What was the last movie you saw?

EL CONDOR - 1970 - Jim Brown seeks Mexican gold with Lee Van Cleef (in an unusual role as comical sidekick) and locking horns with Patrick O'Neal as general of a fort. Lots of big explosions.
 
Ambush (1950) Ward Kinsman (Robert Taylor) is a scout, hired by the Army to locate a woman abducted by Indians. Unfortunately, the current commander is a Capt. Ben Lorrison (John Hodiak; 1st physician on the USS Enterprise), who rigidly adheres to the regulations, even when it is obvious that better options exist.

I thoroughly enjoyed this film.
 
Living on Velvet (1935) Being the sole survivor of an airplane crash that killed his parents and sister, Terrence Clarence Parker (George Brent) drifts along, aimlessly wondering why he survived, until he has spent all his family's money.

I forgot the other details.
 
Sleazy Riders Of 1969 Double Feature:

The Sidehackers AKA Five the Hard Way (1969)

Famously mocked on MST3K in a severely edited version. The uncut film makes a sudden transition from sappy love story/boring sports movie to rape, murder, and revenge nihilism.

Satan's Sadists (1969)

Even before the opening credits, we get rape and murder. Then we get more rape and more murder, transitioning into two intended victims getting away and being chased by the surviving bad guys. The big chase scene is interrupted by three more victims of rape and murder.

Both films make you want to take a hot shower after watching them.
 
I keep forgetting to mention the film we watched on DVD at home when I was away from the computer (mostly because my better half read the book.)

Forever Amber (1947)

Based on the huge (both in page count and popularity) bestseller of the same name by Kathleen Winsor (1944). Apparently it was considered quite racy at the time; several states banned it!

During the Restoration, our semi-heroine and semi-antiheroine Amber goes from being a foundling to a servant in a tavern to a prisoner (for debt) in Newgate (where she gives birth to the son of her one true love) to a thief to an actress to the wife of a much older aristocrat (solely so she can have a title, so she will be worthy of marrying her one true love, who is of that class) to a mistress of Charles II. Her one true love, away at sea for years, returns at one point and kills one of Amber's lovers in a duel, then goes off to the American colonies. Later, he comes back married and intends to take his son back to the New World. We also get the Plague and the Great Fire along the way.

Whew! That's a lot of plot to cram into 138 minutes. (The book was nearly 1000 pages long, and the story goes that the author's manuscript was originally five times as long!) The film is a lush Hollywood epic of the time, with all the fancy sets and costumes you'd expect. The acting (Linda Darnell as Amber, Cornel Wilde as her one true love) is generally adequate, and George Sanders is enjoyable as Charles II. Worth a look.
 
Children of the Corn

Nowhere mear as good (or as frightening) as I remember it being. (Slightly) rescued by some very good child acting.
 
WHO KILLED THE PROSECUTOR AND WHY? 1972 - Straightforward title to a story in which a photographer documents a political assassination made to look like an accident and with his photos, is advised by a porn producer friend to use them to make $$$. It goes into giallo territory at times with some spooky music and shadowy locations and surprise revelation.
 
Under Paris (2024). A Netflix shark movie. Particularly poor! Probably quite popular as there is a lot going on. I think if it took itself less seriously I would enjoy it more.
 
The Big Combo (1955) A crime drama, could be considered noir, in which a Police Lieutenant is personally after a crime lord.

Police Lt. Leonard Diamond (Cornel Wilde) is pitted against Mr. Brown (Richard Conte) and his henchmen Joe McClure (Brian Donlevy), Fante (Lee Van Cleef), and Mingo (Earl Holliman). A rather interesting end is in store for the two latter named guys, & yes, I saw it coming! :LOL: Anyway double-crosses abound!

So, Diamond believes that a certain woman was murdered by Brown, tied to a anchor, and dumped into the sea, because the ship's Capt. bought a new anchor immediately after reaching port.

8/10, & best of all, my 1st time seeing it!
 
Cheap, Lousy Dirty Movies Less Than An Hour Long Double Feature:

Alice in Acidland (1969)

Narrated throughout, with no recorded dialogue at all, by a stern-voiced man and Alice herself. She goes from innocent to smoking, drinking, using marihuana, and cavorting with both men and women. Forty-five minutes of black-and-white nudie stuff, then ten minutes of full color, arty, LSD trip (still with nudie content) that ends with Alice in a strait-jacket.

