Guest Post: Madam Satan (1930)

Today’s brilliant guest post is another from my friend and yours, Ivan of Thrilling Days of Yesteryear who, like Scott just last week, has beaten me to blogging about one of the essentials of WTF cinema: Madam Satan. Interestingly, this post documents the exact moment Ivan realized that I have really horrible taste in movies. *** From the She Blogged by Night Film Archives: “Who wants to go to hell with Madam Satan?” Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. again…and as promised (while our gracious hostess spends a lovely vacation day gathering sea shells by the shore), I finally managed to complete a viewing of Madam Satan–the 1930 WTF musical romance directed by Mr. Sin-and-Salvation himself, Cecil B. DeMille. DeMille, who had made his fortune with Biblical-themed epics like The Ten Commandments (1923) and The King of Kings (1927) at Paramount Studios, went slumming at the Tiffany’s of the movie bidness, M-G-M, for a trio of pictures—this one, the earlier Dynamite (1929) and The Squaw Man in 1931. In Satan, DeMille makes a triumphant return to the sort of bedroom farces he helmed early in his career with star Gloria Swanson (Cece wanted Swanson for this movie, but her paramour at the time, Joe Kennedy, waved her off the project)…well, for the first fifty minutes, anyway. Then he stages a shindig on a zeppelin complete with hedonism, deco sets (courtesy of Cedric Gibbons) and eye-popping costumes (Adrian) that will literarily leave you agog…and it’s this portion of the narrative (before it reverts … Continue reading

Guest Post: Yor, the Hunter from the Future (1983)

We have a special treat to liven up your Monday: A second guest post from Scott Clevenger, the tortured genius behind World O’ Crap who also holds a third dan black belt in spaghetti measuring and is known worldwide for inventing Armageddon. When Scott told me he was going to watch and review Yor, the Hunter from the Future, I was at first a little disappointed. It’s on my to-do list, but then I realized 392 other movies are on my to-do list, so it wouldn’t kill me to give up one. Then I read Scott’s review and was very glad I had not attempted my own, because I don’t think I have the proper safety rating. Also, I’m not as funny as Scott is, and I would have likely embarrassed myself so much they would have revoked one of my nine Academy Awards. And now, please enjoy Scott’s riveting review: *** Yor, the Hunter from the Future (1983)Directed by: Anthony M. DawsonWritten by: Anthony M. Dawson and Robert D. Bailey, based on the graphic novel “Henga, el cazador” by Ray Collins & Juan Zanotto Tagline: He was a powerful warrior from the future, trapped in a prehistoric land, battling for the survival of his people. Let me get something off my chest right away. “YOR HUNTER FROM THE FUTURE” has one of those shouty titles that seems to be trying a bit too hard to make me feel proprietary about the hero, the way sports franchises and local TV … Continue reading

Guest Post from shahn of sixmartinis and the seventh art

Today I am truly pleased to present a delightful guest post by shahn of the irreplaceable sixmartinis and the seventh art. With her sharp eye and keen sense of design, shahn can distill the essence of a movie down to a few beautiful screen captures which are so lovely that you won’t even mind the occasional Hugh Herbert. shahn has provided us with some lovely images from a variety of films. Also, El Brendel’s lawyers I would like to remind you that any secrets shahn has revealed in this post are not legally binding.*** Bugsy Malone (1976) Bugsy Malone (1976), detail Hello blogosphere! I’m so happy to be here guest-blogging. Since I have such a wide audience, I wanted to make an announcement. I hope my host doesn’t mind me spilling the good news. Stacia has claimed that she is on hiatus from her blog, but I wanted to be the first to reveal the true reason she is away. At this moment, she is touring Eastern Europe with a company presenting the ballet version of Okay, Jose! Stacia, of course, is playing the El Brendel part. You should see the fabulous Art Deco sets: Show Kids (1935) In order to prepare for her role, she first flew to Cuba with Sean Connery as her acting coach. I’m happy to say they took my suggestion to stay in my favorite hotel (in which I own a few shares. Completely coincidentally.) The Shining (1980) Hola, muchacha! I hear you’re gathering great … Continue reading

