MILL CREEK NIGHTMARE WORLDS: Piranha (1972)

B&S About Movies

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jennifer Upton is an American (non-werewolf) writer/editor in London. She currently works as a freelance ghostwriter of personal memoirs and writes for several blogs on topics as diverse as film history, punk rock, women’s issues, and international politics. For links to her work, please visit https://www.jennuptonwriter.com or send her a Tweet @Jennxldn

Not to be confused with the killer fish movie, Piranha (1972) the Venezuelan adventure-thriller sometimes known as Piranha, Piranha, or Caribe, stars William Smith and Peter Brown, who previously worked together in the mid-sixties western TV series Laredo. 

With a plot reminiscent of The Most Dangerous Game and the later rape-revenge films, Piranha concerns wildlife photographers Art Greene (Tom Simcox) and Terry Greene (Ahna Capri) are traveling through the Amazon region with their American tour guide Jim Pendrake (Peter Brown), when they encounter Caribe (William Smith), a homicidal lunatic who enjoys stalking and hunting…

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MILL CREEK NIGHTMARE WORLDS: This Is Not a Test (1962)

B&S About Movies

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jennifer Upton is an American (non-werewolf) writer/editor in London. She currently works as a freelance ghostwriter of personal memoirs and writes for several blogs on topics as diverse as film history, punk rock, women’s issues, and international politics. For links to her work, please visit https://www.jennuptonwriter.com or send her a Tweet @Jennxldn

This is Not a Test shares much in common Panic in Year Zero directed by Ray Milland. Both were low-budget productions released in 1962 and both deal with a group of strangers who come together in the California desert outside Los Angeles before/during a nuclear attack. Equally, both seem quaint in 2022. This is Not a Test, in particular presents a highly unlikely scenario for audiences who grew up on Mad Max or zombie apocalypse films. A lone Deputy Sheriff played by Seamon Glass sets up a roadblock on a lonely mountain pass to catch Clint (Ron Starr)…

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Duel of Fists (1971)

B&S About Movies

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jennifer Upton is an American (non-werewolf) writer/editor in London. She currently works as a freelance ghostwriter of personal memoirs and writes for several blogs on topics as diverse as film history, punk rock, women’s issues, and international politics. For links to her work, please visit https://www.jennuptonwriter.com or send her a Tweet @Jennxldn

In Duel of Fists, a Hong Kong engineer must travel to Thailand to find his long-lost professional boxer brother who is having problems with the mob. David Chiang is Hong Kong engineer cum kung fu expert Fan Ke. His dying father tells Ke that he has an older half-brother in Thailand. He knows nothing of him other than that he is a professional kick-boxer. He departs immediately for Thailand.

Meanwhile, half-brother Wen Lieh (Ti Lung) is being forced to box for some Bangkok gangsters because he needs the money for a life-saving operation for his mother. He…

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Clans of Intrigue (1977)

B&S About Movies

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jennifer Upton is an American (non-werewolf) writer/editor in London. She currently works as a freelance ghostwriter of personal memoirs and writes for several blogs on topics as diverse as film history, punk rock, women’s issues, and international politics. For links to her work, please visit https://www.jennuptonwriter.com or send her a Tweet @Jennxldn

Someone has killed the three most powerful clan leaders in the Martial world. Legendary swordsman Chu Liu Hsiang (Ti Lung) has been accused of murdering the leaders of the three most powerful clans in the Martial world. Together with a mercenary named Yi (Ling Yun) and the chivalrous Black Pearl (Li Ching) he sets out to find the real killers. He must uncover the truth behind a plot before the culprits can frame him and gain absolute power.   

Hsiang follows one clue to the next and is eventually led to the Magic Palace, a place inhabited…

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The Magic Blade (1976)

B&S About Movies

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jennifer Upton is an American (non-werewolf) writer/editor in London. She currently works as a freelance ghostwriter of personal memoirs and writes for several blogs on topics as diverse as film history, punk rock, women’s issues, and international politics. For links to her work, please visit https://www.jennuptonwriter.com or send her a Tweet @Jennxldn

Much has been written about the achievements of Shaw’s star director Chang Cheh. Here, I will give some love to their equally talented Chor Yuen who passed away in February of 2022. The Magic Blade is among his finest work, filled with plenty of wonderfully framed shots, expertly choreographed fight scenes and great acting. 

A Wuxia tale starring Ti Lung and Lo Lieh who must find a powerful weapon called the peacock dart before an evil swordsman can claim it for himself to to rule the underworld. 

