It’s the second attempt to reboot the Terminator franchise after Terminator Salvation wasn’t the smash hit the studio hoped it would be. Apparently steering too far from the chase-movie concept the previous three movies had alienated audiences a tad too much. But where to go now, when everything that could have been told has been told? The obvious answer would be a reboot, but that would mean restarting a franchise with new faces while the original two movies are firmly beloved classics. That would also mean recasting the iconic part of the T-800 played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, which is the only consisting element holding these movies together even though he only had a CG-cameo in Terminator Salvation. Terminator Genisys tries to give the series a fresh direction to go in by toying with the timeline altering, which has been a great factor of the Terminator series since the very beginning.
In 18th century London the orphaned Fanny Hill, a young, pretty and extremely innocent woman is employed as a chambermaid for one Mrs. Brown. Mrs. Brown’s occupation is that of a madam as she’s running a brothel something which Fanny doesn’t realize due to her innocence. Mrs. Brown however has other plans for Fanny who is of course still a virgin and holds up morals like kissing should only be done on the cheek by a close acquaintance. Having a young virgin available for someone willing to pay top dollar, or in this case pound, is the main reason for her interest in taking Fanny in.
It’s a summer filled with nostalgia as Arnold Schwarzenegger is back as the Terminator and dinosaurs are running amok in Jurassic World, the latter raking in the dough at the box-office like the original Jurassic Park did. Both franchises had their golden moment in the early 90s and were responsible for kicking of the use of CGI in movies. 2 decades later these franchises are both subject to a reboot/sequel with Terminator Genisys and Jurassic World.
Europe in the Raw is one of the more obscure Russ Meyer movies and was one of his last “nudie cuties”. As with his previous movies, The Immoral Mr. Teas, Eve and the Handyman and Wild Gals of the Naked West, this movie features no dialogue, but rather narration. The hook this time is an unnamed cameraman visiting different countries in Europe with an suitcase containing a hidden camera (which is rather easily to spot) filming not only landmarks each country is famous for but also several red light districts and night clubs giving Americans a look at Europeans in the raw.
21 years after his last feature, Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens, cult director Russ Meyer returns with his swan song: Pandora Peaks. It would be the last movie he would direct as Meyer passed away three years after its release. One can only speculate why he came out of retirement but it’s possible that the fact that his career ended somewhat without closure for him might have had something to do with it. At the end of “Beneath” a never released movie was announced and it’s well known Meyer was working on “The Breast Of Russ Meyer” throughout the 80s, also movie that has yet to see the light of day, but probably never will.
And when you’re in your late 70s, having a young naked voluptuous woman in front of your camera might also have something to do with it.
Not counting the one-time come-back pseudo documentary Pandora Peaks released in 2001, “Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens” is the final movie by cult director Russ Meyer. Even though the end credits promises us “Jaws of the Vixen!” this would be his final entry into the world of cinematic movie making. What is funny is that in the closing scenes of the movie Meyer himself appears, talking directly to his audience and even though he doesn’t make any reference to quitting, it’s somewhat of a nice coincidence that he closes his own final movie.
With both The Seven Minutes and Black Snake it seemed that Russ Meyer lost his mojo. Both movies were too much out of his comfort zone and thus they were both critical and commercial failures. So Meyer returned to the concept that made Vixen! such a big hit: the softcore sexploitation movie. Supervixens revolves around Clint Ramsey, a gas station attendant who’s a real ladies magnet. Even though he politely refuses the women who are coming on to him, his wife SuperAngel is extremely jealous. After some domestic violence between the two due to her jealousy, she tries to seduce police officer Harry Sledge. But Harry turns out to be impotent and after a lot of mocking he violently murders her by beating her up, electrocuting her in the bath tub and setting the house on fire framing Clint. Harry, as you can probably tell, is a bit of a psycho.
Clint now has to run for his life, but while crossing America he keeps on running into voluptuous nymphomaniacs trying to sexually harass him. Some guys never get any slack!
In the final season of Mad Men, a TV-show about an ad-agency in the 60s, there was a moment when one of the characters was sitting on his couch at home in front of the television watching the moon landing. He looked at the TV with a smile of excitement and satisfaction on his face uttering just one simple word: Bravo. That scene perfectly encapsulates my feelings about The Avengers, released in 2012 and which featured an entire group of characters who have starred in their own movies the years before. It was an enormous undertaking which paid of in the end in what is simply a great movie. Bravo indeed Marvel.
When I was young I would occasionally see an old movie that felt clearly dated and I would ask myself if nobody perceived these elements in the movie as being stale at the time. I couldn’t imagine people not recognizing the stiff acting or really crappy special effects, but being in my thirties now I’ve come upon movies I loved as a teenager but 20 years later don’t hold up as well as I though they would be. One of those movies I have these sentiments about is a movie I just watched again recently: Demolition Man.
Black Snake is set in 1835 on San Cristobal Island which was part of the British West Indies. Here, a section of the locals has been enslaved by the Blackmoor sugar cane plantation to perform forced labor. The plant is run by the blonde-haired, dressed in black, whip-wielding Lady Susan Walker (Anouska Hempel). Susan rides around on a horse giving orders and is happy to use the whip should these orders not be followed through. On the contrary to what you might think at first glance, Susan isn’t enjoying the abuse but she does love the luxurious lifestyle she can only maintain by running the plant firm and ruthless.
Susan has also left behind a trail of dead or missing husbands in her wake. Susan’s latest missing husband is Jonathan Walker, his disappearance is the reason his brother travels from England to the plantation to go undercover posing as a bookkeeper while trying to find out what happened to him.
Most of the day to day slave-running chores are left to the sadistic Joxer Tierney (Percy Herbert) who has a wide range of racial slurs he yells at the slaves. His rage is fueled by his impotence and he refers to his whip as a “black snake”, hence the title.
Highlighted also are the slaves who are slowly but surely getting ready to revolt against their imprisonment. They’re led by young Joshua (Milton McCollin) but his pacifist bible-quoting father Isaiah (Thomas Baptiste) discourages him in fear of repercussions, which is justified as Susan and Joxer eventually crucify Joshua to set an example but achieve the opposite as the boiling point has been reached and it sets of the revolt.