Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Work e-mail is down.

I promise, I promise, food info (and vacation notes) are to come. In the meantime, a few quick movie reviews.

As part of my Christmas loot, I r/c'ed *both* the "50 Horror Movies" as well as the "50 Sci-Fi Movies" DVD collections, thus boosting my once meager DVD collection to over abundance, in just two boxes. How can someone release a DVD set of 50 movies each and still make some cash on the deal? Ah, the glories of Public Domain. Yes, for one reason or another, these are all movies that have slipped into the realm of Free Game, for anyone to pick up, dust off, and release. That doesn't make it a bad thing. After all, there are some honest-to-goodness classics on here: Night of the Living Dead, Metropolis, Nosferatu, the original Phantom of the Opera, etc. Of course, not everyone can be Lon Chaney Sr. and not every movie can be the Hunchback of Notre Dame, so yea, there's some B-movies in there, but, for a b-movie junkie, like myself, this is just part of the fun.

I'll start out with reviews of the two movies I've seen so far.

The Last Man on Earth - I chose this movie because Genevieve was also watching it and, knowing her disdain for truly horrible movies, I tried to pick out one of the best I could find. Starring Vincent Price and based on the Richard Matheson novel "I am Legend", I figured "this can't be too bad." And, well, I was right. Though certainly no Exorcist, it was pretty entertaining. Vincent Price was hammy, as always (I know this was remade as the Omega Man, with equally hammy Charlton Heston and, to be honest, I would rather see Vincent Price ham it up any day of the week) and though the vampires seemed more Zombie-like, the dark and nihilistic tone of the film was obviously something which influenced further "post-apocalyptic" horror films, in specific: 28 Days, which had a very similar ending. The only negative side was that the print transfer suffered from some, at times, bad cropping (but, seriously, it wasn't like I was expecting it to be letterboxed). Otherwise, it was a fun film that I would recommend to any fan of old horror flicks (in particular, zombie ones, even if they weren't *supposed* to be zombies).

Revolt of the Zombies - For this one, I did not have the restrictions of the Vincent Price film, I was watching this one all alone. Revolt of the Zombies was, as you can imagine, a zombie movie...though kind of an odd one. It was one of the older films on the set and, as such, the filmmakers obviously didn't have much Hollywood mythology to go by for their movie. The 60's "Haitian Zombie" films were still far away and "Night of the Living Dead" had not yet come to establish the framework for all tales of the undead that were to follow. So, what we go was Thai Zombies..that were alive. Yea, here, zombies were not the falling apart undead. Instead, they were living humans under mind control (to confuse matters further, the term "robot" is used, as well, throughout the movie). Overall, the movie *was* pretty confusing. In one scene, they are imprisoning a shaman, the next; they are trying to protect him. Maybe there was a scene in there that got cut or lost, over the years. Either way, the poor quality of the print, in combination with the off kilter storyline gave the movie a dream-like quality. So, honestly, I can't say it was a "bad" movie. The modest fx and the subdued acting kept it just shy of "B" status. I certainly wouldn't try and hunt down a better transfer of it, but it was a fun hour and half, worthy of an evening with some popcorn and pizza.