Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Klaus, Sep 27, 2011.
I was like... WHAT?!
By the way, I really wish they'd come out with that app already.
Wait, the Running Man will be on Friday? What time?
Edit: Aw nuts, now I get what you mean. XD
I finally finished working my way through Nosferatu, which I've been watching in stages because I didn't find it engaging enough to watch straight through. Granted, I'm watching it through modern eyes, but it felt very awkward and broad to me, playing more like a comedy than a horror movie with the over-the-top hamming and mugging, the exaggerated makeup, the crude stop-motion animation that might've seemed scary at the time but felt more like something out of Sesame Street to my eyes, and so on. It didn't help that the actor playing the ineffectual hero reminded me of a cross between Harpo Marx and Bob Denver. (Although the leading lady was kind of striking.)
And the story structure was very awkward, with many important plot points just described in text narration rather than shown, and a seemingly arbitrary set of choices about what parts of the story to actually depict. Not to mention that most of what the two lead characters did in the course of the film was to read a book about vampires and react to what they read. I've never before seen a movie that was mainly told in prose.
It particularly bothered me that Orlok (or is it Nosferatu?) was able to have some kind of mystical influence on Hutter's wife and boss before he even came to Wisborg. The "Knock" character, who was the Renfield equivalent, never even met Nosferatu/Orlok at any point in the story. He just had this random parallel plot going on that had no direct bearing on the main story, such as it was. Plus the film made this big deal of playing up Professor Bulwer the Paracelsian and establishing his expertise in predatory plants and microbes, and then never really had that play a role in the story. Bulwer was summoned for the climax and was there in the closing scene, but didn't actually do anything.
Granted, this was an "Expressionist" film and was thus meant to be stylized, symbolic, and surreal, but some trace of plot coherence doesn't seem incompatible with that. I mean, Metropolis is Expressionist too, and it's a masterpiece. This is a mess.
Well, that's why we have Salems Lot. Nice nod to his character there.
All true. Also true is that the vampire's incarnation is an essential part of the movie. People always react differently but I think the vampire is one of the most original and effective presentations, in the same ball park as Chaney's Phantom of the Opera or Whale et al.'s Frankenstein monster. Like Dreyer's Vampyr, with it's scene of a man drowning in flour, a single image can be striking enough to compensate for many flaws.
Many of the flaws enumerated above also seem to stem from adapting Dracula without being able to actually use the book. I suppose that problem makes me look on the absurdities with a kindlier eye.
Here's the November schedule (not counting early morning on 11/1 which I listed last month as part of the Halloween marathon). Rather slimmer pickings this month, so I'm tossing in a few things that aren't quite SF/fantasy but might be of interest nonetheless.
11:15 AM: The Most Dangerous Game (1932): From the producers of King Kong and featuring that film's stars Fay Wray and Robert Armstrong.
6:45 AM: The Valley of Gwangi ('69): Cowboys and Harryhausen dinosaurs!
8:30 AM: 7 Faces of Dr. Lao ('64)
6:00 PM: Knights of the Round Table ('53): Arthurian movie with Ava Gardner and Mel Ferrer. No word on whether they eat ham and jam and spam a lot.
8:00 PM: Jaws ('75): Might be about a boat accident. Or maybe not.
12:45 AM: Enter the Dragon ('75): Bruce Lee classic.
9:45 PM: Dr. Strangelove ('64)
Noon: She ('65): H. Rider Haggard adaptation with Ursula Andress and Peter Cushing.
4:00 PM: Land of the Pharaohs ('55): Joan Collins in her Hollywood debut, playing the wife of the Pharaoh Khufu.
4:30 PM: Man in the Attic ('53): Jack the Ripper film with Jack Palance.
Midnight: Soylent Green ('73)
2:00 PM: The Thief of Bagdad ('40): Arabian Nights classic.
6:00 PM: The Adventures of Robin Hood ('38): The Errol Flynn original.
4:15 PM: The Phantom Tollbooth ('69): Chuck Jones's adaptation of Norton Juster's classic children's book.
6:00 PM: The Muppets Take Manhattan ('84)
8:00 PM: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang ('68)
10:30 PM: Doctor Dolittle ('67)
1:15 AM: The Incredible Mr. Limpet ('64): Don Knotts turns into a cartoon fish.
9:00 AM: Jason and the Argonauts ('63): Harryhausen!
2:30 AM: Topper ('37)
4:15 AM: Turnabout ('40): The body-swap comedy that was a loose inspiration for Star Trek's "Turnabout Intruder."
12:15 PM: 20 Million Miles to Earth ('57): More Harryhausen!
2:00 PM: The Time Machine ('60)
4:00 PM: The Golden Voyage of Sinbad ('73): Even more Harryhausen!
6:00 PM: The Jungle Book ('42): Live-action version with Sabu.
Looks like I'll have another chance to catch Horror Castle today.
And filmed at the same time, on many of the same sets. And, interestingly, it was available on home video years before King Kong was. It's a fantastic movie, despite the differences from the short story (Fay Wray is a difference that I won't complain about).
I don't think I've ever seen The Man In The Attic. I'll have to watch for that.
Great line in Horror Express.
man asks Cushing and Lee, "what if one of you two are the monster?"
Cushing deadpans back, "Monster? but we're British you know"
^^ My favorite is Cushing in At the Earth's Core: "You cannot mesmerize me, I'm British!"
http://www.badmovies.org/movies/earthcore/ Wav file #4
And almost without thinking about it, I riffed back, "Ah, the worst kind of monster!"
A few interesting things about that film... the Rasputin inspired monk looked amazingly like Anthony Ainley who played the Master in Doctor Who from 1981 to '89. The credits listed a very different actor. When Cushing and Lee decided to examine the eyes of every passenger to find the entity, I was reminded of the blood test in Campbell's "Who Goes There" which was finally and very creepily depicted in John Carpenter's "The Thing from Another World".
It was Howard Hawks and Christian Nyby's film that had that name. Carpenter's film was titled simply The Thing, or John Carpenter's The Thing.
Was anyone else thinking that Vin Diesel would have fit perfectly in Telly Savala's part?
Saw a movie today that fits in this thread. The Whisperer in Darkness, made in 2011. That's right, only 2 years ago. But it's a masterful job of recreating the style of science fiction/horror movies of the 30's. Not just the fact that it's filmed in black and white, but the lighting, camera shots and even the actors all look true to the period. Only a couple of video effects towards the end give it away (along with one anachronistic prop)
Based on the H.P. Lovecraft short story of the same name. I came upon the movie about 1/3 of the way through and had to double check the listing a couple times to make sure I was actually watching the right movie. A really excellent job.
If you enjoyed that movie, you should check out "Call of Cthulhu," also based on a H. P. Lovecraft story, that was made by the same group of people -- the HPL Historical Society.
The whole idea of the film was to make a Lovecraft adaptation as if it were being made while Lovecraft was still alive; namely, the early thirties or so and a time when the special effects work in King Kong was cutting edge.
The movie is a silent film that feels very authentic and the somewhat crude effects lend it a very vintage atmosphere. It is, without exception, the finest Lovecraft adaptation I have ever seen. Without prior knowledge of the production, an audience member could easily mistake this film for an actual movie from the silent film era.
Watching the trailer, The Call of Cthulhu looks like fun, but there's no way anyone with a discerning eye would mistake it for a film made during the silent era.
^^ Well, they're not trying to fool anyone. It's an homage to the era, like the films of Christopher Mihm.
I enthusiastically second that. I own both of those movies and love them. The HPLHS also makes "old-time radio" adaptations of Lovecraft's work, which are just as great. Check out their website.
sojourner, I'm psyched that this movie was shown on TV. What channel was it on?
I caught it on Chiller, one of NBC's family of channels, this past saturday during the afternoon.
Funny story, I had ordered "Whisperer" a week and a half before Halloween, hoping to get it by and watch it on that day. Well wouldn't you know it, my order got misplaced and I didn't get it by Halloween. Rather I contented myself to watching a marathon of Vincent Price movies on TCM, one of which was, ironically, a loose adaptation of Lovecraft's "The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward". A very loose adaptation, but still very enjoyable if you like the Poe movies with foggy graveyards and dungeons.
At any rate, I get the DVD the Monday after Halloween and while watching it, my buddy was like "I think this was on t.v. on Halloween" and I'm thinking he's just got this mixed up with any number of BW b-movies from the 30's-50's and I say "I'm sure they would've announced something like that on their website". The more we watch, the more he keeps saying "I'm pretty sure this is what I saw" and I keep saying that it surely would've been on the site.
So we get to the part where Wilmarth and the cult leader guy (can't remember his name right now) meet the other guy who says "I'm the last thing he should be afraid of" and my buddy's like "Yep, this is what I saw!" and I'm thinking "could it have been? Noooo...." So after the movie we do a search of his satellite channels and sure enough it shows up! I was like "Holy...shit! We could've watched this on Halloween, why didn't you get me?!"
Since the DVD was to be a surprise, he didn't know I ordered it, and he hadn't seen the trailer in some time so he had dismissed it when he saw it. Oh well, the movie was still fucking awesome and I think it was all around better than "Call Of C'thulu". No mean feat that, as that movie was indeed awesome itself!
As a silent film buff, I'd have to disagree, mainly due to the fact that "Call Of C'thulu" looks like it was shot on video more than film. Often times it has that "live" look, and Matt Foyer looks too modern in that film. But these are minor things and the movie is a DYI marvel of creativity.
Their audio's are top rate, and I just completed my collection by getting the most recent three, which are "Call Of C'thulu", "The Colour Out Of Space" and "The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward", all of which are simply amazing.
It was fun to see some of the faces from the audio's in "Whisperer", Matt Foyer, Barry Lynch and Mark Colson.
Matt Foyer was Olmstead in "Shadow Over Innsmouth", Barry Lynch was Zadok Allen in the same show, as well as Ami Pierce in "The Colour Out Of Space" and Pabodie in "At The Mountains Of Madness". Meanwhile Mark Colson was Wilbur Whately in "The Dunwich Horror" as well as Nahum Gardener in "The Colour Out Of Space".
The HPLHS are simply the last word when it comes to adapting Lovecraft. They just know how to capture the vibe perfectly, so much so that when they have to make the occasional modification, it fits in perfectly. I have to say that Miskatonic University as it appeared in "Whisperer" is pretty much exactly how I imagined it.
I keep getting tempted to write a star trek fan fic based on At The Mountains of Madness, call it At the Moons of Madness.
Ah, we don't get Chiller. I don't know why Comcast refuses to carry it. I asked, I get no answer.
Separate names with a comma.