Saturday, May 7, 2011

Apes, Vampires ,Mad Scientists , White Guys in Chinese Makeup & Charltton Heston kicking ass

Apes, Vampires ,Mad Scientists , White Guys in Chinese Makeup ; Charlton Heston kicking ass

Tor Johnson , Bela,   Karloff ,  Price ,   Kicking it old school
Finally got around to diving into my 50 DVD Horror  Classic  movie collection that I bought as a prize for the costume contest that didn’t happen at Halloween……I had planned to do a series of blogs on a similar   titled   Sci-Classics  50 DVD Set for $19---but a majority of the films I watched in that set were crap….So I abandoned the idea……Well After watching about 12 of the Horror movies over the last week and a half I thought I would get back into the movie rating game…..

I guess I will start with  the  So bad it is good  category……Which has revived ----my So bad its good movie night idea…..Which previously featured the amazingly  so bad its good   The Mummy Theme Park  ---One of the best so bad its good movies ever…..(I’ve seen that flick 3 times and love how horrible it is each time)
So we start with  The Beast of Yucca Flats  a  1961  7 out of 10  bad movie classic…..

  a 2  that turns into a 7 because it turns the SO –Bad its good corner…. This movie is just a mess  --but in a good way……The movie has a soundtrack and narration that tries to make its boring visuals of people randomly wandering around in the desert interesting…..It starts with a completely unnecessary shower scene---with an unseen killer---then becomes a movie about a ex-Russian scientist being chased  by KGB agents  which the narration teasing about an important evidence of a Russian moon landing…..This plot is completely dropped after an Atom bomb test that turns that scientist into a radioactive killer wandering aimlessly in the desert played by  Tor Johnson of stumbling around slowly after people in the Plan 9 from Outer Space   (so bad its good classic)   Tor Johnson   --we love you man.  Anyone –nothing exciting really ever happens in this flick –other than people walking around but the rambling narration that tries to save this clunker makes it   SO-Bad its good.

The Maniac  1934   7 out of 10  (so bad it is good) ---Another so bad its good entry   Crazy overacting –makes this short  54 minute movie a quick easy and entertaining watch in my book

Next up in the collection  2 Charlie Chan like  movies starring  Boris Karloff
--playing a Chinese Detective  Mr Wong….I love the horribly stereotyped Chan flicks with white guys playing the lead Chinese rules….But other than makeup to make Karloff look Chinese he doesn’t even change the way he talks….   That being said they are both Serviceable Mystery flicks…..Doomed to Die  1940  5 out of 10   and The Fatal Hour   1940 5 out of 10…..Standard Mystery stuff –with and over anxious American  cop trying to arrest  the wrong guy while  Mr Wong solves the cases and finds the real killer and the hot young news reporter trying to get a scoop……..In this case   2 Wongs make an  Alright couple of movies

Next up   “I was like a one man wrecking crew like Charlton Heston in Omega  Man did you see it ?  it was a Beauty”


The Last Man on Earth  1960   6 out of 10  starring …. Vincent Price
I love this dude even in so –so movies…..  Based on Richard Matheson's novel "I Am Legend"  Also the basis  for Omega Man  1971 7 out of 10  and I am Legend    with Will Smith……..This end of the world saga  has Vincent Price Narration which I love..   End of the world Last man on the planet picks can always get a little dull at times ---and of course they are never truly only….I enjoyed this look back at a classic tale….Vincent Price running around and stabbing People turned into Vampires by some Pandemic….Entertaining stuff ….It made me end up watching the Hipper---Charlton Heston  1970’s flick ---which has the  baddies running around in cult robes  (Like Snuggies)….Heston kicks some ass…..
The Last  Man on Earth trailer

From the Last man on Earth we head into 4  films with mad scientists.
The year  1933  gives us The Vampire Bat  6 out of 10 with Fay Wray (of King Kong Fame)   Which tells a tale of  A vampire loose in the town….With Universal Studio backlot sets  and a torch mob –and mad scientist…  Decent  flick…
From the year 1940’s  The Ape  4 out of 10   Starring  Boris Karloff as a scientist  trying to cure Paralysis…..This movie also has an Ape on loose from the circus theme…..and Wild west  posse on the trail of the killer stuff…..I think this tale needed to figure out what it wanted to be….. 1944  Brings us another so-so  Dr. Frankenstein wannabe…..The Monster Maker  3 out of 10  this dull tale of yet another scientist trying to cure something  fell kind of flat ---and amazingly this movie also had an ape in it   And finally –we have  The Corpse Vanishes  1942   5 out of 10  --With Bela Lugosi  --who is fake killing off brides at their wedding and stealing their bodies to make a serum to keep his wife young….and hot on his trail is a stereotypical  news reporter.
The Vampire Bat  A Glimpse  “Martha get me apples I like”


1939 bring us The Gorilla  7 out of 10   starring the Ritz Brothers  a set of comedy brothers as .Detective  chasing a killer called The Gorilla-  (and of course there is an actual gorilla running around as well)----It’s a standard murder mystery in a house with trap doors and secret passageways flick with the stereotype scared black driver ….”I ain’t going in there”   That kind of stuff….and the detectives all Costello style vaudeville.    This flick made me wonder  What if you did comedy sketch with an affluent all black cast ---with a white guy playing the stereotyped role ….Then it dawned on me  …….Shaggy from Scooby Doo is basically that characer found in the less sensitive  1930 and 1940 movies….
Anyway this film apparently was a comedic remake or influenced by a more serious less entertaining  1932 movie called  A Monster Walks  4 out of 10  which also features a gorilla –a mansion and a killer .  
1933’s  A shriek in the Night –5 out of 10 ---like the Mr Wong movies was more Murder Mystery than Horror movie….. Another out to get the story reporter tell…It was ok but nothing to write about …..Oh I guess I just did.

Finally that brings us to Dementia 13  1963 6 out of 10 Francis Ford Coppolla’s first real flick…More the creepy family in a castle who done it…It had some cool elements and some interesting scenes ….But wasn’t anything really special.

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