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Everything posted by LawrenceA

  1. In the interview on the disc, Stevenson discusses moving to England and getting roles as the token American girl. They, at least, thought she sounded American. It sounds like the bonus features on the DVD were carried over to the Blu-ray, Swithin.
  2. The City of the Dead (1960) Dir: John Llewellyn Moxey - British supernatural horror with various people traveling to a small New England village harboring a dark secret involving curses and witchcraft. With Christopher Lee as a professor of paranormal studies, Venetia Stevenson, Betta St. John, Valentine Dyall, Tom Naylor, Dennis Lotis, and Patricia Jessel. Released in the US under the sillier Horror Hotel title, this is a very good horror film, with exceptional atmosphere and many memorable images - the dancing "guests" in the hotel that suddenly vanish, the unearthly townsfolk standing motionless in fog-enshrouded streets, a man appearing at a misty crossroads, etc. (8/10) Source: VCI Blu-ray, which includes both the British and American versions, as well as interviews with Christopher Lee, Venetia Stevenson, and director John Llewellyn Moxey.
  3. The Wicker Man (1973) Next - favorite movie with Black in the title.
  4. Allen Daviau (1942-2020) - Cinematographer who received 5 Oscar nominations, and who was best known for his multiple collaborations with directors Steven Spielberg and Barry Levinson. Daviau was Oscar nominated for E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982), The Color Purple (1985), Empire of the Sun (1987), Avalon (1990), and Bugsy (1991). He also worked on such films as Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983 - the Spielberg-directed segment), The Falcon and the Snowman (1985, John Schlesinger), Defending Your Life (1991, Albert Brooks), Fearless (1993, Peter Weir), Congo (1995, Frank Marshall), and Van Helsing (2004, Stephen Sommers).
  5. I think I first paid attention to him in Foul Play (1978). Then F.I.S.T., 10, and Split Image. He was also in a lot of TV, both made-for-TV movies and episodic television. First Blood (1982) established him as someone I would always remember. He was perfectly cast. After that, I saw him in Gorky Park, Never Cry Wolf, Silverado, Cocoon, Twice in a Lifetime, F/X, Legal Eagles, Best Seller, Miles from Home, and Presumed Innocent. It was after all those that Tommy Boy (1995) came out, so I'd been aware of him for at least 17 years, and I considered Tommy Boy as a "later role" in his career. I saw him in many more after that, but he became better known during those later years for his theater work.
  6. Trumpists Believe Bill Gates Is Using Coronavirus to Implant Brain Chips Billionaire Bill Gates and his wife Melinda have committed $100 million of their own money to fight the coronavirus pandemic. In return, a fevered segment of the pro-Trump internet is convinced the couple wants to kill off a good portion of humanity, then install mark-of-the-beast style tracking chips in whoever survives. On Wednesday, pro-Trump personalities and regular Trump White House guests “Diamond and Silk” became the latest to push conspiracy theories about Gates, tweeting that the Microsoft founder was operating on a secretive “agenda” to “rule the world with vaccines” and vowing not to take any coronavirus vaccine that Gates was involved with. “You're not going to make black people the guinea pigs for this here right here,” Lynnette “Diamond” Hardaway said in a video. “We're not going to be your experiment or your project,” Rochelle “Silk” Richardson added. Diamond and Silk, who have visited the White House on several occasions, been featured as campaign surrogates and been boosted by Trump, aren’t alone. Newsmax White House correspondent Emerald Robinson claimed last week that Gates wants to use “vaccines to track people,” while Fox News host Laura Ingraham—who has met with Trump to discuss the coronavirus—tweeted that Gates and other “globalists” want to use the crisis to track people. Gates’s name appeared on protest signs meant to criticize Ohio’s social distancing order, while former Trump adviser Roger Stone accused Gates of wanting to “microchip” people. Amid the confusion caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Gates has emerged in fringe right circles as a villain behind the virus’s spread. Gates has long been viewed suspiciously by vaccine skeptics, who take out-of-context remarks he made in 2011 about vaccines as proof that he wants to use inoculations to reduce the global population. In reality, Gates meant that reducing child mortality would help parents plan their families better. In the coronavirus era, though, rumors and conspiracy theories about Gates have boomed. On social media, Gates has been wrongly accused of everything from plotting out the coronavirus pandemic ahead of time to distributing plush souvenir coronavirus toys to celebrate the virus’s death toll. Gates has taken on the mastermind role in the right-wing conspiracy imagination typically reserved for billionaire Democratic donor George Soros, according to Brooke Binkowski, the managing editor of fact-checking site Truth or Fiction. “These are all just recirculated, warmed-over stories—they’re just switching the names around,” Binkowski said. “George Soros was the bogeyman, now it’s Bill Gates.” The disinformation campaign about Gates kicked off early in the spread of COVID-19, with QAnon conspiracy theorists claiming he had somehow patented the virus, with the implication that Gates was deliberately spreading the disease. More recently, conspiracy theorists have claimed that Gates is somehow developing a tracking device to pair with any coronavirus vaccine. Some right-wing figures have even claimed Gates is developing the “mark of the Beast” predicted in the Book of Revelation. In fact, Gates’ foundation funded research in 2016 into using invisible ink to track child vaccination in developing countries, long before the coronavirus pandemic. As for the coronavirus, Gates has pledged to fund the construction of seven different factories to help with production of seven potential vaccines. The investment will cost him billions because, in all likelihood, much of the money will go to waste. But he’s argued that it is worth it since it will dramatically reduce the time to scale up manufacturing as vaccine trial runs are conducted. Read more: https://www.yahoo.com/news/trumpists-believe-bill-gates-using-084343982.html
  7. I admit that when I first saw this as a kid, I thought it was dull, especially compared to all of the other Universal horrors. However, in the decades since, I've grown to greatly appreciate its subtle sophistication and sly nods to taboo subject matter. I also admire the performances by all involved.
