Saw a Takashi Miike picture called The Great Yokai War. "Yokai" is a Japanese term for monsters from folklore, as opposed to the more familiar kaiju. It's a kids' picture, about a young boy from Tokyo sent out to live in the countryside with his older sister and his intermittently senile grandfather. When a vengeful spirit appears, the boy gets caught up in a war between warring groups of yokai and must find his courage to become the "Kirin Rider", the hero who will set everything to rights. It's not a bad picture - nothing deep, but an amusing story. Some of the yokai are really trippy, Japanese folklore can get pretty "out there", apparently.

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GODZILLA VS. GIGAN: Next up after All Monsters Attack should have been Godzilla vs. Hedorah, but I watched that one recently so I skipped ahead to Gigan. Until recently, I owned this movie only on VHS, and if you'd've asked me yesterday I would've said I hadn't seen this movie for 20 years, but Tracy says she remembers it. We did go through the entire Godzilla catalog early in our marriage (as all couple tend to do), and it would have been all VHS at that time so I guess I have seen it within 20 years.

B-MOVIES (continued): Back in the '90s, inspired by MST3K, I bought up as many "B" films as I could find, including a series of 12 from Acme Video. I watched all but two of them, and eight of theme were also featured on MST3K, but these are the "straight" versions. These I will refer to as "my" films. I've already mentioned the "50 Movie Pack" of horror films Tracy bought recently. Those I will refer to as "her" films. I  plan to alternate back and forth between the two sets, starting with one of "mine"...

TEENAGERS FROM OUTER SPACE: "Teenagers from Outer Space! Hoodlums from Another World! On a ray-gun rampage! These strange teenagers from outer space invade the earth and prepare to possess the women! They blast the flesh off humans! A moment before, she was a beautiful young woman. Now she's a skeleton!" (promo from the 1959 movie) 

"Teenagers" was the first MST3K I ever saw (although we watched the non-MST3K version), and still one of my favorites. I have a second generation dubbed copy of the MST version, but it doesn't play very well. We make up our own jokes, but I still remember quite a few of Joel and the 'bots': "Too much chlorine!" 

I don't know that you two count as a "normal" couple.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

 We did go through the entire Godzilla catalog early in our marriage (as all couple tend to do), and it would have been all VHS at that time so I guess I have seen it within 20 years.

 

Mine, too, as I recall.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

"Teenagers" was the first MST3K I ever saw 

Lady in the Lake (1946, dir. Robert Montgomery)

I'd heard about this movie for a long while -- a Phillip Marlowe movie shot almost entirely from the detective's point of view) and the experiment of an almost completely subjective POV is intriguing. And while it's not entirely successful, it honesty feels like a certain type of video game, which is unusual for a movie made 40 years before video games were invented.

Montgomery as Phillip Marlowe doesn't have the charisma of Humphrey Bogart (or even Elliot Gould), but Audrey Trotter, especially in her early scenes, is a lot of fun, full of wisecracks and snark. 

It would have been nice to see some of the Lake the Lady was found in, and to take the investigation up into the mountains, but there wasn't the budget for that, I suppose. The movie's basically city-bound, and mostly interiors on a studio lot.

Watch for the scene in the police station where two cops in the background have a little bit of business with some bananas. It's a strange detail, but I'm guessing Montgomery wanted to give the POV shots some verisimilitude, and things like that (and a Christmas Eve conversation between a police captain and his daughter) seemed to be how he was going about it. It's not always successful, but it is interesting.

I remember enjoying the Raymond Chandler book Lady in the Lake and being disappointed by this 1946 movie. Something I didn't know: Most of Chandler's novels were reworked from his earlier short stories.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raymond_Chandler_bibliography#Novels

CARNIVAL OF SOULS: This is one of "my" Acme movies, but it's also the first in tracy's DVD collection. I don't recall, exactly, the circumstances under which I first saw this 1962 cult classic, but it was sometime in the '90s. At one point, I thought about making it an annual Hallowe'en tradition on Earth-J. (Night of the Living Dead had become too much of a cliche by that point). Tracy and I watched it together about 20 years ago, she hated it, and I hadn't seen it since... until last night. she agreed to give it another chance. She didn't remember much about, anticipated the end, and still hated it. I think her main objection is the neighbor in the boarding house, but I just think it's atmospheric and creepy

A young woman on her way to her new job as a church organist in another town inexplicably survives a drowning accident that killed her two friends. Then she begins hallucinating zombies and experiencing other phenomena that no one else can see. 

The 1933 pre-code*, low-budget A Study in Scarlet has been much-maligned, in part because it departs almost entirely from the plot of the original novel. However, it features some excellent directorial work and low-cost atmosphere, a passable Holmes and Watson (Reginald Owen and Warburton Gamble, who inexplicably live at 221-A Baker Street), and Anna May Wong. The new plot quite likely influenced Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None (1939), unless the similarities are an incredible coincidence. You'll probably figure out the solution before Holmes, but it's enjoyable, if not brilliant, and only seems to survive as a copy of a damaged print.

*Dead bodies! Suicide! Interracial marriage!

(Lord, the Hays Code was a drag).

I saw this for the first time just recently. I thought it was innovative and very well done.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

CARNIVAL OF SOULS: This is one of "my" Acme movies, but it's also the first in tracy's DVD collection. I don't recall, exactly, the circumstances under which I first saw this 1962 cult classic, but it was sometime in the '90s. At one point, I thought about making it an annual Hallowe'en tradition on Earth-J. (Night of the Living Dead had become too much of a cliche by that point). Tracy and I watched it together about 20 years ago, she hated it, and I hadn't seen it since... until last night. she agreed to give it another chance. She didn't remember much about, anticipated the end, and still hated it. I think her main objection is the neighbor in the boarding house, but I just think it's atmospheric and creepy

A young woman on her way to her new job as a church organist in another town inexplicably survives a drowning accident that killed her two friends. Then she begins hallucinating zombies and experiencing other phenomena that no one else can see. 

I didn't realize there had been movie attempts at this title. From the descriptions I just read, both this 1933 movie and the 1983 animated movie using this title ---- just used the title. There was a 1914(!) movie that sounds like it came closer to the original story* but I can't be sure. Today someone would have to have a lot of guts to truly adapt the story involving a lot of negativity about the Mormon church.

* The very first Sherlock Holmes story from 1887.

JD DeLuzio said:

The 1933 pre-code*, low-budget A Study in Scarlet has been much-maligned, in part because it departs almost entirely from the plot of the original novel. However, it features some excellent directorial work and low-cost atmosphere, a passable Holmes and Watson (Reginald Owen and Warburton Gamble, who inexplicably live at 221-A Baker Street), and Anna May Wong. The new plot quite likely influenced Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None (1939), unless the similarities are an incredible coincidence. You'll probably figure out the solution before Holmes, but it's enjoyable, if not brilliant, and only seems to survive as a copy of a damaged print.

*Dead bodies! Suicide! Interracial marriage!

(Lord, the Hays Code was a drag).

Even the famed Granada-TV series with Jeremy Brett gave this one a pass. It's been a long time since I read it. I suppose it could be reworked to be about some splinter group.

Richard Willis said:

I didn't realize there had been movie attempts at this title. From the descriptions I just read, both this 1933 movie and the 1983 animated movie using this title ---- just used the title.

I began this year -- literally on January 1 -- with a read/re-read of the Holmes canon.  Although I intended to read it all, in order, I dreaded starting with A Study in Scarlet, which I had slogged through twice before.  And apparently I'm not alone.  Loren D. Estleman, who wrote the Introduction to my paperback collection, noted that:

"For those who prefer their Sherlock Homes to be served up pure and without digression (and I am one) it is possible to skip over the long and omniscient passage entitled 'The Country of the Saints.' Indeed, rare is the reader who can resist the temptation to leapfrog the Great Alkali Plain and learn the fate of the person responsible for the singular expression of horror and hatred on the dead man's face at No. 3 Lauriston Gardens and the incarnadine 'RACHE' scratched on the wall.'"

I happily took that as an invitation.

JD DeLuzio said:

Even the famed Granada-TV series with Jeremy Brett gave this one a pass. It's been a long time since I read it. I suppose it could be reworked to be about some splinter group.

Richard Willis said:

I didn't realize there had been movie attempts at this title. From the descriptions I just read, both this 1933 movie and the 1983 animated movie using this title ---- just used the title.

ATOM AGE VAMPIRE: This is a 1960 b&w Italian horror movie dubbed into English. It is both one of "Tracy's" (from her DVD set) and one of "mine" (on Acme VHS). A mad scientist falls in love with his patient after he repairs her horribly disfigured face. To maintain that beauty he must kill and remove the glands of other women, injecting their juices into her body. Then, for unclear to both of us, he begins transforming into a Jeckyll & Hyde "vampire." (Upon reflection, this must have been a "pre-existing condition.") 

GODZILLA VS. MEGALON: When I watched all the "Gamera" movies a few weeks ago, I watched the MST3K versions. For Godzilla, I was determined to watch the originals. This is a movie I have only on VHS, however, plus I have a second generation dubbed version of the MST3K version. My factory version is of such poor quality that I switched over the the MST version after about 20 minutes or so. the ones I don't have on DVD are generally the least popular, and that holds true in this case. Because I have a bad copy and because it's one of my least favorites to begin with, I haven't seen it in close to 20 years. I could have waited 20 more. A better title would have been "Godzilla & Jet Jaguar vs. Megalon." 

"It would be funny if the earthquake destroyed your robot."

"It would be funny if the earthquake killed your family." 

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