KINO LORBER UHD RELEASE: Death Wish (1974)

EDITOR’S NOTE: We’ve talked about Death Wish so many times on the site, but this is all about the excitement of Kino Lorber’s UHD release. It has both a UHD HDR/Dolby Vision master from a 4k scan of the 35mm original camera negative and a blu ray HD master from a 4k scan of the 35mm original camera negative. Plus, there’s also a commentary on the film by the best person to record one, Paul Talbot, the author of Bronson’s Loose! You can get it from Kino Lorber.

New York City in 1974 must have felt like the end of the world. Based on the 1972 novel by Brian Garfield, Death Wish was the answer. In fact, in many theaters, the audience stood up and cheered as Paul Kersey got his bloody revenge for the crims visited upon him and his family.

The film we’re about to discuss went through many twists and turns as it made its way to the screen. Originally, it ended with the vigilante hero confronting the thugs who attacked his family and them killing him, police detective Ochoa discovering his weapon and deciding to follow in his footsteps. And get this — the first choice to play the lead was Jack Lemmon, with Henry Fonda as Ochoa and Sidney Lumet directing.

Finally, United Artists picked the gritty action veteran Michael Winner to direct. Several studios rejected the film due to its subject matter and the difficulty of casting the lead. Winner wanted Bronson, who he’d worked with in the past, but the actor’s agent hated the message of the film and Bronson felt that the book was about a weak man, someone he would not be playing on film.

Death Wish turned Bronson, who was 53 at the time of its release, into a major star known worldwide. It’s a movie made exactly for its time. Despite its lurid subject matter and dangerous acceptance of its hero’s actions, it’s still a great exploitation film that actually explores the why behind its hero’s actions instead of just setting him loose upon people.

Paul Kersey (Bronson) starts the movie in Hawaii with his wife Joanna. When they return home to the squalid streets of New York City, it’s only days before three thugs — including Jeff Goldblum! — invade their apartment, raping their daughter Carol and beating Joanna so badly that she dies.  Beyond Goldblum in this early role, keep an eye open for Christopher Guest and Olympia Dukakis as cops, as well as Sonia Manzano (Maria from Sesame Street, who was dating director Winner at the time and suggested that Herbie Hancock do the score) and Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs (Freddie “Boom Boom” Washington from TV’s Welcome Back, Kotter) in supporting roles.

As he recovers from his wife’s death, Paul is mugged. He fights back and chases off his attacker and finds new strength from the battle. An architect by trade, Paul heads to Tucson where he helps Ames Jainchill with his residential development project. After work one night, he goes to a gun club with Ames, where we learn how good of a shot Paul is. Turns out he was a conscientious objector and combat medic who was taught marksmanship by his father, but promised his mother he’d never pick up another gun after his dad was killed in a hunting accident. On the way back home, Paul discovers that Ames has given him a gun as a gift.

Now back home, Paul learns from his son-in-law that his daughter is still catatonic and would be better off in a mental hospital. That night, when walking, Paul is mugged again but he has the gun with him. He fights back and kills the mugger, but even that action causes him to grow physically sick. But soon, he’s prowling the mean streets and looking for a fight.

Before long, NYPD detective Lt. Frank Ochoa (Vincent Gardenia) begins investigating the vigilante killings and quickly narrows down his suspect list to Paul. As the manhunt gets closer and closer, Paul finally is caught after passing out from blood loss after a shootout. Instead of arresting him, the NYPD wants the case quietly solved, so they send him off to Chicago. The minute he arrives, he helps a woman who was almost mugged and stares at the criminals with a smile, his fingers in the shape of a gun.

There’s a story which may be apocryphal, but when Michael Winner told Bronson what this film would be about — a man who goes out and shoots muggers — Bronson replied, “I’d like to do that.” Winner said, “The film?” And Bronson replied, “No. Shoot muggers.”

After viewing the film, author Brian Garfield hated how the film advocated vigilantism, so he wrote a sequel called Death Sentence that was made into a movie in 2007 starring Kevin Bacon. No word on whether or not he hated that movie too, as it only keeps a little of the book.

Compared to the heights of mayhem that this series will descend to, this is a retrained meditation of a man facing an increasingly violent world. Stay tuned. Paul Kersey is just getting started.

