Archive for August, 2011


Posted in Matinee on August 26, 2011 by Bill Courtney





Posted in Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, Michael Winner, Music and MP3s, Rapidshare Link, Soundtrack Samples on August 26, 2011 by Bill Courtney
This is the 1985 soundtrack -sans incidental music- from the Michael Winner film Scream for Help. Winner had asked neighbor Jimmy Page to score the film for him but Page had commitments with other projects, including The Firm, and suggested to Winner that Zeppelin bass player and keyboardist John Paul Jones score the film with his newly installed 24-track digital recording studio. I have never seen the film actually and am not sure how the music works in with what is going on in the movie. It is on my list of films to see one day. Helping out on the album is former bandmate Jimmy Page, Yes frontman Jon Anderson, Swan Song Records recording artist Maggie Bell and folk guitarist John Renbourn. The album sounds more like a solo rock album than a soundtrack album. Unlike the Page album there are no examples of incidental -or background- music o the album -though Winner had an orchestra perform much of the score used in the film as well-and that is too bad. The album when on vinyl was a rarity and I was lucky enough it have found it and owned it (as I did the equally rare Death Wish II soundtrack- back when I collected and owned vinyl. Two samples, both featuring Jimmy Page on guitar- are presented here and if you like what you hear you can follow the link to my Rapidshare account and get the entire album and check it out for yourselves.



Track listing
Side One
1. “Spaghetti Junction”   Jones  5:01
2. “Bad Child”   Jones, Jacinda Baldwin  5:46
3. “Silver Train”   Jones, Anderson     3:48
4. “Crackback”   Jones, Page 4:16
Side Two
1. “Chilli Sauce”   Jones 4:59
2. “Take It or Leave It”   Jones, Madeline Bell     4:28
3. “Christie”   Jones     3:08
4. “When You Fall in Love”   Jones, Jacinda Baldwin 3:36
5. “Here I Am”   Jones, Simon Bell     4:43

 John Paul Jones – Keyboards, synthesiser, bass guitar, guitars, vocals
Jimmy Page – Electric guitars (1 & 4)
Jon Anderson – Vocals (3, 7)
Madeline Bell – Vocals (6, 9)
John Renbourn – Acoustic guitars (8)
Graham Ward – Drums and percussion (4,7,8,9)
Colin Green – Guitars (7,9)


Posted in Camp-Cheese, Science Fiction-Fantasy, Soundtrack Samples on August 23, 2011 by Bill Courtney

1969/Director: Kinji Fukasaku/ Writers: Bill Finger, Ivan Reiner

Cast: Robert Horton, Luciana Paluzzi, Richard Jaeckel, Bud Widom, Ted Gunther, David Yorston, Robert Dunham

This is one of the cheesiest and most thoroughly enjoyable B movies ever made in my opinion. I have seen the film several times and it seems to work in similar ways as an anti-depressant. Sadly it seems there is no really good DVD version available yet and the one I got online is a VHS rip that appears to the one every one is unhappy. Hopefully it will be released on a nice wide-screen version here shortly. It is a co-production between the US, Japan and Italy, headed by Japan’s Toei and America’s MGM. There seems to be real and borderline talent involved with the film. Director Kinji Fukasaku is more widely known for his human drama and crime films than rubber monster movies. The completely freaked out theme song was composed by Charles Fox who scored Barbarella and the Incident. The supporting cast is made of foreigners living in Japan at the time, for example, stationed military personal. There is not an Asian face to be found in the entire crew. Ivan Reiner wrote the story and I will be doing a post soon on his Wild Wild Planet, a strange sci-fi adventure made in 1965.

TV actor Robert Horton (Wagon Train) heads the cast with reliable character actor Richard Jaekel sharing in the heroics. Bond girl (assassin Fiona Volpe in Thunderball) Luciana Paluzzi,  as Dr. Lisa Benson,  is the female lead and point of constant friction between Commander Jack Rankin (Horton) and Commander Vince Elliot (Jaekel). Horton’s character is so totally cocky and arrogant as to defy words. The only thing more difficult to describe is his flawless hair that never loses its shape. He assumes command of Gamma 3 space station as he is the only man for the job, and the job is one that Bruce Willis would have to reinact in 1998’s Armageddon and that is to advert or destroy a huge asteroid that in on a collision course with earth. The difference is that the asteroid Rankin must contend with looks like a moldy meat ball. The real dynamite occurs between Rankin and Elliot since Rankin and Dr. Lisa Benson used to be lovers (this love triangle was actually cut from some version since the target audience of kid matinee goers who lose interest, but it is included in most version for those of us who want human interest and romance along with our rubber monsters) and Rankin basically sees Elliot as a pussy who has no business commanding a space station and basically has every intention of getting back under the covers with Benson. But first things first.

He blows the asteroid up of course but the crew accidentally bring back a sample of a slimy green  substance-as in the green slime-  that covered the rock.s on the asteroid. In no time the thing is absorbing electricity and multiplying and frying the crew to pieces. Lasers have no effect other than to help the thing reproduce, but for some reason throwing your laser gun into the thing’s single eyeball seems to stop them in their tracks. Problems for guilt ridden Lisa Benson and prick Rankin are solved easily enough when Elliot gets his face baked by a monster tentacle. Ain’t it great how love triangles are so neatly resolved in movies sometimes? The monsters are really a blast to look at and make the weirdest -and at times really annoying- sounds you are apt to ever hear from a movie monster.

