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Mar 18 17 3:32 PM
Mar 18 17 3:33 PM
Mar 18 17 9:41 PM
Mar 18 17 9:45 PM
TomWeaver999 wrote:15 minutes shorter, ISLAND OF TERROR would be a lot better. It's 90 minutes because when one character has to say something to another, we have to see his car drive up to the house, him get out, knock on the door, be let in, take his coat, small talk, and THEN he spouts the dialogue that's the whole point of the scene.
Mar 18 17 10:03 PM
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Mar 22 17 4:08 PM
SAM33 wrote: And THE NAKED WITCH...I guess this is the 1967 Andy Milligan film as the ad says color? But there's another one from 1961 as you probably all know.
Mar 22 17 5:38 PM
Mar 23 17 2:09 AM
Mar 23 17 6:15 AM
Rick wrote:SAM33 wrote: And THE NAKED WITCH...I guess this is the 1967 Andy Milligan film as the ad says color? But there's another one from 1961 as you probably all know.I didn't notice the "color" thing, Sam, so I just assumed this was the Buchanan film. Of course, it still could be. Not all advertising is honest and correct.
Mar 23 17 7:27 AM
Mar 23 17 9:02 AM
Mar 23 17 12:19 PM
Rick wrote:I get to plunk Larry Buchanan and Andy Milligan in the same sentence as if announcing the finalists in The World's Worst Filmmaker Contest. "And, finally....Phil Tucker!"
Mar 23 17 1:00 PM
Mar 31 17 1:58 AM
Fifty Years Ago Today was Friday, March 31, 1967 … It was announced that 274 American servicemen had been killed in the Vietnam war during the previous week, the highest total to date, but not, sadly, a record which would last … in business news, there was an ongoing debate about whether to charge airline passengers a fee for headphones. Geez, next thing you know they’ll be charging for food and blankets and luggage and … While on tour with The Walker Brothers, Cat Stevens, and Engelbert Humperdinck, Jimi Hendrix set fire to his guitar onstage for the first time. It would become a regular feature of his act. Now, let’s quietly consider that tour lineup -- The Walker Brothers, Cat Stevens, Engelbert Humperdinck, and...Jimi Hendrix...hush, hush...just meditate on it, keep your own thoughts ...
Friday night TV and the usual suspects. TARZAN, THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. (“Joan Crawford plays the duped wife of a dead scientist in the first of a two-part adventure about a Thrush plot to turn seawater into gold.”), T.H.E. CAT, LAREDO, THE WILD WILD WEST, HOGAN’S HEROES, CBS FRIDAY NIGHT MOVIE (THE VICTORS), THE GREEN HORNET, TIME TUNNEL (“Raiders from outer space arrive on earth in 1883 at the battle for Khartoum between the British and the Arabs”), RANGO, PHYLLIS DILLER, THE AVENGERS. Also that night our KET station (Kentucky Educational Television) showed Peter Watkins CULLODEN which is supposed to be great and which I still want to see (and since it’s on YouTube, I’m a-gonna.).
Joanie and da boyz.
But I may not have seen any of that TV lineup. There’s a 50/50 chance that I was otherwise engaged.
When I joined the Student Theater, ARSENIC AND OLD LACE was already in rehearsal so my only connection with that one was being asked to sell some tickets. Let’s see, one to me, one to my mom, maybe one to my brother...that’s about it.
But now we were moving to the last production of the school year and my first show ever, CAROUSEL. Members were required to audition for each show. I kept no records to tell me when the CAROUSEL auditions were, so I have to work backward and make some edumacated guesses.
I know the dates of performance, I know approximately how long we rehearsed, I know the auditions were immediately before the start of rehearsals, and I know that auditions were always on a Friday evening. So, counting off on the calendar, my best guess is that the auditions for CAROUSEL were either March 24 (the previous Friday) or this day -- March 31. Since it’s a tossup, let’s assume it was this night.
On audition night, every member of the group would crowd, and I mean crowd, into Mr. Wann’s room, a regular schoolroom which had been outfitted as a black box theater. 60 or 70 high school kids were crammed into a room designed for about 30. It was cozy.
Mr. Wann would call us, one at a time, to do our whatever on the little stage in front of everyone. This was a ginormous first for me. My audition to get into the group had been only for Mr. Wann and Mr. Cleveland, the music teacher. This time there would be a room full of kids I didn’t know staring at me. It was terrifying.
It moved quickly because most people got to do only eight or sixteen bars of music. Everybody knew who the “stars” were and that those folk were the ones really in contention for the lead roles. So Becky and Chris and Ron and some others would get to do a full song.
Of course, there were surprises. This time a girl named Leslie, who nobody seemed to know, got to do a whole song. She didn’t sing that well, but she had a very cute and endearing manner and, most of all, she was gorgeous. An unspeakably gorgeous 18-year old blonde. I notice these things.
The other big surprise that night was...me. Everyone knew that Billy Bigelow would be played by either Gary or Dave. Both had big beautiful singing voices and both were pretty good actors, but each had his drawback. Dave was overweight. Not hugely fat, but not a leading man build. Gary was nice and slim, good looking...but only about 5’5, tops. So it could have gone either way.
Most of the would-be Billys chose to do his big song, SOLILOQUY. It’s a difficult, funny, heart-wrenching, comic, dramatic number with a huge vocal range, ending on terrifyingly high, ringing tenor tones. And, it’s about 7 minutes long. It’s an aria, for all intents and purposes. Nearly all Billy-auditioners were cut off after 16 bars. The only ones allowed to sing all 7 minutes were Gary and Dave. And me.
My knees were knocking and I probably seemed to be a castrato--a large, quivering guy giving out with what must have been very sweet, very soft, and very airy tones. Not a bad voice, but woefully meek and girlish, I suspect.
But I sang the whole thing, to ringing applause. As I stumbled back to my seat, I was crowded by people I’d never met (I literally knew NO ONE in the group yet). They were clapping me on the back, playfully shoving me, cooing compliments -- even girls! One girl leaned over and whispered, “You’re gonna get that part! You’re gonna get it!” It was the most exciting and scary moment in my life to that point.
I sat down and looked around the room. Lots of smiling faces, people nodding at me, and Gary and Dave both looking daggers at me.
So that’s how I spent (probably) this evening. I was, ever so slowly, on my way.
There are a zillion versions of SOLILOQUY on YouTube. I'm not 100%
sold on any of them, but this guy is pretty good. If you don't feel like investing
that much time in it, just skip to about the 6:30 mark for the big finish.
Thankfully, there was a monster movie to calm me down, bring me back to my real life. God bless you, John Agar.
Once again it was late night on Channel 11 where I found the movie of the day, hosted by the sadly forgotten Peter Gory. That night he submitted for my approval…
THE BRAIN FROM PLANET AROUS
Sometimes memory can be tricky. Sometimes? Ha! Just about always. In this case my memory tells me that I enjoyed this movie, recognized that it really wasn’t very good, but still...it was fun, it was amusing, it was comfortable. That’s the memory.
But I just looked up what rating I had given THE BRAIN FROM PLANET AROUS after that first viewing. I rated it 2 ½ out of 10. That’s bad. That’s very bad.
It’s difficult to explain such a terrible rating for a movie which I actually remember fondly. Maybe I was trying to be tough and critical rather than being just a doofy teenager. More likely, the haze of golden nostalgia is just overpowering. In my memory, I’m not focused on the movie itself or what I thought of it. I’m focused on being young, watching Peter Gory, seeing an old ‘50s monster flick for the first time, in the house in which I grew up. It’s a shining sort of memory, so, in retrospect, this 2 ½ star movie looks sweet and pleasing.
