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Monday, November 20, 2017

SLAVE GIRLS OF SHEBA 1963 (SINISTER CINEMA)

This is one of my favorite sword and sandal action films.

This is a bizarre movie about pirates on a ship called "Black Eagle" that attack the Christian strongholds along the Spanish coastline.

When they decide to stop off in Sheba they pick up some new sailors as well as some slave girls. This causes some problems, but even more lay ahead as the movie turns "swashbuckler".

A young man named Omar (Jose Suarez) whose father has turned traitor and joined an evil Sultan vows not to ever speak to his father again. Upon learning of his death he wants vengeance. A slave girl, Olivia (Linda Cristal) helps him out.

The Sultan has Olivia tortured in the dungeon to get information about Omar and his plans.

This film is not talked about much and it was released here directly to TV by American International Pictures in the 1960's. I owned a print once before from Something Weird. It was Black and White and not too good of quality, but I have kept it for a long time until something better came along, and it has.

The print from Sinister is in color and from 16mm which makes the picture quality much better. I can't really say why I like this film so much, but I always have. I first saw it many years ago on TV and something just struck me about it's oddness. Or maybe it was the stunning beauty of Linda Cristal.

Well whatever it is, I recommend the film for those who like action and both "sword and sandal" and "swashbuckler" films. A note of trivia here, Umberto Lenzi helped write the screenplay along with Sergio Leone.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Bo Derek is 61, Richard Masur is 69, and Mie Hama is 74.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

RIP MEL TILLIS 1932-2017

A country music legend is dead.

Tillis was a country music superstar who had countless hits on the country charts as well as a very successful songwriter. Tillis also appeared in many different movies.

His first role was in the 1967 film "Cottonpickin' Chickenpickers with Sonny Tufts. He went on to appear in such films as "W.W. And The Dixie Dance Kings", "The Villain", "Smokey And The Bandit 2", and "The Cannonball Run".

His music was in over 50 feature films, and he was named Country Music Entertainer Of The Year in 1976. A true talent has left us. He is the father of singer Pam Tillis. He was 85.

CANYON RIVER 1956 (TCM VIEWING)

Finely made George Montgomery western.

I happen to have caught this film on one of my many overnight trips I have to make, and it made for a very good 80 minutes of entertainment.

Montgomery is a rancher who has the idea of cross breeding heifers and long horns for a heartier breed of cattle that can survive the harsh Wyoming winters. He buys a lot of stock in Oregon and then cannot find anyone who wants to help him bring them back to Wyoming.

Montgomery's character of Steve Patrick not only has that problem to worry about, he also has his best friend, Bob Andrews (Peter Graves) being nursed back to health after being shot in an Indian attack. Patrick also is unaware that Andrews has set him up to have all of the cattle stolen so he and Maddox (Walter Sande) can make all the money.

For a small western, this has a ton of plot and many different stories going on at once, which eventually all come together in a great little climax.

The rest of the cast for this little gem includes Marcia Henderson, Richard Eyer, Robert Wilke and Alan Hale, Jr.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Lorna Maitland is 74.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

ZOOMBIES 2016

This will be a very short review.

I don't usually ever talk about films I haven't watched all the way to the end, and I very seldom never finish a movie.

But in every life there are always exceptions, and this is one of them.

I put this movie on knowing I wasn't in for any great shakes, but that it might be a bizarre way to kill 90 minutes. Yep, I was wrong.

This movie is about infectious monkeys that escape from a lab at a soon to open Zoo and infect the animal population with a zombie virus, that the people who work in the zoo try and find a way to stop.

However, all I could get through was the first 30 minutes, and that was enough. I don't expect much from The Asylum, but this is strictly bottom of the barrel. I found myself hating all the characters and being bored to death.

I'm sorry, Zoombies might be some people's idea of entertainment, but not mine. It is actually the first film I have ever reviewed here that I couldn't sit through, and that is saying something! CGI animals, lousy actors and actresses and a very stupid plot makes for a trying time watching anything.

This kind of dreck is why I usually stick to older films, because if this is what the new generation is growing up on, I want no part of it. Give me a man in a turkey head drinking the blood of drug addicts and going "gobble gobble" over this shit anyday.

Avoid Zoombies at all costs.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Peta Wilson is 47, Shari Shattuck is 57, Andrea Marcovicci is 69, and Ian McCulloch is 78.

