Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Klaus, Sep 27, 2011.
I admit I was getting a bit nervous as the reel played on and he still hadn't been shown . . .
But I'm told that the music playing during the montage was actually from "Somewhere in Time," so I guess I didn't need to worry. (I didn't recognize it myself, but various others did.)
April offers slim pickings of mostly familiar films, but a couple of notable nights with a few interesting rarities:
9:45 PM: Sleeper (1973): Woody Allen cryogenic comedy.
3:00 AM: Soylent Green ('73)
6:00 PM: Forbidden Planet ('56)
8:00 PM: Field of Dreams ('89)
10:00 PM: Angels in the Outfield ('51)
Midnight: It Happens Every Spring ('49): "A scientist invents a baseball that can't be hit."
2:00 PM: Charly ('68)
4:00 PM: The Incredible Mr. Limpet ('64)
1:30 AM: Them! ('54): The giant-ants classic.
3:15 AM: The Cosmic Monsters ('58): Originally The Strange World of Planet X. British entry in the giant-arthropod genre. Starring Forrest Tucker.
4:45 AM: The Wasp Woman ('59): Roger Corman wasp-monster movie.
Midnight: Modern Times ('36): Chaplin film whose first act borders on sci-fi technocratic dystopia.
2:15 AM: The Adventures of Robin Hood ('38): Errol Flynn again.
4:15 AM: A Challenge for Robin Hood ('68): Starring Barrie Ingham.
Midnight: The Mysterious Island ('29): Lionel Barrymore as Captain Nemo. Despite the title, it's based on Nemo's backstory and is thus a prequel of sorts to 20,000 Leagues.
2:00 AM: Genocide ('68): Originally titled Konchû daisensô (War of the Insects). Japanese monster movie directed by Kazui Nihonmatsu, but apparently more serious than most from this era.
3:30 AM: The X from Outer Space ('67): The other of Nihonmatsu's only two feature films. Originally Uchuu daikaiju Girara, literally "Giant Space Monster Guilala."
9:00 AM: The Adventures of Robin Hood again.
3:45 AM: The Terror ('63): Roger Corman horror with Boris Karloff, Jack Nicholson, and Dick Miller.
6:00 AM: Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine ('65): Vincent Price slumming.
Some less familiar offerings is good. Would Modern Times be considered steampunk?
I'm wary about applying such labels retroactively. There's a difference in intent between a futurist work that was actually produced in the past based on the assumptions of the time and a modern work that consciously embraces a nostalgic, anachronistic vision of the future or of a conjectural alternate past.
I agree, it was just a joke as I had hoped the would suggest.
I just got genre whiplash, by switching from BBC America [TNG] to TCM [Soylent Green].
Can't go too much further than that on TV lol... and I got Celia Lovsky in SG right away to boot, a nice bonus!
While sprawled on the couch yesterday morning following a molar extraction, I caught the silent version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde on TCM. It was really very good. It also occurred to me, since I was mildly stoned on pain killers at the time, that my version of Mr. Hyde is a lot more boring than Dr. Jekyll's-- more like a Mr. Hippie.
I saw Charly last year. It's pretty good. It's about a mentally and emotionally stunted man who undergoes treatment to make him smarter and he ends up becoming super intelligent. It stars Cliff Robertson who won an Academy Award for Best Actor because of this role. This movie was remade in 2000 as Flowers For Algernon and starred Matthew Modine. Both movies are based on the novel Flowers For Algernon.
Update: Apparently, due to Mickey Rooney's recent passing, the schedule for this coming Sunday night through Monday early morning (4/13-4/14) has been changed, with The Mysterious Island, Genocide, and The X From Outer Space no longer on the schedule for the month -- or indeed for the next three months. Which is too bad, because I was interested in both of the Japanese films.
The only thing that counts as a genre title in the replacement schedule is the 1935 A Midsummer Night's Dream (with Rooney as Puck), which airs at 4:30 AM on Monday 4/14.
^ ach, I wanted to see those as well
The Cosmic Monsters (or The Cosmic Monster as the title card would have it) reminded me of Devil Girl From Mars in that a lot of the action takes place in those plain English village pubs that seem like nothing but wood and a little booze. I don't know if there are any shots where the oversized insects actually interact with the cast.
I found The Wasp Woman more watchable than it had any right to be but it's filmed real slick and Susan Cabot keeps your attention and it's as much soap as horror. I know Invasion of the Bee Girls was inspired by it but after seeing it I think that Catwoman was as well.
What version of Catwoman do you mean? The Wasp Woman was a 1959 film, and the character of Catwoman debuted in the comics in 1940 (although she wasn't revealed as Selina Kyle until 1950). Are you referring to the TV Catwoman specifically?
^ Sorry, I meant the Halle Berry film not the character. I haven't seen it in a long time but the story of the cosmetics company and the Sharon Stone character seem to have roots in The Wasp Woman.
