Thursday, August 30, 2012

Killer Shrews Sequel Update from Director Steve Latshaw!

Hey guys! Big news! Last year I was thrilled to report the news of a brand new sequel to the 1959 late night classic The Killer Shrews here. The first trailer went online a few months later and I posted about it here. Well, director Steve Latshaw just dropped by and left a new comment on that first post with the very latest news on Return of the Killer Shrews!

New artwork for the movie

Here is what Mr. Latshaw had to say:

"I haven't contributed for a while... our new trailer is up on the web site and our film is finished and hitting the festival circuit as we speak... we recently garnered three nominations from the Los Angeles Action on Film Festival, including Best Actor (James Best), best supporting actor (John Schneider) and best special effects (Sean Hart's SILO, INC.). The next US festival screening will be Friday night, September 14, in Columbus, Indiana, as part of the B MOVIE CELEBRATION. Our film will screen about 9:00pm, right after the premiere of Jim Wynorski's new remake of GIANT GILA MONSTER, called GILA. Irony of ironies..."

Gila stars a follower of this blog - Kelli Maroney (of Night of the Comet fame) and I hope that film is a great success for Mr. Wynorski and his cast and crew.

But it's Return of the Killer Shrews that I'm itching to see - it looks gorgeous, it appears to have a fun sense of humor, and that incredible cast - including three Dukes of Hazzard cast members (James Best, John Schneider, Rick Hurst); the great Bruce Davison; and Errol Flynn's grandson Sean Flynn, who must have spent some time here in the Port City recently as it turns out he and I have mutual friends...

The website where that new trailer can be viewed at the movie's website:


Director Steve Latshaw and I have almost known each other for years now - which is probably news to him - but he and I were both knocking around Southern Illinois University in Carbondale Illinois in the mid 80's, and we became online acquaintances through director Fred Olen Ray's late lamented Retromedia Forum site for the last few years before Mr. Ray closed the cyber doors. Steve Latshaw went on from Southern Illinois to become a successful writer/producer/director of movies like Dark Universe, Jack-O, and Vampire Trailer Park. He also recently wrote the Dolph Lundgren action flick Command Performance.

I can't thank Steve Latshaw enough for coming by with this update - and until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Super Buddha Man!

It's all superheroes all the time in this outing with Mr. B. Man!

The Incredible Hulk  (Universal, 2008) After director Ang Lee's Hulk underwhelmed in 2003, Marvel put the green giant in stasis while they worked out just how to make a Marvel movie that would hit on all cylinders. Five years later, they decided the world had been Hulk-less long enough, and turned the property over to director Louis Leturrrrieririreierrier with one directive: "Reboot!" Thankfully, they then hired Edward Norton to play Bruce Banner (nothing against Eric Bana - but as will be seen - EN brought a little more to the game). As he is wont to do, Norton promptly set about doing a rewrite on the script. One lovely plus to this (besides the gentleman's writing talent) - Edward Norton is a big fan of the 1970's The Incredible Hulk TV show - with the wonderful Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno wandering America and taking turns coming to set. So, Norton and Letiurrrireireir (oh all right - Leterrier) properly decided together to pay tribute to the series in several ways, far trumping Ang Lee's two second Ferrigno walkby, Stan Lee notwithstanding. Norton the writer brings some serious drama chops to the comic book story - but not so much that he forgets the main guy has to regularly turn green and break stuff. And Norton the actor is well cast, with a nice air of Bixbyness. 
Goodbye Jennifer Connelly, hello Liv Tyler. Adios Sam
Elliot, greetings William Hurt.

He's also supported by a fine cast of replacements for the cast from the 2003 movie and some fine new co-stars like Tim Blake Nelson (The Good Girl) and Ty Burrell (TV's Modern Family). So, with a very solid script on the table the story picks up with Bruce Banner hiding out in South America, quietly working off the grid and very surreptitiously teaming with an online pal named Mr. Blue to find a cure for his predicament. Eventually, events will occur that bring Bruce back to America - where he spends time with Betty Ross (Liv Tyler - Empire Records) while dodging her father General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross (William Hurt - Altered States) and the United States military under Ross's command, including aging tough guy soldier Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth - Pulp Fiction). Thanks to several bad decisions by several characters, there will soon be a new gamma irradiated beastie walking the Earth - the Abomination - and the brawl for it all is on!

Somehow both bashers find top ropes to come off of in Harlem...
I thoroughly enjoyed this Hulk flick - after dozing off during the 2003 movie - how did it end anyway? (Don't worry - I bought a used DVD somewhere cheap - and will plunge in again and make it all the way through one of these days.) It's not a perfect movie - but it gets more right than its predecessor did, starting with those very welcome nods to the TV show - the Hulk transformation here begins with the same crazy greenish-white eyes effect; 
Bixby Hulking out up top;
Norton transforming on bottom.
the name David Banner gets rolled out with a wink; Joseph Harnell's haunting TV theme music is heard; the gamma machines seen in the opening look very much like the ones from the series; Fort Johnson is named for series producer Kenneth Johnson; a clip from The Courtship of Eddie's Father featuring Bill Bixby is seen on a television; and Lou Ferrigno turns up as another security guard, but gets more screen time and a little comedy this time out, AND he gets to perform the voice of the Hulk! They even manage a nod to the 60's Hulk cartoon by casting Bruce Banner's voice - Paul Soles - as an old pizza guy Bruce knows from way back. Let's keep listing the positives: there are scads of references to the comics throughout, including names like Richard (Rick) Jones and Jim Wilson; this film takes place during the same time period as Iron Man 2 - events from this movie play as a live news report in the background of a Tony Stark/Nick Fury scene in IM2;  and Hulk co-creator Stan Lee turns in a really sweet cameo that actually has The Man playing a part in the story! Of course, there are some negatives too, but mainly just the one: the Hulk is still CGI here - and although he looks better than he did five years previously, I'm still not sure pure computer effects was the way to go. Since both the Hulk and the Abomination are achieved with this method, the final twenty minutes of the movie does once again resemble a cut scene from a Hulk video game, but the battle is well handled for all that, with scads of property destruction and big comic book style bashing throughout. Summing it all up -  if you're into the Marvel comics movie series that started with Iron Man and continued through IM2, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger and culminating in the The Avengers - you'll probably want to check this one out, as it is another piece in that filmic mosaic, if a little disconnected from them due to the main character's isolation. It also includes a cameo from the other movies, although maybe not the one you expect. In any case, watch through the end credits for sure. In the end, anyone who likes a little superhero action mixed with a lot of destructive rampaging should definitely check this one out!

Superargo  (Izaro Films, 1968)  Imagine (if you can) one Italian film that manages to be "inspired by" (aka ripoff) three different and divergent 60's pop culture phenomena! Yes, that's Superargo! He's a dubbed former professional wrestler (ala the Mexican wrestling movies starring Santo and Mil Mascaras) turned superhero (ala TV's Batman) and spy (ala James Bond)! 

Like the Mexiheroes, he has no secret identity, but runs around 24 hours a day in red tights and black Lone Ranger mask! Wow! And here he's battling the scientific genius who's surgically turning kidnapped athletes into silly looking "electronic men" since the word "cyborg" hadn't been invented, and the phrase "cyborg guys with silly metallic junk on their heads" was already taken by the boy band. (You remember cgwsmjoth, right? They had that hit "I've Never Been a Pair of Dice, But I've Been a Flea"?)

It's the car, isn't it? Chicks dig the car...

But I digress.
Anyhoo, wait until you see Superargo's car, which looks like a rolling Ginsu commercial when you push the right buttons! Funny stuff! And well worth a watch for those who like a heavy dollop of ludicrous in their filmic coffee cup!

That will retire our movie watching capes for this time. And please always remember - if Superargo's tights weren't bulletproof, he'd be dead now.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Maniacal Movie Poster Monday #83!

The Devil's Sleep  (Screen Classics, Inc, 1949)

Apparently another of those frantic and overwrought drug expose flicks - I haven't seen this one, but the odds are good it's in the video vault in one of my fifty packs - and anyway - the poster is fab!

Werewolves on Wheels  (The Fanfare Corporation, 1971)

This was another movie shown in 16mm at my local high school (when I was in elementary school or junior high) for a fundraiser - I didn't get to see it then, and I haven't had the chance to see it since. I surely will one of these days...

One Down, Two to Go  (Po'Boy Productions, 1982)

A few years after Three the Hard Way, the same starring trio came back together for another "gun fu" flick and this time they added Richard Roundtree to the mix for even more star power. The result? A movie that sure feels like a sequel, even though Brown, Williamson, and Kelly are playing different characters. No matter, though, because whoever they're playing - you know this is a solid fix for an action junkie.

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

Sunday, August 26, 2012

I Won a DVD!

The very cool Brian over at Cool Ass Cinema recently ran the first of three contests - with the winner of each receiving a copy of Kenji Misumi's THE LAST SAMURAI on DVD!

The first contest - a brief trivia quiz - has ended - and guess who has two thumbs and won a copy of the movie?


My thanks to Brian and the folks over at Neptune Media for providing the DVDs for the contest! Watch for a review sometime!

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

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Saturday Night at the Movies 8/25/12!

Who cares what picture we see?

I wouldn't be able to sleep at night if Jackie Joseph didn't - and with all the Roger Corman shenanigans around here this week - we will go with this one:

I remember missing this movie the first time it aired when I was watching the Saturday Night Chiller Theater movies from channels 11 and 30 out of St. Louis Missouri - I think I had to go somewhere with my parents and we got home right as it was ending or something. Oh, how did we live in those days before DVRs, or VCRs even?

