March 31st, 2009

BEHIND LOCKED DOORS (1968) **

A bunch of dirty hippies have a party in an old barn where they dance endlessly and have sex.  One girl almost gets raped by a dude and a meek birdwatcher steps in to save her.  After the party, the hippie chick's car runs out of gas, and she (along with her redheaded lesbian pal) seeks shelter in the birdwatcher's home.  It doesn't take too long to figure out that this guy has several screws loose and pretty soon, the girls become unwilling participants in the demented birdwatcher and his crone of a sister's bizarre sexual experiments.  You see, this dude is looking for the perfect "Love Mate" and guess who he has in mind for his "research"?  He also keeps stuffed naked chicks in his basement (previous research subjects who "resisted") that his hairy handyman constantly fondles.  After being subjected to several experiments, the girls finally escape while the preserved hotties in the cellar return to life to get their revenge on the nutty birdwatcher.  Incredibly, it all ends with more hippie dancing.

 

The scenes that take place "behind locked doors" at the house of the depraved birdwatcher are pretty good and feature a nice amount of nudity and sleaze.  If there were more outlandish sex experiments and general nuttiness, the movie would've been a lot better.  Then there are the scenes of non-stop hippie dancing.  These scenes will probably cause you permanent brain damage.  Seriously people, did we really need TWENTY SOLID MINUTES of dirty hippies shaking their groove things?  I think not.  Plus, the scene where the fat lustful birdwatcher (who looks like Henry Kissinger) oils himself up won't do your sanity any favors either.  But look on the bright side folks, lots of girls get naked, so that's always a good thing in my book.

 

AKA:  Any Body... Any Way.  AKA:  Behind Closed Doors.  AKA:  Then Came the Ecstasy.

FORCED VENGEANCE (1982) **

Chuck Norris stars as the adopted son of a Jewish casino owner (!) living in Hong Kong.  Of course, the Syndicate wants to take over the casino and the head Jewish guy says "No way, Jose".  Of course, the Syndicate kills the Jewish guy and his half-Oriental son.  Of course, the Syndicate kidnaps the Jewish guy's daughter and rapes Chuck's girlfriend.  Of course, Chuck has got to take his revenge by karate kicking as many people as humanly possible.

 

Forced Vengeance was directed by James Fargo, a guy who directed a bunch of Clint Eastwood movies.  It's a thoroughly middle-of-the-road Chuck flick and has far too many lapses in between the action to be completely worthwhile.  My main problem with the film is that I never fully bought into Chuck's "vengeance".  I mean the people he's avenging aren't even blood-related.  Also, we have to take for granted that the bad guy's henchman actually raped his girlfriend because the rape scene is so awkwardly filmed that it's hard to tell just what he's doing to her.  For all we know, Chuck is just out to avenge the ripping of a $7 blouse from Fashion Bug. 

 

Which brings me to another point.  Why is the movie called "Forced" Vengeance?  I mean, it's not like somebody is twisting Chuck's arm and "forcing" him to get revenge.  In fact, he seems pretty ready and willing to karate kick anyone who even remotely looks at him funny.  Half Star deduction for the stupid title.

 

Speaking of karate kicking, Forced Vengeance does at least feature a couple of pretty good Kung Fu sequences.  I particularly liked the part where a stooge stepped on Chuck's "best" cowboy hat and that made Chuck REAL mad.  The ending is kinda weak as the main gangster just inadvertently hangs himself while falling off a yacht and Chuck just more or less scolds an old dude in a wheelchair.  At least the scene where some window pane falls into the henchman's neck was pretty sweet.  This flick also starts out with a great title sequence where a black silhouetted Chuck Norris gives a woman his cowboy hat and then proceeds to kick the snot out of a ninja in front of some Chinese neon.  For whatever reason, this scene is repeated again later in the movie.  I suppose this was the filmmakers' way of giving everybody a bathroom break. 

 

Chuck gives one of his better performances in this one.  Forced Vengeance may not be one of his best movies, but he's fun to watch and looks a lot more comfortable in front of the camera here than say, Good Guys Wear Black.  Aside from the Kung Fuing and karate chopping, he's also given a slew of flashbacks to relate and even gets to essay a lot of Dragnet style narration too.  Chuck returned the next year in Lone Wolf McQuade.