Cinema, Month of Madness

Weekend Frights

coffee posterSo much coffee today!  Coffeeeeeee.  I don’t drink coffee very often, especially not fully leaded coffee.  Especially not large super jazzy lattes with almond flavoring so sweet and almondy that you can’t resist their siren song. The thing made me drink it!  I was powerless to stop myself.

So, this post is brought to you by the letter C. COFFEE.

After the marvelous Body Snatcher viewing last week, then the clunkers and the close call last Friday, I had a semi-decent weekend.

First, Svengoolie helped me out again with the strange and chuckle-worthy Food of The Gods (1976).  This film has a lot going for it, but what it has going for it also makes it ridiculous.  A tough quandary for a film.  It was directed by the somewhat infamous (if you’re into old horror films like me) Burt I. Gordon, of The Beginning of The End (1957) and The Amazing Colossal Man (1957) fame.  Those films feature giant grasshoppers and a giant man (in a giant diaper), respectively.  Food of the Gods, (based on a story by H.G. Wells) is replete with huge rats.  I guess Burt I. is into big, big stuff.  I mean, look at his initials.

Gods also features the delightfully named Marjoe Gortner, a name I kept repeating all night.  Say it with me: Marjoe Gortner.  Ahhh.

It’s an odd little film, with bad “author’s message”-style voice-overs bookending it (they rival the “he tampered in God’s domain” line from Ed Wood’s Bride of the Monster for blandly stated preachiness ), regular-sized rats crawling on tiny houses, one horrible giant-chicken, and again, Marjoe Gortner.  What else can I say?  Nothing much, so enjoy this photo montage, will you?

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I also must point out that a Google image search for Food of The Gods netted this result:

Valentine


Sunday’s film was a little treat.  It was yet another in the seemingly endless line of horror anthologies produced by Amicus Studios.

From Beyond That Grave (1973) has a weird poster:

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The wonderful Peter Cushing as a wizened antique shop owner who sells young Londoners the trinkets they deserve:

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…and Donald Pleasance in an unusually sympathic role (or is it?) for him:

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His segment, “An Act of Kindness,” about a henpecked husband who makes an unlikely friend in a street vendor (Pleasance) was the best of the lot.  It was quiet, slowly building the tension around the unhappily married man (beautifully played by Ian Bannen) and his strange friendship with Pleasance and his slightly creepy daughter.  Unfortunately, a couple of plot points are dropped and the ending is just out of nowhere, but with a little revision, this segment could have been a film all by itself.

Another  segment about a man who has a weird demonic possesion removed from his shoulder (seriously) was actually pretty horrible, but that was made up for by an eerie story with David Warner as a man who buys a strange old mirror that relflects something terrifying.  I love scary mirrors.  Overall, From Beyond The Grave was an enjoyable surprise, full of funky 70s fashion and a few genuine scares.

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