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Monday, October 21, 2019

31 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN DAY 21: CREEPSHOW EPISODE 4 2019 (SHUDDER)

Now back to horror themed reviews after yesterday's break. More fun from the unique series on Shudder.

The fourth episode of this show comes forward with some straight out scares and while they are not any way original, they are done very, very well.

The first story is called "The Companion". A young boy who is constantly beat up by his older brother accidentally stumbles upon an old farm house, it's long dead owner and a bizarre looking Scarecrow.

He removes a stake from the scarecrows chest and it comes to life and attempts to kill they boy but the young man finds out how to control it and decides to get even with his older sibling.

The scarecrow is a bizarre looking thing and something I haven't seen before in other stories of this ilk.

The second tale is called "Lydia Layne's Better Half". It's a creepy story about a highly successful business woman stuck in an elevator with the body of a woman she accidentally killed in her office.

It works very well on the creepy level and the ending is a good kicker. Great Halloween season viewing.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Paula Kelly is 76, and Jack Taylor is 83.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

31 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN DAY 20: GIRLS ARE FOR LOVING 1973 (MONTEREY)

The final entry in the "Ginger" series starring Cheri Caffaro as the ultra sexy secret agent. It may not fit into the Halloween horror category, but I figured I'd include this film as kind of horror break.

A lot of people have a hard time admitting they like the Ginger films, but I don't. I love em, this however is the weakest and that is because they really toned down the good stuff like bondage, sadism and misogyny.

In this film the CIA hires Ginger McAllister to combat a wicked female who is after the papers dealing with a trade treaty the US is about to sign with China.

It seems that Ronnie St. Claire (Sheila Leighton) is just as sexually charged as Ginger and both end up playing games with each other to see who is the better woman. Of course Ronnie is backed by a large army of thugs and Ginger and her friend Clay Bowers (Tim Brown) find themselves sometimes in over their heads.

The climactic fight between Ginger and Ronnie ends when Ginger chains Ronnie to the bed and lets a man have his way with her. Only in an exploitation film like this will you see this kind of ending.

There is plenty of sleaze and yes, Ginger is put into a few bondage scenarios, but as I said, it's really toned down for this 3rd entry. Caffaro is a beautiful woman who knows how to use her feminine gifts and for that the male viewer should be thankful.

If you've seen the other two entries you will be let down, but this is still entertaining for what it is. I also have to say you can't be too critical of these films if you like them because today's crap never has bondage, sadism and misogyny..the three main ingredients to a perfect exploitation picture.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Mary Peach is 85, Scott Hall is 61, Chavo Guerrero, Jr. is 49, and Diana Lorys is 79.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

31 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN DAY 19: HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME 1981 (MILL CREEK)

One of the many slasher films to be released in the early 80's following in the wake of Halloween.

The very simple plot involves a young woman named Virginia (Melissa Sue Anderson) whose group of friends start to disappear one by one and these events are tied to strange things that happened to her when she was a young child around her birthday.

Virginia has returned to a private school after having survived a horrible car accident and regenerative brain surgery. As her 18th birthday party approaches her friends start dying gruesome deaths.

Her doctor, David Faraday (Glenn Ford) tries to help her understand and tells her it's all in her mind as she is still recovering from her surgery. This advice only gets him killed in a gruesome scene involving a fireplace poker.

The most famous murder in the film is highlighted on the poster. The Shish Kabob into the head is indeed a classic. The film has a bizarre twist ending that brings everyone to a tragic end.

I have always liked Melissa Sue Anderson and find her to be a very attractive actress and wished she had done more, but she elected to be a stay at home mother to her two children, so movie fans are out of luck. At the time it was a total surprise to see Glenn Ford in a slasher film, and it still it to be honest.

I hadn't seen this for years and found it to be entertaining much as it was back 38 years ago. Melissa Sue Anderson just celebrated her 57th Birthday on Sept. 26th. That makes her exactly three months and one day older than I am. I always wanted to marry that woman...lol..oh well we can't have everything.

Anyway, I would recommend this over a lot of other slasher films of it's kind. Check it out.

Friday, October 18, 2019

RIP BILL MACY 1922-2019

Walter Findlay has died.

Macy is best known for playing the role of Walter Findlay, the husband of Maude Findlay on the long running show "Maude".

He did a ton of TV work and I remember him from "Tales From The Darkside" in an episode entitled "Lifebomb" which is an interesting tale about getting exactly what you wish for.

Some of his other work included "All In The Family", "Love Boat", "L.A. L:aw" and many more. He died on Oct. 17th, 2019 at the age of 97.

RIP IGO KANTOR 1930-2019

The prolific music director of hundreds of films has passed away.

Kantor did the music for many, many genre films including such classics as "Kingdom Of The Spiders", "Cyborg 2087", "Dimension 5", "Human Duplicators", and "Women Of The Prehistoric Planet" plus way too many to list here.

He also was the music editor for many Russ Meyer films including "Faster Pussycat Kill Kill", "Motor Psycho" and "Good Morning and Goodbye" plus many more.

A very busy life and a great career. Igo passed away on Oct. 15th at the age of 89.

31 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN DAY 18: 30,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA 2007 (ECHO BRIDGE)

This is a strictly by the book adventure/sci-fi tale that might entertain you.

My roommate wasn't around to watch this one so she couldn't do her Godzilla cheers and hope the big guy would show up and end everything. In reality I did that.

Sean Lawlor stars as Capt. Nemo who has become even more insane and plans on taking over the entire world. His plans include stealing a newly invented mini sub created by Lt. Michael Arronax (Lorenzo Lamas) as well as a machine that turns water into oxygen.

Nemo captures the small crew and holds them hostage in an attempt to obtain what he wants. I have to admit there was a lot of potential in this kind of a story, but the makers of the film decided to not use it I guess.

I wasn't really bored by the movie, but damn I was wishing so much more had gone on. The director was Gabriel Bologna and he is not given much to work with as well.

It's a time waster and you could do much worse, but why try. The movie makers claim this was inspired by Jules Verne's classic 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, but I can only imagine that is in name only.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Dawn Wells is 81.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

RIP JULIE GIBSON 1913-2019

The actress and dialogue coach had passed away at 106.

As pf Pct. 2019 she was the oldest living actor to work with the Three Stooges. Her film appearances include such fare as "Bowery Buckaroos". "The Clock", "Blonde Ice" "Badmen Of Tombstone" and "Street Of Darkness".

She passed away in her sleep on Oct. 2nd. A good, long life and a great career.

RIP BOB KINGSLEY 1939-2019

First it was Casey Kasem back in 2014, now Bob Kingsley.

Kingsley died on Oct. 17th just 8 days after making his announcement that he was stepping down from his radio show "Country Top 40" to fight bladder cancer.

Bob hosted "American Country Countdown" for 27 years and his voice was always a welcome one one the weekends. He and Kasem were the guys I hung out with on weekends listening to the radio.

Kingsley began producing "American Country Countdown" the year after Don Bustany and Casey Kasem started the program and he later became host in 1978 after Don Bowman.

Kingsley built a huge audience of fans around the world with his smooth radio voice and very friendly manner. A radio legend is gone, but never forgotten. He was 80.

31 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN DAY 17: DARK STRANGER 1954 (MILL CREEK)

Very strange story.

This is an episode of the 1955 TV series "The Star and The Story". Edmond O' Brien stars as a writer named Ray Ericson.

Ericson comes to realize that his life has taken a bizarre turn when he starts living out a fiction story he is writing, and that the characters are becoming real.

He meets a beautiful woman named Jill Andrews (Joanne Woodward) who is actually a character from his story, and she is attempting to get away from her boyfriend because he wants to kill her.

Ericson is shocked to find that he is in the role of the killer!! He must then race against time to change his story before it's published and becomes real.

