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.

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