Christopher Walken Did Not Call Up A Show To Say "There Was a Tragedy" | Main | Overnight Open Thread
November 19, 2011

Free Stuff

Below the fold is an excellent old movie on YouTube TV HD, Robinson Crusoe on Mars. Click on full screen. The director, Byron Haskin, was the same guy who directed War of the Worlds and several other things, like Captain Sindbad, my all-time favorite Sindbad (note, spelled with two d's), and From the Earth to the Moon. He also worked on Star Trek, The Menagerie and a couple of other Trek things, I think. He started out in art direction and special effects and cinematography.

Robinson Crusoe on Mars rates a 92% at Rotten Tomatoes. Not bad for a cheapy sci-fi thing from the 60's. You can tell he knew how to get a lot of bang for the buck. Look at what he was able to do with the sets and special effects. For example, near the end, there is "ice" melting very quickly. I have no idea how he did that. I don't even think animal fat melts like that. The snow appears real in every scene but one where they had to bury a monkey. Maybe the other snow was real. I can't really tell. There is an ash fall that is well done. He even went to the trouble of piling the snow and ash in drifts in a very realistic, windblown way in corners and in sheltered areas. All of the spaceship and gadget tech looks great. All the exposed rock and mineral formations are plausible and a little odd--exactly what you'd expect on another world. Nice touch on the way the alien ships flit around in a freaky, unnatural (alien) way.

For the time period and the money? Awesome. The special effects work doesn't make the movie, though; it just enhances it. It doesn't get in the way. It helps in the suspension of disbelief. All that, plus a good story and passable acting makes for a great adventure movie.

I tend to focus on money at times: Could they have done it cheaper, or could they have done it better for the same amount of money? And did that [whatever expensive thing] actually make the movie better? I do the same thing with buildings and architecture. "They could have done the same thing for a lot less money" is the acid-test, kiss of death judgment. Even worse: "I could have done that better for less money."

In that regard, btw, Moon (2009) still blows me away. They made that movie for five million.

And talk of money reminds me of an excellent A&E documentary, Halloween: The Inside Story. It's great because it tells you a lot about making movies in a short time, and because John Carpenter is a very interesting man. You can tell he's a no-bullshit, very practical person. For example, his chief concern regarding the Halloween sequels is whether he gets a check. He also appears to be a man of few words, laconic. Just enough speech to get the job done. He doesn't appear deal in lofty ideas about art; he's more of a three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust kind of director. In Halloween, he found ways of using the money available to him in the most efficient way possible. And talk about getting bang for the buck. The movie cost about $300 thousand. It made something like a hundred million.

Really, it's one of the best documentaries I can recall ever having seen. It's tight, well put together, and loaded with information. It's embedded below too.

Follow me on Twitter.


Robinson Crusoe on Mars

Halloween: The Inside Story

Open thread. That's free too.

digg this
posted by rdbrewer at 06:02 PM

| Access Comments




Recent Comments
Tammy al-Thor [/b] [/i][/u][/s]: "Why would someone with an eating disorder think an ..."

Slapweasel, (Cold1), ([b]T[/b]) Baseball Nut [/i] [/b] [/u] [/s]: "Bregman to the plate, 1-0 count.1-1.Top 2nd, One D ..."

sven10077: "474 Posted by: Peaches at October 17, 2017 05:28 P ..."

Weasel: "Fat girls can't run as fast as skinny ones can. ..."

Slapweasel, (Cold1), ([b]T[/b]) Baseball Nut [/i] [/b] [/u] [/s]: "One down, Todd Frazier with a quality play at thir ..."

Peaches: "Oh, yeah, this is the perfect thread for a Becky u ..."

Banana Splits Guy: "Who put the bomp in the bomp bah bomp bah bomp? ..."

Deplorable Jay Guevara [/i][/b][/s]: "[i]Tragedy, really. Does not lead to anything good ..."

Northernlurker : "Is there a way of sending donuts, French fries and ..."

GnuBreed [/i] [/b]: "425 [i]Obesity rates are highest among black and H ..."

Alberta Oil Peon, survivor of GNAMM: "What's the requirement for a blue check mark? P ..."

Circa (Insert Year Here): "I never thought I would see the day that a bunch o ..."

Recent Entries
Search


MuNuvians
Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
News/Chat
Archives
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64