Tag Archive: Horrorpedia


hqdefault (1)The 1940s are a bit of a lost decade for horror, so to find several films from then is a real treat. These are mainly Producers Releasing Company films–PRC was one of the low-budget producers of the day producing second-run films with lesser stars or unknown actors; there were dozens of studios specializing in in B-movies, collectively known as the “poverty row” producers. These producers made the 40s a boon for B-films, if a bit light on horror.

First up, Son of Ingagi from 1940. First all-black casting for a horror movie ever, so that alone makes this one of some historical interest.

Next, continuing with the simian/missing link theme, is Boris Karloff in The Ape, released on 30 September 1940. In the pre-Jonas Salk era, human specimens are needed for a polio vaccine, and a ingenious plan to extract them is concocted…

Enter Bela Lugosi! The Corpse Vanishes, premiering on 8 May 1942 has Lugosi trying to preserve his wife’s beauty by injecting her with the precious bodily fluids of virgins. This one was the basis for a 1989 episode of MST3K, and finally came out on DVD twenty years after that.

Mary Carlisle, late 1930s or early 1940s.

Mary Carlisle, late 1930s or early 1940s.

Dead Men Walk, released on 12 April 1943 was notable for bring Mary Carlisle’s final role; she had appeared in silent films and dozens of B-movies in the 1930s. Today, Carlisle is among the oldest surviving silent film actors. She turned 101 this year, though she’s been out of the public eye since receiving her Hollywood Star 55 years ago.

When The Monster Maker came out on 15 May 1944, it was PRC’s first horror release in nearly a year-and-a-half, mainly because PRC had spent most of 1943 in talks to acquire a poverty row company that specialized in renting production equipment. Once purchased, PRC films took on better production values. Scary stories with at least decent production values seems to have paid off for Monster Maker, which earned a rating of B–partially morally objectionable–by the “National Legion of Decency,” a predominantly Catholic organization seeking to combat the “massacre of the innocence of youth” on film.

As an aside, lest you think backward-looking organizations like the National Legion of Decency are a thing of the past, today’s “Parents Television Council” (est. 1995) seek to fulfill the same role today–and look at the Legion as their model.

On 1 February 1946 we got The Flying Serpent, a loose remake of PRC’s biggest hit The Devil Bat from 1940; both were redone in 1982 in the Michael Moriarty/David Carradine flick Q. Aztec treasure protected by ancient god Quetzalcoatl being fought over by greedy archaeologists… what could possibly go wrong? A fun early creature feature.

Lastly, we have Things Happen At Night, from 3 November 1948, an underplayed little British horror-comedy in which a poltergeist bothers a household, based on the play The Poltergeist by Frank Harvey, Jr. Horrorpedia notes the structural similarity to The Exorcist in which a young girl is haunted, an expert comes to exorcise the monster.

 

The Thing (1982)

MOVIES AND MANIA

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‘Man is the warmest place to hide’

The Thing (also known as John Carpenter’s The Thing) is a 1982 American science fiction horror film directed by John Carpenter (Halloween, The Fog), written by Bill Lancaster, and starring Kurt Russell (They Live, Escape From New York). The film’s title refers to its primary antagonist: a parasitic extraterrestrial life-form that assimilates other organisms and in turn imitates them. The Thing infiltrates an Antarctic research station, taking the appearance of the researchers that it absorbs, and paranoia develops within the group.

The film is based on John W. Campbell, Jr.’s 1938 novella Who Goes There?, which was more loosely adapted by Howard Hawks and Christian Nyby as the 1951 film The Thing from Another World. Carpenter considers The Thing to be the first part of his Apocalypse Trilogy, followed by Prince of Darkness 

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The Cars That Ate Paris

MOVIES AND MANIA

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The Cars That Ate Parisaka The Cars That Eat People – is a 1974 Australian horrorcomedy film. Directed by Peter Weir, it was his first feature film. The film stars John MeillonTerry Camilleri,, Chris Haywood and Bruce Spence.

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Plot teaser

Lying in a gently rolling range of hills, the town of Paris has prospered from the hunting and destruction of cars: the road into Paris is a death trap. Into this trap drive George and Arthur Waldo. George is killed; Arthur survives and is pronounced harmless by the mayor. Although unaware, Arthur is a prisoner. He must never leave Paris. But the town that lives by the car shall die by the car, and eventually the hunters become the hunted

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The producers unsuccessfully attempted to negotiate an American release for the film with Roger Corman after it was…

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The Nostril Picker

“Despite its title, the film plot does not directly revolve around a man who picks his nose.”