JEAN ROLLIN-UARY: The Demoniacs (1974)

There’s a gnag of wreckers who lure ships to the rocks on a foggy shore that destroys them, led by The Captain (John Rico), and including Le Bosco (Willy Braque), Paul (Paul Bisciglia) and Tina (Joëlle Coeur). The latest ship they’ve smashed has two survivors — played by Lieva Lone and Patricia Hermenier — who are dazed and damaged as they struggle down the beach and into the arms of the crew that’s already taken so much from them. They’re assaulted and left for dead as the pirates drink away their cares, but The Captain keeps seeing the girls, so they go back and trap them in a shhip and set it on fire.

Yet that’s still not enough to put them away. They run to some ruins where a clown (Mireille Dargent) takes them deeper into the grounds where a demon (Miletic Zivomir)  is imprisoned and if they allow him into their bodies, he will give them a limited time to have his power and gain the revenge they desire.

Jean Rollin is the only director who I could say was inspired by his childhood to make suce a strange and upsetting movie. Yes, it’s another return to the beach but there are no vampires, instead the ghostly hauntings of victims and the sheer insanity of Tina. Seriously, Coeur is an absolute force in this movie, as seductive as she is frightening, demanding more carnage and becoming sexually aroused by the death and horror that she helps create.

This is at once a film filled with sex and one desperate to destroy your desire. Rollin was challenged by how big this production was and yes, there are some pacing issues, but it’s another journey through bleak unending sadness on a beach and my feet are soaked and the sand is in every pore.

You can watch this on Kino Cult.

JEAN ROLLIN-UARY: Fly Me the French Way (1974)

AKA Tout le monde il en a deux AKA Bacchannales Sexuelles, even Jean Rollin has to make money to pay for idiosyncratic works so why not make something a little, well, adult? And hey, if making porn is beneath him as an artist, maybe he also brings something strange to the party because, well, I don’t think he knew any other way.

Valérie (Joëlle Coeur) is crashing at her cousin’s apartment in Paris — yeah, it’s Rollin’s apartment — seems a perfect place for her to call over her friend Sophie (Marie-France Morel) who decides to climb a high bookshelf and nearly dangle from it while wearing knee boots and a skirt that can charitably be said to barely be there. What else can they do put pour vodka all over one another and tumble into the very convenient mattress on the floor, then throw on some see-through nightgowns and lie together?

Before you get used to what’s going on, two burglars (Marie-Pierre Castel and Catherine Castel) have rolled up Sophie in a rug and just walked out the front door. It’s enough to get Valérie to call her man Fred (Alain Bastin) over for protection and yes, that means another sex scene.

She’s been taken by Malvina (Brigitte Borghese), a priestess in the Cult of the Pure Flesh and the reason why Valérie’s cousin is out of town is that they are hunting him down for exposing him in an article he wrote. But now they have Sophie instead of Valérie and despite her protests, decide to whip her while cult member Karl (Marcel Richard) brings his al dente noodle to the spaghetti house of Frida (Minia Malove).

While her friend is being tortured, Valérie and Fred keep on doing two-person push-ups, which only increases when the cult sends a maid over to spy on them and she ends up in the tub with the couple. Then the real maid shows up, a fight breaks out and the plot is figured out.

This is the point where Malvina decides to own this movie, pulling off stunts like shooting well-dressed mannequins in the crotch before making out with them and donning chain mail eveningwear and getting every single person in a sex ritual all ready to go. Then everything gets all Eyes Wide Shut 15 years early before things wrap up with a happy ending.

Not that kind. Come on.

I mean, it’s a super low budget French softcore movie so I’m not going to pretend it’s art — see Just Jaeckin for that — but it’s still fun, what with sex cults, twin maids and an evil lead who’s a blast.

Identikit (1974)

Muriel Spark sold her novel The Driver’s Seat as a whydunnit instead of a detective story. The movie that was made from it, Identikit, by Giuseppe Patroni Griffi somehow goes from a rambling narrative of a woman who has lost or is losing her mind — you knew it, f.giallo — that eventually transforms at the end into an image straight out of the form.

Griffi also made Metti, una sera a cena (Love Circle), which stars Tony Musante and giallo queen Florinda Balkan, as well as Addio, fratello crudele (‘Tis A Pity She’s a Whore), The Divine Nymph which has Tina Aumont from Torso and La Gabbia which had contributions by Fulci and is called an erotic thriller but come on we know what that means.

This was written by Griffi along with Raffaele La Capria.

