Triclops (2016) – movie review

 triclops-pic-10

Triclops (2016)

Directed by Brett Piper

Starring:
Matthew Crawley
Steve Diasparra
Richard Lounello
Erin Waterhouse

 

A couple of stills from this movie on Facebook caught my interest. I looked it up on Amazon and the DVD was cheap enough to take a chance. The film contains typical B-movie acting and a typical B-movie story-line, However, the stop motion animation had a 1950’s sci-fi monster film charm to it. So, I pretended the film was from the 1950s (despite being in color) and I got along fine with it. The animated creatures were numerous; some kind of horned dinosaur, a giant Venus fly trap, a few different types of giant bugs, A mutant scorpion, and a poofy giant tic looking creature. Oh yes, we also have a giant, three eyed, mutant, humanoid known as the Triclops. The effects were quite decent and smoothly filmed for a movie with a micro budget. triclops-dvd

 

Samantha is on a search mission for her husband, an air force pilot whose plane went down in a giant meteor crater which is an off limit area like Area 51. She and her brother-in-law seek out a drunken unemployed pilot with a reputation for accepting questionable jobs. They set off, flying under radar into the ancient crater. When they land, they discover strange beasts and mutant giant insects. Samantha is kidnapped by the Triclops and the rest of the team sets out to find her. After some cat and mouse antics they eventually outsmart the 3-eyed giant and find Sam’s husband. They use a map with an alternative escape route from the crater to escape the exploding meteor within it.

 

Brett Piper, (director/producer/special fx/writer) has been doing effects for z-budget films since the 1980s. He had spent some years as FX man and editor at EI/Seductive Cinema adding minimal storylines and FX to cheap soft-core sex flicks (a real waste of his talent IMO). However, this is Brett’s, 4th or 5th recent film with a definitive direction in mind, to keep the B-movie and Creature Feature style films of the 1950’s alive by producing new films in that subgenre. He has an affinity and talent for stop-motion which puts him in a good position to do just that and in recent years his mantra seems to be giving him new recognition and a cult following.  It kind of reminds me of how Full Moon grew to popularity in the late 80s. The film’s are mostly campy fair with nostalgic effects so if that is something you would like, look up some of his films. Triclops would be a good place to start. The next film from Piper I’ll watch is going to be Queen Crab.

triclops-pic-8

 

Nostalgic stop-motion is the main point of this b-movie monster-fest.

I give it 3.4 mutant monsters from far off stars out of 5 on the creature feature fun scale.

 

(note: some of these pics are screenshots and the quality is not as good as you would see in the actual film)

Parlor of Horror’s Creature Feature Reviews

Creature Features revisited – More Giant Monsters

Creature Features revisited – More Giant Monsters

A look back at the golden age of sci-fi, the 1950‘s. Our subject today… More giant monsters!
Attack of the Crab Monsters, The Giant Gila Monster, Tarantula, Earth vs the Spider
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Attack of the Crab Monsters (1957)

attack-of-the-crabs-monster-movie-poster attack of the crab monsters - pic 9
A group of scientists investigate the effects of radiation on a Pacific Island near the Bikini Island Nuclear experiments. They are attacked by a couple of giant crabs that also have gained intelligence and psychic powers. They have telepathy and they absorb the knowledge of the victims they eat. One by one the group are killed in horrible attacks which leave them headless. The last three scientists communicate with the female crab and learn of her plan to reach the mainland, have her babies and devour all of mankind.
Roger Corman told writer, Charles B. Griffith, that he wanted this film to be experimental and have every scene to have action or suspense. The film was quite successful, costing only 70k but making over one million dollars. While it doesn’t have the best Giant creature effects to stand up to other films of the time, it makes up for it by using close-up shots and movement of the camera. This keeps the flaws of the creature design obscured. If you had talked to teens that saw this in the theatres, they would have told you this film was frightening. I think the main reason for that was the beheaded victims and discovering that the crabs were eating the heads. That was very gruesome for the 1950s
Trivia:
Russell Johnson as, Hank, spends his time while stuck on the island trying to fix the radio so they can call for help. Many years later he plays the Professor on Gilligan’s Island who, while stuck on the island, spends his time fixing the radio so they can call for help.
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The Giant Gila Monster (1959)

