Post-Weekend Open Thread…

Did you get out to see a movie?  Saw something good or bad on DVD or TCM?  Read a good book?  Sing, brother, sing.

Friday night I watched X The Unknown on TCM, despite the fact that it’s been sitting on my DVD shelf for years untouched.  Great little movie, though.  Basically a Quatermass film sans Quatermass.  At least one really gruesome death (surprisingly so, for 1956), genuinely endangered kids, a neat blob monster and some nice effects.  A thrifty run time (no major women characters and romance foregone entirely) and nice turns by Michael Ripper (a bit larger of a role than he normally got in his ubiquitous Hammer appearances), the mighty Leo McKern, and especially Dean Jagger as the Quatermass surrogate.  I miss the days in which the lead of a movie could be a 50-something bald guy.

I also watched the end of the brilliant Quatermass and the Pit.  A rousing climax, with James Donald (one of the stars of The Great Escape) playing the hero instead of Quatermass, and some really, really good special effects for the Martian.  Great stuff.

Meanwhile, I watched The Magician on DVD, from Criterion.  I’ve not really seen any Bergman, other of course than The Seventh Seal, which is essential viewing for film and particularly fantasy film buffs. However, Magician looked pretty gothic-y, so I gave it a try.  It definitely is horror inflected, starring a mute and weirdly young Max von Sydow as a Mesmer-trained scientist (maybe) being persecuted by some village bigwigs.

Sydow wears a small beard that prefigures his appearance as Jesus in The Greatest Story Ever Told by a few years, but with the beard paired with his long face he also appropriately looks a bit like Vincent Price.

According to the video essay that accompanies the film, Bergman meant the film as a screw you to the film critics that dogged his work.  I was more caught by the air of ambiguity.  Is Sydow really mute?  Does he really have ‘powers’? Is a scientist, or a magician, or a charlatan?

The film offers (or suffers from, arguably) some pretty radical tonal shifts, and although I realize the world was a MUCH more proscribed place back in the day, you just can’t believe that anyone would accept Sydow’s wife as a man, clothes or not.  Still, a pretty interesting film. More of a sidenote than an essential watch, I think, so if you haven’t seen The Seventh Seal, check that out first.  Needless to say, The Criterion presentation is gorgeous.  Man, it’s so sad that they don’t make black and white films anymore.  They can be so lovely.

I spent a good part of the weekend working my way through the first season of Community on DVD, which I had checked out of the library.  Really funny stuff that got stronger as the season progressed, and I had only seen a few of the episodes, so that was nice.  One advantage of shows not really being able (in most cases) to garner a mass audience anymore is that the tone of the shows can be quirkier.  I particularly liked one bit that not only referenced Stallone’s Over the Top armwrestling movie, but had a character (without explaining it) turning his ballcap backwards like Stallone does in the movie.  Even the extras on the DVDs are really quite funny, and pretty much every single episode has an amusing commentary track with the show’s producer and some array of the stars.  Very nice stuff.

So, how about you?

  • jzimbert

    I finally watched Sharktopus. I did not enjoy it.

  • BeckoningChasm

    I saw more of “Mr. Show” via Netflix, then to make it a David Cross Event, I watched his animated series “Freakshow.” He’s a funny, funny guy but I still think his Tobias Funke is his most consistently hilarious character.

    Other than that, I did some more painting. Oh, and I drew this:

    Part of a series of fake paperbacks.

  • Reed

    I finished up reading a series of Warhammer 40K novels, The Ravenor Omnibus by Dan Abnett. Normally I don’t touch game related fiction, but Dan Abnett writes really good adventure stories with ridiculously powerful characters fighting chaos and heresy. Mental junk food, but satisfying all the same.