MOVIES AND MANIA

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‘He chose his weapons… he selected his victims… he picked his nose…’

The Nostril Picker  aka The Changer –  is a 1993 American horror film in the slasher genre. It was directed by Mark Nowicki from a screenplay by Steven Hodge, It stars Carl Zschering. Edward Tanner and Laura Cummings. Despite its title, the film plot does not directly revolve around a man who picks his nose.

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Plot teaser:

Joe is an ugly loser, incapable of picking up women. But when he’s taught a magical power, capable of transforming him into anyone he pleases and then back to his normal self, he decides to use it to live out his perverse fantasies.Initially content just watching them shower, Joe soon tires of mindless nudity and gears up to take his ultimate revenge against womankind: luring them to his shabby apartment, violently killing, and even eating them!

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Reviews:

“Rhinotillex enthusiasts, I’m afraid, will whine endlessly about…

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A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin

MOVIES AND MANIA

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‘Biting, gnawing terror claws at your brain!’

A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin – Italian title: Una lucertola con la pelle di donna; released as Schizoidin the US – is a 1971 Italian giallo film directed by Lucio Fulci. It stars Florinda Balkan, Stanley Baker and Jean Sorel. Ennio Morricone provided the score.

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Plot teaser:

Carol Hammond is a sophisticated politician’s daughter who experiences a series of vivid, psychedelic nightmares drenched in depraved sex orgies and LSD. The dreams turns into a nightmare featuring the death of her neighbour, Julia Dürer. The next day Julia is found brutally murdered in her own apartment.

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The investigation, conducted by Inspector Corvin, leads to Carol’s arrest, however she is released after a mysterious man confesses to Scotland Yard that he is the murderer. Not convinced of Carol’s innocence, Corvin continues to investigate the murder and…

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The Body Shop aka Doctor Gore

MOVIES AND MANIA

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The Body Shop – aka Body Shop; Shrieks in the Night and later retitled Doctor Gore – is a 1973 American horror film written, directed and starring former TV horror host and magician J.G. Patterson Jr. The film was originally titled Anitra, as can be glimpsed on the film’s slate board, lazily included in the trailer!).

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It stars Jenny Driggers (as the aforementioned Anitra), Roy Mehaffey, Linda Faile, Jan Benfield, Jeannine Aber, Candy Furr, Vickie O’Neal and Jerry Kearns. Future directors Worth Keeter (credited as the “special horror consultant”) and William Girdler (credited with music, music editor and sound effects) also worked on the film.

Patterson worked on a number of Herschell G. Lewis’ in a special effects capacity and was associate producer on The Gruesome Twosome (1967). He also produced Axe (1974). He died of cancer in 1975 in Charlotte, North Carolina (he chain smokes throughout The Body Shop).

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Plot teaser:

Mad…

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Target Earth

I’m always a sucker for robot invasion movies from the 1950s!

MOVIES AND MANIA

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‘You’ll be paralysed with fear…’

Target Earth is a 1954 science fiction film and Herman Cohen‘s first production. It was directed by Sherman A. Rose from a screenplay by Bill Raynor, AIP’s James Nicholson and Wyott Ordung (Monster from the Ocean Floor). It stars Richard Denning (The Creature from the Black Lagoon; The Black Scorpion), Kathleen Crowley (Curse of the Undead), Virginia Grey, Richard Reeves and Whit Bissell (I Was a Teenage Frankenstein). The movie was based on the 1953 short story “Deadly City” by Paul W. Fairman.

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Even though a “robot army” is mentioned several times, the production crew only constructed one robot which was used for all scenes. The film’s story is based in Chicago but was actually filmed in Los Angeles. Street scenes were filmed during early mornings when the streets were empty.

Plot teaser:

Chicago is seemingly deserted. A small…

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Marilyn Monroe: Zombie Hunter

Seriously… what historical figure hasn’t been a zombie or vampire hunter in a past life? Not there’s anything wrong with either pastime.

MOVIES AND MANIA

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Marilyn Monroe: Zombie Hunter is a 2015 American horror film directed by Thomas J. Churchill (Lazarus: Day of the Living Dead) from a screenplay he has co-written with Joe Knetter. The film stars Sarah French (Tales of the DeadStrip Club SlasherShriek of the Sasquatch!Necrostalgic) as Marilyn Monroe, plus Mindy Robinson (The Haunting of Whaley HouseKilljoy Goes to Hell; V/H/S/2), Krista Grotte (The Nightmare Collection Volume 1; Brainjacked), Ken Sagoes (A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 and 4).

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Press release:

“Principal photography is slated to take place in Hollywood, California late 2014 under the Church Hill Productions/Apothecary Entertainment banner. After writing Lazarus: Day of the Living Dead, which will have its worldwide VOD release September 9th (DVD/Blu-Ray release December 9), Churchill stated that his inspiration for Marilyn Monroe: Zombie Hunter was “the…

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Clearly, this film needs a to reach a wider audience.

MOVIES AND MANIA

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‘Was it a dream or reality… for one man on an island of terror?’

Love Goddesses of Blood Island (also known as Six She’s and a He and Kiss Me Bloody is a 1963 cheesecake gore horror film executive produced and directed by Richard S. Flink [as Gordon H. Heaver]. Flink’s only other known credit is as the producer of half-man, half-jellyfish monster movie Sting of Death (1965). The film was scripted by William Kerwin (actor in Blood Feast; Playgirl Killer; Sometimes Aunt Martha Does Dreadful Things and co-writer of Sting of Death). It stars Launa Hodges, Bill Rogers (A Taste of Blood; Flesh Feast), Carol Wintress, Dawn Meredith, Liz Burton, Laura Wood, Ingrid Albert.

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Something Weird Video chanced upon a 28 minute, condensed version of Love Goddesses of Blood Island when they acquired the rights to William Grefe’s Sting Of Death. They released…

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Link Dump, Early April

I don’t do this as often as I would like, but here are some more cool exploitation/B-movie/old horror movie posts I’ve enjoyed lately.   I enjoy reading other posts on films that I might like to cover in this blog, and calling out some quality posts on this end of the cinema pool seems a good way to keep interest going in these sorts of films. Also, I’ve recently discovered the “re-blog” feature here in WordPress, so fellow WP users who do fine posts will find their stuff re-blogged in my “Quick Takes” section at left.

First things first: Starburst informs us that the first three seasons of Airwolf–the only ones that matter are now on DVD! I loved this show back in the day, no Saturday night was complete without the family gathered around the tube watching more mid-80s Cold War hijinx ensue from a super-chopper run by some shadowy secret organization.  I had forgotten that star Jan-Michael Vincent, whose alcoholism got the better of his career, was also in Lassie and the Danger Island segment of “The Banana Splits Adventure Hour.”

Secondly, Midnight Cinephile takes on the incredibly odd Troma flick, Video Demons Do Psychotown (1989). Bottom line:

Essentially a murder mystery, combined with a haunted house story, combined with a tale of psychics and witches, combined with a slasher film, topped off with some possession undertones and a general sense of strangeness.

Looks like the good folks at Troma put this flick on YouTube in its entirety a while back when they did the same for a hundred-plus of their back catalog:

Thirdly, having just watched Witchfinder General (1968) not so long ago, I was very keen to see Church of Splatterday Saints review Mark of the Devil (1970), which cashes in on the success of the Vincent Price classic, but with more gory violence.  As much as I enjoyed Witchfinder, I think I expected more explicit violence from it–Mark of the Devil fills that niche nicely.

Also, check out this recent interview with Michael Armstrong, who directed Mark of the Devil:

Fourthly, the “animals-on-the-loose” ripoff of Jaws entry goes to Dogs (1976) (H/T Outpost Zeta), with David McCallum.

Fifthly, Horror-Movies.ca has a nice list of seven underrated apocalypse movies that you should check out. I love this list because some unexpected stuff–way outside conventional horror fare shows up. Click through to see the rationale for including these, but here are the trailers–I’ll be (re-) watching these soon.  While you’re at it, check out the first half of a profile of the great Mario Bava here.

The 1992 version of the "Plan 9 From Outer Space" video game

The 1992 version of the “Plan 9 From Outer Space” video game

Fifthly, Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959) will again be adapted as a video game. The first adaptation was about 20 years ago for Atari ST and Amiga.  I believe Plan 9 was the only one of Ed Wood’s movie to be adapted into both a video game and a porn flick (and oddly, within about a year of one another!)

Plan 9: The Porn! (1993)

Plan 9: The Porn! (1993)

Sixthly, Horrorpedia takes on a couple fun and schlocky flicks: Kiss of the Vampirethe 1963 version of Hammer’s Christopher Lee-less Dracula sequel and Fred Olen Ray’s Star Slammer (1989), featuring reclycled footage from two other must-sees: The Deadly Spawn (1983) and Battle Beyond the Stars (1980). Any re-uses of these gems must be epic.

Lastly, 3S Horror reviews another Troma masterpiece, Lust For Freedom (1987).  Pretty standard 80s women-in-prison fare, with a couple decent one-liners:

I’ve been knocked down and insulted. I’m hot and dirty. I’m calling it a day.

Cops were dying all over the place and all I could do was act like a woman. I knew my days as a cop were over.

I saw your girlfriend french kissing a donkey on the reservation.

More linkage coming in mid-April!