August 18th, 2008

THE PUNISHER (1989) ***

The 80’s were not kind to movies based on Marvel comic books.  While DC was reaping the millions of dollars from Tim Burton’s Batman, Marvel had to be content with goofy made for TV movies like Captain America while constantly failing to bring their beloved Spider-Man franchise to the big screen.  The Punisher looked to be the start of a promising slate of Marvel films, but sadly the studio, New World Pictures went bankrupt shortly before the film’s release so it went straight to video.  It’s kind of a shame too because the results aren’t bad at all.


Dolph Lundgren stars as Frank Castle, a cop whose wife and child died in a car bombing that was meant for him.  Castle; thought dead by the Mafioso who orchestrated the bombing, starts meditating naked in a sewer until he gets mad enough to blow away anyone remotely of Italian descent.  Since Frank has wiped out most of the gangsters in the city, it leaves them vulnerable to a hostile takeover by the yakuza, who are led by an uptight Japanese broad.  She kidnaps the son of big cheese Mafioso Jeroen (The Living Daylights) Krabbe who negotiates a truce with Castle long enough to rescue his son and blow away several kimono clad criminals. 


It’s painfully obvious that this flick had a budget the size of a TJ Hooker episode, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  Director Mark (Dead Heat) Goldblatt edited dozens of action flicks in his day, so he knows how to keep things popping along at a steady clip.  He also gives us plenty of action and not a whole lot of gratuitous plot stuff (the Louis Gossett, Jr. subplot is handled fairly swiftly) to keep things from getting bogged down.  The scene where Punisher crashes a casino is pretty tight and the final red-tinted yakuza massacre is excellent. 


I’m tempted to give the movie four stars because the action scenes are handled nicely and Lundgren is perfectly cast as Castle.  BUT… the thing that just pisses me the Hell off about this movie is that there is no skull on the Punisher’s T-shirt!!!  What the fuck?  How can you make a Punisher movie without the freakin’ skull on his shirt?  That’s like making a Superman movie and having no ‘S’ on the costume.  You know, if the filmmakers simply bothered to put a skull on the Punisher’s T-shirt it would have been a classic; since they didn’t it’s an automatic one star deduction. 


They didn’t give Dolph a whole lot of lines in this one (wise decision) but he does get one great dialogue exchange with Gossett that is pretty classic: 


Gossett:  “What do you call 125 dead bodies in 5 years?”


Dolph:  “A work in progress.”

INSATIABLE (1980) ***

Remember the days when porno movies had plots?  Well, the plot of Insatiable is thus:  Marilyn Chambers wants to have sex.  A lot. 


Well, I don’t know about you, but that’s enough plot for me.


Chambers plays this famous model who has a lot of money and a lot of time on her hands so she can fuck.  A lot.  During the course of the movie, she bangs a lesbian in a hot tub, sucks off a virginal hitchhiker, has a four-way and in the grand finale, gets fucked in the ass by the one and only John C. Holmes.  Thing is folks, after all that fucking, she STILL isn’t satisfied.  Thankfully, there’s an Insatiable 2 where poor little Marilyn will hopefully find sexual fulfillment. 


But the best fucking in the flick is the ultra-hot scene where Marilyn relates how she lost her virginity.  She tells us all about the time when she was an innocent schoolgirl who lost her cherry on a pool table by a disgruntled gardener who verbally abused her and gave her the balling of her life.  Trust me, when you watch this scene, you’ll feel like your pants are about too sizes too small if you catch my drift.  Also there’s a pretty good John (Talk Dirty to Me 2) Leslie/Jesie (Easy) St. James fuck scene in there as well.


As previously stated, Insatiable is one of those 70’s pornos that have plots in ‘em, and although most of the plot consists of Marilyn Chambers being… well… insatiable; the flick is unfortunately saddled with a lot of flashbacks of Marilyn walking around London with her septuagenarian aunt that sloooows things way down.  The film also contains one too many pointless scenes of Marilyn driving aimlessly around in her car while annoying love songs play on the soundtrack. 


Despite the endless amount of padding, the plot is thin enough for you to not to want to fast forward through it, which is about the best thing you can say for a porno.  Not all of the scenes will have you immediately reaching for the nearest Kleenex, but the flick does have Marilyn getting fucked in the ass real good by John Holmes and the incredibly hot pool table scene, so for old school 70’s porno fans, this’ll be a must see. 


Marilyn also cameos on a box of Ivory Snow.