Posted by Satanizmo | Posted in boris karloff , lon chaney jr , peter lorre | Posted on 23:26
Eddig még semmit nem tudtam erről a sorozatról (most sem sokkal többet) melyben a három horrorfilmes veterán is feltűnik.
ROUTE 66: LIZARD'S LEG & OWLET'S WING (1962) - DVD
Classic TV episode that features Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr. and Peter Lorre reprises classic horror roles. They play aging horror actors (natch) who debate on whether the old monsters can still scare 'em or not. See Karloff don the Frankenstein monster make-up one last time and Chaney appears as The Mummy and his "baby" The Wolf Man as well as re-creating his father's Quasimodo character. This re-mastered eposode includes original sponsorship spots too from Chevrolet and Bayer Aspirin!
The other two episodes are Walter Matthau guesting on ELEVEN, THE HARD WAY and James Caan in AND THE CAT JUMPED OVER THE MOON. This classic TV show starred Martin Milner and Geoge Maharis.
Glen or Glenda (1953) is a movie, written, directed by and starring Ed Wood, and featuring Bela Lugosi, and Wood's then-girlfriend Dolores Fuller. The movie is a docudrama about transvestism and transsexuality, and is semiautobiographical in nature. Wood himself was a transvestite,
and the movie is a plea for tolerance. However, it has become a cult film due to its low-budget production values and idiosyncratic style.
The sex reassignment surgery of Christine Jorgensen made national headlines in the US in 1952, and this was the inspiration for George Weiss, a Hollywood producer of low-budget films, to commission a movie to exploit it. Ed Wood persuaded Weiss that his own transvestism made him the perfect director despite his modest resume. Wood was given the job and took the money, but
instead made a movie about transvestism. When the finished movie was deemed too short and too divergent from what was requested, Wood tacked on a few extra scenes about sexual reassignment.
The producer spliced in two unrelated soft-core sequences, one with some mild bondage, cutting in reaction shots of Wood and Lugosi. The film received a release only because it had been presold to a number of theatres before it was made.
Behind the scenes
Wood persuaded Bela Lugosi, a former star now aged, impoverished, and drug-addicted, to appear in the movie. Wood himself played the eponymous Glen/Glenda, but under the pseudonym 'Daniel Davis'. His girlfriend, Dolores Fuller, played Glen's girlfriend. Fuller was not aware of Wood's transvestism at the time: the nature of the film was not fully explained to her, and Wood rarely wore women's clothing when she was on set. Only at a screening of the finished
product was the truth revealed, and Fuller claims to have been humiliated by the experience.
This was the only movie Ed Wood directed but did not also produce.
In the theatrical trailer, included in laserdisc and DVD editions, the concluding scene of the film, where Fuller hands over her angora sweater, is a different take than the one in the release version - in the trailer, she tosses it to Wood in a huff, while the release version shows her handing it over more acceptingly. There is also a shot of Wood in drag, mouthing the
Directed by Edward D. Wood, Jr.
Produced by George Weiss
Written by Edward D. Wood, Jr.
Starring Edward D. Wood, Jr. (as 'Daniel Davis')
A film 9 részletben van meg, a videók után pedig egy angol nyelvű írás található Adrian Danks 'tollából' A cikket INNEN vettem át.
Reaching Beyond the Frame: Murnau's City Girl
by Adrian Danks
Adrian Danks is President and co-curator of the Melbourne Cinémathèque, co-editor of Cteq: Annotations on Film, and Head of Cinema Studies at RMIT University, School of Applied Communication.
City Girl (1930 USA 88 mins)
Source: NLA/ACMI Prod Co: Fox Film Corporation Dir: F. W. Murnau
Scr: Berthold Viertel, Marion Orth from the play The Mad Turtle by Elliott Lester Phot: Ernest Palmer Ed: Katherine Hilliker, H.H. Caldwell Art Dir: Harry Oliver, William Parling Prod Des: Edgar G. Ulmer
Cast: Charles Farrell, Mary Duncan, David Torrence, Edith Yorke, Dawn O'Day, Tom McGuire, Richard Alexander, Patrick Rooney
The last and most American of the three films made by F.W. Murnau in Hollywood, City Girl is a conscious inversion of such earlier works as The Burning Earth (1922) and Sunrise (1927), expressing a curiosity about American individualism and an extraordinary feel for the American landscape. In essence it is a sort of rural, “naturalistic” Kammerspiel film, overtaken by the introduction of sound, mutilated by its studio and released in a severely expiated form. It was destined to become a celebrated “lost” film before something close to Murnau's original cut was discovered in 1970.
The actual production and release history of City Girl (also known as Our Daily Bread) is very difficult to unravel. Most accounts of the film, and indeed of Murnau's oeuvre in general, rely upon incomplete prints, half-forgotten memories and rather contradictory accounts of the film's fate in relation to the introduction of sound. Most critics consider the extant version of the film to be a doctoring of Murnau's grander vision, a view mostly based upon studio documentation and a broader narrative of directorial excess (a farm was supposedly built in Oregon exclusively for the film), compromise and decline conventionally applied to Murnau's career. This position or critical approach manifestly fails to account for the film's extraordinary consistency, symmetry and self-conscious (perhaps even critical) relationship to much of the rest of Murnau's cinema. For example, City Girl's bond to Sunrise is one of its most fascinating elements. In its opening movements it is as if the film evokes a key plot element of Sunrise (an innocent country boy, Lem (Charles Farrell), is approached by a “vamp” on a train ride to the city) only to then diverge from and invert it (he immediately rejects her). As in Sunrise, the city is presented as a dynamic entity defined by and constructed around movement and a curious modernity; but it also projects a subtle desperation and palpably melancholy quality new to Murnau's cinema. It is also the home of Kate (May Duncan), the “city girl” of the title who longs for a romantically idealised country life and who subsequently emerges as one of the strongest and most clear-eyed female characters in American silent cinema (presenting a clear reversal of the moral universe – and characters – of Sunrise). It is through Kate that we experience the continuity of the city and country in City Girl, the archetypes of perception and oppression, and the parallel social structures and prejudices that fuel both worlds. The film relies upon stereotypes, prejudices and entrenched value systems to define character behaviour – typical of Murnau – and refuses to view either the city or country as havens of domestic or romantic harmony. City Girl shows us characters who are in the world and all that entails.
Although it is often compared unfavorably with Sunrise, City Girl is in ways a welcome antidote to the earlier, more obviously brilliant film, shifting the earlier film's emphasis on the intricate manipulation of mise-en-scene (and the choreography of things “placed” in the frame) onto montage, while also inverting its characters, actions and archetypes. City Girl relies upon the extraordinary framing and masterful manipulation of off-screen space (that suggests a complex world just outside the limits of the frame) characteristic of Murnau's cinema but shifts toward a more American tone, sensibility and pared-back, starkly realised mise-en-scène. Murnau's films are often criticised for their simplistic definitions of characters and extreme structural polarities (criticisms generally of the pantomimic nature of silent narrative cinema) but this is almost always combined, as it is in City Girl, with a complexity, ambiguity and muddying of what might seem like discrete categories.
As in Sunrise the film uses repetition, the memory of actions and space, to elide its seemingly insurmountable conflicts. Consequently, this is a film full of subtle and less than subtle parallels and symbols. For example, as Lem's puritanical father roughly cuts through a loaf of bread in the country the film “cuts” to a mechanical slicer indifferently pumping out precise portions of the same “commodity” in a city restaurant. In the process, the elemental “thingness” or materiality of the wheat is transformed into an abstracted commodity. It is in these moments, where an often imperceptible or previously hidden process is revealed through the power of montage combined with exquisitely detailed mise-en-scène that one can glimpse the remnants of the “symphony of wheat” initially envisaged by Murnau when preparing the film (an enhanced “documentary” awareness pointing toward his last film, 1931's Tabu). Ultimately, City Girl has little more than the tinge of documentary about it (it is a film less about wheat than is, say, Malick's Days of Heaven, 1978) but it does offer a fascinating illustration of how expressionist and naturalistic tendencies are synthesised in Murnau's cinema. City Girl also clearly echoes, in both style and narrative, Victor Sjöström's elemental masterpiece, The Wind (1928). In essence, Murnau's cinema is a quixotic entity possessing an elusive, shifting and experimental style varying, departing and returning within each film. It is a composite or impure thing, always shifting and re-combining disparate styles; it is also, at the same time, one of the “purest” expressions of cinema ever created.
The ending of City Girl echoes the symbolic remarriage that is at the heart of Sunrise, as Kate and Lem cross the “threshold” of the family farm chaperoned by the now silent and submissive father. But we should ask whether this ending allows them to enter a less archetypal position or structure, are the polarities they embody really synthesised – of man and woman, country and city, etc. – and have they conquered the ambiguity of motivation and psychology that plagues them? These are things the film cannot answer as the cart carrying them departs the frame and the screen fades into an inky blackness. The film concludes with a subtle ambiguity that is also one of its great strengths: We think they'll be all right but can't help thinking of the world and the order just beyond the frame they must re-enter.
The strengths of Murnau's films often lie in the details, the representation and conveyance of emotion, the expressive and minimalist use of intertitles, the discrete complication of structural polarities, and the extraordinary play of light and dark across expressive interior and exterior landscapes. City Girl, both an archaic and visionary work of the late silent cinema, is a reiteration and reinvigoration of these qualities.
© Adrian Danks, September 2003
Posted by Satanizmo | Posted in boris karloff , interview | Posted on 23:10
“Sure, I remember Boris Karloff. He was the monster in Frankenstein.”Well, yes, but what about Scarface, one of the finest gangster films ever made, directed by Howard Hawks … and The Old Dark House, the granddaddy of all haunted house thrillers, directed by James Whale … and The Lost Patrol, the template for all the lost patrol films which followed, directed by John Ford? Not bad, not bad at all.“Boris Karloff, he was in that horror flick, Frankenstein, right?”For sure, for sure. But if it’s Karloff and horror, let’s not stop there. How about 1934’s The Black Cat, a wicked little gem which teamed Karloff and Bela Lugosi for the first time? Or 1935’s The Black Room, another nasty gem in which Karloff plays twins, one good and the other evil (and is he ever!)? Or The Raven, from 1935? Another Karloff/Lugosi delicious little horror thriller. These three solid thrillers work surprisingly well even today, 70 plus years after their releases.“Boris Karloff, Boris Karloff? Wasn’t he in Frankenstein? Played the monster, I think.”Certainly did, more than once. In addition to Frankenstein, he also played the monster in both Bride Of Frankenstein (1935) and Son Of Frankenstein (1939). In fact, there are those who say that his performance as the monster in Bride is the best of his career.“I know who Boris Karloff was, he had the screws in his forehead, in that monster flick, Frankenstein.”Sure did. But the screws were inside his head – and definitely not screwed too tight – in such enduring dark horror classics as The Body Snatcher ('45), Isle Of The Dead ('45) and Bedlam ('46). All three are Val Lewton productions, and each serves as a solid example of Lewton’s estimable work.“Karloff, he was always the same, wasn’t he? The Frankenstein monster.”Don’t tell that to Danny Kaye, who played opposite Karloff in The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty; nor to Gary Cooper, who played opposite Karloff in DeMille’s Unconquered, both in 1947. Not a monster in sight, just a very, very fine actor named Boris Karloff.Or tell that to Broadway theatergoers, who caught Karloff in Arsenic And Old Lace and Peter Pan opposite Mary Martin and The Lark opposite Julie Harris.Or mention it to television viewers who caught Karloff’s Uncle Vanya on Masterpiece Playhouse, or his title role in Don Quixote or his King Arthur in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court or his turn as Father Knickerbocker in The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow. “Karloff, Karloff? Why do I know the name. …? Oh, yeah, oh, yeah, he was the monster in all those Frankenstein movies.”Which Peter Bogdanovich used to great advantage in his first film, the wonderful Targets ('68). But Bogdanovich uses this as a mere springboard in this tight little thriller. Karloff plays a man not unlike himself, with his own film image as one of the film’s ironic driving points.This Sunday night, at 8 pm ET, Sarah Karloff, daughter of Boris Karloff, discusses her father’s fascinating career on ICONS Radio Hour. Ms. Karloff offers first-hand anecdotes about her father’s approach to acting and, especially revealing, his feelings about his career in horror films
- John Mulholland, ICONS Radio Hour Host
Posted by Satanizmo | Posted in dvd , lon chaney sr , outside the law , shadows | Posted on 14:18
DVD REVIEW BY JAMES NEWMAN
Lon Chaney might never have become involved in the movie industry if not for the failure of a stage musical. In 1913, it ran out of money in Santa Ana and disbanded, leaving actor Chaney to fend for himself. Looking for means of survival, Chaney became a property man at Universal Studio, where he could experiment with makeup and costumes. Gradually, he was given opportunities to perform in front of the camera. By 1920, Lon Chaney had appeared in well over 100 films. Many of these appearances were little more than bit roles. But as the '20s neared, more substantial roles started coming his way.
The Miracle Man (1919) was a crucial step. It allowed Chaney to play a man who masquerades as a cripple in order to con a faith healer--allowing himself to be "cured" at a crucial moment. The success of The Miracle Man brought Chaney increased exposure as a leading man. The Penalty (1920) established him as one of the most intense and terrifying performers of the silent screen. He plays a criminal mastermind whose legs were amputated when he was a boy by an incompetent doctor. He now lives to take revenge. Chaney strapped his legs within a pair of leather stumps to play this role. As Chaney biographer Michael Blales says, "One has to wonder if the intensity he brought to this role might have been due in part to the pain produced by his harness."
At this early point in his career (Chaney was just 34 years old in 1920), he had yet to work with director Tod Browning, with whom he would form an important filmmaking partnership. However, his first movie with Browning, Outside the Law (1921), is now available on DVD from Image Entertainment on a double-feature disc, backed with Shadows (1922), a melodrama that casts Chaney as an elderly Chinese laundryman.
Priscilla Dean struggles with Lon Chaney, who clearly has the upper hand on Wheeler Oakman, in Outside the LawThe opening credits of Outside the Law give Chaney fourth billing. Priscilla Dean, a name largely forgotten today, receives lead billing, and her name appears over the movie's title. As such, Chaney does indeed receive much less screen time than Dean, even considering he gets a double role. He plays both Black Mike Sylva, a vicious underworld crime boss, and Ah Wing, one of many oriental portrayals assumed by Chaney in his career.
People coming to this movie with hopes of seeing Chaney in his prime will likely be disappointed. He disappears from the screen for long periods of time as the story focuses on Priscilla Dean. She plays the daughter of a crime boss. Black Mike is ready to move in on his territory. He arranges for him to be framed for shooting a policeman, and he intends to railroad Molly (Dean) also: "I got a personal grudge against this dame," he says. He forces her to take part in a robbery while making sure the police will show up when she has the loot in hand. Thanks to her boyfriend, Dapper Bill Ballard (Wheeler Oakman), who works for Black Mike, Molly learns of the deception, pockets the loot, avoids the police, and holes up with her boyfriend in an apartment across town. Meanwhile, Black Mike scours the city for them. He doesn't take deception lightly.
By playing Black Mike, Chaney isn't given the opportunity to indulge his makeup virtuosity. For that purpose, Chaney also plays Ah Wing, a Chinese servant. Chaney is almost unrecognizable in this role, although the makeup is minimal. In the movie's early scenes, Ah Wing gets considerable screen time. But even then it's clear he's just a peripheral character. Not surprisingly, a third of the way through the movie, Ah Wing pretty much disappears entirely, which is for the best. It allows the story to then take off without any further digressions.
Wheeler Oakman, Priscilla Dean, and Lon Chaney in Outside the LawAs Black Mike, Chaney isn't given many big scenes until the last third of the movie, but his menace hangs over the movie. He's described by the title cards as "a rat, a vulture, a snake--feared even by his pals." Chaney's performance in Outside the Law shows his considerable talent for playing fiends, but most importantly the movie shows the budding relationship between Browning and Chaney. While Chaney's role gives him much less screen time than Priscilla Dean, Tod Browning's direction places special emphasis on Chaney's face, which is frequently filmed in close up as he menaces Molly and her beau. Chaney was a gloriously melodramatic actor who loved to grimace and sneer. Browning uses Chaney's intensity to push the movie to a more brutal level than typical of Hollywood studio silent productions. While the crime drama with Molly and Dapper Bill is conventional and a bit bland, Chaney's presence as Black Mike gives the proceedings a palpable sense of evil.
At about the 57-minute mark, the print used for mastering this DVD shows significant damage, and throughout the rest of the movie's 75-minute running time, the print is frequently marked by decomposition. During the final sequence, a battle breaks out within a Chinese store, destroying nearly everything within the store's walls, but during this scene, the print luckily exhibits only has a modest amount of damage and remains very watchable. In contrast, the second half of this double-feature, Shadows doesn't have any major damage--but the print is worn and marked with vertical scratches that persist for minutes at a time.
Shadows is much less substantial than Outside the Law. It tells the story of a Chinese laundryman named Yen Sin. After he's cast ashore on the shore of a small fishing town, he struggles to survive while faced with daunting prejudice from the villagers. The local preacher says Yen Sin must be a Christian or leave: they don't want their purity tainted. Nonetheless, Yen Sin stays. Hunched over submissively, Chaney's portrayal of Yen Sin is such a broad caricature that he's difficult to watch nowadays. Most disappointing, however, is the movie's final sequence, where the innately good Yen Sin, while struggling on his death bed, manages to fix most of the town's problems.
In stories such as this, Chaney's predilection for melodramatic simplification could become overbearing--especially in the hands of a lesser director; however, when teamed with Tod Browning, a special brand of menace and intensity frequently resulted. This DVD is a minor addition to the Lon Chaney movies currently available on VHS and DVD, but it's a valuable addition for Chaney fans who want to see the master at work developing his film acting style.
Na még egy cikk Lee-ről (a BBC honlapról)
Lee's life of Hammer and horror
The career of Christopher Lee, the veteran screen actor who has received a knighthood in the Queen's Birthday Honours list, has lasted 60 years and includes roles in more than 250 films.
Lee, who turned 87 last month, is currently shooting a film in New Mexico
It is for his long line of memorable villains that he is best known - a distinguished lineage that includes Bond bad guy Scaramanga and evil wizard Saruman in The Lord of the Rings.
The Rings trilogy, coupled with the Star Wars prequels in which he played the nefarious Count Dooku, were the most successful films of his career from a commercial standpoint.
For all that, the 87-year-old will always be associated with Count Dracula, a malevolent hero he invested with a demonic charisma and a dash of sex appeal.
Born into affluence, the imposing actor can trace his lineage to Charlemagne, the first Holy Roman Emperor.
After public school he served in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve during the Second World War, where he was mentioned in dispatches.
His screen career began when he joined the Rank Organisation in 1947, training as an actor in their so-called "charm school".
Yet it was his association with British studio Hammer that made him a household name, playing such iconic characters as Frankenstein's Monster, The Mummy and, of course, Dracula.
Dracula: Prince of Darkness saw Lee's Count come to a predictably sticky end
Critics said Hammer's movies were films to disgust the mind and repel the senses, but audiences lapped up their ghoulish, blood-soaked excesses.
Lee would go on to reprise his trademark role in a number of sequels before finally laying him to rest in the 1970s.
A move to Hollywood offered a wider range of characters to sink his teeth into - among them a gay Hell's Angel in 1980 film Serial.
A measure of his popularity came when he hosted Saturday Night Live, a comedy show watched by 35 million Americans.
