Con Licencia Para Matar (Review)

Con Licencia Para Matar

aka With License to Kill aka Las Tigresas
Con Licencia Para Matar
Written by Alfredo Ruanova
Directed by Rafael Baledón

Con Licencia Para Matar
When danger rears it’s head, and the police are helpless, they call in Las Tigresas! A trio of fighting femmes donning black catsuits with leopard print collars who bust in and kick serious butt, then collect fat paychecks to live exciting jet-setting lives.

There are two Las Tigresas films, Con Licencia Para Matar (With License to Kill) is the second, following Muñecas Peligrosas (Dangerous Dolls), though according to some material I read, this one may have been filmed first. That’s not surprising, as both films appear to be filmed one after the other (they even share sets and actors, and Cazadores de Espias also shares sets and actors and was filmed at almost the same time in 1967!)
Con Licencia Para Matar
Las Tigresas are a mercenary group that contracts out to the IUS to do special missions (at a price!) Their liaison/mission boss is “Jefe”, Jim Morrison (who is now dating Emily, the leaders of Las Tigresas) They have a comic relief maid named Leonor who occasionally joins them for adventures, and in this film also get a comic relief butler named Hector who is sort of dating Leonor.

Las Tigresas are independent warrior women who don’t wait around for men to save them. Despite calling Morrison their boss, he barely does anything except give them assignments and take Emily out on dates (In a clear HR violation!) The ladies are independent role models, not only does Leonor spend both films wanting to be one of them, in this film Hector even tries to join their ranks.
Con Licencia Para Matar
Unlike the other Las Tigresas film, there are no English subtitles for Con Licencia Para Matar, but a TarsTarkas.NET, we don’t need no stinking subtitles! Con Licencia Para Matar is the much more enjoyable Las Tigresas film, and the lack of accessibility means it still lingers in the realm of obscurity despite the best efforts of world cinema fanatics. As this film is rather rare, enjoy the far too detailed plot synopsis review below. Or else!

Emily (Emily Cranz) – Code designation: T001. Leader of Las Tigresas. Emily is now dating Jim Morrison and gets a musical number in the club. Specializes in using the gun to kill enemies, though that’s not really a specialization because everyone uses guns. But she uses her gun and nothing else.
Diana (Maura Monti) – Code designation: T009. Diana returns with much more sensible hair, and also has a fiance and is planning to retire. But he disappears so no retirement just yet! Diana uses the bow and arrows.
Barbara (Barbara Angely) – Code designation: T002. Barbara spends much of her time not having much going on in this film, though she occasionally will show up to kill villains. Barbara uses her sword to dispatch her enemies.
Leonor (Leonorilda Ochoa) – Emily’s maid, who still wants to be a Tigress and is still actively involved in their missions. Gets a robot duplicate at one point.
Jim Morrison (Fernando Casanova) – Nicknamed Jefe. The boss of the Tigresas in that he is their liaison with IUS and assigns them missions. Gets a robot duplicate at one point.
Dr. Klux (Noé Murayama) – Evil villain who build invincible robots to do his bidding and to do awful stuff in the name of showing how awesome Dr. Klux is. This guy’s name is a little too close for comfort to a certain awful hate organization, which may or may not have been intentional. Who knows at this point?
Dr. Klux’s Robots (various) - Invincible super robots controlled by remote control and made out of green plastic. They feature huge Ks on their chests because Dr. Klux is sort of an arrogant jerk. Their only weakness is heat and destroying their control panel.

Con Licencia Para Matar
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - September 15, 2014 at 8:34 am

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Muñecas Peligrosas (Review)

Muñecas Peligrosas

aka Danger Dolls aka Operación Contraespionaje aka Operation Counter
Muñecas Peligrosas
Written by Alfredo Ruanova
Directed by Rafael Baledón

Muñecas Peligrosas
Muñecas Peligrosas is the first of the two Las Tigresas films, featuring a trio of fighting femmes in black catsuits and leopard collars who fight evil (for a fee!) It fits right in with the established world of 1960s Mexican spy cinema, which borrows chunks from James Bond and Eurospy while keeping its own distinct flavor. There is a secret international spy agency, and all-powerful unknown villains who retain their mystery despite having advanced branding tactics. Muñecas Peligrosas is a more subtle affair then the sequel, which features the ladies battling green robots controlled by a mad scientist. Here, they battle an industrialist determined to steal a catalyst for solid fuel production by luring the maker to Mexico via sabotage. But the plot is just background distraction, the real draw of Muñecas Peligrosas is the female characters, the three fighting women and their comic relief maid.

The lead Tigresa is Emily (code designation: T001), played by Emily Cranz. She was born Emma Cranz Cantillano in Arizona to a German mother and Mexican father. She had a string of film appearances in the 1960s, along with several albums (occasionally with a group called Los Black Jeans) and appearances on television variety shows. She eventually married and disappeared from public view in 1970.
Muñecas Peligrosas
Tigresa Diana (code designation: T009) is played by actress Maura Monti. She’s best known to genre fans as the star of the Mexican Batwoman movie, La Mujer Murciélago, as well as appearances in films such as S.O.S. Conspiracion Bikini, El Planeta de las Mujeres Invasoras, and Santo Contra la Invasion de los Marcianos. Maura Monti has gigantic hair in this movie.

The final Tigresas is Barbara (code designation: T002), played by Bárbara Angely. Her character sort of gets the shaft in both of the films, often supporting one of the other two characters. Bárbara Angely was born Barbara Mueller in Austria, both her and her twin sister Angelika became models in Italy and eventually moved to Mexico. Now being billed as Bárbara Angely, she appeared in films through the last 1960s, only to retire by 1970 (it was said she tired of the lifestyle.) She earned a Ph.D. and eventually became a triathlon athlete along with her sister. It was while competing in one such event that she suffered the injuries that claimed her life in 2008.
Muñecas Peligrosas
Despite Barbara being a real Tigresa, Emily’s maid Leonor (played by comedic actress Leonorilda Ochoa) gets much more screen time and plot development. Unlike the three import actresses above, Leonorilda Ochoa did not marry and vanish from public view in 1970 as the Mexican film industry depressed. She moved to television, gaining fame in Los Beverly de Peralvillo, a satire on life of rich Mexican City residents (and named in reverence to the US program Beverly Hillbillies). She has been absent in the public eye in recent years due to Alzheimer’s.

Villain Garrick is one of those villains who needs people to know who he is, so he has his big G logo plastered all over his hideout and on his troops. The design of the big G kept making me thing of Gizmonic Institute from Mystery Science Theater 3000. Maybe the Institute militarized and that’s why Dr. Forrester and TV’s Frank moved to Deep 13. Makes you think…
Muñecas Peligrosas
There is also a very unfunny running gag involving a karate instructor (played by Alejandro Suárez in yellowface) who speaks gibberish back and forth with Leonor while she hits on him. These scenes go on for far too long and are just awful.

The copy I have came complete with some fan subtitles. Some of the names might not match right up with other names you’ve seen, and I’ve compromised by what names sound correct. And as this is relatively obscure, please enjoy the more detailed than usual review. Or else!

Emily (Emily Cranz) – Codename: T001. Emily owns the headquarters and is the leader of Las Tigresas. She is dating Waldo, who turns out to be working for the enemy. So there is guilt and stuff going on.
Diana (Maura Monti) – Codename: T009. Diana is skilled in the bow and arrows. I don’t know if her number jumping from two to nine means there six inactive or deceased Las Tigresas out there. The film just doesn’t answer that pressing question. How dare you, film!
Barbara (Bárbara Angely) – Codename: T002. Barbara is mentioned as knowing Jim Morrison from her time in New York City, and returns there at one point for vacation, where she convinces the boss to less Jim pay their higher fee. She specializes in the swords. That’s also about all she does for both films.
Leonor (Leonorilda Ochoa) – Emily’s loyal maid. Her greatest wish is to be one of the Tigresas. She’s the comic relief, and there is a lot of relief. She’s almost the most seen character in the film!
Jim Morrison (Fernando Casanova) – The new boss, nicknamed “Jefe” by the Tigresses before he’s even officially their boss. Then he becomes their boss when IUS hires the ladies at the high fees. Is the only IUS agent in Mexico who doesn’t get killed easily by Garrick.
Garrick (Armando Silvestre) – Egotistical jerk who is trying to steal the K20 because of reasons not known, all you need to know is he is evil. That’s what the secretive international spy agency that assassinates hundreds off the books says, so it must be legitimate. Likes to put the letter “G” everywhere.

Muñecas Peligrosas
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - September 14, 2014 at 8:17 am

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The Sword and the Sorcerer – new RiffTrax VOD!

RiffTrax returns to the world of terrible 1980s fantasy to bring us their latest VOD, The Sword and the Sorcerer! You might recall it as that crazy movie with the three-bladed sword. Well, now you can say it is that crazy movie with the three-bladed sword AND three guys talking over it! It also has everyone’s favorite Big McLargeHuge, Reb Brown! That alone is an auto-buy. So go buy it! Or don’t, but just remember, no one will think you are cool if you don’t own the RiffTrax of The Sword and the Sorcerer. Not even your mom.

And the 80s said, “let there be fantasy movies,” and there were fantasy movies, and they were good. Well, they weren’t really. But lo, raise thy flagon to the 80s, for through the mists of legendry* (*actual phrase from the movie) they bring us The Sword and the Sorcerer!

Before George R.R. Martin ever Gamed a Throne, The Sword and the Sorcerer had a witch bringing forth a hideous monster, a noble family of good guys getting wiped out, and even a Red Wedding! Or at least a Magenta Wedding. It also has a three-bladed sword that shoots blades, the kind of idea that seems like it could only have been pitched by an 8 year old boy right after the phrase “You know what would be COOL?”

Follow the adventures of our hero, Talon, a rogue/warrior/buccaneer/general/upholsterer/freelance architect/hooker with a heart of gold, as he gets vengeance and shoots his sword and swings on ropes and whatnot, y’know, hero stuff.

It’s high fantasy, just like the blacklight posters and pewter figurines at Spencer’s Gifts envisioned! Join The Mike and The Bill and The Kevin for The Sword and the Sorcerer!

Note: contains some scary stuff and brief incidental harem nudity.

via RiffTrax

Sword and the Sorcerer RiffTrax

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - September 13, 2014 at 7:16 pm

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The Assault brings a heavy subject to Lifetime!

The Assault Lifetime
The Assault is the latest Lifetime Original Movie, this time covering a football team drugging and sexually assaulting a female student and no one believing her. From the subject matter, this might be set a bit more serious than the usual overdone drama. But from the pictures of Makenzie Vega dousing herself in gasoline on the football field while wearing her cheerleader uniform, maybe it will still be campy. The only way to know is to watch it yourself!

The Assault stars Makenzie Vega (Saw), Khandi Alexander (Newsradio), Malik Yoba, Gary Weeks, Amy Bruckner, Maya Morales, Michael Cognata, and Kayla Harrity.

The Assault is directed by Jason Winn (The Adventures of Paula Peril) and written by Jennifer Maisel (Double Wedding). They are not Lifetime regulars, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything in regards to the quality of the film.

After a cheerleader is sexual assaulted by the high school football team, she must overcome her shame and use the evidence gathered from the subsequent social media firestorm to piece together the night that she can’t remember in her fight for justice.

The Assault premieres Saturday, September 20th on Lifetime

via Lifetime

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - September 10, 2014 at 9:36 pm

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A friendly Samurai Cop 2 Kickstarter reminder!

I’m sure you heard by now that the greatest movie ever made, Samurai Cop, has a sequel in production and has launched a kickstarter! So just in case you lived in a cave, now you know. For those of you not in a cave, now you got a reminder! If you’ve never seen Samurai Cop, then you need to stop whatever you are doing and go watch it. I don’t care if lives depend on you doing stuff, Samurai Cop is more important! Okay, maybe not, but as soon as no one will die, go watch Samurai Cop a couple dozen times. Then open up your wallets for Samurai Cop 2: Deadly Vengeance!

Not only has Matt Hannon returned from the dead to become Samurai Cop Joe Marshall again, but Mark Frazer is also returning as Frank Washington! Melissa Moore also returns as Peggy, and they managed to also get original cast members Cranston Komuro, Gerald Okamura, and Robert Z’Dar to also appear. I’m not sure if they will be reincarnated versions of their classic characters, or original characters who all happen to be identical twins of those killed last time.

It’s 25 years later, and Detective Frank Washington is forced to team up with his long estranged partner Joe Marshall to solve a series of assassinations being committed by a secret group of female vigilante killers.

There is also a whole host of new stars, including some classic people and a bunch of porn stars who readers here will be familiar with due to their appearances in Retromedia and Jim Wynorski movies!

GEORGE LAZENBY (Agent 007 James Bond in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”)
ROBERT Z’DAR (“Samurai Cop,” “Maniac Cop,” “Tango & Cash”)
SEYMOUR CASSEL (Oscar Nominee, “Faces,” Wes Anderson films)
HENRY SILVA (Eurocrime genre actor, “The Manchurian Candidate,” “Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai,” “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century”)
LAURENE LANDON (“Hundra,” “All The Marbles”)
KAYDEN KROSS (“Blue Dream”)
LEXI BELLE (Penthouse Pet of the Year, 2014)
NICOLE BAILEY (Mac Miller and the Most Dope Family)
KRISTINE DeBELL (“The Big Brawl,” “Meatballs”)
NICOLE D’ANGELO (“Blue Dream”)
STUART WHITMAN (“The Longest Day,” “Superboy,” “Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines”)
EDDIE DEEZEN (“Grease,” “War Games.” “The Polar Express”)
SHANE RYAN (“Amateur Porn Star Killer”)
MATTHEW MAHANEY (“Days of Our Lives”)
JESSE HLUBIK (“May,” “I Know Who Killed Me”)
SEAN McNABB (“Quiet Riot”, “Dokken”)
LISA LONDON (“Sudden Impact”)
MINDY ROBINSON (“Gym Rescue,” “V/H/S/2″)
RON BECKS (“Hunter”)
RAMZI ABED (“The Devil’s Muse”)
SHAUN PICCININO (“The Lackey,” “Bat In The Sun’s Super Power Beat Down”)
EDWIN A. SANTOS (“Mad Cowgirl”)
MAGDA MARCELLA (“Miracle Mile Girls”)
SHAWN C. PHILLIPS (“Dysmorphia,” “Ghost Shark”)

