Escape from Fort Bravo (1953)

This post originally appeared on My Floating Red Couch for the Battle of the Fatheads between William Holden and Leonardo DiCaprio. Check out the entire battle for more! For the most part, Escape from Fort Bravo is a typical cowboys-and-Indians Western flick with little more to offer than guys in sharp blue uniforms battling against a distant, faceless enemy. At moments it threatens to veer off into something atypical and interesting but never quite manages it. Despite that, I did find the film relatively enjoyable, with the time devoted to Union Captain Roper’s (William Holden) labyrinthine emotional defense mechanisms providing the most substance. Fort Bravo is a fictitious Civil War-era Union Army fort in Arizona, located in the middle of desert and Apache land. It’s a prisoner of war camp that holds a few hundred Confederate POWs, guarded by almost the same number of Union soldiers, the rough terrain providing the only reason the Confederates haven’t revolted and escaped. Well, the rough terrain and the “deadly Mescalero Indians,” who apparently torture and kill white people just ’cause they can. Captain Roper says that his main job is to keep the land for the U.S., no matter who wins the Civil War, and that both the Union and Rebs should take up arms against the Mescalero Apache. This evil Injun story line is tiresome, and I would have thought it was tiresome by the time 1953 rolled around, too. The Captain of the Confederate POWs, John Marsh (John Forsythe), plots with … Continue reading

Damien: Omen II (1978)

This post originally appeared on My Floating Red Couch for the Holden vs. DiCaprio Grudgematch. Check out the Battle to see more! Oy, what a trudge this movie is, and from the beginning, might I add. It opens with Carl Bugenhagen (Leo McKern), a character from the previous film, breathlessly telling us the plot of the last film. It would have been less expensive but infinitely more awesome had they just brought out classic ABC announcer Ernie Anderson to say, “Previously… on The Omen“, then provided some quick clips while Ave Satani plays at a progressively more urgent pace:   “Look at me, Damien! It’s all for you!” *plunge to death* “For it is the number of man, and the number is 666!” *shot of 666 on Damien’s scalp; Lee Remick gasps* “He must die, Mr. Thorn!” *Harvey Stephens stares; Gregory Peck turns in shock and fear* “We stand on the brink… of Armageddon!” *music swells then abruptly ends* Announcer: “This summer… Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, David Warner, and introducing Harvey Stephens in… THE OMEN.”   Making up TV trailers for horror movies is more fun than Damien: Omen II, by the way. Damien, as you well know, became an orphan after essentially killerating his adoptive parents. His dad’s brother Richard (William Holden) has now adopted the little hellspawn himself, and the soon-to-be 13-year-old Satan baby is off at military school. Richard’s rich Aunt Marion somehow knows Damien is evil, and over dinner she threatens to cut off Richard’s inheritance … Continue reading

Skidoo: Now in convenient, legally-purchasable DVD!

Olive Films has announced that they are releasing Skidoo (1968) on DVD on July 19, 2011. It is available for pre-order for $18.71 as of right now. Real, legitimate DVD, and not lootbegs, if you catch my heavily-implied meaning here, and in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio to boot. (No pun.) I have been waiting a year to post this! Last May Ivan, who has pretty much become my sole source of DVD release information, mentioned Skidoo was being released on DVD. Olive Films has been releasing this bunch of Paramount films on DVD a few at a time. I’ve gotten most of my information about these releases from this great thread in the Home Theater Forum that Ivan also clued me in to. Of course, not all of those films listed on HTF were released in 2010, but that just gives us more to love here in 2011.

The Green Slime (1968)

In many ways, The Green Slime (1968) is a straightforward sci-fi action flick that pits two similar men against each other in a familiar only-one-can-survive situation. Most people online and on the IMDb give this film such horrible ratings, which dismays me because… well, I guess because I don’t know what else they were expecting when they popped this in the player. Everyone seems to consider it a complete bomb that only people who like shit will want to watch. I wonder if its reputation is a bit skewed because of what I call the “MST3K Factor”. TGS was a featured movie on the promo tape that the fine folks at MST3K first shopped around to cable channels back in the late 1980s, and a lot of online reviews essentially say, “No wonder MST3K riffed this piece of crap.” But movies that were on MST3K get much poorer reviews than really crappy movies that were never on the show. For instance, compare the 1.6 rating on the IMDb for “Racket Girls” (1951) to the other two films in the series, “The Devil’s Sleep” at 3.6 and “Dance Hall Racket” at 3.1. Trust me, “Racket Girls” is not worse than the other two films, but it was on MST3K, so more people review it and rate it down. It’s not that TGS doesn’t have cheese. Oh, it’s full of cheese. Cheese and camp and stilted dialogue and little kids in green rubber suits. Anyone who has seen Gamera or Godzilla films … Continue reading

Joan Crawford photos for "I Saw What You Did" (1965)

Before we get on with the silly business at hand, I want to thank my BBFF Ivan for bestowing the Stylish Blogger Award upon SBBN! Thank you, Ivan, for the award and for your intense concern about the economic conditions of the Donette industry here in Kansas. See, I was essentially laid off last week thanks to a crazy lawsuit filed against the company I do contractor work for, and Ivan was concerned that I might have to cut back on Donette purchases, jeopardizing the entire snack food industry. It’s a false charge! Rest assured that any time severe weather strikes, plenty of water, toilet paper, Donettes and chicken fingers will be purchased in a timely manner here at Casa de la Stacia. And now, pictures. A few months ago I stumbled across Joan Crawford featured in an internet meme that has devolved into demotivators and custom printed novelty items and, well, all the general silliness that makes an internet meme so memey. Coincidentally, I just happened to have the non-manipulated version of that photo in my files. This is Joan in a publicity portrait from the 1965 film “I Saw What You Did”: In December, Thombeau posted this hilarious entry featuring another publicity portrait from “I Saw What You Did,” this time doctored by Bette Davis and pasted into her own scrapbook: The original, untouched by Bette, yet still hysterical: And a couple more pictures from “I Saw What You Did,” just for the hell of it: I’m not … Continue reading

White Elephant Blogathon: Deadlier Than the Male (1967)

It’s April Fool’s Day, kids, and you know what that means: The White Elephant Blogathon! I missed last year, but my 2009 entry was the infamous “3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain,” a post which still receives a concerning number of hits to this day. What are they looking for? The White Elephant is hosted by the gracious Paul of Silly Hats Only, where a list of all the fine submissions this year can be found here. I know it’s Friday evening, but if you get a chance, check out the other entries. They were all excellent. The rules of the ‘thon are simple: Everyone submits one (allegedly) bad movie, and bloggers are randomly assigned one of these films to review. Earlier today I only hinted at the movie I submitted, but now that it’s evening I’ll tell you: “Big Trouble”, John Cassavetes’ final film, which was reviewed at The United Provinces of Ivanlandia — NSFW for breasts unrelated to the film “Big Trouble.” Meanwhile, I was assigned “Deadlier Than the Male” (1967), a film that I quite honestly would have watched without being dared to, so my first reaction on being assigned this film was “Yay!” Turns out, I yay’ed too soon… *** Ah, the ’60s spy flick. Full of camp, cleavage and corny one-liners, this genre began as near spoof and evolved so quickly into full-on pastiche that no one really noticed. The spy genre had been around for decades prior, of course, primarily as an ingredient … Continue reading