Saturday, January 20, 2007



For once I would like to write that my job has slow cycles, but due to the fact we're down one reporter and I have to take up the slack, I never have any "slow" times.

And the job spills into my off-time quite frequently. Iy has affected my outside writing and these three blogs. I'm trying to figure out how to best serve my employers, my readers, and myself. It's an on-going process!

Yes, you now put away the violins...I know, as my father used to say where to find sympathy...it's between sh....well I can't write more. It wouldn't be prudent.


So let's do something fun...more stills from my "archives." Here are two classic shots. The first is from a relatively obscure B-movie entitled "Unknown Island" from 1948 . What I love about this shot is the fact it's a little inept. The two leads, Richard Denning and Virginia Grey are seen in tense movment before a fuzzy read projection screen watching a guy in a dino suit fight a guy in an ape suit.

The film itself is a wonderful cheesy confection and unlike other jungle/dino/lost world movies, it was shot on color. Seek it out! Amazon has it for $10.

Ah, "Hell it Came," a 1957 low-budget horror film that is also damn near cheese perfection. Fake South Sea island setting, a walking tree monster...the only movie monster slower than a mummy...a really improbable lead in Tod Andrews, a once pretty boy actor who had seen better days...this film has it all.

Unfortunately, "From Hell it Came" is not available legally at this time. I'm sure there are bootlegs floating about, though, at cons and on the web.

Why do I like these? Many years ago I came up with a book idea to explore just why we celebrate "bad" movies. it was called "Trash Chic." it was one of two projects that Steve Bissette and I tackled. We almost reached a publisher, St. Martin's, with "Animation Outlaws," a book that would examine the rise of adult animation from the silent screen to the prsent. We actually had a great meeting at the publisher with an editor, but when that editor left, the book was doomed.

The "Trash Chic" book never got that far, but I still think there is a market for an examination on how the whole "bad is good" concept came about.

What do you think?

© 2007 by Gordon Michael Dobbs.

3 comments:

dogboy443 said...

Mike Dobbs...you're evil. Another cheese movie I will obsess over until I own it. I did find quite a few on ebay. Reasonable prices. Watching it might just push the fiancee over the edge. BTW, check this out for expensive cheese:
http://cgi.ebay.com/1950s-Horror-FROM-HELL-IT-CAME_W0QQitemZ130070727007QQihZ003QQcategoryZ60331QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Mark Masztal

Marky Mark said...

I have a Christmas present for you! For NEXT YEAR! I saw it and bought it, it's so YOU.

It also, synchronicitically, has a pretty good theory on why "bad is good" evolved. I may just go ahead and give it to you. Is Kwanzaa over yet?

SRBissette said...

Mike, I never stopped working on TRASH CHIC -- I've got tons of material, including the Bhob Stewart and Joe Dante, Jr. interviews on tape, etc. Let's talk, and resurrect this project!

"A little inept"? Those UNKNOWN ISLAND stills are the single most inept rear-screen projection stills in the history of cinema!

And FROM HELL IT CAME -- when I was last in L.A., and met a trio of horror filmmakers via contacts with my pal Chas Balun, they were shopping around a script to remake FROM HELL IT CAME. To hell it went, I reckon, 'cuz I never heard another thing about it -- though I saw their script, which had a cool little color cartoon rendition of Tabonga/Kabonga/whoever on the front cover.