Witchfinder General (1968 United Kingdom)

In 1645 the accusing word witch (or papist in England) was enough to have your human rights roundly violated. Today we have the politically powerful elite wielding a similar power with the use of the word racist. Some things don’t change. Witchfinder General’s exploitative elements are tempered by the ever-reliable presence of horror maestro Vincent Price, who manages to keep the film feeling respectable. Proving his versatility as an actor, Price’s performance is surprisingly understated; perhaps he felt that the subject matter was already macabre enough, without the need for his own unique vocal flourishes. Indeed, far from being frightening, Matthew Hopkins comes across as little more than a methodical businessman, his moral quandaries not necessarily absent, but merely set aside to make room for his wages. [Read more…]

Advertisements

An Avant-garde Symphony

The most quirky, off- beat soundtrack in film history. Jerry Goldsmith achieved everything with this score. It even has a simian personality, with all those high pitched animal-like sounds. Its tribal. Its loose and tight. It gets into the listener’s spine. Unsettling. If any soundtrack sums up the upside down, surreal 1960s it is Planet Of The Apes. A soundtrack worth experiencing under the influence of class A drugs. So influential was this album that even rock musicians borrowed elements from it (Pink Floyd’s “Time” from the “Dark Side of the Moon” LP in 1973). The keyboard and percussive rythmns are chaotic and startling.

The Astro-Zombies (1968 USA)

One of those Z grade efforts where you can tell the producers had props and sets left over from previous productions and wrote a script based around them. Therefore, the film makes absolutely no sense, and ends up throwing everything but the kitchen sink at the audience. [Read more…]

The Greatest Rock Band Ever

A dude looking like a bitch-mannequin, another like an apache. In the year this blogger was born too, but alas not “in a crossfire hurricane”. Back in the day when videos for songs were rare this was a work of art. Amazing bass riff. Fantastic lead guitar. This really lays the law down to the listener. Mick is at his most spastically irrepressible. The man is possessed. And that sneering chorus which must have made Lennon & Townshend green with envy that they hadn’t thought of it first. Jagger is rock’s greatest entertainer. Even if he just makes you laugh. He has a perpetual animal energy that is unique. He is always in motion. [Read more…]

Planet Of The Apes (1968 USA)

apes(Today is the first anniversary of this blog, btw) Moving on…Planet Of The Apes is such an icon of the late 1960s. This is why 21st century remakes of it do not work. Youngsters today think its just a science fiction story, but this is actually a barometer of what was going on in those days of a rapidly changing society. “Don’t trust anyone over 30” and  “Beards? I don’t go in for fads,” type of cutesy-pie dialogue dates it wonderfully. The satire here does go overboard at times, but everyone seems to really mean what they are saying. Man.

[Read more…]

The Party (1968 United States)

theparty_titlePeter Sellers plays a hapless actor of East Indian heritage (a white actor blacking up is frowned upon in these p.c. times, though he almost never treats the character in a demeaning way) who makes an unforgivable mistake on a movie set, causing him to be banned from the industry – “You’ll never work in this town again!” as the cliche goes. [Read more…]

BULLITT (1968 United States)

8767The first lone-wolf cop story plays by the rules of the genre it spawned, featuring a charismatic, outsider type who carries a badge and an attitude directed as much against the egos and hubris of his superiors as against the criminal element. [Read more…]

PERFORMANCE (1968 Britain)

b1faef4f2e17127646cbd6c1799dcdc9

“Business is business and progress is progress…”

One can’t help thinking the trial and subsequent jailing of the Kray twins might have had something to do with the delay of this cinematic ejaculation. The mobsters seen here lounge in bed all day lusting over gay porn. [Read more…]

CURSE OF THE CRIMSON ALTAR (1968 Britain)

Curse_of_the_crimson_altar_posterAh 1968, the year that keeps turning up all over these film reviews. The year quite a lot happened actually. Although this is strictly a B movie in terms of quality, it is one of the most colourfully entertaining products that came out of England from that era. Images from this motion picture keep turning up in those books written by Jonathan Rigby and David Pirie. [Read more…]

DEEP WATER (Britain)

deep-water-dvd-cover-artI’m no sailor and know very little about it, but a few weeks ago an amazing documentary named “Deep Water” was broadcast on TV. Thinking ‘this will bore me soon and I’ll turn over’ I gave it ten minutes to hold my attention. It certainly did. In 1968 nine men set off in nine small boats to circumnavigate the Earth, unsupported and non-stop. [Read more…]

%d bloggers like this: