Mystery Photo 1-27

It is always nice to see a lot of correct answers come over when a classic ’50s photo is posted, especially when the creatures were created by Paul Blaisdell. The film is Invasion of the Saucer Men (1957), directed by Edward L. Cahn. Blaisdell went through hell to come up with a designed that appeased both AIP heads Sam Arkoff and James Nicholson, but what he finally did come up with definitely hit the mark because they are still being remembered today. Congrats to the following for sending in the correct answer: Hoby Abernathy, Gregory Avery, Todd Barwick, Christopher Dyer, Dave Fronto, Bob Hartman, Bryan Senn, and Michael Shields. Well done!

Now we’re going to go back with something a little more obscure. Trust me, I’m not making these hard to stump everyone as much as trying to bring attention to these rare and near lost films. So yes, there is method for my madness! Take a look and see if you recognize where this shot is from. As always, please do not post your answers here so that others can have a chance at guessing. Just send us your guess in an email (jon@kitleyskrypt.com). Good Luck!

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Unearthed Films Releases What the Waters Left Behind

What the Waters Left Behind PosterBack in 2013, two brothers from Argentina created a short film, just an over an hour long, called Sonno Profondo that was inspired by the Italian giallo films of the ’70s. With a miniscule budget and a crew that pretty much consisted of them, they showed how much style and talent they had. They were Luciano and Nicolás Onetti. Two years later, they released a feature length film entitled Francesca (2015), that once again showed their immense talent. If you didn’t know, and watched this film, you would swear that it was some lost Italian film from the ’70s. The look and feel of it, not to mention the amazing score (also done by Luciano), was just incredible.

But now they have left the giallo behind for now and have made a film that is reminiscent of the gritty and grimy slasher films of the ’70s, such as Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Hills Have Eyes. The film is called What the Waters Left Behind, and will be released by Unearthed Films on Blu-Ray and DVD on May 12th. Continue reading

Horror History: Gale Sondergaard

Gale SondergaardGale Sondergaard
Born Feb. 15th, 1900 – Died Aug. 14th, 1985

This is an actress that only appeared in a handful of horror film titles, but was known to be one of the character actress that audiences love to hate. She tended to play wicked and evil characters that she actually enjoyed playing. In an interview in 1974, she said about the characters she’s known for were “usually more colorful than the hero and, from an acting standpoint, more fun to play.” So wicked in fact, that she was actually cast to play the Wicked Witch in The Wizard of Oz, but turned it down when it was decided to make the character more ugly and scary than originally planned as a beautiful witch like in a Disney film. She was also the very first recipient of the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, in the film Anthony Adverse (1936), which also happened to be her screen debut.

As for her horror roles,  you can find her in such titles as The Cat and the Canary (1939), The Black Cat (1941), The Invisible Man’s Revenge (1944), and The Climax (1944).

The real horror in her life was when she was blacklisted during the McCarthy “Red Scare” in Hollywood because she refused to testify and give names. She didn’t work for 20 years because of it. It really is a shame what we missed during those two decades when nobody would hire her.

Movie Review: House by the Cemetery Blu-Ray

House by the Cemetery 7

House by the Cemetery (1981)
Directed by Lucio Fulci
Starring Catriona MacColl, Paolo Malco, Ania Pieroni, Giovanni Frezza, Silvia Collatina, Dagmar Lassander, Giovanni De Nava, Daniela Doria, Carlo De Mejo

The films that Lucio Fulci directed in the late ’70s and early ’80s made him a god to horror/gore fans. In the early days of VHS tapes, these films were always ones you’d rent over and over again. While he was already a successful filmmaker, directing films in just about every genre, once Zombie (1979) came out, followed over the next three years by City of the Living Dead (1980), The Black Cat (1981), The Beyond (1981), and House by the Cemetery (1981), New York Ripper (1982), he simply could do no wrong. And I still think that statement holds up today as well, since at least four of those titles still are considered classics today. And now, thanks to Blue Underground, we get a brand-spanking new 4K scan, along with second disc of extras, AND the complete soundtrack on CD, this is one release that is well worth double or triple dipping on. Continue reading

Know Your Mexican Horror Cinema?

