Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Short Film: Unexpected Experience of Two Girl Hitch-Hikers (USA)


Here's an endearing short from the past, found (as so often) at that fabulous repository of filmic fun, the Internet Archives.
Once upon a time, this cute little film with its slightly O. Henry ending was probably risqué and rogue, but in today's world it comes across oddly innocent. The who, what, when, where and why behind the making of this very short film is unknown – indeed, at the time it was made, decades ago, despite its less-than-truly-pornographic nature, it was surely not the type of film one would put on one's resume. Here at A Wasted Life, however, we hazard to guess that, going by the landscape, the film was made in California and that, going by the cars and style of hair and clothing, it was shot sometime in the forties – but these are assumptions only, as the movie lacks any and all credits, and opens only with its title, Unexpected Experience of Two Girl Hitch-Hikers. The plot is a simple one: two damsels are stranded at the side of the road when their car breaks down, and they proceed to take a desperate measure to get a ride or assistance – with each car that passes, another piece of clothing falls…
(As of here, our mind wanders...)
There is a notable if, needless to say, thoroughly coincidental connection found in this film to the somewhat longer silent film A Free Ride, aka A Grass Sandwich (full NSFW film), which is the earliest known US American hardcore short still in existence. The exact date that A Free Ride – whence the still of the hatted man here to the left is taken – was made is unknown and contested, with different sources arguing dates between circa-1915 to circa-1923, but the core plot device of the film (directed by "A. Wise Guy" and titles by "Will She") also involves two women alone on the road hitch-hiking – but they get a ride and a lot more than the two comparatively demure ladies of Unexpected Experience of Two Girl Hitch-Hikers. 
To follow an even less-related trivially informational tangent, as early as A Free Ride might be, it is not the earliest known stag film. France, Argentina and Germany all vie for that honor, if only because the exact dates the given films were made are not all known for sure: the French short L'Ecu d'Or ou la bonne auberge is generally given the fixed date of 1908, the Argentinean El Satario ("The Satyr") is estimated to be from c. 1907–15, and Germany's Am Abend ("In the Evening") is thought to be from around 1910. (Leave it to the German's to have the honor of producing the first known porn film to include shown anal penetration.) 
None of the latter three films, by the way, involve hitch-hiking ladies: L'Ecu d'Or involves a soldier having a tete-a-tete with a servant girl, El Satario – an image of which is seen above left* – has Satan kidnapping one of three frolicking ladies and having fun with her (the film ends with a cream pie shot, perhaps the earliest), while Am Abend follows the age-old plot line of a stranger who, after spying on a horny woman, walks in and does her good.**
To follow this tangent further and shift our eyes to sausage-to-sausage activities, the earliest visual servings of naked men in movement are from the 1880s by, of course, Eadweard Muybridge, but his vignettes are "studies of movement" and not intentionally erotic (or so it is said). The first true acts of live-action*** homosexual sex, however, occurred in 1920 in the French film Le Menage Moderne Du Madame Butterfly – an image of which is here to the left**** – by Bernard Natan, a Romanian who eventually took over Pathé, the largest French studio of its day, in 1929.***** Natan made (and took part in) numerous porn films between 1920 and 1927, a variety of which included gay/bisexual scenes;****** Le Menage Moderne Du Madame Butterfly, the plot of which is based on Giacomo Puccini's opera Madam Butterfly, is merely the first of them to do so. In the USA, the earliest known hardcore sex film to theoretically feature gay sex is 1929's The Surprise of a Knight (producer and participant names unknown); we say "theoretical" because the blower and later recipient of anal sex, though oddly masculine, is dressed and presented as a woman for most of the film and, actually, no true "man-to-man" activity (other than dancing) occurs. For that, the manly inclined had to wait for the following year's A Stiff Game, in which a white man gives up searching for a job in favor of hustling and promptly gets his first client, a black man named – Ouch! – Sambo.******* Notably enough, the two men lose interest in each other when two shapely female trollops show up.********
But to get back to this month's Short Film of the Month: Unexpected Experience of Two Girl Hitch-Hikers. This quaint short is anything but a porn film; it is merely a little joke bordering on impropriety (and the latter, hardly so by today's standards), underlined with a pretty damn catchy score.********* A Wasted Life shares it with you today in the hope that it might make you smile, as it did us.

* This El Satario image comes from 7 Important Historical Breakthroughs (In Masturbation) at Cracked.com.
** Thus establishing the long-since thread-worn porno cliché of how any horny woman will let any willing man bonk her backwards and forwards and upside down.
*** We specify live-action because the earliest known surviving animation "hardcore" porno short, Eveready Harton in Buried Treasure (1929), done for laughs and not titillation, features heterosexual and homosexual sex as well as bestiality. According to unsubstantiated legend, the film was made so as to be screened at a private party honoring Winsor McCay.
**** Found at the Italian website Culture Gay.
***** When Pathé collapsed in 1935, Natan was convicted of fraud and sent to jail. Released in September 1942, Natan, a Jew, was promptly handed over to the occupying German forces and, on September 25, 1942, sent to Auschwitz; he died there a few weeks later.
****** Natan is also credited as having introduced masochism to the French porn film as well, but we were unable to find information regarding in which film.
******* Thus making the film also the first one to feature interracial homosexual sex.
******** It is interesting to note that according to Playboy's film historians Arthur Knight and Hollis Alpert, when they viewed over 1,000 vintage stag films in 1967, they discovered that that "exclusive male homosexuality was even less prevalent than bestiality." (See: Dave Thompson's Black and White and Blue Adult Cinema From the Victorian Age to VCR.)
********* In this regard, it isn't even as blatant as the two-minute-long fragment of the French short Le Coucher de la Marie, which was made by Albert Kirchner in 1886 (a year after films were even introduced) and features a credited "Louise Willy" performing a striptease for an unidentified/uncredited male.

