6:00 AM Wild, Wild Planet, The (1965)
Space amazons control the Earth by shrinking its leaders. Cast: Tony Russell, Lisa Gastoni, Franco Nero. Dir: Anthony Dawson. C-94 mins, TV-14, Letterbox Format
7:45 AM From The Earth To The Moon (1958)
Lifelong rivals collaborate on a 19th-century moon rocket. Cast: Joseph Cotten, George Sanders, Henry Daniell. Dir: Byron Haskin. C-100 mins, TV-G, CC
9:30 AM Thing From Another World, The (1951)
The crew of a remote Arctic base fights off a murderous monster from outer space. Cast: Kenneth Tobey, Margaret Sheridan, James Arness. Dir: Christian Nyby. BW-87 mins, TV-PG, CC, DVS
11:00 AM Watch the Skies! (2005)
This TCM original documentary explores the history of the science fiction genre beginning in the 1950s. Features interviews with George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, James Cameron and Ridley Scott. Dir: Richard Schickel. BW-56 mins, TV-PG, CC
12:00 PM Forbidden Planet (1956)
A group of space troopers investigates the destruction of a colony on a remote planet. Cast: Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis, Leslie Nielsen. Dir: Fred M. Wilcox. C-99 mins, TV-PG, CC, Letterbox Format, DVS
2:00 PM Invisible Boy, The (1957)
A boy's robot playmate is taken over by aliens. Cast: Richard Eyer, Philip Abbott, Harold J. Stone. Dir: Herman Hoffman. BW-90 mins, TV-G, CC
3:30 PM 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea (1954)
A renegade sea captain uses a pioneering submarine to force peace on the world. Cast: Kirk Douglas, James Mason, Paul Lukas. Dir: Richard Fleischer. C-127 mins, TV-G, CC, Letterbox Format
6:00 PM Satan Bug, The (1965)
A mad millionaire bribes a scientist to steal a deadly virus. Cast: George Maharis, Richard Basehart, Anne Francis. Dir: John Sturges. C-115 mins, TV-PG, Letterbox Format
8:00 PM Homicidal (1961)
A nurse and her husband conspire to collect a rich inheritance. Cast: Glenn Corbett, Patricia Breslin, Eugenie Leontovich. Dir: William Castle. BW-87 mins, TV-PG, Letterbox Format
9:30 PM Strait-Jacket (1964)
Murder follows an axe murder home when she's released from a mental hospital. Cast: Joan Crawford, Diane Baker, George Kennedy. Dir: William Castle. BW-93 mins, TV-14, Letterbox Format
11:15 PM 13 Ghosts (1960)
A family inherits a house haunted by 13 ghosts and a living killer. Cast: Charles Herbert, Rosemary DeCamp, Marin Milner. Dir: William Castle. BW-82 mins, TV-PG, Letterbox Format
12:45 AM Tingler, The (1959)
A scientist discovers an organism that lives on fear. Cast: Vincent Price, Judith Evelyn, Darryl Hickman. Dir: William Castle. BW-82 mins, TV-PG, CC, Letterbox Format
As you can see, that's actually sci-fi films up until 8PM, but what the hey. The SF in question is either so essential you've probably seen it ("The Thing..." "Forbidden Planet," "20,000 Leagues...") or eminently missable. (Gasp in horror at my review of "The Satan Bug"!)
At 8PM, things get downright fabulous, with a string of William Castle gimmick thrillers. Of course, most of the gimmicks were perpetrated in the theaters rather than on the screen, but traces still remain. "Homicidal" is, of course, Castle's knock-off of "Psycho." Gimmick: The "Fright Break" allowed you to get a full refund right before the climax of the film if you were too timid to go on. But you had to stand in "Coward's Corner" until the other patrons left at the end! "Strait-Jacket" stars a post-"Whatever Happened to Baby Jane" Joan Crawford (yet to suffer the ultimate humiliation of "Trog"). Gimmick: cardboard souvenir axes. They can't all be winners folks. "13 Ghosts" was, of course, filmed in "Illusion-O!" The audience were given "ghost-viewers," cardboard lens thingies; the ghosts were visible through one lens, but invisible through the other. Hmmm, that's kind of lame, too. Ah! "The Tingler"!!! Considered by many to be Castle's masterpiece, this Vincent Price flick about a scientist who discovers the source of fear (a normally invisible bug-like thing that literally "tingles" your spine) was filmed in "Percepto!" Which had nothing to do with film, and everything to do with wiring random seats in the theater to deliver low-level electric shocks at strategic moments ("The Tingler is loose in the theater!") Ah, good times. And it's a damned weird movie, to boot.
Hey, look there's more!
2:30 AM Eyes Without a Face (1960)
A surgeon steals young women's faces hoping to heal his daughter's scars. Cast: Pierre Brasseur, Edith Scob, Francois Guerin. Dir: Georges Franju. C-90 mins, TV-14, Letterbox Format
4:15 AM Vampyr - Der Traum des Allan Grey (1932)
Classic tale of a young traveler finding himself in a sinister castle. Cast: Julian West, Maurice Schutz, Rena Mandel. Dir: Carl Theodor Dreyer. BW-72 mins, TV-PG
Sunday night/Monday morning is apparently time for some culture! Foreign films! A pair of classic surrealist horrors from Europe. If you want to see what horror looks like when *not* utilized for pure exploitation, have a look. They may be slow going by modern splatterpunk sensibilities, but they have definite charms, and a good amount of honest creepiness.
More from me soon.