March Kryptic Army Mission: Fear Itself!

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“the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”

In his first inaugural address as the 32nd President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt gave his speech that included that famous line quoted above. This took place on March 4th, 1933. This was given to a country that was still desperately trying to survive the great depression, so there was a lot to be afraid of. And there still is today. We’re not going to get political here, but focus on the subject of “fear itself”, as in personal fear. What are YOU scared of? Snakes? Sharks? Nuclear holocaust? Zombies? Ghosts? Or maybe something more simpler like dogs or cats? Continue reading

Book Review: Fecund Horror

fecund horrorFecund Horror: Slashers, Rape/Revenge, Women in Prison, Zombies and Other Exploitation Dreck
Self-Published in 2016, 158 pages.
By Noah Berlatsky

This was a tough one. I had a feeling that this might fit into one of my Psycho-Babble categories, and boy, was I right. Granted, when you have the word “dreck” in your title, after naming a few sub-genres, it kind of gives you the feeling that these are not spoken with any fondness. Which is even stranger because it does seem like Berlatsky likes a lot of the films he’s writing about.

As with many of these types of books, the authors are very smart, educated, and like to quote a lot of different material, giving credibility to their speculations and theories. But once again, I feel a lot of what is read into these films is just pure Freudian fiddle-faddle, trying to point out anything that could remotely be taken for or looked at in a sexual manner. Therefore, anything that is long and hard is always going to be taken as phallic symbolism. I’m sure it might be in there in some cases, but for the most part… I still call bullshit. Continue reading

Andrée Melly – Rest in Peace

Andree Melly - RIPFor fans of Hammer Films, especially The Brides of Dracula (1960), you knew the stunning beauty that was Andrée Melly, who appeared as one of the brides. This was her only Hammer film, but she also appeared in another Terence Fisher film, The Horror of It All (1964), alongside Pat Boone and Dennis Price. But one couldn’t watch Brides and not be enamored with her, along with Marie Devereux as the other bride (who we also recently lost last December). Seeing them transformed from young school girls to fanged creatures of the night, they once again showed why Hammer Films are still be watched and remembered with so much fondness today.

Melly passed away on January 31st, at the age of 87. She will be missed but always remembered for her brief film career. Our thoughts go out to her friends and family.

WildClaw Presents Deathscribe XII

deathscribe XIIOn Monday, March 30th, Chicago’s own WildClaw Theatre unleashes Deathscribe XII! For over a decade now, WildClaw Theatre has taken some stories from some of the most creative writers and turned them into amazing radio plays performed live on stage, with some of Chicago’s finest actors and a live Foley! It really is something dark, twisted, funny, and always entertaining.

This year, from over 160 entries, they have narrowed it down to a final five to be brought to life. Hosted by WildClaw’s Josh Zagoren, this year’s event will take place at The Den Theatre, located at 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave, in Chicago. Here are this year’s finalists: Continue reading

Bob Cobert – Rest in Peace

bobcobertYou couldn’t have been a horror fan that grew up in the late ’60s and early ’70s and not know the music of Bob Cobert. With the amount of work that writer/director/producer Dan Curtis was kicking out during that time, Cobert was right there through almost all of it, creating some incredible and memorable scores. Sadly, we heard the news that Mr. Cobert passed away back on Feb. 19th from pneumonia. He was 95.

My personal favorite has always been the theme he did for The Night Stalker (1972), but there are also so many other great ones, such as Dark Shadows, both the series and the two films. He pretty much worked on almost all of Curtis’ productions, which earned him a Grammy nomination for his composition Quentin’s Theme from Dark Shadows series and a Emmy nomination for his work on Curtis’ epic miniseries War and Remembrance (1988-89).

For a composer to create a theme that is remembered as much a the movie or series itself is a high compliment for any musician. Cobert seemed to do it over and over again. He may have left his planet, but he has left us hours and hours of fantastic music that we can listen to over and over, bringing those images back in our brains again and again.

Our thoughts go out to his friends and family in this difficult time. Rest in Peace, Maestro. 

Mystery Photo 2-24

A little late today, but still here. Rough Monday, but always could be worse, right? But let’s get to business and not waste any more time! Last week’s photo was that of Joe Spinell from 1980’s Maniac. For a movie filled with so much graphic and grisly violence, it still is an incredible film with a lot of deeper meaning in there. So far ahead of it’s time. Still a classic. Kudos to the following for sending in the correct answer: Hoby Abernathy, Aaron AuBuchon, Aaron Christensen, Richard Diaz, Kristin Wicks, William Wilson, and Greg Wojick. Well done.

