Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.
Thursday, March 29, 2018
JOHN STANLEY'S CREATURE FEATURES MOVIE GUIDE STRIKES AGAIN
JOHN STANLEY'S CREATURE FEATURES MOVIE GUIDE STRIKES AGAIN. John Stanley. Creatures at Large Press; 1994.
This book presents capsule reviews of horror/sci fi/fantasy and related films written by former horror host Stanley over many years and collected into one volume. The reviews show a discrepancy of style, with some being geared to frat boys with their emphasis on boobs and very bad puns, and others offering some cogent, if hardly in-depth (given their brevity) criticism. His write-up on The Sentinel is on-target, but his review of Terror out of the Sky, a killer bee movie, notes that the telefilm is (groan) “bees-ily directed by Lee H. Katzin.” Stanley seems to be the only person who actually liked the dreadful Captain America feature with Matt Salinger, saying it “captures the flavor of the original” (not the movie I saw!) and the Cesar Romero starrer The Jungle, which he deems a “terrific adventure” and actually seems to think was filmed in India! He thinks the awful, almost campy remake of Lord of the Flies is superior to Peter Brook's devastating original and credits screenwriter Richard Maibaum for the love affair between Bond and Tracey in On Her Majesty's Secret Service when it was a basic part of Ian Fleming's original novel. By far the most hilarious gaffe is when he credits Leonard Bernstein (!!!) with the score for Bill Cosby's unfunny stinker (aside from those frogs that “hop” a car out of a parking lot) Leonard Part Six instead of Elmer Bernstein. And any book that receives a testimonial from the moronic “Joe Bob Briggs” can't be all good. On the other hand, Stanley has dug up some interesting forgotten movies, including some even I had never heard of, and the book is fun in its limited way. For a book supposedly about “Creature Features,” however, Stanley seems to have little love in his heart for many beloved old monster movies.
Verdict: Everyone's entitled to their opinion. **1/2.