Showing posts with label 1970's. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1970's. Show all posts

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Hammer Horror Halloween Watch: Lust for a Vampire (1971)




Watched:  10/30/2022
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  Second
Director:  Jimmy Sangster

So, way back when I was first getting familiar with Hammer, I watched Lust For a Vampire (1971), and wound up with one of those absolutely wild experiences you get once in a while on the internet.  Admittedly, I'd not *really* been watching the movie - I was online and just watching the movie with one eye and I dashed off a jokey, jerky write-up.  But I was so much not paying attention that I mistook a completely different actor for Christopher Lee, which should tell you how much I was *not* watching.  

Within 24 hours, actor Judy Jarvis (nee Matheson) - who plays Amanda McBride in the film - spotted the review and *rightfully* called me out.  My review was stupid.  I'm lazy.  It happens.  But it was also a reminder that I should actually pay attention to a movie and give it a fair shake if I'm going to criticize the film as a viewer.  And real people do work on these films.

I promised Judy Jarvis I would rewatch the film, but, honestly, that's a *lot* of pressure.  Now I didn't want to embarrass myself if Judy Jarvis was still patrolling the internet, and I absolutely wanted to give the movie a fair shake this time.

Suffice to say, I am now more familiar with Hammer, what was going on in 1970's British film, and know how to watch these movies from a better perspective.  I've read Carmilla and become more aware of what Hammer was doing with the Karnsteins (a family of vampires they employed as Dracula wound down and based on the novel Carmilla).

I am not just saying this:  I loved the movie this time.  

Friday, October 28, 2022

Hammer Watch: Blood From the Mummy's Tomb (1971)




Watched:  10/26/2022
Format:  AFS Cinema
Viewing: First
Director:  Seth Holt/ Michael Carreras

Well.  This was 40 minutes of movie stretched out over 96 minutes.  

I'll defend the last 30 or so minutes of Blood From the Mummy's Tomb (1971), but the first hour of the film is weirdly plodding for a Hammer, with long stretches of the movie that feel like filler to hit an unnecessarily long run time.  This whole thing could have been 70 minutes and lost nothing.  

Example:  We see 85% of the moments leading up to an Egyptologist's demise and can infer he dies off-frame.  It's not great, but a workman-like scene.  We then then watch Our Hero look for the guy for what has to be a full 2 minutes of screen time, retracing the path we just saw just seconds before.  Look -  all we needed was Our Hero walking up on the dead body and showing his horror and revulsion.  That's like 10-15 seconds, easy-peasy.  

So, yeah, it's a weird movie and falls in a lot of traps I usually associate with indie-schlocky levels of movie-making where there's pressure to reach a minimum runtime and no one working on the movie understands pacing or narrative economy.  This is a movie made by actual professionals from a real studio.  It's weird.  When you see the slow-moving dad, partially paralyzed from mummy-attack, realize his daughter on the 3rd floor is in danger and he rushes to help her from the basement, I let out an audible groan.  We're going to see a lot of awkward stair climbing.  

What the film does have going for it is Valerie Leon, but YMMV here.  She's not an amazing actor, but she ably fills the role of Hammer lead.  

Valerie Leon takes a hard look at herself



Stylistically, the film has one foot in modern 1971 and another in pre-WWII movies of mummies and even archaeology.  But throws in odd bits like Our Hero's car is an MG TA from the 1930's, I believe, while keeping the wardrobe for the young leads hip and modern.  

The plot, based upon a Bram Stoker horror novel with which I am unfamiliar, does inform how we wound up with so much reincarnation jazz in mummy films starting with Karloff.  On the very moment of discovery of a sarcophagus containing a perfectly preserved Egyptian queen/ priestess, an archaeologist's daughter is born and his wife dies in childbirth in London.  As she approaches her birthday (they never say which one...) it seems the daughter, who exactly resembles the "mummy", is becoming possessed by her. 

The movie becomes a plodding "gotta catch 'em all" of the artifacts of the queen, scattered across London in the homes of the archaeologist's team - who don't stay in touch.  Why no one destroyed the artifacts is never stated.  Or why they didn't, like, put the in a vault or mail them to relatives or basically do anything to actually stop this... never comes up.  

