Grindhouse Aficionado: Issue #5 (July.07) by Kevin Klemm
Bringing you the best of Grindhouse cinema (without the sticky floors).
This month, a summer movie guide- Grindhouse style!
I know, I know. I’ve been a slacker lately about getting out the Grindhouse Aficionado columns. Between Girls and Corpses Magazine (we are now an honest to God print mag), and various other projects I’m working on, Grindhouse Aficionado had been pushed to the back burner. But no more! I am back from hiatus, and it’s time to give you some DVD suggestions to help you get through the dog days of summer.
West Coast, East Coast, and every where in between, it’s been a fucking hot summer already! Here in L.A.’s San Fernando Valley, it’s been over 100 degrees for 10 straight days. Normally we don’t see that kind of temps until August. Whether it’s global warming or what, I’m not stepping outside for nothing. I am going to be like a vampire and only go out at night when the sun goes down, and the Earth cools off some. I have Netflix, Deep Discount DVD, and Amazon to keep me supplied with movies. I can order liquor online from BevMo, and can get any kind of food I can think of, delivered right to my door. As long as my air conditioning and credit cards hold out, I’m set for the summer.
Like most people, I am not all about Grindhouse cinema, or all about horror etc… I love all kinds of films and that is going to be the slight deviation from my regular column. What I’ve done is compile a list of Grindhouse, horror, Film Noir, Hell, I even threw an Elvis movie into the mix for your enjoyment. The summer is a great time to revisit old favorites and discover some new ones. I’ve gone through my movie collection and divided the films up into double features. I hope you enjoy my picks.
So grab some popcorn and a Gin and Tonic, the first feature is about to begin.
Double Feature #1:
NEMESIS, 1993. I love this movie. This one is definitely a guilty pleasure. Nemesis plays like a low budget Blade Runner, and stars French Kickboxer Olivier Gruner, a mono syllabic actor who makes Arnold Schwarzenegger seem like fucking Laurence Oliver, and genre favorite Tim Thomerson. This film has it all, non-stop action, full frontal female nudity, and if you are into it, Thomas Jane’s wang.
Double Feature #2:
FASTER, PUSSYCAT! KILL! KILL!, 1965. This is the Citizen Kane of exploitation films. Three strippers spend a weekend racing cars, kicking ass and showing major cleavage, all the while leaving a trail of dead men in their wake. Tura Satana shines as the greatest Bad Girl ever put on celluloid.
THE BIG BIRD CAGE, 1972. Another classic women in prison movie directed by the John Ford of Exploitation cinema, Jack Hill. Staring Pam Grier, an actress with great acting ability and even greater hooters, and former Price is Right beauty Anitra Ford. Also starring in this film is that other staple of Roger Corman’s WIP movies, Sid Haig. This film has it all, boobs, guns and explosions. What more could a man want? FYI- Seven years later another film shot at this location. That film was Apocalypse Now.
Double Feature #3:
PORKY’S, 1982. Bob Clark’s first box office hit. Many believe, including myself, that this was the best teen comedy of the 1980’s. Boobs and laughs a plenty.
Double Feature #4:
CLASS OF 1984, 1982. Written by our buddy Tom Holland, this film riffs on the 1955 film The Blackboard Jungle and updates it nicely to the 80’s punk rock aesthetic. I saw this in a double feature with The Warriors at the Edmondson Drive-in in Baltimore.
THE WANDERERS, 1979. Next to Porky’s, this is one of my all time favorite teen comedies. Director Philip Kaufman really captured lightning in a bottle with this film. Featuring an amazing ensemble cast including Ken Wahl and Karen Allen and boasting a killer soundtrack, this film is a must have for your collection.
Double Feature #5:
BUBBA HO-TEP, 2002. My Favorite Don Coscarelli movie. Elvis still kicks major ass as he takes on an ancient Egyptian mummy that is killing off patients in a East Texas nursing home. He may be old, and he may use a walker, but Elvis still has some sweet Kung Fu moves, and as far as the ladies go, he still has lead in his pencil.
