The Singing Ringing Tree

1957 fairy tale movie

Rating: 14/20

Plot: A prince, after a stubborn princess rejects his marriage proposal, runs off to find the "singing ringing tree" and win her hand. Instead, he finds a mean, tricky dwarf who tricks him into being rejected a second time and turning into a bear. He continues to try to get the princess to fall in love with him by kidnapping her, the sort of thing that usually works, but the dwarf has more tricks up his sleeve.

Children who grew up with something like H.R. Pufnstuf might enjoy something like this, but I can't imagine many children watching this and not being completely creeped out by the whole thing. And I can't imagine too many adults finding much enjoyment with something like this either. But it's something a childlike adult might really dig, and that's probably why I liked it so much.

This is very much a fairy tale although I don't believe it's based on actual folklore. It kind of feels like a folk-hybrid, borrowing ideas from existing tales of princesses and tricksters and helpful animals to assemble something completely original. The story doesn't make a lot of sense because the characters don't make a lot of sense. Why is the prince so intent on marrying this particular princess? Why is she so stubborn? Is this dwarf just mischievous or does he have some deeper reason for messing with everybody like he does? What the hell is wrong with that fish?

A story like this can only work in a land governed by fairy tale logic. The motifs mentioned above help the viewer connect a little bit, and there's familiar structure with things happening in threes. But there's still an oddness to the whole thing, likely the reason that I liked it as much as I did.

The best thing about it is the set design. That's art director Erich Zander's doing. The flesh 'n' blood characters are walking around in this completely artificial storybook world, and the sets don't look anything close to real. The colors seen here don't really exist in the real world. The almost-expressionistic gnarlyness also don't really exist anywhere. And that freaky fish is something I know doesn't exist! Add in a few cutesy, antique effects and you've got something uniquely fun. And one or two interesting settings wouldn't do it for me. Most of the story does take place in the dwarf's dwelling, but that set is ever-evolving. There are also plenty of interesting things to see in the lands between the princess's castle and the area where that dwarf lives.

That dwarf is really great, too. He's played by Richard Kruger, and he's feisty. I can't explain his costume though.

This movie is in German, yet another reason why children or adults wouldn't be interested.

The Screaming Skull

1958 movie that is so horrifying it could kill you

Rating: 5/20

Plot: Eric and Jenni get hitched and move into the home where Eric's first wife died. Soon, Jenni starts to be haunted by skulls--screaming skulls! Who could be doing this to her? Could it be the creepy gardener?

This movie begins with a shot of a casket, offering a free burial to anybody who dies of fright during the horrifying climax of The Screaming Skull. Here's what a close-up of the inside of the coffin reveals:

The promises of death by fright turn out to be ludicrous. Actually, anybody who did die of fright while watching this movie would then be forced to die again of embarrassment for it.

Although I did like the story and its nifty little twist, there was nothing scary about the whole thing. I mean, when the only tool in your special effects belt involves rolling skulls from somewhere off-screen, you probably don't have enough. Well, director Alec Nicol also understood the power of superimposing a skull on the screen over images of people who can't act. He had that in his special effects tool belt, too.

Speaking of Alex Nicol, he also plays that aforementioned gardener. He had appeared in a bunch of Westerns, including The Man from Laramie where he faced off with Jimmy Stewart, and wanted this project because he wasn't getting the kinds of roles he wanted. And when you see what he does with Mickey the gardener, a cross between Gump and Torgo, you just have to laugh at that. The way he talks, the way he gestures, and especially the way he runs are just so ridiculous. Even his haircut is ridiculous. I'd be surprised if gardeners didn't protest this movie.

What's especially surprising is that Nicol had been in the business for a while before making this. This wasn't a case of a guy who had neither foot in the Hollywood sandbox and just wanted to give it a go. This is a guy who should have known better, but he made this anyway.

Nicol did continue to find work after this movie, both as an actor and a director. I'm surprised that coffin shown at the beginning of the film wasn't reserved for his career. 

Movies-A-Go-Go: The Brain That Wouldn't Die

1962 sci-fi/horror B-movie

Rating: 4/20 (But it would be a 4/5 on the Bad Movie scale)

Plot: When a ballsy doctor's girlfriend is decapitated in car accident, he manages to keep her head alive by using 1950's science fiction movie technology. All he needs to do after that is find a body. Meanwhile, the girlfriend's head conspires with something locked behind a door in the laboratory to thwart his plans.

This is a bad B-movie classic that I probably should have watched a long time ago. I didn't expect it to go in the directions that it did and ended up really enjoying it.

My friend told me a couple nights ago that he likes the Movies-A-Go-Go entries when he's seen the movie. I don't think he's seen this movie, but here's a Movies-A-Go-Go for it anyway. Enjoy it anyway!