'Necromania': A Tale of Weird Love! (1971)

Ed Wood, under a phony name, wrote and directed. Young couple shows up at a supposedly spooky house (it looks like a plain old house to me) in hopes of helping the man with his problem. Random sex scenes until the woman who is supposed to help (she's a necromancer, we're told) appears in a coffin and the man jumps in there with her.
 
Doctor Dracula (1974/1978/1983)

Schlockmeister Al Adamson took footage from something called Lucifer's Women (1974), added some new footage in 1978, and got it shown on TV in 1983. I think.

The incoherent plot has something to do with the reincarnation of Svengali being mixed up with Satanists who are planning to sacrifice the reincarnation of Trilby to extend their own lives. Meanwhile, a woman tries to find out the cause of her mother's death. (In the very opening, we already know she was a victim of a vampire/psychiatrist, our Doctor Dracula.) The conflicted Svengali -- he literally splits into two people at one point -- tries to save Trilby. John Carradine is around as one of the Satanists. Very talky and dull.
 
Gideon's Day (1958)

John Ford, of all people, directed this police procedural, based on the novel of the same name by super-prolific author John Creasey (writing as J. J. Marric), the first of many in the series.

(In the USA, the film was known as Gideon of Scotland Yard and was shown in black and white.)

Chief Inspector George Gideon has a very busy day indeed. The multiple plots include a serial killer of teenage girls, a bank robbery, and (the main storyline) a police detective who gets killed by the crooks from whom he was taking bribes. There's also light comedy in the form of Gideon's domestic situation.

One doesn't think of Ford as a director of suspense, but some of the sequences here are worthy of Hitchcock. Well worth a look.
 
The Watchers (2024): I blame my mom for choosing this one. We saw it in the cinema. It's directed and written by M. Night Shyamalan's daughter. She is very much like him...good director, not a great writer.

An American woman in Ireland goes through a woods and gets trapped in an area where monsters--which we later learn are fairies--demand other human captives stand in front of a window in a building and let them watch them. No, it doesn't make any sense. The fairies, also called changelings, are trying to replace people. Not too bad an idea, but the remake of Don't Be Afraid of the Dark did it so much better. The ending was much too sentimental, and didn't fit in with the rest of the story. I just feel like the plot was stretched very thin. I don't recommend this one.

I watched Paddington again with my brother, a movie I love. We were going to watch Dunston Checks In, a movie we grew up watching, but sadly it was too expensive.
 
Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker AKA Night Warning (1981)

Psychological shocker/slasher with unusual depth of character and a surprisingly progressive attitude about a certain social issue, as we'll see.

The parents of a three-year-old boy go off somewhere, leaving the child with his aunt. The brakes on their car fail, and they die in a horrible wreck. Fourteen years later, the teenager is still with his aunt. It's clear from the start that she's way too fond of him. She's also love-starved, as we see when she comes on heavy with a repairman and then stabs him to death, later claiming he tried to rape her.

The really nasty police detective on the case doesn't buy it, blaming the killing on the teenager. It seems the victim was in a gay relationship with the school's basketball coach, and the cop thinks the young man killed him out of jealousy.

Here's where we get our progressive attitude, very unusual for this kind of film in 1981. The detective is viciously homophobic (and an awful person in other ways), forcing the coach to resign. The coach is one of the most sympathetic characters in the film.

Anyway, the aunt is determined to keep her nephew from leaving, even if it means drugging his milk so he fails to get a basketball scholarship. Since this is a horror film, we'll get more killing and the revelation of some very dark secrets.

Despite some slasher movie clichés (and a couple of titles that don't have anything to do with anything), this is a much better than average example of an often disreputable genre. Recommended for fans of this kind of chiller.
 
The Watchers (2024). While wandering an Irish forest, a girl gets trapped in a house with three other people, where every night they are “observed” by creatures through a one-way mirror.

Produced by M. Night Shyamalan, and directed by his daughter, it’s a thriller with, of course, plot twists.

The movie doesn’t have a strong beginning. It takes a while for the plot to be interesting, i. e., when she enters the forest. The second act is when the movie hooks your attention.

It lasts longer than it should. When I saw what I supposed was the last frame, I thought, “It’s over”, and almost stood up. But, to my surprise, the movie kept going for at least 15 minutes. And these last minutes are boring as hell.

