Monday, August 31, 2015

Maniacal Movie Poster Monday #227!

Date with Disaster  (Astor Pictures Corporation, 1958)

I haven't seen this British drama - but it has The First Doctor and a Bond girl in it - so I'd certainly give it a look given the chance.

Slave Trade in the World Today  (Continental Distributing, 1964)

Yet another "Mondo" style movie, this one originating in Italy and popping over here some time later. I will surprise no one when I mention I have not seen it. And, to be honest, not all that interested in it. Good poster, though.

Jungle Captive  (Universal Studios, 1945)

The third and last in a brief 1940's series featuring an ape turned into an attractive woman...or is that an attractive woman turned into an ape? I'll leave it to you to figure that out - I've seen all three and while they're not my favorite Universal monster movies - they're short and have cool actors so I'd watch them all again.

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

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Saturday Night at the Movies 8/29/15!

Who cares what picture we see?

I feel like Stephen Lee would, so while I check that out why don't we make this tonight's choice...

This low budget superhero movie was made for the "Roger Corman Presents" movie series on Showtime in the mid 90's. Joan Severance is fun as the overzealous police officer thrown off the force for police brutality. She then takes on the sexy Black Scorpion persona to more effectively fight crime using gadgets created by pal Garrett Morris. Of course, no sooner does a costumed hero appear than a costumed villain called Breathtaker shows up. Now life is like a big ol' comic book as Black Scorpion battles Breathtaker and his minions.

It's the obligatory origin story, so it's a little slow going in the first half, but it's still a fun watch. with a little cable nudity thrown in for good measure. If nothing else, you can join me in counting how many times Severance's thigh high boots go from high heeled to flat when she gets into an action scene.

Actually, the movie did well, so they didn't stop there - and that means we can turn this into a...

Let's Get Out of Here Triple Feature!

A couple of years later, this popped up:

The sequel is better for me - no lengthy origin sequences - just straight to the superhero stuff. Plus, the villains here - Stoney Jackson as a Joker pastiche called Gangster Prankster and Sherrie Rose as earthquake causing Aftershock - are more fun than the previous movie's Breathtaker. So this one gives even larger doses of sexy lingerie fighting and low budget special effects.

A couple of years after the second movie Corman put together a Black Scorpion TV series with Syuh Fyuh - it ran just the one season of 22 episodes. A year or two after that they cobbled a third movie out of two episodes...

Michelle Lintel is now Black Scorpion - she looks equally great in the costume so that's fine - and this one gets two fun villains too - Martin Kove as Firearm and in a nod to 60's Batman - Frank Gorshin as Clockwise. It's very obviously two TV episodes slapped together - they wrap up one villain and then the second pops up - but it's still fun.

I have all three movies on DVD, ready to spin at any time - even this very evening - if you want to come over in your variable heeled thigh high boots and watch them with me.

(I have the whole series on DVD too, just in case you really wanted to go nuts.)

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

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Random Stew 8/26/15!

Here's a crappy cellphone pic of an Essential Avengers collection from Marvel Comics - showing that it's not just movies that got this blog its title!

I shot this a while back - not sure which issue it was - but in the low to mid 100's. That's what I get for not taking notes when I took the picture. Oh well.

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

Monday, August 24, 2015

Maniacal Movie Poster Monday #226!

Disco 9000  (Choice Inc., 1977)

I've never seen this blaxploitation flick, and apparently it's pretty hard to track down these days. But lovin' the lead character's name - Fass Black - and kudos to the filmmakers for using the word Disco in 1976/1977 - way early, considering. I fully expected this to have 1979 as its year of release. I'll bet it got some play that year.

Walk Into Hell  (Patric Pictures, Inc., 1957)

I've also not seen this one - a man against the elements drama made by Australian filmmakers - another rarity for the 1950's. The poster acts like its one of those "Mondo" movies, but it is a fiction film. I'd like to see it.

Heat  (New Century Vista Film Company, 1987)

I did see this one in the theater - one of Burt's better entries from the 80's. They just recently remade it with Jason Statham as Wild Card - which I might watch sometime - but this one will be hard to beat in my mind.

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

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Saturday Night at the Movies 8/22/15!

Who cares what picture we see?

Roddy McDowall would - whether he's credited in the movie or not - so we will make this one the choice for this evening...

Here's a car chase flick made four years before Smokey and the Bandit made everyone rush to make one. This one has a fine cast playing not particularly likable characters - but that takes a backseat (pun intended) to the wild stunts and car action on display.

Some notes on that trailer - the song being warbled is not in the movie anywhere. They sure do edit the trailer to make it look like Fonda and George are alone in the car - but Adam Roarke is along for the ride as Fonda's partner in crime. And perhaps most interestingly - Roddy McDowall plays a small but significant role - but he is completely uncredited anywhere in the movie. However, they did stick a credit for him in the trailer!

I have this in a double feature DVD set with another good Peter Fonda vehicle flick - Race with the Devil - and we could be checking out that one too while we're seeing how dirty Mary is and how crazy Larry is...even tonight, if you want to come check it out with me.

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

Friday, August 21, 2015

Happy Anniversary to Let's Get Out of Here!

Can you believe I forgot to mention that on August 11th this blog celebrated its fifth birthday!

Happy Anniversary to Let's Get Out of Here!

Five years in with more than 1000 posts of pop culture nattering and nonsense. If you've ever dropped by; and especially if you've been a recurring guest and commented - thank you so very much!

"Happy Anniversary Craig!"

"Happy Blog Birthday!"

"An Anniversary so hot we're on standby! Happy Birthday LGOOH!"

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

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Celebrity Endorsement: Jonathan Stark!

I first encountered Jonathan Stark when he played vampire right hand man Billy Cole in Fright Night in 1985.

I also enjoyed his work in House II: The Second Story - where he teamed with Arye Gross.

I most recently encountered Jonathan Stark at a horror movie convention - and he revealed he certainly is a fan of good pop culture blogging...

Thanks, Mr. Stark!

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

Monday, August 17, 2015

Maniacal Movie Poster Monday #225!

Theme Week!

1 Movie, 3 Posters!

Creature from the Black Lagoon  (Universal-International, 1953)

My favorite Universal Studios monster - and his first movie is really a fine motion picture. Originally released in 3-D - and with some great "poke stuff at the camera" moments - this is terrific entertainment.

Three posters, with the middle one touting the 3-D my favorite. What's yours?

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

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Saturday Night at the Movies 8/15/15!

Who cares what picture we see?

The late Persis Khambatta baldly would have - so this is tonight's choice...

One of the first TV shows to make the leap to the Big Screen - Star Trek's first cinematic epic took a laborious trip to theaters. Paramount was originally going to launch a fourth US television network (long before they actually did launch UPN) with a reboot of the original series called Star Trek Phase Two. This was in the mid 1970's.

Paramount changed their minds, forgot about that fourth TV network - at least until the mid 1990's - and decided to take the script for Star Trek Phase Two's pilot and make it a feature film instead. This was a few years later, specifically 1978 or 1979. Paramount for some reason locked in a release date - December 7th, 1979, and then watched as everything that could go wrong did go wrong as the movie was filmed. The script never got locked in, and was a little soft throughout filming, with new pages coming in until the movie wrapped.

Director Robert Wise did a fine job, but the special effects house hired took too long producing the copious visuals and opticals - and eventually got fired. Then there was huge race on to get the effects finished. They were so close to the premiere deadline - in Washington DC at a gala event - that they couldn't complete the credits dissolve from one credit to another - a visual motif everyone is used to - and instead had hard cuts from credit to credit - which looked really weird onscreen. Some of the visual effects were actually uncompleted - and Wise had no time to do a fine tune on the audio mix, so the acoustics of the soundstage are sometimes glaringly obvious in the echo-y sound mix. The print that was shown in Washington DC was literally still wet from the final work done on it minutes before it was threaded up. Amazing.

