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Old 06-26-11, 12:18 PM   #43
DVD Talk Special Edition
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Re: 4th Annual Summer Sci-Fi/Fantasy Challenge - List Thread

1. Dívka na Koštěti (The Girl on the Broomstick) (1972) - Fantasy (imdb) DVD - Teen witch Saxana, bored with magic school (and a 300 year detention) runs away to the mortal world where she finds adventure and love. Fun Czech fantasy trifle. For all the magical hijinks the three young villains come across as borderline (maybe a toe past the border) sociopaths, giving the movie a welcome bit of sour with the sweet.
2. The Nightmare Man (1981) - Sci-Fi (imdb) DVD Episodes 1-4 - An inhuman radioactive maniac is prowling the fog bound Scottish isle of Inverdee, ripping apart anyone it meets. Deliberately paced British sci-fi thriller that slowly ratchets up the tension until the satisfactory if somewhat underwhelming climax.

3. Gumiho Gajok (The Fox Family) (2006) - Fantasy (imdb) DVD - A family of gumiho, fox spirits, come down off their mountain for a once in a lifetime chance to become human by eating human livers during a lunar eclipse that occurs once every thousand years . A murderous musical comedy with a sweet center. The musical numbers are all easy to sit through and there's not much gore to speak of (and it's mostly played for laughs). The special effects are kept to a minimum, but are effective when used. Worthy.
4. Hardware (1990) Sci-Fi (imdb) DVD - A killer robot stalks an artist in her apartment in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic future. Richard Stanley's seminal work. Compared to other killer robot movies this comes across as a near masterpiece.
5. Deadful Melody (1994) Fantasy (imdb) DVD - The martial arts world is thrown into turmoil when the magic lyre resurfaces, promising untold death and destruction, as all the clans fight to possess it. Classic bit of 90's wu xia, with a cast that includes Brigitte Lin, Yuen Biao Carina Lau and Wu Ma.
6. Nemesis (1992) Sci-Fi (imdb) DVD - Ex-LAPD cop Alex is coerced into tracking down a renegade cyborg in low-tech pesthole Shang-loo (Shang-loo don't take no shit). The first cyberpunk movie, if I'm not mistaken. I'm not sure if the screenwriter really understood what a cyborg is and it is unduly influenced by Terminator. Not to mention all the industrial locations. Almost 20 years later it still plays pretty well, though.

7. Ultraviolet (2006) Sci-Fi (imdb) DVD - Dying hemophage Violet attempts to protect an human child whose life will change the world, for good or evil, depending on who has him. I like it. Yes, it's flawed, but even so. The opening credits make plain the kind of movie it is and it lives up to that expectation, at least.
8.The Polar Bear King (1991) - Fantasy (imdb) DVD - A northern princess marries a southern king transformed into a polar bear by an evil enchantress. Fairy tale shenanigans follow. It's based on Norwegian folklore. I think the English version was over-reliant on the Narrator, but otherwise a pleasant diversion.
9.Doctor Who: Black Orchid (1982) - Sci-Fi (imdb) DVD Episodes 1-2 - The Doctor and his companions arrive at an English manor where a maniac is loose. Grand guignol Who style. Doctor Who: The King's Demons (1983) - Sci-Fi (imdb) DVD Episodes 1-2 - The Master mucking about in Earth's history, once more. Noteworthy for the introduction of Kamelion, who's not around for too long, but is still more likable than Turlough.

10. Blithe Spirit (1945) - Fantasy (imdb) DVD - An eccentric psychic conjures up a man's deceased wife, much to chagrin of his current wife. It does betray its origins as a stage play, but then most stage adaptions do. Otherwise, Noel Coward's screenplay is very witty and charming with crackling dialog and a great performance by Margaret Rutherford as the dotty mystic.

