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[WIW] Old Black & White Sci-Fi and Horror flicks

Azimer the Mad

Knight of Chaos
Validated User
If you want a fascinating oral history contrasting Karloff's success and Lugosi's tragic struggles, the amazing Hollywood history podcast You Must Remember This did a five episode series called Boris and Bela, which starts here.
 

Strange Visitor

Grumpy Grognard
Validated User
That's a fun one.

The movie would have to have somehow grossly misspelled the term in a unique way for that to be true. Which isn't off the table. Alternately, they made up their own field of science but used some of the same root words as cybernetics because what it covered was adjacent.
Actually, not that much. Lose the r accidentally in transcribing and it'd be pronounced that way. Heck, it could even be as easy as the actor misreading the word and not noticing the R, and no one noticing--because the word was too obscure at the time for most people to realize he's mispronounced it.
 

Snow Goon

Credible Hulk
RPGnet Member
Validated User
If you want a fascinating oral history contrasting Karloff's success and Lugosi's tragic struggles, the amazing Hollywood history podcast You Must Remember This did a five episode series called Boris and Bela, which starts here.
Oooo, thanks. I'll give that a look.
Actually, not that much. Lose the r accidentally in transcribing and it'd be pronounced that way. Heck, it could even be as easy as the actor misreading the word and not noticing the R, and no one noticing--because the word was too obscure at the time for most people to realize he's mispronounced it.
You are 100% correct, except that there's a prop book titled "Sibonetics" in the movie at one point. That's where I got the spelling from. Now, it might be that the screenwriter was using a word he'd misheard somewhere else.
 

The Fiendish Dr. Samsara

The elegant assassin
Validated User
Sheesh, you're not wrong. I can't even handle Manos with the guys. I made it through once, and that was enough.
Is it wrong, then, that I have come to genuinely enjoy Manos? My son and I regard watching it as a sine qua non for bad movie connoisseurship and we have watched the actual film, the MST3K version (several times), the Rifftrax version, and the puppet interpretation, Manos, Hands of Felt.

What?
 

Snow Goon

Credible Hulk
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Is it wrong, then, that I have come to genuinely enjoy Manos? My son and I regard watching it as a sine qua non for bad movie connoisseurship and we have watched the actual film, the MST3K version (several times), the Rifftrax version, and the puppet interpretation, Manos, Hands of Felt.

What?
Okay, Doc, don't get out the blowgun just yet. To each their own. There are plenty of movies, terrible flicks, that I enjoy. Just not Manos. I respect your verve, though. What aspects do you and your son find so appealing? Not asking for you to justify yourself, mind, just genuinely curious.
 

Strange Visitor

Grumpy Grognard
Validated User
Oooo, thanks. I'll give that a look.

You are 100% correct, except that there's a prop book titled "Sibonetics" in the movie at one point. That's where I got the spelling from. Now, it might be that the screenwriter was using a word he'd misheard somewhere else.
That's right, I'd forgotten about that. At that point, I suspect you're correct.
 

The Fiendish Dr. Samsara

The elegant assassin
Validated User
Okay, Doc, don't get out the blowgun just yet. To each their own. There are plenty of movies, terrible flicks, that I enjoy. Just not Manos. I respect your verve, though. What aspects do you and your son find so appealing? Not asking for you to justify yourself, mind, just genuinely curious.
Gosh, the utter incompetence of the direction brings forth such an embarrassment of riches, really: the seemingly-endless driving sequence; the utterly pointless bits with the necking couple that just seem to keep reappearing; the risible attempt at eroticism with the "wife fight"; the ridiculous voice-over for the little girl that gives her the voice of a middle-aged woman; the music box that Torgo seems to have in his legs that only plays when he walks; Torgo wearing his prosthetic satyr's legs backwards for the entire film so that he appears to have absolutely non-terrifying, enormous knees; Torgo's delivery; Torgo's repetition of virtually every damn line...

Really, anything involving Torgo.

And yet, at the same time and for some of the same reasons, I find a genuinely creepy aspect to the movie. The worst nightmares are the ones where you feel that you cannot escape; where just trying to run across the room seems to take forever. And Manos has that feeling. The drive that never seems to get anywhere followed by the characters spending the rest of the movie kind of walking into and out of the same room over and over again. If you stop trying to think of it as a proper film narrative and think of it as the record of a nightmare, it actually kind of works.

So we find that it is a good...acid test? Rite of initiation, maybe? I don't know. But being able to see both aspects of the film has been a good indicator in our experience of whether or not someone really enjoys riffing truly bad films*.

That or a little thing that we like to call Cave Dwellers. Because, well, everyone should watch Cave Dwellers.


* by which I mean a film that was not intended to be parodic, campy, or silly; it doesn't make sense to riff movies that are already riffing themselves.
 

Timon

Unabashed optimist
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Has nobody yet suggested that great work "Plan 9 from Outer Space" - the film that replaced Bela Lugosi (who died during the shooting) with the director's chiropractor...
 

shikomekidomi

Registered User
Validated User
Gosh, the utter incompetence of the direction brings forth such an embarrassment of riches, really: the seemingly-endless driving sequence; the utterly pointless bits with the necking couple that just seem to keep reappearing; the risible attempt at eroticism with the "wife fight"; the ridiculous voice-over for the little girl that gives her the voice of a middle-aged woman; the music box that Torgo seems to have in his legs that only plays when he walks; Torgo wearing his prosthetic satyr's legs backwards for the entire film so that he appears to have absolutely non-terrifying, enormous knees; Torgo's delivery; Torgo's repetition of virtually every damn line... Really, anything involving Torgo..
Hm... Interesting. The thing is, in my case, Manos is hard to enjoy, even as 'riffing a bad movie' because of things like the driving sequences. You can make fun of bad things happening but Manos commits the cardinal sin of having nothing happening, it's too dull to be enjoyable even in a 'so bad it's good' kind of way. Once Torgo shows up, things change a bit, of course.
 

Crinos

Next to me you're all number two!
Validated User
Is it wrong, then, that I have come to genuinely enjoy Manos? My son and I regard watching it as a sine qua non for bad movie connoisseurship and we have watched the actual film, the MST3K version (several times), the Rifftrax version, and the puppet interpretation, Manos, Hands of Felt.

What?
The thing about Manos is that there are the embers of a good movie hidden there. buried under the sub par acting, the technical limitations, and the fanservice girl wrestling, there is a creepy story in there which you can cast glimpses of. Namely the fact that this family took a wrong turn and found themselves basically trapped in Hell. There these other people we encounter on the periphery of this place: The Police, the Smoochers, but they live in the area and they don't even know about the place. It would be like living next door to the place Count Dracula dumps his corpses and never realizing it.

(Also, I've been sick the last couple of days, so I've been doing what I usually do when I have a cold, binge watching MST3k.)
 
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