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The King's Speech (2010)
let's face it: 2010 wasn't the best year for movies. A year full of terrible reboots, squeals and snore-fests that gave critics a lot to complain about. When the Oscars came about in 2011, I was really annoyed that the only great movie that year, INCEPTION, was snubbed for best picture. Who was the mysterious larcenist? none other than the Kings speech. The king's speech flew under my radar, believe it or not, I never seen any of the trailers. So lately, after looking into the positive reviews, I sat down and watched the film that captured even our own Queen Elizabeth II's attention.
The King's speech is a historical drama about King George VI, the monarch who reigned over the United Kingdom in the time of one of the most devastating wars in history. However, George lacked something that strong leaders required; Fluent speech. As a victim of a speech impediment, King George seeks out a therapist to help develop him vocally before he can speak publicly.
I'm going to say it now - The kings speech blew me away in numerous ways. The sheer depth and emotion of the film lifts it high above any other film in the genre, with beautiful acting, music, cinematography and script- the bare bones of an instant classic.
lets start with the acting. Now I haven't seen many Colin Firth movies bar Mama Mia (which didn't leave a good impression), but his performance as King George VI was among the best of the modern era, second to DDL's performance in Lincoln. You really invested in his character. Playing a person with a stutter is very hard to pull off effectively, but Firth hits all the right notes. Going into this film I believed that he would pull of the cliché performance and that his voice would be perfect by the end of the movie- but no! Actually, he never truly fixes his voice and even at the final climatic speech, George still struggles to get a word across. This is what makes his performance great. He shows how hard it really is, in that even with months of practise, he still finds it hard to talk to his own brother. Props to Colin! All the other actors are exceptional also, with the likes of Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter (serious role??). The Kings speech shines in the acting category like no other British film.
If your a historian, like me, you probably know this story inside out, and may also be annoyed at the slight liberties they took in writing the film's script. However, in order to get the appropriate emotional response, I believe it was necessary. If I was to complain about the film, it would be that the plot does become predictable at times, and there are many scenes that you are able to guess the outcomes before they happen, but the sheer presentation and delivery of the script overpowers these insignificant factors and make you forget about all that. I don't believe many of you watch movies for their camera angles, (and if you do, join the club!0, but I just loved the cinematography in this film. Its hard to describe the movement of the camera without showing you the movie, but if you watch the movie in full HD and look out for how each scene is filmed, you too will be blown away.
Finally, I cannot Finnish this review without at least mentioning the musical score. The score is the heart and soul of this very movie that inflects some very strong emotions in many of the scenes. The constant piano playing may be an annoyance to all you heavy metal junkies out there but if your into classical, or just music in general, if nothing else at least buy the films soundtrack.
Am I still annoyed at Inception's best picture snub?Of coarse! but that's another review for another time. What got the award is a stylish, sleek, artsy movie, with breath taking visuals, acting and sound. I left this film proud to be a British citizen and wanted to grab the nearest microphone, get up in public and give a inspirational speech. Regardless to anyone that would care about me doing that, any movie that gives me such an urge deserves praise in my book.
Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936)
Frank Capra really went to town with this one!
Before You Can't Take It with You , Before Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, before It's a Wonderful Life - There was Mr. Deeds Goes to Town!
This is my review on Mr deeds goes to town.
The plot goes like this;
The kindhearted Longfellow Deeds is suddenly whisked away from his average village life when he inherits a fortune from his late relative and becomes one of the richest men in the country. However, He doesn't know how to use it, and as the money vultures circle, he must defend his own dignity.
If any of you know me (which I certainly hope not), you would know that I'm a huge fan of Frank Capra. He delivers such basic story lines into heartwarming classics which cannot be topped.
The story of MR deeds is no exception. I just love the morality painted throughout the film. Mr deeds doesn't want to ruin his lifestyle with money as he was content with what he owned, and valued love over money. How could you not like that? It follows some elements of the "prodigal son" story, showing that most fat cats in the city would only grant you friendship if you had loads of money.
