Thursday, December 29, 2005

Today's giant bug movie called "Cosmic Monsters", a.k.a. "The Strange World of Planet X", from way back in 1952. You haven't heard of it because it's mostly a lot of talk, and only delivers the giant bugs in the last act. Also, it's British. Mad scientist damages Earth's magnetic field, allowing cosmic rays to hit the earth. As a result, bugs and lizards grow to "gigantic" proportions and start ravaging the fair English countryside. Until the local authorities show up with guns and shoot them darn bugs. Then a benevolent alien steps in and has his remote-control UFO whack the mad scientist, and we all live happily ever after.

Pretty run-of-the-mill, but it gets points for openly acknowledging the tired cliche (already, in 1952) of the token icy female scientist, and making her cute and French instead. Also, the male "protagonist" is supposed to be Canadian, which is mildly unusual. Also, I like the bit where a large egg of unknown origin is discovered, and the scientists' advice is to go back to the kitchen and hard-boil the thing ASAP. I think this explains a great deal about English cuisine.

"Beginning of the End" is better overall, the photography is surprisingly good, and the DVD audio commentary is kind of interesting. I would dare to say this is the best locusts-eating-Chicago film that's ever been made, and that would be saying a lot if any others existed.

On the other hand, "Sting of Death" (which I saw recently) is quite a poor film, despite the big airboat chase in the Everglades, and the highly amusing jellyfish-man effects. You'll get most of what you need by watching the last 10 minutes or so. Although if you're really hard up for campiness you might look for the musical numbers as well, which feature songs and even a personal appearance by the legendary Neil Sedaka. Yes, you read that right.

Meanwhile, in more timely news, the 2005 Golden Turkeys are out, and Guy Ritchie (Mr. Madonna) wins big! I haven't seen a single movie on their top 10 list, which makes me rather proud. As a token contrary opinion, this blog posting argues that "Alone in the Dark" is one of the worst movies ever, right up there with Ed Wood's ouevre. Which just tells me that the author a.) lacks a proper historical perspective, and b.) doesn't realize that there have been far worse filmmakers than Ed Wood; for all his faults, his work holds your interest, which is more than you can say for many filmmakers of that era.

No comments :