If you’re a fan of Filipino horror films, then you were familiar with Eddie Garcia. Actually, if you were a fan of ANY Filipino movies, then you most likely knew who Eddie Garcia was. The man is credited with 653 acting credits on IMDB! There were years that he was appearing in over a dozen titles in one year alone. In 1975, he appeared in 33 feature films! Needless to say, the man was busy. He was also the most credited man in the Filipino film business as well, taking home more awards in the FAMAS (Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences) than any other person, with 6 Supporting Actor awards, 5 for Best Actor, 5 for Best Director, 3 different Hall of Fame and 1 Lifetime Achievement award. Yeah…just wow.
But of course, this is the Krypt and the ones that we remember him from are the wonderful horror pictures that he made, usually in the ’60s and ’70s, such as Ibulong mo sa hangin (1966), which has multiple different titles, such as Blood of the Vampires, or Creatures of Evil, or even Curse of the Vampires (1966). Then there is Beast of the Yellow Night (1971) or The Twilight People (1972), but it will always be his performance as Dr. Lorca, in the infamous 1970 film Beast of Blood, that I will remember him most fondly from.
Garcia passed away on June 20th, from a fall that happened on the set of his latest TV series. That’s right, Garcia was 90 years old and still working! He spent 12 days in a coma after the fall and never recovered. Our heart goes out to his friends and family, and all of his fans during this difficult time. While the films that we horror fans love might not be his best or most popular, I know that we’ll keep his memory alive because of them.
Once again, Severin comes through in delivering the goods! After wetting fan’s appetite with the Blood Island box set, now you can experience more that Hemisphere Pictures released back in the late ’60s and early ’70s, all collected together in great little box set. Here are the films you get:
The Blood Drinkers (1964)
Curse of the Vampires (1966)
Brain of Blood (1971)
The Black Cat (1966)
The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism (1967)
While the first 3 titles will be available separately, the last two are only available in the box set, which will retails at $59.99. Not a bad deal when you consider you’re getting 5 features, all been given 2K and 4K scans from vault film elements. These are probably going to look the best they ever have!
I remember back in the early days of me collecting films, trying to find some of these films were tricky because they sometimes would go under several different names. The distributors would change the names and release them over and over again, hoping the public wouldn’t notice that they might have seen this picture already! That is why Curse of the Vampires is also known as both Creatures of Evil and Blood of the Vampires.
Beast of Blood (1970)
Directed by Eddie Romero
Starring John Ashley, Celeste Yarnall, Eddie Garcia, Lisa Belmonte, Bruno Punzalan, Beverly Miller
This is the last of the famous Blood Island trilogy and is a direct sequel to Mad Doctor of Blood Island, starting right where the last one left off. While on the boat leaving the island, it seems that our favorite chlorophyll-blooded monster had stowed away. It comes out and starts attacking the crew members, causing a fire to start. The boat blows up, with star John Ashley being thrown overboard. After recovering in the hospital, Ashley decides to return to Blood Island to once again, find out what’s going on there. Joining him on this trip is a reporter, played by Celeste Yarnall, who is in search of a story about the infamous Blood Island after the events from the last film. She knows she’ll get it too, especially once they arrive back on the island and find out “the green men have returned.”