One random memory from that first viewing: I was so relieved to learn that I had the pronunciation of AROUS right. “Air-us”. That’s what it was and that’s what I had thought it was. But it had passed my mind that it might be “Uh-rouse” either with a soft “s” as in the first syllable of “despise” or a hard “s” as in the second syllable of “despise.” Or maybe even “uh-roose”. I remember being unusually pleased and proud to have gotten it right.
I have seen THE BRAIN FROM PLANET AROUS two or three times since. It’s not a favorite by any means, but I tend to look on it fondly, if not uncritically. It’s been a few years since my last look. This could be fun. Or not.
Well, I assume I rated the movie on quality not fun. Still, it’s probably not as bad as that rating. 2 ½? Nah, should be 3, 3 ½ at least.
Of course, that’s not to say it’s a good movie because it most certainly is not. The actors, particularly John Agar, certainly give it their all, sometimes embarrassingly so. The brain is a silly-looking thing. The script is by the numbers, and I’m not sure they got all those numbers in the right order.
It is sort of simple-minded fun in that ‘50s, black-and-white sci-fi style, but definitely well down the pecking order of that sort. Though it’s not something I would do, BRAIN FROM PLANET AROUS is built for mocking. If you ever host an MST3K/BYOJ (bring your own jokes) party, this would be the perfect target for the mock.
A few things…
With this movie and WAR OF THE SATELLITES and I MARRIED A MONSTER FROM OUTER SPACE, we must seriously consider the threat of the horny spaceman. Damn those earth women for being so irresistible! Maybe only Mars NEEDS Women, but obviously every alien in existence WANTS ‘em.
Anybody know who voiced the brains? The evil brain sounds like a radio talk show lunatic, while the nice brain sounds like a late night, easy listening DJ.
I liked the scenes at the leading lady’s home. All the picnic tables and grills and eating outside in the open air. Very bucolic, very homey, very ‘50s.
These officials are incredibly quick to jump to -- and agree with -- the alien invasion conclusion. Surely there were a couple of other options to consider?
By the way, Agar’s character is named Steve. Steve. Steve. I’ll never forget it, because it’s probably spoken 4 million times in this movie. If you have that BRAIN FROM PLANET AROUS party, don’t make “Steve” the cue for a drinking game. You’ll be shuttling alcohol poisoning victims to the ER all night long.
I know that we’re dealing with low-budgets here, but that was the situation with WAR OF THE SATELLITES too, and in that one, we see all the world leaders meeting at a modest but fair representation of the United Nations. In this one, the world leaders (all three or four of them) meet in what looks like a Kinko’s break room.
I’ve protested over and over that I never saw the wires in WAR OF THE WORLDS. Well, pardner, I saw ‘em here right enough. They are so obvious, moving that silly balloon, that it almost seems intentional. As if saying the filmmakers are saying it doesn’t matter. You were dumb enough to sit and watch this movie, this is what we think of you, you idiot.
And the stupidity continues to the very last line of the movie. John Agar has been possessed by an alien for almost the whole movie, he’s finally free. What an incredible situation! But then when Joyce Meadows insists that another brain had possessed the family dog, Agar can only shake his head at the silly girl and say, “You and your imagination.” Yeah, what a ridiculous idea! Ha! Women!
This was a momentous evening in my life. Everything was changing. From this point on, I would see fewer movies. Oh, I’d still pretty much stay caught up, and my interest wouldn’t waver, still a Monster Kid to the soul. But now there were other things in my life. To be honest, from then on, I actually HAD a life. There would be rehearsals and performances, there would be new friends -- the first real new friends I had made since probably 5th grade. And, not right away but soon, there would be … girls. Oh my God.
Another Show Clock so y'all can see what was playing. But, even better, look at that lineup
at the Convention Center. Forget Jimi and Englebert, gimme Jackie and BB!
This is just for shiggles. Somebody at the Courier-Journal apparently felt "NYMPHO" was a bit
much...but how to fix it? Aw, heck, just lop off a couple of letters, nobody'll ever notice it.
Mar 31 17 10:20 AM
Mar 31 17 7:56 PM
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