Monday, September 29, 2014

The Incredible Petrified World (1958)

An American adventure directed by Jerry Warren, starring John Carradine.
A group of people try to explore the deep ocean in a diving bell, but get cut off from their surface contact. After the mishap with the bell, they don scuba gear and swim into a network of caves that are supplied with air by a volcano.
The lackluster plot and "B" acting made this generally uninteresting. It looked and sounded older than '58 to me, so we've got poor production value as well. I know what crappy movies are and don't feel the need to get verbose about it. I rate this bad for being poorly made and boring. Don't watch it.

The Giant Gila Monster (1959)

An American science fiction directed by Ray Kellogg.
A hot rod car mechanic helps the police to find and eliminate a giant lizard that is causing accidents on roads and rails.
Talk about off-topic! This movie was more about the hot rod mechanic than the monster. The plot was focused on him as the main character and time was alotted for singing and playing the banjolele. Now I have nothing against '50s rock songs played upon the banjolele, but isn't this a movie about a giant gila monster? The lizard gets about 2 minutes total screen time and the singing mechanic gets about an hour. Because they got distracted and went off on a tangent, I rate this poor. Watch it if you like '50s pop-rock songs and banjoleles.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Galaxy Invader (1985)

An American science fiction by Don Dohler.
An alien lands on Earth and is hunted by a gang of rednecks who want to sell it. A teacher and one of his former students enlist the help of the daughter of one of the rednecks to save the alien from them.
This was definitely unique. I liked the vague and muddy plot because I feel that it accurately portrays how a lone alien would be treated on his visit to our planet. The soundtrack was also not too shabby, with stylized synthesizer music in a classic science fiction type theme. What was bad was the acting, editing and general production value. It looked like some dude filmed it on a camcorder with the help of his friends and neighbors. This is a prime example of a good idea with poor presentation. I'll rate it o.k. for the above stated reasons. You may want to watch it if you're really into independent films.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Day the Sky Exploded (1958)

An Italian science fiction directed by Paolo Heush.
A manned rocket is launched into space and there are technical problems, causing the pilot to eject and return safely. The rest of the rocket continues into space where it alters the course of asteroids, which are now headed toward the Earth.
Italian trash! The plot was boring and the characters didn't matter in the least. Bad audio included a "WWWWWUUUOOOOOAAAAEEEEIIII!" sound that repeated quite frequently. Bad video contained no aliens, robots or foreign worlds and was dull to watch. I don't feel the need to continue berating this snoozer. I rate it shit. Don't watch it.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Doppelherz (2003)

An American art film by Marilyn Manson.
Dark scenes are shown with the filmmaker and some other people in uncomfortable settings. Repetitive music is played and phrases are repeatedly spoken.
Repetition is what this film was about. It accomplished this goal within the first few seconds, so it's a good thing that it was only 25 minutes long. It does get female anatomy points though. At one point, the filmmaker states that the film was made to upset the viewer and this was accomplished as well. Repitition of music, spoken phrases and dark scenes gets old really fast. Given that this was the purpose of the film, as stated in the film, I rate it adequate. It did what it was meant to do. Whether you should watch it or not is for you to decide.

The Corpse Vanishes (1942)

An American mystery directed by Wallace Fox, starring Bela Lugosi.
After several brides die at their weddings and their corpses are stolen in transit to the funeral home, a newspaper journalist investigates the story. All of the brides were wearing a special flower that is traced to a scientist.
This was a dismal attempt at filmmaking. The acting was sub-par and the editing left much to be desired. The audio and video were a little less than standard for the time and there wasn't much style to speak of. The journalist character was alright, but the rest were extras and I found the plot unamusing. Generally, it just wasn't worth watching. I rate it bad.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Brain/Head That Wouldn't Die (1962)

An American science fiction directed by Joseph Green.
A scientist keeps his fiancee's head alive after she is decapitated in a car accident. While he is trying to find her a new body, her head is conspiring with something locked behind a door to kill him.
This was a very bad movie. I mean so bad it's funny kind of bad. The plot was so stupid and the science so preposterous that it can't be taken seriously. The production value was a little on the shitty side as well, with less than ideal audio, video and editing. I don't see why it had to be an hour and 22 minutes long when I could have fit that plot into about 15 minutes. I sat here for the whole time waiting to see some unthinkable lovecraftian monstrosity come out of the closet. When the closet door opened and the tall guy with a mask on came out I began to want the last hour twenty of my life back. I rate this bad. If you want to watch and mock, please do so without me.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Brain Machine (1977)

