Much maligned, scorned frequently, Universal and Hasbro’s live-action version of popular cartoon Jem arrives with a lot of baggage and more than its share of problems. Trailer and chatter after the cut.
My first experience with Italian horror and science fiction has two rocky but excellent starts. The horror came in the form of Lucio Fulci’s The Beyond and House By The Cemetery (Thanks so much Mick, for recommending and loaning them to me). Watching them on the brand new DVD format (Wave of the future!), I loved Beyond and couldn’t finish House as I was too scared of it (Thanks so much Mick, for recommending and loaning them to me!). Watching them, I could understand their appeal: they were quickly edited, well paced and had decent actors in them who just tackled the work and nothing more.
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.