War of the Colossal Beast
War of the Colossal Beast is a 1958 black-and-white science fiction film, written and directed by Bert I. Gordon for his Carmel Productions, starring Dean Parkin, Sally Fraser, Roger Pace, it is the sequel to Gordon's earlier The Amazing Colossal Man and was distributed theatrically by American International Pictures as the top half of a double feature with Attack of the Puppet People. The film's storyline picks up where The Amazing Colossal Man left off, although it was not marketed as a sequel and features a different cast. Upon hearing of several recent robberies of food delivery trucks in Mexico, Joyce Manning, Army officer Lt. Colonel Glenn Manning's sister, becomes convinced that her brother survived his fall from the Boulder Dam. Along with Army officer Major Mark Baird and scientist Dr. Carmichael, Joyce goes to Mexico to look for Glenn and finds that he has, in fact, but was left disfigured and nearly mindless by the trauma of his fall. Manning is captured, drugged by the Army, transported back to the United States.
He goes on a rampage through Los Angeles and Hollywood. He nearly kills a school bus full of children. Joyce reasons with him, he is brought back to his senses. Now realizing what he has become and what he has done, Manning commits suicide by electrocuting himself on high-voltage power lines near the Griffith Observatory. War of the Colossal Beast was produced and written by Bert I. Gordon and co-produced with Samuel Z. Arkoff. Although most of it is shot in black-and-white, the ending was shot in color for the electrocution scene and doctored in black-and-white; the producers decided to use the heavy make-up on Dean Parkin as a way to disguise the fact that a different actor was playing Colonel Manning since a dream sequence flashing back to the original film featured Glenn Langan, the star of the earlier film.. Dean Parkin played the lead monster role in another Bert I. Gordon film, The Cyclops. Contemporary film fan-historians Kim R. Holston and Tom Winchester noted that the film was "... a low-budget ship with Bert Gordon at the helm, so the special effects are unsurprisingly average.
Film reviewer Leonard Maltin was more succinct: "Forget it". War of the Colossal Beast was featured in season 3, episode 19 of Mystery Science Theater 3000; the Amazing Colossal Man was shown in season 3. Mike Nelson again portrayed the film's title character; as opposed to his first encounter with Joel and the Bots, he shows more gentleness to them after seeing the transmission picked up by his "goofy dental work", but is still somewhat adamant when he tells them why Bert I. Gordon did not pick him for the sequel. List of American films of 1958 War of the Colossal Beast on IMDb War of the Colossal Beast at the TCM Movie Database War of the Colossal Beast at AllMovie
Turner Classic Movies
Turner Classic Movies is an American movie-oriented pay-TV network operated by Warner Bros. Entertainment, a subsidiary of AT&T's WarnerMedia. Launched in 1994, TCM is headquartered at Turner's Techwood broadcasting campus in the Midtown business district of Atlanta, Georgia; the channel's programming consisted of classic theatrically released feature films from the Turner Entertainment film library – which comprises films from Warner Bros. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. However, TCM licenses films from other studios, shows more recent films; the channel is available in the United States, the United Kingdom, Malta, Latin America, Italy, Cyprus, the Nordic countries, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. In 1986, eight years before the launch of Turner Classic Movies, Ted Turner acquired the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film studio for $1.5 billion. Concerns over Turner Entertainment's corporate debt load resulted in Turner selling the studio that October back to Kirk Kerkorian, from whom Turner had purchased the studio less than a year before.
As part of the deal, Turner Entertainment retained ownership of MGM's library of films released up to May 9, 1986. Turner Broadcasting System was split into two companies; the film library of Turner Entertainment would serve as the base form of programming for TCM upon the network's launch. Before the creation of Turner Classic Movies, films from Turner's library of movies aired on the Turner Broadcasting System's advertiser-supported cable network TNT – along with colorized versions of black-and-white classics such as The Maltese Falcon. Turner Classic Movies debuted on April 14, 1994, at 6 p.m. Eastern Time, with Ted Turner launching the channel at a ceremony in New York City's Times Square district; the date and time were chosen for their historical significance as "the exact centennial anniversary of the first public movie showing in New York City". The first movie broadcast on TCM was the 1939 film Gone with the Wind, the same film that served as the debut broadcast of its sister channel TNT six years earlier in October 1988.