Among hundreds of films, Lee's personal favourite is cult thriller The Wicker Man. He also cites Jinnah, a biopic of Pakistan's founder, as his most important work.
"It had the best reviews I've ever had in my entire career - as a film and as a performance," he told the BBC News website in 2004.
A distant cousin and golfing partner of James Bond creator Ian Fleming, Lee was in the frame to play Doctor No in the first Bond movie.
Joseph Wiseman won the part, but Christopher Lee would later appear opposite Roger Moore's 007 in 1974's The Man With The Golden Gun.
In 2000 he was seen as Flay, the loyal yet verbally challenged manservant in the BBC adaptation of Gormenghast.
In recent years he has also been seen in a number of Tim Burton movies, among them Sleepy Hollow and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
In the flesh, the tall and authoritative actor is nothing like the larger-than-life grotesques who chilled generations of moviegoers.
His knighthood for services to drama and charity reflects the esteem with which he is held and his unique ability to make screen villainy devilishly attractive.
A BBC írását egy az egyben vettem át:
Veteran horror actor Lee knighted
Christopher Lee has had a varied career in the world of film
Actor Christopher Lee, best known for playing Count Dracula and starring in Lord Of The Rings, has been knighted in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.
The 87-year-old was included on the list alongside former poet laureate Andrew Motion, who is also knighted.
Actors Jonathan Pryce and Lindsay Duncan become CBEs, along with fashion designer Jeff Banks and Delia Smith.
Royle Family actress Sue Johnston, actor Alan Cumming and Fat Friends writer Kay Mellor become OBEs.
I feel very touched and gratified because these things are quite seldom given to poets, compared to other sections of the arts communityPoet Andrew Motion
London-born Lee, who made his name in the Hammer Horror movies in the 1950s, is one of the most prolific actors of all time, appearing in more than 250 film and TV productions.
Other notable roles include as Lord Summerisle in 1973's The Wicker Man and as Francisco Scaramanga in 1974 Bond movie The Man With The Golden Gun.
A representative for Lee - who was previously appointed CBE - said he was unavailable for comment because he was filming in New Mexico.
Motion, 56, who stepped down as laureate last month, said: "I feel very touched and gratified because these things are quite seldom given to poets, compared to other sections of the arts community."
It's good for the fashion industry, which does not get many awards like this. It's really lovely that we should get recognisedJeff Banks
Banks, meanwhile, said he thought his turn would "never come".
The former Clothes Show presenter, 66, said: "I really thought I'd done something wrong because I've never got an award.
"I thought I'd been naughty in a past life and that my turn would never come.
"It's good for the fashion industry, which does not get many awards like this. It's really lovely that we should get recognised."
TV cook Delia Smith said she thought her CBE was in recognition of "writing recipes for 40 years".
I am only sorry that my parents are not here as they would have been so proudActress Sue Johnston
"It's difficult for me because what I do - I write recipes and demonstrate them on TV - feels just like regular, everyday work.
"It doesn't feel like it deserves any special honour."
Former Brookside actress Johnston, best known for playing Barbara Royle, said she was "delighted and honoured" at becoming OBE.
"I am only sorry that my parents are not here as they would have been so proud," she added.
Actress Anna Wing, 94, who played Lou Beale in BBC soap EastEnders, said becoming MBE was "the icing on the cake".
"As a child I used to cling to the railings of Buckingham Palace never thinking that one day I would be decorated by the Queen."
Graham Vick, artistic director of the Birmingham Opera Company, becomes CBE, while writers Peter Dickinson and Elaine Morgan are appointed OBE.
Actor James Bolam, 70, best known for 1960s TV hit The Likely Lads, is appointed MBE, as is singer Joe Brown, 68, who received the outstanding contribution to music Mojo award on Thursday.
Invasion of the Saucer Men (1957) az IMDb-n
(valószínűleg az egyik kései mexikói szörnyfilmjéből, várom a tippeket, hogy mi lehet az)
WACKY AND SILLY. DELIRIOUSLY IMPROBABLE & KITSCHY. Just a few of the ways I would describe NEUTRON VS. THE DEATH ROBOTS.
