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Friday, September 22, 2017

FRAMED 1947 (TCM VIEWING)

A great film noir.

Glenn Ford stars as Mike Lambert, a mining engineer who arrives in a small town after the brakes on the truck he is driving causes him to have an accident.

He goes to a cafe and meets a beautiful woman named Paula Craig (Janis Carter). She pays his fine in court for the accident and even pays for a room for him to stay in.

Mike falls hard for her, but her motives are far from noble. Paula and her lover, a married banker named Steve Price (Barry Sullivan)are making plans to steal $250,000 from a local bank, and they need a fall guy.

There are a lot of dark twists and turns in this film noir and I cannot understand why this hasn't been released on any format here in the USA.

the cast is top notch and Janis Carter makes a perfect cold and callous woman with nothing but evil on her mind. She really stands out as one of the top femme fatals in film noir history.

The wonderful supporting cast includes Edgar Buchanan, Karen Morley and Jim Bannon. If TCM runs this again and you're a film noir fan I recommend you see it. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Catherine Oxenberg is 56, Shari Belafonte is 63, Debbie Boone is 61, and Asa Maynor is 81.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

THE CREEPING TERROR 1964 (SYNAPSE) BLU-RAY

Many people call this the worst film ever made.

I disagree since this film brings me a lot of enjoyment in it's awfulness. The movie centers around a spaceship that crashes near Lake Tahoe. Inside of the craft is a huge monster that looks something like a carpet with vacuum clear hoses attached to it. The thing leaves the ship and begins to devour anyone it comes in contact with.

Now, for a monster movie fan like me this sounds like a pretty cool premise. However, the movie is poorly constructed, poorly acted and the soundtrack consists of narration for the most part.

There are plenty of unforgettable moments in this film including many of the killings in which the "victims" have to force themselves inside of the monster. One classic scene involves a very overweight man and his grandson. Watching this guy flop around like a beached whale in a very muddy stream as he tries to escape the monster is a true highlight.

My favorite scene involves the military as they fight the monster. It actually manages to consume almost all of the soldiers in one swallow except for one guy who stays on the ground with his legs in the air staring directly at the camera!!

The bizarre and tragic backstory of the film was made into a docudrama called "Creep Behind The Camera" which I reviewed yesterday. I was first introduced to this film on KCPX TV on a show called NIGHTMARE THEATER back in the mid 70's and when I first saw it my jaw just hit the floor. Here I was, a teenaged monster kid seeing a movie that was unlike any other film I had ever seen.

I had never heard of the film until that fateful night, but I sure wanted to know more, and over the years I found out plenty and didn't get to see it again until Rhino Video turned it out on VHS in the 80's, and yes I spent $49.99 for the tape.

I am very proud and happy that Synapse has turned this out on Blu-ray in a beautiful 2k scan. It looks better than I have ever seen it and this is another top release of the year. I cannot recommend this Blu-ray enough. You simply must add this to your collection.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Rebecca Balding is 62, Yvonne Wilder is 80, and Teresa Gimpera is 81.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

RIP BERNIE CASEY 1939-2017

A favorite of mine from the 70's blaxploitation era has died.

Casey's career in movies started back in 1969 with a role in GUNS OF THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, and then he was off and running.

Before acting he was a football star with the San Francisco 49ers and then the Los Angeles Rams. Casey starred in many, many films that I love including BRIAN'S SONG, BOXCAR BERTHA, GARGOYLES, CLEOPATRA JONES, DR. BLACK AND MR. HYDE and more.

Casey was always a dominating presence in his films no matter how good or bad they were. he passed away on Sept. 20th at the age of 78.

THE CREEP BEHIND THE CAMERA 2014 (SYNAPSE) BLU-RAY

Filmed in Colorado Springs, this film is entertaining and a real eye opener.

First off let me say I spent 24 years in the movie business both in front and behind the camera and there are so many people like Art Nelson in the movie business today and that is why I am no longer a part of it.

This film is a documentary/re-creation hybrid that works very, very well. Josh Phillips stars as Art Nelson, a swindler, con man, wife beater and child abuser who conned an entire town out of money to make one of the "worst" films of all time called "The Creeping Terror". Nelson does a hell of a job in this role mind you.

It tells the story of how Nelson tried to create a "masterpiece" of monster movie filmmaking and fell flat on his face. The movie is interspersed with interviews of Nelson's first wife and many people who worked on this film with him. Nobody has anything nice to say about the "man".

Lovely Jodi Lynn Thomas is Lois, Nelson's much abused wife and some of her scenes are hard to watch. I don't want to give away too much of this plot as I think every horror movie fan should see this film.

Director Pete Schuermann has created an entertaining and disturbing film all at the same time. Way back in the day I saw the Creeping Terror on TV and couldn't believe what i was seeing, and I had the same feeling watching this film about how this movie came to be in the first place.

Do I consider The Creeping Terror to be the worst film ever made? Nope, only because I get some great enjoyment from seeing it, but I can tell you I will never see it the same way again after watching this film.

The Blu-ray presentation has some great extras and interviews and best of all it has a restored 2k restoration of the original Creeping Terror, which will be reviewed here later. Glad to see the film finally getting recognized, but how I wish the story behind the scenes was happier.

Sadly the movie business hasn't changed much. A lot of the people in the business are alcoholics, spouse abusers, pedophiles and liars. I will admit this is one of the top releases of the year.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Sophia Loren is 83, Asia Argento is 42, and Brinke Stevens is 63.

Monday, September 18, 2017

THE GHOSTKEEPER 1980 (CODE RED) BLU-RAY

It has been a very long time since I saw this little gem, and now Code Red brings it to Blu-ray.

Three people on a snowmobile excursion find themselves stranded at an old, abandoned lodge during a serious Canadian snowstorm.

The place is somewhat creepy and before you know it they find an old lady who is the caretaker of the place along with her very aloof son.

Slowly things start to fall apart and one of the women mysteriously disappears. The snowmobiles are tampered with and from there the terror grows. It seems the old lady and her son have a mythical monster called a "Windigo" in the basement and the creature feeds on human flesh.

The low budget of this film ran out and so the director and crew made things up as they went along, which accounts for some of the plot problems, but don't let that deter you. This is a very creepy film with a great pay off at the end.

The Blu-ray presentation is very nice and far better than I have seen with this film before many years ago. If you like good, creepy horror I would recommend this little obscure gem.

The cast of unknowns does an excellent job.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Frankie Avalon is 78, and Veronica Carlson is 73.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

RIP BOBBY HEENAN 1944-2017

One of the greatest entertainers in the world of professional wrestling has died.

I grew up watching the man and followed his career for many, many years. He was perhaps the greatest wrestling manager of all time as well as one of the funniest color commentators on the air.

My first introduction to Heenan was in the AWA in Minnesota where he managed Nick Bockwinkle for many years. he played the part of the heel better than anyone else in the business and he never changed roles...ever.

Even if you aren't a wrestling fan you probably have heard of this wonderful man and it saddens me that another person I knew and grew up watching has died. Heenan has several health issues over the years and passed away surrounded by his family on Sept. 17th, 2017 at the age of 73.

I will miss Bobby and his craziness, but he has left a long lasting legacy in the world of pro wrestling that will never go away. his kind don't even exist in the business today.

BLUEBEARD'S TEN HONEYMOONS 1960 (TCM VIEWING)

Very obscure film from W. Lee Wilder.

George Sanders stars as Henri Landru, a man who falls for a young woman named Odette (Corinne Calvet). Odette is a temptress and Landru falls for her immediately.

She and a friend concoct a scheme to get money and Landru falls for it. Sadly he doesn't have the money, but he devises a way to get it, and that is by preying on wealthy women and killing them for their money.

Sanders does a very good job in the title role as a crazed killer who kills for love and money. The film draws the viewer in and you can feel that Landru is a man who is both desperate and needy and that the circle is slowly closing around him. I haven't seen this film since the late 80's when it appeared on a small and brand new TV station in Bozeman, Montana.

The print TCM ran is excellent and it was good to see this again. I wish this was available on DVD or Blu-ray as it would be in my collection. Wilder made some pretty cool stuff, at least in my opinion including "KIllers From Space". "Man Without A Body" and "The Omeagans" which is a personal favorite.

If you want to see this well made thriller check the TCM schedule and see if it's running again. The supporting cast for this gem includes Patricia Roc, Greta Gynt and George Coulouris.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Cassandra Peterson is 66.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

COMING ATTRACTIONS....

Olive is making Halloween even more special with two spectacular Blu-ray releases.

On Oct. 31st they will be releasing the classic Monogram film RETURN OF THE APE MAN and the ultra rare Republic shocker THE VAMPIRE'S GHOST.

Both of these films have been sought after by film fans like myslef for a long time, and finally they are being released....and on Blu-ray!!

Great stuff indeed!!

RIP HARRY DEAN STANTON 1926-2017

One of the best character actors of the screen has passed away.

Stanton began his 63 year career in 1954 in an episode of the Inner Sanctum TV show and never looked back.

He had many, many roles in TV shows thru the 50's and 60's and some of his most memorable movie roles as well. I remember him from Two Lane Blacktop, Dillinger, and Farewell, My Lovely, and those are all 70's films.

The two movie appearances that stick in my mind most however are Alien in which Stanton played Brett and the Escape From New York as Brain. Both of these roles were standouts for Stanton.

His performances were always a bit off the wall, but that is what made Harry so damned unforgettable in the world of cinema. He was one of a kind and he will be missed.

Harry Dean Stanton passed away on Sept. 15th, 2017 at the age of 91.

ONE MILLION B.C. 1940 (VCI) BLU-RAY

Finally, this classic gem comes to home entertainment.

For years the only way I had seen this was from a 200' reel of film from Castle Films and then many years later on a copy I taped from TCM.

Now VCI has made this available and it's a very welcome addition to my Blu-ray collection. Victor Mature and Carole Landis star in this Hal Roach film about two people from different prehistoric tribes that meet and have many challenges together.

The dinosaur footage has been used in countless thousands of low budget 50's sci-fi films, but it's fun to see it complete and unexpurgated here. Mature is good in his role of Tumac, but it's Landis who steals the show as Luana.

the actress who dies way too young at the age of 29 is extremely striking here and brings across a naive energy to her role. Lon Chaney, Jr. is the leader of the violent tribe from which Tumac belongs.

Hammer remade this in 1966 with Raquel Welch and John Richardson in the roles, and I love that film too, but this is the one to watch first, and the Blu-ray presentation has this movie looking fantastic. Everything about this film works, and I highly recommend it.

This was a very ambitious production for 1940.