Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Klaus, Sep 27, 2011.
You guys are a tough crowd. You don't remember this?
I'm relieved to find out that I haven't been relentlessly plugging Matheson in vain.
Well, it's a minor story, but nice. In the early 80s, I was (of course) an avid reader of Twilight Zone magazine. They did an interview with Matheson and in it he talked about the unproduced third Kolchak movie, Night Killers. Being young and impetuous, I sent him off a letter in care of the magazine, asking if he had any remaining copies he'd be willing to sell. I never expected to get a reply. In short order, though, I received a very nice letter back, explaining that he's a working writer and once he's done with a project he just moves right on to the next, and if he did have a copy he didn't have time to search for it. He also included a compliment to TZ magazine. I was quite happy that he had been nice enough to reply and I still have the letter.
And, of course, I now have a hardcover edition of all three scripts (which set me back $150), which I found out after I received it is a signed and numbered edition. Although there's one page missing from Night Killers....
The dirty secret? Greg wrote that letter.
Looks like The Last Man on Earth airs this Halloween on TCM. My favorite of the three versions and probably my favorite Price movie. So between Last Man, Omega Man and Will Smith what's your favorite?
I recorded Last Man many moons ago and set the VCR to record it with time to spare but a live event ran long and my Mom and I watched it only to have the ending missing and it took *years* to find again. And now it's frickin' everywhere, cable, DVD, Netflix!
^^ Yeah, I've had that experience with quite a few things.
I haven't seen the Will Smith version of LMOE yet. It's hard to say which of the other versions is my favorite, since they're so different. I saw Omega Man first and I liked it a lot. Stylistically, I like the Vincent Price version better and, overall, I like Price better than Heston. I guess it's a toss up.
Matheson's original novel was called I Am Legend, not The Last Man on Earth. The Smith movie is the only adaptation that didn't change the title, although it apparently changed a whole lot else, including the ending.
The ending change pissed me off... And the scene w/the dog almost made me leave the theater, even if it did make sense.
I have the Price version on the hard drive, gotta get to watching it. I saw Omega Man back in the day but not since... I recall mainly laughing at Heston.
^^ Well, Omega Man was certainly contemporary-- but I suppose they all were.
Yeah, I've got the book. I had so little interest in the Will Smith version that I wasn't even aware of the title.
I saw The Last Man on Earth a few months ago and enjoyed it quite a bit. I loved how he'd go to sleep at night on his couch with the zombies banging at his door moaning "Morgan! Come out! Come Ouuuuuut Morgan! Morrrrrgaaaan! We are going to kill you! Do you hear, Morgan?" Gripping and a little campy. Good stuff. Here's the whole movie...
I haven't seen The Omega Man, but I'd like to.
The Last Man On Earth is also currently streaming on Netflix.
The Omega Man is terrible. It doesn't even come close to either of Heston's other sf offerings of the same period (Planet of the Apes; Soylent Green). I'm surprised that it gets so much praise online.
Sunday 10/28 1100 PM
First Men in the Moon 
And here's the trailer they're showing, a classic in it itself...
"Filmed in Dynavision, the miracle of the screen!"
^^ First Men In The Moon is a fantastic picture.
I don't think Omega Man is terrible at all. It doesn't compare favorably to Planet of the Apes, but not much does. I think it compares favorably to Soylent Green, which, aside from its classic punchline, is kind of tedious and awkwardly directed.
Here's TCM's Halloween Marathon schedule:
6:30 AM - London After Midnight (1927)
7:30 AM - The Ghoul (1933)
9:00 AM - House Of Dark Shadows (1970)
11:00 AM - Repulsion (1965)
1:00 PM - Dementia 13 (1963)
2:30 PM - Last Man On Earth (1964)
4:00 PM - Devil Bat (1940)
5:15 PM - White Zombie (1932)
6:30 PM - Body Snatcher (1945)
8:00 PM - Frankenstein (1931)
9:30 PM - Son Of Frankenstein (1939)
11:15 PM - Wolf Man (1941)
12:30 AM - Mummy (1932)
2:00 AM - Mummy's Hand (1940)
3:15 AM - Island of Lost Souls (1933)
4:30 AM - Invisible Man (1933)
Some great stuff. Only two I'm not familiar with: Repulsion and London After Midnight, which is a lost silent film, reconstructed here from stills-- that should be interesting.
They're skipping "Bride of Frankenstein"?! "Son of Frankenstein" is by far the weakest of the first three, effectively negating the character development of Karloff's Creature seen in the second. (Funny, that seems very much like the situation with "Alien 3", all Ripley's efforts to save Newt, Hicks and Bishop...all for nothing with the opening of the third installment.)
No matter, alas. With my cousin's arrival this evening, it'll be either cooking shows or NCIS playing.
Actually, I was familiar with Repulsion, after all. Strange choice for Halloween. It's more of an art film than a horror film.
Bride of Frankenstein is certainly the best, but it gets played to death. I've heard good things about the third film, but never had the chance to see it. (It is on Netflix streaming at the moment, though).
SON is the least of the three Karloff films, but Bela Lugosi as Ygor makes it worth watching.
I tuned in just in time to catch some little boy with Little Orphan Annie's hair reciting lines terribly. I couldn't continue.
I've only seen the original movie, parts of some of the later ones, and the Abbott and Costello flick. I need to go back and study these movies more closely when I've got the chance — but in the last year I've been realizing just how many of the popular Frankenstein cliches are either mixed-up or just plain wrong. Aside from the part about how Frankenstein isn't the creature's name.
In the cliche version, you've got a mad scientist, Victor Frankenstein, who talks in a lugubrious voice, has a hunchbacked assistant named Igor, and who creates a monster who walks as though he can't bend his knees or elbows. The Victor thing I can forgive, since that was his name in the original book. The cliche of Igor is somewhat understandable if the characters of Fritz and Ygor (who I guess shows up in several later movies) have been blurred together.
Now-- my understanding is that the "Frankenstein walk" originates in one of the movies where the monster is rendered blind and has to feel his way around — is that right?
But what about the lugubrious voice, like the rendition that Bobby Pickett gives us in "The Monster Mash"? It's almost iconic, but Colin Clive's delivery isn't anything like that. Where did that come from?
What other Frankenstein cliches are all wrong?
Actually the voice Pickett used in "Monster Mash" was an impersonation of Boris Karloff's real speaking voice.
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