Friday, April 23, 2021

Week of April 24 - 30, 2021


To answer these trivia questions, please email me at

Brain Teasers:

Which American actor who worked in Italian films was offered a role by director Fred Olen Ray, but never showed up to work?
It was Gordon Scott.

By what name is Isabel Apolonia Garcia Hernandez better known?
Bertrand Van Wonterghem, Charles Gilbert and George Grimes knew that it was Chelo Alonso.

Which Italian actress appeared in movies with Alain Delon, Angie Dickinson, Rock Hudson, Lex Barker,  Dirk Bogarde and Fausto Tozzi?
Bertrand Van Wonterghem knew that it was Rossana Rory.

By what name is James Reed better known?
Bertrand Van Wonterghem knew that it was Guido Malatesta.

And now for some new brain teasers:

Which star of Italian Westerns was also the credited screenwriter of movies in which he starred?
Which American actor got the U.S. rights to an Italian Western and created a new version called AMEN?
Which Italian actor spoofed Clint Eastwood at the beginning of an Italian Spy/Heist movie?

Name the movies from which these images came.

Bertrand Van Wonterghem and George Grimes identified last week's photo of Aldo Sambrell and George Eastman in AMICO, STAMMI LONTANO ALMENO UN PALOMO, aka BEN AND CHARLIE, aka AMIGO STAY AWAY.
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?

George Grimes identified last week's frame grab from ECOLOGIA DEL DELITTO, aka BAY OF BLOOD aka TWITCH OF THE DEATH NERVE aka CARNAGE.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

George Grimes identified last week's photo of Fu Sheng in THE CHINATOWN KID.
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 five (2019)


Mildly enjoyed:

2021 Film Independent Spirit Awards (2021)

L'AMANTE DEL VAMPIRO, aka THE VAMPIRE AND THE BALLERINA (1960) - Perhaps the English title should be THE VAMPIRE AND THE BURLESQUE DANCERS. Obviously inspired by the 1958 DRACULA from Hammer Film Productions, co-writer and director Renato Polselli also throws in a scene taken from 1932's VAMPYR directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer and scenes of a woman wandering around a spooky castle reminiscent of 1960's HOUSE OF USHER directed by Roger Corman. More so than Hammer's film, Polselli emphasizes the sensuality of the material with alot of time taken up with young women dancing seductively as well as occasionally taking off and putting on night clothes. Helene Remy's reactions to be being bitten are more orgasmic than what Hammer offered. Polselli even throws in some bondage. Set in modern times, Polselli's film is unique in that the villains are a couple living in the "doomed castle", mostly forgotten in a dense forest. When guests intrude into the castle, Walter Brandi pretends to be a servant to Countess Maria Luisa Rolando. But later, as his face becomes hideously old, Brandi ventures out to drink the blood of young women and becomes young again. When he returns to the castle, Rolando then drinks the blood from Brandi's neck, turning him, once again, into an old man. Meeting the handsome Isarco Ravaioli, Rolando begs him to rescue her from Brandi's influence, though it is never established if she could survive without the other vampire. Angelo Baistrocchi contributes the atmospheric photography, which isn't helped too much by Aldo Piga's sometimes annoying music score. Reportedly co-star Tina Gloriani was the director's girlfriend at the time of the production. Rolando looks very uncomfortable having to walk on the stairs in her heavy dress. The film ends with our heroes saying that they hope the death of the vampire will bring Remy back to life, but the film give no evidence that it does.

Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr. "Anchored to the Past" w/Gretchen Carlson and Don Lemon (2021)

Unsung "Mystikal" (2021)

Uncnsrd "Remy Ma" (2021)

Did not enjoy:

ALIENS ATE MY HOMEWORK (2018) - Those of you who put on this movie expecting to see William Shatner will be confounded as you won't. He does the voice of Phil the Plant - kind of like Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper in the GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY movies. I know that I am not the audience for which this movie was made, but even they should get a better movie than this. Based on the Rod Allbright Alien Adventures books by Bruce Coville, this effort directed by Sean McNamara was obviously intended to spark a cinematic series. So far only one film has followed - ALIENS STOLE MY BODY. 

DEAD MEN WALK (1943) - I was going along with this PRC production until midway when Mary Carlisle's fiance Nedrick Young accused the good George Zucco of being the bad George Zucco. That hit my irritation spot and my finger found the fast-forward button. Director Sam Newfield would later cross the Atlantic to participate in two Hammer Film productions. Thankfully writer Fred Myton didn't follow.

GODZILLA VS. KONG (2021) - So the Japanese Kaiju have been rebranded Titans and come from the Hollow Earth, ala JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH. So, rather than a straight remake of KING KONG VS. GODZILLA, these filmmakers decided to do a remake of GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA II, with Mechagodzilla being constructed by an misguided billionaire rather than the United Nations Godzilla Countermeasures Center. Kind of like BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN, the title characters end up teaming up to defeat a worse enemy. The best that can be said about this movie is that Tokyo doesn't get attacked, but Hong Kong gets bashed even worse than it did in GODZILLA VS. DESTOROYAH. Considering the time and money put into this production, couldn't someone have come up with a better script. Director Adam Wingard succeeded in making his cast look like bad actors.

THE SQUARE (2017) - Museum curator Claes Bang has sex with journalist Elisabeth Moss. Afterwards, she offers to take his used condom with her as she is heading to the bathroom. He suddenly distrusts her and won't give up the condom. She returns carrying a trash bin, but he still won't give up the condom. She grabs part of the condom and it stretches almost to the breaking point. As Bang is trying to promote an exhibit featuring a square in which anyone can feel safe and ask anyone else for help, it is striking to see his own personal lack of trust. Ruben Östlund wrote and directed this satire of contemporary life and the art world which won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for a Best Foreign Language Oscar but lost to A FANTASTIC WOMAN from Chile. Things come to a head when some managing consultants post a video aimed at generating interest in the exhibit with features an homeless blonde girl entering the square and blowing up. This certainly generates interest in the exhibit but also leads to calls for Bang to step down as museum curator. Terry Notary appears as a performance artist who attacks a black tie dinner acting like a gorilla. At one point, Notary attacks attendee Dominic West, who doesn't realize  how serious the performance is. 

WAYNE'S WORLD (1992) - Disliking Mike Myers, I put off watching this movie based on a Saturday Night Live sketch. Unlike 1989's BILL & TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE, WW is annoying rather than charming and relies too heavily on gags about then current TV advertising. If you like "catch phrase" comedy, you may enjoy this.


Charles Gilbert watched:

BLACK WATER (2018) A CIA operative (Jean Claude Van Damme) has an enemy within the ranks and finds himself a prisoner aboard a submarine. A German counterpart (Dolph Lungren) is being incarcerated at sea, too. Mercenary rogue agents are seeking to secure vital national IT for payola. Bullets fly nonstop in sub scenes that look more like a warehouse. 

THE THIRTEENTH GUEST (1932) B&W. Sleuth Phil Winston (Lyle Talbot) is called in to investigate murders in an old dark house after a young woman (Ginger Rogers) is found electrocuted. 

THE NINTH GUEST(1934) B&W. A soiree is guise for holding hostage eight socialites harboring mutual acrimony for a game of death. Their antagonist communicates through a radio. Director Roy William Neill.

BLACK MOON (1934) B&W. Another Neill film with Fay Wray in a secondary role as a secretary to Jack Holt. His wife (Dorothy Burgess) obsesses with voodoo and wants to return to the islands where as a child,  her parents were killed. Her uncle still lives there in St. Christopher and fears for her as she strikes up a relation with the natives. She gets so fanatical with devil worshippers her own daughter is offered as a sacrifice until daddy puts a bullet in her.

