Friday, November 6, 2020

Week of November 7 - 13, 2020


To answer these trivia questions, please email me at

Brain Teasers:

Which Italian actress who made an Italian Western found Klaus Kinski very easy and charming with which to work?
It was Claudia Cardinale.

Which American actress who made an Italian Western was reported by Klaus Kinski to be the object of lust from Marlon Brando?
No one has answered this question yet.

Which Mexican actress appeared in an Italian Epic film alongside an actor born in Spain to a Puerto Rican father?
No one has answered this one yet.

Can you name five Italian/Spanish Westerns that Albert Band worked on as a writer?

What was the title of the pilot episode Albert Band made for an Hercules TV series?
John Black, George Grimes,Bertrand Van Wonterghem and Charles Gilbert knew that it was "Princess of Troy".

Which actor who appeared in Spanish Westerns, was born to Spanish parents on an ocean liner while on the way to Uruguay?
No one has answered this question yet.

And now for some new brain teasers:

Which Italian actress, who did a Western, appeared in a British spy comedy frequently sipping out of a Coke bottle with a straw?
Which son of Anthony Quinn appeared in a TV show with Terence Hill and played Jesus in three TV movies?
Which American actor married an Italian woman he demanded producer Dino De Laurentiis work for the actor?

Name the movies from which these images came.

George Grimes and Bertrand Van Wonterghem identified last week's photo of UN ESERCITO DI 5 UOMINI, aka THE FIVE MAN ARMY.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

George Grimes and Bertrand Van Wonterghem identified last week's photo of Bella Cortez in VULCANO, FIGLIO DI GIOVE, aka VULCAN, SON OF JUPITER, .
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

George Grimes identified last week's frame grab of Fiore Argento in her father's PHENOMENA.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

George Grimes identified last week's photo of Yuen Biao and Joyce Godenzi in EASTERN CONDORS.
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:


VIOLETTE (2013) - With this and SAGE FEMME, aka THE MIDWIFE, Martin Provost has become my favorite contemporary French director. These two films have a convincing sense of reality and the natural pace of life without ever getting dull. They also have a convincing sense of female characters even if the director isn't female. Violette Leduc was a French writer perhaps best known outside of France for writing THERESE AND ISABELLE, which was made into an erotic film by director Radley Metzger. THERESE AND ISABELLE was originally the first hundred and fifty pages of her second novel RAVAGES (1955), but the publisher censored this section for being obscene. Emmanuelle Devos gives a compelling performance as Leduc. The film begins during World War 2 with Leduc being arrested for dealing in the black market. When she is released, she is furious that the man with whom she is living, the writer Maurice Sachs - played by Olivier Py, won't show her any affection. He advises that she deal with her frustrations by writing. After the war, Leduc shows what she has written to Sachs' friend Simone de Beauvoir - played by Sandrine Kiberlain. Beauvoir mentored Leduc and helped to get her first novel, L'ASPHYXIE, aka IN THE PRISON OF HER SKIN, published - while at the time Beauvoir wrote LE DEUXIEME SEXE, aka THE SECOND SEX, which helped to define the feminist movement. While VIOLETTE has actors portray Jean Genet - Jacques Bonnaffe and Jacques Guerin - Olivier Gourmet, we only get mentions of Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus and Jean Cocteau. Much is made of Leduc's feelings of being unwanted and unloved, especially regarding Beauvoir, but Beauvoir's complicated personal life is not portrayed. The film ends when Leduc's sixth book, the autobiographical LA BATARDE, aka THE BASTARD, becomes a best seller.

HAIR BRAINED (2013) - While watching this I kept trying to make comparisons with REVENGE OF THE NERDS or RUSHMORE and that didn't work. This is just really odd and quite funny. Alex Wolff plays a 13 year old genius who plans on attending Harvard, but they don't want him so he's going to Whittman College, "the 37th best small liberal-arts college on the East Coast". Arriving at school, he becomes aggressively befriended by middle-aged freshman Brendan Fraser, who, having screwed up his life, has decided to start over again in college. Wolff finds out that a team from Harvard is coming to Whittman for a College Masterminds contest.  The Ivy Leaguers humiliate the Whittman team and then humiliate Wolff when he talks to them, so Wolff decides to force himself on the Whittman team inorder to humiliate the Harvard team when a rematch happens. Along the way, Wolff discovers the opposite sex with Julia Garner. Director Billy Kent and writers Adam Wierzbianski and Sarah Bird previously made THE OH IN OHIO, but haven't done another movie since HAIR BRAINED. Also in the cast are Parker Posey and Austin Pendleton in small roles. The Newton Brothers provided the tuneful score.

