Friday, August 26, 2016
So, what is this movie? Well, it's from 1977, and we know from things like Star Wars and Geoff Arbuckle, awesome things happened in 1977. However, from the pictures I saw from this movie, it kind of looks like I might be in for a long day watching this movie.
First, it looks like a made-for-television flick. That means it's going to be slow paced and/or dumb. Second, James Best, of Dukes of Hazzard fame, is in it. He's not exactly had the best history with movies. Finally, this movie happened about 6 years after another popular movie (based on a book) from Michael Crichton called The Andromeda Strain. This was a really good movie, but high on science, lab sets, and deliberate pacing. Sci-fi movies back then were not entirely the rip-roaring action flicks they are today. Look at the sci-fi of the 50s through the late 60s. These were all adventurous flights through space and speaking in a lot of techno/science jargon. Then the 70s took it a little further by using social commentary or real world ideas to create the movies' worlds (see Soylent Green or Zardoz or Logan's Run or Silent Running). Then there were the overly sciency movies like The Andromeda Strain. I have a feeling The Brain Machine will fall into the latter. This is very unlikely to be inspired by Star Wars like all the sci-fi movies have been since.
So what's up with this movie? According to the 50-pack "Sci-Fi Classics" DVD set, "Four people with distinctly different backgrounds all volunteer for an experiment involving mind altering and manipulation. The volunteers all gather at a secret laboratory and are subject to a series of procedures that border on torture, including shock therapy and psychological torture. The final portion of the procedure involves the test subjects to be exposed to an experimental device that alters the participants' minds through the exposure of their inner most fears and darkest secrets."
Not exactly sure how that description fits in with the H.R. Giger style box art I found for the image above, but meh... Let's hope for the best on this one, guys and gals...
Friday, August 19, 2016
This week, I want to travel back to the late 1950s to talk about a movie that is pretty notoriously bad. It's kinda pointed to as one of those classic, women-gone-wild types of movies that came out near the end of the 50s. It's almost like these movies were in direct conflict with the reality of housewives and the June Cleavers of the pop culture landscape. It's a precursor to the sexual revolution that would grip the 60s.
However, I have to admit, I'm mostly looking forward to seeing scantily clad women when this movie gets started.
For some reason, this movie was included in the 50-pack "Sci-Fi Classics" set. It doesn't really seem to be very sci-fi in nature. It looks like spears and loin cloths and aligator gods and what have you. Eh, what do I know. The sleeve for this disc says:
"We travel tot he island paradise known as Wongo, where a clan of beautiful women are pining for company. Luckily, they discover a tribe of handsome men on the opposite side of the island. Unfortunately for the romantically challenged women, the island is also home to a horde of lonely ape men who are planning to forcibly take them as mates."
Okay, fuck what I said about this being a precursor to the sexual revolution of the 60s. This movie posits the idea that these horny broads just need some dick. Which, based on everything I seem to know about women, is kinda true, right? I mean, broads are just objects, yeah?
Oh... Okay. Now I'm being advised to shut up and just get this breakdown started. Let's go to that island paradise and meet us The Wild Women of Wongo!
Friday, August 12, 2016
So let's talk about Francis Ford Coppola. He's a maker of fine films like Jack, Captain EO, and Godfather III: The Revenge. He also makes either wine or grape jelly - or BOTH...? He also made Sofia Coppola who made a fine movie that no one knows what the fucking last line of is but I bet it's juuuuust right.
Some say he is a master filmmaker. Some think of him as kinda lucky with a couple HUGE flicks and some others that he lost his fucking mind making. Some even say he's a friend of George Lucas.
Anyway, I like some of his "smaller" movies - Rumble Fish, The Outsiders, The Terror (yeah, he's the uncredited director of that). Or this one, Dementia 13. This just stinks of young filmmaker making Roger Corman-esque mind twisters in the early 60s. Which it should, because it was exactly that. Hell, this thing was even produced by Roger Corman.
According to my 50-pack "Horror Classics", the synopsis of Dementia 13 is: "Louise Haloran is faced with a dilemma since her husband John has died of a heart attack and she is not included in his mother's will. Traveling to his family's ancestral home in Ireland, Louise hopes to ingrain herself into the family while telling them that John is away on business. Unfortunately, John's family is very dysfunctional due to the drowning death of his little sister years ago so Louise must deal with some very bizarre behavior and strange happenings."
Got that? Good. Now, let's jump into the movie!
Friday, August 5, 2016
Just look at that cover to that DVD on the left. Look at Adam West down there in the bottom left hand corner looking up lovingly at a redheaded Shatner riding a horse in his little cape. In the bottom center, it looks like that Klingon guy who couldn't stop with the fucking Shakespeare in Star Trek VI is in this too.
We have some disembodied heads floating above Shatner's horse's head and looking over his back and floating down around the DVD logo. Shit yeah. This has gotta be great, right?
Yeah, I know, every goddamn article I write starts with that same optimism. Before I start watching these shit cakes, I always think what I have in store for myself is gonna be great. Yeah, sometimes there's a Thirst, or a Messiah of Evil out there that just knocks it all the way out of the park, but most of the time, it's a shittin' catastrophe - a nightmare of epic proportions that I keep subjecting myself to. This time, though, with the combined might and epic dramatic pauses of both Captain Kirk and Batman, this has the potential to at least be a beautiful nightmare.
From my 50-movie DVD pack, The Sensational Sixties, the synopsis goes as follows: "A historical film that follows the life of Alexander the Great, the Macedonian king that united all ancient Greek tribes and led them against the vast Persian Empire. Alexander conquered most of the then-known world and created a Greek empire that spanned all the way from the Balkans to India."
I... have some doubts. The synopsis didn't really say anything other than what the intro to a Wikipedia page about Alexander the Great would say. I can't say I like this. Not one bit... But Shatner! Adam West! I'm staking a lot on this being the best movie I have ever seen in my life.
So there's no time like the present to get started!