Old Time Radio at OTRCat!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Deadly Mantis, and other diversions.






























 
SATURDAY

Starting the day with a BLT breakfast always bodes well.


No lunch (LATE breakfast!), and now a very broad, very flat, crisped hamburger with tomato, onion, avocado, pickle, Mister Mustard, and....

We have a Quizno's which has been owned by different people over the years. The previous owners were some very nice folks from India. It is now under the care of a guy who is youth minister friendly (not in the sense of catering over much to youth ministers, but that he has the friendliness of one). He and his staff are top notch, and aim to please. I asked once if I could buy some of their pepper sauce, and he said yes. A week ago, I renewed my request, and he said he would find a container for it. He brought out an entire sealed bag of the stuff, as he received it. I asked how much, I agreed to terms, so now I have Quizno's 3-Pepper Sauce for home!

...Batch 83 sauce.

Nom!!

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We are watching The Deadly Mantis. William Hopper as a paleontologist named Nedrick. How sad his parents hated him so. He logics out What The Mysterious Chunk Is so fast, I thought he was Benedict Cumberbatch. Craig Stevens as Col. Joe Parkman who Gets The Girl. This is Cold War B-cinema at its best, with a 3-hour travelogue narrated by Marvin Miller at the beginning, detailing our layered radar screens, showing how we were safe from surprise attack by them Russkies. Well,, not 3-hours, but long enough. Now, most online reviewers whinge about the pedantic portions of this movie, but not I. It makes the film a true period piece, with the reassurances from Whollyodd that We Are Safe from Russian rapine.
























The effects work is decent...light-years beyond, say,  The Giant Claw. I only saw one wire in the scene where the mantis attacks an Italian fishing boat because it wanted a little Eye-talian. Mama mia!
That is equal to the one boom-mike shadow appearance in ol' Ned's office. But who's counting? The most effective, umm, effect is when the Mantis lands on the Washington Monument and crawls up to the top. They used a scale monument, and a real mantis, and it worked!





















The still does not do it justice.

The large mantis puppet work is decently done...the world has a couple of years yet before Gerry Anderson makes the scene.

Here is one of the models used for the flying sequences:


















Apparently DDT wins the day.

-------------------------
Sailor Moon is back! Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal is debuting 5 July, and is apparently a Big Thing. Note that it will have an episode showing every two weeks.

Every
two


weeks.

The howls of fans are miasma-splitting. "We must wait TWO WEEKS for the next episode!!!" This may be seppuku-inducing. (Remember kiddies: he who dies with the least noise, wins!) Sorry. They will get ZERO sympathy from me.

I'm a Sherlock fan.

----------------------------

Captain Howdy was the demon who spoke to Blair through a (not pink) Ouija board in "The Exorcist"

"Acid Thaw Pony" is an anagram of "Captain Howdy".

Pony. Hmmmmm....

This could explain a lot.



http://www.quickmeme.com/img/ce/cece3e75b5d0913c03342c6f94e515d9780df65e73194729e9bac441cbe76297.jpg






6 comments:

Michael W said...

I've heard people Who Should've Known Better rag on THE DEADLY MANTIS. Personally I've always considered it a fine piece of 50s monster cinema. It's one of those movies that did so well on MST3K not because it was bad, but because it was so well constructed to insert comments into.

(I also love the opening commentary on our national defense system . . . although one wonders how effectively we in America were protected when a giant praying mantis could sneak up on a military installation and not be spotted until its peering in through a window.)

Jay! said...

Ah yes ... The Deadly Mantis. Got that one in Universals' The Sci-Fi Ultimate Collection Volume 2.

You see a LOT more of the monster in that one than you do of the new Godzilla flick (Less than 10 minutes in a 123 min. movie!).

Those who put down the "cold war sensibilities" of films like this come in several types:

1. George Clooney

2. Those too young to remember.

3. George Clooney

4. Commies upset over how the cold war turned out.

5. George Clooney

6. And, oh yes, if I didn't mention him before, George Clooney.

Sailor Moon. Great character design, terrible show as I recall. Same story every episode with almost Scooby Doo-like repetitiveness.

If they stick with the original designs but have better stories, it might be worth a watch.

Michael W said...

@Jay --- "God, I miss Communism. The Red Threat. People were scared, the Agency had some respect, and I got laid every night." (James Coburn: "Hudson Hawk")

Jay! said...

@Michael--- I heard Hudson Hawk to be a terrible film, but with a line like that, maybe it's worth a look-see.

Michael W said...

@Jay --- Hudson Hawk isn't great cinema by any means, but it's a cute little popcorn-piece. Think of it as a live-action Hanna-Barbera cartoon and it'll go down easier.

Jay! said...

@Michael --- NO! ... NO! ... Not ... Scooby Doo! ... Anything but that! AUUUUUUUUGH!