Archive for the ‘scifi’ Tag

The Thing (1982) 31 Days of Horror: Terror-Thon at the Somerville Theatre   Leave a comment

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The men at a remote arctic outpost have a stranger in their midst. Based on John W. Campbell’s 1938 novella Who Goes There?, The Thing shows how this stranger affects the men and how they deal with it. The simple plot works because of its cast of talented character actors and skillful direction by John Carpenter. Starring Kurt Russell, Keith David, Wilford Brimley, Richard Masur, David Clennon, Richard Dysart among others, the film has a fast pace and crackling dialogue thanks to screenwriter Bill Lancaster and we get to know each man in only a few lines. The set-up reminds me of Alien with Antarctica standing in for the Nostromo.

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Howling winds and music by Ennio Morricone add to the eerie atmosphere and the special effects rule. Rob Bottin and his crew made most of the creatures with Stan Winston doing some fantastic work on the dog. The film is unpredictable and scary. You really get a sense of paranoia. My heart was racing for two hours and I’d seen it before. This is definitely one of those films in which you want to yell, “Look behind you!” The overall quality of the acting, writing, and effects make this one of the best horror films of the 1980s. I’m glad I got to see this on film in the theatre.

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Trivia: Kurt Russell plays computer chess with the lone female (voice only) in the cast. She is actress Adrienne Barbeau, director John Carpenter’s wife at the time.

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The Creature From the Black Lagoon 3D (1954) 31 Days of Horror   Leave a comment

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I love me some Gill-man. I’ve seen it many times, but never on the big screen and never in 3D. Jack Arnold (The Incredible Shrinking Man, It Came From Outer Space) directed a terrific film about a bunch of asshats who come to Gilly’s (I call him Gilly. We’re close.) home in the Black Lagoon and screw everything up. What starts out as an archaeological dig ends up as all out war as the team of scientists led by Mark (Richard Denning) and David (Richard Carlson) compete for Kay (Julie Adams) or themselves. It’s hard to tell. While Mark and David keep busy rattling each other’s sabers, Gilly decides Kay looks pretty good and launches a campaign of his own.

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Hey baby, come see my grotto. I got the idea from Hef.

The humans take umbrage and before Jim Morrisson can sing The End, all hell breaks loose and we have a panic on the 4th of July. Wait. That’s wrong. Anyway, I love the film and root like hell for Gilly to waste the mean dudes every time. The 3D effects were fun too. Fish swim at you and the claw scene at the beginning is a trip. The music stands out too. Henry Mancini, Hans Salter, and Herman Stein are all listed as uncredited composers.(?) The main musical effect works and they must have thought so too because they use it over and over throughout the film. I liked it anyway. If you haven’t seen The Creature From the Black Lagoon, you really should. If you can see it in the theatre, please do!

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I just want to be loved. Is that so wrong?

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