    We also watched a movie on TCM (recorded earlier this month) that really let me down. It was an old German silent picture called The Phantom or something like that. It was directed by Murnau (sp?). TCM totally mislabled this one; they said that it was a surreal story of a man obsessed with a ghost who may or may not be real. They even talked about the sureality of the movie in the opening monologue. They must be watching a different movie, because that is not even close to what actually happens in the film. It is a story of obsession and how it leads one incredibly annoying and foolish man down the path to ruin, but there is no ghost involved. He does dream one time of a woman, but it is a very real woman and there is never any doubt about it.

    I will gladly watch silent films, but this one was long and boring and didn’t deliver what they promised. If it had been labled accurately I might not have been so disappointed.

  • Gamera

    Thanks Ken for the heads up on X The Unknown and Q and the Pit. Both great films, they don’t make them like that anymore. QatP is pretty close to perfect both as SF and horror.

    And it occurs to me that Michael Ripper was kinda a British Dick Miller??? Or so it seems to me.

    Last night I watched the Frank Langella Dracula. Funny that in the ‘making of’ special on the DVD Langella goes on about how it was supposed to be a romantic rather than a horror film. Guess that’s one reason I’ve been luckwarm to it. Though I love the scenes of Langella climbing the walls like a spider.
    Odd I’ve become a big fan of the Dan Curtis Dracula with Jack Palace as the bloodsucker. I like Palace’s portrayal, no romantic, suave count here but a ravening, animalistic, subhuman monster- just the way I like my vampires!

    And I pulled out TRON late last week and watched it for the zillionth time. The previews for TRON II look fairly cool, I know I shouldn’t pray for selfish things but ‘God please don’t let them screw this up!!!’

    PS: Ken I am thinking TRON’s Sark would make a dandy MotD- if only because David Warner is such a cool villian.

    PSS: BC: If it were a real paperback I’d read it…

  • Toby Clark

    I watched Jaws on TV on Saturday night, as well as several episodes of Twin Peaks and Homicide: Life on the Streets. Also played a fantastic PC game, Sam and Max: The Tomb of Sammun-Mak.

  • Heli

    This weekend was “Bad Movie Noon 4: The Horroring” at my place. We watched:

    Night of the Lepus was rabbitastic, though I was disappointed by the relative paucity of DeForest Kelly. I enjoyed seeing Rory Calhoun walking around on his hind legs, though.

    Blood Feast was the first HGL for all of us, and we were appropriately scarred for life.

    Darling was the most focused and least dance numbered Bollywood movie I’ve ever seen. Actually pretty strong as a “real” movie, if a bit long and rambly. Includes the awesomest movie cops ever.

    Shock Waves was BORING. Good grief was it boring. We supplied random German phrases as dialogue for the zombies, who didn’t really seem that zombie-ish to me. Not one brain eaten!

  • GalaxyJane

    I’ve been working on expanding the boys “monster kid” horizons, so last week we got started on Season 1 of “The Munsters”, which they are loving, to the point where Every. Damned. Time. we sit down to watch TV they request it.

    Saturday, I went to a huge wine festival, then came home and watched “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” with the boys. I hadn’t seen it since I was a kid myself and was really surprised at how well it holds up. This was the kids’ first exposure to the great Abbott and Costello and it went over well.

    Yesterday I got to watch my poor Redskins win one of the ugliest games I have ever seen. Watching the 2 teams trade fumbles and interceptions for the entire second half was PAINFUL, but any win’s a good one right? Unfortunately that leaves me in the unenviable position of having to root for the fricken’ Cowgirls tonight. Boo! Hiss! After that we watched Lugosi in “Dracula”, which has not gotten ay better since the last time I saw it. I really want to love that movie, but it’s just so slow and talky that I can’t. I think it’s really funny that the Spanish version, which runs half an hour longer, nevertheless keeps my attention better. Finished the evening with “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” since the boys hadn’t seen it yet. The best I can say about that is it wasn’t quite as bad as I remembered.

  • Friday night, I watched a few Dirty Jobs episodes. One involved bat poop, that was interesting.

