It’s Sunday and You Need a Drink… But a Big Laugh Works Better.

(thanks, Faux Toez!)
 
Yeah, it’s been that sort of day here, but I won’t be like Charlie above, trying to scam my way to a better outcome. I like my work like I like my imported cheese: hard exterior, soft inside and slightly aromatic. Wait. That made not a lot of sense. Oh, I’m just delirious from walking up too early and buying a dozen cans of imported tomatoes for 88 cents a piece. One had a tiny puncture in in that I only noticed after I got home, so that had to go back and be replaced, as there’s nothing worse than getting a nice case of food poisoning from something like that. hey, better safe than stupid, i say. Anyway, I’m in the middle of a quick proofreading thing and some other stuff (like some dough proofing at home while I’m out typing this post). Let me let YOU go watch that flick above and laugh yourself silly while I get back to doing more productive stuff. Um, it’s a short, so you won’t need to make any popcorn unless you already have and it’s a serving or three you can wolf down in about fourteen minutes.

Back in a bit…

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Random Film of the Week: Detour

(thanks, TheVideoCellar!) 

detour_xlg“Whichever way you turn, fate sticks out a foot to trip you.”

I’ve seen Detour so many times since I first discovered it back in 1992 that I sometimes have dreams about it that stick to the plot but play from different viewpoints. If you thank that’s loopy, guess what? I’ve actually dreamed numerous times about writing a review of this and posting it here to the point that I even wrote a post last year saying I thought I did. Yeah, I got it bad for this one. Sure, it’s got its technical issues and every print I’ve seen from film to tape to DVD over about thirty years looks as if it’s been dragged under a bus going cross country on four flat tires. But the combined efforts of writer/screenwriter Martin Goldsmith, director Edgar G. Ulmer, actors Tom Neal, (the aptly named) Ann Savage, Edmund MacDonald, Claudia Drake along with composer Leo Erdody, editor George McGuire and cinematographer Ben Kline all add up to what I think is one of the greatest American film noir movies ever made (warts and all).

Granted, if you’re picky or looking for perfection and haven’t see this before, as an exercise in Moviemaking 101 this may not wow you much thanks to its numerous technical flaws and what could be called a one-note performance by the lead actor. On the other hand, the film’s simple story and how it’s told hits that sweet spot in the brain as it delivers its karmic blows to its principals and leaves the residue of cheap diner food, cheaper booze, cigarettes and bile swirling around in your skull. “Poverty Row” budget and short shooting schedule aside, the film’s impact is immediate and lasting thanks to the short run time and every shot meaning something (yes, even the bad ones). I bet you’ll get it bad when you see this for the first time, too… Continue reading

Because You Need Something To Do: “The Phantom Creeps” Could Use Some Watching…

(Thanks, Audiovisualchannel!) 
Okay, okay… I’ve been too busy this week, but I needed to go see all those toys and games this week because that’s part of my Cure for Everything (TM) treatment when I start to feel aged and creaky. Hey, better fun stuff than draining the blood of “wer-gins” any day of the week, right? RIGHT? Anyway, enjoy the movie, people. I’m going to go have a small dinner and pass out for a spell after that…

Wait, You’re Still Here? Mr.Moto Will Take Care Of You But Good…

(thanks, allpublicdomain!)

mr_motos_last_warning_MPI always used to crack up as a kid watching Peter Lorre jumping off stuff and onto some poor stuntman or actor as Mr. Moto, not realizing he wasn’t some very talented Asian guy, but some guy playing a very talented Asian. Yeah, not quite PC these days, but the films are still fun (and funny) to watch as Moto-san solves a murder or three, gets in some comments about people underestimating him for assorted reasons and wraps up each case with a neat little bow.

This one’s one of the later entries and not as “cool” as some of the previous films in my opinion, but still worth a look. And hey, it’s FREE, so knock it off with the “but I wanted to see something more current!” stuff and eat yer popcorn. That’s free as well when you come around here. Hey – you’re lucky I even let you in with all those shopping bags and that Black Friday grin you were wearing. You look like a possessed Cheshire Cat crossed with a tired elf!

If You’re Here, You Need Something To Do. So You Get A Free Movie!

(thanks, allpublicdomain!) 

scream in the night MPHey, I didn’t say it would be an Oscar-winner, now. It’s 1935’s “Scream in the Night” featuring Lon Chaney, Jr. and a bunch of other actors you probably won’t know unless you’re old or watch way too many films from the early part of the last century. I’ve never seen this one myself (or more precisely, I can’t recall seeing it, but I may have many moons back), so your guess is as good as mine as to its overall quality.

