A family reunion and Shark Week definitely cut into my viewing time in July. “Just” 34 films in the month — which is still more than 1 a day. It’s vaguely absurd that feels like “not many films.” As I write this near the end of August, I know there’s a lot more to come.
As always, ratings are out of 5 stars.
Endeavour “Cartouche” **** Morse & co. tackle a murder connected to a movie theater, an aging horror star, & a mummy. Monster-homages.
Godzilla: Tokyo SOS (KaiJuly Roarth) *** Mothra & Kiryu (MechaG) face off against G in sequel to previous film. Fun kaiju battles & continuty. Great score.
Godzilla against MechaGodzilla (KJR) **** Best MechaG film every made with strong female lead, cyborg bio-computers, & hefty kaiju battles + great score.
Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla 2 (KJR) *** Heisei MechaG has Rodan/Radon, Ifukube score, overly cute “baby G,” but cool kaiju connections & action.
King Kong (1933) ***** Adventure films don’t get better than this. Monster films don’t get better than this. No films get better than Kong.
Sherlock Holmes (Gillette – 1916) *** Stagebound version of the play with original star, William Gillette, who brought pipe & deerstalker hat to Holmes.
Jurassic Park (original) ***** Great practical dinosaurs combine with innovative CGI SFX to create an amazing suspense adventure. Classic.
Jurassic Park 3 **** Great cast adds heart & the dinos add excitement to the 3rd JP outing, notable for Spinosaurus & Pteranodons.
Stranger on the Third Floor *** Everyone seems slightly nuts in this crime drama about murder & frames, but Peter Lorre is clearly king of kooks.
Clash of the Titans (2010) *** Video-game style action dominates this loose remake of the Harryhausen classic. Needs less shock, more awe.
People that Time Forgot, The ** Sequel sets out to find survivors of 1st film. Much further from Burroughs soruce.
Flash Gordon: Spaceship to the Unknown *** Compliation of 1st (great!) Flash serial jams hours of plot into less than 90 minutes. Still fun. A.K.A. Rocketship.
Screamers (1995) *** Peter Weller as future soldier vs. screaming, human killing machines on desert world. Thing meets Terminator.
Unforgettable (1996) *** Ray Liota tries to find his wife’s killer by using experimental brain-fluid technology to steal corpse memories. Fun.
Medusa Against the Son of Hercules (Sven) *** Perseus (who has nothing to do with Herc) goes against cool practical FX monsters by Carlo Rimbaldi. Worth it.
Son of Godzilla *** Giant insect battles & funky music help introduce Big Ta’s goofy-looking son, Minilla (Mini-zilla). Good cast helps.
Scenes from a Class Struggle in Beverly HIlls ** Good cast struggles through a sex comedy with not enough sex or comedy set in modern day California.
Private Parts *** Gene Corman produced this tale of a young, sexually frustrated girl who moves into her auntie’s horror hotel.
7 Guardians fo the Tomb *** International cast finds an ancient tomb filled not with great treasure, but with deadly spiders. Toch of Aliens, too.
Unholy Rollers *** Claudia Jennings is excellent in this sexed up Roller Derby film, like explotation version of Kansas City Bomber.
Flash Gordon: The Deadly Ray from Mars *** Movie version of the 2nd Flash Gordon serial isn’t as fanciful as the 1st, but has creepy Clay Men & good stuff.
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory ***** Gene Wilder is brilliantly demented as the candymaker dispensing justice to greedy children amid fantasyland.
Doctor Who: City of Death (Film Version) **** Tom Baker & Mrs. vs. Julian Glover as an evil alien fragmented into different time pieces trying to save his race.
Flash Gordon: The Peril from Planet Mongo *** Higher productin values but a bit less adventure in this movie version fo the 3rd Flash serial. Still worthwhile.
Endeavour: Passenger ***** When a missing girl is found dead in an abandoned train station, Endeavor must unravel a tangled murder plot.
Endeavour: Colours **** A model murdered in a military training grounds puts Endeavor into conflict with his boss’ son & the military.
Comic Book: The Movie *** Mark Hamil heads an amazing cast of actors & comic pros for this mocumentary about golden age hero sellouts.
Justice League **** What were people complaining about? Cast is great, especially Gadot & Afleck. CGI heavy but superhero fun.
Disturbing Behavior ** Teens are subjected to brain altering experiments that makes them both more compliant & more aggressive.
Doctor Who: Creature from the Pit (movie) **** Romana shines in this ep with Lalla Ward & Tom Baker caught between savages, metal hoarders, & a monster.
Doctor Who: Nightmare in Eden (movie ver.) **** When two ships accidentally merge, Tom Baker & Romana must free them while the crew struggles vs. drugs.
Doctor Who: Shada (The Lost Episode) **** Douglas Adams’ “lost” Dorctor Who with Tom Baker & a lost prison planet gets finished with animation. A treat!
Endeavour: Icarus **** Endeavor goes undercover as a teacher at a boy’s school as precinct gang problems boil. Worthy end to season.
Ghost in the Shell **** 1st anime (from the manga) about a secret service led by female cyborg vs. “ghost” hackers, AI, & human doubt.
Masque of the Red Death **** Vincent Price is sublimely creepy as a Satan-worshiping lord in Medieval times facing the plague. Corman great.
Next Month: More films for sure, including a bunch of shark-related films for Sharknado week, and my reviews of all the Conan films to date — and some Conan-adjacent films, too. See you in September for the August reviews!
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!