Saturday, January 29, 2011

Corinne Clery

I know very little about French actress Corinne Clery but she has haunted my dreams ever since my first viewing of YOR, THE HUNTER FROM THE FUTURE. Back in the mad days of constant HBO re-runs of any trashy movie that could be shown at all hours because of a PG rating the sight of her animal skin covered backside scrambling over rocks as she ran away from mutants, dinosaurs or apemen was a glorious thing to see. Don't get me wrong- the cheesy awesomeness of YOR was great on its own but Corinne Clery's winsome smile and beautiful legs added spice to the dip. Since then I've enjoyed her presence in the Bond mess MOONRAKER, the tense thriller HITCH-HIKE with Franco Nero and David Hess as well as the amusingly awful STAR WARS rip-off THE HUMANOID. When I went looking for images of her I discovered that she did a LOT of nudity in her career, which is fantastic- but I'll keep it (mostly) clean here. Enjoy.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Classic Horror Poster Art

Each of these is beautiful and I love the movies they advertise. Even PILLOW OF DEATH. Really.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

NaschyCast #12.5 - Looking Back & Forward

For the first time in several months we give you a bonus episode! Now that we've completed a full year of podcasts Troy and I take a breath, relax and look back at the dozen Naschy films we've covered so far. We rank them from worst to best and debate the relative merits of each film once again in relation to Naschy's career and our own reactions to them. Troy's hatred for mummies still shines as his largest film-lover's failure but I have assurances that if I keep forcing him to rewatch VENGEANCE OF THE MUMMY he will eventually relent. The hardest part is propping open his eyes with the little toothpicks.

We also take a look into our mailbag and read out a few recent missives. It's a lot of fun to hear from our fellow Naschy fans and we learn some amazing things from this batch of emails. Keep'em coming to and let us know if you'd rather not have your words read out on the show. Thanks!

Naschycast #12.5

Latarnia Forums

The Mark of Naschy

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Johnny Cash sings Bond title tune?

Just when I think I've found the strangest combination of things I will ever find I stumble across this. Over at the brilliant Spy-centric blog Double O Section I read that back in 1964 Cash made an attempt to craft a title tune for THUNDERBALL. This fact alone is news to me and is nearly mad enough to cause my head to explode. After all, its just not possible that two so cool things as Bond and Johnny Cash could occupy the same space. Surely the time/space continuum would rip asunder and fling us all into the void. But it really does appear to be true and if any still doubt the song in question exists it will be released officially next month on Volume 2 of the Bootleg series of Cash discs being released by Sony. Amazing. This bit of not-so-hidden-as-I-would-have-thought musical trivia has been bumping around certain circles for years prompting some smart soul to produce this video melding the song and Maurice Binder's Thunderball title sequence. Its easy to see why the song was not used as its much more appropriate for a western than a spy film (big surprise) but I kind of dig it. Unique to say the least and a welcome addition to my growing list of abandoned or refused songs from the Bond series. What odd thing will turn up next?


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Trailers for movies that should have been better

Each of these movies have good elements but ultimately fails. I wanted each to be good but........

They make me sad- especially THE SHADOW. There was so much potential and so much is done well but they just couldn't trust the material.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Latarnia Fantastique International issue #1

In a world where more and more magazines of all descriptions are becoming less and less profitable the launching of a new one can seem slightly crazy. The launching of a magazine that focuses on cult films would seem to be an even crazier idea. We are far from the heady days of the 1990s when every month new small press 'zines showed up on the racks of larger bookstore shelves with features on Hammer Studio, Jess Franco, Joe D'amato, Herschell Gordon Lewis and the films they made. These days the number of such publications can easily be counted on two hands with that number falling to less than the fingers on one hand if you desire high quality writing. Beyond exception-to-the-rule Video Watchdog the market just does not seem to exist out there for a thoughtful, intelligent periodical on obscure, strange and extraordinary movies. Who would be mad enough to in 2011 to start publishing a new magazine devoted to the Euro-Cult or Euro-Trash niche?

Mirek Lipinski - that's who! Yes, the man in charge of The Mark of Naschy website, the host and moderator of the wonderful Latarnia Forums has made the jump into magazine entrepreneurship with Latarnia Fantastique International. The first issue is available for sale directly from him for a nice price and, having had mine for all of two days I can heartily recommend it. The main features of this issue are:

Major article on the making of THE TORTURE CHAMBER OF DR. SADISM.
Exclusive and lengthy interview with Andres Resino (WEREWOLF SHADOW, MURDER MANSION, JACK THE RIPPER OF LONDON, etc.)
Review of the last Naschy wolfman film, Ivan Cardoso's WEREWOLF IN THE AMAZON
Two page homage to Barbara Steele.
Translation of Gustavo Adlofo Becquer's "Spirit Mountain," the inspiration for Amando de Ossorio's Blind Dead films.

For me the magazine was worth its asking price for the review of the notoriously hard to see WEREWOLF IN THE AMAZON and the English translation of Spirit Mountain alone. This really is a great start and I can't wait for issue #2. Ordering information can be found here - LINK.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Peter Cushing - hero/ Bad Ass

Submitted without comment. Click to embiggen!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Tarzan as Bond...James Bond

I usually try to wait until I've finished watching a movie before I write about it but I'm only a few minutes into TARZAN THE VALLEY OF GOLD (1966) and I have to let folks know something. I have never seen a film so unexpectedly and strangely warped by the incredible popularity of the James Bond movies in the 1960s. I have always been fascinated by the huge surge of Bond into the pop culture during that time and my love of the cheap knock-offs of the Euro-spy genre are fueled by that fact. There was a lot of bleed over into various movies as the Spy fiction fad blew up but to have this well produced Tarzan film start off like it does still really threw me for a loop. For the first 20 minutes or so Tarzan is dressed in a nice suit, flying around in a helicopter, engaging in a gunfight and generally acting like a secret agent more than a jungle man. Not that I'm complaining. Tarzan is presented as a smart man with plenty of know-how, modern savvy and the ability to go where he likes which is much better than the way he is usually portrayed. Mike Henry looks the part quite well especially once he goes native and lopes off into the Mexican jungle. Strange that they didn't call this TARZAN GOES TO MEXICO. Seems like a natural title.

I hope the rest of the movie is as interesting as the first third. Who knew I was going to wade back into the Euro-Spy genre with Lord Greystoke?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sunday, January 09, 2011

NetFlix Streaming

One of the most amazing developments in the past couple of years for movie nuts has been the slowly expanding list of movies available to be legally streamed directly to your home screen over the internet. While Amazon and other services have offered this convenience NetFlix has been the leader in this bold new world. Recently they jumped ahead of everyone else by virtue of a series of deals in which they have gotten access to a huge number of films that are not yet available on DVD in any form. This is very exciting for me primarily because of my interest in the stranger side of the world of cinema. Happily there are dozens of extraordinary and obscure movies that can now see at the click of a button that have been difficult or impossible to find for decades. My first discovery was a few weeks ago when I came across the horrendous CAPE CANAVERAL MONSTERS. It is a terrible movie but I am thrilled to have been able to see it, if for no other reason than to bemoan its soul crushing dullness. Luckily not all the Streaming films on offer are as bad- although some are close. I also caught up with the film CONTAMINATION .7 (a.k.a. THE CRAWLERS) which is one of the most god-awful things you will ever see. Made by the same folks that brought you the now legendary alternative classic TROLL 2 this film features a similar mix of the terrible and the miserably bad. It is indeed so bad it must be seen by fans of Bad Cinema. If I were teaching a course on the worst films ever made CONTAMINATION .7 would be featured as part of the required viewing.

I am of two minds about these being presented for streaming instead of as DVDs or even Burn On Demand DVD-Rs. I realize that most of these would just never be released for fear of losing money on such unknown and generally hard to sell titles so this at least gets them out there to be seen. But I would like the option of getting them on a disc to be able to make them part of my collection and to be able to loan them to unsuspecting friends. Who knows- that may be the next step in this fascinating and evolving world of movie access.

A couple of online buddies have compiled a list of some of the obscure Cult movies available through NetFlix and I’ll reproduce their work below. We live in interesting times.