giant gila monster poster 1the giant gila monster - pic 4
I enjoyed the 50’s/60’s hot-rod and rock-and-bop feel of The Giant Gila Monster. Typical plot of 1950’s sci-fi without the budget of better known films of the era. Young couples in their cars go missing as the Gila Monster stomps some vehicles early in the film. The monster also causes a train wreck. It isn’t until the big dance party that the monster really makes itself known, coming out of hiding because of that crazy loud rock music. The town is saved by a guy named ‘Chase’ and his hot-rod! It’s budget film fun with a couple of good Gila Monster scenes, but it won’t win any awards for special FX. Watch for nostalgic entertainment on a day you have nothing else to do. Directed by Ray Kellogg. There’s a colorized version which doesn’t look too bad. And there’s a remake that looks SyFy style terrible.
Trivia:
Actress Lisa Simone was a contestant for Miss Universe in 1957.

Texas Drive-in theater owner, Gordon McLendon produced this film and The Killer Shrews as second features to the main attractions he had at his theaters.

Danzig used the font from the movie posters for his album logos.
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Tarantula (1955)

Tarantula_1955tarantula 1955 pic 1
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The film stars John Aagar, Mara Corday and Leo G. Carroll. A scientist secretly experimenting with a nutrient that effects the pituitary gland looses one of his specimens, a tarantula the size of a dog. The next time they see this tarantula it has grown significantly. Another scientist (John Agar) investigating the death of a biologist who had stumbled in from the desert with deformed features meets with his lovely assistant, (Mara Corday).  They discover the Giant mutant spider and work to get the situation under control before it can reach town. There’s a tense scene where the tarantula is looking through the window at Stephanie and attacks the house looking for a meal. The film has a better than average plot, story and acting, making it one of the more respected giant bug films of the time. My only dissappiontment as a kid was the Tarantula never makes it to town to cause destruction. Directed by Jack Arnold (Creature from the Black Lagoon).
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Trivia:
Clint Eastwood has a bit part as a pilot for the jet fighters that shoot at the tarantula at the film’s end.
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The tarantula is the same spider that performed in The Incredible Shriking Man.
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Earth vs. The Spider (1958)

earth v the spider aka The Spider poster Earth vs the Spider (1958) - pic 8

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(aka: The Spider – not to get confused with Tarantula – 1955)
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A girl in high school is worried about her dad, who hasn’t come home from a road trip the night before. She convinces her boyfriend to go looking for him. These two teenage kids, Mike and Carol, they ain’t no Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys, that’s for sure. They find Carol’s Dad’s car crashed off the highway and search the area. Carol sees a cave and figures her injured Dad may have crawled into there for shelter. They fall into a big web and are nearly killed by the humongous spider. Ironically, the spider’s growl sounds pretty close to Carol’s scream with effects on it.
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Naturally they tell the authorities, the authorities go into the cave, find Carol’s dead Dad and kill the spider. A professor of takes the spider to the university and has it on display for study. The staging area is in the auditorium. At night the band comes to play a gig and all the teens come to dance to the rocking sounds. And I’ll be damned, that crazy rock-n-roll music revives that damn spider! (told you that rock n roll music was bad for ya’). Screams, gasps, running… we got ourselves a monster movie! The monster terrorizes a suburban town, threatens a mom and her baby, and follows our hero‘s car back into the woods. The Authorities follow the spider back to its cave and kill it once and for all. There’s some not-so-great matt compositing for FX and in some scenes it looks like they may have used miniature buildings. It didn’t look like the real spider they used wanted to co-operate much. The film was produced, directed and written by Bert I. Gordon, who was an avid B-horror film producer of the time.
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Trivia:
In a scene with a movie theater where Mike works at, you can see a poster for The Amazing Colossal Man in the Coming Soon display case and the Marque shows Attack of the Puppet People as now showing. Both are by Bert I. Gordon films.
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photo galleries:
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parlor of horror – classic sci-fi/horror movie reviews

Horror Movie Poster art – Postcard Collection- Part I

Classic movie monsters stamps & postcards 6

Horror Movie Poster Art – post cards (and Sci-fi, too!)

