Showing posts with label 1960's. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1960's. Show all posts

Monday, April 22, 2024

Toho Watch: The War of the Gargantuas (1966)

Watched:  04/21/2024
Format:  Max
Viewing:  First
Director:  Ishiro Honda

Not as well remembered as the Godzilla movies from Toho, the same studio also made a few "Frankenstein" movies.  If, by Frankenstein, you mean "here's a giant, sort of stupid looking guy in a furry outfit and hideous mask".  I, of course, didn't look up what order to watch these in, so this is the second one, and I have not yet seen the first.  

However, I'm a clever fellow, and I am pretty sure I followed along.

The War of the Gargantuas (1966) follows the tale of a "Frankenstein" appearing in Japan after they believed the Frankenstein they'd previously dealt with in Frankenstein vs. Baragon was killed.  Well, apparently Frank was dropping cells that grew into new monsters, also called Frankensteins, because sure.

The first on to appear is green, and alternately referred to as "Gaira" or "The Green One", because he is green.  And comes from the sea.  And he hates lounge singers.  And the Japanese Self Defense Force.  A second Frankenstein comes down out of the mountains, and is dubbed "Sanda" (and is usually actually just called "The Brown One").  

The two fight while, per usual, the guys in military uniforms and stern men in gray suits ponder what they should do, while our hero seems to know what to do.  Now, weirdly, our hero is Russ Fucking Tamblyn.  And he is having an absolute blast.  

The best part of the movie is that is also has Kumi Mizuno, who has a large role, partnering with Tamblyn as his feisty sidekick.

You can also count on seeing several other players from the Toho company.  Man, getting in with them must have been an okay gig for a bunch of years there.

Somehow more so than other Toho kaiju films, this one really is just two monsters shrieking and fighting for about 50 of the 90 minutes of the movie.  Tamblyn and Mizuno run around behind them for a while, but eventually they get sidelined.  And you will get very, very tired of what seems like a loop of shrieking monsters and buildings crumbling.  THAT SAID, the sets are pretty great on this one, and they came up with interesting set pieces - maybe because the actors are confined within the same amount of kooky latex needed to make Godzilla happen.  

All I can say is, I saw it, I was glad for Russ Tamblyn, and Kumi Mizuno should be in everything.

Friday, March 29, 2024

Kaiju Watch: Gamera the Giant Monster (1965)

Gamera just stepped on a Lego

Watched:  03/29/2024
Format:  Amazon
Viewing:  First
Director:  Noriaki Yuasa
Selection:  Jamie, kind of

We've both seen a lot of Godzilla movies, but I confess to a Gamera gap.  I have not ever really watched Gamera movies outside of MST3K.  

Gamera is from Daiei Film, a competitor to Toho, one supposes.  And it's not like Japan has the lock on movies riffing on popular ideas from other studios.  It's a way of life for popular media here in these United States.  

Anyhoo...  Gamera: The Giant Monster (1965) is the first Gamera movie of what Wikipedia tells me is a dozen films.  It's... a rip-off of Godzilla in some ways, and it's own weird, wacky thing, so you can see how it took off and found it's own voice and following.

The basic gist is that the Russians are flying over the arctic where some scientists are hanging out with what I believe are supposed to be Inuit people trying to determine... something about turtles or something.  I don't know.  Anyway, they're engaged by the USAF who shoot one of the Russkies out of the air, crashing a nuclear payload into the ice.  Which frees Gamera, just in time for the title sequence.  

Thursday, March 28, 2024

G Prep Watch: King Kong v. Godzilla (1963) - US Version

Watched:  03/27/2024
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  First of this version
Director(s):  original formula - IshirĂ´ Honda / US recut - Tom Montgomery
Selection:  Joint, Jamie and me

We have tickets to see Godzilla x Kong on Thursday the 28th, and we decided to do a little bit of homework prior to the film.  It had been a while since I'd watched King Kong vs. Godzilla (1963), and I was met by a surprise when putting the film on.  

Like Gojira/ Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Godzilla 1984/ Godzilla 1985/ Godzilla Returns - this movie had a cut for the US audiences which is edited, includes new footage and has American talent cut into the original film.  I think I'd only ever seen the Japanese cut of the movie, so I was a little thrown when the movie was framed as a newscast hosted by a genial white American dude, and leaped into action to see what was what.

