Based on the earlier "Alien" and "Predator" film series' and
particularly the later "Alien vs. Predator" comic books. The
creatures from the popular "Alien" and "Predator" movies mix it up
in this thrilling sci-fi adventure! This is a PG-13 film, a first
for either an Alien or Predator movie. Why? Because most of
the gore and violence happens to the Aliens or Predators. Most of
the humans in the cast get killed off-screen or when they do get killed
on-screen, the violence is minimized. I liked the fact that there
wasn't as much violence shown in this film as the earlier Alien and
Predator movies. Sometimes those movies went over the top and got
grosser than they needed to be. Violence doesn't make a movie,
it's just a seasoning. It's a story that makes a good movie, and
there is a good story in AVP. We find out the relationship
between the Aliens and the Predators and just what they have to do with
the human race. This movie is set on present-day Earth in a
mysterious pyramid in the Arctic. This giant pyramid has more
trap doors and dangers than you can possibly imagine. And the
action that takes place in the pyramid and later out of the pyramid is
something that will leave you breathless. If you're not a great
fan of the Alien or Predator films, I still highly recommend this
because it is a movie all its own. There is really no tie-in
between this and the other films. However, if you do not like
science-fiction in any way, leave it on the video shelf.
The Amazing Transparent Man (1960)- This is an awesome little, under-an-hour B-movie that should thrill anyone who likes action and more believable science-fiction. Most sci-fi B-movies from the 50s and 60s are so unwatchable. This movie is different. It doesn't bore us with bad effects or made-up sci-fi garble talk. Nor does it try to overdo the drama. It's just a crime story, plain and simple, with a slight science-fiction flavor. Pretty entertaining for what it is. It's well-acted, well-scripted and, for the time, well-filmed.
robber is busted out of prison to become an invisible man thief.
But the treatments cause unstable invisibility, and gives him critical
radiation poisoning. What's the invisible man's next move?
This is such a slick story that you'll have to watch it to find out.
opens with a thrilling jailbreak scene. It's a good
sequence. The title of this film would make a person believe it's
more "camp" than it is. This film isn't camp at all. It's
not intentionally corny,
anyway. The original script title was "Search For A
Shadow". That would have been the cooler-sounding title, but in
the 1950s and 60s, all sci-fi movies had to have those really
sensational, razzle-dazzle kind of names that looked good on marquee
signs and in newspaper ads. It was the order of the day.
Nowadays the former title would most likely be used.
surprised how much I enjoyed this fun little movie. Years later,
from 2000-2002, a TV series was on the air called "The Invisible Man"
that seems to borrow the same basic idea. Whether this was
intentional or not, I do not know. In that series, a thief is
busted out of prison, only this time by a U.S. government agency and
NOT a crooked ex-Major. And instead of becoming an invisible man
to commit crimes, he takes on important cases to STOP crime. Like
this movie, the invisible man from the much later TV series also has
side effects from his treatments. It isn't radiation poisoning,
but a thing called "Quicksilver Madness" (temporary insanity) that
comes from turning invisible too much. I also recommend this TV
Douglas Kennedy as Joey Faust
James Griffith as Major Paul Krenner
Marguerite Chapman as Laura Matson
Ivan Triesault as Dr. Peter Ulof
Boyd "Red" Morgan as Julian [credited as Red Morgan]
Director- Edgar G. Ulmer
Writer- Jack Lewis
Search for a Shadow [USA,
original script title]
The Brain That Wouldn't Die (1962)- This is just crap. Pure crap. Why am I even talking about it in Polar Blair's Den? Well, there's one part worth seeing: the catfight between the two strippers. It's sexy and funny. Other than that, don't waste your time. I think Jason Evers was normally a pretty good actor, and I like Virginia Leith. She had a great part in an episode of TVs "One Step Beyond". But the acting in this film, almost in its entirety, is really dumb and over-the-top. The best performances in this film were some of the smaller roles, like Bonnie Sharie and Paula Maurice as the blonde and brunette strippers (respectively), and Lola Mason as Donna Williams, an old college friend of Dr. Bill.
lots of things that contradict
themselves. And the number of continuity errors, revealing
mistakes, and straight-up goofs is amazing. Here are a few things
to think about:
around, meets an old girlfriend from college, and SHE
asks HIM if he wants to go to a bikini show. Why was she so gung
ho on going to a bikini show? She didn't act like a lezzie.
At another point in the film, the doctor goes to a strip club, finds a
blonde that's pretty ideal, goes so far as to follow her into a back
room, then inexplicably leaves. Even with the brunette crashing
their private party, he still could have left with one of them.
The bikini contest, the strip club, basically any part of this movie
that shows hot-looking women is an attempt to make up for the overall
crappiness of the picture.
going for it. An unusual thing about this movie,
especially for the time, was its use of gory violence and grim subject
matter. The violence was very graphic for 1959, when this was
made. That is one reason why this movie wasn't released until
1962. One scene of pretty explicit violence is when Kurt's right
arm is ripped off by the monster. There's nothing left to the
imagination. You'll see a lot of blood and gore and an overly
long death scene. Another gross scene is when the mad doctor's
neck is ripped apart by the monster's teeth, and you see the doctor
bleed to death on the floor in total agony.
the doctor puts together
people like Frankenstein, you'll also hear about things like rape,
strippers, battery against women, deformities, extreme violence, and
total insanity. This is a pretty serious movie from beginning to
end. Not a whole lot of laughs, unless you're one of those that
likes to laugh at bad, corny movies.
was going to take that to make this film even remotely
watchable. If you happen to get this movie in a DVD set that has
a bunch of other movies in it, then you might want to watch it, but
certainly don't waste your time tracking this down.
as Dr. Bill Cortner, the mad scientist [credited as Herb Evers]
Virginia Leith as Jan Compton/Jan in the Pan, Bill's fiance [I honestly don't know how this character became called "Jan in the Pan", but I know she's been referred to this by viewers over the years.]
