Orion’s Belt (1985) Norwegian Cold War

Orion's Belt (1985) Poster film artwork photo dvd movie cinemaMuch like last month’s Ground Zero took a real life story and mixed it with a batch of fiction to amp up the drama.

Orion’s Belt is based on factual happenings in the Svalbard regions of Norway where the games of Cold War were being played out between Russia, America and the UK. Real brinkmanship shenanigans, with Norway, and their scandinavian friends, sat right in the middle like the stars in Orion’s Belt.

Orion's Belt (1985) opening title screen shot movie film

The story is an adaptation from a 1977 Nordic crime thriller novel written by Jon Michelet. It’s adventure starts with a three Norwegian salty sea dogs, wheeler and dealer fisherman who are always looking for a way to make a few krone. This involves doing a dodgy little insurance scam with a bulldozer. With orders to dump the machinery into the sea to claim the insurance money by pretending they are hit by a storm losing the bulldozer overboard. Then they decide to sell it, doubling their money.

Orion's Belt (1985) Tom Jansen - Lars and Sverre - skipper the dogOrion's Belt (1985) fisherman russian bucket

This leads them to ship further out in the Norwegian Sea where they hit a real storm forcing them to go ashore on a small island to find supplies. Now this is where it all goes tits up, when they find a large cable running across the land into a cave system. With money signs flashing around their eyes with the thought of selling the wire cable as scrap they follow it’s path till they hit their problem. It’s a manned secret Russian listening post……..

Orion's Belt (1985) russian helicopter attack norway film

And these Russians aren’t too happy to have their secret listening base discovered! Coming after them on helicopters as the guys make their frantic escape, all hell breaks loose.

Tagline – What can one man do against the most lethal army on Earth?… Live to tell the truth!

The three fishermen are Tom Jansen (Helge Jordal), Lars (Sverre Anker Ousdal) and Sverre (Hans Ola Sørlie). Oh and how can I forget! Skipper the sea dog. Can they survive the Russian army and evade capture? Can they outrun the helicopter on their trusty boat? Can this incident be covered up before Cold War tensions get too high?

Orion's Belt (1985) fisherman dingy boat bunker listening post

I thoroughly enjoyed this film, which when the action pieces hit the screen, you will be on the edge of your seat. It thrilling and exciting and the Svalbard settings are absolutely fantastic. Definitely one for your “watch list” notepad. Or have you seen it? What did you think?

Fascinating Fact –  This film was filmed twice in dual-language by two different directors, Ola Solum and Tristan DeVere Cole. Solum filmed in Norwegian and then after each scene Cole resumed the same scenes but this time the actors spoke English. I was expecting a dubbed version when I sat down to watch it. For a few minutes I was convinced it was some of the best dubbing ever lol.

Orion's Belt (1985) cold war action drama film movie

Further Reading

Orion’s Belt (1985) Wiki Info

Cold War Sites Of Norway

The Thing (1982) Fathers Day AKA Freak The Kids Out Day

The Thing (1982) VHS cover new blu ray Kirk Russell artwork film movie john Carpenter

Been slowly introducing the classics to my two children and what better excuse is there than Father’s Day. Nothing beats family time, to me, than watching a movie I so loved as a teenager and hopefully passing on it’s “greatness” to another generation. Predator, Total Recall, Rambo, Aliens have all been unleashed on them but this time it’s John Carpenter’s The Thing and quite frankly this one is a freak show.

So I was very much looking forward to seeing and hearing their reactions when the special effects party is unleashed on screen. Oh how we laughed with shocked faces as the outrageous twisting of torsos and skeleton bones fused together whilst morphing into some of cinemas most ridiculous abominations and awesomely demented monster creations.

The Thing (1982) spider monster mutant alien head thing

I’m sure they contemplated shouting out WTF and I wouldn’t of minded, it’s really the only way to describe the situations when first observed. This is proper special effects, none of this CGI rubbish, and jeepers man! did they go to town with their imaginations.

So what did they think and how was it rated out of 10?

