Movie Review: The Brain from Planet Arous

(1957)
Directed by Nathan Juran
Starring John Agar, Joyce Meadows, Robert Fuller, Thomas Browne Henry

During my time working at a movie theater, It Came from Hollywood (1982) played there, which was sort of like a pre-MST3K concept, with comedians like Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, and a few others, making jokes over scenes of different cheesy movies. There were a ton of titles that I saw little bits of for the first time there, The Brain from Planet Arous being one of them.

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Movie Review: The Deadly Mantis

(1957)
Directed by Nathan Juran
Starring Craig Stevens, William Hopper, Alix Talton, Donald Randolph, Pat Conway,
Florenz Ames, Paul Smith, Phil Harvey

“One of the worst SF films made by Universal.”

The above quote is from writer/film critic/historian Bill Warren. Granted, he makes a lot of valid points in criticism, but as much as I respect him and his work, I have to completely disagree with him on this one. Out of all the ’50s giant monster flicks, The Deadly Mantis remains one of my favorites. Maybe it comes down to the simple fact that I think this is one of the best looking creatures in these films. Or that I fondly remember this one as a kid and it has always stuck in my head. And I will say, that while Warren, and a lot of others, refer to this as a science fiction picture, let us get one thing perfectly clear. When you have a giant monster attacking cities and killing people, that right there, my friends, is horror, plain and simple. Continue reading

Book Review: Interviews Too Shocking to Print!

interviewstooshockingInterviews Too Shocking to Print!
Published by BearManor Media, 2014. 332 pages.
By Justin Humphreys

Right off the bat, let me say that if you’re expecting a but of unedited and sorid tales of Hollywood that couldn’t be printed before, you will be disappointed. The title of the book refers to the old fashion ballyhoo that B-movies used to use in hopes to draw a crowd. That being said, I think this book should draw the crowd because it is simply a must read for anybody interested in the horror and sci-fi genre and the people behind them.

I have quite a few “interview” books in my library and at least half of them cover the usual suspects in the movie industry. Not saying that is a bad thing, but we tend to read the same stories, as well as the people being covered are ones that we are usually very familiar with. But what Humphreys does with this book is put the spotlight on more than a few names that have made huge strides in the industry, but are names that you don’t typically hear being brought up, which is a damn shame. Thankfully, with this book, hopefully that can change.

Humphreys started interviewing some of these talents at the early age of 15 years of age, so right away it shows his diehard passion for these kind of films. Throughout his career, he befriended a lot of these people in the industry and is now trying to give them the credit they most assuredly deserves. And even if quite a few of them that are covered here have already passed away, learning about them and their work is the best way to keep them alive. And Humphreys has done a wonderful job doing just that.

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