Friday, November 17, 2017

COMING ATTRACTIONS....

More interesting things coming 2018.

Kino has announced that in early 2018 they are releasing "No Orchids For Miss Blanchard" which is an very good British mystery film, and the 1974 remake entitled "The Grissom Gang" and the latter is by far a much more bizarre film.

Shout Factory is releasing "Night Of The Seagulls" on Blu-ray on 2/13/18. This is a wonderful film and the last in the "Blind Dead" series from Armando DeOssorio.

Kino has also announced the the Dan Curtis TV terror classic "Trilogy Of Terror" will be released on Blu-ray sometime in 2018. I can already tell you that it will be a top release of 2018.

More DVD and Blu-ray releases to be announced shortly and I will try and keep up with it all.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Zoe Bell is 39, Rance Howard is 89, Daisy Fuentes is 51, and Gordon Lightfoot is 79.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

THE ANDROMEDA BREAKTHROUGH 1962 (SINISTER CINEMA)

Interesting British sci-fi serial in 6 parts.

This is a follow up to the six part serial entitled "A Is For Andromeda" which is now lost.

Peter Halliday is Dr. Fleming and Susan Hampshire is Andromeda. Both are hunted down by the British government and then later kidnapped by a group called INTEL and taken the foreign country of Azaran, which is in the Middle East.

Yes, this is a bit confusing, especially if you haven't seen the first serial, but all gets made clear after a couple of chapters. It seems INTEL, headed by the evil Mlle. Gamboule (Claude Farell) and Kaufman (John Hollis) are after thew knowledge Fleming has and the other worldly powers of Amdromeda.

They discover that the oxygen levels of the planet are disappearing as well as many other things that might just bring about the end of the world.

As I said, it's all a bit confusing if you've never seen the first one, but eventually as you watch all six chapters of this is becomes very clear. This is very similar to the Quatermass serials that the BBC produced back in the 50's.

It is a rare title and one that I was glad I finally got to see.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Clu Gulager is 89, Joanna Pettet is 75, and Barbara Leigh is 71.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

RIP ERIKA REMBERG 1932-2017

Glamorous actress Erika Remberg has passed away.

Remberg starred in many Tv shows and movies, but will always be remembered by genre fans for her roles in "Circus of Horrors" with Christopher Lee and Anton Differing and "Cave Of The Living Dead". Remberg also appeared in the erotic film "The Lickerish Quartet".

She was born in North Sumatra and started her acting career in 1950 at the age of 18. She passed away on Nov. 15, 2017 at the age of 85.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Yaphet Kotto is 78, Joanna Barnes is 73, Petula Clark is 85, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad is 72.

COMING ATTRACTIONS....

It has finally been announced!!!!

The GREATEST FILM OF ALL TIME.....George Romero's NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD is coming to Blu-ray from Criterion!!!

I have been waiting a VERY LONG time for this to happen. It's street date is Feb 13th and it looks like that may be the top release of 2018!!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

HASTA EL VIENTO TIENE MIEDO 1968

I have no idea what company released this DVD as it is not printed on the case, but I did buy this at a Hastings store many years ago.

The title translates into "Even The Wind Is Afraid". The story revolves around an all girls school and a student named Claudia (Alicia Bonet) who is haunted by a mysterious voice calling her name in the middle of the night.

Claudia and her friends break into a tower on the school grounds which is forbidden, and as punishment they are forced to stay at the school during spring break.

It is revealed that a student committed suicide there 5 years before after a similar incident and that it might repeat itself again.

This is a pretty interesting and well made ghost story from Mexico. The version I have does not contain subtitles, but the story is not hard to follow anyway. The story unfolds slowly and build up the characters and then begins with the tension of a well made story.

It's a hard film to track down, but if you have the patience I would recommend this. It ranks up there with some of the best horror tales committed to film.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Sandahl Bergman is 66, and Kathleen Hughes is 89.

Monday, November 13, 2017

MEMORIES OF THE MOVIES AND EVERYTHING ELSE...

I don't know the ages of anyone who follows this blog or reads it, but I do hope some of you can understand.

I was having a conversation with someone the other day, someone much younger than me about movies and such and the topic came up about what it was like when I was growing up and of course I took the opportunity to fill this person in, yet I don't think he understood when I was finished.

You see, when I was growing up it was a very different world than it is now. I became hooked on horror at the age of 5 thanks to my mother and an uncle and soon became a monster loving kid reading FM and other publications.

