Back to watching SF movies people posted on YouTube. Three films today, none of which I had seen before. I downloaded these films to watch later and since I downloaded the first film it disappeared off of YouTube. Things disappear off of there all the time, they're usually looking for copyrighted material but smut is also high on the list. I saw some actual porn on YouTube a couple of weeks ago. Some guys had posted some clips and I blundered onto it just by chance. A day or so later all of it was gone.
The Invisible Man Vs The Human Fly is a 1957 Japanese film. A scientist named Sugumoto develops a formula to shrink a man to fly size. He uses it get revenge on the men that framed him as a war criminal. A physicist called Tsukioka develops a ray to make men invisible. He uses it to catch the killer. It was a fairly interesting film and one I hadn't seen before. There was a DVD released last October but I don't know if I would buy it. I can a lot of other stuff for 15 bucks.
Neutron Vs The Amazing Dr Caronte is a Mexican Wrestler movie with a slight SF element. A mad scientist has made some monsters for his servants. It's all pretty typical of a Mexican Wrestling movie. Worth a look for the serious fan of such things.
Atomic War Bride is a 1960 Yugoslavian film that was called RAT there. It translates to WAR. It's written by Cesare Zavattini, who wrote The Bicycle Thief, and it's directed by Veljko Bulajic. That's John and Maria in the picture above. They get married as the bombs start to fall. John gets constricted into the Army and Maria tries to survive in the war zone. Eventually pretty much everything is destroyed. The film makers put some effort and expense in the film. It's got a simplistic story with a heavy handed message. It's worth a look but more as a response to living the cold war. It's only about average as a film.
The World Beyond seems to be a TV movie of sorts. It's from 1978 and only 48 minutes. I found a copy on YouTube but very little info on the production on the internet. There is mention of a 1977 program, called The World Of Darkness, with the same character played by Granville Van Dusen. He plays a sport journalist who died for several minutes. Now he has some sort of supernatural power. He gets a invite to go to an island to visit a man named Favor. JoBeth Williams is Favor's sister. They arrive at the island to find the brother dead and another man who dies just after he stumbles into their mist. He passes on a bit of info about what killed the brother and then he dies. The boat driver's dog is killed and soon that old guy is toast too. The beast out there killing is a golem, created by Favor, and they have to find a way to destroy it. I am wondering if they might have been pilot's for a TV show or something. It's not really SF, more horror with a touch of the supernatural. It's not as good as the IMDb's score might indicate, for some reason 30 people, out of the 103 votes cast, voted the thing a 10. That's crazy talk. It's not more than just average. Especially after 20-30 minutes of the golem howling in the night. That gets tired really fast. Sadly the copy on YouTube is pretty poor looking. The other title mentioned isn't on YouTube at all. I'm OK with that.
I thought I had seen Frankenstein's Daughter before but it's not on my watched movie list. It's a 1958 low budget film written by H E Barrie and directed by Richard E Cunha. The Wikipedia says that it was part of a package of four films that producer Marc Frederic wanted for the Drive-In market. It was on a double bill with Cunha's Missile To The Moon. He only made a half dozen films, the two previous ones were She Demons and Giant From The Unknown, and the other two were Girl In Room 13 and When Strangers Meet. I'd seen the first two and they aren't any better than FD and MTTM. FD gets a 3.8 on the IMDb and that's pretty much where I'd pin it and the rest of the Canha films I've seen.
Frankenstein's Daughter is about a scientist, Felix Locher as Dr Morton, who works out of his basement lab. His assistant, Donald Murphy as Oliver Frank, the grandson of Victor Frankenstein, has a different agenda from Dr Morton. Oliver wants to continue his grandfather's original work on creating life. Oliver has been experimenting on the scientist's daughter, Sandra Knight as Tracy Morton, turning her into a wild beast gal who runs about the street when she's been transformed into the hairy gal above. The other picture is of the monster Oliver creates and the other guy is Dr Morton's toady Elsu, played by Wolfe Barzell. The sad thing about that monster, other than the makeup, is that it was supposed to be a female monster but no one told makeup artist Harry Thomas. He made the beast a male and when he found out there was no budget or time to make a new mask. He put lipstick on the lips and sent it along to the set. When Cunha saw the makeup, he left the set and cried. The movie didn't make me cry but now I can say I've seen it.
I hadn't seen The Flying Saucer before. It's a 1950 low budget Indy film that stars Mikel Conrad and Pat Garrison. Mikel wrote the story that was turned into a script by Howard Irving Young. Mikel directed and produced the film but he was mostly an actor. I don't remember ever running across his name before but I see he was in several movies. I haven't seen most of them. Just before this movie he was in Abbott And Costello Meet The Killer Boris Karloff and after this he was in Francis The Talking Mule. His last film was Godzilla, King Of The Monsters. He only directed this one film.
Here's Pat and Mikel in Alaska. Mikel is a playboy that reluctantly takes on a job from a man in American Intelligence who wants Mikel to go to Alaska to investigate the sighting of a flying saucer. Pat is his nurse, their cover story is Mikel has had a nervous breakdown and he's returning home to Alaska with a nurse. They rent a cabin with a secret Soviet spy for a houseman. They set up investigating and eventually get some clues to the whereabouts of the saucer. It turns out a scientist, Roy Engel, has created the thing and Denver Pyle is his assistant. The Soviet spies are after the ship too and there's a bit of action when the American's and the Soviets come head to head.
It's not a great movie but I enjoyed enough of it to give it a 4 on the IMDb. It's currently scoring a 3.8 there and the largest number of votes, 21 percent, are a 4. There's some nice footage shot in Alaska but the story, and it's execution, are typical of a 1930s serial. You could see worse but so many are better. I found a copy on YouTube a while ago but it seems to have disappeared. You can see the trailer.
The Revenge Of The Teenage Vixens From Outer Space is a 1985 low budget comedy SF film directed by Jeff A Ferrell. He co-wrote the script with Michelle Lichter. It's Jeff's only movie, he was also the producer and cinematographer, his only interesting credit, at least to me, is he was the biker coordinator on the Twin Peaks pilot. Michelle played a scientist in the film and was also a producer, make up artist and editor. She has no other credits and neither does Lisa Schwedop who plays Karla. That's Lisa up by the crappy DVD cover. Too bad she never made another movie, she was OK in this.
Some alien teens come to California to breed with humans. They have no men on their planet, the aliens use plant mater for reproduction, but they like a bit of rumpy-pumpy once in a while. They aren't very nice, stealing the local girl's boyfriends by the hand full. Turns out the science teacher had mated with one of the alien women on a previous trip to Earth. His son is half alien but doesn't know it until the events of the movie unfold. He hooks up with Karla and they try to save the locals when the alien vixens start turning the human's into vegetables.
It's all pretty goofy and while it's not anything than about average I had a laugh or two. You can check it out on YouTube and maybe have a laugh too.
Space Master X-7 is a 1958 SF movie about space rust that could destroy the world. It's written by George Worthing Yates and Daniel Mainwaring with Edward Bernds directing. George wrote a good number of movies and TV episodes. You might know Them!, It Came From Beneath The Sea, Earth Vs The Flying Saucers, The Amazing Colossal Man and Frankenstein 1970. Daniel wrote the screenplay to Invasion Of The Body Snatchers. Most of the other material he's written is stuff I haven't seen, 40s & 50s Crime and Western films mostly. Edward's career started in 1928 and he first worked as a soundman. He started directing in 1944, mostly short comedy films and then plenty of features. He worked with The Three Stooges on several of their shorts and a couple of their feature films.
It's kind of semi-documentary like with a lot of narration and stock footage to move the story along. Paul Frees is a scientist working on a fungus gathered from space. He feeds the cultures and they grow. The fungus needs protein and it grows quickly. Paul's wife visits at the start of the movie. They have been divorced and she wants their child now that she's remarried. He's kind of a dick and when he grabs her she beats him on the head. He gives her the divorce papers and she leaves. When the blood rust takes over the house the next day Frees is killed but not before he leaves a warning on a tape recorder. The government gets involved, they burn the house down. The salvaged tape leads them to the wife. She hears the news of hubby's death and house burning down. Not wanting to get involved because it would shame her new hubby she takes it on the lam. The government manages to track her down eventually but it's touch and go for a while.
It's not a great movie but it's OK. Of course I'm quite happy with a scientist hero movie pretty much anytime. It gets a 5.3 on the IMDb and that's not too far off to me. I'm surprised that it only has 274 votes. I've seen it a couple of times over the years and hopefully will see it again.
The Eye Creatures is also called Attack Of The Eye Creatures. It's a 1965 remake of Invasion of the Saucer Men that was produced and directed by Larry Buchanan for American International Pictures. Larry worked with AIP on several low-budget remakes for TV. The Wikipedia says that the budget was $40,000 and lead actor John Ashley says half of that went to him for a salary. There isn't much on the screen, that's for sure. It was a season 4 episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 back in 1992. That's when I first saw it. I've seen that version several times over the years but I haven't seen the non-riffed version for a good number of them. I might have to stop watching it without the guys helping me along. It's just not that good, a 2.0 on the IMDb, and even 1.5 speed doesn't help. Sadly, it's also one of Larry's better films.
I was digging around on YouTube and noticed they had a fairly nice copy of Devil Girl From Mars. I've posted on the movie before but it's been a while and some might not have had the pleasure of this 1954 British film about an alien invasion.
Devil Girl from Mars is produced by Edward J Danziger and Harry Lee Danziger and released by British Lion Films. The Danziger Brothers were from New York City. They moved to England in the 1950s and made dozens of low budget movies and several TV shows. They later were hotel owners. It's directed by David MacDonald and the screenplay was written by James Eastwood and John C Maher.
Patricia Laffan, Hugh McDermott, Adrienne Corri, John Laurie and Hazel Court are in the cast. That's Patricia as Nyah the Devil Girl from Mars above and her space ship to the left. Her space ship is damaged and she lands in Scotland. She makes a dramatic entrance and blasts a guy with her ray gun. All that's left is his glasses in the smoking dirt. Sucks to be that guy, huh. She takes over the isolated inn and keeps the few people there with the help of her robot. I just love that robot.
His name is Chani. He's so big, isn't he. Woo. He shoots beams out of his head that make things glow and disintegrate. Nyah uses him to show the power of the invaders.
Nyah has drawn an invisible wall around the inn so that the humans can't leave the area. Luckily for the human race a scientist is one of the people in the inn.
It's an entertaining movie that's become a fan favorite because of home video. I've seen it several times since the 1980s when it turned up on cable. I liked the movie so much that I bought the DVD when it came out a few years ago. You can still buy it on Amazon. You can also watch it on YouTube in the link at the top of the post. Here's a couple more lobby cards and some posters.
I had seen The Day The Sky Exploded back in 2010 and back then this 1958 Italian production scored a 4.1 on the IMDb. I thought it was a bit better than average, especially for an Italian SF production in the 1950s. I see now it scores a 4.3 on the IMDb. I gave it a 5 because I have a fondness for the 1950s SF film and it's better than a 4. You can see it in the link in the title above so you can see if you like it yourself. It's co-directed by Mario Bava and it's known as the first Italian SF film. A rocket launch misfire sends an atomic rocket into the asteroid belt where it explodes. Chucks of asteroid collect into a mass that heads for the Earth. The military and scientist's join hands to send missiles to blow up the asteroid. A scientist goes bonkers and tries to stop the missiles but they stop him before it's too late. There's plenty of scientists saving the world and that's a good message. One of the better movies in the 5 movie Disaster Collection that I got used. At 91 cents a movie I didn't get a bargain but you can't win all the time.
I was interested in our first feature, Project X, because it was directed by William Castle. He's one of my favorite directors. The screenplay was written by Edmund Morris and the story was adapted from a pair of novels, The Artificial Man and Psychogeist by L P Davis. i remember seeing books by L P Davis around but haven't read any.
