31 March 2010

Spacehunter: Adventures In the Forbidden Zone

United States - 1983
Director - Lamont Johnson
Columbia Pictures, 2001, DVD
Run Time - 1 hour, 30 minutes

Here's a little DVD interlude simply because I'm watching a fun and somewhat forgotten movie that I wanted to pass along. I'll drop a few posters to make it legit.

Spacehunter has the Buck-Rogers style epic serial story arc that was re-popularized by Spielberg and Lucas and ran rampant through the 80's. It most closely resembles a PG mutant offspring of Beyond Thunderdome and Aliens and even more "mature" fantasy titles like Gwendoline (released a year later.) Spacehunter manages despite a slightly derivative story to be an effective combination of space-adventure and post-apocalypse narratives that is quite entertaining.
Remarkably, what it lacks in plot originality and  "mature situations", is more than made up for by visuals, from set design to vehicle design to costumes which make Spacehunter an awesome and satisfying surprise. It's such a visually beautiful film that I originally thought it must be more modern, my first guess was early 90's, but it was made a decade earlier during my favorite period in American film. This is the first I had ever heard of it, probably because it was so similar to other contemporary films in narrative content that it was buried, and forgotten (at least by me) but it's much more entertaining than this would lead you to believe, in fact, it's fantastic.
I picked up a copy of Spacehunter: Adventures In the Forbidden Zone from Netflix, after which I immediately bought it, but you can also watch all of it on YouTube in multiple segments.

Poster at the top is from Moviegoods, this poster is from Wrong Side of the Art.

29 March 2010

Paganini Horror

Italy - 1989
Director - Luigo Cozzi

There is not much Luigi Cozzi material out there, he only directed some 15 films and several of those are very hard to get in the US, this being one. I wish I could see because it looks totally idiotic but fun. That's not a surprise, it is Cozzi, possibly the only guy who could make a horror film about a syphilitic violinist.
Incidentally, Paganini was one of the "characters" Klaus Kinski developed and was obsessed with, regularly raving like a madman "in character" even off screen if Herzog is to be believed.
The above poster comes courtesy of Kitley's Crypt, and you can watch a trailer for Paganini Horror at Cult Trailers.

The Black Six

United States - 1973
Director - Matt Cimber

27 March 2010

Best Worst Sequels

United States - 1990
Director - Claudio Fragasso
Epic Home Video, 1992, VHS
Run Time - 1 hour, 38 minutes

So much has been said about this film that it would be a waste of fine motor control to type anything else. There are so many incredible and insane moments in this film it becomes quickly obvious to fans of Italian exploitation that this has to be a spaghetti disaster. And sure enough the man at the helm is none other than Claudio Fragasso the guy who played second fiddle to Bruno Mattei on numerous trashy classics like Rats and Women's Prison Massacre. These fellows are masters of the smash-n'-grab, ad-hoc moviemaking school, and Troll II is no different. In fact they smashed and grabbed a large part of the plot of The Stuff to make this movie. I of course am personally fond of it because I share Grandpa Seth's name, minus the grandpa part. Suffice to say the documentary Best Worst Movie is not yet available from Netflix so I'm on razors edge here. Damnit, I said I wasn't going to write anything. (in retrospect having seen Best Worst Movie, it is a fine piece of movie nerdery and highly worth viewing. If you have read to this point of this blog and haven't seen it, get going.)

United States - 1988
Director - David Irving
Vestron Video, 1989, VHS
Run Time - 1 hour, 24 minutes

C.H.U.D. II runs along the same lines; having little to do with the first film, a super cheap budget, bad acting, ridiculous plot. The difference is that C.H.U.D. II clearly is fully aware of all of these faults and goes hog balls out having fun. In fact, such a great time that I didn't really notice it's faults. In fact, I don't think it had any faults.While the humor in Troll II stems primarily from its ad hoc absurdity, this film aims for it and hits. C.H.U.D. II may be a perfect movie.
You can watch and love all of it in segments on YouTube.

Rental Store - Peaches Music & Video

26 March 2010

Oooo ooo oooo! Look What I found!

Another VCII tape! I wasn't even looking, well, not really looking. Just a little bit looking. Found a few more too, the list on the Debbie Does Dallas post will be updated as I find more.

