‘Tenement’ AKA ‘Game of Survival’ is the third movie from Roberta Findlay I’ve seen and so far she definitely knows how to serve up the grimy goods in true grindhouse flavor. Yeah, Roberta understood how to make a truly sleazy horror flick that’s for sure. Even though Tenement might be considered more of a low budget action/thriller, it’s got plenty of horror and gore to go around. Findlay surely didn’t give a damn if she offended anyone, even though this came out in ’85 it’s jam packed with scenes that you’d likely not see put to screen in 2019.
Playing off a bit like John Carpenter’s ‘Assault on Precinct 13’ except in a run down inner city apartment building, Tenement features a pretty diverse cast of characters who face off in a violent battle of life or death. The bad apples in this one look like they stepped right out of ‘The Warriors’ and are just about the meanest most over the top street gang put to film. These drugged out leather clad assholes are ready kill nearly anything in sight, and when one of the tenants of the apartment complex tires of them hanging around in the basement he calls the cops, all hell breaks loose. Just when the residents decide to throw a party in celebration of the gang’s arrest, they’re let loose into the night by police. Hellbent on revenge they head back to the “tenement” to get bloody revenge on each and everyone who lives within it’s sweaty spray painted walls.
The film moves at a brisk pace and it’s not afraid to get ugly quick. There’s a shocking brutal scene of rape, beatings, drug overdoses, guttings and that’s just the damn start. As crazy as this sounds at the same time the production quality is pretty low, the acting often pretty flimsy/over the top and it’s all sorta hard to actually take seriously. That all being said, for a female film maker back in the 80’s (and especially today) it’s got more bite than most films of this genre made by men. The action and gore is pretty ambitious and luckily the blood here, looking basically like red paint, tames some of the it’s sheer brutality making it a bit more consumable for genre newbies. I really dug a lot of the characters as well, though some may seem a bit stereotyped but the protagonist, a grumpy loner bad ass hero named ‘Washington’ (a cool add to black horror heroes) gets the job done once the gang begins to wreck havoc on his turf, the tenement. It’s quite glorious actually once the surviving apartment tenants decide to band together and fight back, revenge is well served here for sure and it’s quite worth sitting through the earlier nastiness for some sweet revenge. Also never ever underestimate a pregnant woman in danger!
One of the best things about this mean little movie is the actual setting itself. The run down apartment building is a dirty gritty mess of a place. The perfect place for an inner city showdown to occur, with no help of course from the local police. A lot of Roberta Findlay’s movies, at least what I’ve seen so far, have this totally sleezy city vibe going on and it she works that angle quite well. When people bring up grindhouse films this one is actually the perfect example of the genre and for what it is this one’s easily one of the best out there. Her movies feel like they were made a decade earlier as well and have much more of of 70’s feel to them in look and style. A dark yet entertaining action packed urban battle that might not be the most digestible piece of cinema in 2019, but it’s surely something you likely won’t forget anytime soon!
I’ve had this discussion several times over the past year with fellow Star Trek fans, what most seem to fear is Quentin Tarantino getting his dirty mitts on the franchise! But like it or not, it seems Tarantino might actually be taking the reigns on the next movie, which has also been rumored to be his last film ever in the director’s chair. Most seem to fear he’s going to totally ruin Star Trek, planting over the top violence & F-bombs around every damn corner of the movie & if it’s ‘Rated R’ like he’s proposing, there’ll surely be some of that. It makes me wonder does Star Trek need to be rated R? Probably not, but if it is I’m pretty curious just what that would look like exactly. That all being said, I really don’t think he’d turn Star Trek suddenly into ‘Kill Bill’. I feel like Quentin just might actually be the right person for the job, especially if you’re longing for a classic Trek adventure ala The Original Series, The Next Generation or classic movies like ‘The Wrath of Khan’.
Let’s face the facts folks, the JJ Abrams ‘Star Trek’ stuff was fun (at least the first and third movies in the trilogy), but it felt way more like ‘The Fast & The Furious’ than an actual Trek adventure. The classic Star Trek/Next Generation stuff had a much different vibe than these fluffy, bloated CGI spectacles we’ve been recently served up. The classic stuff most often explored a more cerebral side of science fiction story telling. Sure even in ‘The Original Series’ there was great humor and a certain degree of spectacle, but the stories almost always had something interesting to say and often times left you thinking. This side of the Star Trek storytelling, in my opinion, has been seriously missing in these modern attempts. So hear me out, think of what era of film Tarantino truly loves beyond anything else, it’s all of the stuff from the 60’s & 70s. I’m certain he spent some serious time neck deep in those original Star Trek episodes and absolutely adored the banter between Kirk, Spock, Bones and the crew. Their witty conversations on the original series actually remind me in many ways of the dialogue Tarantino serves up in his own films. I can easily picture his influence on Chris Pine’s Kirk, Zachary Quinto’s Spock & Karl Urban’s McCoy fitting perfectly in spirit with the original series in a way we’ve yet to see for this latest cast.
