Written by / 9/17/2015 / No comments /

ARCHIVE TRIPLE: YEAR OF THE DRAGON, SCHOOLGIRLS IN CHAINS & THE DEVIL'S HAIRPIN

year: 1987
YEAR OF THE DRAGON: Centers on mob wars in New York's Chinatown; young Asian punks overthrowing the old Chinese bosses and killing everyone in their path... as they make their own path.

It's interesting to see a Michael Cimino film with new-stock eighties film and fast-cutting studio-driven editing, different than that of his seventies films that, for better... THE DEER HUNTER... or worse... HEAVEN'S GATE... including long scenes with tons of dialogue that seem more realistic than contrived or mainstream. And if you're a Mickey Rourke fan, there seems absolutely no way to not love this seedy venture. But there was no life to this drone exercise in violence and melodrama. Even the spontaneous seemed in sleep mode throughout.

year: 1973
SCHOOLGIRLS IN CHAINS is misleadingly titled since the girls look in their late twenties and only one is in college, yet is quite original and very groundbreaking for the year it came out, 1973, before TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and, years later, Troma's MOTHER'S DAY, the latter which stole entirely from the premise of two crazy adult sons of an overbearing mother living in a rural house and keeping three women (not girls) hostage: making them their own personal slaves.

Gary Kent and John Stoglin are the sons; Kent the buff good looking seemingly normal one and Stoglin the idiot man-child who plays "doctor" with the girls who're holed up in the dusty rat-infested cellar. Soon we learn both mama's boys are equally crazy in their own way, and quite dangerous. But alas: the awesome originality becomes a complete PSYCHO rip-off; although it's still a wickedly entertaining ride. If the babes-in-forced-bondage genre does it for you, you won't be disappointed.

year: 1957
THE DEVIL'S HAIRPIN: A race car driver, revving up at the starting line, thinks back about the week before as he's planning a possible comeback. He has a pet parrot and a gorgeous girlfriend who he takes for granite. The girl, not the parrot. He loves the parrot.

And he owns a bar and all his employees are men he's beaten and thus retired. He holds a deep dark secret about his simpleton brother which turns out to be nothing. And we're back to the race and they're off and... This is quite an experience. Often ow-budget and plodding, melodramatic with a necessary bouts of idealistic Film Noir attributes, there's something completely entertaining in the sluggish entirety of it all. Like an uneventful dream, it's comfortable somehow. And Cornell Wilde is always cool to experience.

FILM SCORES:

YEAR OF THE DRAGON: **
SCHOOLGIRLS IN CHAINS: ***
THE DEVIL'S HAIRPIN: ***

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