Monthly Archives: February 2012

Day of the Animals

Title: Day of the Animals

Year: 1977

Got It For: $3.33

 

You know, I can’t help thinking that for the rest of my life; I will have to compare every movie I ever see to Day of the Animals. This film has become my measuring stick for motion pictures. Oh, not because it’s such an excellent movie, but because it has perhaps the most amazing minute or so of footage I’ve ever seen: Leslie Nielson fighting a bear.

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Oh yes indeed. You see, this picture is a vision of the future. Of what COULD happen IF the human population continues to deplete the ozone layer with dangerous flourocarbons. What happens if the ozone layer is depleted? Are people burned to death under intense heat? Do the harsh UV rays cause food supplies to wither and die, leaving us in a fight for survival against the elements and our very neighbors? Of course not stupid! It causes all the animals around to go crazy go nuts and start attacking all the humans. Birds sit beside children! Snakes attempt to drive trucks! Rats use cat-a-pults (or should I say rat-a-pults) to attack police!

We experience this horror alongside our intrepid protagonists, a group of hikers on a two week excursion into the woods who are just unlucky enough to get caught in the middle of it all during the Day (should be days, as the movie takes place over at least five) of the Animals!

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The movie itself is hit and miss. The animals are real, well-trained creatures in wide shots, but the close-ups allow us to see the hilariously bad puppets used for the attack scenes. However, if you enjoy cheesiness as much as I do and want to see Leslie Nielson (pre-comedy work) play a bigot who goes Ultimate Warrior on a grizzly bear, this is the movie for you!

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Creature From the Haunted Sea

Title: Creature from the Haunted Sea

Year: 1961

Got It For: About $1 ($5 DVD with 5 movies)

The original poster for Creature from the Haunted Sea begs me “PLEASE DO NOT GIVE AWAY THE ANSWER TO THE SECRET.” That secret apparently being that this film is actually a comedy. Going in, I had no idea that this was going to be an intentionally funny movie, as most advertising for the movie played it up as a straight up creature feature. The plot is that an American criminal and his crew (one of whom is actually an American spy) assist a number of Cuban loyalists in stealing a large amount of gold from the Cuban treasury. They then proceed to bump off each of the Cubans on the way to Puerto Rico, blaming it on a made up monster that, of course, turns out to be real. And made of sentient seaweed and ping pong balls apparently.

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According to IMDB, the original runtime for this movie was 61 minutes. The version on my disc is about 75 minutes long; evidence that it’s actually the TV cut that had a number of scenes added later on. While the main plot is straightforward and has some pretty funny writing, there are a number of subplots in this version that are convoluted, don’t make much sense, and take away from the movie overall. The production values are obviously quite low, this being an early-ish Roger Corman film. Props and costumes look cheap and somewhat silly, and one scence near the beginning is so poorly lit you can hardly tell what’s going on until a random car chase breaks out…and even then it’s pretty fuzzy.

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This movie is certainly an odd one. Part spy spoof, part monster movie spoof, part crime spoof, it’s an aqueous solution of funny, weird, and low, low budget. If you’re like me and have a taste for aged cheese, I say try it out. Otherwise you’ll probably be left scratching your head wondering where the last hour and fifteen minutes of your life went.

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