Some salacious fare came to the silver screen in the 1950s, with filmmakers pushing the boundaries of acceptability as they supplied seedy movie theaters with short films of scantily-clad women. This extensive compilation gathers some notable contributions to the "nudie cutie" genre, including plenty of nude and near-nude shorts.
The Curse of Nostradamus, La malédiction de Nostradamus
Street Date 31/10/2006
Publisher: Cinetu |
The Curse of Nostradamus is the first of four features edited together from chapters of a Mexican horror serial about the escapades of a vampire nobleman (German Robles) who is a descendant of legendary doomsayer Nostradamus. With the help of a hunchbacked manservant, the nobleman schemes to set devious traps for his enemies, including one for the skeptical scholar who first begins to connect historical accounts of Nostradamus with vampire myth. The producers of the original serial pay a faithful homage to Tod Browning's Dracula -- a bit too faithful, in fact, as they frequently lapse into horror clichés that had become old hat by the late '50s with the advent of the Hammer vampire series. The Curse of Nostradamus was followed by The Blood of Nostradamus, Monster Demolisher and Genie of Darkness
Robert Stack and Dorothy Malone play a married couple taking a pleasant ocean voyage. Alas, their ship is scuttled by a boiler-room explosion, which takes place even before the opening credits have faded. While the other passengers scurry to safety, Malone falls through a weakened floor and is helplessly trapped. Stack stays behind, determined to extricate his spouse before she is drowned by the rising waters. To achieve total authenticity, the filmmakers purchased the obsolete French liner Ile de France and smashed up the old tub sufficiently to convince the audience that the vessel was in imminent danger of sinking below the waves (the final sinking scene was actually shot on a sound stage; after all, Dorothy Malone was not that expendable).
Shocking, outrageous, and poetic, Jigoku (Hell) is the most innovative creation from Nobuo Nakagawa, the father of the Japanese horror film. After a young theology student flees a hit-and-run accident, he is plagued by both his own guilt-ridden conscience and a mysterious, diabolical doppelganger. And in the gloriously gory final third of the film, Nakagawa offers up his vision of the underworld in a tour-de-force of torture and degradation. A striking departure from traditional Japanese ghost stories, Jigoku, with its truly eye-popping (and gouging) imagery, created aftershocks that are still reverberating in cinema around the world today.
Deserted by their father and left orphaned by their mother's death, nine-year-old Pablo and his little sister Maria refuse to be separated from each other by their caretaker aunt. With a cross as their guide, they embark on a perilous, but ultimately rewarding adventure in search of a mystical gem that holds the key to happiness. They escape the fearsome metal hook of a pirate and are helped by a delightfully drunken Captain in their quest for the magic stone.
When Steve Reeves caused a sensation in Hercules, Italian producers were quick to search for other American actors to fill the beefcake quota in sword-and-sandal films. One of the first of these was Mark Forest, a Brooklyn-born bodybuilder known as "The Adonis with the Perfect Physique," who went on to make a dozen mythical muscleman movies. In one of the best, Son of Samson, he shows up in the ancient Egyptian city of Tanis where the evil Queen Smedes (Folies Bergere dancer Chelo Alonso) is making it tough for the common folk. A spectacular tale of strength and seduction, presented in lustrous color and scope with the original theatrical trailer! PLUS a bonus feature, Son of Cleopatra, in which Mark Damon (the young romantic lead of Roger Corman's House of Usher) stars as El Kabir, an Egyptian Robin Hood who fights for his people against the oppressive rule of Rome. Co-starring Italian bombshell Scilla Gablel (Mill of the Stone Women). Three hours of bicep-straining action on one special two-sided DVD!
Three cult classics from the legendary Roger Corman! In 1960, the producer/director set sail for the sunny island of Puerto Rico, where the lush, tropical paradise offered a unique backdrop for three drive-in favorites. Featuring the long-awaited restoration of the rarely seen 35mm color, letterboxed theatrical version of Last Woman on Earth, an apocalyptic drive-in favorite in which two men and one woman skindiving off the coast of Puero Rico surface to discover that an oxygen shortage has wiped out humanity! Featuring a new commentary track with stars Betsy Jones-Moreland and Anthony Carbone, the original 35mm color theatrical trailer and bonus shot-for-TV scenes. Plus: The original letterboxed theatrical version of Creature from the Haunted Sea, a creature feature chiller in which criminals cashing in on a tropical revolution get more than they bargained for when a monstrous sea menace interferes with their plans. Featuring audio commentary by Jones-Morland and Carbone, additional shot-for-TV scenes directed by Monte Hellman, and the original theatrical trailer. And: The theatrical version of Battle of Blood Island, a riveting tale of survival in which two American GIs remaining after a Japanese onslaught fight to stay alive and evade the enemy. Featuring audio commentary by Director Joel M. Rapp and shot-for-TV scenes. Additional features include an image gallery and a collection of Roger Corman trailers, including Beast with a Million Eyes, Not of This Earth, Wasp Woman, A Bucket of Blood, Teenage Doll and Attack of the Crab Monsters.
The renowned Li Li-hua, who had already starred in more than fifty films, gives a magnificent performance as Wu Tse-tien, the most famous woman in China's more than four thousand year history. The screen fairly bursts with royalty, intrigue, tragedy, and triumph as the script charts her from her teenage years to her old age all beautifully photographed by Japanese cinematographer T. Nishimoto. The glorious pagentry was awarded Honourable Mention For Drama at the Golden Horse Awards.
Shaw Brothers really pulled out the stops for this star-studded drama with every major director and star on their roster. Fan Chia-soo (Kwan Shan) is a kind-hearted student whose heart is captured by the sweet song of Shen Feng-hsien (Li Li-hua). However, he is not the only one who has eyes for Shen. The General's henchmen are also determined to present the songstress to their superior as a gift. Fan received help from an unexpected quarter to save the woman he loves.
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