Tuesday, June 27, 2017


At last, the color portion of my promised Hill oeuvre, celebrating the mountain of Hills now available on Blu-ray, framing the golden question of whether Hill "gets" women or just loves them - whatever the difference is, and if a single filmography can answer it. Thanks to great work of the mighty Arrow video, and Scorpion releasing; most everything Hill did is on Blu-ray or at least DVD (see part one of this series, the Hill black and white era). Next to the great JC, he's the premiere Hawksian of the drive-in era. Cherish him.

The following have always been in print and written about quite a bit, largely due (I think) to Quentin Tarantino and Pam Grier, so just a quick pass through of their (both literal and figurative) pros and cons.


(1971) Dir. Jack Hill
*** / Amazon Image - A_

Made during New World's stint filming everything down in the Philippines with a brigade of rising talent, this quintessential Women in Prison movie has aged far better than most, with Jack Hill's love of strong beautiful women in full effect. The leggy cellmates (Hill is a master of keeping them all in-frame, splayed on their bunks) include: Pam Grier as the dyke alpha; Brooke Mills as her strong-out junkie squeeze; Judy Brown as the newbie; Pat Woodell as the guerrilla/activist; and Roberta Collins as the tough blonde who's only looking out for herself (and advises the newbie to do the same). 

This was Grier's first film--she'd been Corman's secretary when Hill 'discovered' her--and you can see why she was an instant smash. She would go on with Hill to make history with two iconic films as we shall see soon. But here her iconic force and breakthrough sexual heft (always with innocent sweetness she can't squash in herself no matter how hard she tries) is kept in chains, more or less. She's just part of an ensemble who spend their days racing cockroaches, fighting in the mud, showering, and getting it on while the sadistic head guard (Kathryn Loder, left) conducts nightly torture sessions for the pleasure of the mysterious Colonel Mendoza (the kind of character who watches from behind screens --only his cigarette holder and riding crop discernible in silhouette). 

What's great is that for the most part these girls are damned tough, they suffer but they don't plead and moan. They're tough, like Cagney might be if given the same treatment, rather than moaning in surrender and pain to appease the kinky raincoats. Naturally Mills doesn't quite live up to that tough girl standard when it comes to the real torture of heroin withdrawal (turns out the head guard is supplying but holding out now that her snitch isn't snitching enough). But freedom in one way or another will soon be theirs, guns blazing! 

Grier's dynamite song "99 Years" tops a great knowing soundtrack, and highlights include Collins raping a delivery guy at knifepoint after she notices him spying on her in the shower (Hill lingers on her lusty gaze and she really sells it). Kathryn Loder is genuinely chilling as the sadistic guards, with just enough Nurse Ratchet surface warmth and justification of her behavior to chill the blood all the more after she gets the disobedient inmates all strapped down. Sadly, Hill mainstay Sid Haig delivers one of his worst ever southern accents as a skeevy fruit vendor. I'm not a fan of this genre in general, but there's no denying this is one solid piece of quintessentially New World drive-in exploitation. Sexy and sordid without ever being depressing or cheap, it's easily the best WIP movie as far as I'm concerned, thanks especially to the new HD restoration/remaster. The photography is dusky and vivid without any of the waxy tropical sweat that seemed to cover every surface in past versions, i.e. when the air is so humid it can't evaporate any more liquid, so every surface seems slimy --the main reason I always used to avoid movies shot in the Philippines. Not sure where it went, but I'm sure glad it's less pronounced, as if the HD remaster came with a big blowing AC.

(1972) **1/2

The Doll House was such a hit that Hill and Grier had to go back to the Philippines and crank out another; this time there's more comedy, more rebels, and a bigger budget (a whole summer camp-style compound is blown up, searing even the celluloid). Now the showers and catfights are outdoors on muddy sloping hills, which is slightly less depressing, and there's even more of a revolutionary angle as Grier's boyfriend is rebel leader Sid Haig, and the plan is to get his lonely rebel troops some girlfriends by liberating the women's work camp. That's all fine, but the real selling point is the the amazingly slender-hipped huge-haired mega-babe Anitra Ford as a free-spirited nymphomaniac named Tory, whose bedding of important political figures has landed her 'on ice.' She becomes Grier's sparring/bonding partner and helps blast their way to freedom.  I dug this the first time I saw it with my socialist rebel Argentine espousa (when I was working as a film critic covering the New World canon for the Muse); I didn't like it the second, alone and disheveled.

