Monday, December 27, 2010

House Of Dracula (1945)

Genre: Horror,Vampire,Werewolf,Monster

Source: My Own Collection

Grade: B

So last night I decided to watch this and House Of Frankenstein back to back, since in case you didn't know i`m a huge fan of House Of Frankenstein and since this being the sequel to it, that until now I had yet to see, I was pretty excited to watch it. But alas It just could not match the quality or the epicness that House Of Frankenstein held. This was in a way the sequel that was not needed. One of the reasons I believe for it falling short of manging to the quality of other Dracula/Frankenstein sequels was because the great writer Curt Siodmak had no hand in the story. In case your not familiar already with who Curt Siodmak is he was one of the greatest of all the classic horror writers from the Golden Age of Universal Horror. His works would include that of The Wolf Man, I Walked With A Zombie, and Earth Vs The Flying Saucers. He also plotted out the story's to movies like House Of Frankenstein, and Son Of Dracula. But unfortunately his hand in the story is completely void in this movie, and it really shows in my opinion.

           I really came into this movie expecting to find out how Dracula, the Wolf Man, and Frankenstein are alive again. Because in House Of Frankenstein I feel it was pretty well established that they were all killed. But this movie offers no explanation to why they are alive again, I mean other then Frankenstein they all just randomly appear.  I was a little disappointed with that this new writer couldn`t come up with a good explanation  to why they were alive, so he completely bypassed the problem and just left it like the other movie never happened.
        Then I was still let down with the story they had, I noticed it just wasn`t that well developed and seemed they just went with the writers first draft without proofreading it or making any editing to the story what so ever. But this movie did have a first, Larry Talbot aka The Wolf Man has a Mustache! In no other film with the Wolf Man does he have any facial hair, and well its actually good they didn't because the mustache just didn't work for me. But there were some other scenes in the movie that were memorable like when Inspector Holtz who was played by the great Lionel Atwill comes to the doctors lab with three other police officers to arrest the doctor, who then in response goes all crazy and kills all the police officers. Like the doctor throws Lionel Atwills character at a piece of lab machinery which electrocuted him in this super epic scene.

   Well overall its not a Horrible movie, its just not nearly as good as other universal horror films. It lacks the story that movies Like House Of Frankenstein and Son Of Frankenstein had. But it does sport a great cast like John Carradine as Dracula, who of course is not nearly as good as Bela Lugosi, but hey he had his own original style for Dracula which I liked. Lon Chaney Jr returns to play the Wolf Man once again in this movie, and then of course there was Lionel Atwill in his traditional Inspector role he always played so well. So like I said earlier not a terrible movie but just can`t even come close in comparison to other classic Universal Horror films.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Magic Sword (1962)

Genre: Fantasy,Dark Fantasy

Source: Netflix (Instant Que)

Grade: A+

The first time I ever even heard of  this splendid little underrated fantasy movie was while I was watching the awesome late 90s TV show "100 Years of Horror" and I came to the episode that was specifically about Sorcerers and it did a little clip of Basil Rathbone as the evil wizard Lodac in this movie and which I then thought  looked really cool. So your probably able to imagine my joy when I looked it up on Netflix and saw it was listed in instant view. So this ended up being the first thing I watched that night.
             I have also been a fan of almost the entire Fantasy genre from as long as I can remember really. And the classic Fantasy movies from the 30s to the 60s are among some of my favorites. Like this one for example, as well as the 30s "The Adventures of Robin Hood" movie, the 1952s "Ivanhoe" and 1963s "Jason and the Argonauts" Movie are among some of my favorites.
                 So anyway this film was actually loosely based on the story of "Saint.George and The Dragon" which I kind of guessed when I was about a quarter way through the movie when they kept calling him George. Anyways the story was a great Dark Fantasy, quest sort of story. The whole time the movie sported some great fights and surprise twists which I was really impressed by because I was not at all expecting it to be that good! Then on top of all that the cast was really well made up. You had the great Basil Rathbone as the evil wizard Rodiac. His performance was just as good as ever, sinister, flamboyant,and all around interesting character. I think one of the main reasons I watched this movie was because he was in it. Then the main character was played by Gary Lockwood who has gone on to play such roles as Dr.Frank Poole in "2001:Space Odyssey" and even be a guest star on "Star Trek". We`ll to be truthful his performance was very standard and not nearly as standoutish as Basil Rathbones.
             Burt I.Gordon was the director, special effects guy, and the guy who ploted out the story. Now he`s one of my all time favorite directors from the 50s and 60s era. Some of my favorite films of his include "Earth Vs The Spider" and "The Cyclops". He`s always been an underrated director in my opinion and all his movies i`ve so far have really decent. Yet for some reason people always seem to bag on his movies, which is very irritating to me.  But his director in this film was great he set the mood and the atmosphere at a perfect level. His special effects were cool to, like the ogre and the hag with melty looking face stood out to me.
      So overall this was a really cool movie that I would recommend to anyone a fan of the Fantasy genre. The fights are awesome, the effects are great for the era, and the performance of Basil Rathbone alone make this movie something you should definitely check out.  

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Madhouse (1974)

Genre: Horror, Serial Killer

Source: Netflix (Instant View)

Grade: A

Wow this is unusual that i`ll have two reviews back to back from the 1970s, because by far that is my least favorite decade for movies, especially Horror films. But you know whats even more unusual is that both films being this one and "Shock Waves" I have actually come to enjoy. Though probably the main reason for that would be they both have had actors like Peter Cushing, John Carradine, and Vincent Price star in them.

So about this movie, I had heard about and heard some good things to, but I just was never able to get a hold of a copy of the film. It never was shown on TV, for some reason it wasn`t available on Netflix, So as soon as it was released on Instant Que I admittedly jumped at the chance to view it. Well I have to say it was very creepy and boasted some great performances from Price and Cushing. There were even some scenes that honestly scared me, and the suspense was awesome.
            Now if your familiar with the film "Targets" from 1968 that starred Boris Karloff, then you`ll see similarities in this movie story wise. Though I have to say I  prefer this one to "Targets" only because this ones more of a actually Horror film while Targets was just kind of like a Dirty Harry movie except with Boris Karloff. So anyways this movie revolves around a washed up horror actor played by Vincent Price who`s come to London to make one more movie with his old friend played by Peter Cushing, the only thing is some serial killer is gruesomely killing people involved with the movie, oh did I mention Price is dabbling on sanity after having found his one wife beheaded only a few years earlier. So you`ll probably be able to guess how the film goes from there. Now the serial killer in the film really reminded me of Scream, so if you know how the whole Scream type of slasher goes then you already sort of have an idea of how this movies kills will play out. Though the way the killer looked wearing his mask and dark cape was a pretty chilling sight and at the end when you find out who the killer is you`ll most likely be at least a little surprised.
              So on to the acting, starting with Vincent Price, He was marvelous as usual and was a absolute perfect cast for the role. He made his character so sinister and seemingly evil but at the same time  he was a completely sympathetic character that you were sort of rooting for. Then you had the great Peter Cushing he acted so different in this movie, just the way he portrayed his character was unlike many of his characters which were either good guys like Van Helsing in "Horror of Dracula" or really evil guys like Victor Frankenstein in "Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed". The Character he played in "Madhouse" was very much in the middle. He seemed like a good guy but at the same time he seemed sinister with a dark motive in store. Robert Quarry was in this also, you might remember him from movies like Dr.Phibes Rises Again and The Count Yorga movies. Personally I didn`t find him to be the stupendous of an actor he really acted the same in all his movies and the fact that the movie studio was going to replace Price with him actually makes me really mad and apparently it pissed Price off to, like I read one time when Quarry was bragging about how he was all good at opera, and then told Price "I bet you didn`t know I could sing". Price jut responded by saying "Well I knew you weren`t a fucking actor". Haha I would have said the exact same thing.

