The Invention of Lying (2009). I liked it. What does that prove?

I was on Ricky Gervais’ wavelength from frame one to fadeout of this film. I laughed when I was meant to laugh, I teared up when cued by the score. I sat imagining a movie starring Jennifer Garner and Hilary Swank playing sisters, but that’s just a jaw thing. I enjoyed the movie.

When it was over, it occurred to me to wonder whether there was any connection between my enjoyment of it and its artistic merit, if any. Does liking something make it art? Of course not. So is artistic merit 100% orthogonal to enjoyment? Or can there be some relative connection? If, for example, I like a movie but 99 others don’t, does that lessen the possibility that cinematic art has been created? What if all 100 of us like it? I mean, the director sets out, in many cases, to make something we’ll like; if he succeeds, doesn’t art play a part?

I suppose that questions like these reflect aspects of the larger “What is art?” question. I remember nothing from my art-history and aesthetics courses. A visit to Wikipedia would probably provide me with lots of answers, but I’d rather just think about it for a couple of minutes and then move on.

Because it does bother me a little that I could watch, laugh, cry, enjoy, knowing that my reactions may have nothing to do, probably have nothing to do, absolutely have nothing to do (which is it?) with the artishness of the thing. Doesn’t seem right.

I mean, could I love a movie that is absolutely devoid of artistic merit of any kind?

Later: ok, after a lot of thought on the matter, I have concluded that if I like a movie, it automatically has artistic merit, even if I watched it in an impaired state or at a time of severe mental disequilibrium. This would include Norbit and The Love Guru. If I don’t like a movie, I allow that it might still contain some artistic merit. This would include Metropolis and Sunrise. As I said to Roger Ebert the other night while explaining how all this works, if you like a movie and I don’t, then artistic merit is not automatically conferred upon it. Who knows what weird stuff you’re liable to like? But now if you can explain to me why a movie that I don’t like has artistic merit, and I buy your explanation, no matter how wrong-headed and tinfoil-hatted it may be, then that’s ok, unless I change my mind later and decide that your explanation is actually rubbish. I feel a lot better having cleared this up for myself.

You ask, what if I (me, not you) love a movie but decide in my heart and mind that it is trash, or at least trashy? Doesn’t matter. In that case it has artistic merit that I can’t see right off the bat, or I wouldn’t have loved it in the first place.

What if I have a love/hate thing going with some movie? That means artistic merit. Probably even more than I would ever be able to know.

Finally, if a movie has twelve tons of artistic merit but I’d hate it if I watched it, then you go watch it and report back. You’ll probably love it.

Advertisements

Homo Erectus (2007)

aka National Lampoon’s Stoned Age. NL has produced a closetful of clunkers over the years, but Adam Rifkin gets this genre film right, the genre being Movies To Watch While You’re Drunk. I was and it was.

It’s all here:

David Carradine as MooKoo, proving once again that he will do literally anything for a paycheck. He’s especially good in the scenes where he’s carrying his head under his arm. (Ed.: Written before the man checked out. RIP. Loved you in Hell Ride. Nice callback to Dennis Hopper in Modern Romance.)

Talia Shire as his wife, mother of the clan, who will do anything for a fur, even if it’s off an australeamoustisimus.

Ron Jeremy as Oog, who doesn’t show it, but at this point doesn’t really have to anymore. Anybody who cares has memorized it by now.

Gary Busey as Krutz, who doesn’t have to act crazy to be crazy.

Ali Larter as Fardart, showing off the best set of prehistoric choppers in film history, although Raquel Welch still beats her from the neck down.

Carol Alt as Queen Fallopia. “You turn me down?? Every Neanderthal between here and the volcano wants to get into this lizard-skin thong!”

Kansas Carradine as the pregnant cavewoman. David’s daughter adds her oiled belly to several of the scenes wherein the women drop their pelts.

and Adam Rifkin, who gets hit in the head by large rocks twenty, no, twenty-two, no… I was too far gone to keep track.

The movie poses the question, If you paste large shaggy patches of fake pubic fur over the female actors’ actual areas, is that still full-frontal, or what?

Only Angels Have Wings (1939)

21 questions I asked myself during this movie:

1. Who’s going to get shot? Every man in the movie is wearing a gun. There are no bad guys, no violence, no threats of violence. Sure, they’re down there in lawless Peru, but nowhere do guns figure in the action. Yet it’s inconceivable that they’ll get through the movie without somebody shooting somebody. A: Somebody got shot.

2. Say, this being a ’30s movie, will the characters in it begin a lot of sentences with “Say”? A: Say, yes!

3. Why do I like black-and-white movies? I remember thinking, during, for example, Dead Man, and Manhattan, and this movie, how glad I was that they weren’t in color. Color would have diminished them. But I don’t watch color movies wishing that they were in black-and-white. What gives? A: I don’t know, but I do know that cigarette smoke is much cooler, and much more dramatic, in black-and-white.

4. How wrong can Hawks go with the one black guy he puts in the movie? A: Very wrong. This being 1939, Charles R. Moore must have drifted over from Gone With the Wind, where he was playing Butterfly McQueen’s brother.

5. A plane full of nitro and a flock of condors below – what to do? A: Drop the nitro on them. “That ought to move ’em!”

6. That boat coming into port – familiar? A: I just watched King Kong. Those ’30s movies were great with the boats in the harbor mist.

7. How have line readings changed since the ’30s? Turning on English subtitles calls attention to line readings and one current vogue has the actor pausing before ending a sentence. Think Michael Emerson in Lost: “You’re going to have to kill me… John.” A: Next ’30s movie, I’ll pay attention to this.

8. Kid Dabb says, “I’ve been doing this 22 years.” Is that a big deal? A: Not when you’re my age.

9. You know somebody is going to get killed. Can you guess who? A: I couldn’t. It had nothing to do with the guns.

10. McPherson lands a plane on a short runway that ends at a cliff. Why is this familiar to me? A: Similar to landing in Los Alamos on a DC3. Except that the runway in Los Alamos is not on Barranca Mesa, but one mesa over from there (the movie is set in Barranca).

11. Can it be that for once a crashed plane on fire won’t blow up? A: Wow. It’s not blowing up. It’s just burning, not bl… Oops, there it goes.

12. Does Jean Arthur have twice the normal number of teeth? A: I need to go back, pause the movie, and count them.

13. Who wrote this? I wondered, because of the bananas in the Andes. Peru joined the banana market only recently. I’m thinking that the writer assumed that any country south of Mexico is a banana republic. But wait, the NYT reviewer back in 1939 thought that the movie was set in Equador, which does export bananas. Peru or Equador, which is it? A: Howard Hawks himself wrote the story. The Corvallis-Benton County Public Library has a copy of “Plane From Barranca.” Maybe I should call up there, and ask the librarian to take the book off the shelf and read the first few pages of it to me, to see if Hawks specifies a country.

14. Is Dimitri Tiomkin going to drive me crazy again, like he did in The Fall of the Roman Empire? A: No. His score is absolutely unobtrusive.

15. Does Grant say “Judy, Judy, Judy…”? A: No.

16. The movie was filmed in Hollywood but what about those tropical airplane sequences (not with the obvious little model, but the other ones)? A: Don’t know how they were done, but the picture was nominated for the first-ever Special Effects Oscar. Didn’t win it, and neither did GWTW or The Wizard of Oz. The Rains Came won it; now I want to see those rains; must have been really something.

17. Pilot wears a white shirt and tie, leather jacket, and snap-brim fedora – cool or not cool? A: Hayworth went for it. Whereas Cary Grant’s Panama was just plain silly.

18. Jean Arthur or Rita Hayworth? Arthur is the romantic lead and Cary Grant tells her that she and Hayworth, his former girlfriend or ex, I forget which, are very much alike. Perhaps so, but there are a couple of big differences, which are obvious from the start. A: I’ll take Arthur. Maybe Grant could handle Hayworth, but I couldn’t.

19. Is Arthur quite a bit shorter than Grant, or not? A: She = 5′ 3″ He = 6′ 1.5″ The difference is only apparent every so often. Richard Barthelmess, on the other hand, looked shorter than Arthur and he = 5′ 8″.

20. Kid and Bat, the deadly adversaries – are they going to end up in a deadly situation that recapitulates their antagonistic backstory? A: Three guesses, and the first two don’t count (that expression was fresh in the ’30s; now, 23,800,000 Google hits.) A line in the movie that I was surprised to hear: “I’ve always preferred a bath to a shower.” Somehow I don’t picture a lot of showers in the ’30s.

