Happy Monday, everyone! Hope everyone had a stellar weekend. I know I did, mainly because I feel like I’ve done three Iron Man marathons back to back. Okay, I just moved my office from downstairs to upstairs, but carrying about 1300 books, 6 bookcases (most of them by myself) and countless trips up and down the stairs, I am feeling every bit of my age! But I’m finally moved in for the most part and am very happy with the new (and slightly bigger) Kryptic office! But you didn’t come here to hear me whine, did you? Let’s get to the official business at hand. Our photo from last week was from the early horror film The Vampire Bat (1933), another fun little picture with Lionel Atwill and Fay Wray. Sure, a little melodramatic, but still a lot of fun. Kudos out to the following for sending in the correct answer: Hoby Abernathy, Kevin Hart, Bob Hartman, Gary McGuire, and Bryan Senn.
So this week’s photo is more of a tribute than anything, which some will understand right away, while others will understand at some point. So give it a look and see what you can come up with. Just send us an email with your guess, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Good Luck.
I’ve always said that I’ve always loved a really good ghost story. But unfortunately, they don’t seem to be as easy to make as one would think. But we know there are some really great titles out there, where it is not just scary, but also has a really intriguing and interesting story, or a intricate puzzle to be solved to free the disembodied spirit.
Because a lot of haunted houses are really about the ghosts that haunt them, we’ll include that in our theme this week. But it does have to be a ghost, not some evil or demonic force that resides there, but a lost soul or two.
Directed by Tommy Wirkola
Starring Charlotte Frogner, Ørjan Gamst, Stig Frode Henriksen, Vegar Hoel, Jeppe Laursen, Evy Kasseth, Evy Kasseth Røsten, Jenny Skavian, Bjørn Sundquist
If Peter Jackson was to remake Shock Waves (1977), but set it in the snowy mountains, then you would have Dead Snow. After getting a lot of internet hype, we had the chance to see this new Norwegian zombie film in the theater and just loved it. For someone to take a sub-genre that has been done to . . . death (sorry, couldn’t help it), co-writer and director Tommy Wirkola pulled out all the stops and gives us one bloody entertainingly good movie.
There is a new book that just came out called 40s Universal Monsters: A Critical Commentary, covering all of the monster films that Universal put out during that decade. Author John T. Soister had published a similar book back in 2001 covering the Universal films of the 30s, entitled Of Gods and Monsters: A Critical Guide to Universal’s Science Fiction, Horror and Mystery Films, 1929-1939. Now, along with contributors Henry Nicolella, Harry H. Long, & Dario Lavia, they take on the ’40s, covering 66 titles from The Invisible Man Returns to Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein.
But what does have to do with opinions? Hear me out. Looking through my own library, I have several books that deal with the early days of cinema. If we’re talking about the silent era, we have Silent Screams by Steve Haberman, or Wayne Kinsey’s entry in his incredible Fantastic Films of the Decades series, as well as Troy Howarth’s own series, Tome of Terror, who has covered the decade of the ’30s as well. Kinsey is already up to halfway through the ’40s with his ongoing series. But then I also have Universal Horrors by Tom Weaver, Michael and John Brunas, Soister’s aforementioned Of Gods and Monsters, Mank’s Hollywood Cauldron, Senn’s Golden Horrors, and even a few others titles. Then we move into the ’50s and beyond with multiple titles in each of those as well.
Welcome to April! I would say now that we’re a quarter way into 2021, I do feel things are looking up a little better. It honestly looks like we may actually have some conventions this year. At least, fingers are crossed. But let’s get to the real reason you’re looking at this post. The Mystery Photo! Last week’s photo was from the 1962 film Burn Witch Burn, or the original UK title, Night of the Eagle. While the original title does make sense in the film, I have to say I prefer the American one. We had quite a few correct guesses this time out, which makes me very happy that a lot have seen this one, since it really is a stellar film. Kudos to the following: Hoby Abernathy, Cate Cameron, Aaron Christensen, Craig Clark, Chris Dyer, Dave Fronto, Kevin Hart, Bob Hartman, Troy Howarth, Gary McGuire, Charles Miller, Lee Nattrass,Jeff Owens, Tim Palace, and Todd Warren.
