Fell down a bunch of different rabbit holes in the 35 films I watched this month. Started with some Corman & Bert I. Gordon classics that are hard to see (due to licensing issues), veered through a bit of Naschy, then into some Kaiju, a few Euro flicks, and of course a trip to the premier of the latest Mihimiverse film. Another fun month. (But aren’t they all.)
Ratings are out of five stars. Here’s what those stars mean to me…
* – This film is not good. Avoid it unless you tolerate dreck well.
** – A flawed film. You may enjoy it if you like this genre or the folks in it.
*** – A good solid film. If you like this genre, you’ll probably like this film.
**** – A superior film within its genre. Thoroughly enjoyable.
***** – An outstanding film on many levels. A great example of its genre.
SEPTEMBER 2018’S FILMS
It Conquered the World *** Good stars, Corman directing, & Blaisdel monster make monster takes over people to conquer world tale classic.
I Was a Teenage Werewolf *** Michael Landon as the over-angry teen wolf, fun makeup, mad science, & good cast help greate a genre gem.
I Was a Teenage Frankenstein ** Not as strong as “…Werewolf,” starts out slow but eventually builds to worthwhile monster mayhem. Good end.
Invasion of the Saucer Men *** Great Blaisdell little green men & lighthearted tone combine with some scary bits in wacky alien invaders flick.
Terror from the Year 5000 ** Machine brings back items from the future, including, eventually including radiation-born she-monster mutant.
Amazing Colossal Man, The *** Getting caught in an A-bomb blast sets of uncontrolled growth in the title character. Good Bert I. Gordon cheapie.
Eye Creatures, The ** Weak Buchanan remake of Invasion of the Saucer Men. In color, but lacking the style and wit of the original.
Solo **** Theater re-watch. Great fun & one of the strongest of the Star Wars films, after the original 3. Kasdan & Howard.
Frankenstein’s Bloody Terror *** The original Naschy werewolf film, with bad US re-title (no Frank). Has more monsters & ideas than it can handle.
Skyscraper *** Dwayne Johnson & Neve Campbell try to rescue their family from terrorists in a buring skyscraper. Summer fun.
Atragon *** Manda is disposed off too quickly, but with Mu on the rise & a flying sub, there’s still plenty of goodness here.
Godmonster of Indian Flats ** A mutant sheep monster (!) gets enmeshed in crooked tourist town political conflics. Some good ideas, no money.
Girl & the Geek, The (Passion in the Sun) ** If you are on the run from kidnappers, it’s probably a bad idea to strip off for a dip & sunbath, even if a stripper.
Hunchback of the Morgue (with commentary) *** Naschy’s hunchback goes on bloody rampage when his one friend dies. Rod & Troy give good commentary.
First Spaceship on Venus *** US version of East German The Silent Star is full of SciFi ideas, good SFX, & beautiful photography. Watch it..
Teenage Zombies ** The teenagers aren’t zombies for very long at all in this low-budget mad scientist flick. Has a couple good scenes.
Return of Mothra (I) *** Aimed at kids, this flick still has good production values & nice-looking monsters & monster vs. monster action.
Dracula’s Ghost ** Interesting experiment in re-cutting old films to make a “new” sequel to Dracula. But, in the end this film is mostly The Vampire Bat, and the integration of the Lugosi footage from elsewhere is the least convincing.
Beginning of the End, The *** Bert I. Gordon’s giant grasshopper attack film is still fun, despite the sometimes-marginal SFX. Minor classic.
Fahrenheit 11/9 *** Michael Moore’s exploration of “What the fuck happened?” in the 2016 election lacks focus & strong call to action.
Beginning of the End, The (Commentary) *** Commentary on the DVD of the film has Bert’s ex-wife & actress-daughter. Some good info, some lost memories.
Atlantis Rising *** Simcha Jacobovici leads James Cameron-sponsored expedition to explore modern theoroies of Atlantis. Good survey of 21st century thinking. Simcha favors Spain, but like Cameron I think Plato used a mix of known stories.
Battle in Outer Space **** 1960 Japanese world-vs-aliens SF has great SFX, some of which echo (much) later Star Wars. Good fun.
Mothra II *** Not as good as the first Heisei Mothra film, but still has some enjoyable SFX & sunken/floating pyramid… & kids.
Terror in the Tropics ** Attempt to blend modern actors & storyline with clips from PD horror/suspense films is an interesting hot mess.
Vampire Bat, The *** Rewatch to see how much of this was in Dracula’s Ghost. Most of it, save the end.
Farenheit 11/9 *** Moore’s crusade seems a bit unfocused as he attacks right & left. Needs a clearer lesson & better call to action.
Clash of the Titans (2010) *** I refuse to hate something just because it’s a remake of a classic, better film.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time *** Pretty good action & actors in a decent video game adaptation. Plenty of fun for action/adventure fans.
Wrath of the Titahs *** Not as good as the Clash remake, but has enough interesting sequences to be worth watching for enthusiasts.
Demon with the Atomic Brain **** Seeing this again, I notice some resemblance to Annihilation, which it predates, plus usual Mihm SF homages.
Guns of the Apocalypse **** “A post-apocalyptic spaghetti mid-western” has no horses but plenty of heart, fights, & shooting. Strong Mihm work.
Final Destination, The *** Rote but amusing apparent reboot for this black comedy/gore series. New young survivors killed amusingly.
Cremators, The ** Alien firestarters from the sun lie dormant on Earth until disturbed by nosy humans. Idea okay, budget too low.
Creature Walks Among Us, The *** The least of the Creature movies still has some great monster stuff in it, awful humans, & a disturbing ending, too.
Next Month: Halloween time strikes! And despite some family chaos, I expect to be watching quite a few of my favorite horror/monster movies. If only I didn’t have to work and do other things and could just watch monster movies!
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