Total Pageviews

Search This Blog

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

PLANET OF THE APES TV SERIES 1974 (FOX)

A very short lived TV show that lasted just 14 episodes.

Ron Harper ans James Naughton are two astronauts who crash on a planet inhabited and ruled by apes. They are befriended by a chimpanzee named Galen (Roddy McDowell).

Virdon and Burke, the two earthlings are immediately declared enemies of the state by Urko, the gorilla leader of the military forces (Mark Leonard). During all 14 episodes the three come upon new adventures while trying to avoid capture and death at the hands of Urko and his troops.

When this show debuted, "Ape Mania" was sweeping the nation and as a child I was sure this show would be a hit. I find all of the episodes very well done and there are a few that are excellent.

One of the episodes in this set entitled "The Liberators" wasn't even run during it's initial run for reasons I cannot figure out. There were a lot of guest stars, some you couldn't recognize under the makeup, but they included John Ireland, John Hoyt, Marc Singer, William Smith, Roscoe Lee Brown, Jacqueline Scott, Michael Conrad and Joseph Ruskin to name just a few.

It had been a lot of years since I had first seen these shows and I found I enjoyed them just as much as the first time. If you get a chance check em out. Recommended!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

William Petersen is 65, and Sam Peckinpah was born on this day in 1925.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Monday, February 19, 2018

NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD 1968 (CRITERION) BLU-RAY

THE TOP RELEASE OF 2018 BAR NONE!!!

I have waited for this to happen for many years, and it finally came to pass on Feb.13, 2018. The greatest film ever made finally got a Blu-ray release from the Gold Standard of the DVD industry...Criterion.

You all know the plot so there is no need to go into that, but it's the presentation that tops anything I have ever seen with regards to this film. I have been thru a 5 reel super eight film, numerous VHS and DVD releases and dozens of theatrical showings, and this tops them all.

Never have I seen this film looking so beautiful as it does in this stunning 4K restoration! The Blu-ray comes with a great poster of Kyra Schon as the zombie girl, Karen, and on the back are some great notes and an essay by Stuart Klawans. The extras are any fans dream come true.

They include Night Of Anubis, a never before seen work print of the film which does include a great cut scene towards the end of the movie, a new program featuring Frank Darabont, Guillermo del Toro and Robert Rodriguez discussing what the film meant to them, and it contains a lot of fond memories. Also there are never before seen 16mm dailies, an interview with John Russo about the Latent Image, archival interviews with Duane Jones, George Romero and Judith Ridley.

Oh but there is more...There is a new program about the film's library track score which is one of the most interesting things I have ever seen on a Blu-ray extra, new interviews with Gary and Russ Streiner, two audio commentaries, original trailer, TV spots, newsreels from 1967, a 45 minute Q&A with Romero at a screening of the film and also a segment on the Tomorrow Show from July 3rd, 1979 with Tom Snyder hosting a discussion with George Romero and Don Coscarelli.

I didn't remember this Tomorrow Show until I saw it on the Blu-ray, but now I remember seeing this when originally aired back in the early summer of 79 when Dawn of the Dead and Phantasm were playing around the country. Ahh what memories!

Having seen this movie well over 200 times in my life, nothing compared to seeing it from Criterion. This restoration was the final thing Romero did before his death this past summer. 50 years have passed since this film came out and it has lost NONE of it's impact for this viewer.

No sane horror film fan should be without this 2 disc Blu-ray set!! This is the film that made me want to make movies and as you can tell I champion the film. It's very nice knowing that I will never have to buy another copy of this film, because it simply gets no better than this.

Yes the original "The Blob" (1958) also from Criterion was the first film I ever saw, but NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD made the greatest impact on my life as both a fan and movie maker. it just doesn't get any better than this folks. Need I say the VERY HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Smokey Robinson is 78.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

THE MILPITAS MONSTER 1974 (SYNERGY)

One of my favorite films, and I hadn't seen it since the VHS days.

This was filmed for a budget of around $7000.00 in 1974 by a high school in Milpitas, California and it's a hoot.

The Milpitas landfill gives birth to a monster made of sludge and wearing a gas mask. This bizarre creature steals garbage cans for food and soon the citizens want something done.

As you would suspect, this film stars locals from the town and they do an alright job with the acting. There is even a cameo appearance by Bob Wilkins of "Creature Feature" fame.

I know this is also available in a "Directors" cut that runs 2 hours, but I haven't been able to track this down yet. I would also like to see this on Blu-ray with a complete re-master. However, this may not happen for a while so we'd better enjoy what we have now. Enjoy is a key word for this film. I love it.

The effects are well done for how inexpensive the film is and I am impressed. Lord knows I have worked with budgets that small and know how difficult it can be.

