Film Review: Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry (1974)

Release Date: May 17th, 1974
Directed by: John Hough
Written by: Leigh Chapman, Antonio Santean
Based on: The Chase by Richard Unekis
Music by: Jimmie Haskell
Cast: Peter Fonda, Susan George, Adam Roarke, Vic Morrow, Roddy McDowall

Academy Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, 93 Minutes

Review:

“I’m gonna eat your lunch, you long-haired faggot!” – Hanks

Peter Fonda starred in several counter culture and road movies in the late ’60s and into the ’70s. So his casting here was pretty perfect and he owns every scene that he’s in.

However, the bulk of the work isn’t just on Fonda, as we also have Susan George, who is exceptional in this, and Adam Roarke, who I always liked but felt was grossly underutilized. Roarke truly gets to shine in this and it’s damn cool to see.

The film also has Vic Morrow in it, as a villainous sheriff, as well as Roddy McDowall in a smaller role. However, any McDowall appearance is worth mentioning.

The story is very Bonnie and Clyde-esque, as it follows a criminal that takes his girlfriend and a buddy along with him, as law enforcement closes in, creating a massive on-the-road manhunt.

While I do like this film a lot, it’s pretty slow for the first two acts. I enjoy the characters and the performances are damn good, especially between the main trio, but there seems to be a lot of filler and chatter. Sure, it helps to build up the characters but this didn’t really get to the good stuff until the long, great finale ramped up in the last half hour.

Once this does get going, it’s fucking perfect, though.

I dug the hell out of the vehicle stunts and all the sequences with the helicopter were damn impressive. I never tire on this sort of stuff, especially from this era when filmmakers couldn’t rely on CGI and post-production visual trickery. Everything in these action scenes had to be captured by real film in real time.

All in all, this is a motion picture that is a reflection of its time and that time’s trends. The story and how it plays out may be predictable and leave you with a feeling of hopelessness but the ’70s were a bleak decade and this doesn’t shy away from that.

Rating: 7/10
Pairs well with: other counterculture films with Peter Fonda in them.

Film Review: Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry (1974)

Release Date: May 17th, 1974
Directed by: John Hough
Written by: Leigh Chapman, Antonio Santean
Based on: The Chase by Richard Unekis
Music by: Jimmie Haskell
Cast: Peter Fonda, Susan George, Adam Roarke, Vic Morrow, Roddy McDowall

Academy Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, 93 Minutes

Review:

“I’m gonna eat your lunch, you long-haired faggot!” – Hanks

Peter Fonda starred in several counter culture and road movies in the late ’60s and into the ’70s. So his casting here was pretty perfect and he owns every scene that he’s in.

However, the bulk of the work isn’t just on Fonda, as we also have Susan George, who is exceptional in this, and Adam Roarke, who I always liked but felt was grossly underutilized. Roarke truly gets to shine in this and it’s damn cool to see.

The film also has Vic Morrow in it, as a villainous sheriff, as well as Roddy McDowall in a smaller role. However, any McDowall appearance is worth mentioning.

The story is very Bonnie and Clyde-esque, as it follows a criminal that takes his girlfriend and a buddy along with him, as law enforcement closes in, creating a massive on-the-road manhunt.

While I do like this film a lot, it’s pretty slow for the first two acts. I enjoy the characters and the performances are damn good, especially between the main trio, but there seems to be a lot of filler and chatter. Sure, it helps to build up the characters but this didn’t really get to the good stuff until the long, great finale ramped up in the last half hour.

Once this does get going, it’s fucking perfect, though.

I dug the hell out of the vehicle stunts and all the sequences with the helicopter were damn impressive. I never tire on this sort of stuff, especially from this era when filmmakers couldn’t rely on CGI and post-production visual trickery. Everything in these action scenes had to be captured by real film in real time.

All in all, this is a motion picture that is a reflection of its time and that time’s trends. The story and how it plays out may be predictable and leave you with a feeling of hopelessness but the ’70s were a bleak decade and this doesn’t shy away from that.

Rating: 7/10
Pairs well with: other counterculture films with Peter Fonda in them.

Film Review: Frogs (1972)

Release Date: March 10th, 1972
Directed by: George McCowan
Written by: Robert Hutchinson, Robert Blees
Music by: Les Baxter
Cast: Ray Milland, Sam Elliott, Joan Van Ark, Adam Roarke, Judy Pace, Lynn Borden, Mae Mercer, David Gilliam

Thomas/Edwards Productions, American International Pictures, 91 Minutes

Review:

“I still believe man is master of the world.” – Jason Crockett, “Does that mean he can’t live in harmony with the rest of it?” – Pickett Smith

After revisiting this for the first time in a few decades, I was surprised to see how many different animals this film featured. Honestly, it shouldn’t have been titled Frogs. They should’ve called it Swamp Critters or Florida On A Tuesday, as it reminded me of a regular afternoon hike in my home state.

This movie is weirdly drab, even though it’s pretty eventful and features a lot of zany deaths. I wouldn’t say it’s boring but it does feel like the filmmakers barely took this seriously and tried their best. It certainly feels like a rushed production where they had x-amount of hours to film in a Florida State Park, so everything had to be done in a few takes: perfect shots, good effects and attention to detail be damned!

Now I did enjoy a very young Sam Elliott in this and I actually forgot he was the hero of the story. His environmentalist banter with the evil capitalist played by Ray Milland was enjoyable and it was cool seeing these two legends ham it up and try to turn this shoddy production into a film with a meaningful message. There are just so many other films that tell the “science run amok on nature” story much better, though.

This had the makings of something that could’ve been much better in an era where animal horror was really popular. However, for every Jaws you get ten Night of the Lepus.

Rating: 5.25/10
Pairs well with: other animal horror films of the ’70s.

Film Review: Women of the Prehistoric Planet (1966)

Release Date: April 15th, 1966
Directed by: Arthur C. Pierce
Written by: Arthur C. Pierce
Music by: Gordon Zahler
Cast: Wendell Corey, Keith Larsen, John Agar, Paul Gilbert, Merry Anders, Stuart Margolin, Todd Lasswell, Irene Tsu, Adam Roarke

Realart Pictures, 90 Minutes

Review:

Women of the Prehistoric Planet is most famous for being featured in the first nationally televised season of Mystery Science Theater 3000. It is considered to be horrendous and it holds a 2.3 rating (out of 10) on IMDb. I don’t think it is as bad as a 2.3 would suggest, however.

This film is pretty hammy but it has a good amount of charm to it.

It follows a group of astronauts sent on a rescue mission to save the possible survivors of a ship that crashed on an unexplored primitive planet years earlier. There is one survivor, who has grown up to be a man on the wild planet. Linda, one of the crew members, meets Tang, the man who grew up marooned on the planet. The two fall in love but they must deal with the dangerous natives of the planet. The rest of the ship’s crew, separated from Linda, search for her and the survivors while encountering their own strange challenges.

Women of the Prehistoric Planet is not a good film, at all. It doesn’t have very good actors, the direction seems nonexistent, the cinematography is very basic and the sets, while lush and inviting, are very limited in scope and design. Yet, the film isn’t awful and it is still fairly fun and watchable. Although, the film’s title is a bit misleading.

The movie has a sort of sci-fi meets Tiki vibe. It feels like an island movie, even though it is primarily set on a tropical jungle planet. It isn’t ugly to look at, despite its technical flaws and limited budget. In fact, the people who made this did a pretty good job using the tools that they had.

This isn’t a film that I would tell people to run out and see. You’ll do just fine never spending your precious time on it. However, it does make for a good episode of MST3K and it certainly isn’t anywhere near the worst schlock that they had to watch and riff on the show.

Rating: 3/10