I find myself imagining the writers conference for this film as I write this. It must have involved ideas scribbled on cards, stuck to a dart, then thrown randomly at a bulletin board and tied together into a vague semblance of order. Thrown by monkeys, that is. Forget the novel by H.Rider Haggard. It doesn’t […]
Read more "She (1984)"
I remember some film critic ages ago talking about how rare it was to find an adventure film without a woman in it. I suspect, in our current politically motivated age, that might seem an appalling sentiment, but it actually reflected the awful reality of Hollywood at the time. We kept seeing the love interest […]
Read more "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1997)"
This is not a film for little boys. Or for the timid. Two years before Shinya Tsukamoto burst onto the Underground scene with his bizarre cyberpunk-ish body horror film, Tetsuo: the Iron Man, he created this insane forty-six minute short, about a sad little boy who is bullied because he has an electric pole growing out […]
Read more "Adventures of Electric Rod Boy [Denchû kozô no bôken] (1987)"
(Warning: Spoilers ahead!) This is an odd one. For a brief moment in the Eighties, Disney turned out a number of fairly dark live action films at least nominally aimed at children. This one is (at least on the surface) a moderately scary ghost story which strongly resembles the sort of horror films Hammer and […]
Read more "The Watcher in the Woods (1980)"
Larry Cohen seems to have earned himself a reputation as a horror director in the Eighties, despite the fact that he only made a handful of horror films. Enough of a reputation, at least, that he got a chance to direct a “Masters of Horror” episode back in the Nothings. He is best remember for […]
Read more "The Stuff (1985)"
Bleak. Stunning. Beautiful. Dazzling. Emotional. Intelligent. Stylish. Perhaps the best SF film anyone has made in a long, long time. But yes, bleak. I never expected that I’d end up going to see a Blade Runner sequel in the theaters. The original was a strange, unrepeatable effort, a film that, as dazzling as it might […]
Read more "Blade Runner 2049"
(Dis)Honorable Mention Yes, this is the legendary bad film with the walking tree monster. Not that it is as bad as the legends suggest. It’s actually fairly good as low budget Fifties horror/SF goes. Except for that tree monster, which is just absurd. The thing can barely move and the rest of the cast are […]
Read more "From Hell It Came (1957)"
This is what you get when Hong Kong Schlockmeister Jing Wong decides to make his reply to E.T. And Raiders of the Lost Ark. As you can imagine, the end result is odd. Very odd. Jing Wong has made a ridiculous number of these kinds of films, including at least two other mostly SF efforts, […]
Read more "Magic Crystal [Mo fei cui ] (1986)"
Let’s get one thing straight from the start: A Nymphoid Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell was NOT Brett Piper‘s title for this film. I’m not even certain what it’s original title was (Dark Fortress, or possibly Lost Fortress, depending on who you are talking to) The title was slapped onto this film by Troma when they released it. […]
Read more "A Nymphoid Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell (1990)"
You aren’t going to find Antonio Margheriti on any great directors list, not even under his frequent alias “Anthony Dawson.” This is one of his “Dawson” films. Even the Italian prints list his assumed name as director, although his real name still shows up elsewhere in the credits. The idea is to convince the American […]
Read more "The Snow Devils (1967) [La morte viene dal pianeta Aytin]"