The Moose Just Wants a Head – Bring Me the Head(s) of the Machine Gun Woman (2012), …of Alfredo Garcia (1974), and …of Charlie Brown (1986)

So somehow yesterday (I forget exactly what who it was that turned me on to this, so apologies where they are due), I ran across this trailer for an independent film called Bring Me The Head of the Machine Gun Woman. This film comes to us from Ronnoc Entertainment, which seems to have been founded specifically to produce this type of Latinsploitation films. Here, go ahead and take a look at the trailer:

Now, of course that just looks like some down and dirty quick direct-to-DVD exploitation fun. Largely ignorable, and probably pretty bad. But… there’s that title, which makes me curious, because it’s so obviously a throwback to Sam Peckinpah‘s 1974 Warren Oates starring Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia. Now, of course, there’s no way that Machine Gun Woman is going to live up to the completely nihilistic greatness that is Peckinpah’s film, so I can’t help but wonder why Ronnoc would even bother. It’s not like they’re trying to pull an Asylum-type move and capitalize on something that’s currently in theaters. As a matter of fact, I doubt most of the audience for this film would even get the reference. Of course, whatever their reasoning, I’m glad they did it, because it does give me a chance to recommend what I consider to be one of the greatest of the 70s road movies. Here, just take a look at the trailer:

And trust me, that trailer doesn’t even begin to touch the sheer lunacy contained in the film itself.

But then, if it’s lunacy your looking for, maybe you’d like it in a smaller dose. You see, while I was trying to find out more about Machine Gun Woman, I also ran across another Bring Me the Head of… movie. (Hmm… I’m beginning to wonder if I don’t need to keep digging – maybe there’s an entire “Head of” genre out there just waiting to be explored.) This one may be the most surprising of the bunch. Created by Jim Reardon, who would go on to become a director and storyboard artist for “The Simpsons”, Bring me the Head of Charlie Brown is a short animated film which was made in 1986 while Reardon was still a student at CalArts. Interestingly, despite its title and opening sequence, the climax of the short actually more resembles another Peckinpah movie, The Wild Bunch. Either way, though, it’s still just a lot of fun, and I’m somewhat surprised it hasn’t gotten more notoriety than it has. Have a look for yourself and see what you think:

Ok, maybe it’s no Bambi Meets Godzilla, but then, what is?

Oh Deer – Bambi Meets Godzilla: The Restoration (2013)

While perhaps not the most obvious choice when one thinks about films in need of restoration, Marv Newland‘s delightfully short animated masterpiece Bambi Meets Godzilla definitely qualifies. Most often seen in versions that appear to be taken from seriously low-resolution multiple-generation vhs copies, it has nonetheless been ranked as number 38 in Jerry Beck’s book The 50 Greatest Cartoons: As Selected by 1,000 Animation Professionals. Therefore one has to praise the effort put into updating and preserving it for the digital age by YouTuber  and blogger Coda Shetterly.

Here’s Shetterly’s blog post on the process used to make the restoration:

Of course, I could use this as the jumping on point for any number of comments about digital restorations, but I think in this case I’ll just let the results speak for themselves, so, for comparison purposes, here’s the original:

and here’s Shetterly’s restoration:

So what do you think? Do you prefer the admitted nostalgia factor of the original, or the new restoration? Let me know in the comments below.