|Movie Title/Year and Brief Description, Including Great Quotes and Scenes|
Kill Bill, Vol. 1 (2003)
Writer/director Quentin Tarantino's blood-soaked, very violent action and grindhouse film (a revenge fantasy), contained numerous pop cultural references and stylized violence - it was another cinematic homage to the genres he loved most: kung-fu and martial arts (chopsocky) films, crime dramas, Japanese anime, B-movies, blaxploitation, Hong Kong action films, samurai sword epics and 'spaghetti' westerns.
The lengthy, entertaining film (for mostly male viewers, although most of the main characters were female!) was spliced into two parts, chock full of humorous wit (although with minimal dialogue), fight scenes, spurting blood, and a 10-minute anime sequence (to review the backstory of O-Ren Ishii's rise within the Tokyo underworld).
The main character was an action heroine or warrior goddess - a pregnant assassinatrix (or hit-woman) named the "Bride" (Uma Thurman) (aka Black Mamba), widowed (and left childless) after her presumed 'death' on her El Paso, Texas "dress rehearsal" wedding day after an attack on the chapel by four members of the DiVAS (the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad - an elite group that she belonged to, led by unseen Bill (David Carradine)). The groom and her unborn child were assumed murdered as well as members of the bridal party.
Now recently revived after a 4-year comatose condition in a hospital (where she was repeatedly raped and violated), she sought killing revenge against the perpetrators, driving a van marked "Pussy Wagon" and wearing a yellow motocross-style jacket (with black stripes) and leggings.
The Bride's many fight scenes as she sought revenge against the five who had wronged her:
(1) against suburban housewife Vernita Green / Copperhead (Vivica A. Fox) in the living room and kitchen of her Pasadena, CA home, by hurling a knife into her chest when Vernita betrayed her and attempted to shoot her with a concealed handgun through a box of KABOOM breakfast cereal
(2) her choreographed combat against sword-wielding Yakuza leader O-Ren Ishii / Cottonmouth (Lucy Liu) in the snowy garden of the House of Blue Leaves nightclub after a duel against O-Ren's psychotic, mace and chain-swinging teen schoolgirl bodyguard, Go Go Yubari (Chiaki Kuriyama), and her bloody defeat of O'Ren's army of black-suited Yakuzas (the Crazy 88 fighters). The Bride's blood-soaked quest for vengeance ended when the top of O-Ren's scalped head was flattened, and neatly-sliced open - she sank to her knees and fell down dead.
Kill Bill, Vol. 2 (2004)
The Bride's (Uma Thurman) killing spree continued, after she was buried alive by Budd (Michael Madsen), but miraculously escaped from the coffin.
She was aided in her quest for revenge when one-eyed, patch-wearing Elle Driver (Daryl Hannah) eliminated one of her targets before she arrived. Elle met Budd in his trailer with a red case containing $1 million, to exchange for the Bride's Hattori Hanzo samurai sword, but then double-crossed him by placing a Black Mamba snake in the case. The deadly creature bit him in the face and he died within 20 minutes.
In a surprise attack, Elle was confronted by the Bride, who plucked out her second eye, and left her to blindly die in the trailer with the Mamba.
Finally, the Bride delivered fatal blows to the chest (and heart) of Bill (David Carradine), her fifth and final target, using "the five point palm-exploding heart technique" taught to her by martial arts master Pai Mei (Gordon Liu).
Also, see Hostel, Part II (2007) below
In this grisly, unpleasant and bloody horror story by director Eli Roth that was mostly viewed by hardcore males, three backpackers: Americans Paxton (Jay Hernandez), Josh (Derek Richardson) and Icelandic Oli (Eythor Gudjonsson) ventured to a remote Slovakian city for good times, sex and drugs.
Almost immediately, they found hedonistic and casual sex (filmed with gratuitous nudity) in a hostel and spa with two Eastern European beauties - giggly brunette Natalya (Barbara Nedeljakova) and blonde Svetlana (Jana Kaderabkova) -- the ultimate male fantasy. The two amoral femme fatales would later entrap them.
A fiendish plot (named Elite Hunting) was uncovered in an abandoned, run-down factory warehouse where a sadistic Dutch businessman (Jan Vlasak) and another American client (Rick Hoffman) had paid large sums of money for the opportunity to torture, dismember and/or kill foreigners who had been lured into the 'hostel' trap -- gruesome, dark and sick tortures included severing an Achilles' tendon, using a power drill to insert holes into a body, eye burning with an acetylene torch and extraction, and chainsawing of fingers.
"I've been all over the world. You know, I've been everywhere and the bottom line is: Pussy is pussy. You know, every strip club, every whore house, every... It's all the same s--t. You know, I just f--ked a girl two days ago and I don't even remember the color of her tits. But this... This is something you never forget, right? Right?"
In the film's satisfying vengeful ending, Paxton sought murderous retaliation in a train station's restroom stall upon the perpetrator who had killed Josh - he used a small knife to sever two fingers, then dunked the man's head into the toilet after slitting the man's throat.
Sin City (2005)
Director Robert Rodriguez' violent, carnage-filled film (with cannibalism, dismemberment, mutilation, castration and more!) was a bloody and ultra-stylistic noirish monochromatic (with splashes of color) - a noirish representation of Frank Miller's graphic, comic-book novels with three overlapping, cross-cut hard-boiled stories set in dark, corrupted and rain-slick Basin City.
It opened in a pre-credits sequence with a doomed, red dress-wearing dame/The Customer (Marley Shelton) standing on a penthouse terrace high above the cold, teeming city - to be kissed and shot to death by The Man/The Salesman (Josh Hartnett).
One tale told of disgraced, heart-failing cop John Hartigan (Bruce Willis) who saved young 11 year-old Nancy (Makenzie Vega) (later growing up to be exotic, cowgirl-outfitted dancer Jessica Alba) from depraved pedophile Roark, Jr. (or "Yellow Bastard") (Nick Stahl), the son of corrupt Senator Roark (Powers Boothe).
The film also featured the sensational character of tough, psychopathic ex-con - hulking Frankenstein-like street fighter Marv (Mickey Rourke) who sought revenge against mute psycho-serial killer Kevin (Elijah Wood) when framed for the death of hooker Goldie (Jaime King) whom he had been with in a red heart-shaped bed.
Carla Gugino made a semi-nude appearance as lesbian Lucille - Marv's parole officer who was abruptly awakened from bed, topless, and brandished her gun at him, and strutted around wearing a brief thong. She was preyed upon by Kevin, and eventually lost her life when gunned down by police.
In a third story, PI Dwight McCarthy (Clive Owen) came across leather-clad dominatrix, Sin City prostitute/vigilante leader Gail (Rosario Dawson) with an Uzi machine-gun who was engaged in a turf war with the streetwalkers against corrupt cops, one of whom was abusive Jackie Boy (Benicio del Toro).
After Marv's fight to the death with Kevin, as he urged: "Is that the best you can do, creep?", the dismembered Kevin was propped up against a tree (his arms and legs were sawed off and tied off with rubber tubing tourniquets) and then devoured by a meat-eating wolf (Kevin's pet wolf) before an exasperated Marv cut his head off with a saw.
The scene of Marv's description of Kevin's death: "He doesn't scream, not even when the mutt's had its fill and the killer's guts are lyin' all over the place - somehow the bastard is still alive, still starin' at me, not even when I grabbed the saw and finished the job."
Director Zach Snyder's hyper-stylized, comic-bookish, computer-generated epic war film was narrated by the Spartan warrior/storyteller Dilios (David Wenham).
He told about legendary and fearless Spartan ruler-warrior King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) who fought an heroic last stand at the Battle of Thermopylae, c. 480 B.C., leading 300 brave, incredibly-buffed, all-volunteer Spartan warriors (seeking a "beautiful death") against thousands of invading Persian soldiers, commanded by the giant Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro).
Except for the character of King Leonidas' wife Queen Gorgo (Lena Headey), the violent action film was heavy on testosterone and barbaric, tough-guy scenes of battle, with the warriors in metal helmets and red capes, and wielding shields and swords.
"It is not a question of what a Spartan citizen should do, nor a husband, nor a king. Instead, ask yourself, my dearest love, what should a free man do?"
"Spartans! Ready your breakfast and eat hearty... for tonight, we dine in hell!"
"Give thanks, men, to Leonidas and the brave 300. TO VICTORY!"
The scene of the moving, spiritual, operatic ballet of death of King Leonidas on the battlefield, the last survivor of the 300 Spartans, calling out to his wife with his final breath just before being assailed by hundreds of arrows: "My Queen! My wife. My love..." - the scene was blackened by the sheer number of arrows hitting his body; the next scene opened on the beautiful, sad face of his wife.
Grindhouse (Planet Terror and Death Proof) (2007)
Grindhouse was comprised of two full length feature horror movies written by Robert Rodriguez (the sci-fi zombie horror film Planet Terror) and Quentin Tarantino (the chase film Death Proof).
This unsubtle, action-filled cult film was billed as an exploitation double feature created to provide nostalgic homage to cheaply-made 70s B-movie drive-in flicks (such as sexploitation, women in prison films, or blaxploitation) - with trailers for non-existent B-movies included from guest horror directors Eli Roth and Rob Zombie.
Both films were awash with elements that male fanboys enjoyed: nudity, swearing, custom motorcycles and hotrods, hotpants, zombies, crazed baby-sitter twins, car chases, bloody gore, decapitation, badgirls and badasses (Tarantino played the part of a rapist), and much more.
Rodriguez' gross-out film Planet Terror starred Rose McGowan as one-legged amputee/stripper Cherry Darling (with a machine-gun strapped to her leg) in a town where cannibalistic zombies were unleashed by a failed military experiment.
