Friday, March 26, 2021

Week of March 27 - April 2, 2021




To answer these trivia questions, please email me at

Brain Teasers:

Which British film actress who made movies in Italy was arrested for prostitution?
It was Margaret Lee.

Which American actor who worked in Italy had an ex-wife who was a mistress to Federico Fellini?
Tom Betts knew that it was Walter Barnes.

Which American actor who worked in Italy had a daughter who made a film banned in several countries as "child pornography"?
No one has answered this question yet.

Which American actor who made Westerns in the USA, Germany, Yugoslavia, Sardinia, Italy and Spain died of complications from diabetes?
Tom Betts, Bertrand Van Wonterghem and George Grimes knew that it was Walter Barnes.

Charles Gilbert asks, "Which 'film di recupero' was launched in the wake of MARCO POLO (1962) to defray expenses of that box office failure?"

Which Italian Western was shot in Sardinia?
Tom Betts, Bertrand Van Wonterghem and George Grimes knew that it was GIARRETTIERA COLT, aka GARTER COLT.

Which Italian Western was shot in Algeria?
Tom Betts, Bertrand Van Wonterghem and George Grimes knew that it was TRE PISTOLE CONTRO CESARE, aka DEATH WALKS IN LAREDO.

And now for some new brain teasers:

Which American actor who worked in Italian films chose to do so inorder to avoid paying U.S. income tax?
Which American actor who worked in Italian films was divorced by his American actor wife because he hadn't told her that he had been previously married and had a child by that union?
Which American actor who worked in Italian films was offered a role by director Fred Olen Ray, but never showed up to work?

Name the movies from which these images came.

Tom Betts, Bertrand Van Wonterghem, Rick Garibaldi and George Grimes identified last week's frame grab of Van Heflin in OGNUNO PER SE, aka THE RUTHLESS FOUR, aka SAM COOPER'S GOLD.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

Bertrand Van Wonterghem and George Grimes identified last week's frame grab of Daniele Vargas and Livio Lorenzon in LA FURIA DEI BARBARI, aka FURY OF THE PAGANS.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

Bertrand Van Wonterghem and George Grimes identified last week's photo of Jose Torres and George Hilton in the alternate version of L'UOMO MASCHERATO CONTRO I PIRATI, aka THE MASKED MAN AGAINST THE PIRATES.
Can you name that movie?

George Grimes identified last week's frame grab of David Chiang in VENGEANCE.
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:


BOSCH season one (2014)

Mildly enjoyed:

FORT DOBBS (1958) - I first became aware of director Gordon Douglas with 1967's CHUKA. I was surprised to find a number of plot elements were repeated from FORT DOBBS, though handled very differently. George W. George and Burt Kennedy wrote the screenplay for this film which starred Clint Walker from the Cheyenne TV series. Arriving in the town of Largo during a dust storm, Walker is looking for a man he tells Sheriff Russ Conway he is going to kill. We don't find out the how and why for the killing until near the end of the picture, but soon Walker races into the Comanche danger zone to escape a posse. Finding a dead white man with an arrow in his back, Walker trades his distinctive coat with the dead man, replaces the arrow in the back and pushes the body off a precipice. The ruse seems to work as the posse figures he's dead and turns back with Walker's abandoned horse. On foot in the night, Walker comes upon a homestead and prepares to steal an horse. He's stopped by a bullet graze to the head fired by little boy Richard Eyer which knocks him out. When Walker wakes up, he finds that mother Virginia Mayo has bandaged his head. Soon it become obvious that the Comanches are about to attack, and Walker elects to get Mayo and Eyer to Fort Dobbs for safety. If you've been waiting to see a farm house with a window that slides open horizontally, this is the movie for you. If you ever wanted to see an Indian strangled with a pistol, this is the movie for you. If you want to see a Western in which the female lead proves herself to be sensible and resourceful, this isn't the movie for you. For a good part of the movie, Mayo causes extra trouble by not doing what Walker tells her to do. She also becomes convinced that Walker killed her husband because that's whose coat Walker now has. Along the way, the trio meet up with Brian Keith as a gun merchant and the film feels like a commercial for the Henry 15-shot, with one in the chamber, repeating rifle. After he tries to rape Mayo, Keith is told to git. Eventually, the trio reach Fort Dobbs and find everyone inside dead, just like in CHUKA. Later, they are joined by the survivors of Largo, which has been destroyed by a Comanche attack. The Sheriff is surprised to find Walker alive, but goes along with our hero's plan to ride to Santa Fe for help. Meanwhile, the Sheriff informs Mayo about why Walker wanted to kill that guy at the beginning of the movie, and sets her straight about who killed her husband. On the way to Santa Fe, Walker runs into Keith again and decides that the shipment of Henry rifles is what the Fort's new defenders really need to win. Keith refuses to contribute to the cause, and rather than coming to some sort of "use now pay later" plan, he and Walker shoot it out, with Walker winning. Walker gets the rifles to the fort, the increased fire power wins the day and the Sheriff decides that rather than arrest our hero, he will allow Walker to escort Mayo and Eyer to Santa Fe, where they hope to get transport back to St. Louis. Vividly captured in black and white by Director of Photography William H. Clothier, FORT DOBBS is a good looking movie, though the "day for night" scenes on the print viewed were a bit too bright. As expected, Douglas tells the story efficiently and stages the action well, though it looks like a few shots were reused from another film - reportedly THE CHARGE AT FEATHER RIVER. Producer Martin Rackin would again hire Douglas for the 1966 remake of STAGECOACH. Michael Dante plays a member of the sheriff's posse and defender of the fort.

