TCM Genre movies schedule...

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Klaus, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

    May 12, 2004
    Lancaster, PA
    Not as bad as The Haunted Palace, which takes its title from an Edgar Allan Poe poem, and was sold as yet another Poe movie starring Vincent Price, despite being actually based on "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward" by H.P. Lovecraft!

    The sole Poe connection consists of Price reciting bits of the poem over the opening credits!
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    ^Hm, and critics complained that World War Z had nothing to do with the book...
  3. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

    May 12, 2004
    Lancaster, PA
    Don't get me started on The Conqueror Worm, where they literally tacked a Poe title onto an unrelated British horror film originally titled Witchfinder General--and pulled the same trick of having Price read the Poe poem over the opening credits to justify the title change!

    Even still, "Edgar Allan Poe's THE HAUNTED PALACE" (based on a story by H. P. Lovecraft) is hard to top.

    Although, I suppose, there's also BLADE RUNNER, which took the title of a completely unrelated novel by Alan Nourse and slapped it onto a movie version of Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

    Imagine if World War Z had actually turned out to be an adaptation of a completely different zombie book! :)
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2013
  4. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

    Sep 4, 2008
    Just around the bend.
    Then there was the TV series of Total Recall, which had more in common with the movie Blade Runner than either the movie version of Total Recall or the book.
  5. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

    May 12, 2004
    Lancaster, PA
    I remember reading the script for that and thinking the same thing. Never actually saw the show.
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    Yeah, I still don't get why they did that. The term "blade runner" doesn't even fit Deckard's job, since it's not like he uses a blade.

    I think Total Recall 2070 was meant to be based on both movies, and Dick's ouvre in general. True, it was definitely closer to Blade Runner, but TR was the more recent, higher-profile movie.
  7. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

    Jun 9, 2001
    Mr. Adventure
    And just to bring it around full circle, Total Recall was retitled from "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale".
  8. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

    May 12, 2004
    Lancaster, PA
    Which clearly needs to be the title of a movie based on another book! :)
  9. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

    Jun 9, 2001
    Mr. Adventure
    Ah, yeah, I upset the pattern didn't I since Total Recall wasn't the title of some other work.
  10. Silvercrest

    Silvercrest Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Oct 4, 2003
    I need to look up "The Bladerunner" one of these days. My mother used to babysit for Alan Nourse way back when.
  11. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Mar 22, 2010
    I think there was a character called bladerunner on Mad Max...I may be mistaken
  12. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

    Jun 9, 2001
    Mr. Adventure
    ^^ Are you thinking of The Night Rider?
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    I decided to DVR Total Recall, which I haven't seen in many years. I came to find the violence distasteful for a while, but it's been long enough that I decided to take a fresh look. It actually holds up better than I remembered; gratuitous violence aside, it's an effective thriller that gives you some things to think about, and its visual effects were really cutting-edge stuff for the day, just before CGI started taking over everything. They had extensive computer assistance with the motion-control cameras and animatronics, but what we saw onscreen was all real physical models and puppets and conventional animation, except for the CGI "x-ray" skeletons at the subway checkpoint. And the FX really hold up extremely well; they did things with miniatures and animatronics that were on a par with a lot of modern CG.

    Although I can't say the designs hold up as well. It's hilarious to me how people in the '90s assumed that telephones would get bigger in the future. In this movie, Back to the Future Part II, and "Lisa's Wedding" on The Simpsons, futuristic phones were these massive wall- or table-mounted units with screens and elaborate controls. And the playback unit for Hauser's message to Quaid was this big briefcase. And this is supposed to be 71 years from now, IIRC.

    Of course, the big question in this film is, are Quaid's experiences real or hallucinated? Here are my thoughts, spoiler-boxed for length:
    I prefer to think it's all a delusion. For one thing, the depiction of Mars is completely absurd, as is much of the storyline. The whole ice-core/instant-atmosphere thing is totally insane. Also, everything is foreshadowed. Not only does everything happen exactly as the Rekall personnel predict, but we see Melina's face and the alien reactor on Rekall's screens as they're programming the simulation.

    The main argument against this position is that we see scenes that aren't from Quaid's POV, and thus couldn't be part of a memory-implant illusion. But to me, the key is what Roy Brocksmith's character tells Quaid in the hotel room: that what he's experiencing isn't the programmed vacation package, but a free-form delusion his mind is manufacturing based on that implant. So if he's suffering a paranoid delusion, then the scenes that take place in Quaid's absence could represent what his paranoid mind believes is going on behind his back -- his wife betraying him, a murderous enemy pursuing him and being given marching orders by the dictator of Mars, etc.

