Movie Review: The Legend of Hell House (1973)

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Directed by John Hough
Starring Pamela Franklin, Roddy McDowell, Clive Revill, and Gale Hunnicutt, and Michael Gough

Strange that I have never reviewed this on here since it is one of my favorite haunted house movies of all time. This has been a constant battle with me, between this one and Robert Wise’s The Haunting (1963) for the top spot, but Hell House usually comes in second. This was also the very first VHS tapes I rented after buying my first VCR. I don’t remember when exactly was the first time I saw this, probably around the same time I saw The Haunting for the first time, thanks to my future wife, Dawn, and her mother. But I know I immediately fell in love with it. Continue reading

Mystery Photo 3-30

Welcome to our last Mystery Photo of March of 2020. A lot has happened even since our last photo, but we’re hoping these bring you a little bit of distraction. Our last photo was definitely a tough one, since we only got one correct answer and that was from Hoby Abernathy. It is from an obscure title called Sfida al Diavolo (1963), which translates to Challenge of the Devil. If you’re looking for it on IMDB, it is under the title Katarsis. It actually stars Christopher Lee in a minor but pivotal role. I’m not sure I would suggest anybody run out and find a copy unless you are a die-hard Lee fan and need to see it.

I think this week’s photo will be a little easier. Well… maybe. So take a look below and see what you can come up with. Just send your answers to us in an email, to jon@kitleyskrypt.com. Good Luck!

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Book Review: Terrifying Texts

Terrifying TextsTerrifying Texts: Essays on Books of Good and Evil in Horror Cinema
Published McFarland, 2018. 268 pages.
Edited by Cynthia J. Miller & A. Bowdoin Van Riper

When I came across this title, I was immediately intrigued by it because, strangely enough, I didn’t know of anybody else who had tackled this subject matter before. In fact, the more I read through it, I was amazed at that fact because there are more movies that deal with this subject that I had thought. It’s one of those that as you’re reading and they mention another movie, you immediately think “Oh yeah… I forgot about that one!” Needless today, I really enjoyed this one!

As a book person myself, this had me right from the opening Introduction, where it reads, “Books are revered – and feared – for their ability to affect the minds and hearts of humankind. We collect them, pore over them, commit their passages to memory, censor them, and even attempt to banish them from our midst, lest they lead us to ruin.” Any book lover is going to be nodding their head while reading that, knowing and agreeing with exactly what the authors are saying… or writing, technically. Continue reading

What’s Your Favorite…Zombies!

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For today’s favorite question, we’re going with something more traditional. Zombie films are extremely popular and there are so many really good ones, maybe it might be tough to chose a favorite. Maybe this will help a little bit.

This is what I’m classifying as a zombie film: they must be the living dead. They don’t have to be flesh eaters, but they must be the dead. Simple enough? Will everyone be picking Night of the Living Dead? Dawn of the Dead? Fulci’s Zombie? Or is your favorite a little more obscure? So let’s hear from you in the comment section below.

Stuart Gordon – Rest in Peace

Stuart Gordon - RIPIn 1985, I worked in a movie theater, that was lucky enough to have Re-Animator playing at it. That was my introduction to Stuart Gordon. It would be another 17 years before I actually meet the man, but by that time, I had seen all of his feature films and more than a few of them, seeing them multiple times. Seeing Re-Animator back then was amazing because I had never seen anything like it before. The gore, the nudity, the humor, was all so over the top, but still effective all the way around. This film was definitely a fluke either, because Gordon continued to create more and more pictures that were just as entertaining and effective, each and every time.

But as we all know already, we have lost this great talent, when he passed away yesterday, at the age of 72. The first time I got to meet him, it was at the Gateway Theater in Chicago for a small movie convention/film fest. They were screening Gordon’s latest film Dagon (2001) on the big screen. In his introduction, he was so happy and thankful for this screening because he used to come to this very same theater as a kid and watch movies, so to be able to see his own film on the same screen just thrilled the hell out of him. But he was so friendly, talkative, and just a nice guy, not the kind you’d think would be responsible for the horrors that he directed on screen! I had met him a few times over the years, and he was always just as kind and approachable. He definitely is a talent that is going to be missed. But thankfully, we can all bust our From Beyond (1986), or Dagon, the wacky Space Truckers (1996) or even Stuck (2007) and see the wonderful art he has left for us to continue to enjoy.

Our thoughts go out to his friends and family during this difficult time.

Soundtrack Review: Hereditary

Hereditary soundtrackHereditary
Released by Milan Records, 2018
23 Tracks with a Total Running Time of 71 mins.
Music By Colin Stetson

I really liked this movie, even though I have a few issues with it here and there, but it still packed one hell of a punch. Several times, actually! But honestly, I didn’t remember that much about the score originally. After finding out that this was done by the same composer that did the recent Color Out of Space for Richard Stanley, I figured I would have to give this one a spin. And I’m so glad I did!

I feel like I need to go back and re-watch this film to see if the impact certain scenes make is maybe because of the music. There are certain tracks that just grab you. There are ones that are loud and bursting, while others that are quiet and more subtle, seeming into your brain. There might be little noises seemingly in the background that almost make you wonder if it is part of the soundtrack or something happening outside, such as in Track # 7, Aftermath. There are also those that start out very slow without you hearing much, then it just builds up and explodes at the end. Tracks # 5, Party, Crash and # 14, Book Burning, are perfect examples of this. Continue reading