Archive for Vincent Price

The Three Musketeers (1948)

Posted in Action/Adventure, Classics, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 23, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

The third talkie version of Dumas’ The Three Musketeers, this splashy MGM adaptation is also the first version in Technicolor. Gene Kelly romps his way through the role of D’Artagnan, the upstart cadet who joins veteran Musketeers Athos (Van Heflin), Porthos (Gig Young) and Aramis (Robert Coote) in their efforts to save their beloved Queen Anne (Angela Lansbury) from disgrace. They are aided in their efforts by the lovely and loyal Constance (June Allyson), while the villainy is in the capable hands of Milady De Winter (Lana Turner) and Richelieu (Vincent Price).

What people are saying:

“…enjoyable corn in the ‘Classics Illustrated’ tradition. You can’t believe a minute of it, but neither can you ignore its rollicking bygone Hollywood charms.” 3 stars

“It starts out as a broad slapstick comedy, and when Gene Kelly has the opportunity to showcase his acrobatic skills, it’s good old-fashioned swashbuckling fun. But after the first 20 minutes it turns into mostly heavy drama, and the swordfights are actually few and far between. The problem with the script is that, trying to cover all the characters and subplots of the book, it has no time to develop them enough, and the story lacks a strong central focus. At times you wonder exactly what each person is trying to achieve, and where some of the characters you know are basic have gone (the main example: Richelieu, excellently played by Vincent Price, has only about three of four scenes in the entire film). Still, it’s a good-looking, entertaining production.” 3 1/2 stars

“Of all versions of this movie this is my second favorite, my favorite is the 70’s version. While the overall quality of the cast is much greater in this one it is missing one key component, Rachel Welch. June Allyson is a very attractive woman but she is not the stuff dreams are made of and as such this movie dips in regards of pure lust. The cast of Kelly, Turner, Price, Heflin, Lansbury are stellar, in fact Price is the penultimate Richelieu and wipes the floor over Hestons take. As a period piece the costumes and sets are fun and colorful, which is what films of this time were like, unlike present day versions which equate drab with realistic. It’s a great timeless story and this is a very good version, done very well in all phases of film.” 4 stars

“June Allyson as Constance Bonacieux?? What were they thinking? Were it not for this painful miscasting and surprisingly slow pacing, this movie would be one of the great swashbucklers. Kelly is everything D’Artangan should be, Turner matches any Lady DeWinter the movies have ever supplied, and only Heflin approaches the standard for Athos which Oliver Reed later set. And Price as Richelieu… that says it all. Sparkling 40’s Hollywood production values finish the film off nicely. But June Allyson as Constance Bonacieux??” 3 stars

“The Three Musketeers (1948)” is an extremely simple tale of a man (D’Artagnan) who comes as a peasant to seek war with the three musketeers who run the village. Athos, Porthos, and Aramis are in shock to believe that young D’Artagnan is able to take them on in dual, but he seems persistent enough to give him a chance. This film may have been original during the reading of the original novel/play, but this film is just a great representation, even if it is extremely cheesy, towards the origin story of the three musketeers. I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed this film, but through some action and romance sequences, it becomes a bit laughable and lazily written. It reminded me of early shakespeare at times, which I thoroughly admired for the risk that the director took. To conclude, I truly believe that they could have had a little more background of the characters instead of beginning with the journey of all four men from the start. This is an all around great film with cheese lurking around every corner!” 4 stars

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The Fly

Posted in Classics, Horror, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , on March 4, 2015 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

In Montreal, Quebec, scientist Andre Delambre is found dead with his head and arm crushed in a hydraulic press. Although his wife Helene confesses to the crime, she refuses to provide a motive and exhibits a number of strange behaviors. In particular, she is obsessed with flies, including a supposedly white-headed fly. Andre’s brother, Francois, lies and says he caught the white-headed fly and, thinking he knows the truth, Helene explains the circumstances surrounding Andre’s death.

In flashback, Andre, Helene, and their son Philippe are a happy family. Andre has been working on a matter transporter device called the disintegrator-integrator. He initially tests it only on small inanimate objects, but eventually proceeds to living creatures, including the family’s pet cat (which fails to reintegrate, but can be heard meowing somewhere) and a guinea pig. After he is satisfied that these tests are succeeding, he builds a man-sized pair of chambers. One day, Helene, worried since Andre has not come up from the basement lab for a couple of days, goes down to find Andre with a black cloth over his head and a strange deformity on his left hand. Communicating with typed notes only, Andre tells Helene that he tried to transport himself, but a fly got caught in the chamber with him, which resulted in the mixing of their atoms. Now he has the head and left arm of a fly, and the fly has his miniature head and left arm, though he keeps his mind.

Andre needs Helene to capture the fly so he can reverse the process. Although she expends great effort in her search, she cannot find it and Andre’s will begins to fade as the fly’s instincts take over his brain. Time is running out, and while Andre can still think like a human, he smashes the equipment, burns his notes, and leads Helene to the factory. When they arrive, he sets the hydraulic press and motions for Helene to push the button. She activates the press twice – once to crush his head and once to crush his left arm.

The police, hearing this confession, deem Helene insane and guilty of murder. As they are about to haul her away, Andre’s son Philippe tells Francois he’s seen the fly trapped in a web in the back garden. Francois convinces the inspector to come and see for himself. The two men see the fly, trapped in the web, with both Andre’s head and arm, looking terrified. It screams “Help me! Help me!” as a large brown spider advances on the creature. Just as the fly is about to be devoured by the spider, the inspector smashes them both with a rock. Thinking nobody would believe the truth, he and Francois decide to lie about the facts of the case so that Helene isn’t convicted of murder. In the end, Helene, Francois and Philippe resume their daily lives, with Francois explaining to Philippe that Andre died doing the most dangerous act to humanity, but also the most beneficial: “the search for the truth”.

REVIEW:

Have you ever picked a film to watch, thinking that it is the same thing you saw in your childhood, only to find out when you hit play that it isn’t? Well, that is what I just went through with The Fly. When I was little, and my family would take the motor home camping, my dad rented some old movies to watch on the brand new portable VCR (mid-80s, man!) One of these was Return of the Fly. Someday, I’ll watch this again, but for now let’s focus on what I just watched.

What is this about?

Scientist André Delambre (David Hedison) has invented a matter transporter. To perfect his machine, he decides to test the device on a human subject — himself. He steps into the chamber unaware that an ordinary housefly has accompanied him. His head and arm become horrifically switched with those of the fly. Now Delambre and his wife (Patricia Owens) are faced with a gruesome dilemma in this classic sci-fi horror co-starring Vincent Price.

What did I like?

Happiness. In case you didn’t know, this is a tragic story that doesn’t have a happy ending. No spoilers, though. Having said that, you can’t have tragedy without developing happiness. The happy couple of Andre and Helene is shown through their interactions, a date night, and even his excitement at showing her his new invention. You really get a feel at how happy these people are, that it really is a shame to know what is going to happen not long into the picture.

Suspense. In order to really make something special, it needs to be built up. Tease the audience, if you will. Once Andrea has had his accident, we don’t seem his face because it is covered with a towel, he doesn’t speak, other than notes through a typewriter, and his right hand is kept in his pocket. A couple of times we see what has happened to his hand, but the big reveal doesn’t come until later, when Helene takes the towel off his head and lets out a blood curdling scream. Why is this effective? Because the suspense was built up and there was no need for instant gratification. Something that today’s horror films lack.

Descent into madness. I was thinking, just about the time that they brought this up, how is it that Andre kept his intellect with a fly head, and yet can’t speak? As it turns out, it diminished over time to the point that it was gone and he had gone mad. This little bit of explanation makes a huge difference and shows that the filmmakers know that the audience would want an answer.

What didn’t I like?

Pacing. For being a 93 minute movie, it sure does take its time getting to the good stuff. The film opens after a certain crime has happened. From there, one would think we would get a flashback describing what happened, but no! We are forced to sit through a good 20-40 minutes of needless exposition before Helene finally decides to tell her story to the inspector. Personally, I would have liked to have seen more build up of the fly, perhaps more rampage, anything other than sitting through an hour of talking about stuff that really bears no importance or relevance to the plot, save for some murder conspiracies.