Now, a lot of older movies that get sequels often have the sequels be terrible, and many movies that became cult classics that got sequels later faced having sequels that were no good. So there is always the danger that this film will just be awful. But the cast seems very excited for it, and Samurai Cop is a film that it is almost impossible to live up to. But with the talent they are throwing in, the film will at least be so full of things happening that we won’t have time to catch our breath. Much like a good portion of the original, that had lots of awesome action sequences that just kept going and kept the funeral parlors in LA very busy with all the bodies.

The best news of this Kickstarter is Amir Shervan apparently had more than the three films he was known for (along with the foreign stuff) back when Samurai Cop was first discovered. Besides Samurai Cop, Hollywood Cop, and Killing American Style, there is also Young Rebels and Gypsy, the last one not having been seen anywhere before.

Regardless of outcome, I’m excited for this event, and have high hopes for the film!

Disclaimer: I plan on donating to this Kickstarter.

Samurai Cop 2 poster

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - September 8, 2014 at 11:43 pm

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Stephen King’s Big Driver rides on to Lifetime!

Big Driver Lifetime

Big Driver sounds like a character name from Austin Powers

Lifetime isn’t just adapting trashy biopics and deformed cats for their network, they’ve put up a solid array of literature, some of which make up their strongest cinema entries. Their first Stephen King adaptation will be Big Driver, which is a rape and revenge tale with the King flavor. Big Driver stars Maria Bello, which by itself means it will be good. There is also the bonus talent of Olympia Dukakis and Joan Jett, as well as Ann Dowd and Will Harris. This is an amazingly talented cast. The only video so far is some dark scenes of roads set to spooky music, so I can’t get a sense of the tone, except spooky.

Big Driver is directed by Mikael Salomon, who directed the Lifetime trash classic Drew Peterson: Untouchable, and adapted by Lifetime regular Richard Christian Matheson.

Big Driver premieres October 18th on Lifetime!

From a story by Stephen King, “Big Driver” marks the first collaboration between Lifetime and King. This dark story of a young novelist hell-bent on revenge after falling victim to a brutal crime stars Golden Globe nominee Maria Bello (“A History of Violence,” “McFarland”), Academy Award winner Olympia Dukakis (“Sex & Violence,” “Steel Magnolias”), Grammy nominee Joan Jett, film and television veteran Ann Dowd (“The Leftovers,” “Masters of Sex”) and Will Harris (“NCIS,” “Sky High”).

In “Big Driver,” Tess Thorne (Bello), a famous and revered mystery and thriller writer, faces a long drive home following a book-signing engagement. But while driving on a lonely stretch of New England road, her tire blows out, leaving her stranded. Relieved when another driver stops and offers assistance, Tess quickly discovers her savior is actually her assailant, a serial killer who repeatedly assaults her. Left for dead in a drainage pipe to rot with the bodies of his other victims, Tess escapes and makes her way safely home. With her fragile mind beginning to unravel, she is determined to find her rapist and seek revenge, as payback is the only thing holding her together.

Best-selling author Stephen King has penned more than 50 novels and hundreds of short stories, many of which have been adapted into feature films, including Frank Darabont’s Academy Award-nominated “The Shawshank Redemption” with Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins; the Stanley Kubrick classic, “The Shining,” with Jack Nicholson; and “Stand by Me,” directed by Rob Reiner starring River Phoenix, Kiefer Sutherland, Jerry O’Connell, Corey Feldman and Wil Wheaton. Other works based on his stories include the television series “Under the Dome,” as well as numerous top-selling comic books, including “The Stand and The Dark Tower” series. His novels have sold more than 350 million copies worldwide and have received a multitude of awards, including The Bram Stoker Award, Los Angeles Times Book Prize, National Book Award, National Magazine Award and World Fantasy Award.

Produced by Ostar Productions, “Big Driver” is executive produced by Bill Haber (“The Trip to Bountiful”) and Jeffrey Hayes (“A Day Late and A Dollar Short”). The screenplay adaptation was written by Richard Christian Matheson (“Masters of Horror,” “Happy Face Killer”) and is directed by Mikael Salomon (“Drew Peterson: Untouchable”). A+E Networks handles international sales for “Big Driver.”

via Lifetime

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Posted by Tars Tarkas -  at 10:46 pm

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