Saturday, August 25, 2012

#451. Watching Bad Sci-Fi Movies

Having a fairly substantial movie collection can sometimes lead to analysis paralysis.  There are so many options that it's difficult not to overthink what you want to watch.

Blockages of this nature can sometimes be solved by watching those entries that you haven't gotten around to for whatever reason.  For instance, I've gotten several collections of older movies, but I don't necessarily like watching older movies, since they invariably show their age.  This is made more difficult when said older movies aren't exactly Citizen Kane.

One of these collections is 50 Movie Pack - Sci-Fi Classics.  You know what I'm talking about.  "Classics" is a term used very loosely, or not by every definition.  Completists and enthusiasts will no doubt thoroughly enjoy themselves with the included films, but they're a little harder to swallow for those merely dallying their way through them.

In short, it can be something of a chore.  I've watched the first six discs of the 12 included in the last few days.  I have few positive things to say about the 26 movies I've watched so far.

One of those positives is the increasing awareness that Star Trek did not invent the sci-fi babe.  The highlight of that theme so far has been Helga Line, who costars as the villain in Hercules and the Tyrants of Babylon.  I'd include a picture of her here, but she looks infinitely better in this movie than any of the assembled Google images (which is not to say the appearance is basically her Blue Steel).

She Gods of Shark Reef is one of the films dominated by beautiful women, but it doesn't compare to Horrors of Spider Island.  For the record.

Side B of Disk 2 is the real money so far.  It features Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet and Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women, both of which are re-edits of an earlier Russian film, the latter directed by Peter Bogdanovich.  They're both fascinating, and I have little doubt that I'll be watching both of them again. The first one features Basil Rathbone, who appeared in The Adventures of Robin Hood with Errol Flynn.  (For some reason, I frequently reference Errol Flynn when talking about movies and movie stars, even though I'm not actually a huge fan of him.)

Attack of the Monsters is the fifth film for giant Japanese turtle monster Gamera, who apparently comes to the defense of children.  It's kind of morbidly fascinating.  Gamera returns, or rather debuts, in Gammera the Invincible.

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians obviously cashes in on the holiday cheer of the period, with its own (fairly thin) jingle (half of which is kids spelling "Santa Claus").  It's actually worth a look.  On the flipside are two flicks crafted from Rocky Jones, Space Ranger, a short-lived TV show.  They're also worth a look.

The fifth disk is full of Hercules.  Four different actors portray the mythic hero (none of which are Kevin Sorbo).  The other thing notable about Tyrants of Babylon is that Hercules this time looks very much like Henry Cavill (Superman in the forthcoming Man of Steel) as seen in Immortals.  Steve Reeves, not to be confused with George Reeves (another Superman) is the final Hercules, and the only one I know by name.

The whole sixth disc is a huge waste of time, including an early film from the late Brandon Lee.


Michael Abayomi said...

I haven't seen any of these, but a few of them sound interesting enough to look into. I always try to keep an open mind when watching sci-fi classics, though I've run into several over the years with excruciatingly slow pacing. The much venerated 2001: A Space Odyssey and Metropolis are perfect examples.

PT Dilloway, Superhero Author said...

I've seen a few of those on Mystery Science Theater 3000. That's the best way to watch those cheesy movies.

Tony Laplume said...

These movies are not on the level of Space Odyssey. Maybe Metropolis, with a tenth of the inspiration. Metropolis is vastly revered, but it could easily be improved. Arguably what Philip K. Dick and the many movies inspired by his stories did.

MOCK! said...

Like PT, my only exposure has been via MST3K....maybe I should consider broadening my horizons!

Maurice Mitchell said...

You're a glutton for punishment Tony. These should only be watched with MST3K. They're professionals.


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