horror, movie, movie review, sci-fi

May 20th, 2018 Movie – The Werewolf

the werewolf

I just realized something. I don’t own a single copy of any of the classic horror films. I have several remakes of the movies, and dozens of movies inspired by them, but none of the classic Universal monster movies are in my possession. I find that a bit odd and should definitely rectify that oversight one of these days, but it unfortunately won’t be any time soon. The only reason why this came to mind is because today’s movie is one of those remakes. So let’s see what this remake has to offer as I watch today’s movie, The Werewolf.

The plot: A man stumbles into the bar in the small town of Mountaincrest and orders a drink, paying for it with a large bill. When he finishes his drink, he stumbles over to the fireplace to warm his hands for a minute, then goes to leave when the bartender reminds him of his change and the man asks the bartender if he lives there. When the bartender says he never saw the man before, the man says he must be passing through and leaves. Another bar patron, Joe Mitchell, follows him and attempts to mug him, dragging him into an alley. As the two men struggle, an old woman walking by hears them just as one man screams and when a figure emerges from the alley, the woman begins screaming. The figure runs off down the road as some people from the bar, including the deputy sheriff Ben Clovey, run up and to find out what happened. After examining Joe’s body and learning where the supposed killer went, Clovey, the bartender, and another man head out after the figure while Clovey has two women go and get the town doctor, Jonas Gilcrist. As the men follow the tracks into the woods, they are shocked to see them suddenly change from show prints to paw prints and the third man recognizes them as wolf tracks. Clovey sends the bartender and the other man back to get Sheriff Jack Haines, saying he will wait at the top of the nearby hill for them, and the men reluctantly agree to leave, none of them noticing a discarded pair of shoes behind a nearby log. Some time later, Jack returns to the bar with a badly wounded Clovey and he tells everyone to stay inside and not say a word about what happened tonight. He then takes Clovey to Jonas’s house, where his niece Amy, lets them in and goes to get her uncle. While she is gone, Jack asks Clovey about what happened and Clovey tells him it happened to fast but whatever attacked him, it wasn’t quite human, nor was it completely an animal. When Gilcrist arrives, he begins treating Clovey’s injury, with Amy assisting him, and he talks with Jack about what happened. The two men argue when Gilcrist says it was obviously an animal that killed Joe but Jack says that the witness says a man was the attacker. When Amy says what they are all starting to think, Gilcrist refuses to list Werewolf as the cause of death and Jack says that whatever the case, Joe was murdered and that he has some reinforcements coming to help him search for the killer in the morning. After they leave, Amy wonders if she should try to get some sleep or stay up in case they are needed again and Gilcrist says that since they are up, they should get some of his old books on mythology and give them a read. The next morning, the stranger wakes up in a small mine and cries out in anguish, hoping that what he remembers was just a dream. He then sees his shoes and socks nearby and quickly puts them on before leaving the area. Meanwhile, Jack has some state patrol officers show up to help him search the mountain, then gets called off to deal with some reporters, who are wondering why he has the road blocked off, and he reluctantly allows them through. Unknown to them, the stranger is watching them from the trees and he quickly turns around and moves further up the mountain. He soon finds himself at Gilcrist’s house and ask Amy if the doctor is in and she takes him inside to see her uncle. When Gilcrist speaks with the man, the stranger says he can’t remember who he is or anything about his past. The only memory he has is of a car accident, and being in a doctor’s office with two doctors, but that is it. The man then asks if a man had been killed the night before and when Gilcrist says there was, the man says he did it but thought it was just a dream. When Amy tries to give him something to calm him down, the man jumps up, saying the other doctors did something to him and then runs out of the house and down the road. Amy calls the sheriff’s station and when she learns that Jack isn’t there, she heads there with Gilcrist to wait for him. When Jack returns, Amy and Gilcrist tell them what happened and Amy begs Jack to try and take the man alive, as he seemed more frightened than dangerous, and Jack says he will do what he can but can’t make any guarantees. Elsewhere, a scientist named Dr. Morgan Chambers is doing some experiments with animals when his partner, Dr. Emery Forrest, enters the room and shows him the newspaper article about the killing. Morgan feels like this is proof that his serum works and he believes that they can inoculate themselves and a few select others to survive what could be the oncoming destruction of the planet. Morgan makes plans to head to Mountaincrest to try and find their test subject when there is a knock on their door. When he opens it, he finds Helen Marsh there, who asks him about her husband Duncan, as the police say they brought him there are a car accident a few nights ago. Morgan says that Duncan just had a minor head injury but he was fine when he left their office and they haven’t seen him since, trying his best to reassure her. After she leaves, Morgan and Emery head to Mountaincrest, telling the officers at the road block that they believe the man they are searching for is a patient of theirs in order to get through. When they get to town, they head up to the mountain to go looking for Marsh, who hears them coming and ducks into the mine to try and hide from them. Emery searches the mine and finds Marsh, who recognizes him and asks him to help him. When Emery says there is nothing they can do, Marsh realizes he is going to shoot him and the fear kicks in his adrenaline, causing him to change. Emery runs from the mine but is attacked by Marsh, and Morgan shoots at him, scaring him off. Suddenly, a shot rings out close to Morgan as Jack and the other searchers arrive and question what was going on. When Morgan explains what they were doing there, and Emery describes what happened, Jack has them taken to the station to fill out a report, then orders everyone off the mountain, as it is beginning to get dark. That night, Jack and Amy are discussing Marsh when Clovey informs them about Marsh killing a sheep on a nearby farm. Jack tells Clovey to call all the farmers, or go get them if they don’t have a phone, and evacuate everyone to the town for their safety. Amy is upset about Jack intending to kill Marsh instead of helping him but Jack insists he is too dangerous to do otherwise. The next day, Jack and a couple of hunters set some traps around the town when Clovey contacts him on the radio to come back to town. When he gets there, he finds the reporters wanting to get information on what’s going on but he ignore them and goes in the other room to speak to Clovey and another deputy. Clovey tells him about a car found with the ID for Duncan Marsh inside and how Marsh’s wife had filed a missing person’s report 2 days ago, which makes them think Marsh is the man that they are looking for. In town, Morgan and Emery learn about Helen and her son Chris being in town looking for Marsh and says it could complicate things, as Jack might be more inclined to take him in alive. When Emery seems hesitant to kill Marsh, Morgan reminds him that they are responsible for what happened to Marsh and subsequently everything he has done since so they have to kill him in order to protect themselves. Meanwhile, Marsh falls victim to one of the traps and manages to get himself free, but collapses soon afterwards from the pain and blood loss. At Gilchrist’s house, Helen is talking with Amy about how everyone is being vague about her husband and begs her for details. When Jack shows up, he tells Amy that Marsh was caught in one of the traps and managed to escape but was wounded. Helen overhears this and demands Jack tell her the truth and Jack does so, but avoids mentioning that they suspect Marsh is a werewolf. When Helen and Amy both say they want to go with Jack to look for Marsh, he relents and allows them to come, as well as Chris. When Jack gets to the sheriff’s station, he tells Clovey not to bring rifles, as they will carry pistols under their jackets just in case something goes wrong. Morgan shows up and asks if he can go with them but Jack refuses, saying that they want fewer people with them in order not to frighten Marsh. When Morgan leaves, Jack tells him that he doesn’t quite trust them, as Marsh was supposedly fine until his accident occurred, and he was treated by them. The 5 head up to the mountain looking for Marsh and eventually find evidence he is near. When Helen starts calling out on the bullhorn, Marsh reveals himself and Chris and Helen run up to hug him. then move aside when Amy shows up to tend to Marsh’s injury. In town, the people are celebrating the fact that Marsh has been captured and Morgan and Emery are watching, with Morgan waiting for the perfect moment to try and kill Marsh. In the sheriff’s station, Marsh tells Helen and Chris to go home, and he will be there as soon as he is better, and Jack has one of the state patrol officers drive them home. He then heads over to Gilchrist’s house and speaks with Gilchrist and Amy about the situation before Amy convinces him to sleep on the couch. Back at the bar, one of the hunters who had helped set the traps gets especially drunk and stagger out of the bar and Morgan and Emery follow, then knock him unconscious. They take him to the sheriff’s station and knock on the door, then chloroform Clovey when he comes out to check on him. Heading inside, they go to kill Marsh only to find that he has transformed and Marsh quickly kills them both. Jack is woken up by the screams and heads to the station to find the two bodies, as well as the unconscious bodies of Clovey and the drunk, and he tells the other men that were drawn by the screams to bring some torches so they can scare him out of the village. Jack leads the posse into the woods and the start searching for Marsh, finding a blood trail from his injured leg. They eventually spot him and throw some torches up to help light the area and begin shooting but when Marsh disappears further into the woods, Jack decides to fall back and wait until it’s daylight rather than risk someone getting hurt in the dark. In the morning, Jack and the posse spot Marsh heading for the highway and chase after him and as he gets close to the bridge, Jack yells out for it to be blocked on the other side. Marsh ends up jumping off the bridge to the ground below and tries to escape but the men begin shooting and eventually bring him down, then watch as he transforms back to human after he dies.

This was actually a pretty decent movie all things considered. The acting was ok, though Don Megowan (Jack) actually seemed to come off as a little too stiff. George Lynn (Morgan) actually seemed like a much more interesting character but he got such a limited amount of screen time that you weren’t able to see him really be developed. The story was essentially the same as the classic Wolfman story, just losing the supernatural aspect of it and attempting to give it more of a scientific origin. The special effects with the make-up were honestly pretty weak, but they actually worked as you really only see the transformation twice, one in his changing into the werewolf and at the end where he changes back; every other time he is already changed. It’s not a terrible remake but it definitely is not going to be considered a classic any time soon.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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drama, movie, movie review, mystery, sci-fi

May 19th, 2018 Movie – Welcome To Blood City

welcome to blood city

You ever wake up in the morning and just have no motivation to get out of bed and go. That is kind of how I felt this morning. Luckily, that is an easy feeling to get over, well for me, as I simply rolled out of bed and went about my normal routine. Now today’s movie comes to us from the Sci-Fi Invasion box set but it is something I have never seen before. Only way to figure out if it actually belongs there is to give it a watch so let’s see what I am in store for with today’s movie, Welcome To Blood City.

The plot: 5 people (Lewis, Martine, Peter, and two other men ) find themselves in a desert dressed in similar clothes and with no memory as to how they got there. One of the men asks Lewis about his story, mentioning a card in the pocket of Lewis’ shirt, and as Lewis reads it, he asks how many people he killed. The others all say that their cards read that they are killers as well but Lewis chooses to rip his card up, saying not to believe everything they read. With only one canteen between the 5 of them, they start walking across the sand and eventually come to a wooded area with a river. As they start to drink some water, one of the group is shot and two men, Sarge and Webb, rise out of the bushes across the river and tell them to get on their knees. As the two men approach the group, they tell them to removie their boots, which Sarge places in a sack while Webb proceeds to rape Martine. After they leave, the group continues moving until they encounter Sheriff Friedlander, who had watched what had happened to them. Friedlander says that he knows their cards all say they are killers but says it’s ok because they are all killers there. Friedlander leads them to town and escorts them into a building, saying they will be safe there for the night and offers them some food and drink. He then explains that in the morning, the citizens will choose who they want to take and reveals that they are considered slaves. When a man named Gellor arrives with his men, he tells Friedlander that he wants Martine. Friedlander tries to argue that it isn’t the choosing time and that he gets first pick but Gellor counters that Friedlander already has a girl and Friedlander reluctantly concedes. As Gellor grabs Martine and starts examining her, one of the men tries to stop him and ends up being shot. Gellor’s man claims it was self defense but Friendlander yells at them and kicks them out. He apologizes and tells Martine having a girl like her in town is dangerous and decides to take her elsewhere so she will be safe. Meanwhile, two scientists, Katherine and Lyle, are watching some monitors, one of which says the subject is terminated and one of them comments about some people seem to look for ways to kill themselves and the other replies that that was the purpose of their experiment. Back in the town, Lewis goes to cover the body then decides to go outside and get some boots, though Peter says it is a bad idea. As Lewis wanders around town, he is followed by a group of men called the Black Guard, who laugh as he is rejected by the various store owners. Seeing a bootmaker’s shop, Lewis approaches it and the owner threatens to hit him with a hammer but Lewis dodges the attack and grabs the hammer from the man, then spares his life in exchange for the boots off his feet. With his new boots on, Lewis then heads to the gun store for a weapon but the owner kicks him out of the store. As he is leaving, Lewis is approached by a member of the Black Guard, who offers to buy him a drink, saying that he is his 9th. In the bar, Black Guard spills coffee on Lewis, hoping to get a rise out of him and when Lewis refuses to drink the second cup, the man says that Lewis insulted him and that gives him right to kill him. Lewis upends the table to avoid being shot and makes a run for it. theHe makes it to the sheriff’s office and asks Friedlander what is going on. Friedlander tells him that it is the law for a citizen to kill a new arrival that insults him, but if a new arrival kills a citizen, then he becomes a citizen and gets all of their rights. When Lewis asks Friedlander why everything revolves around killing, Friendlander has a sudden flashback of a time when he was a college professor, but shakes it off and tells Lewis it is kill or be killed there. Lewis asks for a gun to defend himself but Friedlander says it is against the law and forces Lewis to go back outside, threatening to shoot him himself if he doesn’t. When Lewis gets outside, he is soon confronted by the Black Guardsman, who goes to shoot Lewis, but a female Black Guard tosses a shotgun to the ground and Lewis quickly grabs it and shoots the man trying to kill him. The dead man’s friends reveal that they were merely working as the man’s bodyguards and that all of his possessions are now Lewis’s. As Lewis turns to thank the female Black Guard, he finds that she has suddenly disappeared. Back in the lab, Lyle says that Katherine shouldn’t have directly programmed herself into the game but Katherine says that she merely extended the options in the game. They are suddenly contacted by their supervisor, who says that they need to produce winners and Katherine argues that they are being unreasonable. After getting some new clothes, Lewis goes to see Martine and she begs for his help in helping her stay out of Gellor’s possession and Lewis tells her he will do what he can to help her. He then heads to the saloon, where he encounters the mystery woman, who is now dressed as one of the working girls. She tells him that she owns the place and she is tired of seeing the same old people every day, which is why she helped him, and the two eventually head upstairs and have sex. Back in the real world, Lyle approaches Katherine, who is attached to the simulation, and chastises her for her actions, saying it is almost like pornography. The next morning in town, Lewis is met by Peter, who tells him that Friedlander wants to see him. Lewis talks with Peter some and asks if he remembers how they got