But let’s get on to this week’s photo. Going back in a time a bit for this early classic. Take a look and see if you recognize it. All you need to do is send us your guess at email@example.com. Good Luck!
In a world where you don’t think that miracles can happen, here is your proof that you are wrong.
Vinegar Syndrome is releasing their first volume in a (hopefully) new series called Home Grown Horrors. This first set contains 3 low budget films, that as all cinema lovers know, that doesn’t mean they aren’t damn entertaining, right? The titles are Beyond Dream’s Door (1989), Fatal Exam (1990), and finally Winterbeast (1992)!
Now, if I tell you that this set is worth buying just for Winterbeast alone, I honestly can say that I would not be lying. Winterbeast is a sheer masterpiece of low budget filmmaking, that has gore, stop animated monsters, and so many W-T-F moments that you’ll just love it. But that movie aside, the amount of extras for all three of these titles is just staggering, and shows the love that Vinegar Syndrome has for the films they put out. All three films have been newly scanned and restored in 2k from 16mm original camera negative, with some footage taken from Super 8mm or tape inserts, but all looking better than they ever have before, with new and archived commentaries, and plenty of new features and interviews.
In conjunction with the release of Godzilla vs Kong, McFarland Books is having a 30% off sale on all their books dealing with Kaiju and all the other giant monster books they have, through April 30th. Just using the code KAIJU30, you can save some gigantic $$ here on some really amazing and some even essential titles for your library. Such as David Kalat’s A Critical History and Filmography of Toho’s Godzilla Series. Normally retail price is $29.95 now you can get it for just over $20. Or maybe Jason Barr’s The Kaiju Film: A Critical Study of Cinema’s Biggest Monsters.
All you need to do is click the link HERE and start adding some titles and saving some money. If you ever wanted to do some series study of Japan’s famous monsters, this is a great place to start. There is a wide variety of titles here, even including not just Godzilla type films, but all giant monsters, such as listed in the book Apocalypse Then. Plus, I’m sure the more you read about these films, you’ll discover some titles that you’ll want to seek out to further your kaiju education!
Yes, Friday Favorites is back from the grave! Once again! I keep trying to make this a regular feature but life just seems to keep getting in the way. Or I’m just not planning far enough ahead! Either way, it will be back for this month at least, especially because we’re going to do something a little different for April here.
For each of the Friday Favorite themes this month, we’re going to be looking for not your Favorite per say, but one that you think is drastically underrated. Meaning you think it is a great film but not too many people seem to know about it, or it isn’t one that is usually brought up in conversations about that particular sub-genre. For example, this week’s topic is zombie movies. Now we all know there are hundreds of these living dead flicks wandering about, and we all know about Romero’s Dawn of the Dead, Fulci’s Zombie, or even Peter Jackson’s Braindead. But I know we all know a few of these titles that were really enjoyable but yet never seem to come up when this topic is discussed or examined.
Deviant little children, whether being possessed by demonic forces, or just born bad, they have been a part of horror cinema for a very long time. One of the earliest, if not the first, was little Patty McCormick in The Bad Seed (1956), that was based on the successful stage play of the same name. McCormick did so well that she was nominated for an Oscar for her performance as the evil little Rhoda Penmark. But these evil little offspring didn’t stop there. We had alien invasions in Village of the Damned (1960) to all sorts of nasty tikes in the ’70s, most notable little Damien Thorne in The Omen (1976).
Last month we posted about receiving our copy of Rod Serling’s Night Gallery: The Art of Darkness book, that is filled with all the amazing images from the gallery itself from the original TV show. For those of us that grew up on this TV show, to be able to browse through this volume just brings back so many great memories.