The Exterminating Angel (1962) – Sacrificial Lamb Satire

The Exterminating Angel (1962) art poster image film movie

When it comes to movie titles, The Exterminating Angel is pretty spectacular. Being that I only read a small synopsis for the plot I had imagined it would be in the vein of Agatha Christie’sAnd Then There None” and that the exterminating angel was a description of some femme fatale who was unleashing her wrath on the unexpecting party guests. Haha how wrong could I have been!

Luis Buñuel

This, I find out to my complete joy and fascination is a film by Spanish director Luis Buñuel. A true master of surrealism and credited to be one of the most original directors in the history of film medium! Doh I knew the name but had never seen anything by him. Well you have to start somewhere I guess and the beauty is, I now have a whole bunch of his movies to blow my mind and if The Exterminating Angel is anything to go by, I’m in for some real treats.

The Exterminating Angel (1962) house party upper class guests 1

Tagline – The degeneration of high society!

Upper class Edmundo Nóbile and his wife, Lucia invite a bunch of friends and associates back to their luxury mansion for music and late night drinks. As the night continues on into the early hours everyone starts to settle down to sleep on the couches, sofas and even the floor. When morning arrives no one seems keen to leave. Even when they start to feel the need to return to their homes, family or work, they find that once they reach the threshold of the opened doorway they can’t quite bring themselves to walk across it. This predicament carries on and on, causing all manner of countless problems for our guests.

The Exterminating Angel (1962) house party upper class guests 2The Exterminating Angel (1962) house party upper class guests 3

The film is filled with dread, panic and depression, with symbolism and surreal moments aplenty as waves of dreams and delirium take over as food and water runs dry and sleep desperation sets in. Within the horror there is an undercurrent of dark comic humour as these rich aristocracy get brought down a peg or two. What happened and how does it end? Well you have to watch it but Luis Buñuel lets the viewer come up with his own interpretation and it makes the film so much more because of it.

The Exterminating Angel (1962) house party upper class guests water drinking

Luis Buñuel also wrote the screenplay and story which features such fine dialogue and banter lead interactions. Being set in one room I can only imagine it would make the perfect stage play, it’s such a wonderful film and the whole reason I do this blog to find gems like these. One very happy wolfie.

Luis Buñuel quote – Give me two hours a day of activity, and I’ll take the other twenty-two in dreams.

Being There (1979) – Peter Sellers Gardening Guru

Being There (1979) poster film movie

Being There is one of those movies that digs about in your brain, popping up throughout the day nagging at you to decipher what it was all about. Could it be that deep, did it have so many undercurrent takes on life, metaphors of differing scales on the human condition .. I don’t know to be honest but man did I absolutely adored this film.

Being There (1979) Peter Sellers Chance chancey gardener

How could you not love the delightful wandering simple minded performance of Chance by Peter Sellers.  Our wonderful innocent hero is, Chance the gardener or as he becomes known, Chauncey Gardiner.

Being There (1979) Peter Sellers Chance chancey gardener guru

Chance works as a gardener for a wealthy old man in a massion stuck in the middle of a Washington DC ghetto. He spends his days tending the estates court yards and gardens whilst entertaining himself the rest of the time watching and learning from the television, constantly flicking through channels educating himself from infomercials and news reports. He’s seems very content in this life until his whole world changes with the death of his master (father?) and has to leave the estate behind, wandering off into a strange and bewildering world.

Being There (1979) Peter Sellers Chance chancey gardener guru 2

Tagline – Getting there is half the fun; being there is all of it!

Now that adventure into a brave new world starts with a truly amazing scene set to, of all things, the theme to 2001 Space Odyssey, well that damn funky 1973 version of Richard Strauss’s Also Sprach Zarathustra by Eumir Deodato.

Being There (1979) Peter Sellers Chance chancey street walking

It so suits Chances departure off on his epic journey upon the unknown. Accompanied by the grand orchestra and the funky sounds enhancing his travels through the slums. I suggest you watch the scene unfold in the film but if you fancy a recap or just happy to watch it anyway, here’s the full scene.

Tagline – Life is a state of mind

Now like a certain Forrest Gump our Chance has a knack for being in the right place at the right time and literally bumps into his next destiny. Meeting up with Eve Rand, played by a orgasmic Shirley Maclaine, the wife of elderly wealthy businessman Benjamin Rand (Melvyn Douglas). From there on Chance manages to become a “guru” talking in gardening quotes. Impressing non other than the President of the United States
President Bobby (Jack Warden) himself.

Being There (1979) Peter Sellers Chance Melvyn Douglas randBeing There (1979) Peter Sellers Chance Shirley Maclaine

Graffiti – America ain’t shit cause the white man’s got a God complex

Chance inadvertently gives sex tips, speaks a dozens languages, befriends the upper-class and appears on TV. What is so special about Chance? You will have to watch it to find out.

Based upon a 1970 novel by Polish born writer Jerzy Kosinski, Being There is directed by Hal Ashby who gave us the wonderful dark humour and sweetness of Harold and Maude.

Being There (1979) Peter Sellers Chance Shirley Maclaine Melvyn Douglas rand

The ending? Spoilers in the link, only open this link if you have seen it.  I noticed this article on screenprism.com gives some wonderful insight to work that grey matter. Have a read and see what you think.

Fun Fact – On the end credits sequence Peter Sellers wasn’t happy to have that out-take footage. I thoroughly agree with his thoughts that it took you out of the magicalness of his character. It was still pretty funny though.

Have fun, being there…. Thanks for reading Mikey the Wolfman

Further Reading Links

1979 Being There New York Times Review by Janet Maslin
Roger Ebert Being There DVD review
Being There (1979) IMDB

What’s Been Watched This Month – April 2017

Whats been watched

I do like a list. Here’s what has been watched in April 2017.

If I didn’t blooming work I would love to do more posts, so there’s a few pending in this list. Didn’t get so many films in this month as TV season has started. What with the excellent fourth series of Line Of Duty being binged watched in one evening! There has also been the start of season 3 of my favourite series Better Call Saul. Plus there’s a few guilty pleasures like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Designated Survivor.

21 films this month and a total of 99 since the start of this blog.

The Odd Angry Shot (1979) Wolfman Rating 7 – IMDB Rating 6.8
Enjoyable Aussie Vietnam film. Will do a post about it soon.

Fury (2014) Wolfman Rating 7.5 – IMDB Rating 7.6
Watched at the cinema the first time but caught it again so to watch with my son.

La Jetée (1962) Wolfman Rating 10 – IMDB Rating 8.4
Twelve Monkeys was based on this amazing French short film. Wolfie write up here.

The Last of Sheila (1973) Wolfman Rating 9 – IMDB Rating 7.4
James Coburn invites a bunch of “friends” for a fun time! Post coming soon.

The Seven Five (2014) Wolfman Rating 9 – IMDB Rating 7.6
Courtesy of Netflix. Documentary on police corruption on the streets of Brooklyn. It’s an excellent watch.

Hell in the Pacific (1968) Wolfman Rating 9 – IMDB Rating 7.4
Another if I had time I would love to do a post on. Lee Marvin and Toshiro Mifune battle it out on an island.

Wake in Fright (1971) Wolfman Rating 10 – IMDB Rating 7.7
Watching this film is thirsty work. It’s an incredible movie. Wolfie write up here..

Wait Until Dark (1967) Wolfman Rating 8.5 – IMDB Rating 7.9
Alan Arkin, Richard Crenna and Jack Weston take on sweet blind girl Audrey Hepburn. Wolfie write up here.

White Line Fever (1975) Wolfman Rating 6.5 – IMDB Rating 6.3
Jan-Michael Vincent fights for truckers rights. Wolfie write up here.

Money Movers (1978) Wolfman Rating 9 – IMDB Rating 6.5
Another Australian film hits all the good spots in this great take on heist. Damn work getting in the way, I wanna do a write up!

First Blood (1982) Wolfman Rating 8.5 – IMDB Rating 7.7
I past the Rambo batten on to my son. Wolfie right up here.

The Onion Field (1979) Wolfman Rating 6.5 – IMDB Rating 6.9
Based on a true story. It’s a film of two halves. Wolfie right up here.

Rogue One (2016) Wolfman Rating 9 – IMDB Rating 7.9
Saw this on cinema release and then again on Blu-ray. It has a few issues but generally I loved it especially that end sequence.

Salvador (1986) Wolfman Rating 7 – IMDB Rating 7.5
James Woods and Jim Belushi ride around in brutal El Salvador in the 80’s in this film based on a true story from director Oliver Stone.

Wolf Lake (1980) Wolfman Rating 7 – IMDB Rating 6.2
Rod Steiger and his gang of friends go a crazy in the woods by a lake. Wolfie write up here.

Being There (1979) Wolfman Rating 10 – IMDB Rating 8.0
What an amazing film. Wolfie write up here.

The Collector (1965) Wolfman Rating 10 – IMDB Rating 7.6
A wonderful thriller from Terence Stamp and Samantha Eggar featuring stellar performances. Wolfie write up here.

Catch-22 (1970) Wolfman Rating 9 – IMDB Rating 7.2
Alan Arkin tries to get certified insane during World War II, so he can stop flying missions. Not sure how I hadn’t seen this before.

Enemy Territory (1987) Wolfman Rating 8 – IMDB Rating 6.5
Brilliant fun action packed 80’s survival movie with Ray Parker Jr. Wolfie write up here.

Mickey One (1965) Wolfman Rating 10 – IMDB Rating 6.6
Warren Beatty runs from gangsters from Detroit to Chicago. Experimental cool film. Wolfie write up here.

Get the Gringo (2012) Wolfman Rating 7.5 – IMDB Rating 7.0
Netflix watch with my son. So much better than the rubbish Blood Father. Mel Gibson channels the good stuff in this film also known in the UK by the ridiculous stupid title of “How I Spend My Summer Vacation”.

May has started well with some bonkers brilliant films that helped go along with all the beer, bourbon and popcorn. Thanks for reading and if there’s any in this month’s viewing selection you liked now or back in the day, feel free to let me know.

Mikey Wolfman

The Lineup (1958) – Psychos & Innocent Drug Trafficking Noir

The Lineup (1958) - poster cover image dvd cinema vhs

Director Don Siegel is a legend who dropped incredible movies on us from all angles. With so many starring that man Clint Eastwood it’s no wonder they feature high on my teenage watch list.  From Coogan’s Bluff to the iconic Dirty Harry. Then there’s The Beguiled to the delightful Two Mules for Sister Sara and the awesome Charlie Varrick (what no Clint?) to name a few.

But apart from Invasion Of The Body Snatchers in 1956 I haven’t seen any of Don Siegel’s 40’s or 50’s output. Please fire in the recommendations to put me on the right path because if The Lineup from 1958 is anything to go by for more quality from this amazing talent then I need to see them.

The Lineup (1958) - Eli Wallach Dancer Robert Keith Julian hit men

A shadow kingpin gangster uses innocent overseas travelers to unknowingly transport heroin into country. Hiring two psychopathic killers to pick up the merchandise and drop the drugs at a busy public arena.

Right from the get-go the carnage begins to cover the streets as two seasoned cops take up the case to find out what the hell is going on and finding themselves always one step behind the bad guys.

The Lineup (1958) - cops Lieutenant Ben Guthrie Inspector Al Quine

The film is a real rollercoaster ride throughout the streets of San Francisco and features excellent action scenes which include an edge of your seat car chase which is handled with much pace and gusto.

Adding to the suspense is some truly wonderful banter between our two very different heroes and baddies. With top marks going to Dancer played by (Eli Wallach) who was like the father to Joe Pesci‘s Tommy DeVito in Goodfellas, intelligent, unhinged and ready to blow at any given moment.

The Lineup (1958) - bellboys on line up suspects police

He’s not alone in the psycho stakes, as Dancer is being coached by an elderly hitman guru called Julian (Robert Keith) a man who loves nothing more than to keep a note in his diary of the last dying words of his victims. They make a twisted dark dastardly duo.

The Lineup (1958) - the cop car chase is on

The two cops on the hunt are Lieutenant Ben Guthrie (Warner Anderson) and Inspector Al Quine (Emile Meyer). Seasoned professionals with a lot of respect for each other and drop some wonderful dialogue.

