The Seattle Film Critics Name Get Out The Best of 2017!

“Get out!”

That’s not just what the city of Seattle told Mayor Ed Murray earlier this year.  It’s also the title of the film that the Seattle Film Critics have officially selected as their pick for the best of 2017!

Check out their nominees here and the winners below!


Get Out (Universal)


Christopher Nolan – Dunkirk


Daniel Day-Lewis – Phantom Thread


Saoirse Ronan – Lady Bird


Willem Dafoe – The Florida Project


Laurie Metcalf – Lady Bird


Get Out


Lady Bird – Greta Gerwig


Coco – Adrian Molina, Lee Unkrich, directors


Raw – Julia Ducournau, director


Faces Places – JR, Agnès Varda, co-directors


Blade Runner 2049 – Roger A. Deakins


Phantom Thread – Mark Bridges


Dunkirk – Lee Smith


Phantom Thread – Jonny Greenwood


Blade Runner 2049 – Dennis Gassner (Production Designer); Alessandra Querzola (Set Decorator)


War for the Planet of the Apes – Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett, Joel Whist

BEST YOUTH PERFORMANCE (18 years of age or younger upon start of filming)

Brooklynn Prince – The Florida Project


Dennis and various multiple personalities – Split – portrayed by James McAvoy

Here Are The Seattle Film Critics Nominations!

Earlier today, the Seattle Film Critics Society announced their nominations for the best of 2017!  The winners will be announced on December 18th.

The most interesting thing about Seattle’s nominations?  The amount of love that they showed to Blade Runner 2049, an acclaimed film that, with the exception of Roger Deakins’s cinematography, was running the risk of being forgotten during the precursor season.  They also showed some love to Logan and The Disaster Artist, which made me happy.

With a tip of the hat to AwardsWatch, here are their nominations:


Blade Runner 2049 (Warner Bros.)

The Disaster Artist (A24)

Dunkirk (Warner Bros.)

The Florida Project (A24)

Get Out (Universal)

Lady Bird (A24)

Logan (20th Century Fox)

Phantom Thread (Focus Features)

The Post (20th Century Fox)

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Fox Searchlight)



Sean Baker – The Florida Project

Greta Gerwig – Lady Bird

Christopher Nolan – Dunkirk

Jordan Peele – Get Out

Denis Villeneuve – Blade Runner 2049



Daniel Day-Lewis – Phantom Thread

James Franco – The Disaster Artist

Daniel Kaluuya – Get Out

Gary Oldman – Darkest Hour

Robert Pattinson – Good Time



Sally Hawkins – The Shape of Water

Frances McDormand – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Margot Robbie – I, Tonya

Saoirse Ronan – Lady Bird

Meryl Streep – The Post



Willem Dafoe – The Florida Project

Barry Keoghan – The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Sam Rockwell – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Michael Shannon – The Shape of Water

Patrick Stewart – Logan



Tiffany Haddish – Girls Trip

Holly Hunter – The Big Sick

Allison Janney – I, Tonya

Lesley Manville – Phantom Thread

Laurie Metcalf – Lady Bird



Call Me by Your Name

Get Out

Lady Bird

The Post

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri



The Big Sick – Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani

The Disaster Artist – Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber

Get Out – Jordan Peele

Lady Bird – Greta Gerwig

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – Martin McDonagh



The Breadwinner – Nora Twomey, director

Coco – Adrian Molina, Lee Unkrich, directors

The LEGO Batman Movie – Chris McKay, director

Loving Vincent – Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman, directors

Your Name. – Makoto Shinkai, director



Blade of the Immortal – Takashi Miike, director
BPM (Beats Per Minute) – Robin Campillo, director

Frantz – François Ozon, director

Raw – Julia Ducournau, director

Thelma – Joachim Trier, director



City of Ghosts – Matthew Heineman, director

Ex Libris: The New York Public Library – Frederick Wiseman, director

Faces Places – JR, Agnès Varda, co-directors

LA 92 – Daniel Lindsay, T.J. Martin, directors

Step – Amanda Lipitz, director



Blade Runner 2049 – Roger A. Deakins

Columbus – Elisha Christian

Dunkirk – Hoyte von Hoytema

The Florida Project – Alexis Zabé

The Shape of Water – Dan Laustsen



Beauty and the Beast – Jacqueline Durran

Blade Runner 2049 – Rénee April

Darkest Hour – Jacqueline Durran

Phantom Thread – Mark Bridges

The Shape of Water – Luis Sequeira



Baby Driver – Paul Machliss, Jonathan Amos

Blade Runner 2049 – Joe Walker

Dunkirk – Lee Smith

Get Out – Gregory Plotkin

Lady Bird – Nick Houy



Blade Runner 2049 – Benjamin Wallfisch, Hans Zimmer

Dunkirk – Hans Zimmer

Phantom Thread – Jonny Greenwood

War for the Planet of the Apes – Michael Giacchino

Wonderstruck – Carter Burwell



Blade Runner 2049 – Dennis Gassner (Production Designer); Alessandra Querzola (Set Decorator)

Dunkirk – Nathan Crowley (Production Designer); Gary Fettis (Supervising Set Decorator)

Murder on the Orient Express – Jim Clay (Production Designer); Rebecca Alleway (Set Decorator)

Phantom Thread – Mark Tildesley (Production Designer); Véronique Melery (Set Decorator)

The Shape of Water – Paul Denham Austerberry (Production Designer); Shane Vieau, Jeff Melvin (Set Decorators)



Blade Runner 2049 – John Nelson, Paul Lambert, Richard R. Hoover, Gerd Nefzer
Dunkirk – Andrew Jackson, Andrew Lockley, Scott Fisher, Paul Corbould

The Shape of Water – Dennis Berardi, Luke Groves, Trey Harrell, Kevin Scott

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets – Scott Stokdyk, Jérome Lionard

War for the Planet of the Apes – Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett, Joel Whist


BEST YOUTH PERFORMANCE (18 years of age or younger upon start of filming):

Dafne Keen – Logan
Sophia Lillis It

Brooklynn Prince – The Florida Project

Millicent Simmonds – Wonderstruck

Jacob Tremblay – Wonder



Dennis and various multiple personalities – Split – portrayed by James McAvoy

Martin – The Killing of a Sacred Deer – portrayed by Barry Keoghan

Pennywise – It – portrayed by Bill Skarsgård

Philip Krauss – Detroit – portrayed by Will Poulter

Richard Strickland – The Shape of Water – portrayed by Michael Shannon

Cleaning Out The DVR: Yankee Doodle Dandy (dir by Michael Curtiz)


So, today, I got off work so that I could vote in Texas’s Super Tuesday primary.  After I cast my vote (and don’t ask me who I voted for because it’s a secret ballot for a reason!), I came home and I turned on the TV and I discovered that, as a result of spending February recording countless films off of Lifetime and TCM, I only had 9 hours of space left on my DVR.  As a result, the DVR was threatening to erase my recordings of Bend It Like Beckham, Jesus Christ Superstar, American Anthem, an episode of The Bachelor from 2011, and the entire series of Saved By The Bell: The College Years.

“Acgk!” I exclaimed in terror.

So, I immediately sat down and started the process of cleaning out the DVR.  I started things out by watching Yankee Doodle Dandy, a film from 1942.

Yankee Doodle Dandy is a biopic of a songwriter, signer, and dancer named George M. Cohan.  I have to admit, that when the film started, I had absolutely no idea who George M. Cohan was.  Imagine my surprise as I watched the film and I discovered that Cohan had written all of the old-fashioned patriotic songs that are played by the Richardson Symphony Orchestra whenever I go to see the 4th of July fireworks show at Breckenridge Park.  He wrote You’re A Grand Old Flag, The Yankee Doodle Boy, and Over There.  Though I may not have heard of him, Cohan was an American institution during the first half of the 20th Century.  Even if I hadn’t read that on Wikipedia, I would have been able to guess from watching Yankee Doodle Dandy, which, at times, seems to be making a case for sainthood.

And that’s not meant to be a complaint!  74 years after it was originally released, Yankee Doodle Dandy is still a terrifically entertaining film.  It opens with George (played by James Cagney) accepting a Congressional Gold Medal from President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  (We only see Roosevelt from behind and needless to say, the President did not play himself.  Instead, Captain Jack Young sat in a chair while FDR’s voice was provided by impressionist Art Gilmore.)  Cohan proceeds to tell Roosevelt his life story, starting with his birth on the 4th of July.  Cohan tells how he was born into a showbiz family and a major theme of the film is how Cohan took care of his family even after becoming famous.

The other major theme is patriotism.  As portrayed in this biopic, Cohan is perhaps the most patriotic man who ever lived.  That may sound corny but Cagney pulls it off.  When we see him sitting at the piano and coming up with the lyrics for another song extolling the greatness of America, we never doubt his sincerity.  In fact, he’s so sincere that he makes us believe as well.  Watching Yankee Doodle Dandy, I found myself regretting that I have to live in such an overwhelmingly cynical time.  If George M. Cohan was alive today, he’d punch out anyone who called this country “Murica.”

Yankee Doodle Dandy is an amazingly positive film.  There are a few scenes where Cohan has to deal with a few Broadway types who are jealous of his talent and his confidence but, otherwise, it’s pretty much one triumph after another for Cohan.  Normally, of course, there’s nothing more annoying than listening to someone talk about how great his life is but fortunately, Cohan is played by James Cagney and Cagney gives one of the best performance of all time in the role.

Cagney, of course, is best remembered for playing gangsters but he got his start as a dancer.  In Yankee Doodle Dandy, Cagney is so energetic and so happy and such a complete and totally showman that you can’t help but get caught up in his story.  When he says that, as a result of his success, things have never been better, you don’t resent him for it.  Instead, you’re happy for him because he’s amazingly talented and deserve the best!

Seriously, watch him below:

James Cagney won the Oscar for Best Actor for his performance here.  Yankee Doodle Dandy was also nominated for best picture but lost to Mrs. Miniver.

I’m really glad that I watched Yankee Doodle Dandy today.  In this time of overwhelming negativity, it was just what I needed!

Trailer: Plan 9 and The Voices


So the upcoming film Plan 9 is apparently meant to be a remake of Ed Wood’s Plan 9 From Outer Space.  That sounds like a terrible idea, doesn’t it?

Perhaps The Voices will be better.  This one features Ryan Reynolds, Anna Kendrick, and a talking cat!

Trailer: Harbinger Down (Official)


Last summer something caught my eye while scrolling up my Twitter feed. People I had been following were retweeting a Kickstarter campaign for an independent film. No, this wasn’t a Veronica Mars deal or Zach Braff begging the public for millions so he could make his own film. This was for a scifi-horror film that was going the whole practical effects route.

Harbinger Down is the brainchild of practical effects masters Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff, Jr. whose own special effects studio Amalgamated Dynamics were instrumental in creating some of the practical effects for films such as the latest Godzilla and the underwhelming prequel for The Thing. It was their practical effects work for that prequel being replaced by CGI monsters at the very last second which convinced the two men to try and make a film using nothing but practical effects to show Hollywood bean counters and studio heads that there was still a place for the practical instead of going all-CG.

Their Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds to start Harbinger Down succeeded and in addition to the $387,000 or so raised and their own money and studio time the film began principal photography this past January. A rough trailer was shown around MArch, but now we have the first official trailer to Harbinger Down which looks like a love letter to Carpenter’s very own The Thing.

Song of the Day: I’ve Gotta Be Me (by Sammy Davis, Jr.)


Today is the date that will forever become a date of remembrance for me and my family.

