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Thursday, June 30, 2016

SHIELD FOR MURDER 1954 (KINO) BLU-RAY

A great film noir finally on Blu-ray.

Excellent tale about corruption and murder. Edmond O' Brien is a cop named Barney Nolan who in the opening moments of the film kills a stoolie carrying $25,000 in cash. Barney steals the cash and kills the man while making it look like a police procedure.

Unbeknownst to Barney there is a witness, a deaf mute whom he later kills. His girlfriend Patty is played by the gorgeous Marla English. This was her first credited role in a film, and you first see her in a cigarette girls outfit that made my tongue hit the floor.

Barney's partner is Det. Sgt. Mark Brewster played by John Agar. Brewster is a good cop and as the noose of the investigation tightens around Barney's neck the more Brewster suspects him.

This is a damn well made film directed by Howard Koch and Edmond O' Brien. The quality of the print from Kino is staggeringly beautiful. I wish more of the 50's film noir would be released to Blu-ray.

The rest of the cast in this top noth thriller include Emile Meyer, Carolyn Jones, Claude Akins (in an unforgettable role), and William Schallert.

I cannot recommend this film enough. This is what filmmaking should be.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO.....

Terry Funk is 72.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

EL HOMBRE QUE LOGRO SER INVISIBLE 1958 (VCI)

Interesting film from South of the Border.

This is basically a remake of the Universal film "Invisible Man Returns". A man is accused of murder and sentenced to 99 years in prison.

His brother is a scientist and he develops a serum that can render someone invisible. He gives it to his brother who proceeds to simply walk out of jail. He now must prove his innocence so he can be legally released from jail.

The drug has one side effect and that is a slow, creeping insanity that finally takes the man over. he decides he does not want to be visible again, he wants to terrorize the city and become a God.

This is a well acted film with some pretty good special effects and VCI gives us both the Spanish language version and the English version. This has been a hard one to find for a while, but thanks to VCI it is again available for the masses.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Gary Busey is 72.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

COMING ATTRACTIONS.....

Good News from Olive Films.

Olive has announced that they are releasing the Republic Serial "COMMANDER CODY SKY MARSHALL OF THE UNIVERSE", "HORRIBLE DR. HICHCOCK" the US version" and "MONSTER OF PIEDRAS BLANCAS" all on Blu-ray and DVD in Sept.

I am very happy about Monster of Piedras Blancas finally coming out. it has been a long wait. The discs should retail for $29.95 for Blu-ray or $24.95 for DVD.

More details to follow as Olive announces them.

ESPRITISMO 1962 (VCI)

Interesting Mexican horror film.

This is by far the best print of this film I have ever seen. VCI brings us this Mexican horror tale based on the "Monkey's Paw" story.

This version isn't in English nor does it have subtitles, but if you know the story you can easily follow it. A Mexican man and wife have some problems and the wife is a very strong believer in spiritualism.

She is given a key by a spirit during one of the seances and three wishes. The key opens a "pandora's box" and that is where the trouble starts.

The ending is quite interesting and I enjoyed it. There are a few slow spots in this film, but stay with it. Not too bad even if it's not in English. This was out many, many years ago on DVD and the print was in English, but the quality was far below what I expected.

Thanks to VCI for making this rather obscure Mexican thriller available.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Bruce Davison is 70, and Lalla Ward is 65.

Monday, June 27, 2016

JOURNEY TO THE SEVENTH PLANET 1962 (KINO) BLU-RAY

John Agar stars in the Danish sci-fi outing now available on Blu-ray.

While previously being available on DVD on the MGM Midnight Movie line, this film finally makes it to Blu-ray thanks to Kino.

Agar and a crew of astronauts land on Uranus and instead of finding a cold barren planet they find it is much like Earth and is even inhabited by beautiful women!!

It seems an alien intellect is controlling the men thru their deepest thoughts! The men discover many things while exploring including a village one of them grew up in. There are also some pretty cool monsters in this film and some stock footage of a giant tarantula from the film "Earth Vs. The Spider".

When this was announced on Blu-ray many people wanted to know if the original Danish version of the film with different monsters was coming out as well, and I am sad to say that will never happen. AIP put their own monsters in the film because they were disappointed with the original Danish ones.

The film is fun and should please any sci-fi fan. the cast also includes the gorgeous Ann Smyrner, Greta Thyssen and Carl Ottosen. The print quality on the Blu-ray is incredible with very little damage. Recommended!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Paul Koslo is 72.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

HERCULES AND THE TYRANTS OF BABYLON 1964 (MILL CREEK)

Peter Lupus stars as Hercules in this fun film.

Lupus used the name "Rock Stevens" for this peplum. In this tale Hercules swings a mighty but stick as he knocks soldiers off of their horses with ease.

Our hero finds himself fighting an evil ruler of Babylon and an evil but very sexy queen played by the gorgeous Helga Line. Helga is one of the main reasons for watching this film. Every scene she is in makes it all worthwhile.

This is a fast paced film and one that will hold your attention, and Lupus does a very good job in the title role. He starred in four sword and sandal films in his career before hitting it big with Mission Impossible.

The print from Mill Creek is ok but the usual TV pan and scan version. Recommended for sword and sandal fans.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Robert Davi is 65.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

BLACK MAMA WHITE MAMA 1972 (ARROW) BLU-RAY

One of my favorite Pam Grier films come to Blu thanks to Arrow.

Grier stars along with Margaret Markov in this exploitation version of "The Defiant Ones". Grier is a prostitute and Markov is a revolutionary who finds themselves in the same banana republic prison being lorded over by a lesbian prison warden (Lynn Borden).

They are sent to the city for more questioning and chained together at the wrist. Both make their escape and that is where the fun starts.

At first they are fighting each other every step of the way until they realize they need each other to survive while trying to elude the police dogs and fins food to eat.

This is a very enjoyable little film with two very beautiful leads and a supporting cast that includes Vic Diaz, Eddie Garcia and Sid Haig. It was, of course, shot in the Philipines and directed by Eddie Romero.

The Arrow Blu-ray is a sight to behold. The colors are very crisp and the film actually never looked better. If you get a chance, check it our. The disc also has an interesting interview with both Haig and Markov.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO.....

June Lockhart is 91, and Layla El is 39.

Friday, June 24, 2016

THE REBEL SEASON 2 1960-1961 (TIMELESS)

The second season of this great series starring Nick Adams as Johnny Yuma.

The second season had 40 episodes and most of them are pretty darn good. It had an impressive list of guest stars and some of the best written stories I have seen for a western TV show.

This is a a six disc set with five set aside for the show and the sixth has some interesting extras which I will get to later. The episodes run as follows....

JOHNNY YUMA AT APPOMATTOX 9/18/60...Johnny finds himself telling a young boy of his struggles with the outcome at Appomattox in order to keep him from killing someone.

THE BEQUEST 9/25/60...A man who has killed someone to help his own family asks Yuma to turn him in so he can collect the reward money and give it to his family. Elisha Cook, Jr and John Carradine star.

THE CHAMP 10/2/60...Yuma buys the contract of a friend who is now a boxer and tries to dissuade him from fighting further.

THE WAITING 10/9/60...Yuma is trapped in a small bar where a bounty hunter is holding the wife of a man wanted for a killing. The bounty hunter likes the wife a lot and he comes up with the idea to kill Yuma and pass him off as the woman's husband.

TO SEE THE ELEPHANT 10/16/60...A man asks Yuma to take his son into town to get some life experience in being a man.

DEATHWATCH 10/23/60...Yuma finds himself caught in the middle of a war between a sheepman who has bad war memories and Mexican bandits. James Best stars.

RUN KILLER RUN 10/30/60...Yuma is shackled to a killer by a Sheriff and is then forced to flee on foot with the killer.

THE HUNTED 11/6/60...Leonard Nimoy stars as a good friend of Yuma who has been proven innocent of murder. Unfortunately he has escaped from prison with a posse who is unaware of his innocence in pursuit.

THE LEGACY 11/13/60...A family frames Yuma for murder that one of them has committed. Robert Hutton, Jon Lormer and Soupy Sales star.

DON GRINGO 11/20/60...Yuma escorts a young woman to her pre-arranged marriage. The woman starts to have feelings for Yuma which brings trouble.

EXPLOSION 11/27/60...Yuma witnesses a man murder his partner in order to keep the money they robbed from the stage. Yuma takes to man to jail and his father uses a threat of blowing up the town with nitroglycerin to get his murderous son released. Douglas Spencer stars.

VINDICATION 12/4/60...Johnny boards a stagecoach after his horse is killed and finds a blind man who is still very bitter about his wife being killed after a previous holdup many years ago when the stage drive deserted them.

THE SCALP HUNTER 12/11/60...John Dehner stars as John Sims, Yuma's godfather. Here he asks John to help him find a savage indian who killed his wife. Very well made episode.

BERSERK 12/18/60...Yuma stops in a small town to visit an old friend named Dunsen but finds he has gone on a shooting spree due to war memories. Tom Drake stars.

THE HOPE CHEST 12/25/60...Yuma aids Ulysses Bowman (William Demerest) in a gun fight and then finds he has a bad habit of offering his hope chest of 200 dollars to anyone who will marry his daughter. Lovely Cathy O' Donnell is his daughter.

