Unknown Island (1948) – Jack Bernhard

Long before Dr. Grant found himself on Isla Nublar, former Navy pilot, Ted Osborne (Phillip Reed) and his wealthy fiancee, Carol Lane (Virginia Grey) set sail from Singapore to investigate a long lost island to see whether Ted’s belief that he saw dinosaurs on the outcropping of land when he flew over it is true….

The Ghost of Slumber Mountain (1918) – Willis O’Brien

It’s more dinosaurs as I journey through the Dragons & Dinosaurs in DK Canada’s Monsters in the Movies. This time I have a look at the early silent short, The Ghost of Slumber Mountain. Clocking in at eighteen minutes, this little title must have been made to show off the special effects of the time,…

Goliath and the Dragon (1960) – Vitorrio Cottafavi

I move to Italy for the next film in DK Canada’s Monsters in the Movies book as I explore the chapter on Dragons & Dinosaurs. Dubbed in English to reach the North American audience, this Italian sword and sandal (and sorcery) ‘epic’ follows Goliath (Mark Forest) who has his hands full as we join him…

Man with a Movie Camera (1929) – Dziga Vertov

Vertov’s engaging documentary is the next stop in DK Canada’s The Movie Book. It falls solidly and enjoyably in the What Else to Watch list of Battleship Potemkin. A man, Mikhail Kaufman, wanders the city and captures the daily life of the Soviet Union in a brilliantly engaging way, marrying idea to image as only…

First Men in the Moon (1964) – Nathan Juran

My time with DK Books’ The Movie Book pays off big time with the What Else to Watch list associated with Melies’ A Trip to the Moon – it brought me this 1964 oddity, which is based on H.G. Wells’ story. A multi-national crew is making the first manned landing on the moon. Imagine the…

Robocop 2 (1990) – Irvin Kershner

The Sci-Fi Chronicles lets me check in with Robocop next, and since I’d previously reviewed the first film, I’m jumping right to the second instalment. This film should have a lot going for it, Peter Weller returning to the role, directed by Irvin Kershner (the last film before his death) and a story by Frank…

Howard the Duck (1986) – Willard Huyck

  A long time before Marvel Entertainment got their act together to bring us one superhero extravaganza after another, George Lucas (the next stop on the journey through the Sci-Fi Chronicles book), served as executive producer on Willard Huyck’s terrible adaptation of Howard the Duck from the comic series. There are a couple of upsides…

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) – Henry Selick

  The final recommendation from The Great Movies – 100 Years of Film book following my screening of It’s A Wonderful Life is this modern day cult classic, that has found its way into the mainstream consciousness and has been stuck there since the film’s initial release, celebrating Christmas and Halloween in that macabre and…

Doctor Who (Tom Baker) – The Seeds of Doom

  And just like that we come to the end of Season 13 of Doctor Who, and we close it out with a 6 part story by Robert Banks Stewart that plays, initially like a riff on the classic, The Thing From Another World. This serial ran from 31 January to 6 March, 1976. It…

The Lost World (1925) – Harry O. Hoyt

  Returning to the Sci-Fi Chronicles book (which I’m loving!), it’s time to take a look at one of the cinematic creations of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Not only is he the creator of the world’s greatest detective, Sherlock Holmes (sorry Batman fans), but he also wrote a few stories involving a professor by the…

Jason and the Argonauts (1963) – Don Chaffey

Ray Harryhausen brings his stop-motion magic, and Bernard Hermann brings his musical touch to this film that retells the story of the famed Greek hero in this next recommendation from The Thief of Bagdad in the Great Movies – 100 Years of Film book. Todd Armstrong is Jason, a hero prophesied to become the king of…

Toronto After Dark Shorts Program

  On a Saturday afternoon, there’s nothing better than curling up and enjoying some cinematic entertainment, and this afternoon, I let those festival programmers at Toronto After Dark pick my entertainment, with 9 specially selected from over 450 entries and there were some strong choices. The collection started with an odd little two-minute computer generated…