With the dark days of winter well and truly upon us, Indicator dares once again to venture into the vaults of the UK’s most celebrated purveyor of chills…
Available 19 February 2018, Indicator presents Hammer Volume Two: Criminal Intent, and Stanley Kramer’s Oscar-winning drama Ship of Fools.
“Explorer, Mistress, Vagrant, Loafer, Artist, Tramp… They are all at the Captain’s table!”
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Masked hero dressed to the nines with gizmos galore? Check.
Doughy character actors scurrying about in silly costumes? Check.
Twelve half-hour episodes of the aforementioned cheesiness, and more? Check.
“So, Commando Cody, Sky Marshal of the Universe. As one scientist to another, I must congratulate you. You have conquered space! A great achievement…for an Earthman.”
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Having blessed his first flick The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms with a mostly solemn tone, director Eugene Lourie tried to make lightning strike twice with 1959’s The Giant Behemoth. Unfortunately its impact doesn’t resonate nearly as much as it’d like.
“SEE the Beast that shakes the Earth! LIVE in a world gone mad! WATCH the chaos of a smashed civilization! FLEE from the mightiest fright on the screen! NOTHING so Big as Behemoth!” PRESS PLAY ►
Cinema’s fascination with fusing the horror and western genres has proven to be as resilient as it has bewildering. It’s not uncommon to see the wild west go weird on the big screen. 1959’s The Living Coffin hails from Mexico, and in addition to presenting the world of tumbleweeds and bucking broncs with a supernatural bent, it goes one step further by incorporating aspects of its own cultural horror heritage.
“Fear is killing you all.” PRESS PLAY ►
Produced by Toho Studios and released in 1956, the Ishirō Honda directed Rodan is one of studio’s first kaiju eiga to be filmed in colour, which is used to great effect due to the attention to detail that both Ishirō Honda and special effects director Eiji Tsuburaya had employed.
Tagline: “Thundering out of unknown skies… The super-sonic hell-creature no weapon could destroy!” PRESS PLAY ►
I Married a Monster from Outer Space, while it may resemble some third-rate Body Snatchers riff on the surface, is one of the most daring and subversive films of its time. The flick still has the spaceships, death rays, and rubber aliens that warm any sci-fi lover’s heart, but it also has both an agenda and the ability to properly smuggle it in the guise of a nifty little genre thriller.
“Shuddery things from beyond the stars, here to breed with human women!” PRESS PLAY ►
Richelle Charkot reviews Zero Hour! (1957), directed by Hall Bartlett.
I’m just going to come out and say this; I didn’t really like Airplane! Although occasionally funny with its over-the-top nature, I found the film to be schlocky and unintelligent, which was a viewpoint I maintained up until I saw the movie that it is spoofing, Zero Hour!
“The life of everybody aboard depends on just one thing…finding someone back there who cannot only fly this plane, but didn’t have fish for dinner.” PRESS PLAY ►
A.J. Hakari reviews Tobor the Great (1954), directed by Lee Sholem.
If The Day the Earth Stood Still were all about getting Gort to work, it’d probably look a little something like Tobor the Great. For all of its talk about space exploration, artificial intelligence, and even psychic phenomena (yep, the robot’s telepathic, too), the film retains a personal edge, a smallness that makes its huge ideas a bit easier to relate to and digest.
“Gee, Tobor, you’re wonderful!” PRESS PLAY ►
Richelle Charkot reviews The Wild Women of Wongo (1958), directed by James L. Wolcott.
This film, with all of its 1950’s ignorance about women and sex, is easily one of the most outlandishly offensive movies I’ve ever watched – and I can’t say I hated the experience.
This movie is funny, it is cheesy, and it is in the poorest of poor tastes; but really, who doesn’t like a little T&A?
“The tribe of many men come in big canoes bringing war to the coast.” PRESS PLAY ►
Richelle Charkot reviews Bride of the Gorilla (1951), directed by Curt Siodmak.
Very few times have I finished a film and thought, “That was literally everything that I expected it to be.” Bride of the Gorilla, with it’s ridiculous title and premise, lived up to every expectation that I had of it; it was cheesy, it was poorly acted, and it was maybe one of the worst scripts I’ve ever seen made into a film. And I totally loved it.
“White people shouldn’t live too long in the jungle. Brings out their bad side, their jealousies and impatience.” PRESS PLAY ►
Let’s face it, B movies are just fun. It takes a high degree of fun-lovingness to not care especially about all those silly things like comprehensibility and acting. After all, those just get in the way of the fun, right? Usually, you can count on a movie below a certain level of film standards to not do especially well in the large scale. Many movies that are made at a lower budget can make a lot more profit in comparison, after all. But, even besides that, many people have a sort nostalgia and fondness for the B-movie feel, even in horror flicks. PRESS PLAY ►
“As I watched the World Trade towers collapse on September 11, I felt guilty. The scene looked similar to those that had entertained me in many Godzilla films. But it wasn’t a fantasy, the people were real, and their fear and suffering were heartbreaking.”
Over the years Godzilla has changed roles significantly from once being the ultimate threat to Japan, to now being Japan’s protector. One could believe that this change was made to make the monster appeal to a broader audience resulting in much larger profits for the studio or perhaps it is the result of the fears Japan once had post-war becoming less and less significant?
Is the fascination in Japanese culture for science fiction Kaiju films and its symbolism born from the fears of nuclear war?
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