ARROW BLU RAY BOX SET: The Game Trilogy (1978, 1978, 1979)

At the end of the 1970s, Toru Murakawa’s Game Trilogy launched actor Yusaku Matsuda as the Toei tough guy for a new generation. Sadly, he would die from cancer at the way too early age of 40 after appearing in Black Rain.

As Shohei Narumi, he’s a killing machine who speaks little, shoots often and never falls for anything. The new Arrow Video set of these films is the first time these movies have been released outside of Japan and man, I loved every minute of these movies.

The Most Dangerous Game (1978): You first meet Shohei Narumi when he’s being roughed up after he contests a game of mah-jong. mah-jong game. He recovers from that in time to find and rescue a kidnapped businessman, at least for a few minutes before that guy is killed in the middle of a gun battle. Narumi is saved by Kyoko (Keiko Tasaka), the mistress of one of the men he’s trying to stop. He gets another job once he’s back on his feet: kill the boss of the kidnappers, which he does. Twice.

How twice? The guy has a public double, so they both have to go. But even the cops are on the take, setting an ambush, but he escapes and, well, kills everyone except one car of criminals who kidnap Kyoko and drive her across Tokyo while somehow, incredibly, Narumi keeps up while wearing cowboy boots. Look, I’ve been on Japanese streets and even though they are clogged with traffic, there’s no way you can chase a car on foot.

The one issue I have with the movie is that it’s kind of hard to like the hero. I mean, he isn’t even a hero, for one. He wins over Kyoko by assaulting her. But then, the film almost demands that you become a fan of him, what with the cool as cool gets clothes, him drinking gin when shot in the stomach instead fo going to the hospital and just being an all around amoral killing machine. Because you never see anything the bad guys do or plan because the movie moves from action moment to action moment like an ADHD kid playing with his toys, you eventually have to concede that he is the protagonist that you must be in favor of.

Directed by Tôru Murakawa and written by Hideichi Nagahara, this film has literally a slam bam pace that never slows down. Ever.

The Killing Game (1978): Shohei Narumi has been in hiding for five years after a major assassination assignment. He’s poor, no longer able to afford his fancy lifestyle. He can’t even get a drink at the hostess bar he gets pulled into.

We don’t have anything like a hostess bar in America. They aren’t places of prostitution but instead a modern version of geishas, providing entertainment and flirtation to lonely salarymen.

While there, Shohei Narumi runs into two women from his past. A hostress named Akiko (Kaori Takeda) was the daughter of the man our protagonist killed five years ago. Yet she doesn’t hate him for it. The other is the mama-san — the boss of the place — named Misako (Yutaka Nakajima). As he shot everyone he could five years ago, she is the one person he let live. Now she’s dating another boss, Katsuda (Kei Sato), and he wants Shohei Narumi to start killing for him. So does another boss. That means that everybody is going to die, many of them from bullets that Shohei Narumi shoots.

What comes across at the end of this film is the fact that without someone to kill, his existence is pointless. He’s like an unfired gun. All he knows in this life is how to end others.

The Execution Game (1979): Shohei Narumi wakes up alone in a filthy room. All he can remember is a girl, a car and a hit to the head, but now he’s hanging from a ceiling and finds out that this is all a trial to test his skills for a new client. They want him to kill their current hitman, who has started acting strangely, but that’s just the start of his new work.

He also has a relationship in this movie, even if she betrays him, and tells a young woman to avoid shady men at one point. This is in contrast to how he acted in the first film, so is this growth? I believe so, as is the idea that he sees the ocean as where he wants to return, growing up close to it and its ebbs and flows symbolize the way his life goes: bloody bursts of ultraviolence mixed with solitude, sometimes for years.

The past films have seen him exhausted and nearly passed out as women strip around him or frantically trying to pay for everyone in a hostess club, knowing that he has nearly nothing. Here, he’s a man that knows his job and what he has to do. That means always being ready to be sold out, always prepared to be in the sights of someone’s weapon and constantly willing to kill someone, anyone, at any time.

The limited edition Arrow blu ray box set of The Game Trilogy has a high definition blu ray version of each movie with new English subtitles. You get a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Tony Stella, a double-sided fold-out poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Tony Stella and an illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the films by Hayley Scanlon and Dimitri Ianni.

The Most Dangerous Game has new audio commentary by Chris Poggiali and Marc Walkow, a 30-minute interview with director Toru Murakawa, the original Japanese theatrical trailer and an image gallery.

The Killing Game has commentary by Earl Jackson and Jasper Sharp. The Execution Game has new commentary by Tom Mes. Extras include an interview with Yutaka Oki, film critic and personal friend of Yusaku Matsuda; an interview with screenwriter Shoichi Maruyama, the original Japanese theatrical trailers and image galleries for both films.

You can get the set from MVD.

ARROW BLU RAY RELEASE: Warriors Two (1978)

Sammo Hung made his directorial debut with The Iron-Fisted Monk and was ready to show more of who he was with this, his second film. Starring Casanova Wong as Cashier Hua and Hung as his friend Fat Chun, this is what happens when Hua is left for dead after discovering a conspiracy against the mayor. Chun tells his friend that if he wants to stay alive, he must study the fighting style Wing Chun from Master Leung Tsan (Bryan Leung Kar-Yan).

Master Tsan is a doctor and master of Wing Chun who can trace his martial arts lineage all the way back to the style’s founder. What’s amazing is that Wing Chun has at least eight different distinct lineages and each of those have their own origins. Those eight schools are based on the teachings of Ip Man, Yuen Kay-shan, Gu Lao Village, Nanyang / Cao Dean, Pan Nam, Pao Fa Lien, Hung Suen / Hung Gu Biu, Jee Shim and Weng Chun. We will never know the true origins of the fighting art, as the skills, movements and even history were shared from teacher to student by voice only. Nothing was in writing, as it was connected to anti-Qing rebellion and must remain in the shadows.

Tsan does what we expect from a martial arts movie. He makes Hua go through a series of training sessions to become a fighting expert, but will he learn enough in time,  what with the men who tried to kill him before still searching for him?

The final battle proves that yes, he knows enough.

The Arrow blu ray release of Warriors Two has 2K restorations from the original elements by Fortune Star of both the original Hong Kong theatrical cut and the shorter export cut. You can listen to two different English dubs, as well as Cantonese and Mandarin options.

There are two commentary tracks. Martial arts cinema expert Frank Djeng and actor Bobby Samuels discuss the Hong Kong version and action cinema experts Mike Leeder and Arne Venema are on the export version. There’s also The Way of the Warrior: The Making of Warriors Two, featuring interviews with stars Sammo Hung, Bryan “Beardy” Leung Kar-Yan, Feng Hak-An, Casanova Wong and Wing Chun master Guy Lai, an interview with Bryan Leung Kar-Yan and the original theatrical trailers.

You also get a double-sided fold-out poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Joe Kim, a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Joe Kim and an illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing by Jonathan Clements and original press materials.

You can buy this from MVD.

VIDEO ARCHIVES WEEK: The Eyes of Laura Mars (1978)

VIDEO ARCHIVES NOTES: This movie was discussed on the October 11, 2022 episode of the Video Archives podcast and can be found on their site here.

Never say never, but I think this will be the only movie we ever feature on this site that has a love theme by Barbara Streisand in it. I could be wrong, but I just get the feeling that there aren’t going to be many more crossovers quite like this one.

Eyes of Laura Mars was adapted from a spec script titled Eyes, written by John Carpenter; making this Carpenter’s first major studio film. Producer Jon Peters, the beau of Barbra Streisand in this era, bought the screenplay as a vehicle for her, but Babs felt that it was too “kinky” and passed. However, she felt that “Prisoner,” the song that she lent to the film, would be a great single. She wasn’t wrong — it peaked at #21 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Instead of Ms. Streisand, we get Faye Dunaway, who had just won an Oscar for Network and had not yet become Mommie Dearest. She plays Laura Mars, a fashion photographer whose Chris Von Wangenheim by way of Helmut Newton-style photos (Newton and Rebecca Blake supplied the actual photos for the film) glamorize violence. As she’s due to release the first coffee table collection of her work, she begins seeing the murders of her friends and co-workers through the eyes of the killer. I love how until now, she’s only been detached and seen things through the eye of a camera.

John Neville (Tommy Lee Jones) is the cop in charge. After she rushes to a murder scene exclaiming that she saw who did it blocks away, the cops keep her in custody, showing her numerous unpublished crime scene photos that match her new fashion photos perfectly. Throughout the film, Larua and Neville fall in love as her visions — and the murders — increase in intensity and violence.

This is a great example of an American giallo filled with the twists, turns and red herrings of the genre. It’s done with a much higher budget and way better locations than you’re used to. And it gets closer to the psychosexual elements, but as great a director as Irvin Kershner is, he isn’t a maniac like Argento and his ilk. It’s also packed with talent, like Raul Julia, Battle Beyond the Stars Darlanne Fluegel, Rene Auberjonois and Chucky himself, Brad Dourif.

