Tonight at The New Beverly – an 70’s Italian Crime Film Double-Feature!


Machine Gun McCain starring John Cassavettes and Wipeout! Two films that were shown at a QT fest in Austin years ago and I’ve always wated to see them. Tonight or tomorrow night’s the night. After the fold, a review of The Mack and The Chinese Mack. Why do I tell you this, it’ll only make the lines longer.


Machine Gun McCain starring John Cassavettes and Wipeout! Two films that were shown at a QT fest in Austin years ago and I’ve always wated to see them. Tonight or tomorrow night’s the night. After the fold, a review of The Mack and The Chinese Mack. Why do I tell you this, it’ll only make the lines longer.

From Aint It Cool News

LA Grindhouse Fest! Opening Night! THE MACK And THE CHINESE MACK!

Hey, everyone. ‘ÄùMoriarty’Äù here.

I can’Äôt wait to hit the New Beverly for this tonight. I’Äôm sorry I missed the opening weekend, but I’Äôm so excited to head down there and dig in for plenty of grindhouse goodness, the first of many double features I’Äôll be attending there over the next two months.

In the meantime, Old Sport’Äôs got his report on the first night, and it’Äôs a fun, if incomplete, glimpse at what to expect if you head down:

Sunday night at the New Beverly’Ķ Opening night of Quentin Tarantino’Äôs Grindhouse Festival 2007’Ķ Featuring The Mack and The Chinese Mack’Ķ Six dollars and other uplifting tales of humanity in a dark world’Ķ Broken chairs and broken bones: The art of watching classic trailers’Ķ Welcome to the show’Ķ

The crowd had lined up almost an hour before showtime and was stretched down the street in both directions. Silver-haired old men, young hipsters, old hipsters, geeks, losers, couples, loners, the whole spectrum was shining brightly in all its glory beneath the beaming marquee of the New Beverly. When we were finally let in (about 15 minutes late) the crowd dispersed to all parts of the theater. The space itself is something special. For those who have never been to a privately owned theater that has been around since the Stone Age (clearly the people who are reading this particular article on this particular site need no explanation as to why these theaters are so special and so worthy of kneeling before) get to your nearest one or drive to a part of this crazy world that still has a soul and plant yourself for a double feature of your choice and then my son you will know what it means to go to the movies! But like I was saying’Ķ One of the biggest draws for the opening night of the two-month long festival was of course the prospect of having Bad Motherfucker himself introduce the two flicks and bathe us in his geeky
wisdom. But alas, as one of his assistants (who was wearing a Godzilla t-shirt) informed us, MR. TARANTINO was editing and couldn’Äôt make it out.

Rats! She said he’Äôll make it out to as many screenings
as he can, so just keep on the lookout and keep showing up.

For those proud Austiners (Austinites? People from Austin? I’Äôm not sure how things work down there.), Godzilla Shirt praised the Alamo Drafthouse’Äôs incredible trailer collection, which she hopes the New Beverly will be able to borrow from for the festival sometime in the near future.

Then BRIAN QUINN, who has been coordinating the Beverly’Äôs Grindhouse festivals for the past four years (a fact he had to correct Godzilla Shirt on. She said 2 ¬Ω years. She was wrong. And there was much rejoicing.) introduced the films

‘ÄúWe are here tonight to watch two great films’Ķwell, one great one, one fun one. THE MACK and THE CHINESE MACK’Äù And there was much rejoicing.

He went into a good deal of detail about THE MACK and its historical and cinematic significance. He didn’Äôt have too much to say about TCM, because he said he had only see part of it. But really, in today’Äôs fast-paced, internet-addicted, celebrity-vagina obsessed culture of ours, who has time to see all of THE CHINESE MACK? I know I didn’Äôt last night because I had to leave early. Stupid family emergency.

Quinn also read a few of Quentin’Äôs comments about the flicks as well. The crowd’Äôs favorite was by far: ‘ÄúThere’Äôs a note here for The Chinese Mack that says CHAN WEI MING is the Asian LIAM NEESON.’Äù And there was much rejoicing.

