Seriously when you have over 13000 movies catalogued and ready to choose from, it’s sometimes rather daunting to settle on one. You know, the kid in the candy store routine?
Not only is this my year in review where I highlight some of the more memorable movies I’ve seen over the course of the last twelve months but it’s also the 2001st article/post that I’ve published here at Mike’s Take. Having just celebrated my 8th anniversary on December 21st, that’s an average of 250 reviews, galleries and spotlights yearly.
My first spotlight was on the 1968 B flick, The Devil’s 8. All I had to say was a lowly 55 words on the film as I began to craft and grow what I was hoping for when beginning my journey into the blogging world. Now I have a hard time cutting myself off at 1000 words which is kind of where I like to be on film spotlights.
I sure do hope that 2021 treated you all well and that you and your loved ones made it through the year unscathed just as mine did. For that I am truly thankful. Surely 2022 will be a banner year for us all and with a little luck I’ll make a return visit to a favorite film festival of mine south of the border in Pennsylvania this coming summer after missing it two years in a row.
Now on to some highlights over the course of 2021 that I’d like to randomly toss out for your consideration after having watched by my count a total of 528 films this year with less than 48 hours to go before we ring in 2022. I’ve broken them down into 4 categories…..
New to me titles that I’d like to bring your attention to include ….. The H-Man (1958), Whiplash (2014), Sad Hill Unearthed (2017), The Song of Songs (1933), Shock Treatment (1972), School For Scoundrels (1960), Detective Bureau 2-3 : Go To Hell Bastards (1963), Outlaw Gangster VIP (1968) , Outlaw Gangster VIP 2 (1968), Outlaw : Heartless (1968), Goro the Assassin (1968), Outlaw : Black Dagger (1968) and Outlaw : Kill (1969)The Children (1980), The Imitation Game (2014), Female (1933), The Frighteners (1990), Let Him Go (2020), The Ambulance (1990), The Web (1947), Touchez pas au grisbi (1954), Too Many Husbands (1940) that saw Jean Arthur married to both Melvyn Douglas and Fred MacMurray.
Rediscoveries of movies I’d kind of forgotten about or perhaps never appreciated all that much the first time around ….. Anatomy of a Murder (1959), Raw Deal (1948), He Walked By Night (1948), The Scarlet Empress (1934), The Snorkel (1958), Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964), Supernatural (1933), Sweet Smell of Success (1957), The China Syndrome (1979), Ministry of Fear (1944), Hugo (2011), The Rover (1967), Cocoon (1985), The Hellbenders (1967), The Stone Killer (1973), Pickup On South Street (1953), White Lightning (1973), The War Lord (1965) and The Bells of St. Mary’s (1945) in which I was reminded of just how captivating Ingrid Bergman is on screen seen here opposite Bing Crosby who was the biggest star in the world at the time of this production.
Old favorites I love to revisit that come with my highest recommendations included … Mystery Of the Wax Museum (1933), Out of the Past (1947), The Big Heat (1953), Black Sunday (1960), Ed Wood (1994), Mysterious Island (1961), The Howling (1981), Pray For the Wildcats (1974), Burnt Offerings (1976), The Fourth War (1990), The Big Lebowski (1998), Lon Chaney Inner Sanctum Series of 6 movies – Calling Dr. Death/Weird Woman/Dead Man’s Eyes/Strange Conflict/Pillow of Death/Frozen Ghost, Action Jackson (1988), Step Brothers (2008), The Raven (1963), The Black Room (1935), The Man With Nine Lives (1940), The Raven (1935), The Law and Jake Wade (1958), 4D Man (1959), The Black Cat (1934), Son of Dracula (1943), The Comedy of Terrors (1964), Daughters of Darkness (1971), The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), Crossed Swords (1977), Welcome Stranger (1947), Going My Way (1944), The Green Slime (1968), The Jerk (1979), Escape From New York (1983), The Great Escape (1963) and Big Jake (1971).
