Cold open on Bigfoot. You heard me. Clear, unambiguous footage of three sasquatches walking along, while Nimoy gives us time, date and place. He then says that they're just guys in suits, but still – bold opening. Nimoy assures us that these figures are exact duplicates of real sasquatches, but the wasp waist on what I assume is the female sasquatch seems a little out of place.

Much like their quarry, Bigfoot hunters are blurry and difficult to photograph

This episode is looking at the people who spend their time out in the woods, looking for Sasquatch. That's pretty familiar ground for supernaturally themed shows nowadays, but I think it was a fairly fresh topic when this was first broadcast.

Now we're at… Loch Ness. Is this the third or forth time We've heard the In Search Of Sonata for Electronic Pseudo-Bagpipes? I've lost count. Anyway, Nimoy talks about the Loch Ness Monster. Again. Same footage as last times. Oh god, the music's even worse this time. The narration then blatantly misrepresents the Loch Ness Monster episode and claims that In Search Of took the 'most authenticated' photo of Nessie ever. Cut to Surgeon's Photo.

Weird. ...continue reading "In Search Of S03E09 Monster Hunters"

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest

Victor Frankenstein (Samuel West) makes his Monster (Shuler Hensley), just as the angry torch-wielding mob arrives. We learn that Frankenstein's experiments have been funded by Count Dracula (Richard Roxburgh), who wants the Monster for an undisclosed purpose. Dracula kills Frankenstein, but the Monster escapes, only to seemingly die in a burning windmill.

The Monster's cloak is patchwork. Get it?

Meanwhile, Van Helsing (Hugh Jackman) – a warrior for a interdenominational holy anti-monster order – is sent to defeat Dracula. He travels with Carl (David Wenham), basically a monkish version of Q. In Transylvania, van Helsing meets Anna Valerious (Kate Beckinsdale) a warrior woman whose brother recently died fighting the Wolf Man. ...continue reading "Van Helsing — 2004"

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest

Last time we had a sort of general look at Metropolis, as it relates to early  Frankenstein cinema. It's a big subject, and honestly I'm not going to cover all of it even with a supplementary essay, but I did want a closer look at two things. Firstly, religious symbolism and secondly the role of women in Fritz Lang's Metropolis and James Whale's Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein.

Can I get an amen?

The novel Frankenstein is fascinating in that it is full of conscious religious imagery, but contains little sign of God's actual presence. The Monster is compared frequently to both Adam and Satan. Both are creations that rebel against their creator, with the difference being that neither of them is a match for God. The Monster is a match for Frankenstein. This is why the various attempts to make Frankenstein into a Christian parable tend to be perfunctory. A story in which a being, angry at its creator is able to stand eye to eye with that creator is simply unprecedented in the Bible. Imagine if Job could just get tired of arguing with God and kick him in the shins. Completely different story.

This, ultimately, is the point of not only Frankenstein, but a huge chunk of the whole science fiction genre: how do we deal with the themes and ideas invoked by religion without invoking God? ...continue reading "Metropolis – 1927 (Part 2)"

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest

I usually like to give a fairly thorough synopsis of movies I review, but let's face it: this one is just too damned long. So short version: Joh Fredersen (Alfred Abel) is the leader and architect of a seemingly utopian art deco city. His son, Freder (Gustav Froehlich), is a feckless gadabout who does nothing but hang out in the pleasure gardens. When a woman named Maria (Brigette Helm) brings a group of grimy children into the garden, Freder learns for the first time that poverty exists.

That's very interesting, Professor, but I really wanted to talk to you about getting an extension for my assignment.

He goes in pursuit of Maria, and finds himself in the underground factories that drive the Metropolis. There he views an industrial accident, and has a vision of the vast machines as a temple to the demon Moloch, and the workers as sacrifices. Horrified, he confronts his father, who turns out to be perfectly aware of the appalling work conditions and content to keep things that way. He's more worried about mysterious plans turning up in his workers' clothes. ...continue reading "Metropolis – 1927"

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest

Back in the 1960s that blandest of bland American cultural icons, Archie was brought to TV as an animation. From that show came a more fantasy-centered spinoff, based on Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and spun off from that came a weird show called the Groovie Goolies. It has two things in common with Archie spinoffs: it's A) not very funny but B) waaaaaay funnier than Archie.

Look, it was the 1970s. It was a different time. Everyone was SO high.

The Groovy Goolies are basically cute cartoon versions of a bunch of different monsters – ghosts, mummies, witches, gouls and what have you. They live in a castle called Horrible Hall, and play in a bubblegum rock band headed by Dracula, the Wolf Man and Frankenstein's Monster. However, these horror elements are all purely decorative. The characters and situations are all perfectly kid friendly, no scares to be seen – in fact, the monstrous main characters were frequently depicted as terrified by perfectly mundane situations. ...continue reading "The Groovie Goolies – 1970-71"

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest

What did you say about my hair?

In medieval Prague, the learned Rabbi Löw (Albert Steinrück) predicts that the Jewish Ghetto will be threatened by the Emperor, who wants to drive out or kill the Jews. Sure enough, the Emperor (Otto Gebühr) gives just such a decree to his douchiest knight, Florian (Lothar Müthel). Florian takes the message to the Ghetto, falling in (requited) love with the Rabbi's daughter, Miriam (Lyda Salmonova).

Rabbi Löw builds a man out of clay. With the help of his assistant Famulus (Ernst Deutsch), he summons the dark spirit Astaroth, and force it to give them the magic word to animate the clay man. This word is placed in an amulet which is put around the neck of the clay man and it comes to life as the Golem (Paul Wegener). The Golem is clearly not happy at being ordered around and knocks Famulus over, but Löw discovers that he can deactivate the monster by removing its amulet. ...continue reading "The Golem: How He Came into the World (1920)"

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest

It this was Halloween makeup, I'd say it was good. As movie makeup... eh.
It this was Halloween makeup, I'd say it was good. As movie makeup... eh.

I'll just race through the synopsis quickly, because while there's lots of running and screaming in this movie, not a lot actually happens. What does happen is pretty icky. Just thought I should warn you. On the other hand, it does give a nice jumping-on point to talk about the character of Elizabeth Lavenza.

Frankenstein is tracking the Monster through the snow with some soldiers. He is seen by the daughter of the old blind man. We have a little look into their family dramas, then the Monster kills them all, the daughter last of all. We see the dying daughter being stitched back together in a darkened room. ...continue reading "Frankenstein: Day of the Beast – 2011"

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest

After Eddie Munster (Mason Cook) turns into a werewolf and attacks his friends in his boy scout troupe, the Munsters have to move house. They settle on 1313 Mockingbird Lane, a house at the centre of a terrible string of murders. Herman Munster (Jerry O'Connell) has a heart attack, but revived by Grandpa Munster (Eddie Izzard), who warns him that he will soon need a replacement.

mockingbird2

Grandpa wants Eddie to know that he's changing into a werewolf, while Lily (Portia de Rossi) and Herman want to break it to him gently. Marylyn helps Grandpa to show Eddie something of the monsterous world. Grandpa enslaves one of the neighbours with blood-laced cookies. ...continue reading "Mockingbird Lane 2012"

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest

.A while back, I had a look at the Munsters in general. This time, I'm going to look at the Munster's only cinematic release, Munsters Go Home.

Death Race 200 it ain't.
Death Race 2000 it ain't.

The Munsters learn that Herman (Fred Gwynne) has inherited a valuable estate and a noble title from his adopted family in England. Lily (Yvonne de Carlo) later explains that Herman was adopted by the Munster family after leaving Dr Frankenstein's lab. They take passage on a steamer to England. Herman gets seasick the instant they leave port, Marilyn has a shipboard romance with a rich guy with an indeterminate accent (Robert Pine) and Grandpa accidentally turns himself into a wolf. ...continue reading "Munsters Go Home – 1966"

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest

A while back, I decided that I was going to review every Frankenstein-based movie and TV show I could find. In today's episode: I regret that decision.

And how.
And how.

So, the Flintsones are Flintstoning it up, when some new neighbours move in next door. They are the Frankenstones – Karloff-like father Frank, absent minded mother Oblivia, children Hidia and Frankenstub and pet 'octopup' Creepy. They're basically a stone-age knock off of the Munsters or Addamses.

Fred is outraged to be living next door to these weirdos, and so goes out of his way to make them unwelcome. He is entirely alone in this. Wilma likes the new neighbours and Barney is more upset with Fred's rudeness than the Frankenstones' eccentricities. ...continue reading "The Flintstones Meet Their New Neighbours the Frankenstones – 1980"

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest