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August 2020 In Review

Thanks to number 2 son, Kirk, I’ve been spending plenty of time watching westerns and some Robert Mitchum features as he broadens his own film knowledge and checks if I’d like to sit in on some of his picks. I did miss a couple but then the Stanley Cup Playoffs have been on and in Canada, winning the cup means everything to those of us who grew up playing the game but were not good enough to make the pros.

On to the round up…..

Life on the Line (2015) – John Travolta heroics working the electrical lines that allow us all to keep the lights on. Passable I suppose.

Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977) – Ray Harryhausen films never fail to bring out the child that still lives within me. The worlds he created on film are still as magical as ever.

Bend of the River (1952) – Another of the Jimmy Stewart/Anthony Mann westerns that are required viewing.

The Girl In Black Stockings – That would be the sexy Mamie Van Doren.

Murders In the Rue Morgue (1986) O.K. TV production of the Poe story with George C. Scott, Ian McShane and a young Val Kilmer starring.

The Wasp Woman (1959) – Roger Corman fun now out on blu ray via Scream Factory.

Against the Dark (2009) I’m embarrassed to admit I watched this even if I did frequently use the FF button.

Valdez Is Coming – Burt Lancaster rides out looking for justice …. at all costs.

The Man From Laramie (1955) – Is this the best of the Stewart/Mann westerns? Might be.

Night Passage (1957) – Kirk and I even checked out the proposed Stewart/Mann western that the director dropped out of. Not as memorable but still a good western with a heck of a cast.

The Last Hunter (1980) War time fun from exploitation king Antonio Margheriti.

The Proud Rebel – previously featured Alan Ladd/Olivia De Havilland favorite.

Hercules and the Moon Men (1964) Sometimes you just need a good dose of peplum.

A Trio of Al Adamson – low budget specials.

Creepshow 2 (1987) Cracked open the new blu ray from Arrow Video. A fun revisit but nowhere near as good as the first film.

The Savages (1974) TV Movie with Andy Griffith in fine form as a psychotic looking to cover up a killing by leaving his guide to die in the desert.

The Evil of Frankenstein – Another title I featured previously but thanks to a new blu ray from Scream Factory ….

Man of the West (1958) Superior western with Gary Cooper stepping in for Jimmy Stewart in this rugged Anthony Mann western.

Six Black Horses – Audie Murphy and Dan Duryea make this a worth while viewing.

Winchester (2018) – Helen Mirren stars in this haunted mansion thriller based on true events that wasn’t bad but I’ll admit to wishing it was better.

Maniac (1963) A twisting tale of terror from Hammer during their Hitchcock period.

Dear Dead Delilah – Agnes Moorehead and an axe murderer are in the spotlight for this 70’s drive-in special.

Fun In Acapulco (1963) Remembering the King on August 16th.

A Fistful of Dollars (1964) Every 10 years or so I go back to what was really the beginning for Sergio, Ennio, Clint and the Spaghetti Western.

Farewell, My Lovely (1975) Robert Mitchum as Philip Marlowe is a match made in heaven. Great cast surrounds “The Mitch” in this one.

The Big Sleep (1978) Again it’s Mitchum as Marlowe in a star studded affair. no where near as bad as some claim and when I see Mitch sharing the screen with Oliver Reed you just know I’m gonna like it.

P.O.W. The Escape – New blu ray release has me revisiting this David Carradine effort that I had previously spotlighted.

Flood (1976) Disaster film from Irwin Allen released as a TV Movie so not quite the big name cast we’re used to but plenty of “faces” turn up we all know and love. Meaning Roddy McDowall, Cameron Mitchell and Teresa Wright among others.

Devil Girl From Mars (1954) Far better than I expected and not sure why it’s taken me so long to get to this British take on the sci-fi craze.

Chase a Crooked Shadow – Is Anne Baxter’s brother really alive as Richard Todd would have us believe? A fun mystery.

The Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake (1959) A nifty B thriller with shrunken heads and Henry Daniell.

Non-Stop (2014) – Catching up on this Liam Neeson thriller that sees our hero trying to find a killer on board an airplane with plenty of plot twists to keep us reaching for the oxygen masks.

And Then There Were None (1945)When we get Barry Fitzgerald and Walter Huston verbally sparring, it’s a time to rejoice. First rate adaptation of the Ten Little Indians story from Agatha Christie.

The Vineyard (1989) The lovable James Hong directs and stars in this low budget horror flick that finds him playing a fiend who stays young thanks to a potion he has concocted with some key ingredients from a few lovelies he keeps chained up in the shed.

The Haunted Strangler – Boris Karloff returns to familiar territory in this English shocker.

Point Blank (1967) Lee Marvin out for revenge? John Boorman’s must see with Lee playing Walker, the same character later enacted by Mel Gibson and Jason Statham. But let’s be honest, nobody can match Marvin’s ferocious yet largely silent performance.

For a Few Dollars More (1965) Yes it’s Clint and Lee but have you taken the time to really watch the performance by Gian Maria Volonte? A wonderful turn as the heavy that our two bounty hunters are looking to take down.

Stay safe everyone and to do so, why not just stay home and revisit an old favorite from yesteryear. 

9 Comments »

  1. What a round up my friend, all sorts of varied genres visited and enjoyed. I’ve never been a Hockey fan to be honest, but I remember in grade school hoping the Flyers win when they made the playoffs. I never knew James Hong directed a feature film, that’s really cool. Has a mixture of Countess Bathory, Dr. Orloff, and the Leach Woman all rolled up into one to it.

  2. Bonkers list as always Mike!
    I need to see these
    The Jimmy Stewart/Anthony Mann westerns.
    Maniac (1963) sounds very interesting.
    Fancy seeing how Mitch does The Big Sleep esp after only recently seeing the Bogie one.

    I desperate to watch The Good, The Bad and The Ugly with my son but the 3hr runtime is difficult to pin him down for.
    I’m guessing that will be on next months watch list for you and your crew? The Fistful films are so amazing.
    Point Blank is a massive wolfie fav

    • Yes I’m going thru the Leone westerns after picking up the Kino blu ray set of all 5 films. The Mann films are first rate and just last night Kirk and I watched his Noir gem T-Men. I guess we’ll continue on our Mann journey. Raw Deal up next. A 1948 classic. Mitch makes a great Marlowe in those 2 films. Of course most anything with Lee Marvin should be a Wolfie fave.

      • Going through Mann’s films I’ve done pretty well on his titles over my blogging years.
        Raw Deal, Side Street, T-Men, Men In War and The Naked Spur to name a few and many high recommends from your good self sir during that time 🙂

  3. I can’t believe you watched ‘Savages’…I didn’t think anyone else knew about that one! I watched it as a kid on TV, and thought it was cool. My Dad told me about the book it was based on, called Deathwatch…also very cool. I found the film on-line, so I’ll be watching it again soon. And Devil Girl from Mars looks like B-grade fun…and The Wasp Woman IS B-grade fun!

    • A good movie and it’s funny how Andy Griffith wound up as a villain in plenty of 70’s flicks following his stint in Mayberry. I’ve yet to see it but Savages was remade not long ago with Michael Douglas called Beyond the Reach.

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