Tarantino thrives in the vintage era of filmmaking that Star Trek was first introduced in, he gets it and it’s obvious that it’s all a huge influence on pretty much everything he’s ever done. Almost all of his movies are a callback to that exact era when Star Trek was first originally thriving. The grindhouse movies and tv of the 60’s and 70’s is exactly what fuels Quentin’s entire soul. It’s why I think just maybe people are wrong to fear Tarantino taking on Star Trek. If you’re a fan of the classic stuff, then there’s honestly probably not a better person to be grabbing the ‘Trek’ bull by the horns and putting it back on course to it’s true roots. Quentin would likely serve us up a more compelling, thought provoking science fiction story to digest as well. He never delivers the predictable Hollywood fare. I don’t see his film making style at all being just a giant CGI spectacle. He’s never been into that. I trust he’s not going to work with a flimsy script either, especially if it is indeed planned to be his final movie. His films have always had more dimensions to them than the average generic summer blockbuster.
I think he’s got the wit, the understanding of what made the original material great & the vision to blend it all into a package that feels classic while at the same time something Trekkies have never quite seen before in a Star Trek film. To me “Tarantino Star Trek” really makes sense. I’m just not interested in seeing another mindless, bloated blockbuster of a Star Trek film again. Let’s go back to what made the series stand out from the herd. In order to do that it really needs someone who understands the franchise and isn’t just trying to make a boat load of quick cash off the masses. Star Trek needs a different style of film maker this time around, that’s certainly clear and I think taking a chance on Quentin is as good a bet as any to give the franchise a bold boost into new territory…
Well, well, well, it seems that us Star Trek fans may really finally be boldly going where no one has gone before. The apparent news is that Quentin Tarantino has got an interesting story to pitch for the U.S.S. Enterprise and if all things work out the way he’d like them to he’ll be sitting in the director’s chair. Also interesting is that he’s demanding the movie be rated R. Just what the hell would a Star Trek movie of this caliber actually look like? I’ve never even considered a Star Trek movie would ever be able trek into the ‘R’ rated zones of the galaxy!
To me this is an exciting step in possibly the right direction for Star Trek, sure the last theatrical movie was a decent enough time for what it was, but it also just felt a little too “typical bloated cranked out for the masses Hollywood action” to really feel like an authentic Trek adventure. So with Tarantino involved we just might get a cerebral science fiction adventure a bit more akin to the original series and then some. We might also be getting a darker vision of the crew’s space exploration. An ‘R’ rating opens up the possibilities for the crew to face some truly horrifying aliens and sinister villains as well as some creepy as fuck planets to check out. This is something I really hopes comes to fruition, I’d like a different direction for the Star Trek movie universe and different is exactly what we’re likely to get here if it happens.
The next question is what version of ‘Star Trek’ is Tarantino looking to helm? Would he be using the all of the actors from the more recent movie trilogy? Will he go Next Generation? Interesting is that today I saw that Patrick Stewart has opened the doors to Quentin, stating he’s open to reprising his role of Picard. Who knows we might even get some William Shatner action in Tarantino’s version, at this point I think anything is possible.
I think it’d be cool to keep it simple and continue the current rebooted crew putting them into a more complex, dangerous, mind bending sci-fi epic. I think Quentin really understands Star Trek and more importantly truly understands the characters of TOS. I’d love to hear some of his classic banter infused with the Star Trek crew, it could really work in ways we haven’t seen since the TOS movies of the late 1970’s-90’s. I think this could be the throwback style we’ve been waiting for mixed with a totally new vision. It’s an experiment I hope comes to light, I’ve got my fingers crossed…How about you?
Here’s a crazy ass looking flick I’m pretty pumped to check out from Joe Lynch (Knights of Badassdom) set to be released Feb. 27th! It looks to me like Salma Hayek could be the new Uma Thurman as this one looks like it’s gonna give Kill Bill a run for it’s money in total crazy over the top action!
“Everly” is a thriller centered on a woman who faces down a cast of colorful bloodthirsty assassins sent by her ex, a deadly mob boss, while holed up alone in her apartment building. Yep it’s Salma Hayek vs. The Yakuza and so far this one is looking like a Tarantino wet dream! Check this out if you haven’t already!
Sometimes I just leave my queue on Netflix run it’s course, I still have a Dvd account by the way, meaning that I have like two hundred movies in waiting. Often I forget to move stuff around and I get those weird wild card flicks gracing my dvd player. Sometimes when bored I’ll load up my queue with a bunch of weird shit I have never heard of. Often upon viewing these I end up much a much more elightened movie buff while other times the movies suck so bad I don’t last fifteen minutes. However this week I hit the jackpot! “Deadbeat at Dawn” is easily one the most memorable “bad” movies I’ve seen in quite some time.
Filmed in 86′ and released in ’88 Deadbeat at Dawn was written & directed by Jim Van Bebber who also stars as the films main Character, anti-hero “Goose”. Bebber also did all the special effects and performs all of his own stunts, one of which Van Beeber jumps off a city bridge! This guy pretty much did anything it took to make this film as action packed with such a small budget. Nunchucks, ninja stars, gang fights, drugs, booze this one has got it all. It will make you think twice before joining a street gang that’s for sure! Goose however decides it’s time to quit the gang so that him and his girlfriend can start a legit life together. However when his girl is brutally murdered by gang members with golf clubs, he hits rock bottom and wants nothing more than to avenge her death, and boy does he get the damn job done!!
It’s been quite a while since I have seen a movie with an ending that kicked so much ass. It’s jam packed with so much hyperactive action it’s hard to keep your breath. Seriously, the last 30 minutes, which Bebber apparently filmed first to try and generate interest in this film from the industry back in ’86, is some of the most ridiculously awesome cinema I’ve seen in years. That’s not to say the film isn’t a bit on the nasty side as there’s not really one likable character in it. Nope, pretty much everyone is a mean spirited prick even the lead character Goose. Even when Goose is trying to be “nice” he still comes across as a total fucktard. We really only see glimmers of a good guy toward the films finale, what can you expect from a self proclaimed “Deadbeat” huh? Well all that aside it’s pretty inspiring filmaking by a guy who wanted to make a film you wouldn’t forget, I know I won’t forget this one anytime soon…
So today I will be getting a movie in the mail I have been looking forward to for quite some time now- Machete Maidens Unleashed! This documentary tells the crazy story of the Grindhouse movies of the 60’s and 70’s.
Following the stories of the actual stars and the crazy locations they shot these films at with a shoe string budget, Machete Maidens looks like the film for all of us Grindhouse fanatics. It looks like they have some cool commentary from the likes of Joe Dante one of my all time faves and Roger Corman. Check out this trailer is doesn’t get any better than this!
Looks like the buzz has officially been blown off the roof for the the newest Grindhouse flick “Hobo with a Shotgun”! This promising sleez-fest stars everybody’s favorite hitchhikin’ android Rutger Hauer! How can you go wrong really? Well interestingly enough I have thus far heard some really mixed reviews for this flick. Some claim it’s a mega cult classic while others have said it’s got all hype an no delivery-just alot of bad filming and wretchedly lame gore . Well I say-i’ll decide for myself bcause so far this DOES look like a winner-as Hauer has gotta be one of the most menacing men in movie history!
This one started as a fake trailer in a contest to win a slot to be featured in the Canadian viewing of Tarantino & Rodriguez’s masterpeice double feature, “Grindhouse”-which was probably the most enjoyable theatrical experience of the last decade! Anyway here’s the trailer-what do you think?
The last week I have been on an epic cross country road trip with a good friend of mine so I haven’t been able to hit the bloggin’ at all. But now having arrived safely at home in Portland Oregon this weekend there was really only one last thing I needed to get accomplished. Go see Kick -Ass! Yeah I have been covering the movies developments pretty heavily here since the comic book has been one of my favs for quite some time. So the wait was finally over and I walked into the theaters with my fingers crossed.
Did the movie deliver? Well sorta if you’d never read the comic book. In fact if you have never read the comic book this may be one of the best “superhero” comic book movies you’ll ever see. Continue reading
The holidays are still raging on and next up is the ever festive New Years! Big plans this year? Well if you’re choosing to chill at home with some friends and a bunch of booze this New Years you may wanna get out there and rent some movies! That’s why I’m giving you a list of a few movies that take place on New Years to entice your audience with. Good thing about these flicks are that each one gets more enjoyable with some liquor! You’d think there’d be alot more New Years themed movies out there worth watching but the truth is the pickins are a bit on the slim side for some reason. So without any further ramblings let’s get the celebration started!
First up is New Years Evil. Continue reading
What? You have never seen ‘The Crippled Masters’? This movie popped into my head this morning for some strange reason and it led me on a search for it on ebay. I remember seeing this amazing flick at like midnight, on Kung Fu Theater (which used to show every friday night in the 80’s when I lived in Milwaukee Wisconsin) when I was a kid and being completely blown away. I guarantee you’ve never see anything quite like this before. I owned this a few years back on vhs but somehow lost it in my move to Oregon. It’s a true rare kung fu classic. One I can only imagine is loved dearly by the likes of Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez. Go hunt this down as soon as possible and get ready to view kung fu movies in a whole new light!!