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Thread: The Eurocult Film Thread

  1. #316
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    Quote Originally Posted by luka View Post
    One of craners many contentious opinions is that the French don't understand cinema and shouldn't be allowed anywhere near movie cameras
    There is this tradition of French film making which appeals mostly to the arthouse-crowd and frankly, that branch indeed is somewhat questionable. But then there is this rich tradition of popular French cinema (the mentioned crime stories, but also tons of comedy) which was very successful at the pan-european box offices (and possibly looked down on by the arthouse-snobs) that is quite unknown in the english speaking world. After all, the French were able to produce commercially successful films at least up until the late 1980s.

  2. #317

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    Honestly, I am willing to believe you despite my stubborn cinematic Francophobia, but in this day and age, when every piece of genre trash and gold is being dug up and restored by so many companies like Arrow, Blue Underground, Severin, 88 Films, Criterion, Mondo Macabre, Kosch Media, Something Weird, Retromedia, Eureka, Synapse, Raro, Shameless...how have these been ignored? Spain has had the treatment, even Turkey, the Philippines, South America...

  3. #318
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    Quote Originally Posted by craner View Post
    ...how have these been ignored?
    The stuff gets rereleased on DVD/BluRay constantly, at least for the German-speaking countries and also Spain and Italy. I think it got really to do with the fact they weren't originally released in English-speaking countries and the companies don't think the stuff will shift many units there. In fact, many of these movies I was posting the trailers for were done/financed by rather big companies and studios which still exist, so there won't be smaller publishers releasing the movies for niche markets.

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  5. #319
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    i would follow kinski, delon and pal maurice ronet for a romp through the best stuff. not sure how this fits the eurocult cannon, but in spirit this is all curious and (mostly) gallic, the obsession with state/secrecy/power being a hallmark.

    some faves:

    l'attentat (1972)
    political assassination thriller with an all-star cast (trintignant, seberg, volonté etc.). the fate of one man against dark factions in french politics, very bleak and not the kind of thing that will ever be picked up by criterion.

    le dossier 51 (1978)
    weird, electronic spy film film sees up-and-coming politician targeted by a shadow intelligence outfit, setting him up for ruin via a very french dark art: psychology.

    brigade mondaine (1978)
    a wonderful, trashy view into the world of the vice squad as immortalised by gerard de villiers, the brilliant (dead) writer of french pulp crime. also great soundtrack by french disco master cerrone.

    mort d'un pourri (1977)
    perfectly cast film (delon, ronet, kinski as baddie, ornella muti) laying bare the sinsiter world of french politics with its corporate masters; dark and ever relevant in my view.

    there is other stuff (la chair de l'orchidée, killer truck/haine) that does not fit the canon but shows the other france in a way that may be of interest to eurocult watchers.

    also out of the canon but a personal favourite is the day of the jackal (1973). not french, but french in spirit (and set in france), this follows a brit hired by the oas to assassinate de gaulle. all the minutae of preparation, deception and political high stakes are as french as it gets, embodied in a perfectly dressed killer and his very french detective arch nemesis. terrific.
    Last edited by bruno; 21-01-2017 at 08:29 PM. Reason: removed instance of dark
    la sonrisa es divina, la risa humana, la carcajada animal

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  7. #320

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    RIP the great Tomas Milian

  8. #321
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    where are the merlis, kinskis, delons and all that brilliant/mad stream of actors and films? they have disappeared along with everything else into a timid, safe shadow of itself. rip europe.
    la sonrisa es divina, la risa humana, la carcajada animal

  9. #322

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    I watched Caltiki - The Immortal Monster - an effective old school monster movie (a rip-off of The Blob I guess) with some enjoyably nasty special effects. As good as can be expected, but probably for hardcore Bava fans only. (Arrow are treating us very well indeed, with Erik the Conqueror and Kill, Baby, Kill! both scheduled for release on blu-ray. Planet of the Vampires and Hercules in the Haunted World only a matter of time now, surely.)