        So overall it was a pretty sweet movie, that had some great actors like Vincent Price and Peter Cushing and just a really cool story. With a very chilling and unexpected ending that I highly doubt you`ll see coming unless your freaken Sherlock Holmes. So yes  I would definitely recommend this movie to about anyone, especially if you like this particular type of movie.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Shock Waves (1977)

Genre: Horror, Nazi Zombies

Source: Netflix (Instant View)

Grade: A-

A Nazi Zombie movie starring both Peter Cushing and John Carradine!! "Have all my dreams come true"! I thought to myself and the answer is..... not quite. Despite being a pretty good horror movie it just wasn't  as good as it could have been.
Now i`ve always been interested in the whole Nazi Zombie subgenre and for one to have two of my favorite actors star in it just made it even more appealing, so I was really excited to see this movie to say the least. But alas I just didn't get the feel that it was as good as it could have been. Cushing and Carradine both died off way too soon, the film didn't move as fast as I would have liked, and there just weren't any of those awesome kills you come to expect from a zombie film. Not all`s lost though this movie did boast some cool looking zombies with those really freaky goggles, a pretty interesting story to how some Nazi zombies super soldiers came to be off the coast of Florida, and Cushing proved to be quite sinister in his performance, though how little his screen time was. 
               So basically the story follows the getting shipwrecked off a strange island formula. Oh, yeah and the way the started the movie really killed a ton of the suspense, I won`t tell you how but you`ll probably see what I mean when you watch it. Anyways its the whole boat gets wrecked off the coast of some weird ole Island, and then the captain played by the legendary John Carradine disappears leaving the remaining two crew members and all the passengers to fend for themselves. When they reach the Island,the people start getting picked off and nobody has any clue why or how until the sinister Peter Cushing (who they find in a old creepy seemingly abandoned hotel building) who tells them how and why these Nazi Zombie Super Soldiers are killing everyone. Peter Cushing knows all this because he`s the Nazi SS Commander who brought them to the island. So by just watching Peter Cushing fake a German accent made this movie all the more watchable.

               Now about the films cast, it wasn`t a really big one,thankfully. It included John Carradine playing the rusty old ship captain but unfortunately he`s only really at the beginning of the movie since they kill him off so soon,so he never shares any scenes with Peter Cushing which as you can imagine was of great disappointment to me. But Cushing does have slightly more screen time then Carradine, and his portrayal of the old SS Commander was pretty cool, one his evil and sinister type of performances he does and then like I said before watching the British Cushing fake a German accent was very amusing. The main female character played by the young Brooke Adams was a pretty good unannoying female character. Plus the fact she was really hot and spent most the movie half naked really put a plus on watching her. The rest of the cast was pretty basic characters you had the honcho guy, the clueless obnoxious yet pitifully comical tourist couple, and the smart crew member who always seems to have a solution to ever dilemma. So really overall none of the performances were bad.     

        Now the zombies were pretty sweet looking they were kind of big and broad while wearing these really freaky yet awesome looking goggles. But there were not any real epic kills and to me that is a big disappointment because zombie films really have a name for awesome unique kills and there were absolutely zero in this, come on there should have at least been one or two. Instead they have most the killings occur off screen or its just like a zombie drowning somebody all casual. The one way you could kill them was well....different... you basically tore off their goggles and then they just like died. Wasn`t what I was really expecting but its not bad either.
.              Well that just about sums up that movie and my feelings toward it. Which are its cool its just not awesome, and didn't turn out as awesome as it was capable of. The cast was pretty cool, despite the best actors(Cushing and Carradine) not having nearly enough screen time in my opinion. But its a worthy incorporation to the whole Nazi Zombie subgenre which i`m a fan of. So anyone who has a interest in this type of movie or is just a fan of Peter Cushing should really consider checking this movie out sometime.  

Friday, November 26, 2010

SKYLINE (2010)

Science Fiction: Alien Invasion

Source: Theatrical Release

Grade: B+

OK by no means is SKYLINE a horrible movie, So please everybody stop trashing it only because the mass "Populous" is hating on it. Just because a couple people go all cynical about the film, then all there followers starting Internet Trolling about it, just because your total idiot and have your friends make your decisions for you doesn't mean you can go on and starting ranting. I mean just reading some peoples comments made me incredibly irritated such stupid  and idiotic statements like "this movies a rip-off of a Roland Emmerich movie"what?! Just because the only movie about alien invasion you have ever seen is "Independence Day" does`t mean its a rip off of it, come on do you guys have any idea how many Alien Invasion movies have come out before Independence Day?well the answers countless! Plus this movie is in no way even remotely similar to Independence Day in any way other then it has Aliens killing everyone. And too all those idiots who think there smart because they bitch about the ending, I would really, really like to hear you come up with a better ending.

       OK, now that I finished my irritation provoked ranting I`ll carry on with the films story. OK its not a Golden story but its unique in its point of view for a Science Fiction Movie. In the way that its resemblance in story telling was more of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD style story were these people are stuck within a building and are just simply trying to survive. Rather then a global point of view like in "Independence Day" or "War of the Worlds "which I'm really actually rather glad they decided to do because it made the story much more interesting.
 The cast was so-so no that amazing and the only guy I recognized was Latin guy who was the Manger of the apartments in this movie was also the one evil Latin general from "The Expendables". So no superb acting but nothing bad, well according to my standards nothing bad. One thing I did like was the Alien beam that carried people into the sky, that was cool. But the Alien beam also signified a strong 50s Science Fiction movie influence that I actually picked up on at the beginning of the movie. There is even this brief shot in the background of the poster of a 50s style artwork poster of a science fiction movie that has unfortunately slipped my mind, so now you have to watch the movie to see what it was.
    The Special Effects were really awesome, the aliens,their spaceship, the battles all looked really authentic and just plain awesome. The Aliens had an almost Cthulhu look to them, so they were pretty darn scary looking. The space ship was very cool looking and rather then having a metallic looking ship like you would normally see they have an organic look, which basically means the space ships looked like they were alive! The battles were super epic I'm so glad the aliens didn't have like a stupid force field or shield that aliens in "War of The Worlds" and "Independence Day "did the battles were actually cool to watch rather then just plain pathetic to watch. If you like Sci-Fi action you will enjoy a lot of good Action sequences in this movie. Which I'm not going to spoil them for you so don`t worry.

OK so "SKYLINE" is no "District 9" by any means at all, but neither is it a bad movie. it`s a very entertaining movie that won`t cause you to get bored. The Special Effects are ultra awesome, those alone are worth seeing,trust me. And the apparent indistinct 50s Sci-Fi influence just makes it even more cool. Alright so please by all means go watch this and make your own judgement don`t let your self get swayed by all the idiotic ranting`s you read online, most of those losers have no appreciation for Sci-Fi and the only movie abut alien invasion they have ever seen is "Independence Day" and that's only because they jizz over will smith. So please be open minded and not swayed by others on your opinion of the movie.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Mad Magician (1954)

Genre: Horror, Revenge

Source: TV (Channel TCM)

Grade: A

Well first off i`d like to apologize for my long absence in postings, the reason being was I was in Washington DC for the past week were I neither had the time nor ability to write reviews. But i`m back and this month my reviews should be a lot more frequent, now that i`m not busy out of my mind training for that Marine Core Marathon that I did on Halloween, being a captain of my schools Cross Country team, as well as juggling in all the other things we all have to do.

So anyways to the movie, this was one of Vincent Prices first Horror movies, it was a direct follow up to his 1953 masterpiece "House Of Wax" and well the similarities in this movies story to "House of Wax" are bit more then coincidental. "The Mad Magician" borrows rather heavily from "House of Wax" in story style in particular. Like this movies plot is about a really sympathetic magician character who's played by Price of course who's pushed over the edge when evil big show business guys strip him of literally everything and expect him in return to continue inventing tricks foe other magicians. They were really able to make Prices character quite sympathetic I felt much more sorry for him then any of the people he took revenge on. But when all is said  and done I feel the main reason "The Mad Magician" was made was so it could cash off the huge success of "House of Wax", the plot similarities are just too frequent to be unnoticed.
Though on a brighter note, Vincent Price once again put on a splendid performance making the character he portrayed even better. Which is another thing his character was pretty cool, the way he would kill people would be through his magic tricks like for example the table saw trick in these he actually cut someone up. Then he was also a master of disguise he would make costumes to replicate other people so well no one would know the difference. Other then Prices main character the rest are a bit same ole -same ole  characters you would expect to find in a 50s Horror movie, but i`m not saying that's bad.

