50 FURIOUS FILMS FROM BEYOND
Ever since starting this website three years ago, we’ve made it known that our love of movies ranges from the big budget Hollywood studio mainstream to the smaller kinds of B-pictures. It’s really always been about sharing the Furious Film Appreciation for us across the board without prejudice. For this new listing, we’d like to shine the light on some of the wackiest, weirdest, mad as hell films we’ve encountered over the years and continue to be impressed by due to their truly unique…qualities. While most of these films are not considered “masterpieces of cinema” in the general sense we do find them to be extremely entertaining and/or interesting works nonetheless. Some are controversial, others might just leave you scratching your head. You may not have even seen some of these, and if that’s the case, we urge you to seek them out. And now, 50 FURIOUS FILMS FROM BEYOND!…
Miami Connection (1987, Dir: Y.K. Kim)
What’s It About? A New Wave rock band called DRAGON SOUND (who are also martial artists) take on the Miami underworld by using their Taikwondo fighting skills. This is a charming, low budget 80’s cult oddity that will have you singing along with the great upbeat pop music one minute and doing air-fu the next!
Goke, Body Snatcher From Hell (1968, Dir: Hajime Sato)
What’s It About? A plane on its way to Osaka, Japan is forced to crash land and the survivors are attacked by a mysterious space vampire which hides inside humans. One of the most visually stylized and suspenseful Japanese sci-fi horror films of its time.
Twisted Nerve (1968, Dir: The Boulting Brothers)
What’s It About? A British teenage sociopath (Hwyel Bennett) stalks a pretty girl (Hayley Mills) whom he becomes obsessed with. The method he uses is what’s most disturbing since he acts like a helpless little boy to gain her pity. This movie has almost no blood shown, it’s a pure psychological thriller. Features an eerie, memorable theme song by Bernard Herrmann which was later used in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill.
Fight For Your Life (1977, Dir: Robert Endelson)
What’s It About? Three escaped convicts hold a black family hostage in their upstate New York home. What makes the situation so shocking is the leader of the group Jessie Lee Kane (William Sanderson) is an uber racist that uses every ugly epithet and insult in the book (and some not in it). There’s also scenes of apalling violence including the senseless murder of a child. A truly offensive and controversial Grindhouse classic.
For Your Height Only (1981, Dir: Eddie Nicart)
What’s It About? Secret Agent OO (The legendary Weng Weng) isn’t your average spy. He’s only 2 ft. 9 inches tall, but still able to fight the evil forces that be using his unique kung fu skills and hi-tech customized weapons including a mini jet pack! One of the most enjoyable Phillipino exploitation films ever made.
These Are The Damned (1963, Dir: Joseph Losey)
What’s It About? What looks to be a story about a gang of motorcycle riding Teddy boys led by King (Oliver Reed) in a Southern England coastal town then departs into a romantic story about his sister Joan and an American outsider named Simon (MacDonald Carey). Simon and Joan are later chased down through the darkness of the oceanside hills by King (who despises any man his sister is interested in) and his pals. They soon find themselves in an underground bunker where a group of young children are being held by the government for mysterious reasons.
The Black Klansman (1966, Dir: Ted V. Mikels)
What’s It About? A light skinned black man (Richard Gilden) who passes for white goes down South and infiltrates the KKK to get revenge on them for killing his daughter. Featuring an early appearance by Max Julien (The Mack) as a Black Power spokesman.
Soldier Blue (1970, Dir: Ralph Nelson)
What’s It About? Following an Indian attack on his convoy, Union Soldier Honas Gent (Peter Strauss) must take a woman named Cresta Lee (Candice Bergen) to safety at an Army fort many miles away. As the two travel together through the rough terrain, they start to fall in love and and face various obstacles. An offbeat Revisionist Western pulp romance-adventure that features a horrendous climactic massacre of an Indian tribe based on the real life infamous Sand Creek incident.
Fighting Back (1982, Dir: Lewis Teague)
What’s It About? Tom Skerritt plays John D’Angelo, a deli owner whose Philly neighborhood is overrun with crime. Fed up by all the lowlifes ruining the town, he decides to start his own Guardian Angels style group and fight back against them. An 80s vigilante classic in the tradition of Death Wish. Co-starring Michael Sarazzin and Patty Lupone.
