Monday, 10 September 2018

SCI-FI ON FILM & THE YEAR 1959




We've finally arrived at the final year of our look at the golden decade of science fiction films. Let's start off by having a brief overview of the major events and people that helped to begin to shape our world for the last 60 years.

Review of the year 1959

Read on for more....

Friday, 7 September 2018

War of the Satellites (1958)



A typically fast and cheap Roger Corman sci-fi epic and certainly not his best!


Directed by Roger Corman
Produced by Roger Corman
Music by Walter Greene
Distributed by Allied Artists
Running time: 66 minutes
Budget: $70,000 (approx..)


Cast


Dick Miller: Dave Boyer
Susan Cabot: Sybil Carrington
Richard Devon: Dr. Pol Van Ponder
Eric Sinclair: Dr. Howard Lazar
Michael Fox: Jason ibn Akad
Robert Shayne: Cole Hotchkiss
Jered Barclay: John Compo
John Brinkley: Crew Member
Bruno VeSota: Mr. LeMoine
Jay Sayer: Teen
Mitzi McCall: Teen
Roy Gordon: The President



In the office of the head of Allied Artists, the phone noisily and hysterically cries out for the boss’s attention. The boss could tell just by the ring who it would be….

Walter: Hello, Roger. What can I do for you?

Roger: Hey Walt. You know how the Russians sent up that Sputnik last year and scared the hell out of everyone?

Walter: Yeah. What of it?

Roger: Well, I’ve just had a talk with Jack Rabin and he agrees with me that we could capitalize on this Sputnik hysteria with a nice little sci-fi movie of our own!

The wheels in Walter’s mind began to crank up faster and faster at the prospect just put before him by his pal, Corman.

Roger: Hello, Walt. You there?

Walter: Sorry, Roger. Sounds good. What timed frame are we looking at?

Roger: Well, you know me. No dilly-dallying. Just throw a few bucks my way and you’ll have a great little movie with a great story about satellites ready for distribution in about two or three months.

Walt: No kidding? Sounds fine to me Roger. I like the satellite angle. Let’s get the ball rolling! 



As Corman hangs up the receiver he notes that Walter had not even asked him about the story’s details. Good thing too! He figured he could get a first draft screenplay, a full cast and enough of a set together to begin shooting in….say…. a couple of weeks! Principal photography could be wrapped up in about 10 days and in about three months’ time, “War of the Satellites” would be up on US screens. Yes Siree! Don’t let anything stand in the way of a good story and good acting, coz that’s all ya’ really need!

Trailer

What happens when;

A mysterious alien force declares war against planet Earth?

The United Nations disregards warnings to halt its attempts at assembling the first satellite in space?

Read on for more......


Thursday, 30 August 2018

Airing on COMET in September





YOU DON’T NEED A SUBSCRIPTION TO WATCH THESE GREAT MOVIES… 

THEY’RE AIRING FOR FREE ON COMET!




Space: 1999 (series)


Space: 1999 officially crash landed on COMET! The residents of Moonbase Alpha were just minding their own business when the nuclear waste stored there suddenly exploded, causing the moon to hurtle into space. After passing through a black hole and a couple random “Space Warps,” you begin to wonder, is there a mysterious force guiding them? 




In September, look out for back-to-back episodes on Saturday and Sunday evenings starting at 10/9 C.


Godzilla DOUBLE FEATURES

Godzilla wanted to move to Saturdays. We said OK! Through September, catch the mega monster films that rocked the planet and featured Godzilla going head to head with his infamous foes. Destruction begins Saturday, September 8 with Rebirth of Mothra and Rebrith of Mothra II.

Catch Godzilla Double Features on; 


Saturday, Sept 8 starting at 2/1 C.
Saturday, Sept 15, 22 and 29th starting at 1/NOON C.

9/8 starting at 2/1 C

Rebirth of Mothra (1996)
Rebirth of Mothra II (1997)

9/15 starting at 1/NOON C

Godzilla VS. SpaceGodzilla (1994)
Godzilla VS. Megaguirus: The G Annihilation Strategy (2003)

9/22 starting at 1/NOON C

Godzilla VS. King Ghidorah (1991)
Godzilla VS. Destoroyah (1995)

9/29 starting at 1/NOON C

Godzilla VS. Mothra (1992)
Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-out Attack (2001)


Q (1982)

Aztec Gods? Female Lizards? And a takeover of New York’s famed Chrysler Building? What’s a New Yorker to do? Rely on a criminal who has dreams of being a jazz pianist to find the creature’s lair and blackmail the city for directions! What, those aren’t on the subway map?

