Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Track of the Moon Beast (1976)
Chase the body !
Chase Cordell and his muscular physique star in this monster on the rampage movie. You'll see Chase posing shirtless, ripping his shirt off and putting his shirt on. Chase in little white shorts and Chase in a very nifty pair of polka dot pyjamas. Occasionally he gets into a lizard outfit to terrorise all and sundry. The only possible reason for watching this effort is to let your gaze linger over his toned body but depending on your proclivities you may prefer to cast your eyes over the long legs of Leigh Drake. Those are the high spots folks! If you want good acting, a decent script, terrific special effects or anything else you'll have to look elsewhere!
The Story of Shirley Yorke (1948)
Dinah and Derek in delirious drama
Upper crust Dinah Sheridan is naive enough to believe that raffish Derek Farr loves her for herself and not for Daddy's money, but behind her back the bounder is playing the field. When he gets shipped off to the colonies to fight he promises to write but Daddy has the dashed bad luck to die on a fox-hunt and it turns out the old boy was heavily in debt. With no further word from Derek and the mansion sold off to pay the debts what's a poor gel to do but tramp the streets of London looking for a job? After falling in front of some traffic she is deposited in a Lyons corner house by a good old London Bobby where she meets formidable Matron Margaretta Scott who dispenses tea and sympathy and a job at the local hospital. All goes swimmingly for Dinah until she travels to help our boys abroad and bumps into that bounder again, after that it's all downhill until she meets John Robinson (doing his best Noel Coward impersonation) and realises she is in love with him during a game of 'Perfect Pussy' (I'm not making this up). He is working on a miracle drug and gets his chance to try it out on wealthy invalid Beatrix Thomson who although bed bound has been working overtime on the hair and makeup to keep up appearances. Desperately ill Beatrix needs a live in nurse so Dinah moves in to give her the requisite shots much to the chagrin of Mrs Danvers look-alike Barbara Couper. Barbara gives Dinah the evil eye but casts far too friendly an eye over her cousin Beatrix however soon all eyes are on Derek who turns out to be the newly wedded husband of old moneybags Beatrix. Barbara cottons on to the fact that there is more to Dinah and Derek than meets her evil eye and concocts a cunning plan to reveal the truth to bewildered Beatrix. Beatrix has an uncanny ability of being able to impersonate the voice of others at will (both men & women) in fact they are so good you could be forgiven for thinking that the voices are dubbed in. Beatrix puts her talents to good use by phoning Derek and pretending to be Dinah and dastardly Derek is rumbled. Beatrix collapses into a heap with shock and is swiftly finished off with a lethal injection but administered by who? At the coroners court the culprit is revealed and makes a dash for it but no-one gets past policeman Arthur Mullard and the murderer makes a hysterical confession in the dramatic finale.
Well you won't see the likes of this melodrama again stuffed as it is with unlikely coincidences and improbable impersonations. It is also stuffed full of long forgotten stage actors who turn the whole farrago into compulsive entertainment. You simply have to see it!
