Reviews

53 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
Obsessed (1992 TV Movie)
5/10
Guilty Pleasure!
20 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I love this 1992 Lifetime Movie starring Shannen Doherty as Lorie Brindel, a young woman who becomes involved in a relationship with Ed Bledsoe (capably played by the stalwart William Devane), a man old enough to be her father. Lorie is unstable and has a daddy complex, not a good combination. The movie really gets reved up when Ed decides to dump the wackadoodle Lorie. The movie is supposed to be serious, i.e. Lorie's stalking of Ed and her suicide attempt, but it was just hilarious. The whole thing is over the top, from the clichéd dialog, tacky 90's clothes and big hair, and Shannen's performance. It is a guilty pleasure from start to finish.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
The Creature In Pants!
2 December 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I like this 1956 movie, the last of the Gill Man trilogy, following "The Creature From The Black Lagoon" and "Revenge Of The Creature".

The plot is simple...a rich, yet unstable scientist, Dr. Barton (portrayed with intensity by Jeff Morrow) puts together a team of doctors to find the Gill Man in the Florida everglades. Even though the Creature has been "killed off" at the end of the previous two movies, he inexplicably has been resurrected once again to be captured by the scientists for study. The Creature was badly burned, resulting in his gills being burned off, but hey, that's not a problem as the scientists discover he also has a set of human lungs. No, it doesn't make a lot of sense but you have to suspend your disbelief with these movies.

As a secondary subplot we have Dr. Barton's trophy wife Marcia (played by pretty actress Leigh Snowden) along to cause jealousy with her husband as a lecherous Greg Palmer makes play after play for her, even though she shows no interest in him. Rex Reason is the "good guy", a doctor also on board as the voice of sanity and a sounding board for the unhappy Marcia.

After the expedition captures the Creature and he has healed from his burns, they take him to Dr. Barton's home for additional study where for some bizarre reason they dress him in a shirt and pants...it is unintentionally hilarious to see. He then goes on a rampage after witnessing the murder of Greg Palmer's character by the insanely jealous Dr. Barton who then tries to pin the murder on the Creature. He kills the Doctor and then escapes, and by that time I was rooting for him! You can't but help have sympathy for this poor creature that was through no fault of his own taken from his natural environment and subjected to to being caged, studied and humiliated by having to wear a really bad suit. It all adds up to a lot of fun to watch!
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Black Magic (1944)
6/10
Low budget, but watch because of Mantan Morland!
26 September 2010
Like a lot of the Charlie Chan films that were filmed by Monogram Studios in the 1940's this short running (67 minutes)film is very low budget. Despite this, it is still a fun movie, mostly due to the comic shenanigans of Mantan Morland who played Charlie Chan's servant Birmingham Brown in several of the Charlie Chan movies. Morland was a comic genius and his bug eyed, cowardly portrayal helps add some much needed comic relief to this film.

Sidney Toler, back again as Charlie Chan, had his role down pat in this, his 14th time to portray the genial Chinese detective on screen. Unlike some of the other Chan movies he doesn't have one of his sons working with him, but his daughter Frances, portrayed by the appropriately named actress Frances Chan. Although Frances is obviously not an experienced actress, I still like her portrayal, she is obviously having a ball and her smiling persona is hard not to like.

Frances attends a séance at a house run by 2 phony mediums, Justine and William Bonner. Mr. Bonner is shot during the séance and everyone who is attending the séance, including Frances, become suspects. Being the daughter of the famous detective comes in handy as Charlie begins to investigate the crime to clear his beloved daughter's name. Mantan Morland is on the scene having being hired by the Bonners to clean and run their household and his scaredy cat act is hilarious to watch. I love this movie despite it's cheap sets and silly plot. If you are a Charlie Chan fan you need to see this, and if not, watch it to see Mantan Morland.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
When Michael Calls (1972 TV Movie)
Creepy 1970's Made for T.V. Movie
22 September 2010
"When Michael Calls" was made in 1972 and stars Elizabeth Ashely as Helen Connelly, a woman going through a divorce from her high powered attorney husband (Ben Gazzara) and has moved to a small New England town with her young daughter Peggy (Karen Pearson). Her nephew Craig (portrayed by a young Michael Douglas)is a psychiatrist at the Greenleaf School for Boys, an institution in the same town for troubled young men.

