Sunday, August 20, 2017

The Bloody Pit #58 - GAMERA (1965)

NOTICE - There is an audio glitch in the first couple of minutes of our conversation that pushes our voices into one channel. It clears up quickly and remains fine for the rest of the show. It is not your equipment - it was ours!

Having covered a number of Godzilla films over the past two years Troy and I finally move outside of the Toho stable of giant monsters to talk about GAMERA! The giant friend to children everywhere has gone through many iterations over the past fifty-two years but one thing remains the same - he's a flying turtle! How in the hell did that even become a thing?

Regardless, we dig into the genesis of everyone's favorite giant Testudine (yeah, we're educated) and relate our history with Gamera as well as the strange ways in which we discovered his adventures. We delve into the two separate versions of the film with attention paid to the alterations and additions made when it was brought to America. Originally a lean 75 minutes the film's extended US length adds much but is the extra time well used? We have much to say about that, let me tell you! We dig into the pathology of  young Toshio as he endlessly seeks to end his own life and the lives of his countrymen by offering himself up as bait/sacrifice to the hideous turtle monster. Rarely has attempted suicide been presented in such a positive light, much less the desire for immolation by prehistoric sea-beast. Circa 1965, truly, the Japanese child-rearing standards were well overdue for an overhaul!

I try (and fail) to contain my hatred for small, precocious, turtle obsessed Japanese children named Toshio while Troy does his best to keep the show on an even keel. We marvel over the technical achievements of the film and it's audacious move to co-opt the younger audience of the Godzilla franchise. The more serious aspects of the story are discussed along with some of the fascinating behind the scenes tales that demonstrate the difficulty of producing movies at this level of complexity. Always remember - Mr. Flame is not always your friend!

We can be reached at or on the Bloody Pit FaceBook page. If you have any comments or suggestions please drop us a line. Thank you for downloading and listening to our little dog and turtle show.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Trailers From Hell - THE GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN (1942)

Joe Dante has such a clear vision of what makes these Universal Monster classics great even with their various drawbacks. He's one of the best people to introduce films like this to a new audience. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Frankenstein Monster Art!

It always comes back to the Universal Monsters! 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

What I Watched In July

Bluntly stated there is nothing interesting or fresh about the story of  BABY DRIVER (2017). If you've seen a dozen or more crime films in your entire life you have seen a variation on this story. But that is what actually makes this such an incredible film. It's the style employed in telling this clichéd story that makes this movie an amazing cinematic feat - one well worth seeking out.

Understand that it's not just in the obvious thing that director Edgar Wright has done, which is to edit entire sequences of the movie to rock and roll songs. That in and of itself would be an interesting thing to see and Wright does it very well. But what he's really done is infuse the film with the energy of those rock and roll songs to the point that it's impossible to think of the film's various characters without the certain music automatically playing in your head. I'll admit that I was a little disappointed that there wasn't more to the story of BABY DRIVER but any film that has the sequences this one does deserves to be respected. Hell, this film has two specific sequences that elevate the movie to near classic status on their own - the romantic laundromat getting-to-know-you sequence which is played out like a ballet routine laid over the verbal dance that allows two people to discover if they actually like each other beyond just the physical. And then there is the mind-bending, brilliant car and foot chase set to the instrumental song tune Hocus Pocus by Focus. Rarely have electric guitars, yodeling and speeding bodies been so well crafted for excitement.

Oh - great cast too! 

I've already written a brief bit about WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES and I plan to comment on VALERIAN and the new Spider-man film but I'm really pressed for time right now.


THE CURSE OF THE VAMPIRE (1972) - 4 (dull, lifeless Spanish horror)
TIME TRAVELERS (1976) - 4 (limp TV movie from a Rod Serling story)
BABY DRIVER (2017) - 7
GAMERA (1965)- 7 (Japanese version) (rewatch)
CASTLE IN THE DESERT (1942) - 6 (solid Charlie Chan mystery)
KING KONG VS GODZILLA (1962)- 7 (rewatch on the big screen)
THE SAINT'S DOUBLE TROUBLE (1940) - 5 (OK programmer)
STUDENT BODIES (1981)- 6 (fun slasher spoof)
BLOOD FATHER (2016) - 7
HAMDS OF STEEL (1986) - 6 (silly Italian post-apocalypse thriller)
THE RETURN OF GODZILLA (1984) - 8 (rewatch)

Saturday, August 12, 2017

WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES (2017) - Thoughts on Silence

The first thing I noticed about WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES is the silence. At first I feared that the quiet opening and subdued aural composition of the first few seconds of the film was a technical glitch but then the natural sound effects of people walking through a forest became audible and I realized that it was intentional. Soon it was clear that sound was going to play a major role on the way the story was going to be told.

The rest of the movie demonstrated that director Matt Reeves fully understands how to use sound to tell his story as well as draw an emotional response and a quickening of interest in the viewer. Often he drops specific, expected noises out from underneath images in such a way that it draws attention to violence or action. He is cleverly using his soundtrack to underline character traits the same way a visualist will use costuming or lighting to color our perceptions. At one point a character is crouched in snow with tears trickling down his face and what we hear is his slightly stifled sniffle. This shows his pain better than any conversation could. At another point two antagonists scream while attacking each other as slow motion machine gunfire tracks across a floor and wall seeking a target but all we hear is breathing and the score. The tension is unnerving and I don't think I could have had a more emotional response if all the fury and rage were blasting my ears.

This use of silence often  seems wholly natural because of the wintertime setting. Given that the majority of the story takes place in the harsh cold it's easy to suppose that the general hush over the story comes from that choice alone. I would be curious to know if the filmmakers chose to set the film in the colder months or if it were mere happenstance. Silence over snowy landscapes and cold frigid vistas is a standard movie visual but Reeves and his team clearly know that silence is also something useful in both contemplative sequences as well as scenes of frantic action. On more than just the one occasion described above gunfire, explosions and screams all drop away and we're left with only the music or incidental sound effects giving us an expressive and often profound  view of the emotional content of the violence on screen. This isn't the first film to use silence in this way but, as a technique, I thought it had gone the way black & white photography. I'm glad to see a modern director employ the lack of sound creatively where bombast seems the standard.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

The Year of Naschy Blu-Rays Marches On!


Paul Naschy (born Jacinto Molina Álvarez) was Spain's answer to Lon Chaney. He has portrayed many classic monsters – the Wolfman, Frankenstein's monster, Count Dracula, the Mummy and more. He was not only a terrific actor, but an accomplished writer, producer and director. This Blu-ray box set includes five stellar films from his long and distinguished career.






Also included in this five-film collection is an immersive 24-page booklet by author Mirek Lipinski.

November 14th! 

Sunday, August 06, 2017

What if John Carpenter did a Doctor Who Theme?

I never cease to be amazed by what people are out there doing!