FilmDungeon.com is glad to explore the video trenches to find that oddball treasure between the piles of crap out there. Of Course, a treasure in this context can also be a film that’s so shockingly bad it’s worth a look, or something so bizarre that cult fans just have to see it. Join us on our quest and learn what we learn. Hopefully we’ll uncover some well-hidden cult gems.
Researched by: Jeppe Kleijngeld
Directed by: Lee Frost
Written by: Wes Bishop, Lee Frost
Cast: Sondra Currie, Tony Young, Phil Hoover
A foxy police woman called Lacy Bond takes on the dangerous task of infiltrating a criminal gang of females. Luckily she is good with weapons and martial arts, so ass-kicking the baddies forms little problem for Lacy. This film was released on a ‘Welcome to the Grindhouse’ double DVD with Las Vegas Lady. This is apparently the better half. Though no masterpiece it at least has a pleasant rhythm and some camp value. At moments the dialogues and karate scenes get a bit too silly, but most of the time these ‘problems’ are easily ignored. Sondra Currie is also a very charming presence.
Directed by: Noel Nosseck
Written by: Walter Dallenbach
Cast: Stella Stevens, Stuart Whitman, George DiCenzo
Las Vegas in the seventies must have been more fun than this boring TV-movie makes it look. The plot revolves around three ladies who want to steal half a million dollars from a criminal casino owner. Or something. The unfocused plot and stretched dialogues make it nearly impossible to get into this movie. Stella Stevens and the other dames are visual assets, but censorship robbed this film of any sex that might have been originally inserted. The action that could be expected during the climax is also missing. Jeppe says: not worth wasting your time on.
Directed by: Umberto Lenzi
Written by: Umberto Lenzi
Cast: Giovanni Lombardo Radice, Lorraine De Selle, Danilo Mattei
An anthropology student and two companions travel to Mañyoca, a small village located in the Amazon jungle of Paraguay. She is writing a thesis on the myth of cannibalism and is searching for evidence to support her cause. A maniacal New York drug dealer is also in the area committing cruelties to a local Indian tribe who in their turn want revenge on the intruders. Your ‘enjoyment’ of this film depends on your tolerance for graphic torture of both humans and animals. If you can stand it, this is a pretty well-paced and in a strange way ‘entertaining’ viewing. However many will justifiably wonder what the significance is of showing (and watching) such horrors and very few won’t feel slightly depressed afterwards. The most memorable gruesome act? Hard to say, but I’ll go for the hooks in Fiamma Maglione’s breasts.
The Magnificent Trio (Hong Kong, 1966)
OT: Bian cheng san xia
Directed by: Chang Cheh
Written by: Chang Cheh
Cast: Chin Ping, Margaret Tu Chuan, Fanny Fan
Farmers kidnap the daughter of a corrupt magistrate in order to make him lose his grip on them. They are protected by the mighty warrior Master Lu, who later teams up with the equally powerful Huang and Yan Ziquin, forming a magnificent trio against the army of the magistrate. In 1966, the martial art genre was still undeveloped at the Shaw Brother Studios. In it’s time The Magnificent Trio must have been an exciting feature. By today’s standards however, it barely contains enough action and spectacle to please the genre enthusiasts. On the other hand, those interested in the development of this movie niche will probably find some value here, as well as beautiful art-direction and a finale worthy of director Chang Cheh’s reputation.
Directed by: George McCowan
Written by: Robert Hutchison, Robert Blees
Cast: Ray Milland, Sam Elliot, Joan Van Ark
A production by Samuel Z. Arkoff, who has produced over a hundred similar campy movies. Some are better than others. This dull film unfortunately belongs among his weaker productions. Millionaire Jason Crocket (Milland) hosts a family party at his Southern estate. Nature photographer Picket Smith (a young Sam Elliot) arrives and soon finds out that nature-hater Crocket has abused the area with pesticides and poisons. The many frogs and other creatures from the local ecosystem start taking revenge on Crocket and his family leading to a number of strange and painful deaths. The movie’s uneventful first hour could have been forgiven if the second half would have offered some satisfying pay-off. This never happens. The characters remain caricatures and their uncreative deaths therefore leave the viewer cold as ice. A shame, but what can you expect from a film that carries this title?
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