Saturday, September 25, 2021

Video - Boris Karloff in 'Sting of Death' (1955)


Were you aware that Boris Karloff once played Sherlock Holmes? Well, he certainly did, as the script for this television adaptation of Gerald Heard's 1941 mystery novel 'A Taste of Honey' makes perfectly plain without ever using that famous name. Mr. Mycroft (wink, wink) is an older, retired gentleman living in a small English village raising bees (nudge, nudge) who realizes that not all is good with a neighboring beekeeper. In fact, he suspects him of being a murderer! Enter the fussy honey devotee Mr. Silchester and Mr. Mycroft realizes he will have to handle things in his customary fashion - outside the law. 

Of course, this is a very set bound production made with little money and obvious false backdrops but the actors are wonderful and the story is quite satisfying. I recommend checking it out! 


Friday, September 24, 2021

Video - ESCAPE FROM GALAXY 3 (1981)


For the extremely curious, this future podcast subject is available to see here in excellent quality. I am willing to go out on a limb here and proclaim that this film makes better use of the space battle footage that it steals from STARCRASH (1978) than Cozzi's epic. I know that seems like sacrilege but I'm willing to argue the point. Because I'm nuts. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

The Bloody Pit #136 - FRANKENSTEIN AND ME (1996)

In this episode I welcome filmmaker Robert Tinnell and film historian Anthony Taylor to the podcast for a discussion of the 1996 movie FRANKENSTEIN AND ME, which was conceived and directed by Mr. Tinnell. The film is a funny, touching tale of a young monster obsessed kid with an active imagination and what happens when he accidentally gets his hands on the real Frankenstein Monster! Having the movie’s writer/director along makes for a different kind of show!
 
We dig into Bob’s inspiration for the film’s story including his childhood monster fandom and his dreams as a young director. The production of FRANKENSTEIN AND ME is examined as well as the original version of the story and the freewheeling times in which an independent Canadian film like this could come together. We talk about the great cast that includes Burt Reynolds, Louise Fletcher and the first film role for a teenaged Ryan Gosling. The conversation turns into what you might find after hours in the bar at a monster movie convention with topics such as Robert McCammon’s novel ‘Boy’s Life’, the writing skill of Peter Straub and the joys of comic books as a medium. We dart off onto several barely related tangents with one of the most satisfying being our mutual love of the DVD of Monster Kid Home Movies put together by the great Joe Busam.  That collection of Super 8 homemade films of Monster Kids showcasing the mad energy of the childhood creative impulse shows the clear beginnings of Bob Tinnell’s path to this film. And finally, we discuss the fact that the film has never been released on DVD or Blu-Ray and the possibilities of that happening one day soon. 

If you have any questions or comments thebloodypit@gmail.com is the place to send them. We’ll be thrilled to hear from you. Thanks for listening to the show! 






Monday, September 20, 2021

Wild, Wild Podcast #9 - BEAST IN SPACE (1980)


It's 1980, and things are getting a bit saucy. Join Adrian and I as we return to Alfonso Brescia's unique take on space exploration: It is as if he thought, "I know what was wrong with Cosmos, it was missing some horses getting it on." And a plastic man-staff. And the same sets as in the previous four science fiction epics he had cranked out. 

We would love to hear what you think of Beast in Space or if you can think at all after seeing it. You can contact us via Twitter and Instagram, or you can email us at wildwildpodcast@gmail.com

If you enjoy the podcast please subscribe, tell your friends and leave us a review! That would be ever so nice! 



Saturday, September 18, 2021

What I Watched in August

I guess it’s accurate to call CANDYMAN (2021) a slasher film but it is more than just an excellent example of that sub-genre. Less a reboot than a sequel, this new movie brilliantly advances the mythology of the central boogeyman in the same way that Bill Condon’s CANDYMAN: FAREWELL TO THE FLESH (1995) did. It takes the bones of the original film and builds ever more impressive details into the broad strokes already set in place. The idea of focusing on another black artist in modern day who finds himself looking for inspiration among the urban history of the legend of Candyman is quite smart. It allows the film to show a parallel between the creator and his subject even as the poor modern painter seems only slightly aware of the dangers of such interplay until the bodies start piling up. This takes the story into wonderful territory, blurring of the lines between monster and artist asking questions that slowly become more deadly. What is a creator’s responsibility to those around him? What are the lines that exist to warn of real dangers in the world that a bold artist crosses at great peril – not just to himself but to those his life touches? How can a questing soul recognize the deadly areas when the warnings all sound like simply criticism? Is it only bravado that causes someone to tempt death by doing the one thing that can bring death to stalk you? (Say his name to your own reflection five times.) How does vanity play into the ‘call’ of death? The film even has a brief scene that mentions the unintentional horrors inflicted on children by their parents? So many ideas!
 
