October 5th, 2008

LADY GODIVA RIDES (1969) *

Lady Godiva (Marsha Jordan, who starred in no less than TEN softcore sex movies the year this was released) has sex with the studly Tom Jones (Forman Shane) and when her husband finds them in the throes of passion, she promptly guns the old bastard down in self defense.  She’s quickly tried and found guilty of the murder but escapes hanging by boarding a ship bound for America.  She thinks she’s in the clear but as it turns out she actually signed up to be a prostitute for a Wild West brothel in Tombstone, Arizona.  In the end, it’s up to Tom to come rescue her from the clutches of her lecherous cowboy pimp.

 

I’ve sat through a lot of these cheesy 60’s costume drama sex movies before but I have to admit that this one was pretty rough going, even for the remarkably low standards of the genre.  Everything about the movie is cheap, from the costumes, to the sets, and especially, the toy boat that doubles for the pirate ship.  The acting is atrocious and everyone’s pitiful accents vary from scene to scene.  What’s worse is that the flick runs a painfully long 105 minutes, about a full half an hour longer than it really needed to be.  (The pointless extended dance sequences help to mercilessly pad out the running time.)

 

The title is even a rip-off.  You have to wait until the very end to see Lady Godiva “ride” in the nude, and even then the horse only takes about three or four steps.  So don’t be expecting to see her riding a horse with her titties all bouncing up and down.  It doesn’t happen.  Speaking of tits, the ample display of silicone free boobies and some halfway decent mud wrestling are the only things that this mess has going for it.

 

AKA:  Lady Godiva Rides Again.  AKA:  Lady Godiva Meets Tom Jones.

BARRACUDA (1979) **

A shady chemical plant starts dumping toxin in the ocean, making all the barracuda go crazy and eat anything in a wetsuit.  A naïve marine biologist and the small town sheriff investigate.  They find out that the government is really behind it all and end up getting shot by some trigger happy federal agents for their stupid belief of making the ocean an eco-friendly environment. 

 

After Jaws broke all kinds of box office records, drive-ins in the late 70’s were filled with low budget movies about other aquatic terrors like whales (Orca), piranhas (Piranha), and squids (Tentacles).  It was only a matter of time before someone got the bright idea for a killer barracuda movie.  Even for a Jaws rip-off, Barracuda is still pretty low on the food chain. 

 

The problem with the movie is that about halfway through, the filmmakers drop the whole killer barracuda thing and go hog wild for the government conspiracy angle.  In fact, I don’t think anyone goes anywhere near the water for the last 45 minutes or so of the movie.  Weird. 

 

That’s not to say that there aren’t some mighty fine barracuda attacks.  There are three in fact.  In the first, a hand gets bit off, flesh gets torn from a leg and the ocean runs red with blood.  The second scene has a dude taking a barracuda to the face, which is pretty nifty to say the least.  The last one is the best though as a hungry barracuda attaches itself to the bathing suit area of a helpless swimmer.  Ouch.  There’s also this great scene where a girl throws a stick into the ocean and her dog fetches a severed head instead. 

 

That’s about it though.  If Barracuda had maybe double the attack scenes I may have gave it a free pass.  It just burned me up that the film switched gears so randomly and became an environmental thriller.  Equally awkward was the needlessly downbeat Wild Bunch inspired ending in which our heroes get gunned down in slow motion by the Feds.  The filmmakers didn’t even have the good sense to use Heart’s hit song Barracuda on the soundtrack.  Talk about missed opportunities. 

 

Oh well, to me, any movie featuring Jason (The Brain That Wouldn’t Die) Evers, William (Blood Feast) Kerwin AND killer fish can’t be all that bad. 

 

AKA:  The Lucifer Project.  AKA:  Barracuda:  The Sea Horror.

ISLAND FURY (1989) *

Two bimbos wander around Chinatown for a bit until these chucklehead dudes with gigantic mullets kidnap them and take them to a warehouse where some Mafia looking jackass berates them for wearing a cheesy necklace.  He demands to know where they got it and one girl finally cracks and tells him, which leads to one long ass flashback.  It seems that when the girls were younger they went to a small island where they were taken in by a seemingly friendly old couple.  The old fuckers turned out to be a bunch of cannibals who blew up their boat, held them captive and were fixing to turn the girls into their supper.  The girls ended up escaping the island with a little help from the old dude’s grandson who gave her the necklace as a good luck charm.  Back in the present day, the kidnappers bring the girls back to the island to look for more cheesy necklaces.

 

Island Fury is a wretched excuse for cinema.  It feels like two unfinished movies clumsily edited together in order to get a feature length film.  The (newer looking) framing scenes of the two girls getting kidnapped play a lot better than the rest of the flick, but that’s not saying much.  The middle section is thoroughly boring and takes forever to finally get going.  The flick also fails to offer up even the basest thrills.  The T & A is scant and most of the kills happen off screen.  (Although the meat cleaver to the face wasn’t too shabby.)

 

The budget on this sucker was pathetic.  I normally don’t care if a movie cost a hundred dollars or a hundred million, but this was one cheap fucking movie.  The low point comes when the island shattering “earthquake” is simulated by shaking the camera around a whole bunch.  The acting was also insufferable and the old timer who played the main looney tune seemed like he was being fed all of his lines from off camera.

 

Director Henri Charr quickly put this shit burger behind him and went on to direct the classic women in prison flicks, Cellblock Sisters:  Banished Behind Bars and Under Lock and Key. 

 

AKA:  Please Don’t Eat the Babies.