What was the last movie you saw?

"Know why you couldn't figure this one, Keyes? I'll tell ya. 'Cause the guy you were looking for was too close. Right across the desk from ya."

"Closer than that, Walter."

I am very fond of this.
I saw it when it came out.
For a low budget film it has a lot of star power and very good cinematography.
The trailer is well made too.

High School Students Get Mixed Up In Crime Double Feature:

Live Fast, Die Young (1958)

Our teenage femme fatale runs away from home, where she lives with her hardworking older sister and unemployed father. Mom ran off with a salesman some time ago. Pretty soon a couple of tough dames teach her to be a B-girl, getting guys drunk and robbing them blind. She's a straight A student, progressing to stealing a car from a drunk, then getting involved with professional crooks planning a big robbery of a shipment of diamonds at a post office.

Meanwhile, big sister leaves home as well, looking for little sister. She has her own adventures along the way, getting attacked by a lecherous guy who gives her a ride, being helped by some hoboes and an unwed mother, and running into a young woman and a couple of young guys who run a scam where the woman flirts with the target and then one of the guy beats him up, pretending to be her jealous boyfriend so she can rob the target blind in the meantime.

There's a lot of plot in this thing! It turns into a heist movie near the end. Will big sister make little sister give up her wicked ways?

Not a bad film. Notable for the contrast between little sister, who is outrageously seductive when working on her target, and big sister, who hates and fears men because of what one of her father's friends did to her when she was fifteen.

The Big Night (1960)

Teenage boy and girl witness a car chase, as the cops chase some bank robbers, shooting a couple of them dead after the crooks toss a bag full of loot over a bridge. The boy finds the cash, which seems to have the magical effect of turning him from a likely dropout to a serious student. It also changes the attitude of the mother of his upper class girlfriend from hostile to friendly, because now he has nice clothes, a job, and a car. Meanwhile, the surviving crook and a crooked ex-cop (Jesse White, stealing the picture as the superficially friendly guy following the surviving crook) are both after the cash. Will the boy escape these two, and will the girl convince him to give back the money?

Not a great film. Moves pretty slowly, pretty bland acting (except for White), and begins and ends with a really lousy title song. On the positive side, location filming in Venice, California, well past the city's prime, adds some grittiness.
Obscure, Slow-Burning, PG-Rated Supernatural Chillers Of The 1970's That Make Use Of Local Color, Start With Black Magic Ceremonies, And End Ambiguously Double Feature:

Dark August (1976)

Starts with an elderly man chanting what appears to be a curse. Cut to our main character. We eventually learn that this fellow accidentally killed the young granddaughter of the old man in a car accident. The ensuing curse takes the form of what seem to be panic attacks, one of them resulting in a saw seriously cutting the leg of a friend. The victim enlists the aid of a local New Age kind of spiritualist/magician type, played by Kim Hunter, the only famous name in the film. Violence follows, and an odd ending. Filmed in the area of Stowe, Vermont. It often seems as if we're just overhearing and spying on the characters, as there's a lot of mundane happenings and dialogue along with the weirdness.

Mirrors (1978)

Starts with what seems to be a voodoo cult (of the Hollywood kind) saying something about replacing a departed member. Cut to a young married couple on vacation in New Orleans. She has weird visions, particularly when gazing in (you guessed it) mirrors. He soon dies of an asthma attack. The bereaved widow has a mental breakdown, understandably; but are her visions just hallucinations, or is something strange going on? Odd things happen, notably a dog jumping into a swimming pool and drowning while she's at a party and having one of her visions. A physician becomes involved, leading to a peculiar ending with a freeze frame of the woman. Lots of scenes of the colorful parts of New Orleans.

Both films are very slow and are mild enough to almost be made-for-TV movies. (The first has a tiny amount of blood and nudity, the second none at all.) Hardly thrilling, but may be of some interest as examples of (very) quiet horror.
Hitchcock (2012)

Deals with the making of Psycho and the director's personal life. Fantasy sequences showing Hitchcock with Ed Gein add another level to the film. Very nicely filmed and acted. (The guy who plays Anthony Perkins only has a small part, but he really nails it.) I'm glad Anthony Hopkins didn't make his portrayal into a caricature. (The real Hitchcock, as seen on his TV program, was much more of a self parody.) Recommended.
The Neanderthal Man (1953)

I thought I had seen this cheap little Creature Feature before, but I must have been thinking of Monster on the Campus (1958) instead. Mad Scientist is mocked by his colleagues for his hypothesis that Neanderthal Man was as intelligent as modern humans. Not that controversial, I'd think, but I'm not a scientist.

