Well, we almost made it through the month.
While he might not have directed a lot of films in the horror genre, the ones he did were enough to make his mark in my book. Spanish filmmaker Eugenio Martín has passed away at the age of 97. His 1972 film Pánico en el Transiberiano, or as we know it here in the states, Horror Express, is one of those films that no matter how many times you see it, it still retains the same entertainment level, if not more, than before. Martín led an amazing cast of highly talented actors and actresses to such a strange story of an alien being found in the ice and awakening after centuries of being asleep. The following year, he gave us It Happened at Nightmare Inn aka A Candle for the Devil (1973), which was another highly memorable film, though with a much smaller cast.
I know that because of these two titles along, not to mention the other films he created, working in just about every film genre, he definitely will be remembered and highly regarded. We were very sorry to hear this news and our thoughts go out to his friends and family during this difficult time.
Midnight Movie Monographs: Horror Express
Published by Electric Dreamhouse, 2018. 137 pages
By John Connolly
This is another one that I just don’t know where to start. I came across this publisher about a month ago when they were having a Black Friday sale. I thought about ordering a few of their titles but being from the UK, it would have been a bit pricy. Out of all the titles, this is the one that had my interests the most, so I just ordered it from Amazon. Now, at a book that is only 6″ x 8″, and priced at $29, AND is only 137 pages, makes you wonder if it would be worth it. In this particular case, I would have to say no.
This is a strange one, since being so short, you’d think the author would dive right into the thick of it, but we go 30 pages before the author even starts to write about the movie! That’s almost a quarter of the book?!?! We read about traveling on trains, about the Spanish film market, the British film market, with some details that really have no bearing on the subject at hand. Now maybe if this volume was several hundred pages long, this information would fit in, but it’s not. So why waste precious pages on subjects that have only a distant connection with the movie? There is even a paragraph where the author states that at this point in his writing, he hasn’t seen the movie since he first saw it as a kid! Again, why waste space for that? Continue reading →
Edgar Allan Poe Suite / Cry of the Banshee / Horror Express
Released by Citadel
14 Tracks, with a total running time of 61:58 min.
Composed & Conducted by Les Baxter and John Cacavas
This release is a real gem and a treat for horror fans. First it has the music from a series of four different one-man stage plays starring Vincent Price, each based on a story from Poe: The Pit and the Pendulum, The Sphinx, The Cask of Amontilado, and The Tell-Tale Heart. Then it also has a suite from Cry of the Banshee that is almost 20 minutes long. These were both composed by Les Baxter, who did a lot of work for AIP and their Corman/Poe series. Then we also have the score for Horror Express by John Cacavas. Continue reading →
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!
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Born June 13th, 1929 – Died Sept. 19th, 2009
If you’ve watched any Spanish horror films of the ’70s, then I’m pretty sure you’ve seen Victor Israel before. This guy is like the Spanish version of England’s Michael Ripper. Making well over 150 films, he usually was cast as little bit parts, but was always so recognizable, that it would always make you think “hey…I’ve seen that guy before”. He played in several different genres, like appearing alongside Lee Van Cleef in Sergio Leone’s The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (1966). Of course, for us, it was the countless horror movies that he appeared in that had us remembering that face of his. With his pudgy appearance, balding, and strange eyes, he was always easy to spot. It is actors like this, that never make it as a top-billing star, but are the ones that fill out the colorful pallet of the movie, making it so much more interesting to watch. I know that is definitely the case for me when it comes to horror films.
Some of his most noteworthy appearances were in films like The House that Screamed (1969), Graveyard of Horror (1971), Paul Naschy’s Night of the Howling Beast (1975), and of course as the baggage clerk in Horror Express (1972). He even appeared in Bruno Mattei’s Hell of the Living Dead (1980).
I recently came across these wonderful busts of different Spanish Horror Icons and knew I had to show them here. Being a huge fan of Spanish Horror, especially of Paul Naschy, anytime I see something this, I need to help spread the word. Honestly, I just love the fact that there are other people out there spreading the love of this much underrated genre of fantastic cinema, as Naschy used to refer to it.
According to the website, these will be around 8″ tall, but no word on the pricing. I’ve reached out to them to hopefully get some more info, as well as when they are going to be released. But in the meantime, you can check out the ones they have photos of so far. For me, the Blind Dead really need to have their facial hair…just doesn’t look right otherwise. But the two Naschy figures, I would love to add to my collection. Hopefully they won’t be too pricey! Of course, if anybody would like to pick these up as a gift for me, I’d be enternally grateful. Just throwing it out there….
You can check out their website HERE, though warning, it is not in English. But with the help of Google translator, you should be able to manage your way around.
Paul Naschy’s Waldemar Daninsky
Paul Naschy’s Amenhotep from La venganza de la momia (The Mummy’s Revenge)
Pánico en el Transiberiano (Horror Express)
Count Dracula from La saga de los Drácula (The Dracula Saga)
The Blind Dead
At the end of August, at the Skyline Drive-In Theater in Shelbyville, IN (just south of Indianapolis), they are holding their annual festival of classic monster movies being screened over 3 days. We were there for one of them a few years ago and have been trying to get back again for the fun, but just don’t seem to make it. But once again, we’re going to try to make it this year.
Starting on Friday, Aug. 28th, they will be screening Mighty Joe Young (1949), Hammer’s Curse of the Werewolf (1961), Island of Lost Souls (1932), Tarantula (1955), and Horror Express (1972). Then on Saturday the 29th, they will be showing the original King Kong (1933), American Werewolf in London (1981), Hammer’s Abominable Snowman (1957), Toho’s War of the Gargantuas (1966), and then Teenage Monster (1958). On Sunday, they will have repeat screenings of Curse of the Werewolf, Island of Lost Souls, and Abominable Snowman. I can’t tell you how excited I am thinking of having the chance to see some of these amazing films on a huge screen, not to mention at a drive-in! How cool is that? I mean seriously….the original King Kong!?!?!
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