Film noir, sci-fi, and tartar sauce

Leftovers & links & reviews without spoilers

The Intruder (1962) is an open scab on the old American South. Ten black students are integrating an otherwise all-white high school, and the town’s good white folks don’t like it but they’ve mostly accepted it, until a reverse-rabblerouser tries to spark violence.  William Shatner, pre-Star Trek, is the antagonist, and he’s horrifying (and already a ham).

Low-budget schlockmeister Roger Corman made The Intruder, and said it was the only film he ever made that lost money. It’s obvious why. The movie is admirable in intent, but almost every moment is raw and uncomfortable. And it's far too kind to 1960s Southern white people. 

World for Ransom (1954) — Set in Singapore, this noir has Dan Duryea being pressured to find out what shady business a friend of his might be up to. It’s nothing special, and the problem is Duryea. As a noir nut I’ve seen him in half a dozen movies, and never believed him in anything. He’s supposed to be a tough guy, but he looks and talks like a nebbish accountant who’s read too many pulpy detective magazines.

♦  I found both those movies on Broken Trout, a YouTube channel where there are lots of other old, mostly noir movies without commercials. Noir has always appealed to me, so I’ll be hanging out at Broken Trout for a while. 

♦ I hate ads, and I hate annotations on YouTube — those little billboards that pop up inside a video, ‘recommending’ (advertising) other videos, or begging you to subscribe to whatever channel.

All such intrusions can be permanently eliminated if you have the free uBlock Origin adblocker. Open the extension, open the dashboard (gear icon), select “My filters,” paste in this text — www.youtube.com##.ytp-ce-element — and click 'apply changes'. No more annotations, ever, until YouTube’s next annoying redesign.

♦  Dust is a site for streaming science fiction, and it’s mostly material that they’ve made themselves, with a small, rotating selection of older feature films (this month, they’re proud to present Star Trek: Generations). It’s all free and has no commercials, so I’m not sure how they do what they do, but I like what they do.

So far I’ve mostly watched their shorts, and they’re all slow-paced, moody think pieces — no laser blasters in space — that hold my attention for 10 or 20 minutes, and then they’re done. Lots of titles you've never heard of, but so far they’ve all been smart, well-acted and professionally staged, with movie-level music and special effects as needed. Despite no visible means of financial support, Dust is definitely not ‘amateur hour’. Here's a sampler:

Dr Megavolt is a documentary about a guy fascinated with giant Tesla coils, and who wouldn't be?

The Garden is about dance kids after the apocalypse.

Glow shows strange things are afoot at a remote roadside motel.

State Zero is a futuristic military story, but the sound was garbled both times I tried to watch it, so I can't say whether it's any good. It looks good, though.

This Time Away is about a cantankerous old hermit (like me!) and his loyal droid.

There are no closed captions at Dust, which is frustrating for a semi-deaf dude (like me!). Other than that, I’m impressed. Doug says, if you like science fiction, maybe you’ll like Dust.

♦  I've cancelled my subscription to Shudder, but my login still works, and that's where I saw Society (1989). It’s a tale of alienated upper-class youth, with the annoying Billy Warlock as a teenager who feels adrift from his family.

It’s a less-than-ordinary low-budget sci-fi flick, until the last half hour, when it turns into a delightful orgy of skin and guts and, sure, sex (why not?). Great visuals by Screaming Mad George, who later did effects for The Abyss and other big-time sci-fi. Could’ve used more orgy, though. The moral of the story is, “The rich are not like you and me."

♦  I forgot to put tartar sauce on a couple of fish sandwiches, and you know what? They’re better without the tartar sauce! Minimalism! I’ll be saving $1.89 the next time I go to the store and don’t buy tartar sauce. I wonder what other long-time staples can be eliminated? Toast without butter! Soup without crackers! Key without Peele?

♦  Menopause Rhapsody.

♦  Mystery links — like life itself, there’s no knowing where you’re going:




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Leftovers & links 

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  1. Captain HampocketsJuly 11, 2021 at 6:08 PM

    Unrelated to anything - I made this humor thread on /r/bad_cop_no_donut. It makes me happy:


    1. Ah, Reddit: "Moderators remove posts from feeds for a variety of reasons, including keeping communities safe, civil, and true to their purpose."

      Brings back memories. What did you say that they didn't want you to say?

    2. Captain HampocketsJuly 12, 2021 at 5:53 AM

      That subreddit is usuall news articles about bad cops. I posted this (screenshot of title) :


      At least it was up long enough to get a lot of comments, make a few people laugh.

  2. Captain HampocketsJuly 11, 2021 at 6:12 PM

    >Toast without butter! Soup without crackers! Key without Peele?

    None of these are good ideas. But Key without Peele can be funny - I first came across Keegan Michael Key in Reno 911. God, that was a funny show, at times.

    1. Agreed about Reno 911, and holy crap, I googled it and they're making new episodes again?

    2. Captain HampocketsJuly 12, 2021 at 5:50 AM

      They're making new episodes of so many things these days, I usually don't even know about them until they're done and gone again.

    3. I want new episodes of the original Star Trek with the original cast, but not Shatner.

    4. Captain HampocketsJuly 12, 2021 at 5:37 PM

      Here ya go


    5. Captain HampocketsJuly 12, 2021 at 5:38 PM

      Oops, there is Shatner.

    6. I laughed, though. "So Very Tired."

    7. Captain HampocketsJuly 13, 2021 at 5:15 PM

      If anyone reads this - I wanna thank YOU, Doug, for introducing me to The Orville. It's fantastic. Forget everything you think you know about Seth McFarlane.

      It's ST : Next Gen with a sense of humor, and I LOVE it.

    8. Cancelled by Fox, but moving to Hulu.

  3. I like the mini-movies at Dust, thank you! I watched the Garden because it sounded silly but it wasn't bad, and This Time Away which I think is *you*


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