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Friday, August 31, 2012

TALES FROM THE CRYPT SEASON 1 1989 (WARNER)

In the 1950's Bill Gaines created Tales From The Crypt comics and many others such as Vault Of Horror, Shocksuspense Stories, Weird Science, etc. They were eventually banned for their violent content.
This is a series that ran on HBO for 7 seasons. These are the first six episodes and all are well done enough to sell the show and get it started.
1.The Man Who Was Death is about an executioner who is laid off and goes freelancing.
2. And All Through The House is about a woman who kills her husband on Christmas Eve and is then stalked by a demented killer in a Santa suit. This is actually a remake of the story featured in the 1972 film and it starred Joan Collins.
3.Dig That Cat, He's Real Gone is about a man enhanced with nine lives by a mad doctor.
4. Only Sin Deep stars Lea Thompson as a woman who sells her soul for beauty.
5. Lover Come Hack To Me is about a young couple whose female half has a very, very dark secret.
6. Collection Completed is about a man who takes up taxidermy with terrifying results.
All of these episodes follow the original story fairly well and have a shock ending. One of the best TV shows around. Recommended!!


SON OF DRACULA 1943 (UNIVERSAL)

Lon Chaney essays the role of the bloodsucker in this well made addition to the Universal line of Dracula sequels.
This time we find Dracula (not the son of as the title implies) coming to Lousiana and setting up operations while living at a plantation. People soon start to die and it becomes obvious something is wrong.
Robert Paige is the young man who tries to stop Dracula and finds it costs him everything, lovely Louise Allbritton is Dracula's bride.
Evelyn Ankers is Allbritton's sister. This is a very enjoyable film with Dracula being a particularly nasty and very strong menace to everyone. Recommended!!


HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Deborah Gibson is 42.


Thursday, August 30, 2012

BLOOD OF DRACULA 1957 (LIONSGATE)

Released on a double bill with I Was A Teenage Frankenstein, this shock fest is about a young woman sent to a boarding school by her father and his new, and I must admit very sexy wife.
She becomes a vampire after a demented female teacher, played to the hilt by Louise Lewis, brings out her true animal instincts during mind control experiments.
This really should have been titled I Was A Teenage Vampire as it follows basically the same plot as I Was A Teenage Werewolf.
Sandra Harrison is the young woman who becomes the most ugly female vampire I have ever seen.
Malcolm Atterbury, Richard Devon and Paul Maxwell try and solve the murders at the all girls school.
Great stuff and always entertaining. Highly Recommended!!




HOW TO MAKE A MONSTER 1958 (LIONSGATE)

Great little 50's shocker about a makeup man that is given his pink slip by a movie studio and then brings his monster creations to life to kill the execs!! Ahhhh yes I know exactly how he feels.
Robert H. Harris is Pete Dumond the crazy makeup man and Paul Brinegar is his helper Rivero.
Gary Conway returns from I Was A Teenage Frankenstein to play the monster again and Gary Clarke is the Teenage Werewolf this time around. Harris even dresses like a caveman in one scene to kill a snoopy security guard.
The cast is rounded out by Malcolm Atterbury, Morris Ankrum and John Ashley.
This is a fun and wild film for monster movie lovers with three monsters and a totally demented killer who plays it real cool with the hot headed police officers.


BIRTHDAY WISHES TO.....

Cameron Diaz is 40, Peggy Lipton is 66, Stacy Fuson is 34, and Don Pedro Colley is 74.








Wednesday, August 29, 2012

RIP MANOLA SAAVEDRA 1936-2012

The Mexican actress best known for her role in Swamp of the Lost Souls (Swamp Of The Lost Monsters) has passed away at the age of 76. As of this writing the cause of death has not been released.
Saavedra passed away on Aug. 25th.


DRACULA'S DAUGHTER 1936 (UNIVERSAL)

Gloria Holden stars as a young woman who is actually the daughter of Count Dracula. She arrives in a small town and witht he help of her assistant Sandor, played by Irving Pichel she claims a few victims.
Otto Kruger is a man whom Holden sets her sights on and in an attempt to keep him in line she kidnaps his secretary played by the wonderful Marguerite Churchill.
Edward Van Sloane returns as Van Helsing who again helps dispatch the vampires.
A very good sequel that took five years to make it after the original Dracula appeared. Holden does an admirable job. Recommended horror.


