I’ve said this many times before, but this is a great time to be a horror fan. And the fact that the Shock Waves original score is available on CD is just one of the reasons that statement is true. I would say that I’ve been waiting for this for decades to come out, but I honestly never thought it would happen. But now, thanks to the amazing people at Howlin’ Wolf Records, we now can enjoy it.
I guess it really just depends on getting a hold of the right tech person to tell you what you want to know. After being told last night what I wanted to do was not possible, now it seems that it is after all. Like I said, just need to get the right person.
So by clicking on the Archive Site link on the right side, you’ll be taken to the old site, where you can access all of the reviews, convention reports and everything else. As I mentioned before, I will be slowly moving those over to here.
And thanks for all the followers that have joined today. Much appreciated. Love live the Krypt!
Yes, after working with the same format since the Krypt’s inception back in October of 1998, we have finally made the move to a different website program. Ever since Microsoft put Front Page out to pasture, it has been something that I knew would be coming at some point, more and more with each and every year that passed by. You have to realize that I’ve been still using a program that hasn’t had an update or upgrade for over a decade. The funny thing was when I was looking on some support message boards about getting Front Page to work on Windows 8, a lot of the comments I’d read pretty much said the same thing: “The program is a decade old…move on!” As much as it sucks to try and learn a whole new system, I have to admit they were right. It was time to move on. And what better way than to move one when I still can and on my terms, as opposed to the site just ceasing to exist and then quickly trying to piece together a new site. I know a lot of the issues I’ve had over the years with the site will now be gone, and now I can concentrate more on the content than the technical stuff.
At first, I was worried about losing the look and feel of the site by switching it to a blog format. The one thing that I always felt (or at least I hoped) stood out here was the content and place where I hoped would inspire other fans to learn more about the genre. And I don’t think that will change with this new format. After all, this comes all from the heart, fueled by my passion. And because of that, I don’t think it would matter if it is in the form of a website, a blog, or me standing on the street corner passing out pieces of paper with a list of movies I think you should see and some names of people that I feel need to be remembered for their contributions to the genre. So…with that thought…Welcome to the Krypt.
Couple of things. Not exactly sure how the old mailing list is going to work, you can now follow this site by entering your email over there on the right and you’ll get an email every time we post something new. Our updates will change now and will probably be more frequent than before. Granted, they will be small updates, but more of them.
The link to the old site is having a bit of technical difficulties at the moment, but we are hoping to have that fixed soon.
With this site, all the reviews we post will automatically be archives into the different categories which you can access by the search queue or by the category links on the left. But you will also be able to leave comments and thoughts about the posts as well, which I hope you do. As horror fans, we all know that it is a lot more fun and enjoyable when you can talk about it with someone else. So I look forward to having more of an open conversation with you.
Beyond Ballyhoo: Motion Picture Promotion and Gimmicks
By Mark Thomas McGee
Published by McFarland & Company, 1989, republished in 2001. 237 pages.
I’ve always been a sucker for a gimmick when it comes to the movies. It definitely was something for a different era of movie promotions, though there are a few out there that still practice this old way of getting your audience’s attention, but nothing like it used to be. But even though those days are gone for the most part, reading about them is a lot of fun. Sure, it makes you wish you were around during those times. I mean, who wouldn’t have loved getting an “Up Chuck Cup” when going to see I Dismember Mama? Or getting to drink some ‘green blood’ when you went to see Mad Doctor of Blood Island? But it is fun to read about all the different wild and crazy things that studios used to come up with to try and get people to come to see their movies….even if the movie wasn’t that great.
Once again, McGee does an excellent job as our storyteller, giving us not only a lot of facts, but personal references and memories as well, which makes the stories even more entertaining. We get to hear about gimmicks like the coming of sound pictures…yes, that’s right. Sound pictures started out as just another gimmick to get people to the theaters. Then we have the coming all the different types of presentations, like CinemaScope…Dynamation….VistaVision….and the list goes on. Of course, then there is the invention of 3-D movies, and all the different kinds of those! Needless to say, we get to hear about them all in McGee’s well written book that is just packed with information.
And most of all, it is so much fun to read.
