Upcoming stuff and junk

I’m running this early in the week as I will not be posting from Thursday through Saturday because I will be away. Still hoping to review Welcome to blood city and She-creature this week. If I don’t get to one of those this week then I will get to it next week. Also next week I will try to finally do another Poster Postings, Dr. Smith will drop by, I’ll review Abbott and Costell meet the mummy plus one more film at least. Back when I wrote a music blog I used to have a column called Reviews for suckas where Mr. T would drop by and give short reviews of albums. I am thinking of reviving that feature here only with movie reviews.
Take care.

Four ways to spot a season three Star Trek episode

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So fans of the original series of Star Trek all know that season three was the weakest season. There were good episodes like Day of the dove and the Tholian Web, but there was plenty of crap too. In fact most of Trek’s worst episodes come from this season. It’s not just the writing that suffered that season either. There were some slight changes and if you look closely the editing was very sloppy this time around. If you turn into the middle of an episode and for some reason you are not like me and have not seen every episode 100 times then look for these signs to see if it is a season three episode.

Kirk’s stomach– I don’t know if Kirk’s shirt shrunk or not although I expect not. Let’s just say that Kirk’s tummy is a bit more full in season three.

Scotty’s hair-In the first two seasons Scotty had a no-nonsense simple haistyle-combed down. Season three comes around and his hair all combed back like a semi-fancy guy who doesn’t want to get his hands dirty. A very-un Scotty like hair style indeed.

The reverse Kirk hairline part– Look closely during conversations when Kirk in involved particularly when the other person is speaking. You will frequently see shots of Kirk standing there, but look closely to see if the part in his hair and the insignia on his shirt are on the correct side. In season three they frequently used a reverse stock shot of Kirk for some reason on a number of occasions unless Shatner’s hair piece just had a mind of it’s own and jumped all around on his head.

The wrong people at the helm and navigator spots– What I am referring to here is you will see a shot of Kirk on the bridge from the front with someone at the helm and someone at the navigator spot. Then they switch the shot to be behind Kirk to show the planet on the screen. Whoa, wait a minute the backs of the helmsman and navigator show us different guys than the ones we saw from the front. Then they switch to a front shot and we see the navigator and helmsman from the first shot again. You will see Sulu’s back during an early season three episode when you know darn well he wasn’t in the episode because George Takei was off filming the Green Berets with John Wayne at the time. So they reused shots from the back from earlier episodes, but didn’t think anyone would notice that it was different guys. Now this was done during the first two seasons, but not nearly to the extent that it is done in season three.

So there you go.

Psychomania AKA-The Death Wheelers

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1973

Who’s in this?
Nicky Henson as Tom a shaggy leader of a motorcycle gang. He has had a steady career over the years doing quite a bit of British TV. For genre appearances he had a role in Witchfinder General with Vincent Price.

Mary Larkin as Abby the girlfriend of Tom. She worked fairly steady in the 1970’s but only has a few credits since then.

Anne Michelle as Jane another member of the Living Dead. She had fairly steady acting roles in the 70’s, but only a few things since then. For other genre films she was also in House of whipcord, Haunted and Virgin Witch (with her sister Vicki).

George Sanders as Shadwell the family butler, lover of frogs/toads and maybe more than that. Sanders had a great voice and was usually cast as villains. Perhaps most know for the Picture of Dorian Gray and for the voice of Shere Khan in Disney’s the Jungle Book. He was in a lot of movies and did more TV in the 1960’s (including playing Mr Freeze on Batman for a pair of episodes. Psychomania was his last film because he unfortunately committed suicide. He was also married to not one but two of Gabor sisters although not at the same time. I think he was brilliant in the conclusion of Village of the damned and I also feel that he absolutely stole the Jungle Book when he voiced Shere Khan.

Beryl Reid as Mrs. Latham-Tom’s mother. She is involved in the occult in some way. She actually did quite a bit of comedy early in her career mostly in TV and then moved on to films. She had a career that lasted six decades. Other genre films include Dr. Phibes rises again and the Beast in the cellar.

Robert Hardy as police as an Inspector who gets the case involving the Living Dead motorcycle gang and their crime spree. My mother loved British productions and one thing she frequently noted was “Robert Hardy is in everything”. He almost has been having been in shows and movies since the early 50’s and he is still going while he is now in his late 80’s. He has been in David Copperfield, All creatures great and small, Sense and sensibility and even played Cornelius Fudge in the Harry Potter films. For other genre appearances he was in Hammer’s Demons of the mind and the 1994 version of Frankenstein. He also played Winston Churchill several times.

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Let’s go cause grief for the locals! Wooowhooo!

