Friday, July 3, 2009

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....

No comments: