For all its failings, Battle Beneath the Earth is a difficult movie to hate. In my case, this is partly due to it having the disarming quality of seeming like it was the result of someone watching me play army men on my bedroom floor when I was six and then making a movie out of it.
It is simply a visual treat, and the amount of imagination apparent in every aspect of its design is a joy to behold, with a story that is solid and economical enough in its construction to easily survive instances of ideological lip service.
I wouldn’t claim The Mighty Gorga is an enjoyable viewing experience, but I found it fascinating never the less, for the same reasons I’m fascinated with films like Death Curse of Tartu or whatever weird stuff Doris Wishman was cranking out at the time.
If the world was just and kind, then the sentence, ‘It’s a movie where Vincent Price stars as a madman who rules over an underwater society of fishmen prone to kidnapping scantily clad beautiful women,’ would indicate the existence of probably one of the greatest films ever made.
The Pirates of Blood River is still a solid adventure tale, with plenty of action, a dependable cast, and a look that fools you into thinking this is a much higher budget film than it actually is. It’s nice to see these old Hammer swashbucklers getting some attention.
I also have to say that, despite it being every bit as stupid as I expected it to be, it was still entertaining, and proceeded at a fast enough clip that none of its potential irritants were with me long enough to do much damage.
What with my recent cinematic diet consisting mostly of overheated Bollywood masala movies and plagiarism-filled Thai man-in-suit monster sagas, I’ve gotten well past the point where it’s time to mix […]
A state of hypnosis seemed to set in soon after I pressed play, as if I was watching less a movie than a screen saver featuring men in black hats and skinny ties being perpetually hurled back and forth to a soundtrack of pilfered surf music.
The eventual reveal isn’t entirely a surprise, but then, it rarely is these days, given how many movies have been made in this style. And besides, the fun of the krimi is rarely in being fooled by the unmasking of the killer. It’s in the ride.
Even though it never really becomes a swashbuckling adventure (although Peter Cushing does get to swing from a chandelier) or a horror film, Hinds exploits the trappings of both genres to create a thrilling hybrid driven by strong characters and solid British acting.