I’m actually returning to the land of Listomania because Tom was unable to post his first because he fainted when he heard I was doing a list. November 2012 was an average month of movie viewing for me, I guess. In total I saw 24 flicks. That breaks down to 20 DVDs, 2 theater visits, 1 VHS viewing (UNDERGROUND TERROR) and 1 pay-per-view order (UNIVERSAL SOLIDER: DAY OF RECKONING). I’ve been trying to watch stuff I’ve never seen before so this past month only 2 titles were revisits. Here are a few of the newer ones that made an impression (good or bad) on me.
LOOPHOLE (1981) – Thief Mike Daniels (Albert Finney) plans to break into the biggest bank in England for one last haul. His team sets up a false office in order to interview architects with the idea they can coax the suitable candidate into mapping out their underground digging job. Down-on-his-luck American Stephen Booker (Martin Sheen) seems to be the ideal candidate for the job, but he scoffs at the idea of being a criminal. That is until he finds out his wife (Susannah York) reallllly wants to start up her interior decorating business. OH NOES! So he descends (literally) into a life of crime in order to finance her dream. The “loophole” of the title refers to the fact they will break into the vault through the ground and set off a motion detector, but when the cops arrive they will see no one inside the bank and think it is glitch. I’m a sucker for bank heist pictures for some reason and this one definitely falls into that category. Unfortunately, while it has a great cast and is well made, it really takes no risks. There is some tension in the final third as rain starts to flood the sewer system and the men must rush to get out, but even that is handled rather mundanely. Sheen also sticks out like a sore thumb and it is easy to believe the role was written for a British fellow (his wife is a Brit after all) and then changed to an American to increase potential markets. Still, it is worth a look at least once if you loves you some men digging in confined spaces.
UNDERGROUND TERROR (1989) – Continuing on my love of movies set beneath the city as evidenced above, we have this low budget NYC action flick. John Willis (Doc Dougherty) is a renegade cop who doesn’t play by the rules (original!). This is established in the opening ten minutes when he blows away the drug dealers who had killed his partner (shockingly, this occurs pre-movie). He soon finds himself dealing with a new kind of scum when a series of unusual murders start occurring on the subway platforms. They are being pulled off by Boris Pinscher (Lennie Loftin), a renegade mental patient who also doesn’t play by the rules. This is established in the opening ten minutes when he threatens to kill his roommate before being released. Boris leads a ragtag group of folks who live in the subway system and like to kill folks every now and then. Despite his the police chief (who is black, of course) putting him on suspension, Willis teams with reporter Kim Knowles (B.J. Geordan) to put a stop to these human rats. This is definitely no C.H.U.D., but if you get a hankering for some NYC lensed locations than UNDERGROUND TERROR will fill you up. The acting is pretty rough and the plot is dopey (no joke, the killers learn of the reporter after she leaves her camera with her name on it in their lair), but it wasn't an excruciating 90 minutes at all. I'm just happy to know someone actually named a villain Boris Pinscher.