Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Zombie mini-series

According to Slice of SciFi.com Pride and Prejudice and Zombies will be made into a mini-series. I better get started on reading that. The book has been burning a hole on my shelf for months.

More here.

Thanks to our friends at Monster Sci Fi Show Blog.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

King Kong's remains

I'm pouty, but smiley about this: The original King Kong skeleton (used for stop-motion on the original 1933 film) just sold at a Christie's Auction for $218,000. I wish I could afford that!
I'm not normally a news poster, but I love my Kong!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Postcards from Salem's Lot

Darn that flash.

“This plastic cross from your toy monster scene model is frightening to me!”

Saturday, November 14, 2009

What's Happening?

What was all the huff about The Happening? I stayed away from it like I stay away from a habanero pepper at dessert. I finally gave in, and gosh am I glad? I think people were so thrilled with The Sixth Sense, and then progressively more disappointed with M. Night Shyamalan's follow ups that it became a habit for people to dislike whatever he put out.

I actually liked The Happening. I felt the paranoia the characters felt. Just the thought of what was happening was so scary! We're all scared of something coming to get us, but what if that something made us "get" ourselves?

The ending of The Happening was reminiscent of 50s movies that warned us of what the atomic age could bring. This warning is against hurting the plants, though; which is slightly lame. But the monster is not the cause. The monster is the symptom. The plant idea was just a theory in the movie. What happens is the scary part. If people started killing themselves because we ran out of chocolate milk that's still scary.

Blame the vegetarians. Stop killing all the bean sprouts!

And in case you were looking for M. Night Shyamalan in the movie (he makes an appearance in each of his films a la Alfred Hitchcock) I did a little research. He is not seen, but slightly heard. He is "Joey" on the other end of a few phone calls and texts.
Reminds me of Chris Simonson of Death Proof.

M. Night Shyamalan is on the line. Will YOU answer the call?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Evil twins

I was watching Ghost Story just the other day for the eleventeenth time, and I think this might be the first time this occurred to me. One of the players in the picture is Craig Wasson. He plays both sons of an old man who had a terrible day, "accidentally" killing a girl a long time ago.

Anyway, this fellow Craig Wasson looks just like Bill Maher. So much so that it reminds me I see resemblances often in my favorite movies. So this inspires something new I want to do now and again. Evil Twins!

Please to enjoy my first:

Craig Wasson and Bill Maher are EVIL TWINS!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Ghoultown's "Mistress of the Dark"

At the end of Chiller Theatre's presentation of The Evil of Frankenstein they played this delicious video from Ghoultown about Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.

I'm so glad to have heard these hellbilly boys. Their music is better than Raisinettes sprinkled in my popcorn bucket :)

The Evil of Poster Art

Here's a great movie poster from The Evil of Frankenstein.

I found it at the Hammer Films official website. Great source of material and entertainment. I want to see ALL the Hammer Films' monster movies!

This version of the monster looks like his head is made of a gallon milk container ;)

The Evil of Hammer Films

I'm watching The Evil of Frankenstein from Halloween night's WPIX Chiller Theatre (hosted by Elvira) on my DVR, and a thought occurred to me.
The monster is wearing super-heavy shoes or boots with soles that look and sound like they are made of iron. Is it possible Dr. Frankenstein made him wear these boots for the same reason you put weights in a plush toy so it stands correctly?
My other idea is that film-makers were so savvy on the Frankenstein novel knowing the monster was actually "swift" and "agile," that they needed to put him in heavy boots to continue selling him as the lumbering idiot.

I miss when Chiller happened all the time. My six-fingered friend is such a cutey.

Friday, November 6, 2009

EVERY Zombie film!

My friends over at the Zombs sent me this link by Action Flick Chick to every zombie film ever made! I can't vouch for it not missing a single film, but this list is impressive. A great source to check which films you think are worth checking out.

Thanks go to Action Flick Chick. You are my heroine.

