October Horrorshow: Terrified

I love finding an old movie that, as of seeing it, doesn’t have a Wikipedia page. Any movie that can’t be bothered with by Wikipedia’s legion of unpaid of workers has to be shit. Terrified, the last feature from longtime director Lew Landers, is a shitty movie. It’s also quite violent for its day, and, were it not for epic cheapness and laziness with the production, might have been a halfway decent flick.

From 1963, Terrified comes from the pen of Richard Bernstein, who began his screenwriting career with From Hell It Came. That movie was spectacular cheese about a killer tree. Nothing so original in this flick. There doesn’t seem to have been a budget for a foam rubber monster, so in this film, the baddie is just a guy in an ill-fitting suit and homemade stocking mask. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Terrified”

Shitty Movie Sundays: The Sadist

The Sadist movie posterThis film was up in the air. There was much debate upstairs about where this film should be categorized. It is clearly a b-movie, but it’s also shot very well, by a cinematographer, Vilmos Zsigmond, who would go on to win an Oscar for Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Writer/director John Landis doesn’t have anything in his filmography that would make potential viewers think he had a movie like this in him, yet this film is gripping from beginning to end, and, while being steeped in noir tropes and cliché of the era, has moments of true shock and unpredictability. But, despite how excellent is this movie, I have to slot it into Shitty Movie Sundays, for one reason, and one reason only: Arch Hall, Jr.

From 1963, The Sadist is a noir thriller that is one of many films inspired by the real-life crimes of Charles Starkweather and Caril Fugate, who went on a killing spree in 1958. Their analogues in this film are Charles Tibbs (Hall), and Judy Bradshaw (Marilyn Manning). Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: The Sadist”

October Horrorshow: Blood Feast

Herschell Gordon Lewis was a trash filmmaker. None of his films was ever an attempt at producing art, or even quality. A Chicago ad man by trade, Lewis got into filmmaking as a way to make a quick buck. His films exploited gaps in the market to bring in high returns on a small investment. When enforcement of the Hays Code began to slacken at the start of the 1960s, Lewis filmed cheap nudie-cuties that only had the barest threads of competent filmmaking. When returns on those flicks were hurt by nudity moving into mainstream films, Lewis turned to horror. Like the good marketer he was, he found an opening in horror flicks he could exploit. That opening was gore. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Blood Feast”

October Horrorshow: Matango, aka Attack of the Mushroom People

Forget the original title of Matango. It was the Americanized title of Attack of the Mushroom People that grabbed my attention. People that look like giant fungi on the attack? Sign me up. I’m not naïve about movies like this. I know, before ever seeing it, that a title like that promises more than it can deliver, but I’m okay with it. Should the film be dragged out and the mushroom people only make significant appearances during the last few minutes, that’s just fine by me. I wanted this movie to be bad, after all. And it is! Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Matango, aka Attack of the Mushroom People”

October Hammershow: The Kiss of the Vampire

Hammer saw much success with its version of Dracula in 1958. Of course they wanted to cash in further. For reasons beyond the scope of this review, they couldn’t nail down Christopher Lee for a sequel until 1965. But that didn’t stop Hammer. In 1960 they released The Brides of Dracula, which featured neither Dracula nor any vampire that appeared with him in the previous film. It was misrepresentation, plain and simple. In watching it, it becomes clear Brides was meant to be a Dracula film, with Lee in it, but the script had been reworked to put a different baddie in the lead. The Kiss of the Vampire has similar origins, although with this film Hammer had the decency to release it without a false pedigree. Continue readingOctober Hammershow: The Kiss of the Vampire”