cinema of the 1970’s

Swinging Cheerleaders (1974)

The Swinging Cheerleaders (1974)

I’m not sure what the point of the Swinging Cheerleaders is but I’m pretty sure it’s got something to do with the main character Kate learning to like being in an oppressive patriarchy and her new football jock beau, Buck, learning to not treat women like dirt. Oh, and there’s cheerleading going on in between. Review and trailer after the break.

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“Evelyn! No, please!” – Killer Dames Double Bill Arrow boxset (1971/1972)

Emilio Miraglia is an Italian director who was most active in the 1970’s. He directed around six features (though he could have worked uncredited in more) and then vanished from the scene (literally). While he directed different genres, he’s most famous for two features: The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave (La notte che Evelyn uscì dalla tomba) and The Red Queen Kills Seven Times (La dama rossa uccide sette volte). Trailers (NSFW!) and more after the break.

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Sheba, Baby (1975)

“Tell me, before you lose your head!” – Sheba, Baby (1975)

I suppose I should start by saying that I love Pam Grier in every film she’s in. There’s something about the way she looks, smiles and threatens and then carries out threats to shoot people. You can see her working everything out beforehand. But the films she does are not always as good. Case in point, Sheba, Baby.

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Jaws 2 (1978)

“I don’t intent to go through that hell again!!!” – Jaws 2 (1978)

While nothing can come close to the masterpiece that is Jaws, you can’t blame studios for trying to come up with ripoffs and derivatives. Of course, everyone waited to see what Universal Pictures would do and in a stunning turn of events, that surprised no one, made a sequel to their killer fish film and called it Jaws 2. The history of sequels to popular movies has never been good but is this one different?

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“A few more seconds and you’d have been a roast duck.” – Deep Red (1975)

I love watching Italian Giallo films and after a few false starts, I got stuck into a proper Giallo film by a man who pretty much invented or helped to invent the genre as we know it today. Deep Red is a classic murder mystery with lashings of blood, violence and non-sequitur characters that lead you down one path and back up others told by a filmmaker who, at least in this project, knows exactly what he’s doing.

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‘How many times do I have to tell you my name is Mildred?!!’ – 3 Women (1977)

I think this is going to be a shorter review than I usually do. It’s not because I didn’t like the film or didn’t get the intention of the director. It’s going to be shorter because once I explain some of the details, I won’t have any more material to go over. There’s nothing monumental to go over in terms of technique or presentation. What you see with 3 Women is what you get. Enjoy the review equivalent of Tuna Melts after the break.

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“I’m gonna p*** on your grave tomorrow!” – Coffy (1973)

In the early days of Blaxploitation, a lot of draws to the genre were typically male roles. Jim Brown, Fred Williamson, Richard Rowntree; these were standard leads because gender politics of the late 1960’s/1970’s dictated that was the expected course. But in time honoured tradition, once the backers of blaxploitation films realised that money could be wrangled out of audiences who wanted to see a female lead front and centre, an actor named Pam Grier would be thrust into the light and two of the most dynamic characters in American cinema were born. With the film and character, until Ellen Ripley was born nearly a decade later, there wouldn’t be a more complex female character like Coffy on American screens anywhere else. From the look she could give people to the way she sassed her way into a jam and back out again (either through guile or hand to hand combat), Pam Grier brought something extra special to the table.

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Force 10 From Navarone (1978)

“Miller, THAT USELESS GIT!” – Force 10 From Navarone (1978)

When Star Wars burst onto the scene, science fiction movies were suddenly the name of the game and the studios started churning them out, some good, some bad. But through a confluence of accident, delay and great timing, one last film would hark back to the days of derring-do and giving the Jerries what for while the future was busy being artificial, corporate and paranoid. Oh, and it starred Han Solo. As in THE Han Solo. With Quint from Jaws. Just look at the trailer for Force 10 From Navarone, OK? See you after the jump.

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Network (1976)

“But first, you’ve got to get mad!!!” – Network (1976)

The rise of and total dominance of opinion TV and 24 hour news has so engulfed our lives that we tend to forget where it came from. In the 80’s, Ted Turner started CNN and the era of the always-on news was born. But more than that, the notion that the news was now no longer just something that happened but that anything could be news and that it mattered had taken root. The reporting of news on television had always been a dry affair leading to some to find new ways to spice it up. But in the 1970’s, news channels were owned by TV networks and just existed. They didn’t have anything to do with television or sensationalism. But it is not a television show but the film Network, that came out in 1976, that would suggest that in the future, TV and news would have an interdependent, and if we’re not careful an incetsous, relationship together.

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