Monday, August 30, 2021

Beyond Naschy #34 - REFUGE OF FEAR (1974)

Post-apocalyptic stories don’t turn up in the Golden Age of Spanish Horror as frequently as I would like and until a listener asked us about REFUGE OF FEAR (1974) neither of us were aware of it being part of that sub-genre. Of course, once we learned about the cast, we immediately tracked down a copy and here we are!

Also known as CREATION OF THE DAMNED the film tells the story of a small group of survivors of a possible nuclear war. These five people live in a cramped underground complex while trying to wait out the effects of radiation on the world above. The teenage son of one couple is obsessed with trying to stay in contact with the outside by shortwave radio. He lives in the hope that his girlfriend is somehow still alive but is becoming less sure of that possibility while the pair of married couples are having problems of their own. The husbands are ex-military so are using their training to maintain order but as the film begins tensions are in evidence. One wife drinks and knits while the other tries to sleep away as many hours as she can. Soon, the cracks that begin to appear in the walls of their concrete bunker aren’t the most dangerous breaks in their lives as mentally fragile people start to fracture.  

REFUGE OF FEAR (1974) has a generally bad reputation which both Troy and I feel is a shame. We were drawn to see this film because it stars the wonderful Patty Shepard who, along with Craig Hill, appeared in a couple of Paul Naschy’s films. She and Hill have the most screentime and are good in their roles with the script giving them some juicy dramatic meat to chew on. The interesting script comes under discussion even as we try to not spoil the turns things take in the final act. We both feel that the director lets the film down a bit and we dig into the possible reasons for that. And we once again find a film that is richly deserving of a quality Blu-Ray release. I think this could be considered a much better film if a good print was made available.

If you have any comments on the film or anything else is the address. Or we can be found lurking over at the show’s FaceBook page as well. Thanks for listening!

Apple Podcast LINK 

Download LINK 

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Video - THE HUMANOID (1979)

If you follow the link below you will find a pretty darned good print of THE HUMANOID on YouTube. It is much sharper than other versions I've watched before and gives a good idea of how the film would benefit from a Blu-Ray release. We have a Wild Wild Podcast episode on this coming soon! 

Friday, August 27, 2021

Posters and Lobby Cards for THE HUMANOID (1979)

Sometimes what you want is an obvious STAR WARS rip-off made by Italians and starring a few actors from 70's Bond films. So, here we are! 

Monday, August 23, 2021

The Bloody Pit #134 - 1941 (1979)

We don’t cover many comedies on The Bloody Pit for various reasons but 1941 (1979) ticks off many boxes for genre fans that makes it nearly perfect for discussion. Toshiro Mifune and Christopher Lee as bickering military leaders trapped together in a submarine? Is this a humorous variation on HELL IN THE PACFIC (1968) hiding in plain sight?

Mark Maddox joins me to dig into our mutual fascination with this much criticized epic of American madness and wartime paranoia. Told before production that they should make a serious World War II film on the subject instead of a comedy, Spielberg and his team forged ahead with their warped vision of post-Pearl Harbor attack fears. It’s an ambitious tale with dozens of characters and multiple storylines that slowly escalates into a long December night of chaos and violence. I’m sure that a serious movie about this historical incident could be made but I’m so glad that this farce exists in its place. 1941 is one of my favorite comedies of all time and I never cease to laugh at the insanity every time I watch it.

Using the sprawling template of IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD (1964) we are given a scenario ripe with potential sparks while the plot scatters metaphorical open barrels of gasoline around to see how they explode in flames. Combining oddball comedic characters with characters that are taking the spiraling events seriously keeps the entire affair grounded enough to seem believable and suspenseful enough to be thrilling. The nutty folks’ antics never overpower the forward momentum of the wild story even in the extended version of the film that Mark and I discuss. We talk about our first encounters with the film, its effect on us at the time and how popular opinion of it has changed over the years. We dig into the huge cast of amazing actors and debate some of the performances. The topic of the John Williams score is broached with a snippet or two of the music inserted into the show and we marvel at the amazing miniature work in the film’s climax. We do get off-track at least once trying to decide what Spielberg’s worst movie might be. As usual, Mark is wrong!

If you know which Spielberg film is the weakest the email address is where we’d love to hear from you. And if you think Mark and I should just bash in each other’s heads and call it a day – let us know that too! Thanks for listening to the show.

