Saturday, March 30, 2013

Genre Mash-Up :: A 13 Vid-Cap Look at Henry Hathaway's Sagebrush Slasher, 5 Card Stud (1968)

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"You've preached a lot of funerals around here 
lately. You got something new for this one?"
___  ___  ___  ___  ___  ___  ___  ___  ___  ___  ___  ___ 

5 Card Stud opens quick and dirty with a tin-horn cowpoke getting caught cheating at cards, which is then compounded when the other players overreact, especially the no-account son of the local land baron (McDowall), leading to some swift frontier justice at the end of a rope over the vehement protests of our hero (Martin). Realizing they went too far too late, all involved, seven otherwise outstanding citizens in total, clam up and make a pact to carry the secret of their dirty deed to the grave. This, of course, sets up our bloody tale as several months later someone starts picking off these conspirators, one by one; and whoever is doing it is making a deliberate point as each victim dies most gruesomely by some form of strangulation -- just like the tin-horn. They can't go to the law without implicating themselves, and therefore can only watch helplessly as shoot-first-and-ask-later vigilante mobs run rampant looking for the elusive killer, waiting and wondering who will be next. But who is doing the killing? One of them? Trying to scare the others into silence? Or maybe to make sure the others stay silent forever. Or is someone else out to knock them off? And if so, for what purpose? Revenge, most likely; an eye for an eye, as the good Reverend Rudd (Mitchum) would proselytize -- and to reap what you sow...

When a person digs back into the fossil records looking for films that helped inspire or establish the ground rules for the Stalk-n-Slash boom of the early 1980's the last thing you'd expect to find is a western. And if I told you that same western was also a starring vehicle for Rat Pack booze crooner Dean Martin, you'd probably think I just took a long walk off a very short credulity pier. But let's look at the evidence: 

Now, a person seeking revenge on those who killed his family is nothing new for this genre. Hell, a lonesome quest to put these kinds of killers in the ground is usually championed and one of the rocks on which the western is built. But here, with the focus on the lynch mob, the line between that old trope and a bloody body-count movie is muddied up pretty good. Look, I am in no way saying or implying that Dean Martin is some kind of ersatz Final Girl, but from the set-up, to the kills, to the killer's modus operandi, 5 Card Stud holds almost all the other earmarks of a later day slasher: a sinister secret that links the victims and triggers the whole thing, a familial need for vengeance on the killer's part, signature slayings, layers of conspiracy, mounting paranoia, and a long suspect list that is whittled down with each body found until the real killer is finally revealed. (It's also kind of like Hang 'Em High in reverse.)

Granted, this sagebrush whodunit works best during the mayhem, so, fair warning, it does tend to clunk along when the film shifts focus to the love triangle between our lothario gambler Martin and parlor madame Stevens and good girl Justice. But, we do get to see Mitchum behind the pulpit again, bringing the fire and the brimstone and the lead to the unrepentant. 

Directed with a steady hand by Henry Hathaway with an adapted screenplay assist by Marguerite Roberts (based on a novel by Ray Gaulden), the film gets extra bonus points from me for a nasty, unflinching mean-streak that is sustained throughout the film. (The very next year Hathaway and Roberts would team again with John Wayne for the original True Grit.) Add it all up and this offbeat genre mash-up definitely rates a look even for those who seldom venture out west, cinematically speaking.

Other Points of Interest:

Five Card Stud (1968) Paramount Pictures  / EP: Hal B. Wallis / P: Joseph H. Hazen, Paul Nathan / D: Henry Hathaway / W: Marguerite Roberts / C: Daniel L. Fapp / M: Maurice Jarre  / S: Dean Martin, Robert Mitchum, Roddy McDowall, Yaphet Kotto, Katherine Justice, Inger Stevens

Friday, March 29, 2013

Favorites :: Inks and Paints :: A Coloring Book. A Coloring Book as Big as a Battleship!

Wohoo! Time to break out the Crayolas!

And I never noticed it before, but, yes, according to the majority of the poster and ad artwork for the The Giant Claw, the Anti-Matter Buzzard's head is shoved up its own Anti-Matter ass. (That thing trailing off the top is not the neck, folks. THAT'S THE TAIL!)

Other Points of Interest:

The Giant Claw (1957) Clover Productions :: Columbia Pictures / P: Sam Katzman / D: Fred F. Sears / W: Samuel Newman, Paul Gangelin / C: Benjamin H. Kline E: Tony DiMarco, Saul Goodkind / M: Mischa Bakaleinikoff / S: Jeff Morrow, Mara Corday, Morris Ankrum, Louis Merrill, Robert Shayne, Edgar Barrier

Sunday, March 24, 2013

YouTube Finds :: Trick or Treating with Dorothy Lamour, Jack Carson and Boris Karloff !

The Sealtest Variety Theater was a musical and comedy radio program hosted by Dorothy Lamour that aired on Thursday nights for NBC from 1946-1949. Sponsored by Sealtest Dairy Products (mostly Ice Cream), each episode Lamour would sing the audience a couple of songs and perform sketches with her guest-stars of the week. Here, for the Halloween (1948) episode, Lamour welcomes Jack Carson and Boris Karloff for a few tricks and treats:



There's several episodes streaming on YouTube and a bunch more available for free download at the Internet Archive. I've managed to get through about eight episodes so far and they're all just great. Lamour is a warm and welcoming presence with a hideously infectious laugh -- and since the sketches were pretty funny and tended to train-wreck she gets to laugh a lot. There's one particular viking sketch with Bob Hope that went off the rails so badly I thought my sides were gonna split open, and another with Abbott and Costello where Costello loses his place in the script and -- waitaminute. Why am I telling you about this? Just go and listen for yourselves. Trust me. And with that, we'll let Ms. Lamour sign us off:

"Well, I'm sad to say it's time to make our au revoirs
This is Dorothy Lamour saying, goodnight, keep well, 
keep happy ... and keep listenin'."

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Trailer Park :: The Ballad of Glenn Manning :: Bert I. Gordon's Amazing Colossal Man (1957)

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"I'm not growing. You're shrinking!" 
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While observing the field test of a new Plutonium Bomb, tragedy strikes when a Colonel Manning (Langan) leaves the safety of the trench as he tries to rescue a civilian who accidentally wandered onto ground zero. Alas, the device detonates and Manning, caught in the open, is severely injured in the resulting atomic blast. Taken to the hospital, with over 90-percent of his body burned beyond recognition, his chances of survival are almost zero but his fiance's prayers are answered when Manning seemingly and inexplicably recovers overnight. However, things take a sinister turn when the patient immediately disappears without a trace, leaving the bride-to-be (Downs) to fight through the usual military red tape to find him again. And when she does, she finds out this miracle cure is really hellish curse of ever-expanding proportions...

 Video courtesy of AllThingsTrailers.

With the impending release of Universal International's The Incredible Shrinking Man in 1957, Jim Nicholson, the co-head of American International, tried to secure the rights to Homer Eon Flint's The Nth Man for his studio's proposed polarity-reversed cash-in, The Amazing Colossal Man. Originally published in the Spring 1928 edition of Amazing Stories Quarterly, Flint's tale begins with strange phenomenon happening all over the world: the Sphinx's head has been removed and placed on top of the great pyramid in Egypt; in China, something has uprooted the Great Wall; and in Europe, an anarchist plot is foiled when the Deutsche bank they intended to blow up disappears without a trace. This mystery is solved when the root cause finally wades ashore near San Francisco -- a giant, nearly two miles tall, who tromps clear across the country in record time; destination, Washington, D.C., where he pulls a Jefferson Smith, demanding a certain fat-cat plutocrat named Fosburgh, who is really in charge of the country, to start playing fair with taxes and financial regulations so all may thrive. 

Given six months to make these reforms happen, the president, who is in Fosburgh's pocket, mobilizes the military to repel the giant. Alas, the army's electromagnetic artillery prove no match for this colossus, and, since his demands weren't met, Fosburgh and all of his cronies must surrender themselves to be publicly eaten. But before this happens, it's revealed the whole scenario is actually less about preserving democracy and more of a personal vendetta. Seems the giant's father married Fosburgh's daughter. And since being the family chauffeur made him unfit, medical student or not, Fosburgh, at his wife's insistence, did everything in his power to destroy the marriage; a little too well, apparently, as the daughter was driven to suicide after her husband is blackballed from every medical school in the country. Taking their son to the Galapagos islands, in a bid for revenge, the bitter father experimented on his offspring with the glandular secretions of some sea turtles, which, somehow, turned him into this amphibious, hate-filled Gargantua. However, due to some female intuiting, this bloody crusade is brought to a more peaceful resolution. And with his enemy's empire in ruin, the giant returns to the sea. 

When Nicholson failed to get the story, the project was turned over to AIP's head filmmaker, Roger Corman, to come up with an original angle. At the time, remember, Corman and his chief scriptwriter, Chuck Griffith, were just starting to tongue their own cheeks with dashes of absurdity and anarchy in their sci-fi and horror output. In Griffith's original commissioned treatment, with Dick Miller in mind for the lead, the protagonist was a hard-drinking, hen-pecked schlub, who, while taking his physical at the local army induction center, absconds with a bottle of mystery liquid that, later, thanks to his wife, winds up in his latest boilermaker. When the liquid is digested, Miller would grow into the "Amazing Colossal Pain in the Ass of all Humanity." And like the Nth Man, he stormed the U.N. Building with a list of global demands, ate smoked whale, boiled over a live volcano, gets nuked by the Russians, and flattens Moscow in retaliation before the serum eventually wears off.

Meantime, while Griffith hashed out his script, Nicholson also scored a coup for AIP by signing producer, director and traveling-matte artiste extraordinaire, Bert I. Gordon, to a three picture deal. And with the like-minded Beginning of the End and The Cyclops already on his resume, Gordon quickly put on his producer's hat, slid into the director's chair, and basically scotched most of Griffith's proposed script, citing budget concerns -- but, really, Gordon was looking for something less farcical that yielded a lot more property damage, dubious pathology, and a little pathos scattered hither and yon. Enter Mark Hanna, who, with Gordon, and an uncredited assist to George Worthing Yates (-- the undisputed king of irradiated giants gone amok), hammered out the scenario we eventually saw onscreen.

I honestly wish the whole movie lived up to that fantastic opening sequence, when the Plutonium bomb stubbornly refuses to detonate. And as the devices steadily and menacingly bleets away, the men in the trench ratchet up the tension even more, especially a jittery sergeant whose heard one too many stories about the castrating effects of radiation. From there, after the bomb finally blows, the film settles into a familiar groove of mystery solving, first with Carol trying to find out what happened to Manning, which then turns into a race against the clock to find a cure before this colossal man finally loses it and runs amok. 

In front of the camera, Glenn Langan was plucked off Broadway by Daryl F. Zanuck himself to help fill 20th Century Fox's depleted stable of noteable leading men, who'd all enlisted in the service after the attack on Pearl Harbor. One of Lagan's first credited roles was playing the cad Linda Darnell is really in love with, pushing Laird Cregar over the homicidal edge, in John Brahm's Hangover Square (1945); and his most prestigious part came a year later as the sqaure-jaw trying to save Gene Tierney from the dastardly Vincent Price in Dragonwyck. Alas, when the war ended and all those stars came back, Langan kinda got lost in the shuffle and filtered down to episodic television and this brief stop at AIP before chucking acting all together for a moderately successful career in real estate and wedded bliss with fellow acting cast-off, Adele Jurgens.

As Glenn Manning, Langan definitely has the ability to pull off the Shakespearean anguish of this Plutonium curse, trying hard to bring the same "biblical nobility" to the character that Grant Williams had so successfully achieved as Scott Carey shrank out of this known existence. Langan also brought a tinge of menace, giving some of his speeches a sinister spin as he slowly cracks up with each foot gained. Unfortunately, the thrust of Colossal Man was far less interested in the existential and more in tune with the catastrophic. Thus and so, all of Manning's self-righteous anger and woe, with that bald noggin, expandable diaper, and surrounded by all those playpen props, gives these proceedings a fairly hilarious taint, making him less a martyr to the atom and more of a L'enfant terrible as he grinds his way through the grief process, especially when the brunt of this takes form in the constant shellacking of his fiance, who is only making things worse while trying to help. 

Cathy Downs had a similar career arc that started as the girl in question for John Ford's My Darling Clementine (1946), and then slid into several B-Oaters for the majors before going blonde and adding some clout to the marquee for the upstart American International's first wave (Oklahoma Woman, Phantom from 10,000 Leagues, The She Creature). After the opening coda, this tale is really told more from Carol's perspective than Manning's. She's the one who unravels the mysterious disappearance of her fiance from the hospital, and then serves as both a whipping post for her ever-growing beau and a sounding board for the doctors as they try to explain away Manning's condition with the usual quackery and scientific gobbledygook, which is sold as dumbing it down for the layman. Luckily, Downs sincerity grounds the character reasonably well and leaves out the hysterics and focuses on the general concern, almost motherly, over trying to find a cure for what ails her man as she simply nods along whether she understands or not in hopes it will help speed up the process as William Hudson's Dr. Linstrom drones on and on and on. (Hudson was another AIP regular who would go on to torment Allison Hayes in Attack of the 50ft Woman for Allied Artists.)

Our culprit, radiation, is a strange thing. Too much, and it will kill you. But a controlled dose might cure you. And though the majority of the biology and science expounded upon in this film is pure bullshit (-- one cell? Really?), one of the first signs of congestive heart failure is a hacking cough as the lungs fill up with fluid. All of Glenn's acute chest pains are announced by a huge coughing fit, making this a nice touch. Another interesting point is how these attacks intesify whenever Carol is arround, reinforcing the notion that one probably shouldn't take Viagra if you have a heart condition. And Manning's eventual rampage is due more to the confusion and cognitive breakdown over the lack of blood flow in the brain than smashing those who think he's a freak. 

Behind the camera, from the harsh lighting and the deep shadows it causes, to the explosions of gruesome violence, coupled with several nightmarish dream sequences and flashbacks, and then topped off with a doomed love triangle between a man, a woman, and a Plutonium bomb-shaped femme fatale who comes between them, The Amazing Colossal Man really has a nice Poverty Row noir flare to it that really kicks it up a couple notches over its like-minded (similarly-irradiated?) brethren. Cinematographer Joe Biroc brought out the same hard and defined edges he'd shown in It's A Wonderful Life (-- remember George Bailey's trip through the nightmare version of Bedford Falls?), the procedural docudrama feel of his film noir classics The Killer that Stalked New York and Cry Danger, and the brutality of the later neo-noirs of Frank Sinatra (The Detective, Tony Rome) that really gels with the production design and art direction of Bill Glasgow, who would do the same for Robert Aldrich's atomo-paranoia-noir Kiss Me Deadly and his decadently ghoulish Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? 


Also, as far as I know, Albert Glasser scored all of Gordon's movies. And, as usual, he does his best to sell and glue it all together with mucho bombasity to accent the action (-- I love it when the score mimics the giant's stomping gait), and then lathers on the schmaltzie syrup during the romantic interludes. However, it doesn't take a sharp ear to hear where the score delves into Carl W. Stalling territory as it openly mocks some of the dialogue in spots (-- mostly when Manning is snarking lamely on his size), where all that's missing is a final rim-shot to play the giant off the stage. 

Further down the credits, and once more over-achieving for the lack of budget, Paul and Jackie Blaisdell provided the model airplane and all the miniaturized furniture and props to help give Manning more scale, including the Amazing Colossal Hypodermic Needle, which is so absurd and yet so practical given the circumstances. (That's me shrugging right now.) Unable to shoot on location for the climatic battle, the cut-outs of the casinos along Freemont Street actually work pretty well, too, as Manning lurks behind them and plays the peeping tom on an unsuspecting bather. (The crowd inserts reacting to all of this would have worked better if it weren't the exact same group of gawkers gawking as Manning makes his way down the fabled Las Vegas strip.) Blaisdell also provided the Sands marquee and the other casino props a curious and confused Manning examines and destroys. These work better because the camera is isolated on Manning or he's kept at a relative distance as opposed to the one close-up shot where the giant takes out Vegas Vic, the iconic smiling cowboy attached to the The Pioneer Club, which all too easily reveals it's cardboard and balsa-wood origins. 

But where things really break down and the films one true weakness lay right at Gordon's own feet as his traveling-matte process delivered a semi-transparent giant in most instances. And as bad as the composite shot was when Manning finally pulls a Kong and snatches up Carol, at least we weren't dealing with any rubberized hand and foot props that plagued Attack of the 50ft Woman and the director's own follow-up, Village of the Giants. However, to the director's credit, except for the helicopter sequence where Manning clumsily reaches for it, he was smart enough not to dwell on these shots and, again, for the most part, keeps the giant as far away from the camera as possible to hide these technical deficiencies during his final rampage. And before we move on and leave the F/X department behind, one definitely needs to throw a light on the work of make-up man Bob Schiffer, who provided Langan's bald noggin' and one of the most indelible images from this film -- of any radiation-fueled monster movie, really, where the audience gets a brutal, full-frontal look at a man burned alive by atomic fire and learns the folly of ducking and covering. 

Bert I. Gordon, Glenn Langan and (I think) Bob Schiffer.

As for the man in charge of it all? I've gone into greater detail in other reviews of King Dinosaur, Beginning of the End, and Village of the Giants on the life and times and film career of Bert Ira Gordon. So instead of rehashing all of that, I'll just sum up why, despite all the technical gaffes and transparency hiccups, I love his movies so much. And that reason is Gordon never cheated and always delivered -- no matter how cheap or hair-brained the results -- what the title and poster or cover art promised in his gonzoidal flicks. Audiences were truly appreciative, too, as The Amazing Colossal Man was American International's second biggest money-maker in 1957, right behind Herman Cohen's I Was a Teenage Werewolf. And it proved so popular a sequel was commissioned that isn't quite as good but a whole lot screwier so we'll call War of the Colossal Beast a wash. Anyways... 

The Amazing Colossal Man has always been a favorite Mr. BIG movie for me. Is it as good as I'm making it out to be? Of course not. But taken on it's own terms, the film is a highly entertaining romp. And on top of all that there's something else it did for which I am eternally grateful. Now, I know I'm not the first or the only person who believes this flick went a long way (subconsciously or overtly) in inspiring another tale in another medium where a member of the military industrial complex, while trying to save another civilian who wondered onto a test site, gets exposed to a massive amount of radiation during an eeriely similar experimental bomb test gone awry, which transforms him into another, incredibly powerful hulk with a penchant for massive amounts of property damage whenever he loses his temper, and who tries and mostly fails to keep his girl at arms length, and who is constantly hounded by the army as they try to cure or kill him. 

Yeah, don't make Colonel Manning angry. You wouldn't like him when he's angry. Also of note, I'm sad to report that The Amazing Colossal Man is another one of those vintage American International flicks that has failed to make the digital leap due to some lingering hostility between the Nicholson and Arkoff estates from when the company split up in the late 1960's. I still hold out hopes that someday we will see a legitimate release of this, I Was a Teenage Werewolf and Invasion of the Saucer-Men. Until then, I shall continue to cling to my old VHS tapes.

Other Points of Interest:

The Amazing Colossal Man (1957) Malibu Productions :: American International / EP: James H. Nicholson, Samuel Z. Arkoff / P: Bert I. Gordon / D: Bert I. Gordon / W: Mark Hanna, Bert I. Gordon / C: Joseph Biroc / E: Ronald Sinclair / M: Albert Glasser / S: Glenn Langan, Cathy Downs, William Hudson, Larry Thor, James Seay

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Meme Leech :: For the Love of Calibos! Another SLIFR Quiz-Bowl-O-Rama!

Welp, haven't done one of these in awhile. And so, courtesy of the always entertaining proprietor of Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule, I present my late as always answers to the Miss Jean Brodie's Modestly Magnificent Matriarchally Manipulative Springtime-for-Mussolini Movie Quiz:

1) The classic movie moment everyone loves except me is: 

"The hills are alive with the sound of please shut-the-hell-up..."

2) Favorite line of dialogue from a film noir:

"Such a lovely body. It's revolting."

Actually, the whole scene in Frank Tuttle's This Gun for Hire (1942) between bad guy Gates (Laird Cregar) and his hired muscle (Marc Lawrence) on the disposal of Ellen Grahame (Veronica Lake), who knows too much to live, is just fantastic -- from prissy Cregar being both morbidly fascinated and repulsed by all the gory details about cat-gut tethers and staged suicides to the subtle, censor-slipping insinuation that Grahame will be stripped naked before she's deep-sixed (-- a "secret" that will be just between the dastardly chauffeur and the lake.) Again, great, great stuff.

3) Second favorite Hal Ashby film:

4) Describe the moment when you first realized movies were directed as opposed to simply pieced together anonymously:

Probably one of the many action sequences during the repeated viewings of Raiders of the Lost Ark back in 1981. I'm thinking the sequence where Indy attacks the truck convoy full of Nazis to get the Ark back.

5) Favorite film book:

6) Diana Sands or Vonetta McGee? 


7) Most egregious gap in your viewing of films made in the past 10 years:

Geez. I dunno. Maybe not making it an even sixteen screenings of The Avengers (2012) while it was in theater? In the same vein, there are too many movies to name that deserved to be seen on the big screen that are still good but lose something at home. I had a chance to see Casino Royale (2006) in IMAX and passed it up, leaving me to enjoy that fabulous opening sequence in all its 35-inch glory.

8) Favorite line of dialogue from a comedy:

It's a tie between this from Spielberg's 1941 (1979)...

"I don't think you're gonna hit 'em, Ward." 
And this bit from Broken Lizard's Super Troopers (2001)...

"Uh, excuse me. Bear -- Bear-F@*ker. Do you need assistance?"

9) Second favorite Lloyd Bacon film:

10) Richard Burton or Roger Livesey? 


