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Milian vs. Merli: Two Egos at War

by Tony Nash

(a Part of Poliziotto e Criminale: The Poliziotteschi of the 1970’s)

(all opions are of the author alone)

(Spoiler free)

(Review is of the Italian language version)

The Tough Ones (1976)

Roma Amano Armata (Rome Armed to the Teeth/The Tough Ones) (1976) R *****

Maurizio Merli: Commissario Leonardo Tanzi

Tomas Milian: Vincenzo “Il Gobbo” Moretto

Arthur Kennedy: Vice Questore Ruini

Giampiero Albertini: Commissario Francesco Caputo

Ivan Rassimov: Antonio “Tony” Parenzo

Maria Rosaria Omaggio: Anna, Juvenile Psychologist

Luciano Catenacci: Ferdinando Gerace

Stefano Patrizi: Stefano, College Punk

Biagio Pelligra: Savelli

Aldo Barberito: Maresciallo Pogliana

Corrado Solari: Albino, Gobbo Henchman

Written by: Dardano Sacchetti, from a story by Umberto Lenzi

Directed by: Umberto Lenzi

Synopsis: Police detective Tanzi, desperate to take down a notorious criminal named Ferrender, goes to extreme lengths to catch the man red-handed. When a seemingly harmless petty criminal called the Hunchback deliberately harms himself to discredit Lenzi as a loose cannon, Tanzi’s partner and their superior force him to take a desk job, making Tanzi realize the harmless man isn’t so harmless. In between these cases, Tanzi also deals with College delinquents, bank robberies, and a sinister drug dealer. Piaggio Vespa in "Roma a mano armata, 1976"

In 1976 the Euro Crime genre was at its height, and noted genre producer Luciano Martino was looking to cash in once again. His idea was to put together two of the genre’s biggest stars in the same film, the duo was Tomas Milian and overnight star Maurizio Merli. The script that came about had a main plot mixed with several little side ones that allowed for diversity with the many ideas the writers wanted to use. The little side plots work quite nice as viewers are shown the varied types of criminals Italy had, from the petty criminals, to the spoiled privledged youths with no direction to the high-class criminals who hide behind respectability. While director Umberto Lenzi’s original treatment and Sachetti’s finalized script offer a lot of action and entertainment, Lenzi wanted to convey a little more depth than most of the predecessor and contemporary films of the genre in its social context. The cop protagonist is very cynical and believes the laws hinder the police and give the criminals too many loopholes to avoid arrest and imprisonment, almost wanting to return to a time when the police ruled absolutely with no boundaries. Mixing the standard police cracking down on various baddies throughout a film with the constantly at odds with the counter culture fascist cop made for something exciting and different in the genre.

Una scena tratta da Roma a Mano Armata ‧ Spoiler Alert

What should have been the cleverest team up of noted stars since Franco Nero and Tomas Milian in Vamos a Matar, Companeros! (Companeros) six years previously, evolved into one of the most antagonistic and volatile working relationships in Italian genre cinema. Both Tomas Milian and Maurizio Merli took an instant dislike to each other, and what merely began as neutrality turned into all out war. Both men had huge egos, Milian demanding artistic freedom and integrity, and Merli a full of himself prima donna and arrogant hothead due to his overnight success a year or two earlier. Merli had initiated the conflict when he tried upstaging Milian, who at this period had earned all of Rome’s admiration, and Milian, finally having enough of Merli’s pompous manner, physically attacked Merli by really kicking him during a scene. Lenzi was forced to step in to break the pair up before fists started being thrown, having a solid working relationship with both men, and Merli practically shouting he wouldn’t perform in the same space with Milian any longer, nor did he ever want to work him ever again.