Apple Podcasts LINK 

Direct Download LINK 

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Video - The Metamorphosis of Space: 1999

This well produced video from the Anderson website does a good job of explaining what happened to make the two seasons of this 1970's television show so different from each other. I think the narrator puts it quite with this quote -

"Nowhere in the Gerry Anderson story is the power and influence of the American market more keenly or more tragically felt than in the story of Space: 1999’s transformation from Season one to Season two." 

Saturday, August 21, 2021

What I Watched In July

I’m a fan of the Purge film series and was excited to be able to return to theaters this summer to see a new entry. This fourth sequel seems even more eerily prescient than the earlier films which is both impressive and sad. Seeming to have somehow looked into the future and watched the pathetic events of January 6th, 2021 play out THE FOREVER PURGE (2021) posits that eight years after electing a sane president that ended the annual Purge, the right-wing New Founding Fathers party regains control and uses its power to reinstate the annual event. But it turns out that the party and its followers have plans to finally secure their place atop the country’s power structure by doing away with the façade of democratic rule. Hence, The Forever Purge in which every day it is legal to murder the people who disagree with you or ‘threaten’ America.

This is a scenario that could have made for one of the better films in the series but it doesn’t quite make the grade. Although the cast is strong and the pace of things is pretty fast the film is heavy handed and mostly simplistically literal in its messaging. This created a certain detachment from the story making me only a curious observer of events rather than someone invested in the emotions onscreen. This is a shame as the idea of the New Founding Fathers Party finally ripping off the mask and letting their fascist flag fly free should have made for a much more interesting tale. The decision to step back from the edges of the governmental level resistance and once again focus on random representative individuals at the fringes of society feels like the wrong move. I hope the series can find a way to return to the creative highs of the previous films in future installments.


SYNDICATE SADISTS (1975) – 8 (rewatch)
THE INVISIBLE MAN APPEARS (1949) – 6 (interesting Japanese variation) 
KNIFE OF ICE (1972) – 8 (excellent mystery by Lenzi) 
SEX, DEMONS AND DEATH (1975) – 4 (jumbled mess) 
SUPERMAN RETURNS (2006) – 8 (rewatch) (better than I remembered) 
THE TOMORROW WAR (2021) – 7 (solid action/SF with super stupid plotting) 
WHERE THE NORTH BEGINS (1947) – 5 (Canadian Mountie short) 
HITCHER IN THE DARK (1989) – 6 (Lenzi horror in Virginia) 
MASSACRE TIME (1966) – 6 (Fulci western) 
COSMOS: WAR OF THE PLANETS (1978) – 2 (So, so bad) 
BLACK WIDOW (2021) – 8 (Marvel does the character proud) 
IT AIN’T HAY (1943) – 6 (Abbot & Costello do Damon Runyon) 
WILD WILD PLANET (1965) – 7 (rewatch) 
AMERICAN RICKSHAW (1989) – 7 (rewatch) 
CHILD IN THE NIGHT (1990) – 7 (interesting TV movie)
FLIGHT TO MARS (1951) – 6 (new Blu) 
TIME TO KILL (1947) – 7 (Michael Shayne covering The High Window) 
SHADOWS OVER CHINATOWN (1946) – 6 (Toler as Charlie Chan) 
THE HAND THAT FEEDS THE DEAD (1974) – 6 (another Klaus Kinski mad scientist gothic) 
THE MACABRE LEGENDS OF THE COLONIES (1974) – 6 (masked wrestlers transported to 16th century to fight a vengeful witch!)
DOCKS OF NEW ORLEANS (1948) – 6 (Winters as Charlie Chan) 
1941 (1979) – 9 (rewatch of extended version) 
THE EMPTY MAN (2020) – 8 (fascinating slow burn horror) 
STARCRASH (1978) – 6 (rewatch) 
SWORD OF THE CONQUEROR (1961) – 7 (better than average peplum) 
THE GIRL IN BLACK STOCKINGS (1957) – 7 (murder mystery)
RABID (2019) – 6 (remake is not bad but not great) 
NO SUDDEN MOVE (2021) – 8 (twisty crime tale set in 1954) 
SPHINX (1981) – 6 (interesting Egyptian adventure) 
CREEPOZOIDS (1987) – 4 (terrible low budget ALIEN/THE THING riff) 

Friday, August 20, 2021

Wild, Wild Podcast #7 - STARCRASH (1979)

Sing with me now: "Starcrash, it's a Starcrash, we're having a Starcrash..." Yes, we've made it to 1979's Italian Star Wars knock-off par excellence, the one and only STARCRASH, featuring Caroline Munro in a space bikini and David Hasslehoff with a tight perm.

