Friday, January 29, 2021

Week of January 30 - February 5, 2021




To answer these trivia questions, please email me at
It appears that George Grimes attempted to send in an email, but it was quarantined in a Virus Blocker folder.

Brain Teasers:

For which Western did Franco Nero reject the idea of hiring Sergio Corbucci to direct?
Mickey Knox reported that he wanted Corbucci to direct VIVA LA MUERTE...TUA!, but Nero said he wasn't going to work with Corbucci again.

Which Italian Western begins with Giovanni Pazzafini selling cattle to Giuliano Gemma?
Tom Betts and Bertrand Van Wonterghem knew that it was ADIOS, GRINGO.

Which Italian Western features Giovanni Pazzafini murdering Rosalba Neri?
Tom Betts and Bertrand Van Wonterghem knew that it was ARIZONA COLT, aka THE MAN FROM NOWHERE.

Which film features Miles O'Keeffe killing Robert Black?
Bertrand Van Wonterghem knew that Robert Black is actually Giovanni Pazzafini and the film was ATOR 2 L'INVINCIBILE ORION, aka THE BLADEMASTER.

And now for some new brain teasers:

Which American actor born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1937 went on to appear in three Italian directed Westerns?
Which American actor dealt with Allen Klein on a movie before the actor began making movies in Italy?
Which American actor who made Italian Westerns reportedly turned down an offer to appear in MACKENNA'S GOLD?

Name the movies from which these images came.

Tom Betts and Bertrand Van Wonterghem identified last week's frame grab of Eduardo Fajardo in GENTLEMAN JO...UCCIDI, aka GENTLEMAN KILLER.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

No one has identified the above photo yet.
Can you name from what movie it came?

No one has identified the above frame grab yet.
Can you name from what movie it came?

Bertrand Van Wonterghem identified last week's frame grab of Richard Harrison and Hu Chin in BOXER REBELLION, aka THE BLOODY AVENGERS.
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:


THE CURSE OF THE JADE SCORPION (2001) - A thoroughly enjoyable mix of 1940s crime caper comedy and Woody Allen's confused romance comedy, JADE SCORPION reaffirms that all of Allen's movies are really love stories. In pre-production, Allen got a phone call from his current producer Jean Doumanian saying that she and Sweetwater Films would no longer be financing Allen's films. Allen met Jean when she was married to John Doumanian and Allen was still working as a standup comedian. John and Jean divorced, but remained good friends with each other and Allen. Allen then became good friends with her and her new boyfriend. "We had no secrets, we were closer than family. This extreme and pleasurable closeness continued decade after decade until I sued her. And believe me, I still don't get it. I guess it began when Jean and her wealthy boyfriend decided one day to be producers and starting backing a number of my movies. The films were mostly profitable and I let my share of the profits stay with them, feeling more secure than if I had put it in a bank.... I'm married to Soon-Yi, we have a child. I just bought a house because our apartment was too small for a growing family. My business manager, Steve Tenebaum, says, 'I'd like you to dip into the pot of your profits a little as there are some large expenses coming up.' Utterly, inexplicably, from these two lovely people, Jean and her boyfriend, he gets a stall.... Her boyfriend, a Safra, was a billionaire, and what I was asking for and which was my hard-earned profit, was chump change to any billionaire... I would have thought that, given my closeness with Jean, she would have said to her boyfriend, I'm dealing with my closest friend. The last thing I want is for an issue of money, which destroys so many relationships, to have the slightest impact on this one. Let's resolve this instantly in the most friendly way. That didn't happen, and despite my pleading to resolve matters, we were finally forced to audit. The audit showed I was owed considerably more than we were asking for. I suggested they give me a smaller sum and we quickly put this behind us and move on... Jean explains that her boyfriend, through whatever tortuous train of thought, does not agree he owes me money.... Meanwhile we all have dinners together like there's no elephant in the room.... Now, more time goes by and Jean calls the last minute before our next film together and says they are backing out from sponsoring it. I accept this news and mention that the others already hired might not be so amenable to a sudden, last-minute rug being pulled out and could sue. Uncharacteristically, Jean says, Let them sue, it'll cost them and take them forever. What kind of lovely, wonderful person talks like that?... So, yes, there came a time when we threatened to sue. Still they remained unwilling even to settle for a lesser sum... Finally, at Cipriani one evening, Jean and my wife and I sat and ordered and laughed and I said, Please, this is the eleventh hour. Tomorrow my lawyer is going to file a suit against your company. Isn't that the dopiest thing you've ever heard? Let's settle this dumb conflict and get on with our lives. Charm from Jean, but no response to my plea.... The tabloid headlines branded Jean and her boyfriend crooks and neither ever spoke to me again... And did there come a time when you went to court? Yes. And my case was so overwhelming that they folded mid-stream and settled." VCL Film in Germany stepped in to provide financing and Allen's sister, Letty Aronson, stepped up to be the producer along with Helen Robin. Reportedly Allen didn't want to play the lead role in this film but everyone to whom he offered it turned him down. If Jack Nicholson or Tom Hanks had played the role, obviously the film would have been very different, and we would have lost the stream of put-downs Helen Hunt got to lay on Allen. Again Allen did get a splendid cast of co-stars, with Helen Hunt, Elizabeth Berkley and Charlize Theron looking particularly gorgeous. Also in the cast were John Schuck, Brian Markinson (in his 3rd Allen film), Maurice Sonnenberg (in his 3rd Allen film), John Doumanian (in his 13th Allen project), Peter Gerety, Phil Levy (in his 3rd Allen film), Wallace Shawn (in his 4th Allen film), Dan Aykroyd, David Ogden Stiers (in his 4th Allen film), Kenneth Edelson (in his 8th Allen film), Brian McConnachie (in his 8th Allen project), Patrick Horgan (from ZELIG), Howard Erskine (in his 5th Allen film), Ira Wheeler (in his 10th Allen film), Ramsey Faragallah (in his 3rd Allen film), Bob Dorian, Trude Klein (of EVERYONE SAYS I LOVE YOU), Professor Irwin Corey, Ray Garvey (in his 6th Allen film), Dan Moran (in his 5th Allen film), Kevin Kean Murphy (in his 3rd Allen film) and Greg Stebner (of SHADOWS AND FOG). Returning from SWEET AND LOWDOWN were Kaili Vernoff, Vince Giordano, Howard Alden, Ted Sommer, Joel Helleny, Ken Peplowski and Carole Bayeux. Dick Hyman was back in charge of music and even appeared on screen as the band leader at the Rainbow Room.

