Tag: paranormal thriller editor

Review: The Blue Max

The Blue Max - 1966
The Blue Max – 1966
The 1966 movie, The Blue Max, stands out in my mind as the only movie I can think of without a hero.

I watched The Blue Max last week (okay I admit it, I have it on DVD). I am a huge fan of aviation films and this one is all about a German Air Force pilot in World War I. Skip the bits about aircraft if that is not your thing but that’s not the main point of this review.

Briefly, Bruno Stachel is an infantry corporal in the trenches. From a working class background, he nevertheless longs for the noble arena if death in the skies and enlists for the German Air Force. He proves a talented pilot but his new squadron of officers, enlisted from the ruling classes, do not accept his ambitious ruthlessness. They have a strict code of conduct, which he breaks in many ways, including bedding the top scoring Willi’s aunt and lover, the Countess Kaeti. Willi’s nobility, until now, has extended to taking Stachel under his wing but now the gloves are off and the two duel for supremacy in the skies and in bed.

Kaeti is herself ambitious and enjoys the titillation of bedding pilots whose lives are on the line. Her husband, the taciturn General Count von Klugermann, beautifully underplayed by James Mason, encourages her liaisons and appears to use her to control his aces. However, Kaeti overreaches herself with dire consequences.

Kaeti is played beautifully by Ursula Andress. If ever proof were needed that she really could act, and act superbly, this film is it. I have rarely seen a film in which you see a woman reaching adulthood in a single moment as poignantly as you do with Andress in the final scene.

Mason is of course excellent throughout, as is Jeremy Kemp as Willi, but its George Peppard’s part I want to focus on. Peppard is naturally morose and always has a sour look on his face so he must have been the natural choice for Stachel, whose ambition quickly becomes cruel in the face of the prejudice surrounding him. Peppard turns in a fine performance and thoroughly deserved his nomination for a Golden Laurel award. But it’s the director’s handling of the character that is astonishing, and in some ways perplexing.

I cannot think of another leading character in a movie that is less likable than Stachel. He is not even badass enough or gritty enough to be an anti-hero. He is over-ambitious, a liar and cheat, a traitor to just about anybody who gets close to him, probably ashamed of his parents although he denies it (probably another lie) and ultimately proved to be a fool by Kaeti. Indeed, it is she that claims she likes his ‘innocence’ but if she does, it can only be a foolishly ambitious innocence. Her naivety is found out at the end of the film but its not Stachel but von Klugermann who reveals it.

Apart from being a good pilot, Stachel has no redeeming features. Stachel’s good looks mean that bedding the gorgeous Kaeti is no achievement. How on earth then does the film hold together? It certainly does and its a masterpiece of tight direction and high tension action. Perhaps, because it was made at the height of the anti-war movement in America, the director simply wanted to make a heavily disguised anti-war film. He certainly succeeded there. All the main characters suffer terribly. But this still doesn’t explain how a ‘no hero’ film holds together so well. I tried to decided who is the hero in this film and there really isn’t one. You just have to watch it yourself and let me know what you think.

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Interview: Lorraine Carey on Beloved Sacrifice

Beloved Sacrifice
Beloved Sacrifice
Listen to this great interview with Lorraine Carey about #occult book Beloved Sacrifice on the Author Show: http://www.wnbnetworkwest.com/WnbAuthorsShow2.html

Poll: Which is the best Scifi Vehicle Ever?

Elevator vehicle under Fireflash from Thunderbirds
Elevator vehicle under Fireflash from Thunderbirds

Another great vote this week; which is the best scifi vehicle of all time?

The choice is HUGE but below are just a few suggestions to get you started. Please nominate your favourites by commenting here or tweet me @Lazlo_F or message me on Facebook. The nomination deadline will be 22 June at 5pm. Then we will vote!

Ein weiterer großer Stimme in dieser Woche; Welches ist das beste SciFi Fahrzeug aller Zeiten?

