Moviedrome Mondays: Westworld (1973) and Demon Seed (1977) (Mark Cousins Intro)

This week’s Moviedrome Monday entry is a double bill consisting of two science-fiction films that center on machines either turning against humans (the first feature) or becoming obsessed with them (the second feature).

Westworld (1973)

Since I could not find a youtube video link of Moviedrome presenter Mark Cousins introduction to director/novelist Michael Crichton’s 1973 sci-fi thriller hit Westworld, readers will have to rely on Cousins intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was June 15, 1997 (read here). I wholeheartedly agree with Cousins praise for this film. Certain big fans of Jurassic Park (whether it be the film, book or both) will imply that this serves as it’s dress rehearsal, but I would personally rank Westworld higher than filmmaker Steven Spielberg’s 1993 adaptation of the former, despite the fact that both of them are every bit equal in quality.

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

Also, here is a youtube video link to screenwriter Ed Neumeier’s Trailers from Hell commentary for it

Also, here is a youtube video link to British film critic Mark Kermode talking about Jurassic Park and Westworld

Demon Seed (1977)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Mark Cousins introduction to late Scottish cult filmmaker Donald Cammell’s 1977 science-fiction-horror gem Demon Seed. Readers can also read Cousins intro here. The episode’s original airdate was June 15, 1997 (read here). Not much to add except that I once again, totally agree with Cousins take on this film. On the surface, Demon Seed looks like little more than a studio assignment for the unconventional Cammell, but in the center, it looks like anything but. Not unlike the rest of his work (as unfortunately small as it is), Cammell’s trademark themes and visual style is what shapes the whole of Demon Seed. If any of you readers are interested, here is a link to my favorite Donald Cammell films (read here).

Here is a youtube video link to Mark Cousins Moviedrome intro to Demon Seed

Here is another youtube video link to Mark Cousins Moviedrome intro to Demon Seed

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

Moviedrome Mondays: Scarface (1983) (Mark Cousins intro)

When Moviedrome began it’s eighth season during the summer of 1997, Edinburgh-based Irish film writer-turned-later documentarian on the subject Mark Cousins became the new presenter. For my UK readers, he is perhaps best known for his celebrated 2011 documentary The Story of Film: An Odyssey. Sure, Cousins may not measure up to Cox, but then again, who can? Nevertheless, I personally feel that he is just as interesting in his own way. As with Cox, I agree with Cousins as much as I disagree with him.

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Mark Cousins intro to director Brian De Palma’s 1983 celebrated cult gangster epic Scarface. Readers can also read Cousins intro here. The episode’s original airdate was June 8, 1997 (read here). If anything else, De Palma’s 1983 update of Howard Hawks 1932 classic is one that I admire more than I adore. Make no mistake, De Palma’s version is a very good film, but I would not call it quintessential De Palma (i.e. Dressed to Kill and Blow Out serve as just two of many perfect examples). I do agree with all of the high points that Cousins places on the film of course. In form and content, it is flawless (especially Al Pacino’s iconic Tony Montana), but in the end, it feels more like a studio assignment for De Palma than anything else, despite directing the hell out of it. Personally, I think Michael Cimino would have been a more worthy candidate for this job regarding the film’s central theme of excess and given his reputation at the time – his labor of love Heaven’s Gate (a misunderstood masterpiece) reportedly bought him comparisons to Austrian-American filmmaker Erich von Stroheim. In other words, both men were cinematic masters of excess. Unlike von Stroheim and Cimino, De Palma does not really strike me as that – yes, his filmmaking style is operatic, but in the end, you could never label him as a true man of excess. Anyway, as a remake, De Palma’s Scarface is close to greatness, but no cigar. If any of you readers are interested, here is a link to my favorite Brian De Palma films (read here).

P.S. though Cousins correctly labels John A. Alonzo as the cinematographer for this film, Chinatown and Internal Affairs, he incorrectly credits him for Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which was photographed by the late great Vilmos Zsigmond.

Here is a youtube video link to Mark Cousins Moviedrome intro to Scarface

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

Moviedrome Mondays: Kiss Me Deadly (1955)

While this is far from my last Moviedrome Monday entry, this week’s entry serves as Alex Cox’s final appearance on Moviedrome as host. 3 years later, Moviedrome would be rebooted with Mark Cousins taking over hosting duties from 1997 to 2000.

Kiss Me Deadly (1955)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to legendary two-fisted director Robert Aldrich’s 1955 cult film noir classic Kiss Me Deadly. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was September 12, 1994 (read here). Considering how influential this film was on his own Repo Man, Kiss Me Deadly serves as the perfect film for Cox to end his Moviedrome years on. Since it is hard for me to do justice to this film noir gem, click here to read my review of the film from three years earlier. If any of you readers are interested, here is a link to my favorite Robert Aldrich films (read here).