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Let me explain,
I collected about a dozen classic horror movie posters including, Bride of Frankenstein, King Kong, Creature From the Black Lagoon, and The Curse of the Werewolf. They range in size from 11 x 17″ to 24 x 28.” However, I soon discovered I will never have enough room to display them.
bride poster

That was when I discovered post-card sized replications of all the famous classic film movie posters. I keep them in a book in plastic sleeves. Along with the Universal Monsters Stamps and post cards from various museums and historical sites, plus Art, Americana, and movie stars, I have over 200 post cards in my collection.
I’d like to share some of these post cards with you.
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Creature Features and early horror films:
Here’s my book. It’s a loose-leaf binder with photo sleeves. It holds 4 cards per page (2 front, 2 back).
movie poster art - my collection - Mike K movie poster art - collection - classics photo 7
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Universal and Classics:

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 1950’s Sci Fi and horror:

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US Postal Service Universal Monsters Commemorative Stamps and Post Cards:

 

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More to come…

 

 

One Million BC (1940) – movie review

One Million BC 1940- pic 2

One Million BC (1940)

Directed by Hal Roach, Hal Roach Jr.

Stars: Victor Mature, Lon Chaney Jr., Carole Landis

Hal Roach is a company you wouldn’t have expected to produce a serious film on prehistoric life. Yet that is exactly what is presented here. We follow the story of Tumak and his struggle to get out of the shadow of his father and tribe leader. Early in the film he battles his father over food and is forcibly kicked out of the clan. Wounded, he floats down river and is saved by a clan of people that are less savage and have a different sense of community. The cave woman Luana takes a liking to Tumak and nurses him back to health. He observes their ways of sharing, even letting the children eat first rather One Million BC 1940- poster 3than fighting over scraps as his tribe was accustomed to doing. They work as a community for the benefit of all and even provide for the elders who can no longer hunt and gather. It is a real community rather than a winner-takes-all social hierarchy.

There’s one silly looking Allosaurus to which thankfully they never show a clear view. After that display, the parade of lizards posing as dinosaurs is a welcome sight. This film has the famous scene where the dwarf gator fights the monitor lizard which has been used in half a dozen other future films. Eventually Tumak returns to his tribe with Luana to teach them his new ways. The tribe learns quickly. Unfortunately there’s a nearby volcano that erupts destroying Tumak’s homeland. Luana seeks shelter in a cave with many of the children and they are trapped in the cave by a giant iguana. This iguana-saur ain’t budging. It barks like a dog, growls like a lion and hisses like a snake with a toothache. The two tribes work together to free Luana, the women and children trapped in the cave. And they all live happily ever after.

This is the first film in a line of films that presents the life of prehistoric man without any recognizable dialogue. It’s followed by the loosely based remake, One Million Years BC (Hammer Films), When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth (Hammer Films), Clan of the Cave Bear, 10,000 BC, and even Cave Man (1981). Roach originally hired GW Griffith for the production because of his experience with large scale special effects, but they parted ways after differences in opinions. Despite the departure, the film won two academy awards, best special effects and best music score. There are some noteworthy effects in the film including the volcano lava that just misses swallowing a child and the giant Iguana sequence trapping the women and children in the cave. It’s plot is fairly basic and it’s dinosaurs are limited in appeal but it is notable as a film of its genre for imagining the life of the Cro-Magnon man, however scientifically inaccurate some aspects may be portrayed.

Publicity shots and behind the scenes shots:

Fall – a new season at Parlor of Horror

Mount Creepmore

Fall – a new season at Parlor of Horror

Fall is a time of Monsters and things that go bump in the night. It’s a good time to read a creepy story huddled under a blanket on the couch. It’s a time to enjoy the coming holiday of Halloween and to prepare for winter. And to watch the trees bursmy top 10 1980s horrort into vivid color, then shed their leaves.

I’m feeling so much better than I had been earlier this year. Thank God for modern medicine. I feel like my old self again.

I’ll be bringing back my Top 10 Horror films of the 1980s. They will be individual film reviews with the Top 80s Horror logo displayed on the post. I’ll do another Halloween version of Now Streaming on Netflix, short reviews of the good, bad and ugly horror films on Netflix. I’m also netflix tv picgoing to try and do more horror book reviews for the year’s end, which have been lacking during the earlier part of the year. I’ll post a spectacular Creature Features post reviewing ghostly horror films of yesteryear, a perfect fit for the season.