The Tough Ones' on Blu-ray Finds the Beauty in Brutality

Maurizio Merli, while only have ever really acted in Euro Crime films, gives a surprisingly deep and semi-nuanced performance as Commissario Tanzi. Constantly bordering on clear sense of justice and complete fascism, Tanzi is sick of crime and even sicker of the laws that seem to help the criminals and hinder the police. Feeling all criminals should be prosecuted no matter what the crime is or if the offenders have records or not leads Tanzi into continual strife with not only his partner and their superior, but also his civic duty minded girlfriend who feels some criminals are redeemable if give the chance. When the apprehension of a dangerous criminal becomes an obsession and the shooting of a repeat offender who tried to run him over, it looks as if Tanzi is now bordering on being unredeemable himself. Merli plays Tanzi as a clearly hard-bitten cop whose been at the job too long and has most likely lost his faith in the human race thanks to all the depravity, violence and lack of morality he’s constantly forced to come into contact with. That he wants Italy to return to Mussolini’s idea of justice in giving the law absolute authority with no restrictions and to possible suspend the offenders civilian rights has him nearly bordering on being a criminal himself in wanting to denounce the idea of a democratic justice system. Whether he can be redeemed in some way is up to himself.

The Tough Ones (Blu-ray) : DVD Talk Review of the Blu-ray

Tomas Milian, one of Italy’s biggest genre stars, gives one of his top 5 performances as Vincenzo Moretto, alias Il Gobbo. Il Gobbo (Italian slang for The Hunchback) is a wily criminal with a psychotic side who does whatever he can to evade the law and succeed in the underworld. Playing Tanzi at his own game after he humiliates him and tries to entrap him, Il Gobbo deliberately slashes his own wrists in order to get out of police custody and accusing Tanzi of brute force. Both wisecracking and dangerous, Il Gobbo shows himself and crafty when he’s revealed as a big-time player in cahoots with the big boss Ferrender whose gone into hiding, making a lot of decisions in regards to crimes and money. Going between innocent and a little pathetic to downright arrogant and dangerous, Gobbo proves he’s a force not to be underestimated and to be fearful of. Milian’s usual style of mixing wacky and occasionally vulgar humor with unflinching moments of violence and mayhem is on display here and is as effective as always.


Cool Ass Cinema: 07/21/19

American actor Arthur Kennedy and Italian character player Giampiero Albertini offer two interesting and distinctly different interpretations of leading law enforcement officials. Kennedy plays Ruini, one of the chiefs of police who’s very by the book and allows little in-between room for handling cases. He’s made it clear several times over he doesn’t approve of Tanzi’s methods of handling criminals and his hatred of the recent laws passed, but does admit that Tanzi is a good cop who only wants to keep the people safe. Kennedy plays Ruini as a man willing to take any criticism and harshness about the system, but will fight back when his integrity and the need to make the system is questioned. Albertini plays Caputo, another leading investigator and Tanzi’s partner in the main division. Like Ruini, Caputo believes the judicial system needs to be given time to become effective, and like Tanzi believes leniency needs to be issued when dealing with career criminals and repeat offenders who know how to work the system. His own sense of justice comes under personal crisis when he realizes Tanzi’s been right about certain things, and must face those demons head on.

Roma a mano armata" di Umberto Lenzi: quel crime all'italiana ...

With Euro Crime films sometimes acting as entertainment commentary on Italy’s state of crime in the 70’s, Armata is no different in that approach. Mainly via Tanzi, Lenzi and his co-writer express their worry that the recently passed judiciary laws won’t be effective in curtailing criminal activity and that some veteran cops will want to resort to fascist style tactics in order to bring down the more dangerous offenders, which will only lead to more complications. 1971 Laverda 750 SF in "Roma a mano armata, 1976"

A prime example of what Euro-Crime is all about, Roma Amano Armata is the near perfect blend of action, suspense, thrills, acting, and story. Underseen for some time in the States, the last 20 years have brought this gem of a film back to life, and reliving the days when the Italian youth of the 70’s went flocking to see the film.

(A absolute must watch for any fan of Euro Crime, whether they’re vets looking to add on to their catalog of titles, or newcomers looking for a good place to start viewing and collecting. Any Tomas Milian performance is worth seeing, and this film is a particularly good example, and well worth anyone wanting to know more about acting to take lessons from. The backstory of Milian and Merli’s heated working relationship alone is enough to make people interested in seeing how the mostly hate fueled atmosphere helped the film and its overall effect. The Blu Ray from Grindhouse Releasing [founded by the sadly late Sage Stallone, Sly’s son] is beautiful looking in both audio and visual quality, the crispness in image and soundtrack nearly brand brand new. A plethora of extras including interviews with Umberto Lenzi and Tomas Milian [both recorded before the two men passed away] as well as a retrospective style documentary on Lenzi, his career, and influence/impact on cinema as a whole are as much fun to enjoy as the film itself.)

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Filed under: Film: Analysis/Overview, Film: Special Topics

When The Law and The Mafia Become One

by Tony Nash

(a Part of Poliziotto e Criminale: The Poliziotteschi of the 1970’s)

(all opinion are of the author alone)

(Mild Spoilers)

(This review is of the original Italian language version)

Confessions of a Police Captain (1971) - IMDb

Confessione di un Commissario di Polizia al Procuratore della Repubblica (Confessions of a Police Captain/Confessions of a Police Commissioner to the Assistant District Attorney) (1971) R *****

Franco Nero: Sostituto Procuratore Traini

Martin Balsam: Commissario Giacomo Bonavia

Marilu Tolo: Serena Li Puma

Luciano Catenacci: Ferdinando Lomunno (as Luciano Lorcas)

Claudio Gora: Procuratore Generale Malta

Arturo Dominici: Avvocato Canistraro

Gianfranco Prete: Giampaolo Rizzo

Michele Gammino: Gammino

Adolfo Lastretti: Michele Li Puma

Written by: Damiano Damiani and Salvatore Laurani, based on a story by Damiani & Fulvio Gicca Palli

Directed by: Damiano Damiani

Synopsis: Deputy D.A. Triani investigates what he first believes is a Police coverup when Commissioner Bonavia intentionally has a known psychotic criminal released to assassinate an untouchable mafioso with ties to the local government. Things change drastically however, when the Police Commissioner admits the Mafia and Government are working together, possibly even to the most important of officials.

Confessions.of.a.Police.Captain.1971.DUBBED.720p.BluRay.x264 ...

Filmmaker Damiano Damiani, well known for his social commentary and conspiracy films, presents one of his first Police and Political Thrillers that doubles as both entertaining and thought provoking. What at first appears to be a simple case of a high-ranking police official abusing his authority to finally get a dangerous criminal out of the way turns into a high-level investigation into the complicity of government officials helping the Mafia. At a time when people believed the Government of Italy was filled with Mafia plants, Damiani offers a disturbing idea that there is in fact no difference between politicians and gangsters, and that the supposed crime bosses are merely front men for the even more dastardly ambitious true powers. Police corruption is also highlighted within the film as the cop co-lead in the film has finally snapped from playing deaf and dumb to the illegal goings on around him and feels only by going rogue can any justice be done.

Confessions of a Police Captain (1971) Download YIFY Movie Torrent ...

Damiani, who was a member of Italy’s leftist movement to incite positive reform in his country, was no stranger to causing controversy and putting his life in danger. A year earlier he made a film about a teenage girl who single handedly defied social conventions and the Mafia by reporting a prominent Sicilian gangster had raped her. Damiani received threats on his life from the gangsters involved who were still alive after the fiasco had ended. This go around he was risking facing the wrath of both the Mafia and the Government itself over the innuendoes he was implying in regards to the Mafia and Government in a type of alliance.

Confessions of a Police Captain streaming online

Franco Nero, one of Italy’s finest actors, gives a subtle and nuanced performance as Traini. An idealistic Public Prosecutor fresh from internship, Traini is certain of corruption when a criminal with confirmed mental instability is all of sudden released under the orders of the Police Commissioner. When the man is gunned down in the building of a crooked construction developer believed to really be a mobster, Traini is certain the Police Commissioner has become a vigilante, looking to have the criminals eliminate each other through duplicity. Nero soon has Traini going into a form of paranoia and self-doubt as when he begins to dig deeper into the case, he finds many people he’s met in the justice system have connections to the Mafia. Nero has his character’s idealism breaking apart as he slowly comes to understand the disgraced Commissioner’s warnings that sometimes those meant to uphold the law in fact mock it for their own gains. Whether Traini will decide to fight back, or crumble under the weight of the devastating truth is left open to viewer opinion.

Confessions of a Police Captain / Confessione di un commissario di ...

Martin Balsam, a versatile American character actor, gives a rare layered and in depth performance as Commissario Bonavia Balsam plays Bonavia a cop that was once hopeful and idealistic, but quickly became hardened to the process of justice as he began to realize how adjustable the departments morals and conscious’ were. Initially willing to play ball because he thought the greater good would come from letting the bad guys think they were fooling the police, Balsam has Bonavia fatalistically realize that the corruption he first noticed went into the government houses as well, particularly after the shooting of a union leader whom his daughter loved, and the death of a shepherd boy who witnessed the death of a land owner who wouldn’t sell his property. Balsam shows a true inner conflict within the character Bonavia as it becomes clear he was once OK with looking the other way, but after a time realized he was only fooling himself and that he’s in fact a collaborator, albeit in a reluctant sense. Finding out the mafioso he tried to have killed was behind the incidents that hardened him years earlier, Bonavia comes to realize he can either still knuckle under the thumb of the powers at hand, or he can do something about it, even if it means the cost of his life at the hands of the men he helped put into prison in the past.

Confessions of a Police Captain - Internet Movie Firearms Database ...

A slew of Italian character performers including Marilu Tolo, Arturo Dominici, Claudio Gora, and Luciano Catenacci help make up an interesting gallery of characters who play varied crucial roles as either gangsters, those associated to gangsters, and politicians leading double lives and criminals. Every character is either helpful or hindering to Triani in his investigation.

(Author’s note: To not spoil the ending, not much will be said of these other characters)

Confessions of a Police Captain - Wikidata

Complex, intriguing, entertaining, and involved, the film offers a mix of thrilling storytelling and social commentary that only auteur Jean-Pierre Melville was previously capable of making work. Damiani is more of a heavy hitter than Melville in his subtlety in handling the material, but still makes enough of an impact that fans have plenty to find involving and engaging.

(I highly recommend giving this film a look at as its one of the cornerstones of the Euro Crime genre, and partly made up the template for what genre regular filmmakers like Umberto Lenzi and Fernando Di Leo would implement into their own work. The Blu Ray from the German distributor FilmArt was sadly limited to only 1000 copies and is now out of print, but can be found for 25 Euros on the secondary markets and can be viewed [possibly only as the English dub track] on the internet site Tubi. FilmArt’s audio and visual transfer of the film was stunning and looked very crisp and clear. The audio has some moments of popping, but given the age of the film and the copies of copies floating all over the grey market area companies over the years, the quality is still high end.)

all images courtesy of Images and their respective owners


Filed under: Film: Analysis/Overview, Film: Special Topics

The Wiley Gangster

by Tony Nash

(a Part of Poliziotto e Criminale: The Poliziotteschi of the 1970’s)

(all opinions are of the author alone)

(Mild Spoilers)

(This review is of the original Italian language version)

Napoli spara! | Film, Fantascienza, Storia del cinema

Napoli Spara! (Weapons of Death/Shoot, Naples, Shoot!) (1977) **** R

Leonard Mann: Commissario Antonio Belli

Henry Silva: Salvatore Santoro

Jeff Blynn: Special Agent Salvatore Guidi

Massimo Deda: Gennarino

Ida Galli: Lucia Parisi (as Evelyne Stewart)

Massimo Vanni: The Undercover Cop

Tino Bianchi: Don Alfredo Criscuolo

Mario Pilari: Michele Rosati

Enrico Maisto: Ferdinando Licata

Tommaso Palladino: Vincenzo Calise

Adolfo Lastretti: The Pedophile

Written by: Gianfranco Clerici and Vincenzo Mannino

Directed by: Mario Caiano

Synopsis: Naples Police Commissioner Belli becomes determined to stop on the rise mobster Santoro, but can’t pin anything on him, while also trying to convince a youngster to stop hustling people. While finding evidence against the crafty criminal, Belli deals with everything from armed robbery to petty crime to sexual offenders.

Weapons of Death (Napoli spara!) - Internet Movie Firearms ...

By the late 1970’s, the Euro Crime films were beginning to dwindle in popularity, but some were still able to entertain and excite audiences all over Italy. Napoli Spara! is one of many examples of a late period of Euro Crime to maintain an exciting atmosphere and story. Mixing a central story with some side plot lines, audiences get to see the main police inspector character go from mission to mission, and meeting to meeting with either suspects or fellow police force members as he tries to end the reign of terror and violence being instigated by an ambitious mobster looking to become a major power player in the area. While a fun and entertaining ride, like any police film of the period it had its relations to real life events. The local governing body of Naples at this period had collapsed and the Mafia pretty much had total control of the city, but there was still an element of order still in play via the police department, albeit a somewhat overworked and over taxed department relying primarily on each unit’s own personal judgments.

Weapons of Death (Napoli spara!) - Internet Movie Firearms ...

Leonard Mann, an Italian American actor who returned to his family’s roots to act in films, does the standard, but still effective performance as the lead detective Belli. A cop frustrated by the machinations of both the professional underworld and the petty amateur criminals, Mann has Belli constantly on edge and giving both his superiors, and the men under his command constant speeches in how they should be more effective curtailing the constantly rising crime rates of the area. While unapologetically rough, gruff, and no-nonsense, Belli also has a sensitive side in his fatherly affection of the juvenile delinquent Gennarino, a hustler and con artist Belli constantly tries to reform, with seemingly no results. Mann shows off his capabilities as a stuntman in the film when Belli must climb atop a stolen tanker truck to subdue the driver who has just caused the death of a family on an afternoon drive.

Weapons of Death (Napoli spara!) - Internet Movie Firearms ...

Henry Silva, one of the many 50’s and 60’s eras American actors who had a successful second career in Italy, is his usual smiling menace and steely eyed stone face as Santoro. One of the deadlier baddies of the Euro Crime genre, Santoro leads daring robberies in broad daylight with little worry of who gets in his way. His aim is to take over one of the bigger syndicates from one of the ailing dons of the crime families. While he has little concern for the majority of civilians who often become casualties of his crimes, he has a surprising respect for Commissioner Belli who’s constantly on his tail and dogging him. This is partly because Belli has saved his life via competitors and because Santoro respects a man who doesn’t let the confines of procedure stop him from getting the job done.

(Sadly, Silva didn’t provide his voice for the English dubbing)

Napoli spara: Guida TV, Trama e Cast - TV Sorrisi e Canzoni

Ida Galli, was more known in the seventies by her Anglo pseudonym Evelyn Stewart (and its occasional variant spellings), makes a very brief, but necessary cameo appearance as Lucia Parisi. Lucia provides the key to helping take down Santoro, but is probably unaware of what importance she holds. Jeff Blynn, an American model in Europe turned actor, plays a supporting role of agent Guidi. Guidi is a special operative that primarily works undercover as a cab driver who deals mainly in thefts via automobiles, and also follows around people of interest for arrest and questioning by the police.

Weapons of Death (Napoli spara!) - Internet Movie Firearms ...

An interesting cast note, the character of Guidi was originally meant to feature more prominently in the film, and was to be played by Maurizio Merli. Leonard Mann wasn’t keen on working with Merli after having heard stories about Merli’s on set behavior, and having met the actor at one point and taking an immediate dislike to him.

Inseguimento car chase - Napoli spara! 1977 - YouTube

By the numbers in terms of plot and action, Napoli Spara! still offers the high octane entertainment that fans of the time and even the fans of today expect from the genre. Even on the smaller scale than its predecessors, there’s still plenty to love about the film.

(I do highly recommend this film for fans of action crime films and the Euro Crime genre as a whole. The ending is something of a let down and not the usual fare that fans would expect, and while certainly different and daring, unfortunately hurts the film more than helps. It would’ve been interesting to see Leonard Mann and Maurizio Merli working together in the same film, but no one can really blame Mann for being wary of Merli’s reputation as something of a prima donna. Merli’s name on the film certainly would’ve raised in the ante in anticipation, profit, and even budget for the film’s overall success, but the cast at hand still does a fine job. The film is on a Blu Ray double bill with Italia Amano e Armata (A Special Cop in Action) from Dorado Films. Their transfer of the film via audio and visual is really good considering they’re a relatively small company. )

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Filed under: Film: Analysis/Overview, Film: Special Topics

Indiana Jones…As Envisioned By Just Jaeckin

by Tony Nash

(Artistic Erotica 3)

(Mild Spoilers)

(All Opinions are of the author alone)

(This review is of the longer original French language version)

