Saturday, February 28, 2015

Our Town (1940)

An American drama directed by Sam Wood, starring William Holden.
Life in a small town at the beginning of the 1900s is shown.
Boring. This is the only version of this story to use sets and props. I tried to watch a newer one without sets one time and had to turn it off because it was putting me to sleep. Yes, this is a talking movie. No action takes place. The best part that I noticed was the editing of a match shot going from a girl walking to a chicken walking. When a minor editing setup is the best part, you know it's pretty bad. I'm going to have to go ahead and rate this shit. DO NOT WATCH!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Little Lord Fauntleroy (1936)

An American drama directed by John Cromwell.
A boy in America is informed that he is the heir of a wealthy estate in England. He is brought there where he develops a relationship with his grandfather, but another heir appears.
This was quite uninteresting. The plot and characters were lame and the production value was poor. I shouldn't have to describe what audio and video from 1936 are like, as I have done so many times in the past. It wasn't painful and there were no mistakes, but I just did not like it. I rate it poor.

Jane Eyre (1934)

An American romantic drama directed by Christy Cabanne, starring Virginia Bruce.
The story of the eventful life of a woman in England is told. An adopted girl from an abusive home leaves for school or goes back to the orphanage (depending upon the version of this story that you see) where she stays until she becomes a teacher. After an argument with the headmaster over discipline, she leaves and gets a job as a governess, taking care of the daughter of a rich family. She falls in love with the uncle, but her employment takes her away from him.
I actually liked the plot and characters. I remember my mom and sister being really into this story a long time ago when I did not have the patience for it. The main character is portrayed very well as being an honest and caring person. She does her best to stand up for what is right. You can go on Wikipedia if you want to read their gigantic article about the morals of this story. The audio and video were absolutely prehistoric to the point where I thought I was in for a silent film at the beginning. Video artifacts, lines and noise are everywhere onscreen. Dead air hiss, crackles and pops can be heard. If you can get past the primitive production, the acting is good and there's a good story hidden in there somewhere. I rate it adequate.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

A Star Is Born (1937)

An American romantic drama directed by William A. Wellman, starring Janet Gaynor and Fredric March.
A country girl longs to be a Hollywood star. With her grandmother's savings, she goes to the city and rents a room at a boarding house. A fellow boarder befriends her and offers her a job that leads to a relationship with a falling star.
The plot and characters were relatively interesting. The old time style didn't help communication-wise, but I watched it anyway. The video was hideous and the audio made me cringe. Amazingly, it's in color. Correct exposure was out of their grasp. Such a pre-historic artifact should be handled with care. SMASH IT ON THE GROUND! It must never be watched! Because it caused no pain, had no editing mistakes and was not annoying, I have to rate it poor. Far better than it deserves.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Gulliver's Travels (1939)

An American animated fantasy comedy directed by Dave Fleischer.
The prince of one kingdom and the princess of another are about to get married. Unable to decide upon a song for the wedding, the kings declare war. A giant man is found on the beach of the princess' kingdom and he help to solve the problem.
The animation style is very primitive and very American. This is most evident in character design. It is also the element of the film that I found most annoying. The voice acting was also annoying to me. The plot was basic with only a few main characters. I know it's the first non-Disney American animated full length film. I am unimpressed. Poor rating. Only watch it if you're really into the historical value.

The Sin of Harold Diddlebock A.K.A. Mad Wednesday (1947)

An American comedy written, directed and produced by Preston Sturges, starring Harold Lloyd.
A man is fired from his job and given a pension. He meets a stranger on the street who is trying to borrow money from him. The stranger takes him to a bar where the bartender creates a special drink for the unemployed man. Upon becoming drunk, he accidentally wins money by betting on a horse race. He then blacks out and wakes up two days later with no memory of what happened.
The plot and characters definitely held my interest. There was always something going on. The audio and video were of the times and there was an editing mistake in the bar scene. I thought the comedy was actually funny, unlike most other comedic films. Another aspect that caught my attention was the character figuring out what he did the day before by what was going on in the present. It helped to make the plot more interesting. The tame lion was a really cool addition as well. I rate good. Watch it for the clean '40s humor.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Beyond Tomorrow A.K.A. An So Goodbye (1940)

