Wednesday, September 24, 2014


And the winner of the monster brawl on my blog: In an amazing come-from behind victory, classic horror movies!*

At least, if we're going by the strength of the releases; today I found that the same company (the fantastic Mill Creek Entertainment) that did the Gamera eleven-movie release and the Godzilla: The Series release also released fifty old movies in a collection with a lower price tag as that Gamera release. (And bought that instantly, even if many of the releases are clearly available basically everywhere on the Internet, because sometimes putting a DVD in is part of the experience and seriously that's like five and a half movies per dollar and I don't have to hunt them down and put them in my already bloated favorites.)

Now, lots of it's probably forgotten old schlock, of course. (The most disappointing of them has to be Black Dragons, which summons a mental image involving a lot of flying, firebreathing things, but is actually a fantastical WWII-era spy thriller where the titular "dragons" are Japanese spies. What.)

But it's also the 1920s-era Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Metropolis, Nosferatu (which my sister watched in German once and adores), The Phantom of the Opera, Night of the Living Dead, the 1960 Little Shop of Horrors, and a frickton of late-'50s-early-'60s era stuff with evocative titles like The Giant Gila Monster, The Killer Shrews, Attack of the Giant Leeches, and Atom Age Vampire. (All of those seem to be about more or less exactly what one would think from the titles, although one can't help but be disappointed by the fact that Atom Age Vampire seems to be about someone being turned into a vampire by atomic medicine rather than a Dracula-inspired vampire in a Buck Rogers-esque rocketpunk setting.)

Ironically considering the context, the collection also includes the kaiju movie Monster from a Prehistoric Planet, which has an incredibly misleading title. (It just means the monster came from prehistoric Earth, not from some other planet. I get it, but I think it's silly.) This is actually the only one of these films I've managed to see before (I've had a couple of old VHS tapes with The Giant Gila Monster and Metropolis before, but was scared to try to use them with the succession of carnivorous VCRs I'd had access to for the same time period), on some late-night low-rent Mystery Science Theater 3000-style production, and I have to say it appeared to have about the same budget as an equivalent length of average Ultraman episodes (the original series, that is). Frankly, the monsters (yes, plural) were hilarious, being giant flying horned men in rubber suits dino-dragons that fired laser beams from their mouths, if I recall correctly.

*Apropos of nothing or everything, depending on one's opinion, the crowd-designed game series Colossal Kaiju Combat! actually has a daikaiju in it called Nightstone Manor that is loosely inspired by the underrated (by which I mean "I know it's pretty good even though I've only seen a bit of it") animated movie Monster House, and which is a magical creation of the CKC! world's non-giant monsters intended to beat the crap out of all the giant monsters who are distracting humanity from being afraid of non-giant monsters.

That is fantastic.

-Signing off.

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