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Old June 25 2012, 07:36 PM   #181
Christopher
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

Oh, sorry. I've heard them referred to as Hammer productions in the past, but I guess that was in error.
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Old June 25 2012, 08:00 PM   #182
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

Amicus also did various horror anthology films like The House That Dripped Blood and Tales of the Crypt that are often mistakenly listed as Hammer films.

Not sure about the Dalek movies, though.
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Old June 25 2012, 08:53 PM   #183
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

Ah, "Green Slime", back when "naughty tentacle monsters" just choked or crushed one to death...before they hit puberty and discovered anime school girls!

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Old June 25 2012, 11:11 PM   #184
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

They seem to show Green Slime every other week these days.

There's a bunch of good stuff in that marathon. Manster was a favorite of mine back in the early 70s on Creature Double Feature-- cool monster, cute Japanese girls swimming naked and it was a short movie so there was always an episode of a Flash Gordon serial afterward.
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Old June 29 2012, 12:31 AM   #185
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

So far I've watched Manster and Five Million Years to Earth/Quatermass and the Pit live and recorded the others I was interested in. Manster was basically just B-movie schlock, though being a Japanese co-production gave it an interesting edge.

But I really liked the Quatermass film (the first one I've ever seen as far as I recall, though I've certainly heard of the character). It was a smart, solid SF story with an underlying message about intolerance (I thought the genocidal Martians were a Nazi allegory, but after reading up on Wikipedia I see it was really more about race riots in England). And it had some lovely touches of naturalism -- like Dr. Roney giving a speech in the Underground and having to wait awkwardly when a train roared by just as he was starting to make his important point. Or the bit where the scholar translating the ancient Latin text turned the page and then had to turn back to check a word on the previous page -- since word order isn't always the same in different languages. What marvelous attention to detail! It got a little more erratic toward the end, though; at times the pacing of the scenes seemed a bit off (like the cutaway to the reporter on the pub TV getting cut off as things got erratic coming just before things actually started to get erratic), and some bits of the climactic action were a bit hard to follow. And the ending was a little abrupt; I gather the original serial had a speech at the end that underlined the message more clearly.

And I can definitely see how Quatermass was an influence on Doctor Who in the '70s. This did almost feel like a prototypical Third Doctor/UNIT story, though Colonel Breen turned out to be a lot more antagonistic than the Brigadier ever was.
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Old June 29 2012, 01:05 AM   #186
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

Glad you finally got a chance to see Five Million Years to Earth. That's a really great movie that has held up well over time (dicy Martian puppets notwithstanding). A smart, intelligent script, good characters, imaginative concepts . . . probably the best "archaelogical" sf movie ever.
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Old June 29 2012, 01:14 AM   #187
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

And one of the least idiotic approaches I've seen to the "aliens created humans" trope -- it acknowledges the fact that humans are an integral part of hominid evolution, something that had to evolve here rather than being seeded from somewhere else, but has aliens intervening in that evolutionary process.

I spent the whole movie trying to remember where I'd seen Dr. Roney before. Turns out he (James Donald) was Group Captain Ramsey in The Great Escape.
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Old June 29 2012, 02:08 AM   #188
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

Christopher wrote: View Post
And one of the least idiotic approaches I've seen to the "aliens created humans" trope -- it acknowledges the fact that humans are an integral part of hominid evolution, something that had to evolve here rather than being seeded from somewhere else, but has aliens intervening in that evolutionary process.
Sounds good. I missed it. I hope they play it again soon.
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Old June 29 2012, 04:29 AM   #189
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

The Green Slime is a mixed bag. Interesting to see a Japanese-produced/directed tokusatsu film with an American/European cast and American-written script. As one might expect, the miniature FX are extensive and pretty cool. The plot starts off with a mission to blow up an asteroid threatening Earth a la Armageddon, but they pick up contamination from the titular life form and bring it back to a space station, and it becomes a pretty standard monster-siege movie. There's a decent attempt at drama between the two male leads, who have a past conflict that parallels the current situation as well as being in a romantic triangle with the really gorgeous Italian leading lady, but the characters are kind of one-note so it doesn't really amount to as much as it could have.

