Thursday, March 17, 2011

R.I.P Michael Gough (1917-2011)

In case you have not yet heard, the legendary actor Michael Gough died today at the age of 94. He was one of the last Horror Movie actors from the golden age of horror.
He stared in such movies as Hammer horrors 1958`s HORROR OF DRACULA in which he played the character Arthur. He was also acted along side Boris Karloff and Christopher Lee in the phenomenal 1968 film CURSE OF THE CRIMSON ALTER. Other memorable roles of his include that of the Occult Auctioneer in THE SKULL and the Mad Scientist Dr.Charles Decker in  1961s KONGA.
Then of course his later roles were that of the kindly butler Alfred in all four of the 90s Batman movies. Then he played Notary Hardenbrook in the great 1999 SLEEPY HOLLOW movie. His last role was that of the Dodo Bird in last years ALICE IN WONDERLAND, which I am happy to say was a good final film for him and i`m just happy I was able to see it in theaters when it came out.

 It always sadness me to see a great actor like him pass away, but unfortunately it happens. So in honor of him tonight I will watch some of his movies and put up some reviews of them very soon.

R.I.P Michael Gough "The world will always acknowledge your greatness"



Saturday, March 12, 2011

Before I Hang (1940)

Genre: Horror, Mad Scientist

Source: My Own Collection

Grade: C

I know for a fact we have all have had one of those movies that you hear about or read about and that you then end up really wanting to see, but when you actually see it ends up really not being that amazing, in fact it ends up being a pretty sore disappointment. Well thats kinda how this movie ended up being for me, I had read about and thought it sounded like one of the best Boris Karloff movies ever, but alas upon my initial viewing of it I was severely let down. Overall I had expected the movie to deliver more of a  "punch" but it just didn't deliver that. So by the end of the movie I was thinking "was that it"?

Now before you get the impression i`m going to spout off on a tangent i`d like to say this movie did have some pluses. Such as the awesome performance put in by Boris Karloff, he plays his role with such style that he makes the character a sympathetic yet demented mad scientist. Edward Van Sloan even puts in a good performance as the doctor who helps Boris out at the Beginning, in case you don`t know who that is he played Van Helsing in Universals Dracula and he played the leader of the spy ring in 1939`s The Phantom Creeps. Though I noted this was one of his last major films were he was credited in and since his days on Dracula he had grown a bit pudgy and lost a lot of the facial features that he had when he played Van Helsing in Dracula. Then this movie was also very well directed, I was impressed with the uses of shadows and mist. So at least it had a some what decent atmosphere.

Now with that said, the main problem I had with  this movie was I felt it was way to rushed. Characters didn't develop,and there was not very much suspense other then like two scenes. It seemed to me like the film makers were just trying to rush the movie along at way to fast a rate.Next the script had the potential of being awesome, but it wasn`t! There was just so many things the writer could have added to make this movie stupendous, but of course they didn't. Then all the actors who played cops and prison guards were incredibly bland giving there characters no unique traits. Finally the films ending was not horrible but not very memorable,basically the script was just a little two-bit script with a not so memorable ending. Then If I were trying to get someone into these types of movies I would definitely not show them Before I Hang.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Remake Vs Original #1 Invasion Of The Body Snatchers

    1956 Version                         VS                           1978 Version              
  Starting with the original 1956 version, this one takes on a very dominate Science Fiction style story and sticks to it, while on the other hand the remake kept wondering between a Horror style and a Science Fiction style story. I also would like to comment on how the original was shoot in Black and White, giving it a errie nightmarish tone that the color remake completely lacked. Though I must compliment the casting choices of the remake, Donald Sutherland as Dr.Bennell was an excellent choice,but of course I still preferred Kevin McCarthy as Dr.Bennell from the original by a long shot. Of course the cameo Kevin McCarthy is given in the remake was awesome, funny, and one of the most appropriate cameos i`ve ever seen. Plus since i`m a huge Leonard Nimoy fan  I was natural very pleased with the role they gave him in the remake .Then respectively Jeff Goldblum and Brooke Adams were well casted in their roles in the remake. 

The next thing about these movies that are different is the endings. Now which one you personally prefer is completely up to your on preference in movies.I personally liked both endings even though they were quite different from each other.For example the original takes on a happier ending, but it was one of those happy endings that came at sad price, were he was the only one who ended up surviving the whole thing. In the remake its a completely opposite ending  basically everyone dies and the "Bodysnathcers" win bring an end to the human race as we know it, but the final scene in the movie were you find that out is unforgettable.

     So in conclusion this was a very well made remake that lives up to the cult status of the original. Its very well casted with some of my all time favorite actors like Leonard Nimoy, Donald Sutherland, and Brooke Adams in staring roles, plus a great cameo incorporation of Kevin McCarthy.Though I really didn't like the way they switched the setting in the remake, rather than putting it in the small town atmosphere of the original they put it in the big city atmosphere. Which honestly just killed the eerie atmosphere for me, the original is superior atmosphere wise by a long shot because of that. Then finally like I said before the remake takes on a more Horror aspect but keeps a Science Fiction. While the original is just a straight up Science Fiction movie. Now in my personal preference i`m more inclined to prefer the Science Fiction take on the story as opposed to the Horror take that Remake went with, the Science Fiction one was just more fitting in my eyes. 

So My take: EXCELLENT REMAKE, but I still prefer the original over this one any day for a variety of reasons.