Guest Post: Attack of the Giant Leeches

Today I am pleased to present a guest post by Mr. Gable, my go-to guy for any horror, cult, or Z-grade movie. Mr. Gable’s Reality is your one-stop shop for all things bad. If it’s a bad movie, Mr. Gable has seen it. Are you too scared to rent Killer Condom? Too intimidated to watch every movie Tim Thomerson ever made? Unwilling to use the phrase “eternal bloodlust for stabfucking people with knives” on your own blog? Then call 1-800-Mr-Gable, my friends, because he will do all that and more! Now seems like a perfect time to remind you all that the next Netflix Instant Bad Movie Twitterthon is coming up this Saturday — and this time we have a theme! I’m not sure I can reveal this super secret amazing theme without blowing your damn minds, so you’ll just have to come to the Twitterthon and see for yourself. Check Mr. Gable’s Reality later this week for more details. And now, the eagerly-awaited feature event: Mr. Gable’s entry on the Roger Corman classic Attack of the Giant Leeches. *** Attack of the Giant Leeches is a movie about love, loss, and Giant Leeches eating people. Would we want our Roger Corman movies any other way? I learned some valuable lessons while watching Attack of the Giant Leeches.      1. Giant Leeches are terrible swimmers. In fact, they kind of just flail around until they move somewhere.     2. Moonshine is MANDATORY while in the swamp.     3. Roger Corman movies translate through … Continue reading

Guest Post: Missing in Action: The Cat Creeps

W.B. Kelso of Scenes From the Morgue and 3B Theater: Micro-Brewed Reviews has, as the saying goes, forgotten more about film than I’ve ever known. He owns copies of every vintage movie ad ever printed and, I have secretly discovered, had the best damn birthday party ever last year. (He doesn’t know I know this! Shh, don’t tell him!) So I was pleased as the proverbial red-flavored punch when he agreed to compose a guest post for SBBN during this hiatus; tangentially, I have dubbed this summer Hiatus From Hell: Texas Blood Money, because very little hiatusing is gettin’ done around here. But while I try to salvage some spare time out of the remains of my poorly-planned summer, please enjoy W.B. Kelso’s excellent entry “Missing in Action: The Cat Creeps.” You are going to love this. Meanwhile, I am quietly hoping some of W.B.’s hipness rubs off on SBBN.   *** Born in 1885, John Willard was a stage actor by trade, who made the transition to the silent flickers with parts in Fantomas (1920) and Sherlock Holmes (1922). But Willard’s true claim to cinematic fame was not in front of the camera but behind it, by returning to his roots and penning a stage play; a dark comedy set in a spooky old house that went by the handle … The Cat and the Canary. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ … Continue reading

Ida Lupino Blogathon: The Big Knife (1955)

This post is my entry for the Ida Lupino Blogathon hosted by the Miss Ida Lupino blog. Don’t forget to visit the other fine blogs who are participating! Clifford Odets’ vicious drama The Big Knife is a Tinseltown Macbeth, part Hollywood exposé and part exercise in self-aggrandization. Charles Castle, enormously popular film actor, says halfway through the film that Macbeth is an allegory about a man systematically killing all the better parts of himself. Charles may resemble Macbeth on that account, but otherwise he hardly resembles the Scottish King, as he genuinely fights for nothing in his life and is ruled entirely by his own weaknesses. The film opens as Castle (Jack Palance) is trying to avoid negotiating his new film contract. When he was unknown he was an idealist, an artist working his chosen craft, but he has changed. Fame and fortune brought him access to women and creature comforts that softened his artistic and moral resolve, and a series of tragic mistakes and poor decisions have left him teetering on the edge of a precipice entirely of his own making. No longer optimistic or concerned with anyone but himself, his fate arrives at the door one morning in the shape of gossip columnist Patty Benedict (Ilka Chase). Patty Benedict (with an implied “Arnold” at the end of her name) wants something from Charles. Everyone wants something from Charles, and Benedict is merely the first in line. She wants the scoop on whether Charles and his wife Marion (Ida … Continue reading

Monster Mash Blogathon: Plan 9 From Outer Space

My excitement over being the first to pick Plan 9 From Outer Space for the Monster Mash Blogathon was quickly replaced with apprehension as I realized positively everything to be said about Plan 9 has already been said. To combat this disadvantage, I decided to approach P9 as movie that needed improvement and I, winner of the Best Director Oscar five years running, would grab that challenge by the ears. [1]   It’ll be fun, I said. Loadsa laughs, I said. Let me tell you, my friends, the shocking truth: Plan 9 is unbearably overstuffed with errors. Correcting it is impossible. I was ill prepared for the sheer magnitude of ineptness contained within the frames of Plan 9 From Outer Space. That may sound ridiculously naive, but P9 has always been a film I felt had a few genuinely enjoyable and good moments. However, when you’re making lists — two, in fact, one called GOOD and the other BAD — you don’t have to watch many scenes in Plan 9 to realize the BAD column is going to overflow, spill out onto the carpet and cause a permanent stain. Not an obvious one, but the kind that leaves a lingering dark shadow on the floor. The neighbors won’t notice, but you’ll know it’s there. You’ll always know. When Mr. Wood wrote the screenplay for Plan 9 From Outer Space, he clearly didn’t realize he had the plots for at least two movies, perhaps three, swirling about on the pages. He mashed … Continue reading