September was crowded with birthdays, family visits, commitments, and old and new TV shows (including the excellent GLOW on Netflix). With so much going on, I suppose it’s inevitable that my movie watching “suffered” some.
That’s right, September was the first month where I didn’t watch 50 or more films for the first time this year (or at least the first time I didn’t average out to 50 or more per month). I think I totaled 37 films in September, and ended with “only” 442 for the year.
That’s quite a few short, and a bit to “make up” if I want to get to 600 this year. (Which I said I didn’t care about at the start, but now I kinda do.) At least, 500 seems likely in any case.
So, here’s September…
Night of the Big Heat (a.k.a. Island of the Burnging Damned) *** Lee, Cushing, & good cast in Quatermass-like story of heat-generating alien invasion. Characterization sometimes spotty, but generally entertaining. Feels a lot like a Hammer film or Island of Terror.
Monster on the Campus (Sven) *** Man (& dog) infected by celocanth become evolutionary throwback monsters. Minor Universal monster fun.
Godzilla 2000 (Comet – English Dub) *** CGI spaceship/monster looks dated, but actual G-foe & Big Battle are good & so are human characters.
Godzilla, Mothra, & King Ghidorah (GMK – Comet – English Dub) ***** English dub takes some of the shine off this brilliant, innovative G-film with unusual monster portrayals. Still great.
Godzilla Against MechaGodzilla (Comet – English Dub) **** Rewatch. I generally don’t like Mecha-G films, but I like this a lot, with clever bio-machine premise & good characters. See notes on first watch this year, too.
Terror Birds *** Engaging group of “kids” run afoul of giant fowl breeding operation & sociopath, with SyFy-style gory results.
Surf Party ** B&W beach party movie with a surfer “gang’ causing trouble for the good surfers. Mostly for Bobby Vinton fans.
IT! (2017) *** New Stephen King adaptation is good enough, but changes some things from the original it didn’t need to. :-/
Human Beasts (Spanish language) *** Naschy film about greed & a mysterious family meanders a bit, has a bit of nudity, killer mercs, & some gore.
Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb, The **** Perhaps the 2nd best of the Hammer mummy films has a strong cast, production, & music. Good monster fare.
Ghost of Dragstrip Hollow, The ** Teen Hot Rod, dance & music film was hard to see before Comet & TCM rotation. Watch for Blaisdell monsters.
Medusa Against the Son of Hercules (Sven) *** Carlo Rambaldi water dragon & weird medusa elevate this sword & sandal epic a bit above the usual fare.
After Midnight ** 1980s portmanteu film centered around a college course on Fear. Not bad, but not too memorable, either.
House of the Long Shadows *** Better than people say, but not up to the standard of its great stars, Lee, Cushing, Price. Comet print very dark.
Kidnapped **** Strong Disney adaptation of the R.L.Stevenson adventure classic. Fine cast inlcudes young Peter O’Toole.
Slaughter of the Vampires *** Euro-horror borrows heavily from Dracula. Starts with the slaughter in the title & ends with pretty decent fight.
Blackbeard’s Ghost *** Dean Jones & Suzanne Pleshette & pirate ghost Peter Ustinov vs. crookedd gamblers in Disney family comedy
Horrible Dr. Hichcock, The *** Scream Queen Barbara Steele’s Dr. husband likes the dead better than the living in this Corman-esque flick.
Destination Nightmare *** Karloff elevates this complation from his TV show The Veil about various encounters with death & reincarnation.
Man Beast ** Lots of climbing & walking shots harm low-budget tale with interesting idea. Needed more money for yeti suits.
Cave of the Living Dead ** Detective vs. living dead story looks good & has fun moment, doesn’t quite hold together Needs more vamps.
It Came from Outer Space (Sven) **** Classic Bradburry. Aliens crash on Earth & use human disguises is a cut above the usual alien invaders films.
Awakening, The ** Not quite The Omen, not quite a mummy film, this flick has good ideas & cast but never quite follows through.
Mummy, The (2017) *** Blu-ray looks great & has some good extra features. Fun, but the film could still be more monstrous.
Burn, Witch, Burn! **** Classic story of the “Conjur Wife” with Matheson script, great actors, & strong production. Eerie. Clever.
Mysterious Doctor, The *** WWII tale of a mine haunted by a headless ghost has a good cast of engaging characters & nice twists.
Frankenstein (Karloff) (Sven) ***** Karloff, Colin Clive, & Director Whale kill in this classic monster movie filled with atmosphere & great scenes.
Retaliator, The (a.k.a Programmed to Kill) ** US government turns terrorist Sandahl Bergman into a killer cyborg for the US. What could possibly go wrong?
Queen of the Amazons ** Search for a missing fiance, who’s taken up with an amazon tribe vs. badguys. Way too much stock footage.
GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling **** Interesting & moving doc about the 1980s phenom women wrestlers show. Inspired great new 2017 TV series.
Blood Bath (a.k.a. Track of the Vampire) ** William Campbell as artist who turns into vampire-like sadist serial killer when tortured by sexy ghost. Really.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle *** Solid actioner is similar to original film & nearly as fun, has some great scenes, but too much of a sausage fest.
Witches’ Mountain, The (El Monte de las Brujas) ** Photographer fall in love & takes a trip to the mountains where they encounter coven. Could use better print.
Revenge of Doctor X, The (Venus Fly Trap) ** Mad doctor goes to Japan & decides making a human-venus-fly-trap-human hybrid would be good idea. Silly.
Santo in the Treasure of Dracula (Santo en el Tresor de Dracula) *** El Santo invents a time machine & sends his girlfriend back to be Dracula’s victim. (Oops.) When she returns, they hunt for Dracula’s treasure. And, of course, there must be some wrestling. Enjoyable action/horror film.
Blancheville Monster, The ** Heiress returns to family castle & falls victim to a family history of madness amid spooky goings on. Poe-like.
Demons of Ludlow, The ** Haunted piano brings vengeful ghosts to bucolic (WI) town. Carpentereseque director of Giant Spider Invasion.
Cold, The (a.k.a. The Game) ** 3 crazy millionaires offer young people $1 million to stay overnight, if they can, in “haunted” (WI) resort lodge.
Wolf Man, The ***** Classic that made Lon Chaney, Jr., a star and helped spur Universal monster revival. One of the all-time best.
So, that’s “all” I watched this month.
Will I catch up to my earlier pace? I’m only 8 behind… But, believe it or not, October has been even more jammed with stuff, including 2 mid-week trips. But more about that next month, because it’s now Halloween Season! (And who doesn’t love that?) Maybe TCM’s 24-hour Halloween Marathon will help… 😉