Leslie Daniels as Kurt, the mad doctor's assistant.
Adele Lamont as Doris Powell, the buxom, but facially scarred beauty.
Bonnie Sharie as Blonde Stripper.
Paula Maurice as Brunette Stripper.
Bruce Brighton as Dr. Cortner, Bill's disapproving father.
Lola Mason as Donna Williams, attractive blonde friend of Bill.
Eddie Carmel as Monster.
Writers- Rex Carlton (story), Joseph Green (screenplay and story)
That Wouldn't Die [USA; This is a goof. The last title shot reads
"The Head That Wouldn't Die" instead of the correct title, which should
give you an idea on how this movie was rushed].
The Day of the Triffids (1962)- Based on the novel of the same name. It's unusual that I would like a film such as this. First of all, it's old sci-fi. Secondly, it's a foreign film (being made in the UK). I don't usually go for things like this, but this movie was very well done. The only thing I thought was unnecessary in the whole film are the scenes between the couple in the lighthouse. They have absolutely NO association with any of the other characters or the general story. It just kept switching back to them all the time...like a movie inside a movie! In fact, the only useful thing these characters did for the movie was reveal what kills the monster plants (sea water). But even at that, they do not explain how this news passes on to others. Could they somehow talk to someone through their radio? Did they finally get off the island? As a matter of fact, the reason the lighthouse scenes were added to this film was because the movie was already made and it was too short, so the producers thought it would add substance. I feel it would have been much better as a short movie. Contrary to my feelings on those scenes, I do believe that the actor and actress playing husband and wife Tom and Karen Goodwin. (Kieron Moore and Janette Scott) are quite excellent! Outstanding performances; they just didn't fit with the story. Janette Scott, in particular, really shines as the long-suffering wife who first has to put up with her husband's drunkenness and fall from grace, then the man-eating monsters. What that woman goes through! AND she keeps it all together. What a heroine!
story follows the adventures of American Navy man Bill Masen. He
happens to be in London for eye surgery. While his eyes are
bandaged, most of the people in the world (those who watched the night
sky) are permanently blinded by the incredible glare of the meteor
shower. A few people in the world still have vision. He is
one of them. This causes enough havoc. What the meteor
shower brought along with it was something else, entirely. The
strange phenomenon spread alien spores that infested the world with
man-eating plants. The triffids, as they are called, uproot
themselves from the ground after becoming gigantic in size and chase
after people and animals. They sting their victims to death
before they consume them. The fact that most of the world is
blind makes lunchtime an easy proposition for the plants. Cool
idea, right? I think so.
London, Bill rescues a little English girl named Susan who has run away
from a boarding school. She is still sighted. They flee to
France, where they meet a French woman named Christine Durrant.
Now with Christine, they flee to Spain for the ultimate showdown
against the monsters. It's finally discovered that sound attracts
the plants. It would have been cooler had Bill and his group
discovered the sea water solution, but for some reason this was not
worked into the story. I will say, for the sake of everyone
interested, that Bill, Susan, and Christine all live. It's neat
because Bill never had a family of his own before, and now he has a
significant other and child. What I didn't like is that their
friends all got killed such as Mr. Coker (who was a great sidekick for
Bill) and the ditzy, but loveable Bettina (that was a
heartbreaker!). Another thing I didn't like (it's not such a huge
deal, but still kind of irks me) is that Nurse Jamieson "disappears" at
the beginning of the show. The way it was played up, I thought
she would of and should have had a bigger part. She's pretty, and
the chemistry between her and Bill was charming. We're to assume
she was eaten by a triffid. Pity. And Dr. Soames at the
beginning of the show seemed like such a nice man. It did hurt to
see him blinded at first, then committing suicide by jumping out of a
window. Other than that, I thought the movie was tops! The
special effects were decent and the filming was really great for the
time. A lot of people slam the special effects in these older
movies. I didn't think these were so bad. There was one
instance where I saw wires pulling the plants. I'm told there's
another scene where you can see the wheels under one of the plants,
although I can't detect it. The acting was really solid by all
the performers. No hokeyness on the acting end. This film's
real saving grace, though, is that it is in color. I think this
is what still makes it watchable. It just wouldn't be as
interesting if it was in black and white. It's filmed too big for
black and white; color suits it better.
Bill Masen- Howard Keel
Susan- Janina Faye
Catherine Durrant- Nicole Maurey
Karen Goodwin- Janette Scott
Tom Goodwin- Kieron Moore
Mr. Coker- Mervyn Johns
Bettina- Carole Ann Ford (spelled Carol in this film)
Luis de la Vega- Geoffrey Matthews
Teresa de la Vega- Gilgi Hauser
Dr. Soames- Ewan Roberts
Nurse Jamieson- Colette Wilde (spelled Collette in this film)
was quite an accomplished actor, but his greatest fame came late in
life as Clayton Farlow on TVs "Dallas". He was cool in this
movie. I liked him a lot. Mr. Keel was born on April 13,
1919 in Gillespie, Illinois and died on November 7, 2004 in Palm
Desert, California. Colon cancer was the cause of death.
The media covered his death quite a bit on TV, the Internet, and in
born in 1949, is a pretty good child actress. It's hard for most
young actors to do something as serious and dramatic as this. She
had a big part to handle, and did it well.
Maurey as Catherine Durrant was really a treat. Feminine, French,
caring, and competent. Born December 20, 1925 in France.
She was a dancer in her early career, but switched to films in
1944. Ms. Maurey did quite a bit in films and TV, but I feel she
deserves a lot more recognition than what she has received. She's
a good actress, and deserves the attention.
Scott as Karen Goodwin is brilliant...a definite heroine. Smart
scientist and tolerant wife of a drunk who's fallen from grace.
Born December 14, 1938 in Morecambe, Lancashire, England, UK. Her
appearance is actually mentioned in detail in the opening title of "The
Rocky Horror Picture Show" movie from 1975. Her second husband
was singer Mel Torme, which ended in divorce. First husband was
Jackie Rae from June 27, 1959 to 1965. Second husband Mel Torme
lasted from 1966 to 1977. She had two kids from that marriage,
Daisy and James. She married third husband William Rademaekers in
is great as Tom Goodwin, the disillusioned scientist who, because of
the extreme circumstances, is forced to give up his drinking and once
again finds the desire to study science. And when not battling
killer plants, he rekindles his romance with his wife. Born
October 5, 1924 in Skibbereen, County Cork, Ireland.
as Mr. Coker, I feel, is a likeable presence. Truly a shame when
he gets killed. Born February 18, 1899 in Pembroke, Wales,
UK. Died September 6, 1992 in Norwood, England, UK. Bettina
the beautiful, but ditzy French girl is very likeable. Also a
shame when she gets killed. A real heartbreaker. She was
such an innocent. Bettina deserved better. Born in June of
1940. Later become quite famous as Susan Foreman in TVs "Doctor
Who" from 1963-1964.
Matthews is a cool guy as Luis de la Vega; somebody we'd all like to
know. Gilgi Hauser doesn't have a big part as the wife of Luis,
but she gives a good performance and her character is important to Luis
in the story (having been blind for years already, is helping him cope
with the ailment). I don't know much about either of these two
actors. As far as I know, this is the second of two things Hauser
did in film. The first being in 1954 with "The Divided Heart".
not least is Ewan Roberts and Colette Wilde (as Dr. Soames and Nurse
Jamieson, respectively). They're not in the show very long before
they meet their demises, but I still got attached to them. They
both seemed so nice. Oh, well. This movie really had a way
of presenting the reality of the situation by killing off good,
friendly people. No one was above it. I'm surprised that
one of our three main heroes was not killed, or our two friends at the
lighthouse. It certainly could've gone that way. Roberts
was born on April 29, 1914 in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. He died on
January 10, 1983. Wilde I do not know much about, but would like
to. I do know she did quite a bit in movies and TV. CLICK HERE TO
CONTACT ME IF YOU KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT ANY OF THE ACTORS IN THIS FILM
THAT SHOULD BE HERE!
Doom (2005)- Based on the video game series. I'm not into gross video games like "Doom" so don't expect any cross-references. I'm discussing this as a person who has only seen the movie. It's a good movie, but we've seen this same basic thing over and over in the "Alien" movies and most recently the "Resident Evil" movies. A military task force of some sort in a dark, foreboding future go somewhere where there is a threat of grotesque, nasty creatures. A lot of violence ensues, most of the cast is killed, leaving only a few of our heroes alive.
It takes a
while for the movie
to really pick up in activity, but once it does it's very thrilling
right up to the end. One thing I didn't expect is for Rock's
character of Sarge to go insane and become a bad guy. Especially
since he is the main, main character of an ensemble cast. For
most of the movie, he seems like he's got it all together. Then
all of a sudden he snaps. Seeing all kinds of gore and wicked
monsters can do that, I guess.
I put this
movie here because
it's done a bit better than most of the movies of this sort. The
entire cast gives good, believable performances, the action scenes are
well-filmed, and the monsters are well-designed and frightening.
It's definitely not a B-movie. One thing I think really made this
movie even more interesting is when Karl Urban's character of Reaper
becomes superhuman and turns the odds more in his favor. After
seeing people get killed left and right by monsters, it's good to see
when a human comes around and starts picking them off like flies.
Freejack (1992)- This is an interesting concept. Alex Furlong, a professional Indy car driver, dies in a freak accident. 18 years in the future, his body is stolen the exact moment before his car makes impact with the wall. Why? A wealthy old man with failing health wants a healthy young body. McCandless, the president of a powerful company, wants to electronically transfer his mind into Furlong's body. Why and how is a part of the story you'll have to see for yourself when you watch this movie. Apparently, Furlong is one of many people this has happened to, and is known as a "freejack". What I think is neat about this story is that you know if it could be done, rich people would be doing it. There's a certain amount of believability there. As Alex Furlong tries to figure out what the heck's going on, he's caught up in a cat-and-mouse chase with Victor Vacendak, the man hired by McCandless to bring him in. Vacendak is played by Mick Jagger of Rolling Stones fame. Already, you'll know that this is cool and something to see. Vacendak is definitely a bad guy, but he becomes sort of a good guy by the end of the show. He's more like a bounty hunter than a killer. Not a real cold-blooded individual. Certainly an interesting villain. Anybody who's anybody is going to want to see Mick Jagger in a movie. This is a good one.
