40 years ago in a galaxy long long ago a movie opened on May 25, 1977 that would change movies, summer blockbusters, merchandising and pop culture forever.
Up until this point a young filmmaker named George Lucas had only made two movies. THX 1138 a science fiction film about a dystopian future where sex is illegal and everyone is on drugs to keep everyone compliant. His other film was American Graffiti a movie about a bunch of teenagers who go cruising one night before going off to college, war, etc. THX 1138 bombed at the box office but American Graffiti was a hit for Lucas. Lucas had wanted to make a Flash Gordon movie but he couldn’t get the rights. So he decided to invent his own space epic. And what a space epic. It’s so epic it’s still going on today.
Continue reading “Sunday Matinee: Star Wars”
It feels like there’s always movies celebrating anniversaries. Sometimes though it’s a little shocking to hear how old some of these movies are. For example stuntman turned director Hal Needham’s first movie from 1977 Smokey and the Bandit.
The movie is kind of dumb but it kicked off a car chase craze throughout the 1980s. The simple easy going plot has Burt Reynolds (The Bandit) driving a 1977 Trans Am really fast to get cops to chase him instead of his buddy Jerry Reed whose semi is illegally hauling booze over state lines.
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Happy Mother’s Day. Here’s a zombie movie.
I used to read British writer Mike Carey’s comics all the time. He had a fantastic couple of series. His Lucifer was brilliant as was his short lived Crossing Midnight and The Unwritten. After years in the industry he moved on from comics and became novelist and has been writing novels for the last couple years. One of his more recent novels has been made into a British movie that never saw a North American release.
Continue reading “Sunday Matinee: The Girl With All The Gifts”
After producing several successful sci-fi movies in the early 1950s George Pal made his most ambitious and biggest movie to date, 1955’s Conquest of Space.
While effects were impressive for the time the story is a bit strange and flat. The movie bombed when it was released and it set Pal back a few years and he didn’t venture into outer space again.
Continue reading “Sunday Matinee: Conquest Of Space”
After directing the first Italian sound horror movie, Lust of the Vampire in 1957 director Riccardo Freda started work on his next horror movie Caltiki, the Immortal Monster. But for whatever reason Freda abandoned work on the film (Freda claimed he did it so Mario Bava could get the job, Bava states that the film was a mess which is why Freda left). Either way Caltiki, the Immortal Monster became legendary filmmaker Mario Bava’s first movie.
Continue reading “Sunday Matinee: Caltiki, The Immortal Monster”
In 1957 a group of astronauts, Commander Dr. Eldon Galbraithe (Nelson Leigh), engineer Henry Jaffe (Christopher Dark), radioman Herbert Ellis (Rod Taylor) and scientist John Borden (Hugh Marlowe), are travelling back to Earth after taking their rocket ship out for a test run around Mars.
Upon returning to Earth the ship suddenly accelerates and knocks the crew unconscious. When they awake they discover that the ship has crash landed on Earth into a snow covered mountain. Confused the crew try to figure out what has happened.
Continue reading “Sunday Matinee: World Without End”
“The Story of a Man Who Murdered Himself and Lived to Regret It!!!”
One of the problems of movies being in public domain is that the physical condition of the film tends to fall into poor disarray. If you want to watch a copy of the film odds are the version you are watching is going to look like crap. Not always but more often than not.
Lots of great film noir have fallen into public domain for a variety of reasons and one of them is this 1948 film Hollow Triumph which was re-released as The Scar.
Continue reading “Sunday Matinee: Hollow Triumph aka The Scar”
The crappy Americanized remake/live action adaptation of Ghost in the Shell has hit theatres with a thud. So today’s Sunday Matinee is the original animated movie from 1995.
Based on Masamune Shirow’s 1989 comic book, the 1995 animated movie was a streamlined adaptation of it following the adventures of Major Motoko Kusanagi and her squad of troubleshooting specialists of Section 9.
Continue reading “Sunday Matinee: Ghost In The Shell”
The final lost world movie that director Kevin Connor and actor Doug McClure made together in the late 1970s was this original tale of the search for the lost city of Atlantis.
The first three collaborations were all Edgar Rice Burroughs adaptations but for this film they hired screenwriter Brian Hayles who wrote several Doctor Who episodes in the 1970s.
Continue reading “Sunday Matinee: Warlords Of Atlantis”
After The Land That Time Forgot’s success, Amicus Studios re-teamed director Kevin Connor with actor Doug McClure for an adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Victorian-set novel At the Earth’s Core. To class things up a bit, Peter Cushing was added to the cast as the scientist Dr. Abner Perry. In At The Earth’s Core, Perry, along with David Innes (McClure) test the Iron Mole — a giant drilling machine capable of digging to the centre of the Earth. Little do they suspect they’re about to discover the mysterious underground realm Pellucidar and its strange, often hostile inhabitants.
Continue reading “Sunday Matinee: At The Earth’s Core”