sábado, 31 de octubre de 2009

Blood Sabbath

It is worth nothing that this cheap little exploitation/horror film was directed by Brianne Murphy, one of the most important female cinematographers of all time. She was the DP on many of the most important TV dramas in the history of the game. So why you may ask, did she make this movie? Well, we all need a paycheck I guess. The story deals with young hitchhiker David (Anthony Geary), one of those “I’m in search of America” types who just got home from the Vietnam war. After being ‘attacked’ by a gang of naked babes, he escapes (why?) and meets a water nymph named Yyalah (Susan Darnante).
Yeah cuz every time you get lost in the woods, you meet a damn water nymph that looks like a Playboy model. So of course, David falls in love with her, even though everyone in the place tells him not to. This incurs the wrath of Alotta, Queen of The Witches (played by Dyanne Thorne, Ilsa herself) and her coven of witches, as David decides to offer his soul to Alotta so no more children can be taken. Alotta agrees, but with a heavy price. Yes, this synopsis is utterly ridiculous. I mean, it sounds like a story written by a teenage girl who is into Twilight and likes role-playing games. Alas, it’s a real movie, but it’s not without it’s charms. Nobody in the cast is particularly impressive, save for the always incredible Dyanne Thorne, who is as sexually charged and seductive as ever, even if she trades her SS suit for a witch’s robe.
There is a lot of nudity in this film, the excuse being that it’s a witch’s coven, and it’s all shot with young nubile ladies (except for Thorne). So yes this movie is pretty forgettable, but it has so much t&a, that it really can’t disappoint.

American Nightmare

There are quite a few American Nightmare-named films, but the one I’m reviewing is the mid-80’s slasher produced in Canada. When a young prostitute disappears (although we know she’s been brutally murdered), her rich brother goes looking for her, since there is a killer whipping off the strippers at a particular strip joint. Will the young man be able to find out what happened to her sister on time, and at the same time be able to protect Louise (Lora Staley), the pretty stripper he’s fallen for? And will the policeman, played by the always awesome Michael Ironside, be able to help?
This movie is definitely an underrated gem in the sea of slasher films of the early eighties. It was produced by the same team that gave us Happy Birthday To Me and My Bloody Valentine, although here the budget is way smaller. The main attraction to this film is the female cast, particularly Lora Staley, who is great in her role as the main stripper who is worried to death about what happened to her roommate. But not to be undone, we get Michael Ironside, one of my favorite badass character actors, here playing a good guy for a change. And he’s great in it too, I wish I would have seen him more of these kinds of roles. The suspense is spot on and the cinematography is gritty as fuck, making you feel like you really are living in a sordid underworld.
Curiously enough, this movie has tons of nudity. Not that it should change your opinion on whether a movie is good or not, but it seems you can’t go twenty minutes without watching a topless striptease. And for that, I salute this film, for being ballsy enough to keep it where it counts. One of the nudes is Alexandra Paul, who would go on to work in Baywatch. The murders are pretty violent as well, and bloody but in a realistic way. So if you want a slasher movie that delivers on the goods but you probably haven’t seen, this comes highly recommended.

Daughter Of Darkness

CAT III films are always the hardest films in the world to stomach, with their mix of extreme violence and sexuality, but this is definitely one of the most disturbing in the bunch. It’s not as disgusting as, say, Centipede Horror (no real centipedes in people’s mouths in this film), but it’s still a hard watch. One of the things that make this film a weird experience is the fact that, for the first half hour, it deals with two bumbling cops in what looks like a sex-laced slapstick comedy. The two cops are called in to the brutal murder of an entire family, in which one daughter is the suspect. When the police later catch the daughter having sex with a man, they find it oddly peculiar, since she doesn’t seem to be mourning anything. They arrest the two, but to save her husband, the young lady decides to come clean and confess, telling them how exactly she was driven to commit the crime.
And boy, if there was ever any reason to kill your family, this movie sure as hell lays it down for us. Imagine one of those Lifetime movies, where the young woman is brutalized and abused throughout but in the end she prevails thanks to the law? Now imagine the same plot but with an extreme case. The poor girl’s family is truly hell: they all abuse her verbally and call her names, particularly the father, who not only screams at her, but also rapes her in one of the most disturbing moments in the entire film. After receiving one of the most disturbing and fucked up rapes I’ve ever seen in a movie (including food rubdowns and being tied up), she goes insane on a killing spree and butchers her whole family. She shoots her father in the balls, then goes after the rest of her family, who never helped her. All these intercut with interrogation sequences that have a bit of comedic element. I guess the filmmakers decided to add these scenes to lessen the disturbing impact of the main storyline, but instead they make it a lot weirder.
But even with these comedic elements, the main storyline is very powerful and disturbing, and even moving at times, and it’s all thanks to the performance of Lily Chung, the beautiful dramatic actress who specialized in these kinds of films, like Midnight Angel, Brother Of Darkness and, her best performance, in Red To Kill as the retarded girl who is viciously raped. She brings a very moving, very tender and realistic performance to the film, and you can feel her plight repeatedly. Every scene she is tortured you feel like you want to save her. Special props also have to go to Ka-Kui Ho, who specialized in these kinds of films. He is probably the most hated psycho dad in the history of cinema, right up there with The original Stepfather. This is a sleazy but excellent dramatic horror film that, while containing some awkward slapstick comedy, is powerful and moving, and comes highly recommended. Just be warned of it’s explicit sex and violence.


Satan was all the rage back in the 70’s, and the way the culture went, who could blame them? It was all brought home thanks to a little movie called The Exorcist, a movie that was so big even Billy Graham condemned it, even when it’s message was mostly pro-Church! Soon everybody got into the act, with every low-budget production company in every country releasing their own version of the Exorcist. Spain got into the act as well, with it’s own horror star, Paul Naschy (from the Waldemar Daninsky werewolf films) making his own version of the story. In his take, we are treated to young Leila (Grace Mills), a young hippie girl who wants to go through all the extremes she can, thanks to her boyfriend Richard. But soon her behavior goes from wild and rebellious to downright blasphemous, and she begins to change, internally as well as externally. It’s obvious that she’s possessed, and her family asks for the help of the only priest they know, Father Dunning (Paul Naschy) to come in and stop the evil spirit.
According to the interview with Naschy included in the DVD, the idea for Exorcism was originally thought up in 1970, a few years before The Exorcist came out. Why don’t these filmmakers just admit that they’re ripping off something that made money instead of just flat out lying? I mean, Naschy, I love you and your movies, I won’t lose any respect for you if you say otherwise. It’s such a blatant ripoff that when the possessed girl gets herself demonic, she starts speaking in evil tongues, has her skin turn into shit, her eyes turn into what look like fried eggs, and of course, she spits up green shit from her mouth.
That being said, this movie is a really cool film, even if it’s not the most original. We have some genuinely scary sequences here, like the discovery of the corpse of Richard, Laila’s ex-boyfriend, where Naschy is attacked by a creature dressed as the devil, is pretty damn creepy. The people here also die with their heads on backwards, which was only spoken of in the Exorcist but here, we get to see it in it’s full grotesque glory, and god bless Naschy for that. The final possession sequence is very similar to the one in the Exorcist, then again most exorcism sequences in every movie like somewhat the same, but they bring in a more fantastic element by having the spirit leave the girl and enter the body of a dog, turning the cute little doggie into a bloodthirsty hellhound, way before The Omen came out. Seeing Naschy fight a dog is quite an incredible image. Add to that a cool 70’s soundtrack and enough nudity to satisfy your typical nerd like myself, and you have yourself something that’s not entirely original, but still creepy and fun. It’s better than that Emily Rose movie, I can assure you.

Werewolves On Wheels

This is one of the most polarizing movies ever made. You either love it or hate it, no in-betweens about it. The story involves a group of hardcore bikers, we see them going around, being rowdy, kicking the shit out of people and hanging around with their big bad biker momma’s. One night they secretly stumble onto a group of Satanists doing their ritual. Being the drunken reprobates that they are, they get involved and a few select members of them are turned into werewolves, particularly the main biker’s hot girlfriend, and the ones that are still left are ready to fight for their lives against the motorcycle-riding lycanthropes.
It has to be admitted that the title really is the best thing about this movie, but I have to say that I really enjoyed it! It has a lot of the typical biker elements, and I love biker movies. They’re rowdy, they piss people off by treating rednecks like shit, etc. The bike-riding scenes are really cool as well, I feel like they really hired a group of bikers to play the roles. They certainly look and act the part. I also love the women of the group, since they’re interesting and they’re also attractive and they show their stuff constantly. The best scene for me, however, is the satanic ritual. It’s build up with a lot of suspense, and features really incredible lighting. It’s not exactly what you’d call a photo-realistic satanic ritual, but it’s still pretty damn cool to look at, has a lot of naked flesh and blood. The girlfriend’s nude snake dance blows the one by Salma Hayek in From Dusk Till Dawn straight out of the water.
Sadly, the rest of the film isn’t as memorable as the ritual scenes. They have their share of action and horror elements, but they’re neither suspenseful nor interesting. The first two halves, with their biker attitude and satanic imagery, are definitely the best part of the film. You might be thinking to yourself, ‘it’s got werewolves on bikes, how bad could it be?” Well, it’s not bad, but the werewolf makeup is pretty bad and seeing them riding motorcycles won’t exactly take you to a world of fear. Hell, it won’t take you to a world of comedy either, since it’s not cheesy enough to be funny. One thing I will give this film, however, is the soundtrack. It’s pretty damn cool, sounding like real hard rock during the biker scenes and being able to create suspenseful elements during the satanic scenes. In the end this is a pretty entertaining film, a product of it’s time that will probably never be repeated, and it’s still worth a watch for it’s cool scenery. Just don’t expect any suspense.


The legendary story of Cleopatra has captured the hearts and imaginations of both artists and the public many times over, from plays to paintings to motion pictures. There have been many good, some infamous (the Richard Burton/Elizabeth Taylor film) and some that sucked. For my money, however, the best adaptation is still this one, directed by Hollywood’s favorite megalomaniac epic director, Cecil B. Demille. Yes, the same man who gave us epics like Samson & Delilah and The Ten Commandments. This is pre-Code Demille however, and is my favorite, since he literally pushed the boundaries with the films he made in the period, and this one is no exception. The story is simple enough: Cleopatra (Claudette Colbert), Queen Of Egypt, is loved and hated by everyone around her. She’s what would be called in the 30’s as a ‘liberated woman’, someone who has power and doesn’t mind sleeping around. The story details her two greatest love affairs, Julius Caesar, and Mark Anthony.

Now, let’s set this straight: there was a real Cleopatra, and she was the last of the Pharaohs. She also did love and have affairs with Julius Caesar, and Mark Anthony. However, this is where history ends and the film takes itself into more literary influences, particularly the plays by William Shakespeare, like Julius Caesar and Antony & Cleopatra. The cast is pretty damn good. Claudette Colbert is beautiful and truly lust-worthy, and her costumes are pretty damn impressive. She might not look like the historical Cleopatra, but she sure makes an attractive one. Warren Williams (Julius Caesar) carries a lot of dignity to his role, while Henry Wilcoxon (Mark Anthony) is very intense and carries a lot of emotional baggage. The three are good enough to keep you interested, however. We get bit parts by character actors like Irving Pichet (Dracula’s Daughter) which makes it more interesting.

Of course, the cast goes right out the window when you compare the film with it’s production design and sheer scope. Demille was more than famous for going over-the-top and doing everything above any sane expectations, and this film is no exception. The temples and chambers for both the Egyptian and Roman scenes are huge, and of a grand scale. There are thousands of extras for almost every scene, from slaves to dancers and secondary characters. Two set-pieces in particular, however, shine above: first, when Cleopatra seduces Mark Anthony and the whole set changes and moves with a dance interpretation that implies the sexual implications that are going on, and the sequence where Cleopatra surrenders to the Roman Army, to the chagrin of Mark Anthony. The gates in that scene are the size of a building. It’s so satisfying looking at something that has no CG and it’s all there, even when it comes to the scenario. This film is a great epic drama done by one of the masters, carrying great performances and a hint of old-time sexuality that will surely satisfy classic film fans.

