Friday, March 21, 2008


Color 1982 running time 79 min.

Director: Doug T. Hambren

Starring: Phillip Townsend, Greta Ostrand and Winnie Marks

This movie is incredible in so many ways. The cover just depicts Greta Ostrand scantly clad lounging on a bed. By the title I was hoping for a Zombie or Vampire film. The movie is neither. First of all Greta Ostrand turns in a five star performance. Maybe matched only by the fantastic performance of Phillip Townsend. Winnie Marks doesn’t quite find her groove, but she gives it her all. I’ve seen Townsend before in the films LOW DOWN DEADLY and FEED ME FANNY. But here he really shines. He plays a character named T-Bone, we meet him in the first scene where he is getting released from jail. He hits the streets of Chicago with four dollars in his pocket and a lot of pent up anger. A child approaches and asks T-Bone for a dollar, “anything for you, Bud”. And he gives the kid a buck. But the kid’s father sees this and states his disapproval. T-Bone takes some verbal abuse for a second then decks the guy laying him out in one blow. He steals his car keys and winks at the kid who gives him a thumbs-up. I guess the kid didn’t care for dad much. T-Bone goes to a pool hall to retrieve money owed to him by the proprietor. While there he meets two hooker/lesbians played by Greta Ostrand and Winnie Marks. Their names are Lulu and Samantha. They have a plan for T-Bone. They need a little help with their pimp Dale – His name could also be Dell, it’s pronounced somewhere in the middle – who has some sort of drug problem he’s been supporting with the part of the girls cash, that he’s not entitled to. T-Bone eats four raw eggs and guzzles some J & B. He opens the trunk of the stolen car and removes a baseball bat. The women look on with horror and wonder. They find Dale in an alley lurking. The girls inform him that it is time for retribution. T-Bone goes to work, it’s an orgy of blood. This turns Lulu on. The next scene begins with the broken baseball bat on a carpeted floor, it is covered in blood. In the bathroom of this flophouse under the blinking neon of a humid summer, T-Bone is washing the blood from his face as Lulu helps out. Samantha watches with raging jealousy. Lulu leans in close to T-Bone they share a laugh. Samantha grabs a strange wooden box and takes a powder. Turns out the box has lulu’s life savings inside, but the box is locked. T-Bone asks if “Sam has a key” and Lulu responds that Sam “never had a key to my box”. Wow! But lame double entendre can’t derail the magic chemistry of these two. And after fierce love making they are off to retrieve the money. They run through several encounters in the underworld, never finding Samantha. However T-Bone does acquire a handgun and a cowboy hat. Eventually T-Bone gets shot in the gut. This leads to my favorite scene in the film. T-Bone paces holding his wound and chain smoking. The car is parked with Lulu inside. They are in a rail-yard. Lulu paints her toenails in the passenger side of the car, as she smokes a reefer. T-Bone sticks his head in the window and asks Lulu if she’ll go to hell with him. “Just point to the hand-basket, and I’ll get in”. Instead of a doctor they follow their last lead to a slum on the South Side. T-Bone is too weak to move so Lulu goes inside. Inside Lulu finds Samantha strung out on junk and the broken box empty on the floor. Lulu tells Samantha, she’s sorry she left her. Samantha smiles. Then Lulu throws a pillow over her head and smothers the life out of her. A flatfoot sees the idling car on the street with T-Bone hunched over, the Cop peers in and asks if everything is all right. T-bone (now very pale) raises the handgun and fires. Lulu hears the shot and runs down to the street. There she finds T-Bone and the Cop, dead.

I highly recommend this film. It is beautifully shot and engaging. It is superbly directed. It is a re-make of a Mexican film called EL DIABLO ESTA DENTRO DE MI, Directed by Jorge Carlos Alvaro, 1979.

1 comment:

gardoni said...

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