Wooley & Torgo's September Excite-o-rama!

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Originally Posted by Wooley
Huh.
I've never even heard of this movie. Very interesting.
I think I discovered it when I was going through Vincent Ward's IMDB page many years ago. It was made available to rent on Amazon, YouTube, Tubi, etc. just recently. I think you would dig it.

Originally Posted by Wooley


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Taking a slight detour from Fantasy/Sci-Fi into the "Thriller" section of my September catalogue...


Yeahhh... Killer Fish.
I don't know why I need to keep going back to this movie... but I do.
While you may have thought your thirst for films about people being attacked by piranhas was slaked by Piranha and Piranha 2: The Spawning, you are mistaken. You are not whole until you have seen Killer Fish.
From the director of Castle Of Blood, The Long Hair Of Death, Seven Deaths In The Cat's Eye, and Yor: The Hunter From The Future comes the story of the Six Million Dollar Man trying to lead Karen Black and Margaux Hemingway on a heist to steal a bunch of emeralds that they've already stolen... but have been hidden by the group's mastermind (James Franciscus) in a lake he's stocked with deadly piranha to guard them!
So, while they search for treasure... they (piranhas, obv.) search for flesh!!!
Honestly, while it is a low-budget, Brazilian-financed affair that goes to such lengths to stretch its run-time to the point of it becoming kinda funny, I just really always enjoy this. I always liked Lee Majors. I always had a thing for Karen Black. Loved the Hemingway sisters. I ****in' love piranhas! They'll eat you! (Not according to any scientists but according to like, what, at least five movies now.) Plus, you get to see Total Recall's Roy Brocksmith fall in the water with a thousand little man-eaters! Oh, he's sweatin' now!

And with a review like this (from The New York Times):
"(Killer Fish) may not be a good movie — it's really inept—but it's friendly, like Mr. (Lee) Majors's quizzical squint, which is, I'm told by people who watch more television than I do, what Mr. Majors does best. Everyone, in fact, carries on gamely, as people do at a picnic when it rains."

How can you possibly go wrong?!!!



Have you seen Killer Crocodile? It's like a dumber Jaws but with a bananas ending. The first two thirds are pretty whatever but the third act is amazing.


It should be on Tubi.



Have you seen Killer Crocodile? It's like a dumber Jaws but with a bananas ending. The first two thirds are pretty whatever but the third act is amazing.


It should be on Tubi.
I don't think I have.
But Tubi is like the one service I don't have (I have a ****load of streaming services).
I'll see if it's on anything else.



LOL, if you Google the director of Killer Fish, Antonio Margheriti, you see way more pictures of Eli Roth from Inglourious Basterds than the real person:




I have only seen the tv trailer for killer fish. I shouldn't be surprised that's a Margheritti film. I guess I'm more surprised he got Karen Black and Lee Majors into one of his films. Well, maybe more Karen Black.



I have only seen the tv trailer for killer fish. I shouldn't be surprised that's a Margheritti film. I guess I'm more surprised he got Karen Black and Lee Majors into one of his films. Well, maybe more Karen Black.
Exactly.




And I thought Young Sherlock Holmes had dumbed-down the Sherlock Holmes story.
Nah, that's probably a little harsh for this but I definitely had a higher expectation for this.
When I was a child in the late 70s, the Basil Rathbone run of Sherlock Holmes "movies" (this was only 56 minutes long) ran on Saturdays on TV, back when there were only four channels. So I watched them every Saturday without fail and I found them very exciting and that was the beginning of my lifelong attachment to the character (as I mentioned elsewhere, I have read every original Sherlock story multiple times). And I haven't seen a single one of them since. So I was pretty excited for this.
Yet, the reality is, this is but a trifle. And while I believe the majority of this story took place at night, I'm equally confident that there was very little Terror.
In this story, Holmes (and Watson) is hired to escort a famed diamond, in the possession of some rich ol' lady, on a train trip, ensuring that no ne'er-do-wells or evil-doers get hold of it.
Of course someone does and commits murder in the process and, well, the game's afoot.
Very much like Young Sherlock Holmes, when you easily identify the villain the first time you meet them, it seemed very obvious in one of the first scenes that Holmes has switched the diamond for a fake. So when this is supposed to be a big reveal of Holmes' cleverness later, it kinda lacks impact. The red-herrings are not very impressive and the conclusion actually relies on a bunch of backstory that the audience has to be filled in on by lengthy expository dialogue and a bunch of Rathbone smugly acting like it's all obvious to him.
In fact, I had forgotten that it was Rathbone's portrayal of Holmes that led me to my impression for 20 years or so that Holmes was impossibly arrogant. Rathbone has a particular aloofness and conceited sneer to his manner that he is as well suited to playing villains, as in Errol Flynn's The Adventures Of Robin Hood, as he was to playing the hero or a sympathetic character like Son Of Frankenstein.
Ultimately, as I said, this really is a trifle, though if you wanted to put on an old black and white movie with exciting music that would only last an hour in the background while you made lunch, I think this would be just fine.



Young Sherock Holmes is one that I never gave a second thought to back in the day (or since, for that matter) but all of the stop-motion stuff looks like fun, so maybe I should give it a try. Also, are these walking eclairs?---




For a few years I've had the intention of bingeing the Rathbone series. I'm not expecting much but the posters are always so enticing.
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minds his own damn business
Also, are these walking eclairs?---


Hallucinated walking eclairs, from the subconscious of Watson's unconquered sweet tooth.


(It's not a bad movie.)


Basil Rathbone is a better actor than all of you people combined, btw.
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Young Sherock Holmes is one that I never gave a second thought to back in the day (or since, for that matter) but all of the stop-motion stuff looks like fun, so maybe I should give it a try. Also, are these walking eclairs?---




For a few years I've had the intention of bingeing the Rathbone series. I'm not expecting much but the posters are always so enticing.
They are, in fact, walking eclairs.
He's fun, he's so impossibly arrogant and smug.
Also, I think it's worth watching YSH. It is what I said it is, but it's certainly not bad and has a few charms to offer.





Since I've only caught bits and pieces of this movie on cable over the years, I took this opportunity to finally watch it from start to finish. It reminds me of another sci-fi tentpole from the same year, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, in that it tries to do crowd-pleasing space opera ŕ la Star Wars and hard sci-fi ŕ la 2001: A Space Odyssey at the same time. Even though it does not completely succeed at either, it does not totally fail. The titular anomaly - the largest ever charted in the movie's 22nd century setting - is where the presumed lost Cygnus has been drifting for the last 20 years. A ship called the Palomino happens upon the Cygnus, boards it and its crew (of '70s that guys and ladies from Anthony Perkins to Yvette Mimieux) become seduced or skeptical of seemingly the only remaining crewmember, Dr. Hans Reinhardt (Maximilian Schell), who's made discovering how to travel through the vortex his life's purpose.

The movie is a classic example of a mixed bag. For every good thing in it, another thing that is not so great immediately comes to mind. Most worthy of praise is the look and feel of the Cygnus, which is a masterclass of production design. The movie cost $20 million - the most expensive Disney production at the time - and I wouldn't be surprised if most of that went towards the sets and matte paintings. As a result, and while the stilted acting except for Schell may be to blame, the scenery chews the performers a bit. The special effects are nothing to scoff at either, but their bad science works against them. When it comes down to it, the black hole is about as scientifically accurate as the wormhole in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

There are a few positives that do not have corresponding faults, the first being the ending.
WARNING: spoilers below
A likely attempt to give the 2001: A Space Odyssey warp sequence a run for its money, it's trippy, open to interpretation and may be the most daring sequence Disney allowed filmmakers to get away with. My own interpretation: like the Nazis opening the ark at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark, entering the wormhole is a move that compels God to act, condemning Dr. Reinhardt to Hell and to be encased by Maximillian - symbolic of him putting science first and humanity second - and sending an angel to guide what remains of crew of the Palomino to safety.
Oh, and John Barry's foreboding score is spectacular. Again, even though I'm compelled to qualify each good thing about the movie with a "but...," I like it on the whole. Its Frankenstein-like lessons about the dangers of scientific discovery that has no moral or human foundations still linger. Had Disney not tried to ride Star Wars' coattails so much and let it have more of its own identity, its big investment just may have paid off a little more because it had the potential to do so. Oh, and getting the science right would have helped, too.



Black Hole is one that I've been wanting to revisit forever. I sort of liked it as a kid, had picture books and so on, but never fully embraced it.

it tries to do crowd-pleasing space opera ŕ la Star Wars and hard sci-fi ŕ la 2001: A Space Odyssey at the same time.
I think it's the latter bit that was my sticking point. (Didn't quite latch on to ST:tMP either.)
I remember thinking long stretches of it were dull (at age 8). Your review sounds about what I'd expect it to be, but I still want to give it a go. If I ever join Disney+ I guarantee this will be viewed within the first week.



I had Black Hole trading cards as a kid, which I loved. But I've never seen so much as one minute of the movie. Not even a trailer.



Young Sherlock Holmes was a stone classic for me as a child. One of those movies I probably watched dozens and dozens of times.



I've only watched it once as an adult, and I was still fond of it, but it is as slight as one might suspect a kid-centric Sherlock Holmes story to be.



Most of the effects are still wonderful though. Back when such things could be charming enough to carry a movie, and were not purely empty wank.