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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Yeah. The very sight of The Three Stooges in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad Mad World portends chaos and mayhem. A little really went a long way.

Just saw The Invisible Man (2020). It's a very good re-imagining of the story, especially of the ruthlessness of the title character.

CAPTIVE WILD WOMAN: Another from Universal Studios, lesser known and deservedly so. A mad scientist turns an ape into a woman, the first of several times this motif has been used in the movies (not including Serial Apeist and Serial Apeist II from The Big Bang Theory). the film stars John Carradine and is set against the backdrop of a circus. A great deal of footage (maybe 50% of the film, I estimate) is taken from 1933's The Big Cage. It's difficult to watch because of the animal abuse depicted throughout. Tracy and I have agreed never to watch this one again.


I felt it was tired and pointless, though I understand it's an allusion to their first film appearance and to their cameo in Start Cheering, so there's that. Compare it, though, to their equally brief cameo in My Sister Eileen(a far less famous film, I admit), where they appear for about as long, but actually say something funny, made funnier by the fact that it's the Stooges. They also turn up in a short bit in the Martin/Sinatra movie, 4 for Texas, though they get an actual routine:

ClarkKent_DC said:

Yeah. The very sight of The Three Stooges in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad Mad World portends chaos and mayhem. A little really went a long way.

Movies I've seen lately:

1917 (2019): It lives up to the hype. Not always easy to watch, but once it starts, you will probably have to play it straight to the conclusion.

Blow the Man Down (2020) A blend of neo-noir and black comedy, with a strong cast, eccentric characters, improbable twists, and strong cinematography.  The writer/director team of Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle Krudy clearly want to be the female Coen Brothers with a New England twist. If you like that approach to film-making and have a taste for dark and quirky humour, you will probably enjoy it.

The Crimson Kimono (1959): startlingly progressive late-50s quality b-noir with a pair of cops, former Korean War buddies, one Japanese-American, one white, investigating the murder of a stripper while falling for the same female witness. Well-done, and very unlike most films of its time. Shot on location in LA, much of it in J-Town.

Daughter of Shanghai (1937): Anna May Wong and Philip Ahn play non-stereotypical Chinese-American characters who take on a human smuggling ring. The story is passable, the Irish chauffer is a stereotype, but the cast is solid.

Side Street (1950): A missing link between noir and the cop shows that would soon proliferate on TV, this is a passable morality tale. Its strongest point may be the tour it provides of period New York.

The Watermelon Woman (1996): unusual queer film from the 1990s, but worth seeing. Lots of aspiring filmmaker use of technique on a low budget. It says something that I cannot determine for certain if Camille Paglia (who has a cameo) knows she's playing a parody of herself.

That clip features a couple of old vaudeville routines ("point to the right" and "[clap-clap-clap] Texas!"]. The "point to the right" one also made its way into a short, but not as famously as "Niagara Falls! Slowly I turned!" Also, Steve Miller borrowed "[clap-clap-clap] Texas!" for "Take the Money and Run" (although\t he reversed it).

THE MAD GHOUL (1943): Experimenting with "Egyptian gasses," a mad scientist learns how to make zombies. It's entertaining enough, but I can see why it's not better remembered (at least not by me).

I saw THE LOVELY BONES on an HBO channel earlier this day - I read the novel at the time. It's 1960s period story includes a use of vintage Archies that I'm surprised Archie approved! AQUAMAN is finishing now, on an HBO - I now have about 10 different HBO channels. Earlier, AQUAMAN was showing, at slightly different schedules on two if them at the same time!

WEREWOLF OF LONDON (1935): This Carl Laemmle movie features a very different werewolf legend than the one in The Wolfman. I have been enjoying watching these Universal Studios monster/horror movies that I have seen less often but, except for the Frankenstein/Dracula/Wolfman ones, Tracy has seen all of them only once each, with me. She wants to re-watch another "series," specifically the "Invisible Man" series, so that's what we'll watch next.

Werewolf of London is one of the few movies I've seen where Warner Oland plays a character other than Charlie Chan.

THE INVISIBLE MAN (1933): The first one is pretty good, although slightly silly in places. The series devolves to comedy early on as I recall. I've read all of the classics the other Universal Studios monster movies are based on (some multiple times), but never The Invisible Man. I'm sure I've got a copy lying around here somewhere...

I recorded (from TCM) and watched Cry of the Werewolf (1944). It's an interesting take on werewolves, from Columbia, not Universal. Transformations are shown in shadows, etc, and the werewolves are played by....wolves. The bullets flying aren't silver.  A lot better than it sounds. 

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