there, as Lewis starts to remember his past life. Back in the lab, alarms are sounding as the scientists rush to prevent Lewis from remembering his life and ruining their experiment. When they finally succeed, the scientists are shocked as that had never happened before and Katherine theorizes that Lewis must be more resistant to altered realities than their other subjects. Back in the town, Lewis meets with Friedlander, and discusses his options on what he can do. He then goes to see Martine, who is near hysterics over her worry about Gellor but Lewis assures her that Gellor would have to kill him first before he gets to her. Some time later, Katherine reappears in town and tries to talk Lewis out of challenging Gellor but he refuses to back down from challenging Gellor for Martine’s safety. When Gellor and his men arrive in town, Friedlander tells Gellor about Lewis’s challenge and Gellor laughs, saying that killing Lewis would make his 20th kill and make him immortal. In the lab, Katherine is upset at Lewis and he says that it looks like he is purposefully rewriting the situation so that Lewis would be killed but Lewis says it isn’t personal, he is just following the supervisor’s orders. In the town, Lewis heads to the saloon to try and reason with Gellor but Gellor want’s to go ahead and kill him. When Lewis’s bodyguards try to stop the fight, Lewis yells out about everyone in town seeming to want to be killed, while in the lab, Lyle remarks about him finally starting to figure things out. Back in the saloon, one of Gellor’s men kills one of Lewis’s bodyguards and Gellor marches Lewis out of the saloon, saying he will have Lewis watch him claim Martine, then kill Lewis in front of her. When they get outside, they learn that Friedlander has started the choosing already and an angered Gellor hurries over to the jail. They get there as the last man is auctioned off and as Gellor yells out for Martine, one of the Black Guard tells the crowd that Martine is gone. Checking for himself, Gellor accuses Friedlander of hiding her and when he threatens to kill him, Friedlander shoots Gellor. As everyone leaves, Lewis demands Friedlander tell him where Martine is but before Friedlander shoots him, Katherine says that he doesn’t know because she is the one who took her. Back in the lab, Lyle is arguing about Katherine’s continued involvement in the experiment but Katherine tells the supervisor that Lewis is a perfect candidate to become a killmaster. The Supervisor says that they have to prove it, as they are losing rapidly. Back in the town, Katherine explains she took Martine but they were ambushed by bandits, who took Martine to the old mine. Lewis asks Friedlander to go back to town and get some men while he has Katherine lead him to the mine. As they are riding along, Lewis tells Katherine that he knows they weren’t ambushed but she gave Martine to the bandits and Katherine says that she did it to save him, then rides off as Lewis is insisting on going to the mine. When Lewis gets there, he knows out the lookout, then begins firing at the bandits, killing several but he soon runs out of bullets. Before they can kill him, Katherine returns with some men and they start killing off the rest of the bandits. When the leader holds Martine hostage, Lewis yells at everyone to stop shooting but Katherine fires one last shot, killing Martine. In the lab, Lyle says that Katherine may have been right about Lewis but Katherine says that he disappointed her, as he merely played not to lose, and that he is about to be terminated. In the town, Friedlander heads to the bar and after talking to Lewis for a minute, moves to arrest him, saying he will think of a charge later. When one of the bystanders says he can’t do that, Friedlander shoots him and Lewis makes a run for it. Friedlander chases after him, constantly laughing as he shoots at him. He eventually catches up to Lewis as Lewis tries to grab a horse but instead of killing Lewis, Friedlander ends up killing himself. Lewis asks Friedlander why but when he gets no response, he walks away. As he heads to the center of town, he is met by Peter, who is wielding a shotgun, and told to stop. Lewis tries to reason with Peter, saying he is being set up just like he was, but Peter says he won’t waste his chance and when Lewis keeps moving towards him, he shoots him. In the lab, Katherine is happy to see Lewis died in the simulation but is shocked to see them reviving the real Lewis and learns it is under the supervisor’s orders. Katherine goes to see the supervisor and asks why Lewis is being revived and she is told she exceeded her authority and Lewis is exactly the kind of person they need. As they argue, Lewis regains consciousness and hears them talking about him. As he tries to figure out what is going on, he starts hitting buttons on the control panel next to his chair and opens a window that shows Martine, Gellor, Friedlander, and the other people that died in the simulation, now mindless shuffling bodies in a room. When Katherine and the supervisor return to the room, they find that Lewis had ripped up the controls for the chair and hotwired it to send him back into the simulation.

This was an interesting, albeit confusing, movie to watch. The acting was honestly a little boring, as all of the characters really seemed to be to stiff and robotic in their delivery. I will say that the end scene with Jack Palance (Friedlander) laughing like a maniac as he kept popping up and shooting at Lewis was funny, in a WTF kind of way. The story was honestly pretty confusing in the sense that they really didn’t explain what the point of the simulation was. I mean, yes, the simulation is testing them for something but you never really know why or what Lewis is expected to do for them. I did like the idea of the people being in a simulated world and the whole dying in the simulation causes you to die, well mentally die, in the real world. I feel like The Matrix borrowed quite a bit from this idea. The special effects were ok but the camera work was just terrible, as there were times that they would randomly zoom close to someone’s face when they weren’t fully in the camera shot, so you would get a great view of someone’s cheek. A for effort….well, maybe a B+ because there was definitely some room for improvement.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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comedy, movie, movie review, romance, sci-fi

May 18th, 2018 Movie – Weird Science

weird science

You know, was there anyone more powerful in Hollywood in the 80’s than John Hughes. I mean, this man made some of the most iconic movies to exist in pop culture in the span of a decade.I honestly don’t know anybody that hasn’t seen at least one of his movies over the years, or referenced one of them. Today’s movie has always been one of those movies that I found entertaining. I think the fact that it seemed to almost always be on TV at one point or another probably helped with that. So let’s have some laughs with today’s movie, Weird Science.