    The tricky part there is the scene in Rekall where McClane is alerted to the crisis and is told by his assistant that she hasn't begun the spy implant yet. If Quaid doesn't remember this afterward, how can it be part of his implant? It's possible that it only mostly happened, that what we saw was partly filtered through his psychosis, so the assistant didn't really say she hadn't implanted the spy program. Or maybe it was all part of his delusion. Dreams often contradict themselves, so experiencing something in a dream and then not remembering it, or acting as though one doesn't remember it, is something that could happen in a dream or delusion.

    The remaining paradox is how he could've seen Melina's face in his dreams before selecting it at Rekall, if she wasn't real. But our memories of our dreams are imperfect, and we can edit them in retrospect. Maybe the face he saw in his dreams was just similar to the one he selected at Rekall and he convinced himself it was the same. Or maybe she was a live model whose face he'd seen in ads and who'd also licensed her likeness to Rekall.

    Now, does the alternative interpretation work? Setting aside the inanity of the science and the absurdity of the action and plotting, is there any way this could all be real? The hangup there is what we saw at Rekall before the implant. How could they have an image of Melina and classified imagery of the Martian reactor? I wondered if maybe that was part of the plan to trigger Hauser's memories so he'd go after Kuato, but then I remembered Cohaagen saying that Quaid had screwed up the plan by going to Rekall and triggering his memories prematurely. So that doesn't work. As for the imagery, maybe someone smuggled out images of the reactor but they were discredited and publicly interpreted as a hoax, and Rekall just copied them off the internet. And maybe Melina did some modeling once upon a time?

    Either way, it's a bit of a stretch, but I think it's less of a stretch all around to assume it was imaginary -- that this wasn't a story of a hero saving Mars, but just a tragedy of an ordinary(ish) construction worker suffering a Rekall-induced psychotic break from which he probably never recovered. Which is pretty dark, but it seems more likely to be the truth. Although it does leave the lingering question of why Quaid got so obsessed with Mars and this dream woman. But I guess he could've just been tired of his life and experiencing the seven-year itch a year late.

    Granted, the whole point is that there is no obvious right answer to whether it's real or imagined, and either interpretation has its problems. But I have my preference, so there it is.
  14. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

    Jun 9, 2001
    Mr. Adventure
    That Valley of the Dragons was pretty terrible and was really screaming out to be in color (though prob would've interfered with the stock footage). Though as Christopher mentioned, that bikini top during the swimming sequence was rather eye-opening.
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    I watched The Satan Bug, but it wasn't very interesting. There were a few glimpses of familiar faces, like John Anderson, Ed Asner, Simon Oakland, and the guy who played Sgt. Carter on Gomer Pyle, plus a nonspeaking appearance by James Doohan as an ill-fated federal agent. But Anne Francis was essentially wasted as a character who had little reason to be there except to provide some vague, tacked-on romantic interest and be an audience for the hero's exposition in a couple of scenes. The story barely qualified as science fiction and was really more of a Cold War thriller, though not particularly thrilling. The first half was more of a mystery story, and I figured out who the culprit was pretty early, and then the film just kind of casually let the audience know that person was the culprit rather than making a big reveal, so that was kind of awkward. The main point of interest was a Jerry Goldsmith score, but this was from early in his career and wasn't one of his more noteworthy works.
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    Time for October, which unsurprisingly features a whole bunch of horror films:

    TUE 10/1
    Noon: The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (1962): George Pal Puppetoons!

    WED 10/2
    8:00 PM: Doctor Dolittle ('67)

    FRI 10/4
    8:00 PM: Carnival of Souls ('62): "New Wave" horror picture.
    9:30 PM: Night of the Living Dead ('68)

    SAT 10/5
    1:30 AM: Bride of Frankenstein ('35)
    3:00 AM: Frankenstein Created Woman ('67): Hammer horror with Peter Cushing.
    4:45 AM: The Wasp Woman ('59): Roger Corman horror film.
    6:30 AM: Captain Nemo and the Underwater City ('69, though TCM site says '70): Low-budget British film written by Pip and Jane Baker, who would later do some mediocre Doctor Who serials in the '80s. With Chuck Connors.
    10:30 AM: The Gorgon ('64): Another Hammer film with Cushing and Christopher Lee.
    Noon: The Devil's Bride ('68): Hammer Satanism film with Lee.

    SUN 10/6
    2:00 AM: Billy the Kid Vs. Dracula ('66): So, this exists. John Carradine plays Dracula.
    3:15 AM: Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter ('66): Annnd... so does this. These two movies were released as a double feature.
    4:45 AM: Destination Earth ('56): Less interesting than it sounds -- a promotional cartoon for the oil industry, about a Martian coming to Earth to study American prosperity.
    3:45 PM: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang ('68)

    TUE 10/8
    1:00 AM: Throne of Blood ('57): Akira Kurosawa's Macbeth adaptation. I'm counting it as genre because it has a spirit in it, but mainly because it sounds interesting.

