Wednesday, December 11, 2013


I'm still making my way through the Crown International BIG SCREEN BOMBSHELLS set where these two wonders appear, but the first of these features just doesn't upchuck the kind of funzies I was sure hoping for on a lost afternoon. PICK UP's the story of these two hippie chicks who are...what else but...picked up inna middle of nowhere (in this case the wilds of Florida) by some equally free spirited guy who's supposed to be delivering a recreational vehicle (which looks more like a cheaply converted city bus) to a client in Tallahassee. Soon a hurricane sets in (the radio announcer who's giving weather info sounds oddly enough like Howard Cosell thus dating this one even better'n a carbon test could!) and the three end up lost in the everglades of all places as a result. There they experience flashbacks, get nekkid, walk around experiencing nature and have to endure being filmed in boring surrealistic situations that only go to prove that maybe someone should have shot Fellini before all of that arthouse symbolism got way out of hand!

Yeah I know, what do artzy open-ended scenes have to do with a clientele whose legs are probably up in the sky more than the 101st Airborne's anyway. I mean, do you think that the drive in crowd was actually watching this 'un 'stead of the interiors of their partners' underclothes? For a girly flick aimed at the horny teenage populace the folks at Crown sure looked like they were putting a little too much effort into trying to win some award at Cannes, though I will confess that the weird, tarot reading gal who loves to listen to Bach had a good sorta Morticia Addams with boobs creepiness to her. Especially in that weird altar scene where the spirit of Apollo actually sticks it to her and sticks it good!

I much preferred flick #2, HUSTLER SQUAD which is a strange World War II thriller that actually works as a fun  sit down and get engrossed in the durn thing flick. Originally titled THE DIRTY HALF DOZEN, this 'un's a crafty ripoff set in the South Pacific where some maverick "never by the books" officer is recruited to lead a mission of four down on their luck gals behind enemy lines in order to murder a number of high ranking Japanese officers having a summit meeting at a Filipino cathouse. The standard lay 'em and slay 'em line, with a crew that thankfully ain't one of those straight outta central casting clichesville films (y'know, the kid from Brooklyn who never had a chance, though we do get the innocent wench with a few months to live). In fact, the closest one outta anything from the original DIRTY DOZEN just happens to be this horny gal who was sent to prison because she slit her John's throat, which I guess would be the Telly Savalas role only with hair onna head and a functioning finger!

Acting's just right (even with some of the sleepwalking minor roles such as that of the bald, bespectacled Colonel) and I can get over some of the obv. modern toss ins given they didn't have the budget to get some of those classic 1943 urinals to use for the men's room scene.  The action does build with thankfully the right amount of humor added if only to lighten things up a bit (which gives this film a sorta M*A*S*H appeal I reckon---I mean, why argue with success?), and although HUSTLER SQUAD is actually a little bare in the tit department (you know what I mean) it still manages to tingle your excitement meter with a boffo look and ne'er a hint of downtime (and you'll be holding it in until the end I'll betcha!). BEST OF ALL, there's none of that sentimentally mawkish and self-important goo you find in those modern World War II "Greatest Generation" kinda flicks that might have the big budget and realistic gore but come off just as sanctimonious and cornball as those old 'n sentimental at times b-flicks my dad sez had his army unit hollering in ridicule and disbelief...just fun, energy and gals here w/o the sappiness. So pod'ner which will it be...HUSTLER SQUAD or SAVING PRIVATE RYAN??? The choice is up to you!

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