Assault on the System: The Nonconformist Cinema of John Carpenter

Author Troy Howarth, in his free time between all the amazing and informative audio commentaries he’s been cranking out, has finished his newest book, this time focusing on the one and only John Carpenter. Few directors these days can have more than a few titles in their filmography that are considered classics, not to mention damn good films, but Carpenter is definitely one of them.

This book “charts Carpenter’s trajectory from screenwriter-for-hire to director of low-budget oddities like Dark Star (1974) to his meteoric rise and fall within the very system he came to distrust. All of Carpenter’s films are analyzed in detail, including his forays into made-for-TV fare, and his various sideline projects as a writer, a composer, and a producer are also examined.”

It also contains brand new interview’s with actor/director Keith Gordon, Carpenter’s wife Sandy King-Carpenter, as well and Carpenter himself. It also features guess essays by Matty Budrewicz & Dave Wain, Lee Gambin, John Harrison, Randall D. Larson, Robert Russell LaVigne, Francesco Massaccesi, Paul Poet, and Nick Smith.

The book is now available on Amazon in the color edition, but soon will be available in a black and white version as well. I can’t really see how this could not be a welcome edition to any film fan’s library. I know it will soon be in mine!

 

Horrors at the Skyline Drive-in!

In the last few days, the Skyline Drive-In in Shelbyville, IN, announced several weekends of horror lineups coming up in October. I’m not sure how many of them I’ll make, but I know I’ll be there for the last one I have listed! For all the information head over to their Facebook page HERE.

Below is the events they have listed and what will be screening. Start making your plans!

Scariest Movies of All Time Part 1
Oct. 2nd & 3rd
Poltergeist (1982)
The Amityville Horror (1979)
The Exorcist (1973) Continue reading

Unearthed Films Unleashes The Untold Story on Blu-Ray!

Back in the day when I was renting a ton of Honk Kong films from a laserdisc store (if that doesn’t date this), anytime you came across a Category III movie, you knew you were in for something intense, whether it be nudity, gore, or just the subject matter. But I was not expecting what I got when I rented The Untold Story. It starred Anthony Wong, who I just loved from action flicks like Hard-Boiled (1992), to Full Contact (1992), to The Heroic Trio (1993), to even more tragic stories like Taxi Hunter (1993), so I knew I was going to be in for another great performance. But I had no idea what I was in for when I first took home this one, which brings new meaning to the word brutal. Even more amazing is that Wong took home a Best Actor Award in Hong Kong for his role in this movie!

Now, thanks to the fine folks over at Unearthed Films, not only will this film be available here in the states for the first time on Blu-ray in its restored version, but it has a ton of extras included, which are listed below.

If you are a bit squeamish, this is not for you. It is gory, brutal, and pretty terrifying in what happens on screen, as Wong’s character goes crazy, using his fellow employees (and their families) as meat for the restaurant’s pork buns! But if you want to see a film that is hard to forget, and a performance to match, then order your copy today! Continue reading

Mystery Photo 9-21

Looks like even though our last movie is currently streaming on Amazon, not too many of you have seen it or recognized our last photo. It was from Mark of the Witch (1970), directed by Tom Moore, who also directed The Return to Boggy Creek (1977), as well as producing The Town that Dreaded Sundown (1976). Congrats to Hoby Abernathy, Todd Barwick and Bob Hartman, Michael Shields for sending in the correct answer.

For our next photo, we’re going once again with something a little obscure, but I have my reasons! Check it out and see what you can come up with. Just send your answer to us, at jon@kitleyskrypt.com. And Good Luck!

Michael Myers Marathon at the Midway!

It seems that the Midway Drive-In is going over-the-top this Halloween season with another marathon announcement. On Saturday, October 10th, they will be screening the first 4 Halloween movies that feature Michael Myers. Yes, I know, that means no Halloween 3, but deal with it. This marathon is all about Michael Myers. From the original classic from John Carpenter and it’s immediate follow-up, to the 2nd storyline with the Shape seeking out his niece, Jamie.

For more information, head over to the Midway’s website HERE. They don’t have much info on there just yet, but keep checking back for updates

 

Soundtrack Review: Scars of Dracula

Scars of Dracula
Released by GDI Records,
22 Tracks with a Total Running Time of 48 min.
Music by James Bernard

No matter how you might feel about this entry in the Hammer / Dracula saga, I don’t think anyone could argue about how good the music is. Once again, James Bernard has created a score that encompasses what we love about these films. It has that rich and powerful score that seems to burst through the screen.

