Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Film Discoveries of 2017 - Laird Jimenez ""

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Film Discoveries of 2017 - Laird Jimenez

Laird worked in video stores and film archives and is now a video editor for Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas.
Follow him on Twitter at @Pobrecito and Letterboxd:

Check out his Discoveries from the last few years here:

Manhunt in the City (1975)
Amazon Prime has a wealth of Italian crime movies, some of them even decent transfers in the correct aspect ratio, such as this intense vigilante yarn starring the great Henry Silva as a father with a death wish. The late Umberto Lenzi was known for producing some of the nastier, meaner Eurocrime movies, and this is no exception. Surprisingly, though, there’s some moral ambiguity that adds a a bit of complexity to the conflict where normally this kind of movie would just be about watching bad guys get blasted away by the righteous.
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Heroin Busters (1977)
Enzo G. Castellari directed this action-packed poliziotteschi starring Fabio Testi who appears to be doing most of his own stunts, running, jumping, and leaping to a far-out bass-driven Goblin score.In the thrilling final third a footchase turns into a dirtbike chase that turns into a plane chase. At one point Testi uses the dead body of a thug as a tool to grab his gun that is just out of reach!
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Hakaider (1995)
This short and wild tokusatsu feature takes a villain from the Kikaider TV series and turns him into a badass anti-hero who goes on a mission of vengeance against the fascist rulers of Jesus Town, including the angel Michael! What it lacks in budget it more than makes up for in design and spirit.
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Club Life (1986)
I watched this after Michael Parks died after noticing it on his IMDB page, and was pleasantly surprised by this proto-ROADHOUSE action-drama about a new-to-Hollywood kid wanting to make it big in the night club world. Parks is great as his Sam Elliott like mentor, but the cast also includes Tony Curtis as a sleazy club owner and Dee Wallace as his flirtatious wife. In between long rounds of neon and fog machine dance scenes there are lesbian bar brawls, a ludicrous sex scene on a waterbed filled with fish and some very dramatic nunchuks.

Vengeance (1970)
Chang Cheh channels some extra style (maybe he was watching Seijun Suzuki and Point Blank?) in this minimalist revenge yarn that features Shaw star David Chiang in one of his most taciturn roles. Stylishly dressed, he mows through room after room of henchmen, leaving a body count behind that would make an 80s action star blush. Very, very cool.
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Phantom of Chinatown (1940)
A rare instance from Classic Hollywood in which an Asian actor plays an Asian detective, in this case the great Keye Luke plays Mr.Wong. The progressive attitudes don’t stop at casting, however, as the movie acknowledges negative stereotypes (even while trafficking in others). When a racist detective is trying to put down an Asian woman he says, "What'd she have for lunch, chop suey?" Her response: "Coffee and apple pie." This isn’t necessarily a great movie, but definitely worth checking out for the performances!
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