METAMORPHOSIS 1990 (MILL CREEK)

Actor George Eastman directed this film shot in Norfolk, Virginia about a brilliant researcher whose experiments in genetics are going over the line, especially after he tries them on himself.
The results are good at first but take a terrifying turn as the scientist soon starts transforming into something from long ago.
I won't give it away, but I liked the ending to this film..actually I liked the film on a whole anyway.
The acting is good, the leading lady, Catherine Baranov was a waitress at the hotel the crew was staying at and she does a very good job of acting here. It's her only screen credit and that is a shame.
Check this movie out and judge for yourself.


WEIRD WOMAN 1944 (UNIVERSAL)

Reginald LeBorg directed this classic Universal film based on the novel "Conjure Wife " by Fritz Leiber.
Lon Chaney plays a man who marries n exotic woman from a small island who still practices white magic. When several mysterious deaths occur the blame falls on Lon's wife, Paula played by the gorgeous Anne Gwynne.
The troubles only get worse when Lon finally convinces her to stop practicing magic alltogether.
Evelyn Ankers is a jealour rival for Lon, Ralph Morgan and Elizabeth Russell round out an excellent cast.
This was remade in 1962 as "Burn Witch Burn." Recommended and part of Universal's Inner Sanctum serise.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO.....

Frank Henenlotter is 62.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

IT! THE TERROR FROM BEYOND SPACE 1958 (MGM)

One of the all time greats of 50's sci-fi. Logic is thrown out the window in favor of shocks in this tale about a huge monster that gets aboard a spaceship while it is taking off from Mars.
Marshall Thompson is an astronaut being taken back to earth to face a court martial for the killing of his men on a previous flight. Nobody believes his story that a monster did it until some of the new crew start turning up missing.
The blood drinking monster is soon discoverd and then it is a fight for survival on the ship between the humans and one of the most terrifying monsters to ever hit the big screen at that time.
This plot has been ripped off many times by modern moviemakers, but the best one was "Alien" back in 1979.
Edward L. Cahn directs with his usual sure hand and the rest of the cast is a movie lovers dream...Shawn Smith, Kim Spalding, Dabbs Greer, Ann Doran, Paul Langton and Ray "Crash" Corrigan as the Martian.
I simply love this film. It is pure pulp sci-fi and a damn good movie.
If only modern moies were anywhere near this interesting. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!


MONSTER THAT CHALLENGED THE WORLD 1957 (MGM)

Gotta love that great title!! An earthquake releases giant sea mollusks which terrorize people living around the Saltan Sea in southern California. Tim Holt is the Commandeer in charge of the Navel Base where the earthquake struck.
Some of his men are killed and then the monster starts attacking townspeople as well. The monsters are very cool looking things with large eyes and multiple legs.
Audrey Dalton is looking lovely as always. She becomes involved with Holt and their relationship is built up slowly and works well into the monster plot.
Hans Conreid is a base scientist who helps fight the monsters. Very cool and entertaining movie that monster fans should enjoy.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

David Soul is 69.


Monday, August 27, 2012

SCREAM BLOODY MURDER 1973 (MILL CREEK)

This is one film that has been unfairly neglected over the years and made fun of and trashed by those who have no concept of low budget filmmaking.
A young boy runs over and kills his father with a farm bulldozer and mangles his own hand in the process which is replaced by a hook.
He returns after many years in an asylum and when he finds his mother is remarried he kills her and her new husband and then hits the road for more killings.
He dispatches a young couple who picked him up hitchhiking with rocks and drowning after he sees his dead mother is various stages of decay..and this all takes place in about the first 20 minutes of the movie!
The demented young man named Matthew soon finds himself in Venice California where he becomes obsessed with a young prostitute/artist. He kills a maid and an old lady in a mansion in order to kidnap the young woman and keep her as his.
He spends the rest of the time torturing her in the mansion as things slowly desend further into madness. The bodies pile up in the house and finally everything culminates in utter disaster in one of the bleakest endings this side of film noir.
Fred Holbert does a fantastic job as Matthew, the hook handed psycho and Leigh Mitchell does just as good as his victim and "girlfriend".
Sadly Holbert never did another film and Mitchell only appeared in one other film, the classic Incredible Melting Man.
This is the second film appearence of Angus Scrimm and in this film he plays the murdered old lady's doctor who makes an unappreciated call to the house which ends in disaster.
As I said, this is one of the most underrated shockers out there, and a MUST see for horror fans.