If you ignore the subpar third film and just view the first two and this new movie, we can see the creation a marvelous horror series. The expansion of the Clive Barker story of an urban legend into a much more universal story of the horrors of creative curiosity is incredible. This is how films used to build larger, more intricate worlds in their sequels. The way George Romero broadened his small-scale zombie story to larger and larger locales and bigger, scarier societal fears. The way George Miller’s original Mad Max trilogy took the character on a life changing post-apocalyptic journey that brought him full circle to a new family. This new Candyman film shows how it would be possible to use this character and concept to explore racial themes and, in fact, almost any subject related to it through the use of horror’s often ignored symbolic potential. Smart writers can push past the simplistic ‘zombie’ and hook-handed killer metaphors and dig into darker examinations of hidden motivations and sublimated desires. Damn! This film makes me excited to see more!
 
As you can tell, I liked it. 

The List 

SHANGHAI CHEST (1948) – 6 (Winters is not bad as Charlie Chan) 
THE BLACK HOLE (1979) – 4 (rewatch on Blu) (what a terrible script) 
THE HUMANITY BUREAU (2017) – 5 (Nic Cage in a mediocre dystopian tale) 
MISCHIEF NIGHT (2014) – 4 (pretty bad horror effort) 
THE HUMANOID (1979) – 6 (rewatch) 
THE DROWNSMAN (2014) – 4 (beautiful but uninvolving horror) 
THE SUICIDE SQUAD (2021) – 9 
FANATIC (1965) -7 (rewatch on Blu) (a.k.a. Die! Die! My Darling) 
THE RED QUEEN KILLS SEVEN TIMES (1972) – 7 (rewatch on Blu) 
THE NIGHT COMES FOR US (2018) – 8 (amazing Indonesian action/crime film) 
BLACKHAT (2015) – 5 (weak Michael Mann thriller) 
DISTORTED (2018) – 5 (OK mystery/thriller with about six minutes of John Cusack) 
SCHOOLGIRLS IN CHAINS (1973) – 6 
THE PHANTOM SPEAKS (1945) – 6 (criminal returns from the dead to exact vengeance)
UNKNOWN TERROR (1957) – 6 (goo monster in a cave!)
SHE DEVIL (1957) – 6 (medical experiment creates evil woman)
QUEEN OF THE SEAS (1961) – 7 (fun swashbuckler with Lisa Gastoni) 
VALLEY OF THE ZOMBIES (1946) – 6 (interesting medical ‘undead’ tale) 
RETURN OF THE APE MAN (1944) – 4 (rewatch on Blu) (gloriously daft Poverty Row horror with Lugosi)
THE LADY AND THE MONSTER (1944) – 6 (Donovan’s Brain) 
REFUGE OF FEAR (1974) – 6 (low budget Spanish made post-nuclear war story)
SHOW BOAT (1936) – 8 (wonderful musical) 
REMINISCENCE (2021) – 4 (gorgeous but a muddled script sinks it) 
GRAVE OF THE VAMPIRE (1972) – 6 (rewatch on Blu) 
THE SUICIDE SQUAD (2021) – 9 (rewatch) 
THE BYE BYE MAN (2017) – 4 (empty attempt at a horror film) 
NAKED OBSESSION (1992) – 5 (Martino’s too obvious erotic thriller) 
HIT THE ICE (1943) – 6 (Abbot & Costello romp) 
CANDYMAN (2021) – 8 (excellent new sequel) 
OLD (2021) – 7 (well-made supernatural thriller) 
MONSTER HUNTER (2020) – 4 (videogame-based slog) 
TAZA, SON OF COCHISE (1954) – 5 (3-D western w/Rock Hudson)


Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Ennio Morricone's Space:1999 Score


Yesterday was the 22nd anniversary of the moon being blown out of Earth orbit and on that day I finally learned of this bizarre addition to the strange universe of Space:1999 ephemera. Because the first season of the show was partially financed by Rai Television of Italy, 3 episodes were edited together into a movie and screened in that country. Barry Gray's theme was dropped and replaced by this theme by Ennio Morricone. And boy, is it weird!