Alfred Sole – Rest in Peace

This is a trend that I’m not enjoying whatsoever. We heard the news yesterday that Alfred Sole passed away. He is best known for directing the 1976 film Communion aka Alice, Sweet Alice. I had the pleasure to meet him back in 2018 at a film fest in Chicago where they screened Communion, which really still holds up today.

Sole didn’t direct a lot of pictures, mainly because he got fed up with Hollywood. It really is a shame that there are a bunch of talented individuals that are more than willing to create some amazing cinema but just get tired of dealing with the idiots that are calling the shots, not letting them create the art they could. Very sad that Sole wasn’t given the opportunity to continue to show us what he was capable of. We will always have what he has left us to remind us of this loss of talent. Our thoughts go out to his friends and family in this difficult time.

Here is a great quote from Sole that I found on IMDB that sums up his thoughts on Hollywood quite nicely!

“I was not good for Hollywood and Hollywood was not good for me. I didn’t understand the politics. I was just this guy from Jersey who made movies. You go to these meetings with these hotshot executives for hours and nothing gets done! It was just constant frustration. What I really should’ve done is stayed in Paterson and made movies with friends in my hometown, the way I started out, like John Waters or George A. Romero.” – Alfred Sole. Rest in Peace.

Ivan Reitman – Rest in Peace

Another amazing talent might has left us, but he also left us plenty of amazing memories. Sure, Ghostbusters (1984) isn’t exactly a horror film, but it did have enough horror elements to count, not to mention that it was damn entertaining then, and I still say today. Writer, director, producer, Ivan Reitman passed away on Saturday at the age of 75.

While he is mainly known for comedies, one of his first films that he directed was the 1973 epic Cannibal Girls, where the posters art stated, “These girls do exactly what you think they do!” How could you go wrong there? But he also helped David Cronenberg on a few of his early films, Shivers (1975) and Rabid (1977), so he definitely had some street cred when it came to the horror genre.

But no matter what genre he worked in, he created some entertaining films that will definitely last for generations to come. Our thoughts go out to him and his family during this difficult time.

Paul Kelman – Rest in Peace

With all the slasher films that came out in the late ’70s and early ’80s, one of my favorites has always been My Bloody Valentine (1981). Not sure if it was because the location where the killer was stalking was different than all the summer camp ones, or that the killer looked so damn scary in all that miner getup, but either way, I think the film worked, and still works, even today. But we recently lost a cast member from that memorable film, Paul Kelman, who played T.J., one of the minors stuck down deep in the earth with a killer with a pitchfork!

While he only played in one other horror title, Black Roses (1988), he will still be remembered from fans, not only because of that role, but also his relationship with his fans. Our thoughts go out to his friends and family during this difficult time.

Yvette Mimieux & Carol Speed – Rest in Peace

I meant to get this posted yesterday about the passing of Carol Speed but before I could get to it, news of Yvette Mimieux came through today.

Carol Speed passed away last Friday, Jan. 14th, at the age of 76. Best known for her roles in some ’70s exploitation films, which is a shame because she was a treat to watch on screen. She worked for a few of the low budget directors, like Jack Hill’s The Big Birdcage (1972) and Al Adamson’s Dynamite Brothers (1974), but it was her title role in William Girdler’s 1974 film Abby that probably drew most of the attention.

But Speed was also an author, singer and songwriter as well. In fact, the soundtrack for the film Abby has a song that she wrote and performed called My Soul is a Witness. Fans of those early exploitation films will definitely be keeping memory alive. I got to meet her at a Cinema Wasteland convention back in, I believe, 2010. Such a nice person.

We also just lost Yvette Mimieux today. While she did appear in a couple of TV movies in the ’70s, Snowbeast (1977) with Bo Svenson, and Devil Dog: The Hound of Hell (1978) with Richard Crenna, most wouldn’t consider those great films. But I’ve always been highly entertained by them, so there. But she also appeared in a couple of films from my youth that always made me remember her. As a kid, watching the original George Pal version of The Time Machine (1960) not only hooked me into the story, but I definitely found my horror element with the Morlocks that used the Eloi as food! When that little bit of storyline hit my young brain, it through me for a loop! Years later, she appeared in The Black Hole (1979), which while wasn’t a great film, as a teenager, I really enjoyed it.

Mimieux, who was also an anthropologist, passed away today at the age of 80.

Thankfully, we still have their movies to still bring us entertainment and joy while watching them work. Gone, but not forgotten.

Peter Bogdanovich – Rest in Peace

While Mr. Bogdanovich wasn’t prolific in the horror genre, on one of his first films he worked with on the horror greats on one of their last films. The film was Targets (1968), and the star was Boris Karloff. Bogdanovich not only directed the film but starred alongside him as well. The story is about an old aging horror icon tired of the old ways, that beautifully (and terrifyingly) blends the old fictional horror with new and real horror of the day when a young man goes on a killing spree for no apparent reason.

Bogdanovich gave Karloff a chance to show once again that he was a much more talented actor than most would ever give him credit for. But Bogdanovich was a true lover of cinema in every sense of the word, and when you hear him talk about movies, you understand a little more the power of cinema.

Our thoughts go out to him and his family in this difficult time. Gone, but not forgotten.

2021 Year End Review: Part 2 – Those We Have Lost, But Not Forgotten

As a movie fan, the older we get, the more names and faces we lose that have helped entertain us throughout our lives. Whether they are directors, actors, makeup artists, cinematographers, or set designers, they all helped create something magical to entertain us, whether it was scaring us, making us nervous or filled with anxiety, laugh, cry, or even enlightening us, making us want to be better people. For those brief moments of their work, we are forever grateful. Thankfully, most of those memories are permanently recorded and can be experienced time and time again, whenever we want, as well as them being there to do the same thing for newer audiences every single year. While we are bound lose such great talent through the passage of time, as movie fans, we can rest assured that we will help keep their memory, and their work, alive for decades to come.

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Sharon Moffett – Rest in Peace

We are very saddened to hear of the passing of Sharon Moffett right before the holiday. She had been a regular at the Monster Bash Conference the last few years, which is where we had the chance to meet her. She was a child actor who had appeared alongside Boris Karloff in one of my favorite films, The Body Snatcher (1945). It was her only real entry in the horror genre, but her performance in the role of the small Georgina, that desperately wants to walk, is a brief moment of light in this otherwise dark tale of humanity.

The few times we talked at the shows, she was always so friendly and thankful to have such kind fans coming up to her to chat. Such a nice person, and one that will be missed at future Bashes.

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

Anne Rice – Rest in Peace

Back in my fiction reading days, ever since I first read Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire, I was hooked on her tales of the undead, and followed each of her continuing novels of Lestat and his exploits. She really created something amazing with those novels and I’ve always agreed with her on the subject of vampires and they’re ambiguity, where they look at humans as beautiful creatures, as well as food, of course. She also beautifully expressed the utter loneliness of immortality, better than most that have tried in all the lore of vampire mythology.

So even while I had stopped reading fiction in general, and following her writing, I was deeply saddened to hear of her passing on Saturday. She did something that very few authors have done in their career, creating a whole world and mythology that continued for decades, attracting millions of followers, all waiting for the next volume to be released. In an interview in 1993, she spoke of how after her young daughter had died of leukemia at the age of 5, “I wanted to write and write and write, and pour out my emotions, and make stories, and create something. That was my response to seeing something die and something pass out of my hands like that, and seeing this beautiful child die, no matter what I did or anybody else did.” This would result in the creation of her first novel, Interview with the Vampire.

In the notice posted by her son, Christopher, of her passing, he stated that “she taught me to embrace my dreams, reject conformity and challenge the dark voices of fear and self-doubt.” I think she did that to more than a few people over the years. Her voice will be missed, but her words and inspirations will live on for generations to come. Our thoughts go out to her fans, friends and family at this difficult time.

Lou Cutell – Rest in Peace

While some might know Cutell from his appearance on TV’s Seinfeld or even as Amazing Larry in Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985), but for us fans of cheesy horror / sci-fi films, you will remember him as Dr. Nadir in Frankenstein Meets the Spacemonster (1965). Being that was his first feature film, you can understand why he took it. Even though it is rated as one of the worst films ever made, it is something a lot of people remember him from, so I would say that is a positive. Think of how many films are forgotten!

Cutell recently passed away at the age of 91. From a wide range of TV show appearances, and small roles, sometimes even uncredited, such as being a frightened villager in Young Frankenstein (1974), I will still remember as the good Dr. Nadir. Rest in Peace, Lou, and thanks for the laughs.

Mary Collinson – Rest in Peace

Being a huge fan of Hammer films, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to meet quite a few stars, directors, and others that worked for the famous studio. But there are still countless more than I haven’t. And with each year, we lose another face that brought us thrills, chills, and smiles to our faces. The Collinson twins from Twins of Evil (1971) were two that I had always hoped I would have the chance to meet. Madeleine Collinson had passed away in 2014, and now we’ve learned that her sister Mary has passed away today, at age of 69.

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