Monday, January 30, 2017

Maniacal Movie Poster Monday #249!

The Towering Inferno  (Warner Bros./20th Century Fox, 1974)

One of my favorite disaster movies from the 70's - and the behind the scenes stories are just as interesting (to me, anyway). Warner Bros. was putting together a disaster flick based on the novel The Tower (by Richard Martin Stern) and 20th Century Fox and producer Irwin Allen got the rights to the novel The Glass Inferno (by Thomas Scortia and Frank Robinson). Rather than face having their big productions battling it out for ticket sales, for the first time ever the two studios combined forces to make the movie - each putting up half the budget. Screenwriter Stirling Silliphant culled seven characters from each book, and wove both climaxes into one for the script. Upon release, Fox got the American box office and Warner got the international ticket sales.

Paradise Canyon  (Monogram Pictures, 1935)

The great John Wayne is listed with 178 credits on the IMDB. Fully a third of those were B movies he made in the years 1930 until his big breakout role in Stagecoach in 1939. This is one of those flicks from right in the middle of this run. I've grabbed up fistfuls of these public domain movies on various cheapie DVD sets - I'm not sure if I've seen this one or not.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens  (Walt Disney Compamy, 2015)

I have been a Star Wars fan since my mom took me to the theater to see the first movie. I enjoyed this one. I do feel the franchise is in good hands.

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

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Saturday Night at the Movies 1/28/17!

Who cares what picture we see?

Eva Gabor would, dahlink, so let's pick this flick for tonight...

Yes, it's a lesser light cash-in on House of Wax - but the second horror flick on Vincent Price's resume' certainly gives it the old college try - and it's also in 3-D - just like HoW!

This time out Vinnie P is a hard working magician whose new illusion gets taken away by his wicked employer. That just won't do - so - murder! From there the story does get weird as Vincent starts impersonating the dead guy using a rubber mask (really fantastic makeup from Gordon Bau and Gustav Norin - with Price actually playing the masked character - not the other actor pretending to be Price wearing the mask).

Of course, murder here is like Lay's potato chips - you can't do just one. More masks, more magic tricks, and more murders ensue, It's fun because it's Vincent Price - and while my DVD is only 2-D, we could still be watching stuff get poked at the camera at any time - even this very evening if you care to come join me.

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

Friday, January 27, 2017

Celebrity Endorsement Redux: Tom Atkins!

I've been enjoying Tom Atkins since I first encountered him in John Carpenter movies like The Fog and Escape from New York.

To reintroduce this monthly department I decided to repost Mr. Atkins's video as it seems to have slipped through the cracks when it went up the first time - no one even commented on it!

"I hate when people don't comment my endorsement videos!"

"Thrill me...with a comment!"

"That's what blogs are for, babe!"

"COMMENT, for God's sake! Before he runs this joke any further into the ground!"

Thankfully, even the second time around - Tom Atkins knows good pop culture blogging when he sees it!

Thanks, Mr. Atkins!

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

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Throwback Thursday 1/26/17!

It's an older post with little traffic - so let's give it another shot in the spotlight...

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

Monday, January 23, 2017

Maniacal Movie Poster Monday #248!

Madame  (Embassy Pictures, 1963)

Shot in Italy in 1961 as Madame sans Gene, this made it over to the USA a couple of years later minus those two other words. No idea what this one is about - but according to the poster you;ll get to see Sophia Loren's legs in Technicolor and Technirama 70 - so that's reason enough to watch for me...

Women's Prison Massacre  (Motion Picture Marketing, 1985)

Shot in Italy in 1983 as Blade Violent - I violent this made it over to the USA a couple of years later with this new title. I saw it somewhere back there on VHS but I don't remember anything about it. I'd certainly watch it again in proper aspect ratio on DVD if such a thing exists.

FM  (Universal Studios, 1978)

I probably had the chance to see this on Showtime way back in the early 80's - but I don't think this would have appealed to a kid just barely into double digits at the time. Now, however, I'd enjoy the heck out of seeing it for the nostalgia alone.

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

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Saturday Night at the Movies 1/21/17!

Who cares what picture we see?

The late great Miguel Ferrer would have - I'm quite sure of it - so this will be the choice for tonight in his honor...

The third go-round for the original series crew (back before there were other crews that prompt the need to call these guys the original series crew) finds them on the trail of that elusive Vulcan fellow.

Actually there's way more to it than that, but that's all I'll say about that - but it does feature an early role for young Miguel Ferrer - and I do have the movie ready to spin on a fine Blu-Ray at any time, even this very night if you'd like to search for my house and come check it out with me...

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

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Throwback Thursday 1/19/17!

Just a couple of quick video clips this week...

There was a particular attraction I always wanted to visit in Hollywood - the Universal Studios tour. This desire doubled down in the late 70's when they added a new feature based on one of my favorite TV shows at that time...

Although I never got to go out there and go on the tour, and the attraction is now long gone, thanks to the a magnanimous video poster over at YouTube we can see what it was like...

Did you ever get to go on this tour, or anything similar? Tell me about it in the comments!

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

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Spotlight on Richard Kelton!

Way back when - as a newly minted Star Wars/Sci Fi fan just into double digits I was a fan of the spoofy NBC series Quark - for all seven episodes it managed to air before it got cancelled.

One of my favorite characters on the show was Ficus - a "Vegeton" alien who was Quark's answer to Mr. Spock - coldly logical and emotionless - because "Vegetons" are plant based lifeforms. I thought Ficus was hilarious.

Ficus was played by an actor named Richard Kelton. He'd been acting since his youth, and got started in Hollywood with a very brief role in the 1967 movie In Cold Blood. After appearing in 30 or so other shows like Mission: Impossible and The F.B.I. and movies like McQ, Kelton got the job on Quark.

After Quark ended, I promptly forgot about the show - and didn't really notice that I wasn't seeing Richard Kelton on other shows. I mean - Richard Benjamin popped up in Love at First Bite and started directing movies like My Favorite Year. Conrad Janis went on to play Mindy's dad on Mork and Mindy. And of course Tim Thomerson went on to a fun run in genre movies like Trancers and Dollman.

But I never saw Richard Kelton in anything else.

Decades later, in the last couple of years - Quark got released on DVD and I picked up a copy. Watching it again I finally realized I hadn't seen any other roles for Richard Kelton. But now I had access to a little resource called IMDB.

I was saddened to read about what happened to Richard Kelton.

Denver, Nov. 28 (AP) - Richard Kelton, an actor, died yesterday, apparently of a heart attack, while filming the NBC-TV series "Centennial" on a ranch south of here.
The actor had completed one day of filming the series. NBC producers began looking for an actor to replace Mr. Kelton in the role of Phillip Wendell.
Primarily known as a television actor, Mr. Kelton earned critical praise for his
performance as the young academic in the 1976 Broadway revival of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" starring Colleen Dewhurst and Ben Gazzara.
Mr. Kelton was born in Lincoln, Neb. and received B.A. and M.A. degrees in theater arts from the University of Kansas. He was a co-star on the short-lived NBC series "Quark," starring Richard Benjamin.
Mr. Kelton lived in Studio City, Calif. He is survived by his wife, Eileen, a son, Zachary, and his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Kelton of Miami, Okla.

A few days later, an autopsy had been completed and the real cause of death was known:

How sad. Here was a young guy - only thirty-five years old - and a freak accident takes him out. According to this article - while Universal was held responsible for his passing - they weren't liable for too much financially...

About the only silver lining to this sad story is that his alma mater - Kansas University - established a memorial fund in Richard Kelton's name and that fund has become a scholarship and it is still given out every year.

A sad end for a fine and talented actor. I enjoyed his work, and as I get older, hearing about people dying too young really hits home. RIP Richard Kelton.

Until next post, you Can Be Sad Along With Me Over The Passing Of Richard Kelton.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Maniacal Movie Poster Monday #247!

Theme Week! Let's look at three weekly posters that accompanied the release of a cool old movie serial back in the day - in this case the first ever live-action cinematic appearance of the Man of Steel!

Superman  (Columbia Pictures, 1948)

Everybody seems to complain about this serial because whenever star Kirk Alyn takes off flying as Superman he turns into an animated cartoon. I think it's cool. But then I love Bela Lugosi's animated transformation into a bat in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.

It's a fun old serial and I love these posters.

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

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Saturday Night at the Movies 1/14/17!

