King Kong (1933)

Because “Why not?”, and as it makes picking viewing easier, Trash Or Treasure is going through every movie in “Science Fiction – Double Feature”, the opening song for that trash culture classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

This week

Then something went wrong
For Fay Wray and King Kong
They got caught in a celluloid jam

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Xtro (1982) is… well, just watch it

When the credits start and you see the same name, in this case, Harry Bromley-Davenport, for the producer, director, writer, and composer roles it is traditional in psychotronic circles to brace yourself for impact. In the case of this sci-fi horror fever dream, it won’t do you any good, as its wanton disregard for explaining itself to the likes of its audience means you are just not going to be ready for this face-thumper.
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Santa And The Ice-Cream Bunny (1972) is a surreal, kid friendly, nightmare

If some films have red flags you can see a mile off, this film has enough for a United Communist Countries parade. Firstly it was written, directed, filmed, scored, and edited by one person; Richard Winer. Secondly, it was mostly used as a promotional vehicle for, specifically a regional amusement park (Pirates World in Florida). Thirdly, about half of it is made up for repurposed footage from another project, bulking the two out to something that can hit the magical 90 minutes run time marker. Combined, and the results should be terrible. Well, they are. But underneath that, there is a layer of amazing that no one, including the makers, intended there to be.
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The Tomb: Devil’s Revenge (2020)

What’s better than a self-proclaimed action-horror B-movie? One that’s got William Shatner in a starring role and as a producer? And what’s even better than that? One where he seems to have got the producer credit by pulling in his Star Trek TNG contacts to be in front and behind the cameras. Yes, it’s a modestly budgeted three-act fun-timer set to “traditional tropes”, but it’s also playing with some expectations. The story focuses on John – also known as Sergio (Jason Brooks), an archaeologist who spends his time pot-holing in Kansas to try and find the relic that has cursed his family for generations. Great for trying to keep his heartless and unloving father (William Shatner) happy, not so great for his long-suffering wife Susan (Jeri Ryan) or his red-shirted caving assistants. What’s the curse and where does it come from? Well, that’s not quite clear. But you don’t need to know that, only that it’s enough of a McGuffin to get everyone worried enough to put themselves in danger for our amusement.
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From Beyond (1986)

It’s a truth well accepted that there are three truisms of the works of HP Lovecraft. Firstly, that they were pivotal in creating modern horror and, to a great extent, modern sci-fi. Secondly, that they often show quite how much of a bigoted dickhead he was. And, thirdly, that they shouldn’t be committed to film because he was all about the cosmic horror of what you couldn’t see (and not that he hit on a cheap way of making the reader do all the work). Well, Stuart Gordon (Director) and Jeffery Combs (actor) put paid to that, twice!, with 1985’s Re-Animator and, ridiculously quickly, 1986’s From Beyond. Re-Animator is, justifiably, more known, but From Beyond is more “out there”, plus it’s on Netflix right now and I wanted to use it as the first Trash Or Treasure LIVE!
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Cats (2019)

Yeah, I got bribed/sponsored into watching this one as well. However this time it wasn’t my choice of film, and my “delightful” readers decided I needed to watch Cats: the CarCrash dejour of the end of the year. Whilst others had the glory of watching it on opening night or ripped off their tits on an assortment of drugs, I got to do it on a damp Monday with one coffee to keep me going. I have to say that waiting for that coffee was the highlight of my trip.
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She-Creature (1956)

Giving recommendations on movies from the early part of cinema history is always a tricky thing, because they all have a similar aesthetic that can’t be avoided. For a start, due to a combination of technical restrictions and the shadow of the theatre, the pace is always slow to modern tastes. The visuals of sci-fi and horror were also far more constrained, partly to avoid the censor’s knife and partly as the audience would be disappointed if either saw them in the full eye of the camera. The result of this is that old black and white films often fall into the pigeonholes marked “artefact of genre history”, for those seeking enlightenment, or “kitsch novelty items”, for those who like a good eye roll. Both miss the point that these films can just be fun in their own right. The She-Creature, a 1965 B-Movie originally on a double bill with It Conquered the World, is a great example of this. It’s not a might perfect movie, now as then, but it certainly has charms to offer a willing audience.
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