Friday 31 May 2019

133 - Fantasies

Alraune (1930 - B/W)- Science fiction as weepie  romance. Brigitte Helm typecast. Surviving prints almost unwatchable.

Elstree Calling (1930 -  B/W) -  Another television-themed revue, has scary giant cardboard cutouts, scary minstrels in glasses with skeletal bodies. deathly-looking colour stuff, and some of it is directed bizarrely by  Alfred Hitchcock.

A Connecticut Yankee (1931 - B/W)  - Will  Rogers' yokel  sage hasn't dated. This has historically dubious Elizabethan sets,  but there's some interesting clockpunk tech. heavily.

6 Hours to Live (1932)     - Hoary temporary revival vengeance  movie, despite a forceful Warner Baxter.

Dr. X (1932) - Basically a colour crime film with somevague mad science and Lionel Atwill  tormenting  Fay Wray. The Return Of Doctor X (1939) is  even more gangster-like, where the film  itself seems to be ashamed  of Humphrey Bogart's ridiculous turn  as a mad scientist.

La Fin Du Monde (1932 - B/W) - Gance's melodrama effectively a silent.

Men Must Fight (1933 - B/W)  -Dieselpunk Wartime weepie. Not my thing. Okru.

Gold (1934 -  B/W) - Weimar melodramatics about the uninteresting art of  alchemy.

Ghost Patrol (1936 - B/W)-One of those weird B-westerns set in the present, Tim McCoy  foiling   some electric  device. I'm not a westerns  enthusiast.

Blake of Scotland Yard (1937 - B/W)-  Dreary, tedious, un-English serial cutdown.

The White Disease (1937 - B/W) - Clinical Czech  Karel Capek adap, fast but  strident.

The Spy Ring (1937 - B/W) - Leisurely, boring spy thriller with Jane Wyman, padded out by polo.

NonStop  New York (1937 - B/W)- Robert  Stevenson does Grand Hotel in  the air or a dieselpunk Airport.  Monotonous melodrama.

The Gladiator (1938 - B/W) - Proto-Superman starring the gurning acquired taste that is Joe E .Brown, closest the US had to   a  Formby/Wisdom.

Bulldog Drummond At Bay (1937 - B/W) - Charmless drawing  room mystery involving a robot plane.From the UK series of films, distributed in America by Republic.
Arrest Bulldog Drummond (1939 - B/W)- Ludicrous idea of Britain.  From the simultaneously running Paramount/US series.

The  Spy in Black (1939 - B/W) - Typical British period outing, but hey, Skelton Knaggs!

Television  Spy (1939- B/W) -A film built on  the novelty  of long-distance telecasts. Dated badly. Features Anthony Quinn.

SOS  Tidal Wave (1940 - B/W)-  Poverty row Deluge with a  ventriloquist subplot. Just  a venture for stock footage.

Sky Bandits (1940 - B/W) - Faux-Canadian Mountie  science adventure.  Basically just a cabin and cockpit.

The Invisible Woman (1940 -  B/W)  - Below-average slapstick screwball. John Barrymore plays the goofy scientist.

Time Flies  (1944 - B/W) - Felix  Aylmer as the Cushing Doctor Who's dad sends radio comic  Tommy Handley  to Elizabethan England, where he teaches Shakespeare Indian war chants. Yes,really.

Return of the Ape Man (1944) - Notorious tramp goes missing. The Ape Man  is  now a big Giant Haystacks-type in  a little black dress.

Strange Holiday (1945 - B/W) -  Claude Rains fights fascism.  Sub-Capra.

The Invisible Man's Revenge (1944  -  B/W)  -  Almost exactly like  the Invisible Man Returns (1940 - B/W), but Jon Hall is no Vincent Price, and has less presence when visible.

El supersabio (1948-  B/W) - I don't think Cantinflas has any real presence. He  just floats  into the background.

Counterblast (1948-   B/W) - Typical   postwar UK crime/paranoia thriller.  Mervyn Johns gives a menacing  performance.

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1949)  - A bog-standard colour medieval epic with a nice  prologue  of Bing wandering about in a charmingly odd England, 1912.

It Happens Every Spring  (1949-   B/W) -Baseball comedies never translate abroad, even if you do cast Ray Milland.

Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (1951)  - Faux-Spanish faux-Powell and Pressburger romance  that almost captures the Archers spirit, but is quite unlikeable.

Donovan's Brain  (1953- B/W) -  Lew Ayres  and Nancy Reagan star in  a  tedious noir-ish mad science playlet.
See also The Monster  and the Lady (1944 - B/W).

Gog (1954) - Laughable "mobile computer" romp, interesting idea supplanted by the supposedly sinister cute robot.

1984 (1955) -Confused.  Edmond O'Brien  like a  fat Richard Todd with learning  difficulties.
1984 (1984) is dreary and grey.

Kronos  (1957- B/W)-  Merely a showcase for hardware.

The Unearthly (1957) - Hypno-dreariness.

The Astounding She Monster (1957) -  Just  a lass with eyebrows.

The Deadly Mantis (1957 - B/W)- A standard redo of the Thing with a cool beast.

The Night the World Exploded (1957 - B/W)  - Just repackaged stock footage, again.

The Monster That Challenged The World (1957- B/W) - Dublin  actress  Audrey Dalton gives a standard performance  for the era/genre. The  best  thing is the mollusc/slug-like monster.

Giant from the Unknown (1958 - B/W) - Tedious modern western with a conquistador.

First Man in Space (1959 -  B/W) -  Fauxmerican Quatermass.  Best thing is the charbroiled monster design.

Teenagers from Outer Space  (1959 - B/W) - Dreary thirtysomethings in jumpsuits.

Uncle was a Vampire (1959)   - Sunny  if  baffling parody pairing Christopher Lee and  Eurovision  entrant Renato  Rascel.

On  The Beach (1959 - B/W) -  Oh, so who's supposed to be Australian? Overlong.

The Beast of Yucca Flats (1961 - B/W) - Brrr...

Ring of Spies (1964 - B/W) -  Bernard Lee stars  in dreary home  counties spying - the Sex Life of Sir Miles Messervy.

Pyjama Party (1964) - A  typical Beach Party movie, ok.rued but manageable, but it has a wonderful turn by Elsa Lanchester, so it's not quite as worthless as   Mars Needs Women (1967). Buster Keaton wanders  about, dressed as an Indian.

002  Operazione Luna (1965) - Italian comedy unfunniness from  the baffling Franco  and Ciccio.

The  Eye   Creatures (1965) - Oh, god. The pains of completism...

Mutiny In Outer Space (1965 - B/W) - Misery and tedium in space.

Zontar Thing from Venus (1966)- Homemade  Larry Buchanan incompetence.

Andromeda Nebula  (-1967) Impressively mounted but  ponderous Soviet spaceopera.

The Navy vs the Night Monsters (1967)  - A  neat idea, a schlockier version of the Thing is incompetently  done. Set in an area that is both jungle and desert. Mamie van Doren pops  up.

WOMEN OF THE PREHISTORIC PLANET (1966) - John Agar again. Mamie van Doren is in the very different Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women (1968). This reuses the Dalek flying saucer-y ships from Mars Needs Women and the sets from Night Monsters, and edited by a George White. Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women,  on the other hand is directed by Peter Bogdanovich for Corman, and reuses Soviet sci-fi footage, like  the  95 per cent identical Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet (1966), which has a nearly dead Basil Rathbone.

THE DEVIL'S MAN (1967)  - Some nice design helps a mediocre masked-man super-antihero lark from Rome.

The Whisperers (1967 - B/W) - Cloying story of  old age and loneliness dessed up in magic realism.

The Flim  Flam  Man (1967) - Depressing sub-Waltons/Sting dramedy with George C. Scot in terrible beige old age makeup.

The Reluctant Astronaut (1967) - Don Knotts does irritatingly goofy space antics. Weird to see Leslie Nielsen  as the straight man in a comedy.

Yongary (1967) - Sub-Gamera Korean kaiju nonsense. Was it common  to have dolls in wedding dresses in  glass cases in  living rooms?

The Madman of Lab 4 (1967) - Baffling Flubberesque French comedy,   becomes a western.

Ne jouez pas avec les Martiens (1968) - Actually  quite repetitive but attractively shot alleged comedy, shot in weirdly Irish-looking locations.

Mission Mars (1968)  - Darren  McGavin in the  falsest  looking sets of all.

Night of the Living  Dead  (1968-  in colour!) Colourised, it robs it of eeriness and everyone looks dead.
Flesheater (1988) - A   sort of spinoff from original zombie Bill  Hinzman. This is basically a fan-film.  Yokel yuppies with horrible acting skills get gored.

Countdown (1968) - Altman boredom. It's like being in  mission control.

Salt and  Pepper  (1968)/One More Time (1970) - Terrible, smarmy, smug Rat Pack spy-comedy antics  with Sammy Davis Jr struggling to find his own action vehicle,  and the intolerable Peter Lawford, initially aided by Michael Bates and Ilona Rodgers. Has  numbers staged by Lionel Blair., which highlight  Salt  and Pepper alongside an eyepatched John LeMesurier, but the sole moment of One More Time, a tiring country house mystery is a crossover with Christopher Lee as Dracula and Peter Cushing as Baron Frankenstein.
Also watched Lawford in undistinguished bodice-ripper The Hour of 13 (1951 - B/W). Michael Hordern billed below Leslie Dwyer.

Astro Zombies (1969)- There is an artistry by Ted V.  Mikels, no matter how-near unwatchable this gets.

