Turkey Day in May 2023

The first part of our Turkey Day 20th Anniversary was yesterday, and I have survived to tell the tale! In fact, we all did! It was a little different this time out because we spent some time doing a little filming here and there for a documentary about just how crazy we are for doing these little get-togethers for the last two decades, all in celebration of these cinematic shipwrecks. We had around 15 people joining in this year, most of which stayed here from the very beginning right to the very last film, knocking out SIX features (and about 21 pizzas!) before it was all said and done.

It is really hard to believe that not only have I continued this crazy tradition, but that I have more than a few die-hard friends that actually look forward to these little marathons with great joy and excitement. Yes, we are all mad cinephiles. It really is hard to explain to most people what exactly the reasoning is behind these, and even more importantly, why they are so much damn fun. But if you know, then you know and don’t need the explanation.

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Universal Classic Horrors at the Strand Theatre

The Strand Theatre in Shelbyville, IN, has announced this year’s Friday Night Frights schedule and once again, makes me wish I lived closer to the theater! We all know and love the Universal Classic Monsters (or at least we should!) but few fans have had the opportunity to see them in a movie theater on the big screen. Well, if you live near the Indianapolis area, now you have your chance.

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Super Monster Movie Fest Next Weekend!

Just in case you might be late to the party, next weekend, Aug. 27th & 28th, at the Skyline Drive-in, they are holding their 10th annual Super Monster Movie Fest, with the theme this year of The Devil Made Us Do It, featuring 10 films dealing all things with the devil! We’ve been coming out to this event pretty much every year since 2012, and once again, we’re excited as hell to head out there next weekend as well!

Here is the final lineup and times for this year’s features:

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Skyline’s Super Monster Movie Fest Update

The Skyline Drive-in in Shelbyville, IN has announced their lineup for this year’s Super Monster Movie Fest, and it is a DOOZY! The theme this year was The Devil Made Us Do It and I have to say, ‘ol Lucifer really helped them in programming one hell of a show! Taking place the weekend of Aug. 27th & 28th, with a special appearance by Sammy Terry! Here is what they will be screening:

Friday August 27th
The Black Cat (1934)
Prince of Darkness (1987)
Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
The Sentinel (1977)
Blood on Satan’s Claw (1971)

Saturday August 28th
Curse of the Demon (1957)
Black Sunday (1960)
The Exorcist (1973)
Evilspeak (1981)
Satan’s Cheerleaders (1977)

We’ve been going to this event for quite a few years now and always have such a great time. They really have an incredible lineup, from some old classics like The Black Cat with Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi appearing together for the first time on the big screen, Mario Bava’s Black Sunday, Jacques Tourneur’s Curse of the Demon, to some favorites from the 80s like Evilspeak! How can you go wrong with Clint Howard contacting demonic evil though his computer?!?! Not to mention all the devilish delights you’ll find at their snack bar throughout the night! Hope to see you there!

Horror History: Gale Sondergaard

Gale SondergaardGale Sondergaard
Born Feb. 15th, 1900 – Died Aug. 14th, 1985

This is an actress that only appeared in a handful of horror film titles, but was known to be one of the character actress that audiences love to hate. She tended to play wicked and evil characters that she actually enjoyed playing. In an interview in 1974, she said about the characters she’s known for were “usually more colorful than the hero and, from an acting standpoint, more fun to play.” So wicked in fact, that she was actually cast to play the Wicked Witch in The Wizard of Oz, but turned it down when it was decided to make the character more ugly and scary than originally planned as a beautiful witch like in a Disney film. She was also the very first recipient of the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, in the film Anthony Adverse (1936), which also happened to be her screen debut.

As for her horror roles,  you can find her in such titles as The Cat and the Canary (1939), The Black Cat (1941), The Invisible Man’s Revenge (1944), and The Climax (1944).

The real horror in her life was when she was blacklisted during the McCarthy “Red Scare” in Hollywood because she refused to testify and give names. She didn’t work for 20 years because of it. It really is a shame what we missed during those two decades when nobody would hire her.

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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Book Review: Turn to Gruesomeness in American Horror Films


The Turn to Gruesomeness in American Horror Films, 1931 to 1936
By Jon Towlson

Published by McFarland, 2015. 240 pages

One of the wonderful things about reading up on the history of horror films is that there is always something new and interesting that can be learned once a subject is really put under the magnifying glass. Now this isn’t to say that if you look for something you’ll find it, even if it isn’t there, but Towlson has done a great deal of research to back up his thoughts and ideas in this recent book. It also shows that no matter how long you’ve been a fan, there is always more to learn.

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