Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Klaus, Sep 27, 2011.
That just goes to show... Watusi isn't always what you get.
...a month without Forbidden Planet? The mind reels!
Sorry I'm late posting the September schedule! Hopefully we haven't missed anything so far...
3:00 AM: Scrooge ('70): With Albert Finney and Sir Alec Guinness.
10:00 AM: Batman and Robin ('49): Ah, looks like the serial is resuming, with Chapter 5, "Robin Rescues Batman" (for a change).
1:45 PM: I Walked With a Zombie ('43): Val Lewton and Jacques Tourneur's next film after Cat People, an ambiguous zombie movie from back when zombies were still associated with voodoo. Apparently considered a classic.
2:00 PM: Heaven Can Wait ('43): Ernst Lubitsch afterlife comedy with Don Ameche and Gene Tierney.
Midnight: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari ('19): The silent classic from Germany.
Midnight: THX 1138 ('71): Dystopian film by some guy named George Lucas, whose only other genre effort was some obscure Flash Gordon knockoff a few years later. With Robert Duvall, Donald Pleasance, and a lot of other bald people.
11:45 AM: A Carol for Another Christmas ('64): Another showing of Rod Serling's pro-UN remix of the Scrooge story.
7:30 AM: Helen of Troy ('56): Robert Wise's Cinemascope epic loosely retelling the Trojan War.
11:15 AM: Cat People ('42)
10:00 AM: Batman and Robin Ch. 6
Noon: The Mouse that Roared ('59): The Peter Sellers Cold War comedy again. (I guess I should say the other Peter Sellers Cold War comedy.)
2:45 AM: It's Alive ('74): TCM seems to be showing this a lot lately.
6:00 AM: A Midsummer Night's Dream ('35)
Noon: Bell, Book and Candle ('58)
6:15 PM: The Day the Earth Stood Still ('51)
4:15 AM: Eyes Without a Face ('59): Evil doctor stealing women's faces. Ew.
2:15 AM: Alphaville ('65): Dystopian-future film noir by Jean-Luc Godard. May be in French; the schedule doesn't say.
10:00 AM: Batman and Robin Ch. 7
11:45 AM: Earth vs. the Flying Saucers ('56): Harryhausen!
1:15 PM: Jason and the Argonauts ('63): More Harryhausen!
TUE 9/22: Robot-themed SF marathon today!
6:00 AM: Metropolis ('26)
8:45 AM: The Tin Man ('35): Comedy short involving mad scientist and robot.
9:00 AM: The Day the Earth Stood Still ('51)
10:45 AM: Forbidden Planet ('56)
12:30 PM: The Invisible Boy ('57): Robbie the Robot's second film. Somehow he's supposed to be the same character from Forbidden Planet, having traveled back in time.
2:15 PM: The Robot vs. the Aztec Mummy ('65): Apparently the third Aztec Mummy film, but not to worry, it recaps the first two at length.
3:30 PM: 2001: A Space Odyssey ('68): Did anyone else just get whiplash going from the previous entry to this one?
6:15 PM: Westworld ('73)
WED 9/23-THU 9/24: Kerwin Matthews spotlight tonight.
8:00 PM: The 7th Voyage of Sinbad ('58): Harryhausen!
9:45 PM: The 3 Worlds of Gulliver ('60): Even more Harryhausen!
11:30 PM: Jack the Giant Killer ('62): Not Harryhausen! But Jim Danforth, Gene Warren, and Wah Chang! Same star, villain (Torin Thatcher), and director (Nathan Juran) as 7th Voyage, though.
1:15 AM: The Pirates of Blood River ('61): Not genre, but the cast includes Christopher Lee and Glenn "Zefram Cochrane" Corbett.
3:00 AM: The Warrior Empress ('60): Sword-and-sandal piece with Tina Louise (!!!) as the title character, who's named Sappho of Lesbos but apparently has nothing in common with the poetess (more's the pity).
10:00 AM: Batman and Robin Ch. 8
3:00 AM: Hausu ('77): The infamous Japanese horror movie (aka House).
4:30 AM: The House of Seven Corpses ('74)
Wonder if THX will be the original or remastered version. I didn't mind the remastered version up until the car chase at the end which was ridiculously over-egged, and in my mind, ruined.
Thanks for posting the list, Christopher.
Additionally: My cable programming guide has the heart-warming classic Spider Baby airing at 4:30 am on the 13th of this month. After Greg Cox talked about it a few months ago, I recorded it on its previous showing and would recommend it to anyone that enjoys strange, unique films that are better than they ought to be.
It's been forever since I've seen Westworld and I was hoping to catch it again before the new HBO series starts. Looks like I'll have my chance. Hausu also sounds interesting, so I'll check that out as well.
Over-egged? They put eggs in it?
I wasn't sure whether to count that one as genre. The schedule listed it under Horror, but the Wikipedia description didn't seem to include speculative elements, just creepy stuff. (Also, annoyingly, TCM puts a lot of science fiction and fantasy films under Horror too, or under Adventure. I wish they had distinct SF and fantasy categories -- it'd make compiling this list a bit easier.)
I don't think I'm quite ready for Scrooge.
SPIDER BABY should definitely be checked out. There's even a vaguely sci-fi element in that the weird family in question suffers from an inherited disease that leads to madness and cannibalism. But that probably makes the movie sound gloomier and more depressing than it actually is.