THE LIBERATORS 1/1/61...A woman doctor, her sister and their ill father are the only three people left in a town where everyone else has fled from a band a marauding Indians. Yuma is trapped with them when a group of Mexican insurgents take advantage of the situation.

THE GUARD 1/8/61...A sadistic guard who tortured Yuma in prison wants revenge for the treatment he received when Yuma escaped. Ed Nelson stars.

THE PROMISE 1/15/61...Yuma vows to stop the marriage of a woman to a very cruel and brutal man.

JERKWATER 1/22/61...A man who blames Yuma for his brother's death in the war provokes a gunfight which injures Yuma. John Dehner stars as John Sims who comes to help Johnny. very good show and Dehner is excellent.

PAPERBACK HERO 1/29/61...A newswoman writes about Johnny Yuma and she builds him up as a larger than life hero which puts his life in danger.

THE ACTRESS 2/5/61...One of my favorite episodes has Yuma chosen by an actress to take part in her play. Soon they are all kidnapped by a man who wants a performance for his ailing daughter. Sandra Knight stars and she is as sexy as ever.

THE THREAT 2/12/61...Yuma arrives in a small town and finds that nobody in the town wants to defend it from soon to be arriving marauders.

THE ROAD TO JERICHO 2/19/61...Yuma rescues a man from certain death and then finds he actually wants to rob a friend of Yuma's.

THE LAST DRINK 2/26/61...Yuma is on a mission to rescue his cousin from the clutches of a gunslinger.

THE BURYING OF SAMMY HART 3/5/61...An elderly Kiowa Indian is accused of kidnapping a young boy, but in reality the young boy as decided to accompany the dying man in his last hours. Great episode.

THE PIT 3/12/61...Yuman arrives in a small town to help a woman find her husband who has a huge mine, but finds the people in town aren't willing to help her at all.

SHRIEK OF SILENCE 3/19/61...Yuma is forced to kill an outlaw and then finds he has a deaf and mute son whom he tries to place with a new family.

TWO WEEKS 3/26/61...An angry Confederate prison camp survivor wins a bet against Yuma and so Johnny must live for two weeks in the same conditions as the former soldier did while in prison.

MIZ PURDY 4/2/61...Yuma helps a young woman living alone fight off marauders who have robbed a bank and killed a nearby family. Jason Evers and Pat Breslin co-star.

BALLAD OF DANNY BROWN 4/9/61...A woman awaits the return of her fiance from prison after a long stretch while her brother is waiting for him to kill him.

THE PROXY 4/16/61...Yuma joins an uneasy alliance to bring back a fugitive bank manager who was part of a scheme to have people lose their homes.

DECISION AT SWEETWATER 4/23/61...A saloon girl puts her life on the line when three killer hold up a stage and find that the money they are looking for is not there. They decide to take the bank managers son as hostage, but she volunteers to take his place. Yvette Vickers stars.

HELPING HAND 4/30/61...While seeking water Yuma is caught between two brothers and their feud with their uncle and cousin. Jack Elam stars.

THE UNCOURAGEOUS 5/7/61...Yuman strays into Mexico and becomes involved in a family feud.

MISSION VARINA 5/14/61...Yuma is asked by Jefferson Davis' wife to help bring him home after he is released from prison. Frieda Inescort stars.

THE CALLEY KID 5/21/61...Johnny tracks down the man who knocked him out and stole his horse. He finds that the man is the brother of a famous gunslinger/killer. Richard Bakalyan stars,

BEN WHITE 5/28/61...Yuma is part of a posse that is chasing a killer named Ben White. He is put in charge of White's captured wife and his life is put on the line due to her treachery.

THE FOUND 6/4/61...Yuma tends to a pregnant woman who is about to give birth while a posse hunts her killer husband.

THE HOSTAGE 6/11/61...Johnny stops to see and old friend from the war who is soon taken hostage by a man demanding that his brother be released from prison. Yuma is forced to act as a go between.

THE EXECUTIONER 6/18/61...A Shoshone chief keeps three white captives in exchange for three jailed braves. Yuma is chosen to get the braves and make a trade but soon finds that the braves are already dead.

There are 40 episodes in this season and the set from Shout Factory consists of 6 discs. The sixth disc has a lot of cool extras including a 66 min. interview with producer Andrew Fenady, and he proves to be a wealth of information. There is also an interview with Nick Adams' children Allyson and Jeb, production stills, commercials featuring Nick Adams and a thirty minute pilot of Fenady's proposed companion series entitled The Yank.

This is an excellent series and well worth the price to have in any Western TV collection. Most of the stories are above many others of their kind and Adams is perfect in the role. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Georg Stanford Brown is 73.