Jack H. Harris isn’t a name that immediately comes to mind, even for most horror fans, but it is because of this particular individual that we have one of the most original alien invaders in movie history, the 1958 film The Blob! Harris started in the business at the very young age of six, working as a performer on the stage. He later became an usher at a movie theater, eventually getting into publicity and distribution, finally becoming a producer. His first film was The Blob, but later gave us titles like 4D Man (1959), Dinosaurus! (1960), Equinox (1970), Beware! The Blob (1972), Schlock (1973) giving a young John Landis his start, Dark Star (1974), and Eyes of Laura Mars (1978). He also produced the 1988 remake of The Blob, though it seems he didn’t care for it too much.
Two years ago, he published his autobiography entitled Jack H. Harris: The Father of The Blob, which we reviewed here on the site. It is a great read with a ton of fascinating stories, and one that I would recommend.
But we are sad to say that Mr. Harris has passed away at the age of 98. With being responsible for so many entertaining films in his career, he might not be as well known as some of the bigger names in Hollywood, but his films have definitely made an impact on millions of movie-goers. Our thoughts go out to his friends and family.
Our photo from last week was from the 1957 film Kronos (not to be confused with the Hammer one from the early 70s), about an alien force trying to suck up all of our energy! Ah…the good old days. Kudos to the following for sending in the correct answer: Hoby Abernathy, Bill Harrison, Rick Hayden, Michael Shields, George Sourile, and William Wilson. Well done!
Now on to this week’s photo. Another one that might look familiar or maybe not. But either way, we thought it was a great looking shot. Good luck!
As always, please don’t post your answers here in the comments as to give others a try. Just email me your answers at email@example.com.
Nothing pleases me more than when I hear of a new book coming on a horror movie. Not only does it make me happy that here are still books being published, but also that it is about the genre I love so much. Definitely a win-win! Now it has been years since I’ve seen the film version of Cujo, and even longer since I’d read the book. But I do remember enjoying both for different reasons. I know it’s been a film that I’ve been meaning to re-visit for a while. I’m sure after reading this book, that desire will be even greater.
Lee Gambin, author of Massacred by Mother Nature, has a new book out called Nope, Nothing Wrong Here: The Making of Cujo, that focuses just one of those killer animal movies, the 1983 film based on the King book which was published in two years earlier. A simple story about a battle between a mother and her young child against a massive and rabid Saint Bernard. I know of a couple people that this movie simply terrified them and made them always a bit twitchy around dogs, of any size. Gambin’s book tackles the whole movie from beginning to end, and all aspects of the production. It covers the early days when the production was running into problems, the original director Peter Medak getting canned, and so much more. With more than thirty different interviews with the people involved, Gambin gives us a ton of information about this famous furry terror. We’ll get to hear from actors Dee Wallace, Daniel Hugh Kelly, Danny Pintauro, director Lewis Teague, composer Charles Bernstein, stuntman Gary Morgan, and plenty of more.
It Came from 1957
By Rob Craig
Published by McFarland, 2013. 256 pages.
I’m a huge fan of the sci-fi/horror films of the ’50s. In fact, I love them. In 1957, there were a ton of releases during that period, many of them classics. All fifty-seven titles of them are covered within the pages of the book, some in a little more detail and discussion than others, but they are all there. After an extensive introduction discussing the time period and what was going on in the world, we get to read about such films as The Brain from Planet Arous (which is featured on the book’s cover) to Attack of the Crab Monsters, The Unearthly, Invasion of the Saucer Men, to The Thing from Another World and plenty more. Craig really knows his stuff here and is very informative when it comes to discussing these pictures. But therein lies the problem.
Horror Express (1972)
Directed by Eugenio Martin
Starring Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Alberto de Mendoza, Silvia Tortosa, Julio Peña, Helga Liné, Telly Savalas, George Rigaud, Victor Israel
For any horror fan that is just starting his long journey into the depths of genre, one path that is easy and most followed are the ones that feature certain iconic actors known for their work in the genre, such as names like Karloff, Price, Chaney, Lorre, and of course Cushing and Lee. With the work Cushing and Lee did with Hammer Films, as well as many other genre pics, it gave a young and eager fan plenty of titles to investigate. If you found one of the many films that they both appeared in, then it was an even better deal!
Born Oct. 10th, 1926 – Died June 14th, 1997
Jaeckel is one of those actors that you’ve seem to have seen in tons of stuff. Mainly because he has appeared in a lot of both movies and television. And he has “one of those faces” as they say, that seems very familiar. He played in a lot of westerns and military movies, such as The Dirty Dozen. So when you do see him on the screen, it is usually followed by “Hey…it’s THAT guy!”
For us horror fans, Jaeckel has appeared in more than a few classics, such as in William Grefe’s Mako: The Jaws of Death (1976), where he using a shark to kill his enemies. He also appeared in two different William Girdler films, the bad smelling character in Grizzly (1976) that is trying to convince people just what they are up against, as well as in The Day of the Animals (1977). No matter what role he appeared in, Jaeckel always turned in a great performance and always kept your attention.
But for me, the best film he appeared in…or my favorite film of is, was actually his first real foray in to the horror genre. And that was with the 1968 Japanese film The Green Slime. Sure, it’s cheesy. But damn is it entertaining.
In a little over a week, our first stop on the 2017 Kryptic World Tour takes place at the HorrorHound Weekend in Cincinnati, Ohio! It has been a long five months since our last show and we are really looking forward to get back out on the road and meet a ton of other like-minded horror fans. We will be set up in our usual spot (at least I think/hope so) and will have our usual array of horror reference books for sale. In fact, we have been slowing adding to our inventory over the winter and have got a ton of new titles, both older and newer releases, all at our usual great prices. So no matter if you’re looking for a biography, film guide, or maybe one on subjects the classics to Italian horror to Hammer Films, I think we might have something for you. So make sure you stop by and check us out, or even just to say hello. We’re always interested in meeting new fans and talking about the genre we all love.