Monday, February 23, 2009

Superchick (1973)

This is probably my favorite kind of picture, the kind where hot seventies broads frolic around naked. Sometimes these things bother with plot, sometimes not. I'll take them either way. Anyway, this picture called Superchick is one of the ones that tried to tell a story and I have to tell you it was pretty fucking funny. What they did here was riff on the Superman mythos and instead of a guy with super powers created by exposure to our yellow sun or however the hell that worked, we are treated to a woman, a stewardess with incomparable sexual powers. By day, she is just an ordinary, demure, shy flight attendent with brown hair up in a bun. By night, she is a blonde sex goddess in hot pants and also usually no pants at all. The broad even goes into a phone booth at the start of her layover and comes out all dolled up. This is the kind of picture I can get behind.

Joyce Jillson was some kind of famous hollywood astrologer at one point but she pretty much had her big break with Superchick. I'm not sure, but I think this was the only time she took off her clothes for a film so therfore, this is a picture that must be treasured. She stars as the stewardess named Tara B. True and flies between New York, Miami, and Los Angeles. In each city, she has a different man. Her New York man is some rich doctor type, a surgeon who is desperately in love with her. Unfortunately, he's a germophobe so they spend their evenings sharing a bath because he apparently doesn't know about the organisms that love nothing more than to swim around in a tepid pool of filth. They also play naked black jack in bed which would be a pretty good time I would think. The next day, his limo drops her off at the airport where his proposal of marriage is rebuffed. No way can she settle down with just one man. She's got far too much love to give. He tells her he'll be thinking of her while performing surgery that afternoon. Good for her. Not so good for the patient.

Next stop, sunny Miami where she meets up with buff Johnny (Tony Young) , a good looking guy with a gambling problem. Johnny's in pretty deep to the local mafia boss who is kind enough to wipe away all his debts for a roll in the sack with Ms. True. Johnny's not a complete scum bag though so he'll think about it. Meanwhile, he and Tara enjoy hours of water skiing (she loses her bottoms!), night clubbing, and other stuff. Johnny, like most degenerates, doesn't have the energy to keep up with his starlett. When the bartender tells him "look pal, we're closing in ten minutes", Johnny replies "can you make it sooner?"

Her beau in Los Angeles is none other than the hot, new, suddenly over the hill at 21, rock star Davey Charles (Timothy Wayne Brown). He's in love with Joyce for the part of her that has a great body, the kind of body that can help him keep ahead of the constantly evolving music scene. By that, I mean they have sex on the piano and record the sounds it makes. This gets old for Tara pretty fast. Her further adventures in L.A. involve a karate class, a typical hollywood pot party, a hollywood pot party bust, and a near gang bang at the hands of a ruthless biker gang ("listen guys..uh...let's dispense with the biker movie lingo and just gang bang her."). John Carradine portrays a John Carradine like actor (except for the vast mansion) who lives alone with his memorabilia placing ads for young women to come and tie him up, listen to his mother, maybe be killed, etc. His scene kinda comes out of nowhere, but even he is no match for superchick (Tara: Wow, someone must have dropped acid in his geritol).

I guess the main story involves the mafia based out of miami. They use Johnny to try to smuggle guns on board one of Tara's flights ("they never check the stewardess' bags") so they can hijack it and rob one of the rich passengers. This seems like an awful lot to go through just to come out with $500 K (estimated loot), but I guess this is one of those pre 9-11 movies where a hijacking could possibly be amusing.

Shit, I forgot about the solider ("I'm a marine") on the flight out of miami. He confesses to Tara that he's got limited experience with women and she becomes even more turned on when she realizes he was stationed on Guantanomo with 50,000 cubans yelling "american go home." She quickly turns into superchick and tells the young soldier ("um, marine") to meet her in the bathroom and cough three times where they will try to deal with the turbulance and likely make some of their own. Yeah, this picture is almost a porno.

I love the ideals behind the thing though. She loves all three of her men, but why should she settle down with them and why should they settle down with her? Her job allows her to bring her brand of love all over the world. I guess that later she will be promoted and moved beyond domestic flights or something. Not only is she, apparently, great in the sack but she's also pretty good at the ass kicking; biker gang, japanese karate champion, hijackers, etc...she defeats them all. Superman was not very great in the sack from what I've heard...or at least none of his conquests lived to talk about it. Superboy from Superman Returns was a product of artificial insemination. Anyway, if you love a good seventies movie full of seventies styles, seventies nudity, and seventies theme music then you can't really go wrong with this picture. Note: Tara says "Last one in bed, get's no head!"

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Coach (1978)

Over the Christmas holiday, while perusing the only Best Buy in Vermont, I picked up a ten disc, ten double features, twenty picture “Welcome to the Grindhouse” collection for a mere twenty bucks that may be one of the best things I’ve purchased in my life. I’ve never seen this particular collection in any best buy (or on Amazon for that matter) since. I’ve encountered the separate single disc double features for ten bucks. They’re all over the fucking place. So basically, that’s a savings of eighty bucks for an incredible collection you’ll apparently never find anywhere else. Black Candles alone made the whole god damned thing worth it. In addition, we’ve got Don’t Answer the Phone, Trip With Teacher, Sister Street Fighter, Malibu High, etc, loads of trailers, nudity, gore, etc. Solid buy is all I’m saying.

Also included is a little film from 1978 called Coach. Cathy Lee Crosby (“That’s Incredible”) stars as Randy Rawlings, a beautiful Olympic running champion who becomes the coach of a lousy high school boy’s basketball team and leads them to victory while simultaneously leading the starting point guard right into her bed. Yeah, it’s that kind of picture.

Only it isn’t, really. This is like if Lifetime had decided to make a movie about a teacher (or coach) bedding her student only they decided this was a perfectly acceptable thing. Well, that starting point guard is none other than Michael Biehn (Aliens, The Terminator, Navy Seals) and I suppose it helps matters that he and Crosby exhibit a wonderful chemistry. Yes, she looks to be about 10 years his senior but what the fuck do I care when he looks 25? The 1970s were a simple time, a time when if a young student could bang his teacher then good for him. Today, the teacher goes to prison and someone usually ends up dead. Also, where the fuck were these teachers when I was in high school? I call bullshit.

Keenan Wynn (Once Upon a Time in the West) is Granger, some sort of principal-superintendant-rich son of a bitch hybrid. He’s old school in his beliefs; i.e. woman are good for making dinner and making babies. He wants his basketball team (“the stallions”) to win, sure, but at what price? I’m sure you’re wondering why he hired Rawlings in the first place? After a particularly humiliating loss, and the forced resignation of the former coach, the school desperately sent out applications around the country. Somehow, one ended up on Rawlings desk. She was immediately offered the job (being a former Olympian and all) so it comes down to a lousy screening process on Wynn’s case. Olympian or not, she’s still a god damned female, am I right gents?

Well, I’ve got no idea where I’m going with this review at this point. Uninspired basketball team. Woman trying to make it in a “man’s world” (see I put it in quotes so I’m not being sexist), etc.

I love a good sports picture. I love a good picture with exploitative elements. Why not combine the two? Unfortunately, this is just a sports picture with some loose morals. The only ass we see are the players as they hit the showers. We get some side-al breast action from Rawlings but it’s all too brief. Her passionate sex scene with Biehn is interrupted by a fade to black and then, later, her passionate shower sex scene with Biehn is interrupted by the janitor. I couldn’t get away from the idea that these two never got caught. Their relationship is perfectly fine. I kept thinking the horny teacher that liked Rawlings would find out or maybe Keenan Wynn would find out and use it to try to get her canned. It never happened. At one point, Biehn sees Rawlings kissing that horny teacher. Predictably, he becomes upset, showing up late to a game, ignoring her, etc. Then he learns that she kissed the guy because he was going to bring a college scout to the game. Perfectly reasonable, Biehn. Fogive the broad already. He does.

I loved the camaraderie between the teammates. They pulled for each other. There was the guy set up to be the asshole (Wynn’s grandson) but he ended up being a pretty nice guy and even stood up to his bigoted family at one point. Ned was, by far, my favorite “stallion”. He's a terrible student, bit of an airhead, threatened with removal from the team. The stallions desperately need his size on the court if they are going to compete for the championship. Instead of helping the guy study, they realize his situation is borderline hopeless. So, they hypnotize him into remembering the formulas for the big exam (as soon as they say the code word “jabberwocky” he becomes a math machine). Hilariously, all that time spent hypnotizing Ned (he get’s an A+) doesn’t really help Biehn much (D). Later, they hypnotize Ned into thinking he’s Sydney Wick (NBA legend who also guest stars) cause apparently he's not very good at basketball either.

Shit man, if you like Hoosiers you’ll probably disapprove of this one unless you wanted to see Dale and Chitwood going at it in the showers. I love a good basketball picture though and this one gets my seal of approval. I even learned a few things about the game. Elbows out, ball high when rebounding. Splitting the post I guess isn’t very good when it’s being done against you. If I were to hypnotize myself into believing I was Lebron James then I’d be a pretty good player. If I hypnotized myself into believing I was Sydney Wick I might start “talking black” and slapping five a lot. Also, dunking.

The game footage in this one was pretty solid. I swear they showed us the entire first quarter of the championship; every missed hoop, every Biehn turnover (he was distracted), every Ned hookshot from halfcourt…it was all in there. Of course, I loved when Coach Rawlings said "fuck ethics" when she found her team down twenty points. As soon as she screams out “jabberwocky” Ned starts teen wolfing his way up and down the court, swatting shots, stuffing home balls, probably causing irreversible brain damage. Win at all costs I guess. The final montage of game action is completely indecipherable….I’ve never seen so many misses in the final two minutes in my life. Finally, there’s Biehn…no time left, on the foul line…tie game. Will he choke? Who gives a shit? He gets to go home and bang the coach.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Where the hell have I been, etc

What a way to start the year. My computer went down earlier this month with a multitude of viruses. I still hope to have it back, wiped clean, sometime soon. In the meantime, I’m writing this thing at work (after hours, I may have a crappy work ethic but it’s not that crappy). Anyway, I promised you guys a list of my five worst films of 2008 so here it is with minimal, if any, commentary.

5-1. Diary of the Dead – suck it.

Fuck man, it feels like that came out in 2005. I also sorta hated, but mostly just felt too indifferent about to include on any “worst of” list; The Happening, The Spirit, The X-Files, The Mummy: Tomb of the Forbidden Kingdom, and Indiana Jones.

My scheduled sword and sorcery-sploitation month has been blown to hell thanks to the sorta viruses one might catch at porno sites. I’ve seen several pictures in the past month though. Thanks to alcohol I can only remember the ones I saw this weekend. I’m winging these after a long day of work and I’m mostly of the “get me the fuck out of here” attitude so these will be brief. Also, I just wanted to let you guys know that I’m still alive and have yet to be murdered by a jealous husband.

Piranha 2: The Spawning (1983)

James Cameron has a thing for sequels, especially if he didn’t direct the first one. Aliens is pretty good. The first one, aptly titled Alien, is about one alien with several large teeth. While one alien probably wouldn’t stand a chance against a platoon of space marines it’s more than tough enough for a rag tag crew of space janitors or whatever it was they were doing out there. Which is why Cameron wrote more than one alien into the sequel. Also, a big fucking queen alien. He knew that one alien versus a crew of space marines would be a pretty short, uneventful movie. The genius even called the thing Aliens.

Piranha 2 is Cameron’s first movie and let me tell you it’s no Aliens. I don’t remember if I saw the first Piranha or not. I’m guessing I did since I ate this kinda shit for breakfast as a kid. Is that the one where Richard Pryor tries to cross the river and the piranhas eat off his pants? That shit was hilarious. Anyway, Piranha was directed by genre stalwart Joe Dante (Gremlins, The Howling, The Burbs) and also written by John Sayles (Aligator, Brother From Another Planet) so I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that it is pretty good. Well, James Cameron is arguably a better filmmaker than Dante but I would argue that Piranha 2 is not a better film than Piranha (which I arguably have not seen so that's some argument).

One thing I did like about this picture however was the pre-title sequence. Fantastic. We see a young couple out in their boat. The woman says something like “let’s do what we came out here for”. Then we see them scuba diving towards a shipwreck. Yes, they are investigating a shipwreck, maybe searching for lost gold or some shit. Now we can begin to understand why Cameron has such a hard on for the Titanic. Anyway, suddenly the broad has removed her bathing suit and she bears down on the man. He seems stunned. She removes the knife from his ankle sheath. Is she going to murder him and take the treasure for herself? Why is she naked? (One should learn never to ask such questions). Wait, she’s just cutting off his speedo so they can do it underwater. I’ve heard women can’t get pregnant underwater. It's a scientific fact. Then we are treated to the point of view of some, at first, unseen entitie(s). Unfortunately, Cameron shows all his cards way too early as those little underwater flying fuckers start eating and the ocean turns red as the title comes up. Suspense flushed down the shitter.

The picture stars Lance Henriksen (every movie made after 1980) as a sheriff in some small Caribbean town. In support of Henriksen are a bunch of other people I'm not familiar with, several of whom get naked. I guess the difference between this picture and the first one is that these piranhas have been genetically altered so they can fly. Some sort of military experiment I guess. Basically, we have the sheriff, the asshole resort owner who refuses to postpone the annual fish fry, the ex wife/scuba instructor, the son who gets in over his head, and the native that fishes with dynamite. The flying fish effects are bad. Cameron is lost without a budget. There are a couple of incredibly mean spirited bimbos (who thankfully get naked) who try to steal food from a mentally challenged man and then invite him on a leisure cruise only to dock their boat just far enough from the pier that the poor bastard can’t get onboard. The poor horny son of a bitch tries to jump on, but misses wildly and gets called an asshole by the two teasing broads for his troubles. Their comeuppance is coming.

The picture’s best effect was, strangely enough, ripped off from the original Alien when a piranha that had burrowed itself into a dead guy bursts out of his chest during the autopsy. Henriksen is pretty solid but not really given much to do except pine for his ex-wife and look for his son. Upon finding the kid, who by the way is at one point shown making love to a young lady in a waterfall (that son of a bitch is barely fifteen!), he makes the curious decision to put his helicopter in neutral and ditch the thing into the ocean. Henriksen’s ex-wife looks like Adrienne Barbeau which is the best thing I can say about her. Cameron liked her enough to cast her as “woman” in The Titanic. The fish fry is pretty fun, but one can only watch so many flying fish before he catches himself looking for the string (not very hard to find). Cameron would eventually redeem himself before disappearing for a decade but this is not a very promising beginning.

The Fortress (1993)

This one was surprisingly not terrible. Starring Christopher Lambert and the incredibly cute Loryn Locklin as a married couple living in one of those futuristic dystopias that everyone loves to make movies about. In this one, families are only allowed to have one child in an effort to curb overpopulation. Failure to adhere to this law leads to imprisonment. If you’re unlucky, you’ll be sent to “the fortress”, a futuristic, privatized establishment run by a cyborgish Kurtwood Smith (Robocop). That's exactly where Locklin and Lambert get placed when they try to cover up a second pregnancy after their first child died in infancy. Due to budgetary reasons, this prison is built underground so we never really get an idea of its scope. Each prisoner has an “intestinator” inserted in their stomach which will a) give them cramps or b) explode if they don’t follow protocol. Smith holes up in his office like some sort of robotic Howard Hughes leering over the sex dreams of his prisoners before his female companion (a fem-puter) commands him to turn on the prisoner's intestinator. No wet dreams in this prison I guess. No wonder the homoeroticism runs rampant. Alliances are made and broken, babies are extracted for a special kind of bonding with machines, breasts are left unbared, etc. Since this one’s directed by Stuart Gordon (Re-animator) one can expect some pretty impressive gore and one would not be disappointed. Impressively, the movie asks many questions about humanity and "progress". Less impressively, it doesn’t even begin to answer them. The Fortress may be “run” by Smith, but it’s his female-ish robots and synthetic guards that truly police things. Jeffrey Combs shows up as the computer geek who uploads a computer virus in order to help Lambert and his wife escape. This was years before Independence Day. Tom Towles (Henry) and Vernon Wells (The Road Warrior) appear somewhat briefly. I’ve always thought Lambert a terrible actor but I was mildly impressed with his work here (once you get past the accent). The Fortress is better than Beowulf 1999.

Shit man, I guess that’s it. I was going to briefly write about No Escape (loved it) and Repo: The Genetic Opera (the poster child for overrated “cult” films) but I’ve fucking had it for today. Save some shit for next time I guess (which I guarantee will be sooner than a month from now). If I have to stay late at work once or twice a week to post an entry, so fucking-be it I guess.