Three of the cinema’s best genres are finally mixed together to produce a love child of death, dismemberment, and amputee fellatio! Taking the very finest elements of the Vietnam POW movie, the stolen Nazi gold movie, and the micro-budget mid 1980s Italian action movie, Dog Tags manages to even work in a strip club scene for no reason except that director Romano Scavolini (Nightmare In A Damaged Brain) is just that damn good! Could anything less be expected from the brother of the writer of American Rickshaw? Continue reading
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
The 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
At long last an action movie that articulates why its climax is taking place at the old abandoned cement factory outside of town. Too often, it seems like everyone just magically teleports to the docks for a final shootout (lots of shipping containers can get blown up and bad guys can end up dramatically floating in the water) or mindlessly cruises over to a power plant because all the catwalks can provide a lot of suspenseful chasing (and bad guys falling to their deaths) and steam valves can get ruptured, filling the area with smoke (and burn bad guys in the face), but without any logical explanation why the action had to shift from where it was happening to these locales. Continue reading
Following the collapse of the cannibals and barbarian film genres in the early 1980s, director Umberto Lenzi took a brief detour before finishing off the decade with a bounty of no less than six cheap and cheesy horror movies. A detour right into the heart of war-torn Yugoslavia!
Was Umberto documenting the ethnic cleansing that wracked the region following the fall of the Soviet empire? Was he leading a campaign of underemployed Italian exploitation movie directors to provide aid and comfort to displaced refugees by holding charity screenings of Nightmare City and Eaten Alive?
Are you nuts? Who cares about that war? I’m talking about a real war! World War II! The one where a handful of Johnny Yanks could take on the entire German army and carry out impossible suicide missions on an almost weekly basis! Continue reading
Whenever one of us lovers of Italian trash cinema talks up Mark Gregory as an icon of that world, non fans are prone to write it off as just so much irony. He’s got a big perm in his most visible roles, can’t stand, pose, or walk convincingly, has gorgeous pouty lips, and is most famous for appearing as a guy named Trash. It’s like we’re just trying to be funny about how important he is by pointing out how ill-suited he was to acting. And that’s true – something like Adam and Eve is going to be pretty challenging to sit through if you don’t go into it with the right attitude. Continue reading
A lot of guys who kicked ass over in Nam got a dose of that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that good old sneaky Charlie was lacing their tunnels with. The severity of the PTSD varies, but it can be so bad that you turn to self-medicating yourself like Steel did in this movie, causing him to get liquored up and beat down the cowards in the bars who didn’t have the balls to go to Nam! That’s some pretty cool PTSD! Or at least it would be if we actually got to see it instead of just having Steel’s whiny wife recount it for us and Steel when she’s picking him up outside the police station. Continue reading
Easily taking home the coveted title “Italian War Movie With Most Jeepage Per Minute,” Days of Hell helmer Tonino Ricci (Rush, Rage, Raiders Of The Magic Ivory) brings an added depth to all the Jeeping around in the film, by having his crack commando team frequently jumping out of it to shoot native tribesmen and Russians. Additionally, in one Jeep-orgasmic sequence, D Team actually splits up and starts cruising around in two Jeeps! Two Jeeps? Admit it, you just got an M-16-sized chubby! Continue reading
So much of the Vietnam POW experience is portrayed in a negative light. There’s the obscene physical abuse as well as the unrelenting mental torture. There’s the inhuman living conditions and the years away from loved ones. There’s the uncertainty of whether you are going to live through the next morning or whether you’re going to get another meal. Then, even if there is a rescue mission mounted by a one man killing machine named Rambo or Braddock, there’s the distinct possibility that you might be one of the anonymous grubby guys who dies in the escape attempt. Continue reading
During World War II, Hollywood eagerly joined up with America and her allies in an effort to whip a little Axis tail and they too wanted to launch their own assaults trumpeting freedom, courage, and sacrifice. But in wartime, you have to be able to think outside the box and come up with that one-two punch the enemy never sees coming! Thus the excruciatingly unsuccessful teaming of Joan Crawford and John Wayne in a movie about occupied France. (Another unpleasant aspect of a wartime movie like Reunion in France is that sometimes the audience suffers a little friendly fire and becomes collateral damage.) Continue reading