Seed of Man (-1969) - Marco Ferreri artiness about a large house by the sea. Sexist arseholery. Actually, this was a rewatch.

It's Alive (1969) -  Godawful Larry Buchanan nothingness.

Hello  Down There (1969) - Dated even for the time sub-Disney underwater Jetsons with  Tony  Randall, Janet Leigh and Richard Dreyfussssssss. Heavily ok.rued

The   Curious Dr. Humpp (1969  - B/W) - Grotesque voyeuristic South American sleaze.

The Body Stealers (1969) - Awful Tigon space-spies. Robert Flemyng, Allan Cuthbertson, Neil Connery, Maurice Evans, George Sanders and Patrick Allen look on as aliens in a Dalek spaceship attack.
Zeta One (1970) - A porn-version of the above from Tigon.  Charles Hawtrey and James Robertson Justice star in this woeful Bond-vs-Alien hookers nonsense. Hero Robin  Hawdon is like a charisma-free melding of Peter Bowles and Ian Ogilvy.

Toomorrow (1970)  - Dingy, sleazy yet family friendly Harry Saltzman-produced  vehicle for a non-existent manufactured pop band including  Olivia Newton-John  who are recruited to save the universe via music by alien  grey Roy  Dotrice.

Crimes of the Future (1970) - Arty Cronenberg student twaddle.

Hauser's Memory (1971) - Basically a feature length Night Gallery.Though actually shot in Europe and not on the lot.

Crucible of Terror (1971) - Surprisingly watchable Mike Raven vehicle. Has James Bolam as the hero. It feels rough, but the Cornish locations look nice, and compared to US horrors of a similar standard, it is entertaining.

The Manipulator (1971) - Mickey Rooney wears a massive  nose and hat, looking like a Reeves and Mortimer character.

The Pied Piper (1972) - Have I reviewed this already? Proto-Gilliam folkie quackery from Donovan and Demy.

Chariots of the  Gods (1972) -  German "documentaries" based on Von Daniken's theories. Fascinating artefacts.

Love Me Deadly (1973) - A surprisingly mainstream cast headed by Lyle Waggoner enact sleazy necrophiliac awfulness.

The Single Girls (1974)  - Godawful Tijuana bar-like sexcom slashing.

Open Season (1974) -  Grim Deliverance-type with heroic rapists. Odd tone. Rubbish.

Dark Star  (1975) - Finally  re-bought the DVD. Claustrophobic hippy nonsense.  A for   effort.  It   is a student  film  that  just happens  to be by John  Carpenter.

Hustle (1975) - Typically dreary  Aldrich murder thriller.

BloodBath (1976) - Amateurish nonsense  by Joel M. Reed that somehow has Harve Presnell  (slumming it post-Paint  Your Wagon in a slump that didn't recover until the  1990s) and pre-Remington Steele Doris Roberts.

Salon Kitty (1977) -  Dreary, opulent Nazi kink.

The Worm Eaters (1977) -  Ted V. Mikels' Casual-fonted horribleness,   surprisingly close to John Waters.

Hurricane (1979) -  Mia Farrow fails to convince she is a  virgin. DeLaurentiis  surprisingly bores.

Ravagers (1979)  - Finally  watched this after struggling with previous attempts. Richard Harris,  Art Carney, Woody Strode, Seymour Cassel and Ernest Borgnine in a post-apocalyptic  hicksploitation  actioner. It's another disappointment,  all on a backlot, like the Ultimate  Warrior. Harris moans, wearing  a niqab.  I'm sure the dam  from Battle   for the  Planet  of the Apes turns up. It feels oddly Canadian.  Harris does a bad American  accent,  sounding like an Irish   radioDJ. He's a bit Tony Fenton.

Simon  (1980)  -  Dreadful sub-Sleeper. Alan Arkin is  duped into  thinking  he is an alien via a giant phone.

Io e Caterina (1980) - Baffling comedy  with Alberto Sordi and Rossano  Brazzi.  Edwige Fenech is a fembot.

Savage  Harvest (-1981) - Bland, unexciting version  of Roar, with Tom Skerritt  fighting off lions in wigs. Is very TV-ish.
Heartbeeps (1981) -Bernadette Peters and Andy Kaufman as robots fall in love,scored by John Williams whose score is far too good for such a bit of ill-advised nonsense.  Being by Allan Arkush, Woronov and Bartel pop up.

Visitors from the Galaxy (1981) - Average Yugoslavian family sci-fi, with unusual  alien designs.

The Incredible  Shrinking  Woman (1981) - Who thought  this was a good idea? Not Lily Tomlin, even. Why is the theme "Galaxy Blues"? Why is there a gorilla?

Supersnooper (1981) - Reasonably well-directed, amiable  Terence   Hill vehicle, maybe having Sergio Corbucci   and Ernest Borgnine adds.

Jekyll and Hyde... Together Again    (1982)  - Rewatch. Unfunny vehicle for "comedian"/stoner Mark Blankfield.  Has  a strange detour into a backlot London, ruled over by  a male Queen.  That's the kind of joke. George Chakiris appears as himself.

Swamp Thing (1982) - Like a terrible jungle action film with a creature. Louis Jourdan chews the scenery. The  most far-fetched thing is that Louis Jourdan. disguised as Don Knight can do a Mancunian accent.
Return of Swamp Thing (1989) - Terrible,  not boring but terrible.

Crosstalk (1982)-  Bland Aussie  cyberthriller.

Paradis Pour Tous (1982) - Baffling Alain Jessua comedy-drama about a human experiment.

Blade Runner  (1982) - It  looks nice, but can't decide what it is about.  Existential androids  dine, as Demis Roussos sings.

Psycho  II (1983) - It  feels like a TV special.  Down to  the beige watered down slasher-ish bits. Only the weird bits with the cleaner remind that this is  Richard Franklin.

Starflight  One  (1983) - Glossy but  dull Airport in  space, released after Airplane II in  cinemas in Europe.

Testament  (1983) -   PBS roots are obvious in this schmaltzy suburban American Threads.

House of the Yellow Carpet (1983) - Pedestrian 80s giallo.

WarGames (1983) - Glossy but aimless  teen-hacking  shenanigans.  John Badham directed the equally glossy but empty Blue Thunder (1983) the same year.

The Man With Two Brains (1983)  - Just another dreadful 80s horror/sci-fi parody.

Prisoners of the Lost Universe (1983) -  Terry Marcel's  Anglo-South African  sword  and laser silliness.

Yor  The  Hunter from the Future (1983) - At times hilarious, at  times irritating Italian  TV/comic  book  sword and laser  nonsense.

Hercules (1983)/The Adventures of Hercules (1985) - Cannon /Lou Ferrigno sword and planet peplums by Luigi Cozzi.

Sex Mission (1984) - Polish StarMaidens.

Impulse (1984)/Warning Sign  (1985) - Both  bland, glossy 80s  takes  on  the Crazies.

Lorca and  the Outlaws (1984)- Genesis/Jim   Diamond-scored  British-Australian spacey post-apocalyptic space schlock from Roger Christian. Deep Roy in a starring role, plays  a childen's teaching/entertainment robot. Yes, he's the  Peking Homunculus again.

Wheels of Fire (1985)   - The only  light in this dreadful Filipino  Mad Max is the oddly jubilant faux-Williams score by Chris Young.

Light   Blast (1985) - Duff Erik Estrada-Castellari  actioner.

DARYL (1985) - Schmaltzy, feels cheaper than it is. Michael  McKean seems to be parodying a sitcom dad.

Titan Find (1985) - Alias Creature. Has Wendy Schaal as a lead character named (Elisa)beth Sladen. Another character looks like Rachel off Blade Runner. Klaus  Kinski's character is called Hans Rudy   as as a reference to  HR Giger. Yes, this was made by nerds.

Trancers (1985)  - Better than I remember. But  still cheap, unatttractively shot and pedestrian.

Weird Science (1985) - Fuck off,  John hughes. Why is there a weird monster in  this?

Troll    (1986) - Harry Potter as cheap  sub-Amazing Stories folderol from Band.

Bullets Over  Broadway (1994) - Weird to see  90s Jim Broadbent in a tedious Woody Allen nonsense.

Kol Mil  Gaya (2002) - Epic Bollywood remake  of ET,  though having the lead be a 30-year-old developmentally disabled  schoolboy is odd.

Tuesday 28 May 2019


Camille (1921)/(1938 - B/W) - Hmm. I'm too cynical for old-fashioned weepies.

Shanghai Express (1932 - B/W) - Dietrich, Anna May Wong and Clive Brook

Honeymoon Adventure (1931 - B/W) - Ealing romcom, nonthreatening Scottish frolics.

Water Gipsies (1932 - B/W) - Basil Dean Ealing romance, almost a typical silent melodrama with sound. By Miles Malleson.

The Sign of Four (1932 - B/W) - Dean produced Sherlock film.Supervised by Rowland V. Lee. Arthur Wontner a distractingly reedy-voiced Holmes. Every adaptation is as good as its Tonga. In this case, forgettable and not much effort.

Lonely Road (1936 - B/W) -  More early Ealing, with Clive Brook. Typical Scotland Yarder.

Mummy's Boys (1936 -B/W) - What are Wheeler and Woolsey?  You can tell that  Eric and Ernie took a lot from them...

Whom the Gods Love (1936 - B/W) - Shonky Mozart biopic from Basil Dean.

Feather Your  Nest  (1937- B/W) - Surprisingly homoerotic Beaudine-directed George Formby vehicle. Otherwise, typical mix of songs and laboured comedy. He sings "Leaning on a Lamppost".

