Episode 005 Transcript: The One-Armed Executioner / Welcome To Blood City / Blind Rage

VA 005: One Armed Executioner & Welcome to Blood City

Gala: On this episode of the Video Archives Podcast, what can you do with one arm? You can shake a man’s hand. You can blow your lover a kiss. You can juggle. You can wave goodbye. You can wipe a tear. Maybe, just maybe, you can execute. Quentin and Roger earn the right to take revenge in One Armed Executioner. An Interpol agent is out for revenge against the gangsters that cut off his arm and killed his bride. Roger and Quentin discuss the realistic onscreen connection between Franco Guerrero and Jodi Kay, how tropes can be done correctly, and the artful sound design of this film. And as an added bonus, the duo talk about the trailers packaged with this Paragon tape.


Next up, we talk (sans spoilers) about Welcome to Blood City. Five strangers wake up with no memory in a world that resembles the Wild West. If they can kill 20 other people, they’ll become immortal. It’s hunt or be hunted in Blood City. Quentin and Roger talk about how the great Jack Palance carries the film, how Keir Dullea breaks his typecasting, and how this premise could easily be remade today. Lastly, five friends get together and decide to rob a bank. The catch: all five men are blind. 1976’s Blind Rage is a new take on an old genre. Five blind master killers pull off the most unbelievable heist of all time, but even $15 million won’t get them back their sight. Quentin and Roger discuss interesting characters, a unique heist playing sequence and never-before seen gadgets. Revenge made them hate the man, but money was their excuse to blast him. It’s all going down at the International House of Pancakes, today at Video Archives. I’m Gala Avary and joining us now, here’s Quentin and Roger.

Quentin: Thank you very much, Gala. I appreciate it. Okay, kill the back track. And hi, I’m Quentin Tarantino.

Roger: And I am Roger Avary.

Quentin: And we’re back again with the Video Archives Podcast. We’ve got three interesting movies to talk about today, that we’re both really excited to talk about. So the first film is One Armed Executioner.


clip from trailer for One Armed Executioner: The ultimate in action and adventure, nothing can stop the one armed executioner. [dog fight noises, gunshots etc] One Armed Executioner, produced and directed by Bobby A. Suarez.

ad copy: One Armed Executioner, with co-hit Blind Rage, will be playing September 17th and 18th on glorious 35 millimeter film at the New Beverly Cinema. 7165 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, California. For further information, go to the NewBev.com. The New Beverly Cinema: always on film.

Quentin: Let me explain how this actually came about, because if you’ve been listening to the show for a little bit, you kind of realize that we’ve got a certain kind of pattern as far as picking movies. Usually it’s (not always, but usually) the most famous, or most prestige, one as our first film.


Roger: That might be a studio film of some kind, like, a big production or something.

Quentin: Absolutely, and then something fairly comparative works as a companion piece, as the second feature.

Roger: A little seen interesting film.

Quentin: That’s kind of how we go about it, more or less. The more prestige two movies are the first one and the second one; and then the idea is that the third one is some obscure exploitation oddity or a fallen off the track foreign film that we pull from the bowels of the collection. I have a whole list of different cool exploitation films that I’ve heard about, but I’ve never seen. Because one of the things about the show is, I want to pick at least one movie that I haven’t seen. That’s a big part of the reason to do the show. If I can get two I haven’t seen, all the better but at least one.


So there’s a whole group of exploitation films with cool boxes that always kind of sound neat and I’ve never got around to seeing them, but actually watching them with a friend and then having an excuse to do a show will be the thing that sets you down to watch them and that’s it’s really kind of cool. And if me and Roger start watching one and it doesn’t float our boat or we don’t like it we can be like, “Okay, fuck this one.” Then we just take it and we just throw it out. One Armed Executioner has been sitting on that pile for a while. I almost showed it like three different times, and I kept yanking it off. The reason I even know about the damn thing; one is that I know who Bobby Suarez is, because he’s a Filipino filmmaker who also did the famous film, Cleopatra Wong, which at the time was the only movie ever made in Singapore. They didn’t have a film industry in Singapore, so one of the only movies they ever made was Cleopatra Wong and he directed it. I’m a big fan of it. As part of Paragon Home Video’s opening credits, for years, they always had the One Armed Executioner trailer on the front of their tapes.

Roger: Amongst a couple of other catalog titles.

Quentin: It’s a real Paragon Home video trailer, and what that means is that it’s not the real trailer. It’s just cut together scenes from the movie.

Roger: Done by an intern, probably.

Quentin: Yeah, exactly. I remember seeing that in the eighties, and being like, “Ah, one of these days I’ll get around to watching that.” So the other day, thinking about how this would be good for our third spot, we put it on and we watched it. Me and Roger were so taken with this little Revengeamatic, this little Filipino exploitation movie, we felt, “Oh my God, we’re watching a genre classic. We are absolutely watching a genre Revengeamatic classic” and we decided that it was so special. We enjoyed the experience of watching it. We had such a good time. There’s problems with it, to be sure, but we had such a good time that we decided that it actually deserved to have the first spot.

Roger: Yeah, it deserved to. In watching it, I was like, “This is like any other big action movie.” This holds its own, as far as I’m concerned.

Quentin: Especially if you’re a student of Revengeamatics, this movie absolutely falls into the best of the best of the classics of that genre status. It can sit in a pile with Coffy. It can sit in a pile with Navajo Joe. It can sit in a pile with They Call Her One Eye. It can sit in a pile with Rolling Thunder.
Roger: Absolutely.

Quentin: Death Rides a Horse, the other spaghetti western version and some other kung fu cuts of it. Now, having said all those movies I just mentioned, One Armed Executioner is definitely the least of them. It’s definitely on the bottom of that pile of movies I just listed but at the same time, it’s a really, really strong entry and (to give it even a bit of a more of a hat tip) when it comes to pace; its pace is so strong. It moved so fast that really only Coffy and Navajo Joe can compete with it when it comes to pace.

Roger: Yeah, it is constantly- It’s a freight train and it’s constantly doing audience pleasing (I don’t want to call them tropes) standards.

Quentin: No, tropes is the exact word, because we’ve seen the story a zillion times before

Roger: I just don’t want to call them tropes because that makes it sound bad, when in the case of this movie in particular-

Quentin: It’s how lovingly the tropes are done.

Roger: Right, exactly.

Quentin: That’s what makes it so enjoyable.

Roger: How seriously they’re taken.

Quentin: And the pace of the film; from the moment that the movie starts, it’s like greyhounds running across the track, the way it gets to its conclusion. But what Roger just said is actually kind of important, because one of the things about the movie, it knows what it is. It’s a Revengeamatic, and it does go through the paces. It goes through the tropes that you’ve seen many, many, many, many times before. But it’s so charming, in the way it does it. It’s so charming, the way it recreates or almost reinvents these pieces. Now I will preface this episode on One Armed Executioner with the caveat that we will be using spoilers (I don’t even like the use of that word, alright). But we will be talking about the film and all of its plot machinations.

It’s funny because if you’d asked me when the show started, “Would I be worried about spoilers?” “We’re talking about movies that are 40 years old, 50 years old, if they haven’t seen them by now. Fuck ‘em.” But the reality is, when we watch them we do see certain things where, “Oh, no, this could be a surprise if you didn’t know that this was going to happen this will actually change your view of the film.”

Roger: And frequently with the movies you’re showing, you may have seen them but I haven’t seen them, sometimes, and so they’re a surprise to me. So it’d be really special if it was a surprise to the audience

Quentin: So we play it by ear, but we kind of err towards the idea that, “Oh, at the end of the day (even though we’re not even recommending movies, we’re just talking about them) if your viewing of it would be better without knowing this piece of plot information, then we err towards that way.” On the other hand, I also feel that when it comes to certain sub genres, the mechanics of them are so dyed in the wool that it’s ridiculous not to talk about the different tropes.

Roger: The familiar beats, that they always hit.

Quentin: The familiar beats and how they did hit them. If we’re talking about a Jaws rip off, well guess what? There’s going to be some town. There’s going to be some naturalistic monster that’s in that town.

Roger: There’s going to be children in the water.

Quentin: Yeah, there will probably be some sort of authority figure there who’s responsible for it and somebody who is an authority on the given monster. Then at the end they’re going to fucking kill it, after it’s eaten a whole bunch of people along the way. Now how they ended up killing it, am I really spoiling it for you, to say that they kill the monster? But how they did it, compared to how all the other Jaws rip offs did it, it could be of interest. To me, that’s kind of how I come from the Revengeamatic genre. Okay, so I’m going to read the back of the box, which again, this is a Paragon Home Video box. So don’t expect much, when it comes to the back of it. I’m going to probably have to explain.

Roger: I have to say that, from the front of the box, I was ready to see the movie. The poster is awesome.

Quentin: But actually, almost all the shit that happens on the box happens in the movie, and the one armed executioner looks amazing in it. Okay, so: [reading the box] “One Armed Executioner (big subtitle) Revenge is sweet… His wife brutally murdered before his eyes, his arm chopped off as a warning, his job, his pride, his confidence are gone. A young Interpol agent’s rage for life has but one meaning: revenge, revenge and revenge! Running time, approximately 90 minutes.” I like the Paragon’s “approximately 90 minutes.” It’s not like we have the technology to tell you exactly how long the film is.

Roger: “Hey, Jimmy. How long is One Armed Executioner?”.

Quentin: “Approximately an hour and a half.”.

Roger: Okay, put that down. Just put it down, we got to get those tapes out.

Quentin: Franco Guerrero, who’s the star of the film and who’s an action star in the Philippines, plays an Interpol agent named Ortega. Part of the thing about Ortega is that he’s trying to shut down this drug dealer name Edwards, played by a very interesting guy. One of those weird cheap movie performances where first you think the guy’s not very good, but then the more you watch- He is a little awkward but then the more you get used to him, the more you kind of like him. Until finally, “No, actually, I kind of dig the guy’s performance.”

Roger: Oh, you mean Nigel Hogg. Actually, the credits are super sketchy on this film so it took me a while to figure out, “Okay, who was that guy?” Because he had my favorite line in the movie as a drug kingpin, which was, “Everybody wants to be the king of shit hill, but it ain’t that easy.”

Quentin: Yeah, that’s true.

Roger: That was the moment I was like, “Okay, that’s my character. That’s the guy I love.”

Quentin: He’s a pretty terrific bad guy. First you kind of think he’s fat, but then you see him walking around in these Speedos and you realize, “Oh, no, he’s not fat at all.”

Roger: He’s got a kind of…

Quentin: He’s got a fat head.

Roger: Yeah, a fat head.

Quentin: He’s got a fat head and he’s got a fat neck.

Roger: But then he pulls back and he’s kind of ripped. Like, he’s got better abs than I do.

Quentin: He’s almost ripped. He’s one of those almost ripped white guys.

Roger: Yeah. Like a bear of a man.

Quentin: And he has kind of an Elvis, almost, kind of quality, like a seedy

Roger: You compared him perfectly to Joe Namath.

Quentin: Well, he does look a little bit like Joe Namath, like Joe Namath’s sleazy older brother. We call him Ernie Namath. But who he really looks like, to tell you the truth, is the missing Mitchum kid.

Roger: With that chin and the nose.

Quentin: Exactly.

Roger: The lips that are kind of overly curled.

Quentin: Yeah. So there’s Christopher Mitchum, and then there’s Jim Mitchum, and he really looks like the middle brother. Between the two Mitchums.

Roger: He has a nasty Mitchum mouth.

Quentin: Yeah. Nigel Mitchum.

Roger: Yeah. Nigel Mitchell.

Quentin: Nigel Mitchum. But that’s a weird name. That’s a cool name. I’m going to write that down. That’s a good name, Nigel Mitchum. Okay. If you see a movie with Nigel Mitchum, you’ll know where I got it from.

Roger: This is where it happened.

Quentin: This is the origin. The big bang, right here. Boom.

Roger: The Nigel Mitchum character was born. Perhaps the most famous character in cinema history.

Quentin: Boom. [what are supposed to be baby noises but sounds like a sheep].

Roger: Sounded like he was a sheep. It’s like you were fucking a sheep.

Gala: One of the sheep from Rage, actually.

Roger: Exactly.

Quentin: Bleeding out of my nose.

Roger: Slobbering all over, just drooling.

Quentin: So Ortega is dealing with his boss, who’s actually played by Leopold Scalito, who is actually (I don’t know if I’m pronouncing that correctly) in the late sixties, along with Fernando Poe, was one of the big stars of Filipino cinema. Probably his most famous movie is (at least for Westerner audiences) is a war movie called The Raiders of Letty Gulf, which is directed by Eddie Romero. He’s the boss in this and it’s cool because-

Roger: It’s realistic. He’s very realistic guy but with his weird kind of clothing; his giant collars like he’s about to go to a nightclub and do karaoke, or something.

Quentin: I know. It’s really interesting what passes as professional wardrobe for the Interpol of the Philippines.

Roger: I bet that’s real in the Philippines.

Quentin: No, no, I’m not making fun of them.

Roger: in 1981 that was probably the look.

Quentin: I’m not saying it’s ridiculous as far as like movie production, but yeah, they all look like they’re going out to barbecues or getting ready to hit yachts or go in a nightclub or a drug bender.

Roger: They are dressed very well. It’s like full on Saturday Night Fever.

Quentin: Yeah, yeah. Exactly; flowered shirts and great cool leisure suits with big, wide open collars.

Roger: What happened to fashion?

Quentin: Nobody wears dark colors, everything is white or light or teal.  Edwards is the big drug dealer. So Ortega’s like, “Hey, look, let’s quit pussyfooting around with these guys. Let’s go shake them up and let’s tell them that we’re on to them.” So they go and they do a big- They can really bust the guy, really, but they just go to roust them; just shake them up, and it does shake Edwards up. Edwards says, “Okay, well, here’s what we got to do. We’ve got to hide this and we got to hide that. But the number one thing we got to do, is we got to make an example of that guy Ortega to teach overzealous Interpol agents a lesson about what can happen when you get too nosy.