There are lots of unintended but great laughs at the action and dialog as everyone plays it straight faced and serious. Sure the effects and miniatures are really silly but I defy you to not watch this movie and enjoy it. My brothers and I saw this as kids and we used run around the house as the Green Slime -covered in a green quilt and using it for flaying arms- when we all played hooky from our miserable school in San Antonio Tx. I just wish there were a better version to watch and that a DVD version with extras gets released in the States eventually.  Why not? So, are you ready to face the terror of The Green Slime? The horror of a giant asteroid on collision course with Earth? The site of a man’s immovable hair? Then hurry out and get this uranium packed classic right now.


Posted in Frankenstein, Michael Sarrazin, TV on August 21, 2011 by Bill Courtney
1973/Director: Jack Smight/Writers: Don Bachardy, Christopher Isherwood
Cast: Michael Sarrazin, James Mason, Leonard Whiting, David McCallum, Jane Seymour, Nicola Pagett, Agnes Moorehead, John Gielgud, Tom Baker
I was lucky enough to actually see this fine film when it first aired on NBC as a two part movie back in 1973. I had not been able to see it again until only recently when I got a hold of the restored and full length, about three hours or more I guess, Universal Presents Frankenstein: The True Story DVD version. I read that there was an edited VHS version that was based more on the shortened European version of the film but never saw it. Now while the title claims it to be the “true version” I understand that a few liberties were made with the original Mary Shelley story, which I have never read, and we will touch on at least one of those later in the review. I guess to get the final word one may have to go visit the Frankensteinia blog, which I did earlier when doing some research for this post but I actually did not find a n article there on this most excellent Frankentstein film and hope one appears soon. If there is a post there I apologize in advance and if not beg that one be made someday. The same year that Frankenstein: The True Story came out another made for TV film was released that was written and produced by Dan Curtis that starred Robert Foxworth as Dr. Victor Frankenstein and Bo Svenson. I also saw that version though I would need to see it again to refresh my memory on the story but it too made some claims to being mostly true to the original story. I am not a Frankenstein movie scholar (I am no sort of movie scholar to be quite frank) but I know that 1974 saw the last of the Hammer Frankenstein films the fairly decent Terence Fisher film Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell which I reviewed here some time ago. Throughout the sixties Hammer had taken the Frankenstein story and did several new things with it and whether those were always great is debatable but it did pump life back into the legend as it also did with Dracula. There is, in my opinion, visual influence on this film version by director Jack Smight from Hammer and even veteran Hammer make up artist Roy Ashton did the effective make up for the monster. After all the fantastic stories and interpretations by Hammer it seemed time to reign the monster back in and recreate him yet once again.

For a TV movie the film is well shot and photographed. While an American project the movie was shot at Pinewood Studio in England and for the most part cinematographer Arthur Ibbetson keeps the project from looking too much like a television production. The cast is noteworthy for a television production and a couple fleeting appearances are made by big British names like John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson. No doubt the scene stealer of the picture is James Mason as Dr. Polidori who is a sort of variation on the character of Dr. Pretorius from James Whale’s 1935 classic Bride of Frankenstein. Here is one of the bits of liberty taken with the “true story’ since in the original novel (again which I never read but researched a little for this post) there is no Dr. Polidori. In fact John William Polidori was doctor/writer friend of Shelley’s who helped to inspire her to write the novel as part of a friendly competition initiated by Lord Byron at his villa by Lake Geneva in Switzerland. Polidori would produce the story Vampyre which predates Dracula as vampire literature. And from the challenge Mary Shelley, of course, produced Frankenstein. But Mason is simply great as the brilliant but slightly mad (madder than Victor Frankenstein in any case) former colleague in darkness of Dr. Henry Clerval who is played by David McCallum. Also appearing in the film is Jane Seymour as first peasant girl Agatha and then as the twisted Prima, “the bride’. Victor is played with sensitivity by Leonard Whiting. After more than a decade of Peter Cushing’s portrayal of a sociopathic Dr. Frankenstein Whiting’s performance is a little refreshing to be honest. Or it was when I was a kid watching all of this stuff on TV. I had seen most of the Hammer films several times on TV before this appeared. And while Mason hammed it up perfectly as Polidori the real star of the film is Michael Sarrazin as the monster. His transition from a angel faced and kind hearted creation into a decaying and mentally imbalanced monster was one of the best monsters ever in my opinion. I would go so far as to say maybe it was the best for me.

It was a suddenly fresh, and closer to Shelley’s idea, interpretation of the monster that I had not yet seen done by Universal or Hammer. A creature that, after its creation, is in fact something that would make it creator truly proud. So proud in fact that the creator takes it out to operas even. One problem with the James Whale and Hammer creatures is that they were created as misshapen monsters to begin with. Things that would only generate fear and loathing. Take even the creature played by Christopher Lee in the wonderful Hammer film The Curse of Frankenstein. The things face is ruined and hideous from the start and one has to wonder about Frankenstein’s state of mind to consider its creation something that would challenge the power of God to be the sole creator of life in the Universe. The creature becomes something that Frankenstein hides away in a dungeon. Sarrazin’s creature is something that gives Frankenstein joy and whom he sees as a near mirror of himself. Nothing something he wants to hide away but something he wants to share with the world. This makes the story all the more tragic when things begin to go wrong with the creature.

What goes wrong is simple tissue rejection that Victor is unaware of and that Dr. Clerval knew of from earlier experiments but died before being able to let Victor know about. Victor continued with the experiments and put Clerval’s brain into their creation. As the creature begins to rot before Victor’s eyes Victor’s fatherly passion turns towards into vain disgust and repulsion and finally drives to creature to try and kill itself. But the creature cannot die so easily. The story is in many ways is familiar here to anyone who has seen various interpretations of the film. The creature befriends a blind man but is driven away by people who are repulsed by his face. He unintentionally kills a local peasant girl who he has fallen in love with and returns to Victor’s castle for help but instead finds Dr. Polidori. Polidori is soon back in Victor’s life with the monster in tow and blackmailing him for assistance with promises of staying out of his life if hew complies. Promises he breaks as he returns with the now resurrected Agatha as Prima. The monster shows up at a ball, a coming out party for Prima, and rips her head off in front of the terrified crowd and in the process ruins Victor’s palns for a normal life with his new wife Elizabeth (Nicola Paget).

The film ends with the creature stowing away on a ship with Frankenstein, Polidori and Elizabeth that is heading for America in an attempt to escape the impending investigations and problems after the appearance of the monster at the ball. There are great scenes of the monster tormenting Polidori and his deformed hands (caused by a chemical accident in his life giving process that does not employ electricity) and hoisting him up the mast of the ship as lighting, Polidori’s fear, erupts in a storm at sea. The monster kills Elizabeth after she insults him over and over and the ship winds up in the frozen Artic where a torments creator and his creation face each other for the last time. The film develops, I feel, one of the best relationships between monster and creator ever put to film. Neither is totally good or evil and Frankenstein himself is portrayed as more emotionally tormented than a man driven insane by blind ambition. While there is that aspect to Victor’s character there is also genuine remorse and sympathy. The monster wrecks vengeance on Victor but in the end still regards him as his creator/father and therefore of someone deserving of respect. The film looks great and while it is long it is never tedious or dreary. I had to watch it in the two parts in was intended to be watched in (stopping when the creature attempts suicide) and forgot how much I liked Michael Sarrazin. Jane Seymour is both wonderful and wicked as Agatha/Prima and Whiting is fine as a tortured Victor Frankenstein. The film moved the Frankenstein concept out of the days the Universal monster with bolts in his neck and the Hammer period of an unlikable Dr. Frankenstein into our times. Kenneth Branagh directed and starred in a good version of the story in 1994 with Robert De Niro as the monster and I feel he was very influenced in some way by this version more than any that came before it. Frankenstein: The True Story is an exceptional film version of the Frankenstein legend as far as my experience with the film’s history goes.


Posted in Gorillas-Yetis-Bigfoot, Mad Doctors and Scientists, Matinee, Mexican Films, Rene Cardona, Wrestlers and Boxers on August 19, 2011 by Bill Courtney
Half Man, Half Beast, ALL HORROR!

An Orgy of Terror!

They rip, they claw, they tear you to pieces!


Posted in Camp-Cheese, Eurohorror, Italian Films, Matinee, Mickey Hargitay on August 19, 2011 by Bill Courtney
He was a homicidal maniac who LIVED TO KILL! 



Posted in Matinee, Message from Uranium Willy on August 19, 2011 by Bill Courtney

I had high hopes for hosting some cool films at Internet Archives and then embedding them here but all my movies were deleted. All of them. I had tried to be careful about copyright issues and uploading either foreign films (whose copyright rules usually do apply in the US) and movies made before 1964. I am not sure what I did wrong and if I should have selected Public Domain or something as the license, but it is a lot of work to upload to there, real slow and then it takes almost a day for the file to derive. So, I guess I will not be using that place to host full length movies, and that about does it really. Sure they have other movies I can and will host, and a couple are still up here from other uploaders, but none are as cool as Night of the Bloody Apes or Mad Doctor of Blood Island. Google Video still seems to be playing back but I am not sure how long that will last, and now Youtube has full length films as well but I hate Youtube after they removed my video trailer channel. And their player is ugly, but I will see what I can find there. I will not give up on the Matinee idea and traffic wise I know people check them out. Let me go back to the old drawing board and see what happens.

A few days later: I may have figured out a work around with Internet Archives for hosting movies there and, maybe, will not get the films deleted even if they are copyright protected. The only way to know for sure is to upload a few movies, which I have begun doing, and then wait and see what happens.

A week or so later: The workaround idea (which was simply to keep the items out of the Internet Archive search engine and in a sense making them private) did not work. The files were still detected and deleted. So, so much for that.