James Franciscus

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Marooned Review


Very Good
Remarkably prescient, this 1969 drama about astronauts stuck in space, unable to return home due to a rocket malfunction preceded the real Apollo 13 drama by only one year. For its era, the special effects are impressive, though the plot -- which involves a massive rescue attempt that sees not one but two spacecraft attempting to rendezvous with our heros -- is on the far-fetched side. Kudos for impressive realism in its treatment of the effects of the lack of oxygen on the crew and its long periods of quiet frustration, a great respite from typical in-your-face adventure fare.

Beneath The Planet Of The Apes Review


Weak
I guess when your budget gets slashed because of a string of previous Twentieth Century Fox flops (down to $3 million this time out) and your name is Arthur P. Jacobs, you do what you can to find a way to make a sequel to one of Fox's biggest successes.

The main problem with making a sequel to the original Apes was that Charlton Heston didn't want to put the loincloth back on to keep the struggle going against those damn, dirty apes. So Richard Zanuck, the producer of the original Apes, asked Heston personally to return to the role as some kind of karmic payback for making thr original. Heston took the role but insisted that Taylor be killed at the beginning of the film. So Jacobs hired some schmuck who looked like Heston, named James Franciscus, tossed him in a loincloth, told him to growl like the great one, and then hopefully watch the sawbucks pour in on opening weekend.

Continue reading: Beneath The Planet Of The Apes Review

The Cat O' Nine Tails Review


Good
One of Dario Argento's better horror flicks -- helped amiably by Karl Malden as a blind crossword puzzle creator who, with the help of a local reporter, stumbles into a murder mystery, replete with creepy, dubbed Italians. Ultimately, Malden ends up in a supporting role, but the lively story, impressive close-up gore sequences (watch early on as a train runs down one poor sap), and at least moderately interesting twists make it worthwhile.

Continue reading: The Cat O' Nine Tails Review

Beneath The Planet Of The Apes Review


Weak
I guess when your budget gets slashed because of a string of previous Twentieth Century Fox flops (down to $3 million this time out) and your name is Arthur P. Jacobs, you do what you can to find a way to make a sequel to one of Fox's biggest successes.

The main problem with making a sequel to the original Apes was that Charlton Heston didn't want to put the loincloth back on to keep the struggle going against those damn, dirty apes. So Richard Zanuck, the producer of the original Apes, asked Heston personally to return to the role as some kind of karmic payback for making thr original. Heston took the role but insisted that Taylor be killed at the beginning of the film. So Jacobs hired some schmuck who looked like Heston, named James Franciscus, tossed him in a loincloth, told him to growl like the great one, and then hopefully watch the sawbucks pour in on opening weekend.

Continue reading: Beneath The Planet Of The Apes Review

James Franciscus

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