21. Are these guys all supposed to be angels, because they’re pilots flying dangerous missions? Is that the message of the movie, encapsulated in its title? A: Yes. They are manly men, by God, and Howard Hawks wants you to know it.

Watchmen (2009)

After I watch a movie, I read some reviews about it to find out whether I liked it or not. A.O. Scott does a nice job on Watchmen, but he tells me that I didn’t like it as much as I thought I did. The gist of his argument seems to be that Zack Snyder brought the 80s graphic novel faithfully to the screen and that this was not a good thing: that the ideas in the book are dated and jejune. Scott’s review is so well-written that I felt ashamed about writing one of mine own, this one in fact, and I put it aside unfinished.

But wait a minute. Of course the ideas in the book are dated. The ideas in Pride and Prejudice are dated. So what? And of course the ideas are the sort that would appeal to a teen reader. Watchmen was born as a series of comic books. A.O., grow down.

But then, I liked “300,” so what do I know?

A.O. also calls out the primary sex scene in the movie as the worst of the year. Evidently A.O. steers clear of 99% of the DVDs on Blockbuster’s shelves. At any rate, what I saw in that scene was an ineffective Snyder attempt to maintain Watchmen’s PG-13 rating, an attempt doomed from the gitgo by the movie’s blue penis.

That blue penis. Over and over before watching the movie I heard about the blue pee pee. I was expecting gratuitous closeups of the prosthesis. I was expecting an azure member of a size worthy of the movie’s only true superhero. What th… The little guy was as unobtrusive in the movie as it was in the book. U.S. society is messed up WRT the phallus. Judd Apatow ran a couple of focus groups while making Funny People, to discover how many dick jokes in the movie would be too many dick jokes. The answer: you can’t have too many. And what is a man’s member a member of anyway?

Like Risselada and some other Spouters, I read Watchmen just before watching it. I like to read a book and then see the movie. If the movie heads off in some wrongheaded direction, I might shake my head philosophically, but my bile is not wont to rise when it happens. A shrug is sufficient. For example, Kiera Knightly as Elizabeth Bennet did not do it for me, but I have moved on. I do not brood. Kiera, go back to POTC before Jane Austen comes back from the grave to haunt you. OK, maybe a little brooding eventuated, but hey, Elizabeth Garvie in the role will suffice for me until Pride and Prejudice is remade yet again, which it will be.

In the 60s, I went gaga over Fowles’ The Magus. But then the movie version became my biggest book-to-movie disappointment. On the other hand, I read Robert Parker’s Appaloosa a while back and believe me, Ed Harris is the perfect Virgil Cole in the movie version. Ditto Tom Selleck as Parker’s Jesse Stone. Perhaps a reader who found Watchmen magical in the 80s and then waited twenty years for the movie might have problems with it, though I’m willing to bet that most of those folks – I’ve got no data – loved the movie.

Anyway, I liked Watchmen the movie better than Watchmen the graphic novel. Snyder left out the pirates and other boring stuff and stuck to the main line, getting it all in, or so it seemed to me. Fresh faces in his casting choices, a big plus. I watched the movie in pieces, as if it were a mini-series, so it didn’t seem to run long. And for me, if not for A. O. Scott, adding a collection of 80s tunes to the soundtrack tweaked the experience in a way not possible to a silent book. Even if those tunes have been played to death, which they have been.

There has been conversation about the excessive violence in the movie. Sorry, I must have been distracted by Maggie Gyllenhaal getting blown up in the Dark Knight, and The Joker’s pencil to the eyeball, and Saws I, II, III, IV, and V, and folks checking into hostels never to check out again, whatever, so that I missed the fact that Rorschach in prison got a little extreme. He does splash hot oil in a dude’s face, but see, I just watched Trailer Park of Terror, in which the victim is lowered whole into hot oil like a very large freedom fry. At any rate, Snyder had obviously given up on his PG-13 quest by the time he cut together the prison fight scenes.

Near the end of the book and movie, Dr. Manhattan tells Ozymandias that he’s leaving for a galaxy where things aren’t so complicated. The average galaxy contains 100 billion stars and there are about 100 billion galaxies in the visible universe. I’m guessing that one collection of 100 billion stars is pretty much the same as another. Stick to your own galaxy, blue guy! Remember, whereever you go, there you are. And about creating some humans of your own: who do you think you are, God? Fundamentalists are outraged! God is not blue! And if you saw His pee pee…!

