Archive for June, 2010

The Joker’s Comedy Of Errors

Here’s a story that has become infamous in the last couple of years thank to Superdickery. This is due to the Joker’s excessive use of the word boner, which I guess was not considered to be a double entendre back in the 1950s.

Disney’s – The Story Of Menstruation

Here’s a Disney film that most people probably haven’t heard of and would not have dreamt that they would have made. It is actually an educational film that was produced for Kotex back in 1946.

A disc of Disney educational films would be fascinating stuff and something that I would buy in a heartbeat.

Superboy Says: Know Your Country

I love the old Public Service Announcements that you used to sometimes see in the back of old comic books. I even love it when animators and film makers try to do the same thing as well. Yep, whether it is Batman making a plea for racial harmony or C3PO trying to get R2D2 to quit smoking or even Superman trying to stop anti-Semitism and religious intolerance, I think these things are great in a corny sort of way. I’m sure that the people who made them had their hearts in the right places but they do seem to come off as being a bit preachy and very hokey.

The first of the DC Comics was this one featuring Superboy, who was the poster child for their PSA’s in the 50s and early 60s.
I do find it hard to believe that no-one would have paid any attention to ‘that little Scandinavian girl’ but this was before everyone decided that Swedish girls were hot. Of course it was so much easier for Superboy to convince the kids to go to some hot Scandinavian chick’s house than to the black or Asian kids places. It wouldn’t be until the early 70s when DC would try to assist integration between blacks and whites, firstly with the Green Arrow/Green Lantern and then with Lois Lane. In the 50s Asians were still being vilified in comic books, although not as much as a decade earlier when America was at war with Japan. In the 50s they went from being the evil, simian looking enemy to comic relief. Again it would be the 70s, when Bruce Lee and Kung Fu became fashionable, that Asians would be treated like normal people in comic books.

The Thing From Another World

Watch the skies

The Thing From Another World is often hailed as the first great sci-fi/horror film but I’m not so sure. I guess that it is the film that kicked off the 1950s sci-fi cycle of films and admit that the sci-fi elements of the film have the potential to be great, but I was very disappointed at the horror element of the film.

For those who don’t know the story, a UFO crashes to Earth near the North Pole and is found by scientists and airforce officials. Whilst the spaceship is destroyed thanks to the ineptitude of the airforce personnel, they do find an alien encased in the ice. They take the alien back to their base still in the ice, but his icy tomb is melted and he is alive. Soon it is discovered that he is plant-based and bullets don’t harm him, and that he needs blood to survive and to reproduce.

The reason why I find the horror elements of the film to be disappointing is that despite the potential for tension, no one in the film seems to be scared of the alien. Sure they say that they are frightened, yet the audience cannot see that. Despite knowing that they cannot kill the monster with bullets and that it eats humans, the airforce people decide to confront it armed only with guns, while in another scene with the alien on the loose one of the airforce people jokes with his girlfriend, who also just happened to be posted to the area. Why should I be afraid of their fate if they aren’t?

I suppose that I feel frustrated that the film has so much potential but didn’t capitalise on it in its entirety. Despite this lack of tension the film is still entertaining if talky and I enjoyed watching it a lot. Considering that The From Another World is supposed to be directed by Howard Hawks, his only foray into sci-fi, it is very different from anoything else he ever made.

What’s your BQ?

I think that it’s quite cute that DC Comics would add little items such as the above to try to promote racial harmony. I guess that this comes for the late 60s or something when a few DC Comics were talking about ‘brotherhood’ and the like.