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 Posted:   Apr 8, 2015 - 2:02 PM   
 By:   Francis   (Member)

Frankenstein meets the Wolfman (1943)

Fifth in the Frankenstein series and the first sequel to Wolfman, I found it worked better as a sequel to the Wolfman; The first half focuses on the aftermath of the Wolfman, with him being released from his grave and committed to a hospital of which he breaks free at night to cause havoc. The second half has him on a quest for Frankenstein in hopes of ridding him of his curse. The continuity in regards to what happened in previous movies to Frankenstein's monster is disregarded in this one. Though I read that initially they wanted the monster of Frankenstein to be blind and speak as to continue the events in Ghost of Frankenstein, but this was changed afterwards and it leaves for some odd sequences as a result. There is a finale where both monsters go at it. Though not a well written movie, I still liked this one for the continuation of the Wolfman story.

Creature of the Black Lagoon (1954)

Saw this on the beamer projected in 3D and was very impressed with how every shot is setup to get the most out of the format with some nice camera movement and objects jumping out from the screen. The underwater footage is stunning and so is the above water footage; I probably will see it again because I wasn't paying as much attention to dialogue as I was to the gorgeous shots, backdrops and lead girl which again looked stunning. The tele-lens effect with the 3D is still very cool and this movie has more 3D depth than a lot of recent 3D movies I've seen. Maybe because of the added dimension, the scares are more in your face as well and unlike the other horror icons I've seen, this one actually has lots of scary scenes. Though the monster is over exposed and not as scary when seen in full, its claw, both as a specimen and living is very intimidating. The music was interesting as well; apparently temp-tracked with earlier scores, 3 composers were brought in and it provides a good score. Though I will say the theme for the creature is used too much and becomes repetitive. Even in its early appearances, it feels over scored and I wish the music would be used more subtle. The underwater battle with the two divers and the creature has the best music. Creature is definitely a highlight out of these monster movies for me and I will check out the other 3D movies by the director. So much to see. big grin

 
 
 Posted:   May 17, 2015 - 6:43 AM   
 By:   Francis   (Member)

The Mummy (1959)

I didn't care for the original 30s Mummy, it had an ok opening scene but the rest of the movie felt like second rate Dracula. This '59 version starring Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee has an actual mummy complete with aged rags, played by Gandalf himself. Though he does look more like a golem here and he is being controlled similarly by an Egyptian who wants revenge on the archeologists who desecrated the mummy's tomb by opening it. This setup is actually ok and certainly better than the original, but the majority of the movie wastes inordinate amount of time with dull exposition and flashback scenes (all using the same set) between the few times the mummy strikes. The action picks up with Peter Cushing realizing he is the last victim, but far too late for my taste and I found the whole thing badly written with key players introduced far too late. The one aspect I liked was the score, with a great main title by Franz Reizenstein.

 
 Posted:   May 17, 2015 - 1:53 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

my fave bit in that greg was whenever robert culp parked his car he casually popped a brown paper bag over the parking meter that said Out of order on it and walked off!!

Bill: That was a great bit. Even better that the paper bag actually had another use later on in the film. smile

Greg Espinoza


enuf already!

 
 
 Posted:   May 20, 2015 - 12:14 PM   
 By:   Francis   (Member)

House of Frankenstein (1944)

Sequel to Frankenstein meets The Wolfman (1943), this one features Dracula, the Wolfman, the Frankenstein monster and a crazy scientist and his hunchback assistant returning to the Frankenstein house; The first act focuses on Dracula, the second on the Wolfman and the final one on Frankenstein; once again the Wolfman provides the best scenes though the Dracula material early on was interesting as well. With its short running time, good sets and matte paintings, the movie flies by with just the right amount of every character and a decent body count. Enjoyed this one a lot more than I did the first encounter between the Wolfman and the Frankenstein monster. The music is very effective with the great Wolfman theme recurring and being used plenty throughout.

 
 
 Posted:   May 20, 2015 - 2:09 PM   
 By:   Francis   (Member)

Curse of Frankenstein (1957)

Peter Cushing plays Frankenstein who becomes obsessed with of course creating his monster. This Hammer version -apparently their first stab at doing horror- is too heavy on the dialogue. It also manages to take the elements of the original (the laboratory experiment, the creation of life, the stealing of the body and brain, …) and render them totally unexciting. Especially the relationship between Frankenstein and his assistant here; No Fritz or Igor, instead we get a boring guy named Paul who starts out as Frankenstein's tutor at an early age (actually a good premise), but that storyline is abandoned quickly and they just argue for most of the film as Frankenstein's goes more insane. Only when Christopher Lee is brought to life as the monster, the movie briefly resembles what you could call a horror movie, before resorting back to boring soap opera territory. The women are also totally underwritten… I'll give the sequel a chance but safe to say I didn't like this take on the story at all.

 
 
 Posted:   May 20, 2015 - 11:03 PM   
 By:   Christopher Kinsinger   (Member)

"Sequel to Frankenstein meets The Wolfman (1943), this one features Dracula, the Wolfman, the Frankenstein monster and a crazy scientist and his hunchback assistant returning to the Frankenstein house;"

Francis…HELLOOOO, FRANCIS!!!

The crazy scientist is played by BORIS KARLOFF!!!
AND his "hunchback assistant" is played by J. CARROL NAISH!!!

OHMYGOSH, what a cast this film has!

JOHN CARRADINE
LON CHANEY, JR.
ANNE GWYNNE
LIONEL ATWILL
GEORGE ZUCCO
ELENA VERDUGO
and
GLENN STRANGE

 
 
 Posted:   May 21, 2015 - 12:17 AM   
 By:   Francis   (Member)

"Sequel to Frankenstein meets The Wolfman (1943), this one features Dracula, the Wolfman, the Frankenstein monster and a crazy scientist and his hunchback assistant returning to the Frankenstein house;"

Francis…HELLOOOO, FRANCIS!!!

The crazy scientist is played by BORIS KARLOFF!!!
AND his "hunchback assistant" is played by J. CARROL NAISH!!!

OHMYGOSH, what a cast this film has!

JOHN CARRADINE
LON CHANEY, JR.
ANNE GWYNNE
LIONEL ATWILL
GEORGE ZUCCO
ELENA VERDUGO
and
GLENN STRANGE


Yeah, I forgot to mention the great cast and this was actually a multiple monster movie that was a joy to watch! Definitely as good as the original movies of the respectable monsters.

 
 
 Posted:   May 23, 2015 - 1:15 AM   
 By:   Francis   (Member)

The Invisible Man (1933)

A scientist finds a way of becoming invisible, but in doing so, he becomes murderously insane. Highly enjoyable movie with a good mix of comedy and terror. The special effects are a mixed bag. Seeing it in HD some of the wiring is obviously visible for the practical special effects, and those removing the actor in post suffer from the lack of what should be visible behind him. Something later remedied in "Hollow Man", and that had a similar (absurd) turn to insanity as well. Despite the dated effects "Invisible Man" still impresses visually as well with its script (by H.G. Wells) involving lots of media to organize a nationwide manhunt and having the invisible man taking pleasure out of his mayhem; I felt given his body count (which at one point involves derailing an entire train for the fun of it), he is still treated remarkably polite by others and it doesn't help either he has the dumbest police force looking for him. Held up quite nicely for a movie from 1933.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 28, 2016 - 3:40 PM   
 By:   riotengine   (Member)

THE ASSASSINATION BUREAU (1969)

Just recently watched the 1969 Basil Dearden directed farce, The Assassination Bureau, which starred Oliver Reed, Diana Rigg, Telly Savalas, and Curt Jurgens.

Based on an unfinished Jack London novel, it concerns a clandestine organization that commits political assassinations to shape world events. Diana Rigg plays a porto-feminist journalist who investigates the group. . We rather enjoyed it and liked Reed's and Diana Rigg's Avengers-like banter and chemistry. Telly Savalas seems to be having a blast, and this is an On Her Majesty's Secret Service reunion with Rigg. Score by the great Ron Grainer (Doctor Who, The Omega Man). My wife dug the costumes, too.

