Thursday, February 28, 2013

KILMA, QUEEN OF THE AMAZONS (1977) poster art


Paul Naschy was just a hired actor on this Spanish produced jungle tale but I can hardly wait to see it. I just got a copy via the Special Antenna so I could watch it at any time. Should I wait until I can double bill it with TARZAN IN KING SOLOMON'S MINES? I don't know...... 



Monday, February 25, 2013

NaschyCast #36 - A WEREWOLF IN THE AMAZON (2005)


With this film Paul Naschy added H. G. Wells' classic character Dr. Moreau to his list of onscreen portrayals and he does a fine job. The movie is from 2005 and was made in Brazil so both Spanish and Portuguese languages are spoken which only adds confusion for someone just trying to read the subtitles! I'm not going to lie- A WEREWOLF IN THE AMAZON is an odd one folks- even for us. Among other strange things this film sports a pretty good werewolf; multiple gory corpses; naked lesbians; naked Amazons; age inappropriate sexual encounters; broad humor; confusing back stories; contradictory character motivations; a bizarre musical number; death by sex; ridiculous sets and a mercifully short running time. Sadly, only those with access to the 'Special Antenna'  will be able to check out this late career entry in Naschy's resume but the curious will always seek these things out.

Troy and I want to thank our Man In the Field for help with this episode as well as Mistress Elena of the fine podcast Horror Rises From Spain for her invaluable help in answering several questions we posed in our show on THE SNIPER. Sometimes the things you learn about Spanish culture can really open your eyes! And a big shout out to Jeff Nelson for his amazing artwork for this episode as well. He really out did himself this time. Wow!

Your humble hosts prattle on about comic books, music and a host of other topics as well as the film we're supposed to be discussing. You have been warned! We get off topic early and often. Please drop us a line at naschycast@gmail.com or come see us over on the NaschyCast Facebook page. And if you get the show through iTunes (and I know you do) please consider leaving us a written review over there. That would help us out a lot.


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Jess Franco poster art - Part 17


I know next to nothing about this film from 1964 but I'd love to get a chance to watch it - of course! It is listed as a Crime Drama which could mean anything and one alternate title for it is 077 OPERATION SEXY so it may well be a Euro-Spy flick. Time to go on the hunt! 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

THE THING (1982) - Was Childs Infected?

This is a fascinating analysis of one of my all time favorite films that focuses on my favorite element of the story- the mystery of 'Who Was The Thing' at different points in the film. I have for years thought that at the end of the movie Childs was not infected and that MacReady's offer to him of the booze was a test to discover this. Now, with this insightful, careful look at certain details I'm starting to have my doubts. Check it out!








Monday, February 18, 2013

Martian Manhunter images








I've been a huge fan of J'onn J'onzz a.k.a. The Martian Manhunter for decades. I especially enjoyed his 1990's comic book series scripted by John Ostrander and drawn by Tom Mandrake and I still hope for a trade paperback release of its 36 issue run. I'm excited to learn that the new Justice League of America comic series that debuts in March will feature J'onn in a major role. I'll have to check it out! 

Check out this great blog dedicated to the character for tons of info. 


Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Tenth Planet to be restored!


It has just been announced that the First Doctor's last adventure, The Tenth Planet, will be fully restored with animation! This is great news as the fourth episode of that tale has been missing for decades and this will allow for a new full length release later in 2013. Yes! This story introduced my favorite Who villains The Cybermen as well as being William Hartnell's final appearance as the first Doctor. I cannot wait to see this.



Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Podcast to the Curious


As a fan of Ghost stories I have a great love of British author M. R. James' haunting short fiction. I have to admit that I first encountered his work in adapted form years ago when I saw the fantastic CURSE/NIGHT OF THE DEMON (1958). That film is a version of his brilliant story 'Casting the Runes' and its power is almost overwhelming making it one of the best horror films of the 1950s. If you've never seen the film I implore you to give it a try.

You would think that a movie experience that profound would have sent me in search of James' original work but it wasn't until I saw an adaptation of another of his tales that I finally woke up. This was one of the BBC Ghost Stories For Christmas produced between 1971 and 1978. The story was A Warning to the Curious and I was chilled to the bone by the incredibly effective sense of creeping, almost paralyzing terror the film elicited from me. At this point I sought out a collection of the author's stories and I've been reading and re-reading them ever since.

As you might expect, I am not alone in my appreciation for M. R. James and I have finally discovered a fine podcast that focuses on his work. A Podcast to the Curious is hosted by two fine English gents who seem committed to digging deeply into each James story to both celebrate his genius and pull apart the narrative in search of hidden nuggets of wonder. Here is their description of the show--

A Podcast to the Curious is the only podcast dedicated to the weird fiction of M.R. James!

Each episode your humble hosts Will Ross and Mike Taylor will be tackling a different M.R James story, providing a commentary on the story and discussing its themes and form interlaced with readings from the story. Along the way we hope to include discussion on stage, screen and radio adaptations of James’ stories, information on James’ life and interests as well as on the legions of authors who were inspired by him.

I've listened to the most recent two shows and I can already tell that I'm going to have to download and check out each and every one. If you have an interest in good tales of ghostly happenings in stately British surroundings then I recommend you read James' fiction and check out this podcast for fine discussion afterward. One enhances the other- at least for me. 


Podcast WebSite! 



Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Captain Future - pulp reading!








I've started reading my second of these mad science fiction tales and I'm really enjoying what they have to offer. The stories I'm reading are from the return of the character in 1950 after being off the shelves for four years. They manage to introduce the characters very well before plummeting into the wild space adventure. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

EVERYTHING OR NOTHING (2012)- streaming on NetFilx!



Just a quick note to let other James Bond fans know about this excellent documentary that is now streaming on NetFlix. EVERYTHING ORNOTHING is, of course, the ethos that Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman adopted as they produced the longest lived spy film series the world has ever known. I'd love to say this film covers everything you'd want to know but even though it does its best there will always be areas of the series' history each viewer might like to know more about. But as a pretty detailed overview this cannot be beat! It hits all the high and low points of the now 50 year old run of Bond movies and has interviews with every actor who has played the role. Well- Connery is only there in archival footage but I guess you can't have everything.

If you are at all a fan I recommend checking this out. Its a fascinating look at the character's genesis on the page and its birth and many re-births onscreen.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Jess Franco poster art -part 16

I usually fear Franco's comedies but I could be enticed into viewing this one! 


Friday, February 08, 2013

What I Watched in January


January brought three trips to the theater and all were fantastic experiences.

I had been a bit surprised- indeed, shocked isn't too strong a word - when my beloved girlfriend announced after seeing the trailer for DJANGO UNCHAINED that she wanted to see the film. I thought there was no way she would want to see a Western but,  as I've noted elsewhere she loved the film even more than I did. Tarantino's last two films have been among his best and show him moving into a truly fun area of crafted Alternative Histories with his stories. Everything is brutally nasty and slightly heightened above the norm of conventional reality which only serves to improve each movie's effectiveness. With this film he bores deeply into uncomfortable territory for any American aware of our country's past evils and forces the viewer to confront some stark facts- all while entertaining said viewer with a revenge/love story of epic feel and cinematic beauty. Its not a perfect film but as a major fan of the spaghetti westerns he is riffing on I felt thrilled that so much could still be done with the classic ideas from those great old movies. DJANGO UNCHAINED always seems fresh and, although long, it is never boring.


I had not originally intended to see LINCOLN theatrically but Yvette became interested in the film and I was glad to check it out. The story covers only the last few months of the Civil War and focuses on the battle to pass the Constitutional Amendment to do away with slavery in the United States. The knowledge that if the war ends before such a change is made this important thing might never happen hangs over the period and informs every political move made. What is more important? Is ending the hideous bloodshed as soon as possible first priority or is correcting the rotten moral compromise that twisted our nation from its inception a more vital need? Watching good and not-so-good men wrestle with this dilemma was fascinating and entertaining in ways I did not expect. Plus, I love listening to the way people spoke in the 19th century! So much more interesting and colorful than today's argot.


After purchasing a particular Blu-Ray I received a free ticket to see JACK REACHER so checking it out was a no-brainier - luckily the film was pretty smart. What attracted me to the film in the first place was the writer/director Christopher McQuarrie's involvement. I've been a fan of his style of storytelling since he scripted THE USUAL SUSPECTS and I loved his directorial debut with the stark modern day neo-noir/spaghetti western THE WAY OF THE GUN. Having heard good things about the novels being adapted for this film I had hopes for a mean little action tale and that is what I got. The film feels like a throwback to the more interesting action films of the 1970s in which character and tension were more important than explosions. I was impressed with the story, the pacing, the direction and the acting from pretty much everyone concerned. The violence was well staged and believable which is something I can always appreciate in these days of hyper-spastic silliness. I'd love to see a sequels from the same creative team but I doubt that will happen. 

DJANGO UNCHAINED (2012)- 9
THE LADY AND THE MONSTER (1944)- 6 (wild adaptation of Donovan's Brain)
RED RIDING HOOD (2011)- 3 (beautiful but dumb- terrible dialog)
BOSTON BLACKIE'S CHINESE VENTURE (1949)- 6
TARANTULA (1955)- 8  (rewatch)
THE SNIPER (1978)- 7
THE BLACK HAND (1950) - 7 (Gene Kelly & J. Carroll Naish battle New York Mafia in 1910)
GOD BLESS AMERICA (2011)- 7 (cynical, dark comedy)
FRANKENWEENIE (20120- 8 (rewatch)
CHRONICLE (2012)- 8 (very well done 'birth of a superhero tale)
LINCOLN (2012)- 9 (touching and fascinating portrait of democracy in extremis)
JACK REACHER (2012)- 7 (refreshing 70s style action film)
KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND TABLE (1953)- 6 (cartoonish but fun)
SHERLOCK HOLMES : GAME OF SHADOWS (2011)- 8 (rewatch)
DANGEROUS BLONDES (1943)- 5 (OK mystery with too much comedy)
BROTHER ORCHID (1940)- 8 (comedic gangster tale with heart)
THE DEVIL'S BROTHER (1933)- 6 (pre-code operetta with Laurel & Hardy wedged in)
THE NIGHT OF THE WEREWOLF (1981)- 8 (rewatch)
CITY IN DARKNESS (1939)- 6 (rewatch) (Charlie Chan) 



Thursday, February 07, 2013

THE SHINING - the video game?


There are no words to explain how funny this is to me. No words at all. 

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

INVASION OF THE BEE GIRLS (1973)


State Department investigator Neil Agar (William Smith in a rare good guy role) is sent to Peckham, California to investigate a mysterious death. The town is the home of a small government lab and one of their scientists has turned up dead of cardiac arrest even though he had no previous record of heart trouble. Things only look stranger when the coroner lists the cause of death as "sexual exhaustion". Agar quickly discovers that there seems to be a rash of these types of deaths in the town, and once another scientist snuffs it he starts looking for unusual possibilities. Enlisting the aid of pretty lab assistant Julie (Victoria Vetri), it isn't long before he's taking a closer look at entomologist Dr. Susan Harris (Anitra Ford). The supposedly sexually frigid Dr. Harris always seems to be wearing sunglasses and her aloof manner makes Agar suspicious. In a leap of logic that could only be played out with everyone in on the joke, Agar surmises that some type of genetic insect crossbreeding is involved and comes across proof just as Julie is about to become part of the town's deadly female breed. 

Here's a film that knows its dealing with a preposterous idea and just plays it straight hoping the audience is savvy enough to get the joke. Pure smutty fun from beginning to end, this flick revels in nudity, soft core sex, lesbianism and unapologetically chauvinistic behavior the likes of which we are likely never to see in film again. In Peckham every man, whether married or not, is looking to score with whoever he can and it seems that every woman in town was a sexual predator before they started getting their 'bee' on. Gloriously nasty with nearly no redeeming social values, Bee Girls is a wonderful early-Seventies time capsule. Where else are you going to see an amazing ugly man yell out in public that he will not abstain from sex just because he might die? Priceless! This movie has become my second favorite sci-fi/sex film of all time, right behind Barbarella but just ahead of Lifeforce. (Thank you Matilda May!) Indeed, there are only a couple of ladies in this movie that don't get naked at some point in the proceedings, but the real draw for fans of beautiful women has to be Anitra Ford. 

The former Price Is Right model only made four theatrical films but my lust for her was kindled when I saw her as the evil Amazonian in the TV movie Wonder Woman. Cathy Lee Crosby had nothing on Miss Ford, and at my young age I could barely understand the strange emotions she sent running through my curious body. Anitra has an extended nude scene here that shows us just what was lurking beneath that game show smile. Add to that her completely unnecessary lesbian kiss later on and you have '70s sexploitation heaven! Of course the film does have its share of detriments... The plot is moved along more by chance and wild guesswork than anything else, and sloppier moments in the story are glossed over by obvious post-production dubbing. Some of the acting is less than convincing, but I find that just adds to the fun in an odd way. A fun movie for anyone with a love of campy science fiction or maybe just dirty minds!


Monday, February 04, 2013

Dennis Wheatley documentary

If you are a fan of occult fiction but have never read any of Dennis Wheatley's novels I highly recommend you try one. I discovered his work because of two of my favorite Hammer films - THE DEVIL RIDES OUT  (a.k.a. THE DEVIL'S BRIDE) (1968) and THE LOST CONTINENT (1968). Both are adapted from Wheatley books and both are fantastic stories. There have been other screen adaptations and several of them are good but I would point you toward his novels if you can handle their archaic writing style.

Check out this British documentary for a pretty good introduction to the man and his work.