Bodysnatchers, Goebbels and Bond: movies viewed (#SFWApro)

gokebodysnatcherfromhell

GOKE, BODY SNATCHER FROM HELL (1967) is the ET who first possesses one passenger on a crashed jet, then proceeds to vampirize the others. However the filmmakers’ real interest seems to be in taking a snapshot of modern society and its failings, so the passengers include a cold-blooded psychiatrist, a corrupt politician, an unmotivated terrorist, an assassin, and a traumatized American widow (her husband died from friendly fire). It’s close to an old-school drama like Airport or The High and the Mighty with aliens thrown in, though the heavy moral message (our own warring ways have left us vulnerable to invasion!) makes me suggest the similarly themed The Flight That Disappeared as a double bill. Typical UFO fare with some nice touches such as the suicidal birds at the beginning and the nightmarish ending. All rights to poster image with current holder. “No food, no water, nowhere to run—in such a situation, the survival instinct gives the ego permission to run wild.”

LIVE AND LET DIE (1971) comes off even more unpleasantly racist than the last time I watched it. That’s because this time I noticed that Rosie (Gloria Hendry), the black woman Bond sleeps with, seems to be the stereotypical “superstitious darkie” (constantly freaking out the voodo0 stuff Kananga has scattered around his island) and like every other American black except one CIA agent, she’s working for Kananga (as I wrote at the link, it comes off like WW II films portraying all Japanese Americans as traitors). I also notice Bond’s as ruthless with her as Connery in Dr. No — after making love he interrogates her at gunpoint, leading to the dialog “You couldn’t kill me after what we’ve just done.” “Well I certainly couldn’t kill you before.” That said, I find myself liking Moore more on this go-round, and Yaphet Kotto and Geoffrey Holder do make good villains. Curiously, Q is absent from this one: Bond’s one gadget, a watch that doubles as a super-magnet, is in his possession at the start. “Names is for tombstones, baby! Take the honky out and waste him.”

THE GOEBBELS EXPERIMENT (2006) is an interesting documentary, matching archival film of the Nazi propagandist and those in his orbit (from his wife to his Czech mistress to Leni Riefenstahl, whose films Goebbels apparently considered sub-par). This is a good demonstration of the banality of evil, showing Goebbels as a family man intensely concerned about creating Great German Films while off-handedly discussing the gloves coming off for Kristalnacht. Kenneth Branagh reads the diary. “So this is what revolution is. We can learn a lot from the Bolsheviks.”

 

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