Every Zombie movie ever made.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Salem's Loot

So, there I was watching Salem's Lot from 1978 with my ghoulfriends, when I was struck by this scene in which the constable has decided to skip town. Constable Parkins Gillespie is in the station wagon with his family heading to North Carolina. He's running from the vampires, because they're turning everyone in Salem's Lot.

Ben Mears played by David Soul of Starsky and Hutch fame tries to stop the constable unsuccessfully, but Gillespie has enough sympathy for Ben Mears' mission that he gets out of the family car, reaches into the OPEN WINDOW of his patrol car, and pulls a pistol out of the passenger seat. He gives it to Ben to use since he's staying in Salem's Lot.

Get the picture? The constable had every intention of leaving town with his patrol car window open for rain to get in and ruin the interior. Oh, and the pistol being left on the seat would be a safety issue, but what about the car interior??? Those vampires pay your salary through taxes, mister!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Chiller Theater returns! again.

Elvira is hosting this year's Chiller Theater.

WPIX is teasing us again with a comeback of Chiller Theater. Why, oh, why won't it stay for good? I liked it better when they did it all the time instead of just on Halloween.

Elvira will be hosting this year, and the movie will be The Evil of Frankenstein from 1964.

Here's WPIX's official announcement with all the details.

And for those interested in Bogey news outside of the entertainment realm, my good friend LilyBat is also a fan of Chiller Theater.

Format Change

Hi, Sweeties! I'm just posting to let you know I'm going to be changing my blog's format. As a monster, I am super-busy doing scary stuff, so it becomes difficult to take the time to give a quality review for all the monster movies and scary movies I watch.
So, I've decided to not necessarily always dedicate an entire post to only monster movie reviews. From now on, I want the freedom to share my love of the spooktastic and cheesy with you through simple comments, and maybe some pics. I'll still do some full-on reviews, but I want to go back to basics:
Eat some Goobers, watch some scary movies!

And, by the way, Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 30, 2009

War of the musicals

Movie • Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of THE WAR OF THE WORLDS • 1978
I try to remember to listen to Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War Of The Worlds at least once a year since I found the double CD at a stoop sale in the late 90s. It is SO cheesy delicious, and fun, I can't help myself. I have to sing, hum, and whistle along.

Here's the official The War of the Worlds Musical site.

It was a complete happy accident to find this CD, and now that I'm aware I'm going to keep my eyes out for the 30th Anniversary. This is a better cult classic than the Rocky Horror Picture Show in my opinion, but who am I except a cute little corpse who know no better.

We begin with a short narration to get you in the mood of what's about to happen. We've all heard the 1938 radio program, right? If not you must have seen one of the movies, so there's little risk of spoilage to tell you about the invaders from Mars.
"♪ ♫ The chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one ♪ ♫," he said.

My best description of this CD would be Emerson, Lake and Palmer meets Doctor Who.

The story doesn't change much, but there's a nice little surprise at the end. You'll be doing yourself a favor to pick this up, and listen.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Rabbit's Moon

I was just alerted to this film, and I LOVE it to pieces! It's called Rabbit's Moon. The song that goes along with the short silent film is a mystery to me, but I kind of like that too if anyone knows who it is.

Please to enjoy Rabbit's Moon:

Here's The Wikipedia link explaining the film.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Haunting in the least scary sounding state possible

I was invited to a good friend's house for a "Fright Night" evening of scary movies the other night. We voted on which movie to watch, and luckily it was the one movie in her entire collection I hadn't already seen.
The new fashion in ghost story movies is to find some "true story," and twist the truth just enough (like a braided string of licorice) to turn the unappetizing facts into a bag of Twizzlers. The Haunting in Connecticut really wasn't all that bad :)
I haven't loved contemporary scary movies the way I love classic scary movies, but for this kind of movie The Haunting In Connecticut was better than most. There was a nice build up of creepiness that I enjoyed like a bag of caramel cowtails.
A family must relocate to be closer to a specific treatment center for the son. He's got the ills, and his chemotherapy and experimental treatment wreak havoc on his mother's driving skills. She makes the "executive decision" to rent the creepiest looking over-sized house possible. It turns out to be an old funeral home where seances were held. There's more about the mortician, and his mummifying, and thieving of the bodies (this is where all the great images come from).
The son, Matt is slowly learning more about what happened through visitations from Jonah, the spirit medium who reluctantly helped steal the bodies. Not sure why he had to stick around to watch the mortician carve his diary into the bodies, but he did.
With everything they witness, I'm not sure why the family continues to stay. They are just as slow to react as the families in Poltergeist, The Amityville Horror, and Burnt Offerings.

It's quite enjoyable for a few good jumps and goosebumps.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Un everything

Movie • THE UNBORN • 2009
Another "un" movie, I know. I just had to watch it because it was sunny one day last week, and I wanted to take advantage of the time inside.

The creepiest scene in "The Unborn."

Before I get all negative on this upside-down buttered toast on a shag carpet of a movie, please take a look at the above pic. It's the only moment of chills I felt in the entire hour and a half. It's a dream sequence where the main character Casey Bell (played by Odette Yustman) is trapped on the ceiling of her bedroom while looking down at herself in bed with her unborn twin. That was the creepy. Then they ruin the scene with him reaching into her belly.

Okay, so let's get started on the knocking of the eye-candy-ization of horror. It's been done forever, but it just seems to be getting more blatant, and I'm starting to get bored of it. Boys can get their eye-candy fix on any cable channel or reality show. Let's keep the scantily clad pretty teenagers to a minimum… or at least limited to sorority murder flicks. Sure, I hear everyone thinking, "But, the Psycho shower scene!" Stop right there. That was not about showing us the texture of what is beneath a thin layer of cotton. That was to put the character in a vulnerable situation we can all relate to to put the fear in the viewer.

Nothing really said, yet, The Unborn was not a terrible movie. I stayed to the end. It had its interesting features. Instead of the typical Catholic possession and exorcism we were treated to a Jewish possession and a multiple-faith exorcism. There are a few confusing twists that involve non-familial pregnancies and a demon from a time before religion… named Jumby :P
To be fair, Jumby was the nickname given the boy twin before he was born and died in the womb.

Apologies for reviewing a movie like this after such a long hiatus. Apologies for calling it a review.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Totally invited… come on in!

Movie • THE UNINVITED • 2007
Twilight really put me off for a bit. I was so ghastly disappointed in it (book, movie, phenomenon, etc.) that I've all but stayed in my corner cowering from what might come after that. LOL, just kidding! I was baking cookies - lots of cookies :)
Recently, I had to fly on a real live airplane (not a pterodactyl), and I decided to catch an in-flight picture. There weren't many choices, so I decided upon a movie that was only recently released - one I'd originally intended to skip. Contemporary fright films are beginning to annoy me, and I'd rather be eating cob-webs on my crumpets that sit through another.

But Wait!

I sat through Hollywood's The Uninvited" for almost an hour before I realized I was hooked, but hooked the way you might be hooked watching 90210 or The OC. I wasn't there for the spook, nor the fright, nor the shivers. I liked the main character, and I wanted to know how she was going to resolve her issues.

By the end, I was attacked by the creepers. My spine tingled, my eyes welled up, my jaw dropped on the floor… literally. The flight attendant ask me to store it in the over-head compartment after that.

The story was very basic, but as the best stories go: keep it simple, stupid. Sure there were a few cheap scares, but I blame modern audiences, and their demand for crooked, disfigured spirits in anything that's supposed to resemble a ghost story.

I recommend watching The Uninvited thrice!

highlight the text below for bonus spoilerish information:
I klonked my noggin over and over when I realized that The Uninvited is a retelling or remake of the Korean film, A Tale of Two Sisters. There's even a Japanese version of The Uninvited! Now that I think about it, it reminds me of Alice Sweet Alice too!