    FRI 10/11
    3:00 AM: Son of Sinbad ('55): Arabian Nights movie with Vincent Price. Hardly any fantasy elements, judging from the Wikipedia entry, but Sinbad is a fantasy character, and, heck, so is Vincent Price, so I'm counting it.
    8:00 PM: Horror of Dracula ('58): The first Lee/Cushing Hammer Dracula film.
    9:30 PM: Isle of the Dead ('45): Boris Karloff vampire movie. With Alan Napier.
    11:00 PM: Dead of Night ('45): British horror-anthology film with Michael Redgrave. The restored full-length version.

    SAT 10/12
    1:00 AM: The Haunting ('63): Robert Wise haunted-house classic.
    3:00 AM: The House of Seven Corpses ('74): What I suspect is a less classic haunted-house movie.
    4:30 AM: Horror Castle ('63): Italian Gothic horror with Christopher Lee. Doesn't seem to have supernatural elements.
    Noon: The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll ('61): Hammer takes on Dr. Jekyll. With Lee.
    4:30 PM: It Came From Outer Space ('53): Jack Arnold/Ray Bradbury classic.
    6:00 PM: The World, the Flesh, and the Devil ('59): Post-apocalyptic tale with Harry Belafonte.

    MON 10/14
    Midnight: Nosferatu ('22): The silent classic.
    2:00 AM: Vampyr ('32): Another German vampire film, this one with sound.
    3:15 AM: The Vampire Bat ('33): Sensing a theme here. Fay Wray is in this one.
    4:30 AM: The Vampire ('57): I never would've guessed. Mad-science take on vampires, with Kenneth Tobey.

    WED 10/16
    5:45 PM: The Manchurian Candidate ('62): Borderline genre at best, but what the hey.

    THU 10/17
    9:45 PM: The Story of Mankind ('57): TCM's shown this before. Irwin Allen "epic" with all-star cast recapping human history.

    FRI 10/18
    1:30 AM: Master of the World ('61): Vincent Price as Jules Verne's Robur.
    8:00 PM: Burn, Witch, Burn ('62): Been shown before, I'm sure.
    9:45 PM: The Tomb of Ligeia ('64): Last of Roger Corman and Vincent Price's Poe adaptations.
    11:15 PM: The Seventh Victim ('43): Satanist horror, directed by Val Lewton.

    SAT 10/19
    12:30 AM: Curse of the Demon ('58): Another Satanic-cult movie, directed by Jacques Tourneur.
    2:15 AM: I Walked With a Zombie ('43): Another Tourneur film -- note that it's a voodoo-style zombie movie, not the later Romero-style.
    3:30 AM: The Leopard Man ('43): More Tourneur, a serial-killer film.
    6:00 AM: The Mask of Fu Manchu ('32): Can even Boris Karloff make a Yellow Peril film worth watching?
    10:30 AM: The Devil's Own ('66): Black magic in England, with Joan Fontaine.
    12:15 PM: The Plague of the Zombies ('66)
    6:15 PM: Dr. Strangelove ('64)
    8:00 PM: Freaks ('32): Tod Browning's controversial film.
    9:15 PM: Mark of the Vampire ('35): Browning directs Lionel Barrymore and Lugosi.
    10:30 PM: The Devil Doll ('36): More Browning, as Barrymore shrinks people. With Maureen O'Sullivan!

    SUN 10/20
    1:15 AM: London After Midnight ('27): The silent Tod Browning film which he remade as Mark of the Vampire (above). With Lon Chaney.
    2:15 AM: Incubus ('66): William Shatner speaks Esperanto! Yes, they're actually showing this!
    3:45 AM: The Hypnotic Eye ('60): Mesmeric horror.
    5:15 AM: Rosie ('60): This is weird -- a failed sitcom pilot about a talking dog.

    MON 10/21
    4:30 PM: King Solomon's Mines ('50)
    6:15 PM: Eye of the Devil ('66): Occult-themed British film with Deborah Kerr and David Niven.

    TUE 10/22
    4:30 PM: A Place of One's Own ('45): Haunted-house film with James Mason.

    THU 10/24
    Vincent Price marathon:
    8:00 PM: House of Wax ('53)
    9:45 PM: The Mad Magician ('54)
    11:00 PM: House of Usher ('60): First Corman Poe film.