At the time of its launch, TCM was available to one million cable television subscribers. The network served as a competitor to AMC—which at the time was known as "American Movie Classics" and maintained a identical format to TCM, as both networks focused on films released prior to 1970 and aired them in an uncut and commercial-free format. AMC had broadened its film content to feature colorized and more recent films by 2002. In 1996, Turner Broadcasting System merged with Time Warner which, besides placing Turner Classic Movies and Warner Bros. Entertainment under the same corporate umbrella gave TCM access to Warner Bros.' Library of films released after 1950. In the early 2000s, AMC abandoned its commercial-free format, which led to TCM being the only movie-oriented basic cable channel to devote its programming to classic films without commercial interruption or content editing. On March 4, 2019, Time Warner's new owner AT&T announced a planned reorganization that would dissolve Turner Broadcasting.
TCM, along with Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, over-the-top video company Otter Media, will be moved directly under Warner Bros.. Speaking about the move, then-Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara explained that TCM was "a natural fit with Warner Bros." due the company's massive film library. In 2000, TCM started the annual Young Composers Film Competition, inviting aspiring composers to participate in a judged competition that offers the winner of each year's competition the opportunity to score a restored, feature-length silent film as a grand prize, mentored by a well-known composer, with the new work subsequently premiering on the network; as of 2006, films that have been rescored include the 1921 Rudolph Valentino film Camille, two Lon Chaney films: 1921's The Ace of Hearts and 1928's Laugh, Clown and Greta Garbo's 1926 film The Temptress. In April 2010, Turner Classic Movies held the first TCM Classic Film Festival, an event—now held annually—at the Grauman's Chinese Theater and the Grauman's Egyptian Theater in Hollywood.
Hosted by Robert Osborne, the four-day long annual festival celebrates Hollywood and its movies, featured celebrity appearances, special events, screenings of around 50 classic movies including several newly restored by The Film Foundation, an organization devoted to preserving Hollywood's classic film legacy. Turner Classic Movies operates as a commercial-free service, with the only advertisements on the network being shown between features – which advertise TCM products, network promotions for upcoming special programs and the original trailers for films that are scheduled to be broadcast on TCM, featurettes about classic film actors and actresses. In addition to this, extended breaks between features are filled with theatrically released movie trailers and classic short subjects – from series such as The Passing Parade, Crime Does Not Pay, Pete Smith Specialties, Robert Benchley – under the banner name TCM Extras (formerly On
The Boy and the Pirates
The Boy and the Pirates is a 1960 film from Bert I. Gordon, the master of giant monster films, it stars a popular child star of the day in 12-year-old Charles Herbert and Gordon's own daughter, Susan. The story line, that of a little boy and girl trapped on the pirate ship of Blackbeard, ranges from comical at times to downright gruesome. There is a good deal of killing during the course of the film; the cook forces Jimmy at one point to take a fish and "gut and clean it, save his entrails". There is another moment when Morgan the pirate tries to get Jimmy to reveal his coveted information by threatening to scald his mouth with a red-hot poker. Nonetheless, it has been described as "an engaging and innovative fantasy so perfect in its service to and embellishment of genre formula, it comes across as both familiar, yet breathtakingly original." A boy, Jimmy Warren, living along the coast in Massachusetts is upset with the unfairness of "modern" life in 1960 when his father scolds him about his school grades.
He plays on a wrecked ship along the shore with Kathy. He picks up an odd jar, wishes he were back in the olden days, on a pirate ship; when Jimmy utters "Where am I?", the magic jar pops open, a strange little man pops out. He introduces himself as Abu the Genie, states that he has granted Jimmy his fondest wish: to be on a real pirate ship. Jimmy scoffs at the notion, but Abu insists that they are at that moment passengers on the Queen Anne's Revenge, the pirate ship of the notorious Blackbeard. Oddly, this is not a traditional genie: he refuses to grant Jimmy's wish to go home, bluntly informs him that he must return the brass bottle to the exact spot where he found it within three days, or else he must take the genie's place therein; the genie tries to ensure that Jimmy will fail to do so. Charles Herbert as Jimmy Warren Susan Gordon as Katrina Van Keif / Kathy Murvyn Vye as Blackbeard Paul Guilfoyle as Snipe Joe Turkel as Abu the Genie Archie Duncan as Scoggins Than Wyenn as Hunter Albert Cavens as Dutch Captain Mickey Finn as Peake Morgan Jones as Mr. Warren Timothy Carey as Pirate Morgan "Timothy Carey on this movie scared me more than The Colossus of New York!", says Charles Herbert.
"But he was a nice man, he always tried to make you feel,'I’m not crazy,' and you would say,'Okay.' And he would walk away and you’d go,'He’s CRAZY!' He was a scary man. He’d look at me and I would run behind my mother, and I had to catch up to her, because she was tryin’ to find somebody else to hide behind!" The Walt Disney Company's theatrical release of Johnny Depp's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest on July 7, 2006, spiked interest in pirate films in general. To take advantage of this, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment released a Midnite Movies double feature DVD set with the rarely-seen The Boy and the Pirates and the more recent Crystalstone on June 27, 2006. Dell Four Color #1117 List of American films of 1960 The Boy and the Pirates on IMDb
Earth vs. the Spider
Earth vs. the Spider is an independently made 1958 American black-and-white science fiction/horror film produced and directed by Bert I. Gordon, who wrote the story upon which the screenplay by George Worthing Yates and Laszlo Gorog was based; the film stars June Kenney and Eugene Persson. The special effects were by Paul Blaisdell. Earth vs. the Spider was released by American International Pictures as a double feature in different film markets with either The Brain Eaters or The Screaming Skull. Jack Flynn is driving down a highway at night, looking at a bracelet he has bought his daughter for her birthday, when he hits something and his vehicle crashes; the next morning, his teenage daughter Carol is concerned that her ne'er-do-well father did not come home last night. She convinces her boyfriend Mike to assist in a search for her father, they find the bracelet, but not his body. Thinking he crawled into a nearby cave, they investigate. In the cave, they fall onto the gigantic web of an enormous tarantula, which emerges from behind some rocks to attack them.
They manage to make it back to town. Carol and Mike have a hard time convincing the sheriff about the giant spider, but with the help of their science teacher, Mr. Kingman, they return to the cave and find the missing man's body, drained of fluids; the spider attacks again, convincing the sheriff, who orders large amounts of DDT to kill the giant spider. The lifeless body of the spider is taken back to town to the high school gym, where Kingman wants to study it. A group of teenagers uses the gym to practice rock and roll numbers they are going to play for a school dance; the music awakens the giant tarantula and it crashes through the wall of the gym. The janitor, stopping to call the sheriff, is killed; the spider terrorizes the town. The sheriff and Kingman use dynamite to seal the spider in, but discover Carol and Mike had gone into the cave to retrieve the bracelet her father had bought her. Kingman acquires a couple of large electrodes from the power company and runs cables to some powerlines as the tarantula is descending on a strand of web to get at the trapped teenagers.
Kingman and Mike use the electrodes to electrocute the spider, which falls, impaling itself on stalagmites at the bottom of the cave. Ed Kemmer as Mr. Kingman June Kenney as Carol Flynn Eugene Persson as Mike Simpson Gene Roth as Sheriff Cagle Hal Torey as Mr. Simpson June Jocelyn as Mrs. Flynn Mickey Finn as Sam Haskel Sally Fraser as Mrs. Helen Kingman Troy Patterson as Joe Skip Young as Sam Howard Wright as Jake Bill Giorgio as Deputy Sheriff Sanders Hank Patterson as Hugo Jack Kosslyn as Mr. Fraser Bob Garnet as Springdale pest control man Shirley Falls as switchboard operator Bob Tetrick as Deputy Sheriff Dave Nancy Kilgas as a dancer George Stanley as one of the men in the cavern David Tomack as the power line foreman Merritt Stone as Jack Flynn Dick D'Agostin as the pianist The film's original on-screen title was Earth vs. the Spider, but when The Fly became a blockbuster, the title was shortened to just The Spider on all of the advertising material. The original screen title, was never changed, so the film is referred to by the title Earth vs. the Spider.
The movie theater in which Mike works displays a film poster prominently advertising The Amazing Colossal Man, while the marquee shows that it is running Attack of the Puppet People, which happens to star Kenney. Both of these films were directed by Gordon. Attack of the Puppet People was the last film Gordon made for American International Pictures for a number of years, with the director claiming that the studio had not paid him appropriately. However, he returned to AIP in the 1970s; some of the cave interiors were filmed using stills from Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico, with live action scenes filmed at Bronson Caves in Griffith Park near Los Angeles. The film's budget was $100,000. Critical response for Earth vs. the Spider has been mixed. Bruce Eder from Allmovie gave the film a positive review, calling "the most entertaining, if not the best of Bert I. Gordon's various size-oriented fantasy-sci-fi films". However, Eder noted; this film was one of many films featured in the third season of the movie mocking television show Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Warren, Bill. Keep Watching the Skies: American Science Fiction Films of the Fifties, 21st Century Edition. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2009, ISBN 0-89950-032-3. Earth vs. the Spider on IMDb Earth vs. the Spider at AllMovie Earth vs. the Spider at the TCM Movie Database
Susan Lynn Gordon was an American child actress who appeared in films and numerous episodes of television programs such as The Twilight Zone, My Three Sons, The Donna Reed Show. Gordon was born in Saint Paul, the daughter of film director Bert I. Gordon and his wife Flora. Susan began her career, at age eight, as a last minute substitute for another young actress in 1958's Attack of the Puppet People, directed by her father, who subsequently directed her in three additional films — The Boy and the Pirates, Tormented and 1966's Picture Mommy Dead, her final film. In 1959, she acted and sang in the semi-biographical film, The Five Pennies, playing the daughter of musician and bandleader Red Nichols, portrayed by Danny Kaye. On television, Gordon appeared in The Twilight Zone episode "The Fugitive", as Jenny, a child with a leg brace who befriends an alien. Other series included Gunsmoke, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, My Three Sons, The Danny Thomas Show, Route 66, Ben Casey, The Donna Reed Show.
On November 27, 1959, Gordon appeared in the live NBC Television broadcast of Miracle on 34th Street. She was a resident of the New Jersey township of Teaneck, a suburb of New York City, where she had settled after returning to her Jewish roots and marrying Avi Aviner, a communal leader to the Jews of Tokyo, she was buried in Kedumim. Susan Gordon on IMDb Susan Gordon at Find a Grave
Empire of the Ants (film)
Empire of the Ants is a 1977 science fiction horror film co-scripted and directed by Bert I. Gordon. Based loosely on the short story Empire of the Ants by H. G. Wells, the film involves a group of prospective land buyers led by a land developer, pitted against giant, mutated ants, it is the third and last film released in A. I. P.'s H. G. Wells film cycle, which include The Food of the Gods and The Island of Dr. Moreau. A heavenly paradise becomes a hellish nightmare when a toxic spill turns harmless ants into gigantic rampaging monsters; the opening narration introduces the viewer to the ant and its behavior. It takes note how ants use pheromones to communicate, how they cause an obligatory response that must be obeyed. "But we don't have to worry about it..." As the opening credits roll, barrels of radioactive waste are being dumped off a boat into the ocean. One of the barrels washes up on the shore and begins to leak a silvery goo attractive to local ants. Meanwhile, shady land developer Marilyn Fryser takes a bunch of new clients to view some'beach-front property' on a nearby island.
In reality, the land is worthless, but the trip is cut short by the group stumbling upon the lair of gigantic ants. The ants chase the group through the woods. Fleeing for their lives through the wilderness and losing many of their party along the way, the remaining survivors discover the local island town, but their safety is short-lived when they realize that not only are the giant ants feeding on the local sugar factory, but that they are doing so at the invitation of the humans. The queen ant, using pheromones, has the entire town under her control. However, the survivors manage to escape and burn the sugar factory, killing the giant ants, leave the island by a speedboat. Joan Collins as Marilyn Fryser Robert Lansing as Dan Stokely John David Carson as Joe Morrison Albert Salmi as Sheriff Art Kincade Jacqueline Scott as Margaret Ellis Pamela Susan Shoop as Coreen Bradford Robert Pine as Larry Graham Edward Power as Charlie Pearson Brooke Palance as Christine Graham Tom Fadden as Sam Russell Harry Holcombe as Harry Thompson Irene Tedrow as Velma Thompson As with most Bert I. Gordon films, the director himself oversaw most of the special effects.
To create the effect of giant ants, the director used the technique of process shots, where close-up images of live ants were combined with images of the actors on set, reacting to the menacing insects. Another more crude effect used by Gordon was one he borrowed from his previous film Beginning of the End, where he would place live insects in a miniature set lined with still photographs of the location and let them crawl around; the shortcomings of this technique were highlighted in a scene where the ants are climbing the outside of a sugar refinery, some of them appear to crawl off the building and walk vertically into the sky. When the film called for actors to be attacked by the ants, large rubber mock-ups were used, which were animated by crew members who wiggled the gigantic props in front of the camera. Joan Collins said she did not like working with the ant props as they bumped and scratched the actors, including herself. Principal photography took place on location in the Florida Everglades and St. Lucie and Martin Counties in Florida during the fall of 1976.
Filming in a remote swampland sometimes proved to be problematic, was taxing for the women because their restrooms were a half-hour away by speedboat. Actress Pamela Susan Shoop recalls that "because it was a half-hour each way, when we went to the bathroom, they had to wait an hour, it was a mess, but the shoot was fun." Another problem with the location was dealing with the unpredictable wildlife. According to actor Robert Pine, there was one scene where the actors had to fall out of a rowboat and into the swampy river, where there were live crocodiles; the director had promised that a cage would be installed to protect the actors, but for some unknown reason the cage never arrived. Though they were filming in Florida, the autumn weather ended up sending temperatures to freezing levels. At one point, the cold weather was so bad that it caused Shoop's jaw to dislocate during one of her screaming scenes and she had to be sent to the hospital to be treated. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 0% based on 17 reviews, with a weighted average rating of 2.5/10.
Joan Collins received a nomination for Best Actress for her lead role in this movie at the 5th annual Saturn Awards￼￼. Weaver, Tom. "Robert Pine on Empire of the Ants". Sci-Fi Swarm and Horror Horde: Interviews with 62 Filmmakers. McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-4658-2. Pp. 382–385. Empire of the Ants on IMDb Empire of the Ants at the TCM Movie Database Empire of the Ants at AllMovie
Mystery Science Theater 3000
Mystery Science Theater 3000 is an American television comedy series created by Joel Hodgson and produced by Alternaversal Productions, LLC. The show premiered on KTMA in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on November 24, 1988, it aired on The Comedy Channel/Comedy Central for seven seasons until its cancellation in 1996. Thereafter, it was picked up by The Sci-Fi Channel and aired for three seasons until another cancellation in August 1999. A 60-episode syndication package titled The Mystery Science Theater Hour was produced in 1995. In 2015, Hodgson led a crowdfunded revival of the series with 14 episodes in its eleventh season, first released on Netflix on April 14, 2017, with another six-episode season following on November 22, 2018; as of 2019, 217 episodes and a feature film have been produced. The show starred Hodgson as Joel Robinson, a janitor trapped against his will by two mad scientists on the Satellite of Love, forced to watch a series of B movies as a part of the scientists' plot to take over the world.
