Results tagged “Mgm Limited Edition Collection”

The Story of Adele H DVD Review: Of Love and Madness

The tragic true story of Victor Hugo's daughter.
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Though Americans often think of his novels (and the musical based upon one novel), Victor Hugo is better known in his native France as a poet. During his lifetime, he was also a politician and his writings against the death penalty helped abolish the act in many places. His politics also got him into a great deal of trouble as he became exiled from France after Napoleon III seized power and declared himself emperor. Hugo had five children - one died in infancy, the second drowned at 19, his two boys were both well-loved artists, and his daughter, Adèle, like

The Serpent's Egg DVD Review: The Non-Bergman Bergman Film

David Carradine sleepwalks through Ingmar Bergman's one and only (and kind of weird) Hollywood production.
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I will be the first to admit that my personal experience with the work of Ingmar Bergman is decidedly limited. In fact, it almost entirely centered around a period in high school wherein my English/Drama teacher and I would privately discuss some of our favorite movies. I would recommend something like Wings of Desire, she would in exchange assist in molding my then-artistic mindset by introducing me to Bergman's The Seventh Seal. Mind you, I was the very same weird kid who was caught casually watching Doctor Butcher, M.D. in the classroom one day when she and all of the

A Kiss Before Dying (1956) DVD Review: Just Skip the Kiss and Kill Me Already

A tepid, presumably rushed adaptation of the Ira Levin novel that is mostly notable for being a great gathering of future B movie and television actors.
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Some things simply look better on paper. Like that time I was a kid when my friend and I worked out how to cryogenically freeze a frog and later re-animate it. It all made perfect sense in our heads, and played out quite well on the board. The reality of the situation, however - involving a Ziploc bag full of water, the upper freezer half of an old brown Frigidaire refrigerator, and the open ends of a severed electrical cord from an even older lamp - only succeeded in a bit of a mess and a story that would regularly

Stay Hungry DVD Review: A Special Peculiarity as Sports Films Go

An oddly interesting mix of socialism and bodybuilding politics.
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Usually, when discussing movies of the 1970s, even the bad ones, there are some films that continue to get lost in the shuffle, and that includes director Bob Rafelson's 1976 bizarre comedy drama, Stay Hungry, adapted from a novel by Charles Gaines, who co-wrote the screenplay with Rafelson. I guess because of its weird story, a movie like this doesn't come around too often, and that is unfortunate, since the film is actually pretty good, once you get past its almost laughable premise. Future Oscar-winner Jeff Bridges stars as Craig Blake, the sole-surviving part of an affluent Birmingham, Alabama family.

New Year's Evil DVD Review: Exactly What You Think It Is

Thankfully, it doesn't take itself too seriously.
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Lonely women on New Year's Eve become easy prey for a misogynistic maniac whose resolution is to kill. Seriously, that is the only description you'll find on the back of the box. Honestly though, you just bought a movie titled New Year's Evil; did you expect anything more? When you pop your copy of New Year's Evil into your fancy-shmancy DVD player, the first thing you'll see is a prompt asking you to choose between the film, and its trailer. The trailer is the only extra on the disc, but it is worth it. It's not quite as good as

Operation Bikini DVD Review: Frankie Avalon and Tab Hunter in World War II!

The lost forerunner to the more-delightful Frankie Avalon days of AIP.
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Released only five months before he was to become a cult icon in the epic Beach Party films, singer/actor Frankie Avalon found himself in one of his first co-starring roles in this American-International Picture release. True to AIP form, the advertising campaign was about as misleading as could be — depicting the film as more of a romantic comedy than anything. But, with a hot young recording star cast just below the already established Tab Hunter, and a supporting cast consisting of Scott Brady, Jim Backus, Michael Dante, and Eva Six, it would have been pretty hard for Operation Bikini

Six Pack Annie DVD Review: Southern Fried and Scantily Clad

More double entendres than in the entire eight-year run of Three’s Company.
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Too young to care and too fast to catch, the smallest thing about Six Pack Annie is the town she came from. At least, that’s what the advertisements for this hicksploitation classic touted when it was released in 1975. Featuring Lindsay Bloom as the titular heroine, a pop-top princess with a recyclable can, Six Pack Annie is a film filled with fast trucks, even faster women, and too many amazing taglines for me to possibly work into the first paragraph of this review. But I gave it my best shot. Also giving it her best shot is Annie Bodine, a

