Friday, July 1, 2022

Week of July 2 - 8, 2022


To answer these trivia questions, please email me at

Brain Teasers:

Which American bodybuilder was being considered to play Remus opposite Steve Reeves before the producers got Gordon Scott?
Angel Rivera reported that his information about the producers of ROMOLO E REMO wanting Steve Reeves to play both roles was from an interview with Reeves by Rod Labbe of Films of the Golden Age, not the IMDb. In any case, Richard Harrison told me that he was being considered to play opposite Reeves before the producers were able to get Gordon Scott. It would have been the only time Harrison and Reeves would have worked together.

Which American producer working in Spain claimed that he turned down Sergio Leone's request to help on PER UN PUGNO DI DOLLARI?
No one has answered this question yet.

Which French actor worked for directors Bernardo Bertolucci, Sergio Corbucci, Roger Vadim, Michael Haneke and Costa-Gavras?
Tom Betts and Angel Rivera knew that it was Jean-Louis Trintignant.

Which German actor spent time in a British P.O.W. camp during World War 2 before working with directors Antonio Margheriti, Sergio Leone, David Schmoeller, George Roy Hill and James Glickenhaus?
Tom Betts and George Grimes knew that it was Klaus Kinski.

For what film did Richard Harrison take over a role when the director found that he couldn't work with Klaus Kinski?
No one has answered this one yet.

And now for some new brain teasers:

During the making of what film, did an horse throw Klaus Kinski off, breaking the actor's back?
Why did Reg Lewis make only one film in Italy?
What decision did Mark Forest make that he later felt ruined his movie career?

Name the movies from which these images came.

George Grimes identified last week's frame grab of Madeleine Lebeau in DESAFIO EN RIO BRAVO, aka DUEL A RIO BRAVO, aka GUNMEN OF THE RIO GRANDE.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

Angel Rivera and George Grimes identified last week's frame grab of Luciano Marin, Giulia Rubini and Steve Reeves in IL TERRORE DEI BARBARI, aka GOLIATH AND THE BARBARIANS.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

George Grimes identified last week's frame grab of Emmanuelle Riva in KAPO.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

I am interested in knowing what movies you have watched and what you enjoyed or not. So please send me an email at if you'd like to share. Here's what I watched last week:


Hacks season two (2022) - The first few episodes of this season were almost annoying, but the final stretch was a blast.

Rescue Me season four (2007)

Mildly enjoyed:

FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE SPACE MONSTER (1965) - This movie uses so much stock footage from NASA and the Department of Defense, that one wonders "Did they write the script to match the stock footage, or did they seek the stock footage to augment the script?" I was about 9 years old when I saw this movie at the Fort Buckner Theater on Okinawa, and it so unnerved me that I hid out in the lobby during the scary parts. My fear was probably caused by the sight of Frank's half melted face, created by John D. Alese. According to the IMDb, R.H.W. Dillard, George Garrett and John Rodenbeck wrote this story as a parody, but the producers wanted a thriller, so only Garrett gets story credit and no one takes the blame for the screenplay. Extra-terrestrial Princess Marilyn Hanold comes to Earth in order to steal women to help repopulate her nuclear ravaged planet. Her second-in-command, Dr. Lou Cutell, sees a rocket being launched from Cape Kennedy and mistakes it for an offensive missile. Hitting the rocket with a power ray, the aliens send it crashing onto Puerto Rico. The sole occupant of the rocket capsule is android astronaut Robert Reilly, who is called Col. Frank Saunders. Landing, the aliens attempt to destroy Reilly, but only damage him - turning "Frank" into "Frankenstein". Reilly's creators, Dr. Jim Karen and Nancy Marshall search Puerto Rico on a scooter to find Reilly, who has already killed two men who attacked him. Meanwhile, the aliens begin kidnapping women, including the luscious, but uncredited, Susan Stephens. Remember when movies featured dance parties that mostly focused on people's shaking backsides? This is one of those movies, and the aliens attack a pool party. Eventually, Karen and Marshall track down Reilly and while Karen tries to repair him, Marshall is sent to get help from General David Kerman. Of course, Marshall gets kidnapped by the aliens. When Dr. Cutell finds an electrical device on Marshall, he demands that she tell him about it. Marshall refuses to speak, so Princess Hanold orders her put in the cage next to their space monster. Why these aliens travel with a space monster is never explained. In any case, while looking for Marshall, Karen and Reilly find the alien space ship. Karen tells Reilly to keep and eye on it while Karen jumps on his scooter to find a telephone. Later on, Reilly is found by an alien patrol, knocked unconsious and taken aboard the space ship. Karen gets a message to Kerman and the military launches an attack on the space ship. Will Reilly and Marshall succeed in freeing the kidnapped women? Will Reilly have to combat the space monster? Will Reilly be able to prevent the villains from escaping Earth? While this movie has no "music by" credit, it does feature two songs produced by Bob Crewe: "To Have And To Hold" by The Distant Cousins and "That's The Way It's Got To Be" by The Poets. Ross Gaffney gets the credit "Music and Effects" which suggests that this has a "needle drop" score. There is some obvious location work near Cape Kennedy and in Puerto Rico - mostly shot from a moving automobile, "Interiors Photographed At Seneca Studios, Hempstead, New York". This is the only feature film credit for director Robert Gaffney, but he would be credited as the director of photography on SUPER FLY T.N.T. in 1973. Bruce Glover gets no credit as one of the aliens wearing a badly applied bald cap and fake pointy ears.

HOW TO STEAL THE WORLD (1968) - The Man From U.N.C.L.E. TV series was a sensation when it premiered in 1964. It lasted for four seasons and spawned a number of feature films made up from two-part TV episodes. HOW TO STEAL THE WORLD originally aired as "The Seven Wonders of the World Affair"; the two-part series finale. That partly explained why the proceedings felt so tired. Surprisingly, our heroes, Robert Vaughn and David McCallum were pretty ineffective throughout the story, though they did end up blowing up the bad guys. U.N.C.L.E. agent Barry Sullivan plotted to create a docile gas that would cover the world making everyone subservient to his will to have world peace. Toward this end, Sullivan recruited General Leslie Nielsen and a bunch of scientists including Albert Paulsen and Daniel O'Herlihy. However, Sullivan didn't realize that the funding his wife, Eleanor Parker, came up with was from TRUSH agent Mark Richman. Like LOST HORIZON, Sullivan's lair was in the Himalayas, and was played by locations in Lone Pine, California, and the new Theme Building at the Los Angeles International Airport. Oddly, Jerry Goldsmith's theme music was missing. Leo G. Carroll and Hugh Marlowe made brief appearances, while future Academy Award winning producer of THE STING Tony Bill joined our heroes in their mission. The script was credited to Norman Hudis and the direction to TV veteran Sutton Roley. 

THE THREE STOOGES (2000) - Paul Ben-Victor took a break from playing gangsters to essay the role of Moe Howard in this TV biographical movie about the famous comedy team. Evan Handler plays Larry Fine, Michael Chiklis plays Curly Howard, John Kassir plays Shemp Howard, Peter Callan plays Joe DeRita and Laurence Coy plays Joe Besser. Being a big fan of the Stooges, Mel Gibson helped to produce this film, which has alot of story so it doesn't go very deep. James Frawley directed this perspective which makes Moe the hero, and Rachel Blake as his wife Helen practically a saint. There's some interesting Hollywood history here, even though the whole thing was shot in Australia. Plus, this has the most sympathetic portrait of Harry Cohn, played by Linal Haft, that you are ever likely to see. Oddly, the film ends with the trio's return to fame with their shorts being shown on TV, but fails to mention the seven feature films they ended up making after that.

Did not enjoy:

SCOOBY-DOO (2002) - I never watched the cartoon series, so I am not the intended audience for this film. I love the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which is filled with references to "the Scooby gang", so this stuff isn't completely foreign to me, and I guess that the popularity of Buffy in some way led to the green lighting of this movie. The fact that Buffy star Sarah Michelle Geller is in the cast, along with her future husband, and famous Scobby fan, Freddie Prinze Jr., lends some credence to this theory. However, this film is no fun, even with Rowan Atkinson in it. Ironically, while Geller's character is said to be the sexy one, it is Linda Cardellini as the nerdy one that comes across as luscious, with the new character played by Isla Fisher following closely. Matthew Lillard was praised for bringing Shaggy to life, but I prefer him as a serial killer. Director Raja Gosnell previuosly made the enjoyable NEVER BEEN KISSED, which was aimed at a slightly older audience than this film. Future of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY writer/director James Gunn is credited along with future Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. executive producer Craig Titley with this screenplay. Reportedly, this film was originally intended to be R-rated, but a "family" audience was deemed more suitable, so stuff was cut out.

