Friday, April 28, 2017

The Bloody Pit #53 - THE BEYOND (1981)

This episode we take a trip to the dank, mist enshrouded, sweat covered land of Louisiana for a blast of gore drenched Italian horror from maestro Lucio Fulci! The Three Stooges of Euro-Trash descend into the cellar of the Seven Doors Hotel to see if they can find the Book of Eibon while dodging the outstretched arms of eye-gouging zombies. Sense and nonsense merge into a rich tapestry of mad events loosely connected to the hotel and it's new owner Liza (Catriona MacColl). Can handsome doctor McCabe (David Warbeck) unravel the mystery at the heart of the horror or will he, too, succumb to the dark forces from The Beyond?

The recent GrindHouse Releasing Blu-Ray of this seminal horror film was the catalyst for Jeff, Troy and Rod to rewatch this violent creep show and high definition does nothing to dampen their love. Easily the best the film has ever looked on home video it gains so much in detail and visual depth that it becomes an even better experience. The movie's many narrative lapses and structural oddities are discussed as well as it's dread filled atmosphere and superlative Fabio Frizzi score. Clearly Fulci was more interested in realizing a long series of surrealistic, nightmare-like sequences concocted to unnerve and disturb, but among his dream imagery assault are moments of pure Gothic beauty as well. One of a kind filmmaking and a classic regardless of it's faults.

If you listen to the show on iTunes please rate & review the podcast there. It helps others find us and generally makes us feel good! You can join us on the Bloody Pit Facebook page as well where show links are posted along with odd images from the movies we cover. Thank you for listening and we'll be back soon! Oh! And I do refer to the podcast as The Bloody Podcast at the beginning of the show. This is not a rebranding attempt! It's just me verbally stumbling as we get back into the groove of recording. 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

THE BEYOND (1981) Poster and Ad Art

Monday, April 24, 2017

The Many Faces of Barbara Steele

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Euro-Spy Poster Art!

Every now and then I just have to dip back into this pool! 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Land of the Giants (1968-1970) - Kurt Kasznar and the Coward as Plot Device

I have no good way to defend watching more of this pretty bad Irwin Allen television series. It is, without a doubt, an hour long show begging to be chopped down to less than fifteen minutes. I have now suffered ....uh...watched three full random episodes from the second season and I think the only reason I can articulate for doing this is that I'm kind of mesmerized by how terrible it is.

Almost nothing about any of the characters makes sense except that they are necessary for there to be an actual story. For instance, one of the miniature humans stranded on this alien world is a middle-aged, overweight bastard named Fitzhugh. Played by Kurt Kasznar as a sniveling coward who constantly puts his crewmates in deadly jeopardy because of his greed and general worthlessness Fitzhugh should never have survived the first week on this planet. I'm not saying he would have been caught by the giants. I'm saying that any intelligent group of adults would have had enough of his selfish crap and fragged him for the greater good. I mean, come on! Lives are on the line here! I'm sure they would have made it look like an accident to the younger members of the crew but giving that scumbag a dirt nap would have made it much easier to keep everyone else alive and out of trouble.

But, of course, that would never happen on what is essentially a family friendly show. Plus, he is in sad way very important. Indeed, the only reason Fitzhugh exists is to do the stupid things he does so that the thin scripts have some engine driving the plot. Without his idiotic actions the show would be even slower and more boring than it already is! The mind boggles.

I have to stop watching this show. Damn you ME-TV! 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Production Art for KING KONG (1933)


Monday, April 17, 2017

REBELS IN CANADA (1965) - Amando de Ossorio Makes a Western!

Over the past few years I've been slowly tracking down the few films by Spanish filmmaker (and creator of the Blind Dead films) Amando de Ossorio that I have yet to see. I finally watched one of his two westerns tonight and enjoyed it for it's slight pleasures. It's part of one of my favorite western sub-genres - films about the Canadian Mounted Police! It's a tiny subset of westerns but I love it so!

Very much a Euro-Western made before the release of Sergio Leone's worldwide hit A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS (1964) changed everything,  Ossorio's REBELS IN CANADA (1965) is cut from a very different cloth. Released under half a dozen titles including Three From Colorado, Massacre on the Hudson River and Canadian Wilderness it tells the story of Canadian trapper Victor DeFrois (George Martin) who, in a fit of vengeful anger at the English fur-dealer responsible for his brother's death, joins a rebel group fighting the Mounted Police. The rebels are trying to oust the British influence from the country in an attempt to control their fortunes and their future. To achieve this goal they kidnap the villainous businessman's very blonde daughter and stash her in the woods with Victor as her guard. Eventually these two star-crossed people fall in love (like ya do) and fight to find a way to live together in this terrible situation.

This was Amando de Ossorio's second feature film as director and it shows that he was ready for the job. He injects some interesting visuals into the story often finding some sharp ways of making scenes that could be dull come alive. The scene in which rebel leader Leo gives a speech to his assembled crew is juiced up by being done as one shot with the camera centered and rotating around to follow him as he circles the group. It's a clever 360  degree shot that keeps things interesting. Also, there is a fist/knife fight between Martin and a nasty prospector that is set in a very dangerous looking set of river rapids. This sequence looks quite realistic and I can't understand how the two actors didn't sustain serious injuries!

It was nice to see the lovely Diana Lorys in a solid role as Victor's old flame who seeks revenge on him for leaving her in lurch with his new blonde woman. She is good here giving off a sense of native menace and is convincing in her final battle with another female character. Lorys was famous at the time as a key cast member of Jess Franco's THE AWFUL DR. ORLOFF (1962) and would go on to star in Ossorio's FANGS OF THE LIVING DEAD (1969) and turn in a memorable performance in Aured's BLUE EYES OF THE BROKEN DOLL (1974).

This is a well mounted (see what I did there?) film, colorful and vibrant enough even if it feels much more like a film made a decade before it's production. It's a fun little western programmer that wouldn't have felt out of place as a Saturday matinee for the kiddies and I suspect that is what it was meant to be. It's an OK film with some neat moments and that's about all. If you like the Hollywood westerns of the 1950's you might enjoy this one but you'll have to track down the fan-subtitled version I watched as I don't know of an English language version.