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U, V, W, X, Y, & Z

Stars: Jock Mahoney, Shirley Patterson and William Reynolds
Directed By: Virgil Vogel

This film is by no means an incredible achievement in story or special effects as earlier Universal motion pictures were.  That said, it isn’t boring and considering its low ambitions it comes off rather well.  The T-rex is clearly a man in a suit and the choice to make giant lizards dinosaurs reminds me that the Discovery channel has educated us more than we can imagine. It is also funny that eventually Universal and Steven Spielberg would give us a state of the art T-Rex almost 40 years later.

Part of Sci-fi Volume 2 Universal 2007


Stars: John Beal, Coleen Gray, and Kenneth Tobey
Directed By: Paul Landres
Black & white, 75 minutes

This B-movie is low budget from the get-go, but it is slick low budget.  The performances are all adequate and there is always enough light and clarity as far as camera work goes, there is little else and the make up and special effects are pretty bad, especially the transformations.  The strength is the story; when a small town doctor receives a bottle of medication from a dying scientist, he slips them into his jacket.  Later at home he asks his young daughter to get his migraine medication out of said jacket and she gives him the scientist’s pills.  Unfortunately, the dead scientist didn’t put anything on the label warning about the effects.  Well, the small town doctor starts to black out and well it goes on from there.  And this is why children shouldn’t be druggists or bartenders. 

Stars: Vincent Price, Tab Hunter, Susan Hart and David Tomlinson
Directed By: Jacques Tourneur

From American International, this interesting Jules Vernesque movie has taken a beating, but you know it isn’t half bad.  The fabulous Jacques Tourneur directed and the cast is pretty good too.  Because of its pedigree it probably wasn’t of a huge budget, which make the final result an interesting study in production savvy.   

Stars: Nicholas Cage
Directed By Neil Labute

Let me preface my comments with the fact that I do not like Nicholas Cage as an actor.  He grates on my nerves to watch so with that said I will review the rest of the movie.  It’s not like I’m a huge fan of the original because I find it to be a very bizarre movie, but each time I watch it I am always fooled by the ending.  Here is not the case and in my opinion they can’t burn the wicker man fast enough.

Stars: Vincent Price, Ian Ogilvey and
Directed By: Michael Reeves

This is an interesting little film, which features an unusually restrained performance from Vincent Price.  The score is very grand for a film of this type and the ending is quite realistic although from what I understand not very historically accurate.

Stars: Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr, Jack Haley, Billie Burke and Margaret Hamilton
Directed By: Victor Fleming

What can I, the Mad Movie Monk say about one of the most beloved films of all time?  This motion picture goes beyond what any movie can be.  Each year as a child it was shown on television and that was an event, that was also one of the elements that create the legendary love that the film has in the hearts of millions. T


Nice.  Universal did a good job putting this together – The Wolfman doesn’t have as many sequels as others but that’s okay because Lon Chaney Jr. couldn’t be anymore sympathetic if he tried. 
The Werewolf of London is interesting too – it features what some have called the Elvis werewolf but some of the transformations were pretty inspired. 
The Shewolf with June Lockhardt (Mrs. Robinson for Lost in Space fans) in an early role – no one ever transforms into a werewolf and that’s all I’m saying.

THE WOODS (2006)
Stars: Patricia Clarkson, Agnes Bruckner, and Bruce Campbell
Directed By: Lucky McKee

This is an overlooked gem.  For whatever reason it went to DVD directly and with little or no fanfare.  Even with an Oscar nominated actress (Patricia Clarkson) and the King of horror himself Bruce Campbell in the cast.    The film creates an almost dreamlike environment and involves us in some interesting scares that all take place at a secluded girls school.