Lt. Ben Guthrie – “Jenkins certainly had a great spot here for a Halloween party.”
Insp. Al Quine – “Yeah, no self-respectin’ witch would bring a broom into this trap.”

The Lineup (1958) - Eli Wallach Dancer Robert Keith Julian hit men gangsters

Throw in a cocky wheels man Sandy McLain (Richard Jaeckel), a few crazy car chases, tense drama and with a frenzied end finale you get yourself a top movie which hits all the right notes.

So if like me and you hadn’t seen this spectacular piece of action film noir then jump the line-up and get to the front of the queue (Sorry that’s well cheesy). If you can recommend some Don Siegel films from the 40’s 50’s that would be most appreciated.  Cheers, Mikey Wolfman.

The Lineup (1958) - intro beginning title scene

Wake in Fright (1971) – The Greatest Australian Film?

Wake in Fright (1971) poster image dvd vhs film movie

Another month, another bonkers film to add to the list, Wake in Fright from 1971 is essential watching. Marooned in a small town resembling some kind of maddening limbo land, a possible stop off for hell itself . But to be honest this could be just an ordinary Australian outback town going about its everyday life for all that I know.

Think Walkabout meets all of Crocodile Dundee’s mates, add a gazillion gallons of booze and crank that unbearable blistering heat up to maximum overdrive, blast in mountains of dry hot dust and you get a slight picture of what to expect. Who needs water when the beer flows like white rapids at the bottom of a waterfall.

Wake In Fright (1971) beer can crushing Joe (Peter Whittle)

Tagline – Have a drink, mate? Have a fight, mate? Have some dust and sweat, mate? There’s nothing else out here.

On his journey into the mouth of madness is school teacher John Grant (Gary Bond) a young man bored out of his mind determined to escape the sleepy town of Tiboonda. As school breaks for the holiday term John makes a beeline for the train station to visit his girlfriend in the big city of Sydney.

Wake in Fright (1971) Tiboonda train station platform

Fun Fact 1 – John Grant sounds exactly like comic actor Matt Berry‘s characters like Bainbridge from the Mighty Boosh and Dr. Lucien Sanchez from Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace. Big smile from me every time he spoke.

Unfortunately for our man John his train connection brings him to the town of Bundanyabba otherwise known as the Yabba by the locals. A surreal place where there is one main religion, the religion of booze. Promoting the most booze to ever be consumed on film I can only imagine.

Wake In Fright (1971) Jock Crawford (Chips Rafferty) John Grant (Gary Bond)Wake In Fright (1971) gambling John Grant (Gary Bond)

Cop Jock Crawford – “another beer”

John meets a series of characters on his adventure from the friendly but pushy policeman, Jock Crawford (Chips Rafferty) to the kind Tim Hynes (Al Thomas) and his slightly strange daughter Janette Hynes (Sylvia Kay). Then there’s the nutcracker town doctor Doc Tydon (Donald Pleasence) to the bullish introduction to Joe (Peter Whittle) and Dick (Jack Thompson). Everyone puts in a stellar performance and everyone grabs your full attention throughout.

Wake In Fright (1971) Tim Hynes (Al Thomas) John Grant (Gary Bond)

John Grant – “And what do you do?” Doc Tydon – “I drink.”

So many of the set pieces have you transfixed with fear or wide eyed fascination as you watch, especially the gambling sequence where you become as intoxicated in those flying marked coins as the obsessed men playing it. You just can’t help but be mesmerised by John Grant’s journey as he tries to leave the town.

Wake In Fright (1971) Donald Pleasence mad doctor outback

This is truly an Australian masterpiece. A story adapted from a 1961 novel by Kenneth Cook and directed by Canadian Ted Kotcheff the guy who unleashed Rambo on us in 1982 with First Blood.

The history of the film is a mammoth journey in on itself, as lost prints of the film were found at the eleventh hour in a box marked to be destroyed. I read that the films editor Anthony Buckley took it on himself to find the original prints which took on a ten year voyage of discovery.

