Showing posts with label films. Show all posts
Showing posts with label films. Show all posts

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

B-Movies Madness: It Came From Beneath The Sea (1955)

Oh look, it's another b-movie! This time, 1955's, It Came From Beneath The Sea.
I must say, I especially love this first poster, it's a beauty!

"Operation sea beast
Clear golden gate!"

A giant, radioactive octopus rises from the Philippine Trench to terrorize the North American Pacific Coast.

A nuclear submarine on manoeuvres in the Pacific Ocean, captained by Commander Pete Mathews comes into contact with a massive sonar return.

The boat is disabled but manages to free itself and return to Pearl Harbour where tissue from a huge sea creature is discovered jammed in the submarine's dive planes.

 Marine biologists, Lesley Joyce (Faith Domergue) and John Carter (Donald Curtis) are called in and they identify the tissue as being a small part of a gigantic octopus.

The military authorities pooh pooh this notion, but are finally persuaded after receiving reports of missing swimmers and ships at sea being pulled under by a large creature.

Both scientists conclude the sea beast is from the Mindanao Deep, having been forced from its natural habitat by hydrogen bomb testing in the area, which has made the giant creature radioactive, driving off its natural food supply.

Dun, dun, daaaaaaah!

The local sheriff, Bill Nash takes Pete and Leslie to the site of an attack, where they find a giant suction cup imprint in the beach sand; they then request that John join them.
My absolute favourite bit here has to be when Leslie arguing her case at being able to stay with the men: "You underestimate my ability to help in a crisis."
Bill is then attacked by the giant octopus right in front of them and cue Leslie showing her ability to help ...
"Aggggghhhhh!" shrieks Leslie, in a high pitched hysterical b-movie kind of way.

And it just goes from bad to worse ...

But again, not much in the way of panic.
How calm would you be when faced with this?

Anyway, it was good fun and you'll have to watch to see how it ends.

Did you know ... Because the budget was so low, Ray Harryhausen saved money by building his octopus model with six rather than the correct eight tentacles. He tried to pose the creature so this lack of the right number of arms wasn't apparent.

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, 12 January 2017

Christmas Time

Well, I'm late to the Christmas doings party!

Our Christmas was nice and quiet, spent with just us and the bunnies, we do this every year and far prefer it this way.

I did very well on the gift front. Andy got me a really sweet see-through locket filled with four charms: a bunny (obviously), a flamingo (again, obviously), a bee (❤ ) and a black Scottie dog (my favourite small dog, I would name mine Mr McCreedy, just so you know). He also got me two Lindy Bop dresses while the bunnies got me two pairs of vintage gloves.

I also received a sewing pattern, CD's by Leon Bridges and Sam Cooke, a DVD, the aforementioned on my blog, Miss Meadows. There were flamingo items a-plenty: mug, coaster, an actual flamingo who I named Larry (not a real one, obviously, I'm sure the bunnies would have something to say about that!) and a flamingo key cupboard. I also got a pair of lace day gloves, a padded board for my brooches, some ceramic measuring cups and a belt. Oh, and two books, a Stephen King short story collection and The Wartime House.

Then there were my gifts to myself. Ahem. I am a huge fan of the National Lampoon Vacation films, particularly the Christmas one and have long admired Clark Griswold's moose egg nog glasses (see picture at the top of this post). Imagine my surprise when I found you could actually buy them! I wasn't lucky enough to get one for Christmas, despite the hefty hints, likely because they were too pricey, but after Christmas they went down by 60%! 60%! I pounced, ordering two, so Andy and myself had one each. When they arrived, I was actually giddy with excitement, as they far exceeded my expectations. I am absolutely over the moon with them. They haven't been christened yet, as after making about three batches of vegan egg nog (snow milk as we like to call it) over Christmas, I hung up my snow milk making hat. I really wanted to make a batch, but Andy was less than keen . Booooooo!
Anyway, I cannot imagine a world in which people are not appreciative over a delight such as this ...

What else? Oh yes, Sky credited us with £13.99 toward a buy and keep DVD, as a thank you for our custom. This gift arrived just before Christmas, so we got to choose a film as a download and the hard copy would arrive in the post. Straight off the bat, we picked last years Jungle Book, as the trailers looked really good we thought.
Surprisingly, we had some credit left, and Andy left the choice up to me. So after umming and ahhing for about half an hour, I took the plunge and plumped for the 2016 version of Ghostbusters. Now I was in the same boat as just about anyone else when I heard they were remaking it with a female cast. No, no, NO! went the voice in my head and the voice outside of my head to be frank (oh, Rocky!). But then I heard Melissa McCarthy was to be in it and we really like everything we have seen her in so far. Then I heard Kristen Wiig was also in it and we like her too. Then I l kept hearing good things, enough good things to take a gamble.
So we watched The Jungle Book Christmas Day. So, so good! Since the days of the Disney cartoon, Bagheera has always been my favourite, and I liked Shere Khan too, that voice! But, I never liked Baloo. So upon watching this new version, I was curious as to how things would pan out ...
Mowgli- oh my goodness, the kiddie who played him was wonderful!
Bagheera - magnificent!
Shere Khan - didn't like him as much, his voice jarred with me personally.
Baloo - stroke of genius getting Bill Murray to voice him. I loved Baloo in this!
New Years Eve we watched Ghostbusters.
I loved it. Absolutely loved it. I wasn't familiar with the other two women in it: Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon, but I really liked both of them, particularly Kate as Jillian, her character really put me in mind of Lori Petty's turn as Tank Girl.
There were cameos all over the place, and nods to the original littered throughout. I was delighted to hear the original Ghostbusters song, as sung by Ray Parker Jnr featured, but was not best pleased with the re-do of it that featured later on. That was the sore point with me, as other than that, I was really happy I took the gamble.

So, that was my Christmas!

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?

Friday, 16 December 2016

Film Friday: Idol on Parade 1959

Today on Film Friday, we take a look at the final film I own from the 1950's, the 1959 Idol on Parade (Idle on Parade).


Comedy about the problems arising from the drafting of a rock 'n' roll idol played by Anthony Newley.


Idol on Parade is a film in one of my favourite genres, the music vehicle. A good chunk of our DVD collection is of this ilk.
There is precious little information about this film to be found, which is a shame.

A farcical comedy, it was directed by John Gilling and stars Anthony Newley, Sid James and Lionel Jeffries. 

The film was based on the 1958 novel Idle on Parade by William Camp that was in turn inspired by Elvis Presley's conscription into the US Army.

One of the songs "I've Waited for So Long" became a hit for Newley.

Did you know ... In one scene, Anthony Newley and his pals go the cinema where a movie called The Cockleshell Heroes (1955) is playing. This is an inside joke; it was one of Newley's earlier films.

It was also filmed in part, in the city I grew up in, Portsmouth.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

It's Christmas!

I love Christmas.
I love December.
I actually prefer this time of the month as I love the run up more than the actual day I think, as I thrive on the anticipation.

These are some of our decorations, taken at about 6.30am this morning.
Odd that our sofa is plunged into darkness here!

That's Elvis Tree on the left, it was once white but has now gone an odd bronze colour which I am fine with, but it drives Andy nuts.
On the right, in the window is Elderly Tree. Andy got this the November after we met, so his place would be Christmassy when I visited. It's a little tired looking without the decorations, but it feels wrong to leave it in the cupboard or throw it away, so we have two trees! Three if you include Yarn Tree.

Yes that is a mesh gate in front of the tree protecting the side table.
🐰 🐰
Enough said I believe.
But I want to replace it with a portion of low picket fence, it'll look nicer.

As ever, atop the tree is Bataella the Snow Bat.

These are the bunnies decorations, taken a bit later, hence daylight!
They have stockings and I crocheted them a garland.
Once upon a time I made the bunnies paper chains.
They waited roughly ten days before tearing them down and eating them.
This is just their sleeping pen by the way. It cuts down on sleepy-time shenanigans. When we go out, an extension is added and the rest of the time they free range all over the place and on the furniture.

My lovely Father Christmas decorations.
Note that the one on the right is stood on a house. 
I feel he is bordering on being scarier than Krampus.

This camel was a cat sitting gift from the Middle East and he comes out every Christmas.

And here's Wilf wearing Andy's Christmas hat.
A pumpkin is for life, not just Halloween.

In other Christmassy news, we watched what I think is one of my favourite Christmas films over the weekend, the 1949 Holiday Affair, starring Robert Mitchum. We also saw the 1947 Miracle on 34th Street and will likely watch the 1994 version some time this week.

And of course, we still have Bad Santa to watch!
Yay for Billy Bob Thornton!
This one is Andy's favourite Christmas film, and oh he is annoyed they made a sequel!

And in non-Christmassy news, Meirionwen is all booked in for next years London to Brighton classic car run!
How exciting! I am to be navigator, despite me getting terribly travel sick if I try and read while in a moving car, and we may end up in Scotland rather than Brighton as my sense of direction is shocking, but still, exciting!
I am peeved though, that there was no room on the application form for the name of the navigator, just driver. The only spot to even mention my name was in the fifteen words or less box for details about driver and car. Meirionwen took up the whole fifteen words all by herself.

Oh and yes, I have worn tinsel on my head like a hat, so it's officially Christmas!