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It Comes At Night (2017)

It Comes At Night (2017)

You want a depressing scary movie? You got it. It's a bit like The Fog, but with a bit less action... and a bit less fog. It's like a hybrid between that and the original Night of The Living Dead. Atmospherically. It's about a family holed up in a house, staying clear of the woods and the sickness that there roams, far from the city and a fallen civilization that oozes black blood.

And about the day a man breaks into their house, and everything changes.

It turns out all he tried to do was find some food for the family, and so after a time of contemplation they decide to bring him in. Him, his wife, and his little baby boy.

They go about their lives like usual, never mind the nightmares that wake them up some times in the dead of night - the stark stench of brunt corpses lingering in their nostrils... but then one day it all changes again.

It's a good movie. It's dark. It makes the most out of very limited scenery, looks good, feels heavy, and brings me back to the low-budget days of old, and still I wonder: why do I WATCH movies like this? Whatever do they give me but a poetic vein, a shiver, and a wavering remnant of pain? It's probably a high four but I just can't give more than a...

 rated 3/5: not bad

The Mighty Peking Man (1977)

The Mighty Peking Man (1977)

Here's the legendary Shaw Brothers take on Godzilla and Tarzan all in one! Only it's a female Tarzan (more like Jane), and Godzilla's Chinese: The Peking Man, they call him. He's a mastodon beast who towers over civilization where other men cower in fear, brought to the city via a brave expedition into the wild wides of (it looks like) India. But alas, his fate seems sealed in stone, no matter how they switch up the circumstance...

It's not a great movie by any means, but it's entertaining. Samantha (the female Tarzan) looks good, the props are elaborate - although not that authentic, and the wild animals really are WILD. It's a savage expedition done like they only did in the old days, when it seems they could treat animals and beasts just a little bit however they wanted. For good or bad.

It feels like moving away from the martial arts realm might've been the final turn for the Shaw Brothers, but unlike their more masterful martial art movies this one's definitely a whole other scale of elaborate. Could it be their most high-budget film? Maybe it was their gamble on expansion that didn't manage to go all the way, but I like what this could have been.

It stands its own ground, and for what it's worth: it's a work of art. From a generation of monster and destruction films unfortunately long forgotten. Just a shame that the quality, and story, isn't consistent... or just doesn't match the genre. It comes across more as a parody than the theatrical masterpiece it could have been.

 rated 3/5: not bad

The Candy Tangerine Man (1975)

The Candy Tangerine Man (1975)

Blaxploitation movies here we go! :) This one's the story of a black pimp, who gets chased by a couple of white cops, and goes about a couple of long nights by exacting vengeance on a rival gang; leaving a bloody trail after him until... it's time to retire and live the good life with his family!

There's some cool stunts: people falling out of windows, a car chase, slow-mo action and paint-red blood, and girls, but there's really not much more to say about it. It wasn't particularly great, neither in act nor in action, but it was entertaining. There are bits of comedy too. And despite the genre (if you'd call blaxploitation a genre) there's not much exploitation is there? Apart from stereotypes of old it's the white guys who really fall short.

 rated 2/5: decent

After Porn Ends 3 (2018)

After Porn Ends 3 (2018)

It's time for yet another intriguing glimpse into the lives of past icons, and current icons, of this one so most controversial industry which is - after all - only there because we allow it to be.

It's there for out entertainment, and what a lucrative albeit competitive form of entertainment that has turned out to be.

The movie's nicely directed, with a lot more sensual footage than the previous - if I remember it right - interviewing most memorably Bonnie Rotten, Joanna Angel, Christy Canyon, Tera Patrick, Priya Rai, Romi Rain, Herschel Savage (guys are getting a bit rare here), Jenna Presley (she's the one who dropped out and went religious), as well as starting things off with a quick homage to Johnnie Keyes, who died shortly before this movie was made. He featured in the last one, not to mention revolutionized the industry; opened up for a whole new culture of multicultural eh... entertainment. RIP!

