30 January 2013

Band of the Hand

United States - 1986
Director - Paul Michael Glaser
RCA/Columbia Pictures Home Video, 1986, VHS
Run Time -1 hour, 49 minutes

Band of the Hand is a somewhat forgotten classic of the mid-80's. Having been conceived as a television show by the creators of Miami Vice, the pilot went on to become this film when the idea wasn't picked up.Wikipedia has more to say about this than I care to add to, it should be noted however that it features an early performance by John Cameron Mitchell the writer,director and star of Hedwig and The Angry Inch, and a relatively early appearance of Laurence Fishburne (when he still went by Larry.)
As noted before, Band of the Hand is also an instance of a couple of notable phenomenon rolled into one; the Vietnam Vet and the Medicine Man. And look, one of those cool side-loader boxes from RCA/Columbia!

28 January 2013

Bimbo Movie Bash

Bimbo Movie Bash
United States - 1996
Director - various
Cult Video, 1996, VHS
Run Time -1 hour, 30 minutes

Not really a movie in its own right, just a compilation of clips from various low budget T&A flicks of the Corman/Olen Ray school. Unfortunately, or not depending on your point of view, this copy was trashed and unwatchable.

23 January 2013

The Young Master

Hong Kong - 1980
Director - Jackie Chan
Magnum Video, 1996, VHS
Run Time - 1 hour, 32 minutes

18 January 2013

The Wraith

I kinda suspect that this box is fudged. The front doesn't match the back (and not just because of the U.K. "18" mark)
 Since I don't have a copy myself, this will have to suffice.
United States - 1986
Director - Mike Marvin
Lightning Video,198?, VHS
Run Time - 1 hour, 34 minutes

Regarded as a classic in some circles, The Wraith is the only supernatural/possessed car movie to my knowledge that has in which the driver is visible and actually a character. On the other hand, a couple of months before in the same year, star Charlie Sheen's brother Emilio Estevez was starring in his own truly possessed car film Maximum Overdrive in which all the machines explicitly lack operators.

This Spanish box scan comes from todocoleccion.net

These two both come from Movie Poster Database

17 January 2013


United States - 1983
Director - John Carpenter
RCA/Columbia Pictures Home Video, 1984, VHS
Run Time -1 hour, 50 minutes

16 January 2013

The Car

United States - 1977
Director - Elliot Silverstein
Anchor Bay Entertainment, 1999, VHS
Run Time - 1 hour, 36 minutes

Nobody I know seems to love this movie as much as I do. Nobody I know (except one person) seems to have seen it. Granted it is kindof a lower quality spin on Speilberg's '71 film Duel, but the underlying crisis has a different dimension. If that made for TV film was a semi-clever riff on the changing dimensions of masculinity in the wake of the 60's, The Car was a more conservative, blunt instrument. Both protagonists are menaced by mysteriously evil vehicles, but their circumstances are different.

In Duel, protagonist David Mann is a modern man, (that is, technically, post-traditional/post 50's) an urban electronics salesman whose 'new' masculinity is challenged by leaving his comfort zone for the rural, physical and isolated setting into which he travels. His is a crisis of the terms of masculinity, terms that changed in the 60's thanks to a number of factors.

Sheriff Parent (Brolin) on the other hand is in his element in The Car's rural Utah town. His position confers upon him the responsibility for safety, order and law, but the Car undermines his ability to provide any of these. Parent's faltering masculinity is a crisis of authority. What with his inability to relate/communicate with women (girlfriend and daughters) the death of his elder mentors and his own repeated declarations that he just doesn't know what to do all suggest his impotence. Not sexual impotence, but a lack of physical potency, but the ability to enact or effect his will on his environment. In a post Nixon/Watergate world, authority (especially institutional) was no longer seen as omnipotent (it was impotent!) Parent's is a crisis of the means of masculinity.

In the first case it is a question of what the definition of a man is and how changing that definition is troublesome or threatening. In the latter case, the traditional definitions remain in place, but the ability of men (a man, Parent) to live up to them is troubled. That the Car seems to come from the city (as suggested by the post-film credits) may be a philosophical reversal of Duel's modern-man-in-danger-scenario, but both films end on a positive note with the destruction of the vehicle and the victory of the man. Despite troubling ripples in the fabric of normalcy, our masculinity, our men, still triumph. Or do they? The last original evil car movie for almost 2 decades, 1990's Wheels of Terror aligned the car with male sexual terrorism.

In any case, in the subsequent decade both films would be overshadowed by a number of evil-machine Stephen King pictures, but the 70's and 80's was a good era for vehicular possession that reflects to some extent the ambivalence about technology that pervaded culture at that time. One possible and partial explanation for the first is above, but in any case, I think it's sad that The Car kinda got buried by the second.

This image I got from TVTropes looks like the cover of a novel.

I do love some Japanese poster design. This one and the one above it come from Movie Poster Shop which has a whole bunch of other posters for The Car.

14 January 2013


United States - 1971
Director - Steven Spielberg

The VHS box insert above came from Vestron Dan
There are lots of posters for Duel out there, these are just some of the better ones.

 This poster came from Denver Westword

This one came from Moviegoods

This Swedish one came from About.com

09 January 2013

Raid on Rommel

United States - 1971
Director - Henry Hathaway
Goodtimes Home Video, 1996, VHS
Run Time - 1 hour, 33 minutes

07 January 2013


United States - 1988
Director - Stan Winston
MGM/UA Home Video, 1989, VHS

This 1989 VHS release with the painted cover, the first home video release of this film I suspect, is far superior to later, photo covers.
Just sayin.