SCOOBY-DOO 2: MONSTERS UNLEASHED (2004) - James Gunn got sole writing credit on this, and was reportedly set to write and direct a third installment in the series, but "2" proved to be a box office disappointment, so "3" was scrapped. My guess was that the audience who went to the 2002 film decided that once was enough, but "2" still made over $100 million - just not the $275 million the first one did. Raja Gosnell returned to direct and the film pretty much matches the first in not being any fun. Isla Fisher did not return, and Alicia Silverstone was no fun. Some fun was had seeing Seth Green, Peter Boyle and Tim Blake Nelson.

THE DEADLY MANTIS (1957) - This movie has about the same amount of stock footage as FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE SPACE MONSTER, but is slickly made, and so gets dull before the ending. The first half hour of the film does create a nicely suspenseful air of mystery, but, while the monster effects aren't bad, as soon as the creature is shown, things become ho-hum. The attempts to inject humor, such as the female-deprived service men ogling Alix Talton, are rather inept, as is the sudden romance between Col. Craig Stevens and Talton. Fans of the original Perry Mason TV series may enjoy William Hopper as the scientist, and he certainly comes off better here than in REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE. The film is educational with its depiction of the Ground Observer Corps, which was created during World War 2, but discontinued in 1958. Ground Observers can't spot ballistic missiles, but they do pretty well with giant flying insects. Since when does a mantis growl?


Charles Gilbert watched:

VARAN THE UNBELIEVABLE (1962) B&W. Myron Healy the only American appearing with otherwise all Japanese cast is a U.S. Navy commander conducting experiments in a lake that revives Varan, another scaly lizard-like kaiju.

GIANT FROM THE UNKNOWN (1958) B&W. Relic hunters (Ed Kemmer and Morris Ankrum) of Spanish artifacts encounter a resurrected giant conquistador (Buddy Baer) in Northern California. 

THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT (1975) Survivors left adrift from a U-boat attack on a merchant ship manage to surprise the German captain and overtake the sub. Sabotage by the crew of navigating equipment leaves them all headed for a land replete with dinosaurs and prehistoric man. Late Amicus production stars Doug McClure.


David Deal Enjoyed:

BREAKFAST WITH THE DEAD (64) - From 2018 "When it appears that DA Wolfgang Preiss convicted and had executed the wrong man for murder, he goes undercover to find out the truth.  60's German take on a forties film noir with an unusually robust performance from Preiss."


TELL ME SOMETHING (99) - Sketchy Detective Cho is assigned to a case involving multiple murders and dismemberments, with bodies discovered having mismatched limbs or head. Cho discovers a beautiful, mysterious girl is somehow involved but he can't put the pieces together (pun intended). Korean giallo-type crime film is beautifully shot, and interesting. Fulci level gore. I liked it.


QUINCY (18) - Good documentary about Mr. Jones.



Angel Rivera Enjoyed:

"Goliath and the Dragon" (1960)
Finally a film starring Mark Forest I can  get behind.
While some say he looks better with out the beard, I thought with it he appeared as a fitting Hercules. (Even though for its American debut he was renamed "Goliath",  any one watching this film could tell he was playing Hercules and not Maciste or "Goliath".) Great entertainment! [Yes there is a whole story behind the name change and footage added, but I won't go into that here.] Just as I said before, "Great Entertainment!"
[Saw this on YouTube where they also feature the original uncut French version in Spanish.]

Mildly enjoyed:

On Netflix, the Jennifer Lopez documentary, "Half-Time".

"The Loves of Hercules" (1960)
The parents of Mariska Hargitay star in this sword and sandal epic where her "mom", Jayne Mansfield gets to play a brunette and a redhead and we "hear" why Arnold Schwarzenegger was a good choice to play her father, Mickey Hargitay in the TV biopic, "The Jayne Mansfield Story" (1980) which starred Loni Anderson as Jayne. I had to watch this as part of MST3K on Netflix as this is the best print shown for free. Of course that meant sitting through the attempts at humor by the MST3K cast which were hit and miss amusing and sometimes annoying. The film itself didn't need any help being made fun of, as it was easy to do that by itself. Still it has its moments and is historically significant for the casting of its lead players.


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