Category Archives: Horror: Monsters

Flicks about monsters. Friend, foe, or just passing through.

Slugs

Opening Thoughts

Date:
1988
Stars:
Michael Garfield

Kim Terry

Philip Terry
Writers:
José Antonio Escrivá

Ron Gantman

Juan Piquer Simón
Director:
Juan Piquer Simón
WRC Score:
0.5/4
Note: 
First posted in a
different form on
February 4, 2012

I don’t want to hate movies.

Really.  I don’t.  I’m like a normal person in many ways.  I enjoy being happy and relatively pleasant.  Sometimes I even like speaking kindly to people, though I make sure to keep that to a bare minimum.

Sad to say, though, is that some flick really dig at the tender bits beneath the fingernails.  They dig and dig, then they dig some more.  And when you ask ever so politely for them to cut it the hell out, they bring out the lemon juice to squirt up and in.

Slugs makes those flicks look like they aren’t even trying.

So I look at that score, that 0.5, and I frown.  I frown a lot.  It should be a ZERO, I think.  Maybe even a minus one.  After all, the story breaks down so bad towards the end, and it wasn’t doing all that great to begin with.

And yet Slugs does hold together tolerably well in places.  As I believe a zero score has to be scraping the ground beneath the bottom of the barrel, it squeaks by.

Just.

With the greatest of reluctance.

So why is it I dislike this movie so?   Let’s go to the next page, shall we, and watch as one man goes from being relatively well pleased to actively shouting at the screen.

Don’t know why I do that.  They never listen…

Blood Beach

Date:
1980
Stars:
David Huffman

Marianna Hill

Burt Young
Writer:
Jeffery Bloom
Director:
Jeffery Bloom
WRC Score:
3.5/4
Note: 
First posted in a
different form on
January 31, 2014

Blood Beach warns us of the ever-present dangers of heading to the beach.  Specifically, you never know when something will suck you down beneath the surface and eat you.

Man I hare it when that happens.

What makes for a cult classic?  Damned if I know.  I think a decently made flick like Blood Beach might qualify.  It’s got a good script, good acting, good direction, and actor John Saxon in a disappointingly small role.

It’s not all roses, though.  There’s an unnecessary near rape scene that blemishes the experience.  On this, the monster, when seen, is sadly stiff.

Still, Blood Beach is one of the better Monster Movies (1.5 points)  I might be in the minority on this, but I had a great time watching it.  It rates a favorite with me, and if you give it a chance, you might like it too (2 points).

Your own mileage may vary, though.

Overall Score: 3.5 total point out of a possible 4

Octaman

Opening Thoughts

Date:
1971
Stars:
Pier Angeli

Kerwin Mathews

Jeff Morrow
Writer:
Harry Essex
Director:
Harry Essex
WRC Score:
1.5/4

(-_-)p
Note: 
First posted in a
different form on
October 29, 2011

Sometimes with these Opening Thoughts i talk about myself or this site.  It’s not the preferred course.  The preferred course is talking about the film in question.  Giving interesting tidbits and the like.

With Octaman, unfortunately, I sort of wish I had nothing at all to say.

Why is that?  Well…. here goes.

Octaman happens to be the last film of Pier Angeli, an actress who came close to marrying the one and only James Dean. Her career wasn’t exactly the brightest, but it’s still a shame it ended so early, with her being only 39.

This is also the last theatrical work for Jeff Morrow. Here is a name that will be popping up later in this Review site’s life (assuming I survive more pictures like this one). He stared in such classic films as This Island Earth, Kronos, and… um… The Giant Claw. Closer in line to today’s feature, he appeared in The Creature Walks Among Us.

Odd coincidence, no? But that’s not all, for there’s one more lasts for us to mention. This is the last film of its writer/director, Harry Essex. Like Morrow, Essex had a hand in such classic movies as It Came From Outer Space and… ah… Man Made Monster. Well I liked it.

More importantly, though, Essex wrote the original Creature from the Black Lagoon. Thus he cribs from his own past glories.