An American drama directed by E. Edward Sutherland.
When a trio of friends find that their dinner guests for christmas eve are not coming, they make a wager. Each of them throws a wallet into the street with $10 and his business card. They attract 2 dinner guests before they die and the story follows the lives of these guests.
This was boring and barely held my attention to follow the plot. The fact that it is an old talking movie did not incite my interest. Primitive black and white video was coupled with a slow soundtrack and the characters' voices. They did a double exposure effect to make some of the characters look like ghosts (picture). I rate it tolerable. If you have something else to do and want a movie playing while you practice guitar for example, this would work.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Sex Madness (1938)

An American exploitation drama directed and produced by Dwain Esper.
Various young adults have their lives affected by syphilis.
Making a film about sex in post-MPPcode America is like making a film about polar bears in Africa. The lack of ability to show the subject matter or even speak of it prevents an effective film from being made. The characters were hard to keep track of and the plot was necessarily vague. The audio and video were some of the worst and most primitive I have ever experienced. It wasn't painful to watch, but only displayed negative characteristics. I rate it bad.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

White Zombie (1932)

An American horror directed by Victor Halperin, starring Bela Lugosi.
Invited by a wealthy friend, a man and his fiancee go to Haiti for a pre-honeymoon. Before the marriage can take place, the woman is turned into a zombie by a magician at the request of the "friend". This wealthy man wants the woman for himself, but is disappointed with the results. A pipe smoking priest who never carries matches helps the would-be groom to retrieve his fiancee.
I've heard of films getting mixed reviews before, but this one demonstrates that far better than others. Some people think it's atmospheric, while others say the acting sucks and it was sloppily made. Both are true. There was some good camera-work that included wide angles of cool scenes (picture). The sound was wretched, as demonstrated by the bloodcurdling screams of a bird and annoying native chants. I liked how the rich sub-villain gets what he asked for, but has buyer's remorse over the girl being in a zombified state that is useless to him. Bela Lugosi's "zombie grip" was unimpressive and overemphasized. Overall, it was a crappy movie with some shots that looked alright. I rate it poor.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Child Bride A.K.A. Child Brides, Child Bride of the Ozarks, Dust to Dust (1938)

An American drama directed by Harry Revier.
A school teacher is running a campaign against underage marriage among hillbillies. A girl yokel is engaged to an older male redneck.
This is generally called an exploitation film because of the swimming scene (picture) in which the female lead is swimming nude. I am not so easily swayed by individual scenes. I would go for political drama rather than exploitation because I've seen exploitation films and this isn't it. What questionable content that there was was used in good taste and in an effort to demonstrate a point. Exploitation films generally go overboard somewhere and show something more objectionable than a naked girl. The plot was clear and the main characters easy to keep track of. I thought the audio and video were a little primitive, but nothing struck me as an error. I rate it tolerable. Even I was appalled by the young marriage, but I support indiscriminate looking without touching. It's a victimless crime like smoking cannabis.

Lycanthropus A.K.A. Werewolf in a Girls' Dormitory, The Ghoul in School, I Married a Werewolf, Monster Among the girls (1962)

An Austrian Italian horror directed by Paolo Heusch.
A new teacher is hired at a school for girls with discipline problems. At the same time, wolves are observed around the campus, girls get killed and the new teacher is suspected as the murderer.
Pretty crappy. For Italy in the '60s, this was standard though. They lacked the ability to communicate the simple plot clearly and had too many characters, most of which looked very similar. The audio and video weren't as bad as some films from this time and place that I've seen before, but they weren't good. I rate it bad. Don't watch.