11. The Guyver (1991) - Sci-Fi (imdb) DVD - Hot-headed Sean finds and merges with the Guyver unit, turning him into a bio-mechanical super fighter. This is an okay live action adaption of the anime. The creatures are pretty good and the Guyver suit is very nice. It is in some ways quite faithful to the original anime.
12. Doctor Who: The Infinite Quest (2007) Sci-Fi (imdb) DVD - The Doctor and Martha race a meglomaniac to The Infinite and your heart's desire. The animation's a bit dodgey and the story's episodic (it was originally released as a bunch of webisodes), but it still a perfectly good Tennant era adventure. Doctor Who: Dreamland (2009) Sci-Fi (imdb) DVD - The Doctor visits Arizona in 1958, looking for a good bowl of chili, and ends up in Area 51, finding much more than he expected. The animation is better, but the human character designs are kind of meh. The aliens look good though. I think this story was an improvement from The Infinite Quest.

13. Just Another Pandora's Box (2010) Fantasy (imdb) DVD - A thief uses the Moonlight Magic Box to escape into time from Rose, a Taoist Immortal who loves him. Broad parody of contemporary Mainland movies, like Red Cliff, along with plenty of other HK movies, particularly A Chinese Odyssey. It's in the tradition of Airplane! and I suppose influenced by the like of Scary Movie and its ilk. It's hit and miss like these movies often are, but the hits are more frequent than the misses. Leans on Kung Fu Hustle gags a few too many times. Stars a lot of current and older HK actors and actresses. The more references you get the better it is.
14. A Chinese Ghost Story II (1990) Fantasty (imdb) DVD - The sequel to A Chinese Ghost Story continues to follow Ning, now an ex-bill collector, as he faces life without his ghostly beloved Siu Sian, but finds that new supernatural adventure and new love are as close the next abandoned house. Great movie, streaked with melancholy along with laughs. No ghosts this time around, though, just demons.

15. Bad Channels (1992) Sci-Fi (imdb) DVD - An alien takes over a radio station and abducts hot young women via rock n roll and the airwaves. According to the credits the Blue Oyster Cult composed and performed the sound track. Contains three music videos (in '92 music videos were still neat) to 'further' the plot. Nothing special, but it has a low-rent charm.
16. The Web of Death (1976) Fantasy (imdb) DVD - The Five Venoms Spider, an artifact of immense deadly power, is stolen and used to try to take over the other boxer clans. Opulent sets and mist abound, as does the usual wu xia double crosses, miss-understandings and tragedies.

17. Doomwatch (1972) Sci-Fi (imdb) DVD - Dr. Del Shaw goes to the isle of Balfe to check the sea shore for pollution, but finds the isolated villagers harboring a terrible secret. Good movie made better because the ending offers no pat answers.
18. Kronos (1957) Sci-Fi (imdb) DVD - Aliens send a giant walking battery to suck earth dry of its energy. Plays a lot better than it sounds.

19. The Indian in the Cupboard (1995) Fantasy (imdb) DVD - A young boy's magical cupboard and grandmother's key brings toy figures to life. Frank Oz does a good job with this fantasy aimed at children.

20. The Day the Sky Exploded (1958) Sci-Fi (imdb) DVD - Franco/Italian doomsday movie. Disaster embraces the world courtesy of a malfunctioning atomic rocket ship blowing up at the wrong time and place. Interesting European take on the kind of sci-fi movies being produced in the same era in the U.S. and England. Mario Bava was the cinematographer and had a hand in several other aspects of the film.
21. Doom (2005) Sci-Fi (imdb) DVD - Somethings gone very wrong in a research facility on mars and a platoon of Marines are sent to deal with the situation. For a film adaption of a first person shooter (the first no less), with a story that was sketchy at best, it's pretty darn good. It should be ranked among the good video game adaptions, which can still be counted with two hands.

22. Sanctuary (2011) Sci-Fi (imdb) Hulu Season 3 Episodes: 13 One Night - Will's date takes a near fatal turn for the worse, 14 Metamorphosis - Will starts turning into a lizard. Sci-fi comfort food.
23. Sanctuary (2011) Sci-Fi (imdb) Hulu Season 3 Episodes: 15 Wingman - Will & Henry's dates end up on an abnormal hunt. Clip show. 16 Awakening - Magnus and Tesla find a vampire tomb. Clip shows, meh. Episodes with Tesla are always fun, though.
24. The Devil Rides Out (1968) Fantasy DVD - The Duc de Richleau battles the evil magician Mocata for the souls of his friends. Great movie, pity the sequels were never made. The sfx are dated, but it's dank with atmosphere.
25. The Man From Planet X (1951) Sci-Fi (imdb) DVD - Alien from rogue planet, Planet X, lands on the god-forsaken island of Burray to case the earth for possible invasion. Snoopy newspaper man and evil Doctor throw wrenches into its plans. Mostly of interest because William Schallert plays a villain.

26. It! The Terror from Beyond Space (1958) Sci-Fi (imdb) DVD - In 1973 a really hungry, pissed off Martian sneaks aboard a rescue ship returning to earth. No fat on this sucker, lean and mean.

27. Horrors of the Red Planet (The Wizard of Mars) (1965) Fantasy/Sci-Fi (imdb) Stream - A Mars expedition crashes on Mars where they follow a signal to a city frozen in time. Wow. By turns inept and surreal. John Carradine makes a good talking head.
28. Avatar: The Last Airbender Fantasy (imdb) Season 1 DVD - The Blue Spirit - Aang is captured by Zhao and rescued by the Blue Spirit. The Fortuneteller - The gang relax in a Earth Kingdom village menaced by a volcano. Bato of the Water Tribe - The gang run into a Water Tribe warrior convalescing at a convent. The Deserter - Aang learns to fire bend. Four solid or better episodes leading up to the climax of the first season.

29. I Married a Witch (1942) Fantasy (imdb) DVD - A witch, recently freed from her 200 year imprisonment, falls for her next victim, who's running for governor. Funny and Veronica Lake, man o'man.
30. The Ghost Goes West (1935) Fantasy (imdb) Youtube - A Scotchman is fated to haunt his ancestral castle until his clan's honor is restored. Good movie, reminiscent of the Canterville Ghost.

31.Robot Chicken: Star Wars (2007), Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode II (2008), Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode II (2010) Sci-Fi - Overall the quality is consistent over the three volumes. Lots of laughs.

32. The Sorcerer's Apprentice (2010) Fantasy - A college kid becomes a sorcerer's apprentice and fights to save the world from Morgana LeFay. It was better than I was led to believe it would be; it was alright.

33. The Imaginary Voyage (Le Voyage Imaginaire) (1925) Fantasy Youtube - A timid bank clerk has fantastic adventures with his beloved and two rivals. The wax museum segment was creepy, with an unexpected appearance of a guest hero.

34. Alice Through the Looking Glass (1998) - A young mother falls asleep reading Alice to her daughter and dreams she is Alice wandering the lands on the other side of the looking glass. Kate Beckinsale is cute as a button and the movie is bursting with colorful sets, people and wordplay and no pesky musical numbers to kill the narrative.

35. Eureka (2011) Sci-Fi Hulu Episode: Reprise - More mind altering wackness in the little town than can. Warehouse 13 (2011) Sci-Fi Hulu Episode: Trials - Claudia and Jinksie are off to Boston to retrieve Typhoid Mary's meat chopper; Myka and Pete investigate the cause several spontaneous cases of amnesia. Two good episodes.
36. Aeon Flux (2005) Sci-Fi DVD - Four Hundred years in the future Aeon Flux finds that overthrowing the Goodchild regime is more complicated than she realized. As an adaption of the toon it's a failure inasmuch as it only captures a sliver of the surreal perversity of its source. Taken on its own, it's pretty good and you can recognize shots and images from the toon.

37. Split Second (1992) Sci-Fi (imdb) DVD - In the water-looged London of 2008, two police detectives chase down an inhuman serial killer. I think this movie is just cool.

38. Constantine (2005) Fantasy DVD - Occult detective John Constantine unravels a plot to bring hell on earth. Is it Hellblazer? No, not even close, but the movie possesses its own charms.


Watch one film from every decade, starting with the 1900s.
--- 1900 optional -
--- 1910 optional -
--- 1920 - The Imaginary Voyage (Le Voyage Imaginaire)
--- 1930 - The Ghost Goes West
--- 1940 - Blithe Spirit
--- 1950 - Kronos
--- 1960 -
--- 1970 -The Web of Death
--- 1980 -
--- 1990 - A Chinese Ghost Story II
--- 2000 - Ultraviolet
--- 2010 - Just Another Pandora's Box

Watch films in at least two languages other than English.
--- First language - Czech (Dívka na Koštěti (The Girl on the Broomstick))
--- Second language - Korean (Gumiho Gajok (The Fox Family))

--- Watch the MST3K/Rifftrax/Cinematic Titanic version of a sci-fi/fantasy film -
--- Watch a film and its remake -
--- Watch a film based on a video game - Doom
--- Watch a film based on a novel - The Indian in the Cupboard
--- Watch a film directed by Ed Wood -
--- Watch a film which won an Academy Award -- any category -
--- Watch a silent film - The Imaginary Voyage (Le Voyage Imaginaire)
--- Watch a Criterion version film -
--- Watch a film with commentary -
--- Watch a film and at least two sequels -
--- Watch a film that takes place underneath the Earth -
--- Watch a film that takes place in space -
--- Watch a film that takes place on or under the sea -
--- Watch an animated film -
--- Watch a film with special effects by Ray Harryhausen -
--- Watch a film directed by Roger Corman -
--- Watch a film directed by Ralph Bakshi -
--- Watch a film directed by Joe Dante -
--- Watch a film directed by John Lounsbery -
--- Watch a film directed by Charles Band -
--- Watch a film that takes place in the "future" but the year has already come and gone - It! The Terror from Beyond Space

Watch a film for each rating:
--- G -
--- PG -
--- PG-13 - Aeon Flux
--- R - Constantine
--- X/NC-17 -
--- Unrated -

Watch a film in each of the following subgenres:
--- Alien invasion - Bad Channels
--- Arthurian Fantasy - The Sorcerer's Apprentice
--- Cyborg -
--- Post-Apocalyptic - Hardware
--- Dark Fantasy - The Devil Rides Out
--- Sword and Sorcery -
--- Cybernetic revolt -
--- Immortality -
--- Based on fairy tale - The Polar Bear King
--- Mutants - The Guyver
--- Superhero -
--- Mad Scientist -
--- Martial Arts Fantasy - Deadful Melody
--- Time travel -
--- Giant Critters -
--- Prehistoric -
--- Paranormal -
--- Steampunk -
--- Urban Fantasy -
--- High Fantasy - 33. Alice Through the Looking Glass
--- Kaiju -
--- Cyberpunk - Nemesis

Watch a film starring:
--- John Agar -
--- Kenneth Tobey -
--- Charlton Heston -
--- John Carradine - Horrors of the Red Planet (The Wizard of Mars)
--- Kurt Russell -
--- Bela Lugosi -
--- Vincent Price -
--- Dennis Quaid -
--- Max von Sydow -
--- Helena Bonham Carter -
--- John Saxon -
--- Michael Ironside -
Action/Adventure/Crime Challenge1|2|3|4 Quadrennial Leap Day Challenge 1 October Horror Movie Challenge 7|8|9
Summer Sci-Fi/Fantasy Challenge 4|5|6|7 Drive-In/Exploitation/B-Movie Challenge 2|4|5|6|7 November Comedy Challenge 1|2|3 Animation 3|4|5|7

Last edited by coyoteblue; 07-21-11 at 08:41 PM.
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