My only real complaint is even by 1969 standards, the FX and backscreen work at the climax is very shoddy. Some of it is so bad it took me out of the movie. Other than that, the film is a lot of fun.



Greg Espinoza

 
 
 Posted:   May 6, 2018 - 1:41 PM   
 By:   riotengine   (Member)

A few months back I caught this film on Marquee Movies!, Dangerous Crossing, (1953) which starred Jeanne Crain, Michael Rennie, and Carl Betz. Directed by Joseph Newman.

Jeanne Crain plays a newly-married heiress, recovering from a breakdown, whose husband (Carl Betz) vanishes while on a honeymoon cruise. The ship's crew can find no evidence the husband was ever on board and don't believe her. The only one who does is the kindly ship's doctor played by Michael Rennie, who tries to help her solve the mystery of her missing groom.

The film is an interesting variation on Gaslight (and later, Bunny Lake Is Missing). Crain (Letter To Three Wives, Man Without A Star) is sympathetic, but a little over-the-top. Paranoid and distrusting, as her world crashes in on her.

Rennie is great and and always exudes class and intelligence in whatever part he plays. His character is patient and kind, ultimately heroic in his desire to help Crain. He'll always be Klaatu (The Day The Earth Stood Still) to me, but he had a great career (Les Miserables, Five Fingers, Soldier Of Fortune, Lost In Space).

Carl Betz had a long career in film and TV, and was most remembered for playing Dr. Alex Stone on The Donna Reed Show.

The film was a lower budget 20th Century Fox film, and director Newman does a good job enhancing Crain's dread, amping up her paranoia, and keeping the ship's decks covered in fog, where the danger can come from any direction.

Dangerous Crossing runs a tight 75 minutes. It is in rotation on Marquee Movies! and is available on DVD.

Recently, I watched it again and got my wife to view it, too.

Greg Espinoza

 
 
 Posted:   May 6, 2018 - 1:45 PM   
 By:   riotengine   (Member)

"You're dead!" Just rewatched The Lineup, the 1958 big screen version of an obscure 50s TV cop series. It was directed by the great Don Siegel, (Dirty Harry, Charlie Varrick) with a screenplay by Sterling Silliphant (Naked City).

Two San Francisco cops investigate a heroin smuggling operation that uses unsuspecting tourists returning from overseas as mules/carriers. Two ruthless killers (Eli Wallach and Robert Keith) are brought in to retrieve three hidden heroin parcels within a tight timeframe, pretty much killing anyone who gets in their way.

This is an early example of a film spun off from a TV show that totally transcends the original. Don Siegel (one of my favorite directors) made a tough crime film with interesting villains, showing off the San Francisco locations (for 1958) very well.

The film starts off as a standard police procedural with the two lead cops (Warner Anderson and Emile Meyer) being rather stolid and dull. The film comes to life at around the 30-minute mark when Wallach as Dancer, and Robert Keith (Brian's Dad) as Julian, first appear. The two have a twisted father/son/mentor relationship. Siegel and screenwriter Silliphant wisely chose to focus on the bad guys who were way more interesting.

The film has a great climax on the (then-under-construction) I-480 freeway. Dancer's tense confrontation with The Man (Vaughn Taylor) running the heroin operation is very good. My single favorite image in the film in when Dancer shoots a victim running up a staircase, with the actual killing reflected in a large mirror. Wonderful composition.

A young Richard Jaeckel plays Dancer and Julian's wheel-man. Vaughn Taylor, who usually plays folksy characters, is one ice-cold bastard as The Man.

Marquee Movies! channel is running The Lineup a few more times in the next week. Highly recommended.

Greg Espinoza

 
 
 Posted:   May 6, 2018 - 1:46 PM   
 By:   riotengine   (Member)

Watched the Region 2/PAL Blu-ray/DVD combo of the 1970 TV-movie, Sole Survivor, which originally aired on CBS. I remember watching the premiere, way back when. I've read this was CBS first made-for-TV movie.

The film plays like a feature-length Twilight Zone episode and concerns the discovery of a lost WWII American B-24 Liberator bomber found in the Libyan desert 17 years after the war. A team of investigators (Vince Edwards and William Shatner) descend on the wreck with the sole survivor; the plane's navigator, (Richard Basehart) now a General, who cowardly bailed out of the plane during a dogfight, allowing the plane to fly off course and crash. As the investigators sift through the wreckage to try to prove the General's negligence, they are watched by the five vengeful ghosts of the long dead crew.

This held up better than I remembered with a few creepy moments. Excellent cast with Shatner, Basehart, and Edwards (who is quite good). Lou Antonio, Patrick Wayne, and Lawrence Casey (The Rat Patrol) play the crew members, who, like flying dutchmen, are fully aware they are dead, but can't really do anything about their predicament. They've waited years for someone to find the wreckage so thir bodies can be buried and they can go to their rest. They watch helplessly as the General tries to bury his crime.

Nice bit with the dead WWII bomber pilots marveling at the landing of a military helicopter. Cool bits in the beginning of the film with Ian Abercrombie (Mr Pitt from Seinfeld) and John Winston (Star Trek) as pilots aerially photographing the wreck.

Interesting atonal score by Paul Glass, with a haunting use of "Take me out to the ball game."

I've read this was based on a true incident where a WWII bomber has crashed in the desert, but the crew was never found.

The ending of the film has always stayed with me.

An FSM pal was selling off this set on another site and I jumped on it for $10 bucks. Both discs are region-locked, but I could play the full-frame DVD, and it looks pretty good for its age.

Greg Espinoza

 
 
 Posted:   May 6, 2018 - 1:47 PM   
 By:   riotengine   (Member)

"I like you, Physician. You're like me. You and I may well be the only two honest men in town."
"Don't compare us. We've got nothing in common."
"Everybody dies."

Been on an Audie Murphy kick lately. Watched The Red Badge Of Courage (which I'll talk about later) and this 1959 film, No Name On The Bullet, which has been sitting in my "to view" pile for a while. Directed by the great Jack Arnold, with a screenplay by Gene L. Coon (the other Gene, from Star Trek). The two previously worked together on the 1958 Jeff Chandler/Orson Welles film, Man In The Shadow.

Murphy plays a mysterious hired gunman, John Gant, who rides into town to kill an unknown target. His method is to provoke his victim into a fight, shooting first, so Gant never get charged for a killing. Gant bides his time, calmly drinking coffee and playing chess with the town doctor, (Charles Drake) and waiting. In the meantime, the town starts to unravel and prominent (but unscrupulous) citizens become paranoid wondering if Gant was hired to kill them, turning on each other.

Murphy is very good in this part, one of his best, as a cool hired killer who prefers playing chess and discussing his philosophies on death and justice to the doctor, who finds the killer rather likable. Charles Drake always struck me as someone who played weak-willed characters throughout his career, but he's okay as the doctor.

The rest of the cast is filled by reliable character actors like R.G. Armstrong, Warren Stevens, Willis Bouchey, Virginia Grey, Karl Swenson, Whit Bissell, and (a young Pre-Untouchables/Dick Van Dyke Show) Jerry Paris.

Drake, Stevens, and Bissell all appeared on Star Trek.

Jack Arnold is best known for his science fiction classics, like; It Came From Outer Space, Creature from The Black Lagoon, Tarantula, and The Incredible Shrinking Man, but was quite versatile, doing many types of films, and later, a lot of television.

Recommended, and available on anamorphic DVD

Greg Espinoza

 
 Posted:   May 6, 2018 - 3:43 PM   
 By:   Mark R. Y.   (Member)

"You're dead!" Just rewatched The Lineup, the 1958 big screen version of an obscure 50s TV cop series. It was directed by the great Don Siegel, (Dirty Harry, Charlie Varrick) with a screenplay by Sterling Silliphant (Naked City).....


Great pulpy procedural made especially fun in my DVD viewing of it with the Eddie Muller/James Ellroy commentary track.

 
 Posted:   May 6, 2018 - 3:51 PM   
 By:   Mark R. Y.   (Member)

How the West Was Won - I think I saw this years ago on VHS, but, of course, it's meant to be seen on a big Cinerama screen. The DVD I'm watching today looks very good - sumptuous "you are there" shots of nature with barely any visible "joins" of the original 3-strip. I'll have to check to see if Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (the one other 3-strip Cinerama fiction movie) has a similar video release.

