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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

VICIOUS LIPS 1986 (SHOUT FACTORY)

Very odd and offbeat.

An all female rock band called "The Vicious Lips" finally get their big break if they can make it to another planet for a huge concert.

This is set in the far future with 80's hair and some great music. That alone makes this a winner. The ship they are on crashes and they are menaced by a serial killer, but the girls stand their own ground. It tends to get really weird towards the end, but who cares, this is a film to simply watch and enjoy.

Albert Pyun directed and it stars his always excellent Linda Kerridge along with Gina Calabrese, Dru-Anne Perry and Shayne Ferris. I had never seen this film and was pleasantly surprised by how good it was. Shout included it in the set entitled "4 Cult Movie Marathon Vol. 1".

THE CYCLOPS 1957 (WARNER ARCHIVE)

I have reviewed this before, but am doing it again with the newly remastered print.

Four people journey into the mountains of Mexico to find a pilot that crashed there three years before. They soon fin that the land is high in radioactive elements and that the wildlife is grown to giant size. If this isn't enough they also discover a 25 foot man with one eye and a mutated face.

James Craig, Gloria Talbot, Lon Chaney, Jr. and Tom Drake star in this Bert I. Gordon flick that is a lot of fun. When this was first released by Warner it was pulled quickly as it was discovered to be missing the scene where the giant gets a big stick in his eye. Warner quickly issued a new print.

The movie is fun one and is typical 50's sci-fi and I recommend it to anyone who likes this kind of movie. It's not a perfect movie, but then again who wants it to be? The print from Warner is the absolute best I have seen this film look in years!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO......

Barbara Carrera is 68.

RIP JOSEPH RUSKIN 1924-2013

The character actor with the very distinguished voice has passed away from natural causes.

Ruskin appeared in about 25 films and hundreds of TV shows in his long career. His movie roles were in suh films as "Rise And Fall Of Legs Diamond" and "Hell Bent For Leather".

His TV appearences varied from "The Twilight Zone", "Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries" to "Hawaiian Eye", "Get Smart" and "Mr. Ed". He will be missed and so will his voice. One of a kind. He passed away on Dec. 28th.

Monday, December 30, 2013

RIP ROGER GENTRY 1934-2013

The actor best known for his role in Wizard Of Mars has passed away at the age of 79.

Gentry starred in many of my favorite exploitation films including "The Thing With Two Heads", "Black Gestapo", "Gallery Of Horror" and "Invitation To Ruin". He was 79 and passed away on Dec. 16th.

MAN BEAST 1956 (VCI)

One of the better Jerry Warren films, and that's saying something!

A young woman and her friend join an expedition to the Himalayan Mountains to find her brother. They get more than they bargained for when they are attacked by a group of Yeti monsters.

Virginia Maynor is Connie Mason and Lloyd Nelson is her friend "Hud". They meet a guide named Steve and the head of the guidepost Varga, who turns out to actually be the leader of the Yeti!!

It doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but this is an entertaining movie none the less. The disc even contains several scenes that were edited out!! Interesting is all I can say. It is included on the VCI set "The Jerry Warren Collection Vol. 1".

CELLAR DWELLER 1988 (SHOUT FACTORY)

Odd and overlooked 80's horror.

Jeffrey Combs has a small part in the beginning of this movie as a comic artist in the 1930's whose creation comes to life and kills him.

We jump ahead to 1988 and a young female artist is obsessed with his work and movies into a house in which he lived. the house is now a boarding house run by Mrs. Briggs, played by Yvonne De Carlo. The artist Whitney Taylor, played by Deborah Mullowney starts to raw the "Cellar Dweller" which also comes to life and starts killing the other people living in the house.

The monster is very cool looking and kills people in various gory ways an the cast does a good job with the material they have. The cast is rounded out with Vince Edwards and Pamela Bellwood. This is a long neglected film that fell through he cracks and it has been brought into the light by Shout Factory on their "All Night Horror Marathon Vol. 2" collection. recommended!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO.....

Eliza Dushku is 33, Russ Tamblyn is 80, Laila Ali is 36, Kelli Maroney is 53, and Jeff Lynn is 66.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

DUNGEONMASTER 1984 (SHOUT FACTORY)

Also known as Ragewar.

Jefferey Bryon is a computer programmer who is magically taken to a mysterious land inside of his computer by an evil demon named Mestema, played by Richard Moll. Bryon's girlfriend is also taken there and he must pass thru seven trials in order to save their souls. Some of the "trials" involve monsters and evil women.

Each "trial" is directed by someone different and it makes for a very fast paced 75 minutes. Moll easily steals the show as the very tall evil demon. Bryon is ok and his girlfriend, played by Leslie Wing is very attractive and plays her part very well.

There is one bizarre scene in the "Hall Of Killers" and they have Albert Einstein in there!! Bizarre to say the least. Shout Factory has turned this out on their "All Night Horror Marathon Vol. 2". Well worth a look.

TOP 50 DVD RELEASES OF 2013 PART 5

Well these are my ten top pics for DVD releases of the year....

10. SHE DEVIL (OLIVE) Obscure horror film from the 1950's finally given a release by Olive. Mari Blanchard and Albert Dekker star.

9. FIRE MAIDENS OF OUTER SPACE (OLIVE) Another long forgotten gem from the 50's from Olive. Many people consider this to be a total waste of time, however I was overjoyed to see it finally get a Blu-ray/DVD release.

8. WORLD WAR Z (PARAMOUNT) The only Brad Pitt movie you'll probably ever see on any list of this blog. Good zombie thriller about a world wide plague and the efforts to stop it.

7. SHANKS (OLIVE) This company is turning out so many obscure films this year. This William Castle film is truly one of the most bizarre ever. A mime learns to control the dead thru his late friends strange device. One of a kind.

6. WITCHBOARD 2 (OLIVE) In the Top 10 Olive has five films, and this is the fourth. Sexy Ami Dolenz is a young woman who moves into an apartment and is haunted by evil spirits. Excellent Blu-Ray release.

5. BLACK DEVIL DOLL FROM HELL/TALES FROM THE QUADEAD ZONE (MASSACRE VIDEO) Finally these two obscure shot on video horror films from Chester Turner are made available on DVD!! Must be seen to be believed!!

4. NWO THE REVOLUTION (WWE) Pro wrestling was never better than in the mid 90's when this heel organization took the wrestling world by storm. This is the three disc story of what happened. Simply the best wrestling DVD of the year.

3. THE CONJURING (WARNER) A modern ay film made in 2013 that actually scared the hell out of me. This is good film making which is very rare these days. Watch out for Annebell!!

2. DR. JEKYLL AND THE WOLFMAN/VAMPIRE'S NIGHT ORGY (CODE RED) Excellent double feature which finally brings the UNCUT version of Dr. Jekyll and The Wolfman to DVD. The only company that ever carried it before this release was Sinister Cinema. Both movies look very, very good and it makes for a fantastic euro horror double feature.

And now the number one DVD release of the year goes to a film that I have waited for for about 6 years to come to DVD...

1. TICKS (OLIVE) yes Olive brings us this big bug movie that is full of action, gore and the always sexy Ami Dolenz. What more could a horror fan want??

There you are...my top picks for the year 2013. Comments are always welcome.

I have to give honorable mention to two films that weren't included in the list and both are from Olive. They are "THE ENFORCER" starring Humphrey Bogart and "PLUNDER ROAD" starring Gene Raymond.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO.....

Mary Tyler Moore is 77, Barbara Steele is 76, Marianne Faithfull is 67, and Yvonne Elliman is 62.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

THE ENFORCER 1951 (OLIVE)

Another excellent film noir from Olive.

Humphrey Bogart stars as a District Attorney named Martin Ferguson who has been working for four years to prosecute the head of Murder, Inc. and he has now lost his key witness to an unknown gunman.

Ferguson and a police detective try and find an elusive clue that still might get the mob head convicted. This is a very tight, well made thriller that is told mostly in flashback. Bogart is excellent as usual and his supporting cast includes some of the greats of the film business like Ted de Corcia, Zero Mostel, Everette Sloane, King Donovan, Michael Tolan, Bob Steele and Tito Vuolo.

Olive has a great track record of turning out these film noir gems without much fanfare. This Blu-ray release has the film looking better than I have ever seen it before and if you are a Film Noir fan, Bogart fan, or movie lover in general I cannot recommend this enough.