Cut to the early 2000's - when Paramount brought  a still hale and hearty Robert Wise back in and handed him some bucks to finally complete the movie as best he could. The Director's Cut now has dissolving credits...completed visuals (CGI but done to look like what they practical effects would have looked like if done in 1979)...and a smoother sound mix. I like the movie, though it's not one of the best in the series. It's a little slow, and bogs down in those special effects a bit in the middle third. But it's cool to see the cast taking their characters to the Big Screen, and the movie has a great look.

I have both the original theatrical cut and the Director's Cut on disc - and we could be checking out either - or if you're really brave - both - at any time - even this very evening, if you care to trek over to my place and star as my guest!

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

Monday, August 10, 2015

Maniacal Movie Poster Monday #224!

Zombies on Broadway  (RKO Radio Pictures, 1945)

Watching Universal rake in money with Abbott and Costello all through the early 40's - RKO decided to try their hand at a movie like that. Unfortunately they only got Wally Brown and Alan Carney - who were definitely not Bud or Lou. Still, this flick does have Bela Lugosi, and consequently is probably Brown and Carney's best effort. That still ain't sayin' a whole lot though.

The 4-D Man  (Universal-International, 1959)

I always thought I'd seen this movie, but now I'm thinking it was The Projected Man. Now I need to see this one - it's got familiar faces Lansing and Meriwether starring - with a script co-written by Kolchak writer Cy Chermak and direction from The Blob's Irvin S. Yeaworth Jr.

Man-Thing  (Lionsgate Films, 2005)

In the light of their current success this one-off sort of starring Marvel's version of Swamp Thing from ten years ago must be a little embarrassing for them now. But. it was not the worst movie I've ever seen. However, instead of the shambling mucky man-monster this movie casts the character as an fairly evil force in a swamp about to be drained for dat ol' debbil rich guy construction. That does make the title a bit of a lie. I'd like to see a movie version of the actual character from the comics - and since you know who turned up in the tag scene of Guardians of the Galaxy - and he and Man-Thing have always been connected...maybe...?

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

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Saturday Night at the Movies 8/8/15!

Who cares what picture we see?

Patrick "Mad" Magee (as they used to call him in Famous Monsters magazine) most certanly would, I think - so let's make this tonight's choice.

When you take that cast and put them in an Amicus anthology flick written by Robert Bloch and directed by Roy Ward Baker - you know you're in for an entertaining hour and a half. Sure enough, that's what you get here.

I have this one on DVD, ready to go at any given moment - even this very evening - if you wish to come join me to watch it!

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

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Video Vault of Mora Tau 8/5/15!

Okay, here's a fun story from my childhood. I read in Starlog magazine - probably in late 1979 - that to promote the forthcoming release of The Empire Strikes Back in May of 1980 - a special 800 number was set up - and by calling it you would get one of the characters of the movie - with the real actor voicing the clip - talking about the new movie. They would then update with a new character each month through the release of the movie.

I was amazed. And keep in mind, this was an 800 number, which was then, and still is, free to call. (Had this been done 5 or 10 years later it would more likely have been a 900 number, and would have cost 50 cents per connected call.)

The number was 800-521-1980 - which was the release date of the movie - 5/21/1980. I started to call - on a rotary dial phone, mind you - immediately. Busy. Dial again. Busy.

Dial again. Busy.

Dial again. Busy.

Dial again. Busy.

Over the course of the next several months - I spent more time than you could possibly believe calling the number. HOURS spent spinning that dial. Over and over and over and over. I did finally get through and hear the first message - C-3PO. I then started calling back with a tape recorder nearby - wanting to catch it again and tape it.

To keep this post from taking as much of your life as calling that number did me in the early days of 1980 - I called enough, including calls made at nearly every hour on the clock from 6 am to 1 or 2 am - leaving only the hours from 2 am to 6 am where I didn't try calling - to hear three of the five messages, and catching two of them on tape.