Flashback. I have no issue with the flashback, really, just how it was used. As I just said, it seemed like forever and a day before we finally got to the flashback scene and I was almost dozing at the point. This needed to be earlier in the film. What is my exact issue with the flashback, then? It seemed to be done as way for the writers to get out of the corner they had written themselves into, rather than something that was meant to move the story along.

Here, Kitty. Why did he have to experiment on a poor, cute, defenseless kitty? Couldn’t this have been some evil hell-hound whose atoms were scattered into the vastness of neverwhere? This is just more bias against cats!

While not the film I expected to watch this afternoon, The Fly did leave me with the feeling of watching a real classic. I don’t have much to say about this film (and the power seems like it is about to go out any second) other than it is worth a viewing if you get the chance, so check it out!

3 1/2 out of 5 stars

The Pit and the Pendulum

Posted in Classics, Horror, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on October 9, 2013 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

In Spain, during the 16th century, Francis Barnard (John Kerr) visits the castle of his brother-in-law Nicholas Medina (Vincent Price) to investigate the cause of the mysterious death of his sister, Elizabeth (Barbara Steele), who had been Nicholas Medina’s wife. Both Nicholas and his younger sister, Catherine (Luana Anders), offer a vague explanation about Elizabeth having died from a rare blood disorder. However, when Nicholas responds evasively after Francis asks for specific details regarding the disease, Francis advises that he will not leave until he discovers the true reason his sister died.

During dinner with family physician Dr. Leon (Antony Carbone), Francis again asks about his sister’s death. Dr. Leon tells him that his sister had died of massive heart failure, literally “dying of fright”. Francis demands to be shown where Elizabeth died. Nicholas takes him to the castle’s torture chamber. Nicholas reveals that Elizabeth, under the influence of the castle’s “heavy atmosphere”, became obsessed with the chamber’s torture devices. After becoming progressively unbalanced, one day she locked herself into an iron maiden, and died after whispering the name “Sebastian”. Francis refuses to believe Nicholas’ story.

Francis tells Catherine that Nicholas appears to feel “definite guilt” regarding Elizabeth’s death. In response, Catherine talks about Nicholas’ traumatic childhood, revealing that their father was Sebastian Medina, a notorious member of the Spanish Inquisition. When Nicholas was a small child, he was playing in the castle’s torture chamber when his father (also played by Price) entered the room with his mother, Isabella, and Sebastian’s brother, Bartolome. Hiding in a corner, Nicholas watched in horror as his father repeatedly hit Bartolome with a red-hot poker, screaming “Adulterer!” at him. After murdering Bartolome, Sebastian began torturing his wife slowly to death in front of Nicholas’ eyes.

After Catherine is finished telling Francis about Nicholas, Catherine and Francis are informed by Dr. Leon that Isabella was in fact not tortured to death, rather she was entombed behind a brick wall while still alive. Dr. Leon explains: “The very thought of premature interment is enough to send your brother into convulsions of horror.” Nicholas believes that Elizabeth may have been interred prematurely. The doctor tells Nicholas that “if Elizabeth Medina walks these corridors, it is her spirit and not her living self.”

Nicholas now believes his late wife’s vengeful ghost is haunting the castle. Elizabeth’s room is noisily ransacked and her portrait is found slashed to ribbons. Her beloved harpsichord plays in the middle of the night. One of Elizabeth’s rings is found in the keyboard. Francis accuses Nicholas of planting the evidence of Elizabeth’s “haunting” as some sort of elaborate hoax. Nicholas insists that his wife’s tomb be opened. Inside the coffin, they discover Elizabeth’s putrefied corpse frozen in a position of writhing horror, hands clawed and mouth wide open, as if in a final scream.

That night, Nicholas, now on the verge of insanity, hears his wife calling him. He follows her ghostly voice down to her crypt. Elizabeth rises from her coffin, causing Nicholas to flee and ultimately fall down a flight of stairs. She is alive, and she is met by her lover, Dr. Leon. Elizabeth, thinking Nicholas dead, taunts his apparent corpse about their scheme to drive him mad so the two lovers could inherit his fortune and estate. Nicholas opens his eyes and begins laughing while his wife and the doctor recoil in horror. Nicholas stands up and overpowers Dr. Leon, who attempts to escape but falls to his death. Nicholas then approaches Elizabeth, and promises he will torture her horribly.