    I also recommend 88's blu-ray versions of Amuck and The Cynic, the Rat and the Fist, essential Euro-schlock gear.

  10. #323

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    This is a very bad, but very entertaining, made-for-TV film from the fag end of Fernando di Leo's career (1985). Has a really catchy synth score.

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  13. #325
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  15. #326

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    Following yesterday’s news of the sad but possibly not untimely death of Umberto Lenzi, I decided to watch his 1965 Eurospy junket/film Superseven Calling Cairo. Eagle-eyed fans of the Eurocult film thread may recall my deep discourse on the Lenzi film preceding this, 008: Operation Extermination. But don’t get excited, this one has none of the vim, spice or unhinged delirium of that entry. Perhaps it has one edge on it, though: the ‘Bond’ ('Superseven', like 007 yet super) is uniquely repellent. Roger Browne is like Roger Moore spawned from a lizard, exceeding both the misogynistic brutality and the unctuous smarm of Bond without any of the camp quips. In fact, the opening smirk he oozes after despatching a post-coital blonde assassin is more revolting than anything displayed by his horrendous British model. However, this piece of shit flick has one more, and very extreme, redeeming feature: Rosalba Neri.

    A word about Rosalba. She is probably my favourite actress. This is a ridiculous thing to say, because I don’t really rate any of her films, which all rot in the lower-echelons of Euro-trash. Her appearances are usually brief, ranging from bit parts to supporting roles, with some very rare top billings. But she was invariably a presence of almost supernatural screen charisma: a slippage between Sphinx-like inscrutability (check the visage) and raw physical sexuality (not one of the top Euro-starlets, including Edwige Fenech or Barbara Bouchet, ever looked like they were as invested in their roles, or enjoying them as much, as Rosalba). There was her very early, slightly secretive, vicious little cameo in the Bava-lensed peplum Esther and the King. Her explosive entry as an Exploitation phenomenon in Ottavio Alessi’s unrepeatable minor classic Top Sensation and Jess Franco’s half-intelligent, half-despicable proto-WIP absurdity 99 Women. There was her strange and noble redemption of Fernando de Leo’s horrible, knuckleheaded Slaughter Hotel and her furious exotic, erotic rip through the appalling sub-giallo French Sex Murders which left the rest of the movie for dead. There was her intelligent and melancholy control of the otherwise unfathomably stupid Lady Frankenstein (in which she went toe-to-toe with Joseph Cotton). Her sultry, scabrous and decadent turn in Silvio Amadio’s startling giallo Amuck. Every one of these films she raised from their various pits of despond and somehow illuminated, making them not just watchable but almost essential. What does she do here, opposite the slimy, psychologically toxic Superseven? Hardly anything, but she never really needs to. I would literally watch anything in which she appears.

    Apart from that enormous fact, what is left to say about this film? Not a lot. There are more gripping shots of old Cairo, the old Middle East, which cast a very sad and melancholy hue all these horrendous decades later, but are somehow also inspiring and uplifting to see. The music is not what I hoped for, rather desultory and lame and not the fruity 60s Italian balladry I was expecting from the Upperseven Bruno Nicolai soundtrack from the fantastic 1999 compilation Our Man from R.O.M.E (sadly from a separate film I have yet to find).

    These days, obviously, you can’t just walk up to a girl wearing a patterned print skirt in an Egyptian city and enquire, “Excuse me, but just what kind of sunglasses do you suggest I wear for seeing Cairo by night?” like Superseven does. And, in lots of ways, even if he is a rotten little pseudo-spy bastard, that doesn’t necessarily seem like progress to me.

    Should you watch this crap? Yes, obviously. There’s a sort of magic, there, which even Mike Meyers couldn’t really ruin or even touch.

    Last edited by craner; 20-10-2017 at 08:54 PM.

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  17. #327

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    The song:



    Actually just found the film, too. Will report back next week.

  18. #328
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    The Lure
    It's a Polish mermaid horror musical you'll be surprised to find you watch until the end.

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