I really liked the premise of this story and how the actors made it work. O' Brien and Woodward work very well together and it does come to a bitter sweet conclusion.

This is highly recommended for classic TV lovers.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

31 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN DAY 16: WHEN A STRANGER CALLS 1979 (MILL CREEK)

One of the most notorious films of the horror genre.

The entire advertising campaign of this film was based on scenes from the first 20 minutes and it worked extremely well.

Carole Kane stars as Jill Johnson, a young woman babysitting young children when their parents go out to dinner and a movie. Very soon she starts getting phone calls from a mysterious man who keeps asking her "Have you checked the children lately?" She calls the police and after several more phone calls they are able to trace them.

The calls are coming from inside the house and Jill finds herself in a house with a homicidal maniac who has already killed the children in what amounts to a bloodbath. The police arrive and the crazed killer is arrested.

Flash forward to 7 years later. The killer, Curt Duncan (Tony Beckley) has escaped from the metal hospital and it's up to the arresting cop from 7 years ago to find him again. Charles Durning does a great job as cop turned private detective John Clifford. Clifford is a man who can never forget what he saw at the original scene of the crime and now only wants to kill Duncan.

After wondering the streets and terrorizing a woman named Tracy (Colleen Dewhurst), Duncan finds Jill who is now married to a successful man and has two children of her own. He calls her and the terror for her starts all over again and works to a great climax. Beckley does a fantastic job as the killer and you can see he is terminally ill when making this film. He died shortly after at the age of 52 from cancer.

This is a well played out film that really delivers the shocks with a minimum of blood and gore. It was remade in 2007 and as usual that remake sucked. I'll never understand why Hollyweird messes with perfection.

This is the only version to see and for horror fans it's a good one. Great for a cold Halloween night viewing. This was actually released on Oct. 26th 1979.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Erin Brown is 40, and Chris Mitchum is 76.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

31 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN DAY 15: KING COHEN: THE WILD WORLD OF LARRY COHEN 2017 (SHUDDER)

A loving look at one of the most creative film makers to ever live.

I caught this on the Shudder network and found it very, very interesting. I had heard about this but never had a chance to see it.

Almost 2 hours are spent looking at the career of Cohen which includes many, many clips from his movies and TV shows as well as hearing from the people who worked with him over the years.

Cohen started his long career writing for TV in the late 50's on such series as "Kraft Theater", "Zane Grey Theater" and "Way Out" plus many more. He also created "The Invaders" TV series starring Roy Thinnes. A short while after that he started making movies, and the rest is history.

Nobody made films like Larry....nobody. He made "Bone", "Black Caesar", and "Hell Up In Harlem" which were all classic films starring black actors like Fred Williamson, then he started branching off into horror films.

Some of his most famous films include "It's Alive". "God Told Me To", "Q", "The Stuff" (which is my personal favorite), "The Ambulance" and "Return To Salem's Lot" just to name a few.

This documentary is full of amusing stories as well as a lot of heartbreaking ones, but that happens in the world of film making. If you're a Cohen fan you need to see this is you haven't already. If you've never seen a Cohen film, you need to and then watch this.

Sadly Cohen passed away on Mar 26th, 2019 at the age of 82, but this was finished before he died thank goodness. His legacy in films is everlasting and his work will never be equaled and NOBODY will ever use New York location like Larry did.

This is a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED movie.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Tanya Roberts is 64, Lynn Lowery is 72, and Virginia Leith is 94.

Monday, October 14, 2019

31 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN DAY 14: CREEPSHOW EPISODE 3 2019 (SHUDDER)

Two very different stories are presented in this episode.

The first tale is called "All Hallows Eve" and it's a bizarre one about a group of five young people who go trick or treating and find that they are met with hostility and abject fear.

It's a head scratcher until you find out what the young folks are really after and who they really are. Not too bad of a tale.

The second tale is called "Man In The Suitcase" and it is bizarre. A yung man brings home the wrong suitcase from the airport only to find a man inside of it who spits gold coins out of his mouth everytime he's in pain.

