Manos, King of Slaps

OK, little change of plans. I just looked at my dashboard and noticed I'm about to publish my six-hundred sixty-sixth post. Not review. Post. Now, I'm not superstitious or anything, not by a long shot, but I thought something truly weird would be fitting for the occasion. We'll go back to the fifties sci-fi later. … Continue reading Manos, King of Slaps

The Man With No Name

Yee haw... Ah, 1964's Per Un Pugno Di Dollari, better known as A Fistful of Dollars. I've never seen it until now, but I always felt as if I had since it's pretty notorious. If Stagecoach is the Bela Lugosi of westerns, A Fistful of Dollars is Christopher Lee with a generous dash of Kung Fu. Or something like … Continue reading The Man With No Name

There’s A New Sheriff In Town

Looking for a few good men... Anyone who's ever been in a school anywhere, teacher or student, public, private, religious, whatever, knows that the average class can smell fear. Even a Sunday school class can be fraught with peril. Some teachers claw their way through it. Others buckle. Still others end up bringing it, whether … Continue reading There’s A New Sheriff In Town

Low Budget Badness

Are y'all ready for this? Ah, 1960s camp meets Atomic Age scifi. It's a universe full of cigar-shaped spacecraft and jerky stop-motion monsters, of bad special effects and wooden acting. Interstellar travel, something mankind had dreamed about for hundreds of years, was suddenly on the verge of attainability, and yet we weren't quite there. We … Continue reading Low Budget Badness

This Is Also Sparta

What comes to mind at the mention of Sparta and the Battle of Thermopylae? Frank Miller and Zack Snyder's 300 has probably prejudiced a lot of us because, love it or not, it's pretty hard to forget. Fake chests. Men in Speedos. Dancing oracles. Chiseled Persian kings with lots of piercings. Boisterous, masculine yells of … Continue reading This Is Also Sparta

Stage To Screen: A Funny Thing Happened On the Way To the Forum

Happy New Year! Hope everyone enjoyed their holidays. I did. I could have used another week of vacay, but it's all good. On to 2021.... The one and only time I saw Sondheim's A Funny Thing Happened On the Way To the Forum was in college. I tried out for it as part of my Broadway performance … Continue reading Stage To Screen: A Funny Thing Happened On the Way To the Forum

Nine Tips For A Successful Island Christmas

Christmas is coming... We all know 1960's Swiss Family Robinson. The Robinson family sets out from Berne to New Guinea, they get chased into a storm by pirates and they get shipwrecked. They do more than make lemonade out of the lemons they've been handed, of course. MacGyver would be proud of the Robinson clan's … Continue reading Nine Tips For A Successful Island Christmas

Impressing Bette Davis

Miss Moorehead is back... One thing that can be said about Agnes Moorehead, and Bette Davis for that matter, is that in an industry that prizes youth above talent they managed to stay relevant. And they did it without seeming contrived or going under the knife, thank you very much. A flagship example of their … Continue reading Impressing Bette Davis

Stage To Screen: A Raisin In the Sun

In "Lost Ones," Lauryn Hill wrote, "It's funny how money change a situation." The song is about a bad breakup, but money does change everything whether it's lacking or in abundance. It doesn't matter what race or ethnicity someone is, or where they live, or what time period they live in. Money does things to … Continue reading Stage To Screen: A Raisin In the Sun

Dallas To Donuts

Different city. Different state. Much, much bigger fair. It is Texas we're talking about, after all. Hollywood has never been one to let a beloved property languish on the shelf, and in 1962 Twentieth Century Fox released its remake of State Fair, hoping to make some more magic out of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical. The new film had … Continue reading Dallas To Donuts

My Six From the 60s

It's National Classic Movie Day! Groovy, man... The 60s were a roller coaster of a decade, weren't they? Fashion went mod. America landed men on the moon. There was the Cuban Missile Crisis. John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and Martin Luther King, Jr. were assassinated. The Beatles played on Ed Sullivan and the British … Continue reading My Six From the 60s

Lord of the Mushrooms

I like mushrooms. Do you? Well, certain kinds, anyway. Cremini. Lobster. Button. Shiitake. Oyster. I'm not picky. The usual rule of thumb, of course, is that it's a bad idea to eat strange mushrooms because they can be potentially deadly or at least cause weird hallucinogenic effects. Eating mushrooms growing out of a decrepit shipwreck … Continue reading Lord of the Mushrooms

Bird Is the Word

Here we go... One of Alfred Hitchcock's most infamous films is the 1963 chiller, The Birds. Following the strafing of a seaside town by angry, murderous birds, it's commonly attributed to Daphne du Maurier's novella of the same name. However, there's much more as to how the film came to be. Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren), … Continue reading Bird Is the Word

Stage To Screen: Little Shop of Horrors

There's no getting around it: Little Shop of Horrors is an unusual musical. Anything with a carniverous talking plant is not going to be a typical garden-variety story (See what I did there? 😉 ). What's really unusual is that Little Shop of Horrors started out as a 1960 Roger Corman film, then became a stage musical in … Continue reading Stage To Screen: Little Shop of Horrors

I Want Torpedo Juice

Presenting Mr. Keaton... Although he's best known for his silent films, Buster Keaton had an extensive film career after talkies came in, right up until his death. One of his last films was 1965's How To Stuff A Wild Bikini. We've been here before, but this time we're going to take a closer look, if that's … Continue reading I Want Torpedo Juice