May 2019 Mini-Reviews – Silent Roar to Godzilla King of the Monsters (2019)

Yow!  How did I not get this posted in June?!

Well, we had a very busy month, added Monster Bash in at the end, and then some more family drama (Haven’t we had enough?!) at the end.

Still managed to see 34 movies in May, though.  So let’s not delay further!  Here’s the list…

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.

Silent Roar: The Dinosaur Films of Herbert M. Dawley (Ghost of Slumber Mountain) **** DVD highlights the work of early O’Brien collaborator, who after a controversial falling out, never hit it as big.
River’s End *** Standard action as Dennis Morgan, accused of murder, replaces a dying Mountie to track down the real killer.
Born to Dance **** Elanore Powell’s amazing tap dancing pulls this musical comedy above the usual. Stars, too. Jimmy Stewart sings!
I Was a Teenage Zombie *** Cheapie 80s flick pits drug dealer turned zombie against teens with zombie pal. Gets better as it goes. Amusing.
Nymphoid Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell, A *** Troma low-budget post-apocalypse barbarian-caveman-style movie. For fans,stop-motion monsters are worth it.
House of Dracula *** The story is better integrated by HoF, but there are no monster battles, per se. Still, a fun wrap to the series.
Bikini Girls on Dinosaur Planet ** No interaction with the rude stop-mo dinos, but plenty of hard softcore lesbian action for “alien” visitors to study.
Bikini Goddesses ** Three sexy goddesses are released from an enchantment to help a Greek pool boy. Lots of nudity and simu-sex.
Eyes of Orson Welles, The **** 1st person “conversational” bio-doc looking at the art of Welles & how it influenced his work & reflected his life.
Tom Thumb **** George Pal’s animation + Russ Tamblin’s acrobatic dancing add up to great family fun in this musical fairy tale.
White Comanche *** Shatner as separated twins. Evil Comanche bro vs. noble gunslinger bro in final showdown. Fun but pretty silly.
Weresquito: Nazi Hunter ***** Mihm’s great modern-retro monster flick pits human-insect experiment against Nazi mad doc & allies. Solid acting.
Ghost of Sierra Del Cobre, The *** The brains behind the original Outer Limits tackle psychics & ghosts in this failed but very good pilot. TV version.
Last Challenge, The *** Glen Ford is a fast-draw lawman who must face Chad Everet’s young gungslinger. Odd mix of new & old western.
Lost Worlds of Gerry Anderson, The *** 3 interesting failed pilots by Thunderbirds’ “dad”: family lost in space, future cop with puppets, & miniaturized spies.
Panther Girl of the Kongo (Serial) ** Action is repetitive & stock & lobster “Claw Monsters” are laughable, but Phyllis Coates is sincere as Panther Girl.
Aladdin (2019) **** Visually striking with some good tweaks to original (some not), but not as tight as original story of boy, girl, & genii.
Road to El Dorado, The **** Charming Dreamworks animation about two rogues who find El Dorado just ahead of Cortez. Visually striking.
Aladdin (1992) ***** Disney classic with Oscar-winning tunes & great Robin Williams performance as genii still a charming delight.
Return of Jafar, The *** TV sequel to Aladdin has its moments but lacks the charm of the original. Substitute genii voice does okay.
Aladdin & the King of Thieves **** Things get complicated with Aladdin & Jasmine’s wedding & Al’s search for his dad. Williams is back. Trilogy ends.
Arachnia *** Once Brett Piper’s animation starts, this B-grade giant spider film gets fun fast. Until then, cute girls may amuse.
Tarantula **** Strong directiion, cast, & make-up more than make up for any deficiencies in the giant spider SFX. A fun classic.
Deadly Mantis, The *** Sincerity goes a long way in this Universal giant bug flick. Tunnel battle is better than I remembered. Like this a lot.
Black Scorpion, The **** If they hadn’t run out of money for the SFX, this might be a 5-star bug film. Obie-Petersen animation still great.
Earth vs. the Spider (AKA The Spider) **** One of Bert I. Gordon’s best. Seems it’s hard to go wrong with a giant spider flick. Sincerity & caverns help, too.
Giant Spider, The ***** Mim’s spider FX are better than BIG’s or even Tarantula’s. A perfect mix of humor & 50s atmosphere. Great flick.
Eight-Legged Freaks **** Fun mix of horror & humor, & quirky, often loveable characters vs. more sizes & kinds of spiders than possible.
Beginning of the End, The *** BIG’s mutant grasshoppers march on picture-postcard Chicago, but sincerity in the acting is what makes this good.
Detective Pikachu *** Little Pokemon becomes a detective to track down his former partner & father of his new friend. Fun for poke-kids.
Avengers: End Game (rewatch) ***** The finale to the MCU is as good the 2nd time, paying off years of set-up for Cap, Iron Man, Thor & the rest.
Monster from Green Hell, The ** The giant mutant wasps look cool, but they’re not on screen nearly as much as the stock footage. Okay for fans.
Condemned to Live *** Scientist unwittingly becomes vampire-like killer at night, stalks girl he loves, & slays others. Better than expected.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters **** Monster battles are super cool, though script & characters could use another polish. Tops previous US G-films.


Reviews for June will include some we saw at Monster Bash, as well as the usual stuff.  And I promise, the post will be out in July (unless the auto-post fails.)

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

About Steve Sullivan 411 Articles
Stephen D. Sullivan is an award-winning author, artist, and editor. Since 1980, he has worked on a wide variety of properties, including well-known licenses and original work. Some of his best know projects include Dungeons & Dragons, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Dragonlance, Iron Man, Legend of the Five Rings, Speed Racer, the Tolkien RPG, Disney Afternoons, Star Wars, The Twilight Empire (Robinson's War), Uncanny Radio, Martian Knights, Tournament of Death, and The Blue Kingdoms (with his friend Jean Rabe).