Ruckus (1981, Dir: Max Kleven)
What’s It About? Vietnam veteran/drifter Kyle Hanson (Dirk Benedict) arrives in a small California town where he is attacked by local rednecks who don’t appreciate his presence. With the help of a kind woman (Linda Blair) who befriends him and his own military skills he gets back at all his enemies. A similar story would be used as the basis for the action classic First Blood a year later.
American Boy (1978, Dir: Martin Scorsese)
What’s It About? Steven Prince, the actor who played Easy Andy in Taxi Driver sits down with Martin Scorsese and some friends to tell hilarious (and incredible) personal stories about his life in this candid interview. One of his crazy experiences involved an IV needle which was used to revive a drug OD victim. It was later used for the basis of part of Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction.
The Intruder (1962, Dir: Roger Corman)
What’s It About? William Shatner plays Adam Cramer, a racist who travels to a Southern town to spread hate and stir up anger between blacks and whites. A controversial B-movie that really gets to the heart of the reason for the Civil Rights movement.
Condorman (1981, Dir: Charles Jarrott)
What’s It About? Comic book writer/illustrator Woody Wilkins (Michael Crawford) takes on the persona of his own super hero character and ends up in becoming a real life secret agent. A fun action-comedy from Walt Disney Pictures. Co-starring Oliver Reed, Barbara Carrera, James Hampton.
Pieces (1982, Dir: Juan Piquer Simon)
Whats It About? A mysterious killer is hacking up students at a New England college for the purpose of creating a body out of the connected pieces of each of his victims! One of the goriest, brutal slasher films of the 80’s. Starring Christopher George and Linda Day George.
Fade To Black (1980, Dir: Vernon Zimmerman)
What’s It About? Eric Binford (Dennis Christopher) is a obsessive film fanatic who lives with his Aunt. When constant mental abuse drives him to murder her, he turns into a serial killer and uses all the movies and characters he admires as inspiration. A freaky black comedy with an early appearance by Mickey Rourke.
Bamboo Gods and Iron Men (1974, Dir: Cesar Gallardo)
What’s It About? Cal Jefferson (James Iglehart) is a professional boxer who goes on a honeymoon in Hong Kong with his wife (Shirley Washington). While there he purchases an ancient statue which soon is sought after by a criminal organization. He also finds a new friend in Charlie (Chiquito) after he saves his life. A bizarre little Blaxploitation-kung fu-comedy cult gem.
Untamed Youth (1957, Dir: Howard W. Koch)
What’s It About? After being arrested for hitchhiking and skinny dipping, sexy sisters Penny (Mamie Van Doren) and Jane Lowe (Lori Nelson) are sent to work on a cotton farm. They are just two of the teens that live in the rural co-ed reformatory. While there they sing, dance, flirt and get into even more trouble. Pop star Eddie Cochran co-stars as Bong and sings the rockabilly classic “Cotton Picker”.
Over The Edge (1979, Dir: Jonathan Kaplan)
What’s It About? New Grenada is a planned community somewhere in the Midwest. The kids who live there become very disallusioned and start to cause problems in town due to lack of entertainment and general neglect. When the police and parents are alerted that all is not well, things get even more out of control. Starring Michael Kramer, Matt Dillon, Harry Northup.
Equinox (1970, Dir: Dennis Muren/Jack Woods)
What’s It About? Four young friends travel out to the woods to search for a missing scientist. Upon arriving they encounter a doorway to another dimension and strange creatures. If you love films like The Evil Dead, you’ll surely enjoy this ultra low budget, highly inventive cult treasure.
The Baby (1973, Dir: Ted Post)
What’s It About? A 21 year old man called “Baby” (David Manzy) who has the mind of an infant is watched over by his mother (Ruth Roman) and sisters. When social worker Ann Gentry (Anjanette Comer) investigates him and the Wadsworth family she gets caught up in the bizarre circumstances that surround the drooling man child.