The plot: Nerdy social outcasts Gary Wallace and Wyatt Donnelly are standing outside the gym watching the girls participating in their gymnastics class. As they fantasize about what they would like to do, including with Deb and Hilly, their boyfriends Ian and Max sneak up behind Gary and Wyatt and quickly pull down their gym shorts, then yell out to the girls, leaving Gary and Wyatt exposed in their underwear to them. Later, Gary goes to spend the night at Wyatt’s house and is upset to learn that while Wyatt’s parents are gone, his brother Chet is coming home from military school for the weekend to look after the house and Wyatt while they are gone. That night, as they are watching Frankenstein, Gary comes up with the idea to use Wyatt’s computer to make a female simulation so they can try and practice talking with girls. As they get more involved in their project, they end up hacking into a military computer to boost their simulation’s abilities, then hook the computer up to a doll as a body for the program. AS they are doing this, strange red strom clouds appear over the house and as lightning hits the house and cause complete chaos in the town, they end up creating a real woman from their experiment. After taking a shower with Gary and Wyatt, who both keep their pants on, the woman says she wants to go out and so they head out, with the woman magically changing their clothes as they exit the room. As they are driving downtown in her pink convertible, the woman says that since they created her, they should give her a name and Gary suggests Lisa. Arriving at a bar, Lisa produces ID’s for the boys so they can get in and they proceed to mingle. Gary and Wyatt are uncomfortable at first but soon loosen up, with Gary proceeding to get drunk during the night. On the way home, Wyatt ends up driving and Lisa asks him what he is going to tell Chet about her but Wyatt says he hasn’t thought of it. When they get back to Wyatt’s house, Wyatt runs into Chet, who proceeds to pick on Wyatt and Gary, and demand money to buy his silence, before he goes to bed. After putting Gary to bed, Wyatt heads back down to sneak Lisa inside and she talks to him for a little bit, and works on teaching him how to kiss, and though she doesn’t like it, she agrees to stay hidden from Chet. The next morning, Gary and Wyatt think that everything was a dream until they hear Lisa calling them down for breakfast and Wyatt is shown to be wearing Lisa’s clothes from when she first appeared. They head to the mall with Lisa and while they are waiting for her as she shops, Ian and Max dump an Icee on them. As the two bullies laugh at their prank, Deb and Hilly consider breaking up with them but decide to forgive them, as they didn’t want to be social pariahs. As they are leaving, Ian and Max see Lisa going up the escalator in the opposite direction and quickly leave their girlfriends behind to chase after her. When they catch up to her, they try talking to her but are shocked to find that she is with Gary and Wyatt. As they are leaving, Lisa says that there is a party at Wyatt’s house and she tells them to spread the word and they drive off, leaving a stunned Ian and Max staring after them. At Wyatt’s house, Wyatt is asking Lisa why she is throwing a party and she tells him that they wanted to be popular and have fun and they needed to loosen up. Lisa then goes to pick up Gary and meets his parents, who get upset and angry at what she tells them about Gary and threaten to call the cops but she uses her powers to make his dad forget about Gary and they leave. As Lisa finishes setting up, Gary and Wyatt admit that they have no friends but Lisa opens the door and they see the whole school there for the party. As the party goes on, Ian and Max show up with Deb and Hilly and as Ian and Max go to the bar, then try to hit on Lisa, Deb and Hilly wander around the house. The end up at the bathroom where Gary and Wyatt were hiding and they end up talking briefly before the girls leave. Deb and Hilly run into Lisa, who asks if they met Gary and Wyatt and tells them they should shower with them. Meanwhile, Ian and Max apologize to Gary and Wyatt in the hopes they will set them up with Lisa and Gary and Wyatt tell them about creating her. Ian and Max convince Gary and Wyatt to try and make them a woman of their own and they proceed to do it, causing chaos to occur at the party. When Lisa appears in the doorway, she chastises Gary and Wyatt, then reminds them that they didn’t hook up a doll to the computer, just as a ballistic missile comes up from the ground and into the house. Wyatt’s grandparents show up to pay a surprise visit to Wyatt and they start yelling at all of the kids to get out when Lisa confronts them and puts them in suspended animation. When Wyatt and Gary find out, they start freaking out and Lisa decides to cause a situation to give them a confidence boost. Suddenly, a gang of mutant bikers crash the party and begin terrorizing all of the guests. Ian and Max decide to run and hide, leaving Deb and Hilly to find for themselves. When the bikers grab Deb and Hilly and confront Gary and Wyatt, Gary and Wyatt stand up to the bikers and manage to make them leave. Afterwards, Deb and Hilly talk with Gary and Wyatt respectively and the girls end up falling for the two guys. The next morning, Chet returns from his hunting trip and when he sees the disaster the house has become, he confronts Gary and Wyatt over what happened. When he continually mocks Wyatt, Lisa stops him and tells the boys to take the girls home while she deals with Chet. Wyatt takes Hilly home and kisses her and as she walks to her door, he tells her he loves her, just as the lawn sprinklers come on. Meanwhile, Gary avoids getting a speeding ticket as he takes Deb home and when they get there, he tries explaining that the car, clothes, and everything isn’t really him but she tells him that she wants to know the real him and they kiss. When they return to Wyatt’s home, they find Chet had been turned into a talking piece of crap and Chet apologizes for how he treated Wyatt in the past. When Wyatt and Gary go see Lisa, she assures them that Chet will be back to normal in half an hour. They guys then tell Lisa that they have girlfriends now and don’t need her and she tells them she is happy for them and disappears in a cloud of smoke. Once she is gone, the house, and Chet, are returned back to normal, just as Wyatt’s parents return. The next day in school, Lisa is shown to be the new gym teacher and as all of the guys faint, she winks at the camera.

Weird Science met with mixed reviews from the critics, holding a 54% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Hardly in the same league as John Hughes’ other teen movies, the resolutely goofy Weird Science nonetheless gets some laughs via its ridiculous premise and enjoyable performances.” During the movie, Gary, played by Anthony Michael Hall, mentions having a girlfriend in Canada, a line Hall used earlier in the year in another John Hughes movie, The Breakfast Club. The movie was a box office success, earning $38.9 million off of a $7.5 million budget, and has spawned a television series in the mid 90’s, while a remake has been in the works since 2013.