    Saturday, I played a PC game called Eschalon: Book II. It’s a Fantasy RPG that is turn-based. I’m not really into FRPGs, but I remember loving the The Bard’s Tale as a kid. Hearing Eschalon described as a direct descendant of The Bard’s Tale made me buy the first. I loved it, and I love Book II so far, too. It looks and sounds fantastic, it has a grittiness that I never see in FRPGs (i.e., hunger, thirst, and inclement weather affect game play instead of being just decorations), and it’s just great fun!

    Sunday, my band had a rehearsal for our Halloween show this Saturday. I royally hate doing cover songs, but just for a Halloween show, I went along with my bandmates to cover Werewolves of London.

  • Ericb

    “Unfortunately that leaves me in the unenviable position of having to root for the fricken’ Cowgirls tonight”

    I’ve gotten so sick of Brett Favre that for the first time in my life I rooted for the Cowboys last Sunday. Of course they lost.

  • GJ–I was over at the game watching the Bears / Redskins game, and the Bears were (and have been) playing so badly that we actively started to root for them to lose. (Else how are we to finally see the back of Lovie Smith?) At one point you guys almost gave up the ball, and my brother howled “NOOOO!” thinking you had. We both then sighed in relief when we realized the Bears hadn’t reclaimed the ball.

    Then I laughed out loud, noting that only in Chicago do we regularly have teams bad enough that you start rooting for their opponents.

    I think what’s fascinating about the Spanish version of Dracula is that it proves exactly how great a screen presence Lugosi was. The Spanish film is better in nearly every way from the English language version, but the absence of Bela remains a great, gaping wound throughout the proceedings.

  • Ericb

    I don’t think Jay ever really recovered from that Giants game.

  • That’s probably true, but man, our offense sucks. And you can’t blame all the interceptions on Cutler; some guys didn’t seem to be running their correct routes, and sometimes they just fail to catch the ball.

    Just the beginning of the game, when the ‘Skins fumbled the ball and like four Bears were the first to reach it and yet SOMEHOW a Redskin managed to end up with it…I mean, what the hell?

  • Reed

    Off topic, but as long as I’m here:

    Mary, did you know that there’s a new Sabaton album out? Coat of Arms. It’s pretty good.

  • Ericb

    “our offense sucks. And you can’t blame all the interceptions on Cutler; some guys didn’t seem to be running their correct routes, and sometimes they just fail to catch the ball”

    That’s what happens when you run a Mike Martz offense without necessary talent. An actual offensive line would be nice too.

  • The Rev.

    First, I just would like to ask when Sandy’ll be providing us his address for this weekend, so I can see how long a drive I’ve got. If it’s not too far from us, I might be able to convince the lady of the house to come along.

    I saw Death Valley: The Revenge of Bloody Bill. As a movie, it’s not very good. However, as an Asylum movie…it actually was almost decent. The acting, effects, cinematography…not that great overall, but I will say the plot had some interesting ideas in it, it had a definite arc to follow, I never got too bored with it, and it paid homage to the best scene in the entire Friday the 13th series near the end (even though I saw said ending coming a mile away, I didn’t expect that particular touch). I don’t know that I’d recommend it, but I will say it’s only the second Asylum movie I’ve seen that I didn’t curse myself for watching afterwards.

    Reed: I read that last year myself (Ravenor) and I enjoyed it, although it’s definitely a far cry from most other 40K books I’ve read.

  • The Other Half and I went and saw Hereafter on Friday night. Although were a great many things that I liked about the film, none of those great things formed a particularly strong movie.

    We also made a two hour drive down to Monterey to see an old college buddy of mine performing in a stage production of Repo! The Genetic Opera. A solid turn and, for an all volunteer theatre, a surprisingly polished production. Now I want to see the movie that was adapted from it.

  • The Martial Club – A truly excellent old school kung fu movie with nobody actually dying in it.

    Ong Bak – Finally got around to seeing this. The stunts are amazing, but the fight choreography needs a bit of tuning up.

    Seven to One – Campy 70s kung fu movie with Yasuaki Kurata and Polly Shang Kuan Ling Feng. Polly is beautiful in 70s clothing and there’s a lot of old school fighting in it. Fun.

