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Old June 29 2012, 09:16 PM   #196
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

^Not just jokingly. I gather that part of the reason they stranded the Third Doctor on Earth was to give the show more of a Quatermass-like flavor. And stories like "The Daemons" and "Image of the Fendahl" were clearly inspired by Quatermass and the Pit.
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Old June 29 2012, 11:07 PM   #197
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

I was reading an interview with the new head of Hammer Films a few weeks ago. Apparently there's talk of doing a new Quatermass movie, and not necessarily a remake of one of the earlier ones.
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Old June 30 2012, 02:57 AM   #198
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

Hmm, on the one hand, a revival of such an important character from early SF TV/film could be worthwhile, but on the other hand, every Quatermass story to date has been written by Nigel Kneale (or based on one written by him), so having a new writer or writers take over would be a tricky proposition.

Not to mention that it seems it would be more appropriate to bring him back in a BBC serial.

But now might be a good time to bring the character back, in one form or another. The original Quatermass was a pioneer in manned spaceflight. That era is past now, but we're just at the dawn of the era of private spaceflight, so Quatermass could be reimagined as working for a firm like SpaceX or Virgin Aerospace rather than for the government.
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Old June 30 2012, 11:20 PM   #199
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

Anyone else watch those three Italian films they showed during the SF marathon the other day, the ones about the Gamma-One space station? They were simply awful. The plots and dialogue were incoherent, the special effects were dreadful, and the lead characters in the first two (in production order -- TCM showed them in reverse for some reason) were so unlikeable that they were replaced by the third (which actually wasn't shown -- there were four in all). Well, I don't actually know if that's why they were replaced, but I wouldn't be surprised.

The one redeeming feature in the final one, The Snow Devils, was that it actually acknowledged (albeit clumsily) that observers at Earth couldn't monitor events at Jupiter in real time due to lightspeed time lag. That's so rarely acknowledged in SF film or TV that it's impressive when it is, especially in a movie that's otherwise so silly.

I gather that The Green Slime was meant to be a fifth film in the same universe, although it didn't have any characters in common, and it was made in Japan instead of Italy so the sets and costumes were different and the effects were much better.
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Old July 1 2012, 09:32 AM   #200
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

Yes, I watched Snow Devils and I had seen War of the Planets before. There was not much to redeem them. I didn't mind the special effects in either, because I appreciate the retro look, but the characters were less than engaging, to say the least, and most of the plot developments made no sense-- the Yeti were heating up the Earth to melt the ice caps, so they could flood the planet before freezing it, yet activated their freezing device before the planet was flooded. The bottom line was that they were bland and boring.
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Old July 1 2012, 12:44 PM   #201
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

Sounds like prime MST3K fodder.

Sincerely,

Bill
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Old July 1 2012, 03:21 PM   #202
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
Yes, I watched Snow Devils and I had seen War of the Planets before. There was not much to redeem them. I didn't mind the special effects in either, because I appreciate the retro look...
But there's good retro and bad retro, and this was the latter. Plenty of shows and movies at the time had miniature ships flying on wires, but at least they made an effort to make them look like they were really moving under power. Here, the aircars and astronauts and even asteroids were blatantly swinging back and forth in an arc from a fixed point overhead -- they didn't even try to hide it. It wasn't just retro, it was lazy.

Not to mention the space station that was rotating swiftly in one long shot and then totally stationary in the immediately following closeup -- and whose internal gravity vector was perpendicular to what the rotation would've induced.



Redfern wrote: View Post
Sounds like prime MST3K fodder.
Portions of The Green Slime were actually used in the unaired pilot/demo film for MST3K:

http://mst3k.wikia.com/wiki/The_Green_Slime

The pilot's on YouTube -- it's actually pretty lame.
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Old July 1 2012, 06:00 PM   #203
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

Christopher wrote: View Post
RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
Yes, I watched Snow Devils and I had seen War of the Planets before. There was not much to redeem them. I didn't mind the special effects in either, because I appreciate the retro look...
But there's good retro and bad retro, and this was the latter. Plenty of shows and movies at the time had miniature ships flying on wires, but at least they made an effort to make them look like they were really moving under power. Here, the aircars and astronauts and even asteroids were blatantly swinging back and forth in an arc from a fixed point overhead -- they didn't even try to hide it. It wasn't just retro, it was lazy.

Not to mention the space station that was rotating swiftly in one long shot and then totally stationary in the immediately following closeup -- and whose internal gravity vector was perpendicular to what the rotation would've induced.
From what I've seen of Italian B-movies from the 60's-80's is that they rarely make complete sense or are trying for scientific verisimilitude. They are lurid, colorful if not garish, stylish, atmospheric, etc. Logic is not high on the list, certainly not if it gets in the way of the story they want to tell.
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Old July 1 2012, 06:17 PM   #204
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

^But scientific verisimilitude is not the point. I should've left out the point about the gravity vector, because that's distracting from what I'm really talking about, which is the sloppiness of the effects work. There are plenty of B movies out there which are just as fanciful and ludicrous in their science, but where the filmmakers at least make a token effort to make it seem that the ships hanging on wires are actually flying in a straight line, rather than looking like a toy a 5-year-old is dangling from a string. As I said, The Green Slime was from the same creators and theoretically set in the same universe, but its miniature effects were done by Japanese FX artists who'd trained under Eiji Tsuburaya (of Godzilla and Ultraman fame), and so while they were still clearly miniatures and the FX weren't as sophisticated as what you'd get in an American film of the time, at least they were competently done and looked good. The miniature work in the Italian-made films in the series was just careless and risible. (Their idea of showing a space station disappearing was to dim the lights illuminating it so it became a dark silhouette against the star backdrop but was still partly visible. I didn't realize it was meant to be a disappearance until the characters said so.)

I mean, you have to admit, having a space station rotating in one shot and stationary in the immediately following shot isn't just a scientific error, it's a failure of basic filmmaking continuity.
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Old July 1 2012, 07:20 PM   #205
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

I haven't seen those Planets movies in a long time but they did have horrible effects from what I remember. I didn't realize Green Slime was in that universe, and I'm not sure I've actually seen it, I'll have to watch for that one if it comes back in rotation.
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Old July 1 2012, 08:09 PM   #206
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

What I found amusing is that in all three movies (and presumably all four), they only ever had two cars -- a white futuristic concept car and a red futuristic concept car. They couldn't even afford to repaint them or put decals on them or something to create the illusion that there were more than two of them.
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Old July 1 2012, 09:04 PM   #207
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

Yeah, the miniature work was bad. It wasn't just that it was obviously miniature-- a lot of shows and movies had miniature work that was obvious, e.g. Logan's Run-- but it lacked artistry. Artistry is more important to me than realism, and this stuff was just uninspired.
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Old July 2 2012, 01:37 AM   #208
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

^Yeah, that's why the miniature effects in Japanese tokusatsu films and shows are cool. They're obviously miniatures and guys in rubber monster suits, but there's artistry to it.
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Old July 2 2012, 06:36 AM   #209
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

Looks like the next batch comes on Saturday:
0900a 7 Faces of Dr. Lao
1200p Green Hornet serial
0115p The Blob
0245p It Came from Beneath the Sea
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Old July 2 2012, 12:34 PM   #210
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

They've been doing serials in that noon slot for a while now, a Dick Tracy one just finished... it'll be neat to see the Hornet.
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