Movie Review: The Deadly Spawn

(1983)
Directed by Douglas McKeown
Starring Michael Robert Coleman, Charles George Hildebrandt, James Brewster, Elissa Neil,
Karen Tighe, Tom DeFranco, John Schmerling, Ethel Michelson

Back in the era of video stores, the first time you walked through the horror section and saw the big box video of Return of the Aliens Deadly Spawn, you knew you had to see that movie immediately! How could it be bad when you have this huge monster with three huge tooth-filled mouths, and blood and body parts everywhere? Granted, it was actually just The Deadly Spawn, but was changed slightly to key into the success of Alien. No matter what the title was, it was hard to walk away from that first viewing with a little slack in your jaw. For a low budget film from some guys in New Jersey, it became a very memorable ’80s monster flick for most fans.

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Mystery Photo 3-29

Here we are at our last Mystery Photo for March. That means the year is a quarter way done. Yeah. Happy Monday, right? Okay, down to business. Our photo from last week got quite a few responses, which just thrills me because it is from an excellent and creepy as hell movie. The film is Session 9. Such an amazing sense of dread throughout that running time. Kudos to the following who sent in the correct answer: Hoby Abernathy, Scott Bradley, Cate Cameron, Aaron Christensen, Peggie Christie, Brian Doering, Chris Dyer, Kevin Hart, Steve Hyder, Bryan Martinez, Gary McGuire, and Greg Wojick. Well done, people!

Now let’s get on to today’s pic, shall we? Just remember not to post your answers here so that everyone can have a guess. Just send us an email to jon@kitleyskrypt.com. Good Luck!

Soundtrack Review: The House that Screamed

house-that-screamed-soundtrack-2The House that Screamed
Released by Singular Soundtrack
16 Tracks, with a total running time of 29:40 seconds.
Music Composed, Arranged, and Conducted by Waldo de los Rios

For this Spanish thriller that ventures into the realm of the Italian giallo, composer Waldo del los Rios sticks to more of a classical sounding theme, but does have it varying in range and tempo, following the action on screen. Because of the mystery aspect here, there are a lot of slower and quieter paced pieces, that really help set the mood. There are several tracks where we have a piece of music in the background and something different going  on in the forefront at the same time.

We have a combination of pianos, harp, and a variety of wind instruments, all used to create this era of suspense and mystery, and does it so well. Starting with the haunting notes of the opening track on what sounds like a piano slightly out of tune, it gives a haunting feel to it, which then morphs into more of a bigger sounding opening, but still retaining that theme. But the time we get to track titled Madame Forneau, we include some vocals into this short but very memorable piece titled after the head mistress of the school.

But the real treat here is Murder at the Greenhouse, where the film shows it’s giallo influence with a quiet and eerie piano piece that is played over one of the murders, which slows down as the victim dies. Not getting slower but as if the playback is being slowed down. It works so well in the film and is one of the best elements of the score, which shows the talent of this composer. For fans of Spanish horror, this score, along with the film itself, is a must.

Boris Karloff: The Man Behind the Monster

I will watch any movie that Boris Karloff is in, no questions asked. Even if he in in there in a small role or cameo, I will watch it. He has always been my favorite actor and the movie that made him famous, James Whale’s Frankenstein, remains in my top ten films of all time. I also can never get tired of reading new books on him and his life, or seeing documentaries on this talented man. Now with this new documentary coming out from director Thomas Hamilton, we have the opportunity to maybe learn even more about this unbelievably talented actor.

You will get to hear from a wide range of filmmakers and scholars and why Karloff is important to them and film history. Names such as Guillermo Del Toro, John Landis, Joe Dante, Christopher Plummer, Peter Bogdanovich, Ron Perlman, Leonard Maltin, Christopher Frayling, Sara Karloff, Gregory Mank, Roger Corman, Stephanie Powers, Ian Ogilvy, Norman Jewison, Orson Bean, Caroline Munro, Stephen Jacobs, Dick Miller, Peter Asher, David J. Skal, Donald Glut, Lee Grant, Sharyn Moffett, and more.

Check out the trailer below and make sure to look for it when it does become available.

The Real Elvira’s Biography!

Coming this September, fans of Elvira will be able to read the real story behind those … eyes! Cassandra Peterson, the real person inside everyone’s favorite hostess with the most, has her biography coming out right before Halloween. Entitled Yours Cruelly, Elvira: Memoirs of the Mistress of the Dark, from Hatchette Books, you’ll learn about how she left home at age 14 and by 17 was performing at the famous Dunes Hotel in Las Vegas, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., and Tom Jones, as well as a chance encounter with some guy named Elvis.

You’ll read about her early career trying to make it as a singer, dancer, and actor, even joining the famed comedy improv troupe, The Groundlings, with fellow members like Paul Reubens and Phil Hartman. As well as that fateful date when she auditioned for a job at a local LA tv station as a hostess for late night screenings of classic horror films. The rest is history.

But within the 272 pages, we’ll read about how she made a career out of this loveable, funny, sexy, and always entertaining horror host, while also pulling no punches on how she got there.

Being that grew up with watching Elvira host all those movies on Thriller Video, I can’t wait to dig into this one and will definitely be adding it to my library!

April Fulci!

Webster University Film Series is putting the spotlight on one of our favorite directors, Lucio Fulci, and one that I honestly think is still underrated outside of the horror fans. And now is your chance to learn why!

Every Thursday in April one of Fulci films will host a live discussion about the film. The idea is to watch the film at some point before the event, then join them to hear a different speaker each week discuss the specific title. The selections for April Fulcis are: Continue reading

Mystery Photo 3-22

Another Monday of 2021 that we’ve survived to. I’d say that is something worth celebrating. But for some folks out there, they are struggling with losing someone. Or are struggling to get through the day. I know it’s not easy, but remember that before going on on someone for something that really is pretty petty. Didn’t think you’d be getting some life advice coming to the Krypt, huh? Well, I’ll try not to make it a regular thing, but I just know that we can do better than what we’ve been doing, myself included.

But let’s get to why you’re here … our Mystery Photo. Unfortunately, nobody sent in the correct answer for last week’s photo. It was from Midnight Movie (2008), a fun little movie killer comes out from the screen. As far as this week’s, I think it might be a little easier, and definitely not as obscure. Or is it? Take a peek and send your answers to us at jon@kitleyskrypt.com. Remember not to post your answers here in the comments so that others can have a chance at guessing. Good Luck!

Book Review: Taking Shape II: The Lost Halloween Sequels

Taking Shape II: The Lost Halloween Sequels
Published by Harker Press, 2020. 600 pages.
By Dustin McNeill & Travis Mullins

With all the information packed in their initial book, Taking Shape, how could authors McNeill and Mullins put out yet another massive 600 page book on this series that fans have been following for over 40 years? That’s just it… it’s not about the films that were made, it is about the films that were not made. In fact, Taking Shape II: The Lost Halloween Sequels covers 24 sequels(!!!) that never got off the ground for a variety of reasons. You get to read about each of these proposed storylines, with interviews with the people directly involved, like the writers and directors. You also get a good look at inside the studio systems and just how screwed up the industry can be, and the poor creatures that have to work in there! Imagine turning in a screenplay that is exactly what was asked for only to be told that another executive hated it and you’re now off the project. Or being notified (over the PA system, no less) that the whole project itself was now cancelled just weeks before shooting was to start. It shows that with multiple bosses / executives, guiding the writers and directors in different directors, at the same time, while others not even caring about anything but the potential box office receipts, the scariest part of these films were trying to get these films made. Continue reading

New Volumes for Your Horror Reference Library!

So I just finished reading the last book in my library… okay, that might not be entirely true. Or even close. But I do know that I have plenty of wonderous volumes just waiting for me to dig into when I do have the time. Plus, these numerous tomes all there when I need to do a little research, so just like they say, you can actually learn things from them!

Anyway, I was scrolling through McFarland’s website and came across several new book titles that are (hopefully) coming out this year that immediately got my interests. None of these have any release dates, and some don’t have a lot of information about the actual book, such as page count, but I think you’ll be able to get an idea of what the book is about.

The first one is Global Horror Cinema Today by Jon Towlson, which according to the cover, it represents 28 films from 17 different countries, with each chapter focusing on a particular country, looking into what frightens the native people there, and how it can cross over to an international audience. Some of the films covered are It Follows (2014), Grave aka Raw (2016), Busanhaeng aka Train to Busan (2016), and Get Out (2016), as well as discussing another 100 titles.

The thing that I really love about the concept of this book is to show horror fans how big the genre is and that to limit oneself to only films from our own country, or in your own language, makes you missing out on some amazing cinema. Especially with all the films available online in different streaming outlets, it gives fans even more opportunity to see some incredible cinema. So I really look forward to this title to maybe show me some titles I have missed, as well as hearing what Towlson has to say about these films and the countries where they are from.

It is priced at $39.95 and is in softcover format. Continue reading

Go-Zilla or Go Home Part 2 at the Skyline!

If you’re excited to see the new Godzilla vs Kong movie, why not see it at the drive-in, in a triple feature of Godzilla movies! On April 9th & 10th, the Skyline Theater will not only be screening the latest in the big monster battle, but also two classic Godzilla features on both nights! All for the low price of $8!

They will be screening the following films both Friday and Saturday:

Godzilla vs Kong (2021)
Destroy All Monsters (1968)
Godzilla vs MechaGodzilla (1974)

Head over to their Facebook page HERE for the latest updates, and head out there in April to see these films the way they were mean to be, on giant screens!