The version we watched was... insane.  There's so many tones being hit, so many ideas, characters, locations, etc...  Any theme that was originally present (apparently originally a satire on the programming on television and the corporate relationships to that programming) is flattened as the American version literally uses television as the framing device - inserting American-based news anchors to ponder the events unfolding.

Monday, March 25, 2024

Jamie's B-Day Watch: The Sound of Music (1965)

Watched:  03/25/2024
Format:  Disney+
Viewing:  Unknown
Director:  Robert Wise
Selection:  Jamie's birthday choice!

I have no idea when I last watched The Sound of Music (1965).  I've documented most of the movie's I've seen since 2012 - with a break in 2013-2014.  So it's possible I watched it in that window, because it seems like I've seen it more recently than 2011.  Or I just forgot to write it up.  That happens.

It's probably a fool's errand to talk about the movie at length.  It's a bonafide classic, one of the two great American musicals directed by Robert Wise, and the music has permeated culture far beyond the boundaries of the film.  A Few of My Favorite Things has somehow become a Christmas song, which, sure.  Why not?

From a personal standpoint, when I watch this movie, I am about 75% sure this is what my mom wanted out of having kids.  Matching outfits, adventures, happiness and singing.  And while she did an amazing job of mothering, she still wound up with two sarcastic, grumpy, gigantic boys who kind of moseyed through family adventures with a grunt and an eyeroll.  Sorry, Ma.

The Sound of Music is based (extremely loosely) on the real life Family Von Trapp, who were an Austrian family who left their homeland after Hitler invaded.  It was, in it's own way, as dramatic as anything, but also not the short, exciting escape depicted in the film.

It is worth going back and watching for a few reasons.  1)  If your memory of the films is essentially kids prancing around the hills with their governess, it means the last time you saw this movie you went to bed at Intermission.  2)  Putting those songs from the musical into the narrative context of the film is kind of a good idea.  It also tells you a lot about how a musical is supposed to work.  3)  The movie is just masterfully choreographed and shot - and edited.  The entire film looks phenomenal, and clearly no expense was spared for locations, camera placement, time on location, extras, etc...  But also the framing and use of visual language in this movie is kind of mind-boggling.  Check out the Do-Re-Me sequence.  It's phenomenally well done for everything it conveys and the way it's shot and edited.  4) It's not much fun to think about vis-a-vis parallels to current threats to democracy, but at least the Georg in this movie is deeply anti-Nazi and sees the tide rising while everyone else kind of rolls over.  5)  The Lonely Goatherd is an all-time banger.

Watching the film now, I'm always probably more sympathetic than the film wants me to be to the Baroness, who gets tossed aside for the virginal manic pixie dream-nun.  Also, God bless 'em, but they shouldn't have cast the late Charmain Carr as the naive, 16-year old Liesl.  She was probably 21 or 22, looks 24, and it's almost visually confusing seeing her with the actual children.  Meanwhile, a near-30-year-old Julie Andrews is playing a novice, so I'd guess she *should* about 18 or so.  And, btw, Christopher Plummer was about 13 years older than Carr and barely older than Andrews.*  And he's 7 years younger than Eleanor Parker, who plays the Baroness.**  Anyway, once you look at it again, the movie can feel a wee bit jarring and I don't know the in's and out's of why they cast who they did.  

Still, if you want to absolutely want to cock-punch a dude named Rolfe, this is the movie for you.  (man, Rolfe just sucks so fucking bad.  Liesl, NO.)

This is a Robert Wise movie, and I'm going to just keep saying "Robert Wise does not make bad movies".

Anyhoo, I *do* think we're hitting an interesting point as the Gen-Z kids haven't been part of the ritual of watching The Sound of Music on TV once a year or so, and generally people don't really talk about movies with their kids.  So while I'm sure a percentage will have seen this movie, it's no longer the cultural shorthand it was.  And actual Nazis probably seem a whole lot more like something out of a movie than actual people we'd been at war with 20 years prior to the release of this movie.

*apparently the real-life age gap between Georg and Maria was 25 years
**Parker had been in her career peek from the mid-1940's to the mid-50's, but was working consistently til about 1990.  She was the established star in the movie with Academy Awards and whatnot, and she just kills it in this film.  And is not funny looking.

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Car Watch: Pit Stop (1969)

Watched:  03/11/2024
Format:  Amazon
Viewing:  First
Director/ Writer:  Jack Hill

This one was viewed on the rec of JAL, who will watch just about anything (and does), and only sends things my way if he's pretty sure he knows I'll find something at least interesting about a flick.  And, indeed, this is no exception.  Sadly, this same rule doesn't apply to everyone else who seems to have whole TV shows you want for me to watch instead of a 90 minute movie.

I'm always curious about the folks who run parallel to the studio system, especially those with minimal artistic aspirations - a la Roger Corman.  Like, I get that David Lynch was not going to get Disney to make Eraserhead.  But there's a lot of folks out there, and always have been, making movies fast and cheap in genre spaces, with a wildly varying level of skill.  It seems like a curious world, and it's funny that - for as much as Hollywood loves a story about movie making - I don't know that many movies about this part of the industry, and it seems rife with possibility.

Writer/ Director Jack Hill swung back and forth between respectable studio work (IMDB says he designed the Disneyland castle?) and independent work.  And I get the feeling, a movie about making Pit Stop (1969)* might be more fun than the actual film - which is pretty watchable itself.  Hill came out of the Corman shop, and this movie is produced by Corman (credit-free), so that explains no small part of it.

It's impossible not to talk about the cast, so I'll head there.  

Monday, March 4, 2024

Leone Watch: Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)

Watched:  03/03/2024
Format:  Paramount+
Viewing:  Unknown
Director:  Sergio Leone
Selection:  Oh, definitely me

It had been a few years since I'd last watched this movie all the way through, and it's funny to go back see my concern in that write-up that I'd watch the movie too much and it would lose some magic.  Well, I took about 8 years off between viewings, so there you go (I also wrote the film up briefly in 2015).  

This time I was very, very interested in the movie's not exactly subtle analogy for "the end of the West" as rail threatens to bring civilization and that will end the days of the gunslingers and a way of life that's maybe not lasted all that long, but long enough, and can't be a part of the world.  And what happens to the archetypes as the future rolls in.  None of these men are going to change - but the woman can bring civilization.  

As some pals would say, the movie is "vibes".  The plot is pretty easily summed up, and it has long, drawn-out scenes with characters watching and looking, and only speaking as needed - something I associate with Leone films in general.  

But, yeah, I was pretty tired, and pretty raw I guess when I put the movie on, because I got a bit choked up watching some scenes.  Not sad scenes.  Like, literally just watching the shot from the train, to the station to the crane up to the whole town, and Jill moving forward purposefully - and paired with the incredible Ennio Morricone score.  We just don't get that swing-for-the-fences stuff in movies anymore, if we ever did.  

But this movie goes wide as needed, and close-in as needed.  It's a movie where eyes tell the story as much as words. And, man, does Claudia Cardinale's slightest expression carry an ocean of meaning.

Anyway, if you've never seen it, it remains one of my desert-island movies.  There's so much that's great in the movie, and I think people who know about it, know.  But it still seems to fly a bit under the radar. 

Monday, January 15, 2024

Goji Watch: Destroy All Monsters (1968)

Watched:  01/14/2024
Format:  MAX
Viewing:  Second
Selection:  Me, sort of

This one is a lot of fun.

It takes place in the near-ish future, when (a) the world is mostly at peace and (b) all of the monsters have been caught and put on "Monster Island" where they live out their days, lightly fighting and unable to escape their idyllic ocean-view home.

The goal of the movie is to get as many monsters on screen as possible, and that they do.

l-r:  Gorosaurus, Mothra (larvae), Rodan, Kumonga (spider), Anguirus, Minilla, King Ghidorah, Godzilla, Varan?, Manda (snake), Baragon 

Aliens realize this makes Earth a great target, do some mind-control on the monsters and get them to rampage across Earth so they can have it.  

There's a story about the Earthers fighting the aliens, because humans have to do something in this movie.

The aliens are young ladies wearing silver, sparkly pajamas, which makes them seem like not-a-threat, but they are!

Eventually the monsters bust free and the aliens send in (who else?) King Ghidorah, who is a proper dick until the monsters dog pile him.

It is a mostly silly movie, and if there's subtext, I think I ignored it.  But it's lightyears more watchable than the following movie All Monsters Attack.

Dug was Here Selections: The Skydivers (1963), Hillbillys in a Haunted House (1967), Pumaman (1980)

Watched between:  01/12 - 10/14/2024
Viewing:  First on All (I think)
Director:  No
Selection:  Consensus - us, MST3K live feed

My father-in-law had some outpatient surgery and, thus, Dug, my brother-in-law, was here for a couple of weeks.  He capped off his visit with a stay with us.  Dug is the foremost MST3K/ Rifftrax fan in my life - and while I've been a fan since I was 14, he's the guy who remembers stuff about episodes from the show that I haven't seen since high school.

I won't be writing these movies up, but I can say I finally ticked Hillbillys in a Haunted House (1967) off my list, which had been there since discovering Joi Lansing about 20 years ago via The Adventures of Superman.  But I also knew, for 20 years, this was going to be a rough ride.  The movie is a weird, all-star bash, including Lon Chaney, Basil Rathbone, John Carradine and a bunch of Nashville musicians, for whom it was intended to be a showcase.

you get two big guesses as to why Joi Lansing was included

There's also some yellow-peril as there's a spy story going on, also a gorilla and ghosts.  

this movie has everything

The Skydivers (1963) is a movie made by sky divers about sky divers, and it's like they knew one day MST3K would exist, and would need content.

The Pumaman (1980) is an Italian produced, British-shot movie about a superhero with alien-gifted powers of a puma.  Like flying, and walking through walls.  It makes no sense, and has Donald Pleasance as the villain, wearing a sort of leatherette jumpsuit.  Cannot recommend enough.

Anyway, a good time was had by all.  


Wednesday, January 3, 2024

G Watch: King Ghidorah the Three-Headed Monster (1964)

my boi Rodan did not make the poster?

Watched:  01/02/2024
Format:  Pluto/ Max
Viewing:  Second
Director:  Ishiro Honda
Select:  Me

Okay.  So, Austin is in allergy season, and cedar pollen is at an all-time high.  This is one of my major allergies, which makes my life miserable for a few days every year.  

This is that day.  I won't get into it, but it was very bad, indeed.  Ended up at the doctor.

I came home, took the meds I'd been given, and fell asleep sitting up on the couch with Rodan on the TV.  Because I have Pluto, it means I have the Godzilla network that shows nothing but Toho movies.  When I woke up again, Ghidorah, The Three Headed Monster (1964) had come on.  Pluto works just like how you remember cable working before Tivo - you can't control it, it's just streaming by.  And has commercials.  

But, all the Godzilla movies from the Showa Era are on Criterion and on Max so, I jumped over there so I could skip over the commercials.  

Look, this movie is absolutely bonkers.  In all the good ways.  If you were to show a kid a fun Godzilla movie, this one is up there.  It's got political intrigue with a country that dresses in 16th-Century collars for no reason.  It's got Venusians possessing people.  It's got the Faeries.  Also: stars  Godzilla, Mothra, and Rodan while introducing King Ghidorah/ Monster Zero/ Astro Monster - the biggest jerkstore commodity in all of monsterdom!

As Godzilla movies go, this one sets a high bar with lots of monster action and a human story that's easy to follow and somewhat impacts the outcome of the monster stuff.  Plus, our male hero has amazingly good hair (the women always do in these movies, so no notes there).  

Friday, October 27, 2023

HalloWatch: Psycho (1960)

it never occurred to me before how bonkers this poster really is

Watched:  10/26/2023
Format:  Peacock
Viewing:  3rd or 4th
Director:  Alfred Hitchcock

So, it's not really worth talking too deeply about Psycho (1960) here at Ye Olde Film Watch Journal.  The movie is one of the most written about, discussed and analyzed flicks that one is likely to see.  So I won't get into plot, analysis, etc...  Y'all can chase that around on your own.  

I hadn't personally seen it in probably two decades, so I decided to give it a whirl as part of our Halloween spooktacular cinema series.  

Probably my foremost comment is that the movie actually lives up to the hype.  Some movies do.  Lawrence of Arabia2001The Godfather Part II.  I can go on listing great movies, but just assume I agree with you as you fill in your own blank here.

Maybe those movies show signs of age or that they were made in another time, but there's nothing about them that doesn't pull you in and hold you.  And Psycho - minus the weirdo psychoanalysis at the conclusion - is kind of a perfect film.  Every line has weight or double meaning, every shot provides you with information about the story and characters, and the sound and atmosphere are on point.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

PodCast 229: "The Addams Family" Comics, TV, Movies and More - Jamie and Ryan

Movies/ TV Watched:  
  • Addams Family (1991) 01/16/2023
  • Addams Family Values (1993)  01/17/2023
  • Addams Family (animated - 2019) 01/19/2023
  • Wednesday (2022)
  • The Addams Family (original series, 1964-1966)
  • Addams Family/ Values/ Wednesday - Netflix
  • Addams Family (animated film)/ original series - YouTube
  • Addams Family/ Values - Unknown
  • Addams Family (animated) - First
  • Addams Family/ Values/ Wednesday - Barry Sonenfeld
  • Addams Family (animated film) - Greg Tiernan/ Conrad Vernon

Join us as we get creepy and kooky, mysterious and spooky, and all together ooky, as Jamie and Ryan talk Addams Family comic strips, television, movies and more! We ponder questions of family values, romance, and what makes an ever-evolving franchise work when it passes through so many hands as new generations get involved. And what IS movie perfection, and why is it only seen in the two Addams Family films?




The Addams Family Theme - Vic Mizzy
Addams Groove - Hammer

What is Love? Playlist

Monday, December 26, 2022

Christmas Noir: Blast of Silence (1961)

Watched:  12/24/2022
Format:  TCM
Viewing:  First
Director (Writer, Starring):  Allen Baron


There are a lot of movies about lone assassins being lonesome and weird and (spoilers) meeting their end.  It's frankly shocking how well this formula works.  Honestly, once you see "oh, this is about an assassin and it's not a major studio release?" you can swiftly follow that with  "Well, he'll die at the end."  Because there's something inevitable and inexorable about the very set-up.  If someone is selling you "noir" and it's about a hitman and the hitman isn't dead at the end, you can ring the shame bell.

So it becomes less about "what are they doing?" and more of "how are they doing it?" and - if I can ask - "what are they saying?"  

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Pumpkin Carving Watch: The Haunting (1963)

Watched:  10/29/2022
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  Unknown
Decade:  1960's
Director:  Robert Wise

Every year, we carve a couple of Jack-o-Lanterns and this year is no exception.  And when we carve pumpkins, we put on a movie we know well so we only have to partially watch.  The Haunting (1963) was Jamie's suggestion for this year's carving.

It's been a little bit since I watched this Halloween favorite, and, dammit, is this movie good.  Having now read the novel upon which it is based, it's even better.  But what is in the movie has always been there, so take off your "spooky movies didn't get sophisticated until the 1970's" glasses and soak it in.

I like vampire movies, werewolf movies, etc...  I get the actual willies from haunted house movies and Michael Meyers.  Probably because The Shape is basically a stabby, unknowable ghost.  

Anyway - borrowing heavily from Shirley Jackson's text, leaning on stellar performances across the cast and Wise's smart direction and some off-kilter/ really creative camera and lighting work, it's just a delight to watch.  When I'm not gritting my teeth.  

Here's the jack-o-lanterns, by the way.  Jamie used a cookie cutter and hammer to get her pumpkin's eyes done.  I think it looks cool!

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Halloween Watch: A Comedy of Terrors (1963)

Watched:  10/17/2022
Format:  Amazon Prime
Viewing:  First
Director:  Jacques Tourneur

After The Omen, Jamie requested something lighter for Halloween viewing.  When I read her the description and cast of A Comedy of Terrors (1963), we had our winner - and this was before I knew it was a Richard Matheson script and directed by the great Jacques Tourneur.