What’s incredible about this movie is that it finds Liz Taylor — 45-year-old Liz, mind you — playing Lise, a lonely woman from Germany that has come to Rome to find a dangerous liaison, a fatal attraction, dare I say a strange vice to call her own.

Everyone she meets either wants to fuck her or is afraid of her, like the British businessman (Ian Bannen) who tries to pick her up on the plane and offers that he must orgasm every day on his macrobiotic diet; an Italian man (Guido Mannari) who seems perfect if distant and a would-be French lover (Maxence Mailfort).

There’s also the presence of the days of lead looming over everything, as a moment after she lands in Rome, Lise is nearly killed in the crossfire as the police open fire on a protestor and a bomb has cleared all the shoppers away from a mall except for Lise and a doddering elderly woman (Mona Washbourne) in a role that Taylor wanted Bette Davis to play, but Bette said no thanks to a film without a completed script.

Yet the true explosion is within Lise, a woman who won’t have it any way but hers, screaming at a salesgirl — while her one-time biggest star in the world breasts are exposed to the unflinching camera — that she refuses to purchase an outfit that has been treated with stain-resistant chemicals. How dare they believe she’s the type of woman to make such a mess?

This is all told in a way that is both episodic and all over the place, as detectives attempt to understand why Lise was killed along with all of the people that she’s traumatized along the way. It all looks gorgeous, though, as cinematographer Vittorio Storaro is best known for shooting The Bird With the Crystal Plumage, Apocalypse NowThe Last Emperor and Dick Tracy.

At the end, is it a giallo? Well, that fog coming from the trees as — spoiler warning — Lise directs her would-be lover and killer in how to properly bind her hands and stab her isn’t far off from the way most women have to direct their lovers so that they don’t end up penetrating the crease in their leg and never make their way inside them. Liz was just fresh off her first divorce from Richard Burton and it feels like she’s exploding all of her hatred and frustration in this role and man, I only wish that I knew more of this Liz and not the sad last days of tabloid headlines and Larry Fortensky.

One last giallo connection: Franco Mannino also did the music for Murder Obsession.

My favorite thing about this movie? Andy Warhol walks in and takes over a one-minute scene as a British lord.

I love the f.giallo because it’s not always about murder. Sometimes, as in Footprints On the Moon, a movie that this shares the new Severin House of Psychotic Women box sex with, it’s all the female heroine can do to stay sane.

You can watch this on Tubi.

Mania (1974)

Barely released in 1974, Mania was once a lost giallo until a 35mm print surfaced in 2007 at the Cineteca Nazionale film archive in Rome, which keeps every movie submitted to censors. It’s somehow all at once a giallo, gothic horror and science fiction and refuses to make sense.

We start by meeting Lisa (Eva Spadaro) and her fiancée Lailo (Isarco Ravaiolo) as they speed along the highway with her remembering how she cheated on her husband Professor Brecht (Brad Euston, who also starred in the director’s Oscenità, a movie that is supposedly an allegory of female oppression yet contains corncob masturbation, bestiality and a lengthy lesbian orgy) with his twin brother Germano (also Euston), who is now in a wheelchair because his brother was caught in a mad scientist lab fire and his brother  —  not Lisa — could save him.  Now she’s lost her mind and is with her twin brother-in-law but also another man but oh yeah, there’s also a ghost car chasing them and Lisa is always taking her insanity up to 11.

That very same ghost attacks the housekeeper Erina (Mirella Rossi) with a plastic bag that is filled with blood by the end, but it doesn’t kill her, just scar her and take away her voice. For some reason, this makes Germano hate her and abuse her further with his wheelchair. Someone has also dropped off a model of a coffin — the same one her husband was buried in! — and her doctor tells her that the best mental health thing to do is go back to the now haunted house and face her fears.

Oh yeah. Lisa also has another maid, Katia (Ivana Giordan), who is her secret lover and when they hook up, the camera spies Erina pleasuring herself with a bottle while she secretly watches. Just in case you needed more sleaze, I guess. This somehow turns into a catfight and ends up Erina running in terror and right into Germano, who tortures her some more before using his burned-up hands to feel her up.

If it needs to get stranger, well, Lisa is attacked by a net full of snakes in the attic, saved by Erina and then those two go at it while Katia goes out into the garden and makes love to Germano atop his wheelchair.