25 March 2010

Debbie Does Dallas and VCII Incorporated

USA - 1979
Director - Jim Clark
VCX Incorporated, 1997, VHS

I'm not into old pornography, but my friend was given this tape for his birthday and, knowing my interest in old VHS, showed it to me. At first I thought it must be an original because the box has the tray inside and everything, but it's just in way too pristine condition. On closer inspection the Roman numeral date on the bottom flap says Copyright 1997, and there are references to several post 1990 obscenity laws. Furthermore, why would it be labeled as an "all time favorite" unless it was on old product? So it's not an original tape, but it is a novelty of sorts...

For example, what really caught my eye was the distributors logo; VCX. It is in fact the same exact logo design and box layout as my Mardi Gras Massacre tape. Except that the company there is called VCII and I can find no information about it.My suspicion is that either they sold off their non-adult titles when they figured out where the money was, or that they used VCII as a dummy company to incorporate before staring to release adult titles. After all, porn did play a crucial part in establishing home video as a legitimate media format.
Anyway, here's the evidence:

My Mardi Gras Massacre (MGM) tape has a lebel that says "Copyright 1979 VCX". VCX still exists, but VCII disappeared sometime around 1983 so they never released much. In fact, based on this trademark information, they were only around for a year or two. Based on the trailers on the Mardi Gras Massacre tape, they didn't have a very good product so it may have been purely strategic. Of course the original copy of MGM I watched had some trailers, the one I bought subsequently does not.
The logo's are obviously the same-ish:
Here's a YouTube of the logo from Logic Smash that is the same on my copy of MGM, it matches the VCX logo on the Debbie tape above.

Also, check out the Debbie box design as compared to MGM, all the VCII tapes have the same layout.

Then there is the e-mail correspondence I had with the customer service folks over at VCX:
VHS Archive: "I'm a collector of old VHS tapes and I'm trying to track down some information on the VCII distribution company. Obviously you and they were part of the same company, but I can find basically no information on VCII.It's a long shot, but can you help me?"

Philip: "Dear Sir, Yes, that was one our divisions at one time, what can I help you with? A
lot, if not all of the tapes they put out are not available anymore."

VHS Archive: "I became curious when my friend showed me a reissue of an old VCX VHS in the oversize box bearing the VHX logo. I instantly saw the similarity to the VCII logo. The history of the creation of the home video phenomenon has interested me for some time because it marks a change in the social perception of movies. I won't bore you with details, but the VC company is an interesting combination because it did both mainstream and adult titles.
Mostly I would just be curious about a list of titles that VCII distributed, I know a few, but as a historian I'm always in search of more. As you mention few are available anymore, I found a grand total of 3 online but I know there are others. Also if possible a larger picture of the company at that time.
Was the whole company founded at the same time? Or was it one "division" at a time? If so, why/how?
Why did the company drop VCII?
Was it a money issue, was more money to be made in adult film?
Was VCII a dummy company to establish legitimacy in the fledgling home video market before moving into adult titles?
Were there other categories of VC movies, i.e. VCI, VCIII etc.?
Thanks for your time."

There was no response.

Here's the short list of the other VCII Incorporated tapes I've managed to track down:
Boogeyman 2 
A Gun In the House
Guyana Tragedy
Half of the Action
The Magnificent Matador
Mardi Gras Massacre
The Oldest Living Graduate
A Pleasure Doing Business
The Prowler
The Savage Is Loose
Talk of the Town: Shows 1 and 2

Unconfirmed titles:
Blame It On the Vodka
Journey Into the Beyond
Night of the Demon
Red Snow
The Many Loves of Jennifer
Zi-Zi Pan Pan

On the original MGM tape as I mentioned there were trailers which are not on my copy. I do remember one for some black and white cavalry film starring Ronald Reagan, and an animated Gulliver's Travels thing. Of course, if you dear reader have info on any other VCII films, we at the archive would love to know.

And finally, yes, I did watch my borrowed copy of Debbie Does Dallas. I've been a fan of cannibal films for a long time and know the name "Robert Kerman (Robert Bolla)" from the Umberto Lenzi gut muncher "Mangiati Vivi" or Eaten Alive if you prefer, but he was also nominally in Cannibal Holocaust and Cannibal Ferox. I knew that he had done pornography but was surprised to see him in the starring role of Mr. Greenfield in Debbie, so, y'know, eating meat is a career choice I guess.

 Kerman does Debbie (left), and marching through the jungle with co-star Janet Agren in Mangiati Vivi.

22 March 2010


United States - 1954
Director - Gordon Douglas

A classic atomic monster movie and one of my favorites of the era.

20 March 2010


United States - 1980
Director - David Paulson
MCA Videocassette Inc., 1981, VHS
Run Time - 1 hour, 29 minutes

I just watched the Werner Herzog documentary My Best Fiend in which Herzog reminisces somewhat less than longingly about his long friendship/enemyship and professional relationship with Klaus Kinski. I had always known that Kinski was an intense guy, you can feel it in his screen presence. I was almost bored to tears by Herzog's Nosferatu, but it's a great example of Kinski's mad skillz. Herzog's documentary was a more engaging film but Kinski was even more disturbing when not "acting." If even half of what Herzog and others say is true, Kinski made method acting and Christian Bale's blowup look like Saturday morning cartoons. That made me think of this movie Schizoid and I thought to myself, how ironic. Of course you don't know how ironic until you watch both My Best Fiend and Schizoid.

On a final Kinski note, one redeeming quality about Nosferatu was the soundtrack which you can listen to here.

18 March 2010

Exterminators of the Year 3000

Italy – 1983
Director – Giuliano Carnimeo
Thorn EMI Video, 198?, VHS
Run Time – 1 hour, 41 minutes

Many years ago, before I had fully grasped the breadth of Italian exploitation cinema, every visit to the video store was an exciting suspenseful event. The moments of jubilation have thinned out a bit over the years, coming less and less often the more movies I see, but they’re still there. Often, when digging through the archive, I can re-live some of those moments with my old Italian friends.
Much attention has been recently and deservedly shined upon Enzo Castellari’s awesome 1982 film New Barbarians here and here, or Warriors of the Wasteland as it is sometimes called. The unexpected grab-bag of plot elements in that film are pretty stunning when you first see them. On subsequent viewings one can only wonder if such odd and shocking choices were intentional or incidental. It really is quite an experience, but for me it came several years after seeing another movie that really blew my mind. As a result I can only compare New Barbarians, and frankly any other Italian post-apocalypse film somewhat unfavorably with Giuliano Carnimeo’s 1983 cheap epic Exterminators of the Year 3000 (Gli sterminatori dell’anno 3000, or ExY3K)

Before my exposure to this film I’d had no idea that the Italians had ripped off anything other than horror movies and westerns. By “ripped off” I mean of course, “made much more entertaining”, but ExY3K was a revelation that opened the door to a whole new realm of dizzy anticipation. Exterminators runs with the random, ad-hoc style that typifies Italian narrative, and sets it to classic low-quality Italian synthesizer (from Detto Mariano.) When one character plays the theme on his harmonica, no attempt is made to simulate a harmonica sound on the audio track. It is as crudely dubbed and instantly recognizable as the English voices from any number of Italian movies and makes me feel like I’ve known these people through the thick and thin of their lives. From the zombie onslaughts to the bank robberies, to the desperate hand to hand combat in the nuclear wasteland.

"Once more into the breach you mothergrabbers!" Crazy Bull and his lieutenant oversee some extermination.

The antagonist of Exterminators is Crazy Bull who speaks in Shakespearean English, including one-liners literally lifted straight from the Bard’s plays. He constantly refers to his henchmen as “mothergrabbers,” though they should in fact be properly addressed as “The Exterminators.” Their namesake is Crazy Bull’s oddly titled car, The Exterminator which, mass and velocity aside, carries no offensive capabilities. This car, clearly at the center of the films whole naming scheme, is pure enigma and serves only to keep the covetous Crazy Bull and his gang circling the protagonists like a pack of wolves.

Those protagonists are largely unsympathetic and underdeveloped save two, Tommy the little kid and Papillon the elderly ex-astronaut. Tommy and Papillon bond over the former's completely unexplained “biomechanical” arm and Papillon’s stash of vintage pull-tab Miller High-Life and Tecate beers. While he claims he can no longer even remember how to get to the moon, Papillon has no trouble repairing, and even adding custom modifications to Tommy’s robo-limb. Tommy eagerly swills Papillon’s beer as an anesthetic, while the old guy works his magic and reminisces about the good old days. This relationship is the intoxicating golden nugget around which the rest of the film lazily swirls, giving us a brief glimpse of the world as it was, is, and can be. The other two protagonists are aptly named to describe their place in this circular story arc; Alien and Trash. They are solitary opportunists, but the characters with whom the viewer ultimately identifies, for they are the ones who have the coolest costumes and the transformative experience, ably guided by the optimism and promise of Tommy and Papillon.

Biomechanical arm plus Tecate equals awesome!

Most post-apocalypse story arcs adhere to some sort of heavy handed morality. The Italians however prefer to pile on the fun stuff like they were punk kids making a movie from a box of “cool parts.” What’s good about ExY3K is it manages to play that ridiculous combination with absolute sincerity, even ending it with an ironic twist that makes the entire narrative basically pointless. It is a surprise worthy of any Bruno Mattei film. It is an artifact of an era when exploitation cinema was white-hot and the Italians were ready at the video forge. If I could construct a post-apocalypse world all my own, these things would be happening in what remained of southern Italy at the same time that Max was roaming Oz.

This nice Roadshow Home Video sleeve is from Rolfens DVD of Denmark.

This Medusa Home Video sleeve comes from Post-Apocalypse.co.uk

Here's the Exterminators of The Year 3000 trailer courtesy of AussieRoadshow

Some low-rez alternate sleeves from the US and Greece respectively

Rental Store - Casino Video

15 March 2010

Gumby For President

Gumby for President
F.H.E., 1987, VHS
Volume 9
Run Time – 1 hour

Candidate for President
• Yard Work Made Easy
• Toy Joy
• Mysterious Fires
• Siege of Boonesborough
• Little Post Pony
• Point of Honor
• Do-It-Yourself Gumby
• Gold Rush Gumby
• Wishful Thinking

I'd vote for that wholesome son of a little green ball of clay.

13 March 2010


United States - 1989
Director - David Hugh Jones
HBO Video, 1989, VHS

Another Vietnam Veteran movie, this one with an all star cast that almost boggles the mind. The director seems mostly to have done British television but for some reason, randomly did a 'Nam Vet picture and landed De Niro and Harris for the leads. That's another odd one, both were established and well respected actors, yet they chose to do a low budget film based on a play about a subject in which the movie going public was rapidly losing interest by 1989. Must have an important social message, huh?

In Country


United States - 1989
Director - Norman Jewison
Warner Home Video, 1990, VHS
Run Time - 1 hour, 56 minutes

 You may have noticed that I have a thing for Vietnam War films, in a different way than this guy perhaps, but it's there. For the most part this comes from my interest in history and that particular time period. I find the combination of social upheaval that went hand-in-glove with a gutwrenching challenge to the myth of American infallibility fascinating. One thing in particular is the way the country has reacted to and coped with those challenges since. One small aspect of that is Vietnam Veterans, and there was a small cottage industry of 'Nam Vet flicks that came out during the 80's and tried to address the issue of their return as such, to a changed culture. They were to say the least, put in a difficult position.
In Country is one of the better films in the category, partially because it is the story of a multigenerational coming to terms with Vietnam, but also because the subject is a southern family rather than the usual yankees. Emily Lloyd does a good job here, but the remarkable performance is turned in by Bruce Willis. This film left me convinced that the guy isn't just a hack. As with many of these films, this one is based on a novel, in this case of the same name by Bobbie Ann Mason.

Here's the stamp from Appleby Video, the rental store in Ontario that once upon a time stocked this tape.

11 March 2010

Keith David

Keith David is pretty well known these days both for his voice and his physical presence in various mainstream genre films. I always find it interesting to note when well respected actors had somewhat sketchy or sleazy early careers. I'm always interested in the "low class" origins of stars. Some like to distance themselves from it the bigger they get, others are proud of it and never really stop slumming no matter what their salary. Keith David is a great example of this because he had some choice supporting roles in some of the classics of 80’s genre film at the start of his career but still tends to do unusual and offbeat pictures. In case you forgot, here's a rundown of David's early career to enjoy all over again.

The Thing
United States - 1982
Director – John Carpenter
The first starring role for David also broke the mold requiring the black sidekick to die in the act of saving/helping the white hero. After The Thing snuck through, that mold was repaired quickly and put back into service. The Thing is one of those films that is just as good each time you watch it provided you give it enough time. In the interim you can enjoy it vicariously with what I consider one of Ennio Morricone’s best soundtracks which you can find at Illogical Contraption.

United States – 1986
Director – Oliver Stone
The first appearance of David and Charlie Sheen together made us think for a second that Sheen might not be a total boner, and Oliver Stone might be a genius. Oops. But it also gave us “King”, David’s character who doesn’t like to perform cunnilingus, but enjoys “sniffing some of that cross mounted pussy down by the river,” whatever that means.