Blood: The Last Vampire

I saw the anime that this movie was based from when I was a young adult, way back in the early 2000’s, and I loved it. It was grim, it was bloody, and it was very adult, but it did have one flaw: it was too short. It clocked in at less than an hour, and it left me wanting for more. Thankfully, this Japanese/American co-production have decided to make the wrong things right, keeping the dark and grim storyline but expanding more on the story. Like in the original, we meet a female vampire who kills vampires, something that is now such a cliché that it makes me want to vomit. Her name is Saya (Gianna Jun), and like in the anime, she’s asked to go undercover in a school at a military base, where she takes out a group of vampires living among the students. Now this is where the story based on the original ends, as instead of a nurse character, we get involved with a young general’s daughter named Alice McKee (a name probably inspired by a certain video game) played by Allison Miller (17 Again).
The story continues onto darker territory as we find out there is an evil head of the vampires named Onigen (played by Koyuki, from The Last Samurai and the Always films) who returns to the city to have her epic final confrontation with Saya. I happened to enjoy this movie version a lot more than the anime, even if it does have a few flaws. For starters, the characters are a lot more three-dimensional, as Saya is not just some quiet loner type, well she is but at least we get to know more of her past and how she became the way she is. The acting for the most part is pretty damn good, particularly from Liam Cunningham (Dog Soldiers) who is as badass as ever. However, the best part comes from the action sequences. They’re pretty badass, traditional kung-fu-samurai stuff, with lots of wire-work and slicings. The film is also excellent visual candy, as the cinematography contrasts from darkness to bright without losing any of it’s beauty. The flashback scene in particular, combining great wire-fu action and beautiful photography, is the best part in the entire film and is worth the price of watching it alone.
Sadly there are a few beefs to be had. For starters, I didn’t like the character of Alice. Allison Miller is not a very good dramatic actress and should probably stick to playing teen comedies. It doesn’t help that her character is as shallow as it gets and has zero importance or relevance to the story. It seems like she was just put there to please the American money men. It doesn’t help that most of the Japanese are talking English, a problem that has always been annoying since I saw Imprint and later Sukiyaki Western Django. All the ‘l’s are replaced with ‘r’s and it makes them sound like Elmer Fudd. It’s a particular problem at the end, when Saya and Onigen finally have their battle. That battle is also a let down, since it has so much build-up and it ends rather anti-climactically. The blood and gore is all CGI, ALL of it, I didn’t see any natural blood spurts and it fucking sucks. Why do people do this? It’s not like it’s cheaper! The monster vampires are kind of cheesy too, particularly when they’re in CGI form and look like video game graphics, although I must admit, I kind of enjoyed how goofy they looked. Still, this movie is a pretty cool action/horror hybrid that packs a few punches and doesn’t fail to entertain.