This involves her reading mash notes from her deceased hubby who soon arrives as a zombie because why not? This is followed by her going into his crypt and this briefly being a Hammer movie until Germano decides to torture both Lisa and the housekeeper inside a futuristic BDSM machine because, look, I don’t know, this movie is awesome.

And by awesome, I mean weird as fuck.

I hesitate to give away any more. Trust me, there’s so much more. According to Eurofever, the fumetti of this movie shows page after page of graphic sex scenes that were taken from the final print. Like, you know how Erich von Stroheim supposedly shot crazy stuff that the Hayes Commission would never allow in his films? This goes there. And then it goes so much further. I mean, this is a movie that ends with a character leaping to her death and landing in a tree that — you won’t believe it — tears all of her clothes off.

The blame — or the thanks — for this goes to Renato Polselli, who also made The Vampire and the BallerinaThe Vampire of the Opera and two movies nearly as wild as this, Delirium and Black Magic Rites AKA The Reincarnation of Isabel. He pushes everyone in this cast to just go wild, so wild that Alucarda might appear and ask them to tone down all the screaming.

Claudio Fragasso was the assistant director. Do you need more to get you to watch it? How about Euston wrote it and, according to Roberto Curti’s Italian Gothic Horror Films, 1970–1979, “provided most of the money for the film himself on the condition that he was cast as the protagonist.”

This is absolute trash with a wild acid rock soundtrack that was made by a maniac, has actors overacting to a degree that they nearly destroyed reality and gorgeous women in fishnets making love just because they can. They need to invent a new galaxy for how many stars I give this movie.

You can get this from the Internet Archive.

AMANDO DE OSSORIO WEEK: The Night of the Sorcerers (1974)

Back in 1910, native sorcerers stole a woman and attempted to sacrifice a woman under the full moon, but not before whipping her because this is Eurohorror, but soldiers stop them before they can chop her head off. However, a demon has possessed the woman, so the bad guys — are they the bad guys, this is colonialism against indigenous people? — win.

Many years later, Professor Jonathan Grant (Jack Taylor, who else) leads a safari investigating where all the elephants in West Africa have gone, bringing along two white blonde women (of course) named Elisabeth (Maria Kosti, A Dragonfly for Each Corpse) and Carol (Loli Tovar, The Legend of Blood Castle),  as well as Tunika (Kali Hansa, Demon Witch Child) and the studly Rod Carter (Simón Andreu). They soon find where the natives we saw earlier conducted their occult rites and Carol decides that this would be a good place to take photos and then they all make the worse decision to camp there.

That woman that was nearly killed and possessed before, you know, Bárbara Rey from The Ghost Galleon? She’s been waiting for something just like this and can bring back the old sorcerers and they all chop off Carol’s head. I mean, they whip her first, but you knew that, right?

Now she goes from headless rich girl photographer to leopard skin-wearing vampire and soon, she and the original vampire woman are killing everyone, including Liz, who was dumb enough to take sleeping pills in the middle of all this insanity. Day for night slow motion leopard print insanity, mind you.

Sacrificial rites turn normal women into leopard vampires. There aren’t enough kind words to say about this, one of the many wonderful movies in the Nightmare Theater package.

You can watch this on Tubi.

AMANDO DE OSSORIO WEEK: The Ghost Galleon (1974)

EDITOR’S NOTE: This voyage of the Blind Dead originally ran on our site on December 13, 2020.

What shall we call this movie? The Blind Dead 3Horror of the Zombies? Ship of Zombies? Or The Ghost Ship of the Swimming Corpses? Let’s just go with The Ghost Galleon and know that it’s the third Blind Dead movie after Tombs of the Blind Dead and Return of the Blind Dead.

Writer and director Amando de Ossorio is back, again pitting the former Knights Templar, now zombie horde against some swimsuit models and the rescue party that comes to get them. Now, they have the power to appear within the fog, taking over the ocean and killing all that they come near.

Jack Taylor, who worked with Jess Franco often, shows up here. He was in everything from Mexican films like Nostradamus and the Monster Demolisher to The Vampires Night Orgy and Pieces.

This movie is like being in a trance. A trance that has a flaming ship in a bathtub for a special effect, which is perhaps one of the finest trances to find oneself. The Blind Dead themselves are wonderful as always, but the idea that a sporting goods store owner could get publicity by stranding models and then somehow a galleon filled with the graves of Knights Templar who sacrificed women to Satan find them and take them inside their fog world and…ah, why am I complaining? That’s actually a perfectly logical plot.

