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Friday, September 22, 2017

FRAMED 1947 (TCM VIEWING)

A great film noir.

Glenn Ford stars as Mike Lambert, a mining engineer who arrives in a small town after the brakes on the truck he is driving causes him to have an accident.

He goes to a cafe and meets a beautiful woman named Paula Craig (Janis Carter). She pays his fine in court for the accident and even pays for a room for him to stay in.

Mike falls hard for her, but her motives are far from noble. Paula and her lover, a married banker named Steve Price (Barry Sullivan)are making plans to steal $250,000 from a local bank, and they need a fall guy.

There are a lot of dark twists and turns in this film noir and I cannot understand why this hasn't been released on any format here in the USA.

the cast is top notch and Janis Carter makes a perfect cold and callous woman with nothing but evil on her mind. She really stands out as one of the top femme fatals in film noir history.

The wonderful supporting cast includes Edgar Buchanan, Karen Morley and Jim Bannon. If TCM runs this again and you're a film noir fan I recommend you see it. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Catherine Oxenberg is 56, Shari Belafonte is 63, Debbie Boone is 61, and Asa Maynor is 81.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

THE CREEPING TERROR 1964 (SYNAPSE) BLU-RAY

Many people call this the worst film ever made.

I disagree since this film brings me a lot of enjoyment in it's awfulness. The movie centers around a spaceship that crashes near Lake Tahoe. Inside of the craft is a huge monster that looks something like a carpet with vacuum clear hoses attached to it. The thing leaves the ship and begins to devour anyone it comes in contact with.

Now, for a monster movie fan like me this sounds like a pretty cool premise. However, the movie is poorly constructed, poorly acted and the soundtrack consists of narration for the most part.

There are plenty of unforgettable moments in this film including many of the killings in which the "victims" have to force themselves inside of the monster. One classic scene involves a very overweight man and his grandson. Watching this guy flop around like a beached whale in a very muddy stream as he tries to escape the monster is a true highlight.

My favorite scene involves the military as they fight the monster. It actually manages to consume almost all of the soldiers in one swallow except for one guy who stays on the ground with his legs in the air staring directly at the camera!!

The bizarre and tragic backstory of the film was made into a docudrama called "Creep Behind The Camera" which I reviewed yesterday. I was first introduced to this film on KCPX TV on a show called NIGHTMARE THEATER back in the mid 70's and when I first saw it my jaw just hit the floor. Here I was, a teenaged monster kid seeing a movie that was unlike any other film I had ever seen.

I had never heard of the film until that fateful night, but I sure wanted to know more, and over the years I found out plenty and didn't get to see it again until Rhino Video turned it out on VHS in the 80's, and yes I spent $49.99 for the tape.

I am very proud and happy that Synapse has turned this out on Blu-ray in a beautiful 2k scan. It looks better than I have ever seen it and this is another top release of the year. I cannot recommend this Blu-ray enough. You simply must add this to your collection.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Rebecca Balding is 62, Yvonne Wilder is 80, and Teresa Gimpera is 81.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

RIP BERNIE CASEY 1939-2017

A favorite of mine from the 70's blaxploitation era has died.

Casey's career in movies started back in 1969 with a role in GUNS OF THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, and then he was off and running.

Before acting he was a football star with the San Francisco 49ers and then the Los Angeles Rams. Casey starred in many, many films that I love including BRIAN'S SONG, BOXCAR BERTHA, GARGOYLES, CLEOPATRA JONES, DR. BLACK AND MR. HYDE and more.

Casey was always a dominating presence in his films no matter how good or bad they were. he passed away on Sept. 20th at the age of 78.

THE CREEP BEHIND THE CAMERA 2014 (SYNAPSE) BLU-RAY

Filmed in Colorado Springs, this film is entertaining and a real eye opener.

First off let me say I spent 24 years in the movie business both in front and behind the camera and there are so many people like Art Nelson in the movie business today and that is why I am no longer a part of it.

This film is a documentary/re-creation hybrid that works very, very well. Josh Phillips stars as Art Nelson, a swindler, con man, wife beater and child abuser who conned an entire town out of money to make one of the "worst" films of all time called "The Creeping Terror". Nelson does a hell of a job in this role mind you.

