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vague memories finally answered by Cartoon Network
for many years, I had this image of a flying caveman superhero, stuck in my head. Other folk only ever came up with "Captain Caveman", when asked about it, but I knew it wasn't that. The first time I ever got to see Cartoon Network, there Mightor was, amongst similar Hanna-Barbera heroes of the time, and it all made sense again. Honestly, my vague memories were more fun, because this was mostly leftover sound effects from "Jonny Quest", and the typical vocal processing of the day, for the hero
Still, it's a painless 12 minutes or so. Don't remember "Moby Dick" at all, though my fond memories of "Mightor" could be clouding my memories. My favorites at the time, would have been "Shazzan", and an obscure "Lone Ranger and Tonto" cartoon, featuring Tonto's trained hawk, "Taka". Cartoon network would earn an even more special place in my heart, if they ever excavated this Lone Ranger, since I had an inflatable hawk for years, also named Taka. But I haven't seen a hint of that show, since I was 8, and am prepared to survive on my memories. Still, in this modern age, I can't believe Cartoon Network/Boomerang, hasn't brought these back yet. I think this "Lone Ranger" was a Filmation product, but can't be sure. Maybe one day....
Children of Men (2006)
recycled, over-hyped "ZPG" retread
I had great hope when I first saw the reviews. really should have known better. Hadn't seen such juvenile SF fluff since the glory days of my youth. Eerily reminiscent of junk like "ZPG", but possibly even more empty, and pointless. I just watched the DVD an hour ago, and really, all I can call to mind is Michael Caine smoking a joint of his "Strawberry Cough" marijuana. good laugh, Michael...
Junk SF doesn't die, it just waits 20-30 years, until we forget how stupid, and boring it was, and tries again. This was all bluster, with the most pedestrian "Action" scenes I've ever seen. I always enjoy Michael Caine, but his part in this was brief, and rather minimal. (he's much better as "Alfred" in "Batman Begins"). It tries to present a true Dystopian vision, but it's absolutely nothing we haven't seen done better, before.
a truer portrait of it's time than many might care to see, but it does feature "Angel"
I was just a bit young for this one, but I had to see it. There's some excellent music, which many folks have mentioned, but no one seems to notice a very rare appearance by "Angel", a now mostly ignored but once quite popular musical outfit. Wearing their trademark white outfits, they grind through "20th Century Foxes", and apparently all try to cram into the camera's field of vision. Keyboardist Gregg Giuffria remains the bands highlight, and has apparently never gotten much of a haircut, ever! Cherie Currie (ex-Runaways singer) begins a brief, but notable, acting career here, and is quite memorable alongside Jodie Foster, and the rest. (Her topless 3-D scenes in "Parasite", and her UFO sighting, in "Wavelength" kept us all watching her for a time).
It's not a masterpiece, but it preserves a chunk of its period, for all to gaze upon, and wonder.
Up the Academy (1980)
classic 80's trash
back in my high school days in Salina Kansas, they filmed something called "The Brave Young Men Of Weinberg" locally, and the film crews were rather prominent for weeks. eventually, we learned that the film was "Up The Academy", and was a bit ummm, "lower brow" than we had been led to believe.
I had to see it, since I was there, and the local audiences seemed less than pleased at the showing. I was 17, and thought it was a rather artless attempt at a post "Animal house" type of comedy, right down to the fart jokes.
Watched it many times since, and my opinion has mellowed a bit. it's dumb, but at times it catches a bit of the "mad" magazine humor, at least as well as most "Mad TV". Ron Liebman might hate it, but he is nearly perfect, and unforgettable. For me, my favorite moment would have been a brief scene on Santa Fe avenue, where I had parked my car, while I was buying some guitar strings. Too bad my Pinto's brief appearance, usually seems to get cut for TV. haven't seen the new DVD, but if my old pinto is visible, they've got a sale.
make sure you see it uncut!
Caught this at an Arizona drive-in, back about 1983. It truly bothered some of my friends, but we all thought it was better than the co-feature, "Happy Birthday To Me". I hunted for quite a while looking for this, and finally found it at a Pawn shop in St. Paul, on VHS. Guess some folks have also been looking, and it is on DVD as "Nightmares In A Damaged Brain". But the disc runs about 94 minutes, and is missing some gory highlights, as well as a few touches of plot. the one you want was just "Nightmare", and runs about 98 minutes. the version you want came from 21st Century releasing, and is worth the hunt, if this is your sort of thriller. I wish everyone good luck, but I'm not giving mine up.