This is still a ridiculous movie that is pretty entertaining. The acting was pretty good, with Anthony Michael Hall (Gary) and Ilam Mitchell-Smith (Wyatt) doing good jobs in their roles. Kelly LeBrock was great as Lisa, but I honestly thought that Suzanne Snyder and Judie Aronson were kind of boring as Deb and Hilly. The story was a great mix of teenage drama with some science fiction added to it. I thought the nod to “Frankenstein” was a great way to introduce Lisa, who went from being their “ideal” woman to helping them actually gain the confidence to get a real girlfriend. The special effects were good but most of the story was carried by the drama and comedy aspects of the movie. It’s a fun movie to watch when you just want to have some laughs.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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horror, movie, movie review, sci-fi

May 14th, 2018 Movie – Weasels Rip My Flesh

weasels rip my flesh

Sometimes, you come across movies that you may have heard about for years but never gotten a chance to see. That is the case for me with today’s movie. Being a lover of B-movies, this is one of those movies that I have always heard about over the years but I never saw it on TV or found a copy that I could rent. After a while, I honestly kind of forgot about it until a couple of years ago, when it happened to pop up on my recommended list on Amazon. Well, that just seemed like fate telling me to go ahead and finally grab a copy so that is exactly what I did. Now let’s see what all the hype is about as I watch today’s movie, Weasels Rip My Flesh.

The plot: A NASA rocket is sent to Venus, where a robotic arm grabs some samples of liquid from the planet’s surface. With it’s cargo secure, the rocket heads back to Earth but it ends up crashing in a swamp, and it’s cargo ends up floating out of the wreckage. Some time later, two boys are playing in the swamp when they find two canisters in the water. After grabbing them out of the water, the boys start to examine them when one of them is bitten in the ankle by a rabid weasel. The other boy find the weasel’s lair and decides to open one of the canisters and pour the contents into the lair in order to drown the weasel but it causes the weasel to start mutating. As the boys go to leave, the one who was bit complains about his foot swelling up so his friend offers to giver him a lift on his bike, but stops to go back for the canister’s lid. When he doesn’t return, the other boy goes looking for him and finds his mauled body and tries to run but the weasel, not a giant, mutated creature, attacks and kills him. The weasel makes it’s way towards the highway, where it is hit by a car but manages to disappear into the nearby woods. The driver, Fred, is shocked by what happened and after examining the damage to his car, finds a severed arm from the weasel and quickly wraps it in plastic and places it in his trunk. When he gets home, he calls his friend Jake to come over, then starts to examine the arm but after cutting off a sample of the flesh and leaving the kitchen, the arm starts pulsing and oozing blood. When Jake comes over, Fred tells him what happened and takes him into the kitchen to see the arm, they find it has disappeared from the counter. Suddenly, Jake is bit by the weasel that has grown from the severed limb, and as Fred calls the police for help, Jake suddenly begins foaming at the mouth and attacks and kills Fred, then leaves the house. Meanwhile, a kid is walking his dog when it runs off and as he looks for it, he discovers the bodies of the two boys and reporters arrive to cover the story. Inspector Cameron is called to the crime scene but as he and his partner, Detective Anderson, investigate, they are captured by Dr. Sendam. Sendam takes them to his secret lair and explains he captured the mutated weasel and plans to create more of them, as the creatures are practically immortal and he can use them to take over the world. However, due to their impure blood from the rabies, he needs their plasma to purify it, drugging them into unconsciousness. Sendam grabs Anderson and places him on a table so he can grab the plasma needed, then injects Anderson with the purified weasel DNA to see if his theory is correct. Meanwhile, Cameron comes too and manages to light a cigar on the equipment close to him and uses it to burn the ropes tying his hands. He then attempts to kill the weasel offspring Sendam has collected but when he realizes that cutting them in half only results in two more creatures, he grabs a nearby can of gasoline and proceeds to light them all on fire, destroying them. Sendam sees what he is doing and attempts to stop him by attacking him with a rake but Cameron is only wounded and manages to shoot Sendam in the back. Sendam makes it back to his lab, where he is suddenly attacked by a transformed Anderson but he manages to temporarily subdue the monster by stabbing it in the head. Suddenly, a giant weasel attacks him and bites off his arm and he stumbles out of his lab, with Cameron following after him. As Cameron looks for Sendam, the giant weasel bursts out of the ground and attempts to attack him but he is saved by the mutated Anderson and Cameron sets both of them on fire. He finally tracks down Sendam, who had made it into the nearby waters of the saltwater marsh and shoots him again but he is shot in the leg as well. As Sendam goes to finish off Cameron, a shark suddenly appears and bites off his other arm and Sendam finally collapses dead in the water, leaving Cameron to make his way back to his car and leave.

Well, this was exactly the kind of mess I expected from a low budget movie. The acting was pretty bland, with most of the characters showing no emotion what-so-ever in any of their performances. The story was an honest mess, as it basically seemed to try and bounce around on a couple of themes and never really settle onto what it wanted until the end. To be honest, there were some plot holes in that story that made it a little hard to make sense of everything. The special effects were laughably bad and one of the reasons why this movie kind of stands out while the camera work is absolutely atrocious and actually gave me a headache at times. Make no mistake, this is not a good movie by any stretch of the imagination but for the right fan, it can be entertaining. Unfortunately, this is one of those rare occurrences where I am not that fan.

Rating: 2 out of 5

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action, drama, movie, movie review, sci-fi

May 11th, 2018 Movie – The Watchmen

the watchmen

If there is one thing that most comic fans can agree on, it is that Alan Moore is kind of a twisted genius with his story telling. I mean, the series, and one shots, that he has written are some of the most talked about stories by fans and non-fans alike. So it makes sense that these stories would be turned into movies, as the comic movie business was really starting to bloom at the turn of the century. Now I read this limited series when I was a kid and I know I didn’t have the understanding of what was going on back then that I did when I re-read it before the movie came out. Now, let’s see how well the movie holds up as I watch, The Watchmen.

The plot: On an alternate Earth similar to ours, government agent Edward Blake is in his apartment watching the news discussing the rising tensions between U.S. and Soviet governments and the Soviet’s stockpiling of nuclear weapons. Suddenly, a masked intruder breaks into Blake’s apartment and begins attacking him and though Blake fights back, the intruder easily beats him before throwing him through the window, where Blake falls to his death on the street below.  In flashbacks, we learn that during WWII, a group of costumed vigilantes called the Minutemen form to keep the streets safe from costumed gangs and crooks. After the war ends, several members of the team are killed, while another is committed to an asylum. During the 60’s, America ends up winning the Vietnam War with the help of a new hero, Dr. Manhattan. A new group of heroes, calling themselves the Watchmen, band together to protect the streets but rising anti-vigilante sentiments cause many members of the group to disband, while Dr. Manhattan and the Comedian become government agents and Rorschach continues to operate outside the law. Back in the present (1985), the cops are investigating Blake’s murder and after they leave, Rorschach enters and does his own search to reveal that Blake was actually his old teammate The Comedian. Elsewhere, Hollis Mason, the original Nite Owl of the Minutemen who is long retired and runs an auto shop, is talking with Daniel Dreiberg, the second Nite Owl of the Watchmen, and discussing some of his old exploits. When Dreiberg leaves, he finds Rorschach waiting for him at his home and he tells Dreiberg about the Comedian’s death. Knowing Blake had done black ops work for the government, Dreiberg theorizes it could have been a political hit but Rorschach feels like it is someone targeting former costumed heroes. The next day, Daniel goes to see Adrian Veidt, who had come clean about his identity as the costumed Ozymandias and now runs a billion dollar empire. They discuss Rorschach’s theory but Veidt deems it unlikely, as Blake had made many enemies over the years, and it was most likely someone getting revenge on him alone. Meanwhile, Rorschach goes to a government facility to see Dr. Manhattan and his wife Laurie Jupiter (Silk Spectre II) to tel them about Blake’s death and ask Dr. Manhattan to see if the killer is ever found. Dr. Manhattan says that something his ability to see the future, most likely an impending nuclear war. He then teleports Rorschach out of the facility and speaks with Laurie briefly before telling her to say hi to Daniel for him, knowing she will go to see him. Laurie does go to see Dreiberg and the two catch up while Laurie starts complaining about how Jon (Dr. Manhattan) has been pulling away from her. The next day, as Blake’s funeral is taking place, Laurie goes to see her mother Sally, the original Silk Spectre, who has her own troubled history with Blake as he had raped her while they were members of the Minutemen, resulting in Sally becoming pregnant with Laurie. At the funeral, Dreiberg, Dr. Manhattan, and Veidt all attend and Dreiberg and Dr. Manhattan each have their own memories of their interactions with Blake that come to the surface. That night, Rorschach breaks into the apartment of a former criminal, Moloch, and asks why he attended Blake’s funeral. Moloch explains that he was paying his respects, as Blake had broken into his apartment a week ago and had cried as he rambled about doing bad things and that Moloch’s name was on a list as well as some others, including his. Meanwhile, Laurie gets upset with Dr. Manhattan when he makes clones to make love to her while he continues working on his devices and after arguing with him, she leaves him. Laurie ends up at Dreiberg’s place and the two decide to go get some dinner but as they cut through an alley, they are jumped by a gang of muggers and they end up beating or killing all of them. Meanwhile, Dr. Manhattan is scheduled to do a TV interview and while he is being questioned by the reporters in the audience, one of them asks if he is aware that several people he has had close contact with have contracted cancer or died of it, including his former girlfriend/partner Janey Slater. Janey is brought forth and she curse at Jon for what he has done to her before leaving as Jon calls out to her. As the reporters swarm around Dr. Manhattan to try and ask him questions, he yells out for them to leave him alone, then teleports himself to Mars, where he begins building a structure for himself. Back on Earth, Veidt is being interviewed in his building when there is an assassination attempt made on him but he survives and attempts to find out who sent the assassin but the assassin takes a suicide pill and kills himself. As Dreiberg and Laurie discuss it, as well as Jon’s disappearance, they are unaware that they are being observed by Rorschach in his civilian identity. Rorschach goes to see Moloch again, as he saw evidence linking him to Veidt’s would-be assassin, but when he gets there, he finds Moloch dead and he is being set up for the crime. Moloch tries to fight off the police but he is arrested and placed in prison. Many of the prisoners are excited to have Rorschach locked up with them, as they see it as a chance to get revenge on him but he warns that they should be more afraid, as he is now locked in there with him. Meanwhile, Dreiberg and Laurie get closer to each other and end up sleeping together. After waking from an apocalyptic dream, Dreiberg heads down to his secret lair and Laurie finds him staring at his old costume, saying he had wanted to make a difference in the world. The two decide to don their old costumes and go fly in Dreiberg’s vehicle when they hear a report of a fire at an apartment building. The two go to help rescue the people trapped in the building and, after having sex again, decide to go break Rorschach out of prison. Meanwhile, a prison riot occurs and Big Figure, a criminal that Rorschach had arrested, uses the opportunity to try and kill Rorschach but he takes care of Big Figure’s two body guards, then heads to the warden’s office to get his mask back. Nite Owl and Silk Spectre II show up at the prison, dealing with some of the rioters as well as a guard that tries to arrest them and see Rorschach chase Big Figure into the restroom, where he kills him, then they all leave. When the return to Dreiberg’s home, they find Dr. Manhattan waiting for them and he says he is there to speak with Laurie and Laurie tells Dreiberg not to worry as she agrees to go with him. After they leave, Dreiberg and Rorschach decide to investigate Pyramid international and discover that Veidt’s company is the parent company, which means that Veidt was behind everything. On Mars, Laurie and Dr. Manhattan argue over the oncoming nuclear war and Dr. Manhattan reveals to Laurie that Blake was her father, causing her to think her life was a joke but Dr. Manhattan comforts her and says they will go back to Earth. Dreiberg and Rorschach head to Veidt’s Antarctic hideout to confront Veidt but he is easily able to beat them as he explains that what he is doing is to bring about world peace. He explains that he had built nuclear explosives that will mimic Dr. Manhattan’s energy signature and plans to detonate them in some of the world’s most populous cities, in order to unite the world against a common enemy, Dr. Manhattan. Dr. Manhattan and Laurie arrive in New York after the device goes off and Dr. Manhattan realizes what occurred and teleports them to Veidt’s base. He moves to confront Veidt but he maneuvers Dr. Manhattan into a chamber that is intended to destroy him, using the same process that created him. As Veidt returns to the others, Laurie tries to shoot him but he catches the bullet and kicks her aside. Dr. Manhattan is revealed to have survived the trap and goes to confront Veidt again but Veidt turns on the TV’s to reveal President Nixon talking about the U.S. and Soviet Union uniting to protect the planet from Dr. Manhattan. Realizing that Veidt really has brought about peace in their time, even if it is based on a lie, Dr. Manhattan, Dreiberg, and Laurie all seem to agree with Veidt but Rorschach refuses to compromise. As he leaves the base, he is confronted by Dr. Manhattan and Rorschach demands that he kill him as that is the only way to get him to stop and Dr. Manhattan does as he wishes, as Dreiberg screams out in grief. Dr. Manhattan leaves the planet, saying goodbye to Laurie and an enraged Dreiberg attacks Veidt, who refuses to defend himself, and argues about why Rorschach had to die before he leaves with Laurie. Some time later, Dreiberg and Laurie pay a visit to Laurie’s mother and Laurie tells Sally that she knows the truth about Blake. Sally tells her she wanted to say something so many times but just couldn’t bring herself to do it, then heads into the other room for a minute to collect herself as she is overcome with emotion. Laurie and Dreiberg then talk about the apparent truce and Dreiberg says that as long as people think Jon is out there watching them and willing to attack again, the peace will stand. Meanwhile, at the office of The New Frontiersman newspaper, the editor is complaining about there being no good news stories since the whole world is at peace. An employee named Seymour says they could print something from the “Crank” bin and the editor says to print whatever he wants. As the editor goes back to his office, Seymour glances at the bin, where Rorschach’s journal is sitting, as he had sent it to the newspaper before he left for the Antarctic.

