HALLOWEEN IS COMING—TIME FOR A LITTLE BOO:
LET’S GET FRANKENSTONED!
Movie Mike shows his shorts for Halloween in real 16mm film. We’ll start with some spooky vintage cartoons, then see some short condensed-feature reels made for home use back before home video.
Bride of Frankenstein with Colin Clive as the nervous mad scientist, Ernest Thesiger as his giddy mentor Dr. Pretorius, Karloff as the pathetic monster, James Whale’s tilted camera angles and Franz Waxman’s truly great score.
Son of Frankenstein with its eerie German-expressionist tilted sets and deep shadows, Basil Rathbone as the monster-maker’s arrogant heir, Lionel Atwill as the one-armed gendarme, plus Karloff as the creature and Lugosi as his only friend.
Next, we’ll see short reels showing The Mummy, Dracula, The Invisible Man and a longer one of the science-fiction classic This Island Earth.
And we can add to this program the full-length Hammer feature Revenge of Frankenstein, with Peter Cushing’s thoughtful and sensitive portrait, so different from Clive and Rathbone’s interpretations. Sentenced to death for monster-making, he escapes the guillotine and goes off to open a charity clinic under a new name. But he can’t resist stitching up a new patchwork bod for his deformed friend’s brain to inhabit.
SERIALS OF THE 30s AND 40s
PULP FICTION THRILLS!
An assortment of first-chapters of a variety of serials. Chapter One is designed to pull you in with foretaste of the best bits, establishes all the story elements, introduces the hero, the villain, supporting characters, and ends in a classic cliffhanger. Always the most coherent and entertaining chapter. Here’s your chance to see a cross-section of this rich, exciting genre of the 30s and 40s.
THE PHANTOM CREEPS (1939)
The Phantom Creeps serves up a turkey club with lots of ham and cheez—yum! Bela Lugosi is Doctor Zorka, who plans to rule the world or something. It’s never clear, but who cares when you have an invisibility belt and a silly-looking robot.
ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN MARVEL (1941)
In a hidden chamber behind an ancient tomb, young Billy Batson meets the wizard Shazam, who offers him the powers of the Greek gods in order to combat evil. A puff of smoke, and little Junior Coughlin becomes massive Tom Tyler, with a cute half-cape and a lightning bolt on his chest.
UNDERSEA KINGDOM (1936)
Handsome, muscular Crash Corrigan is eye candy for the ladies as he works out shirtless before donning naval togs to go down to Atlantis in the Atomic Submarine. The Lost Continent is made of leftover props from the silent Ben-Hur and Noah’s Ark, it’s ruled by Monte Blue as a madman in a silly hat. He’s got cavalry and charioteers, a bomber blimp and a high-speed armored car, plus robots.
FLASH GORDON (1936)
Jump on Dr. Zarkov’s rocket and we’re off to Mongo, the planet of adventure, to battle Ming The Merciless! See dinosaurs and monsters, classic heroism and villainy, plus laughably crude special effects. With wonderful music, costumes and props, lots of thrills and action, a silly script, and bad acting.
GORILLA SUIT FILM FESTIVAL: OOOK, PASS THE BANANAS!
Lovely Lynda Carter fights the Nazis and wrestles with Mickey Morton in a gorilla suit. Chapter 1 of the 1935 Darkest Africa serial, with Crash Corrigan twice, in the gorilla suit and as the flying bat-man. A TV comedy filled with gorilla gags in which we get to see George Barrows both in and out of his Gorilla Suit! Plus the legendary Ernie Kovacs Nairobi Trio routine with Ernie, Edie Adams and Louis Nye as musical apes and a Laurel and Hardy gorilla-gag clip with the great Charlie Gemora behind the mask.
We can add the pathetically bad low-budget feature Robot Monster with an alien in a gorilla suit topped by a diving helmet who almost conquers the earth.
MEET RAY BRADBURY!
We’ll see a 1963 documentary in which the author explains himself, followed by some short films based on his stories. Ray Bradbury discusses his work and his working methods at length. The camera trails him as he goes about LA on a bike, since he does not drive. We see him mentoring young writers and meeting with other writers for discussion and criticism of ongoing work.
Several short film dramas were produced for classroom use from Bradbury’s short stories: In Zero Hour, the kids aren’t kidding about alien invaders. The Electric Grandmother shows how a family learns to love a humanoid robot. The Veldt predicts today’s obsession with virtual-reality games and The Murderer gives us a man driven mad by the endless clamor of his multimedia pocket telephone device. Interesting how in the 1950’s he accurately predicted the sense and feeling of the world we live in today. And to answer the question “compared to what,” we can extend this program with short films of two Asimov stories, All the Troubles In The World and The Ugly Little Boy.
ED FILMS, SCARE FILMS, AND CARTOONS!
SEX ED with a bushy-haired hippie teacher in striped bell-bottoms who takes impertinent questions about sex from a roomful of frisky teens!
STRANGER DANGER MINI-DRAMAS guaranteed to make any child afraid of talking to anyone, anywhere in an over-the-top warning!
ANTIDRUG PSAs including a shocking appearance by Sonny Bono in a leisure suit!
McGRUFF gives a stern warning and takes a bite out of crime!
ANIMATED AND LIVE ACTION advice on VD and head lice will make you itch!