Showing posts from June, 2016

The Shark Film Office: Marina Monster (2008)

Marina Monster (2008)
Dir.: Christine Whitlock
Cinema 4 Rating: 1/9

If I ever get the chance to make my own monster, shark, OR monstrous shark movie, I hope it's half as stupid as Marina Monster.

Farting and burping sounds when some characters appear in view of the camera. Clown horns punctuating "jokes" so that we are certain to understand they were meant that way. A foghorn-and-cowbell combination (or sometimes a couple of bass notes) that sounds when certain female breasts arrive onscreen (always covered discreetly). Cliched, noirish saxophone bursts when one character is seduced by another or when one particularly muscled character lifts his shirt. Cash register noises when another character makes drug deals over and over again. A rumbling sound (accompanied by a shaky camera) that occurs every time (and there are many of these moments) that a dock in the harbor is hit by the titular monster. Marina Monster is a cornucopia of ridiculous sound effects that are draped over…

See? Sea Monster!: Amphibious Creature of the Deep (2010)

Amphibious 3D (2010)
Dir.: Brian Yuzna
Cinema 4 Rating: 4/9

There is a brief rumination on the lust for power and its connection to the sea at the beginning of Amphibious 3D which left me peeling off into my own thoughts regarding what sort of power I would want given the chance to acquire it. I am a simple man... I don't require much in the way of power, but if I could have it, I would certainly crave the means to make a far more ambitious sea monster movie than Amphibious 3D.

Amphibious 3D has an alternative title -- Amphibious Creature of the Deep -- and it was that version I certainly saw instead since my VOD rental on Amazon was only in two dimensions. While I have clearly put off seeing the film for a few years, I did have some small hopes in finally watching the film due to the participation of Brian Yuzna. For those not familiar with Stuart Gordon, Yuzna was one of the producers of Gordon's trio of Lovecraft epics -- Re-Animator, From Beyond, and Dagon -- and a director in…

Oswald and Ortensia... Sittin' in a Kiosk...

I noticed a couple of trips ago to Disney's California Adventure that Ortensia the Cat -- Oswald's wife -- was on sale in plush form at the Oswald's Service Station gift shop just inside the front gates.

That's right... inter-species love in Disneyland Resort, years before Nick and Judy got together in Zootopia. (Though, honestly, the depth of their relationship has yet to actually be revealed. I am sure there is plenty of furry fan-fiction that has other ideas...)

Back when Disney still owned the rights to Oswald, he had an occasional cat girlfriend who was usually unnamed onscreen, though she was known as Sadie in the 1928 short (now considered lost) Sagebrush Sadie. You could consider her the first draft of Minnie Mouse. Oswald fought with Pete (aka Pegleg Pete) over her in some of the cartoons. In one short, Poor Papa, they were married and had 420 kids running around the house.

When Oswald got stolen away from Walt, so did Sadie, and she appeared in some of the later…

Visiting and Revisiting with Rik and Aaron... the Website!

Last October, my pal Aaron Lowe and I started a series of pieces on our respective sites called Visiting and Revisiting. The concept was that one of us picks a film with which he has a long history, but the catch is that it has to be a film that the other person has never seen before. Hence, one of us is revisiting the film, and the other is visiting for the first time. Then we discuss that film at great length.
We split the first five films we reviewed (and a special edition Oscars post) between The Cinema 4 Pylon here and Aaron's site, Working Dead Productions, and pretty much trusted that if people liked what they read that they would take the time to jump from one site to the other, back and forth, to finish the next portion. And, for the most part (as far we can tell from site stats), they have. But we talked about someday building a separate site for Visiting and Revisiting and letting the column live on its own.
That day has come... W…

The Lore (and Lure) of the Legion of Super-Heroes...

One of the more memorable superhero comics in our household when I was a kid was a copy of Superboy #202, dated June 1974 (which means we probably bought it around March or April). This was before I actively started collecting The Avengers and Star Wars comics in 1977, an act which triggered the building of my personal comic book collection.

Before then, comic books were an occasional treat for us, and one largely dominated by Richie Rich, Archie, Casper, Hot Stuff, Bugs Bunny, and Uncle Scrooge. Every now and then, we would end up getting the stray Batman (I was a lifelong fan), Superman, or Justice League of America comic, and even more rarely, a Marvel comic like Spider-Man, Captain America and the Falcon, The Avengers, The Defenders or the Fantastic Four. But without regular reading of any of these titles, it was hard to really get acquainted with the characters like you could in the mostly self-contained “kids” titles. At some point, however, we ended up with Superboy #202, and as…

The Shark Film Office: Malibu Shark Attack (2009)

Malibu Shark Attack (2009)
Dir.: David Lister
Cinema 4 Rating: 3/9
Shark species: Goblin shark (Mitsukurina owstoni), but a prehistoric version, so it's OK that they do things a goblin shark can't. Right?

The goblin shark has a face that only a mother goblin shark could love. Or an ichthyologist. Or me...

With a long, flattened snout that looks like it was daddied by Jimmy Durante himself, jaws that stretch out forward to an improbable length, and a strange pinkish skin tone, goblin sharks seem like a nightmare scenario when seen in the light of day. But it's our light, not theirs, for the goblin shark goes largely unseen by human eyes. I suppose you could say, technically, such a thing about a great many sharks, since they live in the deep, and we only detect the slightest traces of their oceanic omnipresence from our surface world. But goblin sharks tend to live in the real deep deep, dining on fish and other sea creatures in the relative darkness of deepwater canyons and the…