Die Auswahl ist riesig Gewinn Hier sind nur ein paar Vorschläge, um Ihnen den Einstieg. Bitte benennen Sie Ihre Favoriten von hier zu kommentieren oder tweet ich Lazlo_F gold Nachricht auf mich Facebook. Der Nominierungsfrist wird am 22. Juni 17.00 Uhr sein. Dann werden wir abstimmen!

Un autre grand vote cette semaine; qui est le meilleur véhicule de scifi de tous les temps?

Le choix est énorme, mais ci-dessous sont quelques suggestions pour vous aider à démarrer. S’il vous plaît nommer vos favoris en commentant ici ou tweet moi Lazlo_F ou un message moi sur Facebook. La date limite de mise en candidature sera de 22 Juin à 17 heures. Ensuite, nous allons voter!

もう一つの大きな票今週。これはすべての時間の中で最高のscifi車である。

選択は巨大ですが、以下の作業を始めるためのちょうどいくつかの提案です。ここにコメントすることによってあなたのお気に入りを指名するか、上で私 Lazlo_Fコードまたはメッセージを私にツイートしてください。 Facebook のコード。指名締め切りは午後5時で6月22日になります。その後、我々は投票する!

एक अन्य महान वोट इस सप्ताह; जो सभी समय का सबसे अच्छा scifi वाहन है।

विकल्प बहुत बड़ा है, लेकिन नीचे तुम शुरू कर बस कुछ सुझाव हैं। Lazlo_F यहाँ टिप्पणी करके अपने पसंदीदा में मनोनीत या मुझे ट्वीट करें। या संदेश मुझ पर Facebook

Elevator Vehicles from Thunderbirds

The SPV from Captain Scarlet

The Star Ship Enterprise

The X-Wing Starfighter from Star Wars

Darth Vader’s TIE Advanced x1

Landmaster from Damnation Alley (crap film but good vehicle)

Discovery One from 2001: Space Odyssey

The Eagle Transporter from space 1999

Arguably not a vehicle but still cool – the Power Loader from Aliens

The Tom Cruise Audi from Minority Report (this is a view from the front)

The Lawmaster MC01 Y349 – 221 from Dredd

1966 Batmobile (this one gets my pulse going)

1989 Batmobile

The Tumbler from Bat Man

Thunderbirds 2 from Thunderbirds

The Mole from Thunderbirds

I could go on all day but now it’s over to you. Nominate your favourite!

Cameron, Clegg, Milliband and Farage: who will win Wacky Races?

Wacky Races
Wacky Races
Welcome to the last leg of the UK General Election Wacky Races! I am your host, commentator and reporter; Pedro Diamond.

Pedro Diamond: The last race was won by David Caravan when Ed Millipede crashed out while in the lead with grip problems. Here’s an interview I did with Ed earlier:

Ed Millipede: Yes Pedro; I had the wrong rubber on my brogues! The crowd were good and encouraged me so I managed to catch it before I hit the black stuff! It’s always difficult to choose the right rubber when the conditions are changeable. Dunlop have been great support, giving three different choices, but I understand David Caravan was on the hard compound on the day so he had an advantage. Lesson learned!

Pedro Diamond: All contestants are neck and neck as we come to the close of this competition. Only a few more days to go in this long-distance race. One thing that has got the crowd excited and commentators talking is the introduction of a new fuel; Liquid Intellectual Energy or LIE. Using the fuel is known as LIEING. It’s use is controversial but in a moment, you will hear the views of the four leading drivers on the new fuel.

My tip for the winner? I believe it will be a photo-finish and the final result a matter of who has the deepest Political Wallet.

Now to the LIEING interviews:

Nigel Mirage
Nigel Mirage
Pedro Diamond: Nigel Mirage; the new fuel, LIE, is boosting all the competitors’ performances. We believe you are using it too. Are you?

Nigel Mirage: No Pedro, we won’t be LIEING. We don’t need it! Our car is faster, stronger and more reliable than all the others.

Pedro Diamond: But you have repainted your car completely white? Can you explain this to the Wacky Races fans?

Nigel Mirage: That’s not true. In fact, if you look under the hood, you will see that the top of each carburetor of my old Austin Mini is blue.

Pedro Diamond: A car designed by an Italian.

Nigel Mirage: Well yes, the Italians do some things really rather well. I am very fond of a good Chianti.

Pedro Diamond: So the car colour has nothing to do with your racial views?

Nigel Mirage: I don’t have any racial views. I merely want to win this race and restore the country to the good ‘ol days of a Free Market Economy and Empire!

Pedro Diamond: Thank you Nigel. Now over to Nick Pleb. Nick, what will be your main tactic to get over the line first?

Nick Pleb
Nick Pleb
Nick Pleb Red lines Pedro. I have red lines on my gauges and I will not red line my vehicle anywhere. I am a great believer in sticking within red lines.

Pedro Diamond: But that’s not true, is it Nick? You have red-lined in every race so far. In the very first round, you crossed the red-line with your new Tuition Fees engine and blew up, costing you most of your fans.

Nick Pleb: Who needs fans? I only need to win. I don’t care any more what it takes. In fact, I don’t care any more about anything! There was a mouse. Where? There on the stair…

Pedro Diamond: Right Nick, but are you going to be LYING?

Nick Pleb: Oh sure. I guess. Everyone else is. In fact you can take my comment about red lines as a complete load of cobblers. Wasn’t there a cobbler in the mouse story? Or something like that. There’ll always be an England…

Pedro Diamond: Now let’s see if we can grab a chat with David Caravan. I can see the umbrella girls are starting to leave the starting grid, including Rebekah Brooks, who is wearing a rather fetching blue bikini. Oh look; she is whispering something into David’s ear, something about the Sun newspaper, if my lip-reading is up to scratch. Better not interrupt them. She’s going now so let’s move in. David? Can I have a word? You look rather busy.

David Caravan
David Caravan
David Caravan: Yeah Pedro, too many women, not enough time. Oops, should have said that with the wife around. Boris is much better at this sort of thing that me.

Pedro Diamond: Can I ask you what your main tactic to win will be?

David Caravan: Well, I think I have been rather clever. George Osborne is obviously finished; the little tike has really screwed up the economy good and proper, hasn’t he? I understand he is going to start a Magic Mushroom farm in Buckinghamshire with his father’s money. Not that he needs it after siphoning off most of the Country’s! Ha! Ha! Yes, as I was saying, announcing Big Bore Boris as my successor is one of the cleverest moves of my political life. I have zero charisma compared with him but now I have harnessed his to take me back into power for another 5 years.

Pedro Diamond: But wasn’t the announcement at his behest?

David Caravan: Behest is an interesting choice of word. But no, I would say I have outmanoeuvred him this time. Sort of like a double-agent.

Pedro Diamond: And what about LIEING?

David Caravan: Erm… we may be using the new fuel but I can’t really say on-camera. That would be giving too much away. Let’s just say; I will be economical with the truth. It’s better on the riff-raff, sorry, working classes; they are really not well-educated enough to think for themselves. It’s really not their fault…

Pedro Diamond: Some would say it’s yours.

David Caravan: Pedro. You are such a wit. Can I introduce you to Rebekah later? She is doing a wonderful line is gossipy Luncheon Vouchers…

Pedro Diamond: Well, I managed to pull myself away from David and we have one last grid slot to visit; pole position sitter Ed Millipede. Ed, can I have a word?

Ed Millipede
Ed Millipede
Ed Millipede: Bit busy Pedro, but okay, just a few words.

Pedro Diamond: So are you LIEING Ed?

Ed Millipede: It’s a relief to come right out with it and say; yes, I will be LYING. We will not be playing tag with other teams, using their slipstream to win but we have bribed a judge to allow us to amalgamate out team with another during the race so that our accumulated points will make us the sure winners! Genius!

Pedro Diamond: Do you care to tell us what that team is?

Ed Millipede: That’s a secret, as you probably guess Pedro. Let’s just say that my teammate, Gordon Brown, wants revenge and I intend to give it to him!

So the 4 competitors are under starter’s orders. And away they go! On the way-out Wacky Races!