INCREDIBLE TWO HEADED TRANSPLANT 1971 (MGM)

One of my favorite films of the 70's. This tale concerns a scientist who transplants the head of a psychopath onto the body of a huge mentally retarded man.
The surgery proves successful and soon a huge two headed killer is roaming the land.
Bruce Dern is the scientist who, along with Barry Kroger create the monster, John Bloom is Danny the innocent boy who suddenly finds another head on his body played by Albert Cole.
Casey Kasem is on hand as a good friend of Dern's who is shocked to find his friend doing such experiments..and now to the point of very high interest of this film....sexy Pat Priest who plays Derns wife.
Throughout the film she is trying to make him pay attention to her which he doesn't very much and for the rest of the film she is constantly tied up and gagged in a nightgown or bikini and even caged at one point by Dern!!
Priest never looked sexier than in this film and her presence alone make this film a great one.
If you can, watch this and see a true exploitation film that is very good even if the subject matter is outlandish.
The cast is rounded out by Larry Vincent as Danny's father, Vincent was an L.A. Horror Host for many years, and Gary Kent. Recommended!!


BIRTHDAY WISHES TO...

Tuesday Weld is 69, and Barbara Bach is 65.




Sunday, August 26, 2012

THE THING WITH TWO HEADS 1972 (MGM)

Ray Milland plays a doctor who has his head grafted onto the body of Rosey Grier in order to save his life. When the doc wakes up he doesn't think it's too cool to be on a black man's body.
Grier is a convict who is trying to prove himself innocent and has his plans complicated by his second head.
If this sounds bizarre....it is!! When I saw this back in 1975 I wasn't sure how to take this because it seems the actors play it straight but there is some humor thrown in.
I love this movie a lot and it may be because it is so damn weird. I recommend this film for anyone who might want to see something a little different.


BIRTHDAY WISHES TO.....

Francine York is 74.


Saturday, August 25, 2012

PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES 1965 (MGM)

Originally released with "Die Monster Die", this eerie film directed by Mario Bava stars Barry Sullivan as the leader of a party of astronauts who land on a mysterious planet and soon find themselves fighting for their lives against unseen alien beings who are looking for bodies to inhabit and a new planet to live on.
Ridley Scott ripped off some of the ideas in this film for Alien and did very well with them such as the distant SOS signals being sent and the huge skeletons that Sullivan and co-star Norma Bengell find as they search the planet.
A very good and atmospheric film. The best sequence in the film comes when the dead bodies out the astrounats come out of their graves. Bava was and always will be the Master of Italian Cinema. Recommended!!


DIE MONSTER DIE 1965 (MGM)

Fun film starring Nick Adams as a young American doctor who goes to a small village and soon finds out the entire town lives in fear..but fear of what?
Boris Karloff is Nahum Witley an old man with a secret of a radioactive meteor he has kept in his basement.
Gorgeous Suzan Farmer is his daughter and Adams' girlfriend whom he tries to get to leave the house.
There are plenty of scary moments and radioactive mutants thrown into the mix.
A bizarre mixture of horror and sci-fi, this movie is based on "The Colour Of Outer Space" by H.P. Lovecraft, but very loosely.
Great film and great fun with a cast rounded out by Terence DeMarney, Freda Jackson, Patrick Magee and Leslie Dwyer.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOO...

Sean Connery is 82, Tom Skerritt is 79, and Claudia Schiffer is 42.






