DVD Review: 'Quentin Tarantino's Rolling Thunder Pictures Presents...'

By: Heather Seebach

Regardless of what you think of Quentin Tarantino's own movies, the man has solid taste in cult and exploitation films. He set up Rolling Thunder Pictures, named after one of his favorite films, in 1995 to release lesser-known cult films and bring attention to once-overlooked filmmakers. Unfortunately, the distribution company went under three years later, but 2013 sees the release of this sampler compilation, probably due in no small part to his own throwback hit, Django Unchained.

This DVD from Miramax and Lionsgate Home Entertainment includes a little taste of everything with The Mighty Peking Man, Detroit 9000, and Switchblade Sisters. At only $10 on Amazon, this triple feature is a steal. The DVD itself is bare-bones, with no extra features or anything, but you get three fun exploitation movies for dirt cheap.

The Mighty Peking Man is a 1977 Hong Kong cornball. On the heels of the King Kong remake, this one sought to cash in with another giant ape story. In this one, a hunter and some producers go into the jungles of India to capture a giant ape and bring it back for display. They wind up leaving the hunter behind, and there he meets a beautiful Tarzan-like woman. You are in store for cheesy FX, awkward editing, and a lot of Evelyn Craft in a loincloth. My favorite thing about Mighty Peking Man is how it's intended to show animals (like the ape) are gentle and misunderstood, but people are randomly - and constantly - being brutally killed by animals (unless you happen to be a hot feral blonde).

The second feature is Detroit 9000, a 1973 blaxploitation film directed by Arthur Marks. Alex Rocco (The Godfather) is a street-smart white detective who teams up with a black detective played by Hari Rhodes. Together they investigate a political fundraiser heist amidst a race war in Detroit. Personally, I think it's the slowest film in this collection, but it has bloody shootouts and a funky soundtrack. It opens with a song called "Touch Me Jesus." Need I say more?

The final feature is Jack Hill's Switchblade Sisters (1975), or as it is sometimes called, The Jezebels. This is definitely the most entertaining of the bunch. It follows a violent gang of high school girls who called themselves the Dagger Debs. A new member threatens the order of their group at the height of a face-off with a rival gang. With tits, guns, and plenty of tough ladies, this is pure 70s exploitation at its finest.

This triple feature DVD is only a portion of what Rolling Thunder Pictures released (or could have released), but it's a nice starter pack for cult film newbies, or a cheap sampler for existing fans. Definitely worth picking up if you love exploitation or just dig Tarantino's style.

Buy the film here on Amazon for just $10: 

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