Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Phantom of the Opera (1962) Review

When Hammer Films was on a roll remaking classic horror stories the idea of revisiting a masked man lurking in an opera house was inevitable. What they never imagined was that the surefire hit would be anything but. This film bombed so spectacularly that it nearly ended the director’s career. Uneven and draggy, the new Phantom failed to terrify audiences despite some redeeming qualities to the production.

Phantom of the Opera 01

Imagine having Cary Grant playing one of the most famous movie villains of all time. Imagine that the movie would be made by Hammer Films, a studio having massive success releasing color remakes of black and white classic horror flicks. Imagine the box office receipts!

That’s the thinking that started The Phantom of the Opera remake into fast development. What was finally unveiled to the public not only lacked the superstar actor, but also the frights of Gaston Leroux’s novel. There is some confusion as to whether Grant may have been set to star as either the titular villain or the heroic lead, however it really doesn’t matter since he wouldn’t have been able to save this rather bloodless movie.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

The Brides of Dracula (1960) Review

This sequel was the obligatory follow up to Hammer Films monster of a hit Horror of Dracula. Beset by production problems from the very beginning, what was put out certainly wasn’t what the public expected. Dripping more atmosphere than blood, the unusually warm and character driven story focused more on the heroic acts of Doctor Van Helsing than the villainy of the undead.

Brides of Dracula Title

Most people remember Hammer for their vampire films, especially those starring Christopher Lee as Dracula. He isn’t in this one due to personal fears of being typecast (supremely ironic given what happened later), however this movie is one of the better entries in the genre even if the title is false advertising. Yeah, the character Dracula isn’t in it either.

Monday, October 05, 2015

Into the Last Quarter

2015 has gotten away from me, I realized when seeing October arrive so quickly. Last year was difficult due to my father’s travails, but still, things got done. Not so this year and I find myself trying to play catch up while falling further behind.

My health hasn’t been catastrophically bad, however it has been bad by even my lowered expectations. Nothing I planned for the year has been accomplished or will be before 2016 rolls around. Simply there is no energy to go around with too many things needing doing.

Between that becoming glaringly obvious and the rather somber tone of General Conference this weekend, I’ve found myself less than motivated. Plowing on is the only plan with no real hope of progress in this desolate world filled with superficiality dominating the culture.

Ah well.