Posts

Showing posts from August 13, 2006
Image
Convict 13 (film #7 on Feature Films). [Category: Hollywood]While playing golf near the penitentiary, Buster Keaton gets knocked out by his own ball just when an escaped prisoner happens by. The prisoner exchanges clothes with Buster, causing the pursuing guards to think he is the escaped convict. Buster runs, but because nothing ever goes right for him, he ends up back in the prison. The warden’s daughter helps him to escape hanging, and he gets the opportunity to exchange clothes again with a guard, but must contend with a huge bullying convict and a prison riot. Unfortunately, this is one of Buster’s weaker efforts, exchanging a complicated, farcical plot for Buster’s usual difficulties attempting to do ordinary things, which are hilarious. It does have its moments, especially in the satirical hanging sequence, but it could have been way funnier.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ***.
Explosion of a Motor Car (film #2 on The Movies Begin, Volume Three: Experimentation and Discovery (Kino Video, 1994)). [Category: Early Film & TV]A family has their nice Sunday drive ruined when their car explodes, leaving behind only a bunch of old metal parts and flummoxing a passing policeman. After dodging falling body parts for several minutes, the cop, in true cop fashion, writes out a ticket. My husband commented upon seeing this, "He's right. Somebody deserves a ticket for this!" A 1900 Hepworth film.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: *****. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****.
Image
Casting a Guide Box, Westinghouse Works (film #32 on America at Work, America at Leisure. Also, film #3 on Inside an American Factory. Also in the Historical section of Open Video Project.) [Category: Early Film & TV]Molten metal pours from a huge vat into a mold. This takes a good long time and requires lots of manpower. It also looks like very dangerous work. This goes on a bit, but it has lots of historical value in documenting metal casting practices at the turn of the century. A 1904 Biograph film.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: *. Weirdness: **. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ***.
Gripes (film #3 on The Complete Uncensored Private SNAFU DVD (Image Entertainment, 1999)). [Category: Military & Propaganda]SNAFU has nothing but complaints for the way the army is run, so Technical Fairy First Class gives him a chance to run things. He turns his outfit into a GI's paradise, that is, until the Germans attack. This is a pretty ordinary SNAFU, with a few good moments.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: **. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ***.
The Blob Trailer (extra on The Blob DVD (The Criterion Collection, 2000). Also, film #35 in the trailers section of Movieflix.). [Category: Commercial]Classic trailer for the classic 50s horror flick The Blob. How can you go wrong with lines like “will be oozing into this theater!” or “Starring Steve McQueen and a cast of exciting young people!” A must for your trailer collection.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: *****. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: *****.
Image
The Clash on Alright Now, March 1979 (film #67 in the Video section of Bedazzled). [Category: Sleaze & Outsider]In this TV clip, the Clash are interviewed by a host in an outrageous black-and-white checked suit, and they tell us that they would like to be considered a rock and roll band, rather than a punk band, and definitely not a new wave band, because new wave artists wear skinny ties. Then they play a rousing version of “English Civil War”, while title cards tell us such bits of trivia as the fact that Mick Jones’ biggest influence was 3rd-rate rock bands from ’67-’73, or that Topper likes milking goats. A fun piece of rock history from the punk explosion.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ***.
Fireworks – Blind Child (film #14 in the Public Info. Films section of TVArk). [Category: Public Service]British PSA from the 70s that tries to get parents to be careful with fireworks by putting the fear of blinding their children into them. Well made and effective.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: N/A. Weirdness: **. Historical Interest: ***. Overall Rating: ***.
Hollywood Boogie (film #1334 on Prelinger Archive). [Category: Hollywood]We get to see an all-girl orchestra in action in this lively soundie, but there’s no sign of Tony Curtis or Jack Lemmon. Seriously, this soundie is a lot of fun.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****.