I saw it the next time it came around - and I think I was aware that it was "The Movie Shot in Two Days" even then - because TV Guide actually mentioned that in the blurb! Roger Corman bet someone he could shoot a feature film in two days before some sets were torn down - or so the legend goes. What he got was this completely maniacal movie with a young schnook coming up with a talking, man-eating plant that hypnotizes him into killing. It's pretty funny; it's got Dick Miller in it - and I'll be telling the story of how I hung out with Mel Welles years later in a post here sometime!

This movie - like a lot of early Corman features - has fallen into the public domain - mainly because in a rare run of shortsightedness - Roger Corman didn't think these slapdash movies he was tossing off would have any kind of second life - so his notorious stingy side came out and he refused to pay the $25 or $50 each it would have taken to copyright these flicks. Consequently, they fell into the public domain somewhere along the line.

Due to that, this movie is a staple of bargain bins from the days of VHS through DVD - I own several copies, and we could definitely be giving this one a watch - if you want to visit, that is - even tonight!

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

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Celebrity Interview: Beverly Gray!

Beverly Gray is a fascinating author, film historian, and blogger who spent time in the trenches at Roger Corman's New World Pictures and Concorde-New Horizons Pictures from the 70's into the 90's. She's written biographies on Roger Corman and Corman grad Ron Howard, and she posts fascinating articles about her career, life, and film and pop culture in general over at the marvelous Beverly in Movieland. I found her blog while doing some online research for a Roger Corman blog post here at LGOOH, and we've since become online acquaintances. Ms. Gray graciously agreed to an interview and as you'll see - she's a terrific conversationalist.

Beverly Gray

Craig Edwards: When and where did the world gain a Beverly Gray?

Beverly Gray: I assume you’re talking about me, but I’ve discovered there are lots of Beverly Grays in the world. One teaches cello in Scotland; one is involved in equestrian events; one lectures on the Underground Railroad. There’s also a series of girls’ books, dating from the 1920s, called the Beverly Gray series, by Clair Blank. Beverly is an intrepid red-headed reporter who solves mysteries all over the world. None of these Beverly Grays is me, or even close. Happily for me, I do not date from the 1920s. I was born in Hollywood, California around the middle of the last century, which makes me a Baby Boomer in good standing.

Not the Beverly Gray we're concerned with here,
but we will see this post's subject at a World's Fair...

CE: What are your earliest pop culture memories?

BG: At about the time I started kindergarten, my mom announced that we were going to see a movie with another mother and her son, who was just my age. The movie, I was told, was called Hans Christian Andersen. Because a five-year-old boy would be coming along, I immediately assumed this must be some sort of cowboy movie. So much for gender stereotyping. The film, of course, was a Frank Loesser musical starring Danny Kaye as the great Danish author. I’ve never forgotten it.

Ms. Gray at 4 years of age, working under the tutelage of famous dancer
and choreographer Carmen De Lavallade, who later went on to acting roles
in films like John Sayles's Lone Star.
Photo courtesy Beverly Gray.

CE: When did you know you wanted to work in the entertainment industry?

BG: Actually, though I was always fascinated by Hollywood glamour, I never planned on an entertainment industry career. I have always adored live theatre, and much of my youth was spent (or perhaps misspent) reading plays and acting in stage productions. But by the time I started college it was clear to me that I was not cut out for the precarious life of an actor. I loved reading and I loved campus life, which led me to fantasize about teaching literature at some ivy-covered college. That’s the reason I earned my PhD in American lit. My entry into the film business was completely accidental. (See below.)

Beverly Gray at Expo 70 in Osaka, Japan. Here's her description of the picture:
"I was one of 56 young American guides working under the auspices of the U.S. State Department.
Until recently Expo 70 was the biggest world’s fair of all time. Visitors lined up for hours to see U.S.
space program memorabilia, including the moon rock that U.S. astronauts had just brought back from
the Apollo 11 mission. Here I am explaining in Japanese the story of the Apollo 8 capsule directly
behind me: Apollo 8 was the first manned spacecraft to leave Earth’s orbit and circle the moon."
Photo courtesy Beverly Gray.

CE: How did you go about breaking in to the entertainment industry?

BG: As a graduate student, I decided that, in addition to writing academic papers for my profs, I would also enjoy writing smart, witty theatre reviews that would be read by my fellow students. I volunteered, but the arts editor at the UCLA Daily Bruin was a theatre snob, and decided I was too much of a novice to cover drama. That’s why he sent me to the movies, and I spent several years writing mostly movie reviews. When Roger Corman needed a new assistant, he contacted (in typical Roger fashion) the faculty head of UCLA’s Phi Beta Kappa chapter. The prof knew nothing about Roger, but did know that I – one of his department’s grad students – had an interest in movies and popular culture. He recommended me for a job interview, and the rest is history.

CE: What was the first project you worked on?

BG: At Roger Corman’s New World Pictures, you worked on many projects at the same time. The first screenplay I ever read was Charles Willeford’s script for Cockfighter. On my very first day I was asked to make extensive notes on Cockfighter in preparation for a story meeting, but I also quickly found myself writing press releases for Caged Heat, working on a nurse movie, and helping to chart the distribution of our films in drive-ins across the nation.

