Total Pageviews

Search This Blog

Monday, April 30, 2018


Interesting, but sometimes slow moving thriller.

I caught this on TCM a while back. John Gilbert stars as Cheri-Bibi, the most celebrated escape artist in Paris. His shows play to sold out crowds and he is riding high on a wave of success.

He is happy and about to be married to Cecile Bourrelier (Leila Hyams). However all goes wrong when he is charged with murder and sentenced to death.

He easily escapes prison and hides in a friends secret cellar while trying to clear his name. This proves to be no easy task as his identity is known to all and he must become a master of disguise as well. His friend Max is the real killer, but he dies before he can make a confession, and this only makes matters worse for Cheri-Bibi.

Watching this film unfold is pretty cool, but as I said, it does drag in a few spots, however that doesn't make it a bad film.

This early talkie from MGM is well handled and Gilbert makes a good leading man, although he would find it difficult to change from silent films to sound, as did many actors and actresses back in the day. He died in 1936 at the age of 38 from heart failure.

I believe this film is available on DVD from Warner Archive, and if you're so inclined, you might want to check it out for something a little different.

Sunday, April 29, 2018


Finally got a good and uncut print of this film.

I reviewed this a few years ago and the print was from Tree Line and was very splicey and very poor quality, but you take what you can get.

I am not so sure why I love this movie so much. It could be because I first saw this at 5 AM on a show called "All Night Movies" on KCSG TV 36 in Sacramento. I tuned in a few minutes after the opening credits and really couldn't believe what I was seeing.

A couple is found wandering in the desert and taken to a mining corporations headquarters. They begin to relate a bizarre tale, but it is interrupted by a narrator who takes us back a little further.

Jackie Coogan is Dr. Aranya who is conducting experiments on spiders and trying to create a race of spider women! Harmon Stevens is Dr. Leland Masterson who comes to help Aranya and ends up being an experiment that goes wrong. We then leap to a short time later and Masterson has been in a mental hospital. He escapes and hijacks a private plane which in turn crashes on Zarpa Mesa, the exact place where Aranya does his work.

The crash survivors are terrorized on the Mesa by strange misshapen men, weird women and giant spiders. When they are brought to Aranya's secret lab all hell breaks loose for the last time.

The DVD from Image has been around for many years, but this is the first time I have ever had a chance to view it, and I was quite pleased with the quality. Again, I like this film a lot. It's just plain weird.


Cheri Caffaro is 73, and Akira Takarada is 84.

Saturday, April 28, 2018


The Holmes series moved to Universal and this is the first of 12 films produced over the next 4 years.

The characters are moved into modern England during World War 2 and it is weird to see that at first, but it is not a problem since the story telling is always great.

A Nazi propagandist repeatedly broadcasts attacks that are going to happen in England and it seems the officials are powerless to stop them. The Inter Intelligence Council calls in Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson to help unravel the mystery and stop the attacks.

A dying man at the home of Holmes leads him to a young woman named Kitty (Evelyn Ankers), who, with the help of the city's underground criminals, also tries to find out who the mysterious voice on the radio is.

This is a fast moving and fun little film. It has a surprising little twist at the end involving Sir Evan Barham (Reginald Denny) who was the man that wanted Holmes to work with the government in the first place. Thomas Gomez has an excellent part as Meade, a Nazi with some very bizarre and twisted visions of grandeur. His speech towards the end of the film is unforgettable.

This is the first of four Holmes films to be set in WW2 and it is the best one, however all of them are good. Don't get me wrong. The rest of the cast for this little gem includes Henry Daniell, Montagu Love and Olaf Hytten and an uncredited Martin Kosleck as well as Rudolph Anders and Edgar Barrier as "The Voice Of Terror".

Highly Recommended!!


Ann-Margret is 77, and Kari Wuhrer is 50.

Friday, April 27, 2018


Today would be the 86th birthday of Casey Kasem.

Kasem was the man who inspired me the most in my musical tastes. I listened to his countdown from the early 70's until 1988 and I can still say he was the greatest voice radio ever had.

Casey started American Top 40 with Don Bustany on July 4th 1970 and it changed the face of pop music forever. Bustany created both AT40 and American Country Countdown which I also listened to.

Kasem was a central part of my formative years and I will always love him for what he inspired in me. His later years were in the news headlines and it made me very angry that his death at that time could have been avoided. Casey also appeared in several horror movies and TV shows that are favorites of mine simply because he's in them.

Kasem left a legacy that has outlived him and will probably outlive me as well. LONG LIVE AMERICAN TOP 40 from 1970-1988. I know it ran much longer than that, but those are the best years of the show.


The second entry in the Sherlock Holmes series. I love all of these films, and I am sure this will show as I review all of these in the coming weeks.

The first was "Hound Of The Baskervilles" which I reviewed here a few years ago, and it still stands as one of the best films ever made.

This excellent film centers around Professor Moriarty (George Zucco) and his plan to commit the crime of the century, as well as murder anyone who stands in his way.

Holmes (Basil Rathbone) is determined to not let his arch enemy win. Of course Holmes is accompanied by Dr. Watson (Nigel Bruce) and both men work to stop Moriarty. To make sure Holmes and Watson get involved, Moriarty plans to have a beautiful woman, Ann Brandon (Ida Lupino) murdered.

Holmes really gets taxed in this film as he has a woman to protect as well as the Crown Jewels of England, which is what Moriarty is planning to steal.

Zucco portrays Moriarty with plenty of aplomb and is excellent playing off of Rathbone and Bruce. Ida Lupino makes for a lovely heroine and turns in her typical great performance. The rest of the cast includes Terence Kilburn, Alan Marshal, E.E. Clive and Mary Gordon.

This is the second entry as I said above and it is also the last of the series to be produced at 20th Century Fox. The series was picked up by Universal, moved to modern times because of World War 2 and both Rathbone and Bruce went with the series,,,,thank God.

If you haven't seen this film yet all I can say is you're missing something special.


Sheena Easton is 59.

Thursday, April 26, 2018


Sam Fuller directed this excellent film noir.

Robert Ryan stars as Sandy Dawson, a man who leads one of the top crime rings in Japan. He is brutal and relentless. His right hand man is named Griff (Cameron Mitchell) and he enjoys killing much more than anyone else and trusts nobody.

A mysterious man named Eddie Kenner comes to Tokyo under the name Eddie Spannier to investigate the death of his brother who might have been working for Dawson.

Dawson quickly accepts Spannier into his crime ring, but Griff has some misgivings which Dawson doesn't even listen to. Spannier/Kenner also falls for a beasutiful Japanese woman who was Spannier's secret wife, Mariko (Shirley Yamaguchi).

The plot is somewhat complicated, but not hard to follow. Director Fuller has all of his usual touches and he handles this rare color noir perfectly. The performances by all involved are very good with Yamaguchi playing the most low key. I like her but I do with she was more of a standout in the film.

The movie does have a happier ending ending than most films of its kind. The final shootout atop a rotating wheel is something I had never seen since in any film. Very unique.


Claudine Auger is 77.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Tuesday, April 24, 2018


This one is a guilty pleasure for me.

In my opinion this was Ed Wood's final decent feature. I know much has been written about Wood and his epics "Plan Nine From Outer Space" and "Bride Of The Monster", but this, at least to me is his best.

The story centers around the rebuilt old house that Bela Lugosi mad doctor character inhabited in "Bride Of The Monster". It seems that a series of ghost sighting have been reported in the area.

Lt. Daniel Bradford (Duke Moore) is assigned to investigate after as frightened couple report a ghost sighting. Bradford discovers that a medium named Dr. Acula (Kenne Duncan) has bought the house and is conducting seances.

Acula is a phony who is bilking rich people out of money by making them think they are taking to their deceased loved ones. However, in the end Acula and his female partner (Valda Hansen) who runs around as a "White Ghost", soon find that the dead don't like to be messed with.

The acting in this film is pretty bad, as in all Wood films, but who cares? The film has some incredible imagery and harkins back to a much more innocent time. I haven't seen this movie for many years and when I finally got a chance to see it again, I was just as entertained as the first time.

The cast also includes Tor Johnson (returning as Lobo from "Bride Of The Monster" but much more scarred up), Paul Marco as Kelton, Johnny Carpenter, Bud Osborne, Harvey B. Dunn, and Tom Mason.

Yep, this is a film I recommend for any horror fan who just wants to shut off their brain and have a good time.


Stacy Haiduk is 50.

Monday, April 23, 2018


A man whom I have a hell of a lot of respect has passed away.

Many of you who stop by this blog may know I am an American Top 40 freak. I am obsessed with the charts and countdowns from 1970-1989 and you already know that the late Casey Kasem is someone I consider to be the greatest man ever to work in radio.

Well, Don Bustany was the co-creator of American Top 40 along with Kasem, and the two of them made the countdown what it was. Bustany passed away today at the age of 89.

Don also started American Country Countdown and he was the last of the 4 men who made AT40 what is was before Ryan Seacrest ruined it. Next to my mother, Kasem and Bustany were my musical inspirations.

I hate writing this stuff, especially when it's someone who has really impacted your life in a great way. RIP Don, and thanks for all the memories that still live on today.


In just a few days I will start reviewing 12 of the 14 Sherlock Holmes films starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce. There were 14 films, but I have already reviewed "Hound Of The Baskervilles" and "Pursuit To Algiers".

The truth of the matter is that if it wasn't for UCLA Film Archives and Hugh Hefner some of these films might not exist at all anymore. The first two films in the series, "Hound" and "Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes" have been well taken care of as they were produced by 20th Century Fox and they take care of a lot of their product.

Universal bought the rights to make Holmes films and they made 12 of them. Over the years they were not taken care of and several fell into the public domain. In 1993 a massive restoration was started on these films and it was discovered that some of them had missing reels, snippets of film were missing and some had vinegar syndrome setting in. A sad tale indeed.

These 12 have been restored and thank god for that, which brings me to what I wanted to briefly talk about. Film Preservation is a hot topic with me as film is a part of who I am. There are literally thousands of movies out there that are beyond any kind of repair and many more are being saved by people who work silently behind the scenes.

Three particular genre films come to mind that have been restored and saved. They are "Manos The Hands Of Fate", "Monstrosity" and "Night Of The Living Dead". These are but a small example, but people have cared enough to make this happen so these little films can be enjoyed by everyone for many years in the future.

I find it shocking that this is even allowed to happen. Film, since the very first movie back in the late 1800's is a reflection of our American culture and way of life. Also, making ANY film is a lot of hard work and even if the movie stinks it does not deserve to be lost forever. The UCLA Film Archive, Museum Of Modern Art, George Lucas Family, Hugh Hefner are just some of the names involved in preserving our movie past.

It's always been sad for me to see film not taken care of and I have seen this with my own work. I made several films back in the late 70's early 80's and the film prints have deteriorated and thanks to so much moving and divorce and other things I lost the original negatives. I hurriedly transferred them to DVD for some kind of preservation, but it is all that is left of those films now and I never show them to the public.

We all live in a great time when movies can be saved, but it is time consuming and expensive. I hope it can continue as I feel we need to preserve our film heritage.


Lee Majors is 79.

Sunday, April 22, 2018


A great upgrade from the old Warner DVD and taken from a much better source.

50's sci-fi has always been and will always be my favorite kind of movie. This is an excellent example of that genre.

Volcanic eruptions in Mexico opens up the ground and out come giant scorpions that ravage the countryside. Richard Denning stars as Hank Scott, an American geologist trying to help Mexico recover along with his friend Artur Ramos (Carlos Rivas).

Hank meets and falls for Teresa Alvarez (gorgeous Mara Corday) who owns a large ranch and whose workers have fled in fear of what they call the "demon bull". The film starts off with the discoveries of people who have been mysteriously killed and builds to a crescendo when Scott and Ramos explore a huge cave full of giant scorpions, spiders and worm like creatures.

The scenes of the scorpions swarming over a wrecked train for victims is unforgettable and extremely well done by effects master Willis O' Brien and his partner Pete Peterson.

The final climactic battle between the army and the last giant scorpion in the Mexico City Arena is something many people have studied for years and still marvel at the perfection..