I cannot wait to see what Olive releases in 2014.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO......

Martin Milner is 82 and Nichelle Nichols is 81.

WILD WORLD OF BATWOMAN 1966 (VCI)

Where to begin?

Jerry Warren was a one of a kind director...he simply stated that he never attempted to make a good film, and he may be right...that is a point of debate amongst some fans.

This film stars Katherine Victor as "Batwoman" who has a bevy of sexy "Batgirls" that fight crime and dance a lot. In this fim they are trying to stop a silly scientist named Dr. Neon, who has invented an atom bomb made out of a hearing aid. There is also a masked man named "Rat Fink" who wants the device as well.

Steve Brodie is also in this film as well as all the Warren regulars as Bruno VeSota, Lloyd Nelson, and Steve Conte. I enjoy this film for it's utter madness and insanity. There is really no acting per se, but one simply cannot turn away from this mess of a film. I am thankful that VCI has turned out this movie on a set entitled "The Jerry Warren Collection Vol. 1".

I recommend this film only to hardcore fans of the bizarre.

Friday, December 27, 2013

DEVIL'S 8 (1969) (SHOUT FACTORY)

Very interesting action film.

Christopher George stars as a Government agent named Ray Faulkner who recruits eight convicts to help take down a vicious moonshine operation. The convicts he rounds up are a mixed lot of crazed fighters, losers and bookworms.

The moonshine operations is run by a man named Burl, played by Ralph Meeker. There is plenty of violence and gunfights in this film, and once it gets going it never lets up.

The cast includes Fabian, Cliff Osmond, Tom Nardini, Leslie Parrish, Larry Bishop and Baynes Barron. I did notice that Lynda Day George has a brief role at the beginning of the film as a girlfriend of Government Faulkner. they were married in real life.

I cannot see how you'd not like this film. It has sexy women, action, violence and some pretty cool car chase scenes. Shout turned out a very good print of this film on their "Cult Classics Vol. 1" set of four movies on two discs.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO.....

Bill Goldberg is 47, Barbara Crampton is 55, Nick Dimitri is 81, Melissa Moore is 50, and El Zappato is 51.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

INVASION OF THE BEE GIRLS 1973 (SHOUT FACTORY)

One of my faves from the 70's.

It seems that men in the small town of Peckham, Ca. are dying from sexual exhaustion, and the Government sends in an investigator who finds the problem stems from a research facility outside of town.

Queen bees have mutated into women who are turning the other women in town into monsters like themselves and they are trying to mate and continue their race. William Smith is the investigator and the absolutely gorgeous Anitra Ford is the leader of the mutant females. What man could ever resist her is beyond me.

Lovely Victoria Vetri is on hand as a scientist who helps Smith in the investigation. Cliff Osmond is the perplexed sheriff. This is a fun movie from start to finish. The women are beautiful, the plot moves along at a very brisk pace and you never get tired of all the plot twists.

Shout Factory has turned out a beautiful print of this film as part of their Cult Movie collection which has three other movies on a two disc set. Highly recommended!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO......

Kathleen Crowley is 82, and Maria De Aragon is 71,

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

TOP 50 DVD RELEASES FOR 2013 PART 4

I am a few days behind in getting this up, but now I continue with the countdown....

20. HOUSE ON STRAW HILL (SEVERIN) A wonderful film full of bizarre imagery and starring the gorgeous Linda Hayden. Excellent Blu-ray release.

19. I MARRIED A MONSTER FROM OUTER SPACE (WARNER ARCHIVE) One of the best of the 50's horror films about aliens taking over mens bodies and marrying earth women to continue their race. Finally back on DVD.

18. INCREDIBLE MELTING MAN (SHOUT FACTORY) Sci-fi film about astronaut who comes back to earth after being infected with radiation and he starts to melt. Gross and fun horror that had a great Blu-ray release from Shout.

17. DEADLY BLESSING (OLIVE) Ernest Borgnine stars in this cult classic three women who are terrorized by a group of religious fanatics and a strange demon. Also starring the gorgeous Maren Jensen.