An American science fiction directed by Joy N. Houck Jr.
A secret government study is about to be conducted. One man steals paperwork, escapes and is killed. The study involves a group of people in a room with a computer system that can monitor their vital signs and thoughts.
I liked how accurate this was about the government covering up anything they don't want known. The premise was alright, but I think that it could have been executed better. There was too much extra filler in the plot and the characters were not developed enough. The editing, audio and video were adequate, but I think it lacked definitive style. It reminded me a little of Cube (1997), but was just not as interesting. I rate it o.k. because it's just a regular, mediocre movie. If you truly have nothing else to do, this might kill some time.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Hokusai Returns: Japan's Greatest Ukiyo-e Artist (1987)

A Japanese television documentary produced by Tokyo Broadcasting System, narrated by Nigel Robins.
A collection of woodcuts by a Japanese ukiyo-e artist are brought from a museum in America to Japan where they are faithfully printed by skilled craftsmen.
Hmmm... A 1987 film about Japanese art... What do you think I will say? It's WONDERFUL! It shows the actual printing of the woodcuts, which is very interesting and the images themselves are my newest obsession, making them the coolest thing since the invention of the wheel. The narration does get a little dry at times and the video quality was a little blurry/grainy on youtube. Small technical issues aside, I rate it good. Watch this if you like art or are interested in traditional Japanese culture.

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Atomic Brain A.K.A. Monstrosity (1963)

An American science fiction horror film directed by Joseph V. Mascelli, starring Marjorie Eaton.
A wealthy old woman hires a scientist to work on brain transplants. She also hires 3 young female servants so that she can choose the most beautiful one to have her brain transplanted into. As the plan nears fruition, various conflicts arise.
I was sitting through most of the duration just wanting it to end. Then, during the last few minutes, it suddenly got really good and I ended up enjoying it. The plot was so full of holes that it was like swiss cheese and the characters were stereotypically shallow (except one!). One of the characters has very little dialogue through most of the film and displays relative depth only at the end. The audio was terrible quality and the music was poorly chosen. It was difficult to hear the distorted dialogue and the music included absurdly out of place happy sections synchronized with character movement. I rate this o.k. If you choose to watch it, be prepared to suffer through the majority for the good ending.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Invisible Strangler A.K.A. The Astral Factor (1977)

An American science fiction crime film directed by John Florea, starring Robert Foxworth and Stefanie Powers.
A prisoner escapes prison by becoming invisible and uses this power to strangle beautiful women. Detectives try to catch him.
This was stupid and boring. The plot had some holes and the characters were shallow. The editing was poor and so were the audio and video. Despite the nature of the strangler's victims, no female anatomy points were earned. It's just another crappy movie from the late '70s. I don't believe there is anything else to say about it. I rate it poor and you probably shouldn't watch it.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Ape (1940)

An American horror drama produced and directed by William Nigh, starring Boris Karloff.
A scientist is trying to cure a woman's polio and an ape escapes from the circus. After killing the ape, the scientist uses it's skin as a disguise in order to murder people and harvest their spinal fluid for his polio cure.
The plot was stupid and I cared not for the characters. The editing or audio was poor quality because there were needle-drop thump/clicks frequently. There being nothing to notice and write about speaks for itself. I rate this bad. Don't watch it.

The Amazing Transparent Man (1960)

An American science fiction directed by Edgar G. Ulmer.
A former army major keeps a scientist with an invisibility ray in his home. The major then gets a safe cracker to turn invisible to steal nuclear materials to help work on the invisibility ray.
The plot didn't make much sense to me and the characters were not memorable. The special effects for invisibility looked alright, but the actors were not very good at petting the guinea pig that just wasn't there. At only 57 minutes in length, there just isn't anything therein the film either. It was a film made solely for financial reasons and it's all filler to me. No substance, in a word, vapid. I rate it bad. Don't watch it.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Perception of Beauty - Shock Art (2014)

An art documentary by Adam Miller.
The filmmaker explains the socio-political role of shock art in modern culture. He talks about expressionism, surrealism, internet freedom and hipsters. When he talks about these things, he also explains how they help the ruling elite of America and the world to further their agenda of control.
FUCKING BRILLIANT!!!! This guy knows what's going on! The information is clearly presented with references cited and examples shown. The video is full of eye-catching images and the audio has appropriate music with audible dialogue. I really liked the voiceover about the vapidity of hipster culture and them jumping on their fixies. Another thing that caught my attention was the mention of Jackson Pollock working for the CIA. He discusses desensitization through repeated viewing of horrific scenes very effectively by using the example of shock art. I rate this best and recommend that anyone who is interested to watch it because it's on youtube.

Space Invasion of Lapland (1959)

A Swedish American science fiction directed by Virgil W. Vogel.
An object lands in Sweden and a large, furry monster appears to kill reindeer, kidnap a girl, cause avalanches and wreck small housing structures.
The plot was full of holes and very vague about exactly what caused what to happen. The characters were shallow and stereotypical. Judging by the photography style and music, I would have placed this in the late '40s. There was a brief scene where they tried to get all artsy-fartsy with the camera by following a hammer, but it looked terrible. The young woman had very bad luck when skiing with the young man, as he snaked her in one scene and she crashed into a bush in another. The monster was actually shown decently and it looked like a man in a suit walking through slightly scaled down sets. Overall, it was shoddy workmanship on a less than interesting movie. I rate it poor. This film is only to be watched by those writing film blogs so that they can warn others away from it.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Teenage Zombies (1959)

An American science fiction film written, produced and directed by Jerry Warren.
A mad scientist who is developing mind control gas kidnaps a group of teens on a boating trip. When other teens realize that their friends are missing, they go to law enforcement, but to no avail. All the teens work together to free themselves from the mad scientist.
Not a good movie. The plot was overly complex for the simple story that was told and too many things were implied instead of being said or shown. The characters were less than two-dimensional to the point that it seemed everyone was an extra. The action sequence (there was only one) looked overthought, overchoreographed and super-fake. Also, there was a night scene that was filmed in broad daylight. In fact, there was nothing good about this film. I rate it bad. Don't watch it.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Hercules the Invincible A.K.A. Son of Hercules in the Land of Darkness (1964)

An Italian sword and sandal action adventure directed by Alvaro Mancori and Lewis Mann.
A strongman gets mixed up in conflict after rescuing a princess. The ungrateful king orders a dragon tooth, but the hero needs the help of a witch who also wants the tooth in order to get it. Meanwhile, the royal family's entire population of their kingdom is taken hostage by a group of people who live inside a volcano.
More Italian trash. The Hercules/Maciste/etc character bends bars, breaks chains and pushes rocks as usual. At least there was a lame-ass dragon this time. The production value was extremely low, with washed out and overexposed video. The catchy theme song was the only good audio and the editing was horrific. The dragon and theme song just barely bring this up to a poor rating.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon (1943)

An American crime mystery directed by Roy William Neill, starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce.
The iconic detective competes with a master criminal in a quest for bomb sight parts. An encrypted message leads to 4 scientists who are working on separate parts of the device and the inventor is caught in the middle of this turmoil.
I thought that this film was quite well-made and interesting. I may have just happened to be in the mood to pay attention to a mystery being unravelled. The black and white video is clear, with no parts being to dark, grainy, blurry or washed out. The audio is easy to hear and dead air hiss is at a minimum. The plot and characters were presented very clearly as well. One thing that I noticed was that when Watson would approach someone, he would do so in a cloud of pipe smoke or blow the smoke directly at them. There was one occasion on which he approached Sherlock Holmes and blew a big puff right in his face from point-blank range. Overall, I think that this was a high quality film and I rate it good. You should watch it if you are at all interested in the Sherlock Holmes franchise.

Monday, September 15, 2014

She Gods of Shark Reef (1958)

A Hawaiian American adventure film directed by Roger Corman.
A pair of brothers are shipwrecked in a storm near an island that has a reef nearby. One of the brothers is a criminal and the other is the captain of the boat that sinks. They find only women on the island who have vague superstitions about sharks and the nearby reef.
This is one of those films where I ask myself why it was made. Being of such low production value and having a name that has nothing to do with the plot, my assumption would be for the small amount of money that would be made by it. Another question brought up is the female island population's form of reproduction. Is it anything like that of the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park? The simple plot was full of holes and only mildly interesting at best. Some of the island women were good looking, but no female anatomy points were earned. The video was super-grainy and the audio was very treble oriented. There was a short sequence involving traditional Hawaiian music and this was probably the best scene in the entire film for that reason. I rate it poor because it's just not worth watching.