  8. How sad, yet not unexpected, that every obit that I've seen online calls him "Tommy Boy" actor Brian Dennehy. R.I.P.
  9. Black Sunday (1960) Dir: Mario Bava - Gothic horror with Barbara Steele as a woman executed for "consorting with Satan" in ancient Moldavia. Two centuries later, she is freed from her tomb, returning to life as a vampire bent on revenge against the descendants of those who tormented her. With John Richardson, Andrea Checchi, Ivo Garrani, and Arturo Dominici. After the success of Riccardo Freda's 1957 I Vampiri, and the Hammer films from the UK, there was a boom in Gothic horror made in Europe. Black Sunday is generally regarded as the pinnacle of this sub-genre, and while that's debatable, it is certainly a beautifully filmed, highly atmospheric classic. Much of the film's impact comes via star Barbara Steele, with her unusual beauty, accentuated by large eyes that perfectly fit the melodramatic material. The opening scene, involving hammering a spiked mask onto the accused witch's face, made a huge impression on me when I first saw this. (8/10) Source: Kino Blu-ray
  10. Caltiki - the Immortal Monster (1959) Dir: Riccardo Freda - Italian sci-fi/horror about an alien blob that's lain dormant in Mayan ruins for hundreds of years, and then is awakening to wreck havoc on modern Mexico. With John Merivale, Didi Perego, Gerard Herter, Daniela Rocca, and Giacomo Rossi-Stuart. I like this short (76 minutes), derivative international horror tale, mainly due to the second unit/special effects work (supervised by an uncredited Mario Bava), and the tawdry subplots that come across like bad soap opera storylines but are shot with film noir panache. The unusual looking blob creatures are effective, and the damage inflicted by their acidic touch is shockingly graphic for the time. (7/10) Source: Arrow Blu-ray, with both the English and Italian soundtracks, as well as a handful of featurettes on the film's production.
  11. I just read that Sven is going to show a few interviews that he did pre-coronavirus, with Virginia Madsen & Tony Todd from Candyman, and Tom Atkins from The Fog, Halloween 3, and Night of the Creeps, as a way to pad the running time. I don't believe any of the interviews will have anything to do with Dracula's Daughter.
  12. It's not just the axe in the head, but the way Jason then tosses her over the TV into the corner of the room like a sack of garbage, that makes her death all the more impressive. Many of the edited bits were included as a bonus feature. The one that stuck out to me was when Jason uses his bare hands to crush a guy's head, and it goes to ludicrous extremes.
  13. I don't think so. I had a VHS of War of the Worlds at one time, but I don't recall which one. I know it wasn't that one, though. I lost, through various means, the vast majority of my old VHS collection many years ago, but I still have a few dozen that I haven't replaced with discs. At the moment I can see my VHS copies of The Amazing Colossal Man, Roman Polanski's Pirates, and The Crimson Ghost sitting on a nearby shelf.
  14. It's over. And it's still terrible (3/10), but often funny, and not too much of an investment at 70 minutes long. I watched the Warner Archive DVD...yes, I bought a copy!
  15. Oh, I do. I have the Paramount DVD, but the picture is relatively poor quality, and I tend to enjoy the bonus features on the Criterion discs, too.
  16. I like the Tabanga's teeth. His large, glassy, unblinking eyes add much to his wooden performance. This Linda Watkins actress, playing Mrs. Kilgore, received an "Introducing" credit at the beginning. She's terrible. I also see that she was in at least 6 movies in the 1930's, including a Charlie Chan flick. "Introducing", my eye!
  17. That was the worst spear throw in the history of spear throwing.
  18. "I just saw the Tabanga!" "Well, how do you know it was Tabanga?" "Because it looked like a tree...and it had eyes...and hands!"
  19. "Couldn't we try to energize the adrenal gland with an electrode resistor?"
  20. How sad would it be to be referred to as a "porn character actor", or even a "porn extra"?
  21. Yeah, I enjoyed that scene. I thought, "This guy really knows what he wants", the way he rattled off that order. And the fact that the hotel had it all at hand, and ready to make and send up so quickly...room service was just that much better in the 50's.
  22. That's really weird. I just started re-watching this, and then someone starts a thread on it. So far I've noticed how awful the dialogue is and how utterly dreadful the acting is. I'm still a ways off from Tabanga making his appearance. I liked how there were a bunch of chickens hanging around the guy who got executed at the beginning. Plus, these Polynesian islanders sure seem to have been influenced by Hollywood B-movie African tribal customs.
  23. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) Dir: Don Siegel - Cold War paranoia in sci-fi dressing, with small-town doc Kevin McCarthy stumbling upon a sinister plot to replace his fellow citizens with emotionless "pod people". With Dana Wynter, Larry Gates, Carolyn Jones, King Donovan, Virginia Christine, Dabbs Greer, Whit Bissell, Richard Deacon, and Sam Peckinpah as Charlie the gas man. This still holds up as an excellent suspense thriller, and set the template for dozens of "replacement horror" movies and TV shows that followed it. Siegel's taut, economical direction, coupled with the stark B&W cinematography by Ellsworth Fredericks, adds both an accelerating urgency and a semi-documentarian realism. One of the best science fiction films ever made. (9/10) Source: Olive Signature Blu-ray, featuring multiple commentary tracks, along with a half-dozen or more featurettes on the film's production and lasting impact. There's also a featurette spotlighting producer Walter Wanger.
  24. My local ABC station showed literally about 90 seconds of it before cutting back to their regular local newscast.
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