Another day off, another Review, and time for yet another trip down the nostalgic byways of your favorite Catgirl’s youth once more. This time out, a “Lil’ Kitten Classics” look at probably one of the best of those 1950’s “Big Bug” monster movies, 1954’s “Them!”. This one really brings back those memories big time!! Saturday afternoon…. home sick with a nasty cold… and me and Grandma watching TV. She loved her very unladylike lil’ granddaughter (even if I was soooo, soooo “American” and such a lil’ tomboy in many ways)… and would often watch these movies with me, even if they did convince her her little Miyuki was never gonna grow up to be the perfect lil’ Japanese woman she was always hoping for.
Our synopsis? Well, here it goes: “Gigantic mutant ants, spawned by the lingering radiation from the first Atomic Tests in New Mexico run rampant, threatening to overrun the world and cause the extinction of all all Mankind. Only a heroic effort by the Army and the police can bring the dire mutant menace to an end through deadly combat using all the weapons and resources at their combined disposal before it’s too late… and the Earth is ruled by “THEM!!”
Mmmmm! Now this one truly deserves the tile of “Classic”. Almost all of the subsequent atomic menace movies of the 50’s, 60’s and even the 1970’s owe more than a little nod to this one for getting the ball rolling. With it’s excellent cast, top notch cinematography and amazing effects, it still holds up remarkably well even in today’s digital age. It completely captivated lil’ Miyuki waaaay back when (as well as completely freaked out poor Grandma….) and I’m happy the DVD has made it’s way back into my collection after all these years.
Want more memories? Then you’ll just have to “Read On” then won’t you, o’ Gentle Visitor!!
Time for some more Halloween Zombie fun! This time out, a nostalgic “Lil’ Kitten Classic” look at 1941’s “King of the Zombies”. Yep…. I know it’s hard to believe, but yes…. there actually were zombies lurking about long before George Romero got his hands on them and sorta made them his very own. Mind you…. these “old skool” zombies weren’t the flesh munchin’, brain eatin’ ones we know today…. Mostly they just staggered about trying to strangle or bludgeon folks at the bequest of their evil Zombie Master. For those days… that was still pretty scary. (At least for tiny wee impressionable Catgirls….. Hehehehe!!)
What’s it all about? Well, our synopsis goes like this: “During World War II, a small plane, somewhere over the Caribbean, runs low on fuel and is blown off course by a storm. Guided by a faint radio signal, it crash-lands on a unknown island. The passenger, his manservant and the pilot all take refuge in a mansion they find owned by a doctor. The quick-witted yet easily-frightened manservant soon becomes convinced the mansion is haunted by zombies,and confirms this with some of the doctor’s hired help. Exploring, the three manage to stumble upon a secret voodoo ritual being conducted in the cellar, where the doctor is trying to use his evil sorcery to acquire war intelligence from a captured US military official. But the unexpected interruption causes the zombies to turn on their evil master……”
Voodoo… evil mad scientists… lost unexplored islands… and, yes, lots of honest-to-goodness ZOMBIES!! Yay! Lil’ Neko remembers lots of films like these that absolutely thrilled me way back when…. and if I remember it right, this Monogram classic pretty much captures the whole voodoo zombie thingee fairly well.
So…. Is my memory on track, or is your Favorite Catgirl just stuck in a nostalgic childhood haze? Guess I’ll have to give it a look once again just to make sure…..
Another nostalgia filled trip back to the days of your Favorite Catgirl’s misspent youth and the Saturday morning movies that warped my lil’ mind, gives us a look this time out at 1953’s utterly “craptastic” “Robot Monster”.
Even if you haven’t seen this one you probably know it…. it’s that one with an alien gorilla/ robot wearing a space helmet with TV rabbit ears on top. Yep… that silly alien!!
Our synopsis? Well this one goes sorta like this: “While on an afternoon picnic excursion with his mother and two sisters, a young boy named Johnny meets a pair of archeologists who are recording the primitive paintings a nearby cave.
After having a rather nasty fall, he is knocked unconscious and has a weird dream in which the Earth has been totally conquered and most of humanity killed by a freaky alien “gorilla-bot” called the Ro-Man, using the deadly “calcinator death ray”. Apparently he and his family and the two scientists are the only survivors thanks to a secret inoculation serum. They try to survive and avoid capture and horrible death at the hands of Ro-Man, who, despite his alien origins, falls for Johnny’s sexy scientist sister Alice. Will humanity somehow defeat the unfathomably unstoppable Ro-man in his clumsy monkey suit and space helmet, or are we all…. doomed?”