Monday, July 30, 2012

R.I.P.: Richard Hugh Lynch, Pt. II

February 12, 1936 – June 19, 2012


Richard Lynch, an Irish American character actor was found dead on 19 June 2012. He was 76 years of age. His presence was enjoyed in flotsam of all kind, and his numerous appearances in horror, fantasy, science fiction and craptastic films made him a beloved character actor among cult and bad film fans.

Part I of his career review is found here.

Part III of his career review is found here.


The Barbarians
(1987, dir. Ruggero Deodato)
In Richard Lynch's second and last appearance in a feature film from director Deodato is in this perennial cult favorite, The Barbarians, in which he appears as the evil Kadar who, as the Video Vacuum puts it, spends his time "dressed up like Stevie Nicks running around ransacking villages and enslaving hot women." The film stars the spectacularly bad actors and hairy-headed but body-hairless muscle-bound twins Peter and David Paul as "the Barbarian Brothers" Kutchek and Gore. 
Peter and David Paul's cut scene from Natural Born Killers (1994):
(Peter and David Paul limited film career, less impressive than their muscles, includes the films Twin Sitters [1994 / trailer], Double Trouble [1992], Think Big [1989 / trailer] and D.C. Cab [1983 / trailer].) The plot, according to Wikipedia: "A tribe of peaceful travelling entertainers is attacked by the evil tyrant Kadar, who takes their queen Canary (Virginia Bryant of Demons 2 [1986 / trailer]) hostage. Canary, however, manages to hide her magic ruby. Two young twins from the tribe, Kutchek and Gore, bite off two of Kadar's fingers, but Kadar agrees to spare them if Canary becomes his bride. Kutchek and Gore work as slaves for several years and grow up as amazingly strong adults. They eventually escape from Kadar's fortress, and plan to come back and seek revenge. Meanwhile, Kadar tries to find Queen Canary's magic ruby." Michael Berryman is there for the ride, too.

(1987, dir. Lawrence David Foldes)
The first of the only two films in which Richard Lynch appeared with his brother, the actor Barry Lynch (the second being Total Force [1997]). Low-budget trash from the director of, uh, better (as in more fun) low-budget trash like Don't Go Near the Park (1979 / trailer) and Young Warriors (1983 / trailer), starring, as always, has-beens and never-beens that need to pay the rent like Linda Blair (of Hell Night [1981]), Chad McQueen and Cameron Mitchell (of Nightmare in Wax [1969] and Night Train to Terror [1985]). Plot, according to Maltin: "Cornball action film has Blair and fellow youngsters organizing a commando mission to Central America to free a kidnapped daughter of a U.S. senator." The bad guy looks like Fidel Castro, and 'cause the senator is running on an anti-terrorist ticket, he can't reverse his stance and negotiate with Castro for his daughter. So Linda Blair shows up to do her 15 minute appearance as one of the leaders (the others being Lynch and McQueen) of the rescue mission. She never gets naked.
Linda Blair sings Nightforce – I Still Remember:

Little Nikita
(1988, dir. Richard Benjamin)
Lynch takes part in an A-film starring Sidney Poitier and River Phoenix. Plot: Young all-American (Phoenix) finds out that his parents are Soviet sleeper agents from FBI agent Parmenter (Poitier) out to uncover them. Rogue former Russian agent Scuba (Richard Lynch), who killed Parmenter partner 20 years earlier, is trying to shakedown the Ruskies by killing Soviet agents, including sleepers. Soviet spy-catcher, Konstantin Karpov (Richard Bradford) is sent by the Mexican Soviet embassy to take care of Scuba. Scuba and Karpov kidnap Phoenix and take the San Diego trolley to TJ... A very dull mainstream film.

Bad Dreams
(1988, dir. Andrew Fleming)
The directorial debut of the director of the better-known teen witch horror flick, The Craft (1996 / trailer), Bad Dreams stars a young and delectable Jennifer Rubin (of Screamers [1995]) and a likeable Bruce Abbott (of Re-Animator [1985]). The plot, according to Retro Slashers: "Dr Harris (Richard Lynch), leader of the Unity Fields cult, gives his followers a gasoline bath before torching the compound. Love Child Cynthia (Jennifer Rubin) is the only survivor and spends the next thirteen years in a coma. After awakening, Cynthia is placed in the Borderline Personality Group to help her adjust to life in the 80s. Before long, a crispy Harris returns with an offer; join the cult on the other side or he will kill every member of the group. [...]This film has some gore, a large body count, suspense, and a twist ending."

High Stakes
(1989, written & directed by Amos Kollek)
An early film from auteur director Amos Kollek, who 11 years later directed the light-hearted comedy Fast Food Fast Women (2000). Over at TV Guide, Stella Dallas says: "High Stakes is built on three well-worn plot devices: the whore with a heart of gold; Scrooge sees the light; and boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl. Oddly enough, writer-producer-director Amos Kollek makes the combination work reasonably well. Bambi Rose (Sally Kirkland) is a sexy, albeit aging, New York prostitute who is at the mercy of Slim (Richard Lynch), a vicious racketeer pimp. John Stratton (Robert LuPone) is the unprincipled Wall Street financier whose fortunes become intertwined with Bambi's when a mugging leaves him at her doorstep. Together, John and Bambi have more than their share of thrills after Bambi steals $4,000 from one of Slim's henchmen. Kirkland's portrayal of a woman who can hot-wire cars but can't resist exploitative men is touching and believable, LuPone acquits himself well as the profit-hungry heavy hitter who discovers there is more to life than outwitting the ticker tape, and Lynch is intriguingly vicious portraying a character that owes much to Dennis Hopper's Frank Booth in Blue Velvet (1986 / trailer)." First feature film of Sarah Michelle Gellar in which she is given a screen credit.

One Man Force
(1989, written & directed by Dale Trevillion)
The first of three films in which Lynch appeared alongside another great cult character actor, Charles Napier (the other two being the Menahem Golan movies Armstrong [1998] and Lima: Breaking the Silence [1999]). The real star of this film, John Matusak, died the same year that the film came out. Comeuppance Reviews opinions: "One of the best types of films are the 'cop on the edge' ones. You know the ones I'm talking about: The cop gets thrown off the case by his chief and he goes renegade to bring a criminal to justice. [...] One Man Force is one of the best. Every line is a cliché like, 'Get off my back chief!' John Matuszak plays Jake Swan, a no-nonsense cop who doesn't play by the rules, but when his partner is killed, he becomes a One Man Force to stop the bad guys. Matuszak puts in a fun performance as Jake. [...] If you can find a copy, it's definitely one for your collection." Lynch is seen in the trailer, but not named.

(1990, dir. Frank Harris)
Probably the most obscure film of an obscure filmmaker that few people have ever heard of, Lockdown is another bad, by-the-numbers action flick that functions well as a sleeping pill. Director Frank Harris* made two films in 1990 featuring Richard Lynch (perhaps he had a two for one deal or something), this turd and the far more entertainingly stupid sci-fi flick Aftershock (1990). Comeuppance Reviews, which is a great site if you like these kind of films, explains the plot as follows: "Ron Taylor (DeRose) and his partner Maguire (Jeffreys) are detectives in southern California. Using a San Jose chop shop, Valley Auto Dealers, as cover, a new criminal mastermind is causing all sorts of havoc: Garrett (Lynch) is a ruthless killer and car enthusiast who uses his intimidating presence to get what he wants. When he frames Taylor for murder, Taylor is sent to prison, separating him from his wife Monica (Kaitan) and his young daughter. Maguire is pulling out all the stops to try to clear his partner, but now Taylor must survive on the inside. Shanks (Kalpakoff) is the jailhouse baddie, but Taylor makes friends with his cellmate Dieter (Estevez). Will Taylor get revenge and clear his good name?" Regrettably, we couldn't locate a trailer...
*Not to be confused with the writer Frank Harris, the author of the classic "autobiography" My Life and Loves, who died some 59 years earlier.

(1990, dir. Frank Harris)
The Gentlemen's Guide to Midnite Cinema says that "The 1990 post-apocalyptic film Aftershock would appear to have an embarrassment of B-movie riches," but as VHS Exploitation points out, "Michael Berryman playing a cross-dressing mutant punk is reason enough to watch the movie." (Added to that fun sight is muscle-bound Matthias Hues [of Dark Angel (1990 / trailer)] as his sidekick.) And the plot, according to them: "In the wasteland left after WWIII the new world order has emerged victorious in the form of a fascist elite force. To control the spreading radioactive contamination they force all and everyone to register as citizens (slaves) or die. Into this mess of a world a super-intelligent female alien obsessed with vintage dresses lands in search for the American constitution." The fascist forces are led by Commander Eastern (Richard Lynch), ably assisted by his sociopathic second-in-command, Oliver Quinn (the great John Saxon); the blonde space alien babe Sabina with a penchant for house dresses is played by the unknown then as now Elizabeth Kaitan (Nightwish [1990]). As efilm critic says, "This is a nice slice of entertaining junk."
Spanish trailer:

The Forbidden Dance
(1990, dir. Greydon Clark)
Up until Rob Zombie rediscovered Lynch in his twilight years for Halloween (2007) and The Lords of Salem (2012), this was the only film in which the two legendary cult character actors Richard Lynch and Sid Haig (of Black Mama, White Mama [1972] and House of 1000 Corpses [2003]) appeared together – and, regrettably, it is one of the least interesting flick that trash filmmaker Greydon Clark was ever involved in. (Clark is known for his thespian turns in classic trash like Al Adamson's Satan's Sadists (1969 / trailer) and Dracula vs. Frankenstein (1971) and Ray Danton's Psychic Killer (1975 / trailer), amongst others, as well as for directing such craptastic flicks as Tom (1973 / clip), Black Shampoo (1976 / trailer), Satan's Cheerleaders (1977 / trailer), Without Warning (1980 / trailer), Wacko (1982 / trailer), Uninvited (1988 / trailer) and much, much more. The Forbidden Dance, as the title implies, is his lambada film. Nisa (pre-enhanced Laura Harring of Mulholland Drive [2001 / trailer]), the princess of a Brazilian tribe, comes to Los Angeles with her tribal shaman Joa (Sid Haig) in tow to stop an American corporation from destroying her rainforest home. She ends up hooking up with rich boy Jason (Jeff James) to dance their way onto TV to gain recognition of her plight. The corporation's lead bad guy, Benjamin Maxwell (Richard Lynch), kidnaps Nisa in an attempt to stop them from performing... all ends well and everyone dances the lambada while in real life 1.5 acres of the rain forests around the world are lost each second. The Forbidden Dance, by the way, came out as the same time as the film Lambada (trailer), which oddly enough (and unlike The Forbidden Dance) didn't incorporate the song that made the dance famous for 15 minutes.
Kaoma's Lambada – the song that started the fad:

