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Sunday, April 19, 2009

DVD Review: Grindhouse Experience-20 Film Feature Collection

A few years ago they released this set of 70's and 80's grindhouse movies. I bought it back then and just thought about it for the first time in a while. If your a fan of the genre, some of these films were very entertaining. Some were not. 

On a business aspect, the idea is pure genius. This company called Fortune Five found all these old and somewhat rare movies from when the grindhouse genre actually existed. Since most if not all of these movies are available in the public domain, they are completely free and legal to distribute by anyone. So they gathered up 20 movies and put them in a set and sold the set for $20 a pop. Other than the cost of the box, disc, and cases, they are almost making 100% profit. Then they released it right after "Grindhouse (Planet Terror and Death Proof) hit the theaters. They obviously did something right because they released "Grindhouse Experience 2" shortly after.
So now I'm going to go through and talk about each of these films. Some of these movies have more than one name (Back then the theaters use to show the same movies under different names in order to get you to buy another ticket thinking it was a different movie. Pretty sneaky, huh?) So I'm just going to use the titles as stated in this set. Let's get started!

Women's Camp 119

I enjoyed this one! It's a good old fashion Nazisploitation and has a decent plot. It's almost a women in cages movie but with a nazi twist. These doctors do weird and horrible experiments on female prisoners but there are two doctors who are trying to shut the whole operation down. What I remember the most is this odd perverted guy named Kurt running around trying to rape and molest women the whole entire time. I'm not sure if he is suppose to be retarded or a experiment himself, but he is funny and the comic relief of the film. I'm not sure if the film makers intended on him being funny, but it's too late. He's hilarious! 

Strike of the Tortured Angels

This one was not bad either. As I recall, it's about these girls in a jail or boarding school. They are supposed to be "Tortured Angels" but don't have it nearly as bad as the girls in the first movie above. You have trouble feeling sorry for them if you watch the first movie first. Some of the girls escape and the main character finds out that her boyfriend has double crossed her. So she seeks revenge. As I said, this one is not bad...

Savage Man/Savage Beast

This one is interesting. It's a documentary that focuses on animal and human nature. It deals with violence, sex, rituals, and nature. I guess they use to show this in the grindhouses back in the day. While it is very graphic and in your face, it is also very entertaining and educational. There are some very weird, cool, shocking, and interesting images throughout Savage Man/Savage Beast. 

Raw Force

I wasn't very impressed with Raw Force. It's suppose to be a Kung-Fu cannibal movie. It does have a lot of poorly executed Kung -Fu, but not a lot of cannibals. I don't have a huge gripe against this one,  it just didn't do anything for me. 

Confessions of a Police Captain

This one was just alright. It was somewhat boring and seemed to drag on. It does have it's cool scenes but that involves sitting through the very slow parts. I don't hate this movie, it's just not my favorite. I just don't have much to say about it.

Executioner 2

I liked this one a lot. Of course it's cheaply made and poorly acted like most movies of the genre, but this one is bad in that good kind of way. It's about a Vietnam Vet that becomes a crime fighting vigilante. I thought it was fun and had it's moments. It kind of makes me want to see the first one!

Poseidon Explosion

This is one of two of the disaster movies in the set. I thought this one was just ok as well. It has all the effects and elements but it lacks cinematic suspense and action. I know that these are low budget movies, and I'm fine with that. But it doesn't cost anything to create suspense. 

Earthquake 7.5

I could almost say the same this for this one as I did for the one above. I did like this one a little more though. it seemed to have better characters and piled on the suspense a little better. 

Violent Professionals

This was a decent action movie. Some parts a little cheesy but that's to be expected. It's just you're good old fashioned run of the mill crime movie. I think they may have remade this one. I know there are a few movies with this same name, but maybe I'm wrong.

Frank and Tony

This is the only one in the set that I don't remember watching, but I know i did. Sorry. 

