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Friday, August 31, 2018


A wonderful 2 1/2 hour documentary on one of the greatest film studios to ever exist.

This informative gem is narrated by Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. It was Cuching's last work before he passed away in 1994. This was originally released back in 1994 as a two part BBC show, and I first saw it on the VHS tape I had from Anchor Bay many years ago.

This version contains about 48 minutes of new interviews and scenes not included in the original release, and it makes for a heck of a show! There are hundreds of clips from many Hammer productions and people who worked for the company such as Terence Fisher, Veronica Carlson, Andrew Keir, Jimmy Sangster and Caroline Munro give some very informative details about what it was like to work there.

There aren't too many documentaries that one can watch for over two hours, but this one is a breeze. It traces the history from the time the studio was known as Exclusive Films and produced crime dramas and film noir (many of which I reviewed here over the last month) to when they changed to Hammer and hit it big with Quatermass Xperiment world wide.

I can't see why any horror fan wouldn't have this edition in their DVD libraries, it is essential. So many clips, so many people involved and I couldn't name them all here. Just get this DVD and enjoy!! Director Ted Newsom should be commended for bringing us this extended version of a wonderful show about one of the most influential movie studios in history.


Debbie Gibson is 48, and Mickie James is 39.

Thursday, August 30, 2018


Another long lost film I found on Amazon Prime while house sitting.

This very bizarre movie was directed by Bert I. Gordon and it's quite a change from his horror films featuring giant insects and other monsters.

A young couple, Lori and Frank Brandon (Pamela Franklin and Michael Ontkean) move to a small California town called Lilith for Frank's work. Lori doesn't really feel comfortable about the moves but goes along reluctantly anyway.

Frank seems to be blind to everything in town, but Lori not only has strange visions but she also notices that some of the people in town act pretty odd and some of the questions that a mysterious Mr. Cato (Orson Welles) asks Frank are also odd and out of place.

It seems that Mr. Cato runs the town, which is actually a coven of witches and he plans to use Lori to bring his dead son back to life. Welles performance as Cato isn't bad and Franklin comes across the best as the victimized young woman who fights for her survival and sanity.

The ending of the film is pretty odd, but not original. I liked this movie. I hadn't seen it since I owned an old VHS many years ago under the title "The Witching".

I was very pleased to see the beautiful Sue Bernard in this movie as a seductress named Nancy. Bernard has quite a background and was one of the most underrated actresses in cinema history.

This is a movie that seems to me anyway to have fallen thru the cracks of horror history and movie history in general. Maybe someday I'll write a post about theses kinds of movies. Anyway, this isn't too bad and if you haven't seen it, maybe you should give it a try.


Peggy Lipton is 72.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018


Some interesting things coming this fall and winter.

Code Red is bringing out "Savage Streets" starring Linda Blair. This title will be available thru Ronin Flix and should be available very soon. I have no street date yet.

Mondo Macabro is releasing 4 very obscure foreign films. "Queens Of Evil" starring Ray Lovelock, "The Punishment", "Girl With The Butterfly Tattoo" and the Greek exploitation film "Dangerous Cargo" starring Deborah Shelton. All four are expected to be released before the end of the year.

Finally, Kino is releasing what I consider to be one of the best of 2018..."The Mamie Van Doren Film Noir Collection". This stunning set will include three films, "Vice Raid" directed by Edward L. Cahn, "Guns, Girls and Gangsters" again directed by Cahn and "The Girl In Black Stockings" which is an excellent and under rated film.

November 20th is the release date for the Van Doren Collection.


Why this is titled Candle For The Devil is a mystery to me.

This great little thriller is better known as "It Happened At Nightmare Inn" and that title fits it much better.

Two women, Marta and Veronica (Aurora Bautista and Esperanza Roy respectively) run a small hotel in Spain. Marta has a very strong religious upbringing and accidentally kills a beautiful female tourist staying at the hotel after she tries to throw her out for sunbathing on the roof.

She and her sister cover up the murder, but trouble comes in the form of the woman's sister Laura (Judy Geeson) who arrives later that same day. Laura can't understand where her sis disappeared to, but she starts investigating.

In the meantime Marta and Veronica add a few more victims to their ever growing list, and Laura moves out of the hotel and into a larger one when it seems that everybody at the sisters' inn keep vanishing without a trace.