Now wasn’t that cheerful?

There is one more point of historic noting that must be attended to. This is the first film of Special Effects master Rick Baker. From here he would (in time) go to create creatures for movies like King Kong (1976), Star Wars, and the classic American Werewolf in London.

I know about the dates not matching. This movie was made in 1972 but not released until 1976. F

Why?  Let’s find out!  Turn to the next page, where a  misnamed monster laboring to leave the water’s depths…

Note: The IMDb has failed me with names for this film. Thus only the few names given there will be reported here.

Curse of the Faceless Man

Date:
1958
Stars:
Richard Anderson

Elaine Edwards

Adele Mara
Writer:
Jerome Bixby
Director:
Edward L. Cahn
WRC Score:
1.5/4
Note: 
First posted in a
different form on
September 6, 2013

The Curse of the Faceless Man isn’t just that he survived the eruption of a volcano.  Nor is it surviving being encased in molten ash.  Nor, really, is it living buried alive until the late fifties, where he gets freed to walk the Earth looking for the exact image of his lost love.

No, it’s being trapped in a scatter shot Mummy Plot, complete with a metric ton of narration and mediocre acting.

Which really sucks, as the core idea is rather interesting.

Ah well.

With all its problems, Curse of the Faceless Man doesn’t quite make mediocre (0.5 points).  about the kindness I can be to it is say it’s inoffensive, pointless, and justifiably obscure.

Which sounds like I’m being nasty, but really, it’s just the truth.  I’ve seen it.  It makes me neither sad nor mad nor glad. (1 point).

And that’s the real curse on the Faceless Man.

Overall Score: 1.5 total point out of a possible 4

Night of the Cobra Woman

Date:
1972
Stars:
Joy Bang

Marlene Clark

Roger Garrett
Writers:
Kerry Magness Andrew Meyer
Director:
Andrew Meyer
WRC Score:
0/4
Note: 
First posted in a
different form on
August 13, 2023

A young researcher seeks out a rare cobra venom in the Philippines.  What she finds instead is BOREDOM!  PURE, UNADULTERATED BOREDOM!

Oh wait.  That was me.

What she found amounts to the Night of the Cobra Woman.  Or, honestly, nights.  With a woman who’s turning into a cobra.

Which sounds like it might be interesting, doesn’t it?

Now where was I?

Oh yes.

BORING!  ABSOLUTELY!  WITHOUT A DOUBT!  BOR! ING!

I can’t stress that enough.

Night of the Cobra Woman is a film without purpose.  It moves from one plot point to the next without a course or wind to guide it.  Without this purpose it ends up with a boring story, boring characters, and a bored audience.

There’s a very real sense that huge chunks of the narrative are missing, perhaps never even put into script form.  This is a terrible, terrible movie, without a hint of style or substance to save it.  (0 points.)

This film is probably the worst I’ve seen since… well, it hasn’t been that long, sadly, but let’s let the comment stand.  I had no idea how good I was having it before watching this.  I wish I had never seen this flick and will not make the mistake of watching it a second time. (0 points)

Bad movie connoisseurs beware of this turkey.  It may well test your limits.  I know it did mine.  I neither recommend nor not recommend out of fear of encouraging someone from having a horrible time.  More than I just already did, natch.

The Ape Man

Opening Thoughts

Date:
1943
Stars:

Bela Lugosi

Louise Currie

Wallace (ugh) Ford
Writer:
Barney A. Sarecky
Director:
William Beaudine
WRC Score:
1.5/4
Note: 
First posted in a
different form on
October 15, 2011

Not a lot to say here. I watching this movie for the express purposes of watching the sequel, Return of the Ape Man.

Which was dumb of me, as Return of the Ape Man is as much a sequel to The Ape Man as The Return of Dr. X is to Dr. X. Or Kingu Kongu no gyakushû/King Kong Escapes is to King Kong.

Now that I’ve listed at least four flicks more worth your time than this one, let’s go to the next page to see if Lugosi leaves any furniture left or if he chews through them all before the ad for war bonds pops up.

The Flying Serpent

Opening Thoughts

Date:
1946
Stars:
George Zucco

Ralph Lewis

Hope Kramer
Writer:
John T. Neville
Director:
Sam Newfield
WRC Score:
2/4
Note: 
First posted in a
different form on
September 9, 2011

I pick each movie I review on this site with the same thoughtful, considered method.  It’s called “It seemed like a good idea at the time.”

Sometimes it works nicely.  Sometimes it bites me in the butt.  And Sometimes it takes a giant bat and beats me over the head, screaming “WHY WON’T YOU LEARN?  WHY WON’T YOU LEARN?”

In short, I gotta find a new system.

In this particular case I picked The Flying Serpent for one reason and one reason only: Quetzalcoatl.  I’ve been a big fan of his since watching the classic (CLASSIC I TELL YOU!) giant monster movie Q (1982).  The chance to see him in an earlier performance?  Why, I couldn’t pass that up.

Maybe I should have.  Might have had more fun that way.

A couple of things about The Flying Serpent.  It is benefited by the presence of one George Zucco, an undeservedly less Horror Giant in comparison to Karloff and Lugosi.  While not one of his better outings, it’s always good to see him.

Speaking of Lugosi, this is an unofficial remake of the second greatest Dracula’s The Devil Bat (1940).  Six years existed between this two films.  So the next time you hear something about Hollywood no longer having any creativity, you can point and laugh.

Cause Hollywood never had much creativity to begin with.

In any case, let’s pay the city of San Juan, New Mexico a visit, shall we, and see a man about a plumed serpent.

Le lac des morts vivants

Date:
1981
Stars:
Howard Vernon

Pierre-Marie Escourrou

Anouchka
Writer:
Jesús Franco
Director:
Jean Rollins
WRC Score:
0.5/4

(-_-)p
Note: 
First posted in a
different form on
February 22, 2013

Men in bad green face paint pretend to come out of a lake to dribble fake blood on–

Wait.  I was supposed to be taking this flick seriously?  Really?  Have you seen–

Huh.

Okay, then.  Undead soldiers play hob upon the populace of a small town in Le lac des morts vivants (also known as Zombie Lake.)

Now in the interest of fairness (and we all want to be fair here),  I’ve seen worse Zombie movies in my life.  I think.  Names aren’t springing readily to mind.  But I’m sure sooner or later they’ll come.

Of course, that’s assuming you can call Le lac des morts vivants a Zombie movie.  The name doesn’t quite pop up and they don’t quite act the way you expect a Zombie would.

Then again, you can pretty much say that about everyone else in this flick. Le lac des morts vivants is a terrible, terrible movie.  Acting, plot, script, make up, you name it, they muck it up.   About all it has going for it is that it is sheer awful (0 points).

Le lac des morts vivants might make a decent night’s riffing for some, but I found it too dull myself (0.5 points). I don’t recommend you watching it, but you know you best.

It’ll help if you watch the nudity packed version. You’ll know which one you’re watching soon enough to bail, if need be…

Overall Score: 0.5 total point out of a possible 4 (-_-)p

Las garras de Lorelei

Also Called:
The Loreley’s Grasp

When the Screaming Stops

Date:
1974
Stars:
Tonny Kendall

Helga Liné

Silvia Tortosa
Writer:
Amando de Ossorio
Director:
Amando de Ossorio
WRC Score:
2.5/4
Note: 
First posted in a
different form on
August 3, 2012

Las garras de Lorelei tells the story of a hunter gets called into a German town in order to protect a girl’s school from a killer with a thing for human hearts.   What he doesn’t know is that he’s pitted against a monster.  One that has been doing this sort of thing for centuries…

Also known as The Loreley’s Grasp and When the Screaming Stops, Las garras de Lorelei is a borderline decent Monster Movie.  What holds it back is bad gore and more questions regarding plot than real answers.  As a spoiler-free example, just where in myth does the Lorelei appear as a beautiful woman who changes into a scaly horror?

For whatever faults it has, Las garras de Lorelei never quite moves into Bad Movie range for me (1 point).  That, of course, might be a subjective thing.  I rather liked the flick, in fact(1.5 points).

Not that you could tell this from reading the Whale version of this review.

Seriously, this is about as nice as I get towards it.

Funny what trips the compassionate switch and what doesn’t…

Overall Score: 2.5 total points out of a possible 4

Dead Men Walk

Date:
1943
Stars:
George Zucco

Mary Carlisle

Nedrick Young
Writer:
Fred Myton
Director:
Sam Newfield
WRC Score:
3/4
Note: 
First posted in a
different form on
June 23, 2012

A truly evil man dies. But, as the title Dead Men Walk suggests, this doesn’t slow him down much.  Soon enough he’s  back as a Vampire, seeking vengeance against his murderer.

Dead Men Walk happens to be one of the best Poverty Row Horror flicks I’ve ever seen.  It also might well belong with the best of Forties Horror.

Even with that said, this is a Vampire movie, more or less in the Traditional mode.  A very good Vampire movie (1.5 points), but if you’ve seen one, you’ll know the beats as they come.

Still, I had fun watching the movie (1.5 points).  George Zucco is well worth watching any time, and here he gets to play both the vampire and the vampire’s twin.  Though he seems to be enjoying the vampire role more…

Anyways, if you’re a fan of Vampires that don’t sparkle in the daytime, you might find this worth your time.

Overall Score: 3 total point out of a possible 4

Pharaoh’s Curse

Date:
1957
Stars:
Mark Dana

Ziva Rodann

Diane Brewster
Writer:
Richard H. Landau
Director:
Lee Sholem
WRC Score:
2.5/4
Note: 
First posted in a
different form on
March 31, 2012

Pharaoh’s Curse tells the tale of a wife trying to be reunited with her husband explorer in a war-torn Egypt.  When she gets there (finally, after a long stretch) she finds that he’s gone and cause the titular happenstance to happen.

One of the great joys of Movie Watching is discovering a seldom seen movie.  This happens to be one of them.  Never even heard of it before stumbling over it at a streaming service.

It seemed quite strange, as Pharaoh’s Curse had an interesting premise (a mummy movie with no mummy?  A vampire movie without an actual vampire?).  Watching it, I found nothing wrong with the acting.  And about 2/3 of the script was decent enough.

Unfortunately it happens to be the last 2/3.  The first 1/3  meanders pointlessly, wasting considerable time and good will.   Worse though, is the lackluster climax, of which I can say no more about.

So instead of a forgotten gem I found a forgotten flick, really no better or worse than its contemporaries (1 point).  Still, for all of its flaws, I kind of liked it (1.5 points).  Give it a watch when you’re in the mood for Fifties horror, but have seen all the good ‘uns.

Overall Score: 2.5 total point out of a possible 4

Slugs

Date:
1988
Stars:
Michael Garfield

Kim Terry

Philip Terry
Writers:
José Antonio Escrivá

Ron Gantman

Juan Piquer Simón
Director:
Juan Piquer Simón
WRC Score:
0.5/4
Note: 
First posted in a
different form on
February 4, 2012

Mutant Slugs develop a taste for meat and begin stalking a city’s populace. Really. Not much to add here.

That said, Slugs is sort of a Bad Movie nexus.  Acting, writing, directing, a few good F/X, all swirl together to form one bad flick (.5 points).  It gets damn near incoherent in places.

In fairness, I’ve seen worse.  That said,  Slugs never reached the “so bad it’s good” level of terrible.  It’s especially hard going for me as I found most of the characters in it perfectly hateable.  The few I did like died horrible deaths.

Not the best way to endear me, as you might imagine.  (0 points)

To shorten a review that should be short to begin with, you can do better elsewhere.