Who cares what picture we see?

Avery Schreiber might if you bring him soup - while I whip some up this will be tonight's choice...

In the late 80's anything could get a sequel - as name recognition on a VHS video shelf apparently helped move rentals out the door. So during my weird two months in Florida in late 1988 (you remember - the 60 days where I watched 125 movies?) I saw this "sequel" to the silly 1980 original playing at the local drive-in in Winter Haven Florida. I don't remember what the second feature was.

It's just a completely goofy pretty much in-name-only follow up - and it now resides in the video vault on a fine VHS cassette - and we could be watching this highly appropriate for today flick at any time - even this very evening - if you'd like to strike back at coming over and joining me.

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

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Throwback Thursday 1/12/17!

It's another link to the past - and since it's Thursday the 12th - in honor of tomorrow, we'll go with this older post...

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

Monday, January 9, 2017

Maniacal Movie Poster Monday #246!

Running behind - no (or few) words - let's get to the three posters...

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

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Saturday Night at the Movies 1/7/17!

Who cares what picture we see?

Kristi Somers most certainly would, if someone can get ahold of her and let her know. While we're checking on that - this will be tonight's choice...

Cyndi Lauper's hit song got the cinematic treatment for this flick, which graced theaters in the Spring of 1985. It's been given a story about two girls (Sarah Jessica Parker and Helen Hunt) trying to get on a televised dance competition. Simple as that - but then, it is based on a pop song.

The cast includes Lee Montgomery (who once sang to a rat in Ben), Jonathan Silverman, Ed Lauter, Shannen Doherty, Holly Gagnier, and most importantly - but sadly only briefly - Kristi Somers - who made such an impression on me in Hardbodies.

Here's what I'm talking about:

So - yeah - I'll watch anything with this young lady in it - even a silly girls' dance movie like this one. I get to keep my man card, right?

In any case, the movie resides in the video vault in a fine 80's flick box set, and we could be marveling over Ms. Somers at any time - even this very evening - if you'd like to dance over to my place and check it out with me...

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

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Throwback Thursday 1/5/17!

Legends of the Superheroes!

Ah, that incredible year 1979. It was a wondrous year - for me, anyway - and it certainly got off to some kind of start on January 18th and again a week later on January 25th. This Batman '66 fan (and no, we didn't call it that back then but it's a really convenient identifier now) was glued to the tiny black and white 13 inch TV I'd inherited when my older brother moved out - because NBC was airing the first part of a two part special trying to cash in on the success of The Incredible Hulk over on CBS.

The Legends of the Superheroes brought back Adam West and Burt Ward as Batman and Robin, and scored Frank Gorshin as the Riddler. There are several other heroes as can be seen in the picture above - but no one too famous is among those actors. But on the bad guy side hanging out with Gorshin you have actors like Charlie Callas, Howard Morris, and Jeff Altman.

The show aired in two hour long segments. The first was called "The Challenge" and was a story based episode pitting the heroes against the villains. Unfortunately, even at that tender age I could see that these shows went beyond the original Batman series's camp into just plain childishness. This wasn't made any better the next week when that episode was called "The Roast" and was indeed a super goofy takeoff of the Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts that had been hugely popular on NBC a few years earlier. I kept that second hour on my TV, but I think I only sporadically paid attention to it while I sent my Star Wars guys on a new adventure.

By the way - feeling that way about the shows during their initial airing did not prevent me from having Warner Archive whip me up a DVD of the two shows when they became available. I haven't watched them yet - I wonder how I'll feel about them now?

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

Monday, January 2, 2017

Maniacal Movie Poster Monday #245!

Let's do it for the first time in 2017!

Phenomena  (New Line Cinema, 1985)

I finally got to see this 116 minute Dario Argento flick - famously brought over here in the mid-80's and released in a chopped up 86 minute version titles Creepers. Argento apparently cites it as his favorite of his works - I enjoyed it but I think he might have done better.

Ant-Man  (Marvel Studios,2015)

Still haven't managed to see this one, though I did see the character in his subsequent appearance in Captain America: Civil War. I do want to see this soon.

Trading Places  (Paramount, 1983)

Ah. Jamie Lee's.

But I digress.

Actually, hell I do!

Jamie Lee's!

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