Rest in Peace – Betsy Palmer

betsypalmer-rip2This weekend, we lost one of the nicest people from our horror family. Known as the mother of Jason Voorhees, actress Betsy Palmer passed away on Friday from natural causes at a hospice care center in Connecticut. While she was obviously known because of her role in Friday the 13th, she had a huge career way before that film ever was an idea. She worked alongside the greats, like Henry Fonda, Tyrone Power, Maureen O’Hara, Anthony Perkins, and even Joan Crawford.

For a while, she was a regular on the convention circuit and I had the pleasure of meeting her several times over the years. In fact, one show here in Chicago, here table was right by mine so we got to chat quite a bit over the weekend. Plus, during one of the evenings, I had the honor of driving her, along with some of the other Friday cast to the Music Box Theatre for a Q&A and screening of the film. Driving into the city in the Chicago traffic on a Saturday night is always a challenge, but to have Betsy Palmer sitting in the passenger seat, telling stories, often with the language of a drunken sailor,and keep my eyes on the road, was definitely harder to do. She was one of the most down to earth and kindest person I’ve met in 25+ years of going to conventions. She always showed her fans respect.

While I was waiting by her table at one show to just say hello to her, a fan of hers asked her if she has any regrets of being remembered from this low budget slasher movie. She mentioned that she had been friends with Boris Karloff many years ago, and he never minded being still known for playing the creature in Frankenstein and “if it was good enough for him, then it’s good enough for me!” That was the kind of person she was. She loved her fans as much as they loved her. Her charm and sharp wit will definitely be missed at the shows.

Rest in Peace, Besty. We all love you. You will be remembered and never forgotten.

Jaws 2: The Making of the Hollywood Sequel

Jaws 2I had first seen Jaws around 1977 and it seriously changed my life. Not only did it terrify me, I haven’t been in the water since. But it also brought forth a fear of what might be waiting in the water for me that has stayed with me to this day. The following year when Jaws 2 came out, even though the first one had scared the living crap out of me, I knew I had to go see it. Now we all know that it was nowhere near the masterpiece the first one was…not even close. But for me, because it was about an underwater terror lurking below the surface of the water, just waiting for a person to come floating by, it once again terrorized my 13 year old brain.

Now, thanks to authors Louis R. Pisano and Michael A. Smith, we are going to learn much more about this sequel, one that probably doesn’t get the credit it deserves since it will always live in shadow of the original. Pisano and Smith follow the ups and downs of this movie, as the director is replaced, battles with the cast and crew, and all the other things that me wonder how people stay in the business! Filled with stories from the original cast and crew, with hundreds of rare behind-the-scenes photos that were taken by the cast and crew during production. This will be published by BearManor Media in both hardcover and softcover editions, although no date has been announced yet.

If you want to get a taste of some info on the Jaws series, check out the latest issues of Horrorhound (#53) where Michael A. Smith wrote the retrospective on the films. It’s a great read. You can also check their Facebook page for the book HERE.

Check out all the details at BearManor Media’s website HERE.

Movie Review: Coherence (2013)

coherenceposterCoherence (2013)
Directed by James Ward Byrkit
Starring Emily Baldoni, Maury Sterling, Nicholas Brendon, Lorene Scafaria, Elizabeth Gracen, Hugo Armstrong, Alex Manugian, Lauren Maher

It doesn’t happen too often these days, when a movie that you know nothing about completely blows you away. A movie that captures your attention, your admiration, and carries you through to the end credits while you anxiously await what happens next. Coherence is one of those films.

Without giving anything away, the movie is simply about a group of friends getting together for a dinner party during an evening when a comet is passing by the Earth rather closely. When the power goes out, they go outside to take a look around the neighborhood and notice one house down the street that still has power. But once a couple of them walk down there to investigate, things get a little strange.

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Drive-In Super Monster-Rama

Back in 2011, we headed out to Pennsylvania for this drive-in event, making a little vacation of it and just had one hell of a time. If we were only closer to this, we would be there each and every time. But this year, they have one hell of an incredible line up. I mean, where else could you have the chance to see 4 of the Roger Corman Poe films on one night at a drive-in theater? Then the next night, see two classic Hammer Dracula films, along with two other vampire classics? Almost makes me want to move!

If you are in the area, or feel like making one amazing road trip out there, I couldn’t recommend this event enough. DVD Drive-In and the Riverside Drive-In Theatre continue to work their ass off keeping the drive-in experience alive for both the young and old, and always coming up with some great titles. Maybe one of these days we’ll make it out there again.
For all the information, just click HERE.

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Turkey Day in May

IMG_9413As most of you know, since 2003, I have been holding an annual event on Black Friday in November that I call Turkey Day, where a group of die hard film fans partake in some of the finest in cinematic shipwrecks, all the while being entertained as a bunch of giddie school girls. Well, most of the time. My list of titles that I gather throughout the year keeps getting longer, which is not a bad thing. But a few weeks ago, I was talking to my friend and regular Turkey Day co-pilot, about getting some people together for a movie day. During that conversation that I mentioned about having so many potential titles already on my Turkey Day list. Aaron then threw out, “Why don’t we have another Turkey Day?” The minute that audio hit my brain, the wheels started turning. This was the early part of May when this conversation happened and it hit me that this was six months since our last Turkey Day. So then…Turkey Day in May was born! I quickly sent out a few calls to some friends and set the day for May 16th. My wife wasn’t going to be home most of the day, so the usual feasting on homemade pizzas was going to have to be replaced with some handy delivery pizza. Nowhere near as good as what we usually get, but it was suffice.

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Mystery Photo 5-25

It seems I completely forgot about getting a new photo up last week. Must have been one muther of a Monday! But today we’re back with a new photo. But first, let’s review our last one. It seems we stumped everyone with that last one, not getting a single correct answer. But it was a tough one. The shot was from the 1986 film The Supernaturals, about some ghosts from the Civil War coming back for blood. Not a great movie, but not terrible either. Plus you get to see a few familiar faces in there too.

But anyway, let’s get to this week’s photo. Though, I have to say, this one might not be any easier. But then again, that is the whole idea, right? I just thought it was a pretty cool looking shot and needed to be shared. So give a peek and see what you can come up with. Just send me an email at jon@kitleyskrypt.com. Good luck!

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Little Shoppe of Horrors # 34

LSoH34I don’t buy too many magazines these days. They are a bit pricey for the content you actual get, plus they are not the hardest to find these days. Sure, I’ve tried subscribing to a few, but some of them don’t seem to worry about when you get your issue. Since most of them are 1/3 of ads, I feel that you’re better off putting that $10 towards an actual book. But that is just me.

But, one magazine that I think is much different than those, and one that I buy each and every time a new issue comes out, is Richard Klemensen’s Little Shoppe of Horrors. I have been picking up them religiously since issue #8, which came out back in 1984. “The Klem” as he is called, has been putting this magazine out for over 40 years. If there are two things that shows in each and every issue is passion and dedication for Hammer Films, as well as British horror in general. With every issue, information is packed to the gills from the topics they are covering, with some stunning artwork filling out the pages. You’ll find information and interviews that give you a lot of insight of these films. And the “making of” pieces, which are usually written by Bruce G. Hallenbeck, are worth the cost of the issue alone. He never fails to shed new light on whatever film he is writing on.

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