Friday, Sept 7 at 8/7 C
Sunday, Sept 9 at 8/7 C
Wednesday, Sept 12 at 4/3 C




Dr. Who and the Daleks (1965) 

Dr. Who heads to the big screen and in color! After accidentally being transported to another planet Dr. Who and his friends come across a vial of drugs and head to a nearby city to investigate and find missing components of their Tardis. Say no to drugs kids! They come across the Daleks who take the components all while the good Doctor and his group suffer from radiation sickness! What can cure them? The mystery drugs they found… But an evil Dalek plot threatens the group and everyone who opposes the evil cyborgs!

Sunday, Sept 9 at Noon/11 C
Wednesday, Sept 12 at 10/9A C
Monday, Sept 17 at 8/7 C



Dr. Who: Daleks Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. (1966)

Peter Cushing stars in the role of Dr. Who and he discovers, after traveling to the future, that the Daleks have taken over the Earth! A band of resistance fighters are trying to stop the attack but everyone is brainwashed!

Sunday, Sept 9 at 2/1 C
Wednesday, Sept 12 at Noon/11 C
Tuesday, Sept 18 at 8/7 C







Tuesday, 14 August 2018

War of the Colossal Beast (1958)

This sequel has competent acting performances, fair direction and ordinary special effects. An obvious attempt at milking dry an already successful formula.

Directed by Bert I. Gordon
Produced by Bert I. Gordon
Written by Bert I. Gordon (story), George Worthing Yates
Music by Albert Glasser
Cinematography: Jack A. Marta
Edited by Ronald Sinclair
Production company: Carmel Productions
Distributed by American International Pictures
Running time: 69 minutes


Cast


Duncan "Dean" Parkin as Lt. Colonel Glenn Manning/Colossal Man
Sally Fraser as Joyce Manning
Roger Pace as Major Mark Baird
Russ Bender as Dr. Carmichael
Rico Alaniz as Sgt. Luis Murillo
Charles Stewart as Captain Harris
George Becwar as John Swanson
Roy Gordon as Mayor
Robert Hernandez as Miguel
George Milan as General Nelson
Cathy Downs as Carol Forrest (flashback scenes)
William Hudson as Dr. Paul Linstrom (flashback scenes)
Larry Thor as Major Eric Coulter (flashback scenes)


Trailer


Spoilers follow below.
Words contained in inverted commas taken from film's dialogue.
Some creative licence taken.


TV News Report

“…..and that’s the latest report on the international scene. Now, on the lighter side of the news…a dispatch from Guavos, Mexico says that Mr. John Swanson is having a little trouble collecting insurance on his stolen truck. What happened to it? Well, according to his claim report, it disappeared without leaving any tracks! Mr. Swanson says something must have carried off his truck.” Perhaps we’ll find out more about this magical disappearing act in the coming days! “And here in Los Angeles…….”
*********


Read on for more.....

Friday, 10 August 2018

“SPACE FORCE” – A SCI-FI FANTASY


“High adventure in the wild, vast reaches of space. Missions of daring in the name of interplanetary justice. Travel into the future with Donald “Buzz” Trump, Commander-in-Chief of......”

SPACE FORCE!!



Starring Commander Donald “Buzz” Trump & his side-kick, Space Cadet “Happy” Pence.

Space Ranger, Ronald “Rocky” Reagan had the dream and vision in the 1980s with his proposed “Star Wars” program.

Now, in the 21st Century, Commander “Buzz” Trump has been put in charge of the task of building America’s “SPACE FORCE”.



All you budding space cadets out there are invited to join a brand-spanking new astronautical army that will patrol the whole universe.

Be a part of America’s presence in space!
Help your country to dominate space!
Help make America great again!

By joining…..


SPACE FORCE!!

  • Strengthen your country’s national security!
  • HELP PROTECT your country from threats posed by its enemies real, imagined and fabricated who are at THIS MOMENT making inroads into space.
Our enemies will never abide by the terms of the Outer Space Treaty!

What a BAD DEAL!
  • DO YOUR PART to prepare your country for WAR IN SPACE.
  • WORK TO ENSURE that our satellites are protected from potential destruction.

Become a space cadet by enlisting in the…..


SPACE FORCE!!

    • Billions of dollars will no longer be WASTED on social equity programs and services.
    • Resources will no longer be FRITTED AWAY on space exploration programs to improve humanity’s knowledge and understanding.
    • No more TIME WASTED gazing at the stars in wonder!

    We have a world to run and that takes money and resources!
    The only way for us to achieve this is for our country to have a……

    SPACE FORCE!!

    Hey Space Cadets! Don’t forget the competition to design a new logo for the new Space Force! Remember, that the first prize winner will get to have a free trip in the Space X shuttle to the International Space Station! The runner-up will receive their very own miniature 'space-o-phone!'

    SPAAAAACE FOOOORRRRRCE!!!!!



    Brought to you by Musk Munchies – a “Buzz” and “Happy” plastic action figure in every box!





    ©Chris Christopoulos 2018

    Saturday, 21 July 2018

    Sci-Fi Blues


    Sci-Fi Blues


    Woke up this morning and stumbled into a dream,
    As my eyeballs fell from my head and onto a screen
    That told me all I had to know for the whole day:
    What to think, where to go and what to say.


    In the bathroom the lights switched on as if by magic,
    Forcing me to face a face hiding something tragic,
    Until the shower shot forth and misted the mirror,
    And then the water turned cold, making me shiver.

    In the kitchen the toaster offered me burnt toast;
    DAB News served up a new POTUS tweeted boast;
    Wall-screen showed autocrats of a feather flocking together,
    And my phone filled me in all about the day’s weather.

    Hey, hey, I got the Sci-Fi blues -
    Yes, indeed, I got those Sci-Fi blues!

    After dodging screen zombies devoid of a brain,
    I commuted to work on a morning maglev train.
    All heads bowed in techno-prayer morning devotion,
    Till the train revealed unto each his or her own station.

    Looked out the window through liquid scars made by rain,
    And glimpsed a giant octopus wrapped around the train,
    Tentacles probe for weaknesses through which to navigate
    But then no-one would notice until it was too late.

    My mind tried to hide me in ruins of a post-war world,
    A lonely nether-world in solitude safely curled.
    Give me just four others to start over once more!
    - And see how fast we five embark on the path to war.

    I escape to my specs with heads-up views
    Of favoured feeds of views in news I choose.
    Where I also find I’m liked, followed and friended
    Which is good news as I’m so easily offended!

    My gadgets know me all too well,
    Why here’s a business wishing to sell
    Luna holidays by Musk Moon Destinations
    Who even offer earth-orbit vacations!

    When the train pulls into my station,
    I then waft to work by auto-perambulation
    All the while being filmed, found and filed
    ReKognized, tracked and even profiled.

    Hey, hey, I got the Sci-Fi blues –
    Yes, indeed, I got those Sci-Fi blues!


    My work is a slice of hot-desking heaven
    In an open-plan glass and chrome cavern,
    Where nothing and no place can be called your own,
    And where no-one is ever allowed to be alone.

    At work we work as part of a team,
    Where some are heard, and all are seen
    Nodding with a false sense of consensus,
    Avoiding being labelled as dissentious.

    We perform our tasks standing like stupid storks,
    Proudly counting our steps, we of the Fitbit dorks.
    Now and again we twitter, chitter and chatter away
    With plenty to prattle about, but with little to say.

    I produce nothing and contribute even less,
    Data collected and organised to cause others stress.
    I then clickity-clack, thumb print and eye-scan away
    And update my status for the rest of the day.

    Hey, hey, I got the Sci-Fi blues –
    Yes, indeed, I got those Sci-Fi blues!


    Eyes from on high follow me all the way home,
    Assessing my mood whenever I sneer or groan.
    Word will reach my mini personal assistant,
    Who’ll gush with remarks both banal and buoyant.

    “Welcome home Winston, sit down and relax,
    The auto chef has even made you some snacks.”
    I submit and sit in my form-moulding chair,
    While the wall-screen flits on my favourite fare.

    “It is confirmed that a flying saucer landed this morning,
    Near the White House and issued us all with a warning
    That we should change our ways or suffer destruction,
    While POTUS merely replied with a “Fake News!” deduction!”

    “Meanwhile two Kaiju cases have occurred overseas:
    One that felled and flattened Tokyo with ease,
    The other that rendered and ruined San Francisco,
    Both beasts have since returned to the depths below.”


    "Many were surprised to learn that Gotham City’s Batman
    Had declared that he is indeed an openly gay woman,
    While The Doctor had somehow managed to lose his dick
    As he fled from an emotionally deranged Dalek!"


    “Finally, the Earth and Mars are now in a state of war,
    The cause of which no-one is really sure.
    Suffice to say that Musk Martian Destinations
    Have suffered severe stock market reductions.”


    I try at night to sleep and wake up from my dream.
    I long for time travel to flee from where I’ve been,
    Back to a time where all this had been foreseen,
    And which would not for so long have lain unseen.

    Hey, hey, I got the Sci-Fi blues –
    Yes, indeed, I got those Sci-Fi blues!




    ©Chris Christopoulos 2018

    Monday, 16 July 2018

    The Woman Eater (1958)



    An entertaining film containing quite a good yarn sandwiched between a silly beginning and an awful ending. 

    Directed by Charles Saunders
    Produced by Guido Coen
    Screenplay by Brandon Fleming
    Music by Edwin Astley
    Cinematography: Ernest Palmer
    Edited by Seymour Logie
    Production company: Fortress Film Productions
    Distributed by Eros Films
    Running time: 70 minutes


    Cast


    George Coulouris: Doctor Moran
    Robert MacKenzie: Lewis Carling
    Norman Claridge: Doctor Patterson
    Marpessa Dawn: Native Girl
    Jimmy Vaughn: Tanga
    Sara Leighton: Susan Curtis
    Edward Higgins: Sergeant Bolton
    Joyce Gregg: Mrs. Santor
    Harry Ross: Bristow
    Vera Day: Sally
    Peter Forbes-Robertson: Jack Venner
    Alexander Field: Fair Attendant
    Joy Webster Joy Webster : Judy
    David Lawton: Man In Club
    John A. Tinn: Lascar
    Maxwell Foster: Inspector Brownlow
    Peter Lewiston: Det. Sergeant Freeman
    Roger Avon Roger Avon: Constable



    Trailer


    A crazed scientist feeding women to a flesh-eating tree!
    A serum that can bring the dead back to life!

    See the…

    REIGN OF TERROR FROM EARTH!


    In my previous post on the film, The Trollenberg Terror (1958), I concluded with a brief observation about the role of women in both vintage and modern era sci-fi and other genre films.

    The Woman Eater presents us with an interesting insight into the exploitative nature of many films at the time in relation to the portrayal of female characters. It does this in an odd way by seeming to make use of and be almost enumerating every exploitative technique under the sun in its depiction of the female gender. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, The Woman Eater highlights the various ways in which a male-dominated society sets about using and as the title suggests, consuming women for its own benefit.

    Such a situation in both the entertainment media of film and TV and in the wider society it reflects would inevitably produce a reaction that would take decades in the making. Consequently, we now have in film and in areas such as politics and the corporate world, more women being represented and brought to the fore either through personal merit, quota systems or positive discrimination.

    Unfortunately, in many instances the reaction produced has turned out to be just as problematic as the original set of social circumstances that led to it. As women fill more prominent roles in film and the real world, they are often simply being asked to speak and behave in ways that are sadly indistinguishable from their male counterparts. Little that is unique or distinctive about women is allowed to be explored within an already established system whether it be the depiction of female roles in sci-fi and other films or female conduct in the world of politics and the opportunistic and self-serving corporate sphere.

    Could an unintended consequence be the eventual creation of an expanded power elite consisting of an equal proportion of male and female members leaving the rest outside (as Orwell might have put it) looking from woman to man, and from man to woman, and from woman to man again; and being impossible to say which was which……

    We seem to have moved away from a world that normalized the idiotic notion of females being seen as fragile and subservient beings in constant need of rescuing and have instead slipped down a rabbit hole into a bizarre world of elitist jack-booted feminism populated by angry and intense females with men being allocated the roles of irrelevant limp under-performing appendages! Such warped notions and outcomes surrounding gender roles and equality are being frequently depicted in modern films, particularly in sci-fi and action-type films.

    So, what about this 60-year-old film, The Woman Eater? What makes it stand out from other similar films of its era?

    Read on for more......