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Sunday, April 23, 2017

RIP ERIN MORAN 1960-2017

The actress who became famous from "Happy Days" has passed away.

Erin Moran will always be remembered as Joanie from the sitcom Happy Days. It ran for 10 years and her character grew from a small role into a major character.

After the show went off the air she starred in a short lived series called "Joanie Loves Chachi" which only ran for 17 episodes.

Acting roles were scarce but she did star in the 1981 sci-fi gem "Galaxy Of Terror". She was 56 when she died and as of this writing the cause has not been released.

DANCE OF DEATH 1968 (VCI)

One of four films Boris Karloff shot scenes for before he passed away. This is also known as HOUSE OF EVIL.

This was the first one that was released and it wasn't until 1978 that this film got some exposure. It seems that several relatives of a man who recently died have gathered at his castle for the reading of his will.

There they find a collection of toys that have been imbued with life and kill the relatives one by one.

This film is not as bad as some people think and I do enjoy watching it once in a while. Jack Hill directed the Karloff segments and Juan Ibanez handled the Mexican film version.

Karloff's character is called Matthais Morteval which sounds evil unto itself. The rest of the cast includes Julissa, Andres Garcia and Beatriz Baz.

Worth checking out if you're a Karloff fan and just a fan of off the wall films.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Lee Majors is 78, and Valerie Bertinelli is 57.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

ALIEN TERROR 1969 (VCI)

One of the last film Boris Karloff did in Mexico before he passed away. Known also as SINISTER INVASION.

Bizarre film about an alien visiting the Earth in the late 1800's because he has been attracted by a ray shot into space by Prof. Mayer (Karloff).

The alien wanders around while an alien intelligence takes over the mind of a sex killer named Thomas who then proceeds to infiltrate the Mayer home.

The film is not well put together, but the Karloff inserts are the highlight, of course. Thomas is played by Yerye Beirute, a name not remembered but a face well known in all of these Mexican/Karloff efforts.

The main alien just walks around a lot while voice over "thoughts" are transmitted so we can hear what is going on. This is recommended for Karloff fans as well as Mexican horror film lovers.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Jack Nicholson is 80, Glen Campbell is 81, and John Waters is 71.

Friday, April 21, 2017

RAMBLINGS....

I put a poll on my blog today and will be curious to see how it goes.

It just asks if you put a lot of thought into watching movies. Why do I ask this?

Because I have friends and people I don't even know asking hundreds of questions about simple little movies. In other words, if they watch ATTACK OF THE 50' WOMAN they always ask questions about things that aren't explained.

It takes all the fun out of these kinds of movies if you over think them. Agree or disagree. That is why I put the poll up, just to see where people stand on this.

If interested it's there until 5/15/17. Thanks.

RIOT IN CELL BLOCK 11 1955 (CRITERION)

Finely made film noir/crime drama.

The title is very explanatory as to what happens in the film.

The convicts is a prison are tired of mistreatment and go on a violent rampage while taking several guards prisoner.

The film was the creation of producer Walter Wager after he got out of prison for shooting a man he believed was having an affair with his wife.

It's a gripping film that starts right off and never lets up for a moment. The leaders of the uprising are James Dunn (Neville Brand) and "Crazy" Mike Carnie (Leo Gordon).

It's a very brutal look at prison life and all of the performers are top notch. Criterion has turned out an excellent print of the film that is well worth seeking out.

The cast includes Frank Faylen as the police commissioner, Paul Frees, Whit Bissell, Alvy Moore, Dabbs Greer, William Schallert, and Robert Osterloh.

A great, hard hitting drama that every film fan should see.

Wager got Don Siegel to direct and that was, of course and excellent choice. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Dee Hartford is 89, and Ed Leslie is 60.

RIP YVONNE MONLAUR 1939-2017

The very beautiful French actress has passed away.

Monlaur died on April 18th at the age of 77. Her career was not a long one, but she will forever live in the minds of people who read this blog as one of the loveliest women to appear in a Hammer Film.

Her most famous role was that of Marianne in the 1960 Hammer film "Brides Of Dracula". Her other films of note to followers of this blog are "Terror of The Tongs", and "Circus of Horrors".

Yvonne was a very kind woman who loved her fans and always had kind words with them when she appeared at conventions. She will be missed, but her small circle of films will be with us for a very, very long time.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

MASK OF DIMITRIOS 1944 (DVD-R)

Excellent film noir.

Peter Lorre stars as a mystery writer named Cornelius Leyden who becomes interested in a noted criminal when his body is washed ashore in the Bosphorus.

Leyden questions many people about the noted criminal called Dimitrios Makropoulos and starts putting his life story together. It seems Dimitrios was a schemer, liar, traitor and a murderer.

During the course of the investigation, Leyden comes to know a Mr. Peters (Sidney Greenstreet) who has a very intense hoping that Dimitrios is still alive.

After several flashbacks reveal what a total ass he really was, it is discovered that Dimitrios is still alive. When I was a child my mother recommended this movie to me and it took a few years for me to finally find it, and what a joy to behold.

This is a finely crafted film that keeps you guessing at the many plot twists as well as shocked at all the dastardly deeds Dimitrios does during the course of the film. The very underrated Zachary Scott turns in one of the performances of his career as the creepy title character.

A highly recommended film noir.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Carmen Electra is 45, Judith O' Dea is 72, and Gary Raymond is 82.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

KILMA, QUEEN OF THE AMAZONS 1975 (DVD-R)

Bizarre and obscure little gem.

This is a ZIV production and I have never seen it anywhere but on the bootleg DVD I have which was made from a VHS tape long ago.

A sailor played by Frank Brana escapes from a mutiny on a ship and finds himself washed ashore on an island.

He finds a cave full of old weapons and a few skeletons but before you know it he is attacked by a strange tribe that lands on the island.

Much to the sailor's surprise the invading tribe is met by a tribe that lives on the island. Amazon women led by the very beautiful Kilma (Blanca Estrada).

The sailor, Dan Robinson ends up saving Kilma's life and the two slowly fall in love. Dan then warns them that the ship he escaped from may be coming to the island and that the women all have to be ready...and sure enough the pirates do show up.

In between the quiet times and the pirates showing up we learn that an alien race had entrusted the Amazons to keep safe a strange globe filled with light that will help the aliens return someday.

It's all very bizarre, but the women are all gorgeous and wear little clothing, which is the way it should be. If you can find this little gem, put your mind on stop and enjoy.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Tim Curry is 71.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

INVASION OF THE BEE GIRLS 1972 (SHOUT FACTORY) BLU-RAY

One of my all time favorite films from the 70's and thanks to Shout, has finally made it to Blu-ray.

Gorgeous Anitra Ford stars in this wonderful little film about mysterious deaths in a small California town called Peckham.

It seems men are dropping like flies from sexual exhaustion and the local authorities are baffled. The local police are led by Capt. Peters (Cliff Osmond) who receives some help from the Government because some of the deaths involve men working at a super secret plant outside of town.

Agent Neil Agar (William Smith) is sent in and it is soon discovered that some of the women at the facility, due to experimentation have turned into bees. Anitra Ford is Dr. Susan Harris who is actually the leader of the Bee Girls.

Sexy Victoria Vetri is Julie Zorn, and she becomes Agar's best friend and helper in the investigation.

This film is fun from start to finish and offers the viewer everything they could want. There is action, nudity, hilarious dialogue and some very interesting special effects.

The Blu-ray presentation is gorgeous and it is the most complete print ever made available. EVERYONE should have this film in their collection. One of the top releases of the year.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Eric Roberts is 61, Hayley Mills is 71, and Melody Thomas Scott is 61.

Monday, April 17, 2017

CREEPING FLESH 1973 (MILL CREEK) BLU-RAY

Another great Hammer Horror.