CE: Which film project are you most proud to have been associated with?

BG: From the early days, I’m most proud of Death Race 2000, because I never expected it to become a cult classic. Roger has credited me with thinking up the twist ending, which is definitely something I remember fondly. Later I worked on some 170 projects of varying quality, but I’m proud of staying (relatively) sane throughout it all. On one memorable December day, I earned two screenwriting credits by turning in rewrites of two very different scripts ( a martial-arts flick and a Spanish ghost story) initiated by others.

A classic.

CE: I love Death Race 2000 - another movie I've purchased about four times now in different formats! What project are you least proud of?
BG: Not sure I can answer, because of those 170 low-budget films (give or take a few), some of which were ground out under very trying circumstances. But I’ll always be embarrassed about my short stint as a reader (the lowest of the low) at Interscope Pictures. I was asked to make a judgment on the quality of the writing in Emma Thompson’s adaptation of the wonderful Jane Austen novel, Sense and Sensibility. Knowing that I was expected to be as harsh as possible and that I had less than a day to read the script and turn in my report, I quickly found all sorts of things to criticize. Later, long after Thompson won an Oscar for her adapted screenplay, I re-read the novel and then the published version of the script. In an article for Creative Screenwriting, I was glad to set the record straight, noting just how capably Thompson had brought Austen’s work to the screen. One of these days, I plan to tell that story in greater detail in Beverly in Movieland

CE: I look forward to it! What was the closest thing to a typical day working for Roger Corman?
BG: There was no such thing as a typical day. That’s what made working for Roger Corman so much fun. Once I walked into his office and found several ballerinas in full Swan Lake regalia perched on his desk en pointe. (They were shooting a magazine spread.) Normally I myself read through mountains of scripts, wrote copious script notes, and had long meetings with writers, but I also interacted with directors, sat in on casting sessions, discussed upcoming projects with Roger, and went to the Corman studio to play small roles in a number of films. We were frequently in crisis mode, but we also laughed a lot.


CE: You've written a wonderful biography of Ron Howard.
BG: Thanks!
CE: Is he the best filmmaker to have graduated from The Corman Academy? If not him, then who?
BG: Quite a question! Ron Howard is perhaps the top all-around commercial filmmaker who came out of Cormanville. The variety of his output is extraordinary, and he’s also functioned very well as an executive, given his longtime co-leadership (along with Brian Grazer) of Imagine Entertainment. I suspect that not everyone knows how much he’s contributed to television as well as movies. (See Arrested Development and From the Earth to the Moon as prime examples.) But I’m certainly not going to say Ron Howard’s a better filmmaker than Francis Ford Coppola in his prime, and I believe no one can match the cinematic genius of Martin Scorsese when he’s at the top of his game. James Cameron’s talent for spectacle can’t be overlooked, and I’m also partial to John Sayles’ totally independent approach. Just don’t ask me to name a “best”!

Link to the Kindle edition at Amazon HERE

CE: Okay, we'll leave it at that! What is your greatest unfulfilled ambition in the film industry?

BG: One day, if I find the right collaborator, I’d like to see if I can turn out a really excellent screenplay on a topic of interest to me. Something where the emphasis is on human relationships, perhaps, rather than on action and sex scenes.

CE: There is a good story behind your son appearing in this prop photo from Slumber Party Massacre III - how did that come about?

BG: Over at Beverly in Movieland, I tell that story in my “My Son the Serial Killer” post. Here's a link to it:


CE: That's a wild story - and a great post! Four words."The Hollywood Sign is..." Please finish that with 25 words.

BG: . . . the closest thing we have to a true Hollywood landmark. It’s essentially meaningless, but its allure speaks volumes about the magic of the film industry.

CE: Tell us something we don't know about Roger Corman.
BG: He was proud of how long he held on to his wardrobe. That meant some of his sweaters were threadbare, and (since he liked to take his shoes off) it was not unusual to see his toes poking through the holes in his socks.

Not Roger Corman's feet.

CE: For those who’d like to know more about Roger Corman, what books do you suggest?
BG: Roger’s own book, with Jim Jerome, How I Made a Hundred Movies in Hollywood and Never Lost a Dime, is an excellent introduction to the way Roger’s mind works. It’s also a highly entertaining read. But no one should take it as the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Understandably, Roger’s memory is selective, and he also chooses not to go very deeply into the question of what makes him tick. For that, I modestly recommend my own book, which in its paperback edition is titled Roger Corman: Blood-Sucking Vampires, Flesh-Eating Cockroaches, and Driller Killers. I’m now working on a major update, which I plan to publish as an Ebook in the near future, but it’s also worth seeking out the paperback or the original hardcover (Roger Corman: An Unauthorized Biography of the Godfather of Indie Filmmaking) to see what it is that Corman alumni love about my work.