Little Darlings

It is sometimes amazing what hype can do to a movie. It can elevate movies into levels of nearly-legendary status by people who probably haven’t seen it. This was one of those movies. For years I had heard that it was a very naughty movie, one of the naughtiest Hollywood ever produced to feature a young cast, so I hungrily searched for it. I was finally able to track down a copy and when I watched it, boy was I surprised! The story centers around two girls, one named Angel (Kristy McNichol) who is a tough street-kid living in a working-class family, and the other is Ferris (Tatum O’Neal), a rich spoiled brat. The two are off to join a summer camp, and they both share one thing in common: they are both desperate to lose their virginity. Telling them to put up or shut up, their bunkmates make a bet to see who will lose their virginity before the summer is over. Ferris will go after an attractive gym teacher, while Angel will go for a bad boy kid (Matt Dillon) who is staying in the boy’s side of the camp. Things will not go as they planned.
So I was kind of expecting an exploitation-type film about the worries of losing your virginity, something that I was glad I didn’t get considering every single actress looks like they’re not a day over fifteen. But don’t let it’s reputation fool you, this movie is a very thoughtful, very realistic look at teen sexuality in young women. The script is solid, making the characters and situations believable without falling over to sentimentality or hokey teenage puppy love. The main driving force, however, are the performances. First we have Tatum O’Neal playing the spoiled brat Ferris, and she plays it well, acting like a spoiled brat on the lookout for a new trophy. Armand Assante plays the gym teacher she is crushing on; I’ve personally never been a fan of Assante, but he’s able to handle himself well. Matt Dillon plays the typical ‘aw, schucks’ bad boy he was known for in his early films, like Over the Edge and My Bodyguard, and he does it well, so it’s no wonder he kept playing the role. However, the standout performance comes from Kristy McNichol, who adds a very realistic and layered performance without going the typical ‘bad girl’ route, and is much more mature than her age might imply. Her reactions when she loses her virginity are as good as acting gets. To quote Family Guy, “Please come back, we miss you!”
This movie would never get made today, simply because today sexuality is such a taboo, particularly when it comes to young women. Even if the film has no nudity and the sex scenes are off-screen, there is a lot of sex talk between the young girls. However, there’s nothing gratuitous about it. They also smoke, which would be a big no-no today. On a different note, the soundtrack features a lot of what was then ‘modern rock’ and features songs from cool bands like Blondie and Supertramp. If you want to see a very good drama film with excellent drama and realistic situations, I recommend this classic underrated gem from the eighties. You will not be disappointed.

martes, 27 de octubre de 2009

The Private Afternoons Of Pamela Mann

Eric Edwards plays a private investigator and proud peeping tom who is hired by jealous men to spy on their wives, girlfriends, and even homosexual partners. He gets his most interesting case when he’s asked to follow the wife of a wealthy-but-ridiculously-suntanned businessman. The wife, played by the excellently-named Barbara Bourbon, is a real sexual dynamo, going about picking people off the street and having everything from oral to group sex. Eric Edwards might be thinking on getting in on the action as well.
This is one of the best pornos I’ve ever seen, and it proves that pornography can be more than just people fucking. Directed by Ratney Metzger, who would continue to make artistically important porno films like The Opening Of Misty Beethoven, is able to create great humor in a script that is very well written, and very well acted. We have funny sequences with feminist ideology interrupting once in a while, a girl who gets a cumshot every morning in the face the way you and I might have coffee, and the banter between Edwards and his employer are hilarious. I believe that if this didn’t have any sex scenes, it would have still been a great film. Thankfully the sex scenes add a little bit more. The cast is pretty good, with Barbara Bourbon, who played the mother in the infamous A Dirty Western, looks insatiable in her sexual desires and pretty much does everything you could do in a mainstream film at the time, from deep-throating to pretend rape. Speaking of rape, the best scene comes when Bourbon is kidnapped by a couple, played by Darby Lloyd Raines and the always sleazy Jamie Gillis, and is forced to have a violent blowjob with him at gunpoint. Wouldn’t you know it, she actually gets off on it. I would have liked to hear more of Gillis’ trademark foul mouth, but it’s Darby who does most of the talking.
I have to say that Georgina Spelvin, famous for The Devil In Miss Jones, is also here. This is the second film I’ve seen her in, and she’s hilarious and full of sex appeal. Her sex scenes are hot as hell. The scene she shares with Barbara is truly hot, and Georgina even reaches orgasm The end features a pretty cool and original twist, so if you want a porno movie that will make you laugh and let you pull off some white cream, this is highly recommended.

