Tuesday, November 21, 2017

More like One Million Fur Bikinis, or Thoughts on One Million Years B.C.

I can only think of three pin-up posters that went viral before the Internet made pin-up posters irrelevant: Betty Grable in the 40’s, Farrah Fawcett in the 70’s and Raquel Welch’s fur bikini in One Million Years B.C. (1966).  In addition to Raquel Welch, Hammer’s most famous movie that didn’t include vampires featured special effects by Ray Harryhausen and an essentially dialogue-free script if you don’t count the narration.
And while Raquel Welch is the breakout international superstar, the movie actually follows the journey of John Richardson as Tumak, a favorite son who is cast out of his tribe and ends up lower-evolved ape-men tribes, Ray Harryhausen dinosaurs and live-action iguanas, (which, let’s be honest, mostly involves poking with sticks and throwing rocks), before meeting Raquel as Loana, of the shell tribe.  Loana lives by the beach and has plenty of time to shave her legs and take care of her teeth and hair in between running away from giant sea turtles.  There was a lot of running a million years ago.
With Robert Brown, who would go on to portray James Bond’s M in the 80’s as Akhoba, Tumak’s father and the leader of the tribe.   And watch out for Martine Beswick from Thunderball (1965) and Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde (1971) as Nupondi, the hot cave girl from Akoba’s first tribe who gets into a cat fight (cave match?) with Loana.  The fur goes flying, and admittedly, it's way more fun than running away from a giant iguana.



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Monday, November 20, 2017

Jack’s Daughter Carries on The Family Business, or Thoughts on Hands of the Ripper

Hands of the Ripper (1971) introduced a lady Jack the Ripper (Jill the Ripper, if you will), which in retrospect played into to Hammer Studio’s strengths; you got the gothic gore, the period perfect 19th Century wardrobes and settings, and a whole lotta buxom girl on girl murder action.  Welsh actor Angharad Rees, who would go on to portray Demelza in the first Poldark is Anna, the daughter of Jack the Ripper.  She’s inherited her father’s killer lust and is triggered by shiny things.  At 15 she’s working as a fake medium and teen prostitute (it’s a Hammer movie, there weren’t that many roles for women other than busty vampires or busty serving wenches) when she’s discovered by a friendly psychiatrist who tries to cure her.  He moves her into his house in London, and Anna starts another killing spree in Whitechapel.  Think My Fair Lady (1964) but with homicide and no singing.

With Eric Porter as Dr. John Pritchard, who would go on to play Moriarity to Jeremy Brett’s Sherlock Holmes (1984).  And watch out for the hat pin murder of Long Liz, a Whitechapel denizen and reference to the original victim, Elizabeth Stride.  The real Long Liz had her throat slit, but you already knew that, not that you’re obsessed or anything.

you can read my books for free on amazon kindle,  or buy the paperbacks, available at fine bookstores everywhere (or on amazon). 

Saturday, November 18, 2017

A Haunted Flight to Tokyo, or Thoughts on Flight 7500



Flight 7500 (2014), features your typical cross section of attractive passengers, including a self-centered new bride on her honeymoon, a broke up couple pretending to be together in front of their best friends, a goth girl wearing spikey Lady Gaga boots (when did those get dated), the pregnancy scare girlfriend, the pretty blonde air hostess and the pretty asian air hostess.  It doesn’t take long before the turbulence kicks in and one of the passengers starts coughing up blood and suddenly dying.
Air travel these days is inherently claustrophobic; people are already tense after all the security checks, and there are the basic anxieties about falling out of the sky and the more complex anxieties about disease, paranoia and hey, let’s not forget terrorism.  One of the passengers is watching my favorite Twilight Zone Episode, “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” (1963) on their laptop, which should be enough of a reference to let the viewers know where this movie is going. 
From Takashi Shimizu, the director of Ju-on (2002, that’s The Grudge, to you and me), watch out for Australian actor Ryan Kwanten or Jason Stackhouse, as a paramedic in first class, Scout Taylor-Compton as the goth girl with the spikey boots and Jamie Chung, Lady Silk from The Man With Iron Fists (2012) as the asian flight attendant.  Oh and watch out for Amy Smart as Pia, Ryan Kwanten’s estranged girlfriend.  She portrayed Pilot Cadet Stack Lumbreiser in Starship Troopers (1997).  Amy had a scene with Denise Richards, who, as you know, was Captain Carmen Ibanez.  God, I miss the 90’s.





you can read my books for free on amazon kindle,  or buy the paperbacks, available at fine bookstores everywhere (or on amazon).