Vinegar Syndrome Unleashes Curucu!

Now what exactly is the big deal that Vinegar Syndrome is releasing a film that is rated at a 3.7 on IMDB? Could it be because that Curucu, Beast of the Amazon, an extremely rare film, had never gotten a release on DVD or even VHS? Or maybe because it was written and directed by Curt Siodmak, who wrote countless classics like The Wolf Man (1941) or Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)? Or maybe because it stars Beverly Garland, a favorite amongst fans of the sci-fi / horror films of the ’50s? Or maybe because the main character’s name is Rock Dean! Or maybe it is simply because VS has found this almost lost film, taken the time to make a newly scanned and restored print in 2K from its 35mm dupe negative and saved this title from becoming another one of those lost films. I say for that alone, VS deserves our gratitude!

Now I had a bootleg copy of this on VHS, that not only was in black and white, but the quality was so bad that I never could get through it! When I saw the trailer and the quality of the print, I was blown away. Sure, this is not supposed to be that great of a movie. Doesn’t matter. With a title like Curucu, Beast of the Amazon, with some freaking amazing poster art, plus with some of the people involved in it, I know there will be a copy in my collection. We all know that a lot of the older movies never lived up to the hype the posters and trailers made it out to be, but we still enjoyed them. I know I can’t wait to finally get to see this, in a print quality that probably looks the best it has since its initial release!

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Discover the Horror Podcast – Episode 34: Makeup Effects

Throughout movie history, makeup artists have helped create new faces for the silver screen, whether they were just changing their look to creating a new monster never before seen. As the years progressed, what used to only be images we could dream of, these makeup artists help bring them to life, giving generations and generations both a sense of wonder, and nightmares!

We decided to go through the cinematic history and discuss different monsters and makeup creations that have amazed and astonished us. And to help us, we figured why not have a guest that has been in the trenches for over three decades, Mr. Gino Crognale!

So hit play, sit back and enjoy this trip down memory lane.

Movies mentioned in this episode:

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Silver Bullet Soundtrack Arrives!

Jay Chattaway’s score for the 1985 film Silver Bullet, an adaptation of Stephen King’s 1983 novella Cycle of the Werewolf, is finally coming to CD, in a much longer edition than before. Originally, it was released on LB and CD, but just over 30 minutes of music, just highlights. But now, Intrada has taken the original session masters from the Paramount vaults, reassembled and sequenced them in the order of the film, and now runs close to an hour.

Priced at $21.99, which a bit pricy, but I’ve already ordered mine. Not only am I a sucker for soundtracks, I’m also a big fan of Chattaway’s scores, especially the one he did for Maniac (1980), plus, I do remember this being a fun little flick.

You can order it directly from Intrada HERE, or head over to Screen Archives HERE, which is where I tend to get a LOT of my soundtracks from.

Mystery Photo 1-9

As I mentioned last week, the photo was I posting was going to be pretty tough, and it seems I was correct. But that didn’t stop Hoby Abernathy and Bob Hartman from figuring out what movie it was from! No easy task, that is for sure, so a major kudos to them! The film is Mexican and from 1953, called El Monstruo Resucitado 1953 aka The Revived Monster. Very unique, especially for that time, and some wonderful creepy images. Check it out when you can.

For our photo this week, we’re still sticking in the black and white era. That’s right, the dreaded quicksand! As a young lad, watching a lot of TV in the early ’70s, there was few things as terrifying as a pit of quicksand. So much so that I thought it was one thing that was going to be difficult to avoid in my adult life. But so far, so good. Give the photo a peek and see if you can recognize it before this poor woman goes under. Remember to email me your guess, at Good Luck!

’70s Argento at the Gene Siskel Film Center

If you’re a fan of Dario Argento, especially his early work, and live somewhat close to Chicago, you might want to check this out. Starting on Feb. 3rd, they will be screening Argento’s first 6 feature films over the course of 7 days. Below is the list of titles, dates, and times. If you haven’t had the chance to see these on a big screen, then now is your chance to knock out his early titles, which many would argue are his best, including the rare comedy he made, The Five Days, aka Five Days in Milan. For more details, you can go directly to the Gene Siskel site by clicking HERE.

