Category Archives: Drive-In Movies

Mind Games: “Monstrosity” (1963)

                     “Monstrosity”  (1963)     “Monstrosity” is a film that has a great deal on its plate but none of it worth doing as it has already all been done better. … Continue reading

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Chandler’s Trailers: “Invasion U.S.A.” (1952)

“Invasion U.S.A.”  (1952)  If one can imagine a production of  “The Time of Your Life” reconstituted with “Fail-Safe”, you might get a pretty good idea of the awkward Cold War civics lesson that is “Invasion U.S.A.”, a collection of mismatched … Continue reading

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Chandler’s Trailers: “Zeta One” (1969)

“Zeta One”  (1969) Presumably intended as a spoof of spoofs of the Eurospy film, “Zeta One” is little more than a succession of baffling, tedious scenes whose only connection is the desire to undrape the dozens of shapely actresses who … Continue reading

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Silent Revenge: “Oggi a me… domani a te!” (1968)

     “Oggi a me… domani a te!”  (1968)     “Oggi a me… domani a te!”, a.k.a. “Today We Kill, Tomorrow We Die!”, is a not an untypical example of the spaghetti western genre (or the western, period) in … Continue reading

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Vacancy: “Cancel My Reservation” (1972)

           “Cancel My Reservation”  (1972)     Bob Hope’s last starring film role is so wince inducing, audience members may be in danger of developing permanent facial tics. This would-be murder mystery, based on a novel … Continue reading

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Soft-Boiled: “The Price of Fear” (1956)

           “The Price of Fear”  (1956)        There’s enough nervous fidgeting going on in Abner Biberman’s “The Price of Fear” to replicate seismic tremors, yet such an abundance of consternation seems unmerited in this … Continue reading

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Whose West Is It Anyway?: “Tomahawk” (1951)

          “Tomahawk”  (1951)     George Sherman’s “Tomahawk” is one of those colorful  1950’s western films of surprising quantity that are (in theory) sympathetic to the American Indian (in this case the Sioux) as victims of duplicitous … Continue reading

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Vacancies: “Common-Law Cabin” (1967)

                  “Common-Law Cabin”  (1967)     “Common-Law Cabin” is a white trash comedy concerning the denizens of a dilapidated ranch cum tourist attraction on the Colorado River. The film begins like an … Continue reading

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Chandler’s Trailers: “Frogs” (1972)

“Frogs” (1972) Nature photographer Pickett Smith (Sam Elliot, sans dashing lip brush) finds his canoe capsized due to inconsiderate nautical etiquette and finds himself a guest of wheelchair bound curmudgeon Jason Crockett (Ray Milland, under a dashing Panama hat), island patriarch of … Continue reading

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Shooting Blanks: “Inseminoid” (1981)

              “Inseminoid”  (1981)     With imitation being the shortest route to the creation of bad movies, it was only a matter of counting down the minutes before “Alien”, a prestige recycling of the … Continue reading

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Soulless: “Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS” (1975)

         “Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS”  (1975)     If history doesn’t present us with enough examples of inhuman atrocity, leave it to the movie industry to feel compelled to invent a peculiar hybrid combining the … Continue reading

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

          “Tarantula”  (1955) (Originally posted on Dec. 24, 2011)   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 … Continue reading

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She Who Obeys: “Frankenstein Created Woman” (1967)

     “Frankenstein Created Woman”  (1967)     Considering the usual limitations placed upon the status of women in the Gothic horror movies produced by Hammer Films-  generally subsumed to decorative but insubstantial roles calling for little more than subservient … Continue reading

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Desert Critters: “The Brotherhood of Satan” (1971)

        “The Brotherhood of Satan”  (1971)     Children may seem to to be the root of all evil in “The Brotherhood of Satan”, but it’s only a feint, thinly disguising the actual complicity of the town’s elders. … Continue reading

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Too Much Monkey Business: “King Kong Escapes” (1968)

     “King Kong Escapes”  (1968)     If one were to remove all of the unconvincing effects shots from “King Kong Escapes” (and some of them are fairly wince inducing, even by Japanese standards), it would remain an embarrassing resume … Continue reading

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Brained: “Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter” (1966)

        “Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter”  (1966)      Released as a double feature with “Billy the Kid vs. Dracula”, William Beaudine’s “Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter” is the kind of matinee movie in which it might … Continue reading

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Necking: “Billy the Kid vs. Dracula” (1966)

             “Billy the Kid vs. Dracula”  (1966)    There isn’t a great deal of merit in William Beaudine’s “Billy the Kid vs, Dracula”, but the film makes an excellent case for the furtherance of black … Continue reading

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Delirium Tremors: “The Vampire” (1957)

      “The Vampire”  (1957)      A traditionally supernatural  creature meets modern science in “The Vampire”, a by-the-numbers monster movie which can more comfortably (though it doesn’t elevate the quality of the production) viewed as a drug addiction … Continue reading

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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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A View From the Dark: Movie Freak by Owen Gleiberman

