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Friday, October 30, 2015

THE ONE AND ONLY 1978 (OLIVE) BLU-RAY

This obscure little gem comes to Blu-ray courtesy of Olive.

Henry Winkler stars as Andy Schmidt, a young man with a passion for performing like nobody else. He craves for adulation from people and while in college he also falls for a young woman played by Kim Darby.

They eventually marry, much to the dismay of her parents. They move to New York and Andy cannot get an acting job because of his over acting, so one day he runs into a midget named Milton Miller (Herve Villechaize) who introduces Andy to the world of Pro Wrestling.

Andy finds the fame he adores in the squared circle and after many characters, he eventually becomes "The Lover" and a big star that he always wanted.

I LOVE THIS MOVIE!!! Winkler gives a great performance and so does Darby. Their relationship is tumultuous but finally settles down. This is a typical boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl story. It's told with a very comedic passion rarely seen in movies.

The Andy character is much like me in my younger days. I always wanted to perform so I went into making movies, acting in them and that's how the character of "El Zappato" was born. I loved the wrestling business and fully understand Winkler's motives for doing what he does in the film.

Carl Reiner handles the directing job with his usual skill and care and this movie really hits home for me. The rest of the cast includes Gene Saks, Harold Gould, Polly Holliday and Ed Begley, Jr.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Henry Winkler is 70.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

DR. TERRORS HOUSE OF HORRORS 1965 (OLIVE) BLU-RAY

One of my all time favorite films FINALLY comes to Blu-ray.

Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee head a great cast in this fine Amicus anthology thriller. Paramount released this in the US and it has taken forever to reach the digital entertainment age. Thanks to Olive, it has finally happened.

The film consists of five tale told to passengers in a small rail car by Dr. Schreck (Cushing)using Tarot cards. The first tale consists of an architect who returns to the home he sold and soon finds a werewolf seeking revenge.

The second story is about a young couple coming back from vacation only to find a mysterious creeping vine is taking over their home, and if not controlled it may take over the world.

The third tale involves a musician who steals a tune from a voodoo god and must pay the price.

The fourth stars Lee as an art critic who kills a man and then is haunted by his disembodied hand. This episode has some genuinely creepy moments.

The fifth and final segment stars Donald Sutherland as a young doctor in a small town who marries a woman that turns out to be a vampire, but that is not the final twist in this great little tale.

The Blu-ray looks very good and the film is in it's proper aspect ratio. For years I have had a bootleg of this from KWGN TV in Denver that I recorded years ago so I thank God that Olive has finally decided to releas this film that should please any horror fan.

The rest of the cast includes Roy Castle, Jennifer Jayne, Max Adrian, Michael Gough, Bernard Lee and Kenny Lynch.

This is easily one of the top releases of 2015. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Gabrielle Union is 43, and Kate Jackson is 67.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

HALLOWEEN 1978 (ANCHOR BAY)

This classic film really needs no review or introduction.

John Carpenter directed this film which is one of the most successful independent films ever made. It is the film that started the entire "slasher" genre and it is as groundbreaking as "Night of The living Dead".

It is mandatory viewing for any horror fan at any time, but this time of season makes it even better. Jamie lee Curtis made her screen debut in this film, and it started her career.

Highly Recommended to anyone. Tomorrow I will be back with a much longer review of a new film to the Blu-ray market, as well as one of my faves.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO.....

Christy Hemme is 35.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

HALLOWEEN TREATS

Looked at some of my favorite films the other day getting ready for the BIG day.

EQUINOX 1970 (CRITERION)...This has been reviewed here before as well. A group of four young people gets mixed up with a book on satanism, giant demons and Satan himself. The special effects are by David Allen, Dennis Muren and Jim Danforth.

This is one of my Ten favorite films of all time and I was first introduced to it on CREATURE FEATURES hosted by Bob Wilkins on KTVU. Good Halloween fun here.

The second film I watched was TRILOGY OF TERROR 1973 (ANCHOR BAY)...Karen Black stars in three terror tales, the last one called "Amelia" deals with a living Zuni Fetish doll and is still perhaps the most terrifying thing ever seen on TV, except for maybe Hillary Clinton.

Political jokes aside, this is a top notch made for TV thriller that should always be viewed this time of year.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO.....

Jayne Kennedy is 64.

Monday, October 26, 2015

PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES 1966 (ANCHOR BAY)

An excellent Hammer film that to me is vastly underrated.

Andre Morell stars in this tale about young people dying of a mysterious plague in a small Cornish village. Morell is Sir James Forbes and he is called to this small town by a former student of his who is now a doctor.

Forbes arrives in the town with his lovely daughter Sylvia (Diane Clare) in tow. They both soon discover that the little village is run by a squire named Clive Hamilton who rules with an iron fist. John Carson gives a top notch performance as Hamilton.

