Book Review: Darkening the Italian Screen

Darkening the Italian ScreenDarkening the Italian Screen
Published by McFarland, 2019. 334 pages
By Eugenio Ercolani

As fans of Italian genre films, we all know the names of Argento, Bava, Soavi, and (hopefully) Freda. But there were so many that worked in the industry in the ’60s through the ’80s, that so many get lost in the shuffle. Maybe we’ve heard of them, or maybe we know a movie or two they did, but that’s it. That is what I love about this book, that it brings light to more than a few people that had connections to some of the films we love, but maybe didn’t know as much about them.

Going through the list of names interviewed in this book, there were a few that I was familiar with, such as Umberto Lenzi, Ruggero Deodato, Enzo G. Castellari, and Sergio Martino. But even with these guys, there were plenty of interesting and sometimes downright amazing stories to be learned within these pages, especially when we learn about their beginnings in the industry. Other names like Alberto De Martino or Mario Caiano, I was somewhat familiar with, but not a lot. Then there were names that I wasn’t as familiar with at all, such as Giulio Petroni or Franco Rossetti. But the great thing about if you’ve been a fan of the Italian film genre for any length of time, you will have at least heard of the films they are talking about, if you haven’t seen them already. Continue reading

Interview: Sergio Molina

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I normally don’t like to celebrate or make note of the passing of a celebrity because it should be about remembering them and their work, not when they left us. But back in November of 2009, we lost one of the last great horror movie icons: Jacinto Molina, better known as Paul Naschy. People who know me or regulars to this site know of my passion for Naschy’s work, so that loss really hit. He really is one of my horror heroes, and truly is an icon, one that I would put right up there with names like Karloff, Lugosi, Cushing, Price, and Lee. With close to 50 years worth of work in cinema, as a writer, actor, director, he created so many memorable characters, from monsters, villains, heroes, and so much more. Continue reading

Mystery Photo 11-25

Welcome to the last Monday of November. Time is just flying by, isn’t it? That just means spring will be here before we know it and a whole new year of conventions starting up! But before we get all excited about that, let us start the week off with a Mystery Photo. Last week’s was from Mario Bava’s Baron Blood (1972), definitely a must see in his filmography. Then again, aren’t most of his films? Congrats to the following for sending in the correct photo: Todd Barwick, Bob Hartman, Troy Howarth, and Todd Warren. Well done!

So let’s take a look at this week’s and see if it is any easier or harder than the last one. Let’s try and end November on a high note, shall we? As always, please do not post your answers here so that others can have a chance at guessing. Just send your guess to me (jon@kitleyskrypt.com) in an email. Good Luck!

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Michael J. Pollard – Rest in Peace

Michael J PollardGrowing up in the late ’60s and early ’70s, it was pretty easy to know who Michael J. Pollard was. We might not of known his name, but we definitely remembered that face. Whether it was from his appearance in the original Star Trek series or Lost in Space (both in 1966), or his role in the famous Bonnie and Clyde (1967). But he had a face and voice that was always memorable. Later in the ’80s and ’90s, you’d see him in everything from comedies, action films, dramas, and everything in between. In the horror genre, there’s American Gothic (1987), Sleepaway Camp III (1989), or as the rat catcher in Split Second (1992). Of course, of later day fans, he was one of the best parts in the opening of Rob Zombie’s debut, House of 1000 Corpses (2003).

Movie fans have lost this iconic boyish face, as he passed away on Nov. 20th from a cardiac arrest, at the age of 80 years old. No matter what film I would be watching, when his face came on screen, it made me smile. Because I knew no matter the size of the role, I was going to remember it because his screen presents. He really was one of a kind. Gone, but definitely never forgotten.

Physical vs Streaming

Ever since streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime started, the debate has raging on which is better. We have the die-hard collectors, the ones collecting VHS and other physical media, denouncing the streaming avenue and those traveling down it. While the ones streaming, like the convenience of it, having a wide selection at their fingertips without having to spend a lot of money. Is one right and the other wrong? Since I consider myself an Old One (meaning old school movie collector, not a Lovecraftian deity), who used to spend hours, days, and even years looking for a certain movie, that seems to be available in an instant, so let me put my two cents in. As far as which is better, I think I can safely say this: How about we stop complaining about which is better and just WATCH THE DAMN MOVIES!?!?

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Holiday Shopping Ideas

Book Cover Art 22819With Axe-mas right around the corner, I’m sure everyone is starting to compile their own wish list or thinking about what to get others. I’m going to give a few suggestions to help not only find a great gift, but to also help increase the knowledge for the person receiving it, as well as maybe showing support for those out there that are putting their blood, sweat, tears, and talent into their work. We need to show our support for them, to let them know what they are doing is worth it.

For those out there that are looking for the special gift for the horror obsessed fan in their life, or to add it to your own personal list, let me start with a shameless plug and humbly suggest picking up a copy of my book, Discover the Horror? While it is available on Amazon, if you order it directly from me, you’ll get it personally signed to you, or whoever you request. How cool would it be to surprise your special someone with a personalized autograph copy? You can read what some people have thought about it on Amazon or some of the reviews I’ve posted on the link to the right.

But…this isn’t just about my book, but the countless titles out there that would make wonderful gifts to any horror fan. Here are some examples. Continue reading

Mystery Photo 11-18

It is so great to see so many responses for a clip from a classic film, that I have to say isn’t the most obvious, but it still is so memorable that we got more responses with this one than we normally do! The shot is from the 1962 almost-lost film, Carnival of Souls. Congrats to these scholars who sent in the correct answer: Hoby Abernathy, Dahlia Daniels, Dave Fronto, Bob Hartman, Ricky Hayden, Christopher Highland, Martin Meeks, Lee Nattrass, Tim Palace, Michael Shields, William Wilson, and Greg Wojick. Well done, people. Well done, indeed.

So here’s this week’s photo, some might consider a classic as well. Let’s see what you think. Take a good look and see what you can come up with. As always, please remember not to post your answers here so that others have a chance at guessing. Just send your guess to us in an email to jon@kitleyskrypt.com. Good Luck!

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