I feel like I didn't recognize nearly enough names in this one compared to the previous, but when the credits rolled I was positively surprised to see it's actually directed by Brittany Andrews! Another retired (or is she?) icon. The previous two were both directed by Bryce Wagoner.

She might explain the expansion on sexual footage amidst the interviews, which IMO is nothing but a benefit. It's all relevant to the movie after all. I think I spotted James Dean too, and surely I'm forgetting at least a couple other deserving mentions. Lots of intriguing people here.

I read a review on IMDB scoring this one as low as possible as just another series of interviews with old stars, and though that may be true it was also an intriguing set of interviews. And old stars. All new. The interviews that is.

It's interesting to listen to the fates and stories of these people, even if the take-away points regarding the industry seem to be the same as before: competition's tough, the old days were better, promote yourself when you have the chance, don't look down on people within this particular field and most of all: be prepared that if you dive into porn then that'll be a stigma you carry for the rest of your life, for good and/or bad. No regrets.

It's good to hear that most of the icons herein interviewed came away (or keep going within) the business unscathed; with a mostly positive relation to the industry even after their leave.

Contrary to that one reviewer I wouldn't mind seeing more of these. They're aesthetically appealing, interesting, and ever relevant in our modern world. And it's as good a time as any to keep it going too; check in with as many legendaries as possible from the golden old days while they're still around.

Just look what happened to Johnnie Keyes.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Hidden Passion (1991)

Hidden Passion (1991)

AKA San ji qiang wei zhi lian.

Apparently there are a few movies with the same name in English - one from the next year no less, and all with similar plots, so maybe good to mention the original; possibly unique title too.

The plot, via IMDB presented in precise, somewhat entertainingly descriptive albeit not perfect English: There is hidden passion galore as a plain middle aged house wife looks after her wheel chair bound husband who has lost interest in sex. Her young slutty niece, who dresses provocatively wearing thigh high boots, comes to stay with them. There is a nerdy young neighbour who lusts after our Mrs Robinson and of course the ubiquitous local shop keeper who lusts after our young hero for some unknown reason and is a chunky Korean looking actress. The movie is set in the boondocks of HK away from the picturesque city towers that we come to associate with all HK crime melodramas and moves toward ts inevitable finale.

...and that's about it! It's a slice of life movie about an unusual family scenario where focus is placed mainly on the sex part of their life.

It starts playful and ordinary, but gets more and more intense the further it goes. Towards the end I'm wondering if there's any way there could be so much sexual intrigue between people in real life, if some cultures are just so much more sexual than others (this isn't even Japan), and if maybe modern culture is depriving us of the situations where such things happen, what with the Internet now giving anyone direct access to whatever content they crave, without leading them to find more touchable outlets for their passions. Like we're getting out of touch with the real world.

Whichever is the case this was a surprisingly well-made movie for the type, with pretty authentic acting and, as the title promises: passion. Plenty of it. It's neither a particularly uplifting or particularly depressing story overall, just one of those that follows the fates of a selected few, and then leaves them be. How they move on isn't for us, but we did share some good moments.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Office Love - Behind Closed Doors (1985)

Office Love - Behind Closed Doors (1985)

A single mother juggles corporate and call girl demands, but things get jiggly when an old flame re-enters her life.

IMDB summed this one up so perfectly! It's a simple premise with complex intrigue, it's a softcore Japanese romance movie, and it's also not bad.

The large focus on office relations feels pretty relevant to society as a whole; to this particular culture. Relations are complicated, and the actors are good at reflecting it, and look good too but not unnaturally so.

It starts off with veiled intimacy and softer scenes but gets pretty heated during the final phases of the film, moving between more regular scenes at the office and steamier ones in the bedrooms, and I recognize some of the actors too! At least I think I do. Didn't realize they'd been in movies like this.

Overall it's not a particularly complicated movie by any measure, but maybe it'll surprise. I found it pretty polished: the steamier scenes, the pace, the people; uncertain ending and all... but mostly the steamier scenes. Good watch.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

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