Tuesday, June 27, 2017

LUST IN THE DUST (1985)

Under the "blistering, burning, blazing, scorching, roasting, toasting, baking, boiling, broiling, steaming, searing, sizzling, grilling, smoldering, very hot New Mexico sun" lays the small settlement of Chile Verde.  It's not much to look at.  Just a bar, a few buildings, an outdoor shower and a gate where they lynch somebody every Saturday night, but travelers still come from all over...in search of gold!

One such traveler is Divine.  After being gang raped (off screen) by some outlaws (including Geoffrey Lewis, Woody Strode and Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez!), she latches onto traveling gunslinger Tab Hunter.  Together they show up in Chile Verde.  Divine is looking to be a singer, but sadly only gets to sing one song (which is the highlight of the movie). Tab sticks around because he's looking for the secret treasure that is rumored to be hidden in Chile Verde.  Some of the others looking for the gold are local priest Cesar Romero, bar owner Lainie Kazan and local whore Gina Gallego (who broke my heart by never getting naked).

Despite the sinful title, LUST IN THE DUST is surprisingly tame.  Yeah, the subject matter is rough and there's a lot of raunchy stuff talked about, but very little happens onscreen.  And that is the films biggest downfall.  It's too restrained.  As a straight Western, it's fairly entertaining and Tab Hunter plays a great cowboy, but there's too much goofy humor.  As a campy Western...there wasn't enough goofy humor!  I think it would have been a better film if it had been crazier...and with more of Divine singing. 

Still, it's an entertaining low-budget time-waster with a surprising cast.

Fun fact: Tab Hunter met his partner of over 30 years, producer Allan Glaser, during the making of this film.  They're still together!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

INTREPIDOS PUNKS (1980)

True story: INTREPIDOS PUNKS was so lame that I immediately had to watch COMMANDO afterwards to get myself back in a good mood.

I had hopes that INTREPIDOS PUNKS was going to be badass, but sadly, it turned out to be the snoozerific story of biker gang who's members all dress the same and like to pump their fists in the air a lot.  When they're not committing suicide, raping females or lighting people on fire, they enjoy robbing banks and getting into shoot-outs with police.  That might sound exciting, but it's not.  Not even close..and even worse: the same shitrock theme song is played over and over and over.

As far as movie punks go, these dorks were about a punk as the post-apocalyptic bandits in THE ROAD WARRIOR, but nowhere near as cool or dangerous.  Instead, they're just some psychopaths with crazy hair and studded leather clothing.  Terrible music, uneven pace, badly shot topless scenes, complete lack of style by whoever directed this thing, crap editing, poor camera placement, worthless story.

INTREPIDOS PUNKS might work as an novelty to watch with some like-minded friends, but that's about it.  Skip it.

If you need me, I'll be in my room watching STONE COLD.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

MY DEGENERATION (1990)

"Here I am petting a pig head and I'm actually enjoying it. This is really weird."

Thirteen minutes into MY DEGENERATION, the main character falls asleep while watching TV...I was jealous.  All kidding aside, I'm not sure why MY DEGENERATION gets such a bad rap.  (Although, proudly boasting "see why ROGER EBERT walked out after 7 minutes" on your DVD cover probably doesn't help.)  The film is pretty much what you would expect for a 61-minute movie made for $5,000 by teenagers in 1989.  The story (as unoriginal as it is) is about a rock band who sell out and then burn out.  Along the way, the lead singer falls in love with a talking pig head that she keeps in her refrigerator.

In the (surprisingly enjoyable) audio commentary, director/producer/writer Jon Moritsugu states that he originally planned for MY DEGENERATION to be a 30-minute short film, but then a friend bet him that he couldn't make it into a feature length film.  So, instead of adding story (and therefore increasing the budget), Jon simply stretched it to 61-minutes by added in a bunch of needless filler.  For example: replaying a long scene of the girls "playing" their instruments (I say "playing" because none of them knew how to play) that was shown earlier, but this time just inverting it to look like a film negative (kinda like the album cover to Nirvana's "Bleach", which was released in 1989).

Overall, MY DEGENERATION would have been much better as a short film, but it's still an interesting look at extremely low-budget filmmaking in the late 1980's.  My biggest complaint is the band members not knowing how to play their instruments.  That was distracting.