It is discovered that Hamilton is practicing voodoo rites and bringing the dead back ti life to work in an old tin mine outside of town. The zombies are pretty cool looking, and the best scene in the film is the nightmare sequence with the dead coming out of the ground.

This is a great film for the Halloween season and one that shouldn't be missed by any fan of horror or Hammer. The rest of the cast includes Jacqueline Pearce and Michael Ripper.Recommended!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Jaclyn Smith is 70.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

RIP MAUREEN O' HARA 1920-2015

The lovely actress who starred with John Wayne in such films as "THE QUIET MAN" and "RIO GRANDE" has passed away.

She was a tough and fiery female who impressed Wayne very much in all five of the films they made together. She had a long and wonderful career and was a highlight in every film she appeared in.

In 1939 she was Esmeralda in "THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME" opposite Charles Laughton. Two other films I really remember her from are "WAR ARROW" from 1953 and "COMANCHE TERRITORY" from 1952.

She was born in Dublin, Ireland and she passed away on Oct. 24th at her home in Boise, Idaho from natural causes. One of the last of the great actresses of the golden age, she will certainly be missed, but she leaves behind a wonderful legacy of films we can all enjoy.

She was 95.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

MORE HALLOWEEN FAVES.....

Very early this morning I watched two films that are very much in the Halloween spirit, but very far apart in subject matter.

NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD 1968 (DIMENSION FILMS)I don't have to say anything about this George Romero film except it is the greatest horror film ever made.

WEREWOLF'S SHADOW 1971 (ANCHOR BAY) Paul Naschy stars in this excellent Spanish/German co-production about a werewolf who has a showdown with a very evil vampire woman. Gorgeous Gaby Fuchs stars as the main love interest and Paty Sheppard is the vampire Wandessa. This is a great entry in the Naschy/Waldemar Daninski werewolf series.

Watching these back to back is a real treat during this time of year. Both are recommended!!

Friday, October 23, 2015

LUST TO KILL 1958 (ALPHA)

Interesting western from the man who went on to make "MUMMY AND CURSE OF THE JACKAL".

Don Megowan stars as Cheney Holland. Holland is arrested after he stops fleeing with a group of men who robbed a bank after his brother is shot.

When the brother dies, Holland decides to get even by escaping from prison and seeking the members of the gang who left he and his brother behind.

Jim Davis is the somewhat understanding Sheriff and Allison Hayes is Hollands' girlfriend Sherry. Hayes looks good in every scene she is in and that is always a plus.

Gerald Milton is Isaac Stancil, the man Holland wants to kill. I have seen Milton in a few films and always remember him from "UNKNOWN TERROR" more than anything else. I would recommend this little western for fans. The print quality isn't perfect, but who cares, at least you can watch this little gem.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Sam Raimi is 56, and Weird Al Yankovic is 56.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

SOME HALLOWEEN FAVES......

Looked at a couple of films I have reviewed here previously, and they won't be reviewed again.

THE NORLISS TAPES 1973...This is an excellent example of classic film making for the small screen. I cannot recommend this film enough and it never gets boring or slow. Great viewing for the Halloween season.

THE CAR 1977.. James Brolin stars in this film about a demonic car that is intent on killing as many people as possible. I love this much maligned film. Again, this is a fun one for Halloween viewing. Check them both out if you can.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO.....

Jeff Goldblum is 63, Catherine Deneuve is 72, and Suzanne Snyder is 53.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

HUNCHBACK OF THE MORGUE 1973 (SINISTER CINEMA)

A great Paul Naschy horror film.

Naschy is Gotho, a hunchback whom nobody likes. Children throw rock at him and even medical students assault him! His only friend is a sickly young woman who is dying. Gotho brings her flowers every day and when she dies he refuses to accept it and steals her body from the morgue after bloodily dispatching the two doctors.

He seeks the help of a mad doctor who promises to bring the dead girl back to life. The doctor is busy creating a new living beaing he keeps in a jar in the lab until it starts growing an needing more humans to eat. Gotho brings him the bodies he needs in hopes the doctor will bring his love back to life.

Things get out of hand an the doctor is killed by his bizarre creation. This creation is an odd looking blob-like manthing that roars an does nothing but kill.

Rosanna Yanni is a lovely doctor that almost falls victim to the monster. I found this a very likable film an I think too many people cry and bellyache about the scene where live rats are set on fire. My thought is who the hell cares? They are only rats for gods sake and people need to get over it.

The print from Sinister is very good, and I believe this also make for good Halloween viewing.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO.....

Jack Taylor is 79.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

KISS OF THE TARANTULA 1976 (VCI)

In May of 1976 this regional horror thriller made it's way across the country.

