Every Monday I watch and review a random movie I've never heard of before. Here's the latest batch.
Thoughts before watching: I wanted to watch a barbarian movie, so I sought one out. There were tons of cheaply made ones in the early eighties thanks to the success of CONAN THE BARBARIAN.
HUNDRA starts off in an all female village. The sisters are doin' it for themselves. When they reach the age of fertility, they go out searching for a man to impregnate them. If they have a boy child it's given away, females are kept.
We meet our title character Hundra. She's more interested in sword fighting and hunting. She hates men. As she puts it, "No man will penetrate my body. With his sword or himself." How much does she hate men? Her only companion is a dog, and she berates it for being male.
While she's out on a hunt, her village is attacked by a group of men and after a struggle, they kill every woman in the village. Hundra comes back to find her village slaughtered. The men chase her across the rocky landscape. Hundra hides, and ambushes them, and kills everyone of the bloodthirsty bastard men.
Hundra goes to visit the village elder, who lives in a remote mountaintop. (She also provides narraration for the movie, and has more lines than anyone else. Her voice was like nails on a chalkboard to me. Imagine if the Indian village leader from INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM would have been the narrarator of that.)
She tells Hundra that it is now her responsibility to find a man and give birth to a child to start a new village of women. In order to repopulate a new female village, Hundra must hunt down and face her most dreaded foe of all: The Penis.
After an unsuccessful attempt at mating with a drunken, belching drifter, with no foreplay etiquette, that she has to beat the living shit out of, Hundra decides to take her hunt for snu snu to the city.
Meanwhile, in the city, the High Priest of the bull worshipping cult is recruiting girls for the orgies that take place in the church's basement. Once Hundra sets foot in the city, she's prime prospect for basement orgy. The church soldiers chase her through the city until she falls through the roof of a hut and meets the village doctor a.k.a. Mr. Right. She wants him to mate with her, but he's not into her crude barbarian ways. So she lets herself be captured by the church for a free makeover. No, seriously.
After her makeover, Mr. Right decides Hundra is the one that he wants. And the snu snu begins.
But the church doesn't just hand out free makeovers. They want Hundra to headline the next bull worshipping orgy by any means possible. Will Hundra submit to their perverted whims?
SPOILER ALERT FOR THIS PARAGRAPH!! In probably one of the best death scenes in watching random Monday movies, a group of liberated orgy girls grab the High Priest and drag him to the ground. One of the girls hikes up her dress, sits on his face, and smothers him with her ass.
This was not what I was expecting. After the slaughter of the village, I thought HUNDRA would be a revenge film. It then turns into a movie about a single barbarian woman looking for a mate, and I appreciated the swerve. It's a good fun, bloody, barbarian romantic comedy. Minus the romance and comedy.
It also doesn't look low budget. The sets and costumes are top notch. There's also a great score by Ennio Morricone.
This was directed by Matt Climber who would go on to direct HUNDRA actress Laurene Landon in the following years YELLOW HAIR AND THE FORTRESS OF GOLD. (A movie I have seen.) Also he was director of THE BLACK SIX, Pia Zadora's BUTTERFLY (a movie I used to sneak up at night as a pre-pubescent to watch on The Movie Channel), and the 80's wrestling show GLOW: THE GORGEOUS LADIES OF WRESTLING.
The full movie is available on YouTube:
Check out 5:22 where a horse rider wipes out in a pen full of geese and his horse rolls and crushes several of them. I saw a widescreen version, so I had a better view of it. It's the most tragic cinematic goose death until TOP GUN.
I bet I know what the catering truck fed the extras on set that day.
IF FOOTMEN TIRE YOU, WHAT WILL HORSES DO? (1971)
Thoughts before watching: After last months double feature of religious movies, I was going to put them on a long hiatus. But I ran across this, and with this weird poster and title, I'm kind of curious about it. I'm pretty sure this is a religous film.
I like the dance sex shirt. I would totally rock that shirt.
This is a Southern Baptist movie. A pulpit pounding, fire and brimstone, anti-communist propaganda film. And it's also one of the funniest comedies I've seen in years.
The entire movie is a church sermon by a Reverend Estus Pirckle, who sort of resembles and sounds like Dana Carvey doing his Ross Perot impression. The whole film is his sermon, but it's intercut with filmed scenes of the craziness he describes.
He starts off by talking about all the evils that todays Christians are letting themselves be tempted with like, mini-skirts, television, drive-in movies ("a spawning house for sex"), dancing ("the front door to adultery"), the liquor traffic, magazines, newspapers, and Saturday morning cartoons. Basically anything that is fun Pirckle is against. But what does he think kids should do for fun? He reminisces to a time when boys and girls would play a game called, "drop the handkerchief."
All of the things Rev. Pirkle warns us about, are just ways that the Communists are using to take us over easily. And this is where the fun of the movie really starts. Communists take over. I'm not really sure how they do it. Do they invade RED DAWN style? Or have they infiltrated us already, and one day they turn on us? The movie never explains.
First they start rounding up Christians. Some are forced to work in fields seven days a week, others are tortured in strangely creative ways, but mostly they're gunned down in groups. This film loves panning across groups of dead bodies laying on the ground with red paint dripped across them. But what it loves more than that are showing bodies of dead children.
This movie contains more scenes of child death and torture than anything I've ever seen. At one point a group of workers are found by their commie guards having a church service in a field. They shoot down everyone. One of the survivors is a little boy. Because he heard the word of God, they puncture his eardums with bamboo sticks. Not one in each ear, they take a really long stick that goes in one ear in out the other. Through his head.
I probably shouldn't be laughing hysterically at this. In any other movie this might be horrifying. Here it's just straight up comedy. After the bamboo through the head, he starts barfing with dubbed over sounds of a grown man retching, then his tormentor talks to him in a dubbed voice that sounds like Carl from SLING BLADE. Why is he even talking to him anyway?
In another scene, an entire group of parishoners are gunned down except for one lone boy. He's given the chance to live but only if he stomps on a picture of Jesus Christ. After he refuses, his head is chopped off and rolled across the churchyard. (If you watch it frame by frame, you can clearly see it's a mannequin head.)
There's also a bloody pitchfork torture scene, and several scenes of rapes about to happen. Did I mention this is a movie that was screened only in churches? It didn't play theaters, or (God forbid) drive-ins. It toured the South playing in churches and tent revivals.
The majority of the actors in the film are members of Pirckle's church, so of course they're hilariously bad. The accents on the Communists are all over place, one guy does a bad over-exaggerated Italian accent. ("It's a-mee, Mario!") My favorite is the guy who plays the Head Commissar. He's a Russian and does a voice that sounds like Lugosi's DRACULA, (Romania, close enough), but he keeps slipping out of it into an accent of his own design. This guy was hands down my favorite "actor" of the film. He has a rubbery face that looks like it's animatronic and being controlled by two different puppteers, both of whom are drunk off their asses. The director loves tight close-ups of this guy's sneering, sweaty face. It's most disturbing in the scene before he rapes a woman.
This movie was shown in churches.
There's also a scene of an overweight Burt Reynolds Communist teacher who brainwashes his class of kids into worshipping Fidel Castro instead of Jesus Christ using only the magic power of candy.
The wraparound story of the film involves a young "whore" named Judy, who would rather be joyriding with her hippie boyfriend, smoking with cigarettes, and consuming the alcoholic drinks, than going to church. She goes to Pirckle's sermon to "keep up apperances," but soon finds herself under his spell.
I had an absolute blast with this. I haven't had this many laughs from a movie in awhile. If I make it to one year of random movie days, I'm going to rank every movie from best to worst. I guarantee this is going to have a spot in the top ten.
Invite some friends over, have some alcoholic drinks, and have some laughs.
Here's the full movie on YouTube:
23:26 for ear gouging
44:30 for head rolling
Afterthoughts: Director of this masterpiece, Ron Ormond was a low budget exploitation filmmaker behind flicks like GIRL FROM TOBACCO ROW, PLEASE DON'T TOUCH ME, and THE MONSTER AND THE STRIPPER. (Future random movie watches.) Flying to a screening for GIRL FROM TOBBACO ROW in his single engine airplane, he crash landed in a field near Nashville. During his months of recovery he became a born again Christian. He vowed to make movies that would bring people to Jesus Christ. And he was able to keep his exploitation sensibilities. He teamed up with Rev. Pirckle to help carry out this dream.
I'm not one hundred percent Reverend Estus W. Pirckle really believes in all this Communist horseshit he's shoveling at us. It sort of seems like a scare tactic he's using to gain followers. I think if the Communist invasion actually happened Pirckle would throw his followers under the bus in a heartbeat and become an informant to avoid being shot in the head, or being sent to a Communist prison. (A place he really shouldn't play "drop the handkerchief.")
I could be wrong though, Pirckle could believe all this and be just another run of the mill, batshit crazy, Southern preacher.
KOYA NO TOSEININ (1968)
aka THE DRIFTING AVENGER
Thoughts before watching: I was searching for a spaghetti western for this spot. I stumbled across a Japanese western instead. Even better.
Ken is an American born Japanese cowboy working on his parents' farm. His father is a former samurai that relocated to America. After noticing a runaway stagecoach, Ken chases it down, and stops it to find everyone onboard dead. Later that night at his house, several outlaws burst in demanding medical attention for one who has been shot. Things get ugly, and both of Ken's parents are shot dead, but not before Samurai Dad lops off one of the bandit's arms with his sword.
Ken vows to get his vengence, and sets out, with his father's sword, to find the men that killed his family.
During his traveling he runs across an old gunslinger named Marvin. After getting off to a rough start, eventually Marvin decides to teach Ken the ways of being a gunslinger. One of the training practices is throwing silver dollars into the air and shooting them. Seems wasteful, this is the Old West, that's probably a daily wage for someone.
On a trip into the local saloon, Ken spots one of his parent's killers playing poker. There's an epic bar brawl with the two smashing chairs on each other, and trading punches. Once the killer is sprawled out on the floor his jacket comes undone, and pocketed poker cards are revealed to everyone. The entire bar gets pissed because he's cheating at poker, and they take him outside to hang him. Ken tries to stop it because he wants to be the one to kill the guy. (Why? They're doing your job for you. You can watch the guy you want dead killed by other people, and your hands will be clean.)
In a surprise twist, Marvin rushes in and saves the guy. It turns out, the guy is Marvin's son. This leads to some complications and I'm not going to give them away.
Ken tracks down the second killer, Franco, the guy who had his arm hacked off by his Father. In order to get access to him he takes a job on his ranch as an extra hand. (No pun intended.) He befriends Franco's wife and son, knowing that he's going to put them through the same thing he's been through.
The third and final guy he has to get to, (the boss fight), has the local Sheriff in his pocket and sends a hotshot gunslinger trying to make a name for himself Ken's way.
The thing I was a little disappointed about in this film was the lack of samurai sword action. We get several scenes of Ken training with his Father's sword, but he barely uses it. That's really just a minor issue. This is a great western, as well as a solid revenge story. As Ken goes down his path of vengence, he gets to see first hand the damage he'll do, or has done to the families of the men he set out to kill. For me the movie was at its best during the scenes with Ken and Marvin.
Of course it's heavily influenced by American westerns, most notably SHANE. The score is great, the main theme sounds like My Rifle, My Pony, and Me from RIO BRAVO played on harmonica.
The movie does have a problem keeping the time period accurate. Telephone poles show up in several shots, as well as phone and power lines. During the movies first transition wipe, this mistake shows up for a split-second:
Damn time travelers these days. Just leaving their vehicles parked out in the open for the whole world to see.
aka LUCHADORES DE LAS ESTRELLAS
Thoughts before watching: This is another type of movie I went out in search of. In the past, Random Movie Picker has chosen several Santo movies for me. Problem is, I've seen them all. I tried to find a luchador movie I've never heard of before and here it is.
The movie did not have subtitles. I really wanted to see it, so with only a junior high level knowledge of Spanish I watched it anyway.
While flying her starship, Larrossa de los Estrella is shot down by another ship pursuing her. She crash lands in Mexico. While walking the streets in a daze, she's picked up by a couple of masked wrestlers, Misterioso, and Volador. They take her in and teach her the ways of the Luchador, and she soon adorns a mask. This part of the pelicula is shown at the halfway point via flashback.
The movie opens with her pursuer crash landing in Mexico. He's played by former WCW wrestler Tyler Bates, (Rob Zombie's Michael Meyers, the original Sabertooth), the few lines he has in the movie are dubbed by a Spanish actor. Mostly he spends most of the film's runtime making an overexaggerrated growling noise, and making a face like he's taking a massive shit. He's accompanied by his three masked Mexican wrestling dwarf minions that can only communicate with chicken clucking noises.
With all these illegal Mexicans pouring in from outer space, we really need to build a wall around the planet.
Nitron begins grabbing girls off the streets with the help of the dwarves, and takes them back to his abandoned warehouse lair to feed on them. After seeing a news broadcast with Larrossa, Nitron stalks her to the wrestling arena. After her match he chases her around the backstage area until they finally sttle things in the wrestling ring. Nitron slams her around like crazy. At this point, I would've loved hearing commentary from Jim Ross. "Chokeslam! Chokeslam! Chokeslam! Bah Gawd! Bah Gawd look at the carnage!"
Nitron takes the dazed Larrossa back to his lair, but Misterioso and Volodor are in hot pursuit to save her.
The worst part of this movie would be the three slapstick, bumbling dwarves. The film stops in its tracks multiple times for these guys to have moments of slapping each other around and bumbling while making chicken noises. It's annoying, and it's in quite a bit of the film.
The movie cuts to quite a bit of lucha libre action, and this is where the movie shines. At one point I just wanted the movie to be the in-ring action and quit trying to have a lame plot.
I could barely understand the language, but this is what I do know: Nitron is the lamest villain in random movie night history. His three dwarf minions are the worst comic relief sidekicks in the history of everything. Aside from that there is a charm to this, and I really wish I could see it with subtitles. I'm sure there is some amazingly bad dialog going on that would endear this movie to me even more.