The Best of the Worst: 12 Movie Set [3 Discs] [DVD]
- SKU: 21715656
- Release Date: 08/20/2013
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Ratings & Reviews
Assembled by the same production team responsible for the minor sci-fi classic Rocketship X-M, Unknown World isn't quite in the same league as its predecessor. The plot is set in motion by Dr. Jeremiah Morley (Victor Kilian), who theorizes that mankind could save itself during a nuclear attack by resettling far beneath the earth's surface. To prove his theory, Morley builds the Cyclotram, a combination drill and exploratory vehicle, with the financial assistance of playboy Wright Thompson (Bruce Kellogg), who insists upon joining the expedition to the earth's core. After several hair-raising adventures, the Cyclotram and its surviving passengers reach a cavern nearly 2000 miles beneath the surface. The cavern contains all the necessities of survival save one: the atmosphere renders anyone living within its walls sterile. Deciding that it isn't worth hiding in the center of the earth if only one generation will survive, the explorers endeavor to get back to the surface -- but who will survive this journey? The obligatory female lead in Unknown World is played by Marilyn Nash, who'd been discovered by Charlie Chaplin for the 1947 film Monsieur Verdoux. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
A young Francis Coppola was given the job of directing this moody low-budget chiller after begging producer Roger Corman for the opportunity to reuse the sets for another film which Corman was shooting in Ireland. The story centers on the dysfunctional Haloran family, who live in a state of perpetual sorrow in a spooky Irish castle. Still mourning the death of her young daughter Kathleen -- who drowned in the lake seven years ago -- Lady Haloran (Ethne Dunn) tortures herself regularly by visiting the girl's grave (when she's not shrieking and collapsing in anguish every five minutes). When daughter-in-law Louise Haloran (Luana Anders) loses her husband to a heart attack, she manages to conceal the body for fear of being cut out of Lady Haloran's will. To further complicate matters, a mysterious interloper begins prowling the grounds with an axe to grind... a very big axe. This enjoyable, quirky psycho-thriller is enlivened by Coppola's inventive camera setups, atmospheric locations and Patrick Magee's over-the-top performance as the leering family doctor. Despite some ragged editing (probably not Coppola's doing), this has relatively high production values for a spare-change Corman project. ~ Cavett Binion, Rovi
The Incredible Petrified World
Often tagged "The Incredible Petrified Movie," this science-fiction mistake was created by one of the more unsung "heroes" of bad moviemaking, Jerry Warren, a Hollywood "auteur" comparable to the legendary Edward D. Woods, Jr.. This time, Jerry depicts a group of divers "stranded" in some underwater caverns when their diving bell malfunctions. While the intrepid little group of two men and an equal number of women (including erstwhile "Lois Lane," Phyllis Coates) scamper about beneath the surface, Professor Millard Wyman (John Carradine) works feverishly on solid ground to find a new diving apparatus that may reach them before an underwater source of oxygen runs out. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi
In this horror chiller, an intriguing, beautiful woman (Sandra Knight) keeps re-appearing to early 19th-century Lt. Duvalier (Jack Nicholson), and he is led to a castle where he finds an imposter of Baron Von Leppe (Boris Karloff). He becomes trapped in the ancient castle and tries to make sense of the eerie situation. Director Roger Corman (with the help of a few other directors, including Francis Ford Coppola) shot most of this within a few days after finishing The Raven--utilizing the same set. ~ Kristie Hassen, Rovi
The Amazing Transparent Man
This appallingly bad sci-fi film about an invisible bank-robber (Douglas Kennedy) was shot back-to-back with Beyond the Time Barrier on the grounds of the Texas State Fair in Dallas. The usual cackling and crime is included, most of which was done better in The Invisible Man. Marguerite Chapman is the film's one bright spot as Kennedy's lowlife girlfriend, but the rest of the characters are annoying and unsympathetic. Unpleasant, downbeat, and badly produced, it is hard to see the appeal of this one, even for genre completists. ~ Robert Firsching, Rovi
The Ape Man
The Beast of Yucca Flats
