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Saturday, December 31, 2016


Well, this is it...the top 10 of the entire year.

10.VENGEANCE OF LADY MORGAN (SINISTER CINEMA)... Sexy Erica Blanc stars with Gordon Mitchell in this super atmospheric Euro horror gem. Filmed in beautiful black and white and in widescreen!! One of the best films ever offered from Sinister and one of two films from them in the top 10.

9.BOY WHO CRIED WEREWOLF (SHOUT FACTORY) BLU-RAY...Kerwin Matthews stars as man bitten by a werewolf and nobody will believe his son when he sees his father become a monster. This has never been available on any form of home media, but Shout Factory rectified that major oversight. The first of three from Shout in my top 10.

8.BEWARE THE BLOB (KINO) BLU-RAY...When I reviewed this film I believe I mentioned that this film scared the heck outta me when I was 10. The blob returns and practically eats an entire town in this follow up film directed by Larry Hagman. This is the highest rated Kino release this year.

7.DOLL OF SATAN (SINISTER CINEMA)...The highest rated Sinister Cinema release this year. I had never seen this film, but always wanted to. Great Euro horror starring the gorgeous Erna Schurer as a young woman who inherits a castle and the grounds from her dead uncle. Murder and torture soon follow the reading of the will.

6.RABID (SHOUT FACTORY) BLU-RAY...Epic David Cronenberg horror film starring Marilyn Chambers as a young woman who is given radical plastic surgery after a motorcycle accident. She soon develops a parasite under her arm that requires her to only eat human blood. One of my all time favorite horror films. The Blu-ray from Shout is highly recommended. This was released in mid November and barely made the survey period time.

5.BRAIN THAT WOULDN'T DIE (SHOUT FACTORY) BLU-RAY...This is the highest rated Shout release of the year! The classic film about a mad doctor keeping the head of his girlfriend alive while seeking a perfect body for her is given the Blu-ray treatment it is so deserved. This version is complete and uncut and even offers the long unseen nude footage, if only in the extras as the scene has no sound. This print is excellent and looks better than I have ever seen this film.

4.THE RACKET (WARNER ARCHIVE)... Released in early Nov. of this year, it squeezed into the survey period I have and was I ever glad to see this film!! One of my favorite film noir gems starring Robert Mitchum, Robert Ryan and Lizabeth Scott. Ryan is a top gangster in a large city that is fighting both the police and a crime syndicate that is taking over his territory. I cannot praise this film enough!! This is the only film in the Top 50 from Warner Archive.

3.BLOOD BATH (ARROW) BLU-RAY...One of the most comprehensive DVD collections ever released!! This is a limited set from Arrow and one that is simply A MUST for any film fan. This set shows the evolution of a film from a Krimi style crime film into a bizarre vampire film!! Operation Titian is a crime film not seen in the USA. William Campbell is an artist who arrives in Dubrovnik to steal a painting. The film was produced by Roger Corman. The second film is entitled Portrait In Terror and rearranges several scenes, cuts some down and adds a murder scene with obvious doubles. Still, this is an interesting film and well worth seeing. The third film is Blood Bath which had scenes from Titian used and Stephanie Rothman directed other scenes with new actors including Sandra Knight and the dialogue changed to imply that the Campbell character of the artist Sordi is actually a vampire. The final film is Track of The Vampire, and this is a recut of Blood Bath to make it long enough to sell to American TV. This is the first version I ever saw and it was somewhat confusing, but now everything is made a little clearer thanks to this remarkable set from Arrow.

2.THEY CAME FROM THE SWAMP (BALLYHOO)...In the spring of this year Ballyhoo released this title and what a release it was. This documentary covers the entire career of William Grefe, the man who made some of the most entertaining movies ever to come out of Florida. There are plenty of interviews with Grefe, Frank Henenlotter, John David Chandler, David Friedman and many more. Clips from all of Grefe's films are shown and that is also a treat. Ballyhoo has done their usual top notch job with this presentation. The second disc contains the rare Grefe film "Whisky Mountain". We really need more releases like this!!!

That brings us up to the number one film of the year. Without further ado.........

1.MONSTER OF PIEDRAS BLANCAS (OLIVE) BLU-RAY...Yep, this is my favorite release of the year 2016. Only available on VHS for many years, Olive brought this to DVD and Blu-ray for the very first time. A small coastal town is terrorized by a sea monster that resembles the Creature from the Black Lagoon, but is far more vicious. Don Sullivan stars as a young scientist who is trying to stop the monster. For lovers of 50's monster movies this release was extremely welcome, and the film looks better than it ever has. Olive topped the mountain this year and came with the release I consider to be the best....MONSTER OF PIEDRAS BLANCAS!

Well there you are...the final chapter of my Top 50 for the Year 2016. But, before I bring this to a close I want to acknowledge a couple of films that deserve Honorable mention.

HONORABLE MENTION #1...THE CONJURING 2 (WARNERS) BLU-RAY... Extremely well made modern horror film taken from the case files of the Warrens about the Endfield haunting in England in 1977. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga reprise their roles as Ed and Lorraine Warren. James Wan also returns as director. A perfectly scary film.

HONORABLE MENTION #2...MELINDA (WARNER ARCHIVE)...I reviewed this a few days ago with a TCM viewing, but it has been made available on DVD. Calvin Lockhart is a young DJ who falls for a beautiful young woman with a very dark secret. When she is brutally murdered, Lockhart finds himself framed for murder. This is an excellent film, not to be missed. It also stars Rosalind Cash and sexy as hell Vonetta McGee.

I want to thank everyone who reads this for staying with the countdown for the last five weeks and sending in some interesting comments. HAPPY NEW YEAR and we will see what 2017 has in store for bizarre movie lovers everywhere.

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