But I expected more – a solid story taking advantage of the animated media. Karloff’s Wong compares quite favorably to the various screen interpretations of Charlie Chan. He doesn’t play a stereotypical Chinese according to Hollywood formula (and neither does Keye Luke in a later film in the series).
So instead, Mikels treats his low-life characters like refugees from a ’30s comedy short who drank their brains out and ended up in a Skid Row production of a ’40s gangster film as it might have been directed in the ’50s by Ed Wood trying to make a ’60s kids’ film – huh? All right, another way to say this is that Mikels is basically saying, “ok, we have no budget, only two more days to shoot the thing, and our audience won’t be paying attention anyway – so let’s have fun!” Of course, then, the only issue is, what would Mikels mean by having fun here? Most exploitation-horror films of the time (especially those coming out of Europe) took themselves way too serious. Even looking back to Ed Wood, one reason that “Plan 9” is so amusing is because Wood clearly thinks he is saying something important with it, even if he’s not sure what.There were important exceptions, of course – Corman’s “Little Shop” is overt comedy, and “The Undertaker and his Pals,” while providing the necessary gore and ‘suspense’ also throws in large dabs of comic bits and dialog. But “Corpse Grinders” avoids the obvious – there is no overt buffoonery, no sight gags or puns here.
Karloff brings a wit and a quiet air of command to the character, he is always moving steadily toward a solution to the crime at hand. He presents Wong as quite the most intelligent character in every film. The mysteries themselves are about average for the period. In most of the Wong films the clues are there for the audience if they care to look for them.
That could be interesting if Walston had been directed against type – but he isn’t – he is directed to be a character actor – in a leading role? Once Walston appears on screen, the film goes straight to hell. In fact it is hell, a weird kind of wigged-out Nevada version of Andy Griffith’s Mayberry – why? To provide a small enough stage to make small characters look large, I guess; doesn’t work. These characters are all profoundly unpleasant and two-dimensional; except for Martin, who’s rarely on screen.The film is apparently a remake of an Italian sex-farce, Wife for a Night; that in itself tells me that the whole project started off badly.
At the end everything is explained – yet nothing much has happened. I don’t blame the actors, animators, or supporting personnel. This is the problem that the writer, producer, and director must own. https://www.gclub.co/gclub168/ Either Doctor Who is a series worthy of proper storytelling, or it is a throwaway for a quick buck.Recognizing that this episode was clearly intended for children, I’ll give it a little extra credit.
- Everything is here – the homage to universal, the darker characterization of Doctor Frankenstein, the decision to place the series in a 19th century setting….
- Most exploitation-horror films of the time (especially those coming out of Europe) took themselves way too serious.
- The animation of Dreamland is clearly based on computer game CGI.
- Once Walston appears on screen, the film goes straight to hell.
- But Pescatons is presented as narrated by the Doctor himself, and the voice of Tom Baker covers a multitude of sins.
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Actually, it’s a joke.Here’s the tell-all moment about the budgeting of the film and the incompetence with which it is made – I think it half, but I remember the percentage higher, of the shots used to depict the effect of Miami’s freezing and the response of the population there are localized on a single hotel swimming pool. That’s right, a swimming pool, and a rather small one (low budget hotel for a low budget movie). But Once the film returns to Miami for the remainder, it sinks to a level of casual incompetence that only television allows for.Not even a decent time-waster; I stayed just to see how dumb it could get. Daphne Du Maurier’s work largely falls into he category of ‘gothic romance’ – not the kind that has glutted supermarkets since the ’50s, her best known books really hark back to the genre’s roots in the 19th century.
Also, one must remark the important part Grant Withers plays, as the earnest, tough, but slightly dimwitted police Captain Bill Street, and the occasional appearance by Marjorie Reynolds as the sassy reporter Bobbie Logan who dates Street off-hours, only to interfere when at work. They bring a pleasing air of continuing romantic interest as well as comic relief to the series. An embarrassing attempted ‘remake’ of a great piece of film making, by a cast and crew who evidently have no idea what the original was all about. Peckinpah’s original raised questions – you left the theater feeling awkward, self-conscious, asking the same question the lead character was asking himself – ‘how do I find my way home now? This website is using a security service to protect itself from online attacks. The action you just performed triggered the security solution.
Not great, but certainly of its time.The animation of Infinite Quest is also of its time, not great either, although given over to impressive visual effects in the foreground and background. But the real difference between these two Doctor animated episodes has to do with something far more basic. Dreamland, whatever its visual weaknesses, tells a strong story with a discernible beginning – middle – end. Infinite Quest – does not.In fact the narratology of Infinite Quest is very similar to that of The Pescatons, jumping and skipping over essential details. But Pescatons is presented as narrated by the Doctor himself, and the voice of Tom Baker covers a multitude of sins. One can listen to Pescatons with the brain on hold and still have a fine time.Infinite Quest isn’t so lucky.
(And continued – the Walston part was intended for Peter Sellers, who Wilder couldn’t deal with, and Wilder himself suffered heart problems.) But the main problem is that Italian comedy is coming from a very different tradition than Wilder’s (so clearly related to Lubitsch), so it’s really impossible to guess why he tried what he was clearly unsuited for.Not much to add except the cinematography is good, and the music sucks. (Apparently based on material the Gershwin brothers decided needed reworking… maybe they were right?).Caused a minor scandal in its day – but it was easy to cause scandals back then. Nevermind; it is the first in the series of Hammer Frankenstein films that ran well into the ’70s. Everything is here – the homage to universal, the darker characterization of Doctor Frankenstein, the decision to place the series in a 19th century setting…. The ending of this short film would be rewritten as the end of “The Curse of Frankenstein.” Okay, it’s not really much more than a neat little B-movie short; but what else would one want from a Hammer horror film?