I, Monster

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1971 (UK)/1973 (US)

This Doctor type Marlowe (Christopher Lee) says he thinks all people have a good side and a bad side. To which the other doctor types says you are so full of..oh wait this is 19th century England so they say poppycock, you are full of rot and such. Marlowe thinks he knows best and starts shooting himself full of fruit punch or something. It gives him nasty teeth, messes up his hair and makes a him little more pale than he was. He goes around bars in the middle of the night walking funny and looking goofy so yeah no one notices him much. Then he bumps into a young guy (musician – actor Michael Des Barres) and they get into the lamest knife/blade fight ever and no one even gets killed-boo!Anyways the bad version of Marlowe starts calling himself Blake. Marlowe tells his mentor a little of his theories without telling what he’s actually done, but his mentor thinks he’s a nut bar for even suggesting that a guy could split into two very distinctive versions of good and evil. Marlowe continues to turn himself into Blake and the more he does the worse he looks (oh my) and the worse he acts (the fiend). Eventually he runs into a prostitute who makes fun of how awful he looks. So he waits for her, whacks her with his cane and leaves the broken cane there-guess the drug makes him stupid too. Marlowe gets his mentor to come over and reveals his transformation to him which results in the old guy having a heart attack-way to go Marlowe/Blake. While in a park Marlowe turns into Blake without trying so he know he losing control although not as fast as I am losing interest in this film. Although this does seem to a very strange park with empty cages, a band playing to a handful of passerbys and leaves that seem flying around at impossible angles. Meanwhile attorney Utterson (Peter Cushing) has suspected something was wrong with Marlowe and this guy Blake. When he compares handwriting of Marlowe and Blake he sees that they look the same. Utterson runs into Blake, they struggle, they start a fire and Blake catches on fire-aieee I am all a flame. He falls down the steps kaboom, dies ohhhh and transforms back into Marlowe bumbumbum. So roll those credits as quickly as possible.

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The negatives-Amicus is known more for their anthologies but if this project was in writing in may have said that Amicus films will do a version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde starring Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. That sounds great. Aw they decided to change the names Jekyll and Hyde to Marlowe and Hyde. Okay, I don’t know why it should still be good. Oh and they are going to film it in 3D. Well, that’s their choice it may be decent. What’s that? They scrapped the 3D process part of the way through filming? The aborted process has taken a lot of the budget and put the film behind schedule. Hey uh that doesn’t sound so good. Exactly so the film has a cheap feel to it much of the transformation scenes lacking much and there’s a lot of standing around and talking in this film. I guess they had to pad the movie with cheap stuff since they didn’t have money left to do much. Christopher Lee who is normally automatic in almost everything struggles and hams it up more than usual. The normally great Peter Cushing can add little to this film either. What we are left with is a rather uneventful, frequently dull movie.

The positives-I read that they used leftover sets from the musical Oliver! and if they good for them because the sets look very nice as do the costumes.

Actually I had seen this film before but only once. I bought it when it first came out on DVD almost ten years ago because it was one of the few Amicus films I had not seen at that point. I didn’t care much for it then and hadn’t watched it since so it was time to give it another viewing, but if anything it seemed worse this time around.

 

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The Deadly Bees

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1967

A burnout pop star goes off to an isolated island to relax and get back on track. Too bad they don’t offer singing lessons there too. Going to a dull place will make you miss the rat race and come running back to it or something like that. Two neighbors there raise bees, one is the neighbor that the pop star is staying with who has a grumpy wife. The neighbor dude knows a lot about bees, but seems like a bit of a creepazoid. The grumpy wife and her dog die from bee stings.We are lead to believe it was an intentional attack and of course there wouldn’t be much of a plot if it wasn’t intentional oh yeah. So the guy whose wife died is the main suspect as the coppers are giving him the third degree and locals are giving him the stinkeye. The wig wearing pop star gets attacked too but survives to sing out of tune another day. She then packs up her many outfits and goes to stay with the nervous neighbor. Which she means she has a 50% percent chance of ending up with a loon. The local bartender’s daughter gets attacked by bees too, but she survives. People are confused by this one because…

A-she was nice and wouldn’t be a logical target

B-she was a minor character and having her get attacked wouldn’t seem to advance the plot ( not that all these movies have to contain strong plots).

So the attack must have been an accident or she wasn’t the target. Then the bees go out again and this time it’s on the guy who lost his grouchy wife and the bartender happens to be there as well. However unlike almost everyone else in the village the guy who lost is wife is kind of sharp and realizes there is some goop on his jacket (which the bartender is using as a shield) that is setting the bees off. So you know drop the jacket and it will all be okay well at least for now. They do that and now we know who the mad bee keeper or bee releaser is. So the creepy neighbor tries to kill the pop star by tossing bee attracting gunk on her, but he ends up with the gook and the killer bee attack. Everything works out for everyone else and roll the credits.

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Stats-

Number of bad female wigs-I counted two in particular that were original Star Trek kind of bad as far as wigs go.

Number of times they shows the same shot of mean bees being released-At least five.

Number of fake trees that get bumped and shake like crazy-One for sure.

 

The negatives-The effects are not so special, actually they are very bad. The film is a little slow at times.

The positives-I thought the cast was generally goo. Including veteran character actor Michel Ripper was a good choice. I was more interested in the film as a whole than I figured I would be.

Amicus films is known for their horror anthologies but here they went for a nature gone wild film. This movie is normally panned as a horrible piece of junk. While the effects are sorely lacking I actually liked the film alright. The idea of being in an isolated area and someone manipulating bees had some merit. I may be a long but this was an okay film for me.

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