Monday, April 30, 2012

Commentary: The Driver’s Seat

Commentary on my Movie Explorer review for the 1974 Liz Taylor vehicle The Driver's Seat.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Fairy Tale Matinée: Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure (1977)

The sixth in the Movie Explorer’s Fairy Tale Matinée series, a review of the 1977 animated film Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure. Raggedy Ann & Andy must adventure outdoors to rescue a French porcelain doll from a randy pirate captain, encountering repulsive characters and terrifying situations along the way.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Outtakes Reel: The Next Day

Outtakes from the Devil's Three Golden Hairs and Maniac reviews. Including reminiscences of old, defunct soft drinks and the Atari 2600 in addition to the usual screw-ups and waiting for traffic noise to clear.

The Movie Explorer: Maniac (1934)

From the dawn of exploitation (1934!) comes this insane movie about insanity, courtesy of the man who taught Ed Wood everything he knew, Dwain Esper.

The Movie Explorer: The Oscar (1966)

And the Oscar goes to...any movie but this one! Notorious 1966 bomb about a loathsome heel (Stephen Boyd) who sleazes his way to the top of the Hollywood heap. Featuring some of the most overwrought acting and kitschiest dialogue in Hollywood history; this movie killed more careers than the Great Depression.

I was quite proud of the timeliness of this review: posted just before the for-real 2012 Oscars.

Fairy Tale Matinée: The Devil’s Three Golden Hairs (1977)

The Movie Explorer presents the fifth review in the Fairy Tale Matinée series: the 1977 East German production The Devil’s Three Golden Hairs. Loser kid Jakob has one task to complete in order to marry a princess, go down to hell and steal the three golden hairs from the devil. Based on a lesser-known tale by the Brothers Grimm.

Outtakes Reel: Two Shades of Blue

The Movie Explorer: The Driver’s Seat (1974)

The Movie Explorer reviews the campy 1974 psychodrama The Driver’s Seat. Elizabeth Taylor, in arguably her most humiliating role, plays a crazy woman who travels to Rome looking for her perfect man...only it's not love or sex she's after. Also features Ian Bannen, Mona Washbourne and, of all people, Andy Warhol. Based, with fists of ham, on the novella by Muriel Spark.

The Story of "Just Kidding"

Unscripted anecdote remembering the works of Sid & Marty Krofft and local San Francisco Bay Area TV of the 1970s.

The Movie Explorer: Wolf Devil Woman (1982)

The Movie Explorer reviews "Pearl" Chang Ling's 1982 cinematic action opus Wolf Devil Woman. A young woman raised by wolves is destined to be the saviour of the people from the tyranny of the ice-powered, inexplicably Southern-accented Red Devil. More delightfully demented low-budget fantasy action movie insanity from our friends in Taiwan.

This movie is amazing and deserves a much better review. Unfortunately, I suffered a crash when editing the second half and wound up rushing to re-edit those bits, hence the ragged audio in the second half. At least the Ultra-Brite gag synced up far better than I expected it to.

Commentary: Pinocchio in Outer Space

In celebration of the Movie Explorer's tenth review, here's commentary by Mike and David on said review for Pinocchio in Outer Space.

This also serves as the test for the condenser microphone I just bought.

Fairy Tale Matinée: Pinocchio in Outer Space (1965)

The Movie Explorer reviews Golden Turkey Award winner for Worst Children's Film, the 1965 US/Belgian animated co-production Pinocchio in Outer Space. Imagine three different cartoons smushed together, each conceived by someone who hates children, and you get a vague idea what this movie is like.

David said this was the best, funniest review I had produced to date and I have to agree. I seem to produce my best work when suffering.

Return of the Son of Outtakes Reel

Outtakes from the reviews for The Cobweb and Voyage of the Rock Aliens. Lots of off-script rambling about The Flintstones, Sid & Marty Krofft productions, Carol Burnett show parodies, old local ads, Coca-Cola jingles, South Park and the original US cast album for A Threepenny Opera. Kind of like an episode of VH1’s I Love the 70s/80s but lots more random and with even lower production values.

The Movie Explorer: Voyage of the Rock Aliens (1984)

The Movie Explorer reviews Voyage of the Rock Aliens. It's a musical. Made in 1984. Starring multiple Razzie award winner Pia Zadora. Scared yet? You should be! Also features Allison La Placa, Ruth Gordon and Michael Berryman; needless to say, none of them turns in their best work here.

The Movie Explorer: The Cobweb (1955)

Remember that time your parents had a big, stupid fight about what colour to paint the spare room? Now imagine MGM Studios turned that into a big-budget, all-star 1950s melodrama, only instead of your parents, this film is about the bickering staff of a rural mental hospital. And instead of paint...well, just watch! Tons of famous stars humiliate themselves in this infamous embarrassment.

Ugh! The video quality in this one is HORRIBLE! I used my crappy old VCD copy as the film’s source, only finding out AFTER doing this review that it had since been officially reissued on DVD! D’oh!