  • Man with No Face

    Spent Sunday plowing thru MASH, season 2.

    Also some Essential Avengers v. 2 (Goliath and the Wasp return to the Avengers).

    Speaking of Quatermass, what do folks think of Quatermass 2? Tho’ it’s largely the same premise as “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” its got an eerie vibe all its own.

  • Tork_110

    That game was amazing in how awful it was. If I wasn’t a Skins fan I would have loved every laughable moment of it.

    I think the best part was Troy Aikman saying that Cutler should challenge DeAngelo Hall…even though Hall had three of his four picks at that point.

  • Rock Baker

    Well, with the 31st just around the corner I’ve started screening my halloween picks for this year. This weekend it was:

    Clue (1984) – all-star cast, laugh riot who-done-it based on the board game of the same name, with one of the best last lines I can think of. I’ve not played very many board games that I didn’t build myself (funny how board game companies aren’t interested in ideas from outside the company, or else I might not have been the only one to play any of them), but I’ve always wanted to try my hand at Clue. Elements of the game are worked into the movie, but it stands on its own legs. Funny stuff, Tim Curry usually delivers the chuckles and doesn’t fail here.

    Murder by Death (1976?) – all-star cast, laugh riot who-done-it not based on a board game, but could easily be turned into one. The worlds most famous detectives have been called together at the remote home of Lionel Twain, who tests their skills by becoming a muder victim. This is a send up of every detective series cinematic or literary, and I’m sure a more well-read person than I might get even more out of it. Among the cast is David Niven as Dick Charleston, giving us one last, unofficial Thin Man adventure, Elsa Lanchester is on hand as Miss Marbles, and Peter Sellers drops in as Inspector Sydeny Wang, doing a spoof of every Oriental detective from Charlie Chan to Mr. Moto. Oh, and Peter Falk plays Sam Diamond, doing the whole show with his Bogie voice. (In fact, Falk’s character was spun off into his own film: The Cheap Detective). Lot’s of fun!

    Dracula, Dead and Loving It (1996) Mel Brooks turns his satiric talents to the multitude of films based on the Dracula legend. Funny stuff, probably Leslie Neilson’s last really good part. Even without the jokes, this is still a pretty slick Dracula movie. Brooks himself gets into the act as Van Helsing.

    The Brides of Dracula (1960) Peter Cushing had many good moments as Van Helsing. Tops among them were the flying leap from the table in Horror of Dracula, and his using a shovel to push Dracula down into a pit of spikes in Dracula A.D. 1972. My favorite Van Helsing moment is from this film, where he must treat a vampire bite. Great stuff!

    The Night America Trembled (1957) Edward R. Murrow and his cigarette host this Westinghouse Studio One dramatization of the infamous 1938 “War of the Worlds” broadcast by the Mercury Theater on the Air. The events told are so powerfully dramatic that even this recreation is pretty chilling. The weird thing is that Orson Welles is never mentioned. He’s been split into two members of the Mercury Theater, the Director and a cast member known only as the Host. Has fallen into public domain and turned up on a few cheapo multi-movie collections. Not to be confused with the 1975? telefilm on the same subject, The Night That Paniced America.

    The Navy vs The Night Monsters (1965) Pop wanted to watch this yesterday and I watched it with him. Ken’s reviewed this one, although I didn’t think it bad enough for that. Good cast, nice concept, dandy dramatic script. Good old pulp science fiction and there’s nothing wrong with that. Cheap, but I’m never not being earnestly entertained by it. (The guy playing Simpson is the picture’s worst element.) Another thing I don’t get is the audible hatred for Bobby Van. He’s one of those actors that I liked the moment I saw him in something. He always struck me as a good-natured, jovial, but competent sidekick-type. Among that field, he certainly stands as amid the more likable examples.

