Friday, April 05, 2013

What I Watched in March

Yet another month without a trip to the movie theater means I dug into the video collection as best I could. I can't wait for Ta x Season to end so I can have a few days off again! Whew!

I finally watched the film QUEENS OF EVIL (1970). A friend had sent me a copy of this dreamy Euro-Trash a long time ago but I hadn't been able to fit it into my schedule until now. Ray Lovelock plays a kind young man whose only real possession seems to be his motorcycle. His cross country wandering brings him to an isolated house in the woods where three beautiful women reside. They allow him to stay in their barn overnight and although he has misgivings about them he eventually accepts further, more intimate invitations from them as well. What starts out as a strange but sexy stopover becomes more bizarre by the day until the mounting questions need answers. The film is a bit too leisurely placed at times but the gorgeous cast of ladies keep it interesting through the lulls and I find Lovelock to be a very personable performer. He was better in THE LIVING DEAD IN MANCHESTER MORGUE but that was also a better film. If Bava's LISA & THE DEVIL was a film you really connected with QUEENS OF EVIL would be a good next viewing.

I was happy to also finally cross Robert Culp's feature directorial debut off my 'to see' list last month. HICKEY & BOGGS (1972) is a surprisingly dark private eye story written by the great Walter Hill. The script is excellent carefully doling out information about the characters in tiny bits as the story rumbles along which forces you to pay attention to every line of dialog or get lost. This attempt to draw the audience in instead seems to have pushed moviegoers away and the film was a flop on release. That's a shame as Culp and Bill Cosby make a fine team here taking the rapport they developed on the TV show I, SPY and moving it to the big screen brilliantly. I wonder if the film's dark and complex nature simply turned off people thinking they were going to see a lighthearted tale similar to that television show. Regardless, I think a modern audience will appreciate the Noir-ish mystery told in this film and I consider the movie to be a neglected classic. 

SKYFALL (2012)- 9 (rewatch)
QUEENS OF EVIL (1970)- 7 (fascinating slow-burn supernatural tale)
NIGHT NURSE (1931)- 7 (fascinating Pre-Code drama)
THE RAVEN (2012)- 3 (silly idea done with flair but little intelligence)
THE WHISTLER (1944)- 5 (OK beginning to the series but it feels like the last scene is missing)
UNIVERSAL SOLDIER (1992)- 4 (dumb but kind of fun action silliness)
THE FINAL CONFLICT (1981)- 7 (rewatch) (OMEN 3 is better than I remembered)
BUCKTOWN (1975)- 8 (damned fine Blaxploitation - a classic)
HICKEY & BOGGS (1972) - 8 (brilliant private eye story with Robert Culp and Bill Cosby)
THE  WARRIOR AND THE SORCERESS (1984)- 4 (goofy but fun barbarian movie)
THE PSYCHOPATH (1966)- 7 (excellent Amicus film)
COUNTESS DRACULA (1971)- 6 (rewatch)
ICE STATION ZEBRA (1968)- 5 (overlong Cold War thriller) 

1 comment:

Brad said...

Queens Of Evil! Brilliant!