This movie feels distinctly like veteran Hollywood players dicking around in a comedic thriller/ horror film, and you're just sort of watching it happen.  The sense of comedy is *distinctly* of the 1960's variety (seemingly appealing to young adults who grew up on 1940's and 50's cartoons and earlier live-action screwball shorts like Three Stooges, I think), while also appealing to the faux literary pretentions of horror from its Poe-borrowing roots, and quoting of Shakespeare to get some credibility.  And, of course, well-endowed women around older men - the Hammer formula, but it's also just movies, I guess.*

The cast includes:  Vincent Price as a ne'er-do-well mortician, Peter Lorre as his blackmailed assistant, Boris Karloff as Price's senile father-in-law, Basil Rathbone as Price's landlord, lovely Joyce Jameson as Price's would-be-opera-star wife, and Joe E. Brown in a small role as a cemetery keeper.  Also credited:  Rhubarb the cat (who is in it throughout and plays absolutely no role) and Beverly Hills - who is some classic 1960's eye candy (think about how Bond uses women as props).

Was the movie funny?  Occasionally.  Shockingly, Rathbone kind of steals the show even as Price and Lorre had me at a low simmer of giggles all throughout.  Comedy is a weird beast in that it can age like old bread as readily as it ages like fine wine.  Some of it works great ten years later, some of it feels awkward and weird.  A lot of it you can see was fresh in the moment, but 60 years later, it's not quite as great.  Or funny.  

But I did enjoy the film, especially the second half.  

The plot is essentially that Price is an undertaker, a business that seems like it would do well no matter the economy, but he's clearly not the popular one in town, and rent is due, so he has to start making funerals happen - fast.  Comedy ensues.

This was, weirdly, roughly the plot of goof-around video JAL, a ragtag group of pals and I made Freshman year at UT.  So we were onto something, I guess (I played "the dude" and it's the worst part of the film, so you'll never see it.  Justin plays an FBI agent looking into the murders, and he's brilliant.).  

Anyway, if you're looking to see some classic horror stars have a grand time - maybe more than the one you're having watching the film - it's worth a view.  I thought it was all right and genuinely hilarious in several places.  It absolutely did the job for a Mid-October Halloween watch.  It's very AIP, but that's not a bug, it's a feature.

Frankly, I think Price's work a few years later in England fulfills the promise of what he's doing here even better.  But why not check this out?

*I'd argue 50's - 70's horror did this in a particular way so you weren't necessarily seeing the women as romantic interests for the leads, even if they were married it seemed companionate, but they were there nonetheless.  

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Vegas Watch: Viva Las Vegas (1964)

Watched:  06/17/2021
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  First
Director:  George Sidney

Confession:  I thought I had seen an Elvis movie all the way through, but looking at The King's IMDB profile, I hadn't. I've seen others in part (Blue Hawaii, Roustabout, etc..), but am not overly keen on jukebox musicals with a book thinner than a pamphlet.  However, Viva Las Vegas (1964) is kind of the high water mark for these kinds of films, and it co-stars perennial favorite, Ann-Margret.  

Part tourist boosterism for America's playland, part romantic comedy, and all boppin' musical, the film is about 85 minutes of rocket-sled plotting paired with Go-Go dancing, while absolutely nothing happens, and we basically watch plot points used a million times over by '64 to tell the story of Elvis and Ann-Margret falling in love.  And in the last ten minutes of the film, we suddenly have a massive bodycount.  Did not see that coming.

Did I like the film?  Yes.  It's charming, dumb and cute.  Ann-Margret is something else.  Was the film good?  By conventional standards, its a mess.  But it was intended to get teens out to cinemas, promote Ann-Margret and Elvis and sell some records, and by that standard it's Citizen Kane.  

Picture stolen from Jenifer's blog, but you can see Garr in white and Basil's backside in red

Sidenote - Teri Garr is briefly in the movie as a background dancer, and you can see how she got pulled out of the chorus for a leading position.  Also: I heard Toni Basil is in the movie, and you cannot miss her when she's on screen for maybe 4 seconds.

But, yeah, basically Elvis plays a would-be race car driver who is in Vegas to drop off his car for a big road rally before heading off to LA to pick up the new motor.  He meets, immediately, an Italian Count who is the definition of Frenemy, and Ann-Margret, who is a pool manager/ swimming teacher.  Trying to find Ann-Margret, Elvis and the Count go on an ogling expedition of the showgirl shows across Vegas, so, you too, can fill your spank bank and have an idea of what you can objectify for a few bucks if you come to Vegas.  Eventually Elvis finds Ann-Margret, they begin to date (having enormous fun with money we're told Elvis doesn't have), but she doesn't want him to race lest he crash.  So they kind of break up.  But then he goes to race, and she helps.   It makes no sense, as nothing in the movie makes any sense.   And then they show the race, and it's a reminder of how terrifyingly dangerous racing was in mid-Century America and how far we've come in not thinking motor sports should end in death.  