THE CONCERT FOR NEW YORK CITY (2001) - Woody Allen contributed the short film "Sounds From A Town I Love" to this 5 hour television fund raiser for the Robin Hood Relief Fund benefiting those affected by the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Unlike Martin Scorsese's "The Neighborhood", which was a first person narrated documentary during which Scorsese remembered the Little Italy of his youth which is now a Chinese American neighborhood, Allen's film is a montage of 23 different people having unrelated conversations on cell phones while walking the sidewalks of New York. "This is the greatest city in the World. Where else can you be paranoid and right so often?" "Yeah, he did Don King's hair. And he did Donald Trump's hair, too. But then they caught him and put him back in Bellevue." Among the yakkers were Marshall Brickman, Tony Roberts, Austin Pendleton, Griffin Dunne, Michael Emerson, Bebe Neuwirth, Hazelle Goodman, William Hill, Rick Mowat and Celia Weston. John Cusack introduced Allen's film and written apology. Watching this DVD twenty years later is emotionally moving particularly remembering how, for a brief moment, citizens across the nation seemed united and Rudy Giuliani seemed to have some dignity. Highlights included David Bowie, who got out of his sick bed with a high fever, performing Paul Simon's "America" as well as his own song "Heroes". Christy Turlington looked lovely introducing her husband Edward Burns' short film "Lovely Day", which was mostly a montage of couples kissing. Kevin Smith contributed a short film called "Why I Love #$%&@ New York", a montage of supposed New Yorkers commenting on New Jersey featuring Smith's wife Jennifer Schwalbach. Paul McCartney organized the event and got an impressive list of musical performers to show up.

HOLLYWOOD ENDING (2002) - Starting with THE CURSE OF THE JADE SCORPION, Woody Allen's business manager Stephen Tenenbaum became one of the executive producers. "DreamWorks Pictures Presents In Association with Gravier Productions A Perdido Production." "To me, my most disappointing film was HOLLYWOOD ENDING. I felt that movie was funny and it did not do well. The premise was funny, I executed it well, my leading lady Téa Leoni was wonderful, the supporting cast came through, the idea was fraught with potential... In Chaplin's hands or Buster Keaton's, it would've been a masterpiece. Even in mine, it was funny - or so I keep telling people." I agree. The movie is a very funny spoof of moviemaking. If the resulting movie within a movie had proved to be a success, it would have illustrated the belief that a good crew could make an hit movie with an incompetent director, or a blind one. However, Allen obviously feels that a competent director is needed, so the movie ends up bad, but is hailed as a work of art in France. Obviously, Allen isn't afraid of insulting his French fans, or maybe the implied insult endeared him to them all the more. One can't help but now read the estranged relationship between Allen and his son as reflecting the estrangement between Allen and his son with Mia Farrow, Satchel. In reality, Allen's son did not become a punk rocker, but he did change his name to Ronan. So when, in the movie, Allen's son announces that he's changed his name to Scumbag, it is funny in ways Allen probably didn't intend before the #MeToo movement. "On that movie, I fired Haskell Wexler. I always thought he was a genius cameraman but I found him infantile, annoying like a pestering child, and I realized early if we had to have a Talmudic disagreement before and after every shot, I'd run months over schedule. I was sorry to do it, as I had looked forward to working with such a gifted man, but the chemistry was bad." Reportedly it was co-producer Helen Robin who recommended German cinematographer Wedigo Von Schultzendorff to take over, which was a challenge for the cameraman as he was used to shooting Horror films, not a romantic comedy. The result was beautiful and this may be the most brightly lit film of Allen's career. In the film, Allen's character asks for a foreign director of photography, and seems to be poking fun at his previous DP Zhao Fei with the character played by Lu Yu; a Chinese cameraman who can only be communicated with through a translator. At the end of HOLLYWOOD ENDING, Allen regains his sight, his relationship with his son and his ex-wife's affection. Because his film was an hit in France, he is moving to Paris to make movies. In the real future, Woody Allen would come to make movies in Europe, including France, because that's from where his financing would come. Among the terrific supporting cast was George Hamilton, Treat Williams, Mark Rydell, Tiffani Thiessen, Bob Dorian (from THE CURSE OF THE JADE SCORPION), Gregg Edelman (of CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS), Douglas McGrath (in his 5th Allen project), Stephanie Roth Haberle (in his 3rd Allen film), Bill Gerber (in his 3rd Allen film), Howard Erskine (in his 6th Allen film), Isaac Mizrahi (in his 3rd Allen film), Ramsey Faragallah (in his 4th Allen film), Olivia Hayman (in his 3rd Allen film), Ruth Last (of MANHATTAN MURDER MYSTERY), Joel Eidelsberg (of RADIO DAYS), Kenneth Edelson (in his 9th Allen film), Peter Gerety (of THE CURSE OF THE JADE SCORPION), Fred Melamed (in his 4th Allen film), Jeff Mazzola (in his 4th Allen film), Ray Garvey (in his 7th Allen film) and Maurice Sonnenberg (in his 4th Allen film). Repeaters from CELEBRITY included: Debra Messing, Marian Seldes, Ted Neustadt, Greg Mottola, Mary Samuels and Carmen Dell'Orefice.

ALWAYS AT THE CARLYLE (2018) - Matthew Miele's documentary about the famous Manhattan hotel is a wonderful portrait, but keeps hinting at scandals that no one talks about. Woody Allen performing on Monday night is shown in a quick clip, but he isn't interviewed in the documentary. On the DVD, he is featured in an extra where he talks for about eleven minutes. Among the celebrities featured in the documentary are Herb Alpert, George Clooney, Wes Anderson, Regis and Joy Philbin, Naomi Campbell, Sofia Coppola, Alan Cumming, Harrison Ford, Jeff Goldblum, Jon Hamm, Anjelica Huston, David Johansen, Tommy Lee Jones, Lenny Kravitz, Fran Lebowitz, Isaac Mizrahi, Bill Murray, Elaine Stritch and Anthony Bourdain.

Mildly enjoyed:

ANYTHING ELSE (2003) - "And so, folks, after all these years, it turns out I was still writing about Louise." Woody Allen's second wife was Louise Lasser, about whom he writes quite a bit about in his autobiography. "ANYTHING ELSE was the title of the flick, and Christina Ricci played the obscure object of desire, and she was plenty desirable. Jason Biggs played a version of young me very charmingly, and I played an exaggerated version of David Panich, the writer I spent a few summers with at Tamiment." It was unusual for Allen to admit that there were autobiographical elements in his movie. Unfortunately, the film itself felt like a rehash of ideas from ANNIE HALL, minus Annie Hall. Biggs narrated the story and often addressed the camera directly, but neither his character or Ricci's were particularly likable or interesting. It was odd seeing Allen playing a mentor with similar concerns about anti-Semitism that Allen himself expressed in ANNIE HALL, and I wonder if the line about "The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world" was inspired by what Mel Gibson reportedly said when he was arrested for DUI in California. To have this movie called a "Romantic Comedy" seemed wrong as it was not funny. And how can the story of a man finding out that his girlfriend, who stopped having sex with him six months ago, was cheating on him, but he was unwilling to break up with her because he hated sleeping alone be called romantic. Iranian born cinematographer Darius Khondji, who got an Oscar nomination for shooting director Alan Parker's EVITA, was behind the camera here, and would go on to make more movies with Allen. Why this film was shot 2.35:1 widescreen remains unknown. Reportedly, Carlo Di Palma wanted to come out of retirement to shoot this film, but he failed the insurance physical. He died two years later. Diana Krall fans would enjoy seeing her performing live during one scene. Among the supporting cast were Fisher Stevens, Anthony Arkin (of HOLLYWOOD ENDING), Danny DeVito, Jimmy Fallon, William Hill (in his 3rd Allen project), Stockard Channing, Maurice Sonnenberg (in his 5th Allen film), Kenneth Edelson (in his 10th Allen film), Erica Leerhsen (of HOLLYWOOD ENDING), Adrian Grenier (of CELEBRITY), Ray Garvey (in his 8th Allen film), Ralph Pope (in his 4th and last Allen film), William E. Corcoran (of HOLLYWOOD ENDING) and Carson Grant (of RADIO DAYS). Released by DreamWorks, this was produced by Gravier Productions without Perdido, but with assistance of Canal + from France.

MELINDA AND MELINDA (2004) - Four friends are sitting around a table at a cafe bar discussing whether life is tragic or comedic and all sounding like Woody Allen. Neil Pepe suggests that he'll tell a story and the writers can decide if it is tragic or comedic. We don't get to hear what Pepe says, but Larry Pine begins to spin it into a tragic story. Wallace Shawn decides to make it into a comedy. Stephane Roth Haberle (in her 4th Allen film) listens. While I am irritated that I didn't get to hear the basis which Pepe laid out, the film cuts back and forth between the two versions that Shawn and Pine are telling. Most of the story elements between the two versions are wildly different, with only the actress at the center, Radha Mitchell, participating in both. In the tragedy, Mitchell shows up unexpectedly during a dinner party held by old friends. In the comedy, Mitchell already lives in the same building and unexpectedly shows up during a dinner party held by strangers. Neither story is involving and the comedy is not funny. Here is another Allen story about couples breaking up over infidelities and romantic confusion. In the tragedy, Mitchell can not see her two children because her ex-husband was politically connected and banned her from visitation. This seems obviously to have been inspired by Allen's inability to visit his two adopted children and his child with Mia Farrow. In the comedy, Will Ferrell gets all of the Allen one-liners, but keeps the mannerisms to a minimum. In the tragedy, Mitchell talks about her mother being a great interior designer which immediately rings the INTERIORS bell. As in BROADWAY DANNY ROSE, the stories are told in the third person, but to very different results. For me, the behind-the-scenes story is mostly unknown but more intriguing. With the DreamWorks deal over, this film is released by Fox Searchlight, and so has a Twentieth Century Fox Corportation copyright in all territories except Brazil, Italy, Korea, Japan and Spain. TCF Hungary Films Rights Exploitaton Limited Liability Company and Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation share the copyright for Brazil, Italy, Korea, Japan and Spain. It is now a Gravier Production with no mention of Perdido. Allen works with a new cinematographer, the great Vilmos Zsigmond, but the film doesn't look any different from the more recent films, except the brightly lit HOLLYWOOD ENDING and the widescreen ANYTHING ELSE. Allen has become more reliant on scoring his films with cuts from his record collection, so Dick Hyman isn't employed to organize the music. The film features a live performance by the Shanghai Quartet. Reportedly, Allen wanted Winona Ryder and Robert Downey, Jr. to star in this film, but their legal problems prevented them from being okayed by the completion bond company. Also appearing in the film are Jonny Lee Miller, Chloë Sevigny, Matt Servitto, Brooke Smith, Amanda Peet, Steve Carell, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Daniel Sunjata and Sabrina Lloyd (uncredited). Aside from Wallace Shawn (in his 5th Allen film) and Larry Pine (in his 3rd Allen film), the repeaters include David Boston (in his 3rd uncredited appearance in an Allen film), Dono Cunningham (in his 2nd uncredited appearance in an Allen film) and Kenneth Edelson (in his 11th Allen film).

