In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

Thumb dogs

Isle of Dogs

As entertaining as it is to look at Isle of Dogs, I couldn’t get past Anderson’s usual clumsiness when dealing with minorities.

Thumb v5hlmjk9bdehxn2qhafp1ivjx3u

Pacific Rim Uprising

I'm writing this review in a hurry because every hour that I wait makes it harder to remember any specific thing that happens in Pacific…

Other Reviews
Review Archives
Thumb xbepftvyieurxopaxyzgtgtkwgw

Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives


The Female Bunch


There's no level at which "The Female Bunch" is any good. But I suppose some notes should be set down for the record; history will record it as the last movie booked into the Oriental Theater. The wreckers dismantle the Stock Exchange, and the Oriental ends its policy of movie exhibition with "The Female Bunch;" there is a lesson here somewhere, I guess.

Apart from anything else, "The Female Bunch" is a useful document for anyone studying the decline and fall of the mindless sex object. It is a movie about women who hate men. They hate them, according to one flashback, because men are beasts who love them and leave them, or at least break dates with them. That is indeed shameful, but the reaction of the women in the picture is perhaps extreme.


They have banded together on a hidden ranch that is off limits to all men, except for an alcoholic old codger who tends the horses. The women on the ranch have apparently made a careful study of sadomasochistic pornography, and they wear boots, carry whips and pose towering over the camera. New girls on the ranch are initiated by being buried alive for 10 seconds in a flimsy coffin, which is less trouble than it used to be to get into a good fraternity. The plot has something to do with how the girls ride over the Mexican border, engage in drunken orgies and smuggle in heroin.

Their behavior on the Mexican side of the border is regrettably lax. Here are all these tough dames in leather, burying each other alive and cracking whips and the minute they scent tequila they go ape. They bound into this Mexican bar like a secretarial pool into Butch McGuire's, and in five minutes they're draped over the laps of every guy in the place, and two of them are being seduced in the sawdust on the floor. If this seems like loose behavior for sadomasochistic men-haters, you may be right; even the barroom chippies in the old Westerns had better manners.

The problem may be in the casting. The actresses tend toward would-be sex symbols, retired go-go dancers, sometime Las Vegas cocktail waitresses, and so on: Their whole early training has been in mindless sex-objectivism, and they just look silly on horseback. In one scene, a girl is sitting on a fence just kind of idly cracking her whip, and another girl tools up in a convertible. Do they snarl? Spit? Trade commands? No, they smile, and one says: "Sally! Long time no see!"

Popular Blog Posts

Netflix Docuseries "Wild Wild Country" is Fascinating Entertainment

Netflix's "Wild Wild Country" is easily one of the craziest documentaries I’ve ever seen.

SXSW Film Festival 2018: “Ready Player One”

A review of Steven Spielberg's "Ready Player One" from the SXSW Film Festival.

We’re Still the Lunatics: A Special Edition of “The ‘Burbs”

An appreciation of Joe Dante's The 'Burbs on the eve of its Blu-ray Special Edition release.

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus