yeah, you guessed it...

... more movie reviews. Kinda screwed for time, so gotta slap up some older stuff from a can. But, it's new to ya'll, right? Enjoy!


Anatomy (C, 2000) aka Anatomie German horror in which a medical student (Franka Potente of Run Lola Run) discovers that a secret society of anti Hippocratic doctors is operating at her Heidelberg medical school, injecting people with a preservative that turns flesh and blood to rubber, and then they vivisect them and make anatomical models out of them for the school museum. This creates the opportunity for lots of extreme gore (although it's dry and looks like anatomy displays so it probably won't gross you out much, even though they supposedly really are plastinated dead bodies, for real) and is a pretty sick concept. She has to put a stop to the society before she becomes one of its subjects. It's well made and fairly scary, although it also has a good bit of crude German sex obsessed humor, which creates a weird vibe. There's even sex scenes on autopsy tables. It's mentioned that the anti Hippocratic society was very active during the Third Reich, which is strange since Germans tend to go out of their way to avoid mentioning Nazi atrocities. One of the better titles being buried in Wal Mart's five dollar bin.

Basketball Fix, The (B&W, 1951) John Ireland is a sports writer who works to get a nice guy poor kid named Johnny a scholarship playing college basketball. Johnny instantly falls in love with a girl named Pat, but also gets mixed up with a guy named Mr. Taft who bets on basketball. He starts throwing money at Johnny in amounts large enough to corrupt even an honest straight arrow kid, trying to get him to start underperforming to shave points off of scores. Johnny resists for a while, but between wanting to show Pat a good time and getting his little brother some Christmas presents, he starts missing a few shots here and there and taking the money. After a while he gets a case of conscience and wants to quit cheating... and Mr. Taft turns to violence to try to keep him on the hook. Entertaining, moralistic little B flick that plays like a pseudo noirish afterschool special. Strange to see basketball footage of nothing but white boys. You can find this one in every Dollar Tree in the world. Worth a buck.

(With descriptions for the blind!)

Beast, The (C, 198 [8)] aka The Beast of War. Reagan era relic from the days when we were still arming the Afghanis and portraying guys like Bin Laden as "heroic freedom fighters." And, ironically enough, this glorification of the Muslim resistance was filmed in Israel. During the 1981 invasion a Russian tank attack destroys an Afghan village. Then one of the tanks gets lost and a small group of Mujahedeen, armed with an RPG with only one rocket, stalk it through the desert, waiting for their chance at revenge. As they travel along under the pressure of being lost and hunted, the tank commander becomes increasingly ruthless and unstable, and kills their Afghan guide out of sheer prejudice. This upsets one of the tankers so the commander leaves him tied to a rock. The rebels find him and (sorta) take pity on him (it's part of their holy law "Nanawatai" means they have to give sanctuary to anyone who asks for it) and he agrees to work with them to destroy his crazy commander's tank. Flawed slightly by a bit of Allah ex machina here and there, but overall a pretty compelling and well made war film. Could play totally differently now since the Russians speak like Americans... it could almost work as Jihadi propaganda. Definitely a product of its era which contains a lot of irony nowdays. With George Dzundza, Jason Patric, Steven Bauer and Stephen Baldwin.

Because of Eve (B&W, 194 [8)] aka Because of Eve (The Story of Life) Old roadshow "hygiene film" depicting very graphically the horrors of VD and the "beautiful" gruesomeness of childbirth. Bob and Sally are taking a physical prior to getting married and the doctor happily reveals all their secrets and almost cancels the marriage Bob had VD once and Sally had a baby that died. After they storm out at this news, the doctor finally brings them back together and they learn that, luckily, the guy who got Sally pregnant and hooked Bob up with the woman who gave him VD is a guy who saved Bob's life in World War II... so it's all okay! The doc also shows them graphic educational films on venereal disease (complete with sore covered genitals) and childbirth regular and Cesarean section. This will educate you and make you squirm in the tradition of Mom and Dad. You will be one wise, nauseous motherfucker by the end of this one, kids. If your school won't teach you sex ed because of uptight Baptists, it may be a good thing these road show flicks are being revived on DVD.

Big Doll House, The (C, 1971) aka Bamboo Dolls House, Women's Penitentiary, Women's Penitentiary III Contender for best women in prison flick ever stars Pam Grier, Pat Woodell from Petticoat Junction (as a dangerous revolutionary named Bodean, which is funny ?cuz that's Jethro's last name on Beverly Hillbillies, which is also from the country sitcom school), too damned pretty Roberta Collins, and some other nice looking girls who can actually act pretty well. A girl named Collier is sent to a Phillipines prison full of hardened female cons who promptly try to drown her in the toilet. The prison has a high mortality rate and lots of sexual frustration, which sleazy Sid Haig and his goofy buddy try to exploit while making deliveries there. Soon the girls stage a breakout and take to the countryside with machine guns, leading to more mayhem The girls are pretty and convincingly badass, the action scenes are solid, and all the women in prison elements (nudity, cat fights (including mud wrestling) and torture chamber shenanigans are all in full effect, but without being overblown. And this one actually has a compelling (yet admittedly simple) storyline and some characterization, and good direction from Jack Hill (who did all those other great Pam Grier movies this was her first).

Black Angel
(B&W, 1946) Based on a Cornell Woolrich novel, this noir isn't too hardboiled but is very well made and compelling. After a woman who specialized in blackmail is found strangled, her alcoholic pianist husband teams up with the wife of the man who gets falsely accused of the killing to figure out what really happened, before the wrong guy is sent to the gas chamber. Peter Lorre is a sinister likely suspect and they have to infiltrate his club by posing as a singing team, but the truth may be darker than they expected. Good, well -constructed noir mystery.

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