The direction style was pretty good, black and white style was pretty fitting considering I was expecting it to be in color like "House of Wax". The setting was a good choice it was a 1880s America setting, so you got some unique point of views from that setting. But overall 1954s "The Mad Magician" was a nice early 50s Price film, though sadly I defiantly would not rank it up as one of Prices all time best movies. But by all means check it out its not a bad movie at all.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman (1943)

Genre: Horror, Werewolf, Monster

Source: TV ( Channel AMC )

Grade: A+

 This is one of my favorite movies, period. For a variety of reasons though, first being this was one of the very first Classic Horror and one of the first Universal Monster I ever saw(I think the first on I ever saw was Dracula), I think it might have been one of the first I watched because the title stuck out to me so much. Another reason being I love the films story its just a overall  amazing sequel story that made it to the first movies standers.
       That's another thing, their is some debt in the horror community over which this movie is actually a sequel to. All I have to say is, its completely obvious its a direct sequel to The Wolf Man. Because first of all it takes place three or four years after the events in the Wolf Man, plus if it was a sequel to Frankenstein it would not even match up with any of the films in the Frankenstein series, I mean if it were a sequel to Frankenstein it would be a third or fourth installment  instead and have to have been a sequel to Bride of Frankenstein but that wouldn't make sense because Son of Frankenstein was a sequel to Bride, and since the castles destroyed in this movie it couldn't have happened before Son for the castle is main point in Son. So this movie really doesn't fit in with the Frankenstein series but fits perfectly in with the Wolf Man series. Also you have a couple of the characters from the Wolf Man returning like Maleva the gypsy women.

The story like I said before is just a classic awesome Universal Monster style story. Written by the master Curt Siodmak who wrote other such masterpieces as the original Wolf Man, and House of Frankenstein. So write of the bat the dialogue is awesome and the atmosphere is great. Everything in this movie to me was put together so well, I mean the Wolf Mans accidental resurrection by Grave robbers and the way they managed to incorporate the Frankenstein Monster was all so perfectly done. That even being my third time watching this movie i`m never bored and am always intrigued by its story.
The climax at the end was pretty epic if you ask me, the Wolf Man and Frankenstein go one on one in a awesome fight thats unfortunately interrupted so neither comes out as a clear winner, though if you ask me it looked like Frankenstein was winning.

Now on to the cast, the first person billed was Lon Chaney JR which is correct because he was the central character in this film. And once again he does an amazing job as the Wolf Man by making him sympathetic yet scary and evil like when he kills the constable at the beginning of the movie that was pretty dang scary. Then you had Bela Lugosi as the Frankenstein monster, now his version of the monster wasn`t bad I liked it better than Glenn Stranges portrayal of the monster but it just couldn`t match up with Boris Karloff`s portrayal of the monster. Especially in the sense of facial features, Karloff just had the best facial features for the monster that no other actor has been able to even remotely match.
Lionel Atwill even had a little role in this movie as the mayor of the town. He was great in the way he made his character more intellectual then all the superstitious villagers who were very easy to arouse into a mob. You know I love how Atwill always had some role in all Frankenstein movies after the secound one. And all his characters were different then each other like in Son of Frankenstein  he`s the awesome inspector, then he`s the Doctor in Ghost of Frankenstein, and yet another inspector character in House of Frankenstein, the list goes on.
Sadly no Evelyn Ankers as the films scream queen instead you have Ilona Massey playing the daughter of Frankenstein. Though not as good a actress as Ankers she was equally gorgeous. Dennis Hoey even has a role in this movie, fans of the Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes movies will recognize him as the snooty pompous Inspector Lestrade. His Character in this movie was the exact same type of character, a annoying pompous police inspector.
Heck even the great Dwight Frye has a small role, actually its more of a cameo. Infact this was the first time I watched this movie and noticed him.

So all in all this movie is really good Universal Monster flick that I would highly recommend, Now I know there is a lot of people out their who don`t regard this movie nearly as high as I do, but hey what more could ask for from this type of movie? Oh, well anyways since I first discovered this movie when I think I was in eighth grade, I have made a point of watching it ever October, and so far I have been very successful.  So by all means make a point of watching this one night, i`m sure you won`t be disappointed.


Monday, October 18, 2010

The Plague Of The Zombies (1966)

Genre: Horror, Zombie

Source: TV (Channel TCM)

Grade: B

The first time I ever saw this poster or heard of this movie was in a book about the dark arts that I got at the library when I was in 3rd or 4th grade. I remember thinking how awesome this movie must be because it had such a cool poster. To bad the way I imagined the movie being in like 3rd or 4th grade has ended up being 10x better then the movie actually is.
Now i`m not saying the movies bad or anything i`m just saying it could have been much, much better. It had all the potential for it to be good zombie flick, but it just for some dumb reason couldn't grasp it.
OK so for starters Channel TCM (Turner Classic Movie) one of the best channels ever,has been doing a kick ass hammer horror marathon ever weekend, I recommend you check it out. In fact last weekend they showed all the Hammer Mummy movies in a row, it was pretty sweet.
Now anyways back to this film, as I said the movie just really didn't take advantage of its extreme potential, reasons being it doesn't contain nearly enough zombies in it! Seriously they were demoted to a subplot status. While the film seemed to be more concentrated around a "murder mystery " even though the culprit of the murder was very obvious as well as his motives for murder, not quite sure if that dramatic irony was intentional or not i`m going to say it was just for the sake of Hammer and that if it wasn't meant to be Dramatic Irony it would have been really, really been pathetic. Continuing on, there is next to no action in the film. I mean come on with a title like "Plague of Zombies" you would think that there would be seemingly to the wall action. Of like villagers in there seclusive village fighting a merciless army of zombies to a bloody death. Now that would be a spectacular zombie movie and would earn it a A+ on my standards. But alas it was not that instead its more a town with a creepy secret and cult with some zombies having a minor incorporation. Oh well cant win em all.

The cast wasn't bad though, you had Andre Morell who was in other Hammer films like "The Mummy`s Shroud" and "The Hound of Baskersville''. He played the lead doctor in this movie who was trying to make sense of all the strange happenings. And then you had John Carson playing a very sinister Voodoo zombie priest Character of the movie.
That`s another thing the films zombies are very traditional to the early tales of zombies which is more of a voodoo origin rather than that of brain eating fast sprinting zombies we seem to have today. No these zombies in the movie were slow and only killed if they had commands from there priest to do so, Fans of 1932`s White Zombie will be pretty familiar with this style. But man did the zombies look scary i`m going to be upfront about it these zombies looked scary and just flat out awesome. That was one major highlight of the movie I suppose.
Another interesting thing was it was located in the backlands of 19th century England as opposed to the jungles of Haiti which was a much,much more familiar setting for zombie films from that Era.Like "I Walked With a Zombie", "White Zombie", "King of the Zombies" they were all in that pre night of the living dead era except they all toke place in the Caribbean. So that to was an interesting highlight of the film.

Well in all this was not a terrible movie and don`t discourage anyone from watching it. But I just think it could have been way better then it turned out to be. Plus me already having way to high of standards for this movie probably didn't help much. But the movie does sport some great scary looking zombies, awesome performances, and an entirely unique and new setting for a zombie film from that Era. So please by all means check it out, you might actually really come to enjoy it.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Black Sleep (1954)

Genre: Horror, Mad Scientist

Source: Netflix (Instant View)

Grade: A

  For some reason this movie was really hard for me to find,It toke me until Netflix final released it on Instant Que to finally be able to watch it. And well to honest i`d have to say I actually enjoyed this movie.
   Alright THE BLACK SLEEP is to horror what THE EXPENDABLES is to action. Which is a ton of actors who specialize in that genre of film, and just cram them all into one movie. Seriously, this movie has an all star horror movie actor cast its got Basil Rathbone, Lon Chaney Jr, Bela Lugosi, John Carradine, and Tor Johnson all in one horror film,plus the story is really good. So I was happy camper about this movie.
But of course there were drawbacks to the movie, like Lon Chaney and Bela Lugosi`s character never say a word. Yeah there both mutes, though Lugosi makes some crazy facial expressions and Chaney has some scary grunts and snarls he makes so not all`s lost. Also I read Peter Lorre was supposed to be in this movie, he was to play the role of the sinister yet comical gypsy Udu. But they thought his price was far to high so they ended up replacing him with this other guy who wasn't bad, except if it had been Lorre it would have been absolutely perfect,so that was sorta a shame.
Now the films story is pretty cool basically its about this doctor who's to be hung in the moring, but then Basil Rathbones character comes in on the eve of his execution and gives him a drug that will only make him appear dead while leaving him in phase of suspended animation, in return for his rescue the doctor becomes the scientists assistant in his experiments. While he serves as the assistant he becomes suspicious of the doctors rather macabre experiments on living humans and begins to suspect things are not as they seem.
Yep so there you have it, the classic horror scenario except this time you have a group famous horror actors performing it. Which is what i`d have to say made this movie much,much better then if it had been made with a group of regular or obscure actors. The film was also well directed Reginald Le Borg who directed movies like THE MUMMY'S GHOST in 1944 and DIARY OF A MADMAN in 1963.
Basil Rathbone was the main bad guy so to say, in this movie. His performance was awesome he was different i this character then his Sherlock Holmes character that hes best known to play, he was much more sinister in this character. Bela Lugosi played his mute servant who like I said before was great and provided some cool facial expressions, but its also sad to say this was his last film he truly had a role in. Now Lon Chaney Jr was a crazy guy who was the product of an experiment gone wrong and just snarled and tried to choke people, so its cool but not his best role. And of course there was John Carradine who was this maniac who thought he was a Crusader in the holy land and was always yelling accusations of people being infidels, good role for him if you ask me.