Laura gets her sister's boyfriend, Eduardo (Vic Winner) to help her, which he halfheartedly does because he can't bring himself to believe there is anything wrong.

When a young woman arrives with a baby and decides to stay and the inn Laura tries to talk her out of it, but to no avail. Marta kills the woman because she has heard a rumor that the woman has no husband, and Marta has judged her a whore that must die.

The climax to the film is very well done and it really makes you wonder what the hell is running thru the minds of those two sisters.

I enjoyed the hell out of this film and had never seen it uncut. The film is introduced on this Blu-ray by Katarina Leigh Waters who has a lot of insight to fill the viewer in on. I have said it before on other reviews, and I will say it again...any time Katarina is hosting something I will watch. She is mesmerizing.

I can highly recommend this little gem, especially if you've only had the chance to see the edited versions which are floating around on many different labels.

Monday, August 27, 2018


It has been about 30 years since I saw this on VHS.

House sitting for a friend who has Amazon Prime, I stumbled on this and decided to give it another look after so many years.

John Gilling directed this strange film that can't decide if it wants to be a serious sci-fi film, comedy or social drama. Paul Douglas stars as Mike Wilson, an American reporter who along with a friend, Howard Meade (Leslie Phillips) is stranded in a small country behind the iron curtain due to their train car coming un-hitched.

They discover the country is very, very under the control of a dictator named Boronski (Walter Rilla). Mike and Howard try to leave and are blocked at every turn. They soon discover why Boronski is doing this. He is conducting very secret experiments involving gamma rays and children. Very few of the children turn out for the better. Most are turned into hulking goons and killers.

Eva Bartok also stars as a young woman who is working with Boronski but eventually sees the error of her ways. There are several scenes including the deformed henchmen chasing both Wilson and Meade which will always stick with me, but I do wish the film had a more stable way of telling the story.

The social drama angel works ok, the comedy is extremely strained, but the Sci-fi aspect works great. Gilling shows his ability to handle the confused material. It was nice to see this again, however, much like visiting an old friend.


Barbara Bach is 71, Tuesday Weld is 75, and Robert Remus is 70.

Sunday, August 26, 2018


I hadn't seen this film in about 32 years, and when I did see it, it was edited for time on TV.

This is a throwback to 50's giant monster movies.

Robert Lansing stars in this fun little thriller about a nuclear accident that causes crabs to mutate. The little monsters get in everywhere and terrorize some of the folks in the small Florida town in which the story is set.

The mysterious killings and accidents continue until a young biologist finds the remains of a huge shell. A scientist named Dr. McNeal (Barry Nelson) surmises it to be from a very large land crab, but is unsure if it is a result of his experiments or the nuclear accident.

Before you know it the small little town is under attack from a huge monster crab that roars a lot. The climatic battle between the townspeople and the monster is well done and kind of hides the fact that the crab doesn't move well.

Ricou Browning, the man who played the creature in all the underwater scenes in "Creature From The Black Lagoon" co-wrote the script. I loved this little film, and can't understand why there is so much hate for it.

Yes, it's cheap, it's a formula picture, but for heaven's sake, it's entertaining as hell. Robert Lansing does his usually great job, and it's also nice to see Nita Talbot as his girlfriend and the gorgeous Jo McDonnell as a young woman doing a photo story about the lab doing experiments on sea life.

The Blu-ray looks very, very good and I have to admit I was impressed that this even got a release.


Akiko Wakabayashi is 77, and Kirk Morris is 76.

Saturday, August 25, 2018


Lawrence Tierney was simply one of the greatest actors ever.

Robert Wise directed this all time film noir classic starring Tierney as Sam, an insane killer who actually believes that the world is his to do with as he pleases.

Claire Trevor is Helen, a young woman just divorced who happens upon a double murder in the boardinghouse she used to live in. She decides not to even report the murder and instead leaves town.

At the train station she runs into a man she met briefly at a gambling hall in Reno named Sam. They share a train coach because Sam demands it. Helen is somewhat taken with him, but she also knows he is dangerous and they split apart after they arrive in San Francisco. Helen isn't even aware that Sam killed the two people at her old boardinghouse in Reno.