Devil's Angels (WS)
Cult of the Damned [Angel, Angel, Down We Go] (WS)
Angels from Hell (WS)
Invasion of the Star Creatures (82-min UNCUT theatrical version)
Queen of Blood (Gorgeous color/WS print)
Diary of a High School Bride
Burn, Witch, Burn (WS)
Curse of the Crimson Altar [The Crimson Cult] (WS)
Blood and Lace (WS)
Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs (WS)
The Hard Ride (WS)
High School Hellcats (OM)
Born Wild [The Young Animals] (WS)
Beyond the Time Barrier (some motion artifacting noticeable)
Blood Bath (60-min theatrical version, some motion artifacting)
Sugar Hill (WS)
Master of the World (WS)
It's a Bikini World (WS)
The Glory Stompers (WS)
Maryjane (WS)
Hot Rod Gang (OM)
The Amazing Transparent Man
The Fast and the Furious (OM)
The Incredible Melting Man (WS)
The Cape Canaveral Monsters (OM)
The Man without a Body
The Girls on the Beach (OM)
The Swinger (OM)
Beach Ball
Juvenile Jungle (FF)
Strange Awakening [Female Fiends]
For Those Who Think Young (WS)
The Delinquents (WS)
Young and Dangerous (FF)
The Black Sleep (OM)
Gog (Beautiful COLOR print)
The Explosive Generation
The Party Crashers
The Maze
The Hot Angel
Cry Tough
Edge of Fury (1958)
Return of the Ape Man
Young and Wild (FF)
The Manster (Official MGM/UA edition, crisp and clean but missing final "tag" scene as seen on TCM prints, dammit)
Dr. Terror's House of Horrors (full frame, looks to be the same transfer used for OOP VHS)
Pussycat, Pussycat, I Love You
Ski Party
Five Golden Dragons
Maroc 7
Black Belt Jones
Danger Route
Money Talks
Act of Vengeance (aka Rape Squad)
Alakazam the Great
Black Sabbath (AIP version with English dub and stories in different order)
Bobbie Jo and the Outlaw
The Day the Earth Froze
The Devil Within Her (aka I Don't Want to Be Born)
Diary of a Bachelor
The Evictors
Fearless Frank
The Great Scout and Cathouse Thursday
The Magic Voyage of Sinbad
Tam Lin (aka The Devil's Widow)
Are You in the House Alone?
The Awakening
Beauty and the Beast (1962--Edward L. Cahn)
Blood and Roses
The Catman of Paris
Creature with the Blue Hand
Face of Marble
Full Moon High
Hands of the Ripper
Hey, Let's Twist
House of Shadows
The Initiation of Sarah
Jaws of Satan
The Living Ghost
The Man Without a Body
The Monitors
Monster Dog
Mr. Rock and Roll
Mystery of the 13th Guest
The Neanderthal Man
New Year's Evil
Open House
The Search for Bridey Murphy
The Space Children
The Spirit is Willing
Tales that Witness Madness
Twins of Evil
The Video Dead

American Raspberry (A "sketch" comedy film (ala Kentucky Fried Movie, Groove Tube) starring Kinky Friedman, George Furth & Harry Shearer.)

Joe Dancer: The Monkey Mission - Starring Robert Blake and John Fiedler

Cracking Up (Another "Sketch" film featuring the comedy troupes the Credibility Gap and Ace Trucking Company. Also features a soundtrack by The Tubes early on in their career (vocalist Fee Waybill also does a cameo)Also starring Michael Mislove, Fred Willard, Harry Shearer, Michael McKean, David L. Lander)

TerrorVision - Starring Mary Woronov & Chad AllenNational Lampoon: Lemmings(National Lampoon: Lemmings: Dead in Concert 1973. Satire of Woodstock starring pre-SNL Chevy Chase, Christopher Guest and John Belushi (John even plays bass guitar during a song!)

Gunn - An Italian (?) print from director Blake Edwards, the big-screen adaptation of the classic television show about PI Peter Gunn (Craig Stevens)

Don't Worry, We'll Think of a Title- Starring Morey Amsterdam,Rose Marie & Richard Deacon

Harry in Your Pocket - James Coburn teaches a couple of young pickpockets. Produced by Bruce Geller who created Mission: Impossible and a FANTASTIC soundtrack from Lalo Schifrin!