To keep his sanity, Joel crafts a number of robot companions—including Tom Servo, Crow T. Robot, Gypsy—to keep him company and help him humorously comment on each movie as it plays, a process known as riffing; each two-hour episode would feature a single movie in its entirety, sometimes with various shorts and educational films, with Joel and Crow watching in silhouette from a row of theater seats at the bottom of the screen. These scenes were framed with interstitial sketches; the show's cast changed over its duration. Other cast members, most of whom were writers for the show, include Trace Beaulieu, Josh Weinstein, Jim Mallon, Kevin Murphy, Frank Conniff, Mary Jo Pehl, Bill Corbett, Paul Chaplin, Bridget Jones Nelson; the revival features a new cast, including Jonah Ray as the new human test subject, Jonah Heston, along with Felicia Day and Patton Oswalt as the mads and Baron Vaughn, Hampton Yount, Rebecca Hanson as the bots. MST3K's original run did not garner high viewership numbers, but the show's popularity spread through word-of-mouth over the Internet from its fans known as MSTies, frequent repeats and syndication, home media offerings produced by Rhino Entertainment and Shout!
Factory, who along with Hodgson now own the rights to the show and supported the revived series. MST3K was listed as one of Time magazine's "100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME" in 2007, TV Guide has noted MST3K as one of the top cult television shows; the show won a Peabody Award in 1993, was nominated for two Emmy Awards in 1994 and 1995, for the CableACE Award from 1992 to 1997. The show was considered influential, contributing towards the practice of social television, former cast members launched similar projects based on the riffing of films, including The Film Crew, RiffTrax, Cinematic Titanic. MST3K brought to light several older movies that had fallen into obscurity or had received little or no public attention when released. Many of these films were subsequently identified as among the worst movies made, most notably Manos: The Hands of Fate. While the cast of MST3K has changed throughout its history, the premise of the show remains unchanged: a human test subject—first Joel Robinson Mike Nelson, most Jonah Heston —has been imprisoned aboard the spacecraft Satellite of Love by mad scientists and their henchmen and is forced to watch a series of bad movies in order to find one that will drive the test subject insane.
To keep his sanity, Joel built himself a series of sentient robots from parts aboard the Satellite, who subsequently remain aboard with the other test subjects. The'bots include Tom Servo, Crow T. Robot and Cambot, the silent recorder of the experiments. Crow and Servo join the human as they watch the film in the Satellite's theater, to keep from going mad, the trio comment and wisecrack atop it, a process known as "riffing". At regular intervals throughout the movie, the hosts leave the theater and return to the bridge of the Satellite to perform sketches that satirize the film being watched; the general format of an MST3K episode has remained the same throughout the series' run. Episodes are 90 minutes in running time and begin with a short introductory segment in which the human host and the'bots interact with the Mads before being sent the movie. During Joel Hodgson and Jonah Ray's tenures as hosts, the hosts and the Mads engage in an "invention exchange" in which they each show off their latest inventions.
Sirens and flashing lights signal the characters to enter the theater. In the theater, the human host and'bots' Tom and Crow sit in a row of theater seats, shown in silhouette along the bottom of the screen, an approach Hodgson called "Shadowrama." The three riff on the film as it plays for both them and the audience. The silhouette format is used as a source of humor or as a means of creating unobtrusive censor bars for scenes containing nudity; the show transitions into and out of the theater via a "door sequence", a series of six doors that open or close as the camera passes through them. At regular intervals throughout the episode, the characters leave the theater and perform sketches inspired by the events of the film/short being shown, frequen