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Friday, August 29, 2014

COLOSSUS OF NEW YORK 1958 (OLIVE)

Great little 50's sci-fi film that hasn't received a lot of attention.

I reviewed this when it first came out and I figured it was time to watch this again.

Ross Martin is a brilliant scientist who is killed by a truck that runs him over as he was trying to recover his sons small toy airplane that was blowing away at an airport. His distraught father (Otto Kruger) along with his brother find a way to keep him alive by transplanting his brain into the body of a huge robot that they have constructed.

Soon however he grows tired of not being able to see his son (Charles Herbert) or his wife (lovely Mala Powers) and uses powers he has developed over time to control the minds of his father and brother. He kills his brother and then attacks the United Nations in a pretty interesting climax.

This film has some great effects and acting. it is a shame this has been relegated to almost forgotten corners of the 50's sci-fi film world. Olive has turned out an excellent print of the film and I cannot recommend it enough to 50's sci-fi buffs.

The rest of the cast includes John Baragrey and Robert Hutton, but the standout to me will always be gorgeous Mala Powers.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Frank Henenlotter is 64.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

AMAZING TRANSPARENT MAN 1959 (TIMELESS/SHOUT)

I have written about this film twice before here, but I revisited it again last weekend, so I figured I'd include a short write up here.

A scientist, played by James Griffith uses an invisibility serum on an escaped convict in order to have him steal things he needs to create an invisible army to conquer the world.

That is the plot, plain and simple from director Edgar Ulmer. This film has always been a favorite of mine ever since I first saw it in the late 70's on WTCG from Atlanta before they became WTBS.

It only runs 57 minutes and it does move quickly. The cast includes Marguerite Chapman, Douglas Kennedy and Ivan Triesault. Good fun for a Saturday afternoon.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO.....

David Soul is 71, Hugo Stiglitz is 74, and Lindsay Bloom is 64.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

THE EVIL 1978 (SHOUT FACTORY)

One of my favorite films.

I first saw this on a Halloween night on HBO when the network first started way back in the late 80's. It really impressed me, and it still does today after all these years.

Richard Crenna is a doctor who rents an old house to turn into a clinic. it turns out the house in haunted by a very evil spirit and soon it has the doc and all of the people who were helping him trapped in the house and is killing them one by one.

The doctor himself is responsible for unleashing the evil when he removes a cross from an ancient tomb in the basement. The scares are pretty good and some of the deaths are disturbing, especially Andrew Prine sinking into the ground after it becomes quicksand.

There is also the scene involving lovely Lynne Moody as a woman who gets sexually attacked by the invisible demon.

The ancient burial tomb is actually a portal to hell and Crenna and his sexy wife, played by Joanna Pettet find this out when they venture down. Victor Buono is the Devil. This is the part of the film that most people don't understand, as it really seems tacked on. It isn't a problem for me.

Shout Factory put this out on a double bill with Twice Dead on their Roger Corman cult classics. I recommend this film if you like good ghost stories.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO.....

Barbara Bach is 67, and Tuesday Weld is 71.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

ZOMBIE 1979 (SHRIEK SHOW)

I decided to give this film another look and I never get disappointed by it.

Lucio Fulci directed this epic zombie film that set the standard for zombie films and gore. It seems that some kind of powerful Voodoo is bringing the dead back to life on a small island called "Matul."

Four people end up on the island. They are a reporter and the daughter of a man who was last known to be on the island (Ian McCulloch and Tisa Farrow) and a couple who are on a vacation (Al Cliver and Auretta Gay). The island is home to a doctor and his lovely wife. The doctor is played by Richard Johnson and his wife is Olga Karlatos.

Once on the island the zombie epidemic starts to spread and soon everyone is fighting for their lives against the dead. When they rise from an old cemetery we really get to see some classic horror make-up that really looks good ans creepy.

There is gore aplenty here, and if you've never seen the film you might be shocked by some of it, even today. The ending is bleak and it makes you remember the beginning of the film, which you might actually forget as you get into the film and let it take you away.

Simply the best Italian horror film ever made in my opinion, I recommend this 2 disc set from Shriek Show. It has more extras than you could ever imagine.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO.....

Akiko Wakabayashi is 73.

Monday, August 25, 2014

MAN ON A SPYING TRAPEZE 1966 (SINISTER CINEMA)

This is a pretty good Eurospy film.

Wayde Preston is Jerry Land, a secret agent assigned to a case involving lost microfilm. The fists fly, the sometimes snappy dialogue gets better and better and, of course, there are beautiful babes in abundance.

One of the lead villains, a Mr. Wong, played by Noe Murayama is an over the top comic book villain that really likes to torture and hurt anyone who is in his way.

There is a pretty good twist at the end which helps this film a lot. I like this particular spy film because it just strikes me a bit different than all of the others made during this time. The print from Sinister is good although it is sometimes washed out, but that only adds to the charm.

Give this 60's eurospy film a try and you might like it. Recommended!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Sean Connery is 84, Tom Skerritt is 81, and Claudia Schiffer is 44.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

THE KILLING 1956 (MGM)

Stanley Kubrick irected this classic film noir told in a very different style.

Sterling Hayden stars as Johnny Clay, a small time hood who has just been released from jail and is now looking to make a huge heist at a race track.

He hires several people he knows and trusts and the wheels are set in motion for one of the greatest crime films ever made.

The stylistic story telling a first in film as it recounts every single incident leading up to and including the heist. The cast is full of great actors including Colleen Gray, Jay C. Flippen, Vince Edwards, Ted de Corsia, Marie Windsor, Elisha Cook Jr., Joe Sawyer and Timothy Carey in an unforgettable role.

This has one of the most downbeat endings to any film I have ever seen. I really love this film and cannot say enough good things about it. I have just the standard MGM version, but thias is out from Criterion as well it should be. If you haven't seen this film yet, do so soon and watch how films should be made.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Vince McMahon is 69, Ronee Blakley is 69, and Raven De La Croix is 67.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

DIE MONSTER DIE 1965 (MGM)

A good Boris Karloff thriller.

It was a rainy day so I decided to re-visit another film I really, really like.

Nick Adams comes to the town of Arkham to visit a young woman he met in college. The woman is played by the very sexy Suzan Farmer. He is met with hostility and hatred for no apparent reason. Finally he decides to walk to her home since he cannot get a ride or rent a vehicle.

When he arrives he is met by the woman's father, played by Boris Karloff who also treats him the same way as the villagers. After a while it becomes apparent that the family has a secret to hide, or at least Karloff does.

It seems his character of Nahum Whitley has a highly radioactive meteor in his basement that fell from the sky. He believes it to be a curse he cannot escape from. It has slowly killed off all of the vegetation in the area, and is now affecting his wife who is slowly mutating as well.

Whitley begs Stephen Reinhart (Adams) to take his daughter away. Will that actually happen? I'll let you watch and find out, if you haven't seen the film. This is the directorial debut of Daniel Haller, a former art director for Roger Corman.

The wide screen photography is beautiful and the weird mutants in the greenhouse are something one will not forget to easily. Give this film a try, I think you'll like it. It's loosely based on the H.P. Lovecraft tale entitled "The Colour Out Of Space".

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Vera Miles is 85, and Barbara Eden is 83.

Friday, August 22, 2014

RIP MADELEINE COLLINSON 1952-2014

One of my favorite actresses has passed away.

The evil twin in the film "Twins Of Evil" passed away on Aug. 17th at the age of 62.

Twins had long been a favorite of mine ever since 1972 when I saw it at a drive in with "Hands Of The Ripper" and "Night Of The Lepus". The Collinson Twins were my first wet dream as a child and I always loved how incredibly sexy they were.