Return to Justice
(1990, dir. Vincent G. Cox)
A totally unknown film from the productive cinematographer Vincent G. Cox that seems to have gone from straight-to-video to immediately-lost-and-forgotten. BFI gives the plot as follows: "Bo Johnson (Griffin O'Neal of April Fool's Day [1986 / trailer] and The Wraith [1986 / trailer]), a young photo-journalist and his girlfriend Angie (Tawny Fere of Rockula [1990 / trailer]) are captured and imprisoned in Columbia, accused of drug-trafficking. Angie's father Jethro (Richard Lynch) will go to any lengths to ensure their release. The plot description at All About Movies, however, differs slightly: "Photo-journalist, Bo Johnson, goes to Colombia on his first assignment. He takes along his girlfriend Angie. During their travels, Bo and Angie are set up by a corrupt army commander (James Ryan) and thrown in jail. Bo is forced to do a drug run for the corrupt army commander while Angie is held hostage. Somewhere in the film, Cameron Mitchell pops up as "Wayne, the pilot" and one of the Queens of Golden Age Porn, Georgina Spelvin, appears as "Ruby".

Invasion Force
(1990, written & directed by David A. Prior)
Action International Pictures (AIP) was an independent (and contemporary) poverty row film production and distribution company founded in 1986 David Winters, David A. Prior and Peter Yuval that specialized in C-to-Z-level trash (examples of their typical films can be found at this collection of VHS covers at the great website Critical Condition). (Winters, mildly familiar as the director of the cult fave The Last Horror Film (1982 / trailer), bought the firm out in 1992 and renamed it West Side Studios [since rebranded as Alpha Beta Films International]). Invasion Force is a typical AIP production, if only with a bit more self-referentially meta-storyline than normal, as can be gleaned from the first sentence of this plot description at imdb by matt-282: "A film company crew from AIP (American International Pictures) is filming a low-budget action film in the woods around Mobile, Alabama. The director, Ben Adams (Walter Cox), is having problems with the budget dragging out and the hot-tempered producer threatening to shut down the project if the filming is not speeded up. The lead actress, Jodi Marshall (Renée Cline), also deals with her horny co-star (David 'Shark' Fralick) and her growing feelings for Ben, both of whom had a romantic fling in the past. But one night, a company of heavily armed soldiers parachute into the area, whom are led by a disgruntled former U.S. Special Forces officer, named Michael Cooper (Richard Lynch) whose mission is to take the city and hold it, and the populace, for ransom. With Ben, Jodi and the rest of the film crew learn of the silent invasion and that the enemy soldiers plan to kill them to prevent them from warning the authorities, the film group decides to take on the invading army all by themselves relying on only their wits." An obscure David 'Shark' Fralick fan website found here says: "I love the opening scene: Shark, shirtless, running through the woods, heavily laden with weapons. This could have been taken right out of one of my daydreams! His lovely chest really deserves mention. I find his nipples quite captivating. This is quite a funny movie." The blogspot Independent Flicks, on the other hand, rates the film "1.5 out of 7," saying: "I liked the plot and Richard Lynch was good but besides that this is a major disappointment and some of the twists and especially the ridiculous twist at the ending fucking suck! I really hate that ending!"

Alligator II: The Mutation
(1991, dir. Jon Hess)
Once again, we must remember that actors have to buy groceries, too. Eleven years after Lewis Teague's entertaining Alligator (1980) comes the unneeded sequel – only it is much less a sequel than a simple direct-to-video remake. It shares none of the same characters or actors of the first film, but the plot is almost exactly the same, only occurring in a generic small town instead of NYC: In the sewers beneath Regent Park, from the chemicals illegally dumped by the local chemicals corp a baby alligator not only mutates to an enormous size but develops an insatiable appetite – and satiates it with humans. Richard Lynch shows up in this film as a more likeable version of the professional hunter that the legendary Henry Silva played in the original. The Video Graveyard says Alligator II: The Mutation is an "Adequate sequel to the campy original [which] has rather unconvincing effects and a lame finale but still manages to be okay if a complete rehash."
First 15 minutes:

Trancers II
(1991, dir. Charles Band)
If we have to explain who Charles Band is, then you're at the wrong blog! Trancers II is, of course, the direct-to-video sequel to the direct-to-video Trancers (1985 / trailer), and was eventually followed by the one and all direct-to-video Trancers III (1992 / trailer), Trancers 4: Jack of Swords (1994 / trailer), Trancers 5: Sudden Deth (1994 / trailer) and Trancers 6 (2002 / trailer) – all which, excepting the last (and worst), starred Tim Thompson (of Fade to Black [1980 / trailer]) as the lead good guy Jack Deth. Trancers II is a typical Full Moon production – see Head of the Family (1996) or Killjoy (2000) or Retro Puppet Master (1999) – but with a slightly more interesting cast than most: aside from Richard Lynch as Dr. Ward, the main bad guy, we have an unknown Helen Hunt as Jack's wife Lena Deth and appearances by Martine Beswick (of Dr Jekyll and Sister Hyde [1971]), Jeffrey Combs and Barbara Crampton (both of whom appeared together in the far better films Castle Freak [1995] and Re-Animator [1985]). As an added attraction, somewhere in the film is Richard's son, Christopher Lynch, in his only known film appearance (he died in 2005 of pneumonia). The plot of Trancers II? Watch the trailer for that...