MANFISH (1956) B&W. Fishing boat captain Brannigan (John Bromfield) and pipe-smoking simple- minded first (and only) mate Swede (Lon Chaney, Jr.) dive for turtles in Jamaica. They find half a map in the deep indicating treasure to be found. Professor Victor Jory owns the remaining information which leads to an uneasy alliance. My misconception was a monster flick. The title is the name of their boat. No mistaking that Barbara Nichols voice.

VAULT OF HORROR (1973) Amicus anthology derived from comic books includes a vignette starring Terry-Thomas and Glynis Johns. He's a fastidious husband fussing over her ineptitude and driving her insane about tidyness. She eventually has arrived when she murders him and arranges his dissected carcass in a  neat assortment of jars. Michael Craig and Curt Jurgens also relay their own nightmares.

TENNESSEE'S PARTNER (1955) Extravagant western stars John Payne as a gambler in a California mining town called Sandbar policed by sheriff Leo Gordon. The local dance hall run by Duchess (Rhonda Fleming) is venue for high stakes games, and trouble. Tennesse's life, threatened by a card game loser, is saved by Cowpoke (Ronald Reagan) who happens into town at the opportune moment. They become friends until Tennesse thwarts his plans to marry gold digger Collen Gray. Tennessee comes clean about his intention toward his friend, and takes a beating, but they're both jailed when Grubsteak McNiven, the old prospector (Chubby Johnson) is found murdered in Tennessee's apartment. While the sheriff is busy with the mob they escape and head for the gold claim to discover the town's power broker Turner (Anthony Caruso) is behind the killing. Cowpoke takes a bullet protecting his buddy, who marries Duchess in the end. Didn't know Reagan was left handed.

David Deal enjoyed:

LADY VAMPIRE (59) - AKA Woman Vampire. The mysterious return of a man's wife after 20 years looking exactly as she did triggers a series of events that brings a vampire and a family curse out into the open.  Very strange Japanese horror movie that takes the kitchen sink approach to its various terrors.  Fascinating, and interesting for the modern Gothic milieu.  Sinister's copy is a beautiful, anamorphic widescreen print.

ONLY THE COOL (69) - Be sure to read the complete review of this late cycle entry in The Eurospy Guide book.

EPITAPH (07) - A small Korean hospital in the 1940s seems to be a center of complicated, gruesome ghost behavior.  Told in flashback, the time shifts are quite effective, especially considering the nature of the stories.  The many haunting images, beautifully shot, are thoughtful and compelling.

THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES (36) - German version of the oft-filmed tale has a couple of different takes.  Liked it.



SECRET AGENT FIREBALL (66) -  Be sure to read the complete review of this Richard Harrison entry in The Eurospy Guide book.




Bertrand Van Wonterghem Highly enjoyed:

Mohawk (2017, Ted Geoghegan)


Maeumui sori : reboot / The sound of your heart : reboot – season 1 – episode 3

The invaders - episode « Panic » (1966, Robert Butler)

Feu à volonté / Faites vos jeux, mesdames (1964, Marcel Ophüls)

Department S – episode « One of our craft is empty »

Allo, allo – episode « The british have come » (1984, David Croft)

Morecambe & Wise – season 1 - episode 6 / season 2 - episode 1

The avengers – episode « The murder market » (1965, Peter Graham Scott)

Hammer house of horror – episode « The thirthteen reunion » (1980, Peter Sasdy)

The great Waldo Pepper (1975, George Roy Hill)

Blood on the sun (1945, Frank Lloyd)

Mildly enjoyed:

Cipolla Colt (1975, Enzo G. Castellari)

Love and monsters (2020, Michel Matthews)

Did not enjoy:

Chikyû kogeki meirei: Gojira tai Gaigan / Godzilla vs Gigan (1971, Jun Fukuda)

Thunder force (2020, Ben Falcone)


John Black wanted it noted that not only was Alan Arkin nominated for the Best Actor Oscar for THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER, "Sondra Locke was nominated for best supporting actress, impressive considering that it was her debut film performance."


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