CE: I can't wait for that expanded Ebook edition! What's the perfect Beverly Gray breakfast?
BG: Another tough one. I like sunny-side-up eggs; I like oatmeal (or what the Irish call porridge). But if we’re talking about perfection, I think I’ll go continental, and order a good cappuccino with a perfect croissant, the kind that’s hard to find because it’s so crisp and buttery that it shatters when you bite into it. With very freshly squeezed orange juice, of course.

CE: Yummy! What are you up to these days?

BG: Currently my greatest passion is for my blog, Beverly in Movieland. I’ve just finished taking charge of an international biographers’ conference, and now it’s high time for me to go back to my own major projects. I am adapting my biography, Roger Corman: Blood-Sucking Vampires, Flesh-Eating Cockroaches, and Driller Killers, into that expanded and updated Ebook, as I mentioned. I have also written a book-length manuscript about the Sixties and the impact of moviegoing on the Baby Boom generation. It needs some reshaping and rethinking, which is another important goal for me right now. Thanks for asking!

CE: You're welcome! Last question - what is the best piece of advice you can give to someone starting out in the entertainment business?
BG: I was asked this question many years ago, by an eager English major who was taking one of my literature courses at UCLA and who requested a formal meeting to discuss her career goals. I didn’t feel then (and I really don’t feel now) that I possessed the key to success in Hollywood. But I thought I had a good piece of advice for her: if you’re determined to become a screenwriter, just be sure you’ve got a marketable skill that will help you keep body and soul together while you work toward your big break. I hoped she would take my words to heart. In fact, she quickly responded, “Oh yes, I’ve already thought of that.” I assumed she had in mind something totally pragmatic, like expertise in data processing. Instead she proudly announced, “I’m going to be a journalist!” As a journalist myself, I would never bet on a writing career as a steady source of income. Maybe she made it work for her, but I wouldn’t know: I’ve never heard from her since.

Wow, now that's an interview! I want to thank Ms. Gray for taking time out of her busy schedule to chat with me!

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

Monday, August 20, 2012

Maniacal Movie Poster Monday #82!

Foxy Brown  (American International, 1974)

Ah! You know you cannot go wrong with Pam Grier, period. But, wrap this talented and gorgeous actress in a prime piece of Blaxploitation like this movie and I'm in Cinema Heaven!

The Gruesome Twosome  (Mayflower Pictures, Inc., 1967)

This is a typical Herschell Gordon Lewis gorefest - with sick humor and goofy performances mixed with obvious but still kind of potent graphically violent sequences. HGL movies are an acquired taste - does it surprise you that I like them?

Heavy Petting  (Skouras Pictures, 1989)

I haven't seen this documentary with celebrities like musician David Byrne, performance artist Spalding Gray, comedian Sandra Bernhard, radical activist Abbie Hoffman, and poet Allen Ginsberg telling the tales of their first sexual experiences, but it sounds fun in a TMI sort of way...

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

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Saturday Night at the Movies 8/18/12!

Who cares what picture we see?

I wonder once in a while if Alan Rachins might - so we shall make this choice:

I really enjoyed this movie back when I watched it during my "Summer of Joe Bob," where I was trying to watch all of the movies reviewed in Joe Bob Briggs's first two books. (For the record -  I got most of them under my belt, but there were a few obscurities I never tracked down.)

This goofy action movie was the last project for the great Forrest Tucker - star of TV's F Troop. It's got fun old school stunts and action - and yes, as the trailer shows - they actually jump a semi and trailer over a train!

I posted my old Mad Mike newsletter review of Thunder Run here on LGOOH as a Buddha Man entry - and it really got me wanting to see the movie again. One quiet search later - the movie suddenly resides in the video vault on a shiny new DVD-R. (Hey, I'd buy a regular DVD of this in a heartbeat - but if it's not available, and someone wants to share a copy of the old VHS with me....?)

In any case, we could be giving that disc a spin - even tonight - you know, if you came over!

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

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Project Terrible: Alligator X!

Wrapping up this seventh round of Project Terrible for LGOOH I tackle the assignment from Michelle over at the splendid The Girl Who Loves Horror. Little teaser: CGI ensues...

In the bayous and swamps of Louisiana Laura Le Crois (Elena Lyons) has come home after several years to search for her missing father who runs a boat rental and swamp tour service. She quickly runs into her old flame,
While I prefer my Munros to be Caroline, Lochlyn is the
next best choice...

Sheriff Tim Richards (Lochlyn Munro), but the reunion does not go all that well as the lawman has a growing list of missing persons to deal with. Laura also runs into her ex-husband Dr. Charles LeBlanc (Mark Sheppard), now doing scientific research in the area. A young couple named Matt (Gabe Begneaud) and Mandy (Lacey Minchew) hire Laura to take them on a romantic tour of the swamp, which Laura reluctantly agrees to because her father could use the money. Out in the swamp waters the boat is attacked by a mammoth prehistoric crocklegator. The trio makes it to dry land but then they run afoul of redneck brothers Barry and Larry Boudreaux (Ricky Wayne and Scott L. Schwartz), both two bit criminals who seem to know more about that big beastie than they initially let on. While the Sheriff tries to get a handle on the mysterious doings in his swamp with the help of his deputy brother, Laura and the young lovers are taken prisoner and soon in mortal danger on land (the Boudreaux boys) and the water (the crocklegatorsaurus) and they haven’t even met the secretive Big Villain yet. I wonder who it could be?

