Showing posts with label actors and actresses. Show all posts
Showing posts with label actors and actresses. Show all posts

Friday, 15 September 2017

Folly Come Lately: The Return

Whoops. Vanished again. I have no excuse other than my chronic ailments flaring up and my long-term clinical depression making itself known a severe case of the blues. I needed some 'me' time alone.

In my absence, we have celebrated our eighteenth wedding anniversary and Bob’s 11th birthday!



The Domestic Part
I have been cooking a lot from scratch lately, trying to get past my aversion to 'bowl food' or 'all together food' as opposed to a meal where the food is separate from each other. It seems an occupational hazard when it comes to vegan cooking. My aversion to 'all together' food isn't some sort of weird food OCD thing, just an aversion to day after day of food in a bowl or slopped onto a plate ... well not slopped, but you get the idea.

One day saw me in the kitchen making three different (vegan) stews (chickpea and aubergine, Argentinean and a general casserole with bits and bobs from the freezer and fridge), so I could batch freeze double portions to take us into autumn. I ended up with seven tubs in the freezer that day and have made it a weekly habit. 

The Exploratory Part
I have also been exploring different teas. I was once hooked on Ceylon, but always like to give others a go. We tried Assam, which was right up Andy’s street, but leave it to brew too long and it’s just too strong for me. Then Darjeeling, which was one I really liked, but Andy wasn’t so keen, as he likes more robust teas. Then we tried Lapsang Souchong … never again. Never. Never ever. I opened the tea packet and was hit square in the face with a smell like a bonfire. We gave it the benefit of the doubt mind you. I swear I have never had a cup of tea which you can smell from a different room. I’d go further … the whole place was filled with the smell of Lapsang Souchong which to us was not pleasant. I could smell it three rooms away from the kitchen. In fact I started to feel nauseous a quarter of the way in and I ended up throwing it away which I never do to tea, sacred drink that it is. It certainly wasn’t the sort of tea you would offer a guest. Andy had to make an emergency tea run and I had to buy a new tea canister, as the  Lapsang Souchong tainted my metal caddy and nothing I could do would get the smell out! Thankfully Waitrose were off loading their summer picnic stock, so I picked up a set of three canisters for £1.50. 

The Film and Telly Part


I was left on my lonesome last night and if Thursday nights alone have taught me anything, then it's there is nothing on the telly that interests me on a Thursday evening and that there's no one home to make me a glass of gin and cranberry (yes, I could make it myself and I did, it's just nice to be made a drink). I had the foresight to record a film to watch and opted for one I had only seen just recently, 2015’s Mr Right. Oh how I adore this film and I might have a weeny crush on Sam Rockwell in this film. It finished just in time for me to see Legend again. Ahh, film Ronnie Kray, how I adore you.



Then there was Twin Peaks: The Return. Wow. Oh my. Episode Eight ............. I must admit, initially I found it difficult to get into, but then I became hooked in. Also, I was very impressed with the use of that superb song by The Platters in this series. Someone has offered to lend us Fire Walk With Me, too, so I’m looking forward to that.

I also reaaaaaaaly want to see the new adaptation of It, but don't allow myself to see scary films in the cinema as I am far too jumpy. I'm that person who screams at the slightest thing and embarrasses herself. I am also the one who sees her shadow at 3am and scares herself as she was reading Stephen King books before bed.


The In Closing Part
I shall be back to show off the vintage goodies I have acquired, some new things to wear and the gifts I have been sent!





Friday, 26 May 2017

B-Movie Madness: The Thing From Another World 1951

Today's b-movie is 1951's The Thing From Another World.
It stars Kenneth Tobey, seen previously in It Came From Beneath The Sea



Scientists and American Air Force officials fend off a blood-thirsty alien organism while at a remote arctic outpost.


 Close-ups of "The Thing" were removed. It was felt that the make-up could not hold up to close scrutiny. However, the lack of close-ups gave the creature a more mysterious quality.


 The scene in which The Thing is doused with kerosene and set ablaze is believed to be the first full body burn accomplished by a stunt man.


  James Arness plays The Thing ...


... but he is difficult to recognize in costume and makeup due to both low lighting and other effects used to obscure his features. He reportedly regarded his role as so embarrassing that he didn't attend the premiere. He also complained that his "Thing" costume made him look like a giant carrot.

Rawr! Beware the carrot!


When producer Howard Hawks attempted to get insurance for the creature, five insurance companies turned him down because "The Thing" was to be frozen in a block of ice, hacked by axes, attacked by dogs, lit on fire, and electrocuted.


*

Did I like this?
No. No I didn't.
I was bored, distracted and only watched the whole thing so I could see The Thing.
I also didn't like any of the characters and I think you need to at least like the characters in a film (or book) to give you the incentive to continue.

And that brings us to the end of another of Melanie's stellar b-movie reviews 😉

Friday, 19 May 2017

It's All Relative

A quick note about this post ... it's a republish of a favourite post of mine that I wrote in my second year of blogging (hence the talk of October!), so may seem familiar to long term readers.



As October comes around, I feel a calling from some repressed part of my mind, to watch scary films.  I try to avoid things that help my over active imagination to literally play mind games with me as I already have ‘Don’t Look Now’ woman, Toby from ‘Paranormal Activity 3’ and Plastic Man* under the bed, so there is no room for anyone else, I'm just surprised the Creeper from Jeepers Creepers isn't under there too.

Typically, I am not a big fan of the horror genre, though I will watch the ‘classics’ if they happen to cross my path as I believe I should watch classic films, regardless of genre, to see what all the fuss is about. To this end, I very much like Stephen King’s ‘Christine’ (for very obvious reasons) and ‘Carrie’ was a good one too, I often think I would do exactly what she did in her shoes, such a low tolerance do I have for bullies and people who delight in ‘harmless’ baiting.

I don't though, generally touch zombie films but will give Hammer studio films a go, which leads me on to the point of this post ...

Scanning through the listings earlier in the week, I found myself a Hammer film, ‘Demons of the Mind’, a little known early seventies offering. It ticked all the boxes .. Hammer. A Baron (played by Seigfried of ‘All Creatures ..’ fame). Madness. Incest. I was all over this like a rash .. Not that I am a big cheerleader of incest I hasten to add, it’s just a good thing to throw into the mix.  Andy was dismissive, he wasn’t remotely interested, as it isn’t a genre he enjoys.  
So, I sat down alone to watch and when it was over, felt I should share the delights of 'Demons of the Mind', with you .. yes, I watched, so you don't have to. You'll possibly thank me.

Let the watching commence!
Head of the bill .. Paul Jones. I was hopeful it was Paul Jones of Manfred Mann fame, who I had a huge bit of a crush on during my sixties obsession.


as he acts and 'Privilege' is one of my favourite films  


but it isn't exactly an unusual name so I was curious to see.  

It was a 1972 historical Hammer offering complete with coach and horses driven by your typically burly man, and glorious architecture courtesy of Wykehurst Place (a Gothic Revival mansion in West Sussex, England).


*

So, cue Elizabeth, a nubile young blond who had Hammer written all about her person. She was very pretty indeed and could have been dancing in a mini skirt on any late sixties, early seventies episode of Top of The Pops.  




Apparently in the coach against her will, the poor girl is drugged by her dear aunt (for her own good dontcha know) and falls into a waking dream state which sees her running fearfully through the woods before scampering into the presence of Carl the bookish woodcutter/medical student, played by Paul Jones, (yes THEE Paul Jones of my crush and frequent swooning. I was very happy indeed) where she promptly fainted, or collapsed, or indeed swooned (it is Paul Jones after all).  



He tends her wounds.  He spots her locket in which is a photo of a sickly looking fop. He rows her around in a rowboat (this was ridiculously random I have to say) and a very splendid time was had indeed.  She wakes and rises from his bed, which is the cue for a typically titillating Hammer moment, a quick flash of breast in the early morning light which pours through the grubby windows, which makes me think that Carl’s self satisfied smile is more to do with having someone to keep house than having someone in his bed. She departs his cottage in her pretty undergarments to collect eggs where she is promptly snatched by burly man and bundled back into the coach    /end dream state.