The Watchmen met with mixed to positive results from the critics, holding a 68% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Gritty and visually striking, Watchmen is a faithful adaptation of Alan Moore’s graphic novel, but its complex narrative structure may make it difficult for it to appeal to viewers not already familiar with the source material.” When the trailer first premiered during The Dark Knight, it created so much interest in it that it caused the graphic novel to end up back on the bestseller list and Barnes & Noble reported selling out nationwide. The movie was a modest success at the box office, earning $183.5 million off of a $138 million budget.

Despite the rather dark tones it took, this was a pretty good comic book movie. The acting was good, with Jackie Earle Haley and Jeffrey Dean Morgan doing great jobs as Rorschach and Blake respectively. I also liked Billy Crudup’s stoic portrayal of Dr. Manhattan, as it really fit with the character and his losing touch with his humanity and emotions. The story followed the comic pretty closely, with the only real big change being Veidt’s plan, as in the comics he faked an alien invasion that destroyed the cities instead of framing Dr. Manhattan for it. The fight scenes in the prison were pretty well done, and I liked the fight in the Antarctic, but I thought the fight in the alley between Dreiberg, Laurie, and the muggers, was too slow, and I know it was somewhat deliberate in it’s filming but it still seemed overly slow. The special effects were pretty good all around but I think we could have gone with out repeatedly seeing Dr. Manhattan’s crotch in that once scene. Yes, it is dark and yes, there are some parts that people won’t like, but this is still a good movie that is worth giving a shot.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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horror, movie, movie review, sci-fi

May 9th, 2018 Movie – The Wasp Woman (1959)

the wasp woman

Another Roger Corman movie in less than a week, this day is looking up. Looking back, I think I always like Corman’s earlier movies as opposed to his later works because he always seemed to make more with less in those movies. Now this is a movie that I am pretty sure I have seen early on in life but I can’t recall it off hand. Now, let’s see what we have in store for me today with today’s movie, The Wasp Woman.

The plot: Dr. Eric Zinthrop is out in the woods searching for a wasp’ nest and when he finds it, he uses a smoker to ensure the wasps are put to sleep before placing the nest in a container and heading back to the honey farm that he works at and heads to his workshop. Mr. Barker, the owner of the honey farm, shows up and goes to see Zinthrop, as he is supposed to be working on extracting royal jelly from the queen bee. When he finds Zinthrop has been studying and experimenting with wasps, as he believes he has found a way to reverse the aging process, he says that he is there to do research on royal jelly, not work with wasps, and fires him. Some time later, at the headquarters for Janice Starlin Cosmetics, Janice Starlin is holding a board meeting to discuss their declining sales when Bill Lane, a young board member, says that the reason for the sales’ decline is due to Janice being seen as the face of the company but after 16 years, the public is seeing her start to age, which is turning them away from the products. As the board meeting ends, Janice asks her lawyer, Arthur Cooper, to come into her office and discuss what Bill had said. After Arthur leaves, Zinthrop is shown into Janice’s office and he says he has discovered a way to reverse the aging process. Taking her into a lab, he shows her proof that it works by de-aging a rat and a guinea pig right before her eyes. Janice asks what he wants and Zinthrop asks that she fully fund his research and she agrees, providing that she be his human test subject. The next day, Janice announces her plans to fund Zinthrop’s research but Bill and Arthur both think that Zinthrop is a crackpot as they talk about the matter afterwards. As Zinthrop’s research continues and begins injecting Janice with the enzymes, Janice’s secretary, Mary, listens in on a phone call discussing one of Zinthrop’s invoices and tells Bill about it. Some time later, she goes into Janice’s office and steals some papers from Janice’s desk and gives them to Bill and Arthur as they discuss the money Janice is spending. Meanwhile, Janice is becoming impatient with the slow progress Zinthrop’s formula seems to have on her so she sneaks into his lab and injects herself with some more of the serum. The next day, everyone is shocked to see that Janice looks like a 20 year old and Janice happily talks about what their next slogan should be for a marketing campaign. Meanwhile, Zinthrop returns to his lab and is shocked to find that a cat he had injected the formula with has started to mutate and become incredibly violent, attacking him without any warning. As Arthur, Bill, and Mary discuss Janice’s appearance, Arthur worries that it is only temporary and she will regress back to normal and decides to pay a visit to Zinthrop’s lab and look around, then hides when Janice comes in looking for Zinthrop. Janice hires a detective to track down Zinthrop and they eventually learn that he was struck by a car and in a coma at the hospital. Meanwhile, Arthur continues to poke around in Zinthrop’s lab at night when he is suddenly attacked and killed by Janice, who had mutated into an insect like creature. Janice then turns back to normal and she places the serum she had grabbed back into the fridge and quickly leaves after disposing of Arthur’s body. The next day, people are surprised at Arthur’s missing the morning meeting but Janice doesn’t seem to concerned about it, as she is much more worried about caring for Zinthrop, whom she has brought to the company so she can care for him when he awakens out of the coma. As Janice places him in the bed, Zinthrop says that there was something important he had meant to tell her but he can’t remember. That night, the night watchman is killed by the transformed Janice and Zinthrop hears the scream but his nurse tells him not to worry about it. The next night, Bill and Mary, worried over Arthur’s disappearance, break into his office to see if they find anything and when Bill notices his pipe on his desk, he says that Arthur is dead, as he would never leave his pipe around. Meanwhile, Janice goes to see Zinthrop and tries to tell him about what is happening to her and asks him to help her when she suddenly transforms. The nurse had heard the commotion and Janice attacks and kills her, while Zinthrop faints from what he witnesses. Later that night, Bill and Mary go to Zinthrop’s room to talk to him and discover evidence that the nurse was murdered. Mary goes to call the police but the phone is only a direct line to Janice’s office, who is surprised to learn that they are still in the building. As Bill tends to Zinthrop, Mary goes upstairs to Janice’s office to call the police and get Janice out of there. When she arrives in the office, Mary stops her from calling the police, then transforms and attacks her. Hearing Mary’s screams, Bill and Zinthrop go to help her and find Janice has taken Mary to Zinthrop’s lab. In the lab, Janice attacks them both and Zinthrop ends up throwing a bottle of acid at her face and as she reels from that, Bill pushes her out the window. Bill then goes to check on Mary while on the street, Janice transforms back to human as she dies.