So onto today’s photo. For some, it will be obvious and maybe even obvious to some as to why I picked this one. But give it a look and see what you think. As always, please remember not to post your answers here in the comments so that others can have a chance at guessing. Good Luck!

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Al Adamson: The Masterpiece Collection

AlAdamsonBoxNo questions asked, I am a fan of Al Adamson and his films.

No, I won’t argue that they are quality made films.

I will argue that they… well, most of them… are high quality entertainment!

Adamson is one of those filmmakers that I admire the shit out of because of what he accomplished with what he had, when it came to time, budget, actors, and everything else needed to make a movie. He used what he had, he got them made, and out into the world. And they made money, or at least enough for him to continue doing it. So no matter how ‘bad’ some of them might be considered, I still give him a lot of credit. So a huge thanks to David Gregory at Severin for helping keep Adamson’s films and legacy alive and well for fans to remember and enjoy for years to come.

Now thanks to Severin Films, you can have your own Bu-ray copies of 31 of his films in one massive box set. PLUS, you get the new award-winning documentary Blood and Flesh: The Reel Life & Ghastly Death of Al Adamson, where you will learn more than you ever thought you could on the amazing life and tragic death of this true independent filmmaker. Continue reading

Horror History: Jack Taylor

jacktaylorJack Taylor
Born Oct. 21, 1936

Taylor was always easy to spot, with this glassy blue eyes and usually with a handlebar mustache. While most know him from his work in the Spanish film industry, he is actually American born, starting his acting on TV, appearing alongside Marilyn Monroe on an episode of The Jack Benny Show. He would later move to Mexico, appearing in various stage plays, as well as working the Nostradamus series. This originally was a 12-segment serial that was later combined to make four features, starting with The Curse of Nostradamus (1961), Nostradamus y el destructor de monstruos (aka The Monster Demolisher, 1962), Genii of Darkness (1962), La sangre de Nostradamus (aka The Blood of Nostradamus, 1962). Taylor would appear in the first three films.

He would leave Mexico and head to Spain, where he really made his name, especially in cult cinema, working on ten films with Jesus Franco. He appeared in such titles as Succubus (1968),  Eugenie (1970), playing Quincey in Count Dracula (1970), and  Female Vampire (1973), among many others. He also worked with many other directors who seemed to specialize in the horror genre like Leon Klimovsky’s Orgy of the Vampires (1973), Amando de Ossorio’s Night of the Sorcerers (1973) and the third entry in his Blind Dead series, The Ghost Galleon (1974). He even worked with Paul Naschy in Dr. Jekyll vs the Wolfman (1972) and The Mummy’s Revenge (1974). One of his more notable appearances is alongside Johnny Depp in Romain Polanski’s The Ninth Gate (1999).

He has always been a favorite of mine, bringing a smile to my face when I see his name in the credits. He always delivered a fun performance, no matter the budget or quality of the overall production.

Movie Review: Lugosi – The Forgotten King

lugosi forgotten king 3

Lugosi: The Forgotten King (1985, 2018)
Directed by Mark Gilman Jr. & Dave Stuckey

In 1985, with the early days of VHS tapes and video stores, there weren’t too many documentary titles out there, especially on horror movies or their stars, unless you count a few trailers collections. But I can remember coming across one title in particular that was on the shelves, Lugosi: The Forgotten King. Being an young and eager fan to learn as much as I can about the horror genre, especially one of its icons, I immediately rented it. Even though the running time was short, showed the audience a little bit more behind the man and really how much of a talent he was. Now, 35 years later, it is out on DVD in an updated version, through Operator 13 Productions. Continue reading

José Mojica Marins – Rest in Peace

José Mojica Marins - RIPThe genre has lost another icon with the passing of Brazilian actor, writer, director, producer, José Mojica Marins, better known to fans as Zé do Caixão, aka Coffin Joe. He was another filmmaker breaking ground, making movies that were not the most welcomed in his own home, but he continued on, making the kind that he wanted to make. While he started making films as early as 1950, it wasn’t until 1964 with the release of À Meia Noite Levarei Sua Alma (At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul) that he found the role that would stay with him until he died, that of the devious Coffin Joe. Thankfully, a good number of his films have been made available though various companies, especially Something Weird Video. Continue reading