Tag Archives: horror classics

Really Awful Movies: Ep 174 – The Sentinel



The Sentinel is a 1977 American horror film based on the 1974 novel of the same name (which we haven’t read). The source material is courtesy of author Jeffrey Konvitz (who assisted penning the screenplay). His co-writer was the film’s director Michael Winner. Winner wowed us with, if you’ll excuse us, a real “winner” in the Death Wish Series. That one is pretty darn awesome.

And here, we’re back in New York City (although in Death Wish, as filming there became cost-prohibitive later in the series, it started to look less and less like anything resembling The Big Apple). The Sentinel is about a young NYC model who’s on the market for a pad (And this was before the days when you’d have to fork over $2500 / month for a studio the size of a sedan).

She finds a place to rent! It’s Brooklyn Heights shambolic mansion that has been converted into different apartments, each populated by a bunch of weirdos, including a fay Burgess Meredith traipsing around with a budgie.

The guy residing on the top floor though, is an excommunicated priest…and the building is…wait for it…A PORTAL TO HELL!  People, always check the rental agreements…Between that an a landlord asking for an illegal security deposit, it’s a tough grind out there for a tenant! Please see, Roman Polanski’s…uh…The Tenant.

The Sentinel stars a bunch of pretty notable folks: Cristina Raines, Chris Sarandon, Ava Gardner, Burgess Meredith, Sylvia Miles, and Eli Wallach. The film also features Christopher Walken, Jeff Goldblum, John Carradine, Jerry Orbach, Martin Balsam, Tom Berenger, and Beverly D’Angelo.

On this episode of the Really Awful Movies Podcast, we always love it when we can discuss a good, tense, terse, solidly put together supernatural horror film. It’s definitely our least favorite genre, but when it’s done well (as is the case here) boy are the goods delivered.

The Sentinel holds up terrifically well. It’s worth checking out, as is our podcast, uploading EVERY FRIDAY for your listening pleasure.

 


Really Awful Movies: Ep 168 – Plan 9 from Outer Space



Its reputation precedes it. But does Plan 9 from Outer Space (original title Grave Robbers from Outer Space) deserve all the derogation? Some say it is the worst film ever made. This is patently false. We’d go to our graves (speaking of robbing them), saying Dana Carvey’s The Master of Disguise is worse.

Plan 9 is a 1959 independently made American black-and-white science fiction-horror film that was only released theatrically in 1959 by Distributors Corporation of America (as Valiant Pictures). The film is the product of an auteur. It was written, produced, directed, and edited by Ed Wood and stars Gregory Walcott, Mona McKinnon, legendary Scandinavian wrestler Tor Johnson, and hostess with the mostess, Vampira.

And most people know that Hollywood icon Bela Lugosi died mid-production, only to be replaced by a larger gentleman covering his visage with a cape.

The plot concerns extraterrestrials who are seeking to stop humanity from creating a doomsday weapon that could destroy the universe. The aliens implement “Plan 9”, a scheme to resurrect the Earth’s dead, referred to in the movie as “ghouls”. By causing bedlam, the aliens hope the crisis will force humanity to listen to them. If not, the aliens will then destroy mankind with armies of zombies. Or something. It’s a tad confusing.

And there are continuity errors aplenty. Viewers will have a blast noting day for night issues, the number of times the narrator says “my friends,” and of course, the infamous string allowing the flying saucers to…not so much fly, as hover in the frame.