Book Review: Studying Horror Cinema

Studying Horror CinemaStudying Horror Cinema
Published by Auteur, 2019. 300 pages.
By Bryan Turnock

This took me much longer to get through than I originally had hoped. Not that it was a hard read, but because I started reading it in November of last year, right before the holidays started to set in. But I’m glad I stuck to it because it makes a great book to start the new year out on!

For anybody who is interested in learning more about the horror genre, the best way to do that is watch the movies. Not just new ones, but the old ones too. Besides the actual viewing though, reading about them as well can do wonders on how you look at the films and the effects they have. Not to mention maybe suggesting titles that you haven’t seen before. This isn’t to say you can’t form your own opinions and thoughts, but one of the beauties of your “horror education” is when you read of others opinions, not only to you compare it to your own, but help you think of different things that you might not have otherwise. And Bryan Turnock’s book is exceptional example of this. Continue reading

Soundtrack Review: The Canal (2014)

canal-cdThe Canal
Released in 2014 by Lakeshore Records
23 Tracks with a total running time of 50 minutes
Original Score by Ceiri Torjussen

It is funny how one’s opinions can change over the years. I’ve been going through some of my reviews from the old Krypt and bringing them to the new format. During this process, I realize I don’t have a review posted for the soundtrack for this movie, which I recently posted in my list of films that people need to see. As I was going to bring it over, I re-read it and was amazed to find out that I apparently didn’t care for it that much. The strange this is that this is one score that I’ve been listening to quite a bit lately when I’m working on some writing. Because it is more “background sounds” than actual music, it just didn’t resonate with me too well. Well, here is an updated review with some different thoughts on it. Continue reading

Cinepocalypse 2020!

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Okay Chicago Horror fans… mark your calendar! June 4th through the 7th will be this year’s Cinepocalypse at the one and only Music Box Theatre! This was just announced yesterday, so there isn’t a lot of information yet, but now is the time to make sure you have that time free because I’m pretty sure they are going to have another amazing lineup for this year’s event.

I’ve been trying hit this film festival every year but something has always come up to stop me from making it more than a couple of nights, so I’m really hopefully that I can make it this year! Fingers crossed. You can check out the website HERE for more info, but we’ll be posting updates here as well. We’ve been going to the Music Box for close to 30 years and I was so thrilled with they started their own film fest. So Chicago area horror fans… let’s show our support!

Movie Review: Dream Home

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Dream Home (2010)
Directed by Ho-Cheung Pang
Starring Josie Ho, Eason Chan, Norman Chu, Chu-Chu Zhou, Hee Ching Paw, Juno Mak, Lawrence Chou, Hoi-Pang Lo, Lap-Man Sin, Ching Wong

“In a crazy city, if one is to survive, he’s got to be more crazy.”

There are films that just seem to sneak by, getting a release on DVD but without much of a fanfare or announcement. Maybe because it came from Hong Kong, with no huge names attached to it might not have helped. Or maybe because there are so many films that come out each year, too many of them get lost in the multitude of titles. But it is a damn shame because it had been quite a while since I had watched a movie that had more quality kills in it, many I had never seen anything close to, and some even difficult to watch. So yeah, this one leaves quite an impact on the viewer. Continue reading

Horror History: Nathan Juran

nathanjuranNathan Juran
Born Sept. 1st, 1907 – Died Oct. 23rd, 2002

Juran’s first career was that of an architect before he got into the film business as an art director. This career choice won him an Oscar for How Green Was My Valley (1941) and another nomination for The Razor’s Edge (1946), working on several other films before he made his move into the director’s chair. His directorial debut was for The Black Castle (1952), staring Lon Chaney Jr. and Boris Karloff. He would go on to direct some great films in the sci-fi horror genre in the ’50s, such as The Deadly Mantis (1957), 20 Million Miles to Earth (1957), and The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958). Of course, there were some films that didn’t get the praise that one would hope, like The Brain from Planet Arous (1957) and Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958). At least from the critics back then. If they weren’t entertaining, fans wouldn’t still be watching them and talking about them and keeping them alive.

After working in film, he moved to television and worked on several series, like Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Time Tunnel, Lost in Space, Land of the Giants, and a few more.

While Juran thought of filmmaking in the sense of a business as oppose to having a passion for it, when looking at some of the great films that he help create, it didn’t matter what the reasoning behind why he was making them. We will just be forever grateful for the work that he did give us.

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It seems going with a newer title might have thrown a few of you. Especially when it comes from outside the US. But at least now you have a movie to seek out now, right? The title is The Influence (2019) and comes from Spain from director Denis Rovira van Boekholt. Always trying to throw new things out there to get a little attention. Only had one correct answer sent in and that was from William Wilson. Well done, sir!

Okay this week’s photo isn’t knew but might be a tad obscure… or is it? Take a look and see if you recognize it. As always, please do not post your answers here so that others can have a chance at guessing. To make sure I don’t miss a correct answer, you’re best bet is to send me an email (to jon@kitleyskrypt.com). Good Luck!

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Movie Review: Dracula, Prisoner of Frankenstein

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Dracula, Prisoner of Frankenstein (aka Drácula contra Frankenstein, 1972)
Directed by Jesús Franco
Starring Dennis Price, Howard Vernon, Paca Gabaldón, Alberto Dalbés, Britt Nichols, Geneviève Robert, Anne Libert, Luis Barboo, Fernando Bilbao, Josyane Gibert

DPoF posterI know it is hard for some fans to think of Jess Franco as a highly crafted filmmaker, but there are more than a few examples in his filmography to prove that. This, however, is not one of them.

The first time I saw this film was from the Wizard Video VHS tape, under the title The Screaming Dead, which is quite different when comparing it to the DVD of Dracula, Prisoner of Frankenstein. Right away you’ll notice that it is extremely cropped with most of the opening names in the credits being cut off on the sides. The film is sequenced differently as well, having some parts in there that are not in the DVD version! For the sake of sanity, I’m just going to talk about the DVD version from Image Entertainment back in 2006. Continue reading