The Eyes of Laura Mars would be parodied as The Eyes of Lurid Mess in MAD Magazine #206, with art by Angelo Torres. As was often the case with R rated movies when I was six years old, I first experienced this movie through the black and white ink lens of MAD.

When seen through the lens of the giallo form, The Eyes of Laura Mars reminds me of post-Deep Red era Argento — taking the basics of the detective form and grafting on one supernatural element. Here, it’s the fact that Laura Mars (Faye Dunaway), a high glam fashion photographer, can see the violent deaths of people as she takes photos. The images that they inspire lead her to great success and controversy, creating an intriguing narrative of the violent and at times bloody battle of inspiration for artists. I’m also struck by how detached Mars is from the art and fashion world in which she lives, until she’s in the midst of shooting. Then, she finally opens not just herself up, but her posture. She spreads low to the ground, sexualizing herself when she’s often covered by clothing throughout the film that hides her body from the world.

Going from an independent picture produced by Jack H. Harris to big studio affair by Jon Peters (who dreamed of then-girlfriend Barbara Streisand in the lead), The Eyes of Laura Mars struggled with a new writer being brought in to adjust John Carpenter’s script (the auteur said “The original script was very good, I thought. But it got shat upon.”) and the production lasted 7 long months, including a 4 day shoot in the middle of New York City to capture a major fashion shoot with models, wrecked cars and fire everywhere.

It has assured direction by Irvin Kershner, which led to him being hired for The Empire Strikes Back. After watching so much giallo, I’ve noticed that the America versions of the form are very much like Laura Mars herself: detached, cold and not all that interested in the murder as art that native Italian creators like the aforementioned Argento immerse themselves in. This film is made in hues of black and white when their world is neon and always the most red possible.

Upon a new view of this film, I was also struck by just how great the cast is. Tommy Lee Jones is perfectly cast, with his final speech near-perfect. In truth, he wrote that ending monologue, but credited it to Tommy Lee Jones actually wrote his own monologue, crediting it to Kershner, unbeknownst to the Writers’ Guild. Brad Dourif is routinely amazing in movies and his small role here is still a stand-out, as is the acting of Rene Auberjonois and Raul Julia.

This movie also features one of my favorite settings: New York City at the end of the 1970’s, which I feel is the closest place to Hell on Earth that has ever existed. As a child, I watched WOR Channel 9 news from the safety of being a few hundred miles away in Pittsburgh and wondered who would ever want to live in this city. You can almost smell the garbage and desperation in the air here, which is in sharp contrast to the cold, metallic and not so real world of fashion and art.


VIDEO ARCHIVES NOTES: This movie was discussed on the November 22, 2022 episode of the Video Archives podcast and can be found on their site here.

Slithis is a lot like Godzilla. He comes from radiation, he’s green and he wants to make humanity pay. But really, the comparisons stop there.

Shot over twelve fifteen-hour days, Slithis seems like it was hell for the actor who portrayed the monster, Win Condict. He had to be sewn into the rubber Slithis costume at the beginning of every day and stay in it until shooting was done. There were no buttons. No zippers. Only Slithis.

The monster’s rage starts with dogs, who frankly had nothing to do with his condition. Please join our dog Angelo in his protest of movies that use threatening and murdering dogs to cheaply draw our attention.

My biggest question is why is Wayne Connors’ (the hero of the film) wife named Jeff (Judy Motulsky from the little known Idaho Transfer)?

The entire first hour of this movie concerns the boring research and tracking of the creature. By the time they find him, it’s shocking just how well done the costume is. It doesn’t need hidden, so why did we have to wait so long to see it?

No, instead the film forces us to watch a turtle race. I shit you not. You know what? That’s actually kind of awesome that instead of telling a gripping, horror-filled tale, the directorial choice was to show the entirety of a race between animals that are classically known as the slowest around.

How do you survive a Slithis attack? Simple. Join his fan club. He’ll remember you when he’s in your neighborhood.

VIDEO ARCHIVES WEEK: The One and Only (1978)

VIDEO ARCHIVES NOTES: This movie was discussed on the November 22, 2022 episode of the Video Archives podcast and can be found on their site here.

