Horror History: Jack Taylor

jacktaylorJack Taylor
Born Oct. 21, 1936

Taylor was always easy to spot, with this glassy blue eyes and usually with a handlebar mustache. While most know him from his work in the Spanish film industry, he is actually American born, starting his acting on TV, appearing alongside Marilyn Monroe on an episode of The Jack Benny Show. He would later move to Mexico, appearing in various stage plays, as well as working the Nostradamus series. This originally was a 12-segment serial that was later combined to make four features, starting with The Curse of Nostradamus (1961), Nostradamus y el destructor de monstruos (aka The Monster Demolisher, 1962), Genii of Darkness (1962), La sangre de Nostradamus (aka The Blood of Nostradamus, 1962). Taylor would appear in the first three films.

He would leave Mexico and head to Spain, where he really made his name, especially in cult cinema, working on ten films with Jesus Franco. He appeared in such titles as Succubus (1968),  Eugenie (1970), playing Quincey in Count Dracula (1970), and  Female Vampire (1973), among many others. He also worked with many other directors who seemed to specialize in the horror genre like Leon Klimovsky’s Orgy of the Vampires (1973), Amando de Ossorio’s Night of the Sorcerers (1973) and the third entry in his Blind Dead series, The Ghost Galleon (1974). He even worked with Paul Naschy in Dr. Jekyll vs the Wolfman (1972) and The Mummy’s Revenge (1974). One of his more notable appearances is alongside Johnny Depp in Romain Polanski’s The Ninth Gate (1999).

He has always been a favorite of mine, bringing a smile to my face when I see his name in the credits. He always delivered a fun performance, no matter the budget or quality of the overall production.

Movie Review: Lugosi – The Forgotten King

lugosi forgotten king 3

Lugosi: The Forgotten King (1985, 2018)
Directed by Mark Gilman Jr. & Dave Stuckey

In 1985, with the early days of VHS tapes and video stores, there weren’t too many documentary titles out there, especially on horror movies or their stars, unless you count a few trailers collections. But I can remember coming across one title in particular that was on the shelves, Lugosi: The Forgotten King. Being an young and eager fan to learn as much as I can about the horror genre, especially one of its icons, I immediately rented it. Even though the running time was short, showed the audience a little bit more behind the man and really how much of a talent he was. Now, 35 years later, it is out on DVD in an updated version, through Operator 13 Productions. Continue reading

José Mojica Marins – Rest in Peace

José Mojica Marins - RIPThe genre has lost another icon with the passing of Brazilian actor, writer, director, producer, José Mojica Marins, better known to fans as Zé do Caixão, aka Coffin Joe. He was another filmmaker breaking ground, making movies that were not the most welcomed in his own home, but he continued on, making the kind that he wanted to make. While he started making films as early as 1950, it wasn’t until 1964 with the release of À Meia Noite Levarei Sua Alma (At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul) that he found the role that would stay with him until he died, that of the devious Coffin Joe. Thankfully, a good number of his films have been made available though various companies, especially Something Weird Video. Continue reading

Unusual Themed Books

Masks in Horror CinemaWe all know that there are title upon title on movie reference books that cover the same topic. Whether it is on slasher films, the zombie sub-genre, or any number of those Freudian psycho-babble entries, there are more than enough to keep this fan of horror reference books busy and broke! But I recently came across three titles that are either out or coming out that cover a unique and interesting theme that immediately grabbed my interests. Even more so, at first thought, I didn’t think there would be enough movies under each of these subjects to merit a whole book. But once again, it just shows you can always learn more!

Masks in Horror Cinema: Eyes Without Faces is by Alexander Heller-Nicholas, and has been published by University of Wales Press. This one is a bit pricy, at $51.37 on Amazon, and is 288 pages long. According to the description, “This book explores its transformative potential historically across myriad cultures, particularly in relation to its ritual and myth-making capacities, and its intersection with power, ideology and identity.”

With this striking cover, using poster art from Georges Franju’s Les yeux sans visage (aka Eyes Without a Face, 1960), this doesn’t look to be a book covering a certain number of specific movie titles, but is broken up into different categories, such as Skin Masks, Blanks Masks, Animal Masks, and such. There are separate chapters on pre-1970 films and post-1970. I have to say, it does sound kind of interesting. Continue reading

Horror History: Abel Salazar

abelsalazarAbel Salazar
Born: Sept. 24th, 1917  Died: Oct. 21st, 1995

In the world of the Mexican horror genre, Salazar was the equivalent to someone like Peter Cushing or Vincent Price. Okay, maybe he didn’t have the same acting chops as Cushing and Price, but he loved these films and not only appearing in quite a few of them, he also was the producer of many of them.

In the late ’50s and ’60s, he appeared in films like El vampiro (aka The Vampire, 1957), El ataúd del Vampiro (aka The Vampire’s Coffin, 1958), Misterios de ultratumba (aka The Black Pit of Dr. M, 1958), and my personal favorite, La maldición de la Llorona (aka The Curse of the Crying Woman, 1963). One of the most famous titles, though usually because it is laughed at, is El barón del terror (aka The Brainiac, 1962), which he starred as the title creature!

While some may consider these films a little silly, especially The Brainiac, most are filled with so much atmosphere and creepy sets, that if you’re a fan of the old Universal classics, I think you’ll love these as well.

Mystery Photo 2-17

Hopefully everyone survived their Bloody Valentine’s Day! I know the wife and I spent it watching the wonderful new Blu-ray of it, which happens to be one of my favorites of the ’80s slashers. But I’m rambling. Let’s get to the important stuff, shall we? Our photo from last week was from a little obscure film called Face of Terror (1962) that came from Spain. Sort of a takeoff of Eyes Without a Face theme, but with a little twist. Congrats to the following for sending in the correct answer: Hoby Abernathy, Bob Hartman, Michael Shields & Alan Tromp. I don’t think this has gotten an official release over here in the states, which is a shame because it is a fun little flick.

Okay, lets get on with this week’s photo. This one might be a little easy, but we’ll see how much you’re paying attention. As always, please remember not to post your answers here so that others can have a chance at guessing. Instead, send your answer to me in an email (this is the best way for me NOT to forget you sent it in!) to jon@kitleyskrypt.com. Good Luck!

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Kryptic Archives – 2003

1-5-03  WELCOME TO THE NEW YEAR!

Yes, we are finally back, and did survive the holidays. Santa was very nice to us here at the Krypt, delivering not only one of those nice Cyberhome DVD players (the ones that are easily converted to a region free player) under our tree, but also a few nice DVD titles to add to our collection. What better way to spread holiday cheer around than to receive Zombi 3 and Zombi 4 on DVD? Continue reading