The Philadelphia Experiment – movie review – 1984 Blog-a-thon

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This review is part of Forgotten Films Blog, 1984 Blog-A-Thon which is covering just about every film released in 1984. When deciding to participate, I looked over the list and chose to review, The Philadelphia Experiment. I hadn’t seen the movie in many years, but I remember liking it. This would give me the perfect opportunity to revisit this film.

philadelphia experiment -pic 4

The Philadelphia Experiment (1984)

Directed by Stewart Raffill
produced by John Carpenter

Michael Paré
Bobby Di Cicco
Nancy Allen
This sci-fi film concerns an urban legend about the US Navy experimenting with a cloaking device in 1943, and the mishap that arises from the ill-fated experiment. When the naval vessel, The USS Eldridge, goes completely invisible it actually travels in time. When it returned several minutes later, it is said that some of the crew members were fused into the bulkhead and deck of the ship itself. Some crew members came back inside-out and others experienced long term mental problems. It is also said, with a flash of light, the Eldridge was sighted in Northport Virginia, over 200 miles away from Philadelphia for those few minutes.

In the film, we follow two sailors, Dave and Jim, crew members on the Eldridge at the time of the experiment. They travel with the ship from 1943 and jump off in 1984, in a Nevada desert. They discover that the experiment was being revisited in 1984 and the new experiment interacted with philadelphia experiment -movie-posterthe original creating a vortex or wormhole between the two time periods.

The sailors are immediately being chased by the modern military. They hide out in a dinner where they meet Allison (Dave’s love interest for the film). Not able to drive a modern car, they get Allison to drive and flee the scene with them. The military attempts to end the experiment but the vortex keeps getting bigger, threatening to suck towns and whole cities into the space hole. Eventually, the military needs David’s help in closing the vortex and he is sent into the maelstrom where he will shut down the generator on the Eldridge, therefore severing the link.

I must say, I liked this film better when I first saw it in the 1984 than I like it now. The problem is that this film is book ended with two interesting and gratifying sequences, but the middle is bogged down with the budding romance of Dave and Allison. Some of the dialogue is hokey, but to be expected from a film that is 30 years old. There are a few time warp discoveries for the two men and Allison, but they are nothing mind blowing for a film about time travel. Considering this was released the same year as Terminator, I think they could have infused something more paradox.

I do like that Nancy Allen’s character is named Allison Hayes, an homage to Attack of the 50 Foot Woman. The TV in the diner is showing Humanoids From the Deep which I reviewed just a few weeks ago. The TV in the Motel room plays part of Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. We also see an Ad for a very early computer. The effects in the film are dated, even for 1984, but convey the story well enough. The biggest aspect in time travel discovery is the actual film itself. As the men from 1943 look strangely at Pay Telephones, Cars with Chrome Bumpers, and free-standing Arcade Games, I am reminded that my children would probably look at these items the same way today as our movie characters do in 1984.

Some of my disappointment with the film is that my memories got this mixed up with another film about the same subject matter, released around the same time called, The Final Countdown. TFC had better special-fx and because of that, I was waiting for scenes in The Philadelphia Experiment that never came.

All in all, it’s not a bad movie, perhaps just a little light on the sci-fi aspect for such a serious film subject.

I give it 3.3 wormholes out of 5 for vanishing vessels and valiant heroics.

20 Million Miles To Earth – Ymir – Model Kit

Ymir model pic 1

20 Million Miles To Earth – Ymir – Model Kit

This is the Geometric, Ymir model kit. It’s a fantastic kit with excellent detail.

Ymir model pic 3

It was fun painting the kit because the skin detail really worked well with dry brushing techniques. I started with a dark green base coat and worked with lighter greens and finally yellow for highlights.

Ymir model early stages pic 9

It didn’t come with a base so I made a custom base for it.

I made the title placard with clay. I printed out the movie title image and pasted it on.

ymir CU 2

 

And don’t forget to watch the video inspired by this kit: Monsters on the Mantle

Why Do Grown Men Watch Godzilla Movies?

godzilla 1954

Check out my guest article at HalloweenForevermore.com

Why Do Grown Men Watch Godzilla Movies?

How many times have you been asked this question while watching one of your favorite Toho Kaiju flicks, “Why are you watching this?”

I attempt to answer that burning question in this article.

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Also, just wanted to mention, Anne Rice, tweeted about the article and it has become the most shared article on the site.

godzilla article

click the banner to take you to the article:

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http://www.halloweenforevermore.com/horrific-words-articles/musings/article-why-do-grown-men-watch-godzilla-films/

Take a look around the site, check out some articles and fiction while you’re there. Bookmark it to come back to, especially during the Halloween season (and beyond).

Terror Train – audio version podcast

Terror Train – audio version podcast

If any of you are interested in my story, Steel Deliverance, which was published in the horror anthology, Terror Train, you can hear an audio version this week only!

Best thing, it’s FREE! and you don’t have to sign in or sign up or download a special player.

All you have to do is go to the Terror Train website and click the audio player bar…

http://terrortrain.wordpress.com

Just to clarify what is going on in the podcast, it starts off with an introduction. The first reading from Terror Train is a poem written by Roger Cowin. My story is the second reading at about, 10 minutes. If you got some time, let the whole podcast play in the background while you’re checking emails or your Facebook…

And special thanks to David Schutz II,  for lending his wonderful reading voice to my story. I couldn’t have said it better myself!

Monster Wars – Model on the Mantle

Monster Wars
Monster Model on the Mantle

Ok, so here’s a short video I posted on youtube. Any married man that has his guy toys should be able to relate to this. The wives’ never want our guy things in the general expanse of the home; they think they should stay relegated to the man cave or specially cordoned room. See what happens when I try to expand my influence into the rest of the house…

The video gets a little shaky in the middle. I didn’t want the wife to know I was recording. I’ll post some better pics of this model at a later date.

The model is Ymir, 20 Million Miles to Earth by Geometric

 

 

 

8mm and Super 8mm Horror – flicks on film

8mm dr satan

The ‘clicking’ of the projector, the strobe-like flashing on the parallel walls, a rectangle of pure white in the dark, and presto! there’s monsters in my bedroom…

8mm and Super 8mm Horror – flicks on film

When I was a youngster, we didn’t have VHS, DVDs, or On-demand movies. We had to watch and wait, for the 6 or 7 television channels available, to air our favorite films. They would show up maybe once or twice a year. (Sometimes never.) However, that didn’t stop some of us, especially us monster fans, from wanting to take our favorite monsters home with us.8mm projector

When I was about 13, I had saved up enough money from shoveling snow and handing out flyers for businesses to send away for a Super 8mm projector. I had seen the ad in the back of Famous Monsters of Filmland and got a money order made out to Captain Company. It was about $24 which would probably be like $100 today. The big brown truck delivered the projector and it came with one complimentary film reel.

The films were only 15 minutes in length each, like highlight reels, touching on the main points and action scenes of the movies they were edited from. Some films were even edited into a new simpler story line, rearranged in sequence to support the edited plot. I didn’t care; I was in it for the monster scenes, not the stories.

super 8 when dinos

One of my fave things to do with this new projector…8mm ghidorah

My neighbor’s house was very close to ours and the side that faced us had only one small bathroom window. The house was all white. I used to aim the projector out the window so it could shine a giant image of Ghidorah onto the house. For some reason that was the only film it would work for, I guess because of the strong contrast of the scene itself. The image was very light, ghost-like, but I thought it was cool and me and my friends would laugh, trying to scare people walking down the street.

Here’s a look at some of the 8mm and Super 8mm films of the time (1960’s – 1970’s). Mine are long gone, but luckily some people had saved these and shared the box covers on the internet. I just collected the images here, so thanks to all you collectors for sharing. Some of these I owned and others I would have eventually purchased if VHS and Cable TV didn’t make their debut in the early 1980’s.