Movie Review: Vampyres (1974)

vampyres_1974_poster_03-1Vampyres (1974)
Directed by Jose Larraz
Starring Marianne Morris, Anulka Dziubinska, Murray Brown, Brian Deacon, Sally Faulkner, Michael Byrne, Karl Lanchbury

In our continuing journey to help dig up some lost or forgotten films to new viewers, we offer up this vampire morsel that is a little different your normal blood sucking fare. While it is probably not like many vampire film you’ve seen before, it will give you something that most fanged features don’t give you…something that will sink into your brain, as well as your neck.

Vampyres is a film that no heterosexual male could watch and not remembered; especially if they saw it at a young age, like I did. At face value, the film is filled with intense scenes of eroticism, coupled with brutal acts of violence and bloodshed. Did I mention there is a bit of nudity in the film as well? 

Continue reading

Horror History: John Brahm

johnbrahmJohn Brahm
Born Aug. 17th, 1892 – Died Oct. 12th, 1982
Beginning his career on the stage, just like his father before him, Brahm later move into film production, before moving to England in 1934 because of the rise of the Nazis. Working briefly as a production supervisor, he made his directorial debut with a remake of D.W. Griffith’s Broken Blossoms. The next year, he moved to the U.S. Over the next few years, working with first Columbia and then 20th Century Fox, where he seemed to specialize in dark thrillers. While he only made four films that could be considered in the horror genre, they were all exceptional.
The first was The Undying Monster (1942) which was hybrid of a murder mystery and monster-on-the-loose, but was filmed with tons of atmosphere. But his next one, The Lodger (1944), a remake of the Hitchcock film, is still to this day one of the best Jack the Ripper movies ever made. Because of the success of that film, he made Hangover Square, which has a very similar theme to The Lodger but is also an exceptional film. He later directed Vincent Price in The Mad Magician (1954), eventually doing a lot of work on television, like directing ten episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, five episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Hour and twelve episodes each of Twilight Zone and Thriller. So while he might not have directed a lot of films in the genre, what he did do, he did quite well.

Opera Blu-ray Hits the Stage!

opera-blurayOpera remains one of my favorites from Dario Argento. There is so much about this film that I love, from the subtext he was throwing in there, the amazing camerawork, the score, and everything  else in between. And now, thanks to Scorpion Releasing, it will soon be hitting Blu-ray in what looks to be an incredible release.

It will have “a new 2K scan from the original negative with extensive color correction – exclusive to this release.” It will also feature two different English tracks (which has me slightly puzzled on why) as well as the Italian track with English subtitles.

You will also have the opportunity to see the film in either 2.35:1 ratio or in 1.78:1. It was filmed for 2.35:1 but was made available to be screen in the other format if desired where it was being screened. While I think I’d always prefer the 2:35.1 ratio, it is nice that they have both.

Continue reading

Book Review: When Animals Attack

When Animals Attack: The 70 Best Horror Movies with Killer Animals
Edited by Vanessa Morgan
Published by Moonlight Creek Publishing, 2016. 415 pages.

when-animals-attackFirst of all, I must state that I am in this book, writing about the ’50s flick The Giant Claw, so some might think this review could be a little jaded. But I can assure you, I am only a very small part of a much larger picture here. What editor Morgan has done is collected a wonderful array of voices here to give praise (some more than others) to a particular killer animal movie that hits home to them. And that single element alone is reason enough to pick up a copy of this book.

While there are a ton of classic films discussed within these pages, I will say that some of them covered here are not great films at all. In fact, some are real turkeys. But that doesn’t mean they are not entertaining, or at least deserve their little day in the spotlight. Or even just the fact that they need to be covered, no matter what. I mean, this is a book about killer animal films, right? Even with the lesser films, the author gives their reasoning on why they enjoy it so much, and that is probably my favorite part about this project. The essays are personal. This isn’t just stating facts upon facts, but why the author loves it and why it means so much to them.

Continue reading

Soundtrack Review: Penny Dreadful Season 2 & 3

penny-dreadful-2-3

Penny Dreadful: Seasons 2 & 3 Release by Varèse Sarabande, 2016.
Season 2: 25 Tracks with a Total Running Time of 71 min.
Season 3: 23 Tracks with a Total Running Time of 71 min.
Music Composed by Abel Korzienowski

Classic.

Just like the series, the music by Korzienowski is classical, elegant, beautiful at time, as well as terrifying as well. A perfect example of his is track 4 from Season 2, entitled Poison. It starts out with a quiet and relaxing piece of strings, but before too long, the emotion starts to turn darker, sad at first but then a gloom breaking through, completely changing the feeling of the piece. Just beautiful. That really is the beauty of what Korzienowski can do, and is well on display here in these two volumes.

Another element that is used here that I just love is the vocals. Not sure if it would be called chanting or just plain vocals, such as in Track # 12, Dolls Have Hearts, but they give us a unique sound but also distinct feeling that falls over you. I also love that besides the vocal aspect of it, a lot of strings are used, which is probably one of my favorite instrument group. It can bring so much depth and emotion to your ears. Granted, like in the opening track of Season 3, The Master, the strings are accompanied by some thundering horns that give it a more ominous feel to it, but this is still surrounded by the strings. Just love it.

If you are a fan of the series, then you will be a fan of these soundtracks. But honestly, even if you’ve never seen a single episode, but love classical music, with more of a sinister theme to it, then I think you will really enjoy these. Whether you just have it on in the background, or want to enhance some game you’re playing, this will help lure those victims in.

Mystery Photo 12-26

So while this recent holiday might have been the cause of the lack of updates we’ve had (or not had) lately, that doesn’t mean I’m going to forget a Mystery Photo Day! But before we get to this week’s, let’s cover the photo from last week. It was from the Steven Spielberg’s made-for-TV movie Duel. The ones that sent in the correct answers were: Hoby Abernathy, Cate Cameron, and Doug Lamoreux. Well done!

Now on to this week’s photo. This poor chap was one of those that must have said the wrong thing to the wrong person to end up in this situation! So see if you can’t recognize where this is from.

Please remember not to post your answers here, so others can give it a try. Just send us an email at jon@kitleyskrypt.com.

mp122616