Scifi

Review of Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet

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Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet Rating: ★★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆

Review

It is 2020 and the Moon has been colonised. Spaceships Vega, Sirius and Capella are launched to space in order to explore Venus. The mission is being run from moon base Lunar 7 by the man who has planned it from its opening stages, professor Hartman. Spaceship Capella get strucked by an asteroid and professor Hartman wants to postpone the landing but the crew on the spaceship Vega has other plans. Two astronauts, accompanied by their robot, set out to explore the surface of the planet. Things seem to be going well until violent changes begin to rework the surface. Will they be able to escape the planet with their lives?

Reason to Watch

Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet was slapped together from footage from a Russian science fiction movie and additional footage with American actors. Although none of the additional footage is interesting or helps the plodding story along very much, original parts from the Russian movie and effects are good.

Context

This film was made in 60’s when American International Pictures really started living up to their name. In addition to shooting an increasing percentage of their own films overseas, American International Pictures began importing huge quantities of foreign product.

Most Memorable Quote(s)

“I can’t imagine anyone in their right mind exploring Venus.”

What You Need to Get Through This Movie

In order to see this movie you must have the power of will to shut down all of yours rational thoughts for an hour and a little bit more.

Trivia

The film is actually a US adapted and edited version of the Russian sci-fi movie Planeta Bur directed by Pavel Klushantsev with some American actors for the US/English speaking market.

Educational Content

If you see a big plant don’t get too close… It can eat you!

Justification for Rating

Special effects in the film are suprizingly good. Not that they can match present special effects but ,for the 60’s, they are very well done.

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Horror

Review of The Wasp Woman

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The Wasp Woman Rating: ★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

Review

This movie is simply early 60’s sci-fi fun! It’s about a cosmetics business owner that is worried about showing her signs of aging, and learns about a recent discovery of a jelly made by wasps that turn back the signs of aging. So of course she volunteers out of desperation to be a test subject. Well she of course gets over zealouse and takes too large of a dose and becomes… Wasp Woman devouring her prey. The acting and effects are pretty well done for the time. This film is a fun one for a rainy, lazy day.

Reason to Watch

If you want to show your kids the movies that made you the weird parent you are this is a good one to show ’em. It worked for me.

Context

1960 the pubescent period between atomic and psychedelic cinema. A late night gem.

Most Memorable Quote(s)

None.

What You Need to Get Through This Movie

A fly swatter and a box of wine.

Trivia

The co-director’s credit listed above for Jack Hill is a consequence of The Wasp Woman’s release to TV in the 1960s. At a brisk 66 minutes, the film was deemed too short for a network time slot. Hill was hired to lengthen it, which he did by providing two new sequences. One of these opens the film: a leisurely stroll through an apiary, the confrontation between Zinthrop and the angry accountant, and Zinthrop’s dismissal. The other consists of a detective – played by Jack Hill! – searching for the missing scientist after his accident. Sadly, this footage is certainly not representative of Hill’s work, and adds little to the film but running time. However, it was this version of The Wasp Woman that I saw, so I thought I should mention it. (http://twtd.bluemountains.net.au/Rick/tww.htm)

Educational Content

None.

Justification for Rating

It’s not bad enough to be good, but it’s not bad enough to be great.

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Horror

Review of The Last Man on Earth

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The Last Man on EarthRating: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

Review

Robert Morgan is a scientist who is fighting desperately to develop a cure for a virus that has plagued the entire world! Sound familiar? Well, it should. This is actually an adaptation of Richard Matheson’s I am Legend. Morgan finds himself alone battling zombies by day and taking refuge in his reenforced home at night. It seems like the rest of his life will be lived in solitude. Then, one day, he thinks he may have seen somebody else?

Reason to Watch

Although the sound effect may be cheesy and the dubbing maybe a bit off, it is appreciable because Vincent Price does a great job being the center of attention through out the bulk of the film. This film will help you to appreciate the modern take on I am Legend without moving too far away from the original novel.

Context

This movie was produced during the 60’s when movies were still being made in black and white, and the act of being subtle may actually be more effective in moving an audience than big budget special effects.

Most Memorable Quote(s)

“And I thought you were alone. I was going to cure you! Does that amuse you?”

What You Need to Get Through This Movie

Most movies made from this era may be lacking in many areas by our generations standards. I think that in this case all you will need is the right mood to really enjoy this flick. Find someone who enjoys older and more classic films, make some popcorn, turn down the lights and enjoy.

Trivia

This film was originally going to be produced by Hammer Films of Great Britain. They decided not to make it and passed the script over to their U.S. associate, Robert L. Lippert, who produced the film in Italy.
The script was written in part by Richard Matheson, but he was dissatisfied with the result and was therefore credited as Logan Swanson.

Educational Content

At some point you almost feel like this could be mistaken for a vampire flick. Living a normal life during the day, staking a few zombies, and boarding yourself in to protect yourself from the hordes that come at night! It seems a stake can kill just about anything.

Justification for Rating

For me this movie deserves a 7/10. It is one of those films that just seems to show us where a lot of ideas have come from in many of our modern films. Hordes of zombies attack a lone person(s) in the dead of night, dozens of blood/flesh thirsty zombies surrounding a car are locked inside… sound familiar? Most of us can relate this to a lot of modern zombie and horror flicks. If you are in the mood to just sick back and enjoy a movie without too much thought on the plot and possible holes, you will enjoy this movie.

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Horror

Review of The Corpse Vanishes

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The Corpse VanishesRating: ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆

Review

Bela Lugosi is back as the evil doctor who turns from good to evil to satisfy is own wicked desires. In The Corpse Vanishes Lugosi playes Dr.Lorenz a doctor who is bent on keeping his wife young and who will stop at nothing to achieve it. Soon young virginal bridemaids are turning up dead and their bodies missing. Our Dr.Lorenz has discovered that by extracting a substance from these young girls neck he can keep his wife young and beautiful. With the help of a dwarf and his dim witted brother the doctor soon turns the town into chaos. Arriving on the scene to try and figure out the mystery is a young female reporter who enlists the aide of a young doctor. They soon found out that there is a story behind the orchids all the dead girls are wearing.

Reason to Watch

Bela! Bela! Need I say more? Lugosi, is great as the mad scientist who has turned evil in his attempt to do good. Sure we’ve seen the same movie done over and over with a diferent sub plot but not all of these movies have Lugosi.

Context

The movie was made in 1942 and the war was going on at the time. I think one reason Lugosi was so popular at the time was because he could personify the evil foreigner. That evil outsider was also a representation of the Nazi.

Most Memorable Quote(s)

1.”Aww, now wait a minute. Are you trying to tell me that this Professor Lorenz is a hypnotist as well as a horticulturist?”
2.”Why, yes, in a manner of speaking. I find a coffin much more comfortable than a bed.”

What You Need to Get Through This Movie

Your going to need alot of friends over so you won’t be the only one screaming at your television as you watch these people do things no sane person would ever do. Make sure you get a case of beer or something harder, so when your driven to start acting out the scenes you just saw, you can be at least half as bad. Keep the cover of DVD close by just in case you or your friends want to check out what your watching again.

Trivia

“One laboratory scene where Lugosi’s mad scientist character becomes enraged at his half-witted assistant and thrashes him with a whip was duplicated 13 years later by director Ed Wood in Bride of the Monster with Lugosi and Tor Johnson.”

Educational Content

1. Never knew glands help us to have nice teeth and hair.
2. Do you think sleeping in a coffin will help those with insomnia or even back problems?
3. Is the good doctors wife a junkie since she shoots drugs in her veins?
4. Do you think that teenagers know that hormones are the reason for life?

Justification for Rating

I gave this movie a 5 for I love a movie where there is the doctor turn wrong in his attempt to do right. Sure the script is weak and downright funny but everyone loves a horror movie where we kind of feel bad for the evil guy.

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Scifi

Review of The Amazing Transparent Man

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The Amazing Transparent ManRating: ★★★½☆☆☆☆☆☆

Review

Once you get past the poor title and the fact the movie is black and white it can be an half decent movie. The plot is about an ex-army major who seems to be a bit mental with deluded plans on conquering the world with some ‘transparent’ super soldiers. With the unwilling help of Dr. Ulof an invisibilty machine is created. Before all this a safe cracker is broken out of prison by an attractive blonde. They drive past a policeman who didnt have the common sense to ask to see the mysterious man in the passenger seat even though he had a hat on his face.

The film starts to get more scifi with Dr. Ulof chatting about using some dangerous reactive material and then blasts the safe cracker with the ‘Transparency Ray’. He then heads off to steal some atomic, nuclear things from a heavily gaurded safe but then turns against the ex-major and by the end of the film everyones double-crossed each other which left me a bit dumfounded.

Reason to Watch

Theres some comical fights with guards and baddies alike fighting thin air and alot of the acting is either overdone or the opposite with some actors left expressionless. Also some good camera work as the invisible guy fades in and out which i suppose was hi-tech for the 1960s.

Context

The 1960s/70s was the golden era for american B-movies however most of these went down the route of exploitation – and so the films were nick named ‘nudies’. Edgar G. Ulmer had plenty of chances to make some big budget A – movies but instead went with the cheap, wacky stuff.

Most Memorable Quote(s)

I did not agree to kill a man by deliberate radiation poisoning.

What You Need to Get Through This Movie

The only way to see past the poor acting skills of Douglas Kennedy and the budget of $100 is with a few litres of sangria and some good friends to distract from the TV.

Trivia

Edgar G. Ulmer filmed this and ‘Beyond the Time Barrier’ back to back in just two weeks.
The film was later featured in an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K) an american cult comedy series about a man who is forced to watch terrible american B-movies – no joke, but in the end this show won a few awards and has quite a few followers.

Educational Content

X-rays can make you invisible – just remember that next time you break a bone, you might end up with no arm.

Justification for Rating

This movie definitely fits under the heading of, ‘so bad it ends up good’.

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