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Thursday, March 26, 2015

RIP SALLY FORREST 1928-2015

The actress passed away on March 15 after a battle with cancer.

Sally made quite a few films during her career and some of them are very familiar to people who read this blog. She starred in such films as "Vengeance Valley", "Hard, Fast and Beautiful", "Son Of Sinbad", "While The City Sleeps", and many others.

She was 86.

SHORT TAKES.....

Last weekend I played a couple of films that are about as far apart as one could get.

RETURN OF THE VAMPIRE 1944 (MILL CREEK)....Released on Jan. 1st, 1944 this horror film stars Bela Lugosi as a vampire named Armand Tesla who is first killed in 1918 and then brought back to life during WW2 after the metal stake is removed from his heart after a bombing.

Matt Willis is on hand as Andreas, a man cursed by Tesla to be a werewolf servant. This role is probably the most unique during this time period in film making. Tesla claims more victims while pretending to be a doctor named Hugo Bruckner.

This is pretty wild stuff from Columbia studios and it all comes together very well. I first stumbled onto this film back when I was very young on KWGN TV from Denver. A good thriller with a very interesting story. Recommended!!

THE WOMAN EATER 1959 (IMAGE)....George Coulouis stars as a man who brings a very odd plant back from Africa and proceeds to feed it women in order to extract a fluid that he hopes will revive the dead.

The plant monster is pretty cool looking and the cast does a good job with the material they have. Vera Day is the beautiful woman who becomes ensnared in the trap set by the mad doctor. This film is very obscure today and not talked about too much, and that is a shame.

The film isn't as bad as people make it out to be, and I do recommend it for 50's horror buffs.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO.....

Diana Ross is 71, and Scotty Morrow is 69.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

HOUSE OF TERRORS 1965 (SINISTER CINEMA)

Underrated and seldom seen Japanese horror tale finally available!

Sinister Cinema brings us this film in widescreen, an beautiful black an white. It is a Japanese movie dubbed into Italian with English subtitles, but don't let that deter you.

This tale involves a hunchback that takes care of a house that is haunted by the ghosts of its previous owners. A trio of people arrive including a doctor, hie beautiful niece and his assistant. they soon find out that the house is indeed haunted as they are accosted by loud noises, bending doors and much more.

They all die horribly. The ending is really good and it is a mystery to me why this film hasn't been seen more. It reminded me of "The Haunting" and the Italian dubbing gives it a feel of a Mario Bava thriller.

I really recommend this film, and Sinister is to be commended for bringing this to the attention of film fans.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

GAMERA 3: REVENGE OF IRIS 1999 (MILLCREEK)

Not too bad of a film.

The final Gamera film involves a young woman who finds an egg that a monster hatches from. She actually decides to raise the monster as her pet, but things get a little out of hand as the beast gets bigger and bigger.

Gamera shows up and has to fight the monster in a battle that Japan and the world may not survive. He also has to contend with a flock of Gyaos monsters as well. The Gyaos take a back seat to Iris once the monster is full grown. It is unique and very convincing.

If you're a Gamera fan you will want to see this. This concludes my reviews of all 11 Gamera films from 1965-1999. Some of it was very hard to get thru, but this film more than made up for it.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

William Smith is 82.

Monday, March 23, 2015

RIP GREGORY WALCOTT 1928-2015

The actor most famous for his role in "PLAN NINE FROM OUTER SPACE" has passed away.

Walcott was an admired actor who appeared in other films such as "Mister Roberts", "Eiger Sanction" and "Norma Rae".

He gained the most fame from starring in Ed Wood's film "Plan Nine" and in various interviews he always lamented the way the entire project was handled.

Walcott was a gentleman and very well respected. He was 87 and passed away from natural causes.

MONSTER FROM GREEN HELL 1957 (SINISTER CINEMA)

Another Al Zimbalist 50's sci-fi classic.

Jim Davis and Robert Griffith are scientists who launch several rockets into space with test animals and insects aboard. One of them crashes in Africa and soon there are reports of giant monsters terrifying the natives.