Overall Score: .5 total point out of a possible 4

The Neanderthal Man

Opening Thoughts

2016-neaderthal man-Note-000Walking into this one, I thought I was watching a rip-off of Monster on Campus.  To my vast amusement I find that this is the earlier film.  So beyond these comments and a brief one in the Viewing Experience, you won’t find a comparison to that… I hesitate to say “worthy”.  Let’s be polite and say “better film”, then move on.

You will notice as you go through the Viewing Experience a shift in tone.  I wrote and condensed while I watched, as has been my wont.  I find this gives a better window on my thoughts as I experience things than I have afterwards.  I tend to see things more… favorable in the moment.

This will become even clearer in the Thoughts After the Film.  I’m writing this opening before doing that section, and I find myself growing more and more angry with this film as I go.  Not for the first time does this second thought process provoke a negative response.

Now you might ask yourself, why is Cullen so angry?  Click on the next page, and let’s find out together.

Kind of.  Sort of.  Take it as a figure of speech and let us move on.

Octaman

Date:
1971
Stars:
Pier Angeli

Kerwin Mathews

Jeff Morrow
Writer:
Harry Essex
Director:
Harry Essex
WRC Score:
1.5/4

(-_-)p
Note: 
First posted in a
different form on
October 29, 2011

Small change of format.  Bear with me.

If classic monster movies are soda pops, then Octaman is flat Creature from the Black Lagoon. You have the expedition heading out to the middle of nowhere to catch a great find, you have the find finding them first,then becoming attached to the lead female, etc. etc. None of which should be surprising; the same guy who wrote Lagoon made this flick.

What sets the two apart is the terrible monster.  The bland acting.  The ever-present feeling of doom and despair, as if cast and crew suddenly realized that this as far as the career train was going and there was no other stops.  Which was sadly true; several actors involved died soon after.

Octaman is an awful flick (0 points). It does nothing for me, and I think it might even be a chore to sit through for the Bad Movie crowd.  I DON’T RECOMMEND you seeing it.

Overall Score: .5 (-) total point out of a possible 4 (-_-)p

The Ape Man

Date:
1943
Stars:

Bela Lugosi

Louise Currie

Wallace (ugh) Ford
Writer:
Barney A. Sarecky
Director:
William Beaudine
WRC Score:
1.5/4
Note: 
First posted in a
different form on
October 15, 2011

The Ape Man tells the tragic story about a young scientist (played by sixty year old Bela Lugosi) who has accidentally turned himself into the title creature.  As no one will help him with finding a cure, he and his ape servant will go out and do the job themselves.  And if people die in the process?  Meh.

As one can judge by the proceeding paragraph, The Ape Man is a standard Horror fare.  But it has an extra problem, and I don’t mean co-star Wallace Ford.

Wait, I do mean Ford.  Why can’t movies kill his characters off in the first five minutes?  Why, God, Why?

But beyond that, how can you respect a film that has no respect for itself?

You can’t, really. The Ape Man is a transformation flick without a single transformation, a by-the-numbers job that hits a checklist of clichés before striding out the door. It comes close to mediocre, with a definite uptick in entertainment (at least for me) in the late quarter. However, the last three minutes (while mildly amusing) bring it low. (.5 point).

Most of The Ape Man left me with not enough to like though (1 points), but that’s a judgement call. I kept comparing this to the Boris Karloff vehicle The Ape and the numbers sort of slipped after that. Lugosi almost makes it worth while with his acting, but really, it isn’t near enough.

Overall Score: 1.5 total point out of a possible 4

The Flying Serpent

Date:
1946
Stars:
George Zucco

Ralph Lewis

Hope Kramer
Writer:
John T. Neville
Director:
Sam Newfield
WRC Score:
2/4
Note: 
First posted in a
different form on
September 9, 2011

You think you’ve got problems?  Well in The Flying Serpent the female lead has a stepdad with an ancient god for a pet that he sends out killing.  Then this jerk enters the scene determined to ruin her life forever.

Oh wait, that’s supposed to be the romantic lead.

