I finished my two-week FREE trial of Warner Archive. It was a lot of fun – they have a very limited selection of movies but, unlike Netflix/Instant Redbox/Amazon Prime, there is not a lot of overlap. I spent most of my time on horror and science fiction ‘classics’ that I had either missed entirely or not seen in decades.
The service is buggy. If you pause a movie for more than a few minutes, you may have to back all the way out of Warner Archive and go back in again to resume. Not on all movies but on many, service would hiccup and tell me the movie wasn’t available. I would have to back all the way out and go back in. Loading screens are quite a bit longer than Netflix. Adding the channel to Roku requires using the instructions on the website but is not difficult.
The Green Slime (1968) – “A giant asteroid is heading toward Earth so some astronauts disembark from a nearby space station to blow it up. The mission is successful, and they return to the station unknowingly bringing back a gooey green substance that mutates into one-eyed tentacled monsters that feed off electricity. Soon the station is crawling with them, and people are being zapped left and right!”
Groovy, psychedelic, trashy science fiction with a bizarre theme song.
The Hand (1981) – “Jon Lansdale is a comic book artist who loses his right hand in a car accident. The hand was not found at the scene of the accident, but it soon returns by itself to follow Jon around, and murder those who anger him.”
Poor Michael Caine! I guess when you star in over 150 productions, not all of them can be winners. The Hand is silly, boring, and stupid.
The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932) – “Englishmen race to find the tomb of Ghengis Khan. They have to get there fast, as the evil genius Dr. Fu Manchu is also searching, and if he gets the mysteriously powerful relics, he and his diabolical daughter will enslave the world!”
I love Boris Karloff but wow is this film racist. To be fair, Sax Rohmer’s books are exceedingly racist and xenophobic so it is in the source material but Christopher Lee’s version tones it down quite a bit.
Salem’s Lot (1979) – “Vampires are invading a small New England town. It’s up to a novelist and a young horror fan to save it.”
The 1979 miniseries with James Mason is a little goofy but still fun.
Razorback (1984) – “A vicious wild boar terrorizes the Australian outback. The first victim is a small child who is killed. The child’s granddad is brought to trial for killing the child but acquitted. The next victim is an American TV-journalist. Her husband Carl gets there and starts to search for the truth. The local inhabitants won’t really help him, but he is joined by a hunter and a female farmer to find the beast.”
Russell Mulcahy’s debut was not as entertaining as I had hoped.
The Valley of Gwangi (1969) – “Cowboy James Franciscus seeks fame and fortune by capturing a Tyrannosaurus Rex living in the Forbidden Valley and putting it in a Mexican circus. His victim, called the Gwangi, turns out to have an aversion to being shown in public.”
It was nice to catch one of the few Harryhausen movies I don’t own.