Saturday, March 30, 2013

Jess Franco Poster Art -Part 19!


Known under several titles including LES GLOUTONNES (1973) and LES EXPOILTS EROTIQUES DE MACISTE DANS L'ATLANTIDE this is another of Franco's Fantasy/Adventures from the 1970s that I have yet to see. The description on IMDb makes it sound very interesting -  

"According to legend, a group of women escaped from Atlantis just before the destruction of the continent. They took refuge on a mysterious island, and founded a kingdom. Men who dared approach the island, were devoured by these sexually voracious Atlanteans, and thus they were called "gobblers"."

Sounds like there is LOTS of sex! What a surprise. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Vote in the Rondo's!


The 11th Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards are still open for voting. You have until April the 7th to let everyone know your picks for the best in the fields of monster research, creativity and film preservation. Of course, I'd be thrilled if you voted for the NaschyCast under the BEST HORROR MULTIMEDIA (AUDIO OR PODCAST) selection but there are many fine podcasts nominated so I'll understand if another deserving show gets your vote. I guess.

Another item on the ballot worth your time is Ethan Black's fantastic short animated film nominated in the Best Short Film category. Here it is--



Go on over and check out the entire ballot. If nothing else you'll learn about a lot of great DVD releases and fantastic articles you might not have known about otherwise.

RONDO AWARDS!






Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Everything Wrong With The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey In 4 Minutes

I enjoyed the film well enough for something that should be much shorter but this is hysterically funny.





Monday, March 25, 2013

HOUSE OF SHADOWS (1976)- Ugh!


If this blog is any indicator (and, of course, it is) I am a big fan of movies. I may gravitate to the horror, mystery and science fiction genres but I really do love all kinds of movies. And for decades I have had a hard fast rule that once I start watching a film I must eventually finish it. It might take a long time for me to come back to a particular movie but no matter how unimpressed I have been so far I WILL finish the sucker. To be honest I am still trying to work up the mental strength and sheer willpower to finish the atrocious Euro-Trash crapfest CANNIBAL TERROR (1980) but I promise I will. Really. Seriously.

I’m not saying that I have never decided to walk away from a film and forget about checking out the remainder of the running time. There are a handful of movies over the past five or so years that have bored me or not engaged me well enough that I have felt it was not worth returning to give it more of my time. Several of these are romantic comedies and that is all I will say. But as of last night I have found another film that I am just going to walk away from and never return to discover what happened. HOUSE OF SHADOWS (1976) has been lurking in my NetFlix cue for years now. With its fairly compelling poster art and a couple of cast members I enjoy watching I thought it looked intriguing enough and last night was finally its moment. I fired it up thinking I could get about an hour of it watched before I needed to go to bed but after 10 minutes I threw up my hands and stopped it. And this was after I had backed it up once because I thought the streaming service had somehow screwed up and skipped part of the film! As soon as the opening credits ended the film jumped forward and completely past a sequence that all the characters onscreen were TALKING ABOUT! And they were talking about it as if we had seen what they are discussing! I was confused but I let it go thinking that maybe there was some explanation coming but there wasn’t. I pushed the old stop button and called it a night. I don’t need this crap! Maybe what NetFlix offering is a butchered version of the film – I don’t know - but I’m done with it. I’m moving on to some other obscure film in my giant cue. Maybe TIMESTOPPERS? Or REC 3?



Sunday, March 24, 2013

NIGHTMARE ALLEY (1947)


This past week I finally got around to crossing a classic Film Noir off my “Need to Watch’ list. I had read for years about NIGHTMARE ALLEY (1947) and its supposedly harsh story of a smart, charming sociopath who is able to move from Carnival hustler to Séance conductor as he furthers his goal of becoming as rich as possible. I was curious as to how a film produced in the 1940s would portray such a character and if indeed the ending would come off as rough and nasty as I had been lead to believe. Or would the film find a way to cop out?

The other point of interest I was curious to check out was that the self-centered con-artist is played by Tyrone Power. I’ve been a fan of his for a long time based mostly on his fun adventure movies such as THE BLACK SWAN and THE MARK OF ZORRO so I knew his onscreen persona. I wondered if the studio system as it stood in the post-war era would really let a handsome leading man like Power depict a character that the audience would have to eventually come to hate. Also, could the actor make me believe that he was that sociopath monster? Could Tyrone Power convince me he was someone capable of the hideous actions I knew he would have to engage in to be seen as a credible high level scammer?


