Sadly I missed the kick-off night to Tarantino's March Madness. Being a father of four kids and a high school teacher I am around so many damn germs its very common for me to catch a cold here and there and of course I came down with something strong enough it prohibited me from attending the opening night of programming with "Crackhouse" and "Redneck Miller." Two films I had never seen and looks like I will have to wait a while longer to see anyways. Enough about what I didn't see, let's get to what I did see.
Last night Tarantino planned a double feature of escape. Two movies from the 1970's that focus on prisoners and there desire to escape from the prisons that hold them in. Both films had a number of similar themes within them. One obvious one being race relations, something the U.S. was still very much dealing with through the 1970's. Apart of those relations was another tone of coming together or more rather working together for a common goal.
For a prison movie about the toughest prison in the U.S. 'Escape' is not so tough. We've seen grittier accounts of prison brutality, but this film again is not so much about the prison lifestyle. It centers around escape but it also hammers home a touching message of change. Change that our nation was struggling to cope with outside of prison let alone inside of one.
If you are a fan of Jim Brown this movie is a must see. Repeatedly the film treats the audience to close-up's of Jim Brown and that million dollar smile of his. Not only is Brown's hammy smile worth admission, so too is the dialogue penned by Richard DeLong Adams. There are so many laugh-out-loud moments in the dialogue. Stuff that just seems ridiculous to hear, but there it is, in stereo sound for you to soak in. I guess this may be a good time to make sure I'm real clear, "I Escaped form Devil's Island" is not a good movie. It is terrible yet magical. It is one of those movies that is so bad it is actually a blast to watch.
One other aspect of 'Devil's Island' that deserves mentioning is Les Baxter's maniac score. Frenetic throughout the music reminds me of a kid playing with a straw in the top of a soda lid. Squeaks and long erratic tones that create a sense on panic as well as a comical tone carry on throughout the 89 minute romp.
If any of this has peeked your interests take a look at New Beverly's schedule and see if you can make it down for some awesome programming scheduled by Quentin Tarantino (who know's you just may see the legend himself or at the very least meet a couple new movie enthusiasts like yourself). Unfortunately the entire seven day run of "Kill Bill: The Whole Bloody Affair" has already sold out but you still have a chance to see a number of great grindhouse movies Quentin and the New Bev have planned in March.