Cue Emil, the man from the locket who rises weakly from his bed in a distant room (he has a delicate beauty which touches me somehow). Back to the coach where burly man is waving cheerfully to people he passes from the drivers seat on the coach as he wends his way to the glorious house where Emil stares solemnly from the window as the coach carrying Elizabeth arrives.


Elizabeth is ushered from the coach by Aunt Hilda (and a mysterious box) and dear papa, Baron Zorn is happy to see his daughter.  Upstairs, Emil is pacing, he's growing restless! He knows Elizabeth is near! 


He emerges from his room, heading toward her for what is evidently a reunion which is not to be as she is promptly locked away, as this is how it must be …………. 
Yes, Emil and Elizabeth, they who look longingly at one another from afar, are brother and sister. The Baron it seems, has locked his teenage children up to stop their incestuous penchant for one another, for lo they are ill and they must be bled, which no doubt explains the pastiness.
“What are you doing to her? She looks so pale, and sad,” bemoans Emil. Likely the same thing they’re doing to him considering his sullen face and pallid complexion.
 More titillating scenes follow, where the mystery box comes into play and Elizabeth is bled, to cure her of her desires for Emil who is locked in the adjoining room. I’m very sure we didn’t need another flash of her breast when she was being bled from her thigh but we got it anyway.  Huzzah for predictability. 

Elsewhere, a blond has wandered off into the woods, but be fearful dear girl, this is no time to be getting stones in your shoes, as there are things in the woods who shake trees! Run! Run for your life! Oh, too late, it got you, and it’s scattering rose petals over your lifeless body.

Cue a mad wandering holy man who has ‘been led there’ through inclement weather on foot and Dr Falkenberg himself and Carl who are travelling in a coach. It becomes apparent that Carl does not trust Falkenberg’s methods and wants no part of working with him and you know what? The doctor didn’t actually fall from grace in his profession, rather he was thrown but even so, there are still those that will trust him *cough*baronzorn*cough*. 

Cue extra commentary from Melanie as things trip along merrily.  Their coach crashes thanks to the wandering holy man, um, wandering in front of the coach bellowing warnings, so Carl goes off to find help. Cut to a remote inn or some such where another blond is gleefully ravished by a man who looks old enough to be her dad as burly man watches through a window *heavybreathing*  (it transpires that burly man and inn woman have history) Oh look! The breast bearing inn blond emerges from inside and very affable she is too, outside as she is, in the bad weather, in her flimsies, and happens across the newly arrived Carl where she remarks upon no one coming by that way ordinarily, mores the pity, as she moves up against him in a terribly obvious way.  I felt they had left a line or too out, “ .. now if you’d like to come inside with me, where I shall make you something to calm your nerves and possibly flash you my breasts.”  

There is screaming in the shaky woods, oh no! Has another blond fallen prey to the rose petal killer???? Ahh, yes, yes she has. 

Carl arrives back at the coach with help for the injured driver but Falkenberg has gone! He has somehow been found by burly man and taken back to the house in a gig where Zorn emerges from the house covered in blood, berating the doctor for being late.  Zorn is next seen in a row boat on a lake where he discards the body of a blond over the side. What? Why? How? When? Is the Baron the rose petal killer???? Hey ho, she’s been disposed of now, it matters not.

Meanwhile, Falkenberg is treating the Baron with his shady discredited method, and this is where we find that the Baron has evil in his blood and wants to be cured of rife insanity, family incest and oh my! Prowling in the woods like AN ANIMAL! Blood lust! Ritual death? Is he? Could he be? 
To purify the family line, he married a peasant woman whose virgin blood appalled him and he would never sleep with her again, for he became impotent. Really? Women pay heed, should your virgin blood appall your new husband then you might just be responsible for his impotency and you know what happens then don’t you? Yes, he will drive you not only to madness, but also you will be compelled to commit suicide in front of your children.
It happened to the Baron and his wife, so it could happen to you too *points in a sinister manner*

Elsewhere, it’s all gone a bit wicker man in the village and lo and behold, another young woman has gone awol which causes unrest amongst the villagers.



While everyone else has been distracted, Emil has been busy trying to break into his sisters room .. they quickly hatch a plan to escape. Keys stolen from Aunt Hilda and brother and sister are reunited with a full blown kiss on the lips. All together now - ahhhhh!  On the verge of escape they are rumbled by Aunt Hilda. But who is that at the door? It's Carl! Huzzah, he's come to save the day! But has Elizabeth forgotten her brother so soon? “Carl ….” she breathes as she spots him from the window. My, that girl is fickle.

The Baron and burly man however, think Carl’s on to them so try to put his mind at ease .. by telling him of the madness that runs through Elizabeth's veins. Is it just me or is that not putting someones mind at rest? I'm very sure they weren't just sharing the same bed before she got whisked away, what if she got pregnant? The madness might continue, which was what worried the Baron, but little did he know what Elizabeth might have been up too in the halcyon days back in the cottage.
During this part I got terribly distracted by Carl, as Paul Jones has a lovely mouth .. see? Oh I am such a girl.



He proceeds to a showdown with Falkenberg and tells him just what he thinks of his methods; oh he’s so forceful. Just when you think the Baron is going to listen to Carl and do the right thing and throw him out, he lets Falkenberg fight his own corner then lets him stay to subject his children to all sorts, which apparently involves the doctor dressing in a snazzy purple get up. It seems for a moment that their relationship is considered okay by the doctor which just agitates the Baron who wants them cured and he wants them cured now! But the doctor insists the Baron has damaged them so very much, that it could take weeks to make them better, but for faster results, there is only one way, an extreme way, but, he isn't going to share what that is.

Oh look, we’re back with inn woman and burly man has come calling, to lure her to the home of the Baron. To what end though? To what end? Ahh, I see .. take inn woman to the house, tell her she’s going to be in a play, strip her naked in front of everyone and cut her hair. That's the plan then is it? 
Better hurry, as the villagers are on their way with pitchforks and flaming torches (and a flaming crucifix), how quaint! But the plan, what is the plan? The plan is in fact to tell Emil that Elizabeth loves and needs him, and to lead him to inn woman who is wearing Elizabeth's favourite dress. 
They take him to inn woman. Emil's reaction scares her to the extent that she promptly runs off with him in fast pursuit, believing her to be Elizabeth. 
When she tells him otherwise, it all goes very horribly wrong. 
There then followed an ending that was quite something and I'm still confused as to how the plan was to work.
????

Confusing plan aside, I was very taken with this so promptly popped it on my Amazon wishlist. I'm very sure it will be unwatchable to most people, but then I also own the bizarre 'Gonks Go Beat' which I also hear is unwatchable!

* Plastic Man.
A product of my very over active imagination. I was woken one night by sounds not unlike someone dragging heavy duty plastic around the bedroom, you know, those huge bags mattresses come in, that sort of noise. Still have no idea what that actually was, but Plastic Man was born that night.

Friday, 12 May 2017

B-Movie Madness: It Came From Outer Space 1953



"Then at a deadly pace
It came from outer space ..."



A spaceship from another world crashes in the Arizona desert, and only an amateur stargazer and a schoolteacher suspect alien influence when the local townsfolk begin to act strangely.
Originally shown in 3D.



Author and amateur astronomer John Putnam (Richard Carlson) and schoolteacher Ellen Fields (Barbara Rush) watch a large meteorite crash near the small town of Sand Rock, Arizona. They awaken a neighbor, who has a helicopter, and all three fly to the crash site.

Putnam climbs down into the crater and notices a partially buried round object in the crater's pit. He comes to the realization, after he sees a six-sided hatchway close, that this isn't a meteorite but a large alien spaceship. The hatchway's noise starts a landslide that completely buries the craft. Putnam's story is later scoffed at by Sand Rock's sheriff (Charles Drake) and the local news media.






Even Ellen Fields is unsure about what to believe but still agrees to assist Putnam in his investigation. Over the next several days, local people disappear; a few return, but they act distant or appear somewhat dazed.