Alex Furlong- Emilio Estevez
Julie Redland- Rene Russo
Victor Vacendak- Mick Jagger
McCandless- Anthony Hopkins
Brad Carter- David Johansen
Frozen Alive (1964)- This movie was very well-acted and, up to a point, well-written. Science-fiction was the central plot, but it seemed to take a backseat to drama, romance, and a crime story. I think the writer got to the climax and couldn't figure out how to end it, so everything was resolved very quickly or ignored entirely. The one thing I don't like is that we never see Frank being told that his wife died, or his reaction to that fact. At the very end of the film, we see Frank and his beautiful assistant walking away. So are they an item now or what? And didn't Frank get over his wife pretty quick? I think the movie was ended very dumb, and it deserved so much better. As far as the science-fiction element is concerned, it's written very believable, and it's an interesting concept. But the mixing of the drama element was not too well-executed. Thank goodness the cast was great. It surprises me, though, that no one in this cast became a really big name.
Overton and Dr. Helen Wieland are two scientists who have developed a
breakthrough in cryogenic hibernation. They have also developed
quite an infatuation, much to the dislike of Frank's wife, Joan.
Incidentally, Joan has already been cheating on Frank with writer Tony
Stein. Frank is fully aware of this fact, and has made Joan aware
of it. However, he still doesn't pursue Helen despite his great
affection for her. Joan, though, believes Frank is cheating on
her and becomes a very negative alcoholic. After a great
revelation between Frank and Joan, they decide to be faithful to each
other. While Frank conducts the greatest experiment of his life,
Joan gives up alcohol completely, breaks things off with Tony, but
accidentally shoots and kills herself. As Frank is in deep
freeze, he is suspected of murdering his wife.
that I think is cool, even though it wasn't at all necessary to the
movie, was the fire dancer at the nightclub. I also think the
actors are all pretty top-notch, and it's an interesting story within
the extreme realm of possibility. This is worth seeing at least
Mark Stevens as Dr. Frank
Marianne Koch as Dr. Helen Wieland
Delphi Lawrence as Joan Overton
Joachim Hansen as Tony Stein
Walter Rilla as Sir Keith [credited as Walter Rilia]
John Longden as Professor Hubbard
Albert Bessler as Martin the lab tech [credited as Albert Ressler]
Sigurd Lohde as Dr. Karl Merkheimer [credited as Siegurd Lohde]
Wolfgang Lukschy as Inspector Prenton
Wolfgang Gunther as Sgt. Grun [credited as Woflgang Gunter]
Helmut Weiss as Chairman
Director- Bernard Knowles
Writer- Evelyn Frazer
The Last Woman on Earth (1960)- Actually a good movie. Well-acted and filmed. Shot on location in beautiful Puerto Rico. Betsy Jones-Moreland is HOT! The story idea is pretty cool. Two men and a woman come back from scuba diving only to discover that, while they were underwater, Earth's oxygen temporarily disappeared, killing everyone else on the planet. They do realize that other people might have survived this disaster as they had, but they don't know where...or if at all. Tensions rise between the two men over the woman, ultimately ending in tragedy.
takes a backseat in this
predominately drama tale. The conditions of their situation seems
more interesting than their personal conflicts. If the actors
weren't so good, this movie wouldn't be anywhere near as
watchable. But the movie does well with its small cast, limited
budget, and short (71 minutes) runtime. Worth watching!
Jones-Moreland as Evelyn Gern
Antony Carbone as Harold Gern
Robert Towne as Martin Joyce [credited as Edward Wain]
Writer- Robert Towne
The Manster (1959)- Unlike most science-fiction B-movies from this time, "The Manster" is actually pretty legitimate. The story is good and moves quickly. The acting is excellent. This movie has one of the most exciting opening sequences I've ever seen in an "old" movie. The movie opens with a monster killing two women. This same monster is soon killed by his creator when he returns to the lab. The entire movie is packed with activity.
is soon injected with a serum that ultimately
transforms him into a hideous, two-headed monster. Now the
reporter-turned-monster roams Japan on a senseless, murderous rampage.
cliches. The reporter does not die, nor is this a "happily ever
after" tale. Still, it is not a downer. It's just a really
neat monster story. Recommended!
Dynely as Larry Stanford
Tetsu Nakamura as Dr. Robert Suzuki [credited as Satoshi Nakamura]
Terri Zimmern as Tara (Suzuki's assistant)
Norman Van Hawley as Ian Matthews (Larry's boss) [credited as Van Hawley]
Jane Hylton as Linda Stanford (Larry's wife)
Toyoko Takechi as Emiko Suzuki (Suzuki's monster wife)
Alan Tarlton as Dr. H.B. Jenssen
George P. Breakston, Kenneth G. Crane.
Writers- George P. Breakston, William J. Sheldon.
Attacks! (1996)- This is a weird sort of movie, but I must
admit I like it. A simple label would be "comedy sci-fi".
However, there aren't a lot of "ha ha" laughs...just quirky
weirdness. It's more sci-fi than anything else, and
violent. I can't believe they got away with a PG-13 rating.
If it was made just a few years earlier, I'm sure it would have been
R. I don't think this movie is for kids by any measure, but they
tried to market it to kids...complete with toyline.
with this movie should have known $100 million
dollars was WAY TOO MUCH to put into it. This movie isn't for
everyone. As a matter of fact, it's not for most people.
$100 mill is a big figure in 2011...in 1996 it was sheer
insanity. The movie raked in a total of $101 million worldwide,
giving them a gross profit of $1 million, so yeah, it bombed.
was for the production itself, and $20 million was for the
advertising. This thing was tooled up to be a huge hit, because
Tim Burton was directing. Although the movie's performance didn't
finish Tim Burton, it did end his hot streak.
the studio should have thought out WHO would watch this
movie. I watch it, because I'm a guy interested in offbeat movies
in the first place. This would scare the hell out of most kids,
and women wouldn't like it. And not every guy likes sci-fi.
There must have been a whole pack of idiots making executive decisions.
of it is that this movie could have been made at half the
budget and been a success! I can't see what would have made this
movie cost $80 million besides the high-priced A-list actors. And
they didn't need to have all these big actors. Some of their
parts were very small.
business talk. I enjoyed the movie. The huge,
ensemble cast of A-list stars is quite a spectacle within itself.
That, and the fact this movie is non-stop action. Interesting,
well-filmed action with excellent special effects work. The humor
is very dark and often heartless. Much of the humor comes from
the evil Martians and the way they kill off their victims.
performances and the dialogue are great. The writing
is not. It's a simple alien invasion story. No reason is
given for why the Martians are attacking Earth. This is meant to
be a spoof of the corny sci-fi B-movies of the 1950s and 60s. I
think the writers were just being lazy. Although set in
modern-day, a lot of stuff like the spaceships, military vehicles, and
other aesthetics are throwbacks to the 1950s and what you'd see in
movies at the time. Jack Nicholson plays two lead characters, and
does a great job, but the fact that you have one guy playing two big
parts makes the movie seem cheap...and it isn't. That's going to
be another turn-off for some people.
thing I don't like about this movie is the way they kill off
likable actors and animals. "Mars Attacks!" is, at many times,
exceedingly cruel. The only way this movie redeems itself is in
how the Martians are killed off at the end. One of the funniest
movie devices of all time is how Slim Whitman's singing saves the human
race by turning the aliens' heads to slop. If anyone could do it,
it would be Slim!
is based on a trading card series from the Topps
company, released in 1962. The trading cards were known for
unusually wicked, violent artwork for the time period and was pulled
off the shelves. The trading cards have since been a cult hit and
other items of merchandising for "Mars Attacks!" has popped up over the
years. What's ironic about this movie is that it was supposed to
recharge the franchise and make it more mainstream than ever. It
didn't perform well and now it, too, has a cult following! The
story told on the trading cards has no bearing on the movie. Most
of the writers for this movie weren't even aware of the story on the
trading cards until after they worked on the script!
with extreme caution! Not for children...hang
the PG-13 rating!
Nicholson as President James Dale/Art Land (both characters get killed)
Martin Short as Press Secretary Jerry Ross (gets killed)
Glenn Close as First Lady Marsha Dale (gets killed)
Annette Bening as Barbara Land
Natalie Portman as Taffy Dale
Lukas Haas as Richie Norris
Sylvia Sidney as Grandma Florence Norris
Jim Brown as Byron Williams
Pam Grier as Louise Williams
Ray J as Cedric Williams
Brandon Hammond as Neville Williams
Rod Steiger as General Decker (gets killed)
Sarah Jessica Parker as Nathalie Lake (gets killed)
Pierce Brosnan as Professor Donald Kessler (gets killed)
Michael J. Fox as Jason Stone (gets killed)
Paul Winfield as General Casey (gets killed)
Tom Jones as Himself
Janice Rivera as Cindy
Jack Black as Billy Glen Norris (gets killed)
Joe Don Baker as Dad Norris (gets killed)
O-Lan Jones as Sue Ann Norris (gets killed)
Danny DeVito as Obnoxious Gambler (gets killed)
Brian Haley as Mitch, Secret Service Agent (gets killed)
Lisa Marie as Martian Girl (gets killed)
Christina Applegate as Sharona (Billy Glen's girlfriend)
Writers- Jonathan Gems (screen story & screenplay), Tim Burton (uncredited rewrite), Martin Amis (uncredited rewrite), Scott Alexander (uncredited rewrite), Larry Karaszewski (uncredited rewrite), (trading card creators) Len Brown, Woody Gelman, Bob Powell, Norman Saunders, and Wallace Wood.
Monstrosity (1964)- This is one of those middle-of-the-road kind of sci-fi movies. The basic story idea is good. The cast is good. Even the production values are pretty good (take into consideration this is a 1960s sci-fi B-movie). But the writing could have been better. There are some things that just don't tie well together, and other things that just seem lazy. This is a pretty good movie for being shot in ten days! I think what worked against them is the fact that there were four writers. Sometimes four writers works pretty well. Other times it's a case of too many cooks spoiling the soup. You can tell that their collective thoughts did not all blend together.
aired on TV. "The Atomic Brain" is actually a much better, and
more accurate title. As the story goes, a mean, decrepit, but
wealthy 80-year-old woman wants her brain transplanted into the body of
a sexy young woman. She has a brilliant, but discredited
scientist working in her basement, trying to perfect his
experiments. The old woman, her assistant Victor, and the
scientist run a newspaper advertisement for domestic help.
Requirements for the position are that the chosen woman be foreign, and
attractive. Three women answer the ad. Bea Mullins is the
attractive English girl, Nina Rhodes is the knockout German, and Anita
Gonzalez is the Mexican. Things that happen around the mansion
tip off the girls that something sinister is going on.
Eaton as Hetty March, the old woman.
Frank Fowler as Victor, Hetty's assistant.
Frank Gerstle as Dr. Otto Frank, the scientist.
Erika Peters as Nina Rhodes, the German girl.
Judy Bamber as Bea Mullins, the English girl.
Lisa Lang as Anita Gonzalez, the Mexican girl.
Xerxes the Cat as himself.
Bradford Dillman as The Narrator [uncredited]
Margie Fisco as The Walking Corpse [uncredited]
? as Hugo, the Dog Man [uncredited, CONTACT ME if you know who this actor is.]
Dean Dillman Jr., Sue Dwiggins, Jack Pollexfen, Vy Russell.
Director- Joseph V. Mascelli
Brain [USA, TV title]
was shot in ten days.
Xerxes the cat was owned by Judy Bamber, who played the English girl.
This movie was released in December, 1964 in the USA.
Xerxes the cat had a screen credit, yet the Narrator, The Walking Corpse, and Hugo the Dog Man did not.
Bradford Dillman, the Narrator, is actually a pretty accomplished actor.
Marjorie Eaton was an accomplished a character actress.
This was the last filmed project for all three young beauties: Judy Bamber, Lisa Lang, and Erika Peters.
This was also the last filmed project for the Walking Corpse beauty, Margie Fisco.
Judy Bamber, who played the English girl, was actually from Michigan, USA.
If You Like This Movie, Then Watch...
(1955)- A watchable and
respectable old sci-fi movie. Good actors and story, but the
movie drags a bit. This is due mainly to the rather half-hearted
writing that leaves big plot holes in places. A lot of things
just don't fit together, or left entirely unexplained. The
standout in the cast is definitely Cathy Downs as the professor's
daughter, Lois King. Downs is attractive and a good
actress. The special effects are passable for a movie of this
age, but they certainly don't "Wow!".
as Dr. Ted Stevens aka Ted Baxter
Cathy Downs as Lois King
Michael Whalen as Professor King
Rodney Bell as William S. "Bill" Grant
Phillip Pine as George Thomas, the professor's aide and traitor
Helene Stanton as Wanda, the spy
Vivi Janiss as Ethel, Professor King's secretary
Michael Garth as Sheriff
Pierce Lyden as Andy, the janitor
Writer- Dorys Lukather (story), Lou Rusoff (screenplay)
Serenity (2005)- This is probably one of the best sci-fi movies made for a number of reasons. The first, and most important in my mind, is the fact that the cast of this futuristic adventure film actually talk like real people. Don't you just hate those movies where everybody talks like people from "Star Wars" or "Star Trek" in words that nobody you know ever speaks? I really love the dialogue in this film. It makes the characters much more human and believable. On top of that, what they say is occasionally funny and not always so serious.
itself is another
highpoint. Everything that happens in this movie happens for a
reason. You may not always understand it at first, but believe me
it all comes around and will be explained.
premise: A team of
interplanetary pirates (who are actually good guys) steal from the
oppressive galactic government known as "The Alliance". This crew
has on board a mysterious teenage psychic girl named River and older
brother Simon who is a doctor. The Alliance chases after the ship
Serenity to get River and everyone who has dealings with the crew is in
harm's way. Even worse, zombie-like creatures called Reavers are
after anyone human, including the crew of Serenity. On top of all
that, Captain Mal and his crew find out that the girl is the ultimate
killing machine. But why the Alliance wants to find and kill
River is something that will surprise everyone...even River herself!
The cast is
outstanding! I can't single
anyone out because they were all terrific! Even if you're not
into sci-fi movies, this is one you MUST SEE!
Starquest (1994)- Originally known as "Terminal Voyage", the movie changed its name when it was released on cable television. It's a low-budget, independent movie, but surprisingly well-done. If you're looking for elaborate spaceship battles and fights with exotic alien creatures, this isn't it. This is a mystery movie with a slight science-fiction disguise. The makers of this film did a good job of doing what they could do on a budget. They didn't try to bite off more than they could chew. I respect that. Nothing is worse than a science-fiction movie that tries to boast big-time special effects on a shoestring budget.
All of the cast does a great
job and the story
is well-conceived. It's worth watching if you like the idea of a
Brenda Bakke as Zinovitz- She's definitely the
lead character, playing the Russian astronaut.
Steven Bauer as Reese- He's the male lead, playing the American astronaut.
Emma Samms as Becker- She's the lead
antagonist, the British astronaut.
Alan Rachins as Jammad- He's the secondary antagonist, an Arab astronaut (which country is not given).
Cliff De Young- Plays Granier, the French scientist.
Ming-Na Wen- Plays Han, the Asian scientist (I'm guessing she's from Korea; information not given).
Gregory McKinney- Plays Commander Hollis, the black astronaut. This is a little confusing. Each scientist is supposed to be from a different country. He sounds American, but because he's black, they're probably saying he's from an African country.
Lisa Boyle- Veiled woman in Jammad's virtual
reality dream. She doesn't do much, but she IS sexy.
*SPOILERS AHEAD! DO NOT READ IF YOU DO
NOT WANT TO KNOW!*
It's the future. Earth
is in trouble. Global warming is making the planet
unlivable. So the world government, known as The Federation,
sends a team of eight astronauts into deep space to find some place
where humans can live.
The astronauts wake up from
their sleep in cryogenic gas chambers allegedly 100 years after they're
sent up. All but 1 of the 8 astronauts, that is. The
captain is found dead, mummified, in his chamber. It's originally
believed to be a glitch in his chamber, but that belief is not
Commander Hollis is now in
charge, but not for long. He is soon found hanging by his neck in
the great spaceship. No one believes it's a suicide. In
fact, most of the crew is sure it is murder. Especially when
Jammad, the bitter, unfriendly rival of Hollis, takes command.
Zinovitz, the electronics
expert, is set to prove the deaths of the captain and commander are
murders, not accidents. She believes Jammad is the one behind the
deaths. She confirms the captain's death was not an
accident. Zinovitz also finds out what Hollis last saw before his
death. It is a recording that the Earth has been completely
obliterated. There are no other humans left alive except for the
surviving members on this ship. But Zinovitz still doesn't
believe that Hollis hanged himself due to despondence over the tragic
news. Soon, the information of this recording is shared with the
others on the ship.
The heroine Zinovitz knows that someone on the ship is a killer. She finds out that one other person before Hollis saw the recording of Earth's destruction on the computer, yet she cannot find out WHO that person was. Zinovitz believes it is Jammad. Jammad grows angry of the beliefs held by the other crew members. Becker takes control from him and becomes the new leader of the ship.
Jammad is still believed to
be guilty until he is found dead. Also not an accident, once
Zinovitz investigates the virtual reality device that killed him.
Becker has no other rivals for total power and declares herself the
supreme ruler, dictator if you will, of the entire ship. There is
no longer a democracy. It soon is suspected that Becker is the
Once Becker is confronted,
it takes the other four astronauts to defeat her superhuman
strength. It is discovered she's an android; an android who has
malfunctioned and gone power mad. She is the one who first
learned of Earth's destruction after take-off, who first saw the
recording on the computer. Becker is also the one who killed the
captain, then Hollis, then Jammad. Once she is disassembled, in
hopes to gain more information, the evil Becker sets the entire ship on
There is only room on the
escape pod for two people, so Granier and Han agree to stay behind on
the ship while Zinovitz and Reese take the pod. Granier and Han,
embracing of death, overdose on the drug Han brought aboard.
Zinovitz and Reese get into the escape pod just moments before the ship
But little is as it
seems. Zinovitz and Reese find themselves in an underground
hideout, not an escape pod. They come across monitors and see
that Granier and Han are dead, but the ship is still very much
intact. They also read on a monitor that the astronauts'
believing the Earth was destroyed was only a simulation. The crew
was not in space for 100 years, but only six weeks. The
Federation only wanted to study how the crew would react when they
believed the world was dead. But six of the eight astronauts died
in the experiment, and Zinovitz and Reese wonder why their superiors
took it so far.
At first they think their superiors are cruel and neglectful, but they soon learn that Earth really DID get destroyed, before the experiment could be stopped. And that's how the movie ends. Grim, but it leaves an impression. Still a well-told story.
Storm Trooper (1997)- This is a different kind of movie, but I enjoyed it. It's more of an action film with sci-fi elements. However, it has enough of a sci-fi story to consider it a sci-fi film. Carol Alt plays Grace, a depressed housewife with an abusive husband. Only moments after killing her husband, another strange man enters her life. This strange man she believes to be named Stark is actually a cyborg on the run from corrupt military officers and mercenaries. Grace, who feels she has nothing to live for, is put to the test and learns to regain her fighting spirit.
and Grace fight off the bad guys from her place in the country.
The cyborg kills nearly all of them before someone flips the switch
(literally) and turns him into a mindless killer. Once all the
bad guys are dead, Grace now has to fight the nearly-impossible-to-kill
Stark. Grace does manage to destroy Stark, but loses her left eye
in the process. Now that Grace knows the evil military faction is
out to get her, she takes clothes and weapons from the dead mercs
(including an eyepatch) and heads out on her dead husband's motorcycle
after the bad guys. She rigs her house with a bomb and blows up
all evidence of what happened that night. This is how the movie
Alt, John Laughlin, Rick Hill, and Kool Moe Dee give the best acting
performances in the film. Also worth mention is Corey Feldman and
Melissa Braselle. This movie starts out pretty hokey for about
the first fifteen minutes, then gets a whole lot better real
quick. I don't like it that Grace's dog Rocky gets killed.
It does, however, serve the story. I do love how easy Stark kills
the bad guys. You can believe he's a cyborg. There's no
messing around and no fight scene with Stark lasts much longer than 30
Trooper" completely goes against any cliche in action or sci-fi
movies. This is not just another ripoff of "The
Terminator". The cyborg of this movie is its own deal. John
Laughlin may be the source of most of this movie's action, but Carol
Alt is definitely the star. Grace is more important to the
movie's story than even Stark. The fact that she turns into such
a flamboyant, kicka*** woman at the end is something you won't see
coming. The ending almost promises a sequel. It never
happened, but the ending satisfies just the same.
action sequences are done well and even though this is a lower-budget
movie, they do good things with the budget they have. Even the
special effects are pretty good. Most cyborg special effects in
B-movies look pretty bad, but these are done very well. The
science-fiction part of the story is a little weak, but it's only meant
to get the plot moving. This was definitely made to be more of a
straight-ahead action flick. I'm very happy with how the story
was written. A lot of things could have been elaborated upon, but
I'm satisfied with what they did show and explain.
Carol Alt as Grace
John Laughlin as Stark
Rick Hill as Denton
Kool Moe Dee as Driver
Corey Feldman as Roth
Melissa Braselle as Mitchell, female mercenary
Zach Galligan as Kreigal
John Terlesky as Shotgun, Driver's partner
Tim Abell as Randal, Grace's abusive husband
Teenagers From Outer Space (1959)- This movie SUCKS! It has a few good things going for it. As far as old movies go, at least it's not boring. There's always something happening. Dawn Bender, who plays Betty Morgan is attractive and likable. Sonia Torgeson, who plays the sleazy-but-attractive and ill-fated Alice Woodward is the best actor in the film. The cars are also pretty nice. If nothing else, these old movies are fun to watch for the classic cars!
were various working titles for this film. Any of them would have
been better than "Teenagers From Outer Space". First of all, the
title is very hokey. Second, what teenagers? All the
alleged "teenagers" are obviously well into their twenties and
thirties. One of these guys looks late forties.
acting was mostly awful. Dawn Bender was passable, as was Tom
Graeff, but generally the cast was pretty stinky. Sonia Torgeson
(Alice) easily gave the best performance and should have done a lot
more in film. From the very opening of the movie, with the two
guys at the observatory, I knew this was going to be one of "those"
films. After that bit of badness, we have to watch an overly long
scene with the alien guys talking, all of which is just so, so
bad. I really didn't think I was going to watch the rest of this
movie, but it got somewhat better once it moved into town.
scene at the beginning where Sparky the dog is reduced to a skeleton is
just plain awful! Who wants to see that? The entire movie
is very hokey throughout and so full of stupid stuff. Plus, it
has a sucky ending. Derek sacrifices himself to save Earth from
his people. We sit through all of this, and we don't even get a
happy ending? What the heck?!
least this movie delivers on action. Bad guy Thor is a mad
killer. He kills Sparky the dog, a tree, a friendly motorist guy,
a gas station attendant, Alice Woodward, Professor Simpson, and two
cops. For some unexplained reason he only knocks out Nurse Morse
and doesn't kill her. I can't figure that out, myself. One
cop named Mac is eaten by a Gargon monster offscreen. This same
Gargon later attacks a search party. The deaths are unspecified,
but it could be assumed that four were killed in that scene.
Derek ends up killing the Gargon with his ray gun. Then, Derek
kills himself and all the alien bad guys (6 total, including Derek)
when he forces the approaching spaceships to crash. The
approaching spaceships had an unspecified number of alien guys and
Gargon creatures inside, so it's hard telling just how many deaths
occurred in this film.
movie is NOT must-see science-fiction. However, it's worth seeing
for Dawn Bender, Sonia Torgeson, and the cool cars. If you get
this in a set with other movies, it's worth skimming through, but
certainly not an entire viewing.
David Love as Derek
Dawn Bender as Betty Morgan [credited as Dawn Anderson]
Harvey B. Dunn as Gramps Morgan
Bryan Grant as Thor
Tom Graeff as Joe Rogers [credited as Tom Lockyear]
Sonia Torgeson as Alice Woodward
The Boy From Out of This
World [US; working title]
The Gargon Terror [UK]
Invasion of the Gargon [US; working title]
Killers From Outer Space [US; working title]
They Came From Beyond Space (1967)- This is a surprisingly good English movie! Certainly mainstream quality, and holds up well even by today's science-fiction standards. It's as much fun, if not more fun, than the era's "James Bond" films! The sets were impressive.
I like that this movie is in
color. So many sci-fi movies from the 60s are not in color, and
it hurts them. Color really makes this more watchable.
Besides that nice little touch, this movie is well-written,
well-filmed, and well-acted. This movie keeps you guessing.
It's definitely a science-fiction movie, but with a strong mystery feel.
The filmmakers finally gave
us something unique for sci-fi movies up to that time. It was a
positive story, no one really dies, and nothing gross happens.
Nor is any of the subject matter that dark. This movie can be
seen by all audiences. It's a pretty intelligent sci-fi thriller.
Michael Gough, who played
Alfred the butler in four consecutive "Batman" films, plays a cool part
here as Master of the Moon. I enjoyed all of the actors. I
think Luanshya Greer, who plays the Female Gas Station Attendant that
turns out to be some sort of government spy, is pretty likable.
She's attractive, gives a great performance, but didn't work after
1969. What the heck! I also think the Pakistani actor Zia
Mohyeddin, who plays the doctor's sidekick Farge gives a very witty
Robert Hutton plays American
doctor Curtis Temple, working in England. He is in love with
beautiful assistant Lee Mason (played by Jennifer Jayne). Meteors
crash to Earth in a peculiar V-formation. Lee and the rest of the
scientific team, excluding Dr. Temple, go to investigate. Temple
is ordered by his superior not to take part due to his recovery from a
recent car accident. Strange alien beings come from the meteors
and take over the bodies of the scientific team. Those people, in
turn, use their mental powers to enslave others. Dr. Temple is
the only one unaffected by the aliens' mind control, thanks to the
silver plate in his head that blocks their thought waves. Now he
must investigate the strange happenings and stop the aliens' mad plot.
Robert Hutton as Dr. Curtis Temple
Jennifer Jayne as Lee Mason
Zia Mohyeddin as Farge, Dr. Temple's friend and sidekick
Luanshya Greer as Female Gas Station Attendant
Michael Gough as Master of the Moon/Dr. Arnold Gray
Director- Freddie Francis
Writers- Joseph Millard (novel), Milton Subotsky (screenplay)
This movie was based on the novel, "The Gods
Hate Kansas", written by Joseph Millard.
This movie was released in May, 1967 in the USA.
They Live (1988)- This is as much of an action movie as it is a science-fiction movie. It's not a bad movie by any means, but the special effects were cheesy, even for 1988. The aliens aren't too convincing. Besides that, I thought the story was smart and the film was well done. John Carpenter makes good movies. I've always been a great fan of Roddy Piper as an actor, and this was one of his early roles. I've never been a fan of tragedies, but I liked how this movie did it. Roddy's hero character gets killed, but he saves the world in the process; a pretty good trade-off. As the story goes, aliens live among us. They're ruining the entire world economy, and all aliens have wealth and power. Aliens are disguising themselves as humans thanks to signals from satellite dishes. The only way humans can see aliens for what they are is by wearing special sunglasses. Roddy's character comes across a pair of these sunglasses by accident, and receives the shock of his life. He joins forces with a group of underground fighters and takes on the alien menace. This movie is famous for one of Roddy's best-loved lines, "I've come to kick ass and chew bubble gum, and I'm all out of bubble gum."
Roddy Piper as Nada
Keith David as Frank Armitage
Meg Foster as Holly Thompson
George "Buck" Flower as The Drifter
Peter Jason as Gilbert
Norman Alden as Foreman
Director- John Carpenter
Writer- John Carpenter (as Frank Armitage), Ray Nelson