Wake In Fright (1971) Dick (Jack Thompson)

Please be warned the kangaroo hunting section is barbaric and extremely unpleasant. It’s very tough to watch, so be wary if you watch it. The footage is said to be done by licensed hunters but whatever way you look at it, it is very shocking.

A producer’s’ note at the end of the film states – The hunting scenes depicted in this film were taken during an actual kangaroo hunt by professional licensed hunters. For this reason and because the survival of the Australian kangaroo is seriously threatened, these scenes were shown uncut after consultation with the leading animal welfare organisations in Australia and the United Kingdom

Wake in Fright (1971) booze party time

If you love this then I thoroughly recommend Sunday Too Far Away which has a similar theme, well, of drinking shit loads of booze in the outback but with added sheep.

Fun Fact 2 – It’s currently being made into a 2 part mini series with Wake In Fright (2017) in post-production at the time of posting. To be honest there really isn’t any need to remake it as it’s perfect.

Wake In Fright (1971) Donald Pleasence mad doctor drinking again

If like me and you love Australian cinema then I highly recommend you becoming a “Yabbaman” and getting on this trip if you’ve not seen it.  But if you have, what did you think?

Grab a case of the grog, put another shrimp on the barbie, sit back and enjoy the ride. Watching films don’t get much better. Here’s the trailer for a little peek. Take it easy and drink sensibly hehe … Mikey Wolfie

Further Reading Links

Wake In Fright (1971) New Yorker Article
Wake In Fright (1971) Making Of Notes Guardian Article
Wake In Fright (1971) Wikipedia

Hard Times (1975) – Bronson Smashes

Hard Times (1975) poster vhs dvd

Working my way through director Walter Hill‘s back catalogue brings me to his debut film, the Charles Bronson smasher from 1975, Hard Times. With The Warriors being by far my most watched film of his I’ve found out this guy has a real knack for making good honest action films for the boys. The next two on the tick off list are Streets Of Fire (1984) and Johnny Handsome (1989). Plus I’m looking forward to re-watching The Driver as I haven’t seen it for donkey years and can’t remember the plot. That would bring me to seeing all his 70’s and 80’s film’s. Also toying with the idea of watching Geronimo: An American Legend (1993) and Wild Bill (1995), any good? Have you seen either of those two?

Hard Times (1975) Charles Bronson James Coburn meet up

In comes drifter Mr Walnut head himself, the formidable Charles Bronson, a man with awesome screen presence which gives him the ability to play the strong silent type. Bronson plays Chaney a character we don’t find too much about but get the impression he’s just happy being in The Littlest Hobo mode. But instead of helping people in need, he punches his way to a few dollars and then moves right along.

Hard Times (1975) Charles Bronson James Coburn first fightHard Times (1975) Charles Bronson James Coburn deal time

Set around the 1930’s in New Orleans, (I’m guessing New Orleans in 1975 still looked like the 1930’s? as the set are incredible) Chaney stumbles across the bare knuckle fighting syndicates in the back streets and factories around town. He takes note of one of the promoters, a hustling wheeler dealer and the man with the human LOL emoji smile, the one and only James Coburn, going by the name Speed.  Speed is a cocky loose canon with a loud mouth and bundles of confidence.

Tagline – NEW ORLEANS, 1933. In those days words didn’t buy much

Hard Times (1975) Charles Bronson james coburn Strother Martin

Speeds introduces us to the cut man, Doc Poe (Strother Martin) who informs our Chaney that he has hybred fists made for clubbing and a face structure less prone to cutting. With the three of these guys fronting money for their prize boxer, the team is all together. Now all that’s needed is a few fights to get them nearer to the big test, a certain crazy baldy fighter by the name of Jim Henry (Robert Tessier), a forever smiling brute of a man.

Hard Times (1975) Charles Bronson in fight mode

Speed – You know, Chick, no matter what you do, you’ll always smell like fish.

Can our three guys keep it together amongst the loan sharks, muscle men and gambling, to win the big bucks? Can our punching hero defeat the intimidating street fighting challenges to become victorious?

