Dinosaurus is one of those movies I've always wanted to see since I learned of it but somehow never found on TV nor ever ran across otherwise. It's the third collaboration between producer Jack H. Harris and director Irvin Yeaworth, the first two being the very famous The Blob and the less famous 4D Man.
The cast is literally no one you've ever heard of. As I watched the cast show up at the beginning of the movie I recognized not a single save maybe perhaps for supporting actor Paul Lukather who had a role in This Island Earth I think. But the actors aren't the show here, it's the dinosaurs which are given life of sorts by means of the tried and true stop-motion technques refined to an art form by Willis O'Brien and Ray Harryhausen. Neither is on this show, and the dinos are minimal at best and wisely used rather sparingly.
Some screen time is taken by Greg Martell who portrays a caveman who is incredibly revived alongside the dinos themselves. He's funny and tragic and all sorts of things and arguably the best performance in the show. The sight of him and a young boy (who you want to strangle very other minute) riding atop a Brontosaur immediately made me think of Dino Boy from Hanna-Barbera.
The movie attempts to off a blend of danger and humor and I give it credit. But the plot is so daft that there's little to hang onto here. While poking under a Caribbean island some guys find two intact dinosaurs which they drag to shore and leave there until lightning just so happens to revive them. Also a caveman floats ashore and starts to investigate his new world. A lot of time is spent talking about a fort and then we have construction equipment being used to fend off a T-Rex. That's what I think the movie was about, getting to that delightful scene, but the getting there could be ragged.
This one is the follow up to The Blob by the same team which made all believe Steve McQueen was a teenager (not really). This movie boasts a grand cast led by Robert Lansing who lights, smokes and tosses aside cigarettes as fast he can in an hour and half. Lee Meriwether is her gorgeous self as she unknowingly (perhaps) pits two brothers against one another for her affections. The object of her desire is James Congdon who has invented a way for things and people to pass through solid material.
Lansing, a man losing his girl and his reputation is desperate and finds the ability a convenient way to get what he wants. The side effect is that he ages swiftly and ends up needing the lifeforces of those he touches to keep him running. The shenanigans are weird as the police for once seem to accept the impossible premise though it doesn't make them more capable to stall the threat.
Actually truth told this movie takes a dang long time to get rolling with exposition upon exposition holding forth in the first thirty minutes. Then things get interesting and sadly the ending sort of falls apart. I don't know this to be true, but it seems they might've forgotten to film some crucial scenes and we get some strange off-screen demises. I'm all for movies that keep you in suspense and I also believe that less is more, but less ain't nothing and this movie goes there at least once.
For fans of The Blob this one is interesting if only for its style.
The many misadventures of Bo Derek's boobs begin quietly enough in the film Tarzan the Ape Man, a movie not so much about its titular star, but about the woman who beguiles him, or more correctly the tits who trapped the wild man. We are fortunate here to have the journal of Bo's boobs and there's some fascinating material from the time when the tits were at their most famous during the making of the Tarzan flick.
From Bo Derek's Boobs Diary --
We started filming of Tarzan the Ape Man today. After the splash we made in the movie 10, Bo lost no time in make sure we found a showcase to ensure our ongoing stardom. It is a wonderful time, when most of America is curious and eager to know when they will catch a look at us again. Bo and her husband/director John Derek are both eager to get us some screen time, but they both know that a demand must be created, so early during early days in the production we are tucked away beneath traditional opaque clothing of the period. Tarzan is a story set in the early part of the 20th Century, a woeful time for tits generally, but hopefully with this movie we can make a statement about how modern mammary glands deserve to be on at minimum eye level with men. As the movie unfolds, so do the the tops of Bo's blouses and before you know it our presence is being felt by men across the movie theatre. We are not seen in all our robust glory, but are tastefully obscured by a gauzy material which only increases its effect when doused with water. Like the movie 10 we spend an inordinate amount of time wet, the gloss which is added to our glory being a likely motive.
After it seems and interminable amount of time we are freed at last to enjoy the cool refreshing waters nd then with a quick suddenness the actor whose name we forget paws at us and despite it looking as if we liked it, we didn't. We do our part for the film industry and our task is to bring eyes into the theater. Later when it seems countless women are massaging and caressing and painting white (as if we weren't lily white enough) the job comes to an end and we can once again return to the modern world where we must cloak our existence, yet still remain the objects of the gaze of any man. Life is good.
This is but the first in a series I have dubbed Adventures of Super-Star Body Parts. Next time we check in on the tongue of Gene Simmons.
I don't buy every facsimile they cook up in those labs at DC and Marvel, but I do get some now and again. I popped for the facsimile of Marvel Feature #1 for instance because I could stare at that Neal Adams cover all day long.
And I found the recent Vampirella #1 from Dynamite facsimile equally iresistable.
Over at DC though I found my sales resistance a bit stronger, that is until the facsimile of Batman #232 crossed my path. I picked up the comic to check out the vintage prime Neal Adams art and was once again blown away all over again. But still I didn't plan to buy it. Then I took a second or two to read a bit of the dialogue by Denny O'Neil written for the wonderful baddie Ra's Al Ghul. But still I didn't plan to buy it. I glommed onto the potent physical beauty Talia in the waning the pages. But still I didn't plan to buy it.
Then I caught a whiff of the slow steady destruction of the pulp paper stock on which this facsimile was printed. It was a time machine, whisking me back to those halcyon days when comics burned in a slow fire which continues to this day, their eventual demise no less avoidable than my own. With modern comics on glossy paper which penetrates the eye with blinding colors and can nip the fingers with sharp edges I have grown weary. But hand me an old comic, ripe and dying in my hands and I'm all in. That's when I bought it. The look on my face was perhaps no more helpless than Batman's when Talia kisses him on the cheek. The aroma of mortality is to be savored.
Captain Kronos - Vampire Hunter is a 1974 Hammer Films entry, in which they try to change up the status quo by focusing on a "charismatic" hero as opposed to a "fascinating" villain. Captain Kronos, a 16th Century former military officer is the man of the hour. He travels the countryside, aided and assisted by the hunchbacked Professor Grost, looking for vampire outbreaks. He then uses his outlandish ways and Samurai sword to dispatch the blood suckers when he comes across them. At least that's the theory.
In this first installment (it was intended apparently to be a series) the duo is joined by a lovely Gypsy girl and they go to a village which is preyed upon by vampires who kill with a kiss and suck the life essence (as opposed to just blood) from their victims, mostly young girls. An old army buddy who is the local doctor has sent for Kronos and they set about solving these crimes using all manner of peculiar and quaint methods.
As Hammer movies go this is an oddball for sure. It's Spaghetti western meets horror flick, and the blend is not always smooth. The action sequences can be clunky, as the swordplay looks a bit uneven in some scenes. The acting, much of it overdubbed, is stiff, and despite some clever visuals from time to time, it's a movie that fails to deliver much of a scare.
The movie is meant to be seen through the eyes of the Gypsy girl, but I think it forgets that sometimes and we lose track of her for some stretches. Also for all her physical beauty, Caroline Munro is not the most subtle actress all the time, and perhaps is not up to what is requested here. I think that is true of the hero Captain Kronos too played by Horst Janson, who has all his lines dubbed by some Brit.
On the other side of that John Carson turns in a credible job as the local and tragic Doctor and John Cater as Professor Grost is quite good.
There are some interesting settings, but for some reason, probably cost, not a single shot that I can remember happens at night. The omnipresent sunshine might be good for the western style, but it damages the ultimate effect of any horror offering. The director, who is also the writer, Brian Clemons, ends up with a movie which is neither fish nor fowl, and lacks the pace or budget to overcome its weaknesses.
All in all, Captain Kronos is a passably entertaining movie with some neat touches, but minus a true emotional core, or at least the personnel capable of communicating that. It was adapted (minus the approval of Clemons who indicates he owns the character) into comic form.
UPDATE: These many years later, I've seen the movie a few more times and as I read this review again, I think I was a bit unkind to the lovely Ms. Munro in regard her acting. There is an arch quality to this whole spectacle and that affected all the performances, hers included.
When I got my copy of Pussycat Tales, a tome which reprints some vintage Good Girl art from Marvel's men's magazines, I learned that Pussycat was based visually on Lili St. Cyr . That puzzled me a bit since I'd not really paid much attention to the lady before. I'm not a guy who thinks a lot about vintage strippers (at least not to an abnormal degree). What I discovered was that she was a stunning beauty in her day as evidenced by this images strewn across an internet near you. Enjoy them for what they are, images of a what appears to be a strong lovely woman, who had a career it seems as much on her own terms as it was possible to have. She had her own business, appeared in a few movies, married a cavalcade of men and demanded of the world what she wanted.