You might want to mentally prepare yourself for some terrible "head" puns here. 

Great hook for this one! A black screen and a female voice pleading, “Let me die! Let me die!” I’ve said that exact thing several time while teaching middle school English classes.

THE BRAIN (dum dum!)
WOULDN’T DIE (dum dum dum!)

This is one of two movies that Joseph Green directed--the other was in 1986. And it’s the only screenplay he wrote. Apparently, a remake is in post-production for release sometime next year.

That remake has a budget of 80,000 dollars, so it sounds promising.

“Keep away from the motor area. You’ll paralyze him for good!” This is being said about a patient who has already been pronounced dead, so I don’t think he’ll care all that much.

Two doctors having an argument about “playing God” and keeping a patient alive. Ummm, isn’t that their job?

Seriously, I don't want a doctor who doesn't want to "play God" and try to keep me alive.

I think this doctor must have taken the Dipshitocratic Oath.

I just laughed at my own typing. [God, I hope somebody is reading this. This is quality work here.]

I think I’d enjoy massaging a heart after I got started and had a chance to get used to it.

“I’ll tinker with his brain. You continue massaging his heart. Nurse, stroke his penis!”

How was that operation “too risky”? The guy was dead! How could he end up in worse shape?

I can’t believe there’s still an argument between these two doctors. The younger guy dicking around brought the patient back to life. Can’t he answer anything the old doctor says with “See if that guy’s still alive?”

Ok, they’re a father/son surgeon team. And here comes another doctor (or nurse) who the son is engaged to. And they’re getting busy in the operating room while the father says something about how this “floor show” won’t be worth watching when they’re married. I'm not sure I want any of these people involved in an operation I need.

Virginia Leith is horny. Successful experimental operations turn her on.

Hopefully, the Trump administration will help loosen up rules that won’t let me smoke in hospitals.

Dr. Bill drives like he operates! Recklessly!

I’m pretty sure the “Winding Road” sign is foreshadowing.

A violent crash, a roll down a hill, and a now apparently a stomach ache.

Weird POV shot from inside the burning car. I’m not sure exactly what Dr. Bill clumsily grabbed, but the pantomime there was top notch.

Ok, I do know what he grabbed. It’s his girlfriend’s head. Now he’s running with it like he’s an old-timey football player.

I guess what we had there was a head-off collision. Do you get that?

Stairs have always given Dr. Bill trouble.

“Sterilize the tubes and instruments!” Strong doctor talk. Makes me wonder if Joseph Green was an actual doctor who just decided to write a screenplay.

“What you see is real. What’s done is done, and what I’ve done is right.” Hopefully, Green is a better doctor than he is a writer.

Apparently, he’s saved his girlfriend’s life so that her severed head can recite James Taylor lyrics. [Note: This makes no sense, but she was saying something about seeing fire at this stage. It seemed funnier at the time.]

Boy, if Dr. Dad didn’t like his son using his skills as a surgeon to save a patient’s life, he’s really not going to be pleased with what he’s done with his girlfriend’s head.

Oh! His assistant’s got a fucked-up arm!

The guy on the left is the assistant, "Kurt," played by Anthony La Penna. It's a terrifically bad performance. 

I want to type something about how I bet she still gives good head, but not even I will stoop that low.

What the heck do they have in the closet? Some sort of Frog Man?

Dr. Bill’s going to find her a body.
Assistant: “How are you going to do it?”
Dr. Bill: “There are ways. There are ways. You want a toe? I can get you a toe by three o’clock. With nail polish.”

Shopping for bodies, Dr. Bill goes straight to a sleazy nightclub.

I think I have to find out what song that lady was seductively dancing to. Jazzy but with vocalists moaning and saying “cheap cheap.”

Look at the rack on that one, Dr. Bill!

According to the credits, Vivian Leith plays both “Jan” and “Jan in the Pan.”

This lady’s voice is annoying. Luckily, he doesn’t need that part of her.

“Let me die! Let me die!” Of course, Jan in the Pan is unhappy. He could have at least turned on a TV for her or something.

Stripper fight!

No joke there. I underestimated the sleaziness of this movie.

Well, after that rollicking cat fight, I’m spent.

That scene ended with a shot of cat art on a wall and an audible meow.

Ahh, Jan in the Pan is making friends with whatever’s in the closet.

“Knock twice if I’m not the first.” What? He’s decapitated other girlfriends in fiery car crashes?

“We’re a power as hideous as our deformities. I shall create power and you shall enforce it.” Hell hath no fury like a decapitated woman scorned!