GAROU-GAROU...LE PASSE-MURAILLE, aka MR. PEEK-A-BOO (1951) - I've only seen the English language version, which reportedly has a different supporting cast from the French language version. Based on a short story by Marcel Ayme, this film stars Bourvil as a meek civil servant who suddenly finds that he can walk through walls. He goes to see his artist friend who says that he should take advantage of his ability and do forbidden things. After he gets thrown out of a dressing room for fashion models, Bourvil goes wandering around in an hotel where he sees the lovely Joan Greenwood and hears her talking to a man about a job to happen at midnight. Curious, our hero shadows Greenwood at midnight and discovers that she's a cat burglar stealing the jewels from a Spanish couple in the hotel. Stealing the jewels away from Greenwood, without her knowing, and returning them to the Spaniards, Bourvil decides to rescue the woman from a life of crime. Towards that end, he pretends to be a fortune teller and reads her palm. Finding out that she wants a man who will bring adventure into her life, Bourvil goes on a crime spree, signing each of his jobs as "Mr. Peek-A-Boo". After he becomes a media sensation, Bourvil turns himself into the police so that he can announce he only committed the crimes out of love for Greenwood, but he only knows her first name - Susan. Put in jail, Bourvil goes outside and finds that a line of Susans has formed hoping to see "Mr. Peek-A-Boo". Greenwood shows up, but doesn't recognize our hero from his picture in the paper. He takes her to lunch, and then calls the prison warden to come and get him, so that she will be convinced that he is "Mr. Peek-A-Boo". After giving all that he stole back to their rightful owners, and pleading his cause of love, Bourvil is acquitted and welcomed back to his job as a civil servant. Greenwood comes to see him to thank him for saving her from a life of crime, but before their budding love can flower, a gaggle of reporters shows up. The film ends with a gag that doesn't resolve the story. Bourvil was known as a stage performer prior to this movie debut, which made him a popular star of the screen. The screenplay was by director Jean Boyer and Michel Audiard, with dialogue by Jack F. Snyder. The print viewed was only 72 minutes long, so perhaps the jumbled storytelling was not the fault of the filmmakers. 