Son Kofi (14 years old) said he thought it was a bit over the top but generally thought it was good especially liked badass Kurt Russell.  Liked the Antarctica setting and the UFO but I feel he thought it was a touch too crazy. He gave it 6.5/10

Daughter Nyah (16 years old) Laughed at the over the top effects. She has been brought up on the Alien franchise, so roughly knew what to expect. Said she got a little lost on the different characters but on the whole liked it but didn’t think it was as good as Alien. She gave it 7.5/10

Me, well it was probably my fourth time watching but I hadn’t seen it since the late 90’s. It had originally been sat on the shelves at the local video rental store during the mid 80’s when the cassette cover first caught my eye. Having recently watched Alien when it was first broadcast on TV in the UK around 1984. The thought of more “alien” sci-fi adventures had been excitedly nagging at me.

The Thing (1982) VHS cover artwork film movie john Carpenter

Still today science fiction is my favorite genre. So I was super excited to watch it again and it didn’t disappoint. Those cold arctic temperatures almost freeze you through the screen. Seeing Kurt Russell wearing those mismatched clothes, hat and snow blindness glasses whilst slamming back J&B Scotch Whiskey brought massive smiles to my face.

The Thing (1982) Kirk Russell j&b scotch whiskey shadesThe Thing (1982) Kirk Russell hat helicopter chopper

Out of the many brilliant scenes, I still have a weird fondness for the blood heat test. When the monster literally explodes right next to the poor guys tied to their chairs. It is still an almost laugh at the situation “Oh my fookin gawd” as you jump to the edge of your seat witnessing the pure horror of the insanity of it all. What a scene.

The Thing (1982) Kirk Russell flame thrower blood test mutant

So along with a couple of bottles of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and a bottle of Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue Sauce and some Beef Jerky, sitting down and watching The Thing made it a perfect day.

10/10

I’m sure the seeds have been sown for them to re-watch it in their adulthood. Fingers crossed.

Further Reading

The Thing From Another World (1951)

The Thing (1982) IMDB

Ten Seconds to Hell (1959) Bombastic Berlin Bomb Disposal Drama

Ten Seconds to Hell (1959) film poster movie artwork

Director Robert Aldrich teams up once again with Jack Palance. After enjoying their last outing together, the 1956 war film Attack, I was keen on seeing our Jack in another hero role. Off the back of Attack, IMDB recommended me the wonderfully titled 1959 film Ten Seconds To Hell. A story of six German ex-soldiers returning to Berlin to help clear and make safe the city from unexploded British and American bombs.

Ten Seconds to Hell (1959) bombs dropped on berlin ww2Ten Seconds to Hell (1959) the gang of six

Jack Palance plays Eric Koertner, a man so chiseled he looks like the most handsome missing link there ever was. Reluctant leader of the band of six, Eric is the heart of the group. He is serious and professional, with attention to detail for safety and looking out for his work colleagues. He’s courageous and thoughtful but with an air of pure somber innocence to him, a modest guy.

Ten Seconds to Hell (1959) jack palance Eric Koertner bomb disposal expert

Quite the opposite to party man and ladies man Karl Wirtz (Jeff Chandler) the alpha male of the group who likes to have a drink to unwind the dangers of the job in hand. These two big guys couldn’t be more poles apart from each other but both are experts in their work.

Ten Seconds to Hell (1959) jack palance jeff chandler

The other four are just keen to get the job done and hopefully live to spend their hard earnt cash. The problem being, are you going to live long enough to be able to spend it? So they all come up with a plan to pass their wages on to the rest of the group if one of them should unfortunately not make it.  A three month contract which binds them to the task.

Ten Seconds to Hell (1959) jack palance Jeff Chandler bomb disposal experts

Tagline – WATCH! This man sweat out the most suspense-torn seconds in screen history!

This is a very efficient film filled with all the drama of sweat, blood and tension you would expect in the painstaking task of diffusing massive unexploded bombs. Dripping foreheads, worried faces and strained muscles, as ropes are pulled and rubble strenuously removed to reveal the detonating fuse to safely disarm the bomb.

Ten Seconds to Hell (1959) jack palance Eric Koertner Martine Carol

Throw in a bit of love interest rivalry from landlady, French minx Margot Hofer (Martine Carol) to add some extra tension to the working relationships and you get yourself an excellent post world war two drama. And another superb Palance performance.

