We saw a couple of stinkers tonight. Joe brought Dinoshark and that was a kind of boring giant monster eatin' people movie. It's got a bad script, with lame dialog, that goes along well with the mediocre film making and crappy acting. It's a 2010 tv movie that premired on the SyFy Channel last month and it was produced by Julia and Roger Corman. That's his wife of 40 years. Roger has a part as the scientist who helps with padding the filmexposition and he did pretty well for an 84 year old man. What he didn't do so well was pack the film with what people want in a monster movie, like excitement, flesh, and gore. It's off season in Puerto Vallarta and the beaches are void of gals in bathing suits. At least we have a monster. A prehistoric dinoshark hatched out of an egg that had been frozen in a glacier. It grows up during the credits, and now it's coming to eat you. He's a mostly CGI critter and the CGI isn't that great. A lot of the shots work better because the monster is at a distance or in the water. They made an ok rubber head puppet that chomps people. Here's a picture of the dinoshark coming right at you. The other picture was photoshopped by some wag who left it lying around the internet. Dinosaurs armed with rocket launchers riding sharks, now that would make a much better movie. Doesn't that dinosaur look happy?
It's strictly low-budget so you can't expect much cool action and expensive special effects but at least the film makers could make the story interesting. Not so. It's co-written by Frances Doell who's written some other material of mixed quality. Roger says you have to suspend your disbelief and the movie works internally. That doesn't help the dialog though does it? It's directed by Kevin O'Neill who mostly works as a special effects artist and supervisor for Flat Earth Productions. That company was started to do the effects for the Hercules and Xena shows. Kevin's also directed another movie, Dinocroc, which Joe made disparaging remarks about while we were watching Dinoshark. According to the Wikipedia Corman wanted to make a sequel to Dinocroc but the SyFy Channel said their marketing indicated people liked a similar but new movie over a direct sequel. I guess you have to give the people what they want, huh. Well, I've always said that people want the same old crap and there's some proof. Eric Balfour, whom I often like, returns to Puerto Vallarta to run a boat that takes people out on the ocean. He's a decent actor but he can't do much with the dialog either. Eventually it was over, but that 92 minutes seemed like a lot longer. Other than some pretty scenery, there isn't much going on here that you can't find in fistfulls of other better movies to watch. I'd give this a miss if I knew then what I know now.
I brought Carry On Screaming, a 1966 Brit horror movie comedy by the Carry On Gang. It put everyone to sleep but me and I could hardly keep my eyes open for a few minutes near the end. Mostly that was from staying up too late last night working on mom's mother's day present and not from being bored with the movie. I'm making mom a book of pictures of all the LEGO stuff I've built. It's nearly an inch thick and I'm not quite done yet. While I had been doing that most evenings this last week I had been watching the boxed set of Carry On movies that Anchor Bay put out in 2002. It starts with the first of the series and continues chronologically for the first dozen movies. There are 7 discs, six have 2 movies each, the seventh is a documentary about the series. They never continued with the rest of the series. There were 38 moves in the whole series but these probably are the best of the lot. Certainly enough to get an idea what it was all about. It's OOP now and a bit pricey on ebay. There's a Region 2 box set on Amazon of the whole series that's fairly cheap but I probably won't get it. This set is probably enough. Hey, isn't that poster awful. They even made a stamp out of the horizontal version. Sadly no Oddbod on the stamp.
The last time I had watched any of them was when the dvd set came out. It a series of mixed quality, from film to film and from scene to scene. Sometimes they have too many double entendres and some of the gags are lame. There's a mix of slapstick and conversational humor. Sometimes they make me laugh outloud. Hardly anyone I mention them to has ever heard of them. Joe had sceen some of them, ages ago, so they did get shown some places in the US. I remember talking about them with Neil Gaiman one day at DreamHaven. I was telling Greg about the set while Neil was there signing stuff. Greg hadn't seen them but Neil had. Of course he grew up in England. Since they were British movies they played in Canada, both in the theaters and on tv. I saw many of them in both arenas and liked them as a kid. I like the earlier ones better, not quite as broadly played as they would get. I hadn't seen any of them in more than 20 years when that box set came out.
The dead mad scientist in Carry On Screaming is played by Kenneth Williams. He's in a lot of the Carry On films and he's a big old ham. Somehow I enjoy him a lot but my favorite actor in the series is Sidney James. Sadly he's not in this film. He was a popular Brit actor that was in a lot of movies and tv that made their way to Canada in the 1960's. I recently discovered some Hancock Half Hours on the Internet Archive that had Sid in them. I'm certainly no Tony Hancock fan that's for sure. Anyway Kenneth has found an old prehistoric man and reanimated him. They live in a big old mansion and kidnap girls to turn into mannequins for store displays. They do this in the secret lab in the basement of the mansion. The cops get involved and there's some running about, sex jokes, yelling and lots of talk talk talk. This would have been helped by watching at 1.5 speed.
That's the mad scientist's sister, played by Fenella Fielding and the prehistoric guy, Oddbod, played by Tom Clegg. The other creature is the clone of Oddbod. They lumber about kidnapping women and murdering people who might expose Kenneth's naughty business. Jim Dale, who more recently is the voice on the Harry Potter audio books and dvds, plays the man who's girl was stolen and turned into a mannequins. Don't worry the process is reverseble. Pretty Angela Douglas is saved. Here's a nice shot of her from the movie I had watched the night before, Carry on Cowboy, and one of her mannequin. That's Harry Corbett as Detective Sergeant Sidney Bung on the right and Peter Butterworth as Detective Constable Slobotham on the left. Yeah, some of the jokes aren't too good but there you go. I wouldn't throw out the set because some of them are less than the rest. I enjoyed the series and a great part of that was the actors. I'll plan to see them again in a few years.