Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Monday, August 1, 2011
The first Gamera film came out in 1965, launching a much loved franchise featuring a giant turtle monster wreaking havok in Japan. After the first film however, Gamera became a good guy, fighting off other monsters and being "a friend to children everywhere" (enter Gamera theme song here). In Gamera vs Barugon, a bunch of treasure hunters search for a giant opal which turns out to be an monster egg. Once the monster is unleashed, Gamera must come to save the world from the creature. In Gamera vs Gaos, a giant blood thirsty bat creature (Gaos) is awoken from an erupting volcano and Gamera must stop it when a group of scientists' plan fails to lure the bat with fake blood. Gamera vs. Guiron begins when some annoying kids are kidnapped by female aliens for sinister purposes. Gamera must save the kids (and the world) from a monster unleashed by the aliens. Lastly, in Gamera vs Zigra, the earth is threatened by a fish-like monster who wants revenge on our planet for ruining his home planet's water.
Though the Gamera films have some charm, they are pretty terrible and prove to be easy targets for Joel Hodgson, Tom Servo and Crow. The quips come fast and furious and I found myself laughing throughout. Each of the five episodes were top notch and it is great to have them all together in this box set. Sitting through the films back to back might be a chore so I recommend watching them spread out. Also included in this set, which comes in a collectible tin case, are 5 exclusive mini posters by artist Steve Vance. The set also features a slew of bonus features including a look back at MST3K & Gamera, a documentary on Gamera by Japanese monster expert August Ragone, Gamera vs. The Chiodo Brothers (Killer Klowns from Outer Space, Pee Wee's Big Adventure), MST Hour wraps and the original Japanese trailers. I highly recommend this set for MST3K fans, monster movie fans and bad movie fans.
Order it now from Shout! Factory HERE and receive a free MST3K Stress Ball and an Exclusive Postcard Pack.
Directed by Ruggero Deodato (Cannibal Holocaust and Last Cannibal World) and written by Fernando Di Leo (Milano Calibro 9, The Italian Connection, The Boss), Live Like a Cop, Die Like a Man takes the already violent Italian crime genre and takes it to a new level. Just released by Raro Video USA, this film is finally available in the states, providing us with another missing piece in the director's varied filmography. Deodato has done everything from the aforementioned Cannibal films, Disaster films (Concorde Affair), Sword and Sorcery films (The Barbarians) and Revenge films (House on the Edge of the Park) so it is only appropriate that he dipped into Italian crime films too.
Live Like a Cop, Die Like a Man follows Fred (Marc Porel) and Tony (Ray Lovelock), two cops who believe that the only way to fight crime is with violence. Though their boss (Adolfo Celi) doesn't approve of this method, he still assigns them to the new special force where they try to catch dangerous gangster Roberto "Bibi" Pasquini (Renato Salvatori). Fred and Tony use every method they can, from blowing up a parking lot full of cars to "seducing" Bibi's sister Lina. But will their dangerous tactics pay off or end up getting them killed?
Definitely the most violent polizioteschi I have seen, Live Like a Cop, Die Like a Man is also one of the best I have seen. Porel and Lovelock do a great job as the carefree cops who not only ride together on one motorcycle and share an apartment but also share and try to seduce the same women. From a surprisingly vulgar conversation with their boss's secretary to the previously mentioned "seduction" of Bibi's sister, the duo's clean cut, pretty boy image proves to be the complete opposite of their tough, misogynistic demeanor. The action begins with an epic motorcycle chase (right after the title song sung by Ray Lovelock) and doesn't let up for more than a few minutes at a time throughout the film. The only flaw I really found with the film was some of the dialogue, which was a little campy and over the top. On the other hand though, I feel that without this break from the violence and action, the film may have been a little too dark and wouldn't have allowed the audience to breathe. Included on this disc from Raro Video is a new 35mm transfer, a documentary on the film with director and star interviews, as well as some early commercials by Deodato.