Altered States (1980)

Writer Paddy Chayefsky’s last film and unfortunately, not his best. Altered States is very entertaining and thought provoking, as well as visually trippy (given special effects in 1980). Chayefsky (Network, The Hospital), one of the top five writers in Hollywood, adapted his novel for the screen. This film was a difficult birth. The first director, … More Altered States (1980)

Ray Bradbury

Recently, I saw writer Ray Bradbury, on an old episode of The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, discussing life on Mars. This was 1978, NASA had landed the first probes on the planet. Forty-three years later, we have sent a motorized science lab there. Bradbury is my favorite science fiction writer. I started reading him … More Ray Bradbury

Stephen King Films

I’m not a reader of Stephen King novels, I have never read one. I do selectively watch his films.  While I’ve never watched all of his television and film adaptations, but I do have some favorites. In the hands of the right director, King’s material can translate well to the visual medium. There have been … More Stephen King Films

Harry Dean Stanton

I have always like Harry Dean, now I am reading an interesting biography about him. Harry Dean came from a poor, Kentucky family, who used the G.I. Bill to study acting after WWII.  In many later roles, he portrayed humble, quiet, slightly mysterious mean that you did not screw with.  He was that way in … More Harry Dean Stanton

The Blob (1958)

The Blob was Steve McQueen’s feature film debut. Science fiction films of the era were either deadly serious in mood or a designed as campy entertainment. This film straddles the two and results in an enduring and enjoyable viewing. This is not high-art, it was made for almost nothing and it’s plot is very simple. … More The Blob (1958)

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

The original, and the best.  Superbly directed by Don Siegel (Dirty Harry, The Killers, The Shootist), the film takes advantage of the science fiction craze in the 1950s and the paranoia from the Cold War. Starring Kevin McCarthy as mild-mannered doctor Miles Bennell, he doesn’t believe the sudden rash of people convinced their loved ones … More Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

Dana Wynter Remembered

Actress Dana Wynter was someone you didn’t forget. “Elegant” is how she was often described. Elegant, and then some. She had an interesting life, born in Germany, spent her early years in England before her family relocated to Southern Rhodesia, and eventually studying medicine in at Rhoades University in South Africa.  She had dabbled in … More Dana Wynter Remembered

Repo Man (1984)

Writer/Director Alex Cox has created a mixture of punk sci fi and trashy urban pre-apocalyptic wasteland.  The film is populated by oddball characters and the punk rock soundtrack fits the film like a glove. Repo Man is a film with a very loose plot, but many different characters who weave in and out, crisscross and … More Repo Man (1984)