Sunday, September 30, 2018

DC and Marvel Comic Crossovers of the 1970's

OK! That last one is actually from the 1980's but you get my point. And the top one never happened, but I wish it had! By the late 1990's the two companies were crossing over for special events all the time trying to stave off the bust the comics industry was suffering. But they used to be something fascinating and unique. 

Friday, September 28, 2018

Roger Corman Speaks About THE PREMATURE BURIAL (1962)

The only one of Corman's Poe films not to star Vincent Price but Ray Milland is fantastic in the lead. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

A Return to the BLOODY PIT OF HORROR (1965)

No sane person is ever going to tell you that BLOODY PIT OF HORROR is a good film. It is not. It is little more than a silly mash-up of cheesecake model ogling and medieval torture chamber madness aimed at base level titillation and thrills. But that is what makes it a sick little charmer and possibly a GREAT film! 

The thin-to-the-point-of-invisibility plot is ludicrous - a horror story publisher is trucking a group of gorgeous cover models around Europe in search of scenic locales for sexy cover photo shots. They find a castle owned by a reclusive body builder (actual body builder Mickey Hargitay) who allows them access to the place but then begins killing them off under the delusion that he is heir to the legend of the Crimson Executioner. This.... story.... gives the film the chance to parade several attractive actresses around in negligees AND have a shirtless Hargitay inflicting dastardly violence on their nubile flesh. Of course, even though this is a European production it is still the mid-60's, so the cruelties are mostly left up to the imagination. Or, at least in some cases, they should have been. I will never understand the thought process that led filmmakers to think the poisoned mechanical spider was a good idea. The sight of it is giggle inducing and no amount of threat from the other devices in the room are going to excuse it. There are some bloody moments in this absurd effort such as the sight of swords smearing red paint across the cleavage of a couple of the pretty ladies. But overall the blood on display is tame enough to pass for a kiddie matinee these days. The film does take a bit too long to kick into gear but once it does it manages to present a reasonable facsimile of a fun time. 

One thing this film has going for it is a real sense of energy in the second half. This is heavily aided by chopping and shortening certain scenes that are viewable on most DVD editions of the film. In almost every case these deleted scenes add very little but make the quick pace the thing that keeps the viewer intrigued, even after they realize that the film is going to constantly pull its punches when it comes to violence. Obviously the filmmakers assumed that the energy and the sight of Mickey Hargitay in full madman mode would be enough to keep viewers in their seats until the end credits.

But there is one bit of torture in the film that is actually pretty effective. And oddly it's effective mainly because of what it suggests rather than what it shows. This is when the book publisher (who one could argue is responsible for this entire disaster) is placed in a cage over an open flame and slowly roasted to death. The director chooses carefully to only suggest the horrible nature of this character's demise but it lingers regardless. The after-effects are never shown and indeed the cage in which the body is suspended is artfully hidden by a stone archway after it's clear he's dead. This ghastly death is disturbing and it stands out as a moment of actual horror in an otherwise silly film. 

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Fan-Made Anime Style Trailer for STAR WARS (1977)

This is kind of amazing and I'd love to watch this if it were ever made! 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The Bloody Pit #73 - THE MUMMY'S HAND (1940)

Troy and I return with the fourth entry in our 1940's Universal Horror series! With this episode we are really getting into the (gauze wrapped) meat of the matter with the first of the decade's four mummy films. THE MUMMY'S HAND is usually considered the best of the quartet for various reasons, not the least of which is the fact that it is a combination of Indiana Jones style adventure tale mixed with a truly dangerous monster. We have two American archeological explorers as heroes and they are matched by a pair of formidable bad guys -  a high priest and an undead golem. Along for the desert trip is the great character actor Cecil Kelloway and the lovely Peggy Moran as a father-daughter team of expedition investing stage magicians. The film also marks the first of George Zucco's iconic B-horror movie villain performances and he is simply fantastic! Indeed, he is so awesome I give up trying to call him by his character's screen name early on and simply refer to him as Zucco the whole time!

My trepidation about Troy's lack of love for Mummy films come to little here as we both enjoy this Egyptian romp. I guess he can occasionally be reasonable about the shambling 3000 year old throat crusher! We dig into the story with an eye toward the film's place in the Universal pantheon while I complain about some of the attempts to soften the narrative. We speculate a bit about the intended audience both before shooting and in the editing process. Some of the more important deleted scenes are discussed as we wonder about the reasons some juicy sequences might have been left on the cutting room floor - never to be seen! Author Thomas Feramisco's excellent book The Mummy Unwrapped is an invaluable resource for fans of these films and comes highly recommended. We also look toward the sequels of this fun film curious about how they will stack up as we slowly cover them all.

The show can be reached at or at the Bloody Pit's FaceBook page. Let us know what you think of our efforts or what films you'd like to hear us discuss in the future. Thanks for downloading and listening!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Behind the Scenes Photos From Some Favorite Films

Monday, September 17, 2018

What I Watched In August

I'm one of those people who feel that the Mission Impossible film series didn't become worth worrying about until the third entry in the cycle. The first two films were made by directors that I admire but both were just terrible films. Each had good segements and admirable bits and pieces but never really came together as a decent film. But they were box office hits and I'm glad of that because ever since the third film I've really enjoyed this series of action movies.

I think some people are over-praising this entry in the run and calling it one of the best films of the year. That's going a bit far by half but it is a top-notch example of what Hollywood action movies can be. The cast is fantastic and it's an absolute blast to see Cruise and Henry Cavill on screen at the top of their game and kicking ass. This movie has several action scenes that I think are some of the best of the entire Mission Impossible series. The bathroom fight is a sequence that I think is simply brilliant from beginning to end and worth the ticket price on it's own. Even some of the more espionage-centric sequences are excellently well played too with secrets and lies playing a large part of the proceedings. The cast really gets to dig their teeth into a convoluted plot line that actually does require the audience to pay attention to understand who might be doing what, when and where.

The place the film loses me is in the over-the-top helicopter crash/cliff side fist-fight ending set-piece. It's fun repeatedly stretches credulity until I was just rolling my eyes too often to take it seriously. But, up to then, it's a great ride.


DOOMWATCH (1972) - 7 (rewatch)
THE MAZE (1953) - 6 (rewatch)
LADY FRANKENSTEIN (1971) - 8 (rewatch on Blu)
A CANDLE FOR THE DEVIL (1973) - 8 (rewach)
THE SLAYER (1982) - 6 (interesting horror tale)
EL CAMINATE (1979) - 9 (rewatch in Blu)
TOMB RAIDER (2017) - 4 (uninvolving adventure wastes fine cast)
THE SECRET OF THE BLUE ROOM (1933) - 7 (rewatch)
FOUR'S A CROWD (1938) - 7 (romantic comedy with Errol Flynn and Olivia De Havilland)
THE UNLIVING (2005) - 3 (rewatch)
HOT FUZZ (2007) - 8 (rewatch)
SKIN TRADE (2014) - 5 (not bad action tale)
UNDERCOVER MAN (1942) - 5 (standard Hopalong Cassidy film)
LAKE OF DRACULA (1971) - 8 (rewatch) 

Saturday, September 15, 2018

The Many Ghosts of Doctor Graves Cover Gallery

After being introduced in a 1966 issue of Ghostly Tales, the character Dr. M. T. Graves went on to host his own horror anthology comic book series - The Many Ghosts of Doctor Graves. The comic ran an amazing 72 issues lasting until 1982, although there were several points in the late 1970's when it suspended publication for months at a time. As a kid I ran across random issues of this title on the spinner racks but rarely read it. The covers were creepy enough to intrigue me but usually the superhero books got my meager funds first.

These days Steve Ditko fans seek these out as they contain some of the more interesting of the artist's post-Marvel horror work. I would love to be able to read the entire run but there seems to be no way these will be bundled between covers for the curious anytime some. There are ways to find copies for online reading, if you search carefully.