Sunday night we watched the original Cape Fear from 1962. Pretty rough content for that time, or at least the way we think of that time. I saw the remake several years ago and HATED it, but I always heard the original was good and it was. Somehow it managed to be far less exploitive and generally negative toward women than the version from the '90s. Good stuff though; I always like Gregory Peck.
Monday night we watched 1969's Astro Zombies, a movie which made almost no sense at all. It was co-written and produced by Wayne Rogers, who played Trapper John on MASH. The other writer-producer also directed, and that was Ted V. Mikels, who also directed The Girl in Gold Boots (which you probably saw on MST3K if you saw it at all) and a whole slew of movies like The Corpse Grinders and Blood Orgy of the She Devils. You know how some movies pad their running time with unnecessary scenes of driving from place to place, or people dancing? This movie has several really egregious examples of this. I didn't mind looking out a car window at 1969 Los Angeles as seen from the freeway for a few minutes, and I laughed at the totally gratuitous dance by a naked woman covered in body paint that lasted at least two minutes, which is a very long time in Movie World. However, the gold medal in Time Killing goes to the scene in which two men convince a woman (it truly doesn't matter who they are or how they know each other) that she needs to allow herself to be bait for the monster. No, I'm sorry, the Astro Zombie. They spend a few minutes trying to talk her into it, and ultimately she decides to go ahead and do it. Then, the Big Scene: she sits, waiting for the Astro Zombie to come after her so the guys can kill it. She waits, the guys wait. Eventually...NOTHING HAPPENS. The Astro Zombie never shows and they just shrug it off like "oh well, I guess that didn't work." End of scene! Totally pointless! These scenes in no way contributed to the overall "plot". They didn't affect the rest of the story in the slightest, nor did the provide any insight into the characters. WTF?! Poor John Carradine slogs through his scenes the best he can, providing tons of exposition that in no way improves the movie. In the end, there is a brief burst of cheap gore effects, and then the movie's just over. If you love horrible movies, this one doesn't disappoint.
Last night I watched Sideways, which was such a big deal last winter. I thought it was a nice character piece and it made me want to drink a bunch of wine, but I still don't care about learning about wine and I'm not sure it lived up to the hype. It shouldn't have to though; the hype isn't relevant to the actual movie. It was deservedly well-reviewed, and I'd be thrilled to pieces if I wrote a movie like that. So I guess it was Really Good but not Totally Awesome.
Hmm, now maybe I'll have to invent my own ratings scale...