To Mr Deed's advantage, hes played one of the giants, Gary cooper. Have you ever seen him do a bad performance? nope. me either- and this is no exception. He makes the character have a sense of innocence and ignorance but you and the audience know too well that he is smarter than he looks. Props to Mr cooper for another brilliant performance.
The film also shows the difference between love for self and love for others. Mr deed's love interest Babe Bennett is a cleverly a mix of both, wanting the cash and Mr deeds's heart. She plays a double agent for the press to expose the new millionaire's secrets. However, his undeniable charm gradually wins her over, but by then it's too late.
Mr deeds goes to town is one of those films that you should go in without much knowledge of the plot, in order to enjoy it further. The comedic moments are genuinely hilarious, the duologue is well written and the plot is completely unique. While its not as memorable as It's a wonderful life it is an unforgettable film.
A delightful, heartwarming film to be watched again and again. I'm giving it a 10/10
..."Fourscore a seven years ago"...
The American civil war has got to be one the most interesting yet horrid wars ever to break lose in pre-modern history.Even with modern technology developing and battle tactics changing, it has become one of the most heartbreaking wars as brother fought against brother for a cause right in their own eyes. And out of all the civil war movies produced, only one truly shows this to it's full extent.
This is my review on Gettysberg.
The plot goes like this; It's July 1863, halfway though the American civil war. The leader of the Confederates, Robert E Lee, launches a attack on the little town of Gettysberg. Little did both sides know that it was going to be the most ghastly battles ever to be raged on American soil.
The American civil war is one of my favourite topics in history. There is just so much political intrigue between the to sides of the war. Both sides had very good reasons to grab a gun a fight for their country. Conferderates wanted Slavery and felt that the union, who wanted to end slavery, was taking away a major part of their economy. The union thought slavery was completely inhuman. In a way, this topic is depressing because they weren't fighting against another country that they could join together and fight. This war pitted friends, brothers and loved ones against each other, sometimes unwillingly. America was on the brink of collapse.
Onto the movie. the movie centres around the topic mentioned above but delves deep into it. However, unlike most civil war movies, Gettysberg shows both sides of the story, highlighting every reason for fighting. In my opinion, they couldn't have done it better as you feel for every character in the film. every loss in battle makes you cringe. Wiether your loyal to the union or the confederacy, you are going to feel for each individual character.
The acting is top notch for a film like this. Jeff Daniels takes centre stage on the union side, staring as Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. His performance is definitely memorable as he recites many of the films great speeches and delivers the best performance of his career. Other people that stood out were Martin Sheen, Stephen Lang and Tom Berenger. Each and every performance was heart felt and they all seemed to enjoy every minute of their performances, even when their characters are suffering loss.
The tone of the film is fantastic. It's start6s off a bit slow developing the characters back stories but once the battles take place, you really start to get the feeling the director is trying to get across. All the scenes before battles sometimes feel a bit meaningless, but most show the true depressing fact that all the soldiers don't want to fight, they just want what's good for their state and country. One thing this film does brilliantly is the relationship between two of the characters. Both play Generals on both sides of the war. They both long to see each other again before the battle proceeds but fear that they might not make it out alive. This is where the film shines and it portrays one of the best friendships in the history of film.
The action scenes are also fantastic. Each scene, including the huge main battle at the end, begin with a huge battle plan which is interesting to see them establish. History/military fans will enjoy each and every moment. The body count is huge with thousands of human bodies on screen at one time and it works to the film's advantage, making it feel huge.
In conclusion, you probably know how I feel about the movie. It is VERY long and it could have been cut down a bit as there seems to be a lot of fill, but I'm not going to mark the film down for that. I say if you like history and the military see this film. Many may find this film boring and I would see where they are coming from but this film is right up my street.
Im giving it a solid 10/10.
The Invisible Man (1933)
I didn't see this hit coming!
Up until 1933, Universal was on a role, with many great horror hits on their hands. Films like Dracula, Frankenstein and Phantom of the opera were great hits with the public. These films were brilliant films, especially Phantom of the opera, but there is one that tops them in all in so many levels...
This is my review on HG Wells' The Invisible Man.
