Bringing Back the Ballyhoo!

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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! 

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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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What a Time to be Alive!

antropophagus

Twenty years ago, when us deviant fans of European horror films that were near impossible to find over here in the states, you were lucky as hell when you were able to find a 5th generation copy of Joe D’Amato’s notorious 1980 film Anthropophagous, and even more so if it had the famous fetus eating scene intact. Sounds demented, I know. But when you’re trying to find the a version that was completely uncut, if that scene was in there, you knew you had a big score on your hands.

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Severin Has a Beach Party!

Horror-Of-Party-Beach_BluNot 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.

HorrorOfPartyBeachBall

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Severin Unleashes The Changeling

 

changeling

I’m a sucker for a good old fashion ghost story, one that has a puzzle that needs to be solved before the end of movie. They can be creepy, eerie, and downright scary. The Changeling (1980) is all that and more, and is one of my favorites. George C. Scott stars as a composer who is struggling with the recent lost of his wife and daughter after a tragic accident. After moving into an old mansion that he’s rented, he starts to hear strange noises, voices, and music, making him dig deeper into this mystery that is slowly starting to unravel before him.

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A Triple Dose of Mattei & Fragasso

Severin

Nothing beats some good old fashion Italian gore flicks from the ’80s. Back when plot, storyline, or even anything remotely coherent didn’t matter as long as we got plenty of gore. Sometimes even topping the gore was the complete insanity of the story themselves! Two names that you could always depend on for delivering the goods in those categories was Bruno Mattei and Claudio Fragasso. And now thanks to Severin, they’ve got a triple terror treat from these two guys.

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Wild Beasts Midnight Screening at Music Box!

wildbeastsWhat a time to be alive!

Sure, our President is probably going to cause WWIII any day now, but if he can hold off until at least the end of January, I’ll be able to catch Franco Prosperi’s Wild Beasts (1984) at a midnight screening at the Music Box Theatre! Now if you’ve never seen this little film before, boy are you in for a treat. Though, a little warning though, if you’re a card-carrying member of PETA, you might want to miss this one. They say no animals were killed in this film, but I’d beg to differ, not to mention I’d make a bet that a stuntman or two might have turned up missing!

I’m usually not one for these mondo-type of films, and there are a few parts in here that are hard for me to watch, but the rest of the film is just so damn crazy, I’m amazed it ever got made! I mean, when is the last time you see a pack of elephants attack an airport! Or a cheetah chasing a lady in a convertible down a city street? This film is a perfect example of Italian exploitation cinema. And to be able to see this on the big screen? Wow.

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