I hope you’ll all come by and check out my suggestions for Halloween entertainment. In the pasCreature Features logot I’ve recommended movies, music, Halloween spooky games and I’ve reviewed local haunts to visit. Even if you don’t live in the area, I’m sure there are equivalent attractions in your neighborhood to visit.

And before year’s end I’ll have a special announcement about a special horror fiction project I’ve been working on.

So stop by, click the ‘like’ button to let me know you’ve been here, and share your posts and thoughts.

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And now a few thoughts on life…

If your fiancé answers his/her cell phone during your wedding ceremony, do not get married. You’ll save the energy of getting a divorce in the near future.

The Apple I-pencil? Come on, are you kidding me. An Apple I-Watch? Hasn’t anyone told Apple that watches are obsolete? And with print that small you’ll need your I-glasses to read what is on the screen or you’ll be making lots of visits to your I-doctor. So you can listen to Siri through the watch, its bad enough that devices have ruined our eyes, now they are going to ruin our hearing too. I can see that an old-style, finely crafted watch can be a beautiful thing, like a piece of jewelry, but plastic and transistors? Doesn’t feel classy to me.

I went out to dinner with my wife the other night for the first time in quite a long time. On the way back to my table from a bathroom break, I noticed my fellow customers were taking pictures of their meals. Snap, click, flick, I-phones ablaze. I don’t get it! Do you need to prove to the world that your food was good? Or that you were out for the night? Just because you photo’d it, doesn’t mean you ate it. Maybe you should take a pic of your open mouth with chewed food in it. Or the aftermath the next morning. Hey, a Big Mac is going to look the same no matter who takes the pic. (you thought I was going to say a Big Mac looks the same before and after, didn’t you 😀 ) The same with Chili’s loaded fries or Applebees chicken fajita. What makes your IHOP pancakes so much more special than mine? Or from the ones I’ve been eating since 1970? It’s different if you actually cooked the meal yourself, it’s your creation, but the meals in these assembly line restaurants are going to look the same every time. They follow a company diagram, where to put the steak, where to put the shrimp, the rice, the veggie, etc. There’s nothing special about your meal people!
Don’t Tweet it; EAT IT!

 

Creature Features revisited – So bad they’re good!

brain-from-planet-arous- with strings

Creature Features revisited

A look back at the golden age of sci-fi. Our subject today…

So bad they’re good!

and by ‘good’ I mean they’re still bad, but you can get a good laugh watching themCreature Features logo

Robot Monster (1953)
The Brain from Planet Arous (1957)

Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster (1965)

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Robot Monster (1953)
This film is considered one of the worst films ever made perhaps only outdone by Plan 9. It was originally released in 3D. The monster is a gorilla costume with a diving-helmet… how good can it be? For whatever reason I like this the way some people like Plan-9 From Outer Space. In one scene Ro-man kidnaps Alice and runs down the mountainside with her. It is supposed to be terrifying and you hear Alice screaming. But, you can clearly see that actress Claudia Barrett is laughing hysterically the whole way down the hillside. I’m curious as to what Ro-man (George Barrows in costume) was saying to her as they raced through the mountainous terrain. In another scene you can see the human hand that is holding the rocket-ship as it’s landing on earth.

Ro-Man is sent to earth on an invasion mission. The plan goes well and Ro-man holes up in a cave near a family who are the last surviving people on earth. At first the alien leader instructs Ro-man to keep them alive for information. Later he instructs Ro-man to kill them, but Ro-man has developed feelings for Alice. His communications machine/computer shoots bubbles. It would be nice if our computers shot bubbles, there would be much less bullying on Facebook. Somehow in the end of the film, there’s dinosaurs. No one really knows why.

robot_monster poster art

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The Brain from Planet Arous (1957)
A bulbous giant brain with glowing eyes seeks to take over the earth and get some action from Steve’s fiancé, Sally, in the interim. Steve is possessed by the space brain, Gor, and Sally seems initially turned-on by Steve’s aggressive kissing. (Hubba-hubba) But his strange behavior prompts her to call her dad. They investigate a desert cave and find another floating brain, Vol, who seeks to stop Gor. Vol takes over the body of George, Sally’s dog and reveals how to kill Gor. Steve’s friend, Dan is killed but there’s hardly an investigation. Then Gor blows up a commercial airliner just for fun. Steve attempts to date-rape Sally in the desert (his 2nd attempt) but George stops it from happening. Steve says, “awe lets forget the whole thing.” Steve/Gor plans to attend the nuclear blast test in Indian Springs, where he will unleash his plan to overtake the whole world. He kills the sheriff with a radioactive blast from his eyes.