Scrooge (1935)

A British fantasy drama directed by Henry Edwards, starring Seymour Hicks.
Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol story is told. A stingy and unkind old man is visited by ghosts of past, present and future to teach him moral lessons about Christmas.
This is the first talky version of this film and Seymour Hicks also starred in the 1913 silent film as well as stage renditions of the same. I think that the well known plot and characters were presented clearly and in a way that holds the viewer's attention. The audio was amazingly good for such an early film and the black and white video looked adequate. The only issue that I have with this is the ghost of Christmas future. In newer versions, this ghost is a grim reaper-like character who is shown. In this film, only a shadow of his hand is seen on screen. Given the early date of this film and compared with other films from that time period, I think that this was pretty well made. I rate it good. If you have seen more than one other version of this story, you should probably check this one out.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Queen of the Amazons (1947)

An American adventure film produced and directed by Edward Finney, starring Robert Lowery.
A woman goes on a safari in Africa to search for her lost husband. The husband has entered into a romantic relationship with a woman who is the leader of a group there.
Yet another jungle crawl film. The plot and characters were clearly presented and easy to keep track of. The audio and video were pretty normal and standard for the time. The cook's stylized monologue stood out to me and there was a moment in which a spear is thrown and I thought I saw it impale a person (pictured), but it didn't. Standard standard, boring boring, whatever. I rate this poor for not being special in any way.

Planet Outlaws (1953)

An American action science fiction film directed by Ford Beebe and Saul A. Goodkind, starring Buster Crabbe and Anthony Warde.
After his dirigible crashes, an American soldier and his friend are frozen for 500 years in suspended animation. Being found in the future, they are revived and help the future people of Earth fight an interplanetary tyrant who turns men into mindless drones using helmets.
I can't really tell if this is so bad that it's good or just plain bad. The spaceships sound like leafblowers and when travelling through space, they look like they are flying through Earth sky with clouds. The hero's great plans are obvious, proving that the antagonist is stupid. It was in black and white and there was a little bit of dead air hiss on the audio. The plot was on the murky side because of this being edited from a serial.
For those who aren't familiar with serial films, a description: In the first half of the 20th century in America, movie theaters would play a short chapter of a multi-part series called a serial before the feature films. These sections always ended in cliffhangers with the hero in a perilous situation to encourage returns to view the next chapter.
Considering the history lesson and the "so bad it's good" nature of the film. I have to give this a weird pink rating. Beats me whether you should watch it or not.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Phantom from Space (1953)

An American science fiction film produced and directed by W. Lee Wilder.
An unidentified object is seen flying and disappears in California. Radio disturbances are tracked in that area and some people are found who have been attacked by a being in a suit. The FCC then tracks the radio disturbances to find the person in the suit, assuming that the two things are connected. They corner the suit person, who strips and the FCC take the suit away for testing. Now naked and invisible, the suit person tries to get the suit back and scares a lab assistant as the FCC tries to capture this unknown being.
This is pretty standard fare for a '53 science fiction film. The audio and video weren't bad. The plot and characters could be followed. However, it lacked any type of style or substance. It seems like it was made just to make a movie and no real thought was put into it. To quote reviewer, Glenn Erickson, the director "hit his groove of incompetence" with this film. Erickson also cites "Endless talky scenes". I rate it poor for being so dismally mediocre.