A View From the Dark: Movie Freak by Owen Gleiberman The appetite publishers seem to have for printing the memoirs of even the most irrelevant movie personalities appears insatiable; so much so that in recent years this pseudo-gossipy, trivially anecdotal framework … Continue reading

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Chandler’s Trailers: “How to Make a Monster” (1958)

“How to Make a Monster”   (1958) This  not very mysterious murder mystery is a sort-of sequel to both “I Was a Teenage Werewolf” and the subsequent “I Was a Teenage Frankenstein” in that it features the monsters of the … Continue reading

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Hit and Run: “Death Race 2000” (1975)

           “Death Race 2000”   (1975)          One of the problems with films that take place in the imminent future is that they tend to appear flat-footed when envisioning the vicissitudes of the … Continue reading

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Cowboys Will Be Boys: “The Sons of Katie Elder” (1965)

           “The Sons of Katie Elder”  (1965)      If the challenge for any film is for that movie to deliver an original and memorable experience, then that challenge may become doubly daunting in the case … Continue reading

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Happy Hostage: “Bandolero!” (1968)

      “Bandolero!”   (1968)      A most peculiar entry in the western genre is Andrew V. McLagen’s “Bandolero!”, a film which gives a fresh-  though unpersuasive -perspective to the notion of the Stockholm Syndrome, is also a vehicle … Continue reading

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“Bend Over and Cough”: Classic Film Images Quiz, July 2015 Edition, Vol. RX VII

“Bend Over and Cough”:  CLASSIC FILM IMAGES QUIZ,  July, 2015 Edition, Vol. RX VII      Greetings and salutations, to all Obamacare insured and all other ships adrift at sea, and welcome to another unnecessary edition of that most irritating … Continue reading

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For Those Who Think Hammer: DARK SKY DRIVE-IN DOUBLE FEATURE featuring “BLOOD OF THE VAMPIRE” & “THE HELLFIRE CLUB”

DARK SKY FILMS DRIVE-IN DOUBLE FEATURE: BLOOD OF THE VAMPIRE & THE HELLFIRE CLUB Disc Includes: “Blood of the Vampire” (1958)  Starring Donald Wolfit, Barbara Shelley, Vincent Ball, Victor Maddern, William Devlin. Written by Jimmy Sangster. Directed by Henry Cass. … Continue reading

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Chandler’s Trailers: “Godzilla” (2014)

      There is a harrowing moment very early on in Gareth Edwards’ busy but empty Americanized version of Toho perennial “Godzilla” in which the horror of a critical failure in a nuclear facility is made heartbreakingly personal when the wife … Continue reading

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OCTOBER 2014 CLASSIC FILM IMAGES QUIZ, Vol. 13

BUMP IN THE NIGHT EDITION: OCTOBER 2014 CLASSIC FILM IMAGES QUIZ, VOL. 13     As the days are getting shorter (or, at least, that’s the rumor, though with it getting dark earlier it’s too hard to see if this is … Continue reading

Posted in Drive-In Movies, Film, Film Reviews, ghosts, Hammer films, horror, movie reviews, Movies, Puzzles, Reviews, science fiction, vampires | 2 Comments

It’s Not the Size That Counts: “The Amazing Colossal Man” (1957) & “War of the Colossal Beast” (1958)

         “The Amazing Colossal Man”    (1957)     Throughout the 1950’s, atomic energy was responsible for all manner of species succumbing to cinema gigantism from ants to tarantulas, scorpions, grasshoppers and a fellow named Gojira, but it … Continue reading

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More Brains, Less Filler: “The Return of the Living Dead” (1985)

ZOMBIE ALERT: The following review may contain spoilers as well as spoiled flesh. If you have never seen the film being discussed, as a cautionary note it is advised that you might want to use your brains-  while they are … Continue reading

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Chandler’s Trailers: “The Deadly Mantis” (1957)

        Nathan Juran’s giant insect film is a monumentally foolish piece of work even compared to the low standards set by science fiction films of the 1950’s. Not only that, it’s a cheat. The entire first ten … Continue reading

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Poor Sportsmanship: “Bloodlust!” (1961)

_______________________________________________________________      Richard Connell’s classic short story “The Most Dangerous Game” has seen many cinematic manifestations over the years, the most prominent being the first, the RKO Ernest B. Schoedsack/Irving Pichel production (which used many of the same sets and … Continue reading

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Across the Ages: “The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms” (1953)

“THE BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS”     (1953)_     The first in director Eugene Lourié’s “giant beast wreaks havoc on a major city” trilogy (followed in 1959 by the rather redundantly titled “The Giant Behemoth” and in 1961 with “Gorgo”), this 1953 … Continue reading

Posted in 1950's movies, animation, Drive-In Movies, Film Reviews, movie reviews, Movies, New York City, Ray Harryhausen, Reviews, science fiction | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Sour Balls: “Candy” (1968)

       “Candy”, based on the “provocative” novel by Terry Southern and Mason Hoffenberg, is a witless, impenetrable exercise in pseudo-psychodelic nonsense, grabbing at the newly relaxed sexual standards of the day yet only managing to emerge as an extended … Continue reading

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Revenge Redux: “Dr. Phibes Rises Again” (1972)

     “Dr. Phibes Rises Again” the sequel to the popular and imaginative “The Abominable Dr. Phibes” is a surprising disappointment; more so in that it was created  by many of the same talents as the original film; most importantly director … Continue reading

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Blue Mooned: “Barbarella” (1968)

     Jean-Claude Forest’s comic book adventuress  is given the Mid-Sixties psychodelic Dino de Laurentiis treatment in “Barbarella”, a vapid, would-be sexploitation vehicle directed without a successful snooze alarm by that most odious of dirty minded Euro-sexual imps, Roger Vadim.      … Continue reading

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Demons of the Dull: “The Devil’s Hand” (1962)

____________________________________________________________      This Satanic cheapie moves the mystery of voodoo cultism from the usual Caribbean climes to a pasteboard backdrop of urban America. Robert Alda plays Rick Turner, a completely charmless man who for some inexplicable reason is desired by … Continue reading

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Portrait of Anxiety as a Child: “Invaders From Mars” (1953)

******* Jimmy Hunt sees the landing of a flying saucer from his bedroom window.******      Not to be confused with the atrocious Tobe Hooper retread, William Cameron Menzies’ “Invaders From Mars” is a small gem of a film; the kind … Continue reading

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Bulletproof: “Dillinger” (1973)

     Given his penchant for myth making, the historical facts depicted in director/screenwriter John Milius’ “Dillinger” are dubious at best, but who cares?  This is a rattling good tale of gangsterism in the golden Warner Bros. tradition with the additional … Continue reading

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Beach Blanket Bronto: “When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth” (1971)

     Once hitting pay dirt with the Raquel Welch vehicle “One Million Years B.C.”, Hammer Films would leave no cave unexplored in producing their next monosyllabic prehistoric epic, “When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth”.       Forgoing the iconic presence of … Continue reading

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Loneliness of the Long Distance Swimmer: “Creature from the Black Lagoon” (1954)

     With the discovery of traces of a previously unknown species on the banks of an Amazonian lagoon, a team of scientists embarks upon the usual expedition armed with a beautiful and shapely woman who serves no apparent function … Continue reading

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Pot Luck: “Night of the Living Dead” (1968)

        The immediate appeal of  George Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead”, what makes it sizzle, is in the utilitarian crudeness of its technique in practicing practical filmmaking despite a poverty of resources rather than a dearth … Continue reading

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Piece of Mind: “The Brain From Planet Arous” (1957)

       It’s a sub grade-B 1950’s science fiction movie. It takes place in a remote desert location. It features a ludicrous monster, ludicrous science and alien concepts that might embarrass all but the hardiest of actor’s constitutions, resistant to easy … Continue reading

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Raging Hormones: “I Was a Teenage Werewolf” (1957)

     To listen to the hysterical moralists of the day, American teens in the 1950’s were living in a whirling vortex of insatiable savage impulses marked by juvenile delinquency, alcoholism (or at least the fatal sip of the same … Continue reading

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Thoughtless Crimes: “The Toolbox Murders” (1978)

     Is there anything more depressing than a nihilistic film which can’t even conjure up a new method to disgust its audience? With all of the possibilities for novel depravity, just where are the imaginative sociopaths, misogynists and deviants in … Continue reading

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Classic Film Images Photo Quiz: Vol. 2014

YOU’VE NEVER LOOKED BETTER, NOW THAT YOUR FACE IS PARALYZED WITH BOTOX:  JANUARY 2014 CLASSIC FILM IMAGES QUIZ, VOL. 2014      Here we are again with America’s favorite waste of time, the monthly Classic Film Images Quiz, brought to you … 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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Stations of the Gross: “Mark of the Devil” (1970)

    Beware filmmakers who preface their story with a declaration that the movie about to follow has its basis in historical fact; a claim toward legitimacy that inevitably becomes increasingly vaporous as the film unfolds. This is especially true of … Continue reading

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MONTHLY PHOTO QUIZ VOL. 666

IS THAT A TARANTULA IN YOUR CORSET OR ARE YOU JUST SCARED TO SEE ME?: OCTOBER CLASSIC FILM IMAGES QUIZ     Greeting boys and ghouls, once again it is time for another exciting plunge into that pit of darkness, that … Continue reading

Posted in Drive-In Movies, Edgar Allan Poe, Film, giallo, grindhouse, Hammer films, horror, humor, Italian cinema, Movies, Poe in the Cinema, Puzzles, vampires, vincent price | Tagged | 4 Comments

Baby Love: “Gorgo” (1961)

    There comes a time in the evolution of every genre where ideas become genre tropes, which in become familiar redundancy, which in turn become tiresome clichés, eventually mouldering into blanket creative exhaustion. With commercial success comes the irresistible urge … Continue reading

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