Gor blows up the atomic test and demands to meet with the countries leaders at 8:pm. He returns home for a nap. At the meeting he blows up another commercial airliner and laughs insanely. This one looks like a model with strings attached and a few firecrackers blowing up around it. The leaders agree to Gor’s demands. That was easy.

Back at home, Gor comes out of Steve’s body for a rest and chases Sally around the basement. Third time is a charm, I guess. Hey! There’s strings attached to that balloon brain! Steve, now back to normal, hits Gor with an ax. The most powerful force and evil mind in the universe, and he’s killed with a sloppy swing of an ax. The world is saved.

Despite the bad effects and silly plot, this flick is still somewhat enjoyable. From Steve/Gor’s psychotic laughter, to his awkward failed attempts at getting some action with Sally, it’s amusing for the wrong reasons

brain-from-planet-arous poster

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Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster (1965)
The aliens are Dr. Evil-like characters and an Egyptian queen, wearing a bad hat with much ornamentation. The guy aliens have fake pointy ears that are about to fall off any second. Actor, James Karen is in this. We start our story at Cape Canaveral, Florida. Nice scenes of NASA in Florida from the 1960s. During a press interview with an Astronaut, the Astronaut freezes. The camera zooms in on his teeth (don‘t know why). He must be a robot. There’s some awesome, groovy, early 60s, head trip music over stock footage of the Apollo space missions. Watching the astronauts get suited up and climb into that little space capsule was interesting. It is followed by actual radio recordings from a launch.

The aliens shoot down the missile launch The robot astronaut (named Frank) survives the crash. He fights with the aliens and winds up with half of his face melted off. The damaged Robot-Frank goes insane and runs a-muck, choking everyone he sees to death. Frank then hacks a guy to pieces with a coconut knife for no reason. Meanwhile the aliens have a wickedly, cool looking monster, named Mull, that they intend to let loose against Frank the astro-bot. So the conflict is set, now we just have to sit through a whole bunch of hokey, boring, scenes with scientists discussing what had occurred.

Finally we get to the beach with a sun bathing beauty. The aliens kidnap her and bring her to their craft for Phase 3. There’s a very lesbian-like scene where the alien queen checks out the bathing beauty specimen. Two scientists, Karen (the girl not the actor) and Dr. Adam (James Karen, the actor), show up at the beach. Then, pseudo Caribbean/Beatles music plays as we go on a long ride on a mo-ped/scooter. I shrug my shoulders.

There are several spots in the film where music plays despite the fact we are watching the actors speaking lines. I guess the dialogue wasn’t that important. What is important is more hippy music as guys in space suits with ray-guns, run around collecting women at a pool party! There’s a HUGE military build up (stock footage of course) that goes on for about 10 minutes. The result of this huge build up? A few fire crackers explode near the ship.

Karen and Robot-Frank get kidnapped by the aliens, too. Karen convinces the robot to turn good and fight the evil aliens, he does. The fight lasts about 40 seconds. The bathing beauties escape and the ship blows up. Yeah! Earth is saved again.

Trivia:
This film is ranked #7 in the 50 Worst Movies Ever Made (2004)

FrankMeetsTheSpace-Poster

Gallery of amusing visuals:

Damsels in distress – part II – horror and sci-fi movie posters

Damsels in distress – part II – horror and sci-fi movie posters

This post takes a look at Damsels in distress as depicted on movie posters for horror and sci-fi. There’s no truth in advertising here as many of these depictions never actually happen in the films.

Movie Posters:

Gallery 2:

 

And don’t forget to take a look at Part One of our Damsels in Distress pictorials: Damsels in Distress – in movies