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scsu1975

RICH'S B (AND WORSE) HORROR MOVIE THREAD

235 posts in this topic

I've decided to combine my previous threads here, rather than continuously make new threads, All my future "reviews" will be posted in this thread. Please feel free to participate.









 

 



 

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Astro-Zombies (1968)

http://crackle.com/c/Astro_Zombies

Bizarre mess from schlock director Ted V. Mikels.

John Carradine plays a doctor who is trying to create an "Astro Man," so you can guess how this will end up. The scary part is that Carradine seems like one of the few normal people in the cast. His assistant is a short hunchback named Franchot, which is French for "Igor." Franchot has the IQ of a doorknob. Imagine if Hugh Griffith and Robert Newton had a child together - and now you know what Franchot looks like. In some of the film's most hilarious scenes, Carradine explains every step of his experiments to Franchot. Franchot nods like he gets it. I get the same reaction from my students every time I teach.

Meanwhile, over at CIA headquarters, Wendell Corey (who appears in just two scenes) is trying to figure out why people are getting dismembered. It seems the CIA knows about Carradine's experiments; unfortunately, it takes them 90 minutes to do something about it. In between, Corey's agents start dropping like flies.

In another subplot, we have the nightmare pairing of Rafael Campos and that marvel of architecture, Tura Satana. These two are apparently enemy agents after Carradine's creation. Satana gets to wear some incredible outfits, most of which manage to accentuate her large breasts, like she really needed assistance in that area. In the film's opening credits, there is a line that reads "Santana's Wardrobe." Apparently, the producers were expecting Carlos to sing "Black Magic Woman."

Elsewhere, there are assorted women sporting short skirts, long hair, and big talent.

Corey is not around for the climax. Presumably, he was still out collecting pieces of Mrs. Thorwald. The rest of the cast converge on Carradine's house. This includes the Astro Man, who (I kid you not) has a flashlight stuck to his head.



"Oh, this is a little something I picked up in The Blackboard Jungle."
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Jack Haley gets a tune-up.
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This still was taken from Norma Desmond's home movies.
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An example of "Santana's Wardrobe."
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"Now Franchot, the time has now come to test our new brain.
We must feed this memory circuit through the emotional quotient rectifier
to determine if there is any residual impurity."
ChaEFoX.jpg



"Was it good for you?"
3VAaJnc.jpg

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> {quote:title=scsu1975 wrote:}{quote}

> An example of ?Santana?s Wardrobe.?

> untitled5-27.jpg

>

 

Wow! I knew about Miss Santana mostly thru Russ Meyer's Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! - had no idea she'd made other movies - though of course I would love to watch her in anything she was in. She's kind of a role model for me now. ;)

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A very good consolidation idea, Rich! You already have my comments on THE SCREAMING SKULL, BELA LUGOSI MEETS A BROOKLYN GORILLA,

FRANKENSTEIN'S DAUGHTER, BRIDE OF THE GORILLA, and I think HORROR OF PARTY BEACH.

 

I'll catch up with HOW TO MAKE A MONSTER, VOODOO WOMAN, THE WASP WOMAN, THEY SAVED HITLER'S BRAIN, TEENAGE ZOMBIES, MESA OF LOST WOMEN, and THE MANSTER.

After all, you deserve to have in-depth discussions of these movies with people who have actually seen them!

 

Edited by: Bronxgirl48 on Nov 28, 2009 9:19 PM

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I was suddenly seized by an immediate, uncontrollable desire to see VOODOO WOMAN. (Tom Conway must have been sending me signals)

 

We see more of "Estelle Getty on steroids" (LOL, I can't improve on your description, Rich) in the trailer than the entire movie:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akBy5Mpvbis

 

VOODOO WOMAN is a nightmare dreamt by someone who took a pill marked "Stupid".