"We didn't land on Skull Island! Skull Island landed on US!"

Well, I’ve seen worse movies. And, I’ve seen better movies. This one shapes up so middle of the road it’s a little numbing. The actors act (and in some cases overact) tolerably well, with Munro and Sheppard standing out. The effects are standard issue Syuh-Fyuh channel type CGI – phony looking monster leaping about and causing far too little water to be displaced when it comes down – but the design is nice. The worst offender here is the script, which is extremely humdrum and by the numbers. It’s also – SPOILER ALERT – weirdly similar to Shark Night 3-D – with two backwoods bumpkins feeding people to the carnivorous critters in the local waters and the whole thing masterminded by a secret bad guy. Of course, this movie came first – and if the Shark Night writers were “inspired” by this one I can only say – “Really? THIS is the script you decide to rip off for your CGI sharkfest?”

Mark Sheppard gauges her seriousness with that shotgun at about 12, as in 12 gauge shotgun...

In the end, I can’t call this one terrible – it’s just good enough to escape that appellation. But it’s not good enough to make it into the Project Good Movie blogfest either. It would fit best, I think, in
Project Mediocre.

Thanks for the invite to this wonderful round of bad movie assigning and thanks to everyone who participated!

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

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

PSA A Go Go 8/15/12!

In the interests of serving the public through announcing - here is a proclamation from the Caped Crusader himself:

It's nice when the Dark Knight Rises to the occasion like this, isn't it?

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

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Project Terrible: The Amazing Transparent Man!

Okay - loving this!

My blog buddy Harry from the ever incredible Maynard Morrissey's Horror Movie Diary assigned this Edgar G. Ulmer feature for Project Terrible Round 7!

Former Army guy Krenner (James Griffith), plans to conquer the world with his soon-to-be army of invisible thugs and he is willing to do anything to make that happen. Krenner forces Dr. Ulof (Ivan Trisault) to work to perfect the invisibility machine Ulof invented. He keeps Ulof’s daughter, Maria (Carmel Daniel) as a hostage with the help of his henchman, Julian (Red Morgan).

See, they attempt some cool effects with the invisibility fade - like on this guinea pig...

Ulof needs radioactive elements to improve the invisibility machine which are understandably rare and kept under guard in government facilities. Krenner busts Joey Faust (Douglas Kennedy), out of prison to steal the materials he needs. Faust pulls the robberies using the invisibility power – but chaffs working for the dictatorial Krenner. Soon everyone in the house, including Krenner’s girlfriend Laura (Marguerite Chapman) is working some kind of double cross or secret agenda; and it’s readily apparent that no one is particularly likable – so who’s going to be the treacherous victor?

It's nice they kept that framed picture of that guy near the equipment...

While it’s obviously a very lowbudget talkfest, there’s just SOMETHING about Edgar G. Ulmer’s movies that interest me. Consequently, I like this little dud. Ulmer only made two more movies before retiring; but his touch is still evident all over this. Sure, it's lowbudget; it's static; it's talky - but I've seen it now like three times, and I still enjoyed it this time.

The very best photo of The Amazing Transparent Man ever taken. See how well he lives up to his name?
You can totally see that other guy right through him!

I can't defend the movie - but to me this works - it's not an epic of production values and amazing effects - but it works as the little sci-fi talkfest it is. Sorry Harry - but this one wasn't terrible at all. Guess I retaliated a little heavy with Dead Heist, eh?

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

Monday, August 13, 2012

Maniacal Movie Poster Monday #81!

Theme Week!

Same Movie/Three Posters!

Midnight  (Independent-International Pictures, 1982)

This is a very low budget horror flick from John Russo - who, as all the posters mention - co-authored Night of the Living Dead. This one's about teens who run afoul of some backwoods Satanists. I saw it once a long time ago on VHS - it's just fair, though I kinda liked it. The novel was better though. The top poster is the best representation of the movie - with the middle lying a bit - I certainly don't remember any "dead drinking the blood of the living..." The last poster just looks cheap. Maybe that's the most fitting, who knows?

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

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Saturday Night at the Movies 8/11/12!

Who cares what picture we see?
When I really sat down and thought about it - it was obvious that Jack Albertson certainly would, so let's take a look at this one...

I think I might have read the novelization of this one before I saw it - but did finally track it down on VHS. It's a wonderfully gory scarepic - and to say any more about the story would only serve to spoil it. It's a fine cast though - in addition to the stars listed on the poster, you also get Barry Corbin, Lisa Blount, and an early role for one Robert Englund.

I like it a lot and would watch it with you in a heart beat - if you'd like to come check out my DVD edition - even this evening!

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


Let's Get Out of Here went online with the first post on August 11th, 2010.

Happy 2nd Birthday to Let's Get Out of Here!

Let's grab a fast video clip from the Video Vault of Mora Tau:

Yep, that was weird enough to be in this blog, I do believe!

Now last year I gave a compendium of numbers that made up the blog's stats; how many movie reviews, book reviews, Maniacal Movie Poster Monday posters, etc the blog had featured in its first year. Sadly, I am not doing that again this year - unless I decide to later and update this post - in which case you won't be reading this anyway, so never mind!

Going into year 3 with some fun stuff to come!

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

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Liebster Award Part Three!

Just like Peter Jackson's announcement that The Hobbit is going from a duology to a trilogy - so too is this award acceptance post!

After receiving a hat trick of Liebsters from blog buddies Kaijinu of Sticky Red: A Bodycount Compendium; Harry from Maynard Morrissey's Horror Movie Diary; and Michelle from The Girl Who Loves Horror - that fourth quadrant from my stolen Liebster Award graphic now has an actual benefactor:

M Hufstader from The Smoking Pen!

Thanks so much M!

Well, since pretty much everyone changes the rules - I will too. Here are the rules as M. listed them, and my edits on them:

1. Tell us 11 things about yourself
2. Answer 11 questions the blogger who awarded you asked
3. Pass the award to 11 people  - I gave the award to two people - 1 and 1 - 11, get it? - and one of them promptly stopped blogging - so no more of that!
4. Give them 11 questions.  - I can't give 11 questions to people I haven't passed the award on to.
5. Tell them about the award.   Tell who?
6. Don't award people who are recipients already.  This was the easiest of all!

Eleven more things about me! Why not? I love talking about myself!

1. I am currently in a deep and abiding love affair with Pasta Carbonara.
2. My longest night at the drive-in was a marathon showing of Friday the 13ths 1-4.
3. My longest time in the movie theater was Gettysburg - all 271 minutes of it.
4. I own movies in formats I can't play.
5. I have been in 26 of the 50 United States.
6. I have been off the continent - but never out of the country (Hawaii).
7. Both my favorite actress to work with and my least favorite actress to work with were angels...
8. I have attended The Rocky Horror Picture Show at a midnight screening in costume. (Want to guess who I dressed as?)
9. Before satellites, networks would send celebrities to each affiliate station for telethons in the 70's. Thanks to this practice I spoke to Shari Lewis - and Lambchop! - and Valerie Bertinelli on the phone after pledging money my parents gave me.
10. Got Leonard Maltin to change a review in his TV Movies book.
11. I have had letters printed in Fangoria, Entertainment Weekly, and The Amazing Spider-Man.

Okay, and here are the eleven questions M. had for me:

3D--yes or no?

  • Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Quiet, British kitchen sink drama with Judi Dench and Michael Caine lamenting their grandson's descent into crime? Nah, flat is fine. Some goofy ass flick like Piranha 3-D - by all means yes! (not to mention it kinda had to be - what with 3-D in the title and all..) I've also grown weary and wary of upconverts - but could easily be persuaded in spite of that if the movie seems like a worthy subject for some 3-D. But at the same time, I gotta tell you - as I figured out while ranting about the Friday the 13th movies a while back (and about to be cut and pasted and reworked slightly right in here from that post) What the 1980's 3-D movies had that newer ones don't: there was a lot brought off the screen at you - sometimes fast, more often slowly - so the field of depth went back into the screen, but then you had objects extended out from the screen in front of you to about where your hand stretches out to the end of your arm. When someone stretched a clothesline pole out at you, or juggled apples up at you, they appeared to come out to the same proximity. Other than one extended shotgun in My Bloody Valentine in 2009 and one long boat mast sticking out of the opening scene (and a corpse) in Final Destination 5, it appears that all the modern 3-D is mostly from the screen's plane extending back in, depth wise, and very little extends off, other than occasional CGI flying objects that are moving too fast to really look cool anyway. I'm not sure why this is, but anyone shooting a movie in 3-D would do well to check out Friday the 13th Part III to see how it should be done. I'm not necessarily saying every object held in the movie should be thrust out of the screen - but a few definitely should.

    Aren't you sorry you asked now?

Lord of the Rings or Star Wars?

  • I truly enjoyed the Lord of the Rings movies - own them, watched them a couple of times - but I saw none of them in the theater - and I've seen every Star Wars movie (not counting CGI cartoon features) in the theater, starting with the original movie in June or July of 1977. I don't care what he did in that second trilogy - I don't care how much he tinkers with them - those original three are the very definition of Movie Magic to me.

What movie would you like to see in theaters that you never got to see?

  • Goldfinger or Thunderball - quintessential Connery Bonds - one the peak of his run, the other a giant 2:35 exercise in glorious excess - either would be a treat to see projected. (Maybe I'll get a chance with these Fathom Event screenings. Fingers crossed!)