He uses a serum to transform a kitty cat into a saber-toothed tiger (played by an ordinary tiger, without the long teeth, in medium shots, and a stuffed tiger head with the long teeth in closeups. I didn't know Smilodon had retractable fangs.)

He also partly transforms his deaf-mute servant. (This is seen only in photographs.) There's some explanation about how the serum doesn't work too well on females.

Naturally, he injects himself with the stuff and turns into the Wolfman Mister Hyde a Neanderthal Man and goes on a killing spree. (So much for the "just as intelligent" hypothesis.) It's up to our movie's Good Guy Scientist and the Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter to try to save him from himself before the cops hunt him down.

Pretty bad stuff. The most unbelievable premise is that the Mad Scientist, who is always rude to everybody, has a beautiful, loving fiancée.
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MADHOUSE 1974- Vincent Price's last starring role I think is actually a pretty good send off (for the most part--it is kind of crude and chaotic, curious what the source novel Devil Day is like). I prefer it to Theater of Blood -even though it is a less classy affair, it is more logical swan song for him. He literally sings at the end of it!
Blood of Nostradamus 1962 this series ends w/ the demise of MC Nostradamus, but hunchback Leo really steals this one. At one point Nostradamus calls Leo Nick, which is a bit edited in from an earlier episode; there's also other bits seen before but anyway - the Profs. special electrostatic tube finally arrives in the mail. and his machine works, causing the Nostro-bat to fly straight into a wall. There's a longish violin perfrormance by Nostradamus, a lot of laughing, smoking and drinking by the locals and constabularly, and easily the most amusing goofy hunchback playing with pet rat scenes ever filmed.
The Majorettes (1987)

For the first hour or so this is a by-the-numbers slasher. Our hooded psycho kills the title high school girls one by one. In the first plot twist, somebody finds out who he is by sheer accident, and blackmails him into killing somebody so the victim will look like just another in the series of slashings, the motive being to inherit a ton of money. This part of the plot gets thrown away in a few minutes of screen time, as the intended victim is murdered by somebody else entirely, but before her eighteenth birthday, so the blackmailer can't inherit. Then it becomes a violent revenge movie, as her boyfriend goes after the gang of hoodlums who killed her, wiping them out in a barrage of gunshots and explosions. This hero kills a heck of a lot more people than either the slasher or the hoodlums. Then we get our final twist.

Not a good movie in any normal way, but the sudden transition from slasher to action film is startling.
Prizzi's Honor (1985) Charley Partanna (Jack Nicholson) is a Mafia guy, who falls in love with a woman Irene Walkervisks (Kathleen Turner) who turns out to be the assassin who killed the target while the mob was at a Wedding reception. Moreover, she was married to Marxie Heller (Joseph Ruskin!? I could not recognize him, either his face or voice! He was the voice of the Horla in Diary of a Madman, & portrayed Galt in Star Trek TOS' The Gamesters of Triskelion). For shame, but I also failed to recognize Lieutenant Davey Hanley (Lawrence Tierney). So, Partanna marries Walkervisks, and thing become tense between him and his bosses.

The end came as a bit of a surprise; did not see that coming!

Background to Danger (1943) Joe Barton (George Raft) is an American agent in Turkey when the Germans are trying to bring Turkey into the war as their allies. The plot was to trick them into believing the Soviets were about to attack, etc., which was hoped would give them the incentive to turn to Germany for help. Col. Robinson (Sydney Greenstreet) is the German in charge, while Nikolai Zaleshoff (Peter Lorre) is the Soviet agent working against him.

All the times I heard the TCM guys talking about Greenstreet & Lorre as costars, & I never heard of this film. Liked it very much! Found it by sheer chance. :giggle:

Anyway, Barton is not sure whose side Zaleshoff is on, until much later.

