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Tuesday, October 11, 2016


Three excellent films in my opinion for Halloween viewing.

First off is X THE UNKNOWN from Hammer films in 1956. Dean Jagger stars as Prof. Royston, a man who is plunged into a nightmare when a very dangerous radioactive pile of sludge comes from the bowels of the earth to eat anything radioactive in it's path.

The film moves along briskly and has a few shocking scenes of people melting from the monsters intense heat and radioactivity. Jagger plays the role well and you almost get the feeling that you're watching a Quatermass film.

Leslie Norman handles the directing chores well and I always enjoy this movie. Hopefully it can be released on Blu-ray someday.

The next film is CHAMBER OF HORRORS from 1966 and features Patrick O' Neal as a crazed killer known as the "Baltimore Slasher" aka Jason Cravatte. After he is arrested for murder he cuts off his own hand to escape the handcuffs and then pays a man a lot of money to give him various devices such as a hook, meat cleaver and a sword to attach to his fake arm.

The police invite two men who own a museum and dabble in crime solving to help them on this case. the men are Anthony Draco (Cesare Danova) and Harold Blount (Wilfred Hyde Wight). This was originally a made for TV movie, but NBC thought is was "too intense" so it got a theatrical release instead.

It's a great little murder mystery and you can tell it has TV touches to it, but don't let that distract you. The acting is very good and O' Neal is having the time of his life with this role. Cravatte enlists the aid of a beautiful young woman named Marie Champlain to help him get revenge on those who had him arrested.

Marie is played by Laura Devon and she is very easy on the eyes as well. This film is also famous for the "horror horn" and "fear flasher" which go off at four key points in the film. Although nothing gory is ever shown, it makes for an interesting ballyhoo item.

The rest of the cast includes Wayne Rogers, Marie Windsor, Suzy Parker, Jeanette Nolan and an unbilled Tony Curtis as a card sharp. Good fun for Halloween or anytime.

The third and final film here is BROTHERHOOD OF SATAN from 1971. Strother martin stars as a small town doctor who is also a Satan worshiper and he and his followers have trapped an entire town in order to get the children into the cult so they can take over their bodies and have new life.

Charles Bateman is Ben and it is he and his family that travel to the town and become trapped. His wife Nicky is played by the gorgeous Ahna Capri and their daughter K.T. is played by Geri Reischi. There are some very effective scenes of toys such as dolls and tanks that kills the parents. The most effective is the doll. Once seen that is not easily forgotten.

L.Q. Jones is the sheriff and Alvy Moore is his deputy. Both are well played. It's interesting to note that both men also produced this little gem.

Martin is always a joy to watch and this role is no different. His comes across as a kindly doctor, but when he is evil, he is pure evil. This film really scared the crap out of me as a kid and it has worn off a little over the years, but it still manages a shudder or two, or three.

This is perfect viewing for Halloween with the lights off and doors locked. Enjoy.

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