Billy O’Brien: I grew up on a farm in Ireland so I didn’t see a lot of films growing up, other than what was on Irish TV, which is pretty limited. So mainly it was books that I liked. Of course, I am massive Stephen King fan. Massive Tolkien fan, all the kind of fantasy, science fiction, and horror genres mixed up. I was always going to do something in those and that’s generally what I’m working in today, sci-fi, horror and fantasy. But for film-wise, I think I love all the ’70s classics of horror from The Shining, to Alien, to The Thing, though that really is ’80s really, isn’t it? But to this day, it is the Texas Chain Saw Massacre. When I watched it again recently, I’m amazed how beautiful it is. Sure you’re terrified, but it’s actually beautifully shot. I think it was because when it was originally banned in Ireland, and when we saw it first, everyone would hand around these old VHS copies that looked like it was shot through a tea-bag. It looked pretty crappy, you know? So it was a real revelation to me how beautiful and how carefully planned the shots are. It’s a masterpiece, really. There is also an amazing Belgium horror film called Calvaire and I loved that one. It’s carefully planned but beautifully to behold and he’s really thinking on how to draw the audience in. I loved that about films. To be honest, I haven’t watched a lot of the more recent films, like Paranormal Activity movies, or any of the recent ones. I don’t know…maybe I’m drifting away from it a bit now. But my own work has gone more science fiction-type. But ’70s horror would be the main one, or anything that my catches my fancy, but usually the more odd or different.
I listen to a lot of soundtracks. Usually the ones I get to review are good, working really well in the film. But as a stand alone piece of music, most of them lately have felt a little flat. It has been quite a while since I’ve been watching a movie when the score is so strong that I immediately think “Damn…this score is amazing!” Well, it happened with Cold in July. And even stranger, I had forgotten who had worked on this movie, so when I found out the composer was Jeff Grace, it made a lot more sense. You’ll find several of Grace’s works here in our review section, mainly because I’m always impressed with what he creates for the features. No matter the time of film or the content, he always comes through with a great score. Even when the movie itself might not be that great…such as Ti West’s TRIGGER MAN, Grace still created an amazing score.
But let’s talk about this one for Cold in July. Had I been watching this film 20 years ago, I would have sworn that John Carpenter had composed the music. In fact, I would have bet money on it. Now this is not to take any credit away from Grace, but saying that he’s done an incredible job capturing the feel and sound of those early classic Carpenter themes. Not only do they blend so well into the movie, helping creating the tension and suspense, but even listening to it by itself a real joy. It is almost like stepping into an audio time machine. If we had heard this last year, it would have been at the top of my Best Of list for soundtracks. Yes….I think it is that good (as well as the movie too). Using an electronic medium, repetitive notes and themes, he creates an extraordinary soundtrack here, creating a tension and suspense filled score that just oozes mood and atmosphere.
If you are a fan of Grace’s work, then you might already have this or plan on picking it up. But if you’re a fan of the electronic synth scores that Carpenter created back in the ’80s, then you are also going to want to get this one. You’ll love it.
Born July 28th, 1913 – Died Dec. 9th, 1944
Cregar was an actor of amazing stature, but in physical size and talent. Being 6′ 3″ and 300 lbs., he was a figure to be reckoned with. But even more powerful than his size, was his acting talent. With such deep and soulful eyes and soft voice, he gave the audience an incredible performance. It was his performance in his self-produced one-man play ‘Oscar Wilde” where Cregar really caught the attention of Hollywood. He would make his feature debut in the 1941 film Hudson’s Bay along side Paul Muni. Because of his size, he was getting roles of the villains and heavies but desperately wanted to be a leading man. His portrayals of two different madmen, in The Lodger (1944) and Hangover Square (1945) where the characters he is playing are hiding a deep dark secret. Maybe one of the reasons for his stellar performance was because Cregar was hiding his own secret that he was scared to death of it getting out. Cregar was a homosexual and thought if that news got out in Hollywood in the ’40s that it would ruin his chance of being a romantic leading man. Watching him in these two films is both fascinating and tragic since he was battling his own inner demons the whole time.
Between the two films, he decided that he would lose weight which he hoped would put him in the leagues of the leading man roles, dropping 100 lbs. He went into the hospital for an abdominal surgery for his weight loss, but suffered two heart attacks, with the second one killing him. It was such a loss, especially because he was only 28 years old. But the real tragedy was that he was afraid to be who he was, and felt that he had to hide it from the public. Granted, back then one might have to do that, but it is still a damn shame.