Max von Sydow – Rest in Peace

Max von sydow - ripSince the internet has been flooded with notices about this a few days ago, everyone I’m sure has heard of the passing of actor Max von Sydow.  Even though he only made less than a dozen films you could consider horror, you couldn’t be a fan of the genre and not know who this man was, because of The Exorcist (1973). Granted, like a lot of us, we always assumed he was already an old man because of the incredible aged makeup he wore in that film, thanks to Dick Smith. But no matter what role he had, like a small part in Conan the Barbarian (1982), the over-the-top role of the Emperor Ming in Flash Gordon (1980), to even the humorous role of Brewmeister Smith in Strange Brew (1983), he always commanded your attention, as well as gave a very memorable performance.

From his early days with Ingmar Bergman to Dario Argento in Sleepless (2001), to even working with Martin Scorsese in Shutter Island (2010), he always had a captive audience with his talent. He is one that will definitely live on and be remembered for all of those incredible characters. Our thoughts go out to his friends and family.

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.

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. 

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

Robert “Bobb” Cotter – Rest in Peace

Robert Cotter - RIPWriter and historian Robert “Bobb” Cotter passed away due to complications from a recent stroke. He was a regular member of the Monster Bash family, which is where I first met him, back in 2015, at our first time there. We talked for a few minutes while he graciously signed the copies of his books that I brought from my own library, chatting about Mexican horror films and how much crazy fun they are. You would always seen him one of the days at the Bash wearing his Carl Kolchak costume, tape recorder and all. While he might not been someone in front of or behind the movie camera, he was one of those behind the keyboard, working hard to help educate so many of us fans of the women of Hammer Horror, the Misfits, and of course, Mexican horror and masked wrestler movies.

mexicanmaskedwrestlersHis book The Mexican Masked Wrestler and Monster Filmography is an essential volume for anybody interested in that sub-genre. Anytime I’ve gone to write something on one of those films, I am always checking that book for information. That goes as well as this books on the ladies of Hammer as well.

The Mexican movie nights at the Bash just won’t be the same this year without him and it will be a sad time. But I want to say thank you to him, for helping not only me, but a ton of other fans learn through your hard work and generous fandom. Our thoughts go out to him and his family, and all of the Monster Bash family. His absence will be deeply missed. 

Dyanne Thorne – Rest in Peace

I’ve been meaning to get this posted, but between being busy every night, and the fact that it took me forever to find this photo of the lovely Ilsa and myself at a Cinema Wasteland, but here it is.

As I’m sure most of you know, Dyanne Thorne passed away recently. She was mainly known for her role in the three official Ilsa movies: Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS (1975), Isla, Harem Keeper of the Oil Sheiks (1976), Ilsa, the Tigress of Siberia (1977), and the one un-official sequel directed by Jess Franco, Wanda, the Wicked Warden (1977). But she also appeared in an episode of the original Star Trek, as well as titles like Point of Terror (1971) and Blood Sabbath (1972), which might not have been Oscar caliber, but at least for us fans of the grindhouse/exploitation type films, we enjoyed them.

Ilsa RIPShe may have been an evil of a character in the movies, but in real life, she was an ordained, non-denominational minister in Las Vegas, where, along with her husband, Howard Maurer, would get couples traveling from all over the world to be married by the one and only Ilsa! Now, I’ve never been a huge fan of the Ilsa movies, which are not my particular cup of tea. But I’ve had the occasions to meet her a couple of times at the different Cinema Wasteland shows and she is another one of these actors that creates one of the most terrible of characters, but is total opposite of what they are like in real life. The photo to the right here was taken at her last Wasteland appearance, after she stopped by our table and chatted with me for more than a few minutes. When the conversation was done, she insisted that we take picture together. Such a sweet soul, kind and generous with her time with her fans, that it was so cool to have a chat with her. And she really did seem to love meeting her fans.

While she was worried that the Ilsa movies would hurt her career (which they did), she still didn’t let it bother her. In fact, this quote below from her really defines how she felt about her infamous character, and what it meant to meet her fans.

“I know I’ve brought pleasure to a certain group of people. If I had been in more conventional Hollywood films, perhaps I would have been lost in the shuffle.”

She definitely has not been lost in any shuffle and will always be remembered fondly, by myself, and thousand of other fans. Our thoughts go out to her friends and family. Rest in Peace.

2019 Year End Review – Part 2: In Rememberence

Tears in rain

“All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.”

The famous line above is from the ending of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982), from the replicant Roy Batty, played by Rutger Hauer, just moments before he stops functioning, or “dies”. This was a line that Hauer added without Scott’s knowledge and it not only stayed in the film, but has referenced quite a bit since then, as it is now. The reason I bring it up here is twofold. First and most obviously is because Hauer is one of the names listed below that we lost in 2019. But secondly, this line may be about Batty’s memories, but when it comes to movies, and fans like us, they never will be lost, but will live on for decades to come. For each new generation of film lovers, they will discover these “moments”, some becoming etched in their psyche, while some even changing their lives. Continue reading