Tag Archive: Forgotten Films


Deadtime Stories

Good write-up of a fun-looking 80s low-budget horror anthology.

Forgotten Films

Deadtime Stories 9As sure as Dracula is afraid of getting a suntan, our Halloween series here at Forgotten Films is sure to bring out at least one horror anthology film. That’s where those half-baked horror ideas come together to make one film out of several short stories, since none of them is substantial enough to make a film all by themselves. This year we get three stories wrapped together by the framing device of a guy telling his young nephew stories to get him to go to sleep. Plug in your night-light for 1986’s Deadtime Stories.

Deadtime Stories 2Story number one concerns a young man named Peter (Scott Valentine…Nick from Family Ties) who has been raised by two witches since he was just a little guy. Now that he’s a strapping young man, the two hags use him to help lure their victims. First he brings them a priest who is expecting an…

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This post has been updated to correct glaring spelling and grammatical errors, and added a few pics and a video. I should never blog when I’m tired.

For my entry in Forgotten Filmz’s Films of ’84 blogathon, I’m covering this odd, and awful thing, Frankenstein’s Great Aunt Tillie, which you can watch here (if you can stand it being a bit out of sync):

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xlsjbs_frankenstein-s-great-aunt-tillie_shortfilms

There’s not a great deal positive to say about this final product: it’s universally thought to be one of the worst offerings of ’84, a horror spoof about Transylvania town leaders trying to repossess the Frankenstein castle, just as the eponymous family happens to come back to reanimate the monster. Despite an impressive cast of formerly impressive talents such as Donald Pleasance, Yvonne Furneaux, Aldo Ray, and Zsa Zsa Gabor, the aging talents could not save this one. Zsa Zsa’s role was edited down to a few seconds of a flashback scene. For Furneaux, it had been a long time since her great performance in The Mummy (1959) and it shows.

Tillie was brought to you by: the producers of this nonsense.

Tillie was brought to you by: the producers of this nonsense.

Tillie was filmed in Mexico, at the same Mexico City studio as other, better, films of 1984 such as Dune and Conan the Destroyer. The production company was S. A. Filmier, a Mexican firm that specialized for its three-film run in the 1980s in getting American movies made in Mexico. They were responsible, in addition to Tillie for Quell and Co. (not to be confused with the trendy little company, whom I endorse, selling easy-on-the-eyes ways to keep your devices de-cluttered) in 1982, an underrated, but by that point anachronistic, Western, and Drug Runners in 1988, which seems to be to the Miami Vice-style narco-cop genre that is what Tillie is to, say, serious art films, which I simply must blog about soon:

June Wilkinson in her younger days

June Wilkinson in her younger days

Behind the camera there were some pretty interesting dramas going on, as June Wilkinson (playing “Randy”) remembers it: Pleasance didn’t like Gabor, though he was too polite to call her out on whatever was bothering him; and director Myron Gold had conflicts with Furneaux, who apparently was able able to manipulate the set so that the last scene was shot as she wanted, rather than what Gold envisioned. (The final scene was supposed to be done in the rain)  Also, Wilkinson remembers that Aldo Ray was in between some of his famous struggles with alcohol, and had been offered a role in one of 1984’s great films, Dune, but that he was dropped from Dune when he fell off the wagon.

All this to say that this is a pretty cheap comedy, which has little to recommend it, but completist fans and lovers of old, obscure films–and those of us trying to keep such films in circulation–might find some fun stuff to savor here.

I’ll be covering “Frankenstein’s Great Aunt Tillie” for this event. Stay tuned.

Forgotten Films

1984_blogathonToday I’m thrilled to announce a new blog-a-thon that will be coming up later this summer. After having such great success with the Big League Blogathon back in April, I just couldn’t resist having another one.

This year is the 30th anniversary of what, in my opinion, is the greatest year in the history of film…1984. I know, I know…the snooty types usually say 1939. But I was a teenager in the 80’s and 84 was a phenomenal year. That year, more than any other, made me the film fan I am today. So many iconic 80’s movies were released that year: Ghostbusters, The Karate Kid, The Terminator, Beverly Hills Cop, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Gremlins, Footloose, Amadeus, This is Spinal Tap, Sixteen Candles, Romancing the Stone…and that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

Therefore, Forgotten…

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Check out this excellent discussion of this great film over at Forgotten Films. Also, check out 50 Westerns From the 50s.

It’s time for another good-sized roundup of good movie reviews from the tweeps.  Love how you folks are keeping exploitation and B-movies in circulation.

With a good-sized H/T to Cultural Gutter, I saw this interesting post on TV criticism vs. TV recapping, among other things.  I liked it because it gives voice to what I’m trying to give birth to on this blog, in the context of exploitation and B-Movies, instead of scripted television dramas:

. . .  carving out a niche for long-form pieces that look beyond the pluses and minuses of a single episode to examine its greater potential and its place in the culture . . .

I’ve been trying to figure ways to take my movie blog that you’re reading now beyond recapping and reviewing individual films, which does seem to me to be the dominant mode of the cinema blogosphere.  Giving as much as I can about the backstory of a film’s making, information sometimes captured in book-length pieces, or trapped in the academic community seems one good way to get there.  Another seems to be the looking into period press, much of which is is not online, to give some idea of how these films I cover were received as they came out seems like a fruitful avenue.  I’ve some other ideas too, which are not ready for prime time yet, but suffice it to say I was glad to see the idea of moving beyond single-film perspectives in the above post.

This last one reminds me of a side-project I just might get going, doing a “movie-of-the-day” about Jaws-rip-offs of various kinds of animals attacking people. If this furlough keeps going, you never know what can happen!

  • Over at Forgotten Films we get some good posts on a variety of fun flicks, a couple of which should be seen annually, I think: Blackenstein (1973) was part of the early-to-mid 1970s blaxploitation series remaking classic horror icons, other examples being the William Marshall vehicles Blacula and Abby (remaking The Exorcist). FF also talks Grizzly (1976), another of the aforementioned Jaws rips; The Awakening (1980) a snoozer in which yet another ancient Egyptian queen comes back to life, this time with no thanks to Charlton Heston’s and Stephanie Zimbalist’s overwrought acting.  Lastly, we get one of two takes this week of my own guilty pleasure, Zombie Lake (1981), about zombie Nazis.  Or Nazis, who happen to be zombies.  Or whatever.  Also, check out Midnight Triple Feature’s separate review of Zombie Lake.

Starring Barbara Steele, who I recently saw in Piranha 18 years after this one, still messing shit up, this time, and yet again, with the wildlife eating people!

Car

Co-starring Sandor Elès, whose death anniversary was a month or so ago.

  • Lost Highway was three fun ones this time: Pieces (1983), a self-explanatory classic slasher ripoff of the irreplaceable Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974); Night Tide (1961) in which young Dennis Hopper falls in love with a woman who may or may not be a mermaid; and Journey to the Seventh Planet (1961), classic B-sci-fi about visiting Uranus.  My tweeps are pretty monster/slasher horror-focused, so seeing some good old fashioned sci-fi/horror here in the bunch is nice and refreshing.
  • The positively essential Creature From the Black Lagoon (1954) gets a new review, courtesy of Church of Splatter-Day Saints, not only did this flick introduce the facehugging monster that Alien gets all the credit foe later, but this film helped revive Universal Studios’ flagging fortunes by introducing new possibilities for monster movies when the genre had all but run its course in the mid-1950s.

Lastly, I’ll conclude this post with a fun link over to The Hollywood Reporter and their interviews with all concerned with the making of Evil Dead 2.  “We were like ‘Jackass’ with a plot”!  Enjoy!

Here’s a bit on what I’ve been reading as of late–mainly from those with the sufficiently poor judgment as to follow me on Twitter. Seriously, you folks are awesome, and I wanted to highlight your stuff to the 8 or so people who read this blog 😉  Mainly I read your movie reviews, I’ve seen many of these, but a few I have not, and I’ll be getting to those soon.  I don’t like to review individual films so much–I know my limitations–but enjoy reading yours very much. Here, I thought I would match the reviews to where we can find online viewing of trailers and full movies,just for convenience.  There’s a few non-movie reviews tucked in here, too.

These links are no real order, but do check out these fine purveyors of horror and B-movies!

George Wendt!

  • Horrorpedia and Stigmatophilia both take on Hack-O-Lantern (aka: Halloween Night) from 1988.  I hate it when Grandpa ends up a satanic cult leader!
  • Daily Grindhouse offers a list of “50 Cult Movie Books Every Film Fan Should Own.”  I am a book lover too, so I loved this set of posts: parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.  I think the essentials here are numbers 36, 31, 28, 20, 19, 13 (these last three are my all time favorites) 10 and 2.  Some of the works included seemed like filler to get to 50, while some good ones seemed to go missing.  Maybe we just have different tastes, and I should do up my own list.

Also starring Alan Ormsby of Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things (1973), fwiw.

Yes, Paul Sorvino!

  • Isaac’s Picture Conclusions on Scar (2007).  Not familiar with this movie, but throwing it on the “to watch” list, despite its apparent lack of coherence.
  • Lastly, have a look at the Do-It-Yourself Giallo Kit to get your very own (fake) movie title, director, and plot in the Italian crime/thriller spirit. Such as: A Golden Armadillo on the Cold Metal Table (dir. Sergio and Martino de Alberto) in which: “An American model is killing off the members of a certain business.  A female journalist accidentally destroys some crucial evidence about the the killing. When another person is found murdered, she is on the verge of solving the mystery when she is killed by the real culprits: a secret society made up of the people she most trusted.”  Loads of fun . . . for five minutes.