It's been a while since I saw this film, and it's coming to Blu-ray is a very welcome happening.

Peter Cushing stars as a scientist who returns from an expedition in New Guinea with a huge skeleton and he believes it may be the scientific find of the century.

During his research he discovers that if the bones get wet they grow new flesh. He also discovers from the blood of the new flesh there may be a cure for insanity which he fears his daughter might inherit from his wife, who died in an asylum.

His evil half brother James (Christopher Lee), who runs the asylum is plotting on stealing the fame that Emmanuel (Cushing) might receive. Emmanuel injects his daughter with the blood from the creature and all it does is speed the insanity up and soon she is running around and killing people.

James learns of this and attempts to have the skeleton stolen during a rain storm and before you know it, a huge monster is roaming the land. It is the essence of all evil and there is no stopping it.

The creature, once seen is not forgotten, and the twist ending is also very cool. It's always good to see Lee and Cushing together and this is one of their very best films.

The Blu-ray is beautiful looking and Mill Creek should be commended for bringing this to the format. If you haven't seen this movie, you should, and if you've seen it, watch it again. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Olivia Hussey is 66, and Michael Forest is 88.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

RIP CLIFTON JAMES 1921-2017

A great character has passed away.

Clifton James is probably best remembered for his role as Sheriff J.W. Pepper in both LIVE AND LET DIE and THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN in which he played a loud and very confused small town Sheriff who gets mixed up with James Bond.

Over his 60 plus year career he appeared in many Tv shows such as "Another World", "Mannix", "Ironside" and many more. His movies include such titles as "Cool Hand Luke", "Will Penny", "Rancho Deluxe", the two above mentioned James Bond films and many more.

He passed away at the age of 95.

CATHY'S CURSE 1976 (SEVERIN) BLU-RAY

This is easily one of the most bizarre films of the 70's.

Filmed in the cold and snowy winter in Canada in 1976, this film wasn't released here until 1980 and it disappeared quickly. I have seen this many times in butchered versions and very crappy prints, but now Severin has brought us the uncut version in a very beautiful print.

A young girl and her father are killed in a car accident and many years later the girls brother moves into the old family estate with his wife and daughter, Cathy.

Strange things start happening right away and soon Cathy is possessed by the spirit of the little girl killed in the car crash many years ago, who is, of course Cathy's aunt. Randi Allen is Cathy, and she is very good at playing the possessed and very cruel girl.

There are so many bizarre images in this film and quite a few good scares as well. Cathy has an evil doll, and this little creepy thing will give you nightmares. It's nothing like dolls in many films made after this, but it will make you think twice about keeping old dolls.

The sequence with spiders, snakes and rats will make you wince a bit. if it doesn't you're probably already dead..lol.

Alan Scarfe is Cathy's father and Beverly Murray is her distraught mother. The Blu-ray has interviews with the director, Eddy Matalon and long lost star Randi Allen. There is also an original trailer.

This DVD is one of the best releases of the year and it should be seen by every horror fan. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

COMING ATTRACTIONS....

On May 30th Severin has announced this bizarre exploitation classic is coming to Blu-ray!!

Yes, the 1973 gem BLACKENSTEIN is coming to Blu-ray and is loaded with cool extras.

PARATROOP COMMAND 1959 (DVD-R)

Rare little AIP film.

Richard Bakalyan gets a starring role as Charlie, a member of a US paratroop group during WW2 that accidentally shoots one of his own men who was wearing a Nazi uniform at the time.

Through the rest of the campaign Charlie is met with much animosity by his fellow troops. He finally proves himself during a courageous attempt to get across a mined road in Salerno.

This is a very low budget character study of men under the stress of war as well as trusting one another. It's a fun little film that delves deeply into human emotion, more than one would expect from such a production.

I wish films like this were available on DVD or Blu for more people to see. The rest of the cast includes Ken Lynch, Jack Hogan, Jimmy Murphy and Carolyn Hughes. The director was serial vet Bill Whitney.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Claudia Cardinale is 79, and Samantha Fox is 52.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

RAMBLINGS....

Time to take a couple of days off and get away from everything.

Nothing will be added here for a few days as I am getting away for a while.

More reviews will be forth coming by the weekend and those include such things as CATHY'S CURSE.

See you in a few days.

CORRUPTION 1968 (DVD-R)

Very interesting Peter Cushing horror film.

Cushing is a very successful plastic surgeon named Sir John Rowan. His fiancee, Lynn Nolan (Sue Lloyd) talks him into going to a party after a very long day.

He does so and in a fit of jealousy the good doctor gets into a fight with a sleazy photographer. This results in Lynn getting badly burned when a light falls on her face, and hence the nightmare begins.

Rowan finds a cure for her, but it doesn't last so he has to resort to murder in order to keep Nolan beautiful. Both Cushing and Lloyd are perfect as the insane couple, each with their own destructive desires.

There are a lot of very effective scenes in this film and every time Cushing is killing someone the camera takes on a "fish eye" look and it makes Cushing look even more insane.

The ending involves an out of control laserbeam and some punks, but I don't want to give too much away in case you haven't seen this film.

Cushing fans may be surprised by this film as it is more startling and graphic than his previous efforts, but it is a film I can easily recommend to anyone. The rest of the cast includes Valarie Van Ost, Kate O' Mara, David Lodge and Noel Trevarthen.

Director Robert Hartford-Davis also directed the superior "Black Torment".

Monday, April 10, 2017

TORTURE GARDEN 1967 (MILL CREEK) BLU-RAY

Another fine Amicus anthology film, and it arrives on Blu-ray.

Burgess Meredith stars as Dr. Diablo who runs a carnival sideshow. There are four tales of terror told in this film, and they are quite bizarre.

They include Humanoid robots, Edgar Allen Poe, A cat that eats human heads and controls minds and a killer piano!! I enjoyed all of these tales.

I reviewed this a few years ago and was surprised to see it arrive on Blu-ray. It looks fantastic and should be in your collection.

The cast for this film also includes Robert Hutton, Jack Palance (excellent as a deranged Poe collector), Peter Cushing, Beverly Adams, Barbara Ewing, Michael Ripper and Ursula Howells.

This is one of three beautiful Blu-ray presentations from Mill Creek on a set entitled PSYCHO CIRCUS. The others on the set are 'BROTHERHOOD OF SATAN and THE CREEPING FLESH. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

THE BROTHERHOOD OF SATAN 1970 (MILL CREEK) BLU-RAY

I have written about this movie a couple of times on this blog, and it has finally reached Blu-ray.

A family gets trapped in a small town after they arrive to report a devastating accident they see along the side of the road.

L.Q. Jones if the sheriff and Alvy Moore is his deputy. These two produced and came up with the idea for the movie. Strother Martin is the kindly doctor who is also trying to find out where many missing children have gone to.

It turns out that Martin also leads a devil cult of elderly people using the children's bodies as sacrifices to Satan to gain eternal life.

This is one of the best 70's terror films I have ever seen, and it really knocked my socks off back in the day. It still does as a matter of fact. The Blu-ray presentation is excellent from Mill Creek. It is included on a set called Psycho Circus along with two other movies to be reviewed here shortly.

I really recommend this film as I have said in previous reviews of it.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Fred Dekker is 58.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

COMMANDO SQUAD 1986 (DVD-R)

Fun little Fred Olen Ray film.

Another gem that is MIA from DVD or Blu-ray. Kathy Shower stars as Kat Withers,a government narcotics agent who discovers that her boyfriend has been kidnapped by drug lords in Mexico.

The cartel is being run by a former American agent named Morgan Denny (William Smith). Withers leads her team to Mexico to both stop the cartel and rescue her boyfriend, Clint Jensen (Brian Thompson).

There is lots of action in this film and many, many familiar faces including Sid Haig, Dawn Wildsmith, Ross Hagen, Mel Wells, Robert Quarry, Russ Tamblyn and Tane McClure.

Marie Windsor has a great part as an employee of Hollywood Book And Poster who also has a side job of supplying Kat with high tech destructive weapons!! Great stuff.

I can't see any Fred Olen ray fan not liking this film. I only wish this and others would be made available on Blu-ray. If you can find this anywhere, I highly recommend this.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

John Schneider is 57, John Gavin is 86, Julissa is 73, and Suzanna Love is 67.

Friday, April 7, 2017

CAGE OF EVIL 1960 (DVD-R)

Another great low budget film from Edward L. Cahn.

Ron Foster stars as Det. Scott Harper, a man who has been overlooked for many promotions, but just keeps plugging along.

He gets assigned to a case involving a diamond heist and his life is soon changed forever. He falls for the young woman of the gangster who plotted the robbery. Her name is Holly and is expertly played by Patricia Blair.

Scott also finds himself falling for all the diamonds and he soon finds he has to kill the gangster and also some fellow cops in order to keep the money and escape with Holly to Mexico.

This is another fun little B picture from director Cahn and it moves along at the usual fast pace. Foster does a great job in this just like he did in "Music Box Kid".

I recommend this for fans of crime films and any fan of Edward Cahn.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Margia Dean is 95, and Yvonne Lime 82.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

RIP DON RICKLES 1926-2017

One of the worlds best comedic talents is gone.

Don Rickles was a one of a kind funny man who took pot shots at anyone and everybody was in on the joke.

I was first introduced to Rickles in a horror film called "X The Man With The X Ray Eyes" also starring Ray Milland. In that film Don was a serious as a heart attack, but his comedy is what made him famous for the last 50 years.

Rickles made other film appearances in such fair as "Muscle Beach Party", "Bikini Beach", "Beach Blanket Bingo", "Run Silent, Run Deep" and "Kelly's Heroes".

He also put in an appearance on such TV shows as "The Twilight Zone", "Get Smart", "The Bob Hope Show", "Gilligan's Island" and many more. He had his own series called "CPO Sharkey" which ran for two years. I enjoyed it immensely.

I consider the "Golden Age" of comedy dead now that Don is no longer with us. A true talent has been taken away. He died at the age of 90.

WOMEN OF THE PREHISTORIC PLANET 1965 (DVD-R)

I have always liked this studio bound oddity.

Why this is not on DVD is a mystery to me. Wendell Corey, John Agar and Irene Tsu star in this film that has a very misleading title.

A spaceship crashes on a small planet while bringing citizens of another planet with them to improve race relations. The ship crashes and Corey, as Adm. David King has his ship turn around and head back for rescue. Thanks to the space time continuum this takes 20 years and they find everyone dead.

Tsu is Linda, a beautiful young woman from another planet that King was bringing back leaves the ship and finds a young man named Tang (Robert Ito) and she falls in love with him. They discover they are from the same race and that his parents were two survivors of the crash 20 years ago.

All of the action takes place on obvious studio sets, and I think that is part of the charm of this film. It's impossibly cheap, but all the actors do a good job with the material and this was the film that first got me hooked on Irene Tsu for she is absolutely lovely.

There are a few cavepeople, prehistoric monsters and a giant spider on the planet. The ending is a twist which is done very well. Now about the title. It was originally to be called "The Prehistoric Planet" which fits very well, but producer Jack Broder added the "Women Of.." to the title for overseas marketing. Go figure.

Anyhow, I love this film and hadn't seen it for years and it is a hard one to see. If you get a chance, do so. The rest of the cast is rounded out with Keith Larson, Merry Anders, Adam Roarke and Paul Hampton.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Roy Thinnes is 79, and Judith McConnell is 73.