Friday, April 16, 2021

Week of April 17 - 23, 2012




To answer these trivia questions, please email me at

Brain Teasers:

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?
Charles Gilbert knew that it was Gordon Scott.

Which American actor who worked in Italian films was offered a role by director Fred Olen Ray, but never showed up to work?
No one has answered this question yet.

Which Italian actress went from playing Snow White to Ophelia to Nausicaa to "the face that launched a thousand ships"?
George Grimes, Bertrand Van Wonterghem and John Black knew that it was Rossana Podesta.

Which Italian actress was born in Libya and died in Rome?
George Grimes, Bertrand Van Wonterghem and John Black knew that it was Rossana Podesta.

Which classical Greek character was played by Piero Lulli, Gordon Mitchell and Stanley Baker?
Charles Gilbert, John Black, Bertrand Van Wonterghem and George Grimes knew that they all played Achilles.

And now for some new brain teasers:

By what name is Isabel Apolonia Garcia Hernandez better known?
Which Italian actress appeared in movies with Alain Delon, Angie Dickinson, Rock Hudson, Lex Barker,  Dirk Bogarde and Fausto Tozzi?
By what name is James Reed better known?

Name the movies from which these images came.

Bertrand Van Wonterghem and George Grimes identified last week's frame grab of Alan Steel in SANSONE E IL TESORO DEGLI INCAS, aka THE LOST TREASURE OF THE INCAS, aka THE LOST TREASURE OF THE AZTECS.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

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

Angel Rivera, and Bertrand Van Wonterghem identified last week's photo of Franco Ukmar, Bruno Ukmar, Gilberto Galimberti and Alan Steel in ZORRO CONTRO MACISTE, aka SAMSON AND THE SLAVE QUEEN.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

George Grimes identified last week's frame grab from FIVE ELEMENT NINJAS, aka SUPERNINJAS.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

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

Highly enjoyed:

The Queen's Gambit (2020) - Such a splendid 7 part mini-series on Netflix even if I got a little distracted by the forehead seam on Anya Taylor-Joy's wigs.


Bosch season four (2018)

Frontline "American Insurrection" (2021) - Well, "enjoyed" isn't quite right. No one commented about how the extreme right wing guys here sound similar to the extreme left wing guys from the late 1960s.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season three (2019) 

Mildly enjoyed:

THE DARKEST MINDS (2018) - Did you think that there was a need for another YA movie series about children with powers trying to prevent adults from killing them? Unlike the Harry Potter series and the Hunger Games series and the Divergent series, in this story adults are explicitly attacking all children. The twist at the end is that the evil President has already been supplanted by his powered son, who is using the government apparatus to continue to oppress children. The rebels are the League, who are hoping to raise an army of powered children to take down the government. Our heroes, though, are trying to forge a new society seperate from the government and the League. Unfortunately, like the Divergent series and The Mortal Instruments, this movie didn't make enough money to justify continuing the story so we are left dangling in the end. As irritatingly predictable as this film is, the filmmaking keeps it fun and the cast is mostly engaging even with the dialogue they have to speak. I am interested in seeing more of Amandla Stenberg, especially if they keep putting her in such tight fitting tops. Interestingly, this movie is not mentioned in Stenberg's biography on her Wikipedia page. Jennifer Yuh Nelson of KUNG FU PANDA 2 & 3 directed from a script credited to Chad Hodge, based on the first of four novels by Alexandra Bracken.

KING OF JAZZ (1930) - This is of more historic interest than entertainment value, unless you enjoy seeing Bing Crosby performing with The Rhythm Boys. A series of comedy sketches and disperate musical numbers that won an Oscar for Art Direction in two-color Technicolor, this flick takes its title from what orchestra leader Paul Whiteman dubbed himself. Reportedly Duke Ellington wrote, "Paul Whiteman was known at the King of Jazz, and no one as yet come near carrying that title with more certainty and dignity." Walter Brennan appears in a couple of comedy bits. The highlight of the film is Whiteman's performance of George Gershwin's "The Rhapsody In Blue", which was originally performed by them in 1924. Unfortunately, with two color Technicolor, the segment looks like Rhapsody In Green.


