Tuesday, February 28, 2017
A relic from a Bayshore/Topstone catalog from the 1960s is currently at auction. Not considered a true Topstone product by today's collectors, the line sold by Bayshore (now Rubie's Costume Co.) was nevertheless designed by Topstone designer Keith Ward. The "big foot" is expected to earn $100-$200 by the time the gavel drops.
Monday, February 27, 2017
Is there a better time for vintage monster movies? It seems like every big box and indie video distributor has unearthed an old, almost-forgotten monster flick, remastered it on slapped it on a DVD or Blu-ray disc. The only challenge is finding room in the Mysterious Mansion to keep them all!
The disc will boast a new 1080p HD remaster (in the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio) with DTS HD-Master English 2.0 Mono audio (and English SDH subtitles). Extras will include the “Return to the Valley” featurette with the late, great SFX wizard Ray Harryhausen as well as the theatrical trailer (HD).
Synopsis: Cowpokes head into a mysterious Mexican valley to head ’em up and move ’em out. But they’re not looking for little doggies. They’re looking for great big dinosaurs. James Franciscus stars in this thunderous adventure featuring amazing special effects by Ray Harryhausen [The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, Clash of the Titans (1981)]. Franciscus plays a Wild West showman who leads his riding and roping crew into the title region, where prehistoric giants still roam. Thanks to Harryhausen wizardry, fantastic creatures lunge, fight and rampage in scene after dazzling scene (including an awesome sequence where the cowboys rope Gwangi, a razor-toothed allosaurus). Saddle up and join the excitement.
Special Features: Extras will include the “Return to the Valley” featurette with the late, great SFX wizard Ray Harryhausen as well as the theatrical trailer (HD).
The Warner Archive Collection has just announced that they will release Hammer's WHEN DINOSAURS RULED THE EARTH on Blu-ray this February. The film will be remastered in 1080p from a new HD remaster and will be presented in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio with a DTS HD-Master English 2.0 Mono track and English SDH subtitles. The great news is that this will be the full 100-minute International Theatrical release version which contains all the nudity and violence missing from the U.S. G-rated version. After Raquel Welch conquered the screen in ONE MILLION YEAR B.C., Hammer Studios followed up with WHEN DINOSAURS RULED THE EARTH, written and directed by Val Guest (THE QUATERMASS XPERIMENT) and based on a story by J.G. Ballard (Crash). Victoria Vetri stars as Sanna, rescued from ritual sacrifice by Tara (Robin Hawdon), a member of a rival tribe. Her survival coincides with the mysterious formation of a new “fire” in the sky: the moon! Sanna’s old tribe blames her for this affront to the sun; Sanna flees their wrath and Tara follows. Their shared adventures loom as large as the giants who once ruled the earth! The disc will include an original theatrical trailer in HD.
Synopsis: After Raquel Welch conquered the screen in One Million Years B.C., Hammer Studios followed up with When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth, written and directed by Val Guest (The Quatermass Xperiment) and based on a story by J.G. Ballard (Crash). Victoria Vetri stars as Sanna, rescued from ritual sacrifice by Tara (Robin Hawdon), a member of a rival tribe. Her survival coincides with the mysterious formation of a new “fire” in the sky: the moon! Sanna’s old tribe blames her for this affront to the sun; Sanna flees their wrath and Tara follows. Their shared adventures loom as large as the giants who once ruled the earth!
Synopsis: “CinemaScope’s first science-fiction thriller” sees four intrepid astronauts (Hugh Marlowe, Nelson Leigh, Rod Taylor and Christopher Dark) successfully complete mankind’s first Mars mission, only to run afoul of a warp in space. Tossed centuries into the future, they discover an Earth devastated by nuclear war, where mutant beast-men rule the surface. Underground is a society marked by listless males and lustful ladies (future- wear designed by Vargas!). Trapped in a tomorrow they never made, the four astronauts take on the mutant and the malicious while fighting to bring humanity back to the surface.
As its title suggests THE FABULOUS WORLD OF JULES VERNE is an awe -inspiring, meticulous cinematic rendering of the aesthetic and conceptual inventions of proto-science fiction genius Jules Verne, based on one of the famed author's lesser known short stories. However, the real star of the film is the intricate art direction, successfully rendering the visual style of nineteenth century woodcuts and engravings into motion pictures, creating a stylized and surreal graphic world within which Verne's fanciful tale unfolds. A brilliant scientist, Dr. Roche, perches high above a stormy sea, inventing a powerful explosive, when he and his assistant are kidnapped by an evil businessman, Artigas. Taken by submarine to Artigas' volcano headquarters, Roche is tricked into developing his experiment for evil intentions. The scientist's assistant, Simon, struggles all the while to free himself and warn Roche. A magical world of baroque submarines and sailing ships, killer octopus, undersea bicycles dazzles audiences as human actors, puppetry, animation and fanciful scenic design interact to create a cinematic experience that is unique by any standards. Mixing slapstick comedy, action adventure pacing and Mélies style film magic, this little known Czechoslovakian gem transcends the juvenile literature at its source to create cinematic art of the highest order.
NOTE: The images and descriptions of these discs are from "The Eyeball", MONSTERS IN MOTION's weekly newsletter.
Sunday, February 26, 2017
Presented today is the filmbook of MGM's 1932 production of THE MASK OF FU MANCHU, starring Boris Karloff as the evil mastermind from the east, and Myrna Loy as Fah Lo See, his seductive daughter. The makeups for Karloff and Loy were expertly devised by Cecil Holland.
The filmbook appeared in FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND #65 (May 1970). The film was featured on the cover with artwork by Basil Gogos.
Saturday, February 25, 2017
Sax Rohmer's evil mastermind, Fu Manchu, found a home in the comic books with Avon Periodical's THE MASK OF FU MANCHU (1951). Expertly penciled and inked by the legendary Wally Wood, this one-shot comic book is a sought after collectible by comic fans and art lovers alike.
Included here is the back-up Flash Harper feature, "Operation Blackout", penciled and inked by A.C. Hollingsworth.