Sunday, November 30, 2008

Movies that can't be as good as their poster art

I can vouch for the fact that this film is nowhere near as cool as this poster art. No where!

But come on, really! What could be?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Greatest T-shirt EVER!

With all due credit to Geek Orthodox I must second that fine blog's statement that this is the single greatest t-shirt in the history of t-shirts! And I must own one. Maybe not right now - maybe not before Christmas - but soon. And in extra large.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

KILLDOZER- The Video Game!

Back in the 1970s Theodore Sturgeon's short story KILLDOZER was made into a TV movie. I have vague memories of seeing parts of it as a kid but I know I never saw the whole thing. A few months ago I read the story in my copy of the complete Sturgeon Vol. 3 and it is one hell of a good tale. It sounds ridiculous of course. An ancient, malevolent energy creature is freed from its rocky prison by a construction crew building an airfield on a Pacific island. It takes over a large bulldozer and goes on a killing rampage slaughtering as many people as it can get beneath its metal treads. Crazy! But boy does Ted Sturgeon make it work.

I've got to find a copy of the TV film someday soon. But I never thought it would (or could) be turned into a game! Follow the LINK......crushing helpless construction men was never so much fun!

Monday, November 24, 2008

MUMMY statue

Oh my! This is described as a 'Cold Cast Resin Bust of Im-ho-tep/Ardath Bey as portrayed by Boris Karloff in the 1932 movie, The Mummy' and priced at $60.

I may have to ask for this for Christmas!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

CRIME DOCTOR film discovery

I sat down tonight to watch one of the Crime Doctor movies from the 1940s tonight. I only have five of the series of ten and I've enjoyed each one I've watched. The one I caught tonight was CRIME DOCTOR'S MAN HUNT which is a pretty good example of these mystery programmers, but as the opening credits rolled by I got a huge shock. The screenplay was written by Leigh Brackett! The same Leigh Brackett responsible for the scripts for THE BIG SLEEP (one of my favorite noirs), RIO BRAVO (my favorite western), THE BIG SLEEP (one of my favorite neo-noirs) and THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK (the best Star Wars movie)! All of this as well as writing some of the best science fiction of her time are the things for which Miss Brackett is famous. Wow! A Crime Doctor movie, huh?

And to make matters even stranger the film was directed by William Castle! Who would have thought that these two disparate filmmakers would have ever worked together? Castle directed four of this series so his appearance isn't shocking at all but I always pictured Miss Brackett working on higher profile pictures.

I love watching old movies!

Oh- I couldn't find the poster art for CRIME DOCTOR'S MAN HUNT so I used this one. Gorgeous, isn't it?

Monday, November 17, 2008


In advance of the coming remake film (and because its been on my bookshelf for years) I have finally read the short story that was the basis of the 1951 film THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL. I suspect that the new film due out in December will either harken back to the printed tale for inspiration or go completely insane with modern CGI crap. I, of course, hope for a stab at fidelity to the story but…..

The story, published in 1930 as ‘Farewell to the Master’ by Harry Bates, is a darned good science fiction tale and I was pretty surprised by the changes made in the first filmed version. The story takes place in an unspecified future not too different from the 20th century. The main character is a photojournalist named Chris Sutherland who relates how four months previous an object appeared in Washington, DC and from its interior came two beings. One was an eight foot tall metal robot and the other a man named Klaatu. This is where the film departs from the tale for the first time in several ways. First- the name of the robot is Gnut in the story but Gort in the film. I guess having someone say something that would have to be pronounced ending in NUT was deemed silly and I’d have to agree. Also, the robot is made of a greenish metal (as is the ship/object) and looks like a large man- not the featureless automaton of the movie.

Minutes after coming out and speaking to the gathered crowd Klaatu is shot down as in the film but here it isn’t a trigger happy soldier but a raving religious fanatic babbling about the visitors being sent by Satan. You just know that wasn’t going to make it past the Hayes Code in 1951! And to even further bend the brain of anyone who has seen the film Klaatu dies! Actually dies and is buried by the horrified people of Earth who fear possible retribution from either Gnut or wherever the aliens come from.

Gnut remains motionless and silent after Klaatu’s death and in the intervening time laboratories and a museum are built around the metal creature and the ship. Both objects prove impervious to the investigations of frustrated human scientists. But on a visit to the museum Sutherland notices that Gnut’s foot has moved from where it was just days earlier and makes plans to watch the robot that night after everyone is gone.

The story continues on from there in a very satisfactory and even touching way and could actually provide some of the explosions and action you expect from a 21st century sci-fi film. It doesn’t provide a sappy love story but I’m sure Hollywood will shoehorn one into the new film anyway seeing as the 1951 film did as well.

I’ll be curious to see the new movie but I suspect I’m going to feel it is a pale, obvious thing next to the original short story and film.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

CHAINSAW MAID short film

For the first time I will have to issue a warning to anyone electing to watch the short film below. Although the piece is humorous, over the top and clearly ridiculous it does depict some very graphic violence. Of course, its all in claymation! That's right! This is a claymation short film from Japan that plays like a cross between Rankin/Bass and Romero/Fulci. In other words- ZOMBIE MADNESS! That's what I would have called this film myself but I'm not as talented and/or sick as the folks who made this sucker so I didn't get to name it.

So enjoy the Zom-pocalypse rendered in various colors of clay.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

RED EYE (2005) trailer

Rewatched this sharp little thriller last night with some friends and was disappointed to find that this well crafted trailer was not on the DVD. Mistake! This is what got me interested in the film when it opened theatrically. It's a great bit of misdirection and very effective because it plays on your expectations of particular genres.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Seven minutes of heaven from Bava

Nobody did atmosphere better than Mario Bava. Here's a few minutes from his excellent PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES a.k.a. Terrore Nello Spazio in Italian with subtitles. Amazing stuff that shows the debt ALIEN has to this film.

Monday, November 10, 2008

CALTIKI poster art

I think I'm getting as obsessed with the poster art for this Freda/Bava film as I have been with the art from PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES.

When will we see a DVD of this movie? Region 1, of course.

Sunday, November 09, 2008


Very exciting news for Dario Argento fans! His third film and the third of his 'animal trilogy' is finally coming out on DVD in Region 1. Until now the only way to see this has been via bootlegs or a recently released European disc that was pulled from several different sources. And it was probably a boot as well! This is to be an official release from Paramount's vaults through the reconstituted No Shame. Here's the info.
This is great news but if you've never seen it I should caution against getting too happy. It's one of Argento's least great gialli with one plot point that is pure silliness. But its still a blast in that 70s crime thriller way I love so much. It will be really nice to see this well presented for once!

Friday, November 07, 2008

TOWER OF EVIL (1972) trailer

Rewatched this film a few days ago because I couldn't remember much of anything about it. Luckily, its a fun little sleazy horror movie and I'm glad I held onto the Elite DVD for so long.

Thursday, November 06, 2008


Just to continue the love for this film....

Monday, November 03, 2008


Recently I was pondering horror movie sequels that were better than the originals. The usual suspect (THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN) popped up but I have more fondness for this film, the second of Hammer Studio's long series focusing on Peter Cushing's amazing Baron Frankenstein. I love this trailer because it has Cushing directly addressing the audience. Nice!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

What I watched in October

I wallowed in horror movies this year with the help of my friends. Several nights of two or more slotted into my schedule including some unwanted downtime with gall stones! You can use horror movies to keep you sane when painkillers wash over you and allow you to relax. Or, at least I can!

Anyway- a fun mix of old and new this year. I've found myself drawn to the fairly mediocre F13 series to see if my old prejudices about it hold true. Sadly they have proven mostly on target but I am enjoying them a lot more now than when I felt that held a death grip on the genre keeping good films from being made. The mantle of crap now goes to the pathetic SAW franchise which, along with miserable remakes, is driving theatrically released horror into the dirt. Thank goodness for the fantastic stuff that has to come out on DVD. Movies like MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN, ROUGE and STUCK really should have been seen in movie houses across the land. They are the new classics we'll be rewatching in the future.

On the other side- I'm finding myself unimpressed with the spate of French horror offerings that are taking the genre by storm. I liked THEM well enough even if I felt it was stretched to a running time it could not really sustain. But both INSIDE and FRONTIER(S) started out very strongly only to grind down and self destruct with over the top gore and stupidity that I ended up laughing at instead of being horrified by. It's too bad as both movies show good abilities behind the camera and a love of actually scaring the audience. The filmmakers just need to learn that no matter how well you've built the story, if you get crazy in the final 10 minutes it doesn't really matter. Explosions are not necessary in a horror movie, folks. And people with their faces burned off don't rock babies to sleep five minutes later. Or at least rarely. And are French cops really that damned stupid?

THE MANITOU (1979)- 4 (terrible but there’s something about its earnest wackiness)
NUDE FOR SATAN (1973)- 5 (pure demented sleaze)
FRONTIER(S) (2007)- 4 (French horror flick that loses itself in OTT gore- a shame)
MOTHER OF TEARS (2007)- 7 (way better than I’d heard- Argento pulls out a good one finally)
EAGLE EYE (2008)- 6 (Hitchcock light and slightly silly but not bad)
GORILLA AT LARGE (1954)- 6 (much better than I expected- carnival noir)
PUMPKINHEAD (1988) – 4 (rewatch) (I still don’t think this is a very good film)
MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN (2008)- 7 (gets a little sloppy but a strong finish)
JASON GOES TO HELL (1993)- 4 (rewatch) (finally caught the unrated version)
ROGUE (2007)- 8 (excellent Australian crocodile horror film)
I AM LEGEND (2007)- 8 (rewatch) (caught the alternate DVD version- better than the theatrical version by far)
BUBBA HO-TEP (2002)- 8 (rewatch)
WEIRD WOMAN (1944)- 6 (rewatch) (Inner Sanctum programmer)
THE DEATHS OF IAN STONE (2006)- 7 (rewatch)
DEAD SILENCE (2006)- 8 (rewatch)
THE HOUSE WHERE EVIL DWELLS (1982)- 4 (fairly dull ghost story shot in Japan)
CHILD’S PLAY (1988)- 6 (rewatch)
QUARANTINE (2008)- 7 (can’t wait to see the Spanish original)
THE GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN (1942)- 6 (rewatch) (Universal classic)
IT’S ALIVE (1973)- 7 (Cohen goodness)
NIGHTMARE MAN (2006)- 4 (not terrible but not great either)
TORTURE GARDEN (1967) - 6 (rewatch) (Burgess Meredith is great in this)
THE STRANGLERS OF BOMBAY (1960)- 6 (Hammer adventure tale)
FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 6 (1986)- 4 (more fun than I thought it would be)
IT LIVES AGAIN (1978) - 4 (sloppy sequel that should have been better)
BODY PUZZLE (1993) - 7 (baby Bava makes a good thriller)
CHILD’S PLAY 2 (1990)- 6 (just as good as the first!)
STUCK (2007)- 9 (fantastic!)
TOOTH AND NAIL (2007)- 3 (well photographed but basically a blah retread of other films)
MAX PAYNE (2008)- 2 (thin, dumb, obvious and boring)
PSYCHO II (1983)- 9 (rewatch) (just a hair less brilliant than the original)
DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE (1932)- 9 (rewatch)
THE EVIL OF FRANKENSTEIN (1964)- 7 (rewatch)
FRIDAY THE 13TH – THE FINAL CHAPTER (1984)- 4 (rewatch) (kind of slow)
THE MUMMY’S TOMB (1942)- 4 (rewatch) (weakest of the universal Mummy sequels)
NIGHTWINGS (1979)- 3 (awfully dull- must have been a better book)