Puppet Master III: Toulon's Revenge
(1991, dir. David DeCoteau)
Richard Lynch plays an evil Nazi in this instalment of the never-ending Puppet Master franchise; Guy Rolfe (of Mr. Sardonicus [1961 / trailer] and Dolls [1987 / trailer] – the latter film possibly being the inspiration for the first Puppet Master [1989 / trailer]), took over as the Puppet Master Toulin with this film. He died in 1993, which didn't stop the production of the last instalment of the franchise, Puppet Master: Axis of Evil (2010 / trailer), also directed by David DeCoteau. To call David DeCoteau a productive director is a bit of an understatement – films of his that we have seen include Creepoziods (1987) and Blonde Heaven (1994), among others...
The plot to Puppet Master III: Toulon's Revenge, as according to the Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Film Review: "In Berlin in 1941, puppet master Andre Toulon attracts Nazi attention with his puppet show that mocks Adolf Hitler. The German scientist Dr Hess (Ian Abercrombie of Army of Darkness [1992]) is working on a formula to create zombie Storm Troopers. When an officious Nazi adjutant photographs Toulon's living dolls, Hess determines to get the formula used to animate them. When Gestapo Major Kraus (Lynch) goes to apprehend Toulon, Toulon's beloved wife Elsa (Sarah Douglas) is shot. And so Toulon swears revenge against those responsible."

Maximum Force
(1992, dir. Joseph Merhi)
Prolific producer and occasional director Joseph Merhi, who gave up his pizzeria business to enter low budget films, has made few noteworthy films, the most culty being his infamously bad horror flicks The Newlydeads (1987 / trailer), with its tranny killer ghost, and Epitaph (1987 / trailer). Maximum Force is one of the man's many lesser and totally forgotten productions. At imdb, Welshfilmfan of Cardiff, Wales, explains the plot to this "cheesy trash" C-production: "Maxmimum Force 'stars' B-movie regular Sam Jones (of American Strays [1996]) along with Sherrie Rose (as eye candy) & Jason Lively as three renegade cops who are recruited by their Captain (John Saxon) to team up to bring down a big time gangster Max Tanabe (Richard Lynch) who pretty much runs the city and has the Police Dept, including Chief of Police (Mickey Rooney clearly slumming it) in his pocket with bribes." Maxmimum Force is the type of film where bad guys with machine guns shooting non-stop from a helicopter can't hit a running man, but the running man, a good guy, gets the helicopter with his second shot.
Bye-bye helicopter:

Inside Edge
(1992, dirs. Warren Clarke & William Tannen)
One can't have a career in bad films without eventually appearing in a movie with Michael Madsen, as Lynch does here – and he even gets shared star billing! Comeuppance Reviews explains the plot: "Richard Montana (Madsen) is a California detective who always gets himself into big trouble when he goes deep into dangerous situations. When he gets mixed up with Mario Gio (Lynch), an extremely wealthy drug trafficker, and his lady Lisa (Rosie Vela), he gets way more trouble than he bargained for. Gio wants Montana to use his police authority to arrest all his competitors. Montana and Lisa begin hatching a plan of their own. Montana's partner Nealy (Tony Peck) doesn't like any of this one bit, and Montana's rival on the force, Henderson (Branscombe Richmond) has his suspicions. With no one to trust, what will Montana do?" Trivia: Co-director Warren Clarke played Dim, one of the "Droogs" in A Clockwork Orange (1971 / trailer).
Rosie Vela ("Lisa") sings Can't Walk Away From Your Love (from the film) – ouch!:

(1993, written & directed by Paul Hunt)
1993 must have been a hard year for Lynch: he even participated in this, a Paul Hunt film. To simply reuse what we wrote in our review of Paul Hunt's career:
"AKA October 32nd. PG crap co-scripted by Nick McCarty – there's a reason you've never heard of him. Paul Hunt's last directorial endeavor, as always a testament to his talent. He also appears in the film as the Mayor. The guy who played Merlin (Rodney Wood) never made another film after this – are we surprised? Cult actors Richard Lynch and James Hong sleep walk through the film, their careers unscathed – are we surprised? Fantastic Movie Musings & Ramblings explains: "A female reporter discovers that she is the reincarnation of the Lady of the Lake, and she is destined to try to keep the magical sword from falling into the clutches of the evil Pendragon, the son of Mordred. [...] The action sequences are confusing and the storytelling is pretty rotten. Unless you're a big fan of Richard Lynch (who plays Pendragon, pictured below) or James Hong (who plays the Lady's guardian Leong Tao and who should really shave those hairs on his left cheek), there's little reason to bother with this one."
The first 15 minutes for the masochists out there:

Double Threat
(1993, written & directed by David A. Prior)
Richard Lynch in another David A. Prior flick featuring that still-handsome ham known as Andrew Stevens (of The Terror Within II [1991]). At imdb, Anthony from Ocala, Florida, explains the film: "Aging sex kitten Monica Martel (Sally Kirkland) is having a tough time. Her boyfriend, gigolo Eric (Stevens) is messing around with her young body double, her career is on the skids, her 'comeback' movie is not going well, and, oh yeah, someone wants her dead. Bad acting, bad cinematography and the same 'ka-ching' song throughout the film makes... a fun flick? Oh yes. High drama and campy acting makes for a good 'bad movie we love.' One of the many 'erotic thrillers' actor/producer Andrew Stevens put out in the late 80s and early 90s." Joe Bob Brigs also points out another fun thing about the movie: "And, as if that weren't enough, Richard Lynch shows up! The ugliest man in the movies is a GOOD GUY in this thing. He's a cop. He doesn't torture a kitten or impale a teenager on a spiked pole or ANYTHING. He's actually HONEST. What a bummer."

(1993, written & directed by Leo Fong)
If there is anyone out there on the web that might have seen an action film no matter how obscure, then it's the folks at Comeuppance Reviews, who say that "If you can't get enough Leo Fong or AIP silliness, you can't go wrong with Showdown." They give the plot of Showdown as follows: "Kincade (Werner Hoetzinger) is the leader of an evil biker gang that's involved in everything from drugs to burglary to murder. After stealing some money from a racetrack, the gang finds a little town in rural Nevada with a population of 500 people named Sanctuary. Once there, they start terrorizing the townsfolk and causing all kinds of mayhem. The Commander (Lynch) needs help ridding his town of these people, so he calls in a Martial Arts instructor named James Long (Fong). They team up with Mickey (Michelle McCormick of Fatal Pulse [1988 / trailer]), a young girl whose father was murdered by the gang. But Sanctuary is named 'Sanctuary' because it is filled with old retired gangsters, mobsters and criminals, and for some reason, federal, state and local laws do not apply there. So it's going to be an uphill battle, but who will come out victorious at the end of the Showdown?" Supposedly Troy Donahue can be found somewhere in the film...
First 15 minutes of the film:

Necronomicon: Book of Dead
(1993, dirs. Christophe Gans, Brian Yuzna & Shûsuke Kaneko)
An anthology film with three tales and a wrap-around segment; Brian Yuzna (the director of Progeny [1999] and Rottweiler [2004], among many good and bad but usually interesting films) was already a name when this film was made, but Christophe Gans hadn't yet even done his first film yet, the mildly interesting Crying Freeman (1995 / trailer), much less the excellent Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001 / trailer) or passably entertaining Silent Hill (2006 / trailer). Shûsuke Kaneko had already done a yitload of films, before and since, but we here at A Wasted Life haven't seen any of them. We did, however, see Necronomicon: Book of Dead when the direct-to-video release first came out, and not only did the special effects blow us away, but Brian Yuzna's segment Whispers sucker-punched us. In a case of wink-wink casting, Jeffrey Combs is miscast as a twitchy, almost action-hero-like H.P. Lovecraft in the wrap-around segment, who finds a guarded copy of the Necronomicon in a library. As he reads the book, the three main tails – Gans's The Drowned, Kaneko's The Cold and the previously mention Whispers – unfold before his and our eyes. Richard Lynch plays Jethro De Lapoer in The Drowned, who dies in the pre-story that leads up to the main events of the segment, which is one of special effects overkill. Necronomicon: Book of Dead is heartily recommended by us here at A Wasted Life.

(1994, written & directed by Sean P. Donahue)
The directorial debut of Sean P. Donahue, who also stars in the flick, which he wrote, produced, etc. etc. etc. You can buy it from his father's production company, which is also about the only place online that offers a plot outline to the Z-film: "While on a hunting trip, two friends witness a gangland style execution by Mr. Caine (Richard Lynch), a diamond smuggler. Garret (Sean P. Donahue) and Paulie then become the hunted. Paulie is killed and Garret vows to avenge his friends death." Going by the trailer, Richard Lynch is the best thing in the entire production.

Scanner Cop
(1994, dir. Pierre David)
Canadian Pierre David has produced an untold number of good and bad genre films, including such fun stuff as Wishmaster (1997 / trailer), The Dentist (1996 / trailer), Videodrome (1983 / trailer), Scanners (1981 / trailer) and The Brood (1979 / trailer). He's also directed exactly two films to date: Serial Killer (1995 / trailer), which features a walk-on by the iconic Pam Grier (of Coffy [1973] and Bones [2001]) and stars the then-unknown Toby Bell as a psycho killer, and this film, Scanner Cop, a spin-off from the Scanners franchise. The plot synopsis, from blogspot Cool Target, which says the flick "is a decent sci-fi cop thriller": "Rescued by a kindly police officer from his out of control Scanner dad, Samuel Staziak (Daniel Quinn) grows up to be a cop. Learning to suppress and control his Scanner abilities (reading minds, controlling people's actions), Staziak just wants to lead a normal life. However, the evil Dr. Carl Glock (Lynch) disrupts these plans with his plot to wipe out the L.A. Police Force through mind control. This forces Staziak to unleash his Scanner abilities to prevent Glock's plan."

Cyborg 3: The Recycler
(1994, dir Michael Schroeder)

Millitant Love Baby's track Amazing Grace to Cyborg 3:
The last of the Cyborg trilogy, preceded by Cyborg (1989 / trailer) and the Angelina Jolie film, Cyborg 2 (1993 / trailer), the latter of which was also directed by Michael Schroeder (the man behind the far more entertaining trash horror flick Out of the Dark [1988 / trailer]). Angelina Jolie's character, Cash, is in this film, too, but now she's played by Khrystyne Haje. Over at the Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Film Review, Richard Scheib explains the plot: "The cyborg Cash goes to a wasteland doctor, wanting to know why her power circuits are being drained, only to learn that she is pregnant. She is then hunted by Anton Llewellyn (Lynch), a Recycler who harvests cyborgs to sell their spare parts, who becomes even more interested in her when he learns of the baby. Aided by the reclusive cybernetic designer Evans (Zach Galligan of Infested [2002]), Cash heads in search of the mythical cyborg refuge Cytown. As Llewellyn and his mercenaries mount an onslaught on Cytown, Evans and Cash become the last hope of the town's broken-down cyborgs." Malcolm McDowell hogs the poster below, but is gone after 15 minutes. The blog Blood Brothers Film Reviews says that "Cyborg 3 is by the far the rarest film in the so-called Cyborg trilogy. It got a very limited VHS release with the title Cyborg 3: The Recycler and just recently got a DVD release despite the first two entries being available for more than a decade. Trust me... there's a reason. I never thought I would ask such an asinine statement but where is Albert Pyun when you need him?"
Fan trailer set to Millitant Love Baby's 2nd song to Cyborg 3:

