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.

1 comment:

  1. Lylah Clare is basically Aldrich's "Bette and Joan drove me up the fucking wall" getting it off his chest-a-thon. Sister George is a bit like that too.

    What I like about Barbara Steele in Piranha is that not only does she use her real voice, but she pronounces the word "piranha" properly, which no one else in the film does, or indeed anyone around today does.

    Queen Kong totally beat Airplane! to the punch with the Airport 1975 singing nun gag, so there's that.

    There's a great scene in The Sender where the title character sends out a huge pulse of energy in the hospital and everyone goes flying. Worth it for that.