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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I have a book Tarzan of the Movies that showed that Mike Henry was bitten on the chin by a chimpanzee and the various injuries Ron Ely suffered playing the Jungle Lord.

BTW, my mother said that Lex Barker was the best Tarzan. Since she saw the movies when they came out, it's hard to argue against that!

Tarzan Triumphs (1943)

Lessons from this movie:

1.  Don't mess with Tarzan.

2.  Tarzan hates Nazis.

3.  Jungle Hide-n-Seek ain't for amateurs.

4.  No, seriously -- Do NOT freakin' mess with Tarzan!  Holy Carp!

Tarzan and the Amazons (1945)

Hey, its Maria Ouspenskaya! 

Now I'm imagining a jungle adventure co-starring Johnny Weismuller and Lon Chaney, Jr. "Even a man who is pure in heart, and says his prayers by night, may become an ape when the ... uh ... apebane blooms, and the jungle moon is bright."  OK, my adult self says that's maybe not such a good idea, but my inner 10-year-old thinks it would be fantastic.

That's the thing about these RKO Tarzans.  As "cinema", they're not nearly as good as the best of the MGMs.  But they gleefully embrace all the high weirdness of pure pulp that staid old MGM wouldn't touch.  Man-eating plants! Giant spiders sucking the life out of Nazis!  Lost cities out the wazoo!  And Tarzan kills (or abandons to a gruesome death) more baddies in any one of these movies than he did in all the MGMs combined.

I don't remember seeing the RKOs on Channel 4 when I was a kid, only the MGMs.  But I know which ones 10-year-old me would have preferred.

"Apebane".  Awesome.

In a mild fit of Comic Book Men withdrawal, we watched a couple of View Askew movies over the weekend and discovered that Bryan Johnson is Steve-Dave!

This past week, we've watched Once and The Lincoln Lawyer.  My father-in-law is visiting and he enjoyed them as much as Ana and I did.  I that think speaks to the broad likeability of these two films. 

Doctor Hmmmm?:

"That's the thing about these RKO Tarzans.  As "cinema", they're not nearly as good as the best of the MGMs.  But they gleefully embrace all the high weirdness of pure pulp that staid old MGM wouldn't touch.  Man-eating plants! Giant spiders sucking the life out of Nazis!  Lost cities out the wazoo!  And Tarzan kills (or abandons to a gruesome death) more baddies in any one of these movies than he did in all the MGMs combined.

I don't remember seeing the RKOs on Channel 4 when I was a kid, only the MGMs.  But I know which ones 10-year-old me would have preferred."

That's Sol Lesser for you.

You could already see this sort of thing in TARZAN'S REVENGE with Glenn Morris, which Lesser produced while Weismuller was still at MGM. Of course, the "problem" is, both Buster Crabbe and Glenn Morris were designed as imitations of Weismuller, and can't help but come off as 2nd or 3rd-rate. When MGM decided to drop the series, Lesser took over and it moved to RKO. Unfortunately, I'm missing 5 of the last 6 Weismullers, but I do have all 5 Lex Barkers, all 6 Gordon Scotts, the 2 Jock Mahoneys and the 3 Mike Henrys. It's been suggested Lex Barker would have been the perfect time to have Tarzan become more intelligent, but Lesser kept the Weismuller model going until he retired.

What I find a bit odd is that when Sy Weintraub took over, he kept Scott on rather than re-casting, and did 2 very successful films with him. But THEN, he decided he wanted a "new look". I personally preferred Mahoney (who was originally in the running when Weismuller left the role!), but he got very ill during his 2nd film, and so was replaced with Mike Henry... who got very ill, injured & orverworked himself when they did 3 films back-to-back in anticipation of doing the tv series. Just seems crazy that Weintraub went thru 4 actors in such a relatively short space of time. (Must have seemed even weirder when 2 of the Mike Henry films were released WHILE Ron Ely was already doing the tv show.)

Of course, there was already a lost civilization (and a high body count) in THE NEW ADVENTURES OF TARZAN, with Herman Brix (alias Bruce Bennett), which was made with ERB's direct involvement.  Physically (and intellectually), he and Jock Mahoney are probably the closest to each other's depiction of the character.

Once is a great, great movie.  A friend of mine just went to the Broadway version and said it was also fantastic.

Of course, there was already a lost civilization (and a high body count) in THE NEW ADVENTURES OF TARZAN, with Herman Brix (alias Bruce Bennett), which was made with ERB's direct involvement. Physically (and intellectually), he and Jock Mahoney are probably the closest to each other's depiction of the character.

I watched the first part of New Adventures over the weekend, and was struck by how much Brix/Bennett looks like Ron Ely, especially in profile.

Yesterday, I watched a movie called Wild, Wild Planet. It was a wild, wild movie. Made in 1965, it features shrinking people, lab-grown organs, and an attempt at long-prolonged life and a super race. The incubators for the organs look very much like the sleeper beds in Star Trek's "Space Seed." The villain has an octagonal control console that reminded me of the TARDIS console - no time rotor, though. The miniature work is interesting, almost a precursor to that in Logan's Run. Austin Powers' fembots may owe something to this film, too.

Tarzan and the Leopard Woman (1946)

 

Grrrrr!!!

 

GRRRRR!!!!!

 

GRRRRRR!!!!!

 

PowerBook Pete (aka Tim Cousar) said:

Yesterday, I watched a movie called Wild, Wild Planet. It was a wild, wild movie.

That's one I really want to see.

 

If anyone doesn't know, after retiring as Tarzan Johnny Weismuller played Jungle Jim.

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