Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

2 kinds of trash ....

We  have mentioned before the different kinds of trashy movies we sometimes dip into - classic trash, campy trash, delirious trash ... today its bad trash and porn trash ...

SCORPIO: Cross is an old hand at the CIA, in charge of assassinating high-ranking foreign personalities who are an obstacle to the policies of the USA. He often teams up with Frenchman Jean Laurier, alias "Scorpio", a gifted free-lance operative. One day, the CIA orders Scorpio to eliminate Cross -- and leaves him no choice but to obey. Scorpio is cold-blooded and very systematic; however, as a veteran agent, Cross knows many tricks. He can also rely upon a network of unusual personal contacts, some dating back to the troubled years preceding WWII. A lethal game of hide-and-seek is programmed, but what are the true motives of every single player? 

We highlighted some top-notch Alain Delon thrillers here, like Melville's 1967 LE SAMOURAI and LE CERCLE ROUGE, and Vernueil's MELODIE EN SOUS-SOL from 1963 teaming Delon and Gabin (Delon label). Then a decade later in 1973 Michael Winner delivers SCORPIO where Delon is another lone assassin, and fascinatingly re-teams him with Burt Lancaster, from Visconti's THE LEOPARD, one of our key movies, from 1963. They are both a long way from Visconti here, and its painful seeing Burt particuarly, maybe a bit too old here for all the running around he has to do. At least he had a few good later roles, like in Malle's ATLANTIC CITY and Forsyth's LOCAL HERO. No-one emerges with any credit from SCORPIO, another of those confusing cold war thrillers with everyone double-crossing each other (Dirk Bogarde's PERMISSION TO KILL in 1977 is another, as per Bogarde label). The real classic '70s thrillers are items like Pakula's THE PARALLAX VIEW or Pollack's THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR which I really must look at again. 
Lancaster,  Cardinale,  Delon, THE LEOPARD, 1963

I like some of Winner's 1960s movies like THE SYSTEM and reviewed I'LL NEVER FORGET WHATS'IS'NAME recently (Oliver Reed label), where he caught that '60s vibe nicely. In the '70s he moved on to international thrillers with big names but of very variable quality. I still have to see his Loren one, FIREPOWER ... don't even mention the dreck that is his Dunaway starrer, THE WICKED LADY - or those 70s disasters like WON TON TON or THE SENTINEL. ! SCORPIO is an ugly-looking film, drab, very tatty '70s. Lancaster and Delon have no chemistry here, Alain seems on autopilot - this particular assassin likes kittens. Paul Scofield the other great actor involved has less to do and does it splendidly,. He was also terrific with Lancaster in Frankenheimer's 1964 THE TRAINSCORPIO though is a mess with incomprehensible plotting, people are on the move all the time, getting on and off planes and chasing each other all over he place, all to no avail. This was a cheap dvd which I tossed in the rubbish bin after viewing - certainly not deserving house-room ! 

Another kind of trash I do not bother with is torture porn, or the latest breed of horror film. I remember people being amused by 2010's PIRANHA which was in 3D. It turned up on television and I had a look. I am still laughing at some of it while being horrified too. Its a horror comic then....

After a sudden underwater tremor sets free scores of the prehistoric man-eating fish, an unlikely group of strangers must band together to stop themselves from becoming fish food for the area's new razor-toothed residents.

This is a comic gorefest, by Alexandre Aja, as hundreds of teenagers gathering for a spring break, fall victim to the all conquering pirhanas. The central carnage sequence goes on and on as they fall from the collapsing rigging into the raging ocean.
The kids are all dumb, we don't care about them, nor the rest of the leads - apart from the lovely Kelly Brook., Kelly looks terrific here, in just a bikini, and gamely plays along with the director's skinflick and lesbo fantasies - we want her to survive, and she does till the climax - so - SPOILER - it is both hilarious and horrific to see her too fall from the rescue rope as the fish devour her.  It all starts with that JAWS survivor Richard Dreyfuss, but only for the first few minutes as the fish emerge into the sea ... various other characters like the sleazy porn merchant are finished off in amusing ways, flying cables slice nubile babes in two, a ponytail gets caught in a propellor, and that other girl swimming underwater with Kelly also has a grisly end; there is a neat payoff line as well. Does today's audience really go for this kind of stuff?  Surely it is disturbing that there's an audience out there for films that mix graphic violence and explicit female nudity .... at least there are 350 outraged reviews of it at the International Movie Database (IMDB).

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