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Book Review: Reign of Chucky

Reign of Chucky: The True Hollywood Story of a Not So Good Buy
Published by Harker Press, 2022. 470 pages
By Dustin McNeill & Travis Mullins

We have read and reviewed a few other titles from McNeill and Mullins, specifically the Taking Shape volumes that are essential for any serious Halloween fans. The same must be said for their latest volume for those fans of the Child’s Play movies. The real beauty of these books is that no matter what you think of the series, it has been very hard to read through the book and not want to check out the films again. The main reason for that, I feel, is the details the authors give you about the production and behind-the-scenes information on them. You can’t help seeing the final product a little differently.

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Beast Creatures Come to Blu-Ray!

Decades ago, in the time of video stores, seeing a big clamshell VHS tape was an easy way to get a young film fan’s attention, especially when they were looking for something a little different. It was during one of those trips that I came across Attack of the Beast Creatures on the World Video Pictures label. I rented it but had no idea what I was in for. I had always been a huge fan of Dan Curtis’ Trilogy of Terror, mainly due to the segment with the little Zuni doll running around trying to kill Karen Black. What I didn’t expect with Beast Creatures was that it is basically a whole island full of these types of monsters! While not the “best” made production, it is damn entertaining and just so much fun. A lot of hard work, and heart and soul went into this production, and it shows.

Back in 2018, I added this title to our Turkey Day line up and it was one of the favorites of the day. For those that don’t know what you’re going into, it almost makes it even better.

Now I see that Vinegar Syndrome has announced they are putting this out on Blu-ray! Of course, I immediately ordered it. This new release has been restored from the original theatrical version of the 16mm camera negative, so this is going to be the best it has looked since its initial release. As much fun that VHS copy was, the print is still pretty rough, so I can’t wait to see this upgrade. The release also features a partial commentary with director Mike Stanley, as well as interviews with him and writer Robert Hutton, and some test footage. It also lists a preservation of the VHS version from the 1″ tape master, so not sure if that means the theatrical version is different from the VHS version? We shall soon find out!

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2022 Year End Reviews – Part 3: Never to Forget

This was a tough year since there were quite a few names on the list below that I had the gracious opportunity to be able to meet them at one of the conventions or movie events over the years. Each one of them contributed in some way to the horror film world that we hold dear. I always say that those that work in this medium will always be alive in our hearts and minds because we’ll always be able to see them or their work onscreen any time we want to, by just putting in a DVD or Blu-ray. We’ll always be able to remember their hard work they did, seeing it come alive each and every time. Whether they were an actor appearing onscreen, or a writer, director, or any of the other essential people that create these magical moments for us fans to enjoy, time and time again, we will always remember you. Thank you for helping to keep that magic alive and well.

Rest in Peace, and know that you will never fade away, but will continue to live on in our little movie theaters.

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Mystery Photo 1-2

Welcome to the new year and our first Mystery Photo for 2023! Hopefully this is the start of a great year for us all. But let’s get down to business. Our photo from last week was from the 2015 film A Christmas Horror Story, which honestly isn’t really a bad film, especially when you look at the poster art! It is at least a good time. Unfortunately, we didn’t get any correct answers sent in for it, but I’m sure it was because everyone was too busy during the holidays . . .

For our first photo of the new year, I decided to go a little deep and obscure. This is going to be a tough one, so be prepared. But take a look below and see if you can recognize where this shot is from. Just remember to send your guess to us at Good Luck!

2022 Year End Reviews – Part 2: Best Viewings

As always, my Best Of list isn’t just of films that came out this last year, but ones that were first time viewings for me, because when it comes down to it, whether it came out in 2022 or 1952, if it is the first time I’m watching it, then it is a new movie. So, my Best Of lists usually tend to have more older titles than newer ones, which might have something to do with the lack of originality in modern day productions. That being said, I was amazed to see how many newer titles ended up on my list this year, with 7 out of the 10 coming out within the last three years. That was a very nice surprise and gives me hope for the future of the horror genre. Now let’s get to this year’s Best Viewings list.

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