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2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

4 items from 2017


Drive-In Dust Offs: Empire Of The Ants (1977)

26 August 2017 11:48 AM, PDT | DailyDead | See recent DailyDead news »

Schlock should never be a dirty word in the world of cinema. Some of my favorite films are utterly devoid of taste and frequently, refinement. The majority of drive-in treasures lie somewhere between perspiration and inspiration, covered in flop sweat and trying desperately to entertain. This is often where you’ll find the films distributed by American International Pictures, and always where you’ll see director Bert I. Gordon’s oeuvre. Empire of the Ants (1977) is no exception.

Released by Aip in July and bringing in $2.5 million, Empire was the follow up to Gordon and producer Samuel Z. Arkoff’s success from the previous year, The Food of the Gods, another “loose” H.G. Wells adaptation, and was an even bigger hit (in B.I.G. terms, anyway—everything’s relative, folks). Naturally dismissed by critics, Empire continues the winning Gordon formula of B stars and groovy, goofy, rear projection grisliness. »

- Scott Drebit

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The Angry Red Planet

15 July 2017 11:16 AM, PDT | Trailers from Hell | See recent Trailers from Hell news »

Hey, Ib Melchoir’s Opus Mars-us is back, in a not-bad new scan and color-grading job. If the nostalgia bug has bitten you deep enough to appreciate a fairly maladroit but frequently arresting space exploration melodrama, this may be the disc for you. Let’s be honest: Nobody can resist the allure of the fabulous Bat-Rat-Spider-Crab, and in glorious Cinemagic, no less.

The Angry Red Planet

Blu-ray

Scream Factory

1960 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 83 min. / Street Date June 27, 2017 / 17.28

Starring: Gerald Mohr, Nora Hayden, Les Tremayne, Jack Kruschen.

Cinematography: Stanley Cortez

Film Editor: Ivan J. Hoffman

Original Music: Paul Dunlap

Written by Ib Melchior from a story by Sid Pink

Produced by Norman Maurer & Sid Pink

Directed by Ib Melchior

Unjust though it may be, not all Savant reviews make the national news feed, but my old 2001 coverage of the pretty miserable MGM DVD of The Angry Red Planet got quoted all over the place, »

- Glenn Erickson

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Let Us Now Praise The Mad Genius Of Richard Harland Smith

2 April 2017 3:09 PM, PDT | Trailers from Hell | See recent Trailers from Hell news »

A few years ago, in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the death of influential film critic Pauline Kael, I wrote the following:

“I think (Kael) did a lot to expose the truth… that directors, writers and actors who often work awfully close to the surface may still have subterranean levels of achievement or purpose or commentary that they themselves may be least qualified to articulate. It’s what’s behind her disdain for Antonioni’s pontificating at the Cannes film festival; it’s what behind the high percentage of uselessness of proliferating DVD commentaries in which we get to hear every dull anecdote, redundant explication of plot development and any other inanity that strikes the director of the latest Jennifer Aniston rom-com to blurt out breathlessly; and it is what’s behind a director like Eli Roth, who tailors the subtext of something like Hostel Part II almost as »

- Dennis Cozzalio

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Gas-s-s-s

17 January 2017 1:42 PM, PST | Trailers from Hell | See recent Trailers from Hell news »

Gas-s-s-s – Or – It Became Necessary to Destroy the World in Order to Save It.

Blu-ray

Olive Films

1970 / Color / 1:85 widescreen/ 79 min. / Street Date October 18, 2016 / Gas-s-s-s / available through the Olive Films website / 29.98

Starring: Elaine Giftos, Robert Corff, Cindy Williams, Bud Cort, Ben Vereen, Tally Coppola, Lou Procopio.

Cinematography: Ron Dexter

Film Editor: George Van Noy

Original Music: Country Joe and the Fish

Written and Produced by George Armitage

Directed by Roger Corman

 

Roger Corman finally accepted himself as an iconic filmmaker for this, his final show for A.I.P.. Barely released and long considered a failure, Gas-s-s-s – Or – It Became Necessary to Destroy the World in Order to Save It sees Corman and his writer associate George Armitage attempting a Mad magazine- like amalgam of all the counterculture trends of the late 1960s. That tactical mistake becomes eighty minutes of unfocused and unfunny satire. Armitage’s script and dialogue might occasionally hit some serendipitous notes, »

- Glenn Erickson

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2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

4 items from 2017


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