Man’s Best Fiend

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Here’s proof that everyone and their dog has made a Dracula movie. When I first heard about this picture as a kid, I thought it was a gag, that it couldn’t possibly be a real movie. Well, it’s real, folks…Drac’s pooch Zoltan and his half-vamp servant Veidt (Reggie Nalder, Salem’s Lot, Mark Of  The Devil) head to America to seek out the Count’s last surviving heir, Michael “Drake” (Michael Pataki). Drake doesn’t know about his hemophagic heritage. He’s on vacation, camping with his family  when Veidt and Zoltan put the bite on Drake’s dogs, creating a legion of vampire canines. Ruh-roh! All kidding aside, the dogs are actually pretty scary when they go into attack mode. Luckily Jose Ferrer shows up as the fearless vampire killer Branco. It’s a campy premise, yes, but the picture is pretty straight-faced considering it was written by the same guy (Frank Ray Perilli) who wrote the 70’s softcore musical Cinderella…

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Tryin’ To Get Over

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Youngblood Priest (Ron O’Neal) a suave, shrewd coke dealer. wants to go legit…but he needs to make one last big score first, his ticket to Easy Street…but will he make it before the corrupt cops he’s ripping off get hip and bring the hammer down? Superfly is an absolute Blaxploitation classic: intelligently written,. truthful, raw, stylish, artistic and serious…there’s no shuckin’-and-jivin’ stereotyped characters to put the caucasians in the audience at ease. Not that it’s humorless though. Charles MacGregor (Blazing Saddles fans will recognize him as Bart’s buddy Scamp) brings not just humor but pathos in his portrayal of the Quixotic, ill-fated Freddy. Ron O’Neal commands the screen with the steely-eyed gravitas of a street-hustling Sidney Poitier…and of course, Curtis Mayfield’s soundtrack is legendary…

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A Real Hopped-Up Deathtrap

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Chuck Connors is Ben, a cop who runs a dragstrip where teens can race their hotrods under safe conditions. When a boy dies in an accident (on the street, not the strip) young mechanic Jeff loses his license, so he can only work on cars and brood. The titular girl is Lisa (Lori Nelson, Revenge Of The Creature) a gorgeous blonde who is no slouch on the track herself. When cocky bastard Bronc blows into town (how do we know he’s a bad kid? Black leather jacket. Dead giveaway in the 50’s) pushing people around, harassing Lisa, driving recklessly…even unplugging the juke at the maltshop, Jeff must step up to teach the punk some manners…so  you know there’s gonna be fistfights, a chicken run, the whole nine. Meanwhile, Frank Gorshin provides comic relief as the smart aleck Flattop…

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Lila Is A One Night Stand

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Lissome, lithe Lila (Susan Stewart) is a real go-getter of a go-go girl who does some of her most entertaining performances after the show…but after a stagedoor johnny slips her some LSD (and after what seems like the longest, tamest sex scene in cinematic history) she has a bum trip, completely flips her That Girl wig, kills the guy and hacks him into kibble with a cleaver…Then veteran stripper Pat Barrington (Mondo Topless, Orgy Of  The Dead ) does a bellydance for the film’s director William Rotsler…as a “lay analyst” (Stuart Lancaster, one of Russ Meyer’s favorite stock players, who also appeared in Harry Novak productions like this) tries to get into her…head…but the session is over before he knows it…

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Is there some mysterious, horrible Repulsion-like trauma in Lila’s past? Why does she hate fruit? Where is her accent from, and where does it go half the time?

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Psychedelic effects…strange hallucinations…breathtaking breastisses…what a trip! And it’s refreshing to see strippers kill men for a change. “Oh, wow! Oh wild!….Grooooooooovy!”

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Rockin’-And-A-Reelin’ Barbara Anne

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She’s got the black leather jacket and the heavy artillery, and many scenes are copied verbatim from The Terminator but Tania (Barbara Anne Constable) is not a cyborg…she’s an anthropologist possessed by the spirit of the South Seas Queen, a nymphomaniacal sorceress who vowed vengeance a century ago against Erica, the granddaughter of the man who done her wrong. Why is it that people with magical powers always curse the ancestors of the people who piss them off, rather than dealing with the bastards then and there? ‘Cause then it would be a five minute movie, that’s why. Stone cold fox Constable blows away a helluva lot of innocent (and not so innocent) bystanders, crashes cars and blows stuff up real good while on her mission to eliminate up-and-coming pop star Erica…when she’s not balling random men to death. Did I mention that she’s a nympho? She’s just as unstoppable as the Terminator…and alot prettier. I can remember seeing the trailer for this Indonesian import way back in ’89, so I’ve been waiting 25 years to see it…and it was worth it. Lady Terminator is off-the-wall surreal, ultra-violent, gratuitously nude, shamelessly tasteless, and cheesier than mouse breath…in other words, the Gone With The Wind of Indonesian Terminator knockoffs…

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Hassle In The Castle

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A group of shapely showgirls and their manager stay at a vampire’s castle…sounds like a setup for some spooky, sexy, wacky fun… well it’s not scary, not particularly sexy…except for one salacious shot of a showgirl’s legs, and a blonde bombshell who does a striptease but stops just short of popping  her top.  It’s almost bloodless and most of the fang action takes place offscreen. It’s not quite so-bad-it’s good either, but it does have some Dark Shadows style ooo-WEE-ooo music and one of the most priceless vampire deaths of all time…

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Stranded At The Drive-In

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I was pretty psyched to see this picture by the makers of Hard Rock Zombies, having found it so refreshingly off-beat…and I’m always a sucker for movies set in a drive-in. Unfortunately, the best scenes in this movie are clips from that movie. Most of the good jokes were stolen from other movies (American Graffiti, M*A*S*H, Hollywood Boulevard). The one bit of truly inspired lunacy is the performance of Buck Kartalian (Acid Eaters, Please Don’t Eat My Mother) as the drunken projectionist. But hey, if the flick doesn’t hold your interest, you could always do what people usually did at drive-ins…

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