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Friday, January 18, 2019

RIP PAUL WYNTER 1935-2019

The famous bodybuilder and actor has passed away.

Wynter won the Mr. Universe title in 1960 and 1966 as well has having a career in many Italian films.

His two most well known films among genre fans are "Atlas In The Land Of The Cyclops" and "Mole Men Against The Son Of Hercules. The latter has always been a favorite of mine.

He was born in Antigua and was living in the UK when he passed away. He died on January 14th at the age of 83.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Ted DiBiase is 65, and Cheryl Waters is 72.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

TRILOGY OF TERROR 2 1996 (CBS)

One of my favorite films that I have reviewed here before.

I have owned a bootleg I made from an old VHS tape for years and was unaware that this film had been released to disc from CBS. It has been out for a couple of years and it flew right under my radar.

One of the last films from Dan Curtis and it ranks right up there with all of his other masterworks. As in the first film there are three tales of terror.

All three star Lysette Anthony and she does an excellent job. In the first tale entitled "The Graveyard Rats" a young wife of a cruel business executive plots his murder with her lover.

After the murder and funeral the young lovers discover that a watch buried with the body contains microfilm with codes to many swiss bank accounts containing millions of dollars.

They go back to the cemetery to dig the body up. When they arrive they find the caretaker already digging up the body. They kill him and get an even bigger surprise when they find the watch.

This tale is full of twists and turns and some damn good and scary moments.

The second tale is called "Bobby". A woman uses black magic to call her dead son back and try to mend ways, but she gets way more than she bargained for when she discovers that it isn't Bobby who comes back. A very well made tale that Curtis also did for his 1977 anthology film "Dead Of Night".

The final tale is "He Who Kills" and it picks up right where the 1975 tale about the living Zuni Fetish Doll left off. This time the doll is taken to an Anthropologist by the police to discover what it may have to do with the case. It comes back to life and murder and horror ensue. Easily the best story in the film.

I can't say enough good things about this film. It's a masterpiece and any horror fan should check this out. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Cristina Galbo is 69.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

COMING ATTRACTIONS...

More strange and interesting stuff coming to Blu-ray.

On February 19th, Severin will be releasing the Ed Adlum gem entitled "Invasion Of The Blood Farmers". This is a stunning 4K transfer from a beautiful master print.

There will be interviews with the director, some of the actors and others included in this pretty nifty package. Pretty cool stuff. "You won't believe what's happening!!!!!!!"

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

John Carpenter is 71, Caroline Munro is 70, Sade is 60, and Marilu Tolo is 75.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

A FACE IN THE RAIN 1961 (SINISTER CINEMA)

A very rare and interesting WW2 drama.

Irving Kershner directed this tight little independent film starring Rory Calhoun as Rand, a spy working for the US during the second world war. The mission that he was on has failed.

Rand now finds he has to hide from the Nazi's and he does so in an apartment whose tenant is a lovely woman named Anna and her son. Rand hides in the attic as the Nazi soldiers storm the apartment but find nothing.

It turns out Anna is the mistress to a Nazi named Klaus ( Niall MacGinnis) and this makes hiding and escaping even more difficult for Rand. Anna is being blackmailed by Klaus as the German's have captured her husband and only Klaus stands between life and death for the man.

As things pile up Anna begins to turn on Klaus and Rand makes his very dangerous escape with the help of Anna's son.

The movie is told in flashback as Rand sits on a beach writing a letter to Anna and wondering why he hasn't heard from her since the war ended. The ending of the movie is shocking and very depressing as first, we never know what happens to her son, but we see Anna killed by Klaus in a shocking fade out to the end credits.

The plot is simple, but the story itself is damned good and I can't for the life of me figure out why this film isn't better known. All of the actors do their roles very well and the films moves along at a good clip.

Not really a "war" film, but a damn good drama nonetheless. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Joanne Linville is 91, Phyllis Coates is 92, Barbie Blank is 32, Shane McMahon is 49, and Drew Brees is 40.

Monday, January 14, 2019

RIP PAUL KOSLO 1944-2019

Another pretty cool guy I worked in films with has passed away.

Paul Koslo was a very familiar face to many viewers of TV shows and movies.

I first saw him in "The Omega Man" and then "Cleopatra Jones" before catching him on numerous TV shows including "Longstreet" and "Mission Impossible" among other.

I got a chance to work with him on "Heaven's Gate" and he was a real pleasure to get to know and speak with about almost anything. A damn nice man whose career spanned 38 years.

After extensive work in movies and TV, Paul's career ended in 2004, at least as far as TV and movie work went. He passed away on Jan. 9th at the age of 75. His death hasn't been reported anywhere as I write this except on William Smith's Facebook page.

INVASION USA 1952 (SINISTER CINEMA)

Fun cold war science fiction.

Contrary to popular belief the Russians had nothing to do with the USA elections in 2016, BUT they do invade the USA in this fun little film from Albert Zugsmith and directed by Alfred Green.

The patrons in a small bar in New York gather for small talk and relaxation when they happen to meet a man there named Ohman (Dan O' Herlihy) who is a hypnosis expert.

Ohman convinces the patrons to stare into his wineglass and before you know it new reports start coming in about hundreds of planes sighted over Alaska.

The Russians have masterminded an invasion of epic proportions. They drop nuclear weapons on the west coast and slowly work their way east. A reporter, Vince Potter (Gerald Mohr) and a beautiful woman named Carla Sanford (Peggy Castle) fall in love as they fight to keep America safe.

The film is an excellent example of what used to be done on a small budget. There are a few scenes and some interesting dialogue I will never forget. I like one scene at an airport where a woman asks a clerk played by Noel Neill about getting tickets to Gardiner, Montana and being told it has been nuked. I used to live there and that was quite a shock indeed.

There is also a scene where a fat commie slob of a soldier tries to lay his sweaty paws on lovely Carla and she jumps out of a window to her death rather than give in to the commies.

I enjoyed this film a lot and found some it more timely today than it was in 1952. The rest of the cast includes Phyllis Coates, Robert Bice, Tom Kennedy and Erik Blythe.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Faye Dunaway is 78, Marjoe Gortner is 75, Linda Lawson is 83, and Jim Duggan is 65.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

RAMBLINGS...

A phone call the other day brought me to write this.

Going all the way back to when I was about 9 or 10 years of age and happened to catch "Beast Of Yucca Flats" on TV, I have always sought out movies everyone else considers to be bad or unwatchable.

When I first saw "Beast Of Yucca Flats" my jaw dropped to the floor in dis-belief even at my young age. I knew this wasn't a regular film because it seemed to have very little dialogue and whenever you did have someone speak you saw the back of their head! Yes, this was not normal, but it captured my attention like nothing else.

These kinds of truly bizarre films were hard to catch on TV in the early years, but with the advent of VHS in the late 70's early 80's and tape trading I discovered all kinds of "bad movies" as they are called.

There are a lot of them in every genre, but my main interest is horror and sci-fi and I will concentrate on a few of those. Another film that caught my attention was something called "Monster A Go-Go" which I had only heard about until I was able to purchase a tape from a New York seller named Mike Burgugian (if I am remembering the name right) who had a lot of strange films in his VHS catalog.

"Monster A Go Go" was a treat to behold. I knew when I saw the cheapness of this film it would always be a favorite. You actually see actors waiting for their cues, a phone ringing is done with an off screen person impersonating a phone ringing and a lot of lines are flubbed and kept in. The movie is gold to me.

Then of course on KCPX TV from Salt Lake City I was introduced to "The Creeping Terror" which after seeing on late night television on their program called "Nightmare Theater", I tried to explain to people the next day and they assumed I was insane. I realized then that this was indeed another film to be cherished, and I did just that.

My "bad" film making love was allowed to flourish and bloomed fully when the video boom came about. However, it wasn't until about 1986 that I first heard rumblings about another film that was "so bad it had to be seen to be believed". A friend from Lousiana named Scott Lawrence first told me about this movie called "Black Devil Doll From Hell" and he'd seen it but couldn't procure a copy for me.

I was amazed this film actually was real!! I loved black cinema all during the 70's and I couldn't believe I had missed one. There was no internet back in these days so research had to be done by (gasp) books and reading. I could find nothing on this film.

One day I got a call from a friend in New York who had the VHS tape of this film and he sent a bootleg copy to me in trade for a title I no longer what it was. I waited impatiently until it finally arrived and what a revelation it was.

To this day I have NEVER seen a film quite like this little gem from Chester N. Turner. I kept the bootleg for many years until I finally managed to get the DVD from Massacre Video a few years ago.

Working in the film industry during this time opened a lot of doors to many collectors who had bizarre and strange films in their collections and of all the weird things I have watched nothing beats BDDFH. What other movie is going to feature a Casio organ music score, a protagonist doll that looks like a midget version of Rick James and so much more?

Mind you, this is not a criticism of any of the films mentioned. I love them all, but this one is a favorite "bad" movie. It, to me anyway, is much better than the awful Chucky films made in the 90's and there is something to be said for anyone who came make a film on a camcorder for $10,000. Hey, believe me, I have been there and done that.

Chester Turner has given the world an unpolished gem that is recommended viewing for anyone who likes obscure and way off the wall films. I believe that everyone should try and watch all of the films I listed in this little write up, but just maybe not all at once.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Nicole Eggert is 47, and Traci Bingham is 51.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

DRACULA IN PAKISTAN 1967 (SINISTER CINEMA)

One of the very few movies to come out of Pakistan.

I reviewed this many years ago on my newsletter as "The Living Corpse" which was available from Mondo Macabro. I have not seen it for many years and figured I check it out again.

Asad Bukhari stars as Dr. Aqil Harker. In the 10 minute opening pre-credit sequence we see he has created a serum that will bring him eternal life.The formula actually kills him and he becomes a vampire.

From this point on the film pretty much follows the plot of the 1958 Hammer film "Horror Of Dracula". He turns his female assistant into a vampire as well and soon Aqil's brother arrives and discovers that an evil vampire is lurking.

This film is a really enjoyable film and it's interesting to note that there are several musical numbers thru the film and when it came out it was rated X but not because of violence, but because the women dancing was deemed too sexy!!

This is a beautiful, subtitled print from Sinister and it's a joy to behold. I love films from other countries, especially rare ones like this from places you never thought would or could make a film like this.

I cannot recommend this enough as it is bizarre and weird and yet very compelling. The song and dance numbers are pretty odd but they only add to the charm of this film.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Shirley Eaton is 82.