not very scary, but it has some great moments
everybody remembers this one for Moe Howard's appearance, and his brief cameo is truly a hoot. but, for aging denizens of horror who remember the classic Horror host, "Seymour", his brief appearance is heart wrenching. Unlike other films like "The Incredible 2-headed transplant" where he's just another actor, his brief moment in this film, has him in his "Seymour" character, hosting a horror film on TV! brought a tear to my eye, since I never missed his show, and wish they could dredge some of it up, like they have done with "Ghoulardi" and others. Seymour allegedly ran for President at least twice, and his stickers, buttons and posters, were nearly ubiquitous throughout Southern California, for years. Before Elvira, Commander USA. the Phantom of the Opry, and others, "Seymour" presented old horror classics with a bit of respect. I'm sure I am not alone with my fond memories of this great horror host. Just too bad that his appearance in "Dr. Death", is so brief
Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966)
by the time MST3K got around to this film, I'd already seen it in a theater, and many times on California TV. Prolonged viewing generates a blissful non-attentiveness, that can be quite enjoyable.
It is extremely rare to come across an American film, so lacking in any Hollywood influence. Rather then emulating the technical competence of others, this has the rough-hewn feel of constant improvisation, similar to the cheaper Turkish films. It's a real shame that the days of such bizarre, independent films showing up at 4:00 a.m. on TV, are long gone, replaced by the constant stream of commercials, and infotainment. The children of Ron Popeil control that viewing time now.
Il castello dei morti vivi (1964)
finally found this one on TCM
well, I've been looking for this for years, another film lost in the NAFTA/GATT shuffle. Amazingly enough, and with little fanfare, Turner Classic Movies dredged up a "restored" print and sneaked it in late night on Halloween, 2005.
Christopher Lee is his usual charismatic self, despite smudges around his eyes as the only real makeup. The plot isn't much of a mystery, but it's fun to watch the cast run through the paces. Often confused with "Blood Castle"/"Torture chamber of Doctor Sadism" in reference works, it's easy to see that many never saw it, since it isn't all that similar except for the star.
The two reasons that kept me looking are writer/1st assistant director Michael Reeves, and the debut role for Donald Sutherland. Reeves did his first direction on this, and some things will seem rather familiar to fans of "She beast", and "Witchfinder General", his later works.
Sutherland plays 2 roles: an unintelligent soldier, and an old hag who speaks prophecy in rhyme. The hag is voiced by another, but Sutherland did his own dubbing for the soldier. Luciano Pigozzi turns up to add his own charm to the proceedings.
Despite comments by others about there not being a huge need for restoration, I have to thank TCM for a lovely job, though the letterbox seems a little tight on top. it's old fashioned, and somewhat obvious, but definitely worthy of preservation.
Kappa no Sanpei (1993)
water goblins and evil
this is one of the great strange TV series, as our kid hero allies himself with some sort of water spirits, and fights the evil threat. the spirits can travel along any water, which makes for some truly bizarre chase scenes. always reminds me of "Akuma Kun", another Japanese show with a hero assisted by powerful, occult allies, fighting against the spread of Evil threats to our freedom and liberty. Makes excellent use of the moody possibilities of it's B&W production values. I don't speak Japanese, but this kind of stuff is simple to follow, and a whole lot of fun. enjoy it, if you can find it. the entire series had been released on Laserdisc, but I don't know if they've made the switch to DVD
The Final Programme (1973)
Fun, confused 70's Moorcock romp.
I saw the ads for "The Last Days Of Man On Earth" well before I could watch "R" films, but I was always wanting to see it. It dropped into a bit of obscurity stateside, and it was years before I found a copy. Shortly after I saw it, Anchor Bay issued the uncut original in limited quantities, and I managed to grab one.
well, the book is better. But Jon Finch is the perfect Jerry Cornelius, and this may be his best work. Jenny Runacre is every bit as good as "Miss Brunner", though her character doesn't quite embody the written character to the degree of Finch. Ron Lacey also shines, in a brief turn as the sun glassed assassin, "Shades", walking straight out of the books pages.
The low budget is disguised well, but the film needed a bit more for effects, relying on a lot of color tinting, sound effects, and old style inflatable "sculptures", to fill the screen.
Moorcock hates it, but this embodies the spirit that fueled "New Worlds", the science fiction magazine that brought Moorcock to the worlds attention, rather well, invoking much classic British entertainment of the recent past. The original cut is preferable, but "The Last Days Of Man On Earth" is a completely different edit of the film, not just a retitling. The differences aren't major, but the US removes everything that even borders on superfluous, with much minor trimming being done to almost every scene. In an odd parallel with "A Boy And His Dog", it follows the overall story arc acceptably, but adds a joke in poor taste to the conclusion, and many have found that alone, was enough to sour their perceptions.
It comes close to bringing Moorcocks world to the cinema, but isn't quite there. Here's hoping that someone might make another attempt.