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DVD Releases: God of the Zillas

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Big monsters, terrorizing singing, and re-issues are all on their way come Tuesday, April 29th, 2008…
Click to see it bigger!All Monsters Attack! (1969)
Directed by Ishiro Honda

When these packages first started coming out I was really impressed with how clean and professional they looked; now I’m just getting tired of them. Maybe they need to change it up a bit? The story follows a latchkey kid who escapes his everyday torments by visiting the fantastical Monster Island, where he is friends with Godzilla and Godzilla’s freakish offspring, who is experiencing bully problems of it’s own. Buy it here!


Click to see it bigger!The Beast in Space (1980)
Directed by Alfonso Brescia

All right, so in 1975 a beautiful sex symbol named Sirpa Lane won all sorts of shocked expressions when she played a woman defiled by an aroused animal in The Beast. Five years later, her career was doomed, so this unofficial sequel came along that added in laser guns, space shoot outs, horribly cheesy effects and, of course, more bestiality. What could be worse/better? I can’t imagine anything on either side, to be honest. Buy it here!


Click to see it bigger!The Boarding House (1983)
Directed by John Wintergate

A man with inherit telekinetic powers manages to inherit a huge, unused boarding house. Soon, somehow, the boarding house is filled with beautiful women and a supernatural evil awakens and starts killing the tenants one by one. Think it sounds like a good time? Apparently it’s not too bad, actually; check out our “>Boarding House DVD review to learn more! Buy it here!


Click to see it bigger!Dark Shadows: The Beginning Collection 4
Directed by Various

Man, if I could go back in time and never started including these on my weekly DVD lists, I would do it in a hearbeat. Do you have any idea what a pain in the ass it is to find info about a certain part of a gothic soap opera that ran as long as this one did? And this is yet another collection of episodes that hit before the Barnabas Collins vampire came onto the scene. Ugh. So from now on, I’m just going to bitch about them when they come up. It has to end eventually, right? Buy it here!


Click to see it bigger!Harm’s Way (2006)
Directed by Melanie Orr

Couldn’t find out much about this one, which is still strange to me in this day and age, but apparently it’s about a woman and her daughter who escape some sort of trauma by being taken into a woman’s refuge home, which is run by the dominate Bea. Slowly the younger girl starts behaving more and more hostile towards anyone around her, and more than likely some death goes down here and there. Buy it here!


Click to see it bigger!Headless Horseman (2007)
Directed by Anthony C. Ferrante

Ah, fucking college kids. There, got that out of the way. This one’s about some college kids who end up in a “lost” town called Wormwood, a town where a superstitious belief about a headless horseman who will ride through on Halloween every seven and take his revenge on the town by taking their heads turns out to be closer to the truth than is comfortable for most. Buy it here!


Click to see it bigger!Hitch-Hike (1977)
Directed by Pasquale Festa Campanile

Man, when did Blue Underground become the re-release kings? I remember when they were fresh, putting out some really good, hard to find stuff. Now they’re just putting out everything once released by Anchor Bay again, and I’ve no idea why. Strange. Anyway, this cult classic stars David Hess as a stranded motorist who a husband and wife pick up, only to realize too late that he’s a psychotic madman. Usually that’s a good thing to know before you let someone in your car, kids. Look for re-issues of The New York Ripper and Nightmare City this week, as well. Buy it here!


Click to see it bigger!In the Blood (2006)
Directed by Lou Peterson

All right, let me get this right; the story is about a sexy and popular jock that has secret gay tendencies, but can’t come to grips with them. When he realizes his sister may be the next victim of a college-campus slasher, the only way he can get to the bottom of the mystery is to fully embrace his gay-ness (is that a word?). How does that work, exactly? Why should you sexual preference matter when a serial killer is on the loose? I guess you’ll have to get it to find out. Buy it here!


Click to see it bigger!Karaoke Terror (2003)
Directed by Tetsuo Shinohara

I know it doesn’t sound too terrifying, but apparently Karaoke Terror is actually a genuinely scary movie. I know the concept of Karaoke in general fills me with fear. The film is actually satirical by nature (big surprise) about two rivaling groups of karaoke-lovers who get mixed up in murder and deception while trying to prove which group is more talented at song recreation. We’ve got a very old “>Karaoke Terror review you can check out for more info! Buy it here!


Click to see it bigger!Killing Car (1983)
Directed by Jean Rollin

You know it’s true; if it’s Jean Rollin, it’s gotta be good! All right, that’s not necessarily the case, but how can you go wrong with a movie called Killing Car for God’s sake? The story follows two hot Asian women who steal a car and begin to kill anyone who gets in their way for no apparent reason. Full of all the strange imagery and female flesh you’d expect from Rollin, minus the vampires. Thank God. Buy it here!


Click to see it bigger!Knock Knock (2008)
Directed by Joe Ariola

First of all, why can’t this guy change his last name, at least for the purposes of being a director, from something like Ariola? The film is about someone coming back from the dead for some form of revenge or something. To be honest I couldn’t make heads nor tails of Creepy’s “>Knock Knock DVD review, but then I’m from the MidWest and don’t understand half of what he says on a good day, anyway. Buy it here!


Click to see it bigger!Paranormal State: Season One
Directed by Various

Just as it sounds, “Paranormal State” is the first show to examine hauntings and other unexplained phenomenon through the eyes of, gulp, fucking college students. I guess that it was on A&E and not, say, MTV, is a good sign that it’s probably not that bad. The show follows a young team of ghost hunters who are dealing with their own drama filled lives while constantly looking to see if there is something staring back at them from the abyss. Or something like that. Buy it here!


Click to see it bigger!Prism (2007)
Directed by David G. Simmons

A young autistic boy is the only witness to a horrific crime, which causes him to fall into a catatonic state from which doctors fear he’ll never recover. A dedicated young psychologist offers to help bring him back to the hear and now, but the deeper she looks into this troubled boys mind, the more her own reality starts to fall apart. Hilarity ensues. Buy it here!


Click to see it bigger!Schizo (1978)
Directed by Peter Walker

You really can’t go wrong with a good Pete Walker movie and a case of beer. Or maybe just a six-pack, depends on your tolerance. The story is about a girl who witnessed the brutal murder of her own parents when she was young, and now starts seeing her friends and family dying all around her, each death taking her that much closer to the horrifying truth. I’m guessing it’ll have something to do with schizophrenia? Could be, could be… Buy it here!


Click to see it bigger!Terror of Mechagodzilla (1977)
Directed by Ishiro Honda

Fifteen Godzilla films in, the eleventh for director Honda, and finally we get some mecha-terror! The film follows aliens who want to stage a takeover of Earth, using Mecha creations that can be controlled by a resurrected girl who is now a cyborg. Some say this film contains some of the best Godzilla fight scenes put to film, no small feet considering how many of them there are! Buy it here!


Johnny Butane

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Fearsome Facts

Fearsome Facts – Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966)

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Sir Christopher Lee returned to portray the charismatic count of Transylvania in Hammer’s Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966) for the first time since taking on the iconic role in 1958’s Horror of Dracula – an eight year absence. 

And while Lee endured a love/hate relationship playing the Carpathian Count over the years, the actor reluctantly tackled the role a total of 10 times for the Silver Screen. Three of those performances came outside of the purview of Hammer Horror, but this list is dedicated to the first Hammer Dracula sequel to feature the return of Christopher Lee in the lead role.

Now, here are 5 Things You May Not Know About Dracula: Prince of Darkness.

5. Dracula: Speechless

Dialogue never played a crucial part in Christopher Lee’s portrayals as Count Dracula, but this film is the epitome of that contentious notion. Lee doesn’t utter a single word during Dracula: Prince of Darkness’ 90 minutes of run time. In interviews over the years, Lee said that he was so unhappy with his lines that he protested and refused to say them during the filming process. “Because I had read the script and refused to say any of the lines,” Lee said in an interview at the University College of Dublin.

However, screenwriter Jimmy Sangster insisted that the original script was written without any dialogue for Dracula. There was even a theory that circulated for a time which postulated that Hammer could not afford Lee’s growing salary, so the studio decided to limit the Count’s screen time. Did this lead to the demise of Dracula’s dialogue? Regardless of whom you want to believe, Dracula is the strong, silent type in Prince of Darkness. 

4. Double Duty for Drac

Hammer Film Productions doubled down, so to speak, on the production and post-production aspects of Dracula: Prince of Darkness. First, the studio filmed the vampire flick back-to-back with another project titled Rasputin: The Mad Monk (1966). In doing so, Hammer used many of the same sets, actors – including Francis Matthews and Suzan Farmer – and crew members to shoot both motion pictures.

Second, Dracula: Prince of Darkness was featured in a double billing alongside the film The Plague of the Zombies (1966) when it screened in London. Insert cheesy cliche: “Double your pleasure, double your fun with Doublemint Gum.” 

3. Stunt Double Nearly Drowned

Dracula: Prince of Darkness introduced a new weakness in the wicked baddie, but it nearly cost a stuntman his life. During the film, it was revealed that running water could destroy Dracula. Wait, what? Apparently, leaving the faucets on at night not only prevents frozen pipes, but blood-sucking vampires, too.

All kidding aside, it was during the climactic battle scene in which Christopher Lee’s stunt double almost succumb to the icy waters on set. Stuntman Eddie Powell stepped in as the Count during that pivotal moment, as Dracula slipped into the watery grave, but Powell was trapped under the water himself and almost died.

2. Lee Loathed What Hammer Did to Stoker’s Character

Christopher Lee’s return to Hammer’s Dracula franchise was a stroke of genius on the part of producers, but Lee was more than a little reticent when it came to initially voicing his dislike for playing the iconic role. As mentioned above, a lot of speculation swirled around the lack of dialogue given to Lee in the Prince of Darkness script. And if you don’t count the opening flashback sequence, which revisits the ending of Horror of Dracula (1958), Count Dracula doesn’t appear on screen until the 45-minute mark of the film.

