Once Upon a Time In Hollywood
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Rip-snortingly-free-wheeling, lovably-ludicrous Big-Butt Beastie Brouhaha brought to you by the Toho Company, those fine Japanese purveyors of such silly-&-super slapstick-&-slapdash slug-fests as "King Kong vs Godzilla", "Destroy All Monsters", and "Yog, Monster from Space". Herein being the account of two hairily-hirsute hermanos seperated at birth, one growing up an Earth-toned, progressive & pleasant peace-nik living in the mountains of Japan, occasionally saving the lives of blundering Niponese climbers,the other a maniacal, seaweed-green and scaly, mean-spirited marine-marauder wreaking havoc in the Pacific Ocean, indiscriminately munching ship-sailing personnel with reckless abandon. When the two meet, all Hell breaks loose as they engage in a battle of wills, wits, and woolliness, using the always-unfortunate Tokyo as the setting for their Super-Sized Smack-down. Actually a superior effort from the Godzilla guys, with well-designed & delineated creature characters, and some very eerily- effective scenes of monster-mayhem. As usual with these films, the human plot-points are secondary to the action, and the usually-reliable Russ Tamblyn sleepwalks his way through in a lacklustre, catatonic performance.
I love this bizarre, kitchen-sink, almost-indescribable little flea-fart of a movie!! A nasty, slimy little treasure with some hideously-ugly & disturbingly real-looking Ghoul- children running rampant in an abandoned mortuary, chompin' away at bodies living & dead!! You gotta' know any film that features a frumpy, chain-smoking, 300-pound middle-aged woman ( The surprisingly- good actress Deborah Rose-) as the lead, Norman Fell ("Mr. Roper" from "Three's Company"), as a pony-tailed coroner, the great (And here, wigless!) Phyllis Diller as the mortuary's nazi-like desk-attendant who eventually metamorphosizes into an enormous, pop-eyed, slobbering troll, & a giant, Godzilla-like, mutated toy poodle has to be good, and it is!! Wild and woolly, whacked-out & wonderful, it has "Cult Movie" written all over it. If you get a chance to see it, by all means, DO!!! A superb addition to a Halloween night's video program!
Wonderfully-eerie and rarely- seen horror flick in the gothic Hammer vein, even featuring its two greatest stars together once again. Peter Cushing stars as meek-and-mild scientist Dr. Emmanuel Hildern who has unearthed an enormous, aberrantly-humanoid skeleton and brings it back to his English Country estate for further research, unaware of its latent evil properties. To his horror, he discovers that the frighteningly-fiendish-fossil find can regenerate tissue, veins, muscle---the titular "Creeping Flesh"---upon exposure to water. Needless to say, the heinous heap of bones winds up in the hands of his unscrupulous half-brother (Christopher Lee), and as he attempts to abscond with it, his coach overturns in a rain storm....you can probably fill in the rest! A well-produced, superbly-acted offbeat chiller.
While I generally am a fan of pretty much any filmed version of Dickens's classic yule-tide fave, this is the DEFINITIVE treatment, ripe with mood and atmosphere (As only the Brits can produce-), some truly chilling and disquieting moments, and a faboo roster of classic English actors essaying the now-iconic cast of characters. Pop-eyed, hatchet-faced Alistair Sim is simply the finest incarnation of miserable miser Ebenezer Scrooge ever committed to celluloid, Michael Hordern is a suitably repentant Jacob Marley, Mervyn Johns as perfectly meek-and-mousey milktoast Bob Cratchett, and of the Spirits, big, burly, and bearded Francis De Wolf is a standout as a lusty Ghost of Christmas Present. Truly the greatest Scrooge adaptation.
If you're a fan (Like I am-) of the amusingly overwrought, unsubtle acting stylings of the always-entertaining Shelley Winters (Especially in her later years-), than this weird and ultra high-camp cult flick (Which Winters co-produced-) is definitely for you. Here she tackles the role of Lydia, a middle-aged psychotic/pyromaniac institutionalized as a child for burning down her house and roasting her parents alive. After refusing to take her very-necessary meds, she escapes the mental hospital along with two other batty broads and high-tails it to the ruins of her ancestral home, where she practices black magic rituals and kidnaps a dopey hunter (Gary Swanson) and terrorizes him. Almost unexplainably strange, but uplifted by Winters's eye-rolling and hysterically-histrionic performance.