The story goes a bit like this;
A mysterious figure turns up in a old hotel in a deserted town and requests for a room. He also insists that he wants privacy and no disturbances. After not paying his rent, The inn keeper demands that he should pay his fees and leave. Outraged that his privacy was disturbed, he assaults the inn keeper and throws him out of the room. Word gets across the whole village of the deranged assailant and the police are called in. It is to policemen that the mysterious man's surreptitious plot is revealed. He is not like normal men and women. He is invisible.
The invisible man is, like most movies of that time, an adaptation of of the famous HG wells novel with the same name. I have NOT read the book so I cannot make comparisons.
So how is it as a stand alone movie?
As talking acting was new to cinema, I never really expected their to be such well delivered duologue. Claude rains is a perfect example of how a villain should be. His vocal tone is fantastic and they way he delivers some of his lines make you shiver in your seat. When he's angry, you're scared. When he's sad, you sympathetic. He is invisible for most of the movie so you can't read his body language or facial expressions. However, it's like he transferred all of his lost acting strength into his voice. Clude Rain's interpretation of the invisible man is unmatched and makes Mr Griffin one of my favourite villains of all time.
The story fleshes out as time goes on and unfolds into a very creepy motion picture. The tone in this film is perfect. Usually horror films of the 30s would make me laugh more than scream, but this was quite the opposite. I was at the edge of my chair for most of the scenes. The thing about this movie is that it there is no visual monster on screen- The "monster" is invisible! It's the ery silence that truly makes this film creepy. Even in many of the duologue filled scenes you find yourself wondering, "Is the invisible man standing in the room?", "Is he going to kill anyone here?". The story plays to this effect and, without spoiling anything, it does catch you off guard many times. When the main protagonist is locked in the house with jack griffin (the invisible man), you are as scared as he is because you don't no if Jack is watching his very move. Props to the story and the directorial efforts.
The script is a pinnacle of movie history. What can I say that I haven't said before? Claude Rains delivers some thought provoking lines that make you think hours after the film is ended. Example are; "Don't worry, the whole world's my hiding place. I can stand there amongst them in the day and night and laugh at them."--"If you try and escape by the window, I shall follow you, and no one in the world can save you.". One of my all time favs is this;
((The Invisible Man: I hope you car's ensured, Kemp. I'm afraid there's going to be a nasty accident in a minute. A very nasty accident!
Dr. Kemp: Griffin, I'll do anything! Everything you ask me!
The Invisible Man: You will? That's fine. Just sit where you are. I'll get out and take the handbrake off and give you a little shout to help you on.You'll run gently down and through the railings. Then you'll have a big thrill for a hundred yards or so until you hit a boulder! Then you'll do a somersault and probably break your arms. Then, a grand finish up with a broken neck! Well, goodbye, Kemp. I always said you were a dirty little coward! You're a dirty sneaking little rat as well! Goodbye!))
For a universal film its actually quite funny in scenes. The policemen are bumbling idiots and share some hilarious scenes including times where they get their trousers stolen. Jack is also funny as he always sings while he goes around killing people in his maniacal killing spree. Believe me, You'll have "gathering nuts in may" stuck in your head all day.
Fantastic visual effects, comedy, script and acting. If I had one complaint with the film, it would be that the romantic relationship between Jack and his girlfriend Flora wan't explained enough, But it's a horror, not a romantic.
Definitely give it a watch. 10/10
Singin' in the Rain (1952)
Make 'um smile, make 'um cry...and make 'um laugh!
Musicals used to be one of the most popular Genres of all time with classic hits like Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, Clamity Jane and Fiddler on the roof. But, like in every Genre, there is always one that rules the roost...
This is my review on Singing In The Rain.
The plot goes like this;
It's the roaring twenties and the silent era of film dominates public entertainment. At this time, Don Lockwood is the most famous man in the film industry staring in hundreds of popular silent films along side his love interest Lina Lamont. When the first ever talking picture is released, directors and producers are forced to leave the era behind and begin making "talkies". Things turn out for the worst when Don's first vocal film is a disaster which would lead to his downfall. However, his best friends Cosmo Brown and Kathy Selden decide to turn things around and persuade Don to transfer the film into a musical before the film ruins his career.