LE TEMPS DE L'AVENTURE, aka JUST A SIGH (2013) - While doing a play in Calais, Emmanuelle Devos is informed by her agent that she's got an audition in Paris at 9AM. On the train to Paris, she exchanges glances with fellow passenger Gabriel Byrne. As the train arrives in Paris, Byrne asks Devos for directions to a church. While she strives to give directions, another man jumps in with detailed directions. Devos goes to her audition and doesn't think it went well, so she seeks solace by calling her boyfriend. The call goes to voice mail, and she leaves a message that he can't call her back because she forgot to bring her charger and her cell phone is dead. She then calls her mother to set a lunch date. At loose ends, she decides to go to the church that Byrne mentioned only to find that he is attending a funeral. They exchange glances while another funeral attendee decides to get Devos to show him the way to where everyone is gathering for drinks. Devos and Byrne fail to meet at the bar, but she overhears the name of the hotel at which Byrne is staying. She wanders by the hotel just as Byrne arrives. While admitting not knowing why she seeks him out, Devos has sex with Byrne. As he is sleeping, she sneaks out of the hotel and blows off lunch with her mother. She plans to catch the 1PM train back to Calais, but buys a coffee and finds that she doesn't have the cash to pay for it. As her bank account has insufficient funds, she go to her sister's house to get some cash, which ends with a shouting match over old disagreements and a slap. With the cash to pay her bill, Devos finds that she has a couple of hours to fill before the 3PM train. Eventually, she hooks up with Byrne again and misses the 3PM train. He starts to wonder if she wants to come to his home in England. She is still uncertain as she's on the platform to catch the 6PM train and make her curtain call. This could have been called A BRIEF ENCOUNTER BETWEEN STRANGERS. Why writer/director Jérôme Bonnell wanted to tell this story isn't communicated. Is there an audience that would see this film as romantic? Raf Keunen contribues a tuneful music score and Pascal Lagriffoul contributes attractive images. 

Unsung "Morris Day" (2021)

Uncnsrd "Teddy Riley"  (2021)

WELCOME TO PINE LAKE (2020) - When Mayor Melanie Hammet finds that most of the people she cold calls on behalf of Stacey Abrams hang up, that rings true. I used to always hang up on cold calls. Now I don't even answer the phone. If they don't leave a message, then the call wasn't important.

Did not enjoy:

THE ASCENT, Восхождение (1977) - If you feel that you need a black and white film, mostly set in the snow, to remind you how awful World War 2 was for Russians, then this is the film for you. Based on the novel SOTNIKOV by Vasil Bykaŭ, THE ASCENT tells the tale of two partisan soldiers searching for food. Eventually they are captured by the Germans and just about everyone they met in the search are also arrested for collaborating with the partisans. During interrogation, one soldier refuses to talk and is tortured. The other soldier talks, but doesn't have any important information to give. However, because he collaborated, he is offered the chance to become a policeman and help the occupying Germans. In the morning, he is called upon to assist in hanging his comrade, an headman from whom they took food, a young Jewish girl, and the mother in whose home they were captured. Whether the surviving soldier, who keeps imagining his own violent death every time he considers doing something heroic, actually does anything worthwhile in the future is unknown. All we see is his despair for his betrayal. The film was directed by Larisa Shepitko, whose film was accused of being a "religious parable with a mystical tinge" instead of the partisan story that was approved. Thankfully, Shepitko's husband, director Elem Klimov, had befriended Pyotr Masherov, the first secretary of the Communist Party of Belarus, while preparing to make the film COME AND SEE, and convinced him to attend a screening of THE ASCENT. Masherov, who had been a partisan during the war, was so moved by the film that he helped to get the film accepted and released. The film won the Golden Bear at the 27th Berlin International Film Festival in 1977 and became the Soviet entry for the 50th Academy Awards, but did not get a nomination. Shepitko was killed in an automobile accident in 1979.

Beecham House (2019) - Six one hour episodes and they end on a cliff-hanger????!!!!!????