16. MOVIES 4 YOU: SCI FI CLASSICS: (SHOUT/TIMELESS) This excellent four movie set contains Man From Planet X, Angry red planet, Time Travelers and Beyond the Time Barrier. Simply a must for collectors.

15. A BOY AND HIS DOG (SHOUT) on Johnson stars in this cult film about a man and his telepathic dog seeking to survive in a world destroyed by nuclear war. Big thanks to Shout for releasing this on Blu-ray.

14. HANDS OF THE RIPPER (SYNAPSE) A young woman whose father was Jack the Ripper finds she has the same killing tendencies he had. A great hammer horror finally available in Blu-ray and DVD.

13. FROZEN DEAD (WARNER ARCHIVE) Dana Andrews as a Nazi scientist attempting to resurrect dead nazi soldiers. This is a favorite of mine that finally came back to disc thanks to Warner. Great film that I cannot recommend enough.

12. PROJECTED MAN (SINISTER CINEMA) Bryant Halliday as a scientist whose experiments in matter transmission go horribly wrong and he winds up as a mutated electrical monster.

11. MOVIES 4 YOU: TIMELESS HORROR (TIMELESS/SHOUT) This four movie set contains Face Of Marble, I Bury The Living, Snake Woman and Four Skulls Of Jonathan Drake. One of the best compilations out there.

This coming Sunday I will present my Top 10 releases for the Year.

SANTA CLAUS CONQUERS THE MARTIANS 1964 ( MILL CREEK)

What can I say.. I love this film.

I know most of you probably reading this think I am crazy, but ever since I first saw this film I have liked it, even at my age today. I take it for what it is, a young children's film. Things have changed a lot from 1964 to the present and today's "children's" movies do absolutely nothing for me, but this one will always be my personal favorite.

The plot is simple. Martians kidnap Santa in order to make the children of Mars happy. When he arrives on Mars there are a couple of mean Martians who hate to see people having fun and they decide to do away with Santa altogether.

The movie has a theme song called Hooray For Santy Claus which I always sing at work this time of year. I like this movie and review it here every year. I am not going to change anyone's mind who hates this film, but I cannot recommend it enough.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO......

Richard Miller is 85, and Barbara Mandrell is 65.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

SANTA CLAUS 1959 (BRENTWOOD)

Ho Ho Ho

Every year around this time I have two movies I always watch and then review here, and this is one of them.

This oddity from South Of The Border was directed by Rene Cardona and is a very different take on the Santa Claus story. It seems that Santa has children from all over the world working for him and that he lives in a mansion on a cloud.

The devil does not want Christmas to happen so he sends one of his minions named Pitch to destroy Santa and ruin Christmas. Pitch enlists three children to help him and they plot to injure Santa! Meanwhile a little girl named Lupita only wants a doll for Christmas and a little rich boy wants the love of his parents. Santa enlists the aid of Merlin the Magician in fighting Pitch.

This is all very strange and bizarre, but it is aimed at children no matter what we think in this modern age of crap. It's not a bad film as long as you take it in context of pure imagination....but what imagination it is. K. Gordon Murray brought this gem to America and even narrates it at the beginning of the film.

I cannot recommend this enough and hope you will at least give it a watch.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO......

Edwige Fenech is 65, and Donna Martell is 86.

Monday, December 23, 2013

ALEXANDER THE GREAT 1968 (MILL CREEK)

Very well done TV movie from the late 60's.

William Shatner is Alexander and his performance isn't as bad as most of the reviews have said. I think the people that write some of the reviews I have seen are more MST3K people who live only to tear everything apart.

John Cassavetes is Karonos who plots to kill Alexander and take over his empire along with Attalos, played by Simon Oakland. This is a brisk hour long film that does move along. it was a pilot that was never picked up.

The rest of the cast includes Joseph Cotton, Adam West, Cliff Osmond and Ziva Rodann. Not a bad film by any means. I suggest you check it out for a good way to kill an hour.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO.......

Joan Severance is 55, an Charles Herbert is 65.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

SHOOT OUT AT BIG SAG 1962 (MILL CREEK)

Obscure Western that seems like a TV pilot that was never picked up, but distributed to theaters instead.

Walter Brennan stars as 'Preacher' Hawker, a man with cowards for sons and a coward himself who must come to grips with himself after his hard edged wife hires killers to clear homesteaders off of their land.

The plot makes it sound like there is a lot of action, but alas, there isn't much. I suspect this wasn't picked up because there is no action and that is deadly to a western show. The cast is excellent and it includes Luana Patton (looking very sexy), Chris Robinson, Leif Erickson, Virginia Gregg (the hard edged wife in an excellent portrayal), Les Tremayne and Constance Ford.

It's ok for one viewing, but I think western fans on a whole will be disappointed. Worth checking out for rarity more than anything else.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

I MARRIED A MONSTER FROM OUTER SPACE 1958 (WARNER ARCHIVE)

Very interesting 50's sci-fi allegory.

The allegory of lost interest, no communication and sadness are highlighted in this sometimes forgotten sci-fi film which was stuck with a title that turns a lot of people off.

Gloria Talbot stars as a woman whose new husband is actually an alien from another world trying to mate with earth women and continue their race. The problem is he has never experienced love, or anything else for that matter so he and his new bride drift slowly apart.

Other men in the town are also taken over and seem seem to like it while others hate it. Tom Tryon is very good in the role of Bill Farrell, the alien who wants so badly to learn what love is.

The aliens themselves are very cool looking monsters and when the humans discover what is happening and finally believe Marge Farrell when she tells them, they set out to eliminate them. The aliens die a very gruesome death as they dissolve into piles of putrid slime.

Gene Fowler, Jr. does a very good job at bringing the characters to life and pacing the story out. It is a shame it got stuck with such a weird title, as it is really a good look at the above described problems and is even more timely today than in 1958.

Warner Archive should be commended for finally making this available after the original Paramount disc went out of print and people were asking a fortune for it on certain websites. The picture is crisp and clear an the photography is perfect. I love 50's horror and sci-fi so highly recommend this gem to you.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO......

Ed Nelson is 85.

Friday, December 20, 2013

DESERT COMMANDOS 1967 (MILL CREEK)

Not too bad of a war story.

Ken Clark and Horst Frank headline the cast of this Umberto Lenzi film about German commandos dropped behind enemy lines in the Sahara Desert and who must get to Casablanca for an assassination attempt.

The interesting thing about this movie is that it is from the perspective of the German army. This assassination of Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt will let them win the war, an this movie actually makes you root for the unlikely heroes.

The trials and tribulations of the men crossing the desert are well handled. They must fight against the elements such as sand storms, scorpions and much more. they also must watch out for enemy troops which they find plenty of.

The ending is a shocker that really hits home and it's a good pay off. The acting is good and you may remember Clark from "Attack Of The Giant Leeches" in 1959. Good actioner and well worth the time in seeking out.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO......

Pamela Austin is 72, Angel Tompkins is 70, Jacqueline Pearce is 70, Nicole Maurey is 88, and John "Bud" Cardos is 84.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

SEX KITTENS GO TO COLLEGE 1960 (WARNER ARCHIVE)

Finally somebody released this UNCUT classic on DVD!

A truly remarkable film on just about every level. This is one of the very few pure exploitation films I have ever seen.

A college campus robot named Thinko picks Dr. Mathilda West to be their new Science Department Head and she turns out to be a very sultry blonde played by the incredibly sexy Mamie Van Doren. Her sex appeal causes nothing but trouble at the college.

I first saw this film on a local TV station back in the 70's and then when VHS was big in the 1980's I traded for a copy of this film and it came from the Z Channel in Los Angeles and I saw the complete uncut version with nudity included. Now, Warner Archive has finally released this UNCUT version on DVD and it looks magnificent.

This film also has a once in a lifetime cast. Besides Van Doren you have Tuesday Weld, Mijanou Bardot, Mickey Shaughnessy, Louis Nye, Conway Twitty, Pamela Mason, Jackie Coogan, John Carradine, Vampira, Woo Woo Grabowski, Abraham Q. Voltaire, plus this movie was produced by Albert Zugsmith as well as directed by him.

Do yourself a favor and get this film, you will never regret it or forget it. Damn, Mamie always turns me on. back in her day there was nobody sexier. Recommended!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO......

Alyssa Milano is 41, Kristy Swanson is 44, Nancy Kyes is 64, and Marlene Clark is 64.