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Thursday, October 30, 2014

HALLOWEEN FRIGHTS DAY 26...JENNIFER 1978 (SCORPION)

I had to wait 36 years to finally see this film.

Lisa Pelikan is Jennifer a girl from the deep south who is attending a snooty all girls school in California while living with her bible toting father.

She is constantly picked on and harassed by the other girls as well as her father. It seems that as a very young child she had a power over serpents and her father is still obsessed with this power and wants her to use it, but she refuses.

Things get worse and worse for her until the other students kill a kitten Jennifer was fond of and then they blame her for it. She snaps and then her powers come out and hundreds of snakes in all shapes and sizes attack her group of tormentors. One guy even has his head bitten off by one of the the giant snakes.

This is a rip off of "Carrie", but that doesn't mean it isn't a goo film. Pelikan does an excellent job as Jennifer while Buet Convey is a sympathetic teacher and Nina Foch is a pill popping, ass kissing headmistress who has a terrific line in the film when she tells Convey "the rich are ALWAYS right."

The rest of the cast includes Jeff Corey, John Gavin and Amy Johnston. I recommend this for any horror fan an the Blu-ray presentation is perfect. Hats off to Scorpion for putting this little, still obscure gem out for people to see.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

HALLOWEEN FRIGHTS AY 25...DAWN OF THE DEAD (EUROPEAN VERSION) 1978 (ANCHOR BAY)

One of the greatest films ever made.

This Halloween season I decided to watch the European cut of George Romero's Dawn Of The Dead. I watch this film several times during the year, but this Halloween I decided to watch a different version.

The cut runs about 2 hours and omits some scenes left in the directors cut of the film, and the music is different in some spots. However, this is still a top notch film and one not to be missed.

Again, as with "Night Of The Living Dead" I will not really post too much of the plot simply because I am sure if you're at this blog you have seen this movie before. If you have the multi disc set from Anchor Bay, I would really recommend you check out the other versions of the film, if you haven't already. They are all excellent.

Spend Halloween with Romero and his zombies.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO.....

Gabrielle Union is 42, Richard Dreyfuss is 67, and Kate Jackson is 66.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

HALLOWEEN FRIGHTS DAY 24......NIGHT STRANGLER 1973 (MGM)

Another Halloween perennial...

Darren McGavin returns as Carl Kolchak, this time located in Seattle and on the trail of a killer who has been killing seven women every 21 years since 1889.

Simon Oakland also returns as Tony Vincenzo the long suffering editor. Oakland and McGavin play off of each other to perfection. The Seattle locations help the film a great deal, especially the underground.

The scene when McGavin foils the seemingly ageless killer is a classic. Jo Ann Pflug is wonderful as a belly dancing undergraduate that helps Kolchak find the killer. Everything in this movie works to perfection, an the direction by Dan Curtis is top notch as usual.

This is another perfect Halloween thriller that shouldn't be missed. The rest of the cast includes Al Lewis, Scott Brady, Wally Cox, Margaret Hamilton, John Carraine and Richard Anderson as the killer.

HALLOWEEN FRIGHTS DAY 24.......NIGHT STALKER 1972 (MGM)

One of the greatest!!

What would Halloween be without watching this classic telefilm from 1972? Darren McGavin is Karl Kolchak, a brazen reporter working in Las Vegas who fins himself on the trail of a vampire.

Made at a time when TV wasn't about social topics or political correctness and all the other left wing propaganda, this was just about entertainment.

The film was, at the time, the highest rated program to ever appear on TV, an to this day it is still pretty high in the all time ratings. It is extremely well one with a top notch cast. This is one film that should be watched every Halloween no matter what.

Barry Atwater is perfect as the vampire Janos Skorzeny an the rest of the cast includes Claude Akins, Kent Smith, Charles McGraw, Carol Lynley, Ralph Meeker and Stanley Adams.

One more thing that really sets this movie apart is the stunning music from Bob Cobert. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Monday, October 27, 2014

HALLOWEEN FRIGHTS DAY 23.....NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD 1968 (DIMENSION)

THE QUINTESSENTIAL HORROR FILM!!

During the Halloween season nothing beats watching this classic horror film from George Romero. I needn't go into the plot as everyone knows this film very well.

I include it in my blog every year around Halloween. This was the first zombie film that took the monsters from voodoo mythology to a very real setting as flesh eaters doing nothing but killing. This time they are brought to life by radiation.

Epic stuff here. I consider this to be the greatest film ever made and cannot even conceive of a Halloween without seeing this masterpiece.

RIP MARCIA STRASSMAN 1948-2014

The actress best known for her role in "Welcome Back, Kotter" has passed away.

Although she acted in movies such as "Honey I Shrunk The Kids" Strassman will always be known as the long suffering wife of Gabe Kaplan in the show "Welcome Back, Kotter".

She died of breast cancer on Oct. 25th at the age of 66.

HALLOWEEN FRIGHTS DAY 23....ZAAT...1971 (CULTRA)

I finally got to see the blu-ray edition of this film.

A bizarre cult film shot in Florida, ZAAT is at once totally unforgettable. A mad scientist transforms himself into a strange looking sea monster to seek revenge on those who mocked him and had him put in jail many years ago.

It seem the scientist wanted to mix human life with that of sea life in order to save the world. He goes back to his abandoned lab an picks up where he left off. He manages to kill two former bosses an the also wants to find a mate.

He kiddnaps a beautiful young woman and tries to transform her as well, but the experiment fails. Hot on his trail are twp investigators from a government office called INPIT, a young male researcher and the sheriff. Due to the mad scientists' new experiments an army of catfish are invading the small Florida town. We never see them much, but are told this is happening instead.

The film has a very downbeat ending and I like it that way. On Blu-ray it looks better than it ever has. If you like bizarre cult films, i would very highly recommend this. I wonder whatever happened to Sanna Ringhaver, the lovely leading lady of this film?

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Jayne Kennedy is 63.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

HALLOWEEN FRIGHTS DAY 22....NIGHT OF THE DEMON 1957 (COLUMBIA)

One of the best supernatural horror films ever made.

Dana Andrews id Dr. John Holden, a man who travels to London for a symposium about the supernatural an finds himself targeted by the man he wanted to discredit, Julian Karswell.

Karswell has great powers that Holden does not believe in such as the ability to control the weather. Holden is targeted for death and only after a few bizarre happenings does he actually become a believer.

Also along for the terrifying journey is a young woman named Joanna Harrington, played by Peggy Cummins. She is investigating the death of her father who also challenged Karswell.

This is truly a classic of the horror genre and the disc has both this longer version and the shorter US cut of the film. I prefer the unedited UK version as it fills in more plot holes. All of the performers in this film are top notch and I cannot recommend this film enough.

A great one to watch on Halloween. The rest of the cast includes Niall MacGinnis as Karswell, Maurice Denham, Peter Elliot and Athene Seyler. One of the best of it's kind.

HALLOWEEN FRIGHTS DAY 22.....MUMMY'S CURSE 1944 (UNIVERSAL)

A great little Universal film.

Around Halloween time I always love to watch the old films from the Universal library. This is another excellent entry, and the final one as well of the Mummy series.

This time Kharis and Ananka are discovered when a swamp is being drained. Many critics have wondered how the bodies got to Louisiana when they were originally in Massachusetts, but for heavens sake but disbelief aside and enjoy.

Lon Chaney returns as Kharis and Virginia Christine is Princess Ananka. The scene where her muddy corpse rises from the swamp is something that once seen, isn't easily forgotten. Kharis kills many in his attempt to find Ananka and soon the authorities are again hunting the Mummy.

The cast also includes Peter Coe, Kay Harding, Kurt Katch and Martin Kosleck. the film runs one hour and never slows down. Recommended!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO......

Jacklyn Smith is 69.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

HALLOWEEN FRIGHTS DAY 21....MUMMY'S GHOST 1944 (UNIVERSAL)

Another fine Universal thriller.

John Carradine stars as Yousef Bey, a high priest that travels to America to recover the bodies of Princess Ananaka and her guardian, Kharis the living mummy.

He finds that the spirit of Ananka has moved into the body of a lovely young woman of Egyptian descent. The mummy is sent on a killing spree to get the young woman and the priest finds himself falling in love with her.

What really makes this a bit different is that the ending is totally downbeat, and the hero looses the love of his life as she is dragged into the swamp by Kharis.

The cast inclues Lon Chaney as the mummy, Robert Lowery, Ramsay Ames and Barton MacLane.

HALLOWEEN FRIGHTS DAY 21......OCULUS 2013 (FOX)

Interesting concept from WWE.

Karen Gillan stars as a young woman who tries to prove her brother is innocent of a horrible murder. She wants to prove it was caused by a supernatural element that is in a strange mirror.

This is one of very few modern films that really holds my attention. The story is always flashing back to when the woman and her brother were children and what happened with the mirror then as compared to now.

Gillan is very believable as the woman who sets out to prove something while the forces of evil foil her at every attempt. Two scenes really stand out. One involves a light bulb and an apple an the other involves Gillan and a device she has created that she believes will destroy the mirror.

I won't give away the bizarre ending, but any horror fan that isn't too jilted should enjoy this film. There are plenty of good shocks an some very inventive story telling.

Friday, October 24, 2014

HALLOWEEN FRIGHTS DAY 20.....MUMMY'S TOMB 1942 (UNIVERSAL)

The first Mummy film to star Lon Chaney, Jr., and the first one I ever saw as a child.

Thirty years have passed since the first film and Steve Banning, again played by Dick Foran is telling his story about his encounter with Kharis, the living mummy to various family members and friends.

What he doesn't know is that another High priest is bringing Kharis to the US to finish the task of killing all who desecrated the tomb of Princess Ananka.

Foran and Wallace Beery both return and their characters are killed by Kharis. The High priest is played by Turhan Bey and he soon finds himself falling in love with Isobel Evans, the young wife to be of John banning, the son of Steve.

The Mummy continues his reign of terror as the police and townsfolk close in. This is easily my favorite of the series. It was my first introduction to the Mummy films.

The rest of the cast includes Elyse Knox as Isobel, John Hubbard, George Zucco, mary Gordon and Frank Reicher.