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Friday, February 5, 2016

Thursday, February 4, 2016

VALLEY OF GWANGI 1969 (WARNER)

Simply a great film with effects by Ray Harryhausen!!

It has been some time since I watched this wonderful film and watching it a few nights ago was sheer joy. James Franciscus is Tuck, a man who comes to a small Mexican town and finds the woman who was once the love of his life working in a small time circus.

T.J. (Gila Golan) has bigger plans than Tuck knows. they rekindle their relationship only to have trouble strike almost immediately. That trouble is in the form of a theft by some gypsies of a small prehistoric horse that T.J. has trained to appear in her new show. The horse is taken to a mysterious "Forbidden Valley" with everyone else in hot pursuit.

The cowboys soon discover, along with Prof. Bromley (Laurence Naismith) that the valley is over run with prehistoric life. they try and capture some of the animals for the circus but fail. Finally they meet Gwangi (a named given to him by the gypsies). This beast is more trouble than they realize, but they do finally manage to capture him and bring him back for the circus.

Gwangi escapes and goes on a rampage until he is trapped in a huge church and dies in a fire. The Harryhausen effects are some of the best work he ever did and if far out-shadows the real actors, which it is supposed to do. I love the scene with the huge Pterodactyl that attempts to snatch a young boy who is with Tuck. A simply great scene that has NEVER been matched in my opinion.

I recommend this film to ANYONE who likes Harryhausen film as well as a combo of western and sci-fi. EXCELLENT!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

George Romero is 76, Alice Cooper is 68, Pamelyn Ferdin is 57, and Gary Conway is 80.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

THE WHIP HAND 1951 (TCM VIEWING)

What a great film noir!!

A young man has an accident while fishing and arrives in a small town only to be met with hostility and suspicion. He goes to the doctor and has a few stitches in his head and notices that the doctor is somewhat tight-lipped about everything.

He takes a liking to the doctors sister and he gets a room at a small boarding house. After finding out that the fish in the lake have been killed by a mysterious disease he decides to stay in town and write an article for a magazine about the small town.

That is when things really start to go down hill and he soon finds himself in "protective custody", as he puts it. It seems that this small town in Minnesota has been taken over the Nazi-Communists and they are working on taking over America via germ warfare by introducing germs into our water supply.

Elliot Reed is the star an he does a very good job as Matt Corbin, the young man who finds a story so big it might cost him his life. Raymond Burr, Edgar Barrier, Lurene Tuttle, Carla Balenda, Lewis Martin and Otto Waldis round out a great cast.

I cannot recommend this film enough. It is top notch film noir, but also has a great sci-fi edge that is somewhat still timely to this day. This needs a Blu-ray release.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Morgan Fairchild is 66, and Pamela Franklin is 66.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Monday, February 1, 2016

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Ronda Rousey is 29, Bill Mumy is 62, Stuart Whitman is 88, Nancy Gates is 90, and William Lustig is 61.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

4 FOR TEXAS 1964 (TCM VIEWING)

Finally got a chance to view this film the other day.

Robert Aldrich directed this western starring Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. Sinatra is Zack Thomas and Martin is Joe Jarrett. The two manage to steal $100,000 dollars and crooks are always on their trail.

Charles Bronson is the main baddie in this film as he is a hired killer who tries to kill Thomas and Jarrett. The two men are aided by the gorgeous Anita Ekberg and the hotter than hell Ursula Andress.

The comedy is light an works in the story just fine and the Three Stooges even have small roles as a trio of idiots who deliver a naked portrait of Andress to the newly purchased riverboat casino that both men have bought. I enjoyed the laid back style and the fun that everyone working on the film seemed to have.

If you like westerns, you might like this little film that seems to have faded into slight obscurity. The supporting cast includes Jack Elam, Richard Jaeckel, Victor Buono, Mike mazurki, Wesley Addy, Virginia Christine, and Ellen Corby. Recommended!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Daniela Bianchi is 74.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

RIP FRANK FINLAY 1926-2016

The fine British actor has passed away.

Frank Finlay has a very illustrious career that spanned over 50 years.

He starred in such films as "THE DEADLY BEES", "MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING", "SHAFT IN AFRICA", "LIFE FORCE" and many, many more.

What is really strange is that he passed away today (Jan. 30th) and I watched my favorite movie of his tonight which is "LIFE FORCE". Very eerie. He was 89.

TWICE TOLD TALES 1963 (KINO) BLU-RAY

Three tales of terror from the pen of Nathanial Hawthorne.

Vincent Price stars in all three tales and that alone makes this movie very watchable. In the first story entitled "Dr. Heidigger's Experiment" Price stars along with Sabastian Cabot as two old friends who accidentally discover water that makes one young again and also gives life to the dead. Heidigger (Cabot) uses it on the body of the woman he loves who died 38 years ago. She comes back to life, and then the terror sets in.

The woman is played by lovely Mari Blanchard and she plays well off of Cabot and Price. Good story with a great ending.

The second tale is called "Rappaccini's Daughter" and stars Price as Dr. Giacomo Rapaccini, a man who has no love for the world and also has a very lovely daughter, Beatrice, played by Joan Taylor. Rappaccini it seems is bitter about his wife leaving him many years ago so he has developed a formula and injected his daughter with it. Everything she touches burns and dies and that is only half the problem.

One day a young man played by Brett Halsey sees Beatrice in the garden and instantly falls for her. After much chasing he finally learns what is what and there the story takes a very dark tone. This is a fine story with all the leads doing well with their parts. It holds your attention well.

The final story is "House Of the Seven Gables" and this time Price is Gerald Pyncheon, a man who returns to his family estate with a new bride and a hunger to find the hidden family fortune. Beverly Garland is his bride Alice and Richard Denning is his friend Jonathan.

This is a solid tale of murder, madness, greed and much more and the ending makes for a fitting end to a pretty good omnibus film. For some reason this is largely ignored by fans of horror as well as Vincent Price fans. It is irected by Sidney Salkow and the widescreen photography is beautiful on this Blu-ray disc.

If you haven't already, I would check this out. As I said, a pretty good horror film.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Dorothy Malone is 91, and Rebecca Quin is 29.

Friday, January 29, 2016

KILL BILL VOL. 1 2003 (MIRAMAX) BLU-RAY

I talked about this film a couple of years ago and have finally re-watched it on Bluray and it looks even better than it did before.

Uma Thurman is a former assassin who has her entire wedding party slaughtered by a man named Bill and his army of killers that she once belonged to.

This movie you probably all know anyway, but it always amuses me just how many references to 60's horror films and TV shows are in this film.

Anyway, if you get the chance, check it out.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Heather Graham is 46, Tom Selleck is 71, Katherine Ross is 76, and Marc Singer is 68.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

GLADIATORS OF ROME 1963 (MILL CREEK)

Pretty good peplum film.

Gordon Scott stars as Marcus Lucilius, a man who vows to protect a young woman and winds up a Gladiator fighting in Rome. The young woman turns out to be a Princess who also happens to be a Christian.

She convinces Marcus of her religious beliefs and he helps fight for the Christians who are being killed and persecuted by the Romans.

There are some interesting scenes in this film and more than a few times one seems to see nothing but hopelessness in any situation. Scott plays the role well and so does his leading lady Wandisa Guida, who made quite a few of these kinds of films.

The print from Mill Creek isn't good as far as color goes, but it is very watchable. recommended for fans of Peplum films.