The answers to these questions are complex. First, Power is very good in NIGHTMARE ALLEY. He turns in a fine performance and proves himself able to communicate a wide range of the complex emotions required even when the script sometimes falls down. It is these rare script failings that I think are the only problems the film really has. This trouble is best illustrated in an early dialog exchange between Power’s character Stan and Joan Blondell as Zeena when he actually says something to the effect of “I wonder why I am this way. Why do I never think about anyone other than myself?” This is a terrible scene and is so bizarre that it nearly made me laugh out loud. Although this is early enough in the movie so that we are not yet aware of how dark his chosen path will be, the fact that he is self-reflective enough to ask this question is silly. For Stan to have recognized this aspect of his personality would mean that he was aware that it IS a problem. But by his actions and statements throughout the remainder of the story it is clear he does not think his way of looking at life and the people around him is a problem at all. He is a user of people and others are only as useful to him in that they might benefit him in some way. He has no concern for people or their feelings and he proves it repeatedly. Self-reflection is just not going to be in him! Of course, I suspect this odd bit of dialog was placed in the film as a sop to the suppressive Hayes Code in effect at the time. The de rigueur censorship of the time would require a great deal of care if this tale was going to be brought to the screen in any form. This bit of verbal explication of Stan’s lack of empathy is tin eared in the extreme but I’m sure when the film was produced it was seen as the best way to get this character onscreen in any form. Having him spell out his internal defect so bluntly might have been considered necessary to show the audience of the time that something serious was wrong with him. It doesn’t play well now but it may have in 1947.

So, as far as the film showing us a dark portrait of a disturbed but high functioning, ruthless man it succeeds even as it trips itself up in a few scenes. The parts that ring false in the movie don’t stop it from showing us a malicious man who is dealt a harsh fate by his own hand. The movie is very compelling and it’s always fun to watch an evil person go about their business in an entertaining way. As for the ending- I’ll leave it for fresh viewers to discover it for themselves but I must say I was impressed. The film telegraphs the final turn far too clearly, far too early but it works just the same. This is a very good Noir and one I know I’ll return to in the future. I’m sad that it took me so long to finally see this great movie.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

NaschyCast #36.5 - Year Three Review


Oh, my goodness! Has it really been three years? Well, yes! It has been that long and so its time for another Year End Wrap Up episode. This group of twelve Naschy movies had a few highs and several lows, as you might expect, but I think we certainly plumbed the depths in a couple of cases.Com along and join Troy and I as we look back over the last 12 months of podcasts and reexamine and, in some cases, reevaluate the Spanish cinema we have previously dissected. There are a few surprises along the way.

As you might expect there are a few digressions as we run through our lists but not too many. In the mailbag we have a fun email from regular correspondent Mark and as a bonus we have short interview with Nashville convention producer Marc Ballard giving us the lowdown on the upcoming show that your humble NaschyCasters will be attending in May. I must say that I'm excited by the chance to meet several of the professionals that will be there including the amazing comic book writer/artist Jim Starlin! I've been a fan of his work for decades. Wow.

If you have questions for us you can write at naschycast@gmail.com or join us over at the NaschyCast Facebook page.  If you subscribe through iTunes please rate and/or review us over in the Store. It would really help us out. Thanks for listening! 




Monday, March 18, 2013

STAR WARS: Luke's Change: an Inside Job

Although I am somewhat interested in the possibilities of a STAR WARS film made by creators that are not George Lucas, I can't get too fired up about it. For me, the SW river barge has run aground on a series of bad story choices in the prequels. Trying to turn the entire narrative into the tragic redemption yarn of Darth Vader is so wrong-headed it beggars the imagination. But I have to say this short parody film almost makes me happy the whole six film universe exists.





Saturday, March 16, 2013

LOVE BRIDES OF THE BLOOD MUMMY (1973)

In the past three years of recording NaschyCasts Troy and I have stumbled across a number of movies that we had never previously heard of. A few of these we have turned into extra podcasts because we found what we think is a hidden gem from the golden days of the Spanish Horror boom. THE STRANGE LOVES OF THE VAMPIRE is a good example of a little known film that could and should be better known. Its simply lying there waiting for some industrious DVD producer to discover and bring to the Cult Movie loving masses.

As we do our research for each show we go through the IMDb listings for the cast and crew for the movies we cover we will often spot titles that seem like something worth seeking out. Luckily, in the age of the internet, this is becoming easier and easier to do. When we spotted the film LOVE BRIDES OF THE BLOOD MUMMY among the films of actor Frank Brana (LOS CANTOBROS, PIECES, POD PEOPLE, etc) I knew it was one I had to see. A Spanish made mummy movie? Hell- it might as well have been made specifically for me! Its release date of 1973 and its Spanish/French production pedigree meant there was every chance in the world for cinematic joy. My, oh my. I was so very wrong.

First, this is one of the most impoverished European productions I have ever seen. I don't know how much money they had for this film but it was NOT much. Now- that is not necessarily a problem when it comes to these types of movies but in this case it makes for a film with less than five total filming locations which has the effect of blanding everything down considerably. The story is set in the late 1800s and what little money they had seems to have been spent on a few costumes and renting out a rundown old castle. Occasionally modern items creep into frame but I can forgive that type of thing in a trashy period horror film because I dearly love the genre. But when a film has a very low budget it requires a careful director and an interesting script to keep boredom at bay. You must juggle your resources to hide your lack of monetary means. Unfortunately this is one of the dullest pieces of Euro-Horror I have sat through in recent memory. Most of the film is a boring series of repetitive scenes of a kind of hypnotized servant going out to drag female victims back to the castle dungeon for the 'mummy' to molest and drain of blood. Oh yeah- lets talk about the 'molest' aspect.  Spanish exploitation films of the period were generally shot with alternate scenes of the nastier moments with full nudity from the ladies. This allowed them to have a soft and hard version to sale to different countries with different standards for movies. I'm not saying there are pornographic prints of LOVES BRIDES OF THE BLOOD MUMMY out there but there is a version in which the molestation I mention is much harsher and may have been laced with a little violence. What I had to watch is the 'clothed' version of the film so there are some silly moments when the Egyptian is clearly randy and lusting for more than just blood when the director has the victim's underclothes miraculously stay intact enough to cover her naughty bits. This gets fairly strange and in one scene we are treated to a lengthy scan of the dungeon's ceiling as the - let's call it what it is - rape is conducted.

Next we have the fact that there is no mummy in the film. By this I mean there is no wrapped, wrinkled creature shambling about doing evil things. The film has plenty of evil things being done but the device of having the resurrected Egyptian guy never speak a word and do nothing but lurk in a cellar and rape women is somehow supposed to be the mummy action. That's all he does! Oh- and drink blood from the girl's nibbled on throats. This silent, well tanned fellow from centuries ago is awakened from his slumber to mostly just stare at the other characters while modeling gold-foil faux-Egyptian clothing until some poor girl is thrown at his feet. Seems like a pretty boring life. (By the way- how did the cheesy, shiny loincloth survive the long years in the sarcophagus? Or am I being stupid to even ask this question?)  This is all well and good, you might think, but why is the guy some kind of vampire? And why is that word never used? And why (outside of the standard cinema conventions) are all the victims he is supplied with hot females? WTF?

 I must admit that as much as I disliked this tedious movie I would probably sit through the unclothed version to see what it was like. I know that makes me sound like a pervert hoping for the sight of nubile actress flesh but it is often the case that more than just the nude scenes are altered in these stripped versions. There is a rumor that a US DVD company has the rights to release this film's harder version and is playing up the nastier aspects of it on the cover. Indeed, the cover art of the proposed DVD is all the proof we have seen of this possible release so - as strange as it may sound after all I've said here- I'd be pretty happy to have this come out. Jeeze! I'm such a Euro-Trash hound! 


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Sunday, March 10, 2013

COUNT DRACULA'S GREAT LOVE (1972) on YouTube

I am usually fearful of putting up a link to an entire movie when its posted on Youtube. I always think it will be pulled and I'll have posted nothing but a dead link for people to follow. But there are so many movies out there now that have been available in this format for so long that I've decided to grit my teeth, cross my fingers and point all Naschy fans toward this copy of Senor Molina's one onscreen portrayal of the legendary Count. When we covered this film for the NaschyCast Troy and I differed on its merits with me feeling it doesn't quite have what it takes to be a great horror film but it is still very much worth seeing. If nothing else it is a gorgeous movie to look at! Enjoy.





Saturday, March 09, 2013

THE MUMMY (1932) - images









I think its time to revisit this creaky old classic. And its streaming on NetFlix right now!

Friday, March 08, 2013

Jess Franco Poster Art - Part 18


This 1972 effort from Franco is also known under the titles DOLLS FOR SALE and VIBRATING GIRLS.  Interesting. The Internet Movie Database has next to no information about it so, of course, I am intrigued. The possible charms are enough to make me deny the probable frustrations. 