One of my favorite things to do in my young life was to scan the TV Guide every week for all the horror movies coming on the TV, which was also very different back in my day, but more on that in some other post at a later date.

The excitement of waiting to see a movie, no matter what it was is hard to explain to people now a days. There is not a feeling like it in the world. I remember first seeing "King Kong", "The Invisible Man", "Them", "The She Creature" and so much more, then going to school on Monday and talking about it with the others kids who had also watched the movies that weekend.

There was/is a feeling of thrills when a new movie came my way, and all of them are collective memories I have always kept with me. It was also at this time, of course that I started having favorite monsters from the movies and also started to recognize the actors and actresses involved in them.

The actors such as Peter Cushing, John Agar, Ray Milland and hundreds more always, at least to me, meant the movie was worth watching. However, as I grew older I really started to appreciate the many lovely women involved in these as well including Evelyn Ankers, Pam Grier, Judy Pace, Joan Collins, Caroline Munro and too many more to mention.

To this day I get the same feelings I had as a young child when something new and interesting to me is made available on DVD or Blu-ray. It has never changed, and it never will. I believe it's something one is born with.

A all of you know, I don't usually patronize modern cinema, especially from the USA. I find most of the stories boring and UN-interesting, the actors and actresses of today do not really interest me as the ones from the past, and this is for many reasons I won't get into here as they deal with politics and more.

Also, I was in the business for many years and saw so much shit, I got out and have never gotten back into it, and probably never will.

However, nothing has ever taken away the excited feeling of obtaining a film on DVD or Blu-ray for me. Back in my day you had to either see them on TV or miss them, and with the advent of VHS that problem was taken away, and young people I talk to today has no idea what I am talking about because they have always had DVD, Tivo and everything else.

Yes, I still get that excited feeling. Yes I still listen to the same kind of music I did when I was a kid reading monster magazines, which is AT40 with Casey Kasem, and I still have favorite actors and actresses from the past whose work I will always admire. The only thing that has changed is my age. I am and always will be a movie fan who still feels like a young boy inside when ever a new release comes to DVD or Blu-ray.

Hey, like I said, it's something you're either born with or not.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Tracy Scoggins is 64, and Tom Atkins is 82.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

AVALANCHE SHARKS 2014 (SONY)

Yep, another shark movie.

This is an ok little horror film with typical lousy CGI effects. How I wish CGI would just go away.

Anyhow, this film deals with sharks that are gods protecting a mountain and when an ancient shrine is knocked down they begin searching for victims.

Yep it's an insane premise but it makes for such a cheesy movie, and one you really don't have to think much while watching. The main highlight is, of course, the young ladies in their bikinis, an there are plenty of them.

Watching CGI sharks swim thru less than 3 inches of snow is an experience everyone must have. Of course the story is taken right out of the "Jaws" playbook, but to even make a further comparison would be blasphemy, so I will call it good right here, and besides you probably know what I mean anyway.

If you want, you might check this out for a movie experience you'll never forget, and it really isn't as bad as some of the crap I have seen lately, that I never write about.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Valerie Leon is 74, and Rhonda Shear is 63.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

THE VAMPIRE'S GHOST 1945 (OLIVE) BLU-RAY

Great little Republic thriller.

John Abbott stars as Webb Fallon, the owner of a seedy dive in an African town. The surrounding villages have been experiencing bizarre deaths and everyone is terrified.

It turns out Fallon is a 400 year old vampire and he has set his sites on a young woman named Julie Vance (Peggy Stewart) and he intends to have her at all costs.

This is a great little horror film that is often overlooked by horror film fans. It's a unique look at the vampire lore. In this movie the vampire can be out in the daylight and he can also be cured of anything by bathing in moonlight.

Leigh Brackett co-wrote the screenplay which was based on her original story. She also wrote the screenplays for such classic films as "The Big Sleep" and "Rio Bravo". John Abbott does a top notch job as Fallon the vampire. His eyes and expressions tell a lot.

The presentation on Blu-ray is beautiful and this was quite the surprise release from Olive. I hope they continue to milk the Paramount vaults for gems like this. Certainly to be in my best releases of the year countdown.

The rest of the cast includes Charles Gordon, Grant Withers, Roy Barcroft and the stunning Adele Mara as Lisa. Highly Recommended gem that every horror fan should seek out and add to their collection.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Jill Whitlow is 54.

Friday, November 10, 2017

RIP RAY LOVELOCK 1950-2017

A very good European actor has passed away.

Lovelock was born in Rome in 1950 and made his big screen debut in 1967 in the spaghetti western entitled "Django Kill..If You Live, Shoot!" and his career was off.

Most genre fans will always remember him as George Meaning, the very misunderstood hippie in the 1974 shocker "The Living Dead At The Manchester Morgue".

He passed away on Nov. 10th in Rome at the age of 67.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Katarina Leigh Waters is 40.

RIP JOHN HILLERMAN 1932-2017

Simon Brimmer is gone.

Hillerman is probably best known for his role as Higgins, opposite Tom Selleck in the classic TV show Magnum P.I. He starred in all 158 episodes of the show and went down in TV history.

before that Hillerman was in other TV shows and my first introduction to him was in the show "Ellery Queen" in which he appeared in many episodes as the snobbish radio star Simon Brimmer. He made many guest starring roles in other shows such as "Wonder Woman", "Delvecchio" and "Serpico" to name a few.

He appeared in several movies as well including the unforgettable "Blazing Saddles" as Howard Johnson. His voice is what made him famous as well as his cool acting style.

He passed away on Nov. 9th, 2017 at the age of 84.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

RAMBLINGS....

What a year 2017 has been for Blu-ray and DVD releases.

I don't ever recall there being so many. I finally have prepared my list for the best releases of the year and this time it is the Top 60, not 50 as all the previous years.

There were way too many to choose from and I still found myself doing a lot of editing. I actually could have done 70, but 60 seemed like a good number.

It also looks like 2018 is going to be the same kind of year. There are plenty of things coming out early in the year such as "Attack of The Killer Tomatoes", "Legend of Hillbilly John", "Matinee" and much more.

I will start publishing the Top 60 list with 10 listed per week starting Dec. 2nd. In the meantime I'd like to hear from anyone interested in telling me what some of your personal favorites were for the past year.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Chris Jericho is 47.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

RIP KARIN DOR 1938-2017

One of my favorite actresses of all time has died.

Karin Dor started her wonderful film career in the 1953 film "The Last Waltz" as an extra. Her career in horror began in 1962 with "The Invisible Dr. Mabuse" which I just reviewed a few days ago.

Her appearances in horror and suspense film made in Europe increased and included some well known genre titles including "Carpet of Horror", "Strangler Of Blackmoor Castle", "Face of Fu Manchu", "Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism" and "Assignment Terror" with Paul Naschy.

In 1967 she was a Bond girl in "You Only Live Twice" with Sean Connery. I loved her in everything I saw her in and thought she was one of the most beautiful women ever to grace the silver screen.

Her work was and will always be exceptional in my book and she will be missed. She died on Nov. 8th, 2017 at the age of 79 in Munich, Germany.

RIP BRAD HARRIS 1933-2017

Tom Rowland of the Kommissar X series has died.

Harris was born in St. Anthony, Idaho and later moved to California. His biggest achievements in film came from his many, many European films.

His career started in 1955, but her really took off in 1961 when he starred as Goliath in "Goliath Against The Giants" and that set the stage for many sword and sandal films to follow including "Samson", "Fury Of Hercules" and many more.

He also starred as Capt. Tom Rowland in 6 Kommissar X films in which he also choreographed the many fight scenes in the films. He also starred in such films as "The Mutations", "When The Bell Tolls" and "The Girl In Room 2A" just to name a few.

He passed away on Nov. 7th, 2017 at the age of 84.

ISLAND OF THE BURNING DAMNED 1967 (CHEEZY FLICKS)

One of my most sought after films finally comes to DVD.

The print title is Night Of the Big Heat and it's not too bad of quality at all.

The island of Fara is a northern British Island and during mid winter they are experiencing a heat wave. The temperature has been constantly going up. A scientist named Godfrey Hanson (Christopher Lee) is investigating and soon discovers the terrifying truth.

Aliens have made the island a testing ground for an invasion. These blob-like monsters can only survive in extreme heat and they are nearing the end of their experiment.

The local population is being slowly driven mad by the heat and this leads to a lot of problems. The local bar owner, Jeff Callum (Patrick Allen) and his wife Frankie (Sarah Lawson) help a local doctor Vernon Stone (Peter Cushing) fight the aliens along with Hanson.