Cheer Boys Cheer (1939 - B/W) - Edmund Gwenn, Graham Moffatt, Moore Marriott star in baffling proto-Ealing comedy. Instead of Will Hay, we have father of Irish comedy, Jimmy O'Dea (yes, King Brian of the Leprechauns and proto-Mrs. Brown, Biddy Mulligan) doing jokes about drinking (it's set in a brewery) and singing in military uniform. Basically a British take on the moonshine genre.

The Frozen Limits (1939 - B/W) - Baffling Crazy Gang western, set in a very British Gold Rush. More Moore.

The Arsenal Stadium Mystery (1939 - B/W)-  Typical quota quickie mystery combined with a football match. As a football-hater, too much football in way of the story.

Tower of Terror (1941 - B/W) - Oddly dynamic horror-war hybrid with Michael Rennie and Movita (post-Mutiny on the Bounty, here capitalising on her celebrity in Ireland and the UK, after marrying beloved-amongst-auld lads Cobh boxer Jack Doyle, hence becoming an Irish music hall act before leaving him and eventually being one of Brando's many "wives"). Weird to have a Mexican as a Jewish German, but it's a reasonably energetic film despite the wooden but imposing Rennie, and a last-minute Nazi invasion.

Backroom Boy (1942  - B/W) -Arthur Askey fills in for Will Hay, and doesn't have his presence.

Went The Day  Well (1943 -  B/W) - Ealing WW2 morale-booster. Well-done,  but post-Dad's Army, hard to take seriously. Got it in  a boxset with the similarly sentimentalised Scott of the Antarctic (1948, shot alarmingly in colour), Leansploitation Nicholas Nickelby (1947 - B/W,  with an alarmingly young Aubrey Woods) and Dead of Night (1945, which I've never been as fond as  some folk, though the ending is 100%).

Warn That Man (1943 - B/W) - Messy, confused Gordon Harker film that unable to decide on a tone, yet has the plot of the Eagle Has Landed, but done as panto.

San Demetrio,  London (1943 - B/W) - Wartime  Ealing propaganda. Fakes Texas in Ealing. Gordon Jackson pops up as callow Scottish youth, per the era.

The Killers (1946 - B/W) - A well-honed noir, but you know me...

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947) - Typical 40s sentimental comedy which serves as a hook to hang on Danny   Kaye's schtick. A variety show movie. But it's all one act.
See also Billy Liar (1963 - B/W). Tom Courtenay's a bit hammy.

Calling Paul Temple (1948 - B/W) - This casual Butcher's programmer is barely a mystery.Has an eye-patched Captain.

Vice Versa (1948 - B/W) - Ustinov-directed rambunctious, annoyingly smug, goofy farce with knowing performances by Newley and Livesey.

London Belongs To Me (1948 - B/W) - Noir Pigeon Street.

Africa Screams (1949 - B/W) - Some nice gorilla work livnes up a silly, dated Abbott and Costello jungle programmer.

Cardboard  Cavalier  (1949 - B/W) - Simultaneously amateurish and  opulent vehicle for the mystifying  Sid Field.

Old Mother Riley's New Venture (1949)/Old Mother Riley's Jungle Venture (1951)/Old Mother Riley Meets The Vampire (1952 - B/W) - Arthur Lucan doesn't sound Irish. Or anything else, for that matter. The weird mix of slapstick and pathos is a precedent for Mrs. Brown. Sebastian Cabot plays a Sheik who talks vaguely Hispanic gobblegegook in New Venture, and   in African Treasure, a Blackbeard's Ghost-ish Morgan the Pirate. Also watched the play about Lucan and McShane, with an eerie Brian  Murphy.  Jungle Treasure has Peter Butterworth and Michael Ripper, and cricket-loving well-spoken cannibals who worship a snake god.

Mystery Junction (1951 - B/W) - Odd, seemingly ordinary but metafictional Merton Park quickie set in a train. Sydney Tafler as lead.

Is Your Honeymoon Really Necessary (1953) -Strange Talbot Rothwell-written relationship comedy that tries to be American. hence Sid James and Diana Dors  doing accents. On  dvd with the bizarre My  Wife's Lodger, where Dors costars with Leslie Dwyer, but it is actually a vehicle for one Dominic Roche, a broad and obvious farce that oddly seems a satire of grim up north cliches from ten years hence. It has      a nice anti-Ealing  feel, and a bizarre ending in Texas. Plus future Irish stage doyenne Vincent Dowling is the  son.

Meet Mr. Lucifer (1953 - B/W) - Ealing comedy that both celebrates and denigrates TV. Weird to see Jack Watling as a  lead. Confused mess of a film. Joan Sims looks as old here as she did in 1970.

Who Done It? (1956 - B/W) - I preferred this to the "proper" Ealings. It has Benny Hill as a Frankenstein's monster-looking mad scientist, at a radio exhibition. And Ernest Thesiger turns up.

Ramsbottom Rides Again  (1956 - B/W) - Amateurish Arthur  Askey  modern-day western set in Canada,  a moustachioed Sid James as a bandit.

Trapeze  (1956)- Pre-TV excuse for a film. Unconvincing melodrama pads out Burt Lancaster's first love - circus acts. Ok.rued, heavily.

The Horse's Mouth (1958) - Confused comedy. Bizarre performance by Alec Guinness. Is Michael Gough playing a beatnik?

Chase A Crooked Shadow (1958- B/W) - Odd, gaslighting thriller. Anne Baxter and Richard Todd are both unsympathetic. Ok.rued.

Hell is a City (1959 - B/W) - Hammer Manchester noir, attractive but doesn't feel genuine. God cast, though.
Charlie Bubbles (1967) - Albert Finney tries to make Manchester magic in this silly vanity project.

Imitation of Life (1959) -  Sirk lovingly creates a world. Not my kind of world, but Juanita Moore is astonishing.

Watched/rewatched the four Margaret  Rutherford Miss Marples (Murder , She Said (1961), Murder at the Gallop (1963),  Murder Most Foul (1963 - angry young Bolam!), Murder Ahoy (1964 - William Mervyn a decent, sinister villain) - all mostly the same. Can be tiresome or entertaining depending on the mood.

Payroll (1961- B/W) - A typical British crime movie  of  the era, that bore me rigid. Set in Newcastle.

Sword of Sherwood Forest (1961) - Colourful but aside a  changed cast bar Richard Greene, and a bigger budget meaning oddly generic Irish locations in colour, typical ITV juvenile swordplay.

The Man From The Diners'  Club (1963- B/W)  - Danny Kaye has a credit card. That's the plot. Ok.rued.

Wild and  Wonderful  (1964)- Typical Universal romantic comedy, set in France, but all done  on the backlot. Tony Curtis falls in with a dog that is star of a weird portrayal of French TV.

The Uncle (1964 - B/W) - Somewhat inconsequential and confused but interestingly done kitchen sinker from Desmond Davis, with a solid if unexpected cast - Rupert Davies, Brenda Bruce,

Chimes at Midnight (1965-B/W) - Feels  like Shakespeare directed by Jess Franco. Which it is. It's almost Harry Alan Towers-level, despite Welles. Odd cast - Mother Rutherford, Michael Aldridge, Julio Pena, Tony Beckley, Keith Pyott, Alan Webb, Fernando Rey, Norman Rodway,Keith Baxter, Fernando Hilbeck.
See also Welles' Prisoner-esque   version of The Trial (1962) - shot in a shade of sepia that makes it look colour a la the green strip placed over Hilda Ogden's telly.

John Goldfarb,  Please Come Home! (1965) -  Embarrassing American football and Arabs fossil from J. Lee Thompson. Shirley MacLaine dances. Ustinov hams. Wilfrid Hyde-White  gives his usual performance despite being in brownface.

King of Hearts (1966) - More bafflement. Alan Bates leads lunatics through a bombed village. I can see why hippies like it. Bought the DVD.

The Naked Runner (1967) - Starring Frank Sinatra,  Peter Vaughan (looking shifty in a bowler),  and Derren Nesbitt. Yes, that's the billing. Has Cyril Luckham (billed above Edward Fox) as a sinister Northern spymaster with a Roy Barraclough voice. But it's forgettable, mostly wandering about factories. A typical piece of forgettable Frankfroth. See also the Ivan Torseque Lady in Cement (1968), and the Die Hard prequel The Detective (1968), which is a dated noir with lots of waffle about homosexuals, despite having a  fab cast - Lee Remick,  Jacqueline Bisset, Jack Klugman, Ralph Meeker, Tom Atkins, Robert Duvall, William Windom, Sugar Ray Robinson, George Plimpton as himself.

Taste of Excitement (1968) - Peter Bowles andVaughan in yet another  ITC-ish fauxgiallo.

They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969) - Susannah York is unrecognisable. Lots of tired folk being worked to death in Come Dancing meets Grandstand.

Medium Cool (1969) - Out-Friedkins Friedkin in terms of airless wandering.

Viva Max (1969) - Another watch. Peculiar, over-played, oddly French-feeling Disney-esque war comedy.

The Moonshine War (1970) - Feels like the Waltons. Will Geer does his Grandpa Walton schtick. Pat McGoohan tries to break Hollywood.

tick... tick... tick... (1970) - Peculiar blaxploitation-tinged redneck "message movie" version of In The Heat of the Night. Jim Brown wears a cowboy hat as Virgil Tibbs' country cuzzin. George Kennedy is the white lead. Fredric March is the old racist. Like most films directed by Ralph Nelson, it has a country soundtrack.

