Excuse me my dear boy while I enlighten the masses with another insult. This week it is Negligent Ninny. Perhaps not one you can use on just anyone. So hold on to it and use it in just the proper situation. You may thank me later. Good day to you.
For the new year Dr. Smith’s Insult of the week, Mecha-G’s monster of the month and occasional Zardoz visits will continue as well as at least one theme week per month. I’m also considering doing a column to review every episode of Space Precinct in order. I don’t want to commit to doing it weekly because I don’t know if that will happen, but I do want to take on reviewing every episode of that series starting in January. Back in the 90′s a cable channel used to show a weekly thing called dinner and a movie where they showed a movie and the hosts prepared a recipe in between parts of the film. The food had some name that tied it into the movie they were showing or someone in the film. I’m considering doing a weekly segment where I’ll something like that. Only I’ll do a short review of a film and include a recipe of some main course or snack type food that goes along with the film, a character or an actor/actress in the movie. Not sure any food I make is worth passing on but I may give it a try a few times and see how it goes. So those are plans for features for the new year. Feel free to add any other ideas for features that you would like to see.
As I get ready for Christmas episode week later this month I am reminded of the lack of Christmas episodes in sci-fi series. Yes, I’ll find enough to review for a week. However they are all series set in either present day (when they were made) or the past and not in the future so much. Yes, Captain Kirk met Helen Noel at a Christmas party, but that was mentioned and not seen. Maybe spaceships, interplanetary travel and futuristic cities are more exciting than Christmas lights, caroling and eggnog. Perhaps religion has changed in the future and the holiday isn’t what it was. Another thought might be that sci-fi writers just shy away from the topic. They were not afraid to have snow and ice, but apparently the holiday and the weather don’t always go hand in hand in space or the future.
***Why do you think there aren’t more Christmas sci-fi episodes?
***What sci-fi show do you wish had done a Christmas episode?
I’m still hoping to review the Fury of Hercules this week. The problem is I still need watch like 40 minutes of it and my time to watch a movie has been limited this week by…
A-doing stuff with the kids
B-different hours at work
C-my recent obsession with watching every episode of the 90′s show Space Precinct
Next week I hope to do Christmas special week with reviews of Rudolph the red nosed reindeer, Santa Claus is coming to town and He-man and She-ra a Christmas special plus something in general about Christmas specials. Dr. Smith will drop by and maybe even Zardoz.
“Grrroooaawrrrrr! I’ll grind your miserable souls into dust. Beware, I’ll…” Oh, hey there it’s me Mecha G and it’s time again for my monster of the month. For December it is the She-Demons from the 1958 film of the same name (to be reviewed at this site at some point in the near future). Once beautiful woman are turned by Nazis into flesh starved beasts on a remote island jungle. Oh but those madmen shall pay oh they shall. Time to get back to my full time job. “Here I come, tiny humans. Get ready for hot raging death! Try some of my finger missiles!”
Who’s in this?
Claude Akins as Bert Springer. Akins had a great, gruff voice and a long career mostly as a character actor. He was in a number of westerns and fans of 70′s TV may remember him as the co-star of Movin’ on and as Sheriff Lobo on BJ and the bear. I remember him most from the classic Twilight Zone episode the Monsters are due on Maple street.
Pat Hingle as Doc Hodgins. Another veteran of many westerns. You may also know him as Commissioner Gordon from several Batman movies.
Howard Hesseman as Fred one of the pilots who crashes early on. This was shortly before Hesseman would become Dr. Johnnie Fever on WKRP in Cincinnati. He also later starred in Head of the class.
Matthew Laborteaux as Matthew (a real stretch). Another familiar face as you may know him as Albert from Little house on the prairie.
What’s this about and back story? This made for TV movie must have been shown numerous times in the late 1970′s or else it was just and it left an impression on me. At the time I thought it was horrifying and I’m fairly sure that I didn’t see after like 1980. That is until I bought a used copy of it like four years ago just in time for Halloween. So these guys are taking off in this plane from Guatemala and they are hauling coffee beans, unauthorized passengers and tarantulas. The pilots don’t know about that last one. One of the illegal guys gets bit in mid-flight and starts suffering ohhhh. Pretty soon the plane crashes near a small town in California and the plane begins spilling fuel. The townspeople stumble and bumble their way through trying to contain the fuel spill. The tarantulas make their way out of the plane and towards town. So they cause havoc, people die and people scream. There are little stops in the film every 12-15 minutes, oh wait that’s where the commercials went when it first on television. Anyways eventually all the important townspeople make their way to the orange processing plant to fight the eight legged terrors. They set up all these speakers and play Tom Jones albums to to paralyze the spiders. That’s not right. They play the recordings of bees at high volumes and is paralyzes them. Wait, that makes less sense than the Tom Jones idea. The spiders lay there like they are fake, oh wait I think they are. The people pick them up and put them in jars because pickled tarantula that’s good eating mmmm boy. Oh wait they are not for eating. There is a glitch with the electricity and the spiders may awaken and beat the humans, but alas the power comes back on and the spiders go sleepy time again. Anyways roll the credits.
The negatives-It’s not the fear factory I remembered it to be. It’s actually kind of slow and not scary at all.
