Crucible of horror AKA -The Corpse

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1971 although I have also seen 1969, 1970 and even 1972. More than one source says it was filmed in 1969 and released later.

This stiff serious business type Walter Eastwood (Michael Gough-The horror of Dracula, Hammer’s The phantom of the opera, Alfred from the Tim Burton films and tons of other movies) treats his daughter Jane (Sharon Gurney-) and wife Edith (Yvonne Mitchell a veteran of British TV for several decades)  like dirt.  His son Rupert (real life son Simon who would go to marry co-star Sharon Gurney) He  is abusive to his daughter and a down right cold hearted, wooden non-human type to his wife. He gets along with his son because he is the same kind of unfeeling lizard. For entertainment dad likes to look sour and touch the bike seat when his daughter gets off. Yeah, a  nasty weirdo. We follow his actions and see he loves to control his family and show as little feelings as possible. Eventually he goes away for the weekend to do some hunting or watch himself look sour in the front of the mirror, I’m not sure which. Mom and daughter have had enough so they follow him and kill him or so they think. They end up being like the worst murderers ever as they second themselves and switch things around. Plus they have doubts, regrets and get haunted by it. Eventually after hazy flashbacks, relief, regret and all these emotions dad returns acting like a real rear end once again or does he? Roll the credits.

The negatives-Everything after the murder is up in the air. You decide what really happened. Until that point the pace was slow, but understandable if you hung there. After that point it depends on how much you enjoyed what they did with their time.


The positives-The acting from the four leads is solid all the way around with Gough Sr. and Gurney really giving nice jobs at tough roles.  For me this film took me three viewings for me to take to it, but I like it a lot. Not everyone will enjoy it.

It can be picked up cheap and some times on some of those bargain collections. The quality of the picture isn’t so great unfortunately. More a psychological thriller than horror, but give it a shot.


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I, Monster

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1971 (UK)/1973 (US)

This Doctor type Marlowe (Christopher Lee) says he thinks all people have a good side and a bad side. To which the other doctor types says you are so full of..oh wait this is 19th century England so they say poppycock, you are full of rot and such. Marlowe thinks he knows best and starts shooting himself full of fruit punch or something. It gives him nasty teeth, messes up his hair and makes a him little more pale than he was. He goes around bars in the middle of the night walking funny and looking goofy so yeah no one notices him much. Then he bumps into a young guy (musician – actor Michael Des Barres) and they get into the lamest knife/blade fight ever and no one even gets killed-boo!Anyways the bad version of Marlowe starts calling himself Blake. Marlowe tells his mentor a little of his theories without telling what he’s actually done, but his mentor thinks he’s a nut bar for even suggesting that a guy could split into two very distinctive versions of good and evil. Marlowe continues to turn himself into Blake and the more he does the worse he looks (oh my) and the worse he acts (the fiend). Eventually he runs into a prostitute who makes fun of how awful he looks. So he waits for her, whacks her with his cane and leaves the broken cane there-guess the drug makes him stupid too. Marlowe gets his mentor to come over and reveals his transformation to him which results in the old guy having a heart attack-way to go Marlowe/Blake. While in a park Marlowe turns into Blake without trying so he know he losing control although not as fast as I am losing interest in this film. Although this does seem to a very strange park with empty cages, a band playing to a handful of passerbys and leaves that seem flying around at impossible angles. Meanwhile attorney Utterson (Peter Cushing) has suspected something was wrong with Marlowe and this guy Blake. When he compares handwriting of Marlowe and Blake he sees that they look the same. Utterson runs into Blake, they struggle, they start a fire and Blake catches on fire-aieee I am all a flame. He falls down the steps kaboom, dies ohhhh and transforms back into Marlowe bumbumbum. So roll those credits as quickly as possible.


The negatives-Amicus is known more for their anthologies but if this project was in writing in may have said that Amicus films will do a version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde starring Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. That sounds great. Aw they decided to change the names Jekyll and Hyde to Marlowe and Hyde. Okay, I don’t know why it should still be good. Oh and they are going to film it in 3D. Well, that’s their choice it may be decent. What’s that? They scrapped the 3D process part of the way through filming? The aborted process has taken a lot of the budget and put the film behind schedule. Hey uh that doesn’t sound so good. Exactly so the film has a cheap feel to it much of the transformation scenes lacking much and there’s a lot of standing around and talking in this film. I guess they had to pad the movie with cheap stuff since they didn’t have money left to do much. Christopher Lee who is normally automatic in almost everything struggles and hams it up more than usual. The normally great Peter Cushing can add little to this film either. What we are left with is a rather uneventful, frequently dull movie.