Directed by Carl Reiner and written by Steve Gordon (who would direct his next script, Arthur, and then die at the age of 44), The One and Only has an unlikeable hero at its core. Andy Schmidt (Henry Winkler) is someone who thinks he’s better than everyone at everything he does, out for only himself, even using bit parts as opportunities to ruin everyone else’s work, as long as he gets noticed. He falls for Mary Crawford (Kim Darby), a college student who is already engaged. I have no idea why she falls for him, because there’s nothing there, despite something that she sees below whatever surface Andy has. Somehow, they get married and she has to learn that being the wife of a starving actor is harrowing.

Yet Andy finds something he’s good at. He may not have the build for it, but he’s great at wrestling. He’s brought into the business by little lothario Milton Miller (Hervé Villechaize) and starts working for Sidney Seltzer (Gene Sakes), who drops this knowledge on the audience: “There’s two kinds of people, those who put lampshades on lamps and those who put lampshades on their heads.”

Her parents — William Daniels and another sitcom star who took over the show she was just a secondary character on, Polly Holliday, who played Flo on Alice — don’t approve. And eventually, she gives up on Andy while they come around on him. They even become wrestling fans when he gets on network TV. And he really learns nothing, being the same person no matter what.

The film is well-written — Gordon was a sitcom veteran and writes wonderful dialogue — but you end up caring more about the accouterments of the film more than its characters. That said, it has lots of wrestling cameos, including Hard Boiled Haggerty — of course — as Captain Nemo, Chavo Guerrero Sr. as Indian Joe, ring announcer Jimmy Lennon Sr., Gene LaBelle — of course again — as the world champion, Ed Begley Jr. (not a wrestler, but still good in this) as Arnold the King and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper as “Leatherneck” Joe Grady.

Throughout, Andy keeps trying to find a gimmick that works until finding The Lover, a man who believes that everyone should be in love with him. He understands what wrestler Raven preached about your character. It should be 80% you and 20% of the most idealized version of you, the you that you wish you could be. This movie gets a lot of pro wrestling right — I wrestled for over 25 years in the lowest rungs on the independent wrestling periphery — and the one part that it gets wrong is that most heels are the most giving and nicest people you’d ever meet. The faces, the good guys? They’re usually Andy Schmidt.

What’s amazing is that this movie came out at the height of Winkler’s Happy Days fame and he played a character totally unlike the Fonz. That’s brave and while not the best for this film’s box office, it was for his career. We’re still thinking about him today.

The working title of this movie was Gorgeous George, which makes sense, as “Gorgeous” George Raymond Wagner was a huge star in the early days of television, someone who was the kind of star that even casual non-fans would have known.

Winkler’s parents Ilse Anna Marie and Harry Irving Winkle left Germany in 1939, as they were Jewish people worried about the Nazis. The star told The Wall Street Journal, “At the time, my father, Harry, told my mother, Ilse, that they were traveling to the U.S. on a brief business trip. He knew they were never going back. Had he told my mother that they were leaving Germany for good, she might have insisted on remaining behind with her family. Many in their families who stayed perished during the Holocaust.” His Unlce Helmut was one of them. Knowing that, it’s astonishing that Winkler dresses in a Nazi gimmick in this movie.

But that’s very much in spirit of the carny roots of pro wrestling. It’s heat. And heat draws money.

Oh man! I forgot the best part! Mary Woronov is in this and gets set up with Hervé!


VIDEO ARCHIVES NOTES: This movie was discussed on the September 22, 2022 episode of the Video Archives podcast and can be found on their site here.

Robin Cook graduated from Wesleyan University and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons before finishing his postgraduate medical training at Harvard. One of his first medical jobs was running the Cousteau Society’s blood-gas lab. He later became an aquanaut with the U.S. Navy’s SEALAB program and reached the rank of lieutenant commander. His first novel, Year of the Intern, was written while he was on the crew of the submarine USS Kamehameha. When that book failed, he studied how best sellers became big books and used those techniques to write Coma, saying “I studied how the reader was manipulated by the writer. I came up with a list of techniques that I wrote down on index cards. And I used every one of them in Coma.”

He said of the book, “I suppose that you could say that it’s the most like Coma in fact that it deals with an issue that everybody seems to be concerned about. I wrote this book to address the stem cell issue, which the public really doesn’t know anything about. Besides entertaining readers, my main goal is to get people interested in some of these issues, because it’s the public that ultimately should be able to decide which way we ought to go in something as ethically questioning as stem cell research.”

Michael Crichton, who directed this, met when Cook when the future Jurassic Park writer was doing post-doctoral work in biology at La Jolla’s Salk Institute. This would be the first movie he’d direct after Westworld.

Dr. Susan Wheeler (Geneviève Bujold and wow, she’s amazing and gorgeous in this) is a surgical resident at Boston Memorial Hospital. One day, her friend Nancy Greenly (Lois Chiles, Moonraker) dies on the operating table during a basic surgery. She starts to take notice of how many otherwise healthy young people are dying in operating room 8. Yet her boyfriend Dr. Mark Bellows (Michael Douglas) thinks it has to be a coincidence.

She tries to investigate but ends up angering Dr. George (Rip Torn), the Chief of Anesthesiology, and Dr. Harris (Richard Widmark), the Chief of Surgery. She begins to feel all alone, even doubting her lover Mark. It’s all connected to the mysterious Jefferson Institute, a place where all of those supposedly dead people are kept alive to be sold to the international human organ black market. Soon, she’s knocked out and being wheeled into surgery herself and headed to OR 8. Can her boyfriend save her in time? I was worried until the credits.

Crichton said, “This is a story that contains many elements of reality: the fear people have of surgery, the fear of dying at the hands of your doctor, phobias about hospitals. Those are very real fears, and so to exaggerate them would not be much fun. My idea was to put the picture together in such a way that the fears are put in a safe prospective, and can be enjoyed as scares, without awakening deeper and more real anxieties.”

Despite Crichton trying not to scare audiences away from hospitals, many physicians and hospital administrators claimed that that was exactly what happened.

You know who did see this movie? Harry Manfredini. That noise that rings out when someone is being stalked would get used by him a year later in Friday the 13th.

VIDEO ARCHIVES WEEK: Blind Rage (1978)

VIDEO ARCHIVES NOTES: This movie was discussed on the September 13, 2022 episode of the Video Archives podcast and can be found on their site here.

Hong Kong, Las Vegas, Tokyo, Manila, Mexico and Los Angeles. These are the cities that director Efren C. Piñon takes this action-packed film to. Those are the cities where a gang of blind men has been recruited to become a bank robbing team, all trained by Sally (Leila Hermosa). All working for Johnny Duran (Charlie Davao), they’re being tracked down by Jesse Crowder (Fred Williamson).

The gang of blind men is made up of blinded mobster out for revenge Willie Black (D’Urville Martin), doublecrossed gangster Lin Wang (Leo Fong), former matador who lost his eyes to a bull Hector Lopez (Darnell Garcia), blind from birth magician Amazing Anderson (Dick Adair) and safecracker Ben Guevara (Tony Ferrer). The wild part of this scheme is that the money that is being taken is meant to stop the Domino Theory in Vietnam when the criminals take it from under the government’s nose.

There’s one great reason to watch this all and it’s a line of dialogue that made me laugh more than any other so far this year: “Unit Two to Unit One—it’s going down at the International House of Pancakes!”

Williamson would play the same character in Death Journey and No Way Back, but you don’t need to see either of those movies to enjoy this. I mean, what other movie has a bunch of multiracial blind men all training over and over for a big heist like it’s a lights out Ocean’s 11?

Deathmoon (1978)

Jason Palmer (Robert Foxworth, Frankenstein) has been having issues with stress and his doctor recommends a vacation. Hawaii sounds nice. Except, well, Hawaii is here Jason’s grandfather once worked there and got cursed by a coven and now, all of the Palmer males become werewolves.

It could happen.

Directed by Bruce Kessler (tons of TV work, including Cruise Into Terror) and written by Jay Benson and George Schenck (The Phantom of Hollywood), this movie mixes werewolves — without leis — with Joe Penny as a hotel detective and Palmer’s romance with Diane May (Barbara Trentham).

Not into it yet? What if I tell you that Debralee Scott of Welcome Back, Kotter and Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman took a shower in it? A made for TV shower, you pervert! And for the ladies, Dolph Sweet, the gruff dad from Gimme a Break!

This has a fine time lapse transformation, but come on. We needed a scene where Palmer has a I Was a Teenage Werewolf freakout while wearing a Hawaiian shirt. That’s the kind of insanity I demand. That said, for a TV movie, this is fun.

Here’s a drink to go with the movie.

Cubby’s Cove

  • 1 1/2 oz. vodka
  • 1/2 oz. orgeat (or you can substitute almond syrup)
  • 1 tsp. grenadine
  • 1/2 oz. lime juice
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  1. Shake with ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain into a chilled glass and get ready to howl.


EDITOR’S NOTE: This was posted on January 16, 2023 but I want to call attention to the new mass market, non-slipcase release of this movie. You can get it from MVD.

