The Eiger Sanction (USA 1975)

A retired assassin, resigned to a life as an art professor and collector, one Jonathan Hemlock (Clint Eastwood) reluctantly agrees to take on the task of one last “sanction” when he learns that the targets are responsible for the death of an old friend. Discovering that one of the killers is among an expedition to climb the Eiger, he must discern the identity of the target and take him out, all whilst scaling the deadliest mountain in all of Europe. He must also show off his physique, know his wines and encounter some mean bitches along the way. In other words, Clint must try to be James Bond–but he doesn’t have that certain je ne sais quoi.
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The Outsiders (S. E. Hinton)

This is for any reader who goes weak at the knees for a group of tragic boys with tragic pasts who are outwardly dangerous and feared, but are actually soft marshmallows underneath and love each other more than life–and would die for each other. Yes, its another book about sensitive teenage boys who alternately get into gang fights, hug one another and burst into tears. Then there’s the tight T shirts and lots of muscle admiring. Even though they’re always complimenting each other’s pretty hair and doing gymnastics, it’s not gay at all because it takes place in 1965, shortly after James Dean had made crying and homoerotic tension cool. [Read more…]

Phantoms (Dean Koontz)

At the beginning of this novel, the author has added an apology for writing it and I understand why. Phantoms is scary! There is something so extraordinarily powerful, capable of wiping out a whole town, capable of being everywhere at once, something omnipresent and omnipotent…and yet I had no clue what it was for a good chunk of the book. But I was aware that everyone in that town pretty much got their asses kicked (and worse), and I thanked my lucky stars that I wasn’t there with them. But I won’t give away any major plot spoilers. [Read more…]

The Evil (1978 USA)

During the 70’s there were tons of haunted house flicks that were either TV films or for the big screen. Among this avalanche popped up The Evil– a brave, camp, even humourous attempt to make a haunted house film in the same style as 1963’s The Haunting. But in a very low budget lackluster way. It’s not too bad but there are a number of reasons why it barely works. The story is very simple…a number of people rent a large old house for a prolonged stay only to find, once they moved in, that something sinister lives there. But they find out too late and become locked in – many terrible things happen before the few remaining survivors confront the evil entity itself and try to defeat it. (There may be some epic spoilers there) [Read more…]

The Wrong Quarry (Quarry #11 by Max Allan Collins)

What is it about “hit man” books that attracts some of us? I suspect it’s the lifestyle, the hunt, the tracking, etc. The Walter Mitty quality of it all. I think it would be great fun — except for the killing part. There I draw the line. Guess I’d be a lousy hit man. For those new to Quarry, he is a hitman with a difference – he is attractive, funny and mixes business with pleasure. (Btw, this tale is set in the early 1980s). You know he is invincible. It’s entertaining, smartly written, not at all challenging fare. Like a McDonalds Happy Meal for Adults. I just had to not read too fast, as I wanted to digest each part without missing anything essential. [Read more…]

The Gauntlet (1977 USA)

This motion picture gets a bad rap for it’s implausible story line and outrageous shoot outs, but if you’re in the mood for that sort of thing, it’s a hard one to top. For the sixth time Clint Eastwood does his civic duty as the film’s director and leading man, here sharing the screen with live-in companion Sondra Locke. (This was before a real life drama where he changed the locks on the house they shared when she was away–years after this) The pasty Locke always struck me as a good looking woman, but only if you caught her at just the right angle. [Read more…]

The Warriors (1979 USA)

a film posterThey look a bit like the Village People. Little did they know they would end up as an Xbox video game. Or that people in the future would view the savage brawl in the public toilet as not The Warriors against a rival gang of young thugs, but what appears to be some kids’ TV presenters (one of whom chooses to fight in roller-skates). You haven’t lived until you’ve seen a man dressed as a toddler hurled, upside down, through a wooden toilet door. But to give credit, this was a spot–on portrayal of New York in the 70s. The city was a mess, on the verge of bankruptcy. Many neighborhoods that are now full of $5 million apartments were war zones. One did not ride the subway at night and the gangs ruled most of the city’s turf.
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Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia (1974 Mexico/USA)

alfredogarcia4-1600x900-c-defaultIf you haven’t bought this in some format then you can never really call yourself a man. Or a woman. Or a loser. I mean, where was this artistically heading for director Sam Peckinpah? Maybe he was just trying to keep a head of his time. It’s as if Peckinpah had been on an IV drip of morphine for so long that he gave up trying to peer through the lens or follow events. He just told Warren Oates to wing it. And like all the great ones, the actor did it on the fly. [Read more…]

Kinjite: Forbidden Subjects (1989 USA)

bronson 1I’m quaking in my boots. Don’t laugh. Talk about kinky…there are scenes here that might just make you’re nose bleed. After Death Wish 6: The Final Solution finished off that elegant series with a body count only Ted Bundy could have dreamed of, Charlie Bronson jetted off to Tokyo. Maybe the Japanese wouldn’t notice old stone face looked 103. Give or take a year. [Read more…]

The Hills Have Eyes (1977 USA)

film 1The plot similarities to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre are extensive. A station wagon full of city folk are driving through the desert to ultimately find themselves struggling for their very lives, at the mercy of a sinister and disturbed ‘family’ living completely apart from civilization. And if that is not enough similarities, they are also cannibals. [Read more…]

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