Thursday 8 August 2019

Psychotronic post-1950 72

House by the River (1950 - B/W) - Staid, violent noir by Fritz Lang.

So Young, So Bad (1950 - B/W) - Paul Henreid in reform school schlock. Anne Francis and Rita Moreno pop up. Produced by the Danzigers.

The House in the Square (1951 - B/W) - Slushy time-travel fantasy. Tyrone Power falls in love in the 18th Century. By Roy Ward Baker.

Cloudburst (1951 - B/W) - Typical Hammer thriller lacking in much action.

The Hoodlum (1951 - B/W) - Cheapjack gangster crud with Lawrence Tierney.

Geisha Girl (1952 - B/W) - White saviour thing with Martha Hyer, basically My Geisha is a spy.

Models Inc. (1952 - B/W) - Hal E. Chester-produced noir made for mild titillation.

Beware My Lovely (1952 - B/W) - Ida Lupino reacts as Robert Ryan looks over, menacingly, and walks out. Again, I watch noir just to see if my taste changes.See also on Dangerous Ground (1951 - b/w).

The Hitchhiker (1953 - B/W) - Ida Lupino directs arguments in the desert.

The Kidnappers (1953 - B/W) - Syrupy faux-Canadian Scottish western-type almost-CFF-like thing with Theodore Bikel and Jean Anderson.

The Blue Gardenia (1953 - B/W) - Typical 50s noir by Lang, but hey - at least, Nat King Cole sings a song.

Attila (1954) - Despite Sophia Loren and Anthony Quinn, a typical peplum.

Pickup on South Street (1953 - B/W) - Grimy, repetitive Widmark noir. Young Richard Kiley! Sam Fuller directing.

Secret of the Incas (1954) - Raiders with Heston. An artifact of exotica. Peru looks like Wicklow.

Human Desire (1954 - B/W) - Glenn Ford and Broderick Crawford repeat the same scenes  on a train and on land.

Suddenly (1954 - B/W) - Sinatra does noir. Not great. Typical desert town wandering.

 Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1954) - The thing is it looks like a typical cheapo colour 50s adventure, but Dan O'Herlihy's performance lifts it, despite him calling himself an Englishman with his 40s "Irishman-with-slight-elocution-lessons-but-still-recognisably-Irish" Eamonn Andrews-type accent.  I recently learnt that O'Herlihy, one of the Great Men (to quote TV Cream) is the one who gave Irish showband/panto/cabaret/tabloid star Adele "Twink" King her nickname.

Sabaka (1954) - Faux-Indian tedium with Karloff and June Foray in a rare live action role, in walnut juice, but not doing an accent. Which I was disappointed in, because I was looking forward to the Queen of Voice Acting's attempt at subcontinental twang.

Magnificent Obsession (1954) - Not quite my thing. It's nicely shot, but even the way it is shot feels sentimental.  Proper Sirk.

Hanussen (1955 - B/W) - Hmm, boring, respectable post-war biopic of a German paranormalist who knew Hitler, allegedly.

The Female Jungle (1956 - B/W) - AIP crime banality with Jayne Mansfield.

The Sword and the Dragon (1956) - Colourful Soviet time-passing fantasy.

Liane, Jungle Goddess (1956) - German jungle girl nonsense, shot in colour. A Tintin-esque Hardy Kruger is badly dubbed with a deep American accent.

Manfish (1956 - B/W) - Lon Chaney Jr. mugs in Caribbean-shot maritime peril shabbily put together and purportedly based on Poe. See also 16 Fathoms Deep (1948).

Nightfall (1957 - B/W) - Snowy noir with Anne Bancroft. Typical 50s noir look.

The Girl in the Kremlin (1957 - B/W) - Cheap and nasty Soviet tedium with a hardly girlish Zsa Zsa Gabor.

Wild Strawberries (1957 - B/W) - Bergman chronicles a holiday.

The Living Idol (1957) - Mexican Rene Cardona Cat People-type thing with Steve Forrest and James Robertson Justice. Quite nicely shot. But it draaags.

The Invisible Avenger (1957 - B/W) - More dreary adventures of the not-very-Shadow-y Shadow.

Violent Playground (1958 - B/W) - Decent crime picture, despite bad Irish accents, David McCallum sounding like Steel. Peter Cushing is a priest, sadly not doing Irish, and it's unexpectedly multicultural, Tsai Chin and Michael Chow as central characters.

Clavillazo y El Castillo de los Monstruos (1958 - B/W) - Silly, irritating sub-Cantinflas comic Clavillazo does silly naivety schtick in this silly comedy.

The Bloody Brood (1959 - B/W) - Unlikeable Canadian JD film with Peter Falk.

Green Mansions (1959) - The Audrey Hepburn superhero film. Well, kinda. Future Super-Friend Rima is a kind of Peter Pan-Tarzan. This is an odd adap, although Lee J. Cobb's incredibly watchable, strangely Guinnessesque performance as her "grandfather" is oddly believable.

Rocket Attack USA (1961 - B/W) - Amateurishness from Barry Mahon, roughly based on the Cold War.

Spiritism (1961 - B/W) - Mexican seance gubbins.

Piccadilly null Uhr 12 (1963 - B/W) - A subpar krimi, based on Francis Durbridge, rather than Wallace, cashing in on German TV's obsession with Durbridge. Still, Kinski appears. Odd phone boxes.

24 ore di terrore (1964 - B/W) - Terrible, sleazy giallo that begins at an airport, like every giallo. Pino Colizzi from Jesus of Nazareth the only identified member of cast.

Cave of the Living Dead (1964 - B/W) - Krimi-ish pedestrianism  gothic with Wolfgang Preiss.

Adventure at the Centre of the Earth (1965 - B/W) - Nonsensical Mexican cavern runaround.
See also the ridiculous singing robot/cowboy movie Ship of Monsters (1960 - B/W).

The Fool Killer (1965 - B/W) - Strange western a la Night of the Hunter with Edward Albert and Anthony Perkins.

Secret Agent Super Dragon (1966) - Idiotic Beach Party-ish faux-American Eurospy.

Aladdin and his Magic Lamp (1967) - Sumptuous but hard to follow Soviet adaptation.

Death on the Run (1967) - Forgettable Eurospy in Greece. Michael Rennie as M.

Maroc 7 (1967) - ITC-ish Eurospy.
See also The Syndicate (1968).

The Honey Pot (1967) - Godawful, smug Rex Harrison in an overlong, godawful, smug, alleged comedy. Double-Ok.rued.

Death Laid an Egg (1968) - Nonsensical giallo set on a chicken farm.

Clegg (1970) - Sleazy proto-Euston, though with a weird psychedelic layer, from Lindsay Shonteff.

Night of a Thousand Cats (1971) - Stock footage of moggies and yachts. Not much horror.

The Oval Portrait (1972) - Unusually opulent looking but slow Mexican-Canadian Poe with Barry Coe and lots of pink dresses.

Frankenstein '80 (1972) - Sleazy faux-German, not very futuristic Italian schlock.

Stateline Motel (1973) - Sleazy, unlikeable, faux-American Italian crime shite with Ursula Andress, Barbara Bach and Eli Wallach.

Steppenwolf (1974) - Max Von Sydow suddenly goes from film reality to a videotaped NTSC Chromakey nightmare-land.

Welcome to LA (1976) - Like the Never Say Never Again for Robert Altman fans.

Gold of the Amazon Women (1979) - Ooh, a promising beginning, Amazon women on the New York rooftops devolves into a bizarre, jolly, plotless wandering in the jungle.

Plague (1979) - Tedious Canadian tax shelter thriller. Along the lines of the Andromeda Strain, it reuses Kate Reid from that film, and has scenes in "Knightsbridge Infirmary", with Canadian-accented English folk. Lots of London stock footage/second unit.

Nightmares (1980) - Sleazy Aussie slasher.

Amin - The Rise and Fall (1981) - British-Kenyan biopic starring talentless lookalike Joseph Olita, supported by the likes of Geoffrey Keen, Andre Maranne, Louis Mahoney and Thomas Baptiste. Funded by British-based Kenyan-Asian corner shop magnates, Jonathan Ross is apparently one of the Israeli soldiers at Entebbe. One of the few biopics of Entebbe to portray Dora Bloch's relatives as English rather than surly Jewish Americans. Former hostage Denis Hills plays himself. Veteran UK stuntman Alf Joint's accent as the American Ambassador is non-existent. He tries to talk fast in order to sound American, but he sounds more Australian than anything.

La Cage Aux Folles II (1981) - Interesting, the wonder of .baffling Italian-French comedy.

Mystere (1983) - Unexciting giallo with Carole Bouquet in Hong Kong.

Americana (1983) - David Carradine passion project. Dave tries to rebuild a merry-go-round, Barbara Hershey looks on in bafflement.

The Aurora Encounter (1986) - Shonky, sentimental, vaguely Christian Texan western ET knockoff with Jack Elam. A kid with progeria plays the alien, and it feels so exploitative.

Deathrow Gameshow (1987) - Amateurish nonsense that licks the needed glitz.

Curse of the Blue Lights (1988) - Ambitious, promising but eventually dull horror.

Alice (1988) - Jan Svankmajer's Jackanory.

Split (1989) - Dreary but ambitious yet tacky and horrifying VT virtual reality weirdness. Has Vindaloovian-type googly-eyed chin-monsters.

Deadly Spygames (1989) - From the guy who did the Psychotronic Man, starring Troy Donahue and Tippi Hedren. Shot on VHS, with a cute robot in the prologue, and somehow shot in the Bahamas, even thanking Prime Minister Sir Linden Pidling.

Cthulhu Mansion (1991) - A 30s-style old dark house film made by JP Simon with Frank Finlay in a turban.

The Clown at Midnight (1998) - A very anodyne post-Scream Winnipeg-shot slasher balanced with an extraordinary performance by Christopher Plummer at his most mad, channeling his transgender mad-aunt in The Silent Partner, plus Margot Kidder.

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