Category Archives: 1970’s cinema

Leap of Faith: “Evel Knievel” (1971)

    Marvin J. Chomsky’s film”Evel Knievel” is a supposed biography of the famous motorcycle daredevil, though any relationship to persons living or dead are surely coincidental. This biographical film starring George Hamilton (no stranger to cinematic impersonation, portraying Moss … Continue reading

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Apocalypse Why?: “DAMNATION ALLEY” (1977)

    Hollywood loves a good apocalypse. The cinema has been rife with visions of Man’s inevitable (according to filmmakers) plunge into the doomsday abyss, whether through atomic obliteration (“On the Beach”, “The World, the Flesh and the Devil”, “Five”, “Panic … Continue reading

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Suppose They Committed a Murder and Nobody Cared?: “Le foto proibite di una signora per bene” (1970)

           “Why on Earth should I love you less because of a sex fiend?”        A young woman takes a bubble bath, drinks to excess and pops unknown pharmaceuticals while mentally fantasizing about tormenting her … Continue reading

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The End of the World on $5 a Day: “Crack in the World” (1965)

   Film makers seem to love destroying things; whether out of a sense of misplaced professional frustration (After all, it is the director who is the God-like authority on the set, are they not?) or the thought that since they … Continue reading

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Slumber Party: “The Switchblade Sisters” (1975)

     Films that purport to be Exploitation cinema but follow the routine thematic formulas of this breed of cinema without encompassing genuine prerequisite exploitation elements is simply trash without a reason to exist.  Jack Hill’s “Switchblade Sisters” (alternately titled … Continue reading

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All Torn Up and No Place to Go: “Willard” (1971)

    Based on Stephen Gilbert’s nasty little chiller Ratman’s Notebooks, Daniel Mann’s 1971 “Willard” is a horror movie that has the feel of a domestic drama about loneliness that just happens to feature a few rat homicides.  Though the film … Continue reading

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Love Intestinal-Style: “Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein” (1974)

    Filmed immediately prior to “Andy Warhol’s Dracula”, more popularly known as “Blood For Dracula”, Paul Morrissey’s “Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein”, filmed under and later re-released under the title “Flesh For Frankenstein” after initial U.S. engagements which capitalized on the fame … Continue reading

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The Devil’s in the Details: “The Devil in Miss Jones” (1973)

    After the release of “Deep Throat” there were a number of graphic, sexual films that met with both unexpected public enthusiam and excited media attention, that would form the basis of the temporarily fashionable trend known as “porno … Continue reading

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Changing Times: “There Was a Crooked Man…” (1970)

    If there were ever a film which demonstrates the confusion of veteran Hollywood studio directors in adapting to the then-newly found freedom afforded filmmakers with the abolition of the Production Code, it’s Joesph L. Mankiewicz’ 1970 serio-comic western, “There Was … Continue reading

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Mixed Messages: “Halls of Anger” (1970)

    Paul Bogart’s “Halls of Anger” finds a barely perceptible niche in the often inflammatory tradition of Hollywood films that claim to expose the volatile underbelly of modern urban education, with all appropriate delinquencies bubbling forth in a gladiatorial arena … Continue reading

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Shooting Blanks: “Death Wish” (1974)

    “Death Wish” is a genuine curiosity; a  terrible movie which prompted a great deal of useful, spirited and intelligent sociopolitical discussion. The theme of the film is justice, or rather the lack of it, and the rise of vigilantism … Continue reading

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Sex, Drugs and TV: “The Groove Tube” (1974)

   Ken Shapiro’s “The Groove Tube” is a raggedy collection of skits satirizing television ads and programs, a not especially challenging target that is met with a lack of conceptual focus and a wildly variant acuity of wit. In fact, … Continue reading

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Shoot. Load. Repeat.: “The Enforcer” (1976)

   It begins as a Squeaky Fromme wannabe is picked up by two gas company employees who are swiftly dispatched in rather gruesome fashion by blonde haired, blue-eyed psychopath Bobby Maxwell (DeVeren Bookwalter in full drooling grimace mode). These are … Continue reading

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With Extreme Prejudice: “El Condor” (1970)

  John Guillerman’s “El Condor” is a noisy, violent, preposterous western of the variety that became extremely popular with studios in the Sixties (Richard Brooks’ “The Professionals” being the most accomplished example) often blending elements with the fading noir genre … Continue reading

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Windbag: “The Hindenburg” (1975)

    The movies love a mystery, especially one based on historical fact as it affords Hollywood the opportunity to do something which it prides itself on doing better than any omnipotent deity: improving on real life. This unnatural (and … Continue reading

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Baby Steps: “The Mind of Mr. Soames” (1970)

John Soames is a thirty year old man who has lived in a coma since birth,  until a team of doctors, including an eminent surgeon, believe they have the answer to his perpetual stasis and proceed to awaken him mindful … Continue reading

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Grand Delusion: “EQUUS” (1977)

   It’s an unfortunate circumstance when talented film makers fortified with the best of intentions get carried away with their efforts, becoming quite pleased with themselves that unlike the majority of commercial craftsmen they are tackling important ideas, and due … Continue reading

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A Most Peculiar Love Story: “The Abominable Dr. Phibes” (1971)

                   Robert Fuest   (September 27, 1927 – March 21, 2012)      With its roots in the serial murder giallo tradition of both Mario Bava’s“The Girl Who Knew Too Much” and “Blood and Black Lace”, … Continue reading

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The Good, The Bad and the Baddest: “The French Connection” (1971)

     Being a narc is assuming the role of a soldier in a never-ending war with the urban streets as the battleground; the debris littered alleys and dark, smoky dive bars being the jungle in which only the criminally depraved … Continue reading

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WHERE DREAMS GO BAD: “WESTWORLD” (1973)

   Novelist Michael Crichton’s directorial debut “Westworld” encompasses his usual cautionary scientific doomsday scenario while satirically taking aim at America’s love affair with diversion; whether through theme park escapism or the movie-going experience itself, and how our dreams and expectations … Continue reading

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