Category Archives: freddy krueger

Marathon Man

Marathon Man ~ This is actually, just by weird coincidence, my second John Schlesinger and Dustin Hoffman movie this week. Like Midnight Cowboy, Marathon Man is an interesting time capsule that maybe doesn’t hold up as well. Midnight Cowboy still holds its own as representative of its era while Marathon Man comes off lacking its initial impact and in fact feeling dated. It’s the 1970s, but it’s not as timeless and is showing its creaks and groans.

Based on the book by William Goldman, who also wrote the screenplay, this tale of runaway Nazi dentists, smuggled diamonds, and the slacker graduate student caught in the middle just isn’t as hard hitting as it was in 1976. Roy Scheider, the king of the seventies, has little to do, while Hoffman does a bad naive Benjamin Braddock imitation throughout, and William DeVane’s best bit is when he recites the plot aloud in super speed. Scheider is wasted because the screen feels so empty when he’s not there, and it similarly feels that that is the only times the direction appears skilled and careful.

The grueling scenes of torture between Hoffman and Laurence Olivier, what the film is remembered chiefly for these days, are all that still stand up. These scenes are horrifying. I often have conversations with folks who won’t watch horror but do watch things like this. I don’t get it, I really don’t. Olivier as a Nazi scares the crap outta me, yet I laugh at Freddy Krueger. And the Nazis were/are real. It’s the real monsters that scare me. The scariest movie I ever saw was The Incident, about two hoods terrorizing a subway car full of innocents. No boogieman there. I just don’t get it.

Marathon Man is a good thriller for its time, just don’t see it before a dentist appointment.

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Galaxy of Terror

Galaxy of Terror ~ I remember this flick from years ago but had never seen it, nor had the desire to see it, until I saw it on a list of the worst movies of all time. When I saw that it was Roger Corman produced, and starred Sid Haig and Robert Englund, as well as a grown up Erin Moran, Joanie ‘Shortcake’ Cunningham from “Happy Days” – I had to see it. It’s just as bad as you might imagine.

The movie also stars Eddie Albert and Ray Walston, and roughly follows the plot of the first Alien film. They’re on a rescue ship and when they reach their destination, an unspeakable horror picks them off one by one. It’s horrible. It’s not even worth the MST3k treatment, it’s that bad. Making sure that they can rip off as many movies as possible, the monster changes into whatever you fear the most.

Sid Haig is kinda cool, for the short time he’s in it, but even he can’t save this mess. Sid Haig hated his dialogue, so he asked Corman if he could play the role as a near-mute. Corman agreed, and Haig barely says one complete line. Robert Englund is more Willie from “V” (but not as cute) than Freddy, and Erin Moran is less than a poor excuse for Ripley, no matter how hard she tries.

Both James Cameron and Bill Paxton worked behind the scenes on this flick. At least they both went on to better things later, including Aliens, the sequel to the movie Galaxy of Terror ripped off most. And if you dare watch this terrible flick – beware the Mothra rape scene. Otherwise, avoid this movie at all costs.

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