31 Days Of Space: The Spooky Frontier – Pandorum

space the spooky frontierIn the year 2174 with the Earth massively overpopulated, the spaceship Elysium leaves on a 123 year trip to the distant Earth-like planet of Tanis. The 60,000 passengers are all in cryogenic sleep while a rotating crew run the ship for two year shifts. Eight years into the flight Elysium receives a transmission from Earth informing the crew that they are all that’s left. Earth is gone.

Crew member Bower (Ben Foster) wakes up in his tube, disorientated and confused. Something has gone wrong and he’s suffering from temporary amnesia. Another crew member also wakes up named Payton (Dennis Quaid). He’s suffering the same disorientation and memory loss. There’s something wrong with the ship. There’s no crew and the bridge is sealed off because of power surges. It’s seems like the ship’s reactor is unstable and the doors won’t open. Payton takes command and sends Bower through the air ducts to fix the reactor.
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31 Days Of Space: The Spooky Frontier – Night Of The Creeps

space the spooky frontierIt’s 1959 and a space ship is traveling across the galaxy. Two aliens on the ship are chasing a third that’s carrying a canister. Before they can stop him, the canister is launched out into space and at Earth where crashes in the woods. A young man and his lovely date see the crash and go to investigate. Meanwhile an escaped mental patient welding an axe is on the loose nearby. As the young man takes a look at the canister, a slug jumps into his mouth as his girlfriend is killed by the escaped patient.

27 years later (1986) Chris Romero (Jason Lively) and his disabled friend J.C. (Steve Marshall) have entered college. Chris falls in love with Cynthia (Jill Whitlow), who already has a boyfriend, but he tries to impress anyway by joining a fraternity. As part of their pledge they are ordered to go steal a corpse from the college’s medical centre and leave it on the front porch of a sorority house.
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31 Days Of Space: The Spooky Frontier – The Day Of The Triffids

space the spooky frontierBased on John Wyndham’s novel of the same name, this 1963 sci-fi horror strays from the novel but is still fun to watch.

Bill Masen (Howard Keel) awakens in a hospital, his eyes bandaged from an accident. While he was in the hospital a meteor shower graced the skies of Earth and blinded anyone who was watching it. Along for the ride with the meteors are the triffids, venomous plants that can walk and communicate with each other. They also like eating people.
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31 Days Of Space: The Spooky Frontier – Goku, Body Snatcher From Hell

space the spooky frontierA passenger plane is flying when they get a warning that there’s a bomb on board. A frantic search clears everyone expect one man. The man pulls a gun and hijacks the plane. Just then over the radio the pilots are informed of a spaceship being chased by Japanese and American pilots. Something flashes past the plane and the pilots lose control and an engine bursts into flames. The plane crashes onto an island.

The surviors include the co-pilot Sugisaka (Teruo Yoshida), a stewardess named Kazumi (Tomomi Satô), a senator, an American divorcee, an arms dealer and his wife, a scientist, a psychiatrist, the kid who called in the bomb threat and the hijacker. The hijacker takes Kazumi hostage and leaves the plane. They run into the jungle where they find an alien spaceship. The hijacker enters the ship where a blob-like substance enters his forehead splitting it open. Kazumi passes out. Sugisaka finds Kazumi and brings her back to the ship. The psychiatrist hypnotizes her so they can find out what’s happened. The teenager later pushes the psychiatrist over a cliff. The hijacker catches the psychiatrist and then drains him of his blood.
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31 Days Of Space: The Spooky Frontier – It! The Terror From Beyond Space

space the spooky frontierThe year is 1973. Earth has just sent the first astronauts to Mars but something has gone wrong. A ship has been dispatched to rescue the lone survivor of a crew of nine.

Col. Edward Carruthers (Marshall Thompson) claims that an alien creature murder all of his crew and he alone has survived. Nobody believes his story and instead think that Carruthers murdered his crew. He’s being brought back to be court-martialed. But something has gotten onto the ship as it returns to Earth. Something big that likes to hide in the air shafts and murder the crew for their blood!
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31 Days Of Space: The Spooky Frontier – Pitch Black

space the spooky frontierIn depths of space, a passenger ship is hit with debris, slamming through the hull, killing several sleeping passengers and damaging the ship causing it to crash. Pilot Carolyn Fry (Radha Mitchell) is awakened from cryo-sleep to the disaster and along with her co-pilot tries to save the ship. She jettisons off all the cargo sections but it’s not enough. She decides to lose the passenger section which is carrying 40 some people. The co-pilot tries to stop her but it doesn’t matter. The ship crashes on a planet far from civilization.

