Recent aquisitions

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The kids were sick last week which happened to be their spring break week. I have not had a great deal of tv watching time. I did pick up a few DVDs though mostly for the kids.

Hop-I got this one as the kids Easter present from us. A fairly enjoyable film about the future Easter Bunny and his struggle with his role. $7.50

Flushed away-The kids saw this at the dollar theater years ago and liked it. Kind of a North by Northwest of the sewer world. Pretty good. $5.00

The Three Stooges collection-6 movie set-Two older movies with Curly Howard and four from the later Stooges line-up with Curly Joe. The two older films are good. The other four are from the less violent and much older Stooge line-up and they are all right. One of these films may show up in the theme week I hope to tackle next week. $5.00

 

Here comes Peter Cottontail

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1971

So here we have an Easter special where the title hero is voiced by the same guy that voices a legendary monster hunter (Casey Kasem -Norville Shaggy Rogers) and the villain one January Irontail is voiced by a legendary horror film actor (Vincent Price). Toss in some treachery, a giant bat, a time travel device, a witch plus more and this show definitely deserves mentioning on my blog.

So the old Easter bunny needs a replacement because yeah he’s old. Peter Cottontail is energetic and popular, but also cocky and not always responsible. Oh and when he lies his ear droops. He gets selected to be Easter bunny, but a sour nasty bunny named January Irontail challenges Peter to a contest and whoever gives away the most eggs gets to be Easter bunny. Irontail sabotages Peter’s clock and Peter sleeps through the day-what a lump. Irontail gives away one egg but that’s enough for the win. Now he will wreck Easter for everyone and it’s all Peter’s fault! Wait the caterpillar/pilot Pierre can pilot this machine to go back in the calendar. So if Peter can go back and give away more than one egg he will win. So much like half the Star Trek movies it’s time travel to the rescue. Like any good villain Irontail is going to see this one through and he follows Peter to try and stop this effort to pull out a win. Peter and Pierre go to Mother’s Day and Thanksgiving but no one wants Easter eggs then because it’s not Easter, you lunkhead. He tries giving the eggs the red, white and blue while passing them off as fireworks to give them to two kids on July 4th, but no go-here’s your crappy eggs back, liar! Peter saves Bonnie Bonnet at Christmas time and almost gives the eggs away at that time, but Irontail stops him. Although a certain iconic Christmas dude also keeps Irontail from running off with the eggs for good. Irontail calls in a favor with his Halloween friends to go after Peter, but our good bunny almost sways them but time runs out on his stay there before he can give eggs away. At Valentine’s it looks like Peter can give the red and pink eggs away – hey wouldn’t these eggs be getting kind of rotten after all of this time? Oh, well anyways Peter can’t give them away at Valentines because Irontail turns them all green. Oh, shoot now it’s all over there isn’t any sort of lame holiday where people like green. Oh, wait a minute there is so at St. Patty’s day Peter gives away the eggs-he shoots, he scores! Peter becomes the new Easter Bunny and he’s a good one! Pierre becomes a butterfly! Bonnie gets taken for Easter by someone that wants her! The old Easter bunny is proud of Peter! Irontail ends up having to clean up after everybody in town-that’s what you get, skunkface! All is well.

A real classic from Rankin  and Bass. It tends to get overlooked in favor of all the Christmas specials from the same company. They used to show this one when I was a kid. It’s very good, the plot, the voices and the way it looks are all great. My favorite part is all the different holidays that get included. We watch it every year around this time and sometimes even more than once like this year.

 

Happy Easter!

 

 

 

 

 

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Die, sister, die!

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1972

Characters in this film.

Edward-Brother to Amanda and Nell.

Amanda-Oldest of the three kids.

Nell-Youngest of the three, daddy’s favorite.

Esther-Nurse hired by Edward to watch Amanda and eventually kill her.

Mrs Rodriquez-Long time servant for the family.

Dr. Thorne-Family doctor.

Father-Father of the three kids listed above.

 

So Amanda has tried to kill herself again but failed. Her father died some time ago. Her brother James is a real snake (after all he did try to catch the A-team before), but acts concerned. He hires a nurse Esther  (don’t trust her she tried to take over Kirk in Catspaw) to watch Amanda but ultimately to let her succeed at suicide. The reason being so that Edward can get the house and all of the money. The father died some time ago and younger daughter Nell ran off and has not been heard from. So Amanda got almost everything and Edward is stuck being second in line and he’s okay with speeding up the process. Amanda is a shrewd woman and right away realizes Esther is likely working for Edward and comes and asks and lets Esther know she will be watching her. Then we get a lot of talking, Edward and Esther make out (yucky), but Esther says she worries that Edward will try to wipe her out once Amanda is gone to wrap up loose ends. Amanda questions Esther but eventually has a little respect for her. Edward goes to the hardware store to buy powerful poison to kill moles or maybe his sister, yeah I think it’s for his sister. He puts the poison in these pills she will be taking. Meanwhile Amanda has a nightmare- a spoiler nightmare. Amanda was stuck watching her father and helped him a lot. He was mean to her and distrusted Edward. Daddy-o got mad at Amanda and said he was going to take her and Edward out of the will and leave everything to Nell who hadn’t helped at all. Edward and Nell were nearby and heard this too. Nell laughs at Amanda over this and rubs it in her face. Amanda tries to attack Nell, she flees and Amanda calls for Edward to grab her. Edward with dollar signs in his eyes stops Nell. Amanda holds Nell’s arms while Edward strangles her with her scarf. Boom Nell is dead and the dad comes and sees it and ker-plunk he’s dead too. It’s hinted that Edward was going to hide Nell’s corpse in the house. Amanda is awakened from the nightmare by Esther. Now you may be wondering why I even mentioned the Doctor and Mrs. Rodriquez so okay here you go. Mrs. Rodriquez is having a check-up with the Dr. and reveals to him odd happenings about the fact that the day the father died Nell also left quickly. The doctor begins placing calls to see if Nell really got on a plane that day and learns there is nothing to say she did so he is suspicious. Edward gives the tainted pills to Esther and says have Amanda take these. Esther begins to but has a change of heart and tries to stop Amanda, but wrapped in guilt Amanda wants to die. She gets to the roof and despite Esther trying to stop her Amanda jumps to her death. The doctor and the police arrived in time to see the last part. Esther calls Edward to the house because her sister has died. Edward has his act ready, but says too much as he goes on about the pills causing his sister’s death but neither Esther or the doctor mentioned that as a cause of death because it wasn’t. Amanda had changed her will to leave everything to Esther not Edward and she left a full confession that she and Edward had killed Nell and said that Nell’s body is in a locked room in the basement. We get to see the shriveled corpse and Edward gets arrested. Esther decides not to stay at the house and leaves it to Mrs Rodriquez.

This film is slow and more a psychological thriller than a horror film. However it’s quite decent. It plays out more like a made for tv movie than a theatrical release, but that’s not the case. It’s well acted and everything falls into place by the end of the film. Parts of the plot and the dream sequence remind me some of Roger Corman’s Poe films only not so heavy handed. This was one of those bargain basement collections and I expected a clunker but was surprised by a very watchable film with some decent ideas.

 

 

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Upcoming stuff and junk

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I am hoping to review Die, sister, die this week, but I have to find time to watch the last third of the movie. I hope to review the Rankin-Bass classic Here comes Peter Cottontail on Easter. For next week Robin and Dr. Smith should both be by, maybe a list about guests I wish had been on the original Star Trek. Plus a review or two.

Take care!

Scars of Dracula

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1970

This one frequently gets ripped to shreds even by or particularly by Hammer fans. It would be the last Dracula film that Hammer would do in a gothic setting. So let’s see happened here. This short flop haired guy who likes woman and he may do okay with them, but his luck on this night is just awful. To avoid the law he flees town and one wild event after another transpires then eventually he ends up at Dracula’s castle running for his life aieeee. So then his flop haired, not so bright brother and his girlfriend go looking for floppy hair number one. They run into a bartender (Michael Ripper steady as always) and a bunch of floppy wigged goons who run them out of town. You see they lost all their women folk early in the film to Dracula so now they just hate everyone who mentions vampires, Dracula, the castle or kitty cats well not kitty cats, but yes to the others. Anyways of course flop hair # 2 and his girlfriend end up at the castle dealing with Dracula (a very pale and bored looking Christoper Lee) and his weird as all get out servant Klove (Patrick Troughton). Drac seems nice at first but hey we’ve this before he just wants the girl. Flop hair # 2 is just a little smarter than his brother. Drac gets his girl briefly and he discovers his brother has a big hook sticking through what used to be his chest-aw so sad. So eventually there is a final fight in front of a cheap as dirt backdrop classy, realistic looking edge of a castle. Dracula picks ups a metal rod and impales the lame hero and his girl in a grisly manner with blood gushing everywhere. Everyone chants Drac-Drac-Drac! Yeah, right the vampire never wins in these. What really happens is lighting hits the metal rod and old pointy teeth or at least his stuntman catches on fire and jumps off the ledge to his death- yaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh! The goody goodies triumph and roll the credits.

The bad-The production values are pretty crap in many aspects this time around. We see strings on the bat, the stunt man’s mask in the fire, wrinkles in the backdrop, the day for night is worse than films that Hammer did ten years prior. The story is run of the mill. Christopher Lee seems ready for the film to end as soon as possible. The holes in logic-vampire girl getting stabbed by Drac, Klove letting in nasty villagers just because they say they have something for him and other slips.

The good-It’s a gothic Dracula from Hammer and that always appeals to me. It has an overall decent cast. There are some good items visually, the castle, the valley below, the gore effects on flop hair # 1 and others.

It’s far from Hammer’s best but I tend to like it more than most people. The fact that it was one of the first I saw in the series may help as well.

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Monster Fighting 101: The Creature from the Black Lagoon

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So it you run into this big old fishy guy here are some tips.

1-Distance as in keeps yours from his. He’s a strong dude and can rip flesh with those claws.
2-He’s a fish dude so don’t think you can out swim him. If you go in the water after him (for some ungodly reason) you better have a weapon and a helper or two. He’s is in his natural element there.
3-He can be on land and can be strong for a while, but only for limited periods. So use that to your advantage if you run into him on land. Keep your distance and try to observe if he’s gasping or not for being out of the water too long. If he is it may be time to strike if you have a good weapon and/or some help.
4-Knock out powder that some crazy old sea captain uses to konk out fish apparently works on the creature if you use large amounts. So pick up a big canister of fish zonker or whatever the next time you are Trader Joes or whatever store you go to.
5-Being alone when the creature is around is a big no-no. Travel in groups and be prepared to shove the other person in front of you and say “take them first” when the creature comes.
6-If a woman in a soaked evening dress is laying on the beach it’s not a gift from the heavens. So don’t go checking on her close because the creature will pop up and either toss you nose first into a tree or just crush your skull like a peanut shell.
7-A gun with a good range and a strong flashlight or something even brighter seem to work best for bringing this dude down if he’s out in the water.
8-Oh and don’t change him into an air breather because he really hates that.

There you go, hope those helped.

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