There's no other phrase for it; Singing in the rain is a masterpiece. Trying to pick faults in this film is like trying to pick faults in a perfect diamond- There is none!
So what makes the film so good?
Lets start with the acting. Acting legend Gene Kelly stars as the main character, Don, and his performance is WAY above average. This is the film that turned his career around and there is good reason for this. The way he smiles, the way he laughs- what ever he does you buy the character. His part is quite hard to play and Gene gets the emotions of the character spot on. He also is a fantastic singer, but I will get onto that later. However, while Gene is brilliant, the actor who steals the show is Donald O'Connor's Cosmo Brown. NEVER have I laughed so much at an actor's performance in all my life. There is not a man on earth who can play the part of Cosmo Brown like Donald. You often find yourself looking at I'm even when he is not speaking in case he is making some hysterical facial expression. How he never brakes into i cink of laughing is beyond comprehension, but Cosmo Brown has to be one of the greatest characters in movie history. Finally, Kathy Selden is played by the lovely Debbie Reynolds. Her performance is great, though there isn't as much to say about it as the two actors i mentioned above.
The plot is actually really good for a musical. Musicals are usually pretty basic films with light hearted plots, which is fine, but Singing in the rain delivers more than that. Singing in the rain is definitely great for young children as the plot is easy to follow and there is a lot of funny material in the film to keep them entertained. This is the film children should be watching instead of films that have adult material which children seem to like these days. The film is also great for casual viewers who love music and romance and if you are one of these people, you will be greatly impressed. The film, however, really stands out for die hard film fans as is has all the things above plus a little more. There are lots of references to films before it's time like Lovey Mary and even Citizen Kane. The man plot even revolves around The Jazz Singer, the very first talking film. They could have easily just said that the vocal films are coming into fashion, but this film takes it one step further and actually addresses the actual film that started it all which relates the film to the real world.
The film's greatest feature is it's musical numbers. The music in this film surpasses the music of the modern age by FAR. Each song is lively, innocent, funny and heartwarming and you actually feel the love and emotion that went into writing these marvellous songs. I am only going to address some of the songs cause I would rather you go into the film and be surprised. "Make 'um laugh" (sang by Donald) is the funniest song of the film, which really relates to the title. It consists of Donald pulling of a serious of stunts and I still cant fathom how he did them. You see him bouncing off wall and flirting with an old doll. Garenteed laugh. May favourite song in the whole film the theme song, Singing in the rain. Every time your hear the tune you are instantly prepared to have your heart filled with Joy at the brilliant lyrics. The love song by Gene, which is debatably his best scene in all his acting career. The icon of him hanging happily onto a lamppost is one of the most famous movie symbols of all time- and with good reason!
It's time to wrap the review up. Singing in the rain is so wonderful that words cannot sum it up in one single review. The romance is great, the songs are perfect, the plot is intriguing and the acting is amongst the best in history. This is the film i'll be watching again and again. This is the film I will be sharing with my children. This is one of the best movies ever made!
I'm definitely giving Singing in the rain a 10/10
War Horse (2011)
A modern epic with the feel of a vintage classic!
Movies about horses never really appeal to me which is the main reason why I didn't go see this movie. And yet again I am constantly reminded of that old saying, "Never judge a book by the cover"...
This is my review on War Horse.
The plot goes like this;
It's 1914. A faming family is on the brink of bankruptcy as the drunken farmer Ted Narracott comes home from market after spending all his money on a weak,unstable horse not suitable for ploughing. With Mrs Narracott breaking into deep distress their son Albert swears that he will look after and train the horse at all costs. During this time he grows deeply attached to the creature, communicating to him like he was a human being. When War suddenly breaks lose in Europe, The drunken depressed father has no choice but to sell the horse to a solider. although Albert is very distressed, he agrees to let his horse go to war and vows that he will meet him again. However, during the terror of war, the horse is passed on from person to person, each with there own views on the horse. But as the terror of war jeopardises the horse will he ever find a way home?
