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.
Not 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.
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.
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.
What 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.
With only a month to go, the Music Box Theater announced on their website more titles for their upcoming 24-hour marathon, known as the Music Box of Horrors, as well as a special guest announcement.
Dark Waters (1993)
Directed by Mariano Baino
Starring Louise Salter, Venera Simmons, Mariya Kapnist, Lubov Snegur, Albina Skarga, Pavel Kokolov
On the audio commentary for Dark Waters, director Baino mentions something that Alfred Hitchcock had said about how the invention of sound would destroy cinema. I am paraphrasing this, but his point was that after movies had sound, more time will be spent listening to the story than watching what is happening on screen. One could listen to a film and pretty much get the idea of what is going on, instead of letting the visuals tell the story, which I think is especially true with today’s features. Well, Dark Waters is a perfect example of the opposite of that theory. In fact, when it starts, there is almost 18 minutes before any real dialogue is heard. And in that short time, unforgettable images appear on screen, such as shots of nuns with large crosses on a hill, or more nuns in a darkened field at night with burning crosses, we see the murder of a young girl, with her blood flowing into the water that is leaking through the catacombs in the convent, to even something simple like an old woman on a bus playing with a couple of spiders. Thse are just but a few visual to start off the film. But it continues through the rest of the running time. If modern day Hollywood made their films look half as good and striking as this one, the cinematic world would be a much better place.