My bad.

The Flying Serpent is, at best, an average Grade Z forties monster flick.  Nothing startlingly original (in fact, a quasi remake of an earlier Z), nothing startlingly bad.  ‘Tis what ’tis (1 point).

The only thing it has going for it is an interesting performance by genre vet George Zucco.  So if you’re a Zucco fan, you might wanna check the old man in action.  For me, though, his presence didn’t rouse me from my apathy (1 point).

Overall Score: 2 total point out of a possible 4

The Neanderthal Man

Date:
1953
Stars:
Robert Shayne

Joyce Terry

Richard Crane
Writers:
Aubrey Wisberg

Jack Pollexfen
Director:
Ewald André Dupont
WRC Score:
1/4
Note: 
First posted in
a different form
on July 14, 2011

A professor taps his primordial side in the hopes of proving that prehistoric man was superior to the modern version.  The results are The Neanderthal Man, an ape-like savage trapped in a world he doesn’t understand.

Oh, and he also creates sabretooth tigers.  Because who wouldn’t if they could?

The Neanderthal Man might have been a decent Horror flick.  Trouble is, it’s weighted down with a variety of problems.  A bad script, mostly, though there is a sabretooth tiger prop that tests “Seeing is believing” to its limits (the curious can click here without threat of spoilers).

Because of this problems, I’m giving The Neanderthal Man a bad mark, though it’s a close one.  Were we to be anal about the scoring, it be more .75 that .5.

But I’m not going to do that.

Because my scoring would become even more anal and obscure than it already is.

While at certain points I found myself involved in The Neanderthal Man, I find myself disliking the film the more I think about it. (0.5 point). Bottom line? If you need to see a professor turning into a caveman movie, seek out Monster on Campus instead.

Overall Score: 1 total point out of a possible 4

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C.H.U.D.

Date:
1984
Stars:
John Heard

Daniel Stern

Christopher Curry
Writer:
Parnell Hall
Director:
Douglas Cheek
WRC Score:
3/4
Note: 
First posted in
a different form
on May 13, 2010

C.H.U.D. tells the still relevant story of the problems all major cities have.  Mainly that monsters live beneath the streets and sooner or later they’re going to get tired of being down there and come right on up.  Or pull people down to them for lunch.  Literally.

This is a fun little monster movie.  Decent special effects, decent acting, with all the right notes hit.  Plus the occasional bucking of the cliché.

Sure, there are problems.  For instance, the wrong characters as protagonists.  Then there’s some silliness at the end.  But in the end all that’s moot.  This is a well deserved cult classic. (1.5 points).

I’ve watched this a couple of times since my first pass at reviewing it, and my opinion remains just as high. (1.5 points) I think, given a chance, most fans of the subgenre will find a lot to like here.

Total: 3 points out of a possible 4

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Bigfoot

Opening Thoughts

Date:
1970
Stars:
John Carradine
Joi Landsin
Judy Jordan
Writers:
Robert F. Slatzer

James Gordon White
Director:
Robert F. Slatzer
WRC Score:
2/4

(-_-)p
Note: 
First posted in a different form on June 10, 2012

Here’s a movie that used to appear all the time on television, back in my fabled youth, that now has seemed to have vanish into the ether. Not that having vanished is necessarily a bad thing, mind you. It’s just that I’ve been a-looking and now that I’ve found it, I’m gonna watch it.

(Well, as this is a reboot review, I’ve already watched it.  But you know what I mean.)

As the name implies, this movie is about the fabled Bigfoot, cousin to the yeti. The last time we dabbled with his kind left a mark, of sorts. That was The Snow Creature, first of the Yeti/Bigfoot pictures. Such fond memories it inspires. At least in the writing of the review, if in no way the movie itself.

Shall this one bring similar “pleasant” memories? As we are on a streak of writing these openings before I actually watch the film, you already know the answer to that. But perhaps the journey to that destination will amuse. It is always my hope.