What's your major draw for a movie: actors, director, or script?

  • Any of them can and have been. Script is actually probably least. There are actors and directors I have followed across entire careers.

Who is your favorite person to watch movies with?

  • Definitely my wondrous wife Suze for certain movies - and after that it's a tie between my movie pals Sandra, Ray, and James.

Who are your top three favorite action heroes?

  • James Bond, John McClane, and Dirty Harry Callahan.

The zombie apocalypse is upon us--what movie characters do you want in your camp to keep you alive?

  • The T-800 from T2 or T3; Robocop; and Alice from Resident Evil. Armor, firepower and eye candy all in one handy trio. Wait - there's no number in the question. Throw in Superman and Elvira too. Now my team has invulnerability, flight, and a bodacious rack.

Who is the one actor you love to hate?

  • Andrew Scott - the guy who plays Moriarty in the new Sherlock British show? Wow I want to punch him in the throat for being such a dick - which is perfection in performance.

...And the actor you hate yourself for loving?

  • Steven Seagal. The suspect back story; the sissy pony tail; the refusal to stay in shape; the reality show; the energy drink; the indifference to actually appearing in your own movies instead of being doubled for tough stuff like walking scenes; and yet...and yet...I love the big lug.

If they made a movie about your life, who would play you?

  • Jonah Hill. Dammit.

If you could change one movie ending, what would it be and why?

  • Spoiler alert! I would change the ending of Death Game (1977) - because the only thing better than an ending where your leads die being hit by a random bus tearing down a suburban street - would be to have the leads hit by TWO buses - the first knocking them right into the path of the second. WHAM - WHAM! Credits.

Thank you again to M. - you rock the Blogosphere with your badass self - it's always a pleasure when you drop by LGOOH.

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

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Project Terrible: Golden Needles!

Golden Needles  (American International, 1974)

Before the Camera:

Joe Don Baker  (The Living Daylights)
Elizabeth Ashley  (Windows)
Jim Kelly  (Enter the Dragon)
Roy Chiao  (Above the Law)
Frances Fong  (Rush Hour)
Tony Lee (Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold)
Sonny Barnes  (Gymkata)
Pat E. Johnson  (Mortal Kombat)
Siu Hung Cham  (Drunken Master)
Tiet Wo Chu  (Last Hero in China)
Ann Sothern  (Undercover Maisie)
Burgess Meredith (Batman '66)

Behind the Camera:

Directed by Robert Clouse

Produced by Fred Weintraub

Written by S. Lee Pogostin and Sylvia Schneble

A year after they each had separate cinematic success, Joe Don Baker – coming off Walking Tall – and director Robert Clouse – who’d directed Enter the Dragon - joined forces for this martial arts actioner. The story has various factions going after a priceless Asian statue that holds very special acupuncture needles – needles that legendarily grant eternal life to the person they’re shoved into.

The bad guy side starts right off showing why they’re the villains when they send firesuited thugs out with flamethrowers - which really burns some people up. Elizabeth Ashley is hired to transport the statue, but she is quickly scared off . She in turns brings in beefy adventurer Joe Don Baker to assist, with a cut of the profits and a generous slice of Ms. Ashley his prize. He drafts old pal Jim Kelly to provide some kung foomph,, and the trio sets out on a quest to find the now missing statue and deliver it to Ms. Ashley’s employers. The baddies, led by a wonderfully campy Burgess Meredith, proceed to attack, chase, and battle Baker and Kelly every chance they get. "Needles" to say, it’s quite a ride.

Were you ever so happy to see a huge pile of throw pillows in your life?

Although assigned as a part of Project Terrible by Robert over at Gaming Creatively I have to admit this kind of movie is right up my alley (70’s action with known stars) so it was already in my Netflix queue. It’s not a classic by any means, but it’s well worth a watch for those so inclined. I’ve always enjoyed Joe Don Baker, and here he adds meaty martial arts to his box of tricks. It’s nice to see Jim Kelly in another decently budgeted movie, as he was headed for Al Adamson oblivion a few years later. Elizabeth Ashley turns in solid work in a tricky role, but the acting kudos go to Meredith, who is marvelously menacing going over the top as the kind of guy who doesn't care who he has to order killed as long as he gets what he wants. It's also nice to see Ann Sothern for a couple of minutes.

The movie isn’t lightning paced – but it does move along, with some kind of action scene never more than a few minutes away. The location shooting in Asia adds some production value, and it’s all tied up in a nice cinematic bow by director

This one is actually the best Project Terrible movie I've been given so far. Thanks, Robert!

Let's Get Out of Here ?

At roughly 1:05:00, Jim Kelly wants to depart with the statue; and around 1:18:00 Joe Don Baker feels a movie climax coming on...

Eye Candy ?

I like Elizabeth Ashley - but despite a couple of charming 70's outfits here - she isn't showcased well enough. Sorry, Ms. Ashley.

Buddha Man's Capsule Review

Buddha Man says "Golden Needles won't stick you with a bad movie."

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