Friday, August 24, 2012

JAILHOUSE ROCK 1957 (WARNER)

The most popular film Elvis ever made concerns him as a young man sentanced to jail for a few years after he assults a man in a bar. He soon learns how to play the guitar and when he is released from prison he starts on a career as a singer.
With the help of a lovely young woman played by Judy Tyler, he becomes a recording sensation and the musical number for the title tune forever changed modern music.
Highly enjoyable film with plenty of music, a well directed story and, of course, Elvis at his very best.
Judy Tyler was an up and coming star who was very sexy and had made one other film called Bop Girl Goes Calypso. She was tragically killed at the age os 25 when she and her husband were coming back from their honeymoon and they had a head on collision with a truck in Billy The Kid, Wyoming. She was dead at the scene and he died the following morning from his injuries.
Elvis was so upset that he never watched Jailhouse Rock, and it was a tragic story behind one of the best films ever made.
If you haven't seen this film, I think you should, if only to see the King at the very top of his game.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Ronee Blakley is 67, Vince McMahon is 67, Raven De La Croix is 65, and Connie Mason is 75.








Thursday, August 23, 2012

VAULT OF HORROR 1973 (FOX)

Another fine anthology film based of the comics of the same name. This version of the disc is the PG rated edit which contains a couple of scenes that have been still framed instead of as they were meant to be seen, but don't let that detract you from sheer fun.
Tale number one is the most famous and is is entitled "Midnight Mess" and stars Daniel Massey as a man who goes to a very small town to find his sister played by his real life sister Anna Massey. He finds more than he really bargained for.
Tale number 2 is "The Neat Job" which stars Terry Thomas as a neat freak who marries a woman played by Glynis Johns whom he drives to the point of insanity.
Tale 3 is This Trick'll Kill Ya" which stars Curt Jurgens and Dawn Addams as a couple who kill to obtain a magic rope trick and get the tables turned on them.
Tale 4 is "Bargain In Death" and features Michael Craig and Edward Judd as two men involved in an insurance swindle that has very bad endings for both of them.
Tale number five is "Drwan and Quartered" which stars Tom Baker as an artist who plots revenge against the art dealers who stole millions from him. Little does he know that voodoo and art do not mix, especially with paint thinner.
Each of these tales is very well done and should provide enough chills and laughs to keep even the most jaded horror fan enthralled. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!


TALES FROM THE CRYPT 1972 (FOX)

Top notch British anthology film based on stories from the Vault of Horror and Tales from The Crypt comics of the 50's.
The first tale is entitleD "And All Through The House" and stars sexy Joan Collins as a young woman who murders her husband on Christmas Eve and while trying to get rid of the body is suddenly attacked by a mad killer dressed as Santa.
The second tale is "Reflections Of Death" and stars Ian Hendry as a man who survives a car crash only to find everyone terrified of him.
Tale number 3 is "Poetic Justice" and stars Peter Cushing as a kindly old man who is forced into suicide by a rich young man who destroys his reputation and his spirit when he sends him some very cruel Valentine cards.
The fourth is entitled "Wish You Were Here" and it stars Richard Greene as a man who is broke and his wife uses a strange statue that makes wishes come true.
The fifth and final tale is "Blind Alleys" that stars Nigel Patrick as a very cruel man who runs a home for the blind.
All of these tales have a cruel and unique twist at the end which is what made EC Comics so damned entertaining.
This movie is perfect for horror fans. Each is a finely crafted little terror tale and horror doesn't get any better than this.
Ralph Richardson is the Crypt Keeper and the rest of the cast is rounded out by Patrick Magee, Geoffrey Baledon and Robert Hutton. This is part of the Midnight Movie line of discs and comes in two disc set with Vault Of Horror. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!


BIRTHDAY WISHES TO,,,,

Vera Miles is 83, and Barbara Eden is 78.




Wednesday, August 22, 2012

RAMBLINGS

I have been reviewing a lot of movies from the 50's lately and there will be plenty more to come in the following weeks.
As a lot of you who read this blog know, I had a lot of DVD's stolen by a person of very ill repute that I trusted. This was simply done out of hatred for me which may or may not be a good excuse.
I have been desparately trying to get some of these films back as getting them all is financially impossible.
These films from the fifties and sixties and some 70's actually are special treasures to me and bring back memories of much better times in my life. This is why I have to have them in a collection of mine and why after they have been stolen I am trying to get them back.
I have a huge soft spot for them and will never relinquish that for anyone or anything.
I have managed to get a small number of them back again thru various sources and there are a few I am still seeking, but I have decided to rewatch them and go back again to a better time and to share on this blog what I think of them.
These films take me back to a time in my life I cannot get back, but want to hang on to forever.
I don't usually ramble about things like this, but I thought I'd let you know what is coming in the days ahead.