It's a 1968 film about a secret agent set in the harsh future of 2118. Christopher George, on a covert mission to Sino-Asia, the evil superpower, has some problems. To avoid torture he's taken an anti-torture drug that's given him amnesia. The West has him back and he's been frozen until they figure out how to reverse the amnesia. Before he lost his memory Christopher had sent a message warning the West of a Sino-Asian threat. It order to trick his mind back to reality the scientists create a 1960's town and reprogram his brain to try to remember what the threat was. The military works with the scientists and Colonel in charge, Harold Gould, doesn't get along with them. Monte Markham is another secret agent working for the bad guys. He tries to interfere with the program.
Part of the mind control is depicted on the screen with a series of various effects shots like the ones above. There are some bits of animation by Hanna-Barbera. The Wikipedia says there is also a clip from an old Jonny Quest episode buried in there. The effects seem a bit old fashioned compared to the stuff available today but they do the trick for the film and it would have been something people wouldn't have seen before when it was new. Sadly it didn't do so well at the box office and it would be the the 2nd last film Castle directed, the last was the 1974 film Shanks. I enjoyed Project X well enough. I know it's not that great but I'll add a copy to my own library when it gets a bit cheaper.
Our second feature was The Magnetic Monster. There's a new Blu-ray out and we watched that. It's a 1953 SF film about a strange magnetic phenomenon that is causing trouble. Some crazy scientist invented it and it's getting bigger and bigger. At the rate it's growing it's only going to take a day before it will destroy the world. The scientists work hard to figure out the solution. It's written by Producer Ivan Tors and Director Curt Siodmak. Herbert L Strock actually directed a fair bit of the movie. He gets no credit for that but he does for being the editorial supervisor. Strock is mostly an editor and Tors hired him because of the amount of stock footage to be worked into the film.
Richard Carlson is Dr Jeffrey Stewart, one of the scientists at the OSI, and he comes to investigate some weird happenings at a department store along with his co-worker Dr Dan Forbes, played by King Donovan. Their investigation leads them to the magnetic monster and he's part of the team that figures out what to do with it.
That's the machine Richard uses to save the world. It's borrowed from the 1934 German SF thriller Gold. They use about 10 minutes of footage from the German film and they work it into The Magnetic Monster quite well. Richard even changes his clothes to match the workers in the German film.
The Magnetic Monster is the first episode in Ivan Tors' Office of Scientific Investigation (OSI) trilogy. The second and third films are Riders To The Stars and Gog. They're worth checking out for the SF fan but they aren't the greatest films. TMM gets a 6 on the IMDb and that's about where I would put it.
Here's a nice two disc set of Karloff and Lugosi films that were released from the 1930s to the 1950s. They have nothing to do with each other than the two stars. The first is a more traditional horror film, the second a mix of horror and science fiction, the third a musical horror comedy and the last a horror comedy. The set is $14.99 on Amazon today and well worth having.
The Walking Dead 1936
The Walking Dead is a 1936 horror film. It's directed by Michael Curtiz and there are a passel of writers attached, Ewart Adamson, Peter Milne, Robert Andrews and Lillie Hayward. The script is fairly good considering there were all those writers. Curtiz is an excellent director and he does a great job here.
Boris is an ex-con who is framed by gang boss Ricardo Cortez. Boris doesn't know who framed him and there are witnesses to his innocence but they hold off coming forward until it's too late. Poor Boris is electrocuted.
He's revived by a scientist, played by Edmund Gwenn, and when Boris wakes he somehow knows who framed him. He goes after the men, asking why they framed him, and they are so freaked out. They have accidents, or in one case a heart attack, and they die. Boris is killed in the last encounter with Ricardo.
Don't worry Ricardo and the last of his gang will get theirs. It's an entertaining film with a mix of science, horror and religion. There's a nice commentary by film historian Greg Mank. He has lots of interesting things to say about the movie and the people who worked on it. He's done several good commentaries for the Universal Horror DVDs.
Frankenstein 1970 1958
Frankenstein 1970 is a 1958 film with Boris Karloff as the last surviving Frankenstein. It's directed by Howard W Koch, the story is by Aubrey Schenck and Charles A Moses, the screenplay is by Richard H Landau.
Frankenstein rents his house out to some TV people to shoot a made for TV movie. He needs funds to buy an atomic reactor so he came bring a cobbled together creature to life. It doesn't go so well for Frankenstein or the creature.
Another entertaining film, not quite as good as the first, but worth seeing. There's an interesting commentary with Charlotte Austin, who was in the film, Bob Burns and film historian Tom Weaver.
You'll Find Out 1940
You'll Find Out is a 1940 Kay Kaiser film. It's mix of horror, comedy and music. Kay is a band leader and him and his orchestra, the Kollege Of Musical Knowledge, appeared regularly on radio in the 30s and 40s. They appeared in several films too. This is one.
You'll Find Out is another film with a pile of writers attached, David Butler, James V Kern, Monte Brice, Andrew Bennison and RTM Scott. Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi and Peter Lorre all star. It's directed by David Butler.
That unholy trio are plotting against a young heiress played by Janis Bellacrest. The orchestra has been hired for a party and seance. They figure out something is going on with laughs and lots of screaming and running about. I enjoyed it a few years ago and all over again. It would only have been better with a nice commentary.
Zombies On Broadway 1945
Zombies On Broadway is a 1945 horror comedy with Bella Lugosi. It's written by Robert Kent and Lawrence Kimble, the director is Gordon M Douglas. Gordon was a long time director and he directed a lot of films I've seen. You might know Them!, Tony Roma, The Great Gildersleeve, Dick Tracy Vs Cueball, In Like Flint, They Call Me Mr Tibbs!, just to mention a few I know.
Some dopey press agents want to get a zombie for the opening of the Zombie Hut, a nightclub owned by a gangster played by Sheldon Leonard. Trouble is, where does a fella find something that doesn't exist.
Lucky for them Bella has a zombie on the Caribbean island of San Sebastian. They plot to get hold of the thing and wind up in a heap of trouble. There's plenty of goofy antics and a bit of singing. Probably the worst of the four movies and it's still entertaining, enough. The two publicity men are played by Wally Brown and Alan Carney, I didn't find them to be that interesting.
I liked the set quite a bit and I'll be happy to watch them all over again. I also like the posters and lobby cards for these old films and glommed onto a number of them from the internet.
The collection that yielded Valley Of The Dragons for Friday Night Movie night has 5 other older SF films that I thought I would blather on about. It's a good collection with a nice mix of different types of stories. The collection is on 2 discs and costs under a ten spot on Amazon. All are released by Columbia Pictures, 4 were made in the US and two in Japan.
The 27th Day
The 27th Day is a 1957 film directed by William Asher. It's got a screenplay by John Mantley, who also wrote the 1956 novel. I'd seen that novel kicking around the used bookstore science fiction shelves since the 1970s and I have a copy of the cover in my Richard Powers collection but I haven't read it. A lot of the books I bought only for their Richard Powers covers. I tore the covers off and tossed the rest of the book away to save space. Here's a scan of the Powers cover.
Until I saw the movie yesterday I don't think I had ever seen the movie before.
The 27th Day stars Gene Barry, Valerie French, George Voskovec, and Arnold Moss as The Alien. Keep an eye our for Paul Frees as a newscaster. Five humans are selected by some Aliens who are in need of a new planet. They give the humans, selected from the US, England, Germany, China and Russia, a clear container with three capsules inside. Each capsule has the power to disintegrate all human life in a circle 3000 miles in diameter but leave all animals alive. There wouldn't be any property damage either. Sounds like a great bomb, huh. The container can only be opened by the recipient's brain waves but anyone can activate the capsules. If the recipient dies before using the capsules they become ineffective.
The Aliens need a new planet, the one they live on is due to blow up in 35 days. They have morals and won't fight the human's for their world. If the Human's don't use the capsules in 27 days they will leave the Earth and their race will die. If the Human's manage to wipe themselves out then the Aliens will take over the planet. They're betting on the human need to fight and destroy. Sounds like a good plan to me. Like the Aliens, I've read some history.
The English woman throws her capsules into the sea, the Chinese woman kills herself to deactivate her capsules, the Russian is tortured to get the info and finally cracks, the German was in the US when he got his capsules but he's hit by a car and out of the picture briefly, lastly the American, Gene Barry, goes into hiding with the Englishwoman. Gene and the lady had talked about holding up for the 27 days. There's a bit of a romance there. After a bit of time Gene and the English woman give themselves up and they are united with the German guy. The German guy figures out what the writing on the capsules is all about and they use them to disappear all the peace hatin' baddies on the planet. The UN invites the aliens to come live on the Earth and everything is all nice. Yay!
I enjoyed that one quite a bit. It would be nice to have some moral aliens come calling and help put an end to the the people that cause so much trouble.
The Night The World Exploded
The Night The World Exploded is another 1957 movie. It's written by Jack Natteford and Luci Ward and the director is Fred F Sears. Fred died the same year this movie came out at the early age of 44. He directed a good number of films, I know I have seen some of them, like The Giant Claw, Don't Knock The Rock, Earth Vs The Flying Saucers, The Werewolf and Rock Around The Clock.
William Leslie plays a scientist who discovers a new element which catches on fire and explodes as it dries out. They name it element 112 but I think they should have called it Explodium. I know some of it went to build bridges and buildings in the Thunderbirds TV series. If element 112 gets wet it stops the whole boom process and eventually dissolves to nothing. The scientists think that there's enough explodium to blow up the world! They must do something to stop it. They break a dam and flood the site. Hopefully that will take care of it but we'll never know, the movie ended. A nice little film.
The H Man
The H-Man is a Japanese film that was called Beauty And The Liquid Men there. It's a 1958 Toho film that was picked up and released by Columbia in 1959. The film was directed by Ishirō Honda with special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya. Both men are responsible for creating Godzilla and many of the better monster films from Toho.
Sudden disappearances of the locals have the Tokyo police puzzled. A young scientist says it's all the fault of radioactivity. He's right of course, the radioactivity has created a green glowing blob creature that dissolves humans. It's selective too, it eats all the flesh and bone but leaves the clothes. They work to defeat the monster and make the city safe again. I've seen the film several times and enjoyed it each viewing.
There's a better edition of the film out there. It was packed in a three disc set with Mothra and Battle In Outer Space. Each movie has it's own disc and some extras. Look for the Icons of Sci-Fi: Toho Collection, it was $10.29 at Amazon the day I wrote the post and well worth the money.
12 To The Moon
12 To The Moon is a 1960 film that had a story written by Fred Gebhardt and a screenplay by DeWitt Bodeen. Fred wrote only one other film, The Phantom Planet. DeWitt wrote several films that you might have heard of, I know I've seen Cat People, The Seventh Victim and Curse Of The Cat People. 12 To The Moon is directed by David Bradley, his last film was They Saved Hitler's Brain.
12 To The Moon is about a joint International effort to send a rocket to the moon. Turns out there are powerful aliens there and they aren't too keen on the humans. They plan to destroy the dangerous humans. The ship returns to earth to find that the aliens have frozen over the North American continent. They use some bombs to try to blow it away but it doesn't work. The aliens take pity on them and turn everything back to normal.
One of the weaker films in the set but still watchable. I'd seen it several times but mostly when it was a selection on Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Battle In Outer Space
Battle In Outer Space is the other Japanese film in the set and like The H-Man it was directed by Ishirō Honda. The special effects are by Eiji Tsuburaya and the music is by Godzilla music man Akira Ifukube.
Battle In Outer Space is about aliens who want to invade the Earth. The human's mount a rocket to the moon to fight back. Eventually they beat the aliens with ray guns and come home.
I'd seen this several times and enjoyed it each time. Of course, I'm a sucker for those old Japanese SF movies. I like the look of their productions. There's plenty of fun model work and huge miniatures.
Valley Of The Dragons is the last film and you can read more on the post below this one.