Rupert Pupkin Speaks: September 2017 ""

Friday, September 29, 2017

Underrated '77 - Justine Johnson

Justine Johnson is an obsessive former video-store employee and current film programmer for the Columbus Theatre in Providence, RI. You can reach her via the internet on Twitter @moviessexa.
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Ruby
Directed by Curtis Harrington
Piper Laurie will always be the most terrifying woman alive. The theme song is worth watching the entire film for. A GHOST TRIES TO SEDUCE PIPER BY POSSESSING HER DAUGHTER.
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Death Game
Directed by Peter Traynor
This theme song is also insane. Colleen Camp and Sondra Locke show up on Seymour Cassells doorstep on his 40th birthday and try to seduce him. Things go very badly. Please do not watch the remake.
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Looking for Mr. Goodbar
Directed by Richard Brooks
I love this film very very much. Diane Keaton is a gift to us all.
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The Haunting of Julia
Directed by Richard Loncraine
My favorite Mia Farrow is when she is confronted with the evil or supernatural. She is wonderful in this ghosty thriller as a grieving mother haunted by the death of her daughter.
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Orca The Killer Whale
Directed by Michael Anderson
The most erotic killer whale film you could ever see as a child.
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One Sings, The Other Doesn't
Directed by Agnes Varda
Agnes Varda is a gift to us all. Please watch this.
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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Underrated '77 - Daniel Budnik

Dan Budnik's second book, '80s Action Movies On The Cheap, is available now and can be ordered from Amazon. His first book, Bleeding Skull!: A 1980s Trash-Horror Odyssey, is out of print but can still be found by those who look hard enough. His writing is on the Some Polish American Guy Reviews Things blog and the Bleeding Skull! website. He is host of the Eventually Supertrain and the Dan's Drive-In Double Feature podcasts, located at eventuallysupertrain.blogspot.com. He is also co-host of The Made For TV Mayhem Show and part of the Podcastmania horror discussion."
Check out Dan's Underrated '87 list here:
Airport ’77
You love disaster movies. I love disaster movies. So, why don’t I hear people talking more about the best of the Airport movies: The one from ’77. I’m not going to mention here how cool it is that they put the year after the title in the sequels. (It’s super cool.) I’m not going to argue that the first one is historically more important. I’m just saying that you’ve got Jack Lemmon as the pilot, Lee Grant as The Awesome and a freaking plane underwater! On the edge of a cliff! What?! Look at the poster. That is incredibly exciting. You get Airport disaster mixed with boat-sinking style disaster and Jimmy Stewart! Each sentence I write makes me want to stop writing this and go see the movie again. In fact… (Update: Still wonderful.)
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Cracking Up
The Jerry Lewis Cracking Up is hilarious. The sketch comedy from ’77 less so but it definitely is quite charming. There is a huge earthquake in Los Angeles. Two news reporters (played by members of the Firesign Theater) interview people in the rubble. Their stories are the sketches. The actors within the sketches are all from LA improv groups (like The Ace Trucking Company). You’ve got Fred Willard, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer, Edie McClurg, David L. Lander and some other folks I didn’t know as well. The framing device is on film. The sketches are (almost) all on video transferred to film. In fact, they’re shot multiple camera like a sitcom. Clearly the sketches are ones the groups had fine-tuned to a perfect point. Some of them work. Some of them don’t. I love the diner sketch. The mattress salesman bit gets funnier as it goes along. I loved the Polish guys. I wasn’t so thrilled on the lawyers on drugs bit. And the evangelical sketch is so bad it actually goes into a realm of good. This isn’t the funniest comedy around but I’ve seen it about ten times. For some reason, I adore the heck out of it.
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Death Bed: The Bed That Eats
If you’re someone who needs to hear “Once you get past the premise of a bed that eats people” or words to that effect, you probably should skip Death Bed. This is a movie to dive into face first and love. It’s an imaginative, funny journey through a weird world that I wish was longer but I know in my heart is the right length. I’m not going to go into the movie. If you haven’t seen it and you like imaginative movies (not everyone seems to), this is one to watch. Hey, it’s one of Stephen Thrower’s favorites. That’s enough of a recommendation for me.
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Drive-In Massacre
I love Drive-In Massacre. I used to have the VHS. I have it on a Mill Creek DVD set. I bought the 88 Films Blu-Ray. I bought the Severin Blu-Ray. The two fat cops are brilliant. Garmy is fantastic. Mr. Johnson is everything you could want from a mean boss. I love that pervy Peeping Tom guy. (I always applaud guys who hang pictures of nude ladies right out on their living room wall. We’ve got a word for that type of man. That word is BOLD!) The scenes with the various couples getting killed have a real verisimilitude to them. The ending always sends a chill done my spine. (Even when I couldn’t see a darn thing on the old copies.) I also get a kick out of the scene with Buck Flowers and his daughter, which is 100% padding but I Don’t Care. From the soundtrack to the killings to the fat guys in-between, I am enamored of this film.
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The Force Beyond
Donn Davison Delivers! I am a huge fan of 1970s speculative films/ TV shows/ books. And this is one of the laziest. Therefore, it’s one of the best. Filmmaker Davison hosts the movie. He kind of meanders around, promising more revelations than Giorgio Tsoukalos did in In Search of Aliens and delivering nothing. Nothing but fun and stock footage, with some time for Bigfoot shoved in there. Davison, also, authoritatively sets out his stall to be the one to explain UFOS and everything else to us. Again, he doesn’t. And, again, I love it. I do wish the Bigfoot section was longer but I could say that about most movies. Where’s my Blu-Ray of this one?

The Spell
I think I consider almost all TV movies to be underrated. Any group of movies that requires a qualifier for most people (“It’s made for TV”) is automatically underrated, in my opinion. The Spell, however, is one of the less underrated of the bunch but I am being a bit self-serving here. Scream Factory has just released this Carrie-esque number on Blu-Ray. We just did a Made For TV Mayhem minisode with Jeff from Scream Factory about The Spell. And, my co-host on that podcast, the wonderful Amanda Reyes, has a commentary on the Blu-Ray. Yes, very self-serving. But, the movie’s worth it. A California family (including Lee Grant!) is having trouble with one of their daughters who may have some “special” powers. And not fun powers that can conjure up a peanut butter sundae. The kind of powers that hurt people. Please, buy the Blu-Ray and support TV movies. Thank you.
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Tentacles
There could certainly be more giant octopus footage in Tentacles. But, you get plenty of Shelly Winters in a giant sombrero. And you get an incredibly fat man floating in a lovely cove for what seems like hours before getting attacked. Plus, a baby gets eaten by the octopus in the first scene. Ovidio Assonitis knew what he liked. He liked ripping off other movies. This is The One That’s Like Jaws But With The Octopus. And, I have a lot of time for it. (Especially since I purchased the Blu-Ray, which looks really nice and is at the proper aspect ratio.) It’s not the fastest moving movie. It meanders a lot. A lot. Also, you know that the name actors are not going to get killed. It’s biggest sin? There IS NOT enough Claude Akins in it! But, I could say that about most movies. On the Swell Side, I do adore and covet the setting. I love the concept of a killer octopus running around. I love the overall look and feel of the film. And, I applaud the fact that he put that huge flipping sombrero on Shelly Winters’s head. I’m in!
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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Underrated '77 - Justin LaLiberty

Justin LaLiberty holds degrees in Critical Film Studies and Film Preservation in Archiving. He is currently responsible for programming at Alamo Drafthouse in Yonkers, NY and is an itinerant projectionist, ready to run reels if you've got 'em. He is a regular contributor to Paracinema and can usually be found in whichever NYC art-house is showing the most sordid content on a given day.

Here's His Underrated '86 List from earlier this year:
http://www.rupertpupkinspeaks.com/2017/03/underrated-justin-laliberty.html