Jeff's secretary, the gorgeous Angela Roberts (Jane Merrow) causes nothing but trouble between Jeff and his wife until she is brought down a peg or two.

The aliens are quite a sight when we finally get to see them and the movie ends rather abruptly, but it still is an entertaining show. I have always loved this film and haven't seen it since it aired on TNT many years ago. I received my copy on Halloween night and so I made a double feature out of this and Island Of Terror.

I read a lot of complaining from "film fans" about the fact this came from Cheezy Films and that they wouldn't buy it because it's a bootleg and the quality isn't perfect. Well as usual, they are really bitching about nothing. I don't consider this a bootleg, and as I stated earlier, the quality is pretty damn good. No, it isn't remastered, but it looks fine, and as far as I am concerned, people should be happy with what they can get.

This is a top release of the year and I was VERY happy to see it finally released.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Tara Reid is 42.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

RETURN OF THE APE MAN 1944 (OLIVE) BLU-RAY

One of the most sought after Bela Lugosi films gets a surprise release on Blu-ray!!

I hadn't seen this movie for at least 10 years and then it was on a VHS bootleg I managed to get ahold of. Was I disappointed to see this come back into my collection? OH HELL NO!!

This ultra low budget rarity stars Lugosi as a scientist who is experimenting with freezing humans in suspended animation. We are introduced to his character of Prof. Dexter and his assistant Prof. John Gilmore (John Carradine) ending a four moth experiment with a hobo who has been reported missing.

They wake him up, give him 5 bucks and send him on his way! Dexter wants to push the experiments further, but Gilmore has his doubts. However they travel to the Arctic and find a prehistoric man frozen in the ice. Before you know it, the ice encased body is back in the lab and Dexter thaws him out.

The cave man is violent and Dexter uses a blow torch to control the beast and he locks him in a cell. He finally ends up transplanting part of Gilmore's brain into the cave man and the monster goes on a rampage.

This little Monogram thriller is full of scenes you'll never forget such as Lugosi chasing the cave man thru a part of new York with a blow torch! The 60 minute running time is loaded with bizarre imagery and is simply a MUST for any Lugosi fan and lover of Monogram films.

The cast also includes Tod Andrews under the name of Michael Ames, Frank Moran as the apeman and Teala Loring under the name Judith Gibson. The print from Olive is a good as it gets with a film like this, and is actually the best I have ever seen the film looking.

George Zucco gets high billing, but only appears in the film for a nanosecond as the frozen apeman. he had to leave the production and Moran took his place. A one of a kind film that I have to say hats off to Olive for bringing this out. Another top release of the year.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Shannon Whirry is 53, Jackie Joseph is 84, and King Kong Bundy is 60.

Monday, November 6, 2017

THE DEVIL WITHIN HER 1972 (SCORPION) BLU-RAY

Joan Collins stars in this interesting British horror film.

This was originally known as "I Don't Want To Be Born" but distributor AIP changed the title to associate the film with "Rosemary's Baby".

Joan Collins and Ralph Bates are a young couple whose child, when born, is apparently very violent and possessed by something demonic.

Collins' character of Lucy cannot seem to handle the baby, who seems to get more and more violent. The child kills his nanny and attacks anyone who comes too close to the crib. Bates, as her husband Gino wants to take her away for a while, but the child will have none of that, so one night he lures Gino outside and hangs him then disposes of the body in an underground garbage dump bin!

It turns out the the baby is possessed because Lucy refused the advances of a sinister dwarf working in the same strip joint as she did before she got married and out of the business. Yes, it sounds weird and it is.

However, it makes for great movie viewing and I love this film. First you have Joan Collins who is simply gorgeous in this movie, and you have Ralph Bates is always a welcome face in English horror, then you have a stunningly beautiful Caroline Munro as Mandy, the best friend of Lucy. What more could a horror fan want?

The rest of the cast includes Eileen Atkins as Sister Albana, who tries to get the demon out of the baby, Donald Pleasence as the doctor whose death is the most gruesome and John Steiner as the strip club owner.

The Blu-ray includes interviews with Steiner and Munro, who is ALWAYS a pleasure to see and listen to. This movie is hosted and introduced by Katarina Leigh Waters who gives you some interesting facts about the film, and yes, I find her incredibly sexy as well.

I highly recommend this DVD. A top release of the year!