Things begin to get scary when Helen starts receiving eerie calls from a young boy who claims to be Michael, her nephew (and Craig's brother) who died 15 years earlier after he ran away from home in a snowstorm. You have to remember this movie was made long before there were cell phones or caller id, and the calls are genuinely creepy.

My only complaint about this movie is that I wish that the makers of this film would have spent more time answering some basic questions such as why would the calls start suddenly after 15 years? Who is the voice of the young boy on the other end of the line? These questions are never explained and I think it would have been nice to have the answers to these basic questions. There are a couple of not real scary murders until the killer is revealed at the end. Despite some minor flaws, I love this movie and remember watching it when I was a kid when it came out in 1972. I recently got to see it again when it aired on the Fox Movie Channel. It was also fun to see Michael Douglas in the picture as he is very young and basically at the beginning of his long and storied career. Fans of 1970's Movie of the Week will definitely have to see this one!
6 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
Obscure 50's Sci-Fi Thriller
27 April 2010
Warning: Spoilers
"First Man into Space" is a somewhat overlooked 1950's sci-fi movie that stars the always reliable Marshall Thompson as Commander Chuck Prescott whose test pilot brother, Lt. Dan Prescott, (portrayed by Bill Edwards) wants to be the first man into space. Lt. Dan disobeys his brothers'and the governments' orders and takes his space capsule farther than any other man has before, and of course, it has disastrous consequences. Dan is turned into a hideously deformed creature who looks like a cross between a pile of concrete and a one eyed cyclops who must drink blood in order to survive.

I like the fact that this movie combined sci-fi with a horror element. The makeup of the tormented Lt. Dan as the creature is truly creepy. The special effects of course are hilarious to watch as they are so dated, but of course this film was made in the late 1950's so this has to be taken into consideration.

Marla Landi portrays Lt. Dan's girlfriend and Robert Ayres rounds out the cast as the gung-ho police captain who is on the hunt for the monster.

This definitely isn't the best sci-fi movie of the 1950's, but it is a fun movie to watch.
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Snowbeast (1977 TV Movie)
5/10
Should have been called No Beast instead of Snowbeast...
25 March 2010
This movie, made in 1977, was filmed in the decade where scary "Movies of the Week" was all the rage (think of "Don't be Araid of the Dark", for example..made for TV or not, this was a truly terrifying film). That's why I was disappointed with this interesting little film. The Snowbeast was a scary creature when it was shown, but literally, I don't think the Beast was on screen for more than a couple of minutes, which was a shame.

The movie centers around several mysterious and bloody deaths on slopes near a ski lodge in Colorado ran by Mrs. Rill (Sylvia Sidney) and her grandson Tony (Robert Logan). Added to the mix is the town sheriff (Clint Walker) and Tony's ex-girlfriend Ellen (Yvette Mimieux) and her husband Gar (Bo Svenson), an ex-pro skier who is suffering from some kind of mid-life crisis/depression. Tony is still attracted to Ellen but is friends with Gar..it was kind of confusing and the "love triangle" detracted (for me, anyway) from the real plot of the movie. The movie at times dragged when it centered on Gar's depression and Tony's lingering feelings for Ellen. There were some eerie moments, such as when the Snowbeast was stalking it's prey and the music was appropriately creepy in building a sense of approaching doom, similar to the "Jaws" soundtrack. I just wish they would have spent more time showing the Snowbeast. This would have brought this movie from being okay to really scary.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
A movie that is close to my heart...
22 November 2009
As an identical twin who was born the year this film came out, it for obvious reasons holds a special place in my heart. I remember watching it on TV as a little girl with my identical twin sister and we loved every minute of it! We could obviously relate to the incredibly close (yet at times frustrating) bond shared by Sharon and Susan, played by the delightful Hayley Mills. I don't think that you have to be a twin to have fun with this movie. It is a delight on all levels.

Maureen O'Hara (at the height of her great beauty in this film) and the ruggedly handsome Brian Keith are perfectly cast in their roles as the twins divorced parents. A great cast of supporting players that include Charles Ruggles, Una Merkel, Joanna Barnes and Leo G. Carroll just add to the talent that went into making this picture. They just don't make movies like this anymore, family movies that are great for everyone to watch without being overly sappy or dull. It makes me long for the good old days.