Finally got around to seeing The Cosmic Monster(s) and The Wasp Woman. TCM (hey, it has the same initials as the network!) was kind of a mess. It was like it was edited down from a longer, more coherent film. We'd get a split-second glimpse of something happening (like the assistant being injured or the UFO crash) and then have to rely on later dialogue to gradually fill us in on what was supposed to have happened. Plus I couldn't get invested in the romantic triangle involving three of the least attractive or charismatic romantic leads ever. Not to mention the really terrible special effects of the giant insects -- they didn't even bother to slow down the footage, or to hide a blatant jump cut in the film running on the rear-projection screen that the leading lady was cowering in terror from. Oh yeah, and then there was the randomly evil portrayal of the lead scientist. Not a lot of thought put into that.
Although there was some decently researched science in the discussion about the Earth's magnetic field and cosmic rays. And I liked how they got help from a benevolent alien who called himself Smith -- one could almost imagine he was some future incarnation of the Doctor, although he had a slightly sinister air that made him seem more like a reformed incarnation of the Master.
The Wasp Woman was a lot more fun. The cast and characters were appealing, there were a lot of fun lines and character beats in the script, and it was kind of nice that most everyone in the movie meant well or at least had sympathetic motives -- although it was unclear just how Janice's personality had changed, or how much, and whether she'd simply become evil or was horrified at what her alter ego had done but was terrified of being exposed. Also the actress was too slight to be credible as a physical threat, although I guess maybe her build was appropriate for a Wasp Woman. Anyway, I thought Corman did a good job directing, both with the actors and stylistically.
Although throughout the film I couldn't help thinking, "Hey, Janice, if you're concerned about not looking old, you really ought to stop smoking."
2:00 AM: Mad Max ('79): Debut of Mel Gibson's post-apocalyptic character.
6:30 AM: The Satan Bug ('65): Bioweapons thriller that I vaguely remember seeing the last time they showed it.
6:15 AM: UFO ('56): AKA Unidentified Flying Objects: The True Story of Flying Saucers. Apparently this is a half-documentary, half-dramatization about the early years of government research into the UFO claims that spread through the public in the late '40s and early '50s, made during the time. It sounds like sort of an ancestor of Jack Webb's Project U.F.O. TV series from the '70s. Might be an interesting historical artifact.
1:00 PM: A Thousand and One Nights ('45): Despite the name, it's strictly a comedy version of Aladdin (which isn't actually part of the original Nights but was a separate folk tale interpolated by a French translator in the 1700s). Similar to the Disney version in having comic-relief characters making anachronistic pop-culture references, but with a hot female genie played by Evelyn Keyes and a comic sidekick played by Phil Silvers (with Cornel Wilde as Aladdin).
4:00 PM: Our Man Flint ('66): James Coburn Bond parody about a secret agent battling weather-controlling villains.
3:45 AM: Hausu (or House) ('77): Bizarre Japanese haunted-house horror film.
3:00 AM: Little Shop of Horrors ('60): Original Roger Corman version.
SAT 5/17-SUN 5/18: Horror marathon:
8:00 PM: The Haunting ('63): Robert Wise haunted-house film.
10:00 PM: The Legend of Hell House ('73): With Roddy McDowall and Clive Revill.
11:45 PM: Poltergeist ('82)
2:00 AM: Death by Invitation ('71): Entry in the "reincarnated witch avenging the descendants of those who burned her at the stake" genre.
3:30 AM: Burn, Witch, Burn ('62): AKA Night of the Eagle -- Charles Beaumont/Richard Matheson adaptation of Fritz Leiber's witchcraft novel Conjure Wife.
10:00 AM: Brigadoon ('54)
TUE 5/20: Another horror marathon!
Midnight: The Doctor and the Devils ('85): Grave-robbers film with Timothy Dalton, Jonathan Pryce, and Patrick Stewart!!
1:45 AM: The Curse of Frankenstein ('57): First in Hammer's Frankenstein series.
3:15 AM: Mr. Sardonicus ('61)
4:45 AM: The Haunted Palace ('63): Corman film with Vincent Price and Lon Chaney, Jr.
6:30 AM: Metropolis ('26): Apparently the full 2010 restoration.
2:15 PM: Helen of Troy ('56): Robert Wise does the Trojan War.
4:30 PM: World Without End ('55): Post-apocalyptic/time warp film that's shown up in this thread before.
6:00 PM: From the Earth to the Moon ('58): Jules Verne adaptation with Joseph Cotten and George Sanders.
Thanks as usual for posting that. A few annotations:
The Legend of Hell House is, of course, based on the novel Hell House by Richard Matheson. Not to confused with The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, which was the basis for The Haunting. Got that?
The Haunted Palace is a funny case. Although it was sold as a Poe movie, and the title comes from a poem by Poe, it's actually an adaptation of a Lovecraft story, "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward." Complete with the Necronomicon, Elder Gods, etc.
And Hausu is indeed truly bizarre and worth checking out if you've never seen it before.
Finally, I admit I'm surprised and a bit disappointed that TCM didn't schedule a Godzilla marathon to coincide with the new movie.
Greg, succinctly stated.
Well, at least I have the original "Gojira" with subtitles stored on my DVR from the last time TCM presented it.
Not always a guarantee. Not long ago, my DVR started failing and the cable tech replaced it, but apparently there's no way to copy saved programs from one DVR onto another, so I lost everything I had stored on it.
That happened to me once.
Don't listen to 'em, Bill, they're just jealous.
Separate names with a comma.