Saturday, March 01, 2008

PD Project Part 8

Sci-Fi50

    Disc 8
  • The Sons of Hercules: the Land of Darkness (1963) runtime: 1:20:17

    Argolese, son of Hercules, must save his betrothed and her townspeople from the evil cannibalistic Demulus.
    This is pretty chaotic. Argolese saves a maiden from a lion, then her town from a dragon, then the town's sole survivor from a bear and on and on. It's a stunningly bad film, and fun for being so bad--bad editing, bad dubbing and just bad ideas. There's even a trailer for the last part of the movie in the middle of the movie. Seriously, the movie just cuts to an ad for the rest of the film. Not just bad, inventively bad. Has to be seen to be believed.
    Archive.org page

  • The Devil of the Desert Against the Son of Hercules (1964) runtime: 1:32:06

    The evil Gainor murders his king and tries to seize the thrown, but the princess escapes and finds Antar who helps her in her quest to rescue her people.
    Not bad. Again, these Hercules movies are better the less Hercules is in them, or at least the less central he is to the plot. If Herc has to be the hero, it's good. If Herc is what people are fighting over and trying to manipulate, it's bad.
    This is still a Herc movie though so it has its own non-sequiturs. There are a few instances where tumbling worked in. It looks nice, but why is it there? Plus there's this mute kid. Called "Mute." Who hangs around Antar. While both are wearing just diapers. Okay. There's a fight with a rhino which is much less dramatic than it sounds and a chamber of mirrors. While it's hard to think the mirrored room could be as perilous as it's portrayed, they are nice shots.
    Archive.org page

  • First Spaceship on Venus (1960) runtime: 1:18:26

    A spaceship is dispatched to Venus after a meteorite is found to be a relic from a crashed ship. However, the more the crew learn about the Venusians, the more they uncover a sinister and catastrophic secret.
    I'm struggling to find more ways to say "slow and boring." Nothing happens, no tension. This is sci-fi in the vein of imagining what might be encountered in space rather than any conflict based around what might be encountered. Essentially there's no story here--no characters, no plot, nothing. Then at the very end, everything goes haywire and several crew members are lost, but so what?
    I'm in the process of adding an MPEG of this to the Internet Archive.
    iPod Archive.org page
    trailer on Archive.org
    This was episode 0211 of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and can be viewed on YouTube (in 10 parts) or downloaded from the Digital Archive Project.

  • Zontar, the Thing From Venus (1966) runtime: 1:20:13

    An alien from Venus arrives on Earth and starts trying to take over the planet, one person at a time.
    I have seen this film more times than it warrants. A stunningly crappy flick. You want a hero who's spared because he's brilliant but can't figure you what's going on? You got it! You want a dick who's blind to the monster's machinations but has a last-minute change-of-heart? You got it! You want an entertaining 80 minutes of film? Oh, gee, sorry, fresh out.
    I'm in the process of adding an MPEG of this to the Internet Archive.
    Wikipedia article

I'll be back next time with Disc 9: low-budget reaches a new low as we face an invisible strangler, rednecks hunting an alien and two films with cranky scientists descending into caves.

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