Hard Times (1975) Charles Bronson in fight mode against baldyHard Times (1975) Charles Bronson in fight mode against baldy smile

The fight scenes are fierce and raging. Bruising powerhouse punches rain down, reverberating off skulls and into ribcages. Muscle bound slabs and slams and thunderclap crushing blows fly around in real fashion, surely a few of these got thrown for real? It made for some realistic and extremely effective fight scenes to keep you on the edge of your seat.

Hard Times (1975) Charles Bronson final fight

Fun Fact – There’s a nice little moment when the gentle giant pops up with the name credited to Hammerman. A guy who always makes me smile since first seeing him on Sylvester Stallone’s 1978 film Paradise Alley as the wrestler Big Glory. This hulk of a man with a soft face and kind demeanor is Frank McRae a former NFL player built like a brick shithouse. He would pop up in films like Batteries Not Included, National Lampoon’s Vacation and another Sly film Lock Up to name a few.

Hard Times (1975) Frank McRae hammerman james coburn

Anyhow get watching this fun action drama as soon as you can if like me and you left it a bit late. It’s a superb piece of filmmaking with a great cast. Crack open a few beers, pile the tomato sauce and mustard on those hot dogs and keep roll the films.

Hard Times (1975) Charles Bronson mirror gun scene fight

Poe – Let’s go get the cat!

All the best…. Mikey Wolfman

Further Reading Links

Great review here – Mike’s Take On The Movies 

Some fun Hard Times Trivia on IMDB

Lots of info about Walter Hill on WIKI

Coffy (1973) – Pam Grier Jiggles Whilst Roy Ayers Plays

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Massive fan of Pam Grier for obvious reasons, she is a tough iconic action star with a strong screen presence and of course that fist biting incredible body that brings an old wolfman like me out in a hot sweat. Had to sit with an ice pack down my trunks to make it through the viewing!

Tagline – She had a body men would die for – and a lot of them did!

Coffy (1973) - Pam Grier sexy back of car Foxy Brown

Our heroine, the sweet nurse Coffy (Pam Grier) has come to the end of her tether seeing too much pain and suffering coming through the door of the hospital but what sends her over the edge is when her young sister gets hooked on drugs and ends up in a rehabilitation home. Vigilante justice has to be served out to these evil dealers and pushers. Can this one woman army clean up the streets from these fiends.

Coffy (1973) - Pam Grier nurse with carterCoffy (1973) - Pam Grier sexy gun

Sugarman – Look over there. I got plenty of tail. I got more tail than I can handle. I even got white tail!

Now our Coffy is one helluva sexy lady and she uses her mind melting beautiful body super powers to tempt these bad men like a hot seductive praying mantis. Now her body is more dangerous than her killer ways. Any opportunity those sweet as sugar puppies can fly out of their boulder holders, those bad boys are out, like as if Ving Rhames and his twin brother keep popping up in cameo roles.

Coffy (1973) - Pam Grier king george

Tagline – She’s the GODMOTHER of them all…. The baddest One-Chick Hit-Squad that ever hit town!

Can our enchanting Coffy take on all these pimps, pushers, drug addicts, gang bosses, hitmen, corrupt cops, dirty backstabbers and prostitutes all on her own? If anyone can our sweet badass Coffy can.

Coffy (1973) - Pam Grier hot carCoffy (1973) - Pam Grier sexy cat fight

Somethings to look out for – Coffy’s amazing changing outfits, like the random tartan trousers. Her clothes are only rivaled by King George’s (Robert DoQui) outrages cool get ups.  Also another high point is the cat fight between a sexy bunch of King George’s harem of ladies.

Coffy (1973) - Pam Grier rocking the tartan

Out of many blaxploitation films I seen over the years, this was one that had eluded me. I’d been eager to see it for years and not just because of Pam but as I have the soundtrack of the film by jazz legends Roy Ayers and Harry Whitaker. After years of listening to the LP it was a nice touch to hear and see those tunes filtered in throughout the movie. The opening scene travelling in the car through the streets to “Coffy Is The Colour” was a real sublime moment.

Directed by Jack Hill who made Foxy Brown a year later with Miss Grier starring again. I’ve seen that one many years ago but man I gotta get on the rewatch as I need more Pammy fun in my life. HOOOOOOWWWWLL

Coffy (1973) IMDB

Coffy (1973) Soundtrack By Roy Ayers on Discogs

Coffy (1973) - Poster DVD Video VHS Bluray

Director Walter Hill Interview With Marc Maron

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Marc Maron has a superb interview with another icon of film on his podcast WTF. This time it’s the brilliant action superstar director Walter Hill who made one of my all time favorite films from my teenage years, the classic The Warriors. When it comes to big action films Mr Hill smashes them out the park. You got The Driver with Ryan O’Neal and Bruce Dern , other big favourites are the swampy Southern Comfort with Powers Boothe and the recent wolfie watched mass assembled cast of Extreme Prejudice.

Then there’s the big action stars of Bruce Willis in Last Man Standing and Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Russian policeman in Red Heat. Other classics include another VHS fav of mine Brewster’s Millions with Richard Pryor and John Candy to the wise cracking criminal Eddie Murphy and no nonsense cop Nick Nolte in 48hrs. Plus the one I’m going to watch this week (I have a small feeling I have seen it in the 80’s but can’t remember) the Charles Bronson film he stars as a prize fighter in the 1975 film Hard Times.

Walter talks about how he got started in the business to his more recent project The Assignment which stars the gorgeous Michelle Rodriguez. Whilst adding little anecdotes from his film career like The Long Riders, working with comedians Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor to the origins of those immortal famous lines “Warriors come out to play”. Plus that big connection to the Alien franchise where you see he’s credited on every Alien film. It’s a great interview and I will admit to letting out a surprised gasp when I flicked through the new episodes to see who’s been on recently.

He’s been a big part of many a film fanatic growing up, from a teenager to the big kid I still am today.  It was a massive joy to listen too.

Episode 805 Walter Hill Marc Maron WTF Podcast (Interview starts around 15 minutes in)

Shock Corridor (1963) – Loony Bin Detective

Shock Corridor (1963) - poster image samuel fuller film movie

Oh what a top buzz indeed. I just seen a film that sits perfectly to the feeling I had when I first watched John Frankenheimer’s 1966 thriller with Rock Hudson, the quite brilliant Seconds. That same feeling of watching something really special and highly original for the time. Damn man, Shock Corridor hit all the right notes for me.

“Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad”

Shock Corridor (1963) - Johnny Barrett peter breck

This is the story of an overzealous newspaper journalist called Johnny Barrett (Peter Breck) who is determined to win the Pulitzer Prize for the ultimate story. His mission is to get committed to a mental hospital and work from the inside to solve a murder with the hope of discovering information from three witnesses.

Shock Corridor (1963) - Constance Towers cathy exotic dancer

First though he has to get in the insane asylum. With the help of a professional psychiatrist and his newspaper boss they come up with the crazy notion to get Johnny’s girlfriend, beautiful exotic dancer Cathy (Constance Towers) to pretend to be his sister and to report her “brother” for his incestous advances. Within no time, our hero happily gets what he wants!

Shock Corridor (1963) - Constance Towers cathy exotic dancer worrying

Cathy – “Johnny, you’ve gotta’ be crazy to want to be committed to an insane asylum to solve a murder.”

Set up sounding like a classic B-movie with taglines like “Opens The Doors To Sights You’ve Never Seen Before” to “Recommended for Adults Only!” and to gets those bums on seats, the pull of “Shocking World of Psychos and Sex-Maddened Women Exposed!” but in reality this movie is an all star A class thriller.

Shock Corridor (1963) - inmate insane mental hospital corridor scene

Directed, written and produced by Samuel Fuller.  The script is outstanding, the edits, overlapping images and the lush black and white print are all sublime. The “street” might be just a corridor but it’s extended look just makes it look menacing. The interviews with the three inmate witnesses are so compelling when they hit a spot of awareness and it’s conveyed in image form, so creative.  Plus the fight or getting dragged off scenes are so extremely realistic.

Shock Corridor (1963) - inmate insane mental hospital

Plus did I say it has Nymphos!

Wilkes – “I used to work in the Female Wing. But the “Nympho Ward” got too dangerous for me.”

