Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Happy New Year 2020

Have a safe and happy New Year Eve! Let's hope 2020 is a good one. 

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Poster Art - Spaghetti Westerns!

My talk with Derek about westerns has them on my mind. 

Friday, December 27, 2019

The Bloody Pit #96 - William Castle Westerns Part 3

After too long a delay I welcome back podcaster extraordinaire Derek Koch! Yes, the host and proprietor of Monster Kid Radio returns to the Pit to resume his discussion of the 1950’s westerns of William Castle. This time out we tackle THE BATTLE OF ROGUE RIVER (1954) and THE GUN THE WON THE WEST (1955). These were made during Castle’s long period of honing his craft under producer Sam Katzman at Columbia studio. While making these films, keeping the budget under control was the most important thing and sometimes it shows. These B programmers run about seventy minutes each and make for a colorful double bill of action and adventure.

Derek and I give each film it’s time in the sun, digging into the cast and crew with special attention paid to the various science fiction and monster films they were involved with during their careers. We make note of the actor’s most famous roles and speak with envy about the lucky marital situations of a few key players. Since Richard Denning is a lead actor in both films, we spend a good deal of time looking at his characters and his long career. I had completely forgotten he was a regular on Hawaii 5-0! There is a discussion of both film’s modeling of masculinity for the younger audience members and the question of how these westerns often reflected the times they were made in rather than the times they depict. We muse on the ways in which we might have wished the stories had gone as well as the possible individual scenes that may have been shot but discarded to meet that short running time. We have a pretty good time examining these rarely talked about movies and we think you’ll enjoy the show. I even throw in a Roy Orbison song when our conversation rambles too far off-track.

If you have any comments about William Castle or westerns in general thebloodypit@gmail.com is the email address. I can also be reached on the Bloody Pit FaceBook page and Derek can be found over on Monster Kid Radio every week. That man is so consistent it puts me to shame! Thanks for listening.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Merry Christmas From The Bloody Pit!

In every weird and wonderful way - Have a Happy Holiday! 

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Wonder Woman in The Prisoner of Christmas Island

The old Power Records superhero adventures are great entertainment and always bring me back to the Christmases of my youth. It's time to listen to them once again this year! 

Monday, December 23, 2019

The Shadow - Joey's Christmas Story

Here's a Christmastime episode of The Shadow radio show from 1940! I know this kind of thing isn't everyone's cup of tea but I love listening to these tales from decades ago when audio dramas were the most popular form of entertainment. 

Saturday, December 21, 2019

What I Watched in November

THE LIGHTHOUSE (2019) is director Robert Eggers’ second movie and it is clear now that he has a theme – isolation and madness. In THE WITCH he used religious fervor and isolation to show the devolution of a family unable to cope with their physical changes and raw nature. With this film he attacks ideas in both technically fresh and thematically fresh ways. Pairing his narrative down to only two characters, having them both be men and having the isolation be something connected to labor is both fascinating and intriguing. This places the restrictions of the isolation elements into the minds of the characters as necessary to be seen by society as worthy, useful or simply as men. By using the need to work for a living instead of religion to push these men into a situation that makes both of them uncomfortable, he is examining the darkest sides of the male mind. These parts of men are often at war with themselves and this film seems almost an attempt to place those internal battles into this lighthouse setting and have them rage at each other. Because of work and the requirement to be seen as stable neither of them can initially talk about their feelings or fears about the situation until things start to unravel. This is a harsh vision of masculinity and an unsparing look at the terrible costs of how we measure ourselves. Oh! And it’s fascinating as a story, too.

Having read King’s sequel to The Shining when it was released, I was curious about how the eventual film adaptation would tackle the story. The novel is a continuation of the first book’s narrative and not the 1980 film version made by Stanley Kubrick. Since far more people would be interested in a sequel to the film, I wondered how a screenwriter would approach that problem. Luckily, the very talented Mike Flannagan was up to the task. He alters the book just enough to craft a sequel to the film while retaining most of the book’s details, blending the two different stories into a very satisfying whole. DOCTOR SLEEP (2019) is an excellent example of a sequel that both widens the scope of the first story and also deepens the emotions of it. By having the distance of time, both the central character of Danny and the audience familiar with the 1980 film can see the tragedy of the original events in a new way. Part of the new vision allows us inside the damaged psyche of Danny as he faces the fear of becoming like his father as well as the dangers of his mental abilities. The new story also has a truly exciting set of villains with their leader being one of the best characters I’ve witnessed onscreen in some time. And I have to say that the film’s ending is much more satisfying than the book’s but don’t tell Mr. King that!

