Thursday, June 10, 2010

Fangoria Fright Night pt III: Why not to watch Arabian Adventure

Welcome my little minions to another stunning episode of Fangoria Fright night. Today we examine/retro-spect Fangoria... ISSUE 3. And what will we be bringing you this fine evening? Salem's Lot? Alien? Only as a side note... and after thought. Tonight we bring you Arabian Adventure starring Christopher Lee and... Mickey Rooney.

So the first thing you may have noticed is the title of the film on the cover (perhaps even the cover art if you were paying astute attention to this blog today). Is Arabian Adventure a horror movie? Noooooo. Is it... a Science Fiction movie?... Survey says... NOPE. This movie is a work of Fantasy (when you read that word imagine echo and reverb and chorus effects to infinity). Arabian Adventure is just that, an Arabian adventure. More like Arabian Nights or Aladdin than Wishmaster though. No blood or gore and the special effects are as mentionable as the font in this very blog. Yes, there's a great flying carpet scene that is out and out dated. Somehow I've read recent reviews praising this effect. I'm over it.

-IMDB's take on A.A.
-All the Gore You Didn't Get in A.A.

Christopher Lee of Hammer fame was very much attempting to step out of Dracula's cape, the Mummy's wraps and Frankenstein"s... stitches. He made it quiet clear in one of the interviews surrounding this new British theatrical presentation. He certainly steps out of his type cast and into the role that obviously prepared him to play Count Dooku in Star Wars and Sarumen in Lord of the Rings. He's the big bad wizard. It's not his acting that's bad mind you (we do not talk about Christopher Lee in terms of negative performances only scripts not written to prepare you for the awesomeness of Senor Lee). He's very fit to play the baddest wizard/sorcerer/evil ruler in town. It's the hokey everything else that leaves you wanting. I mean, where are the Gothic castles or houses in the English country side or the Islands filled with strange Pagan worshippers?

-Magic, Arabian Carpet Ride
-Christopher Lee Sings
-Wicker Man trailer

It's more like Mr. Lee was looking to vacation in a new region (not Europe, Eastern Europe or England) and said, this role will do nicely. Persia! So we have Arabian Nights, Arabian Adventure and Aladdin... and now Prince of Persia starring Brokeback Jake. Put them all together and you have a very fitting marathon that is fit to smoke Hash during... and almost fit for children... except for the Hash.

-Visit lovely, Iran

We must digress now to the rest of the magazine to save face because I'm quite certain our rather limited readership (all eight of you out there) does not want to hear about Dr. Terror's infatuation with Christopher any longer nor do you want me to expound on just how bad this movie was (I watched it by skipping scenes on the DVD and missed NOTHING!!!).

-Christopher Lee... da man!!!
-C.L. as Sarumen
-Dr. Terror's House of Horrors (what's that?)

So points of interest in this third installment of the illustrious Fangoria. Letters to the editor are finally starting to actually reference Fangoria instead of Starlog. This means they must be gaining readership... in Japan. So that's always good (don't worry ghouls, we know that Fangoria eventually gains readership in order to sustain it's advertising dollars). What else? We have a delightful article on the origins and making of It Came From Outer space. It's a classic and having not actually watched it I will only reference that this will be the second time that the good Doctor references a movie referenced in Science Fiction/Double Feature from the Rocky Horror Picture show. So that's the consolation prize.

-The end of Starlog
-Science Fiction/Double Feature
-History of Science Fiction/Double Feature

More in this issue: Stephen King offers his take on Kubrick's the Shining prior to it's release (prior to it being completed even). It's not King's vision and everyone knows that in 2010, but King did write his own version and it was denied. Imagine denying Stephen King anything now? I guess for Stanley Kubrick in 1978 you make exceptions, and we all love Jack Nicholson and Shelly Duval and Danny and all the marvelous quotables they've given us. We love it all. You know what would have been nice? A BETTER VERSION OF SALEM'S LOT... wait... Didn't Rob Lowe do that for us and it was piss poor.. year's later? Just like the Shining remake? So we learn a valuable lesson. If at first you don't get your vision of your groundbreaking horror novel made into a movie that satisfies you as an author and truly embodies your vision...DO NOT... TRY... AGAIN! I'm sure we love Salem's Lot, the tele-series shown in two parts, because of the camp acting, excellent soundtrack and Nosferatu homage. At least I do (and I'm some kind of a doctor right?). No need to do it again.. even if the plot is more "interesting".

-Synopsis of the Shining
-Salem's Lot Scene... Spooky
-Kubrick's The Shining
-Salem's Lot Trailer

Richard Matheson completes his interview in this issue. He pretty much dislikes exploitation anything and dislikes, greatly, the simplification/dumbing down of his work to satisfy the masses (as does Ray Bradbury with his work on It Came From Outerspace with Jack Arnold). Seems like this wasn't an issue for the Twilight Zone, but quite a few other works suffered at the hands of the editors and Sci-Fi 1950's big monster movie directors (oh the horror, but that's what we're here for right). The best thing here? We get a Richard Matheson filmography. Everything he touched for the screen, small or large, up until 1978. It's very telling. Do you know how many Twilight Zone episodes Matheson worked on that you love? All of them! It's that simple. This is almost as good as the Doctor Who Monster Catalogue in the previous issue only our audience may actually care about this one... if we have an audience.

-The Works of Richar Matheson
-Richard Matheson's Twilight Zone Scripts
-Richard Matheson's Twilight Zones

Jack Arnold is featured for his commitment to the Creature genre. That's the Creature from the Black Lagoon, creatures from outerspace, creatures from inner space and creatures that wear rubbers like a frat boy with a conscience. This man must be single handily responsible for every Halloween costume that decade-side of the Slasher flick/Hellraiser era. Oh yeah... Tarantula... wow! and it took to the hills... wow! and (we have yet another Rocky Horror/Science Fiction Double Feature reference in our midst).

-Real Tarantula
-Creature from the Black Lagoon Trailer
-It Came From Outer Space in 3-D Trailer
-What is 3-D?

Other noteables before we run into the night screaming... educating... and nostalgic: We have Alien. No one knows what this movie's about to do in 1978, but everyone knows who H.R. Giger is in a month or two. It's still beautiful. Still a horror movie. We also have Cronenberg putting out the Brood (it's in my Netflix queue... can't believe I missed this one). We'll be reviewing that one once we go through 18 months of therapy post-viewing.

-H.R. Giger
-The Brood Trailer
-Definition of a Brood

So Christopher Lee will break his type casting... he will need to wait twenty plus years and he will have an excellent new vacation spot: NEW ZEALAND and... OUTER SPACE ALONG TIME AGO IN A GALAXY FAR FAR AWAY.

-Who loves you baby? Dr. T, that's who.

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