Unforgiven (1992)

Film Title

Unforgiven

Synopsis

Having a small pecker is no joke

Director

Clint Eastwood

Cast

Clint Eastwood
Gene Hackman
Morgan Freeman
Jaimz Woolvett
Richard Harris
Frances Fisher
Saul Rubinek

For whatever reason, the Western became very sick in the 1970s, one of its shuddering last breaths taken when a scar-faced Clint Eastwood jumped behind a Gatling gun to let loose merry hell in the brilliant Outlaw Josey Wales. There was nothing of much note after that, the genre pretty much given the coup de […]

Starring Debuts #4: Kathleen Turner in Body Heat (1981)

Film Title

Body Heat

Synopsis

Lust, murder and the sound of wind chimes during a Floridan heat wave

Director

Lawrence Kasdan

Cast

William Hurt
Kathleen Turner
Ted Danson
Richard Crenna
J.A. Preston
Mickey Rourke

Now this is my idea of a Strong Female Role. Kathleen Turner’s performance in Body Heat hasn’t quite carved itself into pop culture as unmistakably as Louise Fletcher in Cuckoo’s Nest, Judy Garland in Wizard of Oz or Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard, but it’s hard to think of any woman who’s made a better […]

Starring Debuts #3: Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween (1978)

Film Title

Halloween

Synopsis

A masked, knife-wielding nutter returns to his hometown

Director

John Carpenter

Cast

Donald Pleasence
Jamie Lee Curtis
P.J. Soles
Nancy Kyes

The most surprising thing about Jamie Lee Curtis’ career-launching turn as Laurie Strode in this late seventies slasher is how dull she is for nearly all of it. And I don’t mean dull in an interesting way. I mean, dull. Perennially clutching books, agreeing to yet another babysitting job, addressing her elders as ‘sir’, listening […]

Starring Debuts #2: John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever

Film Title

Saturday Night Fever

Synopsis

A Brooklyn teenager begins groping his way toward maturity

Director

John Badham

Cast

John Travolta
Karen Lynn Gorney
Donna Pescow
Barry Miller
Martin Shakar
Joseph Cali

You’d think the sight of a bloke walking down a street carrying a tin of paint isn’t much of an opening for a movie. But we’re talking John Travolta in his pomp here, and he’s not just walking, he’s strutting like an electrified peacock to those falsetto disco gods, The Bee Gees. “Well, you can […]

Starring Debuts- #1: Paul Hogan in Crocodile Dundee (1986)

Film Title

Crocodile Dundee

Synopsis

Mick educates fun-loving American youth about cutlery

Director

Peter Faiman

Cast

Paul Hogan
Linda Kozlowski
John Meillon
David Gulpilil
Mark Blum
Steve Rackman

Here in Oz there’s a cringe factor around Crocodile Dundee, despite it being a worldwide phenomenon that took well over three hundred mil at the box office. Perhaps it’s disliked in hipster circles because it was such a runaway success. After all, the titular character is a rough hewn, leg-pulling pub-dweller, the sort of guy […]

Monsters

It’s close to midnight and something evil’s lurking in the dark… Like most boys, I quickly developed a love for monsters and supernatural creatures, a morbid fascination only deepened by devouring the novels of Guy N. Smith (giant, man-eating crabs!) and James Herbert (dog-sized, man-eating black rats!) Blood-dripping fangs, wickedly sharp claws, terrified humans on […]

Witchfinder General (1968)

Film Title

Witchfinder General

Synopsis

Men sometimes have strange motives for the things they do

Director

Michael Reeves

Cast

Vincent Price
Ian Ogilvy
Hilary Dwyer
Robert Russell
Rupert Davies

“Men sometimes have strange motives for the things they do.” So says Matthew Hopkins, Witchfinder General, and one of this brutal flick’s coarse joys is trying to work out his. Does he really believe he’s doing God’s work? Or is he merely an opportunist, a man happy to take advantage of the breakdown in law […]

Where’s My Froggy?

You probably find it hard to believe but I write all my Ruthless articles surrounded by aromatic candles immersed in a freestanding claw foot bath. Well, I say write but what I actually mean is dictate. Indeed, all of my honey-coated missives are transcribed by a slightly drunken Catholic schoolgirl called Samantha. Her proofreading skills […]

Savage Streets (1984)

Film Title

Savage Streets

Synopsis

Rape, revenge and bad 80s hairdos at high school

Director

Danny Steinmann

Cast

Linda Blair
Linnea Quigley
John Vernon
Robert Dryer

After starring in The Exorcist at the tender age of fourteen, the world was Linda Blair’s pea green vomit-covered oyster. She followed up that groundbreaking horror classic with the stodgily directed TV movie Born Innocent and the much-mocked Airport 1975, whose main contribution to cinema was helping birth the glorious Airplane! In spite of their […]

Foreigners, Eh? Guess They’re All Right

I’m not a sophisticated guy. I came to understand this about twenty years ago when I took a hot Italian-Australian chick on a first date to one of those huge multiplex cinemas. She seemed to find my jokes funny, was a good six or seven years younger, had a tiny waist and always wore cool, […]