Jan in the Pan: “What’s locked behind that door?”
Assistant: “A horror... no normal mind can imagine. Something even more terrible than you!”
You’re one to talk, buddy. Have you seen your own hand?

She just called him her “deformed friend.”

I’m not sure why Jan’s head has to wear a swim cap.

The assistant’s name is Kurt. He’s getting all the best lines and delivering them like his acting career depends on it.

There’s an awful lot of science going on during this dialogue between Jan in the Pan and her deformed friend, but I’m not sure how accurate any of it is. I'm guessing somewhere between "not at all" and "not very."

“I’m only a head. And you are whatever you are. Together we’re strong, more powerful than any of them.” What a beautiful friendship these two are creating here.

Perverse scouring the streets for a sweet bod montage!

I needed a Donald Trump voiceover during that scene where he rates the women. “She’s an 7, maybe an 8. Oh, look at that one. I’d grab that pussy!”

Girl: “I promise not to hurt you.”
Dr. Bill: “And I promise not to hurt you. Heh heh. Heh heh heh.”
Gag on the clumsiness of that dramatic irony, viewer!

So much of this movie is devoted to Dr. Bill checking out women’s bodies. I should have approached this early on from a feminist perspective.

Assuming Dr. Bill actually ever locates a body he wants to use, how’s he going to kill her? My guess is by making her ride in an automobile with him.

He’s heading over to to model’s house after getting a promising lead. It’s the nicest body his female companion had ever seen.

Winner winner, chicken dinner!

This photographer thinking he’s got a shot with Doris makes me extraordinarily sad. Dude, know your limitations.

Doris is played by Adele Lamont. I think she was hired for her body. Sadly, this is her only movie role although she did play “Mexican girl” in two TV series.

I might be distracted by her terrible acting, but I have no idea how she got the facial scar.

The anticipation is killing me! I want to see what’s behind that door!

“You’re nothing but a freak of life. . .and a freak of death!” Everything Kurt says is poetry!

Alright, new plan, guys! Instead of getting revenge, how about Jan in the Pan, freaky arm, and closet Frog Man or whatever it is form a power pop trio and tour the world.

Actually, scratch that. They get along about as well as the Beatles after Yoko came along.

Well, shoot. Now Kurt has no good arms. The power pop trio is falling apart here.

You can tell how incredible the acting is just from this still, right?

How are you going to jump ahead of everybody else on the Billboard charts if you encourage one band mate to rip the arm off another band mate?

They’re got less functioning arms than members of their band now.

I’m trying to think of a good name for the band. Talking Heads has already been taken.

“Oh, c’mon, Doris. Do I look like a maniac who goes around killing girls?” This forced irony is the most horrific thing about this entire movie.

Dr. Bill’s trying to figure out how a severed head ripped off Kurt’s arm and killed him.

Keep your head up, Dr. Bill. You’ll find another assistant soon.

“You don’t have to bite my head off!”

Stay calm, Dr. Bill. Cooler heads will prevail.

“I told you I’d bring you a body!”

Dr. Bill: “Is it a crime for science to jump ahead by years.” Nice pun, Dr. Bill!

Don’t you worry your pretty little head about it, Jan in the Pan! You’re getting yourself a rockin’ bod here!

If he can pull this off, the success will likely go straight to his head.

Finally! We get to see the thing behind the door! And I am not disappointed!


Head for the hills, Doris! The house is on fire!

The thing--not a frog man at all--just took a bite out of Dr. Bill. Who’s the head honcho now, Dr. Bill?

Hmm. The closing title screen just said The HEAD That Wouldn’t Die. Whoops! Heads will roll over a mistake like that!

The movie ends with Jan in the Pan laughing her head off. It’s good that she was able to keep her sense of humor while burning to death.

Wonder what the headlines will say about all this in the papers tomorrow?

Fun bad movie there! If you're in the mood for something like that, head over to your local video store and rent this one.


1971 dramatic dream

Rating: 14/20

Plot: A sailor, thinking he's spotted his sister, chases a woman into a brothel where he is knocked out in a fight. He wakes up in his uncle's labyrinthine mansion just in time for the old man to pass away. His will leaves money to a collection of oddballs in the strange house with the stipulation that they are not allowed to leave. The sailor then wanders all over the place trying to figure things out.

There are three reasons to watch this movie. The first is the gorgeous setting. The house is an architectural wonder, like M. C. Escher got his hands on the blueprints and decided to mess with everybody. The sailor--named Jan, by the way, and played by Mathieu Carriere ostensibly because Malcolm McDowell wasn't available--explores every inch of the place, and it's a treat to see all of the colorful rooms, the impossible angles, and endless staircases to nowhere in particular, and the interior designs. It's got to be one of the most elaborate and beautiful sets ever constructed, always something beautiful to see.

