"Black Death" (2010)
When the background of a film is the BUBONIC PLAGUE you know you're not in for a barrel of laughs...
... What you do get with Christopher Smith's "Black Death" is a belly-full of belief that becomes control and justice that is actually wrath.
The movie is grim and gritty as it casts it's eye back on the unpleasant past as it points a finger at our unpleasant present.
I have to give points to the film for evoking both 1968's "Witchfinder General" and "The Wickerman" from 1973.
"Black Death" also manages to create one of the most memorable film villains in recent memory. Actually make that *2* of the most memorable villains... actually THREE now that I come to think of it... wait... maybe it's 10... or 20... or almost every single member of the cast!
Roger Corman rips of Conan and presents a film with a STUNNING amount of topless ladies. Seriously I can't ever remember a film with so many exposed breasts. In other high points: a pig-headed dude and two sisters mud wrestling. The next time someone asks me what the 80s were like I may just have them watch this film.
5 years seems like a long time to go before making a sequel to a lousy film, but here it is any way.
The biggest surprise is not that they didn't get the original Deathstalker numbskull to reprise his role it's the decision to play the material off as comedy/affectionate parody.
... The acting is bad, of course. And, while scantily clad in leather & furs, the women are almost never topless. Strangely enough this film's portrayal of "strong warrior women" seems almost MORE sexist than the objectification of the first film.
The oddest thing though is that this film it is (inexplicably) more watchable than the first.
The high point may be the "metal" weapons, which are clearly WRAPPED IN ALUMINUM FOIL.
This film is some kinda ecological warning/dangers of global warming piece, or something. It is really, really bad.
I've seen lots of crappy flicks, so I know from bad. This is bad.
... It's as if the "director" had NEVER ACTUALLY SEEN A HORROR MOVIE IN HIS LIFE, but thought "How hard can it be?".
This is a bad film.
The Warrior and the Sorceress
Even though it is infamous for it's nudity & violence this flick has less of both than Deathstalker (from the previous year). Heck when it comes to toplessness it's even lower on the scale than Deathstalker II.
It does try to make up for this lapse in a couple of wa...ys:
1- It's not surprising that the titular Sorceress is unshirted while in captivity, what is notable is that SHE NEVER EVER bothers to put on a top for the rest of the film. So she wanders about doing hero things sans-top. The end result is wallpaper-invisibility for her breasts, an uncommon feat to say the least.
2- To make up for the low number of topless women they opt to give extra breasts to a single woman (total of four). (No she's not played by the same actress from Total Recall, I checked). So said dancing, topless, mutli-mammoried lady attempts to kill the protagonist who is played by David Carradine. His response? He chokes her to death. David Carradine. Chokes a topless woman. To Death. She has 4 breasts. To death.
What puts this film leather & sword above other barbarians and sorcery flicks (other than the good-guy sorceress) is that David Carridine can actually wield a sword *and* deliver a line, even though he's not trying very hard.
Also the "writer" had the good sense to rip off Yojimbo and have Kain (yes Kain) play the two "gang" leaders off against each other.
The end result is something that actually may be called a "movie".
This film is about (allegedly) Roman dickweeds facing off against hero/badass women with swords.
First: there's absolutely nothing Roman about the badguys so let's just drop that nonsense now.
... Worst: This movie about rape. The first scene is about rape. Every female character is raped and/or killed and/or tortured. I'm not the smart guy but I'm pretty sure that you can show that women can be badass sword wielders without sexually assaulting and humiliating them. I can't even imagine anyone accepting this as a premise for a film if all of the heroes were men.
Oh, while I'm on the topic of men, big handsome dudes show up at the end to help the ladies defeat the badguys. Of course.
The whole experience was depressing and I regret watching it. What's more depressing? Check out this blurb from Wikipedia regarding Barbarian Queen II:
"neither the plot nor the characters had anything to do with the original Barbarian Queen film, other than casting Lana Clarkson in the title role and having multiple scenes in which she is bound naked to a rack and tortured in a nod to the original movies' impact scene".
It seems *this* scene is what has made the film a "cult classic", how freakin sad is that? And there's the claim that there was "grass-roots pressure to produce a third installment". Triple sad.
This movie is crap, please move along.
From the same director that brought us the amazing Triplets of Belleville, The Illusionist is a gorgeous piece of work that is both charming and strikingly bitter-sweet. This isn't kids animation, it's a film that happens to be animated. Beautifully. The stunning, yet melancholy palate makes me wish that director Chomet was given a chance to do an animat...ed version of the Hobbit.
The story revolves around the a stage magician at the end of his career as he looks to find work, and finds a young Scottish girl instead. A girl who believes that he really can do magic.
The Illusionist is simultaneously a love letter from a father to a lost daughter and a long goodbye to the days of variety theatre as it was replaced by television and budding pop music.
8-12-11 A review of Jefferson Death Star's "Stay On Target" Digital EP
a photo essay of the Heroes for Hire tour featuring Jefferson Death Star, Rev Lee Peters of Success! and Arms Like Cables.
10-5-10: A show Review of Paul Collins Beat Show!
5-18-10: Milwaukee's legendary FUCKFACE is finally available on CD... and I have a copy in my shaking hand.
Available from the nice folks at Lastet Flame:
DJ PANIX! At The Gainsbourg!
A review of Les Paradisiers' "More Tales from the Garden"
Live! (Sic)Things' own DJ PANIX!
A review of Film's "Persona"
A review of The Feelie's "Crazy Rhythms"
A review of Joel Kaiser & the Devil's Own's "Honky Tonkin' Till the Coffin"
A review of White's "White album.
CD Review of Sophe Lux's "Eruptive"
Also: IfIHadAHiFi Photos up!
CD Review of The Lost Patrol's "Midnight Matinee"
CD Review of Oh My God's "The Night Undoes the Work of the Day"
CD Reviews of XTC as The Dukes of Stratosphear's "25 O'Clock" & "Psonic Psunspot"
an interview with The Cult With No Name's Erik Stein
CD Review of Hidden Number's "Burn Alive"
CD Review of The Individuals "Fields/Aquamarine"
CD Review of 17 Pygmies "Celestina"
CD Review of Cobra Verde "Haven't Slept All Year"
CD Review of Susanne'Silver "The Crying Mary"
CD Review of The Keeper's "Twenty Sided DIE! The Roanoke EP"
CD Review of ubik.'s "The World is a Glorious Biomechanical Nightmare"
CD Review of Black Science's "A New Mastery of Light"
CD Review of Greater Than One's "The Complete Works": "All the Masters Licked Me"
"London" and "G-Force"
DJ Panix spinning live @ the Mercury 11-4-08
CD Review of the Janitors of Anarchy's "Last Call"
CD Review of "POST-grunge II"
PHOTO Essay of The Dirty Birds @ The Bit Seattle, WA
CD Review of Julie Ocean's "Long Gone and Nearly There"
CD Review of "The Funhouse Comp Thing II" by Various Artists
IFIHADAHIFI interview! Click Here
The video for IFIHADAHIFI's "Science depends on Us" Click here
Blank Point is up and running! We are accepting submissions to this punk rock ezine. if you have an album review, an article on a band or some show photos to sumbit, please contact us!
Also: Le Shat Noir Photos up!
DJ Panix is one of the Top Finalists in the 2008 NW People's Picks Awards !!
Thats 2 years in a row! CONGRATS!