February 26th, 2008

BEST FRIENDS (1975) *

 

Richard (Battlestar Galactica) Hatch headlines this dreary Stupid White People Movie from director Noel (Las Vegas Lady) Nosseck. 

 

Hatch and his fiancée Susanne (Fanatic) Benton wait for his pal Doug Chapin to get out of the Air Force so they can all go on a cross country trip in a Winnebago together.  Doug’s best gal Ann (Satan’s School for Girls) Noland also tags along for the ride and in one of the film’s few memorable scenes does an impromptu striptease in a nightclub.  On the road, the four friends get involved in a bar fight with a bunch of Indians, have sex and enjoy life on the open road.  But Paul starts acting very peculiar and insists on Richard leaving his fiancée behind so they can go on vaguely homoerotic adventures together.  Richard says no way, I’m straight, and this causes Paul to get his panties in a bunch and he tries everything in his power to break up his friend’s impending marriage. 

 

First he forces Noland to seduce Hatch, but since Benton has zero self respect for herself she easily forgives him.  When that fails, Paul sicks a rattlesnake on her, but it doesn’t bite her.  Then Paul tries his hand at raping her, which makes Richard REAL mad so they have half-hearted fisticuffs on the beach.  When Richard STILL won’t leave Susanne, Paul goes all kinds of crazy and tries to run him over with his motorcycle, causing Richard to inadvertently shoot his fiancée in the face. 

 

As Stupid White People Movies go, this is one is pretty awful.  Hatch is okay I guess, and the women in the cast all show off their quality assets, but Chapin is thoroughly grating as the possessive pal who will do anything to have Richard all to himself.  Luckily for the entire cinema going community, Chapin quickly left the acting profession after this movie and took up producing instead, churning out a couple decent horror flicks such as When a Stranger Calls. 

 

And what’s with the total non-ending?  Richard cries over the loss of his beloved while Paul sits next to him and fondly reminisces about the good old days.  The End.  What.  The.  Fuck. 

 

Nosseck paces the movie slower than Hatch drives the Winnebago and the dramatic “meat” of the story wouldn’t have even cut it for a Lifetime Original Movie.  I’m surprised they didn’t do more with the overtly homosexual theme of the movie (Chapin CLEARLY has the hots for Hatch), but I guess if the movie was any gayer than it already is they would have had to change the title to Brokeback Winnebago.   

THE DRAGON LIVES AGAIN (1977) ***

 

Please note:  I did not take any mind altering drugs before I watched this movie.    

 

The film opens up with a disclaimer:  “This film is dedicated to the millions who love Bruce Lee.”  Then Bruce Lee (Bruce Leong) shows up and is nearly killed by James Bond, Zatoichi, Clint Eastwood, Dracula, and The Exorcist, as well as a bunch of random ninjas while the opening credits roll.  Then the plot begins. 

 

After Bruce Lee’s death, he wakes up in Hell, which looks like your run-of-the-mill kung fu movie, and heads down to a pub to get something to eat.  There he gets hassled by Clint Eastwood, James Bond and Zatoichi, The Blind Swordsman.  Then a bunch of guys dressed in skeleton pajamas jump Bruce and Zatoichi beats him up with his cane.  Meanwhile, The Exorcist (whose girlfriend is Emmanuelle by the way) boasts that he will be able to take care of Bruce, and if he can’t, “There’s always Dracula who can raise his army of zombies.” 

 

I reiterate:  I did not take any mind altering drugs before I watched this movie. 

 

After Bruce repents about cheating on his wife Linda, a kindly old man offers to help him get in shape so he can beat the crap out of all the non-copyrighted characters in Hell.  Bruce also befriends The One-Armed Swordsman and Popeye to help him combat the minions of Hell. 

 

Yes, Popeye. 

 

I assure you:  I did not take any mind altering drugs before I watched this movie.     

 

After Bruce mops the floor with Zatoichi, The Exorcist sends Emmanuelle to seduce Bruce, but he refuses her.  (“What do you take me for?”)  The bad guys then offer Bruce a deal to join their team of super villains and he blows them off, which makes them really mad.  So Bruce has to dress up in his Kato outfit to fight Dracula (in the broad daylight I might add) and his “zombie army”.  The zombies get the best of Bruce and hold him down so that Dracula can give him a vasectomy with his fangs, but he gets beaten up by “The Third Leg of Bruce”!

 

People, drugs are a dangerous thing.  Do not ingest them before you watch this movie. 