In fact, it's more along the lines of THE ADDAMS FAMILY or even THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW, being an outrageous black comedy about murder and madness . . .
This is what happens after you spend too long on British message boards...
I echo the recommendation of Spider-Baby. I've got the DVD and it's great. The essence of a cult classic. Watch it at night with the lights off.
It will be nice to see Westworld again. It's been decades since I saw that one.
And I had no idea Tina Louise made a Sword-and-Sandal movie....
I don't know if I've ever actually seen her in anything other than Gilligan's Island. Or... no, checking IMDb, she has a few credits in '80s TV I've probably seen, like a Knight Rider and a Blacke's Magic (a show with Hal Linden as a mystery-solving stage magician, from the creators of Murder, She Wrote). But not much. I see she was in Dallas in its first season, but I don't recall if I watched it that far back, since I would've been a bit young for it.
FYI: I Walked With A Zombie is (very) loosely based on Jane Eyre of all things.
Just replace the mad wife with a zombie wife and switch the setting to Haiti. . ...
- Batman and Robin: I have this on DVD. It's a nice look back at an early Batman.
- THX 1138: I've seen bits of it but never all the way through.
- The Invisible Boy: A movie connected to Forbidden Planet? Gotta check that out.
- Westworld: Yeah, I also have to get to this before the series starts.
- Eyes Without a Face: Reminds me of the Billy Idol song.
Eyes Without Face is considered a classic in some circles. Cruel and sadistic, yes, but also visually striking and atmospheric.
And don't expect anything like FORBIDDEN PLANET when it comes to THE INVISIBLE BOY, which is basically a cute kid's movie that also happens to feature Robby the Robot. Any connections to FORBIDDEN PLANET are extremely tenuous at best.
Honestly, it's been decades since I've seen the movie, but I don't remember any actual plot connections to FORBIDDEN PLANET at all. They just recycled Robby in a completely different story.
I don't believe that the tape of the death experience qualifies as a McGuffin. It's more than just a motivation for the action in the second half of the film, whose nature is otherwise arbitrary.
Bridging what separates us, so that we can share each others' most personal experiences, is precisely what the film is about, and there is arguably nothing more personal than our own individual experience of death. That that would be the nature of the tape is really simply the film treating subject matter that is at the logical extreme of the premise of such a communications breakthrough.
Also, in order for it to represent an epic breakthrough, it has to treat something that is beyond science as we presently understand it. The point the film is making is that such a tool would give us the ability to treat scientifically that which we have so far in history only been able to treat religiously, capturing the religious in a scientific framework and producing mind-expanding and world-altering consequences. That point couldn't have been made as forcefully, were the tape not pertaining to death. The fact that Walken's character Brace experiences what looks pretty much exactly like a flock of angels ascending into Heaven at the climax makes that point as explicit as non-verbal communication gets in film.
That shot of the angels and the secondary close up of one constitute the climax of the film on every level, and it's really a remarkable visual effect. Change the nature of the tape, and you'd have a fundamentally different film.
An obscure (or possibly quite well-known, depending) bit of trivia: This is the film Lucas got the name "Wookiee" from. Los Angeles DJ/actor Terry McGovern (later to play Launchpad McQuack on DuckTales and Darkwing Duck) was recording voiceovers for the police chatter in the climactic chase sequence, and at one point he ad-libbed, "I just ran over a Wookiee" (or words to that effect). Lucas asked what a Wookiee was, and McGovern had no idea. But the name stuck with him.
Storywise, yes. The only connection is a throwaway line about Robbie having been brought back from the future by a time travel experiment. But it is from the same producer and screenwriter as Forbidden Planet and uses the same special effects team, and was made with the specific intent of giving Robbie a second starring vehicle. So it's a direct follow-up in a production sense, even though it couldn't be more different in tone and content.
Also, the invisibility element is apparently secondary; it's basically the story of a boy and his robot (or a robot and his boy) stopping an evil supercomputer from taking over the world. (The Terminator 2 of 1957?)
Okay, now I just have to see this for myself to refresh my memory.
You know, in all these years, I never noticed that Wookiee was spelled with two 'e's. Of course, what do you expect from a people who spell their planet with three 'y's.
As for The Invisible Boy, yeah, that's what I thought.
I Walked With a Zombie was pretty interesting. Definitely very unlike what we think of as a zombie film, and tending more toward thoughtful ambiguity than clear supernatural horror -- which makes it an interesting middle ground between Lewton's Cat People, in which the leading lady's were-cat nature was presented as pretty definitely real, and its followup Curse of the Cat People, in which the whole thing was pretty clearly in a child's imagination. Also, for its time, it's refreshingly non-racist. There is plenty of condescension toward Haitian beliefs from the white characters, but vodou culture is portrayed fairly realistically, the cruelty and consequences of slavery are addressed, and while the black characters are in traditional servant and exotic-other roles, they aren't played in a caricatured or demeaning way (a quality shared with the two Cat People films, each of which features a black actor from this film, Theresa Harris in the former and "Sir Lancelot" Pinard in the latter).
I found the ending rather abrupt. I guess the ambiguity of it was intentional, but it seemed to leave a lot of other stuff unsettled.
I'm willing to bet this will be the CGI-enhanced version. I will record it to make sure, but I think the original is being pretty effective suppressed.
I stumbled onto Spider Baby by accident one insomniac night and ordered the deluxe DVD the very next day . . . in part because TCM screwed up and didn't show the ending.
Let's hope they get it right this time.
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