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Tag Archives: Roger Corman

Roger Corman on Mental Meanderings Monday

It is getting later and later in the day on Monday and I still have not done my blog post.  It will, for sure, be Monday Mental Meanderings, but I fear my mental is far from meandering.  It is still.  It has stopped.  I looked for some monster movie pictures to pep up my post a little. I did not find any.  Whatever will I do?

The movie is not as sexy as the poster would make it seem.

At last! I found something! This is the movie we watched last night, a Roger Corman confection which I enjoyed very much.  I must say, the monster was much scarier in anticipation than in sight.  When we finally saw the monster, we laughed and laughed.

I believe there is a sexy brunette or two in this flick.

This is a movie we watched some time previously.  Earlier today I found a write-up I started about it.  I worked a little more at it but fear I must watch the movie again before I can finish it properly.  Who me?  Watch a cheesy movie again?  SAY IT AIN’T SO!

“That won’t qualify for the Dolgeville Violet Festival.”

I close with a shot from another favorite Roger Corman film of mine:  Little Shop of Horrors.  I have little use for the musical, on stage or on screen, but I adore the original cheesy movie.

I guess I don’t have much else to say.  Friends, it’s Monday.  I managed to NOT whine about how I can’t seem to write a blog post today.  I’m afraid that is the best we can hope for. But perhaps I will see you all on Tired Tuesday.

 

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Wrist to Roger Corman to Tempest

Hello, it is Wrist to Forehead Sunday, the day I just can’t get much done and write a foolish blog post so I can get back to not doing it.  I am looking at (I can’t say “watching,” but I am periodically glancing at the television screen) a Roger Corman movie.  I thought I had not seen It Conquered The World before but now I am remembering parts.  I really will have to watch it with some attention some day and write a blog post about it.  For now, however, I am still in All Tempest All The Time mode.

I draw your attention to the entry at the bottom of the sign.

Yes, we performed at the Utica Zoo yesterday.  It was a great deal of fun, and I think the audience enjoyed it, too.  I guess the zoo has a lot of stuff going on. I’ll have to check out a few other events when I get a chance.  That would no doubt be worth a blog post.

Next time I want to be the guy with his sword up in the air.

This is one of the cast photos taken after the performance.  We do one smiling nicely and one “in character.”  My character tends to smile nicely each time. An exception would be a picture taken in Little Falls, when the King’s drunken butler was next to me.  I shared that photo before, but for anybody who has forgotten:

Luckily he is not a “method” actor, or he may have drooled. Ew!

I have been thinking again today about what a great cast I have been working with this summer.  I will miss them when this is over.  Then again, there is always the next play.  That is a cheerful thought for Wrist to Forehead Sunday.

 

But What Would Poe Think?

Spoiler Alert! I’m going to tell the plot and I may give away a couple of the best jokes.

I thought The Raven (1963) had it all: Vincent Price, Boris Karloff and Peter Lorre star. Roger Corman directed. And it’s based, or rather “inspired by” Edgar Allen Poe. This movie is going to rock! I thought, as I set my DVR.

Well, the movie does rock, but not quite in the way I expected it to. It starts out creepy enough: the camera pans through a gloomy castle while Price’s inimitable voice intones the poem “The Raven” by Poe. A big, scary black bird appears on cue. When Price dramatically asks will he ever see his dear Lenore again and we are waiting for — come on, you know this — Quote the Raven, “Nevermore!” instead we hear a rather testy Peter Lorre answer, “How should I know?”

And it goes on from there.

It is a very silly movie. Boris Karloff is responsible for Lorre’s feathered state. He is the evil head magician. Price’s father used to be the (not evil) head magician, but Price lives retired with his beautiful daughter and the body of his dead wife.

Lorre’s son is played by Jack Nicholson. I think it is delightful that Nicholson got his start in cheesy horror movies. So far I’ve seen him in Little Shop of Horrors, The Terror and now The Raven. Unfortunately, in The Raven, he is merely a handsome young man and doesn’t get much to do.

The highlight of the picture is the showdown between Karloff and Price. This is a scene they love to show clips of in Price or Corman retrospectives. Price counters Karloff’s zaps with panache and a sweet smile.

I laughed heartily at The Raven and recommend it to lovers of horror with a sense of humor.

And There’s a Bird

Before Steven and I had our collection of 50 Horror Classics, we had a smaller collection of horror movies which we enjoyed. It came in a tin box that made haunted house noises at the press of a button. I purchased it almost purely because it contained Nosferatu (the original silent version), the scariest movie ever made. But we’re not talking about Nosferatu today.

Recently a co-worker was telling me about a horror movie he had which he thought I would like. He could not remember the title but it had Jack Nicholson in it and it was trippy. He went on and I can’t remember what all he said, but something rang a bell.

“I’ve seen it,” I exclaimed (I really did “exclaim,” although I realize it sounds a little dorky when I write it that way). “It has a bird in it, right?”

“Yes!”

“I can’t remember what it’s called either.” So I went home and checked my little tin box.

The Terror (1963) also stars Boris Karloff. He would be the operative star for my purposes, although Nicholson has the bigger part. Even more importantly, the movie is directed by Roger Corman. Lovers of horror cheese need look no further.

I finally got around to watching it again, thinking my conversation with my co-worker would make a neat introduction (“neat” as in “tidy,” not “nifty neato”). Full disclosure: I did not write about it right away. I even made a note in the TV Journal that I didn’t know if I could write about it. Then I thought, on Non-Sequitur Thursday, with no other topic to hand, it would be worth a try.

Nicholson plays a soldier who is lost from his regiment, about to expire on a sandy beach, presumable the ocean, since he is dying of thirst. A beautiful girl brings him to some fresh water (which looked to me like some ocean water had just washed into a cove, but what do I know?).

It is obvious from the get-go that there is something strange about the girl, but naturally it is love at first sight for Nicholson. It should surprise no one that he intends to spend the rest of the picture trying to help her rather than rejoining his unit like a good soldier should (I don’t know why I always advocate these logical courses of action that would make for a short, boring movie).

Karloff plays a mysterious (naturally) old baron, living by himself in a creepy (naturally) old castle. He’s had a very sad and bitter past. It’s kind of too bad there aren’t any flashbacks, because the character doesn’t really have a whole lot to do in the present.

The other characters are Karloff’s servant, an eerie old lady who might be a witch, her half-wit (I think) son and, of course, the bird. I don’t know if it’s a raven or a crow or just a big old black bird, but you just know it’s going to peck somebody’s eyes out. I didn’t need a spoiler alert before I told you that.

The movie is, as my friend said, trippy. I don’t think I can even tell you what is going on, because I’m not even sure about what seems to be going on. And this was at least my second viewing. I guess I’ll have to watch it yet again. I may even write about it yet again, especially as it seems I haven’t told you much so far.