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Saints&Sinners

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Johnny Strong: I was touring for an album and I got this script I thought they wanted me to do the music. I read it and wanted to be in it. I contacted (director) and we agreed we both wanted me to star on it. … World’s most dangerous cast of say. … There are lots of people who wake up daily and deal with things no one else in the room wants to deal with. … My character kills a lot of people in the movie which is kind of questionable ( laughter).

 

Director Kaufman: there’s no way to tell someone how to raise money for a movie. It’s all happenstance. The cash in for production was $658,000. … Most of the mercenaries in the film were, had been, contractors, which added to the realism.

 

Tom Berenger: I do prefer (ensemble work). I did Hatfields & McCoys which is 75 actors and I love it. A lot of my big staff is all ensemble work. With all those extra characters the plots just get richer.

Mickey Gilbert

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– peckinpaw told me I had to go, he could see me in too many scenes
– I played 32 Mexicans
– peckinpaw shot it all; there wasn’t a lot of big second units in those days.
– I’ve had three close calls in my life. One was on a picture called Breakheart Pass. … So I said he when I come out of this boxcar you have a guy blow me apart, and I slide down this rail and hang over this gorge here. … But then I slide on these metal stairs and was getting hit by railroad ties. Then this other time I was run over by a jeep. It was this stunt I was doing with a stunt guy who was a friend of Lee Major’s. … So he’s using a pull down strap, and I don’t like it cause then you can’t see where you’re going. So then I get to my guys and I tell them to move them cameras; then I go and stand where the cameras were to take a picture. … Everyone said I looked like a log when the jeep hit me. I woke up in like five minutes. I was in the hospital overnight.
– I had a good rapport with Lee Majors. We had a lot of fun on the Fall Guy show
– [they used plywood on gliders to make the horses fall in the train when it was hit in The Wild Bunch]
– the horses were standing on plywood with grease, and the just slide right on in [to the river, off the bridge]
– favorite stunt: it’s really hard for me to say. Probably one of the best was a mustang car jumping through a theatre. I wasn’t going for any record or distance.

Mickey will receive a lifetime achievement award this year for stuntmen.

Solomon Kane – Rocketman

Colin Geddes, Aaron Norris, and Rocketman

Yesterday’s US premiere of Solomon Kane was great fun!  We’d never been to the Diana Wortham Theater in Asheville before; it was spacious (I didn’t spend the evening having to fight for territory with the people seated next to me) but intimate.  I’ll leave it to Marc to review the film – all I can say is “WOW” and “I love a premiere!”

Rocketman!

Rocketman took off, and then landed a after circling overhead for a minute or two.  This has to be one of the loudest things I’ve ever experienced!  He comes back for another show on Saturday during the 2 pm stunt spectacular – be sure to come out and watch!

Today is a full line up of movies, though I hope to find time to update between showings!

Kaboom,

Jenny

 

Ray Harryhausen

THE visual effects maestro when I was growing up, his wizardry is still gorgeous today. Today’s CGI can range from laughably bad (almost any movie on the Sci-Fi – oops Syfy channel) to absolutely gorgeous (Sin City). Yes computers can do in hours what took him weeks to accomplish but his artistry is still unsurpassed. He was inspired by Willis O’Brien’s King Kong and worked with him on Mighty Joe Young. Sadly as Ray Harryhausen is neither an actor (cameos aside) nor a director, Netflix search engine isn’t helpful. Netflix has three of his films currently available on instant play.

The 7th Voyage of Sinbad

1.  The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958) – “The dauntless Sinbad (Kerwin Mathews) heads to the island of Colossa, where only the egg of a giant bird can restore a pea-sized princess (Kathryn Grant) to normal size. The evil magician Sokurah (Torin Thatcher) accompanies him — with ulterior motives to retrieve a lamp and genie (Richard Eyer) he once lost. But before the group can return home, they must conquer a landscape of fantastic beasts, including a Cyclops that hungers for human flesh”

Harryhausen’s first color feature is an absolute masterpiece. This is my 2nd favorite Harryhausen movie behind only Jason and the Argonauts. The villain is nefarious, the damsel is alluring and in distress, and the hero is not as wooden as the next two Sinbads.

The Golden Voyage of Sinbad

 

2. The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1974) – “John Phillip Law stars as the legendary sailor who finds a talisman and sets sail with his crew for an uncharted island. With a beautiful slave girl in tow, Sinbad takes on evil sorcerer Koura (Tom Baker), who wants Sinbad’s golden talisman to complete a spell. Once on the island, Sinbad and crew must battle a six-armed figure of Kali (courtesy of special-effects master Ray Harryhausen), an enraged Cyclops centaur and a winged griffin”

While Tom Baker (Doctor Who) is a hoot as the villain and the Kali fight is a wonderful highlight, I did not like this one as much as The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (it is still excellent though).

Clash of the Titans

3. Clash of the Titans (1981) – “This epic mythological adventure stars Harry Hamlin as Perseus, son of Zeus (Laurence Olivier), who embarks on a series of perilous quests in the hopes of rescuing Princess Andromeda (Judi Bowker) and winning the keys to the kingdom of Joppa. With winged horse Pegasus as his steed, Perseus must answer vexing riddles, capture the head of Medusa and slay a ravenous sea monster. Burgess Meredith and Ursula Andress co-star in this classic tale”

The wonderful cast also includes Maggie Smith, Claire Bloom, Sian Phillips, and Flora Robson but they seem strangely wooden compared to Harryhausen’s creations. Ironically Flora Robson played Livia in Charles Laughton’s unfinished I, Claudius (1937) while Sian Phillips played Livia in the BBC miniseries. While there are many wonderful creations on display here, Ray’s Medusa is an absolute marvel.

Peter Cushing

Peter Cushing is my favorite actor. Hammer’s premier horror actor (even more so than Christopher Lee in England) for decades, he is little known now. He had 128 movie and TV roles and was a TV star before his first big Hammer role as Dr. Frankenstein in The Curse of Frankenstein. He played the role five more times for Hammer (Revenge of Frankenstein, Evil of Frankenstein, Frankenstein Created Woman, Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed, and Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell). Currently four of his movies are available on instant play.

The Flesh and the Fiends

1. The Flesh and the Fiends (1960) – “As full-time grave-robbers, William Burke (George Rose) and William Hare (Donald Pleasence) work tirelessly to supply eccentric university professor Dr. Robert Knox (Peter Cushing) with cadavers for his anatomy classes. But when supply starts running desperately short of demand, they’ll have to get creative to fill the doctor’s orders. Based on actual events, this creepy story details how two small-time crooks became murderers”.

Cushing’s performance is fine as the arrogant Dr. Knox (though perhaps a little too similar to his Frankenstein portrayal) but Donald Pleasence steals the show as the graverobber Hare.

The Blood Beast Terror

2. Blood Beast Terror (1967) – “Obsessed etymologist Dr. Mallinger (Robert Flemyng) creates a giant, blood-sucking mutant moth with the uncanny ability to transform itself into a beautiful but lonely woman (Wanda Ventham). When the evil doctor decides to create a mate for his moth lady, there are now two murderous moths stalking the small town in which he lives. The only one who can stop the bad bugs in this stylish thriller is the brilliant Inspector Quennell (Peter Cushing).”

Peter Cushing himself felt this was the worst movie that he ever did though I think Land of the Minotaur was worse.

Nothing but the Night

3. Nothing but the Night (1973) – “When elderly orphanage caretakers lose their lives through odd suicides and accidents, inspector Charles Bingham (Christopher Lee) and forensics expert Sir Mark Ashley (Peter Cushing) investigate the situation and unravel a diabolical conspiracy involving sadistic cult members. Based on a novel by John Blackburn, this movie masterfully weaves together elements of crime, thriller and horror genres”

Christopher Lee and  Peter Cushing’s performances are the highlight of this somewhat silly story. This film was the first and only film made by Christopher Lee’s production company. This is a must watch for old horror movie buffs as this film is not currently available on DVD in the US.
I, Monster

4. I, Monster (1973) – “Dr. Charles Marlowe (Christopher Lee) is on the verge of a medical breakthrough: He’s devised a drug capable of releasing people’s deepest inhibitions. But when the good doctor uses the drug on himself, he releases something else — a horrifying alter ego named Mr. Blake. With each transformation, Blake becomes more powerful and hideous. Dr. Marlowe is caught in a deadly struggle with himself in this thriller co-starring Peter Cushing

Hilariously this is simply Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. All the secondary names (such as Cushing’s Utterson) are taken from Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel but they changed the name of the protagonist/antagonist for some reason. Perhaps Amicus felt Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was too old or too often filmed to be profitable. Hammer’s earlier The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll (also with Christopher Lee) did not fare well at the box office.

Hello world!

When our cable special GET EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD FOR ONE LOW PRICE! ended, we had to make a decision between keeping the cable TV and keeping the internet. Getting rid of the cable phone was a no-brainer as in an entire year, we had never used it. The cable internet was used by everyone in the house and the cable TV was mostly just for me so goodbye cable TV. We have Netflix because I’m a huge movie nerd so instead of a $50 or more cable TV bill, we have a $13.99 Netflix bill. $13.99 gets you two movies at a time but better still you get a zillion movies for free on instant play. Unless you are a sports fan, I really find it hard to see why anyone would prefer cable TV to Netflix Instant

My wonderful wife Jen blogs regularly about our family life and is teaching me how to blog (Welcome to the 21st Century!). My favorite hobby is movies and the kids complain that there is nothing (left) to watch on instant play so I decided to blog about the movies available on instant play. I plan on blogging about one of my favorite movie people or topics each day and will try to update previous topics as Netflix rotates through their collection.