The House on Garibaldi Street DVD Review: Primetime TV Nazi Hunters

The man who captured Eichmann before Arliss Howard.
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Though their contributions to mankind will — thankfully — never be looked upon in a positive light by anyone other than skinheads and wacko politicians, Hitler's Third Reich has at least made for an endless source of motion picture entertainment over the years. But whereas certain filmmakers have strived for straight-up exploitation, others have touched upon more factual affairs. In the case of the 1979 ABC TV movie The House on Garibaldi Street, we get a primetime account of the capture of Adolf Eichmann — one of the most notorious SS officers behind the Holocaust — who escaped to Argentina

The Outside Man (1972) DVD Review: A Contemplative Mob Thriller

French and American cinematic sensibilities come together in this enjoyable crime film.
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An enjoyable conflation of French gangster cool a la Melville and reinvented 1970s American noir, the little-known The Outside Man offers up a languid take on mafia hits and gun-toting car chases. There’s little that can ruffle the nonchalance of French hit man Lucien Bellon (Jean-Louis Trintignant), even as his mission to kill a prominent Los Angeles mobster goes to shit in the first few minutes of the film. Director Jacques Deray opts for an unfailingly deliberate pace and drops us right into the action without a bunch of background exposition. For the most part, the storytelling strategy works, offering

Gas Pump Girls DVD Review: A Nearly Perfect Example of a Late-'70s Drive-In Flick

Too bad the disco gas-station idea never caught on.
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Somehow I missed the “disco-gas-station” phenomenon of the late seventies, and it is a real shame. As a consolation however, there is the film Gas Pump Girls (1979), which presents a vision of this world in all of its glory. There are all sorts of reasons to enjoy this movie, but for starters there is the legendary former Bowery Boy, Huntz Hall. In Gas Pump Girls, Hall plays Uncle Joe, owner of a rundown gas-station in Sacramento. A big, new shiny Pyramid station across the street has just opened up, and is doing huge business. When Joe’s niece June (Kirsten

The Last Mile (1959) DVD Review: Mickey at His Rooniest

A low-budget prison drama from Amicus Productions' Max Rosenberg and Milton Subotsky.
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Prior to their great success in the British horror film industry with the highly prolific Amicus Productions, American-born filmmakers Max Rosenberg and Milton Subotsky cranked out a number of tiny-budgeted movie musicals that were mostly aimed at teenage audiences. In 1959, just a year away from producing the atmospheric classic Horror Hotel, Milton and Max fashioned a minor prison drama called The Last Mile, which was based on the popular 1930 play by John (Angels with Dirty Faces) Wexley — a project that had been filmed several times before as well as produced many times onstage. But, whereas the original

Sergeant Deadhead DVD Review: All Involved Should Be Sent to Leavenworth

The quality of porn without the nudity and sex.
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Look, no one is going to confuse Frankie Avalon with an Academy Award-winning thespian, but he appeared in some fine films including The Alamo, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, and of course Grease. The many beach-themed films may have been nothing more than brain candy, but Frankie and Annette made for an enjoyable Saturday night at the local drive-in. So how is it possible that our dear friend Mr. Avalon could have been surrounded by a supporting cast of comedic all-stars the likes of Eve Arden, Gale Gordon, Harvey Lembeck and the legendary Buster Keaton, and still ended

Saving Grace (1986) DVD Review: An Unsentimental Look at True Religion

Robert M. Young's gently comedic drama about a reluctant pope avoids the pitfalls of many "inspirational" films.
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A gently comedic drama about finding religious fulfillment in action rather than ceremony, the little-seen 1986 film Saving Grace is testament to the intelligence of director Robert M. Young. There are a number of elements here that could easily push the film into territory too melodramatic or too artificial — there’s a glowering villain who holds sway over an entire village, a budding romance between a celibate man of the cloth and his beautiful landlady, the death of a child in a pivotal moment of action — but Young knows when to pull back, introducing these story threads without feeling

Pharaoh's Curse (1957) DVD Review: Silly, Dumb, and Very Enjoyable

MGM dives into their own tombs to excavate an '50s horror obscurity.
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It’s too bad that Joe Flaherty’s epic SCTV character Count Floyd never hosted an actual bona fide version of “Monster Chiller Horror Theater” on late-night weekend television. Were he to have done so, you could bet your bottom dollar that the 1957 mummy flick Pharaoh’s Curse would have shown up on his roster of campy forgotten movies. And, just like he did on SCTV, he probably would have been found administering a much-needed facepalm to his mug during the cutaway sequences — only to snap out of it and quickly try to reassure the bored kids at home that something

Pray for Death DVD Review: Recalls the Heyday of the Ninja

Sho Kosugi redefines revenge in this martial arts classic!
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Pray for Death stars Shô Kosugi as Akira Saito, a humble businessman living in Tokyo and moving up the ranks in his field. His family life is a happy one, with loving sons and a beautiful and dedicated wife. When the family has an opportunity to relocate to America to start a new life and a new, family-owned business, Saito is hesitant: he’s heard how violent American cities can be. But his wife, whose father was American, urges Akira to take a chance on a new life as it presents a chance for their sons to learn about the other

Hornets' Nest DVD Review: Not Really Recommended, But Good for a Gander

Rock Hudson leads a group of orphaned Italian kids into war against the Nazis.
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As anyone that can even vaguely recollect their years in school can attest to, kids can be cruel. And Rock Hudson finds out the hard way in Hornets’ Nest, an all-but-forgotten Euro war flick originally released in 1970. Sporting his infamous ‘70s moustache for (presumably) the first time, the Rock stars here as the sole survivor of a doomed American unit dropped behind Nazi lines in Italy during World War II. Nearly killed along with all of his comrades after parachuting in (during footage that was excised from the final cut, and only survives in the trailer), Hudson is saved

Savage Sisters (1974) DVD Review: Filipino Exploitation Madness

Another weird and wacky oddity from Eddie Romero.
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How does one even begin to describe Savage Sisters? Well, first off, it’s a film from the one and only Eddie Romero — the infamous Filipino schlock auteur responsible for the Blood Island movies — so that might give some of you reading this a clue as to what the movie will be like right then and there. Like several of Romero’s English-language exploitation productions, Savage Sisters features the late, great John Ashley in a prominent role. Here, Ashley (who also co-produced) co-stars as W.P. Billingsley, a shady Southern boy in a Banana Republic who introduces the story (as well

Hell Boats DVD Review: An Island-Based, Low-Budget Dirty Dozen

Suds, bullets, and boats during World War II.
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James Franciscus first came to prominence as Detective Halloran in the great 1958-1959 TV series The Naked City. By the close of the sixties he had made the jump to the big screen, and Hell Boats (1970) is one of his early efforts. The movie is a World War II action flick set on the island of Malta, with Franciscus playing Lieutenant Commander Jeffords, an American leading a crew of British sailors in a daring raid on the Nazis. The time is 1942, and Rommel is on the march. Vice Admiral Ashurst (Moultrie Kelsall) calls Jeffords into his office to

Sinful Davey DVD Review: Pleasant But Hardly Memorable Adventure Comedy

John Huston's 1969 obscurity features John Hurt in his first leading role.
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By no means the worst John Huston picture you’ll ever see, but certainly nowhere near his top tier of work, 1969’s Sinful Davey is an intermittently amusing adventure comedy that never coalesces into anything truly memorable. Reportedly altered without Huston’s input after poor testing, the film doesn’t seem to possess the raw materials for a much better work anyway. Its greatest asset is a game John Hurt, starring here in his first leading role as Davey Haggart, a Scotsman desperate to live up to legacy of his highwayman father — or at least, the man he assumes is his father;

The Bed Sitting Room DVD Review: Post-Nuclear British Satire Hits the Mark

Richard Lester's adaptation of the Spike Milligan and John Antrobus play is a sharp piece of surrealism.
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An absurdist minor masterpiece, Richard Lester's The Bed Sitting Room in many ways follows in the same vein as Lester's How I Won the War from two years earlier. How I Won the War has an undeniably higher profile, mostly due to the presence of John Lennon in a non-Beatles role, but The Bed Sitting Room has a far sharper command of the non sequitur. How I Won the War's inanity turns tedious quickly, but The Bed Sitting Room is a bright, coherent piece of filmmaking, even if its characters are anything but. It certainly doesn't hurt that Lester is
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