Monday, 24 November 2008

Ταινίες της βδομάδας

Films of the Week

Pensioner Defeats Commies

After reading Chris' rave review of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, I spent £15 on the Special Edition. This is something I wouldn't normally do - I usually wait and buy DVDs at no more than £10. However, Chris was right, so I don't mind too much that he cost me £5 - the film was as silly and as fun as the others in the series. I still haven't found the masturbatory easter egg that he was talking about, but that's probably due to my lack of a Catholic education.

"Where did you get that hat,
Where did you get that hat?"

Man Kills Spider

Whilst I was in HMV getting the Indy film, I picked up a box set of classic 50's Sci-Fi. One of them was Tarantula, which I already have, but at £30 for seven films, it's still good value.

We watched The Incredible Shrinking Man. Scott Carey is on a boat with his wife, enjoying a bit of Sun, Sea and S... San Miguel, when the boat sails through a radioactive mist, which his body absorbs. It serves him right for being lazy and sending his wife below to get the beers. If he'd gone himself he'd have been okay.

Months later he is exposed to some pesticide which reacts badly with the radioactivity and makes him gradually get smaller and smaller. His wife must be less than satisfied by his ever decreasing size, but she does stay with him. Eventually he gets so small that the cat tries to eat him. This should serve as a warning to pet lovers everywhere.

He escapes into the cellar, but his wife, finding a bloody shred of clothing and a contented looking cat assumes the worst, puts the house up for sale and goes to stay with her in-laws.

Meanwhile Scott is managing to survive on stale cheese (kept in the cellar for mousetrap bait), but he has also found another deadly foe - a spider. It's a battle to the death, and human ingenuity wins out in the end.

"I always knew those needlework classes would come in handy some day"

The film was better than I thought it would be. The special effects are a little dated, but they did a pretty good job given the technology of the time. The designers must have had fun building giant sets.

USAF Cook Alien Vegetable

The Thing From Another World is a story about an alien invasion. Scientists at an American research base in Alaska see what appears to be a new type of aircraft crash landing in the ice. They are worried it might be an enemy invasion, and since it doesn't seem to be Canadian, decide that it's probably Soviet. The United States Air Force is sent to investigate.

They quickly realise that the craft is round, which means it's a UFO. I'm not sure about their logic - after all, humans have been making circular objects for thousands of years, including flying objects such as frisbees. Nevertheless, it turns out that they are correct.

They end up digging out and defrosting an alien, and discover that it is actually an intelligent humanoid vegetable which feeds on blood. The vegetable bit means that to reproduce it simply has to plant and "water" some seeds (with blood). It also means that bullets make holes but do no actual damage.

"How many kinds of deadly creatures grow,
In an Alien country garden?"

It's a good film, and they made a wise decision only to show you the alien at the end. However, even for the 1950s, the alien is a disappointment. Why is it wearing boots and clothes? Maybe it was trying to disguise itself as a human?

I can recommend all three of these. They're great adventures, and the car chase in "Indy" is truly breathtaking. You wouldn't find anything like those special effects in 50's Sci Fi films, but the best film makers of that era were careful and used what effects they had sparingly, which means that although there are a few moments where something is obviously fake (travelling mattes are no match for CGI), most of the time you'll be more interested in the story.


Jean Knee said...


I love those old sci fi flicks, the special effects are the best.

Haven't seen either of those but they look delightful.

have you noticed Chris seems a bit obsessed with masturbatory type stuff? I guess he likes to take things into his own hands.

for a different kind of girl said...

I am glad you boys like the Indy movie. I trudged through it and was truly disappointed. Popcorn film or not, it just seemed to morph into a cheesefest. I know, I know. Like melting Nazi faces aren't cheesy.

Bee said...

It's hard for me to watch old movies. I used have movie marathons with my sister when I was younger but I get easily distracted.

I'm glad you didn't run screaming from the room when you saw the spider.

Chris Wood said...

Glad my advice was useful! I love old movies too - I'm working my way through a Hammer box set at the moment. Great stuff!

& Jean, I try not to lose my grip on things ;-)

Brian o vretanos said...

Jean Knee:

You nearly killed me with your comment. Which is why it's taken me so long to reply ;-)


Cheesy popcorn? There's a thought...


I don't think that old films are any less exciting than new ones, though I suppose there isn't as much visual stuff going on. Helena and I both sat cowering through the spider scenes.


The Hammer films are fantastic - if nothing else, they knew how to tell a story and entertain. The scantily clad women help as well ;-)

Tracys Ramblings said...

Brian Dear, that spider movie sounds a bit scary. And I do wish you had told us if he made it out alive and if he ever got back to his normal size. Oh and if his wife were still holding on to hope and waiting for him or if she had married someone. So many questions you've left me with!
And the problem is, I don't know how much that funny L shaped thing before the 30 is in West Virginian dollars!
How will I ever know????

Dan said...

I Way to sleepy to read this long post, mañana!

Brian o vretanos said...


You're just going to have to watch it to find out. They probably sell copies with funny S-shaped stickers too, in West Virginia.


I know the feeling ;-)

Diva said...

My favorite old movie is The Fog.

I dig it.

Your movies remind me of old reruns of the original Twilight Zone shows.

Bee said...

Hey, uh, I think it's Wednesday.

BEE said...


Brian o vretanos said...


I haven't seen that one. I'll look out for it.


I know, I know, there's a post up now.