Based loosely on dozens of 1950s American sci fi thrillers, especially the 1954 mutant-ant classic “Them!”, It Came from the Desert challenges both your mind and your might. When you boot up the game, a gorgeous red-orange desert panorama scrolls by as a narrator warns that, because man has meddled where he should not have, this desert will become living proof that the Biblical prophesy “the meek shall inherit the earth” is about to come true.
Band of Angels contains some of the most laughable dialogue of the 1950s, pseudo-epic puffery complete with a star-studded cast and a wardrobe budget exceeding the entire annual income of Guam. Scored by Max Steiner and directed by the legendary Raoul Walsh, one would think that this movie could at least have some entertainment value, but it struggles to provide even that.
The Law and Jake Wade is not just a gorgeous film to look at but an exciting tale, and a solid entry in the American Western genre.
Blake Edwards was mad at Hollywood. He’d gone through some things, man, and now he had a whole lot of beef with the entire cynical, money-grubbing, back-stabbing lot. In 1981, after making a comeback with mega-hits The Pink Panther and 10, he started on a nasty little poison pen letter to Tinseltown called S.O.B., short for “standard operational bullshit,” otherwise known as the way Hollywood always works.
What sets The Delinquents apart from other low-budget teen flicks of the time is its professional look. It’s clean, even sleek, and without the (usually hilarious) errors one would find in something meant to basically be background noise while teenagers necked in the back seat.
Joan Crawford is Lane Bellamy, a hoochie dancer with a heart of gold, who runs the gamut from fallen woman to girl trying to make good to rich society dame, with all the requisite melodrama that entails.
If you had to pick one best thing about the camp classic Torch Song (1953) — as if it’s even possible to do so, but let’s pretend — it’s that Joan Crawford’s Broadway diva Jenny Stewart is a stone cold monster.
Demon Seed, previously available only on DVD, is now also available in Blu-ray from Warner Archive. It’s a heady mix of frightening and campy, the kind of film that would do equally well in a double feature with Alien or with Terrorvision (go go Gerrit Graham film marathon!)
Finian’s Rainbow wasn’t a box office smash, but it’s a fun film, family friendly, the songs are unabashed standards, and it’s part of Hollywood history.
Jules Dassin’s Phaedra, a sexy, noirish reworking of the Greek tragedy Hippolytus, is one of his lesser-known and least understood films.