Devil Rider! (1970)

Devil Rider! (1970) movie poster

director Brad F. Grinter
viewed: 08/09/2018

From Brad F. Grinter, of Flesh Feast and Blood Freak, rumbles in Devil Rider!, biker flick-cum-warning to wayward girls.

Young Kathy Holiday (Sharon Mahon, daughter of Barry Mahon, who performed cinematography duties here) goes missing and her father sends a P.I. to track her down in South Florida’s sleazy streets (including some pretty nice shots of 1970 South Florida.)

Her older sister, Penny, had disappeared there some years before on her 18th birthday. Both girls run astray of lowlife bikers. Penny is gang raped and tricked out into prostitution. Lucky for Kathy (and the P.I.) that her ex-beau is a karate-chopping superstar or who knows how things would turn out?

“Penny. It takes hundred to make a dollar. But a hundred dollars can’t make Penny.”

Centered in the film is Penny’s interview with the detective, recalling her boozy life and her societal downfall. Penny, played by Janice Kerr, is awesome with some camped up dialogue delivered with almost Dreamlander emphasis.

“Down here the word is Hooker, spelled W-H-O-R-E”

The film’s core and greatest strength is Penny and her story. Camp, but compelling, the Penny sequence shifts the film from its more meager qualities.

Women’s Prison Massacre (1983)

Women's Prison Massacre (1983) movie poster

director  Bruno Mattei
viewed: 08/07/2018

A weird avant-grade theater sequence belies the otherwise straightforward sleaze of Women’s Prison Massacre. And quality sleaze it certainly is.

Laura Gemser stars in what is likely the first Laura Gemser flick I’ve ever seen in which she didn’t get naked even once. The rest of the cast makes up for that in an abundance of flesh.

Albina the faux albino (Ursula Flores) is Gemser’s primary foil in the first half of the film, which is a sort of by the numbers “women in prison” flick. The formula takes a major twist when a quartet of vile male criminals are set to be temporarily housed in this women’s prison. They break out, take over, and sex and violence rule the roost.

It’s quality from a sleaze point of view if not from others.

Most amusing tidbit: “The sole bit of unintentional humor comes from the proliferation of expensive hosiery worn by the female cast, which was courtesy of the film’s main producer, a French undergarments company.” – Paul Gaita, AllMovie.

Caged Heat (1974)

Caged Heat (1974) movie poster

director Jonathan Demme
viewed: 07/22/2018

I bet Quentin Tarantino wishes he made Caged Heat. Not that he could have.

Stylish and unusual, Jonathan Demme‘s first feature film as director, Caged Heat hits all the Women in Prison movie tropes while at the same time, subverting and/or playing with the subgenre’s characteristics. Pulpy as it needs to be, Demme also imbues the film with a sense of humanism, his interest in the casual faces in broader scenes, using extras as a human landscape.

Is this Demme’s best film?

Terrific soundtrack by John Cale.

The Burning Hell (1974)

The Burning Hell (1974) movie poster

director Ron Ormond
viewed: 07/06/2018

“My subject is hell.”

300 zeroes hell.

Ron Ormond and Estus Pirkle’s The Burning Hell is like a Chick Publication brought to life.

It’s even more preachy (if that is possible) than If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do?, their prior outing is Exploitation Christian Propaganda.

I could totally imagine Ted Cruz in this movie.

As psychotronic as anything I can imagine. Seriously, some of the craziest fucking shit. And much more tedious a mindfuck.

From a weird movie perspective, it’s solid gold.

And also, fuck you Estus Pirkle.

If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do? (1971)

If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do? (1971) title screen

director Ron Ormond
viewed: 07/05/2018

Communism will destroy the United States. Sex Ed, cartoons, and television can be your moral doom. Mississippi Baptist Christianity is the only thing that can save us, according to Estus Pirkle in Ron Ormond’s If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do?  Also, “Dancing is the front door to adultery.”

So massively crazy is this Christian scare film cum Exploitation sleaze. What’s even more frightening is how fucking amazingly and terrifyingly relevant this red hot bowl of shit is even today. I thought to myself, if this was made today it would be a YouTube video (Ironically enough, I watched this on YouTube).

Hilarious and atrocious, If Footmen Tire You is some pretty wow stuff. Frankly, the DSM-5 should classify this kind of religious fervor is a psychological abnormality.

Estus Pirkle was 41 in 1971, and looking into this psycho prism is like a glimpse back into its own type of hell, one ruled over by Pirkle as Satan himself. Only crazy crap of a similar order may be just as alive and well today.  Lucky for us Pirkle died in 2005.

