Tag Archive | USA

Invitation to Ruin (1968)

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aka: The Invitation
Director: Kurt Richter
My Rating: 8.0/10

A man named Jerry gets hired by a sleazy gangster to pick up women for his underground prostitution racket. The racket promises hot, willing and ready for anything women(!). Jerry eventually starts meeting the gangsters daughter – the forceful gangster doesn’t like this situation and threatens Jerry’s life if it happens again. Will Jerry obey the orders of will he be a prisoner of lust?

For the short runtime, the story-line still manages to unfold slowly – eventually getting you clued into what’s going on with the women in the basement of the building – a rather sadistic hag going all-in with her whip. In conjunction to the main story-line there’s two detectives investigating the operations of the gangster. The initial phase of the movie is told through flashbacks with some voiceovers – the two storylines will eventually meet in current time to deliver the movies rather savage conclusion…

Indeed things, as in imagery and story, seems familiar and to me it’s pretty obvious that this is a deconstructed, amped up, gothic hunchback tale. The hunchback being split into two where Jerry carries the good-willed traits while at the same time being blinded by love and the hag is the obedient one carrying out the sadism on the masters command (in this case the master being the gangster).

Sure this is indeed acquired taste.. but if you like it a little bit scuzzy and depraved, just like me, by all means do check this one out.. It’s something of a hidden gem

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The Mini-Skirt Mob (1968)

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Director: Maury Dexter
My Rating: 5.5/10

A couple is enjoying some piece and quiet in their caravan when an outrageous gang of bikers turns up and initially shakes the caravan for a bit, to soon thereafter greet the the couple, and self-invited as they are they eventually start a wild party outside! The leader of the biker-gang is a chick who previously had a fling with the caravan-owner. The party rocks on, daytime turns to nighttime and the situation starts turning more hostile. On the following day the couple takes off with their caravan, but not far behind them is some of the bikers…

At this point, you pretty much know what you’re in for – the situation will escalate and things will turn violent. Will the jealous biker-leader get her man back?, will there be any casualties? Who will survive and what will be left of them? (Hopefully their morality, as that’s kinda the main characteristic of the good guys in this movie)

It’s not to bad, but definitely not great either. Lame/Catchy (your choice!) soundtracks seems to be a thing with Biker-chick-flicks, this one being no exception. It’s fun for a while, I didn’t mind the camp (some of it, a brawl in particular, even brought my mind to Russ Meyer), but I couldn’t help feeling like I waited for it to end sooner.

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Kill’ em All (2017)

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Director: Peter Malota
My Rating: 6.0/10

A nurse is being interrogated by two FBI agents about a classified case regarding the Russian mafia and a certain injured hit-man…

Starting of with a prologue briefing the backstory into an action-packed flashback sequence showing how ‘our hero’, Van Damme, survives a shootout ending up in a hospital. The rest of the story is from the interrogation point of view told through flashbacks regarding what happened in the hospital.

It’s fairly easy to cherry pick the negatives seeing as there’s a first time director effort falling into some of the usual pitfalls. To me there’s to much half n’ half, with no real main focus in the story-line – there’s the good cop / bad cop (Peter Stormare) interrogation , the flashbacks.. but also vignettes introducing the “bad guys” even if the only have about one scene each (pointless if you ask me). The main negative would be the locations – they’re just to every-daily.

Without spoiling anything, the ending is borrowed from a very well know movie from 1995 with a film-noir variation to it. (Spoiler →: The Usual Suspects)

The positives being if you end up searching up a movie like this in the first place then your ambition is probably not the highest either, and this is fairly well invested pass time. Having seen everything available (as far as english-language-friendly goes) with Van Damme so far, of course I have to watch this – and id say that it’s slightly above average and worth a look.

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Wrong (2012)

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Director: Quentin Dupieux
My Rating 6.0/10

A man wakes up a morning to find out that his dog is missing, he quickly gets approached by his neighbor who seems rather suspicious, mentioning that he is thinking about moving away. He soon hires a private detective and eventually gets contacted by a mysterious Master Chang. He em[barks] on a journey to find his lost companion.. will he be successful?

If Dupieux previous film, Rubber, was all about the magic of ‘no reason’ then this one is about the concept of breaking conventions and norms as we know them. Why not call to order a pizza and end up chatting about the logo on the commercial flyer instead. It’s always raining inside in the office where the man works, well he’s been fired 3 months ago but he’s still going there. People might die and the next day return without anyone within the film questioning it. Within this movie, these are all examples of the kind of logic that goes and there’s no reason to question this, it might have rained elephant turds and that would have worked aswell.

In the shell of a detective movie, except there not really anything to investigate, this absurdist comedy is to me fairly amusing. Of course I can’t help myself thinking about Lynch, Lost Highway would be good example,  when it comes to the concept of this movie but it’s simply not done as good – the dogturd-memory joke was hilarious but it came to late, for me it’s an alright movie that shows promise of a rather “green” director getting better.

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Fatal Blade (2000)

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aka Gedo
Director: Talun Hsu
My Rating: 6.0/10

A feud between the American Mafia and the Yakuza is initiated after a drugdeal gone wrong – wrong as in doublecross with bloody shootout. Gary Daniels is Richard Fox a dedicated policeman investigating Bronson, the leader of the mafia – during surveillance Bronson gets ambushed by a sword wielding yakuza veteran but the police intervenes and brings the veteran in for questioning. The questioning leads to escape and a policeman gets executed after a car crash. As things turn personal Fox is now set on bringing down both mobs. Added to the story is a sideplot with a japanese woman seeking vengeance on Bronson for her sisters death.

Can’t really say i’ve seen all that many Gary Daniels star vehicles but the ones i’ve seen ranks somewhere inbetween unfortunate garbage (Fist of the North Star) and fairly enjoyable (Recoil, Blood Moon). I would say this one goes in the later category, starting off with plenty of action in form of hard hitting martial arts, shootouts and even a car chase. However after the initial mayhem there is a lack of action to fill out the rather unpolished story.

Overall this movie delivers to my expectations, it’s fairly enjoyable and in that regard worth the time, but a bit of wasted potential starting off on high octane but kind of trailing and never quite reaching the level where it started.

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Reason to Die (1989)

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aka Våldets Gator (Swedish VHS – Jaguar Film)
Director: Tim Spring
My Rating: 4.0/10

Wings Hauser is Canner – A bountyhunter and ex-sergeant who is sent to South Africa to take care of one of his own kind, another ex-sergeant who just so happens to be on the other side of the law slashing local prostitutes.

A typical good guy vs bad guy scenario where the outcome is predicatable but the way to the finale hopefully ends up beeing interesting. On the VHS-cover Wings Houser is beeing sold with a Charles Bronson persona, which is kind of funny as that is not at all the case – sure the major vehicle to the story is this cat and mouse game between bountyhunter and killer where Wings resorts to gun violence but to me his persona doesn’t even come across as seasoned or the silent trigger type, it’s just not convincing in any way.

The scenery pretty much shift between ‘the red light district’, shabby joints, church and your everyday streetviews – no part of this presentation really brings any excitement. There’s even a lovestory thrown in between Wings and a local reporter as filler material. If i’m able to throw something positive towards this movie it would be that it’s not an amateurish production but it’s just bland and boring.