The Wiki page says Raft demanded that his character, who was supposed to be a businessman caught in the intrigue, be changed to an Agent of the FBI, working on the side of good, etc., interesting.
PS Madhouse
Listening to a commentary about it. The book Devil Day is about an obese drug addict tv star/occultist. Also, despite the well-publicized animosity between Price and Robert Quarry, due to the terrible quality of the dialogue, the latter rewrote his lines and when Price heard about it, asked him to rewrite his as well.
"You sure scared the pants off me."

"Who hasn't?"
The Keeper (1976)

Christopher Lee is the Keeper in this low budget Canadian chiller.

In British Columbia in 1947, a private eye is investigating Lee's asylum for the mentally ill relatives of the filthy rich. We won't find out who his client is until midway through the film. He's got his female partner inside the asylum pretending to be his cousin. The cops also have a undercover police officer pretending to be a patient.

Why all this investigation? Because 118 relatives of the patients have died.

We already know that Lee uses an electronic gizmo to hypnotize his patients, so he's obviously behind all this. (Besides, he's Christopher Lee.) Don't ask me (or the screenwriter) how he managed to get all those people killed.

To add a touch of weirdness, the private eye's client turns out to be the identical twin brother of a patient, and the two siblings have a psychic connection.

I wondered why this was set in 1947, requiring old cars and period costumes, when it hit me. This is pretty much a Poverty Row film from 1947 made in 1976. Lee has the Bela Lugosi role. We've got the bumbling cops for comedy relief. We've got a streetwise little kid, a shoeshine boy, as the hero's sidekick. We've got a plot that falls apart under close examination. Lee is a classic Mad Scientist. He wants to be "the most powerful man in the world." (Getting the money his hypnotized patients will inherit from their multiple dead relatives seems a long way from that lofty goal.)

Pretty bad stuff. At least Lee is fully professional, which can't be said for the other actors.
The Keeper (1976)
First, let me offer my sincere condolences that you watched this. When I watched it, I got so ill I had to watch something else--anything else, to banish the horror from my mind so I watched the Cotton Club.

This film has an interesting back story. It was made through a government program that tried to promote Canadian filmmaking and yet it was unable to secure a theatrical release. No one wanted it. It was eventually shown on Canadian tv (which suggests the network hated the public).

On a film forum I was active in--someone said the worst movie they had ever seen was The Lucifer Complex but I think this beats that easily since TLC did get a theatrical release.

Lee was ordered not to make it by an actor's union since it was deemed too unprofessional but he got the message too late. It does feel like he is in an amateur play.
The private eye in it (who seems like Sam Spade crossed with Mr. Rogers) is portrayed by Tell Schreiber (you may have heard of his son Liev). This was his only movie. Thank Heaven. I suspect he helped finance it (the Canadian government would reimburse 100% of the movie's budget in those days).

It's very easy to hate this movie for it being so horribly awful--my feeling is that the makers had limited exposure to movies beyond 1940s and that's why it has the extremely dated newsboy shtick and horribly slapstick comedy. It was shot in 1974 so I assume that The Man With the Golden Gun was at least partial inspiration as well as Chinatown.
The scene where Schreiber tells Lee that he is the product of 7 generations of incest--I don't think Lee was acting--he looks genuinely creeped out to me. This is easily worse than Meatcleaver Massacre and Howling 2.

I remember reading somewhere that Christopher Lee was a consummate actor, and would put his heart and sole into any role he was asked to play, regardless of how ridiculous it msy seem. Apparently he also requured the same of any actors he was working alongside. Which is why he lends an air of gravitas to any film in which he plays a part; certainly in any scenes in which he appears.
Voyage to the End of the Universe-- 1963 -- The spfx and design work on this is certainly impressive and you can see easily that this must have inspired later films including 2001.

Agente X 1-7 Operazione Oceano - 1965 - Lang Jeffries as super spy George Collins has a goofy unserious face expression--I keep thinking of a comedian or James Garner for some reason. Nevertheless, as a James Bond-ish spy movie it comes pretty close at times to feel like Bond--even the score occassionally gets rather close to the familiar melody.
He stops some bad guys with a bullet firing vest. That's a new one.
I remember reading somewhere that Christopher Lee was a consummate actor, and would put his heart and sole into any role he was asked to play, regardless of how ridiculous it msy seem. Apparently he also requured the same of any actors he was working alongside. Which is why he lends an air of gravitas to any film in which he plays a part; certainly in any scenes in which he appears.
I think it is his worst movie in that he is surrounded by rank (in all senses of the word) amateurs.
The guy who does the choo-choo train impression under hypnosis even lacks the good sense to be embarrassed.

Oh yeah--the dialogue is wonderfully
I found my IMDB review of it:

Incredibly amateur and dull

I give this film 2 points for hiring a well known actor like Lee. I give it another point for making it a historical film(set in the 40s or so)without any glaring anachronism and another point for having adequate camera and sound (which should be a given but I'll be kind as it was made in my place of birth).

This is a terrible boring film. Likely the worst Christopher Lee film I have watched--even worse than his Jess Franco Fu Manchu movies. Worse than the Star Wars prequels. Worse than the Crimson Cult. Worse than Howling 2.

By general bad movie standards it is worse than Dracula vs Frankenstein. At least those films had some entertainment value--this really has none other than wondering what Lee must have thought as he was making it.

Canadian movies can and often do lack passion, imagination, and when all else fails turn into feeble comedies. 9 times out of 10, if you hear about a Canadian sci-fi or horror movie made by native-born Canadians, chances are its a /comedy of some sort.

In this case the film is likely inspired by Chinatown and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest combined with 1930s street drama and any kind of mad doctor story you can think of just to make it have low budget commercial appeal.

The private investigator Driver attempts to act suave and cool like Sam Spade and fails, but isn't aware of it. It isn't funny in a Leslie Nielsen kind of way.

The dialogue is disjointed and poorly thought out so you get exchanges like this: Private Eye: Has there been any murders at the asylum? Police Chief: Yes, seven--but what troubles me is, what if these deaths were actually murders? It's an amateur film on almost every level except the picture and sound are functional (perhaps to the viewer's detriment) with a decent enough use of locations and period costumes. There's no attempt at moody lighting, and the soundtrack is a 70s electronic score of some kind --not keeping with the era it is presenting.

This is the first Canadian genre film made in British Columbia by Canadians (other than a porn film) and it is a complete failure. Not even useful as a so bad it is good kind of experience. If you don't believe me, waste an hour and a half of your life and find out.
Because They're Young (1960)

American Bandstand host Dick Clark stars as an idealistic teacher in this teensploitation soap opera crime film. He lost his last job, as a student teacher, for getting too involved with his students' personal problems. Now, as a full teacher at a new school, he does it again. To add to his problems, he's taking care of his young nephew, whose parents were killed in the same car wreck that ended his football career.

Lots of plot, much of which centers around our Bad Boy. It's implied that one of the students (Tuesday Weld) went "all the way" with him some time before, but doesn't want to have anything to do with him now. (As a parallel subplot, another student refuses the aggressive attentions of her boyfriend.) He also gets mixed up in a heist led by his employer, a butcher/grocery store manager (or something) who entices high school boys into crime. (Speaking of implications, there may be a hint that he entices them in other ways.) The heist goes wrong, of course, and the Bad Boy is literally running for his life. Then there's our Good Boy, who finds out his mother is a grown-up Bad Girl, gets teased for it by the Bad Boy, and they have one heck of a fight that might get the Good Boy thrown out of school, ruining his chance to get into college on a football scholarship. And did I mention Dick Clark's romance with the principal's secretary?

Besides all this, we've got time for a couple of musical numbers at the school dance (which gets crashed by the Bad Boys from another school.)

It's OK. The heist scene and the final fight between the Bad Boy and the other high school criminal near the end are depicted in film noir style.
IF (2024): Written by Office actor Jim Krasinski. A girl and a grown man can see other people's imaginary friends ("IF"s). This got a terrible critics' score on Rotten Tomatoes, but the audience seemed to like it, and I thought my niece and nephew would, too (they did). However, the script is pretty awful. Almost none of the jokes were funny. The drama didn't seem heartfelt. Krasinski's character, the girl's dad, is not believable. The best thing I can say about it is that it had a lot of heart.
Good Boy (2022): A bizarre and disturbing Norwegian film about a woman who meets a yuppie living with a person dressed as a dog pretending to be his pet. The man is rich, so the woman keeps visiting him. However, the "dog" soon confides something to her...A bit macabre for my taste (reminded me of Tusk), but not terrible.

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