Confession may be good for the soul, but it can be bad for the public image. While our loyal readers may think of us as the font of all b-movie knowledge – no, no! don’t bother to pretend! – the fact is that sometimes we’re just…well, winging it. But no more! For our next Roundtable, we B-Masters will be risking our reputations, baring our souls, and publically ‘fessing up to some of the more embarrassing gaps in our resumes.
Who’ll end up humiliating themself the most? Drop in and find out! It’s SHAME OF THE B-MASTERS, all throughout the month of August at the B-Masters’ Blog.
|And You Call Yourself A Scientist!||Jurassic Park (1993)||On one hand, there is no denying that it is a sweeping simplification of Crichton’s thesis, one that does the author little justice. And yet…. In its very effort to streamline the novel’s premise in terms of both length and content, there are moments in this film when David Koepp’s screenplay functions like Toto in The Wizard Of Oz, pulling aside Michael Crichton’s curtain and allowing us to see the contrivances, and the liberties taken with the facts, that shape too much of the plot.|
|And You Call Yourself A Scientist!||Mesa Of Lost Women (1953)||Everything that Araña says here about his “growth hormone” – he means somatotropin – is correct, albeit much simplified. I can hardly tell you, after three weeks of dealing with Jurassic Park, what a relief it is to be reviewing a film where the science is accurate!|
|Jabootu: The Bad Movie Dimension||Zero Hour! (1957)||Yes, it’s certainly melodramatic, and utterly unironic. Even so, there are but few moments when the film edges into outright unintentional camp (i.e., inherently ridiculous material played so straight that it turns into comedy), and much of the film’s presumed camp value is derived after the fact from it serving as the model for Airplane!|
|Jabootu: The Bad Movie Dimension||Starcrash (1978)||The Emperor’s forces shoot golden torpedoes that smash through the Count’s windows—yes, his deep space station, especially the bridge, sports lots of windows—and pop open to disgorge laser-firing Imperial soldiers. I should note that although these things smash through all these windows, there’s not a sign of explosive decompression or escaping atmosphere to be seen. In space. See what I’m getting at here?|
|The Unknown Movies Page||Son of Frankenstein (1939)||At the end of Son Of Frankenstein, I found that I had enjoyed myself during its 99 minute running time, and I suspect that anyone who has a love of classic monster movies will also find it a pleasurable experience.|
|Cold Fusion Video Reviews||THX 1138 (1970)||Now, given that every story of rebellion against authority is in essence a story of adolescence, I’m not surprised that the 24-year-old Lucas drew upon impressions of the world that informed his own adolescence almost a decade earlier; from biographical accounts, he had a hard time with authority in general and his father in particular, and that vein of thematic material shows up in his most successful movies, American Graffiti and the original Star Wars trilogy. Adolescence, really, informs all of his best work.|
|Teleport City||Zombie Lake (1981)||My viewing of Zombie Lake was one of those events that lead you to question everything in your life that has lead up to it. I wouldn’t necessarily say that it was a “where did I go wrong” moment, because many of the choices that brought me to it couldn’t in themselves be considered mistakes. Nonetheless, when you get to the point where you see watching Zombie Lake as some kind of solemn obligation, it’s a circumstance that bares some investigation. And I would be lying if I didn’t admit that, amidst all the questioning of how and why, I also found myself asking if there was not some way that all of this could have been avoided.|
|Teleport City||Santo vs. the Martian Invasion (1967)||It’s a shame that the video boom didn’t start earlier, or the popularity of wresting in Australia didn’t last a little longer, because in that world, Santo may have made it to these shores. Santo would have be a big star here because wrestling was incredibly popular in Australia in the ’60s and ’70s. As a child I remember watching ‘World Championship Wrestling’ each weekend and marvelling at the athleticism of Mario Milano, Killer Karl Kox and (my personal favourite) Bruiser Brody. After each show, my brother and I would go out into the back yard and get on the trampoline and re-enact the moves we had seen. The trampoline was great for ‘knee-stomps’ because you’d bounce back up again.|
|Teleport City||Blood and Black Lace (1964)||I love Mario Bava movies. I love giallo. And while making a claim for any film as “the first giallo” will only degenerate into an unresolvable debate akin to naming the first punk rock band, a lot of people tend to agree that it’s Mario Bava’s Blood and Black Lace — which I’ve never seen. I’ve seen almost every other Mario Bava film. I’ve seen tons of other giallo. And yet, there is that massive oversight in my education. How could it happen? I don’t know. I can’t claim lack of availability. I own Blood and Black Lace on DVD. Two different copies, actually. I have owned it for years. And yet somehow it never found its way into the player. I think after a while of planning to watch it, and after discussing it in the context of the history of other films I’ve seen, I even fooled myself into thinking I’d watched it.|
|1000 Misspent Hours and Counting||Deep Red (1975)||Calcabrini does not inspire a lot of confidence. Like the police in Cry of the Werewolf or Murders in the Rue Morgue, he seems nearly desperate for a conclusion to jump to, so perhaps that’s why Daly latches onto newspaper reporter Gianna Brezzi (Daria Nicolodi, from Mother of Tears and Shock) the way he does. At the very least, the superintendent’s unimpressive performance at the crime scene is the only thing we get even faintly resembling an explanation for why Marcus suddenly goes all Miss Marple on us.|