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|Anti-hero: Robert Stack|
|Elke Sommer with Stack|
|Nancy Kwan, Werner Peters, Christian Marquand|
|Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep|
|Elke Sommer and Boyd|
|Hugh O'Brian and Shirley Eaton|
|Leon Genn and most of the group|
|Dennis Price and Wilfrid Hyde White|
|Consultation: Halsey and Andrews|
|Sylvia Pascal and George Nader|
|Jerry and Percy (Helmut Fornbacher) after a fight|
|Nader with Heinz Weiss|
|Herbert Marshall, Pat O'Brian and Claire Trevor|
Art lecturer George Steele (Pat O'Brian) breaks into a museum, acting all crazy, and insists that he was just in a tremendous train wreck and barely survived. Cops, museum staff, and sort-of girlfriend Terry (Claire Trevor) are worried by his behavior, even more so when they learn that there has been no news of any train wreck. George tries to retrace his steps, and even takes a train from Grand Central, the same train he thinks he took earlier, to try and figure out what happened to him. There is talk of a missing or forged art masterpiece. When his friend and colleague Stevenson (Damian O'Flynn) is found murdered, George goes on the run.
|Ray Collins ministers to O'Brian|
|O'Brian and Trevor|
Verdict: Initially intriguing but ultimately minor crime drama. **1/4.
Make some pumpkin pie -- so easy even I can do it -- put some whipped cream on it, cook up the cocoa (with more whipped cream) and watch a nice scary horror movie on Halloween! Maybe one of the movies reviewed in the posts below.
Architect Scott Campbell (Ron Foster of The Music Box Kid) is hired to survey Rochester Castle and bring his wife and partner, Nancy (Merry Anders), along. Eventually lawyer Joseph Schiller (Richard Crane of No Man's Woman) and his excitable wife, Loy (Erika Peters), also arrive on the scene. There are 13 keys for the house and a variety of rooms, as well as strange people skulking about in the shadows. Then Loy is chased by a giant figure (Richard Kiel of "To Serve Man" on Twilight Zone) and disappears, until Merry seems to find her headless corpse ...
|Peters, Crane, Foster, Anders|
Ron Foster was a handsome and talented actor who chiefly appeared in "B" movies, and despite the fact that this was produced by 20th Century Fox in CinemaScope, this is no different; he couldn't catch a break. Henry Vars has contributed a nice and eerie theme, but otherwise the score is just too lethargic.
Verdict: Promises a lot but delivers very little. **.
|Lloyd Nelson, Asa Maynor, Tom Maruzzi|
Connie (Asa Maynor), has come to the Himalayas with her friend Hudson (Lloyd Nelson) in search of her brother, who is on an expedition with Dr. Erickson (George Wells Lewis). They hope to find a Yeti, or abominable snowman, in the higher altitudes. Connie and Hud, with the aid of Steve Cameron (Tom Maruzzi), manage to catch up with the expedition, but instead of her brother they find a man named Varga (George Skaff), who they deem suspicious. They are right to feel this way, as Varga turns out to be have a special relationship with the Yeti who turn up and threaten the others. And Varga has special -- and rather horrifying -- plans for Connie.
|One of the Yeti|
Verdict: Not nearly as awful as its reputation, but not worth missing an episode of your favorite TV series. **.
|Klaus Kinski and Anthony Franciosa|
While Edgar Allan Poe (Klaus Kinski of Slaughter Hotel) is visiting London, he is approached by an American reporter named Alan Foster (Anthony Franciosa of Tenebrae). Lord Blackwood (Enrico Osterman) offers Foster money if he can spend one night in his supposedly haunted estate from which no one has ever returned. Once there, Foster meets two beautiful women: Elisabeth (Michele Mercier) and jealous Julia (Karin Field), who has a hankering for the former. Dr. Carmus (Peter Carsten) appears out of nowhere and shows Foster visions of what transpired in the past: the sexual intrigues of Elisabeth, her husband, William (Silvano Tranquilli), her lover Herbert (Raf Baldassarre), and, of course, the horny Julia. It slowly dawns on Foster that he may be in a house of ghosts, or worse, vampires ...
Web of the Spider begins in an intriguing fashion, but it soon becomes apparent that its mess of a script is a stew of barely coherent cliches that hardly holds together. By the final quarter you're just hoping it will hurry up and end already. The tenuous connection of Poe -- who only appears at the opening and the very end -- is almost insulting, as this has nothing to do with the writer, despite the creepy house and the screwed up family who inhabit it -- this is no Fall of the House of Usher.
Franciosa with Mercier
Verdict: Watch Tony in Career instead. **.
|Wasp woman goes on the attack!|
Sales for Janice Starlin's (Susan Cabot) cosmetic company have been dropping since she stopped using herself in advertisements, but as she's on the wrong side of forty, she figures she has no choice. But when elderly Professor Zinthrop (Michael Mark) tells her that he has come up with an age-defying formula using royal jelly from wasps, she has hope and insists he use her as a guinea pig. At first the results are miraculous, with Janice looking as if she's in her twenties (Cabot was 32 at the time), but when she uses more and more of the formula to remain young, the results are less than felicitous. Janice turns into a horribly mutated wasp woman who attacks and feeds upon various people around her, including a solicitous nurse (Lani Mars) and a very obese night watchman (Bruno VeSota).
|Susan Cabot with Michael Mark|
Verdict: Be careful what you wish for! ***.
Julie James (Jennifer Love Hewitt) has tried to forget the bloody events of I Know What You Did Last Summer (the epilogue to which turns out to be a dream). Julie's friend, Karla (Brandy Norwood), wins a radio contest which is amazingly simple, and the two women -- along with Karla's boyfriend, Tyrell (Mekhi Phifer) and pal Will Benson (Matthew Settle) -- find themselves on an all-expenses-paid trip to the Bahamas. Unfortunately, the resort is practically empty because the rainy season is about to begin, the manager (Jeffrey Combs) is a weird-looking grump, and someone is stalking the few people who remain on the island. Meanwhile back on the mainland, Julie's on again/off again boyfriend, Ray (Freddie Prinze Jr.), learns something that propels him to take off pell mell to the Bahamas to warn her and save her life. The mysterious fisherman from the first film is back and using his big hook to slice and dice employees and guests. Potential victims include not only the main foursome but also a likable doper (Mark Boone Junior) and sassy, attractive bartender (Jennifer Esposito).
|Jeffrey Combs as the weird Mr. Brooks|
Verdict: Sequel goes in a bizarre direction to put it mildly but is fun if you're not in a discriminating mood. **1/2.
|Scotty Becket and Susan Morrow|
Corky Wallet (Scotty Becket) is out of college and newly married to Hope (Susan Morrow). Corky's father, Walt (Don Beddoe), hopes that Corky will join his father's firm, but Corky wants to make his own mark in the world. A stint as a dishwasher leads to him buying his own diner with financial help from his brother, Skeezix (Jimmy Lydon), and waitress assistance from Hope. When a businessman makes the landlord an offer he can't refuse, Corky has to come up with a plan to save the diner after all of his hard work.
|Don Beddoe and Jimmy Lydon|
Director Edward Bernds keeps the pic moving but he should have allowed someone else to do the script, which is mediocre and full of old gags. Scotty Becket, the very talented child actor of My Son, My Son and others, is fine and sympathetic but kind of wasted, as his was a very strong talent. Jimmy Lydon [Strange Illusion], famous for the Henry Aldrich films, is also good but isn't given much to do. The other assorted players are all okay -- especially Byron Foulger as a customer -- but the material is pretty much beneath everyone. There was one sequel, Corky of Gasoline Alley. These were Beckett's last starring roles although he did a few pictures afterward until tragically succumbing to a drug overdose at age 38.
Verdict: Probably not as good as the comic strip. **.
|Wanda McKay, Joe Sawyer, and Dennis Moore|
|Lionel Atwill and Virginia Christine|
|Moore, Christine and Sawyer|
Since most if not all of the major stars have been covered ad nauseam, many publishers have come out with books on 2nd, 3rd and 4th tier celebrities. British actress and comedienne Kay Kendall [Les Girls; Wings of Danger), who did indeed have a brief life and career, fits into the lattermost of those categories. Kendall was talented and tragic, dying young of leukemia, which her husband and family tried very hard to keep her from knowing until nearly the end. Her husband was Rex Harrison, and Kendall would have probably been forgotten by all but her most obsessive fans, however many, if it had not been for that association with a much bigger star. Kendall's marriage to Harrison played out during a time when the latter was ascendant due to his triumphs in both the stage and screen versions of My Fair Lady. Eve Golden's entertaining and page-turning book won't necessarily have you admiring Kendall's character, although she was probably no worse than a lot of other husband-stealing, rather "trampy" and superficial starlets; Kendall also became full of herself. (Kendall stole Harrison from Lilli Palmer, who had herself broken up an earlier marriage to Harrison. Harrison claimed that he primarily married Kendall only because she was dying.) Kendall was great friends with Dirk Bogarde and his partner, Anthony Forwood. Biographer Golden does a very good job dissecting Kendall's films and performances while never neglecting her interesting personal life.
Verdict: Good read for those interested in this talented if minor British actress. ***.
|Leonard Nimoy and Donald Sutherland|
INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1978). Director: Phil Kaufman.
San Francisco health inspector Matthew Bennell (Donald Sutherland) is carrying a torch for his colleague Elizabeth Driscoll (Brooke Adams). Elizabeth is convinced that her live-in boyfriend, Geoff (Art Hindle), is not himself, that he's actually become a different person. Matthew's friend, David Kidner (Leonard Nimoy), a pop psychologist and author, says that other people are also claiming their loved ones are not their loved ones. Things take an even darker turn when a weird body turns up in the mud baths operated by Jack (Jeff Goldblum) and Nancy (Veronica Cartwright), a half-finished body that greatly resembles Jack. It seems that virtually everyone in the city has succumbed to this ghastly invasion of space seeds, which destroys humans and replaces them with unemotional duplicates ...
Verdict: Nice try, but the original is much, much better. **3/4.