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.

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

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

Mickey One (1965) – Free Jazz New Wave

Mickey One (1965) - Poster

Within five minutes of Mickey One, this experimental film levellies a barrage of outstanding cool black and white images at you. Everyone you could instantly freeze frame, print and stick straight up on your wall.

Mickey One (1965) - sauna steam room scene

This film is surreal, bizarre and super fantastique! Inspired by French New Wave Cinema of the time, Director Arthur Penn (Bonnie And Clyde, Night Moves) goes to town with Alan Surgal script. Twisting together an edgy free falling story into the world of paranoia and fear.

Mickey One (1965) - warren beatty stand up comedianMickey One (1965) - sexy swimming girl

Our handsome wise talking hero is played with passion by a young Warren Beatty. A stand-up comic working the club scene unfortunately run by the Mafia. After a extremely heavy night on the tiles, drinking, partying, gambling and probably flirting with mob bosses girls, or maybe worse, he wakes to realise he has got himself dug way too deep, owing thousands. Fearing for his life he makes a run for it, fleeing to Chicago to hide out. On the road he obtains a Social Security card and becomes Mickey One.

Mickey One (1965) - warren beatty stand up comedian dive club

Mickey One – I’m the king of the silent pictures. I’m hiding out till the talkies blow over. Will you leave me alone?

Mickey One (1965) - jazz dancing drummer girl

Mickey is a twitchy fellow with big anger issues but also buckets of charm and finesse as he tries to make ends meet. He starts to feel his calling back to the stand-up circuit, which brings unwanted attention to the fear laden guy and drives him a little nuts. Lucky he has an agent called George Berson (Teddy Hart) and the gawd darn sexy Jenny Drayton (Alexandra Stewart) to look out for him. Can our Mickey get his feet back on the ground and get this unfortunate mess sorted out?

Mickey One (1965) - fading editing fire slums warren beattyMickey One (1965) - trampoline scene

This film hits so many surreal moments. From trampolines, to saunas, to random people dressed in strange clothes and a massive brawl featuring a load of heavies in pantomime costumes. It’s all strange and fascinating.

Mickey One (1965) - random artist japanese guy

Random jump cuts, fading in and out images, stylised scenes to a few comical segues. None more so than the rag and bone japanese artist guy (Kamatari Fujiwara) who pops up throughout the film just waving at Mickey. He goes off to build one of the craziests art installations you did ever see, just called “Yes”. Does it represent our hero’s predicament? Self destruction…..

Mickey One (1965) - chicago seedy street scenes

And to finish you get the free jazz, spasmodic moods and improvisation from saxophone legend Stan Getz, literally freaking out on his horn giving the scenes an added edge of delirious madness. The Mickey One soundtrack LP is composed by Eddie Sauter and released on MGM Records.

Mickey One (1965) - Record cover LP

Definitely a recommended watch if you can track it down, it’s quite the original piece of filmmaking and carried well by Warren Beatty’s quirky performance. Have you seen it before? What did you think. Let the old Wolfman know. Have fun, enjoy cinema…

Further Reading Links

Mickey One (1965) IMDB

Enemy Territory (1987) – “Ghost” Busting

Enemy Territory (1987) Poster DVD VHS

Enemy Territory is another movie in a long tradition of tower blocks and council flats being turned into all out war zones, think of The Raid, Attack The BlockDredd. But add some elements of Walter Hill’s The Warriors, a dash of The Lost Boys and dollop of any black and white buddy movie from the 80’s, I’m gonna go for Running Scared.  Then you get a taste of what to expect in this really surprisingly brilliant low budget little gem.

Enemy Territory (1987) - opening titles

Tagline – In Enemy Territory they take no prisoners. You’ve got to kill your way out…

Insurance salesman Barry (Gary Frank) gets sent to pick up a policy sale from an elderly woman in a notoriously rough housing project called Lincoln Towers. Being naive and well pretty damn dumb he strolls into the tower block and gets himself “marked” right off the bat. What he didn’t realise was this high-rise building is run and terrorised by a tough gang called The Vampires, lead by their ferocious leader, The Count (Tony Todd).

Enemy Territory (1987) - Ray Parker JR and

It’s not till Barry gets to the top floor that he becomes aware that The Count wants his blood after he promises to kill this “Ghost”. Luckily Will (Ray Parker Jr) was funning a young lady as shots are fired outside and being the telephone repair man he is, comes racing to the rescue. Fortunately our handsome Will is an ex Vietnam veteran and ex Ghostbuster and takes control of the situation. But it’s not long before The Vampires turn up again and all hell breaks loose.

Baffled tower block guard to Barry – “And they sent a white man? This time of night? Are you from Neptune or Vulcan or some such!?”

