Did you ever wonder where those distinctive sound effects in the classic animated shorts came from? Check this out!
Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Monday, March 19, 2018
Now that I've seen ORCA I can say that - sadly - I have to fall on the Medved side of the opinion scale for this one. That doesn't mean I have to like the Medveds but when they're right, they're right. The movie's central problem is that takes the mistake made by the fourth JAWS film and runs it around like it's sheer brilliance. This film would have you believe that because the brain size of a Killer Whale is large, that it therefore has the reasoning power, emotional responses and desire for vengeance that a human being would have. To demonstrate this we have a male Orca seek bloody revenge on all it holds responsible for the death of it's mate and unborn child. It's at this point in plotting this story that several someones should have stood up and explained how stupid the idea was so that a new avenue of story could be taken. But that did not happen. So, we have a film in which a Killer Whale stalks and murders human beings until it kills all but the last fisherman standing. I'm not kidding. If you were a sane person you might point out that these people could have escaped danger from an ocean dwelling mammal by...... moving away from the shore, maybe. Or not going out onto the water anymore. Taking a job inland someplace. Someplace dry, perhaps. But then we would have no film called ORCA and, to be honest, that would a loss to the world of bad cinema.
So, this turns out to be a rare instance in which I enjoyed the commentary for a film more than I enjoyed the film itself. ORCA is a silly, lunk-headed attempt to make a modern Moby Dick story by way of JAWS and it really only served me as an unintentional comedy most of the running time. Great acting can't save a flawed script idea. But Lee Gambin's contribution is what I'll be returning to this Blu-Ray for in the future. He didn't convince me that this is a good film but he did convince me that Gambin's name on a release is a good reason to pick it up.
Saturday, March 17, 2018
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
What do you get when you combine Mario Bava, Tudor Gates, the Woolner Brothers and Antonio Margheriti? You get NAKED...YOU DIE! This is a project that started out as a Woolner production to be directed by Bava but ended up eventually being made by Margheriti. According to Tim Lucas the Gates script remained intact but he faults the film for not being as well crafted a film as Bava would have directed. He may have a point but the joys of this film shine through regardless of any possible 'what ifs'.
John Hudson joins me again to dig into this Margheriti thriller - or is it a giallo? There certainly are black gloves and a number of beautiful young ladies meet an early death. There is a semi-effective police investigation and an ersatz Nancy Drew sneaking around trying to solve the murders taking place on the gorgeous, sun dappled campus of an all girl's college. There are half a dozen possible killers with a multitude of potential motives. There are secretive sexual liaisons, hidden homosexual relationships, leering criminal habits, odd exercise regimens and even some strange vanities that point toward likely guilt. So, the film has a number of the classic elements that would make this a giallo, I guess. But which of these clues are more than simply suspicious and which ones will lead to the serial murderer in the school? If you've ever watched an Italian mystery you know that just following the breadcrumbs might not get you anywhere but this one plays fair. Mostly.
Mr. Hudson and I lounge poolside with the young girls of St. Hilda's College, skulk around the Bughouse with Professor Andre, shake our fingers at the local Peeping Tom and fall in love with the wonderful character of Jill as she uses her new walkie-talkies to put herself in danger - or try to solve the crimes. Michael Rennie may be the cop in charge but it's Jill that eavesdrops her way into our hearts! We do take a couple of short unrelated side roads during this episode and I do apologize for the derision I heap on Marky Mark. I promise not to do that again! If you have any comments about the show or suggestions for future Margheriti films to cover we can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on the Facebook page. Thank you very much for listening to the show! And don't stand so close to me.
Direct Download LINK
Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Monday, March 12, 2018
In one way Black Panther continues the incredible winning streak of Marvel Studios but it is much more than that. It is, of course, a landmark superhero film because it breaks the previously stark color barrier that kept producers from making huge budget superhero films with a black lead character. You could argue that BLADE (1998) already made this leap but the level of money dedicated to that film versus BLACK PANTHER is astronomical. Also, Blade is much more of an anti-hero if, for no other reason, he is a half-vampire and not above murder. You could also point to Marvel's excellent LUKE CAGE NetFlix series as an impressive translation of black hero to the screen but in the world of entertainment Big Screen beats TV every time.
As for the film - It's very good. I loved seeing Wakanda brought to the Marvel Universe so well and the emphasis on the tribal politics was well handled. The division between those that want to bring the nation's gifts to the rest of the world and those who wish to adhere to an isolationist policy is well drawn and the arguments on both sides are shown to have merit. This film really just tells the story of how T'Challa comes to break with his ancestors' choice to stay quiet and move out into the larger world to help. It's a great tale and having it mirror our current world's conflicts brings events a certain sharpness that I appreciated.
My only complaints are the same ones I had with the second Captain America film. At times the plot mechanics are a little too obvious (Waterfall? I wonder who's going over that in the second act?) and the final act danger into which Martin Freeman's CIA agent is placed is far too artificial (Where did that window attacking plane come from?) and unnecessary. Also, the CGI fights got a little too cartoony, which is a standard problem with these action heavy films these days. But those gripes are minor in the face of such a well done film.
ALIAS NICK BEAL (1949) - 8 (Ray Milland as a devil!)
OCTAMAN (1971) - 3
GORATH (1962) - 5 (ridiculous Japanese SF - second half is tense)
ROLLERBALL (1975) - 9 (rewatch)
BUCK PRIVATES (1941) - 6 (comedy/musical/military recruitment film with Abbot & Costello)
ERIK THE CONQUEROR (1961) - 8 (rewatch)
LAST OF THE VIKINGS (1961) - 7 (rewatch)
THE WOLF HUNTERS (1949) - 4 (weak, slow Mountie tale)
THE BABYSITTER (2017) - 6 (fun comic book style horror comedy)
A CURE FOR WELLNESS (2017) - 7 (rewatch)
A CURE FOR WELLNESS (2017) - 7 (rewatch)
ALIEN COVENANT (2017) - 8 (rewatch)
CODE 7, VICTIM 5 (1964) - 5 (Euro-Spy stuff that apes DR. NO pretty well)
SECUESTRO (1976) - 6 (Naschy crime film)
THE MAN WHO HAD POWER OVER WOMEN (1970) - 6
THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE FROG (1959) - 7 (rewatch on Blu)
BLACK PANTHER (2018) - 8