Sunday, 19 August 2012

Crooked Country Trips

Lee Marvin and Gene Hackman chew lumps off each other in the sleazy 70's thriller Prime Cut. When Hackman's rural gangster refuses to pay his dues the Chicago mob send ice-cool Marvin down country to make things right. Both leads consummately trade variants of smiling menace but the wry scripting keeps things fresh and although it's pretty formulaic stuff it has a certain grubby period charm what with the lady auctions, human sausages and a Combine harvester chase scene. A solid, occasionally barmy, tale of sex trafficking and hubris that gets plenty of good stuff from Hackman and Marvin but is otherwise unremarkable.
There's far less charm in the greasy backwoods thriller Poor Pretty Eddie but it more than makes up for it by it's sheer derangement. A sultry Jazz singer gets stuck in hillbilly hell after her car breaks down and ends up in a motel run by a soused cabaret wash up and her two male companions, a giant idiot and a lusty Elvis impersonator. Unaccustomed to guests of colour her presence causes ructions and it's not long before she finds herself in serious danger after attracting the eye of the unstable young lothario, Eddie. The script is perfunctory and it looks terrible but it's quite loopy in a 70's shlock/exploitation sort of way and Shelly Winters as the mother hen provides good ham throughout. Low brow & raw, it's probably only going to appeal to trash cinema collectors.

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