Friday, May 27, 2011
Uhm, OK...once upon a time there was a dentist and the kid went to the dentist and the dentist said "Don't eat bad food and stuff because you know how you see old ladies crossing the road with no teeth? That's cause' they eat ALL that yucky food and all their teeth fell out and now they eat GOOEY MUSH! So remember you brush your teeth or you'll have to eat mush toooo....." The End
-By Isabel Rose Hooker
Thursday, May 26, 2011
From the inner santum-ish depths of Alfred Hitchock, I bring you a 1935 thriller.....
THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH
Wow. I hate thinking up beginnings to these things.
Well first off, I'll tell you how I came to be watching a 1935 Hitchcock. I'm not a brave person when it comes to movies, I'm really not. And I have enough brains to know that turning on an ancient movie that's been on the freeplay for so long I'm liable to end up banging my cranium against a blunt object to rid myself of intense boredom. However, that night ( many moons ago, I wrote this post back in the days of no internet. Well, less internet) I was feeling especially brave, and with Ruby, a cozy blanket and some popcorn I figured I couldn't go wrong with any movie. I turned on "The Man Who Knew Too Much" from a million other Hitchcocks just off the very slightly interesting fact that it was Peter Lorre's ( I told you we would be seeing a lot of him, poor people) second film and first in Britain, so he didn't know any English and learned his lines phonetically. No, not really enough to keep attention if the movie became really boring (which I might as well tell you, it did) but it still enabled us to add some clever quips during the really confusing parts, when the wonderful Mr. Hitchcock seems to lapse into his own little world and knowing English doesn't help a bit.
Basically, the movie follows the adventures of some high-life family unfortunate enough to make friends with a French spy- just in time to see him get knocked of. Even more unfortunate is when the spy passes on some vital information about a planned assassination (read it again, that rhymed) to them, prompting the baddies (predictably Peter Lorre) to kidnap their daughter in order to ensure their silence. And so, the lovely wife, her not-so-lovely husband, and some weirdo with a greasy mustache who apparently lives in their house set out to prevent the killing and rescue their daughter. I mentioned the boring, which isn't really as bad as may be expected from something this ancient. I also mentioned that some scenes tend to spiral into utter confusion, like an interestingly random chair-throwing sequence and some weirdness about skiing in the alps. To add a few to the list of cons, nobody in the two Alfred you-know-who's I've seen seem to know what dying or taking a bullet looks like. Not that I do, but I would assume that when being shot and dying slowly one would experience some kind of pain and perhaps exclaim or express this in voice or facial expression, however in Hitchcock the process seems to be to look down, notice the bullet hole and slowly fall asleep, whenever it is comfortable and convenient.
So there you have it. I really wish I had some funny pictures to post except this next one, which is a freakishly and realistically sad idea of what Peter Lorre looked like in "The Man Who Knew Too Much" by my (quote from her) "lovable, adoring sister Ruby..." And before you scroll down I would like all of you with weak hearts to leave and the rest to take a deep breath because this thing can be pretty horrifying;
Yeah, I'm sorry. The utter and complete terror that you are experiencing is a completely normal human emotion, so you may feel free to scream. The repugnance is only increased by the fact that the monstrosity has no neck or head and is floating on a field of ghostly white. Thanks Ruby, now my entire readership are going to be reduced to panicky weirdos who lock themselves in their houses and huddle under their covers for fear that the zombie of Peter Lorre will come and eat them. And as much as I can't think of any reason why she would do such a thing, I am equally perplexed about my mental condition when I assembled this;
It's a collection of Peter Lorre's caricature's in various cartoons, and yes, Ren is one of them. It was originally meant to be funny. I even added the little "Coming to get you" thing in order to make it seem like an effort in humor. But it's not. It's scary and I'm beginning to fear that my blog will become a place that people stumble upon to and are instantly taken aback by the fact that it looks like a Peter Lorre fan club. I just thought it was interesting that there were that many children's cartoons terrorized by the image of Peter Lorre. Sorry again.
P.S. I know what your thinking, and yes, I do a lot besides sit around and think up ways to publicly humiliate a guy who's been dead for 50 years.
P.P.S. I didn't even give you a recommendation. Yes, watch it. It probably won't entertain you but at least if you survive you'll know your tough enough to take any old movie I can dish at you, plus it's great for riffing like your an MST3K expert. And another thing; Blogger did it again. I don't even have to say. Thank you blogger. Not.
Monday, May 16, 2011
The Boogie Man Will Get You
( a completely irrelevant title, when you think about it. There is actually no mention whatsoever of a boogie man, but during the last few scenes, I wouldn't have been surprised if he showed up as a pizza man, it got that random.)
Now you may think that any movie titled "The Boogie Man Will Get You" would star either Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi or Peter Lorre- and you'd be right. Welcome to horror-comedy-pun
Of all three heroes of horror, only Lugosi is missing, and you'll never even notice he's gone- the movie's breakneck-speed plot and confusing elements will make sure of that. Meanwhile, Boris Karloff stars as a dim-witted, well-meaning doctor who lives in the basement of a proverbially creepy old tavern, where he preforms his experiments to create the ultimate superman. Winnie Slade (Miss Jeff Donnell) a perky minnie-mouse-esque girl with an eye for antiques, purchases the tavern, complete with professor and laboratory, with the intent of making it into a hotel. Peter Lorre (I told you he'd be in it) plays the towns resident mayor/coroner/sheriff/ hair-tonic salesman/crazy cat guy who assists in the professor's experiment with eye on potential profit. And because that isn't nearly enough to keep a plot going according to director Lew Lahr, there's also two farm-animal obsessed old servants who'd kill to get a homestead, a choreographer who's not really one, a random old man who gets murdered, an extremely stupid powder-puff salesman, two really thick cops, a nearby ammunition plant and eventually, a human bomb. Plus Larry Parks as Winnie's long-suffering ex-husband, who although he tries really hard, just can't be Cary Grant. I'm sorry.
If it sounds confusing to you, congratulations, your right. With creaky old houses, an abundance of dead bodies, murderous old people and Peter Lorre, it's no surprise my first thought was "Sequel to Arsenic and Old Lace", but it will have to qualify as prequel, since it was made a good two years before. And since I know your wondering, yes it's funny, no it is no where near Arsenic and Old Lace, but it is funny.
And speaking of Peter Lorre-
I have seen way to many of his movies. It's unreal. Seriously, I'm looking right now and all the reviews I have saved here are Peter Lorre films, or at least have him in it. Wowzers, that's frightening. Kind of like Peter Lorre. Still in the advent of seeing so many you-know-who movies, I have found that I am now able to read his facial expressions, and have here created a helpful beginner's guide to the looks of impending doom he gives the other cast members throughout his movies. Would you like to see it? Of course you would. Let's take for example The Boogie Man Will Get You. This first one is very easy, it says;
This one is just a bit more complicated, but if you look very hard, I think you can figure it out;
And we've all had that happen to us. This is one we see a lot;
Sorry if the wording is small but the look must be preserved. This is also a common one I think we all have on our face at least once a day. This look means;
This look holds a very precise warning;
And to finish off;
So there you have it. If that many pictures of Peter Lorre doesn't keep you from sleeping for a week I don't know what will.
P.S. I love you all like you were my grandmother ( some of you are) and that will stop me from killing you, which is why I will go now before my mother bans me from blogging at risk of losing any kind of future career. Thank you.
P.P.S. Another review tomorrow, I promise! God Bless!
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Last night I watched Secret Agent.
You know, the universe amazes me. See, My viewpoint was that if Peter Lorre ever donned a mustache and became a womanizer, reality would implode. I guess its a lot stronger than I thought it was.
So while my eyes are still burning from that, I bring you my humble opinion on a movie that, although from a very famous director and, at least, is full of promise plot-wise, is really better left lost in antiquity. It attempts to explore the moral dilemmas of a team of elite agents- lead by Ashington, a stuffy British soldier who returns from war to find that the government has declared him dead, and is re-assigned as a...you know, secret agent. His gorgeous confident assistant, blonde Elsa, and the assassin of the of group; short ,creepy, MUSTACHIEOD Peter Lorre. I'd like to tell you his name in the picture but for no apparent reason other than to frustrate and befuddle ME they make his name impossible to catch, in the beginning calling him by the nickname "the hairless Mexican" (thank the good sweet Lord in heaven that he is not actually bald and doesn't try to fain a Spanish accent), he introduces himself throughout the picture by some long belated name that thanks to his thick Hungarian lilt I can't even try to understand, and just to confuse things everybody calls him the "general". I feel thoroughly Vertigo-ed, thanks Alfred.
So anyway, the team's mission is to find and eliminate a German spy on his way into enemy territory, which leads them into a kind of who-dunnit and eventually, the moral dilemma I mentioned when the spy turns out to be a kindly old man with a wife and dog.
Although some scenes are well-done (crispy on the outside and soft and chewy within, tee hee) like the dark train ride through enemy territory and an interesting shot inside a Swedish bell-tower, while others- for example the ridiculous Mt. Climbing thing and the SPOILERS* (well like 75 years ago) train wreck sequence at the end are cheesy to just plain confusing. I don't mean to pick bones with the dead, especially Alfred Hitchcock- cause for some reason I got it in my mind he'd be a freaky zombie- but it's a movie that can leave you laughing, bored, or interested, depending on how accepting you are of this genre of film-making.
And how accepting you are of a woman-chasing Peter Lorre in a mustache, which by the way, I'm not.
Now I had developed some really cool "Secret Agent Character Files" (which yes, you wouldn't have gotten unless you'd seen the film, but hey, they made me laugh) to put up, but unfortunately I fell under the very flawed impression that because it worked on notepad it would copy and paste to blogger without a hitch. It's easy to see where I went wrong. So unless I sit down and type the whole thing out for you again, you will never get to discuss Ashington's snobbiness on a scale of 1 to 10 or the General's bad habit of leaving LOADED PISTOLS next to German spies. And I'm feeling rather lazy to day. Bummer for you.
P.S. You- may have noticed that mt internet is back. Hooray! And you lucky people are in for treat as I have at least five reviews written and more on their way, so keep checking back!
P.P.S. On the off chance that you were actually looking for a helpful review (in which case you are on the wrong blog) I found one here if you scroll all the way to the bottom at the first member review. I read it and I have to say, I have been outdone. This guy thoroughly exams the movie, actors, sets, plots, pros, cons, etc. accurately (well, he forgets to mention the mustache). And while were with guest reviewers, the "Little Wierdo" (AKA Jonathan Hartzell, who named himself, I'm not being mean) is quoted to have said "Watch this movie just for the sake of saying you did. Or something to that effect..." Whereas Natalie has been quoted to have said "Disregard anything the Little Wierdo says." But I happen to agree with him. It's not the kind of movie I suggest rushing out to see, but it won't kill you, and what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. So yes, if you happen to find this one free or on the Instant Queue or something, watch it. And then we can both snicker over my character files. Thank you.