Only 11 people survive the crash. The co-pilot is impaled and dies a slow painful death. It seems the morphine has gone missing. The survivors include Abu “Imam” al-Walid (Keith David) and three young men he is escorting to a religious pilgrimage, antiques dealer Paris P. Ogilvie (Lewis Fitz-Gerald), stowaway teenager Jack (Rhianna Griffith), settlers John ‘Zeke’ Ezekiel (John Moore) and his partner Sharon ‘Shazza’ Montgomery (Claudia Black). Then there’s William J. Jones (Cole Hauser) and his prisoner, the notorious Richard B. Riddick (Vin Diesel). Riddick has had his eyes “shined” so he can see in the dark. As a result he has to wear goggles in the light. The planet that they have crashed landed on is a barren desert like planet. It has three suns and there never seems to be anything but daylight.
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31 Days Of Space: The Spooky Frontier – The Earth Dies Screaming

space the spooky frontierAnother October is upon us and that means it’s time for another 31 Days of Horror. From the many Earthly invasions to the old just traveling in the vast emptiness of the galaxy and finding unspeakable horror at every turn this year’s horror theme is Space: The Spooky Frontier. I will be covering everything from classics of the genre to some good ol’ B-movies and a few you never ever heard of. To start things off is the 1964 British horror, The Earth Dies Screaming.
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Sunday Matinee: The Return Of Godzilla

sunday-matineeGodzilla has returned to the big screens this year after an almost 10 year break. The last time he took a break that long was back in the late 1970s/1980s. When he finally returned to the big screen in 1984 Toho had updated the suit with a new robotic head. When the movie was released in North America was titled Godzilla 1985 and was edited with new footage of Raymond Burr.

A volcano erupts on an island and a fishing boat is caught in the current forcing the ship near the island where the vessel witnesses a large creature emerging from the volcano. The ship is found days later with all the crew dead but one. The survivor looks a pictures and realizes that he saw Godzilla. A Soviet sub sinks and the Soviets blame the Americans. Japan announces to the world that it was Godzilla. Meanwhile Godzilla attacks a nuclear plant and feeds on the energy.
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Sunday Matinee: Field Of Dreams

sunday-matineeCanadian author W.P. Kinsella passed away on September 16. I’m not a big baseball fan but my friend is and he loved Kinsella’s stories because a lot of them focused on baseball. Kinsella’s novel Shoeless Joe was adapted into the 1989 movie Field of Dreams starring Kevin Costner.

Costner stars as Ray Kinsella a farmer in Iowa who while walking through his corn field hears a voice whisper “If you build it, he will come.” He hears it a few more times before he has a vision about a baseball field. He tears up his corn field and builds a baseball field and waits. His brother-in-law thinks he’s crazy but eventually Shoeless Joe Jackson, one of the Chicago White Sox players who was part of the 1919 Black Sox Scandal where the players initially lost the World Series, appears in the field. Joe at first can only be seen by Costner. Joe asks if he can bring other players and soon the rest of the White Sox involved in the scandal show up to play.
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Sunday Matinee: Commando Cody: Sky Marshall Of The Universe

sunday-matineeStar Trek turned 50 this week and while Gene Roddenberry’s vision of the future has created a massive franchise, there was also an influential sci-fi movie serial series in the 1950s. Sure maybe it it influenced more laughs and mocking from today’s audiences and maybe it wasn’t as influential as say Flash Gordon or Buck Rodgers but Commando Cody still has his place in the history of sci-fi entertainment.

To start things off is the 1949 King of the Rocket Men. Now this serial wasn’t a Commando Cody serial but it first introduced the costume that Commando Cody wore in his adventures. King of the Rocket Men was about a couple of scientists fighting a mysterious evil genius named Dr. Vulcan. One of the scientists has invented a rocket pack with jacket and a bullet shaped helmet for the other scientist, Jeff King (Tristram Coffin) who also invented a ray gun to wear and go fight Dr. Vulcan. The serial was a hit for Republic Studios. Republic loved keeping costs low and so they recycled the costume and footage for their next serial.
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