The List 

JOKER (2019) – 9 
HOLD THAT GHOST (1941) – 6 (rewatch)
NIGHTMARE BEACH (1989) – 6 (rewatch)
KILLER CROCODILE (1989) - 5 (kind of nuts but entertaining in its way)
THEY CALL HER…..CLEOPATRA WONG (1978) – 5 (silly, sloppy but energetic)
DARK ALIBI (1946) – 7 (rewatch) (excellent Charlie Chan mystery)
CURSE OF THE DEVIL (1973) – 6 (rewatch)
WEREWOLF SHADOW (1971) – 8 (rewatch)
DUNE WARRIORS (1991) – 5
CHECK INN TO CHRISTMAS (2019) – 6 (Hallmark Christmas movie)
THE FALCON TAKES OVER (1942) – 7 (based on Chandler’s Farewell, My Lovely)
THE JADE MASK (1945)- 5 (mediocre Chan mystery; slow pace and a terrible No. 4 son)
DOCTOR SLEEP (2019) – 8
TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT (1980) – 4

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Pets Talk About the Holidays

If you've not yet discovered the brilliant humor of ZeFrank let this be your introduction. I recommend his YouTube channel very highly. 

Monday, December 16, 2019


I'm the rare fan of the Terminator franchise that has enjoyed far more of the various post T2: JUDGEMENT DAY (1991) sequels than I've disliked. The one that I thought was a complete misfire and almost incompetent on a basic level was TERMINATOR: SALVATION (2009). Poorly conceived, stupidly directed, badly written with an almost colorless actor at its center SALVATION is everything that everybody seems to think the other Terminator sequels are. I only suggest seeing it to watch money be flushed down a toilet. Or, you could just watch cats vomit. Same effect.

I thought TERMINATOR 3: RISE OF THE MACHINES (2003) was a massive step down from the first two movies but not a bad little film. I was impressed with TERMINATOR: GENESYS (2015) as a brilliant way to push the story in slightly new directions showing what kind of ripple effects are generated by the successes of the first two film’s actions. I'm still upset that there will never be sequels to GENESYS, to be honest. That was a story line I was going to enjoy seeing unfold.  

With that in mind – in other words, your mileage may vary - this new film DARK FATE (2019) was pretty darned fun! I'm happy that it's at least as energetic, clever, exciting and just plain entertaining as GENESYS even though it goes in a very different direction. The stunt here is bringing back the long written-out Sarah Connor and it really is a joy to see Linda Hamilton kicking ass and taking names again. The action scenes were very well put together bringing real grit and palpable threat to the chases even if some of the CGI needed another pass before being released. And the creators knew better than to set themselves up too well for a sequel so the ending is quite satisfying. I’m sure DARK FATE will get the usual blasting from fans who have hated all the other sequels but I’m looking forward to repeat viewings.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

The Bloody Pit #95 - TO ALL A GOODNIGHT (1980)

It’s time for our annual Holiday Horrors episode!

This year John Hudson chose our Killer Santa viewing experience, taking Troy and I back to 1980 for a little-seen slasher called TO ALL A GOODNIGHT. Long dismissed as nearly unwatchable on previous video editions the much-improved image of the Blu-Ray release resolves many unanswered questions. It is now possible to clearly see what people are doing and where they actually are when onscreen. But, is that a good or a bad thing for this Christmas holiday set stalk ‘n’ kill revenge tale? That is where this discussion begins and ends.

The trio of Holiday Hooligans dive quickly into the conversation about this one. In fact, we start talking about the film before we even properly let the audience know what we’re doing! Of course, this is the film that was directed by David Hess of LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT (1972) fame which leads to many references to that film and his nasty character Krug. We also talk a bit about his impressive music career and lament his passing. The screenwriter comes in for a lengthy discussion touching on his other films and a rather surprising role in a better-known horror effort. We talk about this film’s very familiar plot template with our surprise at how many times we’ve seen the same story over the years. We note the movie’s strange pacing, terrible editing and variable performances. We use this film’s murder set pieces to make light of the slasher genre’s often silly kill scenes even as we still get a kick out of them.

We hope you enjoy the Santa shenanigans and if you wish to comment the email address is thebloodypit@gmail.com or we can be reached on the podcast’s FaceBook page. Thanks for listening and have a happy holiday season!

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Christmas Cheer From Superman!

Santa must be correct! The Holiday can't be in danger with Superman on the scene! 

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1971) - Animated Film

I consider this to be one of the best adaptations of the classic Dickens' ghost story. I suppose I'm not alone since this won the 1972 Oscar for Best Animated Short Film. If you've never seen this, it is well worth twenty-five minutes of your time. 

Sunday, December 08, 2019

Shatner Claus - Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Now this is a Christmas party! 
Nothing says the Holidays have begun like a Rock & Roll Rudolph! 

Friday, December 06, 2019

Poster Art From a Very Different World!

If only it was possible to travel to that world and see these movies! 

