Friday, November 25, 2011

Funny Money Play - Dec 2011 thru Jan 2012!

All those of you lucky to live close enough, Robin will be appearing in a play in December and January! More info can be obtained here!
If you do go see it, how about letting me know how it was? :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Horror Hospital – 1973: NEW 2010 DVD release!

Isn’t this where I came in? Yep, HH was the first movie I reviewed here, and it just may be the last. :( Although I’ll keep looking, I may have come to the end of finding the Robin movies/appearances that are available.

I was very excited to hear that HH was re-released in June of 2010, in HD transfer from the original 35mm camra negative. Wow! And it definitely was noticeably crisper and brighter. You can see everything in the previously too-dark rock club at the beginning of the film. But now you also see that the “blood” on Robin’s nose in that scene is WAY too bright to look like blood and looks laughingly like paint. Someone online mentioned that this release has 2 extra minutes but I couldn’t tell if and where this was true. There’s no extra scenes that I’d not seen before, so perhaps it’s just a few seconds here and there interspersed throughout the whole thing.

There’s a very interesting commentary by producer Richard Gordon.(RIP 2011- see here for info) Why Robin never does DVD commentaries, I have no idea! He apparently thought quite a lot of Robin and talked highly of his work ethic. I loved hearing how Horror Hospital came to be and some of the behind-the-scenes goings-on. Also talked about are some scenes that were in the original screenplay but never got filmed due to one reason or another. You also find out about Director Antony Balch’s uncredited surprise cameo in HH, rare because he did not like to appear on film! It is even a talking part. I’ll keep that a secret just so you’ll have to buy this! Richard Gordon seemed like a fun, smart, likeable guy and I’m glad he did this insightful commentary!

Not a lot of “extras” though. Oooh, what I would’ve given for some “deleted scenes” or “bloopers” but alas, no. There is a slideshow of publicity photos and posters, but not a lot have Robin in them. Weird how you rarely see him in photos from HH, even though he’s the main star!

What more can I say that hundreds of movie reviewers haven’t already said about this extraordinary film, so I won’t rehash the storyline yet again. I must say I did notice a “continuity” issue I hadn’t in the past. Robin’s shirt gets pretty torn up in the fight scene with the bike boys…yet in later scenes the shirt will sometimes be torn, but sometimes not. Hehe.

I’m proud to say this was a DVD I was able to easily and legally purchase, brand new. I can only hope Robin receives big royalties from this new release!

Well, that’s it. I have no more appearances lined up to review. I’ve exhausted almost all possibilities. There’s some stuff I will probably never get to see. But I’m amazed at how much I WAS able to get my hands on! Wow! There’s a couple of things out there I’m still waiting for the price to come down on, so perhaps half a year to a year from now I’ll finally have something else to comment on. From now on I’m just going to write about things that I’m still searching for, things indirectly related to Robin, or any current news about him that I hear of. Please feel free to let me know ANY news or stories you may have! And if you know Robin, casually mention that there’s a whole blog dedicated to his body of work, will you? :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Confessions of Robin Askwith – 1999

I’ve made mention of Robin’s autobiography so I may as well include it in my reviews of his work!

Maybe it’s just because I’m a huge fan, but I found this highly engaging and could barely put it down! Upon starting it, I was a little confused, though. He jumps right in at the beginning with how he got the part in “Confessions of a Window Cleaner”. At this time, I had not even seen all the Confessions movies and was a little confused by the people he mentions. Was he not going to talk about his family and childhood? I flipped through the chapters and right around the middle of the book he does a jump back in time and fills us in on his birth, genealogy, getting polio at age 4, schoolday shenanigans, etc. So that’s where I started reading. He continues on with his early acting jobs, and so on. At the end of all that I started back at the beginning and the “Confessions” stuff was then a lot more comprehendable! Maybe if all you liked about Robin was those movies that’s what you care about finding out first. Who knows.

Anyway, I love his style of writing. Not sure if he did it all himself or had help, but it sounds like it’s just all him, telling his story. He definitely has a very cute, wry, “British” sense of humor. And yes, you can tell he’s writing it for a British audience, making references that he takes for granted people will understand. At least I have the internet to look up stuff like the actors who may be famous over there but unknown in the U.S., sporting teams, areas of London or towns in England (thoroughly confused about what he meant getting "Ruislip Lido" in his lungs, ha ha).

The book ends with you wanting to know MORE!!! He published it in 1999 and at the end just gives us a brief overview of the years 1981-1998, promising a few things that he’ll be covering next, implying that there WILL be a next one? Yet here it is, 2011 and still nothing, humphs.

Any fans who are in communication with him, please urge him to write a part two! Or, if he thinks anything that doesn’t have to do with the “Confessions” years wouldn’t sell well, perhaps Republish this one, with a part two added on!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Mystery: Is it Robin…..or not? Madhouse – 1974

OK, a mystery to solve!

Truly by chance I stumbled across this film. I enjoy early 70s British horror films so I found this one I hadn’t seen before while browsing through Netflix’s latest “instant play” offerings. A little while into it, I saw that there were TWO Robin connections: his girlfriend at the time, plus his co-star in “Confessions of a Window Cleaner” Linda Hayden, plays one girl who gets killed. And then Natasha Pyne, who played one of the daughters in “Father, Dear Father” and a friend to Robin’s character in one episode, plays another girl. I kept thinking, wow, this would be a great movie for Robin to have been in! But then again, didn’t really see a part for him after all as I watched further.

BUT…here’s where the mystery comes in! There IS a character named Nigel who does not have a speaking part who strangely looks like Robin and has a similar way of moving. You don’t see him for more than a few seconds, so it’s hard to tell. The credits do not list who this “Nigel” is at all. Could it be an uncredited spur-of-the-moment appearance by our hero? Perhaps he was on the set that day hanging out with his girlfriends and was asked to step in for a scene? Hmmmm!

Here’s the summary of the plot: Vincent Price plays Paul Tombes, an actor who was famous for playing the role of a “Dr. Death” in many horror movies. Soon each person who has annoyed him starts getting violently murdered. Is he the one who is doing it? Linda Hayden plays Elizabeth, a young actress who pesters him to give her a break in one of his movies. “Nigel” is some kind of gofer on the set of the latest Dr. Death movie whom one of the main characters asks to go fetch something. He nods and leaves, and then we don’t see him again.

I can’t find any info about who this “Nigel” was. He looks so much like Robin, but you only see him from the side and back. His hair is darker than Robin’s usually is. I don’t know. Hard to say. Would be very funny if I really stumbled across a secret appearance, though, wouldn’t it!!!!