Monster a Go-Go & Psyched By 4-D Witch [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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C.S. Lewis's classic novel The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe makes an ambitious and long-awaited leap to the screen in this modern adaptation. It's a CGI-created world laden with all the special effects and visual wizardry modern filmmaking technology can conjure, which is fine so long as the film stays true to the story that Lewis wrote. And while this film is not a literal translation--it really wants to be so much more than just a kids' movie--for the most part it is faithful enough to the story, and whatever faults it has are happily faults of overreaching, and not of holding back. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe tells the story of the four Pevensie children, Lucy, Peter, Edmund, and Susan, and their adventures in the mystical world of Narnia. Sent to the British countryside for their own safety during the blitz of World War II, they discover an entryway into a mystical world through an old wardrobe. Narnia is inhabited by mythical, anthropomorphic creatures suffering under the hundred-year rule of the cruel White Witch (Tilda Swinton, in a standout role). The arrival of the children gives the creatures of Narnia hope for liberation, and all are dragged into the inevitable conflict between evil (the Witch) and good (Aslan the Lion, the Messiah figure, regally voiced by Liam Neeson).
Director (and co-screenwriter) Andrew Adamson, a veteran of the Shrek franchise, knows his way around a fantasy-based adventure story, and he wisely keeps the story moving when it could easily become bogged down and tiresome. Narnia is, of course, a Christian allegory and the symbology is definitely there (as it should be, otherwise it wouldn't be the story Lewis wrote), but audiences arent knocked over the head with it, and in the hands of another director it could easily have become pedantic. The focus is squarely on the children and their adventures. The four young actors are respectable in their roles, especially considering the size of the project put on their shoulders, but it's the young Georgie Henley as the curious Lucy who stands out. This isn't a film that wildly succeeds, and in the long run it won't have the same impact as the Harry Potter franchise, but it is well done, and kids will get swept up in the adventure. Note: Narnia does contain battle scenes that some parents may consider too violent for younger children. --Dan Vancini --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.
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monster was cool looking. I just wish they showed more of him. Still it is a good B-movie to watch.
PSYCHED BY THE 4-D WITCH - This movie was STUPID! STUPID! STUPID! Just a sex farce. And just like the
company implies: Something Weird! No one under 40 should view this movie. And no one should cut down
Ed Wood Jr. for compared to this, his movies are masterpieces. I give this movie only 1 star and I think
that is being kind.
MONSTER A GO-GO is a pedestrian-paced black & white sci-fi thriller that started filming in 1961 with director Bill Rebane, but the production was shut down for a few years until director Herschell Gordon Lewis finished it in 1965. The film's plot, such as it is, concerns an American astronaut whose space capsule crashes back to Earth, the astronaut turned into a deformed killer by radiation. (When military officials discover the tiny empty space capsule, it's painfully obvious that no adult could squeeze into the thing unless it had the usual gadgets and gizmos needed to make the craft fly ripped out...and even then it would be a tight fit.) PSYCHED BY THE 4-D WITCH, on the other hand, is a 1973 sexploitation film shot on 16mm that tells the tale of a young gal guided by the spirit of a witch ancestor into a voyage of sexual discovery while magic keeps her virginity intact. (The colorful psychedelic imagery seems inspired in part by Roger Corman's THE TRIP from a few years earlier.)
MONSTER A Go-GO would have probably been better paired with something like PSYCHO A GO-GO, BEAST OF YUCCA FLATS or FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE SPACE MONSTER. While it would be hard to come up with a good match for THE 4-D WITCH, it might play well with PLEASE DON'T EAT MY MOTHER (another Image/Something Weird release that, for some reason, was put out as a stand-alone title). And, as usual with Something Weird discs, you get a fistful of bonus goodies (trailers, featurettes, etc) that are also an eclectic collection here. The contents may not necessarily compliment each other but, in terms of quantity, you're getting a decent amount of bang for the buck.
As you can imagine, this type of outlook does not gain one many friends and/or alliances, but Schlock Movies need love too. The beauty of Schlock is that, for the sake of all appearances, it is a dead art. Unless I am mistaken, no one ever intended to make a Schlock film. I like to think they had a VISION and made the best film (under the budget constraints) that they possibly could.
Alright, alright, I'm already seeing contradictions in what i just wrote and besides that, I'm here to review this mind-bending DVD combo of two perfect examples of Schlock and as usual I'm trying to analyze my own philosophy on why I keep searching for and finding movies such as these, and no one cares about that (especially me).
Just look at that cover! "Monster A Go-Go", the title alone, it's driven me nuts for decades, I can remember reading about this in the eighties in that first book about H.G. Lewis, how he bought an unfinished kids film and Herschelled it up. Or something like that, it's been a long time and that book got so devoured that it fell apart, BUT there were only a few options at that time to see any of his films on VHS, and "Monster A Go-Go" was not, to my knowledge, on a commercially available tape.
So here it is in all of it's glory (and it's so good), but wait, it's only the OPENING FEATURE (of a double feature).
"Psyched By The 4-D Witch"? They must have done cartwheels when they thought of that title! You won't believe it, but - and here's where it gets incredible - the movie is even more hallucinatory than the title. Yes. that's what I said. Even more.
How so? While watching it, it made me feel like time would jerk to a stop, then open up a pocket which I would drop into then when only my head was sticking up out of the time-pocket, the film would lurch to a start again, and I had to leap up out of the pocket before my fool head got chopped off in the process. Plus there are dirty words in this movie, and other things. Things best not spoken of. I could not stop watching it. After subjecting myself to countless years of Schlock films, I had never experienced anything like THIS. It had a power over me. I do not take drugs.
So should you buy it? What do you think? If you've read this far you will know whether the time-pocket has arrived and you are ready to drop in. Who knows? Maybe you'll see me. I'll be in that other pocket. For this inscrutable film keeps calling me back again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again...
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