The positives-The film does have a decent cast and a nice setting. It’s an okay film, but not even the best spider film of it’s year as the William Shatner vehicle Kingdom of the spiders is far superior.
Who’s in this and why would they want to be?
Gary Busey as Millard Findlemeyer a killer, not very nice at all kind of dude and soon to be soul or something of a nasty cookie. He has been in like everything and still going strong.
Robin Sydney as Sarah Leigh who works in a bakery and is soon to be a target for a demonic piece of baked dough. She seems to be in a bunch films well like this one.
There are other people who wander in and out of this film kind of like how customers wander in an out of a bakery like one in this film only there’s a baked good with murder in his sugar eyes trying to cut people down.
So some of Sarah’s relatives die at the hands of Findlemeyer and no it wasn’t because they made fun of his name. Sarah survives and lives with her pain kind of like viewers live with the pain this film inflicts on their senses. Findlemeyer eventually gets executed and we never hear from again…yeah right. He is cremated and his ashes are sent back disguised as gingerbread seasoning to the bakery where Sarah works. So she and a a co-worker unwittingly add the ashes into the gingerbread batch they are making. The co-worker gets cut and bleeds into the mix so they keep stirring it in. Now that’s scary. Eventually this way too big gingerbread glop gets baked into a golden brown killer! Where’s a vat of coffee when you need it for such situations? Anyways this evil from the oven chases Sarah and some other goofs around the bakery eventually killing some of them although not soon enough because they talk and talk and talk. Some snooty girl gets killed by our candy decorated demon, a goofy want to be bad boy tries to act tough, the bleeder from earlier shows up in wrestling gear and bites and eats part of the gingerbread man only to have his badness effect him from within and I mean more than heartburn. Blah, blah, blah the annoying youngsters triumph over the not so special effect driven title character, but you know he’ll be back again and again whether we like it or not.
The negatives-A semi-promising cheese fest is let down just not enough going on. It starts out some wackiness and likable crap, but after 40 or so minutes or maybe even earlier the cast is standing around the ideas seem more done than gingerbread dude himself.
The positives-Man, Gary Busey of course. Lame junk or not he helps, but the script doesn’t do him a lot of favors. I liked the cheap look of the film to an extent. You’d think baked goods going bad would have been more entertaining.
For December I hope to take on two theme weeks which will be on Christmas specials week and Christmas episodes week.
For next year I am hoping to take on the following theme weeks at a rate of one per month.
90′s super heroes
Peter Cushing as the Baron you know Frankenstein. This was the third of six times that Cushing played the Baron for Hammer films.
What’s this about?
Remember the first two Hammer Frankenstein films? If you don’t that’s okay, but this film kind acts like most of those two films never happened either. Frankenstein and his assistant Hans (aren’t all the secondary guys in this films either Hans or Karl?) get caught accepting a stolen corpse and they flee town only to run back to another town that the Baron was run out of. Not a popular gent that Frankenstein. Anyways in this town the Baron owns a residence. He is returning because he needs cash and he left furniture and artwork there so he hope to sell it off to get money to keep funding his bizarre research. So they get to the castle and find nothing, we’ve been robbed! Oh, well this gives the Baron a chance to fill us in on a back story and pad the film’s length. He tells of a monster he created in the past. The monster loved to eat human flesh ewww yucky. The monster got out which wouldn’t have happened if the baron had a leash on him or a better fence up. Anyways the locals gave chase. The Baron was shot and thrown in jail while the monster was shot and then vanished. Back to present day and the Baron and his assistant put on masks and go in to town where they are having a festival of sorts. The Baron sees the Burgomeister wearing his ring and he freaks out, the police go after the Baron but he gets away. The two run into a deaf girl with poofy carrot colored hair. She leads them to her home in a cave where they discover a monster pop well actually it’s Frankenstein’s old monster only frozen. So they pull out a blow drier and thaw him out. Oh, wait no electricity so they use fire to thaw him out. Dagnabbit the monster won’t respond. Maybe he’s upset about looking like a third rate version of Karloff’s block head style monster or maybe that gunshot years ago hurt him. Anyways the Baron employees a sideshow hypnotist to try and revive the monster. Nothing but the best for the Baron and his creature. However it works but the hypnotist has some power over the monster which he uses to get back at people he doesn’t like. The monster is though of as a uh monster. The Baron socks the hypnotist and throws his hide out of the castle. Unfortunately the Baron soon gets nabbed by the law. Hans and the mute girl try to calm the monster without much luck. The Baron gets free and goes back to the castle where he has a wrestling match with the monster (fitting since the monster is played by a wrestler). The Baron tells Hans and the girl to flee. They go and the castle goes blooey. Roll the credits.
The negatives-I didn’t care for monster’s make-up. They tried to a Universal style monster and it’s rather poor. The plot point with the hypnotist trying to revive the monster seems a bit thrown together. The film seems like a step back in the series compared to the previous two films. It’s not bad, but it lacks the darkness of the previous films and comes across as being a bit too basic.
The positives-Peter Cushing just about always delivers and this movie is no exception. He gives his best. The sets and scenery are mostly quite good.