Friday the 13th Fan Films Double Feature

Last update, I talked about a shitty Friday the 13th fan film called Legends. Now, I love fan films, and I felt pretty bad that I reviewed something so bad. So here I am going to review two very entertaining and interesting Friday the 13th fan films. The two are very different and unique, and are also very loving to the material they are homaging.
The first one is called The Cold Heart Of Crystal Lake. It starts off with a bunch of weekend warrior-types wrestling Jason Voorhees in the winter mountain. It really reminds you of the paintball players from Part VI. Then we cut to the main story, which deals with three friends, two of them a couple, who are on the woods in the middle of December. Surprise, surprise, Jason shows up, now wearing a military jacket, and kills them off one by one.
This one is shot on traditional VHS and is definitely more grimy and less professional. The acting is pretty damn solid, and the fact that it takes place in the snow is definitely a plus, since it’s an original setting for the killer that hasn’t been tried before. Sadly the murders themselves aren’t very impressive for the most part, with the exception of a disemboweling at the end which is pretty damn cool. Also, Jason seems to be wearing a Halloween mask instead of having any kind of fx work done. But still at fifteen minutes, you don’t exactly get bored and it’s still pretty damn cool.
The second story is called Friday the 13th: The Storm, and is clearly the superior of the two. It starts off with two lesbian lovers on the Crystal Lake. When the main girl goes skinny dipping, the other girl gets herself butchered in hiding. As the girl goes home not knowing the fate of her friend, Jason decides to tag along.
In the first sequence you can already see why this is the superior of the two. First, the cinematography is beautiful all around, and the locations are gorgeous. Also, it has tits! Yes, we have nudity in this one, and she’s hot too! This fan film homages part IV in particular. The look of Jason, and two of the main kills, these being the shadow impaling with a machete and the corkscrew death, are all lifted from the fourth film. And like Part IV, most of the third act takes part in a dark house without electricity during a thunderstorm. But even in it’s short running time, the film is able to create real fear and suspense, and is probably the best thing to bear the F13 name in years. I hope the person who made this short will make an authentic F13 film in the future, since he definitely has what it takes.
Both films are available for free online and come recommended, particularly The Storm. I would say, however, that I would never make a fan film. Why make a movie I could never make any bread out of? I’m a fanboy, but I want to create things of my own.

Extasis Tropical

Armando Bo and Isabel Sarli are not exactly what I would have called a perfect couple, at least not from appearances. Sarli was a voluptuous beauty queen from a high-class family, while Bo was a very low-budget exploitation filmmaker. However, the two came together and fell in love, and it was true love since they never separated until Bo’s death in 1980. Together they made a series of melodramas aimed at rural audiences, filled with lurid love stories and of course, nudity galore from Isabel Sarli. I’m a huge fan of these movies, particularly since they’re so melodramatic that they border on comedy. But the main reason I like them, however, are for Sarli herself.
Sarli, along with Brigitte Lahaie from France, is the kind of woman I consider ‘perfect’. Perfect body, perfect looks, just perfect, the kind of woman that I wish I could meet someday, not to mention she is completely fearless when it comes to acting. The story is similar to many of their films, with Sarli being a prostitute that falls in love with a fisherman, but her old lifestyle, not to mention her pimp, won’t let her have a normal life. Meanwhile, we see her with many different clients, some rapists, others bad comedic relief.
Isabel Sarli shows off her naked body, and often. Every time I see her naked, I feel like a little baby wanting to get something in my mouth. The drool surely flows during a film of hers. The sex scenes are pretty explicit, particularly those between Sarli and Bo, they’re full of passion and lust, you could tell they were really crazy about each other. Sadly, this is definitely one of the least interesting Sarli/Bo pictures I’ve seen. It doesn’t have the craziness of Fuego, or the insanity of Embrujada. But still, even at it’s worst, this film is definitely good for a whack, and comes recommended for men and women who, like me, are into shapely women. You won’t be disappointed.

