A little bit catty

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A resurrected review:

THE CREEPER (1948)

A scientist attempting to improve surgical techniques by introducing phosphorescence into human tissues accidentally transforms himself into a half-human cat-monster.

As you do.

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I have also restored access to my review of SEYTAN (1974), which apparently has been MIA due to some weird permissions issue.

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


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    Carmilla and Carl

    vampyr51VAMPYR: FROM CARMILLA TO CARL DREYER
    It started out simply enough, as a review of the 1932 horror film VAMPYR. But as in all aspects of life, I have no self-control, and so off we go into a history of vampire literature, the transition from silent to sound film, the Pagan-horror stories of Arthur Machen, the wild costume parties of Baron Nicolas Louis Alexandre de Gunzburg, and yeah, somewhere in there we talk about Vampyr.

    “As mentioned, the film’s protagonist is Allan Grey (Julian West), described in a title card as a man steeped in the study of the occult and macabre secrets of the world and prone to wandering the land in search of mysterious experiences (inspired, some claim, by the character of Dr. Martin Hesselius from In a Glass Darkly). That might be one of the earliest examples of the “informed attribute,” when a movie insists that a character embodies a particular skill or trait despite all evidence on screen to the contrary. Allan Grey seems to have absolutely no knowledge of the occult or any sort of competency in identifying it or dealing with it. In fact, his sole skills seem to be looking in windows and bugging his eyes out in confused terror.”

    Keith Allison is the ruthless overlord of Teleport City.


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      Mad Science and Martian Maidens

      Mad Science and Martian Maidens:
      The Science Fiction Adventures of Aleksey Tolstoy

      aelita1Aleksey Nikolayevich Tolstoy was Russia’s less internationally known Tolstoy. While the one was writing thousand-page tomes about sad people losing things (pretty sure that’s the plot of most Leo Tolstoy books) that would be forced upon generation after generation, the other Tolstoy was writing slick science fiction adventures like Aelita (1923, adapted into a movie a year later), Engineer Garin (1924), and Count Cagliostro, which American high school students did not get to read, since there was no time left after plodding through Anna Karenina — in which absolutely no one travels to Mars, builds a death ray, or practices alchemy. Both Aelita and Engineer Garin were adapted into films, the first during the silent era, and the second during the heyday of the swingin’ sixties.

      Keith Allison is the ruthless overlord of Teleport City.


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        …but seriously, folks…

        Shoot The MoonThe Alan Parker movie Shoot The Moon is a mostly well crafted drama that shows that not only is divorce a painful experience, what leads up to it often can’t be easily explained.

        Keith Bailey is the proprietor of The Unknown Movies Page.


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          Devilish dealings

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          TRILBY (1915)

          A musician transforms a tone-deaf artist’s model into the most acclaimed contralto in Europe. There’s just one catch…

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          RAPSODIA SATANICA (1917)

          An elderly Countess, mourning the past, is offered the chance to have her youth and beauty restored. There’s just one catch…

           

           

           

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


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            Some things should remain extinct

            Adventures In Dinosaur CityObviously inspired in part by the 1990 movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the family flick Adventures In Dinosaur City doesn’t have the budget or writing to succeed with adults or kids.

            Keith Bailey is the proprietor of The Unknown Movies Page.


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              A steal even not from the $5 DVD bin

              The Maiden HeistDespite having an all-star cast, the caper comedy The Maiden Heist was released straight to DVD. It definitely deserved a better fate.

              Keith Bailey is the proprietor of The Unknown Movies Page.


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                Ghosts and Gangsters

                I’m running behind on my Roundtable contribution, but in the meantime, here’s what’s been happening lately on Teleport City…

                CHINESE GHOST STORY

                feat14Chinese Ghost Story is one of the first Hong Kong films I watched, and certainly one that got me interested in the incredibly vibrant and imaginative cinema of that small island nation. I knew, at the time, basically nothing about Hong Kong or the Hong Kong film industry, but a tape containing Project A, Once Upon a Time in China, the final shoot-out from A Better Tomorrow 2, and Chinese Ghost Story launched me into a crash course on both the films and the history of what is now the former British colony of Hong Kong. Throughout the earl 1990s, I devoured Hong Kong cinema with a voracious appetite, often to the exclusion of just about any other type of cinema.

                GANGS OF WASSEYPUR
                gowWhen writers tag Gangs of Wasseypur as the next big Bollywood cross-over hit, they seem to be missing the point. First, Gangs of Wasseypurwasn’t a hit in India. It made a profit purely because the budget was tiny (US$3 million; in contrast, the budget for slick, shiny Bollywood action blockbuster Dhoom 3 was US$25 million, at least $10 million of which went to buying derbies for Aamir Khan’s Sahir), but it wasn’t loved by audiences, who — perhaps by design — found it too dark, too depressing, too violent, and too willing to show filth and misery instead of dazzling them with aspirational scenes of cleanliness and wealth. But more than that, Gangs of Wasseypur isn’t a potential Bollywood cross-over hit because it isn’t a Bollywood film. If anything, it is the antithesis of a Bollywood movie.
                ASAMBHAV
                feat1It’s been said that in an effort to appeal to as massive a population as possible, the average Hindi film tries to cram every film genre into a single movie. Asambhav is the rare entry that maintains a relatively narrow thematic focus — this is an action film, stripped of the romantic comedy and estranged mother that appear in almost every other film, be they action or horror or whatever — but it makes up for its lack of schizophrenic genre-hopping by trying to cram every single editing and camera trick from the last fifteen years into one film, and often into one scene, and occasionally into a single shot.
                OH WHAT A LOVELY WAR
                oh-what-a-lovely-warAttenborough’s film differed from Littlewood’s play in a number of notable ways — so much so that the playwright considered the film a complete ruin of her work. Firstly, it used historically accurate costumes and military uniforms. Secondly, where the play had been an absurdist comedy played out on top of harrowing statistics and battlefield photographs, the movie realistically depicted things like trench warfare and poison gas. And there is death, lots and lots of death. In the play, no one died. Littlefield wanted people to laugh at the pointlessness of war, wanted to highlight that head-shaking absurdity rather than explicitly depicting it. She was horrified when she saw that the cinematic adaptation of her play was positively caked in the filth and blood of the First World War.
                Keith Allison is the ruthless overlord of Teleport City.


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                  For the love of Pete, lady, give it up!

                  Few if any have pursued movie stardom as tenaciously but to so little effect as pop singer Madonna. Here she took her (apparently) final stab at it, remaking a grossly misogynistic Italian art classic–it’s OK, it was made by a woman!–while once again all but destroying the film career of whoever her husband was at the time. Guy Ritchie, meet Sean Penn.

                  Age, a chain of cinematic clunkers that would give Marley’s Ghost pause and this one last giant bomb finally forced Ms. Ciccone to accept that her dreams of moviedom were being Swept Away.

                  Ken Begg is the proprietor of Jabootu: The Bad Movie Dimension.


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                    Stars wars

                    Starchaser: The Legend Of OrinA long time ago… I mean, from now… in a galaxy far, far away happen the events of Starchaser: The Legend Of Orin. Despite the change in time, the movie still comes across as very familiar – among other problems.

                    Keith Bailey is the proprietor of The Unknown Movies Page.


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