This is the dubbed US version of the original Mexican wrestler/monster "lucha libre" film entitled "Los Autómatas de la muerte" from 1962. Perhaps it's just me and my extreme brain damaged state but I'm a sucker for those Mexican wrestlers battling monsters; films epitomized by the iconic El Santo (The Man in the Silver Mask). The immense love the Mexican populace held for El Santo is something that cannot be adequately understood by the rest of us. Suffice it to say that El Santo was a national institution and his countless movies combining masked wrestling bouts with monsters, aliens and robots are something that has to be experienced to be appreciated. Santo was the undisputed king and no other masked wrestler could approach his success; not occasional partner Blue Demon, not Las Luchadoras (the Wrestling Women). . .and CERTAINLY not Neutron. However, this third Neutron film is just as much fun, I think, as any of the others in this strange genre. But Neutron is, in one respect, a standout and unlike every other Mexican wrestling film star -- INCLUDING El Santo.All the other "lucha libre" films starring El Santo and his ilk had one thing in common; a fact pointed out to me by Pete Tombs in his indispensable book on weird world cinema "MONDO MACABRO". El Santo and the rest wore masks but were never like Batman, for instance, in that they had no "secret identities". El Santo never changed out of his mask; in fact he slept in it and had dinner wearing it. Batman swung home, doffed his cowl and became playboy Bruce Wayne. Santo was ALWAYS Santo. When he was on the trail of vampire women, pummeling someone in the wrestling ring or driving his Jaguar to the supermarket. . .Santo was Santo and that was it. He was a pro wrestler who also happened to battle monsters. Neutron, however, was different in that he apparently was the only "masked wrestler" in the lucha libre films who wasn't actually a wrestler; he was an actor named Wolf Ruvinskis who might be cut but had never been a wrestler in his life. This fact can be divined by watching his fight scenes. Therefore, it really isn't correct to lump this film in with all those Santo and other Mexican wrestler movies since Neutron is really just a superhero and not a wrestler. A running theme in NEUTRON VS. THE DEATH ROBOTS is that the police (and everyone else) is trying to guess the "secret identity" of Neutron; the candidates are three losers who are all trying to date the same nightclub singer (and, for lack of another candidate, the heroine of the film).But enough about these three guys and the goil because nobody REALLY cares about them, right. All we care about is Neutron and his arch enema. . .er, enemy Dr. Carrot. . . um, I mean, Dr. Caronte. It seems that Neutron has battled Dr. Caronte in the previous movie (which I've not seen). Dr. Caronte and his diminutive demonic dwarf assistant Nick (whose voice is dubbed into English sounding EXACTLY like Saddam Hussein in the South Park movie!) are trying to build a neutron bomb to go boom. For an evil genius out to destroy the world, Caronte is awful motherly to Nick. When he's not threatening to kill Nick for bungling a mission, Dr. Caronte constantly holds the dwarf's hand as they cross a room and helpfully lifts Nick up onto tables as if he was Shirley Temple! Caronte (who is garbed in a white wrestler mask, white surgeon's smock, white Aquaman gloves and white leotards!) has moidered three scientists, removed their brains, combined them into one big blob of a brain (Donovan's???) and is now controlling their thoughts inside a big tank (hey, it IS Donovan's Brain territory, innit?) in order to get their "secret formulae" for building a neutron bomb. But there are some pieces missing and Caronte goes after another scientist to pull his plan together. Oh, just in case you were planning on building your OWN neutron bomb, here are the formulae the brains provided: "XR2 combined with MP5, NN8 with 2 parts ZQ, and KH2 in proportion with MWA & XA8." OK, go get started!The mad Dr. Caronte has also built a bunch of "death robots" to do his bidding and kidnap various and sundry victims. These guys really shouldn't be called "death robots", though, since that leads one to picture them as metallic robots which they are not. They are really more like Frankenstein's monster combined with zombies. Oddly, Dr. Caronte's method of "cooking up" his death robots is actually quite reminiscent of 1910's Thomas Edison production of "FRANKENSTEIN" in which the monster is "formed" inside an oven. Dr. Caronte has a series of easy bake ovens along his lab wall in which he essentially bakes a zombie. Not all the time, though, is the evil doctor successful. One of his death robots fails to form inside the "oven" and resembles a pile of cow flop. I hesitate to call them "ovens", though, since it appears to be very cold in there like a deep freeze; Caronte and Nick are seen to wipe the viewing windows on the "oven" door because they appear to be frosted over. The three brain combo in Caronte's tank is nicely nourished by fresh blood. This allows the death robots to have a little fun on the side by killing and draining victims to provide for the constant changes of fresh blood required by the tri-brain. Marks on the victims' necks lead the cops to suspect a vampire is on the loose. You or I would encourage this misconception to throw the police of our trail, wouldn't we? Especially since everyone believes Dr. Caronte to be dead from the previous film. He was supposed to have been blown up by a bomb, I believe. Sadly, this would-be strategy is blown when Caronte's "calling card" is left by each corpse! For an evil genius, Dr. Caronte ain't too bright! From the dialogue we hear in this film, it appears Caronte went to some trouble to make it appear he was dead; a badly damaged corpse is found that everyone believes is Dr. Caronte. Then, the first thing he does in THIS movie is to loudly proclaim he's alive after all by leaving his calling card by the victims! Neutron and the police COULD have spent the entire film running around looking for non-existent vampires while Caronte would have been left unmolested to complete his nefarious plan. Dr. Caronte: evil genius or twit? You decide.Dr. Caronte also ups the mischief quotient by having one of his "death robots" masquerade as Neutron himself in order to get the police to chase after the real Neutron and try to arrest him. Who woulda thought one of these creatures was buff enough under his sackcloth to sling on a black mask with lightning bolts on it and be mistaken for the great Neutron?!? This is just one of the deliriously daffy doings that populate this marvelous mess of a movie. Another oddity about this movie is that, despite the fact that it's only an hour and 9 minutes long, it has about 5 musical numbers in it. The typical Santo film has a few actually wrestling matches interspersed throughout but, since Neutron ain't a real wrestler, I guess the filmmakers decided we'd better throw in 4 or 5 songs performed mostly by the nightclub singer heroine but also by a male group I like to call the Mexican Mills Brothers. So many songs intertwining in an already short film might test the patience of the lucha libre lover but the songs are actually all quite short and didn't make me want to throw a shoe at my telly. So that's something, right?!?The special effects. . . .well. Dr. Caronte's lab set is a two story affair which actually looks pretty good as these movies go. It's got all (or most) of the typical Kenneth Strickfaden-inspired blinking paraphernalia and realistic-looking stone walls. The three brains Caronte's has liberated from the skulls of his three professorial victims looks appropriately yucky; in fact, I believe they might be real brains -- obtained from the local morgue maybe or perhaps they're calf's brains from the local deli?!? Anyway you slice 'em, they're effective as all getout and I liked 'em. The death robots really only have makeup on their heads and this consistes of a mostly featureless mass of muck where their faces should be and a shaggy Beatles moptop wig. The English dubbing, of course, is totally silly and makes the entire film even wackier, I suspect. All this goes toward providing us with a bizarrely silly movie which is quite entertaining. And God knows, it's much better than Forrest Gump! I must, in all fairness, call attention to the fact that the film is actually quite nicely shot by cinematographer Fernando Colín (who also lensed several Santo flicks as well as a few Nostradamus movies starring German Robles. NEUTRON AND THE DEATH ROBOTS has many interestingly composed shots quite nicely lit as well. All in all, the movie proved to be a pleasant surprise to me the first time I saw it and I think it's well worth your time if you're at all interested in Mexican genre cinema and lucha libre films in particular.
Csak és kizárólag Fritz Lang miatt került ki a blogra, ez nem egy horror film ... és még nem is láttam. Még egy film, amit pótólnom kellene :)