Bruce Lee's only effort as a director takes a while to get going and is sidetracked by some silly humor more akin to Jackie Chan in the early going. But it's non-stop kung-fu fury once things get serious and the bad guys call in super-hairy American karate warrior Chuck Norris, who has one of the all-time great fight scenes with Lee in the Roman Coliseum. It's brilliantly played by the two martial arts masters, both characters sworn to kill but showing a grudging respect for one another's abilities. Retitled RETURN OF THE DRAGON for its 1974 US release, a year after Lee's death.
Filmed in 1979 and unreleased until the summer of 1984 when the new regime at New World rescored it and drastically recut it, the justifiably obscure Canadian tax shelter dumpster fire HIGHPOINT is a complete mess that has one good car chase and stunt legend Dar Robinson diving off the CN Tower in Toronto, but nothing else going for it. Intended by director Peter Carter (RITUALS) to be a spoofy homage to Hitchcock, New World cut out all the comedy…
The perpetually overrated Ti West, a filmmaker so coddled by critics that you'd swear his films were co-produced by the Make-a-Wish Foundation, cuts the slow-burn shit and makes a straightforward revenge western that's violent, fast-moving, well-acted, and funny. It's his best film since THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL. And don't try to tell me THE INNKEEPERS is good because I'm not havin' it.
Why is this being relegated to VOD? This could be a hit in theaters.
Full review to come.
Tobe Hooper's follow-up to his phenomenal breakout success with 1974's THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE might be, in hindsight, the bridge between that grim first film and the black comedy of the belated 1986 sequel THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE PART 2. EATEN ALIVE is a strange and often aggressively unpleasant masterpiece of claustrophobic madness, with Hooper deliberately using obvious soundstages, garish lighting, and a bizarre, squealing, screeching, ringing, clanging synthesizer score to convey an unsettling sense of swelter, suffocation, and terror.…