For recent urban total destruction, the late scenes in Watchmen are ok (reimagined from the original), but I liked the devastation in “Knowing” better – speaking of freedom fries.

Finally, for your consideration, the beginning and end of the Watchmen review found on “Christian Spotlight on Entertainment.” A reviewer with his feet in the mud and head in the clouds:

“For conservative Christian audiences, the prospect of seeing Zack Snyder’s “Watchmen” is a non-starter. There is male frontal nudity (albeit blue and animated); numerous instances of blasphemy; shots of women’s breasts; gory violence; and a nude love-making scene… Watchmen is a long viewing. It is sometimes ponderous, grisly, and confusing, but for those who have read the book and have reasonable expectations of what can be done in cinematic form, it is an instant classic — a tour de force which asks universal questions through comic book characters. For Christians, Dr. Manhattan represents the seeker who questions the existence of God and the meaning of life. His questions are in part answered in the realization that life is a miracle, “gold from air,” unexplained by the processes of nature. When the movie is over, the character that viewers will be most interested in is Dr. Manhattan and his journey to another galaxy, a journey he wouldn’t make if he were just interested in matter.”

Aging Boobs: Would a Lift Be So Wrong?

Watching Kabluey the other night, I was delighted to see that Lisa Kudrow is letting the camera record her age (45), at least in this movie. Her part required her to look haggard and beaten down, but not necessarily mid-forties; in this business, it takes some guts to show your age, especially if you’re female. Helen Hunt, born the same year, looks 45 in Then She Found Me, which is good, except that as the director, she cast herself as a 39-year-old trying to conceive. Does this mean that she thinks that she still looks 39 onscreen? I like Helen Hunt, so I hope that she isn’t deluding herself. A while back I found I Could Never Be Your Woman unwatchable because Michelle Pfeiffer has had so much work done that I feel creepy looking at her. See, everybody should be in charge of their own body and if someone wants to get a little plastic surgery done, fine. Their perogative. But as a movie-goer, it’s my perogative to choose not to go to films that creep me out. Sorry, Michelle. In the movie she’s the October in a May/October relationship, which is good, but that face. Whew.

And as soon as I say that, here comes Aging Gracefully with Michelle Pfeiffer.

The common trope on women is: “Except for occasional supporting roles as mothers (who are never germane to the plot), Hollywood actresses disappear from the screen at about age 35 or certainly by 40. After a few years of exile, they turn up as has-been semi-celebrities on reality shows then disappear again until they age into grande dames like Helen Mirren, Judi Dench and Maggie Smith.” (Ronni Bennett) Somehow I’ve been thinking that there are more women of middle age in the movies now than there used to be. True or false? Women who never stoped working, like Geneviève Bujold and Charlotte Rampling. Hmm. In their forties or older: Nicole Kidman, Lucy Liu, Laura Linney, Demi Moore, Julia Roberts, Holly Hunter, Meg Ryan, Mary-Louise Parker, Elizabeth Perkins, Mary McConnell, Felicity Huffman, Teri Hatcher, Alfre Woodward, Geena Davis, Stockard Channing, Frances Conroy, Glenn Close, Bette Midler, Susan Sarandon, Goldie Hawn. I keep thinking of more. Angelica Houston. Lily Tomlin. Sarah Palin. Debra Winger. Catherine Deneuve. Got to stop. Signorney Weaver, Isabella Rossallini, Juliette Binoche, Isabelle Adjani, Lili Taylor, Jane Curtain. Got… to… let… it… go. Janeane Garofalo. Julie Delpy. Sharon Stone. And by the way, Helen Mirren was never out of work, nor was Maggie Smith, nor was Dame Dench.

I remember how pleased I was when Pacino let his age show, in movies like… hmm… when did he start looking ravaged? Heat? Scent of a Woman?. Not like Cary Grant in North By Northwest or Gable in Teacher’s Pet – geezers romancing younger women. I like Grant and Gable but having them nuzzling young dishes in their late 50s… Ugh. To me, Gable and Doris Day in a clinch has not aged well. Meanwhile, my hat is off to Clint Eastwood for making Laura Linney his daughter instead of his squeeze in Absolute Power. He was pushing it with Streep in Madison County (she’s 19 years younger than he is). And Redford and Deniro just throw their aging mugs up there onscreen without feathers. So too Woody Allen, but thank God he’s finally stopping pairing himself with young women. Btw, Paul Newman. RIP. There was a guy who looked great all the way through. Burt Reynolds, once, just once, take off the rug. In Leatherheads, Renee Zellweger, 39, claims to be 29; does she mean it or was that just a character lying about her age? Stallone, ok, he’s had so much work done that he’s entered the realm of the weird but for some reason that doesn’t bother me at all. There he is in the latest Rambo, totally unwrinkled and supposedly a guy living as a snake-catcher out in the bushes and that totally works for me. On the other hand, what is it with Mathew Broderick? I kept staring at him in Then She Found Me, trying to figure out what’s strange about his face. He looks like a recovered burn victim. I googled his name along with “work done” and all I got were hits about his wife’s plastic surgery (Sarah Jessica Parker’s, that is). Bottom line: skip the lift. P.S.: Parker Posey, Maggie Cheung, Michelle Yeoh, Mary Kay Place, Dianne Weist.

05/13/10  I typed “actresses over…” into the Google search bar the other night and up came lots of prompts for “actresses over 40,” “actresses over 50,” etc. There are so many older actresses now that the question is why, what has changed? Why the concepts of cougar and MILF? I heard one talking head speculate that the baby boomers, who have been influencing, if not driving, cultural trends since the 60s, are unwilling to give up on sexuality and romance, age be damned.

May 24, 2010 – Mick LaSalle (San Francisco Chronicle) published a little article last week in which he discussed the increased number of women over 40 in the movies.  He pointed out that by that age, stars like Lana Turner and Rita Hayworth were showing signs of wear and tear, whereas today, actors are staying in better shape longer. Less booze? Less smoking? A more mellow age, compared to the turbulent mid-century past? Boomers refusing to go quietly into the night? 40 is the new 30? I just watched Jennifer Aniston in Friends With Money (2006) and she has no problem playing what amounts to someone pre-30 with her head, etc., held high.

P.S., for research purposes, 11 who, over 50, pulled it off.

Music and Lyrics (2007)

Age is adding a touch of gravitas to Hugh Grant. His good looks, which have limited him throughout his career, are fraying in the same good way that Pacino’s did when his bloom wore off. Grant is no Pacino, but looking at him now I can understand how he got caught in a car with a hooker in L.A. That understated, self-deprecating yet subtly superior British style is aided immeasurably in his case by the signs of wear on his puss.

Here, he carries on the Cary Grant/Eva Marie Saint tradition of older guy (Grant is 47) scoring with the beautiful and nubile young woman (Drew, 32).

Grant plays an aging, ex-rock star reduced to singing at state fairs. (Refer to Bill Nighy in Love Actually for more on the subject.) By a remarkable stroke of luck, he is given the chance of a comeback. However, to succeed, he must write a great song “by Friday”  that is, by soon enough to introduce tension in the film but by far enough for him to meet a girl, work through a few plot points,  and win her heart before the deadline. With the date set, a meet-cute immediately follows: the has-been’s plant sitter is on vacation and Drew Barrymore, ditzy but still lovable in spite of her age – although the clock is ticking on this – shows up to fill in ith the watering chores. May Drew only grow up sooner than Diane Keaton did (if she has). Hugh writes the music; Drew is a lyric poet savant. The next Roger and Hammerstein is born, though hopefully R and H didn’t wake up in the sack together after a night of collaboration.

For those on product-placement watch, Baldwin and Yamaha are given equal, lingering time for their grand pianos.

Extra credit to Grant for performing not only on film, but also onstage in front of a full auditorium of children, teens, and their parents. He also does a love duet on stage; I’ve had a soft spot for these ever since Willie Nelson and Amy Irving did theirs in Honeysuckle Rose and then Dyan Cannon came onstage to announce her divorce.

This movie also produces a credible hit song that helps keep the romantic vibe afloat. No oscar-winner about the hard life of a pimp, but hummable.

Somebody should do (or has already done) a study of couple chemistry onscreen. Hugh and Drew have it here like Clooney, Brad, and Matt have it in Oceans 11, 12, and 13. It has nothing to do with the characters and everything to do with the stars. You’ll need to want that in order to absorb all the Hollywood vitamins that this flick provides.

The film steps up to PG-13 when Hugh and Drew wake up in bed togeher the morning after. This, we know, in a movie paced as energetically as this one, means that the subsequent breakup is only minutes away. (Note to self: watch A Touch of Class again sometime soon.) Other than the moment in bed, the film is squeaky clean. The stars let it loose in the out-takes but even there they are relentlessly beeped out.