Horrors of the Black Museum (1959)
You can only visit the real 'Black Museum' (now based at New Scotland Yard) by invitation so you may have to make do with visiting this version of the 'Black Museum' put together by crime writer Edmond Bancroft (played by Michael Gough) which is a third rate approximation of the real thing. You would certainly get more of a thrill by visiting 'The Chamber Of Horrors' at Madame Tussauds which at least has more authentic looking waxworks than the pathetic efforts displayed here. The museum also seems to double as a laboratory with banks of electronic machines (all flashing lights, dials and levers) whose purpose is never really made clear but comes in handy for electrocuting an interfering busybody. So you may think viewing this film would be a complete waste of your time but it's not quite like that. For starters this film contains the most gruesome and bizarre murders shown on the screen up to that time and even now they have quite an impact. People still talk about the binoculars with the deadly spikes which kill by piercing the eyes and brain - although I'm not sure how the victim would have removed them once they were embedded into her eye sockets. Then there is murder by an improvised guillotine - although it does seem strange that the victim didn't notice a maniac with a huge blade standing at the head of her bed before she got into it. An old lady is murdered by ice tongs (!) and a man who is lowered into a vat of acid is retrieved as a (fully articulated!) skeleton. The special effects are distinctly lacking and compared to the excesses of today you actually see very little but the murders still achieve an immense shock value. The acting is variable but the performances bring lots of incidental pleasures. Michael Gough is madly intense as the owner of the museum, June Cunningham as the 'sexy' blonde performs a 'torrid' dance at the local pub, for the benefit of no-one in particular, before losing her head and Beatrice Varley entertains us nicely as the wizened and canny antique shop owner. Blink and you'll miss lovely old timer Hilda Barry with just a few lines as 'the woman in the hall'. The climax takes place at a funfair (probably the long gone Battersea Park) with a double death at the Big Wheel, witnessed by all and sundry, but the police establish what's what and who's who in a couple of minutes, the ride reopens immediately and the crowds disperse to carry on enjoying themselves as though nothing has happened. It's British, it's bizarre and there's been nothing quite like it before or since.
Cross Creek (1983)
Drifting along at Cross Creek
This movie is rather a long haul as it lacks any narrative drive, there are no real dramatic highs and lows, it just tends to drift along at a far too leisurely pace. The performance are uniformly good but the script is often crass and, as the Director is striving for a natural feel, the actors often battle to make themselves heard against the elements and the sounds of wildlife. The biggest impression is made by Alfre Woodard who was Oscar nominated, counting towards four nominations for this film in total, which was a remarkable achievement. There is a good story to be told here and it is well photographed and nice to look at so if you're in a really laid-back mood you may well enjoy it.
Ziegfeld Girl (1941)
You stepped INTO a dream!
When you hear Tony Martin sing 'You Stepped Out Of A Dream', introducing one of the most spectacular musical numbers of all time, you'll know you have stepped into the MGM dream factory. This is where an elevator girl with no talent can become a Ziegfeld showgirl simply because she is beautiful and who was more beautiful than Lana Turner in 1941? She never was the world's greatest actress but I defy anyone not to have a lump in their throat when, fired from the Follies and desperately ill, she takes one final walk down the grand staircase of the theatre. You want more? Then take a look at sensational but unhappy Hedy Lamarr unable to resist the temptations of handsome suitor Tony Martin despite really loving her husband Phillip Dorn. Fabulous Judy Garland, fizzing with energy and bursting with talent, performing the stunning Busby Berkely number 'Minnie From Trinidad'. See if you can spot the point where she is replaced with a mannequin for the risky moment she is hoisted aloft on a platform with bamboo poles in this amazing sequence. You'll get plenty of laughs from former silent star Mae Busch as the wardrobe mistress and the incomparable Eve Arden, who actually had appeared in the Ziegfeld Follies, as a showgirl coming to the end of her career. All this and the amazing talents of costume designer Adrian providing us with dozens of truly fantastic gowns to gasp over. However, I do have one major reservation and that is the use of so many clips from 'The Great Ziegfeld' during the finale, with Judy in a ridiculous blonde wig to match up with Virginia Bruce in the long shot. What happened here? I can only presume the film had run way over budget and they had to do a 'cut and paste' job to make a suitably eye-popping climax. Great if you had not seen 'The Great Ziegfeld' of course but truly disappointing if you had and I should imagine most 1941 audiences had done. Anyway, if at any time you get depressed with the crudity and ugliness that the modern world throws at us constantly, immerse yourself in this big, camp, glamorous extravaganza and I guarantee you'll feel better for a couple of hours at least!