My father, Fernando Sandoc, passed away after losing his battle with cancer. He’s been a huge influence in my taste in music. I remember listening to him when I was younger singing songs by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin to The Beatles, Tom Jones, The Temptations right up to The Eagles and Elvis Presley. His was an eclectic taste in music, but one that I didn’t appreciate at a young age.

Yet, as I grew older I began to listening to the very same bands and singers and really become fans of them as well. It was one of many ways he and I bonded throughout the years. This was especially true as I grew into adulthood.

One song which always stood out for me was of the Sammy Davis, Jr. song “Ive Gotta Be Me”.

I remember him singing this song with as much enthusiasm and vigor as Sammy himself. It became a sort of anthem (in addition to Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” which was another favorite of his and mine) as if he tried to live his life just how the lyrics spelled them out. I can’t say whether he succeeded or not, but he definitely lived his life “his way” and remained to being true to himself.

He and those he called his closest friends were lived to be their very own Rat Pack.

So, I shall be forever grateful for having such a loving, understanding father and a great friend and mentor who will remain eternal as I take up the mantle he has finally set down to rest.

I’ve Gotta Be Me

Whether I’m right or whether I’m wrong
Whether I find a place in this world or never belong
I gotta be me, I’ve gotta be me
What else can I be but what I am

I want to live, not merely survive
And I won’t give up this dream

Of life that keeps me alive
I gotta be me, I gotta be me
The dream that I see makes me what I am

That far-away prize, a world of success
Is waiting for me if I heed the call
I won’t settle down, won’t settle for less
As long as there’s a chance that I can have it all

I’ll go it alone, that’s how it must be
I can’t be right for somebody else
If I’m not right for me
I gotta be free, I’ve gotta be free
Daring to try, to do it or die
I’ve gotta be me

I’ll go it alone, that’s how it must be
I can’t be right for somebody else
If I’m not right for me
I gotta be free, I just gotta be free
Daring to try, to do it or die
I gotta be me


Avengers did what I previously thought was impossible… it Leonidas-kicked Iron Man 1 off its throne and now reigns on my all-time favorite comic inspired movie. Nolan has a tough act to follow. The gauntlet has been dropped. I attribute this remarkable feat to Joss Whedon’s screenplay and the cast for the most part.  I will not spoil the film and simply state what I enjoyed in a vague manner.

What I loved:

  1. The cast embodied the characters that I grew up reading, especially Downey and Pines
  2. The incorporation elements of Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch’s version of Avengers (in my opinion at least) in the film
  3. The revelation of the Other’s Master
  4. The Other’s design and connection of the comic version of Fantastic Four
  5. The nod to the classic Thor and Hulk relationship
  6. Clark Gregg’s Phil Coulson
  7. Tom Hiddleston captured all the resentment, sense of entitlement and bitterness that represents Marvel’s iteration of Loki
  8. The more humane and decent version of Ultimate Nick Fury (he’s a rotten & ruthless so & so on Millar’s book)

Minor quibbles:

  1. The Black Widow’s lack of a Russian Accent (but it didn’t take away from Scarlett’s performance
  2. The lack of a Loki betrayal, he’s the god of evil after all

Film Review: Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (dir. by Danny Steinmann)

(Spoilers Ahead.  So there.)

So, imagine that you’ve got a huge film franchise that was built around one iconic character.  And guess what?  In the previous installment of your huge film franchise, that iconic character was killed so graphically that there’s no possible way that he could just pop up and go, “It was just a flesh wound.”  What do you do?

This is the problem that was facing Paramount Pictures when it came to making a fifth Friday the 13th film.  The previous installment made a lot of money but it also ended with Jason pretty decisively dead.  Paramount’s solution?   Friday the 13th without Jason.  Released (much like me) in 1985 and directed by Danny Steinmann, Friday the 13th: A New Beginning remains a controversial film among fans of the franchise.  A lot of people claim that it’s the worst installment.  Myself, I consider it to be one of the best.