Freebie and The Bean (1974, Dir: Richard Rush)
What’s It About? In San Francisco, Police Detectives Freebie (James Cann) and Bean (Alan Arkin) are on the trail of criminal Red Meyers (Jack Kruschen). What they dont know is that Meyers has been targeted by a hitman as well. This film is famous for its outrageous action sequences which includes a highly destructive car chase through the city.
Cry Uncle! (1971, Dir: John G. Avildsen)
What’s It About? In this screwball sex comedy, a private detective (Allen Garfield) who is hired to investigate a murder gets into all kinds of strange situations including those of the erotic kind. Look for early appearance by Paul Sorvino and a cameo by Troma Films founder Lloyd Kaufman as a hippie.
Box of Moonlight (1997, Dir: Tom DiCillo)
What’s It About? Al Fountain (John Turturro) is a middle aged married man on a business trip in the South near where he spent his summers as a kid. On his travels revisiting the area he runs into a young neer do well, The Kid (Sam Rockwell) who lives in a trailer off the grid in the woods. The two become fast friends and have fun as Al bids a final goodbye to his youth. A mixtape Al finds in his rental car provides the cool soundtrack to his adventure.
Hi-Riders (1976, Dir: Greydon Clark)
What’s It About? Mark (Darby Hinton) and his girlfriend Lynn (Diana Peterson) join up with a roving band of hot rodders called the Hi-Riders. After a teen is killed in a race with one of the gang, some locals plan on getting revenge. This film is a carsploitation classic with lots of high octane action and a fantastic ending. Co-starring Mel Ferrer, Neville Brand, Ralph Meeker.
Death Collector (1975, Dir: Ralph DeVito)
What’s It About? Jerry Bolanti (Joseph Cortese) is a mobster with a sharp wit and big ego. Following his release from prison, he lets the local mafia boss know he wants to make it big in the rackets and do whatever he has to do to prove it. Soon a war begins within the underworld and Jerry and his friends including Joe (Joe Pesci) are stuck in the middle. If you love films like Mean Streets, Massacre Mafia Style and TV shows like The Sopranos, you’ll get a kick out of this low budget effort.
Preacherman (1971, Dir: Joe Viola)
What’s It About? In the South, Preacher Amos Huxley (Viola), spreads the good word of the Lord while hiding his real agenda which is getting hot women and making moonshine. A low budget regional hixploitation-comedy classic.
Ganja & Hess (1973, Dir: Bill Gunn)
What’s It About? While doing studies in Africa Dr. Hess Green (Duane Jones) is stabbed by a ancient dagger believed to be diseased with vampirism. Upon his return to the States he begins to succumb to the effects and craves blood. This leads him to killing his friend Meda and other innocents to get it. Meanwhile the unsuspecting Ganja (Marlene Clark) Meda’s wife, arrives at Hess’ home where the two quickly fall in love and become a vampiric duo.
Darktown Strutters (1975, Dir: William Witney)
What’s It About? Syreena (Trina Parks) and her feather clad motorcycle gang drive into town to save her mama from a racist BBQ stand owner then all hell busts loose! This unique action-comedy is part Blaxploitation film, part live action cartoon and just over the top fun. Co-starring Roger E Mosley, Shirley Washington, Dick Miller, Stan Shaw.
Pretty Maids All in A Row (1971, Dir: Roger Vadim)
What’s It About? Beautiful young girls at Oceanfront High School are turning up dead so the police begin an investigation led by Capt. Sam Surcher (Telly Savalas). Meanwhile puberty struck teen Ponce De Leon Harper (John David Carson) has the hots for his sexy teacher Betty Smith (Angie Dickinson). Ponce gets some special tips from football coach “Tiger” McDrew (Rock Hudson) who has quite a way with the ladies himself. Gene Roddenberry (creator of Star Trek) wrote the screenplay for this one of a kind coming of age-teen sex comedy-whodunit.
God Told Me To (1976, Dir: Larry Cohen)
What’s It About? A wave of shootings are happening all over New York City. What makes it most disarming is the fact the killers are all claiming God told them to do it. Look for a cameo by the late comedian Andy Kaufman as a policeman. A supernatural-religious-crime mystery from the director who gave us Black Caesar and It’s Alive.