Roger: And there’s a really nice kind of setup before this, where his boss kind of runs a restaurant.

Quentin: It’s not his boss, but you’re right.
Roger: He’s like another guy who was like-

Quentin: I’ll tell you exactly what it is. He’s his mentor.

Roger: Yeah, he’s his mentor. That guy’s wife, because he was an Interpol (with all the trappings of being a cop), pulled him away from it.

Quentin: You’re talking about the mentor character.

Roger: It’s almost like he’s who Ramon Ortega could be if he were to get married to Anne, or maybe he’s already married to Anne.

Quentin: Yeah, he’s already married. But the situation is that this mentor character was a legend in his own time Interpol agent. His wife said, “Look, that’s it. If you want to stay with me, I don’t want to be worried all the time. You got to quit.” So he quits.

Roger: Because it’s the kind of job that you do until you die.

Quentin: Yeah. He quits, but he opens up a big bar/nightclub kind of thing.

Roger: That all the Interpol agents hang out at.

Quentin: No, it’s just like the old movie where the cop quits being a cop, and he opens the cop bar and all the cops hang out. So Ortega’s marrying this white blond girl named Anne, played by Jodi Kay, who’s really charming in the film.

Roger: She’s great.

Quentin: And so they’ve just come back from America, where Ortega met her parents.

Roger: In San Francisco.

Quentin: And now they’ve just come back to Manila and she’s like, “Oh, no, I had a great time. Ramon meeting my parents and I had a great time seeing them again, but I’m just so happy to be back in Manila.” Then the mentor character says something like, “Yes, my wife wanted me to retire from the force and I did. And now she’s passed on, and I think what would have happened if I had stayed. But then I look around at this wonderful club and I go, Hey, this life isn’t so bad. What am I worrying about?”

Roger: It’s a great moment.

Quentin: It’s a really good moment.

Roger: It’s a really wonderful performance, that guy gives.

Quentin: He gives a terrific performance all the way through the whole film. I don’t have his name. So then Ortega goes to the bathroom during this time, and so he starts talking to Anne and he’s like, “So really, are you going to be okay with Ramon continuing to be an Interpol agent?” She’s like, “Well, what am I going to do? That’s who he is, you know?”

Roger: I can’t stop him.


Quentin: I can’t stop him from doing that and I don’t want to stop him from doing that. I don’t want to stop him from being who he is, to take that away from him would be to take away his life.

Roger: She stands by her man and who he is.

Quentin: And Jodi Kay, the woman playing her, she’s not much of an actress, but you like her. She’s a cool character and she’s a cool person playing the character.

Roger: In fact, there was a point in the movie (and I think it was a memory that happens later on) when they’re together on the beach and he’s remembering back when I was watching it, I think I turned to you and I said, “They are a real couple,” because the love that I’m feeling on screen feels real. It feels like they just took a camera out to Big Sur, or something, and shot a whole bunch of scenes.

Quentin: Well, you actually asked me during the thing, you go, “Are they actually married in real life?” and I don’t know the answer to that.

Roger: But it felt real. It felt real enough.

Quentin: At the very least, it sounds like they might have had an affair while they were making the movie.

Roger: And that is the only thing necessary; you could have had a million other (maybe better) actresses in that role. But what that actress did, what Jodi Kay did, was it actually made me feel the love between them. So that when the ultimate tragedy comes, it hurt and it hurt bad.

Quentin: Well, here’s the thing about that, though. Yes. Everything you just said is true. But you said that from her very first scene.

Roger: Oh, yeah.

Quentin: You just liked her. You just liked her right from the beginning.

Roger: Well, one, it was that she stands by him.

Quentin: Yeah.

Roger: And she’s just absolutely head over heels in love with him. Does not want to change him, wants him to be him.

Quentin: And like you said, the two actors are sexy together. It’s both romantic and sexy.

Roger: And I think the reason I felt that from the beginning was partly the way that she was looking at him in those early restaurant scenes. She was just looking at him, like, adoringly even. I found him to be completely attractive, in a kind of William Petersen way, or like James Caan.

Quentin: That’s what you said, yeah.

Roger: It just reminded me of that way that he had the sort of- I don’t know what you call that jacket, that’s kind of cut off. That William Petersen clothing from To Live and Die in L.A.

Quentin: I love his color choices of red and black. Right from the very beginning, he’s always juggling these cool outfits that are red and black; like a red sweater with a black leather jacket on top of that.

Roger: Well, he’s wearing all those tight red and black clothes in the beginning, and then he loses his arm and he’s got to walk around for the rest of the movie and convince you that he’s lost his arm. And by the way, he’s doing all sorts of kung fu and he’s jumping from tall buildings. Or he’s jumping from a rooftop onto the ground with his arm tied behind his back, underneath his clothes, and he’s pulling it off.

Quentin: Oh, he completely pulls it off.

Roger: It’s convincing. I mean, it is absolutely convincing.

Quentin: No, you’re right. Actually, he wears a bunch of different kind of long, almost safari outfits. But there actually is a point when he actually goes back to his red and black ensemble, it’s like he’s found himself again. Now he’s Inspector Ortega again.

Roger: The color of blood.

Quentin: So anyway, Edwards sends a bunch of guys over including this one guy, Jason, played by Peter Cooper

Roger: Oh my god, that guy delivers.

Quentin: That bear of a man, I think of a John Milius character.

Roger: Yeah. John, who is a lovely kind gentleman compared to this dude.

Quentin: Let me just rephrase that. Okay, it’s not so much that he is the John Milius type, but I can imagine John Milius writing this character.

Roger: Oh, completely

Quentin: The Jason character is definitely a John Milius-esque character.

Roger: Miliusian?

Quentin: So these bastards show up at the house and they tie everybody up, gag everybody. Cut the wife up for a little bit, torture her, shove a samurai sword into her heart in front of him as he screams [screaming dramatically].

Roger: Oh, God. May I just say, that scene was so well and competently handled. The just going back and forth, first from these kind of brutal wide shots and getting closer and closer into those extreme close ups to the point where he runs her through with the sword and that crazy close up of Franco Guerrero as he screams and goes in the camera. I felt my skin curdle in that moment, it was so intense.

Quentin: And then, look I’ve seen that scene a zillion times before, and you have too.


Roger: That’s why I was unprepared for it to be effective.

Quentin: Yeah, I agree with that. I think where it actually takes a turn, where it’s not just the same old scene that we’ve seen before that’s just setting up the plot, that takes it even more into like a Straw Dogs or Peckinpah-esque level is after they kill Anne. It’s that guy Jason’s laughter, that kind of goes on for almost a minute. As it goes on, as it has this really well-done montage where as this guy’s life crumbling, this laughter is amplified.

Roger: Yeah, great sound design.

Quentin: For seemingly a full minute. That’s where it gets Peckinpahesque.

Roger: Yeah.

Quentin: And the piece de resistance is to cut off Inspector Ortega’s arm, to cut off his left arm. He could kill him but no, no, no, no. Just like they say in Brian De Palma’s Wiseguys, “We could kill them. But if we do that, what have they learned?” So they’re kind of taking a wiseguy. “We could kill Detective Ortega. But then, you know, he hasn’t learned anything.”

Roger: If it’s even more than that, they call a doctor. They call some lame doctor to cauterize the wound and dump him at a hospital.

Quentin: Yeah, exactly.

Roger: And so they patched him up enough that he’s not going to bleed to death, and they throw him at the front door of a hospital.

Quentin: So every day for the rest of his life, he’ll know he should not have fucked with Edwards.

Roger: Exactly. And he has that moment where he wakes up and he’s not sure if it’s all real.

Quentin: Oh, that’s a really good scene.

Roger: He reaches over and he feels that his arm isn’t there and that’s when he realizes that Anne isn’t there either, because it’s all real. Then he has the same scream and it’s so painful.

Quentin: [screaming] “Oh my god. Oh, my god.”

Roger: Yeah, it’s literally done Tough Guys Don’t Dance style.

Quentin: Other people make fun of that. We don’t make fun of Ryan O’Neal in Tough Guys Don’t Dance.

Roger: That’s a real emotion people have.

Quentin: Yeah, I know. We’re literally describing a movie you probably feel (except for the arm cut off part) that you probably feel you’ve seen done a zillion times before. And you have. But this production, its heart and its balls are in the right place. Bobby Suarez is a really effective filmmaker. There’s fantastic shots in this film. It has a great rhythm and a great energy. There’s good lighting. You know, it falls into the same kind of category that we’ve talked about on some of these movies that works pretty good; where, one, this actually (for a Filipino movie) has a pretty decent budget. Franco Guerrero is actually a big enough star there, that this was a big deal.

Roger: It does everything that a big Hollywood movie would do. They’ve got the helicopter scenes, they’ve got the boats, they’ve got the helicopter chasing the boat scene and as good as any Bond movie, by the way.

Quentin: Yeah, the helicopter chase scene looks like the Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry helicopter car chase, except done with a speedboat.

Roger: Yeah, it’s incredible.

Quentin: So what ends up happening with the character is that his life is over, as far as he’s concerned. He blames himself completely. He’s the one that got his wife killed. There’s nothing he can do anymore. He weak and he’s helpless because they’ve cut his arm off. He’d kill himself before he’d become some clerical clerk in Interpol.


So he just decides he’s going to drink himself to death and become a bum. I actually think they did a good job on this. You can maybe say it goes on too long, but it’s part of their commitment to his downfall. One of the things I like about it, is when he first goes to the bar and he meets the prostitute, who I actually thought would have a bigger part in the movie, cause she’s actually a pretty cool character.

Roger: And that she actually recognizes his goodness.

Quentin: No, I thought she was going to be like Linda Haines in Rolling Thunder for a second. I thought she was going to.

Roger: Yeah, they pushed against that.

Quentin: She was cool. But the thing is, you’re wondering, “Is he like Charlie Rain in Rolling Thunder?” where it’s like, “Oh, you know, he’s going to go to the bad guys bar and he’s going to pretend to get drunk with the prostitute, just to kind of get the lay of the land.” No, no, no, no, no, no. He’s he’s a loser. No, no, no. This is not him going undercover. This is him being a fucking loser. He’s just getting drunk, falling asleep.

Roger: Throwing his life away.

Quentin: He’s just living in the gutter. Eventually, his old mentor literally kidnaps him from the gutter and takes him way fucking far away.

Roger: To his secret camp, his ranch.

Quentin: His secret lair, somewhere in the forest.

Roger: This is what I’ve been really doing. This is what the restaurant pays for.

Quentin: He’s like, “Okay, so enough of your self-pitying bullshit. You can’t get revenge the way you are. However, we’re going to teach you how to fight. We’re going to teach you how to do everything you can do, and you’re going to get your life back. Enough of this feeling sorry for yourself.” Like in a proper kung fu move, he starts putting him through the paces – not just a proper kung fu movie, but a proper one arm kung fu movie, which is its own genre and is basically based on the Jimmy Wang Yu films.

Roger: In fact, that guy who’s teaching him; there’s this one kind of teacher character who’s a non-speaking part. He’s just some guy who’s there. The way he illustrates how to do the one arm moves, and how he keeps his eye on Ramon Ortega, but he shows him as he’s doing it and he’s showing the audience in those scenes.

Quentin: You really responded.

Roger: I’ve rarely been instructed so well in how these moves would be done, in a movie.

Quentin: Yeah, it’s really- I have to say, talk about things I’ve seen many times before.

Roger: Yeah, I know and that you’ve shot yourself.

Quentin: Yeah, a guy going into training Is one of the scenes I’ve seen the most of any scene in my life. You were right to point that out because in the movie, the teacher who’s hiding one arm behind his back, he’ll go and he’ll fight a guy and he’ll block him and land the blows.

Roger: Shows him how he can win with one arm. “You don’t need two. I only need one arm.”

Quentin: Yeah. So he does it at full speed and then after he’s done, then he shows the impact points. “You see, this is how I did it. Here, here and here. So how did I do it? I did it this way. This way. And this way.”

Roger: Then you can track later on in the movie how he’s fighting, with that one arm technique.

Quentin: Now, one of the things that was actually kind of interesting in following the Hong Kong films going into the later eighties, they started moving away from martial art forward films into the more John Woo, Chow Yun-Fat gun movies. So now for 2 seconds they were starting to call that genre Gun-Fu, but the guys Tobey Russell (Ken Russell’s son) and Rick Baker (not the make up effects guy but the Hong Kong martial art expert out of Britain) started a magazine called Eastern Heroes, and they dubbed that genre Heroic Bloodshed. So it started becoming known as Heroic Bloodshed. However, the way they teach it in One Armed Executioner, I think you can officially call it Gun-Fu because it’s all the acrobatics and stuff that you are known to seeing in martial art movies but just added with a gun.

He’s doing leaps and somersaults and this and that and he can fire at the slightest sound and hit his target. I got to say, not expecting that training sequence to be as much fun as any training sequence I’d ever seen. It was just such a blast and it’s so well shot and the more fantastical his training gets and the more he pulls it off, the more exciting it is because you can’t wait to see him take on everybody.

Roger: And you feel a kind of crescendo towards the conflict with the villain coming throughout that scene, as opposed to just being a whole bunch of moments strung together.

Quentin: But when he actually just does a backward flip and then in the middle of the flip, he hits two targets with his gun. I was jumping out of the chair. That was so exciting.

Roger: [doing a line from One Armed Executioner] “And now you’re ready.”

Quentin: But one of the things that’s really nice about the movie is that it knows what it is, but it actually takes Franco Guerrero seriously and it takes Inspector Ortega seriously. There’s that moment when Ortega is finally starting to commit to the training and he’s finally starting to shake off his self-pity and shake off his guilt a little bit. Then this mentor shows up like, “Oh, so you decided to join the living again, I see.” We felt that and we’re happy for him that he is he’s crawled out of the gutter.

Roger: And then mayhem ensues.

Quentin: Yes. Okay. So basically all these different story points are the story points you expect to find in a Revengeamatic, and it hits them all perfectly. Not only does it hit them all perfectly, it adds its own little special shine. One of the last things before I get to the third act is, the movie has two jumping off point. It’s definitely jumping off from the Jimmy Wang Yu film; his first films with Shang Shaye which is The One Armed Swordsman and then his own directed movies, The One Armed Boxer and Master of the Flying Guillotine. But it’s also obvious he has seen Rolling Thunder.

Roger: Well, he has to have.

Quentin: Yeah, exactly. Frankly, I think part of the seriousness of the movie comes from the Rolling Thunder stuff.

Roger: Which is almost overly serious, by comparison. This movie almost finds a kind of, frankly, Hollywood balance.

Quentin: Yeah, but there is this Rolling Thunder quality, especially to the massacre scene, for sure. But also to him in the hospital bed and to learning how to reload his gun with one arm.

Roger: Which was a good little trick that he figured out.

Quentin: It’s really cool.

Roger: I especially like how he kind of cocks it with one hand.

Quentin: Oh, no, that’s awesome. That’s terrific. Now, here’s the thing about the third act.

Roger: It turns into a Werner Herzog movie.

Quentin: Yes, it does a little bit. Okay. While I was watching the movie, I was thinking this is where the film is having a misstep because it’s kind of hit all of its bases just perfectly. Now it should be bringing the whole baby home, when it comes to assaulting the main bad guy’s lair island, or whatever it is. The assault of the fortress. Now you bring it home, you wipe out all those guys and you kill the guy. Now, this is the part when the movie starts getting a little windy. But then now, having seen the film all the way through, yes, it does get a little windy, but it seems to be kind of going on its own and it knows what it’s doing. It starts following the big guy who killed his wife, Jason, and then Edwards, as they try to escape through this jungle. You just said it: it’s as if they hired Werner Herzog to shoot the second unit.

Roger: [doing a Werner Herzog impression] “He is a pig. And so, therefore, he must slog through the mud like a pig.”

Quentin: And it looks like Werner Herzog watched the entire movie up until that part and said, “Okay, as far as I’m concerned, forget Edwards. I’m making Jason the main guy. It’s Jason’s story from here. Bobby Suarez could deal with the one-armed executioner all he wants. This is Jason’s movie: The Fat Henchman. I am making the movie about the journey and degradation of the fat henchman, who is like a pig. And I will put him through the mud like the pig he is and we will enjoy his degradation. But the degradation that we enjoy is the degradation of us all.”

Roger: He would definitely be like, “He must have become stuck in the mud, for nature holds onto him and strangulates him and holds him down. And then the movie must become held down as well.” There’s one other moment, which is when Edwards gets his final moment where they blow up the boat and Edwards dives out of the boat.

Quentin: It’s a misstep. Look, I was thinking they should have just wrapped things up. But part of the reason they’re not wrapping it up is because they have a big action sequence yet to go, which is Edwards trying to escape on the speedboat with the one-armed executioner following him in a helicopter, throwing grenades. Finally, it has a situation where he drops a grenade and it lands in the boat. Edwards goes, “Oh, my God,” jumps out and then the boat blows up. So we watch it. I mean, because it’s actually happening and the actor actually has to jump out of the boat before it blows up. That’s why he does, because it makes sense.

Roger: You don’t want to blow up the actor.

Quentin: But the way we’re looking at it, “No, Edwards is just floating around in the water.” He didn’t blow up. It would been easy enough to cut to the boat exploding and we would assume. But we watched him get clear of the boat and then he even says, “Okay, let’s turn around and get Edwards in the helicopter.” But then it ends up he has his final thing with Jason, and now I’m expecting him to go get Edwards. But then the music starts playing and you know that the movie is working as if Edwards is dead.

Roger: Well, I’ve thought about this and I was thinking-

Quentin: The One Armed Executioner even says, “My work here is done.”

Roger: I mean, I think that to director Bobby Suarez, philosophically, Edwards isn’t really revenge. He’s just a businessman. He’s just a guy. He’s the facilitator. He’s just some white dude on the island.

Quentin: He’s just a Mitchum brother.

Roger: The guy who ran the sword through his wife. The pig who killed his wife and even up to his death is gloating over it.

Quentin: Yeah. “How do you feel?” “Not as good as it felt ramming that blade through your wife!”

Roger: To Bobby Suarez, that’s the villain.

Quentin: Yeah.

Roger: True revenge is taken there and to him, that’s enough. There will always be an Edwards in the world, in the Philippines. That’s the problem. Maybe that’s the commentary.

Quentin: Look, I wish I didn’t have a question mark thinking that he was going to go back and get Edwards later. But his kind of slow walk, taking a bullet with each step. His slow approach to Jason as he just shoots them one by one, just constantly moving forward on him. That works great. That’s terrific.

Roger: There’s a commentary going on about American imperialist influences in the Philippines at that time. It’s almost on display in the background of every shot of the police. Which are these paintings of Imelda Marcos.

Quentin: Yeah. On all federal buildings. One painting of her looking at us, as if she’s almost a fourth character in the movie.

Roger: Constantly, throughout it. I mean, he’s definitely making a point about the corrupt influences that are going on in the Philippines at that time. It’s almost like Edwards gets away (or doesn’t get away) and it doesn’t matter because there’s always another Edwards to step into his place. That might be the Philippine attitude, whereas the guy who ran his saw through your wife and laughed, that guy’s going to die. For sure, that guy is going to die.

Quentin: And laughed in a sound design kind of way.

Roger: In a creepy way. [imitates the laugh]

Quentin: Anyway, look, One Armed Executioner is a powder keg and just delivered like dominoes. I’m a big Bobby Suarez fan. I’m looking forward to seeing even more films with him and Franco Guerrero. One I think I have in my collection is one with a with Christopher Mitchum; Christopher Mitchum, John Philip Lau and Franco Guerrero called American Commandos. By the way, Edwards is in that one as well.

Roger: Well, I dug up an old review by (actually it seems like a recent review) by my favorite critic, Franklin Brauner. I have to read it in the voice of Bill Margold because you’ve been reading me all of these Bill Margold and Jim Sheldon reviews and you’ve been sending them to me and you’ve had this project you’re working on and you’re kind of climbing inside of their heads. I keep hearing his voice, and so when I was reading this review, I couldn’t help but do it in the voice of someone else.

Quentin: Of Bill Margold.

Roger: “One may be unexpectedly lured into believing that this 1981 revenger is a grade C exploitation quickie. But it’s truly every bit as good as the best big budget early eighties studio action thriller. But it’s only budget that separates the two because all the story mechanisms that make a Hollywood movie, a Hollywood movie are here on full display with Franco Guerrero taking the place of, say, the virile James Caan and Bobby Suarez taking the reins of instead, say, Michael Mann. The resulting production is as bad ass if not bad asser, if there is such a word. It is the opinion of this critic that Jodi Kay, as the lovestruck Anne, could be cast in either production. She is that wonderful.”

Quentin: Well said.

Roger: She could. She could have been in a Hollywood movie version of this. She could have been in this and she’s as great in both.

Quentin: No, I’m remembering actually as we watched the movie, you kept pointing out different Michael Mann-isms.

Roger: Oh, well one: the wardrobe feels like it’s right out of Miami Vice. I feel like we’re watching Miami Vice in some ways and the locales don’t hurt that at all. It completely helps that illusion. Plus, the movie is very solidly made and constructed the way Michael Mann constructs things. I would just say Michael Mann probably has a bigger budget and more and resources, but man, Bobby Suarez delivers.

Quentin: Yeah, well, not only that. I would actually say that I think the weakest part of Thief is like the taking of the villain’s compound.

Roger: Which was the same year.

Quentin: Yeah, exactly. But the taking the villains compound in One Armed Executioner is fantastic.

Roger: Yeah, exactly. Which is one of the reasons when you look at Thief and you look at this, there are similarities to be drawn from the two and the look of the movie (the eye of the director, as you say) it’s right there. I was seeing Michael Mann, and every now and then I would see Tony Scott. It was feeling slick like that.

Quentin: It’s a cutting style. There’s a cutting technique.

Roger: There’s also a commitment to kind of a Hollywood “deliver for the audience” style. You’re getting an absolute revenge thriller, but there’s nothing out of the reach of a general audience.

Quentin: That’s very, very well said. But the reason we’re so enthusiastic about the film it’s one of those things where I thought I had seen all the great classics of this type of genre, and I knew about this movie. I’ve known about this movie since the eighties, since seeing the trailer and everything. And like I said, I know who Bobby Suarez is, but to actually finally get around (part of the reason we’re even doing the show is to get around to watch something like this) to it and find actually, oh, my God, this is a classic. This is a grade Z exploitation classic and it sits right on the shelf with something like Miss 45, which is probably the closest in its year range.

Roger: Yeah, probably.

Quentin: It sits on the shelf with Navajo Joe and Coffy and Miss 45 and all those really terrific movies. We just kept looking at each other going, “Oh, wow. We found a good one.” Or Mad Max or something like that.

Roger: We were like, “This isn’t a number three movie. This is a number one movie.” This the main event.

Quentin: No, we were so enthused to find a little diamond sitting in the trash can.

[musical interlude]

Quentin: Roger and I are back, except joined this time by the lovely Gala Avary. Hello Gala.

Gala: Hello, Quentin. Hi, Dad.

Roger: Hey, Gala. How’s it going? I just saw you earlier today.

Gala: Really great. You know, it’s so funny; when I was watching this movie, my dad actually walked by my room and he’s like, “Oh, you’re watching One Armed Executioner. What do you think?” I’m like, “This is awesome!”

Roger: Which I was like, “Okay, we’re in the right reality. CERN hasn’t fucked this one up.”

Gala: This movie is like- I’ve realized I don’t know if I’ve felt this way about a movie since we did the Demonoid episode. This movie’s awesome. First off, it fires on all cylinders. The opening gag with the little person in the telephone booth, I can’t believe you guys didn’t bring that up.

Quentin: You’re right. I forgot about it, actually.

Roger: Well, there’s so many good things. That happens in the first, like, 3 minutes or whatever.

Quentin: But that galvanized us.

Roger: That incredible actor, too.

Gala: He’s on the phone and he’s calling basically because the deal’s gone wrong and then he gets locked in the booth.

Roger: He’s a snitch or something.

Gala: Yeah, he gets locked in the booth and he gets thrown in the river or the ocean. And that’s the whole catalyst for Ortega to be on the case anyway. I think it actually sets you on the right tone for the movie: it’s going to be a little crazy, but really fun.

Roger: Well, also, when they bring the phone booth out, when they lifted out of the water, it looks like a coffin and it is a coffin, basically.

Quentin: But not only that, though.

Roger: His snitching tool was his coffin.

Quentin: Well, well said there. But also, that let me know how well this movie was going to be because that collection of shots; when Ortega was at the lake and them taking the phone booth out was just so well done.

Roger: There’s a storyteller at work here. There’s a storyteller who’s showing you, picture by picture, what you need to see.


Quentin: This isn’t a “get it done” kind of movie. No, this guy knows what he’s doing. There’s a nice philosophy to the way the shots are cut together and the camera placements.

Gala: And you guys are right, that there are a lot of “tropes” in this movie, but they’re done so well. They’re not just going from one thing to the next, like, “Okay, we got to take these boxes. We got to have the training sequence. We got to have his arm get cut off, blah, blah, blah.” They’re so good every time. I know his arms gonna get cut off, but the way that his arm gets cut off is so gut wrenching. It’s his own folly because the book that the crime people are trying to get doesn’t even exist. It was burned up. He’s the one that comes up with the idea to mess with them.

Roger: Yeah, “We’ll fuck with them a bit.”

Gala: And that’s his problem. He messes with them.

Roger: You’re right. That’s an important theme for this movie.

Gala: Yeah. He messes with them and they take away what’s most important to him.

Quentin: Yeah, he’s kind of right to feel guilt. “No, I wanted to fuck with them, and I got fucked.”

Roger: And the worst thing that could possibly happen, happened.

Quentin: Yeah, he paid for it.

Gala: Yeah. And, like, I love Jody Kay as Anne. I think she’s awesome. I actually believe this on-screen romance.

Quentin: Yeah, me, too.

Gala: When he’s depressed and they show that montage you’re talking about, at the beach.

Roger: You feel true love.

Gala: I understand why he’s feeling that, it’s not just some girl that he’s brought through.

Quentin: That final kissing scene that they have in that flashback. That’s a real kiss.

Roger: She’s either one of the most convincing actresses or it was real.

Quentin: Now, admittedly, it starts getting pretty corny when they have the flashbacks when he’s remembering Jody. But I didn’t mind because on one hand, it’s a sweet kind of corny, and then the rest of the movie is so grim, it’s giving you a break from the grimness. But also, I like Jody Kay. So it’s just nice to see her again.

Gala: Yeah, but also, I actually really like those flashbacks because when he gets his arm chopped off there’s that shot of the magazine and his arm twitching, and that shot is so cool. I am reminded me, actually, of Demonoid.

All: [laughter]

Gala: I don’t know, I just I love these hand shots where these arms are moving and stuff. It’s so cool looking. That’s why I like those flashbacks. It’s because those flashbacks are showing us what he’s lost and those moments he’s lost. He could have been, right now, on the beach with Anne if he just hadn’t wanted to mess with those guys. If it hadn’t been for his own pride that lost him Anne, he could have been there right now. It’s so believable that he’s just down in the gutter. And then I love that he goes and gets taken by his mentor in the car, just like drunkenly stumbling around.

Roger: You think maybe it’s the bad guys abducting him.

Gala: I actually thought it was the bad guys, at first, abducting him. No, it’s his mentor.