Tormented (1960)

An American thriller directed by Bert I. Gordon.
A pianist with 2 girlfriends is arguing with one of them atop a lighthouse when she slips from the ledge. He hesitates too long to save her and she falls to her death. Now a fresh ghost, she haunts the musician as he prepares to marry the remaining girlfriend. Also haunting him is a beatnik ferryman who brought the girl to the island. The beatnik thinks that the pianist is keeping a harem of one and wants to extort financial gain from the situation through blackmail.
The plot and characters were mildly interesting. I thought the camera-work was decent, with good use of creative angles. The pace was a little slow and general presentation on the dry side. My favorite scene would have to be the man arguing with the head of his dead girlfriend. I'm not in the mood to mince words in an effort at creating the perfect review for this lackluster film. I rate it tolerable.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Rock & Rule A.K.A. Ring of Power (1983)

A Canadian animated science fiction musical directed by Clive A. Smith.
A band that is just starting out lets their female vocalist sing. She is heard by a rock star mad scientist magician who is planning to summon a horrible beast using the power of the girl's voice. He captures her and her band has to save her from him.
This could have been really cool. The sexuality and drug references are Bakshiesque, but everything else is lacking that certain something that puts Ralph's films over the top. The plot lacked continuity and was vague in some parts. The characters were just thrown at the viewer as if they had already been developed in another film. Since they fit so nicely into archetypes known from everything else, the development had actually occurred. I really liked the character design and the backgrounds looked cool too. The animation was a little bit uneven. Some scenes were great and others seemed lazily thrown together. Same with the pacing. At points when drawing things out would help, they rushed and when rushing was necessary, it slowed down. I thought the soundtrack sounded way more '70s than the '83 release date would indicate. The scope of the film felt small. For example, when you watch a Bakshi film like Fritz The Cat, you can imagine what might be going on off-screen. The details that you can see would allow you to fill in the blanks. Fritz smoking pot with the crow woman and all you can see is the junkyard? You know what they're doing and what it would look like. What about in that apartment over there? You know it's full of animals doing '60s stuff, right? In this film, that doesn't happen. Wizards felt big like there was a whole world full of crazy stuff off-screen and you were seeing that individual story happenning in that world. This was just what you see. Nothing else. I rate this o.k. because of inconsistency and feeling small.

The World Gone Mad A.K.A. The Public Be Hanged (1933)

An American crime film noir directed by Christy Cabanne, starring Pat O'Brien and Neil Hamilton.
A shady businessman is paid to start some trouble. Everyone else has meetings about it.
This was so boring that it hurt to watch. I believe I coined a term about talking movies a while ago, but don't remember the exact wording. I turned it off after 32 minutes of blah blah blah and a quick shootout. Rated shit, don't watch, let's move on.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Witches Mountain A.K.A. El Monte de las Brujas (1972)

A Spanish horror directed by Raul Artigot.
A photographer takes an assignment so he won't have to go on vacation with his girlfriend. He meets a new young woman at a beach who joins him as he travels to a mountain. There are witches there.
I thought this was Italian because of how bad the production was. Video exposures were off and the sound was terrible. One prime example is the cat screaming near the end. The plot was really vague and nearly pointless. Why do we see this unrelated scene in the beginning? None of the characters were developed in any way. Every time the female lead changed her clothes, I was waiting for nudity that just did not happen. My initial impression of what country it might be from says more than enough to explain why I didn't like it. I rate this poor. You probably shouldn't watch it.

The Vampire Bat (1933)

An American horror directed by Frank R. Strayer, starring Fay Wray, Dwight Frye and Melvyn Douglas.
A small town in Europe is experiencing repeated murders that look like they were done by vampires. A scientist, his daughter and the daughter's boyfriend work to solve the mystery.
This actually looked alright. Most of this was because they used sets from other, higher budget films. The plot was a little vague and I thought there were too many characters. The audio wasn't all that great. There is a joke at the end that was funny then and even funnier now. The hypochondriac old woman is complaining about health problems that don't exist and the scientist gave her epson salts. In light of the modern development of "bath salts" as the new nighmare drug, the joke gained unintended meaning. Overall, it was lackluster. I rate it poor.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Terror A.K.A. Lady of the Shadows A.K.A. The Castle of Terror A.K.A. The Haunting (1963)

An American horror directed by Roger Corman, Francis Ford Coppola, Monte Hellman, Jack Hill and Jack Nicholson, starring Boris Karloff and Jack Nicholson.
A lost soldier happens upon an old castle. Drama that unfolded years ago still causes insanity in the residents. There is a young woman around who is supposed to be dead.
This was pretty bad. Not only that, but I remember watching it before. The intro looked really cool, but the rest of the film was horrid. Bad acting did not convey the constantly twisting plot very clearly. The camera-work was alright, with some good shots of spooky castle stuff. Apparently, Boris Karloff begged Roger Corman not to make this film. Roger should have listened. I rate it shit. It should not be watched by anyone under any circumstances. I will never forgive blogger for not letting me find it on my own site and tricking me into making the mistake of watching this a second time.

