Prepare for the assault. 

The awesome Assault on Precinct 13 is getting another exclusive release from the folks over at Cine Museum. Below are pictures of all the available editions and a link to purchase. This will be the first exclusive from Cine Museum, with more titles to follow in the coming months.

Here’s the link to purchase

https://cinemuseum.store/collections/cinemuseum-exclusive
JM

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The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)

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Vincent Price has always been the go to guy for strange and kooky roles. He’s dependable and doesn’t mind hamming it up on occasion. He does so with real gusto as Dr. Phibes. Dr. Phibes is a tortured genius seeking revenge on 9 people he deems responsible for the death of his darling wife on the operating table. He devises a devilish scheme to exact the most painful and fiendish deaths on the his targets.

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Using the ten plagues inflicted on Egypt in biblical times as a template, Dr. Phibes, with the help of his glamorous assistant Vulnavia (Virginia North), goes about his ghastly business. I won’t spoil the death scenes, as they are very inventive, almost displaying a creativity not seen till the Saw movies came out many years later.  Hot on Dr. Phibes’ trail is Inspector Trout (Peter Jeffrey) who slowly begins to unravel the evil plan and Dr. Vesalius (Joseph Cotten), one of the men Dr. Phibes seeks to kill.

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The whole movie moves along at a fairly brisk pace and doesn’t hold back on the hideous leftovers of the victims once they are attacked. There are some very funny moments too, and cameo roles from many famous faces of yesteryear. Vincent Price is brilliant as Dr. Phibes, really letting loose and genuinely having fun in the role. Peter Jeffrey is great as the world weary Inspector Trout, always one step behind Phibes and also suffering the wrath of his inept superiors. Joseph Cotten is great as Dr. Vesalius, really getting into the role when things heat up.

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The transfer from Arrow Films is nothing short of astonishing. The picture is beautifully crisp, really letting you appreciate the wonderful set design. Although the sound is only Mono 1.0, it is still clear as a bell and I never once felt I had to put the volume up. I do recommend this film for all horror and Vincent Price fans, you won’t be disappointed. This copy of The Abominable Dr. Phibes was provided by the very kind folks at Arrow Films. You can get the box set containing this film and Dr. Phibes Rises Again now over at http://www.arrowfilms.co.uk.

4/5

JM

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Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974)

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This is a movie that wastes no time whatsoever in getting off the starting block. It immediately begins with Thunderbolt (Clint Eastwood) dressed as a church minister delivering a sermon. Suddenly a strange man walks into the church and begins to open fire on Thunderbolt. Thunderbolt runs for his life when he is almost knocked over by Lightfoot (Jeff Bridges), who has just stolen a car off a lot. Thunderbolt hitches a ride and the two slowly become friends. However two men from Thunderbolt’s past want to find him, believing he stole from them. Red Leary (George Kennedy) and Eddie Goody (Geoffrey Lewis) have a score to settle with Thunderbolt.

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When the two men catch up to Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, they learn of the truth to the heist that Thunderbolt carried out many years prior. Together the four men decide to carry out a new heist on a security deposit vault, though the animosity that Red feels for Lightfoot threatens to throw the whole plan into disarray. The plan is very elaborate, but to get the money needed the men must find jobs to finance it. This for me is where I felt the film kind of slowed down. It was a monotonous section, that almost felt like what a real job would feel like…boring. However it doesn’t last long.

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The plan even involves Lightfoot in drag, forcing Jeff Bridges to show a little leg, which to be fair to the guy doesn’t look half bad. To say any more would spoil what I felt was a great final third. The chemistry between the two leads is great, and you can tell they enjoyed themselves whilst filming. The support from George Kennedy as the volatile Red Leary is brilliant. He really does let rip with his short temper and is a menacing presence. Geoffrey Lewis is also funny as the slightly simple Eddie Goody, just looking to impress Red.

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The film is directed by Michael Cimino, and was his first feature before he directed ‘The Deer Hunter’ four years later. Cimino was a director that never really delivered after ‘The Deer Hunter’, with ‘Year of the Dragon’ and ‘The Sicilian’ being disappointments. He does well in his first directorial role here however, also serving as the writer too with what isn’t too bad a script. I would recommend this, as it’s definitely worth a watch. This copy of the film was graciously provided by the kind folks at http://www.secondsightfilms.co.uk. Thunderbolt and Lightfoot is released on 23rd June and is available now for pre-order.

