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  #4611  
Old 02-21-2024, 03:29 AM
FryeDwight FryeDwight is offline
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THEM! (1954)
8/10

Atomic blasts in the Arizona desert enhanced some dangerous pests. Top-of-the-shelf Hollywood atomic-age sci-fi thriller with a virtual whose-who cast, right down to a Leonard Nimoy in a bit part. THEM! has attention to detail to take the story out a ways. The dialogue dances with inspirited performances. Nice cinematography, effects and pace. The only thing missing a couple of change of pace scenes to develop the story's romantic partners. Makes me wonder if they're on the cutting room floor.
THEM! truly is a great film, probably the best of the "Bug" films of the 50's although I'm quite fond of TARANTULA as well. I have THEM! on a double feature disc with THE BEAST FROM 20, 000 FATHOMS.
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  #4612  
Old 03-01-2024, 03:17 AM
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HORROR OF DRACULA (1958). Very fond memories of HOD; how it scared the hell out of Me some 50 years ago (Halloween of '73 on a big screen-but how I loved it) and re-watching it yesterday, how it's still a good looking entertaining film with some cool moments and a still banging wrap up. Also, Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee are both aces here, especially Peter handling every prop in sight and being so physical-I love how He leaps over the banister to check out the commotion! Michael Gough is prickly and unpleasant as usual, but really good acting, especially when Lucy is done in...his anguish is quite convincing. A couple of questions are why didn't Van Helsing stay with Lucy himself (the old adage, "If You want something done right, Do it Yourself") and why do both Lucy and Mina call him "Dr Helsing"?

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>SPOILER>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >>

A BIG question for Me, especially after this last viewing is how UNPREPARED Jonathon Harker is when going to the castle in order to kill Dracula...no crucifixes (I would have them all over Me, even in my socks) or other protection, why He doesn't dispatch Dracula first instead of the Vampire girl -the look of terror on his face as He realizes his error is quite convincing- and what possesses him to engage in physicality with the Count after the girl puts the bite on him-talk about a Death wish!

Minor quibbles and should not deter from checking HOD out. Also, in a review of BRIDES OF DRACULA, I mentioned Andree Melly as "The ultimate Vampire Chick", while Andree is scary, she can't compare to Valerie Gaunt, who is way scary, quite feral and WAY hot...as pointed out on 1000 MISSPENT HOURS, the amount of bountiful cleavage Valerie shows is quite mind boggling for a 50's movie! ****
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  #4613  
Old 03-03-2024, 12:48 AM
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Tommy Jarvis Tommy Jarvis is offline
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Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 1920 ★★★★

One thing to keep in mind about these old timey classics is that every positive sentence should be preceded by the words “by the standards of *insert year or decade*”. This is one of the oldest horrors ever, if not the oldest. So that goes even more.

Nonetheless, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Ye old timey English – that somehow seemingly lends itself more to this type of epic drama – or the interesting way the score balanced strings for the more ominous and eerie moments and the piano in the more lighthearted and/or melodramatic parts. Around the first time Jekyll changed into Hyde, I heard snippets that would not be out of place on a post rock album. Would not mind a screening with live music provided by, I don't know, 65 days of static or Sigur Ros or some other good band I forgot to mention.

This goes well with the tragic figure that Jekyll was. A well meaning soul with kindness in his heart, whose curiosity as a scientist became his undoing. Shedding his kindness when Hyde, going even as far as killing people. Even though the death toll is not all that high in this movie. Separate mention for the scene where Hyde's ghost takes over Jekyll's body. Wondering how they did that with the technology of the time.

Two downsides: It's pretty slow and you have to stay focused because the pancartes with the dialogue and the exposition do not always leave you much time. Granted, this is coming from someone with English as their second language. But still, heads up for the more ADD prone among the native speakers.

I loved it. Make of it what you will.

The Last Man on Earth 1964 ★★★★

A shot of Vincent Price's voice and a classic from the sixties. Because I can and because I felt like it.
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  #4614  
Old 03-03-2024, 11:58 AM
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Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street 1936 ★★★

Most people (including myself) mostly know this film in te version Tim Burton made. So it was a pleasant surprise to see this 30s version pop up. And on Netflix of all places.

This movie has all the charm that a vintage horror can bring to table. Sweeney Todd convincingly portrayed as a psychopath, with his barbershop chair trap looking pretty spectacular, especially at first sight. The English spoken in that era, aka the type that Americans often parody when they think of jolly ol' England.