Anyway, it is exactly what I was expecting, except for the scene where Elvis hangs out with a bunch of drunk Texans and it suddenly feels like a documentary or how-to video about how to deal with drunk Texans that is accurate to this day.

Monday, April 11, 2022

Hammer Watch: Brides of Dracula (1960)

Watched:  04/11/2022
Format:  BluRay!
Viewing:  Second? 
Decade:  1960's
Director:  Terence Fisher 

It's my b-day tomorrow, and for my b-day, Dug and K sent me a couple of Hammer blurays I'd not picked up, and... I'm very excited.  Lots of extra features and whatnot and excellent picture quality. 

I wrote this one up in late 2020, so I'm not inclined to say a ton more.   I suppose this time it really struck me how much this movie seems to play with the idea of gothic romance novels, of the young woman entering a castle and uncovering a mystery - but in this case rather than a wrongly imprisoned prince or lord, she accidentally frees a Dracula.  It's kind of clever.

This is also a movie where we see Van Helsing continue on his arc as a bad-ass, fist-fighting Draculas and applying his anti-vampirism plan to himself.  It's crazy.  

I will also continue to contend that Andree Melly was very cute as a vampire.

Friday, January 7, 2022

PODCAST 178: "Zulu" (1964) - A SimonUK Cinema Series Episode w/ Ryan

Watched:  01/04/2021
Format:  Tubi
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1960's
Director:  Cy Endfield

SimonUK and Ryan hold their ground against impossible odds in a trap of their own making! We talk the 93rd ever best British film, bringing our tiny squad up against the overwhelming force that is a film epic all about Britain's red-coats and the sun never setting on the empire and whatnot. It's a movie of it's time in some ways, and maybe more progressive a film than you're figuring for 1964.

Zulu Suite - John Barry

SimonUK Cinema Series

Monday, December 20, 2021

PODCAST 175: "Cash On Demand" (1961) - Christmas 2021 w/ Jamie and Ryan

Watched:  12/13/2021
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  Second
Decade:  1960's
Director:  Quentin Lawrence

Jamie and Ryan pull the perfect job of a half-baked podcast episode! The best laid plans of podcasters and men and all that as we do our best to get through the score, talking about a Christmas heist film from the renowned Hammer studios, starring some top-shelf talent! Join us, and let's see if we can't get away with it!

Money - Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon 

Christmas 2021 Playlist

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

PODCAST 174: "The Apartment" (1960) - Christmas 2021 w/ Maxwell and Ryan

Watched:  12/07/2021
Format:  Amazon
Viewing:  Second
Decade:  1960's
Director:  Billy Wilder

Just in time for Christmas, Maxwell steps off the elevator to join us for a discussion on a cinema classic by one of the great directors. Join us as we borrow a little time and space, and go over one of the best films in the filmography of one of the best directors of the mid-20th century. It may not have much to do with Santa, but it's a reflection of the holiday season from a certain POV!

The Apartment Theme - Adolph Deutsch

Christmas Playlist 2021

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Elvira Special Watch: City of the Dead (1960)

Watched:  10/24/2021
Format:  Shudder Elvira Special
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1960's
Director:  John Llewellyn Moxey

I am unfamiliar with this studio, Vulcan Productions, but it's out of Britain.  That said, in theory the movie takes place in Massachusetts, and is a witchy story about a small town where there's still witchy business afoot 400 years later.  

The movie stars a whole bunch of people I didn't know, and I think English people playing Americans, which would explain at least one guy's voice.  But it's got Christopher Lee!  So, super double bonus points.

The movie isn't bad!  It's mostly thriller as young people first try to do some research for a college course, and secondly when others go to look for the first person.  The sets, acting, etc... are all good stuff.  I particularly liked Patricia Jessel as a creepy inn owner.  

Anyway, I mostly watched it as past of Elvira's 4 movie hosting gig on Shudder, and she's terrific!  Good bits in there and what I believe to be a true story of her running into Christopher Lee in a window that I believe would have had to have been pre-Elvira.  Anyway, she has a kicky song at the end I very much enjoyed.