In Tarantino's film Death Proof, Kurt Russell starred as psychopathic stalker "Stuntman Mike" who preyed upon pretty, scantily-clad, talkative women of Austin, Texas with his customized Dodge Challenger.
In the Thanksgiving faux trailer, a topless and bottomless cheerleader (Vendula Bednarova) bouncing on a trampoline performed a split onto a sharp butcher knife.
The gruesome, pre-meditated head-on car crash on a lone nighttime highway, when four girls (Shanna (Jordan Ladd), Arlene (Vanessa Ferlito), Jungle Julia (Sydney Tamiia Poitier) and Lanna (Monica Staggs)) die spectacularly gory deaths from the powerful collision, in Death Proof.
The scary stunt sequence of Zoe (Zoe Bell) holding onto the hood of a speeding car as it was repeatedly rammed.
The final car chase scene in Death Proof, ending with the barefist pummeling to death of Stuntman Mike by three empowered females (Zoe (Zoe Bell), Kim (Tracie Thoms), and Abernathy (Rosario Dawson)).
Hostel, Part II (2007)
In this equally grisly and disturbing sequel by writer/director Eli Roth, another example of "violence porn," the tables were turned -- the victims were now three American college-aged females who were betrayed by another Slovakian - a beautiful and statuesque nude model named Axelle (Vera Jordanova). In the film's prologue, surviving Paxton (Jay Hernandez) from the first film was suffering nightmares. His girlfriend Stephanie (Jordan Ladd) downplayed his paranoid behavior as hallucinatory until she found him cleanly decapitated by a chain-saw and seated at their breakfast table (with a cat licking on the bloody headless stump).
The three new victims of the Elite Hunting Club in Slovakia were art students:
The trio were led by Axelle to a hostel and spa in Eastern Europe. Unbeknownst to them, their passport photos were uploaded to an auction site where their lives were bid upon. The first casualty was Lorna, who was stripped, gagged, and hung upside down by her ankles - she was repeatedly sliced (and had her throat slit) by a sick female client (Monika Malacova) below her who slashed away with a large scythe and ecstatically bathed naked in the blood as it dripped down upon her, in the style of Elizabeth Bathory (in a large bath surrounded by candles).
In the heavily-guarded torture factory, Whitney was tied up in a chair and taunted by rich, arrogant and sadistic businessman Todd (Richard Burgi) wielding a chain saw who was there for recreational slaughter. He accidentally sliced into her scalp and realized the true horror of what he was doing. As he fled without killing her (against the rules of his contract), he was attacked and mauled by guard dogs and eaten alive. Todd's wimpy American pal named Stuart (Roger Bart) was in a cell with Beth, and initially thought about letting her go. When he snapped, he became sadistic and deranged, directing his anger toward her and believing she was his wife. Noting Todd's bloody remains, he blamed her for Todd's death, but she tricked him into releasing her.
She chained Stuart to the chair, bargained with Sasha, the owner of the factory, to exchange some of her fortune for her freedom. Her offer was accepted, but she first had to become a client and kill Stuart - she sliced off his genitals with a large pair of shears. The castrated parts were tossed to guard dogs to eat, as the screaming Stuart was left to bleed to death. Beth had become an official member of the Elite Hunting group, with a tattoo in the middle of her back. She sought vengeance against Axelle by having her beheaded - a gang of kids kicked her head around like a soccer ball as the film ended.
"Anyone who come to this place cannot leave without killing."
The film's many extreme and nasty scenes: Paxton's decapitated body in the film's prologue, the controversial bloody and torturous death scene of Lorna, the nose-biting scene, the scene of a cannibalistic torturer (notorious Italian director Ruggero Deodato of Cannibal Holocaust (1980)) dining on the thigh meat of an unfortunate, strapped down male victim, and the castration of Stuart.
This raunchy teen comedy (from producer Judd Apatow, and with a semi-autobiographical script written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg when they were teens themselves) starred two nerdy, best-friend high-school seniors who were still awkwardly growing-up: chubby Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera).
They were both on a quest to give up their virginity to two female students: Jules (Emma Stone) and Becca (Martha MacIsaac), by providing the booze at an underaged graduation party.
A third character was Fogell (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) who spent much of the film suffering the consequences of being involved in a store holdup while illegally purchasing alcohol with a fake ID (a Hawaii license for 25 year-old "McLovin").
Regarded as the Millenium's new American Pie (1999) with homage to American Graffiti (1973) and Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), the film was similarly obsessed with male teen anxieties and sexual obsessions, including being genitalia-focused, vulgar and sex-crazed about getting laid before leaving for college.
"You know when you hear girls saying, like: 'Ah, I was so s--tfaced last night, I shouldn't have f--ked that guy?' We could be that mistake!"
"I am truly jealous that you got to suck on those tits when you were a baby."
"Just imagine if girls weren't wierded out by our boners and stuff, and just like wanted to see them. That's the world I one day want to live in."
Seth's obsession with drawing pictures of male genitalia.
The final party scene, in which Becca seduced Evan in an upstairs bedroom.
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