Movie Log 2009: #12-23 (B-fest recap)
Firewalker - This year's mini theme was misleading titles: lots of walking here, but not on fire. A good light opener.
Frankenstein vs. the Wolf Man - According to the always-accurate Wikipedia, Lugosi's age (and possibly his habit) led to a number of stand-ins. It sounds like his actual screen time was less than his notorious non-appearance in Plan 9! Screenwriter Curt Siodmak later wrote Donovan's Brain, which came a few hours later.
Here's the "New Wine" production number. Fa-do-laa, fa-do-leee.
Murder in the Air - just a little air travel, but only attempted murder while there. Ron Reagan breaks up a ring of saboteurs posing as a patriotic organization. Their symbol is a tattoo of an encircled arrow. Hmmm...that symbol...allegedly patriotic but up to no good...I KNEW IT!
Scream Blacula Scream - I was hoping the annual blaxploitation spot would honor Rudy Ray Moore and we'd get Human Tornado. This was fine too. SPOILER ALERT: Our Misleading Title theme is broken.
Some outfits are better off NOT seen in the mirror:
Don't Knock the Rock - An odd little film -- perhaps science fiction now that I think about it -- which explores parental concern over rock & roll. Apparently the crooning of middle-aged men causes teens to go crazy and dance on furniture:
The biggest threats to sofas are Alan Dale and Bill Haley. Little Richard, probably insane enough to give parents legitimate concern, is also on hand to perform "Tutti Frutti" and "Long Tall Sally," but is unusually sedate. Aside from Bill Haley, the highlight is The Treniers and "Out of the Bushes." Strangely, their put-out-or-else anthem "Get Out of the Car" didn't make the cut.
Donovan's Brain - I fell asleep during the last 10 minutes. Man, Nancy Reagan was brittle even back then.
The Tingler - Although our auditorium was not wired for "Percepto," this was enjoyable enough. Vincent Price did what you'd expect, and William Castle isn't so bad.
Captive Wild Woman - This, on the other hand, was a steaming pile of crap, and should have been good evidence for keeping Ed Dmytryk blacklisted. Mad scientist John Carradine, prepping for his role in Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex*, turns a circus gorilla into Acquanetta, who becomes attracted to animal tamer Lloyd Corrigan. At 61 minutes, this is padded with interminable scenes of lions and tigers being "trained" -- that is, of the whip/chair/pistol school -- and made to fight each other. I was rooting for the cats.
American Ninja 2: The Confrontation - Confrontastic! Written and co-starring Gary Conway of I Was a Teenage Frankenstein non-fame. Michael Dudikoff is sent to a Caribbean island, where ninjas' black pajamas render them invisible on the white sandy beaches. And I'm surethe fabric really breathes:
The Terror of Tiny Town - too shrill. Hurt my ears.
The Incredible Two-Headed Transplant - This may set a new standard for mad scientists: In the name of SCIENCE!, by all means take the head of an escaped lunatic (and your wife's abductor) and graft it onto the body of your kindly, mentally-disabled gardener/handyman. Because not only is that idiot's life not worth a damn, your wife probably won't mind at all if she has to look at her attempted rapist's face every day. It's for science. SCIENCE!
Megaforce - If I'm remembering it right, this is the film that inspired Chris Gore to start Film Threat magazine. He, like myself and countless other nerdy kids in the '80s, read Starlog magazine religiously. Its shill job for this horrid movie made him decide that *his* movie magazine would never mislead its readers so grossly. This was a glorious celebration of spandex, smokebombs, and the greatest greenscreen shot EVAH.
Check out Bostwick's great shadowpuppet:
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