And then we come to guilty pleasures (usually horror flicks) that are generally frowned upon by critics with their nose in the air that I’ve always found enjoyment in include ….. Bride of the Monster (1956), The Living Corpse aka Dracula In Pakistan (1967), The Brotherhood of Satan (1971), Death Machines (1976), Dracula Vs. Frankenstein (1971), Byleth, The Demon of Incest (1973), Ninja III : The Domination (1984), The Howling II (1985), Savage Dawn (1984), Death Wish 3 (1985), The Mole People (1956), It Conquered the World (1956), Frankenstein’s Bloody Terror (1968), Gwendoline (1984), Blades (1989) and how about a Bogie lookalike solving The French Sex Murders (1972). No fooling….
Oh and I almost forgot what I’m really trying hard to forget…. does that make sense? Dishonorable mention goes to the following for the time I’ve lost and can never recover ………. The Treasure of Jamaica Reef (1974), The New Barbarians (1983), Eternal Evil (1985), Vice Academy Trilogy (1988/90/91), Deep Blood (1990), Fatal Exam (1990), Possession (1981) I know I know, this one has fans but this was my first watch and I didn’t know what the hell was going on. And finally, Swamp Country (1966). None of these deserve an accompanying photo.
I also embarked on what I called the Silent Film Project where I watched one silent movie per month. More on that in a separate wrap up.
Just how many Hammer films can a man watch in one year? Let’s see if we can answer that … X, The Unknown (1956), The Vampire Lovers (1970), The Snorkel (1958), The Camp on Blood Island (1958), The Full Treatment (1960), Terror of the Tongs (1961), The Mummy’s Shroud (1967), Frankenstein Created Woman (1967), Yesterday’s Enemy (1959), The Stranglers of Bombay (1959), The Reptile (1966), Four Sided Triangle (1953), The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958), The Brides of Dracula (1960), Dracula Has Risen From the Grave (1968), Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970), A Taste of Fear (1961), The Witches (1966), The Horror of Frankenstein (1970), She (1965). Ursula Andress never looked better. Total of 20.
Top 5 postings people dropped in to read at Mike’s Take…..
One of my biggest highlights of the year was to have Charles Bronson historian Paul Talbot join me for a Q&A on the legendary tough guy.
Yes my collection of both movies and movie posters continues to grow though I did slow down with the poster collecting but that was mainly due to the closures of memorabilia shows where I sometimes find a one sheet or lobby card that I just have to have. Still I did score a few and had this 1968 Where Eagles Dare linen backed thus bringing it back to life.
I also scored an original 2001 3 Sheet which I would say was in fine shape minus a tear in the bottom third. It is currently being linen backed to preserve it. I’m eagerly awaiting it’s return.
When it comes to movies I’ll still direct the collectors to companies like Kino Lorber, Indicator, Severin, Arrow, Vinegar Syndrome, Imprint, Shout/Scream Factory, Mondo Macabro, Eureka!, Code Red, Vestron and Dark Force Entertainment among others. Wisely many of these companies realize it’s all in the presentation and packaging. Here’s a collage of some of this year’s highlights.
When it comes to collecting I had a hilarious letdown at securing an action figure this year. I guess this is why I’ve never really gotten into collecting dolls. Have a look at my adventure.
And let’s not forget to give a BIG shout out to the folks at TCM for keeping classic movies alive.
What have I learned this year? Well I did watch 2001 : A Space Odyssey and The Green Slime back to back and I came away realizing I’d much rather watch Richard Jaeckel take on The Green Slime vs. 2001 any day of the week.
What’s in store for 2022? More of the same I guess with this new look that I’ve introduced to close the year out. It’s been 5 years since I tinkered with the look of Mike’s Take so I felt it was time. Let me know what you think. I do intend to watch a bunch of Tim Holt westerns. I recently came across a book on his career by David Rothel and since I’ve been collecting his “B” westerns via showings on TCM the acquisition of this book has given me the nudge to dive into them for 2022.
A BIG thankyou to all who visit either regularly or on occasion and I’d like to wish each and everyone of you all the best moving forward and that 2022 brings you both happiness and good health.
Hope to hear from you all soon.