Mildly enjoyed:

THE MUPPETS MOST WANTED (2014) - I'm not much of a fan of The Muppets. I liked their bits on Sesame Street, but wasn't a big fan of The Muppet Show. I went to THE MUPPET MOVIE back in 1979 because I loved director James Frawley's THE BIG BUS. I was surprised by how much I liked Jason Segel's Dispatches From Elsewhere, so I gave THE MUPPETS a look-see and found it charming. MOST WANTED is director James Bobin's follow-up, for which Segel was not involved, and I didn't much like it. I don't find Ricky Gervais entertaining and the whole heist plot was tiresome. But at about the 30 minute mark, Kermit finds himself in a Russian Gulag where Tina Fey leads a big musical number called "The Big House" featuring Ray Liotta, Danny Trejo and Jemaine Clement, among others, and the viewing suddenly seemed worthwhile. There are alot of celebrity cameos - like Christoph Waltz dancing a waltz and Usher being a wedding usher - but nothing was as much fun as Kermit directing the Gulag inmates in performing "One Singular Sensation" from A CHORUS LINE.

Uncnsrd "Scandals" (2020) - Nene Leakes, Le'Andria Johnson, Darlene McCoy, Charlamagne Tha God, Lil Rel, Lamar Odom, Glen Williams, Tami Roman, Janean Mercer, K. Michelle, Angles Pate, Lisaraye McCoy, Kai Morae, Kym Whitley, Lynn Jeter, D.L. Hughley, Naturi Naughton, Ezra Naughton, Brian 'Da Wildcat Smith, Nick Cannon, Nile Evans and Dorian Graham. 

Did not enjoy:

MY ALL AMERICAN (2014) - I'm not a sports fan so there are very few inspirational movies about sports people that I enjoy, particularly those that go straight for the tear ducts. BRIAN'S SONG and BANG THE DRUM SLOWLY were plenty for me. Based upon the book COURAGE BEYOND THE GAME: THE FREDDIE STEINMARK STORY by Jim Dent, the film has, in the end credits, the blurb "Read the Authorized Biography FREDDIE STEINMARK FAITH-FAMILY-FOOTBALL by Bower Yousse & Thomas J. Cryan Available wherever books are sold". "Freddie's life story embodies the mission of Texas Athletics: to provide a premier student-athlete experience for more than 500 young men and women. Make an impact by contributing to the Freddie Steinmark Endowed Fund at #ForFreddie". The film begins with an aging Coach Darrell Royal, played by Aaron Eckhart, being interviewed about which of the players in his long career have had the greatest impact on him personally. And so begins the flashback which is the majority of the movie with Finn Wittrock as Steinmark. I'll give any movie featuring Robin Tunney a look-see and here she plays Freddie's mother. Sarah Bolger, the Irish actress who as a child co-starred with her sister Emma in director Jim Sheridan's excellent film IN AMERICA, plays his sweetheart. Angelo Pizzo, who previously wrote the screenplays for HOOSIERS, RUDY and THE GAME OF THEIR LIVES, wrote and directed this film.

