Howdy there, loyal readers! This weekend wound up being a real doozy, so I don’t have a new review ready for today. Never fear though, because there is some good stuff coming up later this week, particularly as I start delving into my accumulated archive of bargain bin acquisitions.
In the meantime, I decided to round up a lovely bunch of full movies that are currently available, totally free, on the wide world of the internet. Enjoy!
I have had the damnedest time finding a physical copy of this 1971 classic, but luckily it has been hanging around on YouTube unimpeded for a while (though it is obviously a VHS rip). I particularly like “Willard” because of the way it blends a revenge story with a monster movie. The hybridization worked splendidly, and has been mimicked many times since. You also can’t help but identify with Willard, even as he starts going over the edge with his rat-fueled rampage. It is definitely worth a watch, particularly as it seems to be fading from the public consciousness. Here’s hoping it gets a blu-ray treatment at some point.
“Martin” is a clever 1977 George Romero vampire movie that has managed to slip through the cracks of history, and is one that the writer/director highly regards as one of his finest films to this day. On debut, it wound up being overshadowed by “Assault on Precinct 13” at Cannes, and never managed to get much off the ground. I recently read about the film in Shock Value by Jason Zinoman, and the described counter-supernatural style really stuck out to me. The question of whether Martin is actually a vampire follows throughout the movie, and Romero uses this to poke at the over-tired tropes of vampire movies. It sounds like the sort of film that would work well today, so it may just have been long ahead of its time. What luck that this forgotten gem is hanging around in the annals of YouTube!
A Bucket of Blood
I absolutely love “A Bucket of Blood,” and think that it might just be Roger Corman’s true masterpiece. This film has been popping into my head quite a bit recently, particularly while re-watching Martin Scorcese’s “After Hours” and the modern cult classic “Murder Party.” Both of these films feature over-the-top, tongue-in-cheek assaults on the contemporary art world, something that has never been done better than in “A Bucket of Blood.” The story follows an awkward and incompetent aspiring artist who is shunned by his local arts community. Through a bizarre series of accidents, he winds up becoming a hit artist after plastering a mold over his neighbor’s cat, which he accidentally killed out of frustration. Loving the attention, he decides to replicate the success by going on killing spree, an immortalizing his victims by coating them with plaster. The movie horrifying, hilarious, and has one of the most relate-able and sympathetic serial killers that I have ever seen in a film. If you haven’t seen this, it gets an enthusiastic recommendation from me.
Nothing gives me quite as much joy as seeing Joe Don Baker show up in movies where I am not expecting to see him. I covered a few of his movies back in the IMDb Bottom 100, but I still hold that he is the best part about all of those awful movies. And, honestly, I kind of like “Mitchell.” I’m planning to cover Joe Don Baker in at least one upcoming review, but I think “Walking Tall” deserves a special little mention. Not only is this the Joe Don Baker-iest of all the Joe Don Baker movies, but like “Willard,” it has really fallen out of the public consciousness. I have likewise had no luck finding a physical copy of this movie, apart from the recent remake starring Dwayne Johnson. However, that flick definitely lacks the odd charm and grittiness of the original flick. I hope this gets a re-release of some sort in the near future, but for now, you can catch Joe Don Baker whacking people with a slab of wood to your heart’s content on YouTube.
There are an awful lot of Hercules movies out there. In fact, I’m going to be spotlighting one of the lesser ones later this week. However, I don’t think any of them are as entertainingly bizarre as this 1983 Italian film by Luigi Cozzi. And, of course, it stars the Incredible Hulk himself, Lou Ferrigno. If you thought that either of the 2014 Hercules flicks were disappointing, then this one is sure to never let your hopes get up again. The bear fight / tossing sequence has become particularly infamous, but there are a whole lot more things to enjoy in this film than just that brief clip. This one is almost certainly worth your time, if you are up for wasting an hour and change on YouTube. It is an experience. And, if you are up for more, there’s even a sequel out there!