Saturday, July 4, 2009

One Last Blast from the 50's

I found this in the big sale on Amazon last year, and I bought it because it fit my criteria:

-it looked all kinds of stupid

- and it was under five bucks.

We have a scientist who gets exposed to radiation -
and everything seems to be okay until he goes out in the sun. Then he turns all kind of ugly.

This is classic 50's fun - science gone wrong, a goofy monster suit, and lots of girls screaming. Although don't think too hard about the plot - after all, if the dude just STAYED IN THE DANG HOUSE ALREADY, he wouldn't have his little monster problem.

Good times.

Update: If you're so inclined, you can watch the entire movie on Youtube courtesy of Image Entertainment.


Science Fiction Double Feature

This double feature is courtesy of the Midnite Movies People.
Phantom is from 1955 and Beast is from 1958.
Both clock in under 80 minutes.
Yay for short attention span friendly fare!

Pay attention to the pretty posters....because unfortunately they're the best thing about both of these movies.

Phantom: I tried hard with this movie, believe me, I did. I even started it over twice.
But I just couldn't get into it. At first I thought it was going to be kick ass when I saw this in the first five minutes.

Yippee! Underwater rubber monster suits - and in the first five minutes! But unfortuntately the rest of the film doesn't hold up to the cheesiness. There's a scientist, and his daughter, and a cop, and radioactive material in the ocean, that the scientist somehow made the monster to protect. As you can imagine, that plan does't work so well. It all ends with dynamite and a big boom and that's that.

Beast: Again, not the best film - but definitely more interesting than Phantom. For one thing, the characters and their relationships are definitely unusual for the time. We have mom, dad, and their teenage daughter living on a failing farm. Dad feels like a fuck up and is sure that wifey agrees; Mom is a real biotch and even admits she's 'not easy to live with' and takes her frustrations out on the hired mute help. Daughter just wants everyone to be happy and doesn't understand why they're not. Oh and it's her bday.

We have some weird air disturbance, which everyone thinks is a low flying plane that went over emitting a terrible noise, and first animals and then people start acting homicidal. Turns out it's not a plane but this dude, who comes off in the movie like he's about six inches tall.

Sorry for the bad capture - every scene of the alien is superimposed by a big dumb eye.

And how do the one million eyes come into play? Because in the beginning of the film the alien does a menacing voice over letting us know he will be keeping an eye on every move we make....thus the one million eyes bit. Because i guess we'll feel like he has a million eyes. Ooookay. Based on the easy way the family dispose of him in the end, a million eyes is not such a big deal after all.

So not scared,
Mother Firefly

Friday, July 3, 2009

Do Want

Dear Santa, Please bring me this for Christmas. Or my b-day. Or a groovy graduation gift.

I will love him and feed him and call him George.

(Actually, I'll call him whatever the hell he wants so he doesn't kill me in my sleep)

All my love,
Mother Firefly.

I Married A Monster From Outer Space

With a title like this, who needs a review, right?

I picked this little goodie up for 3.99 at Blockbuster. It hasn't been sitting around as long as some of my other acquisitions, but since it was made in 1958, it fits into our mini 50's sci-fi festival.

Mr. About to be Married goes out for a few drinks with his buds the night before the big day. On the way home, he manages to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and a big mean old ugly alien decides to take over his body.

The wedding takes place, and even though the groom seems strangely devoid of emotion, a year of wedded bliss goes by....when suddenly the bride is all bummed out because she can't get knocked up.

Guess alien sperm + human egg = noncompatible life. But no worries, Hubby actually is not alone on this planet and has a few other male companions who all also happen to have been possessed by aliens. His alien buds assure him that 'scientists back home' are working diligently on chromosome compatibility.

Seems we have the timeless story of an alien race on a dying planet just trying to make a home for themselves. Their sun is burning up or something. And they have no women or something. So they need ours. To make their alien babies.

The story isn't anything too original, but it's typical of other 50's sci-fi fare, short, sweet, and to the point. Good film for a rainy Saturday afternoon.

Choice Anxiety

Finally I have a little more time to watch some flicks, and I'm faced with a pile of horror movies that range from 50's sci-fi to good old Vinny Price to an assortment of double features from Something Weird to 70's drive in fare to a couple of the '8 films to die for' series. Not to mention 2 or 3 MST3K box sets. I haven't watched any of them yet and quite a few are from the killah Amazon Halloween sale last year. I usually never let movies sit this long unwatched, but time has been precious these last few months.

So finally I have some breathing room, and what happens? I sit there and stare at the pile of movies trying to pick something, anything....

I call it choice anxiety.

I can't take credit for the phrase - I stole it from a friend i used to talk to online many years ago when I used to do the chat thing. I think it's definitely a phrase for our times. Think about going to the store and trying to do something simple like pick a scent from the myriad of choices of deoderant, shampoo, soap.....even if you have a favorite brand you have used for years - chances are that brand comes in about 50 different flavors, styles, or colors.

Choice Anxiety.

Go ahead, try it out. Use it. I give you permission and a huge kudos to my long lost friend who had the genius to come up with it. (Or steal it from somewhere else, whatever the case may be).

Anyway - to finally start to combat my own particular struggle with movie choice anxiety, I decided to sort my movies by decade and just start digging in.

I started with the 50's - and went back to a small box set I started on last December.

If you remember, I reviewed The Giant Claw - a fun little b & w about a flying turkey.
The other three films in this set include Creature with the Atom Brain, Zombies of Mora Tau, and The Werewolf.

My favorite by far was Zombies. It takes place in Africa where a group of people are planning on salvaging a treasure of diamonds from the bottom of the ocean. The only problem is that the local zombies are very much against this plan, and have a history of killing anyone who goes for the treasure. Adding to the fun are an old woman (whose husband died doing the same thing) and her granddaughter, who thinks this zombie business is just a bunch of tomfoolery.

Granny is also interested in getting her husband's soul some peace, and she believes the only way to do that is to give the diamonds back to the throwing them out to sea where nobody can find them. Yeah, that part's kind of sketchy....but no matter! We have so many other fun things going on in this film, who needs a coherent plot?

For instance.....

Zombies that can be controlled by candles
Zombies walking on the bottom of the ocean
And zombies that attack you underwater when you try to steal their diamonds
(and I always thought Zombie was the first movie to feature swimming zombies...although as far as i know it's still the only movie to feature zombie vs. shark)

The Werewolf was shockingly enough, a movie about a guy who turns into a hairy killing machine....but not when the moon is full....he seems to change whenever he's threatened or stressed....kinda like The Hulk.
He also didn't come to lycanthropy the good old fashioned way.....nope, no being bitten by a werewolf for him (neither do the people he bites turn into wolves), our friend is a werewolf courtesy of science.

Seems Mr. Unlucky had a minor car accident one day, went to a local doctor, who just so happened to be conducting experiments with radiation in the back of his office. Doc injects his patient with radiation and voila! Instant Werewolf.

But it turns out that Doc had a good reason to conduct his experiment. See, he believes that the human race is on track to eventually destroy itself....slowly. And what better way to prove that by making werewolves in your home laboratory?

Creature with the Atom Brain was probably the least exciting of the four, although it was enjoyable enough if you like your sci fi cheesy and aged to perfection, which I do.
Some crazy dude is stealing dead bodies and reanimating them, and then sending them to do his evil bidding. Then he uses a microphone to speak through the dead guys.

Dead Man Talking...

Overall, I think this is a fun set. It's probably not the best bunch of horror/sci-fi you could pick from this era, but I think if you're a fan of this kind of thing, you'll enjoy it.

With my choice anxiety relieved, let's see if I can make it through the other films from the 50's without breaking my stride....

Adopt a Monster

To adopt a monster, click here