Category Archives: 1970s

Heroes in Hell (1974)

Heroes In Hell gives you an up close and personal look at the lives of a group of World War II POWs. It’s up close and personal not because you get to know the characters or you are treated to a day to day examination of what life in a German prison camp entails. It’s up close and personal because most of the freaking film is shot right in these guys’ faces! And it didn’t serve to build tension or give a sense of claustrophobic suspense so much as left the viewer straining to see around everyone’s big fat skull! Continue reading

Blood Thirst (1971)

Those of you who sat through the wretched Blood Suckers that headlined this double feature DVD from Something Weird Video and figured that at least you still had another movie to go and that it might be able to justify your purchasing this, let me ask you one question that will bring your situation into focus: Are you really hoping that a Filipino movie starring nobodies and featuring a wisecracking hero who merely comes off as obnoxious is going to do anything for you except make you wonder how it is that one of the only other two movies the director made was Jean Claude Van Damme’s Bloodsport? Continue reading

Seven Blood-Stained Orchids (1972)

sevenbloodstainedorchidsposterOn the surface, it’s an odd combination to say the least – a Cornell Woolrich story serving as the basis for an Umberto Lenzi film. Woolrich was the author of several stories during the fifties that were turned into such film noirs as Black Angel and Phantom Lady. Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window was also based on a Woolrich story.

Lenzi is best known as king of the cannibals for his Cannibal Ferox, Deep River Savages, and Eaten Alive films. But he was also proficient earlier in his career with thrillers in the giallo mold including Spasmo and Orgasmo so maybe it isn’t such a surprise that itt all works much better than you would suspect, resulting in an easily digestible confection of mystery, graphic violence, and Antonio Sabato. Continue reading

Concorde Affaire ’79 (1979)

concorde-affair-posterAs directed by Ruggero Deodato (Jungle Holocaust, Dial: Help), Concorde Affaire ’79 manages to create a uniquely Italian take on the airport disaster genre by mixing low budget action (think lots of murky underwater diving scenes), bad special effects (do you think Britain or France was going to let Deodato within a country mile of a real Concorde?), a generous helping of slumming movie stars (Van Johnson and Joseph Cotten? An awesome team – in 1945!), and a story that not only fails to make sense, but whose climax involves a very suspenseful phone call. Continue reading

Zorro in the Court of England (1970)

zorrointhecourtofenglandposter2First off, I should probably disabuse you of the notion that at some point during this film Zorro will be swinging from the curtains in Buckingham Palace and carving a “Z” on the Queen of England’s royal backside.

Zorro is in the Court of England only in the sense that he happens to be shacked up with his manservant Pedrito in the English colony of Bermuda. How he got there all the way from California and why he is surrounded by peasants with Spanish sounding names who are played by Italians is one of those questions best left for director Franco Montemurro. Forty percent of Franco’s five film directing output consists of Zorro movies, so he ought to know, right? Continue reading

Murders in the Rue Morgue (1971)

murders-in-the-rue-morgue-posterVincent Price may have appeared in virtually all the American International-Edgar Allan Poe movies known to man (except for that contractual snafu that allowed Ray Milland to sneak onto the set of The Premature Burial and steal his spot in that one), but even Price couldn’t be hornswoggled into starring in this stiff about some killings afflicting a troupe of actors in France (filmed entirely on location in Spain which is apparently a lot cheaper than France).

Jason Robards was drafted to replace Price and the way that Mr. Robards conducts himself for the duration of this exercise in slasher tedium, “drafted” would appear to be an apt description of his enthusiasm in playing the director of the acting company besieged by a vengeful Herbert Lom. Continue reading

Frankenstein’s Castle of Freaks (1974)

frankensteins-castle-of-freaksRight away you know this movie is going to be one of those ugly, dirty, and cheap 1970s flicks where the special effects consist of junk just half-assed glued to somebody’s head. In fact, I thought I was watching the wrong movie at the beginning when things just kind of fired up with a bunch of people attacking a caveman. They were supposed to be villagers from a few hundred years back, but during one such attack I saw a guy wearing a pair of blue jeans and a button down work shirt, like he’d just got off work at the meat packing plant and decided to stop off in the woods to help some fellow townspeople beat up Neanderthals. Continue reading

Lady Frankenstein (1971)

ladyfrankensteinposterFrankenstein fanboys need to know right from the start that Lady Frankenstein doesn’t ever operate on a monster in this flick. Sure she gets involved in some brain transplant scheme, but that’s just a swap with her old, crippled up loser husband and the dull-witted, yet hunky handy man. What Lady Frankenstein is more interested in is being a cut-rate update of the Frankenstein story that gives a nod to women’s lib supplemented with a meager dollop of gore and skin, but really is only memorable because of how goofy-looking the monster is. Continue reading

Elsa Fraulein SS (1977)

elsafrauleincoverThe opening credits paraded by over a bunch of black and white newsreel footage of Nazis doing stuff like marching around and saluting one another. I thought some practical joker at the DVD plant had pulled a fast one on me and snuck a History Channel documentary in there. The only thing missing was a slightly bored narrator droning on about “the German war machine” and “France immediately surrendered.” Continue reading

My Dear Killer (1972)

MyDearKillerCoverThis is an okay giallo marred chiefly by its use of convoluted red herrings that I could never even figure out what I was supposed to be thinking they pointed to. Combined with the fact that our hero, Inspector Luca Peritti, cracks the case after visiting the murder scene and having a flash of inspiration while simultaneously rendering the previous 85 minutes of investigation completely meaningless and you end up with a film that has its moments (notably a couple of well done death scenes) and is able to keep you involved, but only because you’re unaware that everything you’re seeing doesn’t matter in discovering the killer’s identity. Continue reading