    Arsenic and Old Lace (1941/44) If you’ve never seen it, do so. End of story. Normally I wouldn’t say anything so blatant because personal taste always factors how one reponds to a movie. But this film is an essential. Hysterical. An absolute scream!

    Hillbillys in a Haunted House (1967) – In 1965 country/western crooner Ferlin Huskey starred in Las Vegas Hillbillys. In that film, country boy Woody Weatherbee inherits a Las Vegas nightclub, so he and self-appointed manager Jeepers (Don Bowman, or is it Boweman) take off and find a run-down establishment on the outskirts of the strip. Along with the morgage is star singer ‘Boots’ Malone (Mamie Van Doren), who eventually falls in love with Woody and his optomism. Woody’s mom rides to the rescue by asking some Nashville friends to appear at the club, thus bringing the novelty of country muci to the strip and saving the morgage. It was pure fluff, but it was nice fluff. It was also a hit. Ferlin and Don were reunited and Boots was brought back in the lovely form of Joi Lansing (and since she was being played by a girl with a nicer personality, Boots went from being sassy to being sweet. Sadly, this was one of the shockingly few really sizable roles for the fair Miss Lansing).
    Woody, Boots, and Jeepers are driving to Nashville for a jamboree, when they have to pull over for the night and spend the evening in a hounted house that is really a hotbed of enemy agents. Good thing for Our Side the men of M.O.T.H.E.R. are also on the case. Amusing stuff for those who aren’t too cynical to have a good time. The biggest problem here is some weird editing. The scene that introduces the red spies has been sliced into three segements and spread across the first half hour, thus ruining multiple points of continuity. I think this was done so kiddies in the audience wouldn’t be frightened by George Barrows in his gorilla suit. The first glimpses of it are just spooky enough to upset the youngest members of the audience, so I think they cut scenes in earlier to let the kids know what was going on. That’s fine for the kiddies, but it spoils most everything else for the rest of us. Entertaining still. I din’t even like country music, but I enjoy the Hillbillys movies. For horror fans, Lon, John, and Basil are on hand!

    Gallery of Horrors (1966) David L. Hewitt attempts to copy AIP’s successful gothic horror films with this cheaply filmed anthology film hosted by John Carradine, and starring Lon Chaney. Frightfully rare flick, not as bad as it could’ve been. The final segment is the best, beginning as a retelling of the Dracula story. Padded out/made to look more expensive by use of stock shots from AIP movies! Sort of charming little movie, but not really a ‘good’ movie under any yardstick. Nice use of widescreen in some scenes, and the sets are fairly nice if only a few steps above the grade of a high school play.

    Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933) – A big hit when released, but became a lost film before it was remade in 1953 as House of Wax. Largely the same story, but set in then-modern art deco New York and revolving around a sassy lady reporter. Lionel Atwill is our menace, and his potential victim is Fay Wray -the first bombshell of the spookers. Lucious two-strip Technicolor and lavish production values are a treat. Even if it hadn’t momentarily dropped off the planet, it would’ve had to be remade instead of reissued since there’s some stuff here the Hayes office wouldn’t have allowed. Even if you’ve seen the more high profile House of Wax, you could do worse than dust this one off for an evening with the lights out.

    I also watched the Halloween episode of The Jeff Foxworthy Show. (I also watched a few episodes of The Honeymooners -well, segments from the Jackie Gleason Show that were repackaged as ‘lost’ Honeymooners episodes- and a couple Freakazoid! episodes.)

  • Reed

    I love Clue. Absolutely love it. I loved the gimmick when it ran in the theaters that it had 4 possible endings, and you were supposed to look for a symbol in the add to see which ending your theater was showing. I first saw it on VHS, so I have no idea how that worked out for them. The video versions, of course, have all 4 endings.

  • GalaxyJane

    @Reed – I not only have “Coat of Arms”, but the title track is my current telephone ringtone, LOL, good stuff.

    @Ken – I have to agree that the Spanish version suffers from Carlos Villareal’s rather campy portrayal of El Conde. OTOH, Lupita Tovar has more charisma in her little finger than Helen Chandler showed in her entire (tragically cut short) film career. And any movie without David Manners gets points in my book. If we could somehow have had the Spanish version, as is, with Lugosi in the role of the Count, it would rank as a near perfect Dracula movie.

    @Rock – I far prefer “Mystery in the Wax Museum” to “House of Wax”. Glenda Farrell is my favorite fast-talking reporter ever.

  • BeckoningChasm

    “Quatermass 2” definitely has that vibe to it, as well as the sense of intelligence behind it all. Rather than take over a small town, the Slime Puffs immediately target the government. The moment where Lomax notices the scar is quite chilling for an “Oh crap” type moment.

  • “And any movie without David Manners gets points in my book.”

    I fear Jane is overcompensating for the pretty much literal swooning she did over Manners during T(ween) Fest, whenever he ventured onscreen during The Invisible Ray. I now have a pretty good illustration in my head for whenever I read the phrase, “She had the vapors.” I think if we had drizzled water on her she should have sizzled like an overheated skillet.

  • fish eye no miko

    One thing that bugs me about Clue on video is that, when showing the last ending, they say, “But this is what really happened”? Bleah. Can’t they leave it up to us? I thought the whole point was that each ending was equally plausible?

  • Rock Baker

    The story I heard about Clue was that the theaters ran all three (not four) endings, alternating each ending with each showing. So you could go see it, then go back a second time and get a completely different ending. The exact kind of showmanship I really miss. But then I saw the TV/Video version instead of catching it in theaters so it makes not much difference in the long run. As for the way they were edited together, I think they built nicely. With two ‘possibles’ and one ‘really’ that took ‘possible’ elements and then pulled out even more stops. It builds nicely, I think, and like I said, that last line is a scream!

    Enemy From Space (c’mon, people, how many of you are posting from England?) is my favorite of the three Quatermass features. Maybe I’m an intellectual Phillistine, I just can’t see what all the fuss over Five Million Years To Earth is all about.

    After a couple servings of 60s schlock, Mystery of the Wax Museum was the highlight of the evening. I kept wondering how much of Jennifer Blaire’s performance in Dark and Stormy Night was based on Glenda’s role here. Sometime next weekend, I think I’m going to dig out Doctor X. I don’t remember it being as good, but it did have some nice moody scenes.

  • Frank Bauroth

    If you question Sydow’s wife passing for a man, I’ve seen a B western in which Rita Hayworth is supposed to pass for a man. Not so much.

  • Frank Bauroth

    If you question Sydow’s wife passing for a man, I’ve seen a B western in which Rita Hayworth is supposed to pass for a man. Not so much.

  • monoceros4

    I finally got round to watching a movie I’ve been curious about for years, Brian DePalma’s Phantom of the Paradise. I thought it was a riot, especially the vile and spot-on parody of the Beach Boys (“Carburetors, man, that’s what life is all about!!”) Better still, the movie was genuinely affecting at times. I felt really sorry for poor Winslow at the end.

    I saw both Clue a short while ago because the boyfriend said it was a laugh riot, then watched Murder by Death not long after to see if it was funnier. It was. I chuckled through Clue but it was rather slight, really, and suffered from having a cast made up largely of second-string actors (Christopher Lloyd? Martin Mull??) I except Tim Curry, of course. The far better-acted Murder by Death was a huge laugh for me but less so to my partner, who wasn’t familiar with most of the detectives that the movie was parodying. And then in the last ten minutes the movie implodes, culminating in that silly and poorly delivered lecture from Lionel Twain to the audience. OK, maybe Agatha Christie resorts to cheap contrivance sometimes, but Dashiell Hammett? It’s a superficial message and a sour note to end an otherwise clever movie with.

  • Petoht

    @Rock: Both Clue and Murder by Death are some of the best movies I’ve seen. Loved them both.

