Saturday, June 29, 2013

Goblin tours the United States!

That is correct! For the first time in their history Italian rock band Goblin will be touring North America this Fall. And I have my ticket to the Atlanta show already! Woo hoo!! That is technically the very first American show they will play so I will be there for a truly historic musical event.


For those unaware of the reason for this excitement, Goblin is the band responsible for the scores for the Dario Argento films, DEEP RED, SUSPIRIA and SLEEPLESS as well as for several other fine horror films. They even contributed to Romero's patchwork score for DAWN OF THE DEAD. I am thrilled to be able to see these guys play live- an event I never thought I would live to witness. 

Here are the tour dates for the US and Canada- 

10/01 – Atlanta, GA @ The Loft *
10/03 – Asheville, NC @ Orange Peel *
10/04 – Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar *
10/05 – Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts *
10/06 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall Of Williamsburg *
10/09 – Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair *
10/10 – Montreal, QC @ Le National *
10/11 – Toronto, ON @ Opera House *
10/12 – Pontiac, MI @ Crofoot Ballroom *
10/13 – Chicago, IL @ Metro  *
10/15 – Englewood, CO @ Gothic Theatre *
10/18 – Seattle, WA @ Neumos *
10/19 – Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theater *
10/20 – San Francisco, CA @ Regency Ballroom *
10/22 – Hollywood, CA @ Egyptian Theater


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

NaschyCast #39- TARZAN IN KING SOLOMON'S MINES (1974)


When we started this podcast centered on the works of Paul Naschy I had no idea it would take us to some of the places we have gone. I never expected to delve into an acidic view of religion and human nature filtered through a Medieval tale of ribald wickedness (EL CAMINANTE); a dark but funny look at modern Spanish society (NAKED MADRID);  or a sympathetic look at a real life killer (THE FRENCHMAN'S GARDEN). None of those subjects were on my radar but even they seem like a natural extension of Naschy's career compared to the thought of our favorite Spanish werewolf running around in a Tarzan movie. WTF? How did this happen?


First it must be made clear that Naschy does NOT play Tarzan. There have been dozens of screen Jungle Lords but I'm not sure anyone would have been able to suspend their disbelief enough to accept that peculiar casting. No- in TARZAN IN KING SOLOMON'S MINES Naschy plays the part of the Great White Hunter with criminal intent. He sports a mustache, a rifle, canned meat and the coolest Safari hat in Africa. The movie also stars the dark eyed German beauty Nadiuska in the role of the love interest. She is returning to the podcast for her second appearance in a Naschy film after her work in THE PEOPLE WHO OWN THE DARK.

We doubt much, if any, of this movie was shot in Africa (other than the stock footage!) but its still a jungle adventure so surely it will be fun. Right? We'll see. Troy and I discuss our first encounters with the greatest of Edgar Rice Burroughs' creations; good and bad Tarzan actors; favorite versions of the character in film; jungle movies as a genre; etc. We try to stay on track but this subject is fertile ground and there are just too many vines to choose from. Please write and let us know what you think of the show. The email address is naschycast@gmail.com and the Facebook group is in full swing. If you get the show through iTunes please take the time to rate and review us. And thanks for listening!



Sunday, June 23, 2013

Jungle Movie Poster Art

I'm editing the next NaschyCast featuring a lot of Tarzan talk so these kinds of movies are on my mind. Fun stuff!








Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Joy of THE CURSE OF THE DOLL PEOPLE (1961)

Recently the fine folks over at the B-Movie Podcast covered the mad little Mexican horror picture THE CURSE OF THE DOLL PEOPLE (1961) and brought to my attention that there exists a longer version of the film. Regular show guest Juan of Fifth Dimension Films joined the podcasters and was able to detail the scenes that were cut out by the United States distributor. This was an eye opening conversation! There are a number of different sequences cut and their removal reduces the running time of the feature by over 15 minutes – which is exactly what was wanted, of course. The shorter the film, the easier it was to pair with another movie for the big double feature money. The problem is that when you start hacking out big chunks of the film you run the risk of making the story confusing or completely nonsensical which is what happened with THE CURSE OF THE DOLL PEOPLE.

In prep to listen to the B-Movie hosts talk about the movie I rewatched it for the first time in years and found that my less than stellar memories of it were accurate. The story lost me on more than one occasion with character motivations a mystery, unexplained information driving the plot forward and bizarre coincidences making things seem sillier minute by minute. There are more than a few moments when I was struggling to figure out whom certain characters were so that I could understand why they would be doing what they were doing! These detriments are a shame as the film’s central idea is pretty good and the sight of the three foot tall ‘dolls’ creeping around killing people is often chilling. But the missing pieces of the story are a major hindrance to enjoying the movie that can’t really be overcome by simple B-Movie love or grit! 


