Missing films I can't locate on Letterboxd:
Blonde Ambition (1981)
I Like to Watch / Caballero (1982)
Mona the Virgin…
20 Million Miles to Earth
When the first manned flight to Venus returns to Earth, the rocket crash-lands in the Mediterranean near a small Italian fishing village. The locals manage to save one of the astronauts Colonel Calder, the mission commander. A young boy also recovers what turns out to be a specimen of an alien creature. Growing at a fantastic rate, it manages to escape and eventually threatens the city of Rome.
Produced as an excuse for effects wizard Ray Harryhausen to take a Roman vacation, 20 Million Miles to Earth is a fairly standard b-movie elevated above many others thanks to a few interesting touches. The plot involves a team of astronauts who crash off the coast of Sicily on their return flight from Venus. They brought with them a lifeform from the planet in the hopes of studying its biology, however, the crash allows the creature to escape and it quickly grows to monstrous proportions.
The story is nothing special, setting the stage for your run-of-the-mill monster on the loose movie. The banal nature of the proceedings isn't…
Fascinating. Horrible, but fascinating.
You don't watch a film like this because of the director or the actors in it, you watch it because Ray Harryhausen did the special effects. Not to disrespect the director though, Nathan Juran, who had a legendary career directing genre films and television even though his movies and tv shows are better known then he is.
One of the reasons the film is so much fun even when you don't have a monster on the screen is because the film seems to be in on the joke that it's filled with bad actors. It skirts the perfect tone of never taking itself to seriously and being tongue-in-cheek at the right moments.
Ray Harryhausen never…
I had seen this classic science fiction movie before....but this time I watched the movie in color. In this one...an American space ship traveling back from the planet Venus....has to crash land in the ocean off the coast of Sicily. The ship has two survivors...the commander of the mission and a Venus bi-ped native.
Yes the movie is silly. Yes the special effects pale in comparison to today's. Yes the acting is sometimes groaningly bad.....but this movie still works all of these years later. This is pretty much another version of King Kong....and King Kong is a classic.
This was one of special effects mastermind, Ray Harryhausen, first movies. His creature is the highlight of the movie. Final thought: This is a movie that has influenced many movies since it was made 58 years ago....worth checking out.
Another minor work made enjoyable by Ray Harryhausen's animation. The alien (which looks a lot like the Kraken in the later Clash of the Titans) crash lands in Italy with the lone survivor of an exploratory mission to Venus. The location seems to have been chosen to allow the monster ample opportunity to rampage through Rome, specifically the final showdown at the Coliseum. The plot is serviceable and the acting plodding and workmanlike, but the real focus is on the monster. The attention to detail and the lovingness with which Harryhausen crafted his creations is obvious in each frame. It's a pleasure to see his work evolve in this and other films of the era (Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms).
I felt pretty bad for the creature. Taken 20 Million Miles from it's home planet, involved in a crash landing, caged, attacked by a dog, poked with a stick, stabbed with a pitchfork, shot at, chased, netted, electrocuted, chained up, blasted by flame throwers and bazookas and then picked on by a meanie elephant! All he wanted was a nice sulfur snack and a nice day at the Colosseum!
The monster in 20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH may be just another big hunk of rubber dinosaur and setting it in Italy only allows for a lot of B-Movie actors, including the obligatory 'cute kid' to strut their stuff with funny. not-very-Italian sounding voices but otherwise Nathan Juran's movie displays some imagination and is a lot of fun, particularly when the creature goes on the rampage through Rome flattening monuments that have been around for a few thousand years, (beating pesky old San-Francisco or Tokyo any day), that alone earns it some kind of cult status.
I love Ray Harryhausen movies to death but this one I have only seen once. I felt so incredibly sad for the Ymir all movie long that I haven't been able to watch it again.
Ray Harryhausen Festival No. 4
Another enjoyable slice of rampaging action with yet another sympathetic creature. It all brings back harrowing memories of Shadow of the Colossus...
Brilliant characterisation and some stunning lighting add up to some of my favourite Harryhausen effects so far.
Harryhausen's Effects - 4 out of 5
My daughter (5 years old at the time) had been asking to see "scary movies," and I thought between the b/w photography and the old-style stop-motion animation this old B-movie would be remote enough from her world to be scary without being too scary. Actually, it was a bit too scary! When people got hurt, it was distressing for her (though the violence is mostly implied... the main exception is when rubble falls on some bystanders in Rome, which made her cry out) and - this is a tribute to Harryhausen's genius, and empathy for his monsters - when the Venusian died, it was distressing as well. Still, I want to recommend this movie as having certain virtues for younger…
An entertaining monster movie, that obeys every rule and cliche from that time and genre. (That makes it sound worse than it is, btw.)
A giant Venusian whatsit, animated by Ray Harryhausen, tramples the tourist centers of Italy in a superior piece of SF cheapness (1957). Nathan Juran (The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad) directed; with William Hopper and Joan Taylor. 82 min.
In a lot of ways, 20 Million Miles to Earth is a cheap and cheesy film. There's a lot of stock footage and poorly used rear projection in it, but what makes it so much fun to watch is the genius of Ray Harryhausen. His stop-motion work in the film is glorious, and it overcomes the film's flaws elsewhere to make it a very entertaining watch.
the acting is horrible bad, but the animation for the time is great i think and this is why it got this high rating.
A simple but effective science fiction story, with amazing effects, “20 Million Miles to Earth” is set in Italy during the dawn of the space race. An American rocket ship crashes off the Italian coast and unleashes a capsule that is found by a young boy. Desperate for money, the boy sells the capsule to a zoologist, who keeps the capsule in his mobile lab. Soon the capsule opens, and an alien creature is unleashed onto the Roman countryside. As time passes, the creature grows larger and larger, soon becoming too large for the cage it was housed in by zoologist. As reports come out about this strange animal wreaking havoc in Europe, the American authorities get involved. They want…
While this little sci-fi adventure film certainly lacks a bit of depth to its story and characters, it still remains one of the classics for its awesome creature design/execution and the almost relentless pacing of its proceedings. Sure, I couldn't tell you a single character name from the film and it's last piece of dialogue that contains a moral of sorts is horribly forced, but I still like seeing this Venus lizard man fight an elephant and find the sad experience of an animal out of its habit and being hunted still resonates to this day. Not the best, but one that remains a lot of fun.
Missing films I can't locate on Letterboxd:
These are the films I've amassed in my hoarding-levels of collecting movies. As I watch them, I'll delete them as…