BAND OF THE HAND (1986) - Decorated Vietnam Vet and Native American Stephen Lang takes five incorrigible juvenile offenders into the Florida Everglades to teach them that they have to work together to live, or continue to fight against each other and die. Michael Carmine is the Latino gang member, Leon Robinson, aka Leon, is the Black gang member, John Cameron Mitchell is the punk rock kid who killed his abusive father, Danny Quinn (a son of Anthony Quinn) is the drug trafficker and Al Shannon is the car thief. The first half of the movie is the group finding solidarity. Lang then takes them into a crime riddled neighborhood where they take over an house that has become a drug shooting gallery and begin to clean up the neighborhood. Drug boss James Remar complains that their efforts are costing him money, so he sends Larry Fishburne to flush them out. Lang overpowers Fishburne and gets all of Fishburne's thugs to disarm. Now that they have automatic weapons, Lang teaches the young men how to be a combat team. Fishburne leads another attack on the group, and, with his dying effort, kills Lang. At first the group disbands, but then they reassemble and go after Remar. Quinn's girlfriend, a very young Lauren Holly (who married Danny Quinn in 1991 only to divorce him two years later), has been abused by Remar, so during the big battle at the drug manufacturing facility, she gets to kill him. Executive produced by Michael Mann, this directorial effort by Paul Michael Glaser was intended as a pilot for a TV series. The question is, how did they convince Bob Dylan, backed by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, to write and sing the theme song?

COURAGEOUS (2011) - You know you're watching something from Affirm Films when our four police officer heroes ask for God's help all of the time. Co-writer and director Alex Kendrick also stars as a police officer who has a crisis of faith when his nine-year-old daughter Lauren Etchells is killed in an automobile accident. Meeting with his pastor and reading the Bible, Kendrick realizes the importance of fathers in their children's lives, so he joins with the other cops and Mexican immigrant Robert Amaya in holding a formal ceremony to resolve to be better fathers. Things get complicated when Kendrick discovers that one of the other officers has been stealing drugs from the evidence lockup for extra cash. Kendrick and the others accept stepping in to take care of the dirty cop's family. A big action scene occurs when the local drug dealers are pulled over and start shooting. "Thank God for back up." No one is seriously injured and everyone assembles in the Sherwood Baptist Church so that Kendrick can underline how all children need a Daddy for a Mother should not have to carry the parental weight alone. This is the only film I've seen that lists over 70 "Babysitting Assistants" in the end credits, as well as eight Baptist churches that contributed to catering. Plus there's a bibliography including THE RESOLUTION FOR MEN and THE RESOLUTION FOR WOMEN. With his brother Stephen, Kendrick has made six feature "faith based" films.

DOS MONJES, aka TWO MONKS (1934) - Highly stylized, this Mexican drama is filled with tilted camerawork and unrealistic settings. Director Juan Butillo Oro succeeds in creating a weird atmosphere, but the slow pacing and over expressive acting make it a drag to watch. The film begins with monks parading around the monastery with holy water and incense trying to drive away Satan. Brother Carlos Villatoro has been highly agitated and everyone feels that he was possessed by Satan, but is now recovering with the help of his prayer book. Newly arrived at the monastery, Brother Victor Urruchua is sent into Villatoro's cell to help heal his soul. However, Villatoro recognizes Urruchua from his past and clobbers him over the head with a large crucifix. Prior M. Beltran de Heder councils Villatoro, whose confession takes up the first half of the movie. Villatoro was a dedicated musician who was inspired by the woman in the house that he saw from his window, Magda Haller. Haller's parents tried to force her to accept the advances of a rich looking man, but she refused. Villatoro came to her rescue and took her into his house when her parents threw her out. Soon, Haller was also accepted by Villatoro's mother, Emma Roldan, to become his future wife. Villatoro's best friend, Urruchua, returned from years abroad and spent alot of time with the couple, listening to the music composed for her. Villatoro's chronic illness acted up again, and Roldan worried that Urruchua and Haller were betraying her son while he was convalescing. Eventually, Villatoro caught Urruchua trying to kiss Haller, and Villatoro attacked Urruchua with a cane. Urruchua pulled out a pistol and shot Haller dead. Villatoro spent years trying to find Urruchua before giving up and becoming a monk. Heder goes to see Urruchua, who confesses that everything Villatoro said is true, but what Villatoro didn't know was that Urruchua and Haller were sweethearts before Urruchua had to go abroad and Villatoro finally met her. Urruchua and Haller struggled against their old romantic feelings, which is why Urruchua announced that he had to go on a trip abroad again. He was trying to get one last kiss from Haller when Villatoro caught them. As Villatoro seemed insane with rage, Urruchua pulled his gun and Haller jumped infront of Villatoro to take the bullet. Urruchua went to get a doctor, but when he returned Villatoro had already left to look for him. The doctor convinced Urruchua to flee rather than turn himself into to the police. Racked by guilt, Urruchua eventually became a monk to make a life of penance. Heder wants to bring the old friends face-to-face so that they could find peace, but Villatoro has left his cell and is playing the music he wrote for Haller on the church organ. Insane, Villatoro envisions the statues of the saints and the monks trying to help as grotesque creatures. When Urruchua arrives to beg forgiveness, Villatoro gets to his feet, only to suddenly fall forward: dead. There is no disputing that DOS MONJES is a film of historic importance, but I didn't enjoy watching it.

