Friday, December 31, 2021

Week of January 1 - 7, 2022


To answer these trivia questions, please email me at

Brain Teasers:

Bertrand van Wonterghem noted that Mario Brega was not in two Sergio Leone directed movies since 1964 - C'ERA UNA VOLTA IL WEST and GIU LA TESTA.

In which Italian Western do we see our hero awaken from a nap by children setting fire to the hay on which he sits?
No one has answered this question yet.

Which Italian Western begins with the hero coming out of a makeshift grave?
Bertrand van Wonterghem and George Grimes knew that it was SE SEI VIVO SPARA, aka IF YOU LIVE SHOOT, aka DJANGO KILL!

Which Italian Western features a gang tearing up a cemetery looking for gold?
No one has answered this question yet.

Which Italian Western begins with three men facing three coffins in which has been placed three wanted posters?
George Grimes knew that it was VADO... L'AMMAZZO E TORNO, aka GO KILL AND COME BACK, aka ANY GUN CAN PLAY.

And now for some new brain teasers:

In which Italian Western does being shot in the back of the head cause our hero to lose his memory, but getting hit in the forehead with a chain brings it back?

In which Italian Western does our hero pour nitroglycirine into whiskey bottles to use like hand grenades?

In which Italian Western does our hero throw double sixes before killing four gunmen?

Name the movies from which these images came.

Bertrand van Wonterghem and George Grimes identified last week's photo of Terence Hill, Robert Charlebois and Miou-Miou in UN GENIO DUE COMPARI UN POLLO, aka A GENIUS, aka NOBODY IS THE GREATEST.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

Charles Gilbert, George Grimes and Bertrand van Wonterghem identified last week's frame grab of Mario Girotti/Terence Hill in CARTAGINE IN FIAMME, aka CARTHAGE IN FLAMES.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

Charles Gilbert, George Grimes and Bertrand van Wonterghem identified last week's photo of Brad Harris and Lex Barker in MISTER DYNAMIT - MORGEN KUSST AUCH DER TOD, aka SPY TODAY DIE TOMORROW.
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 from A CHINESE GHOST STORY.
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:


AGNELLI (2017) - A biography of Gianni Agnelli of Fiat provides director Nick Hooker with a chance to examine post World War II Italy including the threat of the Red Brigades. Considering that this was made for HBO, why didn't the filmmakers make the credits large enough to view comfortably on a TV set? A nice piece of music by Ennio Morricone underscores a section on "La Dolce Vita" including Gianni's night with Anita Ekberg.

Reconstruction: America After the Civil War parts three and four (2019)

Mildly enjoyed:

Histórias que Só Existem Quando Lembradas, aka FOUND MEMORIES (2011) - I haven't seen enough films from Brazil to be certain that the slow pacing of this film is unusual, but I don't think it is necessary to bore an audience to show a boring existence. After 15 minutes of slowly paced scenes filmed in long shots showing the dull and repetitive existence of the residents of a small village, a young woman suddenly shows up asking for a place to stay. Obviously, she disrupts things, but eventually the residents begin to accept her, especially Sonia Guedes, the old woman who gives her a place to stay and shows her how to bake the bread for the village. A photographer who loves using vintage cameras, the young woman asks for the key to take pictures in the locked up cemetery, but the priest refuses, saying that the cemetery is closed. After agreeing to pose for the young woman's camera, Guedes gives the young woman the key to the cemetery. In a series of still photographs, we see the cemetery unlocked and various images of memorials. Then we find that Guedes has died. The young woman prepares to leave but the residents stand in her way gently reminding her that "Now, we have no one to bake our bread." Lisa Favero plays the young woman and it is such a pleasure to stare at her that the movie has its merits. Julia Murat directs.

The Wheel of Time season one (2021) 

The Witcher episode one & two (2019) - If someone had told me that Jodhi May was in this, I would have started to watch it sooner. Oooh. She's in four more episodes. I'll have to keep watching.

THE WILD GEESE (1978) - My favorite film directed by Andrew V. McLaglen is THE DEVIL'S BRIGADE. THE WILD GEESE is kind of like that - a straight-forward military action movie that also shares a few actors from the other flick. It is also very predictably plotted.

Did not enjoy:

ANNABELLE: CREATION (2017) - I'll watch just about anything featuring Miranda Otto, but I didn't know that she was in this until I started watching it. I disliked this movie as much as I expected since it is a prequel to ANNABELLE (2014) which is part of THE CONJURING Universe which I dislike. I watch these films hoping to see something that surprises me, and this one does feature a number of talented child actors. For those who like these movies, the fact that it ends just where ANNABELLE begins is probably a plus. I hoping to see Miranda Otto in something else soon.

THE CURSE OF LA LLORONA (2019) - I'll watch just about anything featuring Linda Cardellini, but I didn't know that she was in this until I started watching it. Casting her as the heroine was probably the smartest thing these filmmakers did because she brought a compelling presence to the film which made it easier to put up with all of the tiresome spooky set-ups. This film's connection to THE CONJURING Universe was rather tenuous with Cardellini seeking help from Tony Amendola, who was also in ANABELLE. He suggested that she get help from former priest now faith healer Raymond Cruz, whom I remember fondly from The Closer. I think I will now see "Atomic Monster Productions" as a warning label like "Blumhouse Presents" and "The Asylum".

LAW OF THE LAWLESS (1964) - A. C. Lyles got a job as an office boy at Paramount Pictures at the age of 14. In 1954, he became the assistant to a producer and then became a producer in 1957. After working on the TV series Rawhide, Lyles was tasked to produce a B-Western when it was noticed that Paramount had none on their 1963 schedule. Veteran screenwriter Steve Fisher - who had written a thriller for Hammer Films in 1953 called 36 HOURS, aka TERROR STREET - provided this story about a former gunfighter turned judge who arrived in a small town to preside over the murder trial of an old friend. Originally, Rory Calhoun was to star, but a bout of pneumonia sidelined him. Reportedly, Dale Robertson came in as a replacement with only six hours' notice. Lyles filled the cast with veteran actors, which led to some referring to this, and other Lyles productions, as "Old Folks Westerns". Barton MacLane played the town boss, who had prepared a number of traps to foil Robertson's effort to bring John Agar to justice. The last trap was Bruce Cabot who was to present himself to Robertson as the killer of our hero's father. The film was notable for resolving this conflict with a dialogue rather than a gunfight. Another notable element in the script was how Robertson was called upon to defend the dignity of Yvonne De Carlo, whose testimony was attacked because she was a "saloon girl". Jody McCrea had a small role as the murder victim seen in flashback, and Lon Chaney Jr. played another simple minded thug. William F. Claxton directed. After this movie proved successful, Paramount asked Lyles to do more. Laurel Goodwin had the small role as McCrea's widow. In 1983, she received her only producer credit on STOKER ACE.

LAST OF THE GRADS (2021) - In the end credits of this too long HALLOWEEN/PROM NIGHT retro-slasher flick, there is a long "Special Thanks" listing which includes George A. Romero's Filmmaking Program, Michael Gornick, The Tom Savini Special Make-Up Effects Program, Tina Romero and Tom Savini. So it would seem that filmmakers Jay Jenkins & Collin Kliewe have their hearts in the right places and they did deliver a good looking product. Unfortunately, most of the gory kills aren't convincing (smashing two heads to pulp with a photocopier lid?) and most of the characters are stupid. I don't think that Naples, Florida is destined to be a future film production hub.

SCARY MOVIE 4 (2006) - David Zucker returned to make the final film in the series starring Anna Faris and Regina Hall. For the first 50 minutes, this mash-up of SAW, WAR OF THE WORLDS (2005) and THE GRUDGE with a dash of MILLION DOLLAR BABY and THE VILLAGE was fun, but then someone remembered that these movies were vulgar and on came the shit jokes.

SCARY MOVIE 5 (2013) - As The Weinstein Company/Dimension Films was in need of money, a new SCARY MOVIE came into being. This time David Zucker was credited as a co-writer with Pat Proft, while Malcolm D. Lee directed. Why they felt the need to retain the "Based on characters by..." credit seemed odd as this film doesn't have any of the characters from the previous films. Ashley Tisdale stars in this stupid mash-up of PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, THE EVIL DEAD, BLACK SWAN, RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, INCEPTION, 50 SHADES OF GREY and MAMA with a reference to THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL. This movie succeeded in making a shit joke that was funny to me.

WILD ROVERS (1971) - Reportedly, James T. Aubrey of MGM had this movie re-edited prior to its release - just as they did with PAT GARRETT AND BILLY THE KID and THE SILENT STRANGER. I think the version I saw was the "director's cut" as it ran over two hours. It's an odd film, perhaps inspired by BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID, with an unbalanced mixture of gloom and levity. It lacks BUTCH's charm, but tries to duplicate its stylisms with slow motion deaths and multiple images dissolving onto each other. If producer/writer/director Blake Edwards intended this to be seen as realistic, he shouldn't have made everyone a supernaturally accurate marksman. Director of photography Philip Lathrop does an excellent job in capturing the landscapes on film.