Death Match
(1994, dir. Joe Coppoletta)
At imdb, theflyingninja from Darlington, England, says that Death Match is "another of the endless amount of cookie-cutter 'Kickboxers Fight to the Death for the Amusement of Wealthy Scumbags' films that there were so many of in the 90s... Y'know, the ones created by taking the words 'Death', 'Blood' and 'Steel' and the words 'Ring', 'Fight', 'Match' and 'Cage' and putting them in a random word generator. Saying that though, Death Match is a very good entry in the over-used genre, thanks to its exciting fight scenes and the surprisingly good acting of its kickboxer cast." And, of course, Comeuppance Reviews has seen the film and is able to explain the plot: "John Larson (Jacklin) and Nick Wallace (Hill) are just two blue-collar dock workers trying to make their living the old-fashioned way – by working hard. Their longshoreman jobs take them all around the country, and they end up in L.A. where Nick tries to make some extra bucks fighting in... wait for it... illegal, underground punch/kickfighting cage matches to the death! Did you think it would be some sort of computer game contest? Anyway, Nick starts fighting for the evil, unscrupulous fight promoter [...] Paul Landis (Kove) and his associate/main fighter Mark Vanik (Hues). Unbeknownst to Nick, these guys are, well, evil and unscrupulous, and they expect the winners of their fights to kill, and the losers of their fights to die. Seeing as Nick is a nice guy and doesn't have that killer instinct, he refuses to kill his opponent in the ring. So naturally, after a brutal punch to the face by Vanik, they imprison him on their personal boat. [...] When Larson gets word that his buddy hooked up with Landis' organization and is now missing, he goes on the hunt for him. Of course this means that he has to join Landis' group and fight in order to get closer to the truth. Luckily, he was a former kickboxing champion that gave it up years ago." Richard Lynch is there somewhere – and in the trailer.

Terminal Virus
(1995, dir. Dan Golden)
Fun post-apocalyptic trash from the director of such Oscar-worthy, straight-to-video projects as Burial of the Rats (1995 / trailer), The Haunted Sea (1997 / trailer) and Satanic (2006 / trailer); produced by the great Roger Corman and also great but less well known Cirio H. Santiago. This film is fun. The plot, as explained by Concorde – New Horizons: "In a barren future, a mysterious virus has made sex and childbirth fatal, and men and women have separated into armed camps at war. The last survivor of a colony, which has perfected a cure, tries to cut through the hatred and paranoia in order to restart humanity." (That translates into cheap trash with lots of explosions and boobs.) Richard Lynch chews the scenery and James Brolin has a hard time not laughing in a film that fans of true trash everywhere are sure to enjoy. As Absolute Horror explains, Terminal Virus is basically about a "virus [that] somehow makes the women wear incredibly skimpy clothing and take showers together": "None of it makes much sense, but I do know that I enjoyed the sheer lunacy of it. The random gunplay. The gratuitous nudity. [...] Terminal Virus is certainly Terminal Crap, but dang nabbit, it was a good time nonetheless."

(1995, dir. James Merendino)

Trailer till Terrified från rstvideos trailerarkiv.
Amazon.com offers the following plot description of this film AKA Tough Guy & Evil Never Sleeps: "Olive (Heather Graham) watches in terror as her husband first kills her lover and then himself. Olive's life becomes increasingly traumatic when she finds herself the victim of a stalker – a shadowy figure who appears at night, assaulting her without warning and then disappearing without a trace. Olive's desperate pleas for help go unnoticed by everyone, including the police, and her best friend Pearl (Lisa Zane) dismisses her fears as mere paranoia. But once they visit a battered Olive in the hospital, they start to believe her story." Lynch has a teeny part as an office worker – "Office Worker #2," to be exact. Bad Movie Night says "[...] Terrified is certainly a grade-Z variation of Repulsion (1965 / trailer). I don't know if it was done as homage or spoof. But either way, it wasn't done particularly well." Carrie-Anne Moss appears in passing, but you know how DVD box cover credits change with success...
Badly acted thespian scene from Terrified:

Terrified / 1995 von nyad3

Dragon Fury
(1995, written & directed by David Heavener)
Dragon Fury is about a warrior (Robert Chapin) from a post-apocalyptic, neo-middle ages world of the future – 2099 – who returns to 1999 in search of a cure for a disease of the future known as "The Plague" (toss the neo-middle ages part, and you could say that a slightly similar idea was used the same year for the much better sci-fi classic, 12 Monkeys [1995 / trailer]). Over at Amazon.com, Zorikh Lequidre explains the appeal of Dragon Fury: "The sets in the future are obviously someone's back yard. The fight choreography is blatant and poorly edited. The acting ranges from almost competent to woeful, and is not helped by the weak material. The director himself plays a guy about to enjoy his wedding night when the female hero from the future, inexplicably topless, appears in his bed. This level of sophistication infuses the whole production." According to his bio on imdb, director David Heavener doesn't just act in and make bad movies, he's also a martial artist and "a composer and performer of Christian music." The last might explain his penchant for naked boobs and cheesy violence in his extremely low budget but (sometimes) fun-in-a-retarded-way films. Richard Lynch gets star billing on the DVD cover – guess which version we like more: the version above, or the one below...
Destination Vegas
(1995, dir. Paul Wynne)
An early film from independent grade-Z filmmaker Paul Wynne, whose last direct-to-video project, the sci-fi horror flick Alien 51 (2004 / trailer), is noteworthy only for starring Heidi Fleiss – a casting choice worthy of John Waters. As virtually no one who has actually ever watched this flick has done more than simply slag off about how bad it is, we turn to Amazon.com for a plot synopsis: "Beautiful young attorney Missy (Jennifer Sommerfield) is targeted by two hit men after she discovers that a powerful client is guilty of murder. In order to avoid her relentless pursuers, Sommerfield carjacks a drifter's wheels, but her "victim" turns out to be a getaway car driver who joins her in a wild chase across the desert. Race-against-time actioner also features Richard Lynch."

Midnight Confessions
(1995, dir. Allan Shustak)
An "erotic thriller" available in two versions, one with a lot of skin, one without. Lots of silicon in this flick, that's for sure, despite the fact that DVD box cover girl Julie Strain – she and her gravity-defying orbs were used as the template for the stacked Amazonian heroine of Heavy Metal 2000 (2000) and she changes outfits a dozen times in the snoozer Blonde Heaven (1994) – is in the flick for all of three or four minutes. Richard Lynch is a good guy for a change, Detective Harris. Plot? Who needs a plot in a film with as many tits as this in flick? Oddly enough, however, there actually is a plot between the nude and sex scenes: Vanessa (Carol Hoyt) is a late-night talk radio host whose show is devoted to sex. She catches the eye of a nutcase offing prostitutes...

(1996, written & directed by George Saunders)
Another independent production picked up by Troma, the purveyors of fine trash. Plot: Jack (George Saunders) and Jennifer Mason (Vanessa Georgio), were two happily married homicide detectives in Los Angeles with a darling daughter. But then their ten-year-old daughter was raped and murdered, and the person who did it is never caught. The tragedy divides the couple, and the now-volatile Jack now spends his free time in bed with another fellow officer Trish Anderson (Monica Baber), who works in the rape division. When a serial killer starts killing and murdering rapists, Jack and Jennifer's investigation, assisted by Dr. Carl Steiner (Joey Travolta of To the Limit [1995]), leads Jack to believe that the killer may be someone very close to him.... Richard Lynch is on hand as Dr. David Wilson. DVD Verdict says: "This movie is horrible, but horrible in the way where it is a joy to mock. The acting is amateurish, there are some hilarious filming gaffes, the writing is grade-school-recess quality, and the overall look and feel is two notches above home movies."
Full film:

(1996, dir. Tony Zarindast)
The best thing of the film – its theme:
Aka Arizona Werewolf. Video Vacuum, which says that "As a general rule, I usually don't like to use the word 'retarded' when describing a movie" describes this film as "retarded." Mystery Science Theater 3000 took on this direct-to-video film in 1998 – justly so. We're talking 'bout really bad, here – bad enough to be hilarious even without any MST3K commentary. Imdb says that the Iran-born director Tony Zarindast is known as "the Persian Ed Wood" – going by this film, we totally believe it. Werewolf is wonderfully terrible movie: a film made in total seriousness that is so bad on every level that it achieves – just like a real Ed Wood film – a surreal otherworldliness. The only thing Werewolf is missing that would have made it perfect is a man wearing a woman's cashmere sweater. The plot, as explained by Direct to Video Connoisseur: "Werewolf takes place in Flagstaff, Arizona, where some archaeologists led by Richard Lynch find what looks like a werewolf skeleton. Joe Estevez is one of a few local Native Americans hired by Lynch and his archaeologists – and physically attacked by his ill-tempered colleague – and he sees bad things in this skeleton, and he's right when his buddy turns into a werewolf, too. Then some dude comes into town, and he's also attacked by Lynch's ill-tempered colleague, getting slashed by the werewolf skull. As you can imagine, he turns into a werewolf too, and all hell breaks loose." The above description fails to mention that there's a love triangle interwoven that leads up to the hilarious twist ending...

Diamond Run
(1996, Director: David Giancola)
David Giancola, the Vermont-based independent director that made this film has the honor of having directed Anna Nicole Smith's last movie, the comedy Illegal Aliens (2007 / trailer). According to imdb, Diamond Run plays somewhere in the background of the entertaining satire Series 7: The Contenders (2001). Rsoonsa (rsoonsa@bandbbooks.com) of Mountain Mesa, California, seems to be the only person who has ever seen this film, and to edit the plot description that (s)he so nicely supplied both imdb and Amazon, Diamond Run opens in Manhattan where "a band of former Viet Nam veterans, supervised by their erstwhile military field commander, Sloan (Richard Lynch), is in the process of robbing a jewellery store [...] providing sanctuary for 150 million dollars of cut diamonds, contained within a briefcase. A two-man team of New York Police Department intercepts the heist, with a detective along with several of the robbers dying during a resultant shootout, while an unknown female (Linda Ljoka) takes the diamond laden briefcase and flees. [...] The surviving detective, Jack Cates (Michael J. Valentine), makes things even more awkward for the bandits: as Cates has had two of his on duty partners slain by members of the Sloan operation, he vengefully becomes a rogue cop following a spoor into Vermont where he links up with the mysterious female [...], Megan Marlow, and the two of them reluctantly conjoin as they become, in turn, prey of Sloan's minions who are chasing them, all this while the detective mulls over whether he should arrest the woman for the theft or, instead, delve into why Megan apparently matches his loathing for Sloan."
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