Convinced by these and other odd events, Sheriff Warren comes to believe Putnam's story that the meteorite is actually a crashed spaceship with alien inhabitants; he then organizes a posse to hunt down the invaders at their crash site. Putnam, however, hopes to reach a peaceful solution to the looming crisis.

Alone, he enters a nearby abandoned mine, which he hopes will eventually connect to the now buried spaceship and its alien occupants.


Putnam finally discovers the spaceship and learns from its crew that they crashed on Earth by accident; the aliens appear benign and only plan to stay on Earth just long enough to repair their damaged craft and then continue on their voyage.

The aliens' real appearance, when finally revealed to Putnam, is entirely non-human: they are large, single-eyed, jelly fish-like beings that seem to glide across the ground, leaving a glistening trail that soon vanishes. They are also able to shape shift into human form using a telepathy screen in order to appear human and move around, unobserved, in order to collect their much needed repair materials.


To do this, they copy the human forms of the local townspeople they've secretly kidnapped to help them repair their crippled spacecraft. In doing so, however, they fail to reproduce the townspeople's exact personalities, leading to suspicion and eventually to the deaths of two of the aliens ...



Did you know ... This was one of the few American films from the 1950s to place its credits at the end rather than at the beginning.

***

This has been my favourite by far to date (that didn't feature Grant Williams *cough*).
I really enjoyed this one, so if you see it on, give it a go!

Friday, 31 March 2017

Film Friday: Breakfast at Tiffanys 1961


Today on Film Friday: Breakfast at Tiffany's from 1961.

I love this film and even channelled Holly at the Goodwood Revival one year.
My, I was a Skinny Minnie back then!



A lonely, struggling writer becomes enchanted with his neighbour: an independent young woman who strives to be a high-climbing socialite with a penchant for high-fashion and wild parties. But, soon he uncovers the vulnerability she has at heart.


Breakfast at Tiffany's is a 1961 American romantic comedy film directed by Blake Edwards and written by George Axelrod, loosely based on Truman Capote's novella of the same name. Starring Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard, and featuring Patricia Neal, Buddy Ebsen, Martin Balsam, and Mickey Rooney, the film was initially released on October 5, 1961 by Paramount Pictures.


Audrey Hepburn's salary for the film was $750,000, making her the highest paid actress per film at the time.



Holly Golightly wears the same dresses all the way through the movie, simply changing the accessories to give each outfit a different look. Her black shift dress features through the movie at least four times.


Holly Golightly is supposed to be just nineteen years old when she meets with Paul. Audrey Hepburn was thirty-one years old when playing Holly.


Although it's never explained why Holly is wearing a bed sheet at her cocktail party, an earlier scene (cut before release) established she'd been taking a bath and had to improvise a gown on the spur of moment. The cut scene was featured in Life magazine pictorial shortly before film was released.


Did you know ...Tiffany's opened its doors on a Sunday for the first time since the 19th century so that filming could take place inside the store.


***

Is this a film you enjoy?

Friday, 24 March 2017

B-Movie Madness: Tarantula 1955



"I knew Leo G. Carroll
Was over a barrel
When Tarantula took to the hills ..."





A spider escapes from an isolated desert laboratory experimenting in gigantism and grows to tremendous size as it wreaks havoc on the local inhabitants.


A severely deformed man stumbles through the Arizona desert, falls and dies. Dr. Matt Hastings, a doctor in a nearby small town is called in by the Sheriff to examine the body at the local mortuary.

Asked to define the cause of death, he finds himself perplexed as the deceased was someone he knew and had just seen recently whose deformity appears to be acromegaly, a distortion which takes years to reach its apparent present state.

Dr. Hastings asks to be allowed to perform an autopsy to clarify the diagnosis but the sheriff refuses, judging an autopsy unnecessary because there is no indication of foul play.

Hastings then approaches Jacobs' colleague, Dr. Gerald Deemer (Carroll), who more bluntly refuses permission, then signs Jacobs' death certificate in lieu of Hastings, with heart disease listed as the cause of death.


Bothered still by the anomaly, and also by Deemer's abruptness, Hastings later drives to Deemer's combined home and research lab in the desert far from town.

Deemer apologizes for his hostility, blaming it on his grief, then insists that Jacobs had developed acromegaly incredibly rapidly, over just four days. He cannot offer an explanation but attempts to convince Hastings this was only an anomaly, not a result of anything sinister. Hastings appears to accept this apology.


After Hasting leaves, Deemer goes to his closed lab, where huge cages contain white rabbits and mice, some of enormous size. Deemer examines each of the oversized specimens, noting when each last received an "injection", and how many each has had altogether.

Then he turns to observe a glass-fronted inset in the back wall, as a different sort of specimen slides into view inside - a tarantula bodily the size of a large dog, plus legs.


As Deemer finishes his observations of this creature, a second deformed man appears, attacks Deemer and begins destroying the lab.

During this rampage the lab catches fire and the glass covering the tarantula's cage is shattered. The man grabs a hypodermic that Deemer was preparing, knocks him out and injects him with the contents.

As flames and electrical sparking rage over the lab, the arachnid escapes outdoors ...


Interestingly, Prof Deemer predicts that by the year 2000 the human population will be 3.6 billion. In fact it was almost double that at that time.


Clint Eastwood appears as the (uncredited) leader of the jet squadron that attacks the tarantula in the film's climax.



The starring spider also 'acted' in a previous film featured here on The Folly Bird: The Incredible Shrinking Man.


🎞📽🎞


Did I enjoy this?
I did actually, animals in laboratories aside, obviously.
It even made me jump in one place which I have never done before when watching one of these b-movies.


Friday, 17 March 2017

B-movie Madness: The Blob 1958

Today's b-movie is 1958's The Blob, maybe one of the most famous of the 1950's b features.


An alien lifeform consumes everything in its path as it grows and grows.



Over one night in a small Pennsylvania town in July '57, teenager Steve (Steve McQueen) and his girlfriend, Jane (Aneta Corsaut), are kissing on lovers' lane when they see a meteor crash beyond the next hill.

Steve decides to look for it but a local man finds it first. Poking it with a stick, it breaks open and a jelly like blob attaches itself to his hand. In pain and unable to remove it, he heads for the road where he is almost hit by Steve's car. Steve and Jane then take him to Doctor Hallen.


Doctor Hallen who is about to leave the surgery, anesthetises the man and sends Steve and Jane back to the where they found the man to see if anyone knows what happened. Meanwhile he decides he must amputate the man's arm since it is being consumed by the ever increasing Blob.

Before he has a chance, the Blob consumes the man, then Hallen's nurse, and finally the doctor himself, all the while increasing in size.


As Steve and Jane return to the office, they are in time to witness the doctor's death. Heading to the police station, they return to the house with Lieutenant Dave and Sergeant Bert who dismiss the story as a prank when there is no evidence to back up their story.

At the Colonial cinema, which is showing a midnight screening, Steve ropes in some of his friends to warn people about the Blob.



When Steve notices that his father's grocery store is unlocked, he and Jane go inside. They are cornered in a walk in freezer by the Blob which oozes in but then retreats. The townspeople and police still refuse to believe Steve's story.

Meanwhile, the Blob enters the Colonial and consumes the projectionist before oozing into the auditorium and doing the same to a number of the audience ... ... ...

***

I really like this film and think Steve, or should I say Steven McQueen is really great in this, despite being twenty seven and playing a teen!

I saw this for the first time years ago and the bit that always stuck in my head was Jane, aka Janie Girl and her never-ending talk about The Little Dog. Though to be fair, I would have worried about it too. And I, unlike Jane, who had some wonderful outfits by the way, would have had no problem with Steve calling me Janie Girl. Except Jane's not my name, so maybe I would 😉



Did you know ... The actual Blob, a mixture of red dye and silicone, has never dried out and is still kept in the original five-gallon pail in which it was shipped to the production company in 1958 from Union Carbide.

*

Have you seen The Blob?