I think there must be some unwritten rule out there that if you are making a Jules Verne adaptation, you are not allowed to base it on the book. Somehow, it is hard to find much in this agreeably silly Czech film that came from the original novel – the idea of a haunted castle, of […]Read more "The Mysterious Castle in the Carpathians [Tajemství hradu v Karpatech] (1981)"
Drawing lines is always hard. But a movie in which heroic astronauts seek to blow up a comet with a barrage of missiles has to be Science Fiction, right? Well, not necessarily. But it would be a terrible shame if you didn’t watch Fish Story because it might not be SF. It starts in a music store in 2012 […]Read more "Fish Story [Fisshu sutôrî] (2009)"
I’ve put in quite a bit of effort finding Indie SF films over the years. Part of the reason is that, like most hardcore SF cinema fans, I’ve already seen all the classics, most of the good ones and more than my share of the bad ones. But another major reason is that they are […]Read more "Moonlight by the Sea (2003)"
Just two years after they launched their horror career with The Quatermass Xperiment, Hammer Films returned for the third time to the television work of Quatermass’ creator, Nigel Kneale, this time with an adaptation of his TV play, The Creature. Of course, if you count their unauthorized sequel/knockoff, X the Unknown (1956), it was their fourth venture into […]Read more "The Abominable Snowman (1957)"
Ah, the joys of Hammer films! Even before their Quatermass Xperiment hit the theaters, Hammer decided they wanted to make a sequel and hired Jimmy Sangster to write the first of his many scripts. Unfortunately, Quatermass’ creator, Nigel Kneale wasn’t about to give them the rights to his character (and would in fact bring his second adventure […]Read more "X the Unknown (1956)"
I sometimes think movie reviewers see too many movies. Consider this: here we have a reasonably competent, low budget SF film, that delivers a few thrills and chills and manages to have at least a few interesting ideas. Sure, a lot of those are retreads from better films, but on the whole this is an […]Read more "Debug (2014)"
The only real mystery about this film is why it isn’t better known here in the US. Here we have this sprightly and very clever family film, made with an incredible inventiveness and attention to detail. So why didn’t anyone take a chance on it and give it a wide release? Strange, very strange. I […]Read more "The Fabulous World of Jules Verne [Vynález zkázy] (1958)"
It seems odd that the only good attempt at filming H.G. Wells’ novel, The Island of Doctor Moreau, had an entirely different title. Paramount made Island of Lost Souls the year after Universal’s Dracula and Frankenstein hit the screen and it’s fairly obvious they were trying to cash in on the horror boom. Even after all these years, it […]Read more "Island of Lost Souls (1932)"
“A film that defies all logic!” It would be tempting to describe Redline as a throwback, but it isn’t as if anyone ever made a film like it before. Not ever. An eight-year labor of love, Redline is entirely hand drawn. No CGI. Not anywhere. Which is rare enough in our day and age, but Redline also features lots and […]Read more "Redline (2009)"
One of the strongest prejudices you’ll find among the SF fan base (at least here in the US) is a terrible need to have everything explained. Which is sad, of course. There are a lot of excellent SF films out there that depend heavily on atmosphere and deliberately leave their mysteries unresolved. Which brings us to […]Read more "Encounter At Raven’s Gate [Incident at Raven’s Gate] (1988)"