So overall it was good movie, i`d recommend it to anyone. Especially if your fan of classic horror,yeah this is a must see for any Classic Horror fan its got a bunch of classic horror movie actors as well as a pretty tight story that's delivered very well through director Reginald Le Borg. Its just a shame they couldn't`t afford Peter Lorre.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Witchfinder General (1968)

Genre: Horror,Psychological

Source: Netflix (Instant View)

Grade: A+

One the best Vincent Price movies ever made! This has become a new personal favorite Price film for me. Honestly everything about this movie, was amazing. And now after watching this masterpiece for Halloween i`d like to be a Witchfinder.

Beginning with the films story, it is a masterpiece the story revolves around a couple characters really, but one being Matthew Hopkins the Witchfinder General played stunningly good by Vincent Price. But this Matthew Hopkins character uses his power as a witch hunter, basically just goes from village to village torturing "confessions" of witchcraft out of people before killing them and then getting paid by the city Magistrate for his services. So he`s just exploiting peoples fears and torturing and killing innocents just so he can get paid a big sum of money. But you want to know what also`s really scary about this whole thing? Crap like this really happened in the 16th Century England! I never really thought much about those mock witch trails until I saw this. It really shows the whole narrative in a scary and brutal light. The whole idea of this movie was so real and terrifying to me, I was completely in awe of it.
      Then the movie gets even better, it has a sub plot of this solider who's out to kill Hopkins, because Hopkins and his partner raped his wife, while also torturing and then hanging her uncle because he was suspected so how of being in league with witch's and dark magic. The finale of the movie were they confront each other was insane, not what you would expect at all. To add on to all that this movies packed with awesome scenes, like were they literally lower a girl accused of witchcraft into a fire while shes tied to a crucifix, and have her just get engulfed in flames, all the while her husband screams her name while being forced to watch her burn to death. Then there is the finale that is just mind blowing I won`t spoil it but i`ll give you the last lines spoken in the movie" Let God forgive us". And then just all the torture scenes are just so brutal and scary.

Now as for the acting, Vincent Price was absolutely brilliant in his role as the Witchfinder general. He was sinister, evil, and just the epitome of cruelty. Even Price considers this one of his best performances. Yep without a doubt no one could have played the role better then him, which is interesting because the director originally wanted Donald Plesance to play the role of Matthew Hopkins. Not that I don`t like Plesance ,but I don`t think he could have played the role half as good Price did.
The rest of the cast was pretty brilliant also, you had Robert Russel as Prices assistant who just loved to inflict pain upon people. Ian Ogilvy as the soldier out for revenge against Prices character, his act reminded me of Jack Nicholson character in Roger Cormans 1963s movie ''The Terror". And then Hilary Heath Ian`s wife that's raped.

So in Conclusion this is now one of my new personal favorite Vincent Price movies. It is absolutely amazing, filled with groundbreaking acting and stunning scenes, that shock and terrify you senseless. The sets, and costumes are authentic and add deeply to the dark atmoshere of the picture. And Finally Michael Reeves direction gives it a whole new feel, of psychological terror. So if your fan of horror movies, Vincent Price, or just good movies in general, Witchfinder General is a absolute must see. Plus thanks to this movie I now have a great idea for a Halloween costume.

The Evil Dead (1981)

Genre: Horror,Supernatural

Source: Netflix (Instant View)

Grade: C-

The main reason I watched this movie was because my good friend Tory requested it and I thought it sounded like a pretty cool movie, so I looked it up on Neflix Instant View, found it and watched it. And well to be honest I really wasn`t that impressed by it. Sure it has its moments and its not a terrible movie, but I personally just wasn't that in to it.

I`ll start with what I did like about it, I thought the films basic synopsis was actually pretty good, and quite scary. The daemons in this movie were pretty scary looking to, but whats interesting about that is I thought it was going to be about Zombies but the monsters in this movie take on more daemonic characteristics than zombie characteristics. The movie was pretty well directed, by Sam Raimi. There were some neat point of views he Incorporated, like for example the were he goes from one of the daemons point of views, that was really scary. And finally I think the action was pretty sweet, at first it was really slow like everyone was to afraid to kill the things. But as soon as Bruce Campbell's character starts beating up his possessed girlfriend with a bat, it gets awesome.
But there were some parts in this movie that were just way over done like the noise, my gosh this daemon seriously like screams this creepy sound for like 5 minutes strait, at first it was creepy but then it got to the point were it was actually annoying. There was also this gross stuff that came out of all the possessed people after Bruce Campbell's character kills them that is just flat out nasty. Its like this milky stuff comes out of the mouth and all sorts of colorful nastiness leaks out of the body, I honestly felt like I was going to gag, It was that gross. As for the Ending I was pretty satisfied, it was a very Sam Raimi ending, if you know what I mean.

So altogether I wasn`t a big fan of this movie, and I seriously don`t see whats all the hype about it,this movie its rather overrated if you ask me. But I do see its influence its left on a lot of today's horror movies, for example the movie "Alone in the Dark" had the exact same type of ending this one had, The excellent foreign zombie movie "Dead Snow" had a lot of concepts that were extremely smiler to "The Evil Dead", a very strong influence the more I think about it. Then the effects, the action, and the acting was really not to bad especially for it being a Independent film, with a amateur director. So just because I didn`t find this movie to a spectacular ground breaking horror film, it shouldn`t stop you from checking it out.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Devil Bat (1940)

Genre: Horror, Mad Scientist, Monster

Source: My Own Collection

Grade: A+

We`ll it toke me a little while to choose which Bela Lugosi movie I would review first, but after awhile I decided on this one. For a variety of reasons actually the first one being that this is one of my top favorite Bela Lugosi movies of all time. The second I don`t believe this movie gets nearly enough recognition for its superb quality.I mean other than me and all the other hardcore Bela Lugosi fans this movie is unfortunately rather obscure. And third this movie is just freaking awesome, one of the best in all the Mad Scientist movies.

Beginning with the story, its basic synopsis is a mad scientist who works for a colon company, creates this colon that once put on, his giant killer bat will smell it on you,then track you down, and finally just simply kill you. Though his motives are just, the people hes killing are the company's bosses who pretty much just short changed him on his colon he specially made for them. So hes really pissed about getting ripped off, so naturally in response he makes this enormous bat that will kill anyone wearing the colon that he made specially. Obviously there was a very strong revenge filled theme in the movie, perfect for a mad scientist movie.
Bela Lugosi`s character who was  the mad scientist, was a unique character or at least he was to me. His character was a sympathetic character, who you feel sorry for, I mean you feel more sympathy toward him then you feel toward the people he kills. You`ll see what I mean when you watch it. But his character wasn't this completely insane Mad Scientist like for example what J.Carrol Naishs Mad Scientist character in THE MONSTER MAKER, now that was an evil homicidal mad scientist that you didn't feel bad for. That is not the case here, Bela`s character is just madly bent madly on revenge. And no one could have played this role better than Bela, this is by far one of his best performances i`ve seen.
As for the rest of the characters you had a surprisingly comical pair of newspaper reporters covering the case, which I think is interesting because can you imagine the newspaper aiding the police in an investigation today, Like they were in this movie. But anyways the pair were pretty funny at times, it was a very Abbot and Costello style of humor. And then of course you had your stereotypical blond, attractive, damsel in distress type character, who's always getting herself caught in tough situations, at least the actress who portrayed her was a fairly decent actress.
Now the movie had some awesome sets and effects, to. Like the Lab that Bela conducts his experiments in and keeps his giant bat in was a super cool lab. It was the ideal Mad Scientist lab for it was creepy, sinister, and just a place you wouldn't want to be alone in. Then the bat was just terrifying, being so huge and then the noise it made was extremely nerve-racking and creepy sounding. Seriously if I saw this giant bat in person I would be scared shitless.
Well the only thing about the movie was the ending. It wasn't a terrible ending at all, it was just well predictable, and something that's been done countless times and if they had just made this ending much less predictable. Like  for example everybody dies except the Mad Scientist then the movie would be golden. But when I think about it some more I gets to me that endings like the one it had, are actually one of the reasons these movies are just so dang enjoyable.
So altogether THE DEVIL BAT was very good Bela Lugosi movie that should watched by anyone who considers themselves to be a fan of Bela Lugosi or classic horror in general. So please if you get the chance, definitely watch this awesome 40s Mad Scientist movie.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Flesh and The Fiends (1960)

Genre: Horror,Serial Killer, Psychological

Source: TV (Channel AMC)

Grade: A+

This is now definitely one of my all time favorite Peter Cushing movies, as well as just being one the best horror movies i`ve ever seen! I honestly have nothing bad to say about this movie, everything in the film was perfect and happened for a reason. Wonderful setting in the bleak 19th century England probably my favorite settings for a horror film. Great cast overall with Peter Cushing and Donald Pleasance in starring roles, two amazing horror movie icons. Then of course the story was flawless, in fact its based on actual events that really happened in Edinburgh, England around the 1820s, Plus I like to think of these movie as somewhat of a prequel to 1944s The Body Snatcher.

