Knows the right way to crash and burn

Wheels Of FireThe Filipino actioner Wheels Of Fire manages to be an above average example of 1980s post-holocaust cinema as well as an above average effort for prolific director Cirio H. Santiago.
Keith Bailey is the proprietor of The Unknown Movies Page.

Huh. I seem to be doing better already…

Not one of these reviews was like pulling teeth to write:

Cat-Women of the Moon (1953), which frankly looks depressingly timely again 67 years later…

Daughter of the Mind (1969), in which Ray Milland ain’t afraid of no ghosts, but the people he works for are very much afraid of Communists…

Forbidden World (1982), which is exactly the Alien ripoff you’d expect from New World Pictures…

Gretel & Hansel (2020), in which the title isn’t the only thing about the old fairy tale to get turned in a new direction…

Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989), in which Moustapha Akkad pushes his luck just a little too far…

The Invincible Barbarian (1982), which might well have been the very first Italian Conan cash-in out of the gate…

and…

2020 Texas Gladiators (1983), in which we ponder the prospect of a movie to which Joe D’Amato and George Eastman were unwilling to sign their usual pseudonyms.

 

 

 

El Santo rules the wasteland-- and also 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting.

Glad this didn’t give birth to a sequel

BreedersDespite its best efforts to be sleazy, Breeders is a cold and passionless exercise.
Keith Bailey is the proprietor of The Unknown Movies Page.

Sacre bleu, a funny French comedy!

Welcome To The SticksThe delightful comedy Welcome To The Sticks proves that the French do have a sense of humor after all.
Keith Bailey is the proprietor of The Unknown Movies Page.

Fairly fun blues to have

Outlaw BluesWhile Outlaw Blues is a fairly agreeable vehicle for Peter Fonda, it could have been a lot more than it actually is.
Keith Bailey is the proprietor of The Unknown Movies Page.

Ye gods!

Goddess Of Love

It doesn’t take long into watching Goddess Of Love to figure out why Vanna White didn’t have much of an acting career.

Keith Bailey is the proprietor of The Unknown Movies Page.

I Can’t Believe I Missed The “I Can’t Believe I Missed…” Roundtable

So, yeah; 2019. The Year of the Meat Grinder, apparently. I spent the last half of the year watching in despair as important deadlines went flying by, not least of which were my commitments to the Cabal. Bad enough that I disappeared for the last half of our Anniversary… I even missed commemorating my own site’s 20th Anniversary in November.

Thinking of which: twenty years ago, while the Braineater site was still getting started, there were a handful of movies I felt a compulsive need to comment on. Since my site was still embryonic, I created a user account on the IMDb — user name “barugon” — and opined. One of these movies was:


Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster (1971)

…and it’s bewildered me that in the last 20 years I never returned to that capsule review to expand it. It’s one of those movies for which I feel a special affinity, not just because it figured so significantly in my childhood, but also because I felt I understood it — which was important, considering the general incomprehension this truly bizarre movie inspires.


It’s always seemed to me that most of the arguments for or against the movie were missing the point. I wanted to step in and provide a little wider context: not necessarily to change anybody’s mind about the quality of the movie itself, but to show how Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster was really an inevitable, pivotal artifact of its troubled time. So, having missed my original deadline for the B-Masters’ “At Long Last!” Roundtable, I’ve taken a deep breath, done more research, watched the entire Criterion Collection Godzilla set (the release of which has to be one of 2019’s only redeeming features), and come up with what I hope is a new way of looking at the eleventh installment of the Godzilla saga.

Will Laughlin is the Braineater.

It sucks (must I always say something witty?)

The Norseman

Making The Norseman on a limited budget probably wasn’t the wisest move for a Viking-themed story.

Keith Bailey is the proprietor of The Unknown Movies Page.

It’s a big dog, alright

Digby: The Biggest Dog In The World

The British movie Digby: The Biggest Dog In The World proves it was not just Disney that made dim-witted slapstick motion pictures for kiddies in the 1970s.

Keith Bailey is the proprietor of The Unknown Movies Page.

El Santo Checking In… and Checking Out for a While

2019 was for me a year of unwanted adventures, even leaving aside the whole “the world is on frigging fire, both figuratively and literally” thing. A slow downward spiral of depression and declining health during the first half of the year culminated in mid-summer with what didn’t feel at the time like a near-death experience, but absolutely was one, followed by a hospital stay of several days. The second half, consequently, was all about acclimating myself to some rather drastic lifestyle changes, some of which I’m still fine-tuning. And then there was a bunch of stuff that I’m not going to talk about for the sake of other people’s privacy; suffice it to say that it all sucked. So if anybody’s been wondering why I’ve been incommunicado lately, now you know.

All the foregoing also factors into a decision I’ve been wrestling with for a while. Now that my life is getting back into some semblance of order, I’m beginning to regain some of my enthusiasm for writing about weird movies on the internet, but the fact is I’m desperately tired of having my increasingly limited time and energy for doing so overshadowed by the requirements of the next B-Masters roundtable. So in the interest of keeping 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting alive and well, I’m going on sabbatical from the Cabal. I’ll be back once my batteries are recharged (I’m thinking roughly a year from now), and if nobody objects, I’ll keep announcing my updates here on the B-Masters blog. The reviews below will be my last roundtable contributions for a while, though:

20th Anniversary Roundtable, Part 1 (which you already know about, but just for the sake of completeness):

Black Emanuelle (1975), in which the title character is neither strictly speaking Emanuelle nor strictly speaking black…

Evil Dead II (1987), in which surviving the night in a demon-haunted cabin doesn’t actually improve one’s situation much…

From Hell It Came (1957), in which an isolated Polynesian tribe could use the services of a good lumberjack…

Goodbye, Emmanuelle (1977), in which our heroine starts to wonder whether this “free love” thing is all it’s cracked up to be…

and…

Martin (1977), in which George Romero gives us a much more satisfying answer to the riddle, “When is a vampire movie not a vampire movie?” than Val Lewton managed to.

20th Anniversary Roundtable, Part 2 (which you might already have seen on my site, but connectivity troubles prevented me from announcing here):

And Then There Were None (1945), in which Agatha Christie sure does know how to throw a party…

Get Crazy (1983), in which no show I ever booked went this far out of control, but most of them usually felt like they were about to…

Pink Flamingos (1972), in which you never can tell what some people will get ego about…

and…

Viva Knievel! (1979), in which a guy can’t even jump a Harley over 150 feet of lions and tigers in peace anymore!

20th Anniversary Roundtable, Part 3 (which I interpreted very narrowly to mean movies that I’d already tried to review, but never quite managed to make the words flow):

The Bat People (1974), which could almost have been mistaken for something from 1956, if you’d seen it on a black and white TV back when…

and…

The Dungeonmaster (1984), which has nothing to do with Dungeons & Dragons, but oddly does tie in semi-subliminally with the early-80’s arcade boom.

20th Anniversary Rountable, Part 4:

A Cold Night’s Death (1973), in which even the best union can’t do anything about these working conditions…

The Eyes of the Panther (1989), in which there’s someone out there for everybody– even werecats…

The Seventh Curse (1986), in which our hero’s pecker arguably has the highest kill count in the film…

and…

Son of Samson (1960), in which Maciste returns to the screen after an absence of more than 30 years.

Meanwhile, I did manage to review a few other things, too, amid the scramble to keep up with the roundtables:

Blood Beach (1980), in which (say it with me) just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, you can’t get there…

It, Chapter Two (2019), in which splitting up the unreasonably huge book for translation to celluloid wasn’t such a good idea after all…

Rebirth of Mothra (1996), in which Toho’s other mon-star gets the Heisei treatment…

and…

Us (2019), in which some things really are better left unexplained– and the explanation had better be good if we’re going to get one anyway.

El Santo rules the wasteland-- and also 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting.