Jim Cinque – The Night Of The Cat (1973)

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When her sister is murdered by a group of goons working for a local mobster, Beth goes on the fritz, donning a wig, taking martial arts lessons, and using a cane to help take on opponents. Soon, she meets her sibling’s murderers face to face, and they’re in for it. Kathy Allen and George Oakley star in this North Carolina revenge opus. No-budget no-frills regional filmmaking at its rawest awaits you in this Charlotte, North Carolina celluloid catastrophe about a woman who becomes an avenging “catwoman” and takes on the mob. With bare titties, godawful acting, hilariously lame “action,” and joyously unconvincing fight scenes, it’s not only a breath-taking wonder from beginning to end, but so utterly simplistic that you’ll need to take notes to follow it. Morganna, the uber-busty stripper for became famous in the 80s as baseball’s “The Kissing Bandit,” appears in a strip club scene. Continue reading

Woody Allen – Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993)

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There’s a real murder and a real mystery in Woody Allen’s Manhattan Murder Mystery, but these plot pegs are used mainly to allow Allen to explore modern urban relationships. Allen plays a book editor, married to Diane Keaton (who replaced Mia Farrow, for reasons which were well publicized at the time). Keaton is a free spirit, ever willing to try new experiences, but Allen is a wet blanket. When it becomes apparent that a neighbor has killed his wife, Keaton is eager to investigate the mystery, but Allen thinks her suspicions are nonsensical and doesn’t want to leave his apartment. Undaunted, Keaton finds another “Nick Charles” in the form of family-friend Alan Alda, who, along with his enthusiastic wife (Angelica Huston), joins in the investigation. Slightly jealous, Allen reluctantly agrees to go along on Keaton’s clue-hunting expedition–and it is he who discovers the corpse, who as it turned out was killed after Keaton started poking around the apartment building.
— Hal Erickson @ allmovie.com Continue reading

Thomas Brasch – Engel aus Eisen AKA Angels of Iron (1981) (DVD)

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Berlin, 1948/1949. The town is divided into two sectors. The world is close to World War III. West Berlin is kept alive by the biggest airlift in history. While the city is deadlocked, three teenagers set out to fulfil their dreams: Völpel (Hilmar Thate), ex-executioner, receives secret information from Police Headquarters. Gladow (Ulrich Wesselmann), 17 years old, wants to be like Al Capone. Lisa Gabler (Katharina Thalbach) dreams of buying Berlins biggest revue venue the ‘Friedrichstadt Palast.’ But suddenly, the droning of the airplanes ceases? Based on a true story from the times of the ‘Berlin Blockade.’ Continue reading

Klaus Lemke – 48 Stunden bis Acapulco AKA 48 Hours to Acapulco (1967)

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A German film and the debut film by Klaus Lemke from 1967.

Quote:
Torn between a life with an industrialist’s daughter and the jet-set beauty Monica, Frank decides to stake everything on one card. He adapts a gangster life-style based on his American B-movie heroes, as Monica helps him plan to ransom information stolen from the industrialist. The longing for the great adventure drives him to Rome and Acapulco, and finally to his fate on the beaches of the Caribbean Sea. Continue reading

David Cronenberg – Eastern Promises [+Extras] (2007)

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Plot Summary :
The mysterious and charismatic Russian-born Nikolai Luzhin is a driver for one of London’s most notorious organized crime families of Eastern European origin. The family itself is part of the Vory V Zakone criminal brotherhood. Headed by Semyon, whose courtly charm as the welcoming proprietor of the plush Trans-Siberian restaurant impeccably masks a cold and brutal core, the family’s fortunes are tested by Semyon’s volatile son and enforcer, Kirill, who is more tightly bound to Nikolai than to his own father.

But Nikolai’s carefully maintained existence is jarred once he crosses paths at Christmastime with Anna Khitrova, a midwife at a North London hospital. Anna is deeply affected by the desperate situation of a young teenager who dies while giving birth to a baby. Anna resolves to try to trace the baby’s lineage and relatives. The girl’s personal diary also survives her; it is written in Russian, and Anna seeks answers in it. Anna’s mother Helen does not discourage her, but Anna’s irascible Russian-born uncle Stepan urges caution. Continue reading

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