There are good plot twists, but they’re not nearly as good as that legendary reveal in The Sixth Sense (1999). They are two different movies, but it’s impossible not to make that comparison.

I recommend it only if you have nothing else to do.

The Watchers (2024): I blame my mom for choosing this one. We saw it in the cinema. It's directed and written by M. Night Shyamalan's daughter. She is very much like him...good director, not a great writer.

An American woman in Ireland goes through a woods and gets trapped in an area where monsters--which we later learn are fairies--demand other human captives stand in front of a window in a building and let them watch them. No, it doesn't make any sense. The fairies, also called changelings, are trying to replace people. Not too bad an idea, but the remake of Don't Be Afraid of the Dark did it so much better. The ending was much too sentimental, and didn't fit in with the rest of the story. I just feel like the plot was stretched very thin. I don't recommend this one.

I watched Paddington again with my brother, a movie I love. We were going to watch Dunston Checks In, a movie we grew up watching, but sadly it was too expensive.
Agreed.

Oh, and another similar movie that did it better was Jordan Peele's Us (2019).
 
Swamp Thing (1982) dir. Wes Craven; starring Louis Jourdan, Adrienne Barbeau, Ray Wise

Dr. Hudson’s (Wise) research in the swamp results in a formula that merges plant and animal DNA. Agent Cable (Barbeau) comes in to replace a member of Hudson’s team, but she has ties to the government. Hudson and Cable are immediately attracted to each other because of the script (*ahem*). The mysterious Arcane (Jourdan) wants the formula because it would confer immortality and in trying to take it he and his goons set fire to Hudson and he runs into the swamp where the formula turns him into Swamp Thing. And then things get interesting.

Saw it years ago, forgot that Craven directed, but it’s obvious that a knowledgeable director was behind this (with nods to old movie adventure serials). So, it’s comic book, but for the ‘80s, pretty well done. One thing to note: as the movie goes on, Cable's portrayal changes: in spite of earlier demonstrating she could handle herself, as we near the end she needs ST to save her multiple times, and she goes from wearing a shirt, pants and boots to work in the swamp to being saved the final time in a clinging evening gown and high heels. Uh huh. Subtext, anyone?

This might be the first thing I ever saw Ray Wise in. Since then, he’s been in darn near everything. Jourdan made a very urbane villain. If Barbeau had showed up probably twenty or thirty years later, she’d have been one of the female action heroes in recent movies.
 
In Which We Serve (1942) A British WWII ship drama. Cannot recall much. The HMS Torrin eventually sinks, and flashbacks abound as the surviving crew members cling to a rubber raft. Captain E. V. Kinross (Noël Coward; the only name I recognized) has the lead role.
 
The Toolbox Murders (1978)

Proto-slasher most notable for a wild change in mood and direction. Starts off like a giallo on speed as a killer in ski mask and black gloves very quickly murders four women with power tools. It then turns into a suspense thriller that might have been shown on American TV at the time, with a little editing. The killer (Cameron Mitchell) kidnaps a high school age girl as a replacement for his daughter, who was killed in a car accident. (The other women had to be killed for not being "pure.") The world's worst police investigation (Mitchell is very clearly the most likely suspect, but they don't pick up on this) and the amateur investigation by the kidnapped girl's brother follow. Not much happens until a frenzy of plot twists near the end, sending us back into slasher territory after our excursion into psychological suspense. Not a good film, but the quirky nature of the plot swings(as full of holes as the story is) raises some eyebrows.
 
The Devil on Wheels (1947)

Poverty Row cautionary tale about reckless driving. Dad brings home a nifty new automobile. Son monkeys around with hot rods. Dad approves, but tells him not to race them. Dad himself drives like a maniac, passing a car on the right and getting in a fender bender. The other car is driven by the judge he faces in court. Oops.

Meanwhile, son's older brother gets in a romance with the judge's daughter. Son races his hot rod, naturally. While at the beach, the gang hears about the cops pulling a hot rodder's body out of the ocean. They sneak into the morgue to see if it's their buddy. (Yep.) Racing back from the morgue away from the cops in two cars (and leaving one girl behind stuck in the morgue), they get in a hit-and-run accident with a vehicle carrying Mom! Son's buddy is killed, Mom is seriously injured, Son gets the book thrown at him in court.

Notable stuff for 1947:

1. The word "groovy" is spoken by one of them kids.
2. The girls wear bikinis.

Sort of the Reefer Madness of speeding.
 

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