Showing posts with label Roger Corman. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Roger Corman. Show all posts

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Dinocroc vs. Supergator

Last week, friend and fellow blogger Richard (of I Liked That Film) produced a DVD from his bag and passed it to me. He told me to watch it and said it’s rubbish. Over the last year or so, a succession of films has passed between the two of us with each attempting to increase the other’s cineliteracy. This time though, I thought he was taking the piss as the film he presented me with was called Dinocroc vs. Supergator. I was briefly told about one or two terrible scenes and like you do when you receive socks for Christmas, I smiled politely, said thank you and tucked the film into my own bag. Despite having just bought Rome Open City and Breathless the day before, it was this that found its way into my DVD player first. Perhaps it was curiosity or maybe it was similar to how you eat the vegetables before saving the steak until last but I watched it first. And it’s awful. I’ve seen some bad films before but this is up there with the worst.

The plot is very simple. An unscrupulous biotech company is developing super crops on a Hawaiian Island. Secretly they are also using the methods they’ve discovered to grow animals. For some reason a Dinocroc and Supergator escape and eat most of the scientists. Then they eat random idiots on various parts of the island before being contained and forced to fight each other by a ramshackle group of local heroes and assorted hangers on.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Boxcar Bertha

Martin Scorsese’s second picture and the second in my Scorsese in Sequence feature is Boxcar Bertha. Bertha Thompson (Barbara Hershey) is a young woman whose father dies in an aircraft accident. With no money and no home she travels around the Depression hit South aboard railway boxcars. Along the way she meets ‘Big’ Bill Shelly (David Carradine), a Union Man and suspected Communist. The two of them begin a relationship and along with Yankee, Rake Brown (Barry Primus) and ‘negro’, Von Morton (Bernie Casey) take to robbing trains as a means of surviving.

This is unlike most other Scorsese films. It is the only one to feature a woman in the central role and one of only a handful set outside of the East Coast. As a result it feels amongst the least Scorsese-esque of his films. The direction is fairly straightforward. There are no trademark long tracking shots, very little popular music and cutting is slow and traditional. One area in which Scorsese does stick to type is with Bertha’s moral ambiguity. At the beginning she is a sweet young girl but towards the end she is a woman who will do anything it takes to survive and appears to enjoy the wilder side of life. The film also contains Scorsese’s trademark violence, especially in an unexpectedly brutal final scene.