Not a lot for us this week so I’ll start with the only “new” movie hitting home video first and then follow up with those older films getting new releases. Preparations to Be Together for an Unknown Period of Time is a pretty long and winding title which is similar to the movie itself. Ok the movie isn’t long in terms of runtime, but it winds around taking you one place and misleading you most of the film. It’s about a doctor in New Jersey moving back to her home country of Hungary after meeting a fellow Hungarian at a conference in the US and agreeing to meet him at her favorite spot in Hungary. When she gets there he’s not there so she tracks him down and he acts like he’s never met her before. She takes a job to stalk him and figure out what’s going on. She’s seeing a therapist in the film so you wonder if she’s crazy and made up this entire situation or maybe he’s married and is trying to blow her off. The entire film you wait for the proverbial shoe to drop and it doesn’t exactly go where you expect it. I don’t know if I loved the ending or explanation, but the lead actress is pretty great and she holds your attention throughout. I don’t know if it outsmarted itself or lost steam, but I was expecting it to go in a much different direction. But again she’s very good as is the rest of the cast and it’s worth a watch overall.
Next we have The Delicious Little Devil. This silent film from 1919 stars Mae Murray and Rudolph Valentino. Murray loses her job as a hat-check girl, but after pretending to be a mistress of a duke in a big newspaper story, she becomes the lead at a roadhouse cabaret. Valentino plays the son of a local businessman who falls for Murray thinking she is the famous mistress, but of course her secret comes out when the duke visits. Murray is great in the role with one scene taking the leftover makeup powder of another dancer and using it as her own making me laugh out loud. Valentino was very much the ladies man and he’s great in this as well. Entertaining silent film from two of the biggest names of the era.
Third we have The Man in Search of His Murderer, a German film from 1931. A man wants to kill himself, but can’t pull the trigger. He hires another man to do it, but not tell him when. While going about his business waiting to be murdered, he meets a young woman who starts giving him a reason to live and ultimately decides he must call off the contract hit. It’s a dark comedy in a time I don’t expect dark comedies. It’s pretty layered too talking about contract hits and insurance money and the dame trying to get the contract paid off. For a movie I knew nothing about, I quite liked it.
Fourth we have The Lash of the Penitentes (Forbidden Fruit: The Golden Age of Exploitation Pictures, Vol. 9). This exploitation film is based on a story about a religious cult in northern New Mexico that during Lent would get whipped, crucified and all kinds of other bizarre religious rituals. Cinematographer Roland Price took actual footage of these rituals and spliced in a murder of a journalist trying to tell the story of the Penitentes to cash in on the craziness. This Kino Classics edition was restored from film elements preserved by the Library of Congress, and represents the uncensored 48-minute cut: The Penitente Murder Case. If you’ve seen Volume 8 of this collection, Ingagi, you’ll like this one as well. It also comes with the censored 35 minute version too. It’s an odd film like most in this series, but it’s also awesome that 80-90 years ago filmmakers were making this type of stuff and making cult hits out of it!
Last we have Death Has Blue Eyes. This 1976 Greek film is something, I don’t know what that something is though. If you thought movies from Andy Sidaris were wild watch this flick. A gigolo meets his visiting friend at the airport and the friend pretends to be a different man in order to get a ride. They are following by a man on a motorcycle but they aren’t aware. They then go to lunch, try to get their meal paid through the hotel, but give a room number that happens to belong to two women at the same restaurant. They meet the women and get a weird vibe. The two men go back to where the gigolo is staying, have a 3some with a woman but then get tossed out by the older woman whose house it is. They then get with the two women from the restaurant because the one woman is a psychic and witnessed a murder and people are out to get them. Yeah it’s all over the map with random sex scenes, ridiculous action, a plot to use the one woman as a bomb and terrible acting. It’s bad, but just bad enough to be good too. The filmmaker would go on to have a successful career, but watching this film I have no idea how. The lead men are terrible, unattractive yet somehow get women and the story is just ridiculous. But if you like so-bad-it’s-good, you’ll love this.