And so we’ve reached the end of the October Horrorshow Giant Monstershow. For the last month, we’ve seen giant apes, giant dinosaurs, giant insects, giant arachnids, giant men, giant lizards, giant gelatinous masses, giant leeches, giant rats, giant rabbits, giant birds, and even giant shrews. We’ve seen so many giant creatures of so many shapes and forms that the word ‘giant’ has become subject to semantic satiation. It’s become a mere shape in the text, devoid of all but intrinsic meaning. Still, we soldier on until the job is finished. Continue reading “Giant Monstershow: Monsters”
Despite having seen countless horror films, it’s still rare that I come across something vile. Well, maybe not all that rare. After all, Castle Freak is one of the films that made the cut for this year’s Horrorshow. Anyway! Just because a horror flick features vileness as a core element, does not mean that it is a bad flick. The rest of the film can speak to that. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: The Suckling, aka Sewage Baby”
The October Horrorshow Giant Monstershow is nearing its end. The featured films have been reviewed in chronological order. After a glut of films from the 1950s, it only took another ten flicks to get us to 2006, when today’s film was released. The ’50s were the golden era for giant monsters. Hardly a week went by without a giant monster flick in the theaters, if the movies I’ve watched for this month have been any indication. Giant monsters still show up in theaters every few years, but the pace has slowed. Continue reading “Giant Monstershow: The Host (2006)”
Larry Cohen has had prolific involvement in cheap horror throughout his career. His credits include the screenplay for Maniac Cop and writing and directing credits for both The Stuff and It’s Alive. He was one of the directors featured in the anthology television series Masters of Horror. He also flew by the seat of his pants when it came to making movies. According to the internet, so it must be true, Cohen was fired from his job directing the Mike Hammer flick, I, the Jury, after one week of shooting because of cost overruns. Instead of sulking about losing the gig, Cohen put together a shooting script and a production for a new movie in six days. That movie, lord help us, was Q — The Winged Serpent. Continue reading “Giant Monstershow: Q — The Winged Serpent”
It’s a melancholy day for the October Horrorshow Giant Monstershow, for this is the last film of the month from giant monster auteur Bert I. Gordon. His peak days as a filmmaker were in the 1950s, but while Gordon’s pace of work slowed, he never went more than a few years without directing something. In 1977, that something was Empire of the Ants, also written by Gordon, loosely adapting the H.G. Wells story of the same name. Something of a follow-up to Gordon’s Food of the Gods, Empire of the Ants tells the story of a Florida real estate pitch gone wrong. Continue reading “Giant Monstershow: Empire of the Ants”
This is an important day for the October Horrorshow Giant Monstershow. The featured auteur of this month of reviews has returned. For the seventh time this month, a review features a film by Bert I. Gordon. Yes, a filmmaker that showed mastery at failing to master the art of filmmaking is back. Today’s film, from 1976, also shows that although more than twenty years had passed since Gordon’s first movie, he stayed true to his unique abilities as a filmmaker. Continue reading “Giant Monstershow: The Food of the Gods”
The October Horrorshow Giant Monstershow continues on with a putrid mess of a movie. From 1975, The Giant Spider Invasion comes to us via screenwriters Robert Easton and Richard L. Huff (who also produced). Bill Rebane handled the directing. According to the internet, so it must be true, this stupid movie, despite its low budget and general incompetence, was a moneymaker for Huff and company. How a movie this bad, starring a disguised Volkswagen as a giant spider, ended up being profitable is beyond me. It feels something of a crime against the art of film that this movie found success. Continue reading “Giant Monstershow: The Giant Spider Invasion”
It’s the near future — just a couple of years past the present day. The human race has been devastated by an invasion of ferocious creatures. Where the creatures come from is never made clear, although space is as good a culprit as any. The creatures are sightless, but have extraordinary hearing. Among the cacophony of sounds that a planet and all its inhabitants make, the creatures are able to pick out even the slightest of sounds made by a human, and hunt them down quickly. All remaining people are forced to live a life of silence that would try even the most devoted of monks. Such is the setup to A Quiet Place, the film from director/star John Krasinski, and writers Krasinski, Bryan Woods, and Scott Beck. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: A Quiet Place”
What a gloriously stupid movie. From schlock producer Bill Osco and writer/director Jackie Kong, The Being walks on the wrong side of the line separating exploitation from good ole b-horror, but it’s also silly enough to satisfy one’s more mirthful desires from bad cinema.
Filmed in 1980, but shelved until three years later, The Being stars Osco, billed as both Rexx Coltrane AND Johnny Commander, as Detective Mort Lutz of the Pottsville, Idaho police. He’s investigating a rash of disappearances in the town. Also in the cast are Jose Ferrer as Mayor Gordon Lane, Ruth Buzzi as his wife, Virginia, and Martin Landau as Garson Jones, an engineer investigating the safety of a nuclear waste dump just outside of town. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: The Being”
The October Horrorshow Giant Monstershow carries on! After spending nineteen straight films in the 1950s, we have our first feature from after that defining decade of the monster flick, but all that’s changed is that today’s movie was filmed in color.
Reptilicus, from 1961, is a joint Danish-American monster flick that was filmed in two versions. One was shot in Danish, directed by Poul Bang, and that’s the version Danish audiences saw. The other version was directed by Sidney Pink, used most of the same performers, but was shot in English, for distribution in the United States. But, American International Pictures, which distributed the film in the US, didn’t like the English cut, and ordered substantial changes. The changes were enough for Pink, who was also the film’s producer and a credited screenwriter, to take AIP to court. It was a brief dispute, but an indication of divergence between the two versions of this film. I’m curious just how different the Danish version is from the English, but not curious enough to sit through this dog again, at least for now. Continue reading “Giant Monstershow: Reptilicus”