Movie A Day!: 321-330 – Still With The Scary Movies!

It’s November 1st, so time to recap October. Except I’m still weeks behind in posting my movies due to getting the never ending stomach flu. So here’s more from last week.

321 10-23 Night of the Bloody Apes (1962) 3.5/5
I checked another one off the “Video Nasties” list with this one. Typically the nasties are pretty terrible, but this Mexican wonder was a hell of a lot of fun. It’s a total kitchen sink film, with women’s wrestling, mad doctor, monster, nudity, mondo surgery footage mixed with cheap gore and effects all add up to a film that will certainly hold your attention. This one is not for the squeamish, they use actual open heart surgery footage. Also, there’s only one ape-man, so the title doesn’t make any sense either.

322 10-23 The Son of Frankenstein (1939) 4/5
I’ve never loved this one as much as I have the previous two and I think I know why with this new viewing. This one features Basil Rathbone as the titles Son of Frankenstein, returning to the ruins of his fathers lab to take claim of his properties. Boris Karloff returns as the monster, the last time he will play the character in a Universal horror. Bela Lugosi is featured as Ygor, a hunchback with a broken neck from surviving a hanging from the towns people for his part in helping Frankenstein Sr. build the monster. This is where the problem lies with the film. As good as Basil is, and Karloff is, Bela is better. In fact, Lugosi is so good as Ygor that he steals the entire film to the point that when he’s not in a scene, you’re just waiting for him to show up. The movie actually suffers pacing issues from this. So while the movie’s not bad in anyway, it’s simply a case of not being as interesting as Ygor. So watch it for Lugosi, and not Karloff since the monster sadly get’s sold short both in plot, and sequence since they made him mute again. Such a shame since it’s Karloff’s last crack at the monster that the monster wasn’t more of the focal point. I mean, Ygor aside, the one armed Inspector guy is more interesting than Frankenstein and his monster.

323 10-23 The Neanderthal Man (1953) 2/5
This is basically a werewolf movie based around science. Some mad doctor type comes up with a serum that when injected reverts the subject back to his primal form. So cats become sabertooth tiger sand scientist become Neanderthal Men and you will probably be lulled to sleep if you watch this around midnight.

323 10-24 Gremlins (1984) 4/5
I hadn’t seen this one since the VHS days, I remember seeing it in it’s original theatrical run. Anyway, I had forgotten just how delightfully fun this one is! Dante absolutely nails everything there is to nail, and there’s a ton of easter eggs for horror nerds to dig. Not the sweet kiddie picture my brain had relegated it too, that’s for sure. I’m going to watch the sequel tomorrow night.

324 10-24 The Brain That Wouldn’t Die (1962) 3.5/5
I’m probably alone in liking this movie and rating it so high. I remember it mostly from “It Came From Hollywood”, and that image of the woman’s head is pretty much the poster child of a bad movie, so I never bothered with it. Ends up that the film is completely gonzo and a fun bit of sleaze too. A doctor saves his wife’s head after she is killed in a car accident, and the proceeds to prowl strip clubs, whore and photo club models to find replacement body. It’s a mix of Frankenstein meets Michael Findlay via Ed Wood Jr., and more fun than it’s probably given credit for.

325 10-25 Halloween Extended Edition (2000) 4/5
10-25 Halloween Unmasked 2000 (1999) 3/5
Well, it’s time to crack open the mammoth sized complete blu-ray boxset. I decided to start out with the first film as I’ve never seen it before. The extended edition is basically the theatrical with extra scenes shot to pad the television version cut into it. It’s actually really good, and does flesh out the film more. I’m thinking Rob Zombie was inspired by some of this added footage when he remade the film. It’s not better than the original, but it’s not a whole lot worse either. A genuine alternate version that’s worth a look. Halloween Unmasked 2000 is a pretty standard look back, interview type thing that doesn’t get too deep into the making of the film, but has some nice recollections and the warm fuzzies for the original that you would expect. I’m not counting it though since it was under an hour long.

326 10-25 Without Warning (1980) 3/5
Aliens are in the woods, with flying pepperoni tentacle things killing people. It’s patently dumb, and the alien and pepperoni’s are crap but… you get two of the finest character actors in film. Watching Jack Palance and Martin Landau out crazy each other by playing their bonker roles completely straight actually helps make this one pretty good. You forget how stupid and cheap it is and end up enjoying the rise. Plus you get egomaniac David Caruso in an early role playing a cocky douche bag that you know he will end up mastering in real life. I might be projecting.

327 10-25 Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990) 3.5/5
This one I seem to think had the reputation of being terrible. I know I didn’t care for it when I saw it the one time in the theaters or the week it came out on VHS. All these years later, it’s not so bad. It’s not an “ahead of it’s time” type thing, but a case of a film being so completely nuts that they sabotage the actual film. It plays like the ultimate tribute to “Looney Tunes”, and a good Tex Avery Loony Tune at that, with a base plot designed to be an excuse of barely contained chaos. It’s also packed once again with lots of easter eggs for genre fans. So yeah, as much fun as the first one, that works as a parody of the first films success and as it’s own bonkers thing.

 

328 10-25 Red Heat (1976) 2/5
Ray Dennis Steckler solidified his place in the cult cannon with his film “The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-up Zombies!!!” LIke his grade-Z Contemporary Ed Wood Jr., the seventies found him dabbling in porn to make ends meet. Which is where we find him with this one. It’s got a weird, documentary like narration but the basic plot is a porn starlet is killing guys while some weirdo on a motorbike is robbing people. This barely sensible plot basically holds together crappy porn loops. It’s weird, but not necessarily good weird.

329 10-26 Halloween II (TV Version) (1981) 3/5
The added scenes are neat, but the real problem with this DVD is it literally is the TV version. So violence and language is cut. If they edited the extra footage into the theatrical, it would probably improve the movie.

330 10-26 Halloween (1978) 4.5/5
You know what, I should of watched this one before the extended edition because I kind of miss those extra scenes! Don’t get me wrong, the extended scenes are kind of redundant since Loomis basically tells the cop guy what happened in them, but they are still nice. Anyway, this one is a classic, it kicked off a wave of slasher films that few could match and I still have a crush on P.J. Soles. Totally.

That’s it for  today, a weirdo Saturday blog no one will read. Oh well, you should have me subscribed so you can read me Monday morning anyway, you fiends!

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Movie A Day! : 238-242 “Hey man, turn down the lights!”

A short one this week, only five titles. Woe is me! The week kind of got away from me, and I’ve been binge watching other stuff. That’s right, I’m going to blog Doctor Who! The first one should be this Wednesday. Sorry Asbestos, you’ll want to skip them, but you might be entertained? Movie a day ain’t going nowhere though (sadly, in every possible meaning that that phrase can mean), and there may be the odd Broken Record happening to. So don’t despair if you hate Doctor Who! It’s easy to ignore these blog posts. Though you shouldn’t!

Here’s the stuff I’ve watched this past week.

I don’t think Jim is using that mic stand in the intended way….

238 09-07 The Doors : Live At The Bowl ‘68 (2013) 3/5
This is a concert film of the Doors playing live at the Hollywood Bowl. Did you guess by the title? Widely considered to be their best filmed performance, they are in musically top notch form. The blu-ray sounds great. This is the debut of the complete concert, an edited version was previously available, and on this one they gave it a widescreen cropping instead of showing the full frame from which it was originally filmed. It’s mostly okay, but there are more than a few shots that suffer from it, where close-ups are just too close due to the cropping. Otherwise it’s good, but watch it for the music, the performance is intense and good, but visually uninspired with Morrison zonked on acid and glued to the mic stand like his life depended on it making it a bit dull visually. Seriously, you would think they were hanging out instead of performing. Fucking dope fiend hippies!

239 09-09 Requiem For A Heavyweight (1956) 4/5
240 09-11 The Comedian (1957) 4/5
Both of these are live broadcast plays from the PLAYHOUSE 90 program. Both written by Rod Serling, they both look at the weaker aspects of the human condition in unflinching ways.

REQUIEM stars Jack Palance as a past his prime boxer. Once ranked 5th in line for a title shot, now he’s so beat up, he could end up blind if he has another fight. The film deals with the scramble of his manager who’s desperate for another payday to clear up some gambling debts while Palance deals with his pride, knowing that he has nothing to show after a life of fighting. As per usual, the performances are incredible, the play moves at a quick pace and it’s impossible to not get swept up into it.

THE COMEDIAN is an entirely different beast. This one looks at live television itself, with Mickey Rooney playing a superstar comedian with the most popular show on TV. Edmond O’Brien is his head writer, burned out and trying to save Rooney’s face after his plan to steal skits written by another writer backfires. Oof, that sounds more complicated than it should. I should be better at these vague recaps. I’m not a Mickey Rooney fan, but he is incredible in this as the biggest, most egotistical star on the planet. O’Brien is no slouch either, and this really is must see TV. Plus it’s direct by John Frankenheimer who would go on to direct classics like THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE and the ISLAND OF Dr. MOREAU remake with Marlon Brando.

The poster is helping this movie with that kind of tag line…

241 09-12 The Long Gray Line (1955) 2.5/5
This one is a John Ford film, and his first CinemaScope production. It stars Tyrone Power as a jaunty Irish immigrant and great guy who ends up having a long career at a great place, West Point. It’s based on a true story, my problem is with Ford’s handling of it. Ford was incredibly fond of hokey Irish blarney and mythological Americana and this film is just too overboard in both respects with nothing to balance it out and actually be a great picture. It’s not a bad film, and Power and Maureen O’Hara are both good in it. It just feels very dated and of it’s time compared to Ford’s greater works.

242 09-13 Oh You Beautiful “Doll” (1973) 2/5
Here’s another sleaze fest from the fine folks at Vinegar Syndrome. It’s actually the third film in a set, the other two being more horror oriented so I’m holding off to watch them in October. More on that in another blog. Anyway, this one is about an over the hill actress, the great looking and youthful Cleo O’Hara in horrible make-up and wigs, who is running an acting school as a ruse to lure young men to her apartment to fuck. It’s too porny (softcore and ludicrous) to be trashy fun, which is a shame since this Walt Davis directed vehicle kind of sits with John Water’s trash classics from the seventies, but is missing the over the top glee that make the Water’s films stand out and so much fun. The other two films in the set look even more bonkers, so I’m excited to get to them next month!

That’s about it for this week. Hopefully this Wednesday will be the Who blog debut, otherwise it will be next week. I’m trying to bank some for October. Who’s more obsessed about a blog than he should be? Blogging fills the hole in your life right? Please?

As always, comments, shares, etc are all welcomed. If this get popular enough maybe I could get free movies to review like all the other loser movie bloggers? THEY’RE NO BETTER THAN ME WITH THEIR HORSESHIT DEGREES!

The End