Friday, December 10, 2021

Week of December 11 to 17, 2021


To answer these trivia questions, please email me at

Brain Teasers:

Which Spanish actor appeared in films directed by Sergio Leone, Jose Luis Saenz de Heredia, Vittorio Cottafavi, Nicholas Ray, Jesus Franco, Giovanni Grimaldi and Lucio Fulci?
Bertrand van Wonterghem knew that it was Conrado San Martin.

Which Spanish actor worked with directors Luis Bunuel, William Friedkin, Ferdinando Baldi, Umberto Lenzi, Carlo Ludovico Bragaglia and Florestano Vancini?
No one has answered this one yet.

Which Italian Western sports a title inspired by a scene in THE ALAMO and RIO BRAVO?
Tom Betts and George Grimes knew that it was DEGUELLO.

Which other Italian Western features a scene reminiscent of that same scene in THE ALAMO and RIO BRAVO?
George Grimes knew that it was DA UOMO A UOMO, aka DEATH RIDES A HORSE.

By what name is Ted Carter better known?
Tom Betts, Bertrand van Wonterghem and George Grimes knew that it is Giovanni "Nello" Pazzafini.

And now for some new brain teasers:

Charles Gilbert asks, "Which Serbian actress/basketball player who appeared prominently in one of the Sons of Hercules films had previously been a body double for Sophia Loren and had an affair with Cary Grant after his time with Loren?"
Which Italian actor has been in every movie directed by Sergio Leone, except one, since 1964?
By what name is Richard Stuyvesant better known?

Name the movies from which these images came.

George Grimes identified last week's frame grab of Aldo Sambrell in EL HOMBRE DE RIO MALO, aka BAD MAN'S RIVER.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

George Grimes identified last week's photo of Isabelle Corey in AFRODITE DEA DELL'AMORE, aka APHRODITE GODDESS OF LOVE.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

George Grimes and Bertrand van Wonterghem identified last week's frame grab of Carla Gravina in L'ANTICRISTO, aka THE TEMPTER.
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?

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 Beatles: Get Back (2021) - Director Peter Jackson's nearly eight hour program about the "Let It Be" sessions was filled with incredibly charming scenes undercut by the arrival off-camera of Allen Klein, which was what really broke-up the band. I was surprised to see George Martin helping with the sessions and seeing that so much of the memorable guitar stuff was played by John Lennon. It was particularly poignant to see Mal Evans seven years before he was gunned down by the LAPD. It would have been nice if some mention was made that The Beatles decided not to finish the Let It Be album and instead went into the Abbey Road project. John Lennon brought in Phil Spector to finish Let It Be, which Paul McCartney so disliked that he redid the album years later.

UNDER THE VOLCANO (2021) - Producer Cody Greenwood decided to make a documentary about the AIR Montserrat Studio created by George Martin in 1979. For ten years it was considered one of the best places to make a record in the world, until Hurricane Hugo hit in 1989. Gracie Otto directed a splendid history of the facility featuring stories about Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, The Police and Dire Straits.

Mildly enjoyed:

UN CARNET DE BAL, aka LIFE DANCES ON (1937) - For a film ostensibly about a woman's journey of discovery, this flim doesn't give us a very clear portrait of the main character, played by Marie Bell. After the death of her obviously wealthy husband - of whom we don't even get a miniature portrait, Bell considers that a better understanding of her past will give her an idea of what to do with her future. Finding the old dance card for her debutante ball at 16 years of age, she decides to look up on her old beaus. What follows is a series of melodramatic vignettes in which we find that the darling men from twenty years have all felt that her rejection of them crushed their lives. First off we meet the mother who went insane when her son committed suicide. The next guy went from being a disbarred lawyer to being a pimp running a nightclub. Another fellow became a priest and devoted choir master to neglected boys. The most promising of the old beaus became a guide in the Alps, but she is disappointed that he leaves her to answer a distress call. She arrives to find the next fellow a small town mayor who is marrying his maid before using a horse whip on his adoptive son who is a thief. The young man who planned to become a doctor is found to have become a shipyard abortionist given to fits who finally murders his mistress. Fernandel plays a fellow who became an hairdresser, has a wife and three spirited children, and loves card tricks. With Fernandel, she attends a new ball and finds that her memories of the event are false. When she goes to see the last name on her card, she finds that he has died and left a son facing financial ruin. The film ends with Bell having adopted the homeless boy and taking him to his first ball. Director Julien Duvivier wrote the story for the film which seems to have been intended to showcase France's leading men at the time. The film is well paced and is not a chore to watch, but ultimately seems inconsequential.

Did not enjoy:

DISTURBING THE PEACE (2019) - Poorly echoing movies about the Wild West, this modern day flick, written by Chuck Hustmyre, casts Guy Pearce as a former Texas Ranger haunted by an accidental shooting. Now working as a marshal in a small Kentucky town, Pearce is confronted by an outlaw gang of motorcycle riders who plan to rob the local bank after it gets the money sent from the nearby Native American casino. If you've ever wanted to see Devon Sawa play a biker villain - and Sawa must have wanted it as he is one of the film's executive producers - this is the film for you. While everyone states that their intention is not to kill anybody, Sawa soon proves to be a liar when Pearch refuses to surrender. Oddly, Pearce seems more interested in setting explosive booby traps than just shooting it out. Eventually he pulls out his old Colt .45 and chases down motorcycle riding Sawa on horseback. Director York Alec Shackleton doesn't stage the action very well, which is the whole point of movie like this. However, I would like to see his documentary on the Orange County Punk scene CLOCKWORK ORANGE COUNTY. WWE performer Barbie Blank plays one of the biker gang and has a wrestling scene with female lead Kelly Greyson.

