Archive for the Cult Movies Category

Belated RIP, John Llewellyn Moxey

Posted in Cult Movies, RIP with tags , , on May 25, 2020 by MONSTERMINIONS

Sadly, there wasn’t much coverage on the death of British director John Llewellyn Moxey, who passed away last April 2019. He was 94. Horror fans will identify Moxey immediately for helming two classics: Horror Hotel and The Night Stalker. However, his range was much broader and he successfully directed crime, drama, and other genre in TV and Screen. The circus heist film “Circus of Fear / Psycho-Circus” is a personal favorite. Moxey’s sharp wit and bear-trap memory are exemplified by Blue Underground’s Blu-ray commentary for COF. RIP John Llewellyn Moxey.

https://www.directors.uk.com/news/remembering-john-llewellyn-moxey

RIP Stuart Gordon

Posted in Cult Movies, RIP with tags on March 25, 2020 by MONSTERMINIONS

RIP “Coffin Joe“

Posted in Cult Movies, RIP with tags on February 20, 2020 by MONSTERMINIONS
1936-2020
José Mojica MarinsZé do Caixão

The Curse of the Fly (1965)

Posted in Cult Movies, Sci-Fi with tags , , on January 3, 2020 by MONSTERMINIONS

I’m reviewing this film as packaged in the new 5-film The Fly Collection blu-ray box set. This is the third film sequel and the second re-working of George Langelaan’s short story The Fly. The film gets a bad rap, but I enjoyed it and thought it to be an improvement over the inept, but entertaining Return of the Fly (1959), and a notch or two below the original Vincent Price-David Hedison vehicle. Curse of the Fly (1965) holds its own in having nothing to do with a human-fly hybrid —or Langelaan’s story for that matter, and being a character study of three doomed people: Henri Delambré (Brian Donlevy), Martin Delambré (George Baker), and Patricia Stanley (Carol Gray). Here, the Delambré curse is passed on to Martin in the form of a cancerous autoimmune disorder requiring periodic serum injections by father Henri. Sound familiar? Yeah, some of that storyline was heisted for the Cronenberg remake (1986). Patricia is along for the ride as the love interest, but she also has a story to tell. The film is well-acted by several familiar faces —and voices. Thunderbirds and Jerry Andersen fans will immediately recognize Inspector Ronet (Jeremy Wilkins) as Virgil Stacey and disguised as Cary Grant as Captain Scarlet. Burt Kwouk is also present in a minor lab tech role.

The black and white cinematography by Basil Emmott is striking. Thematically the film looks like a Val Lewton picture, but contains several notable grotesqueries that make this worthwhile for monster fans. Some of the imagery is really weird and surreal. Check out how many body contortion sculptures and paintings are present in the Delambré trappings.

The film was well-helmed by Tasmanian-born director Don Sharp, that genre fans probably know best for Kiss of the Vampire (1963), Rasputin: The Mad Monk (1966), and various 1960’s Fu Manchu films.

This is a well-crafted horror film with gothic elements. I don’t know of too many films quite like it in terms of horror-pathos —the ending is quite startling and I decided to run the whole thing back and rewatched it with an informative audio commentary.

This box-set is loaded with features and the prints look sublime.

Lesser Known Horror Gems 2019

Posted in Bad Films I Love, Cult Movies, Horror with tags , , , on October 21, 2019 by MONSTERMINIONS

It’s been a long time since I’ve composed a list of suggested viewing pleasures. With Halloween just around the corner, here are my picks of readily available, but lesser known horror films.

The Blob (1988, Tri-Star). No, this isn’t the Larry Hagman sequel or the “Steven” McQueen classic. This is a revisionist remake which depicts the title biotic mass as a militarized amoeba, and it is done well. I think the film has aged like vinegar, and I particularly like the creature effects supervised by Philip Bartko (The Abyss). Beware! No jello in this film —this blob moves, has tentacles, and the digestion scenes deliver. Keep an eye out for poor Candy Clark who takes on one of the most gruesome phone booth deaths ever. Great fun. Hold on eating rice pudding though.

Monster / Humanoids from the Deep (1980, New World Pictures). I missed this one in the theaters, probably due to the nudity-induced R rating. Damn it! I saw Alien (1979) around the same time though. The uncut version of this Roger Corman production is nonstop T&A monster mayhem. Here’s the story: Local fishermen battle salmon-human hybrids seeking female “hosts”. Feminists stay clear! Great fun and superb monster effects by Rob Bottin (The Thing, 1982). Any genre film with Doug McClure is worth seeing in my book.

Scary Movie (1991, AGFA). This just received a new pressing and Blu-ray release. Unfortunately the 2K scan from a 16mm print sucks. I never heard of the film, but it is worth seeking out. This is a low-budget late entry into the mad-slasher genre, and stars future Oscar nom John Hawkes in the lead role. The story centers around a slasher in a carny spook house. Plus, Roky Erickson jams out the closing tune!

AGFA Scary Movie Link

I Drink Your Blood (1971). Kid feeds rabies-inoculated potpies to LSD-addicted devil worshippers. Not much more to say.

Don’t Go in the Woods… alone! (1981). This is another low-budget screamer I missed. I wonder if it was even released in ’81. This one’s a bit campy, but I would not call it a “cult classic” by any stretch. Genre fans will want to see it for being a relatively early and regional slasher film.

Gorilla at Large (1954). This early 3D curiosity isn’t a horror film —it’s a Gorilla Murder Mystery (at least that’s what I’m calling it). The film is boring as hell and the ape suit (incapsulating George Barrows) positively this side of Toho Kong horrible. It’s entertaining all the same and is loaded with familiar stars, including Cam Mitchell, Raymond Burr, Lee Marvin (!), Lee J. Cobb, Warren Stevens, and Anne Bancroft. The big top setting helps as does the 84min running time.

Beast of Blood (1970, Severin Blu-ray “Blood Island” Box Set). In my book, this is the grandpappy of all infamous, over-the-top, gruesome, gory, gooey, fiendish Filipino fright-mares ever made. I love it. Dr. Lorca’s demise is unforgettable and the title beast one of the most iconic monsters of filmdom. Be sure to buy the Severn Box set and don’t settle for crappy prints on youtube.

Bonus! Dick Miller at Large!

That Guy Dick Miller (2014) paired with A Bucket of Blood (1959, Olive Films Blu-ray re-issue). We lost Dick Miller this past year. Celebrate his life with a superb documentary and perhaps his finest performance as Walter Paisley in A Bucket of Blood. Plot: A coffee-house worm gets famous by killing people and encasing them in clay faux-sculpture masterpieces. Masterful direction by Roger Corman and arguably the finest “black comedy-beatnik-culture-horror film” ever made!

Olive Films Bucket of Blood

Memory: The Origins of Alien (2019)

Posted in Cult Movies, Documentary, Horror, Sci-Fi with tags , , , on October 10, 2019 by MONSTERMINIONS

This new documentary by director Alexandre O. Philippe is about as good as it gets for a synopsis on the making of Alien (1979). Only aspects on the mechanical designs by Italian prop wizard Carlo Rambaldi and the man-in-suit performance by Nigerian Bolaji Badejo, and perhaps a segment on the scoring (Jerry Goldsmith) are lacking from the otherwise nearly complete documentary. I found the comparisons to films of Robert Altman absolutely fascinating. This film includes anecdotes from several cast members. The focus is on the origin and genesis of the story, by Dan O’Bannon, and his collaboration with surrealist H.R. Giger.

There’s also a segment referring to the inspiration of the chest-burster being paintings by Francis Bacon (1909-1992), especially Three Studies of Figures at the Base of a Cruxifixion (1944).

This was a top-notch documentary that fans of Alien will absolutely devour.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8974964/

“YEE HAAAH…The south’s gonna rise again”

Posted in Cult Movies, Music with tags , , , , on January 15, 2019 by MONSTERMINIONS

Oh man. MONDO has mastered this epic re-issue with sublime treatment and respect. My life is now complete. I never realized the bassoon figured so prominently in H.G. Lewis’ finest score! Yeee haaah!!!

Venom Poster Japanese One-Sheet

Posted in Cult Movies, Miscellania with tags on September 20, 2018 by MONSTERMINIONS

Lost Souls Still

Posted in Cult Movies, Horror with tags , on March 28, 2018 by MONSTERMINIONS

I found this today at an antique store for $2.

Yes! The Monster of Piedras Blancas

Posted in Cult Movies, Scarce Films with tags on July 7, 2016 by MONSTERMINIONS

Coming in September 2016!