CineSavant Column

Saturday September 18, 2021

 

Hello!

This item has nothing to do with movies or video discs, which is fine with me. As a kid I loved the lizards known as ‘horny toads’ and was always delighted when they showed up around our little housing development in San Bernardino circa 1961. I think they became scarce as soon as people moved in, with their cats and cars. The tough little lizards had saucer-shaped bodies and really interesting scaly hides, with spikes and bumps like the dinosaurs we kids daydreamed about. I don’t think these horned lizards could be found back East. Tough luck, New Jersey.

This article gives me a big lift. Scientists are going to the trouble to try to breed the things: “Fort Worth Zoo to Release 1,000th Texas Horned Lizard Into the Wild.” We never tried to make them pets. They ate red ants but never in captivity. We’d hang onto them for a few minutes and let ’em go. Loved those guys!

 


 

The Film Detective recently brought us dandy restorations of Flight to Mars and A Life at Stake, and they now have firm release dates for their next two releases. These two are special because of FD’s remastering efforts, the first film especially. It has yet to be seen in an acceptable video transfer.

Arriving on October 5 is The Amazing Mr. X, an excellent film noir thriller with a great cast. Turhan Bey is given a substantial role for once. Lynn Bari and Cathy O’Donnell are quite good, and the film’s terrific noir look is by the legendary cameraman John Alton.

The company’s second entry in the Richard Cunha ‘quadrilogy’ of 1958-59 horror sci-fi is a real Z-picture, Frankenstein’s Daughter. It’s the one where the monster-mask maker didn’t read the script — the female monster seemingly undergoes a sex change. Tom Weaver handles commentary chores. This one will get here on October 19, just in time for Halloween.

 


 

Never thinking of himself, our esteemed associate Gary Teetzel helpfully gives you a break! ┬áHe knows you’re already wracking your brains, trying to think of what to give him — ‘the fan who has everything’ — for Christmas.

This year the solution is easy: just send him one of these fancy Godzilla Pinball Machines. Sadly, the Limited Edition is already sold out, so you’d better hurry to send Gary either the Pro or the Premium. He only asked for one, but we can do better than that — if he gets ten or twelve of these gaudy machines from grateful, cash-rich CineSavant readers, all the better. When you want to play Godzilla Pinball, what’s worse than having to walk all the way to the next room?

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson