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Christoph Huber

Camp Apocalypse

"Yep, they sure don't make pictures like that anymore," says Charlton Heston, glaring wistfully at the hippies on-screen in Woodstock. Charlton Heston? Woodstock??? Indeed! This delicious moment in Boris Sagal's 1971 sci-fi dystopia The Omega Man brings to mind that they really don't make pictures like that anymore — postapocalyptic......
Running in Madness

Sex! Punk! Politics!

Who says there is no justice for mavericks? Certainly, the case of Kôji Wakamatsu is cause for celebration: The prolific punk of radical Japanese sexploitation cinema made a magnificent comeback in 2008, with his 100th film, United Red Army. A clear-eyed yet empathic epic about the failure of Japan’s armed......

Coffin Joe: Hallucinations of a Deranged Mind

There are many magnificent mavericks in the history of cinema, but there is only one José Mojica Marins. When this eccentric enthusiast from Brazil conceived his country’s first designated horror movie, At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul, in 1964, he not only captured the imagination of the people and provoked......

Mad Mexican Monster Party at UCLA

Never has the fraught conflict between tradition and modernity found more conceptually inspired filmic expression than in the climactic battle of the Mexican movie The Aztec Mummy vs. The Human Robot (1958). A prime example of the “Mexploitation” craze that overtook national film production amidst economic downturn, this third installment......
Gator Bait

UCLA Retrospective: Women Exploitation Auteurs

“SHE TOOK ON THE WHOLE GANG! A howling hellcat humping a hot steel hog on a roaring rampage of revenge,” screamed the tag lines for Bury Me an Angel (1972), a taut biker-revenge picture with a gender twist: Its sawed-off-shotgun-wielding avenger was a woman (tough and tall Dixie Peabody) —......
The Silence Before Bach

LAFF: The Films That Got Away

The ongoing series of outstanding recent films that haven’t yet screened locally, curated by members of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association (including L.A. Weekly film editor Scott Foundas), continues as an LAFF sidebar with three selections directed (in 2007) by septuagenarians — a Spanish maestro, a Japanese maverick and......
Weasels rip my flesh

Home Is Where the Gore Is

Even gore ain’t what it used to be in this digital age, when the cheapest horror remakes and sequels are as polished as they are soulless. Thus, Cinefamily’s series of vintage “homemade horror” is a welcome reminder of the passion and ingenuity dedicated amateurs used to invest in the lowest......
Chu Yuan's Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan

Shaw Brothers' Studio of Flying Daggers

During its heyday, from the late 1950s to the mid-1980s, Hong Kong’s Shaw Bros. Studio — Asia’s biggest and best — made more films than any Hollywood major. But soon thereafter, its movies became mostly the stuff of legend, with business-savvy company head Run Run Shaw keeping them in the......

Ganja & Hess

Blaxploitation was hardly all it’s been cracked up to be — there’s a reason why Pam Grier’s performance as Jackie Brown in Quentin Tarantino’s loving genre homage is vastly richer than all her work in such original ’70s action yarns as Coffy and Foxy Brown combined. Still, the short-lived fad......