Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Poor Jack o' Lantern Pumpkin



Here we are thinking about Christmas decorations, and the pumpkin never got carved. Of course, it lasted a lot longer this way.

What's It Gonna Be, Santa?

I bought Chicago's Christmas cd What's It Gonna Be, Santa? for The Husband because back in the day he bought every Chicago lp as it came out. A true fan, he was, but I don't know how he'll like this.

This Christmas is the fifth track:


Well, The Husband has heard some of it during lunch and says Chicago ain't what they used to be, though he pointed out some sections that sounded like the old days.

The Moody Blues: December

December is a cd with seasonal music by The Moody Blues. I picked this up at Spin Street this year. I don't care for it at all -boring and schmaltzy and tending towards the sad end of the spectrum.

December Snow is the second track:


You can listen to samples at Amazon.com.

Bing Crosby's White Christmas CD


The Husband loves Bing Crosby's Christmas music. You'd think it'd be possible to eventually get tired of it, but I've got no evidence he ever will. We have 3 Bing Crosby Christmas CDs he has picked up through the years. White Christmas, pictured above, is one of them. You can sample the tracks from the Amazon link.

The Holly & the Ivy

The Holly & the Ivy is a cd of "All Time Favorite Carols" by the St. Paul's Cathedral Choir. This is a bare bones disc, with no liner notes or annotations of any kind. It's available through Amazon.

The first song on the disc is Once in Royal David's City:

A Chorus Line

The Grandmother was not favorably impressed by A Chorus Line, but I enjoyed it. I had seen it several times before, but she never had. She said, "I haven't seen any of the new movies." I told her it came out 26 years ago, but that seems new to her. The only thing that interested her was that Theatre Memphis had done it years ago. She said she could see why it would be popular with community theaters. It's directed by Richard Attenborough and stars Michael Douglas as the director of a new Broadway musical just beginning auditions. Terrance Mann (who was in Solarbabies and Mrs. Santa Clause, but we won't hold that against him) is the assistant choreographer.

trailer:


Spirituality and Practice says,
Thousands of talented dancers and singers flock to New York City every year with hopes of landing a role in a Broadway musical.... This screen adaptation of the Broadway musical offers a loving tribute to these "gypsies" and the gusto they bring to their craft.
Time Out doesn't like it. DVD Talk calls it a "badly filmed play" and the "movie non-event of 1985". Roger Ebert gives it 3 1/2 stars.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas Live

The Daughter and The Husband are long-time Mannheim Steamroller fans. One of the cds we have is Mannheim Steamroller Christmas Live.

Angels We have Heard on High is the first track:

A Very Special Christmas

A Very Special Christmas is a compilation of a variety of artists who combine forces to benefit Special Olympics. It starts off with The Pointer Sisters singing "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" and includes the Eurythmics, Sting, U2, Bob Seger and others on 15 tracks.

Sting's contribution to "A Very Special Christmas" -"Gabriel's Message":


I'm not a big fan, and I never listen to this one more than once a season. I should probably see if one of the kids wants it so it can have a home where it's more appreciated.

Christmas in Harmony

The first time I heard of Wilson Phillips and who they were I had this wave of nostalgia, so when I saw their Christmas cd Christmas in Harmony at Spin Street I bought it. It's not nearly as much fun as I wanted it to be. I listened to the entire cd, but kept finding myself annoyed and wanting to turn it off. If I want a girl group's take on Christmas I'll listen to Play again.

I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day:

Christmas Carols


Christmas Carols is the title of this CD of 20 tracks of Christmas songs sung by the Worcester Cathedral Choir. It's a nice mix of familiar and less well-known seasonal music.

Wikipedia says, "Since the 18th century, Worcester Cathedral Choir has taken part in the Three Choirs Festival, the oldest music festival in the world." That festival has a website here.

You can buy the cd (for $7.99) and listen to some of the music at Amazon.com.

The Shawshank Redemption

I really thought this one would make a hit with The Grandmother, but as soon as the end credits started rolling she got up and left the room. Neither of us had seen it before, although I'd seen enough bits and pieces on tv to know it was worth watching. The Shawshank Redemption is a 1994 drama that takes place mostly in Shawshank prison. It's based on the Stephen King novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. It stars Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. James Whitmore has a role as the elderly prison librarian who has difficulty on the outside when paroled after spending most of his life in prison. I enjoyed watching it, even though it's a bit more sentimental than I generally like.

trailer:


Slant Magazine calls it over-rated and says,
the film's naïve sentimentality undermines serious issues of violence, rape, manhood, and male bonding. Indeed, after the Sisters are silenced, Darabont cranks up the unilateral act of hero worship: prison goes from being "mean and scary" to, well, "cute." Andy writes letters in order to get books into the prison library, starts doing everyone's taxes, and wins the hearts of guards and prisoners alike. Someone should bake a pie. Oh, wait, they do!
Roger Ebert has a positive review.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Ho Ho Ho

Ho Ho Ho is a Christmas cd by RuPaul. I just got home from Spin Street with my new-to-me copy. It's different, I'll give it that. Embeddable videos are hard to come by, but I did find one.

All I Want for Christmas:

Rupaul all i want for christmas by dummy-account

Chicago

When this one was over and I asked The Grandmother what she thought of it, she said, "I didn't think much of it." Neither of us had seen it. Chicago is a 2002 musical starring Richard Gere as a high-powered high-cost defense attorney, Rene Zellweger as wanna-be vaudeville star Roxie who kills her lover, Catherine Zeta-Jones as a showgirl who kills her sister, Queen Latifah as the prison matron "Mama" and John C. Reilly as Roxie's dupe of a husband. I got a kick out of it.

trailer:


It won the Academy Award for Best Picture.

When You're Good to Mama:


Roger Ebert calls the film "big, brassy fun". Slate.com gives it a positive review. Slant Magazine finds fault with the direction and almost everything else.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

1940's Christmas


I don't remember where this CD came from, but it hasn't gotten a lot of play around here. 1940's Christmas has 10 tracks of Christmas music by artists like Benny Goodman, Bing Crosby, Petula Clark... You can listen to samples at the Amazon.com page and pick it up through one of their links for as little as a buck 99. It's not my kind of thing, but for $1.99 it adds some variety to our Christmas music.

The Byrd Edition, Vol. 1: Early Latin Church Music & Propers for Lady Mass in Advent



The Byrd Edition, Volume 1, sung by The Cardinall's Musick, is the first volume of a project to cover the entire works of William Byrd. This CD includes early Latin church music and propers for Lady Mass in Advent.

from the notes included with the CD:
Admirers of Byrd's music may immediately be struck not only by the fact that the majority of works on this disc are heard rarely in performance (not to mention on disc) but also that many of them sound unlike what we have come to accept as "typically Byrd". In his early manuscript works one hears the strong influence of the music of John Sheppard and Thomas Tallis, although at this stage Byrd already carries a distinct voice of his own.

You can listen to samples of the music at Amazon.

Christmas From English Cathedrals


We've had this cd for a while. Christmas From English Cathedrals features music from The Norwich Cathedral Choir, Wells Cathedral Choir, Marlborough Cathedral Choir and St. Paul Cathedral Choir. Some of these songs are more familiar than others, but it's nice to have that kind of combination. It's all very traditional church music, traditionally performed.

You can buy it from Amazon.com, where you can also listen to samples. The photo at the top of the post came from Amazon.com.

The Red Violin

This was long for us at 130 minutes, but I took The Red Violin to The Grandmother's and we watched it during supper. I had some of the rest of the chili, which she has inexplicably started refusing to eat, and she had (and ate some of) raisin bread cheese toast and chicken soup. But I'd better not get started on our food issues. I loved this movie. I loved the music, the way the film was structured, the cinematography.... I would watch it again any time.

trailer:


Roger Ebert says,
The film is heedlessly ambitious. In a time of timid projects and easy formulas, "The Red Violin" has the kind of sweep and vision that we identify with elegant features from decades ago
DVD Talk opens by saying,
One of the Nineties' more sweeping, elegant epics that often seems to be lost in the shuffle, director Francois Girard's The Red Violin (or Le Violon Rouge, if you prefer) is a full-blooded motion picture experience, a romantic ode to the power of art that grips you from the opening moments and does not let go. It's one of the decade's unsung classics.
Reel Views says, "The Red Violin is a beautifully composed motion picture. At times, it's a near-perfect mingling of the visual and the audio." Salon.com didn't like it, concluding that it
has marvelous cinematography, a clever structure and a beautiful score by the eminent American composer John Corigliano, but what it doesn’t have is any coherent story to tell, or any reason to exist beyond admiring its own beauty.
The top critics at Rotten Tomatoes give it 86%.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Play Around the Christmas Tree


The Elder Son introduced me to this several years ago. He let me borrow it, and I ended up getting my own CD. Play Around the Christmas Tree is by Swedish girl group Play.

This is the first song on the cd:


You can listen to some of the music at Amazon.com.

A Streetcar Named Desire

I had never seen this movie, though I'd seen bits and pieces of it on tv through the years. I took it to The Grandmother's, who also hadn't seen it. She was surprised Vivien Leigh had been in it when she saw her name in the end credits; she hadn't recognized her. A Streetcar Named Desire also stars Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter and Karl Malden. It is directed by Elia Kazan. I'm sorry it has taken me so long to see this. I think it would've made a great piece to explore as part of the high school curriculum.

trailer:


Roger Ebert considers it one of the greats and says this of Brando's performance:
you could make a good case that no performance had more influence on modern film acting styles than Brando's work as Stanley Kowalski, Tennessee Williams' rough, smelly, sexually charged hero

Friday, November 25, 2011

Advent Carols from St. John's


Advent Carols from St. John's is a CD of music from The Choir of St. John's College, Cambridge.

from the booklet included with the CD:
This recording presents a reconstruction of the service for Advent with Carols and within the space available preserves as many aspects as possible of the service as it might be heard on Advent Sunday from St. John's.
...
The service blends traditional plainsong antiphons, carols and carol-anthems alongside readings and Collects.
Lloyd's Drop Down Ye Heavens is the first track:


You can listen to parts of this CD at Amazon.com.

If On a Winter's Night...

The neighbors weren't home, but they had left their windows open and their dogs set on bark-nonstop. Music was called for to drown out the incessant barking, so I put on the first Christmas cd of this season: Sting's If On a Winter's Night.... I think this was new to us last year, but maybe not. I don't have the cd with the bonus tracks.

A few years ago I started buying Christmas cds that were more non-traditional, as I wanted more variety in my seasonal listening. This aids that quest.

Gabriel's Message is the first song on the cd:

Bullet with Butterfly Wings

I heard Bullet with Butterfly Wings (1995) by The Smashing Pumpkins the other day on WEVL:


The Smashing Pumpkins - Bullet with Butterfly... by EMI_Music

I don't remember ever having heard it before.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Green Lantern

Green Lantern is a 2011 action film based on the comic strip character with the same name. It was fun to watch, but I didn't feel any chemistry at all between the leads and the fight training sequences were a bit lame. It left open the possibility for a sequel, but I'll be surprised if there is one.

trailer:


Moria says, "As comic-book adaptations go, Green Lantern holds up as one of the better". Salon.com has several reviews, none of which seem enthusiastic. Roger Ebert likes it better than Thor, which concerns me, as I haven't seen Thor.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Apache Blood

Apache Blood is a 1975 Western starring Ray Danton.

You can watch it here:

but you'll never get those minutes back.

Weird Wild Realm closes by saying,
Though a pretty darned bad film, I did like the fact that the bulk of the film's sentiment favors the Apache avenger Yellow Shirt, whose violent cause is just. I got a modicum of entertainment out of this Z western, but couldn't recommend it to anyone who doesn't have a soft spot for amateur filmmaking.
AMCtv has some information.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

I took Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to watch with The Grandmother because it's one of my favorite of the Disneys. She didn't remember seeing it even though she said she was working and could afford movie-going at the time. She did remember her Uncle Walter being excited about taking Great Aunt Frankie to see it. After we watched it she remembered having seen it before, most likely with us when we were young or with her grandchildren during one of its re-releases. Adriana Caselotti voices Snow White.

original trailer:
SPIKE
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs - Trailer 1937
www.spike.com
Spike Full EpisodesSpike Video ClipsSpike on Facebook


trailer for home video release:


It was well-received when it was first released. Moria calls it "a genuine classic". It's on Roger Ebert's list of great movies, and he closes his review with this:
It remains the jewel in Disney's crown, and although inflated modern grosses have allowed other titles to pass it in dollar totals, it is likely that more people have seen it than any other animated feature. The word genius is easily used and has been cheapened, but when it is used to describe Walt Disney, reflect that he conceived of this film, in all of its length, revolutionary style and invention, when there was no other like it--and that to one degree or another, every animated feature made since owes it something.