Isle of the Snake People A.K.A. La Muerte Viviente A.K.A. Cult of the Dead A.K.A. Snake People (1971)

An American horror directed by Juan Ibanez, starring Boris Karloff and Julissa.
An authoritarian captain and a temperance crusader arrive on an island where voodoo is being practiced. The captain is trying to reform the police force which consists of one alcoholic and the temperance worker is the neice of a scientist on the island whom she wants to sign her anti-saloon paperwork. The teetotaling neice falls in love with the drunkard and people are being turned into zombies.
This was more comedy than horror. They hand-held the camera more than they used tripods, creating a tense atmosphere with shaky camera-work. The height of comedic greatness was the scene in which the neice is reading from a book and the policeman is trying to hit on her. Plot seemed to be an afterthought, only considered when shooting was complete for scenes featuring the scantly clad priestess dancing in rituals and closeups of snakes. So bad it's good, I laughed more while watching this than I did during the entire set of comedy films that preceeded my horror section. I rate it o.k. because it's a terrible film, but I found it funny.

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Sleeping Tiger (1954)

A British crime film noir directed by Joseph Losey, starring Alexis Smith and Dirk Bogarde.
A psychologist is attacked by a criminal on the street. Instead of turning him in to the police, he offers a home and help. As the psychologist tries to address the causative issues of the criminal's past, his wife falls in love with the criminal and they have an affair.
I really liked the plot and characters. The stuck up rich woman, tired of her boring old husband, goes for the bad boy. I thought it was technically sound with decent camera-work and passable sound. The editing made sense with the story and there were no mistakes or confusing cuts to unrelated scenes. What we've got here defines my adequate rating. It does it's job quite well, but does not make me sing it's praises. This would be one to watch if you're looking for decent public domain films.

The She Beast A.K.A. La Sorella Di Satana A.K.A. Revenge of the Blood Beast (1966)

A British Italian horror directed by Michael Reeves, starring Barbara Steele.
A man and his wife stay at an inn in Transylvania where their car is sabotaged. They crash the car into a lake where a witch was killed many years before and the wife becomes possessed by the spirit of the witch.
I could tell this was Italian by the low quality video and lack of focus on the plot. Lack of dynamic range on Italian video cameras of the '60s led to overexposed lights and underexposed darks, with no compensation being made by the operators. The framing is usually far too close, leading to confusing scenes with too much going on. The plot and characters lose emphasis when sub-plots take over most of the film. In this case, the dealings of the innkeeper and drunken Van Helsing stole the show. Editing was done in the most jarring way, with scenes suddenly and violently cutting to one another. I can see lots of the things that I hate about new American films in these old Italian disasterpieces. I rate this bad based on technical ineptitude leading to lack of communicative ability.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sumerians and The Annunaki

A Russian documentary by Zecharia Sitchin.
Sitchin explains some of his interpretations of ancient texts involving interplanetary travellers from Nibiru.
I was unable to find an official title or date for this lecture. It was the first to come up when I typed his name into youtube. I stress that he is explaining HIS INTERPRETATIONS because there are so many who would disagree with what he says. He doesn't cite references at any point, preferring to focus on his subject matter, rather than validation of it. What he says is interesting and some of his information seems valid to me. The numbering of planets and astrological knowledge of the ancients are points upon which I agree with him. Looking at the subject as a whole, I think that he had certain correct puzzle pieces that could be incorporated into an in-depth study on alien visitation. Just like any of the other speakers I've heard, they all seem to have some parts of the story and if they could all get together, a real and valid story could be constructed from the parts they each contribute. If you're unversed in the Annunaki, this talk could be quite boring. I was not bored. I'm rating this adequate. It's not the total mind-F that I would hope for, but brings up some good topics.

The Screaming Skull (1958)

An American horror directed by Alex Nicol.
A man and his second wife move into his dead ex-wife's house. The second wife has recently been released from a sanitarium after watching her parents drown in a boating accident. The man's first wife had died at the house in a pond in the garden. They meet with a local reverend and his wife who come to visit as well as the retarded gardener who grew up with the first wife. While the husband is away, the second wife is scared by a skull found in the house.
I thought that the plot and characters were relatively interesting for the most part. Figuring out who was playing with the skull kept my interest. There were some really good shots of the skull superimposed on scenes of the garden at night and an even better shot of a whole skeleton in a shroud. The audio and video were pretty crappy with dead air hiss and incorrect exposures obscuring details. I think that the black and white video worked well for the previously mentioned skull shots, but the rest of the film could have benefited from color technology. Seeing green gardens in the daytime shots would have added contrast to the "scary" night shots of the skull. Overall, I think there were good aspects to this bad movie. I rate it tolerable.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Ancient Aliens Debunked (2012)

An American documentary directed by Chris White, starring Michael Heiser.
The director and his star go about a systematic business of showing how the Discovery Channel production, Ancient Aliens is wrong. Using text translations, multiple sources and higher quality images, they cast doubt upon the tell-lie-vision series.
I knew that the Ancient Aliens series was total horsecrap without watching a 3 hour documentary on the subject. Because the discovery channel folks present so many questions without answering them and cite so few sources, I have not watched many of their works. Other folks that I DO watch have presented the same ideas though. The makers of this documentary do a very good job of showing that the "answers" in the Ancient Aliens series are wrong. The other folks that I watch have been known to come to the same conclusions that I saw the Ancient Aliens series coming to. I'm not saying that I agree with everything they say or that it makes anything clearer. For example, they show a selective view of the Ishtar Gate of Babylon to avoid depicting any dragons or unicorns. They are also very inconclusive about non-human entities procreating with human women. As I dig ever deeper into the history of this world and what is going on, I become increasingly confused about those subjects. Not only am I being lied to, but the people telling me that I'm being lied to turn out to be liars as well. Anyone can tell that Giorgio Tsoukalos is an even worse liar than Michio Kaku. Chris White points the finger at Mike T. and Dave I. as liars and I have to agree with him that at least on some points, they are misinformed. I can only conclude that the world is the meaningless cesspool that I suspected it was from an early age. As I judge documentaries based on the education vs entertainment and techno vs talk scales, this one fits my criteria and has definitely made me think. I rate it awesome. Watch it if you like having your mind wrecked on a routine basis like I do.

The Lodger A.K.A. The Phantom Fiend (1932)

A British thriller directed by Maurice Elvey.
A musician rents a room from a family. The daughter in the family hears a scream from a woman being murdered in a telephone booth.
I had to turn this off at about twenty minutes because I could not hear the dialogue. It sounded like the characters were speaking into a metal trash can. There was also significant dead air hiss, accompanied by crackles and rustling noises. The video was very poor as well. According to Wikipedia, the silent version of this was a hit while the talkie was not. I can hear why. In accordance with my turnoff policy, this gets a shit rating.

The Monster Walks (1932)

An American horror mystery directed by Frank R. Strayer.
A rich old man is dead and his relatives come to his house to hear the reading of his will. He leaves all of his money to his neice, but if she dies, his brother gets the money. There is a monkey secured in a cage and the neice is attacked by an ape-like arm that comes out of the wall by her bed.
This seems to be an alternative version of The Gorilla which was a play from 1925 made into films in 1927, 1930 and 1939. The plot is so similar with the reading of a will, a monkey in the house and the killer using a gorilla glove. The sound was a major problem with this. Dead air hiss was very loud and the actors' voices warbled and were distorted. Obviously, I was unimpressed with the plot and characters. Style was pretty standard for crappy films of the time. The pacing was quicker, resolving the stripped down plot in 59 minutes. I rate it bad for lack of originality and general poor quality.
I know I've been rating many a film poor and bad, but I'm just being honest. Seeking diamonds in the rough involves lots of rough.