This groaner from profoundly untalented "auteur" Coleman Francis involves the scenario (one couldn't exactly call it a 'story') of a tubby Soviet scientist (Tor Johnson -- who else?) who is pursued by nefarious agents into a nuclear testing area, whereupon an A-bomb blast infuses him with enough radiation to power a small Midwestern town. Supposedly transformed into a rampaging monster, Tor looks exactly the same, albeit with tattered clothing and a constipated expression. In the fine tradition of The Creeping Terror and Coleman Francis's own Red Zone Cuba (starring the director himself, who resembles Tor's scrappy older brother), this is shot with virtually no dialogue and overlaid with hilariously pretentious and obtuse narration... the phrase "a flag on the moon" pops up so often it could be used in a drinking game. The most enjoyable aspect of this movie is its remarkably short running time. ~ Cavett Binion, Rovi
Manos, the Hands of Fate
A family vacation to Texas turns into a waking nightmare when they have a deadly run-in with Satanists fond of using human hands as sacrificial offerings. It's as grim as it sounds. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi
Mesa of Lost Women
Mutated spiders, mad geniuses, childlike mental patients, gold-digging blondes, and vengeful little people are only part of the madness in this legendary bit of oddball science fiction. Grant (Robert Knapp) and Doreen (Mary Hill) wander into a shack in the wastelands of Mexico's Muerto Desert, where the sunburned and dehydrated pair tell their tale to a surveyor for an American petroleum firm. Grant was working as a pilot for millionaire businessman Jan Van Croft (Nico Lek), who was to marry the much younger Doreen when engine trouble stranded them in a Mexican border town. Jan and Doreen were killing time in a roadhouse when they were joined by the eccentric Dr. Leland Masterson (Harmon Stevens), who had recently escaped from a mental hospital. Before Masterson's nurse, George (George Barrows), can lure his patient back to the hospital, Masterson pulls a gun and shoots entertainer Tarantella (Tandra Quinn) while she performs a wild dance routine; Masterson then takes Jan and Doreen hostage and demands that Grant fly them away. Further engine trouble strands the traveling party on a mesa, where they discover a handful of strange, tiny men and statuesque women. In time, we discover that Masterson knows the story behind the Mesa's unusual residents -- they're the products of a series of experiments by Dr. Aranya (Jackie Coogan), whose research into the pituitary glands of spiders has produced unusual results. The only screen credit for screenwriter and co-director Herbert Tevos (who helmed the project with Southern exploitation icon Ron Ormond), Mesa of Lost Women also features a memorably irritating guitar-and-piano score and a brief appearance by Dolores Fuller, best known for her work with one-time beau Edward D. Wood Jr. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
Considered by many to be one of the worst films ever made, Eegah! is the story of a gigantic Neanderthal who has managed to survive into modern times living in California's Mojave desert, and who falls in love with and kidnaps the teenage girl who discovered him in a cave. A handsome young man (Arch Hall, Jr., the director's teenage son) proves to be her savior and while he and his rock & roll band play, the police shoot the caveman to bits. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi
The Atomic Brain
This weird, morbid little sci-fi thriller stars Marjorie Eaton as a filthy-rich but decrepit old widow who has devoted much of her wealth to funding the dubious (to say the least) scientific research of Frank Gerstle, who has constructed a mad lab in the widow's basement in order to perfect a technique in which an infusion of atomic energy (or something) will enable him to transfer the widow's brain into a young and sexy physique. To this end, three subjects are solicited through a want ad (under the pretense of employing a housekeeper). The three young women, all of different nationalities (represented by horrendous accents), are subjected to the old woman's scrutiny, until she selects the prime candidate... as the others become fodder for the doctor's pet projects. Needless to say, things don't turn out quite as planned: people are burned, torn apart by man-beasts, and get their eyes ripped out -- one poor lass even winds up with the brain of a cat. This has a certain perverse charm and is competently directed (excepting some boring stretches) by Joseph V. Mascelli -- who, in spite of his work on this film and Ray Dennis Steckler's The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-up Zombies, would later publish a well-known book on cinematography. ~ Cavett Binion, Rovi
Track of the Moonbeast
After being struck in the head by a small meteor, a normally amiable mineralogist becomes a foul tempered giant lizard god called the Moonbeast. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi
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