    FRI 10/25
    Price marathon continues:
    12:30 AM: Diary of a Madman ('63)
    2:15 AM: The Tingler ('59)
    3:45 AM: House on Haunted Hill ('59)
    5:15 AM: The Bat ('59)
    6:45 AM: Tower of London ('62)
    8:15 AM: The Raven ('63): Another Corman Poe film, with Peter Lorre and Karloff.
    And later in the evening:
    6:30 PM: The Walking Dead ('36): Karloff film from the director of Casablanca.
    8:00 PM: A Bucket of Blood ('59): Corman film with Dick Miller.
    9:15 PM: Dementia 13 ('63): Francis Ford Coppola's first mainstream film, starring William Campbell.

    SAT 10/26
    I'm leaving out a few non-SF/supernatural thrillers airing overnight.
    4:30 AM: Village of the Damned ('61)
    8:00 PM: Bride of Frankenstein ('35) again.
    9:30 PM: The Mummy ('32)
    11:00 PM: Cat People ('42): Val Lewton/Jacques Tourneur classic.

    SUN 10/27
    12:30 AM: White Zombie ('32): With Lugosi.
    2:00 AM: Psychomania ('73): Another British Satanism film.
    3:30 AM: The Witches ('66): This is the exact same film as The Devil's Own from Saturday the 19th, but it's listed under its UK title here for some reason.
    4:15 PM: Children of the Damned ('64): Sequel to Village of...
    6:00 PM: Them! ('54): Debut of the giant-radioactive-insects genre.

    THU 10/31
    Midnight: Freaks ('32) again
    Then a Christopher Lee marathon, mostly Hammer films:
    6:00 AM: The Curse of Frankenstein ('57)
    7:30 AM: The Mummy ('59)
    9:00 AM: Horror Castle ('63) again
    10:30 AM: Castle of the Living Dead ('64)
    12:15 PM: Dracula, Prince of Darkness ('65)
    1:45 PM: The Devil's Bride ('68) again
    3:45 PM: Dracula Has Risen From the Grave ('69): Yeah, he does that.
    5:30 PM: Horror Express ('72)
    Then an interlude and another Vincent Price marathon:
    8:00 PM: The Pit and the Pendulum ('61): Corman/Poe
    9:30 PM: The Haunted Palace ('63): This is the one Greg Cox mentioned that's billed as a Poe film but is really based on an H.P. Lovecraft story.
    11:15 PM: The Masque of the Red Death ('64): Corman/Poe

    FRI 11/1
    Marathon continues:
    1:00 AM: The Abominable Dr. Phibes ('71)
    2:45 AM: Twice-Told Tales ('63): Collection of Nathaniel Hawthorne stories.
    5:00 AM: The Tomb of Ligeia ('64) again
    6:30 AM: The Conqueror Worm ('68): Despite the Poe title, actually a British film called Witchfinder General.
    8:15 AM: Theatre of Blood ('73)
  17. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

    Sep 4, 2008
    Just around the bend.
    I know it's the wrong month to hope for it, but I wish they would do When Worlds Collide.
  18. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

    May 12, 2004
    Lancaster, PA
    Thanks for posting all that, Christopher! A few observations:

    I can't resist pointing out that The Devil's Bride, Burn Witch Burn, Master of the World, House of Usher, The Pit and the Pendulum, and The Raven were all scripted by the late Richard Matheson.

    The House of Seven Corpses: Yeah, much less classic than The Haunting. Trust me on this. I wasn't able to sit through it, and I have a huge tolerance for old horror movies.

    London After Midnight: Since this film is sadly lost, I'm guessing this is the "recreation" TCM aired a few years back. It's not the actual movie, but an attempt to recreate the movie using the surviving still photos and title cards.

    The Mask of Fu Manchu: This is actually pulpy fun, and Myrna Loy is memorable as Fu's sexually depraved daughter---IF you can overlook the jaw-dropping racism. ("We will destroy the white man and take his women!") I understand that's a very big If.

    Lots of good stuff, although pretty much the same mix TCM has been showing for the last few Octobers, so I've seen most of these before. But the Val Lewton stuff is always worth rewatching, and I've always had a weakness for Hammer horror.
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    ^After having sat through the first two Weissmuller Tarzan movies this past month, I think I've had my fill of '30s cinematic racism for a while.
  20. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

    May 12, 2004
    Lancaster, PA
    Fair enough. I confess I loved Mask of Fu Manchu as a kid, but was squirming uncomfortably the last time I rewatched it.

    Meanwhile, I should mention that Burn Witch Burn is actually an adaptation of the novel Conjure Wife by Fritz Leiber, and NOT the novel Burn Witch Burn by A. Merritt.

    (Another Blade Runner type situation?)
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2013