James William Guercio – Electra Glide in Blue (1973)

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Synopsis:
The tension between a lonely policemen and the journeymen of the counter culture provides the subtext, and the stunning martian look of the Arizona mesa the backdrop, of a brilliant and influential debut feature by musician James William Guercio; the film is the missing link between The Searchers and No Country for Old Men. John Wintergreen is a diminutive motorcycle cop working the lonely highways of Arizona in the mid seventies. He works alone, but occasionally hooks up with his pal “Zipper”. Wintergreen is conscientious and friendly, whereas Zipper is bored and argumentative, often holing up off the highway to read comic books rather than out on the road . Wintergreen is a native american and has ambitions to be a detective. So when Zipper and Wintergreen find a delerious and disoriented elderly man wandering in the desert, the trail of how he got there leads back to a deserted shack. Inside is the body of a man who has committed suicide with a shotgun. Wintergreen airs his suspicions about the death, first to the coroner who is keen not to get involved, and then to Harve Poole, an Arizona detective. Harve believes John Wintergreen’s suspicions are right and takes him under his wing as his driver and protege. Continue reading

Robert Aldrich – Kiss Me Deadly (1955)

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SYNOPSIS: In this atomic adaptation of Mickey Spillane’s novel, directed by Robert Aldrich, the good manners of the 1950s are blown to smithereens. Ralph Meeker stars as snarling private dick Mike Hammer, whose decision one dark, lonely night to pick up a hitchhiking woman sends him down some terrifying byways. Brazen and bleak, Kiss Me Deadly is a film noir masterwork as well as an essential piece of cold war paranoia, and it features as nervy an ending as has ever been seen in American cinema. Continue reading

Jacques Becker – Les aventures d’Arsène Lupin AKA The Adventures of Arsène Lupin (1957)

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Synopsis
The great gentleman thief, Arsène Lupin, engages in a series of daring schemes to deprive his wealthy countrymen of rare jewels and priceless paintings. His activities arouse the interest of Kaiser William II of Germany who arranges for Lupin to be kidnapped and brought to his castle. The Kaiser offers Lupin a challenge: to steal a jewel of great value from a secret hiding place. Should Lupin accept the wager? Continue reading

Jon Jost – Frameup (1993)

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synopsis

Made on short ends of film left over from The Bed You Sleep In, Frameup is a freewheeling road comedy about a pair of dimwitted lovers on the run. Ricky-Lee (Howard Swain), a two-bit criminal prone to spouting lengthy, obscenity-laced soliloquies, meets Beth-Ann (Nancy Carlin), an airheaded waitress with a weakness for romance novels, at the diner where she slings coffee. Immediately smitten, she joins him on a meandering journey across the Pacific Northwest — punctuated by the occasional robbery — and on into California, where the couple dream of heading to the sunny beaches of Los Angeles. Ricky-Lee’s ineptitude catches up with him eventually, however, and their trip is cut short when a convenience store robbery goes awry. Continue reading

Pierre Granier-Deferre – Adieu, Poulet AKA The French Detective (1975)

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Synopsis
In the French city of Rouen an election is marred by a fight between the supporters of two of the candidates. In the fracas a man is beaten to death and the killer then shoots a passing police officer! The officer has time to warn his colleagues that the killer is Proctor, a well-known thug whose brother is campaigning on behalf of law and order candidate Lardatte! Commissaire Verjeat’s pursuit of Proctor is hampered by Lardatte for whom he has a personal dislike and misses no opportunity to humiliate. As a result he then finds himself with a very short time to capture Proctor, since he faces a promotion and a posting outside of Rouen, which will take him off the case. Verjeat is sure that this is courtesy of Lardatte and his police contacts! To cap it all, his sidekick, the eccentric Inspector Lefevre, implicates them both in a case of police corruption! Continue reading

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