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Thursday, January 29, 2015

THUNDER OVER THE PLAINS 1953 (SONY)

Randolph Scott returns in another great western.

Scott is Capt. David Porter who lives with his very frustrated wife Norah, played by Phyllis Kirk. She is frustrated because they live on an army base where she has no friends and no hope of meeting any.

Porter is a Texan who must arrest his own people who have been at a constant war with carpetbaggers. He is to arrest a man he knows is innocent and by refusing to do so he becomes a wanted man himself.

Lex Barker is Capt. Bill Hodges, a man Norah has known since childhood. When he is assigned to the base Porter finds he has even more trouble, but that is taken care of when Norah resists his advances and Porter beats the crap out of him.

Again, this is a great western. It is full of action and adventure, plus Scott makes every film he is in interesting. Charles McGraw is Ben Westman, the leader of the Texans who are against carpetbaggers. He does his usual fine job as well. The rest of the cast includes Henry Hull, Elisha Cook, Jr., Fess Parker and Mark Dana.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Tom Selleck is 70, Heather Graham is 45, and Marc Singer is 67.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

MAN BEHIND THE GUN 1953 (WARNER)

Another fine Randolph Scott western.

Scott is Major Ransome Callicut, an undercover Government agent who is sent in to find a group of insurrectionists who want California to secede and become a slave state.

Posing as a school teacher, he arrives in California and discover a huge cache of weapons as well as several plots of assassination. His two aides are "Monk" Walker" played by Dick Wesson and Olaf Swenson played by Alan Hale, Jr.

These two provide the comic relief and it blends in well. There are plenty of gunfights an intrigue to keep every western fans attention. Scott does his usual good job in bringing this film to life.

Felix Feist directed from a John Twist screenplay. Recommended!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO.....

Barbi Benton is 65, and Jack Hill is 82.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

CURSE OF BIGFOOT 1972 (TREELINE)

What can I possibly say about this film?

Originally made in 1958 as "Teenagers Battle The Thing", this unreleased film had new scenes shot around it in the 1970's by Dave Flocker, and then released in1972 as Curse of Bigfoot.

In the mid 70's thru the 80's this little gem appeared on TV many times, especially on "Nightmare Theater" on KCPX TV from Salt lake City.

As a child I just couldn't get thru this film even though I found it very bizarre. As an adult and former low budget filmmaker, I can appreciate it much more.

The basic plot concerns a group of students who unearth a mummy from a tomb in the mountains. It actually comes alive and breaks out of it's rock like covering and escapes into a grove.

It kills several people before being killed itself by the students who set it on fire. The monster itself looks pretty cool as far as low budget monsters go. The acting isn't much, but that really has never bothered me in the least.

The new scenes involving a high school class and sightings of bigfoot are used to expand the running time from 59 minutes to 88 minutes. I know this isn't everyone's cup of tea, and I may be crazy for saying I do enjoy this film, but I confess I do and have no shame in it.

Could it be a better film? Yes. Watch it anyway and you might like it.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO......

Bridget Fonda is 51.

Monday, January 26, 2015

BLOOD THIRST 1971 (SOMETHING WEIRD)

Thanks to the late Mike Vraney for putting this little gem out on DVD.

This nifty little Philippine made thriller concerns a mysterious killer of young women on the streets of Manilla.

Vic Diaz is a police chief who calls in a good friend from the US to help solve the growing number of murders in his city. It seems women are being killed and drained of blood.

Robert Winston is Adam Rourke, a US investigator who is on the case an ends up stumbling onto something he has trouble believing. A beautiful dancer in a small club is actually an ageless witch who uses the blood to stay young. Her assistant is a monster who looks like he has a melted face. I rally liked this monster.

Made in 1964 and not released here until 1971, this little black an white chiller is a film every horror fan should see. It is obscure, but cam be found. It originally played on a double bill with "Bloodsuckers" starring Peter Cushing.

SCARED TO DEATH 1947 (TREELINE)

The only film Bela Lugosi ever made that was in color.

Very strange film that is told from the viewpoint of a young female corpse on a slab in the morgue. She tells the tale of how she got there.

There are plenty of weird elements that include a mysterious floating head, a man in a cape accompanied by a midget an several unexplained murders.

Lugosi co-stars with George Zucco. Zucco plays a doctor who has a questionable past. The rest of the cast of this oddity includes Nat Pendleton, Molly Lamont, Joyce Compton, Douglas Fowley and Angelo Rositto.

This is available from many, many sources and in many different qualities as well. If you're in the mood for something different, check it out.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO.....

Kathryn Leigh Scott is 72, Anne Jeffreys is 92, and Marissa Mathers is 75.

Friday, January 23, 2015

RANDOLPH SCOTT....

Today is the day Randolph Scott was born in 1898.

Scott is, and always will be one of my favorite actors. I have NEVER seen a movie of his that I didn't like, and to me he set the standard for leading men in movies.

it's a shame we don't have any real men like Scott making movies anymore, but at least we have his movies to watch and enjoy.

Long live the legacy of Randolph Scott.

QUATERMASS AND THE PIT 1958 (SINISTER CINEMA)

This is the original six part serial from the BBC.

Andre Morell stars as Prof. Quatermass in this excellent adaptation of the Nigel Kneal story about ancient aliens being discovered in a London subway digging.

This is a damn near perfect serial that the movie was inspired from. There are other small plot elements that weren't included in the film, but the characters are basically the same.

Anthony Bushell is Col. Breen, the strictly by the book military man who refuses to believe in aliens and who is always upsetting the plan of Quatermass. Morell does a great turn as the scientist and he plays the role much softer than Brian Donlevy id in the US films and much closer to Andrew Keir, who was the good prof. in the film version.

If you've seen the movie version of this I highly recommend this version. It is both suspenseful and frightening and moves at a very brisk pace with a very fine cast. Kudos to Greg Luce at Sinister Cinema for releasing this.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Mariska Hargitay is 51, and Gil Gerard is 72.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

TNT JACKSON 1974 (SHOUT FACTORY)

I just had to re-visit one of my favorite films. >br />

Actor Dick Miller co-wrote this action classic from director Cirio Santiago. This Roger Corman production was shot entirely in the Philippines, and it makes for grand entertainment.

Sexy Jeanna Bell stars as a young woman who travels to the most dangerous parts of Chinatown to find out who murdered her brother. She is a Karate expert and takes no crap from anyone. Ken Metcalf is Sid, a white drug dealer and his bitchy girlfriend Elaine, played by Pat Anderson.

There is plenty of action in this film and the highlight is a karate fight Jeanne has with several thugs. She does it topless and in the dark. I have to admit I have never seen this done before or since.

It turns out that Elaine is an undercover agent for the US Government and she dies a most horrible death. The movie ends immediately after Diane "TNT" Jackson has gained her revenge for her brothers death. The movie ends as abruptly as any I have ever seen, and for this film that works just fine.

If you like blaxploitation films and action films you'll love this movie. I can't recommend it enough.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

John Hurt is 75, and Linda Blair is 56.