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Showing posts from October 21, 2012

Review: The Hunting Party

Mistaking her for a schoolteacher, bandits (led by Oliver Reed) kidnap Candice Bergen, with hopes she can teach Reed how to…er…read. Her husband Gene Hackman, a rich, gun-happy masochist gathers his rich buddies (who were on a hunting trip, riding a train that features a bordello, so Hackman can show what a misogynistic, sadistic bastard he is) and their super rifles and goes after the bandits, picking them off at a safe distance. Meanwhile, Bergen starts to fall for the uncouth but tender (well, comparatively) Reed. L.Q. Jones plays the most lecherous of the bandits (he attempts to rape Bergen), Mitchell Ryan the most compassionate, and William Watson is perhaps the most discontent. Hackman’s men include Simon Oakland and a gun-happy G.D. Spradlin.

Extremely violent, harsh, but generally uninteresting and unpleasant 1971 Don Medford (“The Organisation”) western wants to be a mixture of “The Wild Bunch” and “Straw Dogs”. Actually the plot is quite similar to the subsequent “Chato’s La…

Review: The Mechanic

Jason Statham is a professional hit man for a shadowy organisation headed by Tony Goldwyn. The targets are always scum, but when Statham’s mentor (Donald Sutherland) is set to be Statham’s next kill due to apparently giving away vital info for cash, Statham finally has a crisis of conscience, or at the very least a huge conflict of interest. Reluctantly, he accepts the job, as if he didn’t do it, someone else would be called in to do the job anyway. Guilt-ridden, Statham looks out for Sutherland’s wayward son Ben Foster, who is full of pent-up rage looking for an outlet. Unaware of what Statham has done, Foster is taken under his wing as his protégé, albeit without the consent of Statham’s employer.

Although based on a 1972 film with Charles Bronson (the creepy gay henchman gives away this story’s vintage. There was almost always a creepy gay henchman in 70s action films presumably to please homophobic males), this 2011 remake from director Simon West (the seriously underrated “Con Ai…

Review: Angel

Donna Wilkes stars as Molly, a 15 year-old high-schooler who moonlights as a hooker named Angel. She does this after her mother’s death and her father’s abandonment. Danger comes in the form of a serial killer (John Diehl) bumping off hookers. Cliff Gorman plays a cop who tries to help Molly out, but Molly is worried about her secret life ruining her day-to-day existence. On the streets she is protected by a group of oddballs and misfits like former B-western cowboy Kit Carson (Rory Calhoun), a transvestite named Mae (Dick Shawn), and foul-mouth lesbian landlady Solly (Susan Tyrrell), but how long until Diehl gets his hands on her?
The “Angel” flicks are exploitation favourites, it seems, but surely not because they’re any good, but more likely because there’s nothing else on at 3AM and you can’t sleep. So if you grew up on these films and enjoyed them, good for you. But I’m here to tell you why this film from director/co-writer Robert Vincent O’Neill (who directed the next in the ser…