I'm a buff, not an expert! Here's my review of the Korean version :)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Sparkly old men

I’m sorry. I have very little good to say about Twilight. I wanted to like it. I really did. I even refrained from reviewing the book because I thought it was awful. The audio book was even worse. Listening to that whiney voice read the story as if everyone was in grousing mode was excruciating.
These vampires “sparkle” like diamonds in sunlight? That’s their eternal torture? They run around like they have wires in their back. Oh, brother. I can’t really even get into it because I’m not a negative monster. I’m just going to say I can’t review the Edward and Bella romance. Edward is a 90 year old man in a 17 year old body courting an actual teenage girl. There’s something fundamentally wrong with that.
Maybe some day I can revisit it, and try again; but I doubt it. I’d like to hear your thoughts.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Zombie wasp people

Movie • BLACK SWARM • 2007
I had a case of sniffelitis, so I spent the day on the couch. Here, I run across a pay-per-view, and I thought the description was fun enough for $1.99, so I watched. WHAT A VALUE! This is exactly the kind of movie that seems stupid now to folks who don't have at least one 40 year old eyeball. That eye has seen the sentiment for certain pictures change over the years, and it’s an interesting phenomenon.
In 2007 People probably thought Black Swarm, which I assume was a made for cable movie, was a pretty bad movie. They’d go on thinking that for a decade or so… maybe more, and with good reason…
• Bad stunts
• The writing is bad
• The characters have wonky priorities
• The characters jump to conclusions or play dumb when it’s convenient
• It was awfully easy to find the secret lair
• The story incorporated a twin story/love story
• kooky effects
• The best actor was a blind lady with too little screen time
• The director felt compelled to have an “Elm St.” because Robert Englund starred
• …and so much more!
But, BUT, BUT all this was little to endure when you get gems like wasp zombie drones. It sounds like I’m complaining, but maybe today I have a connection to the future. Black Swarm has everything I love about goofy monster movies. It’s just not old or black & white… oh, and there weren’t any monsters. Still worth seeing though. Go in expecting nothing, and Black Swarm will come out like a peach!

And Robert Englund has still got it!

BONUS: There is a dog whistle in the movie, and swear I heard dogs barking (not on my Telly) when it was blown.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Rodan was Pteroble

Movie • RODAN • 1956
Rodan (the giant monster that resembles a prehistoric pterodactyl) gets worse every time I see it. I decided to spend the first half of my Sunday watching some fun monster movies, and thought, “I’ve never reviewed Rodan. I should add that to my list so I can say something about it.” Rodan definitely plays off other monsters (in Godzilla movies) better than a mysterious second version of himself, and an hour of missile explosions blasting the ground. I would have preferred making up a new recipe for cookies than spend 72 minutes going through this again. Even the giant prehistoric insects that tease the early scenes were poorly done, and poorly explained. The cheesy factor only existed in its failure. I would rather the cheese be silly like the cheese that comes from a spray can.
Sometimes I don’t mind the military stock footage old monster movies use to explain the monster’s existence, but the Hydrogen bomb was sooo overdone. Trust me. Enjoy the trailer for Rodan on All Monsters Attack, but stop there… unless you need a nap.

I promise my next monster movie review will be a positive one… and for good reason. Stay tuned :)

It’s like they didn’t even try. These four completely different jets were supposed to be the same plane in one scene.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Dare to dream of monsters

Movie • ROBOT MONSTER • 1953
Robot Monster is all the proof you need that 50’s drive-in cinema is the best monster movie period history has to offer. This was one of the movies listed in All Monsters Attack! Robot Monster should be categorized as one of the best worst monster movies of all time. Sure, there have been others that stink up the place like a public bathroom; but Robot Monster takes it to new levels complete with asinine costume design and cheesy monster villains that went to the David Prowse school of acting. David Prowse was the big galoot in the Darth Vader costume in the original Star Wars movies. Think “constant fist-shaking” and “superfluous hand-gesturing.” I would not be surprised if George Lucas gave footage of Robot Monster to David Prowse, and said, “Act like that!” Georgie sure loved his black & white movies ;)
Ro-Man IS Darth Vader!

Behold, the high-tech special effects of pre-Indutrial Light and Magic cinema.

Is it me, or am I seeing this woman laughing at her abductor (Ro-Man)?