Maurizio Merli is, for me, the face of poliziotteschi, taking on a similar role as Clint Eastwood as a judge, jury and executioner of criminals that lives by his own strict code and must follow it, no matter how much it destroys his life. Whether he’s Commissario Betti in Violent Rome, Violent Naples and Special Cop in Action or Inspector Leonardo Tanzi in The Tough Ones and The Cynic, The Rat and The Fist or out of the badge roles in Mannaja and Highway Racer, Merli comes across as a man of action and principle.

In Convoy Busters, he plays Inspector Olmi, a rough cop who uses brutish methods to discover who killed a young girl with a professional-looking slash to the throat and dumped her in the river. His case leads him to the highest chambers of the corrupt Rome government, which outs him in the crosshairs of those officials, organized crime and the media. An attempt to take him out leads to the death of an innocent bystander, which is enough for the powers that be to send him away to a small fishing town and out of their lives.

Olmi, of course, can’t shut off his need to be a cop and soon discovers that there’s a smuggling operation going down right in his new home. That’s when the real title of this movie — Un Poliziotto Scomodo (An Uncontrolled Cop) — makes more sense, but one assumes that Convoy was a big deal in  1978 and if it got more people to see this movie, then that’s the name in foreign markets.

There’s a great brawl in a bar, a helicopter chase and plenty of great scenery between the two halves of this story, which nearly feel like they give you two films. The beginning, as the girl is taken from the water, feels almost giallo.

Director Stelvio Massi was the cameraman on A Fistful of Dollars and director of photography for The Case of the Bloody Iris, as well as the director of Emergency Squad and Magnum Cop as well as two giallo, Five Women for the Killer and the berserk Arabella the Black Angel. The script was written by Stilvio’s son Danilo (who was also the assistant director), Gino Carpone (Conquest) and Teodoro Corrà (Body Puzzle).

The Cauldron Films blu ray of  Convoy Busters features a 2K restoration from the original camera negative with both English and Italian audio options as well as new featurettes like Maurizio Merli: A Lethal Hunter of Subtle Variation with tough-guy film expert Mike Malloy and interviews with Maurizio Matteo Merli and Danilo Massi, who also has a Stelvio Massi video tribute. Archival extras include the alternate Convoy Busters, interviews with journalist Eolo Capacci, Ruggero Deodato, Enzo G Castellari , Maurizio Matteo and Enio Girolami, plus an image gallery, trailer and a poster, all inside a gorgeous slipcase with artwork by Haunt Love. Get it from MVD.

APRIL MOVIE THON 2: Bye Bye Monkey (1978)

April 21: Gone Legitimate — A movie featuring an adult film actor in a mainstream role.

Marco Ferreri is probably best known for his film La Grande Bouffe. Here, he sets a film in an end-of-the-world-feeling New York City, a place of only the strange and the rats, a place where Gerard Lafayette (Gérard Depardieu) lives in the basement of Andreas Flaxman’s (James Coco) wax museum, which is all about the Roman Empire.

He also volunteers at an all-female theater group, which has Mimsy Farmer, Francesca De Sapio (The Godfather Part II) and Stefania Casini (Sara from Suspiria) as members. Their latest play is about how women could easily overpower men and rape them. To prove their theory, Gerard is knocked out with a bottle of Coke and Angelica (adult actress Abigail Clayton, billed as Gail Lawrence; she was in 7 Into SnowySexworld and Alex de Renzy’s Femmes de Sade. After going into legitimate movies, she played Rita in Maniac) volunteers to be the one to take him.

Meanwhile, in Battery Park, Gerard finds a baby monkey in the arms of a King Kong sculpture — or is it Kong, fallen from the Twin Towers? — and a group of eccentrics led by Luigi (Marcello Mastroianni). He takes his new simian child home but Andreas tells him that the baby will destroy his dreams. Angelica moves in as she’s pregnant, possibly with their child of rape, but when he doesn’t care about their child being born, she leaves and while the baby ape is alone, the rats eat him.

Gerard responds by breaking into the wax museum and causing a fire that kills both he and Andreas, while Angelica sits on the shore with her new child.

Ferreri wrote this with Gerard Brach (WonderwallFranticRepulsionThe Tenant) and Rafael Azcona. It has some interesting imagery — Kong washed up on the beach — but ultimately goes nowhere. Still, just the idea it was made is somewhat intriguing. Also, the baby is named for Cornelius from Beneath the Planet of the Apes.