Super Monster Movie Fest 2015 – The Fur is Going to Fly!

kingkongAt the end of August, at the Skyline Drive-In Theater in Shelbyville, IN (just south of Indianapolis), they are holding their annual festival of classic monster movies being screened over 3 days. We were there for one of them a few years ago and have been trying to get back again for the fun, but just don’t seem to make it. But once again, we’re going to try to make it this year.

Starting on Friday, Aug. 28th, they will be screening Mighty Joe Young (1949), Hammer’s Curse of the Werewolf (1961), Island of Lost Souls (1932), Tarantula (1955), and Horror Express (1972). Then on Saturday the 29th, they will be showing the original King Kong (1933), American Werewolf in London (1981), Hammer’s Abominable Snowman (1957), Toho’s War of the Gargantuas (1966), and then Teenage Monster (1958). On Sunday, they will have repeat screenings of Curse of the Werewolf, Island of Lost Souls, and Abominable Snowman. I can’t tell you how excited I am thinking of having the chance to see some of these amazing films on a huge screen, not to mention at a drive-in! How cool is that? I mean seriously….the original King Kong!?!?!

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Nightmare Castle Comes to Blu-ray!

nightmare-castleAs horror fans, we all know that Barbara Steele made a few gothic horror flicks in her day. Some of the plots might even sound a bit similar….I mean, how many films can you make about ghosts coming back from the dead for revenge? Well…quite a few it seems. But the difference with these films is that they were made by talented filmmakers! So it didn’t matter if the plot had been used several times before, it was still a great movie. A prime example of that is Nightmare Castle

Sure, we all know and love Mario Bava’s Black Sunday, which was the film to catapult Steele into her path towards being a Queen of gothic horror, but I have to say that Nightmare Castle is one of my favorites of hers. The tale is about a deceitful wife and her lover who are tortured to death by her sadistic husband. But the story doesn’t end there, when they come back to haunt the husband and his new wife. With some incredible music by Ennio Morricone, and co-starring Paul Muller and the beautiful Helga Liné, I couldn’t recommend this film enough.

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The New Krypt Hits 100 Post Milestone!

Well, it has been about four months since we’ve switched the Krypt over to the new site and this is our 100th post! It was a struggle in making the transition but I still think it was for the best. I know I am enjoying the new way of doing this, which I have to say is much easier. I can only hope that everyone out there is still enjoying the updates and my ramblings.

Even though we’ve changed where we are doing it, my goal is still the same, that I am still delivering you the same quality content that I had been doing with the old site for the last 17 years, and hope to continue to do so for more years to come. As it has been since the beginning, this is a labor of love and passion and am grateful to all of you out there that follow this site and show your support. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it.

Don’t forget you can follow this site by clicking either the Follow button on the right, or entering your email address in there. That way, each time we post something, you’ll automatically get an email letting you know. Pretty fancy, huh? Also, we’d love to hear more thoughts and comments from you out there. One of the things I really liked about this new format is the ability for you, the reader, to post your own thoughts and comments directly here on the site. There is nothing more I enjoy then having a nice conversation about this genre that we all love. So please, feel free to add your own two cents in to whatever I’m yapping about, or even if you have questions. I’m all ears.

Alright…back to work for now.

Christopher Lee Tributes!

hammerbluraysetAfter the passing of Christopher Lee earlier this month, there has been a lot of tributes being presented, which I’m grateful to the fact that he is being remembered for his huge contribution to cinema in general, not to mention what he gave us horror fans over the years, that thankfully we will still be able to enjoy for many more years to come.

One of those reasons that we are able to keep the memories alive of these wonderful actors that gave us so many chills over throughout our lives is that even though they have passed on, their movies still remain. And now thanks to Warner Home Video, 3 films that feature the late Christopher Lee will be unleashed in a 4-disc blu-ray set entitled the Hammer Horror Collection. this will feature The Mummy, Dracula Has Risen from the Grave, Taste the Blood of Dracula, and Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed. Since this is being called Volume 1, we can only hope that there are more to come. Not sure of any extras that might be on these discs, but even if they are just the films alone, I’m sure they will be well worth the price. The set will be released in October, a perfect time too, with a retail price of around $55. Not bad for 4 films if you ask me.

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Burying the Ex Soundtrack Review

burying-the-excdBurying the Ex
Released by Lakeshore Records
25 Tracks with a total running time of 45 min.
Music by Joseph LoDuca

This score caught me totally off guard. It seems to borrow several different genres out there, but makes them blend together to where they work. I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this score, since I was pretty familiar with LoDuca’s work from the Evil Dead films but was very impressed.

Hearing this score without seeing the movie really has me curious since the music does seem to jump around into different styles. Right away with the first track, we get a gothic feel, almost like a Tim Burton film or something like that. But then later on, like on track #5 The Bitch is Back, we get a bit of music that could almost be in a Pink Panther movie, or maybe even a detective picture. Very unique but highly entertaining. Then later on, we get tracks that have a bluesy sound to them, adding even more layers to this score. Track # 11 Breakfast Sex almost makes feel like it something from Joe Satriani! That’s how diverse this score is! The last track, a musical number called Poison Love, seems to be a slight parody of Soft Cell’s Tainted Love, but still is a fun track.

I think this shows the wide range and talent that LoDuca has, by being able to go from what style to another, but still nail it each and every time. Very impressive. This is going to make me want to check out more of his work.

