"Sitting Ducks"

Sitting Ducks (1980) is an ultra low budget indie from director Henry Jaglom, hailed as a genius of independent film makers. I saw this several years ago on vhs, and was not impressed. In fact, I had forgotten what the film was when I ordered it, or I probably wouldn't have bothered. This time through, I enjoyed it, mainly because I liked the characters. Don't get me wrong ... this is not a masterpiece of film making, but it is an entertaining movie. Michael Emil is a Woody-Allen-esque character but more neurotic who works as an accountant for the mob in New York. He and Zack Norman steal a days take from bookmaking, and head for Florida in a limo, where they intend to disappear to Costa Rica with their $750 grand.

They are not suspicious when they gain a chauffeur at a rest stop, or two women at a Holiday Inn, but thinks they are getting away clean. The mob realized what they were up to before the crime, but wanted to see who was in on it with them, and didn't know where they hid the money. So Norman and Emil are sitting ducks, and don't even realize it.

Patrice Townsend, as one of the two women that joins them, shows breasts and buns in two sex scenes. IMDB readers have this at 5.8 of 10. I liked Patrice Townsend, who, unfortunately, only appeared in one other film. By the time the film was over, I was routing for Norman and Emil, the two dumb schmucks who thought it would be easy to rip off the mob. This is a C-, a good enough comedy if you are in the right mood.

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  • Patrice Townsend (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18)

    "Salon Kitty" revisited

    Jr. here, offering a very humble apology to all the Tinto Brass fans. Yesterday I made a really stupid mistake and deleted a few files. So here they are, along with the complete collection of thumbnails to help you enjoy all of Tuna's 'caps from this movie.

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  • Rosemarie Lindt (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

  • Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)

    Les Biches (1968):

    Les Biches is another stylish, static film from Claude Chabrol, a man often called the French Hitchcock, although for reasons usually indecipherable to me.

    Chabrol's wife, Stephane Audran, plays a bored rich woman from St Tropez who seems to spend her entire life trying to pick up sexual partners of both sexes. On a trip to Paris, she picks up a female street artist and brings her back to the St. Tropez estate. During their stay in the South, both women become interested in an architect, who sleeps first with the young street artist, then the older woman. When the younger woman realizes that both of her lovers, male and female, have abandoned her to make love to one another, she sits outside their bedroom door and listens to their coupling. She is later horrified to find that the two of them have fled to Paris and left her behind in the St Tropez house.

    She follows the couple to Paris, and ...

    Well, I guess that's the suspenseful part of the film, so I can't reveal the denouement.

    The most amusing thing about this film is not the film itself, but the praise lavished on it by those who defend it, which surely must contend with the defenses of "L'Avventura" and "Picnic at Hanging Rock" for the honor of being the most strained justification in film history. (According to its defenders, Picnic Rock is brilliant because nothing ever happens, yet you keep expecting something to happen, so you assume that certain details are important, although they turn out to be routine coincidences. L'Avventura is brilliant because it completely drops the entire main storyline about 2/3 of the way through the film, thus providing a masterful criticism of those shallow filmmakers who feel a need for sane, coherent thought, while showing how unimportant is a single person's story in the unending cosmos.)

    The logic behind the defenses of Les Biches is similar:

    • Since virtually nothing happens in Les Biches, some critics view it as a masterful subversion of those callow, bourgeois filmmakers who feel a need to have stuff happen.

    • Another critic offered the observation that the fact that nothing happens for the first 93 minutes makes it that much more exciting when something does happen in the last minute. The suspense builds like pre-orgasmic sexual tension as we keep wondering if anything will ever happen.

    One reviewer gave it four stars out of four, with these comments:

    Les Biches is incredibly ambiguous, doesn't have much plot or even dialogue, and creeps along. The film has a lot of moods and styles, but you can't figure it out or classify it. You almost don't realize what is happening because it sweeps you along without telling you where you are going or what is important. It's not a long film, and most of what we see and hear seems inconsequential. Much of what makes it interesting is wanting to crack the film, to know what it's really about and if there's a reason behind the inclusion of the seemingly unimportant and the exclusion of all the pertinent details.

    Whoa! I get it. Wow - masterful. By making a really sucky film, I could offer the ultimate intellectual criticism of those empty filmmakers who feel they have to provide enlightenment or entertainment to make the audience feel justified spending two hours with them. How shallow those fools are, who think that they should present a fast-paced story through the important and relevant details.

    The obviously brilliant alternative is to present a torpid meandering stroll through inconsequential details. Genius, sheer genius!

    The film does have some strengths. Audran makes her pointless, meandering walks around some of France's most evocative locales in Vogue's then-chicest line of clothing, so the sights and sounds are tres elegant. I guess you get a feeling for "anomie", "ennui", and the other words universally applied to empty, idle European lives.

    Ultimately, however, Chabrol fails to rise to the oldest challenge filmmakers have faced in their craft. If you wish to make a film about ennui-laden lives of anomie, how do you portray that on screen without making the film itself aimless and boring? Like many European filmmakers who have tried, he managed to show us how pointless and boring their lives are, but how many of you would like to sit through a couple of hours watching people whose lives are pointless and boring?

    Hands, please? I don't see many hands.

    Mine are down as well. C-.

    There is virtually no nudity.



    Fear of a Black Hat (1993):

    Maybe you've wondered to yourself why This is Spinal Tap hasn't been imitated, since it was obviously a very effective format. It fact, it has been imitated, and very well, although the best clone came and went without much fanfare.

    Fear of a Black Hat is almost identical to Spinal Tap in style and format, with the greatest difference in the two films being the difference between the two styles of music being lampooned. While Spinal Tap went after the white boy geek-chic of the heavy metal culture, Fear of a Black Hat zooms in on the world of rap.

    It is actually a mockumentary in the guise of a student documentarian's chronicle of her life on the road with NWH (Niggaz Wit Hats), a popular gangsta group featuring Tone Def, Ice Cold, and Tas-T Taste. The group has a whole hat philosophy going for them. Imagine, if you will, pictures of America before the Civil War, and you'll conjure up images of doughy, pasty-faced white men in gigantic tricorner hats while black men work the fields in the bright sun, hatless. The black male's current obsession with hats is a bold rejection of the hatless nature of the culture of enslavement. Or so the group contends. Their philosophy leads to an astounding collection of hats, which they wear in their private lives as well as in concerts: pirate hats, Dr. Seuss hats, sports caps, military hats, fedoras, yarmulkes, berets, you name it. A hat for every occasion.

    Along the way, we see the rivalry between rap groups for the most street cred. One group outs a "gangsta" from another group with his high school pictures, revealing him to have been editor of the yearbook, and a "rich ass, prep school, coat and tie, checkered pants wearin' mothafucka". We see two groups of rappers speak to school kids as members of RAV, "rappers against violence". They begin the lecture by showing the children a video entitled "A Gangsta's Life Ain't Fun", which shows the joyless gangstas enjoying prosperity, fancy clothes and topless women. They end the lecture with a gun battle between rival rap groups, while the petrified children and their teacher flee for their lives.

    Anti-violent rapper Tas-T Taste has the world's largest private collection of unregistered weapons, and even owns a bazooka. His ultimate claim to street cred is that he's the only rapper who can show a bazooka wound when those other pussies are showing their wimpy knife and gunshot scars.

    There is a also white rapper on the scene. Although the guy is named Vanilla Sherbet, he is nothing like Vanilla Ice, but is just about a perfect evocation of Eminem, even though ol Slim Shady was not yet in the national hip-hop scene when this movie was made. He's not the only white guy in the film. Their are record company executives trying desperately to be "def", and NWH also employs white managers. Many other black people criticize them for not hiring brothers to be their managers, but since their last six managers have been shot to death, they view hiring white men to be a service to the black community.

    Although Fear of a Black Hat never found an audience in its theatrical run, it is now quite a cult favorite, and NWH, the mock rap group in the film, even has its own funny web site.

    Its a really funny movie, and the DVD is even more fun. Rusty Cundieff, who wrote, directed, and starred in the film, also does a full-length commentary. There are 14 deleted or expanded scenes and 12 full-length rap videos. There are outrageous interviews. There are also English-language subtitles which allow the audience to see all the words of the songs, and to follow all of the jokes even when they are delivered in heavy dialect.

    C+. Not for everyone, but this movie is one funny-ass mothafucka.

    • Dominique Simone and Alicia Rio (1, 2)
    • Rosemarie Jackson (1, 2)
    • unknown booties (1, 2)




    Other crap archives. May also include newer material than the ones above, since it's sorta in real time.



    Here are the latest movie reviews available at

    • The yellow asterisks indicate that I wrote the review, and am deluded into thinking it includes humor.
    • If there is a white asterisk, it means that there isn't any significant humor, but I inexplicably determined there might be something else of interest.
    • A blue asterisk indicates the review is written by Tuna (or Lawdog or Junior or C2000 or Realist or ICMS or Mick Locke, or somebody else besides me)
    • If there is no asterisk, I wrote it, but am too ashamed to admit it.

    'Caps and comments by Dann:

    "The Real Cancun"

    If you're expecting a well-produced version of Girls Gone Wild, avoid this 2003 Documentary/Reality movie about spring break in Cancun. You'll get only 5 minutes of GGW flashing/hell-raising scenes, sometimes only two or three frames at a time.

    The other 85 minutes is a bunch of spoiled-brat teens and post-teens bitching about relationships, each other, and their superficial views on life in general.

    One of the spring breakers said in the film, "I just want to see some boobies." Well, guess what, Dude, you're in the wrong film.

    The GGW guys got it right: if you want to show spring break, show the flashing boobs, gratuitous sex, and general hell-raising. These producers got it wrong; it's boring as hell except for that aforementioned 5 minutes, scattered all through the film.

    If there was ever a case of the best parts of a film being left on the cutting room floor, this film would probably be a prime example. The reason I had such a problem with the film is that it's really out of context. Most people on spring break do things that they never have and never will do again. By minimizing the partying and trying to make it about relationships, they really failed to show "The Real Cancun".

    'Caps and comments by Hankster:

    Today we have 2 sexy ladies for you.

    First up is veteran B-Movie babe Julie Strain showing off the pseudo-boobs in 1999's "Rowdy Girls". I never get tired off looking at this great looking lady.

    • Julie Strain (1, 2, 3, 4)

    Then we have the beautiful Jewel on a recent episode of "Last Call". A really nice short skirt that shows off her great legs and a little cleavage.

    Some odds n' ends today...

    First up, Rene Russo in a dark, but very sweaty sex scene from the 1999 remake of "The Thomas Crown Affair". Not an easy scene to work with, but I think these came out pretty well.

    • Rene Russo (1, 2)

    Next up...a miniscule sample of the nudity from "Emmanuelle: A World of Desire" aka "Emmanuelle in Space" aka "Emmanuelle: Queen of the Galaxy". This DVD is not really a movie, but rather a collection of several of the 'Emmanuelle in Space' episodes that ran on Skinemax. The star of the series of course is Krista Allen...back before she became a "legitimate" actress and stopped taking her clothes off.

    Paulina Monet
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16)

    Showing off her robo-hooters in a lesbian scene from her one and only IMDb film credit, "Caress of the Vampire" (1996). 'Caps by Señor Skin.