It just occurred to me, as I was sitting here writing this, that the one corner of the SF genre which seems to have disappeared almost completely is the mad scientist film. Oh, sure, there are exceptions – say, Joss Whedon’s Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (which is really a superhero film) and Brett Piper‘s Queen […]Read more "The Diabolical Dr. Z [Miss Muerte] (1966)"
In 1996, when this film came out, B-Movie Maestro Brett Piper had already made four films, including the one he seems best remembered for, the wildly miss-named A Nymphoid Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell. But this was the one that really defined his work for the next decade – and after ten years of post-Apocalyptic films, it comes […]Read more "They Bite (1996)"
This is one of those Soviet era SF films I’d never heard of before I actually watched it. That might not say much for the average SF film fan, but it is rarer than it might sound as I’ve spent a lot of time exploring SF from behind the Iron Curtain. I’m aware of the […]Read more "Tainstvennaya stena [The Mysterious Wall] (1967)"
Far more years ago than I care to remember, there was a movie which kept running over and over again on some TV station or other. At the time, it was one of my all time favorite guilty pleasure movies: Ed Hunt’s 1977 Starship Invasions. It was a strange combination of Sun Classics UFO documentary and Republic SF […]Read more "The Brain (1988)"
This is by far the best film Christopher R. Mihm has ever made. I’d half expected it to be a cross between The Fly and the old Republic serial, Spy Smasher, but instead we get something quite different from that – and quite different from the ten other Mihm films that preceded it. Yes, it […]Read more "Weresquito: Nazi Hunter (2016)"
Okay, we know what to expect. A mad-scientist figures out a way to make the dead walk, and the villain backing his crazed experiments uses them to kill off his enemies. Except, of course, that it is nothing at all like that. Mind you, the summary is accurate: but somehow, this one refuses to fit […]Read more "Creature with the Atom Brain (1955)"
I have long had an interest in history – not the pre-digested canned history most of us get these days, but the messy and often contradictory details of real events, and the unexpected actions taken by real people, which all too often refuse to fall neatly into the familiar patterns we expect. This, of course, […]Read more "Hard to Be a God [Es ist nicht leicht ein Gott zu sein] (1989)"
This is a slow and subtle film, which (after a brief intro) builds its story gradually, showing us what happens rather than telling us what is going on. Which, of course means that a lot of people won’t like it. It is a fairly basic sort of story, in many respects: the all too familiar […]Read more "Robot World (2015)"
This is the one where John Carradine, in his first leading role, turns Ray “Crash” Corrigan into a beautiful and exotic woman. Of course, as in a big percentage of his roles, that’s Ray in his instantly recognizable Ape suit, playing yet another big ape, a girl ape this time. He appeared in that suit […]Read more "Captive Wild Woman (1943)"
It was a decidedly strange moment. The heroes of Valley of the Dragons look up in the sky and say that there’s a pterosaur. But the creature we see is, in fact, very, very familiar. Too familiar. Which is probably why no one else ever tried to pass off footage of Rodan as a pterodactyl. Even if […]Read more "Valley of the Dragons (1961)"