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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My wife and I attended the same Fathom double feature in our area and I agree wholeheartedly on the viewing experience. The picture and sound quality were excellent. I have seen both movies more times than I can count but this was almost like seeing them for the first time. Hopefully we can make it to the Phantom/Creature double feature.

Doctor Hmmm? said:

A Fathom Events Karloff double-feature at a (I have two) local Regal Cinema: The Mummy and The Bride of Frankenstein.

Universal monster movies are regular October fare for me -- I grew up watching these films on Nightmare Theater with Sammy Terry on Friday nights, and I've owned all the Legacy sets for years, and upgraded most to blu-ray -- but I've never seen them on the big screen.

It was totally worth it.  The Mummy looked good -- that iconic close-up image of Ardath Bey/Karloff's face really pops when it's 20 feet high -- but Bride is a whole new experience when viewed (and heard) the way it was intended.  My appreciation for Whale's (and his production team's) vision for this movie has grown by leaps and bounds.  The climatic scene of the creation of The Bride was just stunning.

Also: Since Bride isn't one of my "go to"s, I haven't watched it in a number of years, and had forgotten how much dark humor Whale dropped in.  And how wonderfully camp Ernest Thesiger's Dr. Pretorious is.

I'd recommend this, but it was apparently a one-showing-only event.  But if you ever get the chance ...

There will be a Phantom of the Opera/ (1943) Creature from the Black Lagoon event on Oct 29.  I'm going to try for that one too.

At the bottom of this webpage you can type your email address so that you don't miss Fathom events. They have a wide variety of programs. On October 29 (only) they have another Universal Monsters event. The showings are always one- or two days only.

Fathom Events

GENERAL SPANKY (1936): In an effort to emulate the success of Shirly Temple's The Little Colonel and The Littlest Rebel, for the Little Rascals' only feature-length film Hal Roach adopted a Civil War-era setting. Let's just say this one hasn't aged well and leave it at that, shall we? (For our "Our Gang" shorts watching, we are now up to 1923 in the silent era.)

I have a suspicion that "General Spanky" is not something you want in your Google search history.


Doctor Hmmm? said:

I have a suspicion that "General Spanky" is not something you want in your Google search history.

The Red House (1947)

I just watched this on TCM. Edward G. Robinson at his best. Not a gangster, not a saint. A horror mystery. Watch it on to get the benefit of Eddie Muller's framing sequence. You'll be glad you did.

Today I found myself watching several movies on Amazon Prime which were available without additional fees.

Let the Right One In (2008)

The original Swedish version that was remade as Let Me In (2010). Even without Chloë Grace Moretz, this is a great movie. Anyone who was ever bullied will really appreciate the ending. It was badly dubbed. I hope to watch it again , but with subtitles.

The Torture Chamber of Doctor Sadism (1967)

Christopher Lee is the big bad who refuses to die in this German movie.

Fire in the Sky (1993)

I had been waiting fruitlessly for this on a Netflix DVD when I discovered it was streaming on Prime. A semi-fictionalized alien abduction tale.

Planet of the Vampires (1965)

No vampires in this Italian offering starring Barry Sullivan. The aliens can take over people, dead or alive. It has high production values

Twice Told Tales (1963)

A gem featuring three horror tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

I like the Swedish original, Let the Right One In (though the American remake is good) and I've read the novel, in translation. Yes, watch the film subtitled. They Swedish Eli is actually dubbed in the original. While Lina Leandersson plays the part, another actress, Elif Ceylan, did the voice.

I have not seen any of the series that just premiered, but reviews have been tepid.

I just watched The Half of It (2020), a sort of teen comedy mashup of Cyrano and Huis Clos, written and directed by Alice Wu. The leads are solid, direction is good, and the premise works. Likeable but dimwitted jock and aspiring chef (Daniel Diemer) asks smart girl (Leah Lewis) to write his material so he can win intelligent attractive girl's (Alexxis Lamire) attention. Smart girl is a closeted lesbian and starts falling for the girl she's wooing on behalf of her newfound male friend. Confusion, hilarity, and feelings ensue. The best interactions aren't anyone falling in love; it's the dimwitted, big-hearted jock and the smart queer girl becoming actual friends.

I only liked half of it (sorry!)-- actually, a little more than half. The climax is an unbelievable mess that relies heavily on a character we only sporadically see in the film.

Any attempt to figure out (1) the timeline of events relative to an actual school year and (2) what the heck denomination of Christianity was being depicted in the church scenes will leave you scratching your head and take you out of the movie more than the fact that the teens, of course, are played by twentysomethings.

I'm told Wu's earlier feature, Saving Face is worth seeing.  The Half of It is a really good teen movie that never quite got made.

Richard Willis said:

Planet of the Vampires (1965)

No vampires in this Italian offering starring Barry Sullivan. The aliens can take over people, dead or alive. It has high production values

That one's a very fond memory for me. It's what I want an Italian SF horror movie to be like. The bit where they find the dead giant alien was perhaps the inspiration for a similar sequence in Alien.

SUPERMAN III: Watched this turkey in anticipation of Danny Horn's treatment on the Super-Heroes Every Day blog which started yesterday.

Vera was played by Annie Ross. She was a singer, known for her membership in the vocal group Lambert, Hendricks and Ross. Their specialty was vocalised versions of jazz instrumentals. Their version of Count Basie's Fiesta in Blue is amazing. Ross is the piece's lead singer.

I did not know that. I have only one Lambert, Hendricks and Ross album, Everybody's Boppin'. The trio is probably best-remembered for their rendition of Walt Kelly's Deck Us All with Boston Charlie from Pogo.

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