This story is flawless and thorough, to say the least. Basically what its about is these two guys Burke and Hare go around killing people and selling there bodies to a Dr.Knox. Who uses the bodies in his medical school, for education in anatomy reasons. So Doctor Knox (played wonderfully by Peter Cushing) is a sympathetic character, he really means no harm, hes just persistent in his passion in the field of anatomy. But While on the other hand you have Burke and Hare, who are much less than charming or sympathetic people. They are greedy, brutal, and unmerciful in there murders. They really don`t care who gets killed as long as they get some money for it afterwards. To make it even better you had Donald Pleasance playingWillam Burke. And  Pleasance really put in a great performance it was incredibly sinister to say the least, very very creepy character.

On top of all that you had some pretty amazing direction put into the movie. Just within the first few seconds, how the whole introduction is laid out I knew this movie was going to be really good. Then with all the authentic, detailed sets the movie gets even more in depth in its dark atmosphere. Just the way they made the city look was fabulous, and especially at the end gave it great senses of suspense. The sound was another thing that stood out for me, it was crystal clear. The costumes they all had were great, all that 19th century style of coat and top hat, classic and never gets old.

So in conclusion this was a great movie, with superb quality. A flawless story, were everything that happened had a point and significance to the story. Plus the fact that its based on a True event which makes it even more awesome. Then to top it off you had Peter Cushing as Dr.Knox, who was at one of his absolute finest performances. He Just really added great depth and sympathy to his character, that you felt bad for him,while at the same time he was stern and a bit unsympathetic to how he got his cadavers and who got hurt in the processes. Donald Plesance was also great in his portal of the vile, low class, greedy William Burke. Who adds this sinister aspect, that makes it all around more terrifying. And finally remember how I said that I viewed this movie a kind of Prequel or Prologe to 1944s The Body Snatcher. Here's why, it takes place in around the same time period just a few years later, in more the 1830s and it has basically the same concept getting bodies for medical reasons at any cost with no matter who gets killed or who's grave gets robbed. Next it even takes place in Edinburgh the same town this movie takes place, and the characters in The Body Snatchers occasional make references to Burke, Hare, and Doctor Knox. Some even talk about being in league with them,and not getting caught. Its really good, and both films are just golden, two of the best horror films ever.
So please by all means when you get a chance watch The Flesh and The Fiends! Its by far one of Peter Cushings best movies.

Friday, October 1, 2010

It ! The Terror From Beyond Space (1958)

Genre: Science Fiction, Alien

Source: Netflix ( Instant View)

Grade: A

The 50s decade sci- fi has always as far back as I can remember been a personal favorite style and type of movie for me,  But I can`t remember the exact movie that sparked my love for these movies, it could possible have been the time I watched the 1953`s War Of The Worlds when I was a little kid and was fascinated by the whole alien invasion concept, In fact I even read the original unabridged edition of H.G Wells "War Of The Worlds" when I was 11 or 12 before I watched the movie and just was enamored by it. It also could have been the time I watched the outstanding 1951s "The Day The Earth Stood Still" with my family and was captivated by its flat out amazing story and brilliant style.
But for whatever reason it may be I really do love 50s Sci-Fi, so its always a real pleasure for me to get to view another great Gem from that golden decade of Sci-Fi, and "IT! THE TERROR FROM BEYOND SPACE". Though its not as amazing as other films from the decade IT! was still a great movie that I really dug.

It has a interesting story and picks up the pace admittedly , with a classic 50s style space ship, you the one with the three tail fins and the bullet shape, has crash landed on Mars. Where a rescue ship has been sent to retrieve everyone, but find only the ships commander still alive. But for some reason they automatically assume he killed everyone, which didn't really make much sense how do they know they weren't killed in the crash or from injury's from the crash. And what possible motive would a captain gain from killing his own crew? There not freaken pirates with some treasure they all want for themselves. No the only thing that could have motivated a act of homicide like that would have been a mental breakdown or something. But as you can see their was really no logic to the accusative of this commanders act of homicide because hes absolutely normal and reasonable, and then the movie does`t give a very clear if at all explanation to the whole worlds suspicion of this captains "homicide".
Anyways the object of the rescue ship was to bring the commander to back to Earth, were he would court martialed, and probably executed. But the thing that really killed all the crew members sneaks on board and starts killing the crew members, gruesomely. So the rest of the movie consits of the crew trying to get rid of this thing, all the while the body count rises. Until they finally mange to kill it, and the final scene is a guy addressing what appears to be the media. By telling them that Mars is a plant better left avoided, Simple but it still works and stills awesome.

It has great atmosphere, and a very dark tone. The "were stuck in space with a savage alien in our dreary spaceship and no can help us" sort of tone. Much like that of films like "Pandorum" and "Alien", which were obviously influenced by movies like this in my opinion. But anyways the movie delivers some pretty cool, detailed sets as well as costumes, no hokey "Plan 9 From Outer space" status stuff. The spaceship had an awesome interior design,as well as a very logical design in comparison to the ships shape. Finally the monster was pretty cool looking . It had a scary Abominable Snowman/ Wampa looking alien. Very cool, if you ask me.
                Then of course the acting was not bad at all, please trust me I know terrible acting i`ve seen "Mesa of Lost Women" and ''Plan 9 from Outer space''. Plus No one in the cast was a really big name actor to me, so that even makes it more cool to me.Oh, I forgot to mention the screenplay was written by Jerome Bixby Star Trek fans will recognize that name as the name of the guy who wrote such episodes as "Mirror, Mirror" and "Day of the Dove", that really helps explain the movies high quality.

So in conclusion I really recommend this movie, obviously I really dug it. Therefore I believe pretty much anyone else with a appreciation for Sci-Fi, will really enjoy this.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Upcoming October Events

The one and only true Dracula Bela Lugosi !!
Well its about to be October, Horrors big month! And if you didn't know already October 20th is Bela Lugosi`s birth day. So in celebration and in honor to one of Horrors HUGEST Icons each week I will feature at least one or two reviews of Bela Lugosi movies. If there any in particular that you would really like to get reviewed, please by all means let me know and I will review it.
Also this month I will cover many Vincent Price films as well as Hammer Horror movies. Due to it being the perfect month of the year for it there is absolutely no better time of year then October for me to watch these good movies from Hammer, Universal, Boris Karloff, Vincent Price, Bela Lugosi of course, as well as the many other classic icons of the Golden age of Horror.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Last Exorcism (2010)

Genre: Horror, Possession

Source: Theatrical Release

Grade: A

Finally a movie that returns horror to it roots! Were it focuses on making you actually scared with different types of suspense, shock, and just a flat out scary atmospheres. As opposed to relying on gore and how nasty a person can be mutilated styles of horror that seem to dominate the Box Office these days. But the bad thing is, I can`t hate Eli Roth anymore after watching this movie, him being a producer to this movie, proves to me that he isn`t out ruin horror with his horrible Hostel movies like I thought he was.

Boy, this had a very unique and original story. Its about this exorcist who actually doest even believe in possession and thinks that people who are possessed arn`t really possessed they just think they are. So he does  very elaborate "mock" exorcism`s that cure the people, fore they think that he has released them of there daemons and cured them of there possession. Pretty awesome premise if you ask me, definitely rivals even that of this years Shutter Island in  uniqueness if you ask me.But the movie goes on to explain that this pastor will perform his last exorcism, this time bringing a film a film crew along to help capture his theory of possession on film. The only thing is this possession is real, and filled with bone chilling horror, super starling images, and crazy twists in the story.

Now more things that contribute to the movies pure horror quality was that very little to no CGI used at all, so all the crazy twists and bends that girl does were pure authentic! Since she is double jointed, she was able to perform all those crazy stunts. And wow the facial expressions she makes are incredible, there were so many different expressions she makes, it was flat out scary and amazing. Ashely Bell, the actress who played this possessed girl, was an amazing actress overall in this movie who really showed us what REAL acting is!
   This movie featured a really unknown small name actors, which in my opinion really made it even more special. Proving that movies especially horror do not have to rely on having big name actors and actresses to produce good quality movies. This being a perfect example, the main character who was excellently played by Patrick Fabian who other than appearing in a couple popular TV shows like Burn Notice and Boston Legal, hasn`t really been in any major movie, other than this one, Further proving my point even further.

I liked its direction to, it was another documentary point of view type of movie, which seems to have become very popular thanks to movies like "The Blair Witch Project", "Cloverfield", and "District 9". But this was another very successful take on that style of film. It gave it atmoshere that was very dark and believable, as well getting you more engaged in the whole movie.
Then the movies location was great, I loved the setting of the old south.Which was in a small town yet incredibly eerie town, that was full of run down creepy looking buildings. Then sets were just as good, chilling and eerie,just like the house that most of the events in the movie take place in, chilling. Though the only thing about this movie really was the ending, it was a tad predictably, but for some reason it still freaked me out even though I suspected what was already going to happen. Now don`t get me wrong, there are plenty of completely unexpected twists you will not once see coming, that happen thorough out the movie actually.

In conclusion you should definitely watch this movie. It`s the movie that horrors needed to prove, that it doesn't need to rely on blood, guts, CGI, and some guy in a weird mask to produce real fear. Plus this movies packed with amazing scenes, I won`t point out any of them though because it would just be spoiling crucial moments in the movie. So this is just a good horror flick, that I highly recommend to anyone reading this.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Legacy of Blood (1971)

Genre: Horror, Serial Killer, Survival

Source: My Own Collection

Grade: D

Horrible dialogue, a terrible muddy color, unrelatable weird characters, sluggish pace, and a painfully predictable ending. So does this movie have anything good about it? You might ask, well the answers not really. This movie offers and boosts a good basic synopsis, but delivers nothing but bitter disappointment.
Well you might be familiar with this type of premise, a old rich,but not very loved family member dies. So all the ungrateful  relatives come over to collect their inheritance, the only catch is they all have to stay the night in his "creepy" mansion and  stay the whole time without leaving in order to collect their inheritance. Whilst at the same time their staying in the mansion someone is killing them all off in brutal ways I might. So not a bad story, but its completely butchered with terrible writing and sluggish slow pacing that makes the movie not only really bad, but really boring. Then to make it even worse you have a bunch of unrelatable, unsympathetic, weird characters. I`ll start with the fat Elvis impersonator, he was this fat guy who had the exact same hair as Elvis and wore like the same flashy cloths  Elvis would wear, and to top it off he always wore sunglasses and stupid attitude. Then there were two guys how looked so alike I thought they were the same people for about a 3rd of the movie, one of them though was this WW2 veteran who bragged about how he killed Nazis and made them into lamps. A women who was on about ever drug known to earth, Their was this doctor who had this noticeably odd looking face. And finally you had this shrew faced cop who obviously wasn't very bright. But do not fear there is but one likable, cool character and that's the old family member who died, unfortunately most of his scenes are flashbacks, and gets very, very little screen time. But his character is just this warped, psycho path, whose played by the legendary horror icon John Carradine.
Though one good thing this movie was it offered some pretty cool deaths, for example fat Elvis gets his head eaten off by pet piranhas, another guy gets locked in a room of bees were he`s mutilated by their stingers, and a cop`s killed brutally with an axe. Those kills among others are what make the movie just a little more bearable to watch. As for the climatic "twist ending, I put twist in quotations because its the most obvious ending ever, within the first two seconds you already have a clear idea of who the mysterious killer was or at least I did. Was among one of the most predictable endings on the planet, except for the creepy whack soundtrack that plays at the end during the credits that was weird, you`ll see what I mean if you watch it.

Now the cast minus John Carradine were nothing special and put on overall forgettable performances. I read though this was Rodolfo Acosta last movie he appeared in, The only movie other than this one that I remember him in was 1953s "Hondo". In this he played the role of the cop, not such a great final performance sadly. Buts very disappointing that John Carradines character was so small and consists of mostly flashbacks, he was seriously the only good thing about the movie other than some of the cool kills. Next the awful color they used was well...awful! It had this nasty muddy color, it was poor mans Technicolor basically.

So my final thoughts of this movie are basically it stinks. But its not all lost, it has some scenes and parts of enjoyability but thats really it. The rest is a dull and rather stupid affair, that isn't very well worth the watch. And John Carradines small role doesn't help either. Another reason i`m so disappointed in this movie is because I was actually looking forward to watching it, I thought it would be a great horror flick. Sadly I was dead wrong I was greeted with another crappy pointless 70s movie.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Witchville (2010)

Genre: Fantasy, Dark Fantasy

Source: TV ( SyFy Channel)

Grade: B

Knights, Ninjas, and Witches, What more do want from a SyFy channel original movie? Well depending on your taste and preference it doesn't get much better then this. Ah I do remember when I first read about this movie before it came out, and Immediately afterward thinking to myself "well this should kick ass, but probably isn't going to be nominated for any emmy awards.

The story is basically a blend of Harry Potter, Star Wars, and a bunch of other SyFy channel movies combined into one. Though its not a amazing movie and a bit weird, its really not that bad in fact its pretty cool actually. Anyways the movies pretty simple, its about these Witch Queen and her army of witches, laying waste to this kingdom and cause nothing but plague and devastation to the people and the land. So a prince, a witch hunter, and a band of some of the elite kings warriors, plus some ninjas later on, go to bring down the witch queen which will cause her armies to fall, saving the kingdom.
  The film also provided some cool characters to entertain you with, they all were pretty well unique, you had your radical witch hunter, huge fighter dudes, slick ninjas, and a old hoagie witch queen. It had a great pace never got too slow plus it keept me constantly entertained. As for the fights and battles they were all pretty cool a little cheesy sometimes but overall not bad. Except for the end battle it started off being super awesome and epic, but sadly it got drawn out way too long and started to be just flat out lame. All the swords and weapons were pretty authentic looking and really well designed. I was impressed and surprised, though sadly I cant say the same about the costumes. The costumes on a lot of characters like the witch queen`s looked like a bunch of cheap plastic costumes you could pick up at a discount halloween store. Except for the sexy blond witch (who was like the queen witches daughter ) her costume looked pretty cool, and then the regular soldiers in the kings army had awesome costumes, they looked like the Rangers from "Lord of The Rings". And finally the movies ending was alright, but it left it WIDE open for a sequel, and no sooner do I find out that sometime next year a sequel called "Witchville 2: Revenge of Darkness" will be released.

Well you know overall I think its safe to say I enjoyed Witchville for what it was worth and meant to be. It was a dark fantasy movie with some flat out weird add ins but its not at all crap. So if your a fan of SyFy channel movies, Fantasy movies, or just plain weird movies "Witchville" is definitely recommended for you! oh, and not to mention it had a pretty tight soundtrack.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Killer Shrews (1959)

Genre: Horror, Monster, Mad Scientist

Source: My Own Collection

Grade: A+

When I first picked this movie out to watch I thought it was going to either really suck, or at the most be just OK. I never once suspected this movie would be Freaken Amazing! It was a truly classic monster movie, pretty much everything about it was perfect. I don't regret one minute of watching this truly amazing monster flick. And no I am not at all being sarcastic, I truly do love this movie.

