It Came from the ’50s: Return of the Fly

I’ve seen some embarrassing cash grab sequels in my many decades as an avid shitty movie fan, and this one is among the more shameful.

From writer/director Edward Bernds comes Return of the Fly, the sequel to The Fly, released in 1959. The first thing viewers of The Fly will notice is that, unlike its predecessor, Return was not shot in color. I cannot recall another sequel in film history that has gone from color in the original to black and white photography in the sequel. There are a couple examples the other way, notably The Hustler and The Color of Money. Continue readingIt Came from the ’50s: Return of the Fly”

It Came from the ’50s: The Tingler

Gimmicks present unique problems when it comes to film, or art, or anything. Gimmicks may be useful for an initial draw, but people tire of them. Gimmicks are also used to disguise, or make up for, a lack of funds or competence. That is why William Castle, despite throwing some interesting gimmicks into his films, is remembered for being a shitty movie director as much as an innovator.

The Tingler, from 1959, was Castle’s most ambitious foray into gimmickry. Besides producing, Castle directed, from a screenplay by Robb White. Continue readingIt Came from the ’50s: The Tingler”

It Came from the ’50s: The Fly (1958)

Most of the films featured in the October Horrorshow: It Came from the ’50s reviews haven’t been all that good. Some have been downright cheap and awful. Such is the life of the shitty movie fan. But then there is something like today’s film, The Fly. I wouldn’t characterize it as a classic, other than in the sense that it’s old. Rather, it’s just a decent film from the time.

Released in the summer of 1958, The Fly was produced and directed by Kurt Neumann from a screenplay by James Clavell, who would go on to write some of the lengthiest novels known to man. There’s a plodding nature to this film that I think can be blamed partly on Clavell. Continue readingIt Came from the ’50s: The Fly (1958)”

October Horrorshow: The Abominable Dr. Phibes

Vincent Price has been woefully underrepresented here in the Horrorshow, but partial restitution will be made today. Vincent Price may have spent much of his career far from the glitz and glam of big Hollywood, but that wasn’t because of a lack of skill as an actor.

Vincent Price was a bit of a rollicking performer. It didn’t matter how silly the role or the movie. In fact, the more absurd a project, the more Price seemed to enjoy what he was doing. Sometimes actors are the victims of typecasting, but in the case of Vincent Price, he thrived. Today’s film features one of Price’s most iconic roles — that of the hideously disfigured Dr. Anton Phibes. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: The Abominable Dr. Phibes”