1/29/13

Retro Film Report #23: A Few Netflix Instant Flicks


Truthfully, once you've seen one biker movie you've seen them all.  Like the trucker movies of the seventies, the biker movies of the late sixties early seventies romanticized the man on wheels.  He was a rebel, an outcast, and the cowboy.  The films chronicling these reluctant heroes certainly lacked in the originality department, but still are interesting to watch.

Netflix actually has a healthy supply of biker movies available for instant view. Take for instance, The Cycle Savages (1969) starring Bruce Dern, reprising his role once again as psychotic biker nutjob.




During the climactic fight scene all I could focus on was that cool John Lennon poster.  "Don't pull her finger, lady! It's the oldest trick in the book!"

Guess who that is playing the slimeball heavy.... yep, that's Mr. Casey Kasem.

Other title screens from biker movies on Netflix...




And let's not forget trucker movies, of which there are a-plenty on Netflix instant.  One of these days I'm going to have to do a post just on title screen captures.  For some reason they fascinate me.


 I can't tell you how many times I rented Re-Animator on VHS.  God, if only all low budget horror movies could be this good.  Never a dull moment, and it delivers the goods in spades.  Campy without being a mockery; over-the-top without being purely reliant on shocks; just damn good all around.


The autopsy room scene at the end of the film is truly one of the penultimate horror movie moments.  The decapitated doctor taking his pleasure from the lovely Barbara Crampton has to be seen to be believed.


Clue is perhaps the best example I can think of where a fairly mediocre script is elevated by the actors just having the time of their lives. Sometimes just having fun is good enough (watch any episode of Carol Burnett where the writing could sometimes be so-so, but the audience enjoyment is elevated exponentially by joy the actors had with their parts).


I actually had a Clue 'boxed set".  If memory serves, it was a box that contained the original board game and a VHS with alternate endings...... and I think there was a way to play along with the film using some fancy contraption.  Anyone else have this?


I've already reviewed this film, but I thought I'd let you know it's now available on Instant.  What a freaking incredible movie.  One of my all time favorite camp classics.


The scene where our hero must suck the poison venom from the jungle girl's thigh (completely out of nowhere in an act of pure unadulterated gratuitousness) makes this film worth a looksee in-and-of-itself.


How they got her bikini top to keep her nipples covered is truly one of the greatest miracles stunts in Hollywood production history.  It defies nearly every law of physics.


And another previously reviewed film has become available on Netflix Instant.  Without question my favorite teen sex-com of all time.


No disrespect to Fast Times, Porky's, H.O.T.S., Hardbodies,etc.  This one reigns supreme in that it takes the genre to its absolute limit.  Any further and you're entering exploitation; any less and you're boring.  The perfect harmony of tasteless fun and hormonal humor.


I can't think of a better late-night popcorn B-movie than Mars Nees Women (1967).  It's not so horrible (i.e. Plan 9 from Outer Space) that it's barely watchable.  This is what you envision all those Grade Z early sci-fi drive-in movies being like, but often never are.


Lots of hokey science gobbledy gook going on that somehow manages to enhance the entertainment value.  Picture a fun B&W drive-in movie, but this is a little later (1967), so they were able to amp up the crazy a little bit.


There's a barely relevant striptease scene that I swear goes on for thirty f***ing minutes! It's really frustrating too because the dancer parades around in a full length gown for 99 percent of it.  Then (get this) you have to watch another three scenes at a separate location before cutting back to the striptease, where you finally get to see the gal drop the evening gown for a precious few seconds...


I'll save you the wait.  Here it is.


It stars Yvonne Craig as the alien sexpert (no that's not a typo).  Unfortunately, she doesn't put on any latex suits in this film; in fact, Craig's "assets" are not utilized in this film whatsoever.  A disappointment to those of us who lusted after Batgirl back in the day.

11 comments:

  1. I love the strip tease scene in Mars Needs Women. Yeah, it goes on for so long, and the people in the audience kinda surprised me, because there are so many women watching her as if she were performing Swan Lake. Fun movie.

    I also have The Cycle Savages on disc, and bought C.C. and Company not too long ago, which I totally enjoyed (thanks to your previous mention).

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  2. I suppose it would be too much to ask to have Yvonne Craig and gratuitous thigh sucking all in the same fime...

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  3. Re-Animator for Best Dialogue Regarding a Cat:

    Dan: You couldn't call, or write a note. [regarding the death of Rufus, his cat]

    West: I was busy pushing bodies around as you well know. And what would a note say, Dan? 'Cat dead; details later'?

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    1. Man, I haven't seen Re-Animator in forever. I might have to rejoin Netflix just for that. I remember the first time I saw it with a buddy of mine, Barbara Crampton came on the screen and I said, "I bet we see her naked before the end of the movie." Bam! It wasn't even 30 seconds later and her and Dan are screwing. Love it!

      My favorite part is when Dr. Hill's decapitated head comes back to life on the table.

      Dr. Hill (struggling to form words): "Weeeessstttttt......."
      Herbert West: "yes, Dr. Hill?"
      Dr, Hill: "yoouuuuuu...."
      Herbert West: "yes - You?"
      Dr, Hill: "basssttarrddd!!"

      and then his body slams West's head into the table.
      classic! God, I love that movie.

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  4. Armpit, if you look at a lot of the movies made int he late 50s and 1960s you will see a lot of Strip club scenes with couples. I don't know if this was a actual "date night" thing back then, or the producers of theses "movies" WANTED to make it a thing.

    But check out "the Brain that would not Die," "The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies!!?" and even "Breakfast at Tiffany's." Husband and wives at the strip club together was passed off as a normal social event.

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  5. First off, Clue is probably one of my favorite movies of all time (OF ALL TIME!). Second, while I don't know if the movie came in a box set with the game (the original VHS and the DVD does contain the "alternate" endings), there IS a VHS game that came out, funny enough in the same year the movie came out in theaters.

    It was simply called the Clue VCR Mystery Game. I actually picked it up at a thrift store a few years ago for a couple of dollars, but haven't opened it up yet. I did a google search and found a hilarious write-up of the game: http://www.x-entertainment.com/articles/0775/

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  6. I printed out a list once upon of time of all the biker films - someday I hope to watch all of them. A lot of them seem to run on the THIS movie channel in the summer time.

    Some of my favorites are: The Wild Angels, Nam's Angels, and C.C. and Company.

    The John Lennon poster is from a photograph by Richard Avedon.

    I recently bought all the Billy Jack dvds for 5 bucks at a Dollar Store.

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  7. Did you possibly misuse the word "penultimate?"

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  8. I just watched Marlowe with James Garner and it's going along as a normal 1969 PG movie that you could watch with the kids, then at the end there's this long striptease with Rita Moreno! Couples in the audience like other have mentioned. But dang, Rita Moreno in a long striptease! She pretty much gets down to pasties and a g-string.

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  9. J. Bevington FiskFebruary 05, 2013

    @Lacey. The "Couples at the Strip Club as Everyday Normal Fun in Movies" was probably just an attempt by the kind of people who made these movies to portray what, to them, WAS a perfectly normal, sophisticated thing to do. The producers, actors and directors in these movies would probably, several times a month, leave their San Bernardino apartments/duplexes/tract homes; drive to the swank San Fernando Valley; and spend the evening at The Purple Polka Dotted Scene or The Sans Souci or The Bird Cage. They probably knew the owners of these places and the performers. Even strippers and connected guys have pals, and many of them would be in The Business. When you see Couples in Strip Clubs in these movies, I imagine that was a portrayal of two "with it" and "swinging" cats and kittens living the dream. But then it all turns kind of heavy.

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  10. J. Bevington FiskFebruary 05, 2013

    Oh, and I almost forgot. As far as biker movies, one of the absolute best is the Glory Stompers with Dennis Hopper. In one scene he goes into a psychotic, foaming-at-the-mouth rage and administers a brutal beating to another biker who had been totally uncool. After the offending motorcyclist has been beaten and has stopped moving, Hopper's character looks around at the crowd of bikers and chicks and says, "Anybody else got anything to say?" Nobody says a word. Hopper then goes all transcendent, "Turn it on man, turn it on." That scene is like a prequel to "Blue Velvet."

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