Things get really out of control when his roommate and his girlfriend get a little too greedy. Easily the most bizarre episode of the series so far, both of these tales seemed more fit for "Tales From The Darkside".

Still, an entertaining way to spend 45 minutes.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Udo Kier is 75, Stacy Keibler is 40, and Dyanne Thorne 76.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

31 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN DAY 13: BENEATH LOCH NESS 2001 (ECHO BRIDGE)

I have seen this movie sitting in many, many stores I have been in, but I have never bothered to pick it up and watch it.

My roommate (yes indeed, she feeds my habit) picked this up and brought it home so I figured I'd give it a shot. Patrick Bergin stars as Blay, a man who is slowly pulled into a hunt for an aquatic monster living in Loch Ness.

Lysette Anthony also stars as Elizabeth a former lover of Blay's that accompanies him on his quest. The plot is pretty straight forward and offers nothing new to the genre.

The actors do what they can and there are several huge plot holes that are never closed and the monster is a cheap looking special effect, but believe it or not there are some parts of this movie that are fun.

I always enjoy seeing Lysette Anthony and found her to be the best thing about the film, but she does seem a little out of place. I admit also that when watching the movie I wasn't even aware that the actual story had ended until the closing credits came on the screen.

The ending is that abrupt and bizarre. I can think of better ways to kill time, but if you have nothing better to do have at it.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Ashanti is 39, Pamela Tiffin is 77, and Judy Bamber is 83.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

RIP ROBERT FORSTER 1941-2019

One of my favorite actors had passed away.

Forster started his career in movies in 1967 in the film "Reflections In A Golden Eye". I never saw a film on TV show he was in that I didn't enjoy his performance.

Some of his many TV appearances include "Tales From The Darkside", "Gibbsville", "Magnum PI" and "Nakia" in which he starred in the title role.

He also was prolific in movies such as "The Delta Force", "Satan's Princess", "Alligator" which is my favorite film of his, "Jackie Brown" a film in which he was nominated for an Oscar and "Hotel Noir".

Robert Forster passed away on Oct. 11th, 2019 at the age of 78 from brain cancer.

RIP ESMERALDA BARROS 1945-2019

Beautiful actress from Brazil has died.

Barros starred in many genre and action films from the time her career started in 1965 until it ended in 1985.

Some of her roles occured in such films as "Kiss The Girls And Make Them Die", King Of Kong Island", "Voyage To The End Of The World", Djamgo's Cut Price Corpses" and "The Devil's Wedding Night".

She passed away at the age of 74. I do not have an exact date of her passing however.

31 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN DAY 12: MEGA SHARK VS. GIANT OCTOPUS 2009 (ECHO BRIDGE)

It's been 9 years since I last wrote about this movie on the blog, and it's been the same length of time since I actually saw this movie.

Well, I figured I'd visit this again since my roommate bought this disc at a dollar store, which is probably where it belongs. Debbie Gibson stars as Emma MacNeil, a scientist who witnesses a giant Megalodon and a giant squid escape their icy prison with some melting polar icebergs.

The two monsters go their separate ways as the octopus heads for Tokyo and the Megalodon preys on the pacific ocean. After thousands of deaths around the world from these monsters, the governments of Japan and the US decide that these monsters must be destroyed at all costs.

The scientists devise a way to get the beasts to come together and hopefully kill each other in an epic battle. Yes, this is a very simple plot and it's ok as far as monster movies of the 21st century go.

There are some bizarre and unforgettable scenes in this film including the destruction of the Golden Gate Bridge by the shark who is angry and decides to have some lunch. This scene is done very quickly and you don't get to see much, however the greatest scene in the film is where the shark jumps out of the ocean and actually takes down a jet airliner!!

I have to admit even my suspension of disbelief was stretched to the max on this scene. I do find the movie fun, and that is what counts I guess. My roommate kept thinking it would be better if Godzilla would show up and take care of everything. She might be right.

