Thursday, June 26, 2014

1977: Honorable Mentions

1977 was a pretty damn good year for film.  So much so, that we're only getting three segments for this series.  No worst or leftovers, just sheer quality all the way.  Let's start with the honorable mentions...

Enjoyable spoof of Alfred Hitchcock films from Mel Brooks.  All the reference you would expect to be there are there and while a little of Brooks' tendency to go overboard does shine through (the man gives himself a frigging musical number), the film is still a solid comedy with good performances from Brooks, Harvey Korman and Cloris Leachman.

The story isn't much (in fact, it's pretty dumb in parts) but the effects work by Ray Harryhausen is top notch.  I always liked these sorts of films when I was a kid (still do, in fact) and they go a long way in covering up the faults in the story.

I wouldn't have given this Best Picture this year but it's still probably Woody Allen's best film overall.  A funny romantic comedy, this has a likable couple in Allen and Diane Keaton; a clever script and a very funny bit part for Christopher Walken.

Solid Don Siegel directed thriller with Charles Bronson as a spy looking to stop mad Russian Donald Pleasence from activating several sleeper agents and causing trouble.  Bronson is cool as usual, the direction is taut and tense and while the film isn't a complete success, it's still pretty damn good.

Pretty damn good aquatic zombie movie about a bunch of folks stranded at sea who run across an island teaming with horrific Nazi zombies.  Peter Cushing is fun as the zombies' former commander and the rest of the cast is adequate.  What really makes this one work is the zombies.  They look creepy and are actually pretty effective.  It's no classic but it's easily the best Nazi zombie movie you are likely to find, though given how bad the others in this sub genre are, that might be damning with faint praise.

I quite like this Charles Bronson western about Wild Bill Hickok (Bronson) going after a mysterious, possibly supernatural gigantic white buffalo that haunts his dreams.  This Dino DeLaurentiis production is an interesting one with some nice surreal imagery, good work from Bronson and Will Sampson as Crazy Horse who teams up with Chuck to off the beast and some reasonably entertaining action set pieces.  The buffalo isn't exactly convincing but it's good enough for me.

I get a real kick out of this fun Roger Corman production starring David Carradine as a moonshine runner trying to remain independent when a big time gangster (who also happens to be his girlfriend's father) tries to move in on his action.  A  god natured action comedy, it has lively performances all around, some funny bits and a ton of awesome action scenes.  Air boats, cars, you name it and it's here.  Thunder and Lightning isn't deep or even that smart but it sure as hell is fun.

Coming soon: The Guilty Pleasures of 1977

No comments:

Post a Comment

About Me

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