El Topo (1970) - Hard to say if I enjoyed this. Jodorowsky wants you to be baffled.

The Landlord (1970) - An obnoxious, idiotic young man (when Beau Bridges was the more famous Bridges son) wanders about. and is cruel while supposedly being charming and befriends a minority. Typical Hal Ashby shite.

The Conformist (1970) - Ok.rued this Bertolucci film that although beautiful, didn't grab me. Felt a bit Dennis Potter.

Norwood (1970) - Rural comedy that doesn't work. Far too hammy for a relatively serious story. Everyone seems caricatured, like characters in a sub-Green Acres sitcom. Glen Campbell was a great performer, but not much an actor.

Bananas  (1970)  - Woody Allen's voice annoys  me.

Szindbad (1971) - Sadly not a Harryhausen knockoff from Hungary but a floaty romantic drama.

Nicholas and Alexandra (1971) - Long but with possibly the greatest assortment of British character talent (this and Juggernaut (1974) and Murder by Decree combined), and there are bits where Spain genuinely feels Soviet.

Zatoichi Meets the  One-Armed Swordsman  (1971) - Not even  Jimmy WangYu  livens  up this  typical blind samurai  roter.

Jennifer On My Mind (1971) - A pre-Dempsey Michael Brandon mopes around Venice and New York in this Love Story-for-druggies mediocrity, a tale of rich kids loved up and dosed up. Robert DeNiro pops up unmemorably amidst the mediocrity.

The Todd Killings (1971) - Hippy murder nonsense.

The GI Executioner (1971)  -Terrible Oriental-shot schlock.
See also Noon Sunday (1969).

The Anderson Tapes (1971) - Sean Connery when he began the Tony Slattery-look era of his career, so he had to grow a tache.

Taking Off (1971) - Uneasy mix between uber-intellectual parents and singing child brats.

They Might Be Giants (1971) - A baffling, overtly comic semi-parody of both mental illness and Sherlock Holmes. George C. Scott is  decent,but Joanne Woodward seems to be caught up doing a comedy spinster part.
See  also The  Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970), which clearly was  butchered, but Robert Stephens' Wildean Sherlock  is like a Frankie Howerd waxwork doing Shakespeare.
The Seven Per Cent  Solution (1976) - It  demystifies Holmes.  Nicol  Williamson is  too  full-on.  Robert Duvall sounds like  Peter Serafinowicz as Brian Butterfield. A load of Turkish shag.

The Travelling Executioner (1971) - Another intolerable "funny peculiar - funny haha" hippie western, despite a magnetic Stacy Keach.

Zabriskie Point (1971) - It's like Antonioni wanted  to  do a Corman/AIP drug movie, but even more smug. A load of  arty nonsense. Not even Rod freaking  Taylor improves this.

Cold Turkey (1971) - A peculiar and off-putting cross-between Disney comedy, satire and sketch movie. Dick Van Dyke is oddly sexy.

Cry Uncle (1971) - Un-Sexy Troma-ish comedy by John G. Avildsen. Slightly John Waters-ish.

Plaza Suite (1971) - This sort of Neil Simon film is basically a vehicle for the many wigs of Walter Matthau. I can't stand this type of film. Reminds me of Sunday on RTE.

Made For Each Other (1971) - Obnoxious Renee Taylor-Joe Bologna comedy, sub-Neil Simon relationship rubbing.

Bunny O'Hare (1971) - Baffling comedy with  Ernest Borgnine and Bette Davis disguised as Hispanic hippies.

Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me? (1971) - Why was this hippyish mystery play made? Did Barbara Harris and Dustin Hoffman  just take lots of drugs?

Born To Win (1971) - Bemusing New York drugs nonsense with George Segal, and yet another young Bobby DeNiro. By Ivan Passer, so it has an arty Eastern European feel without the brutalist charm. Lots of Segal attacking people in front of Sudden Terror/Eyewitness playing in a grindhouse.

Sometimes  A Great Notion (1971) - Charley Pride sings over this inconsequential rural drama with Henry Fonda and Paul Newman.

Play Misty For Me  (1971)-  It's  not my cuppa.  Everyone is unlikeable. Very Rockford   Files. Found the DVD in an Oxfam.

Red Sky at Morning (1971) - Richard Thomas in sub-Waltons nostalgia-mundanity.

The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight (1971) - Sub-Disney comedy and DeNiro, plus Lionel Stander and Hervé. It's like if Frank Tashlin made the Valachi Papers.

The Salzburg Connection (1972) - ITC-ish  actioner. Introduces Klaus Maria Brandeuer. Barry Newman has presence, but it's a grim drill.

Fat City (1972) - It's supposed to be depressing, but this John Huson boxing film is made even more dreary for me  by  a Kris Kristofferson soundtrack that reminds me of terrible teenage  holidays.

The  Strange  Vengeance of Rosalie (1972) - Bonnie Bedelia looks  like my cousin in this  bemusing,  confused  Spanish-shot western/hostage/car chase exploitation mess.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1972) - An overambitious folly.  The DVD looks good, but the film feels shallow.

The King of Marvin Gardens (1972) - Oh dear, another New  Hollywood  roam-about. Infuriating, but Atlantic  City looks nice. But a documentary would have been better. The characters don't grab.

Jeremiah Johnson (1972)  - Oddly calming western.  Great filmmaking, but not my thing.

The Long Goodbye (1973) - Altman doesn't do it for  me. I found this tonally all over the place.And quite nasty.
Farewell,My Lovely (1975), being  ITC feels  like it was shot in and  around Solihull, despite being shot in L.A. It's very televisual.

Lolly-Madonna XXX (1973) - Despite a ridiculous cast (Rod Steiger and Robert Ryan as rival patriarchs - their sons including Jeff Bridges, Gary Busey, Randy Quaid, Ed Lauter, Scott Wilson..., Season Hubley as "the girl"), this peculiar hicksploitation about warring families is unclear and confused.

Shaft In Africa (1973) - Probably the most enjoyable  of the series. Made in Europe (hence Frank  Finlay as the wigged villain, the likes of Thomas Baptiste, Nadim Sawalha and Cy Grant, and Glynn Edwards), it feels almost an answer film to Live and Let Die. The Northern Soul-y Four Tops theme is by one Brian Potter. Though British-Asian Marne Maitland does appear to be  blacked  up as the M-ish RP-accented Ethiopian attaché (his skin is conspicuously darkened - Indians in Africa aren't exactly rare, but still...). Though Richard Roundtree's African accent's a bit embarrassing. Vonetta McGee is must better served here than in her frankly scandalous turn as the stereotyped jive-talkin' "Jemima" The Eiger Sanction.

Hitler   The Last  Ten Days (1973) - Alec is  a better serious actor than a comedian. Weirdly  experimental with sepia flashbacks. It is  basically like the later The Bunker, a showcase for great jobbing  character actors. Ends suddenly.

Sugarland Express (1974) - Spielberg's official debut, feels like a TV movie cash in on Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry.

Conduct Unbecoming (1975) - All-star period hysterics, a Harold Robbins-type bonkbuster in Carry On Up the Khyber drag. Stacy Keach is convincing as a British military type. But it's all quite restrained, and far from sensationalist as it seems.

The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1975)  - Another story of burnt-out middle aged crooks in NYC.

Jonathan Livingstone Seagull (1974) - Lovely live action photography soundtracked by Neil Diamond - ridiculous story. CSO Seagulls!

The Longest Yard (1974) - Not an American football fan, but even then, a typical Southern Fried romp AND a prison movie. Not my lunch.

Mr. Ricco (1975) - Basically, Dean Martin in a blaxploitation film.

Diary of  the  Dead  (1975) - Feels like  a regional horror, actually a  dull Ruth Rendell mystery.

SMILE  (1975)  - Depressing, smug and Altmanesque.

The Last Tycoon (1975) - Despite having De Niro, Nicholson, Mitchum, Milland, etal, this rather bonkbuster-ish Fitzgerald adap has the feel of a miniseries. The Maurice Jarre score is recycled in  Winter Kills.

The Day of the Locust (1975) -  Another dislikeable Hollywood about  Hollywood folly, from John Schlesinger. Donald Sutherland plays Homer  Simpson. Wildly miscast. Kaen Black's turn as  a teenager is like something out of a miniseries. Annoyed grunt indeed.

The Wild Party (1975)  - Yet another Hollywood story, but from the curious  combo of AIP and Merchant-Ivory. So it's po-faced period drama meets sexploitation. Like a larger version of the same year's Inserts.

The Next Man (1976) - George Pravda as  a Russian. pearly queens,  Sean  Connery as anArab again,  Sean Connery not as an Arab, partly set  in Dublin, hence Bill Golding, David  Kelly. This is not fun, though. Almost, but it devolves into OPEC brownface tackiness.

The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976) - Hmm, probably too young to get the story. Found it kind of aimless.And also  about  middle-age, and for the middle-aged.Then again, it is a noirish, sleazy dive.

Sweet Revenge (1976) - Stockard Channing in an unmemorable "revenge comedy".

The Monkey Hu$tle (1976) - Yaphet Kotto does his Mr. Big voice in a family-friendly Rudy Ray Moore movie.

Fellini's Casanova  (1977)  - Italian Ken  Russell imitation.

Between  The Lines (1977) - Marvel-loving baby boomer magazine makers have  sex.  Smug comedy  with Paedophile Stephen Collins and his  presumed crush, child-man Michael J. Pollard.  And young, slightly annoying Goldblum.

The Domino Principle (1977) - Dull, TV  movie-ish  ITC nonsense.

The Hazing  (1977) - Not a horror as marketed, but an unfunny college dramedy.

Islands in the Stream (1977) - George C. Scott in "aw shucks" Hemmingway drama. Lovely Hawaiian locations don't quite convince as the Caribbean, despite the nice Goldsmith soundtrack. And African-American actors doing West Indian accents is always embarrassing. Feels like it is a sex scene away from becoming a bonkbuster.

For The Love of Benji (1977)  -Weirdly-toned sentimental dog fare. The best thing is seeing an almost entirely American production with Peter Bowles at the centre.

Corvette Summer (1978) - Strange New Hollywood take on car-racing exploitation movies with Mark Hamill. Desperate attempt to elevate Cormanesque trash.

Remember My Name (1978) - Altmanian private eye aimlessness that doesn't stick.

Matilda (1978) - AIP give a sub Disney story of a male boxing kangaroo a decent cast but it is indescribably awful. Not even Clive Revill as a Scottish trainer and a Mafia subplot help.

Goin' South (1978)  - Nicholson makes a  western-comedy, not funny. It's  like Blazing Saddles in the style of High Plains Drifter  or a Monte Hellman film.

Hanover Street (1979) - Harrison Ford, Lesley-Anne Down and Christopher Plummer at his sexiest have a love triangle with a Boys' Own adventure about Nazis shoehorned in. An uneasy but well-made Jekyll/Hyde film with  John Barry's Barriest score.

Running (1979) - Michael Douglas runs around Canada. TV movie-esque not-tearjerker.

On The Air With Captain Midnight (1979) - Annoying sub-Rock and Roll High School teen pirate radio delinquent nonsense.

The Onion Field (1979) - Is that Ted Danson munching on something? Yes, it is. The highlight of this typical Joseph Wambaugh film, slowly chronicling cops waiting in cars. Watched it on
See also The Choirboys (1977), which is basically a dirtier, slightly more serious Police Academy, complete with an overqualified cast and a singalong theme.

Breakthrough (1979) - Burton, Steiger, Mitchum and Jurgens re-enact the war like ageing Japanese soldiers in this semi-official German sequel to Cross of Iron.

The Passage (1979) - Another late 70s Euro-War would-be epic.Tonally all over. Anthony Quinn, James Mason and Christopher  Lee try seriously. But Malcolm McDowell tries to out-Derren  Nesbitt Derren Nesbitt as a lip-licking Nazi gourmand in  a paper chef hat.

Spetters (1980) - Verhoeven melds Lemon Popsicle, BMX Bandits and Silver Dream Racer. Just as off-putting as that sounds.

Bad Timing (1980) - Dreary kink.

The Earthling (1980) - Inadvertently hilarious but rather dreary and confused Peter Collinson vehicle,a nearly dead William Holden  copes with mortality while Ricky Schroeder cries on cue.

Roadie (1980) - Features lots of bands and acts as themselves, yet Meatloaf plays a character. Obnoxious southern-fried sub-Altman musical. The   late Boomer/early Gen X Nashville or Hee Haw High School.

Fort Apache -The Bronx (1981) - Interesting, documentary-like but very televisual, but it's by Time-Life. It looks like the American Policeman from Look  Around You.

Coup De Torchon (1981) - Noiret-Huppert noir, just Noiret looking puzzled and Isabelle being steamy in Africa. Not quite my thing.

Blow Out (1981) - Fuck off.

Tootsie (1982)  - Not quite my thing. Believable, but caught in two tones. It might have worked better as a drama.

One from the Heart (1982) - Coppola makes Vegas even more tacky by building it in a studio and going all Dennis Potter-goes-Country.

A Soldier's Story (1984) - It's not a genre film per se. It's a solid film. It looks beautiful, but the US military bores me. It feels like Quantum Leap.

Remo Williams - The Adventure Begins (1985) - A Bond imitation based on a series of wild pulp novels that is pedestrian, has no setpieces, exoticism and adventure.

I'm Gonna Git You Sucka (1988) - Blaxploitation films were brash   and colourful. By 1988, everything is dowdy. This parody    looks dowdy, like an episode of Father  Dowling  Mysteries.

Short Time (1990) - A weird Canadian Rank comedy, typical TV-level cop slapstick with Dabney Coleman.

Beavis and Butthead Do  America (1994) - Oddly entrancing. And it has Engelbert Humperdinck singing Lesbian Seagull.

Bhaji On The Beach  (1994) - Possibly Gurinder Chadha's best. A slight air of Peter Chelsomish magic realism helps. Though  its Blackpool is aptly rather grim, nowhere near the psychedelic clubland underworld of Funny Bones, the film is almost stolen by Peter Cellier as a daft old thesp whose wife left for him for her lesbian agent,. and romances ageing shopkeeper Asha (Lalita Ahmed) with his stories of being  browned-up in colonial adventure films of the 50s. Hence a bizarre Bollywood dream sequence with Cellier in ridiculous wig and boot-polish.

Sunday 26 May 2019

WC Fields collection- 15

If I Had A Million (1932 - B/W) -  Gary Cooper, George  Raft and Charles Laughton costar. Like a   lot of Fields, bits pop up in other films. Fields only pops up briefly. Fairly ordinary story about 30s lads. By the end, it is about old ladies dancing to a Felix the Cat band. "Maggie" appears on the  soundtrack, so I couldn't stop thinking of Foster and Allen.

Tillie and Gus (1934 - B/W) - Some cartoonish stuff involving babies, ducks and dynamite  enlivens a typical comedy of the era.

It's A Gift (1934 - B/W) - Lotsa cumquat jokes.

Six of a Kind (1934 - B/W) - Typical proto-sitcom 'jinks. Took  me a while to realise  the bland-looking  younger bloke was George Burns.   Ditto  the aw-droppingly odd faux-"Oriental" variety show of International House (1932)

The Old Fashioned Way  (1934 - B/W) - Western comedy again. Didn't really catch my attention,  but it was by William Beaudine. 19th Century   Americana doesn't grab me.

Poppy (1934 -  B/W) -  It has a talking dog, so it's not that bad.

You're Telling Me (1934 - B/W) -Weird  seeing Buster Crabbe in a fairly ordinary comedy.

Man  on  the Flying Trapeze (1934 - B/W) - Not circus capers as the title hints at.

Million Dollar Legs (1932 - B/W) - Sound comedy still finding feet. Basically a vaudeville revue.

The   Bank Dick (1935 - B/W) - Basically  a 50s suburban sitcom 20 years early.

Mississippi (1935 - B/W) - Wearing Bing Crosby-WC Fields-Joan Bennett Southern boating melodramedy.

The Big Broadcast of 1938 (1938 -B/W) - Typical vaudeville enlivened by a fun animation sequence and a neat modelwork sequence of a futuristic liner. Bob Hope's first film.

My Little Chickadee (1940 - B/W) - "Ethiopian in the fuel supply?" Western comedies baffle me.

Follow  The Boys (1944 - B/W) - Peculiar vaudeville/drama hybrid morale booster. It  is odd to see young, slim Orson Welles doing magic. Plus everyone  from Nigel Bruce and Maria Montez to the Andrews Sisters. And even  more listed as performing in units (Allen Jenkins and Neil Hamilton - Officer Dibble and Commissioner Gordon!)

For  me, You Can't Cheat An Honest Man is the highlight, because of Edgar Bergen. I like weird comedy, but not weird for weird's sake. It has to be daft and weird.
I watched Never Give A Sucker An Even Break, and that was the second most interesting.

Monday 20 May 2019

Cinefantastique! -182

The Lost World (1925 - B/W) - Wow.

Spies (1928 - B/W)/Frau Im Mond (1929 - B/W)- With animation, models and clown suicides,  Lang proves that he was THE silent master.

The Clairvoyant (1935 - B/W) - Gainsborough whodunit with Fay Wray and a mad-eyed Claude Rains. Slightly too serious for such a silly subject, yet still feels like a music hall act.

The Ticket of Leave Man (1937 - B/W) - Tod Slaughter fascinates and baffles. A Paul Daniels Magic Show act stretched into a ropey period drama. None of the  other actors are on his level. See also Crimes at the Dark House (1940 - b/w), which at least has a climax that is a masterclass in hamminess.  Murder in the Red Barn (1935 - B/W) has Dennis "Lestrade" Hoey and Eric Portman. The Crimes of Stephen Hawke (1936 - B/W) has a BBC radio studio framing device that seems shoehorned in.  The Face at the Window(1939- B/W) has an unconvincing French setting, with Leonard "not Lenworth" Henry and Bill "Inventor Black from SuperGran" Shine. But it is clearly bigger budgeted. Sexton Blake and the  Hooded Terror (1938- b/w) is a comic strip caper, a British attempt at serial scrapes with oddly expressionist sets.

Black Friday (1940) -Despite Karloff and Lugosi, this is typical gangstergubbins with some SF thrown in.

The Ape Man (1941- B/W) - Hokey Lugosi hour. Seems convinced who is the ape man, Lugosi or the gorilla.
Ditto  the bog-standard Invisible Ghost (1941 - B/W).

The Mad Ghoul (1943 - B/W) - Terrible semi-musical Universal quickie  with George Zucco. The "ghouls" look like they got a bit groggy in the rain.

Flesh and Fantasy (1943 - B/W) - Odd, confused anthology. The first story  has atmosphere, with the masks. Despite a galaxy of stars, doesn't feel fantastical. Too sentimental to be a proper Universal horror. Dodgy back projection. Ok.rued.