Here is a youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to Kiss Me Deadly

Here is a youtube video link to Alex Cox’s commentary on Kiss Me Deadly, but I can’t remember If this was the special feature from the US Blu-Ray/DVD Criterion edition or not.

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

Also, here is a youtube video link to screenwriter Josh Olson’s Trailers from Hell commentary on it

Also, here is a youtube video link to TCM (Turner Classic Movies) Eddie Muller’s intro and outro to it as part of his Noir Alley lineup from last year.

Moviedrome Mondays: Major Dundee (1965) and Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974)

This week’s Moviedrome Monday entry consists of two films by late great legendary director Bloody Sam (a.k.a. Sam Peckinpah). If any of you readers are interested, here is a link to my favorite Sam Peckinpah films (read here).

Major Dundee (1965)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to Peckinpah’s 1965 cavalry western Major Dundee. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was September 4, 1994 (read here). Though I still love the film, I do agree with Cox that Columbia Pictures (the distributor) meddling of Major Dundee is too hard to shake off. Major Dundee originally ran 278 minutes long (though this has been highly debated), before being cut down to a reported 156, 136 and finally, 123 (read here). That last one served as the theatrical cut. In 2005, the restored 136-minute cut became available here in the US on DVD (read here). Whether it is the theatrical or restored cut, I do agree with Cox’s eloquent assertion that even an incomplete Major Dundee being better than no Major Dundee at all.

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

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

Also, here is a youtube video link to film distributor Michael Schlesinger’s Trailers from Hell commentary for it

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974)

Once again, I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to Peckinpah’s vastly underrated 1974 Neo-Western gem Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was September 5, 1994 (read here). I am so glad that Cox reversed his opinion on Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia because like him, I too regard it as Peckinpah’s second greatest film after his 1969 magnum opus The Wild Bunch. Cox’s commentary is (as usual) articulate and insightful. Like him, I also think that Peckinpah may have seen Bennie (Warren Oates character) as a metaphor for himself.

Here is a youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia

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

Also, here is a youtube video link to screenwriter Josh Olson’s Trailers from Hell commentary for it

Moviedrome Mondays: Naked Tango (1990) and Apartment Zero (1988)

This week’s Moviedrome Monday entry consists of two films set in Buenos Airs.

Naked Tango (1990)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to late director/writer Leonard Schrader’s (brother of the legendary Paul) 1990 erotic drama Naked Tango. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was August 28, 1994 (read here). I actually have not seen this film, so I unfortunately can’t comment on it. It does look interesting though 🙂

Here is a youtube video link to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s intro to Naked Tango

Here is a youtube video link to what may be either the film’s original theatrical trailer or a TV spot

Apartment Zero (1988)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to director Martin Donovan’s 1988 political thriller Apartment Zero. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was August 29, 1994 (read here). As eloquent as his intro is, I have to respectfully disagree with Cox on Apartment Zero. Concerning it’s content, I was fascinated by it’s blending of it’s cinematic themes (our lead character owns a revival house) with that of it’s political drama (his opposite may be an assassin). I was even more intrigued by the central relationship between these two characters – a Brit (Colin Firth) and an American (Hart Bochner) in Buenos Aires.

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

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

Moviedrome Mondays: Excalibur (1981) and Nothing Lasts Forever (1984)

This week’s Moviedrome Monday is yet another double-bill of two very different films.

Excalibur (1981)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to director John Boorman’s 1981 medieval fantasy Excalibur. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was August 21, 1994 (read here). Not much to add here except my two cents – as brief as my thoughts are. A majority of Excalibur is undeniably flawed, but at the same time, it does have great actors and Alex Thomson’s cinematography makes it atmospheric.

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

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

Nothing Lasts Forever (1984)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to former SNL (Saturday Night Live) writer Tom Schiller’s 1984 directorial feature debut Nothing Lasts Forever. Readers can also read Cox’s intro here. The episode’s original airdate was August 22, 1994 (read here). Can’t really add much here since I have not seen the film – it has reportedly never got an American theatrical or home video release. I read that it has been uploaded on youtube a few times and then taken down.

Here is a youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to Nothing Lasts Forever

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

Moviedrome Mondays: To Sleep with Anger (1990) and Contempt (1963)

This week’s Moviedrome Monday entry consists of an American film by an African-American director and a foreign film courtesy of a French filmmaker.