11) Is there a movie you staunchly refuse to consider seeing? If so, why?

The Passion of the Christ. One, I know how it ends. Two, the hypocrisy over the violent and bloody content that is nothing less than torture porn getting a pass as long as it's "educational." And third, despite all the props for historical accuracy and being in the original Aramaic, our Lord and Savior was still played by a white guy.

12) Favorite filmmaker collaboration:

Budd Boetticher, Burt Kennedy, Charles Lawton Jr., and Randolph Scott in The Tall T (1957), Ride Lonesome (1959) and Commanche Station (1960).

13) Most recently viewed movie on DVD/Blu-ray/theatrical?

DVD: Hollywood Hotel (1937). More Busby Berkeley mayhem with an incredible jam-session in the middle, where Benny Goodman and Gene Krupa really cut loose and wail. BluRay: Forbidden Planet (1956). Theatrical: Skyfall (2012). Streaming: Violence (1947). And yes, dammit, VHS: Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933). (Note to self: watch more Joan Blondell musicals.)

14) Favorite line of dialogue from a horror movie:

"Speak. I know you have a civil tongue in your 
head because I sewed it back myself."

15) Second favorite Oliver Stone film:

16) Eva Mendes or Raquel Welch? 

17) Favorite religious satire:

Sure, it's more a satire on movie-making with disasters of biblical proportions, but, eh, if this helps someone else see it for the first time, then my work here is done. (Otherwise, Greaser's Palace.)

18) Best Internet movie argument?

I remember getting into an argument with a guy who wrote off Gordon Flemyng's The Split (1968) based solely on the fact that he couldn't buy Ernest Borgnine beating Jim Brown in a fistfight. I called bullshit on that argument, with Emperor of the North as my evidence, feeling not only could Borgnine win the fight but, win or not, the fight would've at least lasted a helluva lot longer than my idiot friend thought possible.

19) Most pointless Internet movie argument?

The vilification of  George Lucas over innumerable charges of childhood raping. Seriously. Stop that.

20) Charles McGraw or Robert Ryan? 

 Ryan -- but there's nothing wrong with second place to him.

21) Favorite line of dialogue from a western:

 "I thought you never drew on a man?"
 "That's right, sir. Only snakes."

And it's Ben Johnson's stomach-sick reaction to all the men he's just killed after delivering the line in Wagon Master (1950) that really brings it home.

22) Second favorite Roy Del Ruth film:

23) Relatively unknown film or filmmaker you’d most eagerly proselytize for:

I really dug Paul Andrew Williams' London to Brighton (2006) and the nigh inexplicable genre-shift in The Cottage (2008) still makes me giggle. Finally caught Cherry Tree Lane (2010) and it was pretty good, too. So, yeah, go watch these as soon as possible.

24) Ewan McGregor or Gerard Butler?

McCregor in a laugher. Butler isn't even on my ballot. Weird.

25) Is there such a thing as a perfect movie?

If there is, I haven't found it yet. The closest I think I've come to is the recently departed Del Tenney's The Horror of Party Beach (1964). No. Seriously.

26) Favorite movie location you’ve most recently had the occasion to actually visit:

A couple of summers ago I was in Pittsburgh with the usual collective head-of-knuckle for the Drive-In Super Monster Rama and we took the opportunity to visit the Evans City cemetery, where Image-10 shot the opening sequence from Night of the Living Dead (1968). Man, I really need to write up that adventure someday. 

27) Second favorite Delmer Daves film:

28) Name the one DVD commentary you wish you could hear that, for whatever reason, doesn't actually exist:

The Thing from Another World (1951): moderated by Tom Weaver with Ken Tobey, Robert Cornwaithe, Bill Self and any other surviving cast member -- including James Arness. I had high, high hopes for this for years but with Tobey, Arness and Cornwaithe no longer being with us, this, alas, will never be except in my head.

29) Gloria Grahame or Marie Windsor? 

Again, nothing wrong with second place here.

30) Name a filmmaker who never really lived up to the potential suggested by their early acclaim or success:

M. Knight Shamalamadingdong. Instead of concentrating on what worked in The Sixth Sense (1999), everything he's done since has been an extrapolation on what didn't.

31) Is there a movie-based disagreement serious enough that it might cause you to reevaluate the basis of a romantic relationship or a friendship?

Nah. Unless The Sound of Music is your favorite movie. Then we're gonna tussle like Milton Berle and Terry-Thomas! With that, until next time, Boils and Ghouls. Quiz out!

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