For mindless entertainment, this movie will fill the bill very nicely and it was good to re-visit this after so many years.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Deborah Foreman is 57, Susan Anton is 69, and Robin Askwith is 69.

Friday, October 11, 2019

31 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN DAY 11: CURTAIN CALL 1951 (MILL CREEK)

More "Lights Out" fun, this time starring Otto Kruger.

Kruger stars as Carlton Dane, a famous actor coming out of retirement after the death of his wife which everyone believes was a suicide. He is coming out of retirement because his beautiful daughter is becoming an actress as well.

The act in a play together and she is a major success. Dane seems to be having trouble dealing with her sudden fame. This causes problems that only get worse until the ironic, but not surprising ending.

This is not too bad of an episode and I have always enjoyed the work of Kruger. This is included along with the other television episodes I have been writing about over the past few days on a disc set entitled "Monster Movie Mix" but as all the others, it isn't a monster movie, but it was good to see this episode again.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

31 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN DAY 10: COOL AND THE CRAZY 1957 (DVD-R)

Fun little JD film from the 50's. It's not a horror film, of course, but I included in my 31 Day Of Halloween because it's a pretty cool film...no pun intended.

Scott Marlowe stars as Bennie Saul, a young man who enters a high school and completely turns things upside down for everyone else.

He proves himself worthy to a group of young punks and then he begins to do what he does best, sell marijuana and get the students hooked on it. Another young man named Jackie (Rickard Bakalyan) find Bennie funny, but knows there is something wrong with him.

Bennie gets some of the students hooked on drugs, but then is fired by the main pusher in town and has his supply cut off. Bennie resorts to murder by the final reel and all ends badly for most everyone involved except for Jackie and the young woman he has met named Amy (Gigi Perreau).

This is a fun little time waster directed by William Whitney and well worth your time. The rest of the cast includes Dickie Jones, Ken Plumb and Robert Hadden as the ill fated "Cookie".

This isn't available on DVD here in the USA and my copy is a beautiful print I recorded off of AMC many years ago. Recommended!!

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

31 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN DAY 9: RATTLERS 1976 (FROLIC)

I reviewed this movie a couple of years ago after seeing a TCM showing and I really liked it.

This was on DVD from Something Weird and now it's on DVD from Frolic on a double feature with "Shivers" and I found myself revisiting this film and enjoying it just as much if not more.

Before the opening credits we are treated to a scene where two young boys are savagely attacked and killed by rattlers in the desert.

It seems that the snakes are turning very aggressive and more dangerous thanks to the US Army dumping chemicals in a deserted mine shaft and the local police call in a noted herpetologist Dr. Tom Parkinson (San Chew) to investigate.

He and his assistant Ann Bradley (Elisabeth Chauvet) slowly discover the terrible truth and find themselves fighting both the snakes and the US Government who wants to keep the chemical dump a secret.

The snake attack scenes are fairly well handled and the movie does move along at a good pace despite what you may read from other reviews. Some even claim this is a TV movie, but it isn't. It had plenty of theatrical release.

The quality is good on this DVD, but not perfect which is a good thing because movies like this aren't meant to be seen in 4K upgrades anyway. They are meant to be seen in a drive-in quality from back in the day.

I would indeed recommend this nifty little thriller for late night viewing.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Michael Manna is 48.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

31 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN DAY 8:SHIVERS 1975 (FROLIC)

The David Cronenberg classic is available on DVD and I didn't even know it.

I have only had this on a DVD bootleg I made from a VHS print for years. The quality here isn't bad at all and I really am glad it's available.

The story centers around Starliner Towers, a hotel complex on an Island off the coast of Montreal. The opening scenes of a doctor fighting with a young woman and then knocking her out, taping her mouth, stripping her and then cutting open her stomach before cutting his own throat pretty much set the tone for the entire film.