6/15/2012: The Husband chose this to watch tonight. It'd been a long time since he'd seen it.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Queen Christina

The Grandmother hadn't seen this one and neither had I. When I told her it came out in 1933 and asked her if she'd seen it, she said, "I was in 10th grade that year, and we didn't go to many movies then." Queen Christina stars Greta Garbo (in what The Younger Son tells me is one of her better roles), John Gilbert and Ian Keith. The film is loosely based on historical characters.

trailer:


It got good reviews when it was released. Slant Magazine calls it "an uneven spectacle" but says,
The famous last close-up of her impassive face in Queen Christina is one of those movie things that you never get over, an endless subject for contemplation.
The Guardian concludes its review by saying,
this is a surprisingly credible nod towards 17th century Swedish history, and not too bad an effort at capturing the spirit of the real Christina, either. Modern filmmakers, watch and learn.
TCM and AMC have some information.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Green Card

I knew The Grandmother wouldn't have seen this one, and I was right. She enjoyed it, and I was glad since I've always liked it. Green Card is a 1990 romantic comedy starring Gerard Depardieu and Andie MacDowell. It's directed by Peter Weir.

trailer:


Roger Ebert calls it "a sound, entertaining work of craftsmanship, a love story between two people whose meet is not as cute as it might have been." BBC gives it 3 out of 5 stars. TimeOut gives it a positive review.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

An American in Paris

It'd been blows and stretches since I'd seen An American in Paris, and it turned out The Grandmother had never seen it. How is it that a 93 year old woman who would've been around 30 years old and childless when it played in theaters and who has had cable for over 10 years has never seen this film? Well, she's seen it now, and her response was that it was the kind of movie one of her brothers would've liked. "You know... anything musical." lol It was fun to watch it again, and, of course, Gene Kelly is always worth seeing. In addition to Gene Kelly, it stars Leslie Caron in her first film, Oscar Levant, Nina Foch and Georges Guetary. It's directed by Vincente Minnelli.

trailer:


Roger Ebert has a review. The Guardian calls it "An exotically contrived romance." DVD Talk says,
The all-around tone of the film is jaunty, with gorgeous sets and likable actors strutting their stuff without a whiff of self-consciousness. Declaring that they don't make them like An American in Paris anymore wouldn't be a cliché, it's a simple fact.
Time Out mentions "Gene Kelly in a puce body stocking".

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Suicidal Wheelchair Driver

Maybe it's contagious?

I was driving south on Highland last night when I saw a dark figure in the headlights of a car in front of me. The wheelchair was headed southeast, crossing the street catty-corner. It's a miracle s/he made it across safely, as there was traffic coming from both directions.

I'm seeing Memphians with death wishes lately.

The Silence

The Silence (1963) is the 3rd film in Bergman's trilogy and my least favorite of the lot. I'm not sure why. Perhaps I'm getting enough sister drama in my own life right now. It stars Ingrid Thulin as Ester, the cold, controlling older sister whose illness forces a stop in the journey; Gunnel Lindblom as Anna, the sensual, resentful younger sister; and Jorgen Lindstrom as Anna's young son.

trailer:


I'm glad I didn't see the trailer first; I would've expected an entirely different movie.

Senses of Cinema says it "is one of Ingmar Bergman’s most important and most perfect films, marking a high point in his distinctive formal experimentation". filmref.com describes it as "an examination of emotional isolation in a world without God - where salvation lies in human connection." Roger Ebert has it on his list of great films. Only the Cinema says,
the film is about much more than the absence of faith: it is about the myriad ways in which communication can fail, the ways that speech and language can drive people apart rather than bringing them closer to mutual understanding

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Grand Duel

The Grand Duel is a Lee Van Cleef Spaghetti Western from 1972. I'm a fan of Lee Van Cleef, and his presence in a movie is enough for me to watch it, but this one has other interests besides Van Cleef. The villain is priceless.



DVD Talk closes with this:
The Grand Duel has its moments but it somehow falls short of being a classic Spaghetti Western. That said, fans of the genre and Lee Van Cleef will be glad to have this show on DVD at last.
Spaghetti-Western.net has good things to say. The Western Review calls it "enjoyable and energetic" and says it contains "one of the more memorable villains in the history of the Spaghetti Western".

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Winter Light

Winter Light (1962), the 2nd in Ingmar Bergman's trilogy, stars Gunnar Bjornstrand as a pastor in crisis, Ingrid Thulin as a schoolmarm and the pastor's former lover, and Max von Sydow as a parishioner contemplating suicide. I must see this one again. I was so drawn to the characters' faces that I kept forgetting to read the subtitles. I'm watching these films alone; The Younger Son doesn't like Bergman, and The Husband and The Daughter don't like subtitles.

trailer:


The New Yorker says, "It is a harrowing experience, this film". FilmRef.com calls it "Perhaps the most spiritually bleak and visually stark of Ingmar Bergman's religious chamber series". Roger Ebert considers it a great film. Senses of Cinema writes:
Technically, the film is flawless – no single shot could be removed without damaging the overall effect. It is as if Bergman assembled the raw materials to tell his story, as raw as he could make them, then placed them in front of Sven Nykvist’s camera with as little emphasis as possible
Slant Magazine says, "to my mind it is one of the most profound examinations of Christianity and its imprisoning tenets". DVD Talk calls it "one of Bergman's most austere and compelling films" and says,
Winter Light is an agonizing, deceptively simple work that ranks among Bergman's finest efforts. It is thoroughly and completely uncompromising in its vision of absolute spiritual despair and hunger.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Another Suicidal Bicyclist

Yes, I realize traffic was heavy going our way and there was no oncoming traffic, but still...

crossing the double yellow line and riding the wrong way on a major city street so you can pass all the cars stopped at that light is never a good idea.

What is it with bicyclists lately???

The Deadly Companions

The Deadly Companions is a 1961 Western starring Brian Keith (who has a Star Trek:Deep Space Nine Connection), Maureen O'Hara, Steve Cochran, Strother Martin, Will Wright and Chill Wills. It's Sam Peckinpah's directorial debut. Hearing the opening song tempted me to close the screen and pick something else, but I persevered. I enjoyed it all until a piece of that same song played at the end. Otherwise, it's a fine Western.

The Internet Archive has it, and you can watch it online:


DVD Talk rates the film as "very good".

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Mr. Skeffington

I saw Mr. Skeffington on TCM the other day. I've never been a big Bette Davis fan, but I can't resist Claude Rains. The film was released in 1944 and was directed by Vincent Sherman. I loved Claude Rains, but at the end I was gagging. Too much Bette Davis. Much too much.

trailer:


Slant Magazine gives it 2 out of 4 stars, has praise only for Rains, calls it "an insanely over-elaborate, marathon soap opera" and says, "This is a star vehicle in extremis. There's no movie here, really, just Davis and her Role." TimeOut gives it a bad review. DVD Talk calls the film "impressive" and particularly praises a few of Rains' moments. Rotten Tomatoes

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Through a Glass Darkly

Through a Glass Darkly, the first in Ingmar Bergman's trilogy, is a 1961 black and white 4-character film. It stars Harriet Andersson as a woman recently released from a hospital where she was treated for her mental illness; Max von Sydow, her husband; Gunnar Bjornstrand, her father; and Lars Pasgard her adolescent brother.

There are a couple of scenes in the film that strongly reminded me of Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper. Striking.

trailer:


Roger Ebert calls it a great film. The New York Times says it "economically packs a rather limited but powerful personal experience within a comparatively narrow frame." It gets 100% at Rotten Tomatoes. FilmRef.com has a short piece. Criterion has links to a few articles.

It won an Academy Award for best foreign film.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Notes From A Night-time Pedestrian

I had to walk home from The Grandmother's apartment tonight -there's a long sad car-trouble story there, but I'll skip it for now. I picked a well-lit route and headed out. I have some things to say:

to the guys in the little white car who rolled down their windows and barked at me (hooted? yelped? what was that sound?) as they came up behind me and were still dying laughing as I passed them stopped at the red light: you give the phrase "barking mad" a whole new meaning. I have to say I have never been that hard up for entertainment at 8:00 on a Friday night.

to the very dark figure on the unlit bicycle riding against the traffic: you're supposed to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, but since you were breaking every other road rule, I don't know why I expected it.

to the City of Memphis: I think those corner cuts on sidewalks are a wonderful idea, but what the hell good are they if the sidewalks are blocked with debris or construction cones or are so broken they have to be jumped over?

Loser

Loser is a 1993 Beck song. I remember this one from its release, which is odd because that was after I'd quit keeping up with popular music. "I'm a loser, baby, so why don't you kill me." I heard it the other day on the radio, probably WEVL.



It's on the Rolling Stone list of 500 Greatest Songs.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

Today's the anniversary:

Butterfly Bushes


They may not look like much now, but I have high hopes. I sacrificed boxwoods for them. They came from Dan West, though I admit I didn't look there first. The Husband found them for me. They are 3 different varieties, so I'm wondering if there'll be a difference in how well they do.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Audubon Park


Last month The Daughter and I went to Audubon Park. This poor lonely duck was off by itself, separate from the large group of ducks and geese a little further down the bank. None of them were hungry for The Daughter's donut; bread was scattered all over the place, so they had had their fill.

The weather was warm and sunny, and the leaves had started to turn. We saw several turtles, and The Daughter took a picture of this one:


We had a lovely time.


Afterwards I took The Daughter, The Elder Son and The Younger Son to the Belmont Grill for lunch, but I didn't take pictures of that. The food was great, though.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

The Fly

I've seen the original Vincent Price film several times and haven't been interested in the David Cronenberg version, but I couldn't resist the price I saw on a used copy at Spin Street. The Fly is a 1986 remake of the original. Jeff Goldblum plays the Vincent Price role. Geena Davis is his love interest. I'm glad I finally saw it. I think it does justice to its inspiration and is just as sad.

trailer:


1000 Misspent Hours likes it and says, "only rarely has he [Cronenberg] displayed such mastery of characterization as he does here." Moria gives it a good review and says, "His [Cronenberg's] is a darker, inner vision of the story where the original idea has been colluded with Cronenberg’s frequent bodily horror obsessions." Slant Magazine closes by saying, "In its galvanizing portrait of a body ravaged and sexual stasis infected by bugs, The Fly might be Cronenberg's most direct horror film ever."

Monday, November 07, 2011

The Ruthless Four

The Ruthless Four is a 1968 Spaghetti Western starring Klaus Kinski, Van Heflin and Gilbert Roland. Carlo Rustichelli wrote the score, which sounds nothing like what I would expect. This is an enjoyable movie, well worth watching.

Youtube has it online, as does AMC:


SpaghettiWestern.net says
It is a bit slow-paced, and it is a bit short on action, but characterizations and atmosphere are strong, and that uneasy relationship between an older man and his weak-willed foster son is quite unique within the genre
TCM has some information.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

The Stand

I've read the book -the original version of it, anyway- and I've seen The Stand before. It's a 1994 mini-series based on the Stephen King novel. Last week we watched the whole thing in one sitting. One could never call it subtle, but it's fun.

here are the first few minutes:


Mutant Reviewers calls it "excellent". EW likes it and says, "The Stand isn't so much a horror tale as it is an epic fantasy with the kitchen sink tossed in." DVD Talk concludes their review with this:
I loved this damned movie! I loved the damned book! Most of all, I loved the damned DVD! This is one of the scariest movies ever made.
It won some awards.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