Friday, February 13, 2015

The Monster Maker (1944)

An American science fiction horror directed by Sam Newfield, starring J. Carrol Naish.
A scientist poisons a pianist and says he will supply the antidote if he can marry the pianist's daughter.
The simple plot and shallow characters did not make a good story. The audio was pretty bad, with dead air hiss, crackle and pops. I didn't see any editing errors, but had a hard time paying attention because of lack of interest. The "monster" that is made was unimpressive. Overall, it was a waste of an hour. I rate it bad.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Monster in the Closet (1986)

An American comedy horror directed by Bob Dahlin.
A monster that comes out of closets is killing people. A group of folks try to stop it.
The simple plot and characters were pretty standard issue for the mid-80s. The style was a little bit better than the usual TROMA film because it was distributed by them, not made by them. This meant better acting and camera-work that doesn't look like a home movie shot by someone's dad who just got his first camcorder. The monster looked really cool and had a queen alien style mouth on an extension inside it's mouth. There's a section on wikipedia talking about the monster being gay, but it wasn't made clear. There was definitely something going on with the monster being attracted to people and choosing it's victims though. As far as cheesy horror goes, this wasn't too bad. I rate it o.k.

Alice in Wonderland (1985)

An American musical fantasy directed by Harry Harris, starring Sammy Davis Jr.
Alice's classic adventure in Wonderland is told.
Making this a musical was a terrible idea. The other terrible idea was the costume design. Everything seemed like it was thrown together on a low budget without any planning. The musical numbers were annoying and the actors' faces sticking out of the stupid costumes looked foolish. The plot was mostly based on the 1951 Disney film, but included some parts of the book that weren't in the Disney version and also left out some that the Disney version included. Overall, it was unprofessional and I didn't like it. I rate this bad.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Gorilla (1939)

An American comedy horror directed by Allan Dwan, starring Bela Lugosi, The Ritz Brothers and Patsy Kelly.
A murderer called "The Gorilla" announces that he is going to kill a rich man who lives in a mansion. A team of 3 detectives is called in to solve the case. Unfortunately, there is also a real gorilla in the house as well.
This was really bad. The plot was very stock and the audio/video quality was quite low. There were some alright characters in Bela Lugosi, the stupid detectives and the maid. That loudmouth maid was the only good part of the film to me. I think Patsy Kelly was all kinds of ooh la la. I found the physical humor to be very lowbrow. Since one attractive character can't make a crappy movie good, I rate this bad. The picture is Patsy Kelly so you don't have to watch the movie to see who I'm talking about.

The Ghost A.K.K. The Spectre (1963)

An Italian horror mystery directed by Riccardo Freda, starring Barbara Steele.
A rich man is paralyzed and has a young wife. His doctor lives with him and together they are trying to cure the paralysis. The doctor and the wife are having an affair behind the man's back and in his own house. When he dies, the young wife and doctor go searching for his money.
This was very dry and boring. The plot developed very slowly, only coming into full bloom at the very end. The characters were a little stereotypical, but relatively believable. The pacing was extremely slow. I could tell by the video style that it was Italian. What tipped me off was the video being so dark and underexposed with few brightly lit areas amidst the inky blackness. If you like Italian horror from the '60s, you will like this. I don't and rate it poor.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Fatal Hour A.K.A. Mr. Wong at Headquarters (1940)

An American crime mystery directed by William Nigh, starring Boris Karloff.
A news reporter looking for a story hears about a murder. A detective has a Chinese jade item of value.
The plot was unclear, vague and muddy with too many characters that were not developed. There were no technical errors. Having a white guy with a Russian name play a Chinese man is a bad idea. It's just more of the rough that I'm searching for diamonds in. I rate this poor.

The Devil's Hand (1962)

An American horror directed by William J. Hole Jr., starring Neil Hamilton.
A man takes his fiancee to a doll shop where they see a doll that looks like her. The owner denies him that doll, selling him instead a doll of a woman whom he has been dreaming about. Confused, he finds the woman who looks like a doll and finds out that she is part of a cult involving magic. He is seduced by her and convinced to join the cult.
The plot was an absolute joke because it was not clearly presented and didn't make much sense. The characters were extremely shallow and underdeveloped. I didn't notice any editing errors, but the audio and video were definitely of inferior quality. There was a surf song in the soundtrack, but no beach scenes, surfers or anything to give it context. This is a pretty clear case of a bad movie. It defines what my bad rating is used for.

The Bloody Brood (1959)

A Canadian horror mystery directed and produced by Julian Roffman.
Some beatniks decide to get their kicks by feeding a messenger some glass. The messenger dies and his brother tries to figure out who killed him and how to hold them accountable for the crime.
The plot was a little on the simple side and character development was lacking. There were some editing and camera mistakes, mostly general sloppiness and uneven exposure. The best part was the characters' dialogue as they used beat-lingo cliches. Overall, I saw shoddy workmanship on a lackluster film. I rate it poor. You may want to skip this one.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Blancheville Monster A.K.A. Horror (1963)

An Italian horror directed by Alberto De Martino.
People are in a castle. There is a rumored curse about a female of the family turning 21 years old.
The plot was vague and hard to follow. Not much really seemed to be happening. The audio and video were alright and no technical mistakes were made. There isn't much to say about this because it seemed to just be a bunch of scenes thrown together without reason. There were some pretty shots with good camera angles, but that doesn't save a bad movie. I have to rate it bad for lacking communication skills. You probably shouldn't watch this.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Bell from Hell (1973)

A Spanish drama directed by Claudio Guerin.
Someone makes a plaster or paper mache mask of their own face. A man is released from some type of imprisonment. There is also a mute girl who gets molested and an old man with glasses who will whip out the main character's dong for him on command.
I couldn't hear the dialogue and after 40 minutes of not knowing what was going on, I turned it off. When the characters' speech sounds like someone wrapped their heaviest parka around the microphone, that's not going to encourage folks to watch it. In accordance with my turnoff rule, I rate this shit.

The Bat (1959)

An American crime mystery directed by Crane Wilbur, starring Vincent Price, Agnes Moorehead and John Sutton.
A mystery writer moves into a mansion of ill repute and rumors are around that rabid bats as well as a killer called "The Bat" are on the loose. The owner of the house is shot by his doctor after revealing that he has stolen money from the bank. The writer and her maid find that the killer has broken into the house and call the police.
The plot was complex and there were many characters to keep track of. The style seemed '40s to me because of the black and white video with not so great audio. It just barely kept my attention enough to register what was going on and I wouldn't say that I liked it. There weren't any technical errors and the acting was alright. I actually like Vincent Price as an actor. Overall, I decree a new rating of "tolerable" in between poor and o.k. The color shall be orangish yellow of a light value.
SO... Updated Rating System:

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods (2013)

A Japanese anime directed by Masahiro Hosoda.
A powerful god of destruction awakens and hears of super saiyans. He goes in search of a super saiyan god and finds Goku and friends.
Though generally fitting with the series and very similar, this was somewhat of a departure. The use of CG was the most noticable change and the decision to use so much humor as well as such a light plot is different. I'm used to seeing all traditionally drawn animation with a slightly more serious and involved story. Dragon Ball fans will be happy to see so many of their favorite characters featured as well as some new faces. Beerus seems well-designed, but lacks a visual transformation and Whis is reminiscent of the Kais. Some strange sub-plots emerged that would potentially make Dragon Ball GT incorrect, if followed through as part of the main story. There was a budding romance and a 1/4 saiyan pregnancy announced. Overall, I thought it was similar enough to the DBZ franchise for fans to enjoy, but also enough of a departure to upset some long-term viewers. I rate it adequate. It might be fun to watch if you don't take it too seriously.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Amazing Mr. X A.K.A. The Spiritualist (1948)

An American romantic mystery directed by Bernard Vorhaus.
A widow and her sister meet a man claiming to be a magician.
This was one of the most boring films I have ever had the displeasure to see. I turned it off at about the 45 minute mark because it was just the widow missing her husband, hearing a voice calling to her and an opportunist wizard looking to get laid. "Your husband is dead? Watch this! I can do a magic trick!". No matter how boring it was, there was some really good camera-work going on. Some of the shots were just immaculate. Perfect lighting and exposure can't save a bad movie though. I rate it shit because I had to turn it off.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Swamp Women A.K.A. Cruel Swamp A.K.A. Swamp Diamonds (1955)

An American crime adventure directed by Roger Corman.
A group of women break out of prison and head for the swamp where their diamonds are buried. A man and his fiancee are taken hostage by them, the wife is killed and the man falls in love with one of his captors.
This was pretty bad. The plot was stupid and the acting worse. The characters were very mediocre and forgettable. Some of the scenes didn't make sense like when the women are pulling the boat. A pair of them jump out to pull, go 2 steps and switch out. The next set get out to pull and the shot changes, implying time has elapsed and they are almost out of the obstacle. When the women cut their pants, one of them asks for them to be cut shorter, even though the pants are all cut the same. The video was a total disaster. It was overexposed, blurry and grainy. The audio had dead air hiss and treble-bias. I have to rate this bad. It was included in the book "The Fifty Worst Films of All Time" but I have seen much worse.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Sisters of Death (1977)

An American horror directed by Joseph Mazzuca.
A girl is killed at an initiation ritual involving a game of Russian Roulette. Seven years later, the other members of the group are invited to a mansion where the father of the dead girl is waiting for them.
I liked the ending, but I won't spoil it. Unfortunately, the ending was the best part of a not-so-great film. The other highlight was a tarantula crawling on one of the women. Besides those scenes, it was pretty standard and pointless. The video was mostly overexposed, blowing out the light areas. That's when it wasn't underexposed, covering much of the screen in a black blur. That's my main beef with this flick is that they couldn't operate the camera correctly. So, two good scenes in a very standard movie with bad video? I rate it poor. You should probably skip this one.

Silent Night, Bloody Night A.K.A. Night of the Dark Full Moon A.K.A. Death House (1972)

An American horror directed by Theodore Gershuny.
The owner of a house has been announced dead many years ago and a patient has escaped from a mental institution. As murders start to pile up, the sordid history of this family is revealed.
The film kept me wondering how many maniacs were on the loose until the very end. So there's points for plot and characters. Another story element that I found to my liking was the back-story developing as the present action played out. Meanwhile, the viewer is left to wonder whether the male lead is a good guy or a bad guy. Normally, I don't like this much confusion, but this film made it work so well. There was some underexposed video and a little bit of harshness and treble-bias in the audio, but such shortcomings did not detract from the film as a whole. I thought it was pretty good and rate it adequate. If you like obscure horror flicks, this would be one to watch.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Scream Bloody Murder A.K.A. Matthew, Claw of Terror A.K.A. The Captive Female (1973)

An American slasher horror by Marc B. Ray.
A murderous boy with an Oedipus complex kills his father and injures his hand. Years later, he is released from a mental institution and goes on a homicidal rampage.
This wasn't too bad. The plot and characters kept me interested and the sleazy '70s style was cool. The video was a tad grainy and oversaturated, but mostly correctly exposed. The audio was an absolute nightmare. Treble-biased harshness and an unfriendly soundtrack assaulted my ears. The pacing was fast enough to keep things moving, but not so quick as to keep the viewer from appreciating the scenes. Special video effects were used to illustrate Matthew's hallucinations about his mother. I think they looked creepy and fit well with the rest of the film. Overall, everything except the audio was to my liking. I rate it adequate. You may want to consider watching it.

Scared to Death (1947)

An American mystery directed by Christy Cabanne, starring Bela Lugosi, George Zucco and Nat Pendleton.
A woman is on "The Table" in a morgue and the story of her death is told in flashback. She is living in a house with a doctor, his son, their security guard, maid and a guest magician who brings a dwarf/midget. There is talk of identifying folks in a picture and the soon-to-be-dead woman being kept in the house against her will.
This was Bela Lugosi's only color film and color is the only thing that differentiates it from his other films. The plot was slightly more complex, but at the same time quite boring. The large number of characters prevented any of them from being developed or gaining any depth. I believe that the rentacop wanting coffee was the deepest character with the most development. The audio and video were actually decent, with everything being relatively audible and visible. My opinion is that Bela played his type-cast role quite well, being the one trick pony that he was. I rate this bad. It would be a good idea to avoid watching this.