Well its Sunday, and that means its time for me to do some more torrent picks for all of you to consider downloading, in hopes that you will enjoy as much as I do.. So with out any more delay, lets get to it shall we?
Battle Beyond The Stars: Now, I know that on the surface, this film looks like just another Roger Corman take on a popular movie from the time period, this time being Star Wars, but infact, this has to be one of Corman's most brilliant films that didn't involve ridiculously large breasted women kicking people in the throat, you see, not only does this film blatantly rip off Star Wars, but it also rips off not only Seven Samurai, but its american counterpart The Magnificent Seven as well. The basic plot is as follows, think Seven Samurai but in space, and with space Valkyries. A Farming planet called Akir (named after Akira Kurosawa) is being threatened by an evil space warloard who wishes to take them over for no real reason other that he's evil, and in space, a famer from the planet is set out to recruit as many warriors as he can to help defend the little farming planet from rip off Darth Vader, he comes across both space samurai and space cowboys, and a saint who is a member of the race of space Valkyries in total seven warriors, each with their own unique talents, you get the idea, its the same as both samurai and magnificent, but you know, in space, plus there is abit of a let down when you realize that none of the space cowboys are Steve Miller, Jamiroquai or Spike Spiegel. Award yourself 500 geek points if you got that last sentence's references. This film is one of those "its so bad its great" type films, with its low budget and stock footage from other sci fi space films that is common place with Corman's attempts in this genre, and infact alot of the things from this film as well would be used again later, oddly enough the film's space footage was also used to make an early lazerdisc video game as well. As I've said, this film is pretty bad, but its so bad its fun.
They Shoot Horses, Don't They?: This is one of those films that falls into the depths of obscurity, only to be found years later by some film lover or critic who will discover it, and raise it to the respect and admiration it so willingly deserves. This film, is one of those kinds of films. Set in California during the great depression in the late 1930s, the film centers around a several week long dance competition and those who are entered in it. The film is dark and unsettling in many ways, each character has their own reasons to be there, and as you go, you see just how far they are willing to go to win. They risk humiliation and, in one case, even death, for $1500.oo USD, which might not see like alot of money now, but in that era that was alot of money. You have your normal mix of people you would expect to find in a contest of this nature outside of Los Angeles CA., a farmer, a would be screen starlet partnered with a would be leading man, a middle aged couple and few others. The film is really a lesson in just how far some will do, risking everything, including their entire being, for money when they have nothing, its almost depressing at points, specially when one of them dies and their partner, so she's not knocked out of the competition, carries his body across the finish line of a tandem footrace they do to "take a break from dancing". In the end you find out that whoever wins, will have alot of deductions taking out of the actual prize and they'll end up with almost nothing for all of their work, but though this isn't widely stated, the competition continues on, and infact by the end, we never find out who actually won the event. Its just so heavy and sad and a perfect capture of the time period and how things really where. Its my hope that at some point, this film will be as praised as many of its late 1960s contemporaries, but who knows, I guess time will tell.
Plan 9 From Outer Space: You all to know this film would be here eventually, and I figured i would get it out of the way early rather then later, specially with so many other "so bad its great" films out there. Here is all you need to know about this film, this is Ed Wood at his worst, Bella Lugosi died during filming, and it stars my late friend Maila Nurmi as a mute zombie. Other then that, don't try and make sense of this movie about aliens and zombies and people blowing up the world, just sit back, and have a good laugh at just how bad this film really is, because that is the whole point of it, to just enjoy how comedically horrible it is, because it really is bad, the second worst movie in most of the lists of the worst ever made, but it goes to fill what I've always said, there are films that are so bad they're good. Like how with Lugosi dying after only filming 5 scenes in the film, he's always filmed from the back or his face is mostly covered, and they keep slicing back to him recoiling in terror for no reason at times, its just brilliantly bad. Its kind of like watching a movie thats the equivalent of Lenard Nimoy of Star Trek singing "The Balland of Bilbo Baggins" repeatedly for two hours, you don't wanna hear it, you know you shouldn't listen too it, but you'll be damned if you find yourself unable to look away from it till the very end. This also holds a special place in my heart, its the first grindhouse film that i ever actually reviewed, back when I was young, so yes its bad, yes its painfully bad, but its a special place in my heart, plus its got my dear friend Maila while she was alive and full of life, even if she was a zombie vampire... it kind of counts.
Where The Sidewalk Ends: I've always been s sucker for a good old fashion detective story, and among the greats, Where The Sidewalk Ends is the story of a detective that hates crime in all its forms, being the sun of a criminal he's able to understand their ways and in a sense, think like one, which makes him feared by them for what he can do, In a small fight with a drunken man, he accidentally kills him, stashing the body in the river, he later is assigned to find what happened to this man, only to wind up in a rather twisting and intriguing film noir style mystery that involves wrongly accused people, clearing others names, mobsters and dames and all that other stuff you read about in old dimestore detective novels that no one ever remembers reading. Its a brilliant film, even if it is abit formula for its genre, but thats the fun of films like this, they are ment to tell the same kind of story, just with different players in each role, its kind of their lot in life, they're theatrical lemmings, and they're just so very awesome at it. Not one person alive will ever admit to not wanting to be an old school trench and big hat wearing detective at some point in their life, its just something we all love deep down, this film will totally rekindle that for you if you've lost it.
Return to Oz: Its never been a secret that I love The Wizard of Oz, and I love the Oz books, I've read them all, of which there are like 45 official and 12 or so unofficial, so its safe to say that when you mention films to me like Return To Oz, I will light up with a bright smiling face and be overjoyed to talk about it. The 1980s somewhat panned and forgotten classic, losely combining the books Ozma of Oz and The Marvelous Land of Oz, tells the story of Dorothy Gale returning to the land of Oz as she sees all the changes that her departure the last time caused. The start starts out with Dorothy after she'd returned to our world, she finds herself obsessing constantly dreaming of her time in Oz, so much so that it allow her to sleep, she seeks the help of a doctor who claims he can cure her with electric shock therapy, Dorothy is mysteriously saved from this by a mysterious girl, as the two run, the girl disappears and Dorothy ends up hiding in a chicken coope, while in there, she bumps her head, when she wakes up she's in Oz again, or, whats left of it anyway. The film tells the story of Dorothy, and a chicken that replaces Toto for some reason, as she discovers whats happened to Oz and rallies her old friends and new ones too combat whats happened to her beloved land. Sure its kind of your basic kid story about a kid brave enough to save the world, but come on, its so awesome at being that. Plus its a sequel to the wizard of Oz, which is just great.
Well, thats all for this week, I'll return with more next week.