 

Marla English, with her Cupid's bow lips, pert short brunette hair, exotic eyes and petitely sexy figure, might remind you of an hallucinogenic blend of Jean Simmons and Audrey Hepburn, not entirely devoid of charisma or potential talent given the right material. (and this is SO not the right material)

But darned if Marla doesn't put her whole heart and soul into this murderous money-hungry vixen who'll do anything to put the "slums of Pittsburgh" behind her, which means shooting anybody who gets in her way. She's a born killing machine, which interests waxen Tom Conway immensely.

It's heartening for his fans to realize that although this often underrated actor is operating here at the bottom of the barrel, our Falcon still manages to come up with some droll line readings which harken back to the good old RKO days. Tom is also surprisingly effective conveying the tightly controlled hysteria of a true nutjob.

 

Marcel, the "Frenchman", and his bar, look like leftovers from the flashback episodes of AIRPLANE. TOP SECRET! also comes to mind.

 

Of Mike Conners, the less said, the better. He's forced to be full of "hard-boiled" "wit": "I travel light and eat heavy". He's supposed to be a great white hunter helping Marla and her hapless friend search for gold. She gets excited by the jungle: "The drums are callin' my name!" and tries to seduce Mike, but he has eyes only for Tom's blonde wife, who is kept prisoner by her husband and has to rely on a sympathetic native houseboy named Bobo who speaks pigeon English. "Sad house, tea make happy".

 

Marcel tells employee Yvette to sing his favorite song, "Black Voodoo". This is sung by someone who sounds like Mariah Carey on helium.

 

VOODOO WOMAN is truly terrible, but unfortunately that doesn't make it a gem.

 

Edited by: Bronxgirl48 on Dec 7, 2009 5:56 AM

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ASTRO MAN is truly another wonderful gift you've supplied to us, Rich. Thanks! What a grand Christmas present.

 

I can only pray that your students understand humor enough to cherish their time in your class. Maybe no one ever gets enough appreciation, but boy... these are grand adventures, each and every one.

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Terror Is a Man (1959)

http://www.archive.org/details/TerrorIsaMan

Surprisingly decent version of "The Island of Dr. Moreau," less Moreau, plus a gorgeous blonde.

Richard Derr washes up on an island (much like his career did), where Francis Lederer is doing strange experiments, aided by his luscious wife, Danish beauty Greta Thyssen. Say, ever notice that the scientist's wife never looks like Minerva Urecal? Anyway, Lederer is trying to turn a panther into a man -  so I guess that would make it a 'manther,' which is how someone with a lisp would say 'manster' ... but that's another thread. Derr wastes little time sticking his nose into Lederer's business and putting the moves on Thyssen. She rebuffs him, saying "I'm not lonely. I'm frightened." Trust me folks, she will cave. Eventually, the manther escapes, causes some mayhem, and the end credits come on.

If you can put up with the non-action for the first half of the movie, it does get better. Lederer is good, and is not your typical mad scientist. In fact, he shows compassion for his creation. Derr is okay, but you can see why he never became a household name. Thyssen is pretty good in some scenes, less so in others. She does have some talent, but then again, I wasn't tuned in to see her act.

The print is horrible, but better prints do exist, including one I saw recently on a digital channel.

At about 90 minutes or so, this thing is actually worth a peek.





A rare nude photo of Paul Anka
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"That's good, Selene. Now try pouring it in my cup next time."
IxG6IWB.jpg



The first sign of drunkenness is when it appears to be raining only on the
right side of the window.
pvGU1cl.jpg



"Hello Mrs. Cleaver. I just stopped by to see if Wally and young Theodore
could come out and play."
hL4d4V2.jpg



Francis Lederer shows off his creation ... heart-shaped doilies.
uwH6KdI.jpg



Yeah, we all know where this is going.
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"Hey, get a room you two! I'm trying to get some rest here!"
TFi8uOI.jpg



A jealous husband prepares to kick "Tiger" Woods' ***.
QAsxKSV.jpg

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Hey, you're right about TERROR IS A MAN, Rich -- it's not bad, but I did find it sluggish. and I'm always squeamish about these kinds of Moreau-ish experiments. I'm not surprised about Lederer's intelligent performance -- he's also highly effective in THE RETURN OF DRACULA, and actually seems made for horror films. I could have done without the endless shots of Richard Derr's earnest, sensitive, questioning facial expressions. He probably put them to better use in earlier roles where I'm sure he must have played many dying young cornfed WWII soldiers asking his buddies to make sure they conveyed last letters to the sweetheart back home.

