104 posts categorized "Sexploitation"

October 31, 2023

HOUSE — SHOCKTOBER!

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ColeSmithey.comNobuhiko Obayashi’s 1977 surrealistic satire regarding the overwhelming aftermath of America’s atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, is a virtuosic fantasy horror movie unlike any other.

Of the atomic bombs’ 200,000 causalities, all of Nobuhiko Obayashi’s childhood friends were among the deceased.

Nobuhiko Obayashi was just eight years old at the time of the attacks. Clearly, he never lost sight of his pals, or his loss. Here, Obayashi throws a cinematic extravaganza party to celebrate the lost potential of a generation.

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Extreme teenage Japanese punk power pop! You bet.

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We’re way beyond “Rocky Horror” baby.

“House” takes the cake, the dining room table, the piano, and most certainly the title’s house of horrors that devours seven teenage girls via a very hungry piano.

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Chomp, chomp, chomp.

“House” shows Obayashi’s encyclopedic mastery of state-of-the-art filmmaking, from a deeply personal approach to meeting the sugary commercial demands of the film’s producers.

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This insanely ambitious movie puts George Lucas and Steven Spielberg to shame with pure inventiveness.

Obayashi received story ideas from his eleven-year-old daughter, Chigumi. A blood-spewing white cat piles on the film’s cartoonish tone of outrageous evil consuming every body that steps in its path.

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Nobuhiko Obayashi uses every filmic technique at his disposal, in order to transmogrify the grief, pain, and sense of incalculable loss that he and so many others experienced. What results is a cinematic phantasmagoria overflowing with humor, expressions of love, and deep-seeded fear of the unknown.

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Visually and viscerally stunning from start to finish, “House” is much more than a mere masterpiece.

Not Rated. 88 mins.

5 Stars THE BLOOD OF DRACULA THE BLOOD OF DRACULA ColeSmithey.com
THE BLOOD OF DRACULA
THE BLOOD OF DRACULA
Cozy Cole

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October 30, 2023

ENTER THE VOID — SHOCKTOBER!

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Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does. This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

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Enter The VoidGaspar Noe specializes in brutally grueling films of sex and violence. Anyone who has suffered through his 2002 film "Irreversible" knows well the feeling of seeing something that you would never want to see again.

"Enter the Void" is such a virtuosic, if orgiastic, piece of experimental exploitation cinema that the audience is simultaneously repulsed and mesmerized by the bold attack on the senses that Noe assaults the viewer with.

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Set in Tokyo, "Enter the Void" captures the most immersive subjective viewpoint for its drug addicted protagonist that any filmmaker has ever achieved. Through the eyes of Oscar (Nathaniel Brown), we experience a casual conversation with his sister Linda (Paz de la Huerta) that leads to a mind-melting drug trip after she leaves.

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Psychedelic to the extreme, the visually stupefying sequence goes far beyond even Stanley Kubrick's groundbreaking visuals for "2001: A Space Odyssey). It's only when Oscar finally faces his bathroom mirror that we finally see what he sees, his surprisingly young and innocent face.

Screen Shot 2022-07-02 at 5.00.44 PM

The story progresses in real time until Oscar's life takes a shocking turn inside a bar bathroom. Oscar's and Linda's back story about the car crash that took their parents' lives when they were small, informs their dodgy lives in Tokyo where he makes his living as a drug dealer, and she as a stripper. The filmic odyssey is eventually brought low by its own excesses.

Enter The Void2

At 137 minutes, there is too much brain-hammering repetition of headache-inducing segues of flamboyant neon color and grotesque physical elements to serve the filmmaker's bizarre vision. With a good 30 or 40 inessential minutes excised from it, "Enter the Void" could have been truly amazing. However, in its current form it is a traumatic film that wears out its welcome.

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Not Rated. 137 mins. 

4 Stars“ColeSmithey.com” MR. CLEANCozy Cole

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GRINDHOUSE — SHOCKTOBER!

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Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does. This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

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Two For the Price of One

Tarantino & Rodriguez Wang It Up Old-School
By Cole Smithey

ColeSmithey.comThe palpable cinematic elation and hip vibe that wafts from the screen is more than contagious; it’s stupefying. In their overzealous double bill homage to the cheap grungy urban cinemas of yore, that featured an ever-changing orgy of back-to-back exploitation B-movies, Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez have created an unparalleled irreverent concoction of dueling films.

Loving attention is given to recreating the grindhouse experience of damaged film stock, melting celluloid, missing reels and trashy trailers that distorted the experience of watching something like 1974’s "Dirty Mary and Crazy Larry" coupled with "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" beside an audience of snoozing bums and pot-smoking teenagers.

