Sam Sherman Speaks!

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.

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Friday Favorites: Underrated Unusual Monsters

Our series of Friday Favorites dedicated to Underrated Films continues this week with the … unusual. We’re talking monsters, but not the usual fare, like vampires or werewolves, but one where someone came up with something pretty creative, such as a half-man / half jellyfish creature in Sting of Death (1966), or the chlorophyll-blooded monster from Mad Doctor of Blood Island (1968)? But then is one that you just love but is just not getting the love that you think it deserves. Now these don’t need to be cheesy or schlocky, those were the first two that came to mind. But even something like the film Splinter (2008), which had a very unique and amazing monster in there, not to mention being a great little film. Remember though, we’re talking about UNDERRATED monsters, so as original and unique Alien might be, it definitely ain’t underrated. So dig deep here, people.

So let’s here those titles! Give us some movies to add to our watch list!

Severin Goes to Blood Island

Blood Island CollectionI’ve been a huge fan of the horror films made in the Philippines, especially the Blood Island films. So I was thrilled when I first heard mention that Severin was going to be releasing these films on Blu-ray. Even more so when I saw the kind of promo stuff they are making available. Granted, the limited edition Dr. Lorca’s Head Bundle is already sold out (Also note…that’s not Dr. Lorca’s Head…just saying), which was a major bummer. But the stuff in the Blood Oath Bundle is pretty damn cool too. Got to give Severin major props for the stuff they come up with. From the Anthropophagus Plush figure, or the beach ball from The Horror of Party Beach, to even the little rubber ball from The Changeling, they are killing it when it comes to new promo items.

So what is in this box set?

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Horror History: Bruno Punzalan

punzalanBruno Punzalan

Trying to find any information on this actor from the Philippines is damn difficult. But since his face was a staple of movies in the ’60s and ’70s that were filmed there, I thought a little attention needed to put in his direction. If you’ve seen any of the famous Blood Island Trilogy, Brides of Blood (1968), Mad Doctor of Blood Island (1968), and Beast of Blood (1971), then you’ve seen Punzalan. He is usually cast as a bad guy, usually a thug of whoever is in charge. He had a very distinct face that always made him easy to pic out in the casts. He worked many times with director Eddie Romero, as well as with actors Sid Haig and Vic Diaz (another staple of Pilipino movies).

While not much is known about this actor, we feel that because of his contributions to the horror genre, we think that people should at least know who he is. So when they see that same face again, they can say “Hey…that’s Bruno Punzalan!”, impressing everyone around them. Not to mention, keeping this actor’s memory alive.

He also appeared with Ingrid Pitt in The Omegans (1968), as well as Blood Thirst (1971), Black Mama, White Mama (1973), and Savage Sisters (1973).

Movie Review: Mad Doctor of Blood Island

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Mad Doctor of Blood Island (1968)
Directed by Eddie Romero & Gerardo de Leon
Starring John Ashley, Angelique Pettyjohn, Ronald Remy, Alicia Alonzo, Alfonso Carvahal, Ronald Valdez, Tony Edmunds, Bruno Punzalan

mad doctor of blood island 4Made in 1969, this was the quick follow up to Hemisphere’s Brides of Blood, and I don’t think they could have come up with a better exploitation style title! According to Sam Sherman, who worked for Hemisphere, this was a “gimmick picture from the word go”, which you can see right away when a prologue starts and you can take the “Oath of the Green Blood”. During its run at the drive-ins, little packets of green gel-like substances were passed out so the audience could participate in the Oath. Good old fashion ballyhoo that has nothing to do with the actual film, but who cares. What I wouldn’t give for one of those little packets.

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