Sunday, 7 January 2018

The Fly (1958)



The film treads a fine line between comedy and seriousness. It benefits from a good script, production values and capable performances but wastes many opportunities to become something greater than it is.

“It does indeed contain, briefly, two of the most sickening sights one casual swatter-wielder ever beheld on the screen.” 
"The most ludicrous, and certainly one of the most revolting science-horror films ever perpetrated!" 
“One of the better, more restrained entries of the "shock" school.” 
“A quiet, uncluttered and even unpretentious picture, building up almost unbearable tension by simple suggestion.” 
“It holds an interesting philosophy about man's tampering with the unknown."
“Stands in many ways above the level of B-movie science fiction common in the 1950s."

Directed by Kurt Neumann 
Produced by Kurt Neumann, Robert L. Lippert (uncredited)
Screenplay by James Clavell
Based on short story The Fly by George Langelaan
Music by Paul Sawtell
Cinematography Karl Struss
Edited by Merrill G. White
Production company: 20th Century Fox
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Running time: 93 minutes

Budget: $325,0000 - $495,000 approx.
Box office: $3 million


Cast


David Hedison as André Delambre
Patricia Owens as Hélène Delambre
Vincent Price as François Delambre
Herbert Marshall as Inspector Charas
Kathleen Freeman as Emma
Betty Lou Gerson as Nurse Anderson
Charles Herbert as Philippe Delambre
Eugene Borden as Dr. Éjoute
Torben Meyer as Gaston



Trailer


Scientist Andre Delambre is crushed to death in a mechanical press.


WHO OR WHAT WAS RESPONSIBLE?

It has fallen to his wife Hélène to recount the events that led up to her husband’s death to both Andre’s brother, Francois Delambre and police Inspector Charas.

WHAT HAPPENED?


Read on to find out……

Thursday, 4 January 2018

AIRING ON COMET in January



It’s officially 2018 and we hope you’ve brushed off the confetti and popped all the champagne corks because COMET TV has some amazing things in store for you in January!

There are classic films like The Craft, Labyrinth and Bubba Ho-Tep as well as our Edgar Allan Poe double features all month long on Wednesday nights!





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

THEY’RE AIRING FOR FREE ON COMET!

The Craft (1996)

Teen movies might want you to believe that high school was all about keggers and beautiful cheerleaders, but we prefer The Craft’s version of events. Featuring a quartet of angsty teens who turn to witchcraft in the face of personal high school horrors, The Craft casts a spell that leaves you wishing you had an occult store on your local main street.

Friday, January 12 at 8P/7C
Saturday, January 13 at 8P/7C
Sunday, January 21 at 6P/5C
Monday, January 22 at 8P/7C


FILMS ON COMET IN JANUARY

Labyrinth (1986)

January will mark the second anniversary of the day we lost pop culture legend David Bowie, so this month’s COMET is honoring his memory in the best way we coul think of .... by screening one of the most iconic roles of his career. Back in 1986, Bowie stole the show as the Goblin King in Jim Henson’s Labyrinth. From the music to the costumes, this was Bowie at his best.

Friday, January 19 at 8P/7C
Saturday, January 20 at 8P/7C
Saturday, January 27 at 5:30P/6:30C
Tuesday, January 30 at 6P/7C

Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)

Could there be a better way to shake off the post-holiday blues than with the adventures of Elvis in all his hip shaking and breaking glory? Of course not, which is exactly why you should be tuning in to watch Bubba Ho-Tep on COMET this January.

Friday, January 26 at 8P/7C
Saturday, January 27 at 8P/7C
Sunday, January 28 at 2P/1C 




Edgar Allan Poe DOUBLE FEATURES

Need to warm up on the cold Winter Wednesdays? Look no further than COMET’s brand new 2-hour block of Edgar Allan Poe programming. Each Wednesday evening at 6P/5C, catch the Tomahawk Man’s most beloved creations, including The Raven and Tales of Terror.

Airing Wednesday Nights at 6P/5C throughout January, check schedule at CometTV.com


Premature Burial (1962)

Wednesday, January 10 at 6P/5C

Tales of Terror (1962)

Wednesday, January 10 at 8P/7C

The Raven (1963)

Wednesday, January 17 at 6P/5C

The Haunted Place (1963)

Wednesday, January 17 at 8P/7C

Masque of the Red Death
(1964)


Wednesday, January 24 at 6P/5C

The Tomb of Ligeia (1965)

Wednesday, January 24 at 8P/7C

The Oblong Box (1969)

Wednesday, January 31 at 6P/5C

Murders in the Rue Morgue (1971)

Wednesday, January 31 at 8P/7C


January Theme Weeks

Airing weekdays at 4P/3C throughout January, check schedule at CometTV.com

Killer Creature Movies (1/1 – 1/5)
Outer Space Movies (1/8 – 1/12)
Rubber-Suit Monster Movies (1/15 – 1/19)
Dystopian Movies (1/22 – 1/26)


January Friday Night Movies

Friday Primetime Movie 8P/7C
Saturday Encore Presentation 8P/7C

The Dark Half (1993)

Friday, January 5 at 8P/7C

The Craft (1996)

Friday, January 12 at 8P/7C

Labyrinth (1986)

Friday, January 19 at 8P/7C

Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)

Friday, January 26 at 8P/7C


SERIES ON COMET IN January 2018

Andromeda

Classic Space Opera is coming to COMET! Based on materials from sci-fi legend Gene Roddenberry, Andromeda stars all action hero Kevin Sorbo as the Captain of the Andromeda Ascendant, a highly advanced ship whose crew is charged with restoring power and stability to the Systems Commonwealth. But, to succeed the Andromeda crew must battle one of sci-fi’s weirdest looking bad guys….the sinister Magog!

Weekdays at 2P/1C and 10P/9C

Stargate: Atlantis


If you thought gate-hopping action was fun in the Milky Way, just wait until you see what it’s like in the Pegasus Galaxy. Stargate: Atlantis sees a team of international scientists unlocking the secrets of a legendary ancient city, discovering a whole new Stargate network in a whole new galaxy, and bringing them face to face with the Wraith, a powerful enemy who are best summed up with the term 'Evil Space Vampires'!

Weekdays at 3P/2C and 11P/10C


******
Next post in this Blog: THE FLY 1958 (Coming soon!)

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Destination Moon - Once Again!



The poem that follows was inspired by the film that really opened the classic age of sci-fi films of the 1950s, George Pal’s somewhat eerily prescient, Destination Moon (1950). I also had in mind President Trump’s recent directive to NASA to have Americans return to the moon supposedly as a stepping stone to Mars and beyond. NASA has had its sights firmly set on missions to Mars and I wonder what impact this directive will have on NASA and the future course of space exploration. A lot will depend on finding the right answer to the questions posed in the last stanza of the poem I suppose. That may have been an important factor in the previous manned missions to the moon….finding the right answer.

Anyway, I close this year with my little poem and wish you A Happy New Year! Never stop wondering…..What If?



Once more unto the Moon, dear friends, once more!

We chose to go to the moon…..
In a George Pal sci-fi spectacular
Just a mere five years after The War,
When Truman was President of these here United States
And H-bomb production pushed up the stakes.


We chose to go to the moon….
In glorious Technicolor and mono sound
As Korea became yet another battleground,
While industry grew fatter with profit,
And a baby boom got set to sky-rocket.

We chose to go to the moon….
Committed and depicted up on the screen,
Beating them Commies so evil and mean!
While winds of a Cold War made us shake and shiver,
And we warmed up with sessions of duck and cover.

We chose to go to the moon….
Believing that we were in a race,
In which we had to set the pace,
To be first to put a man on the moon,
And get it done and done real soon.

We chose to go to the moon…..
With faith in our industry and enterprise
Asking: What’s the payoff? What’s our prize?
Knowing: the race is on and we’d better win it;
Control the moon and all others will submit!


We chose to go to the moon…..
Not yet ready to catch and match the fiction,
Of a Woody Woodpecker demonstration,
Filled with optimism and basic principles,
And all kinds of kids’ cute cartoon visuals.


We chose to go to the moon….
When Kennedy set out a nation’s challenge,
One that would not be easy to manage
And one that would be hard to achieve
But one in which all could believe.

We chose to go to the moon…..
Having once lost a race into space,
Now a new race began to help us save face
Where the goal was to win and claim first prize:
Global pre-eminence and all that it belies.

We chose to go to the moon…
And did we rush in headlong haste -
To land a man on the moon and be the first
To safely return him to earth! Ah, there’s the rub!
Dangers abounded while Time stood poised to drub.


We chose to go to the moon….
With men who had the right stuff,
But would all this prove to be enough,
With the aim just to win a sprint,
To plant a flag and leave a footprint?


We chose to go to the moon….
And by Mercury, Gemini and Apollo we did!
Ethereal images both ghostly and splendid
Hailed us from another world with words well-timed
“One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”


We had chosen to go to the moon….
And for a moment we stood there as if in a trance,
Struck dumb by the stark desolation and silence,
In awe at a blue marble suspended in a velvet black sky,
And then we began to fiddle and fidget and wonder WHY?


We then chose to leave the moon…..
When Cynicism set in as adventure turned routine,
And the latest sitcom was the thing to be seen.
A blanket of boredom spread over a fickle world
Chilled by millions and billions at the moon that were hurled.

Selene: Greek moon goddess

We choose now to return to the moon…..
When what had once been revered and respected;
When what held our world balanced and protected;
And of our imagination sparked and illuminated,
Had for too long been ignored and taken for granted.

Do we now choose to go to the moon…
Because others are there for reasons suspect?
To corporatize a chunk of space unchecked?
To have a stepping stone to Mars and yonder?
Or to help us understand, know and wonder?



 *********************


2018 will open with a post on the classic 1958 sci-fi film…..

THE FLY!!!!!






©Chris Christopoulos 2017




Thursday, 14 December 2017

The Colossus of New York (1958)


An under-rated, admirable and well-crafted sci-fi film that explores concepts that are relevant to modern audiences.

Directed by Eugène Lourié
Story written by Willis Goldbeck
Screenplay: Thelma Schnee
Music by Van Cleave
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date: 1958
Running time: 70 minutes


Cast


John Baragrey: Dr. Henry Spensser
Mala Powers: Anne Spensser
Otto Kruger: Dr. William Spensser
Robert Hutton: Dr. John Robert Carrington
Ross Martin: Dr. Jeremy 'Jerry' Spensser
Charles Herbert: Billy Spensser





There’s something about The Colossus Of New York that I still find to be eerie and disturbing. It is one of the lesser known vintage sci fi films from the 1950s that I believe deserves much greater attention. While watching the film once again recently, I was reminded of the Cybermen characters from the Doctor Who series in which hapless human beings are forced to undergo an “upgrade” by having their humanity and their very emotions stripped away as they are turned into cybernetically augmented humanoids. There have been instances though when the essential humanity of an “upgraded’ individual has managed to break through the impassive impenetrable façade of a Cyberman.



So, what is this technological Frankenstein movie all about?

Following an accident in which he was killed, Nobel Peace Prize Winner Jeremy Spensser has his brain transplanted into the body of a huge cyborg by his scientist father, William Spensser. William wishes to save his genius son's mind so that it can continue to serve mankind, BUT……

What will be the effect on Jeremy Spensser’s brain?
Will there be irreversible changes to his personality?
Will the very essence of his humanity be at stake?

Read on for more.....

Thursday, 23 November 2017

"SURVIVORS": A Poem Inspired By The 1951 Sci-Fi Film, "Five"




SURVIVORS


From Big Ben to the Eiffel Tower
Doomsday warnings wail hour after hour:
Imminent collapse of the human race!
And in a flash the world is laid to waste.


A shocked raggedy-doll stumbles and staggers
Along aimless paths seeking survivors,
While calling out plaintive piteous pleas
Of, “Can anyone help me please!”


The path leads Raggedy-doll to another:
A sensitive Poet and Philosopher
Waving absurdity laid bare and unfurled
Of a once cheap honky-tonk of a world.


Here comes a beetle-browed financier,
Well – just a mere assistant cashier
Counting out a life paid in denial and delusion;
Here he enters in wide-eyed confusion.