I figure not EVERYONE is passed out in front of the tube watching football or not in America celebrating Thanksgiving or Chanukah, so if you’re here, thanks for stopping by. Now go do something more interesting today than poke around here! Unless you REALLY want to. In that case, I’ll make you do the dishes or something later. Hmph – let me see what’s in the freezer now that you’re sticking around for dinner…

Annnd While You’re Waiting, Another Free Movie!

Yeah, yeah – I’m furiously typing away on some reviews, but I need to take a break for a bit to rest my eyeballs. YOURS, however can get a workout courtesy another *FREE* movie. Let’s go for a sci-fi vibe with something from Japan:

Yes, that’s 1965’s Attack From Space, a Japanese “movie” I believe was cobbled together from episodes of Super Giant (aka Starman in the U.S. of A.) and shown on American TV way back when. I haven’t seen this in decades, but I’m not seeing it now either as I’m too darn busy! So, um… someone out there send out a signal from space and please tell me how this one is. I know from my vague childhood memories that it’s pretty junky and lame, but that can be a ton of fun under the right circumstances. Enjoy!

Random Film of the Week: Horror Express

(Thanks, Garbage Cinema!) 

Horror Express To me, Horror Express is an excellent example of a perfect “B” movie. Not FLAWLESS, mind you, but perfect in the solid manner it locks you into your seat right from the beginning and takes you on a nearly non-stop roller coaster ride that’s terrifying, amusing and very, very satisfying by the time the credits roll.

Granted, the version I first saw on New York City’s WOR-TV (Channel 9, to those in the know) had no end credits at all and subsequent countless viewings on that channel (where the film seemed to be in heavy horror rotation every few months) led me to believe this was the way the film was in its initial theatrical release. However, when checking this horror classic out recently on a borrowed Blu-Ray, I discovered the film did indeed have credits, but they were in Spanish, meaning whomever prepared the US version or television edit saved some money (and about a minute or so of time) by merely chopping off those end titles and that was that…

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Psst! Hey You. Wanna See A Free Horror Movie? How About Two?

dracula's great love countess draculaAh, public domain movies… free to watch without the guilt (or smugness or those who don’t believe in guilt) of messy piracy to fret about. Anyway, what are YOU doing home on Halloween? I’m here posting stuff because I’m behind on updates this month and need to keep you kids quiet while I catch up a little. So go make some popcorn, get a big fizzy drink (or non-fizzy if that’s your thing), plop down in front of your tee-vee (OK, monitor) and catch these two 1970’s vampire flicks. Yeah, it’s Count Dracula’s Great Love and Countess Dracula, so if you’ve seen them already, feel free to change the channel or go to bed early. Speaking if going to bed early, these aren’t for young kids or anyone allergic to exposed pretty lady parts (hey, I took a few anatomy classes, so boobs bother me not), dubbed English dialog and plenty of fake looking stage blood. Now that MY ass is covered (hey, it’s chilly in here!), enjoy the films!

It’s Tuesday, Right? Time To Take A Little DETOUR…

(thanks, TheVideoCellar!) 

Yeah, you had a bad day at work, right? You look like you could use a break from that grumbling and mumbling about chasing your boss around the office with a blunt object as well as a little lesson in karma. Here’s probably the best cure for your troubles in one of the most amazing film noir gems you’ll ever hit your eyeballs with. I think I did a Random Film of the Week on Detour previously, but I’m too tired to check.

EDIT! Nope, I did NOT do one – this will be rectified soon!)

Anyway, pull up a seat, Pete and feast your eyeballs on this dusty jewel that still packs quite a punch. Watch out for Ann Savage as Vera here – she’ll cut you if you don’t watch your back… or worse… maybe.

Random Film of the Week(end)*: Dementia 13

(thanks, drbloodsvideovault!)

dementia 13Sure, it’s a quickly made post-Psycho cash-in with the added shock value of a character getting decapitated on screen (a rather nifty cheap effect if you’ve never seen this flick before), but thanks to a creepier tone and some nicely tense lensing by a young director named Francis Ford Coppola, Dementia 13 manages to be a pretty decent little horror film.

Granted, if you pay enough attention past making popcorn and turning your brain off to watch this one, much of the script and more of the dialogue make about as much sense as a cat driving an oil tanker full of Tater Tots down a freeway on the way to the mall. But on its own merits, it’s a fine directorial debut brought in on a shoestring by the director and enhanced by producer Roger Corman to include the aforementioned head removal and some other elements he thought would punch things up a a bit more…

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