Moviedrome Mondays: Knightriders (1981)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to director/writer George A. Romero’s 1981 independent drama Knightriders. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was June 2, 1991 (read here). Along with There’s Always Vanilla and Season of the Witch (both from 1973), Knightriders is notable for being one of Romero’s few non-horror films. How can I briefly sum up this film? Well, think of jousting, but with motorcycles instead of horses. This makes up the surface of the plot, which deals with the trials and tribulations of a traveling renaissance fair troupe from Pittsburgh. As with all of Romero’s films, I love this one as well. Fascinating bit of trivia: Romero has reportedly cited the Society for Creative Anachronism as the inspiration regarding the occupation of the film’s protagonists. If you readers are interesting in reading a list of my favorite George A. Romero films, read here.

Here is a youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to Knightriders

Here is a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer

Moviedrome Mondays: Vamp (1986)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to director Richard Wenk’s 1986 comedic horror film Vamp. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was May 26, 1991 (read here). Not unlike Night of the Comet and Trancers (two 1984 flicks that also aired on Moviedrome), Vamp is little more than an enjoyable 1980’s low-budget B-movie, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Here is a youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to Vamp

Here is a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer

Moviedrome Mondays: The Beguiled (1971)

Series 4 of Moviedrome opened with director Don Siegel’s 1971 Southern Gothic Civil War drama The Beguiled. I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction of the aforementioned film. Readers can read his transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was May 19, 1991 (read here). The Beguiled was the third collaboration between director Don Siegel and his lead actor Clint Eastwood – the first two were 1968’s Coogan’s Bluff and 1970’s Two Mules for Sister Sara. Dirty Harry followed in December of 71 and 8 years later in 1979, their partnership concluded with Escape from Alcatraz. Unlike the roles he played in Siegel’s previous and future films, Clint Eastwood portrays his leading anti-hero as a vulnerable human being – even when he displays his macho persona, it comes off as terrifying as opposed to cool. I agree with everything Cox says about this film – especially when he implies that it is a blend of (in his words) Jacobean tragedy and Ambrose Bierce (read here). In case you readers missed it the first time, click here to read the list of my favorite Don Siegel films.

Here is a youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to The Beguiled

Here is a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer

Moviedrome Mondays: Down by Law (1986)

Since I could not find a youtube video link of Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox introducing indie director/writer Jim Jarmusch’s 1986 deadpan crime comedy Down by Law, readers will have to rely on a page in the book of an old Moviedrome guide (read here), since the link to that episode transcript is missing (read here). The episode’s original airdate was September 9, 1990 (read here). As with Jarmusch’s previous film Stranger than Paradise (released two years earlier in 1984), Down by Law is another delightfully deadpan comedy with a European flavor. Like Paradise before it, Down by Law is photographed in black-and-white – this time by the late great Robby Muller. Nevertheless, the b&w cinematography on both films lend a poetic touch to the result. Last, but not least, the always wonderful musician Tom Waits, John Lurie (from Paradise), and Italian comedian Roberto Benigni complete the film. On an unrelated note, here is an interesting piece of trivia: Down by Law was the last film shown on Series 3 of Moviedrome in 1990. Next week, I will begin with Series 4 from 1991. If you are interested in reading a list of my favorite Jim Jarmusch films, read here.

Here is a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer

Moviedrome Mondays: A Bullet for the General (1966)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to director Damiano Damiani’s 1966 political spaghetti western. masterpiece A Bullet for the General. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was September 2, 1990 (read here). I absolutely agree with everything Cox says about this film and as with The Great Silence (last week’s Moviedrome Monday entry), it ranks as one of (If not) the greatest spaghetti westerns ever made. If any of you have read Cox’s 2009 book on spaghetti westerns (10,000 Ways to Die: A Director’s Take on the Spaghetti Western), in his entry for A Bullet for the General, he mentions that it may have served as an influence for director Sam Peckinpah’s masterful western The Wild Bunch from three years later in 1969 (read here).

Here is a youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to A Bullet for the General

Here is a youtube video link to the film’s original U.S. theatrical trailer