Quentin: It’s like being a moonie; being kidnaped and deprogrammed.

Roger: Yeah, yeah.

Gala: He says. My favorite line in the movie, “If you want revenge, you must earn the right to take it.” I thought that was such a powerful line because, you know what? He has to pull himself back up. He can’t just get revenge. He has to work hard to right his wrongs and to get the revenge. I loved it. That spinning machine.

Quentin: Yeah, the spinning machine.

Roger: Let’s build a crazy spinning machine.


Quentin: Yeah, to carry bottles with numbers and you have to shoot the right number at the right time as it spins around you. That spinning machine is so cool. That’s when the movie got even better. It kicked up to a different gear with that, because those shots were so well-done. It was so clever.

Gala: It’s so dynamic.

Quentin: And when, all of a sudden, he’s able to pull it off, it’s like, “Oh, shit. He’s become a bionic gun man.”

Gala: He’s actually earned the right to go take his revenge.

Quentin: It is Gun Fu.

Gala: And it’s awesome, I think. I love this genre of Gun Fu. I wish there was more movies that were just like One Armed Executioner, because it’s so fun.

Quentin: How in the fuck is there not another; Return of the One Armed Executioner?

Roger: With Nigel Hogg as Edward, still out there. He’s still in the Philippines, that guy. He might still be there now.

Quentin: He’s still in the lake.

Gala: He’s waiting for the call, for the Return of the One Armed Executioner. But I agree with Roger, I think the true villain of this movie is the Jason character who has that joker-like laugh. I feel like he should be playing the Joker right now in this movie.

Roger: With Edwards, it’s just business. He’s just a businessman, with that guy it’s-

Gala: It’s personal.

Roger: He’s a sadist. He wants to hurt people and with or without Edwards, he’s going to be doing that.

Quentin: Did you find the the slow disintegration of Jason through-

Gala: First off, his belly has been punctured or shot out or something.

Roger: A stabbing.

Gala: He gets stabbed. Yeah, he’s stabbed. So that he’s like holding his bloody gut.

Roger: Holding his intestines in while he wanders through the mud, Herzog style. Like in Aguirre, the Wrath of God, or something.

Gala: I love how Edwards, when he finally gets on the boat, which by the way, has that weird swastika on it.

Roger: That’s very normal in the East.

Gala: Is it to show everyone, “I am a Nazi and oh, I’m so evil.”

Roger: So we know he’s the bad guy.

Gala: And then I love that Edwards, when he finally gets the boat up and running after he’s told Jason, “You’re slowing me down.” That Jason starts to crawl into the boat and goes, like, “Haha!” and kicks him off into the water.

Quentin: “You dumb sucker.”

Gala: It’s so funny because, he just really is a dumb sucker at that point. I actually love that we’re left with Jason and Ortega because that’s the guy that I want to see him get personally. Like, if someone dies in a big explosion, whatever.

Quentin: When it comes to a Revengeamatic, it has to be mano a mano. It’s going to be personal. I’m looking you in the fucking eye as I’m emptying my gun on you.

Gala: Not only that, Jason raises his hands to show he’s unarmed and Ortega gives him a gun. He levels the playing field. That’s how badass our hero is, is that he levels the playing field against his arch nemesis villain, and still kills him.

Quentin: Yeah.

Gala: It’s just great. I don’t know what else I can say. It’s amazing. I loved it. I had so much fun. That’s all I want from a movie, I want to have fun. I want to be cheering at the end, and I was.

Quentin: The kind of surprise of it all, just made it all the better.

Gala: And even furthermore, I think this is a movie I could watch again and again and again and still have fun watching it.

Quentin: Well, I feel that way about all those other movies I mentioned that I’m putting this on the same list as. God knows how many times I’ve seen Coffy. God knows how many times I’ve seen Navajo Joe. Here’s a new one on the list, and now I’m excited to see more Franco Guerrero movies because I think he was terrific in this.

Gala: I think he was amazing in it. Also, I love the music in this movie.

Quentin: Oh, the music is- We didn’t even talk about it. It’s got a great blaxploitation style, 70’s soundtrack. A fantastic one. Okay, before we move on from this, one of the things that the One Armed Executioner tape had was a whole plethora of Paragon trailers on the front that I have to announce. By the way, the Paragon transfer was fantastic. It looked really, really good.

Roger: Really beautiful transfer. The tape is held up, the box looks like it didn’t.

Quentin: I don’t know if you can call it a beautiful transfer, but that would almost be against what it was. It was a good, strong transfer.

Roger: It’s a VHS style transfer.

Quentin: Of a decent Grindhouse print.

Roger: Yeah. This does not look like a criterion Blu ray. That’s not the point.

Quentin: That would be to wash away the flavor.

Roger: All right. Yeah. Run it through the deflavorizer machine.

Quentin: Yes, exactly. You can’t clean the hotdog cooker all the time. You got to let some of that junk get on there. That’s what makes it a barbecue.

All: [laughter]

Quentin: So the trailers in front start off with the horrible trailer for Boarding House, the only shot on home video slasher film of its day.

Roger: Remarkable for that reason, I guess.

Quentin: Remarkably horrible. The next trailer is for something phony title called The Witching, but it actually is Bertie Gordy’s movie Necromancer with Orson Welles and Pamela Franklin and Michael Octane, which I’ve never seen. I’ve never really had any desire to see it. But it has one line that every time I heard this trailer, has always stayed with me. Somebody’s talking about witchcraft and they go, “Witchcraft is the only religion that gives you something now, in this life.”

Roger: In this life. It’s not promising you some bullshit in the afterlife.

Gala: I love that line.

Roger: It gives you something now. That’s true.

Quentin: And frankly, as weird as the movie looked, that line reading is very effective.

Roger: Yeah, well. You know the truth when you hear it.

Quentin: There’s the Molly and Lawless John trailer again. Then there’s the One Armed Executioner trailer.

Roger: On the tape for One Armed Executioner.

Quentin: Which we fast forwarded through but I remembered it from before. Then there’s the famous Gates of Hell trailer, which is how I even knew Gates of Hell existed; was seeing it on the Paragon Home video. Then there is the Hotwire trailer with Strother Martin and George Kennedy. Oh, and also there was Just Before Dawn.

Roger: That’s right.

Quentin: The other George Kennedy slasher movie directed by Jeffrey Lieberman, who did Squirm. Those are the wonderful trailers that are before the exciting find of One Armed Executioner on the Paragon Video Production Library.


Gala: Well, everyone out there in podcast land, you’re in luck because this movie is available on streaming. It’s even on YouTube for free. Not only that, but there is an entire channel dedicated to Bobby Suarez’s work. It’s called Bas Films, B-A-S F-I-L-M-S. I’m really excited because I managed to actually pick this one up on VHS. I picked it up in a lot for $99.99. My lot included Hostages, which I did not have.

Roger: You couldn’t find it before, right?

Gala: I actually found it in a lot with One Armed Executioner. The third movie that was in my lot was Umberto Lance’s Violent Protection, which I think is also called Violent in Naples.

Quentin: Oh, yeah.

Gala: With John Saxon. So I got those three tapes for $99.99.

Quentin: All three are Paragons?

Gala: All three Paragons, I actually found a Paragon lot.

Roger: You’re growing your Paragon library.

Gala: I never thought I was gonna be so excited to go on eBay and find a VHS tape. I actually saw it, and when I saw Hostages I gasped because I’ve been looking for that one, so I was just really excited.

Quentin: Those are three, actually, very applicable together.

Roger: You could almost do a whole episode on those three.

Quentin: That’s a marquee. That’s a Grindhouse marquee, man.

[musical interlude]




Roger: And welcome back and welcome to Welcome to Blood City, our next film. This movie is from 1977 and the tape that we have is from Lightning Video.

Quentin: Yes. Which was the more exploitation-y subdivision of Vestron, as if Vestron didn’t already have exploitation.

Roger: It still has that Vestron lightning bolt thing going on. The poster for this is great and I had never seen this film, but now that I know that it is effectively a Westworld– I don’t want to say rip off…

Quentin: It’s a rip off.

Roger: It’s a rip off. It’s a Westworld rip off. Looking at the poster art on the front, which is Jack Palance almost in an identical Yul Brynner pose and even tilted at the same angle, it’s a rip off.

Quentin: And by the way, both this and One Armed Executioner were Eddie Brandt’s titles. They were not from the Video Archives collection. One Armed Executioner would be under the “O” in the exploitation section.

Roger: Not before the A’s and the numbers.

Quentin: Right. Yeah, yeah, yeah. But Welcome to Blood City would definitely be under the “W”s in horror science fiction.

Roger: And that’s exactly where it belongs. I’m going to read from the back: “Welcome to Blood City, where sudden death is a way of life. Academy Award winner and perennial villain Jack Palance (Ripley’s Believe It or Not) and Keir Dullea (2010: The Year We Make Contact)”

Quentin: Not 2001. Just literally the last title that they did.

Roger: 2001, that’s a million years ago. Let’s do something more recent like 2010, “star in this futuristic action film about a computer that controls the lives and brutal deaths of the people of a small western town. Welcome to Blood City, where newcomers are the town’s slaves and the law (Palance) kills at the slightest provocation. Where killing is exonerated and rewarded and the person who scores 20 murders becomes immortal. This is Blood City, the town that is manipulated by a computer controller’s, sadistic whims. Each citizen is programed to want, at any cost, to be ordained as the kill master. Come visit if you dare. You are welcome to Blood City.”

Quentin: If you’ve seen the movie, that sounds like a word salad that includes a few buzz words that you know from the movie, if you’ve seen it. But that is completely a word salad, as opposed to a description. The mythology of this movie is what’s great about it. Now, my problem with it, as we all go on to talk about, is that it can’t deliver a third act that lives up to the first two acts.

Roger: Or the just the setup in general.

Quentin: Yes, but the setup and the first two acts and the mythology involved is fucking sensational. If they delivered it all the way to the end, this would be a science fiction classic. I actually think that not only is the mythology, I think, even more intriguing than the one in Westworld and it’s actually more plausible than the one on Westworld.

Roger: For sure.

Quentin: Okay. Go on with your Frank Brauner review.

Roger: I got to do it in the voice again.

Quentin: Get your pipe going. [does vocal exercises]

Roger: Alrighty, then. I think I’m ready. Let me adjust my ass a bit. “This Westworld rip off succeeds while also blazing its own trail across the rocky range of mountains known as science fiction. With Jack Palance, the only actor wild enough to wrestle Yul Brynner to the ground and make him say ‘beg,’ and the elegant heroine of genre cinema (Samantha Eggar) at her most horny. There is a lot to like about 1977’s Welcome to Blood City, but it’s the unexpected roughneck performance by the usually flaccid Keir Dullea that surprises above all. Turns out the guy has grit when given the opportunity and a character and is keen to deliver by bullet or bare knuckles.”

Quentin: That is so drastically my favorite Frank Brauner review. That actually tapped into William Margold. That really, really did.

Roger: This time, I tried.

Quentin: The horny Samantha Eggar thing is exactly what he would have written. Right on, by the way.

Roger:  Okay. So there are two favorites of ours in this. I mean, two favorites of the show, rather. One would be the great Jack Palance.

Quentin: Yes.

Roger: From our Ulli Lommel episode.

Quentin: The very first episode, Our maiden voyage, you might say.

Roger: And is he eating it up here again?

Quentin: He’s magnificent. He’s having such a good time. One of the things that’s also interesting about this, is apparently the tape came out after he had won the Oscar for City Slickers

Roger: Oh, yeah. Yeah. Where he was doing one handed pushups on stage. is that right?

Quentin: Yes, exactly. Yeah. But what’s interesting though, is the movie is a 1977 movie. But almost all the aspects of his character, Curly, that won him the Oscar for slightly spoofing his own persona in City Slickers; this is like the maiden go around for that performance, is in this movie. It’s even played with the same kind of comic twinkle in his eye. But I mean, his dialog is fantastic. When we watched the movie, every big scene with Jack Palance, we just kept talking out loud about like, “Look how fucking great he is in this.” He’s so charming. He’s so enjoyable. He makes the entire concept come alive.

Roger: Yeah. He’s shown up to do this little program, and he’s bringing all of people, Jack Palance to the show and it’s great.

Quentin: Forget about where it starts but the story gets going when Keir Dullea, from 2001, maybe his best performance since 2001 and definitely his most animated performance since his Otto Preminger film; Bunny Lake is Missing.

Roger: Yeah, completely. He’s unlike any other role he’s done in this movie. He’s tough in this.

Quentin: Well, yeah, usually when he shows up, he’s just- Like you said, he’s this flaccid character, whether it’s in The Fox or it’s all the weird TV science fiction movies he does.

Roger: Even in 2001, he’s somewhat flaccid.

Quentin: But it works. It works as part of the thing. But he has a sense of fun and a sense of entertainment and a sense of almost a genre actor kind of performance that you just never see Keir Dullea do before. He really kind of pulls it off. But anyway, the idea of the movie is all of a sudden Keir Dullea wakes up in the middle of some prairie; some rocky western-y prairie and he’s wearing what looks like a futuristic prison outfit. He wakes up, he has no idea where he is.

Then there’s about four or five other people there, almost all of them famous Canadian actors that have been in zillions of Canadian movies. So he wakes up and then he’s like, “Where am I? What’s going on?” And they’re all about, “We don’t know our names. We don’t know anything. We all just woke up in this western landscape.” The only thing that they have is a card with them, and the card lets them know that they’re killers. One person’s says, “You killed your baby.” Somebody else’s says, “You killed three people in a car crash.” “You killed two people doing this.” “You killed five people doing that.”

Roger: And other than that, they know nothing about themselves.

Quentin: They know nothing about themselves. The only thing they know, is that they’re killers.

Roger: Well, it’s kind of important that Keir Dullea, right at the very beginning after everybody has sort of come to acceptance, “Well, we’re one thing we know is that we’re all murderers.” And then he tears up his card.

Quentin: Yeah, he doesn’t read his card.

Roger: By tearing it up, he’s sort of like, “Don’t believe everything you read.”

Quentin: Yeah. No, he already makes himself the alpha dog.

Roger: The idea that Keir Dullea is the alpha dog in this situation is-

Quentin: Suggests bad casting, but it’s not bad casting. He rises to the occasion.

Roger: It makes me think I wish Keir Dullea had been given more roles like this.

Quentin: I think it actually looks like Keir Dullea, and Jack Palance especially, you get the impression that they really responded to the screenplay. That they were really, really excited by the possibilities of the screenplay. So these characters are walking along, then some western varmints show up, take their boots, and then rape the girl that’s with them; Hollis McLaren from Atlantic City and the movie Outrageous.


Then all of a sudden, Jack Palance shows up, who’s this lawman. He’s the sheriff of the town. He’s all, “Oh, I’ll take you into Blood City. And while you’re with me, no one’s going to hurt you while you’re in Blood City.” He walks them in and he realizes that, like everybody in Blood City (which is this western town), they want to kill him.

Roger: Chaotic western town.

Quentin: It’s a chaotic western town where murder is just happening everywhere. But they can’t kill them because they’re under the protection of the law.

Roger: Yeah. And you immediately start noticing a few weird design choices; like these cowboys are wearing kind of strange symbols on their outfits.

Quentin: You’ve got cowboys who are dressed up just like normal shopkeepers and the extras-

Roger: The background.

Quentin: –of a Western movie. But then you have these other people and you were assuming that they’re-

Roger: Entire class of people, almost that they’re.

Quentin: -sort of the contestants, or whatever this is going on, where they all wear black cowboy outfits with a target on their back

Roger: It’s kind of like a red plus sign.

Quentin: Yeah, yeah. It’s like a target on their heart and on their back. So now, I won’t go through the all the whys and wherefores of the rules that the people of Blood City and our lead characters have to play in. However, what you don’t know while you’re watching the movie (and frankly, I don’t care for the conclusion that they come up with) is exactly what you’re watching. I would say for a long, long period of time. Is this some weird prison of the mind? Is this a prison, that they’re at? Is this a game? Is this actually maybe a game for fun, that they’re all partaking in? It could be a Total Recall.

Roger: The movie’s really good as long as you’re asking that question.

Quentin: Yeah, it absolutely is.

Roger: As everybody goes into town, you’re either  like one of the slaves, basically. “You’re a slave until you kill somebody and you can only kill somebody if they legitimately come at you and you get them.”

Quentin: Yeah, right.

Roger: So there’s all these rules they have to live by. So you get picked off right and left, if you’re one of those people. The trick is to become one of the, I don’t know, citizens? One of the people who wears black. One of the black suit people.

Quentin: Well, if you’re one of the black suit people, you can still die. Once you kill 20 people, now you become immoral. And now you get to be a shopkeeper, or something like that.

Roger: Now, you still live there in peace, basically.

Quentin: Yes, exactly.

Roger: As a background character. I’m watching this and I know that it’s a Westworld rip off.

Quentin: But also doesn’t it start seeming like, especially at this point, there’s a little of Battle Royale mixed into there; with Jack Palance literally being the Beat Takashi character: running the whole thing, but also explaining the rules to the contestants as they go on. It’s funny because to me, they’re either contestants or they’re prisoners or they’re the third thing. Now, it turns out they’re the third thing, and that’s the least interesting.

Roger: And you know how much I love Samantha Eggar. At this point, I think she’s just the cat’s pajamas. I just love her. So when she showed up in this movie, I was like, “Alright,” and then she has kind of a little bit of a thankless role. Then comes the point (which is, I’m guessing, around mid movie) where she basically explains what the plot is and undoes all of the mystery of it. I couldn’t help but feel a little let down in that moment. Having said that, Jack Palance keeps it going.

Quentin: I think the movie goes for like 15 or 20 minutes before it cuts to Samantha Eggar and her husband, who are these computer programmers that are programing this whole thing. The minute they cut to the computer programmers, the movie is never quite the same again.

Roger: Yeah.

Quentin: It’s like, “Oh, that’s what this is.” Now I will say; I don’t like that they did that. I wish they had told the story without that. I think you could. I think you could easily have told the story.

Roger: I know you can.

Quentin: I know you can. You could definitely have told the story without jumping out that way. It’s kind of a bummer when they do, but I will give them some credit for it. They make that ultimately work. The whole concept of the two married computer programmers.

Roger: That becomes the reason for the movie, which is the one idea that’s really better than Westworld in many ways.

Quentin: Yeah, I don’t think they should have gone that way. But for them going their own way, they do make that part, eventually, work for them to some degree.

Roger: So when I was watching this, almost the moment you popped out, I immediately started suspecting this is different than Westworld. This is a virtual reality of some kind. Mostly because I was equipped, being a Prisoner fan, with “Living in Harmony;” which is the western episode where they take Number 6 and they put him into a Western reality. Harmony, this town that he cannot get out of no matter how much he tries. It’s a parallel for the village itself. What they’re saying is, look, you can take The Prisoner and you can do it in any genre. You can make a show in a western town and he would still be this character struggling like that. They never break the reality until the very end.

And actually, when they break the reality at the end of “Living in Harmony,” it’s almost the worst part. Even there, I almost wish that they would have just let it be as it was. This weird, obviously not Western Western.

Quentin: Those are the things we don’t like about the movie. What we like about the movie, aside from the performances, is there’s actually a minutia to the way that the Western tropes work in this science fiction world that are really, really clever. That are really, really cool. All the different breakdowns of how Jack Palance explains how this works, versus how that works.

Roger: And he’s just chewing it up as he’s doing it. Like, he definitely doesn’t make it boring.

Quentin: To me, there is a plane of glass between me and Westworld, because I just don’t find it plausible that all your gunfights are going to happen to be with robots. Well, what if you have a gunfight with a real person? Well, yes, your gun doesn’t work, but now you’ve just broken the illusion. I mean, other people break through windows and fly out of windows and no one sprains a wrist or twists their ankle? I just don’t quite buy how you have a barroom brawl with robots where people are thrown through plate glass windows and no one got cut.

Roger: That future is coming.

Quentin: Okay. But there’s nothing that doesn’t really happen in the Welcome to Blood City world that I didn’t buy.

Roger: Yeah.

Quentin: The stuff that works, works so good. I’ve seen of this already, Roger’s watching this and I keep looking at him and he’s like, “Well, this is a science fiction classic, right?” And I go, “Don’t get so caught up.” Yes, it is. It could have been. It doesn’t last all the way through, but I forgot how it doesn’t last all the way through and it doesn’t just self-destruct. Like I said, it just kind of leaks away. But I am telling you, the stuff that works in the first half really, really works. The ideas in it that work are really great ideas. I think, probably, of all the films that we’ve done so far, this is the one that’s begging an even better remake.

Roger: Absolutely. This is oh, this one could be remade in a hot, hot, hot second.

Quentin: In a hot moment, this could be remade and all the great things about it could be kept.

Roger: You could do it as a series, even.

Quentin: It actually would almost be better as a series, you know?

Roger: You could do a Westworld rip off series.

Quentin: Yes, you could. And whoever was going up against HBO would be happy to do it. Welcome to Blood City is for Starz.

Roger: Or Showtime.

[musical interlude]

Roger: And we’re back. Gala, what did you think? What did you think of Welcome to Blood City?

Gala: So I watched this on April 3rd and apparently on April 2nd, 2014, I watched Peter Sasdy’s other film, I Don’t Want to Be Born. I barely remember that. But it was kind of weird almost watching that, to the day so many years later.

Quentin: Oh, wow. What’s I Don’t Want to Be Born?

Gala: I know it’s another film that he did. Apparently, I just randomly watched it, you know? I mean, I barely remember it.

Quentin: I know him from Taste the Blood of Dracula.

Roger: He’s one of those hammer guys.

Quentin: Yeah, he’s one of the hammer guys. I always remember the TV spot: [doing an impression of the trailer] “Taste the Blood of Dracula. This picture has been rated M,” and he also did the Hands of the Ripper, right?

Roger: Mm hmm.

Gala: I actually wrote down “better TV series premise than anything,” so that was my thing. So I was thinking you could really develop this; because the idea of this movie, in my opinion, is extremely cool.

Roger: Yeah, and bring back Samantha Eggar and have her play the guy from space in 1999.  She’s now in charge of the place.

Gala: Yeah. Like, the premise is so cool that I couldn’t help but feel let down by the movie at certain points. One is the reveal of what’s really going on; because when he first wakes up and they all have the cards, I love that we don’t know what’s on his card. We don’t know if he’s killed a hundred people and he’s a serial killer or if he’s killed no people. We don’t know.

Roger: It’s enough to make him reject his own supposed past.

Gala: Yeah.

Quentin: But he never read it, though.

Roger: Oh, did he not read it?

Quentin: No, he never read it.

Roger: Well, that’s even better.

Quentin: I know it’s way better.

Roger: That’s even more of an “I am my own man” story. I mean, there is so much Patrick McGoohan in this, I would even say Keir Dullea even looks a little like Patrick McGoohan because Patrick McGoohan’s whole thing in The Prisoner is “I am my own man.”

Gala: “I’m not a number. I’m a free man.” For all you fans out there, I actually think it’s Westworld meets Truman Show meets Battle Royale meets Total Recall. They even at one point reference, “We have to bring him out of recall.” That’s actually a line they use.

Roger: Well, then somebody read Philip K Dick.

Quentin: Yeah, yeah, for sure.

Gala: It’s heavily inspired by Philip K Dick and Total Recall.

Quentin: It’s almost like as if the film critic that comes in midway through Total Recall wrote the script. [doing a line from Total Recall] “You have everything. Red skies above Mars, everything. But you would be lying there in a coma. You will be a vegetable!”

Roger: “What’s more realistic, that you’re a construction worker or that you’re an international spy who’s going to Mars?”

Quentin: “And you found your leading lady, sleazy yet demure?”

Roger: “Mr. Quaid, I urge you to reconsider.”

Gala: And I love Jack Palance in this. I actually think him being in this elevates the movie to watchable for me. I feel like if anyone else was in that role, I would have just lost interest in the movie because the premise is so good and then you get led away. Got a little boring for me, to be honest. I do think some of the scenes at the end, which I’m not sure if we’re like giving away stuff or not-

Quentin: We’re not giving away stuff.

Gala: Those are the coolest parts of the movie. I can’t be specific on what they are, but I do think there are some really good nuggets of ideas, and I like Samantha Eggar. She lights up the screen.

Quentin: When she injects herself into the story as the saloon girl, that one scene is the great Samantha Eggar scene.

Gala: I love how her husband walks in on her, basically fantasizing about her and Keir Dullea.

Quentin: As she’s into her sex program machine thing.

Gala: Her virtual fantasy sex scene is going and her husband walks in and is like, “This is pornographic. You have to stop.”

Quentin: She’s just sucking on a pencil.

Gala: Yeah, he doesn’t even hear him.

Roger: It’s a substitute for her husband.

Quentin: Gala, how did you watch this?

Gala: So I actually watched a VHS rip on YouTube, which by the way, the credits sequence has this really cool pan of the titles.

Quentin: We loved that. It was shot, obviously, in-

Roger: A tracking, digital kind of scan.

Quentin: Where they went along the lines of the credits.

Gala: Yeah, that was actually one of my favorite things about the movie. I love that credit sequence, but I watched on YouTube. But it’s also available on TUBI playing right now. My VHS tape that I got is a Pan-Canadian Video Presentation. So I’m guessing it’s a Canadian company.

Quentin: Probably the company that made it. It’s got a bunch of Canadian actors and some visiting Americans in there. But the director is British, there’s definitely a British component in it. One of the great British components in it is the score by Roy Budd, which is fantastic. It’s got a fantastic score. Roy Budd also did the score for one of my favorite British crime movies of the seventies; Sitting Target. Roy Budd is terrific and this score is kick ass.

Roger: Yeah, this was a great score.

Gala: So my VHS cost me $24.99 and shout out to Crazy Mike’s Video at 2230 North Reserve Road, Missoula, Montana, 59802, which is where my tape originally came from.


Roger: “I’m Crazy Mike. We’ve got it all, down here at Crazy Mikes!”



clip from trailer for Blind Rage: Fred Williamson is back this time in a Blind Rage. Fred Williamson, the way you like him; blasting and fighting his way across the screen like you’ve never seen him before. He’s got to get back $15 million of the government’s bucks ripped off by five of the world’s baddest dudes, in the most explosive heist of the century. And all five are blind. Fred Williamson is out to foil the perfect heist in Blind Rage. Check him out. He is one bad ass mutha.

Ad copy: Blind Rage, with co-hit One Armed Executioner, will be playing September 17th and 18th on glorious 35 millimeter film at the New Beverly Cinema. 7165 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, California. For further information, go to the newbev.com. The New Beverly Cinema: always on film.

Quentin: Okay we’re back for our third and exciting movie. This was a treat and a half, to say the least. The movie is called Blind Rage. It’s on the MGM/UA home video line; the big square box with the cool credits on the inside flap. This is, deceptively, a Cannon film release. Cannon didn’t make it, but they picked it up as a negative pickup. I’m going to read the back of the box: “Blind Rage: Brace yourself for blistering kung fu action and for a devilishly daring plot to steal $15 million. The U.S. government has transported this fortune in cash to a secret bank vault in Manila for use by anti-communist nations in Southeast Asia.

