Week 2 / May 22-28, 2017

Rankings (This Time, Only First and Worst)

The Night Walker (1964)

I have a lot to say about this criminally overlooked William Castle film, but most of that can wait until a certain academic book on the filmmaker comes out next summer. For now, consider that the Germans dubbed him “Shock-Meister,” and that this film contains this image:

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Beverly Hills Vamp (1989)

If you think Fred Olen Ray is a sort of VHS William Castle, you’ve never watched this film. I’m sorry, but one needs to set boundaries when it comes to Eddie Deezen.

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More Rankings (The Three-Way Tie Division)

Crime of Passion (1957)

What a week for my ongoing, one-sided love affair with Barbara Stanwyck!* For this particular domestic noir, I loved that Raymond Burr was the beguiling Other Man.

*She also starred in The Night Walker, to be clear.

House on Haunted Hill (1958)

I could watch Vincent Price prepare bonne femme soup and be happy.

Echo Park (1986)

Despite my usual assortment of random films, this was the strangest thing I watched all week. Really.

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Week 1 / May 15-21, 2017

Rankings (From First to Worst)

The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)

My third(!!!) theatrical viewing of this gem–all at the same theater. Placing my fandom of this Vincent Price/AIP gem on pace with that of the New Beverly Cinema, apparently.

Model Shop (1969)

I could watch local commercials of Los Angeles from this era and fawn, so Demy didn’t have to do much for me. Luckily, he didn’t; it’s a purposefully blank film.

Joysticks (1983)

This (is why).

Laughing Sinners (1931)

Gable and Crawford smolder! The Salvation Army Band…bands…together…etc., etc.

It’s also pre-code, which means you get a grubby salesman prattling on about “white mule” for the price of admission.

Dance, Fools, Dance (1931)

Takes no prisoners.

The World’s Greatest Sinner (1962)

Tim Carey had a film career. (Let that sink in.)

Pinball Summer (1980)

I admit that after my Musso + Frank’s martini plus Joysticks–part of a double at the Egyptian Theater–fatigue set in. So I probably didn’t fully absorb this one, but it was also awfully Canadian (i.e., lacking discernible purpose or sex appeal).

The Whistler (1944)

William Castle’s memo to Columbia head Harry Cohn about the opportunity to helm this film adaptation of a radio program: “It’s horrific, Mr. Cohn…Exactly what I’ve been waiting for…I’ll scare the shit out of the audience.” (Author’s multiple ellipses).

Voice of the Whistler (1945)

Just surveying the extant film evidence, you’d be hard-pressed to guess Castle was actually a happily married man.

The Monster That Challenged The World (1957)

Unlike 1957, it’s far more likely the Salton Sea is now swarming with these:

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Dancing Lady (1933)

The question feels like how? As in, how does a film starring Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, Fred Astaire (making his film debut!) and The Three Stooges fail? But, jotting that down, it seems obvious the question is: Why wouldn’t it?

Alien: Covenant (2017)

I suspect that I don’t respect the auteur Ridley Scott. (No, ‘fraid I don’t love Blade Runner, though the original Alien is pretty neat until the last 15 minutes.)

Wildcard

Annihilation (2018?)

Embargo. Embargoed! EMBARGO’D!