Double Feature #6:
THE SWORD AND THE SORCERER, 1982. The first film by the director of Nemesis, Albert Pyun. This may have ridden the wave of Conan the Barbarian wanna be’s, but I still really like it a lot. Another guilty pleasure for me.
THE BEASTMASTER, 1982. Yes, 1982 was the year of the Barbarian. This one was by Don Coscarelli and it, along with the Sword and the Sorcerer, were the only good barbarian films to come out post Conan. Marc Singer is buff enough to pull off the barbarian angle and the film also features former Charlie’s Angel, Tanya Roberts. Yum!
Double Feature #7:
HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP, 1980. This is another film that I saw for the first time at the Drive-in. This is a great monster movie featuring horny Fishman that only want to bone women and kill the men. Just might be one of the greatest Drive-in movies of all time.
THE HITCHER, 1986. Forget the Michael Bay piece of shit that came out this year. This is the Old School version, and it kick major ass! Written by one of my favorite genre writers, Eric Red (Near Dark, Blue Steel), The Hitcher is an 80’s thrill ride that you have to see to believe.
Double Feature #8:
FRIGHT NIGHT, 1985. Tom Holland hit it out of the park, with this his directorial debut. A loving homage to the Horror Hosts of our youth, Famous Monsters of Filmland, and the old Universal monster movies, this film influenced a generation of future horror film directors.
BORDELLO OF BLOOD, 1996. I admit it. I love the film spinoffs of the Tales from the Crypt TV series. This one especially. Who doesn’t love Vampire Hookers? Boobs, Blood and Angie Everhart. A fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon.
Double Feature #9:
BAD BOYS, 1983. First off, this is the OG version with Sean Penn, not the Michael Bay piece of shit with Will Smith. Sean Penn literally simmers on the screen as young man sentenced to do time in a juvi prison. See why people called him the Marlon Brando of his generation.
GIRLS IN PRISON, 1984. This is one of the episodes of a Showtime series called “Rebel Highway”. This series paired directors such as Robert Rodriquez, Joe Dante, and Alan Arkush with old AIP exploitation film properties and let them remake them into a 80 to 90 min feature. This one features the yummy Ione Skye (Say Anything) as she is sentenced to a woman’s prison where she gets naked and has many steamy lesbian encounters. BTW, this one was directed by John McNaughton (Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer).
Double Feature #10:
THE LAST SEDUCTION, 1994. Linda Fiorentino channels Barbara Stanwyck in this modern day Noir classic. “Who does a woman have to blow to get a drink around here?” Nice…..
Double Feature #11:
CUT THROATS NINE, 1972. The most hardcore violent Erowestern ever made, An army officer and his daughter are transporting a group of rapists and murderers to prison. They are ambushed by a group of thieves that heard that gold was being transported along with the prisoners. Now with the wagon destroyed and the horses dead, the army officer and his daughter lead the prisoners by foot over the snow covered mountain. All is well until the prisoners learn that the chain that binds them is made out of solid gold. Uh Oh….
WESTWORLD, 1973. One of my favorite films of all time. Westworld concerns a series of adult theme parks, Westworld, Roman World, and Medieval World. Here you can pay to totally immerse yourself into the Milieu of your choice. At Westworld, you feel like you are living in the honest to God Wild West. You can be a gunslinger or the sheriff, get in gunfights. The interesting thing is that other then your fellow guests, everyone in town is a Robot. You are perfectly safe, until some of the advance robots go postal and start killing everyone in sight. Even though this film is over 30 years old, it will still keep you on the edge of your seat.
Double Feature #12:
STREETS OF FIRE, 1984. Directed by one of my favorite directors, Walter Hill, (The Warriors, Hard Times), Streets of Fire kicks ass on so many levels. Great cast, great action, and great music. What more could you possibly want? A great popcorn movie.
That’s it for now. Thanks for visiting The Grindhouse. See you next month.