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[if you’re new to the Journey, read this to see what we’re all about!]

by Gideon Marcus

Roger Corman, the Savant of Schlock is back with a most unusual motion picture. With incredible puissance, Corman stretches a dime such that he makes "A" quality out of "B" films (q.v. House of Usher, Little Shop of Horrors, Panic in Year Zero, etc.) But Corman takes a different tack with his latest flick, Battle Beyond the Sun. From what I've read, it was originally a Soviet film, which Corman then redubbed and edited for American consumption. The result is...interesting, and not an unrewarding experience.

(see the rest at Galactic Journey!)
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[if you’re new to the Journey, reference this summary article to see what we’re all about.]

by Gideon Marcus

The specter of atomic destruction has been with us for more than a decade, ever since the Soviets detonated their first A-bomb in 1949. Both the US and USSR have developed vast bomber squadrons and now missile and submarine fleets rendering every place on Earth vulnerable. Not surprisingly, a new genre of fiction has been spawned – the post-apocalyptic story. Books like Alas, Babylon and movies such as On the Beach (originally a novel).

The latest example is a tiny-budgeted film by schlockhouse American Independent Pictures, Panic in Year Zero. The Young Traveler and I saw Panic at opening night, July 5. There was a big promotional event headlined by Frankie Avalon, and I understand the picture made back its budget in just the evening L.A. showings! The film has already generated some positive buzz, and I suspect it'll be the surprise hit of the summer.

(see the rest at Galactic Journey!)
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We are pleased to present noted scholar Rosemary Benton's thoughts on Roger Corman's House of Usher, the cinemafication of Poe's classic about a cursed family doomed to madness through the ages. Special kudos must be awarded since Ms. Benton lives in rural New England, where the movie houses are not all air conditioned...

It's been a particularly hot summer this year, but a deep love of movies compelled me to visit my local theater nonetheless. This time it was to enjoy a film that has been making quite a stir since it's release in June: House of Usher.

(see the rest at Galactic Journey!)
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The motion picture industry has been in decline for fifteen years, leaving movie houses owners pondering this humdinger:

"How do we get more folks through our doors?"

One way has been to aim for the pocketbook. Offer two movies for the price of one, the so-called "double feature." Only, it hasn't worked out so well, and the practice seems to be dying out.

The issue seems to be one of quality. What good does it do to get a second movie for free if it's not worth the time spent to endure it? Especially now that the allure of the theater is diminished by the spread of home air conditioning and television? This is why Hollywood is now turning to true spectacles to pack the seats: Ben Hur, The Ten Commandments. the upcoming Spartacus. These are epics for which the small screen just won't cut it. They may be what saves the industry.

This is not to say that B-movies, the second bananas in a double-bill, are history. In fact, my family and I just went to the cinema to watch what can only be described as a Double B feature: a pairing of The Last Woman on Earth and Little Shop of Horrors. I suppose that makes one of them a C-movie! Both are by Roger Corman, renowned for making low-budget schlock. He has a talent for squeezing the most out of a tiny purse, and much of what he produces has surprising merit.

I talked about The Last Woman on Earth in my last piece. This time around, let's look at Little Shop of Horrors.

(see the rest at Galactic Journey!)
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from here

I understand that the movie-house biz isn't doing so well. Looking through my trade magazines, I found some pretty alarming statistics. During the War, Americans spent about a quarter of their recreation budget on movies. Now, we spend just 5% in the cinemas. Movie revenues are down a third, from $1.4 billion to $950 million. Only half as many films are coming out this year as did during the War--200 versus 400.

The causes of film's decline aren't too hard to discern. Television is free and constant. More homes have air conditioning. Going to the movies isn't such an event anymore.

Not that the film parlors haven't tried. Cinescope. Cinerama. Aroma-rama! Double features. Drive-in viewing. Nothing's working.

Well, never let it be said that the Journey shirks its civic duty. Thus it was that the Traveller and his family all went to see the Roger Corman double-feature at the local movie palace.

Yes, you heard right. They billed a Corman B-movie with...another Corman B-movie! Boy are we gluttons for punishment. Actually, the experience wasn't so bad. We'd heard that his Little Shop of Horrors was a clever little comedy, and we weren't disappointed.

But that's getting ahead of ourselves, for Shop was the second feature on the billing. Number one was:

The Last Woman on Earth

(see the rest at Galactic Journey!)


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