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Did anyone ever see Blackula (with William Marshall?)?  I found it very sad (one of the best performances as "Dracula" I've ever seen.  My parents had friend who used to imitate Bela L.

Last night, rewatched Beautiful with Minnie Driver and Hallie Eisenberg (Jesse's sister).  I thought it was pretty good (but nothing like smile with Bruce Dern and Agent 99 aka Barbara Feldon.

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Agree about Lee's Dracula hairpiece. Noticed he didn't have the same impact, didn't realize it was the hair. I love BLACULA and the sequel SCREAM BLACULA SCREAM, combining my loves of horror & Blacksploitation. If you love Bollywood & horror there's some great combos out there too.

Last night I tuned in TCM to catch 1959's THE GAZEBO. I last saw it when it premiered on TCM and remembered loving it, but had forgotten all the details. I think it was even better this time, I really appreciated Glenn Ford's comic performance-boy was he great! I'm not a Glenn Ford fan, but he was HILARIOUS as the mild mannered writer who resorts to murder in order to save his wife's reputation. The wife is played by Debbie Reynolds who never looked so gorgeous. It was fun seeing her play the straight man, I noticed she emotes a lot through her voice.

Also notable supports were John McGiver playing a wholly unusual role for him-beautifully done and Carl Reiner at his peak, making it look so effortless you barely notice him. The lighting, sets, props & costuming was wonderful.... my only complaint was it should have been in color. A fun film just about anyone would enjoy. 

398px-Poster_of_the_movie_The_Gazebo.jpg

(haha who "gives away" a shower curtain?)

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Devil Girl from Mars (1954)

 

An isolated Scottish inn has as guests one night in winter: a model who is running away from her married boyfriend, a hiker who is truly an escaped convict, a professor who lost his way while going to investigate a meteorite which reportedly landed forty miles away, a dipsomaniac reporter doubling as the professor's driver and a tall caped woman who states that women won the battle of the sexes on Mars and the male population is now dwindling. I must wonder what property there is of space travel that compels women to wear the shortest skirts allowed by law.

One might expect the men in the group to jump at the chance to go to Mars as fresh breeding stock but they all express extreme reluctance.  Perhaps it is the woman's dour expression and daunting stance. There is much talk and scenes of people standing horrified by what they see off-screen and more talk before one man agrees to go with her.

I learned that this movie is on a list of one hundred worst movies. I did not find it to be all that bad. The script is not quite so inventive nor interesting as it might be but there are very few overly-dramatic pronouncements. The actors all remembered their lines, hit their marks, did not bump into the furniture and did not stare directly into the camera. I feel that is all that one might reasonably expect of a low-budget British movie of the 1950s. I believe that the special effects were all done in a photographic darkroom on a rainy Sunday afternoon when the director had nothing else to do but it is not truly the worst that I have seen.

Watched for free on: Amazon Prime.

8/13

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On 10/24/2020 at 8:58 PM, EricJ said:

Dennis Potter has basically made a career out of being the standard snooty British-deconstructionist trying to show England how he can make hamburger out of their optimistic, culturally hallowed sacred-cows, since that's the only way British satirists feel they can establish a personal sense of "identity" over their rigid culture

Not sure what you mean by “optimistic, culturally hallowed sacred cows” but it does seem that, overall, Brit culture is more literate, making some things more likely to be targets of humor than in the US. There also seems to be a tradition of poking fun at their institutions and standing - some of that may be earned and some of it may be “we’re going to mock ourselves before anyone else does”, perhaps? But there doesn’t seem to be a hesitancy in “punching down”, as well, when it comes to what will be ridiculed.

I do think, however, that it’s often easier to tear something down than it is to create something - in the arts and other fields. 

Of course, the Alice books contained elements of satire themselves - in characters, situations, and even some of the illustrations. Though most references aren’t recognizable to modern American readers (me included) without the annotations explaining them.

 

On 10/24/2020 at 8:58 PM, EricJ said:

Actually, Charles Dodgson may have been unusually interested in the eldest teen daughter, and too shy to talk proposal

I did notice in Dreamchild that Alice’s older sister was portrayed as being more consistently considerate of Dodgson.

And Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland actually ends with the older sister dreaming/day-dreaming about Wonderland and the tale Alice has just recounted to her.

On 10/24/2020 at 8:58 PM, EricJ said:

Also, in the Alice book...(snip)... We're basically seeing a fourth-wall glimpse at how Carroll improvised his picnic stories,  and there's not a lot of psychiatry to delve from there.