(Author’s Note: While not abundant in nudity, certain stills may be repeated)

Gwendoline (1984) - IMDb

Gwendoline (1984) NC-17 ****1/2

Tawny Kitaen: Gwendoline

Brent Huff: Willard

Zabou Breitman: Beth (as Zabou)

Bernadette Lafont: The Queen

Jean Rougerie: D’Arcy

Written & Directed by: Just Jaeckin, inspired by the comic strip The Adventures of Sweet Gwendolyn by John Willie

Synopsis: With the aid of a friend, a woman escapes from a nunnery to locate her father, an eccentric butterfly collector. When she learns he’s died, she pleads with a mercenary seaman to help her locate an elusive butterfly to cement her father’s legacy. Along the way they deal with pirates, white slavers, savage cannibal natives, and a previously thought mythical tribe of genetically altered Amazon women.

The Perils of Gwendoline (1984) - Just Jaeckin | Review | AllMovie

After his international successes with the artistic erotica Emmanuelle and Histoire d’O (The Story of O), filmmaker Just Jaeckin decided to tackle an entirely new adventure with a fantastical erotic adventure film inspired by an adult comic strip series about an adventurous young woman named Gwendolyn and her wayward sidekick. Not wanting to repeat the earlier successes of his softcore erotic masterpieces, but at the same time realizing it was this light erotica that catapulted him into the limelight and interest of producers, Jaeckin wanted something that spoke to his already existing motifs and style, but was also something new and creative. While inspired by the comic, Jaeckin in his usual auteur fashion wasn’t going to be necessarily be faithful to the source material, though he did in some fashion maintain the whimsical and humorous nature of it. What evolved was a fun mixture of humor, adventure, romance, Science Fiction, erotica, and a little bit of thrills all wrapped up in a quirky adventure about the search for an ultra-rare and elusive butterfly that takes the three people pursuing it into a realm of the fantastic and mysterious that they will never forget.

The Perils of Gwendoline | Flixster

Tawny Kitaen, an American model and actress, known most notably as Kevin Sorbo’s wife in the TV series and Made for TV movies The Adventures of Hercules, got her first taste of international fame as the title character Gwendoline. Sheltered by convent nuns her whole life, Gwendoline is at first very naïve, totally unfamiliar with how the world works and the lust and passion men feel when they look upon her beauty. As the film progresses, Gwendoline sheds her naivety and innocence, becoming courageous, strong minded, and very self-assertive. What starts off as a journey to save her father’s name, reputation, and legacy merges into a dual journey that finds Gwendoline on a self-discovery sojourn that teaches her much about herself, others, and life itself. She also has something of a sexual awakening that plays an equally large role in her maturing as the film progresses on. Kitaen’s looks and her innocent face make her portrayal of the Gwendoline character all the more perfect as she embodies the character almost like a second skin.

Gwendoline (1984) Free Download | Rare Movies | Cinema of the World

Brent Huff, an American actor turned TV director, is a surprising hit in the role of Willard. An Indiana Jones type of adventurer with far less selfless heroics and moral scruples, Willard is mercenary for hire who initially doesn’t care about how or where he gets money, just so long as he gets. When he first meets Gwendoline and her companion, he’s very crass, vulgar, to the point, and violent. Constantly at odds with the two women over what he sees as a trifle and fruitless expedition, he unexpectedly finds himself becoming more and more fascinated and admiring of Gwendoline and her inner strength and resolve. While at first perplexed and flustered by it, he soon becomes very welcoming and glad of Gwendoline’s love and affection, going to the point of telling her he shares her feelings and that he too loves her. This doesn’t lessen his mercenary and greedy impulses, but it does lead him to think carefully about what prizes are worth going after.

Quad Cinema on Twitter: "We've just added 35mm screenings of Just ...

Zabou Breitman, credited in the film as just Zabou, an underrated French character actress and ingénue type, nearly steals the whole show as Beth. As Gwendoline’s closest friend and lady-in-waiting, Beth feels the constant pressure to make sure her friend and charge is safe. At times completely exasperated by her bad luck and the seemingly unending obstacles in the way, Beth goes on short sprints of tirades that are both humorous and exhilarating as she vents her frustrations to Gwendoline, Willard, and to the various peoples they encounter, that not only allows them to get away from dangers, but gives their enemies a total surprise. She too takes a trip of self-discovery, and like Gwendoline, learns quite a bit about herself and what she is capable of.

