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

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.

Friday, November 26, 2021

Holiday Regret/ Rifftrax Watch: The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978)

I like how you can see Harrison Ford thinking about literally anything but where he is in this moment



Watched:  11/22/2021
Format:  YouTube
Viewing:  third?
Decade:  1970's
Director:  Steve Binder

Hubris, thy name is Signal Watch.  

Jamie put up three options for us to watch the other night, and I was like "ha ha!  I'm feeling daffy!  Let's watch The Star Wars Holiday Special!  It'll be great with Rifftrax!"  

Friends, it was not great.

Look, Rifftrax is/ are fun, but they can't turn a broken sewer line into the fountain in front of the Bellagio.  It's more about standing there, cracking wise at the broken sewer line.  I mean, Lucas disavowed and tried to hide the existence of the Star Wars Holiday Special (1978) for decades, but early tape decks and bootlegs at sci-fi conventions kept it alive and kicking despite best efforts to quash this thing's existence.  

Star Wars was once upon a time a thing where there wasn't that much of it - unlike today's Disney-fueled production factory, we got a movie every three years and then some occasional oddball items.  But every attempt to expand beyond the narrow confines of the feature films seemed to be met in disaster.  I was jamming to Christmas in the Stars as a kid (a record that drives Jamie into a fury when I put it on), live-action Ewok movies, an Ewok cartoon and a Droid cartoon, all of which were...  not great.  But I hadn't even heard of the Holiday Special until college.

Thursday, November 11, 2021

PODCAST: "The Man Who Would Be King" (1975) - a Signal Watch Canon episode w/ SimonUK and Ryan




Watched: 10/15/2021
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing: First
Decade:  1970's
Director:  John Huston




Two wayward souls, maybe a bit past their prime and in over their heads, seek fortune and glory - and that's just our podcasters. Join SimonUK and Ryan as we head into poorly charted territory and look into a film featuring two of our favorite film stars in an adventure that probably needed some better planning.  But you gotta admire the moxie.




Music:
Theme from The Man Who Would Be King - Maurice Jarre


Canon Playlist 

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Elvira Halloween Watch: Messiah of Evil (1973)




Watched:  10/31/2021
Format:  Elvira Special on Shudder
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1970's
Director:  Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz


A while back, JAL suggested we watch this film together, and I was "ok" and then things occurred and that didn't happen.  But as we were prepping to get together for a film, I noticed that this was the fourth entry in Elvira's 4 film 40th Anniversary celebration on Shudder.  I asked Justin, and he said "oh, yes.  Watch with Elvira."  And so I did.

Elvira seemed quite taken/ amused by the movie.  So that's a good sign in my book.  She broke into the film several times, not least because she was excited Elisha Cook Jr. was in the movie, and so say we all.  Anyway, if you've got Shudder, check out Messiah of Evil (1973) as part of her 4-film cycle.  

This movie very much wants to be a horror film in a certain classic sense of horror - of creeping dread and mystery slowly overtaking our heroes as they succumb to madness, violence of others, etc...  Letters are read from people not in the story who are gone missing.  People wander languidly in a dream-like state.  Our narrator starts off confined to an insane asylum, warning us of doom before telling her tale.  It's that kind of film.

It's not *that* bad.  The pacing is a mess, as are a lot of low-budget horror films from this era that think they're building tension but they're... killing time.  But it has two legit actors pop up as guest stars (Royal Dano being the other), and had two - frankly- really good, creepy murder sequences that feel like an electric jolt in this otherwise plodding movie.  

I don't think this movie is dumb, but it just feels like it's not quite sure what to do about its limitations.  And all of the actors seem like they're on Quaaludes.  So when you add zombie cultists into the mix...  and I have every reason to believe all of this was intentional.  

The pair behind the movie, Huyck and Katz, went on to do work on good movies, including American Graffiti.  And bad movies (Howard the Duck).  It's one of the folks in famous-people film circles who didn't quite become famous themselves.  

Anyway - check it out sometime!  And we can figure out why the main guy refuses to ever be seen without a vest on.





Monday, November 1, 2021

Halloween Musical Watch: Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)



Watched:  10/30/2021
Format:  Hulu
Viewing:  Unknown
Decade:   1970's
Director:  Jim Sharman


There must be plenty of academia written on The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975).  And yet, I find it a bit difficult to discuss.

I was fifteen, just moved back to Spring, TX and in the burbs when my mom - not sure what else to do with friendless 'ol me on the weekends - did what she did for a few months when we first got there, and took me to the local video emporium.*   I'd rent 3 or 4 movies and that's what I'd do when my parents turned in and the insomnia that has defined my entire life kicked in.  And among the tapes - I picked up the 15th Anniversary edition of Rocky Horror Picture Show.  

 I had heard of Rocky Horror when I was maybe 13, but had no real concept.  When I was 14 and still in Austin, some friends suggested we all go to a midnight screening.  Austin was, for reasons that make sense if you knew it at the time, one of the first cities outside of New York or LA to have a regular midnight screening of the movie.  I think it was at its semi-permanent location of Northcross Mall by that time.  And my mom greenlit me going - until about 72 hours before it was time to go, and I don't know what he teacher friends told her, but suddenly I was not going. 

Friday, October 29, 2021

Hammer Watch: The Scars of Dracula (1970)




Watched:  10/28/2021
Format:  YouTubeTV
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1970's
Director:  Roy Ward Baker

Christopher Lee played Dracula 10 times on film, 7 times for Hammer, this being the 5th outing for Hammer.  This Dracula film is one of 9 movies Christopher Lee starred in during the year 1970, when he was still sort of doing lines as Drac, and not just standing there or growling.  