 

Are we supposed to believe that the doctor managed to bring an entire laboratory with him from Manhattan to the tropical island? He himself mentions to Derr, "I'm sure you're wondering how odd it is for this to be here", but then never explains. Did I miss something?

 

Edited by: Bronxgirl48 on Dec 22, 2009 5:53 AM

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> {quote:title=Bronxgirl48 wrote:}{quote}

> I'm not surprised about Lederer's intelligent performance -- he's also highly effective in THE RETURN OF DRACULA, and actually seems made for horror films.

 

I agree. When I was a kid, these were the only two movies in which I saw him, so I figured he was a horror star. He had quite a long career, and lived to a ripe old age. But when he wrinkles his forehead and blurts out his lines, he turns into Peter Lorre.

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Wow -- two great minds! I was first introduced to Lederer in THE RETURN OF DRACULA and never knew about his background. And I've always thought he looked and sunded like Peter Lorre!! (I did a review of TROD awhile back and even mention the resemblance)

 

Edited by: Bronxgirl48 on Dec 22, 2009 1:39 PM

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The Indestructible Man (1956)
Directed by Jack Pollexfen

http://www.archive.org/details/Indestructible_Man_movie

The froggy-voiced Casey Adams narrates the film throughout a la Jack Webb, and begins with "I was dictating the wrap-up on the Butcher Benton package. I'm Lieutenant Dick Chasen." Apparently Inspector Jacques Strappe was on assignment.

The Butcher is played by Lon Chaney, Jr., who is about to be executed for a heist. His partners have ratted on him, and now he is about to take the fall. The Butcher promises his crooked attorney, played by Ross Elliott, that he'll kill them all. Meanwhile, the 600 grand from the heist is hidden somewhere in L.A., its location known only to the Butcher.

Butcher goes to the gas chamber in San Quentin (a fact announced by a radio voice which sounds suspiciously like Casey Adams).

Adams visits the Butcher's girlfriend, a burlesque dancer played by the lovely Marian Carr. He tries to get the location of the dough from her, but she is clueless.He does manage to take her out for a hamburger at a drive-in. Smooth. Elliott also pays her a visit, and discovers a map leading to the loot.

Meanwhile, a distinguished biochemist, played by Robert Shayne, decides to experiment on the Butcher's dead body, hoping to find a cure for cancer. Yeah, right. He gives the Butcher 287,000 volts and accidentally revives him. Now the Butcher has a new cell structure - nothing can penetrate his skin. Unfortunately, the electricity shorts out his vocal chords (good for the viewing audience) so for the rest of the film he does mime (bad for the viewing audience - Chaney is no Marcel Marceau).

The Butcher wastes no time in tracking down the squealers and dispensing them one by one. The cops finally realize he is hiding in the L.A. sewers, where, oddly, he never encounters any giant ants. He survives a bazooka, a flame-thrower,and bullets fired by 60-year-old cops. Gosh, can anything halt this mayhem??

Ross Elliott probably does the best acting in the film, followed by Casey Adams. Robert Foulk has a nice bit as a bartender. Ann Doran can briefly be glimpsed in stock footage. Marian Carr looks great, but acts like a dumb bunny. Chaney wanders around L.A. inexplicably wearing a winter coat. The director keeps giving us close-ups of Chaney's face sizzling with anger. His hairstyle continues to change throughout the movie. In one sequence, his coiffure is positively Hitleresque.

