Sunday, 18 February 2018

Universal 1954A

Back to a monster movie, but a new one. This is Creature from the Black Lagoon.

A random dig in Brazil uncovers a preserved claw hand and the leader takes off to get white guys to come and examine everything, while the Brazilians who are left behind are killed by a creature. The white guys do turn up and decide to head into the Black Lagoon. There they swim around for a bit before getting randomly attacked by the creature more than once and finally manage to run away.

Okay, props to Ricou Browning. He was the Gill Man, and basically told "hold your breath, get in the water, and swim around." The swimming scenes are largely well done, and he is stuck in a suit with no air tank and has to swim around behind a mask he can barely see through.

Richard Carlson is the lead white guy, and the leading lady is Julie Adams, who is forever associated with this movie. There are others, but they are either other pasty white guys, or non-white guys that are killed off.

Let's see if they can get any mileage out of this creature.

[END]

Read more!

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Universal 1953

We jump from the horrors of man to the horrors from outer space. This time It Came from Outer Space.

An amateur astronomer (and his fiancee) sees a meteor crash, and when he investigates it he finds a spaceship that immediately gets buried so no-one believes him. After a while, he finds a supposed copy of another man he knows, but again there is no evidence. Then finally he meets up with more duplicates and then finds that the aliens are just trying to do their own thing and the whole 'land on earth' thing was a mistake. But there is a posse a-comin', so he has to stop them to give the aliens time to get away.

This is the same year as War of the Worlds, and I have no idea which came first, but we are getting the slew of space movies now. However in this case, this movie is an allegory for... I have no idea. The aliens don't really represent anything and don't really do anything and just want to leave. I guess it's an metaphor for 'stranger comes into town and then leaves', but that isn't really saying much about the human condition.

The focus of the movie is on John Putman, the astronomer, but he isn't really that interesting enough to keep the movie going. As such, this isn't one of the better space movies.

[END]

Read more!

Monday, 5 February 2018

Universal 1951

Okay, let's throw back to the 17th Century, and this Robert Louis Stevenson. And this is The Strange Door.

A rogue is drawn to a strange castle and goes through a door. What makes the door strange? It has no handle on the inside. Ooohhh! Although plenty of people are able to come and go, and there are plenty of passages all over the place, so the strange door isn't that impressive. Anyway, the uncle wanted the rogue to marry his niece and make her a miserable life. Unfortunately, the rogue isn't quite as rogueish as hoped, and they are doing the 'I hate you, but now I love you' relationship, and there's a servant who is on their side, so... it culminates with the pair of them and the woman's (pretending to be crazy) father in a room that is being crushed. Will the servant make it in time? Will he? WILL HE?

This actually gets rather gripping. There are moments when we repeatedly go through the same sets as attemping-to-escape scenes repeat, but it maintains momentum, and the actors... I'm not sure if I've seen them in other things, but Charles Laughton, William Cottrell, Michael Pate and of course Boris Karloff are great performers so more than keep interest.

It took me a while to get around to watching this, but it was worth the wait.

[END]

Read more!

Thursday, 1 February 2018

ALL HAIL

Last year I got into Nightvale. It's a podcast series about a radio station set in Nightvale. It's a comedy horror series, and I binge listened the lot of it.

So when I found out they were doing a live show in Wellington... well, I flipped and flopped and eventually decided... yep, I'll go!

This was "All Hail to the Glow Cloud". The Glow Cloud being a large cloud that hovers in Nightvale, drops dead animals, and is the president of the school committee. This is presented as a radio show in which various guests come in, and the whole thing is hosted by Cecil Baldwin.

And it's really funny and great, and you should get into it. Go binge listen, and you can buy copies of the live shows to listen to them yourself. Not quite the same as seeing the show and the various gestures and such, and get to see the weather live (you'll understand that when you listen to the show).

If it comes back, I'll say it's worth it to go. And definitely easy enough to listen to the free shows.

[END]

Read more!

Friday, 26 January 2018

Universal 1946B

Hey, wait a minute... I've seen this MST3K episode! This is The Brute Man.

College Jock likes girl, College Nerd tricks him into staying behind in the chem lab, Jock explodes chemicals in his face and goes on psychopathic rampage, how many times have we heard that tale? To be honest, a lot of this is generic. Hulking Figure goes around killing people and.. that's a large part that's it. He does meet a girl who is blind, she doesn't freak out, so he wants to help her, and this leads to his downfall.

I'm not sure how much this is familiar to me from the MST3K episode, but after watching all these movies so far, this isn't doing anything special. Like they knocked the script out over night. (Checks trivia, doesn't say.)

When they haven't done monster movies, they do tend to crime, but this one isn't that great. That said, I'm surprised MST3K hasn't hit on more of these movies.

[END]

Read more!

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Universal 1946A

Oh, something different with Wolfman... namely, Wolfwoman! This is She-Wolf of London.

June Lockhart, before she went into space, was in turn of the century London as part of the Allenby estate. While she was going to marry Barry, there are a spate of shewolf attacks in the park, and is she to blame? After lots of staking out the park, her sister realises there is something dubious going on, and the aunt tries to kill her to hide that the aunt is responsible.

See, this is different. The whole wolf-aspect is a complete mislead, and it's only because the audience is used to wolf movies that we think there is a wolf-woman around. Ha! Suck it! That's not what is going on at all!

...Nice!

I like this mislead. This is a refreshing take on the werewolf movie that I wish they would do more of this. We can only hope.

[END]

Read more!

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Universal 1945

Oh dear, while the last one wasn't trying, this one is a complete mess. This is House of Dracula.

Dracula comes to a sanitarium in order to get cured of vampirism, and not at all to creep on the lead nurse. Then Lawrence "Wolfman" Talbot turns up. And after trying to kill himself, he and the doctor find Frankenstein's Monster. Dracula infects the doctor before being killed, vampire doctor then treats Wolfman and brings the monster back to life, and then it all crashes.

Basically there are about three too many plots trying to happen at once and none of them get serviced well (it doesn't help this is only an hour long movie). The idea of Dracula curing himself is interesting, and now we get you can transfuse vampirism, but it just is a minor track. The Wolfman is completely unneeded and is the same plotline as before, and the monster is so irrelevant it's terrible how badly that plotline gets inserted.

Frankly the most interesting part of the movie is the female Igor (Nina, played by Jane Adams), and nothing is done with that either.

Really, what a conflab of nothingness.

[END]

Read more!