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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Cinemated Fool's Day


Just finished up episode 5 of the increasingly silly moviehost series
The Cinemated Man
.


This time, "Michael Chambers" is presenting THEM! (1954). Yup, the original atomic mutant bug hunt flick that inspired countless films from Jaws, to Aliens to Wuthering Heights...well, almost.

The full length videos are online at Google Video. While each episode's Act I and Epilogue segments shine on both YouTube and Google Video.

What's it all about? Watch the series pilot intro! (You know, all those great TV shows always told you everything you needed to know in the show's opening.)

In a nutshell, Michael Chambers is holed up in an abandoned movie theater on the outskirts of Tokyo. Wanted by the police, the mafia and the ladies flower arrangement club, he presents old movies in all their glory while he bides his time.

Confused? So am I.

Get the details and all the links at the site:
http://cinematedman.blogspot.com/

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! Thanks - I haven't seen "Them!" since 1968 when broke a leg (literally) and had to stay in bed watching way too much TV for about a month. Quickly became a "Perry Mason" and "The Andy Giffith Show" junkie during that stretch, and I'm still not 'clean' to this day.

What an opening - that little girl walking along by herself in the desert, shocked speechless, until waking up with a shudder and screaming her head off "Them!, them!, them!". It totally blew my mind.

However, on the curious side - that sound the giant ants make, what's up with that? Remind you of anything?....

"What are those things out there? I've got to know! Look, Peg, why can't you tell me?"

"OK, Bob, but I'm afraid it's even worse than Dad and I had expected - an army of mutant Ford Country Squire station wagons marauding through the desert, snaring innocent people in their blood-soaked fan belts!"

Oh and in your otherwize excellent intro (love the goggles) you didn't mention Fess Parker's bit part as the pilot who sees the giant ants on their way to LA. He re-gained his sanity and went on to portray Davey Crocket in a bunch of "Wonderful World of Disney" TV serials in the mid-to-late 50's, and then starred in the NBC "Daniel Boone" series in the 60's. Quite a career.

Nate D.
http://njsupercub.blogspot.com

1:36 PM  
Blogger supercublogger said...

Oh, great to hear you liked it. Yup. one of my childhood scary favorites I'd catch on Chiller Theater or one of the other Saturday afternoon matinee shows on TV.

I found that Fess was mentioned soooooo much in just about every online description of this film I found. Many saying he stole the movie. I disagree completely. I think he chewed up the wallpaper in that scene, totally hammed it up needlessly. For me it seems like he really was off his rocker and the other actors were just letting him hang himself. Frankly, that scene went too long, and in fact, was really redundant with the other encounter interviews. My favorite interview was Olin Howland's 'make me a sergeant in charge of the booze!' scene. That's hamming it up right! Many folks confuse him with Sterling Holloway that wonderfully prolific actor who voiced Winnie the Pooh, et al. I was going to discuss him, but again, it was going to distract in act 1 and epilogue i was too busy fighting off the ants!

As for that sound, I swear i heard that as a kid in Chatham Twp NJ growing up. I think it's a kind of cicada, at least the first sound before they attack.

Yeah, i pick and choose what I want to mention depending on what interests me. Cuz if i listed all the trivia or info it would take hours, rather than the 5-6 mins allotted.

Plus the prime directive of the act 1 is:
1. no spoilers. I won't do anything or say anything in the act 1 that will spoil the magic of watching it.
( i leave all spoilers for the epilogue.)

All too often I've seen online things (and TV even Bob Osborne on TCM does this.) where they ruin the magic, shatter the illusion with discussions of FX or bad acting, or some other distraction, etc. Big mistake. That's just one person's opinion, but it can really sway a viewer who may have never seen the pic, or even if they have. People say, I make up my own mind, but they really don't, if some presenter told you something ahead of time, there is no way under the sun you won't think of it when it comes up in the film.

CM is mainly a celebration/tribute to these films and great films in general, may they be famous or not. So, spoilers, smugness, condescension, and jaded cynicism on old FX/acting, etc, are totally
and absolutely out.

And always, I try to get into the spirit of the film as best as I can.

I hope you can check out more at the CM site.

Thanks again.

2:47 PM  
Blogger NJSuperCub said...

Hi Rob,

Funny you should mention Sterling Holloway - he's in an Andy Griffith Show episode - season 1, I think - where he plays a kindly but tired door-to-door salesman who is helped by Andy and Barney. Wonderful.

Chatham Township! I grew up in Montville (Towaco, to be exact). I guess that makes us fellow-(Morris) county-men or something.

Nate D.

4:48 AM  
Blogger supercublogger said...

Oh yeah, he was all over the place. Did a nice small part in Walk in the Sun as the medic. And believe it or not, played a thug/hitman in Morocco!

Yeah, NJ will always be my real home! Look for my pic in the next issue of Weird N.J. (not sure when it comes out).

I lived in Gillette and Flemington as well.

robbie

7:43 PM  

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