March 9, 2004
Introducing its recent series declaring "Viva Raquel!" the Los Angeles County Museum of Art wrote, "To many, Raquel Welch remains the ultimate pin-up girl and one of the dominant sex symbols of the 1960s. Her talents, however, more than match her statuesque bearing and timeless beauty. In recent interviews, Welch reveals a self-deprecating sense of humor, a shrewd grasp of business, and a commitment to social issues." Which means that now, with a whole new batch of her films out on DVD, you may study that statuesque bearing with a clear conscience.
One Million Years B.C. (1966). From our Hammer Horror primer: "Starring Raquel Welch, unforgettable in an animal skin bikini, John Richardson (not in a bikini), Martine Beswick and the stop-motion dinosaurs of legendary American special effects artist Ray Harryhausen. With grunts in place of dialog, a cavewoman catfight and much of its budget spent on adhesive (to hold loincloths and beard in place), BC still holds up as one of the classic fantasy adventure films of the 60s or any other decade." [Rent]
Fathom (1967). DVD Talk cuts to the chase: "Fathom is a movie about Raquel Welch in a tiny lime-green bikini. Sure, there's a plot of sorts to the film, but it's all subordinate to the main point of the film, which is very obviously Welch's physical charms." [Rent]
Bandolero! (1968). Raquel's taken hostage by James Stewart and Dean Martin and off they ride through the Mexican desert. [Rent]
Myra Breckinridge (1970). Here, Raquel used to be Rex Reed. Well, it's a long story, based on the novel by Gore Vidal. Very 1970, with a very eccentric cast. Definitely a cult favorite; check out the original trailer. [Rent]
In Mother, Jugs and Speed (1976), Raquel is the middle one, i.e., Jugs; Bill Cosby is Mother, Harvey Keitel is Speed and all three work at the F&B ambulance company. An irreverent comedy, obviously. [Rent]
Car of Dreams (1935). British musical comedy. [Rent]
The Big Trees (1952). "Timber baron Kirk Douglas [goes] up against a Quaker colony taking a stand for their stand of sequoias. Look for Grandma Walton and The Skipper in supporting roles," says auntie. [Rent] You can also Watch The Big Trees right now.
Classic Hitchhiker Movies. This disc offers another option for viewing two films we already have here - Ida Lupino's The Hitchhiker (1953), a "fast-paced, gritty, realistic little noir," says underdog, and Detour (1945), the dark classic directed by Edgar Ulmer - plus Ginger in the Morning (1973), with Sissy Spacek, Fred Ward and Slim Pickens in supporting roles. [Rent]
Legendary Knight Movies. Cornel Wilde directs himself in Sword of Lancelot (1963); King Arthur: The Young Warlord (1975) features Peter Firth and Brian Blessed in supporting roles; and Basil Rathbone stars in The Magic Sword (1962). [Rent]
Prey For Rock and Roll (2003). "As a vehicle for Gina Gershon to strut her provocative stuff, Prey for Rock & Roll is a rock & roll fantasy come to life," writes Marjorie Baumgarten in the Austin Chronicle: "Whether or not you enjoy the music will have a lot to do with your enjoyment of the movie and personal response to its intrinsic question: Should you give it up after so many years of banging your head against the wall, or should you heed the siren call of rock & roll until your life is all spent?" [Rent]
Dawn of the Dead (1978). Another re-release, perfectly timed just ahead of the remake on its way to the theaters. 68 of you have already rated George Romero's zombie-fest. Average: 8.34. Need we say more? [Rent]
Man Who Changed His Mind (1936; aka, The Man Who Lived Again). Classic British horror with Boris Karloff. Writes Dave Sindelar at Scifilm: "This may not be one of Karloff's better-known vehicles, but I think it ranks with some of his best work and is definitely worth catching." [Rent]