AMANDO DE OSSORIO WEEK: Return of the Blind Dead (1974)

EDITOR’S NOTE: This was first on the site on September 24, 2022.

From Tombs of the Blind Dead to The Ghost Galleon and Night of the Seagulls — let’s not mention Curse of the Blind Dead — few images of Eurohorror are as striking as the Satanic and zombiefied Knights Templar riding out to their strange theme.

I kind of love that Spanish horror doesn’t seem to care all that much about continuity. How many ways did Waldemar Daninsky become a werewolf? Well, Amando de Ossorio tweaked the way the Knights came to be in nearly every movie, adjusting how they arrived and what they wanted, but the main idea is the same: they worshipped Satan, they were burned, they’ve come back to drink virgin blood.

As a village prepares for a festival celebrating the 500th anniversary of the defeat of the Templars — what a dumb idea — the village idiot Murdo sacrifices a young girl and brings them back from the dead. Any of the romantic drama between fireworks man Jack Marlowe (Tony Kendall) and his Vivian (Esperanza Roy), his ex-lover and now fiancee of the town’s mayor, will have to wait until the Knights kill everyone.

De Ossorio wrote, directed and designed the Templar make-up for this. The Spanish version, El ataque de los muertos sin ojos, has more gore, like the Templars straight up devouring a human heart. That’s how you do it!

If you’re someone that complains that this movie has day for night errors and has a slow pace that seems glacial, I’m going to hate you forever. This is doom metal on film. Tune in, drop down, drink blood, smoke up.

DISMEMBERCEMBER: Black Christmas (1974)

EDITOR’S NOTE: The ultimate Christmas horror movie, this is as good as it gets. It was first on the site on December 20, 2017.

Based on a series of Canadian murders and the urban legend of calls coming to a babysitter from within the house (also see When a Stranger Calls), Bob Clark and A. Roy Moore created what many feel is one of the precursors to the slasher film genre.

Bedford is a small college town, complete with a sorority house filled with victims, err, characters. While they’re celebrating at a holiday party, Jess (Olivia Hussey, who was told by her psychic to do this movie) gets a phone call from “The Moaner,” a crank caller who has been bothering the other sisters: Barb (Margot Kidder, Sisters), Phyllis (Andrea Martin, SCTV) and Clare (Lynne Griffin, Strange Brew). Barb is a real firecracker, provoking the caller, who tells the girls that he will kill them all.

Clare goes upstairs to pack and is suffocated by plastic wrap by an unseen killer and placed on a rocking chair in the attic.

The next day, Clare’s dad comes to take her back home for Christmas. The girls and their housemother, Mrs. MacHenry (Marian Waldman, Phobia), are surprised, as they thought she already went home. While all that is going on, Jess tells her boyfriend Peter (Keir Dullea, 2001: A Space Odyssey) that she is getting an abortion. He argues with her but can’t change her mind.

Meanwhile, the police get involved after learning that another girl, Janice, has gone missing. Jess also tells Chris (Arthur Hindle, Porky’s), Clare’s boyfriend, that something is up.

While everyone else joins police lieutenant Fuller (John Saxon!) to search for the missing girls, Mrs. Mac is killed inside the house. Sadly, her life of hiding booze and yelling at everyone was cut short. As the girls return home, they find Jess’ body and get another obscene call, which she reports to the police, who decide to bug the line so they can trace the calls. Then, Peter sneaks into the house for another argument.

Black Christmas is unafraid of using holiday traditions to allow its killer to get away with murder. While carolers sing outside, Barb’s screams go unheard as she is stabbed to death by a glass unicorn.

Another phone call happens — one that quotes the argument Jess had with Peter. And while that’s occurring, Phyl goes to check on Barb and is killed.

Finally, Jess keeps the obscene caller on the line long enough for a trace, which reveals that the calls are coming from inside the house. She goes upstairs, armed with a fireplace poker, to get the rest of the girls, only to find their dead bodies. The killer chases her into the cellar and when Peter appears outside the window, she assumes that he is the killer and murders him with the poker.

The police arrive to find Jess sitting with Peter’s dead body. They’re convinced that he is the killer, although they can’t find Clare or Mrs. Mac’s bodies. After she is sedated, the cops leave while one officer remains behind to wait for forensics. Then, we hear a voice whisper, “Agnes, it’s me, Billy.” Jess’ phone rings, which means her fate — and who the killer is — will remain a mystery.