All things considered, this actually isn’t that bad of a movie. The acting was good, with Susan Cabot (Janice), Michael Mark (Zinthrop), and Anthony Eisley (Bill) doing good jobs in their roles. The story was pretty interesting, as the theme of a fountain of youth has been around for centuries and is always a good go-to for a sci-fi movie. I liked the idea of using insects as being central to the youth formula, as insects have such a short life span so it is a bit of irony (I think I am using that correctly). I also liked how they really showcased how vanity can lead to a person’s downfall, as Janice’s desire to regain her youth led to her pushing forward recklessly without concern of the consequences. The special effects were pretty weak to be honest but that kind of helped with the charm of the movie, as the story really helped carry it. A fun little movie if you are in the mood for some B-movie fun.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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movie, movie review, sci-fi

May 7th, 2018 Movie – Warning From Space

warning from space

You know, I am always amazed at the impact Godzilla had on Japanese movies, and sci-fi movies in general. I mean, with the international success of the movie, it’s no surprise that other studios would try to copy that success. Today’s movie is one of the early attempts by rival studio Daiei, who is known for their Gamera movies among others, and is interesting for some of it’s own points. For instance, this is the first Japanese sci-fi movie to be filmed in color, even though some movies made after it would still be in black & white. This movie, along with other 50’s era sci-fi movies, would also serve as the influence for director Stanley Kubrick. So let’s see what is so special about today’s movie, Warning From Space.

The plot: A space ship containing starfish-shaped aliens called Pairan makes it’s way to Earth and the lead Pairan says they must make contact with Earth’s scientists, specifically with Dr. Kumara of Japan. Meanwhile, a journaliss meets up with Kumara after he gets off of a train and invites him to a nearby cafe to talk. Once inside, the journalist mentions the story he is writing about the recent sightings of flying saucers and asks Kumara his opinion about it but Kumara says that he doesn’t know enough about the matter. Meanwhile, Dr. Toru Itsobe is looking through a telescope when he spots a flying saucer and decides to go speak with Kumara about it. As they are talking, they hear a shout from outside about a flying saucer and Kumara’s daughter Taeko, who had her attempts to flirt with Toru stopped by her father, goes outside to check it out, joining their neighbor on the roof as he is taking pictures of it. The next day, news reports on the U.F.O. sightings and at the observatory, Kumara discusses the matter with physicist Dr. Matsuda, who suggests sending a rocket into space to take photographs. Meanwhile, the two Pairan that have been sent to Earth begin showing up, attempting to speak with the humans, but they end up scaring them due to their appearance. The next day, Toru’s father is called to investigate one of the sightings of the Pairans while back at the observatory, the pictures from the rocket are developed but do not provide a clearer picture. That night, the elder Itsobe finds evidence that one of the creatures had visited his house while at Kumara’s house, Taeko sees one of them in the house and screams out in fear but when her father checks the area, he finds nothing there. As sightings continue, the Pairan scout craft heads back to the mother ship and the leader of the team suggests transmutating her and giving her a human appearance so she would better be able to make contact with the human scientists. The Pairan leader reluctantly agrees and Pairan No.1 is changed to look like a famed entertained, Hikari Aozora. The next day, Kumara, Itsobe, Matsuda, and Itsobe and Matsuda’s wives are hiking along the mountain lake while Toru and Taeko are on a boat in the lake. They spot a body floating in the water and quickly grab her and take her to shore, where a commotion is started due to the girl’s similarity to Hikari. The Pairan, calling herself Ginko, displays some strange abilities, which Toru reports back to his father about. Meanwhile, Ginko receives a message from a compatriot, who has also undergone the transmutation process and says they will be keeping watch if she needs them. Ginko goes to see Matsuda, and when she spots the formula he is working on, she quickly rips it out of his notebook, shocking Matsuda that she understands it while warning him of the dangers of it’s use before disappearing. When Itsobe calls a meeting for himself, Kumara, and Matsuda, Matsuda explains what happened and Itsobe says that confirms his theory that Ginko is an alien. Suddenly, they hear a strange noise and Ginko appears and reveals that she is from the planet Paria, a planet that is on the same orbit as Earth, but on the opposite side of the same. She tells them that she came there to warn them of a disaster approaching the Earth, a rogue planet which they call Planet R, that is on a collision course with the Earth. The scientists go to the World Congress to ask for their help in dealing with the planet but they are refused as they don’t have sufficient proof of the collision. Meanwhile, Matsuda is approached in his lab by someone looking to purchase his formula but he refuses to sell it and orders the man to leave. When the observatory shows proof that Planet R exists, panic grips the cities when Kumara says that they will all be dead before the impact as the atmosphere would heat up to the point of roasting them. Meanwhile, Matsuda is kidnapped by the man who attempted to buy his formula, who holds him captive until he agrees to sell him the formula, tying him to a chair in an abandoned building. Back at the observatory, Kumara and the others are worried that Matsuda hasn’t arrived and Kumara says that if the World Congress doesn’t act, Matsuda’s formula might be their only chance. As Planet R gets closer, the World Congress decides to launch a nuclear barrage at the planet to try and destroy it, or at least divert it’s course. As the launch commences, Kumara observes the planet through the observatory’s telescope and watches as the missiles explode ineffectively on Planet R’s surface. As Planet R gets even closer, the atmosphere begins heating up like Kumara predicted and many plants and animals begin dying due to the heat, while flooding occurs in several areas, including at the observatory where Taeko’s school class has taken refuge. Meanwhile, Matsuda is still tied to the chair and manages to look in horror as the building starts to break apart due to the extreme heat. Ginko and some other Parians arrive and are concerned about what is occurring and Matsuda’s disappearance. They manage to find his location and free him and Matsuda makes his way to his lab to finish the formula. Matsuda gives the formula to Ginko, who launches the nuclear device at Planet R. the rogue planet is successfully destroyed and as the atmosphere starts to cool down, the surviving people head outside to celebrate, while the various animals that survived emerge from their hiding places while back in the Parian ship, Ginko is changed back into her normal starfish appearance.

I am honestly a little conflicted with my opinion of this movie because I honestly can’t help but see several other movies that this most likely influenced. The acting was ok as far as I could tell, but some of the dubbing just made several of the characters seem too stiff, especially Matsuda, who just didn’t seem to show the appropriate level of emotion in his voice when he was kidnapped. The story was interesting and, while I can’t say for certain that this is the first movie of it’s kind, it is definitely one of the earliest that I recall. I do think it is funny just how many times that the theme of a giant asteroid/planet hurtling towards Earth, and the use of atomic/nuclear explosives to destroy it, still comes up in movies; even relatively recent ones such as Armageddon and Deep Impact. As for the alien’s warning them of the planet, that is a device that is not necessarily original but it tends to always be hit or miss on if the aliens are truly benevolent or if they have more sinister motives guiding their actions. The special effects were honestly pretty bad, as the Parian costumes looked pretty cheap. I know this was an early color film but the coloring just looked weird, coming across as some weird technicolor painting at times, especially the scenes focusing on the sky. It’s a pretty interesting movie from a chronological/historical context but it is kind of a boring movie on it’s own.

Rating: 2 out of 5

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