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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Starman vs.Doctor Mabuse would make for an interesting movie.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

"We have a 100 Movie Pack of 'Sci-Fi Classics' we bought years ago... [which] includes both The Return of Dr. Mabuse and Evil Brain from Outer Space"

THE RETURN OF DOCTOR MABUSE: We watched our other copy of The R. of D.M. last night and it played fine (except the the sound was a bit out of synch). I really wanted to see Gerte Frobe two years before he became forever enshrined in cinematic history as Auric Goldfinger. I realize now that, when we tried to play it the other night and it jumped 45 minutes in, it has actually jumped 45 minutes into Evil Brain from Outer Space, which sounds awesome, BTW. We will definitely be watching that one next so, assuming you watch Night Fright next, after tonight we'll be in synch. 

For the record, the best Evil Brain From Outer Space is Brain From Planet Arous. Not that it's good (very few John Agar movies are) but it is reasonably entertaining.

The Baron said:

Starman vs.Doctor Mabuse would make for an interesting movie.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

"We have a 100 Movie Pack of 'Sci-Fi Classics' we bought years ago... [which] includes both The Return of Dr. Mabuse and Evil Brain from Outer Space"

THE RETURN OF DOCTOR MABUSE: We watched our other copy of The R. of D.M. last night and it played fine (except the the sound was a bit out of synch). I really wanted to see Gerte Frobe two years before he became forever enshrined in cinematic history as Auric Goldfinger. I realize now that, when we tried to play it the other night and it jumped 45 minutes in, it has actually jumped 45 minutes into Evil Brain from Outer Space, which sounds awesome, BTW. We will definitely be watching that one next so, assuming you watch Night Fright next, after tonight we'll be in synch. 

The sherriff in this was played by genre mainstay John Agar, who made a number of good movies during his career.  This was not one of them.

I must be getting old, because I was totally rooting for Agar to beat the crap out of the snotty young punk that was mouthing off to him.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

NIGHT FRIGHT: Luckily, this one played correctly. Even more luckily, it was only 75 minutes long. It was in color (1968), but the night scenes were so poorly lit it was had to tell what was going on onscreen. "A NASA experiment involving cosmic rays has mutated an ape and turned it into and unstoppable killing machine with a thirst for blood." A more accurate description would be: "Some clean-cut college kids hang out in a wooded area near a lake and are picked off by a mutated ape that is hardly seen." When we do see the "mutated ape" it looks like a guy in a gorilla suit but wearing a Klingon mask from ST:TMP. 

"I must be getting old, because I was totally rooting for Agar to beat the crap out of the snotty young punk that was mouthing off to him."

The snotty young punk almost hit the sheriff with his car a couple of times. Tracy said the kid is lucky he wasn't Black or he'd be dead.

EVIL BRAIN FROM OUTER SPACE: This movie was every bit as awesome as you made it sound. It played very much like a '40s era movie serial or a '50s era TV show, but Japanese. Before I was even two minutes in I knew I was going to love it. One of my favorite comics of the '90s was Starman, but this movie is like the missing Starman, even more than "the Starman of 1950." 

The Baron said:

Watched Evil Brain From Outer Space (1964), a no-budget Japanese sci-fi epic in which the Space Council sends the heroic Starman (known in Japan as "Super-Giant")  to Earth to defend it from invasion by the evil space brain Balazar.  Starman is very similar to Prince of Space and Space Chief from "Invasion of the Neptune Men".  As in those films, the heels are simultaneously the greatest threat in the universe and goofy and utterly incompetent.

I'm given to understand that this movie was an amalgam of four movies from a series, which might explain why the plot makes no sense.

Agar made a few good ones, such as Fort Apache and Tarantula. His batting record isn't good though, and his bad ones (Invisible Invaders, Curse of the Swamp Monster) are really painful.

The Baron said:

The sherriff in this was played by genre mainstay John Agar, who made a number of good movies during his career.  This was not one of them.

I must be getting old, because I was totally rooting for Agar to beat the crap out of the snotty young punk that was mouthing off to him.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

NIGHT FRIGHT: Luckily, this one played correctly. Even more luckily, it was only 75 minutes long. It was in color (1968), but the night scenes were so poorly lit it was had to tell what was going on onscreen. "A NASA experiment involving cosmic rays has mutated an ape and turned it into and unstoppable killing machine with a thirst for blood." A more accurate description would be: "Some clean-cut college kids hang out in a wooded area near a lake and are picked off by a mutated ape that is hardly seen." When we do see the "mutated ape" it looks like a guy in a gorilla suit but wearing a Klingon mask from ST:TMP. 

