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Friday, October 31, 2014

HALLOWEEN FRIGHTS....DAY 27...HALLOWEEN DAY......BRAIN FROM PLANET AROUS 1957 (IMAGE)

I do love this little movie.

John Agar stars as a scientist named Steve March who, along with his friend Dan goes to a mysterious mountain in the desert to check on some strange high level radiation.

March is the only one to return and he begins acting very odd. As it turns out his body has been inhabited by an evil brain named Gor from the planet Arous who wants to take over the entire universe. This causes trouble for his fiancee Sally, played by Joyce Meadows. She loves him and all, but Steve seems to have become a very cruel person who wants nothing but power, and Sally of course.

After blowing up several airplanes and killing more people a good brain named Vol comes to earth and takes over the body of Sally's dog George in order to spy and eventually capture Gor.

As you can tell, this is a ridiculous premise, but I still think this is an excellent example of the "anything goes" 50's sci-fi films. It's fun an entertaining and never takes itself too seriously. Suspend your disbelief and enjoy some good old fashioned fun.

The rest of the cast includes Robert Fuller as Dan, Thomas B. Henry, Dale Tate and Ken Terrill.

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.

HALLOWEEN FRIGHTS DAY 20.....MUMMY'S HAND 1940 (UNIVERSAL)

The first of four films not related to the original with Boris Karloff.

ick Foran and Wallace Ford are two archaeologists who, with the help of an out of work magician and his lovely daughter find the tomb of a long dead prince named Kharis.

Unbeknownst to them the mummy is still alive as they soon find out. An evil high priest, played by George Zucco controls Kharis with a formula made out of Tana Leaves. The mummy sets out to kill everyone who entered the tomb.

I really like these old Universal thrillers as they are what I grew up on. They are perfect for Halloween night viewing, or any rainy or snowy Saturday.The rest of the cast for this top notch effort include Peggy Moran, Cecil Kellaway and Tom Tyler as Kharis. The role would be taken over by Lon Chaney, Jr. in the subsequent films.

Of course I cannot recommend this and it's sequels enough.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

HALLOWEEN FRIGHTS DAY 19....SHE WOLF OF LONDON 1946 (UNIVERSAL)

A rather obscure film I have talked about before on here.

June Lockhart stars as a young woman who fears that she is cursed with turning into a werewolf.

Jean Yarbrough directed this tight little film which runs little over an hour. It can be slow going at times, but it is a fun thriller because it's a Universal film...if that makes any sense.

The rest of the cast includes Dennis Hoey, Don Porter, and Martin Kosleck. Check it out.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Colleen Gray is 92.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

HALLOWEEN FRIGHTS DAY 18....JOURNEY TO THE SEVENTH PLANET 1962 (MGM)

Another one of my favorites....

John Agar leads a crew to the 7th planet, and they find more than they bargained for in this bizarre sci-fi film from Denmark.

The astronauts fin that the planet that is supposed to be frozen actually has the same exact atmosphere as the Earth, and even has women from their past living there!! It is discovered that an evil brain-like monster is creating this artificial world in order to take over the mens minds and eventually the earth.

The evil being makes some of the mens worst nightmares come true as well and we see these in the forms of giant spiders and a weird cyclops monster. This film is from the same people who brought out "Reptilicus" an they use some of the same cast.

I first saw this on a double bill with "The Wolfman" on KWGN TV from Denver many years ago and have been a fan of it ever since. If you haven't seen this, you should.

The rest of the cast includes Carl Ottosen, Greta Thyssen, and Ann Smyrner.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO.....

Catherine Deneuve is 71, and Suzanne Snyder is 52.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

HALLOWEEN FRIGHTS DAY 17...SHARKNADO 2: THE SECOND ONE 2014 (ASYLUM)

You knew it would happen.

This is the sequel to the immensely popular first film. This time there is a Sharknado coming to New York andd oyr hero and his ex wife must fight to stop the Big Apple from being wiped out.

Ian Ziering and Tara Reid again star as Fin and April and there are so many cameos I cannot possibly name them all. This is another fun romp that you have to suspend all disbelief to watch. It also has one of the best openings I have ever seen in a film.

The story is basically the same as the first film, but only on the opposite coast. If you liked the first one you'll enjoy this as well. I know part 3 has been announced, but I have no details as of yet.

Some of the other cast members include Vivica A. Fox, Mark McGrath, Kari Wuhrer, Judd Hirsch and Kurt Angle. SEE IT.

Monday, October 20, 2014

HALLOWEEN FRIGHTS DAY 16...WEREWOLF OF LONDON 1935 (UNIVERSAL)

A great and underrated film.

Henry Hull stars as a quiet and very laid back scientist who, while searching for a very rare flower in the Himalayan mountains is attacked and bitten by a strange creature.

The creature turns out to be a werewolf and this causes our hero some trouble upon his return to England. It also seems like the rare flower he was looking for in Tibet can also provide a temporary cure for the lycanthropy he has inherited.

Another scientist, Dr. Yogami also is seeking the plant and it turns out he was the original creature that attacked Hull in Tibet. Valerie Hobson is the very young wife of Hull and she damn near becomes his last victim.

This film, as I stated above is a very underrated film because the 1941 "Wolfman" film has far overshadowed it, but it is a great little horror film that should be seen by anyone who hasn't seen it. Hull does a good job of portraying the suffering ddoctor who really wants nothing but to serve mankind.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO.....

Scott Hall is 56.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

HALLOWEEN FRIGHTS DAY 15.....HALLOWEEN 3 1982 (UNIVERSAL)

My personal favorite of all the Halloween films except for the original.

This is a great film, despite what everybody else says. Dan O' Herlihy is a man named Conel Cochran, a man who creates Halloween masks that have an dread secret.

The plan involves masks with a chip from Stonehenge that thru some ancient magic will destroy all of the children that wear them.

It is an ingenious plan that a doctor, played by Tom Atkins tries desperately to stop. Tommy Lee Wallace directed this film, that even though it made money was never really a box office success. I, however enjoyed it.

It was a unique idea, and when it was presented it showed that American movie audiences have a very limited thinking span when it comes to "Halloween" movies. It was different, and didn't involve Michael Myers so people stayed away from it.

This is a greal little film that is something people who like horror and sci-fi should watch.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

HALLOWEEN FRIGHTS DAY 14...FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLFMAN 1943 (UNIVERSAL)

A well made classic from the golden years of horror cinema.

This is a direct sequel to "The Wolfman" and it stars Lon Chaney, Jr. as Larry Talbot who is brought back to life when two grave robbers attempt to steal a ring off of the finger of his corpse.

He then begins a reign of terror in a small town an finally makes his way to the castle of Dr. Frankenstein whom he believes can help him. All he finds is unwelcoming people and the frozen corpse of the monster, played by Bela Lugosi.

Patrick Knowles is a young doctor who agrees to help Chaney find the lost notes of Frankenstein. This is a fun film that I have always liked ever since I was just a very young monster movie fan.

The final clash between the monsters is a good one and not soon forgotten. The rest of the cast for this impressive film includes Lionel Atwill, Ilona Massey, Maria Ouspenskaya, and Dwight Frye.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO.....

Dawn Wells is 76.

Friday, October 17, 2014

HALLOWEEN FRIGHTS DAY 13....MASTER OF HORROR 1965 (SINISTER CINEMA)

Rare horror film that has finally been made available.

This is an ultra rare horror film that has been made available thanks to Greg Luce at Sinister Cinema. It is made up of two stories from Edgar Allen Poe.

As a kid growing up I had seen a few pics of this in Famous Monsters magazine, but had never had the chance to see this film until now.

This film, made in Argentina has two stories which are "Case Of M. Valdemar" and "Cask Of Amontillado". Both of these are true to the Poe tales, and the second one being the best of the two, as it has the most shocking ending. This pre-dated the Roger Corman film "Tales Of Terror" by a few years.

Jack H. Harris picked this up for distribution yet it has fallen thru the cracks. This is a well made horror film that runs only one hour, but it never lets up. Thanks to Sinister for making this available to the public after all of these years. recommended!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO.....

Julie Adams is 88.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

HALLOWEEN FRIGHTS DAY 12...INVISIBLE INVADERS 1959 (MGM)

Another revisit.

For me this time of year is the time to watch certain movies, and this happens to be one of them.

John Agar stars in this film about invisible aliens from space that have conquered the moon and now want to do the same to earth. They are invisible and so the inhabit the bodies of the dead in their plan to conquer the earth.

Phillip Tonge, Robert Hutton and Jean Byron are the other three protagonists who hide in an underground bunker and find ways to fight the invasion of the invisible enemy.

Edward L. Cahn directed this very low budget effort, and man is this a fun film. You have an inspiration for Night Of the Living Dead with all the dead people walking around, and the world wide mayhem is kept to a small isolated group.

han knew how to take a very low budget and make it work well. This is ne of my 10 favorite films of all time in the sci-fi genre and I cannot recommend it enough.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Christopher Mitchum is 71.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

HALLOWEEN FRIGHTS DAY 11...ISLAND OF TERROR 1966 (SINISTER CINEMA)

One of my favorite movies that I watch about this time every year.

Peter Cushing stars in this classic film about bone eating silicate monsters on a small island off the coast of Ireland.

A scientist who was working on a cure for cancer accidentally developed these monsters that are now killing the local people and dividing every few hours. Cushing plays a scientist who tries to stop them as does Edward Judd.

The monsters are a very cool breed and the horrible slurping sound they make when eating bones will always stay with me. Carole Gray is the girlfriend of Judd who accompanies him to the island.

This is a very tense and well done horror film that really packs a punch. The climax is one of the best you'll see. For a good time this Halloween, i cannot recommend this enough. The print from Sinister is top notch as far a picture quality goes, and you do need to know it is missing the scene after Cushing gets his hand chopped off where the blood spurts out of the stump. Why this is missing I have no idea. Other than that, very little to complain about.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Tanya Roberts is 59, Virginia Leith is 82, and Lynn Lowry is 67.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

HALLOWEEN FRIGHTS DAY 10...THE WOLFMAN 1941 (UNIVERSAL)

Time to revisit an old friend.

Lon Chaney,Jr. made a name for himself with this classic from Universal. Here he plays Larry Talbot, who returns to his family home after being away for many years in order to run the estate.

Claude Rains is his father and the lovely Evelyn Ankers is the woman he meets in the small village in which he shops in.

After being bitten by a werewolf as it attacks and kills a young woman he finds himself cursed to also become a wolf, when the full moon is out.

This film was so successful that it spawned one direct sequel, "Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman" and had spawned hundreds of imitations over the last 73 years.

This is THE classic werewolf film, and one not to be missed by any true horror fan. The rest of the cast included Bela Lugosi, Warren William, Ralph Bellamy, Patrick Knowles and Maria Ouspenskaya.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Roger Moore is 87, Stacy Keibler is 35, Udo Kier is 70, and Dyanne Thorne is 71.

Monday, October 13, 2014

HALLOWEEN FRIGHTS DAY 9...NEUTRON VS. THE MANIAC 1964 (SINISTER CINEMA)

Another wild ride with our hero Neutron.

Neutron investigates a series of murders that lead him to a sanitarium where all is not what it appears to be.

Wolf Ruvinskis is back as the masked super hero/wrestler fighting the bad guys. The main killer in this film like to tie people up and then film them getting killed.

Gina Romand makes for a very lovely leading lady and she is actually a highlight of the entire film. This is a somewhat lackluster effort compared to the rest of the series, but it is still fun.

Lots of fight scenes and a bizarre ending that has you saying "HUH??". The print isn't too bad, and again, this is nothing but pure escapist entertainment not meant to be serious. If you're so inclined, check it out.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Ashanti is 34, and Judy Bamber is 78.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

HALLOWEEN FRIGHTS DAY 8......THE MONSTROUS DR. CRIMEN 1955 (SINISTER CINEMA)

Another great find from Sinister Cinema.

This film was the first major sci-fi movie in Mexico and it laid the groundwork for hundreds of others to comes after it.

It takes it's main idea from the Frankenstein legend and twists things around a bit. A mad doctor places an add in a paper for a life companion and a lovely female reporter goes to check out the story. She makes him believe that she really loves him and after a while he removes the mask he has been wearing to reveal his deformed face.

When this happen is it a shock to the viewer and very well done. The woman is repulsed, but tells him another lie as to gain his confidence. In time the doctor finally catches on and sets out to kill her, but in a very odd way.

He sets out to create a very handsome being who will be totally controlled by thoughts from the Doctor. He manages to create a perfect being and sets it out to kill the female reporter. Needless to say, things don't go to well, and the plan almost succeeds.

This is a very rare and wonderful film that really should be seen by more people, especially lovers of Mexican horror cinema. The print from Sinister is very nice and the subtitles are very easy to read. Directed by Chano Urueta, the man who brought us "The Brainiac". A huge thanks to Sinister for making this one available.

The lead actress for the film is Miroslava, a very beautiful woman who committed suicide at the age of 30 back in 1955.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Deborah Foreman is 52, Robin Askwith is 64, Susan Anton is 64, Brigitte Lahaie is 59, Dusty Rhodes is 69, and Stan Hansen in 65.