The story manages to keep a solid pace and never really lags all that much. Maybe not mindboggling, but a fun watch for those who are starting to explore vintage horror.
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  #4615  
Old 03-05-2024, 12:31 AM
FryeDwight FryeDwight is offline
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BEAST WITH A MILLION EYES (1955). >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>SPOILERS>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >>
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> > An early AIP before they became AIP. BWAME focuses on a combative financially struggling family, raising dates in the desert, far from the nearest town. Paul Birch (THE DAY THE WORLD ENDED) also has to deal with an unhappy complaining wife (Lorna Thayer who was in a lot of films, particularly as The Waitress in FIVE EASY PIECES)-the women is so fussy, You could almost dub her "The Beast With A Million Whines". The wife also squabbles a lot with their daughter (whose voice sounds a lot like Rocky J Squirrel) and she's not crazy about their mentally deficient handy man-only referred to as "Him"-who has a ton of pin-ups in his living quarters and seems to take an unhealthy interest in the daughter, especially by the swimming hole.

A UFO flies over their house crashing somewhere in the desert and odd things begin occurring such as animals turning vicious and "Him" trying to harm the family. It turns out the Alien of the ship (who is less than impressive with You see him) has taken control of all the local animals and less intelligent people, giving him unlimited views, hence the "Million Eyes"

It's goofy, no two ways about it, but a certain inept charm and a larger budget might have helped-also an early appearance by Dick Sargent, the second "Darrin" from BEWITCHED. **1/2
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  #4616  
Old 03-12-2024, 03:39 AM
FryeDwight FryeDwight is offline
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WAY DOWN EAST (1920). Another silent movie with live musical accompaniment at our favorite theater/concert venue. Lillian Gish is a young country girl who goes to visit some wealthy relatives, meets a guy who marries her after a whirlwind courtship, then dumps her like a hot potato when she is pregnant, revealing the marriage was a sham (Quite an intricate way to get nookie, I must say). Of course, She has to deal with the social stigma and shame from her situation and even a chance at happiness may be thwarted because of that. A pretty exciting ending , filmed in Upper New Hampshire and Vermont. ****
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  #4617  
Old 03-19-2024, 11:29 PM
FryeDwight FryeDwight is offline
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Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street 1936 ★★★

Most people (including myself) mostly know this film in te version Tim Burton made. So it was a pleasant surprise to see this 30s version pop up. And on Netflix of all places.

This movie has all the charm that a vintage horror can bring to table. Sweeney Todd convincingly portrayed as a psychopath, with his barbershop chair trap looking pretty spectacular, especially at first sight. The English spoken in that era, aka the type that Americans often parody when they think of jolly ol' England.

The story manages to keep a solid pace and never really lags all that much. Maybe not mindboggling, but a fun watch for those who are starting to explore vintage horror.

I have to check this out, especially with Tod Slaughter in the role.

Speaking of Tod....

FACE AT THE WINDOW (1939). A series of "wolf man " murders are taking place around Paris which always involve a hideous face at the window. A Bank Clerk is accused of one of the murders and takes intricate steps to clear his name, while a possible investor for the Bank seems to make his mission to frame the clerk for the crimes.

This British film has that threadbare look and uneven acting that was evident during the time. The main interest here is Tod Slaughter who is delightfully hammy, wicked and possessing one of the most evil laughs You'll ever hear! You'll probably guess the wrap up, FATW is worth seeing because of Slaughter's performance. SINISTER CINEMA once said that "...No one ever had as much fun being bad as Tod" and it certainly has an element of truth. **1/2
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  #4618  
Old 03-21-2024, 06:10 PM
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The Last Man on Earth 1964 ★★★★

A shot of Vincent Price's voice and a classic from the sixties. Because I can and because I felt like it.
One of my favorite Price films along with Haunted Hill and Laura. Arguably one of the first modern zombie films, except they're declared vampires.


Son of Kong (1933)
6/10

It's a one-hour film that's really kid friendly. There's a sweetness to the main characters. They don't get back to Skull Island until the film is more than half over. The white colored child of Kong, Little Kong, does funny things and makes funny faces.

The stop-motion is done by Willis O'Brien, same artist who did the work in the original King Kong. Little Kong fights three beasts, but it all seems unnecessary, and not particularly dynamic, you just have to wait for it to be over.

SPOILER
I saw Son of Kong as a child. The ending pulled my heart strings when Little Kong lifted the protagonist over his head out of the flood waters as Little Kong drowns. Watching it this second time, I did pick up something new... which is Little Kong got his foot caught in the rocks, that's why he drowned. As a child I just thought Little Kong wasn't tall enough to have his head out of the water and was just concerned with saving the man's life. Getting the foot caught is a novel solution to seeing Little Kong drown, as he wouldn't have fit on the small lifeboat the protagonist got into to survive the flooded island.
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Last edited by Sculpt; 03-26-2024 at 08:32 AM.
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  #4619  
Old 03-23-2024, 02:39 AM
FryeDwight FryeDwight is offline
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One of my favorite Price films along with Haunted Hill and Laura. Arguably the first modern zombie films, except they're declared vampires.


Son of Kong (1933)
6/10

It's a one-hour film that's really kid friendly. There's a sweetness to the main characters. They don't get back to Skull Island until the film is more than half over. The white colored child of Kong, Little Kong, does funny things and makes funny faces.

The stop-motion is done by Willis O'Brien, same artist who did the work in the original King Kong. Little Kong fights three beasts, but it all seems unnecessary, and not at all dynamic, you just have to wait for it to be over.

SPOILER
I saw Son of Kong as a child. The ending pulled my heart strings when Little Kong lifted the protagonist over his head out of the flood waters as Little Kong drowns. Watching it this second time, I did pick up something new... which is Little Kong got his foot caught in the rocks, that's why he drowned. As a child I just thought Little Kong wasn't tall enough to have his head out of the water and was just concerned with saving the man's life. Getting the foot caught is a novel solution to seeing Little Kong drown, as he wouldn't have fit on the small lifeboat the protagonist got into to survive the flooded island.
LAST MAN ON EARTH is really good and one of my favorite Vincent films as well.

I was nine when I saw SON OF KONG and the ending got Me as well; it wasn't until I got it on VHS in the 80's that I noticed poor Little Kong got stuck. While I still enjoyed the stop motion work, SOK is pretty juvenile...I almost groaned when He shrugs and makes a face It's OK, but can't compare in any way to KING KONG.

THREE IN THE ATTIC (1968). I had never heard of this AIP film other than it was a big grosser for them that year. Christopher Jones plays a womanizing College Student who, while involved in a (somewhat) committed relationship with Yvette Mimieux , He also finds time and energy to bed two other women -Judy Pace - BRIAN'S SONG, COTTON COMES TO HARLEM and FROGS- and Maggie Thrett-some STAR TREK episodes and dating Gram Parsons-, swearing fidelity to all of them. Somehow, He manages to juggle all relationships and brag about it to his Fraternity Brothers.
However, He is found out and after being lured to an attic, bound to a bed and as "punishment", being screwed by the three women constantly-that's some punishment. Eventually, the school lists him as a missing student and efforts are made to find him.

While the three ladies are fine (especially Judy Pace), their actions could be construed as kidnapping and rape. But the guy is such a jerk; a good beating is more of what he deserves.

So, a tiresome "hip" movie that really hasn't held up at all. *1/2
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  #4620  
Old 03-27-2024, 12:25 AM
FryeDwight FryeDwight is offline
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BLOOD MOON (1934). >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>SPOILERS>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >>
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> A young girl, whose parents were killed during a voodoo ritual on an island (a different name, but I'm pretty sure it's supposed to be Haiti) returns in adulthood with her daughter and nanny to live with an uncle who is a long time resident there. The woman's husband and his secretary (who is secretly in love with him) travel to the island and find the wife heavily involved in voodoo rituals. Bad things happen to people who try to limit the wife's commitment including actions that veer into another realm entirely.

If You think this sounds A LOT like I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE (made 8 years later) than You wouldn't be half wrong. Still, not a bad way to spend a hour plus and I always like watching Fay Wray (KING KONG); this was her last film in the "horror" genre and VM was released a couple of weeks before "The Code" was implemented, meaning a lot of the more sordid aspects in movies would be seriously toned down or deleted. With what looks like a low budget, director Roy William Neill (the Universal Sherlock Holmes series, THE BLACK ROOM and FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLFMAN) does a decent job. **1/2
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