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Last night I watched one of your recent 50s sci fi B films. I'll review it real soon. Hint...I liked it!




Devil Girl from Mars (1954)
Director: David MacDonald
Cast: Patricia Laffan, Hugh McDermott, Hazel Court
Genre: Sci-Fi
Country: British


About: On a dark night the owners of a small Scottish inn that has shut down for the winter, find themselves with unexpected guest at the front door, including a woman dressed in black leather, form Mars. Her goal: collect Earth men and take them back to Mars for breeding stock.

Review: I liked it! This is much better than the title would suggest. The story starts out as a proper British drama set in a quaint Scottish pub in the countryside. The pub is closed but still a number of people manage to show up for lodging. Including an escape murderer there to visit his old girlfriend, a bar maid. He seems innocent of the crime but is he? Well the barmaid turn him over to the authorities? Along comes two lost scientist on the way to find a crashed meteorite. There tired and lost and need a warm drink and a place to stay for the night. Then there's the beautiful woman who wants more to be a pretty face...And of course the star the 'devil girl from Mars'! Who threatens all the guest by holding them hostage and threatening to kill them.



As I watched this interesting film I couldn't help think of how similar it was to a classic Petrified Forest (1936). It's literally the same story with the same outcome, only instead of Humphrey Bogart as a desperado holding the occupants of a remote cafe hostage...it's the woman from Mars doing the bad stuff.

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It Conquered the World (Roger Corman, 1956)
Director: Roger Corman
Cast: Peter Graves, Beverly Garland, Lee Van Cleef
Genre: Sci Fi monster B-budget


About: A disillusioned scientist who has ironically warned officials of hostile aliens destroying satellites as a warning... then helps guide one of the last aliens alive on Venus to Earth. Where he hopes the alien well rid humans of feelings and emotions, bringing about a more logical society. Instead the alien tries to take over mankind with thought control devices.

Review: OK, OK! I know, the monster looks ridiculous! Even the cast of the movie made jokes about it...But the plot line is decent and you get to seen two well known actors early in their careers: Peter Graves and Lee Van Cleef. Both actors are good in their roles and yes Lee Van Cleef is cast as the bad guy, what did you expect? I really liked seeing Beverly Garland again. She did a number of films with Roger Corman and is always a stand out in.



It Conquered the World is an interesting B-budget sci-fi monster movie with a run time just over an hour. With a pretty girl, two big stars, a cool convertible car and a rubber monster. Just over look the hokey monster and enjoy!

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"We're doomed Captain Mainwaring ..... doomed!"

Nice that you watched both of those - I swear the monster in It Conquered... was made in an oversize jelly-mould



^ Probably just what was needed after today
Ha very true

"We're doomed Captain Mainwaring ..... doomed!"

Nice that you watched both of those - I swear the monster in It Conquered... was made in an oversize jelly-mould
Ha, true! I read that the prop guy who made the monster some years latter found and restored. This is a color picture of it. Even more scary....not!





I want to see the Drive-In doc, where did you see that Citizen? I love the drive-in from when I was a kid. Found one near me this year and started taking my boys. I think we went half a dozen times. Already can't wait to start going again next year.
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I want to see the Drive-In doc, where did you see that Citizen? I love the drive-in from when I was a kid. Found one near me this year and started taking my boys. I think we went half a dozen times. Already can't wait to start going again next year.
I got the DVD from my local library...Very cool! that you have a drive-in near by and can take your sons there! I haven't been to one in decades.



Ha very true

Ha, true! I read that the prop guy who made the monster some years latter found and restored. This is a color picture of it. Even more scary....not!



And if anyone's wondering where they got Chucky's face from for those Child's Play movies...





Halloweentown (1998)
Director: Duwayne Dunham
Cast: Debbie Reynolds, Kimberly J. Brown, Judith Hoag
Genre: Halloween Family Advenure

About: A seemingly normal middle class family, has a visit from their eccentric grandmother (Debbi Reynolds) who encourages the oldest teenage daughter to learn of her heritage. But mom wants nothing to do with the past and Halloween....but why is this?

Review
: This is what I watched for Halloween. My wife picked it out and I knew nothing of it, other than it was a made for TV Hallmark, family movie with some kids and Debbie Reynolds, and Halloween themed too...I expected not to like it, but I liked it! It was interesting, well paced I was instantly interested in the story and the mystery. The kid actors were good (and often kid actors can be annoying), especially the two older girls were good actresses. The movie was creative and fun.

No it's not scary, but just a good old fashioned story about a teen girl who's mom doesn't want her to know she's a witch. So she disobeys mom and follows grandma to Halloweentown were all sorts of strange creatures live in harmony (talking skeletons that drive taxis, witches, warlocks, ghost, goblins, etc). However harmony is threatened in Halloweentown and the teenage witch must learn how to use her powers to save the town. Very suitable for kids...and myself!











Director
: Julian Jarrold
Cast: Sarah Gadon, Bel Powley, Emily Watson, Rupert Everett
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

About
: On the eve of V.E. Day which marks the end of World War II in Europe, the teenage Princesses: Elizabeth and Margaret are allowed to leave Buckingham Palace, incognito to join the celebrations. What follows is an adventure mixed with romance.

Review: This is my idea of a great movie! A Royal Night Out (2015) is one of those rare films that comes along and tells a charming story that is both captivating and exciting to watch. It does this without insulting the royal family and presents the young princesses as real teenage girls who are eager to explore the world that they have been sequestered from. It does this all within the frame work of a PG rating and does it well.

Unlike a lot of movies this does not rely on tricky flashbacks or multiple time frames to tell its story. It's close to being shown in real time, as the film starts early in the evening on V.E. day and follows the escapades of P1 and P2 (Princess One and Princess Two) over the course of the evening.


Bel Powley left, who aptly plays the younger Princess Margaret,
and Sarah Gadon as the future Queen Elizabeth.

What makes this movie special is the lively, heartfelt performances by a rambunctious Bel Powley who gives spirit and spunk to her fun loving character the young Princess Margaret. And an equally good performance by Sarah Gadon as the more reserved but still curious, Princess Elizabeth. I thought both actresses made the movie as did the actors who played their parents, the King and Queen.

This is very loosely based on actual events, so don't look for utter realism here as everything that happens is strictly hush-hush.


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Director
: Julian Jarrold
Cast: Sarah Gadon, Bel Powley, Emily Watson, Rupert Everett
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
The Royals as teenagers? Looks like fun and Rupert Everett is always worth watching...adding it to my watchlist.



[size=6]
Touch of Evil [size=5](Orson Welles, 1958)
Director: Orson Welles
Writer: Orson Welles(screenplay)
Cast: Charlton Heston, Orson Welles, Janet Leigh
I really enjoyed reading this review...your passion for this film and your respect for Welles as an artist really comes through here and I will be adding this film to my watchlist.




The War of the Worlds
(1953)
Director: Byron Haskin
Writers: H.G. Wells(novel), Barré Lyndon(screenplay)
Cast: Gene Barry, Ann Robinson, Les Tremayne
Genre: Sci-Fi

Producer George Pal
set the bar for big budget, sci-fi special effects over 60 years ago with his 1953 film version of the classic novel by H.G. Wells, The War or the Worlds. When the movie hit the theaters, the reputation of the classic sci-fi story was already well known.

In 1897, H.G. Wells, a young English writer took the literary world by storm with his imaginative and moralistic sci-fi stories. Many of his novels have been made into movies: Island of the Lost Souls (1932), The Invisible Man (1933), Things to Come (1936) The Time Machine (1960) to name a few.



On Halloween eve, October 30, 1938 the classic story was reintroduced to frightened audiences in a dramatized radio broadcast by none other than Orson Welles.

When the 1950's rolled around, another respected giant in the world of sci-fi, George Pal, once again brought the classic story to the big screen. George Pal had already made such amazing special effects films as: When Worlds Collide (1950) and Destination Moon (1950), but he topped them all with his cutting edge, technicolor version of The War of the Worlds.



The producer George Pal wisely chose to cast complete unknowns in his film. As he wanted the focus to be on the Martians and not on Hollywood stars. The two leads are excellent at giving us a human connection to the film.

What makes this movie special, is the special effects. For the first time audiences seen Martians who looked like they could be real beings from another world. The alien ships were not only menacing but very realistic looking, in by today's standards.

At only 90 minutes there's not a lot of story deposition or character arcs. This is about people fleeing for their lives...and hoping to destroy an advanced alien invasion, that seems unstoppable.

And it works! The film still holds up well today.

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Classic.
Probably the ultimate sci-fi movie regarding special effects & otherwise until Forbidden Planet came along.
As a kid, it actually scared me when the alien appeared



One of my fav sci-fi's and nice that Universal included the original radio broadcast of WotW as an extra on the Citizen Kane Spec Ed dvd as I'd actually never heard it in it's entirety before that.



Classic.
Probably the ultimate sci-fi movie regarding special effects & otherwise until Forbidden Planet came along.
As a kid, it actually scared me when the alien appeared
One of my fav sci-fi's and nice that Universal included the original radio broadcast of WotW as an extra on the Citizen Kane Spec Ed dvd as I'd actually never heard it in it's entirety before that.
The War of the Worlds scared me as a kid too. I mean the Martian was pretty frightening with the realistic looking skin and veins that pulsated. A step up from a Roger Corman monster for sure

In the DVD extras they talked about the construction of the ships, and they were large scale, made out of copper with working electronics inside. There were three of them made, sadly they were recycled for copper and so no longer exist