I didn't happen to ever see this until it was broadcast on KCPX from Salt Lake City on Nightmare Theater, and I have loved it ever since.

A beautiful young woman uses tarantulas to get revenge on her classmates that have been a thorn in her side for way too long. Gorgeous Suzanna Ling makes her only film appearance as Susan, the young woman with a love for eight legged creatures.

After a group of punks break into her home, which is also a mortuary (that is her fathers job) and kill her favorite spider, she exacts a terrible revenge at a drive in theater showing "Dirty Harry".

More deaths follow and her father's brother who is a detective running for higher office becomes suspicious. He discovers that Susan is behind the killing, but protects her because he wants to marry her. He even kills a witness to protect her. Susan in turn, wants nothing to do with him and when he makes a very rough advance, she takes care of him in a most bizarre and interesting way.

I stated already that I like this film a lot. It has a very 70's feel to it and it brings back fond memories of late night TV viewing. It is perfect for the Halloween season. It is too bad that Suzanna Ling never made any other films, as she does a very good job here. Filmed in Columbus, Georgia. Recommended!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Scott Hall is 57 and Diana Lorys is 75. Also on this day back in 1882 Bela Lugosi was born.

Monday, October 19, 2015

GIANT OF MARATHON 1959 (MILL CREEK)

Steve Reeves stars in this sword and sandal epic from Jacques Tourneur.

A lot of people mistake this for the usual sword and sandal film which includes many bizarre monsters and such. This is straight forward drama set in 490 B.C. in which Phillipides (Reeves) loins the Sacred Guard in Athens to protect the people.

Alberto Lupo co-stars as Milziade, the good friend of Phillipides who helps him when it is time to go to battle. There are a lot of sweeping battle scenes that are done with style and class as only Tourneur could do them.

There are some shocking moments such as the infamous arrow in the eye underwater scene! This will definitely stand out in your mind after seeing it.

The print from Mill Creek is a little soft, but it shouldn't take away from your enjoyment of the film. If you're looking for monsters forget it, but if you like straight forward war drama set in ancient times, this might be your cup of tea.

Mario Bava is one of the uncredited directors of this film and he also handled the special effects.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

RIP PAT WOODELL 1944-2015

The actress best known for her role as "Bobbi Jo" in the long running comedy "PETTICOAT JUNCTION" died on Sept. 29th after a long battle with cancer.

Woodell was always a favorite actress of mine and I loved "PETTICOAT JUNCTION". My love for her was started when I saw her most famous film "THE BIG DOLL HOUSE" in which she co-starred with Pam Grier.

She appeared in other films such as "THE WOMAN HUNT", "THE TWILIGHT PEOPLE" and "CLASS OF 1984". Always a class act, she gave up her acting career to start a business consulting firm. her talents are missed and will she be.

She was 71.

FRANKENSTEIN MUST BE DESTROYED 1969 (WARNER) BLU-RAY

The fifth installment of Hammer's Frankenstein series is the most brutal and bizarre.

Peter Cushing returns as Baron Frankenstein, and this time he wants to save the life of a man whom the doctors in a mental hospital say is suffering from incurable insanity.

Frankenstein blackmails a young couple into helping him kidnap the patient from the hospital so he can cure him. Simon Ward and Veronica Carlson are the young couple whose lives are changed forever by the evil Frankenstein.

There are some great scenes in this film including a scene where a busted water pipe threaten to expose a buried body in the garden. Carlson really convinces as she panics and has to take matters into her own hands before the authorities arrive.

Thorley Walters is Inspector Frisch and Geoffrey Bayldon is the police doctor working with the Inspector on the case of missing bodies and murder. The opening scene is one that you will never forget.

This is superb film making and Terence Fisher handles everything perfectly. It is about time this film finally made it to Blu-ray, and it looks perfect. Carlson never looked lovelier than in this film. Recommended viewing for Halloween.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO.....

Dawn Wells is 77.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

MOSQUITO 1995 (SYNAPSE) BLU-RAY

One of my all time favorites has finally come to DVD from Synapse.This was released on the same day as MANOS THE HANDS OF FATE and it seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle.

After an alien ship dumps space trash in a swamp mosquitoes feed on the blood of a dead alien body and soon are mutating to the size of large birds.

The first time we are introduced to the monsters in when a car carrying Ray and Megan. She is a new employee at a national park and both are on their way to her new job when they smash into a monster sized mosquito that damages their car.

Soon there are many people being killed by large swarms of these monsters. A USAF Meteor chaser played by Steve Dixon is hunting for the saucer, or whatever it dropped and stumbles into Ray and Megan. they find a campground that has been devastated by the mosquitoes.