NIGHT, AFTER NIGHT, AFTER NIGHT., aka HE KILLS NIGHT AFTER NIGHT (1969) - I enjoy director Lindsay Shonteff's spy spoofs, but unfortunately when he tries to make a straight exploitation film, the results are tiresome. Hiding behind the name Lewis J. Force, Shonteff made this serial killer who-dun-it, that is obviously more interested in exposed female flesh than in creating a real thriller. Someone is killing women in London and Inspector Gilbert Wynne is convinced it is the long-haired lothario Donald Sumpter. However the film shows us that anti-smut Judge Jack May is unbalanced and unwilling to show any interest in his wife, Justine Lord. One of many red herrings is May's assistant, who is obsessed with pornography. After Wynne's beautiful wife Linda Marlowe is murdered, the cop pins the crime on Sumpter. However, when Sumpter is brought before the judge, the judge looses control and the court adjourns. His assistant follows May to a secret flat where he spies the judge donning a long-hair wig and licking nude photos of women. The assistant informs Wynne who puts out an alert for May. The dragnet for May prevents the judge from committing another murder, but he soon breaks into a woman's apartment and uses a new wig to go out in drag. Three men sexually harass the judge, who cuts one of them with the murder weapon/switch blade. At this point, the movie seems to be fighting to get to a proper feature length and a bunch of stuff happens before the finale. More tiresome than exciting, this flick is dull.

SCHOOL FOR SEX (1969) - Like many prolific bad film directors who make exploitation films, Pete Walker has a cult following. Previously I've only seen his thrillers, but it is no surprise that his sex comedy is just as poorly made. Derek Aylward returns from WW2 to discover that after the death of his parents, due to a German bomb, he has inherited a fortune. In quick time, Aylward's fortune is drained by a series of gold diggers, so he engages in fraud. The judge acquits him, so Aylward is inspired to take the lessons he's learned to set up a school for young gold digging women, provided that they share some of their future earnings with him. The police misunderstand and think he's running a brothel. Again Aylward faces a judge. This time the judge sentences him to three years in prison so that the judge can take the idea as his own. None of the ample female flesh is captured on film effectively and none of the jokes work


Charles Gilbert watched:

ASSIGNMENT:TERROR (1970) It is postulated that Robert Taylor requested the part granted to Michael Rennie as the alien reviving all the Universal monsters. Field day for Paul Naschy who fostered the idea as a sequel to FURY OF THE WOLFMAN and plays the werewolf again. All the monsters have lengthy fights. 

TRIUMPH OF MACISTE (1961) This version has missing footage from WITCH'S CURSE. Ljuba Bodin does have a resemblance to Sophia Loren.

SON OF DRACULA (1974) Ringo Star produced and plays Merlin the Magician in what passes as a disjointed  tongue-in-cheek musical horror film. American pop singer Harry Nilsssn, of all people, is the titular red headed/bearded "son" performing all the tunes randomly inserted in the plot for him to rule the netherworld; As he begins yearning to be human, Baron Frankenstein and wheel-chair bound Van Helsing plan an operation.  Allusions to the Universal Frankenstein monster, Wolfman, and the Mummy are in there, too.. Director Freddie Francis should have known better.

Mayday Air Disaster. Air India Flight 182 June 23,  1985 broke apart 37000 feet over the Atlantic near Cork Ireland killing 329.  Sikh extremists residing in Vancover had planted a bomb during an interlining stop in Toronto. 


David Deal Enjoyed:


SECRET AGENT SUPER DRAGON (66) - See The Eurospy Guide for a full review of this classic that features Margaret Lee and Marisa Mell.


DEATH WHISTLES THE BLUES (62) - Perla Cristal's second husband may have had something to do with the death of her first (Conrado San Martin). Except hubby #1 isn't dead.  One of the two films in the Franco Noir set (the other is Rififi in the City), this little crime film is very stylish and interesting.


WATERFRONT (44) - J. Carroll Naish and John Carradine are Nazi spies looking for a stolen codebook.  This slight wartime espionage yarn is worth watching for the two greats as the bad guys.

Mildly enjoy:





Bertrand van Wonterghem Highly enjoyed: 

Gintama (anime) – episodes 22 to 24


Hometown cha-cha-cha –season 1 – episodes 15 & 16

El vecino – season 2 – episodes 3 to 8

Melville, le dernier samouraï (doc) (2019, Cyril Leuthy)

Podzemelye vedm / le sanctuaire des sorcières (1989, Yuriy Moroz)

Kuai can che / Wheels on meals (1984, Samo Hung)

The undersea kingdom – episode 1 (B. Reeves Eason & Joseph Kane)

Doom – season 3 – episode 1

The power of the dog (2020, Jane Campion)

Basse saison ( 2020, Laurent Herbiet)

Mildly enjoyed:

La fille de feu (1958, Alfred Rode)

The wheel of time - season 1 – episodes 4 & 5

Cowboy be bop – season 1 – episode 3

Mission of danger (1958, George Waggner & Jacques Tourneur)

Did not enjoy:

Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla 2 (1993, Takao Okawara)

Der grüne Bogenschütze (1961, Jürgen Roland)

Red planet Mars (1952, Harry Horner)

The cyclops (1957, Bert I. Gordon)


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