Tuesday 30 July 2019

123 - horror.fantasy.noir

THE STUDIO MURDER MYSTERY (1929) - Neil Hamilton, Frederic March in Paramount propaganda for itself.

The House Of The Seven Gables (1940 - B/W) - Typical period drama of the era. Vincent Price as a young lead is odd.

Five Graves to Cairo (1943 - B/W) -  Typical post-Casablanca exotica mixed in with war propaganda.

Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (1944) - Baffling, with red-haired white kids as "Caliph's sons". And drawing moustaches on regular American character actors = Mongols.

Phantom Lady (1944 - B/W) - Well-made noir, uses Franchot Tone's cadaverous features, but noir alienates me.

Experiment Perilous (1944 - B/W) - Ropey romantic noirish period drama.

Gaslight (1944 - B/W) - It feels unconvincingly Victorian in a very American way.

A Place of One's Own (1945 - B/W) - Hmm, sub-Gainsborough haunting with James Mason.

The Blue Dahlia (1946 - B/W) - Again, not a noir man.

Kiss of Death (1947 - B/W) - Lots of fedoras.

 Somewhere in the Night (1946 - B/W) - Richard Conte practises for his 70s Eurocrime days in this typical alienating, grim noir.

Gilda (1946 - B/W) - Again...

So Dark the Night (1946 - B/W) - A simplistic noir-morality tale in a WW2 fairytale village.

Dead Reckoning (1947 - B/W) - Typical Bogie noir. I find it grim.

To The Ends of the Earth (1948 - B/W) - Faux-Chinese noiredium.

Corridor of Mirrors (1948 - B/W) - Sub-Powell and Pressburger reincarnation schmaltz. Christopher Lee's debut.

Caught (1949 - B/W) - Slushy Ophuls noir with James Mason and Barbara Bel Geddes, who looks like a smoother version of herself in Dallas.

Penny Points to Paradise (1951 - B/W) -  Early Goons thing. Telling how Sellers kind of fakes into the background, compared to even Alfred Marks and Bill Kerr.

DER VERLORENE (1951 - B/W) - German noir. In Germany, Peter Lorre seems to be a more normal actor, if that makes sense.

Slappiest Days of Our Lives (1953 - B/W) - Sellers-narrated hodgepodge of silence. At times, may be some of his better work.

Totò all'inferno  (1955)  - Toto is one of those people known more for being on the walls of Italian restaurants outside Italy. This is colourful but not much else. Earth-scenes tinted blue.
Whtaever Happened to Baby Toto (1964 - B/W) - Silly parody, the ending involving sandcastles recalls Equus more than anything.

Time Without Pity (1957 - B/W) - Dreary Redgrave noir, Michael Redgrave as an unconvincing dull Canadian.

Nachts wenn der Teufel kam (1957 - B/W) - Depressing Teutonic true-crime with Mario Adorf.

 Murder by Contract (1958 - B/W) - TVish noir with Vince Edwards.

The Playgirls and the Vampire (1960 - B/W) - Silly but atmospheric.
Ditto Slaughter of the Vampires (1962 - B/W)

The Minotaur, the Wild Beast of Crete (1960) - Rosanno Schiaffino being held hostage by an impressively Muppetty bull-man is the one highlight of this typical slice of peplum tedium.

Psycosissimo (1961 - B/W) - Baffling, bumbling Ugo Tognazzi com.

 Spotlight on a Murderer (1961) - Irritatingly smug Franju take on Ten Little Indians about a coffin-bound count who is killing folk.  Ok.rued.

The Return of Dr. Mabuse (1961 - B/W) - Strained, forgettable Lang imitation.
The Death Ray of Dr. Mabuse (1964 - B/W) - More of the same, Robert Beatty and Leo Genn shoehorned for UK audiences.

La maldición de Nostradamus (1961) - AIP-TV Mexican vampire nonsense. All Mexican vampire movies feel the same.

The Brainiac (1961 - B/W) - Ditto.

The Invasion of the Vampires (1962 - B/W) - AIP-TV imported Mexican faux-Hammer crap about Count Frankenhausen.

Landru (1963) - Baffling attempt at murder-comedy by Chabrol. Looks like a Carry On.

The Whip and the Body (1963) - The plot doesn't grab, but the visuals do.

RoGoPaG (1963) - Topo Gigio, Orson Welles, Pasolini, Godard, Rosselini and the lesser known Ugo Gregoretti.  It doesn't quite work. A mess of Italian artiness.

The Girl Who Knew Too Much (1963 - B/W) - Bava tries to do a Rutherford Marple, and fails because he hasn't got the talent.

Katarsis  (1963 - B/W) - Just teens mildly spooked by Christopher Lee in a ruff.

Blood Feast (1963) - It looks better than it should.

La cabeza viviente (1963 - B/W) - Astonishingly blatant ripoff of the Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake from Mexico.

Nothing but the Best (1963) - Confused, typically "whacky" post-Frost satire.

The Blancheville Monster a.k.a. Horror (1963 - B/W) - Amateurish Spanish gothshlock.

A Taste For Women (1964 - B/W) - Baffling sub-Czech New Wave French comedy written by Polanski.

La cité de l'indicible peur (1964 - B/W) - Irritating Jean-Pierre Mocky old dark house comedy with Bourvil and a tattooed banknote, weirdly remade as the brilliant Litan.

Terror in the Crypt (1964 - B/W) - Dodgy Italian Carmilla with Christopher Lee in a wig.

Terror-Creatures from the Grave (1965) - Rote Barbara Steele gothic.

Vendetta of Lady Morgan (1965 - B/W) - Another faux-Scottish boilerplate Italian gothic, though the usually villainous bruiser Gordon Mitchell is almost convincing as a romantic lead. 

Thrilling (1965) - Baffling pop-art comedy anthology with Sordi, Manfredi, etc.

Juliet of the Spirits (1965) - Overlong, self-indulgent surrealism from Fellini.
Like the sentimental La Strada (1954 - B/W), it's all about Fellini's love for Giulietta Masina.

James Tont operazione UNO (1965)/Operazione  D.U.E.  (1966) - Blatant,  silly Dino  De  Laurentiis  spoofs with  Lando   Buzzanca, a  villain called Eric Goldsinger and  an  off-screen contact with Bond himself.  Buzzanca  does  a  British  Invasion-parodying   musical  number   in   the    second.

The  Third Eye (1966 -B/W) - Atmospheric  but dull proto-giallo melodrama with "Frank Nero".

Alice of Wonderland in Paris (1966)-  Serviceable   Gene  Deitch hour.

Upperseven (1966) - Thick-earedAlberto   De  Martino  South Africa/London-set  spy nonsense.

The  Spy  who Liked Flowers (1966) -   Charles Gray-alike Roger Browne stars   in  a silly  Umberto Lenzi  spy romp  with a  comedy  soundtrack.

"Requiem For A Secret Agent"  (1966) - Stewart Granger dubs  himself  in a  sadistic little   cheapie that predates Diamonds   are Forever in  a  key sequence.

Du Rififi A Paname (1966) -Middling Euroheist.

An Angel for Satan (1966 - B/W) - Lesser Barbara Steele.

The Witch (1966 -  B/W) - Socopolitical arthouse  "satire" with Richard Johnson.

Ring Around the World (1966) -  Eurospy  mush.

The Long Night of Veronique (1966) - Forgettable colour sub-Krimi Italian nonsense.

Spies  Strike   Silently  (1966) -   Forgettable Rank-distributed  fluff with   Lang  Jeffries.

The Hunchback of Soho (1966)  -Silly Edgar Wallace krimi, full of Avengers-ish eccentric loons and a stupid hunchback targeting a Magdalene laundry/boarding school. Ok.rued.

Creature with the Blue Hand   (1967) -   American-accented toffs  in period  outfits  in 1960s London, a   typical krimi. Youtubed.

Danger Deathray! (1967)  -  Stupidispy.