The second is seeing Orson Welles playing that dying uncle. He spends all of his screen time in bed. My guess is he agreed to do the part only after being promised that he wouldn't have to get out of bed. It's a remarkable performance. It really seems like he's half-assing the entire thing while at the same time still chewing the scenery impressively. Your eyes are just drawn to the guy's face. And man! That voice! You're just leaning forward during his parts to pay attention to every single word that he intones. It's fascinating to watch.

Once he goes away, you have to turn your attention to the alluring Susan Hampshire who plays five different roles. She's easy on the eye (and a little naked), but more importantly than that--I guess--is that she plays the roles differently enough and with different looks that I didn't even know it was the same actress at first. I was really impressed with what she did.

Unfortunately, there's not much of a story to connect with here. At the end, there were mythological allusions (that might be a spoiler; not sure), and it's possible the whole thing would come together in a more intelligent person's mind, but I was as lost as I would have been in the house, just winding corner after corner, feeling along the walls, wondering where that staircase or that hallway led to. It gave the entire film a dreamlike quality which, in the right mood, could actually have put me in enough of a trance for me to really dig this film. Instead, I was grasping for meaning and ending up frustrated by the whole thing. In the end, I was ready just to call the whole thing pretentious, that word I like to use when I don't understand something and want to blame it on somebody else.

I can see myself trying to tackle this one again a few years down the road. For now, it's just a beautiful oddity from the end of the psychedelic era with a couple of fascinating performances, worth seeing for sure but definitely frustrating.

Special Feature: Shane's 10 Most Anticipated Movies

This enormously popular shane-movies special feature is a couple months tardy. Sorry about that. The most frequent question I get about this blog (other than "Why are you still wasting your time with this?") is "Hey, when's that Most Anticipated Movies list coming out?" So not putting in the hours of research and meticulously constructing a list would be a huge disappointment to a lot of people. So here it goes.

I'm leaving off movies that appeared on last year's list that I still haven't been able to check out: The Disaster Artist, the upcoming Wiseau blockbuster; 2007's Flooding with Love for the Kid, a one-man cheapo remake of Rambo that might be at the top of my "must see" list; Jodorowsky's Dance of Reality sequel (Endless Poetry); Svankmajer's final film (still not out) called Insects; Tickled, the documentary about competitive tickling; Colossal, the Nacho Vigalondo monster movie; A Cure for Wellness, Verbinski's horror-ish follow-up to the hugely underrated or immensely underappreciated Lone Ranger; Jarmusch's Paterson; and a few other things.

These aren't really in any specific order.

Suburbicon, 2017

This "crime comedy" has George Clooney, the world's most handsome man, directing from a script the Coen boys penned in the mid-80s, right after Blood Simple. Some Coen regulars (Moore, Brolin, Isaac) are joined by Matt Damon and Glenn Fleshler. I'll pop the DVD in expecting a Coen Brothers movie and likely wind up disappointed. I'm still a little mad at Clooney for being a distraction during Tom Waits' final Letterman appearance, but I'm drawn to the man's dimples and hair. 

Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson Project, 2017

This movie is currently filming, and I have my doubts it'll actually come out in 2017. I'm not sure how interested I am in the 1950s London fashion scene, but this is Paul Thomas Anderson we're talking about. Inherent Vice, The Master, There Will Be Blood, Punch-Drunk Love, Magnolia, Boogie Nights. That's an incredible run, and I even think the more controversial parts of his filmography are great movies. A new Paul Thomas Anderson movie is an event! Oh, and the prolific Daniel Day-Lewis is in this. 

Kuso, 2017

The plot synopsis on imdb says this is about a "devastating earthquake in Los Angeles." That's nothing that's going to grab me. But with a reported large number of walkouts at Sundance, an article about how it's the "grossest movie ever made," and the following trailer, this is something I'm really looking forward to. It's the directorial debut of somebody annoyingly named Flying Lotus who is a renowned music producer, and it's got George Clinton in it. 

I'm sorry. I lied about the trailer. It's not here. You can go look it up on the YouTube though. 

Replica, 2005

I was going to avoid old movies this time around and just look to the future, but I'm pretty excited to see this movie from James Nguyen, the visionary director of the Birdemic movies. This, another romantic-thriller, is about a guy who gets a new kidney and falls in love with his doctor after she introduces him to the fascinating world of biotechnology. And it appears to be just as inept as those Birdemic disasterpieces. 

Pass Thru, 2016

I wasn't able to get Breen to bring his newest masterpiece to the greater Indianapolis area despite my half-assed efforts, so I'll have to either buy his overpriced DVD directly from him or wait until somebody puts it on YouTube. But it looks every bit as magical as Double Down, Fateful Findings, and I Am Here. . . .Now, the trio of films that pushed the auteur Neil Breen straight to the top of my favorite director list. This movie has a tiger! I'll go anywhere Neil Breen takes me. 