The positives-I read that they used leftover sets from the musical Oliver! and if they good for them because the sets look very nice as do the costumes.

Actually I had seen this film before but only once. I bought it when it first came out on DVD almost ten years ago because it was one of the few Amicus films I had not seen at that point. I didn’t care much for it then and hadn’t watched it since so it was time to give it another viewing, but if anything it seemed worse this time around.



First fright Friday-Lady Frankenstein



I’d been wanting to see this film for some time. Not because I heard it was any good, in fact I’ve largely heard the opposite. However it is a gothic horror about Frankenstein that was made in the early 1970’s so all of those aspects appeal to me. So I finally got around to watching it, but when it came time reviewing it I was hesitant to try to decipher the plot. While it starts out with sort of a story it quickly goes in other directions. Plus I’m lazy so I’ll do this one as a list.

Ten things I learned from this film.

1-Dr. Frankenstein can actually be killed rather by a monster.

2-Dr. Frankenstein didn’t want his daughter to take up the family business.

3-He must have wanted her to be something practical rather than being a mad scientist.

4-The old Dr. Frankenstein didn’t have an eye for beauty judging by the monster he made.

5-Even an old lab assistant may have a chance with a young woman…if he’s willing to have his brain transplanted.

6-Killing a slow dude while he’s making love is apparently an okay practice in the mad scientist business.

7-Simple, out of control monsters seem to have a pretty good sense of direction.

8-Grave robbers seem to be a dime a dozen or whatever the going rate is.

9-Morals have no place in the world of mad science.

10-Apparently a guy mad scientist does his business in the lab while a woman does it in the bedroom or something like that.

Overall is was worth seeing, but just expect it to fall apart and make less sense as it goes along.



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Commander Straker shows up busting computers down in SHADO headquarters. Paul and other try to stop him, but he flees leading them on a chase. They run past weird things like a corpse in a moving car, but eventually catch Straker. Next he wakes in a bed and the doctor and Paul try to get to what in the word is going on. Straker’s memories are shown. He and Commander Lake were on there way to HQ and discover everything is frozen in time. Turns out that a SHADOW agent Turner has …

A-turned bad

B-frozen everyone in time

C-invited the bad aliens to send a UFO down to take over

Straker straightens his wig and prepares for action. He and Lake try to nab Turner, but Turner still using time tricks to stay one step ahead of them. He taunts them, pokes at them and gets them all riled up grrrrrr! Meanwhile the UFO is on it’s way so Straker and Lake go to a nearby rooftop with the hopes of setting up a rocket launcher to destroy the UFO. Good idea, but that nasty skunk Turner shows up, knocks out Lake, steals the rocket launcher ignition key and runs off using his time travel tricks. Straker gives chase as the UFO begins to appear up in the sky on it’s way to cause trouble. Straker chases Turner in a little car, but Turner uses him times ttickery and appears to constantly be one step ahead. That it until he opens his big and makes that classic villain mistake and of telling the hero how to beat him. Turner is driving his little car in a circle around Straker using time manipulation to dodge Straker bullets. Then he says something like you can’t hit me because I am either seconds ahead or seconds behind where you are shooting. Once he hears this Straker just fires bullet in the circular pattern that the car was traveling in and boom they find Turner. Straker gets the key, hauls behind back to the rooftop, shoots the UFO and it flees. Straker makes sure that Lake is okay and then we are back to the beginning and everything makes sense to everyone else. So now everyone knows Straker is a hero and not a fruitcake. Roll the credits.


The negatives-This is tough to follow at first.

The positives-This is one of the best episodes of the series. We get a unique script, lots of action and Patrick Allen is fittingly insane as Turner.

This is pretty awesome use of time travel in a short range of time. If only Turner had kept his mouth shut and kept running then it really would have worked out.

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Here comes Peter Cottontail

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So here we have an Easter special where the title hero is voiced by the same guy that voices a legendary monster hunter (Casey Kasem -Norville Shaggy Rogers) and the villain one January Irontail is voiced by a legendary horror film actor (Vincent Price). Toss in some treachery, a giant bat, a time travel device, a witch plus more and this show definitely deserves mentioning on my blog.