(Author’s Note: While she was initially proud of the film, Zabou in the last several years distanced herself from it in the wake of revelations about the producer’s intent of the project. Just Jaeckin himself has expressed hope her opinion will one day change, and see it for the positives again.)

The Perils of Gwendoline in the Land of the Yik Yak Trailer ...

What separates this film from Jaeckin’s usual fare is the unusual amount of violence in it. While not overly gory in any way, the types of violence shown is quite unexpected for a man normally known for erotica with cleverly done innuendos. Sudden bursts in hostage situations and other moments, and occasional acts of cannibalism make for quite the juxtaposition with moments of tenderness and sensuality.

Gwendoline [Limited Edition Blu-ray] – Severin Films

Outrageous, funny, thrilling, exciting, and entertaining, Gwendoline is many a growing boy’s dream of fast paced adventure and plentiful feminine nudity. Pure fun from start to finish, Just Jaeckin successfully proves artistry and entertainment mix well together with this oddity that works on many levels.

(While abundant in nudity and violence, this is one of the few NC-17 films I can recommend to audiences, though it will appeal more to those who don’t see themselves as prudish. The official rating is R according to the IMDB, and while the violence and nudity isn’t excessive, is enough that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. There is a cut version called The Perils of Gwendoline in the Land of the Yik-Yak which I believe eliminates some of the back story and extended scenes, though does give the film the 1930’s adventure serial vibe Jaeckin did try to preserve from the original comic strip. The Blu Ray from Severin Films is beautiful looking and offers both the original uncut version in both the original French language and English dub, as well as the dubbed cut version, and a slew of extras including a new commentary featuring stars Tawny Kitean and Brent Huff who also reminisce about the experience.  Just Jaeckin and his main creative team also give interviews about the filming process and their experiences too.)

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Gwendoline [Standard Blu-ray]

Gwendoline [Limited Edition Blu-ray]

Filed under: Film: Analysis/Overview, Film: Special Topics

My First Fan/Viewer Input Spot

Hello to all my followers, those I’m following, and all curious visitors,

With all the craziness of the COVID-19 Pandemic, I forgot to make an announcement I was excited to share with everyone.

I recently hit a milestone of 21 Followers here on WordPress, something I never thought would happen. I figured maybe five to ten people would find what I write about interesting, and am still pleasantly surprised by the number of people following and reading my entries. Thank you all so much!!!!

Now officially I have 20 Followers as one of my followers, Mr. Gary Loggins, aka Cracked Rear Viewer sadly passed away, and at the same time I didn’t have the heart to take his name off of my followers list, and another follower, whose name escapes me right now, has retired his WordPress Page; but in reality numbers aren’t too essential as its the people themselves who count in the long run.

To celebrate this milestone, I’d like my followers to feel free to offer their input on an idea I had for Halloween 2020. Normally I try to have a theme every Halloween as it’s pretty much my year end hurrah as I take a vacation from posting material from November to the new year in January, save for Holiday greetings, and anything super special, so I try to have something cool every time. This year I was thinking about doing a little salute to the Spanish Lon Chaney Jr., Paul Naschy, as several of his films are being graced with Blu Ray treatments. So far I have only seen his sole foray into the Mummy realm, La Venganza de la Momia (Vengeance of the Mummy/The Mummy’s Revenge), and thought that was fairly well made. Many of his entries in the El Hombre Lobo (The Wolfman) Waldemar Daninsky franchise are on Blu Ray here in the US and Germany, and I’m curious about seeing the early ones.

What I’d like to know form you my viewers is, would be interested in me checking out any of Mr. Naschy’s work, whether it be his entries in the Waldemar Daninsky saga or his varied other kind of Horror films?

I may end up giving Naschy the spotlight in October anyway, but I’d really be interested in hearing what you the fans would like me to check out.

This is my personalized way of saying thank you for all the support you’ve given me the last 2 to 3 years.

Tony Nash, aka Movie Fan Man


Filed under: Annoucements, Film & TV: Potpourri