Movie Review: Simon, King of the Witches

Directed by Bruce Kessler
Starring Andrew Prine, Brenda Scott, George Paulsin, Norman Burton, Gerald York, Ultra Violet

Back in the early days of VHS, finding a copy of this film was pretty damn tough. It had been released on VHS but was a very rare title if you happened upon it. Plus, the print was so dark and grainy that in many of the scenes you had no idea what was going on because it was pretty much black. But it was one of those cult titles that us film geeks had to seek out. Plus, because it starred Andrew Prine, that made it even more of a treasure to find. Thankfully, when Dark Sky Films released it on DVD, the print was a HUGE improvement where you could actually watch the entire film!

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Movie Review: Curse of the Living Corpse


The Curse of the Living Corpse (1964)
Directed by Del Tenney
Starring Helen Warren, Roy Scheider, Margot Hartman, Robert Milli, Hugh Franklin, Candace Hilligoss, Dino Narizzano

It’s funny sometimes how we discover different films that have either been hidden over the years, ones that you might not have heard of, or ones that simply come out with little or no fanfare and seem to slip away into obscurity. This film is a perfect example of this. Back in 2006, Dark Sky Films released Del Tenney’s more famous title The Horror of Party Beach on DVD. One of the special features was the inclusion of this title, which was originally released on a double bill with Horror back in 1964. The film stars Roy Scheider in his first feature film appearance so you’d think it would get more attention, but not so much. To say that Curse is a better film than Horror is really comparing apples to oranges. Or maybe hot dogs to steak. But I will say that it one that needs to be seen. Continue reading

Movie Review: The She-Beast


Directed by Michael Reeves
Starring Barbara Steele, Ian Ogilvy, John Karlsen, Mel Welles

This film has the honor of being the first movie from the young up-and-coming director Michael Reeves, who would only direct two more features, the last one being the incredible Witchfinder General, before dying of a supposed accidental overdose of barbiturates. The cinematic world lost something special that day.

The She-Beast has all the makings of a great gothic film. Filmed in a setting of a real town is better than anything Hollywood could have created. You have a pretty standard but effective story about a witch returning from the grave to make good on the curse she put on the town two centuries before. Plus, you have Italian horror icon Barbara Steele in the lead role. So how could you go wrong? Continue reading

Movie Review: Centerfold Girls

Centerfold Girls

The Centerfold Girls (1974)
Directed by John Peyser
Starring Andrew Prine, Jamie Lyn Bauer, Aldo Ray, Ray Danton, Francine York, Tiffany Bolling

Sure, this might sound a little jaded, but if you have a movie that was made in the 70’s that starred Andrew Prine, then you are going to be entertained, plain and simple. Prine is one of these actors that I grew up watching, in both movies and TV and always loved seeing this guy on screen. Sometimes he was the good guy, sometimes the bad guy. But always entertaining. His career started doing a lot of TV westerns, but it was in 1971 when he appeared in the title role of Simon, King of the Witches that started him in the genre. From there, he appeared in movies like Crypt of the Living Dead (1973), Barn of the Naked Dead (1974), Grizzly (1976), The Evil (1978), Amityville 2 (1982), and even on the TV show V, as one of the reptilian alien invaders. Prine was always giving a great performance, even if the film was lacking in other departments.

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Movie Review: Stake Land


Stake Land (2010)
Directed by Jim Mickle
Starring Nick Damici, Connor Paolo, Kelly McGillis, Danielle Harris, Michael Cerveris

Several years ago, when we had the 8 Films to Die For mini-film fests, there were usually only a couple of films in the lot that really stood out to us.  In the 2007 series, there was one film that REALLY stood out. The film was Mulberry Street and it was directed by Jim Mickle, as well as co-written by him and Nick Damici (who also starred in the film). The movie is about a virus that turns the population of New York into some sort o mutant rat-people. As crazy as that sounds, it was incredibly well done. From that point on, I was paying attention to these two guys, since they seemed to not only know how to make a great film, but also to make it with very little money. Folks, this means they were smart filmmakers. Something Hollywood has forgotten years ago. Plus, they had their connections with Larry Fessenden, and we know that the people he is involved with are some very talented people.

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Discover the Horror…on Blu-ray!

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.

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