MATCH POINT (2005) - "Unearned as it was, I always operated like I was in a class with artistic moviemakers, and though it was a false comparison, my uncompromising demands won me respect more fitting for actual maestros. Nevertheless, I insisted, if you wanted to invest in my movies, you put the cash in a brown paper bag, go away, and I'd show up with a finished film, which you then had the right to distribute as you saw fit. But Hollywood was changing and my track record, though solid, was not in keeping with the surging blockbuster mentality. So here I was, with the script of MATCH POINT set in New York, the Hamptons, and Palm Beach, and no takers who had cash and a brown paper bag. Then I got a call from London. Certain blighters said they would put up the scratch for my next opus if it would shoot in London. Unlike American moguls, they professed no knowledge of filmmaking and were not ashamed to be considered bankers. In a trice, I put pen to paper, and soon New York became London, the Hamptons were the Cotswolds, all the hoods on the cars became bonnets, and folks were no longer ordering Big Macs but Spotted Dick. I cast Kate Winslet in the lead role opposite Jonathan Rhys Meyers. A week before shooting Kate called and said she couldn't do it... Suddenly we were scrambling for a last-minute replacement, and somebody mentioned this young girl named Scarlett Johansson was available... Within twenty-four hours, she was in. She was only nineteen when she did MATCH POINT but it was all there; an exciting actress, a natural movie star, real intelligence, quick and funny, and when you meet her you have to fight your way through the pheromones. Not only was she gifted and beautiful, but sexually she was radioactive... I also got to work with Emily Mortimer, who took a part that in other hands would have been a quiet one, but she made it sing. It was amazing how in MATCH POINT, every actor and actress in every small part made a real contribution. That movie was a joy for me. It was one of the only films I ever made that exceeded my ambitions." Produced in association with Kudu Films Limited, Financing provided by Bank of Ireland, Sale and Leaseback Finance by Invicta Capital Limited, Worldwide Sales and Distribution - HanWay Films. Released in the U.S. by DreamWorks, the film is copyrighted by Jada Productions, and it is the only feature film they made. "DreamWorks Pictures presents in association with BBC Films and Thema Productions SA A Jada Production." Writer/director Woody Allen stated that he wished that he had made CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS only about the Martin Landau story. Here he gets to do that, and when the film opens with Jonathan Rhys Meyers reading Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky, and then consulting the Cambridge Companion book, you have an idea what the film will be like. Actually the film opens with a voice over in which Meyers states, "The man who said I'd rather be lucky than good saw deeply into life." At 124 minutes, MATCH POINT takes its time setting up the situation that becomes a suspense thriller. And unlike CRIMES, the other woman character, played by Johansson, is fleshed out to become a vivid person whose ending feels tragic. With his characters all being opera fans, Allen gets to fill his "needle drop" soundtrack with vintage recordings of Enrico Caruso, as well as a few live performances the characters attend - and an audio snippet from Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical version of THE WOMAN IN WHITE. Working with mostly British actors in England, Allen delivers a movie that almost doesn't seem like an Allen film. No one acts or talks like a typical Woody Allen character here. Some UK critics didn't feel that Allen succeeded in getting the Englishness quite right, but to an American, it seemed like a film made by a Brit. Allen shouldn't have been surprised at the contributions of his cast, as most of them were leads in other productions. In addition to Meyers, Johansson and Mortimer, the cast includes Matthew Goode, Brian Cox, Penelope Wilton, Rupert Penry-Jones, Margaret Tyzack and James Nesbitt - none of whom has appeared in a previous Allen film. Veteran cinematographer Remi Adefarasin provides lovely images.

Southern Fried Chicks (2007) - Etta May, Trish Suhr, Sonya White and Beth Donahue caused me to laugh and chuckle.

Did not enjoy:

PICKING UP THE PIECES (2000) - How is it that this movie isn't better known? In 1992, director Alfonso Arua (who was an actor in THE WILD BUNCH) had a world wide hit with LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE, so he made A WALK IN THE CLOUDS for 20th Century Fox. Five years later, he made this film for The Kushner-Locke Company with a long list of stars and photography by Vittorio Storaro. If I've complained about Woody Allen not knowing enough about being a Catholic to poke fun at it in HANNAH AND HER SISTERS and CELEBRITY, PICKING UP THE PIECES is an example of someone who knows about being a Catholic and hates it. If LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE was criticized by Catholic officials, they would probably hate PICKING UP THE PIECES if they knew it existed. Because the film was considered controversial, it did not get a theatrical release in the U.S. and became a Cinemax Original. In his autobiography, Woody Allen notes that "I don't like to see myself in movies... and I never saw a full movie I appeared in called PICKING UP THE PIECES, which I could tell would win an Oscar for Most Unbelievable Waste of Celluloid for 2000." Cheech Marin is quoted as saying that he only made the movie because Woody Allen was in it, and that it was the worst movie he ever made. There are plenty of other films that are worse, but this should get some credit for being unique. The film starts with Allen wearing a "cowboy" hat and driving a pickup truck along with his pet dog. The truck hits a pot hole, the tail gate flies open, and stuff falls out on the road. The dog alerts Allen that something is wrong, so Allen goes back to find that the pieces of his dead wife have spilled onto the highway. He collects all of the pieces that he can find in the dark night and buries them near a small town in New Mexico. We eventually learn that Allen's wife, Sharon Stone, had been flagrantly unfaithful to him so, being a meat butcher, he killed her and cut her up. In the morning, blind woman Lupe Ontiveros trips over an hand that Allen didn't find and her blindness is miraculously cured. Ontiveros takes the hand to priest David Schwimmer, who is a frequent client of prostitute Maria Grazia Cucinotta. Soon, many of the invalid of the town find that the hand grants them miracles as well. Schwimmer thinks he should take the hand to the police, but Mayor Cheech Marin convinces him that making it a tourist attraction would be good business. Back in Texas, State Trooper Kiefer Sutherland roughs up Allen demanding to know the whereabouts of his lover Stone. Seeing that the miraculous hand is being reported on in the newspaper tabloids, Allen returns to New Mexico to bury the evidence of his crime with Sutherland in pursuit. The moral of the movie seems to be given in a voice over by Allen at the film's conclusion, "So what does this all mean? Bobo was doing his job; he got tortured. Candy cheated like hell; she got heaven. The townspeople killed a cop and they got miracles. The Mayor corrupted everybody; this guy gets re-elected. The priest renounced his vows and they got married. I loved like a mad man and I'm going to get executed. This is supposed to be funny? I'm afraid God is sending us all a message: if you can't take a joke, go fuck yourself." Sicilian actress Cucinotta gained world wide attention in IL POSTINO and she's gorgeous in this movie. Other members of the cast include Andy Dick, Fran Drescher and Elliot Gould as a trio sent by the Vatican to investigate the miracles. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a teenager who is cured of his pimples by the hand. Eddie Griffin, Mia Maestro, Lou Diamond Phillips, Pepe Serna,  Tony Plana and Kathy Kinney also appear. This is the only credit in the IMDb for Bill Wilson, so he's a mystery, as is why the director of 1971's VANISHING POINT, Richard Sarafian, appears in this as a bit actor. Future The Walking Dead bigwig Greg Nicotero is listed as the supervisor for K.N.B. EFX Group's Special Make-Up Effects. Photographed on location at Veluzat Motion Picture Ranch in Saugus, Oasis Trailer Park in Saugus and La Puente, California.

AVENTURAS DE UN CABALLO BLANCO Y UN NINO, aka ADVENTURES OF A WHITE HORSE AND A BOY (1973) - A man and woman living in a cabin in the forest notice a white horse approaching. On the white horse is a little boy, who falls to the ground. The couple run to help the boy. With quick flashbacks, we learn that the boy, Tono, survived a Civil War battle in which his parents were killed. Luckily, he was able to get on his white horse, Lightning, and ride away, but not before being shot in the back. The couple nurse the boy back to health, but then a bandit gang arrives. The bandit leader wants to buy Lightning, but Tono doesn't want to sell. The bandit throws down some money, but the horse won't allow him to get on it. Inorder to stop the bandit from killing the horse, the boy calms the animal and the bad guys ride away. In the night, Tono sets off on foot to find his horse. A group of French soldiers capture the bandit gang. Figuring that if the gang is dead, they won't have to return the stolen gold, the soldiers murder the bandits. Meanwhile, an ailing Tono is found and helped by friendly Indians, who give him a white burro for his journey. A gang of con artists, including Andres Garcia and Susana Dosamantes, invite the leader of the French soldiers to a card game inorder to fleece the gold from him. The con men murder the officer and a member of the gang puts the gold in a saddle bag on Lightning, which the officer had been riding. Tono arrives in town, gets on his horse and rides away, not knowing that the gold is in the saddle bags. The gang tries to give chase, but are stopped by a group of non-friendly Indians. Tono finds an older man stranded next to his dead horse, and agrees to have the man come with him. The older man finds the gold in the saddle bags, jumps on Lightning and rides away. However, he sees the unfriendly Indians and goes back to stop them from killing Tono. Giving Lightning back to the boy, the older man sacrifices his life holding off the Indians long enough for the boy to ride away. In the end, the boy rides back to the cabin in the forest. Rafael Baledon directed this rather dull action film as well as appeared as an actor.

KEEP WATCHING (2017) - You got live streaming like in SAW. You got security camera footage like in PARANORMAL ACTIVITY. Add a serial killer situation in which the only way you can survive is to join the serial killer team, like in HOSTEL 2. And the final film should result is everyone involved being banned from ever making movies again. That includes director Sean Carter, writer Joseph Dembner and the entire cast including former Disney Channel star Bella Thorne and Ioan Gruffudd and production company Voltage Pictures and Screen Gems. Maybe we'll just let Sony Pictures off with a warning.

HOMEFRONT (2013) - Chuck Logan has written a series of books featuring ex-cop and ex-soldier Phil Broker. HOMEFRONT was the sixth in the series. Sylvester Stallone adapted the book to the screen and turned it into a dull run-of-the-mill action flick while Gary Fleder directed his crew to make it a shakey-cam epic. Jason Statham gives his usual performance so the question of whether he has an American accent doesn't even occur to me. He's an ex-DEA agent in this version, who has retired to some small town with his beautiful nine year old daughter Izabela Vidovic (who did four episodes of iZombie). A good cast keeps the film watchable, with Kate Bosworth as a strung out Meth addict, Winona Ryder as a conniving Meth addict, James Franco as an evil Meth dealer, Clancy Brown as the corrupt local sheriff, Omar Benson Miller as our hero's black friend who does not die and Rachelle Lefevre as Vidovic's sweet school teacher. This is the kind of movie where one becomes irritated wondering just how bad our hero will let things get before he starts killing people. Thankfully, even the kitten seems to survive.

LA MUERTE EN BIKINI, aka DEATH IN A BIKINI (1967) - Drunk at a party, movie star Rodolfo de Anda makes a pass at Maura Monti, which angers her husband. When Monti sneaks off to have an affair with de Anda, the husband puts out the word to have de Anda killed. When de Anda doesn't show up for work at the studio, the movie producer notices that a stunt man looks just like de Anda and hires him to fill in for the star. Women mistake the stuntman for the star and throw themselves at him, angering their men to try and kill the stuntman as well. A sniper finally shoots the stuntman as he's making a spy movie on a beach location. It is not fatal, but the news gets on the radio and the star confronts the producer. The producer informs the star that there have been death threats since he took up with Monti, so he dumps her. The next day, the movie star is killed when he is fatally shot by another actor with a spear gun. The police investigator questions everyone, until the dailies are screened and Monti,in a bikini, is clearly seen replacing the prop spear gun with a real one. Recovered from his wound, the stuntman is finally able to spend time with his real girlfriend. Co-written and produced by Rodolfo's father Raúl de Anda, we get to see the star in modern day garb, and he looks too baby faced to be a screen heart throb. I couldn't find the name of the rock 'n' roll band that shows up in the middle of the movie, but they do a fun Spanish language version of "Wooly Bully". I don't think it was Los Rockin Devils who had a hit in 1965 called "Bule Bule".

TWO TIGERS (2007) - Produced with the assistence of China Film Co-Production Corporation and Tianjin Film Studio, this Dania Film, Surf Film, T.B.L. picture produced by Sergio Pelone with international distribution by RAI Trade is an Italian action film pretending to be a Chinese action film and doing a poor job. All of the hand-to-hand fighting is done by quick cuts editing and shakey cam so it becomes obvious that the stars don't have training. While there is enjoyment to be had by staring at Andrea Osvárt, she is completely unconvincing as an international hired killer. Selena Khoo, aka Selena Chau-yuet You, isn't particularly convincing as a prostitute and when the two women team up, it is obvious that director Sandro Cecca shouldn't be making an action film. 