Well, thanks to our incredible internet - those recordings - so hard to hear in 1980 - are here in a YouTube clip. Enjoy some Star Wars you've probably not experienced before. You're welcome.

Isn't that cool? You can also hear the lack of a real director in the performances. Anthony Daniels over enunciates. Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill underplay. James Earl Jones chews the scenery. But still fun to hear the characters. And to finish the story - back then I caught C-3PO, Han Solo, and Darth Vader - and I got 3PO and Solo on tape. Never heard Leia or Luke -until I found that clip above a few days ago.

A couple of other notes. In that incessant dialing, to break up the monotony - I also at some point dialed EVERY 800 number from 800-521-1900 through 800-521-1999. In those hundred plus calls (I called some more than once) - there were other working 800 numbers. I remember that 800-521-1914 and 800-521-1915 reached some kind of business number with a live person answering. I chatted with those people occasionally. They were pleasant, and seemed to enjoy speaking to a kid as a break from their usual business call. Then it was back to 800-521-1980 - and more busy signals.

Amazingly, I never got yelled at to stop - even though people calling my house to speak to my parents must have been running into an extraordinary amount of busy signals themselves. Maybe no one could get through to complain, so my parents never knew.

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

Monday, August 3, 2015

Maniacal Movie Poster Monday #223!

Back in the saddle again! My screenwriting assignment is completed - for now, at least. Let's get back to some blog shenanigans!

Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed  (Hammer Studios, 1969)

You can't go wrong with anything Hammer and starring Peter Cushing, though this is a lesser entry in the series, in all honesty. I haven't seen it for years and years - but it's in the video vault and will be getting a new watch one day soon.

The Premonition  (Avco Embassy Pictures, 1976)

Still trying to capitalize on the success of The Exorcist more than a year later, this low budget thriller is worth a watch. I finally saw it on VHS in the last couple of years. It's not jam packed with action, but it's interesting and it has the always cool Richard Lynch.

The Astounding She Monster  (American International Pictures, 1957)

A female alien comes to Earth and bad things happen. Anything AIP from the late 50's is fun - and this is no exception.

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

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Saturday Night at the Movies 8/1/15!

Who cares what picture we see?

Ian McShane would, no doubt, so we're going with this one tonight...

I go back and forth on remakes - but this second version of the classic from the heyday of Roger Corman's New World Pictures at least includes Corman as a producer - giving him his first major studio picture in decades. Suck it, Fast and Furious franchise!

However, it also singles The King of Pop Cinema out as the producer of the original film - leaving out the contributions of the film's writers and the author of the original story - at least until a tiny credit in the end crawl.

The movie is a big and noisy car crash epic with even clunkier dialogue than you might expect. But it's a good cast -  including Jason Statham, Tyrese Gibson, Ian McShane, and a badly miscast Joan Allen - and it does keep moving thanks to director Paul W.S. Anderson.

But if we're going to watch this one, let's make this a...

Saturday Night at the Movies Double Feature!

That way we can also screen the original movie...

Now that's more my style - and look at the cast here: David Carradine, Sylvester Stallone, Mary Woronov, and LA disc jockey "The Real" Don Steele. This version was directed by Paul Bartel, who battled producer Roger Corman tooth and nail to include the film's campy humor - which Corman was notoriously against until the finished film included it and was well received. These days Corman tends to misremember that he pushed to get the humor added. Well, he is up there in years...

And a special LGOOH! shout out to this blog's friend Beverly Gray - whose excellent blog Beverly in Movieland is always worth visiting. Ms. G (as I like to call her) was toiling in the trenches at New World pictures in those days, and it was she who gave the film its wonderful twist ending - all hail Beverly Gray!

I have both of these movies in the video vault ready to race into my player at any time - even this very evening - if you care to race over to my place to check them out with me!

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