The very good news is that it is now possible to see the full length version of this movie! That’s right! The Spanish language 86 minute longprint of it is now available and can be purchased from Fifth Dimension Films. The DVD has easy to read English subtitles and the image is far sharper than the crappy video copy I first saw over a decade ago. The benefit to seeing the entire movie is that you can finally figure out what is actually happening as well as how certain characters are related (!) and even discover a bit more motivation for the bad guy’s evil plan – even though it still doesn’t make too much sense. I can highly recommend checking out this disc and indeed their entire catalog. Juan has a huge collection of rare and hard to find movies over there that will make any B-Movie fan drool with desire. Where else are you gonna find FACE OF FIRE (1959), HAND OF DEATH (1962) or THE AMAZING COLOSSAL MAN (1957)? Go on over and check out Juan's site and tell him The Bloody Pit sent ya! 



Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Paul Naschy: Interview with the Werewolf (2002)

This is the 15 minute interview with Naschy that was produced by American DVD companies Anchor Bay and Blue Underground for their releases of WEREWOLF SHADOW and CURSE OF THE DEVIL. If you've not been able to see it here is your chance! Its a good overview of how Jacinto Molina became Paul Naschy and stalked his way into horror history.



Saturday, June 15, 2013

Sad Cat Diary

I don't usually post this type of thing here but I find this video to be one of the funniest short films I have seen in years. I live with a cat that pretty much rules our house by virtue of her cute actions, amusing attitude and general loveable nature. It is silly to anthropomorphize the wee beasties  but I often ascribe thoughts to Katie the Cat that seem logical given the evidence at hand. If you live with a feline friend I'm sure you'll see a little of your sad kitty in this hilarious video. 


Friday, June 14, 2013

Superman Comic Book Covers


















Most of my favorite Superman stories involve him in the Justice League or teaming up with other Super Heroes. These covers make me want to read each and every issue of DC Comics Presents now! And catch MAN OF STEEL this weekend, of course. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

THE WARRIOR AND THE SORCERESS (1984) - trailer


I realized today that I didn't post the poster art for the film that spurred my talk with William Stout so here you go. And while I'm at it here's an image of the characters that were supposed to be romantically involved - at least in Stout's original version of the script. 


Creepy, huh? Oh, and here's the trailer as well. If you haven't checked out the interview with Mr. Stout you can learn more at this LINK.


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Monday, June 10, 2013

INVASION USA (1985) novelized!

I have enjoyed reading film novelizations since I was a wee lad. I have great memories of reading the STAR WARS and ALIEN novelizations long before I got to see the films and I've always thought that having those stories already present in my head when I sat down for my first viewing added to the experience. Usually though I have ended up reading the novelization well after seeing the film the book was based upon. There are a number of reasons for doing this. In my opinion the best reason is to see what changes were made to the finished film that stayed in the novel. These can be things as small as extra snatches of dialog or as big as entire sequences that didn't get filmed for various reasons. I always find the books interesting and quick reads even if they offer little in the way of top level writing or really anything more than simple, effective prose. But simple and effective prose is all these books require so when I read one of them I know what to expect.

Until now the only unifying trait tying all the novelizations I have read together would be that I actually liked the film being transmogrified into a book. That might seem like a given but I have finally broken that streak by reading a book based on a film I consider very, very bad. Indeed, I find INVASION USA (1984) so bad I entered it into our annual Turkey Night of Bad Cinema recently to introduce others to its incredible ridiculousness. So, why read the novelization of a terrible 80s action film starring renowned plank of wood Chuck Norris?  This blog post by Joe Kenney over on GloriousTrash made it necessary.


Reading about the real identity of author Jason Frost and the fact that the book was waaaayyyy better than the movie made this a must find. Lucky for me, my beloved girlfriend took note of my online babble about this twenty-eight year old bit of Men's Adventure Trash and gifted me with a yellowing copy for my birthday. Ain't love grand?