Before moving to the next page, though, it would be remiss of me not to mention that this will be John Carradine‘s first “appearance” here at Welltun Cares Reviews. As Mr. Carradine was the hardest working man in Genre films (kinda sorta) we will no doubt see more of him in future.

That said, head off to the next page for an extensive look at a film that frankly doesn’t rate it.  Par for the course around here, when you think about it…

The Snow Creature

Opening Thoughts

Date:
1954
Stars:
Paul Langton

Leslie Denison

Teru Shimada
Writer:
Myles Wilder
Director:
W. Lee Wilder
WRC Score:
1.5/4

(-_-)p
Note: 
First posted in a
different form on
September 17, 2011

What does Frankenstein (1910), The Werewolf (1913), and The Snow Creature have in common?

Besides being all in black and white, I mean.

Well, all three of them happen to be firsts. They are, in order, the first Frankenstein movie, the first Werewolf movie, and the very first Yeti movie.

Okay, okay, there also movies you wouldn’t associate with one another on a bet unless you were desperate for an opening to a review. Must there always be such bitterness between us?

Silliness aside, The Snow Creature didn’t just kicked off not only a spate of similar films in the fifties. It also started an entire sub-genre of films dealing with the Yeti and his cousin Big Foot. This sub-genre is, sad to say not very well-regarded.

There is a reason for this: Yeti/Big Foot movies aren’t very good.

But that’s a discussion for another day. What about our feature film? As you can see above, this particular reviewer didn’t care for it that much. If his reasons valid?

Let’s turn the page and see.

La tumba de los muertos vivientes

Opening Thoughts

Also Called:
Oasis of the Zombies

Treasure of the Living Dead

Oasis of the Living Dead

Date:
1983
Stars:
Manuel Gélin

Henri Lambery

France Lomay
Writer:
Jesús Franco
Director:
Jesús Franco
WRC Score:
2/4

(-_-)p
Note: 
First posted in a
different form on
July 6, 2011

A little history here.

La tumba de los muertos vivientes/Oasis of the Zombies (or Treasure of the Living Dead, or Oasis of the Living Dead, or whatever you want to call it) marks the first time I (knowingly) watched a Jesús Franco. As such, I’m going to leave it alone for the most part for its part in the reboot.

Ha ha, just kidding; I reworked the whole thing to spite myself. Oh unnecessary work, will you never lose your appeal?

Anyway. First time through, the IMDB had two listings with different names and I didn’t want to hassle with putting name to actor. Now that it’s been straightened out, I’m willing to do the work.

Might as well as I’m doing extra time here…

The reason for the multiple listings is, no doubt, because of there being multiple versions of the film. Not as many as our previous subject, just two, but that can be enough. Especially on the internet.

For the record, this series covers the French version.

On the next page we being our journey across the sands to a land of undead horrors. Big smiles all around.

Bigfoot

Date:
1970
Stars:
John Carradine
Joi Landsin
Judy Jordan
Writers:
Robert F. Slatzer

James Gordon White
Director:
Robert F. Slatzer
WRC Score:
2/4

(-_-)p
Note: 
First posted in a different form on June 10, 2012

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Let’s see if you’ve heard this one before.  A traveling con artist and his cousin enter the woods and happen upon proof of the fabled Bigfoot living in the woods.  At the same time, a young biker loses his girl to what seems like a similar creature.  In the fullness of time the three unite to solve this age-old mystery once and for all.

While it sounds like a lot of different monster movies, it eventually boils down into a King Kong clone.  It takes place in the woods instead of a Lost World, and bikers instead of dinosaurs. Or… or something like that.

The important part is that this comes close to being one of the better Z-grade feature.   Because it’s coherent.  And yes, that’s a big selling point.  Watch enough Z-grade flicks, see how quick that begins to matter.

