Category Archives: drive-in cinema

Night Visitors: “Invasion of the Saucer Men” (1957)

                   “Invasion of the Saucer Men”  (1957)      A flying saucer lands in a deserted field and wreaks havoc in the lives of an alcoholic drifter, a pair of teen lovers … Continue reading

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Buy a Drive-In Theater! (Well… not really, but read on and support a worthy initiative which will preserve and defend a precious American tradition, and perhaps aid in defeating the lingering Communist menace at the same time.)

  Another interesting tidbit which has crossed the desk of the Swain News Service, but first our usual editorial tirade:   In American life, progress is generally defined as eliminating tradition by way of the excuse of advancing technology, changing … Continue reading

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Leap of Faith: “Evel Knievel” (1971)

    Marvin J. Chomsky’s film”Evel Knievel” is a supposed biography of the famous motorcycle daredevil, though any relationship to persons living or dead are surely coincidental. This biographical film starring George Hamilton (no stranger to cinematic impersonation, portraying Moss … Continue reading

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MONTHLY PHOTO QUIZ VOL. 433

Despite the best efforts of the Millennials (a.k.a., the Generation Y, as in “Y do they exist?” collective) to dismiss the very existence of anyone over the age of 30 (which puts the elder of their clique against the firing … Continue reading

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Apocalypse Why?: “DAMNATION ALLEY” (1977)

    Hollywood loves a good apocalypse. The cinema has been rife with visions of Man’s inevitable (according to filmmakers) plunge into the doomsday abyss, whether through atomic obliteration (“On the Beach”, “The World, the Flesh and the Devil”, “Five”, “Panic … Continue reading

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DVD WATCH: TCM GREATEST CLASSIC FILMS COLLECTION: SCI-FI ADVENTURE

Includes: “Them!” (1954) Starring James Whitmore, Edmund Gwenn, James Arness, Joan Weldon, Onslow Stevens, Sean McClory, Fess Parker. Directed by Gordon Douglas. B/W. 92 minutes, full frame, Language: english, Subtitles: english, french, spanish, portugese, japanese. “The Beast from 20.000 Fathoms” (1953) Starring Paul … Continue reading

Posted in 1950's cinema, 1950's movies, drive-in cinema, Drive-In Movies, DVD, Film, Film Reviews, movie reviews, Movies, Ray Harryhausen, Reviews, science fiction, science fiction films | Leave a comment

DVD WATCH: RAY HARRYHAUSEN GIFT SET

Set includes the following films: “It Came From Beneath the Sea” (1955) starring Kenneth Tobey, Faith Domergue; Directed by Robert Gordon; b/w; aspect ratio 1:85 anamorphic widescreen; english language w/english,french,chinese, thai, spanish, portugese subtitles; running time: 78 minutes; no rating. … Continue reading

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The End of the World on $5 a Day: “Crack in the World” (1965)

   Film makers seem to love destroying things; whether out of a sense of misplaced professional frustration (After all, it is the director who is the God-like authority on the set, are they not?) or the thought that since they … Continue reading

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Below the Border: “100 Rifles” (1969)

________________________________________________________________    “100 Rifles” is a fast-paced western adventure unfolding amid the chaos of the Mexican Revolution, completely unlike Tom Gries’ earlier film- the overlooked masterwork “Will Penny” -this film suffers from a perpetual  inconsistency of tone; veering wildly from … Continue reading

Posted in 1960's cinema, 1960's movies, drive-in cinema, Drive-In Movies, Film, Film Reviews, Jim Brown, movie reviews, Movies, Raquel Welch, Reviews, westerns | Tagged | 1 Comment

Man Vs. Mollusk: “The Monster That Challenged the World” (1957)

     In a decade in which the human race was menaced by gigantic Atomic Age mutants of every variety, from prehistoric monsters (“The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms”, “Gojira”), to ants (“Them!”), a tarantula (“Tarantula”), scorpion (“The Black Scorpion”), praying mantis … Continue reading

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Blood and Sand: “The Longest Day” (1962)

    Darryl F. Zanuck’s monumental war epic depicting the events of the D-Day invasion of World War 2 has the disadvantage of not only following dozens of characters over dozens of different locations, but also the input of three … Continue reading

Posted in 1960's cinema, drive-in cinema, Drive-In Movies, Film, Film Reviews, John Wayne, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, Richard Burton, war movies, World War II | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Slumber Party: “The Switchblade Sisters” (1975)

     Films that purport to be Exploitation cinema but follow the routine thematic formulas of this breed of cinema without encompassing genuine prerequisite exploitation elements is simply trash without a reason to exist.  Jack Hill’s “Switchblade Sisters” (alternately titled … Continue reading

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All Torn Up and No Place to Go: “Willard” (1971)

    Based on Stephen Gilbert’s nasty little chiller Ratman’s Notebooks, Daniel Mann’s 1971 “Willard” is a horror movie that has the feel of a domestic drama about loneliness that just happens to feature a few rat homicides.  Though the film … Continue reading

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Don’t Let This Happen To You!: “Hollywood Rat Race” by Ed Wood, Jr.

“The fragrance of the roses has wafted to you from all directions, mostly from a bunch of smelly characters. The thorns will become even more prevalent as the flowers wither and the perfume disintegrates into thin air. The thorns of … Continue reading

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Concerning the Curious Case of an Unnatural Amount of Homework: “The Teacher” (1974)

   The effect of the removal of the Production Code with regard to the drive-in youth market had an incalculable, though slow, effect on the films produced which always featured- more than mainstream releases -the wholly exploitable elements of action, … Continue reading

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MONTHLY PHOTO QUIZ VOL. 684

  PORTRAIT OF A PHOTO AS A TRIVIALITY: JUNE CLASSIC FILM IMAGES QUIZ June is the month of Joyce. James Joyce. Actually, any month is a time for good reading, but the pressure of coming up with new and interesting … Continue reading

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Lights Out: “KRONOS” (1957)

Jeff Morrow and Barbara Lawrence stare agog at the mammoth piece of interstellar IKEA furniture that threatens to destroy the world in “Kronos”.     The proliferation of Sf films in the 1950′s saw a redundancy of Mankind menaced by atom … Continue reading

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Tales of Timid Terror: “The Vault of Horror” (1973)

________________________________________________________________    The follow-up to Freddie Francis’ stylish and enjoyable “Tales From the Crypt” finds five more characters recounting troubling dreams that turn out to be…well, you know the drill. Nastier and more vicious than its predecessor, it is also less … Continue reading

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Bloody Good Show: “Tales From the Crypt” (1972)

________________________________________________________________      Sometimes, one cultural form takes decades longer to reach a path on which another has already tread. In the case of American film, the restrictions produced by the inflexible Production Code meant that what was more freely … Continue reading

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At War With War: “The Green Berets” (1968)

________________________________________________________________       John Wayne’s production of “The Green Berets” (it would be ludicrous to ascribe credit to another individual) was the only Hollywood studio film to directly deal with the Vietnam War during the conflict, and would remain so for … Continue reading

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The Best Laid Plans of Mice: “Colossus: The Forbin Project” (1970)

    The computer running amok in SF film is a natural extension of Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel in which the creator is challenged by what is in essence a mirror image of himself (explicitly depicted as such in the initial cinematic … Continue reading

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Scrambled Eggheads: “This Island Earth” (1955)

    “This Island Earth” may be the first American SF film to be firmly grounded in the not-so-scientific concept of hubris. If there is a central theme to the film, it is that the scientific mind might be regarded as … Continue reading

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The Big Suck Theory: “Lifeforce” (1985)

    Provocative science fiction presents a huge challenge to commercial cinema in that the conceptual abstractions which are often at the center of the story are a bafflement to filmmakers, who must reconfigure what are often obtuse descriptions expressed in … Continue reading

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Red Blood, Black Heart: “Blood Feast” (1963)

    Never to be considered in the same breath with any discussion of Art, the appalling 1963 full color bloodbath “Blood Feast” is undeniably a movie (it feels inappropriate except if wearing a hazmat suite to use the appellation film) … Continue reading

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Sex, Drugs and TV: “The Groove Tube” (1974)

   Ken Shapiro’s “The Groove Tube” is a raggedy collection of skits satirizing television ads and programs, a not especially challenging target that is met with a lack of conceptual focus and a wildly variant acuity of wit. In fact, … Continue reading

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Space Disgrace: “Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster” (1965)

   With “Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster” the Gothic trappings of Mary Shelley’s seminal work of horror literature are abandoned in the service of timely expediency in capitalizing on the then-current frenzied Space Race, with the concept of the eponymous … Continue reading

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Baby Steps: “The Mind of Mr. Soames” (1970)

John Soames is a thirty year old man who has lived in a coma since birth,  until a team of doctors, including an eminent surgeon, believe they have the answer to his perpetual stasis and proceed to awaken him mindful … Continue reading

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Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner: “The Dunwich Horror” (1970)

   Retaining only the outline of H.P. Lovecraft’s original 1928 short story and the names of a few of the main characters, Daniel Haller’s film is a useful case study in examining the challenges with the adaptive process of “classic” … Continue reading

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A Most Peculiar Love Story: “The Abominable Dr. Phibes” (1971)

                   Robert Fuest   (September 27, 1927 – March 21, 2012)      With its roots in the serial murder giallo tradition of both Mario Bava’s“The Girl Who Knew Too Much” and “Blood and Black Lace”, … Continue reading

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A Report on the Desert and Its Guests: “Tarantula” (1955)

   The film opens intriguingly with a mutated figure painfully wandering the desert until fatally collapsing; buzzards ominously circling overhead. Already before the opening credits, director Jack Arnold has established the seeds of a mystery which will lay the foundation … Continue reading

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