Kung Fu Punch of Death

This one is my favorite of the set. It's the most entertaining and just as good as many other famous kung fu movies. The story is simple. A young man learns how to fight to stop a kung fu gang that terrorizes his town. That's what I love about Hong Kong cinema of the 60's and 70's, they're straight to the point and arise our most basic emotions through the characters and story. These are tales of revenge, betrayal, and strength of will. This and many movies of the genre aren't about over complicating things or trying to make you think with some bold and larger than life story. They know that they are here to entertain and amuse. So many movies forget that.

Return of the Tiger

This one was pretty good too. It stars and martial arts actor named Bruce Li, obviously trying to capitalize of the success of another greatly know martial artist. That is what these grindhouse movies did though, they attempted to capitalize on the success of famous movies of the time. For every hit Hollywood had in the late 60's and 70's, there was a low budget version shortly after. Bruce Li is however, a fun and charismatic character and this movie is worth watching. 

Go Kill and Come Back

If you love spaghetti westerns as much as I do, than you'll enjoy this movie. This Italian western seems to be heavily inspired by Sergio Leone. Like it could be one of his early films before "The Stranger" Trilogy. This had a decent plot and is good gritty fun. And tell me that's not a great name for a movie, "Go Kill and Come Back". I love it!

Bounty Man

This one was alright. I didn't enjoy it as much as Go Kill and Come Back, but it was good. If you are a fan of spaghetti westerns then this one is worth a watch. 

Three Tough Guys

This is a blaxsploitation crime movie starring Isaac Hayes. Hayes makes this movie being the best actor in it. This one is very very slow starting out but picks up about halfway through. It is a blaxsploitation but is a little lighter about it compared to most of the genre. Not a bad crime movie overall.


This movie took blaxsploitation and tapped into a sub genre of it we could call slavesploitation. It proves that there is no limit to where these film makers would go. Nothing was too taboo. Mandinga is about a woman who is married to a slave owner. She sneaks off at night and has sex with her husband's slaves. Just about all of them I think. The story takes it's course when she ends up getting pregnant. Uh oh! Is it her husbands or one of the countless slaves she got it on with? You could also file this under a sexploitation as well. 

The Children

I really liked this one. One of my favorites of the set. It's about a school bus filled with kids that passes a cemetery where some kind of poisonous gas is spreading out. The bus drives through the gas and the children disappear. They are later found in the cemetery but now they are blood thirsty little killers. This movie asks the question that only these movies had the balls to. Would you kill a child? This is a good horror movie! Not bad all the way around.

Demon Witch Child

This movie is a blunt and shameless rip off of "The Exorcist". It's almost the same exact movie only with about one fourth of the budget. It doesn't really offer any other take or outlook on the Exorcist. Like they just wanted to remake it the best they could and change as little as they could without getting sued. 

High School Hitchhikers

I liked this one. It's a entertaining Sexploitation crime movie. Oh, and yes, there are lesbians and boobs. These two hot girls sneak into a random home where they get it on in a strangers bed. After being caught by the guy who lives there, a mobster, they have sex with him. Later on that day after the girls have left, the mobsters get together at the lucky guys house for business. They discover that a large amount of money is missing and he immediately assumes the girls stole it when they were there. So now he has to hunt them down. This is a fun movie and worth watching.

Carry on Emannuelle

Lastly, this is a sexploitation comedy. Emannuelle is this extremely sexual and horny girl who tries to get it on with this older rich man. She throws herself at him but he is scared and awkward. It is funny, some ways intentional and in some ways not. 

If you are a fan of this genre and know what to expect from it, this is a pretty good collection of otherwise hard to find movies. True to their roots, these films are grainy and rough. Some are straight film transfers and some are VHS transfers. My only argument or suggestion is that they should have put old vintage previews between the movies. I like the set up. How they have two movies from each sub-genre. That's how it was in the theaters then. A lot of the time they would show double features with movies that were similar. If it had previews it would be even closer to the true experience. So if you are like me and are a fan of exploitation or are interested but need a good place to start, then I highly recommend "Grindhouse Experience - 20 Film Feature Collection".


  1. how do I know which of these films are in the public domain??? I'd like to show one of these and i am not positive how to check.

  2. Hi, great blog-thing. I'd like to know if it's still possible to buy this somewere? I can't find it anywere