I am shocked and amazed that I am just hearing about this new book and am eternally thankful to my friend Gavin Schmitt for putting it on my radar, which I quickly ordered!
So … not sure who Sam Sherman is? If you’ve ever seen any of the classic Al Adamson flicks, like Satan’s Sadist, Dracula vs Frankenstein, Blood of Ghastly Horror, or the Blood Island movies from the Philippines, such as Mad Doctor of Blood Island or Beast of Blood, then you at least know the work of Mr. Sherman. Or should I say, a small part of Sherman’s work. In the world of low-budget filmmaking, Sherman was involved in pretty much all aspects, especially when it came to promoting and distributing. He would help come up with the lurid titles, help with the ad campaign, and so much more.
Now, thanks to Murania Press, you’ll get to read all the juicy bits from his career, working with Independent International Pictures, Al Adamson, and much more. In this 378 page trade paperback book, you’ll read along as Sherman “revisits those halcyon days and reveals the behind-the-scenes story of IIP’s rise and fall.” But he also goes into the entire drive-in era, having to deal with independent producers and distributors, trying not to get ripped off, and all the other fun things you had to do when you were working well below the major studios.
Blood & Flesh: The Reel Life & Ghastly Death of Al Adamson (2019)
Directed by David Gregory
Starring Al Adamson, Stevee Ashlock, John Bloom, Bud Cardos, Robert Dix, Tim Ferrante, Marilyn Joi, Gary Kent, Fred Olen Ray, Sam Sherman, Russ Tamblyn, Vilmos Zsigmond
Al Adamson’s films are really the epitome of what I consider a Turkey. It might not be well made, but it is usually entertaining. At the end of the day, that is all you can hope for in a movie. The more I had read and learned about Adamson, the more of his titles that I saw, like a few other low budget filmmakers, like Larry Buchanan, I discovered that I admired them more than their movies. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed the wacky titles they would put out, but knowing a little history behind the production and the people that made it, it made me appreciate it for what it was, and not what it wasn’t. That is one of the reasons that I think this new documentary is just fantastic. It gives newer fans a better perspective of this man and his work, showing a method to the madness, as the saying goes. And even for older fans that maybe wrote Adamson and his work off, it will give them a little more insight that might change the way they see them now. Continue reading
I’ve been a long time fan of the work of Al Adamson. I know, some say that would be on par with being a fan of Larry Buchanan, but as I’ve said many times before, if you’re entertained by their work, then they can’t be bad movies! And I still stand by that statement! Adamson made some of the best in low budget horror and exploitation films, such as titles like Satan’s Sadist (1969), Horror of the Blood Monsters (1970), Brain of Blood (1971), Dracula vs. Frankenstein (1971), The Naughty Stewardesses (1975) and Blazing Stewardesses (1975), and so many more. But Adamson’s ending was right out of one of his movies.
Now thanks to David Gregory and Severin Films, you’ll be able to learn more about this man than you ever thought possible. Maybe afterwards you’ll have a little more respect for this underrated filmmaker.
We don’t have a release date yet, but the documentary will be making its debut at this year’s Fantasia International Film Festival. Stay tuned for more information.
It’s strange how things turn out in life. In case you didn’t know, these Turkey Day marathons that I’ve been doing since 2003, were started in tribute to Mystery Science Theater 3000 back when they were on Comedy Central, and used to show 24-hours of their shows non-stop the day after Thanksgiving, which they would call their Turkey Day Marathons. I loved that show and had most of them on VHS at one point. I loved that they brought a new audience to some of the films that I loved as a kid. But then a few weeks ago, I picked up a copy of Frank Conniff’s (TV’s Frank) book on his years on MST3K, called Twenty Five Mystery Science Theater 3000 Films that Changed my Life in No Way Whatsoever. It’s a little book, barely 100 pages, but as I paged through it, reading his thoughts on some of the titles were my favorites, it was almost like my childhood crashing down.
This year’s Monster Bash, held once again in Mars, PA, was their 20th Anniversary show. I can’t express how sad I am that I had only started coming to this show a few years ago. For years, I put some serious thought into setting up as a vendor there, but I always talked myself out of it because of the distance being too far and if it would really be worth it. Now, with this show becoming one of my favorite stops on our Kryptic World Tour, I realize just how I wrong I was.
This time out, I would be making the 500 mile journey to the show on my own, since my wife Dawn is taking care of her father. It sucks having to do the show alone, but there are certain things in life that are way more important, and family is one of them. It’s only a couple of hours past where we go for Wasteland, so it should be that bad. Though, looking at the weather in the area for that Friday, it was calling for rain…all…day…long! I’ve never had to unload for a show in the rain and was not looking forward to it. I decided to leave after work on Thursday, drive to Cleveland area and then stop for a few hours of sleep, then drive the last couple of hours the next morning to be there by 8am for set up.