Monster of the Day #1411

If you had to pick one movie to define ‘schlock’….

  • SteveWD

    Yeah, but it’s Grade A schlock. Also, one of the few examples of Cannon doing a decently budgeted movie and the money actually showing up on screen.

  • Schlock? The greatest movie to ever have Patrick Stewart almost french kissed by Steve Railsback, schlock? Indeed, sir! Indeed.

  • Eric Hinkle

    Is this ‘LIfeforce’ again?

  • Yep.

  • Gamera977

    Now, I’m wondering if Ken can find a photo of the space vampress played by Mathilda May that’s PG rated for MotD ;)

  • Ericb

    I was just planning to suggest that. Technically speaking she did play a monster in the film.

  • Rock Baker

    Not really the label I’d give LIFEFORCE, which has solid production values. It’s basically an 80’s Quatermass movie.

    No, “schlock” makes me think of something more along the lines of THE GIANT SPIDER INVASION.

  • Rock Baker

    Actually, for all it’s flaws, THE GIANT SPIDER INVASION delivers the cheesy goods. Maybe I should’ve said KISS OF THE TARANTULA.

  • I’ve honestly never understood the dislike Lifeforce has garnered. Like you said, the story has a nice Quatermass vibe going for it. And that theme song!

    Dunno. Maybe its the acting. Maybe it’s Toby Hooper.

    The Giant Spider Invasion is a pip. Watching that spider go… worth the price of the film right there.

  • Flangepart

    TGSI…one of the ‘comfort food’ ep’s of MST3K., the one’s ya play when ya need to relax.
    “Well, gotta go drain the little buddy.”
    “PACKERS! Woooo!”
    “Pork vacuum- I mean Sheriffs office.”

  • Ken_Begg

    To me schlock indicates a certain devil-may-care, careening logic-free vibe and unapologetic indulgence in overripe exploitation elements. I’ve never really considered budget to be much of a factor (although more cheap films are schlock, obviously), although clearly it’s a loose term that can mean different things to different people.

  • Ken_Begg

    They showed it at B-Fest a while ago and it was *great* there.

  • The Rev.

    I bet that did go over like gangbusters at B-Fest. Possible future T-Fest candidate? I think we can safely assume not everyone has seen it at this point.

    That was a damn solid MST3K episode, too. One of the better ones from the Sci-Fi years.

  • Rock Baker

    True. It’s kinda like trying to define a B picture. Some of us look at it literally and use the classification for the sort of films made specifically as co-features, others term it any film of genre/limited budget.

    If I were to define “schlock” I’d have to say it’s a film of limited means that doesn’t really care.

    What you describe might be one of the (also fluid) definitions of Kitch.

  • Rock Baker

    Maybe it’s because the film isn’t what people expect. They hear Hooper’s name and hear about Mathilda May’s wardrobe, and they may expect a more wacko flick. Instead, they get a restrained (if massive in scope) intelligence-minded film ever so clearly based in literature. I find it greatly helps to go into a movie without expectations of any kind!

  • Ken_Begg

    I also think of kitsch as being more more intentionally campy. But again, inexact definitions.

  • zombiewhacker

    On the plus side: Frank Finlay and Peter Firth were quite good. Henry Mancini’s score was top notch. But after a reasonably OK first half or so, this movie just completely whacked out, and I mean big-time.

  • zombi

    Mathilda May was a welcome distraction, sure, but the Quatermass movies of old didn’t need to rely on cheap exploitation gimmicks to keep audiences engrossed. Kind of reminds me of what Hammer Studios ended up being reduced to during the 70s.