It tells the story of how Nelson tried to create a "masterpiece" of monster movie filmmaking and fell flat on his face. The movie is interspersed with interviews of Nelson's first wife and many people who worked on this film with him. Nobody has anything nice to say about the "man".

Lovely Jodi Lynn Thomas is Lois, Nelson's much abused wife and some of her scenes are hard to watch. I don't want to give away too much of this plot as I think every horror movie fan should see this film.

Director Pete Schuermann has created an entertaining and disturbing film all at the same time. Way back in the day I saw the Creeping Terror on TV and couldn't believe what i was seeing, and I had the same feeling watching this film about how this movie came to be in the first place.

Do I consider The Creeping Terror to be the worst film ever made? Nope, only because I get some great enjoyment from seeing it, but I can tell you I will never see it the same way again after watching this film.

The Blu-ray presentation has some great extras and interviews and best of all it has a restored 2k restoration of the original Creeping Terror, which will be reviewed here later. Glad to see the film finally getting recognized, but how I wish the story behind the scenes was happier.

Sadly the movie business hasn't changed much. A lot of the people in the business are alcoholics, spouse abusers, pedophiles and liars. I will admit this is one of the top releases of the year.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Sophia Loren is 83, Asia Argento is 42, and Brinke Stevens is 63.

Monday, September 18, 2017

THE GHOSTKEEPER 1980 (CODE RED) BLU-RAY

It has been a very long time since I saw this little gem, and now Code Red brings it to Blu-ray.

Three people on a snowmobile excursion find themselves stranded at an old, abandoned lodge during a serious Canadian snowstorm.

The place is somewhat creepy and before you know it they find an old lady who is the caretaker of the place along with her very aloof son.

Slowly things start to fall apart and one of the women mysteriously disappears. The snowmobiles are tampered with and from there the terror grows. It seems the old lady and her son have a mythical monster called a "Windigo" in the basement and the creature feeds on human flesh.

The low budget of this film ran out and so the director and crew made things up as they went along, which accounts for some of the plot problems, but don't let that deter you. This is a very creepy film with a great pay off at the end.

The Blu-ray presentation is very nice and far better than I have seen with this film before many years ago. If you like good, creepy horror I would recommend this little obscure gem.

The cast of unknowns does an excellent job.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Frankie Avalon is 78, and Veronica Carlson is 73.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

RIP BOBBY HEENAN 1944-2017

One of the greatest entertainers in the world of professional wrestling has died.

I grew up watching the man and followed his career for many, many years. He was perhaps the greatest wrestling manager of all time as well as one of the funniest color commentators on the air.

My first introduction to Heenan was in the AWA in Minnesota where he managed Nick Bockwinkle for many years. he played the part of the heel better than anyone else in the business and he never changed roles...ever.

Even if you aren't a wrestling fan you probably have heard of this wonderful man and it saddens me that another person I knew and grew up watching has died. Heenan has several health issues over the years and passed away surrounded by his family on Sept. 17th, 2017 at the age of 73.

I will miss Bobby and his craziness, but he has left a long lasting legacy in the world of pro wrestling that will never go away. his kind don't even exist in the business today.

BLUEBEARD'S TEN HONEYMOONS 1960 (TCM VIEWING)

Very obscure film from W. Lee Wilder.

George Sanders stars as Henri Landru, a man who falls for a young woman named Odette (Corinne Calvet). Odette is a temptress and Landru falls for her immediately.

She and a friend concoct a scheme to get money and Landru falls for it. Sadly he doesn't have the money, but he devises a way to get it, and that is by preying on wealthy women and killing them for their money.

Sanders does a very good job in the title role as a crazed killer who kills for love and money. The film draws the viewer in and you can feel that Landru is a man who is both desperate and needy and that the circle is slowly closing around him. I haven't seen this film since the late 80's when it appeared on a small and brand new TV station in Bozeman, Montana.

The print TCM ran is excellent and it was good to see this again. I wish this was available on DVD or Blu-ray as it would be in my collection. Wilder made some pretty cool stuff, at least in my opinion including "KIllers From Space". "Man Without A Body" and "The Omeagans" which is a personal favorite.

