End of the Month Mini-Reviews

I've been sick this past week with a yucky summer cold. I usually like to write blogs late at night so my high doses of Robitussin has kept me from being conscious during my peak writing hours. Not to mention the general crappiness I've felt. So I'm tardy on a few reviews I've been wanting to do. Rather than devote whole blogs on some of the great movies I've watched recently, I think I'm just going to summarize the highlights of the June.

I'm sure if you live near a Movie Gallery or Hollywood Video you know that (not so) sadly they're going out of business. I have mixed feelings about this. I was partially disappointed because in this area they are literally the last rental places around. Our Mom and Pop shops have almost completely disappeared so if I ever wanted to see something I didn't want to buy (or wait for an available slot on my Netflix que) I'd just pop into Movie Gallery on my way to the grocery store. On the other hand I often bitched about Movie Gallery. They were insanely over priced and had mostly terrible new movies that didn't interest me. Renting three movies costs somewhere around $20. I always felt ripped off and annoyed at the smug employees. Yet I still went about once a month. I guess I just felt sentimental about going to a store, browsing at all of my options and inevitably compromising my standards to rent something almost at cost. Netflix has been a life saver with it's endless options but the aesthetics of a shop full of movies can't be replaced by that jovial red envelope. But on the other hand, places like Movie Gallery couldn't evolve with the advancing technology so they were doomed to fail. Being an opportunist and also having a nasty addiction for buying movies, I've been taking advantage of their going out of business sale. I THOUGHT they had mostly shitty movies but with prices between $2-$6 you start to notice things you might not have before.

I finally saw the classic Jack Hill Blaxploitation movie, Foxy Brown. I only recently have made a special effort to get into the genre, this one really stands out as one of the best. It's so over the top and she's incredibly sexy! Everything about this movie is a perfect example of what it SHOULD be. I also saw Shaft for the first time. File both under "should have seen before now". I liked it a lot but not much could measure up to Foxy Brown and her infinite coolness. I also saw the Jamaican masterpiece The Harder They Come, which I guess also counts as blaxploitation though it plays out to me more like a foreign film. I always love seeing foreign cities in the 60's and 70's. Though I'm sure I've seen movies set in Jamaica, I'd never really seen a Jamaican movie as far as I know. The locations were interesting and the story was exciting and gritty. I always found out that it's almost single handedly responsible for bringing Ska, Rocksteady and Reggae to America. I thought the clips from Django and Jimmy Cliff's finale being an homage to those scenes was a really nice touch. I saw the 1977 version of the Sentinel which I quite enjoyed. It reminded me of Rosemary's Baby though I read that it was supposedly inspired by the Exorcist. I love anything with Burgess Meredith. I especially love the roles he played in the 70's. Old and absent minded, as apposed to his earlier roles where he's young and absent minded. Even more so than the Sentinel, I was enamoured by Don't Look Now. An emotional thriller written by Daphne Du Maurier. A brilliantly paced movie with a truly horrific ending. Beware though: LOTS of naked Donald Sutherland. I saw another underrated horror masterpiece called Of Unknown Origin directed by George P. Cosmatos. Peter Weller vs. a giant-fucking-rat! One of the coolest rat movies I've ever seen, and I'm pretty fond of the genre. Usually I find myself sympathizing with the rats since I used to own some rodent cuties. This rat however was anti-cute! Very slimey and creepy. One of the best creature feature of the month was the Howling 3: the Marsupials. Still trying to find any ozploitation available to me, I came across a cheap copy used at FYE and knew it must be mine. I'm not sure what was my favorite, the clip from "It Came from Uranus" or the creepy birth of the kangaroo were-baby.

I've never seen the second or any of the other Howling films, but I liked it much more than the first. In all it's cheesy glory!

So I finally saw Showgirls. I had seen it edited for TBS with half the movie cut out and animated bras overlayed on their bodies. I thought it was absurd and pretty entertaining. Like I said, $2 movies make you do strange things. I had the sudden urge to OWN Showgirls. As soon as the thought entered my head I couldn't NOT buy it. I thought it might not be as funny with an NC-17 rating. I was wrong. Oh how I was wrong. Seeing Jessie Spano flopping around like a dead fish mid-coitus was one of the greater moments of my life. It really is an epic disasterpiece of embarrassing proportions. It's Golden Raspberry award was well deserved!

The best movie I saw this month was Sammo Hung's Encounter of the Spooky Kind.

I love the way the Hong Kongers make black magic movies! This one combines horror, comedy and kung-fu flawlessly! King of Shaw Brothers-esque. Apparently he re-invented the vampire/kung-fu genre which had been done in the past but really gained popularity in the 80's. His comical fight choreography is unparalleled. I ended up watching this movie twice. It's just the kind of outrageous spookfest I love to see and NEED to see more of!

Ok, that's all for now! It's late and I still haven't fully recovered. Time for sleeps!


  1. If you're interested in a naked Jessie Spano you should see parts of Any Given Sunday as well.

  2. I don't know if I'd go as far as saying I'm "interested" in naked Jessie Spano, lol. As a novelty I guess. It;s kind of a one punch joke. Despite what I might say, I really like Showgirls! I think it's going to be a cult classic one day (kind of already us)...don't know about Any GIven Sunday...isn't that about football?