Five determined criminals have their eye on the loot, and all of them happen to be blind. Amazing Anderson, a sightless magician. The Blind Matador, his eyes gored by a bull. A hard bitten ex-syndicate hitman who were blinded in clashes with the mob. A sultry femme fatal trails them step by perilous step for the heist. Being blind, the band is suspected by no one and with their combat expertise, incredibly developed senses, and raw courage (and most of all, blind rage) they just might pull off the crime of the century. Filmed on location in Hong Kong, Las Vegas, Tokyo, Manila, Mexico and Los Angeles. Blind Rage stars D’urville Martin. Bad, Bad D’urville Martin. Leo Fong, Lila Hermosa and the great Fred Williamson as Jesse Crowder. From the treacherous underworld of the Orient to the climactic rooftop battle in Los Angeles right by a International House of Pancakes sign, the film is a blistering blast of relentless fury. Blind Rage.”

Located under the B’s in the exploitation section. That’s a way to describe Blind Rage, to some degree or another. That’s the highfalutin way. The real way to describe Blind Rage is that it’s The Doberman Gang but instead of dobermans, it’s blind guys.

Roger: Yeah.


Quentin: And it follows the entire structure of The Doberman Gang.


Roger: Exactly.


Quentin: Yeah, exactly.


Roger: Beat by beat.


Quentin: Until it gets to the last 20 minutes. Then it turns into The Killing, with blind guys.


Roger: Yeah.


Quentin: Now, that is as great as you ever could have hoped it could be. This movie is such a blast. As much as we loved One Armed Executioner, Blind Rage is only just a little tiny bit underneath it. It’s not quite as good a movie as One Armed Executioner is, but it’s definitely as fun if not even slightly funner.


Roger: Absolutely.


Quentin: Blind Rage is just a perfect trash movie.


Roger: But they’re also going all over the world in this film.


Quentin: In the most threadbare way possible.


Roger: They make you feel as though you’re going all over the world.


Quentin: Yeah, well, but. Well, they go all over the world like you go all over the world in Rules of Attraction.


Roger: The European tour.


Quentin: They show up with a 16 millimeter camera and then they film for a night.


Roger: Yeah, that’s exactly it.


Quentin: Then they show up in Hong Kong and film Hong Kong for a day.


Roger: Yeah and then they go shoot the interiors all in the Philippines.


Quentin: Yeah, exactly. And literally them hiring Fred Williamson is, like, they already shot an entire Filipino movie and then they go, “Hey, look, we need Fred for a weekend. We just need Fred for the weekend,” and then they come to Los Angeles and shoot that in a weekend, or four days.


Roger: But let’s recognize the fact that Los Angeles is so well-represented in this movie that it almost becomes a character. It is such a treasure to be able to have this movie.


Quentin: It’s well represented in that way that we’ve mentioned before in other films.


Roger: Where we get to see Los Angeles in 1976.


Quentin: It’s the Grade Z movies, the way they shoot with their big wide-


Roger: They’re stealing stuff. They’re not hiding it underneath a production.


Quentin: They want to be around big signs. They want to be around big cities, and then you get a sense of the signage of a city. They oftentimes shoot the street life. In Riverside or they shoot them in Hollywood and you get a sense of Los Angeles in these movies that you don’t get in any other way. You’re able to see a crazy restaurant and read the sign, and read their little slogan.

You’re able to completely read whatever movies are playing on marquees, on the film. But here’s the thing about Blind Rage is that it starts off like a silly plot and it’s a silly premise and maybe they’ll have fun with it. That’s all I’m expecting it to be, and that’s really all it is in the first 20/25 minutes of the movie. This has that really fun “bunch of guys on a mission” movie kind of thing.

Roger: Gathering up the team, putting it together.

Quentin: Yeah, they come up with the idea to do a robbery with these blind guys. “Well, we have these five blind guys in mind. Now we got to talk ’em into it, but we think they’re going to-”

Roger: But seeing how each one of those guys lost their sight is one of the fun parts of it.

Quentin: No, again, it’s a trope. They have a whole list of photos of each of them and then it’s described what each one did and how he lost his sight. Then you see it, you see a whole vignette of D’urville Martin losing his eye. By the way, knowing the how it happens you know for the first three guys, we’re going to have to watch them get blinded. It’s harrowing.

Roger: But also with fingers in the eye, like, “Oh, you’re going to squeal on us” or whatever the hell they say and then it’s fingers in the eye.

Quentin: So you see the photographs of the different guys who are going to be our team and the little vignettes about how they all lost their sight. Then they have to go and approach them all and then they eventually get them. Then they hire a girl.

Roger: Who happens to teach at a blind school.

Quentin: Yeah. Leila Hermosa. She’s a teacher for the blind. Just like the way it goes in The Doberman Gang; they hire the girl who knows how to train Dobermans. Okay, so Charlie Delvaux is the guy who’s kind of putting this whole thing together, and he’s the one who hires Leyla Hermosa to train these blind guys. Now, if you listened to one of the earlier episodes where we talk about Women in Cages; that guy (Charlie D’abo) is Rudy, but he’s the bad guy from Women in Cages. So as soon as he showed up I went, “Hey, there’s Rudy!”

Roger: I always recognize him because he looks a lot like Dennis Humbert. Who was one of the silent owners of Video Archives. He used to work at the card clubs. So whenever I see Rudy, I’m like, “Oh, my God, it’s Dennis.”

Quentin: Well, there’s many times where what we watch as overlapping, but it’s fun when we don’t intend to overlap, but it overlaps. So this is that kind of an overlap.

Roger: He’s becoming one of the show’s favorites.

Quentin: But part of the thing, though, about the gal who teaches the blind guys is that is does seem like he’s going to have to talk her into it. He goes, “Okay, look, I’d like to hire you. I’ve got a job for you.” “Well, what am I going to be doing in this job?” “Well, you’re going to be doing just like you’re doing here. You’re going to be training a bunch of blind guys… to rob a bank.” She’s like “What?” And hes like, “Well hang on. Let me just explain it, okay?” So he starts explaining it. You’re not exactly sure if that explanation is enough, at that given moment.


Roger: It seems to be enough for her.


Quentin: Apparently it seems to be enough for her because almost all the scenes after he has to convince her; not only is she convinced, it seems like she’s leading the gang.


Roger: Yeah. “You’re going to have to do this before the alarm gets tripped. And you’re going to have to do this and you go to the front desk and be sure to intimidate this one and be sure to do that.” She suddenly she rises to the occasion.


Quentin: She completely rises to the occasion. She starts training everybody for what they need to do. She has absolutely no qualms, whatsoever. If she’s torn in any way, you don’t get it. I mean, one of the things that’s interesting is that part of Charlie Dabo’s thing is to be there all the time, but he never talks. So they don’t see him.


Roger: Yeah, he’s the silent puppet master.


Quentin: He’s a silent puppet master to the blind guys, who have no clue on him whatsoever. But Leila Hermosa becomes the lead of the movie, seemingly, for the first 45 minutes.  There’s even an interesting thing about her, as far as the movie is concerned, because the actress who’s playing her is actually quite fun. She has a real twinkle in her eye, yet she’s being dubbed, and I’m pretty sure that it’s not her doing the dubbing. I’m pretty sure it’s another actress doing the dubbing.


Now, my feeling is this: is the person who’s doing the dubbing isn’t actually an actress. But that doesn’t mean she’s bad. She’s just not a professional actress. She does an okay job, but she’s a little monotone. Hermosa doesn’t seem monotone in her delivery. But as time goes on, the dichotomy of the sparkle in Hermosa’s eyes and the not bad monotone vocal delivery ends up working, at a certain point. It seems off at first.


Roger: It seems instructional.

Quentin: She spends the whole first half of the movie just giving one monologue after another to the guys, to teach them what they’re doing and she’s on their case.


Roger: Yeah.


Quentin: These are bad dudes, alright? She’s like, “No, no, no, no, no. That’s not right. You got to do it like this.”


Roger: What’s great is that entire training sequence, which you know how in The Doberman Gang, they create fake banks?


Quentin: Out of balsa wood, little balsa wood banks.


Roger: I love how this training sequence culminated in that great, magnificent long shot that Efron Pinion sets up, which is just this great, wonderful, wide traveling shot showing this balsa wire frame of a bank.


Quentin: That’s shot is so good because that shot clues you in that you’ve been watching this movie a little bit more than you thought you were. Because now it’s kind of exciting. And they actually do a big shot like-


Roger: An epic move.


Quentin: An epic move for this cheap movie, that shows all the blind guys getting into place in their little practice balsa wood bank. It kind of just shows that off in this really cool way, and it just also shows that we’re kind of keeping up with the movie. We’re following it and it starts getting exciting. Then it comes time to actually do the robbery, and I can honestly say (and I don’t think I’m guilty of hyperbole here): Look, I love low grade, trashy movies like this. They’re a lot of fun, and I don’t apologize.


Roger: It’s your thing


Quentin: I don’t apologize for it whatsoever. They either pull them off or they’re not, and they can be fun and they can be this and they can be whatever. But when the actual robbery started happening, I was far more connected to what was going on in this movie than I am to most cheap, trashy, little exploitation movies. I totally gave a fuck. I kind of cared about the guys, even though they’re not good guys, but I was interested how the robbery was going to work. I mean, I was plugged in. I was plugged in more than I normally would be to a movie like this. It’s actually generally exciting because the whole part of the robbery is they don’t want to appear like blind guys. They want to appear as if they’re sighted. So no one would think that blind guys were doing this. So their whole thing is to not give away that they’re blind.


Roger: And because they’ve been rehearsing on a scale set of the bank, they’ll know that where the mannequin of the guard would have been on the set will be where the guard is in real life.


Quentin: And then also something weird about this movie that’s really kind of unique, is there’s so many movies where people play blind and they put on glasses and they do this and they do that. These guys, who are playing the blind guys, there is no extra sight for them. They seem like realistic blind people doing it. Actually, my guess is that The Magician is actually really blind.


Roger: Right.


Quentin: That’s the one guy I think is really blind, is the guy playing The Magician. It actually is thrilling, watching the blind guys take their positions during the robbery. They’ve got guns and obviously they don’t they don’t have eyes to keep a lookout on anybody, but they’re attuned to sound. So if anybody makes a sound that they’re not supposed to make, that motherfucker’ll get shot dead.


Roger: Just right away.


Quentin: And they don’t fuck around.


Roger: What I love is the poor receptionist girl (or whatever she is, the teller girl) who’s just sitting at a desk and she just rotates her chair a little and, boom, gets blown away. Don’t rotate your chair!


Quentin: Yeah. “We said don’t move. We mean it. Don’t move.”


Roger: “Don’t fucking move.”


Quentin: Now the other thing that’s also special extra bubble gum flavor to this bubble gum, is the idea that the guys are fuckin’ badass dudes. I like the fact that, “Oh, they’re blind so you also start kind of rooting for them.” No, these are bad, bad dudes. These are fucked up killers. But the whole thing is a bad dude situation: the plan is mean. These guys are fucking crumbs. They all are coming from a disreputable place. But that makes me love the guys all the more, the fact that they’re scoundrels. I’m going to make a unilateral decision, that we don’t say anything that happens after the robbery.


Roger: Yeah, that sounds good.


Quentin: We can mention that Fred Williamson shows up as his character, Jesse Crowder, who’s kind of a skip tracer. He did two movies with that character: one was called No Way Back, and another one was called Death Journey, which actually duplicates the storyline of Midnight Run, years before Midnight Run. But that’s his character from his film company. So, as a special guest star performance as Jesse Crowder, trying to wrap up the guys at the end.


Roger: Well, they definitely know what they’re doing because they pop a high school picture, or something (like a picture of Fred Williamson), in the upper left corner of the poster.


Quentin: But you get really involved with the gang, and then pulling off the robbery.


Roger: I got to say, Fred Williamson looks so good running in this movie. Tom Cruise is a great runner; you watch that guy run and it’s fun to watch him run. But watching Fred Williamson run at the end of this movie was just, like, great. It’s like, man, look at him go.


Quentin: And the other guys along, with that bad D’urville Martin, is also Leo Fong, who wrote the script.


Roger: He’s a writer as well, yeah.


Quentin: If you’re a LA martial art fan, or a California martial art fan, Leo Fong starred in a whole series of movies that he produced himself and that he wrote the scripts for. Also by this same director is Executioner from Death Row.


There’s the film I saw theatrically, Low Blow. But the really good one, the really, really good one is a movie called Kill Point, which stars Leo Fong (that he wrote) and also has Cameron Mitchell and Richard Roundtree. Kill Point is a lot of fun. There’s a great trailer for it that you can find. But then there’s also Tony Ferrar, who’s in the movie. He’s the guy who ends up ratting them out, but he’s the guy that when the gang tried to stop him, he shoots his way out.


Roger: Yeah.


Quentin: That’s Tony Ferrar. He’s sort of like the James Bond of the Philippines. Then there’s Charlie Davo, who is Rudy. So it’s an all star Grade Z little cast. They are a lot of fun. Rodger, what was your take on all this? I’ve been doing all the talking.


Roger: Well, I think Franklin Brauner had some thoughts, but I think he stole the first line from Gala which is: [reading from Brauner’s review] “Better than the Doberman Gang. However, here as there, the theme is the same: Crime doesn’t pay, nor should it. But it’s in the artistry of the heist, the machinations and designs that we may find deep respect. The joke at the end plays like a Braille button and is equally appreciated.” That was the only way I could think of to not give away the end.


Quentin: Yeah. Okay, good good.


Roger: Whenever I think of any movie I think, “Okay, if I were going to make this, what would it be like?” And I was thinking, okay, so somebody comes to me and they say, “You want to make a movie about a bunch of blind guys robbing a bank?” My first question would be how, and how are you going to make that interesting? How is that going to be good? But under the Doberman archetype, or maybe this came first. When did Doberman come out?


Quentin: Doberman came way before this.


Roger: It’s like ’72, or something, right?


Quentin: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.


Roger: However, under that archetype, it’s so clear; and it suddenly becomes really like a Hollywood movie.


Quentin: I’m telling you: when it cuts to the bank robbery and the blind guys actually enter the bank and take their positions, it’s thrilling. You can’t take your eyes off the screen and you almost are holding your breath.