Time passes and one day Sam arrives unexpectedly at the home of Helen's foster sister, Georgia (Audrey Long). Helen is engaged to a man of wealth named Fred (Phillip Terry), but inside something still burns for Sam. Slowly things spiral out of control as Sam marries Georgia, who thinks Sam is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Meanwhile a detective named Arnett (Walter Slezak) is investigating the murders in Reno because the boardinghouse owner, a Mrs. Kraft (Esther Howard) wants the killer of her friend found no matter what.

Sam gets more and more violent and ends up killing his best friend Marty (Elisha Cook, Jr.) in a fit of jealous rage. This is probably one of the darkest Film Noir ever made and looking at it today I wonder how it ever made it past the RKO censors.

The unique thing about this film noir is that it is an opposite of most movies like it. What I mean is in most film noir you have a femme fatale that brings abut the tragic end to a man, and in Born To Kill you have Tierney's Sam, who is bringing a woman to her doom.

Director Wise was one of the most talented men in the business and once again he shows us why. The story is handled very tightly and the dialogue just crackles film noir. One of the first lines in the film is uttered by a beautiful young woman named Laury Palmer (lovely Isabell Jewel), and it describes Sam perfectly, even though we haven;t yet seen him. Palmer is one of the people Sam subsequently kills in Reno.

Other memorable lines include Mrs. Kraft telling Helen "You're the coldest iceberg of a woman I ever saw, and the rottenest inside". And when Arnett tells a delivery boy the life is much like coffee...the aroma is always better than the eventually.

I could go on and on about this film. Watch this with "The Devil Thumbs A Ride" and it'll be an experience you'll never forget.


Sean Connery is 88, Tom Skerritt is 85, and Claudia Schiffer is 48.

Friday, August 24, 2018


I have just been informed of her death which happened back in March.

I posted her 90th birthday on July 17th without knowing she had passed at the age of 89.

Her acting career began in 1945 and ended when she retired in 1974. During her career she appeared in many films including "City Across The River", "The Underworld Story", :Kidnapped" and "Bomba and the Hidden City".

She also appeared in many, many TV shows including "Marcus Welby M.D.", "Space Patrol", "Peter Gunn" and "Hawaiian Eye". Her most memorable movie role was that of Jane Koberly in "Teenage Crime Wave".

A very beautiful woman that always made her appearances unforgettable.


The final AIP patch job film featuring footage from the Russian made "Planet Of Storms".

This bizarre film was directed by Peter Bogdanovich using the name Derek Thomas. Roger Corman wanted to use the Russian footage as much as possible and I'd say he did a very good job of that.

The film centers around a team of astronauts who head to Venus to rescue two others who have crashed. The dialogue is of course redubbed and the film recut. However this time it is recut with scenes of gorgeous Mamie Van Doren as the leader of a tribe of "gill women" who lounge on the beach, communicate with telepathy and eat raw fish.

These women, of course, never make contact with the astronauts, but in the film they are watching them and commanding the elements to become so harsh the men have to leave.

This is my favorite of the three movies Corman used the footage in, and Mamie is the reason why. I would watch anything with her in it. Oh yes, the movie does include all of the monster footage seen in the other film, the lizard men, the brontosaurus, the flying monster and the man eating plants.

I never caught this film until the early 1980's but was immediately captivated by Mamie in a clamshell bikini and skin tight pants on Venus. The film is fun and yes, I would recommend it to Mamie fans and Corman fans. The print from Retromedia is very good as well.


Vince McMahon is 73, Raven De La Croix is 71, Connie Mason is 81, and Pia Degermark is 69.

Thursday, August 23, 2018


Jim Wynorski directed this twisted little thriller.

The film opens with a witch being put to death in early America while her husband is left to care for their infant daughter.

Flash ahead 17 years and we have the husband, Gideon (David McCallum) brooding over the fact that his young daughter is turning 18 in three days and that his life has been a wreck since his wife was killed.

Gideon is now blind, but he can see some changes in his daughter, Lenora. She has the usual urges teen girls have and Gideon is trying to keep her from ever meeting anyone. Coel (luscious Lana Clarkson) is the girl's caretaker, but little does anyone know she is helping Gideon's dead wife return to fulfill her vengeance.

One by one Coel kills women and uses their blood to bring the dead witch back to life. The witch, Morella wants to inhabit the body of her daughter and comes close several times. There is a great scene with Clarkson's Coel character and Diana (Maria Ford) under a waterfall.

Because this is a Jim Wynorski film, the women wear negligees and panties from the 20th century, but does anyone really notice these things? The film looks great on the Blu-ray presentation and it is hosted by Katarina Leigh Waters, and that is always a plus in my book.

Waters is not only sexy as hell, but knows her stuff and brings a lot of background to the films. Roger Corman produced this little gem, and I can easily recommend it for horror fans, Corman fans and fans of incredibly sexy women.


Barbara Eden is 87, and Vera Miles is 89.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018


I have just been notified of his passing.

Martin started his acting career in 1949 with an uncredited role in the film noir classic "Knock On Any Door". Two years later he would become very famous for another role.

He starred as Bob in the 1951 sci-fi classic "The Thing", a role he would always be remembered for. He also appeared in films like "Kansas Raiders" and "Land Of The Pharaohs".

He starred in may TV shows such as "The Twilight Zone", "Arrest and trial" and "The Outer Limits". He passed away in April of 2018 at the age of 94.


Honor Blackman is 93.


Finally, the original version of the movie Roger Corman made four or five movies out of.

I have always wanted to see this fine Russian made sci-fi outing and I must admit I wasn't disappointed. It's a highly entertaining and imaginative film.

Three spaceships are sent to land on the planet Venus. One is hit and destroyed by a meteor. The remaining six astronauts and their robot named John decide to go ahead and land on the planet.

The one female, Masha (Kyunna Ingatova) has to stay behind and orbit the planet so her comrades can return. She reluctantly accepts to do so, even though inside it tears her apart as she wanted to touch ground on the strange planet.

Once there the men encounter giant man eating plants, a bizarre race of lizard creatures, a flying monster that resembles a Pterodactyl, a brontosaurus and they all seem to hear a strange female voice that is somewhat entrancing, much like a Siren.

After many hardships including torrential rains, volcanoes and earthquakes the five men decide to return after gathering many samples of the planet. One of the men, Alyosha (Gennadi Vernov) has found a strange rock that he discovers has a sculpture of a beautiful creature inside of it. He believes these are the inhabitants of Venus and the source of the strange noise they all hear.

However they cannot stay any longer and must leave the planet. The final shot of the film shows a reflection in a lake of a beautiful female creature, just like in the sculpture.

I found this to be a very fun and interesting film. The effects for the most part are very good and the print quality from Retromedia is superb. It's in Russian, of course with English subtitles. I would recommend this to any sci-fi fan, especially fans of 50's and 60's films. It was nice to see the entire film after spending over 50 years seeing bits and pieces in other movies.


Jonathan Solofa Fatu is 33.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018


One of the greatest American films ever made!!

Lawrence Tierney steals the show as Steve Morgan, a brutal, no-nonsense killer.

Morgan kills a man putting money in a night deposit box and then hitches a ride with a a man named Jimmy Ferguson (Ted North). Ferguson is a happily married man with a good job who is heading back home to a lovely wife.

Needless to say Morgan changes this around by inviting two drifting women along for a ride without Jimmy's permission. A gas station attendant identifies Morgan from a police radio report and road blocks are thrown up on all the major roads in southern California. Morgan convinces Ferguson to stop at his bosses beach house.

The four make themselves at home and one of the women, Carol Demming (Nan Leslie) begins to suspect there is much more to Morgan than he lets on. Things spiral out of control until the end when Morgan finally ends up paying the devil his due.

There are so many shocking and bizarre things in this film. It only runs 62 minutes, but it is a twisted look at post war America. Some scenes are unforgettable and the dialogue is priceless. Tierney steals the entire movie and his dialogue ans facial gestures and quick personality changes are something to behold.

When Ferguson and Morgan stop for gas Ferguson calls his wife while Morgan insults the attendant's child by making comments about her big ears and flying around. Morgan also makes fun of Carol Demming's real name which happens to be Beulah Zorn as well as making the comment, while staying at the Newport beach house, "If the Sheriff is as stupid as the night watchman we ain't got nothin' to worry about".

