Sunday Matinee: The Lady Vanishes

Iris Henderson (Margaret Lockwood) is a British tourist about to head home from the country of Bandrika. A train delay forces everyone who was going to travel to spend a night at the local inn.

Iris is disturbed by music playing in the room above her getting the young musician Gilbert Redman (Michael Redgrave) kicked out of his room. Gilbert retaliates by forcing Iris to let him stay in her room. Meanwhile elderly Miss Froy (Dame May Whitty) is listening to a local musician play a tune outside her window. Unbeknownst to Miss Froy, the musician is killed shortly after playing the tune.

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Sunday Matinee: Wolf Guy

There is not a lot of absolutely bat shit crazy cinema but during the 1970s exploitation era there was some amazingly unique movies. Today’s Sunday Matinee for example is a 1975 action/horror exploitation flick Wolf Guy based on the Japanese manga of the same name.

Trying to describe this movie takes a bit of work. Shinichi “Sonny” Chiba runs into a yakuza who is fleeing something. The man manages to get out of a crowd and into a back alley where an unseen force tears the man to shreds. Chiba catches up to the man finding him dying and mentioning a woman named Miki and a tiger.
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Sunday Matinee: Murder By Decree

I wanted to add this to this year’s 31 Days of Horror but it just didn’t quite fall into the horror category. This British/Canadian production by director Bob Clark has Sherlock Holmes going after Jack the Ripper in 1979’s Murder by Decree.

Christopher Plummer stars as Holmes and James Mason is Watson. It’s 1888 and Jack the Ripper is on the loose in the streets of London. A citizen’s group ask Holmes to investigate the crimes.
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Sunday Matinee: The Lodger: A Story Of The London Fog

<img src=”http://www.prairiedogmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/sunday-matinee.jpg” alt=”” width=”150″ height=”150″ class=”alignleft size-full wp-image-83591″ />We’ve almost reached the end of September and that means that Sunday Matinee will be going on hiatus for the month of October as I’ll be doing 31 Days of Horror again. This year’s theme will Canadian horror movies in honour of Canada’s 150 anniversary.

Today’s Sunday Matinee is Alfred Hitchcock’s 1927 masterpiece <em>The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog</em>. This was Hitchcock’s third movie but his first thriller.
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<img src=”http://www.prairiedogmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Lodger.jpg” alt=”” width=”182″ height=”268″ class=”alignleft size-full wp-image-93723″ />The plot has a serial killer on the loose, attacking blonde women on Tuesdays. While all the other blonde women are scared and hide their hair, Daisy Bunting (June Tripp) isn’t afraid. She lives at home with her folks and her boyfriend Joe (Malcolm Keen) is a police officer. Her parents are renting a room and a young man (Ivor Novello), who matches the descriptions of the killer, who calls himself The Avenger, comes to rent the room.

Slowly Daisy starts to fall for the lodger who is quiet and strange. When Joe starts to resent the lodger and confronts Daisy she breaks up with him. Joe then starts to believe that the lodger is The Avenger.

This is very early Hitchcock but it’s excellent. Several themes in this film Hitchcock would reuse in several of films over the years. Blonde female leads, ominous camera angles, shadowy lighting and an innocent man falsely accused and on the run. Hitchcock would refer to this film as “first true Hitchcock film” and it certainly lives up to the title.

 

Sunday Matinee: The Untouchables

<img src=”http://www.prairiedogmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/sunday-matinee.jpg” alt=”” width=”150″ height=”150″ class=”alignleft size-full wp-image-83591″ />Today’s Sunday Matinee is going to be a short one because I’m at the SaskExpo this weekend. Today’s Sunday Matinee is Brian De Palma’s 1987 hit The Untouchables.

The movie was a loose remake of the TV series and based on the supposed true book of the same name. Starring Kevin Costner as Eliot Ness and Robert De Niro as Al Capone the movie takes a fictional look at the fall of Capone. The movie is super stylish and violent with Sean Connery doing a crusty old cop and Ennio Morricone doing an awesome score.

Sunday Matinee: Point Blank

1967 was an awesome year for Lee Marvin. He not only starred in his biggest hit The Dirty Dozen, he also made the brilliant adaptation of Richard Stark’s excellent novel The HunterPoint Blank.

Directed by John Boorman who would go on to make such excellent films as Hell in the Pacific, Deliverance, Excalibur and The Emerald Forest Point Blank is a very stylish very gritty noir crime thriller.
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Sunday Matinee: Close Encounters Of The Third Kind

It’s been 40 years since Close Encounters of the Third Kind first hit theatres. It’s playing in theatres this weekend to celebrate its anniversary and despite nothing opening sadly Close Encounters of the Third Kind hasn’t rewowed audiences back like it did when it first came out.
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Sunday Matinee: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

I was saddened to hear that filmmaker Tobe Hooper has passed away at the age of 74. His body of work started off strong in the 1970s with his legendary classic The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. He would several other horror movies like Eaten Alive and Salem’s Lot. The 1980s had Hooper working with Steven Spielberg on Poltergeist which has long remained a rumour that Hooper didn’t really direct it.

He also made some fun B horror movies like Invaders From Mars and Lifeforce. Once the 1990s hit though Hooper didn’t really anything significant. In fact other than some OK TV work his movies tended to be awful. But looking back at his career I realized somehow I have never actually tackled The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. I’m not sure how I could write all those 31 Days of Horror and never feature The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Strange.
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Sunday Matinee: The Wailing

Jong-goo (Do-won Kwak) is a police officer in a small village and lives with his wife, young daughter and mother-in-law. Jong-goo is woken up and called for duty because a woman has died in the village. Upon arriving the scene it’s actually a gruesome double homicide and the killer is a catatonic blood soaked man who was caught at the scene of the crime.

It seems that there have been a lot of gruesome murders in the town lately. Jong-goo buddy and fellow police officer tells him that folks think that it’s all caused by the arrival of a Japanese man (Jun Kunimura) who is living outside the town. He also tells him that a friend of his saw the Japanese man running around in the woods, naked except a loin cloth feeding on deer like an animal. Jong-goo doesn’t believe the story and both men are startled by a naked woman standing in the doorway of the police station. She disappears when they go look.
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Sunday Matinee: Bonnie And Clyde

Man lots of great movies are celebrating anniversaries this year. And celebrating it’s 50th anniversary today is Arthur Penn’s classic biographical crime film, 1967’s Bonnie and Clyde.

The movie was a biographical if somewhat streamlined, comedic, violent and action packed version of notorious outlaws Bonnie Parker (Faye Dunaway) and Clyde Barker (Warren Beatty). The movie takes some liberties with the actual events but it’s an awesome and entertaining movie.
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