Troppo per Vivere. Poco per Morire (1967) - Has fake BBC crews and Claudio Brook as Gordon Smash!  Seems  to  think Home Counties  suburbs are exotic.

Italian Secret Service (1968) - Goofball Nino   Manfredi crud with  Clive Revill.

If (1968) - A great cast, but schizophrenic.

The Fuller Report (1968)   -  Ken   Barlow-alike Ken Clark in more forgettable espionage.

Castle of the Creeping Flesh (1968) - German erotic-horror haunting nonsense with Howard Vernon. Shades of Jess Franco.

A Black Veil for Lisa (1968) - Odd nonsensical semi-giallo melodrama-romance. John Mills definitely dubs himself, and at least hey, John Mills is in this. And I think Robert Hoffmann does too.

The Sweet Body of Deborah (1968) - More middle-class gialli  travelogue nonsense.

Deadfall (1968) - Pervy Bryan Forbes heist. With Michael Caine and a Barry-Bassey score.

A Lovely Way to Die (1968) - Weirdly krimi-esque sub-Matt Helm goofball mystery with Kirk Douglas and Kenneth Haigh, meaning this has a connection to the oddly similar Night Train to Murder. I need to stave off terrible 60s mainstream thrillers on ok.ru.

Hand of Power (1968) - Another krimi, this time with Joachim Fuchsberger, the other German telly icon who recurred in Wallace movies, but thankfully much less problematic than aul Derrick. Full of knobbly bits, sinister lady taxidermists in white, chimpanzees hugging, a skeleton-clad killer, but it is clearly trying to be the Avengers, down to an Emma Peel-type. Although unlike the Avengers, like many of the Wallaces, this actually has black actors/characters, as if knowing diversity is as much a part of Britain as red buses,Big Ben and classical music-loving blustery comic relief Scotland Yard superiors with knighthoods and monocles. Ok.rued these krimis.

Gorilla of Soho (1968) = Lots of breasts. But just as silly. More girls' schools and strip-clubs. And yet more scenes around some docks. And funny masks.

The Hound of Blackwood Castle (1968) - Sub-Baskervilles nonsense.

The Man with the Glass Eye (1969) - A big shock climax involving the death of the female lead instead of the villainess aside, basically proto-Derrick with a few Brit dressings for Horst Tappert. Set in a working men's club with a cowboy knife thrower. There's also a scary ventriloquist's dummy resembling an acromegalic diddyman. The trouble about the German Wallaces is while the British ones are staid, the German ones are overtly goofy. It's like Scooby Doo with actual death. They feel like they mock themselves.

Double Face (1969) - Sleazy Klaus Kinski-starring Cinecitta-shot giallo/krimi hybrid. Nora Orlandi reused her soundtrack in the Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh.

Horrors of Malformed Men (1969) - Samey  Japanese period horror.

Oh, Grandmother's Dead (1969) - Dull comedy giallo with the late Valentina Cortese (who I didn't realise was even still about).

Lokis. Rekopis profesora Wittembacha (1970) - Sitges-winning Polish steampunk artehouse horror bafflement.

Aoom (1970) - Bleary-eyed experimental nonsense with Lex Barker.

Hercules in New York (1970) - Sub Mel Brooks  Ahnhult debut.

Scream of the Demon Lover (1970) - Grubby period gothic, dirty and unattractive.

Angels of Terror  (1971)- Nice London  footage,  but a complete krimi  mess.

The Fourth Victim (1971) - Dodgy Faux-Brit giallo by Eugenio Martin, with Michael Craig.

Something Creeping in the Dark (1971)    -  Idiotic,boring, badly lit  Butcher's-distributed dark house giallo.
See also The    Killer  Has Reserved  9 Seats  (1974) and Death on the Fourposter (1964)

Jack the Ripper (1971) - Dreary Paul Naschy modernisation with a ZCars-ish soundtrack.

