Archive for the Horror Category

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/

Early “Frankenstein” Restored!

Posted in Horror, Old School, Scarce Films with tags on June 5, 2019 by MONSTERMINIONS

Edison’s 1910 Frankenstein has been restored. It’s worth a look. See link to Library of Congress blog below, with embedded film. It runs a bit over 10-minutes. Here are some screen shots.

Library of Congress Blog

Monster Bash, June 2018

Posted in CONS, Horror, Karloff & Lugosi with tags , on July 5, 2018 by MONSTERMINIONS

Fun shots from Ron’s Monster Bash in Mars, PA.

Frankenstein Monster Exhibit

Posted in Bela & Boris, CONS, Horror, Miscellania with tags , on June 25, 2018 by MONSTERMINIONS

The Summer Monster Bash 2018 featured an impressive display of the Frankenstein monster and friends.

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.

The Panther Woman

Posted in Horror, Miscellania, Old School with tags , , on March 19, 2018 by MONSTERMINIONS

Along with Murders in the Zoo (1933), Paramount’s Island of Lost Souls (1932) are probably the most gruesome horror films from the pre-code Golden era of Hollywood. Both films feature the exotic-looking Kathleen Burke, who appeared in at least 22 features from 1932 to 1938.

Recently I came across additional information on Burke’s life.

This summary is taken from a thread posted on the Northwest Indiana History Facebook Page, from member Steven Shook (used with permission):

[Kathleen Burke is] A distant relative on mine. She’s seen in this photograph [below] as the woman with the black belt. The second woman from the left standing (arms on shoulders of young girl) is Kathleen’s mother Eulalia.

Kathleen was born September 5, 1913, in Hammond, the daughter of Cullen Dean Burke and Eulalia E. (Duff) Burke. She attended Waller High School (now Lincoln Park High School) in Chicago.

On September 29, 1932, it was officially announced by Paramount Studios that Kathleen B. Burke had won their contest to find the Panther Woman for their upcoming film “Island of Lost Souls.” Burke was chosen by Cecil B. DeMille, Ernst Lubitsch, Rouben Mamoulian, and others, from four finalists and a total of 60,000 contest entrants. Burke’s photographs for the Paramount Pictures contest were taken by her future husband, Glen Rardin.

She married Glen Nelson Rardin on February 25, 1933, at the Old San Fernando Mission in Mission Hills, California. Glen and Kathleen would divorce on November 8, 1934. She then married Jose Torres Fernandez at Hollywood on March 8, 1936, and they’d have one daughter, Antonia. Kathleen and Jose divorced – probably in 1942. Kathleen’s third marriage was to Forrest L. Smith and from 1965 to 1980 she’s resided in the New Town area of Chicago. Kathleen died April 11, 1980, at Chicago’s Columbus Hospital and she was buried in Montrose Cemetery in Chicago.

Photograph taken in Chicago.