Cry of the Werewolf (1944 - B/W) - Dull, confused if oddly atmospheric Columbia dog-woman movie. Also watched another Nina Foch Columbia-B, the bland noir Escape in the Fog (1945 - B/W) that  fails to be enlivened by a weird ESP subplot.

Shock (1946 -B/W) - Mundane Vincent Price gaslighting noir.

Dragonwyck (1946 - B/W) - Period gothic romances aren't my thing. Despite a young Vincent Price, I just don't get the sweep. Ditto another Gene Tierney gothic, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947 - B/W), which suffers from a strange depiction of the West Country and having arsehole Rex Harrison.

The Sound Barrier (1952 - B/W) - Efficiently made but staid Colonial New Elizabethan propaganda by David Lean that rewrites the story of Chuck Yeager with Brits, refreshingly rather than the typical Americanisation of British history. Ann Todd , in her mid-forties plays the slightly older Ralph Richardson's daughter. Not as delightfully strange as the seemingly pedestrian Hobson's Choice (1954 - B/W).

Cat Women of the Moon (1953 - B/W) - Boring camp meets sub-Destination Moon lowjinks.

Godzilla (1954  -B/W) - Probably the best of the  series. A prototype for both types of Japanese SF cinema.

Killers  from Space (1954 - B/W)- Why did RKO pick this up?

The Snow  Creature (1954 -  B/W) - Dull if rather sensationalist nonsense, shy of using its yeti.

The Mole People (1956 -B/W) - Dated even for the time sub-serial Universal dreck. The heroine unconvincingly dies in such a way she just has a funny turn, because though she is blonde, she is supposed to be Sumerian.

The Man Who Turned To Stone (1957-  B/W) - Set in an unconvincing girls' school, terrorised by an elderly goth queen.

Brain from  Planet Arous (1957 - B/W)-  The sort of thing that puts one off 50s SF.

Man Without A Body (1957 - B/W) - Original if idiotic fauxmericana concerning George Colouris and Nostradamus' head. Features Brayman Michael Golden.

The Amazing Colossal Man (1957 - B/W)/War of the Colossal Beast (1958 - B/W) - Bert I. Gordon gets the  most/very little of a one note premise.

The 27th Day (1957 - B/W) - Ambitious but unmemorable Day  the Earth Stood  Still do-over. Star Valerie French was married to Michael P'twee,but left him for Thayer David.

The Vampire (1957 - B/W) -  Atmospheric but derivative and sluggish Mexican Dracula variant.

The Black Scorpion (1957 - B/W)- A dopey Mexican monster film with a fine Obie monster.

The Seventh Seal (1957 - B/W) - It stops so suddenly. It has style, but it isn't all THAT SCENE.

Monster from Green Hell (1957 - B/W) -  Tawdry atomic jungle programmer clearly made to use props and footage.

The  Colossus of New York (1957 - B/W) - A striking robo-Frankenstein monster with laser eyes in a cheap and undistinguished film with no NYC authenticity.

It Conquered the World (1957 -  B/W) Duh Corman SF,despite a daft monster and Lee Van Cleef taking it seriously.   Like Killers from Space, has the rich man's James Arness, Peter Graves.

The Saga of the Viking Women and Their Voyage to the Waters of the Great Sea Serpent (1958 - B/W) - Lots of Viking women, no sea serpent. And a California beach.

War of the Satellites (1958 - B/W) - Space -based drudgery with well-spoken Dick Miller.

Womaneater (1958-  B/W) - Mostly George Coulouris with a plant and lab equipment, as cannibals play drums. With an interesting carnival subplot. Almost forgettable.

Hercules (1958)/Hercules Unchained (1959)- Though you can tell Mario Bava had involvement, once you've seen one peplum...I don't like gladiator movies.

Teenage Caveman (1958) - Corman tacks a post-apocalyptic  sheen to a typical ropey stock footage dinosaurs and cavemen cheapie, thus . Robert Vaughn age 26.

The Beast From Haunted Cave  (1959 - B/W) - Little beast, lots of skiing.

The  Killer Shrews (1959 - B/W)/The Giant Gila Monster (1959 - B/W) - Amongst the cheapest and nastiest of 50s B-movies, teen melodramas with animals in shaggy furs thrown in.

4D Man (1959) - So boring and cheap, it's a waste it is so vividly shot in colour.

The Leech Woman (1960 - B/W) - Dated even for the time Universal dreck, despite a neat performance by Estelle Hemsley.

The Tell-Tale Heart (1960 - B/W) - Lawrence Payne and  Adrienne Corri in shonky Danziger's take on Poe.

Black  Sunday (1960 - B/W) - It is a well-made, atmospheric gothic. But the way Italians make these slavish imitations mean there isn't much atmosphere beyond the camera. Bava does good work in B/W, but he was a true artist in colour. Rewatch.

Taste of Fear (1961 - B/W) - I know some people really like this, but it feels like a slightly more faux-Douglas Sirk-ish take on the Clemens/Sangster psychothriller concept.

The Dead One  (1961?) - Allegedly the first colour zombie film. Allegedly a film.

The Innocents (1961 -B/W) - Overrated, arty,"pretty". Give me Marlon Brando hamming it up as a Culchie eejit instead of wasting Wyngarde. Plus Deborah Kerr is too matronly.

The Brain That Couldn't Die (1962 - B/W)-   Basically the same three minutes of head and stripper repeated.

The Day Mars Invaded Earth (1962 - B/W) - Shonky, sitcomesque Body Snatchers knockoff.

Dementia 13 (1963 -  B/W) - An interesting if not very successful stab at Irish horror from Corman and Coppola. The side characters, though bad actors feel like real Irish people.

Diary of a Madman (1963) - Chintzy backlot-backed Vincent Price vehicle with an otherwise weak cast.
Twice Told Tales (1963) - Another Price-UA Corman cash-in looks better than  the Poesin terms of sets, but bar Price and Brits  Sebastian Cabot and Abraham Sofaer, a lacking cast.

Nightmare (1964  -B/W)  - Typical formulaic  "gaslit girl"  Hammer   nonsense.

Horror of Party Beach (1964 - B/W) - An undeniably creepy, atmospheric snapshot of a past.

Die,   Die, My Darling (1965) - Hammer psychodrama.  Has  another fictional  ITV   station, Allied Television.  Stefanie  Powers  is  tormented   by Tallulah  Bankhead,     Donald Sutherland as   a gurning  albino  and   Peter  Vaughan and  Yootha Joyce  in   an   idiotic   thriller.

Queen of Blood (1966) - One of the better low budget 60s space operas, this isn't great, but with a proper cast - Basil Rathbone, Dennis Hopper, John Saxon, and recycled Soviet FX, it at least seems to be a proper film. Rewatch.

The Human Duplicators (1965) -Oddly endearing  alien invader nonsense with Richard Kiel using his own voice as the  alien leader, parading about dungeons and living rooms. Also features an uncredited "Lonnie Sattin", alias Lon Satton, the black Shane Rimmer.
See also the Kiel monster movies, the awful The Phantom Planet (1961-B/W) and Eegah (1962) - Only a 60s US exploitation film would use the bible as proof of cavemen.

It Happened Here (1966 - B/W) - I admire the ambition, especially that it is an amateur production, but is it a drama? A mock doc? Christ knows.

AGENT FOR HARM (1966) - Cash-strapped, even for 60s Universal spy hokum.

Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism (1967) - Why  do I keep watching awful 60s European period horrors, even if they have Christopher Lee? One of those shonky 19th Century set things with incongruous American accents dubbed in unenthusiastically that always put one off.

The Legend of Lylah Clare (1968) -  Peculiar bonkbuster/grande dame guignol. The trouble is Kim Novak is           both too young and too old for  her character. Is it a horror? A satire? In its final seconds, it becomes a killer-dog movie.

Malenka (1969) - Camp mad scientist/vampire nonsense with Anita Ekberg and as her uncle,  the similarly-aged Spanish John Neville-alike Julian Ugarte. Set in a part of Germany with  Victorian costumed villagers and wagons.

Marooned (1969) - Dodgy effects abound in this overcooked  NASA melodrama.

Gamera vs Guiron (1969) - The Gamera films take what was silly and childish and repetitive about Godzilla and amp it up. Gamera (1965)  starts out promising, but quickly loses it.

Cauldron of Blood (1970) -One of Karloff's last. Desperate carry-on, evoking House  of  Wax  and A Bucket of Blood.

The Curious Female (1970) - Disgusting yet oddly cheerful-toned softcore pap.

The Man Who Haunted Himself (1970) - An uneasy mix of the ordinary and uncanny, but Roger Moore proves that he could act beyond the usual adventurer act. Rewatch.

Mind of Mr. Soames (1970) - Well-intentioned but ill-fated Amicus stab at credibility has Terence Stamp gurn about as a simpleton adult baby.

The Devils (1971) - It descends into a sheer party of  madness. Michael Gothard may be the secret prize element to it. Probably Russell's best.

Percy (1971)- A peculiar halfway between satire and sexcom, that despite an overqualified cast  and score by the Kinks, never really works.

Blood Freak (1972) - A Christian biker-turkey monster dirge.

Superbeast (1972) - Made by United Artists, this Filipino monster-dirge feels like a more expensive, less wacky Blood Island film.

Doomsday Machine (1972) - Colourful but worthless  sub-Irwin Allen apocalypse.

