So, I started my homework last time, having made my way through The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension (1984) and Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (1985). So let’s just dive in on three more recent viewings from two of the great podcasts I listen to.
Several years ago I bought this movie from iTunes when I was looking for new films to watch. I had never heard of this one but thoroughly enjoyed it upon a first viewing. When Vince, Mary and Nic decided to review it on episode 230 of the B Movie Cast, I decided it was time to revisit it and found it to be just as fun the second time. It deals with a family curse, a tribal witch doctor named Zutai and a crazy Swiss doctor named Emil Zurich. There are beheadings and shrunken heads and some generally creepy scenes. Zurich is played by Henry Daniell, a character actor well known for his countless villainous roles in such films as The Body Snatcher (1945) and as the legendary Professor Moriarty opposite Basil Rathbone’s Sherlock Holmes in The Woman in Green (1945). This is a fun movie that almost never gets talked about. Do yourself a favor and check it out on iTunes, Amazon Instant Video or DVD. However, it does appear to be out-of-print, so open those wallets. Meanwhile, check out the trailer on YouTube.
I ran across this movie title a few years ago but never took the time to find a copy. Then, I stumbled across the full movie on YouTube. Yet, I still neglected to watch it until Vince, Mary and Nic decided to review it on the B Movie Cast in episode 159. This was the directorial debut of Robert Clarke (The Astounding She-Monster and the incredibly boring Incredible Petrified World (which has a 2.9 IMDB rating if you doubt me). Clarke made this movie for just $50,000, which even in 1959 was a shoestring budget at best when considering $500 went for the monster costume. In addition to producing and writing our story, Clarke also headlines the film as Dr. Gil McKenna, who is exposed to radiation during a failed experiment. Doctors are baffled that he showed no signs of being burned but he is hospitalized to recuperate while they study him. Gil soon discovers that the sun’s healing rays turn him into a…wait for it…hideous sun demon! What follows is the usual good guy turned monster hides out from the law and scientists while leaving a trail of death. There is an odd romantic storyline between Gil and a lounge singer, who at one point stands by to watch him beat up by her boss (who acts more like her pimp). All this leads up to the big confrontation on a tower as the movie quickly wraps up. Along our journey, we have some very bad acting (supposedly done by friends and family) and a meandering story that sees Gil never really going anywhere despite always being on the go. Yes, it’s bad but it has a certain charm that reminded me of The Beast From The Beginning of Time during some of the office scenes and exterior shots. Check it out on YouTube before you decide to buy it on DVD. Either way, I predict you’ll have fun.
Is it horror? Is it comedy? Is it a love story? Is it worth the 80 minutes? Questions best left up to you to decide. I’ve had this on my Netflix queue for a while now but decided it was time to bite the bullet when Devil Dinosaur Jr. reviewed it on episode 284 of the Dread Media podcast, hosted by Desmond Reddick. Honestly, I’m still trying to decide what I feel about Lo. On one hand, it was amateurish and very uneven. However, it was also very unique and original, which we all agree Hollywood sorely needs more of. Our story here is about a young man, Justin (Ward Roberts), who conjures up a demon named Lo (marvelously played by Jeremiah Birkett). He wants to be reunited with his true love April (Sarah Lassez), who apparently was taken to Hell by another demon. As Justin attempts to negotiate with Lo, we are lead through a series of flashbacks that look as if you are watching a stage play. There is also some very bizarre imagery. Sadly, much of the acting matches that of your local theater group as well. The demon Lo is very creepy at times and well worth watching this movie at least once. Just be prepared you will have to wade your way through some bad acting and a very sparse looking film. But again, I enjoyed it…at times. It’s an odd trip of a movie so it’s best if you be the judge. It’s on Netflix and DVD if you so desire.