Tuesday, October 15, 2019

The Bloody Pit #92 - INSEMINOID (1981)


Once again Adrian Smith returns to the show! This time out we’re discussing (at length) one of Norman J. Warren’s films – INSEMINOID (1981). Probably the most notorious of the director’s horror efforts, it’s very poster art was controversial. The movie brings the idea of an alien creature injecting its offspring into a human host for gestation further into the open than even Ridley Scott’s classic ALIEN (1979) managed. Along with that hideous imagery the film also sports the usual Warren level of blood and gore making this a nasty little viewing experience even by today’s standards. Newcomers to the film might be surprised to see some well-known actresses plunging elbow deep into the violent sci-fi exploitation pits. You might also be impressed with how much the cast and crew accomplish on such a small budget.

Adrian is the perfect person to talk about this film as he is responsible for the book about the director included in Indicator’s new five film Blu-Ray set ‘Bloody Terror: The Shocking Cinema of Norman J. Warren 1976-1981’. In this informative work he lays out the details of Warren’s horror output giving insight into the troubles British productions run into regularly. Often it seems a minor miracle that any of these lower budgeted movies ever got completed. We mostly restrict our comments to INSEMINOID with a fair amount of detailed conversation about the script’s problems and the ingenious ways the filmmakers found to overcome unforeseen hazards. We also delve into the bizarre additions and changes made to the story in the film’s novelization. Certainly, the choice to shoot mostly on location was a decision that enhanced the look of the film but it was quite hard on the cast. Be aware that we spoil the entire movie as we proceed so, if that’s important to you, please go watch it before listening to us debate its relative merits. Adrian and I have very different views on this one so I think you’ll find it an interesting show. Oh! And we end things with a new version of the classic song Monster Mash and an extra solo bit of Adrian as he amuses himself while I’m away from the mic.

If you have any comments or questions thebloodypit@gmail.com is the email address. We’d love to hear from you. Posts can also be made on the show’s FaceBook page. Thank you for downloading and listening.










Monday, October 14, 2019

Guillermo del Toro on THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME (1939)



I'm long overdue for a rewatch of this classic. 




Sunday, October 13, 2019

What I Watched in September


READY OR NOT (2019) is a horror comedy that is very entertaining regardless of the fact that the split between horror and comedy is a little off-kilter at times. The story is intriguing if somewhat far-fetched. A woman is about to marry into a very wealthy family that made its money in board games. They are very old money and have a number of very specific rituals and formalities that they maintain. One of those is that anytime someone marries into the family they must play a game with the entire family the night of the wedding. All is well and good except that on rare occasions the game that must be played is a deadly version of hide-and-seek. The film's protagonist turns out to be one of those unlucky few and ends up being chased around the family's opulent mansion while everyone else attempts to kill her. These other family members believe that if they do not kill her then some horrible curse will take effect and will destroy them. Let the games begin! This is a fun, exciting movie that moves very quickly and is it well acted on every front. It only has one small problem which is that it can't quite master the downshift between the comedic elements and the more horrific elements. This trouble with tonal shifts throws the movie off-kilter a few times but not nearly enough to make it unenjoyable. That the film grinds it’s gears a few times getting to its insane ending is fine with me since it is so entertaining. The rather ridiculous premise doesn't seem so ridiculous as the movie unspools and by the final act really seems to be much more plausible than you might expect given the unreality of the story. A good if slightly flawed film.



IT: CHAPTER 2 (2019) had a lot to live up to after the high quality of the first half of this story. I went into this slightly concerned by the near three-hour length but I’m happy to report that I never felt the film was too long as it played. I was impressed with the adult casting of the child characters and how smartly the younger actors are blended into the narrative with the older actors. The story plays out in the way anyone familiar with the earlier TV version will recognize. But, as with the first film, things are much better realized onscreen in this big budgeted effort gliding by some of the 1990 TV film’s flaws especially in the final confrontation. This new film is very well paced, well-acted and genuinely scary in ways that are more impressive given the running time. I’ve always felt that horror movies work best when kept under 100 minutes but this two part nearly six hour horror tale is one of the best horror movies of the past decade and an amazing accomplishment. And I wouldn’t mind a version that is even longer if there are more character points left out for some reason. Well done!