Poltergeist (2015) Soundtrack Review

poltergeist2015Poltergeist (2015)
Released by Sony Masterworks
20 Tracks with a total running time of 43 min.
Music by Marc Streitenfeld

Taking on the job of composing a score for a remake of a very familiar movie must not have been an easy choice. When listening to scores, especially to review them, we try hard not to let that come into our mind when listening to this new take, trying to give it a fresh chance. Sometimes that is harder than others. But while Streitenfeld does do a decent job here, it just doesn’t have anything that reaches out and grabs hold of you. Not meaning that it isn’t a scary score, but that the music doesn’t seem to make its own footprints, rather than just accompany what might be on the screen.

He uses a lot of loud thundering notes, which seems to be more and more common these days with scores, which is a shame. He does come up with a nice opening theme which is decent, but it really doesn’t follow through with the rest of the score. He does use some nursery or children’s music which does give it a nice touch, but I would have liked to have heard more of that intertwined within the rest of the score, instead of the loud jump sounds.

Bottom line is that this isn’t a bad score by any means, but just one that doesn’t hold my attention too much. Maybe it is just me, but I want a score that will take hold of your ears and brain and pull you through the story, even if you’re not watching the film right then.

Looking for a Hidden Horror? The Sender Comes to Blu-ray and DVD

senderBlurayA couple of years ago, we published a book called Hidden Horror. Heard of it? Well, it was a collection of essays on 101 horror films that we felt more people needed to see as well as maybe not even being too familiar with. Author Will Wilson’s pick for his essay was the 1982 film The Sender. And now thanks to the fine folks at Olive Films, access to this wonderfully creepy film is a little more…accessible!

The story deals with a young trouble man who attempts to kill himself at the opening of the film. He is placed in a psychiatric facility for observation. But strange things start to happen, with bizarre and terrifying images start appearing in people’s minds. The young man, is played by the brilliant character Zeljko Ivanek, making his debut performance here.

I don’t want to go into much detail about it, but only that it is well worth your watch. So order your copy now and I’m sure you won’t regret it and might even be wondering why you had never even heard of this film before.

Unfortunately, Olive Films website doesn’t list any extras on the disc, so we’re not sure what, if any, they are. We’ve already reached out to them to find out and will post it here if we hear back. But you can check out their site HERE for what info they do have.

All About Respect….Monster Bash…Part 2.

First off, just want to give fair warning that this is going to be a bit of a rant. And something that you’ve heard me mention many times before. And again, this isn’t about any convention specifically out there, just in general, so don’t anybody get their panties in a bunch. But being at this last convention, I noticed something that I feel I need to mention. Another one of the reasons that I had finally made the decision to head east to Monster Bash this time was because of books. Followers of this site know my affection towards horror reference books and my ever increasing library, so the fact that several authors were going to be at this show, made the trip even more attractive.

karloffandlugosiOn the guest list for this show was Gregory William Mank, who is a film historian and author of many great books. One of the things I love and admire about Mank’s work is that he isn’t just writing about the bigger names like Karloff and Lugosi, but also about the smaller and lesser known names from the genre that we love, such as Lionel Atwill, George Zucco, Dwight Frye, and many others. I had brought along several of his books from my collection, such as the wonderful book Karloff and Lugosi: The Story of a Haunting Collaboration and a few others, to get signed. While at his table, we had a really nice conversation about his work and how much I enjoy as well as appreciate it. He mentioned that his upcoming book will be on actor Laird Cregar, best known for his roles in The Lodger (1944) and Hangover Square (1945). The book is entitled Hollywood Ripper: The Rise and Fall of Laird Cregar, and according to Mank’s website, “explores the true story of Cregar and examines his film performances, the blessings and curses of the Hollywood contract system of the 1940s and the legacy of an actor who might have become one of the cinema’s greatest horror stars – and character actors.” It will be published by McFarland & Company.

For the 6 books that I got signed, the cost was….nothing.

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Monster Bash…Part 1

We made it home safe and sound from our first trip out to The Monster Bash Conference in Mars, PA. It was a bit of a drive out there, but I have to say it was just a great time and well worth the trip. Ron Adams from Creepy Classics, and his Monster Bash crew, really knows how to put on a show. Sure, it is aimed more for the older classic monster fans and those movies, but none the less, we had a blast.

Ron has events planned from early in the AM until the wee hours of the morning, during every second of the weekend. There is no way anybody could be bored at this show. Hell, he even had films screening on Thursday because he knew quite a few people were arriving early for the show! But something that was different that I liked (even though I didn’t get to spend too much time in there) was that besides the Q&A’s and the movie screenings, there were also presentations given, such as one on films being banned by Britain in the ’30s and ’40s. Not only does it give the attending fans something to do during the weekend, but they can actually learn something too!

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James Horner – Rest in Peace

jameshorner-ripFilm fans have lost a great composer this week. James Horner died in a single-engine plane that crash while he was flying, yesterday morning. He was only 61 years old. I’ve been a fan of Horner’s work long before I knew who he was. He started out working on low budget and films that are now considered cult films, but are ones that I still hold dear to my heart. Films like Humanoids from the Deep (1980), Wolfen (1981), Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983), and especially Aliens (1986), which he received his first of many Oscar nominations for best score. He would be nominated a total of nine times, winning twice.

His music always helped infuse a real feeling into the film. While the film Braveheart isn’t a film I would normally talk about on this site, Horner’s score is just incredible. I can’t listen to the ending of that without having my heart slowly ripped from my chest. It immediately brings back the images and feeling from the film and it is as if I’m watching it all over again, just by hearing his beautiful score. This shows the power that Horner and his music could create. He was quoted as saying this about his music: “I’m different from some other composers because I don’t look at this as just a job. I see music as art.”

Thankfully we will be able to remember this incredible talent and the passion that he gave millions of film and film music fans around the world. Our thoughts go out to his friends and family.