The Female Executioner

Revenge films were all the rage in the early eighties, and even the French got in on the act with this one, a movie that sadly takes itself too seriously and doesn’t delve into the sleazy part. The story involves a tough and sexually-liberated policewoman named Martine (played by Brigitte Lahaie) who goes after a ring of prostitution, porn, child molestation and even bestiality led by female crime-impresario Madame Wenders. Martine is even able to capture Wenders (Dominique Erlanger) and imprison her, much to the disdain of the Commissioner (Michel Modo) who has something of a crush on her. But her son, who works for her, isn’t too happy with that, and decides to kidnap Martine’s sister and hold her in exchange for her criminal mother. When the sister is killed in a rescue attempt, this is the last straw for Martine, and she goes after Wenders and her gang, vigilante style.
I really wanted to like this movie, after all, I’m a huge fan of revenge flicks, especially those who think they’re serious by going after the ‘porn problem’. But sadly, this movie has a lot of right elements but is never able to take off. For starters, the script is weak, and most of the characters are very underdeveloped with the exception of Martine. The acting from almost everyone is completely terrible, particularly Dominique Erlanger who can’t help but overact and make goofy faces all during the third act. And sadly, this film takes itself too seriously for it’s own good. It seems like it wanted to be something serious, like they really wanted to warn the world about the ‘evils of pornography’, but instead looks like a Christian propaganda film. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nudity, sex and violence in the film, but it’s mostly pretty weak.
The only reason I would recommend you watch this film is for it’s lead, Brigitte Lahaie, one of my favorite actresses. She was a famous porn star and b-movie actress, and still is, and is quite possibly the most beautiful celebrity to come out of France, more so than people like Anna Karina, Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Huppert, Brigitte Bardot or Emmanuelle Beart. She is more famous for appearing in several Jean Rollin horror films like The Grapes Of Death, Fascination and Night Of The Hunted. Here, she is portrayed in a tough but very sympathetic role, and is able to pull it off. When she is angry and wants to murder Madame Wenders at the third act, you believe it, since she’s been put through a lot. She’s also very beautiful and, as always in her movies, gets naked often. Is there a woman with a more perfect body than Brigitte Lahaie? I don’t think so. So I recommend you see this film, not because it’s a good film, but it involves Brigitte Lahaie, the most beautiful French woman to ever live.

Dirty Ho

Master Wang (Gordon Liu) is a master martial artist and prince-in-hiding, working as a jewel trader while trying to recruit young rebel Ho (Wong Yue) into his police force. Meanwhile, General Liang (Lo Lieh), hungry for power, sends a series of top assasins to kill Master Wang. When Wang is hurt by an assassin in disguise as an art dealer, he decides to train Ho to become the ultimate fighter, so that the two together can take on the General and the rest of his minions. This might be the greatest martial arts film ever made, certainly the best martial arts comedy, even better than the stuff by Jackie Chan. It was very unique at the time it first came out, since it was different to the typical revenge plots that were coming out by Shaw Studios. The casting is perfect, with Gordon Liu being as badass as he always has been. He plays a Manchu-style character, a rarity since most Manchus are portrayed as villains, while Wong Yue is funny and headstrong but can also kick ass when he needs to. The production and set design are truly inspiring, and there is a lot of art behind it. They are obvious sets, but it doesn’t matter. You feel as if you’ve been transported into another world. I speak for example, of the windy mountain rock sequence where the two leads fight a horde of masked archers, and they block themselves with a series of umbrellas. It’s beautiful stuff. However, the main reason this film is so perfect are the action sequences. Yes, this is a comedy, but it makes the action as unique as it gets. There is no need for new versions of kung fu ala Drunken Master. No, what the characters simply do is act as if they don’t notice that they’re being attacked.
Now, reading that you might be confused. The first two main fight scenes, one with Gordon Liu fighting a wine merchant, and another the fake arts dealer, are done so in a way that both are trying to hide the fact that they’re fighting. There is a lot of small but quick kicks, and blockings galore, while they act as if they’re going about getting drunk or buying jade swords. It’s hilarious and it’s what makes the movie come alive. There are many memorable fight sequences involving Ho as well. One features a gang of fake cripples, and the other, a bit more memorable, in which Ho fights a gang of homosexual martial artists and is, at one point, turned into a transvestite himself. You never saw Bruce Lee doing that shit!
We also have the obligatory training sequence, where Wang teaches Ho his skills. Poor Ho really suffers under his teacher’s trainings, as he’s covered in hot wax and fire to learn to kick quickly. I find it funny, considering we’d be seeing Gordon Liu teaching Uma Thurman in Kill Bill almost twenty-five years later. The final fight against the General and his minions feature both warriors fighting together, and it’s truly memorable. This is the best martial arts film I’ve seen in my life, by far, and I’ve seen quite a lot, with it’s mixture of action, arts and originality. It’s a masterpiece and comes highly recommended.