Yes, there are plenty of clues one can point to in the book to show Carroll incorporated references to the Liddells and times spent with them. Though some argue “Alice” the character is still mostly or purely a Carroll creation. 

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2 hours ago, SansFin said:

Devil Girl from Mars (1954)

I learned that this movie is on a list of one hundred worst movies. I did not find it to be all that bad. The script is not quite so inventive nor interesting as it might be but there are very few overly-dramatic pronouncements.

It has the unusual credit of being one of the few British sci-movies based on a play.

 That sort of gives you some indication how much SFX extravaganza we're in for.

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On 10/24/2020 at 11:37 AM, LornaHansonForbes said:

Is there any way you can use a largeR SIZED font when you post?

Sorry about that - the text looked huge on my screen, I wasn’t sure if it was the default size or not, so I decreased the font.

Also, I was mortified at how long the post was and it didn’t look so bad with the smaller font. I actually had more to say about Ian Holm but realized I needed to just walk away. That’s why my review ends a bit abruptly.

(Part of what I was going to go on about was that in the ‘98 Alice film, Holm gives an idiosyncratic performance as Through the Looking Glass’s White Knight [a character generally recognized as a stand-in for Carroll himself] - complete with a b&w silent movie-inspired segment in which he dons costume & make-up that reminds one of Buster Keaton). 

On 10/24/2020 at 11:37 AM, LornaHansonForbes said:

a while ago, TCM showed the 1933 PARAMOUNT VERSION OF ALICE IN WONDERLAND and (as  i RECALL) the UNANIMOUS reaction on the messageboards was pretty much:

(and rightly so. it is a TERRIFYING FILM)

It is. Edna May Oliver was downright homicidal as the Red Queen. I had missed most of Illeana Douglas’ intro on one recording but had another with Robert O’s intro & outro where he was discussitng William Cameron Menzies (who did Art Direction on the film) with a guest. Robert bluntly called the character designs grotesque, as I remember.

I watched seven different Alices and it was interesting to compare them. 

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On 10/26/2020 at 9:59 AM, LornaHansonForbes said:

theater9.jpg

 

Oh my gosh , she looks like Auntie Claus.

I should not be posting so late.

 

P. S. I’m not fond of vampire shows & movies though I’ve seen my share. (Almost always watched “in spite of” there being vampires rather than “because of”.) But I do love the nightclub part in Blacula with the singing trio in powder blue.

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8 hours ago, Calamity said:

) But I do love the nightclub part in Blacula with the singing trio in powder blue.

"Look the other way when he comes by youuuuuuuuuu..."

It's the same group that did DON'T ROCK THE BOAT the next year.  The HUGHS CORPORATION?

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21 hours ago, chaya bat woof woof said:

Did anyone ever see Blacula (with William Marshall?)?  I found it very sad (one of the best performances as "Dracula" I've ever seen.

 

20 hours ago, Det Jim McLeod said:

Why sad? I thought a lot of it was very funny.

 

16 hours ago, chaya bat woof woof said:

Spoiler for Blacula:  Didn't he commit suicide at the end?

SPOILER: Yes, BLACULA (no K in it btw) does indeed walk into the sun after the reincarnation of his beloved is staked.

I understand anyone who finds BLACULA to be touching or hilarious- because at times, it is both. the themes of police violence, repression, lost love and the enslaving and debasement of Africans by White Europeans are still resonant.

On the other hand....there is that scene where BLACULA ON ROLLERSKATES (apparently) attacks and kills the lady photographer and also the scene where ELISHA COOKE is killed by a weird DIANA ROSS/BADGER/DEMON VAMPIRE creation, THEY NEVER FAIL TO TICKLE THE HELL OUT OF ME EVERY TIME I SEE EITHER. 

Most sad though is that WILLIAM MARSHALL is so OBVIOUSLY BETTER than this material, but he never got the chances he should have in other movies or TV. In another world, he could have been another MORGAN FREEMAN (also another early Black Dracula, on THE ELECTRIC COMPANY)

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e79db8e40ca444007dca24c848728e3b.gif(Bet this is what happened on Michael Jackson's honeymoon.)

I watched THE MYSTERY OF THE WAX MUSEUM (1933) on TCM after fast-forwarding through AN INTERMINABLE INTRODUCTION  by a TCM host who interviewed someone who worked on restoring it. 

this film and its 1954 remake serve as a great lesson in SCREENWRITING. While I do enjoy the 1933 version, 1954's HOUSE OF WAX fixes many of the issues in the 1933 script- turning two female leads wisely into one, setting the time in the 1900's and not the present day, having the revenge killing of the guy who burned down the wax museum at the beginning and not the end and eliminating some of the strange plot cul-de-sacs and unnecessary characters.

still, the 1933 version MOVES- and has some wonderfully GRIM sets and excellent camera movement- CURTIZ has the villian shot from way down low so as to seem ENORMOUSLY TALL AND DAUNTING. 

They were still learning about film scoring in 1933, so sadly MYSTERY does not have incidental music- which it needs- and I miss that wonderfully CREEPY MUSIC that plays in the 1954 version every time we see the killer.

LIONEL ATWILL'S accent is terrible.

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4 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

e79db8e40ca444007dca24c848728e3b.gif(Bet this is what happened on Michael Jackson's honeymoon.)

I watched THE MYSTERY OF THE WAX MUSEUM (1933) on TCM after fast-forwarding through AN INTERMINABLE INTRODUCTION  by a TCM host who interviewed someone who worked on restoring it. 

this film and its 1954 remake serve as a great lesson in SCREENWRITING. While I do enjoy the 1933 version, 1954's HOUSE OF WAX fixes many of the issues in the 1933 script- turning two female leads wisely into one, setting the time in the 1900's and not the present day, having the revenge killing of the guy who burned down the wax museum at the beginning and not the end and eliminating some of the strange plot cul-de-sacs and unnecessary characters.

still, the 1933 version MOVES- and has some wonderfully GRIM sets and excellent camera movement- CURTIZ has the villian shot from way down low so as to seem ENORMOUSLY TALL AND DAUNTING. 

They were still learning about film scoring in 1933, so sadly MYSTERY does not have incidental music- which it needs- and I miss that wonderfully CREEPY MUSIC that plays in the 1954 version every time we see the killer.

LIONEL ATWILL'S accent is terrible.

Thanks for bringing back a childhood memory.    (I guess, ha ha).      I still recall seeing the above scene when I was a young child.    I had trouble sleeping for a while due to nightmares.

This impacted my younger brother and sister because mom started to put restrictions on what we could watch to avoid sleepless nights.    My older brother was very upset and beat me bad when mom tried to restrict what he could view.        Of course after a while all was forgotten,  but I generally avoided horror films until I was a teen.

 

     

 

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38 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Thanks for bringing back a childhood memory.    (I guess, ha ha).      I still recall seeing the above scene [in MYSTERY OF THE WAX MUSEUM, 1933] when I was a young child.   

 

 

 

I don't know how old you are, but I am wondering if you are not thinking of the same scene from the 1954 HOUSE OF WAX.

I mainly say this because I am pretty sure the film was thought of as lost sometime between its release and 1969 and not shown on TV the way HOUSE OF WAX was.

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1 hour ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I don't know how old you are, but I am wondering if you are not thinking of the same scene from the 1954 HOUSE OF WAX.

I mainly say this because I am pretty sure the film was thought of as lost sometime between its release and 1969 and not shown on TV the way HOUSE OF WAX was.

You might be right,  and it was over 50 years ago,  but I recall that face-melt with Atwill and not the Price film.      Does Price's face melt like it does in the 1933 film?

 

 

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11 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

"Look the other way when he comes by youuuuuuuuuu..."

It's the same group that did DON'T ROCK THE BOAT the next year.  The HUGHS CORPORATION?

(Watching “Australian Bushfire Rescue” on Nature right now and it is heart-rending and hopeful at same time.)

I didn’t know that about the vocal group.

The thing about the nightclub scene in Blacula is the song just keeps going...until it occurs to you, “oh, are we going to hear the whole thing?”. I enjoy it though.

On the other hand....the rave scene in the second Matrix movie lasted so long that I figured the filmmakers had to be messing with the audience. 

And I hate the song the school kids sing in The Birds. Not only is it un-melodic but it just goes on and on. And on. (I timed it once - it’s about three minutes long!). No wonder the crows were upset.

The animation for Blacula’s title credits is something else too.

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The Monster From Pietras Blancas 1959

You know, it never ceases to amaze me when I come across a really bad movie that I haven't seen before. I thought I'd seen them all! 