Soon these three as well as a bank robber, his son and a park ranger find themselves fighting for survival. The mosquitoes themselves are pretty damn convincing for a low budget horror film. The entire movie was shot in the Detroit area and director Gary Jones handles everything very well.

It's nice to see films like this get a decent Blu-ray release. I hope more people are able to discover this little gem now that Synapse has issued it. The rest of the cast includes Gunnar Hanson, Ron Asheton, Rachel Loiselle, Tim Lovelace and Mike Hard.

Asheton steals the show with his great performance. It's a shame he passed away at the age of 60 from a heart attack. Asheton was a founding member of the punk band, The Stooges. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED sci-fi fun.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO.....

Julie Adams is 89, and Joan Prather is 65.

Friday, October 16, 2015

CURSE OF THE UNDEAD 1959

Sad to say this isn't available on any medium except for the old VHS from Universal.

hands down, this is one of my three all time favorite Universal horror films. I first saw this as a child on KTVU TV from San Francisco on Creature Features hosted by Bob Wilkins.

Michael Pate stars as Drake Robey, a gunslinger who comes to a small western town and his hired by a beautiful young woman to kill a man she believes is responsible for her father's death. The town is also being plagued by mysterious deaths due to victims being drained of blood.

A preacher played by the great Eric Fleming suspects Robey of being the killer. It turns out that Robey is a vampire. He is this way because he killed his brother and then overcome with grief, he killed himself and damned his soul. When Robey is in a gunfight he always wins as the bullets cannot kill him.

Preacher Dan decides he has to end Robey's reign of terror and comes up with a very cleaver idea to kill the vampire. This is a great mixture of genres and it works very well. I also like the fact that Robey can be out in daylight as well. Pate does an excellent job in one of his very few starring roles.

The rest of the cast includes John Hoyt, Kathleen Crowley, Bruce Gordon, Edward Binns, and Jimmy Murphey. Why in the hell the "brains" at Universal haven't released this to disc is beyond me. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Angela Lansbury is 90, Suzanne Somers is 69, and Erin Brown is 36.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

RIP JOAN LESLIE 1925-2015

One of the most glamorous actresses of the 40's and 50's has passed away.

Joan Leslie is most remembered for her roles in such films as BORN TO BE BAD, RHAPSODY IN BLUE, YANKEE DOODLE DANDY and WOMAN THEY ALMOST LYNCHED.

She was a true talent that really never could escape her good girl image from the 40's. She took the name Joan Leslie for her film appearance in HIGH SIERRA and used it in every film she made after that.

The film I remember her most for is MAN IN THE SADDLE with Randolph Scott. She will be missed. She died on Oct. 12th at the age of 90.

COMING ATTRACTIONS.....

A couple of interesting things and one I am not so sure of.

Kino has announced it will be releasing JOURNEY TO THE 7TH PLANET on Blu-ray which to me anyway is pretty damn cool. I don't have a street date for that.

Other news from Kino is that on Jan. 5th, 2016 they will be releasing YONGARY: MONSTER FROM THE DEEP. Now this is a film I absolutely have to have. Finally, a film that has had a very limited DVD release come to Blu-ray. God, I love this film!!

Finally from Kino comes a release I just kind of scratch my head about. On Jan. 5th they will also release PHANTOM FROM 10,000 LEAGUES on Blu-ray as well. Now, don't get me wrong, I like any low budget film, but this has been around on every label and I don't know why Kino chose this and not some other title. It costs a lot of money to put a film on Blu-ray.

Oh well, I hope it does well for them. And speaking of movies that need a DVD and Blu-ray release, why the hell doesn't Universal put out CURSE OF THE UNDEAD!!!!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO.....

Tanya Roberts is 60, Virginia Leith is 83, and Lynn Lowery is 68.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

THE SECRET INVASION 1964 (MGM)

It has been a while since I saw this Roger Corman film.

Stewart Granger is Major Richard Base, a man who leads a misfit group of men to rescue an Italian General from the Nazi's during WW2.

The group consists of 5 men who have been convicted of various crimes and have skills the military needs to get the job done.

There are plenty of good action sequences in this well crafted action film. The performances are top notch, especially from Henry Silva as an assassin named John Durrell. Durrell is quiet, but knows what he has to do. He also finds a soft spot in his heart for a young female refugee and her infant son which dies while they are hiding from the Nazi's on patrol. This scene is somewhat disturbing and will surprise first time viewers.

The group eventually rescue the General and then find out he isn't who they thought he was. The rest of the cast includes Raf Vallone, William Campbell, Edd Byrnes, Peter Coe and Mickey Rooney. This has just come out on Blu-ray as well, so if you get a chance check it out. Recommended!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Roger Moore is 88, Stacy Keibler is 36, and Dyanne Thorne is 72.