Thursday, November 11, 2010

Short Movie Reviews

It has been a big movie week, though some I hit during October. Pardon all the sex comedies, but I am trying to get away from the horror a bit. Thirty-one days of horror movies was a tad much ;-) Also, I am on babysitting duty at work, so will likely be watching tons of movies.

Dagmar's Hot Pants, Inc. is a Danish sex comedy. Well, it is occasionally funny. Dagmar is a Swedish prostitute working in Copenhagen and the story follows her last day in town. She has to get all her affairs in order while juggling customers and emergency johns. I have no idea what the "hot pants, inc." part of the title eludes to, nor the other girls in the poster. This is a pretty tame titty movie if I ever saw one. Diana Kjær is pretty sexy, but you really have to wonder what the point is.

Netflix / IMDb

Verdict: If you really, really need to see some boobies go ahead, but otherwise not quite worth the time.

Wholly Moses is certainly "inspired" by The Life of Brian. It is the story of Herschel (Dudley Moore), who lives a parallel life to that of Moses. It has a lot of big names in it, including a great bit by Richard Pryor as Pharaoh. Laraine Newman and James Coco co-star with cameos by John Ritter, Dom DeLuise, and John Houseman.

Netflix / IMDb

Verdict: Not bad. It was funnier when I was a kid.

Private Lessons has a young rich kid, Philly (Eric Brown), whose chauffeur, Lester (Howard Hessman), decides to get him laid, but with an ulterior motive. Sylvia Kristel (Emmanuel series, Lady Chatterley's Lover) plays Nicole, the new housekeeper Lester has chosen to seduce Philly. Frankly, the movie kind of sucks for the first half, being just a jiggle movie. When you find out what Lester's plan is the movie gets to be more interesting. H.O.T.S. girl Pamela Jean Bryant makes some appearances, as does Ed Begley Jr. Mama's Family fans might recognize Eric Brown as dumb-ass grandson "Buzz."

Netflix / IMDb

Verdict: Funny at times. Nostalgic Skinemax movie.

The Order of the Black Eagle brings back white ninja super-spy Duncan Jax (Ian Hunter) and his wonder-baboon from Unmasking the Idol. This time, he is out to stop Nazis from reviving a cryogenically frozen Adolph Hitler. If you thought the first movie was corny, then this one is a meal of cream-style corn with corn fritters and candy corn for dessert. This time around they don't even pretend they are making a serious action movie, and once the monkey starts driving the tank, well... I must admit though, I love these stupid, stupid films.

Netflix / IMDb

Verdict: It is so very, very bad, but glorious in its badness.

The Beyond by Lucio Fulci is a semi-zombie movie, but more a Gothic horror set in New Orleans. I have limited experience with Fulci, but I love the music. This one has two basic songs; one is a creepy piano loop, and the other is a highly inappropriate horror disco song. This film is super gory, but still has a lot of great jump-out-of-you-seat moments. I think this is a great scary movie that is not so zombie heavy as you might expect, which is a good thing, as zombies are starting to get a tad over-done. I like the way the Europeans do zombies as more of a Voodoo creature than a science-gone-wrong creation. It was also fun as the characters walked around the French Quarter trying to recognize the city from thirty years ago, also seeing how they will be on Bourbon in one walking shot, then suddenly on Chartres.

Netflix DVD / IMDb

Verdict: Groovy, spooky, and gory. I like it.

Carry On Columbus has the last stages of the Carry On gang lampooning Columbus' voyage to India. Oddly Young Ones regulars Rik Mayall and Alexie Sayel appear. I would not figure them to take part in Carry On, but everybody has to eat. This one is less sexy than you might be used to from Carry On, but it came out in '92, so was perhaps finding cheesecake was not to everyone's liking in the UK? Is that possible?!? Now, the big pay-off is when they reach the New World, where the locals are lead by Larry Miller (the obnoxious clerk in Pretty Woman, and known for his bit about "The Five Stages of Drinking") and Charles Fleischer (the voice of Roger Rabbit, and Carvelli on Welcome Back Kotter) who get the best of the Europeans and send them packing with nothing.

Netflix / IMDb

Verdict: This is a funny, accessible Carry On entry.

Bikini Squad is a parody, of sorts, of Baywatch. Rather than trying to mock the unmockable (seriously, how could you be more cheesy that Baywatch?), they mock it from behind the scenes. The producer wants to drive the show into the toilet so it will be canceled, so he hires a female director whose sole work has been with documentaries. He is sabotaging the show's production without her knowing it. For the most part, this is corny humor and early-1990's chicks in late-1980's bikinis, with some nudity thrown in for good measure. If you've never seen Julie Strain naked then this is the film for you. What am I saying? Everyone has seen Julie Strain naked. Xena: Warrior Princess fans should look for a brief cameo by Ted "Joxer" Raimi as "Scared Onlooker."

Netflix / IMDb

Verdict: Silly and stupid, but kinda funny.

The Owl and the Pussycat has George Segal as a nebbishy novelist and Barbara Streisand as an actress/model/go-go dancer/occasional prostitute. The two come together after each complaining about the goings on in the others apartment. The film is based on the play, and the screenplay is by Buck Henry (Get Smart). It is a cute, dialogue driven piece with the old standard odd couple mix. Now, I am never one to not find Streisand attractive, but she is particularly sexy in this one. Maybe it's the trashy lingerie? This is pretty subversive, with descriptions of deviant sex, and smoking pot. Also, look for Marilyn Chamber's first movie credit, as Barney's (Robert Klein) girlfriend.

Netflix DVD / Hulu / IMDb

Verdict: A lot of fun. Great zingy one-liners, and a cohesive story.

Mini-Skirt Mob is an old American International biker movie. When Jeff dumps The Mini-Skirt's leader, Shayne, she wants revenge and sics her biker buddies on them. When one of the bikers die in the process Shayne gets really ticked. The gang corners the couple in a canyon and play a sadistic game of cat and mouse. Harry Dean Stanton plays one of the bikers, "Spook."

Netflix / Hulu / IMDb

Verdict: Corny? Sure, but fun.x

Howl's Moving Castle by Hiyao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli is a fairy tale where the young Sophie is transformed into an old woman by a witch. She comes in contact with the wizard Howl and becomes his cleaning lady. Sophie falls in love with Howl, but there are lots of problems. Magical problems. The end is a little hard to grasp, perhaps, but it has most of the standard Miyazaki elements; war, pollution, love under difficult circumstances, and growing up. It is a beautiful movie and a great deal of fun. Not my favorite from Studio Ghibli, but I dare say it is the most visually stunning.

Netflix DVD / IMDb

Verdict: Very cute and touching story.

Hercules in the Haunted World has Reg Park, Christopher Lee and Rosalba Neri in a sword & sandal horror film directed by Mario Bava. Hercules goes to meet Deianara (Leonora Ruffo), but she has been captured by Licos (Christopher Lee). Herc and friends must travel to Hades to save Deianara. Of course, you don't just go to Hades because you want to, so there are numerous trials before they can acheive their goal; the Stone of Forgetfulness, aka the Stone of Pluto, aka the Stone of Life. I'd like to say this is a beautifully shot film, as I believe this was Bava's first color film. Unfortunately the DVD I have is a VHS rip I did myself, and is terribly washed out. Also, unfortunately (and unwisely) Christopher Lee's voice is dubbed.

Netflix DVD / IMDb

Verdict: Pretty good, if you like this sort of thing.

Hercules and the Captive Women has Hercules (Reg Park), his son, and the King of Thebes, Androcles, traveling to Atlantis to prevent an Atlantean attack. Initially, Herc refuses to go as he wants to make Deianara happy, but Androcles and Herc's son drug and shanghai the son of Zeus. When they finally reach Atlantis Herc's friends have disappeared and he is at the mercy of the Atlantean hordes. This is another I transferred from VHS, so it does not look so hot. Like Hercules in the Haunted World, this one is more horror than action, though it has its share of that still.

Netflix / IMDb

Verdict: Actually, the better of the two in this post.


kenchan13 said...

I swear i thought the first film said Dengar's Hot Pants inc. and i shivered.

Darius Whiteplume said...

I had to look that up, but that is funny. :-)

Anonymous said...

those old hercules movies with steve reeves were bad ass!

Yum-Yum said...

What a superb line up of films.

Eric Brown does the student-teacher thing with Sybil Danning in They're Playing with Fire.

I saw The Beyond on the big screen few years ago, they handed out novelty barf bags at the door.

Yeah, Barbara Streisand looks hot in The Owl and the Pussycat.

Darius Whiteplume said...

@Shutterbugz - I have only seen a few Steve Reeves ones, and mostly on MST3K, I believe. I am feeling a Hercules kick coming on, if I can ever get away from work enough to watch some.

@Yum-Yum - I thought that was Eric Brown in "They're Playing with Fire" but was not sure. I get the feeling he's the unknown Scott Baio of Hollywood. I was not too grossed out by The Beyond, though the crucifixion spike through the head made me wince. Babs should have played the whore more often. Glad you enjoyed the lineup. Next week should be heavy too, though it will be a lot I may have already touched on.

Nathan said...

I've read the book of Howl's Moving Castle, but I haven't yet seen the movie. I hear they're fairly different, though.

Darius Whiteplume said...

I have not read the book, but imagine it is different. I liked the movie a lot, but there is only so much story you can cram into 2hrs. There were some "when the hell did that happen?" moments.

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