To Sleep with Anger (1990)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to underrated African-American director Charles Burnett’s 1990 comedy-drama To Sleep with Anger. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was August 14, 1994 (read here). While I have a considerable number of favorite Cox’s intros, this one for To Sleep with Anger tops them all as my number one favorite. Love his insights as always. As for myself, To Sleep with Anger is gracefully acted, directed, photographed and written. Not unlike the rest of Charles Burnett’s work, what makes To Sleep with Anger so unique (as other devotees of this film have implied) lies less in their plots and more in how they are presented. If any of you readers are interested, here is a link to my favorite Charles Burnett films (read here).

Here is a youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to To Sleep with Anger

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

Here is a youtube video link to cinematographer/director/writer Ernest Dickerson’s Trailers from Hell commentary for the film

Contempt (1963)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to master French New Wave veteran filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard’s 1963 foreign classic Contempt. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was August 15, 1994 (read here). Not much to add here except to say that Cox offers another eloquent introduction. Cox’s analysis on GATT (General Agreement of Tariffs and Trade) was particularly insightful. As for Contempt itself, it undoubtedly ranks as one of my many favorite Jean-Luc Godard films. If any of you readers are interested, here is a link to my favorite Jean-Luc Godard films (read here).

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

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

Here is a youtube video link to British film critic Mark Kermode’s commentary on Contempt as his BFI Player choice of the week

Moviedrome Mondays: Rope (1948) and 84 Charlie MoPic (1989)

This week’s Moviedrome Monday entry consists of two very different experimental films


Rope (1948)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to iconic filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock’s (a.k.a. The Master of Suspense) visually clever 1948 mystery thriller Rope. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here). The episode’s original airdate was August 7, 1994 (read here). Since I am a huge fan of every single film directed by Hitchcock, I will just talk about the film. Once again, Cox’s commentary on the film is as eloquent as always. As a pure technical exercise, Rope succeeds without a scratch – from start to finish, Hitchcock filmed the action in one continuous shot (a.k.a. a long take). If any of you readers are interested, here is a link to my favorite Alfred Hitchcock films (read here).

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

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


84 Charlie MoPic (1989)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to director Patrick Sheane Duncan’s 1989 independent Vietnam film 84 Charlie MoPic. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was August 8, 1994 (read here). Not much to add here except that I am in complete agreement with Cox on this one. Flaws and all, the Found footage technique employed throughout does make for fascinating viewing.

Here is a youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to 84 Charlie MoPic

Though there is a fan-made trailer for this film on youtube, I could not find a link to it’s actual original theatrical trailer.

Moviedrome Mondays: Race with the Devil (1975) and Detour (1945)

This week’s Moviedrome Monday double-bill consists of two road movies involving dangerous situations


Race with the Devil (1975)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s intro to director Jack Starrett’s 1975 action-horror road movie Race with the Devil. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was July 31, 1994 (read here). Not much for me to add here about this marginally good/marginally mediocre flick except that I do agree with Cox about the title sequence and the ending serving as the real reason to check it out.

Here is a youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to Race with the Devil

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


Detour (1945)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s intro to legendary B filmmaker Edgar G. Ulmer’s low-budget 1945 cult film noir classic Detour. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was July 31, 1994 (read here). Cox’s statements are eloquent as always, though I get the feeling that I am a bigger fan of the film than he is. If any of you readers are interested, here is a link to my favorite Edgar G. Ulmer films (read here).

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

Aside from a revival trailer on youtube, I do not think (at least based on my knowledge) that Detour ever had an original theatrical trailer – taking into account that I could not find one.

Moviedrome Mondays: The Girl on a Motorcycle (1968) and Psychomania (1973)

This week’s Moviedrome Monday entry is a double-bill consisting of two motorcycle films.


The Girl on a Motorcycle (1968)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s intro to the late legendary British cinematographer/filmmaker Jack Cardiff’s 1968 biker flick The Girl on a Motorcycle. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was July 24, 1994 (read here). Hard to disagree with any of Cox’s points considering how wild and crazy the film is (as Cox so eloquently implies). Overall, the only logical approach viewers could take to this film is just to sit back and enjoy the ride – flaws and all.

Here is a youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to The Girl on a Motorcycle

Here is another youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to The Girl on a Motorcycle

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

Psychomania (1973)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s intro to director Don Sharp’s 1973 cult biker horror flick Psychomania. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was July 25, 1994 (read here). Unlike Cox, I actually prefer this one over The Girl on a Motorcycle. What I admire tremendously about Psychomania lies in the execution of the aforementioned film’s blending of horror with selected elements of the biker movie sub-genre.

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

Here is another youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to Psychomania

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