For a fun family movie night don't waste your time on the remake with Lindsey Lohan. Rent this little gem, pop some popcorn and curl up with your kids and have a good laugh. They'll enjoy it as much as you will!
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Great "B" Flick
2 April 2009
This movie has gotten a bad rap, I think mainly because of the inane title. It conjures up a ridiculous image of a giant leech with a purse and high heels on. This movie is actually pretty good, given it's low budget.

Coleen Gray, a very pretty and capable actress in her day, gives a great performance as June Talbot, the alcoholic, middle aged woman married to Dr. Paul Talbott (portrayed as a total heel by Phillip Terry, better known as Joan Crawford's 4th husband). Dr. Talbott is a scientist who is trying to find a serum to counter aging and is willing to sacrifice his wife in order to find the answer.

The performances by Gray and Terry are solid, as is Gloria Talbott who plays Dr. Talbott's assistant and Grant Williams, Dr. Talbott's lawyer and Gloria's boyfriend who falls under the spell of "The Leech Woman". Estelle Hemsley is also good as an old African woman who looks like a human prune and offers to show the good doctor the secret to turn back the effects of aging, for a very steep price, of course.

I thought the make up of the Leech Woman was very affective, pretty scary stuff for it's day. Don't let the title of this movie keep you from watching...it's very entertaining, from start to finish.
11 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Holiday Inn (1942)
8/10
Fun Holiday Classic
3 January 2009
I know this 1942 movie isn't played as much around Christmas as other holiday classics such as "It's a Wonderful Life", and "White Christmas", and for the life of me, I can't figure out why. After all, this was the movie that brought us the all time best-selling Christmas song, "White Christmas".

The movie is just wonderful...it has a terrific cast of Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, and who can overlook the wonderful Irving Berling score of songs. Bing is perfectly cast as Jim Hardy, a singer who is burned out and quits show business to open up a quaint inn in Connecticut where he stages shows for 15 holidays a year. Fred Astaire is equally good portraying Ted Hanover, a dancer and Jim's former show business partner who steals Jim's fiancée and singing partner, Lila (actress Virginia Dale). The lovely Marjorie Reynolds plays Linda Mason, a young singer/dancer who gets hired by Bing to perform at the shows at Holiday Inn, and who becomes the love interest of both Bing and Fred, after Lila dumps him.

The songs include "White Christmas", "Easter Parade", and several others. The controversial number, "Abraham", written for Abraham Lincoln's birthday, consists of Bing and Marjorie Reynolds in blackface. Although not considered politically correct now, this wasn't that unusual for movies of that time period. Fred Astaire has several great dance numbers,and his firecracker dance number is just terrific. He is usually associated with a dance partner, i.e., Ginger Rogers, but this difficult and incredible dance number shows his skill as a solo dancer.

This is my all time favorite holiday movie and highly recommend it. It's just fun all the way around.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Girl Happy (1965)
5/10
"Dig right in and do The Clam..."
3 December 2008
This fun 1965 movie starring Elvis Presley and Shelley Fabares should be put in a time capsule for a movie representing the carefree mid-1960's in America. Kids were still fairly innocent, the Vietnam War hadn't jaded the country and the drugs that pervaded the late 1960's weren't as prevalent the time this movie was made.

Elvis plays Rusty Wells, a musician hired by a mobster Big Frank (Harold Stone) to guard his daughter Valerie (the lovely Miss Fabares) who has gone with some girlfriends to Ft. Lauderdale on Spring break. Valerie doesn't know her overprotective father has hired Rusty and his group of rag tag musicians to watch her, and of course, she and Elvis fall in love.

The movie is similar in some ways to "Where the Boys Are", but is not as serious. Of course, with it being an Elvis picture, we have to have the Pelvis sing in several cheesy but fun song and dance numbers. The songs "Girl Happy" and "Do the Clam" are classic cornball songs, but fun to watch. This movie was one of my favorites from my childhood and it is amazing to me how I can still remember the lyrics to these songs after all these years! Elvis never was a great actor, and over the years his movie roles kept getting sillier and sillier, but this movie, silly as parts of it are, is still a lot of fun to watch. And boy was Elvis hot when he was young!
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Should have been called "I was a teenage vampire"
29 November 2008
For the life of me I can't figure out why the title of this movie wasn't "I was a Teenage Dracula". It was made by the same studio, American International Pictures, that created the wonderful teen 50's horror movies "I was a Teenage Werewolf" and "I was a Teenage Frankenstein".

Sandra Harrison plays Nancy Perkins, a young woman who is dumped off at a boarding school for girls by her inattentive father who has remarried a young blonde gold digger just six weeks after his first wife's death. Needless to say, Nancy is not happy about this situation at all and she has a lot of anger about having to leave her previous school and her boyfriend, Glen.

Louise Lewis portrays the controlling science teacher who under hypnosis turns the vulnerable Nancy into a vampire for reasons that I couldn't understand, some bizarre theory about proving how the evil in the human race is stronger than the atom bomb...I didn't get it, but the movie is still a lot of fun. A lot of the comments here seem to hint at a lesbian relationship between the crazy science teacher and some of her students, but I didn't see that at all.

This movie is typical of it's time in the fact that it has to have a really corny "rock and roll" number and this one, "Puppy Love" has to be heard to be believed. It has to be a joke, I don't think anybody can listen to it without laughing, it's that bad.

I love all of American International Pictures 1950's horror movies, but I can honestly say that this one is my favorite, even though it is not as well known. If you haven't seen this one, check it out. There is creepy vampire make up, two killings in a spooky old cemetery and the corny "Puppy Love" song and dance number. You'll enjoy it!!!
9 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Shattered Innocence (1988 TV Movie)
7/10
Based on the life and death of Colleen Applegate
25 May 2008
This 1988 made for t.v. movie was based on the life and ultimate suicide of Colleen Applegate, a young woman from Minnesota who went to Hollywood at the age of 18 with dreams of stardom, became a porn star under the name of "Shauna Grant" and then returned to her hometown two years later to be buried, a tragic suicide at the age of 20.

This movie is a fictionalized account of her life and death although apparently her parents did cooperate in the making of this film.

Jonna Lee portrays "Pauline Anderson", the fictionalized version of Colleen. She overacts at times, but otherwise does a competent job of portraying the innocence and then gradual freefall of a young girl who gets ensnared into the adult entertainment industry through cocaine and big money. Melinda Dillon portrays her mother, and does a good job of conveying her character's devastation and shame at her daughter's choice of career, and eventual destruction.

I think what gave this movie more poignancy to me was the fact that it was based on a true story, not just some hack writer's imagination working overtime. How many thousands of young girls go to Hollywood each year with the hopes of breaking into the movies, only to fall into porn, with devastating results? It's a chilling thought, and Colleen's suicide is a reminder of this.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Fun Fields and West Comedy Pairing
24 May 2008
I love this little gem of a movie. It has two of the great stars of the early cinema, W.C. Fields and Mae West.

Fields is hilarious in his role as con man/card shark Cuthbert J. Twillie, who meets Flower Belle Lee (Miss West's character) on a train bound for Greasewood, a town that is ran by corrupt saloon owner Jeff Badger (Joseph Calleia). Flower Belle was ran out of her previous town and cannot return until she is married and a respectful woman, i.e., not promiscuous. She marries Cuthbert just to give her some respectability and it's hilarious to watch Fields pathetic attempts to try to be with his unwilling bride.

Of course, since this a Mae West film (both she and Fields wrote the screenplay) there are several funny double entendres in the film and Mae gets to sing a song, Willie of the Valley. I love both Mae West and W.C. Fields...they were both legends and I really wish they would have made another film together. The Hollywood rumor mill had it that they actually couldn't stand each other off screen, but if this is true, and I tend to believe that their feud was exaggerated for publicity purposes, you could not tell it by their performances. They had terrific on screen chemistry together.

"My Little Chickadee" is a fun film all the way around.
9 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Campy Vampire Classic
29 April 2008
Okay, we all know that any film with the title of "Billy the Kid vs. Dracula" is not going to be winning any academy awards. This movie is exactly what you would expect it to be...low budget, unintentionally funny and campy as hell.

The movie stars John Carradine as the vampire, and he's way too long in the tooth (no pun intended) for his role. He comes across as being a dirty old man (vampire?), leering after every young skirt he comes in contact with. It's not scary, just kind of repulsive. The movie has several hilarious lines, such as when Carradine growls "Where can I find this backwoods female pill slinger?" referring to the female doctor portrayed by Olive Carey, and "Oh God, the vampire test!" uttered with all seriousness by Virginia Christine, more well known as the Folger's Lady in the coffee commercials of the 1970's.

When Carradine turns into a vampire a red light is shown on his face...no fangs, nothing but this weird red glow and his eyes about to bug out of his head. It's absolutely side splitting to watch.

Chuck Courtney, who plays Billy, is competent in his role, but Melinda Plowman, who portrays Betty, his fiancée and the vampire's next meal, comes across as whiny and annoying. She was pretty, but I was almost rooting for John Carradine to do her in, just to shut her up.

This movie is one of those "it's so bad, it's good" movies. I love it, just for the sheer camp factor. They don't make 'em like this anymore.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Vampire rides the range.....
28 April 2008
The combining of westerns with horror has not always made for great films. I mean, who can forget "Billy the Kid vs. Dracula" and "Jesse James meets Frankenstein's Daughter". The exception is "Curse of the Undead". This 1959 picture stars Eric Fleming as a frontier preacher who is confronted with a vampire in the form of a hired gun, portrayed with sinister, yet sympathetic overtones by Michael Pate.

The plot has some holes in it. For example, Michael Pate's character commits suicide after murdering his brother, which in turn condemns him for all eternity as a vampire...I mean, I have never heard of this premise for a person becoming one of the "undead". Also, the vampire of this movie can walk around in the daylight with seemingly no ill effects, and everyone knows that vampires absolutely cannot be exposed to sunlight, or they will be destroyed.

Despite these minor flaws, the movie actually has a good story and some good acting by Fleming as the preacher, Pate as the vampire/gunslinger, and Kathleen Crowley as the love interest caught between the two. I highly recommend this movie.
16 out of 24 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
The Black Cat (1941)
7/10
Fun, Dark Old House Movie
10 April 2008
This 1941 movie was made by Universal Studios as a part of their famous horror line of movies that they cranked out in the 1930's and 1940's. Even though it was billed as a horror movie, this movie isn't a horror movie at all, but instead a murder mystery that is set in an old creepy mansion.

Basil Rathbone and Bela Lugosi are two actors who star in "The Black Cat" who were famous for making horror movies for Universal in the 1930's.

The movie has a terrific cast, including academy award winners Broderick Crawford and Gale Sondergaard, as well as Anne Gwynne and Alan Ladd. The basic premise of the movie centers around Henrietta Winslow,(played by Cecilia Loftus) an eccentric, rich, old woman who is supposedly on her deathbed, whose greedy heirs have all gathered at her spooky, cat filled mansion to await her anticipated demise. When Henrietta rallies and doesn't die as expected, someone in the house murders her to hasten their inheritance. Who is the murderer? The greedy granddaughter who is having an affair with her cousin's husband? Or is it the housekeeper (portrayed by Sondergard) who inherits the house and its contents as long as she is alive and will take care of her employer's cats? Or is it someone else in the house?

There is plenty of atmosphere, lightening, secret passages, black cats, etc. This movie is just a lot of fun, and I was honestly surprised when the murderer was revealed at the end of the movie.
2 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Classic Roger Corman 1950's Screamfest
9 January 2008
I love Roger Corman movies. That may account for my appreciation of this 1960 "classic".

Susan Cabot plays Janice Starlin, the CEO and Founder of "Janice Starlin Enterprises", a cosmetic company. She is getting older and when slightly daffy Dr. Eric Zinthrop (played by Michael Mark) shows up at her office touting a serum he has created using the royal jelly of wasps to turn back the effects of aging, she jumps at the chance to be a human guinea pig to test the formula on humans.

Of course we know whats going to happen here...mad scientist, wasps...we know it ain't going to be pretty. Needless to say, after a series of injections of the serum Ms. Starlin turns into a woman with the head and hands of a wasp. The wasp makeup is hilarious. I love every minute of this movie, from the bad makeup to the horrible jazz type music that is continually playing in the background. Everything about it screams CHEEZEFEST, and it's terrific.

In a sad (and kind of eerie) side note to this film, Susan Cabot was murdered in the 1980's by her own son. She wasn't a bad actress, just usually given bad scripts. If you like Roger Corman movies you will definitely like this movie.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Jungle Jim meets the Wolfman...
14 September 2007
I know there are a lot of negative comments on IMDb regarding the series of Jungle Jim movies starring Johnny Weissmuller in the early 1950's. Yes, they were low budget films, and Johnny couldn't act his way out of a paper bag if his life depended on it. Nonetheless, I find these films fun, as long as you check your mind at the door while watching them.

This entry in the series has Jungle Jim (Weissmuller) helping a pretty female anthropologist, Dr. Linda Roberts, (portrayed by actress Angela Greene) find the land of the Giants, a strange group of people who snarl like lions and look like werewolves on growth hormones. Of course we have to have the requisite bad guy, who is played by Lester Matthews, a corrupt commissioner who is stealing ivory from tusks of elephants.

I love these movies because of the outrageous acts of daring do we are supposed to believe...watch Jungle Jim wrestle underwater with a 2,000 pound hippo! See Jim go one on one with a black panther, rolling on the ground with it attacking him and emerge without a scratch, his khakis as clean and starchily pressed as if he just got them from the cleaners. It's hilarious, and all in good, clean fun.

If you watch these movies knowing they are not to be believed, but just enjoyed, then you'll have a good time.
9 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Surprisingly gory for it's day
28 August 2007
I just recently viewed this film for the first time and was surprised at some of the more gory elements of this film. It was made in 1959, and it dealt with decapitation and shrunken heads. Although it didn't actually show the decapitation, it did show the skin being removed from a decapitated skull. By today's horror standards it was pretty mild (this picture was filmed in glorious black and white so you don't get the blood red effect of today's films) but nonetheless, it was pretty gory for it's day.

The story revolves around Jonathan Drake (portayed by Eduard Franz), the remaining male survivor of his family. His family has been cursed since his grandfather's time by a tribe of Amazon indians that were slaughtered by his grandfather and several other men.

Henry Daniell is just great as the creepy Dr. Zurich. There are several other strong supporting performances by Grant Richards as the stalwart Detective Jeff Rowan and Paul Cavanaugh as Kenneth Drake, Jonathan Drake's brother, who unfortunately loses his head to fulfill the "Drake Curse".

I did laugh a few times during the movie...Paul Wexler portrays Xutai, one of the Amazon indians, and he has to be seen to be believed. Even with his mouth sewn shut he looked more funny to me than menacing. Also you can tell that this movie was filmed on a very low budget. The sets are pretty substandard.

Despite these minor flaws I found this movie to be highly entertaining.
16 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Revenge of the Magician...
20 August 2007
I just recently watched this 1954 movie starring Vincent Price for the first time on Turner Classic Movies. Price portrays Don Gallico, a magician/inventor who is driven to murder when his boss steals several of his magical inventions (and also his wife, portrayed in a brief role by the lovely Eva Gabor). Even though Price is a murderer, I actually found myself rooting for him, he is a sympathetic character who is driven mad by the greedy people around him who keep taking advantage of him.

Although this movie doesn't have the "horror" factor of some of his more famous roles (such as my favorite, "House of Wax") it nonetheless has enough going for it to keep the viewers interest.

This is a must for Vincent Price fans.
8 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
Wow...
31 July 2007
This movie is a cult classic. The main reason it is a classic, of course, is that the cast is made up entirely of little people (or midgets, as they were referred to back in the 1930's, when this movie was made.)

I can only imagine some bigwigs in Hollywood sitting around the boardroom table, and someone saying, "Hey...let's make a western musical with an all midget cast!" and everyone chiming in and saying, "Yeah, that's a great idea!". I mean, what were they thinking? Now let me start off by saying I have nothing at all against little people. But the premise for this movie is pretty bizarre. Was it meant to be serious, or taken as a joke? It is exploitation of the midget actors, making fun of them, or was it meant to be a serious attempt at a western musical, just starring little people? These questions go mainly unanswered.

I think the actors performed with all seriousness in their roles, even though it seems to me that the script was poking fun at them, having them ride miniature ponies (which is hilarious to see) and having them walk under normal size barroom doors and the like.

Other than the cast being made up entirely of little people, there is nothing to distinguish this movie from the hundreds of other westerns made during the 1930's...low budget, cheap sets, terrible acting and atrocious songs (The song, "The Wedding of Jack and Jill", is unintentionally a howler). I think everyone should see this movie at least once. It happens to be a part of a 20 movie DVD compilation put out by Mill Creek Entertainment entitled "Cult Classics". It has the notorious movies "Reefer Madness", "Cocaine Fiends", "Sex Mad" and "Terror of Tiny Town", as well as many others included in the set. Most of these movies are exploitation films of the thirties and they are a gas to watch.
6 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Fun 1950's "B" Flick
27 July 2007
This 1957 movie from Columbia has an interesting premise...several scientists, who are over 200 years old, are running a girl's "reform school" so they can obtain energy from the young women to sustain their unnaturally long lives.

This is a typical low budget 1950's picture...cheap sets and no big name actors. William Hudson, most famous for playing the cheating husband in the class sci-fi thriller, "Attack of the 50 ft Woman", portrays Dr. Jess Rogers, who has been sent to the reform school to investigate several mysterious deaths of young women at the school. Charlotte Austin plays Carol Adams, an idealistic social worker at the school who starts to suspect foul play when so many healthy young woman suddenly die of "heart failure".

Several of the "girls" at the school look like they are being played by actresses who are way too long in the tooth to be teenagers or young woman. Despite this fact, the movie is interesting in it's premise. Victor Jory portrays the sinister head of the reformatory, Dr. Murdock. He is responsible for the "experiments" that end up with the murder of the girls at the school. When the 200 year old scientists are ready for a transfusion they start to turn to stone, hence the title of the movie. The make-up used to show the scientists turning to stone is not at all scary, actually it's laughable.

I liked this movie and thought it was fun. It's definitely not academy award winning material, but if you enjoy "b" movies from the 1950's you should enjoy this one.
11 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
The Victim (1972 TV Movie)
8/10
Creepy Made for T.V. Movie
29 June 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I remember watching this movie when it came out as a t.v. movie of the week in the early 1970's.

Although I haven't seen this movie in over 30 years I remember how creepy it was...the sister's dead body in the basement, the storm raging outside, the creepy house with no electricity and a killer still on the premises.

They just don't make t.v. movies like this one anymore. Elizabeth Montgomery was a very underrated actress and I liked her in not only "Betwitched", but several of her post-Bewitched roles, such as this one and 1975's "The Legend of Lizzie Borden".

I really wish that someone would come out with a DVD that has several of the 1970's t.v. movie of the week on one DVD. Wouldn't it be awesome to watch "When Michael Calls", "Bad Ronald", "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark", "Crowhaven Farm", etc., all on one DVD? I know there is a market for a DVD like this for all of us baby boomers who grew up in the 1960's and 1970's. Maybe, if we are lucky, someday someone will offer us a DVD with a great selection of t.v. movies like this.
15 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Incredible....
28 June 2007
Reefer Madness, the granddaddy of all midnight cult movies, is a classic on all counts.

Let me start off by saying I don't smoke marijuana (or marihuina, as it is spelled in this movie) and I don't believe kids should be smoking pot, but this movie is so over the top in it's depiction of what happens when a person smokes the demon weed that it is hilarious.

According to this film, which was made as an educational tool for parents in the 1930's, after just one hit off of a joint the smoker will turn into a wild eyed, deranged addict who will jump into bed with anyone, or become homicidal or suicidal. With all seriousness, the makers of this movie claim reefer is more addictive than heroin, will cause hallucinations and is a narcotic. If this film is to be believed, smoking a doobie will lead to permanent insanity!!!

One classic scene shows two "hopheads" at a piano, while one screams, "Faster, Faster" as the other plays maniacally on the piano, reefer dangling from her lips. It has to be seen to be believed. I don't know about any one else, but I have personally never seen anyone under the influence of marijuana act this way...they may nod off or get extremely hungry, but not start banging on a piano while screaming and laughing hysterically.

If this was meant to scare kids from trying pot, I think it missed it's mark. The kids on the devil's weed in this film are having a hell of a good time, and isn't that what most teenagers want...a good time?

If you have never seen this movie, you have to see it.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Scary show from 1st season
13 June 2007
I was nine years old when this episode aired in 1970, but I can still remember the ending because it scared the absolute hell out of me.

I haven't seen this episode in over 35 years, but would love to see it again. I don't know if it would be as scary as I remember it, but I'm sure it is creepy nonetheless.

Agnes Moorehead played her character with her usual flair. She was a very underrated actress. She is usually remembered as playing Endora, on "Bewitched", but it would be a shame to remember her for just that role. She was actually originally a dramatic actress who was nominated for 4 Academy Awards in her long career (although she never won).

I think it says a lot about this episode that the fear it generated in me is something that I remember after all these years!!!!
12 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
An error has occured. Please try again.

Recently Viewed