Thursday, March 07, 2013

What I Watched in February


I wasn't able to get out to the theater at all in the month of February. That may well be the first time that has happened in years and I'm fairly shocked. I guess there just isn't enough time in the day- week- month to do all the things I'd like to do.

I spent a lot of my time in front of the home screen watching television shows both old and new. I'm keeping up with several shows that have no trouble holding my interest including ARCHER, JUSTIFIED, YOUNG JUSTICE, ARROW, THE WALKING DEAD and THE FOLLOWING. I also used the old NetFlix to catch the first (very good) season of DOWNTON ABBEY. There is a show I can get behind and I now understand the general public fascination. Its quite well done. 

 ARCHER continues to be one of the funniest shows I have ever seen and in its newest season is building on its cast of bizarre characters in ways that make each episode another step along an amazing comedic path. It has more laughs per minute than any other show on television. JUSTIFIED is a truly great crime drama that manages to be smart, funny and suspenseful while keeping you completely invested in its characters. The acting is award worthy as is the writing. The cast is stellar and my only complaint is that I wish each season was longer - 12 or 13 episodes is just not enough for me. THE FOLLOWING started of as a show I thought was going to be a 'very serious thriller' but it has become a crazed show about an impossible serial killer conspiracy keeping the FBI running around like lunatics. It has become mostly unbelievable but in a way I'm glad. Its more fun to have an unhinged pulp crime show that barely keeps its plots and situations based in reality than another serious police procedural. I'm still watching and hoping it doesn't jump too many sharks in its desire to entertain.

 YOUNG JUSTICE is easily the best animated super hero TV show that has ever been on television. The brilliantly plotted second season is a joy as we have watched a supposedly benign alien invasion turn the Earth into a battleground for warring factions from off-world. Every hero is well delineated and all the villains have clear agendas. The interpersonal relationships are one of the strengths of the stories as we see characters attempt to deal with life in its complicated sloppiness. This show sets a high bar for future super hero television. ARROW was a show I willing to drop if it turned into crap but surprisingly it has gotten stronger as it goes along. Not that there haven't been minor missteps and it does occasionally rely on standard TV action clichés too often but I find the show compelling. Its nice to have solid live-action super hero show that doesn't revolve around one of the big DC characters. 

Here are the movies I squeezed in last month-- 

GAMES (1967)- 7 (great little shocker from Curtis Harrington)
THE SCARLET CLAW (1944)- 8 (Excellent, creepy Sherlock Holmes tale) (rewatch)
TEN SECONDS TO HELL (1959)- 8 (Hammer produced post-war film)
THE BRIDES OF DRACULA (1960)- 9 (rewatch)
EVERYTHING OR NOTHING (2012)- 10 (excellent documentary about the Bond series)
A WEREWOLF IN THE AMAZON (2005)- 2
GODZILLA: FINAL WARS (2004)- 8 (rewatch)
IRON SKY (2012)- 7 (fun science fiction comedy)
CAROL FOR ANOTHER CHRISTMAS (1964)- 5 (earnest, preachy Serling TV movie)
NORTHERN PURSUIT (1943)- 7 (rewatch) (Errol Flynn as a Canadian Mountie fighting Nazis!)
TERRORVISION (1986)- 4 (pretty bad sci-fi/horror/comedy)



Monday, March 04, 2013

Saturday, March 02, 2013

The Bloody Pit #6 - Sgt. Preston of the Yukon


With the end of Winter fast approaching you might think my thoughts would turn to Spring and the fun outdoor activities just around the corner. No- not me. I'm still trying to enjoy the indoor activities that the colder months bring like hunkering down in front of the TV and watching television shows from the 1950s or listening to old radio shows from even earlier decades. That is the subject of this spontaneous episode of The Bloody Pit. I fell in love with the old Challenge of the Yukon radio show years back and when the snow flies (or when it ought to be flying) I relish settling in and enjoying some of these adventure shows. Sgt. Preston and Yukon King tales are very much a relic of their times but that is one of the things I find appealing about them. I like the TV show but I love the radio episodes so I've folded one of them into this short podcast. I hope you enjoy this look at a mostly forgotten piece of entertainment history.

You can drop me a message at thebloodypit@gmail.com any time. Thank you for listening.  





Dream Movie - SUPERMAN VS. DRACULA!


I cannot be the only person that wishes this film actually existed. The pure awesomeness would jump right off the screen and chase you out of the theater.