Charles Gilbert watched:

SANTA CLAUS CONQUERS THE MARTIANS (1964) Courtesy Embassy Pictures and Joseph E. Levine. Child actor Pia Zadora plays a martian child. whose parents scheme to kidnap Old Saint Nick and bring him to Mars to make the kids there happy. Kinda like H R Puf'n'stuf. Saw it at Brian's drive in theatre.

BAD MAN'S RIVER (1971) Farcical western sees Lee Van Cleef donning a derby and hairpiece throughout, and dallying with preposessing Gina Lollobrigida who likes to collect husbands in her quest for gold. He, she, James Mason and his pals (including John Garko) get caught up in a Mexican revolution led by resistance fighter Sergio Fantoni.

THE MOMENT TO KILL (1968) Lord and Bull ( George Hilton and Walter Barnes) battle the Forester family out West led by Arturo Dominici and son Jason (Horst Frank) over, what else, gold.

CARTHAGE IN FLAMES (1960) One of the extremely few peplums I' ve seen on the big screen first run. This version on YouTube in French.

Walker, Texas Ranger episode "Last of A Breed" Two part story with Norris as Walker relaying the story of famous Ranger Hays Cooper (Norris). Marshal Teague and Robert Fuller guests.


David Deal Enjoyed:


SPECIAL MISSION LADY CHAPLIN (66) - See The Eurospy Guide book for a complete review of this fine Ken Clark entry.


FANTASTIC FUNGI (19) - Really interesting documentary on mushrooms.  Recommended.

MILL OF THE STONE WOMEN (60) - Arrow's Blu-ray looks great.


TINA (21) - Excellent documentary on Tina Turner.






PROBE (72)


Mildly enjoy:



Bertrand van Wonterghem Highly enjoyed:

Gukyeongi / Inspector Koo – season 1 – episodes 3 to 6


The witcher – season 2

Goyo-ui bada / The silent sea – season 1 (2021, Choi Hang-yong)

Blondine (1945, Henri Mahé)

Alphonse président – season 1 – episodes 1 to 3

Armored car robbery (1950, Richard Fleisher)

Mildly enjoyed:

The creature walks among us (1956, John Sherwood)

Unknown terror (1957, Charles Marquis Warren)

Attention au départ ! (2020 Benjamin Euvrard)

Sharky’s machine (1981, Burt Reynolds)

Flashback (2020, Caroline Vigneaux)

Concrete revolutio : chojin gensô (anime) – episode 1

Being the Ricardos (2020, Aaron Sorkin)

Did not enjoy:

La casa de papel – season 5 – episodes 6 to 10

The wheel of time – season 1 – episodes 7 & 8

In the year 2889 (1963, Larry Buchanan)


Angel Rivera Highly enjoyed:

"Don't Look Up" a 2021 Netflix production starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep as the POTUS, Jonah Hill as her son and Chief of Staff, Cate Blanchett, Tyler Perry and Mark Rylance in a satirical end-of-the-world sci-fi/dark comedy.

I also highly enjoyed part of a Russ Tamblyn birthday tribute shown on TCM. They showed the original 1961 "West Side Story" and one of the scariest movies, in my opinion, ever made, the original 1963 "The Haunting."


"Watermelon Woman" a 1996 comedy-drama made in a faux documentary style about an African-American lesbian film maker who is searching for information about and making a documentary about an African American actress from the 1930s who also happened to be "Gay". It was shown as part of TCM Underground .

"Winter A-Go-Go" A 1965 beach party style movie which takes place during the winter at a ski lodge. Although the film has a lot of  "chicks" in bikinis presumably shaking their asses off to prevent from freezing, as the film was shot in Heavenly Valley on Lake Tahoe, and in the Eldorado National Forest in early April, 1965.
 (The film was a follow up to 1965's "A Swingin' Summer" which also starred Keach and Wellman and featured the film debut of Raquel Welch in a featured role.)

"Watermelon Man", the 1970 satirical comedy directed by Melvin Van Peebles and starring Godfrey Cambridge as a "white" bigot who wakes up one morning to find he has turned into a Black man.


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