Mad Ron's Prevues from Hell - Great horror movie trailers!

The Bed Sitting Room- VERY surreal post-apocalyptic comedy starring Spike Milligan, Peter Cook & Dudley Moore

Census Taker - Dark Comedy starring SNL's Garret Morris & soundtrack by The Residents

Saturday, January 08, 2011

SKY RIDERS (1976) - Whoa!

Alright! How have I made it to the second decade of the 21st century without ever hearing about this film? I mean, damn! An action movie starring James Coburn, Robert Culp and Susannah York and directed by the guy who made THEATER OF BLOOD. Not to mention it involves terrorists, hang gliding, a mountaintop lair and machine guns! It went under the alternate title of 'Assault on the Forbidden Fortress'. Holy Mother of the Movie Gods! I must see this film! Where is my DVD of THIS film? How can it be unavailable when things like TRANSFORMERS is on Blu-ray? This is what is wrong with this world! Robert Culp and hang gliders, people. Think about that. Dammit!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

NaschyCast #12 - PANIC BEATS (1983)

For episode #12 we lurch back into the 1980s for Naschy’s horrific variation on a couple of classic old stories. Of course, since it’s filtered through Spanish Horror the nastiness is severe, the relationships complicated and the violence bloody. With PANIC BEATS we see that Naschy’s love for classic stories ranges wider than just monster films or stereotypical horror fiction. His openness to different styles of imaginative tales is one of the things that made him so versatile a filmmaker able to make several different kinds of films. This movie shows him moving from the creature features of his 1970s period into a more a intricate form of thriller he may have hoped his career would gravitate toward as he aged. This, of course, was not to be, but this film shows that he had the capacity to craft such tales and it is disheartening that he rarely got the chance to make more with this kind of creative control.

In a nice change and for the first time Naschy plays a man called Paul, which allows Troy and I to talk about him as director, actor, writer and icon without flipping between different names and confusing each other. This episode is looser than our usual show. We range a little wider than normal and don’t stop ourselves from traveling down some tangential paths when they pop up. I had no idea I would include a mini-review of CANNIBAL TERROR in an episode of NaschyCast but Troy brought it up and I just had to unload. I suspect this might make things more fun but if not I’m sure listeners will let us know.

Employing his usual modus operandi the mighty Naschy beds multiple women and plays more than one role which gives his fans even more to love. As with so many of his scripts it’s the female characters that get the most to do. We see nearly every type of emotion from four actresses as they cope with medical problems, plot evil acts, grieve, bemoan their dire fates, demand what’s coming to them and suffer the consequences of their actions. From Naschy we see the evil that men do and the harsh retribution they that deserve and dish out. Strap on your armor- its gonna be a bloody knight! Drop us a line at to set us straight or defend your love of CANNIBAL TERROR.

NaschyCast #12!

iTunes LINK

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

What I Watched In December

December saw me spreading my viewing around to nearly every genre in the film universe. I saw westerns, romantic comedies, epics, super hero movies, spy movies, giant monster films, thrillers, Christmas movies and even a damned fine silent Viking movie.

The best surprise was the theatrical flop THE WARRIOR’S WAY. A bizarre combination of western and eastern ideas it involves ninjas, a group of circus misfits, a monosyllabic swordsman, an abandoned desert town (with a unfinished Ferris Wheel) and an adventurous/romantic tone sure to drive the majority of modern audiences screaming for the door. I’ve seen it criticized for everything from its sets, casting, storyline, action and dialog but all I can say is that I felt it worked perfectly. A grand western legend told AS a legend its very artificiality is its biggest advantage. From the too perfect look of the glorious CGI skies to the half finished buildings of the deserted desert town to the amusingly arch characters the film is constantly telling you it knows it is a Tall Tale. The villains are evil in the nastiest ways possible, cruel and heartless enough to make anyone wish for their defeat while the heroes are good people with dark secrets but good intentions. I understand why too many people will sneer at a film such as this but for those same reasons it renewed my faith in cinema.

Equally as affecting was the amazing Pre-Code GOLD DIGGERS OF 1933 – a musical comedy that stands as one of the sexiest, funniest and most entertaining movies I saw in 2010. I recommend it to lovers of classic cinema very, very highly. David Lean’s epic DOCTOR ZHIVAGO turned out to be a bit overblown and dry but I’m glad to have seen it for its grand beauty. TRON: LEGACY was about as good as I expected, which is to say it was OK. It was about as good as a sequel to TRON could honestly be expected to be. BURIED was a tense and extremely well done thriller that inventively stays confined to one very small location. David Twohy’s incredible THE PERFECT GETAWAY managed to be one of the best ‘whodunit’ type mysteries I’ve seen in a long time. I’ve always been impressed by Twohy’s work and with this film he showed that he can play the audience like a well tuned piano inverting and subverting expectations by the fistful. One hell of a cast plays every note brilliantly bringing real satisfaction to the final crescendo.

After having had a copy for months I finally watched Paul Naschy’s final screen role in the Spanish horror movie THE VALDEMAR INHERITANCE. It is a very good movie that, while containing a few flaws, is a marvelously creepy Lovecraftian story I’m interested to show to others. Its biggest problem is that it’s constructed as Part One of a two part tale leaving things hanging in a frustrating fashion but it was so well done I just want to see the rest as soon as possible.

TERROR OF MECHAGODZILLA (1975)- 5 (poorly plotted but still fun monster stomp)
SUPERMAN/BATMAN: APOCALYPSE (2010)- 8 (another great animated movie)
DISTRICT B13 (2004)- 9 (rewatch)
SANTA CLAUS CONQUERS THE MARTIANS (1964)- 3 (rewatch) (My favorite crappy Christmas movie)
THE WARRIOR’S WAY (2010)- 10 (amazing combination of elements)
THE BURROWERS (2008)- 8 (excellent horror/western)
GOLD DIGGERS OF 1933 (1933)- 10 (wonderful musical comedy with many sexy ladies)
BATMAN BEGINS (2005)- 9 (rewatch)
THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE (2009)- 6 (not as good as the first)
DOCTOR ZHIVAGO (1965)- 7 (beautiful but……)
OSS 117: LOST IN RIO (2009)- 8 (very funny sequel- bring on another one!)
THE VALDEMAR INHERITANCE (2010)- 7 (excellent Spanish period horror film- bring on part 2!)
THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. RX (1942)- 6 (mystery with a dash of horror)
TRON: LEGACY (2010)- 6 (not too bad)
BURIED (2010)- 8 (tense, downbeat and unique tale)
THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW (1944)-8 (excellent Fritz Lang noir- even with the cop-out ending)
SCROOGE (1971)- 10 (rewatch)
THE X FROM OUTER SPACE (1967)- 3 (silly, stupid, clumsy and inept- but not without its good points)
UP IN THE AIR (2009) – 8 (well done)
REMEMBER THE NIGHT (1940) – 8 (excellent Christmas tale)
THE VIKING (1928)- 7 (silent two-strip Technicolor adventure film)
A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1938)- 6 (solid but too brief version)
SCROOGE (1951)- 9 (excellent version with great cinematography, a strong cast, fine direction)
WONDER WOMAN (2009)- 8 (very good animated origin of the classic character)
THE CAPE CANAVERAL MONSTERS (1960)- 1 (from the man who made ROBOT MONSTER!)
THE HOLCROFT COVENANT (1985)- 7 (interesting spy thriller with a crappy score)
MACABRE (1958)- 4 (William Castle piffle that doesn’t make any sense at all)
PANIC BEATS (1983)- 7 (rewatch)
THE PERFECT GETAWAY (2009)- 9 (damned good thriller)
BLOODY NEW YEAR (1987)- 2 (abysmal British horror film)

Monday, January 03, 2011

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Naschy in A Christmas Carol

This, of course, never happened but my Ohio brother Dan Fisher mocked this fake poster up for a true dream version of one of my favorite stories and I just had to share. Naschy would have made one great Scrooge. And I thought I was through posting about Christmas until December!