Melody Kill

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Killing Melody stars Reiko Ike (Girl Boss Guerrila, Sex And Fury) as Maki, who’s hellbent on avenging her father’s murder at the hands of the Yakuza…with a little help from some cellmates, including frequent cinematic frenemy Miki Sugimoto (Girl Boss Guerrila, Red Handcuffs) in this prime example of the Japanese pinku, pinky or pink film…crime films rife with softcore sex and hardcore violence, which often kick the living shit out of the stereotype of the shy, demure, subservient Japanese woman…These ladies are strong, smart, relentless and to be trifled with at your own peril…

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Cold Brains

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In this Hammer film directed by Terence Fisher, the Doc’s latest obsession is an experiment to preserve the “best minds of my generation” cryogenically upon death and transplant them into living bodies. He blackmails a young doctor into helping him, whose gorgeous blonde love (Veronica Carlson) the diabolical doctor lusts after unabashedly. The monster he creates this time around (Hammer regular and lovable character actor Freddie Francis) is more sad than scary…The Hammer Frankenstein movies always emphasized that the doctor, not the monster, is the real villain, by having Cushing portray him as a ruthless bastard…This one really drives the point home, and you’ll soon realize why it’s called Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed…

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‘Cuz She’s The Witch

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With a name like Blood Orgy Of The She-Devils it has to be good, right? Bwahahaha! And yes, yes it is…in that holy shit, Danny Thomas spit-take kinda way…Mara (Lila Zaborin, who bears a striking resemblance to the villainess in Snow White) a witch who lives in a spooky old castle (director Ted V. Mikels’ pad) uses black magic, cheesy special FX, her coven of curvaceous babes and her “Indian spirit guides” (which make her talk like an Indian from old cartoons) to sacrifice men so she can gain more power and avenge all the fallen witches slain by mortal men. It’s rated PG, so it’s not that kind of orgy…but there’s plenty of blood and witchy tricks…plus spooky echoplexed electronic music from Carl Zittrer (Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things, Black Christmas)…And it’ll satisfy your yen if you’ve ever wanted to see Mikels stock player William Baghdad (the guy who says “Psst!” to Micky in Head) in a loincloth…

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Git Along Li’l Gwangi

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Down Mexico way, a huckster named Tuck (James Franciscus, Beneath The Planet Of The Apes, Cat O’ Nine Tails) running a Wild West show and an archaeologist friend discover a tiny prehistoric horse, eventually tracing its origin to a valley that time forgot, full of dinosaurs. Tuck decides to rustle up a dino  (the titular Gwangi) and use him as an attraction in his show. Brilliant idea…Guess he never saw King Kong (whose animator Willis O’Brien came up with the original story). Oh, did I mention that Gwangi is a T-Rex? Mucho stop-motion mayhem ensues, courtesy of Ray Harryhausen…

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Us And Them

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Anybody else out there always wondered why space stations in science fiction movies usually look like roulette wheels? This space opera from Godzilla godfather Ishiro Honda doesn’t answer that question…but check it out anyway. Little aliens in flying saucers from the planet Natal (for some reason, American scientists still haven’t discovered that one) attack said station…and of course you know, this means war! The story and characters (3 of which were already in The Mysterians) are pretty generic but the miniature sets, space ships, etc. are exquisitely crafted and beautifully shot, a visual feast for connoisseurs of practical FX…

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Oh Wolfy

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La Lupa Mannara aka Legend Of The Wolf Woman aka Werewolf Woman begins with stunningly beautiful, bombshell blonde Annik Borel (Weekend With The Babysitter, Prison Girls, Truck Turner) doing a naked voodoo dance in a ring of fire, then wolfing out, growing a thick pelt of wolf fur, claws, fangs…and a cute little furry wolf nose. Then the angry villagers show up with torches. Short movie, huh? Nope. Turns out the woman, Daniela, was just having a nightmare about her ancestor who, in grand horror tradition, just happens to look exactly like her. Soon she becomes convinced that she’s following in her ancestor’s foot…er, pawsteps…Or it could be all in her head, just like George Romero’s Martin…There’s alot of talk about childhood trauma, sexual repression, voyeurism, sublimated desires…in between the abbondanza of nudity, sex and violence, of course…

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“Aw, ma…look at her cute widdle nose! Can we keep her?!”

Ranger Danger…or…Quick Joey Pants

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Here’s yet another classic from the golden age of slash-and-splat…Some forest rangers and friends go on a camping trip to unwind (wouldn’t you think they’d want to get away from the woods for awhile?) and after some partying and pranking, as new and old personal tensions rise…someone…or something (possibly a sasquatch?) lurking in the woods wants them all dead. Could it be that the local campfire legend is true? Like The Burning, this one is chock full of future stars: Mark Metcalf (Nedermeier in Animal House), Daryl Hannah, Rachel Ward (Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid) Adrian Zmed (Grease 2), Lewis Smith (Perfect Tommy in Buckaroo Banzai) and consummate weasel Joe Pantoliano as the crazed religious zealot Eggar. It’s very leisurely paced and often feels more like Deliverance than a body count movie…but when there are kills, they’re nasty and realistic…and there are quite a few jump scares in between. If you’ve got the attention span for suspense, I think you’ll dig it…

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