Sunday, March 30, 2014

Esoterica VI

More random acts of randomness coming up!

 We start off with an ad for the home video release of Monty Python's The Meaning of Life.  The ad, it must be said, is better than the film.  The group was about to come to an end and the material is not an example of them at their most inspired.
 I like this simply for the rather desperate ad copy more or less begging you to buy or rent the third Porky's movie by selling it as a tasty meal.  Even the pig on the photo looks like he has his doubts. 

 I discovered this gem a few months back while on a bit of a kung fu binge.  In Return of the Tiger, Bruce Lee imitator (though he was good enough to not really need that gimmick) Bruce Li is a government agent looking to take down the drug dealing empire of Paul Smith (Bluto from the Popeye movie though here he is billed as "The Torturer from Midnight Express").  The film probably runs a few minutes longer than it really needs to but Smith is a fun villain, Li is a solid action hero (billed as "The Tiger" as opposed to Bruce Lee being "The Dragon") and the action scenes are quite excellent.

 Great comedy special from 1982 that sees Robin Williams at the height of his comedic skill, though his more recent HBO stuff is more refined.  Here though, he's at his manic peak, improvising wildly, sweating heavily and going off on bizarre riffs like there's no tomorrow (I think he was still on cocaine at the time).  This one never fails to have me in hysterics.

 This might be one of my favorite Star Wars comics.  From the Marvel run of the early 80's, this tale sees Princess Leia looking to purchase some ships only for Darth Vader to turn up with some goons to try and kill one of her comrades (not Luke, Han or Chewbacca but some random guy who has never been seen before or since).  After some twists and turns, both Leia and Vader try and out-con each other with Leia getting her ships and Vader managing to con the princess out of some priceless jewels.  It's a sly, fun bit of storytelling that is quite entertaining.

Let's end with two re-releases of titles from New World Home Video.  Like Media Home Video and Video Treasures, New World had a budget label, in this case Starmaker who would later turn into Anchor Bay Entertainment, one of my favorite DVD distributors.  Starmaker put out a few tapes (partnering with another distributor) under a Collector's Edition Gold Series banner which contained not only the movie but also trailers, TV spots and the occasional batch of interviews.

 I don't have much to say about the movie (when I do the pieces on movies from 1987, it'll be a bit of a chore, this one) but I do find it amusing that even the makers of the tape just said "To hell with it, just put the stuff on the other tapes on this one, nobody will care."

 Hellraiser and its sequel got better treatment though.  Come to think of it, I nearly bought this tape one time.

 That's it for now.  Until next time...

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About Me

I've been a huge fan of action, horror and comedy for as long as I can remember.