CineSavant Column

Saturday August 3, 2019


Thanks for all the reactions to my non-spoiler thoughts about Once Upon a Time in Hollywood last Tuesday — it’s nices to share an experience with so many fellow fans at the same time. It’s sort of the same vibe as I felt in 1974 with Chinatown or 1976 with Taxi Driver or 1980 with Raging Bull or 1995 with Pulp Fiction … the decision to see it was automatic, as if we were sharks smelling blood in the water from five miles away. I sometimes feel awkward recommending movies, especially the odd titles I dote on at CineSavant — not everybody has my taste, so some of those that take my suggestions must think, what a maroon. So far no complaints on OUATIH.

Correspondent, commentator and friend Toby Roan has a new book just out, like, two days ago: A Million Feet Of Film: The Making Of One-Eyed Jacks. The title is self-explanatory, but Roan has a big story to tell, of a complicated development (Rod Serling, Stanley Kubrick and Sam Peckinpah were involved) and a shoot that tested Paramount’s patience and pocketbook. The budget tripled, the studio took over and took it away from Brando in post-production. They call the finished film a compromise, which makes me more eager to read the book — the movie I know plays like a masterpiece just the way it is.

CineSavant is all but drowning in desirable review titles right now. The idea is to give each its due, so they might be trickling out for a while. We’re in the middle of a summer of terrific vintage Sci-fi, horror and fantasy on Blu-ray; thanks to the able co-reviewing of Charlie Largent we’ve covered a lot of great stuff already. Working backwards: Piranha, The Reptile, Weird Science, Alphaville, This Island Earth, Mothra, Dead of Night, These Are the Damned, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Universal Horror Collection 1, The Day Time Ended, The Andromeda Strain, Fantomas Three Film Collection and The Mysterious Island.

Pictures in hand or expected that I will jump at reviewing are Val Guest’s Quatermass 2, Jack H. Harris’ 4D Man and Dinosaurus!, Mario Bava’s Hercules in the Haunted World, David Duncan’s The Leech Woman, Joe Dante’s Gremlins (UHD), the big Criterion Showa Godzilla Box, the deliriously Sadeian Circus of Horrors and probably a few I’ve forgotten. Hinted at and rumored as ‘out there’ from Arrow Academy is G.W. Pabst’s hotly desired L’Atlantide. Come December, putting together this year’s ‘best of’ CineSavant article is going to be impossible.

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson