“This uproariously bad film marks the less-than-glorious return of producer/director Jerry Warren, shameless purveyor of such cinematic abominations as Teenage Zombies, of which this is a remake of sorts. The crazy-quilt story line defies all rational explanation, but essentially begins with a wayward hot-air balloon crew – including Warren alumnus Robert Clarke and a dog named Melvin – becoming stranded on an island overrun by nubile jungle girls in Frederick’s of Hollywood leopard-skin thongs. What sounds like an ideal vacation is disrupted by a bunch of zombies in Ray-Bans, the monster-making practices of a bleach-blonde mad scientist named Sheila, and the superimposed face of John Carradine (lifted from another film) mumbling “The Power! The Power! The Power!” Also on hand is a gibbering, drooling Steve Brodie as a howling mad pirate, and Cameron Mitchell as an equally deranged sea captain. It’s very likely Warren himself had no idea what his own film was about, so viewers shouldn’t waste valuable time trying to make sense of it.” – rovi’s AllMovie Guide
So what exactly is it that makes Frankenstein Island so excruciatingly painful to watch, even for the most inveterate bad movie aficionado? Is it the direction (or lack thereof) by Jerry Warren, the same auteur who brought the world the likes of Face of the Screaming Werewolf, Attack of the Mayan Mummy, and The Wild World of Batwoman? Is it the unavoidable fact that the movie was released in 1981, but looks like it was filmed sometime in the late sixties on a budget leftover from the fifties?…
Not getting your fill of of flicks and Catholicism around these parts? Not to worry, there’s plenty more showing around the blogosphere right now.
First up is… well, to be honest, it’s more of ME! While I will continue as always to examine the sometimes tenuous connection between faith and bad movies here at the B-Movie Catechism, the kind folks at Aleteia have asked me if I wouldn’t mind offering my take on some of the new releases being unleashed on unwary moviegoers these days. So if for some reason you feel compelled to find out what I think about films with real budgets starring people you’ve actually heard about before, be sure to head over to Aleteia and check out my new column. The inaugural review features this month’s hopeful (but unlikely) successor to all that Twilight moola… Beautiful Creatures.
However, if teen romance isn’t what you’re looking for in a movie this coming weekend, then maybe the adult variety will do. For that, the folks at Catholic Media Review have a few brief words to say about Safe Haven.
It’s early in the year, but chances are neither of those films is likely to win any Oscar nominations when the time rolls around. That’s fine though, since fewer and fewer people are watching the Academy Awards anyway. With this year’s ceremonies less than a week away, Catholic Skywalker offers a few suggestions on how to fix the Oscars and make them more enjoyable to watch.…
Well, today may be a day of fasting, but coming up tomorrow we have a real Valentine’s Day treat for everyone. After years of badgering, one of our most frequent commenters has finally consented to take a shot at reviewing not just one, but two count’em two whole movies. Sort of. But I’ll let her explain that. So join us as Xena Catolica drops by The B-Movie Catechism to ponder Voyage To The Prehistoric Planet (sort of directed by B-movie legend Curtis Harrington, whom we met years ago with Devil Dog) and Voyage To The Planet Of Prehistoric Women (sort of directed by Peter Bogdanovich, a future Academy Award nominee, though obviously not for this).
Alas, there doesn’t seem to be any official trailers floating around for either movie, but here’s a couple of fan made previews for Voyage To The Prehistoric Planet that are fun in their own right.
“Incorporating themes from horror films of both the ’50s and the ’70s, this suspenseful TV movie stars Cornel Wilde and Jennifer Salt as an archaeologist and his daughter, who discover a strange skull on display at a roadside tourist trap. After the museum owner is killed during an attack from an unseen foe, the pair are subsequently pursued across the American Southwest by a tribe of humanoid creatures that bear a striking resemblance to the gargoyles of myth, leading to a manic game of cat-and-mouse across the desert. This enjoyably spooky film essentially riffs on this one-note premise for over 70 minutes — sort of an inversion of Night of the Living Dead’s claustrophobic scenario — and fortunately comes off quite well thanks to superb use of the desert locations, an eerie score, uniformly good performances, and Emmy award-winning monster costumes from Stan Winston. A young Scott Glenn appears as a roguish biker who throws in with the good guys after taking a shine to the professor’s daughter.” – Rovi’s Allmovie Guide.
So here’s the deal. If, like myself, you were in elementary school during the 1970’s, loved monster movies, and happened to catch Gargoyles on one of its many late night showings, then you know it’s next to impossible to write an unbiased review of this movie. So I’m not even going to try. I loooove Gargoyles.
First off, I love the setting. The barren outskirts along the Texas/New Mexico border give the movie a weird isolated vibe (which is important since the story asks you to accept that a bunch of six foot tall gargoyles have been skittering around unnoticed), while the Carlsbad Caverns gives the creature’s gargoyle hive nicely authentic.…
Watching the coverage of the Pope’s upcoming resignation I can’t help but smile a little in thinking how this particular pontiff is going to be a teacher right up to the end. If this morning’s newscasts are any indication, the next few weeks will be full of nattering nabobs breathlessly speculating on whether this means the Church will finally fall in line with their pet causes such as gay marriage, women’s ordination, contraception, abortion, et al. And then I’ll smile as the truth smacks them in the forehead. Clever, Pope, very clever.
Even so, the coverage is bound to get tiresome at times. So, when you need a break, be sure to check in around here where we’ll be keeping things light as usual. In fact, the review for Gargoyles will be up later today. But for the moment, here’s a picture of Godzilla playing a guitar. Enjoy.
Oh sure, there’s plenty of things wrong with Ridley Scott’s epic fairy tale Legend, just ask every single person on the Internet and they’ll be happy to launch into a diatribe about shallow characters and inappropriate use of modern vernacular. But despite its problems, the parts in Legend that work do so really well, especially Rob Bottin’s make-up and Tim Curry’s scenery chewing performance (I’m pretty sure that’s the only kind he knows how to deliver) as Darkness, the living personification of evil.
Did you catch it? That’s right… it was the plates. Yes, the plates, you know, the ones Jack and his pals used to reflect the sunlight from the surface down into the depths to bring doom to Darkness. You see, while perusing the selection for Day 113 of reading through the Catechism in one year as a part of the Year of Faith, I was struck by the paragraph that notes how “according to a favorite image of the Church Fathers, the Church is like the moon, all its light reflected from the sun.” The Catechism calls to mind this imagery while discussing the part in the creeds in which we profess our belief in the holy Catholic Church. It does so that we always remember “not to confuse God with his works and to attribute clearly to God’s goodness all the gifts he has bestowed on the Church… The Church has no other light then Christ’s.” In short, the only light we have to shine on the shadowed evils of this world come not from us, but are reflected from God above.…