Jun’ya Satô – Golgo 13 (1973)

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Review @ sketchesofcinema
Takao Saito’s Golgo 13 comics aren’t very easy to adapt into live action features due to their international nature, but Toei went all the way with this first attempt. Junya Sato shot the film on location in Iran with mostly foreign cast. The lead role is played by the heavenly cool Ken Takakura, whose combination of charisma, black sunglasses and M16 assault rifle makes him one of the coolest asssassins in film history. Both execution and storywise the film could be better – and it would’ve been a good to opt for local languages istead of having the entire Iran speak Japanese – but with its rare international setting, superb leading man and some exciting action Golgo 13 easily ranks more interesting than Toei’s average action thrillers of the era. Due to the high expenses the studio didn’t allow Golgo 13 to return to the big screen until in 1977 in a slightly inferior Shinichi Chiba film Golgo 13: Kowloon Assignment. Continue reading

Michael Pressman – The Great Texas Dynamite Chase (1976)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

The Great Texas Dynamite Chase is a well-made exploitation film which works on two levels, providing kicks for the ozoner crowd and tongue-in-cheek humor for the more sophisticated. The film had some initial playdates under the title Dynamite Women.
Claudia Jennings and Jocelyn Jones are stylish and attractive as a pair of brazen Texas bankrobbers. They stay firmly in character throughout as a loyal but very divergent criminal pair.
Jennings is a hardened prison escapee, while Jones goes on the road to avoid the boredom of being a smalltown bank teller. They use lots of dynamite along the way, but there’s little bloodshed until the last part of the film, when the film’s dominant spoof tone turns uncomfortably and unsuccessfully close to reality. Continue reading

Alfredo B. Crevenna – El poder negro (Black power) (1975)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Rare wrestling movie, a crossover between the lucha and blaxploitation genres. The story involves black dockworker Pedro getting mixed up with a gang of arms smugglers and falsely imprisoned on a charge of murder. He is finally released and Mil Máscaras convinces him to become a luchador, wrestling under the name of “Black Power”.

This movie was made as a showcase for former Mr. Olympia Sergio Oliva (who boasted a physique El Santo and Blue Demon could only dream of) and is actually a pretty legitimate drama compared to some of the off-the-wall lucha pictures being made at that time. Still, it reeks of the 1970’s with its loud fashions, garish color schemes and campy nightclub acts. Like many wrestling films of this era it was shot outside Mexico as a cost-cutting measure, in this case Venezuela. Continue reading

Ulrik Imtiaz Rolfsen – Izzat (2005)

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51G6ZrzCi-L.jpg

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Izzat paints an image of Oslo, Norway’s capital, and its crime-environment in the mid-90’s. We follow Wasim and his involvement in Eastside Crew, the crime-gang mostly consisting of second-generation Pakistanis in Norway. What makes this movie extra special, is the realness of it all. Based on actual events, the film marks a flashy debut for Ulrik Imtiaz Rolfsen, the director. Continue reading