The Scattershot Lunacy of Movie Director Richard E. Cunha

Frankenstein's Daughter Movie Poster

Anyone who has visited Bill Ectric’s Place for any length of time knows that I like reading about low budget B movies, especially horror and science fiction. Sometimes watching them can be fun; sometimes reading about them is better than actually watching them. Unless you are either watching them on Mystery Science Theater, or with friends who can appreciate the craziness.

I’ve pretty much read every entry of 1,000 Misspent Hours and Counting, but that’s okay – I just discover a new blog called Radiation Cinema, written by Mykal Banta. There may be other writers on board, but Mr. Banta seems to carry most, if not all, of the weight.

Here’s an especially good review he wrote about Frankenstein’s Daughter (1958). I especially like the beginning and the end of the review, more than the actual synopsis of the film. Sometimes he throws in a good comment during the synopsis, though.

On Frankenstein’s Daughter, he says:

The DNA, that beautiful double helix of genetic instruction, has become seriously degraded in the Frankenstein lineage by the summer of 1958 . . .

. . . And with that, we have touched upon the glory of the maligned, beloved work of  us to Director Richard Cunha, who was at the helm for this enduring, radioactive fragment from the Atomic Age. Say whatever negative you want about Cunha’s work and you will probably be right. Yet his films were never without their own poorly-funded experiments, done in the blink of an eye under the powerful duress of time; all of which produced a kind of scattershot lunacy that simply keeps me riveted. He produced a quartet of drive-in offerings: All made in the span of a single year (1958): She Demons (his best work), Giant of the Unknown, Missile to the Moon, and Frankenstein’s Daughter. I find myself watching these films repeatedly, never for hidden subtext or moments of deepening meaning (there simply aren’t any of those); but more to enjoy the sharp stab and flash of oddball edginess, and something more; a certain connection I find difficult to understand.

Read the entire review here 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Everlasting Man by G.K. Chesterton

Illustration of G. K. Chesterton by in Metropolitan Magazine

Above: Illustration of G. K. Chesterton by Tony Sarg in the May, 1920 issue of Metropolitan Magazine

People have been telling me for years that I would like G. K. Chesterton. For the most part, they are referring to his fiction, but I’ve also heard good things about his non-fiction. After reading this blog post on Red Eagles Legacy, I’ve decided. I  want to hear what the man has to say.

Source: The Everlasting Man by G.K. Chesterton

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Babel-17

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Thomas Pynchon – Gravity’s Rainbow

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Notes on Notes on Poe

Edgar Allan Poe

From Literary Kicks, here’s a fascinating article written by Michelle Glauser about notes found in a book about Edgar Allan Poe.

Glauser begins:

Have you ever found something in an old book that took you by surprise? It’s not unusual to find a name or maybe even a phone number. Sometimes you’ll find evidence that the book once belonged to a library. But extensive notes and criticism of an author as well-known as Edgar Allan Poe and his biographer? Maybe in a textbook. I certainly wasn’t expecting what I recently found.

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Excerpts of: William Burroughs, “The Western Lands”

The Western Lands    Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00020]

Today, instead of writing my own post, I’m sharing a post from Rudy Rucker’s blog, which begins:

Some notes on the book’s contents.
(1) The “Western Lands” of the book’s title come from Egyptian mythology about the afterlife. Supposedly, beyond the Land of the Dead, lies a heavenly Elysium: the Western Lands.
(2) Burroughs often goes off on these great riffs like you’d find at the start of a story or novel—such as a detective story, or a science fiction tale, or an exotic adventure novel about explorers in the jungle. He slips smoothly into the genre conventions, but then begins warping them, and ultimately he drops the riff once he’s gotten all the juice from it that he wants. He just about never bothers to really wrap up a sequence or bring it to a full conclusion. I especially noticed a lot of great science-fiction twists.

Source: Excerpts of: William Burroughs, “The Western Lands”     Read More

 

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A Psychological Drama set in France: Stranger Days by Rachel Kendall

Stranger Days book cover My book review of Rachel Kendall’s Stranger Days is on Empty Mirror.

I’m happy to report that Rachel Kendall does an exceptional job of keeping her novel, Stranger Days, fresh, fun and riveting. Kendall doesn’t shy away from the usual intrigue and romance of Paris, but she does it so well, Stranger Days is a pleasure to read. The edgy plot, with its dose of psychological darkness, held my interest from beginning to end.

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