The story is a pretty well known style of 50s monster movie, if you know what I mean. Except its much more thought out and way more well done than many other 50s monster movies, like for example its 10x better in quality than "The Giant Gila Monster" and "Attack of the Giant Leeches". Reason being is this movie has such a great creepy atmosphere and is full of great suspense, it focuses on the horror and the monsters as opposed to a the drama of the characters or other random things, that the two movies I mentioned above made the mistake of doing.
Anyways the films basic synopsis is the main character and his assistant sail out to a remote island (somewhere near Alaska I think based on the terrain) to deliver supplies to the scientist's living and operating there, not knowing that the scientist's have been conducting strange experiments on shrews, that have mutated them and made them extremely hostile and very big. And unfortunately for our main characters a  hurricane blows in stranding everyone on the island with all these mutant shrews, who by the hour keep getting more savage and keep gaining more "ability's" such as being able to see in the daylight which regular shrews aren't able to do and best of all if you just get bit once by these critters your dead, because their bites contain an extreme amount of poison. Plus they are a truly scary looking bunch of creatures. Though an interesting thing I read was, that the way they created  these creatures for the movie was the filmmakers just shaved a bunch of coon dogs.
This movie is also packed with great scenes, like when this one scientist gets bit by a shrew he writes down all the feelings he experiences up until his death, one symptom he wrote was "chilling" and then all scenes were people get devoured by these things were very freaky. And of course all the action used throughout the movie were just plain entertaining. But what`s most entertaining of all might have been the finale, its hard to explain really what they did, you would really have to watch it to understand it. But basically they make this tank/armor thing out of trash cans and fight their way to beach and the safety of the boat through all the killer shrews, I thought it was pretty cool.

The cast was pretty well made up you had James Best as the main character and hero of the movie, fans of "The Dukes of Hazard" will probably recognize that name, as the sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane from the show. Then there was Ingrid Goude as the female protagonist, she was actually 1957s Miss. Universe. As for the rest of the cast they were all good, bringing on some very unique and different characters through there performances.
So in conclusion I would say this is a must see movie, one of my favorite 50s monster flicks. Everything from its creepy atmosphere, awesome terrifying suspense and  flat out scary looking monster shrews make this up as a grade A+ movie.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Bucket of Blood (1959)

Genre: Horror, Comedic, Serial Killer

Source: My own Collection

Grade: A

So last night I decided to dig around through my own DVDs for something to watch and review,and there I found one of my Roger Corman DVDs budget packs that I had bought a few mouths prier,which countained four of his movies on it, so A Bucket of Blood being one of them I  thought well this should be interesting, plus it had a short running time 66 minutes to be exact,the short running time appealed to me only because I was tired that night, and I`d have to say I really felt like watching a good ole Roger Corman movie.

Well The plot was really not too bad, especially for a dark comedy. The film is about a man who kills his landlady's cat by accident . he then covers the cats corpse in clay and passes it off as his own artwork.with fame he begins to kill people and use their body's in various clay sculptures.
I also noted this had a strong influence from 1953s House of Wax, which starred Vincent Price who later became a favorite of Roger Cormans.
The film had many great colorful characters in it such as Walter Miller the crazy "artist" and bus boy who turns homicidal that was played perfectly by Dick Miller, next there was Brock a heavily bearded poet who drew most of his humor from Irony, and then there was Leonard Walters stern artsy boss who was played by Roger Corman regular Antony Carbone ( Last Women on Earth, Creature from Haunted Sea).

So as you may have noticed that this film had a really decent cast. Dick Miller in his only staring role, ever other role hes done has been a supporting role, sadly. Leonard Walters as jerkish, mean art dealer/ coffee house owner, and then was Julian Burton as the bearded poet, who was a pretty funny character and well played by Burton, the only other thing of significance that he was in was Cormans "Masque of The Red Death", sad he was an impressive actor.
Ah and then there was the cheap sets, that were reused a year later in Cormans "Little Shop of Horrors", which should really not come as a surprise to anyone even remotely familiar with Roger Corman and his film making techniques.  And The music soundtrack was completely composed of saxophone music, at first that might sound weird, but it actually was really fitting.

So all in all I`d have to say I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, i`ts defiantly one of my new favorite Corman movies. Everything from its dark humor, gritty murders, and colorful characters Bucket of Blood is a thoroughly enjoyable movie that I would recommend to anyone interested in this type of movie.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Edge Of Sanity (1989)

Genre: Horror, Serial Killer

Source: Netflix (Instant View)

Grade: A

Well ever since the day I found out this movie existed thanks to the blog Horror Movie A Day Blog spot I have been really wanting to watch it. Why?, well for a variety of reasons first being I`m a huge fan of Jack the Ripper and I'm trying to watch all movies based on him, Second I`m a big fan of Anthony Perkins, hes one of my favorite actors, and Third I love movies like this that are set in the the bleak 19th century London/England. Plus I realised this had a unique awesome blend it blended the Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde story with the cases of Jack the Ripper. Well did it meet my expectations? Well kind of, it just came up short so in a nutshell I think it could have been a little better.

Starting with its story, the movie had a excellent plot and story, the blending of the Jekyll/Hyde story with Jack the Ripper was unique. The Introduction was literally crazy and pretty well done a great attention getter. And how he becomes the ripper was... well interesting it was pretty much he got high on stuff that looked just like cocaine. And when he was the ripper the story become extremely dark and sleazy. As he goes around London at night mutilating prostitutes. That was another thing the movie had a excellent atmosphere, incredibly dark and bleak perfect for the awesome setting of a foggy, dark London set horror film. And as for the characters Perkins character jack the ripper was awesome just the epitome of vileness, and then the Henry Jekyll side was mild mannered doctor so just like the book basically. The of the characters were just as colorful the prostitutes, the brothel owner lady, and the Inspector who was a super minor character as one might not have expected.

The cast was pretty good I wasn't very familiar with anyone other than Anthony Perkins who was excellently cast for the character, though it was quite similar to his Norman Bates character in many ways. And Sadly this was one of his last films, for he would die of AIDS very soon. But the rest of the cast werent and made some intresting and very colorful charecters. The direction and production values were off the wall good, the sets were authentic and deatailed, the lighting was beautiful, and of course all the costumes and make up were great and so creepy.

So all together this was a good movie I enjoyed, but I felt it could have been done alittle better, like giving more charecters develpoment and focus because I noticed they really foucused mostly on Perkins charecter. But it really wasnt too bad fans of the Jack the Ripper cases and The Doctor Jekkyl/ Mr.Hyde novel (which by the way I have read) should definatly take a look at this movie.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Merlin and The Book of Beasts (2009)

Genre: Fantasy, Arthurian Legends

Source: Netflix (Instant View)

 Grade: B-

You Know contrary to many peoples opinions on this movie I thought it had a really cool and intellectual story and premise. Those post King Arthur's death movies have some great potential going for them like this one and can be really good or they can really, really suck. Were would I place this one? well I would put it right in between crappy and really good. It was really just OK, kind of mediocre unfortunately. But it has enough edge to just miss a forgettable reputation and ends up being a little memorable.

Well as far as the story goes its pretty straight forward, Mordred's son, has taken over Camelot and placed it under a dark tyranny role of course, so its up to King Arthur's daughter to find Merlin and have him help her regain the kingdom. The whole thing is kind of predictable, but you know what its still kind of enjoyable. But i`ll begin with the pros of the movie first off it did incorporate one knight from the original round table and it was Sir.Galahad, to be exact the rest were apparently dead. Their was a couple good fights throughout the movie, but no full scale battles or anything along those lines, because this movie had a super small cast it had the equivalent of a plays size of a cast, at most i`d say their was only two dozen cast members. And also all the characters in the movie were not bland and boring, they were all pretty cool likable characters.
Now the Cons of the movie, one big thing that bothered me was it had virtually no background story about how, when, and why all the Knights of the Round Table other than Sir. Galahad were dead. I really wanted to know and was really curious and unfortunately it never comes straight out with the answer. Then it didn't stay close enough to traditional Arthurian legends like I would have liked, rather it incorporates randomly Greek mythology creatures like Medusa`s, which just simply didn't fit and ended up being super random. So I really don`t think the story was nearly half as good as it could have been.

As for the cast, James Callis who played Merlin was perfect, their wasn't a better person they could have chosen then him, everything from his voice, and his appearance made him perfect for the role. The rest of the cast was alright Donald Adams who played Sir. Galhad was also well chosen, he gave a great portal of a veteran knight of a once glorious power, which was now in shambles. So overall really well produced/casted movie, especially for a SyFy channel original movie. The movie provided a pretty tight soundtrack, as well as some pretty cool costumes. Then the sets were great, they were dark, and authentic looking. Not some cheap Ed Wood status sets.

Well i`ll finish this up by saying overall I thought it was a well directed movie and with some great artistic value. But it just wasn't as good as it could have been, so I was really disappointed in it. It strayed from the traditional Arthurian legends just a little to much for me and didn't provide a detailed enough background story. Plus the use of Greek mythology was a terrible choice, it just ended up being really random, simply didn't fit. But then on the other hand it had a pretty cool story, good direction, and a couple great fights so I'm a little torn on my decision on the movies quality. But I`ll have to say I overall disappointed in the movie, and believe it could have been much, much better.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Crazies (1973)

Genre: Horror, Thriller

Source: Netfilx ( Instant View)

Grade: A

Well for starters I have not seen the remake of this movie yet, in fact I made a huge point about not watching it before I somehow got my hands on the original 70s one by George Rommero, he directed this one and wrote it, as well as serving as one of the executive producers of the remake that came out this year. Well first thing I noticed was this movie was strikingly smilier to Night of The Living Dead (which we all know he directed like five years earlier) not story wise, but in a atmospheric way, it had that, just chaotic, raw, and far from happy atmosphere that Night of the Living Dead had, but that's good it made the movie even more better.

So to put it straight this movie is not a zombie movie! Many people like myself admittedly thought at first glance it was going to a zombie. But as a matter a fact its not, its about this military plane that crashes in a Pennsylvania town and leaks all its biological warfare weapons into the water. Resulting in everyone who drinks the water is basically turned crazy. But what makes it unique is the disease has different effects on people, like for example some are madly violent, others are just harmlessly crazy, while others are sinister and the just go off an kill people, oh and not mention the disease is highly contagious. So the army gets involved quarantines the town, but for some reason everyone feels they have to resist, so Therese tons of chaos and violence. And one of the moments that makes this movie truly golden was when the scientist with the cure, gets killed and the cure is destroyed with him, because of a bunch of idiot army guys. So really good and original story with a great dark tone.

The characters were ok, it was played by a bunch of unknown actors, who to this day don't have a lot of screen credit at least that's according to But for being fairly new, inexperienced actors they were all right, nothing stand outishly bad. Now one thing I really enjoyed was the costumes the army guys wore they were white jump suit with freaky looking gas masks. Those gas masks were awesome, they were just so fitting for the movie, if you know what I mean.

Now I know some people might argue that this movie leans more toward a action/drama type of movie, which may be true in a sense. But its no doubt in my mind a horror movie that just contains a bunch of gun fights, my favorite being the one near the end were the infected guy fights a dozen army people in the forest, it was awesome.But in conclusion id have to say this was a another great Romero horror film with a another great ending kind of like Night Of The Living Deads ending, which is far from happy. So with great direction, and dozens of awesome scenes like when the priest goes crazy and lights himself on fire infront a bunch of people and an army guy just shoots him in the head, a crazy old lady leazurly stabs a army guy to death with a knitting needle and does it so unfazed she doesn't even seem crazy, and then the tragic ending were the guys pregnant wife gets shoot by accident. The Crazies is a grade horror flick that i`d highly recommend for all fans of the genre.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Incredible Petrified World (1957)

Genre: Science Fiction, Exploration

 Source: My Own Collection

  Grade: D

  Well it was a foggy morning and I was in a real mood to watch a old science fiction movie, and conveniently I had just picked up a 50 pack of horror movies called Legends Of Horror the other day, and for some reason this science fiction movie as well as a couple others like Christopher Lees END OF THE WORLD (which really was a poorly done movie anyways, but that's a topic for another day) was thrown in with all the horror movies. anyways I picked this movie out of the lot saw it starred the legendary John Carradine and it had a super cool theritical poster on its page on Wikipedia. so what could go wrong?

Well everything did, the writing lagged logic and was random, It completely lacked all adventure and the thrill you'd expect from a science fiction movie, the intro was random as heck, and John Carradines role was very minimal. So it was a complete disappointment, and was utterly dull. So starting with the movies Intro it was a random stock footage documentary talking about fish bone structure, which really had nothing to do with the movie at all. And then the interesting thing was this movie had a great plot,"a group of scientists get lost under the sea and end up in a strange world" that was the movies synopsis,and now your probably thinking ''not bad, this guy just doesn't appreciate sci-fi ", but really the great plot is ruined with horrible writing, seriously this movie is completely void of any adventure what so ever. even when there in the "petrified world" all it is a cave and a crazy guy living there. No dinosaurs, no giant squids, no savages, no anything awesome. Just a bunch of bland characters arguing and a annoying girl on her period apparently almost getting raped by the crazy bearded guy who lives there, and his reason for being there lacks logic and completely contradicts the story(they are miles under the ocean,and this guy some how got here from a shipwreck, on a raft?). And John Carradines character is basically a oceanographer who plans everything a the exploration, the equipment, and all the engineering stuff, he just doesn't participate in it, so he lacks a lot of screen time.

The overall cast was so-so other than John Carradine they all seemed a Little bland and uninteresting. I have a feeling though this had something to do to the movies minimal budget, this probably had a budget with the equivalent of a Ed Wood movie. So overall this movie turned out to be a huge disappointment and rather dull affair. I really don't recommend this to anyone unless their a John Carradine enthusiast or a big time 50s sci-fi movie fan, but don't go expecting it to be a 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA or anything remotely as good.

The Ghoul (1933)

Genre: Horror, Psychological, Occult

Source: Netflix ( Instant View)

Grade: B-

   Well this was just one of those movies that sounded really good, had some good things going for it, and had an amazing cast, including Boris Karloff, Cedric Hardwicke, and Ernest Thesiger. But alas it was not nearly as good as it could have been. I was thoroughly disappointed with it, probably because I had made it out to be a really good movie in mind, but when I watched it was not anything like I thought it would be. Funny how that seems to happen to me more often now, were i`m always disappointed with a movie I think is going to be good like this one, and then movies that I think are going to blow I end up really liking like 1959s The Killer Shrews. 

      Well starting with the movies story, it was unbenosed to me actually based on a novel by Frank King, but was extremly loosely based, so more than doing a adaption it kind of just borrowed ideas and turned it into its own thing. I have not read the novel, which you will, see I dont like to watch a movie based on a book or remake of another movie,Without first reading the book or watching the original movie. Anyways having not read the book I went on watching this movie with the expectaion of it being a more superatural or mummyish kind of movie, and honestly that would be freaken awesome. But alas it wasnt, Instead it was a more psycholigical crime drama, murder, and random family problems kinda movie, not what I was expecting at all. So yeah naturally I was dissapointed, it didnt foucus nearly enough on Boris Karloff he was actually a minor character really eventhough he was top billed. But rather it foucused on a group of people mostly made up of dickering rlatives, a treaturious sinister butler, a "seki" or mock vicar really. And what made it annoying that the foucus was on the wrong people was it was bland and really slow making the movie incredibly unepalling. Though there was some good stuff that makes this movie worth watching. Like the climax to the ending saved it from the mediocre status that it was dangerously bordering on already, WARNING: SPOILERS, the whole idea that Karloff wasnt dead and had been buried alive was pretty cool and unexpected. Also Ernest Theasingers charecter was really crazy, him and karloff (when he was on screen) were what made this movie, without them, it would have been forgotten and have faded into obscerity already.

        Now as for the Cast, that was probably the best thing about the whole movie, it was excellently produced and well casted. Starting with Boris Karloff, this was a great role for him. No one could have done it better than him, especially at the beginng were hes geting really mad at his butler while hes moments away from death, just how he looked was crazy it was unnaturally scary, his skin was old looking and his eyes were just crazy looking! so great performance overall from Boris Karloff, its just a shame he didnt have more screen time.
Then there was Ernest Thesiger playing Karloffs butler. Yet another excellent cast, he was a sinster, scary looking, and rather decieveing charecter and thanks to Thesiger it was put to its maxium potential. The other movie I rember Ernest Thesinger from was Bride of Frankenstein, which his role in that movie was just so differnet from his role in this movie. And that just further proves my point that he is a great actor. As for the rest of the cast Cedric Hardwicke, Dorothy Hyson, and Ralph Richardson (in his first ever movie role) etc. they werent bad, just didnt leave as deep a dramatic impact as Thesinger and Karloff did.

Now the films direction was very dark and dim light which at times could be annoying because you couldn't see a damn thing! But the direction really wasn't to bad it basically delivered the right kind of atmosphere. The movies set was also pretty nice, it looked authentic and a bit like a plays set, which was good really. And I was really happy with the movies setting which was a 19th Century London.

So altogether this wasn't a bad movie at all, it was just disappointing for me, I really thought it was going to be better. And the terribly slow pace and lack of screen time for Karloff didn't help either.But fans of Karloff and Classic Horror alike should check this movie out, it may have a slow pace and all but its not a total loss. So good movie just could definitely have been  better.