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Author Topic: Latest cheapo and used DVDs purchases  (Read 492 times)
Yaddo 42
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« on: November 04, 2004, 09:03:53 PM »

I hit the dollar stores and Gamestop the other day, here's what I picked up:

Escape from Death Row - a 1973 Italian crime flick with Lee Van Cleef and Tony Lo Bianco. AKA "Mean Frank and Crazy Tony". Van Cleef plays a mobster who returns to Italy and gets himself arrested on a minor charge to provide an alibi when he sneaks out to kill a rival. But his underlings double cross him and he winds up charged with the murder. Despite the title he's nowhere near Death Row, but Frank escapes with the help of his new sidekick, Tony, a young wannabe mobster and source of attempted comic relief. Together they set out on a road trip for revenge. Decent film, the plot is just an excuse for the prison fights (dig the wig on Van Cleef's double during some of them) and the murders and gun battles. Speckled print all the way through and an annoying buzz for about a minute about ten minutes in. I though this was a TV print since some underlings who seem prime for killing just disappear (a nasty guy with an electric drill for one), and the film ran 75 minutes rather than 85 like the disc and cardboard envelope claimed. But there is a completely gratutious nude scene from Tony's girlfriend, who has no effect on the plot, is in only about three scenes all over by about half way, and Tony barely acknowledges her. Fun time waster for $1.

Blood of the Dragon - AKA The Desperate Chase/Deadly Silver Spear/etc. 1978, but one guy on IMDB claims it was made in 1974. A better than average Jimmy Wang Yu flick with him as the renegade "White Dragon" (the dubbing mentions he's 'one of the White Dragons', but no others are seen) who helps rebels battle the evil Mongols. He plans to help a young boy deliver a list of rebels to the local prince who is part of the movement, but the prince hates Jimmy's character for defeating his father in a fight at the beginning of the film, the father later killed himself in disgrace. In fights and talk of honor follow. End with a 20+ minute fight of Jimmy and the prince versus the local Mongol baddies. Decent fights overall, Jimmy's spear fighting is better than his one armed kung fu in "Master of the Flying Guillotine, no arm to hide this time either. Better dubbing than most old HK films, with odd new music from US rock group Flood. Enjoyable, despite a gauzy image at times, again I got my dollar's worth.

Mr. Scarface - 197?, various alternate titles. The Jack Palance Italian gangster flick that every bargin bins has a copy of. Seen parts of it on TV for years and only watched part of this so far. Truly murky picture quality from what I've seen, but Jack's creepy mug still glares out at you, gotta love him. Will probaly watch the whole thing after work in the next day or so. The local Movie Gallery used to stock this one in the Classics section, couldn't stop laughing the first time I saw. Wondered if the had it mixed up with the 1932 "Scarface" with Paul Muni. Then again they had "Yor, Hunter from the Future" there as well.

Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter - $7 used, and worth every penny. Glad to finally see it after checking out the reviews here and elsewhere online. Good for cheap laughs, and an A for effort for doing so much with so little. Hard for me to dislike even the weak parts, since nothing is taken seriously. Some of the local independent wannabe filmmakers whose effort I've seen could actually learn from this. They weren't anymore talented, but tried to play it straight, making their weak efforts look even worse.

All in all a pretty decent run movies. I also picked up used copies of "Night of the Hunter" and the first three volumes of the anime series "Gasaraki". NOTH is a mainstream classic and a great gothic fairy tale, recommended. I just started watching "Gasaraki" we'll see how it goes, hopefully no one will pick up the other five discs in the series right away since I bought the first three.
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Scott
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« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2004, 04:41:20 PM »

That sounds like a good catch. Love finding good stuff like that. Especially obscure Lee Van Cleef and Jack Palance films.

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Mr_Vindictive
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« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2004, 05:22:06 PM »

Great finds Yaddo!

Night Of The Hunter is still to this day one of my favorite thrillers.  Fantastic film with some truly creepy scenes.

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Jim H
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« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2004, 01:26:29 AM »

By golly!

"
Blood of the Dragon - AKA The Desperate Chase/Deadly Silver Spear/etc. 1978, but one guy on IMDB claims it was made in 1974. A better than average Jimmy Wang Yu flick with him as the renegade "White Dragon" (the dubbing mentions he's 'one of the White Dragons', but no others are seen) who helps rebels battle the evil Mongols. He plans to help a young boy deliver a list of rebels to the local prince who is part of the movement, but the prince hates Jimmy's character for defeating his father in a fight at the beginning of the film, the father later killed himself in disgrace. In fights and talk of honor follow. End with a 20+ minute fight of Jimmy and the prince versus the local Mongol baddies. Decent fights overall, Jimmy's spear fighting is better than his one armed kung fu in "Master of the Flying Guillotine, no arm to hide this time either. Better dubbing than most old HK films, with odd new music from US rock group Flood. Enjoyable, despite a gauzy image at times, again I got my dollar's worth.
"

I just bought that myself.  Which version did you get?  Mine was in this $5.99 collection with some godawful Bolo Yeung flick and a very entertaining movie called Champ Against Champ.  

Blood of the Dragon was quite good, very over-the-top at points (which is why I liked it).  Wang Yu is great, he's not that good of a fighter on screen but he makes his movies so over the top they're immensely entertaining.  If you see some of his older flicks, where he actually acts, you'll also notice he has genuine acting talent.  But anyway, I liked Blood of the Dragon for the fights and some of the funny stuff.  Like the Prince's "Magic Blade".  He's all like "NO ONE CAN DEFEAT MY MAGIC BLADE!"...  Yet it's magic because it has a dagger hidden in it.  Cracked me up.  I also thought the Prince's fight scenes were handled better than the White Dragon's, which is odd.  BTW, that film is a sequel to some other movie whose name I don't remember.
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Yaddo 42
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« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2004, 09:34:13 PM »

My copy was a single disc in a cardboard sleeve from a dollar store called Deals. I think the "magic blade" was the result of the dubbing. I figured it was meant to be a "trick" blade since it also had that opening (that would vanish) for snagging opponents blades. Plus White Dragon said that now he knew the secret of the blade it couldn't be used against him. I guess he menat he couldn't be surprised by it.

Didn't know it was a sequel, I just thought the opening fight was meant to set up the "you disgraced my father so he killed himself" subplot. I though Wang Yu handled the spear fighting better than his kung fu in "Master of the Flying Guillotine". I liked how he lashed out stabbing foes multiple times as he got tired, wounded, and angry. According to the commentary on MOTFG, Jimmy had no training in martial arts before his film career, but he was athletic from his days as a swimmer.

I had a longer post but it was eaten............
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peter johnson
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« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2004, 12:16:06 AM »

Jeez -- Night of the Hunter is one of the greatest eerie films ever made -- I'd love to be able to pick it up cheap --
If you haven't seen it, there are just so many moments in this movie that would stand alone:  The body of Shelly Winters dreamily floating like a Botacelli statue under water, where she has been murdered.  Robert Mitchum confronting Lillian Gish (The Devil and Christ) in a grand Stephen King-like combat for the souls of 2 innocents.  The voyage down the river & the fairy-tale-like rabbits in the moonlight --  there are simply too many moments here.
This was the only film that Charles Laughton ever directed.  There is simply nothing else out there quite like it.
peter johnson/denny crane
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