Morbido Crypt's Guide to Mexican Fantasy and Horror Cinema

No? Well if you’re in the Chicago area at the end of March, then now is your chance to learn. The Chicago Cinema Society and Chicago Filmmakers are hosting a event to help you learn more about this sub-genre of films, that have given us everything from crying women, el Santo, vampiros Aztec mummies, Satanists, and so much more. On March 28th from 7pm to 10pm, Mexico’s Morbido Film Festival’s head programmer, Abraham Castillo Flores will be presenting the Morbido Crypt’s Guide to Mexican Fantasy and Horror Cinema.  Continue reading

Movie Review: Color Out of Space

Colors out fo space posterColor Out of Space (2019)
Directed by Richard Stanley
Starring Nicolas Cage, Joely Richardson, Madeleine Arthur, Brenden Meyer, Julian Hilliard, Tommy Chong, Elliot Knight

Like many horror movie fans, my first introduction to the works of H.P. Lovecraft was from film and TV adaptations, most likely from an episode of Night Gallery, even though at the time I had no idea where the story originally came from. That would come many years later. I think the first feature film based on his work that I remember seeing was the 1965 film Die, Monster, Die!, directed by Daniel Haller. Again, even though I had no idea who Lovecraft was, let alone that this was based on his work, I do remember the “zoo in hell” sequence scared the crap out of me as a kid! This film happens to be based on the same short story that this new movie is based on, The Colour Out of Space, which was first published in the Sept. issue of Amazing Stories, in 1927. And while this latest version doesn’t have a zoo, there is plenty of images within to give one nightmares. Continue reading

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It looks like I went a little too obscure with our last Mystery Photo since nobody sent in any guesses for this one. It was from the 1973 Australian film Night of Fear, from director Terry Bourke, who brought us other down under favorites like Inn of the Damned (1975) and Lady Stay Dead (1981). If you didn’t know this one, don’t feel bad because up until a few weeks ago, I didn’t know of it either! But now we all know! There is something charming about those Ozploitation flicks!

This week’s photo is a not from Australia and isn’t that obscure, especially for classic film fans. So let’s see what you got. As always, please do not post your answers here so that others can have a chance at guessing. Just send them to me in an email to jon@kitleyskrypt.com. Good Luck!

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Soundtrack Review: The Phantom of the Opera (1989)

Phantom of the Opera 1989 SoundtrackThe Phantom of the Opera (1989)
Released by Restless Records
20 Tracks with a Total Running Time of 36 min.
Music Composed and Conducted by Misha Segal

I was one of those fans eagerly awaiting for this film to hit the theaters. I knew Robert Englund was much more than just Freddy Kruger so I was excited to see a new version of one of my favorite horror characters. I was not expecting the music to have an much of an impact on me as it did. So much so that I was drying for the score to get a release on CD! Continue reading

Horror History: Richard Johnson

Richard JohnsonRichard Johnson
Born July 30th, 1927 – Died June 5th, 2015

Two of my all time favorite films: Robert Wise’s The Haunting (1963) and Lucio Fulci’s Zombie (1979), which are about as two different films that you could get. And this man, Richard Johnson, stars in both of them. I think I actually saw The Haunting on television one night at my future wife’s house, watching it with her and her mom, amazed at how creepy this old black and white film was. Then finding out that this suave and distinguished gentleman was also the same actor who played Dr. Menard in one of the greatest zombie films ever committed to film! Boggles the mind. 

While Johnson had attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, performing with John Gielgud’s company before joining the navy in 1945. After the war, he was back to acting before making his film debut in the early ’50s. He was actually offered the role of James Bond in Dr. No, before Sean Connery, but turned it down because he didn’t want to be stuck in a 7-year contract! While he really didn’t appear in a ton of horror films, half-dozen or so that he did appear in, he was always memorable and entertaining. Besides the ones I’ve already mentioned, some of my favorites of his work are Beyond the Door (1974) and Island of the Fishmen (1979), but there are a few more gems in there for you to do a little research on if you’re not entirely sure of Johnson’s other work.

Book Review: Studying Horror Cinema

Studying Horror CinemaStudying Horror Cinema
Published by Auteur, 2019. 300 pages.
By Bryan Turnock

This took me much longer to get through than I originally had hoped. Not that it was a hard read, but because I started reading it in November of last year, right before the holidays started to set in. But I’m glad I stuck to it because it makes a great book to start the new year out on!

For anybody who is interested in learning more about the horror genre, the best way to do that is watch the movies. Not just new ones, but the old ones too. Besides the actual viewing though, reading about them as well can do wonders on how you look at the films and the effects they have. Not to mention maybe suggesting titles that you haven’t seen before. This isn’t to say you can’t form your own opinions and thoughts, but one of the beauties of your “horror education” is when you read of others opinions, not only to you compare it to your own, but help you think of different things that you might not have otherwise. And Bryan Turnock’s book is exceptional example of this. Continue reading