If you haven't seen this little gem, I think you should. It's funny and well made for amateurs. The entire town got behind this film and it shows. Sadly this would never happen today not only from a movie prospective, but one could never get even two people in a community to agree to work together anymore.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Julie Strain is 56, Raylin Joy is 30, Jillian Michaels is 43, Lisa Comshaw is 53, and Juice Newton is 66.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

SANTO AND THE BLUE DEMON VS. DR. FRANKENSTEIN 1966 (RISE ABOVE)

Another great Mexican horror film.

Women are being kidnapped off the streets of Mexico City and the re-appearing as zombified killers. To find out why this is happening the police put two women detectives on the case, but get nowhere.

Santo and The Blue Demon become involved when a female friend of theirs is kidnapped. It seems Dr. Frankenstein, who takes a serum to stay young, is working on brain transplant experiments and needs a constant supply of victims.

The mad doctor targets Santo as his next victim so he can transplant his brain into that of a behemoth named Golem. Yep, this is a fun little film and one well worth seeking out.

There is plenty of wrestling action as well as thrills and chills as only Mexican cinema can bring. The women are all very attractive and serve as great eye candy. The highlight of the film is when our two masked wrestling heroes fight four or five criminals in a free for all while in the apartment of the two female detectives.

Again, this is good fun and if you're a fan of South Of The Border fantastic cinema then check it out.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Paris Hilton is 37, Hal Holbrook is 93, Jim Brown is 82, Don Coscarelli is 64, and Yvonne Romain is 80.

Friday, February 16, 2018

THE CREMATORS 1972 (RETROMEDIA) BLU-RAY

Strange but somehow interesting little film.

This ultra low budget feature was directed by Harry Essex and stars Maria DeAragon.

A strange meteor that landed in a lake many years ago is reactivated and starts rolling over the land incinerating people to replenish itself. A young scientist tries to uncover the secret of the mysterious ball of fire.

I hadn't seen this movie for years and while it may not be very good, it is interesting in it's concept. What do you expect for a $50,000 dollar budget?

De Aragon is beautiful as the young woman who falls for the scientist and helps him unravel the mystery. I was kind of surprised to see this arrive on Blu-ray as it is on the disc with "Octaman" and it makes a great double feature.

The quality is good from Retromedia and the disc has an interview with De Aragon which proves to be quite interesting. If you're not too demanding, this film can make for an interesting viewing experience.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

BULLETS DON'T ARGUE 1964 (SINISTER CINEMA)

Well made Spaghetti western.

Rod Cameron stars as Pat Garrett, who, on his wedding day, must track two killers who have robbed the local bank and headed off to Mexico. The killers, Billy Clanton (Horst Frank) and his brother George (Angel Aranda) hide out in a small Mexican border town, but their victory is short lived.

Garrett finds them and arrests them. All three are also being pursued by gangsters who want the $30,000 in stolen money for themselves, so Garrett decides to return the criminals and the money by crossing the most god forsaken part of a desert.

This, of course makes for some pretty damn good story telling, and everyone in the cast pulls it off very well. Cameron is good in the lead role, but as usual, Horst Frank steals every scene he's in. The print from Sinister is excellent and widescreen.

One small trivia note here...this movie was filmed back to back with Sergio Leone's "A Fistful Of Dollars". This movie was shot with more money and expected to be much bigger than the Leone film. However it wasn't and the Leone film went on to turn the film world upside down and become a HUGE hit.

If you like Spaghetti westerns, I highly recommend this little gem.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Jane Seymour is 67, Sherry Jackson is 76, and Marie Liljedahl is 68.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

COMING ATTRACTIONS....

Another rare gem is being released by Kino.

On April 24th Kino is releasing the 1953 horror film "The Maze" on Blu-ray and it will also be available in a 3-D version.

I love this bizarre film and look forward to this release. I have no way to watch things in 3-D, but I am sure the Blu-ray will look spectacular in the 2-D version as well.

OCTAMAN 1971 (RETROMEDIA) BLU-RAY

I had the long OOP DVD from Retromedia and then lost it. But now it's back in a great new Blu-ray.

Yes, I like this movie...a lot. As everyone knows, the monster costume was created by a very young Rick Baker and Doug Beswick, and I don't think it's too bad for what they had to work with.

Kerwin Matthews is a scientist who discovers weird little creatures living in a small lake and soon discovers they belong to an upright walking, tentacled monster that also inhabits the watery depth.

Director Harry Essex, who wrote the original "Creature From The Black Lagoon" used the same exact idea here, even down to some scenes verbatim. The creature tries to prevent the scientific team from leaving and he even carries off leading lady Pier Angeli.

I know the movie is goofy, but I have always had a soft spot for it because I know what kind of headache it is to make a movie with no time or money, and I do like Matthews, Angeli and Jeff Morrow.

The Blu-ray is paired with another film called "The Cremators" which I will review here in a day or two. There is an interview with Baker about his experiences with the film, and it's a hoot. The picture and sound quality on this Blu-ray ain't bad at all despite what some of the "fanboys" are saying.