Shock Corridor (1963) - Nymphos

Johnny – “Nymphos!”

Johnny – “Last time I went into a secret room I was attacked by Amazons!” Wilkes – “Ha That’s a dream most men have.”

Shock Corridor (1963) - Constance Towers peter breck madness

Can our Johnny escape the nymphos, find a knife and fork or decipher the nonsense to get that perfect story and achieve the ultimate prize whilst holding on to his own sanity. Tune in to find out, you won’t be disappointed. This here Wolfie absolutely loved it.

Shock Corridor (1963) - dinner time inmates asylum

Fun Fact – Samuel Fuller became a journalist at an insane young age working as a crime reporter at 17 for the New York Evening Graphic.

Shock Corridor (1963) - New York Evening Graphic random page

Further Reading Links

Shock Corridor (1963) IMDB

Shock Corridor (1963) WIKI

Shock Corridor (1963) Criterion

Vigilante (1983) – Headhunter Smashers

Vigilante (1983) - Poster DVD cover artwork headhunters gang memeber

In good old depressing 80’s action revenge style you know what to expect from this here movie. Like Death Wish, you know what’s coming but unlike Paul Kersey (Charles Bronson) having to go it alone on his one man bad guy mashing mission our Vigilante hero Eddie Marion (Robert Forster) gets a little help from the neighbourhood fixers.

Tagline – If the law won’t get them… we will!

Vigilante (1983) - fred williamson & Robert Forster jail timeVigilante (1983) - Richard Bright Joseph Carberry

Cigar chomping Nick (Fred Williamson) and two of his work buddies Burke (Richard Bright) and Ramon (Joseph Carberry) like nothing more than rolling out their 1979 Ford Econoline and grabbing a few perpetrators off the streets and dish the law out to them via baseball bat and fists. Leaving an inept police force behind, this gang of street cleaners enlist the help of the neighbours to report any lawlessness.

Vigilante (1983) - fred williamson talk motivation

Nick – “because you know the punks and scum are out there on the streets when the sun goes down, and our own government can’t protect its own people, then I say this, you got a moral obligation, the right of self-preservation. Now, you can run, you can hide, or you can start to live like human beings again. This is our Waterloo, baby! You want your city back? You gotta take it. Dig it? Take it!”

The main vicious gang on the block of this slum area of New York is the murderous Headhunters, lead by Frederico “Rico” Melendez (Willie Colon) and his second in command, the depraved Prago (Don Blakely).

Vigilante (1983) - headhunters car gang membersVigilante (1983) - headhunter leader rico willie colon

Can the friends clean up the streets and can Eddie somehow get some closure to his nightmare and seek the revenge he needs?

Tagline – If the law won’t get them… we will!

Vigilante (1983) - fred williamson fighting kicking gang

All in all this is a well made movie and has all the right elements for a real classic but doesn’t quite pull it off, it’s ace though. Massive plus points go to the cameo of Woody Strode as the old prisoner Rake who keeps a helping fist or two out for Eddie during a classic prison fixture, the “don’t” drop the soap moment.

Vigilante (1983) - Woody Strode & Robert Forster jail time

The car chase through the city slums and streets might not be no French Connection but it’s frilling and amazing looking at New York in the early 80’s. A tasty selection of cars are used too, which include a Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu and a Datsun 280z 2+2.

Vigilante (1983) - car chase through slums new york city

The soundtrack score composed by Jay Chattaway goes from the mega cheesy melancholy to Nuyorican salsa to pure analogue synthesizer bass madness, especially awesome is when it hits at the beginning of when Nick drops down in a kung-fu move and starts to chase a gang member through a derelict outdoor swimming pool.

Vigilante (1983) - fred williamson kungfu fighting graff

Fun Fact – Bad Rico is played by Willie Colon a famous is a famous salsa latin jazz trombonist who played with the Fania All-Stars and still plays on many big named performing acts. His music features a few times through-out the background of the film. Pretty much whenever Rico turns up a Willie Colon tune gets played.

You gotta check out this excellent bad ass trailer….. Keep it cool and watch movies.. Mikey Wolfman.

Vigilante (1983) IMDB