So, now that I've read INVASION USA what do I think? Its a blast! Exactly as Mr. Kenney noted this version of the story actually makes sense. In the film Norris' blank-eyed hero Hunter seems to just repeatedly, magically appear where ever villain Rostov's terrorists are causing havoc. Hunter then mows the bad guys down with his mini-submachine guns and then fades back into the night. Always the night. It is this repeated pattern of superhuman ability to locate the bad guys followed by near comic slaughter that makes the film so damned funny. But in the novel we see that Hunter is smartly tracking reporters that are being tipped off by the terrorists to increase the amount of news coverage each event receives. See how easy that was to fix? Why is that not in the movie?


In the film Rostov's plan to destabilize the United States seems poorly thought out and pathetically executed but in the novel things are much more interesting. We're told that several teams of terrorists have been sent to major cities to insight race and ethnic riots around the country. This is much more impressive than a group of two dozen morons running around Miami shopping malls shooting people randomly at Christmas time. This makes each action scene have some weight as does the author's repeated detailing of some of the civilian victims of the various attacks. Its often harsh to learn just enough about a couple of characters to sympathize with them only to then have them cruelly gunned down by the marauding terrorists.

Also, the antagonism between Hunter and Rostov is explained very well with a nightmare flashback detailing the opportunity Hunter had to kill the dastardly fellow several years before. This information makes Hunter's repeated use of the phrase 'time to die' actually mean something in the narrative. It also makes Rostov's blind hatred for Hunter clear and understandable which is far beyond what the film seems capable of.


Of course, the real question is if this material was in the original script and then discarded in the shooting or editing of the finished product? Or was all the novel's solid meat on the film's sagging bones crafted out of the mind of 'Jason Frost'? We may never know without an interview with Raymond Obstfeld focused on his adventure fiction work in the 1980s but I would love to find out. Regardless, it has been quite a surprise to discover that someone could (or would bother to) turn a crappy 80s action Turkey into an exciting, well done Men's Adventure story on the printed page. Maybe when I next get the urge to read an Executioner or Destroyer novel in the future I could instead locate the novelization of RAMBO III and hope for the best. Or not.



Sunday, June 09, 2013

THE OUTSIDER- The Cinema of Antonio Margheriti



Most of the dialog in this trailer is in Italian but there is enough English spoken to make the two and half minutes worth it for us mono-linguists. I can't wait for the chance to see this documentary on the life and work of the great Mr. Margheriti just to get a look at some of the behind the scenes footage. And any chance to see some of the details of how he accomplished his miniature effects on such small budgets is pure Euro-Trash film gold! Supposedly a DVD is due out this Summer but I have no knowledge of when it might make it to our shores.



Saturday, June 08, 2013

The Bloody Pit #8 - William Stout interview


Sometimes I am lucky enough to meet very accomplished people whose work I admire. Often these are authors I seek out for the chance to discuss their books or research subjects but in the past decade or so I have been able to meet several people who work in the film industry at one level or another. This has been fascinating as most of them have been very willing to talk about their work and also relate anecdotes about the pitfalls of filmmaking. To my good fortune, one of these people has been William Stout. Mr. Stout is an acclaimed illustrator, creature designer, storyboard artist, production designer and the writer of a few screenplays. This last bit of his resume was a surprise to me when his name turned up as the co-scripter of the Roger Corman produced barbarian epic THE WARRIOR AND THE SORCERESS (1984). I had decided one uneventful night to revisit this little film now that it was available on DVD from Shout Factory and my surprise at this credit was total. As soon as I verified that it was indeed the same William Stout I knew I just had to ask him about it.

I first met Mr. Stout a few years ago when we struck up a friendship over shared music interests and since then its been a highlight of the Wonderfest convention each Spring to talk to him informally about his work. He is a charming, funny man with enough great stories to fill more than one book and I have always felt lucky to be able to hear him tell his tales. I was thrilled when he immediately agreed to sit down and talk with me about THE WARRIOR AND THE SORCERESS for the podcast. If you've never met Mr. Stout I think you'll enjoy this conversation as a way to get an idea of what a nice gentleman he is and if you have any interest in the behind the scenes shenanigans that can happen, you will be laughing along with me. Although we start talking about Roger Corman and the barbarian films of the 1980s the discussion ranges across several other movies too. I often forget just how many of my favorite movies William Stout worked on!




If you wish to contact me about the podcast, the blog or anything else you can drop me a note at thebloodypit@gmail.com and I'll be happy to respond. I keep meaning to read out emails on the podcast but the show's schedule is so erratic I always forget! This episode can be grabbed as an MP3 at the link below or through iTunes. If you get the podcast through iTunes please consider rating and/or reviewing it. It would really help get the word out about what is going on here. Thanks!