4/5

JM

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The Long Goodbye (1973)

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Robert Altman brings Raymond Chandler’s private eye to life in this brilliant 70’s noir. Philip Marlowe (Elliot Gould) is a smart mouthed private detective in Los Angeles. He is asked by his friend Terry Lennox (Jim Bouton) to drive him down to Mexico as there are people looking for him. As Terry is Philip’s friend he does as he’s asked. However when Philip returns home, he is arrested for aiding and abetting a murderer, as Terry has been accused of murdering his wife. Philip is released from prison days later as Terry’s body is discovered in Mexico in an apparent suicide.

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Marlowe is then hired by the beautiful Eileen Wade (Nina van Pallandt) to find her violent alcoholic husband Roger Wade (Sterling Hayden). Then to add to Marlowe’s problems he is strong armed by a man named Marty Augustine (Mark Rydell), who seems to think Marlowe knows where his missing $350,000 dollars are. Marty said Terry had the money, and that Marlowe was the last one to see Terry, so it stands to reason that he knows where the money is. Needless to say that there is more going on than it first appears. Leading to a startling revelation and a few close calls.

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Elliot Gould absolutely steals the show as Philip Marlowe. He is mesmerising in the role, delivering his lines with a smirk on his face and a glint in his eye, he really is fantastic. The supporting cast are great too. Sterling Hayden is his usual gruff self as Roger Wade, the writer with a few demons of his own. Nina van Pallandt is great as Eileen Wade and is stunningly beautiful to boot. Mark Rydell is menacing and funny all at the same time as Marty Augustine, really getting into his role. There is also a very small cameo for a young Arnold Schwarzenegger as one of Augustine’s henchmen.

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This copy of The Long Goodbye was provided by the gracious folks over at http://www.arrowfilms.co.uk. You can head over to their site and pick up a copy of this wonderful film now. The transfer is second to none. Arrow always bring out the best in films, and never deliver anything short of extraordinary, and they don’t put a foot wrong with this release either. It is well worth a watch for those who like a good private eye story just like the good old days. Enjoy!

4/5

JM

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Rolling Thunder (1977)

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Major Charles Rane (William Devane) has spent 8 long years in  a POW camp, being beaten and tortured. He returns home greeted as a hero, with his friend Johnny (Tommy Lee Jones). However life has moved on while the major has been away. His son doesn’t really know him and his wife has met somebody else. The Major is given a nice new car and a box full of silver dollars as a thank you for all he did during the war. A group of greedy thugs see him being presented with the gifts on TV and decide they want the silver dollars for themselves. The thugs break into the majors house and wait for him to come home and reveal the location of the silver dollars. When the major refuses, his wife and son are viciously murdered in front of him and his hand his shredded in a waster disposal.

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After months of recovery the major decides he is going to track down those responsible and seek retribution for his wife and son. All leading to a bloody and ferocious shoot-out in a brothel. Now fear not, I haven’t spoiled anything by revealing the death of the wife and son as it all happens in the first 15-20 mins. The rest of the movie consists of Major Rane recovering, learning how to use his hook hand and seeking down those responsible.

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Quentin Tarantino has named this as one of his favourite movies. So much so that he named a distribution company after it. William Devane is magnificent as Major Rane. He brings a raw intensity to the role, and I have always really rated him as an actor. Tommy Lee Jones is also great as Johnny Vohden. He doesn’t seem the brightest but his character is infused with a strong sense of loyalty, especially when the major tells Johnny that he’s found the ones that killed his family, all Johnny says is “I’ll get my stuff”.

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The script is written by Paul Schrader who tends to write a lot of these dark scripts, focusing on folks on the outskirts of society. Directed by John Flynn who also directed my favourite Steven Seagal flick ‘Out For Justice’. The final shoot-out is just amazing. Fizzing with energy you can see that both men are back where they belong, right in the thick of it. I really recommend this movie. If you’re a fan of gritty 70’s movies, then give this a shot.

5/5

JM

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