Archive for The Incredible Shrinking Man

No context Weird Fantasy

Posted in Comics, FILM, literature with tags , , , , , , on February 5, 2022 by dcairns

Been reading the EC comic Weird Fantasy. Mostly science fiction stories, but as you see in the condensed version above, the publisher’s background in girl comics seems to have caused an unusual focus on heartbreak and romance type narratives.

Idiot!

William Gaines, the intrepid boss of EC, was introduced to SF by comic artist and future scifi novelist Harry Harrison, a regular contributor here. And, allowing for the enjoyably moronic style of writing, Weird Fantasy musters more genuine enthusiasm for the unique possibilities of the sci-fi form than most contemporary movies were managing. I suspect filmmakers looked down on science fiction, whereas comic creators looked up to it.

FORBIDDEN PLANET is the great exception to most movies dealing with these themes — it trusts the audience to grasp more or less at once that it’s the future — white American males are flying about in space — then in short order we get a robot, lasers, a lost alien civilisation, telekinetic powers. Just one of those concepts would have been enough for most movies. And the FP knock-offs never pushed the boat out any further, indeed they mostly sailed it straight back to harbour.

Of course there are good sf films that milk a single idea for 90 minutes — THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN is wonderfully single-minded.

One nice thing about Weird Fantasy is that, between each hackneyed premise — parodied in one strip where two employees of the magazine attempt to brainstorm a story — and each abrupt and often silly twist ending, there are all kinds of different surprises, of tone, plot, attitude. Makes me realise again how pitch-perfect Michael Kupperman’s comic-book parodies are (e.g. Tales Designed to Thrizzle).

Prepare Yourself

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , on February 4, 2019 by dcairns

          

       

Here’s the full round-up of Shadowcasts so far —

BLACK HISTORY MONTH:

MIDTERM MAYHEM:

THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF HORROR:

MINISODE: DASHING THROUGH THE SNOW:

THE FROZEN WASTES:

SPACE MADNESS:

LET’S GET SMALL:

…the latest installment, covering (principally) THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN, FANTASTIC VOYAGE and INNERSPACE.

THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN stars Biff Miley; Lt. Eloise Billings; and Munchkin Father.

FANTASTIC VOYAGE stars Messala; Lilian Lust; Marty ‘Fats’ Murdock; Inspector Calhoun; Parnell Emmett McCarthy; Harding; Jackson Bentley and George Lutz.

INNERSPACE stars Remy McSwain; Dr. Rudy Blatnoyd, D.D.S.; Sally Albright; Dr. Miles J. Bennell; Magda, the Maid; Wez; Eddie Quist; Marion Fimple; Dr. Werner Klopek; Dr. Grabow, DDS; Dr. Matthew Smith; Microwave Marge; Murray Futterman and Capt. Patrick Hendry.

The Shadowcast: Let’s Get Small

Posted in FILM, literature, MUSIC, Science with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 29, 2019 by dcairns

New podcast up!

Fiona and I take a microscopically close look at the TIMELY and IMPORTANT subject of human miniaturization, with a particular focus on THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN, FANTASTIC VOYAGE and INNERSPACE. Mike Clelland suggested the middle film, and from there things kind of snowballed. Shout-out to Mike.

Still audibly suffering from slight colds on this one, but the NEXT one was recorded earlier and you’ll hear some seriously bunged-up sinuses on that. Here, we just sound like a sexy, husky couple of Glynis Johnses, than which nothing could be better.

The discussion also encompasses (or brushes past) DOWNSIZING, FIRST PAVILION, BODY TROOPERS, THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING WOMAN, and there are audio extracts from… well, I’ll let that be a surprise (and perhaps a mystery). Momo the podcat offers his views on the miniature human’s potential as snack.

Annoyed with myself for failing to mention the excellent (if slightly racist) miniaturization joke in Kurt Vonnegut’s Slapstick, which demonstrates the virtue of sandwiching virtually a whole novel between set-up and pay-off (more authors should try that). So I’m mentioning it here.

The 30s novelette He Who Shrank which is quoted from is by Henry Hasse and is worth seeking out online. Other literary works referred to are Richard Matheson’s all-important The Shrinking Man, Isaac Asimov’s Fantastic Voyage II: Electric Boogaloo*, Alice in Wonderland and The Arabian Nights.

The audio mixes at the start and end are designed to make genre fans dance around the room in a gleeful sugar rush. Let us know if this happens. Send photographic evidence.Very small people may already be inside all of us. Is there a message you would like passed on?

*Not its actual title.