Ten Seconds to Hell (1959) bomb disposal expert

Who will survive this dangerous and harrowing job till the end? Can all the explosives be removed to help rebuild Berlin? Can friendships and relationships survive under such hard stressful times? It’s well worth your time tracking this top-notch drama down for a viewing.

Like I said on the Attack post, if you have any other Jack Palance in hero mode film recommendations, then please let me know.

If you’ve seen it? What did you think?

Auf wiedersehen – Wolfenstein

Ten Seconds to Hell (1959) opening credits title screen shot

Beach Red (1967) It’s Not Just A War Movie!

Beach Red (1967) - Cornel Wilde World War 2 poster film movie

After being so impressed with director and star Cornel Wilde in magnificent form with his chase movie The Naked Prey I had been excitingly awaiting his 1967 follow up Beach Red. This time he stars as a Captain MacDonald, a leader of a US marine unit sent in to fight the might of the Japanese who have a stronghold on a small island in the Pacific during World War 2.

Beach Red (1967) - Cornel Wilde World War 2 soldier marine battleship

Cornel takes the pacifist anti-war film approach and includes a very everyday man feel to it. You get introduced to the soldiers whilst they are circling around the rough sea onboard their landing craft ready to go into hell as they ready themselves for the beach attack.

It isn’t long before they are given the orders to attack the beach and what transpires is pretty horrific and quite the set piece. For the time, I can imagine this mass beach invasion to have looked very impressive, which it still does. I read and could see clear inspiration to the brutal realism on the D-Day landing sequence in Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan. It might not have the money and the effects but it’s certainly effective.

Beach Red (1967) - Cornel Wilde World War beach invasion d-day landingBeach Red (1967) - battle on the beach pacific d day landing invasion

What sets this film aside from more gung-ho war films of the time is it’s approach to show a different side to the horrors. Imagery and narration is used in a surreal way to show the morbid reality of war, a cockroach under a boot, a butterfly caught in a spider’s web and the knowledge that most of the insects and plants are out to get you.

We hear little excerpts from each of the marines as inner monologues and daydreams, their fears, worries and feelings for loved ones or even just for everyday chores. Captain MacDonald mutters to himself that he must buy some new glasses when he gets home.

Beach Red (1967) - egan tins of beans cliff
Egan loves his beans.

Also, which is refreshing, is the portrayal of the Japanese soldiers. You see visions of their past lives, like a rice farmer who has been taken away from his wife and young family as he fondly remembers back to his former life.

Beach Red (1967) - battle on the beach pacific japanese soldiers armyBeach Red (1967) - battle on the beach pacific japanese soldiers army 2

Capt MacDonald flashes back to his last encounters with his wife and family whilst Private Egan (Burr DeBenningrecalls his past lady friend hook ups, which leads to a great scene with him drunk as a skunk messing around with a gorgeous leggy lass twice his size. Played by “Tall Girl” Linda Albertano at 6’4″ and damn sexy too.

Beach Red (1967) - leggy tall dancing girl small drunk eganBeach Red (1967) - rip torn Sergeant Honeywell

Total bad ass Sergeant Honeywell played by Rip Torn gets to fire off the films best line.

“”I’m gonna bayonet ’em, break their arms, so they don’t give me no more trouble! That’s what we’re here for… To kill… The rest is all crap!””

Beach Red (1967) - Cornel Wilde in battle

Captain MacDonald gets a good one in too as he tell redneck Private Egan who can’t stop eating tins of beans.

“I’ll put you in for a new medal, Egan…… for abdominal fortitude”

Some of the dialogue and acting is a little rough round the edges but it’s heart is very much in the right place. Well worth tracking it if you haven’t seen it, or if you have, what did you think?

Beach Red (1967) - battle on the beach pacific d day landing invasion fight

Here’s the trailer which is really awesome. It edits pretty much everything in under 3 minutes. I suggest you watch the film first if you gonna see it soon but if you can’t wait, go for it.

Beach Red (1967) - opening film title credits screen shot

Telefon (1977) – The Russian Manchurian Candidates

Telefon (1977) - Charles Bronson Movie poster artwork film

Donald is gonna think I’m stalking him! This is the third film in a row with the versatile, dependable Mr Pleasence and this time it was purely by chance as I didn’t know he was in it. What a great surprise.  Cul-De-Sac was first then Ground Zero.

