Kronos

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1957

Jeff Morrow as Dr. Leslie Gaskell. Morrow was most active in the 50’s and 60’s and he was This Island Earth, the Robe and lots of others. He had a great voice and a serious face.

Barbara Lawrence as Vera Hunter. Lawrence was active between the mid 40’s and early 60’s. She was in Oklahoma!, A street with no name and a number of other films.

This films was very slow. So slow that not much happens until the end and by then you have probably stopped by caring. So instead of boring you with a real right up I’ll just throw ten things out about this film.

1-Apparently the aliens who built Kronos were greatly influenced by a box kite.

2-Jeff Morrow almost smiled in this film, yes almost.

3-Apparently other civilizations use animated dots to take over humans.

4-Watching stock footage of a helicopters shadow made me just as sleepy as stock footage of a helicopter.

5-Apparently giant robots like to sit and settle a while before leaping into action.

6-Some spaceships can move in herky jerky motions whenever they want.

7-Back in the 1950’s lightning looked like it was done by animation instead of you know looking real.

8-It’s okay to just land you helicopter on top of a giant alien robot and just step out on the robot without any protection or weapons.

9-Some times giant robots look like something that Wil E. Coyote bought to stop the roadrunner.

10-In the 50’s the computers were huge and you rarely ever to touch button. Which was convenient as scientists could have their hands free for important things like smoking.

I will toss in some positives. Despite the lack of events or cohesive script I still like Morrow and Lawrence and thought they worked well together. The few outdoor on locations scenes were nice. Although the robot is very low budget they tried to get decent angles of it and some worked out fine. I liked that Kronos landed in Mexico instead of the usual locations like New York or California (although I am guessing it was filmed in Cali).

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Zardoz funnies-Holiday wishes

Zardoz hasn’t been around for a while and even though he may be a little late with part of this, but here you go.

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If you don’t get it then you’ve probably not seen his movie. Anyways in 2014 look for new pics of Zardoz, more funnies from him and he may even form his own super powered team of sorts.

Thinking ahead to the New Year

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I mentioned the other week about features at my that are staying or coming on board. I was thinking more about the writing itself so my goals in my writing here in 2014 are as follows…

-To continue to slaughter the English language.

-To throw in as many odd ball references as possible.

-To be objective and to to look for the good as well as the bad in any and all movies.

-To stick to the topic of the post and to really.. hey look a birdie!

-To force myself to tackle more films that I never seen before ( I have gotten away from this some when I am short on time).

-To try and actually reviews when I say I will (yeah don’t count on that one 100% but I will aim to improve at it).

That’s about it. Also when I first started doing reviews on this blog I included a short list of items I counted in a movie like number of times some one looks at the camera or number of times you can see a wire on a monster. I’m nit sure why I got away from including that likely the above mentioned laziness I enjoy so much but anyways I want to get back into including those counts in my reviews in 2014 which gives me a few more days and a few more reviews to be a slacker for. Feel free to add any suggestions you have for me.

 

I was a teenage movie maker

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Don Glut might be most known for having written the novelization of The empire strikes back. However years before that actually from 1953 to 1969 he made a lot of home movies. Most were horror and science fiction films and all were fairly short. So this two disc collection includes a documentary about his films plus it includes all 41 movies. The documentary is quite good as it explores what motivated Glut to make these films, hos he did his special effects and other behind the scenes information. You can tell how he had a real love for film and the characters and themes he focused on. He obviously was a big fan of dinosaurs, super heroes and classic monsters so those were normally the main characters he focused on.  You can see his knowledge skill put to use in the films themselves and you can see his confidence and technique grow over the years. His early films were frequently short and he was just a kid. Most of these were very short and the early monster films frequently involved Halloween make-up and costumes and were filmed in someone’s else. The later films saw handmade costumes with more details, outside filming locations and sometimes even miniatures showed up too. Glut even had the chance to pull in known people into his film like super collector and gorilla suit wearer Bob Burns played Superman and Glenn Strange played the Frankenstein monster for Glut although in a mask rather than the make-up he wore when he did the character for Universal. As a kid it was great to see Dracula, Captain America and dinosaurs in films, but years ago if you wanted to see more of these you had to use your own imagination or create your own drawings, stories or whatever. Don Glut had a camera and stuck with creating these films, pulling his friends in to play roles and trying to get better at it which he did. Any fans of sci-fi, fantasy  and or horror films or just film makers in general will finally to enjoy in this set. I bought it the week it came some years ago and watch it frequently.

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Welcome to blood city

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1977

Who’s in this?
Jack Palance as Frendlander one of the cowboy types with a lot of power and a funny accent. You know Palance from tons of stuff from Shane to Batman to just generally being kind of a loon in most things.

Keir Dullea as Lewis one of the people from the beach who ends taking advantage of whatever it is that’s going on here. You likely know him most as David Bowman from 2001.
Barry Morse as the supervisor. You may know him best as Lt. Gerard the policeman who chased the Fugitive on that show or as Victor on season one of Space 1999.
Chris Wiggins as scruffy and nasty cowboy Gellor. You likely know Wiggins most from Friday the 13th the series where he played Jack Marshak.
Samantha Eggar as Katherine, actually she plays both cowgirl and scientist. Eggar is perhaps most known for being in Doctor Doolittle and voicing Hera in Disney’s Hercules.

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What’s this about?
Have you ever woke up on the beach with several strangers and you all wearing dingy uniforms? Oh and you don’t know how you go there, but you and the other strangers all committed some kind of crime. So you take off walking away from the beach. Then you find water only some red necks attack and rape the only female of your group and kill one of the guys in your new pack. Then the old cowboy guy from City Slickers shows up looking like a cowboy for the Red Cross and he runs off the rednecks and starts to take you to town. This may sound like a dream you’d have if you ate Mexican food too late into the evening, but it actually it’s the start of a rather odd yet semi-interesting film. So the group of ragged people from the beach are taken to an old west town that doesn’t totally look like the old west. More like an old west set with slightly out of place western types tossed in. Yeah and this weird thumping type music is tossed in here and there whether it fits or not. So pretty we learn that everyone here who is anyone is all about killing. Killing gives power, kill someone and you get their status and their bodyguards and if you kill 20 you become immortal which means no one else can kill you. Lewis gets all noble and says he won’t play these reindeer games or war games or cowboy antics or whatever it is. However when a goofy nerd guy tries to shoot him Lewis gets a hold of a gun that Katherine throws and fires back. He wins and goes from being drab cloth wearing dirtball to slick black hat wearing fancy pants type. Then it slows down there’s back and forth yacking. Katherine talks with Lewis, Frendlandor and Gellor both want the girl who came in with Lewis, Frendlandor kills Gellor and threatens Lewis, blah, blah, blah. Lewis begins to have glimpses of another life where he was a student maybe at a college although it must have been a real boring college because he just sits there rather than going to parties and having the real college life. Soon enough we learn that this isn’t real. Katherine the real one and others are running these people (who are wired up and laying down) through this game/test to see who is the strongest. However Lewis begins to have more and more recall (yes, he uses this term and yes I know what film this sounds kind of like) and the scientists types with their big glasses and bigger computer screens start freaking out. Katherine gets caught up in the power and doesn’t like how Lewis is getting away from the game and trying rationalize and talk sense with the other characters-how dare he. She starts changing situations. Other members of the staff say Lewis has proved himself and they try to bring him out and back into the real world. He comes out, sees other characters as their real selves after being killed in the game and he goes all bug eyed. Okay, some of them did look like they needed a bath, but Lewis goes all spazzy, runs around and eventually hooks the wires back to himself and goes back to cowboy land in his head and rides off. Roll the credits.

The positives-The overall plot had real potential and for the most part it stays interesting although the first half of the film is stronger. The cast is solid overall with Wiggins being the real standout for me playing a real sleeze ball which is against the more educated type he frequently played.

The negatives-I think the film shows it’s hand about the experiment part of the plot earlier than they needed to. That cut down on the mystery earlier than needed. Also the end plays out a bit on the sloppy side. Not saying I don’t like what happened, but the way it happened didn’t quite fit with the rest of the film.

A strange film but I’m glad I finally finished it. Worth seeing for fans of 70’s sci-fi and if you western/sci-fi you may like it as well.

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Abbott and Costello meet the Invisible Man

 

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1951

What’s this about?

Bud and Lou graduate from private eye school and you just know silliness and nothing good will come from that. Tommy Nelson a boxer accused of killing his manager shows up trying to hire the boys, they agree and they don’t yet know who he is. Nelson was hired to take a dive in a fight, he and his manager doubled crossed the guy ( who has gang ties) and Tommy knocked out Rocky Hanlin. The baddies killed Tommy’s manager and left him as the number on suspect. Wait that plot sounds too normal. Okay how’s this- Tommy’s girlfriend’s uncle is messing with an invisibility formula and of course Tommy takes it despite being told not too. Won’t these guys ever learn? Okay, Tommy takes it. Bud and Low know who Tommy is now and Bud decides to call the cops. Tommy takes the syrum, he’s gone and when the cops show up they think Bud and Lou are a couple of liars. The cops keep tabs on Bud and Lou. So don’t do anything nasty, boys. Tommy tells Bud and Lou they are helping him whether they like it or not and since he’s a boxer, has a temper and is invisible they should listen to him. Tommy comes up with the idea that Lou should pretend to be a boxer with Bud as his manager. They go into a gym and Lou pretends to box a bag while Tommy does the hitting. They then draw Rocky Hanlin into throwing a punch at Lou and Tommy knocks Rocky down thus setting up a fight between big, ugly Rocky and little fat Lou. Oh did I mention that the invisibility syrum has a side effect of causing mental instability? They may have caused Tommy’s plan here. Anyways his hope is Lou gets in the ring and they beat Rocky draw out the other baddies, catch them and prove his innocence. Unfortunately with Bud and Lou in the thick of this we know it won’t be that easy. The cops still think that Bud and Lou know where Tommy Nelson is. The bad guys send a woman after Lou to persuade him to take a dive against Rocky and he’d get paid for it. So eventually we get to the main attraction-the fight. Lou gets in the ring with Tommy behind him but of course he’s still invisible but getting a little crazier. Bud tells Lou that he needs to take the dive or that the bad dudes will kill them. Bud is such a spineless wuss. The fight starts and Tommy uses his invisible fists to knock Rocky around, but Lou almost screws it up when he accidentally knocks Tommy out and almost gets his rear end handed to him. The Tommy gets back up and knocks Rocky out. The baddies are snarling to get Bud and Lou, but Tommy has their back and a fight happens in the locker room. The mean jerky types are stopped, the cops grab them and Tommy needs a blood transfusion. Lou gives him some blood in the hospital. So Tommy becomes visible again. In the process Lou gets some invisible blood and he vanishes for a while, but is seen again for a humorous final scene. Roll the credits.

The negatives-Not so much. The invisibility lab scenes are a little stiff perhaps, but okay.

The positives-A good combination of horror and humor. The boys make the best of the situations. Bud is his classic straight man self while Lou gives some great slapstick moments including the fight. The special effects are actually quite decent for the time. The supporting cast is relatively strong.

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