BOY DID I GOOF!!! HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY TO.......

I should be shot!! Aug. 2nd marked the 68th Birthday of Susan Denberg, the ultra sexy actress from Frankenstein Created Woman and many other films. I should be shot at dawn if I EVER miss this again.


I EAT YOUR SKIN 1964 (MILL CREEK)

A writer goes to an island and finds that a cancer researching doctor has transformed the locals into bug eyed zombies.
One of the greatest titles in movie history is attached to a film in which no skin is eaten, but it does have a few good shocks.
Directed by Del Tenny, this film was finally released in 1971, just before Halloween along with another film called I Drink Your Blood and both were marketed by Jerry Gross, who made millions off of them.
William Joyce is the writer and lovely Heather Hewitt is the daughter of the zombie making doctor. Not a bad time waster.


MAN WHO TURNED TO STONE 1957 (DVD-R)

Interesting horror film about a group of people who run a prison for wayward girls who happen to be very ancient and steal the life force from the young women in order to stay young.
Victor Jory is the leader of the group which also includes Paul Cavanaugh, Ann Doran and Fredrich Von Ledebur. William Hudson is the state investigator called to the scene when too many young women start dying of heart attacks, gorgeous Charlotte Austin is the case worker helping Hudson and Tina Carver and Barbara Wilson are just two of the many inmates.
A very off beat and bizarre film, this one is worth a look.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO.......

Cindy Williams is 65.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

WAR OF THE SATELLITES 1957 (SHOUT FACTORY)

Ultra cheap but highly entertaining Roger Corman effort about a mysterious race of aliens who are trying to stop mankind from exploring space. Dick Miller is the unlikely hero and the lovely Susan Cabot is his lady love.
Richard devon is the scientist who has been taken over by the invaders and want to halt the plans.
Great fun, especially with Miller being the lead in this one. The supporting cast includes Bruno VeSota, Michael Fox, Robert Shayne, Tony Miller and Mitzi McCall.
Good sci-fi fun.


INVASION OF THE BEE GIRLS (MGM)

One of my favorite 70's shockers stars William Smith as a government investigator looking in to the many deaths in a small California town called Peckham. It seems all the men are dying from heart attacks brought on by high sexual stimulation.
It is soon discovered that the women are mutating into queen bees!! What a premise. The absolutely gorgeous Anitra Ford stars as the head of the Bee colony. Just as sexy Victoria Vetri is a young woman helping Smith uncover the reasons of the deaths.
They just don't make films like this anymore because it deals with straight sex and we all know that Hollyweird considers that a no no anymore.
To hell with modern films man, this is where it's at.
The rest of the cast does a wonderful job playing this somewhat straight and it includes Cliff Osmond as the police Captain, Wright King as the town doctor and Cliff Emmich as the coronor.
If you get a chance you simply must see this film. Vetri and Ford make the
film worth watching no matter what.


MURDER MANSION 1973 (MILL CREEK)

A small group of people are stranded in an old house during a thick fog and find themselves attacked by the walking dead.
This film does actually work on the base level of haunted house films, but it is slow going at times and may not be for all tastes.
The cast does a good job with the material they have and the scenes of people being stalked by the corpses are very atmospheric and well done. Check it out if you're so inclined.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO.....

Patty McCormack is 67, Eve Torres is 28, Kenny Rogers is 74, and Clarence Williams III is 73.








RIP PHYLLIS DILLER 1917-2012

A true legend if the entertainment business has passed away at the age of 95. Phyllis Diller, the lady who, despite her wacky looks was a very self assured and funny woman who really knew how to make people laugh.
My mother first turned me onto Diller comedy and I was hooked ever since.
I remember her most for The Mad Monster Party in which she voiced the Bride Of Frankenstein.
She will truely be missed as she was one of a kind. The world of comedy lost a huge one today.