50 Greatest Cult Classics

SF Signal has a link to Nerve's list of the 50 greatest cult classics of all time:
1. Barbarella (1968)
2. The Big Lebowski (1998)
3. Brazil (1985)
4. Breathless (1960)
5. Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
6. Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia (1974)
7. The Brood (1979)
8. Clerks (1994)
9. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
10. Death Race 2000 (1975)
11. Donnie Darko (2001)
12. Down By Law (1986)
13. Easy Rider (1969)
14. Eraserhead (1977)
15. The Evil Dead (1983)
16. Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965)
17. Fight Club (1999)
18. Freaks (1935)
19. Grey Gardens (1975)
20. The Harder They Come (1972)
21. Harold and Maude (1971)
22. Heathers (1989)
23. Kiss Me Deadly (1955)
24. The Man Who Fell To Earth (1976)
25. Mommie Dearest (1981)
26. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1974)
27. Mothra (1961)
28. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
29. Office Space (1999)
30. Pee-Wee's Big Adventure (1985)
31. Pi (1998)
32. Pink Flamingos (1972)
33. Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959)
34. Re-Animator (1985)
35. Repo Man (1984)
36. Reservoir Dogs (1992)
37. The Road Warrior (1981)
38. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
39. Sisters (1973)
40. Slacker (1991)
41. Stop Making Sense (1984)
42. Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971)
43. Taxi Driver
44. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
45. The Thing (1982)
46. The Toxic Avenger (1984)
47. Two-Lane Blacktop (1971)
48. The Warriors (1979)
49. Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995)
50. Withnail and I (1987)

I don't know why I continue to torture myself with these lists. They are filled with movies I've either never heard of or, if I have heard of them, never seen. I can't stop myself, though. I've seen the ones in bold print. The Big Lebowski, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Taxi Driver are in my to-be-watched stack.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Hey, Bicyclists!

STAY ON YOUR OWN DAMN SIDE OF THE ROAD!!!

Thank you.

It's scary to keep seeing you oncoming in my lane in traffic.

The Fury of the Wolfman

The Fury of the Wolfman is one of a series of Spanish films starring Paul Naschy in the title role. This one was apparently made in 1970 but not released until 1972. There were about 12 of these, but they are not sequels, are independent of each other and can be watched in any order. This is the first one I remember seeing, and it was fun enough, with a wild hairy man, a cold controlling female scientist, a young woman in love with the wild man... What's not to like?

The video presentation below is hosted by Count Gore De Vol:



Weird Wild Realm says, "This is one of the all-time worst werewolf films in existence, but so "busy" with ridiculous content that it can be great fun". MSN has some information.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Terror is a Man

Terror is a Man, also known as Blood Creature, is a 1959 horror film and, according to the wikipedia entry and the IMDB, was based on The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells. It is directed by Gerardo de Leon and stars Francis Lederer and Richard Derr (Star Trek: TOS connection). It was a Philippine/American production filmed in the Philippines. This is one that would stand up to watching again.



Moria calls it " routine". 1000 Misspent Hours says, "of the greatest importance, Francis Lederer nails pretty much every aspect of this subtle and multifaceted role" and "On the technical side, Terror Is a Man is one of the most beautifully shot movies I’ve seen in quite some time." Stomp Tokyo says,
if you care at all about movies like this, it is an intriguing and wonderful thing - the mad scientist as normal.... for the completist, those like me who habitually seek out each and every horror movie they have ever heard about in their misspent life, the changes the movie makes on its tired old tropes can be nicely refreshing.
TCM has some information.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Curse of the Faceless Man

Curse of the Faceless Man is a 1958 horror film directed by Edward Cahn and starring Richard Anderson (Forbidden Planet). Jerome Bixby (who wrote several Star Trek: TOS episodes) did the screenplay, and Gerald Fried (who wrote music for Star Trek: TOS, including the fight music for Amok Time) did the music. I enjoyed this one. It's available on DVD.

you can watch it here:


DVD Talk calls it "an eerie and atmospheric tale that's more enjoyable than it has any right to be" and closes by saying, "Technically it is a solid film with good composition and careful lighting and that goes a long way towards making it a fun movie." AMCtv has an overview and other information, as does TCM.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Blood of the Man Devil

Blood of the Man Devil (or House of Black Death) is a 1965 horror film starring Lon Chaney, Jr. and John Carradine. That ought to be enough to get anybody to watch it. Once. Andrea King, Tom Drake, Dolores Faith and Sabrina were also in it. I've never heard the word "coven" pronounced as it is here.

Internet Archive has it online:


Reviews are in short supply, and none of the sites I usually quote have included this film. Wikipedia doesn't even have an entry for it.