Tuesday, 21 April 2009


Recently I watched a film about King Arthur. It was a jumble of half-baked philosophy and pseudo-religeon, with lots of fighting. The leading lady turned out to be a seventh Dan in martial arts combined with edged-weapon combat. An American masquerading as a Pict, or 'Woad', was the flatpack antagonist who killed everyone he met, rather gratuitously I felt. The hero was tortured by paper-thin moral doubts and fears. Armies hacked at each other but sadly, reminded me of the massed ranks of gribbly orcs in LOTR. It was a terrible film, assuming it wasn't meant to be a spoof - a 'Blazing Arthur' type of thing.

If you want a good film, you must go back to the fifties and sixties. There, you'll find jaw-dropping American sci-fi and monster movies that really know how to entertain.
Who can forget the chilling effects in 'Robot Monster', made for $16,000 in four days. Or the intricate but masterly plot lines of 'The Brain From Planet Arous'. The courage of the all-American kid in 'Invaders from Mars' takes some beating while the daddy, 'Plan Nine From Outer Space', has the lot: wobbly sets, crazy aliens, toe-curling dialogue. These films are so bad, they're great. Watch them with a few chums, a bottle of wine and some snacks - you'll love the cinematic experience.

Here are a few suggestions to get you started. The list is as it occurred; it's difficult to put these films in order of merit.

Robot Monster (1953)
The Brain from Planet Arous (1957)
Invaders From Mars (1953)
Plan Nine From Outer Space (1959)
They Saved Hitler's Brain (1963)
Phantom From Space (1953)
The Creature From The Black Lagoon (1954)
Mars Needs Women (1966)
Attack Of The Fifty Foot Woman (1958)
I Married A Monster From Outer Space (1958)
The Thing From Another World (1951)

Happy viewing!

1 comment:

vimesian said...

Children of the Dammned 1963. Excellent melodrama - the "normal" inhabitants of the village are far more eery and scary than the children.

However, the 1980s had its strengths - what about Flash Gordon???