimi Hendrix "Live At Monterey" program. It was released as a live album and video on September 24, 2012.

Heart The Road Home (1995) - DVD released in 2003.

Did not enjoy:

DANIEL BOONE (1936) - Before the opening credits we see a fellow wearing an huge war bonnet fire an flaming arrow straight at the camera. And this isn't even a 3D movie! George O'Brien plays Daniel Boone leading settlers into the wilderness in 1775. John Carradine plays Simon Girty, "a ferocious white renegade" who is leading Indians in raiding settlements. After shooting one man dead in a canoe, the villains take another white man and burn him alive. Partnered with Black Eagle, played by George Regas, Boone tries to keep his settlers safe, including one Black servant named Pompey, played by Clarence Muse. Using a magic trick, Boone scares away Girty's natives and takes the villain prisoner. However, a recent peace treaty exonerates Girty from past crimes, so Boone whips him out of the camp. On the road, Pompey explains to Black Eagle that they belong to the same family; they've both been baked by sun. The Indian is just a little bit underdone. A romantic triangle develops over Virginia Randolph, played by Heather Angel, with Stephen Marlowe, played by Ralph Forbes. Marlowe doesn't follow Boone's orders and the villains scatter the settlers' cattle in the night. When Marlowe is spurned by Randolph, he returns to Richmond, Virginia and files a claim on the land that the settlers' are on. Boone goes to Richmond, punches Marlowe in the face, and is captured by Girty's Indians on his way back.  Girty starts to burn Boone alive, but Black Eagle throws a tomahawk that cuts Boone's bonds, and our hero makes a run for it through the flames. Boone makes it back to the stockade in time to alert the settlers to the coming attack. Interestingly, everyone is shooting cap & ball muskets (which wasn't invented until 1814) - not flintlocks. And the Indians are riding horses to attack the fort (which the Delawares, Shawnees and Cherokees did not do). After nine days of attacks, Girty convinces the Indians to use fire to burn the settlement. Luckily, thunder, lightning and rain arrive to put out the flames, and the Indians decide to give up the seige. Girty refuses to give up and tries to ambush Boone when he ventures out. The villain kills a little boy instead, and Boone chases Girty down to kill him with bare hands (which seems like a preview of the ending to DARK OF THE SUN). Boone has all of the surviving settlers pack up to move further west in search of "Hope".

PETER RABBIT (2018) - "Peter Rabbit is a stupid book about a stupid rabbit that steals vegetables from other people's gardens." That's from YOU'RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN, which is a much more entertaining experience than this animated Laurel & Hardy/Home Alone slapstick would-be romantic comedy.

SEMPER FI (2019) - Are we supposed to cheer when an older brother, who has shown competence in both a military and police career, decides to throw it all away inorder to break his fuck-up younger brother out of prison, even if the prison guards are sadistic bastards? Is there a new trend in filmmaking where escaping to Canada solves all problems?

VIOLENT PLAYGROUND (1958) - Detective Stanley Baker is pulled off the job of looking for an arsonist and assigned to work as a juvenile liaison officer in Liverpool. Not surprisingly, he finds the arsonist whilst trying to help twin brother and sister Murphy. It's David McCallum - their older brother. The cast in this is pretty interesting including Peter Cushing, Anne Heywood, Clifford Evans, George A. Cooper and Tsai Chin, but the plotting is fairly standard.


Charles Gilbert watched:

The CUTTER (2005) Chuck Norris is a P.I. investigating the kidnapping of an aging diamond cutter (Bernie Koeppel) who survived Aushwitz. Might as well be a missing episode of Walker: Texas Ranger.

PRISONER IN THE MIDDLE (1974) American Colonel David Janssen makes a solo journey into the desert to disarm a nuclear weapon accidentally dropped by the U. S. Air Force in Israel. He is intercepted by Arab militia subsequently under a surprise attack by Israeli officer Christopher Stone and his squad on patrol. They also treat him like a prisoner since they want the weapon kept active. Karin Dor costars. Subtitled:WARHEAD.


David Deal enjoyed:

ECHO OF THE CANYON (19) - Excellent documentary on the LA music scene in the mid-1960s.  Jakob Dylan talks to all the movers and shakers.  Check it out.



THE HORRIBLE DR. HICHCOCK (62) - The no-frills Blu-ray from Olive is the American version which was trimmed of ten minutes.  While the film is undeniably a masterwork, even in this form, it would be nice to have the original cut in high-def.

FROM ISTANBUL, ORDERS TO KILL (65) - See The Eurospy Guide book for a complete review.

Mildly enjoyed

THE WITCH'S CURSE (62) - Riccardo Freda's curious Gothic peplum hybrid holds enough interest in the Hellscape and the gorgeous Helen Chanel.

Did not enjoy



Bertrand Van Wonterghem enjoyed:

Dorohedoro - season 1 episodes 10 – 11 - 12

Ssauja Gwisina  / Bring it on, ghost  - season 1 – episode 3 & 4 (2016, Park Jun Hwa)

Dead still – season 1 –  episode « photochemistry » (2019, Imogen Murphy)

Risate di Gioia (1960, Mario Monicelli)

Get Smart season 2 - episode « where – what – how - who am I ? » (1967, Gary Nelson)

Hitmen season 1 – episode « Birthday » (2020)

Vado… l’ammazzo e torno  (1967, Enzo G. Castellari)

Doom patrol - season 2 – episode « Fun size patrol » (2019, Christopher Manley)

Mildly enjoyed:

Space force – season 1 – episode 8, 9 & 10

The hard man (1957, George Sherman)

Curon – season 1 – episode « The black lake » (2019, Fabio Mollo)

15 forche per un assassino (1967, Nunzio Malasomma)

Did not enjoy:

A ghost story (2017, David Lowery)

Merveilles à Montfermeil ( 2019, Jeanne Balibar)

Awaken the shadowman (2017, J.S. Wilson)


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