A Year of Fear: A Day-by-Day Guide to 366 Horror Films
By Bryan Senn
Published by McFarland, 2007. 560 pages.
There are a ton of movie guides out there for us fans to choose from. Some are great, some are not. Some have the same old comments on the same old movies. But what author Senn has done with this book is a pretty unique angle and very entertaining as well. He reviews 366 films, one for each day of the year. But there is more than just that concept, for each movie has some sort of tie-in with that particular day. For example, Feb. 4th is Torture Abolition Day, so the movie is Torture Ship (1939), April 26th is National Bird Day so the movie is The Giant Claw (1957), and so on. Sure, some title might be a bit of a stretch, but it still a great idea and very entertaining angle.
But it is more than just picking movies to coincide with a particular holiday or date, Senn actually has very good reviews of the films, giving plenty of information about it and/or the people that made them. The titles range from the classics to the very best of the cheese and schlock, but are all reviewed with a positive light, even if the movie is admittedly terrible. Senn may point that out, but never comes across as all out negative.
This is simply a fun book. It’s a great one to go through to make your own checklist, since quite a few of these titles in here I would consider “must-see” films, but also gives a pretty cool angle if you’re trying to decide what movie to watch some evening. Just look up today’s date, and there you go!
Welcome to Monday. For those that grew up in the ’70s, there were a ton of memorable TV movies that stuck with us over the years. One of those films was from our last photo, the 1974 made-for-TV movie Killdozer! How could a title like that not be just amazing? Well, I’m sure there are more than a few that could argue that, but I still happen to have a soft spot for this one and just love it. Congrats going out to Hoby Abernathy and William Wilson for sending in the correct answer. Well done!
Okay, let us get to this week’s pictorial quiz. Might be a pretty easy one to others, but maybe not to all. If you don’t know it, you could always wish for the answer, but as the saying goes, because what you wish for.
As always, please remember not to post your answers here to give everyone a chance at the photo. Good Luck!
For those (hopefully) few out there that don’t know who Coffin Joe is, he is a Brazilian filmmaker by the name of José Mojica Marins that created a on-screen persona of a twisted madman named Zé do Caixão, or better known as Coffin Joe, which he played himself. The first Coffin Joe movie was At Midnight I’ll Possess Your Soul (1964), which caused quite controversy when it came out. Being in a country that was predominately populated with very strict religious people, creating a character who blasphemed frequently, not to mention doing terrible things to women and making men fear for their lives, didn’t set too well with most of them. But he continued.
Three years later, he made the second Coffin Joe film, This Night I’ll Possess Your Corpse, which continued the story from the first film, which is basically his character trying to find the right women to bear his child. Then, some 41 years later, Marins was back for the third film in the Coffin Joe trilogy, called The Embodiment of Evil (2008), which shows that Marins had lost nothing in those four decades when it came to showing how evil Coffin Joe is. Highly recommend these three films.
Directed by Richard Stanley
Starring Dylan McDermott, Stacey Travis, John Lynch, William Hootkins
“No Flesh Shall Be Spared.” – Mark 13
“The worst possible drug trip.” That is how director Richard Stanley described his first movie. For me, I tend to use the description of “visually stunning” when I start any discussion of Stanley’s debut. Each time I watch this film, I come across something new or totally different that I hadn’t noticed before. Stanley’s look of the future is very bleak and dismal, but probably a good warning for one that is not too far off.
Born March 6th, 1930 – Died Feb. 27th, 1977
Allison Hayes appeared on quite a few television shows and movies, mainly B-movies, in her short career, but never seemed be able to break into the big time. But because of the films that she did make, cult horror fans have always remembered here. With films like Roger Corman’s The Undead (1957) or The Hypnotic Eye (1960), or probably her most famous, Attack of the 50-Foot Woman (1958), she has made a definitely impact on the horror genre. One that will never be forgotten.
Unfortunately, her life was much more dramatic than the movies she appeared in. The last decade of her life, she was battling severe health issues, even having to walk with a cane. The pain was so bad, there were times that she had even thought of taking her own life. It didn’t help that the doctors didn’t seem to take her symptoms seriously. But after some of her own research, she discovered that the calcium supplements that she had been taken for some time, contained high levels of lead, which was causing her to suffer from lead poisoning. She was later diagnosed with leukemia. But before passing away, she had mounted a campaign to have the FDA ban the import and sale of this supplement that she had been taking, and eventually won in 1976. There are many reasons to remember Allison Hayes. So please do.
Released by Lakeshore Records, 2017
16 Tracks with a Total Running Time of 33 min.
Music by Jack Fessenden
Being a huge fan of Larry Fessenden, when I saw the name on this score, it had me immediately interested, since I assumed it was a relative of Larry’s. As it turns out, Jack is Larry’s 16-year old son, who has written, directed, co-produced, and edited his first feature film, as well as composing the music as well! Sounds to me that the father has definitely past on his creative talents to his son. I’ve only seen the trailer, but it really looks like an interesting story and the fact that it coming from a 16-year old kid, is even more amazing. But enough of that….let’s get to the score.
Greetings! Welcome to another Monday morning Mystery Photo! Last week’s pic was from that family friendly film Buio Omega, also known as Beyond the Darkness or Buried Alive, depending on which format you originally saw this little treat from director Joe D’Amato. Yes, it is a brutal little film, isn’t it? But it does have some fans because we got quite a few correct answers sent in. They were: Hoby Abernathy, Scott Bradley, Dustin Moravich, Michael Shields, Wayne Teeter, Tom White, William Wilson, and Greg Wojick. Nicely done!
So on to this week’s photo. Might be an easy one…or not. We’ll have to wait and see. But take a good look and see if anything comes to mind. Good Luck!
And PLEASE, do not post your answers here, so everyone else can have a chance.
Slasher Films: An International Filmography, 1960 Through 2001
By Kent Byron Armstrong
Published by McFarland, 2009. 376 pages.
Spoilers, spoilers, spoilers.
I have to say one of the key elements in many slasher films is the mystery of who the killer is. While in the later day Friday the 13th films, we all know who it is, but in the first entry, it really is a mystery until the ending. Sure, there are a few where the killer’s identity is given away early in the film, but for the most part, it is hidden from the viewer until the filmmaker decides to let you in on the secret. That really is a key part of the fun with some of these, even ones that are low budget and/or cheesy.
But the first thing that I noticed here is that Armstrong gives detailed plot synopsis for each of the titles covered, including who the killer(s) is. So if you haven’t see a particular film, you’re not going to want read his review of it since it will spoil the surprise. If you have seen a particular title, then there isn’t a real point to reading his review of it because about 90% of it is the synopsis with the last paragraph being his thoughts on it, which sometimes are just a sentence or two. Not a lot of meat on the bone for the reader to chew on here.
Honestly, never get tired of reading about the old Universal classic monster movies. Sure, there are a lot of the same stories told and retold over and over again, but you never know when something new and interesting is going to be uncovered, or possible brought out in a way that causing you think of something a different than before. Yes, the bottom line, like I’m always waving the flag for, is to constantly trying to learn more about these movies that we love, whether they are brand new titles, or ones that we’ve grown up with and seen hundreds of times. Besides, I know for me, every time I read about one of these movies, it always makes me want to bust it out and watch it again.
Being a movie fan today is just awesome. From the countless cult titles that keep getting released, to more reference books coming out that I can barely keep up, to even soundtracks from pretty obscure films getting released! To prove this statement, you will now be able to enjoy the musical score for the 1957 film Monster from Green Hell, thanks to the fine folks at Kritzerland!