Saturday, October 25, 2014

Frankenstein/Bride Of Frankenstein/Honey Badger: Masters Of Mayhem

This has been a rather disappointing Halloween season. I haven't watched enough monster movies. To save on time, I'm going to have to cram together 3 monster movie reviews. Hold on tight.

In case you're unsure of the plot of Frankenstein, let me break it down for you. A scientist decides to put his wedding on hold so he can build himself a man. A very big man. So the scientist and his adoring hunchback pal rummage through graveyards finding just the right parts, give the resulting chucks the juice, and run for cover as the scientist's new play date runs amuck through the countryside. The pitchfork-wielding villagers chase the creature through the forest, torches ablaze, because pitchfork-wielding villagers are often incited by shouting burgomasters, aquatic daisy-filled child murder, aggressive torch waving, and authentic frontier gibberish.

The villagers trap the creature in a windmill, and since they obviously weren't using the mill for anything other than the milling of wheat and creature harboring, they burn it to the ground, apparently killing the monster and any hope for a sequel.

Una O'Connor stars in this sequel to Frankenstein in a delicate, understated performance.

Dr. Frankenstein still manages to avoid marriage, this time spending the bulk of his time sweating over test tubes filled with seed with Dr. Pretorius, whose very presence drives women from rooms and beds.

The creature has escaped a fiery death in the windmill, and has been roaming the countryside bumming bread, soup, booze and smokes from frisky hermits.

The creature, still jonesing for a butt, stumbles upon Dr. Pretorius, who's been rummaging through caskets looking for firm bones.

Some other stuff happens, and the Bride and the Creature meet cute.

Then I think there's a musical number.

It's very easy to survive a run in with Frankenstein's Monster. Just don't run, scream, throw cabbages, or criticize his dance routine. Speaking of running and screaming, I saved the most horrifying film for last.

I'm not really certain, but I think something is wrong with this beaver.

Scarier than Frankenstein, the Honey Badger has long claws, sharp teeth, and can climb trees. It can burrow deep under ground. It can open doors, windows, and gates. It can use tools. It has an anal gland which produces a malodorous scent like a skunk. It can withstand porcupine quills, bee stings, and animal bites. It picks fights with much larger animals, like hyenas, lions, humans, and rhinos, just to bite them in the testicles. They seem to enjoy digging up corpses, and they carry rabies. Honestly, if Frankenstein's Monster and a honey badger decided to climb through my window, I'd knock Ol' Frank aside to get out of the way of the fiendish honey badger.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


A semi-bionic guy saves the world from silver-jumpsuited henchman and giant monsters in this Shaw Brothers film. I am currently obsessed with the films from the Shaw Brothers. They are just so fantastic, filled with pure imagination. And giant monsters. And explosions. Here's what went down in Inframan.

In a scientific control room of some sort where various machines beep, someone named Princess Dragon Mom causes earthquakes at a mountain called Mt. Devil, and everyone seems surprised that there's an actual giant devil living inside it. Then someone catches on fire. Wicked Princess Dragon Mom cracks a whip, and monsters appear. A scientist injects a serum into some guy, attach electrodes to his forehead, and Inframan is born. Then a monster named Drilling Beast causes a Volkswagen to explode.

Suddenly, giant tentacles drop down from the scientific control room's ceiling, you can totally see the strings, and I wondered why they hadn't appeared sooner. The tentacles fling some of the silver-jumpsuited guys around the room, sort of. After someone gets a tear in the seat of their silver jumpsuit, someone hacks a tentacle into pieces using a circular saw. Then Inframan does some somersaults that wouldn't be out of place in the film Turkish Star Wars.

At this point I would have embedded that clip from Turkish Star Wars where someone does some athletic training by doing trampoline-aided somersaults, but none seem to be available.

Never mind, I found one. Yes, I realize by watching this clip you accidentally heard a bit of Enya, but I can't be held responsible for that. Maybe I should have warned you first. SPOILER ALERT: By watching this clip, you might accidentally see some guy unconvincingly karate chop a boulder and you might hear some Enya. There. Satisfied now?

SPOILER ALERT: By clicking on the video above, you'll see Enya and almost no karate chopping of boulders at all, and I can't really recommend doing that. Sidebar: It's recently come to my attention after alphabetizing my CDs that I own an Enya CD. I'm not sure when I acquired it, but there it is. I'm certain I had a good reason for acquiring an Enya CD, but for the life of me I can't really think of one now. Maybe I thought that sometime in the future there would be some sort of Enya-related emergency, and I would need to have an Enya CD to prevent some sort of Enya-related apocalypse, and I would have it. I'll just keep it right there until that Enya-apocalypse happens. I'm certain it will be one of the most calm and soothing apocalypses ever.

Then Inframan kung-fus a mutant.

Some chick with eyeballs in the palms of her hands shoots laser beams, then someone has thunderball fists, and I'm not sure what that is. A high-speed motorcycle chase ensues, then two guys roll down a cliff. Then there's fire spitting, explosions, backflips, 3-eyed bug mutants, and a longhaired beast that shoots lasers from its horns.

Some other stuff happens, then someone gets dropped into a fiery pit, and I can tell you from experience it isn't as fun as it sounds. Then everyone kung-fu fights for nearly forever in a landscape of skeletons. Inframan is just so bewilderingly awful that it's amazing, and it's highly recommended if you like stuff that sucks.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Ghost Adventures: Union Station

The trio of paranormal investigators explore Kansas City's Union Station in this episode of the Travel Channel series. It is October 16th, and I've done almost nothing to prepare for Halloween. Sure, I've put my skeleton candelabra on the dining room table, but that's about it. I've already plowed through 2 boxes of Hostess Scary Cakes, which are just regular Hostess Cupcakes with orange icing, but they had to be purchased and eaten because it's Halloween. And I've eaten 2 boxes of Halloween PopTarts, which are the most evil of all the PopTarts, which aren't very good to begin with. And I've eaten several boxes of Halloween Oreos, which are the most evil of all the Oreos, and they should just sell those year round. Other than that, my Halloween preparations have been woefully inadequate. I haven't hung my candy corn lights, I haven't purchased any pumpkins, and all my non-skull decorations are still in storage. The penthouse is always decorated with skulls, so those don't count. Speaking of the penthouse, reconstruction is still ongoing since my arch-villain Polar Vortex attacked in January (see blog post "Cold snap" from January 19, 2014) and Aquaman did nothing to help, so that's taken up a lot of my time this year. I think it's pretty funny the Justice League put their satellite in orbit high above the Earth and far from the nearest ocean just to spite Aquaman, and it reminds me of that movie where Peter Lorre is on a submarine teaching a shark to swim in a wading pool aboard a submarine (see blog post "Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea"). Anyway, I figure work will finally be completed just as Polar Vortex decides to attack the penthouse again, so I have that to look forward to.

I haven't had a lot of time to watch scary/bad movies lately, so I decided to watch the episode of Ghost Adventures where they visit Kansas City's Union Station. This huge train station was the site of a shootout in 1933 that left one fugitive and four law enforcement officers dead, and there have been reports of supernatural activity there ever since. I've visited it several times, and it's a beautiful Beaux Arts building. The basement is a little eerie, filled with mannequins and trains. Anyway, the Ghost Adventures guys do their stuff, which involves walking around with their arms outstretched, shouting at unseen things in the darkness, and lots of hyperbole. They briefly discuss the pseudoscientific Stone Tape Theory, where the stones of a building record events and play them back, resulting in ghostly apparitions, which I find implausible and completely fascinating. They also haul out a Spirit Box, which sweeps FM frequencies and allows spirits to play words over a speaker and allowing them to communicate, which I find implausible and completely fascinating. All in all, not a bad episode.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Dracula Vs. Frankenstein (1970)

Michael Rennie plays an alien who resurrects monsters for some reason in this glacially paced horror film. Someone pulls the stake from between the ribs of a skeleton, and it starts to regrow some gooey organs. After electrocuting a woman, Rennie then does some open heart surgery on an only-mostly-dead werewolf.

Then there's some billowy curtains, a foreboding, moonlit castle, and a laboratory filled with equipment covered in blinking lights, irritating electronic noises are heard, and people scream, and it sounds an awful lot like what seems to pass for music nowadays. Suddenly, a mummy shows up even though he's not mentioned in the movie title, and then someone takes a go-go-booted stroll by the river as cheezy samba plays on the soundtrack, because nothing's scarier than a gentle samba.

Rennie explains that he's from outer space because of course he is, then he stabs the mummy.

There's a dark cemetery, beakers of bubbly liquid, giant cobwebs, a torture chamber, and shots of the cast's eyes in extreme close up. People walk around, talk on phones, and explain the slower-than-a-plodding-Frankenstein's-monster plot, which seems awfully familiar.

The mummy and the werewolf fight, and maybe they should have called this movie Some Guy As The Mummy Vs. Paul Naschy As Another Of The Many Werewolves He's Played, but no one would go see that and it's too long to fit on a marquee. Since the mummy kicks up a bunch of mummy dust, the werewolf catches the mummy on fire in a giant hamster wheel because that's totally fine.

Monday, October 6, 2014

It Conquered The World

An okra with claws disrupts all electricity on Earth somehow in this sci-fi film. A jerk wearing a shorty robe keeps a computer and transmitter behind a curtain, and he has clandestine conversations with a Venusian lifeform which seems to bother his wife. After a poorly-rendered flying saucer crashes into a mountain, a vegetable with glowing eyes and lobster claws appears amidst stock footage of trains and cars. Suddenly, all the machines on Earth stop working, and people are forced to ride bicycles. Suddenly, a bat-like creature attacks a cop, hitting him in the back of the head, which naturally kills it. The cop throws the bat in a garbage can because I'm assuming they can't be recycled. Then another cop tries to strike one of these flying creatures suspended from wires with his gun, because people in the 50s with guns did everything but shoot with them.

Suddenly, Peter Graves says he's 'going to take a long, hard look' at something or other, and it's almost as though he's never seen Airplane.

Then there's a boom shadow, and a cop with an electrode attached to his neck. Someone screeches about their dropped doll, and someone else runs with a saxophone. More guns get waved about, and someone says they're going to 'fit all your fetishes' as if they've never seen Swamp Women.

Which isn't as surprising as never seeing The Man With Two Brains, and I can't even fathom that.

After someone in a slip is chased around and then strangled, someone says they're going to rustle some chickens and it's not what you think it is. Then a cop is comedically set on fire, and someone flings himself into the waiting, longing, remarkably immobile rubber claws of the monster for some reason. Then the movie ends, and it ends for a really long time.