Posts Tagged ‘Pain Box’

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The Great Train Robbery (1903/Edison Studios/Dir. Edwin S. Porter)

Made in 1903, this is possibly the earliest western movie, although even the director of this movie would disagree with that statement. Not important, but he thought another movie was the first western, however I don’t think it was a proper narrative film like this is. See, before this time, most movies were just an event. Not even a series of events but a single scene with the camera simple pointed at whatever was happening. The earliest movies are quite frankly, dull. Unless you’re a movie nerd, or a history nerd, most of the “first” movies in history hold little to no interest because they were primarily just pointing a camera at a city street and capturing what was there. This was back in the day when simply seeing a picture move was enough to get riled up over. Now it’s true that there were movies with plot and editing and before this, but The Great Train Robbery was the first one to really bring everything together in a way that made it a big hit. One might say that this one proved there was something to this whole movie making thing. If you’re able, go out and buy Edison – The Invention of the Movies, which is where my copy of the movie comes from. If you get other versions, you may not get some of the brilliant use of colors that this one has.

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The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show: Company for Christmas (1955 CBS Dir. Ralph Levy)

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I can barely read that. This is going to be an easy one to watch, I can tell.

Well! The commercial will be easy with this one. The very first thing on screen is a Carnation Evaporated Milk can. We’re then told that Carnation Evaporated Milk brings us The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show. Before we get the show logo, we get an ad saying that Carnation comes from contented cows, which raises the question… How do they know? It’s been a long time since I was last on a farm, but I don’t remember the cows being contended or annoyed. They were just cows, i.e. big, stupid, lumbering, steaks on legs. That’s really all a cow is, and I say that as someone who has looked into the eyes of a cow and seen nothing looking back but void. At any rate, this is pretty good for me as all I need do now is sit back and watch the madness unfold.

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The Beverly Hillbillies: Turkey Day (1963 CBS Dir. Richard Whorf)

The Beverly Hillbillies is to the south what a Minstrel show is to blacks. It’s nasty, ugly, and carries a lot of very offensive jokes that just are not funny. This episode is in black and white, and it’s hard to think of a time when this was on in prime time, instead of weekday afternoons. Actually, in this day and age it’s hard to imagine this hateful crap was on screen at all. There can be no mystery as to why so many people in America think people from the south are stupid when watching this. This is practically a cavalcade of bigotry, and I hate every moment of it. However, I bought the thing and I need to have a review for this slot so I guess I’d better get to it.

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The Immortals (1995 Nu Image Films Dir. Brian Grant)

Because it takes place at Halloween, that’s why! What, was that? You hadn’t actually asked why we were watching a heist movie as part of our Halloween special? Well, that’s probably because you’d never heard of this before. And why would you? As far as I know, it was just a direct to video/cable movie that came and went like the wind during the mid-nineties when HBO was showing things like this about once a week. I saw it back in the day and I remembered it well enough that when I noticed it was part of a pain box set I bought it. I got this from Target, as part of a 1 disc, four movie set from Echo Bridge Entertainment. Welcome to the Pain Box Club guys! Actually, Echo Bridge can’t be blamed for this movie. Like most Pain Box distributors, they didn’t make this thing. They just acquired the rights to it. Interesting point though, they actually seem to own the rights to this movie, at least in North America. Most Pain Box makers just grab whatever is in the public domain and throw it out there. Not that I believe they meant to buy this and distribute it. I’m going to go ahead and assume that when they bought Alliance Atlantis, it was part of the library that they got with the sale. I can’t imagine anyone deciding to seek out this movie so they could have the rights, particularly not so they could release it on a disc with two other forgotten mid-90s gangster movies and a blaxploitation film. No, this smacks of “We have the rights to these, what’d you want to do with them?” However, that doesn’t mean the movie is horrible, we should give every movie that comes across our plate an equal chance to delight or at least surprise us. Particularly this one, as I remember it being pretty good.

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Blindman (1971 Dir. Ferdinando Baldi)

Hey, did you know Ringo Starr was in a Spaghetti Western? No? Me either! What do you want to bet that it’s crap? No, I won’t even give odds. Now, I think I have a cut version of this movie, because IMDB claims 105 minutes but the movie on this disc clocks in at 84 minutes. The scant information I can find on the internet claims that the original contained violence towards women that approached misogynistic levels and then went over that line by about ten miles. The back of the box only promises Zatoichi like blind dude action, I didn’t know it would include moral outrage free with purchase. Yeah, I’m starting to write the review before I’ve seen the movie again. I think it’s more exciting this way. Before we go much further, go look up a neat little cocktail called a Spaghetti Western, then make three. Two for you, one for me. If it gets hairy at the end, you can drink mine too.

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Fantasy Mission Force (1982 Dir. Chu Yin-Ping)
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The Atomic Brain (1964 Emerson Film Enterprises Dir. Joseph V. Mascelli) MST3K Episode 18 Season 5, December 4th, 1993

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