The odd thing is that the green slime was just the embryonic phase (or something) of the monsters, which were blobby multi-eyed things with lobster-clawed tentacles and were gray and red rather than green. So it's not the most accurate title. Also, it bugged me that they never tried the obvious. The creatures feed on energy of all sorts, so lasering, electrocuting, or irradiating them just makes them grow. You'd think the natural solution is to freeze them, take energy away. Yet that never occurs to anyone in the movie. And what actually does defeat them seems a bit inconsistent with the premise.
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Old June 29 2012, 09:10 AM   #190
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

Christopher wrote: View Post
So far I've watched Manster and Five Million Years to Earth/Quatermass and the Pit live and recorded the others I was interested in. Manster was basically just B-movie schlock, though being a Japanese co-production gave it an interesting edge.

But I really liked the Quatermass film (the first one I've ever seen as far as I recall, though I've certainly heard of the character). It was a smart, solid SF story with an underlying message about intolerance (I thought the genocidal Martians were a Nazi allegory, but after reading up on Wikipedia I see it was really more about race riots in England). And it had some lovely touches of naturalism -- like Dr. Roney giving a speech in the Underground and having to wait awkwardly when a train roared by just as he was starting to make his important point. Or the bit where the scholar translating the ancient Latin text turned the page and then had to turn back to check a word on the previous page -- since word order isn't always the same in different languages. What marvelous attention to detail! It got a little more erratic toward the end, though; at times the pacing of the scenes seemed a bit off (like the cutaway to the reporter on the pub TV getting cut off as things got erratic coming just before things actually started to get erratic), and some bits of the climactic action were a bit hard to follow. And the ending was a little abrupt; I gather the original serial had a speech at the end that underlined the message more clearly.

And I can definitely see how Quatermass was an influence on Doctor Who in the '70s. This did almost feel like a prototypical Third Doctor/UNIT story, though Colonel Breen turned out to be a lot more antagonistic than the Brigadier ever was.
I'm so glad you enjoyed Quatermass and the Pit, Christopher, but I guess that should be no surprise. Now that you've seen it, I urge you (and others) to try out the original TV version:

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Old June 29 2012, 05:10 PM   #191
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

Although The Monkees' Head is not technically an SF/fantasy film, it's surreal enough that I think it's fair game to discuss here. It's certainly an interesting film, experimental and bizarre. I can see why it failed at the box office; it defied conventions of narrative logic so it wouldn't appeal to everyday moviegoers, yet it was such a deconstruction of and protest against the Monkees' prepackaged media image that it's no wonder the fans didn't go for it. (Imagine one of today's manufactured, autotuned Disney pop idols trying to do something like this.)

Yet it's interesting how it comments on that prepackaged nature. The Monkees admit in the second song that, yes, they're manufactured, they're not a "real" band. And yet later we get Peter channeling the Guru's wisdom that the mind doesn't distinguish between reality and a persuasive illusion -- and the whole stream-of-consciousness structure of the movie is about challenging our perceptions about what's real and what's illusion, and ultimately dismissing the distinction as irrelevant. (And having Peter, whose traditional role as "the dummy" was emphasized earlier in the film, break character and deliver the core insight further deconstructs the illusion.) The experience is what matters, not the underlying cause. So what does it matter whether the Monkees were created for television or not, so long as their music reaches people? And I daresay that in the long run, the Monkees proved that point, though it took a few decades.
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Old June 29 2012, 06:57 PM   #192
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

Psion wrote: View Post
I'm so glad you enjoyed Quatermass and the Pit, Christopher, but I guess that should be no surprise. Now that you've seen it, I urge you (and others) to try out the original TV version:

Oh wow, I didn't know that existed, I thought that was one of those shows lost to time and BBC.
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Old June 29 2012, 07:16 PM   #193
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

I only saw a few minutes of Head, but I have it to watch later... Peter lives in my town actually, he's still a nice guy and funny too.

Actual conversation:

Me: "How are you?"
Him: "At what?"
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Old June 29 2012, 08:45 PM   #194
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

Mr. Adventure wrote: View Post
Oh wow, I didn't know that existed, I thought that was one of those shows lost to time and BBC.
Apparently only the first two episodes of the original The Quatermass Experiment serial survive (though the story has been adapted in the Hammer film -- which Kneale wasn't too fond of -- and a 2005 live remake on the BBC), but the other serials survive in their entirety.
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Old June 29 2012, 09:07 PM   #195
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

I've heard it jokingly said that Jon Pertwee's era of Doctor Who was, in a way, "Quatermass Light" since the format, that of the Doctor (trapped on Earth) often advised the military on matter of alien invasion, parallaled that of Quatermass.

Sincerely,

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