They Live
United States - 1988
Director - John Carpenter

I'm not sure I understand the extent to which people have tried to analyze the messages in this film, they seem neither subtle nor obvious to me. In fact I don't think there are any messages except perhaps for one. Its meta-narrative tells us that over analyzing something can deliver a deep and futile satisfaction, and  reveal the total pointlessness of subjective criticism. But hey, that's why we're here.

Road House
United States -1989
Director – Rowdy Herrington
I threw this one in because five is a nice round number and I I'm hoping that the inclusion of the name Swayze will get this page more hits. David plays the bartender who replaces John Doe when the Roadhouse is cleaned up and turned into a soulless nightclub. This is really an 80’s blue-collar version of Fight Club. The scene in which Carrie the waitress (Kathleen Wilhoite) has a spontaneous orgasm at the mere sight of Swayze’s ass is alone worth the spine-tingling price of admission.

Men at Work
United States- 1990
Director – Emilio Esteves
This movie left a mark upon American culture much like a tattoo, blurrier, uglier and more regrettable with each passing day, but nevertheless permanent. It gave us three amazing things: Charlie Sheen with a mullet in full-bore cokehead mode, the end of  Emilio Esteves' respectability, and David’s line “Somebody threw away a perfectly good white boy,” which might be a reference to the first two things.


The Thing

United States - 1982
Director - John Carpenter

Poster from Yugoslavia.

08 March 2010

Rolling Thunder

United States - 1977
Director - John Flynn
Video Treasures, 1990, VHS
Run Time - 1 hour, 39 minutes

Rolling Thunder was a film written by Paul Schraeder around the same time he wrote Taxi Driver. That should give you some idea of the emotional content of the film. It comes across as a more physically savage approach to the same subject of a man deeply wounded by his experiences in war. In this case, the man is actually two men, William Devane and Tommy Lee Jones both giving excellent performances. Having just arrived home to a small Texas town after many years in a Vietnamese prisoner of war camp the tagline says it all; Major Charles Rane (Devane) is coming home to war! Truly a grindhouse classic, this the movie that lies at the root of brutal Tarantinoesque vengeance films and gave him the name for his defunct distribution company.

I'll use this box art post as an opportunity to inform you readers that I've modified the menus at the side of this blog. I'm keeping the genre list, but I removed the mind-numbing list of all the names and tags since it didn't get used much, and was only getting longer. I replaced it with something special for the VHS freaks, a clickable list of distributors with all the videos I've posted from each one. It will take me a while to finish updating them all since I have to go back through two years of crap, but in the end it will be worth it. Specific distributor names will also appear in the label list at the bottom of each subsequent post. Let me know what you think of the changes, and if you think a list of countries of origin or anything else might also be useful.

These two RAD Japanese boxes come from Japanese VHS Hell. They have tons of great scans, GO THERE.

Forced Vengeance

United States – 1982
Director – James Fargo
MGM/UA Home Video, 1992, VHS
Run Time – 1 hour, 43 minutes

Chuck Norris, pillar of humble manhood, delves into the dark-side in Forced Vengeance, a stunning portrayal of a good man forced to take the law into his own hands when the underworld kills his closest family members.

Hard at work in his stepfather's Hong Kong casino the "Lucky Dragon", head security guard Josh Randall, (Norris) lackeys around as the strong arm of his adoptive family whose name I didn't catch. His step-father is a "rich jew" character, veteran of WWII who decided to stay in HK, practice Tai Chi, and open the casino. He made some money, retired and handed it to his impulsive weak-spined adopted asian son, who gambles the family business to shit, putting them at odds with "expansionist-evil-American", Raimundi, another spoiled whiny stepchild. Raimundi tries to buy up The Lucky Dragon, Jew dad refuses, Asian son whines, dad still refuses and both get greased, leaving Josh with the rest of the movie to punch, pummel and kick his way through the remaining plot.

He pokes around Hong Kong a little, asking the expected questions of the expected people, and, delivering the necessary face punches to secure the desired answers. His girlfriend Claire (Mary Louise Weller of Animal House) is something else entirely. In the first scene, she appears to display a few moments of individual personality and independence, but as soon as Josh gets bossy, she gets doe-eyed and limp and he drags her around with a bruising deathgrip on her upper arm.

Josh meets up with his old Special Forces buddy, LeRoy, who now sells Army surplus gear in HK and sleeps with underage Asian girls. After hearing the age of LeRoy's current girlfriend Josh offers his congratulations, so that really reinforces these guys as “protagonists” and makes us all feel great about cheering for them. Josh leaves Claire in LeRoy's protection – which seems like a fantastic idea. I mean, the guy clearly has a healthy respect for women, errr, girls. But the eviler forces of evil are just a few minutes behind, and wearing the tightest possible outfit, Claire meets her predictable doom, eliciting only a modestly increased output of bereaved face kicks from Josh. Now wearing his full Army dress uniform, replete with four rows of ribbon bars, the stony-faced Josh takes to the streets once again, his vengeance forced out like a stony constipated poo.

If you can continue to ignore Josh's awkward smattering of narration and a laughably hypocritical "good guy" epilogue, the final sweeping joy of this movie is literally a big nasty piece of window glass delivered directly to the face.

 A poster from Wrong Side of the Art

07 March 2010

Tombs of the Blind Dead


Spain - 1971
Director - Amando de Ossorio

I bought this poster years ago from a poster shop in Albuquerque when I was living there. The owner was going to a convention in Florida, I asked him to get me anything Blind Dead and he came back with this thing which he said was from Australia.
This is one of my favorite zombie movies ever, but as a fan of excess in American film making, this sounds a little strange to say since Tombs is in no way excessive or over the top. In fact I'm not entirely sure what I like so much about this slow and plodding, film that lacks the gore, nudity and insanity of my other favorite films. All I can say in my defense is that the zombies, The Templars, are rad. What sells them their state of decay which should preclude them from hearing anything, but that's how they find their victims. The atmosphere and tension of those scenes when they are in the room with a person trying to avoid detection; excellent, just excellent.

06 March 2010

04 March 2010

Deodato's Cut and Run and The Barbarians

Cut and Run
Italy - 1985
Director - Ruggero Deodato
New World Video, 1986, VHS
Run Time - 1 hour, 27 minutes

Director Ruggero Deodato is most famous of course for Cannibal Holocaust, his contribution to cannibal cinema and the fake documentary which many, including The Blair Witch Project copied to such success. But like many Italian exploitation directors of his time he was willing to do just about anything, including coat-tailing popular themes. His House At The Edge of The Park is a direct spin-off of Wes Craven's Last House On The Left, though more viscerally brutal, and Camping Terror AKA Body Count was a sad attempt to cash in on the slasher genre already waning by the time it came out..

But that's one of the things we should love about exploitation film, its attempts to replicate success. Here we have Cut and Run (aka Inferno in diretta) another cannibal film, this time stacked with exploitation workhorses Michael Berryman and Richard Lynch. The theme here attempts to deepen the intrigue of Deodato's prior cannibal films by drawing the jungle and the modern world together more closely, namely via some strange things called sympathetic characters, plot and narcotics. Much of Cut and Run is standard 80's intrigue, but nevertheless quite entertaining. This VHS tape unfortunately takes after its namesake and has at least three minutes cut. One nice thing about it however is the cover art by Chris Consani. I have been unable to find any sources that explicitly credit him with this art, but the signatures match, so I'm satisfied. Nor does Consani have website, Googling his name results in page after page of paintings of Humphrey Bogart, Elvis, James Dean and Marilyn Monroe playing pool. Well rendered, but, I just don't get the appeal. In any case, this is the only movie related artwork I can atribute to Consani, but there are several different versions.
The following two are UK sleeves from It's Only a Movie.co.uk and feature what appear to be alternate versions of the Consani artwork:


 The above version, while not quite as intimidating as the following, does feature the suspended Fran character (Lisa Blount) which ads a different sort of menace to the whole thing.


Furthermore, according to the book Cannibal Holocaust: The Savage Cinema of Ruggero Deodato, Cut and Run was originally titled Marimba and slated to be directed by Wes Craven. Obviously it didn't end up that way but as you can see above it does prominently star the unforgettable Michael Berryman who also glared out from the screen, posters and VHS boxes of Craven's The Hills Have Eyes parts 1 and 2 (1977 and 1985 respectively.) Deodato really has a thing for Wes Craven.

Deodato also re-hired both Berryman and Lynch for Barbarians, his entertaining last minute entry in the barbarian/fantasy craze that briefly swept the post-Conan 1980's.


Italy - 1987
Director - Ruggero Deodato
Media Home Entertainment, 1988, VHS
Run Time - 1 hour, 28 minutes

Strangely this post began as a short write-up of this amazing VHS tape, but upon remembering my Cut and Run tape, I got sidetracked, so this is what you get. Suffice to say that Barbarians is pretty tongue-in-cheek funtastic as well, despite what should just be skull mashing stupidity. No matter what, ol' Ruggero hits his mark.