Hehehe!! This one completely redefines the idea of low budget film making and the very idea that the ludicrous alien Ro-man is still so well known while many other characters, better imagined and better realized, have faded from memory, speaks volumes about it’s charm. Little Miyuki was never fooled by Ro-man…. but boy, did she ever eat this one up as a wee impressionable girl. Certainly it’s a guilty pleasure for many of you gentle visitors as well…. so let’s all get nostalgic together and take another look at this unabashedly “craptacular” 50’s classic!!
Now and again somebody thinks fondly of me and brings this lil’ Catgirl the present of a movie…. sometimes they’re surprisingly good, sometimes amazingly baaaaad… but always welcomed… Recently, my sweet Carolyn bought me this one…. fresh from the “sale bin” at our local Video rental store…. brand spanking new and never even watched!! (However, after watching it, I’ve now come to understand why…. Hehehehe!!) It’s not every special person that would do that… especially knowing she’d have to also cuddle up on the couch and watch it too….. It’s little gestures like this that tell me how much she truly loves silly lil’ me…. and judging by this “craptastic” DVD, she must just love me oodles and oodles!!
Our synopsis goes sorta like this…. “A mad scientist named Dr Arana (Jackie Coogan) is creating giant spiders and dwarves in his lab on Zarpa Mesa in Mexico. He wants to create a master race of superwomen by injecting his female subjects with spider venom.”
Now this certainly sounds like a reasonable and well thought out plan for world domination…. and to think some might call Dr. Arana mad…… So, how’s it all gonna work?
Badly, my first guess would be, but to find out for certain, we’ll all just have to “Read On” to find out!!
Ahhh, Vincent Price…. now there’s a memory from my childhood. Of all the actors I remember from all those old movies, he stands out in my mind the most clearly. Always so smooth, sophisticated and so, so classy, whether playing the hero, or the villain, he always left such a vivid presence on my mind. This film, one of the many Poe adaptations by Roger Corman has to be undoubtedly his best, “The Masque of the Red Death”, from 1964.
Loosely inspired by Poe’s writings, our synopsis for it reads: “Death and Debauchery reign in the castle of Prince Prospero (played by Vincent Price), and when it reigns… it pours! Prospero has only once excuse for his diabolical deeds–the devil made him do it! But when a mysterious, uninvited guest crashes his pad during a masquerade ball, there’ll be hell to pay as the party atmosphere turns into a danse macabre!”
Mmmmm…. now this one’s a real gem and has a warm place in my many early film memories so how could it not be a “Lil’ Kitten Classic”? I’ve seen it many times since my first encounter as a child on afternoon TV, and it’s always one of those films I can find time to watch over and over. That alone tells this Catgirl it’s got to be something special to hold such power after all these years.
But, of course you all want to know more…. so let’s all “Read On”!!
Halloween fast approaches us and so it’s time for another holiday themed “Lil Kitten Classic” review… this time out it’s the spooky 1942 classic “Cat People”.
Now I know you are all wondering… “Miyuki? You really mean you haven’t ever done a review for this one? How is that even possible?” It does sound somewhat silly for your Favorite horror movie lovin’ Catgirl Princess to have somehow missed this particular classic film here at the ol’ Litterbox, but we can fix that up right now, now can’t we!
Our synopsis goes like this: “Architect Oliver Reed falls in love with beautiful Irena Dubrovna and they duly marry. But Irena refuses to give herself to Oliver, believing that there is something evil inside herself. She tells him of her Serbian ancestors who were reputed to be able to transform into cats when angered.
As Oliver’s frustration and unhappiness grows, he seeks consolation in the arms of co-worker Alice Moore. But a series of near-attacks on the two of them leave him wondering if Irena has not become jealously deranged or if maybe her Serbian legends are true and that she is turning into a cat person to avenge herself on them.”
Oooooh! Mysterious girls from the Balkans that can turn themselves into man eating panthers!! I don’t remember exactly when lil’ Miyuki first encountered this one, but I do remember it was a truly creepy, truly different sort of horror movie and that I liked it a lot even way back then.
Does it still hold up today? I guess we’ll have to give it another watch and find out. Let’s go!
Well…. as I sorta expected, I’ve slipped waaay behind my schedule of reviews for this month, but I’m still in there tryin’ my best! This time out, it’s another look at the sort of film that made lil’ ol’ me such a happy, goofy, wee lil’ girl back in the day, with this “Lil’ Kitten Classics” look at the classic 1958 Scifi horror combo “The Blob”.
Our synopsis reads like this: “Teenagers Steve Andrews (played by Steve McQueen) and his girlfriend Jane Martin (played by Aneta Corsaut) are making out and watching the stars when they see a large meteor fall to Earth nearby so they go in search of it. Before they find it an old man discovers the meteor and the weird jelly creature contained within. It attaches itself to his arm, and by the time the two kids find him the creature is already dissolving him away. They take him to a local doctor for help, but when the monster grows out of control and absorbs both the old man as well as the doctor and his loyal nurse, the kids find themselves unable to convince the local authorities that their peaceful little town is now in deadly peril from…. the Blob!!”
Gooey space monsters that look like cherry jello? As well as the great Steve McQueen in his first starring role? Yep… you just know that this lil’ Catgirl totally ate this one up as a kid. So what’s the big deal about this one? Let’s all “Read On” and see what gives it such memorable class.
Something a wee bit different this time out…. Instead of your Favorite Catgirl Princess’ usual fare of the weird and spooky from somewhere waaaaay off in Asia, we’re taking a look at the classic British comedy “The Belles of St Trinian’s” from 1954.
Our synopsis goes something as follows: “The Belles of St. Trinian’s” was the first of several British comedies originally inspired by the fearsome girl’s school created by cartoonist Ronald Searle. In this one, Clarence Fritton, bookie brother of the headmistress Millicent , of St Trinian’s School for Girls, sneaks his daughter into the sixth form to pick up racing tips from the daughter of an Arabic Sheik, the Princess Fatima of Makyad, who’s come to stay at the school. His horse, “Arab Boy”, is due to run in the Gold Cup and is secretly being backed by the fourth form girls, Miss Fritton, and the school funds to win a fortune in the race. Cockney spiv Flash Harry is also on hand to make a profit from the girl’s alcohol producing venture, while to further complicate matters, the Barchester police have planted sergeant Ruby Gates undercover at the school as a teacher, and the Ministry of Education are sending a third inspector down after the previous two disappeared without trace. The racehorse is kidnapped by the sixth form, but rescued and wins – saving St Trinian’s from bankruptcy and closure.“
I originally watched this one on our local Public Broadcasting station way back when…. definitely where you wanted to go when I was a kid to watch all those wonderful British imports….. and this one positively had me in stitches as a lil’ girl…. just the thought of what these wicked little hellions were doing at their school had me wondering just what sort of mischief I might get up to!! PBS…. you almost set me on the path to a crazy life of crime with this one!!
So, gentle readers….. you’ve never heard of St Trinian’s? Well it’s definitely time we fix that!! So… by all means.. “Read On”!!
Another of the weird lil’ films that this Catgirl watched endlessly on her Saturday mornings back when I was nothing but a wee lil’ kitten. This one had it all…. romance, exotic south seas adventure, lost civilizations…. an evil Cobra Queen…. and Sabu!!
Our synopsis reads: “Upon discovering his fiance Tollea (played by Maria Montez) has been kidnapped, Ramu (played by Jon Hall) and his friend Kado (played by Sabu) set out for a Pacific isle where all strangers are to be killed on arrival and the inhabitants, who are frequently sacrificed to an angry volcano god, worship the cobra. The island is ruled over by Tollea’s evil twin Naja (again… Maria Montez), the “Cobra Woman”, who, besides having designs on her handsome new prisoner Ramu, also desires to eliminate any romantic competition from her sister.”
Oooohhh!! Identical twins! You just know with a tried and true plot element like this that we’re in for some nifty “mistaken identity” fun….. and with a fanatical island of snake worshipping natives and a volcano god needing some virgin sacrifice this one’s got classic pulp goodness written all over it.
So…. having whetted your appetite for classic old school pulp adventure let’s dive in and see if the years have been kind to my memories of this one, shall we?
Time for another nostalgic time traveling journey to the fun films of my youth and another of our “Lil’ Kitten Classics” reviews…. this time out we’ll be reminiscing about the classic Vincent Price film, “The Abominable Dr. Phibes”….
Our simple synopsis reads:“A brilliant man who was horribly disfigured in a flaming, near fatal automobile accident that also took the life of his wife, seeks a macabre revenge on those whom he believes to be responsible for her death.”
As with most of these capsule synopsis, the teaser only scratches the surface of exactly what this one is about… there’s just soooo much more to the film than can be summed up in a couple of lines….. (After all…. it does star Vincent Price!! Ahhhhh!!! Sooo creepy!!) Lil’ Miyuki had a special place in her heart for the great Vincent Price, and there’s still a warm place there even today. I’ve seen all his films, and I’m hard pressed to think of even a one that wasn’t elevated by his participation…. Even the most silly premise was given a measure of respectability and charm when Mr. Price took the screen in them to delight, horrify, and entertain me.
Naturally, you guys are going to want to see just what there was about this one that captivated lil’ Miyuki all those years ago, so watcha’ waitin’ for? “Read On”, by all means!