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Friday, May 22, 2015

COSMIC MONSTER 1958 (TCM VIEWING)

Another great 50's sci-fi film that aired recently on TCM.

Forrest Tucker stars as a scientist who is helping another scientist with tests involving magnetic fields. These tests get more and more intense until a mysterious planet sends an emissary to earth.

The alien, played by Martin Benson warns Tucker and his assistant, Gaby Andre that their experiments are changing life on this planet. It is creating monstrous insects and causing people to go insane.

This is one of three films Tucker made in England that are sci-fi. the others being "Crawling Eye" and "Abominable Snowman" which also starred Peter Cushing.

I have always liked this film an it was interesting to note that the title Cosmic Monsters appeared on this print instead of "Strange World Of Planet X". TCM has run this a few times, and it is always a joy to watch. I do with this would come out on DVD and Blu-ray.

This make for a fun 75 minutes monster romp as the Army is called in to fight the insects, an one scene in particular is shocking for it's time. Check it out if you haven't already.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Richard Benjamin is 77, Barbara Parkins is 73, Susan Strasberg is 77, Marilyn Joi is 70, and Ashley Renee is 51.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

X THE UNKNOWN 1956 (TCM VIEWING)

I really love this film. I used to own the DVD, but when I left Ohio I lost it and have never been able to replace it. When I saw TCM was airing it I just had to watch it again.

This is an excellent horror film about a radioactive blob of mud from the inner earth that comes to the surface and wrecks havoc. Dean Jagger is Prof. Royston, a man who tries to stop the ever growing terror.

Hammer Films produced this gem which takes place in Scotland, and it have a very effective use of music and some of the scenes are quite effective. There are several scenes of people melting from getting too close to the creature, and these are well done.

The story slowly builds to a great climax in which the scientists try and stop the monster when it again comes up for a bite. the ending is an open one that clearly leaves it open for a sequel that never happened.

I wish I knew somebody that had the ability to record this and put it on a disc for me, but I will just have to make due for the time being. If you haven't already seen this film, you should. A fine production from Hammer.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY

Just a quick note to say thanks to everyone who has supported this blog for the last five years. The five year mark was reached on May 17th, and I have been so busy working I forgot all about it.

SHORT TAKES.......

As you know I have Sinister Cinema in the spotlight this month and I watched a couple of movies this weekend and one was from Sinister. Both have been talked about here before, but I figured they deserved a second look.

DIMENSION 5 1966 (SINISTER CINEMA) This is a fun and well made spy film starring Jeffrey Hunter as a secret agent who is working with a sexy Chinese agent to stop the import of materials into Los Angeles to build an atom bomb. France Nuyen is gorgeous as Kitty, and Harold Sakata is menacing as Big Buddha.

Hunter and Nuyen use time travel belts to help them thwart the criminals, and that is what makes this film fun. I have always liked this movie and am very glad Sinister has released it.

HORROR HIGH 1974 (CODE RED) I first saw this on "Nightmare Theater" on KCPX from Salt Lake City many years ago, but I had never seen the UNCUT version until Code Red turned out this great DVD.

Pat Cardi is a nerdy high school kid named Vernon Potts who is constantly tormented by the jocks and ignorant teachers. Vernon is working on a project in science class with his only friend, "Mr. Mumps" a guinea pig. The serum Vernon is working on turns the guinea pig into a killer that kills the janitors cat.

The janitor fins out and forces Vernon to drink his own formula, and of course this leads to trouble as he is transformed into a wild killer. The janitor and several others are killed in very brutal and bloody ways. Teachers and tormentors are killed by acid, amputation of fingers, and stomped to death.

Austin Stoker is Lieutenant Bozeman, who suspects Vernon, but just can't prove it. His cool style is very odd against the high school background, but it really works. This film was shot in Irving, Texas and the rest of the cast includes the lovely Rosie Holotik, John Niland, Abner Hayes, Chuck Beatty and many other football stars.

This is a great film with a cool score, good actors and pure, undiluted 70's taste. No matter how violent the killer is, the audience cannot help but root for Vernon. RECOMMENDED!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Constance Towers is 82, and Joan Staley is 75.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

RIP ERIC CAIDIN

You know, sometimes I hate making entries here, especially those on people I know who pass away.

Eric was the owner of Hollywood Book and Poster, the premier store for movie memorabilia in the world.

Eric's other passion was for Professional Wrestling. He promoted wrestling events since the early 70's. Nobody, but nobody knew movies and things like Eric. The world of fandom has lost a very good friend.

Damn, I will miss you Eric.

SHANTY TRAMP 1967 (SINISTER CINEMA)

Wow, it had been a while since I saw this little gem.

This story is about a small town tramp who seduces the leader of a motorcycle gang. His attempt to have sex with her is broken up by a local man named Daniel who happens to really like her. Emily as she is known watches as Daniel beats the hell out of the gang leader.