Roger: But I also like the fact that this movie is, like The Doberman Gang, has no real victory in the end. Crime doesn’t pay, and it may not pay with a little joke at the end, but it just doesn’t pay and that’s and that’s exactly what makes it a Hollywood movie.


Quentin: Frankly, I kind of wish it did.


Roger: But that’s what allows you as an audience to have fun with what are effectively criminals.


Quentin: Gala. What was your take on Blind Rage?


Gala: Okay, now we’re talking. I haven’t felt that way about a movie since One Armed Executioner. Honestly, I loved it.


Roger: I knew right away. I knew right away. This is, like, Gala’s zone.


Quentin: But also, Roger was really loving the movie when we watched it. He was being a bit demure on the tape. I’m sputtering around like a chicken, talking about how good it is and he’s just kind of biting his tongue a little.


Roger: You were doing a fine job representing the movie!


Quentin: I’ve been waiting for somebody to chime in about how much fun this is.


Gala: I’ve been chomping at the bit like a Doberman to get in on this conversation because this movie, first off, has one of my favorite lines, maybe of any movie ever: “It’s going down at the International House of Pancakes.”


Quentin: Oh, I loved that yeah, yeah. Yeah. We we played it back a couple of times.


Roger: Which by the way, they show from multiple angles and multiple locations throughout the movie. It was great.


Quentin: That brown little coffee pot, always in the middle of the counter.


Roger: And again, there’s another example of L.A. being a character.


Quentin: and a big kung fu fight on the top of the building that has the IHOP logo completely parallel with the horizon.


Roger: Because if you’re not in the IHOP or in the parking lot of the IHOP or across the street from the IHOP, you’re next door to the IHOP on the roof.


Quentin: In a kung fu fight. And by the way, I was rooting for Charlie Davao to win that fight against Jesse Crowder. I’m just saying, as much as I like Big Fred.


Gala: Look, this movie is like The Doberman Gang, but The Doberman Gang does not, in my opinion, hold a candle to this movie. I love this movie. The premise of these blind guys are going to rob a bank. How are they going to do it? They pull it off. It’s awesome. I love the crewing up scene and the way that they became blind.


Roger: I only wish that they had shown how the guy who got gored by the bull got blinded.


Quentin: They didn’t have the money for that.


Roger: I understand that was the problem, but I just wish that I could have seen him getting hit in the face by a bull or something like that. The fact that two of the guys didn’t get little moments.


Quentin: That was a drag,


Roger: Because I love those, as you do.


Gala: Yeah, but it was so cool. Seeing how they got blind, how they all had such unique backstories, etc..


Quentin: The Matador was one of my favorite guys, too. The guy with the fu man chu mustache.


Gala: Yeah he was awesome. Also, a scene that you guys didn’t bring up was the drill torture scene.


Roger: Oh my lord.


Gala: Okay so for the viewers at home-


Quentin: That was, it was horrible.


Gala: It was awesome!


Roger: It was unbelievable.


Quentin: In a movie that is bursting to the seams with popping eyeball scenes, that was the most horrific of the popping eyeball scenes.


Roger: I think that was the one where I was like, “Oh, God, no!”


Quentin: “Oh, they’re stretching it out.”


Gala: So for you guys at home, just so you know, there’s a guy laying down and his head is secured in with-


Roger: A vice, or something,


Gala: It’s a vice, but it looks like it also could be electrocuting him at some point, maybe in the future.


Roger: For fun.


Gala: And all of a sudden there’s this drill and they’re going to drill on him. It is just so gross. They even have cool little touches where they’re synchronizing their Braille watches.


Roger: Braille watches were so cool.


Gala: I didn’t know that Braille watches were a thing. This movie actually taught me something.


Roger: Well, it taught me that three straight lines, like a Roman numeral three is 12 on a Braille watch, which was interesting. So I was actually looking at the Braille stuff on it and I was thinking they must have done some kind of deal with a Braille watch company, or some watch company that did Braille watches because suddenly we had all these product shots, which I loved. I usually I’m like, “Eh, they’re showing off a product.”


Quentin: Like with Omega. Yeah, yeah.


Roger: But that was like, “Whoa. I’ve never seen that before. I want one.”


Gala: I didn’t even know those existed.. They’re really cool and I love that this movie actually taught me something that I didn’t know was real. Here’s an actual product that people who are blind can use. The heist scene is rad. Okay, their shoes-


Quentin: I have to say, when I was describing how I got excited during the heist and I was looking at you and like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay.”


Roger: You’re looking at me and I’m just like, “Yeah, it’s happening or whatever.” Even that one long shot, that epic shot, was so good that the heist almost became irrelevant to me. As good as it is, that shot is so great.


Quentin: Yeah. It’s not about the shot; just to see the blind guys now operating with real people and trying to pull off the fact that they’re not blind, that they’re sighted and the fact that it actually works


Roger: What makes that heist so great is just how suddenly balls out violent it becomes, and how they just start shooting people.


Gala: I also love their gadgets that they have; the shoes that make the clicks so they don’t shoot each other. It’s such a cool concept because your senses are heightened so you know not to shoot it. Now when he shoots the bank teller, or the girl that just rotates her chair, he shoots her and then he says, “Sorry, don’t move.”


Quentin: Yeah, right. Yeah.


Gala: I love how he apologizes to her.


Quentin: Leo Fong looks like he’s supposed to be the most sympathetic of the group. He wrote the script.


Gala: And let’s just talk about, really quick, how they steal $15 million. That is such a crazy amount, even for now.


Roger: In 1976 money.


Gala: In 1976, that is a crazy amount of money. These blind guys steal $15 million and-


Quentin: Okay, I don’t want to say what happens, but one of the best shots of the movie is an overhead shot that ultimately seals their fate. It’s an amazing shot but I don’t want to talk about it.


Gala: I don’t know if I can say this, but the plane explosion that takes place is huge. It is a huge plane, where it explodes and it’s-


Quentin: Oh no, they blew up a plane.


Roger: They went out and blew up a plane.


Quentin: They found a plane that they could blow up.


Gala: I think it was me exactly what I want out of a plane explosion: a gigantic, over-the-top explosion that I can’t explain that’s in this low budget movie.


Quentin: Yeah, yeah. No we’ve watched Italian movies where they cut to a model airplane. This was a real plane that they blew up.


Roger: Yeah.


Gala: Shout out to Tito Soto, who does the music for this film.


Roger: Okay. The music in this movie is so good. Super good.


Gala: The music in this movie is phenomenal. Now, for those of you that don’t know, Tito Soto is a pioneer of what’s called the Manila Sound Movement. Anyone in the Philippines will actually know him as the current president of the Senate, along with the man that is running for vice president right now. So he used to be on a talk show that was really popular and he was an actor.


Roger: Tito Soto?


Gala: Yeah, Tito Soto. He was on a talk show, he was an actor and then he was a musician. I think he did a few other movies for the music, but yeah, he did Manila Sound. Now he’s running for vice president. Shout out to Tito Soto.


Roger: Cast your vote today.


Quentin: Well, the Philippines is famous for having movie stars become presidents. Fernando Poe Jr was in a lot of early Eddy Romero movies. They’re famous for having movie stars who become presidents, and they’re famous for having movie stars to become presidents that are all thrown in jail for corruption.


Roger: We’re close to that. We at least got the president actor thing going on here.


Gala: Well, hopefully that doesn’t happen to Tito Soto. The director, Efron C. Pinon, also does this really awesome movie that is available on YouTube called The Killing of Satan. It’s a 1983 movie. This movie has the most awesome visual effects that you might see.


Quentin: I’ve heard of it. I’m not that really crazy about big devil movies so I’ve always kind of held off seeing that.


Roger: Oh, because I want to see Devil’s Rain with you.


Quentin: That I can see.


Gala: I think Blind Rage is a better movie, personally, but there’s one scene in The Killing of Satan where a boulder is falling and a man runs in front of it and the boulder goes and squishes the man, but his head is sticking out of the dirt and they’ve dug him in and he looks like he’s been squished. It’s a really cool thing. So Pinon has a lot of interesting ideas and he executes them and Blind Rage, I think, is evident of that.


Roger: And also, by the way, it’s another movie that could easily be a big Hollywood movie.


Gala: Oh and I think it should be.


Roger: I mean, it’s got it has a strong structure. Even the ending (which I don’t want to give away) plays into a more Hollywood, more introspective ending in some way.


Quentin: I wouldn’t lose the robbers. A better version of this movie would follow the robber story. I would get them out of Los Angeles and they get to where they’re going and then whatever can happen does.


Gala: Yeah. The thing is I want to say this movie should be remade, but I don’t want it to be remade because I think it’s so great as it is. I feel like if it was remade as a big Hollywood movie, it would lose the charm.


Quentin: Gala, I just. You are. We are just-


Roger: You two are one on this.


Quentin: We are right together on this movie, man. We are walking in step here. Where have you’ve been all my life?!


Gala: My friends are so annoyed with me right now because every time I want to watch a movie, I want to watch a seventies exploitation movie. They’re like, “God Gala, it not again. Like, can we please stop watching a women in prison film? Can we please not watch a Filipino exploitation film?”


Roger: It Gala’s like, “No!”


Gala: This is what I’m watching, deal with it now. D’urville Martin, a lot of times he’s second to Fred Williamson.


Quentin: He made a career as his sidekick, as a little comic sidekick.


Gala: So I was actually really excited to see him as the lead and he’s top build on Letterboxd for this. Now, this movie actually caused me to go into a D’urville Martin tailspin. I watched 1970’s The Watermelon Man, where he plays the bus driver. I watched 1972’s Hammer, where he plays Sony. I watched, as Criterion calls it, the Black Charlie Trilogy.


Roger: They call it the Black Charlie Trilogy?


Gala: That is what it has been renamed to, yes. He’s Toby in those. I really like his performance as Toby in those movies. Then, of course, we as an audience probably know him best as the director of Dolemite.


Quentin: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.


Gala: And I loved him in Blind Rage. I just had such a fun time watching this movie. I think everyone should go watch this movie. Please go watch Blind Rage.


Quentin: One other good D’urville Martin film is a movie where he’s the sidekick with Billy Dee Williams. It’s black revolutionary polemic called The Final Comedown.


Gala: Yes, I want to see that one.


Roger: That was also actually released: Roger Corman took out all the politics and added more action and released it later in the mid-seventies as Blast.


Gala: Oh, well, Blast sounds like a blast.


Roger: Get rid of all those troublesome politics and make the movie good.


Quentin: Yeah. Alan Arkush was hired right after Hollywood Boulevard. Allan Arkush was hired to take Oscar Williams Jr’s of The Final Comedown, lose the political polemic, turn it more into a blaxploitation movie and emphasize Billy Dee Williams and then shoot 20 extra minutes with D’urville Martin around to make it a different movie. Allan Arkush was happy to do it. He did it.


But then I talked to Arkush about it and he goes, “Well, I started feeling kind of guilty. That here I am, this young white filmmaker, young hippie kid going in there and taking this black filmmaker’s film and then removing the politics and just adding action. So I called up Oscar Williams Jr, told them what I was planning and what Roger was planning, told him what I was planning on taking out what I was planning to add. Then I kind of asked him permission and Oscar just laughed and said, ‘Oh, I don’t give a shit as long as Roger sends the check.’”

All: [laughter]

Quentin: So if you watched the Blast version, you get even more D’urville Martin.


Gala: Okay, well, I’m gonna be watching the Blast version. He’s also in Shiva Baby, isn’t he?


Quentin: I think he is, yeah.


Gala: I think he’s in that one too, but I haven’t seen that yet. That’s on my list of movies. If my friends are listening, you’re going to be forced to watch these movies with me. Anyway, I watched this on YouTube. It’s not sadly available to rent, but it’s available on YouTube. So go get it while you can.


Quentin: Well, good. Fuck Amazon. Watch it for free on YouTube.


Gala: Yeah. Hopefully the YouTube video is still up so everyone out there can go watch it right now.


Quentin: Well, Gala, when it comes to Blind Rage, I just happen to have a review from the Video Archives podcast’s favorite reviewers; Jim Sheldon.


Gala: Oh, great. I’m so excited to hear it.


Quentin: From his Porno Rag days, from issue January 1981 [reading] “Blind Rage, during the time that it played at the Cameo Theater”- That ended up being its Los Angeles debut because they never played the first run. It played at the Cameo Theater which (some people will know) was a flophouse for the bums; they showed four movies all night long and then the bums slept there.


Roger: At 4 A.M., the guy comes through with, like, a pipe.


Quentin: Yeah. “Get out, get the hell out.”


Roger: “Wake up. Show’s over.”


Quentin: Exactly. Then the bums walk the street for a couple of hours and then go back and the theatre opens up again. So whenever a movie didn’t get a first run theatrical Los Angeles engagement and it played at the Cameo, he would always go to the Cameo to review it.


Roger: What other critics were in the audience that day, one must wonder.


Quentin: Oh, none. None.


Roger: Just Jim Sheldon.


Quentin: January 30th, 1981. [reading from review] Blind Rage (not to be confused with Death Rage, starring Yul Brynner) is a 1978 U.S./Philippines co-production with a slightly inventive plot overwhelmed by gooped-up production values, washed out lensing, all post-synced sound and a score that sounds like a warped record used for too many porn flicks and a costar as those two buddy rubs from the mid-seventies: ‘Blaxploitation of Farts Squat,’ D’urville Martin and ‘Beef Brain’ Fred Williamson-”


Roger: Beef brain.


Gala: Ooof.


Quentin: “The unjustly R-rated drama showed up as one quarter of a slight menu at the Cameo downtown. Efron C. Piñon directed the Leo Fong script. Minus sex or profanity, the film’s 82 minutes are inoffensive but inept. Obsessively shot in Las Vegas, L.A., Long Beach, Tokyo, Manila and Hong Kong. F plus.”