He has created a sexual parasite that is out of control and is spreading fast among the residents of the complex. The parasite causes them to act out wild and violent sexual acts while it spreads, and there are some pretty shocking scenes in this film.

The doctor for the complex, a man named Roger St. Luc (Paul Hampton) has his hands full as he tries to stop the parasitic disease from taking over everyone including his girlfriend played by Lynn Lowery.

As I mentioned there are plenty of over the top scenes of people infected acting like sex crazed monsters and there are also some pretty memorable gore scenes including the infamous plier pulling scene involving an infected man named Nicholas (Alan Migicovsky) and a visitng doctor named Rollo (Joe Silver).

Barbara Steele also is in this and her scenes in the bath tub being attacked by the nasty parasites is a gem as well as how she spreads it around after being infected.

This is simply a no brainer on the must see list for any horror fan. Once seen it is never forgotten. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Olive Sturgess is 86.

Monday, October 7, 2019

31 DAY OF HALLOWEEN DAY 7: CREEPSHOW EPISODE 2 2019 (SHUDDER)

The second episode of this great horror series continues to shock and entertain.

The first tale is entitled "Bad Wolf Down" and concerns a platoon of US soldiers caught behind enemy lines during WW2. They take refuge in an abandoned police station and fins two German soldiers ripped to pieces and a young French woman locked in a jail cell.

Things take a much darker tone when she tells them she is a werewolf and wants to die. Soon they are surrounded by Germans and devise a brilliant but totally twisted way to get out of their predicament.

This story really reminded me of the great old EC comics I grew up on and the ending is a hell of a kicker.

Story number 2 is entitled "The Finger" and it combines horror, very, very dark humor and gore. A man named Clark who collects "found" objects finds a finger in an alley of Los Angeles.

The finger slowly begins to grow until it becomes a strange monster that starts taking care of Clark, such as bringing him the ripped out tongue of the bill collector who keeps nagging him, the body of his ex wife and finally the severed heads of both is rotten to the core children.

The scene where Clark uses a sledge hammer to beat the severed heads to a pulp is something not forgotten!! This story is so over the top, that is entertains to the max.

Once again the stories are top notch if you like this kind of thing, which I do very much. DJ Qualls performance as Clark in "The Finger" is spot on. He establishes himself as insane from the first few minutes and his talking directly to the camera is priceless.

If you get the chance and haven't seen the second episode, please do. I think you'll be very surprised.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Judy Landers is 61, and Terry Gerin is 44.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

31 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN DAY 6: SNEAK ATTACK 1952 (MILL CREEK)

Another "Tales Of Tomorrow" episode.

This is a strange episode starring Zachary Scott. 25 mysterious Soviet planes land in major cities in the USA and are set to explode at any time.

Scott is a covert agent in an Iron Curtain hospital and he is the one who must try and stop this insidious plot. After the entire city of Denver Colorado is destroyed Scott's character must act quickly to save the rest of the USA.

This is a well made little story which moves along nicely and Scott is perfect for the lead role. This is a very different kind of "Tales Of Tomorrow" episode and one that comes recommended.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Britt Ekland is 77, and Lou Cutell is 89.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

31 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN DAY 5: MAN WITH A WATCH 1951 (MILL CREEK)

Another interesting TV episode from the early days of TV.

This is an episode of "Lights Out" and it stars Francis Sullivan as a strange man named Ludovic Altimus who has a strange watch with him and is suspected by a police officer in the disappearance of many people in New York over the last few months.

The detective, Mike Wilson (Peter Capell) attempts to stop Altimus, but fails at every turn. He finally comes face to face with the man and discovers that he is an alien who is sending people to his home planet, and once there the people never want to come back.

This is a very odd and well done episode and if you watch and pay attention you'll notice how Sullivan forgets his lines at one point, but keeps on talking and then he makes a major mistake in his dialogue. Hey, this was live TV and you had to keep moving no matter what.

Lights Out ran from 1946 to 1952 and sadly a lot of the episodes are lost forever.