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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Saturday Night at the Movies 8/30/14!

Who cares what picture we see?



Herve Villechaise wouldn't - but let's not hold it against him while we make this tonight's choice:








Despite a long list of positive elements - this 007 movie has always stood out as one of the weakest - and it's one of only two Bond movies to make the mistake of being very topical for the time they were made - this movie keeps mentioning the Energy Crisis - something that hogties it to 1974. (The other is The World is Not Enough's mention of the Millenium Bug.)



The positive elements - Roger Moore. Christopher Lee. A fine supporting cast. Beautiful locations and wild production design. The Golden Gun prop. The single greatest stunt in the series history (the 360 degree car flip).



But countering that - M seems to hate 007 in their scenes together. The film looks kind of cheap despite a good budget. Scaramanga lives on a island with a huge power plant - and one worker. They ruin that greatest stunt with a stupid slide whistle sound effect. It's pretty sexist - even for a James Bond movie. It also tries to make Roger Moore into Sean Connery - slapping Andrea (Maud Adams) and threatening to break her arm - scenes Moore is plainly uncomfortable with - and that extends to the audience, then and now. Finally, they bring back Sheriff J.W. Pepper from the previous movie, expecting us to buy the Louisiana sheriff in Thailand on vacation.



I think this movie's problems stem from one direct source: by this time the relationship between the producing team of Albert R. "Cubby" Broccoli and Harry Saltzman had deteriorated so much that they were actually alternating producing the movies. After Cubby handled Live and Let Die, Harry was up to take care of Golden Gun. And I think we see where the strengths in the partnership lay - that is, entirely in the hands of Cubby Broccoli. Harry made some good movies away from Bond - the Harry Palmer movies are fine - but he couldn't make it work in the world of Ian Fleming's superspy.



Now, all that crabbing aside - even the weakest Bond movie is still a three star flick - so this is a perfectly watchable movie - and I'm always happy to sit down with it - even tonight - if you want to come back home from your vacation in Thailand and watch it with me.





Until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Golden Gun, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Celebrity Endorsement: Tom Savini!


I first encountered Tom Savini's amazing makeup effects when I saw Friday the 13th in the theater. I learned his name reading about that movie, and I was excited to see other movies he worked on, like Dawn of the Dead and Creepshow.









I actually met the man in Chicago right after Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter came out.










We met back up this year in Charlotte, NC - and Tom Savini reveals that he knows all about good blogging:












Thanks a lot, Mr. Savini! Looking forward to our traditional 30 year reunion in 2044!













Until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Maniacal Movie Poster Monday #178!



The Changeling  (Associated Film Distribution, 1980)


This is a corker ghost story - a tale well told. I haven't seen it in a very long time - I want to see it again soon.











The Scarlet Clue  (Monogram Pictures, 1945)


The Charlie Chan movies had definitely taken a step or two down the quality ladder by the time Monogram got ahold of them. But you still have Sidney Toler - along with Benson Fong and Mantan Moreland - so it's still watchable.















Frankenhooker  (Shapiro Glickenhaus Entertainment, 1990)

A wonderfully crazy horror comedy with a young man trying to get his girlfriend back together after a horrifying lawn mower accident. Things do not go well. Highly recommended for those so inclined.










Until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Saturday Night at the Movies 8/23/14!

Who cares what picture we see?


Camilla Sparv would if you looked her in the eyes when you asked, so tonight it shall be...








I've never seen this flick - it was never available at any of my many video stores over the years - but it looks like good silly fun - and it's on DVD in the video vault - so we could be checking it out together any time - even this very evening - if you wanted to head over this way!








Until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Maniacal Movie Poster Monday #177!








The Disco Exorcist  (Scorpio Film Releasing, 2011)


It might be a little pre-fab in its cult aspirations - but mashing these two genres together could be funny - I'll let you know what I think if I see it!










The Fantastic Invasion of Planet Earth  (Arch Oboler Productions, 1966)
 This Twilight Zone-ish movie originally came out in the mid-60's as The Bubble, but the version under this title was put out by Monarch Releasing Corporation in 1976. I've never seen it - but 60's sci-fi in 3-D? Sign me up!










George A Romero's Diary of the Dead  (Third Rail Releasing, 2007)



I enjoyed this fifth Romero zombie movie for the most part - though the CGI gore effects were a let down after Dawn, Day, and Land. I have yet to see Survival - but I'm starting to hear the zombies are a little sparse in that one. We shall see when I check that one out one of these days.









Until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Saturday Night at the Movies 8/16/14!

Who cares what picture we see?



Bradford Dillman would - you know it and I know it. So we're going with this one:











Between his first two James Bond movies, Roger Moore starred in this old fashioned romantic adventure drama with a corker cast. It has Bond people behind the camera too - including director Peter Hunt five years after On Her Majesty's Secret Service. This movie only played a few drive ins in the US as the second half of the double feature due to being controversially filmed in South Africa during apartheid.



This is the kind of movie that used to play on Saturday and Sunday afternoons on your local channels in the 80's and it's in the video vault for a viewing anytime - even tonight - if you care to come check it out with me.






Until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Maniacal Movie Poster Monday #176!






The Man from Hong Kong  (20th Century Fox, 1975)

Legendarily originally meant to star Bruce Lee before his untimely demise, this is a blast of very entertaining martial arts action with fish out of water Hong Kong cop Jimmy Wang Yu in Australia on the trail of rich psycho Australian gangster George Lazenby. This unheralded gem not only gave us stunt superstar Grant Page in his first film work - but also gave us the incredibly catchy theme song Sky High from the group Jigsaw. Seriously, you need to see this movie!














Caddyshack  (Orion Pictures, 1980)



I don't know if this is an alternate poster - but I've never seen this one before! And of course, I love the movie!











The Pace That Kills  (Willis Kent Productions, 1935)


This is one of those crazy 30's roadshow pictures - movies made to titillate under the guise of cautionary tales. Enterprising film guys like David F. Friedman would load the film cans and a pile of ad slicks and posters into the trunk of his car and head out across the country, stopping in each small town and leasing the film to a local theater or drive-in owner - showing it for three or four days, making a pile of cash from curious yokels, then heading out to the next venue. I love to read about those days - and you now know one of my primary destinations when they get the time machine working.














Until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Gopher, Cause I Am Outta Here!