Thursday, July 19, 2018

What I Watched in June

I truly thought that SOLO (2018) might be the first Star Wars film that I did not see in a theater. I thought I would actually refuse to see it on the grounds that I've not been enjoying most of the recent Star Wars films since roughly 1983 and this one in particular seemed a truly unnecessary film. I found episodes 7 and 8 to be both lackluster, pointless, silly, redundant and poorly constructed. The only good thing that I could say about the more recent Disneyfied version of Star Wars is that ROGUE ONE (2016) was something that I actually enjoyed. So, what the heck, I decided to go see SOLO and boy am I glad I did! Turns out that this is a truly enjoyable film. Possibly the most enjoyable of the recent Star Wars films. It's a fun heist movie with some memorable characters, some nice twists and turns, a pretty decent story and a few surprises that I wasn't expecting. It's not great, it's not going to change anybody's attitude toward these films really but overall this is a pretty darn good little movie. Quite a surprise.

HEREDITARY (2018) is one of the best horror films of the decade. The past few years have been very strong for the genre and this movie deserves to be added to the list of top-rated efforts. I won't discuss things beyond some very general comments as I feel the tale is best discovered cold. What I will say is that the film's performances are astounding with the great Toni Collette taking top honors in a very difficult role. The dark family drama that plays out would fly apart if she was less than brilliant but she anchors the film so well I have trouble picturing anyone else as the character. The second half turn the story takes is smartly handled with only a few subtle hints laying breadcrumbs to the hellish final act. Also, the nerve jangling tone of the entire piece is excellent and something I hope other filmmakers study for future exercises in suspense. This film knows when to withhold information and how to reveal it well. 

After nearly a decade and a half of waiting Brad Bird and crew finally bring us a sequel and it's almost as good as the original. INCREDIBLES 2 (2018) picks up right after the end of the first film with a super-villain battle in the heart of the city making the ban on Supers even more popular. Destitute and depressed, the Parr family are surprised when a pair of wealthy siblings recruit them to engineer a return to the old days of public acceptance of costumed super-heroes. Thus begins a multilayered and clever adventure that is also very funny and exciting. This is how these types of films should always be done. It's a near perfect crowd-pleaser that doesn't insult your intelligence. 


THE SCARECROW OF ROMNEY MARSH (1963) - 8 (rewatch of all three parts) 
ZOMBIE 3 (1988) - 2 (rewatch on Bly-Ray)
SOLO (2018) - 7 (solid if unnecessary Star Wars tale) 
SEPTEMBER STORM (1960) - 5 (OK 3D sunken treasure tale) 
FROZEN ALIVE (1964) - 6 (SF drama) 
HEREDITARY (2018) - 9 (incredible horror film) 
LA LOBA (1965) - 6 (good Mexican werewolf tale) 
INCREDIBLES 2 (2018) - 9 
HAUNTED HONEYMOON (1940) - 7 (Lord Peter Whimsey) 
THE AMAZING COLOSSAL MAN (1957)- 4 (rewatch) 
THE LIVING COFFIN (1959) - 6 (Mexican horror western) 
THE MONSTER SQUAD (1987) - 8 (rewatch) 
SANTO VS THE VAMPIRE WOMEN (1961) - 7 (Spanish language version!) 
WAR OF THE COLOSSAL BEAST (1959) - 4 (rewatch) 

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

MURDER MANSION (1972) on YouTube!

The amazing Spanish horror film La Mansión De La Niebla in it's English language version! If you've never seen this movie I recommend it and would then point you toward our Beyond Naschy episode on the subject. 

Sunday, July 15, 2018

THE LOST CONTINENT (1968) Advertising Art, Production Stills and Poster Art

And I don't feel the slightest bit guilty for loving it! 

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Trailers From Hell - HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER (1973)

Edgar Wright explains why he loves this violent, dark classic so much. I also consider this one of Clint's best westerns and share Wright's man-crush on the director/star. But that's as far as I'm taking it! 

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Naschycast Mini-Episode - Troy Howarth Interview

Sorry for the break! We're back with a Mini-Episode - we'll not call it a .5 episode, I guess. This time out we bring a new voice to the show. Author Troy Howarth has just published a new book about Jacinto Molina entitled Human Beasts: The Films of Paul Naschy. He debuted this look at the career of our favorite Hombre Lobo at this year's Monster Bash in Pittsburgh, PA. I took the opportunity to sit down and ask Mr. Howarth about the book, his first encounter with these films and even his three favorite Naschy movies. We also make time to badmouth cover artist Mark Maddox just because we can!

So check out this brief conversation focused on a few aspects of Naschy's career and then pick up a copy of Troy's book and let us know what you think. With a little luck this will be the start of a wave of books published on the subject to match the flood of Blu-Rays we've been seeing lately. I could do with an entire shelf in my house dedicated to just this field of study! There are links to the book below.

We'll be back very soon with the next Beyond Naschy episode. If you have any comments the email address is - we'd love to hear from you.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

The Bloody Pit #70 - VENGEANCE (1968)

Antonio Margheriti directed several westerns over his very long career. VENGEANCE (1968) was his second effort in the genre after 1967's DYNAMITE JOE and the evidence here shows he was very comfortable in the field. Margheriti also takes a full writer's credit on this one meaning that he had a strong hand in shaping the story instead of just being a director for hire. Perhaps this means we can see what 'Mr. Dawson' was thinking in the late 1960's about westerns and the specific Italian slant on them when looking at this early in the cycle example. What are the necessary elements that need to be included?

Attention grabbing opening scene? Check.
Clint Eastwood-style loner? Check.
Revenge plot fueling the action? Check.
Intricate crime with backstabbing and betrayal? Check.
Gorgeous female character with little to do? Check.
Charismatic bad guy with odd affectations? Check.
As much violence as the times will allow? Check.

Seems like he had everything in place. But did he craft a good movie? Join John Hudson and I as we go through this well produced film starring Richard Harrison and a host of excellent European actors including Margheriti regular Luciano Pigozzi. (Was there an actor who appeared in more of his movies?) I complain about the plain nature of Harrison's name while Hudson laments the missed opportunity for a cameo by the Invisible Chimp. We talk about the Savina score, the title song, the joys of catching smaller onscreen details and pointing out where the film could/should have been shortened. We also take a few unexpected side roads with the lengthy DAWN OF THE DEAD conversation being pretty ridiculous even if it did relate to the 'less is more' concept.

Near the end we discuss an email sent in by a listener and if you'd like to comment on the show the address is We would love to hear from you! Thank you for downloading and listening to us babble. We'll be back soon with more.

Saturday, July 07, 2018

VENGEANCE (1968) - On YouTube!

If you don't have access to the recent Blu-Ray release or even the years old DVD presentation, here is the fully uncut version of Antonio Margheriti's western VENGEANCE (1968). We'll have a podcast posted about this film in the next couple of days so here's your chance to see what we're babbling about!