Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Underrated '75 - Laird Jimenez ""

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Underrated '75 - Laird Jimenez

Laird, like myself, has worked at video stores over the years to feed his passion for movie watching. He's does video editing for the legendary Alamo Drafthouse and hosts/programs for their "Weird Wednesday" series. He did an interview about it back in 2013:
See more about what's going on there at the Drafthouse Cinephile Facebook Group:

Laird has good taste and watches a lot of movies. I have often made discoveries based on his suggestions. Check out his most recent Film Discoveries list for more suggestions:

Poor Pretty Eddie (1975; Richard Robinson, David Worth)
An almost accidental masterpiece, Poor Pretty Eddie was the result of a porn producer wanting to have a mainstream breakthrough with this sleazy tale of an obsessive May-December romance colliding with a racially charged hostage situation. An unhinged (and reportedly drunk as all get out) Shelley Winters acting alongside Slim Pickens at his most discomfortingly slimy makes this memorable enough, but the unusual and aggressive editing by veteran editor Frank Mazzola (who passed away in January) lend this an atmosphere that swings wildly from maddening and sickening to shocking and hilarious and everywhere in between.

Suspected Death of a Minor (aka Suspicious Death of a Minor) (1975; Sergio Martino)
Sergio Martino is probably best known for his work in the giallo genre such as Strange Vice of Mrs.Wardh, All the Colors of the Dark and Torso. This movie takes some cues from giallo but throws the kitchen sink in, with some elements of gritty Italian police procedurals and zany comedies thrown in for good measure.

Thundercrack! (1975; Curt McDowell)
The old dark house movie is updated for the mid-70s with self-aware camp, parody, a man-gorilla relationship and hardcore sex scenes.

Welcome Home Brother Charles (aka Soul Vengeance) (1975; Jamaa Fanaka)
The first of three films Jamaa Fanaka completed while a student at UCLA. The technical roughness around the edges is transcended by Fanaka's intuitive skill at blending low brow exploitation entertainment with urgent social commentary. 

Diamonds (1975; Menahem Golan)
Before Golan and Globus took over The Cannon Group they produced and directed this extremely serviceable heist movie in which Robert Shaw plays a set of wealthy twins, one of whom has a Thomas Crown complex and the other is the owner of a security system that guards a vault full of diamonds in Israel. He enlists Richard Roundtree and Barbara Hershey in the scheme. Shelley Winters shows up as comic relief!

The BlackGestapo (1975; Lee Frost)
Reports that this movie is a blaxploitation Animal Farm are grossly... accurate. Financed by professional tennis player turned movie theater owner/exploitation producer Ronald K. Goldman who the next year would go on to make the great BROTHERHOOD OF DEATH starring Washington Redskins football players.

Beyond the Door (released in Italy in 1974 but everywhere else in 1975)(Ovidio Assonitis, Robert Barrett)
This may be my favorite Exorcist knock-off. The San Francisco street musician that plays a flute with his nose is more frightening than anything in any of the others.

Eadweard Muybridge, Zoopraxographer (1975; Thom Andersen)
A fairly straight forward but extremely well executed study of the life and work of one of the forefathers of the motion picture. The way Muybridge's still photographs are brought to life is remarkable.

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