THE GIRLS ON 42ND STREET, aka FLESHPOT ON 42ND STREET (1973) - For those who only thought that Andy Milligan made incompetent horror movies, here's an incompetent sex movie. Dusty Cole, aka Laura Cannon, is a good looking woman and you wish that Milligan's camerawork was good enough to capture her better. There are two surprises in this flick. I knew that it would end badly, but I thought that our heroine would be the one killed - probably because she ran out of the gang bang. Instead, it's the nice guy she's finally found who gets killed in a freak auto accident. Was Harry Reems using the name Bob Walters because of the legal problems around DEEP THROAT? The other surprise is the shameless use of the theme to Mission Impossible whenever that one guy threatened to beat her with his belt. Fred Lincoln of THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT is one of the guys at the gang bang. 

GURU, THE MAD MONK (1970) - What can you say about a guy called Father Guru - a sadistic cleric with a split personality who keeps threatening to kill his other self? Sometimes he acts like Archdeacon Claude Frollo of THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE-DAME, though his minion is Igor, kind of like the hunchback character from SON OF FRANKENSTEIN. Mostly he acts like Lord Cumberland from MARK OF THE DEVIL, and like the character in that film he has an adept in love with a woman under his power. How come he shelters a female vampire whom he allows to feed on his prisoners? There are some other minions, but they only show up for the laughable torture of prisoners. Any which way you look at it, director Andy Milligan may have achieved something by getting this thing made and into movie theaters, but he shows no ability as a filmmaker. Love those 15th century false eyelashes!

EL HOMBRE Y EL MONSTRUO, aka THE MAN AND THE MONSTER (1958) - I respect that even though Abel Salazar produced this film and plays the hero, he gives top billing to Enrique Rambal, who plays the title character. The original title of this film is the title the 1931 version of DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE starring Frederic March in Spanish language countries, and the 1958 Mexican film seems partly inspired by it, though the monster looks more like a wolfman. The lesson to be learned from this movie is - if you are a blond woman driving alone at night and your car smashes into a tree, and you go to a nearby villa to seek help, and you hear maniacal piano playing behind a locked door, don't pick up a set of keys from the ground and unlock the villa's front door. Mari Carmen Vela learns this lesson too late to save her life at the beginning of this movie, even though Abel Salazar tries to save her. Police officer José Chávez, of THE WILD BUNCH, sees no reason to check out the villa, which some suspect of being the house of a witch. Salazar returns to the villa in the morning to interview retired pianist Enrique Rambal, of EL ANGEL EXTERMINADOR. Rambal devotes his time to coaching young Martha Roth on the piano. Roth is the daughter of a famous pianist who disappeared. Rambal's mother, Ofelia Guilmain of NAZARIN, runs the household, and, we find out later, covers up her son's crimes. Jealous of Roth's mother's talent, Rambal declares that he will sell his soul to the devil to be the best, which turns him into an hairy monster that kills Roth's mother. He and his mother hides her body in a room of the villa along with a music score written on black paper. Later, Salazar sneaks into the villa, finds the mummified body of Roth's mother, and takes the music score. Infuriated when he discovers the music missing, Rambal becomes the monster again and publicaly attacks Salazar at his hotel. Rambal gets back the music score, but Salazar survives. Salazar takes Chávez and the police to the villa, but the occupants have left to perform a concert, and the dead body is missing. Even though the monster has twice tried to kill her, only to be brought back to his human face by his mother, Roth plans to continue the concert, though Salazar convinces her to incorporate the mysterious music into her performance of Tschaikowsky's "Romeo and Juliet" and "Concerto no. 2". Rambal is conducting the orchestra for the performance, and the music makes him change in front of an entire audience. Roth, who has already survived two attacks, is once again attacked, but Salazar leaps in to be attacked again himself. Luckily, there's a cop around who shoots the monster even as his mother scream, "No. He's my son!" Those of us who were hoping that Guilmain would also be killed were disappointed. Not disappointing is the beautiful black and white photography by Raul Martinez Solares. Director Rafael Baledon seems to encourage his cast to throw subtlety away this time in comparison with what the actors would do in 1960's ORLAK, EL INFIERNO DE FRANKENSTEIN. Giulmain often wanders around this movie carrying a black cat. At one point, the cat jumps out of her arms and into the open piano, causing discordant sounds. Later, the cat is obviously yanked out of her arms by an unseen wire. Luckily for the producers, this movie was made before the Animal Protection Society lobbied the motion picture industry.