CARRY ON EMMANNUELLE (1978) - Suzanne Danielle is the unsatisfied wife of the French ambassador to the U.K., Kenneth Williams. After Danielle and Williams made love while skydiving, Williams landed on a church spire and has been impotent. She makes love in the toilet of a Concorde jet with Larry Dann, so he becomes obsessed with marrying her, much to the chagrin of his mother Beryl Reid. Being told that her husband might be assassinated by anyone he meets, Danielle sets out to disarm everyone with whom he comes in contact. She also takes on a soccer team during a championship match. Dann is so incensed that Danielle won't marry him that he give the information on all of her assignations to the press, but rather than a scandal, her actions are seen as "winning friends for your country". Finally Doctor Albert Moses gets Williams to see that his impotence is not physical, so the husband is able to satisfy his wife again. Soon after, Williams admits that he's exchanged Danielle's birth control pills for fertility pills and our heroine delivers six babies. All of her lovers raise glasses of champagne behind the end credits. This was the 30th CARRY ON film, and was the last before 1992's CARRY ON COLUMBUS, which featured only one of the series regulars, Jack Douglas. This was Kenneth Williams 26th appearance, Kenneth Connor's 17th, Joan Sims' 24th, and Peter Butterworth's 16th. I do not share the sense of humor of writer Lance Peters, director Gerald Thomas and producer Peter Rogers. I hope to never again hear the theme song, "Love Crazy" written by Kenny Lynch and sung by Masterplan.

CELLAR DWELLER (1988) - Director and Monster Maker John Carl Buechler delivers more drooling creatures in this Empire Picture mostly shot in the Italian studios which once belonged to Dino De Laurentiis. Comic book artist Jeffrey Combs uses a book on witchcraft for background on drawing demons and unknowingly gives them bodies with which to eat people. Much later, a fan of his goes into the same cellar where he worked and makes the same mistake. Will using white out on the drawings save her life? Debrah Farentino is billed under her birth name Debrah Mullowney on this. Yvonne De Carlo and Vince Edwards also appear.

THE DUNGEONMASTER, aka RAGEWAR (1984) - So what was the concept here? Was it to make the low budget fantasy version of 1967's CASINO ROYALE without all of the big names? Was it cheaper to get various special effects guys to contribute to the project if they got writer/director credits? Considering how many effects guys are listed in the end credits, what exactly did Emmy Award Winning Ernest D. Farino do to be credited with "Additional Optical Effects"? And after identifying the seven sequences of the film to different writers and directors, why was it necessary to add "Additional Scenes Directed by Steve Ford, Michael Karp"? If you like slobbering creatures, John Buechler contributed "Demons of the Dead". If you like stop motion animated giant statues, David Allen contributed "Stone Canyon Giant". If you like a short MAD MAX pastiche, Ted Nicolaou contributed "Desert Pursuit". If you like the idea of an evil heavy metal band, producer Charles Band contributed "Heavy Metal". If you like a short "stalk and slay" film, Steve Ford contributed "Slasher". What value was expected from Rosemarie Turko's "Ice Gallery" and Peter Manoogian's "Cave Beast" was unknown to me.

I, MADMAN (1988) - This film does have some nostalgia value. It was produced by Trans World Entertainment, back when their offices were on Sunset and Cahuenga in Hollywood. Much of the film takes place inside the old Book City on Hollywood Blvd. There's a scene inside the Guaranty Building on Hollywood Blvd., in which I used to work back in 1979. (Now it's owned by Scientology.) In one shot, you can see the marquee for the Vine Theater with the title METAL MESSIAH, which was director Tibor Takacs' first feature film. I, MADMAN star Jenny Wright was pretty, but completely unconvincing as a young woman whose reading the books of Malcolm Brand brought their horrors to life. There was some fun in seeing a stop-motion animated creature.

SCHIZOID (1980) - Someone is killing therapist Klaus Kinski's patients with a large pair of scissors. First of all, who would go into therapy with Klaus Kinski? Second of all, what kind of therapist has sex with at least two of his female patients? These are just two of the unanswered questions which arise when viewing writer/director David Paulen's contribution to "stalk and slay" cinema. Reportedly this went into production with the title MOLDED TO MURDER, which was changed to MURDER BY MAIL. Complicating matters is that patient Mariana Hill (usually spelled Marianna) is getting letters threatening murder. Are they being cut up and glued into notes by Kinski's incestuous minded daughter Donna Wilkes? Is Hill's ex-husband Craig Wasson the murderer because he feels that the therapy sessions are convincing Hill to not get back with him? Is creepy janitor Christopher Lloyd just a red herring?

