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Posts tagged “1978

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (1978) – It’s Because of Movies Like This That This Blog Exists

If you haven’t watched Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (ATKT), and you are a reader of this blog, then you should stop reading now, watch the movie and then come back. I’ll wait here.

Okay, so now you’ve watched this movie, what do you think? Bad? Damn straight. Low budget? Oh hell yeah! Unwatchable? I wouldn’t necessarily say that.

So, 1978’s ATKT is a silly, low budget spoof on the low budget creature features that were being made willy-nilly in the 1970s. It seems like a exercise to see how lame a creature could be and still have people watch the film. I think they succeeded in this.

Basically, the story revolves around a group of scientists who have gathered together to try to come up with a defense against, aggressive, killer mutant tomatoes that have suddenly popped up, killing any human they come into contact with. A crack team is sent to look for chinks in the Tomato defenses – including a lieutenant who is dragging a parachute behind himself continuously (hell, he looks like he landed right out of World War II), And underwater expert who is continuously in a wet suit and a master of disguise who is anything but a master of disguise.

I’m not going to write a lot about this movie other than to say that despite it’s stupidity, and lameness, I liked this silly thing they called a movie. If you like bad movies, then this is a definite must watch… and it has the most awesome theme song.

Add this movie to your collection, folks.

Here is a trailer:


Hooper (1978) – Truly Cool

I have a confession to make: when this movie came out, I snuck into it with my buddy Craig by climbing under the fence of the local drive in. We were nine years old and his parents thought we were hanging out in the basement watching TV… good time.

That aside, I have always thought that this was a fun movie about a cool, ageing stuntman, Sonny Hooper (played by Burt Reynolds), on the set of a blockbuster movie. The movie is about his coming to grips with ageing and competition from younger, up and coming stuntmen, his relationship with Gwen (played by Sally Fields) and being potentially paralysed by doing and incredible jump over a gorge  in a rocket car as well as dealing with a prick of a director, played by Robert Klein.

Look, Burt Reynolds is cool and this is a cool movie. Many movies that I liked as a kid seem crappy when I watch them now, but this is not one of them. I find the characters fun and compelling and generally a fun movie with the right amount of action to dialogue. The supporting cast is just strong enough with actors like Brian Keith, Jan-Michael Vincent and James Best (Rosco from The Dukes of Hazzard).

I would say that if you’re looking for a fun, action paced movie then go for it – Hooper is a fun romp.

Here is the trailer:


Magic (1978) – A Great Movie

1978’s Magic is a twisted, psychological horror tale of an introverted mouse of a man, Charles “Corky” Wither, a professional magician and ventriloquist (played by the great Anthony Hopkins) who loses his grip on reality just as he is poised to make it big in show business.

Corky attempts to hone his stage skills at the insistence of his dying father (a one time magician that that worked the Catskills scene), who believes in Corky’s talent. After lots of work, he is discovered by big time agent, Ben Greene (played by the always great Burgess Meridith) who get’s him a deal with a major network, with the caveat that Corky must take a medical exam – nsomething that Corky refuses to do on “principal.” Upset, Corky takes off to an old place that rented cabins in the Catskills. It turns out that the lodge is run by a woman, Peggy Ann Snow (played by the gorgeous Ann-Margret), who Corky had a crush on as a child. 

Peggy Ann, now in a bad marriage, engages Corky and they end up in bed together and talking about her leaving her husband and taking off with Corky. Little does anyone know (at this point), that Corky is being controlled by his schizophrenic alter ego that manifests itself through his ventriloquist dummy, Fats. 

Ben Green walks in on Corky while he’s having an argument with the dummy, realizing that the reason Corky refused the medical exam was that he was worried that the doctor would discover that he was stark raving mad. After a tense test (that Corky fails), Ben goes to leave, vowing to get Corky professional help.  Shortly after walking out the door, Fats convinces Corky to kill Ben… And then the carnage begins.

I don’t want to give away anymore of this masterpiece. Let me say this: I have ventriloquist and their acts – I do not find any entertainment in this form of show business. That said, Magic is a fantastic movie with a great cast and great acting. A good movie.

Watch Magic – you owe it to yourself!

Here’s the trailer:


Starcrash (1978) – Did They Mis-Spell Starcrap?

Ah, Italian Sci-Fi movies or Spaghetti Sci-Fi as I like to refer to them – a special kind of bad movies, and Starcrash is one of those. Released shortly after Star Wars took the world by storm and attempting to ride on it’s coat tails, Starcrash fails in almost every way as a movie. That was expected, though.

A couple of smugglers, the scantily clad Stella Star (played by Caroline Munroe) whos is apparently one of the best space pilots (and ass kickers) and Akton (played by Marjoe Gotner) are forced to search for the Galactic Emperor’s only son, Simon (Played surprisingly by David Hasselhoff  – the Galactic Emperor is played by Christopher Plummer) who was lost when the ship he was on was hit by a beam that made the crew turn insane. They are tracking three  escape pods to three different planets – of course each planet full of a different kind of danger. Throw in a faithful, powerful robot companion, Elle (played by Hamilton Camp), and you have the making of a cast and crew. There’s also a fair amount of bad stop motion animation with some of the evil robotic enemies – always enjoyable.

Stella’s companion Akton has several super powers (like seeing the future and restoring life) and the Emperor’s son Simon has a light sword that he uses to defeat some of those aforementioned bad robots.  

There’s a big bad guy, Count Zarth (played by Joe Spinell) who is behind all the trouble.

The rest is cheeze – pure cheeze.

This one I have to say is a must watch – terrible but a must watch. It’s too dumb not to be – plus it is available for free on Youtube as an episode of  Mystery Science Theatre 3000. Caroline Munro looks hot (as usual – in her 1970’s way, that is), and this is just pure fun.

Check out a clip here:

Watch the whole movie here (with cheezy comentary via Mystery Science 3000):