Sci-Fi Horrorfest – The Lost World (1925)

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2018 Sci-Fi Horrorfest: The Lost World (1925)
Cast:        Bessie Love as Paula White
Lewis Stone as Sir John Roxton
Wallace Berry as Professor Challenger
Lloyd Hughes as Ed Malone
Alma Bennett as Gladys Hungerford
Arthur Hoyt as Professor Summerlee
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as Himself

Screenplay by Marion Fairfax
Based on the 1912 novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Directed by Harry O. Hoyt

Plot: Newspaper writer Ed Malone needs to impress his girl Gladys if he ever hopes to get married. So he joins his friend Sir John Roxton on an expedition with Professor Challenger, a man who claims to have discovered a plateau in the Amazon where time stands still and dinosaurs roam the earth. However, he never counted on his feelings for the lovely Paula White, in search of her missing father, nor the fact that the professor was telling the truth. Now, they have to find a way back home to prove his claims, with a surprise twist.

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Richard’s Review: For many years, I watched the same worn out hour-long print that everyone else did. Despite the visual flaws, I enjoyed the movie and loved the stop-motion animation from the legendary Willis O’Brian. However, this restored print is almost like watching a new film. Nearly 45 minutes of film footage has been restored, resulting in a far more detailed and impressive feature. Enhanced by color tinting and an amazing score by the Robert Israel Orchestra, you now have a true classic worthy of all of the love and attention it has received.

You’ll find some amazing sequences that had to be inspirations for what we’ve seen previously in the Jurassic Park series, as well as the upcoming Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. The dinosaur work by Willis O’Brian is stunning and the extra footage included on the Blu-ray give a glimpse at some behind-the-scenes magic at work. I cannot recommend this Flicker Alley release enough, from the main film to all of the extras. I consider this a new experience and it’s one of my favorite viewings of the year so far.

Karla’s Thoughts: I loved this movie and was beyond impressed with the special effects work, even the early test footage included on the Blu-ray. In fact, I’m surprised that footage wasn’t added into the movie. I loved the color tinting and the music. I also really enjoyed the story and the happy ending. I also found the extras really good and well worth watching. I’ll be watching this one again for sure.

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Trivia:

  • For many years, most prints of the film ran approximately 65 minutes. These prints omitted the sub-plot around Ed Malone and his love interest Gladys, as well as scenes at the last outpost, while shortening their time on the plateau and the climax as well.
  • The original print had been missing since 1930 until restoration work began in the 1990s. David Shepard completed one restoration in 2000 while Lobster Films handled this most recent release, thanks to the discovery of more lost footage with its’ original color tinting and intertitles.
  • The only time Sir Arthur Conan Doyle appeared onscreen in an adaptation of one of his stories. He was 66 at the time and would die five years later, in 1930, at the age of 71. His original appearance at a desk is, unfortunately, still lost. However, utilizing footage from a 1927 Movietone film, the writer is once again present as our story begins.
  • Writer Marion Fairfax had previously co-written the William Gillette stage play of Sherlock Holmes.
  • Lewis Stone may be better known for his role as Judge Hardy, Andy Hardy’s father, in the popular Mickey Rooney film series.
  • Wallace Berry, a Kansas City native, is well-known for his films The Champ (1931) and Treasure Island (1934).

Availability: The only true way to watch this film is on the Flicker Alley Blu-ray. However, this print is currently on YouTube if you so desire.

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Classic Horrors Club Podcast – Dear Margot Kidder

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On May 13, we sadly lost Margot Kidder, best known for her role as Lois Lane in the four Christopher Reeve Superman movies from 1978 until 1987. However, she left her mark on the horror film world as well. So, this month on episode 19 of the Classic Horrors Club Podcast, Jeff and I sit down to talk about three of Margot’s other films. We start off with Brian De Palma’s Sisters (1973) before moving on to Black Christmas (1974) and wrapping it up with The Amityville Horror (1979).

You can now subscribe to just our show! We are available on Soundcloud, Stitcher and iTunes.

Participate in our meetings!  Simply leave us a message at:

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Next month on episode 20, our friend Steve Turek will join us as we talk about his journey through Dark Shadows!

LOS ANGELES – 1985: Actress Margot Kidder poses for a portrait in 1985 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry Langdon/Getty Images)

B Movie Cast – Incubus (1964)

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The last time I was a guest on the B Movie Cast was the fall of 2012. I was still known as “Richard from Wichita” and I had just launched the Monster Movie Kid blog. At the time, Vince Rotolo and I were working our way through some of the films of the great William Shatner. Now, I make my long overdue return as I sit down with Mary Rotolo and Nic Brown to talk about Incubus (1964)! Check out episode 405 and be sure to tell ’em Monster Movie Kid sent ya!

Sci-Fi Horrorfest – I Married a Monster from Outer Space (1958)

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2018 Sci-Fi Horrorfest: I Married a Monster from Outer Space (1958)
Cast:        Tom Tryon as Bill Farrell
Gloria Talbott as Marge Farrell
Peter Baldwin as Hank Swanson
Robert Ivers as Harry Phillips

Written by Louis Vittes
Directed by Gene Fowler Jr.

Plot: Bill is driving home after his bachelor party only to be assaulted by a strange alien creature. It absorbs him and, as we later discover, it has assumed his shape and memories to slip into our society unnoticed. His new bride, Gloria, suspects something is wrong as her now husband is acting very strange. As other men in the city fall under the same influence, an alien plot is revealed. Why are the aliens here and why are they only assuming the shape of human males? Is it too late to save Bill and the other missing men?

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Richard’s Review: It had been more than 20 years since I last watched this fun flick and I’m glad I revisited it. It tends to be overlooked and is rarely talked about today. However, it has a solid with Gloria Talbott (The Cyclops, Daughter of Dr. Jekyll and Leech Woman) giving us a good “scream queen” performance. The alien effect of absorbing the men is simple but cool for the time period and the make-up work by Charles Gemora deserves more love than it receives. I especially loved how it was visible during lightning strikes. It’s well worth checking out or revisiting as it channels such alien invader films as Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1954) with its’ own twist. Good acting, entertaining script and solid direction make this one a lot of fun.

Karla’s Thoughts: I give this one two thumbs up. I really loved it and would gladly watch it again. I especially appreciated how Marge was a strong female lead despite the plot of aliens coming to mate with women. If it wasn’t for her taking charge, the aliens would never have been discovered and would have taken over the Earth.

Trivia:

  • This movie was originally the A film in a double feature with The Blob (1958). However, audiences preferred the color and more teen-oriented monster flick and I Married a Monster from Outer Space was bumped to B status.
  • Leonard Maltin compared this movie to Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1954).
  • Despite being well received by critics and moviegoers, the movie is often overlooked.
  • The film’s somewhat sexist overtones and obvious Cold War mentality haven’t aged well over the years. This, added to the sensationalistic title, unfairly contribute to this lack of modern day acceptance by fans.
  • Remade in 1998 under the title I Married a Monster.

Availability: I Married a Monster from Outer Space is currently available on DVD.

Sci-Fi Horrorfest – The Bubble (1966)

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2018 Sci-Fi Horrorfest: The Bubble (1966)
Cast:       Michael Cole as Mark
Deborah Walley as Catherine
Johnny Desmond as Tony Herric

Written and directed by Arch Oboler

Plot: Mark and Catherine, who is having contractions and ready to give birth, are flying when a storm suddenly appears, taking them off course into a remote town that appears to be incomplete. The townspeople appear to be in a trance and mysterious objects from the sky. And what is the bubble that surrounds the town? They are trapped with no apparent avenue of escape but can they find a way out?

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Richard’s Review: After watching the trailer for the film, I knew we were in for something different. There are no scenes from the movie but plenty of promises that we’re going to see something we’ve never witnessed before. It’s going to be a space odyssey with a picture that floats off the screen and above our head. The marketing department called it “Space-Vision” but you might refer to it as…3-D. Not exactly a revolutionary idea, especially in 1966. Unfortunately, the 2-D presentation comes across as laughable at times.

Arch Oboler may have been the master of old time radio with Lights Out but he never quite dominated the big screen. His films, such as Five (1951) and The Twonky (1953), often come across as quirky. The Bubble had an interesting premise but only enough material for an episode of The Twilight Zone. Even spreading this out to fill out an hour TV show would have been a stretch. But at 95 mins, edited down from 112 minutes, it seems interminably long. Haphazard editing and a nonsensical script without a true ending really hurts the overall film. This one is hard to recommend except as an oddity and for fans of Arch Oboler. Not his best work.

Karla’s Thoughts: The characters in The Bubble are clueless from the opening act, taking forever to figure out something is wrong and, even then, there is no logic to their actions. The poor editing leaves a lot of moments unexplained and characters magically getting from one location to another. With no explanation of how they got behind the bubble, why they are there or who the aliens are, it just seems like a lot of the movie is missing. Not a movie I would watch again.

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Trivia:

  • Vic Perrin stars as the cab driver but may be better known for his numerous roles on Star Trek and voice work in countless animated shows.
  • Michael Cole is best remembered for his role as Pete Cochrane in 123 episodes of The Mod Squad.
  • The original run time was 112 minutes but many critics felt the pacing was too slow so Arch Oboler cut the film down to 91 minutes, which made the film hard to follow as times. The cut footage was lost for many years but was recently recovered in Deborah Walley’s personal collection.
  • The film was re-released in 1977 with reduced runtime under the title Fantastic Invasion of Planet Earth.

Availability: The Bubble is currently available on Blu-ray from Kino Classics in both 2-D and 3-D formats.