Never in the history of Noir films has there been a more cunning and calculated killer as Steve Morgan. His personality changes faster than light as one minute he is conning Carol with his Hollywood "connections" one minute and then the other he is forcing himself on her and much worse. When questioned at the beach house by the Sheriff he easily gets the security guard to play along and he even steals Ferguson's identity!! And the Sheriff is indeed as stupid as Morgan thought because he buys the entire story.

There is so much more I could talk about with this film. It's an sadly neglected mini epic that has had no release on the digital market here in the US, and I wish I knew why. It's aching for a Blu-ray. Felix Feist directed this gem and he knew well how to handle the Noir genre.

I just got this DVD-R the other day after I posted my Top 10 film noir list and a good friend found this for me and sent it to me. It was great to see this film again and I will be keeping this disc close to me until an official release is announced, if ever.

If you get a chance to see this movie DO SO BY ALL MEANS!! VERY, VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!


Patty McCormack is 73, Clarence Williams III is 79, and Eve Torres is 34.

Sunday, August 19, 2018


This is the final film in my look at early Hammer film noir, and I really don't know why this was included in the set.

It's not a noir by any stretch. Richard Conte stars as a race car driver named Peter Wells. He has had a streak of losing races lately and wants to be back on top in the worst way.

His beautiful wife Patricia (Mari Aldon) wants him to stop racing all together. During one race Peter's best friend, 'Pic' Dallapiccola (George Coulouris) is fatally injured it really tears Peter apart and he considers quitting.

However, he decides otherwise and decides to enter one final race. Patricia leaves him because he loves racing more than his life with her. The race begins and Peter puts everything he has into winning one final time.

This film isn't bad at all, but it really didn't belong in the set I have been reviewing over the last month. It's a standard drama and has no ties at all to noir, but I guess it was included to make the set a 8 film set and because it is early Hammer.

Mari Aldon looks great in this film, as she did in all the movies she did. The rest of the cast includes Alec Mango, Peter Illing, James Copeland and Meredith Edwards.


Jill St. John is 78, L. Q. Jones is 91, Diana Muldaur is 80, Debra Paget is 85, Darby Hinton is 61, and Lilian Garcia is 51.

Saturday, August 18, 2018


I continue my look at Hammer film noir with this interesting outing.

William Sylvester stars as Philip Vickers, a man who disappeared while on a fishing trip with friends three years earlier. When he reappears he has a scar on his forehead and is seeking to find out who attempted to kill him.

His best friends are his potential suspects as well as his wife Angie (Paulette Goddard). When one of the friends is murdered the police suspect everyone including the very dark and brooding Philip.

Philip soon goes on a savage hunt to find out who is the killer. I really enjoyed this film. I have seen Sylvester is many films, but this is by far his darkest performance, and he handles it very well.

Paulette Goddard was the American name Robert Lippert put into the production, and while she is good in this film, she really has little to do. Terence Fisher once again shows his directing chops.

This is one of the best of the entire series of films I have been reviewing from Hammer lately. It's a shame this film isn't better known amongst noir fans because it's right up their alley.

The print from Kit Parker is very good as they all have been thus far. A HIGHLY RECOMMENDED film!!


Julie K. Smith is 51, and Helena Rojo is 74.

Friday, August 17, 2018


Another of the Roger Corman productions made up of newly shot US footage and a Russian sci-fi film.

This film, unlike "Battle Beyond The Sun" and "Voyage To The Planet Of Prehistoric Women" was never shown in theaters. It went straight to TV via AIP Television.

Curtis Harrington handled the directing chores of the US footage using the name John Sebastian. This movie uses extensive footage from the Russian film "Planet Of Storms" and the Harrington footage featuring Basil Rathbone and Faith Domergue inter cut to make the movie more palatable to US audiences.

Astronauts travel to Venus and discover all types of bizarre creatures including lizard men, a flying monster and man eating plants. I remember seeing this as a kid on TV and the others as well, and oh my god did I get confused when I saw about three different films with the same footage.

Some of the footage with Basil Rathbone was also recycled and used in "Queen Of Blood", so hopefully you can understand how a monster crazy kid watching movies on TV could easily get dumbfounded back in the day.

This movie has been issued on countless PD labels and this version is no better or worse than the others.


Saraya-Jade Bevis is 26, Belinda Carlisle 60, and Melissa Anderson is 36.