Francis, having heard Elizabeth’s screams, enters the dungeon to see what has happened. Nicholas is now gibbering with insanity and has become convinced he is his own father, the evil Sebastian Medina. He confuses Francis for Sebastian’s brother, Bartolome, and knocks him unconscious. He straps him to a stone slab located directly beneath a huge razor-sharp pendulum and gags him with a red scarf. The cackling Nicholas slowly lowers the swinging blade closer and closer to Francis’ torso. Catherine arrives just in time with Maximillian, one of the family servants. After a brief fight with Maximillian, Nicholas falls to his death, and Francis is removed from the torture device. As they leave the basement, Catherine vows to seal up the chamber forever. They slam and lock the door shut, unaware that Elizabeth is still alive, gagged and trapped in the iron maiden

REVIEW:

Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories apparently were great fodder for horror films, as 6 of them were turned into movies by this director with Vincent Prince starring in 5 of them, including this one, The Pit and the Pendulum. Are any of these films worthy of Poe’s prose? Or were they just made to cash in on his name during a time when horror was pretty big?

What is this about?

Francis (John Kerr) visits the gloomy Spanish castle of his late sister Elizabeth’s husband, Nicholas (Vincent Price), to learn the reason for her death. Nicholas fears his wife isn’t really dead and that her spirit wanders the halls at night. Seems Nicholas’s father was a feared leader of the Spanish Inquisition; as a child, Nicholas saw his father torture his mother and bury her alive, and he’s convinced Elizabeth has suffered a similar fate.

What did I like?

Chills and thrills. There is just something about castles that automatically sends one’s mind into that realm of ‘what if’. So, the first thing we see is said castle, and then, the film starts, outlining a story that will curl the toes of even the most hardened of horror fans and most definitely delivering something that can actually be considered horror, unlike today when we get watered down murderers just so studios can make a few extra bucks, or murder porn, which is just killing, in the most gruesome way, to be killing.

Sets. If you’re going to pull off a film like this, then you damn well better have an awesome set designer, preferably one that can create a dungeon with a pit and pendulum. Luckily, the studio was able to find someone with such capabilities. No matter how much you want to praise the cast, it is the pendulum that is the star, even though it is inly in the films for maybe 5 min, tops.

What didn’t I like?

Vincent. Yes, Vincent Price gives the performance of his life. Granted, for me to say that Is a little biased, as the last thing I saw him in was one of those Dr. Goldfoot movies. Price really ratchets up the acting ability here, but it may be a bit too much. Too me, it was like Adele singing in a middle school beginner choir. Yes, she’ll make music, but she’ll be wasting her time and talent. I believe Price went on to bigger and better things, but I wonder if he got the chance to keep using his classically trained chops, or preferred to be the king of horror.

Wooden. Nearly all of the reviews I’ve been reading about this film have said that the acting is wooden. So, I decided to take a few minutes a re-watch a few scenes, just to see what they were talking about. Fact is, the actors do appear to be making an attempt at bringing these characters to life, but to no avail, as they don’t seem to have half the ability of Price.

What can I say to sum up my thoughts about The Pit and the Pendulum? Well, it isn’t one of the best movies I’ve seen, I do believe that I can see why it is held in such high esteem in certain circles. From what I recall of this story when I read it in high school, they managed to keep it very close to the source material, which I applaud. Do I recommend this film, though? I won’t go that far, but it isn’t a waste of time, if you do.

3 1/2 out of 5 stars

The Last Man on Earth

Posted in Classics, Horror, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , on October 10, 2012 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

In the year 1968, every day is the same for Dr. Robert Morgan (Price): he wakes up, gathers his weapons and then goes hunting for vampires. Morgan lives in a world where everyone else has been infected by a plague that has turned them into undead, vampiric creatures that cannot stand sunlight, fear mirrors, and are repelled by garlic. They would kill Morgan if they could, but fortunately, they are weak and unintelligent. At night, Morgan locks himself inside his house; during the day, he kills as many vampires as he can, burning the bodies.

A flashback sequence explains that, three years before, Morgan’s wife and daughter had succumbed to the plague, before it was widely known by the public that the dead would return to life. Instead of taking his wife to the same public burn pit used to dispose of his daughter’s corpse, Morgan buried her without the knowledge of the authorities. When his wife returned to his home and attacked him, Morgan became aware of the need to kill the plague victims with a wooden stake. Morgan hypothesizes that he is immune to the bacteria because he was bitten by an infected vampire bat when he was stationed in Panama, which introduced a diluted form of the plague into his blood.

One day, a dog appears in the neighborhood. Desperate for companionship, Morgan chases after the dog but does not catch it. Some time later, the dog appears, wounded, at Morgan’s doorstep. He takes the dog into his home and treats its wounds, looking forward to having company for the first time in three years. He quickly discovers, however, that it too has become infected with the plague. Morgan is later seen burying the dog, which he has impaled with a wooden stake.

While out on his daily rounds, Morgan spots a woman in the distance. The woman, Ruth, is terrified of Morgan at first sight, and runs from him. Morgan convinces her to return to his home, but is suspicious of her true nature. Ruth becomes ill when Morgan waves garlic in her face, but claims that she has a weak stomach.

Morgan’s suspicion that Ruth is infected is confirmed when he discovers her attempting to inject herself with a combination of blood and vaccine that holds the disease at bay. Ruth initially draws a gun on Morgan, but surrenders it to him. Ruth then tells him that she is part of a group of people like her — infected but under treatment — and was sent to spy on Morgan. The vaccine allows the people to function normally with the drug in the bloodstream, but once it wears off, the infection takes over the body again. Ruth explains that her people are planning to rebuild society as they destroy the remaining vampires, and that many of the vampires Morgan killed were technically still alive.

While Ruth is asleep, Morgan transfuses his own blood into her. She is immediately cured, and Morgan sees hope that, together, they can cure the rest of her people. Moments later, however, Ruth’s people attack. Morgan takes the gun and flees his home while the attackers kill the vampires gathered around Morgan’s home.

Ruth’s people spot Morgan and chase him. He exchanges gunfire with them, and picks up tear gas grenades from a police station armory along the way. While the tear gas delays his pursuers somewhat, Morgan is wounded by gunfire and retreats into a church. Despite Ruth’s protests to let Morgan live, his pursuers finally impale him on the altar with a spear. With his dying breaths, Morgan denounces his pursuers as “freaks,” and declares that he is the last true man on earth

REVIEW:

It is October, so I figured I might as devote the rest of this month so some type of horror/suspense films, which is how I cam across The Last Man on Earth. Many of you may know the source material, or the more recent film starring Will Smith, I Am Legend, as both were based on the same novel.

What is this about?

A plague has wiped out most of mankind, and those who survived have become bloodthirsty vampires. The only “normal” human left on earth, Dr. Robert Morgan (Vincent Price) — who was spared by a twist of fate — spends his days methodically hunting down the undead mutants and his nights barricaded against their attacks. But when he meets the beautiful but contaminated Ruth, he discovers a secret that will unravel what’s left of his existence.

What did I like?

Simple. I don’t believe that this film had the biggest budget, and if it did it never showed. However, it shows what can be done with limited resources and actual talent, rather a ton of special effects that dilute (or ruin) the film. Sometimes, simpler is better.

Feeling of dread. Many apocalyptic/end of the world type flicks leave you unfulfilled. That is, you don’t really have the feeling of dread that you should have after seeing the barren wasteland the planet has become. Zombieland is a good example of such a flick. This film, though, makes you fear for your life. At times I felt like I was in a black and white episode of  The Walking Dead. Alright, maybe not that extreme, but you get the idea. That feeling of not knowing how things will turn out really sells this picture.

Actors’ studio. Most of today’s actors can’t act their way out of a paper bag, but back in the era in which this was made, actors were actually hired because they could act, not because they have a “pretty face”. It takes some real talent to act your butt off with no one else on-screen for a good chunk of the film.

What didn’t work?

Vampire zombies. It is said that these undead creature are, in fact, vampires, but th mannerisms and characteristics they display leads one to believe that they are zombies. It is all very confusing. Personally, I think zombies would be scarier. Imagine being attacked by a mob of super strong vampires. On the other hand, though, zombies fit the mold of this film better, especially with the plague and all.

Vincent Price. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Vincent Price, but I believe this was not the film for him. I had just about bought into being this lone scientist guy until he started laughing, as if he was going mad, then I realized that Price is at his best as a mad scientist.

Plague. It seems as if more and more media that feature zombies or zombie-like creatures all feature a plague that is created in a lab. I have to wonder..why do scientists keep cooking this stuff up? As we see, it can only end badly!

The Last Man on Earth serves its purpose as a pretty good sci-fi horror flick. I wold have liked for it to focus more on the sci-fi or horror aspects, rather than the drama, but that’s just me. If I had to say whether you should  watch this or not, then I’d have to say go ahead, it won’t hurt. For me, though, it was just an average flick that got a bit boring in more parts than it needed to, which took me out of the film before the exciting climax could be reached.

3 out of 5 stars

Beach Party

Posted in Classics, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 15, 2012 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

An anthropologist, Professor Robert Orville Sutwell (Robert Cummings) is secretly studying the “wild mating habits” of Southern California teenagers who hang out at the beach and use strange surfing jargon. After he temporarily paralyzes Eric Von Zipper (Harvey Lembeck), the leader of the local outlaw motorcycle gang, who was making unwanted advances on Dolores (Annette Funicello), Dolores develops a crush on the Professor. Her surfing boyfriend Frankie (Frankie Avalon), the local Big Kahuna, becomes jealous and begins flirting with Ava (Eva Six), a Hungarian waitress. Meanwhile, Sutwell’s assistant Marianne (Dorothy Malone) further develops her crush on the Professor. Von Zipper and his gang plot to bring down Sutwell, only to be thwarted in the end by the surfing teenagers.

REVIEW:

All those beach movies we see parodies and/or spoofed in television shows and whatnot had to have something as their basis, right? Well, the whole beach part fad began with this film, Beach Party!

What is it about?

This is another film that has two separate plots that seem to intersect just as the film enters its final act. The major plot is the typical teen love story where guy and girl head to the beach for the summer, have some kind of falling out, and realize the error of their ways by film’s end. The secondary plot deals with a scientist studying teenagers in their “natural habitat” for a book he’s writing. All the while he seems to be totally unaware of the women that have a crush on him, or what the outside world is like, until he is taken down to the beach.

What did I like?

Scenery. Believe it or not, I’m not talking about the girls in bikinis, though they were nice. I am actually referring to the beach and the water. True, it actually doesn’t get as much as one would like to see, especially in a beach film, but when you do get to see it, man, it just makes you want to pack up everything and head to your nearest beach!

Music. There are a couple of catchy songs that are obviously from this era. They hep move the film forward and establish the plot, which is all you really ask for random songs in a flick, right?

Chemistry. It is well documented that Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello had tremendous chemistry together. Why else are there so many of these beach party films? Seeing them with other actors such as Robert Cummings and Eva Six makes me really wonder if they are severely underrated because the chemistry they have with them is just as great, if not better.

What didn’t I like?

Biker gang. In later films, the biker gang that we see, I believe they’re called the Mice & Rats, play an integral role in the film’s plot. In this one, though, they seem to be nothing more than the incompetent bullies that ride around terrorizing  beach folk. Am I really to sit here and believe they couldn’t have done something more with them than this?

Pacing. There seemed to be something off with the pacing of this film. It is up and down a lot more than it needs to be. This isn’t a roller coaster, for goodness sakes. Just make it not boring. That’s all the audience asks!

Shaved. I can’t say I was a fan on the way Dolores made the professor change pretty much everything about himself, especially shaving his beard. What was that about? Can’t a guy have a beard and live in peace?

Beach Party is good, cheesy, 60s fun. If you’re not into these kitschy type of films, then I’m telling you now that you shouldn’t waste your time because that’s all this is. If you are, however, then you should have a good time with this one. It isn’t perfect and doesn’t try to be. It is what it is. Check it out sometime, why don’t you?

