Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Kill Baby Kill, 1968 (****)
Mario Bava's classic prototype for all little-girl ghost films ever since is both aesthetically beautiful and memorably creepy enough to transcend the severe limitations of the genre, not to mention some rather gaping holes in its plot

Island Of Death, 1975 (*****)
epic perversity from Greece about a murderously sociopathic couple holidaying on the island of Mykonos; shameless genre-lovers will revel in this mindboggingly relentless odyssey of sleaze and shocks; also, check out the creepy mix of analog synths and acoustic sounds on the marvellous soundtrack

Burning Lips, 1976 (***)
it's testament to Leonora Fani's astounding talents that a film like this, which - with European porn theatre audiences in mind - seems to have been edited with a rusty hatchet, is actually more than watchable; her unrivalled on-screen kissing skills need to be seen to be believed

Lipstick, 1976 (*****)
the extraordinary Polnareff soundtrack and moving performances from the Hemingway sisters elevate this shocking drama to the heavens; make sure to get the full uncut version of this 70s classic

Winter Heat, 1976 (****)
all the girls in porno grindhouse Winter Heat get to genuinely enjoy Gillis at his very best mixing up his deadly repertoire of improvised verbal bullying, sleazy negative compliments, and even some surprisingly affectionate lovemaking

Suspiria, 1977 (**)
despite a couple of lush set-pieces and undeniably fabulous locations, this movie fails in several ways that matter: actors that are completely out of their depth, a dreary script, and some really poor pacing - for me, and I know many will disagree, Argento rates poorly alongside other Italian giallo directors

Midnight Heat, 1983 (**)
Jamie Gillis was untouchable in many ways, but unfortunately straight acting wasn't one of them, much as he and others would have liked it to be; Roger Watkins' (Last House On Dead End Street) brave attempt to make an arthouse porno falls flat



Lars Jacobsson said...

Lipstick - that's the one where the rapist stalker is an Stockhausen/Xenakis-style elektronmusik composer, right? It was many years since I saw it and that and the shotgun shootout at the end was pretty much the only thing I remember of it really. However your high grade makes me believe a revisit is unavoidable...

William Bennett said...

yes, that's the one, Lars - the laughable implication is that you can tell he's dodgy because of the weird music he makes

Lars Jacobsson said...

Hehe, yeah, I can definitively see you having a problem with that implication... ;)

Dr Wommm said...

Thanks so much for reminding me about Island Of Death, I hadn't watched that in years, and it is a truly magnificent example of 70s grot - "God doesn't help perverts!" - and the soundtrack is something of a lost gem.

And even more thanks for reviewing Lipstick, that one had somehow passed me by, a state of affairs that musi be rectified immediately.

cyclegoddess said...

not to mention, anyone familiar with ballet can tell that the actress chosen should never have been allowed to be filmed except from the waist up, in the dance scenes.
She cant dance pointe. I mean, dancing with bent knees? You think the director would have at least been cognizant that someone attending a prestigious ballet academy, might be expected to display some talent beyond pathetically wrong in every possible way. At least fake it with a cut-price dance student filling in for her filmed from the back.