I should also note that Breen is in pre-production on his fifth feature, a thriller with the working title Twisted. I'll save that for next year's list. 

Small Star Seminar, ????

It's unclear to me what this is or when (if) it will be completed as a feature film. However, any project of Cory McAbee's (The American Astronaut, Stingray Sam, and Crazy and Thief) is worth paying attention to. I've made no secret about how deliriously creative I think McAbee is. This might be some sort of concert thing or it might be something else ( says it's a "playful riff on motivational seminars" in which he "encourages people to be quiet and accept their limitations." I don't really care what it's about. If it's from the McAbee mind, I'm in! 

Again, I don't even know if this is a real movie or if it'll ever be anything at all. But I'll look for any reason to mention Cory McAbee and maybe persuade somebody into watching The American Astronaut

Paddington 2, 2017

Longtime readers might remember how I couldn't control my giggling every time a preview for the first movie came on. I wasn't sure I was mature enough to see Paddington in the theater actually. I have yet to see previews of this, but if it's as charming and fun as its predecessor, I should love it. Nicole Kidman won't be in this one, but Hugh Grant is nearly as pretty. I'll probably end up watching this one without pants. 

Coco, 2017

It's another two-movie year for Pixar although I can't get all that excited about Cars 3 despite having a secret love (or at least a strong "like") for the original Cars. When this was announced, seemingly about fifteen years ago, I was wondering why there was going to be a second movie revolving the Day of the Dead, but I'm not sure it's got a lot to do with that and the preview made this one look absolutely dreamy and magical. Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3, co-director of other things) and first-time director Adrian Molina helmed this one. It looks gorgeous, and I might see it in the theater. 

Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, 2017

What a wonderful time to be alive with a new Star Wars movie coming out every single year! I'm not as enthusiastic about Rian Johnson directing this as I wasn't near as gaga over Brick or Looper as most everybody else seemed to be, but I am excited to see the next chapter with all these new characters. I'm hoping this has Gungans. And I hope Luke Skywalker does something other than scowl. I'd be all over this movie anyway because it's a Star Wars movie, but I'm especially curious about this one since I think they'll be forced to venture further from the characters and motifs of the original trilogy than Rogue One or The Force Awakens did. 

I should probably see Brick and Looper again. 

She's Allergic to Cats, 2016

I don't know much about this Michael Reich film other than it's a horror-romantic-comedy about a dog groomer in Hollywood who wants to make an all-cat remake of Carrie and falls in love with Klaus Kinski's granddaughter. And that's really enough for me. It's also apparently interrupted frequently with video cassette montages. It sounds wonderfully original and fun. 

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, 2017

Lots of buzz for this Martin McDonagh, director of In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths, dark comedy. Larry pointed me in the direction of the trailer because of a Peter Dinklage appearance (there's a story here, but it's not worth mentioning), and it looks like a nice juicy role for Frances McDormand and has a few other actors I enjoy. No Tom Waits, unfortunately. Or a bunny. 

War for the Planet of the Apes, 2017

As faithful readers will remember, I hated 2011's Rise of the Planet of the Apes, so much that I'm not even sure why I bothered watching 2014's Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. But I bothered and ended up really loving it, obviously enough to feel like putting this third prequel entry on my list here. I love the Charlton Heston movie enough to want to find out how the Statue of Liberty gets that way anyway. I'm not sure how many of these prequels they're planning to make, but if this is the last one, it should be dark and poignant and a lot of fun. Director Matt Reeves seems to be on a bit of a role, by the way. He directed Dawn (not Rise though) and some other things you might have enjoyed. 

The Brand New Testament, 2015

With a dopey title and the premise of God living in Brussels with a daughter who thinks she can do a better job than him (Tagline: If you thought God's son was trouble, wait until you meet his daughter), it might be hard to have a lot of faith in this movie. It sounds a little too wacky. However, this is a Jaco Van Dormael movie we're talking about, and I do have faith in the director of the wonderful (and wonderfully complex) Mr. Nobody and equally wonderful Toto the Hero. I'm expecting whimsy. 

The Thousand Miles, 2017

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! Sylvain Chomet has a new animated feature coming out! This is enough to give me a raging boner, that special kind that certain cartoons are capable of giving a man. My blog readers know that I love (maybe even a "love" with all capital letters) The Triplets of Belleville and The Illusionist. So of course I'm going to be excited about this one about 1950s Italy and "the world's most beautiful car race." Chomet's screenplay (which apparently will feature actual talking this time) was inspired by a Federico Fellini. 