Even in the original Star Wars (before the digitally enhanced Special Editions) we saw patching behind blue-screened space ships, but at least we never saw actual HANDS IN THE SHOT!

Dare to compare:
This screen capture of Ro-Man walking away with the embedded video (below) of the famous Patterson Bigfoot film with Bigfoot walking away. I LOLed!

I enjoyed every minute of the rabbit-ear adjusting alien overlord in this picture. (SPOILERS: HIGHLIGHT TO READ)… Even the last minute “it was all a dream-or-was-it? cop-out ending”was skillfully done. The repeated image of Ro-Man walking out of the cave could only have been more fun if it was in 3-D. But alas, even the DVD box states that it’s in 2-D.
This post-apocalypse alien invasion film has to be number one on my must-see-over-and-over list. Come for the raspberry sporting boy who isn’t scared of terrifying aliens who’ve already annihilated the world’s population. Stay for the innuendos that fly over like rampaging starlings between Roy and Alice.

For those who’ve seen it…
“You look like a pooped-out pinwheel!” ;)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Trailers of fears

Movie (trailers compilation) • ALL MONSTERS ATTACK! • 2006
I got this wonderful DVD called All Monsters Attack, All Plastic DVD Kit (designed to resemble the classic monster movie model kits of the 60s and 70s. I adore it! It has 60 of the most entertaining trailers from more than 50 different monster movies. I was glued to my screen watching. I’m going to be watching this over and over until I’ve seen all the movies. Granted sometimes the trailer is better (as is the case with DINOSAURUS!), but it’s just fascinating to see all these promotional teasers and monster movie trailers in one place. It can help you decide what you want to see next. I recommend it VERY highly to fans of the genre.

Below is a full list of the movies that have trailers on the DVD. Some have more than one trailer:

King Kong
Son of Kong
Mighty Joe Young, Konga
The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms
The Giant Behemoth
The Beast From Hollow Mountain
The Lost World
The Valley of Gwangi
Godzilla King of Monsters
Varan the Unbelievable
Mothra the Monster God
King Kong vs Godzilla
Godzilla vs the Thing
Gammera the Invincible
Ghidrah the Three Headed Monster
King Kong Escapes
Destroy All Monsters
Godzilla vs the Smog Monster
Yog Monster from Space
The Mysterians
Robot Monster
It Conquered the World
Caltiki the Immortal Monster
The Blob
Beware! The Blob
It Came From Beneath The Sea
Attack of the Crab Monsters
Attack of the Giant Leeches
The Giant Gila Monster
The Killer Shrews
Night of the Lepus
Monster From Green Hell
Beginning of the End
The Deadly Mantis
The Spider
The Cyclops
Attack of the Puppet People
Giant From the Unknown
The Colossus of New York
Attack of the 50 Foot Woman
30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock
The Amazing Colossal Man
War of the Colossal Beast
The Three Worlds of Gulliver
Village of the Giants
The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad
Goliath and the Dragon
Atlantis the Lost Continent
Jason and the Argonauts

I’m hoping to find more of these monster movie trailer compilation DVDs to review and enjoy, so please recommend if you know any!

Dinosaurus Van Winkle

Movie • DINOSAURUS! • 1960
DINOSAURUS! is nine years older than The Valley of Gwangi, so I’m going to guess Gwangi was somewhat inspired by Dinosaurus! However, Gwangi managed to be the whole delicious cake while Dinosaurus! was just the crumbs. I love me some crumbs, but when there’s cake to be had why would you choose anything else?
Don’t get me wrong. Dinosaurus! was extremely satisfying in the way fun, and goofy monster movies can be, but satisfying like a Twizzler, when you want real licorice. They’re both good, but one is more authentic.
Just like many pictures from back in the day, Dinosaurus! has prejudices and stereotypes cooked into the middle. This time, at least, its not only minority stereotypes. There’s the old Irish man employed to watch over the dinosaurs that were found somehow frozen in a tropical lagoon. Of course, he’s a drunk with a brogue and a slur… and a flask. The little Hispanic Central American boy is called Julio. What else? How and why this boy’s guardian is some undefined European traveller with a terrible rotating accent is never properly explained. Being it is a big part of the plot, I would have liked a little more character development there.
Aww, who am I kidding? I came for the caveman and the dinosaurs!

Caveman in a dress… soooo cute!

The caveman was central to the motivation of the protagonist, but why? Who would ever choose to steal a caveman when you can steal a dinosaur? Shows what small potatoes Mr. Hacker was after.
I loved this scene where the caveman found himself in a bedroom looking at portraits and a mirror. He quickly tried to fit in (or found original sin), because he was interested in dressing himself. Somehow, he found himself identifying more with the woman in the portrait, and so he tried on a dress. Makes sense to me! ;) tee hee.

Why are these extras so excited about seeing a dinosaur battle a construction machine?

Somehow this scene reminds me of the dinosaur in a fire scene from The Valley of Gwangi.

Over all, I was entertained, but not thrilled. Definitely worth seeing just for the discussion of the silliness. Maybe someone could write a parallel on Rip Van Winkle. I noticed the old Irish man reading a Rip Van Winkle comic, and we are absolutely supposed to think of the cavemen and dinosaurs as Rip Van Winkle characters. Or, maybe it’s just a reminder that it’s okay to sleep through this one.

Look at the size of that cordless phone!!! ;) tee hee.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Dead like Dead Like Me

Oh, it’s like watching a relative who’s been sick for a while die a slow death. It’s not an elderly relative, but someone who got sick before reaching their full potential.
It’s like going to see a concert where your favorite band has reunited for one “final” tour, only to find out their aging bodies have betrayed them. Their stage antics, voices, and playing abilities have all betrayed their withering forms.
This is what I felt from start to finish watching the once genius and powerful Dead Like Me turn itself into the hospitalized straight to DVD movie, Dead Like Me: Life After Death.
There were moments when the familiar George Lass brought me back to the old Showtime series, but even her dry, deadpan performance couldn’t save the DVD. Dead Like Me was just never the same without Mandy Patinkin. Too much turnover in characters, then the actors who play those characters just seemed to turn this into a failed franchise.
Stylistically they decided to tell the story differently too. How in the world Dead Like Me should be associated with comic books is beyond my comprehension. Granted, my brain only stays moist with a daily dose of maple syrup, but I don’t get it.
If you’ve never seen the show, rent or buy the first season of Dead Like Me. After that you’re on your own. There are some tasty cupcake sprinkles left on the plate after that, but they are few and far between. Enjoy the delicious concept early on, but promise yourself to never be addicted. You’ll never be satisfied with a true fix. It’s like replacing butter with yogurt in your cake recipe. While it’s still cake, it’s just not as yummy.

Special note to Ellen Muth who plays George Lass…
You were brilliant in your roll as toilet seat girl. You are great playing a sarcastic and bitter dead girl who is plonked into the new job of reaper without ever having applied. Please, and I beg you… please don’t reprise this role anymore. You are too talented to be type cast into a roll that will never evolve. It seems as if producers and writers don’t care about this series. Don’t let that be your legacy.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Oh, Coraline

Movie • CORALINE (in 3D) • 2009
Wishy wow-wow, holy cow-cow! I LOVE this movie! I don’t know what else to say. I heard it was a fantastic book, and that fans of the book thought the movie lacked some of the substance, but isn’t that always the case? Anyway, I hope then that you’ll see the movie first.
Coraline Jones was a convincing little girl with convincing foibles and characteristics. Each character was introduced with the perfect amount of fanfare and spice. Every time a new quirky neighbor is introduced, we are treated to vast descriptions of their past and private selves, but still left with so much mystery we want to see more of them. I haven’t read the book, but I suspect they added Wybie (the boy neighbor) just for the film version. The black cat could have told his part on his own. Perhaps they wanted to add a goofy sort of love interest. The comedy relief was found in the father and the “other” father, but I didn’t mind seeing the cute little boy.
Coraline and her family are new additions to “The Pink Apartment House,” and she feels somewhat alone because her mum and daddy are so neglectful due to their adult responsibilities. We are lead to believe Coraline has found a way to escape this dreary reality by escaping to an imaginary world where everything is as she would like it - including her parents; but there’s a catch. Everyone has buttons for eyes.
Soon we find out the dangers of Coraline’s ventures into alternate reality, and she bravely begins her plans for escape. The problem? She’s not the only one trapped, and her heart is way too big to take flight alone. She’s going to help the others break free from her “other mother.”
Brilliantly done, I loved the animation. Classic stop-motion integrated with a few computer effects give this picture such style, I plan to see it again and again!

