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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TERROR-CREATURES FROM THE GRAVE: This movie does indeed share many surface similarities with Dark Shadows, but also one true similarity: the movie stars Barbara Steele, who played Dr. Julia Hoffman in the 1991 revival series. This is one of the few "Strange Tales" movies not duplicated in my 100 Movie Pack, which is too bad because it began glitching half way through and was so bad by the end we couldn't watch the last six minutes. Also, this movie may have been inspired by Edgar Allan Poe (as it says in the opening credits), but it's nothing like any EAP story I have ever read. 

The Baron said:

Watched Terror-Creatures from the Grave (1965).  This one felt to me like it could have been set in the same universe as Dark Shadows,only without the high level of production values that Dan Curtis Productions were known for.

Ah, what a shame, my copy was fine.



Jeff of Earth-J said:

TERROR-CREATURES FROM THE GRAVE: This movie does indeed share many surface similarities with Dark Shadows, but also one true similarity: the movie stars Barbara Steele, who played Dr. Julia Hoffman in the 1991 revival series. This is one of the few "Strange Tales" movies not duplicated in my 100 Movie Pack, which is too bad because it began glitching half way through and was so bad by the end we couldn't watch the last six minutes. Also, this movie may have been inspired by Edgar Allan Poe (as it says in the opening credits), but it's nothing like any EAP story I have ever read. 

The Baron said:

Watched Terror-Creatures from the Grave (1965).  This one felt to me like it could have been set in the same universe as Dark Shadows,only without the high level of production values that Dan Curtis Productions were known for.

Watched Counterblast (1948), in which an escaped Nazi scientist poses as an English scientist (called "Doctor Forrester"!) while continuing his germ warfare experiments for a hoped-for resurgent Nazi Germany.  Watchable, but not great.

The remaining two films in the collection are both ones that I've seen several times. One is This Is Not a Test (1962), which I have discussed here, and War of the Monsters a.k.a. Gamera vs. Barugon, which I have discussed here  and  here.

Watched Counterblast tonight, nothing to add to what you said. As I feared (because Terror from the Grave was glitching so bad), Counterblast would not track at all on the "Strange Tales" set, so I had to watch it on the 100 Movie Pack. This is Not a Test is duplicated, too, but if you're not going to watch it now, I'm in no hurry to, either; we'll just watch it when it comes up in sequence when we get back into the 100 Movie Pack. Nor has it been all that long since Tracy and I last watched all of the Gamera movies, so we wouldn't've watched War of the Monsters, either. So I guess we're done. What did we win?

I did watch This is Not a Test and  War of the Monsters again,I just didn't have much new to say about them.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

Watched Counterblast tonight, nothing to add to what you said. As I feared (because Terror from the Grave was glitching so bad), Counterblast would not track at all on the "Strange Tales" set, so I had to watch it on the 100 Movie Pack. This is Not a Test is duplicated, too, but if you're not going to watch it now, I'm in no hurry to, either; we'll just watch it when it comes up in sequence when we get back into the 100 Movie Pack. Nor has it been all that long since Tracy and I last watched all of the Gamera movies, so we wouldn't've watched War of the Monsters, either. So I guess we're done. What did we win?

"I did watch This is Not a Test and  War of the Monsters again, I just didn't have much new to say about them."

Oh, that's different. We had a deal and I'm sticking to it. Neither one of us is in the mood to watch a Gamera movie so soon after last time, though.)

THIS IS NOT A TEST: We have definitely seen this one before, but I'm not sure where. It must have been in the 100 Movie Pack, but it's on a disc we haven't gotten to yet. I thought it ended differently, though. I thought they got through the night, almost losing their humanity in the process, then it all somehow turned out to be a false alarm. As the radio reports kept coming in, I didn't see how that could be, though. As much as I hated the cop, the mob at the end was even scarier. It's funny to think they thought that truck would protect them. I guess deciding the rules and who's in charge and whatnot gave them something to occupy their time until the time came. As soon as the cop killed the little dog I thought somebody ought to open up the doors to throw it out before it starts to decompose. Later, they all piled back into the truck without removing the dog's carcass. 

It's funny you should mention Dr. Strangelove (in that linked "WWIII Movies" thread, the next film you reviewed) because I was flipping though channels just the other day when I came across a showing just getting under way (the opening credits were still rolling). In a clear case of "video redundancy" I watched it anyway. I love that film. People used to call Peter Sellers a genius back in the days when all I had to judge were the latest Pink Panther movies. then I saw dr. Strangelove and thought, "Oh, yeah... I get it now" (and that's not to mention Kubrick himself). Sellers was also great in Kubrick's version of Lolita (although, of course, he played only one role). I'll be going to my LCS (and maybe my LRS) later today, and I think I'll listen to the Lolita soundtrack on the way. 

ClarkKent_DC said:

I well remember Car Wash. I saw it several times back in the day and even more recently. Plus, it has a killer soundtrack album.

I do recall that Car Wash was one of the best-selling albums of 1976, but I am familiar mainly with the title track. I have it by itself on some anthology album on CD, but i have been unable to find it (therefore I don't own it after all). I plan to go out later, and if I listen to Lolita on the way out, I may listen to Car Wash on the way back (provided my LRS has it in stock). I have three more "'70s movies" (as I define the term) known for their theme songs in my queue, which I hope to get to sooner rather than later.

"It reminds me of another movie which I hadn't been thinking of that I saw in the theater back then."

Continuing my trip down Childhood Memory Lane, next up is...

LET'S DO IT AGAIN: Here's a movie, like Car Wash, I haven't thought about in a good long time. It stars Bill Cosby and Sidney Poitier (and is directed by Poitier), and features a bevy of "Hey, it's that guy!" actors (whose work I am more familiar with now than I was when I was 11) as well as other bigger stars such as John Amos and Jimmie "J.J." Walker. For example, this time through I immediately recognized Julius Harris (from his roles in Live and Let Die and King Kong among others) as well as Mel Stewart (from his role as Henry Jefferson on All in the Family). 

I suspect my cousin chose this movie, as he was a big Jimmie Walker fan at the time. I was not, necessarily, but I was okay with it as I was a big fan of Cosby via his comedy albums. I was able to disassociate Cosby from his current reputation and enjoy the film, but there are certain scenes that make me wince in light of more recent events.

Cosby and Poitier play two small-time grifters from Atlanta who run a con against two sets of lone sharks (played by John Amos and Calvin Lockhart). Their hearts are in the right place, though, as they are trying to raise money to save their lodge. They go to New Orleans and hypnotize the unlikely challenger (J.J. Walker) into beating the champ for the Middleweight title. (It's funny to think that while Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed were training for their Heavyweight bout, Bootney Farnsworth and 40th Street Black were training for theirs.) They place a $20,000 bet at 5 to 1 odds and clean up. Unfortunately, they get caught in the middle of the two gangsters, Kansas City Mack and Biggie Smalls.

Let's Do It Again (1975) is the middle of three movies pairing Poitier and Cosby, the other two being Uptown Saturday Night (1974) and A Piece of the Action (1977). 

Maybe you were thinking of the Twilight Zone episode "The Shelter"?

Jeff of Earth-J said:

I thought it ended differently, though. I thought they got through the night, almost losing their humanity in the process, then it all somehow turned out to be a false alarm. 

Hmm... could be.

One dialogue exchange in the movie WarGames (1983) sticks in my mind:

David Lightman (Matthew Broderick): [typing on the computer] Hello, are you still playing the game?

Joshua (the computer): Of course. I should reach Defcon 1 and release my missiles in 28 hours. Would you like to see some projected kill ratios?

David Lightman: 69% of the housing destroyed. 72 million people dead.

David Lightman: Is this a game or is it real?

Joshua: What's the difference?

100 MOVIE PACK: Some time ago, Tracy and I bought a 100 Movie Pack of "Sci-Fi Classics" from Millcreek video. (The box says "Copyright 2007" which sounds about right.) It cost 20 bucks, which comes to 20 cents per movie. When we first started watching it, Tracy wanted to jump around within the set, watching whichever movie's description appealed to her, but I insisted we watch them in order, or we'd never be able to remember which ones we'd seen and which ones we hadn't. As it turned out, after a 15 year hiatus, we didn't clearly remember most of the ones we had seen, so it turned out to be something of a moot point. But I do remember exactly where we left off (disc 11 of 24). Oddly, we have recently watched some of the movies on later discs that are duplicated on another set and we remembered having seen them before, so I don't know what's up with that. I also remember exactly why we took a break for the set: at one point, they ordered four Hercules movies (from 1959, 1961 and two from 1964, featuring Steve Reeves, Reg Park, Alan Steel and Peter Lupus) in a row, and we was suffering from Hercules burnout. (I don't know how Hercules qualifies as "science fiction" either.) Then, a disc or two later, they followed up with The Son of Hercules. But now enough time has passed and we're back, picking up were we left off with...

THEY CAME FROM BEYOND SPACE (1967): "Based on the science fiction novel The Gods Hate Kansas, the story focuses on a group of unlucky aliens who have crashed their spaceship on the Moon. They attempt to use mind control to coerce a team of scientists from Earth to make the necessary repairs [to their ship]. However, one of the scientists has a steel plate in his head and is immune to their efforts."

Despite being based on a book that (presumably) takes place in America, this movie is set in England. It has the same sort of production values (sets, locations) as a Doctor Who episode of that era, but with no Doctor. It also reminded us of quite a few other shows of the era, notably The Avengers and The Prisoner. Michael Gough plays "The Master of the Moon." The film's message is [SPOILER] that we would have helped them if they had only asked [END SPOILER]. Anyone her familiar with the 1941 novel upon which the film is based?

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