Tagged: 1977

VHS Verdict: ‘The White Buffalo’ is a Western ‘JAWS’ with Charles Bronson!

I never even knew a movie existed where Charles Bronson and Will Sampson (Chief Bromden from ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’) teamed up to battle a giant albino monster buffalo up until a couple weeks ago. But yeah ‘The White Buffalo’ is just that, a wild west adventure flick that channels ‘Jaws’ in obvious ways but alsogives a lot more to ponder upon later. This 1977 action flick features Bronson as Wild Bill Hickock who’s haunted by nightmares of a vicious monster buffalo, so much so that he’s developed a bad habit of grabbin’ his pistols during the dreams and randomly firing it in real life while he’s in a deep slumber.

The visions intensify and soon Bronson’s on a cross country quest to track down this pesky monster. There’s some great action in between of course where Bronson kicks a ton of ass and gets into some crazy saloon shootouts, cuz let’s not forget what he’s best known for, over the top ass kickin’ action. Meanwhile the awesome Will Sampson plays the legendary Crazy Horse, who’s daughter happens to be slaughtered by the giant buffalo in a bloody massacre on his settlement and it inspires a quest of revenge against the beast.

I really dig this forgotten gem, from the cool sets to the atmospheric gothic journey when Bronson heads off on into the mountains in a stage coach, to the drama between Hickock and Crazy Horse as they try to come to terms with the white man’s dominance in the world. Of course my favorite part of this 70’s horror/action hybrid is the threat of the giant beast looming in the mountians, which I read was inspired by the success of ‘Jaws’. The creature appears within an almost dream like landscape, even when outside of Bronson’s nightmares.

The giant beast is actually pretty well done I think, considering the times, using animatronics and puppetry and well placed camera angles. there’s some pretty bloody and intense scenes later as well when the duo finally confronts the albino behemoth. Considering the movie had a PG rating back then at least it gets nice and dirty when it needs to. We all know those 70’s “PG” rated flicks can feel a lot more like an R rated movie in modern times. The movie definitely works best showcasing the unlikely alliance between Bronson & Sampson and does it’s best to show what sort of bonds and trust can develop against a greater threat. I had a blast with this one and it’s easily become one of my favorite Bronson movies! Track this one down, it’s a unique little largely forgotten monster flick! 

Advertisements

Creepy Comic Cover of the Week: Frankenstein’s Monster vs Iron Man?!!

Here’s another installment of ‘Creepy Comic Book Covers’! This week as we grow closer to Halloween it’s only obvious we’d check out a odd battle that took place way back in 1977 between Iron Man and yeah…Frankenstein’s Monster!! As it states on the cover he’s “the most unexpected foe of the year” and I always loved it when Marvel would pit it’s classic superheroes up against classic monsters. This is an excellent cover that features Tony Stark in some deep shit as Frankenstein’s Monster just got done serving him his ass on a platter! What I really love are Frankenstein’s Monster’s weird ass little minions crowding around Iron Man armed with wooden clubs and out for blood! A great halloween flashback from comic book art legends Val Mayerick & Dave Cockrum!

VHS Verdict: The Hillbilly Horror of ‘Whiskey Mountain’!

Hot Daaayum! I’ve been swamped with work lately and totally unable to find the time to do some damn bloggin’ but now I’m back!! As you all may realize I love hunting for old vhs tapes, you just never know what the hell you’re going to find next as there’s seemingly a limitless supply of oddball movies from the 1970’s & 80’s out there waiting to be stumbled upon. Well while I was out hunting for cool shit  for my vintage shop Hollywood Babylon in Portland, Oregon (shameless self promotion) I of course found a bunch of interesting vhs tapes as well. One such was an creepy looking movie from 1977 called “Whiskey Mountain”. You just never know what you’re going to get and when I searched online for info on this flick there really wasn’t much on the web about it, so I figure I’ll try and put this one on the map a little more.

Well this is actually a pretty weird little 70’s ‘hixploitation’ flick that surely fueled more modern movies like “Wrong Turn” & “Tucker & Dale vs Evil”. I checked out the trailer for this on youtube before viewing and it looked like something worth at the very least checkin out, yeah the trailer was full of some pretty frantic 70’s action sequences & a ton of cool ass over the top 70’s fashion. A little more research online made me even more intrigued as the director William Grefe also hlemed a truly bizarre movie I totally dig called “Impulse” that stars William Shatner in his most ridiculously psychotic over the top performance of his career. So yeah I was eager to see what this had to offer. Here’s a little snippet from ‘Impulse’ so you get the gist of what Shatner’s got going on…

With ‘Whiskey Mountain’ we’ve got full on action right from the start as we meet our two main cowboys who appear far too old to be participating in a crazy dirt bike motocross race, but more power to em! One of the lead actors Christopher George is somewhat of a horror icon starring in cult classics like “Mortuary”, “Graduation Day”, “City of the Living Dead” & “The Exterminator” so I was pretty curious what ol’ Whiskey Mountain might offer me. I realized from the box that the movie was rated PG though, so I wasn’t expecting things to get too twisted. Well these two motorbike riding Marlboro men and their girlfriend’s all head off on a road trip to find a place called…you guessed it..Whiskey Mountain, a place where the weird ass locals claim doesn’t exist, which clearly means it does! Supposedly there’s treasure up some where in those hills and our two lovely 70’s couples are on a quest to find it. Of course things get freaky pretty quick when the local hillbillies at the filling station try to make lewd advances at one of the women.

At this point we follow the couple’s journey into the mountains where they encounter raging forest fires, waterfalls and of course hillbillies who’re dead set on stealing women’s panties while the gang skinny dips of course. There’s a lot of time spent trekkin’ about in the woods but luckily the movie never seems to get boring as most of the settings and landscapes are actually pretty breathtaking. It for the most part has a pretty lighthearted tone, but things take a rather jarring dark turn suddenly when the group investigates a pot farm in a mountain cave. There’s some dark shit that occurs and the movie’s “PG” rating feels waaaaay outdated. There’s a totally chilling super uncomfortable scene involving a series of Polaroids that should have easily pushed this film to an R rating, but it quickly reminded me that ratings back then ain’t at all what they are today.

The movie shifts tones dramatically quite often in the last third actually, one minute we see the disturbing “PG Rated” Polaroid sexual assault sequence and then in the next the two main hero dude cowboys are having a blast kickin’ hillbilly ass with happy banjo jams courtesy of ‘The Charlie Daniel’s Band’ a blarin’! There’s some good shit in that finale too, more motocross mayhem, a bridge gets blown the fuck up and of course one of the hero cowboy dudes jumps across on his bad ass dirt bike after (with those happy banjo jams a blarin’ again)! Then the tone shifts again as one of our main characters kicks the bucket suddenly and then just when you think the remaining members of the crew are on to safety shit hits the fan in one final Shyamalanian 70’s twist!

So yeah I recommend hunting this one down, it’s an interesting one that’s for sure, as it shows just how much you could get away with in the late 70’s with a PG rating! I dig the poster/vhs box art too and as far as hillbilly horror goes if that’s your jam this one’s a gem….  

Wrapping The Oscars Up With One Movie: Creed!!

I’m going to voice my opinion here quick on The Oscars this year, there’s been a lot of complaints and controversy about it this time because of it’s lack of racial diversity in it’s list of nominees. Here though at Universal Dork the awards are a simple process. I’ve seen a LOT of movies this year and there were some damn good ones, but when we think of the Oscars there’s certainly a “type” of movie that’s normally the winner. For instance I’d probably include ‘Krampus’ or ‘What We Do In Shadows’ on a list if I were in charge of shit. Well we all know that THOSE types of movies aren’t Oscar material so looking on to the big major heartfelt/drama flicks of  2015 one movie comes to mind that just feels right to me, without even having to consider race and really solves all the problems people are having this year with the Oscars. That movie is ‘Creed’. 

Yep I honestly don’t think there’s any movie in 2015 that fits the bill of deserving best picture. This movie was the only flick that actually caused me to well up in tears more than once. Yeah and it’s a Rocky movie! I’d go on to say that this one is just as powerful as the first. It brings the movie full circle but isn’t a carbon copy of the original, it delivers quite an interesting story and continues the saga of the Rocky franchise in a truly realistic and heart wrenching/warming tale.

Heck, director Ryan Coogler should most definitely be up for best director too, seriously, they need to give this film a ton more love for everything he put into it. Writer, director, screen play, he made it happen and did a brilliant job. So I’m baffled Coogler & the movie weren’t even nominated. Both should be on the nominations list and it should win best picture. Period.

Next I think it’s main star Michael B. Jordan should undeniably be up for best actor this year. It’s a crime he didn’t make the list. He’s come a long long way as an actor and in the case of Creed he’s the perfect actor to play Apollo Creed’s son. He’s so convincing in the role I think any other actor may have made this movie feel like an inside joke. Jordan takes the franchise and runs with it in his own direction and gives us all a completely new breed of underdog to root for. So yeah everyone bitching about the “Oscars so white” should be demanding Jordan’s presence instead of whining about Ice Cube Jr. in the bland retelling of N.W.A.’s “real story” in ‘Straight Outta Compton’. Performances don’t come much better than Jordan’s. So yeah the Oscar’s fucked up big time.

Lastly if Stallone at least doesn’t take home the “Best Supporting Actor” award home with him for his portrayal of Rocky Balboa in Creed then we’ll have another crime on our hands! At least he got a nomination, the fact that he didn’t win best actor for Rocky back in 1977 is ridiculous. Hell, Sly should have won best actor for First Blood and his role of Balboa in 2006. Let’s face it ‘Rocky Balboa’ was a fantastic movie as well, but somehow Stallone topped his performance there in last year’s Creed. He goes well beyond the distance here giving his best performance perhaps of his career. Stallone brings the legacy of Rocky Balboa here to new heights and it’s clear his heart was in it 110%. Sly’s is an incredible actor, director and writer. It’s a shame he’s not given more real cred by so called film critics. Perhaps this year at least he’ll get what he deserves finally, an Oscar. You messed up big time this year Hollywood….

The Grinch’s Halloween Special Prequel?!

Call me severely uninformed, but I just discovered today that Dr.  The Suess’ The Grinch had a holiday special before the classic “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”! Yep-The Grinch was grumpy as hell in the 1977 prequel “Halloween is Grinch Night”. Maybe this is common knowledge for most people but I had no idea the Grinch had a Halloween special-that won an Emmy!

Halloween_Grinch

The Grinch is once again a total dick to the people of Whoville and this gives us all a little more insight to his back story-so if you, like me, never knew the Grinch first “celebrated” Halloween then feast your eyes on this cool little forgotten cartoon….I still can’t believe I never saw this one!