Sunday, October 07, 2012

Countdown Day 7; Wrapping Up The Week

The first week of the month of October is just about over. Only a few more hours to go, and I'm realizing this week has just flown by. Yesterday was my one day off from work this week, though I had some prior engagements in the evening. I woke up pretty early, though, and managed to squeeze in 4 films as I got ready for my day. The first three were movies with covers that I saw a lot as a teen, but had never gotten around to seeing. The fourth was something I had never heard of until I saw the title on TCM and recorded it for my Halloween viewing.

First up was Xtro, which is a very bad movie, but also very disturbing in an odd way. When the alien first arrives on Earth, the effect isn't very convincing on it's own, but the few quick glimpses we get are appropriately chilling. The story never begins to make much sense, but in a way that's a positive, as it's just disturbingly random and seedy. It is an ugly little film, and probably not worth my time on a rewatch, but I'm glad I've seen it, if only because now I can say I've seen 3 films where a woman gives birth to a full grown adult. Although this was the only one that showed the man biting through his own umbilical cord. It's the little details that make the film. In the end Xtro was awful, but in a way that might have enhanced the actual experience of watching it. If it had been done with a little more talent, or a bigger budget, it probably wouldn't have been nearly as memorable.

Case in point, Xtro 2, an in-name-only sequel with an entirely new cast and an entirely different alien menace(though the same writer/director). Xtro 2 is quantifiably a better film, with slicker direction, better effects, and a smoother storyline. It is also a terrible bore, and has nothing really to recommend it beyond the oversized alien, which is refreshing to see if you're a fan of practical effects jobs. That is unless your a big fan of Jan Michael Vincent, and you've grown tired of your Airwolf DVD sets.

Up next was Skeeter, about giant mosquitoes terrorizing a small desert town. Skeeter has a level of smooth professionalism that often seems missing from a lot of these low budget films, and a cast that's a veritable who's who of 'hey! It's that guy!' character actors(Charles Napier, William Sanderson, Michael J. Pollard, and George Flower). It, again, wasn't very memorable, but it was an almost comforting relic of a bygone era in DTV horror films.

And the fourth movie, I Married a Witch, wasn't a horror film at all, but a cute romantic fantasy comedy starring Veronica Lake and Fredrich March. March plays the latest in a line of men who have been cursed to be unlucky in love by a witch who was burned at the stake. When the witch is suddenly freed from her soul's prison, she takes the form of Veronica Lake in order to get March to fall in love with her and ruin his career and home life. Complications of the comedic sort ensue. It's not a very sharp film, but it's fun and worth seeking out.

Tomorrow I should have some more news about that project I teased out yesterday, along with my usual updates.

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