3 1/2 out of 5 stars

Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs

Posted in Classics, Movie Reviews, Spoofs & Satire with tags , , , , , , on July 6, 2011 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Price plays the titular mad scientist who is working with the Chinese government to use exploding female robots to disrupt a scheduled NATO war-game by blowing up the various generals involved in the exercise (one of whom looks exactly like Goldfoot, and whom Goldfoot later impersonates). Fabian is the hero who works to thwart the plot, when he isn’t busy chasing women such as Laura Antonelli’s character. The film ends with an extended frantic chase through the streets of Rome, and Goldfoot attempting to start World War 3 between Russia and the United States by dropping a nuclear bomb on Moscow.

REVIEW:

A while back, I had the chance to watch and review the most random, kitschy film I had ever seen in Dr. Goldfoot & the Bikini Machine. Today, I found out that there was a sequel and decided to check it out, hoping that it would be just as entertaining, if not more. I don’t think I’ve ever been so wrong!

The plot of the film picks up a little after the first film with Goldfoot appearing to have survived the crash and now living in Europe, where is hatching a new plot with his fembots that blow up the generals of NATO (or a reasonable facsimile). As with the first film, there is a geeky agent who is hellbent on thwarting Goldfoot’s plan…if he can get around his own girl-craziness, that is. The whole middle section of the film is just some unnecessary exposition that serves only to connect the opening scenes to the final car chase at the end.

I’m not really a fan of sequels, at least those that seem to made just to cash in on a film’s popularity, and that is exactly what this film seems to be. As fun and funny as the original was, Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs seems to be nothing more than a shameless ripoff of many of the same ideas.

There isn’t anything fresh about this flick, and I just couldn’t allow myself to get into it.

I have to wonder why it is that Vincent Price would reduce himself to this schlock. The same goes for the Italian comedy team of Franco and Cicci.

All in all this is not a good movie. It has a few moments here and there, yes, but not enough to redeem it. I didn’t find myself wishing it would just end, but I was constantly questioning why I was even watching. I would say to avoid this film, but if you watched the first, then go ahead and watch this one and see if you agree with me on how bad this one is.

2 out of 5 stars

Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine

Posted in Classics, Comedy, Movie Reviews, Spoofs & Satire with tags , , , , , , , , on June 1, 2011 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Price plays the titular mad scientist who, with the questionable assistance of his resurrected flunky Mullaney, builds a gang of female robots who are then dispatched to seduce and rob wealthy men. (Goldfoot’s name reflects his and his robots’ choice in footwear.) Avalon and Hickman play the bumbling heroes who attempt to thwart Goldfoot’s scheme. The film’s climax is an extended car–bike–cable car–boat-on-wheels chase through the streets of San Francisco.

REVIEW:

With a title like Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine, one should not have high expectations.

This is a cult favorite from the 60s, yet I had never heard of it until Netflix recommended it. Supposedly this is a parody, of sorts, of the spy genre that was popular at the time, yet there is nary a spy in sight.

The plot involves Dr. Goldfoot’s scheme to take over wealthy businessmen’s bank accounts through the use of his female robots, who are to seduce them. These robots are apparently reanimated corpses, as is Goldfoot’s assistant, Igor. To no surprise, there are two bumbling heroes who attempt to thwart this evil scheme.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything with Vincent Price in it, other than Edward Scissorhands, so this was a real treat for me.

I know Dwayne Hickman from the days when Nick at Nite would show classic TV shows, such as his sitcom from the 50s, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. Here in this film, he plays a character close to Dobie, but not so girl crazy…kind of.

Frankie Avalon is here, too, but he is sort of overshadowed by everyone else. I kind of think that was done on purpose, though.

I’m not really sure why this is called Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine, though. Other than the fact that all the girls were bikini clad when they were “created”, it wasn’t like this guy was creating bikinis or anything.

There is a surprising cameo by Annette Funicello to be on the lookout for.

This is not a great film in any way, but in terms of a spy parody and good ol’ 60s kitsch, it really is a diamond in the rough. It is possible that this film also inspired the fembots from the Austin Powers franchise. Should this be a film everyone should rush out to see? Well, if you don’t see this before you die, it won’t hurt, but if you do get the chance to watch it, I highly recommend it.

3 1/2 out of 5 stars