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SciFi June 10


ElCid
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Begining at 2PM ET, there will be SciFi.  These will not be high quality, but will be amusing.

2:00 - The Black Scorpion

3:45 - The Killer Shrews

5:00 - Beast From Haunted Cave

6:15 - The Reptile

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Thanks for the heads up! WIsh I didnt have so much to do today. Killer Shrews is terrible, but I dont think I've seen the other ones. I'll see if I can record some for later as I only work a half day today!

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In most cases, when it comes to Sci-fi,  and if we're talking "classic" or '50's-'60's Sci-fi,  "high quality" isn't nearly all that much fun to watch!

 

It was the cheezyness of those flicks back then that held most of their appeal.

 

 

Sepiatone

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Monster-wise, the pick of the litter is "The Black Scorpion" (1957), IMHO.  Great stop-motion animation of the title creature(s) by Willis O'Brien of "King Kong" (1933) fame.

Great one here! Many cool BUG sequences!

Maltin says "Them!" superior, but I beg to disagree ;)

 

"Pete Peterson and Willis O'Brien, the special effects technician who helped pioneer the use of stop-motion animation in fantasy adventures like The Lost World (1925) and King Kong (1933), were hired to create the title monster as well as some other cave dwellers including an inchworm with claws and a gargantuan spider. Without a doubt, these are the film's true stars and the sequence where a passenger train is attacked by The Black Scorpion is particularly gruesome with scores of screaming victims being stung and devoured. Equally impressive is the scorpions' lair in which the chiaroscuro lighting and set design create a unique fantasy world inhabited by Peterson and O'Brien's wicked creatures...

...it was true that the producers of The Black Scorpion ran out of money during the filming, well before the final sequence where the title monster invades Mexico City. As a result, Peterson and O'Brien were forced to use a traveling matte in all the crowd scenes where the scorpion appears with live people but the effect is still superior to what you see in most giant bug movies..."

http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/68930/Black-Scorpion-The/articles.html

 

blackscorpion61.jpg

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Great one here! Many cool BUG sequences!

Maltin says "Them!" superior, but I beg to disagree ;)

 

"Pete Peterson and Willis O'Brien, the special effects technician who helped pioneer the use of stop-motion animation in fantasy adventures like The Lost World (1925) and King Kong (1933), were hired to create the title monster as well as some other cave dwellers including an inchworm with claws and a gargantuan spider. Without a doubt, these are the film's true stars and the sequence where a passenger train is attacked by The Black Scorpion is particularly gruesome with scores of screaming victims being stung and devoured. Equally impressive is the scorpions' lair in which the chiaroscuro lighting and set design create a unique fantasy world inhabited by Peterson and O'Brien's wicked creatures...

...it was true that the producers of The Black Scorpion ran out of money during the filming, well before the final sequence where the title monster invades Mexico City. As a result, Peterson and O'Brien were forced to use a traveling matte in all the crowd scenes where the scorpion appears with live people but the effect is still superior to what you see in most giant bug movies..."

http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/68930/Black-Scorpion-The/articles.html

 

blackscorpion61.jpg

And Playboy in 1958.

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The Beast From Haunted Cave (1959) is the one film I was hoping to see, but alas... I had to work. 

 

I managed to catch the last 15-20 min of The Black Scorpion (1957) though. I'd really like to see these two back on the playlist soon, but films such as these aren't usually rotated often.

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Of these four movies, The Reptile (1966) was my favorite (and the lone one of the four that I had seen before) as I feel it is one of the better Hammer horror films of the 1960s. And I like the fact that it gave one of that company's mainstays, Michael Ripper, a larger role than usual. I will admit, though, that when "Captain Spalding" was mentioned during the course of this movie, the "Hooray For Captain Spaulding" song from Animal Crackers (1930) started going through my head. Not exactly a horror movie tune!

 
The Black Scorpion (1957) was a close second. On the plus side, with Willis O'Brien involved, it had the type of special effects that were not being done in other 1950s movies. And it had Richard Denning whom I enjoy seeing (and hearing on old-time radio programs). On the minus side, though, the plot and the sound effects were just a little too reminiscent of Them! (1954) and I feel that the latter is the better of the two movies.
 
The Killer Shrews (1959) was my least favorite of the four. There's cheesy. And then there's too cheesy. And this one crossed that border for me. Maybe if it was called The Taming of the Killer Shrews and had a plot to fit the title?
 
On a side note to fans of Whose Line Is It Anyway, clips from both The Black Scorpion and Beast from Haunted Cave (1959) were used in episodes of that television show for its "Film Dub" game. Recognizing that fact is a sign that I may have overwatched that show over the years!

 

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Thanks for the heads up! WIsh I didnt have so much to do today. Killer Shrews is terrible, but I dont think I've seen the other ones. I'll see if I can record some for later as I only work a half day today!

If Festus had only sung something I think you would have liked it more, Hibi?

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If Festus had only sung something I think you would have liked it more, Hibi?

 

They sure did a lot of drinking.  One thing I have noticed is that the liquor cabinet as the centerpiece of the room has been replaced by the home entertainment center, which has been replaced by the wide-screen TV too big to fit in an entertainment center.

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It figures. I forgot about this after I arrived home and by the time I remembered Scorpion (The film I most wanted to see) had ended. I peeked in on the rest, which were dreadful and I didn't watch (I'd seen Shrews before so didn't waste time on that one).

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