Fatso (1980, Dir: Anne Bancroft)
What’s It About? Dom DiNapoli (Dom DeLuise) is a chronic overeater. When his cousin Sal, who loves food too, dies of a heart attack at 39, Dom decides to try to lose weight and change his lifestyle. The film mixes comedy antics with the rather serious subject of obesity. It also presents an authentic depiction of Italian-American culture. Co-starring Anne Bancroft, Candy Azzara, Estelle Reiner.
Wake In Fright (1971, Dir: Ted Kotcheff)
What’s It About? A schoolteacher (Gary Bond) in the Outback goes on holiday vacation and has a stopover in a small hick Australia mining town where he gets caught up in some very bizarre and disturbing situations. A sort of Aussie version of Deliverance. Co-starring Donald Pleasance and Chips Rafferty.
Super Fuzz (1981, Dir: Sergio Corbucci)
What’s It About? A police officer Dave Speed (Terrence Hill) gains super powers following an explosion in which hes exposed to nuclear radiation. Along with his partner Sgt Willy Dunlop (Ernest Borgnine) Speed uses his new found skills to help take down a counterfeiting ring in South Florida. A film that found its popularity when it was played on HBO often in the 80s.
Times Square (1980, Dir: Allan Moyle )
What’s It About? Two teenage mental patients turned runaways Pam (Trini Alvarado) and Nicky (Robin Johnson) try to make their way in New York City by starting a punk rock band and doing other things. A friendly radio DJ (Tim Curry) tries to help them get some notice. Meanwhile the girls evade the police and concerned family members who are out to get them.
Rage (1972, Dir: George C. Scott)
What’s It About? While on a camping trip, a sheep farmer Dan Logan (Scott) and his son are accidentally exposed to a nerve gas being used by the US Army. After being brought to a military hospital they are lied to about the situation which was done purposely to study the effects the gas has on people. After Logan’s son dies from succumbing to the poison, Logan decides to get revenge. Co-starring Martin Sheen, Richard Basehart, Barnard Hughes.
The House on the Edge of the Park (1980, Dir: Ruggero Deodato)
What’s It About? Two psychotic New Yorkers (David Hess and Giovanni Lombardo Radice) attend a swanky party at a home outside the city and end up terrorizing the group of chic strangers they meet. In the tradition of Last House on the Left but with a Disco era vibe.
The Devil Thumbs A Ride (1947, Dir: Felix Feist)
What’s It About? Lawrence Tierney stars as Steve Morgan, a sociopathic criminal being pursued by the cops. Morgan hitches a ride with some unsuspecting travelers and turns their lives upside down.
What’s Up Tiger Lily? (1966, Dir: Woody Allen)
What’s It About? In Woody Allen’s first film he took an actual Japanese spy film and overdubbed the voices, turning it into a outrageously funny and zany adventure about Phil Moskowitz an amiable secret agent who is searching for a secret egg salad recipe. Featuring a fun score by 60s pop rockers The Lovin Spoonful.
Men Behind the Sun (1988, Dir: T.F. Mous)
What’s It About? This historical drama looks at the sickening atrocities committed by the Japanese Army at a biological experiment camp during World War II. Due to the graphic depictions this is Not for the faint hearted.
Straight Out of Brooklyn (1991, Dir: Matty Rich)
What’s It About? Life is hard for Dennis (Larry Gilliard Jr) and his family in the Brooklyn projects. His father is a mean drunk who beats his mother and he needs to find a way to get out as soon as he can. His solution is to rob a local drug dealer with the help of his pals, but it turns out to be the worst idea he could choose.
Gambit (1966, Dir: Ronald Neame)
What’s It About? A cat burglar Harry Dean (Michael Caine) sets up a plan to rob a priceless antique from Mr. Shahbandah (Herbert Lom) the world’s wealthiest man. His main tool to do so is Nicole (Shirley MacClaine) a nightclub performer who looks exactly like Shahbandah’s late wife. A crackerjack caper film.