If you want to see this well made thriller check the TCM schedule and see if it's running again. The supporting cast for this gem includes Patricia Roc, Greta Gynt and George Coulouris.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Cassandra Peterson is 66.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

COMING ATTRACTIONS....

Olive is making Halloween even more special with two spectacular Blu-ray releases.

On Oct. 31st they will be releasing the classic Monogram film RETURN OF THE APE MAN and the ultra rare Republic shocker THE VAMPIRE'S GHOST.

Both of these films have been sought after by film fans like myslef for a long time, and finally they are being released....and on Blu-ray!!

Great stuff indeed!!

RIP HARRY DEAN STANTON 1926-2017

One of the best character actors of the screen has passed away.

Stanton began his 63 year career in 1954 in an episode of the Inner Sanctum TV show and never looked back.

He had many, many roles in TV shows thru the 50's and 60's and some of his most memorable movie roles as well. I remember him from Two Lane Blacktop, Dillinger, and Farewell, My Lovely, and those are all 70's films.

The two movie appearances that stick in my mind most however are Alien in which Stanton played Brett and the Escape From New York as Brain. Both of these roles were standouts for Stanton.

His performances were always a bit off the wall, but that is what made Harry so damned unforgettable in the world of cinema. He was one of a kind and he will be missed.

Harry Dean Stanton passed away on Sept. 15th, 2017 at the age of 91.

ONE MILLION B.C. 1940 (VCI) BLU-RAY

Finally, this classic gem comes to home entertainment.

For years the only way I had seen this was from a 200' reel of film from Castle Films and then many years later on a copy I taped from TCM.

Now VCI has made this available and it's a very welcome addition to my Blu-ray collection. Victor Mature and Carole Landis star in this Hal Roach film about two people from different prehistoric tribes that meet and have many challenges together.

The dinosaur footage has been used in countless thousands of low budget 50's sci-fi films, but it's fun to see it complete and unexpurgated here. Mature is good in his role of Tumac, but it's Landis who steals the show as Luana.

the actress who dies way too young at the age of 29 is extremely striking here and brings across a naive energy to her role. Lon Chaney, Jr. is the leader of the violent tribe from which Tumac belongs.

Hammer remade this in 1966 with Raquel Welch and John Richardson in the roles, and I love that film too, but this is the one to watch first, and the Blu-ray presentation has this movie looking fantastic. Everything about this film works, and I highly recommend it.

This was a very ambitious production for 1940.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Jennifer Tilly is 59, and Linda Henning is 73.

Friday, September 15, 2017

SHEENA 2000-2002 (MILL CREEK)

This TV show ran for 2 years and I found it entertaining for a variety of reasons.

The first reason is, of course Gena Lee Nolin in the title role. An eye popping Sheena for sure. The second is that most of the 35 episodes were all very interesting and had some unique ideas in them.

Season one consisted on 22 episodes while season 2 only had 13. I didn't watch the show during it's original run as I was too busy with business. The presentation from Mill Creek is very well done.

John Allen Nelson also stars as Cutter, a man running a guide service in Africa who befriends Sheena and they have a lot of adventures together. If you like action and adventure mixed with fun I cannot see why you wouldn't like this show.

Sheena has the ability to change into any animal she wants as well as a demonic beast called the Darak'na which she does when things get really out of hand.

This show came to TV and ended right on the cusp of the TV industry turning into a swamp of garbage and trash which is still is today and from what I can see will always be.

So, if you want to see what TV was like just before it changed, here is your chance, and you could do a lot worse. Again, I enjoyed the show a lot and I think you will to.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Henry Silva is 89.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

RASPUTIN THE MAD MONK 1963 (TCM VIEWING)

Don Sharp directed this interesting Hammer film starring Christopher Lee.

This has always been considered an odd film for Hammer to tackle, but it's not too bad. I hadn't seen this film for years since I owned the VHS, and, of course, it's not available on DVD or Blu-ray here in the USA.

Lee stars as Raputin, a lowly monk who quickly rises to power in the Russian hierarchy to become a very powerful figure. After he cures an very sick and fevered woman in a small tavern he seduces another young woman, gets into a fight, chops off a man's hand and disappears.

Rasputin falls in love with a beautiful woman named Sonia (Barbara Shelley) and immediately puts her under his total control. Slowly thru mind control he works his way to power and a few people see that he must be stopped before others die.

Lee is perfect as Grigori Rasputin and he tackles the role with great energy. There has always been a lot of criticism of this film because it doesn't pay attention to the Russian politics of the day, but it really matters not. This is, after all, a movie, and yep it's a lot of fiction, but that is how it should be.

The rest of the cast includes Richard Pasco, Francis Matthews, Suzan Farmer and Josh Ackland. I am still waiting for this to come to Blu-ray in the USA.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Joey Heatherton is 73, and Ashlyn Gere is 58.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

AN EYE FOR AN EYE 1966 (TCM VIEWING)

Here is another western I had never heard of until I saw it on TCM.

One of my favorite actors, Robert Lansing stars in this fine film. He plays a former bounty hunter, Talion, whose wife is raped and killed along with his young child at the beginning of the film.

He seeks revenge on the three men who committed the crime and he teams with a younger bounty hunter to get the deed done. The younger man is Benny Wallace (Patrick Wayne) and they soon become good friends with a similar cause. Both men are seeking the same three killers led by Ike Slant (Slim Pickens).

Pickens has a great time playing the baddie here and he does one hell of a job. Lansing's cool laid back style is a perfect contrast to Pickens grinning, laughing killer.

As the story progresses Talion is shot in his gun hand and Wallace is blinded by a gunshot, yet the two men never stop their pursuit of the killer.

This is a well written story by Bing Russell and Sumner Williams with the directing chores handled by Michael D. Moore (no not the liberal scumbag). The rest cast includes Clint Howard, Gloria Talbott (her final film), Paul Fix, Strother Martin, Rance Howard and Henry Wills.

If you are a fan of westerns, I suggest you try and find this film. It's a good one.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Alexandra Delli Colli is 60.

Monday, September 11, 2017

SHEENA QUEEN OF THE JUNGLE 1955-1956 (MILL CREEK)

One of the best 50's TV shows.

I have seen many episodes of this show from various companies over the years and all have been of varying quality. There are five episodes available from Mill Creek on their Sheena set, and for the most part they are watchable.

The five episodes are "The Rival Queen", "The Leopard Men", "The Renegades", "The Sacred River" and "The Test". Irish McCalla played the jungle queen and she set the standard high from the get go.

She looks great in her leopard skin outfit and can handle any situation. I believe I read somewhere that some of the episodes of this show are lost and that really sucks. It ran for one season which is also a shame.

I was hoping someone would turn out all of these episodes someday on a remastered set. It was nice to see the five they have included here, but I can never get enough of Irish McCalla.

As I mentioned, there are other episodes from other companies, so if you want to see anymore, check em out. Highly recommended!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Tiffany Shepis is 38, Earl Holliman is 89, Lola Falana is 75, and Paul Heyman is 52.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

THE SWIMMER 1968 (GRINDHOUSE RELEASING) BLU-RAY

This could be the oddest movie I have ever seen.

Burt Lancaster stars in this bizarre film from Frank Perry. Lancaster is Ned Merrill, who appears one day out of the woods and in a friends swimming pool.

He meets and greets all of the people he knows and they have a warm friendship. Merrill tells them of his plan to swim all of the pools in the neighborhood until he reaches his home on the other side. This strikes people as bizarre, but then again Merrill always had strange ideas, at least that is the prospective we pick up listening to conversations.

As he slowly makes his way home the relationships he has with people start to deteriorate into fights and arguments and self doubt. Ned even finds himself getting cold from all the swimming. Even the quality of the pools begins to go down as we are treated from everything starting with a luxury pool at the beginning to a very crowded public pool towards the end.

There are a lot of allegorical symbolism in this film and you really have to pay attention to see it, at least for a while. The ending is shockingly sad and unnerving. As you watch the film unfold you get the idea that something is wrong, but you don't know how wrong it really is.

Sadly the film did nothing at the boxoffice back in 1968, and I believe that is because the film was and still is misunderstood by many film fans. It is ONE OF A KIND.

There are several interpretations to the ending one could use, an I will let everyone decide for themselves. Director Perry made some very unique films, and for some reason most of the are not available, which simply blows my mind.

This and "Ladybug, Ladybug" are my two favorite Perry movies I have seen. If you get a chance, check out this stunning Blu-ray presentation and entertain yourself with one of the most bizarre films ever made. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Judy Geeson is 69, and Fred Olen Ray is 63.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

LADYBUG LADYBUG 1963 (TCM VIEWING)

One of the best films I have ever seen!!

Why this film isn't available on VHS, DVD or Blu-ray astonishes me. It's a Frank Perry masterpiece.

At a secluded rural school a nuclear alarm goes off and the principle cannot seem to find out why it is going off. He then proceeds to evacuate the school as per the rules of the times.

Some of the children are bused home but others are split into two groups and taken on foot by teachers to their respective homes. Along the way we learn of the children and their likes, dislikes and their thoughts on nuclear war. Some of the children are terrified and when they arrive home they cannot their parents to believe them.

When several children go to one girls house they hold up in a bomb shelter and the conflicts start almost immediately. This film is a master work in dealing with how children of all ages and many different backgrounds would react to imminent nuclear war.

The end of the film is both shocking and totally unforgettable. Two very interesting characters meets tragic ends by no fault of their own. I guess what this boils down to is that good intentions can go seriously wrong.

I saw this many years ago on a PBS station and hadn't seen it until last week, but it was always in my mind. A truly stunning film and one that should be more widely available.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Jeffrey Combs is 63, Rachel Hunter is 48, and David Emge is 71.

Friday, September 8, 2017

THE MANSTER 1959 (SHOUT FACTORY) BLU-RAY

One of my favorite 50's horror films comes to Blu-ray thanks to Shout Factory.

An American reporter (Peter Dyneley)meets a Japanese scientist named Robert Suzuki (Tetsu Nakamura) and before you can blink an eye the scientist has drugged the reporter and injected him with a mysterious serum.

The reporter, Larry Stanford soon changes from a mild mannered man into a raging maniac who kills a few people. He becomes more and more violent and his boss grows concerned. His wife flies in from the USA and is rejected by Stanford in favor of Suzuki's gorgeous assistant, Tara (Teri Zimmern).

Larry soon grows another head and becomes a two headed killer stalking the streets of Tokyo. Now, this is one entertaining and bizarre film.

There are many scenes which I have never forgotten since I first saw this as a child back in the good old days. The opening scene of a gorilla-like killer attacking a group of beautiful Japanese women and the credits roll as the blood splatters everywhere, the scene where Larry's hand changes into a hairy claw and when he discovers he has an eye growing on his shoulder. These are just some of the images in this wonderful little film.

This Japanese/American co-production looks fantastic on Blu-ray and although it has long been available on public domain budget labels, I cannot see any horror fan not having this disc in their collection.

The backstory of the cast would also make an interesting film. Peter Dyneley stars in this film with his wife Jane Hylton, both who died at very early ages. The stunning Teri Zimmern seems to have only made this film and disappeared from the film scene, which is our loss.

Anyway, this is easily a top release for the year and one that comes highly recommended!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Heather Thomas is 60.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

GUN BROTHERS 1956 (TCM VIEWING)

This was the first feature film for star Buster Crabbe in six years.

I had never heard of this film before I saw it on TCM. Crabbe is Chad Santee, a man who has just come out of serving six years in the Cavalry. He is heading west to meet up with his brother Jubal.

On the stage he meets Blackjack Silk (James Seay) and Rose Fargo (Ann Robinson). The stage is held up by a notorious gang of outlaws.

Santee decides to investigate the robbery as well as making time with Rose. He finally meets his brother Jubal (Neville Brand) and finds out to his shock that it's Jubal who is heading the criminal gang. This western has many different twists and turns and it's greatest asset is that it works the morality tale perfectly.

When Jubal and Chad decide to work together it becomes the glue that holds the entire movie together. Sidney Salkow directed this little obscure western gem. The movie giva me a warm fuzzy feeling because the supporting cast is made up of many great actors and actresses whom I am familiar with and really like.

They include Walter Sands, Slim Pickens, Michael Ansara, Lita Milan, Roy Barcroft and Dorothy Ford. If you're a western fan you might want to check this one out. I highly recommend it!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....

Dario Argento is 77, Angie Everhart is 48, and Luigi Cozzi is 70.