I watched Deep Water on Hulu the other day -- an erotic thriller (remember those?) directed by Adrian Lynne (remember him?) written by Patricia Highsmith (she's always awesome!) starring Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas. It's not great -- Affleck glowers through New Orleans as his wife, de Armas, takes on lover after lover, flaunting it in front of him. And eventually one of those lovers winds up dead. But while there are some sexy moments, it never really manages "thrilling." That said, it's watchable enough, I recognized a number of New Orleans sites that I've been to, and the movie distinguishes itself by having a lot of loving closeups of snails, which Affleck keeps as pets. 

Watched Doomsday Machine (1972)  In 1975, an American spy discovers that China has invented a "doomsday machine", which they're going to set off, for reasons never made entirely clear.  The crew of an American Venus expedition is hastily re-shuffled to include three women, one of whom is Russian.  The Earth is destroyed by an unconvincing special effect right after they leave.  None of our "heroes" handle this well, and when they get to Venus, the Venusian Overmind is all "Get bent, Earth dinks!"

This picture began production in 1967, ran out of money and was completed in 1972 by different people with none of the original actors, costumes or sets, which perhaps explains the cryptic non-ending nd the fact that certain characters spend the last part of the movie in space suits with their pfaces obscured.

I've seen that one. Not memorable. I recall the assumption China would blow up the world just because was fairly common back then (because Mao was mad, because they had so many people, because those inscrutable orientals didn't care about life like western people, etc.).

The Baron said:

Watched Doomsday Machine (1972)  In 1975, an American spy discovers that China has invented a "doomsday machine", which they're going to set off, for reasons never made entirely clear.  The crew of an American Venus expedition is hastily re-shuffled to include three women, one of whom is Russian.  The Earth is destroyed by an unconvincing special effect right after they leave.  None of our "heroes" handle this well, and when they get to Venus, the Venusian Overmind is all "Get bent, Earth dinks!"

This picture began production in 1967, ran out of money and was completed in 1972 by different people with none of the original actors, costumes or sets, which perhaps explains the cryptic non-ending nd the fact that certain characters spend the last part of the movie in space suits with their pfaces obscured.

We didn't watch The Doomsday Machine last night because we had some new TV piling up (Superman, This Is Us), but we should be able to get to it tonight because all we'll have is Full Frontal

This was the period of time when Russia/USSR was being portrayed in movies as kinda nice/not so bad while China was being assigned the evil guys role. I think this mindset was why all of the James Bond movies involving the Russian SMERSH organization were converted to the stateless SPECTRE. In the movie version of Goldfinger, they had China overtly helping the title bad guy.

THE DOOMSDAY MACHINE: Just finished watching this one. At exactly the point the three women show up at the press conference to replace three male crew members I realized I had seen this before. Yep, it's in my 100 "Sci-Fi" Movie Pack. That was the only thing I remembered about it, however. It's not exactly memorable, but I think it will stick with me for a while after this. Mike Farrell  gets to ask a question at the press conference, and the mission control liaison is Casey Kasem. (I kept expecting his to tell the astronauts to "keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.") I can't believe any of these astronauts were part of any military service, nor can I understand how some of them passed their psych profiles. This movie is so incredibly sexist that it's almost unbelievable. (I mean, the movie itself is unbelievable, but the amount of sexism is not.) It started out as Planet of the Apes and, in the last five minutes, tries to pivot into 2001. Actually, the bit about one Russian and one America spacecraft, one of them disabled does remind me a bit of 2010. If you eve find yourself in the mood to watch The Doomsday Machine, do yourself a favor and watch Odyssey Two instead. 

Just watched Warriors of the Wasteland (1983).  Holy Mary, Mother of God, that was awful.  It's an Italian postapocalyptic picture set in 2019, nine years after a nuclear war. (Remember the nuclear war in 2010? I don't.)  A  death cult called the Templars is out to wipe out the remnants of humanity, and our protagonist is out to stop them. It's cheesy and badly-made, with some truly distasteful moments. MST3K  did three or four similar Italian movies, but I think this may be worse than any of them.

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