THE LIST

THE SPIRAL STAIRCASE (1946) – 9 (rewatch on Blu)
MAUSOLEUM (1983) – 4 (dull, often silly demon possession film)
NEXT OF KIN (1982) – 8 (rewatch on Blu) (solid slow burn horror from Australia)
NIGHTMARE BEACH (1989) – 4
THE RETURN OF THE VAMPIRE (1943) – 8 (rewatch on Blu)
THE MAD GHOUL (1943) – 7 (rewatch on Blu)
MURDERS IN THE ZOO (1933) – 8 (rewatch on Blu)
THE MAD DOCTOR OF MARKET STREET (1942) – 6 (rewatch on Blu)
THE GIANT CLAW (1957) – 4 (rewatch)
INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1956) – 9 (rewatch on Blu)
CREATURE WITH THE ATOM BRAIN (1955) – 6  (rewatch)
31 (2016) – 3 (another terrible Rob Zombie mess)
EMMA, PUERTAS OSCURAS (1974) – 6 (young mad woman slowly deteriorates)
SANTO IN THE WAX MUSEUM (1963) – 7 (Santo as superhero taking on evil scientist)
SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON (1961) – 7 (rewatch on Blu)
SNAPSHOT (1979) – 6 (rewatch) (Australian drama with a horror finale)
SHOCKING DARK (1989) – 3 (hilariously bad rip-off of…. A lot of movies)
ZOMBIES OF MORA TAU (1957) – 4 (rewatch)
NIGHT KEY (1937) – 7 (rewatch) (nice little crime film with Karloff)
READY OR NOT (2019) – 7
THE WEREWOLF (1956) – 6 (rewatch)
V/H/S/ (2012) – 7 (mostly well-done anthology found footage film)
THE MAD MAGICIAN (1954) – 6 (rewatch) (Price goes killer)
THE ANGRY RED PLANET (1959) – 6 (rewatch)
THE SCREAMING SKULL (1958) – 5 (rewatch)
PET SEMATARY (2019) – 7 (improvement on the first adaptation)
CHILD’S PLAY (2019) – 4 (failure of a remake)
IT: CHAPTER 2 (2019) – 9
WOMAN IN WHITE (1948) – 7
THE STRANGER WITHIN (1974) – 6 (Richard Matheson written TV movie)


Bela Lugosi as Dracula








Saturday, October 12, 2019

Concept Art for Disney's Legend of Sleepy Hollow








These were done for Disney by the amazingly talented artist Mary Blair. 

From Wikipedia - She was prominent in producing art and animation for The Walt Disney Company, drawing concept art for such films as Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Song of the South and Cinderella.[1] Blair also created character designs for enduring attractions such as Disneyland's It's a Small World, the fiesta scene in El Rio del Tiempo in the Mexico pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase, and an enormous mosaic inside Disney's Contemporary Resort. Several of her illustrated children's books from the 1950s remain in print, such as I Can Fly by Ruth Krauss. Blair was inducted into the group of Disney Legends in 1991.



Friday, October 11, 2019

Brief Thoughts - MURDER ROCK (1984)


MURDER ROCK (1984) - Later period Lucio Fulci giallo. Someone is killing off the best dancers in a class from which the top students will be offered prestigious jobs. A wily police detective suspects someone in the school but can’t pin the murders on anyone- not even the people with the most to gain. This one has always had a bad reputation because of the terrible 80s music that is slathered all over the soundtrack. It’s true the Flashdance style tunes are abysmal and unintentionally funny but they don’t make the film any less solid as a good thriller ride. The murders are fascinating and the amount of nudity on display is plentiful putting this firmly in the sexploitation genre. Handled like a throwback to the 70s heyday of the great Gialli the killer is inventive (and lucky) with an identity always hovering just out of sight until the end. Well done if not brilliant and a welcome return to form for Fulci at a time he was being regularly attacked for having lost his mojo. The man could really make exciting cinema.



Thursday, October 10, 2019

MONSTER MASH ~ Bobby "Boris" Pickett & The Crypt-Kickers (1962)



I've had this wonderful old tune stuck in my head all day! 
And here are a few cover versions as well! 




Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Charles Addams Cartoons!






And I'm actually looking forward to that new animated Addams Family film! 

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Batman Wishes Us All Happy Halloween









Monday, October 07, 2019

Paul Naschy's BEAST AND THE MAGIC SWORD (1983) on Sale Soon!


On October 18th Mondo Macabro will be offering two new Limited Edition Blu-Ray releases for pre-order and the most anticipated one is THE BEAST AND THE MAGIC SWORD! This isvery exciting for many reasons. I'll let Mondo's ad copy present the details -

BEAST is the last great film from Spanish horror legend Paul Naschy. Although he would go on making and planning films until his death in 2009, he never again attempted the epic sweep and grandeur of this 10th entry into the saga of Waldemar Daninsky, the man afflicted by the curse of lycanthropy.

In this film we get for the first time an origin story of how the Daninsky curse began back in the 10th century. We then move forward to 16th century Japan where Daninsky has travelled in search of a cure to his affliction. Co-starring Japanese stage and screen veteran Shigeru Amachi, and shot in the studios of Toshiro Mifune, The Beast and the Magic Sword is a highly successful and colourful melding of European werewolf legends and dark Japanese fantasy. It features a fight between werewolf and tiger, an evil scarlet cloaked witch who imprisons Daninsky, a sword fight with a troupe of ghost samurai, and many other unforgettable scenes.

This is the first Blu-ray release of this film and its first ever US release.

So take advantage of MM's Great Halloween Sale and get your hands on this fantastic werewolf film. You might even enjoy the commentary track from the Naschycast hosts. That's right! Troy and I have commentated again and it comes as part of this excellent release! We think you'll have a good time with the film and the Blu-Ray so buy two. It's the perfect gift for the holidays - Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Thursday, etc. 






Sunday, October 06, 2019

PET SEMETARY (2019)


Unlike a lot of people, I've never been a huge fan of the 1989 adaptation of Stephen King's novel Pet Sematary. I've given the movie three tries over the past three decades and each time I've come away unimpressed with its poor acting and uninvolving direction. That first film has one good performance (Fred Gwynn) but that is its only standout element. It's just not a very good movie. Therefore, it fits the classic criteria for a remake in that it's a film with a good idea that (in my opinion at least) was done very poorly on first attempt.

So last week I finally checked out the 2019 version and I'm happy to say I think the second time they may have actually managed to make a good movie. I should say up front that I'm not someone who is a knee-jerk hater of remakes. I kind of enjoy seeing variations on classic films even when I think the remake may fail or turn out to be a weaker rendition of the general story. I think it's fun to see these older stories reimagined for a new age and often times you get a new version of an old story that can stand up next to the original movie. In the case of PET SEMETARY I think there was nowhere to go but up.


This new film has a much stronger cast with Jason Clarke doing very good work as the father that makes the fateful choice to use the titular plot of land. Replacing the late Mr. Gwynn is the excellent John Lithgow who continues to demonstrate his seemingly effortless ability to create sympathetic characters onscreen. The new film is stylishly directed moving from point to point swiftly without ever feeling as if it’s in a hurry to tell it’s tale. If you’re familiar with the earlier film or the book there will be few surprises other than in presentation but this is a well-done reworking of the story that finally gives the Stephen King book an effective screen adaptation. There is only one disappointment I can point to. The Blu-Ray has an alternate ending that I think works better than the one chosen for the finished picture. Both endings get to the same place but the mechanics of the revival and the time required for the Semetary to do its work is more believable in the unused ending. Plus, the final image of the alternate version is a much more potent finish for the story. 

Saturday, October 05, 2019

Jack O'Lantern Art!








Creepy and fun! 

Friday, October 04, 2019

Brief Thoughts - DON'T ANSWER THE PHONE (1980)


DON’T ANSWER THE PHONE (1980)- A mad killer is stalking and strangling women in Los Angeles. Ho hum. Not a bad little film and it has some nice touches but on the whole it’s only OK. We follow both the killer and the cops as they attempt to catch him while his murder spree goes more out of control.  There are some good performances and the script is well laid out but there is also no real spark. A few important scenes are so flatly directed that they don't register at all and most of the humor falls completely flat. I can’t quite see what there is here that has garnered the film such a cult following. Nice disc release though.


Thursday, October 03, 2019

CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON (1954) Poster Art


















In these waning (but still very hot) days of Summer thoughts turn to everyone's favorite Amazonian creature.