A incredible artifact.

Savage Abduction (1973)

Savage Abduction (1973) movie poster

director  John Lawrence
viewed: 06/23/2018

The convoluted premise of Savage Abduction: a psycho is hired to murder the wife of a businessman. The psycho then blackmails the businessman into abduct two beautiful young women for the psycho to kill. The businessman subcontracts to a ruthless biker and his gang to do the abduction.

A relative lack of nudity and blood belie the sleaze and violence of Savage Abduction. The lead biker, Chelsea (Steve Oliver), viciously beats his moll and oozes violence from every pore.

I do have to say that girls naive enough to hitchhike with some bikers are bound to get into trouble. And bound to get bound.

The film’s ending is a moral morass, oddly open-ended message about this convolution.

Glen or Glenda (1953)

Glen or Glenda (1953) movie poster

director Ed Wood, Jr.
viewed: 06/22/2018

Glen or Glenda is really Ed Wood, Jr.’s trash masterpiece.

Wood molds an Exploitation piece about the first well-known sex reassignment surgery into a very personal plea for tolerance for transvestism, and by proxy, other aspects of the non-cisgender spectrum. Coming in 1953, its message, while unbelievably clumsy and lodged in the limited language of the time, still seems an attempt at progressiveness. It’s entirely understandable to find it not just tin-eared but offensive.

Wood has a way with dialogue, uniquely Woodian, uniquely awful. And his staging of scenes is often so patently amateurish it seems like parody.

And yet, there are mesmerizing aspect of the film as well. And the discordance of elements, Bela Lugosi’s every moment for instance, breaks into accidental Surrealism, to boot.

It’s the personal angle that elevates the work above Wood’s typical genre work. A passion drives Glen or Glenda, even at its most ridiculous, imbuing it with an intensity not seen in Wood’s other films.

Psyched by the 4D Witch (1973)

Psyched by the 4D Witch (1973) movie ad

director Victor Luminera
viewed: 06/20/2018

Did somebody spike my orange juice with LSD?

Psyched by the 4D Witch is psychedelic sexploitation jiving out to some acid garage rock. It’s pretty far out, man.

“I followed the abracadabra to the letter.”

Kenneth Anger meets Doris Wishman at Anton LaVey’s potluck.

A young lady gets possessed by an inter-dimensional witch and it leads to sexual exploration and enlightenment through cheap psychedelics.

“Let’s fantasy fuck now.”

She Shoulda Said No! (1949)

 

She Shoulda Said No! (1949) movie poster

director  Sam Newfield
viewed: 05/12/2018

She Shoulda Said No! but I guess it’s good she didn’t because otherwise we wouldn’t have this movie.

I kid, I kid, but in reality, star Lila Leeds was busted for MJ with Bob Mitchum in September 1948. The 20 year old starlet’s career was strangled by the scandal, while Mitchum managed to shrug it off and carry on being a big time star. Leeds hadn’t maybe had her breakout role yet, but outside of this Exploitation penance flick, she also never got a chance. And it’s a shame. She’s definitely got that certain something that could have made a star.

She Shoulda Said No! is a more polished and professional morality tale Exploitation than others of its ilk, maybe because of the notoriety of Leeds. It also features notable actors like Lyle Talbot and a young Jack Elam.

Not as sleazy or silly as some other marijuana scare flicks, I did like the kinda 21 Jump Street of its day thing, when a cop going undercover at a soda joint notes in voiceover: “I went home and dig out my old schoolbooks, loaded up my pockets with nickels for the jukebox and brushed up on my jive talk.”

The best sequence is Leeds in jail, initially unrepentant, eventually crumbling under those 60 days behind bars, and the guilt of her brother’s suicide. It’s a testament to the shame how something so petty ruined Leeds’ career, though such drug busts have been much worse for such petty shit on many other people by comparison.

The Blue Hour (1971)

The Blue Hour (1971) movie poster

directors  Sergei Goncharoff, Ron Nicholas
viewed: 04/22/2018

The Blue Hour is sort of like the sexploitation  Stranger Than Paradise.  Not that it’s Jarmuschian but that it’s a sort of immigrant’s tale with arthouse vibe.

Of course, sexploitation means there’s always more “ploitation” than “sex”, and that is very much the case here.

Tania is new to America and experiencing the open sexual mores of the time, which trigger memories of her coming of age on an isolated Greek island. The Blue Hour is strange and inconsistent, but winds up being sort of evocative, feeling somehow very personal.

Not sure I know what to do with it, but it was not uninteresting.