For the generation that cut their teeth on classic Universal horror movies, Boris Karloff is, was, and will always be the definitive Frankenstein monster. What “The Man Behind the Monster” seeks to do is act as an appetizer for the aspiring horror buff who hasn’t quite been lucky enough see much of Karloff’s work. Karloff was a man who was powerful on-screen even in to his old age; “The Man Behind the Monster” explores the powerful actor, and his tumultuous career that survived through political controversies, and the Hays Code.
The story of Video Music Box is long, long overdue. Video Music Box existed in a world where everyone “wanted their MTV.” While MTV hesitated to play music from people of color well in to the eighties, “Video Music Box” was a New York institution that proudly played music videos and performances from African American and minority artists that were legendary and up and comers, and for that it continues to be heralded by iconic music artists.
In this documentary, the voyage and lives of men who were arrested in Canada and sent to Australia as punishment is explored along with what led to this and what happened afterwards.
One of my all time favorite animators and contributors to Warner Bros.’ Termite Terrace, it’s nice to see Tex Avery being given the best treatment. His shorts haven’t aged at all, they’re still wildly funny, absolutely insane, and you’re guaranteed to laugh a few times, even if these shorts aren’t exactly your bag. As a hardcore animation fan, “Screwball Classics” has so far chronicled some of the best from Avery, all uncut and in their original format. Volume 3 offers a lot of the same classic Tex Avery toons that are always worth re-visiting.
The Newest Book in The Turner Classic Movies home Library, “Summer Movies: 30 Sun-Drenched Classics” is a refreshing and entertaining movie guide for the folks that love summer. If you’re big in to the season and love film, John Malahy’s hardcover guide is just what you need. While the book has every chance to be a superficial look at more popular summer movies, author Malahy digs deep, offering a wonderful variety of summer themed movies.
Danny Wolf’s newest documentary is notable mostly for being a movie that’s produced by Jim McBride. McBride is famous, of course, for being “Mr. Skin,” the founder of one of the biggest, and first, websites about nudity in film. Aptly titled “Skin,” the documentary about the history of nudity in Hollywood and filmmaking and how it shook the landscape of pop culture, wants to desperately be taken as a bold mix of educational and entertainment, but beyond fleeting insight and fascinating looks at pre-code film, it’s mostly just another nudie reel.
It’s shocking how punk the background of The Go-Go’s is and ended up being. For a band that is known as one of the biggest pop acts of the 1980’s, their roots are deeply embedded in punk rock and heavy metal. Whether or not you think it was homogenized is up to you, but The Go-Gos have a great story, even if you were more of a Bangles or Banana Rama fan.
Suzi Quatro managed to leave a remarkable influence on female rockers, and how they operated in a world where men dominated, and women were objectified. Suzi Quatro has left such an indomitable stamp on the rock and music world, and “Suzi Q” offers keen insight not just in to the life of such an edgy musician, but in the oddly common conservative lifestyle of rock musicians.