War horse is based of the British novel of the same name and, since i have not read the novel, I cannot make comparisons.
But how was it as a stand-alone film?
Lets start with the acting. The farmer's son Albert is brilliantly played by Jeremy Irvine, and for his first sliver screen performance he makes an excellent job. He plays his part full of emotion and energy that is absent in most actors today. He plays some outstanding scenes with the leading horse and you REALLY feel the bond between them (He REALLY loves that horse). You don't see him as much as you would think but his performance is something spectacular. Other roles include British legends Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hiddleston who only have minor roles but are still absolutely stunning. They both share some fantastic quotes that are among the best in movie history. These include Cumberpatch's be brave speech. When you watch it, a burst of patriotism fills you body with a great feeling. Call me weird but that is how I felt.
The story is a bottomless pit of depth, honour and good old fashioned storytelling. I was contently blown away by the awe-inspiring cinematography and camera angles truly did the film justice, bringing the film to life. Yes the film has it's slow parts especially halfway through but it is hard to mark down a film on something it needs to be in order to be great.
For the most part, there isn't many battle scenes and when they do happen they aren't as wide scale as most films of this genre but I don't believe that is what Spielberg wanted; and it works for it's benefit. I will give it credit though- It was loud, fast paced and Adrenalin rushing which is all a battle scene needs to be. showing the true brutality of war, war horse really lives up to it's title as it really places the horse in the gruesome war it was as if it really happened.
What could passably top great acting, story, duologue and cinematography? The Music. The soundtrack is written by the movie composing legend, John Williams, that brought us the Jurrassic park theme and the Star Wars Suite. But this soundtrack is by far his best work yet. Never once does the film disappoint in the musical department with scores ranging from bright and cheery to loud and booming. The main theme heard in the trailer is probably my favourite musical score to date- period.
To round up, War horse is brilliantly directed by the master Steven Spielberg. Acting and story has never been so deep and beautiful, almost bringing a tear to the eye each time you watch. War horse has a feel-good ending that will stay with you for the rest of the week. War horse has got to be one of the best modern movies ever made and it gets my highest grade, a 10/10.
Kaijû sôshingeki (1968)
The original and best giant monster mash!
In 1968, Toho had so many popular monsters in their arsenal that they decided to produce one of the greatest ideas in monster movie history! This is my review on Destroy all monsters The plot goes like this; All of earth's giant monsters are captured and contained by the people of earth on a small island off Japan. However, aliens swoop down from the skies and set the monsters lose on the world. As they destroy the major cities, the people of JApan must come up with a plan to stop this alien threat.
Godzilla has been in A lot of good movies but this one is at the top of the list.
Let's start with the story. I have to say, I really enjoyed the plot. It wasn't to deep or mind-boggling, but it was quite interesting with a couple of plot twists here and there. Most of the movie centres around the human's efforts to stop the alien plot. While the story is interesting, it does sag a little, but that is not why we watch Godzilla movies, nor does it degrade this monster flick.
Now onto the monsters. Never has there been such a great monster crossover gathering in all movie history. Rodan, Mothra, Varan, Manda, Baragon,Kumonga, Anguirus, Gorosaurus and King Ghidorah all show up in this huge picture, each with their own unique abilities. Mothra shoots webs, Anguirus spikes his enemies, Gorosaurus with his classic flying kick- the list goes on. My only disappointment is that baragon and varan don't make a big appearance. I was hoping they would join in at the end, but they didn't.
At the end, one of the best monster rumbles in movie history goes flat out, with heat rays, webs and other monsters going every where. The three headed Dragon ,King Ghidorah , shows up to wipe out earths monsters and gets a "warm" welcome. The fight is huge and it still makes me think how they did some of the effect, which thankfully isn't CGI.
One of the best monster movies in history that assembles all the greatest monsters of all time. They should do it again, without CGI and a lot more monsters for us to sink our teeth into. In my opinion, it's the perfect movie to watch with a younger viewer, particularly if you have a son. Just sit down and enjoy this cheesy action romp.
Im giving it a 10/10
It Came from Outer Space (1953)
A decent yet forgettable B movie
For A Sci-fi "B" movie to be great it must be; Interesting, Have great looking aliens, have a good and original storyline and be original.
Unfortunately, not all films are like this.
This is my review on It came from outer space.
The plot goes like this; A spaceship crashes on earth leaving a huge hole in the deserts of Arizona. Only one man,John Putnam, witnesses this and is sure that it is the first stage of an alien invasion. However, nobody believes his claims and he becomes obsessed with trying to prove his point. After excavating the site, John Putnam stumbles across the alien beings and their ultimatum becomes clear...
Now don't get me wrong, it was a good flick. However it's flawed by a couple of issues.
Firstly, the plot isn't really interesting and all the characters are as dull as could be. The main character, played by Richard Carlson, is very well acted, but lacks interesting qualities. His character seemed to spend most of the time trying to prove his point, which was alright for a while but slowly became monotonous. I know you only really watch B movies like this to see the aliens and, while they are interesting to look at, which I will move onto in a moment, They're "plan" is slightly boring. (Spoiler) They are only on earth because they just crashed and have no interest in invading the planet. I was expecting it was some sort of "fake crash" so that they would secretly crawl out and invade. I no, I'm making a plot line up, but I was sort of expecting something round those lines. The fact that it didn't live up to expectations might be part of the reason why I don't like the film as much as I could have.
The Movie is very slow to start off with horrendous "talk" scenes that don't seem to add to the story what-so-ever, apart from how the ship got there etc.
Now what was good about it. Although I said the alien's motives were boring, their appearance more than makes up for it. They are completely unique and they certainly stand high in my favourite alien list in terms of how they look. They are huge, rock-like monsters with one bulging eye and large tentacles sticking out. This alone makes the movie worth while.They do have some interesting scenes, especially when they first meet Richard Carlson's character, John Putnam. It's both suspenseful and fun to watch. It came from outer space also had a great ending scene with these aliens that made the film a lot better.
Im not going to say the film was horrible, but there were a couple of unimaginative scenes in the movie that seemed either taken from another movie or just to dull to be any good. The film has lots of redeeming qualities that do make the film worth while but there is not enough of them to raise it above my final rating.
Im giving It came from outer space a 7/10
Cowboys & Aliens (2011)
Worth it's weight in gold!
It has been over 42 years since a "good" Weird west movie came out. Now, Paramount Picture attempts to revive the genre again. Did It work? This is my review on Cowboys and Aliens.
The plot goes like this; A man wakes up in a desert without any knowledge of of history or his identity. He also notices a metal armband around his arm which looks like something WAY beyond it's time. He eventually finds a small town in Arizona entitled "Absolution". After causing chaos with the local Sheriff, he runs into a dirty, good-for-nothing Cattle owner named Colonel Dolarhyde who seems to own the town. But before Dolarhyde could get ahold of him, mysterious attackers from the skies assault the town, abducting anyone who stands in their way. After the attack, Dolarhyde decides to cut a deal with the man with no name, due to the fact that his armband is some sort of alien weaponry. A Posse is established and they set out to find the invaders and reclaim their family members.
With a few exceptions like "True Grit" and "3:10 to Yuma", Westerns that have come out in the 21st century have been far from Brilliant status of the older movies. Cowboys and Aliens seem to mix the two together; Assembling a classic western storyline with a modern alien twist- and it works!
The story has all the stereotypical western characters that appeared in the oldies. You've got an old drunk, the young kid that needs to learn manners, a greedy land owner and of course, a man with no name. The writers did a really good job establishing some great western clichés that seemed to be used a lot in the old movies.
The characters are extremely well acted- And why wouldn't they be. It stars great acting legends like Harrison ford and Daniel Crag. Harrison plays brilliantly, grunting and growling like some savage beast which the character seems to be. Daniel is quite good to,though there is nothing out of the ordinary to talk about. Good acting in general, but don't be going in thinking that there is going to be the best acting ever- because it isn't.