Fu Hung Hsueh (Ti Lung) is a stoic and…

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Inheritor of Kung Fu (1977)

B&S About Movies

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jennifer Upton is an American (non-werewolf) writer/editor in London. She currently works as a freelance ghostwriter of personal memoirs and writes for several blogs on topics as diverse as film history, punk rock, women’s issues, and international politics. For links to her work, please visit https://www.jennuptonwriter.com or send her a Tweet @Jennxldn

 Inheritor of Kung Fu has almost as many titles as release dates. Possible alternate titles include: Avenging Dragon,Hero at the Border Region, Two Graves to Kung Fu, and Soul Collector. The film was produced in Taiwan and very little information is available.  It is listed in several sources as having been released in 1977, ’78, 1983 and ’84. It almost certainly was not produced in the 1980s as by then, the Wuxia genre has all but died out replaced by high octane police stories and bullet ballets. 

The version I saw from…

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Armed Response (1986)

B&S About Movies

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jennifer Upton is an American (non-werewolf) writer/editor in London. She currently works as a freelance ghostwriter of personal memoirs and writes for several blogs on topics as diverse as film history, punk rock, women’s issues, and international politics. For links to her work, please visit https://www.jennuptonwriter.com or send her a Tweet @Jennxldn

Inspired by Michael Cimino’s Year of the Dragon (1985), Armed Response features Vietnam vet Jim Roth (David Carradine) and his ex-cop dad (Burt) Lee Van Cleef going up against boss Tanaka and his Yakuza gang in L.A.’s Chinatown following the murder of Jim’s brothers in a plot to retrieve a valuable statue that Tanaka needs to appease the local Chinese Tong gang. 

Out of over a dozen films made in the 1980s, this is overall the best that Fred Olen Ray made during those “up-and-coming” years. Not only is the cast good (with Carradine and Van Cleef…

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Star Slammer (1986)

B&S About Movies

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jennifer Upton is an American (non-werewolf) writer/editor in London. She currently works as a freelance ghostwriter of personal memoirs and writes for several blogs on topics as diverse as film history, punk rock, women’s issues, and international politics. For links to her work, please visit https://www.jennuptonwriter.com or send her a Tweet @Jennxldn

Fred Olen Ray’s women’s prison in space movie. Sandy Brooke plays Taura, a miner who gets sent to the big house…or rather big ship…after crossing paths with Bantor (Ross Hagen in his first appearance in Ray joint), on the planet Arous. Once onboard the “Vehemence”, it’s pretty standard stuff in terms of the women’s prison genre minus the obligatory shower scene. We have a sadistic warden, and her flunky lesbian head guard, played by Marya Gant and an eye-patched Dawn Wildsmith, respectively. We also have a group of tough female convicts with names like Mike and Squeaker…

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A Contract Clause to Beware: Claiming Copyright on “Publisher’s Content” – Written By Michael Capobiancho

Writer's Treasure Chest

Hi, everyone. My name isMichael Capobianco, and although I’ve been an adjunct member of Writer Beware for some time now, this is my first official blog post.

I’m also the Chair of SFWA’sContracts Committee, which means I see a lot of bad contracts, both for book-length and short fiction. I’ve gotten used to much of the unfortunate and often contradictory clauses in these contracts, but last week I ran into something that caught my attention: a virtually identical terrible clause in two separate small publishers’ book contracts, a clause that I had never seen before.

Both contracts were for original fiction, but aside from the fact that neither paid an advance, they looked fairly different from one another until they came to this clause. To save you any further suspense, here it is:

The Publisher reserves all copyright, trademark and other intellectual property rights in and…

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Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers (1988)

B&S About Movies

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jennifer Upton is an American (non-werewolf) writer/editor in London. She currently works as a freelance ghostwriter of personal memoirs and writes for several blogs on topics as diverse as film history, punk rock, women’s issues, and international politics. For links to her work, please visit https://www.jennuptonwriter.com or send her a Tweet @Jennxldn

There’s a moment in Tim Burton’s Ed Wood where Eddie, while watching the debut of Plan 9 from Outer Space thinks “This is the one I’ll be remembered for.” It’s almost certain Ed never had that thought. Similarly, Fred Olen Ray probably never thought his little horror comedy shot over 5 days on a series of weekends using equipment rented for another film would be “the one.” If you’ve never seen a Fred Olen Ray film, or you’re about to induct a new virgin into your own basement B-movie cult, this is the one to watch. Often…

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