Posts Tagged Science Fiction

It’s Essential You Have Thunderball Fists

THE SUPER INFRA-MAN

inframanThe greatest compliment you could pay an exploitation film is to say it looks like they designed the poster first and then recreated it on screen. This formulation describes Inframan perfectly. Every one of its scenes could be bullet-pointed with the word “SEE!” in front of it (“SEE! Hong Kong engulfed in flames! SEE! The evil sorceress with an army of kung fu monsters!”) It is, in many ways, a perfect film, in that it is resoundingly successful in achieving what it sets out to do—which is transport its audience into a hyperbolic comic book world and entertain them beyond their wildest dreams. Its production values are high enough that it never seems to be striving beyond its means–its art direction, set and costume design all combining to create a seamless alternate reality. As such, it never once betrays its commitment to being a nonstop celebration of color, speed, style, violence and the joyous suspension of disbelief. In short, it is cinematic escapism in its absolute purest form.

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Keith Allison is the chief Bacchanologist at Teleport City.

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Rockers, Racing, & Romance

REDLINE

redline3This is the sort of movie that might spontaneously spawn during a Guitar Wolf concert. Well, this and Wild Zero of course– an oddly apt film to bring up, as the two films share rather a lot besides leather-clad rocker protagonists. It’s over-the-top, anarchic, and every frame is infused with the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll (if not actual rock ‘n’ roll; Redline‘s soundtrack is more thumping techno oriented). It also has a sweet, doe-eyed love story beneath all the engine revving and hair grease — and if you think that is somehow not in keeping with the tough, leather-clad exterior, you might not know many rockers. They are a sentimental lot at their core. Heck, Elvis wanted to be your teddy bear. And Roy Orbison! That dude was all about crying and being sad and taking advice from candy colored clowns we call the Sandman.

 

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Keith Allison is the chief Bacchanologist at Teleport City.

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War of the Welles

OK, not a movie, but still…

WAR OF THE WELLES
orson-welles-graphic-5When I was young still and open of mind, my parents set me loose in the University of Kentucky bookstore with the understanding that I was allowed to choose for myself from the racks of tapes and books some manner of entertainment. As I perused the offerings with a diligent focus that can be mustered only by a seven-year-old with a serious decision to make, I contemplated my options. I flipped through the racks, past recordings of old radio dramas. The Shadow? Maybe. Lights Out Theater? Even better. And then I found it. With nary a doubt in my mind as to the correctness of my decision, I took from the rack and presented triumphantly to my mother my choice of prize: a recording of Orson Welles’ legendary broadcast of The War of the Worlds on Halloween eve, 1938.

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Keith Allison is the chief Bacchanologist at 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.

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Keith Allison is the chief Bacchanologist at Teleport City.

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UFO Identified

After our assorted forays into Haunted New York History and an occasional Paul Naschy werewolf movie or two, November at Teleport City is all about science fiction and spy television. And we’re kicking things off with a history of Gerry Anderson’s SPACE: 1999. The Space: 1999 Story – In the SHADO of the Moon takes a brief look at the career of Gerry Anderson and the development of the show that would serve as the eventual origin of Space: 1999 – UFO. There will be silver miniskirts.

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Keith Allison is the chief Bacchanologist at Teleport City.

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