I look back on my childhood viewings of the Godzilla movies with mixed emotions. I always used to look forward to these films because, well, to my young eyes they were cool. “Monsters! How could it be any better?”
Apparently the producers thought the answer to my questions was simple: a robotic Godzilla. And look! It even had a friendly Godzilla, who teams up with humans to protect the planet from their common foe: aliens. Read the rest of this entry
The film 1 is an adaptation of one of the stories in Stanislaw Lem’s book One Human Minute.
Here’s the synopsis of the film:
A bookshop renowned for its rare works is mysteriously and completely filled with copies of a book entitled 1, which doesn’t appear to have a publisher or author. The strange almanac describes what happens to the whole of humanity in the space of a minute. A police investigation begins and the bookshop staff are placed in solitary confinement by the Bureau for Paranormal Research (RDI Reality Defense Institute). As the investigation progresses, the situation becomes more complex and the book increasingly well known, raising numerous controversies (political, scientific, religious and artistic). Plagued by doubts, the protagonist has to face facts: reality only exists in the imagination of individuals.
‘Enigmatic in form, encyclopedic in scope, and leaving room between its lines for many different readings, Sparrow’s truly singular film encapsulates the whole of human experience in eccentric, elliptical cross-section. It is all at once science fiction, political allegory, transcendental mystery and free-form documentary, recalling the early works of Peter Greenaway in its vast referential breadth, its mannered blurring of fact and fiction, and the beauty of its tableau-like images.’
When you want a high-concept science fiction film, you watch Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. When you want cheese, you turn to Roger Corman flicks… like Starcrash which doles the cheese with Marjoe Gortner.
Prepare yourself for a vintage science fiction adventure film you will never forget, as the sultry Stella Star (Caroline Munro) and her alien sidekick Akton (Marjoe Gortner) team up with robot lawman Elle (Judd Hamilton) on a high adventure to save the universe. It is a cosmic mash-up of daring escapes, wild special effects, beautiful women in sexy space bikinis and nonstop action on a dozen alien worlds. Roger Corman presents the ultimate European space opera, a colorful and dazzling chase through the galaxy that will blast you through the blackness of a hundred million nights!
Kicked into hyperspace by a maelstrom of ingenious low-budget special effects and the talents of Academy Award winning composer John Barry, the film was a smash hit in 1979 when the wild and humorous sci-fi adventure hit theatres. For over 30 years the film has gained a massive cult following, inspiring devoted legions of Crashers fan clubs and more. Now, for the first time on DVD, the film is presented in a deluxe two-disc special edition.
Few know that the classic science fiction film Metropolis was based on a book by Thea Von Harbou. Many, in fact (me included) have never seen the film.
Now is your chance. Here is the restored version of Fritz Lang’s classic 1927 film.
But first, the synopsis:
Metropolis takes place in the year 2026, when the populace is divided between workers, who must live in the dark underground, and the rich who enjoy a futuristic city of splendor. The tense balance of these two societies is realized through images that are among the most famous of the 20th century, many of which presage such sci-fi landmarks as 2001: A Space Odyssey and Blade Runner. Lavish and spectacular, with elaborate sets, heart-pounding action and modern science fiction style, Metropolis stands today as the crowning achievement of classic science fiction cinema.
Peggy at Biology in Science Fiction found that Duncan Jones’ 2009 SciFi film Moon (starring Sam Rockwell) is available on YouTube via Crackle. That means there are some ads, and you may have to log in to your YouTube account to see this R-Rated film, but if you haven’t seen this film yet — now’s the perfect time. From Wikipedia:
The film is about a man who experiences a personal crisis as he nears the end of a three-year solitary stint mining helium-3 on the far side of the Earth’s moon.
I have oddly fond memories of this animated treatment of Tolkien’s classic. Ralph Bakshi’s presentation may be a truncation of the trilogy, but for its day, the animation was fantastic. Watch and see for yourself…
1954′s Gog, directed by Herbert L. Strock, is notable for having been shot in color, widescreen and 3-D. It stars Richard Egan, Constance Dowling, and Herbert Marshall and incorporates sabotage at a secret government facility, robots, a supercomputer and a nuclear threat.
The film follows on immediately from the events of the first film, and is rooted in a subplot of the original novel, Frankenstein (1818). In the film, a chastened Henry Frankenstein abandons his plans to create life, only to be tempted and finally coerced by the Monster, encouraged by Henry’s old mentor Dr Pretorius, into constructing a mate for him.
This is a King Kong/Godzilla mashup of a plot if I ever heard one:
Gorgo is a 1961 British science fiction variation on Godzilla (with hints of King Kong). Directed by Eugène Lourié, it tells the story of an underwater monster’s capture off the coast of Ireland. The monster is taken to London to be featured as a circus attraction.
The story concerns the sighting of a UFO which appears to have crashed in the San Fernando Valley, after which massive interference with teleradio transmission brings FCC investigators into action. They, in turn, begin encountering reports from people of seeing what appears to be a man dressed in a bizarre outfit. Their investigation uncovers that this is a being from outer space who, to escape capture, removes his spacesuit and proves to be invisible. The invisible being running loose sets off a massive manhunt and public panic.
Synopsis: After Professor Joseph Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) gives a lecture on Chinese vampire legend, a student informs him that the legend is true and that he knows the location of the village in the legend. The student asks Professor Van Helsing if he would be willing to travel to the village and destroy the vampire menace. Van Helsing agrees and embarks with his son, the student and his six kung-fu trained siblings on a dangerous journey funded by a wealthy widow (Julie Ege). The seven golden vampires, however, are acting under the guidance of Count Dracula himself, masquerading as a mad taoist monk.
Anything that mixes vampires with King-fu can’t be all bad, can it?
The Astro-Zombies, a.k.a. Space Zombies a.k.a. The Space Vampires, is a 1969 science fiction horror film starring John Carradine, Wendell Corey (in his final film appearance), and Tura Satana. It was written, directed, and produced by Ted V. Mikels. The plot follows a disgruntled scientist who, having been fired by the space agency, decides to create superhuman monsters from the body parts of innocent murder victims. The creatures eventually escape and go on a killing spree, attracting the attention of both an international spy ring and the CIA.
Benevolent aliens from the planet Emerald send superhero Starman to protect Earth from invasion by an evil alien race called the Spherions. When Starman arrives on Earth, he discovers a conspiracy involving Earth’s top scientists, and he must root out the traitors and also stop the impending alien invasion.