chris_gaskin123

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Reviews

Back from Eternity
(1956)

Crash landing into danger
I have now seen Back From Eternity several times and find it an exiting and gripping thriller.

A motley collection of passengers including a young boy, a murderer, an elderly couple and a blonde lass board a dodgy aircraft, not knowing further danger lies ahead when a storm forces the plane to crash land in a very remote and unexplored jungle, inhabited by cannibals! After eventually fixing the aircraft, only 5 of the group will be able to escape...

This movie has a great cast with Robert Ryan as the pilot, 1950s glamour queen Anita Eckberg, a great performance by Rod Steiger as the murder and Gene Barry (War of the Worlds).

Back From Eternity is well worth a look if you haven't seen it. Excellent.

Flight World War II
(2015)

Air version of The Final Countdown
Flight 1942 was recommended to me by a friend so I thought I would go and get a copy. Very pleased I did.

An airliner goes through an unusual storm and this turns out to be a time warp! They end up in 1940 during World War 2. They get attacked several times by German war planes, can they escape and get back to the present day safely...

This movie is very similar to 1980's The Final Countdown (another excellent movie), with the action moving to the air rather than on water.

I would recommend Flight 1942, well worth a look.

Once Upon a Classic: Night Ferry
(1977)

Enjoyable crime adventure from CFF
Night Ferry has recently been released on DVD in the UK as part of BFI's Children's Film Foundation Collection. I quite enjoyed this one.

3 children try to foil a robbery involving a tomb and Ejyption mummy. These are being kept by a gang in a lock up in Clapham and the gang are intending to smuggle them abroad. So, there is now plenty of chasing and train rides including a trip on the London-Paris Night Ferry service...

An excellent little movie, the best things about this are the location shots including Victoria Station and a rather rundown area of Clapham. With loads of train scenes, this should also appeal to railway enthusiasts like myself. We get to see what could be some of the final moving footage of the Night Ferry service before it was axed in 1980.

A good cast includes the excellent Bernard Cribbens (The Wombles, The Railway Children, Daleks Invasion Earth 2150 AD) and Aubrey Morris as 2 of the gang members.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5.

The Monster of Highgate Ponds
(1961)

Enjoyable CFF creature feature
The Monster of Highgate Ponds has recently been released by BFI as part of their Children's Film Foundation release, Weird Adventures.

A child's uncle brings back a Prehistoric egg from Malasya and gives it to his nephew David to look after. After a while, this egg hatches, revealing a dinosaur like monster. Very small at first, it soon starts to grow and David and his fried Chris release it into the lake on Hamstead Heath. 2 crooks are after the creature to money though...

This monster movie makes a change from others as the monster doesn't grow into a giant and go on the rampage, as in a lot of other movies in this period.

Monster of Highgate Ponds is a good way to spend an hour one evening. Great fun.

Rating: 3 stars out of 5.

Out of the Darkness
(1985)

Creepy goings on in Eyam
I've just seen Out of the Darkness for the first time and found it rather creepy. It's now available on DVD as part of the Children's Film Foundation Scary Stories collection, released by BFI.

A family decide to buy a cottage in the plague village of Eyam, unaware the area is haunted. These hauntings are all connected to the plague, in particular the ghost of a boy. So, the brother and sister of the family and their friend decide to investigate...

Rather creepy at times, Out of the Darkness was actually shot on location in Eyam and the surrounding area, including the Winnats Pass.

Well worth a look, it's good to see that the BFI have released several Children's Film Foundation movies on DVD. I watched these when they came on TV back in the 1980s/1990s.

Rating: 3 stars out of 5.

The Lion Hunters
(1951)

Enjoyable Bomba adventure
I have seen quite a few of the Bomba movies and the Lion Hunters is one of the better ones.

After putting a wounded lion out of its misery, Bomba discovers a group of poachers are trapping lions and planning to take them away for exhibits in a zoo. Bomba doesn't like this idea so he takes action, no messing with him...

As well as Johnny Sheffield as Bomba, cast also includes Morris Ankrum (Invaders From Mars) and Ann E Todd (How Green Was My Valley).

A good little adventure.

Ratin: 3 stars out of 5.

The Magnetic Monster
(1953)

Interesting and different 50's sci-fi
The Magnetic Monster was another movie I'd been after for years and recently obtained a copy on E-bay.

Nuclear scientists and physicists (The A-Men) are called in when all the metal appliances in an electrical store suddenly become magnetic. They discover this is being caused by a scientist who has invented a new element. But this new element absorbs energy, expanding every 11-12 hours and the A-Men have to find a solution of stopping it before it is too late...

This is different to a lot of 1950's sci-fies, no giant monsters or aliens.

The cast includes sci-fi regular Richard Carlson (It Came From Outer Space, Creature From the Black Lagoon), King Donovan (Invasion of the Body Snatchers) and Jean Byron (Invisible Invaders).

I quite enjoyed watching The Magnetic Monster, recommended.

Rating: 3 stars out of 5.

Valley of the Dragons
(1961)

Off on a strange comet
This is another movie I'd been after for years and recently obtained a copy off ebay on the Colombia Classics label.

2 men having a duel somehow end up on a comet when a storm breaks out. This comet contains a prehistoric jungle and strange creatures (more on them later). They also make friends with natives (cave men and women) and find love too. But they also have to fight off unfriendly, missing link creatures.

Now to those prehistoric creatures, these are mostly lots of giant lizard stock footage from One Million BC. We also see Wolly Mammoths, Mastadons and a giant spider.

I found this move enjoyable and great fun to watch.

Rating: 3 stars out of 5.

The 27th Day
(1957)

The end of the world is nigh
I'd been after The 27th Day for years and at last, recently obtained a copy off Ebay on the Colombia Classics label.

An Alien gives 5 random people capsules that if opened before the 27th day is up, could wipe out human life. The 5 people then have lots of people after them, the journalist and British girl go into hiding at a Millatary installation.

I found this movie very enjoyable and tense, especially when the people were hiding, evading capture.

The cast includes Gene Barry (War of the Worlds), Valerie French and Paul Birch (The Day the World Ended).

To sum up, excellent.

Rating: 3 stars our of 5.

Killer Klowns from Outer Space
(1988)

Fun 80's sci fi movie
I've seen Killer Klowns from Outer Space a few times and found it great fun and enjoyable.

An object, believed to be a meteor at first, lands in a small town. A young couple and old man decide to investigate and they discover this meteor is actually a huge spacecraft in the shape of a big top circus tent! Clowns from another world have come to town! They have actually come to kill people and put them into cotton candy cocoons. The local sheriff doesn't believe this despite loads of calls but his deputy and one of the local teens take action...

The alien clowns, balloon dogs, Cotton candy cocoons, puppet killer clowns and a rather catchy 1980s theme song make this movie great fun.

Rating: 3 and a half stars out of 5.

Misterio en la isla de los monstruos
(1981)

Interesting and fun Jules Verne tale
I'd been after this movie for some years as I am a fan of this type of film and Peter Cushing. I recently obtained a VHS copy off E-bay.

A young man and a professor head on an expedition to an island just bought by his uncle. Lots of dangers lurk on the island including a volcano, unfriendly natives and, best of all, some rather shoddy looking monsters, more of them later. They also befriend a chimp and a native. Then, towards the end, the uncle comes to the island where I was taken by surprise with the ending...

Now to those monsters, these include some seaweed men who attack the ship, a giant horned beast that looks similar to one that appeared in At Earth's Core (also starring Peter Cushing), giant rubber caterpillars and some humanoid large eyed creatures. Certainly not prehistoric monsters as I've read in some reviews.

Despite being top billed, Peter Cushing and Terence Stamp (Superman 2) only appear in the movie for a few minutes at the beginning and the end. David Hatton plays the professor, rather annoying at times.

In all though, I found this movie great fun.

Rating: 3 stars out of 5.

Flipper: Teamwork
(1965)
Episode 23, Season 1

One of the best Season 1 episodes
I think "Teamwork" is one of the best Flipper Season 1 episodes.

In this one, Porter gets called out by Warden Dennis (Dan Chandler) just as Sandy is serving up dinner he's cooked, rather burnt looking hash, makes you wonder if Porter arranged this knowing Sandy isn't a good cook (he needs lessons from Jamie Oliver or Delia Smith!). Through his dad being called out, Sandy ends up missing a swimming race just as some dumped canisters containing dangerous chemicals are leaking under the sea. After rescuing a lady friend Josy (wonder who played her, the actress's name does not show on the end credits), Porter investigates these chemicals and ends up in hospital after breathing in the fumes. The 2 boys disobey their dad and head out to see what is happening.

In all, an excellent episode.

Flipper
(1964)

1906s TV at its best
I am a big fan of 1960s TV and Flipper was one of the best series. I have season one on DVD plus a few season 2 episodes on VHS which were released in the UK in the 1990s.

The series followed the 2 excellent feature films, Luke Halpin was the only actor in both movies and TV series. Brian Kelly was in the 2nd film and the storyline changed when the TV series started, Sandy gained a brother (Tommy Nordon) but his mother was killed off in the second movie, Flipper's New Adventure.

I regular watch episodes and never tire of them. Certainly good to see the nice Florida sunshine. Watching Flipper also gives you an idea on what life was like in the Florida Keys in the 1960s.

I wish Seasons 2 and 3 were released on DVD, although season 2 is available in the US.

They certainly don't make them like this anymore.

Miami Magma
(2011)

Disappointing
I recently picked up a DVD of this movie as it looked good (nice cover) but I was rather disappointed when I watched it.

Illegel oil drilling causes a series of eruptions but the bosses of the oil company orders output to be increased. Not a good idea.

I found this movie rather slow moving, although it does have its moments. It was more of a political thriller that a sci-fi in my opinion.

The cast includes Brad Douriff (Childs Play) and Rachel Hunter.

In all, a rather disappointing movie.

Rating: 2 stars out of 5.

Viaje al centro de la Tierra
(1977)

Enjoyable version of this story
This version of Jules Verne's Journey to the Centre of the Earth (aka Where Time Began) was made in 1978 and is better than some of the later remakes.

Professor Lindenbrook (a decent performance by Kenneth Moore), his niece, her fiancé and Hans embark on an adventure to the centre of the Earth, entering through a cave in Iceland. They encounter poisonous gases, storms, poisonous mushrooms, monsters (more on them later), a vast underground sea, a graveyard full of dinosaur skeletons and a strange, creepy guy called Olsen. Finally, after encountering a huge volcanic eruption, they make it back up to the surface.

Now to those Prehistoric monsters, we get to see 2 giant sea reptiles battle it out, loads of rather unfriendly giant tortoises, a gathering of Brontosaurus and Dimetrodons and, best of all, a giant ape (played by a man in a monkey suit).

In all,watching this movie is a good way to spend nearly an hour and half one evening, great fun.

Rating: 3 stars out of 5.

The Cyclops
(1957)

Enjoyable 50's fun
The Cyclops was one movie I had been after for a long while and finally obtained a DVD on the Warner Archive Collection.

A party heads over to Mexico by aeroplane to look for the missing fiancé of one of the party members. When they get there, they are in a land which is full of uranium and is very radioactive. The radiation has caused giant lizards and insects and a rather unfriendly and deformed giant human...

Good cast that includes sci-fi/horror regulars Lon Chaney Jr and Gloria Talbot. With Dean Parkin (War of the Colossal Beast) as the Cyclops.

And this is another product of Bert I Gordon. Great fun.

Rating: 3 stars out of 5.

Celebrity Juice
(2008)

More rubbish from ITV
What I have seen of Celebrity Juice is just a group of people shouting, swearing and acting totally stupid.

After axing good drama like Heartbeat and The Royal, looks like ITV used the money on trash like this and The Only Way is Essex, which is even worse. Celebrity Juice is rude and offensive, certainly not funny and just pointless.

Hosted by Kieth Lemmon, all he does is shout and show off, acting stupid.

Certainly time ITV axed this garbage.

Rating: 0 stars out of 5.

Im Dschungel ist der Teufel los
(1982)

Rather stupid jungle comedy adventure
I recently picked up a DVD of Crazy Jungle Adventure as it looked an interesting movie. Interesting yes but rather stupid too.

A motley collection of people, some of them escaping from gangsters crash-land on a tropical island, unaware that the gangsters will catch up with them. On the island, they are confronted by Lions, Tigers, Elephants and Monkeys but thankfully, all these animals are friendly including the big cats and these animals save the castaways from the gangsters.

This movie would have been a lot better if it was done as a drama, it is certainly rather stupid at times and poor acting too.

Silly low budget rubbish, best for only the scenery and animals. Certainly one of the worst movies I've ever seen.

Rating: 2 stars out of 5.

The Treasure of Jamaica Reef
(1974)

Boring & Slow Moving
I picked up a copy of this movie on VHS last year (2008) as it looked interesting after reading the cover, I was certainly wrong about that! I found this to be one of the most boring movies I've ever seen, very slow moving and poor quality too.

But, it has one good point, excellent underwater photography which kept me watching it.

Not a bad cast too, including Stephen Boyd (Fantastic Voyage), David Ladd and Cheryl Ladd.

A boring 75 minutes, worth watching only for the underwater photography.

Rating: 2 stars out of 5.

Night of the Big Heat
(1967)

Strange happenings on Fara
I taped Night Of The Big Heat when BBC1 screened it during the early hours a few years ago.

The Northern island of Fara is experiencing very warm temperatures even though it is the middle of Winter while the rest of the UK is seeing the usual Winter weather. At the same time, people are being killed in mysterious circumstances, all being burned to death. It turns out these killings and heat are caused by aliens...

This movie is shot well in colour and is atmospheric and creepy throughout.

The excellent cast include horror regulars Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing and are joined by Patrick Allen (When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth), Kenneth Cope (Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)), Jane Merrow, Sarah Lawson and Percy Herbert.

Hight Of The Big Heat is certainly worth checking out. Excellent.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5.

The Italian Job
(1969)

Excellent and Fun Crime Caper
I've seen The Italian Job a lot of times and it is one of those movies you can watch over again without tiring of it.

Charlie Croker is released from prison and plans to do a large robbery involving gold in Turin in Italy. He has the help from Mr Bridger, who is still in prison. Charlie plans to cause a huge traffic jam in Turin to undertake the robbery. After doing the robbery,we see the famous chase with the Mini Coopers through Turin, which are then put on the coach, the gold unloaded from them and the Minis are disposed of down the mountain side, some of them blowing up in the process. Charlie and the gang then celebrate their success until they are hanging on a cliff...

Now to the vehicles in this movie, most of which are wrecked: 2 Jaguars and an Aston Martin are destroyed by Mafia, then you have the 3 Mini Coopers, a Land Rover, a minibus (which Charlie calls a "Doormobile") and the coach, which is a twin front axle Bedford VAL. Not forgetting the van that is destroyed when Charlie says one of the movie's most famous quotes: You're only supposed to blow the bl**** doors off"!

Now to the most excellent cast: a brilliant Michael Caine as Charlie, Noel Coward (his last movie) as Mr Bridger, Benny Hill, Dad's Army's John Le Mesurier, Raf Vallone and Maggie Blye.

The Italian Job is great fun to watch and is certainly a must see.

Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

The Jeremy Kyle Show
(2005)

Total rubbish talk show
Of all the talk shows I've seen, Jeremy Kyle has to be the worst.

Each show consists of very rough people trying to sort out their love lives etc. Who cares? I'm sure they can do it amongst themselves instead of sharing out with others. A lot of the guests start fighting anyway, which is why there are bouncers on set.

Jeremy Kyle replaced "Tisha" in the morning slot on ITV1 after Trisha Goddard defected to Channel 5.

I'm rather surprised Jeremy Kyle Show is still going anyway. And just where does he get all these rough people from, a zoo I wonder. And their language is terrible too.

Get this rubbish off our screens. Certainly not entertainment.

Invasion of the Animal People
(1959)

Low Budget creature feature from Sweden
I recently obtained a copy (part of the excellent Sci-Fi Gold series) of Invasion Of The Animal People off E-Bay and found it OK if a little slow moving in parts.

A spacecraft crashes in a remote area of Sweden and the Army and a geologist are sent to investigate this. They discover dead Reindear and then a huge hairy Yeti type monster on the loose which has come from the spacecraft. It kills some people and more animals and, as often in these movies, the monster kidnaps a girl.

You don't actually get to see the monster until later in the movie and then it is mostly in the shadows.

The copy I have is the American version directed by Jerry Warren and starring John Carradine.

Although far from the best 1950's monster movie, Invasion Of the Animal People was fairly enjoyable if a little slow moving at times. To sum up, fairly average.

Rating: 2 and a half stars out of 5.

The Uninvited
(1944)

The Haunted House On The Cornish Coast
I had been after a copy of The Uninvited for years, I couldn't get one as it was out of print. Then last year (2007), I got a VHS copy off E-Bay, I was very pleased.

A brother and sister moved into a house on the Cornish coast and the house has been abandoned for many years. What they don't realise is that their new home is haunted. This is something to do with the previous occupants, many years ago. The hauntings consist of strange noises at night and ghostly figures... But what and who are they?

I found The Uninvited very creepy and is one of the first and best ghost movies ever made.

An excellent cast too: Ray Milland, Ruth Hussey, Donald Crisp, Gail Russell, Alan Naiper and Cornelis Otis Skinner.

If you want a good scare, watch The Uninvited. Brilliant.

Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

Invasion, U.S.A.
(1952)

Interesting Atomic Age/Cold War scare movie
Invasion USA is another movie I had been looking for and recently obtained an NTSC VHS copy off E-Bay.

A motley collection of people in a bar in New York are watching TV when it is announced on the news that the USA is being invaded by communists. Alaska is invaded first and then moving south, invading San Francisco, New York which is hit by an A-bomb and then Washingtion DC, where troops invade and takeover the White House.

This is one of the more interesting movies made during the Atomic Age/Cold War and gave you an idea on what could happen if it happened in real life. Quite scary really.

The cast includes both actresses who played Lois Lane in the 1950's Superman series, Phyllis Coates and Noel Neill. Also, Peggie Castle (Beginning Of The End), Gerald Mohr, Dan O'Herlihy and Edward D Roninson Jnr.

Invasion USA is well worth checking out. Interesting and quite frightening.

Rating: 3 stars out of 5.

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