Wednesday, December 04, 2019


I have a strong affinity for post-apocalyptic cinema. I blame this on the 1980’s R-rated movies of my youth such as THE ROAD WARRIOR (1982), ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK (1981) and various other types of after-the-bomb fantastic cinema of that benighted decade. I enjoy these kinds of movies so much that even the weakest and most poorly written variations on this theme is something that I can get a kick out of. Case in point, there is a Blu-ray of the film DUNE WARRIORS  (1991). Why is an eternal mystery that I need never have answered. I'm just going to assume that all the other better films of this subgenre have already been put out on Blu-ray and we're just working our way through the bottom of the barrel examples now. That's not to say that this is a completely bad movie. I mean - it's not very good, but it has enough points of interest and it’s energetic enough to keep you entertained for its meager 90-minute running time.

It is little more than an unattributed remake of Kurosawa’s SEVEN SAMURAI (1954). It follows the plotline of that classic film slavish with the only real change being shortening it down considerably. This trimming of story results in fewer fighters to the point that we only have five Warriors instead of the classic seven. Budgets being what they generally are for these kinds of shot-in-the-Philippines mini-epics I’m surprised there weren’t just four. One of the warriors is an older man who's clearly looking for revenge on the head bad guy terrorizing the town looking for mercenary help. Played by David Carradine he gives the film's best performance even it's obvious he finds the entire affair pretty silly. But, Carradine could have made three of these films in a month and still be the freshest thing onscreen. The rest of the cast ranges from amateur level to competent-but-inexperienced meaning that the few times this reliable tale nearly works it usually gets undermined by a bad line reading. But still, the film isn’t awful and rarely dull so it serves as a mid-range entry. Not sure why it’s on Blu-Ray but I’m glad that is how I got to see it.

Monday, December 02, 2019

The Andrews Sisters Sing Christmas Tunes!

After hearing the legendary vocal group in HOLD THAT GHOST (1941) I just couldn't resist hearing more! 

Sunday, December 01, 2019

The Bloody Pit #94 - HOLD THAT GHOST (1941)

Troy and I jump back into the Universal Horror films of the 1940’s with a movie that is quite a curveball. HOLD THAT GHOST (1941) is the first of many Abbot & Costello comedies that would have a possible supernatural element in its plot. Here it’s a creepy old tavern that the fellas inherit in the strangest way imaginable. The story is the usual simple clothesline onto which the script and our favorite comedy team hang as many jokes as they can muster.  That means plenty of double-takes, fast talking and humorous close calls as well as a group of money seeking gangsters and a duplicitous lawyer all trying to get the boys out of the way. Add in a fantastic cast of talented actors including the brilliant Joan Davis and you have one of the best of Abbot & Costello’s early features.

After a brief conversation about THE LIGHTHOUSE (2019) and director Robert Eggers previous horror film we dig into the topic at hand. We discuss our favorite moments from the film and track its bizarre production history. Exactly how many movies can you be making at the same time? The cast is a point of interest with future science fiction star Richard Carlson as an amusing scientist clueless about the fairer sex. Universal horror star Evelyn Ankers makes her first appearance in a Universal scare film and manages to makes the most of her limited screen time. But it is Joan Davis who runs off with several scenes with her great comic timing and sharp comedy instincts. That she didn’t make more appearances in A & C films over the years is a damned shame. The famous comedy team is able to insert a couple of the well-honed bits from their stage days into the story making for a nice glimpse at their burlesque days. And if you’ve never seen the fall-down funny Blue Danube dance scene you have a got a treat in store! Plus – The Andrews Sisters!

We end the show with a piece of voicemail feedback from our buddy in England, Adrian. He calls into tell us about his adventures at this year’s FrightFest in Lindon. If you want to add your voice to the podcast the email address is thebloodypit@gmail.com or we can be reached over on the Book of Faces. Thanks for listening!

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Saturday, November 30, 2019

Celebrating Paul Naschy on the Anniversary of His Passing

Ten years ago today we lost Paul Naschy (Jacinto Molina) and, on that day, the world of fantastic cinema became a little less bright. Still possessing a creative mind right up to the end his passing was a huge loss that still reverberates through the Spanish horror community, inspiring fans to this day. In the last few years we have seen a resurgence of interest in his body of work with nearly two dozen of his horror films currently available on Blu-Ray. His legend and legacy seems to be cemented with his movies becoming much easier to see, new books being written about him and new fans being created constantly. So, as much as I continue to mourn his death a decade ago I'm very happy to see that his name is now better known than when he left us. Even with my sorrow that he is gone I don't feel sad when I watch his movies. I feel excited or chilled or surprised by what he wrote and I marvel at how he crafted a fictional world of monsters and madmen that I keep wanting to return to. He was a man that gave his best to the work and his talent shines through in even the weakest of his films. So, I miss Paul Naschy but, lucky for me, he is right there on my television screen anytime I want.

We miss you El Hombre Lobo, but you will never be far from our hearts.