Tuesday, December 07, 2021

What I Watched in November 2021

Edgar Wright is turning out to be another filmmaker who I wish was able to make more films than he is getting across the finish line. Much like Guillermo Del Toro it seems that for every one new movie we get from him there are three that might never see the inside of a theater. He has been making feature films for over seventeen years and only managed to direct six finished movies and one feature documentary. I try not to be sad about this and just be happy about the fantastic work we get from directors like this, but it is a struggle. Which brings me to Wright’s latest movie.
 
LAST NIGHT IN SOHO (2021) is being referred to by many as the writer/director’s ‘giallo’ but that is an oversimplification of what he is doing. Yes, there are certainly elements of the classic giallo films of the 1970’s built into this film’s story and structure but that is not the main aim. As much as he pulls from Dario Argento’s work (BIRD WITH CRYSTAL PLUMMAGE, DEEP RED. etc.) it is all in service to another goal which seems to be making a terrifying horror movie. In fact, what Mr. Wright has made is one of the best ghost stories of the past couple decades and its real trick is to push us, as the viewers, into feeling sympathy for both the victims and the murderer. Not an easy thing to accomplish and damned near impossible unless you hide specifics of past events until the right moment. But, damn! Those final act reveals do the trick effectively.
 
None of these clever story elements would work if not for the excellent performances from the strong cast. I expect brilliant work from veterans like Terrance Stamp, Diana Rigg and Rita Tushingham but they are matched by the young actors here who have very difficult lines to walk as the mystery plot plays out. For Dame Diana this is sadly her final screen performance but she seems to have known full-well that it was a plum role to cap her impressive career. As always, she is stunning in her ability to convey blunt character information and wonderfully skilled in shading her physicality and voice to communicate more than you might spot on first viewing. And I have to admit that Matt Smith is turning out to be an excellent character actor, effectively shaking off the aftereffects of playing Doctor Who years ago. He is quite good as the slimy 1960’s scumbag that sets the horrible events in motion that cascade down through the decades. 

The List 

RON’S GONE WRONG (2021) – 5 (mediocre animated kid’s movie) 
LAST NIGHT IN SOHO (2021) – 8 (fun twisty thriller) 
THE KISS BEFORE THE MIRROR (1933) – 6 (weird melodrama about infidelity) 
DUNE (2021) – 9 
ETERNALS (2021) – 8 
THE WHISTLER (1944) – 6 (rewatch) (the radio show makes the jump to the big screen)
DYNASTY (1977) – 6 (martial arts action in 3D!) 
IN SOCIETY (1944) – 7 (very funny Abbot & Costello farce) 
FEAR NO EVIL (1980) – 3 (rewatch on Blu) (still an unfocused mess) 
THE SEXBURY TALES (1973) – 6 (silly anthology sex comedy) 
RAIDERS OF ATLANTIS (1983) – 5 (rewatch on Blu) (not good but entertaining) 
INFRA-MAN (1975) – 7 (rewatch on Blu) 
THE POWER OF THE WHISTLER (1945) – 6 (second Whistler film is an odd one) 
TORCHY BLANE…PLAYING WITH DYNAMITE (1939) – 6 (last of the series is solid even without the regular leads) 
INVISIBLE MENACE (1938) – 6 (rewatch) (quick murder mystery with Karloff) 
A SCREAM IN THE STREETS (1973) 4 (clunky, low budget soft-core cops vs rapist tale) 
BLOSSOMS IN THE DUST (1941) – 6 (rewatch) (tear-jerker about orphans and legitimacy) 
HAUNTING FEAR (1990) – 5 (bland horror effort)



Sunday, December 05, 2021

Vintage Doctor Who Games and Toys









That give-a-show projector would have been a mind-blowing toy in the 1960's.


 

Saturday, December 04, 2021

Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Wild Wild Podcast Season 2: Episode 2 - THE SEXBURY TALES (1973)

We're back for more Decameron-inspired shenanigans, as this time we travel to medieval Viterbo for a collection of ribald tales featuring cuckolded husbands, horny ghosts, frustrated brides and misplaced shellfish. Join Adrian and I as we find much entertainment in this film that is very much a product of its time. 

For more information on this Italian sub genre, which morphed into the highly successful commedia sexy all'italiana, this article is a very good primer and one we will be coming back to: “Canterbury Rides Again”… PASOLINI & HIS “DECAMEROTIC” IMITATORS.

We would love to hear from you if you have any experience with the Decamerotici films. You can contact us on Twitter, Instagram, or by email at wildwildpodcast@gmail.com


Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Trailer - DIAL CODE SANTA CLAUS (1989)


This has become one of my new favorite Christmas movies and we'll be covering it on an episode of The Bloody Pit podcast in a couple of weeks! 

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Beyond Naschy #35 - SHE KILLED IN ECSTASY (1971)

Troy and I (finally) return with a new episode!
 
This time we dive back into the Franco pool of cool and look longingly at the luminous Soledad Miranda. SHE KILLED IN ECSTASY (1971) was the final collaboration between the young actress and Jess Franco before her untimely passing. While it is generally not considered their best film together it contains many scenes that display the brilliance that they could achieve. Soledad’s skills are on full display in her role as a vengeful wife extracting blood from the people who hounded her husband into suicide. As the story plays out, she runs the gamut of human emotions from deep concern and grief-stricken to seductively aloof and finally filled with violent rage. Her performance is mesmerizing and is carried out so well that she could have embodied her character without dialog and still communicated every nuance necessary to engage the viewer. She was a powerhouse screen presence and her loss is only more deeply felt when watching her in this film.


We dig into why we enjoy this film as much as we do with much attention paid to the strength of the central performance. We point to reoccurring plot elements within Franco’s work and his love of a certain visual metaphor involving boats at sea. We discuss the movie’s odd choice to rush past the possible mad scientist idea at the beginning to get to the righteous vengeance at the heart of things. We try to define what makes Soledad such a memorable screen actress even as this film refuses to even give her character a first name. Each of the murders is dissected as we try to understand what Franco might have had in mind as his story gains force, climaxing in a fascinating sequence in which the director is himself the victim. It certainly raises some questions about Jess’ sexual desires and points toward what might have been included in future unrealized projects.
 
We hope you enjoy the episode and if you have any comments naschycast@gmail.com is the show’s address. Thank you for listening and we’ll be back soon. I promise! 






Friday, November 26, 2021

Video - Space: 1999 Eagles Crashed and Lost in Season One


Chris Dale brings us the definitive guide to Eagle Transporters that get crashed and/or lost in series one of Space:1999! There are a lot of them.