Was ticking this one off the list mainly because of Charles Bronson and second being that it’s a Don Siegel movie I knew about but wondered if I had actually seen it. I hadn’t and I can report that it’s a fine piece of 70’s drama.

Telefon (1977) - Charles Bronson explosion

Russian saboteurs within the United States had been placed as sleeper cells at strategic positions around America during the height of the Cold War. Without really knowing it they were hypnotised to go on a suicide mission by a command signal setting them off like the Manchurian Candidate. This message is sent by telephone and consists of a phrase from a poem by Robert Frost called ‘Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening’.

Tagline – They’ll do anything to stop Telefon. The operation that can trigger 51 human time bombs.

Telefon (1977) - Charles Bronson russian cia agent

Suddenly they are set off one by one blowing stuff up left right and centre. One minute casually fixing a car as a mechanic the next minute you’re plowing through barriers to decommissioned army barracks and blowing up the building. And they just keep coming, hitting targets all over the place. What’s scary is the fact that theres 51 sleepers ready to be activated!

Telefon (1977) - Donald Pleasence telephone bad guy russian agent 3

Who could be doing this? really there can only be one person so dastardly, so ruthless, that it has to be Donald Pleasence playing a disgruntled rogue KGB agent called Nicolai Dalchimsky who has acquired a little black book filled with all the agents addresses and most importantly to him, their phone numbers.

Telefon (1977) - Donald Pleasence telephone bad guy russian agent

Tagline – Your next phone call may be your last!

Who can stop this madman who could actually start world war 3? Well step up Mr Charles Bronson as Russian Major Grigori Borzov, an experienced officer within the KGB with photographic memory superpower. He gets to memorise a copy of the black book before he is sent to the USA to track down and stop Nicolai.

Telefon (1977) - Charles Bronson gun car chase

What name does this Russian super agent go by?  “Gary“! Gary meets up with a sassy CIA agent Barbara played by Lee Remick and she is greeted with the line.

“For an American agent you’re not entirely repulsive!”

There’s lots of great banter and sly spy work chemistry between Gary and Barbara as they try to figure each other out whilst tracking down Nicolai Dalchimsky. Can these two agents work together to bring down this rogue agent on a destructive path trying to start a world war? You have to get this on the watch list to find out if you haven’t seen it already.

Telefon (1977) - Charles Bronson Lee Remick KGB CIA AgentsTelefon (1977) - Charles Bronson Lee Remick KGB CIA Agents car

On a side note – Criminally under used in a wonderful little part, is Tyne Daly from Cagney and Lacey fame playing a super brained boffin, CIA computer expert called Dorothy Putterman. Would liked to see more of her used. She was never better than Kate Moore in The Enforcer annoying Harry Callahan.

Telefon (1977) - Tyne Daly computer geek cia agentTelefon (1977) - Tyne Daly computer geek cia agent 2

Ground Zero (1987) – Cold War In The Outback

Ground Zero (1987) Vickers Valiant bomberGround Zero (1987) Vickers Valiant bomber scientists nuclear radiation

One way to write a good screenplay is to use historical facts for your plot and then jazz it up with some fiction. Ground Zero really doesn’t need “jazzing up” as the original source material is horrific in it’s own right but with a tweak here and there this 80’s Australian film casts a thrilling story. It also scores big points for a collection of amazing imagery which give the outback set pieces a science fiction movie feel.

Ground Zero (1987) Prosper Gaffney Donald Pleasence voice box

And guess what after yesterday’s Cul-de-Sac this is the third film within in a month with the truly wonderful Donald Pleasence. The other film was the exceptional Wake In Fright.

Ground Zero (1987) Harvey Denton (Colin Friels) film editing

Cameraman and film editor, Harvey Denton (Colin Friels) works for a news organisation in the city and freelances from his apartment. In his spare time he converts and edits old family video footage his father took in the 50’s. Also a cameraman, his father was a documentary film-maker working with the army during the secret testing of nuclear explosions in Maralinga in outback South Australia, which he then just vanished.