Scream and Die (1973) - Erotic but very unsexy horror nonsense from Larraz.
The Bunny Caper (1974) - A different kind of horror. About a US teen strumpet sent to the UK to stop her bonking Generals. Narrated and hosted a la the sex film in Carry On At Your Convenience by Harry Towb as a US general, doing a Southern accent. It's a strange film.It looks like an American production faking England in the US, but it  has Ed Bishop, and Nadim Sawalha, and Eric Young. But despite being made in Bray Studios and Alan Hume, it is clearly made by Americans, including director Jack Arnold, of all people.

Scream Bloody Murder (1973) - Dreadful sub-Psycho with a supposedly young man as killer who looks like a  50 year old lesbian vicar.

The Boy Who Cried Werewolf (1973) - Dull TV-level hippy-hating juvenile matinee filler.

Tenderness of the Wolves (1973) - Fassbinder's influence is apparent. It's lots of loving gazes at twinks amidst arty sleaze.

Tales That Witness Madness (1973) - Cheap, nasty and pedestrian sub-Amicus anthology. The Hawaii setting with not-even-yellowed-up Michael Petrovitch and Leon Lissek would shame an ITC series. No effort to make it look anything more than the Home Counties.

A Candle for the Devil (1973)  - I had avoided this because it sounded a typical grime and rough Spanish exploiter, despite Judy Geeson and the fact it is by Eugenio Martin, who directed Horror Express, possibly my favourite film. And sadly,  it's the dud I expected.

The Big Game (1973) - Italian-Hong Kong-South African spy film starring Stephen  Boyd, France Nuyen, Ray  Milland and Cameron Mitchell. Lots of locations,and decent cast, but it is dull.

Horror High (1974) - Dreadful sub-Willard teen misfit drivel.

Moonchild (1974) - John Carradine and Victor Buono mug in an unlikeably weird psycho-swashbuckler-fantasy. An actual student film. Director  Alan Gadney basically vanished after this.

Beyond the Door (1974) - What a load of shite.
The not-quite sequel, Shock (1977) is Mario Bava at his least inspired.

Mitchell (1975) - Southern fried baloney with Joe Don Baker, improbably based on an Armchair Theatre by Ian Kennedy Martin starring Richard Beckinsale. Cartoony, oddly seductive sounding theme by coincidental Joe Don-alike Hoyt Axton.

Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975)  - It's  just  more concentration campsloitation. Films should be made to entertain and inform not to confuse.

The Noah (1975 - B/W)  - Baffling if modestly interesting but   almost unreleased curio, Robert Strauss  is the last man alive, lives on a desert island with an invisible, imaginary Geoffrey Holder and Sally Kirkland.

Queen  Kong (1976)- Robin Askwith and  Rula Lenska star     in this legally withheld parody. It's astonishingly terrible. Jungle scenes are shot in rural forest. The models and ape suit are moth-eaten and slapdash. But it somehow entrances in parts.

Keep My Grave Open (1976) - Texan hillbillysploitation. Relatively well done but hoary.

Squirm (1976) - A rewatch. Creepier than the average backwoods monster flick. Helped by the casting of Patricia Pearcy and the editing/music. Almost like a realistic Bert I. Gordon film.

House (1977) - Insane, hyperactive tokusatsu haunted house film made by a director, Nobuhiko Ôbayashi and his pre-teen daughter.

Jubilee (1977) - Jarman  agitprop    punk dystopia nonsense.

Evil Town (1977, mostly) - Footage from the late 80s shoehorned into a no-horror creepy village film with Dean Jagger.

The Brain Machine (1977) - Boring Howco tommyrot that even in the 50s would have been unreleasable.

Close Encounters  of the Third Kind (1977)- The epic canvasses may be the best SF on screen. Rewatch.

The Incredible Melting Man (1977) - Not even smoking pre-teens help this godawful Max Rosenberg-produced regional U.S. redneck  Quatermass.

Audrey Rose (1977) - Bland, TV movie-ish reincarnation nonsense. No wonder I avoided this for so long. It's barely a horror. The snowman scene is oddlymusical-like,but this is Robert Wise.

Death Dimension  (1978) - Depressing quarry-based mad science spy rot with Jim Kelly, George Lazenby, Aldo Ray and Terry Moore. By trash-meisters Al Adamson AND Dick Randall.

Rabbit Test (1978) - Terrible Joan Rivers sub-Kentucky Fried comedy  with Billy Crystal riffing on his Jodie character from Soap as a pregnant man. Has a Sextette-ish bit set in Buck House with unconvincing Royal Guards and drag queen Charles Pierce as a Hinge and Bracket-ish Brenda.

Till  Death (1978) - Depressing funeral home nonsense with Bert  Freed.

Invisible Strangler (1978) - Bland, unexciting grot surprisingly not a TV movie, despite Stefanie Powers and Robert Foxworth. Similar to Psychic Killer.

Sketches of a Strangler (1978) - Terrible, grotty dark serial killer study.

Planet of Dinosaurs (1978) - An amateurish, plucky but ultimately not very good picture. Decent stop-motion dinos wander about a quarry with less animated actors running in fear. Has a sitar-tinged, Star Maidens-ish soundtrack.

Teen Alien (1978) - Has ordinary scenes tinted blue to hint at alienness. An auld lad messes with an old time radio to communicate, while there's more to do with a yellow Rolls Royce than anything else.

The Milpitas Monster (1976) - Faux-reggae-soundtracked high school-made horror. The giant monster stuff is actually well-done, but it comes too late.

Jennifer (1978) - I prefer this to Carrie. A scrappy but somewhat energetic film with quite an insane Bava-esque climax and a happy ending. Rewatch.

Piranha (1978) -  The thing is it takes   too long to take off. There's lot of  lovely Dante/Sayles touches (the TV ads, the  stop motion monster). Barbara Steele is surprisingly good as the expert. For once, she  is playing  a  character with her voice who is not defined by being a spooky beauty. Bradford Dillman and Heather Menzies are typical leads for this sort of thing. He's solid, she's plucky but they're not particularly memorable. Unlike Paul Bartel. But it's not a Jaws knockoff. It's Meatballs with a bit of mystery and some bitey fish. Rewatch.

The Great Alligator (1979) - Sergio Martino-directed Jaws knockoff, ham-fisted, unattractively shot jungle action scenes and a lost-looking Richard Johnson, Barbara Bach and Mel Ferrer fail to help. It both doesn't know if it is a croc or a gator or indeed sure where it is set. Johnson is the highlight, as  he gets his Blessed on  as  a wild-bearded lunatic priest.

C.H.O.M.P.S. (1979) - Hanna-Barbera and AIP take on Disney with Robo-Benji. The animated titles have more effort in them than ten years of Scooby Doo imitations/spinoffs. The Hoyt Curtin soundtrack sounds like a funkier, larger take on the music of various teen-adventure cartoons of the era. It's as lazy as the average H-B cartoon of the era. Though it seemingly relishes in dog-dismemberment, and star Wesley Eure seemingly has a mid-life crisis while making the film.

Phobia (1980) - A boring, TV-level Canadian suspenser starring Paul Michael Glaser... directed by John Huston?!?!

The Children (1980) - Somewhat comical but mostly dreary regional zombie-irradiated-child mullarkey.

Nightkill (1980) - Glossy Murder, Mystery and Suspense type thing - quite bare, shot in Arizona. Twist is Robert Mitchum, who may or may not be Hispanic is basically his Night of the Hunter character.

Without Warning (1980)  -    Another  regional  space monster. Proto-Predator,  down to Kevin Peter Hall. But despite the all star cast, you can see why AIP buried it.  It's a schlocky woodlands slasher with  the novelty  of an alien.  But despite Landau and Palance, it looks so cheap.

Zombie Holocaust (1980) - Italian cannibal-zombie schlock that makes New York somehow look like Birmingham. Not even the soundtrack of Emanuelle  and the Last Cannibals or Ian McCulloch's Ken Barlow-ish ways can liven this up.

Island Claws (1980) - Badly-lit Floridian giant crab pic.

Witches' Brew (1980) - Night of the Eagle as a bad sitcom with Richard Benjamin, Teri Garr and Lana Turner.

The Day Time Ended (1980) - Baffling (so Jock Ewing and his family readily accept that Earth is dead and they can live their good old boy existence in a possibly nefarious alien city?) but I have a soft spot for it, even though it is Charles Band trot. But despite the neat Dave Allen FX, it feels even more homemade than it is. It could have been made by teenagers with their family, but no, with Jim Davis (after years of doing shite like this, finally a decent name post-Dallas), Dorothy Malone and Jim Mitchum,

The Mysterious Castle in the Carpathians (1981) - Strange Czechoslovakian Young Frankenstein/Rocky Horror/Rentaghost steampunk opera from Barrandov.

Tattoo (1981) - The Bruce Dern-Maud  Adams eroitc thriller that is better described by Denise in The Royle Family than seen.

The Beyond (1981) -Overrated Sentinel knockoff, bland, boring, badlystaged Grand Guignol claptrap. Rewatch.

Delusion  (1981) - Deluded it is a horror. Joseph Cotten still thinks he's in Anglia.

Scream (1981) - Made on western sets with modern characters in cowboy hats and the likes of Woody Strode and Hank Worden, this is what happens when you try to make a western out of a slasher.

The Black Cat (1981) - Possibly Fulci's most interesting. Rewatch.

Dawn of the Mummy (1981) - Oddly gripping, well-shot Italian zombie-alike shot in Egypt by Queen Kong director Frank Agrama.

Zapped! (1982) - Not even Robert Mandan helps this ITC-Avco Embassy comedy - basically a sexier version of Kurt  Russell's Disney comedies.