 

Then The Exorcist sends Emmanuelle to screw the Emperor to death, but Bruce stops them just in time.  The Emperor rewards Bruce by making him his new bodyguard, which royally pisses off the villains.  James Bond and Clint Eastwood try to murder Bruce next, but he defeats them both easily.  That only leaves The Exorcist who battles Bruce on the beach, but Bruce uses his “Fingers of Fury” technique and kills him.  In the finale, The Emperor decides to sick his army of MUMMIES against Bruce.  Luckily for him, Popeye shows up in the nick of time and he brought his spinach with him. 

 

Again this was not a hallucination brought on by mass quantities of drugs.  This stuff really happened in the movie, folks. 

 

The fact that Leong looks nothing like Bruce Lee (he looks more like Mr. Spock than anything) is addressed (“When a person dies, his face and body changes.”) but the fact that James Bond, Clint Eastwood and Zatoichi, The Blind Swordsman all apparently DIED and became cheap hired muscle for The Emperor of Hell is not.     

 

There’s also a subplot about the Emperor’s wives all wanting to get a piece of Bruce’s fuck-stick.  All the women in Hell (especially the naked ones who take group hot tub baths together) do is talk about his massive dong and even try to slip him some Super Viagra (“It will stiffen his resolve!”) to seduce him.  Bruce also gets a boner every time he hears Carl Douglas’ “Kung Fu Fighting”. 

 

Again, never in my entire life have I taken nor endorsed any kind of mind altering drugs. 

 

The themes from the James Bond movies, A Fistful of Dollars, and Enter the Dragon are heard (not to mention Kung Fu Fighting), and it’s a sure bet that the filmmakers never bothered to get the rights to any of them.  Speaking of copyright infringement, I still don’t know how the Hell they got away with having James Bond, Popeye, and Emmanuelle in this movie, but I don’t really care because it’s pretty awesome.  Hopefully, none of their respective studios know this movie exist.  If they did, they’d quickly withdraw it from circulation for using their copyrighted characters. 

 

Thankfully, the flick DOES exist and you can get maximum enjoyment out of every bat shit insane minute of it.  You’ll doubt your sanity every step of the way, which is the highest compliment I could give any movie I guess. 

 

In short, this is the nuttiest Bruceploitation flick of them all.  It makes Bruce Lee Fights Back from the Grave look like Remains of the Day by comparison.  It’s stupid as all get out and the fight scenes, acting and dubbing are all horrible, but if you ever wanted to see Bruce Lee, The One-Armed Swordsman and Popeye team up to fight James Bond, Clint Eastwood, Zatoichi, Emmanuelle, Dracula and The Exorcist, then this movie will fully satisfy you. 

 

Of all the delirious dialogue in the movie, it’s the Emperor who gets the best line when he calls Bruce an “Ignorant heap of buffalo dung!”

 

AKA:  Deadly Hands of Kung Fu. 

MALIBU HIGH (1979) ***

 

Before there was Angel there was Kim (Jill Lansing), the original high school student by day, hooker by night.  Kim is a bitchy chain smoking teenager who gets tired of flunking her classes so she takes to boning her teachers and blackmailing them to get good grades.  She figures she’ll make a career out of it by becoming a prostitute (“It’s better than giving it away!”) for a scumbag named Tony (Alex Mann) who takes 60% of her earnings.  An upscale pimp (Garth Howard) notices Kim’s talents and courts her into working for him and she’s able to fetch higher prices from her more “eccentric” customers.  When one john gets rough with her, she kills him by sticking an ice pick in his back.  Her pimp sees that she has a gift for whacking people so he gets her a job as a professional assassin.  She loves the luxury her new job affords her, but things predictably end on a tragic note when she’s ordered to murder her ex boyfriend’s rich girlfriend’s father. 

 

This movie will never be mistaken for high art, but you gotta admit, it’s a lot of fun.  You have to admire Kim’s spunk as she goes from high school student to hooker to hitman in a span of 90 minutes.  Lansing gives a great foul mouthed performance and looks as comfortable holding a gun as she does lying on her back.  Speaking of which, she’s the only actress who pops her top in this flick, but since she does it SEVEN times over the course of the movie, it’s okay. 

 

The title Malibu High makes it sound like some half assed Fast Times at Ridgemont High rip-off, but it’s actually a wholly entertaining slice of 70’s drive-in junk.  It’s filled with zany plot twists, hateful dialogue (“Lose your cherry on your own time!”), and contains enough WTF moments (like the theme from “The People’s Court” being used during a chase scene) to make this one definitely worth a look.