Tuesday, September 20, 2011

More Bad Combinations

Here we have two great, fun films packaged together. The hook here seems to be that they both have Harlem in the title. What MGM forgot was that HELL UP IN HARLEM is already the second half of another double bill, since it's the sequel to BLACK CAESAR. C'mon, MGM! You own both of these Larry Cohen / Fred Williamson features and they always belong together. Of course, COTTON COMES TO HARLEM has it's own continuation, too, COME BACK, CHARLESTON BLUE. But, that's a Warner Bros. property.
Calling Warner Archive...

Okay, this is not a bad pairing. Here we have two sports-related comedies, both produced by Kings Road Entertainment. TOUCH AND GO is an alright film, more of a light romantic comedy than anything and, well, I love me some FAST BREAK. So what's the problem? Obviously, it's the cover art. First of all, the quality is total dollar shop... hell, not even that good. (One can only imagine how great the transfers on the actual discs are.) The release, itself, is quite shoddy from a company no one knows and questionably legitimate, but just HOW do you miss the mark on marketing FAST BREAK? The actor pictured here is Harold Sylvester who is definitely a large part of the film, however, he is not the star. That would be Gabe Kaplan. Remember him? Well, they obviously don't. Add to the fact that this photo of Sylvester is not related at all to the film, in fact, it was probably taken around fifteen years later. So, there you have it. A double feature of sports-related comedies featuring two comedic titans, right? Seems like a slam dunk to me, but the powers involved either missed the shot or the clock ran out.

We have a winner! Never have I seen a worse combination of two films. One is an imaginative, highly entertaining epic directed by a master filmmaker. The other is an complete shit directed by and starring a master of exactly that. Someone owes John Carpenter an apologetic hug. This is an absolute disgrace.

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