Naschy Blu-Ray Sets On-Sale!

For those out there that either haven’t delved into the world of Paul Naschy, or even those that might have dipped their toes into the water but still haven’t dived in, now is your chance. Shout Factory is having a sale on their Box Sets, at 40% off retail price until this Tuesday the 19th, and both the Naschy Collections are included in there. Both are priced at $35.99, which includes 5 movies in each set. That’s like $7 a title!!!

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New Howarth Book!!!

Our good friend Troy Howarth has officially announced his latest book, which doesn’t have a release date yet, but I know I’ll be adding it to my library! The title is Make Them Die Slowly: The Kinetic Cinema of Umberto Lenzi, which will be published by WK Books. This will be the first ever book covering Lenzi’s work in English, which will cover all of his films in depth, with plenty of interviews with people that worked with Lenzi and his films. While some might only know Lenzi’s name from the cannibal films that gave him a lot of notoriety, his work and impact in the Italian film industry was huge.

With a forward by Eugenio Ercolani and cover art by Jolyon Yates, the page count should be around 400 and most likely will be offered in both a full color version as well as a black & white version, priced accordingly.

When we have more details, we’ll post them here. I’m not only a friend of Troy’s but have devoured more than a few of his books and have never been disappointed by the coverage he gives to each of his subjects. I expect no less with this one.

Need More Books?

Of course you do! And these are ones to definitely add to your library.

The first one is from our good friend Troy Howarth, published by BearManor Media, this time covering a movie that not only is one that doesn’t get much attention, it is one well worth your attention. The film is Alfred Sole’s 1976 film Alice, Sweet Alice, and the book is entitled Unholy Communion: Alice, Sweet Alice from Script to Screen.

Within the 300+ pages, Howarth goes through the history of this little film that was made outside of the Hollywood system, as well as background information on Sole. It “explores the genesis, production, and reception of one of the key horror films of the 1970s.” We get a brand new in-depth interview with Sole, going through his entire career, as well as reproducing the original shooting script, and plenty of analysis of not only the film, but the genre at the time as well.

Howarth has written several books, such as a 3-book series on giallo films, as well as one on Dario Argento, John Carpenter, Mario Bava, Paul Naschy, and more. Like all of his titles, I can only assume it will be a must read. You can order this directly from BearManor Media or through Amazon. It is available in both hardcover ($39.95) and softcover ($29.95).

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Opinions, Opinions, and More Opinions

There is a new book that just came out called 40s Universal Monsters: A Critical Commentary, covering all of the monster films that Universal put out during that decade. Author John T. Soister had published a similar book back in 2001 covering the Universal films of the 30s, entitled Of Gods and Monsters: A Critical Guide to Universal’s Science Fiction, Horror and Mystery Films, 1929-1939. Now, along with contributors Henry Nicolella, Harry H. Long, & Dario Lavia, they take on the ’40s, covering 66 titles from The Invisible Man Returns to Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein.

But what does have to do with opinions? Hear me out. Looking through my own library, I have several books that deal with the early days of cinema. If we’re talking about the silent era, we have Silent Screams by Steve Haberman, or Wayne Kinsey’s entry in his incredible Fantastic Films of the Decades series, as well as Troy Howarth’s own series, Tome of Terror, who has covered the decade of the ’30s as well. Kinsey is already up to halfway through the ’40s with his ongoing series. But then I also have Universal Horrors by Tom Weaver, Michael and John Brunas, Soister’s aforementioned Of Gods and Monsters, Mank’s Hollywood Cauldron, Senn’s Golden Horrors, and even a few others titles. Then we move into the ’50s and beyond with multiple titles in each of those as well.

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April Fulci!

Webster University Film Series is putting the spotlight on one of our favorite directors, Lucio Fulci, and one that I honestly think is still underrated outside of the horror fans. And now is your chance to learn why!

Every Thursday in April one of Fulci films will host a live discussion about the film. The idea is to watch the film at some point before the event, then join them to hear a different speaker each week discuss the specific title. The selections for April Fulcis are: Continue reading

Book Review: Assault on the System – The Nonconformist Cinema of John Carpenter

Assault on the System: The Nonconformist Cinema of John Carpenter
Published by WK Books, 2020. 460 pages.
By Troy Howarth

The latest volume from our buddy Troy Howarth is on one of my favorite directors. Next to Romero, you’d find at least two John Carpenter’s films in my top 15 films of all time. So how could I not dive into this once I got it? Yes, Mr. Howarth is a friend of mine, full disclosure here, but I think you know me by now not to pull any punches, no matter what I’m reviewing. But honestly, I never have to worry about that with his books because they are always so enjoyable to read, always feeling like a conversation with an old friend. Filled with wonderful stories, great information, and just an easy-going way of telling us this information that it just sinks in.

