The X From Outer Space (1967) – movie review

the X from outer space - pic 4

The X From Outer Space (1967) (1968 – US)

Shochiku Studios

Aka: “The X from Planet X” – “Uchu Daikaju Girara”


The X From Outer Space concerns the voyage of a ship, the AAB Gamma. Somewhere between the space station on the moon and their journey to Mars, they crew encounters an orange glowing flying saucer. The ship picks up some magnetic material on its hull and two crew members go out on a spacewalk to get the material off. They save some samples, some white foamy substance and a glowing rock that is magnetic. The ship is damaged and a rescue ship is sent to tow it back to earth. Almost immediately the rock hatches a creature, unseen at the time, but proven by a claw-like foot print left in the lab. the X from outer space - poster 1Overnight the creature grows to giant Kaiju proportions and rises from its hiding spot underground.

Guilala is either the dumbest, silliest looking giant monster ever designed or a fantastic modern creation, I can’t decide which. It has a chicken beak, a flying saucer shaped head, big antenna with huge ball shapes on the end, puffy arms and legs, spikes along its back, and lizard-like feet. Glowing red eyes shoot laser rays, it spits flaming fire balls, it smashes city buildings and stomps on tanks. There’s some massive city destruction as a battle rages with the Japanese air force. Sure, you can see the wires but that doesn’t stop my enjoyment of the film. In fact, I consider this one of the top non-Toho Kaiju films (along with the original Gamera). Highlights of the film include the two female actresses taking a shower together and kicking soap suds at each other (they don’t show any nudity, just naked feet).

the X from outer space - pic 14The authorities know the monster is headed straight for Tokyo, (how they knew this? I don‘t have a clue) and claim they have no ideas on what to do about this monster…are you kidding? There’s a giant monster attack on Japan every week, they should be experts on what to do! The crew of AAB Gamma go to space for clues on how to destroy Guilala. The beast seems to absorb all energy that is around it. They discover the white foam is a spore the drains things of their energy. So they come up with a plan to shoot the white foam spores into Guilala which drains the beast of energy and shrinks him down to its original size as a glowing rock. They put the rock and spores into a rocket capsule and send it into deep space.

UFO’s, space stations, mismatched elevator music and the Giant Chicken Lizard Kaiju,  hacking up flaming spit balls, what more can you want?

 

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There is a sequel made many years later, The Monster X Strikes Back/Attack the G8 Summit (2008), which is all camp comedy and political satire. Too much lame satire and not enough monster, it’s not nearly as good from a Kaiju fan perspective.

the X from outer space - 2008 Filme Title: Girara no gyakushu / Samitto kiki ippatsu! (Monster X Strikes Back: Attack the G8 Summit!)

DINOSAUR films and other giant creature movies – Overview

journey to the center of 1959

Rare and Obscure

DINOSAUR films and other giant creature movies

An Overview

Here’s a listing of the dinosaur films I have reviewed on Parlor of Horror.
I’m mostly concerned with older movies that make up the history of dinosaurs in film and the special effects for these films.

Also included here are links to my reveiws of: Kaiju, American Giant Monster films, Giant people, Giant Apes, Giant Bugs

unknown-island-movie-poster-1948 lost-on-adventure-island dinosaurus_poster_02 the-beast-of-hollow-mountain-poster legend of dinos and monster birds

Dinosaur Movies

Unknown Island (1948)
The Beast of Hollow Mountain (1956)
Dinosaurus (1960)
Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet (1965)
Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women (1968)
Lost on Adventure Island (1974)
The Lost World (1960)
The Legend of Dinosaurs and Monster Birds (1977)
The Land That Time Forgot (1978)
King Kong (1933)
Son of Kong (1933) 

Top 5 Women in Dinosaur films

 voyage_to_the_planet_of_prehistoric_woman the-land-that-time-forgot-poster king-kong-19331

Giant Monster Movies/ Dinosaurs & Kaiju

The Giant Behemoth (1959)
The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953)
Gorgo (1961)
It Came From Beneath the Sea
Ray Harryhausen Tribute

Godzilla (1998)
Godzilla (2014)
Godzilla/Toho articles
Godzilla movies reviews – Showa Era (early years)
Godzilla movie reviews – Hensei and Millennium Era (later years)
Godzilla’s Top Enemies 

