Showing posts from September 1, 2019

Review: Bucktown

Fred Williamson turns up in the small town of the title after his bar owner brother has died. What he finds is a town gone to seed and repression due to the corrupt and racist local law enforcement, led by Art Lund who pretty much control the otherwise largely African-American populated town. So, deciding that this shit ain’t right, Williamson calls in a favour from buddy Thalmus Rasulala who turns up with a couple of thugs (Tony King and Carl Weathers) to allegedly help set things right in Bucktown. Things don’t go quite as Williamson had planned, though. Pam Grier plays the dead man’s angry and bitter widow, while Bernie Hamilton plays the friendly town drunk.

Just entertaining enough to earn a recommendation, this 1975 blaxploitation crime/drama from director Arthur Marks (“Detroit 9000”, “Friday Foster”) and screenwriter Bob Ellison (a veteran writer/creator for TV including an ill-fated American version of Australia’s “Number 96”) is actually better than I’d expected. Given it co…

Review: Johnny Got His Gun

Timothy Bottoms plays a soldier in WWI who after being severely wounded in battle, is left with no arms, no legs, no hearing, no speech, and no sight (Landmine! – Had to do it). He is being kept alive in hospital by unfeeling, insensitive doctors (one of the film’s big statements is that this is a war fought by the young sent by the elder generation, who should be condemned for their ‘crimes’) who assume him a hopeless case and contemplate conducting experiments on him. He can think, but his thoughts are somewhat hazy memories and dreams (featuring his father Jason Robards and even Jesus Christ, played by Donald Sutherland!) that help us relate more to Bottoms (given that in his current state, he’s practically dead), but for him, only serve to torment him. He needs to find a way to communicate to that nice young nurse (Diane Varsi) that he is indeed still alive, still a person.

Said by some to be the most depressing film of all-time, and later to be used as the story (and visuals) for…

Review: Hero and the Terror

Police detective Chuck Norris, nicknamed ‘hero’ must once again take on his arch-nemesis, soulless serial killer Simon Moon (Jack O’Halloran), AKA ‘Terror’, when he escapes the mental institution to exact a reign of terror. Brynn Thayer plays Norris’ psychologist girlfriend, who is expecting their first child. Ron O’Neal plays the local mayor, Billy Drago is Moon’s shrink, and Murphy Dunne plays a theatre manager, with his recently renovated theatre having been Moon’s hideout for a while.

This mediocre Chuck Norris vehicle from 1988 directed by William Tannen (something called “Flashpoint”, with Kris Kristofferson and Rip Torn) for the Cannon Group is neither among his best (“Code of Silence”, “The Delta Force”), nor his absolute worst (“Firewalker”, “Invasion USA”, “The Hitman”) films. It’s notable only for a schlock supporting cast (all wasted), and the fact that it is co-written by Lance Rock himself, “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls” actor Michael Blodgett, from his own novel. Co-s…

Review: Dracula III: Legacy

We continue on from “Dracula II: Ascension” with priest and vampire hunter Uffizi (Jason Scott Lee) now joined by sidekick Luke (Jason London) roaming Romania lopping off vampire heads, and eventually aiming to find the lair of Dracula (Rutger Hauer) in order to save Elizabeth (Diane Neal) from eternal damnation. Meanwhile, Uffizi bonds with a war correspondent (Alexandra Westcourt) covering a Romanian civil war. Uffizi rescues her when her crew are beset by vampires. Uffizi, for his part, also has an internal conflict to deal with as he fights off a transformation into everything he hates, and sees defeating Dracula as the key to saving his own soul. Roy Scheider has a cameo as Uffizi’s superior, Cardinal Siqueros, who thinks Uffizi’s time would be better spent in less kill-happy priestly services.

Directed by the underrated but uneven Patrick Lussier (“My Bloody Valentine”, “Drive Angry”, “Dracula 2000”, “Dracula II: Ascension”) from a screenplay by Joel Soisson (“Prophecy 3: The As…