This reminds me: Chomet slipped a live-action comedy called Attila Marcel past me in 2013. I should include that in this list, too. I haven't been able to find it yet. 

Abracadabra, 2017

I know exactly one thing about this movie as I start to type about it--It's written and directed by Pablo Berger, the guy behind the wholly original Blancanieves, the silent retelling of the Snow White story with a heavy dose of bullfighting. This movie's plot centers on a housewife trying to help her possessed husband. 

There are pre-Blancanieves movies of Berger's that I still need to check out, too. 

The Killing of the Sacred Deer, 2017

I worry somewhat that director Yorgos Lanthimos, my favorite Greek filmmaker since I can't seem to name any others, is on some sort of every-other-movie-is-good pattern here. I loved Dogtooth, so much that I actually watched it twice. I was bored nearly to tears by Alps, a movie that admittedly went over my head. And then I loved last year's The Lobster. Colin Farrell (who I know as one of the Colins) returns in this story about a teenager, a surgeon, and a dysfunctional family. However good this ends up being, it'll at least be different. 

The Other Side of Hope, 2017

It's been six years since the critically-beloved Le Havre came out, and that's too long to go without a new film from my favorite director, Aki Kaurismaki. No wonder the world has gone to shit! I have no idea what this is about and don't care. The characters, the setting, and the humor will likely be about the same as they are in every other Kaurismaki movie, and that's exactly why I'll see it as soon as possible. I love this guy, and if you haven't seen any of his movies, you need to fix that immediately. 

Fate of the Furious, 2017

Holy shit! We're less than a month away from the next installment of this franchise, and my balls ache in anticipation. I'm trying my best to avoid seeing anything about this but keep accidentally catching parts of trailers. Not a lot of movies are capable of dragging me to the theater, but Rubber Duck and I are seeing this one as soon as it comes out. And I couldn't be more excited! 

Also, I'm planning on revisiting the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th movies once again (Movies a-Go-Go style!) in the next couple weeks as I get mentally, physically, and spiritually prepared for this 8th one. 

Other Movies I'm Either Anticipating or Know I'll End Up Seeing But That Don't Deserve Pictures: 

Mary Poppins Returns. I'll likely include this in next year's "anticipated movie" post since it's not going to be released until December of 2018. I'll more than likely watch this movie while masturbating. 

La La Land. Here's a movie I could have easily seen by now, but I want to wait and watch it on my phone. 

Kong: Skull Island. I might even see this one when it hits the dollar theater. I can't even figure out why I'm excited to see this movie. I mean, sure it has a giant monkey fighting dinosaurs. And John C. Reilly. But is that enough? 

Get Out. Lots of good vibes surrounding this movie, so I feel like I have to include it here. All the kids seem to dig it. 

The Love Witch. I know nothing about director Anna Biller, but this horror-comedy that is supposedly a "tribute to 1960s pulp novels and technicolor melodramas" looks to be right up my alley. 

Salt and Fire. Response has been very bad for this latest Herzog narrative film, so it's hard to get overly excited. I also never saw his last drama with Nicole Kidman--Queen of the Desert. Still, I do sometimes call this guy my favorite director, so I should list them somewhere on here. 

Der Bunker. This is director Nikias Chyrssos's (that's a lot of s's!) follow-up to Der Samurai, a movie that I only sorta liked but that still kind of haunts me. This also features Pit Bukowski. 

An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn. Jim Hosking's follow-up to The Greasy Strangler, a movie I'm still not sure I liked at all but that is impossible to stop thinking about. I'm excited to see where this cat's career goes from that greasiness. 

The Beach Bum. This has Matthew McConaughey playing a stoner surfer dude in a Harmony Korine movie. Who knows what to think? It's unclear why McConaughey would be interested in doing this, and Korine usually infuriates me. But I really like those car commercials. 

Gutboy! A Badtime Story and The Lure. I put these together because they both feature mermaids. The first is an all-marionette movie that is advertised as "the weirdest movie in the world." I can't put it up there because 1) I don't believe that and 2) the title is stupid. The second is a Polish mermaid musical. 

Everything, Everything and Wonderstruck. Together because they're both from young adult books I've read. The first is a sweet and intriguing tale of young romance and the latter is a book from The Invention of Hugo Cabret author Brian Selznick. The latter is directed by Todd Haynes. 

Dean. I really enjoy comedian Demetri Martin, despite his hair, and this is his writing/directing debut. He's an insanely creative guy, so this should be fun. 

Baby Driver. I haven't even seen Edgar Wright's The World's End. Is that worth seeing? This movie looks like a blast. 