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Rarely did the movies live up to the promise of their tantalizing posters and outrageous tag lines, but the experiences were nonetheless unforgettable. Here, the movies go far beyond anything you could imagine. It’s all about the pay-offs, and there are many.

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The auteur directors share a proclivity for pulling out all the stops, and while Tarantino is famous for his take-no-prisoners approach it’s Rodriguez who pushes the limits of how many gross-out gags he can squeeze into every frame. Inspired by movies like "Zombie" and "Dawn of the Dead," Rodriguez’s "Planet Terror" leads off the set as a zombie thriller born of toxic green vapors released from a Texas military base. Cherry (Rose McGowan) quits her go-go dancer job before running into her former beau Wray (Freddy Rodriguez) at a local barbecue roadhouse.

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Already, wedded doctors William (Josh Brolin) and Dakota (Marley Shelton) have been overrun with sicko patients (read: zombies) suffering from bubbling facial boils, repulsive skin lesions and marinated flesh that only momentarily disguises their bent for annihilation. Juicy fake-blood-bloated zombies explode under endless rounds of ammunition as Cherry is elevated to humanity’s salvation Queen after Wray replaces her freshly amputated leg with a machine gun that she inexplicably fires without the aid of pulling a trigger.

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Tarantino appears briefly in "Planet" as a recently infected sadistic soldier who takes Cherry prisoner in the lower depths of the army base. There, he attempts to rape her with his less than kosher member. Wikipedia might discover a new definition for the term over-the-top from this groan-inducing scene alone. Ravenous movie fans will appreciate cameos from Maveen Andrews ("Lost"), Michael Biehn ("Aliens"), and makeup artist Tom Savini ("Dawn of the Dead") who gets his ring finger bitten off before he’s tossed upside-down against the broadside of a police cruiser.

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An intermission between the movies comes complete with a restaurant spot featuring glimpses of remarkably unappetizing food. Edgar Wright ("Shaun of the Dead"), Eli Roth ("Hostel"), Rob Zombie ("The Devil’s Rejects") and Robert Rodriguez each directed their own faux movie trailers with titles like "Werewolf Women of the SS" and "Thanksgiving" to elaborate on the ‘70s era mood of raunchy low-budget movie-going. The astonishing previews are glorious models of decade-accurate atmosphere, but with added touches of outrageous ironic humor. Gratuitous nudity and decapitations are punctuated with flashes of familiar faces, as with Nicholas Cage appearing briefly as a gleefully diabolical Dr. Fu Manchu.

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"Death Proof," the fifth of Tarantino's deliberate career, draws on Richard C. Sarafian’s "Vanishing Point," and H.B. Halicki’s "Gone In 60 Seconds," as much as it does from the director’s personal predilection for slasher films and hot girls talking like splintered versions of himself. Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell) quietly invades Austin’s real-life Guero’s Taco Bar where a cluster of badass gal-pals (Sydney Poitier, Jordan Ladd and Vanessa Ferlito) get their weed and drink on in preparation for a weekend getaway.

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A nasty scar on Stuntman Mike’s face foreshadows events when he agrees to give lone hippie-chick Pam (also played by Rose McGowan) a ride home, but abruptly changes character once she gets in the passenger bucket of his skull-emblazoned "death proof" stunt car. What follows is the most horrific car crash ever intentionally committed to film. Mike is a deranged stalker who lives to mangle the bodies of pretty girls with his car. But he more than meets his match in the third act when he attacks a trio of film industry women driving a white Dodge Challenger, just like the car that Barry Newman’s Kowalski drove in "Vanishing Point."

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Real-life New Zealand stunt woman Zoe Bell (Uma Thurman’s stunt double in "Kill Bill") shows off her best daredevil skills in a car chase unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. As Tarantino has pointed out in interviews, he has officially thrown his hat into the ring of famous movie car chases.

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The result is a white-knuckle experience that validates the stretches of goofy dialogue-heavy scenes that came before. It’s clear that Russ Meyer’s "Faster Pussycat, Kill!…Kill!" played into Tarantino’s version of "belted, buckled, and booted" female characters. In "Death Proof" alone, Tarantino gives more roles to female actors than three Hollywood films put together.

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Say what you will about Tarantino’s functional embrace of the n-word in his characters’ ever-spicy dialogue; this do-it-all writer/director/cinematographer knows how to up the stakes on bad girls with fast cars. Haaruumph!

Rated R. 191 mins.

5 Stars SF SHOCKTOBER!

Cozy Cole

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