Showing posts with label b-movies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label b-movies. Show all posts

Saturday, 21 January 2017

B-Movie Madness: Earth Versus The Flying Saucers (1956)

Largely due to my early exposure to The Rocky Horror Picture Show and because I purchased a book about said film when I was ripe for obsession, I have always had a fascination with old science fiction.

Extraterrestrials traveling in high-tech flying saucers contact scientist Dr. Russell Marvin
as part of a plan to enslave the inhabitants of Earth.

I was thrilled to find over the Christmas period that many fifties and sixties science fiction films were being shown. Every single day there was one on it seemed.
Of course, now I have a taste for them and am actively searching them out.

Scientist Dr. Russell Marvin, played by Hugh Marlowe and his new bride Carol (Joan Taylor) are driving to work when a flying saucer appears overhead.

Overall, they seemed remarkably calm about this.
I can tell you this for nothing ... I would not be the same. I would panic, there would be hysterical tears and likely scrabbling for cameras in amongst all the squinty eyes and swiping of tears and blotting of noses.
Too much information there?

 This was the closest I saw to panic, when the saucer came over the front of their Ford Mercury.

Without proof of this encounter, other than an accidental tape recording of the ship's sound, Dr. Marvin is hesitant to notify his superiors. He is in charge of Project Skyhook, an American space program that has already launched 10 research satellites into orbit. Carol's father, General Hanley informs Marvin that many of the satellites have since fallen back to Earth.

Marvin admits that he has lost contact with all of them and privately suspects alien involvement. The Marvins then witness the 11th falling from the sky shortly after launch.

When a saucer lands at Skyhook the following day, oddly, nobody seems particularly phased by these extra terrestrial visitors ...

See. Just looking. No panic to be had here.
We are military and science type menfolk, we know not fear, only LOGIC!

and guns ...

 Finally the action you expect from a sci fi film! Aliens in metallic suits exit the saucer, prompting the military to open fire (huzzah for the military being predictable!)  

this results in the death of one alien, while others and the saucer are protected by a force field.

The aliens proceed to kill everyone at the facility but the Marvins

As to not give the plot away for those who might like to see this film too, there is running ...

And alien action a-plenty.

And did I enjoy this?
Yes, yes I did!

Did you know ... The scene of a "destroyer" blowing up is actually stock footage of the sinking of HMS Barham, which occurred on 25 November 1941. To not upset the British public, the Royal Navy decided to withhold an announcement until later; however, in late November 1941 a Scottish medium, Helen Duncan, who had heard of the sinking through a friend, disclosed the sinking during a seance. She was eventually tried under the British Witchcraft Act, the last person before it was repealed.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

B-Movie Madness: The Day of the Triffids 1962

"And I really got hot
When I saw Janette Scott
Fight a Triffid that spits poison and kills

As a child I watched The Day of the Triffids on the telly and it scared the living daylights out of me. I did not like the clicking sound that accompanied their imminent arrival and hadn't been near a Triffid adaptation since then. I have though, been near John Wyndham's house as he used to live around here.

However, over Christmas, I saw the 1962 version was on an obscure telly channel so decided to record it. I watched it alone, as Andy isn't keen on b-movies.

After an unusual meteor shower leaves most of the human
population blind,
a merchant navy officer must find a way to conquer tall,
aggressive plants
which are feeding on people and animals.

It was the version that stars Howard Keel, Janette Scott, Nicole Maury and Kieron Moore and was always on my radar because of the song lyric which starts this post, which comes from the opening song of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which I was obsessed with as a teen.

I actually really enjoyed it, terrible as the picture was, but that's what you get for watching films on cheapy satellite channels. Mind you, I wouldn't say Janette Scott fought the Triffids, so much as she screamed her head off upon spotting them. My, that woman can scream! I was impressed.

As ever in contemporary films, it was great seeing the outside locations and the cars. The scene where the convicts force the women to dance for them featured some very snazzy jazz music! I had nipped out of the room for a second and returned to see women dancing on tables. Susan then exited the room shrieking about what had happened, mentioning the word whiskey as she did so. Quite a raucous affair I must say.

Something I found interesting was that on 24 May 2015 an alley in Hampstead that appears in The Day of the Triffids was formally named Triffid Alley as a memorial to John Wyndham!

Have you seen this version of Day of the Triffids?