Friday, August 26, 2005

"Somebody Once Wrote That Revenge Is A Dish That Has To Be Eaten Cold."

Quentin Tarantino must have seen every movie ever made. I can't watch a Kung Fu flick or a Spaghetti Western without feeling like I've seen it all before in Kill Bill. Case in point: Death Rides A Horse. If you've been reading this blog at all (and who might you be by the way?), you would know that I'm a big Lee Van Cleef fan. So, I'm watching Death Rides A Horse and it's all there: the music, the revenge line, the close up on the eyes with visions of betrayal flashing in the background. So much Kill Bill. But then again, I can't really blame Tarantino for lifting so many great parts from so many great movies because if I was in his shoes I'd do the same thing. Seriously though, if you check out the movie connections link on IMDB for Kill Bill Vol. 1, there are over one hundred movies referenced, I've seen maybe twenty of them.

All in all though, Death Rides A Horse was awesome. It had a good revenge theme going, not unlike The Grand Duel. Also it had great music from Ennio Morricone and of course a great performance from our man Lee Van Cleef. I picked up this movie on a cheap Lee Van Cleef doublesided DVD, the other side featuring Beyond The Law.

Just like the wave of cheap Kung Fu DVDs that sprang up after the Kill Bill movies, it's good to see a lot of cheap Western DVDs have begun surfacing as well. There are certainly some good and obscure titles available right now, mind you there is a lot of crap out there too. The print quality on these movies isn't always the best and I'm not a big fan of the full screen format, but I just can't argue with great (and cheap) Spaghetti Western DVDs.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Abbott & Costello Meet Chuck Norris

I think I was born predisposed to be a fan of the old school Universal Studios Monster movies. I can remember being obsessed with The Creature From The Black Lagoon for years before I even saw it. I love those new DVD boxsets they have out now. I bought the Black Lagoon collection (the second movie has Clint Eastwood's first screen appearance) and will probably pick up more of them in the future.

I mention the old Universal movies because I just watched Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein the other night. I first hear about this movie after reading an interview with Fred Dekker. He mentioned this movie as being an influence on his 1987 movie The Monster Squad. Now, I have to say that Monster Squad is one of my all-time favorite movies. As cheesy and totally 80s as it is, it still ranks near the top of my favorite movies list. So after I read the interview, I decided that I had to see the Abbott & Costello movie. Hence the recent purchase on an Abbott & Costello boxset.

The movie was pretty funny, all very classic old-timey humor (it was 1948 after all). The movie had Abbott & Costello meeting up with not just Frankenstein but Dracula and the Wolf Man as well (played by Bela Lugosi and Lon Chaney respectively.) There were a lot of similarities between this movie and Monster Squad which made me enjoy it all the more. Even Dracula's cartoony transformation from bat to vampire was awesome. Lon Chaney seemed underused, but was still at the top of his game. No Mummy or Gillman like in Monster Squad but an enjoyable horror comedy all the same.

Also, I recently watched Good Guys Wear Black. Ever since I saw The Octagon a few months ago, I've been watching a lot of old Chuck Norris movies. Now, The Octagon kicked ass, but Good Guys was a little dull. I will say that Norris does do a really cool jump kick through the windshield of a speeding car. But this movie is short one Lee Van Cleef and a buttload of ninjas. Every action movie should have some ninjas in it somewhere, am I wrong?

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

"My Name Is Quammy. I Have A Problem..."

I buy too many DVDs. It's scary. I went out yesterday with a shopping agenda. But, by the time I got home it had all gone to hell. I planned on looking for Silverado and The Searchers. I picked up The Searchers but Silverado was nowhere to be found. I ended up buying seven other DVDs, SEVEN. A Sonny Chiba flick, a Wes Anderson flick, a Lee Marvin flick, an Abbott & Costello boxset, another western (with Robert Duvall I think), the first Naked Gun and the first Beverly Hills Cop. And I almost bought that new He-Man collection that's out. Damn.

Out of those purchases, I decided to watch Beverly Hills Cop first. I've seen all the Beverly Hills Cop movies before, in fact I still have all of them of VHS, but fuck it. This movie always makes me laugh. There's a heck of a cast in it: prime era Eddie Murphy, Judge Reinhold, Bronson Pinchot, etc. I'd say it almost has a John Landis feeling to it, not to discredit the actual director though. I wish Eddie Murphy was still this funny. On a side note, there is great gag where Murphy's character is walking down the streets of Beverly Hills. He sees this couple in crazy-80s leather outfits (a la Michael Jackson) and he doubles over with laughter. What's really funny is that Murphy wore a similar get up in his classic stand up video Delirious. What was with all that 80s leather anyway?

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Monday, August 15, 2005

"If You Want A Guarantee, Buy A Toaster."

Just finished watching The Last American Virgin again. I'm a sucker for 80s teensploitation flicks and I was first drawn to this one because of its connection to Devo (spot the guy wearing the trademark red Energy Dome and a New Traditionalists-era t-shirt). For the most part this flick is pretty generic: the house party, loads of T&A, the comedic quest to lose one's virginity, etc. But at about the 60 minute mark this movie takes a hard right turn into seriousness city. I won't spoil anything, but the first time I saw it I remember being totally thrown for a loop. A recommended flick for fans of 80s movies, for sure. As far as star power, there was the guy who played Troy in Goonies, Diane Franklin (who whould later star in one of my favorite John Cusack movies Better Off Dead), and the chick who did the voice of Samantha Stanky on the Simpsons.

I also recently watched some Clint Eastwood flicks. Being the obsessive movie enthusaist I am, I feel it's my duty to see as many Eastwood flicks as I can. So I rented The Rookie the other night. Sadly, not one of Eastwood's better pictures. Some quality moments and explosions but not all gold. I mean Raul Julia as a German, what were they thinking? I also caught the last half of Joe Kidd on TV, looked like a decent western. It had John Saxon, Robert Duvall, and Eastwood with his full-on 70s asskicking swagger.

And since I've already ragged about this on IMDB, I should mention I saw the latest Bruce Willis flick Hostage. This movie was alright for the most part, but it has an unforgivably crappy ending. Serious suck.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

God Bless The Discount Bin

I had some gift certificates for Wal-Mart, so against all my better judgement I found myself at the mall the other day. Within a stone's throw of the doors there were some large, brightly colored and boldly marked bins of cheap DVDs. God bless these discount bins. I might hate Wal-Mart but I can't argue with cheap DVDs. So I went about scouring the bins. I picked up a requisite Clint Eastwood flick, yet another Police Academy DVD, and the '80s remake of The Blob.

I like both versions of The Blob. The original is great. Steve McQueen is the quintessential cool '50s guy with a hot car and his best girl. The effects hold up well considering how old the movie is. And I just love old school Horror/Sci-Fi movies from the fifties. So many great movies about giant bugs, flying saucers, and fantastic robots. The remake was gorier than I remembered. But considering I've only seen it on TV before I can understand why I didn't remember the nastier parts. Lots and lots of melted bodies.

On a different note, I just finished watching Play Misty For Me, Clint Eastwood's first directorial effort. A decent seventies thriller. It's a very transitional movie for Eastwood, he's moving away from his western image of the sixties and into his tough/cool guy image of the seventies. Not my favorite Eastwood picture but not a dud by any means.