Sheba, Baby (1975)

After last week with The Apple, I needed a reprieve. I need a palette cleanser. I need some blaxploitation. Thank fucking god William Girdler is here to help me out – and he’s brought Pam Grier!

This is Girdler’s 1975 action flick Sheba, Baby!

Now, I’ve talked about William Girdler twice before – once on Film Seizure’s Monster Mondays show (which some asshole with the same name as me hosts… wait, I’M the asshole). First up, I did The Manitou for Monster Mondays. That was a fascinating Exorcist rip-off centered around some Native American lore. That was neat. Then, over here, just this past October, I wrote about the blaxploitation Exorcist rip-off Abby. That one was fun too. He’s an interesting director. Sadly, he was killed scouting locations in Manila, Philippines for his 10th film.

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The Apple (1980)

There are movies that are bad. There are movies that are REALLY bad. Then there’s The Apple.

The Apple was Cannon Films co-owner Menahem Golan’s fever dream of a passion project. Right there, you see it? You see the three red flags of that statement? First, Cannon Films. They were the schlock studio of all schlock studios of the 80s. They cranked out movie after movie of fodder that I could cover on this site. In fact, I have! I could very easily load this blog of Cannon articles week after week after week. It is almost unfair to every other movie ever made.

Then you have Menahem Golan. Here’s a guy who is fairly fascinating. He’s not a bad idea guy. He knew how to sell his movies. He knew how to crank out that schlock onto cable, video stores, and movie theaters – all over the world. The problem was that he didn’t have very good, completely well-thought out ideas. He had almost no concept of nuance. Anyone outside the United States is either an enemy or a weak-willed wimp in the face of terrorism. Chuck Norris shows up and kills everything, but, because some of those people he killed were indeed bad guys, he is right. That’s the mindset of Menahem Golan.

Then, there’s the concept of a passion project.

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Savage Weekend (1980)

We have ourselves a treat for this week’s new B-Movie Enema. Savage Weekend is NOT a well liked movie. In fact, David Paulsen’s made-in-1976, sent-to-Cannes-in-1978, released-by-Cannon-in-1980 exploitation horror is so disliked, I think it would be a good idea to see what some of the reviews have been.

First up is TV Guide: “A truly reprehensible exploitation film… Ultra-low budget and shot on grainy color stock, the film is borderline pornography, and the gore effects are extremely gruesome.” I’m not sure what the problem is here, TV Guide. Borderline pornography, gruesome gore effects? Sounds pretty good to me.

Next is Ed Blank from The Pittsburgh Press: “Incoherent and inept.” Eek. What else you have, Mr. Blank? “Sexist in nature featuring female characters who serve no other purpose other than to appear in various stages of undress and back up against walls and trees so they can be slain or tied up.” Again, what’s the issue here? Hmmm… Let’s try one more.

From Joe Baltake of the Philadelphia Daily News: “[Nicky, the gay character] is the foulest movie character of recent memory, enough to set gay rights activism back several decades… It’s still not clear to me whether Paulsen wanted to make a soft-core porno film, a horror movie, or a combination of both. It’s not clear because he’s failed at all three.”

Okay, that last one was pretty funny.

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Kenneyville (2011)

This week’s B-Movie Enema article comes from our neighbors to the north. Kenneyville is an interesting piece of independent media. I am going to label it as a horror movie because I think it deals with some concepts that some indie horror movies of the 70s dealt with. However, I also have to label it as exploitation as well – for the exact same reasons.

Let’s dissect that a bit, shall we?

A couple months back, I covered the infamous depravity known as Bloodsucking Freaks. I explored some of the core concepts that lies under the surface of cruelty and violence toward women in particular, and, to a certain extent, elitist scholars. It’s a movie about a guy who twists brains and drives women to insanity to do his bidding. I posited that the movie featured a more violent side of sexual kink. A desire to dominate and control as well as the attractiveness of twisting a submissive object of desire. Bloodsucking Freaks possesses layers of making you feel icky.

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