One factor a look at most in Sci-Fi movies is the Aliens. The aliens in this movie are amongst the greatest of modern aliens. Im probably alone in this, but they make me feel like I'm watching an old-school alien ultimatum which is very hard for modern filmmakers to achieve. One thing I like about them is their weaponry. You see a alien armband on the Daniel Crag's character for most of the movie, but as you get to the end they reveal a lot more. They have huge, under-arm Lazar cannons that explode large sections of the landscape which is quite entertaining to watch.The aliens' motivation is nothing special but it wasn't TERRIBLE. For the appearance and weaponry, I think they deserve credit.
There is a lot of action scenes to keep the action junkies happy. As well as the explosions mentioned before, we has huge spaceships blasting people, Indians stabbing aliens, Cowboys shooting aliens etc. There is A lot of battles which are extremely entertaining.
Im not saying this movie is for everyone and most people will disagree with everything i have just said, but I, on the other hand, can't praise it enough. It brought me back to the old school B movies. I highly recommend the film to fans of Sci-fi action and old B westerns.
I give it a 10/10
Billy the Kid Versus Dracula (1966)
One of the greatest showdowns in history...sort of
There's been plenty of Cowboy Crossovers; The beast from hollow mountain, The Valley of Gwangi, Cowboys and Aliens- The list goes on. But, wither they hate it or love it, there is only one weird west crossover that stands out amongst the rest.
This is my review on Billy the Kid Vs Dracula
The plot goes like this;
An American vampire arrives in the old west in search of a woman to be his Un-dead bride. As he embarks on a stagecoach to a wild west town, his fellow passenger shows them a picture of their daughter,Elizabeth, who they were going to meet later that week. The vampire instantly falls in love with her an plans to make her his undead wife. He provokes the local native American tribe to attack the stage they are travelling in, so that he could kill off Elizabeth's Uncle and take his identity. Since they had never met, he could easily be mistaken as her Reletive. When he arrives at the town he runs into bother with a gunman-turned-farmer, previously known as Billy The Kid, who finds the vampire impostor suspicious.
For a 60s "B" movie, Billy the Kid Vs Dracula is a very original wild west crossover. One of the most famous western figures Vs one of the most famous figures of film. What could go wrong?
The Story, though it may drag at times, is quite entertaining. If you are a western fan, you will notice that it borrows ideas off some famous westerns. For example, the movie starts off like the main plot of the 30s John Wayne film, "Stagecoach". You've got your grumpy stage driver, moaning old woman, pale faced old man and the stereotypical drunkard, who were all present in the 1939 classic. Also, the Indian attack seemed like a diluted version of the final Indian attack in "Stagecoach". I don't know if it was intentional, but if it was, it was a nice wee nod to the early classic.
The acting of the film is nothing special (apart from Dracula, who I will discuss in a moment). Chuck Courtney's attempt at playing the famous gunslinger, Billy, was decent, but you cant expect a high quality actor in a movie like this. Melinda Plowman, who plays Billy's Girlfriend Elizabeth, is quite annoying but is watchable. However, John Carradine nails his Dracula part perfectly. His performance is nothing to challenge the likes of Bela Lugosi, but they way he walks and talks sends shivers down your spine and it completely sells the character. Out of all the characters, John Carradine certainly plays the funnyest. There are some hilarious hypnosis scenes where he rolls his face inwards while his face glows like a tomato. People watching this barely smirk, which is strange because i know if I was being hypnotised by a person who made that face, I would burst out laughing.
If you are looking for action, there wont be much to recommend though there is some shootouts, one resembling a shootout from the Duke's final film, the shootist. What is with this film and borrowing from John Wayne movies? Maybe it's me. The film also contains some fistfights that are also entertaining.
Billy the Kid Vs Dracula was released back to back with another Weird west flick, Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter which also pitted a famous historical figure against a famous monster. I sometimes wish they would have made more like "Butch cassidy Vs The creature From The Black Lagoon" or something similar. I also wish Hollywood would make more films like this now-a-days.
This is an excellent, one of a kind B movie that deserves recognition. Im giving it a 9/10 and I highly recommend.