July 31st, 2004


Review - D.O.A. & Tales Of Of Tomorrow - Television Classics

D.O.A. (1950) - Great movie, decent transfer, really freaky sound. Whenever nobody is talking and there are sound effects or music, the soundtrack has at split-second delay to it, which made the music really annoying at times. At one point the music being played was overlaid with another piece of music, and there was dialog. I assume this was because of some sort of goofy stereo remix that didn't transfer well when they made their copy of this disc, and they were worried about the music rights to that one particular song. So this isn't one for a collection if you're already a fan of the film. I assume that the Image and Roan Group versions look(and sound) better. The slide whistle was inappropriate.

Tales of Tomorrow (1951) - Three episodes from an anthology sci-fi show broadcast in 1952. Decent transfers for what they are. Unfortunately, the credits are cut off on the sides in some of the episodes! And those cool space suits on the cover aren't in any of the episodes! That's rare for this line, they're usually very truthful.

Frankenstein (1-18-52) - Lon Chaney Jr. plays the titular monster in this generalized(scientist creates monster, it wrecks havoc, they kill it) version of the famous story. Rumor has it that Chaney was so out of it during the live broadcast (due to his heavy drinking), he thought it was another rehearsal so he only went through the motions of destroying the props and didn't actually cause any harm to them. Not too sure about that tale, I'd have to watch it again. All in all, it's pretty bad.

The Crystal Egg (2-29-52) Based on the H.G. Wells story, this one stars Thomas Mitchell(Uncle Billy in It's a Wonderful Life). It's about a crystal egg, and what a scientist sees inside of it(don't want to give away too much). Pretty well made, good story. The writing on these things are bizarre. They spend too much time slowly ramping up to the conclusion, so when it's really gets good, they literally have to wrap everything up in about a minute and a half.

Appointment On Mars (6-22-52) This one's got Brian Keith(Hardcastle!) and Leslie Nieslen(Drebin!) and some other guy. It's a pretty bad "guys on mars" sort of skit. The set is atrocious and you can even seen the rafters in one shot. And man, does Leslie look young in this one(which he should, he's only 26). He looks much older in Forbidden Planet, and that was only four years later.
Best part? They all look like Ghostbusters, because hey, what is a Ghostbusters uniform but a flight suit and a web belt?

Technical details: Both are in the typical "movie classics" cardboard slipcase. No Extras. Typical of the films in the under the "classics" name, the movie starts when you put the disc in, and stops at the end. No menus, no releasing company credits, no disc authoring credits, nothing. Tales of Tomorrow has a simple menu with the three episodes listed. When the episode ends, it dumps you back to the menu.

I bought these at a 99 cent only in Houston Texas. They also carry this line at Dollar Tree(although not always the same titles.)

Hey! Psst! The DVDs in the "movie classics" and "television classics" line are suspected to be the work of genius products

Serial Mom

In the fabulously disorganized bin at Wal-Mart labeled "DVD 2 for $11," I found the classic John Waters movie, "Serial Mom," starring Kathleen Turner in the title role.

The film is allegedly based on a series of real-life murders. Charming homemaker Beverly Sutphin (Turner) is a picture postcard of American life. She has a certain way of doing things though, and she'll be damned if anyone is going to muss up her perfect life.

Waters' film regular Ricki Lake plays Sutphin's daughter.

Does the movie feature a Stepford-inspired housewife commiting a series of gristly murders? Yes.

Is there a reference to white shoes after Labor Day? Yes.

Is it raunchy-fabulous in the true spirit of John Waters? Yes.

Definitely $5.50 worth of entertainment. The acting is typical camp, but self-aware. Settings, etc. feel like they're from a John Waters movie, which makes sense, because they are.