Friday the 13th: A New Beginning opens (like many great B-movies) with a cemetery in the rain.  Wearing a yellow raincoat,   Tommy Jarvis (played in a cameo by Corey Feldman) approaches a grave that is marked “Jason Voorhees.”  Suddenly, two rather moronic gravediggers come running up.  While Tommy hides in the nearby bushes, the gravediggers dig Jason up.  “Yee-haw!” one of them shouts.

(I know this because I turned on the close captioning as I watched the film.  It’s one thing to hear the dialogue in a Friday the 13th film being spoken.  It’s another thing to see it actually written out at the bottom of your screen.)

Suddenly, Jason — complete with hockey mask and machete — pops out of the grave and kills the two grave robbers.  He walks over to where Tommy is hiding, lifts up his machete, and — suddenly, Tommy(now played by a brooding and sexy John Shepherd) wakes up!  It turns out that several years have passed and Tommy, after spending five years in a mental asylum, is now on his way to Pinehurst, a halfway house that just happens to be located in the Crystal Lake area.

A New Beginning has such a bad reputation that it’s often forgotten that this opening sequence is one of the few genuinely scary sequences to be found in the entire franchise.  Everything from the ominous dark skies to the lushly green bushes that Tommy hides in to the artful way the lightning storm is used to punctuate the sense of danger contributes to making this sequence feel very ominous and genuinely nightmarish.  It’s a bit shocking (yet undeniably effective) to go from the impressionistic lushness of Tommy’s dream to the rather harsh and grainy look of the rest of the film. 

(For those of you who are familiar with Italian horror, it almost feels like the dream was directed by Dario Argento while the rest of the film was done by Joe D’Amato.)  

Anyway, Tommy gets dropped off at Pinehurst where he meets the two liberal do-gooders who are in charge of the facility, Matt (Richard Young) and Pam (Melanie Kinnaman).   He also meets “Reggie the Reckless” (Shavar Ross), the bratty little grandson of Pinehurst’s cook, as well as the other residents of Pinehurst.  Pam and Matt inform Tommy that Pinehurst has no rules.  Or as they inform him, “It’s an honor system.”

It quickly becomes apparent that they might want to reconsider that honor system because not only do Eddie (John Robert Dixon) and Tina (DebbiSue Voorhees) get caught having sex on the neighbor’s property but Vic (played by Mark Venturini, who was all sexy and dangerous in his 2 minutes of screen time) ends up hacking the annoying Joey (Dominick Brascia) up into little pieces with an axe. 

(In Vic’s defense, he looked really good with an axe and Joey was really annoying.)

While Vic is whisked off to jail (Sadly, never to be seen again) two paramedics scoop up remains of Joey.  One of the paramedics — Roy (Dick Wieand) — stares at the body for a long time and doesn’t seem to find his coworkers jokes humorous.  Hmmm…wonder what’s up with that?

As tragic as the death of Joey is, it does lead to one of my favorite lines of all time when, the morning after the murders, the remaining residents of Pinehurst gather for breakfast and they notice that two extra places have been set for the dead Joey and the incarcerated Vic.  Stuttering Jake (Jerry Pavlon) exclaims, “You don’t set a place for a dead person!”  And you know what?  He’s right.

Soon, people all over town are getting murdered.  The guys who talks to himself while snorting cocaine (played, in a rather funny performance, by Bob DeSimone) gets an axe to the forehead.  The waitress (Rebecca Wood-Sharkey) who flashes her boobs at a mirror and goes, “It’s showtime!” gets murdered as she leaves work.  Two Jersey Shore wannabes are killed when their car stalls.  The Sheriff (Marco St. John) looks over one crime scene and says, “What the Hell’s going on here?”  Roy, standing behind him, says, “You talking to me, Sheriff?”  Hmmm…it’s odd how Roy keeps popping up in the movie for no reason…

The Mayor (played by Ric Mancini) confronts the Sheriff and demands to know who is killing everyone in town.  “Jason Voorhees,” the Sheriff slowly responds.  “Jason Voorhees is dead!  He was cremated” the Mayor screams as he empties on ashtray on the sheriff, “THIS IS JASON VOORHEES!”  This is probably my favorite scene in the entire movie because St. John underplays his entire role while Mancini overplays and delivers every line as if he’s in a community theater production of Lost in Yonkers.

That gets to the heart of what I really enjoy about A New Beginning — not only does this film have the largest body count of any film in the series, it also has the most genuinely eccentric cast of characters.  Absolutely nobody in this film behaves like a conventional human being.  It goes beyond just the normal odd slasher movie behavior.  Instead, watching this film is like peering into some sort of parallel universe where some minor shift in the Earth’s tilt has caused everyone to go a little crazy.  Probably the closest the film comes to a normal person is poor traumatized Tommy and he only says about ten lines in the entire film.  (That said, John Shepherd did a really good job and had a lot of presence of Tommy.  There’s an oddly eerie scene about halfway through the film where Tommy stares up at a neon sign and, as I looked at his face illuminated by the glowing blue of the sign, I realized that what I had always heard about good acting — that it all starts with expressive eyes — was true.) 

(In a perfect world, Tommy would have eventually ended up with Vi — played by Tiffany Helm — the new wave girl who spends almost the entire movie dancing in her room.  Seriously, they would have made a cute couple.)

Anyway, once our killer has gotten through killing random townspeople, he starts to kill off the residents at Pinehurst.  After taking part in one of the most explicit sex scene in the history of the franchise, Eddie and Tina are rather brutally killed off.  (That’s a shame because Voorhees and Dixon both had a really good and fun chemistry together and were both likable actors.  Unfortunately, their characters were sex-crazed and you know what that means…)  While Matt goes off to try to find the missing Eddie and Tina, Tommy, Pam, and Reggie go off to hang out with Reggie’s rather odd brother Demon (played by Miguel Nunez, Jr.) who wears more jewelry than I do and sings a duet with his girlfriend while he’s sitting on the most disgusting toilet in the history of film.  (Seriously, I had to look away…) 

Anyway, the remaining residents of Pinehurst are all killed by a seemingly resurrected Jason (however, Jake and Robin — played by Juliette Cummins —  do get to watch A Place In The Sun before they die so at least something good happened to them that night) and Pam ends up spending almost the entire rest of the movie running around in the rain and tripping in the mud whenever Jason shows up.  Jason eventually corners Pam, Tommy, and Reggie in a barn but then ends up falling out of a window and landing on some conveniently placed spikes.  Jason’s hockey mask falls off and — surprise! — it wasn’t Jason after all.  Instead, it was Roy, the weird Paramedic who kept showing up randomly and looking around kinda guilty-like whenever anyone mentioned anything about the murders.  Wow!

One of my favorite films book is Peter M. Bracke’s Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th.  Taking on the series on a film-by-film basis, Crystal Lake Memories is a fascinating oral history that is full of all sorts of interesting behind-the-scenes facts.  Reading the chapter on Friday the 13th: A New Beginning, one is left with the impression that 1) everyone on the film was constantly snorting cocaine and 2) director Danny Steinmann is perhaps the most enigmatic figure in the history of the films.

In Crystal Lake Memories, depending on who is being interviewed, Danny Steinman comes across as either a maniac, a bully, or an underappreciated genius.  Quite a few people claim that Steinmann was out-of-control.  However, actress DebiSue Voorhees (who you would expect to have all sorts of unpleasant stories about the film since she’s the one who had to spend an entire shooting day laying on the ground naked in front of a bunch of strangers) is a lot more complimentary, saying that Steinmann was a “gentleman” throughout the entire shoot.  What everyone seems to agree on is that he was the son of wealthy art dealer and that he got his start as a director by making a hardcore porn film before moving on to make two wonderfully trashy exploitation films — The Unseen and Savage Streets.  Steinmann was apparently hired to bring a certain rough edginess to A New Beginning and he obviously did just that as A New Beginning had more violent deaths and more nudity than any previous installment of the series.  Because of the need to get an R rating, a lot of bloody footage hit the cutting room floor but what was left is surprisingly effective.   (Pictures of what was cut can be found on several sites online and yes, it’s all pretty gruesome.)

Unlike most people, I actually think that A New Beginning is one of the best films in the franchise, precisely because it is so ludicrous and over-the-top.  What Danny Steinmann did with this film was that he took everything that one expected from a Friday the 13th film and he pushed it all to its most logical extreme.  Everyone knew that, regardless of whether the film was being made by a major studio or not, the Friday the 13th films were meant to trashy, ludicrous, sleazy, and fun.  Steinmann was just the only one who had the guts to admit it by making a film that not only admitted what it was but celebrated it as well.  Friday the 13th: A New Beginning is the most openly grindhouse of all of the Friday the 13th films and for that, it deserves more credit than it’s gotten.   

Despite upsetting a lot of fans (not to mention the critics), Friday the 13th: A New Beginning was a box office success which could only mean that there would be another installment in the franchise.  Coming tomorrow: my review of Friday the 13th: Jason Lives.

A Bonus-Sized Collection Of Trailers, Part Two

Part two of this week’s bonus-sized edition of Lisa Marie’s Favorite Grindhouse and Exploitation trailers actually kinda sorta has a theme or two.  One unintentional theme is that most of the movies highlighted here have not been released on DVD in the U.S.  However, the other intentional theme is that, to quote the old song, “the female of the species is deadlier than the male.”

(You can view themeless part one of this week’s edition by clicking here.)

1) The Female Bunch

“They swore never again to let a man hurt them…”  See, the grindhouse has a lot more to teach us than many realize.  The Female Bunch was released in 1969 but it was actually filmed a year earlier at the Spahn Movie Ranch which was also the home of Charles Manson and his followers at the time.  It’s rumored that members of the Manson Family can be spotted in the film as extras.  It was directed by Al Adamson who, 30 years later, would be murdered and buried in cement.

2) Some Girls Do

Is it even necessary for me to state that this film came out in the 60s?  1969 to be exact.  Some girls do?  I certainly know I do.

3) Danger Girls

Yes, this one is from 1969 too.  It was directed by the one and only Rene Cardona, Jr.  For those keeping track, this one is about a “sinister organization of beautiful girls … driven by a lust for blood.”

4) Scorpions and MiniSkirts

This (as opposed to The Graduate or Bonnie and Clyde) was apparently the most surprising production of 1967.  It says so right in the trailer.  I just like the title, perhaps because I’m a Scorpio who likes to show off her legs.

5) The Miniskirt Mob

By 1968, scorpions were no longer in fashion but the miniskirt was still très chic.  “They ride hard…no matter what they’re mounted on!”

6) 7 Golden Women Against Two 007

This is from 1966 and I really don’t know what to say about it other than … well, 1966.  If any of you men out there want to know why the female of the species became deadlier than the male, the answer is to be found in this trailer here.  Call it self-defense.  That said, this trailer fascinates me because, seriously, what the Hell’s going on?  I fear I may never know as this film has apparently never been released on DVD.

A Quickie With Lisa Marie: Putney Swope (dir. by Robert Downey, Sr.)

One of my favorite recent DVD discoveries is an underground film from 1969 called Putney Swope.   Directed by Robert Downey, Sr. (who, as we all know, was the father of not only Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes but Sgt. Osiris as well!), Putney Swope is a hilarious satire of advertising, race relations, and everything in between.  It’s a must-see for anyone interested in American independent film, American satire, or just plain vulgarity in the service of art and humor.

Since the film takes place at the Truth and Soul Advertising Agency, it features several fake commercials that are so spot-on perfect that they could easily pass for the real thing if not for all the profanity and occasional nudity.  Below is my favorite Truth and Soul Commercial: