Monday, August 30, 2010

Star Trek -Common People

Because we all need a little humor to get through the week. My friend Randy once referred to the Shatner CD this song comes from as one of the best records of that year- and he was right.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

'Lo Pan Express' art print!

Alerted by a buddy about an original art piece inspired by BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA I rushed over to The Manly Art Blog and was blown away by this. A brilliantly fun mash-up of that film and Big Daddy Roth monster car madness all I can say is WOW! If this were a T-shirt I'd be wearing it right now. Artist Jason Chalker is clearly a man after my own heart. Click to enlarge!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Cult Movie Beauty - Yvette Vickers

No one of the right age who saw Yvette Vickers onscreen could easily forget her. If you were an old monster movie fan you might see her strutting her stuff in ATTACK OF THE GIANT LEECHES or ATTACK OF THE 50 FT. WOMAN and wonder what other genre roles she played. Its a sad realization that she didn't get to do more such movies. Other than a lot of television work that might interest fans of those films her only other 'cult' role is in Curtis Harrington's WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH HELEN but that was much later in her career. I need to listen to the commentary track she does with Tom Weaver on the DVD of ATTACK OF THE 50 FT. WOMAN. We all need a beautiful bad girl in our life sometimes.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bonus NaschyCast - #7.5

Here’s an unexpected surprise! Let’s call this the first ‘extra’ show for the NaschyCast with no promises that we’ll do this kind of thing often. We decided to record this brief episode to answer a few questions, ask for listener input on a few topics and tell everyone about a friend of the show’s new Spanish horror internet radio program. But the biggest reason for this bonus bit of audio babble is to let everyone know that the uncut version of NIGHT OF THE HOWLING BEAST is out there! It may be available only on the bootleg market but, as we relate, it contains far more than you might have guessed. We were just thrilled to be able to see it. Listen closely and you’ll hear Troy’s cat Flex enter the room and make his presence known. Grab it HERE!


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Monday, August 23, 2010

LOGAN'S RUN missing scenes

One of my favorite science fiction films from the period BSW (before Star Wars) is LOGAN'S RUN. I've been a fan ever since seeing it on commercial TV when I was a wee lad and I've enjoyed returning to it repeatedly over the years. As I delve deeper into the minutia of the film, the book its based on, the comic books series, the failed TV series that came after and the possible remake I keep hoping that eventually the legendary scenes deleted from the film will surface on some video incarnation or another. Alas, to this day, no sign of them.

Here's a photo from the 'ice sculpting' scene that was eliminated to shorten the Box segment and remove some nudity.

Someday I still hope to see all the removed footage- if it still exists.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Alternate Universe Poster Art

If only. If only.

See the rest of these brilliant wishes here.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Rejected Bond song?

Shirley Bassey sang the theme tunes to GOLDFINGER (1964), DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER (1971) and MOONRAKER (1979). I discovered today that it appears that she just might have been asked to do the honors for QUANTUM OF SOLACE (2008) as well. Although it is officially denied the fact that this song is listed as having lyrics written by Don Black (co-writer of the three other Bassey Bond songs) and music by David Arnold points to this possibly being yet another in the long line of rejected theme songs scattered across the history of the film series. Certainly the lyrics seem to reference perfectly the romantic state of mind Bond was dealing with after the events of CASINO ROYALE. Take a listen and see what you think.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


I watched this Antonio Margheriti action flick the other night and was stunned by how damned good it was. Not that Mr. Dawson doesn't usually entertain the hell out of me but this sucker rocked more than I expected. Tight, well structured and strongly cast it moves along at a good clip but never feels rushed. There is a lot of story and some good characters that I actually began to care about so that the ending had a real effect on me.

Of course, Margheriti always brings the action chops to bear in these movies with every battle being suspenseful and exciting. This apparently had a good sized budget and it really shows in the well staged gunfights and action set pieces. The usual Margheriti use of very good miniatures is in evidence and are better than average even though I think they are always pretty damned good. The explosive destruction of a fuel train is absolutely fantastic and a highlight. Margheriti knew how to stage, light and coordinate scenes to take maximum advantage of his old style special effects and personally I prefer such work to the stiff plastic CGI we are used to today.

This was the second of three action movies Margheriti made with British actor Lewis Collins. He's a very good as the hero with the great Klaus Kinski digging his talons into the main villain role. If I had a disappointment with the film it would be that these two never have a climactic clash but the end Kinski's character meets is far too satisfying to seriously complain. Hell! The movie even has the Italian Peter Lorre in a prominent role and any film with Luciano Pigozzi is worth a look!

Marvel's Planet of the Apes magazine

I completely missed the Marvel PLANET OF THE APES comic book magazine in the 1970s. I never saw an issue on the racks anywhere in Tennessee or Alabama where I grew up and it was only in my mid-20s that I discovered it existed at all. After getting a couple of random issues I've become convinced that this run of 29 black & white stories, articles and movies adaptations is worth collecting in total. I've only got a handful so far but I'm in no hurry. Much like my slow, patient, years long collecting of MASTER OF KUNG FU comics I’m willing to take my time and get each issue for a very low price. I should have the whole run in about 10 years. Unless I freak out, get impatient and go on a berserk buying spree.

Its a shame Marvel apparently no longer has the rights to reprint these books. I'm sure they could make a bundle.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


The folks making these 'pre-makes' are brilliant. I loved spotting the bits from the various Bond films!

Monday, August 09, 2010

YOJIMBO (1961) remade again & again

I was recently told about a series of post apocalyptic men’s adventure novels published in the mid-1980s called Traveler which were pseudonymously written by Ed Naha and John Shirley. The title character is an ex-soldier surviving in a ruined America 15 years after World War III and since I love Road Warrior style fiction I made a note to be on the lookout. Happily I lucked across three of the books in a local thrift store last weekend (including #1 & #2 of the run) and couldn’t resist diving into the first one as soon as I finished what I was currently reading. I was less than 40 pages into ‘First, You Fight’ when I was amused to note that it was yet another adaptation of Akira Kurosawa’s classic film YOJIMBO. Oddly, now that I think about it, MAD MAX 2 a.k.a. THE ROAD WARRIOR bears some similarities to YOJIMBO in the first place. Huuummm.

Adapting this story has been a staple of storytelling for a long time now. Supposedly based on Dashiell Hammett’s book Red Harvest YOJIMBO tells the story of a masterless samurai who upsets the fragile balance of a small town’s warring criminal factions at first unintentionally and then with great purpose and glee. I say supposedly based on the Hammett book because there are a number of changes in the story that might cause doubt even though the basics are intact enough to seem pretty clear. Regardless, Kurosawa’s film was a hit and a few years later Sergio Leone remade it set in the old west as A FISTFULL OF DOLLARS. This was of course an even bigger hit. Since that one-two punch adapting YOJIMBO has become a filmmaking standard and I find that no matter what change in time period or location I always get a kick out of the retelling.

The first time I realized I was watching a remake of this story was back in the old VHS days when I rented a cheap-jack David Carradine fantasy film called THE WARRIOR AND THE SORCERESS. (As a side note I think I read that this Corman produced mess is coming to DVD soon. I’m actually excited, strange to say.) Then in 1996 the great Walter Hill directed Bruce Willis in another version called LAST MAN STANDING which for the first time set the story in the same period as Red Harvest with prohibition era gangsters fighting over the liquor trade.
I have enjoyed every variation on this tale I’ve ever seen and I have to admit I’m liking this print steal of it as well. I don’t know if I react positively to this story because of my personality or if there is just something in it that strikes universal chords. I obviously can’t be the only one that gets a kick out it. When will we see a version set in outer space? Or has there already been one and I missed it?

Saturday, August 07, 2010

NaschyCast #7 - INQUISITION (1976)

This time out we venture back to the 16th century for a dose of religious persecution during one of history’s nastier periods of paranoia. Who’s a witch, there’s a witch, everywhere a witch witch! Taking his place in the director’s chair for the first time Paul Naschy serves up a harsh look at human nature by way of fear, torture and hatred. Putting his well researched stamp on a sub-genre made financially viable by Vincent Price in WITCHFINDER GENERAL and made gorily disturbing by THE MARK OF THE DEVIL this film serves up a complex look at what might drive someone to embrace darkness. Based on an historic event Naschy spends a lot of time getting the details right and this realism pays off. The film boasts an excellent cast able to bring both the over the top elements and the more subtle shades of character to play. INQUISITION is one of the most authentic looking of Naschy's films and the script shows that when working without the usual supernatural elements his stories retain their power and possibly even gain deeper relevance. Another winner from Naschy but certainly one that is harder to enjoy when it dips into graphic, matter-of-fact torture. Typically enough for the podcast, it becomes a contest to determine which is more gruesome – the nastiness onscreen or my mangling of both Spanish and French names.

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Friday, August 06, 2010

GALAXY OF TERROR (1981) trailer

I don't know why I prefer this trailer under the alternate title but I do.


Thursday, August 05, 2010

Euro-Spy Poster Art

Because there can never be enough.........

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

What I Watched In July

I really wallowed in movies this past month sometimes getting in two in a single day. I caught five films in the theater with the best being TOY STORY 3 and the worst being the abomination JONAH HEX which I suffered through at the local second run theater. Words nearly fail me in describing the awfulness that is JONAH HEX. It took real strength of will to so mangle the character and concept (old west bounty hunter) so badly that it became impossible to understand what was happening onscreen. The film is so bad that there were moments when I wondered if they hadn’t accidentally spliced two different movies together in an attempt to be arty. The ONLY thing they got right was the casting. Josh Brolin and John Malkovich squaring off in the old west? Hot damn! Throw in a little eye candy, load up the six guns, saddle the horses and lets ride! But something went horribly, horribly wrong. Ignoring every single Jonah Hex comic book ever written they decided to concoct their own story. Only it’s not really their story. It’s the exact same damned story that was used in that freakin’ awful WILD WILD WEST movie a few years ago. You remember the film, right? The one so bad that even its star admitted after the fact that it was a mess. The one so bad that it may have erased decades of goodwill built up by the excellent, fun TV show it was based on. Well, the morons behind JONAH HEX seem to have thought the only thing wrong with the WILD WILD WEST film was that it was too intelligent! I can imagine the conversation. “If we just dumbed it down so the plot wasn’t so hard to follow I bet everyone would love it. And if we add a bunch of big ‘splosions to smooth over the slower moments it’ll be a huge hit!” Yeah. That was the problem with WWW. It was too cerebral with its asinine mechanical spider and lame-assed dialog. Not enough things blew up. Right. Also, the film wastes British actor Michael Fassbender as a tattooed bad guy. This is reason alone to punch everyone involved in the face- starting with the director. Please tell me when the line forms.

Thank you, Hollywood. Now we’ll never have a good Jonah Hex film. Good job. You managed to screw up a simple western. Damn.

In brighter news, I enjoyed the Hammer film THE BRIGAND OF KANDAHAR more than I expected. The print I have is a bootleg of a TV broadcast that crops the image down terribly but I still really got a kick out of the cast and story with Oliver Reed proving for about the 100th time he could make any scene better by sheer force of charisma. Damn, I miss that man. He was never less than excellent.

I revisited Fulci’s NEW YORK RIPPER on the amazing Blu-Ray disc. No film that sleazy should look that damned sharp and clear. A nice surprise was the spy film THE DEADLY AFFAIR. James Mason deals with some mysterious deaths and a cheating, nymphomaniac wife in this sharp and engrossing thriller with a nice character study at its center. I also dipped into my bag of 1970s TV movies to see SATAN’S SCHOOL FOR GIRLS (which was great fun) and the Marvel Comics adaptation DR. STRANGE (which was a bit too slow and long).

As the month wound down I hit a dark few days and to cheer myself up I retreated into rewatching one of my favorite British science fiction television series BLAKES 7. I was introduced to the show via bootleg tapes in my college days and having gotten my hands on the first two seasons on Region 2 DVD a while back the opportunity was there. A well written if under budgeted show I love its deadly serious nature where anyone can die and they often do. Hell! The entire series ended with one of biggest downer bloodbaths in TV history. And for me its comfort viewing. If that doesn’t show that there is something wrong with me I don’t know what would.

RELIGULOUS (2008)- 8
DARK FLOORS (2008)- 5 (OK Finnish horror effort)
THE HILLS RUN RED (2009) – 6 (not as good as it could have been but….)
LOGAN’S RUN (1976) – 7 (rewatch)
THE NEW YORK RIPPER (1982)- 7 (rewatch)
NIGHTMARE COMES AT NIGHT (1970) – 6 (Jess Franco dream with just enough plot)
HELLBOUND (1993)- 3 (lousy Chuck Norris thriller)
GOLGO 13: KOWLOON ASSIGNMENT (1977) -5 (not bad but sloppy Chiba action)
TOY STORY 3 (2010)- 10
THE BIG WHITE (2005)- 4 (failed black comedy)
THE MASK OF SATAN (1989) – 5 (Lamberto’s modern variation on his father’s classic)
PREDATORS (2010)- 8 (damned good sequel!)
DEATHWATCH (2002)- 3 (boring, obvious WWI trench warfare horror tale)
SIMON, KING OF THE WITCHES (1971)- 8 (excellent supernatural tale)
SATAN’S SCHOOL FOR GIRLS (1973)- 6 (fun Devil worship TV movie)
DR. STRANGE (1978)- 5 (the best of the Marvel 1970s TV movies)
NINJA ASSASSIN (2009)- 7 (a blast of an action film - too much CGI blood but……)
THE WOLFMAN (2010)- 8 (director’s cut doesn’t make too much difference) (rewatch)
THE WORLD OF THE VAMPIRES (1961)- 6 (wonderful, creepy and silly Mexican horror)
MY SUMMER STORY (1994)- 5 (sequel to A CHRISTMAS STORY isn’t nearly as good)
DOUBLE VISION (2002)- 6 (pretty good Hong Kong cop story)
INCEPTION (2010)- 8 (Interesting, exciting if flawed tale)
THE NIGHTMARE MAN (1981)- 6 (not bad, if overlong BBC book adaptation)
INQUISITION (1976)- 7 (witch finder Naschy)
THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES (2008)- 6 (not bad fantasy film)
KILLSHOT (2009)- 7 (tight, effective Elmore Leonard thriller)
SALT (2010)- 7 (80s style spy thriller- I feel old)
THE BRIGAND OF KANDAHAR (1965)- 6 (exciting Hammer adventure tale with good performances)
THE DEADLY AFFAIR (1966)- 9 (John le Carre spy thriller with an amazing cast)
STRANGE ILLUSION (1945)- 7 (Edgar Ulmer thriller)
BLUE SUNSHINE (1976) -7 (rewatch)
JONAH HEX (2010) – 2 (good GOD!)
THE BROTHERS BLOOM (2009)- 9 (rewatch) (even better on second viewing)
PUNISHER: WAR ZONE (2008)- 8 (rewatch)
PRETTY POISON (1968)- 8 (fascinating study of a criminal mind)

Sunday, August 01, 2010

I still .....

... have never seen this film.