I've also been finding some old noir films on YouTube. 1951's Cry Danger is the best of the bunch so far.

 
 
 Posted:   May 6, 2018 - 4:05 PM   
 By:   Rameau   (Member)

Well I didn't just discover it, but it must have been about 45 years since I last saw it, Lust For Life (1956). The Warner Blu-ray looks stunning, & Kirk Douglas as Vincent Van Gogh dials it up to 11, & there's that fantastic Milkos Rozsa score (I happily have the FSM CD), it's a great movie, I really enjoyed it.

 
 
 Posted:   May 6, 2018 - 4:31 PM   
 By:   The Wanderer   (Member)

Ruggles of Red Gap - I watched it a while ago and quite liked it but found it a bit of a chore, but rewatching it I'm finding it hilarious. Sort of a Jeeves and Wooster tone to it. Only heard if it as it was in Ed Norton's top five films in some interview.

 
 Posted:   May 6, 2018 - 10:00 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

"You're dead!" Just rewatched The Lineup, the 1958 big screen version of an obscure 50s TV cop series. It was directed by the great Don Siegel, (Dirty Harry, Charlie Varrick) with a screenplay by Sterling Silliphant (Naked City).....


Great pulpy procedural made especially fun in my DVD viewing of it with the Eddie Muller/James Ellroy commentary track.


Muller does great commentary on noirs. Even if the film isnt great he is worth listening too!
Brm

 
 
 Posted:   May 8, 2018 - 10:29 AM   
 By:   riotengine   (Member)

Just watched this very good 1957 film, Man In The Shadow, with Jeff Chandler and Orson Welles. It's kind of a modern-day noir western, (with similarities to Bad Day At Black Rock) directed by Jack Arnold and written by Gene L. Coon, (the forgotten Gene) the other creative guiding light behind Star Trek TOS.

Chandler plays a local sheriff investigating the killing of a Mexican laborer (Bracerio) who works on the Golden Empire spread of powerful rancher Orson Welles. He immediately meets hostile resistance from Welles and his henchmen, John Larch and Leo Gordon, who are trying to cover up the murder. Additionally, Chandler gets no support from the town council who fear losing Welles' cash infusion into the local economy will doom the town. In trying to uphold the law for everyone, Chandler goes against the tide and is almost literally a man alone against Welles in trying to get justice for the murdered man.

Great supporting cast of familiar character actors, Paul Fix, William Schallert, Royal Dano, and Ben Alexander (Joe Friday's original partner on Dragnet)

The film is a solid black & white B-movie, with an A-list villain that runs a tight 80 minutes and is efficiently directed by Arnold, who is more noted now for his classic science fiction films (Creature From the Black Lagoon, Tarantula, The Incredible Shrinking Man). Coon was an incredibly talented writer who died young at 49. He wrote for a lot of classic TV shows like Combat!, Wagon Train, It Takes a Thief, and of course, Star Trek.

Welles is very good, as one would expect, and brings his his gravitas (and prestige) to a role that's almost a precursor to his Hank Quinlan role he'd play a year later in Touch Of Evil. Chandler is a mostly forgotten star, who made some fine films before his premature death. He's really good in this part and has a great scene where he finally blows up at the cowardice of the township. And yeah, Chandler was the model for Race Bannon on Johnny Quest. smile

Man In The Shadow is currently running on Movieplex, on Comcast On Demand.

Available on domestic Universal Vault Series MOD DVD.

Greg Espinoza

 
 
 Posted:   May 8, 2018 - 10:32 AM   
 By:   riotengine   (Member)

(From 2013) My wife was busy doing her sewing, so I made Sink The Bismarck (1960) my Christmas Day movie. Based on the C.S. Forester book, it stars Kenneth More, Dana Wynter, and a host of familiar British character actors. Directed by James Bond veteran, Lewis Gilbert in a semi-documentary style, I found it to be very engaging despite some minor factual inaccuracies. The film also has some exceptional miniature work.

Greg Espinoza

 
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