Sunset Murder Case

I felt like watching an old noir film last night, so I chose this 1938 crime story on YouTube.

Not sure what is going on with the film title in this poster

The story was muddled, but basically it was about a showgirl that had returned from Europe where she was the toast of the town. But her father, a police dude was moidered while investigating the murder of a woman on Sunset strip. She wanted to get revenge on the rat that did it, so with the help of her police beau and another cop, she cooked up a plan to find the killer by posing as a singer in a nightclub where she suspected the crims were hanging out. There was also a reporter involved, a blonde bimbo (played by the excellently named “Sugar Kane”), and several other characters which really made following it all quite confusing. There were no car chases, although there was a nutty crash where a guy pushed a car in the path of another slow-moving car which then promptly fell over onto it’s side, seriously injuring the dame inside…cars in those days were death-traps.

There were plenty of fedora hats.

The main actor was Sally Rand who back in the day was well-known as a dancer who specialised in a dance routine with a giant bubble-ball. She was also known for her “fan dance”.

Doin’ the Bubble

So of course the director or Sally herself just had to include her doing her thing in the film. But, for some reason the whole bubble dance routine was completely silent, so I skipped over most of it (it lasted a while). She sang a couple of tunes later on, which I also skipped over.

The story as I said was muddled and confusing, I gave up trying to figure out who was whom, and what the heck was happening, and just waited for it to finish. At only 59 minutes long I was glad I didn’t have to wait long.

The final scene wrapped up the climactic ending in less than a minute, I guess they ran out of money, or film.

The acting, directing, and cinematography was all very B-grade stuff, I can’t think of anything going for it.

Date watched: June 24th
Score: 2/10
Film count 2018: 37

A Day Without A Mexican

This is a 2004 mockumentary about what happens when all Mexicans suddenly disappear from California.

It is quite low budget, and on the whole quite tedious as it constantly reminds us just how important the Mexican community is to California. There are one or two slightly amusing jokes, but I was just waiting for the whole thing to finish.

It is a pity this was not made after the Orange One was elected president last year, the writers could have had a field day.

I can’t think of much else to say really, except to give it a miss.

Date watched: February 24th
Score: 2/10
Film count 2018: 18

I Spit on Your Grave

Searching on Netflix for a horror I came across this, and chose it merely because of the title, it sounded nasty.

Nasty is a good word for this film actually, as the original 1978 film was branded a video nasty, and this 2010 remake sounds as though it was equally as bad.

The story is about a young woman from Manhattan who rents a cabin in the woods and sets about writing a book, staying there alone of course. She is raped by four local men, and then sets about getting nasty revenge on each of them, killing them in quite horrific ways. The rape scene was quite hard to watch, the actress was very brave to do it, and I imagine it was almost as difficult for the male actors. It went on for way too long (as it did in the original), and it just went a bit too far I thought. The subsequent torture and killings of the men was also pretty horrific stuff, equally as hard to watch.

So I can’t recommend watching this, it is just pure torture and killing with no real justification for any of it. Basically, it is one of those “you hurt me (or someone I know)… I kill you” storylines, like Taken or John Wick. I will say though that the acting and cinematography were both very good.

There have been two sequels since.

Date watched: November 24th
Score: 2/10
Film count 2017: 133

Elegy to the Visitor from the Revolution

For my next film on Mubi I chose this 2011 drama from the Philippines.

I found on the interwebs that this was first going to be a one minute short dedicated to two film critics who were murdered in the Philippines. What it became though was a one minute short stretched out to 80 minutes. It was kind of dull.

The opening scene which lasted 12 minutes was of a prostitute on a city street just waiting. There was no dialogue and the camera was fixed in one position for most of it. The rest of the film was similar, just a shot of something mundane happening, little dialogue, and background sounds (on two occasions they seemed to forget to turn the microphone on). It was filmed quite nicely though in black and white.

The story was about a time traveller from the late 19th century during the fight for independence from Spain, and is checking out modern day Manila and looking rather depressed about what she see’s (it was not explained at all that the woman was a time traveller, I read that somewhere beforehand). There was also the story about the prostitute, three criminals, and a musician playing guitar, and supposedly all three stories were intertwined. The film was split into three parts, and seemed not to be in chronological order. Maybe the director watched Pulp Fiction the night before.

I guess serious art house critics would say this is a brilliant film and use big words such as isolationism, gasconading, and sesquipedalian in their reviews. I would just say this is kinda boring, but it has some nice shots, and gave me plenty of time to ponder how I was going to write this review.

Date watched: February 9th
Score: 2/10
Film count 2017: 32