This Blu-ray from Warner Archive is simply beautiful and right away you can tell is was sourced from better material. I cannot recommend this enough for all giant monster movie fans.


Jack Nicholson is 81, Catherine Mary Stewart is 59, Mark Damon is 85, and Peter Frampton is 68.

Saturday, April 21, 2018


An all around classic film.

Vincente Minnelli directed this classic starring Kirk Douglas as an unscrupulous movie producer named Jonathan Shields who has big ambitions and will let absolutely nothing stop him.

The film is told in three separate, yet interconnected flashbacks about how Jonathan used a star named Georgia Lorrison (Lana Turner), a writer named James Bartlow (Dick Powell) and a director named Fred Amiel (Barry Sullivan) to make himself a very powerful man.

The film opens as the above mentioned three people are gathered in the office of a movie studio producer named Harry Pebble (Walter Pidgeon) as they await a phone call from Shields. This is where the tales are related. We discover that Shields has ruined many lives in his pursuit of fame.

The film won 5 Oscars and it's easy to see why. Everything in this film works perfectly. All of the actors turn in excellent performances and of course Lana Turner is a sexy as hell knockout. There are parts of the film that are disturbing, such as the death of Rosemary (Gloria Ghahame) who was Bartlow's wife and then the film has a very humorous scene when Shields and Fred Amiel are stuck looking for costumes for a low budget horror film called "The Cat Man" or something like that. The look on both men's faces when they see the costumes is hilarious.

The supporting cast of this film is filled with people you all know including Leo G. Carroll, Paul Stewart, Gilbert Roland, Vanessa Brown, Sammy White, Ivan Triesault and the unforgettable Elaine Stewart.

Gloria Ghahame took home as Oscar for Best Supporting Actress and it is a well deserved one. One of the best American films ever made. SEE IT!!


Dee Hartford is 90, and Ed Leslie is 61.

Friday, April 20, 2018


One hell of a horror film.

I hadn't seen this for a long time, and had forgotten what a thrill ride this movie is. A biological experiment with cockroaches has gone horribly wrong and the inhabitants of a small coastal island must now deal with the terror.

Robert Lansing stars as Elias Johnson, the Mayor of a small coastal island who is trying to get more tourists to his island and as a result hires a tech firm to come in and run some experiments on the island. One of them being creating a cockroach that would eat other roaches and the die.

However, this plan goes totally awry and thew roaches mutate in another direction. Enter Dr. Morgan Hubbard (Terri Treas) who comes to the island to stop the roaches, but instead is thrilled that they are mutating and becoming flesh eating monsters.

In all of the thousands of movies I have seen, never have I seen a more cold blooded female than Treas pulls off in her character of Hubbard. She does one hell of a job and I don't think people talk about her enough.

The gruesome killings in this film are unsettling and well done and you won't soon forget them. The final confrontation between humans and the incredible mutated queen roach is something I have never forgotten. I hate roaches anyway and this kind of a film really has an effect on me.

The Blu-ray looks very good and this film is a very good representation of late 80's horror. Produced by Julie Corman and released thru Roger Corman's Concorde, I can't recommend this enough.

The rest of the cast includes Franc Luz as Sheriff Tarbell, Lisa Langlois as Elizabeth the Sheriff's girlfriend and Mayor's daughter, Stephen Davies, and Heidi Helmer.


Clint Howard is 59, Carmen Electra is 46, Judith O' Dea is 73, and Olga Karlatos is 73.

Thursday, April 19, 2018


Today would be Jayne's 85th birthday.

She was taken from us on June 29th, 1967 in a tragic car accident, but what a wonderful short legacy she has left fantastic film lovers.

I have seen most of her films many, many times including such gems as "Female Trouble", "Dog Eat Dog", the all time classic "Girl Can't Help It", "Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter", "Promises Promises" and "Too Hot To Handle".

Jayne may have died many years ago, but she has done what very few will ever do, and that is leave a lasting film and entertainment legacy that will simply not go away....Thank God.


Burt Reynolds stars in this well done action film.

I recently caught this on the El Ray Network, and I wasn't sure what to expect.