Pros: Grier and Ford are both dynamite with their bad attitudes and skimpy prison attire (Ford may have the best mid-riff in the history of the genre - though she's not in the above pic) and this go-round Hill is much more about escape, sisterhood, and machine gunning your way to freedom, than he is about seeing women tortured (though there's plenty of that too - alas). Grier and Ford are a great team, and--even though he's rocking a misplaced accent--Haig's the man.

Cons: It's a personal thing, but I find the sweaty Filipino foliage claustrophobic in its visible sweaty humidity. The gay mincing guards (the film's most dated element) are much too flouncy, and there's a wearying amount of suffering and abuse prior to the revolt. Me, I like ten pounds of vengeance to an ounce of provocation, not vice versa. As with the next two films, Hill seems to get meaner the second time he covers the same ground (venting subconscious anger at Corman for trying to pigeonhole him?)

(1973) - ***1/2

Grier rocketed to stardom as the queen of blaxploitation films with this big cult hit-- capably stepping out from her ensemble work in New World's Philippine prisons and into starring roles at the now blaxploitation-focused AIP. She's a hardworking nurse out to avenge her smack-addicted 11-year-old sister by waging a one-woman war on Los Angeles' drug/prostitution racket after her kid sister is made into a junky ("her life is over!"), and cop friend Carter (William Elliott) is beaten up for not being crooked. She blows (the head off) a pusher, forces another to give himself a hot shot; threatens to carve up a prostitute's face unless she gives up her pimp's secret stash, and goes undercover as a high-class Jamaican prostitute to move herself into the stable of the marvelous King George (Robert Doqui), a super mack-daddy pimp with big-time heroin connections and his own funk leitmotif by legendary Roy Ayers (the whisper of "King George..." over and over as he struts around helps make this high-end pimp quite endeqaring). Pam's Jamaican accent is limited, but her white bathing suit is divine, her body bedazzling, her cape delicious (she also has a cool cape with her nurse's uniform. Capes!) Her hair huge and (it turns out) spiked with razor blades. 

She's soon getting in over her head, escaping narrowly, pinning her own theft of the stash on King George and flowing back up the chain of smack empire command like an IV of death. Sid Haig delivers a truly chilling extended laugh while dragging King George behind his car (courtesy Chevrolet!). Diane Arbus's husband, Allan, shows up as a sleazy sheik (MASH fans are bound to be pleasantly unnerved by the sight of visiting shrink Sidney demanding Coffy crawl to him on the bed). Booker Bradshaw is Coffy's tall, dark, and handsome politician boyfriend, whose slick-ass roadster is so low he has to step down to get into it. Through it all, Grier keeps her character tough and glamorous and always holding onto her sensitive center, even when wielding a sawed-off shotgun. Hill stretches the movie to accommodate her three dimensions, her towering strength always coming with back-end working girl weariness, the kind that needs no man's aid, just maybe a cup of coffee or a Sunday drive. (It's clear Tarantino was trying to capture that mellow openness, the weary but kittenish honesty, during her early scenes with Robert Forster). 

It's temporarily good to be the 'King'
Cons: The Olive Blu-ray is barebones and in its widescreen HD reveals something not as immediately apparent on VHS, just how cheap the sets on this movie are, something the full screen VHS I used to have successfully obscured. Here we can see the far edges of the cheap plywood phony walls in mid-warp/decay from the swampy heat of the soundstage lights; every surface has that sad "under construction" look. The bars and apartments have an airless, sweaty claustrophobia. As for the actors --their wigs appear crooked and misshapen, their make-up runny; it's like a giant basement of Arbusian freaks (or was I just really strung out on cough medicine last time I watched it?); even the outdoor scenes have an existentially oppressed vibe. And just because he's a pimp doesn't really mean King George (above) deserves to be betrayed and dragged around behind a car like Angelo in Wild Bunch, or the fellow stable whores deserve to be all cut up or otherwise abused just so Coffy can use them as stepping stones to her ultimate vengeance. She's just slumming but this is how they make their damned living!

Pros: In the end, though, none of that shit matters, because that score by Roy Ayers is so damned funky, so tight, so on point, and sounds so full and badass in the Blu-ray digital that if you watch this with the stereo connected, you'll be blown well clear of any lingering urban blight. And despite the bad wig factor, the actors are first-rate. Grier, especially, is in a class by herself. And, more tellingly, the tawdry atmosphere works to make all the heroin addiction--that longing for release--perfectly understandable. Hill can't convey the way an armful of opiates can make a heaven of ghetto hell, but he sure has a handle on the look and feel of withdrawal. The whole COFFY mise-en-scene seems as if its an aesthetic reflection of what the Hold Steady's Craig Finn calls the 'crucifixion cruise', i.e. the endless slog through the pain and despair that is withdrawal, pain and despair that makes you so desperate for release, you'll sell your soul to the first buyer.

(PS 1/19- Seeing this again on the Amazon Prime HD streaming print, I'd scratch all that urban blight stuff- everything looks gorgeous and glamorous, even the dingy green light of the hospital where she works highlights Pam's luminous skin, and Booker's pad and topless bar hangout scintillate with moody fireplaces.)

courtesy Art of the Title

(1974) - **

Paid homage to by directors from Spike Lee to Quentin Tarantino, this is the title Pam Grier is known for/by even though it's COFFY they're thinking of. Originally set to be a sequel, this incarnation of Grier is a tougher, more cartoon-like version of her same vigilante character. A  'take back the street' grassroots anti-pusher coalition jostles in her loyalty with her scuzzy small time junky brother (Antonio "Huggy Bear" Fargas). Drugs and gang violence have so destroyed her neighborhood that when her undercover cop boyfriend (Terry Cotter) is gunned down in the middle of the afternoon, no one comes forward as a witness. Her brother might know who did it, though and so--uniting with that local "neighborhood action" group--Foxy goes undercover herself as ---what else?-- a high-end prostitute. 

I dig the opening sequence at a late-night coffee stand with Fargas nervously hanging out while two Italian legbreakers wait for a pair of cops to finish their coffee and go so they can beat him up. His call to wake up sister Foxy, and her last minute cavalry rescue are all pretty good, but then we start cutting over to the the bruised thugs and their leader, a dour white girl (a doughy Kathryn Loder) and it all starts to twist downhill to an wildly uneven mix of broad camp, shrill sadistic (ugly and prolonged) brutality and glum inner-city realism.

Lacking a lot of the sadistic flair she brought to The Big Doll House, Loder spends way too much time dressing down her underlings, threatening the girls who 'work' for her, and nuzzling her right-hand boy toy, Stevie (TV actor Peter Brown). I think she and Stevie even end up sharing a slow, menacing maniacal laugh at one point. As for Foxy, she travels as far as the poppy fields of the Philippines (where else?) in her quest to bring down the operation. We keep expecting her to be smart and manipulative. but she winds up captured, raped, given forced heroin injections (which is always--it seems--how the bad guys get the girls submissive, uninhibited and completely dependent) and her eventual payback is never enough to right the catalogue of wrongs. For example, Foxy's sexual belittling of an old white judge is pretty hilarious, but even that goes sour when the call girl she encourages to participate (Sally-Ann Stroud) winds up tortured and murdered after Foxy leaves. (How emblematic of America's involvement in third world power struggles)!

Pros: The crazily colored opening credits feature Grier boogying down in all sorts of super-sexy outfits to that iconic Willie Hutch theme song. As with Roy Ayers score on COFFY, that Hutch soundtrack worth the price of admission all by itself, play it loud, neighbors be damned. Unless they complain, of course. Then put on your most expensive headphones. 

Cons: Way too much screen time is spent watching Loder sadistically abuse her girls and dote on her  gigolo and not nearly enough watching Grier kick the shit out of people. Even more so than COFFY there's way too much urban blight, sexual abuse, and general social degradation. Foxy seems to think turning tricks, getting shot up, raped, harassed, shot at, and leaving the people who help her to be tortured or killed, is small price to pay for --what? Does she get anything for her troubles? SPOILER ALERT: She doesn't even kill the evil Loder at the end, as if to pay back Loder's endless ugly egotistical sadism--which by then has grown as soul-crushingly wearisome as that of Alan Ormsby in CHILDREN SHOULDN'T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGs or Michael Gambon's Peter Grant-ish thug in THE COOK, THE THIEF, THE WIFE AND HER LOVER--with merely death wouldn't be enough to avenge how soiled we feel. Still, it would be a damn sight more satisfying than what happens.

PART 3: The Centaur and the SORCERESS

Hill would break out from Corman's wing a bit for his next film, to form Centaur Releasing with John Prizer, for which he'd bang out two quick punchy films in the female ensemble vein: one would rake in a small fortune; the next would lose it. After a lengthy hiatus he went back to Corman for one more film, would fight a bit with him one time too many and then that would be it. Career over. To all our regret. Well, how else do you graduate from the Corman school unless it's to fight with him about some creative issue and off you trundle, into either the abyss or the big time? Sadly, Hill's disinclination to work in direct-to-video or TV led to him doing just zero more films after that. 

He's still around though! Never say never...

(1974) - ***

Following New World's tried-true three girls at work-and-play ensemble "nurses" formula, this brings Hill's cunning mix of sexy feminism, cathartic violence, deadpan wit, and covert liberal politics to bear in a sexy comedy-drama form. Radical journalism major Kate (Jo Johnston) goes undercover to expose outdated mores and institutionalized sexism within the college's football cheerleading team, but instead she finds she these girls are cool, while her wild-eyed radical underground newspaper editor boyfriend Ross (Ric Carrott) is a rapey dick. Besides, the handsome quarterback Buck is played by Ron Hajek, his teeth white and straight enough he's worth stealing from the bitchy, manipulative cheerleader squad captain Mary Ann (Colleen Camp). Sulky Ross, meanwhile, takes out his anger by publishing Kate's expose (after she tried to scrap it) and then, later, inviting his sicko friends over to "break in" the virgin cheerleader (the doe-eyed Rainbeaux Smith). Mary Ann's dad, the dean of the school, is meanwhile embroiled in a plot to "fix" the big game, along with the coach, and a black professor (Jason Sommers) who is having an affair with the black cheerleader (Rosanne Keaton, one of Playboy's first black centerfolds).

Pros: Hill keeps the action flowing in surprising ways. I'll confess I have a low skeeve threshold when rapey idiots start snickering and egging each other on like so many dickweeds needing their graves spit on (like in the odious misogyny benchmark PORKY'S). So I like that here the jocks are sensitive and serious and the radical underground journalist is the swine. (Hill reports that a Texas audience one burst out of the seats applauding when the jock beats up Ross- so did I!)

Cons: I liked it the first time I saw it, and kind of fell for Johnston in those shorts. Now, a decade or so later, she just terrifies me--those eyes seem wild and unhinged, the mouth grinding as if from a line of badly-cut coke snorted fifteen years ago but still lodged behind her eyeballs. (Am I just talking about myself? I guess that's what they call 'maturity.')

I know it goes without mentioning in a more enlightened era, but what sticks out now isn't that there's a black main character --there were more than a few at the time (as in 1970s' BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS and all the New World nurse movies) but that it's a reminder of the miscegenation taboo that no black woman and white man (or vice versa) can ever be attracted to each other in these movies, so if you're black woman at a predominately white school, there will be one or two black men showing up, and you'll be bound to have an affair with one or both. As a kid in the 70s I wondered if that was just some instinctual thing - like black people don't find whites attractive, genetically, and vice-versa. Now of course I know the truth (racist southern distributors would never show the film otherwise) but in today's enlightened time, it actually seems conspicuous.

Pros: The black professor has a ferocious tough-as-shit black wife (Mae Mercer), who drops in on our terrified cheerleader in the film's most surprising powerful scene. Even if you've never been verbally threatened by your lovers' spouse--either by knife-point or just over the phone--you will get a queasy pit of your stomach thrill from her intensity . I've been on all sides of that equation and let me tell you, Hill gets it right and Mercer is a powerhouse. Never losing our sympathy even as we're terrified to the point of shitting our finest cheerleader slacks, she makes an impression so deep the picture still shakes after she's gone. As for the 'sweet one,' Rainbeaux Smith glows with a mix of doll innocence and angel sublime grace (hard to believe she was pregnant at the time --as we learn in the Arrow Blu-ray's generous extras). I like too how Hill doesn't even bother with the big climactic game at the end, nor even deign to mask the terrible emulsion damage and faded color on his stock footage of the game (do we ever even see a football?)

Cons: The main thing I can't stand about it all though, is the Scott Joplin rag underscoring the big climactic brawl at the warehouse. That kind of corny silent film (i.e. royalty-free) ragtime jazz nonsense hangs anachronistically around all through New World nurse and AIP's beach party catalogues, even in The Trip! I'm sorry Hill had to lug it with him to the Centaur's kingdom.

Blu-ray: The Arrow restoration is surprisingly only so-so as far as some colors being restored (lots of glowing greens) but it still seems very bleached out. I'm sure they did the best they could, but expectations are so high after the beauty of Spider Baby and Pit-Stop. 

(1975) Dir. Jack Hill

SPIDER BABY's my favorite Hill but this is the second, a complex but highly re-watchable tale of feminism, street violence, and short-shorts. Doll-faced, sweet voiced, crazy-eyed Robbie Lee stars as Lace, leader of the gang, the 'Dagger Debs.' New girl in town Maggie (Joanne Nail) is the newcomer, and not averse to using her belt as a chain and/or grabbing a switchblade to defend herself at the burger place. Lace's one-eyed Iago, Patch (Monica Gale), sees the writing on the wall re: her beta status. Lace just thinks Patch is jealous of Maggie's cool gutsy charm, but ole Patch is right. Not only that, there are the sparks between Lace's boyfriend, the Daggers' leader, Dom (Ashner Brauner, doing a great Ralph Meeker impression), and Maggie. Even his breaking into her room to rape her can't change that, nor Lace getting pregnant and getting all gooey about raising the baby, to which he snorts and tosses her cash for an abortion.

Pros: a big roller rink massacre; an attack coordinated with a feminist black militant coalition, with machine guns and a badass armored Cadillac; the heavenly blonde Daryl Hannah jawline of Janice Karman as Bunny; the badass 70s funk score; some great hair and dialogue; and a lightning pace. See it when you're super furious at the world or just strung out with the shakes because your dealer never showed, and bask in the cathartic anger, the fabulous legs of Joanne Nail, and the way Robbie Lee's eyes widen and dilate, then contract into a glowing glaze when she talks. Savor too Nail's final rant to the fat cop, her face streaked with blood, eyes wide and maniacal, a shocking Cagney-by-way-of Lorre raving moment (maybe my favorite ending in all schlock cinema).

Joanne Nail would be back all right... in the fascinating 70s all-purpose drive-in capstone, THE VISITOR! (1979) Not much else, alas. Oh how I wish that Switchblade Sisters had a bunch sequels, like it would have in Japan. (Fuller review here).

(1982) Dir. Jack Hill

Wild-eyed sorcerer Traigon (Roberto "the Mexican Martin Holden Wiener" Ballesteros - who really knows how to swirl his blazing red cape) needs to sacrifice his firstborn child to his crazy Reptile goddess to keep his magic strong, but his hot young wife (Silvia ManrĂ­quez) has twin girls and won't tell him which one came first (if he gets the order wrong, he's screwed). A wild-haired noble wizard strides forth to zap Traigon into a 20 year-long period of oblivion, but too late to save the mom from Traigon's swordy pique. Naturally, the wizard brings the orphaned twin girls to a farmer off in the wild to raise in secret (disguised as boys), imbues them with latent magical abilities and drops back in, Merlin-style, twenty years later, to tell them about it. By then the girls have grown into beautiful Playboy playmate twins, Lynette and Leigh Harris, who don't even know how hot they are or that they're girls and that they live in a world where there is no word for 'twins' so they have to be called "the two who are one" all the time. Traigon comes back too and resumes the hunt for the first born. His guards assault and murder the farmer family while the twins are out nude swimming. A vow of vengeance is sworn! The hearty viking, Baldar (Bruno 'the Mexican shorter John Goodman' Rey), and a horny satyr (who baas like a sheep) sign on for the ride. During a remarkably large scale market town square scene (viva la Mexico) they meet up with Erlick (Roberto Nelson), and launch a market-wide donnybrook. The twins do a pretty good job as a kind of tag team bo staff whirligig and the size and detail of the village is impressive. Ensuing are 'surprises in store' for the two who are one', not just birds-bees discoveries, but hair-raising escapes, magical spells, fights, god-wars, apes with druggy fruits (if you'll forgive the expression), remote orgasms (the girls are linked psychically), and undead warriors culled from their crypts. Erlick has his own problems too, including a near-impalement the original style of the word (slowly sliding down a greased pole towards a sharpened stick aimed up your arse and bound to pop out the top of your head --if you're lucky).

Long unavailable in any format, SORCERESS is now with me forever! I love it! It has just enough of Hill's dry Hawksian wit to stand apart from other sword and sorcery "epics" of the 'shot in Mexico or Argentina' New World post-CONAN era. With its score lifted bravely from BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS, and a cast of strong women (though for me the most exciting and charismatic is
ManrĂ­quez as their mother--who dies the prologue), hilarious monsters, very little torture and injury, and humor always well inside the boundary that separates dry deadpan wit (ala Big Trouble in Little China) from self-aware camp, and superb lighting of the night and underground scenes )it looks especially great on this Blu-ray - all burnished golds and charismatic highlights), it's a blast. And, of course, under 90 minutes long.

Pros: One of the lead guards has a crazy helmet that seems lifted from the 1936 FLASH GORDON. There's also a genuinely spooky crypt scene where the vertical dead in rows of alcoves slowly shamble to life out of the darkness. Baldar's a great wingman. The twins are real (in all senses); the little ape monster masks have facial movements; the satyr leads a charge of real sheep at the climax; and the effects are all of the charming 'painted on the celluloid' variety (CGI was still ten years away). The tactile earthy effort of it all--its solid mythic arc and florid array of weridness--floats it past its limits. Didn't all the best Hills? 

Cons: It's sad to learn this was Hill's last movie, mainly because he got in an "enough is enough" spat with Corman over the editing (i.e. length). Why couldn't Hill have just let Corman cut the movie up? Corman's judgement has always been--to my mind--pretty solid. Why did Hill have to raise a ruckus which caused a falling out? Hill's needing to look elsewhere to make his movies led to... no more movies? To all out detriment and loss.

But then again, home video was changing the landscape and who knows if he'd been as good on direct-to-video? I ain't as good a writer as I used to be either). Age and experience brings wisdom at the expense of exuberance. And Spielberg was coming along to make decadent deadpan larks like this -- too dirty and weird for the young kids and too cheap for the adults-- left to lurch along solely with the 16-20 year-old males at the video rental store looking for a post-Conan fix.

 Still, there were many more films in this style for New World to come, and a good number of them are pretty decent, as far as bad movies g, full of the wondrously paradoxical Corman mix of feminist empowerment and bared breasts, dry wit, and deadpan in-jokes we crave when relaxing in a late Saturday afternoon or five AM Sunday morning stupor. Sorceress's release year (1982) was a high point for A-list sci-fi and horror/adventure, and amidst that year's B-list, Hill could have rocked out for at least a few more classics. Damn you, Traigon! 

At any rate, long unseen in any format, SORCERESS is-- finally, thanks to Scorpion's gorgeous Blu-ray (replete with detailed extras)--made eternal. We are blessed twicefold, for the reds (of Traigon's cape especially) glow gorgeous and the black lunge deep - and when those corpses emerge from the thick cobwebs of the crypt into the torchlight,.


So in short, to answer my question from part 1, does Jack Hill 'get' women, the answer is clear: fuck you for asking!

Sorry, all that violence has me snappy and so does the state of the nation, and the liberals' bad habit of the back part of a movement lynching its own vanguard in its zeal. Hill's women are from the second wave of feminism, when it was called 'women's lib' and involved a certain amount of sexy strutting and sensual freedom that would now be considered a male-imposed fantasy. But from where I stand as a SWM, 'now' is a mighty buzzkill place. The third wave's dour sense of sulky humorless privilege still hasn't found a cinematic representation other than preachy documentaries and the kind of amateurish avant-garde downers seen mainly at museum and university lectures. The difference between Hill's strong babes and their un-charismatic 'representational' figures is like hanging out in an air-conditioned bar full of drunken undergrads vs. a sweltering administrative office full of self-righteous grad students who consider deodorant and air conditioning to be toxic.  Maybe they are right, man, but that don't make it fun to be around them. And maybe that's why no one is, unless they need to be, i.e. for a grade or a tenure recommendation.

Oh shit I'm becoming the very critic I was just critiquing, I've been beaten into a coma by my own copy of Sexual Personae. Actually, I never did read anything bad about the Hill oeuvre. Unless I wrote it about Foxy Brown. Still, I haven't watched Foxy since that bad experience in '99. Why would I? I'll just watch Switchblade Sisters for the dozenth time, or Corman and Angie's Big-Bad Mama, or The Lady in Red, by Lewis Teague and John Sayles, all celebrations of badass women who 'tag ya back' in ways unthinkable in today's noxious clime. We can either glumly point out they were made by men or we can act like the women in them and take out the trash, figuratively, and throw it all over the floor and tell the men to clean it up literally! Up (with) the Hill!

Let the games of spider begin, and let Robbie Lee, Jill Banner, Beveryly Washburn, Adele Rein, Joanne Nail, Lynette and Leigh Harris, Mae Mercer, and ---oh yeah, PAM GRIER...and all the rest, run into the blazing light of eternal replay.
PS, Beware a movie with Linda Blair directed by the semi-odious Jim Wynorski--also called Sorceressfrom 1987-- it sounds awful, though I do love that he just reused a title on which he already had credit (the 'original' story of Sorcreress). Had he forgotten? Does he just love that word? Jim, if you're listening, you're a dog, sir. A dog! PS - Loved Deathstalker 2!


  1. HUGGY Bear, Erich. Huggy Bear.

    1. thanks buddy! Not sure why, except I didn't trust Paul Michael Glaser, but I never was into that show -only Charlie's Angels which came on after.

  2. I went to elementary school with this kid whose dad owned a racing shop/garage in Corpus Christi. He was always getting rides to school in hot rods or corvettes that his dad was flipping, and we were all jealous, but cool with it, like, at least somebody is getting to ride in these badass cars. The morning after Starsky and Hutch premiered, his dad drove him to school in a replica hot rod Red Gran Torino, same stripe, same mags. He gets out smiling, walking towards the rest of us, and we were all, Fuck You, Pal. He and his "cool" dad way overplayed their hand, went from comfortable showoff surrogate to Being Better Than Us in one cocky move. The show was another funky Super Nixon Cops non PI show, but I still love that car.


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