Charles Gilbert watched:

QUEEN OF BABYLON (1954) Feisty Chaldaen Amal (Ricardo Montalban in an athletic performance) is on the lam after insulting King Assur (Roldano Lupi), and discovered wounded by sylvan beauty Semiramis (Rhonda Fleming). Under her care while she tends the goats by the river they fall in love, but the idyllic affair is interrupted when she is taken captive by soldiers to become one of the sovereign's concubines. She wins favor in court and eventually becomes queen, leaving Amal to fight the alligators in the courtyard pool. 

SWORD OF THE EMPIRE (1965) Young Roman soldier emissaries Marcus (Lang Jeffries) and Leto (Red Ross) are sent to German barbarian leader Artale (Adriano Micantoni) to avert a conflict. Not only are they treated with respect, but Marcus comes away with beautiful slave girl Nissia (Jose Greci) as reward for winning a fight with their champions. Upon returning to Rome they defer to Emperor Commodus (Enzo Tarascio) who covets and takes Nissia for himself. He dislikes Marcus but is compelled due to latter's popularity to commission him as General to route the barbarians in battle. In Marcus' absence Commodus discovers Nissia is allied with the pesky Christians and determines to persecute the bunch. The people of Rome begin to revolt against the neurotic Commodus and find relief when Marcus returns to defeat him in a sword duel.

David Deal enjoyed:




WINNETOU AND THE CROSSBREED (66) - Winnetou's (Pierre Brice) friend Walter Barnes gives a stash of gold to his half breed daughter Uschi Glas on her 21st birthday.  The local bad characters get wind of it and aim to get it for themselves.  An adventure of a smaller scope for Pierre and Lex Barker (as Old Shatterhand) features Gotz George and Miha Baloh (Operation Titian, Dead Body on Broadway).

MURDERER'S CLUB OF BROOKLYN (66) - See The Eurospy Guide book for a complete review of this Jerry Cotten entry.

WALL-E (08)


Mildly enjoyed:


NO TIME TO KILL (59) - John Ireland tries to go revengin' for being framed for arson but the babes keep getting in the way.  UK/Sweden co-production shot in english in Sweden.  This was apparently picked up for US distribution by Jerry Warren who cut 30 minutes from a 90-minute movie.  The hour-long version didn't leave me wanting more.

SEXY CAT (73) - Someone is copying the killings seen in the Sexy Cat comic books.  Private eye German Cobos teams up with a dumb cop to solve the crimes.  Sub-par Spanish gaillo with a few good ideas but no imagination in presenting them.

LADIES FIRST (63) - FBI agent Eddie Constantine must head for the south of France with a woman who can find evidence in her husband's murder.  Essentially a road trip, this adventure has a bit too much "comedy" for my taste but Eddie remains as entertaining as ever.

SHADOW OF FEAR (63) - American oilman Paul Maxwell gets mixed up in British espionage shenanigans.  Fun enough little programmer but nothing exceptional.


Bertrand Van Wonterghem Highly enjoyed:

Black books – season 2 – episode 3

WandaVision – season 1 – episode 3

The watch – season 1 – episode 1

Aterrados (2017, Demian Rugna)

Mugen no jûnin / The blade of the immortal (2016, Takashi Miike)


Ghosts – season 2 – episode 6

Swedish dicks – season 1 – episodes 6 & 7

The body stealers (1969, Gerry Levy)

Les dossiers de l’agence O – épisode « l’homme tout nu » (1967, Marc Simenon)

Dracula vs Frankenstein (1971, Al Adamson)

Kuroshitsuji / Black butler (anime) – season 1 (2008) – episode 4

Doom patrol – season 2 – episode 3

Mildly enjoyed:

Ildan Ddeugeobge Chungsohara / Clean with passion for now  – episodes 11 & 12

Atomic blonde (2017, David Leitch)

Walker –season 1 – episode 1

Bunnyman vengeance (2016, Carl Lindbergh)

Did not enjoy:

La rivolta dei gladiatori ( 1958, Vittorio Cottafavi)

Black hollow cage (Sadrac Gonzalez-Perellon)



  1. Pretty sure -- after hours of google-fu -- that the band in this movie is EL KLAN. Their appearance on their later LP covers is much different than the clean-cut kids in the movie, but scroll down and look at the oldest LP cover. Not only do they look like they did in the movie, the tell-tale item is the LONG-BELLED TRUMPET.
    Check 'em out...

  2. Also... may I copy/paste your excellent synopsis for

  3. I'm sorry, I'm an idiot -- I am addressing the movie LA MUERTE EN BIKINI.