Cold-Weather Corman

Movie night!

If you are a devotee of cheesy horror, Edgar Allen Poe movies, women-in-cages flicks, and films about vegetables that aren’t vegetarians, Roger Corman is your guy.

Where would you like to begin?

There’s his contemplative “beast” series (THE BEAST WITH 1,000,000 EYES, THE BEAST FROM HAUNTED CAVE, and THE BEAST OF YELLOW MOUNTAIN)?

Then there’s his Machen-like exploration of nature run amok (ATTACK OF THE CRAB MONSTERS, ATTACK OF THE GIANT LEECHES (featuring Yvette Vickers in her best slutty Daisy Mae rendition), IT CONQUERED THE WORLD, and THE CREATURE FROM THE HAUNTED SEA).

Or his taboo-shattering exposures of the sexual politics of beings that don’t even exist (SCREAM OF THE DEMON LOVER, THE WASP WOMAN, THE VELVET VAMPIRE, and NIGHT OF THE COBRA WOMAN).

Corman’s canon is a treasure trove of cultural delights; comfort food for the easily entertained. I shop there willingly and often.

Tonight’s film fare however, is a bit off the beaten Corman trail. It’s his 1960 WWII epic; SKI TROOP ATTACK. Imagine THE LONGEST DAY. Now, imagine everything as much the opposite of THE LONGEST DAY as possible.

Cast of thousands? Try six – not six thousand – six.

English Channel? German mountains.

Thousands of ships? Skis.

Years in the making? Two weeks.

You get the idea.

I will give the nod for acting to SKI TROOP ATTACK but that’s by default as any discernible acting that happens in THE LONGEST DAY is accidental and laughable. Who can ever un-watch Richard Burton’s interpretation of the deathless line; “Ack-Ack.” Or Roddy McDowall crooning the word; “June”. Heady stuff.

Given all that, SKI TROOP is OK in my book. It tells a straight-forward, stripped-down GUNS OF NAVARONE, THE DIRTY DOZEN, etc. war adventure story pretty well. However, I didn’t care for all the snow. Frankly, I got cold. I think I would have preferred SURF TROOP ATTACK with Lieutenant Moondoggy leading the squad. Ah well, I just put on a jacket and finished watching the film.

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