HOTEL FOR DOGS (2009) - Based on a novel by Lois Duncan, this is the kind of family film that convinced me to stop watching family films. Orphan siblings Emma Roberts and Jake T. Austin are being fostered by wannabe rock stars Lisa Kudrow and Kevin Dillon. Neglected, the siblings secretly take in a dog and resort to petty fraud inorder to buy food for it. Luckily sympathetic Social Worker Don Cheadle gets them out of jail after they get caught. One day, the sibling's dog runs away and finds shelter in an abandoned hotel where two stray dogs already live. Eventually, Roberts and Austin, with the help of Johnny Simmons, Kyla Pratt and Troy Gentile, make it a mission to make the hotel a proper place for the dogs to live and seek out all strays to prevent them from being put to sleep in the dog pound. After establishing a dog utopia, our heroes find everything gets ruined when the authorites find out. Seperated at different orphanages, Roberts and Austin find each other and devise a plan to free all of the dogs from the pound before they are killed and take them to a no-kill facility in the next county. The plan goes awry and everyone ends up back at the hotel. The entire neighborhood joins the cops and dog catchers in the lobby to take the K-9s back into custody, but Cheadle steps up to read the record Austin kept of how and where each of the dogs were rescued. Moved, the neighborhood helps raise the money to turn the abandoned hotel into a facility to care for dogs as well as a place from where people can adopt them. Our sibling heroes get adopted by Cheadle and his wife Robinne Lee, freeing them from the foster care system. This is the second film I've seen recently that is more of less set in downtown L.A., though they don't identify the city in HOTEL FOR DOGS as being Los Angeles. Few films feature residents of downtown L.A. that aren't Latino gang members, but both this and (500) DAYS OF SUMMER have a remarkable lack of hispanics. This was Thor Freudenthal's first feature film and his second was DIARY OF A WIMPY KID.

MASQUERADE (1965) - This came out at the height of the Spy Movie craze and I didn't much like it then. However, it was a title that stayed with me so I welcomed the opportunity to see it again thanks to TCM. Based on the novel CASTLE MINERVA, aka A HANDFUL OF SILVER, by Victor Canning, this movie attempts to excuse plot deficiencies by pretending to be a comedy. It's not really much fun. The highlight is when the kidnapped heir to an oil rich Middle Eastern country shows that he's reading GOLDFINGER by Ian Fleming and remarks that he thinks it's rather far-fetched. Reportedly, Cliff Robertson turned down a role in JUDITH to appear in this movie. Producer Michael Relph is credited with the screenplay, though Robertson, who had already hired William Goldman to try and turn Daniel Keyes' novel FLOWERS FOR ALGERNON into a screenplay, had William Goldman brought in to "Americanize" his dialogue. Eventually, Robertson brought in Stirling Silliphant to replace Goldman on FLOWERS which got Robertson the Best Actor Oscar as CHARLY. All of that is more interesting than anything what happens in MASQUERADE. This was the first English language film for Michel Piccoli, and I guess it was the first time I saw him. It is strange seeing him with an almost full head of hair. Does anyone know who revoiced Marisa Mell, because I've heard that voice coming out of other actresses? I'm guessing that Jack Hawkins still had his real voice when this movie was made, and it is interesting to see him act opposite Charles Gray who would revoice his performances in future films. There is a bunch of other interesting British performers here, but just about no Spaniards, which is odd as much of the movie was shot in Spain.

LA MUJER DEL DIABLO, aka THE DEVIL'S WOMAN (1974) - Ana Martin is gorgeous in this rather dully photographed gothic tale. There is a house in this Guatemalan town that all of the locals believe is an evil place. Anthropologist Raúl Ramírez comes to town to move into the house as he is studying the local practices of Santeria. The house's caretaker knows about such things and takes Ramirez to witness a ceremony. Meanwhile, the young daughter, Ana Martin, of a strict Catholic mother, begins to have sexual thoughts when she sees the neighbor couple making out over the back yard wall. Drawn to the anthropologist, Martin runs away from home and moves in with Ramirez. Since the mother has not been informed, she becomes convinced that her daughter is dead. Meanwhile, Martin follows Ramirez when he attends another Santeria ceremony, which upsets the cult leader. But Ramirez is able to take her away to safety. After he father's a child with Martin, Ramirez goes to the local priest to ask him to marry them. Finding out that her daughter is not dead and is about to get married drives the mother crazy. With the assistance of the house's caretaker, the mother murders Ramirez after the wedding. Director Alfredo B. Crevenna seems more interested in things getting sexy rather than spooky, and the film completely lacks the kind of gothic atmosphere Mexican Horror movies had in the 1950s & 60s. Crevenna's next film was EL PODER NEGRO, aka BLACK POWER, starring  Sergio Oliva.

THE OTHER SIDE (2018) - Brad James walks into a bar trying to find out about his fiancee's past. Luckily, it is early evening, so bartender Adele Latell has the time to hear his story, which takes up the first hour of this flick. James works for Roger Guenveur Smith who is looking for a person of good moral character to take his daughter, Erica Hubbard, to a Prince concert. Long story short, James falls in love with Hubbard and they plan to marry. Hubbard invites an old friend, Altovise Lawrence, to be her maid of honor. It soon becomes apparent that Lawrence is a lesbian and that she is hoping to win Hubbard back. Latell confirms James' suspicion, but Hubbard won't talk about it. At the dinner after the wedding rehearsal, James exposes that Hubbard only wants to be married to please her father, and that she really wants to be with Lawrence. Three years later, James has turned the experience into his first published book, which Hubbard and Lawrence stop by inorder to congratulate him. Warren Pemberton wrote and directed this unenjoyable romantic comedy.

SEARCHING (2018) - If you were waiting for a mystery/thriller completely seen through social media, then this is the movie for you. While not as irritating as a "found footage" flick, this comes close. Director Aneesh Chaganty fails to make all of the computer captures convincing, but he gets a strong performance from John Cho. After 15 minutes of biographical back story about the death of his wife and tensions with his daughter, Michelle La, the film finally gets to Cho realizing that his daughter is missing. Debra Messing is the detective on the case, and after an hour of red herrings, Cho realizes that Messing is actually impeding the case. It was Messing's mentally unstable son, Steven Michael Eich, who pushed La off a cliff in the night. Messing covered up the real events and even forces a mentally unstable ex-con to confess to murdering La, before staging a fake suicide, inorder to stop the investigation from continuing to look for La's body. Luckily, Cho is able to get Messing to confess in time for them to find La alive in a ravine, so the film has an happy ending.

THE SIREN, aka THE RUSALKA (2019) - Obviously director/cinematorgrapher Perry Blackshear thought that he could stretch this premise out with atmosphere and scenic beauty. That didn't work for me. This is a three person drama with only one actor, Margaret Ying Drake, not listed as one of the producers. Co-producer MacLeod Andrews plays a homosexual widower seeking revenge on the mysterious creature that haunts the lake where she was drowned and cursed with the desire to drown everyone she finds in the lake. Co-producer Evan Dumouchel plays a devout Christian who has come to stay in a cabin on the lake for a vacation. He is afraid of the water because of an incident in his youth where-in he was swimming when his throat was crushed rendering him mute. Andrews and Dumouchel become friends and we wait for Andrews to meet the creature. Drake plays the creature who falls in love with Andrews and decides not to kill him. She reveals what she it to Andrews, and he packs up to leave. She drags herself out of the water to commit suicide, but Andrews returns to save her and then have sex with her. Dumouchel clobbers Andrews over the head and goes to finally kill Drake, but Dumouchel recovers and fights him. Once Dumouchel falls into the lake, Drake quickly drowns him. Drake hides from Dumouchel after this, so he finally packs up and leaves. Drake seems to sadly watch him go, and then the film suggests that she doesn't drown the little girl who is playing in the lake. Blackshear is credited with making 4 short films before he, Drake, Andrews and Dumouchel teamed up on the feature THEY LOOK LIKE PEOPLE (2015). The four of them have a new film called OGRE reportedly in post production, with actress Libby Ewing joining the trio as a co-producer. Dumouchel and Andrews had minor roles in DOCTOR SLEEP.

LAS VISITACIONES DEL DIABLO, aka THE VISITATIONS OF THE DEVIL (1967) - Based on a novel by Emilio Carballido, who worked with Luis Bunuel on NAZARIN, this was the second feature film directed by Alberto Isaac, who followed it up with a documentary on the Mexico Olympics. A number of films made by the "new wave" of Mexican filmmakers of the late '60s are interesting because they feature cameo appearances by other filmmakers, intellectuals, and so forth. This film features Juan Ibáñez (who directed the 4 Boris Karloff Mexican features), cartoonist Abel Quezada, painter José Luis Cuevas, journalist and critic Carlos Monsiváis, film historian Emilio García Riera, and director Manuel Michel (Patsy, mi amor), among others. Claudio Isaac, the director's son, makes a brief appearance: he later became a feature film director himself. The film is set in Veracruz at the turn of the century. Enrique Lizalde comes to stay at the estate of his uncle Ignacio López Tarso, after earning his architecture degree in Paris. The household also includes the religiously-inclined Aunt Gloria Marín, their daughter Daniela Rosen (who can't walk as the result of an accident several years earlier), and Pilar Pellicer, an embittered "poor relative" who is scarcely better than a servant. Various mysterious events begin to occur. A mysterious woman enters Lizalde's room one night and attacks him; another night, he sees and hears a woman in white singing in the garden, but she disappears when he approaches. Rosen is found at the bottom of a staircase, and claims that an unseen attacker pushed her. Tarzo, Marin, and Lizalde go to a fancy party; Lizalde brings Rosen a piece of cake, but she insists that it has been poisoned, by the devil. Tarzo--the ruthless owner of a textile factory who asks the army to crush the unionizing of his disgruntled workers--wants Lizalde to marry Rosen, and Lizalde is at first attracted to the beautiful invalid. However, Rosen's hysterics begin to get on his nerves; he also discovers that a "religious" book that Juan Ibañez--a servant--has been reading aloud to Rosen is actually pornography. No one knows--although Pellicer suspects it--that Rosen actually can walk (with difficulty), although she pretends she cannot. In the meantime, Lizalde gets to know Pellicer (although he doesn't learn that she's been sleeping with Tarzo). Fed up with the strange occurrences at the old house, Lizalde announces his intention to leave. However, he sees Marin and Pellicer fighting in the garden, and intervenes just in time to save Pellicer from drowning. The repressed Marin has been behind the mysterious happenings. The next day, Lizalde and Pellicer leave to begin a new life. "We won't have much money," Lizalde tells her. She replies that she stole enough money on which to live from Tarso to repay him for the years of maltreatment she suffered. They board a train and leave Veracruz behind. As you can tell from the synopsis, there isn't anything supernatural in this film, though it does have some nice gothic fog for a color Mexican movie of the  mid-1960s. 

UFO: TARGET EARTH (1974) - Writer/Co-Producer/Director Michael A. DeGaetano provides evidence that you can't recreate the "Trip" experience from 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY using cheap video and computer graphic effects. But you can deliver an equally confusing science fiction film with just about no budget. Director Stanley Kubrick decided not to start 2001 with a series of scientific talking heads discussing the concepts behind his film, but DeGaetano isn't afraid of starting his film with a series of reportedly real people talking about real UFO encounters. Then the plot begins with Nick Plakias investigating strange signals. Eventually, the signals are discovered to be coming from a nearby lake, so he assembles a team to investigate, including psychic Cynthia Cline and technicians LaVerne Light and Tom Arcuragi. In the end, Plakias is psychically contacted by the aliens saying that they need the power of his imagination to give their space ship the energy to finally escape from Earth after 1,000 years. So, Plakias starts to age without showing up in an old fashioned hotel room, nor with the assistance of expensive make up effects. Looking like a very early video game graphic, the space ship flies into space. According to the IMDb, DeGaetano is actually Georgia based filmmaker Alessandro De Gaetano, who went on to make 4 horror movies and one comedy over the next 20 years. 

Women Make Film - 26. Melodrama, 27. Sci-Fi (When the Wachowskis made THE MATRIX, they weren't women.), 28 Hell and Horror.


Charles Gilbert watched:

SARTANA IN THE VALLEY OF DEATH (1970) William Berger is a gunfighter who springs Wade Preston and his two froward brothers from jail to retreive a stache, but they quickly count him out. Out in the desert proceeds a battle until his battered self is picked up by a passing stagecoach escorting a beautiful lass (Pamela Tudor). He spends the night with her in Death Valley, but morning brings betrayal when he is lassoed in the street by thugs as he leaves. Quick gunplay frees him for another round in the desert against the brothers. The exchange ends, sparing him some bullets, as a scorpion stings Wade bringing imminent death. Script is peppered with atypical amount of profanity.

MY DEAR SECRETARY (1948) B&W. Kirk Douglas plays author Owen Waterbury who marries his secretary Stephanie 'Steve' Gaylord  (Loraine Day). Keenan Wynn is his cook, and Irene (Granny Clampett) Ryan his maid. All is not well, though. She wants to write, too, and becomes his competitor. Silly comedy fraught with overacting. 

THE BOUNTY MAN (1972) Clint Walker plays flint-faced bounty killer Kincaide who takes in Billy Riddle (John Ericson). Richard Basehart as Angus and Billie's girlfriend (Margot Kidder) make things difficult for him in the desert. Quick resolution in this made-for-tv movie from Aaron Spelling.


David Deal enjoyed:

HIGHWAYMEN (19) - Two retired Texas Rangers are called in to track down Bonnie and Clyde.  Based on true-to-life characters and events, this atmospheric period piece is driven by the performances of Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson, and is a treat as a result.



CHESLEY BONESTELL: A BRUSH WITH THE FUTURE (18) - Excellent documentary on the amazing life of the premier space artist.  Highly recommended.



RITUAL OF EVIL (70) - See the Television Fright Films of the 1970s book for a complete review of this trippy horror series pilot.

Mildly enjoyed:

VELVET BUZZSAW (19) - The high art world - and its sycophantic denizens - is plagued by a set of newly-discovered, fascinating and cursed paintings.  Dark satire isn’t as sharp as it thinks it is, but this is still an amusing look at weakness, greed and comeuppance.  Big buck cast features Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Toni Collette, and John Malkovich.



Bertrand Van Wonterghem enjoyed:

Truth seekers - season 1 – episodes 1 to 8

Intelligence – season 1 – episodes 5 & 6

Two weeks to live – season 1 – episodes 3 to 6

White gold – season 1 – episode  3

The alienist- season 2 – episodes 3 to 8

Ghosts – season 2 – episode 1

Le nom de la rose : making of /  (doc) (2004, Sedrik Allani & Julien Godringer)

The benza – season 1 – episode 6

Courte tête ( 1956, Norbert Carbonnaux)

Mildly enjoyed:

Ildan Ddeugeobge Chungsohara  / Clean with passion for now (2018) – episode 6

Shalako (1968, Edward Dmytryk)

Tarzan and the green goddess (1935, Edward A. Kull)

Carnival row – season 1 – episode 2

Money (2016, Martin Rosete)

Did not enjoy:

Bonjour sourire (1955, Claude Sautet)


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