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8 hours ago, EricJ said:

Appointment with Death (1988) - 👍

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I'd been searching for this one, since it'd dropped between the cracks, right between the last big-screen period-setting all-star Agatha Christie of Evil Under the Sun (1983), and the later contemporary late-80's TV-movie Hercule Poirot adaptations on Warner Archive.  Nobody seems to remember that in between, there was a brief, unnoticed period where the formerly big-budget Christies had been reduced to international Golan/Globus productions (there was also reportedly a "Ten Little Indians" relocated to an African lodge), and with Cannon Pictures now joining the MGM/Orion orphans on streaming, I finally ran across this one on PlutoTV's on-demand catalog.  It's serviceable--Loyal Christie fans don't consider it one of the better Poirots, and it doesn't have the filtered opulence of the original '74 Murder on the Orient Express or the winking 30's humor of "Evil", it's more somewhere in the middle, like the '78 Death on the Nile on a Golan/Globus budget. 

The mystery here has Peter Ustinov's Poirot investigating a murder on a Middle Eastern tourist archeological dig (yep, Menahem Golan had to pick the one story he could film in Israel), with Piper Laurie--still in "Twin Peaks" Catherine Martell mode--typecast as a wicked-stepmother matriarch who ends up as the victim, with Carrie Fisher, Jenny Seagrove, and a grown-up Haley Mills among the suspects, John Gielgud showing up as the usual spear-carrier, and Lauren Bacall repeating her "Orient Express" typecasting as the Comic-Relief Loudmouth American.

i remember this one pretty well.

an intriguing NOTE is that THE MURDERER IN THE FILM IS NOT THE PERSON WHO DID IT IN THE BOOK.

I respect the HELL out of JOHN GIELGUD although OLE GURL really was a HIGH CLASS HO FOR THE DOUGH, for a long time your FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION BRIT LIT PIC was not considered a serious CONTENDER unless you could say "AND SIR JOHN GIELGUD" at the end of the cast last.

PLEASE IF YOU ARE FEELING DOWN, WATCH THIS CLIP. IT IS (FOR ME AT LEAST) ONE OF THE TEN FUNNIEST THINGS I HAVE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE. HIS LITTLE EXPRESSION WHEN HE GETS POKED SLAYS ME EVERY SINGLE TIME AND I HAVE SEEN THIS 127 TIMES.

 

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SPEAKING OF GOLAN GLOBUS CHRISTIE- I have been on the lookout for ORDEAL BY INNOCENCE, which used to show up on HBO all the time and may have been my itroduction to HER ROYAL FAYENESS.

faye_dunaway.jpg


 
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I reviewed this one before, but it beguiles me so, i mention it again- i rented RIFFTRAX: TERROR IN THE WAX MUSEUM.

The commentary is funny, but the story behind this movie is one i would like to know, because it is SO POORLY DONE- I mean, obviously NOT a studio effort- the film is overexposed, the BOOM MIC shows up so much it deserved a SAG CREDIT, it just reeks from top to bottom of having no one AT ALL behind the lens or below the line who knew what the **** they were doing- it's all-around very LARRY COHENESQUE (that will mean something to the more masochistic of you viewers)

and yet it features two former best actor winners, RAY MILLAND and BRODERICK CRAWFORD- SEVENTH BILLED!), one scene by MAURICE EVANS (who was a pretty well-regarded BRITISH ACTOR),and ELSA LANCHESTER (looking like HOLY HELL) and SHANI WELLS who had just done OLIVER! a few years before.

and yeah, i know they were all past their prime, (and for BROD CRAWFORD, what really was his prime?)

and they had the GALL to advertise it misleadingly as this:

in_terror_in_the_wax_museum_JC03541_L.jp

 

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Two with Max Davidson, a forgotten German born comedian from Hal Roach films

image.jpeg.3b8c5a063e6b16e13fa5987fe05264ff.jpeg

Call Of The Cuckoo (1927) Youtube 5/10

Davidson exchanges his house for another to get away from his crazy neighbors.

An OK silent short, funniest moments are the neighbors played by Laurel and Hardy, Charlie Chase and James Finlayson. they stage their own wild radio plays out on the lawn. Davidson goes to his new house with his wife and son. The house's plumbing and electricity are all mixed up. There is fire coming out the faucet and water spurting from the stove! There is also a surprising (very quick ) nude scene when the side of a bath tub collapses while Davidson is taking a bath.

Moan & Groan, Inc. Poster

Moan And Groan Inc (1929) Youtube 6/10

Our Gang dig for treasure in an abandoned house and encounter a cackling loony.

An early talkie for the Gang and one I remember from my childhood. Davidson plays the lunatic and he is pretty funny as he tries the scare the kids away while laughing hysterically. Edgar Kennedy the cop tries to find the kids, but he keeps getting his fingers stuck in a Chinese finger trap (called Japanese handcuffs in the film) that the kids gave him. These were quite popular back in the day, they were just a cylinder made of bamboo that locks onto your fingers. Farina has the funniest bit where he is served an imaginary turkey dinner by loony Davidson.  

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Just finished watching PUSHOVER. I recorded it last week from MOVIES (Noir to Die For). It was really good. I'd never heard about it before now. The theme is similar to DOUBLE IDEMNITY. I think it was Kim Novak's first major film as she was billed as "Introducing Kim Novak".  Fred McMurray was almost as good as he was as Walter Neff in DI. Also, Dorothy Malone looks just as good as she did in her bit part in THE BIG SLEEP. If you've seen it; I'm curious as to what the rest of you noir fans think. 

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23 minutes ago, Hoganman1 said:

Just finished watching PUSHOVER. I recorded it last week from MOVIES (Noir to Die For). It was really good. I'd never heard about it before now. The theme is similar to DOUBLE IDEMNITY. I think it was Kim Novak's first major film as she was billed as "Introducing Kim Novak".  Fred McMurray was almost as good as he was as Walter Neff in DI. Also, Dorothy Malone looks just as good as she did in her bit part in THE BIG SLEEP. If you've seen it; I'm curious as to what the rest of you noir fans think. 

I have also seen Pushover on MOVIES -TV a few times (and again, just last week).        I enjoy the film and there is a good deal of suspense.     MacMurrary and Novak have good chemistry (ok not at the same level as him and Stanwyck in DI),  and the supporting actors like Malone (look good), Phil Carey,  and E.G. Marshall are solid.   Well worth seeing.   I just wish TCM would show it so I could see it without interruptions.       Here is what a critic had to say and it matches my feelings:

Film critic Craig Butler wrote, "Aficionados will doubtlessly argue whether The Pushover should be classified as film noir or merely as a suspense film, but whichever its category, this overlooked movie deserves to be better known. Not that it's a great film, for it's not—the characters don't develop fully enough, remaining just film types rather than flesh and blood people, the themes of the film are not explored deeply enough to have resonance, and there's a late development that asks the audience to change its mind about the leading lady that just doesn't work. Still, it's immensely entertaining, skillfully directed by Richard Quine with the requisite suspense trappings (and a wonderfully unsettling sense of voyeurism), and covering a lot of territory in its 88 minutes.

PushoverPoster.jpg

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I agree with the critic. It's certainly not DOUBLE INDEMNITY, but it is a good noir. I keep hoping there are more of the obscure jewels out there. Obviously, we all are watching way more TV than normal these days. There is a lot of junk on now, but the old movie channels, History Channel, Sundance and some of the premium channels are showing great flicks. I find something every day to take my mind off the sad and disturbing news that is the realty of 2020.

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10 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

i remember this one pretty well.

an intriguing NOTE is that THE MURDERER IN THE FILM IS NOT THE PERSON WHO DID IT IN THE BOOK.

I also remember a David Suchet episode set on a desert tour,  where the presumed time setting of the murder was the deceptive red-herring, since the victim had been given a paralytic drug to die of exposure in the sun long before the presumed "murder"--I always thought that was this story, but if it was, one of the two got it wrong.

And CtToI, I remember hearing of Ordeal By Innocence too, but the G/G "Ten Little Indians" seems to have dropped off the map, like most of Golan's more ambitious movies from their '87-'89 "Running out of money" phase.

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Agatha Christie turned Appointment With Death into a play, and in the play she changed the murderer, so the question with any filmed version is whether it will follow the book or the play. I believe the paralytic drug is an invention of the screenwriter for the Suchet version and not in either book or play, though I would have to check to be sure.

I vaguely remember Ordeal by Innocence with Faye Dunaway as the murder victim. Faye also starred in a version of Thirteen at Dinner/Lord Edgware Dies.

 

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Over the last week, I enjoyed going through the Steve McQueen movies on WatchTCM. I enjoyed rewatching The Cincinnati Kid and Bullitt.

The performances are excellent in Cincinnati and what a group it is: McQueen, Edward G. Robinson, Karl Malden, Tuesday Weld, Ann-Margret, Joan Blondell, Rip Torn, Jack Weston, and Cab Calloway. Everyone has good scenes but the ones between McQueen and Malden and McQueen and Robinson are delightful to watch.

I always loved Bullitt and I hadn't seen it in about a year. How can you not love the classic car chase? Splendid. And then there's the great Lalo Schifrin score. I have to mention the iconic: the Ford, the turtleneck, the brown jacket. Just awesome. McQueen and Robert Vaughn are both terrific in this. I'm a big fan of Vaughn and always enjoy his performances. 

Then I watched some McQueen films I hadn't seen before: The Sand PebblesAn Enemy of the People, and The Getaway.

I loved The Sand Pebbles. Wonderful film with outstanding performances across the board. Very enjoyable and I could see the parallels with Vietnam without any outside reading. McQueen is excellent in this movie and deserved his Oscar nomination. He gets to show a lot of range in this one. I felt the best supporting performance in this movie was Richard Crenna, an actor who never seems to get his due but always turns in a solid performance. Great story and visuals here and one of the most enjoyable films I've watched in a while.

An Enemy of the People was a good watch. I liked seeing McQueen in an unrecognizable role and an intimate dramatic adaptation of Ibsen's play. Good performances from Bibi Andersson and Charles Durning. It's a little film, but one I quite enjoyed and was happy to see. I'm glad this film was made.

The Getaway is a lot of fun. This film has a lot of twists and turns and moves along briskly. Great entertainment and a great final act.

One thing that’s clear: McQueen knew a good script as all of these movies have interesting/excellent stories. 

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Yojimbo (1961) - "I'll be waiting for you at the gates of hell."

I always seem to ignore the samurai films when they're shown on TCM, because I don't feel like reading the subtitles. I'm not sure why I do that, because I really enjoy foreign films. Anyway, I decided to check this one out and I am glad that I did. It's comedic, brutal, and the atmosphere and sound is simply incredible. I thought every performance was fantastic. It's time to watch the rest of the Mifune films now. 

 

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6 hours ago, Athos said:

Over the last week, I enjoyed going through the Steve McQueen movies on WatchTCM. I enjoyed rewatching The Cincinnati Kid and Bullitt.

The performances are excellent in Cincinnati and what a group it is: McQueen, Edward G. Robinson, Karl Malden, Tuesday Weld, Ann-Margret, Joan Blondell, Rip Torn, Jack Weston, and Cab Calloway. Everyone has good scenes but the ones between McQueen and Malden and McQueen and Robinson are delightful to watch.

I always loved Bullitt and I hadn't seen it in about a year. How can you not love the classic car chase? Splendid. And then there's the great Lalo Schifrin score. I have to mention the iconic: the Ford, the turtleneck, the brown jacket. Just awesome. McQueen and Robert Vaughn are both terrific in this. I'm a big fan of Vaughn and always enjoy his performances. 

Then I watched some McQueen films I hadn't seen before: The Sand PebblesAn Enemy of the People, and The Getaway.

I loved The Sand Pebbles. Wonderful film with outstanding performances across the board. Very enjoyable and I could see the parallels with Vietnam without any outside reading. McQueen is excellent in this movie and deserved his Oscar nomination. He gets to show a lot of range in this one. I felt the best supporting performance in this movie was Richard Crenna, an actor who never seems to get his due but always turns in a solid performance. Great story and visuals here and one of the most enjoyable films I've watched in a while.

An Enemy of the People was a good watch. I liked seeing McQueen in an unrecognizable role and an intimate dramatic adaptation of Ibsen's play. Good performances from Bibi Andersson and Charles Durning. It's a little film, but one I quite enjoyed and was happy to see. I'm glad this film was made.

The Getaway is a lot of fun. This film has a lot of twists and turns and moves along briskly. Great entertainment and a great final act.

One thing that’s clear: McQueen knew a good script as all of these movies have interesting/excellent stories. 

I tried to watch An Enemy of the People multiple times, but I was never in the mood for a drama. I'm glad someone on here watched that rare film and enjoyed it. The only McQueen film I ended up watching was The Honeymoon Machine, which was enjoyable. 

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6 minutes ago, YourManGodfrey said:

I tried to watch An Enemy of the People multiple times, but I was never in the mood for a drama. I'm glad someone on here watched that rare film and enjoyed it. The only McQueen film I ended up watching was The Honeymoon Machine, which was enjoyable. 

I’m not the biggest Steve McQueen fan. I don’t dislike him, I guess maybe I don’t “get” him, I don’t get his appeal. I did like “The Thomas Crown Affair.” I also love “The Blob.”  I will agree with you that “The Honeymoon Machine” is enjoyable. However, I originally watched it for Paula Prentiss & Jim Hutton. 

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004_Yojimbo.jpg?sha=468f586eae4c3f49"STAUNCH!"

I watched GREY JAPANESE GARDENS, a curious retelling of the classic 1975 DOCUMENTARY from TOJO STUDIOS.  JAPANESE LITTLE EDIE's fan-dance in the foyer, NOH THEATER-STYLE rendition of THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER before performing a RITUAL SEPUKU is a highlight. 

(Late April Fools.)

I watched YOJIMBO (1961)- which I had not seen before. I liked it, but I think I would have LOVED IT if I had not already seen RASHOMAN and SEVEN SAMURAI, because both of those films had a lot of HEART, YOJIMBO really has NEXT TO NONE- although it does have a lot of DARK COMEDY, which I think I would have responded to better had I been prepared.

AND FOR THE RECORD, there are two very lovable characters- the aforementioned JAPANESE LITTLE EDIE who STOLE MY HEART and her LIFE PARTNER, the local tavern owner.

SURELY SOMEONE ELSE HAS MENTIONED THIS IS TOTALLY A RETELLING (INTENTIONAL OR NOT) OF DASH HAMMETT'S RED HARVEST?

the costumes were nominated for an OSCAR and they deserved it.

one of the things i LOVE ABOUT JAPANESE CINEMA is all the shots of WIND RUSTLING THROUGH either GRASS, BAMBOO, or (in this case) SILK-WORM DENUDED MULBERRY TREES..I don't know why, but i could watch it all day. it is the opposite of THAT ***DAMN BOAT IN "FITZCARRALDO."

the only thing i did not like was THE SCORE. I thought it was too modern. but i am willing to be shouted down on that.

calling TOSHIRO MIFUNE an actor is like calling THE WIND or FIRE an actor when it shows up on screen- it's not quite right. there's another word for it. he is a FORCE. Anyone who wants to come at me with "TOSHIRO MIFUNE was the greatest actor of all time", you have solid ground on which to build your case.

WHY THE HELL IS THIS MOVIE CALLED YOJIMBO? SERIOUSLY? PLEASE, SOMEONE ANSWER. NO ONE IN IT IS NAMED YOJIMBO NOR IS A THE NAME OF THE TOWN OR PROVINCE OR ANYTHING ELSE INSOFAR AS I COULD TELL.

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REPULSION (1965) 

I've been trying to get into more of Catherine Deneuve's work, so I gave this one a try. I didn't care for it.

Late-Night Polanski in Florida | The Current | The Criterion ...

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11 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

WHY THE HELL IS THIS MOVIE CALLED YOJIMBO? SERIOUSLY? PLEASE, SOMEONE ANSWER. NO ONE IN IT IS NAMED YOJIMBO NOR IS A THE NAME OF THE TOWN OR PROVINCE OR ANYTHING ELSE INSOFAR AS I COULD TELL.

I believe it might be translated as: "strongarm" in the sense that a gangster might employ one to protect him or to persuade people to pay their debts.

Have you ever watched:The Hidden Fortress (1958)? It is Toshirô Mifune in a true comedy by Akira Kurosawa. The humour ranges from broad to subtle and it has moments of truly endearing warmth.

 

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15 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

PLEASE TELL ME YOJIMBO IS JAPANESE FOR "STAUNCH"

EDIT- WAIT, IS IT JAPANESE FOR "BODYGUARD?"

Yep--Like his Clint Eastwood gun-for-hire doppelgänger With No Name, we never know the Mifune Samurai's name, and he's looking for the job of bodyguard.  Samurai had to work for an employer, or they'd be dirty ronin, like the Seven Samurai.

He calls himself Sanjuro in Sanjuro, but we get the impression he's just throwing out an alias.

4 hours ago, SansFin said:

Have you ever watched:The Hidden Fortress (1958)? It is Toshirô Mifune in a true comedy by Akira Kurosawa. The humour ranges from broad to subtle and it has moments of truly endearing warmth.

And the baldfaced comparisons to Hidden Fortress as "Star Wars:  Episode 0" have been expounded upon at length, but are still fun to note:

Throne of Blood is also arguably THE greatest movie version of Macbeth ever made, and Mifune depicts his fall from hero to coward to tyrant even more scarily than Shakespeare intended.

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Sanjuro (1962)

I decided to follow up Yojimbo with its follow-up. I think I preferred the former, I am honestly not sure. It seems like I don't know much, but I do know a few things: 1) Toshiro Mifune is quickly becoming one of my favorite actors. His rogue character of Sanjuro is now one of my all-time favorite characters in film. 2) Closet man is great. 3) I'm not giving anything away here, but the ending is one of the most spectacularly confusing endings I have ever seen. It's unexpected, flawed, and wonderful. 

SansFin sold me on The Hidden Fortress, so that's next. TCM needs more day-long Japanese film days. 

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TEENAGERS  FROM  OUTER  SPACE

In the mood for silly escapist 50's sci fi movies?  This one should fit the bill. It's delightfully bad, kind of approaching "Plan 9 from Outer Space" levels.  

Made in 1959 and directed by and starring people I've never heard of,  Teenagers From Outer Space follows the story of a young malcontent /rebel alien who flees his fellow aliens when their unusual spaceship  (shaped like a double helix kind of thing)  lands on Earth.   The aliens are researching the viability of Earth as a place to raise some kind of food source for their own planet; they have no regard for Earthlings, they just want to use the planet as one giant breeding ground for their creatures, which apparently start out tiny but can grow to dangerously huge proportions very rapidly.   Dual threat to Earth:  malevolent powerful aliens,  plus their (potentially)  ravaging creatures  !

The young naysayer in the group,  interestingly named "Derek",  objects to the plans to ravage our unsuspecting planet,  and deserts his fellow aliens.  He arrives in a small ordinary typical American town and decides to rent a room in a nice little ordinary typical American home, conveniently owned by an amiable old man and his (of course !) attractive teenage grand-daughter.

Ok, I'm not big on detailed plot delineations anyway,  and the pleasures of  Teenagers From Outer Space don't reside in its narrative arc.  What's enjoyable about it is the wonderful bad acting  (especially those playing the aliens),  and the hilarious effects, particularly the monster itself, which is quite obviously nothing more than a lobster being waved around against a mountainous backdrop.   It's also, in its own way, actually kind of sweet;  the rebel alien and the teenage girl and their tentative little romance, the nice old grandpa,  and the final scene, where  SPOILER   "Derek",  the runaway young alien, proves his loyalty to his new planet and its inhabitants with admirable nobility.

I enjoy the way everyone in this film speaks English -- they don't even bother to cull together any kind of explanation as to why the aliens' native language would be English. It doesn't matter; with a movie like this, you have to be all in and accept such incongruities.  I thought TFOS was great fun, and was never bored.

image.jpeg.2d7b7935cab02996d67166d7d90b8058.jpeg

Aaaaarrrgh !  The  monster !!!!

Also, for some reason it reminded me of this cool little rockabilly tune. Check it out:  (the clips, by the way, are not from Teenagers From Outer Space, but another 50s sci fi alien invasion flick, "Earth Vs the Flying Saucers"  )  ....  doesn't matter...get up and dance to this:

 

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Buffalo '66 Poster

Buffalo 66 (1998) EPIX On Demand 8/10

An ex con kidnaps a young dance student and forces her to pose as his wife.

I am not sure why I like this one so much but I do. I had seen it when first released, this is the first I have seen it since then, I still recall nearly all of it vividly after over 20 years.

At times the movie seems rambling and dialogue is being made up on the spot but I still fascinated by many scenes. It has a 1970s vibe as it has a very gritty look to it, though not as realistic since no one in the film acts like a real person . Vincent Gallo plays the lead ( he also wrote and directed) and he is a very nasty and weird character, Christina Ricci plays his victim and she is very cute and curvy. Gallo's parents are played by Anjelica Huston and Ben Gazzara. My favorite scenes are two haunting musical sequences. Gazzara says he was once a singer, and he sings (actually lip synchs) "Fools Rush In". It is one of the more beautiful versions I have heard of this oft recorded song, the actual singer was the  director's father Vincent Gallo Sr. The other striking scene is where Ricci tap dances to King Crimson's "Moonchild". The moody lighting and haunting song along with Ricci's nice dancing make this a very memorable moment. 

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1 hour ago, misswonderly3 said:

TEENAGERS  FROM  OUTER  SPACE

In the mood for silly escapist 50's sci fi movies?  This one should fit the bill. It's delightfully bad, kind of approaching "Plan 9 from Outer Space" levels.  

Made in 1959 and directed by and starring people I've never heard of,  Teenagers From Outer Space follows the story of a young malcontent /rebel alien who flees his fellow aliens when their unusual spaceship  (shaped like a double helix kind of thing)  lands on Earth.   The aliens are researching the viability of Earth as a place to raise some kind of food source for their own planet; they have no regard for Earthlings, they just want to use the planet as one giant breeding ground for their creatures, which apparently start out tiny but can grow to dangerously huge proportions very rapidly.   Dual threat to Earth:  malevolent powerful aliens,  plus their (potentially)  ravaging creatures  !

The young naysayer in the group,  interestingly named "Derek",  objects to the plans to ravage our unsuspecting planet,  and deserts his fellow aliens.  He arrives in a small ordinary typical American town and decides to rent a room in a nice little ordinary typical American home, conveniently owned by an amiable old man and his (of course !) attractive teenage grand-daughter.

Ok, I'm not big on detailed plot delineations anyway,  and the pleasures of  Teenagers From Outer Space don't reside in its narrative arc.  What's enjoyable about it is the wonderful bad acting  (especially those playing the aliens),  and the hilarious effects, particularly the monster itself, which is quite obviously nothing more than a lobster being waved around against a mountainous backdrop. 

 

Also, for some reason it reminded me of this cool little rockabilly tune. Check it out:  (the clips, by the way, are not from Teenagers From Outer Space, but another 50s sci fi alien invasion flick, "Earth Vs the Flying Saucers"  )  ....  doesn't matter...get up and dance to this:

 

DON'T ANYONE COME AT ME FOR THIS, BUT I PREFER THE (oops, caps lock) MIKE NELSON incarnation of MST to the JOEL HODGSON...THAT SAID, TEENAGERS FROM OUTER SPACE was one of the more interesting films they viewed, and CROW even defends it at the end of BEING FROM ANOTHER PLANET when TOM SERVO goes on his EPIC (at the time) RANT about all the films they had seen up to that point. I remember the guy who plays GRAMPS is charming (I think he was also in THE SINISTER URGE for ED WOOD...?) and the FEMALE LEAD is really quite pretty.

I enjoy how anaesthetic, clinical and STRAIGHT-LINED all those 1950's SCI FI films are...I still wonder sometimes if there isn't a great flying saucer attack film out there.

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Forgive the lengthy post, but I haven't felt up to posting about my horror movie marathon for a couple of days. Here are the few that I've watched:

Haxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages  (1922) Dir: Benjamin Christensen - Swedish/Danish pseudo-documentary look at the history of witchcraft in Europe. Much of the film attempts to illustrate what was believed to occur with witches and their unholy practices, as well as steps that the authorities of the time took to suppress them.  The highlights are the sequences showing witches cavorting with a menagerie of odd-looking beasts and demons. I like this movie more every time I watch it, as I notice more of the humor buried under the macabre tableau.   (9/10)

Source: Criterion Blu-ray

haxan2.jpg

 

Nosferatu  (1922) Dir: F.W. Murnau - German horror classic, arguably the most important horror film of the silent era. A reworking of the Dracula story, the standout aspect for me is the disturbing performance of Max Schreck as Count Orlof, the grotesque vampire who brings plague and death to a small German village in the early 19th century. I think this may be the silent film that I've seen the most often.   (9/10)

Source: Kino Blu-ray

nosferatu-2.jpg

 

The Phantom of the Opera  (1925) Dir: Rupert Julian - Lon Chaney stars in this adaptation of the Gaston Leroux tale about a disfigured musical genius who "haunts" the Paris opera house and falls in love with a young singer. Chaney's make-up is iconic, but I'm just as impressed with the amazing sets and costumes, and the partially color masquerade sequence is still mesmerizing.   (8/10)

Source: Kino DVD

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Faust  (1926) Dir: F.W. Murnau - German fantasy with Emil Jannings as the devil, who tempts the title alchemist (Gosta Ekmann) into selling his soul. The opening sequence, featuring the horsemen of the apocalypse, as well as an angel facing off with a black-winged Satan, are among the most memorable of the period. Jannings' hammy performance may turn off some viewers, but I think he's hilarious and entertaining.   (8/10)

Source: Kino Blu-ray

889587282_919fa03e2c.jpg

 

The Cat and the Canary  (1927)  Dir: Paul Leni - Archetypal mystery/thriller/comedy that sees several characters gather at a large, labyrinthine house in order to hear the reading of a last will and testament. The lovely Laura La Plante stars, with Creighton Hale, Tully Marshall and Gertrude Astor. Martha Mattox plays the wonderfully named "Mammy Pleasant". This film set the standard for dozens of imitators over the next two decades. I liked seeing the old opening Universal logo again.   (7/10)

Source: Kino DVD

The-Cat-and-the-Canary.jpg

 

The Unknown  (1927) Dir: Tod Browning - The Hunchback of Notre Dame and the aforementioned Phantom of the Opera are usually ranked as Lon Chaney's greatest films, and that's understandable, given their sumptuous production design and literary roots. However, I've always favored The Unknown among Chaney's films, due to it's singular lunacy. He stars as a fugitive on the run who's disguised himself as an armless (!!!) circus performer. He falls for fellow performer Joan Crawford, which always leads to trouble. Lots of sweaty leering and creepy character work.   (8/10)

Source: Warner Archive DVD, part of the Lon Chaney Collection.

lon-chaney-the-unknown.jpg

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