Even those who don’t care for westerns will probably find Seraphim Falls greatly entertaining, because it concentrates more on action and suspense instead of traditional western elements.Keith Bailey is the proprietor of The Unknown Movies Page.
Got a lot to catch up on, but here’s the latest pile of Teleport City articles.
These three have been salvaged and revised from the murky past:
|STREETS OF FIRE
“The dialog is stilted and phony, but in a weird way that is totally believable. It’s fifties tough guy slang but with the rapid-fire panache of the eighties, or maybe of a forties film noir. So really, not so much how tough guys talked as it is how we think tough guys talked, playing once again to the concept of American mythology. Hill’s rock ‘n’ roll tough guys stand as tall and symbolic as the cowboys of a John ford western. Every line is a carefully crafted homage to the concept of rock ‘n’ roll rebel. It’s corny in spots, but never unintentionally so — and even though that stilted corniness may be intentional, it’s never ironic or overly wink-wink the way modern films are.”
|HOWLING II: YOUR SISTER IS A WEREWOLF
And yet, as undeniably bad as it all is, there I am, every time it’s on television. And what makes it worse is that I own the DVD! I own the goddamn DVD and still I watch it whenever it’s on television. Let this be a lesson to anyone who ever takes my advice on anything; if you ever find yourself faced with a difficult decision and ask yourself, “What would Keith from Teleport City do?” then your immediate next thought should be, “Watch Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf.”
|THEY WERE 11
There is really only one action scene in the entire movie, and that’s a pie fight. Yet despite the dearth of robots on roller skates shooting cannons at each other, They Were 11 is an engaging, tense, and engrossing piece of science fiction that makes you feel like it’s action-packed even though it isn’t. The basic premise was derived from an old Japanese story about a group of children at a playground who suddenly realize that there is one more child there than there should be. There’s a good chance the extra kid, whichever one he may be, is some sort of monster.
|And these two were written for The Cultural Gutter, a site for which I am writing on a monthly basis:|
|WHERE IS ALL YOU ANGELS
Mulcahy’s big idea was to make a film version of Wild Boys, which seems rather a challenging project. Disregarding the self-indulgent structure and juvenile crudity of the book, Wild Boys is still a pulp adventure about a collapsing society that gives rise to gangs of violent, feral homosexual boys who spend all their time killing people, screwing each other, and masturbating. Not MPAA-friendly storytelling.
|YOU CAN’T MAKE A MASTERPIECE WITHOUT MADNESS
Jodorowsky’s vision of the film was vast, an epic on a scale science fiction film had never attempted. A psychedelic mind warp that Jodorowsky himself said he wanted to be like taking LSD without taking LSD. He wanted his film to be nothing short of a cultural uprising, a trumpet for the legions of youth who had risen up against the establishment in the 1960s. He wanted Dune — in story, in philosophy, in daringness, in design — to be a revolution. Pavich’s documentary tells the story of how this movie never actually got made.
|And finally, I am writing a book. It’s about booze and James Bond, and this is a sneak peek at the introduction, which poorly explains my concept.|
|BOND VIVANT: INTRODUCTION
When retired British Naval Intelligence commander Ian Fleming retired to his modest villa, Goldeneye (“Goldeneye, nose and throat” quipped his neighbor, the entertainer Noel Coward, who was unimpressed with Fleming’s abode) in Jamaica to write his first novel, he didn’t expect it to be much more to society at large than a passing trifle. It was an attempt to make good on a desire that boiled up in him during his wartime service, perhaps as a way to try and one-up his popular brother, Peter, who was a well-known much beloved adventurer, war hero, and writer.
The back-from-the-dead comedy O’Hara’s Wife managed to get among others in its cast Ed Asner, Tom Bosley, Ray Walston, and Jodie Foster. But even all this talent can’t save a screenplay that chooses to do the same old thing while being directed in a mostly tired fashion.Keith Bailey is the proprietor of The Unknown Movies Page.
When the husband receives a work transfer from California to Japan, an American couple decides to make the journey by sea.
Unfortunately, it turns out that the ship on which they are travelling has the maritime equivalent of only three days left until retirement…
.Liz Kingsley is the insane genius behind And You Call Yourself a Scientist!
Putting “American International Pictures” and “family film” together may seem like an oxymoron, but it in fact happened a few times, The Savage Wild being one example. While it has more than its share of flaws, it is a good example of the wilderness film genre that was popular in the 1970s.Keith Bailey is the proprietor of The Unknown Movies Page.
My roundtable entries, the April Ghouls Monster-Rama, another B-Fest straggler, and more:
The Beast Within (1982), in which the combination of cannibalism and the blood of the First Nations apparently gives you the power to turn into a rapey cicada monster, except not really…
Galaxy Quest (1999), in which people making fun of Star Trek make a better Trek movie than most of the real things…
Kitten with a Whip (1964), in which wannabe Senators should never give a psychotic beatnik girl an even break…
Ladyhawke (1985), in which evil bishops don’t give the objects of their unrequited love any even breaks, either…
Sweet Jesus, Preacherman (1973), in which a black hit man contracting for the mafia goes undercover in Watts impersonating an idealistic minister…
The Town that Dreaded Sundown (1976), in which the Boggy Creek guy tries his hand at the emerging slasher genre…
Willie Dynamite (1973), in which it’s hard out there for a pimp, but not nearly as hard as it is for his stable.
Dr. Black, Mr. Hyde (1976)
A.K.A. Dr. Black, Mr. White and The Watts Monster.
It’s a little surprising that Dimension Pictures, the exploitation outfit that released the Rudy Ray Moore “Dolemite” movies, would make a Blaxploitation movie with so little grit to it. Yet here it is: a Blaxploitation take on “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” that isn’t so much Black as… beige. Trust me: few people in the world are a pasty-white as I am, and if even I notice how tepidly the movie addresses its Black audience, there’s probably something wrong.Will Laughlin is the Braineater.
When the owner of a successful nightclub refuses to sell out to the local crime-boss, he is beaten to death by the mobster’s goons.
The crime-boss soon has reason to regret his chosen style of business negotiation, however, when it turns out that the nightclub owner’s girlfriend has friends, not in high, but in low places. Very low places.
.Liz Kingsley is the insane genius behind And You Call Yourself a Scientist!
When the blaxploitation craze dried up at the major Hollywood studios, Fred Williamson kept chugging along by making his own star vehicles, Death Journey being one of them. It’s more often than not silly and inept, but it’s all the same a lot of fun to watch.Keith Bailey is the proprietor of The Unknown Movies Page.
Teleport City’s roundtable contribution is in effect:
Amid the ruin and confusion of 1970s New York, a group of (primarily white) young artists, freaks, punks, and weirdos decided they were going to become movie makers, the cinematic branch of No Wave, new wave’s slightly stranger, more chaotic sibling. At the same time, uptown and in The Bronx, a group of (primarily black and Hispanic) young artists, freaks, dancers, and weirdos were pioneering a creative lifestyle that would become known as Hip Hop. The two scenes intersected frequently, and when no wave film maker Charlie Ahearn was stopped by a group of black kungfu students who wanted to know what he was doing with a movie camera, DEADLY ART OF SURVIVAL was born. It’s more interesting as a historic piece than an actual film, a fascinating (to me) cocktail of punk, New York, black culture, martial arts and the role kungfu films played in black urban life, and a celebration of a dude who was being paid in pizza but was still willing to get kungfu kicked into the 1978 East River.
Keith Allison is the ruthless overlord of Teleport City.