Quinn then took the recent LA Times article about the festival down a peg for its misguided and, he felt, rather insulting headline, ‘ÄúTarantino’Äôs Grindhouse Fest celebrates cinematic cheese.’Äù

‘ÄúThese are not cheesy films,’Äù Quinn said. ‘ÄúThey were made by 20-year-old kids with no money and they lived their dreams. Most of us never do but these people went out there and did it. We are not here to make fun of these films. We are here to respect and enjoy them.’Äù

This drew a solid amount of heartfelt applause and cheering from the nearly packed theater.

Before THE MACK, there were four trailers that, I must say, were surprisingly educational in terms of what we now think trailers should be. They were the most oddly paced, weirdly mixed, poorly dubbed, hilariously disjointed and just downright amazing trailers I have ever seen. And here they are’Ķ

MACHINE GUN MCCAIN was the first and boy does it have one of the strangest opening sequences I’Äôve ever seen in a trailer. The shot is from the backseat of a car driving down a residential road. Up ahead we see a man crossing the street. Reverse angle on the man in the street just as BAM! the car just runs him down and the man ricochets off the windshield and collapses dead on the ground. A tight shot of his bloody face over which is laid the producer’Äôs credits. So f-ing ridiculous I can’Äôt even tell you. From there the trailer goes from one random scene of violence to the next, peppered with tough but romantic exchanges between CASSAVETES and EKLAND (I’Äôm guessing since I haven’Äôt seen it). But by far the most ‘Äúgroin-grabbing’Äù moment of awesomeness was the seemingly endless monologue by PETER FALK as Charlie Adamo. Young FALK looked like he just ate BOND and MICHAEL CORLEONE’ÄôS mojo for an evening snack and then had sex with their mothers. I can’Äôt wait to catch a screening of this flick just for FALK’Äôs sake’Ķoh and to see CASSAVETES lay waste to waves of baddies with what looked like a pump-action machinegun combination that seems to just defy all laws of nature. Great start to the night.

The next trailer was for ROLLING THUNDER written by PAUL SCHADER. Never seen it, but WILLIAM DEVANE and TOMMY LEE JONES were pretty much as badass as you could
be without raising your voice much higher than a whisper. Plus the a shot of DEVANE sharpening the metal claw of his fake arm to make it more conducive to holding a deadly weapon did more than words ever could. While it looked a little like TAXI DRIVER 2, it seemed different enough to be judged on its own merits. Want to see it now!

Following that was the trailer for THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN. Not too much to say about this one only because it was the best put together trailer of the four. By far the
best moment came after a brief rundown of the story (Crazed killer terrorizes town. When will he strike next?-type of thing) when Voiceover Guy said ‘ÄúStarring Academy Award winner BEN JOHNSON as CAPTAIN J.D. MORALES.’Äù HAHA!! So hilarious. Obviously it would be worth seeing the flick just for his performance alone, which judging from the trailer, looked solid.

And finally CHINESE HERCULES. I’Äôm at a loss for words because the only thing I remember about this trailer was that my jaw was hanging open and my eyes were misty through the whole thing. I remember it started with shots of BRUCE LEE and ANGELA MAO doing random kick-ass stuff while the VO Guy said something like ‘ÄúThey were legends but neither could compete with Chinese Hercules!’Äù After that, I’Äôm pretty sure I fell into a pleasure comma. How else am I supposed to react when I see BOLO YEUNG disposing of guy after guy, chopping necks, breaking backs and arms, tossing foes like darts. Just sheer madness. And if that weren’Äôt enough, just as I was coming out of the comma, we hit the ‘ÄúWhat kind of people does he kick the shit out of?’Äù section. The answer? ‘ÄúMen’Ķ.women’Ķold’Ķyoung’Äù each accompanied with an appropriate visual. Oh sweet Jesus! The single most ridiculous display I have ever laid eyes on and it was worth the 20 percent brain loss I suffered while unconscious. Can’Äôt wait to see it.

Then the ‘ÄúFeature Presentation’Äù screen used at the opening of KILL BILL came on and THE MACK was underway. Like I said before, I unfortunately had to duck out early so the rest of the night and the other trailers that were shown will have to be discussed by someone more worthy than I. For now though, I am heading to bed with visions of women and old men being pulverized dancing in my head. I hope to be back with more reports as the festival continues. Also I will try to get pics of marquees and posters for future articles as well. Until then dear readers, this is Old Sport saying adieu!

‘ÄúHe sprang from the cabin window as he said this, upon the ice raft which lay close to the vessel. He was soon borne away by the waves and lost in darkness and distance.’Äù