Split. This will either be entertainingly good-bad or Shyamalan will surprise me with an actual good movie. Everything I've heard makes it seem like it's a good movie, but I'm skeptical. I did like The Visit though. 

God Particle and the new Alien movie. A Cloverfield movie (I think?) after the lackluster 10 Cloverfield Lane doesn't get me too excited. And after Prometheus, a lame movie, it's hard to get excited about another Alien prequel. I was intrigued by the trailer though. 

Dunkirk. I'm not usually into war movies, but I guess we can trust Christoper Nolan to do something interesting with the genre. 

Battle of the Sexes. I think a movie about the famous 70's tennis match between Billie Jean King and that blowhard could be fun. 

The Dark Tower. I just read this, and I liked it less than I figured I would after hearing people I trust rave about it. I'll still see this, but it's really only listed here so that I can brag about reading a book. 

Murder on the Orient Express. Did I read this book? I'm going to go ahead and pretend that I did. Kenneth Branagh's directing this. 

Downsizing. I like existential comedies in which people shrink themselves. This an Alexander Payne movie that has Kristen Wiig, Matt Damon, and Christoph Waltz. 

Guardians of the Galaxy and Wonder Woman and Spider-Man and Thor and Justice League. Two of these I really am interested in seeing, but they're superhero movies so I'll likely see them all. I did like the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie fine, have always been intrigued by Wonder Woman, and want to see exactly what the hell Taika Waititi is doing with Thor even though I didn't like Thor 1 or Thor 2

What am I missing, readers? What else is coming out that I need to be eagerly anticipating? 

Movies-a-Go-Go: Bloodlust!

1961 Most Dangerous Game rip-off

Rating: 5/20

Plot: Four young people wind up on an island with a crazed hunter.

Whoa! It's yet another installment of Movies-a-Go-Go, perhaps my blog feature that makes the least amount of sense. And it makes even less sense when nobody has even heard of the movie I'm talking about. But hey, why would something like that stop me? Here's a bunch of words:

Hey, there! Guess who's in this crappy movie? 

I’m watching this movie for three reasons:

1) It’s got an exclamation mark in the title which almost always means it’s a quality film.
2) It’s got Robert Reed, Mike Brady himself.
3) It’s the lowest rated movie in this box set of horror movies at my mother-in-law’s house.

Why am I Movies-a-Go-Go’ing it? That I am unable to answer.

If you’ve read this far, congratulations. Let me know in a comment, and I’ll give you a prize.

The opening credits were over a picture of a skull and a skeletal hand. I have serious doubts that that will have anything at all to do with the movie.

I’m chain-smoking these public domain horror movies like I'm addicted to them. The truth is that I'm vacationing at my mother-in-law's house and just don't have a lot to do. Sure, I could very likely find something better to do with my time than this, but I've never exactly been a go-getter.

Tony, the drunk skipper. That was not a good performance.

Reed is doing a very poor job of acting like a heterosexual. He looks exceptionally uncomfortable here.

Skeet shooting with bottles from a boat can’t be legal.

“Come back! Come back, you fools! Don’t land there!” Tony knows something about this island.

Reed looks like he’s a good two feet taller than his companions. And for the rest of this movie, I’m going to watch it like it’s a Brady Bunch prequel.

Our protagonists! Captain Tony can be seen on that boat in the background.

“Hey, let’s have a clam bake!”

Robert Reed just fell into a hole. Freudian.

Wilton Graff thinks he’s Vincent Price. And this movie thinks it’s The Most Dangerous Game.

Another drunk guy? Director Ralph Brooke should have actually just gotten the actors drunk.

The best actor in this movie thus far is the lion head trophy hanging on the wall over the fireplace. Although it does look slightly embarrassed to even be in this movie.

This isn’t a quality print of Bloodlust! (Criterion, this is a hint! Any interest?), but with the color and tightness of Reed’s shirt, it’s hard to tell if he’s wearing a shirt or just doesn’t have nipples or chest hair.

I’m not sure why I don’t wear a smoking jacket and a bow tie around the house like this rich hunter dude. No wonder I don’t have friends.

Aha! Dean was just PRETENDING to be a “useless drunk” so that he could smooch the rich guy’s wife behind his back. I’m surprised his lack of acting skills hasn’t betrayed him.

This was set up like a flashback, complete with a wavy transition. But I was fooled. It’s just clumsy filmmaking instead.

My God! Why am I watching this movie? I’m starting to feel really really depressed all of a sudden.

Ok, I was wrong. The nerdy guy and the brunette have entered the cave part of the mansion and did just run into a skeleton.


Oh, a woman in an aquarium. That’s pretty hot, and if I ever remodel, I might have to include that in the decor.