After a couple of chapters introducing us to Carpenter, giving us his upbringing and background (which really shows the impact on his later life, with his love of film and music), we start to go over his film career. Starting off when he is in film school in California, we do get a lot of information about each of the projects, while Howarth throws in other information about other things that are going on at the same time. It doesn’t just cover the films he directed but the scripts that he wrote, as well as the films he almost made or was even the slightest involved with. It really does show the range that Carpenter had in the different projects that “could have been”. Continue reading

Holiday Ideas for Horror Book Lovers

If you’re looking for a gift for someone that is an avid book lover that also loves the horror genre, there are so many titles out there to choose from. And they just seem to keep coming out too! In fact, it’s really hard for me NOT to buy them for myself! Yes, having a library of horror reference books is not as cheap as it once was, but I’m not complaining. To be fair, I do not have copies of any of these yet. Key word… YET! But I know at some point, I’m going to have to kick my son out of the house so my library can take over his room!

If you know a big fan of Dario Argento, then I would highly recommend the latest book by Troy Howarth, Murder by Design: The Unsane Cinema of Dario Argento. If you’re not familiar with Howarth’s work, this would be a great place to start. I haven’t gotten my copy yet, but I have never been disappointed by his work, always making them not only very informative, but entertaining as well. This covers not only his work as director, but writer and producer as well. You’ll read about everything from his early work in westerns to his move into the director’s chair, giving us plenty of memorable films, from The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970) to Suspiria (1977) to Sleepless (2001). You read new interviews with Argento himself, along with daughter Fiore Argento, actress Sally Kirkland, Irene Miracle, composer Claudio Simonetti, cinematographer Luciano Tovoli. Continue reading

Friday Favorites: John Carpenter

Since I just started reading Troy Howarth’s latest book, Assault on the System: The Nonconformist Cinema of John Carpenter, I thought it might be an interesting (though probably an easy one to call) question to see what your favorite John Carpenter film is. Now, as I said, I know there is going to be a lot of answers for the obvious choice, which would be Halloween (1978), which is fine because you can’t be wrong in what is your personal favorite. I’m sure The Thing (1982) is going to be up there as well. But I am curious to see if there will be any other titles named, such as The Fog (1980) or maybe even In the Mouth of Madness (1995). Continue reading

Assault on the System: The Nonconformist Cinema of John Carpenter

Author Troy Howarth, in his free time between all the amazing and informative audio commentaries he’s been cranking out, has finished his newest book, this time focusing on the one and only John Carpenter. Few directors these days can have more than a few titles in their filmography that are considered classics, not to mention damn good films, but Carpenter is definitely one of them.

This book “charts Carpenter’s trajectory from screenwriter-for-hire to director of low-budget oddities like Dark Star (1974) to his meteoric rise and fall within the very system he came to distrust. All of Carpenter’s films are analyzed in detail, including his forays into made-for-TV fare, and his various sideline projects as a writer, a composer, and a producer are also examined.”

It also contains brand new interview’s with actor/director Keith Gordon, Carpenter’s wife Sandy King-Carpenter, as well and Carpenter himself. It also features guess essays by Matty Budrewicz & Dave Wain, Lee Gambin, John Harrison, Randall D. Larson, Robert Russell LaVigne, Francesco Massaccesi, Paul Poet, and Nick Smith.

The book is now available on Amazon in the color edition, but soon will be available in a black and white version as well. I can’t really see how this could not be a welcome edition to any film fan’s library. I know it will soon be in mine!

 

Synapse Awakens Sleeping Corpses

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One of the first real over-the-top gory zombie films to be inspired by Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (1968) was released  6 years afterwards, directed by a Spanish filmmaker, but shot in England. It is also known by more than a few titles. I can remember looking it up in Phil Hardy’s Encyclopedia of Film and trying to figure out just what the real title was! Well, we are talking about Jorge Grau’s 1974 No profanar el sueño de los Muertos, which has been announced to be released on Blu-ray by Synapse Films this September. Continue reading