Roger: The plus is the…


Quentin: Yeah.


Roger: From him, it’s not that bad. There’s something going on here.


Quentin: Something going on. This has something.


Gala: I have a VHS just like Quentin’s, which is an MGMA/UA. They call it a book, or a carton case I think.


Quentin: Yeah, well, I guess.


Roger: I guess it looks like a book and a carton. More like a book than a cartoon, I would say, because it opens up like a book.


Gala: Yeah. So it’s a book. I got mine for $17.03.


Quentin: Oh so the same one as this one, huh?


Gala: The same one as that one.


Roger: $17.00?


Quentin: That’s $17 well spent.


Roger: Yeah, that’s a good price.


Gala: And shout out to Video Unlimited on Tennessee Avenue in McKaysville, Georgia, 30555, which is where my tape originally came from. So if you rented this tape at Video Unlimited in Georgia, give me a shout out.


Roger: Yeah, let us know.


Quentin: Okay. Mine was from a place called Victory Video, but it doesn’t have any address or anything.


Roger: Victory Video.


Quentin: But there’s a handwritten thing that says “please rewind tape.”


Gala: For everyone’s reference, Quentin has opened up the book VHS and has taken out the VHS and is looking inside the case.


Quentin: That has the imprint. The plastic imprint of MGM/UA and by the way, MGM/UA unlike Paragon, with the ‘approximately.’ This is timed. Oh, no, no, this one has an approximate screening time as well. Funny, that you can just get this, like, exactly. But okay. Even according to MGM/UA, it’s approximately 82 minutes.


Roger: Now Quentin, this was Canon releasing this originally, right?


Quentin: Yes.


Roger: So this is like a Canon pickup?


Quentin: This is definitely a Canon pickup. It’s funny because they just released it as the second and third bill of Grindhouses.


Roger: Right, right.




Quentin: Okay. So now it’s award time.


Roger: Yeah.


Gala: [singing fanfare] Boop boo boo boooooooo. Just to warm you guys up, I have a category called Strangest Concept.


Quentin: Okay


Gala: Which of these three movies do you think has the strangest concept?


Roger: Strangest?


Quentin: Well, it’s kind of between Welcome to Blood City and Blind Rage.


Roger: I’m going to say Blind Rage. [thoughtfully] Strangest concept.


Quentin: Yeah, I think I go for Blind Rage as well.


Roger: Because Welcome to Blood City; it’s a VR thing and it’s not so strange because we’re familiar with-


Quentin: It’s pretty fucking strange.


Roger: Well, but we’re familiar (technically) with Westworld. Well, I guess with Blind Rage, we’re familiar with The Doberman Gang.


Gala: I’m going to be honest, I’m going to go with Welcome to Blood City because I feel like it’s more likely that five blind guys are going to rob a bank than whatever is happening in Welcome to Blood City.


Quentin: I think I’ll go with that too.


Roger: Yeah, I’ll buy that.


Quentin: Okay.


Roger: For a dollar.


Quentin: So this is either the easiest or the hardest award of the day: Best lead actor.


Gala: Oh, for me, that’s easy. It’s Franco Guerrero’s Ortega.


Roger: As Ramon Ortega.


Quentin: Oh, well, to me. It’s Jack Palance.


Roger: Oh, okay.


Gala: Is he a leading actor, or is he more supporting?


Quentin: I think he’s the lead, yeah. I would actually call Kier Dullea the leading man, per se. But I would say that Jack Palance is also the lead.


Gala: His name is just as big on the video box.


Roger: I was holding out on Jack Palance so that I could give it to him as best supporting actor.


Quentin: Oh, you were?


Roger: But the truth of the matter is, I see his name right there, number one, top of the box and his picture is the biggest.


Quentin: I mean, look: Keir Dullea is definitely the hero of the movie, but I think they’re both the leads.


Roger: Yeah, I have to give- I mean, listen, you know how much I adore Franco Guerrero.


Gala: It’s okay, I’m going to stick with Franco Guerrero. He’s going to win on my part.


Roger: I got to go to my man, Jack.


Quentin: As long as we keep the Jack Palance performances at this level, then he’s going to win every single fucking time.


Roger: Yeah. If he’s not going to get a best supporting actor, then I have to. But having said that, Franco Guerrero is my other choice.


Quentin: I don’t think I’m cheating.


Roger: No. You’re right. You’re not.


Quentin: He’s not the hero, but he is the lead.


Gala: His name is exactly the same size, and also on the left.


Quentin: But even when watching the movie, he’s the lead. He’s one of the leads.


Roger: I was just trying to give it to another actor who I really love.


Quentin: When it comes to Best Female Lead. I think I have to give it to Leila Hermosa.


Roger: Yeah. Even though she’s dubbed.


Quentin: Doesn’t matter.


Roger: Her performance shines through strongly.


Quentin: I had a big conversation, once- Me and Daniela ended up having dinner once with Andie MacDowell, and so we talked to her about doing Greystoke, where she’s dubbed by Glenn Close. As far as she was concerned, it was the worst thing that could ever happen to her.


Roger: To be an actress at her level, at that point, and then to be dubbed by another actor.


Quentin: Well, she wasn’t quite at that level. This was what really launched her off. So it really made her look really bad. But then I talked to her about Pauline Kael’s review., because Pauline Kael actually thought she gave one of the best performances in the movie and she talked about it and then she goes, “I don’t even care if she’s dubbed. That’s how much I like her performance.”


Gala: Now, does Jodi Kay count as Best Actress or Best Supporting Actress?


Quentin: I think she’s Best Supporting Actress.


Gala: Okay, then I’m going to have to agree with you, too. I think that the performance of Leila Hermosa. Is that the character’s name or is that her name?


Roger: That’s her name.


Gala: Well, I love that name.


Quentin: Yeah. Leila Hermosa’s name in the movie is Sally.


Roger: Sally, perfectly normal name.


Gala: Thank God it’s not Jeff. That’s all I can say.


Quentin: Leila Hermosa as Sally Brown.


Gala: Well, then Leila Hermosa 100% gets Best Actress from me.


Roger: Which means we’re not giving it to our girl, Samantha Eggar.


Gala: Can’t win ’em all.


Roger: I apologize to Samantha. It’s not her fault. It’s the role.


Quentin: Okay. Now, this actually might be the even more important role: Best Supporting Actor. With all the blind guys and all the dastardly bastards in One Armed Executioner.


Roger: I know who mine is.


Gala: Who’s yours?


Quentin: Who?


Roger: “Everybody wants to be the king of shit hill, but it ain’t that easy.”


Quentin: So, Nigel Hoag.


Roger: Nigel Hoag, of course, my man as Edwards; the drug kingpin of One Armed Executioner.


Gala: This one was really difficult for me, but I think I’m going to have to give it to the actor that plays Jason for his maniacal laughter.


Quentin: I think I got to go with Leo Fong. I really like Leo Fong.


Gala: He’s awesome.


Quentin: I know who he is and everything else.


Roger: Also he’s a writer, actor.


Quentin: He wrote the script.


Roger: So he’s bringing a lot to this movie.


Quentin: Yeah, he is but also especially him. I like the way he sold the blind thing, in the robbery especially.


Gala: So speaking of Leo Fong, who gets your Best Screenplay vote? Because mine goes to Leo Fong.


Quentin: I was ready to say.


Roger: Mine does, too.


Quentin: Well, Welcome to Blood City would absolutely win in a walk, if the third act was better. It’s the script that could have been great.


Roger: And frankly, One Armed Executioner, for as much as I love the screenplay, in the end it has that little bit of a sluggish moment and a little bit of- I mean, it’s not a misstep. It’s a very intentional step. But Blind Rage is the better screenplay.


Quentin: Blind Rage. Leo Fong absolutely wins for Blind Rage. Best Director? Or dare I even ask?


Roger: Well, I’m going to say Bobby Suarez.


Quentin: I’m saying.


Roger: To me, it’s Bobby Suarez.


Gala: It’s a sweep.


Roger: I’m glad there’s no need to discuss.


Quentin: That’s why I said, “Dare I say ask?” And dare I say ask Best Picture?


Roger: Oh,


Gala: Well,


Roger: One Armed Executioner. For me, it’s One Armed Executioner.


Quentin: Well, to me, it’s One Armed Executioner, but Blind Rage is just right there behind it.


Gala: Okay, look, I love One Armed Executioner. Supporting Actress for me is totally Jodi Kay.


Roger: Totally Jodi Kay.


Gala: But Blind Rage has it for me, for Best Picture. It was the one I most enjoyed. I think I could watch both of these movies over and over again.


Roger: If ever there was a week where there are two Gala movies, this was the week.


Quentin: Mm hmm.


Roger: This is totally her taste.


Gala: I think on a Wednesday I could want One Armed Executioner and on a Friday, I would want Blind Rage and then go back and forth


Quentin: I think there’s an aspect that you can hit, that Blind Rage is just ever slightly more fun. As fun as One Armed Executioner is, Blind Rage is just slightly more fun.


Roger: One Armed Executioner is also really painful to watch.


Quentin: Yes


Roger: It’s really a hard movie to watch, in some moments, because these people that you love (which is part of the formula) are being destroyed in front of you.


Gala: Oh, both movies are so good.


Roger: I don’t know how, if somebody had come to me and said of Blind Rage, I would have probably like, “Oh, God, truly, I got to figure that puzzle out?” But the screenplay for it is super, super tight. The way the movie is made with all the confidence of a big mainstream A+ movie.


Quentin: So, Roger, would your Favorite Shot be the shot in Blind Rage?


Roger: Oh yeah, favorite shot would be that one because that was the moment where I had an “Aha!” moment watching that. I’ve been watching this whole kind of training session and then suddenly, it was like a sweeping brushstroke. I don’t know. It was like the magnificent pullback or something. It was like this great big move, showing what’s going to happen and then, boom, we’re into it.


Quentin: I really can’t argue with that at all.


Roger: It was thrilling, actually. It was thrilling to watch. I had a little chill.


Quentin: Best shot, though, I think I’m going to have to give it to the last shot: the last big, wide shot of that big spinning bottle thing.


Gala: In One Armed Executioner?


Quentin: Yeah. When you saw how big the thing was, he’d just done his big shooting thing, but also the lighting was just kind of perfect at that time. You saw how big an apparatus that it was. It was just before they cut out of the scene, but they cut wide on it and I go, “Wow. Actually, that’s a neat thing they’ve come up with and it looks really good.”


Gala: Someone actually built that and operated it and it’s kind of crazy.


Roger: Well, it’s funny because they’re doing this training and everything is kind of reasonable and then suddenly it escalates into this crazy mechanism that they’ve built. “I’m going to build this giant merry go round thing that you will use to do target practice.” It’s lovely. It’s fun.


Quentin: It’s so action film exciting, when all of a sudden he can just take his gun and then just shoot all these random shit and always hit his target. That is true Gun Fu: doing backflips with a gun. I mean, it’s just so fucking badass.


Roger: It’s funny, I suspect that Ken Russell’s son. What’s his name?


Quentin: Toby.


Roger: Toby Russell probably shied from Gun Fu because he respects the genre so much. He wanted to go and do- What did you call it?


Quentin: Heroic bloodshed. You can see already he’s romanticizing.


Roger: He loves it. He’s elevating it, he’s holding it up. But the fact of the matter is, gun fu is also a loving-


Quentin: Especially when it’s practiced the way Suarez and Guerrero practice it.


Roger: Yeah, for sure.


Gala: I think my favorite shot has to come from One Armed Executioner; where you see his arm after it’s been cut off. I love the twitching with the magazine. I love that. If it wasn’t that, it would probably also be from One Armed Executioner; of them at the beach, kissing in the sunset as he’s remembering.


Roger: That’s a really good, if not close second, almost a first shot because it’s captured footage. I mean, I felt his deep pain.


Quentin: Guys, guys, that’s when the movie becomes fairly risible. But-


Roger: No, no, that’s when the movie goes ahead and shmears on it’s emotion. What makes it work isn’t that they’re doing it, what makes it work is that Jody Kay completely sells it. It is real in her eyes and lips. It’s real. She’s delivering love onscreen. I see it.


Gala: But still the hand, when it’s gotten cut off. I love it. It’s awesome.


Roger: We love cut off hands on this show.


Gala: I apparently I love cut off hands.


Quentin: I would actually say, though, if I had to pick from Roger talking about the movie, I would pick Roger’s third favorite shot: Franco Guerrero’s reaction to Anne’s death.


Gala: Where he’s being held back.


Quentin: Yeah, with the gag in his mouth.


Roger: It’s almost like his face distorts, the camera gets so close to him. It goes into such a close up and his eyes are popping out of his head and the editing- I’ll give it to Best Editor, as well. I don’t know who edited it. I didn’t look it up.


Quentin: I’ll definitely give it to One Armed Executioner for Best Editing.


Roger: That scene alone; the way it crescendoed to this moment of just terrible, terrible loss is… Yeah, that was a great shot. That was a super, super effective shot.


Quentin: Well, if you haven’t gathered it up until now, we enjoyed these three movies a whole bunch.


Gala: So much.


Quentin: We had such a great time and we’re pretty positive, except for a few small groups of you, that you probably have not heard of these three movies before. So we’re very proud to introduce them to you. I’m Quentin Tarantino.


Roger: And I’m Roger Avary.


Gala: And I’m Gala Avary.


Quentin: And until the next time; be kind, rewind.


Gala: Bye everyone.


[musical interlude]


Gala: The Video Archives podcast is hosted by Quentin Tarantino and Roger Avary and produced by Josh Richmond and Gala Avary. Our engineer is Devon Torrey Bryant and our executive producers are Colin Anderson and Natalie Mooallem. We now have Video Archives merch! Go to podswag.com to see everything we have in stock. Find out more about the show by heading to VideoArchivespodcast.com. You can also find us on Twitter @VideoArchives and on Instagram @VideoArchivesPod.