JEUNES FILLES IMPUDIQUES, aka SCHOOLGIRL HITCHHIKERS (1973) - I saw this in a collection called Grindhouse Experience with the title HIGH SCHOOL HITCH HIKERS on the disc, but SCHOOLGIRL HITCHHIKERS on the print. Running only 67 minutes and with most of the opening credits missing, the film proved to be so badly made, I guessed that it might have been directed by Jean Rollin. The IMDb confirmed that it was, though Rollin supposedly used the name Michel Gentil. As usual, two young women, Joelle Coeur and Gilda Stark, are strolling through the woods, come upon what looks to be an empty villa, find a bed and quickly engage in some softcore kissing and rubbing. Rather than a wacky vampire popping out of a grandfather clock, the house is inhabited by crook Willy Braque. Eventually, both young women find Braque and engage in some softcore kissing and rubbing. In the morning, the two young women set off to go camping in the woods. Braque is joined in the villa by Marie Helene Regne and Francois Brincourt, who've come for the jewels that Braque was supposed to have stolen. The jewels are missing, so Braque goes into the woods, chloroforms the two young women and brings them back to villa for Regne to torture. Actually, Regne's idea of torture is to hang a topless Stark by her wrists and cut off some of her hair. Coeur pretends to seduce Brincourt, clobbers him over the head, and escapes. Coeur gets to the office of private detective Pierre Julien and his assistant Reine Thyrion and asks for help in rescuing Stark. The three wouldbe rescuers can't find anyone in the villa, and don't even notice that Coeur's clothes change during the search of the house. Eventually the bad guys show up, and a very dull gun battle takes place while Regne tears off Coeur's top and wrestles her on the floor. Brincourt runs away, and Julien seems to have captured Regne, until Braque appears with a knife at Stark's throat. Figuring that they hadn't tortured Coeur yet, Regne and Braque kidnap Coeur to "the Chinese house". Julien decides that the thing to do is to wait around for the bad guys to return, while Braque tortures Coeur by getting her naked for some more kissing and rubbing. Regne gets all hot and bothered watching Braque and Coeur, but she doesn't get naked. With Coeur tied in up in the car, Braque and Regne take Stark, Julien and Thyrion captive. It is decided that it is time for Braque to question Thyrion, so those two go upstairs for some naked kissing and rubbing. Coeur wriggles free of her bonds and puts a gun on Regne, but Braque comes in with a gun on Thyrion. Suddenly, a car pulls up. We don't clearly see who the passenger is, but director Jean Rollin comes in and admits that he took the jewels, but he figured it didn't matter because they are fake. Braque admits that he didn't steal the real jewels and Regne is going to kill him, but is stopped by Julien. As Julien and Thyrion prepare to take Regne and Braque to jail, they all watch Coeur and Stark do some kissing before they set off to go wander in the woods again. While the naked women are attractive, they do nothing erotic and the entire effort is dull.

SENSATION (1994) - When was the last time you saw Ed Begley Jr. as a red herring creep? Kari Wuhrer is an empathetic student who is hired by psychology professor Eric Roberts to see if she can get information from the objects once owned by a female student who was murdered a year ago. This gives writer Doug Wallace and director Brian Grant justification for alot of softcore sex scenes, which is probably why Mark Damon Productions thought this would be a worthwhile film to distribute. Ron Perlman plays the detective obsessed with proving that Roberts is the killer. Paul Le Mat is another red herring creep. Claire Stansfield also appears inorder to provide more female nudity. Kieran Mulroney is the fellow student trying to interest Wuhrer in watching THE TENANT and proclaiming that Roman Polanski is a genius. Should we hold Polanski responsible for inspiring this movie? Remember when sexy thrillers usually had irritating saxophone music scores? Arthur Kempel is blamed for this one.

SERPENT'S LAIR (1995) - Even though the previous owner set fire to the apartment and killed himself by castration, an apartment for rent looks too good for newly weds Jeff Fahey and Heather Medway to pass up. Red flags don't go off for the couple even when a black cat soon moves in with them. Naturally, the black car turns into Lisa B., who is a succubus. The cat trips Medway to tumble down stairs. While Medway is in the hospital, Lisa B. appears in human form and moves into the apartment as the sister of the previous owner. As Lisa B. works at fucking Fahey to death, Patrick Bauchau puts on the moves on Medway. An old associate of the dead man, Taylor Nichols, shows up to inform Fahey about the evil forces working against him, and he is soon killed by a hit and run driver. Midcoitus, Fahey sets fire to Lisa B. with a butane burner, but that doesn't seem to end everything. Bauchau appears and says, "See you soon, neighbor." before leaving the burning apartment. Marc Rosenberg is the credited writer and Jeffrey Reiner is the credited director. "Filmed entirely on location in Romania."


Charles Gilbert watched:

THE SHADOW OF THE CAT (1961) B&W. Ella Venable's cat Tabitha terrorizes the three people responsible for her murder. Weak Hammer film with Andre Morell, Freda Jackson, and Barbara Shelley.

The Tales of Frankenstein (1958) B&W. Television production from Hammer Pictures has the look of Universal with Michael Carreras collaborating alongside writer Curt Siodmak. Perennial Nazi charactor Anton Diffring is the doctor baron, and Don Megowan the monster in Pierce-like makeup. Ludwig Stossel and Peter Bocco in there, too.

INVASION OF THE BEE GIRLS (1973) An entomological research lab in California is the site of government scrutiny by federal investigator Neil Agar (William Smith) following the death of several men who died during intimacy. A town meeting concludes with much resistance from the men that abstinence for a period is indicated to vet the killings. With help from sheriff Cliff Osmond and lab tech Victoria Vetri, Agar discovers that Dr. Susan Harris (Anitra Ford) in her lab is transforming local women into "queen bees" to the demise of their mates. The exchange at 22:54 cracked me up. Bedtime: Husband complaining: "Abstinence around here is nothing new." Wife retorting (she's not been altered yet) "You know if I was sure it would kill you I'd do it."

1965 Shindig Halloween episode with host Jimmy O'Neill,  guests Bobby Sherman, Boris Karloff, and Ted "Lurch" Cassidy. Blurred black and white condition is barely watchable. Karloff remains seated the entire show but plays with the crystal ball and sings The Peppermint Twist. Clips from FRANKENSTEIN, DRACULA, THE MUMMY,  and FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLFMAN.

David Deal enjoyed:


SO SWEET, SO DEAD (72) - The Code Red Blu-ray looks good to me.

HUMAN NATURE (19) - Documentary on the ability of science to alter our genes; the debate being whether we should use this power - for good or evil - or draw the line as a society.  My thoughts are these: We ARE nature, so it's inevitable that we will evolve, this time at our own hand.  As with all things, there will be good and bad of it; we just hope the bad doesn't kill us.


MOON OF THE WOLF (72) - See the Television Fright Films of the 1970s book for a complete review.

Mildly enjoyed:

TRACK THE MAN DOWN (56) - Crackerjack reporter Kent Taylor becomes embroiled in a gang's unraveling following a racetrack robbery.  Yank Taylor is on British soil for this adequate crime thriller where he's joined by an eve-of-stardom Petula Clark and the always dependable Walter Rilla (the Dr. Mabuse series) as the ringleader.



Bertrand Van Wonterghem Highly enjoyed:

Barin Prasil (1961, Karel Zeman)

Batman – season 1 – « The purr-fect crime » & « Better luck next time » (1965, James Sheldon)


A gauche en sortant de l’ascenseur (1988, Eduard Molinaro)

Lotte Eisner, aucun lieu, nulle part (documentary) (2020, Timon Koulmasis)

Doctor Who – season 12 – « Spyfall : part one » (2019, Jamie Magnus Stone)

Les chevaliers du fiel – les décoiffeuses (show) (2021, Emmanuel Carriau)

Le Capitan (1960, André Hunebelle)

Freaks du bist eine von uns (2020, Felix Binder)

Maeumui sori / The sound of your heart – season 1 – episodes 1 & 2

Voyage to the bottom of the sea – season 2 « The peacemaker » (1965, Sobey Martin)

Mildly enjoyed:

The new legends of monkey – season 1 – episodes 7 to 10

La reine Margot (1994, Patrice Chérau)

Ambush at Tomahawk Gap (1953, Fred F. Sears)


No comments:

Post a Comment