Ground Zero (1987) Harvey Denton (Colin Friels) gun capture held upGround Zero (1987) Royal Commission Trebilcock Jack Thompson

With the Royal Commission investigating the historical events with the excavation of a radioactive Vickers Valiant bomber which surprisingly contained the skeletal remains of what looks like a murder victim. Could this body be Harvey Dentons missing father? And why are different organisation interested in getting their hands on his family home movies? Motivated to find out what the blue blazes is going on he starts to investigate.

Ground Zero (1987) Harvey Denton film archive vault reel moviesGround Zero (1987) Harvey Denton (ed hearse car van

This leads to encounters with the head of the Royal Commission, Trebilcock (Jack Thompson) who is desperately looking for a lost reel of 35mm camera film. This links to a very eccentric old army veteran called Prosper Gaffney.  Who could that be played by you may ask? Hehe of course it’s Donald Pleasence.

Ground Zero (1987) Charlie (Burnham Burnham)

Now Prosper Gaffney lives out in the outback right near to the quarantine zone at Maralinga. He is now wheelchair bound and relies on the help of his Aboriginal friend Charlie (Burnham Burnham) who is blind, so they both help each other in different ways. 

Ground Zero (1987) Harvey Denton film archive vault reel moviesGround Zero (1987) burning sun outback aussie film oz

Does Prosper Gaffney know anything that can help Harvey Denton out on his quest? Can he find this film reel and give it to the right people to help bring justice to the Indigenous people of Maralinga who had their land, homes, family life and generations of health problems dropped on them from the British nuclear tests allowed through the Australian government.

Ground Zero (1987) burning sun outback aussie film oz Aboriginal stones

Like I said at the top, this story has been enhanced but a lot is very true and just as horrific. As Britain raced to become one of the “nuclear” superpowers during the Cold War they needed somewhere to do their tests. Did they know the exact damage these appalling tests would cause, it’s had to say at the time but it now seems they did and they blamed it on the severe weather change.

Ground Zero (1987)Aboriginal Indigenous people of Maralinga court case

Lots of the characters are loosely based on real people and if it is of interest then please read the links I have added at the bottom of this post to see the awful truth of the horrors of humanity.

It’s an excellent taunt fast paced action mystery film and what with two good performances from Colin Friels and Jack Thompson there’s also that whacked out psychedelic performance from Donald Pleasence who lights up his screen time. It has it’s problems but mainly it’s very enjoyable movie with it’s heart in the right place. Check it out. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

It’s on youtube in full at the moment if you fancied it. All the best… Mikey Wolfman

Further Reading Links

British nuclear tests at Maralinga
An article entitled 60’s years after the Maralinga bomb tests
Ground Zero (1987) Wiki
Ground Zero (1987) Oz Movies Site
Ground Zero (1987)

Truck Turner (1974) – Pursuit Of The Pimpmobile

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Big black baldy bail bondsman bounty hunter Truck Turner busts heads in this gloriously fun 70’s smasher starring that Hot Buttered Soul Love Machine himself Isaac Hayes. Not only does he get to trash a whole array of pimps and dealers, he gets to take on the soundtrack duties, adding the funk grooves to the proceedings. Nothing sounds better than watching crazy clothed pimps and hoes and wrecking ball car chases accompanied to the sound of wah wah guitar, dirty basslines, horn stabs and funky as hell drum breaks.

Truck Turner (1974) isaac hayes bail bonds bounty huntersTruck Turner (1974) isaac hayes bail bonds bounty hunters coors beer

Injured former professional footballer Mack “Truck” Turner and his partner and good friend Jerry (Alan Weeks) work for bondsman Fogarty (Dick Miller) who has a pimp on the books called Gator (Paul Harris) who has skipped bail. Truck meets up with an old retired pimp friend Duke (Scatman Crothers) who points Truck and Jerry in the right direction.