In this episode Adrian and Rod share their unabashed enthusiasm for this silly film, whilst not holding back on just how difficult it is to accurately summarize the plot, even when it's written down in front of you.

We would love to hear what you think of this film too. You can contact us via Twitter and Instagram, or you can email us at

If you enjoy the podcast please subscribe, tell your friends and leave us a review!

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Space: 1999 Power Records Adventure - Back to the Beginning

Someone has taken the time and put forth real effort to present this Space: 1999 Power Records tale on YouTube. The work is especially nice in the opening credits cribbed directly from the show with appropriate bits taken from the comic pages for the 'This Episode' interjections! It's very well done, leaving us to marvel at the (standard for the show) insane pseudo-science and bizarre plot. It's a fun ten minutes for fans or those interested in strange 1970's science fiction. 

Monday, August 16, 2021

Cover Art for 'Who Goes There' by John W. Campbell

I've been facinated for years with this story and various artist's interpretations of the alien creature. Still waiting for an animated version. 
(Kinda joking. But not really.)  


Saturday, August 14, 2021

Jack Kirby's Adaptation of THE BLACK HOLE (1979)

Following on from my last post, here is a look the second comic version of THE BLACK HOLE written by Carl Fallberg with fantastic art by the legendary Jack Kirby. This was published as a series of single page comic strips giving the story  an interesting, episodic structure. I think Kirby's version was first published in France and then later reprinted here in the states in 'Walt Disney's Treasury of Classic Tales', but the dates I can find online seem to indicate that they might have been released almost at the same time. It seems odd to have two completely different comic adaptations and it may have been done to get the film's publicity out as fast as possible and in as many formats as could be covered. You could buy it off the comic book spinner rack or read it serialized in newspapers! 

As you would expect, the ending of the Kirby drawn version differs from the film but it is pretty similar to the Whitman comic - only better realized! Below are the last two strips and to read the entire series of 26 you can go to this fine webpage HERE

Thursday, August 12, 2021

THE BLACK HOLE (1979) Comic Books

Because I couldn't resist buying Disney's sci-fi folly on Blu-Ray (I'm sick - don't emulate me) I ended up once again fascinated by the mad spectacle of this mess of a film. It looks great, has wonderful special effects and a beautiful John Barry score. It also has stupid robot characters, mostly awful dialog, paper-thin characters and a script that needed major revisions. But the element of THE BLACK HOLE that tends to cause all jaws to drop in stunned awe is the ending. It is insanity on a big budget and is the perfect example of a story being told with no ending in mind. Apparently, production started with an unfinished script which explains many of the film's problems including the WTF ending. That unfinished nature is also the reason why the official novelization has a different ending and the comic book has an ending different from both book and movie! Oh! And it turns out there were two separate comic adaptations giving the entire affair another ending to add to the pile. 

Here's the last two pages of the Whitman comic book adaptation to show how the creators of that comic ended the tale - 

That's the end of issue two and, as promised, issue three started a new adventure that can be seen as a sequel story. And then issue four became one of the more famous rare comics of all time! Luckily it can be read online HERE


Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Trailers From Hell - GIANT FROM THE UNKNOWN (1958)

I cannot justify my love of this low budget independent monster film other than to say that it just perfectly works me. I can see the flaws easily enough but I don't care about them. Thank the Blu-Ray gods that this is in my collection in high definition! 

Sunday, August 08, 2021

The Bloody Pit #133 - NIGHT MONSTER (1942)

Troy Guinn and I jump back to the 1940’s for our next Universal horror film of that decade.

NIGHT MONSTER (1942) has two ‘horror stars’ first billed in the credits – Bela Lugosi and Lionel Atwill – leading first time viewers to expect them to feature heavily in the scary tale being told. But both actors are relegated to supporting roles which gives unexpected players the chance to step forward and take position of possible villain. This sidelining of Lugosi and Atwill has been cited for years as the reason this is less well known than it might otherwise be, but I would argue the opposite should be true. By allowing actors not usually associated with the genre to step forward and take on the prime roles NIGHT MONSTER becomes a rare thing in Universal’s horror output on the 40’s – a real mystery! And, to make it more impressive, the film attempts to create an entirely new screen monster that the studio could have used in the future. That the choice was made to continue producing Frankenstein, Dracula and Mummy sequels probably speaks more to making safe money decisions than to a desire for new, creative monsters and that is a shame.

We enthusiastically dive into this film asking all the usual questions horror movie fans have posited for decades. We don’t have all the answers but we do have some solid speculation and a few guesses. We remark on the casting choices including having a female doctor play such a prominent role. The treatment of Hindu mysticism in the story without the expected condescension for such ‘foreign’ religions is surprising, as is the relatively adult tone of the entire affair. The film strikes a more modern attitude in several ways even if it still seems to take place in a time oddly unaware of the then current war. We also note that the film seems to drop at least one character (Lugosi’s!) from the finale without ever letting us know if he was complicit in the crimes taking place in and around the crazy old dark house. The oddest point in the show might be when I conjure a fictitious Three Dog Night song out of thin air leaving only a little blood on the floor!

If you have any comments or questions about the show is the email account and we’d love to hear from you. Thank you for listening to the show!

Apple Podcast LINK

Direct MP3 Download LINK

Saturday, August 07, 2021

Wild, Wild Podcast Episode #6 - COSMOS: WAR OF THE PLANETS (1977)

Well, where to start? 

This film was so difficult to watch that I had to pace the room to stay awake, and Adrian actually did fall asleep and was an hour late getting the podcast recording started. Yes, it's Cosmos: War of the Planets, a film that not even its mother would love. You can watch it here to form your own opinion.

We would love to hear what you think of this film, once you have recovered. You can contact us via Twitter and Instagram, or you can email us at

If you enjoy the show please subscribe, tell your friends and leave us a review! That kind of thing helps get the word out to more people. Thanks for listening. 

Podcast LINK

RSS Feed 

Tuesday, August 03, 2021

Review - THE 4D MAN (1959)

I've had the Blu-Ray for months now and before that I had the DVD. I think I've watched THE 4D MAN six or seven times even though I don't think it’s the greatest movie in the world. Its good, but not that good. I think what draws me back again and again are elements that grab me in any movie from the period.

First, being a sucker for 50's science fiction, the idea at the center of the story is very interesting. It’s a pulp SF idea handled in an intelligent fashion.

Second, the cast is top notch turning in performances better than the story deserves.

And third, although riddled with nonsensical pseudo-science silliness the story is involving and effective.

The film follows two brothers with different approaches to scientific research. Scott Nelson (Robert Lansing) is a hard-working scientist struggling to perfect a new alloy he hopes will prove impenetrable to all force. He works for a large scientific concern in which the owner has first (and last) claim to all the credit for any projects done under his roof. Tony (James Congdon) is the younger and more impulsive sibling. He's had a hard time keeping a job as he spends most of his spare time working on his own pet theory. Tony believes that it is possible to cause two solid objects to occupy the same space at the same time merging their atomic structures. He once was able to make this near impossibility happen but has never been able to replicate the experiment. After the loss of another job Tony appeals to Scott eventually showing his one piece of evidence- a pencil he merged with a solid slab of metal. Tony thinks that the one-time success had more to do with his mind than with electronics equipment. He's sure that in some way he 'willed' the two objects to merge! Scott is skeptical but one late night while fooling with the experiment on his own he too succeeds- but it's his right hand that passes through a solid piece of metal. Stunned, he shows Tony but they quickly realize that Scott can will himself through things now without help!

Asking that they keep things quiet for a while, Scott wants find a way to keep this discovery away from his employer. Tired of doing all the work for none of the public credit he's determined to introduce this astounding breakthrough himself. Of course, at this point complications ensue with a fellow scientist stealing Tony's notes and Scott becoming aware that each time he phases through something it seems to age him. Also thrown into the mix is the romantic triangle between the fetching Miss Lee Merriweather playing a research assistant and the two brothers. I know this element sounds like the melodramatic sludge that it is, but the actors do a very good job with the material adding depth to the clichéd love sub-plot. The actors really sell this movie on every level and without the fine performances it wouldn't be half as good.

As much as I enjoy THE 4D MAN the film does have one glaring flaw that irks me. It sports one of the most inappropriate scores of all time! On its own the film's music is not bad but the percussion heavy jazz riffs only fit the scene they're accompanying about 10% of the time. During the rest of the movie it’s like accidentally intercepting a radio broadcast at the drive-in. It's annoying and I'd love to have the power to re-score the picture.

I really like this film but I'm under no illusions about how many others out there will feel the love. It helps if you're a Sci-Fi geek with a taste for old style 'what if' scenarios, I guess.

Sunday, August 01, 2021

Space: 1999 Comic Book Cover Gallery

The artwork on these covers were sure to make them leap off the spinner rack when I was a lad. Well - if they turned up on my local drugstore spinner rack, anyway.