There's also a Dr. Pretorious-type imported from Bride of Frankenstein in James Villiers' Corbeck.  It's such an obvious swipe, it's kind of adorable.  And aside from Leon's wardrobe, the best part of the film.

I suspect Hammer probably knew this movie wasn't great, but they had also hired a down-on-his-luck Seth Holt to direct, and the guy died ON SET the last week of filming.  They soldiered on and made a movie, but - man.  This is not good.  It's not even "fine".  It's just mind-numbingly dull for vast stretches and it absolutely didn't have to be.  There's plenty to talk about vis-a-vis how it relates to modern mummy films, old mummy films, the Hammer canon, etc...  but I can't do it.  









Sunday, October 23, 2022

Vampire d'Halloween Watch: Fascination (1979)




Watched:  10/22/2022
Format:  Criterion Channel
Viewing:  First
Director:  Jean Rollin

I don't know the work of Jean Rollin, but I understand more cultured folks will.  Something to look into.  His imdb looks like horror and thrillers, so, sure.

This film is mostly mood in the best way.  I think some of y'all like JAL might dig it if you haven't seen it.  It's essentially a well telegraphed vampire movie with the languid pace of Daughters of Darkness that has some astounding moments that alone are worth checking the movie out for.  

I enjoyed it, but it's mostly paper thin when you want to discuss the plot, which is a young criminal takes the gold he and his compatriots stole and hides out in a mansion which is inhabited by two young, attractive women but no servants or anything.  He tries to sort out what is happening, has sex with one of them and dodges the gang of crooks.  Also, there's a reunion of more attractive young women.

I dunno.  Give it a shot. It has some stunning visuals and never overextends its reach as a lovely, moody bit of horror with a curious spin on the vampire idea.





Thursday, October 20, 2022

Halloween Hammer Horror Watch: Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde (1972) - in a movie theater!



Watched:  10/19/2022
Format:  Austin Film Society 
Viewing:  First
Director:  Roy Ward Baker

The last movie I saw in a theater was March 5th, 2020.  Simon and I went to see Shane, because when they show Shane, you go see it.  But then COVID and the complete re-writing of movie distribution on the fly happened, and my sense of cinema FOMO ceased to exist.

So... what could draw me back to the cinema after 2.5 years away?  Well, the promise of gender-bending adaptation of a classic horror tale, murder, mayhem and some mild nudity, of course.  And- part of Hammer's 1970's output of throwing madness at the wall to see what sticks.

Take a look at the poster above and ponder - the actual actors from this movie are not seen here.  The seeming murder?  Not part of the movie.  At times, Hammer would create a poster first, and then a movie.  This is pure pulpy hucksterism at it's finest, and I think more stuff needs to be made this way.   "I dunno, we pre-sold something called 'Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde' and promised sex changes and blood.  It writes itself!  Go make it!"  AND THEY DID.

Y'all, maybe it's the thrill of leaving the house to see a film on the big screen.  Maybe I'm easily swayed by five seconds of boobs, but I found this movie an absolute delight.  

Look, you can apply your film criticism hat and do the thing where you face facts and say "this movie may not have intentionally been saying things, but society...!" and that's legit-ish.  You can also say "look, they very quickly made a movie that was about a kooky concept and the main reason it's not horrendously offensive is that no one read the book it's based on and made Hyde what he was in the book as a woman."  And I think both ways of viewing the movie have value.

We all know the story of Jekyll and Hyde - a scientist looking to quite literally use chemistry to separate the "good" side of one's character from the "evil" side.  Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde (1972) sees a well-intentioned Jekyll who is, instead, seeking to prolong life and believes that something in the female physiology will assist with this chemical reaction.  After an early success with a @#$%ing housefly, where he believes he mistook a female fly for a male fly, he leaps 1000 steps ahead and experiments on himself, transforming from the passably handsome Ralph Bates into Martine Beswick.  Might as well become a knock-out, I guess.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Jekyll's neighbors, the Spencers, because man is this where the film feels knowingly perverse.  A mother and her son and daughter move in upstairs (and invention of the film) and let us say that their downstairs neighbor is split in his interest between the brother and sister.  It may not be horror, but it is *interesting* and there's a killer scene that really tells us how Jekyll is unravelling, and it very much illustrates the dynamics of what's occurring with Jekyll/ Hyde.

The movie is a bit unusual in appearance for a Hammer Horror.  I assume it was filmed on rented sets to get the right claustrophobic feeling of London of the 1880's. and the seemingly perpetually darkened streets.  And it's packed with extras, bit parts and multi-room, multi-level sets.  

Also - amazing plot twist - the Dr. Jekyll here is also Jack the Ripper.  The famed precision of the murders is now part of Henry Jekyll's need to collect, like, thyroids or something.  It's actually an interesting bit of change - and really, that's what I liked about the movie is that it isn't just a game of telephone or a movie that tries to improve on something that works just fine.  They're just kind of going bananas to do as much as possible (the publication of the novel predates the murders by only 2 years, so it basically kinda works).

Oh, the film school papers that could be written about this film as misogynistic swill.  One can only imagine how the very notion of the film would be enough to pre-write a 1000 opening paragraphs in need of supporting evidence.

Is it "horror" to *become* a woman?  The movie doesn't exactly comment upon that notion or make it seem bad - just different.  Jekyll doesn't seem as upset that he's becoming a woman from time-to-time as he is that someone is taking over his brain and body.  He's a scientist, and the fact that he's a woman is a weird but not infuriating side-effect.  The character of Jekyll could potentially, in today's terms, be considered asexual, and the biggest difference is that Sister Hyde is... not.   

But but but...  I mean, Hyde's "evil" side is (duhn duhn duuuuuhn) a woman!  Curiously, the movie either on purpose or by accident doesn't really make that distinction.  Jekyll already runs around paying off morticians for access to the dead bodies of young women (a common practice til the early 20th Century), and he has no problem looking the other way when he asks some thugs to provide him with dead girls.  Arguably, all "Sister Hyde" does is look great and try to continue existing - before the murder, I guess.  But that's just to cover for the fact that s/he can't go out looking for women anymore as Dr. Jekyll.  The pure evil of Hyde in the novel is not present here despite the promise bestowed by the copy on the posters.  

Even the permission Jekyll seeks from an unknowing young woman regarding his trolley car problem of needing to murder young ladies FOR SCIENCE is phrased in the kindest possible framing.  She doesn't know what she's telling Jekyll to go do.  

The title is probably a fairly good indicator of how seriously the creators seemed to take their own film.  It's fun, bloody, weird and a bit sexy.  I might have put it off had it not been a Halloween showing at Austin Film Society, and I'm glad I did get to see it.






Sunday, October 16, 2022

Halloween Watch: The Omen (1976)




Watched:  10/15/2022
Format:  HBOmax
Viewing:  First
Director:  Richard Donner

Mostly, I watched this at long last because I'm tired of SimonUK assuming I've seen this movie, and then being surprised I haven't seen it.  So here we are.  ARE YOU HAPPY, SIMON?

It's not that I thought the movie would be bad, but once I heard the premise, I basically figured I could guess what the movie would be, and I don't think I was too far off.  Of course I didn't know specifics, but lots of creepy stares from a kid and people dying badly around him as the parents try to figure it out...  check and check.  

But- here's the thing.  It's just really well done.  I mean, say what you will, but kudos to Richard Donner for crafting a movie that has you cheering for a five year old kid to get it.  That's storytelling, kids.

Living at the intersection of two horror genres, (a) the evil child genre and (b) Satanic Panic fodder, The Omen (1976) manages to package the two nicely, pulling in name actors who are past their heyday but can still deliver the goods.  I mean, it's a bit odd to cast a 60 year old Gregory Peck to play the husband to a 40-year-old Lee Remick as the parents of a 5 year old (in 1976.  Now... meh).  Fortunately, both are terrific, unravelling on separate timelines as they deal with the reality of what's happening to them.  And, man, Remick can do more with a look than most actors can with all their tools and tricks.  

The film also stars a young David Warner, and it was great to see him doing his thing in the wake of his passing.

I'm glad I saw it, even if the past 46 years have seen so much in the way of imitation, it may not feel terrifically fresh at this point on a first viewing.  But it also never veers away from the point that there's a 5-year-old bringing about the end of the world, and no magic doo-dad is going to miraculously fix the kid.  And the *scope* of the story was so much bigger and better realized than I was guessing.  


Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Dracula Watch: The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973)




Watched:  10/03/2022
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  First 
Director:  Alan Gibson

Well, this is the final Dracula movie starring Christopher Lee as the good count, it's 1973 happening out there, and the soundtrack has a wah peddle.  I won't say I didn't enjoy this movie.  I did!  It's got Cushing still leaning into it, Lee is much more engaged than in Dracula AD 1972, and how can you go wrong when you include Joanna Lumley?  

This movie follows what happens when Dracula gets himself a cult going, and managed to plan ahead.  His plan may make no sense, but it is very, very dramatic.  Some key scenes seem to take place off-camera, and you will not like the guy who they cast as "our hero".  He has a terrible haircut and is rude to Joanna Lumley while also clearly supposed to have a romantic spark with her that no one is buying.  She's clearly way, way out of his league.  

Anyway, a mysterious cult seems to have recruited some deeply important people with the promise of power.  They kill a chicken and everything.  But it's secretly Dracula planning to use a super-bubonic plague that will wipe out humanity.  As the authorities bring in Van Helsing to sort things out, he sorts out that Dracula survived their last encounter and is now working to create a plague so all of humanity will die, and he will then be able to die, himself.  This idea gets no further consideration as some kinda wild stuff.  

There's a basement full 'o brides, a gang wearing matching sweater vests of evil, a woman wildly othered and exoticized for being Asian, snipers, excellent use of a net, and Dracula getting caught in a shrubbery.  

Joanna Lumley plays Jessica Van Helsing, seen in the prior year's Dracula AD 1972 as portrayed by Stephanie Beacham.  And her wardrobe is 70's fabu.  No notes.  She looks terrific.  




The movie plays it pretty straight, and nobody is an idiot just to serve the story.  I'm not sure how unleashing a plague requiring physical contact that becomes obvious one has said plague is particularly frightening when you realize no one would touch those people and just walk away from the threat.  Literally Lee's scheme in Captain America: Death Too Soon is 10000x more effective.   

There's some kinda interesting direction here that shows we've moved well on from the TV-like set-ups on the first Dracula.  Even if the title sequence just yells "make it cheap!".  It's funny what some camera angles and not pumping a studio full of flat lighting can do.  But, man, you can also feel that this is not the world's most expensive movie when Dracula's office looks absolutely borrowed for the day.

Yes, Dracula has an office.

Anyhoo.  Go watch!  It's the last Dracula Lee/ Cushing team up.  

Sunday, October 2, 2022

Vampire Watch: The Velvet Vampire (1971)



Watched:  10/02/2022
Format:  Criterion Channel
Viewing:  First
Director:  Stephanie Rothman

You can't go wrong when your Dracula has a dune buggy.

I'm making light, but The Velvet Vampire (1971) was better than you'd figure with some stunning visuals and occasional actual sexiness, while being hampered by the budget and issues usually plaguing anything bearing the New World Pictures marquee from pre-1982.  

A lovely woman (Celeste Yarnall) who is absolutely and clearly our titular vampire stops for some death along the way to an art gallery show where she meets two dim-witted hip post-Summer of Love 1970's types.  The woman, Susan (Sherry E. DeBoer) rightly perceives Diane as a threat, but her husband, Lee (Michael Blodgett) sees a good looking dame who seems game and goes about telling his wife she has hang-ups and she should trust him.*  She absolutely should not.

The pair drive out to the desert where there's evil foreboding stuff and their car breaks down.  Fortunately, Diane appears driving a yellow dune buggy in full sunlight.  

At dinner (steak tar-tar, of course), Lee and Diane are basically announcing their intention to bang while Susan objects.  And then a bunch of vampirey stuff happens.  

If you showed up for partial nudity, you're in luck.  This is New World Pictures circa 1970 and they deliver on the spectacle you're hoping for.  If you showed up for Oscar-worthy performances, you may find yourself wanting.  But director Stephanie Rothman (the first woman inducted into the DGA, apparently?) does not screw around when she has an opportunity to do something cool.  And so we get some fascinating dream sequences and other bits that do a lot with some trick visuals, a fan and red negligee against the backdrop of the desert.

There's also a few other sequences that don't look like it was a crew fighting a losing battle with white walls and lighting, including a shot of Diane in a grave and two versions of voyeurism that appear in the movie.  

I can't say I loved the ending of the movie, but it's... fine.  I guess.  I would have ended it a full ten minutes earlier, but it's not my movie.  I'm just not sure how scary "vampire on a Greyhound" is.  But mostly I feel like it's a shame it appears Rothman never quite escaped doing exploitation films before hanging it up.   For example, I believe her take on the male hero of this film has to be satire in a way.  He's a being completely navigated by his dick who constantly gaslights his younger, vulnerable wife - even telling her it's no big deal when she witnesses him having sex with Diane.  The entire stance seems set up to get him murdered in the final reel.  

Susan's vulnerability and guilelessness is, frankly, unappealing and you can't blame either she or Lee for falling for the vampire's charms (there's definitely overt vampire lesbianism that never quite sticks the landing).  But it also makes Susan hard to follow as a character as the dramatic irony piles up around her.  And it all feels very intentional.  

I didn't love this movie, but as a curiosity, I'd recommend it.  It's not paced as glacially as some European films of the era, and you can feel okay about rooting against the leads.  I just wish the movie had left off much earlier and not decided a chase sequence was needed.  





*this, friends, is a red flag in your personal life as well as in vampire movies

Monday, September 19, 2022

PodCast 211: "Vampira/ Old Dracula" (1974) - a Halloween PodCast w/ SimonUK and Ryan




Watched:  07/26/2022
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing: First
Decade:  1970's
Director:  Clive Donner




SimonUK and Ryan take a bite out of a 1974 vampire movie neither of them had previously seen, starring David Niven as a Dracula whose seen better days. It's 1970's hipsterism mixed with Blaxploitation meets horror meets comedy meets a sad trombone moment in the last 45 seconds. Join us as we kick off Halloween 2022!


SoundCloud 


YouTube


Music:
Vampira - David Whitaker 



Halloween and Horror

Monday, July 18, 2022

Watch Party Watch: Futureworld (1976)

Behold - Paltrow's mom getting with a Robo-Brynner



Watched:  07/15/2022
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1970's
Director:  Richard T. Heffron


When I was in maybe 8th grade, my brother and I rented the original Westworld, declared it "rad as hell" and pondered renting the 1976 follow-up Futureworld.  If a movie about robots going berserk in the old west was cool, wouldn't the follow up be even better - in a sci-fi playland?

Well, I remember us telling my dad we were going to rent Futureworld, and my dad saying "Sometimes sequels aren't as good as the original.  Like this one."  In retrospect, I realize this means sometime my dad had tried to watch Futureworld.  

For Houstonians, this movie provides an extra treat as a bunch of it was filmed around town.  Thrill to seeing the underground tram at G. Bush International!  Say "isn't that Jones Hall?" as the leads enter Delos.  Wonder where they are in the Johnson Space Center for great stretches of the film, and why NASA agreed to this shit!

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Revenge Watch: Lady Snowblood (1973)



Watched:  07/02/2022
Format:  HBOmax
Viewing:  First
Director:  Toshiya Fujita

Oh.  My God.  @#$% yes.

As a rule, I don't personally believe in revenge.  But if you're gonna do it, might as well come at it with ice in your veins and a sword hidden on your person. 

Is there anything I didn't like about this movie?  No.  Is there anything I liked about it?  Everything.

Watch immediately.  Recommended.


Wednesday, May 4, 2022

PodCast 197: "The Medusa Touch" (1978) - A SimonUK Cinema Classic w/ Ryan




Watched:  04/25/2022
Format:  Amazon Prime
Viewing: First
Decade:  1970's
Director:  Jack Gold




It wouldn't be the first time we used our minds around here and it led to disaster. SimonUK and Ryan get excited about Richard Burton and Lee Remick, respectively, and get on the case of the victim of an attempted murder, who maybe - just maybe - is the source of all sorts of trouble. Join us as we talk an entry in ESP horror paired with police procedural.


SoundCloud 


YouTube


Music:
The Medusa Touch - Michael J. Lewis 


Simon movies!

Friday, April 22, 2022

PodCast 195: "The Wild Geese" (1978) - A SimonUK Cinema Episode w/ Ryan




Watched:  04/08/2022
Format:  Amazon Prime
Viewing: Second
Decade:  1970's
Director:  Andrew V. McLaglen




Aging soldiers of fortune go back in for one last mission - and this time we're talking about the movie and not SimonUK and Ryan! It's a SimonUK Cinema Classic, a canon film, and a chance to watch Richard Burton play essentially himself if he was a mercenary. Behold post-colonialism relationships with the African continent, high adventure and the folly of canceling your Christmas travel plans.


SoundCloud 


YouTube


Music:
Overture - Roy Budd, The Wild Geese OST 
Flight of the Wild Geese - Joan Armatrading, The Wild Geese OST



SimonUK Cinema Series

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Watch Party Watch: Night of the Lepus (1972)




Watched:  04/08/2022
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  First
Director:  William F. Claxton

You'd think a movie about giant, mutant rabbits with a taste for human flesh would be more exciting.  But, alas, that is not the case with Night of the Lepus (1972), which seems like such a missed opportunity.  And I welcome some enterprising soul to remake and improve the idea.  NOW IS THE TIME.

The movie features Rory Calhoun, Dr. McCoy and Janet Leigh, among others.  Janet Leigh is kind of weirdly wasted in the film, but wears an interesting array of stripes.  And it also features a lot of bunnies shot in slow-mo on scale sets, and it is goddamn adorable.

The main character and his family are entirely responsible for the science and bad decisions that create the mayhem of the movie, and should be in jail.  Even the little girl.  It's a hell of a script.  

Anyway, my middle school floor hockey team was named The Slaughter Bunnies, and I really wish I could say we based it on this movie, but we did not.


Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Musical Watch: The Man of La Mancha (1972)

artwork by the remarkable Ted CoConis



Watched:  02/26/2022
Format:  Amazon Prime
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1970's
Director:  Arthur Hiller

In high school I saw a college production of Man of La Mancha, and loved the show.  But somehow I never got around to watching the film.  By end of high school, I was familiar with O'Toole and Loren, so that wasn't a deterrent, and even back then, I didn't blink at watching movies from decades past.  I did plan to read Don Quixote on the heels of seeing the play, but never got to it.*  What has shocked me over the years is that the music from the show and the general spirit of a show I saw once at age 17 have stuck with me.

Even if you've never read Cervantes (and I have not) The Man of La Mancha (1972) is absolutely a worthwhile watch.  It's a strange movie, following the show's format, it's a play within a play.  Layer of illusion upon layer of illusion.  Cervantes is an actor performing the play he's written of Man of La Mancha in a town square when the Spanish Inquisition appears and, charging him with heresy, hauls him off to stand trial.  While waiting for his show trial, he cools his heels in a large, open dungeon with a multitude of fellow prisoners who decide to hold their own kangaroo court for him - and in order to explain himself, he sets about using the prisoners to portray a version of his play.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

PODCAST 180: "A Clockwork Orange" (1971) - A Signal Watch Canon Episode w/ SGHarms and Ryan




Watched:  01/20/2022
Format:  HBOmax
Viewing:  Unknown
Director:  Stanley Kubrick



Ryan welcomes old droog and new co-host SGHarms to viddy a bit of the old ultraviolence as we discuss a bit of popular cine. It's Kubrick's much-discussed 1970's masterpiece, and there's plenty to talk about. Join us for a sloosh, my brothers, as we sort through all that Master Kubrick has brought us. 

If you have not seen this film, be aware that discussion of the film will include covering the film's depiction of multiple forms of violence, including sexual violence. Proceed with caution.

SoundCloud

YouTube



Music:
Clockwork Orange Title Theme (based on Purcell's "Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary" - Wendy Carlos
9th Symphony, 2nd Movement - Ludwig Van Beethoven, Berlin Philharmonic


Signal Watch Canon

Friday, January 14, 2022

PODCAST 179: "Soylent Green" (1973) - a 2022 SciFi Episode w/ JimD and Ryan



Watched:  01/05/2022
Format:  Tubi
Viewing:  First
Director: Richard Fleischer




JimD returns to talk what to expect in the new year and what to look for as you consider healthy eating in 2022. It's a Sci-Fi classic that isn't all that great! But it has a neat ending. And garbage trucks. And some name cast, which is just weird. Join us as we try not to crowd you with our opinions!




Music:
Soylent Green - Fred Myrow


Sci-Fi Nerdery

Friday, December 31, 2021

Neo-Noir Watch: The Silent Partner (1978)




Watched:  12/30/2021
Format:  TCM on Demand
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1970's
Director:  Daryl Duke/ Curtis Hanson

I knew nothing about this movie other than it starred Elliot Gould before Jamie put it on.  She'd read about it somewhere and knew "this will be in Ryan's wheelhouse, so I don't need to sell him on it", and she was 100% correct.

The upshot is that I really dug this movie, and I think you might, too.  It's a very 1970's neo-noir in the vein of classic thriller-noir like Kiss of Death.  But don't use that as an exact comparison.

LIGHT SPOILERS

Monday, December 27, 2021

Christmas Day Night Watch: House/ Hausu (1977)


Watched:  12/25/2021
Format:  HBOmax
Viewing:  Second
Decade:  1970's
Director:  Nobuhiko Obayashi

K was visiting for Christmas and she's wanted to watch this movie forever, so we did.  Least Christmassy programming possible, but it's a fun movie.



Sunday, December 5, 2021

Holiday Horror Watch: Black Christmas (1974)




Watched:  12/5/2021
Format:  Peacock!  
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1970's
Director:  Bob Clark

I kind of start and stop my interest in slasher films with the Halloween films.  But ever since I found out Bob Clark, the guy who directed A Christmas Story, also directed one of the landmark Christmas-Horror films, I've wanted to see Black Christmas (1974).  Add in a pre-superstardom Margot Kidder, and it's a sell!  But the movie had been a little hard to find in the past - until recent shifts in how the streamers work seems to have fixed that.  

Anyway, it's now a whole lotta places, but I watched it on Peacock of all locations.  I know!  But if you watch like 2 minutes of commercials, uncut movie!  (edit:  I hit "publish" on this post, went to my email to read the Criterion Current email, and I guess Black Christmas is on the Criterion Channel now, too and an article about the weirdness of watching people get murdered on film.). 

Black Christmas is dark.  I don't want to beat around the bush on this one.  I am glad I didn't pick it for a watch party, because it's not... fun.  It's mostly just grim.  Surprisingly well made, effective, etc...  but sometimes I watch a movie and I'm kind of glad I don't need to worry about how Jamie was taking it in.* 

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Music Doc Watch: The Beatles - Get Back (2021)




Watched:  12/3/2021
Format:  Disney+
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2020's
Director:  uhhhh...

I have what I'd describe as a non-relationship with The Beatles.   

I can't remember a time I wasn't aware of the existence of The Beatles, and since middle-school, I could pick out one of their tunes playing on the radio or over Muzak - but at some point when I was getting into music, I think I found the enormity of The Beatles as cultural force daunting, and their discography too big for me to get my head around.  I also think I had a hard time - as a high schooler - reconciling the Ed Sullivan Beatles with the late-years Beatles.  It was just so much.

I do know that in 1984 my parents took me to the movie theater to see Give My Regards to Broad Street. (That was when I first heard Eleanor Rigby and my wee brain was blown).  But they, themselves, weren't huge Beatles fans.