Anyway, the man was supernaturally prolific.  

Friday, October 22, 2021

Japan Horror Halloween Watch: Hausu/ House (1977)




Watched:  10/22/2021
Format:  HBOmax
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1970's
Director:  Nobuhiko Ôbayashi

Uh.

I don't know what I just watched, but it was maybe the best thing ever? 

I mean, truly, I could not look away.  This movie is batshit, and I love batshit.  Like, it starts out batshit and just keeps going, changing and getting better.  I can truly say, I did not know what was going to happen next.  

Anyway, any attempt to describe the movie is a fool's errand, so I will not.  But I will definitely be rotating this into my scary movie faves.


Sunday, October 17, 2021

PODCAST: "Dawn of the Dead" (1978) & (2004) - Halloween 2021 - Horror Sequels w/ SimonUK and Ryan


 
Watched:  08/25 & 08/31/2021
Format:  YouTube and Amazon
Viewing:  at least second for both
Decade:  1970's and 2000's
Director:  George Romero and Zack Snyder



SimonUK and Ryan celebrate Halloween by taking a bite out of the sequel to the zombie movie that started it all, and which some consider the most delicious of the genre. We also discuss the 21st Century reanimation of the same idea. Join us for a Halloween horror discussion fit to wake the dead.




Music:
L'alba dei morti viventi - Goblin, Dawn of the Dead/ Zombi Soundtrack
What the World Needs Now (Is Love, Sweet Love) - Burt Bacharach


Halloween 2021 Playlist!

Monday, September 20, 2021

Roller Watch: Unholy Rollers (1972)




Watched:  09/18/2021
Format:  TCM Underground
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1970's
Director:  Vernon Zimmerman

Probably most famous for its editor of all things (a young lad name of Martin Scorsese), it's a Roger Corman movie about the rise and fall of a wayward young woman with a temper who finds stardom in the Roller Derby!

Starring Claudia Jennings - a person I'm surprised hasn't had a movie made about her life - it's a no-budget production that mostly relies on the drift in what you could show on a screen in 1972, and that meant lots of casual partial nudity.  Which was what I associated with Roger Corman when I first knew who he was as a teen, and isn't really accurate.  

The movie also has, oddly, Joe E. Tata! of 90210 fame, and Kathleen Freeman looking like she doesn't want to be there more than usual.

Look, it's a cheap and trashy movie, and that's the fun of it.  I didn't tune into Unholy Rollers (1972) because I was expecting a David Lean film.  That it shifts gears and tries to tell a story about the perils of roller derby stardom is almost weird.  But if the movie lasts long enough, I guess it's going to tell some kind of story one way or another.  I'm just not sure why they went for a downbeat ending.  

I mean, it's not Mean Streets downbeat, but it's also not a "and she skated happily ever after".

Anyway.  It does a great job of explaining and showing off roller derby, and made me miss going to bouts.



Wednesday, August 18, 2021

70's Thriller Watch: Klute (1971)




Watched:  08/18/2021
Format:  TCM on DVR
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1970's
Director:  Alan J. Pakula

In, I believe, 1996 the assistant manager at Camelot Records found out I was a film major.  
"Have you seen Klute?" she asked.
"No.  What is it?"
"Jane Fonda.  Donald Sutherland.  She's a hooker and he's a detective."
"Huh.  I'll need to check that out."
She'd check in weekly, really, to see if I'd seen it yet, and to be truthful, every time I went to rent it at I Love Video, it was checked out.  Or lost.  I didn't know, but it wasn't in.  But, yeah.
So, here we are, Jill.  25 years later, I finally watched Klute (1971).

Well, Klute is, actually, a very good movie.  Two thumbs up.  I dug it.  Nice, grimy pre-punk New York, Donald Sutherland nailing quiet intensity that I am sure made someone swoon.  Fonda maybe a little patrician for the role, but that's kind of the point, I think.  

Sutherland does play a private investigator, John Klute, searching for an executive who went missing a long time before.  The clues are scant, except for a letter that matches several that a call girl (Fonda) received, shortly after getting beat up by a john she barely remembers, one of a sea of faces.  

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Noir Watch: Farewell, My Lovely (1975)




Watched:  08/09/2021
Format:  TCM on DVR
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1970's
Director:  Dick Richards


I've read the Raymond Chandler novel upon which Farewell, My Lovely (1975) is based a couple of times, and seen the Dick Powell-starring 1944 film adaptation Murder, My Sweet (1944) a handful of times.  I do appreciate the 1970's neo-noir movement and the adaptations or interpretations I've seen, but there's always such a layer of 1960's or 1970's-ness all over the films, you feel like they can't get out of their own way making sure you know "we have updated this for modern times".

This movie, however, is a period piece, adhering as close to the source material as possible, with a definite romanticism for the genre, the book and the movies which it inspired.  While some updating occurs, the politics of the 1970's are only thinly layered on, and the story does take place just prior to WWII (the novel was released in 1940), but with the not insubstantial casting choice of a 58 year old Robert Mitchum.  And, look, you'll never catch me saying a negative thing about Mitchum, but this may be about 15 years too old for the character, no matter who that actor is.  The script changes the novel enough to take Mitchum's age into account here and there, and I absolutely get why the filmmakers were thrilled to get him.  Mitchum would have been ideal casting for a production from '50-'57.