Dracula’s lack of character, and presence, began to affect Lee particularly when it came to signing on to play the character in the three films following Prince of Darkness. Indeed, the lack of meaningful character development led to Lee initially turning down Dracula Has Risen From the Grave (1968), Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970) and Scars of Dracula (1970). Lee said in countless interviews that he never got to play the real version of Count Dracula created by Bram Stoker, at least via Hammer Studios. This was a true disappointment to the late actor.

But Hammer guilt Lee into taking on the role over and over again, because the studio claimed to have already sold the aforementioned films to the United States with Lee’s name attached to the projects. Hammer informed Lee that if he didn’t return the company would have to lay off many of their workers. The tactic worked, since Lee was friends with many of the Dracula crew members. Fortunately for fans, Lee kept coming back for blood.

1. Faux Pas

Outside of the character of Dracula only appearing on screen for the last half of the movie, Dracula: Prince of Darkness had even more pressing issues that unfortunately survived all the way to the final cut of the film. One of the most appalling of these occurrences happens during the picture’s climatic confrontation. Watch the skies above Dracula and you will see the trail of a jet-engine plane staining the sky.

Another faux pas occurs in this same sequence when Dracula succumbs to the icy waters. Watch closely as the camera’s long shot clearly reveals the pivots holding the ice up underneath Chris Lee. Finally, watch the dead girl who is being carried during the opening funeral sequence. She is clearly breathing and quite heavily at that.

***

Which Dracula: Prince of Darkness moments did you find the most interesting? Were there any obscure facts you would have enjoyed seeing make our list? Sound off on social media!

 

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Desolation Review – The Joy of Being Rescued and All the Surprises That Come With It

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Starring Raymond J. Barry, Brock Kelly, Dominik Garcia-Lorido

Directed by David Moscow


It’s those random, once-in-a-lifetime encounters that only a select few get the chance to experience: when we as regular participants in this wonderful thing known as The Rat Race, stumble across a soul that we’ve only witnessed on the big screen. I’m talking about a celebrity encounter, and while some of the masses will chalk the experience up as nothing more than a passing moment, others hold it to a much larger interior scale…then you REALLY get to know the person, and that’s when things get interesting.

Director David Moscow’s thriller, Desolation follows shy hotel employee Katie (Lorido) and her “fortuitous” brush with Hollywood pretty-boy Jay (Kelly) during one of his stops – the two hit it off, and together they begin a sort of whirlwind-romance that takes her away from her job and drops her in the heart of Los Angeles at the apartment building he resides in. You can clearly see that she has been a woman who’s suffered some emotional trauma in her past, and this golden boy just happens to gallop in on his steed and sweep her off of her feet, essentially rescuing her from a life of mundane activity. She gets the full-blown treatment: a revamped wardrobe, plenty of lovin’, and generally the life she’s wanted for some time.

Things return to a bit of normalcy when Jay has to return to work, leaving Katie to spread out at his place, but something clearly isn’t kosher with this joint. With its odd inhabitants (a very creepy priest played by Raymond J. Barry), even more bizarre occurrences, and when one scared young woman cannot even rely on the protection from the local police, it all adds up to a series of red flags that would have even the strongest of psyches crying for their mothers. What Moscow does with this movie is give it just enough swerves so that it keeps your skull churning, but doesn’t overdo its potential to conclusively surprise you, and that’s what makes the film an entertaining watch.

While Lorido more than holds her ground with her portrayal of a woman who has been hurt in the past, and is attempting to place her faith in a new relationship, it’s Barry that comes out on top here. His performance as Father Bill is the kind of stuff that wouldn’t exactly chill you to the bone, but he’s definitely not a man of the cloth that you’d want to be stuck behind closed doors with – generally unsettling. As I mentioned earlier, the plot twists are well-placed, and keep things fresh just when you think you’ve got your junior private investigator badge all shined up. Desolation is well-worth a look, and really has kicked off 2018 in a promising fashion – let’s see what the other 11 months will feed us beasts.

  • Film
3.0

Summary

Got your eye on that shining movie star or starlet? Better make sure it’s what you really want in life – you know what they say about curiosity.

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Carnivore: Werewolf of London Howls on VOD

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Joining the ranks of The Curse of the Werewolf, An American Werewolf in London, The Company of Wolves, and Dog Soldiers, Carnivore: Werewolf of London is the latest in a long series of fantastic British werewolf movies. Directed by Knights of the Damned’s Simon Wells, the film focuses on a couple trying to save their relationship by taking a vacation in a remote cottage, but rekindling their old flame soon proves to be the least of their worries as they learn that something with lots of fur and lots of teeth is waiting for them in the surrounding woods.

Carnivore: Werewolf of London stars Ben Loyd-Holmes, Atlanta Johnson, Gregory Cox, Molly Ruskin, and Ethan Ruskin, and is available to purchase now on Google Play, Amazon Video, iTunes, and Vudu, although it doesn’t appear to have received a physical release as of yet.

More information about Carnivore: Werewolf of London is available on the film’s official Facebook account, along with a ton of production photos.

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