Panic (1982)

A Spanish Italian horror film directed by Tonino Ricci.
A professor is infected with a disease that turns him into a monster. He escapes from the laboratory and starts killing people. The police and military try to track him down as his lab assistant works to find an antidote.
I could tell that this film was Italian while watching and before researching. The video was dark and the plot was shaky at best. We don't get to actually see the monster until the very end and I spent about half of the film waiting for a giant mutated rat. Since this is just one more Italian crapfactory flick, I don't see the need for a long review. I rate it bad.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

An American horror film directed by George A. Romero.
When dead people start getting up and attacking the living, a group of people congregate inside a house.
This is one of the few horror films that actually scared me the first time I watched it. Even watching it again is a little creepy. It's just made so well and with such style. The video is a little dark and shadowy, but still clear. The audio is a little on the nasty side, but it works so well in this context. I really liked the gloomy synthesizer soundtrack. Plotwise, there are multiple types of conflict going on and the characters each get a little bit of back-story. Amazing camera-work, fitting setting/set, top quality acting, etc... Everything just comes together so nicely into a scary film. When a horror film can scare me, I have to rate it best. This is definitely one to watch for anyone interested in horror movies or films that are made very well.

Murder by Television A.K.A. The Houghland Murder Case (1935)

An American mystery film directed by Clifford Sanforth, starring Bela Lugosi.
On the night that an inventor is demonstrating his new television transmission invention, he is murdered. A police chief must find the murderer among those in attendance at the demonstration.
What a snoozer! This was so boring that it hurt to watch. The loud dead air whoosh, crackle and hiss didn't help matters. With a talking movie this boring and bad audio, nothing else really matters. I rate it shit because I turned it off at 44/54 minutes. Don't watch it.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Daikyoju Gappa (1967)

A Japanese science fiction daikaiju film directed by Haruyasu Noguchi.
A group of workers are sent on an expedition to tropical islands by the boss of a magazine. Their mission is to collect exotic birds and animals for a theme park. When they stop at an island, a hidden cave in a mountain opens and they discover the hatching egg of a giant monster inside. Filled with dreams of wealth and glory, they bring the baby monster home with them.
Apparently, this film was supposed to be a satire of the Japanese daikaiju films of the time that lost it's humor in the English translation. It definitely poked fun at the genre with toy tanks and missle launchers. The "monster stomping city" scenes were way over the top and their duration was at the expense of plot. Speaking of plot, that was simple and the pacing was exceedingly slow. I did like the monsters and they were a major part of the film. However, the overly simplified plot, slow pacing and endless city stomping scenes proved to detract too much from the film for it to be a good daikaiju movie. The ending is really sappy to the point that it warmed my cold, mechanical heart. This is a film for hardcore Japanese monster movie fans. I rate it o.k.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Metamorphosis: The Alien Factor (1990)

An American science fiction horror film directed by Glenn Takajian.
A scientist who is researching samples of aliens is bitten by an experiment. When his daughters fail to hear from him, they go to the laboratory and find that their father has turned into an alien monster.
Stop-motion alien monsters will always impress me. The ones in this film are creative and receive a good amount of screen time. The style reminds me a little bit of Full Moon Productions, with emphasis placed on moving the plot forward and special effects. The audio and video were both fine quality and the daughters of the scientist were good looking. There isn't much to write about this film, but that is a good thing in this case. If you're like me and are looking for a movie with good monsters, this would be one to watch. I rate it awesome.

Metamorphosis (1990)

An Italian American science fiction horror film directed by George Eastman.
A genetic researcher faces a tight deadline because his funding will be taken away if he does not report the details of his research. In light of this, he injects himself with a chemical that is supposed to stop the aging process. His experiment is successful, but turns him into a monster.
Not to be confused with Metamorphosis: The Alien Factor (1990), this film reminded me of Altered States (1980). The plot and characters kept my attention, but the production was poor quality and the video was really dark. The audio was actually good, with the only annoying section being a telephone ring that the scientist would not answer and was driving him crazy. This was a good use of a repetitive and annoying sound, which is extremely rare in films. Even though the date of the film's release was 1990, the style was stuck in the '80s. It is difficult to discern whether this was a good or bad style choice. There was a classic '80s blue-lighted sex scene at about 30 minutes in, but no female anatomy points were earned. The music for this scene seemed to be a strange choice with vintage synthesizers and not enough groovy bass. If you liked Altered States, you may want to watch this so you can appreciate that film more. I rate it adequate.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Mesa of Lost Women (1953)

An American science fiction horror film directed by Ron Ormond and Herbert Tevos, starring Jackie Coogan.
A scientist creates hybrid insect women and a group of people crash their plane near his laboratory.
The soundtrack of this film is what made me turn it off. The dissonant piano and tremolo-picked guitar would have driven me insane if I did not stop it. The same repetitive music continues through the whole film and at 54 minutes, I could take no more. The audio is crystal clear. Maddeningly so. The video is black and white, pretty standard for '53. I thought that the plot and characters had some potential and liked the big fake spider in the lab. With Jackie Coogan (Uncle Fester of Adams Family fame) playing Doctor Aranya, they definitely cast the film appropriately. I have to rate it shit because I turned it off. Do not watch this film unless you really, really like the music.

