I changed out my video picks at both I Luv Video locations yesterday. Some perhaps more obvious titles here, but each is essential in some way.
At I Luv on Guadalupe:
THE HARDER THEY COME: I would hope that everyone has seen this. If you haven't you're about to understand why I always say, "DON'T. FUCK. WIT. ME!" whenever I stab someone. The scene where Jimmy Cliff sings the title song is one of the most uplifting scenes ever. Also where they watch DJANGO in Kingston.
PRIME CUT: One of the weirdest art film/action film crossovers. America is depicted as a vast sausage factory turning out depersonalization and dread! With Lee Marvin and Gene Hackman as a character named Mary-Ann. Get ready to have a boner for Sissy Spacek. I'm serious. This is a really unusual piece of work.
REVOLVER: OK, Franco Nero was pretty angry in HIGH CRIME. That was nothing at all compared to the nostril-flaring man-bull Oliver Reed in REVOLVER. His wife gets kidnapped and he gets ENRAGED. The best parts are when he's trying to keep it all bottled up and steam starts coming out of his eyes.
THE DEVIL'S HAND: One of those weird, early '60s cheapo black and white movies that seems to come from another dimension. It's about a secret voodoo society operating underground in New York and it makes me want to take a vacation to 1962. An actress named Linda Christian is hellbound hot stuff.
Here's the trailer:
Over at I Luv on Airport:
POINT BLANK: More Lee Marvin. Also the most stylistically audacious Hollywood movie ever. It's practically an abstract action film. Lee Marvin is perfect. Angie Dickinson is there - a big plus. With John Vernon and his great voice and Keenan Wynn as a guy who may or may not be real (he might be Hamlet's father, actually). Scene after scene is played in rooms that are all green or yellow or blue or grey. Psychedelic modernism. If you haven't seen this, it's about time.
DRACULA VS. FRANKENSTEIN: Al Adamson's biker/horror/hippie mashup is also his best film and an inadvertent classic. It's not good exactly, but it is immersive. It plunges you into an dream landscape that exists just below the surface of day-to-day reality. It's hard to explain the appeal of this film and Adamson's movies in general but - who feels it, knows it mon. By the way, even though this is released by Troma on DVD, it's not a Troma film. They release a lot of good movies that are forever after branded as Troma films even though they've just been licensed by Troma. This movie is great/bad in a way that Troma-produced films can never be.
AGONY OF LOVE: This is just straight-up sexploitation. Shot in beautiful black and white, made by one of the less-heralded guys, William Rotsler, and starring the amazing Venus of mid-'60s sex films Pat Barrington. She had some kind of early fake boobs that look incredible. The movie is like back-alley Bunuel as a frustrated housewife seeks happiness through degradation. Rotsler, who also drew sick-humor comic strips, milks this for all the satire it's worth, but there's no overt clowning. And again: Pat Barrington, ladies and gentlemen.
LEGEND OF EIGHT SAMURAI: Aside from the terrible music (which is actually so bad, it's nauseatingly funny) this is a crazy, kickass supernatural Samurai movie with Sonny Chiba and Sue Shiomi playing badass super-mystical heroes. From Kinji Fukasaku, who made all those great black-market gangster movies and THR GREEN SLIME and BATTLE ROYALE. It's very similar to his space opera MESSAGE FROM SPACE but it's better. Here's that trailer, warning - REALLY BAD music: