Wednesday, February 27, 2008

PD Project Part 7

Sci-Fi50

    Disc 7
  • Killers From Space (1954) runtime: 1:10:50

    Dr. Martin, the only survivor from a plane that was studying an atomic explosion, returns with no memories of the crash but with horrible visions of evil eyes.
    I take glee from the most random things in this movie: the plane is the Tarbaby 2, the main character's colleague is Dr. Kruger and the main character's name is "Doctor Martin." Hooray! He's also taller than everybody else in the movie so that's an added joy.
    Yes, the bug-eyed aliens are silly-looking and the cave sequence with ultra-close-ups of animals is painfully long, but otherwise it's an okay alien-invasion film. It's not clear why the aliens must conquer the Earth. It seems there'd be room enough for the new race, especially since they apparently live underground and have access to such advanced technology. It doesn't seem like there'd be much need for coercion. Pacing is a little off and the "revealed all at once" move is weak, but it's ultimately an okay old film. Ending takes forever though.
    Archive.org page
    Wikipedia article

  • Phantom From Space (1953) runtime: 1:12:14

    An invisible monster descends from space and starts killing people.
    Painfully slow, lots of narration to--at best--negligible effect, and moments where the film will recap what just happened. When the invisible monster removes its outfit, there are multiple cutaways to the monster. The invisible monster. We're treated to cutaways to nothing.
    Archive.org page
    Wikipedia article

  • White Pongo (1945) runtime: 1:11:49

    A safari sets out to find the missing link, a white gorilla, though tensions within the expedition may prove a bigger threat than any gorilla ever could.
    I apologize to any film I may be slandered by accusing it of having nothing happen. This movie's about a monstrous monkey but is more concerned with the trip's sole woman trying to seduce her guard. Then, fifty minutes in, the plot shifts and becomes about a mutiny, a lost field of gold and a secret agent--and it's still boring! The gorilla, which is of course in love with the woman, saves the day only to be captured and shipped back to the states for testing. Nice going monkey.
    Archive.org page

  • The Snow Creature (1954) runtime: 1:10:46

    An expedition into the Himalayas to find new plant life goes off the rails when the wife of one of the Sherpas is kidnapped by a yeti and the crew sets out to rescue her.
    There's this weird conceit in the movie--the white guys leading the expedition are so pissed about having to save the Sherpa's wife, so angry that it could possibly take precedence over their search for plants. And the movie's conceit is that they're right. The "villain" of the piece is the Sherpa searching for his wife. Imperialism in a nutshell: screw your wife and town, a white man wants something.
    This film broke ground in finding new ways to be bad. The yeti's costume looks like a bunch of skinned teddy bears sewn together, there's basically one shot of the yeti walking out of the shadows which is repeated, paused and run backwards throughout the movie, and when the yeti does manage to attack someone, it looks like Fozzie Bear on a bender. That last part's fun, but otherwise the picture's drawing blood. Not only does it have the weird thing going on with the Sherpa, that's only the first part of the movie. The second part is about the head scientist bringing the yeti back to America where it's held up in Immigration (I'm not kidding), escapes and has to be chased through the sewer. You know what that means: more shots of the yeti emerging from a shadow along with repeated shots of cops running around a sewer set. They're not running over the same piece of set, they just repeat the shots of them running through the set. Oh God, there's an avalanche scene in the first part where one of the actors gets hit on the head with a giant prop rock, but no harm done.
    This film violates the Geneva Convention. It is a crime against humanity. Obviously I highly recommend it with a big bowl of popcorn and a pitcher of Margaritas.
    Archive.org page
    Wikipedia article

I'll be back next time with Disc 8: Half spawn of Hercules, half things from Venus, all PD!

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