Daniel helps Emily get to safety, but then the gang finds and kills Daniels mother. meanwhile Dan is having sex with Emily when her father comes in and catches them. Emily then claims that Dan tried to rape her, and because he is black the police will believe her instead of him. This brings tragedy to Dan as he is killed in a car accident.

Emily's father then learns the truth and begins to beat her with a belt. She stabs and kills him, and then with the police hot on her trail she escapes into the traveling trailer of a minister. She actually gets away with her crimes!!

Joseph Mawra directed this gem and believe it or not it was produced by K. Gordan Murray! This is an unheralded exploitation gem that everyone simply must see. The opening is a classic set to the song "When The Saints Go Marching In".

As is usual the film captures the real taste of Louisiana that Hollywood never could. Highly recommended!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO.....

Nancy Kwan is 76.

Monday, May 18, 2015

TOURIST TRAP 1979 (FULL MOON)

This very bizarre and sadly neglected film arrives on Blu-ray.

A car breaks down on a lonely road and several young people are plunged into a nightmare world of insanity and much more.

Jocelyn Jones, Jon Van Ness, Robin Sherwood and Tanya Roberts and the young people who fall into the clutches of a madman running an old gas station and wax museum where the mannequins seem to be alive.

they are killed one by one, and the most nightmarish death is suffered by a young woman strapped to a table who has plaster put over her face as suffocates to death as the killer taunts her. This is easily the most disturbing scene in the film, and one I will never forget.

Chuck Conners is Mr. Slausen, a sicko who is also his own brother!! Conners plays it to the hilt and makes it all very believable. Tanya Roberts looks so damn delicious in this film and it is a shame to see her character killed.

Also on this disc is a wonderful documentary from Ballyhoo Productions about the making of this film. It runs about 25 minutes and is very well done, as are all Ballyhoo documentaries.

if you haven't picked up this disc yet, I suggest you do so soon. It makes a great late night viewing experience. I was first introduced to this film when I saw it UNCUT on KWGN TV from Denver Colorado. It made an impact.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Diane McBain is 74, and Jimmy Snuka is 72.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

RIP GARO YEPREMIAN 1944-2015

One of the best remembered football kickers has passed away.

His career spanned from 1966-1981 and his greatest fame was when he played for the Miami Dolphins during their undefeated season.

He was born in Lanarca, Cyprus and came to the US and signed with the Detroit Lions in 1966. He later went to the Miami Dolphins where he had his best fame. he also kicked for the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Bucs.

He passed away on May 15th, 2015 after a short bout with brain cancer. Look him up on Google and read about some of his very comical incidents during his career. He will never be forgotten in the annals of Football.

SHORT TAKES....

I have been working a lot lately but had time to catch up to two movies I haven't seen in a while. When they first came out I reviewed them here and now I am doing a re-visit.

X FROM OUTER SPACE 1968 (CRITERION) Shochiku was the name of a small Japanese company that made four very odd journeys into the realm of horror and science fiction, and this is probably their most well known effort.

A mysterious UFO covers a spaceship with spores and the crew takes one back to earth which happens to grow into a giant monster that needs raw energy to live. The monster is called Guilala an it is one of the most bizarre monsters ever! It's been called a chicken monster, but I can't see that at all.

The monster tramples Tokyo and surrounding cities before finally being destroyed. This is nothing but a fun film and should never be taken too seriously. Good stuff.

NEANDERTHAL MAN 1953 (SHOUT FACTORY) This ultra low budget feature is one of my favorites as I saw it many, many years ago on TV at just the right time.

Robert Shayne is a scientist who wants to prove man is not getting better thru evolution. He creates a serum that changes a cat into a saber tooth tiger that terrorizes a small California mountain community. Shayne is the perfect ma scientist as he portrays a man with little or no patience for anyone including his girlfriend and daughter.

After the tiger is killed he then decides, after a rather intense meeting with disbelieving colleagues, to change himself into a neanderthal man to prove his theory. He terrorizes the countryside and then is hunted down.

This is a fun and ultra cheap little film and it also marks, sadly the last film appearance of Tandra Quinn. Kudos to Shout who actually gave this a Blu-ray release in early 2014.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Dawn Dunlap is 52.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS 1978 (MGM)

Re-visiting an remake that is actually a classic.

I don't usually like remakes of any classic film, but this one is handled very well. Donald Sutherland is Matthew Bennell, a health inspector in San Francisco. He an three very close friends slowly realize that people are changing.

They are becoming emotionless beings an that it is spreading around the city. Brooke Adams is Elizabeth, a young woman who sees this happen in her lover and many other people and finally turns to Matthew for help. Jeff Goldblum is Jack Belicec and Veronica Cartwright is his wife.

There is a lot of suspense and action in this film, and director Phillip Kaufman handles the slow build up of terror very well. The four leads are very good in their roles. There is nothing but hopelessness as the film progresses and the ending is much more downbeat than the original.

This is, simply, the best remake of the film. There have been three. See this or the original.