From the Dust-Bins: The Lost World

U.S.; Science-Fiction/Adventure; 1925; 93 minutes (originally 106 minutes); Directed by: Harry Hoyt; Produced by: Jamie White (executive), Earl Hudson (unc); Based off of the novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; First National Pictures

Very few times before in film history has the audience looked upon a special effect and wonder in astonishment “How did they film that?” Especially in today’s technologically driven world, where most of the wonder of special effects have been stolen under the common knowledge of computer graphics. Upon the introduction of computer imagery in films like Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Jurassic Park, the sense of wonder was only increased. But after hearing of the amazing new technology and the wonders it can perform, most special effects can be swept under the rug with a quick realization of our digital world. Not to mention the over-use of that technology nowadays just makes “special” effects nothing special at all to today’s audiences.

Such was not the case back in 1922, when renowned Sherlock Holmes writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle strolled into Society of American Magicians meeting with a 35mm film reel tucked under his arm. His friend, renowned illusionist and escape artist Harry Houdini, was a part of the society of magicians, and Doyle wanted to impress him and his friends at the society with a magic trick even the great Houdini couldn’t explain. Doyle projected the film reel, and the screen filled with dinosaurs going about their natural daily lives. The footage included shots of a Triceratops family, a Stegosaurus, and even the carnivorous Allosaurus attacking said dinosaurs. After the viewing, Doyle refused to answer the questions the magicians bombarded him with about the film’s origin. The very next day, the New York Times‘ front page article stated “[Conan Doyle’s] monsters of the ancient world, or of the new world which he has discovered in the ether, were extraordinarily lifelike. If fakes, they were masterpieces.” Read more of this post

Advertisements

From the Dust-Bins: Turkish Star Wars

It's actually much worse than this, but the numbers only go so low.

1982, Turkey; 91 Minutes; Directed by: Çetin Inanç; Produced by: Mehmet Karahafiz. No studio listed for apparent reasons: no company wants to fess up to this abomination.

YouTube seems to be the leading site in plagiarized video materials in our modern age. There are many arguments for and against the use of copyright materials for educational or entertainment purposes, but I’m not going to debate that in this article. I’m merely bringing this up to compare it to the similar breaches of copyright committed by the Turkish back in the 1980s. Particularly, the use within 1982 film Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam, translated into English as The Man Who Saves The World.

Star Wars has had many rip-offs since it’s release in 1977. My film instructor personally knew a man who was cast to play a gold-plated version of Darth Vader in a space odyssey film that was supposed to be better than anything Star Wars had to offer. Odd that I can’t remember the film’s title, huh?

But none of the rip offs made by the States can top the stupidity of downright plagiarism portrayed in The Man Who Save The World. This film has been the black sheep of any film group since the day of it’s birth, and it’s popularity as laughter fodder has only been growing in light of its availability on the internet. In fact, you can find the Turkish film right here. And seeing that it actually uses the special effect shots from the original Star Wars movie, it has been called by many “The Turkish Star Wars”. Read more of this post

From the Dustbins: The Wild Ride

1960; 58 minutes; Drama; United States; Directed by Harvey Berman; produced by Harvey Berman; executive producer: Kinta Zertuche; The Filmgroup Inc.

There are some films that have a certain draw to them despite they’re utter lack of any likable characters and any sense of script writing. In The Wild Ride, most of this draw comes from the unintentional comedy that can be found in a teenage Jack Nicholson looking like he’s either about to fall asleep or look extremely slick as he skirts around the cops by telling them they can sit on it. Dig it, man?

Actually, Jack was 23 when he starred in this 1960 film. And we’re not entirely sure of the age of the character he portrays, car racer Johnny Varron, who is also one of the more unlikable characters in the slew of movies made by The Filmgroup Inc. back in the 1960s. He’s not the only one either, as much of the cast in this movie is wildly unpleasant to watch. Read more of this post

From the Dustbins: Vampire Wars

The OVA boom was a wonderful time for anime.  Well, make that “a terrible time”, actually, because it was one of the greatest creative slumps the industry has ever seen.  Studios tried to rake in cash by appealing to the Western demographics that were wowed by the graphic violence and general maturity of titles like Akira, so they churned out volumes of forgotten pieces of trash that usually aren’t even worth the plastic of the VHS tape that they were distributed on.  I call it “wonderful” only because some of the greatest pieces of animated bullshit to have ever come from Japan were released as a result. Read more of this post

From the Dustbins: Ai City

 

 

A child psychic, her macho martial artist guardian, and an incompetent PI speed on down a causeway pursued by a butch female telepath leading a motorcycle gang.  Minutes later, the butch female telepath motorcycle blonde has been inexplicably transformed into an attractive, naked, amnesic, humorously lecherous woman that can’t keep her hands off the PI.  Nobody knows how this transformation occurred, but it involved some kind of shattered-mirror dimension that resulted between some kind of psychic clash of wills.  Later, donned only in the PI’s trench coat, she fights a pair of villains that practically stepped out of Batman’s rogues gallery, telekinetically ripping one of them apart before the battle is interrupted by a sort of science sorcerer that lives inside Robby the Robot.  By the end of the film, it is explained that a DNA-mutating virus was developed ages ago and it warped everyone into monsters, and that the child psychic was in fact a this messianic device that would destroy the virus and redeem humanity—this is explained, of course, just prior to the climactic boss fight that takes place in an unexplained gore dimension.  And at the very end of the film?  Everyone inexplicably time travels and the cycle repeats itself.  Read more of this post

From the Dustbins: Tetsuo – The Iron Man

 

SHE IS SO HOT

I had a hard time deciding whether or not this truly belonged under the Dustbin moniker, but after realizing that the only people who have probably heard of this film are either cult film aficionados or art film fanatics, I decided that it deserved this treatment.  I’m still not wholly convinced, however, seeing as how cult films are generally dusty old niche things that are remembered, and this certainly has been remembered like any other cult film has.  It’s certainly not something rotting away forgotten in a garbage bin someplace, particularly when one considers that it’s even received a third sequel just this past year.  But all the same, obscure films are obscure, and if I dare say so myself, this film is obscure enough.  Read more of this post

From the Dustbins: Roots Search

There is a reason Roots Search has been forgotten: it’s terrible.  It isn’t terrible because the character development is shoddy, inconsistent, and arbitrary.  It isn’t terrible because the plot is convoluted to the point of making obtuse art films seem lucid in comparison.  It isn’t even terrible because of its low-budget animation quality or awkward pacing.  With the right mixture of each of these, one could make a title that is “so bad it’s good”.  And yet, somehow, Roots Search manages to just barely miss even this mark.  It’s simply a case of being “so bad it’s still terrible”. Read more of this post