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. 

Friday, November 29, 2019

Christmas Comic Book Covers!

Let's get this Holiday season started! 

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

ASSIGNMENT TERROR (1968) on Blu-Ray!

Ladies and gentlemen - boys and girls - I have great news! 
The 1969 Paul Naschy monster mash film ASSIGNMENT TERROR has just been released on Blu-Ray! Follow this LINK to the RoninFlix page where it can be purchased with shipping as low as FREE! Yep - free shipping! Unless you want it tomorrow or something and then it is a bit more expensive. 
But this is so cool! Another Naschy werewolf film on Blu-Ray and with a commentary track by Troy Howarth to boot. Go grab yours ASAP. And I'm sure you could throw in a copy of THE MUMMY'S REVENGE at the same time and have a Merry Naschy Christmas for one and all. Who could ask for anything better? 

Monday, November 25, 2019

Video - Magnus Robot Fighter - Origin Pt 1- Welcome to North Am Man-Child

This is an amazing motion-comic version of the first Magnus: Robot Fighter 4000 A.D. issue from 1963! The animation is limited and I'd prefer less stilted voices for the human characters but, overall, this is pretty darned fun. Extra points for retaining the excellent art from Russ Manning.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Sword & Sorcery Poster Art from the 1980's

This collection is heavy on THE SWORD AND THE SORCERER but they are all so good!  

Friday, November 22, 2019

Charlie Chan in DARK ALIBI (1944)

It took me a very long time to warm up to Sydney Toler's portrayal of Charlie Chan. The first actor I saw play the role was the amazing Warner Oland and seeing Toler in his first few Chan films just seemed wrong. The actor’s affectations were wrong; his manner of speech seemed incorrect and nothing about his face said Charlie Chan to me. I think now that my reaction to him may have been the relative weakness of the first few of his films that I watched. When your first example of someone's performance is a film as padded and weak as CHARLIE CHAN IN THE SECRET SERVICE (1944) you’re probably not going to think very highly of the performer at the center of the story. Luckily, I did persevere and work my way through more of his movies and found myself discovering that I actually could enjoy him in the role. It's possible that he grew more comfortable as Chan and I somehow perceive that on-screen in the later movies. Or it may just be that I got used to him as I saw more of his work since he played the part in more than twenty films! And also, it could be that later on he had better scripts that didn't make me focus on just how irritated I was at what I was seeing.

But I have to think that one of the major reasons that I enjoy a number of Sydney Toler's Charlie Chan films is the inclusion of the great Mantan Moreland. He truly is a very funny performer and a welcome sight in any movie across his entire career. Having just rewatched the fun DARK ALIBI (1946) I must say that as much enjoyment as I get from the mystery plot it is the scenes of Moreland and his old comedy partner Ben Carter doing their unique back-and-forth patter that stand out. Those guys were an amazing team. Sadly, Mr. Carter passed away just a few months after this movie - his last - came out.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019


Often derided but actually great! 

Sunday, November 17, 2019

The Bloody Pit #93 - NIGHTMARE BEACH (1989)

This episode presents a first in that my co-host goes by a pseudonym! (Even Cort Psyops uses his real first name!) On podcasts he calls himself Bobby Hazzard which is quite different from his actual name. The fact that I managed to not call him by his real name for the entire show may be evidence of divine intervention! He is the host of several fun shows of his own including Spring Break Forever which might explain his fascination with the film we cover on this episode of The Bloody Pit. He and I cover a slasher film from the late 1980’s which is a bit of a surprise for me. I spent a good deal of my youth disliking the genre until I was finally exposed to enough good examples to develop a change in my sensibilities. There are good and bad films in every genre and the slasher is no different.

Also released as WELCOME TO SPRING BREAK this Italian production is now primarily known as NIGHTMARE BEACH (1989). Like a number of these genre films this was shot in the United States to take advantage of the financial deals being offered by certain cities at the time. This explains why the majority of the cast is American or Canadian making this look as much as possible like a movie made with Hollywood money. This was standard at the time to make sales of the film around the world more lucrative and, along with the use of pseudonyms in the credits, makes the product seem fully North American. But the oddity of retaining many elements of the giallo genre over the standards of the slasher makes this film feel very much a continuation of that very Italian genre. And, once the script throws in tropes from popular Spring Break comedies and enough distracting characters to keep your mind off the central mystery, this becomes a pretty entertaining ride.

Join us for a fun trip featuring sunny beaches, wet t-shirt contests, angry biker gangs and bizarre electrocutions on this episode. If you have any comments the email address is and the show’s FaceBook page is still active. Thank you for listening to the show!

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Trailers From Hell - PRINCE OF DARKNESS (1987)

Although I think I understand much more of the underlying metaphysical gobbledygook behind this great film than Ti West, I like his enthusiasm! Carpenter brings us his version of a Quatermass story. 

Thursday, November 14, 2019

What I Watched In October

There’s always the fear when a beloved property gets a new interpretation that the new version will fumble the ball. That it will focus on the wrong elements or that the flavor of the entire affair will somehow be off in a way that undermines the original intent destroying the chance for a new audience to experience the idea. I’m happy to report that THE ADDAMS FAMILY (2019) successfully gets things right in bringing Charles Addams’ creepy creations to the world of big budget animation. Pulling ideas from the original magazine cartoons and the live action television show from the 1960’s the film keeps the joy of the darker side of life centered as it tells multiple interlocking stories of the Addams crew getting to know their new neighbors down the hill. The movie starts with a slightly unnecessary origin story about Gomez and Morticia’s wedding but serves as a nice amuse bouche before settling in for the entire meal. The film is scary and funny in the way fans have come to expect and the voice talent is top-notch bringing fantastic nuance to the relationships of the family and the situations that propel the narrative. Good fun all around and I hope it does well enough for a sequel!

Some might think that was pretty audacious to assume that it would be possible to make a successful sequel a full decade after the original film came out and was an unexpected worldwide hit. But the fact is that the people who made the first Zombieland film had no idea that it was going to be a massive hit and really had no idea for a direct follow-up in 2009. Of course, the franchise hasn't been totally moribund in the past 10 years. There was a failed TV series pilot done for Amazon that showed promise but garnered little interest. That could have taken the idea into a potential fun area but maybe the concept requires more than weekly TV can allow for. Now I think we can be very happy that, if you were a fan of the first movie, the writers had as much time as they did to come up with something as fun as this sequel. ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP (2019) picks up right after the first film and follows our mismatched but loveable quartet to the White House where they set up safe residence and then slowly become bored. In fact, the group dynamics eventually sends the youngest off on her own to find a romantic entanglement that home-life cannot provide. And then the happy couple of the team suffer a crisis of the marital kind making a cross-country journey necessary again. This leads to meeting new survivors in Zombieland and further funny adventures trying to keep everyone alive. This one is at least as fun as the first movie and may actually be better thought out and emotionally satisfying than its predecessor. If they are going to make another one, I hope it happens before 2029. 

The List 

THE MASK OF SATAN (1960) – 9 (rewatch on Blu) 
INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1978) – 8 (rewatch on Blu)
THE DEVIL’S NIGHTMARE (1974) - 7 (rewatch on Blu)
FRIDAY THE 13TH (1980) -6 (rewatch) 
MUMMY’S BOYS (1936) – 3 (sad attempt at comedy) 
INSEMINOID (1980) – 4 (rewatch on Blu) 
THE BLACK ROOM (1935) – 7 (Karloff period horror) 
THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1935) – 8 (rewatch on Blu) 
THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER (1960) – 8 (rewatch on Blu) 
BEETLEJUICE (1988) – 9 (rewatch at Drive-In!) 
SON OF FRANKENSTEIN (1939) – 9 (rewatch) 
EL CAMINO (2019) – 8 (solid coda to Breaking Bad) 
IN THE TALL GRASS (2019) – 7 (well done King/Hill adaptation) 
CONTAMINATION .7 (1993) – 3 (a.k.a. The Crawlers) Euro-trash plant monster mess) 
THE GHOST OF FRANKENSTIEN (1942) – 7 (rewatch) 
ALIEN (1979) – 10 (40th anniversary rewatch on the big screen) 
MARK OF THE WITCH (1970) – 5 (OK reincarnated witch tale) 
SLEEPAWAY CAMP III: TEENAGE WASTELAND (1987) – 5 (silly but fun) 
SATAN’S DOLL (1969) – 6 (fairly sloppy Italian gothic thriller) 
THE CORRUPTION OF CHRIS MILLER (1973) – 9 (rewatch on Blu) 
MALEVOLENT (2018) – 7 (solid British ghost tale) 
FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 2 (1981) – 7 (rewatch on Blu)
THE ENDLESS (2017) – 7 (well done sci-fi looper) 
THE FOG (1980) – 9 (rewatch) 
THE MUMMY (2017) - 7 (rewatch) 
RETURN TO HORROR HIGH (1987) – 3 (pretty bad horror/comedy) 
BOO! (2018) – 3 (dull, slow horror tale) 
THE INVISIBLE MAN (1933) – 8 (rewatch on Blu) 
THE GHOST AND MR. CHICKEN (1966) – 8  (rewatch) 
HOUSE OF THE WITCH (2017) – 4 (mediocre, tame haunted house movie) 
THE MUMMY’S CURSE (1944) – 6 (rewatch) 
THE INVITATION (2015) -8 (very good slow burn drama/horror) 
ELVIRA’S HAUNTED HILLS (2001) – 7 (rewatch)
THE UNCANNY (1977) – 6 (not bad anthology horror) 

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Super Team Family Covers

If only these existed I would read and re-read the crap out of them!