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…..
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!
Here we go again…. it’s yet another chance to peek back to this Lil’ Catgirl’s childhood and find out just what sort of movies kept lil’ Miyuki glued to her TV in those innocent years of my childhood. This time out… it’s 1967’s “The Valley of Gwangi” by the amazing special effects wizard of stop motion animation, Ray Harryhausen.
Ooooohhh!! Cowboys… and dinosaurs!! Frolicking together in the Old West… whooping it up… trying to kill each other… doing whatever it is cowboys and dinosaurs will do when they manage to actually (and, perhaphs, implausibly) meet up. How could lil’ Miyuki not watch this one?
Our quick synopsis for it reads: “A ragtag group of cowboys find a lost valley in Mexico and manage to capture an Allosaurus, named Gwangi. They decide to capitalize on their exploit by putting it on show as the featured attraction at a fading traveling circus despite the objections of superstitious locals. As with all such plans, it turns out to be a bad… bad idea.”
Yep, even today, this particular film still holds a fond place in my memories… But is it really any good, or am I just remembering it through the marvelous haze of childhood nostalgia? Let’s all take another look and find out, shall we?
Well…. after a couple of weeks of inactivity, I’m finally back and yep…. it’s time for another nostalgic filled trip back to the wondrous times and fond memories of lil’ Miyuki’s youth and another of my “Lil’ Kitten Classics” reviews. This time up we have, from 1984, the goofy classic zombie fest “Night of the Comet”.
Starring Catherine Mary Stewart and Kelli Maroney as spunky teenage sisters forced to fight Zombies and evil government creeps in the aftermath of a worldwide apocalypse caused by the close passing of a comet, this one had all the goofy genre conventions needed to captivate a young zombie fan like me…
Naturally I just had to watch it….. and this time it was at the movies on the big screen! How I managed to trick my Mom into taking me and my friends one evening is a tale into itself…. Hehehehe!!
Let’s just say it’s a good thing she never really watched TV all that much…..
Anyway… lets get on with the fun! So by all means, let’s all “Read On”, shall we?
It’s time for another look at those wonderfully silly films that help to shape lil’ Miyuki into the movie loving Catgirl Princess I am today. This week we take a look at “It’s Alive”, 1974’s mutant killer baby movie….
A lot of films since then have touched on this idea, but this one was there first…. and all the others since owe it a more than a passing nod for reminding us all just how scary babies really are. Given that the news is this one is currently the latest classic horror franchise due for a remake soon, and since I have “Tamami, The Baby’s Curse” winging it’s way to me direct from Japan, I thought this one would make just the perfect entry into my “Lil’ Kittens Classics” reviews…..
I remember first seeing this one uncensored on pay cable, I think…. It was over at a friend’s house during a sleepover with some other girls from school. Her family had cable, and she had a TV in her room, which was a novelty waaaay back then.
This was way before those silly “parental controls” started popping up on the decoder boxes, so we were able to watch this one without having to sneak around to do it.
So…. was it worth forgoing the usual sleepover hi jinx to watch? Or should we all have just talked about boys, had the prerequisite pillow fight, and painted each others toenails? Let’s “Read On” and find out…..
This time up in Neko’s “Lil Kitten Classics” is the delightfully goofy and over the top 1964 gore fest, “The Flesh Eaters”…. This crazy old Black & White horror movie stands as probably the scariest movie this lil’ Catgirl ever remembers seeing as a child…. and even today, it can give me shudders just thinking about it.
The synopsis for it reads: “Bankrupt airplane pilot Grant Murdock (Byron Sanders) doesn’t want to fly in a storm, but the triple fee waved in front of his nose by beautiful Jan Letterman (Barbara Wilkin) changes his mind. She’s the secretary of famous actress Laura Winters (Rita Morley) an alcoholic who’s too stoned to stand on her own two feet. The plane goes up but is soon stranded on an isolated island, where the three castaways meet Professor Peter Bartell (Martin Kosleck), a sinister marine biologist waiting for a deadly tide of aquatic microbes that “EAT FLESH! ANY FLESH!” and will even burn their way through metal to get at it. Skeletons of various victims both human and fish wash ashore, while Bartell lets loose Murdock’s tethered plane and prepares several beakers of electrically-activated microbes for testing … on his new companions.”
This was one of those really “nasty” sorts of movies this lil’ Catgirl was absolutely forbidden to see by my parents at my tender age. Still, I snuck downstairs one night to catch it on the TV in my dad’s study….. much to my Grandma’s horror when the resulting nightmares it spawned woke her up three nights in a row. (Miyuki!! You such a bad, bad girl…. You promise Granny you not watch those bad movies anymore!!)
Well… we all know that didn’t happen. Still, somehow, your Favorite Catgirl Princess recovered from her nightmares all those years ago… but now that this one has returned on DVD, how does it stack up to the current crop of Video Nasties that I watch these days? I guess you’ll just have to take a nostalgic stroll down Memory Lane with me and find out…..
First up in Neko-chan’s new “Lil’ Kitten Classics” reviews, is the MGM/ UA Fantasy Adventure film “The Magic Sword” from waaaay back in 1962. I fondly remember first seeing this on a Saturday morning during my “Sword & Sorcery/ Fairy Tale” movie phase.
It’s a simple film from a far simpler time, and the synopsis I found reads: “In this fun-filled adventure-fantasy, a rookie knight embarks upon a valiant quest to save a princess who has been captured by a malicious magician. Along the way he must battle the usual assortment of dragons, ogres and other mythical beings. He is assisted by a good witch who gives him a magic sword. Unfortunately, the magic fails and suddenly he must find his own magic from within.”~ Sandra Brennan, All Movie Guide
Mind you… this is a film that was originally targeted for children, much the very same as this lil’ girl was when I first saw it that Saturday morning all those years ago. So if you are expecting the sword slashing savage action of “Conan the Barbarian” or the mystical special effects and epic story of “Lord of the Rings” you are going to be sadly out of luck. However, if you, too, saw this one as a kid, then you’ll be hard pressed not to remember it as a fun film, even after all these years…..
But…. the big question is, does it have enough nostalgic kitsch and quaint goofiness to still hold up after all these years? I guess you’ll just have to “Read On” to find out…..