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Old June 27 2013, 06:48 PM   #616
sojourner
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

^There's a youtube video showing the similarities side by side. It's pretty funny.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dO90hdkeKrs

another comparison on vimeo:
http://vimeo.com/47750724
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Old June 27 2013, 06:58 PM   #617
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

Those comparisons are terrific. Zero Hour! looks like a real turkey.
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Old June 27 2013, 10:59 PM   #618
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

That's a pretty good lineup. There's a few things on the list that I haven't seen for a change. I hope I can find time to watch them all.
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Old June 28 2013, 02:38 AM   #619
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

And with good timing with the Airplane! references, does anyone enjoy those Italian gladiator movies? I personally find them rather tedious and don't think I've ever watched an entire one and have never met anyone who was a fan. Anyone here?
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Old June 28 2013, 04:34 AM   #620
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

Two of the Maciste movies were spoofed on Mystery Science Theater 3000, under the titles Hercules Against the Moon Men and Colossus and the Headhunters. The latter actually kept the character's name as Maciste, which Mike and the bots interpreted as "My Cheesesteak."
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Old June 28 2013, 06:55 AM   #621
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

My stepdad calls them "by the gods!" movies, because that line always appears at least once in every one... he saw them as a kid in NYC a lot. I like them though I'm not sure I've made it all the way through one either, at least not with the sound on.
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Old June 28 2013, 09:37 AM   #622
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

I think I've seen Hercules and the Moon Men on TCM On Demand. I don't remember much about it, which I guess says it all.
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Old July 15 2013, 07:41 PM   #623
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

I borrowed Airplane! from the library so I could watch it right after Zero Hour! and compare the two. The main spine of the story of Airplane!, the majority of the "serious" dialogue, and a number of the shot compositions are directly from ZH, although there are some differences too. In ZH, Ted is on the plane to talk his wife Ellen out of leaving him and taking their son with her. The stewardess is a different character altogether (and is really pretty). It's Ted's son who goes into the cockpit and talks to the pilot, who's played by a prominent football player named "Crazylegs" Hirsch (this is what the casting of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in Airplane! was parodying, though Hirsch played the Peter Graves character, the pilot). And it's Sterling Hayden's character, the equivalent of Robert Stack's, who has the "I picked the wrong day to quit smoking" line. (And Elaine's dialogue to Ted in the terminal is taken from the dialogue of a potential employer in ZH, rather than Ellen.)

What was perhaps most revealing was what parts of A! were not from ZH. Subplots like the heart patient and some of the flashbacks evidently owed more to Airport 75 and the like. ZH is structured much more linearly: it opens with the scene of Ted's aerial battle in WWII (narrated by William Conrad!), and for the first several minutes, the film seems to be trying to trick people into thinking it's a war movie. Then suddenly it jumps forward twelve years and it's a completely different story. In its defense, it does present its storyline in a more focused way than Airplane! did; there's a clearer throughline from the botched decision Ted had to make in WWII and the parallel decision he has to make now with the passenger plane (i.e. whether to risk braving the fog to fulfill the primary objective or take the more cautious route with less reward).


I tried watching The Blob, but I lost interest in it pretty quickly. This is considered a classic? Its production values were MST3K-worthy, Steve McQueen apparently hadn't learned how to act yet and was downright creepy, Aneta Courseault seemed to be sedated for much of what I saw -- or was maybe just half-asleep from having nothing to do but sit there passively. Just when the plot started to kick in with McQueen delivering the first Blob victim to the doctor, who asked him to go back and check the scene for anyone who knew the victim, suddenly McQueen and the movie got sidetracked by taunting teenagers and the world's longest, most boring drag-race sequence, and then they just stood around exchanging gossip for what felt like several minutes and I wondered what had happened to the story. At that point I just gave up and deleted it from my DVR.

I did watch the other blob-monster movie this month, X the Unknown, which Hammer Films originally intended as a Professor Quatermass sequel, but changed when Nigel Kneale refused to share the character. They replaced him with an American scientist played by an actor named Dean Jagger, whom I found bland and one-note. I disliked him even more when I read that he'd gotten the original director, who'd moved to Britain to avoid the Hollywood blacklist, fired because he didn't want to work with an alleged Communist sympathizer. What a jerk. Maybe that's why his performance was so dull, though, because apparently the replacement director was uninterested in the project. That aside, though, it's an adequate if somewhat slow British monster movie, with the kind of laughably bad science you expect or even want from a movie like this. But it's mainly notable for some of its cast. Leo McKern is the biggest draw, playing an inspector for the UK's atomic energy agency or whatever it's called; he's essentially the hero's sidekick, but he's more charming than the hero or most of the rest of the cast, even though he isn't really trying too hard. There's also a pair of comic-relief Army guards played by Anthony Newley (who I gather became kind of a big name later on) and future Monty Python's Flying Circus supporting player Ian McNaughton. And I was intrigued when I saw the name of future Doctor Who companion Frazer Hines in the credits -- but it turns out he was only 12 years old when this was made, and he was barely recognizable.

Speaking of Who connections, one of my favorite bits was where the moustachioed army major made a long-suffering remark about how scientists always want to make things too complicated, and how he preferred the easy solution of just blowing stuff up. He could almost have been the Brigadier!
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Old July 15 2013, 09:37 PM   #624
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

Thanks for the background for "X, the Unknown". It's interesting to discover how personal philosophies can reshape a production, sometimes for the better, many times for the worse. Amusing observation about the Major. I too thought about the Brigadier, even before he made that particular comment. In fact, I mentally replaced Dean Jagger with Jon Pertwee and the thing played out like a prototypical Barry Letts era UNIT story. About the only thing missing was the Jo Grant role. Well, the plant director's son could have been Liz Shaw in a few scenes where exposition was presented.

Sincerely,

Bill
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Old July 15 2013, 10:56 PM   #625
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

^Which just goes to show how much the Third Doctor era drew on Professor Quatermass.
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Old July 15 2013, 11:35 PM   #626
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

I could have sworn I saw X the Unknown, but now I'm not so sure.

I do like The Blob, though. It's a hilarious 50s era teenager movie with a monster. And Steve McQueen cracks me up. I love his TV series Wanted: Dead Or Alive, because his character is such an idiot and he plays him so convincingly. I wish there could have been a meeting between Josh Randall and Paladin.
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Old July 15 2013, 11:38 PM   #627
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

I think the true message of The Blob, which I also found amusing when I watched it a while back, was "don't be a punk because when the monster lands the adults won't believe you"... the disbelieving adults/authority figures are a hoary trope of this genre of course, but in The Blob they're particularly obtuse.
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Old July 16 2013, 12:07 AM   #628
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

Moving on to August, we've got slim pickings ahead, and I had to stretch to include some of them:

MON 8/5:
3:30 PM: Soylent Green (1973)

SAT 8/10:
4:30 AM: The Blob ('58) again
9:00 AM: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (the inferior '41 version)

SUN 8/11:
10:30 PM: Fail-Safe ('64): Henry Fonda film about a nuclear crisis.

TUE 8/13:
4:15 AM: The Hunger ('83): David Bowie/Susan Sarandon vampire movie.
7:15 AM: A Midsummer Night's Dream ('35): Star-studded Shakespeare fantasy.

FRI 8/23:
2:00 AM: Clash of the Titans ('81): Harryhausen's last film.

SAT 8/24:
6:00 PM: Heaven Can Wait ('43): Ernst Lubitsch comedy unrelated to the '78 film of that name. Looks like the fantasy element is minimal, just a framing section set in Hell.
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Old July 16 2013, 04:52 AM   #629
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

Klaus wrote: View Post
I think the true message of The Blob, which I also found amusing when I watched it a while back, was "don't be a punk because when the monster lands the adults won't believe you"... the disbelieving adults/authority figures are a hoary trope of this genre of course, but in The Blob they're particularly obtuse.
This is why I liked the 80s version better. The authority figures ended up being more reasonable and had better reasons for not believing the kids right away (the Government guys intervening).
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Old July 16 2013, 09:42 AM   #630
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

Normally I'm the last person in the world to complain about production values, but Soylent Green is tough to watch. It's a great concept and great story, but it just looks bad. I've been watching old episodes of Night Gallery on MeTV and I was reminded of why I always considered it low-tier when I was a kid-- the stories are great, but I can't stand all the hand-held camerawork, the horrible dubbing, the cringe-worthy day-for-night shots and so on.
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