Evil Ed (1995)
Directed by Anders Jacobson
Starring Johan Rudebeck, Per Löfberg, Olof Rhodin, Camela Leierth, Gert Fylking, Cecilia Ljung, Michael Kallaanvaara, Hans Wilhelmsson
Back in the ’90s, when the video market was still in full swing, every gorehound was always on the prowl for a film to give them the bloody goods within the 90 minutes or so of the particular movie title. Evil Ed delivered it to those that happened upon the video box, which showed a man with his head being split open with an axe. I mean, with a box like that, how could you go wrong? Granted, it was a cheesy graphic image and not something from the actual movie, but it did get the attention of the aforementioned horror fan. It also shows what could be allowed on box art back then, something that could be seen by any youngster that might be walking down the horror aisle. Ah yes…those were the days.
Brain Damage (1988)
Directed by Frank Henenlotter
Starring Rick Hearst, Gordon MacDonald, Jennifer Lowry, Theo Barnes, Lucille Saint-Peter, Vicki Darnell
I’m sure everyone reading this is familiar with this strange and twisted Faustian tale, that could only come from the mind of the man who gave us Basket Case (1982), writer/director Frank Henenlotter. If you haven’t, then I’m not sure what cave you’ve been living in for the last 30 years, but you need to pick it up now and watch it. It will change your life. Okay..maybe not change it, but definitely put a lot more entertainment in it. And there is even a message in there too! I mean, how can you have a tale about a parasitic creature, that looks like a cross between a turd and a deformed penis, that gets you hooked on a hallucinogenic drug that it emits, if only to keep you in control. Sure, there is a huge drug/addiction parable here, as well as the old fable of selling soul to a devil, but as crazy as it sounds, Henenlotter actually created a very well thought out story and it works quite well. The characters feel like real people, giving the dark and funny story more of an edge than most would probably take it as, about a much too common plague that still exists today. Sure, maybe not played out like it is here, but then it wouldn’t be as fun to watch, would it?
Being my first time at Texas Frightmare, I wasn’t sure what to expect. This was their 12th year, so they must be doing something right. There were a few things that I noticed over the two days we were there that could have been handled a little better, such as organizing the lines for the celebrities and for the Q&A’s a little better, but those were minor complaints. It really was run pretty smoothly, not to mention everyone being extremely friendly. And that, my convention friends, really is the key to a good show, having a well informed staff who is very friendly and are glad you came out to spend the weekend with them. This was also my first convention in a few years that I was attending as a fan, not as a dealer and it was a strange feeling. On one hand it was nice not to have to worry about what time it was, making sure the booth was set up, and being down in the dealer room before the show opened. But on the other…I have to say I was bored about halfway through Saturday. But let’s not jump ahead.
Directed by Don Sharp
Starring George Sanders, Beryl Reid, Nicky Henson, Mary Larkin, Roy Holder, Robert Hardy, Patrick Holt, Denis Gilmore, Ann Michelle, Miles Greenwood, Peter Whitting, Rocky Taylor
The film, also known as The Death Wheelers, is about a biker gang that call themselves The Living Dead, that tools around England causing the usually sort of trouble like forcing cars off the road and just being royal pains. But their leader Tom is getting bored with the normal stuff. In fact, he often thinks of doing something really wild like killing himself. When he learns a little secret from his mother, that if you really believe that you’ll come back when you kill yourself, you will. It’s apparently that simple. Even better though is when you do rise from the grave, you can’t die and seem to be super strong. So he convinces the rest of his gang to follow his lead, in usually interesting ways.
Fans of ’70s British horror films are well aware of the 1973 film Psychomania, also known as The Death Wheelers! Director Don Sharp gives us not just a film about a ruthless gang of bikers, but undead bikers! Sharp gave us a The Kiss of the Vampire (1963), Devil-Ship Pirates (1964), and Rasputin: The Mad Monk (1966) for Hammer Studios, but also gave us two treasures that don’t get enough love, Witchcraft (1964) and Curse of the Fly (1965).
Every single horror fan out there probably knows of and has seen The Blob. Probably both versions! But how many of them has seen the Caltiki: The Immortal Monster!
This Italian film came out a year after we all saw Steve McQueen do battle with the large purple gelatinous form. But Caltiki gives us another deadly devouring mass, which was directed by Riccardo Freda, with none other than Mario Bava as the cinematographer. Though, as the stories go, during production, Freda left, quit, or just walked off the film which was then completely by Bava. None the less, this film is a must for horror fans. There are some effects in here that are pretty damn creepy and gory for a film that came out in 1959.
Now, thanks to Arrow Video, you will have the chance to see this film in all its gory glory. This release will feature a brand new 2K restoration from the original camera negative, with High Definition blu-ray (1080P) and standard definition DVD presentations. It will also feature the original mono Italian and English soundtracks, with newly translated English subtitles for the Italian language track.
Obviously one of the things I preach here at the Krypt is Discover the Horror. By that, I mean to explore and seek out new things in the genre, both old and new…but mainly old. One of the things that makes this a little easier these days are these Blu-ray companies who are putting out some amazing titles, some that were on the verge of being lost in the vast wasteland of obscurity. But thanks to companies like Synapse, Vinegar Syndrome, Arrow Video, Shout Factory, Code Red, Severin, Dark Sky, Mondo Macabro, just to name a few, they are not only keeping these films alive and available, but giving some titles a treatment that they probably never had before, even when they were first released.