At 70 minutes, the film is tolerable, has some interesting L.A. location shots (almost noir-like at times), and is worth watching just to count all the dead bodies.



Ross Elliott puts the moves on Marian Carr, while Katy Jurado looks on from a wall calendar.
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Before they were Captain Binghamton and Inspector Henderson, they were just
plain old Wally and Bill, inept pre-med students.
7FFfnTG.jpg



Queen Elizabeth stars in The Lost Weekend.
b1CWJkF.jpg



How do you get there, you ask? You take the Harbor Freeway, to the San Diego
Freeway, to the San Bernadino Freeway, go to the Slaussen cut-off.
Get out of your car, cut off your slaussen, get back in your car ...
HY8XtWm.jpg



Lon Chaney finds the grill of his dreams.
M2uUeSu.jpg



What guys did before inflatable women were invented.
GA4wkxh.jpg

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> {quote:title=scsu1975 wrote:}{quote}

> At 70 minutes, the film is tolerable, has some interesting L.A. location shots

> (almost noir-like at times), and is worth watching just to count all the dead bodies.

 

"Noir-like"?

 

You said the magic words, Rich! :D

 

I'd like to add this to my queue on archive.org, but that site apparently doesn't let you have one.

 

Oh, well. I'll just try to keep it in mind. ;)

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It seems that not only was Casey the radio announcer, but I could have sworn he was also the voice of Marian Carr's burlesque manager telling her to go on, lol. Adams was almost as indestructible as Chaney.

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> {quote:title=CineMaven wrote:}{quote}

> OMG!!! Cut off your Slaussen???? Johnny was the best...wasn't he. OMG!

 

He was a class act. I'd listen to all those Hollywood freeway jokes from Carson in the 60's when I was growing up in the Bronx, and, together with watching horror movies set in Bronson Canyon and cozily nestled in small California towns with friendly sheriffs who knew not only your name, but your entire family's, I was compelled to finally move to Los Angeles.

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Rich, another absolutely rip-roarin' review of INDESTRUCTIBLE MAN. I've wondered how many times Chaney flubs his lines until they opted to remove all dialog and insert the vocal-cord paralysis. Kind of a shame, but your review is still The Best this film has ever received. Wally Binghamton... I love it. Jacques Strappe. Lordy...

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I like the way Shayne takes a hold of dead-as-a-doornail Butcher's arm and declares: "He's in good shape!" Also, I noticed Chaney's right eyelid twitching, BEFORE the injection.

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> {quote:title=Bronxgirl48 wrote:}{quote}

> I like the way Shayne takes a hold of dead-as-a-doornail Butcher's arm and declares: "He's in good shape!" Also, I noticed Chaney's right eyelid twitching, BEFORE the injection.

 

Shayne had one of the great "voices" of all time. I wonder if he had a clause inserted into his "Superman" contract which allowed him to appear in at several turkeys (this, The Neanderthal Man, The Giant Claw, among others) during the run of that show.

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Oh yeah....hilarious!!! I loved the titles...and the stars...and always ending with some amazing animal act. Guess I'll try and watch this classic.

 

Oh....don't forget "Wasp Woman."

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> {quote:title=scsu1975 wrote:}{quote}

> > {quote:title=Bronxgirl48 wrote:}{quote}

> > I like the way Shayne takes a hold of dead-as-a-doornail Butcher's arm and declares: "He's in good shape!" Also, I noticed Chaney's right eyelid twitching, BEFORE the injection.

>

> Shayne had one of the great "voices" of all time. I wonder if he had a clause inserted into his "Superman" contract which allowed him to appear in at several turkeys (this, The Neanderthal Man, The Giant Claw, among others) during the run of that show.

 

I think he made one good film -- NORTH BY NORTHWEST, but, was uncredited. Those are the breaks. George Reeves at least got to be acknowledged as a Tarleton twin in GWTW.

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> {quote:title=CineMaven wrote:}{quote}

> Oh yeah....hilarious!!! I loved the titles...and the stars...and always ending with some amazing animal act. Guess I'll try and watch this classic.M

 

I wonder how Johnny got away with some of those, ha! I'm tempted to make up a title (just for the fun of it, and complete with animal act, lol) SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE HERNIA OF DEATH, starring Betty Hutton, Rondo Hatton, Dick Button, Red Buttons, with Fizzy the Flatulent Wonder Duck.

>

> Oh....don't forget "Wasp Woman."

 

Your timing is perfect -- I just finished watching it. (who needs Marcello on TCM when I can see Anthony Eisley) So Susan Cabot's cosmetics tycoon, turning 40 and given a grim make-up job that has her looking like she's about to turn into Ms. Hyde rather than an insect, STILL looks better than younger but horse-faced secretary Barboura Morris as Mary,

whom Anthony has lunch dates with in their favorite red-checkered tablecloth restaurant. During a sales meeting, employee Anthony tells Susan that her profits are declining because her own face is not being used to sell her products, which it's been doing successfully for the past 16 years. Cabot reminds him she's no spring chicken anymore. Hypocritical Anthony is apparently just trying to get ahead on the job, since he doesn't even attempt to get interested in her as a woman until after the wasp injections turn back the clock on her kisser.

 

Cabot has a moody presence in this movie which always creeped me out, even before she turns into the Wasp Woman. She's glum and depressed what with "middle-age" just around the corner, and in danger of losing her business, which is the same as losing herself. We don't know if she's a self-made woman or not, whether she inherited the company from a family member or an ex-husband, but I think she probably built this from the ground up. It means too much to her, to put it mildly. Even AFTER experiencing transformation as a wasp, she desperately attempts to get even MORE injections out of the hapless Dr. Zinthrop, who the script tries to build up as a sinister figure, without much success. We see him at the beginning lovingly speaking to his "pets", the wasps, feeding them caterpillars and calming their little insect nerves during a spraying session. We are led to believe he is disgruntled and vengeful after being let go from his work with royal bee jelly, but Michael Mark as Zinthrop is no excitingly insane Lionel Atwill mad scientist. If anything, he looks like one of Melina Mercouri's customers from NEVER ON SUNDAY, or, maybe her grandfather.

 

We never actually see Susan turning into the wasp woman, she just pops up from the shadows and starts killing. The fat night watchman -- introduced with (inappropriately) cutesy/weird zylophone music that would be the "score" in Roger's LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS -- is one of her victims. When Cabot is done with him, all that's left is his hat and raincoat.

 

Corman hasn't got time to give us tension or suspense and things drag a bit, but, thanks to Cabot's and Mark's relatively subtle performances as two people with heavy loads on their minds, and shots of colonies of buzzing wasps, there is an unexpectedly nightmarish quality to the movie but only when these two actors are on screen. More comedy relief occurs during scenes with Cabot's receptionist who on the phone speaks in proper dulcet tones but gossips with a fellow worker in her natural New Yawk borough accent about boyfriend "Oy-ving". Just the mention of Flatbush always makes an audience feel good.

 

Edited by: Bronxgirl48 on Feb 8, 2010 12:05 PM

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> {quote:title=Bronxgirl48 wrote:}{quote}

>hapless Dr. Zinthrop, who the script tries to build up as a sinister figure, without much success. We see him at the beginning lovingly speaking to his "pets", the wasps, feeding them caterpillars and calming their little insect nerves during a spraying session. We are led to believe he is disgruntled and vengeful after being let go from his work with royal bee jelly, but Michael Mark as Zinthrop is no excitingly insane Lionel Atwill mad scientist.

 

Mark has so many things happen to him in this movie, it's remarkable that the filmmakers decided not to have the bees turn on him as well, for a gang-stang.

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