The monster's outfit reminded me of the gilman's costume from Creature with a big black zipper in the back.

Les Treymayne is our major star here.  Boy, he must have been hard up for cash.

Actually, the major star of this picture is the half Jeep/half golf cart that the whole town takes advantage of.  "Want to take the Jeep?" Oh, yeah!! I have no clue what type of vehicle this thing is, but it looks like a lot of fun. It's got a Jeep grille, but other than that, I have no clue what this thing was. 

All in all a nice little Halloweeny journey into escapism. 

A freebie from Amazon Prime and I wonder if Prime is worth it. 

monster-of-piedras-blancas-13.png

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19 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I watched THE MYSTERY OF THE WAX MUSEUM (1933)

Wow...  Thanks for your comments re the Wax Museum films.  We're familiar with the 1953 version, but didn't realize it was a remake.  Though, I do see it in my library...  But, we watched it last night and really enjoyed it - probably more than the 1953 one.  Perhaps because it was new to us, dunno...  Or because of the newspaper angle - I've been married to a journalist for many years...  lol.   Thanks again, for the tip!

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3 hours ago, Curtis DeHaven said:

Wow...  Thanks for your comments re the Wax Museum films.  We're familiar with the 1953 version, but didn't realize it was a remake.  Though, I do see it in my library...  But, we watched it last night and really enjoyed it - probably more than the 1953 one.  Perhaps because it was new to us, dunno...  Or because of the newspaper angle - I've been married to a journalist for many years...  lol.   Thanks again, for the tip!

Thanks! 
If you enjoy the newspaper angle of “WAX MUSEUM”- you might like to check out any one of the TORCHY BLAINE Film series starring Glenda Farrell – who played the dynamite female reporter in “wax museum. “ She pretty much plays the exact same character in a whole series of movies, They show up on TCM from time to time.

EDIT- I just checked the schedule and DOCTOR X (1932) is airing on TCM on FRIDAY. It is very similar to WAX MUSEUM in some ways (although it's even better) and also has a reporter- although a male one this time. also starring ATWILL and WRAY.

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20 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

Most sad though is that WILLIAM MARSHALL is so OBVIOUSLY BETTER than this material, but he never got the chances he should have in other movies or TV. I

The high point of William Marshall's career will be his stint as Pee-Wee's King Of Cartoons:

william_marshall2.jpg?w=490

(and a memorable Star Trek episode)

5f7e28bd9794c2c7dc82fe61486bc792.jpg

star_trek_the_ultimate_computer_4224.jpg

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On 10/28/2020 at 12:03 AM, EricJ said:

It has the unusual credit of being one of the few British sci-movies based on a play.

 That sort of gives you some indication how much SFX extravaganza we're in for.

It did for me have the feel of a play. I discounted that feeling because that is true for many movies in which the majority of the scenes are set in a single room.

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6 hours ago, Janet0312 said:

The Monster From Pietras Blancas 1959

You know, it never ceases to amaze me when I come across a really bad movie that I haven't seen before. I thought I'd seen them all! 

The monster's outfit reminded me of the gilman's costume from Creature with a big black zipper in the back.

Les Treymayne is our major star here.  Boy, he must have been hard up for cash.

Actually, the major star of this picture is the half Jeep/half golf cart that the whole town takes advantage of.  "Want to take the Jeep?" Oh, yeah!! I have no clue what type of vehicle this thing is, but it looks like a lot of fun. It's got a Jeep grille, but other than that, I have no clue what this thing was. 

All in all a nice little Halloweeny journey into escapism. 

A freebie from Amazon Prime and I wonder if Prime is worth it. 

This is a coincidence. I selected that movie to watch because Amazon Prime put in the: "Because you watched: Devil Girl from Mars" row on my homepage as a recommendation. I am sorry to say that I became busy as it started to play and so missed all but tiny snippets. I played it a total of three times over the course of the afternoon and never saw more than half a minute here and there. What I did see was neither exciting nor terrible.

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16 hours ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

You might be right,  and it was over 50 years ago,  but I recall that face-melt with Atwill and not the Price film.      Does Price's face melt like it does in the 1933 film?

 

 

 

House-of-Wax-Price-in-makeup.jpg

PRICE in HOUSE OF WAX (ABOVE)

LIONEL ATWILL in MYSTERY OF THE WAX MUSEUM BELOW:

34dd37b0b8e3595607228672f151cb3a.jpg

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