Supporting him is the Black Samaritan
Strong of shoulder, pride and passion,
Who once dreamt of being something

more,
Only to end up minding a door.


“I am one who was once blind but can now see;
Who once had settled for a piece of security
In a city where I had never seen the lights,
Nor till now what is important in life.”

The four soon become five
When they save one just barely alive,
Through iron willed-soul so black and depraved
And from whom they will have to be saved.

Beetle-brow cashier now on vacation
Has arrived at his final destination
Which he has yearned for in his dreams
For a whole life-time to him it seems.

“I often dreamt of going on vacation,
But my work was my life’s obligation.
And so I sat behind self-made prison bars
Dreaming of sleeping under the stars!”


The need is felt to stay alive 
As once again four become five 
When Raggedy-doll gives birth to future hope 
Without which our survivors would not cope. 

Iron-will’s hope hides in a fascist fantasy 
That seeks salvation through supremacy 
By force of power, violence and destruction: 
And all that sow the seeds of annihilation. 

“I climbed Mt. Everest. I alone. Always alone. 
And there I’ll sit atop the mountain on my throne 
Invincible and possessed of a special immunity 
With a plundered world spread out below me!”

Clinging to his tattered rags of self-delusion, 
Iron-will’s life force leaks away with the radiation 
Of an inner poison of violence and domination, 
That once robbed a new world of a wise Samaritan.


What of the Poet, Raggedy-doll and Future Hope?
Will they leave behind the Past’s mistakes as they grope
Their way to a new Eden that heals and mends;
Where people work together, live together, like friends?

*****************

Thanks for reading my little poem inspired by and based on the science fiction film,





©Chris Christopoulos 2017

Friday, 17 November 2017

The Blob (1958)


Although not a masterpiece, this film is a cultural gem

Practically nothing is known about an incident that occurred in a small rural town in Pennsylvania in July 1957. It involved a mysterious extra-terrestrial blob-like entity that crashed to Earth inside a meteorite. Not only that, but the alien entity turned out to be both aggressive and destructive as it set about devouring and dissolving the citizens of this small rural community.

Almost nothing is also known about the then teenage pair, Steve Andrews and his girlfriend, Jane Martin who witnessed the crash of the meteorite and who set about investigating it. As the teenage pair witnessed the alien creature’s destructive power, they faced the problem of being confronted by a wall of adult skepticism and anger. Meanwhile, the blob continued to engulf more and more people, while growing bigger and bigger……



Directed by Irvin Yeaworth
Produced by Jack H. Harris
Written by Kay Linaker, Theodore Simonson
Story by Irving H. Millgate
Music by Ralph Carmichael, Burt Bacharach
Cinematography Thomas E. Spalding
Edited by Alfred Hillmann
Production company: Fairview Productions, Tonylyn Productions, Valley Forge Films
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Running time: 86 minutes
Budget: $110,000
Box office: $4 million


Cast


Steve McQueen as Steve Andrews
Aneta Corsaut as Jane Martin
Earl Rowe as Lieutenant Dave
Olin Howland as Old Man
Stephen Chase as Dr. Hallen
John Benson as Sergeant Jim Bert
George Karas as Officer Ritchie
Lee Payton as Kate
Elbert Smith as Mr. Martin
Hugh Graham as Mr. Andrews
Keith Almoney as Danny Martin




Trailer


Read on for more....

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

"Stargate" Fans Rejoice!



Stargate Origins: official sneak preview

COMET TV is giving one lucky viewer the chance to come to Los Angeles and attend a private screening! But wait… They will also get the opportunity to meet select cast members as well!


Anyone can enter the giveaway at: http://www.comettv.com/sgosweepstakes/

One grand prize winner will win; 

  • a trip for two to Los Angeles
  • a two-night stay in Beverly Hills
  • 2 subscription passes to the Stargate Command Website
  • 2 passes to a private screening of Stargate Origins with select cast members
  • 2 COMET gift bags! 
In addition, one hundred Second Place winners will win a subscription pass to the Stargate: Command website/app!

Stargate: Command is the official destination for all things STARGATE, including a variety of STARGATE content from the franchise’s nearly 25-year history. Find Stargate: Command at stargatecommand.co