With the second track, Innocent Victim / Opening Credits, we hear those strings that immediately bring a sense of sorrow followed by those strong tones of the darkness. Bernard was able to bring visuals just from the themes that he created, whether it was villagers storming the castle, or Dracula’s resurrection, you could feel it in the music. That was one of the key elements to Hammer Films, and a lot of that had to do with Bernard. With just a couple of notes, like in Slaughter in the Church for example, you knew something bad was coming. I think that is where Bernard excelled so much in bringing an immediate emotion with just a few seconds of music.

While this CD might not be the easiest to find these days, if you are a fan of Bernard and of Hammer, then you really do need this in your collection. It will bring back memories of old castles, crazy servants, and the Prince of Darkness, and all with a smile.

Mystery Photo 9-14

Welcome to another Monday and another day closer to Halloween! Hopefully that makes the day a little more palatable. Last week’s photo was from the 1987 film The Curse, based on the H.P. Lovecraft story, The Colour Out of Space. Congrats to the following for sending in the correct answer: Lee Nattrass, JS Scott, and William Wilson.

Now on to this week’s photo. Could be a tough one. Just send your guess in through email, to jon@kitleyskrypt.com. Good Luck!

Book Review: Hollywood Cauldron

Hollywood Cauldron: Thirteen Horror Films from the Genre’s Golden Age
Published by McFarland, 1994. 404 pages.
By Gregory William Mank

While this is not a new volume, originally published in ’94, and republished in soft cover format in 2001, it is one that I finally decided to dive into. The film covers 13 different titles from the “Golden Age”, from Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1932) to Bedlam (1946). With each title, Mank covers the production facts, such as who’s in it and what jobs they had, then going through the plot of the film. The real beauty of this is the information given during the story and after it. Mank always brings so much more information about the different actors, the production itself, and little bits of trivia that makes his writing so interesting, as well as entertaining. Such as the paintings from The Picture of Dorian Gray. I knew Ivan Albright painted the “evil” painting of Gray, but had always thought he painted both “good” and “evil”. As it turns it out, his twin brother painted the “good” one, but it wasn’t used. The one used in the film was done by Henrique Medina. Shows you’re never too old to learn something!

I don’t need to really go into much more details because if you’re at all familiar with Mank and his work, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. If you’re not familiar, then you need to fix that. His style of writing is one that gives you the facts, but presents them in ways that are interesting, easy to read, and I’m pretty sure you’ll come away with knowing much more than you did before hand.

If you’re a fan of the films of the golden era, then this really is a must.

Diana Rigg – Rest in Peace

When growing up in the early ’70s, when much of your time is spent in front of the television, you see a lot of actors and actresses over the years. Some stick in your head more than others. Diana Rigg was one of those actresses. Probably best known for either her role as Emma Peel in the British TV show The Avengers, where she appeared from 1965 to 1968, or the fact that she was the only actress to become Mrs. James Bond, in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), as well as more recently appearing in the series Game of Thrones (2013-2017). No matter what she was in, even in a personal favorite of mine, The Great Muppet Caper (1981), she was always memorable.

Strangely, she had a couple of genre appearances. In 1995, she appeared in a television version of Henry James’ famous story, Turn of the Screw, called The Haunting of Helen Walker, starring Valerie Bertinelli and Michael Gough. But it is her role as Edwina Lionheart, daughter of the famed (and demented) stage actor Edward Lionheart, played wonderfully by the one and only Vincent Price, in Theater of Blood (1973).

The news came out quickly that she had passed away from cancer at the age of 82. No matter what film or TV show you know her from, we all know that she will always be remembered. Our thoughts go out to her friends and family.

Ramblings on Film Deviant Podcast

My good friend Kevin… I mean Bryan Martinez, came over to the Krypt a week or so ago to have me on his podcast. There is nothing I love more than talking about the horror genre, but we also touched upon other things such as my book, Discover the horror, conventions (go figure), and just being a fan in this day and age. Somehow it was only an hour, because I know I could ramble on for days about this stuff!

So if you have an hour commute or just some time to kill, click on one of links below for a fun conversation. Or even check out some of his other shows. You’ll be entertained, that is for sure.

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/film-deviant/id1516138856?i=1000490658231

https://soundcloud.com/bryan-martinez-14/film-deviant-podcast-ep19-jon-kitley?ref=clipboard