Black Circle Boys (1997). "Compares favorably to other hunks-in-trouble films like The Skulls," according to eFilmCritic: "It is not perfect, the same story has been done a hundred times before, but the acting and directing set it above the others." [Rent]
Aquanoids (2003). Tagline: "Underwater, no one can hear you scream." [Rent]
Fear of the Dark (2002). Scary monsters, super creeps. [Rent]
Huntress: Spirit of the Night (1991). Grrr. [Rent]
ACTION and ADVENTURE
Great Ghetto Action Movies. Three blaxploitation flicks: The Black 6 (1974), Mean Johnny Barrows (1976), with Fred Williamson and Roddy McDowall, and Velvet Smooth (1976). [Rent]
On Guard! (2002). "One of the screen's great swashbucklers," announces Salon: "De Broca's film is a delight from top to bottom, packed with romance, adventure, beautifully executed swordplay and a sumptuous period look (it was shot by Jean-François Robin) that's so plummy you feel as if you're being pampered just by sitting in your seat." [Rent]
Zero Woman: Dangerous Game (1998). The popular Japanese series continues. [Rent]
Velocity (1960). Jack Nicholson "is a sheer delight throughout," enthuses Boxoffice, as he murders, kidnaps and rides on for more. [Rent]
Angels Hard as They Come (1971). Scott Glenn and Gary Busey star in a satire of biker flicks written by Jonathan Demme. [Rent]
Legend of the Eight Samurai (1984). "If you ever wish to see anime translated directly to live-action, then Legend of the Eight Samurai is right up your roji," according to Kung Fu Cinema: "The effects which include an old woman turning into a giant scorpion and a huge, throbbing tumor of evil that is the source of the witch's power are all surely outdated, but are effective and entertaining nonetheless." [Rent] Or Watch right now.
The Skulls III (2003). The secret society takes in its first woman. Tagline: "Blackmail, lies, murder... How far will she go to fit in?" [Rent]
Red Water (2003). Did you know that the 12-ft-long Bull Shark is the only shark that can live in fresh water? [Rent]
Backyard Criminals (2003). If you have to ask, you're probably not interested. [Rent]
Bluetorch Evolving (2003). A wide range of extreme sports. [Rent]
Veronica 2030 (1999). She's a pleasure android. Yep. [Rent]
Slipstream (1989). Neither Steve Lisberger, who directed Tron, nor a cast that includes Ben Kingsley, F Murray Abraham and... Mark Hamill?... can keep this film from winding up on AMicone's "Sucky Sci-Fi" list. [Rent anyway]
To Serve Them All My Days (1980). Widely admired mini-series set in England between the wars. Discs 1 [Rent], 2 [Rent], 3 [Rent] and 4 [Rent].
Futurama. Vol. 3 (2001 - 2002). And you think this millennium's nuts. Discs 1 [Rent], 2 [Rent], 3 [Rent] and 4 [Rent].
Neon Genesis Evangelion: Director's Cut Vol. 2 - Genesis Reborn (1995). Going by the ratings of the previous volume, director Hideaki Anno seems to be cutting just fine. [Rent]
Initial D ().: Battle 4: Miyogi's Downhill Technician. Of Battle 1, akeleven writes, "Too, too cool!" [Rent]
Boys Over Flowers. Vol. 4: Please Believe Me! (2003). MrBunBun calls this series "The holy grail of shoujo teenaged anime." [Rent]
Magical Shopping Abenobashi. Vol. 3. Impractical Magic (2003). Cosplayer calls the first volume "Hilarious." [Rent]
Knights of the Zodiac. Vol. 2. [Rent]
Someday's Dreamers. Vol. 3: Precious Feelings. The first volume's rated quite well. [Rent]
Tenchi Muyo GXP. Vol. 1: Out of This World. [Rent]
Arcade Gamer Fubuki. [Rent]
Birdy the Mighty (1998). [Rent]
Chobits. Vol. 7: Chat Room. [Rent]
Wedding Peach (1995). Vol. 1: Love Wave. [Rent]
FOR THE KIDS
Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales For Every Child Collection (1997). Take a look at that cast. If you rent this for your kids, chances are you'll want to watch it with them. [Rent]
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