Formerly "Dave's Blog About Movies and Such"

Friday, May 29, 2009

Happy Friday!

What better way to start the weekend than with a picture of Wally, my roommate's girlfriend's ridiculously adorable dog. Enjoy

[Side note: I will have an actual movie related post come next Monday.]

Monday, May 25, 2009

Phase IV (1974)

dir. Saul Bass

"That spring we were all watching the events in space and wondering what the final effect would be...When the effect came, it was almost unnoticed because it happened to such a small and insignificant form of life."
-James R. Lesko

Seeing as Phase IV is the sole feature length directorial effort by title credits king (and Salman Rushdie alter ego) Saul Bass (Vertigo, Anatomy of a Murder, Psycho, Bunny Lake Is Missing), the film's credit sequence is what I anticipated most before watching Bass' picture. Bass, genius that he was, managed to subvert expectations quite cleverly here, of course. Trippy 2001 influenced images of swirling lights and colors in space greet us, while a voice-over from James R. Lesko (played by one of my all time favorite character actors Michael Murphy) informs us that strange, unexplained goings-on in space have fucked shit up, but royally, back on the little green/blue orb we like to call home. A British scientist, Dr. Ernest D. Hubbs (Nigel Davenport), has observed some peculiar behavior among the various species of ants in the American Southwest. For the first time in history, these different ant groups have teamed together to work toward a common cause--humanity's destruction. This opening scene would have been a perfect opportunity for Bass to treat us to an imaginative space themed credit sequence. A credit sequence, unfortunately, is something that Bass does not give us. Superimposed over the space imagery is one small, simple title card: Phase I.

Phase I? Shit, did I get the wrong movie? I didn't want to watch the first (nor, indeed, the second or third) entry in this series. Everyone knows that the fourth movie is always the best part of a quadrology. I was ready to throw in the towel, but for some inexplicable reason I decided to continue watching this credit-less, evil ant movie. Hopefully, my patience would pay off.

After an extended, voice-over heavy, outer-space sequence, Bass' film takes a terrestrial turn with a trip to the mystical, alien world of the American Southwest. In a futile attempt to report on and subvert the strange ant shenanigans in the desert, increasingly mad scientist Hubbs and level-headed young assistant Lesko set up base here in a heavily fortified lab to observe the proceedings. Surveying the abandoned town, they soon discover the Eldridges, the only family in the area that has not fled the ant infested hellscape. Although the kooky scientists warn the farm folk of impending doom, the elder Mr. Eldridge remains steadfast and cocksure in his ability to thwart the tiny insects should they try to fuck with his shit. Ol' Papa Eldridge, it seems, has set up a gasoline filled moat that he can quickly set ablaze if any of Satan's six legged spawn happen to happen upon his homestead. I'm sure his plan will work out just fine. I doubt we'll be seeing this family again.

Cue second title card: Phase II. Hey, what's going on here? These unconventional titles are leaving me confused. I wonder what Bass could be working toward here.

["Hey, look at these structures--just like that movie we saw, 2001."

"Except seven times better."]

After an extended period of inactivity from the pesky critters, Hubbs decides to shake things up a bit by shooting grenades at a series of obelisks that the ants had previously constructed. [No scientist worth his salt ever travels without his trusty grenade launcher.] And shake things up, he does. Hubbs shakes things up so much, in fact, that the ants invade the Eldridge homestead, forcing the family to flee in its beat-up pick-up--flee in the direction of the science learnin' lab. When the ants destroy the lab's generator, the backup power soon kicks in and Hubbs turns on the building's sprinkler system, spraying the surrounding area with a yellow poisonous substance known simply as yellow. Wouldn't you know it, the Eldridges just so happen to arrive at the science base as soon as the poison is released (cue sad trombone).

When the hazard-suit clad scientists survey the surrounding area the following morning, Hubbs is unfazed by the sight of the dead bodies. Lesko attempts in vain to convince Hubbs of the gravity of the situation, "People are dead back there."

Hubbs non-chalantly replies, "Yes, tragedy. I don't understand it. They accepted the order. Why should they come here? Irrational behavior."

When Hubbs changes the subject to his study of the ant behavior, Lesko becomes furious. "Hubbs, those people are dead. Don't you understand?"

"People get killed sometimes. I think this yellow should hold its potency for three or four days."

As anyone who watches enough horror movies can attest, all scientists are cold, logical robots who lack any human feelings, and are completely devoid of empathy and warmth. To them, simple human decency is an archaic throwback to an earlier primitive stage in our development, a stage which they have thankfully evolved beyond.

Much to Hubbs' chagrin, one of the Eldridges, young Kendra (Lynne Frederick), managed to survive the poison spray of the previous night after hiding in a nearby cellar. Hubbs reluctantly agrees to Lesko's request to invite the girl back to base, rather than leave here to die in the ant infested, poisonous desert. When is that young whippersnapper Lesko gonna learn that helping people will get you nowhere in life, except getting killed by evil insects? From there, all scientific plans go downhill. Every inch of progress toward understanding the ant culture and its nearly inscrutable language is met with ten miles of whup-ass from the evil insects.

Cue the third title card: Phase III. I still don't know what Bass is going for here. His methods are leaving me frightened and confused.

Believing that she is doing more harm than good, Kendra walks into the ant-filled open and disappears. Ants soon devour Hubbs. Lesko, recognizing his role as humanity's last hope, travels to the queen ant's lair to destroy the insect leader. Here he is met is met by Kendra, who emerges from the sand in the underground cave. Strange music kicks in, swirling lights happen, images become superimposed over each other, mindfuckery ensues. Instead of killing these two humans, in their eventual quest toward domination over humans, the ants opt instead to resort to psychedelic, ambiguous, super star-baby craziness. Lesko's voice-over then informs us, "They wanted us...We didn't know for what purpose, but we knew we would be told."

Cue the final title card: Phase IV. And, now that the film is over, Bass treats us to some credits. Credits. Now, I get it. It all makes sense.

Bass was one smart cookie. Recognizing his status as the legendary, world renowned, household name, title credit rock star; Bass realized that the only reason that people went to any of the movies he was involved in was to watch the credits. By waiting until the end of Phase IV to present the credits, he could ensure that viewers would stay to watch the entire movie. He would avoid the troubles that befell earlier films he was involved in.

"Hey Pam, Saul Bass has new credits coming out next week."

"What's the movie called, Frank?"

"I don't know. I think it's some sort of travelogue or something, North by Northwest."

Pam rolls her eyes and makes a dismissive wanking motion.

"Tell me about it. Why do they gotta clutter up Bass's work with all that pointless movie nonsense? Bass is the only reason anyone ever goes to see those movies."

It was perfectly fine if folks walked out of the films of such hacks as Hitchcock and Preminger after watching the opening credits, but Bass wanted to ensure that people watched his movie all the way through, goddamnit. If they wanted some goddamn credits, they'd have to wait for the goddamned end of the goddamned film to see them, goddamnit. And what an awesome, whacked out wait it would be. As with many other sole directorial efforts (Charles Laughton's The Night of the Hunter, Herk Harvey's Carnival of Souls, Leonard Kastle's The Honeymoon Killers, James William Guercio's Electra Glide in Blue), Bass' film is the sort of one of a kind experience that leaves one hopelessly thirsting for more from that director. Wrapped in the guise of a familiar 50's Sci-Fi, B-Movie formula, Bass offers a singularly unique take on the campy set-up.

Given Bass's background in advertising and title design, it is no surprise that Phase IV is a visually striking film. Most noteworthy are the rich desert photography, and extreme closeup, ant sequences. Set to an eerie synth score, his film conveys an effectively unnerving tone. Bass manages to make the familiar seem alien. Although the science station sequences lean too far in monotonously repetitive territory for my comfort, they do further work to lend this film an otherworldly feel. The sterile environment of the science station sits metaphorically adrift in an alien space. And the scientists within attempt to make sense of, and control something which they could never hope to understand.

Phase IV is not without its faults, of course. Young farm girl Kendra exhibits the worst qualities of the cliched helpless female horror movie victim. When Kendra wakes up one night to see an especially evil, green-assed ant sitting on her hand, she is too afraid to smash it. The confused girl simply whispers, "go away." Kendra's uselessness does not end there, however. Indeed, the only time that she acts out against the evil ants, it is in such a monumentally dumb manner that even a Faulknerian idiot man child would scream out, "Why the stupid?" When she sees Hubbs' glass case containing evil ant specimens, she smashes the glass in a fit of rage, hoping to kill the insects, who predictably escape. Hubbs seals off the room, hoping to quarantine and gas the ants, but these humans' fates are sealed.

A product of the times in which it was made, Phase IV is an authority questioning, mystical bummer film packaged in familiar, cheesy sci-fi wrapping. The ant revolution acts as retribution for all of humanity's attempts to control and subjugate whatever life-forms it has happened across in an increasingly diminishing frontier. People have now become the test subjects of an even more intelligent species. Oh man's hubris, when will you ever learn?

[Side note: Although I didn't realize it when I chose to write about this movie, Phase IV was featured in an an episode of "MST3K". I am a great fan of the show but I never saw this episode. If there are any joke overlaps, I apologize. They are entirely coincidental.]

[The trailer]

[A taste of the awesome score composed by Brian Gascoigne]

Dave's Rating:

Friday, May 22, 2009

For Further Watching...

For those of you who were so astounded by my brilliant dissection of Ray Dennis Steckler's Rat Pfink a Boo Boo (or my earlier review of Wild Guitar), I have below included a BBC program on the trash director. Hopefully it should get you interested in catching some of this auter's work. Incidentally, for those interested in watching some of Steckler's classier efforts, I would suggest the previously mentioned films along with: The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies!!?, The Thrill Killers, and The Hollywood Strangler Meets the Skid Row Slasher. As is obvious, when it came to movie titles, brevity and Mr. Steckler were not too fond of each other.

[Part 1:]

[Part 2:]

[Part 3:]

Monday, May 18, 2009

Rat Pfink a Boo Boo (1966)

dir. Ray Dennis Steckler

"Everywhere he goes, he brings his guitar with him because he never knows when he'll be called upon to sing. Lonnie will sing a song anytime, anywhere. Lonnie likes to sing"

As I mentioned last week, in a very thorough critique of the movie Blind Fury, my friend Roger and I are currently working on a cum-inducingly, mind-blowingly awesome screenplay. I have been writing screenplays semi-regularly, sometimes half-heartedly, for a few years now. Although I haven't sold anything yet, I have continued to write as an exercise to keep the ol' creative juices flowing and because I find it enjoyable. The things I tend to write, however, are the sort of personal, self indulgent rubbish that even I wouldn't plop down twelve dollars to see. When Roger told me about his movie idea, I was so impressed by everything about it that I quickly invited myself to co-write the thing with him. [I am shameless about riding other people's coattails.] Suffice it to say, it was the first piece of writing, which I have taken part in, that I have been extremely excited about. I became inspired. To stay in an inspired sort of mood, I have been doing what I always do when working on screenplays, watching movies that get me excited about movies.

Of the many movies that I enjoy, there are only a few that get me so excited as to make me want to make movies--movies that make me wish I had made them first. Paul Thomas Anderson's movies always do this for me, even the flawed Magnolia. Once Upon a Time in the West also gives me a huge movie making boner (my dvd of this movie, incidentally, I accidentally left in a bar Saturday night/Sunday morning, after a friend whom I had lent it to, returned it to me. If anyone knows of the whereabouts of this dvd, I would greatly appreciate some info). Oddly, the works of such schlock-meisters as Herschell Gordon Lewis and Ray Dennis Steckler, although not necessarily the types of movies that I would like to write, in their own odd way, also work to inspire me. Steckler's work in particular has the joyous hand-made, DIY, goddamnit-it's fun-to-make-movies aesthetic/attitude that is fucking infectious as hell.

Of all the movies in Steckler's catalogue, perhaps none exemplifies the fuck-it-all, let's make a movie attitude more than Rat Pfink a Boo Boo. What began as a lurid exploitation crime picture entitled The Depraved, evolved halfway through filming into a campy, "Batman" spoof comedy romp. Setting a, soon to be reversed, scary tone, Steckler opens Rat Pfink with the nighttime mugging/beating of a defenseless woman by a trio of ruffians. Aside from beating people, this group also gets its jollies by making obscene phone calls to helpless women. These three goofs each have their own specialty. The first villain (Mike Kannon) uses a hammer, the second one (George Caldwell) uses a chain, and the third one (James Bowie) is black. Although Steckler's use of his black actor could be viewed as racist, in that it shows blackness in and of itself as being scary enough that the character wouldn't need any weapons to further accentuate it, the more likely reason for Bowie's lack of a trademark weapon is that Steckler didn't have enough money to buy a third prop.

[An incongruously expertly framed shot from the opening scene.]

Thrown in to the mix is sensational pop superstar Lonnie Lord (Ron Haydock) and his buxom girlfriend Cee Bee (Carolyn Brandt). Things have been going swimmingly for this wildly successful power couple, but things soon go horribly wrong as things are wont to do. After receiving obscene phone calls from the terrible trio, Cee Bee goes and gets herself kidnapped by this dastardly group. Lonnie, reacting the only way he knows how, sits in Cee Bee's apartment, while playing his guitar, and belts out a ballad (mysteriously accompanied by an unseen full band). The Falknerian idiot man-child handyman Titus (Titus Moede) watches on. After finishing the song, Lonnie wonders nonchalantly about what should be done about all this kidnapping meshugganah. Lonnie then tells Titus that they might as well change into their superhero outfits and go fight some crime.

[Cee Bee uses her reinforced tits to poke out the eyes of evil-doers.]

While filming the movie, Steckler became bored and unhappy with the way the crime film he started out making was progressing, and decided halfway through, to turn the Lonnie and Titus characters into superheroes. Why not? This, of course, results in a joyously, ineptly fractured film. The first half is unintentionally funny, and the second half is slightly more intentionally funny. Whether Steckler was fully aware or not, the second half of this film expertly riffs on the ridiculously over the top homo-eroticism of the "Batman" TV show. When Lonnie and Titus decide to don their Rat Pfink and Boo Boo alter ego outfits, they walk into a closet. They get trapped in the closet. Danger's outside the closet. But they're inside the closet. They unlock the closet. They walk out the closet. The film then turns a pinkish hue when Lonnie and Titus emerge in their garish costumes. Enough said.

["Maybe we should remove our butt plugs before fighting crime."]

The crime-fighters soon track down the baddies at their suburban lair. They fight the criminals. The criminals escape. They pursue the criminals. They beat the criminals. And then a motherfuckin' ape shows up and kidnaps Cee Bee. Wait, what just happened? An already ludicrous movie has now just bought a first class ticket going non-stop all the way to crazytown. Although I am not completely well versed on the filming backstory of Rat Pfink, I think it would be safe to assume that, while filming, Steckler found out that a friend of his had a gorilla costume lying around, and so he decided to use it in his movie.

Yet again, the duo rescues the damstel in distress. [Them dizzy dames always be getting themselves mixed up in crazy shenanigans.] The gorilla's effeminate handler (Romeo Barrymore) becomes reunited with his precious pet and gives him an affectionate kiss. The superheros don't have time to witness the consummation of this beautiful man/beast relationship, however, because, when learning of the superhero duo's bravery, the local town holds a celebratory parade in Rat Pfink and Boo Boo's honor. So it's off to the town's main street to get their glory on. And then this happens:

A go go party is about as appropriate a way as any to end this film. It certainly wasn't unprecedented in Steckler's oeuvre. His earlier feature, Wild Guitar, also ended in a similar fashion. Of course, Rat Pfink a Boo Boo frequently breaks into non sequiturally delicious musical interludes, anyway, so it is appropriate within the context of this film. Incidentally, here are couple of the film's other songs:
["Runnin' Wild"]

["You Is a Rat Pfink"]

Part of Rat Pfink(and indeed all of Steckler's films)'s awesomeness lies in the fact that, whatever absurd half-formed thought appeared in Steckler's head, immediately ended up on celluloid. Like Chaplin, Steckler would work without a script and figure out his movies as filming progressed. Whereas someone who had taken the time to write and develop a story might work out kinks, ponder the implausibilities of certain scenarios, and develop characters; Steckler just said to himself, "I think it would be cool if this happened", and then he made it happen. Rat Pfink is some of the purest, most unadulterated, personally expressive filmmaking I have ever witnessed--plus it's got gorillas.

Dave's Rating:

Friday, May 15, 2009

Because I'm Feeling Nostalgic

Here are some songs that Polaris made for one of my favorite shows as a kid, "The Adventures of Pete & Pete." [Side note: I've wanted to include "Hey Sandy" on my Movie Theme Song Wednesday for quite some time, but since it's a TV and not a movie theme I haven't been able to.]

["Hey Sandy"]


["She Is Staggering"]

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Movie Theme Song Wednesday: Blue Collar (1978)

dir. Paul Schrader

"Hard Workin Man" - Captain Beefheart (written by Jack Nitzsche, Ry Cooder, and Paul Schrader)

[I apologize that this video has some fucking video game shit going on. It's the only youtube clip I could find of this song.]

Monday, May 11, 2009

Blind Fury (1989)

dir. Phillip Noyce

It's the little things you take with you. Who knows why we remember certain things and not others. I have quite a knack for holding on to the most insignificant, trivial minutiae, while happily letting more important useful information fly out of the ol' memory bank. When I recently visited California for the first time since leaving there at the age of thirteen, it wasn't the palm trees, sunny climate, architecture, or beautiful beaches that brought me back to my childhood, but rather the sight of Carl's JR., In-N-Out Burger, and El Pollo Loco that made me nostalgic. I didn't visit any of those places during my recent visit, however, because I wouldn't want to taint such happy memories. If I ate at those places again, and discovered that, as with any other fast food joint, I would become violently ill afterward, the purity of such cherished childhood memories would be forever tarnished. It was best to let those places live on in my imagination.

Although I continually refer to myself as a Mainer, I actually grew up in the nondescript city of Norwalk, CA until the age of thirteen. During my recent California trip, I didn't actually visit Norwalk, but rather Santa Barbara, to visit my friend Roger so that we could work on our awesome Western screenplay. Although Santa Barbara is quite a different town from Norwalk, the sight of the aforementioned food joints brought back some distinctly California memories. [Incidentally, yes I happened to visit during the height of the horrific forest fires that have been consuming the surrounding mountains of Santa Barbara, an event that I had been told happens every few months.]

[A picture of the fire that I took with my shitty cell phone]

Of course, shitty fast food was not the only thing that I became nostalgic for while living it up in beautiful California. [Living it up = getting caffeinated up, sitting in front of a computer and writing all day.] Seeing as my friend and I were working on an awesome screenplay, I couldn't help but have movie related memories. I was inevitably brought back to the time when I was ten and my friend Julian and I tried to see The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. Like most children my age, my friends and I were obsessed with The Ninja Turtles. When I found out that the movie was being released, I pleaded with my mom to take me to see it. She was appalled that I would want to watch such mindless, violent crap, and refused to take me because she did not want to sit through it. Julian, on the other hand, managed to get his parents to force his older brother Mike to take us to the movie. Oh happy times.

Incidentally, The Ninja Turtles is also responsible for a less than happy childhood memory. When I was a young'un I had notions that I could draw. I actually thought that I would one day be a great artist. Unlike other chump artists from olden times, whose work didn't make any money until the painters croaked, I would be both highly respected and disgustingly rich. I'd get the glory, the fame, the money, the jewels, the cash, the Denali, get drunk on the reg, fucking good times on the reg, yachts on the reg, sex on the reg, basically all the shit that most kids fantasize about.

During the height of my Ninja Turtles obsession, a year or so before the release of the movie, I sat home one weekend and painstakingly drew a picture of my favorite turtle, Raphael. It was my crowning achievement. When I showed the picture to my mom, she congratulated me on the wonderful job I had done. My mom liked it. Well, it just had to be good. It was all the vindication I needed. I couldn't wait to get to school and brag to my classmates about my superior artistic talent. I was delirious with the expectation of their reactions. It would not have surprised me if my classmates, in a rapturous fit of euphoria over the beauty they saw in my Raphael drawing, joyously lifted me over their heads. The girl whom I had a crush on would fall into my arms and ask me to kiss her. My art teacher would soon ask me to teach art at the school, as she would have been humbled by my superior talent.

As soon as I got to school, I went to the playground and proudly showed the picture to my childhood crush. I triumphantly exclaimed, "I didn't even trace it or anything."

Trying to hold back her laughter, she replied, "Yeah, I know. I can tell." She then showed the picture to my fellow classmates, who all erupted with laughter. I quickly snatched the picture back and walked away from the group. I vowed never to pursue art after that. And then, dejected, as I walked to class, a ninja turtle raped me. It was not a good day.

Such was not the case on the day that Julian and I trekked in the back of Mike's pickup on our way to The Ninja Turtles movie in the neighboring city of Cerritos. Ain't nothin' would bring me down that day. Although it was clear that Mike was infinitely pissed off about having to tow us to the mall cineplex and sit through a shitty children's movie, Julian and I couldn't care less. When we got to the mall, Mike's girlfriend was there to meet him. I couldn't understand why she came. She was a girl. She wouldn't get The Ninja Turtles, not enjoy it like we would. For what seemed an eternity, we had to follow the happy couple through the mall while they smooched and talked about boring grown up stuff. We just wanted to see the The Ninja Turtles, why did we have to wait so long? When we finally got to the theater, Mike told us to wait outside while he and his lady friend got tickets. Julian and I couldn't contain ourselves. We kept talking about what we expected to see in the movie. It would have been impossible for any movie to live up to the expectations we had. Soon, they came back with tickets.

Non-chalantly, Mike informed us, "The turtle movie's sold out. We're gonna watch Blind Fury instead."

We were crushed. It couldn't be true. I had been counting down the days until this movie's premier for weeks. I was so excited that I couldn't even sleep the night before. Now it was sold out. I realized then, much to my surprise, that Mike's girlfriend must have been a Ninja Turtle fan as well, because she seemed equally upset that we would have to watch the R-rated, Rutger Hauer starring, Blind Swordsman update, violent action flick, Blind Fury, instead. To call this a letdown, would be a massive understatement.

And so the four of us picked our front row seats and sat down for the action epic. Through hand covered eyes, I watched as the blind Hauer sliced and diced his way from battles in Vietnam all the way through to violent gangs in the States. About halfway through the movie, Julian and I both realized that Mike and his girlfriend had left the theater. Although we were both concerned that our ride left, we decided to stay and finish the movie, regardless.

When Blind Fury ended, we walked through the mall, searching for Julian's brother. He was nowhere to be found. We had no choice but to walk home. I had no idea how to get home, but Julian seemed to know his way. After walking for a couple miles, a truck pulled up alongside us.

A voice boomed from inside the cab, "Hey, get the hell over here."

It was Mike. His girlfriend was not with him. He was visibly upset.

"Where the fuck were you guys? Why the hell are you walking home?"

We jumped into the cab of the truck and Julian tried to respond to his older brother, "Yeah, but we couldn't find-"

"Don't fucking back-talk me. Do you know how much trouble I'd have been in if mom and dad found out? What's wrong with you?" Mike then turned to me, "I hope you're not gonna be a wuss and tell your parents."

"I won't."

More than anything, Mike was irritated at us being so unappreciative of his chauffeur services. "Unbelievable. Damn kids are so irresponsible."

When I got home, my mom asked me about the movie. Of course, I told her, "The Ninja Turtles was totally rad. There was lots of fighting and stuff. Leonardo used his sword a lot. He was really cool. He got blind and chopped a melon in half in the air."

"Is Leonardo the one that you like?"

"No, that's Raphael. He wasn't really in it. But there was lots of fighting. Shredder wasn't in it. They fought a new guy. It was still awesome."

"I don't know why you like that violent stuff."

My siblings were quite jealous, not for long, though. When The Ninja Turtles was released on home video sometime later, I bought the videotape and we all watched it repeatedly. I haven't seen Blind Fury since then. I wouldn't want to tarnish the memory.

[A fan made Blind Fury trailer]

Dave's Rating:

Monday, May 4, 2009

And So Continues My Obsession With Sam Fuller

As most of my regular readers know, I've got a hard on for the films of Sam Fuller. As soon as I got a taste of his movies about a decade ago, I became hooked. After watching all of his available movies (and some out of print pictures like Park Row) I consumed anything else I could find that was Fuller related. And so I was rightly thrilled when I saw that someone had posted on youtube Adam Simon's documentary on the uncompromising director, The Typewriter, the Rifle & the Movie Camera. Although not the greatest documentary, it's certainly informative for Sam Fuller newbs. For a thorough and entertaining introduction to Sam Fuller, the man and the work, I can't recommend highly enough his posthumously published autobiography A Third Face. In the meantime, enjoy Simon's film. And watch some fucking Sam Fuller movies. My recommendations: Pickup on South Street, The Steel Helmet, Forty Guns, The Naked Kiss, The Big Red One (hell, pretty much anything that isn't Shark!).

Side note: my apologies for not writing a review today. I'm on vacation right now and did not have enough time for one of my regular pieces. I will still post throughout the week, though.

[Part 1]

[Part 2]

[Part 3]

[Part 4]

[Part 5]

[Part 6]