This is a wonderful mixture of documentary, drama and vintage material, skilfully inter-weaved to tell us the story of AMG studios. It is fascinating to see these physique films recreated before your very eyes and then masterfully inter-cut with the actual vintage material. It is also sad to see the men who appeared in these movies, at the very peak of their physical beauty, interviewed so many years later when it has all but gone. However, their personalities still shine through and all those interviewed remember their experience in this genre fondly. Technically superb, my one and only reservation about this film is that the actors portraying the models are only vague approximations of the real thing. However, Josh Peace gives a thoroughly charming and charismatic performance as Neil E. O'Hara and Jonathan Torrens is excellent as the mightily naughty David. It would be really nice to have a boxed DVD set of these original films, carefully selected, remastered and presented chronologically. They capture a particular moment in time, far removed from the excesses of today, but still carry a hefty erotic charge.
This is a fabulously unique film and I guarantee you have never seen anything like it. It's virtually a live action cartoon which proceeds at breakneck speed and is hilarious to watch. It's one of the most 'cinematic' films you will ever see and every scene uses colour, imaginative camera work and scenic design to optimum effect. The only downsides are the casting of Reed Birney in the lead when the part really calls for someone with more charisma. The sense of period becomes very fuzzy and the music score is a little too overpowering and becomes quite wearing after a while. But don't let anything put you off seeing this film if you get the chance because there is so much to enjoy. You will gasp at the sheer inventiveness of it all and Bruce Campbell fans will lap up his appearance here which he plays to absolute perfection.
Dead of Night (1974)
The grief of love ...
Despite many shortcomings this film remains one of the most effective zombie films ever made. A mother who can't let go of her son even though he is dead gives us the most powerful reason to believe in his 'ressurection'. This leads to torment and torture for the whole family including the 'dead' son who only wants to rest in peace. Technically it could have been better of course and the acting is overwrought in most cases. The exception being Richard Backus who gives a stunning performance as the unfortunate son and plays the part with amazing intensity. The final few minutes are the most tragic and bone-chilling in horror film history and will stay with you long after the credits roll.
What is the truth behind alien abductions?
This is an extraordinary film which portrays the intense experience that victims of 'alien abduction' go through. This is a well documented phenomenon and the descriptions from people who believe they have undergone them have much in common. The subject was even researched by a professor at Harvard, the late Dr. John E. Mack, which ended up putting his career on the line. Dr Mack believed he was near to the truth about what was happening and this film may also be a step in the right direction towards a definitive explanation. Christopher Walken is superb in the role of Whitley Streiber, a rather wacky and annoying New York writer, who encounters alien beings at his country house. The first sight he has of the creature in his bedroom is one of the most intensely frightening scenes ever filmed and is the beginning of the real life nightmare Strieber and his family are then plunged into. Their further experiences are in turn scary, comic and disturbing and the film offers no easy answers as to exactly what this all means. There is however a lot of food for thought and anyone with the slightest interest in the subject of alien abductions should watch it.
Carnival of Blood (1970)
This threadbare, bottom of the barrel effort will certainly hold you in suspense as you wonder to yourself '"Will it ever end? Will it ever, ever end?" The opening credits are the most bizarre you may ever see and they are inter-cut with the movies incredibly irritating theme song. The setting is Coney Island and the film uses this location for the bulk of the filming. There are many scenes of the real life carnival customers gawking at the camera from a few feet away and some also appear to have been roped in as extras where crowd scenes are needed. There are a few indoor scenes filmed in the dingiest and grimiest sets imaginable. The murder scenes are interesting as the gore is laid on thickly, in the style of Herschell Gordon Lewis movies, but using an even more minuscule budget. There are endless scenes of ad-libbed dialogue complete with microphones in plain view and also scenes using dubbed in dialogue which bear no relation to what's happening on screen. There are looped sounds of background carnival noise which are repeated endlessly and will have you wishing you were hard of hearing in no time. The 'acting' is appalling throughout with the sole exception of Gloria Spivak who would appear to be an entertaining character in real life. The film often looks as though it is about to veer off into porno territory which is no surprise when you look up the Directors former and subsequent credits.