Last Woman on Earth (1960)

An American science fiction drama directed and produced by Roger Corman.
A mysterious apocalypse exterminates human life on Earth while a trio of scuba divers are underwater. The cause of this is implied to have something to do with air or a lack of oxygen. The trio consists of a gambler, his wife and his lawyer. The men end up competing with each other for the love of the woman.
The plot was so predictable and stale that I lost interest quickly. The characters were limited and easy to keep track of. The audio and video were standard for the time, although the video was in black and white. I think that the length was inappropriately long and that this story could have been told in half an hour like a Twilight Zone episode. I rate this poor for being stale and predictable, but not painful.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Lady Frankenstein (1971)

An Italian science fiction horror directed by Mel Welles and Aureliano Luppi, starring Rosalba Neri.
Dr. Frankenstein's daughter decides to help her father with his work of reanimating corpses. After a successful experiment, the monster kills the doctor and escapes from the castle to kill townspeople. The daughter makes a plan with her father's assistant to put his brain into the body of a retarded boy who helps with menial labor in the castle.
Female anatomy points galore! Apparently, not all '70s Italian films are bad. The women in this film were all perfect: not so thin that they lack breasts and not too fat. They were all quite beautiful with their seductive eyes and long, flowing hair. The actual plot of the film, although slightly creative, becomes an afterthought as this borders on soft-core pornography. The audio is a little annoying and raspy while the video is a little dark and grainy. Costumes, the lack thereof and their removal were all good. I rate this good. Watch it for obvious reasons.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Kong Island (1968)

An Italian adventure film directed by Roberto Mauri, starring Marc Lawrence.
A mad scientist uses radio transmitters to control the minds of wild gorillas. He has his gorillas kidnap a woman and a search party tries to find her in the jungle. While there, the leader of the search finds a woman in the jungle who helps find the missing woman.
I imagine that this is called Kong Island because the people who made it were so simple-minded that they occupied any spare time by chewing kong dog toys. It really was a terrible movie with a stale and overused plot that was difficult to follow. The characters were a little hard to keep track of as well, besides the topless jungle vixen. The video was dark and poor quality with abrasive and annoying audio. I thought that the filmmakers' choice of music was inappropriate as well. Here we are having exciting adventures in Africa to the tune of relaxing Hawaiian music? NO! WRONG! With these negative marks against it in important areas, it cannot be saved by topless jungle vixen. This is mostly because her hair was always shielding certain body parts from view. I rate it bad.

Killers from Space (1954)

An American science fiction film directed and produced by W. Lee Wilder, starring Peter Graves.
A scientist is missing during a nuclear test. Upon his return, he is acting weird, steals military documents and crashes his car in the area of the test. When he is drugged at the hospital, he tells a story of alien abduction and the aliens' plans to take over the Earth. Nobody believes him and they treat him as a mental patient.
This is about how I feel all the time. I know the aliens want to kill us and see clear evidence that their plan is working. When I tell anyone, the ideas are dismissed as rumors and hoaxes regardless of how much evidence that is in plain view that I site. Good luck checking Facebook from within a mass grave! We have different aliens in the "real world" and they have different plans. I wish that the solution were as simple as in this film. The audio was amazingly clear and free of dead air hiss for the date and the video looked alright, if pretty standard. The closeup shots of spiders and lizards did not convince me that they were giant, even with the actor standing in front. This scene was my favorite not because of the giant creepy crawlies idea, but because I like nature photography. Obviously, I liked the plot and thought that the characters displayed a realistic response to the conflict. I liked this film more for the ideas than the actual movie itself. I rate it adequate for giving me a good example to type about.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Alien Zone A.K.A. House of the Dead (1978)

An American horror film directed by Sharron Miller.
A man who is cheating on his wife with another married woman shelters from the rain in the house of a mortician who displays bodies to him and relates the story of how each person died.
This film was very difficult to track down information about. The style is definitely cult '70s and the video was extremely dark and totally blackscreened in many sections. The stories reminded me of Tales from the Dark side/Tales from the Crypt pulp horror, with characters being few in number, easy to identify and short-lived. I liked how each person was killed in a poetic or ironic manner. I'm keeping this one because it's just so rare and underground that I will not be able to see it again if I don't. I rate it o.k. because it wasn't really all that great, but the back-story of the film itself makes it cooler.