Pretty horrifying scene there with the rich hunter’s brutish assistant [Note: I was wrong. There were three of these guys--guards, I guess. And they all wore the same striped shirts for a uniform.] checking out the woman in the aquarium and pulling body parts from a chest.

I’m so happy that the makers of this decided to have the rich hunter go after his wife and Dean with a spear. It just has to be a phallic symbol, otherwise, the entire movie falls to pieces.

Robert Reed has an oddly-shaped torso.

I’m impressed with this guy’s private trophy room.

And now it’s story time. “It turned into a lust. A lust for blood!”

Well, his wife and Dean were certainly embalmed quickly. I'm not sure that's how it works.

“Listen, fun’s fun! But if you think we’re going to be the clay pigeons in your shooting gallery, you’re just a little far out!” That’s so poorly written that I don’t even know where to start.

They found Tony. With the amount of alcohol he’s consumed, he’s already probably half embalmed.

Tony is played by Troy Patterson, and it is not a good performance.

How is glasses guy still incredulous at this point? “You don’t think he’s really going to do any of this, do you?” You’ve seen taxidermied human beings, innards tossed in acids by the rich guy’s thug, and know that Dean and his wife have been killed. How do you still have doubts?

It feels like the movie just jumped ahead about 30 minutes since they’ve already reached the “Tree of Death” and the lone bullet the rich guy left them. I’m not going to complain, however, because I don’t think any of that would have been worth seeing.

Guy with glasses wants to head for the boat and safety. Reed wants to go get the girls first. This will justify the death of the guy with glasses a little later in the movie.

The girls break a vase and a window. The guard rushes in and sees the brunette on the floor with the shattered vase. She apologizes for what seems like five minutes and then the guard busts into a fit of manly laughter. What?

The "guards," by the way. Apparently, Waldo could have been one. 

I have the rest of this movie mapped out in my head and don’t really want to even finish it. My depression has deepened.

And the saddest thing is that I’m probably going to pop another of these “horror classics” in this 50-movie DVD collection in right after this one’s finished.

This whole cheap production now feels like a sick ploy of director Ralph Brooke’s to get Troy Patterson to take his shirt off. Mission accomplished!

Add “dying realistically” to the list of things (being drunk, talking) that Troy Patterson can’t do as an actor.

Watch out, guard. It was established earlier that the blonde one knows judo.

Body slammed right into the acid! It splashed all over but luckily has no effect on the blonde.

Acid bath seems like a terrible way to go, by the way.

Guy with glasses is now struggling in some quicksand. And I’m one away from completing my Bad Horror Movie Bingo card!

Things are looking up now that there’s a crazy guy wandering around the forest.

And he’s gone. Apparently, he was just in the movie to wail a few times.

Guy with glasses is covered with leeches! Ladies and gentlemen, that’s a bingo! Bad Horror Movie Bingo!

I can’t believe I’ve devoted 53 minutes to this movie. I don’t know what I’m doing with my life.

I think I’ve decided that Movies-a-Go-Go is an extremely lazy way to write about a movie.

It’s been a couple minutes, and I really miss that crazy guy. Surely, he’s going to play a role later on. There’s no way he was just in this thing to scream a bit and then wander off.

Great quicksand death scene by the “clumsy ox” brightens things up a little. People die well in this movie.

“Grateful that you’re own stupidity will save me of the trouble of getting rid of you.” I think I’ve said that to a few students over the past several years.

The rich guy’s grown on me a little bit. The coldness he displays when his henchman is sinking makes him almost lovable.

Yes! Crazy guy! And he’s just screaming again!

Now this, friends, is a performance!

Bill Coontz is the crazy guy. He was Old Iguana in one of my favorite movies--Convoy. And now his character in this is dead before he has any line other than “Ahh! Ahhh! Ahhhh! Ahhh! Ahh!” Of course, he was in 6 movies and had regular roles on two television series in 1961, so he probably didn’t have time to learn any lines.

Not much luck finding pictures of Bill Coontz. 

Wait, this was made in 1961? I guess that sounds right given Reed’s age. Man, this must have set thrillers back a few years.

Old Iguana was Coontz’s last role.

Guy with glasses knows that a gun without ammunition is useless. I’m glad this quartet of young people has one smart one among them. I'm starting to think this character isn't going to die, and that bums me out.

The cave that serves as this guy’s trophy room is the kind of thing that’s been used in countless movies. I wonder which ones.

What a twist! The guy didn’t die in that quicksand after all and has come to bearhug his former master to death!

“I guess Balleau never thought he’d be the prize exhibit in his own museum.” Nice, Reed! Nice!

Shot of a still-breathing (although dead) rich guy. And then, bam! The words “The End of Bloodlust!” pop up. Yes!