The X From Outer Space

the-beast-cover the-giant-behemoth-cover gorgo-cover

Giant Bugs

The Black Scorpion
The Deadly Mantis
Them


Giant Apes

The Mighty Peking Man
A.P.E.
Mighty Joe Young
Half Human
Queen Kong
Konga
King Kong (1976)
King Kong (2005)
King Kong (1933)
Son of Kong (1933)

Giants (giant people)

The Colossal Man
War of the Colossal Beast
The Cyclops
Attack of the 50 Foot Woman
Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (remake)
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad
Frankenstein Conquers the World

Giant Robots

The Mysterians
Kronos
Pacific Rim
Giant Robots Articles

Horror Art and Music – the artists – part 4

Mike Bohatch

Horror Art and Music – the artists – part 4

Joachim Luetke – Par Olofsson – Mike Bohatch

Joachim Luetke
Joachim Luetke is a mixed-media artist known for his CD art for bands such as Arch Enemy, Dimmu Borgir, Kreator, Marilyn Manson, and Meshuggah. His art has also been published in a book, Posthuman - The Art of Joachim Luetke (2000)

http://www.luetke.com

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Par Olofsson
Par Olofsson is a Swedish artist that painted many CD covers for death metal bands. His work is graphically violent in nature and often gory.

http://www.parolofsson.se

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Mike Bohatch
Mike Bohatch creates bizarre images using his digital art composite methods. His art has graced the CD’s of numerous bands on Century Media Records and many other indie releases. In recent years he has expanded into motion graphics and special effects for film.

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Take a look at other artists featured in posts:

HR Giger
Ed Repka
Derek Riggs
Wes Benscoter

Seth Siro Anton
Pushead

Dan Seagrave
Travis Smith
Mercury-X

 

Monster Wars – episode 2

How Much is That Monster in the Window?

Here’s another video of me and my wife arguing over my Monster Toys. This time it’s the 1998 GODZILLA Electronic Bank. Enjoy! :)

Check out the original video here: Monster Wars – Episode One

The Uncanny (1977) – movie review

the uncanny pic 02

The Uncanny (1977)

Milton Subotsky post Amicus film
The Rank Organisation

directed by Denis Héroux

Peter Cushing
Donald Pleasence
Ray Milland
Joan Greenwood
Donald Pilon
Samantha Eggar


Awesomely creepy music puts you in the mood during the opening credits. In the first scene, Wilbur Gray, (Peter Cushing) looks nervously out his window into the dark alley and shadowed streets. He then leaves his apartment in a rush, carrying a case file. Several felines follow his moves with their eyes and in this short scene feel very ominous.

Gray enters the home of a publisher, Frank Richards (Ray Milland) who has little faith in what he has written. Gray mentions how people believe in alien conspiracies and incidents but with his theory he has proof. The publisher’s cat growls at him, to the-uncanny-movie-poster-1977which he turns to the cat and says, I know everything. He presents case files that would back up his theory that cats are evil and conspiring in tandem to take over the world from humans.

Tale one bloody and gruesome. A Maid and the Nephew of a wealthy old crone attempt to steal the Last Will and Testament that cuts the nephew out of the inheritance and leaves everything to her numerous cats. In the process, the maid winds up killing the wealthy old woman. The cats are not pleased. This turns into the Cujo moment of Catdom. Over a period of many hours the old lady’s cats bludgeon the maid to death. This film was originally given an ‘X’ – rating, presumably because of the violence in this segment.

The second story about a young girl, Lucy, orphaned that goes to her aunt and uncles stately home to live. The aunt is immediately detest over the girl’s cat. An older cousin bullies Lucy and purposely says hurtful things to her about not having parents. She accuses and blames Lucy for things she did not do. It all plays a little like a 1970’s After School Special, but it gets quite nasty in the end. The aunt has a company whisk away the cat while Lucy sleeps but the cat, Wellington, returns. The cat leads Lucy to a the uncanny pic 03book on witchcraft that belonged to her mother. After reading, Lucy tricks her bully older cousin into stepping into a Pentagon she drew in the garden greenhouse. There she reads a spell that shrinks the girl to a size, no bigger than a mouse. That is where Wellington takes over chasing the girl under the bed in some decent miniatures and back-screen effects. The cat chases the cousin out from under the bed and that is where Lucy puts her foot down on the matter of bullying.

The 3rd story is a campy affair featuring actors from the 1930s. It stars Donald Pleasance as Valentine De’ath, a horror actor and a cat hater who replaces a prop in the movie with the real thing, killing his actress wife. Now his dim-witted actress girlfriend, Edina, can take her place. At first she’s amused by the wife’s cat which Valentine calls “Scat”. Valentine sends off Scat’s newborn kittens to a pest control. Scat is not happy. The cat torments the couple in some random slap-stick antics. Meanwhile, the film ‘Dungeons of Terror’ begins re-filming only to find that Edina is a horrible actress. Attempting to coach her on a scene in the torture dungeon Scat leads Valentine to accidentally kill his new leading lady.

It’s a decent anthology in the Amicus tradition. By 1977 these stories were considered ‘old-hat’ and not very popular with the horror watching youth, but as an adult I can appreciate the old style story-telling aspects of the film. I’d say it’s worth seeing just for the violent and bloody first segment, whose gory style has never been repeated in film (not with cats, anyway).

See all my other Amicus Films and related movie reviews here:
Amicus Films – The Studio that Dripped Blood Overview

the uncanny pic 09

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief (2010) – Movie Review

Percy Jackson and the Lighning Thief - pic 17

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief (2010)

Directed by Chris Columbus

Starring:
Logan Lerman
Brandon T. Jackson
Alexandra Daddario
Jake Abel
Rosario Dawson
Steve Coogan
Uma Thurman


I originally watched this film because my daughter wanted to see it. That usually means she thinks the ‘boy’ star is cute (Logan Lerman). I was just happy that she wanted to watch a film that included Greek Mythology, a subject that I loved to study, portray in artwork, and read about when I was young. I had watched the many classic films (and some not-so-classic) pertaining to the subject throughout my years. This film made it fun for both of us, mixing the mythological characters with modern times in a new contemporary story. A kid, falling in love, a single mom with lousy boyfriend: not exactly a mythological topic. But percy jackson the lightning thief -poster-artwork 1Medusa, a Hydra, Hades, The River Styx, Zeus and Perseus: My type of film!

It was a fun flick with some great monsters. The effects were well-done with quality CG. An outstanding 5-headed hydra, and a wicked Medusa (played by Uma Thurman) and a giant Minotaur, pleased the monster fan in me. The film stayed true to the mythology world created by the ancient Greek storytellers. Having the Gods and Beasts still alive in this day and age left some creative blending to be tackled but it was handled well. For example: Medusa’ s stare still turns one to stone, so naturally she owns a garden & stone-statue dealership and wears dark shades most of the time.

Someone has stolen the Sacred Lightning bolt of Zeus and the Gods are ready to declare war on each other and mankind, if it is not returned by the summer Solstice in 2 weeks. Percy’s mother is Percy Jackson and the Lighning Thief - pic 1kidnapped and held ransom by Hades for exchange of the Zeus’ Lightning Bolt. All the gods and deities are after Percy because they think he stole the powerful weapon. At Camp Half-Blood, Percy learns he is a demi-god and trains for his quest to find the bolt and save his mother from Hades. Percy is teamed up with his friend, Grover Underwood, a Satyr (half goat, half man). At the camp he meets, Annabeth Chase, daughter of Athena, also a demi-god and a master archer. They set out on their journey to find three pearls, using an ancient map. The Pearls will enable them to enter and leave Hades, save Percy‘s mom and find the Lightning Bolt. Along their Journey they battle a really nice 5-headed fire-breathing Hydra, Medusa and the Lotus Eaters. Near the Hollywood sign they find a secret pathway to the river Styx. They’re taken to Hades home. There’s some nice depictions of hell and tortured souls in these scenes.

The film is based on a novel by Rick Riordan titled, The Lightning Thief, the first in a series known as Percy Jackson & the Olympians. Overall it’s a fun movie that both young ones and adults can enjoy. While it didn’t have the monster charm of Harryhausen’ s mythological creature creations, it had its own visual style for this era.

Percy Jackson and the Lighning Thief - pic 16

It’s an action packed movie with fun special effects, some cool monsters and a light mythology mash-up in a modern setting.

I give it 3.2 magic pearls out of 5 on the mythos scale of Greek Gods and monsters.