Enemy Territory (1987) - Tony Todd The Vampires Psycho

With a solid bunch of very likable characters being met along the way as our heroes try their best to escape. From the sweet old lady Elva Briggs (Frances Foster) to her sexy niece, the wise and feisty Toni Briggs (Stacey Dash).  You get an outrageous bonkers performance from Tony Todd as he barks out orders to his men whilst spouting out silly, almost poetic vampire lines and keeps shouting for his trusty side kick “Psycho“.

Enemy Territory (1987) - stacey dash Toni vampires

There’s a small cameo, almost scene stealing part from messed up wheelchair bound war veteran Parker played with a crazed look in his eye by Jan-Michael Vincent. But grabbing the limelight from him was young baseball bat rolling rookie “cop” Chet played by Deon Richmond.

Enemy Territory (1987) - will and billy

Enemy Territory (1987) - opening titles intro

Seriously if you like 80’s films and like me this one had passed you by then I thoroughly recommend it. Unfortunately it’s not really had a proper DVD release and apart from VHS cassette this eighties movie has only seen a disc release in the Netherlands of all places, which sadly seems to be a reproduction of the VHS source. So if you want to see this like I did then you’ll be happy to know some kind fellow has uploaded it to Youtube here. It has Dutch subtitles but seriously it’s not a problem. If you want to see it then that it’s I’m afraid.

Grab some garlic and a wooden stake, a 4 pack of beers and sit back and roll the cameras. Enjoy….. Mikey Wolfman

Further Reading Links

Enemy Territory (1987) IMDB

Enemy Territory (1987) WIKI

The Collector (1965) – Stamp Collecting

The Collector (1965)

Social misfit and butterfly collector Freddie Clegg (Terence Stamp) prowls the streets of London in his Ford Thames 400E van stalking his childhood fascination, the beautiful art student Miranda Grey (Samantha Eggar). With his trusty bottle of chloroform to hand, he hopes that after keeping her hostage she will grow to love him.

Freddie’s inner monologue – “I knew where she was every minute of the day!”

The Collector (1965) Stamps new home

Freddie looks and waddles around in much the same way as the Penguin in the series Gotham. He’s a former picked on bank clerk who came into some big money but unfortunately has way too much time on his hands.

The Collector (1965) Terence Stamp fire basement dungeon

Miranda is a feisty young lass who gives a good fight in her unfortunate predicament locked away in an ancient windowless stone basement. Trying to play him and find a weaknesses in the unbalanced loners psyche.

The Collector (1965) sexy Samantha Eggar

It’s a dark premise that the two young leads both give tremendous performances. Two hours might be a tad too long for some with the slow pace but I thoroughly enjoyed watching the story unfold. Read there was actually a 3 hour cut which director William Wyler wasn’t at all happy with chopping right back, completely removing a role by Kenneth More.

The Collector (1965) Terence Stamp and Samantha Eggar

William Wyler the director of mega classic Ben Hur apparently turned down making The Sound Of Music for this project. The Collector might be small in comparison to that giant successful film but it did win a host of awards with Oscars Nominations for Best Actress in a Leading Role, Best Director and Best Writing and Screenplay by Stanley Mann and John Kohn. Plus Samantha Eggar won Best Actress Golden Globe and at the Cannes Film Festival where Terence Stamp joined her, adding Best Actor.

The Collector (1965) Samantha Eggar and Terence Stamp

Fun Fact 1 – William Wyler is said to have asked Terence Stamp to ignore Samantha Eggar, giving her the cold shoulder off the set as much as possible without her knowing to add to the tension between the two actors.

Fun Fact 2 – British punk mod band The Jam released a single called The Butterfly Collector with it’s title being said to have been inspired by the film! It features on the B-side to Strange Town

Further Reading Links

The Collector (1965) IMDB

The Collector (1965) Twenty Four Frames 

The Collector (1965) New York Times Review Bosley Crowther 1965

Wolf Lake (1980) – Messed Up War Veterans

Wolf lake (1980) poster

An hour and half and not one sign of any wolves, lycans or otherwise. No one howling at the moon, no metamorphosis from human to wolf or visa a versa, I want my money back! Well it was free, so I mustn’t grumble, Wolf Lake Youtube.  Will give them the lake part of the title though, there was one big ass lake. Wolf Lake is located in Yukon, Canada but I’ve just read it was filmed in Mexico!

Tagline – Survive the night at Wolf Lake if the suspense doesn’t kill you first!

Wolf lake (1980) Rod Steiger taking aim

This pretty darn depressing movie from the 1980’s stars the one and only Rod Steiger, the star of one of my favorite movies, well top five for sure, A Fistful Of Dynamite aka Duck, You Sucker. Now this might be a B-movie, exploitation style film but to be fair Rod does give it a pretty good performance as the menacing alpha male bully Charlie, an ex sergeant world war two veteran who has recently lost his son to the Vietnam war.

Wolf Lake (1980) David Huffman Rod Steiger

Charlie to David – “You are a boy aren’t you? With all that hair you could be a bearded lady?”

Wolf Lake (1980) Richard Herd Paul Mantee peeping toms

Coming to the Wolf Lake with 3 old war buddies to unwind, drink, hunt and reminisce. Unfortunately a young couple who are looking after the lodges get in way of boys time and when Charlie discovers the lad David (David Huffman) is a Vietnam deserter all hell breaks lose.

Wolf lake (1980) three army buddies gone too far

David to Charlie – “If Bullshit was music you’re be a brass band Charlie!”

David and his girlfriend, a rather saucy young lady called Linda played by Robin Mattson, will be giving “no stars” and a pretty stern review on Tripadvisor.

Tagline – The hunter. The hunted. The hatreds hidden too long.

Wolf Lake (1980) David Huffman Robin Mattson cabin fever

Charlie’s hunting buddies are Wilbur (Jerry Hardin), George (Richard Herd) and Sweeney (Paul Matee). Three actors you will certainly go “oh that’s the guy from thingy, oh what’s it’s called?” and have been in hundreds of films, TV movies and television shows between them.

Directed by Burt Kennedy who made a bunch of cowboy and western films but also made the classic film, wait for it…. Suburban Commando with Hulk Hogan hehe..

Wolf Lake (1980) David Huffman Robin Mattson

I’ve hit a lot of depressing films recently and this is another for the doom pile, think Straw Dogs. So if your happy levels are maybe a little too high, then I suggest you watch this to level them back to normal.  I do have a bunch of comedy satires to clear the cobwebs out, watch this space.

To be honest I enjoyed the tension and the performances, especially Rod Steiger who growled and snarled out all his lines with venom. It’s a rare one to find so grab it on Youtube before it goes if you fancy it.

Further Reading Links

Wolf Lake (1980) IMDB

Wolf Lake (1980) Cinematic Shocks Blog

Wait Until Dark (1967) – Blind Crime

Wait Until Dark (1967) Poster

Gonna start at the end on this one, don’t worry, no spoilers. After this excellent film finished the final theme tune came on whilst it showcased the players and you know what dude, that ditty from Henry Mancini with Sue Raney gorgeous voice hit me for six. What a stunning little bossa jazz number that I just wish went on and on, Wait Until Dark, just so beautiful.

If like me you’re one of like 15 people on Earth that hasn’t seen this horror thriller film before here’s a little synopsis of the plot.

Wait Until Dark (1967) Audrey Hepburn & Efrem Zimbalist Jr

A naughty girl called Lisa (Samantha Jones) picks up a consignment of drugs hidden inside a doll. On route home at the airport she palms the doll off to an unexpecting a fellow passenger, a photographer called Sam Hendrix played by the fabulously named, Efrem Zimbalist Jr.

Wait Until Dark (1967) Audrey Hepburn & Richard Crenna

Now Sam is married to a delightful young lady called Susy who is unfortunately blind from an accident. Now Susy Hendrix, played with great tenderness and passion by the lovely Audrey Hepburn, is a very determined lady despite her predicament. But sadly she has a barrage of problems coming her way.

Wait Until Dark (1967) Alan Arkin Richard Crenna jack weston

In comes, not one but three bad guys to mess with our heroine’s mind and try to find this doll with the merchandise. Two crooked friends, one played by Rambo’s buddy Colonel Samuel Trautman aka Richard Crenna who plays Mike Talman and his chubby sidekick Carlino played by Jack Weston.

Wait Until Dark (1967) Alan Arkin creepy

Now the third dodgy geezer is Alan Arkin, a practically scary dude with a weird hair do and a taste for terrorising and playing people to his own means. This character is called Roat and I’m not sure if I’ve seen Alan Arkin play a bad guy before? Anyway he does a good job.

Now can our Suzy work out what the hell is going on as strange deluge of people just keep barging into her apartment building telling yarns and slowly messing with the poor girl’s mind.

Wait Until Dark (1967) Audrey Hepburn match lit

To be honest a lot of this trouble would of been stopped if only she LOCK THE BLOODY DOOR! But hey we wouldn’t get a the entertaining back and forth between all the players which really has all the feel and touch of a great Alfred Hitchcock movie.

Directed by Terence Young who made the allstar star cast western action film Red Sun and three big Bond films with Sean Connery, Dr No, From Russia With Love and Thunderball.

Wait Until Dark (1967) intro title

It’s suspenseful, extremely well acted, great script and loads of thrills plus Miss Audrey Hepburn is adorable. Well worth adding to your “watch list” if you haven’t seen it.

Further Reading Links

Wait Until Dark (1967) IMDB

Wait Until Dark (1967) Alfred Hitchcock Geek Blog

The New York Times Review October 1967

Wait Until Dark (1967) WIKI