    Myself, I had a trio of Netflix’d movies:

    Sunshine: The Danny Boyle sun’s dead sci-fi movie. It was… okay. Honestly, I quiet enjoyed the slow build-up, it was when it went into half-hearted horror that I kind of tuned out. Almost as if the last quarter was just a retread of Event Horizon.

    Journey to the Center of the Earth: the Brenden Fraiser edition. Light hearted and fun. Of course, I really enjoy Fraiser and he’s playing to type here.

    The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra: Oh my goodness. Fantastic and loving spoof of 50’s monster/horror movies. The stiff, recursive dialogue, the clunky blocking, the talking while looking right at the camera, the takes that go on just a bit too long… oh, it’s just wonderful. Sandy mentioned the sequel in one of his comments and I hunted the pair down (sequel’s in my queue), so thank you, Sandy. The dinner scene just floored me, even though I saw it coming a mile away.

  • Jimmy

    Bought the DVD of and watched Inglourious Basterds and extra features. Also watched some episodes of Police Squad, which wasn’t as funny as I remembered it being but still had some real laugh out loud moments, and Dexter season 4.

    Read some graphic novels- Gotham Central: In the Line of Duty which is about the Gotham PD trying to deal with crime both normal and supervillain related without Batman, and True Brit- a humorous story covering the what if scenario of Superman arriving in England.

    I also continued my read of Pandora’s Star the first volume of the Commonwealth series by Peter F. Hamilton. Somewhat pulpy but greatly enjoyable sci-fi epic.

  • Ericb

    “Enemy From Space (c’mon, people, how many of you are posting from England?)”

    The US DVD (which is the only form I’ve seen the movie in )is titled Quatermass 2. I don’t doubt that when The Creeping Unknown eventually makes it to the US on DVD (please, please, please!) it will probably use the British title as well.

  • Rock Baker

    Wasn’t trying to pick on anyone. The title thing is just a private bugaboo with me. I still get a little irritated that the film first released as Tell Your Children (or The Burning Question, suddenly I’m drawing a blank as to which was used first) is always called Reefer Madness (true, the reissue title is catchier, but it wasn’t the film’s release title. My main beef is that it makes research and cataloging a bit more difficult than it has to be).

  • JJ Gauthier

    Doctor Who: Arc of Infinity

    It’s OK, but like many from Davison’s era it really slides by mostly on his charm. It has its moments, and its nice to see Nyssa having some good material, but it’s rather slight and meandering. But it was memborable for one thing — the part when Colin Baker shows up and shoots Davison made my brain explode a little.

    The Little Shop of Horrors (both versions)

    These were both awesome! The ’60 version is funnier, but the ’80s version has a full range of emotions thanks to the Menken/Ashman score and the genius of Rick Moranis, who makes the lead character indescribably likable. Audrey II is one of the best creature effects I’ve ever seen, maybe the best. Anyway, both were awesome, and both were highlighted by the same scene — the masochistic dental patient (Jack Nicholson and Bill Murray, respectively). I really loved both films. The former inspired me to finally check out another Corman film…

    The Raven

    … which, while not a great film per se, was a lot of fun and totally delivered what it promised. And how can you top a fantasy-comedy with that cast — Price, Lorre, Karloff, and Nicholson?

  • Rock Baker

    Comedy of Terrors comes to mind, and I actually saw a few minutes of that one. Never saw the Raven, but I’d like to one of these days.

    The 80s Little Shop of Horrors was indeed impressive visually. Great cast too, it was just…weird. So was the 60s version, true, but I think it made me laugh a lot more. (Didn’t see Please Don’t Eat My Mother, so I’m not able to say if it was amusing or not. Being a 70s sex flick, I can’t say its real high on the get list.) Anyone else remember the Saturday morning cartoon series based on Little Shop of Horrors? I’m sure it didn’t last far beyond the episode I saw back when it aired. That must’ve been around 89 or so. I’ve not heard a word spoken of it since…

  • GalaxyJane

    Me, I’m just waiting for John Stamos to break into the “I’m a Dentist” song on Glee.