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18 November 2009

Robbe-Grillet Born of Fire in the Black Pit of Dr. M

Check out DVDBeaver for my reviews of Mondo Macabro's excellent DVDs of Alain Robbe-Grillet's GRADIVA and Jamil Delahvi's BORN OF FIRE. GRADIVA follows the twisted adventures of John Locke (James Wilby, GOSFORD PARK) in Morocco researching the art of Eugene Delacroix and the nineteenth century artist's relationship with Leila or Gradiva, a slave girl executed for her affair with him. Soon, Locke is haunted by Gradiva in the flesh (Arielle Dombasile of Robbe-Grillet's BLUE VILLA) and tangles with the Club of the Golden Triangle who stage sado-erotic tableaux vivants for their customers. Very disorienting, very Robbe-Grillet. Some shots from his earlier films EDEN AND AFTER and SLOW SLIDINGS OF PLEASURE are integrated into the film making one hope for English-friendly releases of the two (EDEN AND AFTER along with TRANS EUROPE EXPRESS have received beautiful HD masters but SLOW SLIDINGS has been difficult to see in good quality since its release and never with English subtitles). In BORN OF FIRE, flutist Paul (Peter Firth, EQUUS) is drawn to Turkey by bizarre hallucinations coinciding with a solar eclipse and a volcanic eruption. With the help of a mysteriously-attuned astronomer (Suzan Crowley, THE DRAUGHTMAN'S CONTRACT), Paul searches for The Master Musician, a demonic djinn who plans to set the world on fire (literally) with his magic flute. Wonderfully photographed in Turkey with incredible found locations and some trippy visuals and a great score by Colin Towns (FULL CIRCLE, RAWHEAD REX). Also at DVDBeaver is my review for Casa Negra's DVD of THE BLACK PIT OF DR. M, a little-seen Mexican classic horror film about an asylum director's journey into the beyond.
Casa Negra is no longer in business but their excess inventory is being sold by Synapse Films. The sales links at the DVDBeaver reviews will take you to the new product listings so you can get new sealed copies at regular retail price rather than paying high prices for used copies.

11 November 2009

Emmanuelle's Erotic Daughters in a Velvet Trap on Campus Doing It Until They Need Glasses

Check out DVDBeaver for my newest reviews. First up is Halo Park's DVD of Jean-Marie Pallardy's EROTIC DAUGHTER OF EMMANUELLE which has nothing to do with the Emmanuelle films and is actually better known as EROTIC DIARY OF A LUMBERJACK! Also check out Saturn Drive-In's double feature disc of THE VELVET TRAP and HOT NIGHTS ON THE CAMPUS. In the femme noir THE VELVET TRAP, waitress Julie flees from her drunken short-order cook boss to Vegas and marries a photographer who tricks her into a racy photoshoot and runs off with her money and the photos. Stuck in Vegas, Julie is continually tricked and swindled until there is nowhere to go but down. A forgotten low-budget gem beautifully restored in high definition. HOT NIGHTS ON THE CAMPUS tells the story of Sally, a country girl who comes to New York for college and soon finds herself in a relationship with an athlete and one of her professors. When she gets pregnant, what can she do but stick her head in an oven and turn on the gas. Finally, there's Code Red's DVD of the supremely unfunny CAN I DO IT... TIL I NEED GLASSES which plays out like a string of politically incorrect and sexist jokes from one of those seventies joke books you might find in your uncle's shag-carpeted den.

04 November 2009

Cheerleaders Wild Weekends, Butchers, and Thai Go-Go Dancers

Three more reviews up at DVDBeaver right now. My early review of Scorpion Releasing's other debut disc CHEERLEADERS WILD WEEKEND (out November 24) has three diverse squads of cheerleaders getting their bus hijacked and they're held for ransom by three horny ex-jocks and their female coach who doesn't mind offering the gals a little comfort. Hilariously funny, cheesy, and actually well-plotted. Thumbs WAY DOWN on THE BUTCHER, an extremley repellant (though not as gory as one would think) South Korean bid for the "torture porn" along the lines of HOSTEL and the like. Finally, British director Paul Spurrier tells the story of the monstrous transformation a small-town girl undergoes in a go-go bar when she uses magic to get ahead of her rivals in the Thai language P from Palisades Tartan (although it would likely get an R-rating, think of it as if SHOWGIRLS were a horror movie rather than a horror of a movie).
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