Truck Turner (1974) isaac hayes jerry pimp mobile chase bounty huntersTruck Turner (1974) isaac hayes gun towers

This leads to what I had been waiting for, the chase theme from the soundtrack called “Pursuit Of The Pimpmobile“. It’s a 9 minute track and I’ll tell you I wasn’t expecting most of it to be in the film as the boys chase Gator across town, through backstreets, highways and some real random sets, like running across a water processing plant into an underground factory. With all the smashing and tires burning and some grand theft auto you also get a mass brawl in a bar. It’s a real frenzied action packed scene filled with frills and spills with a heap of comedic leanings. It’s a joyful sequence.

Here’s the trailer.

Dorinda – “We call her Turnpike, cuz you gotta pay to get on and pay to get off!”

Another deep joy is in the form of a certain sexy communications officer from Star Trek Lieutenant commander Nyota Uhura otherwise known as Nichelle Nichols. She looks like she having a ball playing Gators main girl and madame to a whole harem of prostitutes called Dorinda. Pulling off an amazing selection of bonkers looking outfits whist she barks orders and harsh put downs to everyone she meets. Anyone who lusted after Uhuru in their teens get a few nice little side boob action shots here and there. But damn this girl is one scary mo-fo!

Truck Turner (1974) Nichelle Nichols Nyota Uhura Yaphet Kotto star trekTruck Turner (1974) isaac hayes all the pimps and hoes

Now to add to all the madness going on, in enters big bad number one pimp Harvard Blue aka Mr Big aka Kananga from Live and Let Die the one and only, the formidable Yaphet Kotto. He stands in with a whole bunch of comical dressed other pimps and to add to Trucks woes they order a gang of cleaners in to cause mayhem, hitman called the insurance men.

Truck Turner (1974) sexy Annazette Chase

Through all this crazy our Truck has his girl, the hot Annie (Annazette Chase) to look after when she is just released from jail and also her pet cat! Promoting a strange love making scene with a box of Kentucky Fried Chicken and the onlooking pussy cat.

Annie – “Wow you wanna give me beer and screw me!”
Truck – “Alright alright alright we’re stop and get something to eat first!”

Truck Turner (1974) pimps and hoes

Directed by Jonathan Kaplan who bought us a different truck smasher in the likes of White Line Fever but also another blaxploitation film called The Slams starring Jim Brown which I really wouldn’t mind seeing.

Fun Fact – I read that Isaac Hayes and his band played the entire score for director Jonathan Kaplan at Hayes’s home. I bet that was an amazing night of jams.

Truck Turner (1974) Poster Film Movie Isaac Hayes

Nightfall (1956) and Aldo Ray Recommends?

Aldo Ray Men In War Nightfall
Sergeant Montana in Men In War

This is the second film I’ve seen with Aldo Ray in the last few months and I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of him before. The first was Men In War (1957) with Robert Ryan.  He played a Sergeant called Montana who was looking after a battle worn, shell shocked officer known only as The Colonel. Aldo Ray’s performance really stood out in film, he came across as a strong willed maverick but also filled with passion and kindness as he cared for his Colonel. Intrigued to see more from Aldo I stumbled upon Nightfall.

Tagline – THE BLACK BAG…with $350,000 in loot! THE BLACK DRESS…with a beautiful pick-up girl inside! THE BLACK NIGHT…made for lovers…and killers!

Nightfall (1956) - Aldo Ray film noir

Nightfall is an excellent suspenseful film noir drama which races along at a cracking pace, not adding any fluff to its short runtime of just under an hour and twenty minutes. Our star and hero Aldo plays James Vanning a graphic design artist who has a story to tell as he wanders around the city with a heavy heart.

Nightfall (1956) - Aldo Ray film noir Anne Bancroft

He’s been involved in a murder and accused of a bank robbery which resulted in the disappearance of the cash. He finds himself on the run as he is hunted not only by two psychotic gangsters, John (Brian Keith) and Red (Rudy Bond) but he’s also being tracked by an insurance investigator called Ben Fraser (James Gregory).

Nightfall (1956) - Aldo Ray film noir James GregoryNightfall (1956) - Aldo Ray film noir Rudy Bond Brian Keith

Losing himself in the bars of the city he meets a young lady called Marie Gardner (Anne Bancroft) who fills the film noir femme fatale role. Can James Vanning find a way out of all this mess? Can anyone be trusted? Can he escape from those dastardly thugs? It’s well worth seeking out for a watch or have you seen it? What did you think?

Nightfall (1956) - Aldo Ray film noir intro credit titles

What striked me again with Aldo Ray was with character’s portrayal, with his kind gentle nature even through his big stocky frame. Not sure how I had missed this actor before but its great to be catching up with his films now.

So what the hell happened?

Looking through his filmography I couldn’t help but notice things look like they just fell apart for him after the mid 60’s with a ton of dodgy B-movies. Have to say the titles are amazing and I’m intrigued to check some of these out, like The Dynamite Brothers (1974) Suicide Commandos (1968) Riot on Sunset Strip (1967) Psychic Killer (1975) The Man Who Would Not Die (1975) The Lucifer Complex (1978) and even a Western Adult film! called Sweet Savage (1979.

We're No Angels (1955) aldo ray

I’ve been recommended We’re No Angels (1955) with Peter Ustinov and Humphrey Bogart which sounds much fun but what else should I be looking out for?

Movies are ace, keep on viewing.  Mikey Wolfman.

Michael Caine Funk Attack Soundtrack Mix

Michael's Fists

Michael Caine, Roy Budd, Trailers and Soundtracks. What’s not to like? This is an extract from a radio show podcast I did in August 2011.

When I’m not wolfing around, my unhairy self tinkers with music. Going by the name Mad Mongos Mike I used to do a little radio show which featured an across the board eclectic array of sounds. Occasional I went all Inception and featured a mix within a mix. Feeling that it’s a very apt for this here film blog I now present the legend who is Michael Caine. A funky ride through some of his films with a few extra Roy Budd sounds to boot.

Get carter 1971 Michael Caine Film Poster movie 2

No can say “Crap House” with so much venom than Jack Carter.

Michael Caine has always been one of my favourite actors and have adored so many of his films throughout the years. The Ipcress Files hit the spot for me when after being a very passionate fan of Patrick McGoohan series The Prisoner, I was taken in by Harry Palmer who I felt was very similar to Number 6. No more so than the end drugs and mind control section at the end of the film.

Michael Caine Get carter Film Movie music roy budd wolfman cult film blog

Loved the music associated with a lot of his films especially as Roy Budd had a big hand in a lot of the scores. So it seemed apt that doing a little Caine section would involve quite a few films which they work together on. As I was looking for his music I remembered how amazing the soundtrack to “Who Dares Wins” was so had to add. So yes it went off on one but I feel it’s a pretty enjoyable 18 or so minutes. It’s not just music from films, I’ve added some film trailers in there too. Get Carter had a massive impacted on me when I first saw it and consequently watched it over and over again for months. It was something so raw about his whole performance that grabbed me. It was relentless but felt so real. The music was stunning and went so well with the dark edgy mood of film.

Michael Caine Funeral in Berlin movie film icon wolfmans cult film club

Other Caine films I love but didn’t make the mix as the soundtracks didn’t fit in are the underrated and not much seen Pulp, the wonderful epic The Man Who Would Be King and I do love Gambit but chuck in there anything else from the likes of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels to Mona Lisa.  And of course The Muppet Christmas Carol gets seen every single Christmas Eve.

Just to make things a bit difficult the connection goes off on one but they are all slightly connected somehow. There’s a tune from Caines other Harry Palmer film The Billion Dollar Brain plus a little bit of music from The Ipcress Files which was done by John Barry and the Roy Budd soundtrack Who Dares Wins which has nothing to do with Caine but is a film about the SAS which started Edward Woodward and Lewis Collins. So yes it’s a strange mix but an enjoyable one I must add.

I hope you enjoy the sounds. There’s a Clint Eastwood funk attack mix too which I will post up soon.

Michael Caine Ipcress File movie film icon wolfmans cult film club

The Ipcress Files – Trailer
Roy Budd – Jazz It Up [The Marseille Contract]
Richard Rodney Bennett – Anya [Billion Dollar Brain]
Get Carter – Trailer
Roy Budd – The Plant – [The Black Windmill]
The Black Windmill – Trailer
Roy Budd – End Theme [The Marseille Contract]
Roy Budd – SAS Or Nothing [Where Eagles Dare]
Roy Budd – A Smile you can’t resist [Where Eagles Dare]

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