Horror Express (1972)

A Spanish British science fiction horror film directed by Eugenio Martin, starring Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing.
A scientist brings a box onto a train which enrages a religious fanatic. The box supposedly contains the remains of an apelike creature said to be the missing link. After the ape escapes, people begin to be found dead with white eyes and smooth brains (graphic autopsy scene). It is eventually found that the thing from the box contained a consciousness which travels through it's victims.
I'm too sick to think clearly, so a short review. The style is that of cult horror films of the time. The plot was interesting, but most characters were not. Father Pujardov was the most interesting character. The audio was typical of cult horror film of the time as well, meaning loud and annoying. If the audio wasn't so gratingly abrasive, it would have gotten a better review. I rate it o.k. Watch this if you like Suspiria (1977) and stuff like that.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Gamera (1965)

A Japanese daikaiju science fiction film directed by Noriaki Yuasa.
After an airplane discharges a nuclear weapon, a giant turtle is awakened by the blast. During an early rampage in search of fire to eat, the giant turtle saves a Japanese boy from falling off a lighthouse. The boy then follows the progress of all the armies of the world to defeat Gamera.
This was not quite as good as the films which feature Gamera as a protagonist because of my fascination with monsters, beasts and creatures in general. The lack of another giant monster to fight effected the film similarly. It was still that same vintage style of cheesy-cool that all giant monster films are. I believe that the band playing the Gamera song was using my favorite guitars, Teiscos. I'm rating this adequate because of these reasons.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

First Spaceship on Venus (1960)

An East German Polish science fiction directed by Kurt Maetzig.
After a cylinder containing an audio message is found on Earth, a spaceship and crew are set up and leave for Venus. Once on the planet, they have various adventures exploring the foreign world.
The antiquated ideas about space travel and outdated film production methods are apparent, but what is also apparent is that they were actually trying to make a good movie. The characters are identifiable and some of them even have some back-story. The plot is easy to follow and mostly makes sense. The sets are large and have some type of style and the special effects work with that same theme. I think that the overall quality of the film was low, probably due to an equally low budget and that the story itself may not have been the best. One thing that would have added a great deal to this film is an encounter with living beings on Venus. I'm rating it o.k. because they really tried to make a movie here.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Eegah: The Name Written in Blood (1962)

An American fantasy comedy film by Arch Hall Sr., starring Richard Kiel.
A caveman who has survived into the '60s just by living a long time is found by some people. He takes a father and daughter team to his cave, but they escape with the aid of a teenager with a magic guitar that sounds like a whole band. The caveman then wanders into a suburban area.
The plot and characters are so bad they're good. The soundtrack really gave this film some style. When the dude starts singing and playing his guitar, it sounds like a whole band is playing (and usually without a guitar part). His voice even changes. Hilarious! The production was total crap and everything looked and sounded cheap like Teisco Japanese made cheap. I think that the grass was astroturf! When a movie is so bad that it's entertainingly good, I tend to split the difference and rate it o.k. Watch this to laugh because this is the kind of comedy that I get.

Gamera vs Viras A.K.A. Destroy All Planets (1968)

A Japanese Daikaiju science fiction film directed by Noriaki Yuasa.
Aliens kidnap a pair of boys who must escape so Gamera can defeat the aliens.
This was super-cool. The movie is composed of 3 monster fights. The first one is Gamera against a reptile, second with a bird and in the third fight, Gamera battles a squid. I remember being very young and watching monster movies with my friend. We were watching lame Godzilla movies. We would have been totally blown away by Gamera! This is what Daikaiju monster movies are about: most of the film is giant monster fights, with very little other plot. The special effects are lame, hokey, etc, and that makes them that much better. My only issue with this type of film is that the pacing is really slow for some reason. Other than that, it's great. I rate this awesome.