I was lucky enough to see it at New York City’s Zeigfeld Theater in 3D on the last day it was being shown. It’s still out in theaters, so I recommend seeing it right away! It might be a wee bit scarey for young children, so bring your mittens to cover their eyes :)

I hope when it’s out on DVD they will release the 3D version. It really added to the atmosphere, and they didn’t spend too much time with 3D gimmicks. The 3D just made you feel like you were there in Coraline’s world.

Bonus to look for. At the end of the credits, what I can only surmise is an inside joke pops up:
For those in the know…
I don’t get it, but I like it.
Would love to hear from someone “in the know.”

Be careful what you wish for…

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Gwangi-gi Gwan-gi-gi, oh so soft and cuddle-lee

Gwangi is my new crush. I don’t think I ever even heard of it before stumbling across it on Netflix. I’m happy as a cotton candy sweater that I found it. I knew right away when I heard the early 70s movie musical score sounding way ahead of its time as a 1969 movie ;)

Before I knew it, the score turned into the feel of a Disney adventure film. Not knowing what to expect, I thought, “Okay, here comes the cheese,” but it was the bleuest of cheeses. The kind that goes well at a cocktail party. The kind of cheese that makes you feel better about yourself.
I was wondering early on what was with the over-acting, but then realized these must all be stage actors, and maybe actors from a real traveling cowboy show. The stunts were painfully convincing from the very first face-plant.
We open with a mysterious scene that has Miguel coming out of the Valley of Gwangi with a canvas bag of horse. Yes, horse. A toy sized, three-toed, long thought extinct horse. This horse is used in the traveling show that teeters on stereotyping, and falls over the edge with no remorse.

Gwangi is not a fan of the rodeo.

The movie itself playfully pokes at prejudices and stereotyping with the way our hero, Tuck speaks to Lope; but Lope puts him in his place, and takes it like a man… a gingerbread man. He is soooo sweet. He must have been the love child of a secret manage-a-trois among Robert Redford, Paul Newman and Charlton Heston. His name is James Franciscus. It's a wonder I never noticed him before considering how well known he is in the genre.

Lope, played by Curtis Arden. He has to be in his fifties now.

James Franciscus, the love child of Robert Redford, Paul Newman and Charlton Heston plays Tuck.

I have my suspicions that Stephen Speilberg was a fan of The Valley of Gwangi. There are many scenes and styles that were seemingly borrowed when Jurassic Park was made. Compare the unseen creature opening in a crate in Jurassic Park to the unseen creature opening in a bag in Valley of Gwangi. Also compare the boy-guide in Valley of Gwangi to the boy-guide in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. A few more things reminded me, but I forget what they were. Borrowing is flattery though. I was reminded of King Kong in watching Gwangi carted off to the show.

The effects integration was outstanding.

Go out and get this. Buy it, rent it, steal it. Get your eyes and ears on this flick. It’s a classic that never got the credit of classic it truly deserves. It’s Clash of the Titans meets Wild, Wild West.

Bonuses to not miss:
The Disney street parade in the beginning will make you chuckle.
The costumes look like they were straight out of an Old Navy commercial.
Gwangi gets credit as an actor (this makes me feel better about his death scene).
Strange voice-over for actress, Gila Golan who played TJ, Tuck’s love interest. Was her voice that bad?

An elephant gets mauled by Gwangi… but it’s a claymation elephant.