Directed by Monte Hellman
Starring Michael Forest, Sheila Carol, Frank Wolfe, Wally Campo, Chris Robinson
I’m a sucker for monster movies from the ‘50s, and even more so when the creature is like something we’ve never seen before. Nothing against all the vampires and werewolves out there, but it is always refreshing to see something new and unique show up on the screen, showing how creative the filmmakers could be, especially with little or no money. That alone would be enough of a reason to watch this film. The fact that is actually decent story, well-acted, and well shot, is just bonus points. It’s a real shame that while a ton of the ‘50s monster flicks get remembered and discussed over and over, this one seems to be forgotten or at least not mentioned too often. Which is a damn shame, and why I decided I needed get a review of it posted now!
There is a list of different filmmakers like Bill Rebane, Larry Buchanan, or Ted V. Mikels, that stayed away from Hollywood, making films on their own turf, with little or no money, but were still able to produce films that were entertaining. William Grefé was one of those, cranking out films made in Florida. Now thanks to Arrow Video, there is a box set of Grefé’s films coming out on Blu-ray this November that is a collection that I feel is a must for any fans of exploitation and drive-in features. The box set is going to feature 7 features, all newly restored from the best surviving film elements, in this one box set. The features are: Sting of Death (1966), Death Curse of Tartu (1966), The Hooked Generation (1968), The Psychedelic Priest (1971), The Naked Zoo (1971), Mako: Jaws of Death (1976) and Whiskey Mountain (1977). Haven’t heard of some of these? Well now is your chance to remedy that! I mean, how can you go wrong about a film that features a jellyfish man???
The set is going to be filled with extras to make any fan drool. Amazon has it listed for $99.99, but you can pre-order it now from Diabolik DVD for only $59.99! Below is all the goodies in the set: Continue reading
Back in the VHS days, this title would draw your attention in right away because it had a woman laying on a table with an axe buried in her chest! How could you not rent it?!?! But this is one of those hidden gems that never got a release on DVD. But now, thanks to the fine folks at Garagehouse Pictures, it is coming to Blu-ray in what looks to be an amazing special edition!
They Came From The Swamp: The Films of William Grefé
Directed by Daniel Griffith
If there is one thing that I’m always on my soapbox about, it is learning about the horror genre, from the very beginnings to modern day. The reason is simply because we need to recognize what came before us and remember what they gave us. It helps us appreciate where we are now. So when I heard about a documentary that was being made about this lesser known Florida based filmmaker, William Grefé, needless to say, I was excited.
What do titles like Sting of Death, Stanley, Mako: The Jaws of Death, Wild Rebels, The Naked Zoo, Death Curse of Tartu, Impulse all have in common? They were just a handful of the films directed by Florida based filmmaker William Grefé! And now, the incredible history of this low budget filmmaker comes to the screens in this new feature lenght documentary, thanks to Ballyhoo Motion Pictures this April!
While other low budget directors were running off the the sunny skies of California to make their independent pictures, William Grefé stayed in the other sunny part fo the country, in Florida everglades area and made that his own little Hollywood. There he created about sharks, snakes, a jellyfish man, bikers, and many more titles that were sure to lure them into the drive-ins. And he always delivered.
This weekend, we will be making our 29th trip out to Strongsville, Ohio, for the Cinema Wasteland Movie and Memorabilia Expo, as we’ve been doing since Sept. of 2000. No other show out there has run this long, being held at the very same hotel since the first one, and has created a reputation for being a show for the real die-hard movie fan. This is one of the few shows left that really is about celebrating the movies and the people behind them. There is always plenty of things going on to keep a movie fan occupied and entertained. From the Q&A panels to the film screening in two different rooms, you will never be bored. This time out, you’ll get the chance to see titles like The Green Slime (1968), Queen of Outer Space (1958), and Stanley (1972), all screened from 16mm prints! In the video room, you can watch classics like King Kong Escapes (1967) or Psychos in Love (1987), and much more.
Doug Hobart is a name that up until a couple of years ago, I had no idea who he was. But because of an unusual birthday cake my wife Dawn made for me, not only would I find out just who Doug Hobart was, but I would eventually get to interview him. Every year for my birthday, I screen two movies in our backyard for a bunch of friends. This one particular year, the films were two Florida based movies, ZAAT and Sting of Death. For the cake (pictured below), my wife made a battle between the two title creatures from these movies. It was such an amazing cake, that once I posted a photo of it on Facebook, it was getting a lot of responses, even from people like cult directors Frank Henenlotter, Fred Olen Ray, and even William Grefe, who directed Sting of Death. Well, Fred Olen Ray made a comment and tagged someone named Doug Hobart. So I looked up the name on IMDB and was shocked not only to find out that he was the guy who played the jellyfish creature, but was on Facebook as well. So I quicky sent him a note, asking if he’d be willing to do an interview with me. A short time later, I was on the phone with him, hearing some amazing stories of his life in show business, which you’ll find below.