It’s Hammer Time Presents: The Man Who Could Cheat Death (1959, Terence Fisher)


Operating as another one of the studios famous mad scientist movies, The Man Who Could Cheat Death has some of Terence Fisher’s usually strong visual style of film making that is the reason why he is the best out of the studios’ stable of directors at the height of its popularity. This film is well made and also is a tad creepy, as the title character turns out to be a monster as a result of his desire to live forever. Georges Bonnet is arrogant, intelligent, murderous and yet utterly charming. Without the parathyroid glands he takes from his victims Georges will finally die after living for over a 100 years. His mentor, Prof. Ludwig Weiss, refuses to help and therefore Georges has to force Pierre Gerard to perform the operation that will enable Georges to continue living forever. A scene that shows what happens to Georges’ victims is rather eerie, aimed at being terrifying and featuring plenty of green. Its almost as if Georges was an alien instead of just a man who thanks to science has found the secret of eternal life. This gift is of course not without a steep price.

Its a bit strange seeing Christopher Lee in a non-monster/evil person role, and he does a fine job here as Pierre, the doctor who unless he aids Georges will suffer the loss of the woman the two men love, Janine Dubois (played by the lovely and talented Hazel Court).  Anton Diffring is fantastic as Georges, giving life to a man who has become evil in his quest to never die. His fate becomes sealed by different forces, and the finale is rather violent and intense, as are most endings to Hammer Studios movies. This film is rather good also for its discussion on what long life, especially possibly living forever, can do to a person. In a key scene Ludwig and Georges argue about the surgery, with Ludwig mentioning that the years have changed Georges for the worse, not for the better. It almost reminds me of some newer Doctor Who episodes where the Doctor’s companions tell him to never travel alone, and how the Doctor often reflects that living so long has turned him into a different man completely.

Some argue that this movie is too heavy on dialogue, yet I like how Fisher sets up his more dramatic elements. Plus the killings are properly horrific and there is plenty of suspense in the final act. I do want to view the original version of this film, titled The Man In Half Moon Street and compare the two films. Hammer Studios was usually quite good at making remarkably entertaining remakes that either channeled the spirits of the originals or offered a new twist on previous material.

Your Worst Inhibitions Tend To Psych You Out In The End


Gus and Shawn are a great pair together. Shawn happens to be the son of a legendary policeman named Henry, while Gus is his life long friend and companion. Sure this show at times reminds me of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson yet it has a unique twist: Shawn pretends to be a psychic. The police use them as consultants although they also have their own private detective agency. Lassiter and Juliet are the two police detectives who put up with their shenanigans as they all try to solve cases every episode.

What I love about this show is the rapport that Gus and Shawn have with each other. The jokes come fast and are rather sharp. Also the supporting cast is fantastic. You also have Henry, who is the reason why Shawn has a heavily observant ability in the first place. Although the show lacks a true arc save for some episodes there are requiring characters and the show does focus on certain aspects.

One of them being Shawn’s dangerous twisty game with an infamous serial killer. The other being Shawn and Juliet being near perfect for each other. Also the major underlying theme of the show is that Gus and Shawn have to keep up the idea that Shawn is psychic. If the police find out Shawn could be in serious trouble. However thanks to the pair’s gift for getting themselves in and out of trouble such worries are pushed aside.

Many episodes are hilarious and I am working back through Psych while anticipating the last season, which is not on Netflix. I do reflect on the show’s joyous aspect plus its great sense of humor and style. The USA Network has some good shows yet I’ve grown mostly attached to Psych over the years. Also its theme song rules.

Favorite Songs: Part XIX


This is one of my favorite songs, and I can thank NPR for me hearing it in the first place. I love how Dr. Dog has fantastic lyrics and then combines that with a well rounded musical sensibility. Plus some wit thrown in, too. The music video is excellent too, underlying Dog’s tale of the lonely. Love it.

Behold A Pale Horse: Chapter V


Alex looked at the man and the man looked right back, as if he was trying to read Alex’s mind. Despite the black night that clouded the park Alex was able to finally make out two other men hiding near a dim light post that barely gave off any illumination. As the thin man lit another cigarette Alex saw one of the men in the background suddenly move. That was the signal. Not even hesitating Alex drew his .22 and opened fire, blasting the thin man in front of him before the poor bastard could reach for his gun. Seeing the first man turning towards him and revealing a large machine gun, Alex pushed the thin man forward and then dived behind a park bench.

