This is a movie based on Einstein’s theory of relativity. That isn’t necessarily a good thing. On the first test flight of a high altitude balloon, the comedy relief tries to hide the fact that he’s smoking and ends up sending the balloon rocketing far into space at incredible speeds. When it returns, the two hapless […]
Read more "Croisières sidérales [Sideral Cruises] (1942)"
Hmmmm….Does this film actually belong here? After all, there have been plenty of routine horror films which have tied zombies to flying saucers (something the creators of this film actually have the nerve to point out by including a few snatches of Ed Wood’s classically bad Plan Nine from Outer Space in the opening scene). But […]
Read more "Hide and Creep (2004)"
There must be a kitchen sink in this movie somewhere. They’ve got everything else. When Star Wars came out, Toho Studios toyed with the idea of making their own version. Instead, Sakyo Komatsu sold them on making their own, unique SF epic. And epic is the right word. Everything about this film is epic – at […]
Read more "Sayonara, Jupiter [Sayônara, Jûpetâ] (1984)"
Okay, it’s strange. I’m glad we got that out of the way. This is of course, the real thing. A genuine, totally outside the system, independent film. Made for a reported half-a-million, William Eubank built the incredible interior set of his international space station in his driveway. Yes, it looks a lot bigger than that, […]
Read more "Love (2011)"
My first impression of this film was that it was a lot like Georges Franju’s Judex. Both films came out within a few years of each other, both films have a very similar black and white aesthetic, with lots of sharp, high contrast compositions, and both films are set in the past to tie them in […]
Read more "The Hyperboloid of Engineer Garin [Giperboloid inzhenera Garina] (1965)"
There’s a marvelous little sequence in Doug TenNapel’s graphic novel Cardboard that comes to mind: the hero, Mike, tries to find out the origin of the mysterious cardboard box he bought for his boy’s birthday, which makes everything made from it come to life. The old man who sold it to him explains: “A renegade bunch […]
Read more "Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla [Gojira VS Supesugojira] (1994)"
It’s curious how a little distance can give us a new perspective on things. When I first saw this, I dismissed it as one of John Carpenter’s long list of current missfires – better, by far, than his take on The Village of the Damned (a painful demonstration of how easily one could take great material […]
Read more "Ghosts of Mars (2001)"
This television movie is one of the most obscure of the movies Joe Dante directed. Unfortunately, that is probably the most interesting thing about it. Curiously, it bears enormous resemblances to Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda which would debut in syndication two years later: both involve an attempt to restore a fallen Republic, with the help of the […]
Read more "The Warlord: Battle for the Galaxy (The Osiris Chronicles) (1998)"
Joe Dante has made some utterly marvelous films. Joe Dante has made some truly terrible films. One need only compare Gremlins with Gremlins 2 to see what I mean. The original is brilliant, absurd and, at times, a little over the top. The sequel is silly: He abandoned any sense of restraint, ignored any attempt to make […]
Read more "Small Soldiers (1998)"
It’s hard to pin down exactly what I think about this one. So much of it is far better than one expected: not just the sets and design of the world of the future, but, far more important, the basic social reality of that future has clearly received some thought. The notion of travelling by […]
Read more "Infini (2015)"