If you require an edge to your romantic comedy, you won’t find it here. The movie is smooth, all edges and corners rounded. The conflict is painless. Boy meets girl, loses girl, gets her back again for the finale before you’ve reached the bottom of the popcorn bag. This is not a bad thing if you want to sit back and watch Hugh and Drew do that thing that they do, this time with and at and on each other, while your brow remains unfurrowed. Then tear up for a second at the melodic, heartfelt climax. Nothing wrong with that at one in the morning on the couch in the family room.

Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus (2009)

Why would you even hesitate to obtain this film and fire it up? I’m rooting for the octopus. Aren’t they supposed to have human brains and eyeballs, or something?

This is not some sleazy movie that just uses “vs.” in the title, like “Kramer vs. Kramer.” Here we get the whole “versus.” Note to self: check out “Monkey versus Robot” (1999).

Not a movie about some megashark, but a movie about Mega Shark.

My daughter slathered on a tube of artificial tan before flying to Maui. While she was snorkling there, a playful guide stuck a little octopus on her arm. When she pulled it free, its suckers took away small circles of the fake tan with them. Such is the power of the octopus!

High point of the film, Mega Shark leaps into low clouds to eat a 707. Such is the hunger of the Mega Shark for wing-ed fowl! Do not try this at Marine World. And as the star of the movie said in an interview, “You want to keep it as realistic as possible.”

Lesson of the movie: don’t trust a script by a writer/director named Ace. Question of the movie: why does Jake Perez use the aka Ace Hannah?

A thing that you can learn about cinematography in this movie: watch the scene where the actors stand next to a beached whale that has been chomped up by Mega Shark, or Meggie as I like to call him. Or her. Yeah, the carcass looks like foam rubber kind of tore up, but holy cow, it’s the size of a whale! Now go to bloopers and watch as the actors stand by the whale and a member of the film crew accidentally peeks over from behind the model and you see that it’s situated in the foreground right next to the camera, while the actors are all off down the beach pretending to look up at it. Perspective. Cool.

Most annoying aspect of the movie: the little “Half Moon Bay, California” titles that appear, immediately followed by shots of Malibu and Long Beach. The southern and northern California coasts do not resemble each other. And why not take three steps to the left so that the Queen Mary isn’t visible in the background?

Also, I forgot that bad, low-budget movies often have long, long,… loooonnngggg stretches where nothing happens. Definition of a low-budget movie: everybody takes turns looking in the microscope and gasping, but you don’t ever get to see what they’re looking at.

Whatever else, you can tell that everyone in this movie is just glad to be there. You can see it onscreen, and they say so in the “Making of” short, only it’s hard to hear them because of the traffic in the street they’re standing by while being filmed. My personal favorite moment comes in that short, when Lorenzo Lamas tells us how he likes to die at the end of a movie because that completes the character’s arc, and that he’s about to go in and shoot that death sequence. And then he doesn’t die in the movie. Ace must have changed the script. Lamas appears fresh from “30,000 Leagues Under the Sea” and “18 Fingers of Death.” Guy has a thing for strange numbers.

Most fascinating feature of this feature-length feature: Deborah Gibson’s acting. Listen, I am not here to rag on Deborah Gibson or anyone else about MSVGO. I rented it, didn’t I? “Deborah Gibson is a creative force in the entertainment industry who does it all! She has single handedly transcended music and entertainment trends and fads. Deborah stands poised at the top, embarking on the second phase of her hugely successful pop career.” So there. Anyway, the thing is, she acts every moment that she is up on the screen. She’s an acting fool! Her face careers through more different expressions, sometimes relating to the current action, sometimes not, than there may be names with which to identify them. Never mind the movie, it was fun just catching a quick expression on Deborah’s face and trying to figure out what it was in the seconds before it was replaced by another.

Oh, wait. I just realized why Ace pretends that the actors are all up in the San Francisco area. It’s because Meggie has to eat the Golden Gate Bridge! All monsters have to.

Although this might be the first movie wherein the monster is lured to the bridge on purpose – unbeknownst to the Bay-Area residents, many of whom are commuting across the bridge when Meggie, after a minute or two of Jaws-ripoff music, bites it in two.

This film should be on the short list for treatment by the Mystery Science Theater successors, if it hasn’t been done by them already.