Bullets pierced the thin man, finishing off what Alex had started. Firing off a few more shots Alex rolled over to a nearby statue, sitting casually at its base while the second man unloaded more rounds in Alex’s direction. Knowing that he was pinned down, Alex turned on his flashlight and pointed the beam in the shooter’s direction, blinding him and giving Alex enough time to fire off more .22 rounds. One bullet smashed into the shooter’s arm, drawing blood and causing the shooter to cry out in pain. Having discharged the remainder of his .22 rounds Alex shoved the empty pistol into his jacket and drew out his .44, cocking back the hammer and looking around for the second gunman.

Suddenly headlights flashed and the park was fully lit, bathed in glowing yellow light. “This is the police! Freeze!,” shouted a rather familiar voice. It was unmistakably raspy, much like Alex’s voice, and it carried a high level of authority. The two men peeled in the voice’s direction, and the wounded man pulled out a semi-automatic handgun, dropping his machine gun and wincing in pain. Alex steadied his piece and opened fire, hitting the other man in the chest as he opened fire upon the police in the parking lot. Despite the clear hit the man kept firing, yelling angrily before the two policeman in front of him each opened fire. The first man winged him with a handgun, while the second discharged a shotgun round at his chest. Stunned at this turn of events the now dead man’s partner turned to flee as the dead man collapsed, blood exploding from his chest.

Ignoring the police and not caring that the man was fleeing, Alex opened fire two more times, hitting the man in the shoulder and in the leg. The man fell screaming, dropping his gun and turning to face a furious Alex, panic quickly filling his eyes. “That’s enough Alex. He’s down. No need to kill him.” “Why not, Kyle? He won’t tell me anything I don’t know already.” “Yeah you’re probably right. Still he’s a wounded suspect. And murder is murder.”

While Alex and Kyle argued a car suddenly screeched out of the park, blazing away at 90 miles per hour. The two men looked at each other and shrugged as Kyle’s partner walked towards the wounded man, examining him for weapons before calling an ambulance. “This is Richard, my young new partner. Reminds me way too much of you. Not really a good thing, heh,” stated Kyle as Alex watched Richard warily eye the suspect, making sure the wounded man didn’t move and that he was truly unarmed.

Alex shook Richard’s hand and the two looked at one another, unsure about what to expect. Kyle broke the tension by then saying “Also fuck you, Alex. No phone calls, no e-mail, no visits? That’s cold even by your standards.” Alex grinned coldly and responded back with “Well you know me, Kyle. I’m just a grumpy old asshole.” The two men starred at each other for a minute before laughing at one another. Meanwhile Richard called for an ambulance and further backup as Kyle and Alex walked over to the injured suspect.

It’s Hammer Time Presents: The Terror of the Tongs (1961, Anthony Bushnell)


Previously I realized that having Peter Cushing was not enough to make a Hammer Studios Film good. This holds true in this case for Christopher Lee as well, although its not his fault as he gloriously overacts and plays a Chinese man in a role that is well….racist. The movie itself is racist and doesn’t care, reveling in a plot that involves a sea captain battling the local Tongs gang, which rules things. Lee is their evil leader who, afraid of a list falling into the wrong hands, decides to murder the daughter of the captain, named Jackson Sale (blandly played by Geoffery Toone). Naturally this causes Jackson to go seek revenge, and in the process he is manipulated by those who wish to destroy the Red Dragon Tongs in Hong Kong.

Terror has some of the typical Hammer Films grace notes, such as graphic violence and suspenseful moments. Even though this film is kind of one note and racist its still entertaining at times and there is a few truly great scenes. The part where Jackson has to deal with a drugged up assassin that refuses to die even he shoots him again and again (you would think that he would have tried to aim for the head). Even though its uneven and a bit dull at times The Terror of the Tongs still manages to be watchable at least, partly thanks to its action packed ending as well.

Behold A Pale Horse Chapters Page


This is a short story I’m attempting to write, titled Behold A Pale Horse. Its a crime story. Here’s links to all of the chapters:

Chapter 1-http://madman731.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/behold-a-pale-horse/
Chapter 2-http://madman731.wordpress.com/2014/04/09/behold-a-pale-horse-3/
Chapter 3-http://madman731.wordpress.com/2014/04/23/behold-a-pale-horse-4/
Chapter 4-http://madman731.wordpress.com/2014/05/29/behold-a-pale-horse-2/