I loved this movie. Yes, I am a fan of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, but that would make me judge a movie about the duo more harshly. I own every possible movie and have read a few biographies.
When I discovered that this is a fictional story, it put me at ease. I loved Amadeus even though there were, shall we say, some errors. Same with Immortal Beloved – a story about Beethoven. These movies were great works of fiction that exalted the subjects. The same applies to Stan & Ollie.
The first few minutes were spent in wonder as I saw the much-loved comedy duo depicted very well, but I soon lost sense of myself as the story immersed me in that world.
There was laughter, and there was sadness. It was hard to watch at times because of my connection to the characters. They deserved to have better outcomes, but in a way, they lived as some of the characters who they depicted. Despite being poor and suffering one mishap after another, they didn’t let the cruelty of life diminish the warmth of their personalities.
I cannot put myself in the place of someone who doesn’t know these two so I can’t predict if this movie will affect such viewers, but I believe that it will be inspiring to any who watch. I will surely watch this many more times.
This is an old movie that I had not seen until this anniversary 3-disc edition.
The enjoyment that I derived from viewing the movie was to see how things were done once upon a time. The gore was humorous. It seems that, back then, fake blood looked more like red paint in a child’s arts and crafts class rather than an attempt at a simulation. Flesh was rubber – it stretched, as is seen during a decapitation. But the funniest gag is the blood squirting from behind a knife – the side of the blade that you don’t see. I keep hearing that this was once a shocking image, but I disagree. When I was a kid, I didn’t know the exact method for the gag, but I had fun putting ketchup on the side of a knife that a person wouldn’t see, and I pretended to cut my arm, so I don’t see how this was innovative or scary.
I don’t know if this period of movies was just giving the viewer the barest essence, as if it were a play. I thought that this was why older TV shows show just a red dot when someone gets shot, but after talking to a detective, he said that there is no blood spurt – people bleed internally. Yes, there are exceptions, but it seems that the modern way of having squibs is just as silly as the gore of yesteryear, or yesterdecade, ha ha.
There are two unrealistic things about the movie. One is that Caroline Munro’s character would be involved with the slob who plays the maniac. The more striking error is that the maniac is asexual. All serial killers are sexual predators, whether the victim is alive or dead. This is the problem with many movies – there is only surface level knowledge. However, there is some merit to the maniac being stuck in a childhood experience.
No, I don’t hate this movie, and I don’t regret the time I spent watching it. I liked the spirit of the movie – it felt like a passion project. The behind-the-scenes extras provided proof of that. It was a step back in time to see how things were done in those days. There are also time-capsule elements like rotary phones and cars that weighed a lot more, ha ha. It’s a peek into the past.
I had not seen the movie until now, so I have no nostalgic blindness that makes me overlook the stupidity.
This movie is one of the reasons why horror is considered a low form of cinema. There are too idiotic parts to make this anything but a dalliance. Perhaps that is all that one wishes in a horror movie, but there are some horror movies that are cerebral, or that provide more than cool shots here and there.
Before I begin ridiculing the movie, I would like to point out that there is one very good aspect, and that is the inclusion of nudity. It comes from a time when there wasn’t as much fear to show the female form.
Another positive thing that can be noted is that the zombies in some scenes appear to be dead. Their faces do not change expression, which makes them appear undead. I favor this depiction, but of course, the movie has zombies that look like someone was reading too many newspaper pages and smudged ink in their faces.
The action is ridiculous. Molotov cocktails are prepared. When thrown, inside a dwelling, of all places, they miss a gang of zombies completely. While the fire burns, another bottle is hurled, but the shot that was previously in flames now appears as if no fire had ever occurred there. This happens again. It was so stupid that I actually laughed.
The zombies are noisy and lumbering retards, but they manage to appear like ninjas, suddenly and silently behind people who are on guard. There is also a zombie in the ocean who adroitly fights a shark. The funniest straying from zombie behavior is when a woman’s hair is grabbed, and she is pulled into a shard of wood. If a zombie just goes around biting people and acts retarded, how would it suddenly devise such a tactic?
This brings me to the behavior of the humans. Older movies like these seem to show people as idiots who forget self defense when there is a monster. A woman is grabbed only by a few strands of hair, and as her face is pulled toward a sharp splinter of wood, all she can do is look at the object in total stupidity and fear. If you ever play-wrestled a girl, you know that they are masters of squirming out of any hold. So this legendary scene that reportedly horrified audiences was actually a source of laughter for me. It was just too stupid to be taken seriously. I would use it in a comedy, actually.
There are other silly bits of action and behavior, like when a person driving a jeep to escape zombies isn’t paying attention to the road. In front of him there is a zombie. Instead of running over it, the driver reacts as if it is an insurmountable barrier, and then he drives out of control and slams into a tree after a minute. Why didn’t he use the breaks. To make matters more silly, a backseat passenger tears the front of his ankle.
The story elements are ignorant or boring. Perhaps the special effects at one time were considered good, but I found them to be funny. I watched the movie more an an outsider who was trying to see this as someone from the past would have, but I had to change attitude and view it as a comedy. There was no substance, nothing nightmarish, and nothing interesting, side from the exquisite form of the topless actress.