What’s this about?
Tom leads a motorcycle gang complete with little motorcycles and jacket with their first names on the front. You know to help the coppers identify them should they be feeling a bit on the randy side. The gang rides through the local square where they terrorize street vendors and mothers with babies in strollers. Tom gets bored of this mortal life and decides to take a header of the bridge with the police in pursuit. Apparently he, his mom and Shadwell like Toads (I think and not frogs) and have links to the occult and Tom comes roaring back from the dead. Only now nothing can hurt him. He talks Jane and all the male members of the gang into one by one committing suicide so they can be immortal too. Hooray for death..and life again. However Abby holds out no wanting to off herself. Apparently Tom’s mom and Shadwell made a deal that all of this gang has to give up their lives. Which means Abby is holding up the whole thing and Shadwell would seem to be more than just a butler. Meanwhile Tom and the others go crazy with their power killing and smashing and the like. So now the police after them until they become victims as well. Abby fools Tom into thinking she had killed herself and came back. After the gang runs through grocery store knocking over every display possible Tom learns that Abby is not dead and that’s a problem. He tries to talk her into to crossing over, she says no way and he goes to kill her. Unfortunately he is a step too late as Tom’s mom and Shadwell have begun a ritual that will cause Tom, his mom and the undead gang members to all pay. Tom and the undead members turn to stone and Abby screams “aaahheeee”. Shadwell shows up to see the results and he seems happy. Roll the credits.

Negatives- Okay, the bad undead were arrogant and had a sticky end coming. Yet is was still hard to watch cool characters like Tom and Jane go all rocky while stick in the mud Abby lives on. I’ve read more than once from British viewers who say Robert Hardy’s accent in this film is awful. Not knowing the accent from that area I am not a good on that, but there must be something to it if several people to make note of it. There is no gore or sex so if you expecting those you may be let down.

Positives-I love British horror films from the mid 50’s to the mid 70’s and for me this film is a top ten. An over the top, unapologetic, tongue in cheek horror-comedy. The acting is as it should be from everyone involved. The pacing works well and the settings particularly the stone pillars are fitting. The early 70’s psych rock soundtrack is strong as well.

This is a great film that does a wonderful job combining horror, dark comedy and other elements into a very enjoyable package. I now watch this film every few months.

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Jane is just hanging around.

The legend of Boggy Creek

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1972

Who’s in this? Some people playing themselves and some playing others but not really anyone that did much else besides this.

What’s this about? This is refered to as a docudrama. So it’s documentary with people re-enacting or retelling events. In this film they are talking the monster of Boggy Creek or the Fouke monster. This is usually described as a bigfoot type creature that has been spotted many times since the 1930’s in the swampy area near Fouke, Arkansas. Fouke is the southwestern part of the state near where it borders Texas and Louisiana. So we get a bunch of short stories about people spotting monster on farms, in the woods and various other places. We also re-enactments complete with a shaggy form lurking far enough back that you can’t tell what it is. We even see a hairy arm reaching in a house to grab a guy while he’s on the potty. Man, you can’t even take a crap without a monster attacking you. That’s horrible. There’s some folk songs about the monster playing as we are shown scenes of the town and the swamp in between stories of sightings. Like any creature sightings related thingie you are going to have believers and non-beleivers. This film just compiles a bunch of sightings from people who are believers and throws it out there.

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How can a nice town like this have a monster?

The negatives-Given the style of the film it’s fairly slow. It’s people talking and low budget recreations. So that is not going to be for eveeyone. Even though it was made in the 1970’s the narration seems kind of dated almost like it’s from the 50’s. I think part of that was to paint the town of Fouke as the kind of back in time kind of town.

The postives-When I was in college on Friday nights one year me and a friend watch this show about ghost sightings. A couple of months into it my friend got mad and went on this rant about the show never really finding a ghost or proof of a ghost and that made him not want to watch it again. My point being if you go into this film looking for proof and sensational footage you will be let down. However if you like legends and hearing accounts that hint at the posisibility of the existance of such a creature then you may be entertained. I definitely fall into that second group.

A site about the Fouke monster.
http://www.foukemonster.net/

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I see a shaggy carpet out there.

Upcoming stuff and junk

Hoping to review The legend of Boggy Creek today. Maybe a list of some sorts on Friday. Next week I’ll be away from Thursday through Saturday so I will only be writing a few days. Right now I know Dr. Smith will be by, maybe I’ll finally do another Poster Posting and hopefully reviews of Welcome to blood city and She Creature. Here’s some brief plans for the upcoming months

September-For September I may try to switch the focus to sci-fi and fantasy films a little just because I know I’ll be dedicating October to horror films. This month will see the debut of Mecha G’s Monster of the month column plus Dinosaur week will happen at some point.

October-Vampire Week will happen at some point plus Halloween memories from me as well as lots of horror movie reviews likely including Universal monsters, Hammer horror, maybe even a slasher film or two plus even some monster tv shows perhaps like the Munsters and Tales from the darkside.

As always Dr. Smith will be by weekly with insults and Zardoz will come by every now and then to deliver a funny.

Have a great week!

Monster (and some space) surf covers

In the summer I listen to quite a bit of surf music. I guess because surf music and it’s culture plus monsters were all big in the 60’s that there is a connection of sorts. So it’s not surprising (to me anyways) that bands would have a love for both and combine them. Some of the bands below also combine punk and or garage rock in with the surf influences. Here are some my favorite covers from the genre.

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Ghouls Night Out - The Mourning After

Phantom+Creeps

Interviews

As I mentioned last week I am hoping to start a new column here at my blog where once a month we will feature a monster. I decided to hire a monster host for this column. So I put out an ad, got some applications and it was time for interviews. The big question was…
“What would you bring to this position?”

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This guy said he’s not just another pretty face.

Mole-Person
This one said they love to dig into their work.

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This one said that that he would bring his sparkling personality.

This guy said…
Mechagodzilla

To which I said “you’re hired”. So next month will see the debut of Mecha G’s Monster of the month feature.

Day the world ended

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1956

Who’s in this?
Well, the main reason I wanted to see this film was because it stars I am a big Creature from the black lagoon fan and this one has the male star of the first film Richard Denning and the female star of the second Creature film-Lori Nelson. Mike Connors (listed as Touch Connors) is in here too over a decade before becoming a household name as Mannix.

What’s this about? So this film says it begins with the end oh so a minute in and lets roll the cred…oh, wait there’s more to this film (or so they say). When you were a kid did you ever go visit relatives and for whatever reason you had to sit for what seemed liked forever listening to adults talk about something you had no interest in? Yeah, well this film has a lot of that sitting around and blabbering on so take a seat sonny and missy and prepare for not much. So a nuclear war takes place and a few people survive. Eventually they end up at this one isolated house hosted by a guy named Jim who has not only been planning for the end of the world but seems excited about it because he is a ruler now with his gun and his key to the pantry. Yacka Yacka as people drone on, they fear radioactive rain and have to eat less. Then we get some soap opera stuff if your eyes are still open. An old guy geezer and his mule take a drink of some sour stuff and everyone else sits around growling. One guy in the house sneaks out at times, but he’s starting to change as his face looks bumpy like he stuck his chin in a beehive. The main guy Jim refers to the greaser Tony as “I know his kind, spawned in bilge water”. The middle aged woman gets drunk and starts dancing while telling of her glory days-ho,hum. Jim fell asleep which means he must have been watching what I was watching. A couple of the group go wandering off look for the bumpy chin guy who ends up changing even more before getting killed and his look is actually called “atomic skin” here. No, really they said that. Anyways the movie crawls on, the old scruffy guy goes after where he thinks gold is. Then we get rain, one of the woman Louise takes a swim while something in the shadows watches her. Later she is sleeping and feels the need to get up and stroll out into a woods where she meets a bumpy beastie and she promptly fates. Way to handle the situation. Rick goes after Louise because there isn’t anything else to do. Tony the bad old slickster gets a gun from Jim. Meanwhile outside Rick goes after the monster who up close has three eyes and looks like a rotten turd with plastic spikes on it’s head. The rain comes, the monster flees yet the pain lingers as the film goes on. Eventually the creature starts smoking and falls over. Louise feels sorry for the dead monster and I feel sorry for myself for having to watch this whole thing. Tony plans to kill Rick and Louise as they approach the house. Jim shoots Tony to stop him and apparently once a nuclear war happens bullets don’t cause holes or blood as Tony just falls over with no apparent damage from what should have been three point blank shots. Jim tells Louise and Rick there is a future for them and then he dies-lucky dog. Roll the credits.

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You all come back now, you here.

The negatives- It’s like they had 12 minutes of ideas and they stretched it into 82 minutes. Slow doesn’t begin to describe the painful pace this film went through. Even the monster doesn’t help a lot because they don’t use it very much. Maybe it was made of such cheap material that they were afraid it would fall apart if it was in a fake fight.

The positives-The only reason to see this film might be for the cast. Quite honestly everyone tries fairly hard with the parts they have. With a lesser cast (and no Black Lagoon alumni) I would have turned this off around the 25 minute mark.

I had high hopes for this, but it was tough to make it through the whole thing.

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Tony’s toxic taco gas will get us all!