Book Review: When Dracula Met Frankenstein

When Dracula Met Frankenstein: My Years Making Drive-In Movies with Al Adamson
Published by Murania Press, 2021. 377 pages
By Sam Sherman

You can’t be a fan of exploitation cinema of the ‘60s and ‘70s and not know of Sam Sherman, either by name or the multitude of film titles that he had his fingers in. Sherman only has 28 credits as a producer, many of them for films directed by his good friend Al Adamson, but his mark on the film world is so much greater. He was an ad man who could come up with some of the best titles, promotional ideas, gimmicks, and all the other ballyhoo so memorable, sometimes more than the films themselves!

He is also the man that was responsible for introducing Paul Naschy to the states, when his company, Independent International, picked up Naschy’s Mark of the Wolfman when they were looking for a Frankenstein picture that they had already promised distributors. It featured two wolfmen and two vampires, but definitely no Frankenstein or his creature. But somehow, due to the creative genius of Sherman, Mark of the Wolfman now became Frankenstein’s Bloody Terror. If you don’t know the whole story already, then you’ll have to buy the book to find out!

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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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Movie Review: Blood & Flesh – The Reel Life & Ghastly Death of Al Adamson

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Blood & Flesh: The Reel Life & Ghastly Death of Al Adamson (2019)
Directed by David Gregory
Starring Al Adamson, Stevee Ashlock, John Bloom, Bud Cardos, Robert Dix, Tim Ferrante, Marilyn Joi, Gary Kent, Fred Olen Ray, Sam Sherman, Russ Tamblyn, Vilmos Zsigmond

Al Adamson’s films are really the epitome of what I consider a Turkey. It might not be well made, but it is usually entertaining. At the end of the day, that is all you can hope for in a movie. The more I had read and learned about Adamson, the more of his titles that I saw, like a few other low budget filmmakers, like Larry Buchanan, I discovered that I admired them more than their movies. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed the wacky titles they would put out, but knowing a little history behind the production and the people that made it, it made me appreciate it for what it was, and not what it wasn’t. That is one of the reasons that I think this new documentary is just fantastic. It gives newer fans a better perspective of this man and his work, showing a method to the madness, as the saying goes. And even for older fans that maybe wrote Adamson and his work off, it will give them a little more insight that might change the way they see them now. Continue reading

Hemisphere Horrors!

Hemisphere HorrorsOnce 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.

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Naschy’s Frankenstein’s Bloody Terror in 3D!!!

Frankenstein's Bloody Terror 3D

Folks in the New York city area, tomorrow you have the chance to see a rare screening of Naschy’s debut of his Waldemar Daninsky character, in the 1968 film Frankenstein’s Bloody Terror (or at least the version that was later released here in the states) in 3D, thanks to the wonderful people at Garagehouse Pictures.

At the Quad Cinema tomorrow at 3:05pm, in part of their special 3-D festival, you’ll get to see this amazing film like very few people have had the opportunity. Sam Sherman, the man really responsible for bringing Naschy’s name to the states when he bought this film for distribution here, will be there for the screening.

Sure, this is a little short notice, but if you’re in that area, I wouldn’t pass up this chance. I mean, Naschy in 3-D??? I’m still hopeful that this print will make it’s way out to the Midwest at some point. But in the meantime, you East-coasters better take advantage of it!

For more information about the screening, just click HERE.

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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Movie Review: Brides of Blood

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Directed by Eddie Romero & Gerardo DeLeon
Starring John Ashley, Kent Taylor, Beverly Hills (Beverly Powers), Eva Darren, Mario Montenegro

When thinking of a country churning out films, one doesn’t usually think of the Philippines. But they had been making movies there since the beginning of cinema itself. In the ’30s, there were five major studios running there. And of course, making horror films was something they dabbled in, just like here in the states.

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