The two travel to Africa and find giant wasps running amok. This is one of those films you really have to stick with as there is a lot of stock footage from "Stanley And Livingston" during the course of the journey.

However, the giant wasps are pretty cool and the film does pick up towards the end. I have always liked this film and I don't care what others say. It's an alright way to spend 72 minutes on a Saturday afternoon or evening.

I have seen many different prints of this film, and still have yet to see one with the original color ending except for the VHS from Admit One during the 80's. Oh well, still a good 50's big bug film.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO.....

Corinne Clery is 65, Barbara Rhoades is 68, and Lori Williams is 69.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

SHORT TAKES....

I had some time between working my ass off and sleeping, so I decided to check out a couple of my favorites.

BRIDES OF BLOOD 1968 (ALPHA)....John Ashley stars along with Kent Taylor and Beverly Hills in this first "Blood Island" film.

it seems that the island of literally mutating due to exposure of radioactivity. The trees attack people, there is mutated animal and insect life an the islanders sacrifice young women to some mysterious being.

Taylor's oversexed wife (Hills) is very dissatisfied with her hubby and looks to any native that might give her what she wants. He is more interested in the bizarre island that her. Ashley investigates why the islanders are sacrificing young women and finds that they are used to satisfy a raging monster that comes around every few nights.

There is plenty of gore in this Philippine made sci-fi treat. The monster is very cool looking and tears his female victims apart. This was a hell of a way to start the "Blood Island" trilogy. It is the best in my opinion an it really holds your attention well.

THE YESTERDAY MACHINE 1963 (SUBSTANCE)... This is a pretty good made in Texas thriller about a Nazi who uses a time machine an tries to alter the outcome of WW2. Tim Holt stars as Lt. Partane, a man investigating the mysterious shooting of a male cheerleader and the disappearance of his girlfriend.

It seems that the mad doctor wants to bring Hitler back thru time. he has already brought soldiers from the Civil War to modern times as well as a female Nubian slave from 3000 years ago.

I have always liked this film and find it very entertaining. The DVD is very good. The picture quality isn't the sharpest, but what does one expect. If you can find this I think you should check it out.

RETURN OF THE WITCH 1952 (SINISTER CINEMA)

Super rare film that can finally be seen!

This film was released in 1952 in Finland. It centers around an archeological team that uncovers the tomb of a witch that was buried in a swamp about 300 years prior.

She comes back to life and runs around naked until she is befriended by a young man who doesn't believe in all the superstitions. The ending is kind of a bizarre let down, but it does add a twist to the goings on.

The print from Sinister is excellent and is spoken in Finnish but subtitled into English. Another great job by Greg Luce and his company to bring a very rare title to the DVD market. The black an white photography is very good for a film of this kind, and I do recommend this for anyone who wants to see rare horror films.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

William Shatner is 84, and May Britt is 82.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

BLACK MAMBA 1974 (SINISTER CINEMA)

Sinister got this one from Fred Olen Ray.

John Ashley stars as a doctor in a small village in the Philippines who runs across voodoo.

Lovely Marlene Clark stars as a witch who uses her black magic to kill a few people an to attempt to kill another woman she sees as a rival for Ashley's affection.

This is not a well made film, but it will hold your attention. Clark makes for a very fetching witch an there are a few effective shocks in the film.

This film was made in 1974, but due to much legal wrangling, it couldn't be released until Ashley died in 1997!! Sinister has a beautiful print and you just might want to check it out.

Friday, March 20, 2015

INVINCIBLE BROTHERS MACISTE 1964 (SINISTER CINEMA)

Well made peplum film.

Iloosh Khoshabe and Mario Novelli star as the Maciste brothers who, while building a temple find a mysterious underground world run by an evil queen.

Anthony Steffen is Prince Akim who helps the Brothers Maciste fight the evil kingdom. There is plenty of fighting and muscle popping to entertain the audience for films like this, and there is plenty of sci-fi for other fans.

If you like these kinds of films, I know I do, then check it out. It does have a different feel to it.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO.....

Kathy Ireland is 52, and Steve Borden is 56.