TREMORS 5: BLOOD LINES (2015) - Ass Blasters and Graboids in South Africa introduces director Don Michael Paul and co-star Jamie Kennedy to the series. South African actress Natalie Becker is quite fetching in her muscle shirt and shorts. I hope to see her in something other than Universal Home Video productions.

Unsung "Keith Washington" (2021)

Uncnsrd "Kem" (2021)

Did not enjoy:

 CREEP (2014) - Digital low-budget filmmakers have such an advantage over those in the past. Imagine what Edward D. Wood Jr. could have done with the resources Patrick Brice and Mark Duplass show here. I'm sure it would be just as insipid, but hopefully it wouldn't have been as irritatingly dull. For a bit the film plays with the question of whether the videographer Brice will kill subject Duplass, but after 70 some minutes we get the expected conclusion. Among the unconvincing bits in this is the idea that there are that many videographers out there that can be lured to their deaths. On the plus side, these guys seem to have been able to shoot on locations which a normal camera crew wouldn't have been able to easily reach.

LETTER TO SATAN CLAUS (2020) - A fun idea that doesn't quite work as well as it should, this SyFy Original is basically a spoof of all of those Lifetime Christmas movies. Angry that her parents won't buy her an expensive toy, Holly Winter writes an angry letter to Santa asking that he get rid of her parents. Unfortunately, she misspells Santa as Satan and on Christmas morning she and her older sister find the parents chopped up inside the presents under the Christmas tree. Grown up to be a TV newswoman, and played by Karen Knox, our heroine is promised the anchor desk spot if she can return to her home town and report on their annual Christmas celebrations. Finding her old letter and realizing her spelling error, Knox reacts to all of the annoying good cheer around her and drunkenly writes another letter to Satan challenging him to return. He does, and various bloody bodies start turning up. To fight back, Knox writes a letter to Santa asking for advice on how to fight Satan. She gets a reply which results in her gathering all of the town's survivors for a Christmas song on Christmas eve. Emma Jean Sutherland directed the script by Michael Zara.

SUMMER CITY (1977) - If you've been waiting to see Mel Gilbson as a blond haired surfer dude, then his cinematic debut is for what you've been waiting. Unfortunately, the movie around this is an annoying melodramatic troubled youth flick. It is summer in Australia, and four boorish young men - John Jarratt (2005's WOLF CREEK), Steve Bisley (1979's MAD MAX), Gibson and screenwriter Phil Avalon - set out to give Jarrat a fun vacation before his marriage. We are informed at the beginning of the movie that things are not going to go well as Jarratt is on a train hearing a judge considering a verdict. After various incidents, the four attend a small town dance where Bisley meets Debbie Forman. Forman later tells Jarratt that she had sex with Bisley, and Jarratt tells her that it is useless for her to expect Bisley to be taken seriously. Forman tells her father, James Elliott, that she didn't want to have sex with Bisley, so Elliott grabs a gun and sets out to find Bisley. Meanwhile, after their car has an accident in the night, Jarratt hears Bisley say that he's had sex with Jarratt's fiance. After smashing Bisley's face repeatedly with his fists, Jarratt grabs the rifle out of the trunk of the car and takes off into the nearby forest to be alone. In the morning, Bisley panics that Jarratt might be planning to kill him, so he takes off running. Seeing an approaching car, Bisley waves the driver to stop. The driver turns out to be Elliott, who shoots Bisley dead. When Jarratt appears to see what happened, Elliott sets out to kill him, too. Jarratt uses the rifle to kill his attacker, and then the film reverts to the beginning in which we hear the judge rule that Jarratt acted in self-defense. Arriving at the train station, Jarratt is met by a young woman whom he does not embrace but who walks beside him as he leaves. Pretty much self-financed by producer Phillip Avalon, the film was never finished according to director Christopher Fraser who says that the cast quit after a fight with Avalon. This film proved to be such a success in Australia that in 1988 a sequel was made called BREAKING LOOSE.


Charles Gilbert watched:

THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN (1957) B&W. Shown on Svengoolie which encountered technical difficulties for the last 20 minutes. Impressive effects for the era.

MURDER BY THE CLOCK (1931) B&W. Primal Paramount talkie posing as a spook show with husky voiced Lilyan Tashman playing a femme fatale conniving her husband's death. A mansion owned by her mother-in-law Ms. Endicott is the venue of several murders that convene the police, medical examiner and relatives. Most of the males yearn for the temptress who herself targets the inspector, and uses brute Irving Pichel as her strong arm.

TIME MACHINE (2002) The setting is New York City. Alexander Hartegen (Guy Pearce) now has compelling reason to activate his time machine after a mugging in the park, while strolling with his fiancee, leads to her death. A short trip back in time reunites them but she is killed again. Resigned to her fate he advances to 2030 then 802701 when human society has declined to primitive conditions; hunter and hunted. Visuals are wrought by Dreamworks effects 

David Deal enjoyed:

DEATH ON THE RUN (67) - See the Eurospy Guide book for a complete review of this bridge film from Sergio Corbucci (under the title Moving Target).

SUPER SEVEN CALLING CAIRO (66) -  See the Eurospy Guide book for a complete review of this Umberto Lenzi entry.

CEMETERY WITHOUT CROSSES (69) - Liked this even better the second time.



STILETTO (69) - Alex Cord is a rich, jet-setting hitman who uses the titular knife.  His attempt to retire spurs the plot.  Great, stylish fun with a deep and sometimes surprising cast.


Mildly enjoyed:


SWEENY (77) - Brit crime about an unorthodox team of cops that is the first of two films based on the popular TV show of the same name.  Plenty of action and bad behavior to enjoy.  

CURSE OF THE UNDEAD (59) - Preacher Eric Fleming grapples with vampire Michael Pate who has designs on Kathleen Crowley.  Not the worst horror western out there but it's really just the bloodsucker angle that makes it.


Bertrand Van Wonterghem Highly enjoyed:

Backlash (1956, John Sturges)

Black books – season 3 – episode 5


Maeumui sori / The sound of your heart – season 1 – episode 10

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

Cop (1987, James B. Harris)

The adventures of Nick Carter (tv movie) (1972, Paul Krasny)

Coplan, agent secret FX18 (1963, Maurice Cloche)

Mildly enjoyed:

One-eyed Jacks (1960, Marlon Brando)

Did not enjoy:

Inheritance (2016, Tyler Savage)


Angel Rivera noted:

I have seen the "Wonder Woman 1984" movie and enjoyed it. It had good special effects and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman is great to watch. Although we did get what I call the "Ghost" effect as in that film where Patrick Swayze appears instead of Whoopi Goldberg when he inhabits her body; Chris Pine appears instead of the man he reincarnates into. [Spoiler alert: Chris Pine returns as Steve Trevor in a new form which we only see once or twice.] I also enjoyed seeing Wonder Woman's invisible plane. That was a neat effect. Overall the film was enjoyable.

Next "Godzilla Vs. Kong". The CGI Kong was better here than in "Kong: Skull Island" as he appeared more ape-like and had a stronger resemblance to Kong as he appeared in his 1933 outing. Godzilla unfortunately did not look like Godzilla, of old. His head resembled the 1998 Godzilla and not the Toho Godzilla. Aside from that the fight scenes were good, although Godzilla had the advantage due to his atomic breath. I won't give anything else away as I don't want to spoil it if you haven't seen it.

I caught an interesting Audie Murphy western titled, "The Texican" which I understand was filmed in Spain and could be considered a Eurowestern.
The plot deals with Audie Murphy who was a disgraced and wanted ex-lawman who comes out of hiding to avenge his brother's murder. Also joining Murphy is Broderick Crawford as the villain. All in all an interesting western, although I read it was not a good experience for Murphy. (I also know the film was a remake of a Rod Cameron film titled "Whiplash", but I read that Murphy's version was better.)

Lastly I saw "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter" which was Sondra Locke first movie and was of interest to me because it featured Chuck McCann who was my favorite children's TV show host as a kid and I remember he announced on his show he was going to be in this  movie. Alan Arkin was the star and he plays a deaf-mute who is Chuck McCann's character's best friend, who is also a deaf-mute. Sondra Locke is a normal, but troubled teen-age girl whom Alan Arkin's character befriends. Although it was a sad movie, the performances are great. (Alan Arkin was nominated for an Oscar, but lost out to Cliff Robertson who won for his performance in "Charly".) The film deals with interesting themes of alienation and how people with disabilities are perceived so definitely a don't miss film.


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