September 15th, 2011

CAMILLE 2000 (1969) *

After watching The Image I decided to put a whole bunch of Radley Metzger movies on my Netflix Queue. I put this one on the top of the list because I thought it was going to be a futuristic skin flick. Turns out, that’s not the case. Note to 1960’s filmmakers: NEVER put the number 2000 in your sexploitation movie unless you can deliver on the futuristic shit.

Unfortunately for everyone, this movie takes place in the groovy 60’s. This one guy strolls into town trying to get the 411 on the local sluts. He sees this chick he wants to bang and he immediately goes for the groceries. Naturally this idiot falls head over heels for this broad but she ain’t exactly the marrying kind if you know what I mean.

The Image was a lot of fun because it featured some pretty memorable characters doing disgusting and depraved things. Camille 2000 on the other hand is basically a big long soap opera with a couple of lame softcore sex scenes randomly tossed in. I swear if you’d watched The Image and this movie back to back, you’d never be able to tell that they were directed by the same guy.

To make matters worse, this flick clocks in at a whopping 116 minutes. I’m sorry but no skin flick should ever run anywhere near two hours in length… unless said film is called Showgirls. On top of that, it takes nearly 25 minutes until you even get to the first sex scene.

But even the sex scenes aren’t very good. There’s more artily filmed gazing and yearning than actual bumping and grinding. Sometimes Metzger just sets the camera down across the room from the bed so it’s impossible to tell what the people are doing on it. Other times he points the camera at a mirror. And when you film an orgy scene that involves handcuffs, leashes, and people in cages and you STILL can’t manage to make it sexy; all I can say is… EPIC FAIL.

THE DEVIL’S 6 COMMANDMENTS (2010) ** ½

Australia has always been a good breeding ground for exploitation directors. Guys like Russell Mulcahy, Richard Franklin, and Brain Trenchard Smith all got their start with low budget Aussie exploitation flicks before coming to Hollywood. I think in time, Dicky Tanuwidjaya, the director of The Devil’s 6 Commandments could be just as big; provided he’s given a better script, a bigger budget, and some name actors,

Nina (Gianna Pattison) is raped by a gang of thugs and she enlists the help of her half-brother (Felino Dolloso) to get revenge on her attackers. After making short work of the rapists (and selling the leftover meat to a cannibalistic restaurateur); the deadly duo team up with a cop (Maninho de Aruanda) to dispose of other degenerates the law can’t touch. When they mistakenly kill the wrong degenerate, they incur the wrath of a local kingpin.

The Devil’s 6 Commandments is a decent enough micro-budget action revenge flick. There’s some fairly brutal stuff here (like the part where a guy gets an iron to the face) but I have to give Tanuwidjaya credit for not going whole hog on the torture porn stuff. Some of the stylistic touches are nice (like the Sin City inspired scenes where everything is black and white but the blood is red), but you kinda wish the budget had been a bit bigger so Tanuwidjaya could’ve really let his imagination run wild. Likewise, some of the performances are a bit amateurish. While Pattison and Dolloso make for a solid duo, many of the other actors just aren’t ready for prime time.

The Devil’s 6 Commandments is a bit of a diamond in the rough. The parts that shine, shine pretty bright though (the first half hour is particularly entertaining). For all its faults, one thing is for sure, I’m damned curious to see Tanuwidjaya’s next flick.

Best line of dialogue: “He’s not a poofter… he’s just… heterosexually challenged!”

IT CAME FROM THE THRIFT STORE: SIRENS (1994) ** ½

I know that Sirens isn’t the usual It Came from the Thrift Store fare as it’s basically one of those Merchant Ivory type Miramax Oscar bait movies. But I figured since I reviewed Cindy Crawford’s workout tape last week, I’d do another flick featuring a hot supermodel. In this case, Elle Macpherson. But even though you’ve got to sit through a LOT of Merchant Ivory shit, Elle goes full frontal several times, so it’s okay by me.



Hugh Grant is this wimp priest who is sent by the church to check out Sam Neill’s scandalous paintings of hot nude chicks (Elle Macpherson, Portia de Rossi, and some other broad). Sam invites him to stay at his house with the models for the week and even though Hugh is all uptight and stuff, he still says yes. Meanwhile, Hugh’s wife Tara Fitzgerald kinda starts feeling some lesbianic tendencies when she sees all these naked babes, which naturally causes some friction between her and her hubby.

Neill’s pretty good in this, although Grant just does yet another variation on his patented stammering dumbass routine. Fitzgerald is OK I guess. I think you all know who gets the Breast… err… Best Actress Award though: My girl Elle.

And although Elle is naked several times, it’s mostly innocent type stuff. Even though she poses nude for pictures and goes skinny-dipping, she never really cuts loose and does anything hedonistic. There is this one part where Fitzgerald has a lesbian four way dream sequence, but she wakes up before anyone can get down and dirty.

Most of the movie is pretty dull. Like most Miramax Movies About People with Accents Who Desperately Want an Academy Award, it’s full of scenes where people sit around a table raving about brunch and/or having tea. Thankfully, it’s only like 95 minutes, unlike most of those Oscary wannabe movies that usually run 145 minutes. Then again the movie probably could’ve clocked in at 85 minutes if Grant didn’t stutter when he was enunciating his syllables.

And the end is stupid. Are we really supposed to believe that Grant has been cured of his Prudie McPrudishness just because he lets his wife play footsies with him on a train? Fat chance.

Then again, this movie has Elle Macpherson naked in it, so it’s still worth a look.

Next time on It Came from the Thrift Store: Kathleen Turner IS V.I. Warshawski.

THE CHANGELING (1980) **

Well, I finally saw The Changeling. People have been bugging me to see it for years telling me how great it is. Now that I’ve watched the damned thing I don’t really see what the fuss is all about.

George C. Scott stars as this old music teacher who sees his wife and kid die in a car accident. He then moves into an old house and almost immediately starts hearing loud banging noises when he’s trying to sleep. Scott calls the plumber who tells him “it’s an old house, it makes noises”.

Other supernatural shit that goes down: A faucet runs, a music box plays all by itself, doors slam shut on their own, a rubber ball bounces down the stairs, and a wheelchair goes around with nobody in it. Are we quaking in our boots yet? Didn’t think so.

Anyway, Big George holds a séance and finds out the place is being spooked by a murdered child. Once he learns about the dead kid then he decides to play detective and finds out this old senator dude’s behind it. But even after George takes all this time out of his busy schedule to right somebody else’s wrong; the house STILL isn’t done with him.

Haunted house movies are tricky. You can’t have the haunting be too scary because if you do, then the audience will only wonder why the main character hasn’t left the house. If the haunting is too mundane, as the case is with The Changeling; you run the risk of just boring them to death. Now I’m sure if you were in Scott’s house in real life and it made strange noises and the doors were banging 24/7, you’d be creeped out; but it don’t exactly make for great cinema. I’m not saying you have to go overboard and bring out the Tequila Puke Monster from Poltergeist 2 or anything, but give us SOMETHING to work with.

The fact that George C. Scott is in the lead is your first tip-off that this won’t be scary. Guys like Scott don’t make a horror flick; they make “psychological thrillers”. Remember when he did Exorcist 3? We all know THAT one was a joke.

The flick was directed by Peter Medak. Now this is the same Peter Medak who also helmed Species 2. And The Changeling my friends is definitely no Species 2.

THE WAR OF THE WORLDS (1953) *** ½

Aliens come down to Earth hidden in meteors. When they make their first appearance, some bozos run out and wave a white flag because “everyone knows the white flag means peace!” Well, apparently the aliens didn’t get the memo because they vaporize those idiots with their Martian Death Ray. Later, a preacherman gets up in the alien’s business trying to spread the word of God to them. You can probably guess what happens to this guy. Anyway, the aliens overrun the town and Dr. Clayton Forrester (Gene Barry) and some hot hysterical 50’s babe try to survive the onslaught. Just about when you think the aliens have kicked our asses, they catch a cold and die. Wimps.

The War of the Worlds is pretty fucking cool on all accounts. First and foremost, the special effects are badass. The spaceships look like they came straight out of a Galaga game and the aliens themselves are great. They sorta look like the bastard offspring of E.T. and a Simon game. The carnage these guys create is impressive too. They blow shit up, turn humans into ash, and set guys on fire. And the sound FX used for the Martian Death Ray is one of the coolest ever captured on film. Another thing I dug about the movie is that it actually shows civilization starting to crumble. There’s rioting and looting in the street; which is something you didn’t see much of in 50’s Sci-Fi flicks.

The only problem I had with the flick really is the slow talky patches in between the Martian attack scenes. In that respect, the film is kinda paced like a porno movie. Talk, good stuff, talk, good stuff, etc. The ending’s kinda lame, but then again, the ending of book was lame too; so what you gonna do? Say what you will about the movie, it’s a fuck of a lot better than that Spielberg remake.

The War of the Worlds is on The Video Vacuum Top Ten Films of 1953 at the Number 2 spot; which places it right in between Glen or Glenda and The Wild One.

BUSTY COPS AND THE JEWEL OF DENIAL (2010) ***

A hot tribal princess named Komona Wannalayah (Kaylani Lei) tries to protect the sacred Jewel of Denial from getting into the wrong hands. Luckily, the ever-reliable Busty Cops are on hand to help her. And since they are the Busty Cops, they also have lots and lots of sex.

I’m a huge admirer of Jim Wynorski’s Busty Cops films (I think Busty Cops Go Hawaiian just may be the greatest Skinamax movie of all time) but I have to say that Busty Cops and the Jewel of Denial just wasn’t up to the high standards of the other films in the series. I think the reason why Jewel of Denial doesn’t stack up is the fact that most of the jokes are pretty bad. There is one good scene where a guy’s looking for some coconuts and a babe takes her top off and says, “How about these coconuts?” That’s about it though.

The reason why Busty Cops and the Jewel of Denial remains immensely watchable is because there’s a sex scene literally every five minutes. In less than 70 minutes (not counting the end credits) there are 13 sex scenes. We’ve got five Guy on Girl scenes, two Girl on Girl scenes, two Girl on Girl on Girl scenes (including one with chocolate syrup), two Girl on Girl on Guy scenes, one Girl on Girl on Girl on Guy scene, and one fairly spectacular Girl on Girl on Girl on Girl finale. My favorite scene however was the lesbian scene that plays a bit like the famous beach scene in From Here to Eternity; except you know… with lesbian scissoring.

And on top of that, we’ve got another great Roobie Breastnut score. All your favorites are here. There’s “Johnny Lapdance”, “I Want Your Love”, and the immortal “Pussy Pussy Bang Bang”. Because of that, the flick skates by with high marks in my book.