New Little Shoppe of Horrors!

Occasionally the infamous and best magazine devoted to Hammer here in the States will go outside the famous studio to focus on another title or two. They did it previously on the Frank Langella version of Dracula (1979) or Frankenstein: The True Story (1973), and with each of those issues put in as much love and research as any of their Hammer features. So, while I love their work they do on Hammer, I also love when they venture outside there because I know they are going to do it so well!

The new issue, #48, has one of my favorite movies on the cover, The Trollenberg Terror (1958), or as it was known here in the states, The Crawling Eye! Featuring another one of kind cover by artist Mark Maddox, I think it will enjoy looking at you as much as you will looking through its pages!

This is what else if featured in this issue:

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Night of the Bloody Cuts

Fans of the weird and strange exploitation films might have heard of René Cardona’s 1969 film Night of the Bloody Apes, which I have to say is one hell of a title. Honestly, if the trailer alone doesn’t get you to watch the movie, nothing else will. But it was a remake of Cardona’s own film Doctor of Doom (1963) but in color with some nudity, blood & guts, including some stock footage of some real surgery! It is a great little flick for those akin to this kind of twisted cinema.

At the last convention I was at, I picked up the new Blu-ray of this film that was released by VCI Entertainment. I had the old Something Weird DVD but figured it was “now restored in 4K from original 35mm negative” I could always use an upgrade. Plus, this new release also had a bonus feature of the previous mention Doctor of Doom. But as I watched it the other night, something was amiss. Now there were some scenes that either didn’t go through the 4k scan because the quality noticeably dropped, but during some of the gore scenes, the quality of the print changed, almost like someone had messed with the contrast or something. Now this is coming from someone who knowns NOTHING about what goes into restoring movies. But when the quality of the print dramatically changes, and not like it went back to a grainy print, but where the colors looked oversaturated or something, something obviously noticeable, something wrong.

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Happy Birthday Lon Chaney!

While a lot of people will be posting little April Fools jokes throughout the day, I thought I’d rather spend the time talking about one of the greatest actors that has ever graced the silver screen, who just happened to be born on this day, 139 years ago. His name is Lon Chaney. And I say is because thanks to those wonderful people that have worked on keeping films restored and alive over the years, we can still watch and enjoy, and be amazed at the performances that Chaney gave in his films, meaning he is still with us!

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HorrorHound Approaches!

In just a few days, we’ll be heading to Cincinnati for our first convention of the year and looking forward so much to getting back into the swing of things. It’s been five months since our last show and we’re chomping at the bit to see all our horror family this weekend! We’ll be set up there with our usual array of horror reference books which is a great place to continue your journey to Discover the Horror! And because this is our first show of the year, we’re going to have several great titles on sale! So, make sure you stop by our table to see what we have in store for you!

Plus, we’ll have some other goodies like some soundtracks, DVDs and Blu-rays, and maybe even some magazines we’re getting rid of from our own collection.

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Tales from the Crypt Bookends!!!

In case anybody out there is wondering what to get me for my birthday, look no further! While I just might have a few books around the old Kryptic Office so bookends are always something in need. But just look at these bad boys! Brought to us by Dark Horse Director, these two book ends feature three of the main hosts from those E.C. Comics that gave us images of terror and horror, wrapped inside a gruesome tale! One of them features the Crypt Keeper, which is 8 1/2″ tall by 6 3/8″ side, while the other one features the Old Witch and the Vault Keeper, which is 9″ tall and 6 1/4″ wide, both highly detailed and painted. These were sculpted by Chris Dahlberg.

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Need Some Epic Italian Zombie Soundtracks?

Okay, so they might not necessarily be “epic”, or even zombies depending on who you ask, but Quartet Records has given fans of some of the lower quality (but still damn entertaining) zombie or plague flicks from 1980!

Quartet Records, in collaboration with Cinevox Records has released the score for Bruno Mattei and Claudio Fragasso’s 1980 film Virus, also known as Virus Apocalipsis Canibal, and probably best known as Hell of the Living Dead or Night of the Zombies. Now, anybody that has seen this film probably noticed that there are some parts of the score that sounds a little like Goblin’s score for Romero’s Dawn of the Dead (1978), and you would be correct. In fact, there is also music lifted from the score Goblin did for Luigi Cozzi’s Contamination (1980), and even a bit from Fernando Di Leo’s crime drama Diamanti Sporchi di Sangue (1978), done by Luis Bacalov. But it did actually have some original music in it, from Gianni Dell’Orso.

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Veronica Carlson – Rest in Peace

Boy, does this one sting. Back in 1994, when Fanex announced they were doing a Hammer themed convention with a few guests attending from the famous studio, I knew I was going to be there, which I did. One of the guests there was the lovely Veronica Carlson. Meeting this amazing woman that I had watched many times onscreen during screenings of Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968) to my favorite entry in their Frankenstein series, Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969), was just a delight. Sure, while this may have been before conventions began to be all about the autographs, she was so friendly and kind, and truly respected her fans. Even over the next couple of decades when I had the chance to meet her a few more times, that friendliness and respect never wavered.

So, hearing today that she has passed away truly was some saddening news. Being a huge Hammer fan, a studio that in reality stopped making films in the late ’70s, the older we get, the more of these amazing talented people we lose, as we did today. Thankfully, due to her kindness, and her performances in these movies, we can always remember how gracious and talented she was. Rest in Peace, Veronica. Our thoughts go out to her friends and family during this difficult time.

Rondo Time!

The nominations have been announced for the 20th Annual Rondo Awards! Once again, my column for HorrorHound magazine, They Came from the Krypt, has been nominated for Best Column. So, this is my one and only press push to persuade you to vote! In all honesty, I hope that everyone does vote because there are a lot of talented people out there giving it there all, most of which are doing it out of sheer passion, not profession. But nonetheless, it is something that all horror fans can share in. It doesn’t matter who you’re voting for but take a few minutes and go through the categories and cast your vote. You don’t have to vote in all categories but vote from the heart for those you do support. You can read the full list at the Rondo website HERE. Write them down and email them to David Colton, the man in charge at taraco@aol.com. You have until midnight on April 17th. So don’t delay!

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Soundtrack Review: Triangle

Triangle
Released by Moviescore Media, 2009
21 Tracks with a total running time of 48 min.
Music composed Christian Henson, featuring Dot Allison

This score starts out with this haunting little lullaby that just takes root in your brain. It reminds me a lot of the opening theme for Rosemary’s Baby but seems more like something you’d sing to sooth a baby to sleep, though with some darker elements to it! Between the vocals and the piano, it is highly memorable and works so well, both on its own, as it does in the film.

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