Friday, July 29, 2011

ANOTHER THIN MAN (1939)

Adapted from Dashiell Hammett's "The Farewell Murder" (you can find it in "The Continental Op" collection) this third THIN MAN is my second favorite of the series. Nick and Nora are back in New York and upon their arrival they are urgently summoned to the estate of Colonel MacFay (who is the caretaker of Nora's family fortune). They go and find MacFay in a frantic state. It seems an engineer that used to work for him was sent to prison for 10 years for some bullshit and he blames MacFay. There have been various threats and acts of violence and now MacFay is in fear of his life. Long story short, MacFay ends up getting murdered later that night in his own bed (good job Nick at protecting him!!!) and the obvious suspect is the disgruntled ex-employee, but is he the real killer?

This film is a lot of fun. The mystery is intriguing and this is probably the funniest of all of the THIN MAN films. I especially liked that Nora forced herself more into the investigation, but Nick was always one step ahead of her. Their playful banter back and forth was really cute, especially when they went to the boarding house and Nick used Nora as an unwilling cover. Very funny. Another positive is the return of Nat Pendleton and of course Asta! Also this is where the Charles' welcome little baby Nickie, but I couldn't give a fuck about a goddamn kid. Luckily he doesn't distract from the story and isn't onscreen much. Sexy Virginia Grey on the other hand should have been onscreen more!

Part 1 - The Thin Man
Part 2 - After the Thin Man
Part 4 - Shadow of the Thin Man
Part 5 - The Thin Man Goes Home
Part 6 - Song of the Thin Man

Virginia Grey

Marjorie Main

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

THE NAIL GUN MASSACRE (1985)

A woman is gang raped by a bunch of construction workers. Next thing you know a motorcycle helmeted maniac wearing camouflage clothing is going around killing people with a nail gun. The camouflage is pointless though because the killer is also wearing a bright yellow compressed air bottle on his/her back that's connected by a bright yellow hose to a nail gun. LOL.

I'm not going to bullshit you and say this is a good movie. It's a fucking turd, but an entertaining turd if you're in the right frame of mind. THE NAIL GUN MASSACRE is one of the greatest bad movies of all time. In the Special Features on the DVD the director tries to play it off like he knew it wasn't going to be a good movie so he cheesed it up some, but I have my doubts about that. I don't think it's even fucking possible to purposely make a movie so perfectly shitty!

Making a perfect bad movie is an almost impossible task. Rule #1 is you must be trying to make a good movie. The audience has to be laughing at you not with you. TNGM succeeds here. The actors appear to just be a bunch of locals and/or friends; the editing is a nightmare, there's scenes that go on and on and on for no reason; the killer drives a gold colored hearse; the special effects are elementary school play level; there's many moments where the background noise is louder than the actors talking; the killer has tons on one-liners, but his/her voice is so badly distorted you can barely understand what's being said and there's zero logic to the story: people die almost instantly after being shot with just one nail, even in places like the hand or shoulder. Also if you obviously have a person running around with a air canister fed nail gun why don't the police just do a search on all the air canisters sold locally in the last year. They're in a small town for Satan's sake!

Bergman it's not, but as far as shitty movies go this one deserves a spot in The Shitty Movie Hall of Fame, if there is such a thing. It's shitty, but action-packed and the slow scenes are so bizarre that they're fun too. It's also got some great lines to quote. My two favorites: "OK Turdface, cut the small talk!" and the confusing "Besides, I'm hornier than a rooster in a Chinese hen house.". WTF?

Highly recommended for the lovers of awesome bad movies. Also here's a few NSFW screenshots.
Woman staring at camera and reading directly from the script!!!

Dying man prevents himself from falling by holding onto fence.

Mic reflection visible.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

AFTER THE THIN MAN (1936)

Call me crazy if you want, but I think this THIN MAN is actually better than the original. The characters are already established, the mystery is more straightforward and it's much funnier. The story takes off with Nick and Nora getting off the train they were on at the end of the last movie. They've arrived in San Francisco and want nothing more than to relax from their "vacation" in NYC, but when they get home to their mansion they discover that it's filled with party-goer who are there to welcome them home, plus it's New Years. There's so many people in the house none of them even know what Nick or Nora look like!

About then they are ask to visit Nora's family. They are very high society and stuffy. While there they discover the real reason they were invited: Nora's cousin has been dating a playboy who is only after the family money. He's purposely disappeared and is hanging out with a dancer who is after the money he's extorting from Nora's cousin's ex-boyfriend!!! Anyway, Nick and Nora end up at the nightclub the playboy is hanging out at and there's a murder. Nick, only wants to get drunk and celebrate the New Year, but once again he's force to solve a mystery.

Not only is the story on this one much better, the secondary cast is amazing. You'll be especially delighted to see a very young and talented young man by the name of Jimmy Motherfuckin' Stewart!!! Even though he's only in his 20's you can tell he's fucking bubbling over with star power. Even among an impressive cast like this he stands out.

If you only have time to see one THIN MAN movie I'd recommend this one. The original is good and 3 and 4 are great, but for my money Part 2 is the best of the entire series. My favorite line is when Nick is standing in the kitchen in the middle of the night and somebody throws a rock through the window. Nick yells "Hey...don't forget to shut the gate!" Hahahaha! Jesus Christ, William Powell in his prime was the fucking best. You could've given that line to a thousand actors and none of them would have came close to Powell's perfect delivery.

Part 1 - The Thin Man
Part 3- Another Thin Man
Part 4 - Shadow of the Thin Man
Part 5 - The Thin Man Goes Home
Part 6 - Song of the Thin Man