50 Movie Pack SciFi Classics, Disc 12

Yes, it’s that time again–but it’s the last time for “SciFi Classics.” I’m a little saddened by that, actually…

Colossus and the Amazon Queen, 1960, color, Vittorio Sala (dir.), Rod Taylor, Ed Fury, Dorian Gray, Gianna Maria Canale, Alberto Farnese, Adriana Facchetti. 1:30 [1:23].

This one’s strange: Another Hercules-style cheesecake-and-beefcake spectacular (more cheesecake than beefcake, since the Amazons are all great looking warriors in typically minimal outfits)—but played for laughs, almost certainly in the original Italian as well as the dubbed version. Light jazz as background music, ridiculous plot twists, you name it. $1, maybe $1.25 if you’re in the right mood.

Eegah, 1962, color, Arch Hall Sr. (dir.), Arch Hall Jr. and Sr., Marilyn Manning, Richard Kiel. 1:30.

Remember Richard Kiel? Jaws? Moonraker? Put him in animal skins, give him a club, have him living in a cave near some Southern California beach town—and you have Eegah, the last of some oversize race of slightly pre-human folks, good at cave drawings but not so much at language. It’s all downhill from there, with a truly untalented teenager, his girlfriend, and the girlfriend’s scientist dad as the main characters. The teen has a tendency to pull out an acoustic guitar, start strumming, and suddenly there’s an invisible group of background singers and instrumentalists for his lame ballads. Other than Kiel, lame is the right word across the board—but watchable in its own odd way. $0.75

War of the Planets, 1977, color, Alfonso Brescia (dir.), John Richardson, Yanti Sommer, Katia Chrstine, Vassili Karis. 1:29.

The seventies? This one should come from the sixties, as only lots of drugs during the screenwriting, filming, and editing could explain this mess. There’s a mixed-gender spaceship crew (all wearing pretty much identical skintight costumes); whenever they get in peril and somehow manage to escape—which happens a lot, because they seem to be incompetent—all of them get out of their chairs and start joyously jumping around and embracing. I would try to describe the plot, but that’s nearly impossible. I could suggest that the reels got scrambled during the transfer, but I suspect the movie wouldn’t make sense under any circumstances. $0.75.

Destroy All Planets, 1968, color, Noriaki Yuasa (dir.), Kojiro Hongo, Carl Craig, Toru Takatsuka. 1:30.

By all rights, the 50th and final flick on this set should star Gamera and one of the Sons of Hercules in a spaceship flying from a jungle full of unknown beasts to some hidden planet. As far as I know, Gamera and the Herculesians never starred in the same film, so we’ll have to settle for Gamera. This time, the evil conquerors out to conquer the Earth and destroy all earthlings (not the planet—and, incidentally, the sleeve precedes the title with Cosmos, that four-word title being one of five titles for this flick) figure to outsmart Gamera by snatching two mischief-prone little boys (Boy Scouts, or some Japanese variant). After all, Gamera (you know—the jet-propelled turtle/flying saucer with a really bad breath problem) just loves little kids, so he’ll do anything to protect these two. Even destroy Tokyo, presumably killing a few hundred thousand kids along the way—well, hey, nobody said Gamera was good on complex reasoning. Neither, apparently, is the U.N. Security Council, which—given an ultimatum—unanimously votes to surrender Earth to the aliens rather than attacking the spaceship and possibly killing the two kids. I couldn’t make this up if I tried. This film marked a new level of cost savings for special effects in Japanese monster movies: The discursive alien computer can read Gamera’s mind, and decides it’s important to show what Gamera’s done in the past—by showing twenty minutes of footage from previous Gamera movies, some of it in glorious black and white. Now that’s clever filmmaking. $1.

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