Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Film Discoveries of 2017 - Spenser Hoyt ""

Friday, April 6, 2018

Film Discoveries of 2017 - Spenser Hoyt

Spenser Hoyt used to work at the amazing Scarecrow Video (his third video store of employment). He now works at the amazing Seattle Public Library. He also used to run the also amazing Grand Illusion Cinema and still helps out there a teeny tiny bit. You can also check out his garage rock band Pops Spoiler and his Deadbeats, they are pretty fun and rocking. He’s on Letterboxd as Hoytoid. You can check out his 2016 discoveries here.

Blonde Crazy (1931) - Roy Del Ruth
Racy and risqué pre-code comedy/crime/romance stars James Cagney and Joan Blondell. This may be my favorite Cagney performance. Right now anyway.
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The Invisible Woman (1940) - A. Edward Sutherland
Invisible Agent (1942) - Edwin L. Marin
Though these are both lesser Universal “monster” movies they are still worthwhile. Unlike The Creature From The Black Lagoon sequels, which demonstrated virtually no idea of what to do with the creature, these invisible films try something different. That something would be sex comedy and Axis fighting respectively.
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Action Jackson (1988) - Craig R. Baxley
Carl Weathers is Sergeant Jericho “Action” Jackson in this appropriately action packed film that embodies everything that was such a blast in 80s cinema of this genre. I’m not sure how I missed it at the video store.
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World Without End (1956) - Edward Bernds
Ambitious (by Allied Artists standards anyway) fifties science fiction hits most of the standard plot points, remains consistently fun and features lots of nifty touches. Plus, guess who was the “dialogue director”? None other than Sam Freaking Peckinpah!
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Dark Eyes of London aka The Human Monster (1939) - Walter Summers
I’m still catching up on my Lugosi and this cheap but efficient British Edgar Wallace adaptation offers Bela a dual role and serves as a showcase of Bela’s frequently untapped abilities.
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The Culpepper Cattle Co (1972) - Dick Richards
Summer of ‘42 meets revisionist seventies western in the story of a teenager who wants to be a cowboy but instead ends up as “Little Mary.” While there is some gunplay and horseplay the film emphasizes the mundane tasks just as much as the violent acts.
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Carnival of Blood (1970) - Leonard Kirtman
The Undertaker and his Pals (1966) - T.L.P. Swicegood
I saw these two on a budget priced double-feature DVD. Both are inspired by H.G. Lewis with their amateur gore and not particularly subtle or successful humor. Highly enjoyable thanks to their shortcomings.
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Anguish (1987) - Bigas Luna
For years people have been telling me to watch this. I’m glad I did, I’m also kind of glad there are still some 80s horror films I haven’t seen. This one is fairly unique and gives you two movies for the price of one. I don’t want to say much more so I’ll join in with those “people” and tell you to watch it if you haven’t.
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Burn, Witch, Burn (1962) - Sidney Hayers
In my brain I had a confusion with Die, Monster, Die but I got that sorted out and finally watched this solid British “housewife is a witch” film. Featuring crisp black and white cinematography and a script by Charles Beaumont and Richard Matheson. Light it up!
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McBain (1991) - James Glickenhaus
I’m sure I watched this back in the video store days but I think those brain cells died as I had no recollection of this strange mercenary soldiers vs. South American dictator extravaganza. There are lots of miscast actors in McBain having fun blowing things up and shooting people. It has nothing to do with The Simpsons. Still only available domestically on VHS.
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Youth of the Beast (1963) - Seijun Suzuki
You hear a lot about Suzuki’s Tokyo Drifter and Branded to Kill but this one is now my favorite. So cool, colorful and psychedelic in the best ways possible.
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Runner Ups:
I Like Killing Flies (2004) - Matt Mahurin
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The Nickel Ride (1974) - Robert Mulligan
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Messiah of Evil (1973) - Willard Huyck & Gloria Katz
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The Breaking Point (1950) - Michael Curtiz
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Hush (2016) - Mike Flanagan
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Mosquito (1994) - Gary Jones
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3 comments:

Steven Millan said...

"There are lots of miscast actors in McBAIN" ?! The team-up of both Michael Ironside and Steve James aiding Christopher Walken in his mission to take out a corrupt South American dictator and his army seems pretty much like a solid casting idea to me,since I'm still patiently waiting for James Glickenhaus' actioneer to receive an official U.S. DVD/Blu Ray release. Otherwise,there are lots of excellent film titles choices on Spenser's list.

Spenser Hoyt said...

Oh I love the McBain cast to no end. I guess its more along the lines of actors not doing what I expected. Like Ironside being a comparably low-key money man and Walken as a fairly normal war hero/revolutionary leader.

Spenser Hoyt said...

Also Victor Argo as El Presidente. It was a treat to see him in this role but would not expect him to play a ruthless dictator.