So the old Easter bunny needs a replacement because yeah he’s old. Peter Cottontail is energetic and popular, but also cocky and not always responsible. Oh and when he lies his ear droops. He gets selected to be Easter bunny, but a sour nasty bunny named January Irontail challenges Peter to a contest and whoever gives away the most eggs gets to be Easter bunny. Irontail sabotages Peter’s clock and Peter sleeps through the day-what a lump. Irontail gives away one egg but that’s enough for the win. Now he will wreck Easter for everyone and it’s all Peter’s fault! Wait the caterpillar/pilot Pierre can pilot this machine to go back in the calendar. So if Peter can go back and give away more than one egg he will win. So much like half the Star Trek movies it’s time travel to the rescue. Like any good villain Irontail is going to see this one through and he follows Peter to try and stop this effort to pull out a win. Peter and Pierre go to Mother’s Day and Thanksgiving but no one wants Easter eggs then because it’s not Easter, you lunkhead. He tries giving the eggs the red, white and blue while passing them off as fireworks to give them to two kids on July 4th, but no go-here’s your crappy eggs back, liar! Peter saves Bonnie Bonnet at Christmas time and almost gives the eggs away at that time, but Irontail stops him. Although a certain iconic Christmas dude also keeps Irontail from running off with the eggs for good. Irontail calls in a favor with his Halloween friends to go after Peter, but our good bunny almost sways them but time runs out on his stay there before he can give eggs away. At Valentine’s it looks like Peter can give the red and pink eggs away – hey wouldn’t these eggs be getting kind of rotten after all of this time? Oh, well anyways Peter can’t give them away at Valentines because Irontail turns them all green. Oh, shoot now it’s all over there isn’t any sort of lame holiday where people like green. Oh, wait a minute there is so at St. Patty’s day Peter gives away the eggs-he shoots, he scores! Peter becomes the new Easter Bunny and he’s a good one! Pierre becomes a butterfly! Bonnie gets taken for Easter by someone that wants her! The old Easter bunny is proud of Peter! Irontail ends up having to clean up after everybody in town-that’s what you get, skunkface! All is well.

A real classic from Rankin  and Bass. It tends to get overlooked in favor of all the Christmas specials from the same company. They used to show this one when I was a kid. It’s very good, the plot, the voices and the way it looks are all great. My favorite part is all the different holidays that get included. We watch it every year around this time and sometimes even more than once like this year.


Happy Easter!






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Devil’s Nightmare AKA: La plus longue nuit du diable


1971 and 1974 are both listed in various places

Who’s in this? A bunch of people from other countries actually. The most interesting person here is Italian actress Erika Blanc as Lisa the succubus. She has over 100 credits and is still acting.

What’s this about? A bus load of people end up staying at a creepy old house owned by a baron who in the intro killed his infant daughter 26 years earlier at the end of WWII . Amongst the busload of people is a guy who loves to pig, an old grump, a married couple who hate each other, two young woman who will embark on lesbian relations as soon a they get behind closed doors and a preist with helmet hair. Everyone kind of sits around for a while doing a whole lot of nothing, the Baron stands around and then another visitor comes in. it’s Lisa and everyone stares at her, mostly because she is half dressed. At some point during the night things pick up as the Lisa turns out to be a succubus. I know this only because they say that’s what she is. Although she doesn’t just seduce men as actually she goes after all of the people from the bus. Each one of them is supposed to be guilty of of one of the seven deadly sins and the succubus begins killing them off. At first she starts out bumping them off in ways that relate to their sin such as the glutton gets poisoned by wine on like his 23rd glass, the wig wearing shrew with dollar signs in her eyes drowns in a pit of gold. That was cool, but then I guess the succubus gets bored of trying to be clever and the old grumpy dude just gets a shove out the window and the blond who lays around gets a snake tossed in her room. Then it’s just down to the priest and the succubus goes after him, but gets a cross burn on the head for her troubles. Then the bald dude that told them to come to this place  early in the film is really the devil, ewww scary I guess old Satan has nothing better to do than to go after a few sinners who are traveling in Europe. The priest (actually priest in training) and the devil make some deal where the Priest gives his soul in exchange for the others from the bus. Poof their contract goes up flames like an attentive kid’s marshmallow over a campfire and just like magic the dead are once again alive and all is well. All of sudden lots of stuff is crammed into the final mintues of the film-the baron gets stabbed by his servent, he tells of killing his daughter, Lisa is really the servant’s daughter as well as being a succubus, all of the people from the bus minus hair helmeted Priest get back on said bus, crash not far down the road and burst into flames because the piggie driving the bus thought he could drive while having a feast. So the Priest and the succubus get each other, the devil gets all the souls and everyone one on the bus gets barbecued. Roll the credits.

