Video Event of the Week: Might the Criterion Collection's magificent new Blu-ray special edition of Ingmar Bergman's metaphysical Swedish meatball The Magician be what we're talking about? Could Shout! Factory's latest Roger Corman exhumation -- a double bill of the Angie Dickinson gangster classics Big Bad Mama and Big Bad Mama II -- conceivably make the grade? Or is it remotely possible that Acorn Media's new four disc set of the first season of Man in a Suitcase, the stylish and unjustly forgotten late 60s British spy series, is -- against the odds -- actually The One?

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When the Moment is Right, Will You Be Ready?

137 comments on December 09, 2010 by Steve Simels

Rather bilious vampire plant creature Florence Marley and sentient mammal Dennis Hopper seem to be on the brink of intimacy, courtesy of intergalactic 36-hour Cialis, in Curtis Harrington's Planet of Blood (1966).

Seriously, there's an actress in one of the Cialis ads currently running with a hair-do EXACTLY like Marley's. I was going to do a Compare and Contrast, but to my surprise none of the recent commercials is on YouTube (or anywhere else on the the web that I can find) and a Google Image search came up empty as well. So you'll have to take my word for it; trust me, she's a 40-something woman with interesting cheekbones and a coif seemingly from Hair Helmets of Hollywood.

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Sing Along With Edward D. Wood Jr.!

5 comments on December 08, 2010 by Steve Simels

And speaking as we were on Monday and Tuesday about odd failed TV pilots of the 50s -- and I promise that a) this is the last time I'll flog this particular feeble wheeze and b) I'll weigh in on the Blu-ray/DVD restoration of Fantasia tomorrow, honest!. Anyway, as it happens, yesterday afternoon I was looking for a YouTube clip from Ed Wood's seldom seen Crossroad Avenger Western pilot from 1953. (Which is actually not that much worse than an average syndicated cowboy show of the period, notwithstanding some typically tail-chasing Woodian circular dialogue, and you can order a DVD copy of it here if you're interested. $5.95 -- Cheap!, as they used to say at Mad Magazine.)

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And speaking as we were yesterday of odd failed TV pilots, faithful commenter The Phantom Creep posited the possible existence of a followup series to TVs Adventures of Superman involving canines. Not the teeth, obviously.

Well, it turns out he didn't imagine it. Behold -- The Adventures of Superpup!

I must admit that I'd completely forgotten about the existence of this, although upon reflection I know I read about it in Gary Grossman's Superman: Serial to Cereal, the definitive study of the TV show's history, back in the '70s. In any case, Superpup was shot in 1958 by the original series' producer Whit Ellsworth, who apparently thought it was a good idea at the time.

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From Tarzan's New York Adventure (Richard Thorpe, 1942) -- Tarzan (Johnny Weissmuller), Boy (Johnny Sheffield), Jane (Maureen O'Sullivan), and Cheetah (demonstrating who's the brains of this outfit) deal with crosstown traffic in a way that should be familiar to any real New Yorker.

Sorry -- I know I posted another shot from this last week, but I just couldn't help myself.

I should add that Sheffield went on to play Bomba the Jungle Boy in a series of 12 low-budget films made on the Monogram Studio backlot between 1949 and 1955.

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Video Event of the Week: Might MPI's DVD of Cairo Time, the romantic bouquet to the titular city starring Patricia Clarkson and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's Alexander Siddig be what we're talking about? Could Fox's Blu-ray of Knight and Day, the (putting it charitably) by the numbers action thriller with a mis-matched Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz somehow get the nod? Or -- and if you know me, you'll already know the answer to this question -- could Summit's various disc editions of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, the latest installment of the increasingly preposterous teen vampire series, conceivably be The One(s)?

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The Hell With Rachel Carson -- Get the Flit!

8 comments on December 02, 2010 by Steve Simels

Entomologist Dr, Pat Medford (Joan Weldon), having mislaid her basket and blanket in the New Mexico desert, confronts the ultimate picnic nightmare in Them! (Gordon Douglas, 1954)

In the interest of full disclosure, I should add that the joke providing the title for today's post originally appeared in a dialogue balloon, inserted into a still from another giant bug movie (the original Mothra), that ran in a 1964 issue of Help! magazine, and was most likely written by its genius editor, Mad creator Harvey Kurtzman.

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