One of the most frightening parts of the film are the obscene phone calls, which were performed by Clark and actor Nick Mancuso (Under Siege), who stood on his head while recording to make his voice sound more insane. Mancuso would come back to record a “Billy Commentary” on the film, which is on the recent Scream Factory! release.

Warner Brother studio executives hated the ending and demanding that Clark change the final scene to have Chris appear before Jess and say, “Agnes, don’t tell them what we did” before murdering her. However, Clark stuck to his guns and kept the ending that he believed in. The studio further tinkered with the film, calling it Silent Night, Evil Night in its original release.

When NBC aired the film as Stranger in the House on the January 28, 1978 edition of Saturday Night at the Movies, it gave stations the option of airing Doc Savage, as the Ted Bundy murders had just occurred two weeks earlier.

There’s an urban legend that this was Elvis’ favorite horror movie. It definitely made an impression on Steve Martin, who told Olivia Hussey “Oh my God, Olivia, you were in one of my all-time favorite films” when she was being considered for Roxanne. She thought he meant Romeo and Juliet, but he told her that he meant Black Christmas, claiming that he had seen the film 27 times.

There’s another urban legend — how many can one film have — that says that Halloween was originally intended as a sequel to this movie.

Clark would go on to direct Porky’s and a film that failed at first before becoming a holiday tradition, 1983’s A Christmas Story. Yep — he pretty much made both the happiest and darkest films about the Yuletide, which is pretty awesome.

I love this movie. It’s a true classic that’s unafraid to go against conventions even as it creates them. Nearly every actor and actress in this movie went on to do more and play their roles perfectly here.

You can watch it on Shudder or grab the Scream Factory collectors edition blu-ray!

While we often feature dark films here, Becca and I love Clark’s other holiday film, too. Here’s some proof, as we toured Ralphie’s house in Cleveland, OH.

The decoder ring was there and yes, the soap had teeth marks in it.

Earthquake (1974)

With seven million dollars ready to spend, Earthquake took what worked in Airport and worked hard to get to theaters before its competition, The Towering Inferno. Not only would it throw a huge cast of stars at a disaster, it would bring Sensurround to theaters. This William Castle style gimmick was basically gigantic speakers that could play sub-audible infra bass 120 decibel sound waves that made it feel like audiences were really quaking. How well did it work? It cracked plaster Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and the head of Chicago’s building and safety department made a rule that the system be turned down to stop structural damage to buildings. That same system would also be used for MidwayRollercoaster and Battlestar Galactica.

This has big names even before we get to the cast. An early script by Mario Puzo! A score by John Williams! Direction by the man who made Peyton Place and Valley of the Dolls — and edited Cat People — Mark Robson! Also, if you’ve never seen his movie The Seventh Victim rush out and stop reading this.

The movie begins with former football star Stewart Graff (Charlton Heston) fighting with his wife Remy (Ava Gardner) and then visiting an actress named Denise Marshall (Geneviève Bujold), who is the widow of one of his old friends. He’s dropped off an autographed football for her son Corry (Tiger Williams), but come on. We all know what he wants.

California Seismological Institute’s Walter Russell (Kip Niven) learns that Los Angeles will suffer a major earthquake soon but everyone decides to keep it a secret to stop panic. This is the first of many bad ideas in this movie. I kind of love how these movies jump around to reveal their characters, like poor good girl Rosa Amici (Victoria Principle), male bodybuilder fan and National Guardsman Jody Joad (Marjoe Gortner) and Stewart’s father-in-law Sam Royce (Lorne Greene), who offers him a big job if he leaves Denise, who he’s just made sweet love to, the kind of premarital congress that shakes the ground so to speak.

Boom! The entire town of Los Angeles goes to hell as a 9.9 earthquake ruins everything and places the following stars in harm’s way: Richard Roundtree! Barry Sullivan! George Kennedy (as Lou Slade, a totally great name, and also an Airport vet of every one of those films)! Lloyd Bolan! Walter Matthay as a drunk! Even Hard Boiled Haggerty!

There’s a total old Hollywood moment where Heston has to choose between Ava Gardner and Geneviève Bujold and he just dives into the sewer to — shock! — die. What! Oh man, 1974 Hollywood was full of brutal endings.

This movie also has George Kennedy using a jackhammer to rescue people and blowing Marjoe Gortner’s brains out. That’s the kind of cinema I love.