The Slayer (1982) - It's nicely photographed, but a bland cast and idea harm it. Nice twist ending.

Silent Rage (1982) - Feels astonishingly cheap and nasty for a Columbia picture. Chuck Norris kicks a Franken-killer.

Echoes (1982) - Bland psychothriller despite Gale Sondergaard in one of her last roles.
The Killing Hour (1982) - Another dull NYC psychothriller.

The Sender (1982) - Bland,  colourless though oddly hypnotic in some respects British-posing-as-American horror. That may be one of its flaws. It uses mostly second string Americans based in the UK,  plus a post-Raiders Paul Freeman, and there's a young John Sessions smashing the authenticity.

Conan The Barbarian (1982) - Rewatch. It looks and sounds gorgeous. But it's just an Italian sword and  sandal film  on a massive scale.

Nightmares (1983) - Bland TV anthology cut into theatrical feature. Despite Mr. Shorovsky from Fame as a yokel attacked by badly-composited giant rat-dogs.

Spaceship (1983)- Horribly stagey sets, Leslie Nielsen and Patrick Macnee looking lost, little jokes - this is as bad as they say.

Dune (1984) -  Rewatch.    The film is a  mess.  The Harkonnen stuff is played perfectly. Everything else is so dry and complicated. The Fremen look like something from an  Italian miniseries of the era. Great soundtrack.

2010 (1984) -  Rewatch. I find it interesting,    but once it gets into space, too dry, despite interesting ideas. Peter   Hyams is too deliberate a director.

The Evil That Men Do (1984) - Rewatch. This might be a favourite Bronson. With a genuinely odd villain in Mayo man Joe Maher's crazed, aristocratic Welsh torturer, whose murders are vividly described - "forced to eat her own excrement", "her husband's head inside her belly". J. Lee Thompson gets the best out of Mexico, which doubles as Guatemala, Cayman Islands, and itself. But it soon descends into a mess.

Treasure Island (1985)- All star Cannon/BFI/Raul Ruiz modernisation, almost exactly like Antonio Margheriti's miniseries Treasure Island in Outer Space. Features Vic Tayback, Martin Landau, Lou Castel, Anna Karina, Sheila of "Spacer" fame, and Jean Pierre Leaud. Ditto City of Pirates (1982).
Mammame (1986) - Ruiz's ballet tedium.
Ruiz's The Golden Boat (1990) - a confused,  unfunny arty noir-farce.
Ditto Point de Fuite (1984 - B/W).
Régime sans pain (1984), Professor Taranne (1987) and Three Crowns of the Sailor (1983) - Surrealist gubbins.
The Territory (1981) - Ruiz's Deliverance.

Raiders of the Living Dead (1986) - Ambitious but boring trainwreck, begun by Brett Piper, finished by Sam Sherman.

Galaxy (1986) - Another Brett Piper film, ambitious and kind of fun space adventure, despite the non-existent budget  and most of  it being suburban post-apocalyptic amnesia. It has a character obsessing over Lesley Anne Down.
Mysterious Planet (1982) - An earlier Piper Harryhausen homage has a nice two-headed snail monster and cool mattes, but otherwise it looks like something shot in a back garden.

Terrorvision (1986) - Ropey, overlty stylised, supposedly comedic but more infuriating than anything dayglo sci-fi that ends mid-scene. Rewatch.
Zone Troopers (1986) - Like the above, a Charles Band job. Goofball WW2 antics, like a Sam Fuller fanfilm meets a goofy E.T. knockoff.

From  A Whisper To A Scream (1987) - Vincent Price is  one of several vets in this sub-Tales from the Darkside anthology. Very late 80s DTV schlock. The last  sub-Ray Bradbury    story  is very late 80s US telefantasy.

Eat and Run (1987) - One of those post-Corman New World horror comedies that feel like they're on Stars In Their Eyes doing Larry Cohen. Here, Ron Silver plays an Irish cop (with an inexplicably English super-detective father in Derek Murcott, the link between Doctor Who, the Tomorrow People and a Fistful of Yen) pursuing a bald, fat alien gastro-tourist (Troma vet R.J. Ryan) eating Italians. Has a weak climax, weak jokes ("Dr. Hansel Gretel") and aside from Silver, Murcott and a wasted Malachi Throne, a mostly weak cast.

The  Howling IIl The Marsupials (1987)- Really creative, ambitious meta-satire, with Edna Everage cameo. Rewatch.

Saturday the 14th Strikes Back (1988) - Faux-Dante. But still better than the original.

Hired to Kill (1990) - Greek faux-Cannon/Andy Sidaris hybrid. Brian Thompson is sent by George Kennedy to pose as a gay fashion designer to battle tache-tastic Oliver Reed and Jose Ferrer. Features a Prisoner Cell Block H/Midnight Express hybrid subplot.

Severed Ties (1992) - Oliver and Elke reunited in terrible sub-Tales from the Crypt Fango comedy.

Porco Rosso (1992) - It's nice, but purely as a comic strip.
Ditto Princess Mononoke  (1997) - gorgeous, but not something I obsess over.

Matinee (1993) - Lovely. Might be Dante's best. Rewatch.

Silence of the Hams (1994) - Mel Brooks and Silvio Berlusconi  present a VHS that haunted my local AdvanceVision. It looks like an episode of Sliders.Thanks to Witney Seibold for reminding me of this.

Down (2001) - Despite an excellent cast, Naomi Watts, Edward Herrmann, Ron Perlman, Dan Hedaya and Michael  Ironside, Dick Maas' remake of his own The Lift feels phony and soulless.

Soviet SF

Teens in the Universe (1974) - Peculiar but good-looking Soviet teen musical about astronaut cadets. Has robots that look like the robots from Sleeper. It's Children's Film Foundation ish, but looks much more polished. The alien leader looks not unlike Michael Rennie.

Zvyozdnaya komandirovka (1983) - From Dovhzhenko, Samuel Beckett's Blake's 7.

WB Archive Mystery Horror Double Features

Find the Blackmailer (1943) Forgettable private eye comedy. Why do these films always have a parrot?

The Smiling Ghost (1942) - Yet another confused mess of cliches. Including as the Black Acting School grad butler, Willie Best.

SH! The Octopus (1937) Not especially funny but endearingly strange old dark lighthouse quickie starring Hugh Herbert and Allen Jenkins, a kind of Looney Tunes Twilight Zone.

The Hidden Hand (1942)  Forgettable, more routine mystery complete with pop eyed black manservant.

Mystery House (1937)     They all start to blend into one. Starring one time Cap, Dick Purcell and Ann Sheridan.

The Patient in Room 18 (1937) Just lots of running about a hospital.

Pepe Le Moko (1937 -  B/W) is weird.

Tuesday 14 May 2019

Not quite features - 18

Sleepwalker (1982) - Joanna David, director Bill Douglas, Michael Medwin, Raymond Huntley and Fulton Mackay in this strange suburban dinner party with a bloody end. On DVD with the bemusing psychedelic meltdown of Rodney Geisler's The Insomniac (1971), where Morris Perry quits life for Valerie Van Ost, or does he. The latter has Darren Burn, the failed British attempt to clone Donny Osmond, who later took his own life and now has a peculiar one-man, possibly paedophiliac fanbase.

Watched a few Children's Film Foundation films.
Peril For The Guy (1956) - Frazer Hines and  co help their black friend be a living Guy Fawkes dummy. Not much to say.
Cup Fever (1965 - B/W) - Again, as it's football, not much to say, but weird to see young Susan George and Olivia Hussey in such average suburban surroundings.
Mr. Horatio Knibbles (1970) - Jesus christ...
Anoop and the Elephant (1972) - With a yellow remote controlled roadster and Damaris Hayman, basically Dr. Who and the Daemons. A Doctor Who influence also premeates the design of the Yeti in the rather shambolic but entertaining Zoo Robbery (1973).

Battle of Billy's Pond (1976) and One Hour To Zero (1977 - Dudley Sutton alert) - both ecological fables blend into one.
4D SpecialAgents (1981)  - Sub-Euston forgetfulness with Dexter Fletcher and Paul J. Medford.
Pop Pirates (1984) - Dreary mixed-race sub-Musical Youth shenanigans. WTF are Jon Finch and Roger Daltrey doing in this?

Urge To Kill (1960 - B/W) - A lot of these 50s UK crime films I find boring. This, despite some odd performances, Terence Knapp (who later moved to Hawaii, and became a leading local actor over there) wildly overdoing it as a manchild and Wilfrid Brambell as a slightly Cushingesque schoolteacher.

Clue of the Twisted Candle (1961 - B/W) - Typical Wallace plodder

Marriage of Convenience (1960 - B/W) - Harry H. Corbett pops up in this confused mess.

The October Moth (1960 - B/W) - An original story. Lee Patterson is incongruously Canadian, while his sister Lana Morris (better than she should be) is not, in this story of an intelligent manchild who kidnaps a woman from a car crash, in the belief she's his mother. Weird hearing the voice of Jeff Tracy, Peter Dyneley's distinctive tones lent to a Yorkshire accent.

The Malpas Mystery (1960 - B/W) - Sandra "Aunt Fanny" Dorne, Allan Cuthbertson and Geoffrey Keen in this bog-standard mystery, with the addition of a villain who models himself on Edith Scob in Eyes Without A Face.

House of Mystery (1961 -  B/W) - Confusing haunted house hour with a time/lapse conundrum. Nice twist. Ditto Man In The Back Seat (1961 - B/W).