NEWS FROM HOME (Chantal Akerman)
Akerman’s cinema essay of life in New York told in beautifully captured images of the city, accompanied by voiceover of Akerman reading letters sent to her from her mother. A monumentally successful ode to the NYC of the 70s as well as a touching entry into Akerman’s almost always surprising career. And she made this in her mid 20s.
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DEATH PROMISE (Robert Warmflash)
Akerman may have captured a romantic yet gritty NYC in NEWS FROM HOME, but Robert Warmflash gave us the most absurd, violent and downright fun portrayal of the city in 1977. A revenge, martial arts hybrid with over-the-top violence, evil businessmen (something we know plenty about right now) and some good, old fashioned NYC apartment building paranoia to go with it. Oh, and a guy gets offed by a bag full of rats. Doesn’t get much more NY than that.
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THE SENTINEL (Michael Winner)
Perhaps the most underrated of the satanic 70s flicks, Michael Winner’s THE SENTINEL should at least be known for it’s absolutely stacked and insane cast: John Carradine, Chris Sarandon, Cristina Raines, Martin Balsam, Ava Gardner, Burgess Meredith, Eli Wallach, Jerry Orbach, Beverly D’Angelo, Christopher Walken, Tom Berenger and Jeff Goldblum. If that’s not enough, it also features some real life deformed folks that look like they came out of Fellini’s extras troupe and a cat named Jezebel who celebrates a birthday with a truly outlandish party. It’s something.
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DEATH BED (George Barry)
For only directing one film, George Barry really went for it! DEATH BED: THE BED THAT EATS is entirely singular in the annals of 70s horror – a nearly avant-garde featuring, bowling over with macabre imagery and a languid pace (even for 70 minutes). But it’s also about a bed that legitimately eats people and you’ve never seen anything else like it. It’s beautiful.
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ALUCARDA (Juan Lopez Moctezuma)
The only satanic film of ’77 to give THE SENTINEL a run for its money, ALUCARDA is Mexican nunsploitation done right and sleazy. A hysteric nightmare of Gothic set design, gratuitous nudity, bloody violence and period horror imagery that could make Jean Rollin jealous.
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LET ME DIE A WOMAN (Doris Wishman)
Wishman, ever the provocateur, made this transgressive yet ultimately sleazy documentary about sex changes that features actual operation footage, re-enactments, all with – what appears to be – the involvement of actual doctors. It’s excessive, problematic and entirely in line with the provocations of exploitation cinema – shedding (perhaps, at the time, much needed) light on a subject its audience almost definitely knew little about.
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THE DEVIL, PROBABLY (Robert Bresson)
Criminally underknown later Bresson that weaves revolution politics, existentialism, self destruction and other happy topics into one movie. Politically motivated cinema, that wouldn’t seem out of place in Godard’s canon, feels like a rallying call to the late 70s youth. After all, Richard Hell called in the most punk film ever made.
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SHORT EYES (Robert M. Young)
Originating from a play by Miguel Pinero, who spent time in prison, SHORT EYES may be the toughest prison film ever made in America. An always tense, never fun trip behind bars that runs a lean, but terrifying, 99 minutes. Features an exceptional leading performance by Bruce Davison. It’s baffling that this isn’t more well known – the PUNISHMENT PARK of prison films.
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CHATTERBOX! (Tom DeSimone)
I’m not going to try and claim that CHATTERBOX! is some lost masterpiece, but someone has to go to bat for the talking vagina movie! Surprisingly tame for its subject matter, it at least features a song titled Wang Dang Doodle. Running a meager 72 minutes, it never wears out its welcome and features an appearance by Rip Taylor! And all of the singing vagina spectacle is shot by Jonathan Demme regular collaborator Tak Fujimoto.
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BARBARA BROADCAST (Radley Metzger)
Thought not my favorite of Metzger’s Henry Paris features (that would easily go to THE OPENING OF MISTY BEETHOVEN), BARBARA BROADCAST is polished, endlessly entertaining adult cinema all about bad manners. Sort of an adult DISCREET CHARM OF THE BOURGEOISE, it features great period use of NYC and inspired performances by industry regulars Annette Haven, Jamie Gillis and Sharon Mitchell. A great, fun gateway into 70s adult cinema.
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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

New Release Roundup - September 26th, 2017

WATING FOR GUFFMAN on Blu-ray (Warner Archive)
http://amzn.to/2wvOeSe
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THE LONG RIDERS on Blu-ray (Kino Lorber Studio Classics)
http://amzn.to/2jY1T3o
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SPACECAMP on Blu-ray (Kino Lorber Studio Classics)
http://amzn.to/2x5MzEV
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ORGY OF THE DEAD on Blu-ray (Vinegar Syndrome)
http://amzn.to/2wwlUz5
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SGT. PEPPER'S LONELY HEART'S CLUB BAND on Blu-ray (Shout Factory)
http://amzn.to/2ydzsBC
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BRIGADOON on Blu-ray (Warner Archive)
http://amzn.to/2xFiUWa
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TRIP WITH THE TEACHER on Blu-ray (Vinegar Syndrome)
http://amzn.to/2x8QuCw
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PSYCHOS IN LOVE on Blu-ray (Vinegar Syndrome)
http://amzn.to/2x6q7eG
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AFTER MIDNIGHT on Blu-ray (Scream Factory)
http://amzn.to/2yenFDi
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THE DEVIL'S HONEY on Blu-ray (Severin Films)
http://amzn.to/2x9v0p5
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CYBORG 2087 on Blu-ray (Kino Lorber Studio Classics)
http://amzn.to/2yeLECi
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DIMENSION 5 on Blu-ray (Kino Lorber Studio Classics)
http://amzn.to/2yfy01U
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OSS 117 - FIVE FILM COLLECTION on Blu-ray (Kino Lorber)
http://amzn.to/2fpIyDK
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THE PIANO TEACHER on Blu-ray (Criterion)
http://amzn.to/2ydQcc4
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DAVID LYNCH: THE ART LIFE on Blu-ray (Criterion)
http://amzn.to/2ydXH2F
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A QUIET PLACE IN THE COUNTRY on Blu-ray (Scream Factory)
http://amzn.to/2fpJ5Wg
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