Sunday, May 29, 2011

Buddha Man Academy 6: City Under Siege!

The Gold Head is going undercover in the city to unmask the mastermind of movies

Peter Sellers

L.A. Bounty  (Lions Gate Films, 1989)  Mayoral candidate Mike Rhodes (Robert Hanley - Private Benjamin) has been tough on crime throughout his campaign, and as this action flick opens, crime decides to get tough on him. He is kidnapped by several goons working for Cavanaugh (Wings Hauser - Vice Squad) but they don't follow orders and leave Mrs. Rhodes (Lenore Kasdorf - Starship Troopers) alive and kicking. She teams up with police lieutenant Chandler (Henry Darrow - the older Zorro on the 90's TV series) to save her husband. But running interference all over the place, and keeping strictly to her own agenda, is the mysterious bounty hunter Ruger (Sybil Danning - Battle Beyond the Stars). She shows up and starts laying waste to Cavanaugh's men, but whose side is she really on? Will she save Rhodes, or watch him die and consider him collateral damage in her war on Cavanaugh?

Sybil Danning is loaded for bear. And she's carrying a big gun.
The great Sybil Danning went on a hiatus from acting, with this flick from 1989 her last until 2007, when she jumped back in to the game. Not sure what caused the break, as I would have enjoyed more movies like this one from her, but I'm glad she's back in any case. She co-produced and co-wrote this flick as well! As for her onscreen presence, she's still smokin hot today, and brings her hard edged sexy aura to this character with ease - even if she is downplaying her assets in black leather jacket and jeans throughout. She also takes the strong silent route here - with only a few lines of dialogue bitten off at long intervals. (The listing for this film on IMDB claims she only speaks 31 words of dialogue through the whole flick, which sounds about right.) But she's fun as this badass, using a succession of automatic weapons and shotguns against a virtual army of thugs. And what a villain we get here! Wings Hauser has never been less than electrifying in anything I've ever seen him in, even if the surrounding flick lets him down. Thankfully, that does not happen here, as he makes Cavanaugh an A-1 nutjob, nattering to himself at the end of every scene he's in and just making your skin crawl with his amazingly wonderful psychotic performance. He is aided and abetted by some terrific character actors too, including Blog Fave™ Robert Quarry (Count Yorga himself!) and brief bits from Blackie Dammett (Nine Deaths of the Ninja and father of The Red Hot Chili Peppers' Anthony Kiedis!) and Branscombe Richmond (the burly mulleted stunt guy who gets pounded on in nearly every action movie and TV show in the 80's and 90's - including Licence to Kill). This was made on a low budget, obviously, and isn't wall to wall action in every frame - but director Worth Keeter keeps things moving and there's some solid stunt work on display. But really, this is all about Danning and Hauser - a team-up made in B movie heaven - so do what you must, but check this flick out!

Alan Arkin

Curse of the Cannibal Confederates  (Troma, 1982)  During the VHS video boom of the mid to late 80's, a little company called Troma was doing well releasing low budget (or no-budget) flicks direct to video with goofy titles like Surf Nazis Must Die and The Toxic Avenger. In order to keep their output steady, in addition to their in-house productions they also made a habit of buying just about any extremely cheap horror and exploitation movie they could get their hands on and releasing them under goofy "Troma-tized" titles. Case in point, this little horror number, originally called Curse of the Screaming Dead and filmed in 1982 for what looks like a budget that would equal the average couple's bill at Outback, without booze or a Blooming Onion. Troma scooped it up and sent it out on VHS under the above title, which while vaguely wild is nothing compared to stuff like Stuff Stephanie in the Incinerator! and A Nymphoid Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell. The story has a camper full of hippie types out for a weekend of fun in the forest, hunting, and doing whatever else long hairs would do in the boonies. The three couples are pretty interchangeable and non descript, except for the blind girl. Everybody whines and bickers for about the first half of the movie, then things go awry when one guy finds an ancient Civil War soldier's diary hidden in the ruins of an old church the group comes across. He takes it for no particular reason, and about 50 minutes into the running time the dead finally rise from the ancient cemetery outside the church. The next twenty minutes become a running battle between the unusually well armed hippies and the zombies, with the score going hippies 8, zombies 0. At this point the biggest effect has been a series of dummy zombie heads exploding when shot with the oft mentioned "exploding bullets" the rifle is loaded with. Ah, that explains the smoke filled blast each time one of the ghouls' heads is detonated.

His soap and shampoo may not be cutting it, but his
toothpaste is worth every penny.
We throw in a couple of local policemen who show up out of nowhere, and at long last the bloody gut munching begins as the two old geezers and one of the hippies go down, making the score by this time hippies 14, zombies 3. Now, way back in my youth, the original Night of the Living Dead was shown at my senior prom. After the zombies in the movie have claimed a couple of victims and started their icky feast, my friend Tracey Burnett was heard to comment "Man, they're running that eating stuff into the ground!" If only he could have seen the equivalent scene in this movie! While the survivors begin a mad run to escape the horror, the movie screeches to a dead halt for about five minutes to allow the zombies plenty of time to grab, pull, yank, lick, taste , rend and play with long strands of foam rubber guts soaked in blood while LOUD slurping noises are heard on the soundtrack. It is also only after this sequence that the zombies live up to the original title as screams are finally heard over the soundtrack as they lumber about. Prior to that, the original title should have been "Curse of the Completely Silent Dead with Curiously Explosive Heads." The hippies start to die off quickly at this point, since there are only about 10 minutes left to the movie. Finally, we reach our big climax, ripped off from The Fog but without the final jolt. Considering how little happens in this movie and how poorly made it is, I didn't exactly hate this movie. I'm not sure that would be true for anyone else, though. I guess I was expecting it to be more like the worst of Troma's homemade product, which often goes for the gusto in bad taste and becomes mean spirited in the hopes of offending you since there's no other way to get an audience reaction with a movie made on a budget of the change found in Troma founder Lloyd Kaufman's couch cushions any given weekend. Since this movie was sincere in trying to be a real movie, no matter how badly it failed at it, I had a softer reaction to it. Still, not sure anyone else would feel that way, so unless you're a zombie movie completist, you're probably going to want to avoid this one.

I leave you now. Until we meet again, always remember -

When you have it, you don’t need it.
When you need it you don’t have it.
If you have it, you need more of it.
If you have more of it, you don’t need less of it.
You need it, to get it.
And you certainly need it to get more of it.
But if you already have it to begin with, you can’t get any of it to get started, which means you really
don’t have any idea how to get it in the first place. Do you?
You can share it,sure.
You can even stockpile it if you’d like.
But you can’t fake it.
Wanting it….
Needing it…
Wishing for it…
The point is, if you have never had any of it….
People just seem to know.


  1. LMAO I loved these reviews. Sybil Danning and Rutger Hauer rocked the B flicks. And Curse of the Cannibal Confederates has been played at my annual drunken fright fest. What a camptacular piece of crap. It's certainly worth a few guffaws and WTF's.

  2. Melissa - thanks for dropping by - glad you liked the reviews - one thing - because I'm a fan of both - this was Wings Hauser, in LA Bounty - although it would have been a great little action flick with Rutger Hauer too! On any case, it sounds like your drunken fright fest might be the place to be for those who enjoy an adult beverage and some cinema cheese...Cheers!

  3. LOL I can't believe I typed Rutger Hauer. See I was indulging in a little Hitcher last night so I think that was my problem.