Movie Review: Nightmare Castle

nightmarecastlebanner

(1965)
Directed by Mario Caiano
Starring Barbara Steele, Paul Muller, Helga Liné, Laurence Clift,
Giuseppe Addobbati, Rik Battaglia

In 1960, Barbara Steele starred in Mario Bava’s Black Sunday, which set her on her path of being a horror icon. Over the next few years, she starred in many gothic horror films in Italy. When she appeared in Mario Caiano’s first entry into this sub-genre, it wasn’t her first rodeo. Before that point, Caiano’s work mainly consisted in the westerns and peplum (sword & sandal) genre. It is pretty surprising that he and co-writer Fabio De Agostini came up with such a great story, with plenty of strange angles, and filled the picture with so much atmosphere that I’m surprised that the fog doesn’t just ooze out of your television when you’re watching it. The original title is Amanti d’oltretomba, but it has been released under the titles The Faceless Monster and Night of the Doomed. But now, thanks to Severin, you can get the uncut and original version under Nightmare Castle.
Continue reading

Movie Review: Viy

splash_780-526

Viy (1967)
Directed by Konstanitin Ershov & Georgiy Kropachyov
Starring Leonid Kuravlyov, Natalya Varley, Aleksei Glazyrin, Vadim Zahkarchenko, Nikolai Jutuzov.

There are films in out there that are extremely important in our horror history, ones that make such an impact that they can change the genre itself. George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (1968) or Mario Bava’s Black Sunday (1960) are two examples that can create a whole new sub-genre of films and/or inspire new generations of filmmakers from that point on. Continue reading

Blood & Flesh: The Reel Life and Ghastly Death of Al Adamson

Flesh & Blood - Adamson documentaryI’ve been a long time fan of the work of Al Adamson. I know, some say that would be on par with being a fan of Larry Buchanan, but as I’ve said many times before, if you’re entertained by their work, then they can’t be bad movies! And I still stand by that statement! Adamson made some of the best in low budget horror and exploitation films, such as titles like Satan’s Sadist (1969), Horror of the Blood Monsters (1970), Brain of Blood (1971), Dracula vs. Frankenstein (1971), The Naughty Stewardesses (1975) and Blazing Stewardesses (1975), and so many more. But Adamson’s ending was right out of one of his movies.

Now thanks to David Gregory and Severin Films, you’ll be able to learn more about this man than you ever thought possible. Maybe afterwards you’ll have a little more respect for this underrated filmmaker.

We don’t have a release date yet, but the documentary will be making its debut at this year’s Fantasia International Film Festival. Stay tuned for more information.

Severin Releases VIY!!!

Viy Blu-rayOne of the glorious things about the horror genre is that no matter how long you’ve been a fan, there are always titles from decades ago that come to light that just blows you away. Not only in its presentation, but also the fact that somehow even the existence of the title had eluded you for so long. That is how I thought when I first heard about this Russian film several years ago. In all my years of paging through reference books, I never remember coming across this. So upon my first viewing of Viy, I really was blown away.

This 1967 film, the first horror film ever produced in the Soviet Union, was directed by Konstantin Ershov & Georgiy Kropachyov, and based on the story by Nikolay Gogol, it stars Leonid Kuravlyov as a student priest that has a run with a witch, which later comes back to haunt him. The special effects used for this movie, especially for that time, are just amazing. Just check out the trailer:

 

And now, thanks to the fine folks at Severin Films, now you can add this important title to your collection. The Blu-ray comes with the following: Continue reading

Soundtrack Review: Absurd

Rosso Sangue CDAbsurd aka Rosso Sangue (1981)
Released by Severin Films, 2018
Music by Carlo Maria Cordio
23 Tracks with a Total Running Time of 69 min.

The movie this score is from has been called more than a few names in its history, from Monster Hunte, Anthropophagus II, to Horrible, to the title it has been recently released here in the states under, simply Absurd. The original title of the film is Rosso Sangue and was directed by the one and only Joe D’Amato, with George Eastman in the lead role, as well as writing the film. Plenty of gore and a nonsensical plot, it is a fun ride for those fans of European cult cinema. But this soundtrack, by Carlo Maria Cordio is way better than it has any right to be, especially when it is for a film like Absurd! If fact, if you are a fan of Goblin then you will pretty much enjoy this score since Cordio follows the same musical path. Call it ripping off, homage, paying tribute, or whatever you want to, but it is still a great score. Continue reading

Bringing Back the Ballyhoo!

severin-2

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.

SChangelingBallome 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! 

Continue reading

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?

Continue reading