cult cinema

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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Return of the Killer Tomatoes (1988)

“Save the film, strike the broad and kill the babies.”| Return of the Killer Tomatoes (1988)

If nothing else, Return of the Killer Tomatoes is proof that you don’t need to see an obscure film in order to get sucked into its sequel. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes was a weird, funny film but when its first sequel came out in 1988, few people would have remembered instantly the first movie. And why would you when you have George Clooney as a sidekick, the gorgeous Karen Mistal as Tara and John Astin hamming it up as the evil and insane Prof. Gangreen? Trailer and review 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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The Third Man (1949)

“Free of income tax – the only way you can save money nowadays.” – The Third Man (1949)

If there is one great performance in Orson Welles’ career (and if we’re being honest he had lots of great performances), one role that people see him and say “that’s Orson Welles!” it would be…..Citizen Kane. A triumph of cinema, Kane is one of the most well constructed films in American cinema and rightly is Welles’ crowning achievement as a filmmaker. But his greatest role is not Charles Foster Kane, it’s a medicine smuggler and conman called Harry Lime. Only Harry’s friend, Holly Martins, knows who is his friend is. But even as Holly goes looking for his friend in post-war Vienna, even he is left wondering in The Third Man, Carol Reed’s crime and punishment masterpiece: Who IS Harry Lime?

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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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Supernova (2000)

“God, what happened to your robot?” – Supernova (2000)

In  a perfect world, Walter Hill’s record as a director would be unblemished. Streets Of Fire, 48 Hours, The Warriors, Southern Comfort, Red Heat. Any of them would define the 70’s and 80’s in American cinema and its goals. Unfortunately, everybody’s run ends somewhere. Hill’s ended with this abomination of a film, Supernova, and took him over twelve years to be trusted with another movie. Which is sad given that the film could have been a great film both in terms of pacing and execution.

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It all happened on a night like this one – Madman (1983)

One of the early 80’s slashers, Madman is soaked in the myth of the evil that lurks just beyond the treeline. A group of camp counselors are packing up the kids in their charge for the end of the summer and responsible adult Max tells one more ghost story at the campfire. But in true form, the tale they tell is real. Madman Marz killed his family, was lynched by the townspeople and then escaped into the woods around his house. He’s not been seen since but if you say his name above a whisper, he’ll get you. They do. He does.

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‘See you in Pittsburgh.’ – Videodrome (1983)

I’ve never been a big David Cronenberg fan. I’ve seen some of his output but not all of it. That’s not to say I don’t like his films, I just wouldn’t call myself an expert. That said, Videodrome is the one that everyone talks about. More polished than Scanners, less commercial (ironic given its plot) than The Fly, the film represents, at least for me, the best of the Canadian filmmaker’s work.

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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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Mona Lisa (1986)

“You ever need someone?” “All the time.” – Mona Lisa (1986)

A stylish car sits in the driveway of a posh, upstate English house. A man sits in the driver’s seat of the car, half asleep. George (Bob Hoskins) not sure what he’s doing here and he’s trying his best to find out. He’s waiting to drive a beautiful girl Simone (Cathy Tyson) away to another meeting in a similar situation. But as he and we the audience begin to understand, the film’s not about what George knows and that he’s trying to find out more, it’s about what he doesn’t know and what little he’ll learn by trying to change that. Almost the same as trying to figure out the painting of the same name, Neil Jordan’s Mona Lisa is enigmatic and mysterious as we learn less and less about the actual plot.

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