Bride of Outtakes Reel

The Movie Explorer: The Last Days of Planet Earth (1974)

The Movie Explorer reviews this 1974 production from Toho Studios (of Godzilla fame). This movie posits that Nostradamus predicted reflective skies, giant slugs, giant bats and the hippie revival of the 1990s.

I never want to watch this movie again.

My most popular review to date by a pretty wide margin. I guess people just enjoy watching me suffer.

The Story of Canadian Infomercials

Unscripted outtake from the Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang review. Mike reminisces on an accidentally surreal TV viewing experience during a trip to Toronto in the 1990s.

I said 1992 but it was really 1993 when I went to Toronto. And no, they don’t do this in Canada anymore.

Fairy Tale Matinée: Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang (1978)

The Movie Explorer reviews the 1978 Canadian production Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang, the latest in the Fairy Tale Matinée review series. A little boy dreams of being sent to the Children's Prison run by child-hating pro-wrestler The Hooded Fang (Alex Karras). Deceptively demented fare from our seemingly strait-laced neighbours to the north.

The last appearance from the dreaded 1970s vintage tape recorder microphone. I’ve since bought a condenser microphone off of that isn’t fantastically great but is such an improvement over what I was using it’s not even funny.

V-Log: Private Parts (1972)

This V-Log of Paul Bartel’s 1972 film is more popular than some of my “real” reviews. Why? Do people like my Lucille Benson impersonation? Or is it the guest appearance by Lorraine (my cat)?

Son of Outtakes Reel

The rest of the outtakes from the Picture Mommy Dead review.

The Story of Arch Hall, Jr.

Mike attempts to explain to David who Arch Hall, Jr. is...with limited success. An outtake from the Picture Mommy Dead review.

The Movie Explorer: Picture Mommy Dead (1966)

The Movie Explorer reviews Picture Mommy Dead, a cheezoid 1966 attempt at a murder mystery/psychological thriller by MST3K favourite Bert I. Gordon. Stars Zsa Zsa Gabor, Don Ameche, Martha Hyer and, in her final film role, Gordon's daughter Susan.

Sorry, but the jokes at Wendell Corey's expense might be in questionable taste. I'm pretty sure his liver exploded not long after this.

Outtakes Reel

Outtakes from the first four Movie Explorer reviews. Enjoy this compendium of screw-ups, inadvertent belching, the ever-intrusive San Francisco traffic and random detritus from the cutting-room floor.

Fairy Tale Matinée: Twelve Animals (1991)

The Movie Explorer reviews Twelve Animals, a Taiwanese kiddie kung-fu film about a young Buddhist priestess who must reunite icons of the legendary 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac to help her fight King Evil. Complete insanity ensues. All I can say is, they obviously have a different concept as to what is considered "suitable for childred [sic]" in Taiwan.

This one’s the most recent film I’ve reviewed. Normally, I don’t like to go to far beyond 1990 (the domain of too many other reviewers) but this movie was too weird and crazy to resist.

The Movie Explorer: The Swinger (1966)

Ann-Margret (Tommy) has to prove to girlie magazine editor Tony Franciosa (The Finder of Lost Loves) that she's a "swinger" to get her story published. Three's Company-style misunderstandings, horrific sexism and tacky 60s kitsch are the result.

Ann-Margret is a Goddess, though.

The first of my reviews I’m actually somewhat proud of, my delivery has improved a good deal since the first two. And natural lighting is far more flattering. If I did this one today, I would have edited it with a hatchet, too many gags drag on for far too long. And I had to re-loop some lines with a crappy, 1970s-vintage microphone and it’s glaringly obvious. Still, this review does what it sets out to do.

The Story of Flesh Feast

Unscripted outtake from the Flesh Feast review.

Fairy Tale Matinée: The Three Fat Men (1967)

The Movie Explorer reviews The Three Fat Men, a Soviet kiddie film. Outrageous Communist propaganda disguised as a cutesy story about circus folk and the repair of a child's mechanical doll.

Still pretty crude. I taped this review the same day as the Flesh Feast review and it shows. My delivery improved tenfold in future reviews. Mind you, the Russian names tended to be tongue-twisters for me (Suok's especially, you wouldn't think someone with a four-letter name would present such a difficulty in pronunciation.) This was also filmed the same day my dad was undergoing surgery, so I had THAT on my mind, too.

Please refrain from "In Soviet Russia, ____ ____s YOU!" type comments. If you think you're being clever, you're very, very much mistaken.

The Movie Explorer: Flesh Feast (1970)

From 1970, Flesh Feast is Veronica Lake’s pathetic attempt at reviving her career. Flesh-eating maggots and revolutionaries figure into the plot. My first, and crappiest review. Clumsy delivery and bad lighting, I made the mistake of taping this AND the Three Fat Men review in the same day.