Posts Tagged ‘Robert Aldrich’

Emperor of the North

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018

EMPEROR OF THE NORTH (a.k.a. EMPEROR OF THE NORTH POLE) is a great 1973 tramp epic, a Depression-era tall tale of a battle between the champions of two rival kingdoms: a legend of the homeless counterculture pitted against the meanest, most heartless bastard among those lucky enough to have a job working the railroad. A-No.-1 (Lee motherfuckin Marvin [PAINT YOUR WAGON] in his followup to PRIME CUT) is a smart, experienced “bull” intent on riding the No. 19 all the way to Portland, Oregon. Shack (Ernest Borgnine, THE SPLIT) is the cruel sonofabitch conductor who takes that shit way too personally.

The opening scene sets the stakes high. Under a somewhat amusing Marty Robbins theme tune that personifies trains, the Shack chases down some poor guy trying to ride his rails and whacks him on the skull with a big metal mallet, like he’s Vinnie Jones in THE MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN. We have to hear the man’s screams as he falls and tumbles beneath the wheels and is left on the tracks separated into two pieces. Horrible. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Dirty Dozen

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

tn_dirtydozenMan, it’s one of those concepts that’s too perfect to fuck up: twelve WWII era inmates of a military prison are sent on a dangerous mission to kill as many Nazi officers as they can. The Americans have this target, but they don’t want to waste good soldiers, so why not these lifers and death row cons, murderers and rapists? It’s kind of the same concept as “paint clothes.” You don’t paint the house in pants you’d wear to church, and you don’t want to waste your best soldiers on a suicide mission so you use these fuckos you got in storage. If they die – well, you weren’t planning on using them anyway. No loss.

For the cons it’s a good deal too. They get to go outside. If it’s true they like killing, here’s their chance for more. They get to postpone their executions, or kill some time before their executions. And if they do a good job and survive they might get pardoned, maybe, if fuckin Ernest Borgnine sees it in his heart. If they die in the line of duty, well, maybe they’d rather die that way than on a rope. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Longest Yard (1974)

Monday, January 1st, 2001

Damn, I can’t believe I forgot about this one. They were showing it on cable and it is a real fitting coincidence that they happen to show it when the super bowl deal is coming up this sunday. But hell what the hell do i know about what is going on in the world of football these days, that is why it is more exciting for me to root for this movie where Burt Reynolds has to lead a team of inmates in a game against the guards.

Remember when Burt Reynolds was cool? He was just this cocky motherfucker doesn’t give a fuck. All he wants to do is get laid and be a smartass and back then you didn’t expect a big star to be so open about it. He also had that mustache but in this one he shaves it off as soon as he goes to the joint. (read the rest of this shit…)