The negatives? The acting is very uneven as Erika Blanc is quite good, the guy playing the Baron is effective in the early scenes, but then the guy playing the Priest is as wooden as a woody piece of wood could be. The script is uneven too and full of holes. The ending really hurt the film because once Lisa starts killing off people the film gets interesting and it’s on a roll, but the deal with the devil slows everything down and the ending with the attempt to tie up every loose end is just a mess. It felt like the writer’s started in direction, changed the film mid-way and then remembered “oh, crap we left a bunch of holes open, quick have everyone explain everything and lets get this film over with”.

The Positives? The setting which is in Belgium is quite spectacular. As I said above Erika Blanc does a good job with the role she had. I also liked the make-up they used on her demon form. It was just face and body make-up, but it made her look evil in a flash. Despite some of the killings being less spectacular than others they are still the highlight of the film. This movie is up and down, but in the end I’d say it finishes up as being just above average. Fans of early 70’s horror will enjoy it  and at times they do an alright job of combining gothic elements with a (then) current setting.


I got a booboo.

Fury of the wolfman or La furia del Hombre Lobo


1971 or 1972 (I have seen it listed as both)

Who’s in this?

Paul Naschy as Walter Daninsky/Wolfman a rather dull man and he’s almost as boring when he gets all hairy or hairier. The late Naschy did tons of horror films playing various monsters, but quite often he slapped on the fur and howled at the moon.

Perla Cristal as Dr. Ilona Alman / Eva Wolfstein. A mean scientist who can make evil eyes, raise the dead and and still make it seem very unexciting.

Veronica Lujan as Karen -wearer of a bowl cut, sort of unwilling assistant to Alman, sort of friend of Daninski and sort of but not really an actress in this movie.

There were other characters but like the sudo castle, the chains and the humming equipment they were all stiff set pieces.


What’s this about? It’s about eighty some minutes too long wahaahahaha! Oh I guess you want a plot, well you and me both but it didn’t come into play much here or not that I cared. I took notes on this movie, but much like the actors likely did with the scripts for this film I’m just ripping up the paper and winging it. Daninsky is established as being a werewolf as you can tell by the blobbie not quite pentagram shaped mark on his chest. He is killed in a car accident caused by his wife and her lover. Later after some shifty eyebrow acting the evil, wait that would be eviiiiilll Dr. Ilona Alman (yeah, those mean scientist woman are never named Sally or Trudy) has her scruffy henchman dig Daninski up. She revives him, but even bringing someone back from the dead didn’t revive or well even begin to get me interested in this furry flop. At one point Ilona puts on a low cut dress and whips a chained Daninsky to get him to transform into the wofman. He did transform by the sight of the full moon at one point too but my thoughts on this film here much like Walter’s thoughts after transformation are blurry images of torture. Well ol’ fuzzy footy Walter kills some people by wrestling with them a little and then biting them on the neck, whoa, whoa isn’t that the method done by the monster that begins with a V? Yes, but hey I guess Walter bites on the neck too so he can leave what looks like a smear of strawberry jelly on the victims neck. Karen befriends Walter and they try to get away from Ilona. Meanwhile the police are following the jelly I mean bloody, trail of terror to Walter at Ilona’s castle where it seems to storm more than at other places in the area. Karen tries to leave the castle and an honest to goodness suit of armor grabs her! Oh, goodness not only are they borrowing from horror films but they are also borrowing from Scooby-Doo. At some point Walter and Karen release freaks and various dirty people from chains because Ilona has just been keeping them a hanging around. A wolfwoman battles with Walter, he of course wins this clash of the hairy rubber teethed monsters. Eventually the cops show up, oh busted!. Walter gives Ilona a death blow but not before she shoots him. Karen is reunited with her boyfriend (who looks old enough to be her dad) and they walk away much like myself hoping to forget all that happened above. Roll thos credits awhoooooo!


The stats-

Number of innocent cermamic pots that Walter the wolfman throws around-at least 10, what did those pots ever do to you?

Number of time Karen’s dress seems to be falling off of her- 20 or so

Number of time the police seemed clueless-lets see add 20 plus 560, subtract the number of hairs on the police chief’s mustache and divide by the number of freaks in the dungeon and the answer is… they were clueless up until the last five minutes of the film and they arrived too late.

The negatives? The story is a mess. A horror film needs more action and a more intense monster. even a low budget film deserves a better effort. Tedious should not be the first thing that comes to mind after seeing a horror film.

The positives? Well, it is a wolfman movie and it’s gets points for that. I liked the fog alright. Beyond that there wasn’t much. I had hopes for it, but man it just was a real chore to work through this one.