20 years. Two whole decades of Turkeys. In fact, 174 films during those years. I started doing this little mini marathon back in 2003, on my own, as a way to celebrate the type of films that most critics would scoff at. Two years later, I was joined by my friend Aaron Christensen, who has never missed one since then. While it took a few years of it just being Aaron and I battling through these wonderful cinematic shipwrecks, by the time we got to 2010, the number of people joining us on this mad quest started to grow. We had 6 that year, increasing year by year to around a dozen each time. In 2010, we started our second annual event, Turkey Day in May, because there was just too much Turkey to do it only once a year! We did go online during the pandemic, where during those online adventures, we did get 20 to 25+ people watching online, so that was kind of cool. But it just wasn’t the same as being in the same room with other fans.
Before we get to the films, I wanted to send out a huge thanks to those that have attended my little crazy marathons. I started this because I wanted to give these movies the appreciation that I feel they deserve. As I’ve quoted many times before, the only bad movie is a boring one, and the ones we’ve screened over the last 20 years are far from boring. Well, okay, most of them weren’t. With every person that started attending, they not only understood that statement, but they believed 100% of it, and relished in the outrageous titles, sometimes just plain bat-shit crazy. Never making fun or shitting on these, we treat them with love and respect. My fellow Turkey Day attendees are more dedicated film lovers than any serious critic I know. Because we can see past the flaws of low budget, maybe with not the most talented cast, or a script that doesn’t seem possible that someone would not only want to film, but actually get it done with a straight face! For that, I am forever grateful to consider these fellow demented cinephiles my friends. They really know and understand what true cinema is.
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 →
One of great things about the yesteryear of movies was the ballyhoo. It would start with outlandish claims about their productions (that I don’t think anybody actually believed…or did they?) and continue through until the film was unleashed. One of the great things that was part of that was promotional items. It might be something as simple as issuing official barf bags to the patrons when they came in since the movie would most likely upset their stomachs! They issued cheap wedding rings to people that came to see Brides of Blood at the drive-ins. Or any number of things if you were going to see a William Castle film, from ghost viewers to punishment polls, it was all part of the fun and making the movie going experience even more fun and memorable. These were just for the theaters and drive-ins either, but when the VHS market hit, video companies were continuing this trend, with box cutters to promote the film Blood Cult, a shovel shaped pen and notepad for Burial Ground, and so much more. Unfortunately, those days are long gone. Or at least I thought.
Some companies are working hard to keep that spirit alive and one of them is Severin Films. Lately, they have been knocking it out of the park and taking promo items to a new level. When they released The Changeling (1980), one of the best ghost stories ever committed to film, they put out a replica of the little rubber ball from the movie, which was used during one of the creepiest parts of the film. When they release The Horror of Party Beach (1964), they put out an inflatable beach ball, of course! Nothing over the top, but just cool little promo items. It is these little items like this that just add another little nice touch to the already incredible job they are doing by putting out a spectacular edition of the movies on Blu-ray!
Not sure whoever the geniuses are at Severin, I would like to officially commend them! As a sucker for good old fashion promo items, I was thrilled when they announced they were releasing a little rubber ball promo item with their release of The Changeling. Really reminds me of the good old days of movie promotions. And now, not only are they releasing the hilariously fun The Horror of Party Beach (1964), but you can get your own Horror of Party Beach official Beach Ball!!!
This film is one that I saw as a youngster on TV the first time, on some Saturday afternoon screening, since you couldn’t pass up that title! You can never forget seeing that monster for the first time, as it crawls up the rocks towards that girl. Cheesy? Sure. Silly? Maybe. What do you expect from a movie that cost $50,000 and was shot in two weeks? But it sure is a lot of fun and I think is still a great way to spend 90 minutes.