What kills it is, though, is what usually kills this grade of picture: padding, cardboard characters, odd editing choices, and frankly bad acting (Carradine and John Mitchum being noticeable (if hammy) exception). Thrills or excitement might be absent for the adult viewer. Kids might like it–for instance I seem to recall being quite fond of it as a child–but don’t be too shocked if they don’t. (0.5 points)

While I did just bad mouth it in the last paragraph, I have to confess that I did like this film (1.5 point).  Unlike many other of his movies, there’s plenty of Carradine to go around, and the old boy could  be quite entertaining when the spirit possessed him.  I fear, though, this is a Cullen movie, and thus I’m also giving it a mild NOT RECOMMEND if you’re not a big Carradine fan.

And into padding.

And bad monster suits.

And…

Score: 2 points out of a possible 4 (-_-)p

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The Snow Creature

Date:
1954
Stars:
Paul Langton

Leslie Denison

Teru Shimada
Writer:
Myles Wilder
Director:
W. Lee Wilder
WRC Score:
1.5/4

(-_-)p
Note: 
First posted in a
different form on
September 17, 2011

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The Snow Creature details the travails of an American botany expedition to the Himalaya Mountains.  As they look at the local flora, word reaches them that a Yeti has kidnapped the wife of their guide.  The Americans laugh it off, but for some reason the guide doesn’t see the humor in the situation.  Conflict ensues.

This, as far as I can tell, is the first Yeti movie.  Or at least the first American one.  Whatever the case may be, it sets the standards for an entire subgenre.  A standard that most Yeti/Bigfoot movies find easy to hit, as it’s quite low.

You can step over it low.

Almost buried in the ground low.

Signs of quality pop up in the flick in both script and acting, but neither in such qualities as to come close to saving it.  Everything’s bogged down by an excess of stock footage, narrated action, and reuse of scenes.  Reused scenes, hell.  The last portion of the flick seems to consist of nothing but.

My big sticking point is the protagonist, the leader of the American botany expedition.  It might be a shift in cultural attitude, but to my modern eyes this guy is one hateful piece of work, to the point I was kind of hoping for his death before the end.  This, I should point out, isn’t usual for me.  Hopefully it never happens again.

One might find mocking this movie’s badness (.5 points) a treat.  Me, I don’t much care for The Snow Creature either way. (1 point).  Wasted potential is all it is.

Total: 1.5 points out of a possible 4.

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La tumba de los muertos vivientes

Also Called:
Oasis of the Zombies

Treasure of the Living Dead

Oasis of the Living Dead

Date:
1983
Stars:
Manuel Gélin

Henri Lambery

France Lomay
Writer:
Jesús Franco
Director:
Jesús Franco
WRC Score:
2/4

(-_-)p
Note: 
First posted in a
different form on
July 6, 2011

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La tumba de los muertos vivientes (also known as Oasis of the Zombies, Treasure of the Living Dead, Oasis of the Living Dead, or whatever you want to call) is your typical coming of age film.  A young man heads out to an oasis to find his father’s lost treasure.  To go into what he finds there would go into spoiler country, but I’ll give you a hint:  It’s sand.  Lots of sand.  With palm trees.

Oh.  And there might be, might be I said, a few zombies too.

Funny how hard it is to keep spoiler free.  Especially with this flick.  While La tumba de los muertos vivientes does have itself a plot, problematic though it may, its sometimes hard to tell.  So many scenes of people wandering about, coupled with repeated scenes.   Not helping are the cardboard (though mostly inoffensive) characters.

Due to this and special effects range from goofy to tragic, this flick can only be called bad.  Others may disagree–they might even use words like terrible–but honestly?   I’ve seen much, much worse than this.  And have the mental scars to prove it.

In fact, and I’m a little embarrassed to say this, I really started enjoying myself as the film went along.  This review comes from my second time watching this film, and unlike the first time, where my opinion dropped on reflection, I find my fondness for this flick growing (1.5 points).  I know it’s bad, sure as shooting, but I enjoyed myself.

God is my taste slipping with age.

You may watch it as you wish, but I’m NOT RECOMMENDING it.

Score: 2.5 points out of a possible 4 (-_-) p

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