The Devil with Seven Faces (1971) - Silly Harold Robinson-esque giallo with Stephen Boyd. I think that's my problem with gialli. They're Transatlantic Tripe with a few murders, endless traveloguery and the heroes are inevitably middle-class housewives who have been or have cheated. Brian Clemens and Harold Robbins smashed together.

Crimes Of The Black Cat (1972) - Nonsensical Poe-influenced giallo.

Death Walks At Midnight (1972) - Idiotic middle-class modelling giallo, with a camp bloke in a silver wig.

The Case of the Scorpion's Tail (1972) - Nice London locations segue into something like a bloody Michael J. Bird serial.

The Scarlet Letter (1972) - Actually quite epic, beautiful, almost Karl May-ish take on Hawthorne by Wim Wenders.

Eye in the Labyrinth (1972) - Idiotic sub-Bay of Blood giallo with Adolfo Celi.

The Killer is On The Phone (1972) - Grim lesbian-themed giallo with Anne Heywood and Telly Savalas. Nice Belgian locations.

Greaser's Palace (1972) - Insufferable Robert Downey biblical-acid western.

The Loreley's Grasp (1973)  -  Surprisingly fun Spanish-German Gorgon-alike.

The Bloodstained Lawn  (1973) - "Marina Mullligan"/Malfatti stars in this hippy eejit-countercultural industrial vampire schlock.

La Muerte Incierta (1973) - Forgettable Jose Larraz jungle nonsense prefiguring 1974's Ghost Story

What  Have They Done To  Your Daughters (1974)- Well-made   but grim/sleazy  paedothriller.

Seven Deaths in the Cat's Eye (1973) -  Nonsensical fauxScottish Gainsbourgiallo.

Puzzle (1974)  -  Dull semi-giallo    from  Duccio Tessari.

The Killer Wore Gloves (1974) -  Spanish London  giallo  nonsense.

Night of the Seagulls (1975) - Awful Spanish cobblers about the Blind Dead.

Caglostro (1975) - Sub-Ken Russell biopic with Curd Jurgens.

Deadly  Strangers (1975) - HTVsleaze.

Evil Eye (1975) - Asinine sexy Mexican giallo.

Tiempos duros para Drácula (1975) - Terrible comedy with Jose Lifante as a sentimental, cello-playing Hispanic Paddy Drac.

Yeti -Giant of the 20th Century (1977) - Not bad Italo-Canadian Kong knockoff shot at Cinecitta. Unlike most real Canadian films, it actually tries to be as overtly Canuck as possible, lots of RCMP, views of the CN tower, Maple leaves and even a weird Lassie/Littlest Hobo-type subplot. Was this also made to cash in on the faux-Canadian Jack London adaps swarming Rome's studios at this time?

Brass Target (1978)-  Peculiar all-star WW2  conspiracy   giallo.  Rewatch.

Blackbirds Mystery (1983) - Peculiar Soviet Marple. Has  guerrilla footage of a train station with ads  for Local Hero and Hot  Fantasies, and a blacked-up Mr. Mash-alike gardener. And a setting that has period costumes and Rubik's cubes.
Ten Little Indians (1987) - An unusual film. More Soviet Agatha Christie. In fact, Vladimir Zeldin is in both. It looks good, but in being so close to the book, it becomes cold, bleak and depressing.

Hard  to be a God    (1989)  -  Better than the  recent version. Indebted to Highlander  and Dune. Ok.ru

Split Second (1992) - Jason Watkins pops up, age 26, looking as old as he does now. Dreary, badly-shot sci-fi noir set in a flooded London with Rutger Hauer.

Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb (1993) - Beautiful but disturbing British stop-motion opus, Eraserhead meets Terry Pratchett's Truckers.

The Pearl (2001) - Never have I seen a film so accurately capture the mood and feel of a 70s exploitation Europudding. Ageing Mexican exploitation director Alfredo Zacarias, the man behind The Bees directs this extremely De Laurentiis/ITC/Towers-ish Steinbeck adap. An ageing, Dumbledore-rasp-voiced Richard Harris pops up.

The Fall of the House of Usher (1960) - Nicely shot, but cheapskate. Ok.rued.

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