Archive for category House-Keeping

From one extreme to the other…


The year 1960 gave us a pair of disaster movies that could hardly be more different; yet each in its own way is ridiculously enjoyable:




I have copied over The Last Voyage, a shipboard disaster movie with the highest disaster-to-running-time ratio I’ve yet encountered, plus the most realistic special effects, to boot…as they should be, inasmuch as a real ocean liner was destroyed for our edification.








And I have reviewed The Crowded Sky, an airborne disaster movie which has one of the lowest disaster-to-running-time ratios I’ve yet encountered, plus some of the dodgiest model-work ever to emanate from a major studio.








Liz Kingsley is the insane genius behind And You Call Yourself a Scientist!

Her name was not Jason…

After promising this a month or two a few several a while back, I have finally given an old review a thorough overhaul, as well as using it as an excuse to introduce a much-pondered new feature.

Of course it may be fairly said of the latter that – how shall I put this? – the guest of honour hasn’t shown up yet; but I wanted to get this ticking over before we slip into another Roundtable month:




FRIDAY THE 13TH (1980)

…in which some people really need to learn to take a hint…



How does Alice stack up against her sisters (and occasionally, brothers)?







Plus plus, I have copied over:
Zombi 2 (1979)
Rocketship X-M (1950)
Destination Moon (1950)
Plus plus plus, there is a new Et Al. post.

 Liz Kingsley is the insane genius behind And You Call Yourself a Scientist!

Prepare the lethal injection!


…in which it seems that even the name guest-star would rather be watching a different film…
But, hey! – eye-windows!



[NB: NSFW: a little blood, and some very silly nudity.]



I have also transferred over:
Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde (1931)
The Lodger (1927)
The Lodger (1932)

 Liz Kingsley is the insane genius behind And You Call Yourself a Scientist!



This isn’t an official Roundtable entry – given that it was my entry for a different Roundtable – but the time seemed ripe for a Resurrected Review…






…in which the only thing that sucks more than being an unappreciated middle-school teacher is being one of that teacher’s students…



[NB: NSFW: blood and dead bodies; lots]




 Liz Kingsley is the insane genius behind And You Call Yourself a Scientist!




…in which double engine-failure over the Atlantic Ocean threatens the lives of a small mongrel dog and two dozen budgies.

Oh…and some people, I guess…


I have also copied over Jet Storm (1959) (apologies for the tasteless timing on that one) and Jet Over The Atlantic (1959).


(What can I tell you? I’ve been in a disastrous mood lately…)


I have further copied over Wolf Blood (1925), The Mysterious Island (1929) and Cobra Woman (1944); and there’s a new Et Al. post, in which decade-old horror steps aside to allow me clear some older thrillers and dramas off my hard drive.




 Liz Kingsley is the insane genius behind And You Call Yourself a Scientist!

A semi-demi cheat…


Another welcome improvement in the world of silent cinema is Grapevine Video’s release of the original version of Charles J. Brabin’s The Raven, which runs some 15 minutes longer than previously available prints.

While the film has not been restored, and still exhibits considerable dirt and damage, it is of a better visual quality than the shorter cut, and allows a fairer assessment of Brabin’s experimentation with visual effects.

Consequently, I have somewhat revised my review of The Raven, and given the screenshots a thorough overhaul. (I should mention that this print looks better in motion than is evident via the screenshots, which tend to over-emphasise the print’s flaws.)





THE RAVEN (1915)

…in which some drunk writes a poem about a bird…




I have also added a belated update to Et Al., featuring thrillers and melodramas across the decades, a couple of pepla, some sex and violence, a bunch of Lifetime movies and more decade-old horror.




 Liz Kingsley is the insane genius behind And You Call Yourself a Scientist!

Only a semi-cheat…

To mark the film’s 100th birthday, the Munich Film Museum undertook a restoration of the 1913 version of The Student Of Prague. For those of us who only knew the film in its poor quality, cut-to-pieces, black-and-white incarnation, the results were a revelation.

Consequently, I have somewhat revised my original review, and given the screenshots a complete makeover.






…in which an unfortunate young man really is his own worst enemy…




I have also transferred over:

Trilby (1915)
Rapsodia Satanica (1917)





 Liz Kingsley is the insane genius behind And You Call Yourself a Scientist!

I want my mummy!


So I did something about it.



…is notable chiefly for the contempt it displays for the franchise which contains it. That said, it’s probably the only chance you’ll ever have to see a 3,000-year-old, undead Egyptian princess using a microscope.

I have also copied over:
The Mummy’s Hand (1940)
The Mummy’s Tomb (1942)
The Mummy’s Ghost (1944)

…and as a consequence, I am currently suffering a strange medical condition I call “bandage-blindness”.
 Liz Kingsley is the insane genius behind And You Call Yourself a Scientist!

Why, yes: I have gone completely out of my mind


Thank you for asking.



I noticed the other day – rather to my consternation – that it has been a decade since I drew a line under my viewing of the original ten Friday The 13th movies. This detail coincided with a weird itch I’ve had lately to revisit the franchise, so that I was able to interpret it as A Sign.

Here’s the thing, though: I approached the F13 films the first time as a slasher movie neophyte, so that I was reacting to them cold, and my reviews, as a set, constitute a record of my journey through them, and the progressive thickening of my skin—or, as Zack Handlen put it at the time, “your horrified dismay slowly blossom{ing} into somewhat affectionate contempt”—and I don’t want to lose that aspect of them.

So here’s the plan: I do intend to revisit and revise the first one from a more knowledgeable perspective, as over time I’ve come to consider it a bit smarter than I was prepared to concede (or, perhaps, recognised) the first time; albeit still dumb as a box of hammers in the broader sense; but beyond that, I won’t be revising the other reviews too much, merely tweaking and tidying them up as they need it.

The other aspect of this trip down memory lane is that it gives me an excuse to embark on something I’ve had in mind for ages, namely, Rating The Final Girls (or Boys, or Couples). I know that for some (most?) people, slasher movies are all about their kill scenes, but for me, they stand or fall on their Final Girl sequences. I came out of my first F13 journey considering Amy Steel’s Ginny Fields the best Final Girl of all*, and I’ve seen nothing over the past decade that has made me change my mind about that. Thus, I’ll be ranking our Final Girls on The Ginny Scale, according to their endurance, ingenuity, willingness to get their hands dirty, and bad habits like putting their weapons down.

(*Please feel free to debate the point! – or to make recommendations…)

Of course not all slasher movies go along with the Final Whatever convention; and conversely, sometimes you find a proper Final Girl in a film that’s not really a slasher movie. Neither of these deviations will rule a film in or out of overall consideration.

And while in the first instance this project will simply address existing Final Girls, I hope that this will motivate me to tackle more of the slasher films I’ve accumulated but not watched. In that respect, I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear that one of the things that has held me up is trying to pick a starting point…nor that *my* starting point isn’t what the dogma dictates. However, for the sake of the last remnants of my sanity, I won’t be going any further back in time than the beginning of the 70s.
 Liz Kingsley is the insane genius behind And You Call Yourself a Scientist!

A little more WTF-ery



As an addendum to the Roundtable, I have copied over the, uh, idiosyncratic 1925 version of WIZARD OF OZ.

Remarkably, the scene in which Larry Semon is left with egg on his face seems not to have been intended ironically.





(I have also copied over HIS MAJESTY, THE SCARECROW OF OZ, which should not be construed as a criticism: while occasionally odd, it is not remotely in the same ballpark.)



 Liz Kingsley is the insane genius behind And You Call Yourself a Scientist!