This time of year, we always see those list of names that we’ve lost over the last year, that were responsible for some of the great entertainment that we’ve enjoyed over our own lifetime. It is no different here at the Krypt.
Seeing these lists are always such a double-edge sword. On one hand, we feel the loss of this great talent. But on the flipside, we’re reminded that we have bits and pieces of their genius forever on film, that we can revisit time and time again. They make us cry, laugh, think, shrink back in terror, or just sit back and be in awe of this talent that has been captured on screen. The beauty of this is that these people listed below may have gone on to whatever the next journey is, but because of their work in movies, we can still enjoy them, over and over again. Because we are all true movie lovers, we’ll get that warm and fuzzy feeling whether we’re watching Scott Wilson’s smooth talking killer in Richard Brooks’ In Cold Blood (1967), Celeste Yarnell trying to escape the crazy Dr. Lorca in Beast of Blood (1970), or even laughing out loud when we see the quiet and patient Donald Moffat trying to get untied from a couch in John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982).
There are those directors that may have only worked in the horror genre a couple of times, but still have made quite a big impact. Jorge Grau was one of them. News came out today that he has passed away at the age of 88.
Grau only directed two genre films, Ceremonia sangrienta (1970), released over here as The Legend of Blood Castle, and his most famous one, No profanar el sueño de los Muertos (1974), most commonly known in the states as Let Sleeping Corpses Lie, though it has quite a few other monikers it was released under.
Watching Corpses for the first time in my youth made me aware of a few things. This was one of the first color zombie films that featured a lot of gore. I mean a LOT of gore, courtesy of Giannetto De Rossi who would later work with Lucio Fulci on many of his famous gore/living dead films. But Grau also showed audiences the European way of not following the traditional aspect of the genre. He didn’t follow the normal conventions of the zombies, putting his own spin on them, still making them very effective.
Grau directed over 30 features over in his career that spanned almost 5 decades. For him to only direct two horror films, one of which is considered a classic in the zombie sub-genre, ranking it right up there with Romero’s best, shows that he had a strong voice and vision. One that it is still seen and heard over four decades later, as much as it will be for generations to come.
Our thoughts go out to his friends and family. He will be missed, but never forgotten.
For those who didn’t know, the Music Box of Horrors returns this year on October 24th for another 24-hours of movies, mayhem and madness. They have only announced a few titles so far, more recently the addition of Jorge Grau’s Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue (aka Let Sleeping Corpses Lie, amongst about a dozen other titles). Needless to say, I was very excited to hear that, since this is one of my favorite European zombie films. Made only a few years after Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, and amazing gore effects by Italian mastro Giannetto De Rossi (Zombie, The Beyond, House by the Cemetery), Grau gave us something that was slightly different in the zombie mythology, with a little bit of a enviromental message, and one hoot of a undead flick. If you haven’t seen this, then now is your chance to not only see it, but see it on the big screen! The Krypt will be vending once again this year, so we’ll have our usual wares of horror reference books for you to help with your horror education.
Tickets for this onslaught of horror are only $25 if you purchase them before October 1st. Between the 1st and Oct. 23rd, the tickets will be $30, and then $35 at the day of the show. So you should really order your tickets now and save that extra little bit of cash.