June MIni-Reviews – Fire & Ice to The Leech Woman

July 30, 2018 No Comments »
June MIni-Reviews – Fire & Ice to The Leech Woman

June 2018 was a pretty big month with 45 movies from start to finish.  This isn’t too surprising, as Ray Harryhausen’s Birthday (June 29) is there to pump up the total a bit.  It’s been my tradition for years to watch as many of Ray’s movies as I can manage on his birthday.  4-6 is the usual total — 5 this year.  It’d be higher but life… keeps… getting… in… the… way!  In any case, I started the month watching Fire and Ice for discussion on the Time Shifters Podcast, (Give a listen!) and finished it with a favorite Universal cheapie on Svengoolie (what else is new?).

As always, the Ratings are out of 5 Stars.

Fire and Ice *** Ralph Bakshi & Frank Frazetta make episodic fantasy epic that’s short on script & budget but strong on visuals.
Frank Frazetta: Painting with Fire **** Doc on life & work of the great Frank Frazetta. Filled with admirations, art, & anecdotes. Wish it were widescreen.
Fire and Ice – with Director Commentary *** Bakshi does a good job of talking about the production of the film & problems faced & overcome, budget, etc.
Torchy Plays with Dynamite *** Jane Wyman does a good job replacing Glenda Farrell as Torchy, & so does crew in with both crime & rasslin’.
Ocean’s 8 *** Sandra, Cait are delightful & the crew is good, too, in this caper & revenge flick carrying on the Ocean tradition.
Deadpool 2 *** Lots of fun stuff in this sequel, great action & NSFKids sequences. Lacks the verve of 1st & has heroine cliche.
Leslie Howard: The Man Who Gave a Damn **** Affectionate documentary about the life of English actor who starred & Gone With the Wind & died in WWII.
Mole People, The (Sven) **** Aw3esome mole-monsters vs. John Agar & co. vs. underground lost civilization in this 50s classic. Great fun.
Conflict *** Bogart murders his wife to court her sister & then starts finding traces of his wife who may not really be dead.
Two Mrs. Carrolls, The *** Bogart as (mad) painter who poisons his first wife when his muse runs out of juice & then sets eyes on Stanwyck.
Untold, The ** Lance Henrickson & co. search for plane crash survivors & proof of Bigfoot, or both. POV & action blur ruin it.
Adventures of Hercules ** Lou Ferrigno dubbed again goes after thunderbolts to save world. Handsome production; cheesy “homage” SFX.
Giant Gila Monster, The *** 50s’ monster classic is about as good as you can do with zero budget. Good, sincere acting. Mihm inspiration.
Beast from Haunted Cave, The ** Apollo from Star Trek is a wilderness guide trapped by gangsters & a monster at a ski resort. It’s no Key Largo.
Ghoulies ** Trying to gain supernatural powers unleashes hordes of small beasties on couples staying at mansion. Fun SFX.
Mexican Vampire Cinema: A Brief History **** Great survey of Mexican vampire films, especially in the Golden Age of the 60s or 70s. Low budget production.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind **** An emotionally fab film that doesn’t make a lot of logical sense, but great acting & scenes & SFX. Lots ‘o views.
Terror of Mechagodzilla *** Evil aliens pit giant dinosaur (Titanosaurus) & Mecha-Godzilla against Godzilla. Some good stuff in final Showa.
Incredibles 2, The ***** Elasti-Girl takes center stage in this fabulous Incredibles sequel reuniting original cast with director Brad Bird.
From Hell It Came *** A 2-star film that I love. Slain native is reincarnated into killer tree, uprooted by scientists, that seeks revenge.
Ghoulies 2 ** Ghoulies invade Dark Ride & cause chaos at carnival with new, evil owner. Lots of pre-CGI monsters. Goofy fun.
Man Made Monster (Sven) *** Chaney Jr. is sympathetic as sideshow act who becomes electrical killer under “care” of Lionel Atwill. Classic.
Tales from the Darkside: The Movie *** Amusing portmanteau film with child-eating witch frame. Mummy, killer cat, & gargoyle tale (lifted from Kwaidan).
Little Nicky ** Goofy film with Adam Sandler as son of Hell compeating with his bros to replace aging Satan. Stupid fun.
Central Intelligence *** Kevin Hart is high school hero who teams up with outcast turned CIA agent Dwayne Johnson to solve spy issues.
Spy *** Melissa McCarthy takes over as a field agent when the spy she managed is killed. Funny espionage stuff ensues.
El Vampiro y el Sexo *** Sexed up version of “The Treasure of Dracula” starring lucha superstar El Santo. Time travel, vampires, nudity.
Twilight People ** Man stranded on island falls in with beautiful assistant of Dr. Moreau-like scientist. Fights in jungle. Sad makeups.
Disciples ** Good cast & values can’t save confusing mishmash of 2 Satanist groups & demons vying for supremacy.
Invasion of Astro Monster (Monster Zero) **** If this is on, I will watch it. Classic monster battle advanced Godzillaverse into future & made it all more childlike.
Vampire Doll, The (Bloodthirsty Trilogy #1) **** Not really Dracula (as sometimes advertised), but a 60s (modern) vampire tale with Japanese twists. Nicely done.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom *** It’s the dinos that elevate this from a 2-start picture, with the story & storytelling being a hot mess. Good cast.
Night Walker, The (Sven) ** William Castle directs Barbara Stanwyck in her final feature (TV after this). Are her nightmares real or dreams?
Endeavour “Muse” **** Another good outing for young Morse with a missing Fabrege egg, rogue artists & models, &, of course, criminals.
Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter ** Better than I remember it being, though I like Billy the Kid vs. Dracula better. An honest drive-in level effort.
Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla *** 1st MechaG film is better than I remembered, despite “magnetic G” sequence. Otherwise good kaiju & alien stuff.
Bloodworx ** Students get sucked into “allergy drug” testing. Hallucinations & superstrength power gore-fest with little point.
Mother of Tears ** Standard Argento mix of great cinematography, nudity, & gore. An evil resurrected witch wreaks havoc on folks.
Igor *** Kids animation with Mad Scientist society & monster competition. Igor creates a monster wannabe actress. Oops.
3 Worlds of Gulliver, The **** Giants & Liliputians with Gulliver caught between them, thanks to Harryhausen size-changing magic in family flick.
Mysterious Island (1961) **** Giant crab, bird, bees, & nautilus battle highlight this great Harryhausen Jules Verne film for kids of all ages.
Golden Voyage of Sinbad, The ***** Harryhausen masterpiece. Gryphon, centaur, living statues, homonculus, super cast, production & Rozsa score.
Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, The **** Dinosaur freed from ice by atomic tests started the Kaiju craze & much more. Harryhausen’ts great 1st solo film
Ray Harryhausen Special Effects Titan ***** Film luminaries from Spielberg to Cameron wax poetic intermixed with Ray interviews & film footage. Great stuff.
Leech Woman, The (Sven) *** Women lose out as they lose their looks, so why not stay young by killing sexist men? Fun fem revenge shocker.

Next Month: A family reunion, Shark Week, an injury to the ear, and cutting loose from cable… What effects will all that have on my viewing?

Remember, you can support this and all my other writing work, like Dr. Cushing’s Chamber of Horrors, by joining my Patreon for a buck or two a month.  Thanks!

 

 

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