Pulpy sci-fi 50's and 60's ( even earlier ) "B" movies...

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Gary Tooze, Nov 23, 2001.

  1. Gary Tooze

    Gary Tooze Producer

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    GUILTY PLEASURE ADMISSON:
    I watched "The Angry Red Planet" the other night and was pretty disappointed. It was not what I had hoped.
    My biggest guilty pleasure is pulpy sc-fi 50's and 60's ( even earlier ) "B" movies... One of my favorite laserdiscs is "This Island Earth" which I deem to be one of the best of the genre... I am hoping that "The Day the Earth Stood Still" will come out someday soon on DVD... If anyone can recommend other similar films I would be appreciative... On DVD, I own "Flash Gordon: Space Soldiers" and have recently bought "Flash Gordon: Trip to Mars" and "Flash Gordon: Conquers the Universe", I find it really cool to watch a chapter or two prior to showing a main feature...
    I have considered buying "Forbidden Planet" which I have seen many times, but just have not got around to it... I would almost lump the Japanese Godzilla flics into this GP... Does anyone recommend the Quatermass stuff on DVD ? Are there ones I should definitely avoid ? Thanx.
    BTW, "Yes", I own "Fiend Without a Face"... and "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea", "Day the Earth Caught Fire"... would like "Journey to the Center of the Earth" to come out too one day soon...
     
  2. Roland Wandinger

    Roland Wandinger Stunt Coordinator

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    You should also get the "Invaders From Mars (1953)" LD which has a much better transfer than the DVD and more extras too.

    Some favorites of mine are:

    The Golden Age Of Science-Fiction Vol. 1 and 2.

    These include:

    Tarantula

    It Came From Outer Space

    The Deadly Mantis

    The Mole People

    The Leech Woman

    Monster On The Campus

    The Land That Time Forgot

    The Monolith Monsters

    These are also planed for release on DVD soon I think.

    ...and let's not forget the original "The Thing".

    I don't like the Quatermass movies that much. Too european for me - they can't come close to the US made movies IMO although there are some good ones.
     
  3. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Gary:

    I don't think it's quite fair to lump such classics as Robert Wise's The Day the Earth Stood Still and Fred Wilcox's Forbidden Planet in the "guilty pleasures" or "pulpy" category. These are both among the five or six greatest science-fiction films ever made.

    The Day the Earth Stood Still is in production now for a 2002 release. According to hints and tempting morsels of information doled out to us by Peter Staddon, the DVD will be an all-out special edition, and it will include a commentary track by Mr. Wise.

    I'd even consider elevating This Island Earth out of the guilty-pleasures ghetto, as well.

    The films in Roland's post are excellent examples of the 1950s B-classics genre. They're fun, low-budget films that are great for screening on a Friday night--if they were ever to arrive on DVD.

    Also consider Rocketship XM, which is already on DVD.

    Another good film to include in such a list is Them!
     
  4. Gary Tooze

    Gary Tooze Producer

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    I agree Jack... I was mistaken.

    I guess I am just hoping aganist hope to seek out more like "This Island Earth" and "The Day The Earth Stood Still", and I am coming up with more "Angry Red Planet" 's... My first choice are the "good" SC--fi 50's films, but I enjoy them so much I am willing to try many of the others... and they can be sub-par... but their innocence at the time they are made is also a very desirable trait making you willing to forgive many production details... sigh. I think my real GP is trying to obtain more Forbidden Planet's... and then enjoying the others to a varying degree because of the similarity... even being lessor cousins...

    Thanks for the info on DtESS, I will be looking forward to that next year... and will consider picking up Rocketship XM on your reference...

    Cheers,
     
  5. Adam Tyner

    Adam Tyner Screenwriter

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    You might enjoy MGM's DVD release of It! The Terror From Beyond Space.
     
  6. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Adam, I didn't know that was on DVD! Shows how out of touch I've been lately. I didn't even buy any of the home-theater magazines last month. But I want It!
     
  7. Bill McA

    Bill McA Producer

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    Unfortunately Gary, many of these great films are not yet available on DVD, although a few are in the works!
    The Forbidden Planet disc looks pretty crappy, nothing like the film should look like...a good candidate for a Lowry Digital cleanup!
    The Hammer Quatermass films are great especially the third and last Quatermass and the Pit, although they are not quite as 'pulpy' as the films you mentioned (they take their sci-fi seriously, as do some of the other films mentioned below).
    The b/w Quatermass II is also quite good and the first Quatermass Xperiment (aka Creeping Unknown) should be an upcoming Midnight Madness disc from MGM.
    Just out are the '60's 2 Dr. Who films (Dr. Who and the Daleks & Daleks - Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.) available separately or as a 3-pack with a Dr. Who documentary.
    Also available are War of the Worlds, Creature From the Black Lagoon, the 1958 The Fly/Return of the Fly double feature disc, The 4D Man, The Man With X-Ray Eyes and the really bizarre 1968 Hammer film The Lost Continent...about a cruise ship, lost worlds, the Spanish Inquisition and big noisy crab & shrimp-like monsters!
    More recent titles that are '50's & '60's sci-fi films at heart, that you might enjoy include:
    Village of the Damned, John Carpenter's fun (and much-maligned, but I like it!) remake of the '60's classic.
    Westworld
    Logan's Run
    Empire of the Ants (just so cheesy!)
    Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Phil Kaufman's pretty good 1978 remake.
    The Black Hole, Disney's big-budget sci-fi Jules Verne/kiddy flick combo.
    Altered States, a fun and fast-talking Ken Russell LSD-fest.
    Brainstorm, Christopher Walken actually playing a normal person!
    Strange Invaders, a great'50's style film.
    Flash Gordon, the camp 1980 remake now OOP. I heard that St. Petersburg (Ruscico) were working on a DVD release of this???
    and of course, there is always the facinating diaper-wearing Sean Connery epic, Zardoz.
    As for Godzilla films, you might enjoy the 1990's Toho Godzilla films:
    Godzilla & Mothra Battle for Earth/Godzilla vs Ghidora double feature (unfortunately in P&S)
    Godzilla vs Space Godzilla/Godzilla vs Destroyah double feature (this is the one in which Godzilla actually dies).
    Rebirth of Mothra/Rebirth of Mothra II double feature.
    Godzilla 2000
    The new Godzilla and Mothra (as well as Gamera) movies all look and sound terrific with modern special-effects, yet still retain the appeal of the original films (unlike the U.S. remake).
     
  8. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    If you like Flash Gordon, you may want to seek out Undersea Kingdom. It's heaps of fun, and would probably go just as well before features (great idea, BTW). It seems to be OOP as far as places like Amazon goes, but you might be able to find it by looking in the Roan Group section of Troma's website.
     
  9. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Producer

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    A few other titles worth mentioning include When Worlds Collide, Things To Come, Destination Moon, and Kronos.
    Glenn Erickson ( a.k.a. The DVD Savant ) has articles on all of these films at the following listing of reviews
    ( Jack & Gary - agreed about placing The Day The Earth Stood Still & Forbidden Planet in a different category from the other films listed in this thread. Especially Mr. Wise's excellent film which is one of the classics of the genre. Really looking forward to the SE release in 2002. )
    - Walter.
     

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