PSYCHOTRONIC NETFLIX VOL. 6
HEY BASTARDS. Welcome to another edition of PSYCHOTRONIC NETFLIX! This week we’ve got ten flicks worth checking out(?) including killer dairy product, S&M and more summer camp mayhem!
10. The Manchu Eagle
Murder Caper Mystery (1975)
One of the odder comedy/mysteries of the ‘70s (a decade that included the likes of MASTERMIND with Zero Mostel and THE FIENDISH PLOT OF DR. FU MANCHU), this warped take on film noir features a bunch of former child stars (including Jackie Cooper and Dead End Kinds Huntz Hall and Gabriel Dell), Joyce Van Patten, Sorrell Booke and a plea for beastiality.
9. Tightrope (1984)
Clint Eastwood plays a detective whose hunt for a serial killer leads into the S&M scene of New Orleans in this underrated thriller that ranks with the likes of LOOKING FOR MR. GOODBAR and CRUISING rather than the DIRTY HARRY films. With Genvieve Bujold, Dan Hedaya, Alison Eastwood and squeaky-voiced Randi Brooks.
8. Nightmares (1980)
After Cathy causes her mother’s death in a car crash as a child, she becomes an actress who ends up in a play where terrible things start happening to the cast. Released on VHS as STAGE FRIGHT, this 1980 Australian thriller features a screenplay by Colin Eggleston, the director of LONG WEEKEND.
7. Rampage (1987)
William Friedkin’s 1987 serial killer courtroom drama starring Michael Biehn as a district attorney forced with the crisis of conscience when he defends an enigmatic psychopath (Alex McArthur) sat on the shelf for four years before being quietly released in a cut form. This isn’t the preferred version, but it’s still worth a look.
6. The Big Boss (1972)
Prolific Martial arts movie director Lo Wei directed Bruce Lee in his first major film, alternately released as FISTS OF FURY, not to be confused with FIST OF FURY, which was released as THE CHINESE CONNECTION in the U.S., the title intended for the original U.S. release of THE BIG BOSS. Confused yet? Don’t worry, the movie’s just about a guy who avenges the deaths of his family by going after the title drug smuggling mobster.
5. The Stuff (1985)
Most Larry Cohen films have great ideas that are never fully realized, and while THE STUFF is certainly an example of that, it’s still a hell of a lot of fun. Michael Moriarty stars as an FBI agent investigating the origins of a strange new yogurt-like product sweeping the nation, with the help of a suspicious young boy, an ad executive and Garrett Morris. With Danny Aiello, Paul Sorvino and (briefly) Abe Vigoda and Clara Peller.
4. Satan’s Little Helper (2004)
Jeff Lieberman returned to horror decades after SQUIRM and BLUE SUNSHINE with this story about a video game-obsessed 9-year-old boy who meets up with a serial killer while trick or treating. Beautifully shot and well-acted, this pulls off the rare trick of combining horror and humor with ease. With Amanda Plummer.
3. The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974)
While it’s been remade twice, you can’t beat Joseph Sargent’s original adaptation of John Codey’s book about a hostage situation on a New York City subway train. Walter Matthau plays the transit authority cop in charge of the situation, desperately trying to figure out the exact plan behind holding a subway car full of passengers random, with Robert Shaw, Martin Balsam, Hector Elizaondo and Earl Hindman as the similarly-disguised armed men. With Tony Roberts, Jerry Stiller and Doris Roberts.
2. The Babysitter (1969)
When a motorcycle gang is accused of murder, the judge in the case finds himself blackmailed due to his carousing with the titular titwieldier (Patricia Wymer) in Crown International’s cheaply-shot sleazie. Director Don Henderson followed this with the following year’s WEEKEND WITH THE BABYSITTER and the MST3K classic TOUCH OF SATAN.
1. Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers (1988)
While the first (and forth) film is MIA on streaming, the second and third films in this fondly-remembered horror franchise have popped up, though both are much more in the horror/comedy mode than the original impressively odd twisted classic. Pamela Springsteen takes on the role of the slaughter-happy Angela, who hacks her way through another couple batches of campers. Renee Estevez is featured in part 2, while part 3 includes the similarly famously-siblinged Tracy Griffith along with Michael J. Pollard. Know that “guilty pleasures” are still pleasures, and don’t feel bad about clicking “Play.”
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