Catch a Throwing Star from Cannon Films

Two more patch jobs on missing or never completed Roundtables.

#9: Catch a Throwing Star!

ENTER THE NINJA

By the 1980s, things really got out of hand, and more than a few movies from both sides of the Pacific featured people in wildly colorful ninja outfits running around the streets of modern day cities. You don’t get very far as a spy if you look like a spy, and there is very little that’s nondescript about a guy in metallic red pajamas and a face mask running down the streets of modern-day Duluth while waving a katana over his head.

#13: Go Go Go-Go Boys!

REVENGE OF THE NINJA

Sho Kosugi is a former ninja (I didn’t know there were such thing — do you get a good 401k as a retired ninja?) who moves to Los Angeles to run an antique shop with his friend. What he doesn’t know is that his friend is using the antiques as a way to smuggle dope.

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Keith Allison is the chief Bacchanologist at Teleport City.


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    Cat Demon Lady

    Continuing to play catch-up with Roundtables past. This time…#66: Were-What?

    KURONEKO

    A crumbling ruin. A mist-shrouded forest. A lone samurai making his way home late at night meets a seemingly defenseless young woman. So begins the horror of Kaneto Shindô’s tale of ghosts, vengeance, and the wrongs visited upon women by entitled men. Kuroneko is a film that feels older than it is. Shot in 1968, five years after Shindo’s more famous horror movie OnibabaKuronekohearkens back to the more humanistic period pieces and sword-fighting films of the 1950s. Kuroneko is also one of my favorite films. And not just because it has cat demon ladies in it. Though, really, cat demon ladies should be an enormous draw for anyone.

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    Keith Allison is the chief Bacchanologist at Teleport City.


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      …and He said it was good

      …And God Spoke

      Hilarious and more accurate than you might think, the mockumentary …And God Spoke is an obscurity that needs to be much better known.

      Keith Bailey is the proprietor of The Unknown Movies Page.


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        Ghosts of Roundtables Past

        And so begins the effort to fill in Teleport City’s missing Roundtables and broken links. I figured I would start with the classy material first, so here we go.

        #61: WTF!? (August 2017)

        ISLAND OF DEATH

        Shows like Game of Thrones, Black Sails, and that Spartacus series that was on Starz trot out sleazy perversions on a weekly basis that would have sent many a film in the past to the “banned in 31 countries” scrap heap. There’s more gore, incest, twisted sex, and nudity in those shows than in Island of Death, and yet most viewers, including viewers not accustomed to scummy exploitation films, accept it lovingly into their lives while still finding something like Island of Death to be “too much.” There’s something about context, or about presentation. Sleaze and weirdness is always more effective when it’s presented in a rawer, less technically polished medium, and perhaps the concentrated weirdness, cinematic style, and film grain render an old exploitation film more shocking even when, quantitatively, it should be less shocking.

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        Keith Allison is the chief Bacchanologist at Teleport City.


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          Come to the Dark Side! We’ve got churros…

           

          Maldicion de la llorona This review was not exactly what I had in mind. For this current Roundtable, I’ve been working on a big project — one I’ve been planning for years. Unfortunately, Life has intervened with my plans yet again, in a particularly cruel way, and I have not been able to finish it in time.

          However, the recent release of the movie Curse of la Llorona reminded me of something: several years ago, I’d started reviewing the classic Mexican movie that originally held that title. I’d left the review just short of finished, and re-reading it I realized that once I finished it, it would fit the subject of our current Roundtable just about as well as any other.

          So, while I am still working away at a Roundtable entry I think will be worth the wait once its finished, here’s:

          La Maldición de la llorona (1961)

           

          Will Laughlin is the Braineater.


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            The Movies That Make Us

            In under the wire! I’ve missed years’ worth of Roundtables, but the 20th anniversary? That one, I need to show up for. If you were kicking around Teleport City in 1998, you know that the foundation of the site was kung fu films. If there was a second foundational genre, it would have been zombies films. So, obviously…KUNG FU ZOMBIE.

            I’m also making an effort to go back in time and fill in my many many missing Roundtables.

            KUNG FU ZOMBIE

            Kung Fu Zombie isn’t an expensive film, and it does its best to cover the lack of funds by not aiming too high with its special effects — some eerie colored lighting, a few gross corpses, and a fog machine are all it needs to successfully create an inexpensive otherworldly atmosphere. It’s crude and cheap, but it also has great energy behind it, not to mention some spectacular kung fu and a few creepy seconds scattered throughout the zaniness.



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              On the road to nowhere

              Dirt

              The offroad race documentary Dirt doesn’t dig deep enough into its subject matter to really stand out.

              Keith Bailey is the proprietor of The Unknown Movies Page.


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                Science finishes second

                 

                Ahem. This is not actually my official second Roundtable entry.

                Although in fact I did intend it to be my official second Roundtable entry. I’d had these films sitting around on the same spot for at least six months, while I didn’t get to them…but when I went looking for them, for this Roundtable, I couldn’t find them…at least not until I’d given up on them and started working on something else.

                Only by then it was obvious that the “something else” was getting out of control and couldn’t possibly be posted in time.

                I’m not giving up on that something else; on the contrary, I’m determined to get it done; I’m just not sure when.

                In the meantime—please enjoy these additions to Science In The Reel World, four films that have this in common: they all feature science and/or scientists running a distant second in the game of life…

                 

                 
                 

                THE BIG SHAKEDOWN (1934)

                …in which science ends up in the service of gangsterism.

                 

                KNUTE ROCKNE ALL AMERICAN (1940)

                …in which science loses out to (sigh) football.

                 

                SEVEN DAYS TO NOON (1950)

                …in which science drives one man to insanity.

                 

                THE MAN UPSTAIRS (1958)

                …in which a second man decides to join him.

                 
                 
                 
                 

                Liz Kingsley is the insane genius behind And You Call Yourself a Scientist!


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                  Still Alive

                  Sure, Teleport City has been moribund for years. And it’s replacement sites have not fared better. However, I’ve not been totally inactive during these long months. So here’s a bit of what’s going on:

                  • Did I mention I wrote a book? And associated with that, there’s a new(ish) website that occasionally even gets new articles. Like this one, about a box set of obscure exotica music.
                  • I’ve been writing regularly for Diabolique. Most recently, it’s been about Jean Harlow’s Red-Headed Woman and the goofball “old dark house” comedy The Crooked Circle. The bulk of my film writing these days will be there or is being held in reserve for a future book project. Or until such time as I get impatient and post it.
                  • Teleport City is getting a refresh and reorg. Most content is currently offline for reformatting, but it will all be back as the summer progresses. Some content will disappear, but only because it has been improved, rewritten, and has a new home. But we’ll always point when pointin’ is needed.
                  • And finally, as a personal quest this summer, I intend to go back and fill in the many…many…many Roundtables I’ve no-showed over the years. We’ll see how that goes.

                  Anyway, irons in the fire and all that.



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                    Not high spirited enough

                    Charlie's Ghost

                    I guess unlike the other B-Masters, I specialize in family films. Anyway… despite a few good things, Charlie’s Ghost: The Secret Of Coronado is too downbeat of a family movie for both adults and their children.

                    Keith Bailey is the proprietor of The Unknown Movies Page.


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