Reynolds is Gator McKlusky a convict who, while serving on a work farm, receives news that his brother has been killed. He offers to help the Feds in an investigation in order to get a release and find his brothers killer.

Ned Beatty is Sheriff J.C. Conners, a man who rules his town with an iron fist. Hippies are run out of town, blacks are segregated and unwed mothers are kept in a home for same said reasons.

This is a very good representation of how the south looked in the early 70's and when the filmmakers stick Reynolds in a leading role they have box office gold.

McKlusky slowly gets more and more evidence against Conners and it's one chase scene after another and it really is well done. I very rarely watch TV and it's even a more rare occurrence when I watch something interrupted by commercials, but they didn't really hurt the flow of the film.

I have never seen this movie before so I am not sure if anything was edited although I am willing to bet it was. This film has a top notch cast that also includes Diane Ladd, R.G. Armstrong, Bo Hopkins, Jennifer Billingsley and Dabbs Greer.

This is available on Blu-ray from Kino. When and if I ever pick it up from them I will be able to tell what was edited out. I liked the movie so I decided to write something about it based on what I had seen. If you like these kinds of flicks, I recommend you pick this up on the Blu-ray and see what you're missing.


Tim Curry is 72.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018


The toughest son of a bitch ever to enter a wrestling ring has died.

Sammartino was an Italian immigrant who went on to become one of the greatest wrestlers in the sports history.

Sammartino was a World Heavyweight Champion for a record 11 years in the 60's and 70's and drew packed houses whenever he wrestled. There isn't much I can add that hasn't been said on every other website.

I grew up watching this legend and he will always be in my memories. A legend, a champion, a role model and a gentleman. RIP Bruno. He was 82.


The judge of Night Court has died.

Besides appesaring in the movies "It" and an episode of "Tales From The Crypt" Anderson is best known for his show called "Night Court".

"Night Court" ran from 1984 until 1992. Believe it or not I was first introduced to him in an episode of "Tales From The Darkside" entitled "All A Clone By The Telephone" which is a story I based one of my short stories on in "Macabre Tales".

Besides being an accomplished actor,. Anderson was also a very talented magician. He was 65.


Eric Roberts is 62, and Melody Thomas Scott is 62.

Monday, April 16, 2018


The gorgeous Phyllis Davis stars in this drive-in classic.

Not only were the 70's the BEST decade for music, but for movies as well. This is a prime example.

Davis stars as a prostitute named Sugar that is set up by a corrupt politician and sentenced to a stretch at a sugar cane plantation in a banana republic.

The plantation is run by Dr. John (Angus Duncan) a very twisted man who performs bizarre experiments on the female inmates. This character is truly one of the strangest in film history.

The guards are led by Burgos (Cliff Osmond), a sadistic man who enjoys ruling over his guards and the women. He goes so far as to kill a guard who had sex with Sugar and then he heats up the barrel of his gun and uses it in a very painful way on Sugar. It is the most memorable scene in the film.

Sugar and her friends Simone (Ella Edwards) are tired of the abuse and attempt to battle back with the help of a male inmate named Mojo. Mojo is burned alive by Dr. John for helping the women. This is the final straw as all bloody hell breaks loose.

Both Davis and Edwards make beautiful inmates and work well together. The movie tries to mix several genres into one. These genres include WIP, horror and action and it actually works very well for a very disorientating experience.

The Blu-ray presentation is the best I have ever seen this film looking and a big thanks to Vinegar Syndrome for making it available. Best line in the film is "Dr. John is Immortal!!!!" LOL. You gotta see this film to believe it.

Sunday, April 15, 2018


Another uncut Fred Williamson gem.

This film is really obscure and not much has been written about it. Williamson wrote, produced and directed this great crime film. He made this film on weekends while shooting "Inglorious Bastards" in 1977.

The plot revolves around the Mafia who is trying to find a cold blooded killer to wipe out some people before a full scale bloodbath can be started.

They hire Mr. Mean to get the job done. As far as I am concerned only Fred Williamson could have pulled this role off, and he does it very well. He slowly plans how to do his dirty work.

Mr. Mean gets his planned target as well as others who tried to get in his way, however he also finds that you can trust nobody. The end of this film has a double twist to it that really makes you sit up and pay attention.

I am not sure why this film is so hard to see and why there are hardly any written reviews about the film. It's pretty damn good. The print from Code Red is uncut and does have some nasty splices in it, but that is cool with me. It reminds me of my drive-in days.

The rest of the cast includes Lou Castel, Raimund Harmstorf and Rita Silva. This is a great way to spend 100 minutes and my hat is off to Fred, who managed to write the script in pieces while filming another movie and shooting this on weekends. That takes true talent to balance everything.

If you like crime movies, check it out.


Claudia Cardinale is 80, and Samantha Fox is 52.

Saturday, April 14, 2018


The great Fred Williamson stars in this top notch western.

Williamson is a black soldier who returns home after fighting for the Union during the Civil War. He sends a letter ahead of him to his mother that he will be returning.

His mother is working as a maid for a couple at their small isolated cabin. The man is Sam and he is happy to be living with his wife he brought out from the East.

The day before Joshua arrives home a gang of thugs arrive at Sam's home and shoot him, take his wife and kill Joahua's mother, Martha. Josh arrives and finds the devastation and decides to take the law into his own hands.

He buries his mother, borrows Sam's rifle and heads out to kill everyone of the thugs. Josh makes good time picking up their trail and one he kills the men. Josh uses some rather inventive way of killing including rattle snakes and more.

The final climactic battle between Josh, the gang leader and Sam's wife who has taken to the gang leader is really something to see. Yes, this is a very simple western plot, but it is the execution of that plot that makes this film stand out.

It's a shame this film is not better known,as it works perfectly. The Blu-ray from Code Red is from the UNCUT print and it looks pretty damn good. If you are a westerns fan I can't recommend this one enough. Williamson's performance is excellent.


Sarah Michelle Geller is 41, Amy Dumas is 43, Betty Anne Rees is 75, and Mike Christopher is 65.

Friday, April 13, 2018

RIP TIM O' CONNER 1927-2018

The ubiquitous character actor has passed away.

O' Conner's career started in 1949 in an uncredited role in the film "Master Minds", but he is far more familiar to anyone who watched episodic TV from the 50's thru the 90's.

Some of his hundreds of TV appearances include episodes of "The Twilight Zone", "Alfred Hitchcock Presents", "The Outer Limits", "12 O' Clock High", "Peyton Place" as well as a starring role in "Buck Rodgers In The 25th Century".

His role as "Andros" a friendly alien in the "Wonder Woman" TV series was very good as well. O'Conner passed away on April 5th at the age of 90.


I was glad to see this wonderful William Girdler film finally brought out to Blu-ray.

Some have called this a sequel to Girdler's "Grizzly" and that might be true up to a point, but the stories of the films are completely different.

Christopher George stars as Steve Buckner, a tour guide who is leading a group of hikers thru the forest over a long weekend. Not only does Buckner have his hands full with all the guests, he has been getting reports of many accidents involving campers and animals.

He goes ahead with the planned hike anyway and at the beginning all seems well, but a young boy on the tour has a radio and he hears vague reports about the Ozone Layer causing problems with some animal life.

The hiking trip soon turns into a battle for survival as the group is violently attacked by birds, cougars, bears, dogs, snakes and just about everything else.

The tension builds slowly, but when it opens up, it really opens up. I love every William Girdler film I have ever seen and it is a shame he was killed so early in life. The scenes of animal attacks are very well done and the cast makes everything happening seem very real.

That cast by the way includes Lynda Day George, Leslie Nielsen, Richard Jaeckel, Michael Ansara, Ruth Roman, Jon Ceder, Paul Mantee and Andrew Stevens. Nielsen plays a big city advertising exec whose mind is slowly destroyed by the Ozone and he slowly goes crazy.

This Blu-ray includes interviews with Paul Mantee and Jon Ceder as well as isolated music tracks from composer Lalo Schifrin and fun facts and trivia from the always sexy Katarina Leigh Waters.

If you are like me, this is a no brainer to pick up and watch. HIGHLY RECOMMEDED!!