Another State of Mind (1982, Dir: Adam Small, Peter Stuart)
What’s It About? A classic DIY documentary featuring punk acts Social Distortion, Youth Brigade and Minor Threat as they go on tour in the summer of 82. An intriguing study of their personalities and experiences on the road meeting new people and having various business troubles.
Who’s Minding The Mint? (1967, Dir: Howard Morris)
What’s It About? Following a mishap concerning a large sum of printed money, Bureau of Printing and Engraving employee Harry Lucas (Jim Hutton) must seek the help of an oddball group of misfits to help him re-print it. A 60s screwball comedy featuring Dorothy Provine, Walter Brennan, Victor Buono, Jack Gilford, Milton Berle, Joey Bishop, Bob Denver, Jamie Farr.
Hercules in New York (1970, Dir: Arthur Allan Seidelman)
What’s It About? Greek God Hercules (Arnold Strong aka Schwarzenegger) is sent by his father Zeus of Olympus to New York City where he meets “Pretzy” (Arnold Stang) a pretzel vendor who befriends him. The two pals then get into all kinds of wacky adventures in the Big Apple. For Arnold fans who want to see him pre-Terminator acting like a goofball and dubbed with a different voice, look no further.
Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla (1959, Dir: William Beadine)
What’s It About? Nightclub performers Sammy Petrillo and Duke Mitchell find themselves stranded on the exotic island of Kola Kola where they have to deal with the strange natives. These include a love starved fat woman, her beautiful sister and a mad scientist (Bela Lugosi). Petrillo and Mitchell clearly patterned their personas after Martin & Lewis and were sued because of it. This film showed they did have actual talent and has since become a loved cult classic.
Hitler: Dead or Alive (1942, Dir: Nick Grinde)
What’s It About? Based on true events, a wealthy businessman hires three ex-convicts from Alcatraz, Steve Maschick (Ward Bond), Hans Havermann, (Warren Hymer) Joe Conway (Paul Fix) to travel to Germany to kill Der Fuhrer. Their reward is one million dollars. The men join the Royal Canadian Air Force and drop into the country behind the enemy lines in the guise of musicians. The hijinks begin when they arrive.
Black Lizard (1968, Dir: Kinji Fukasaku)
What’s It About? In this 60s Japanese camp classic, Detective Kogoro Akechi (Isao Kimura) is hired by a prominent jeweler to thwart the efforts of diabolical thief “Black Lizard” (Akihiro Maruyama) from kidnapping his daughter and stealing his priceless Star of Egypt diamond. A very weird and wacky crime comedy that features a crossdressing villain (Maruyama).
Little Cigars (1973, Dir: Chris Christenberry)
What’s It About? Slick Bender (Billy Curtis) runs a traveling performance troupe he calls the “Little Cigars”. To make extra money, the boys turn to crime, holding up banks, stores and other businesses. Along the way they hook up with the ex girlfriend (Angel Tompkins) of a gangster who is being chased by The Mob. The cast may be small but the fun is gigantic in this film.
Saturn 3 (1980, Dir: Stanley Donen)
What’s It About? Scientists/ex-lovers Adam (Kirk Douglas) and Alex (Farrah Fawcett) work on a research station on Saturn’s 3rd moon. The peaceful working environment is suddenly disrupted when their employers send Captain Benson (Harvey Keitel) to set up a customized robot which, if it successfully works, will replace the humans. Soon, Benson’s creation, “Hector” whose brain is based off his own, turns into a psychotic killer. One of the weirdest aspects of this film is how Harvey Keitel’s voice was dubbed over because of his Brooklyn accent which Donen didn’t like.
The Dion Brothers (1974, Dir: Jack Starrett)
What’s It About? Two hick brothers from the mountains of Virginia, Calvin (Stacy Keach) and Rut (Frederic Forrest) decide to quit their crappy low paying jobs and turn to a life of crime. Along with their gang of wacky cohorts they try to make it rich by pulling robberies and heists in Washington D.C.. The action and laughs are fast and furious in this rollicking Hixploitation comedy. The screenplay was co-written by Terrence Malick.