Monday, February 25, 2019

PSYCHOMANIA (1973)

Tom: "And another thing.  You can only die once.  After that, nothing and nobody can harm you."
Jane: "Oh, man!  What are we waiting for?!"

Tom is the leader of a motorcycle gang.  And by "gang", I mean 8 dorks with even dorkier helmets who ride around on a bunch of old rattletrap bikes that look like they're about to fall apart.  They do randomly murder innocent people, so that's a plus.  One evening, Tom learns the secret of immortality and promptly kills himself.  Soon he's back from the dead and riding around causing mayhem.  He convinces his gang to kill themselves as well (the suicide montage is the best part of the movie) and before you can say "I should really watch CEMETERY MAN again." they're all (minus the idiot who couldn't even kill himself properly) back from the dead, driving around wrecking shit.

For an early 70's "horror" movie, PSYCHOMANIA is entertaining in a funny sort of way.  There's definitely nothing even remotely scary about it, but the music is cool and the silly story moves along quickly enough.  Zero tits, zero gore, zero blood, very little violence, passable acting, a dead motorcyclist buried in a grave on his motorcycle somehow starts it up and explodes out of the grave 10 years before LONE WOLF MCQUADE, interesting 70's fashions, never fully explained zombie strength, fog, lackluster ending.

Not the greatest thing ever, but I don't regret watching it.

Monday, February 18, 2019

FLUNKY, WORK HARD (1931)

Clocking in at only 28 minutes, FLUNKY, WORK HARD (Mikio Naruse's 8th film and his earliest work available to the public...as of 2019)  tells the unfunny comedy/tragedy story of an insurance salesman who is not only terrible at his job, but is also terrible at being a loving father, being a supportive husband and being able to face reality.  Example: when the landlord knocks on the door because the rent is overdue, this stud runs and hides in the closet.  All of this is presented as somehow be funny.

After bravely hiding in his closet, he goes out to sell insurance, but doesn't close any deals.  Later on, while walking home empty-handed, he sees his young son, who had just defended himself against three other boys who tried to beat him up.  Once the father notices that one of the bullies is the son of a woman he's trying to sell insurance to, he starts yelling and smacking his kid around.  Dad of the Year right there.  The kid is understandably upset and runs off...and gets hit by a train!!!  What the hell?

I love Mikio Naruse's later masterpieces (like WHEN A WOMAN ASCENDS THE STAIRS), but this earlier stuff is definitely dated and not going to win over any new fans.  As a lifelong student of film, I'm glad I watched it and did notice some interesting filmmaking techniques (especially towards the end of the movie), but the average passive movie watcher will probably be bored.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

ROBOCOP (1987)

"I'd buy that for a dollar!"

In the future things are all fucked up.  Crime is through the roof, corporations have taken over everything, cats and dogs are not living together, mass hysteria.  So, in order to gets things back under control (and therefore make themselves a lot of money), the Omni Consumer Products corporation (who own the Detroit Police Department and want to fully privatize Detroit into a manufactured municipality called "Delta City") comes up with the brilliant idea of taking a recently murdered cop, wiping his memories and turning him into a crime fighting zombie/robot.

That works out well for a minute.  The new "RoboCop"goes around (in the high point of the film) kicking criminal ass (and even shooting one guy in the dick!), but then his memories start to resurface and things go south.  At the same time, there's a power struggle among the OCP executives that spills over into violence on the streets, since one of the biggest criminal kingpins in town is protected and funded by one of the scumbags on the OCP board.

For an 80's action flick, ROBOCOP is entertaining enough.  The violence leans more towards being gratuitous in a black comedy/social commentary sort of way, than it does in being a straight-forward action movie.  I'm sure there's some kind of social message in there somewhere (probably about how giant corporations are bad, m'kay?), but I really don't care.  I'm just here to be entertained.

Solid acting by a strong cast, good pace that lags some in the middle, a Metallica poster, some dude buying that for a dollar, portion of a song by a Ministry side-project (P.T.P), RoboCop getting kicked in the RoboNuts, a David Lee Roth poster, a few hyperquick tits that weren't even worth taking screenshots of, some blood, a cocaine bottling machine that looked like it was dumping 40% of the coke onto the floor, a poster for the Cure, bitches leaving, explosions.

Worth a watch, but I'd really love to see an extremely dark and ultraviolent remake with less troubled memories drama and more killing the fuck out of bad guys action.  If you need me, I'll be in my room doing a Flip Six Three Hole while watching STARSHIP TROOPERS.  Would you like to know more?

Part 2 - RoboCop 2
Part 3 - RoboCop 3
Remake - RoboCop (2014)