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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

THE WHITE WARRIOR 1959 (MILL CREEK)

Steve Reeves epic from Warner Brothers.

Reeves is Hadji Murad, a 19th century Chechen chieftain. In this film he is leading his people in a fight against the Russian Czar.

Riccardo Freda brings great direction skills to this film that is a really lavish production full of great battle scenes, dancing and costumes.

Reeves handles the role perfectly and his character finds himself in many battles, especially to save his love during the exciting climax. Cinematography was handled by Mario Bava and it shows even though this film has never had a very good release. I wish I could get to see a pristine print.

This film is based on a book by Leo Tolstoy and that book is his real life adventures when he fought with the Russian army in Chechnya to suppress Chechen guerillas.

A fine piece of film making that should please the fans of the genre.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Clint Eastwood is 86, Brooke Shields is 51, and Kevin Brodie is 64.

Monday, May 30, 2016

BARN OF THE NAKED DEAD 1974 (LEGEND HOUSE)

Wow! What a bizarre film.

Andrew Prine stars as Andre, a man with some serious problems.

Three young women on their way to Las Vegas experience car trouble and must sleep at the side of the road for the night. In the morning they are awakened by Andre. He offers to help them an they agree so he drives them to his home and before you know it they become captives of a very deranged man.

Andre has a collection of women in his barn at his desert home. He keeps them chained and treats them like animals. He tortures and abuses them, and if the women misbehave he smears them with calves blood and send his pet mountain lion after them.

Besides all of this fun going on it also appears Andre's father is still around as well. He has been contaminated by nuclear radiation due to the farm being so close to a testing ground. He is now a mutated monster who stalks the desert looking for victims.

Andre believes one of the women is his mother and so he treats her a little better than the others, but that isn't saying much. The girls' agent is desperately looking for them but has little luck until he meets a sheriff that helps him out.

All does not end well in this twisted little film. I know much has been written about this film over the last many years and none of it is good. But I actually enjoyed this film. Most people get too wound up about this.

Yes there are women abused in this film, some of it is not pleasant to watch, but I know it's just a movie, and an exploitation movie at that. I like it and I will defend it. The print from Legend House is simply the best version I have ever seen of this film, and now it's up to you to decide if you want to see it. I cannot see any exploitation fan missing it, and hey Andrew Prine is one of the best.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Stephen Tobolowsky is 65, Michael J. Pollard is 77, Ruta Lee is 81, Jennifer Ellison is 33, and Deanna Lund is 79.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

TRIUMPH OF THE SON OF HERCULES 1962 (MILL CREEK)

Kirk Morris stars in this outing.

Morris is Maciste, one of the many sons of Hercules. An evil Queen named Tenefi has taken over the throne in Memphis and now demands sacrifices of virgins to the Gods of fire.

Maciste finds out about this and comes to the aid of the people. The Queen, played by beautiful Liuba Bodina, uses evil magic to erase Macistes' mind and make him a total slave to her every whim.

A woman who truly loves Maciste finds a way to rescue him and bring him back to his right mind. During the course of the film Maciste is put thru several trials including having horses attempting to pull him apart.

The scenes where he fights a group of cavemen called "Yuri-Men" is a highlight. This is is wide screen and not too bad of a film. Morris isn't the best leading man, but I have seen much worse. Recommended.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Clifton James is 95.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

KINDAR THE INVULNERABLE 1963 (MILL CREEK)

Mark Forest stars in this very well made sword and sandal film.

Forest is Kindar a man, who when he was born was struck by lightening. The strike killed his mother but has made him invulnerable to anything.

Kindar is kidnapped when a child and raised by an evil Sultan who uses him as a weapon to conquer a small desert city. Kindar, thru many adventures learns that the woman he has fallen in love with is actually his long lost brothers fiance, and that the city he is being groomed to conquer is actually the city ruled by his real father.

It sounds more complex than it really is. I liked this film a lot and found the story to be somewhat different from the standard fair.

This is easily one of my favorites of the genre and it is given an incredible boost by the co-starring of the incredibly sexy Rosalba Neri as Kira.

I can highly recommend this fun little film to anyone, and if you get the chance check it out.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Carroll Baker is 85, Shane Rimmer is 84, Gladys Knight is 72, and Kevin Van Hentenryck is 63.

Friday, May 27, 2016

HERCULES AGAINST THE MONGOLS 1963 (MILL CREEK)

My look at sword and sandal film continues with this little gem.

Mark Forest is Maciste in this effort. After the death of Genghis Khan, his three sons do not want to follow the peace treaties he has signed with various tribes.

The three sons unite many armies and begin taking over as much country as they can. Maciste comes to the aide of some people being oppressed and winds up fighting the three brothers.

There is plenty of action in this film, and it shouldn't disappoint fans of the genre. Jose Greci co-stars as Bianca, the woman Maciste loves and American actor Ken Clark makes one of his several appearances in films like this as one of the sons named Sayan.

The print from Mill Creek is acceptable but I have never let a bad print stop me from enjoying these types of things. I have a few more of these film to review and I appreciate you people bearing with me while I indulge in my S&S addiction.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO.....

Lee Meriwether is 81, Linnea Quigley is 58, Kip Niven is 71, Natalie Neidhart is 34, and Eric Bischoff is 59

Thursday, May 26, 2016

THE AVENGER 1962 (MILL CREEK)

Good action film starring Steve Reeves.

Reeves is Aeneas the leader of a group of escapees from the Trojan War who want nothing but to live in peace.

However these thoughts are soon vanquished because of the evil empire that owns the lands they wish to live on. Aeneas faces many challenges, many of which are battles he easily wins.

Reeves carries the role very well in this black and white sword and sandal effort. American Albert Band is given sole directorial credit in the film, which is somewhat bizarre, but oh well.

If you like Reeves other films in this genre you may find this a little slow, but it is interesting. One of the very few of these I have seen that isn't in color. I do believe it was released in color, but I haven't seen such a print. Giacomo Rossi Stuart co-stars.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Pam Grier is 67, Stevie Nicks is 68, Ingrid Goude is 79.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

GOLIATH AND THE SINS OF BABYLON 1963 (MILL CREEK)

For the last week or so I am sure everyone has noticed that I have been reviewing a lot of sword and sandal films. I continue that trend with this little gem.

Mark Forest stars as Goliath. n this story he helps the kingdom of Nephyr fight an evil tyrant that demands many virgins for sacrifice every year in order to keep peace.

Jose Greci is Regia, the woman Goliath falls for and fights for. This is all pretty standard fair, but that doesn't mean it's not entertaining.

There are some great battle scenes and the scene involving Goliath threatened with spears is also a classic. The print from Mill Creek is actually a widescreen print and although it needs proper framing it looks much better than most I have seen.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Leslie Uggams is 73, and Ann Robinson is 87.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

RIP BURT KWOUK 1930-2016

A very fine actor has passed away.

Kwpouk is best remembered for his appearance in 8 Pink Panther films as Insp. Clouseau's karate chopping servant, but I remember him best from such films as GOLDFINGER, FIENDISH PLOT OF. DR. FU MANCHU, and YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE.

The first film I ever saw him in was CURSE OF THE FLY followed by BRIDES OF FU MANCHU. Kwouk was a very versatile actor and also appeared in hundreds of TV shows both here in the US and in England.

He passed away on May 24th at the age of 85.