FRANKENSTEIN CREATED SUSAN DENBERG

Susan Denberg (aka Dietlinde Ortrun Zechner) was blond, beautiful, and unapologetically curvaceous. A German-Austrian Kim Novak look-alike with strong sex appeal and an endearing screen presence. Like Novak, Denberg dated Sammy Davis Jr. while some of her other romantic conquests included Stuart Whitman, Sidney Poitier, Charles Bronson, Jim Brown, and director Roman Polanski. Following a … Continue reading FRANKENSTEIN CREATED SUSAN DENBERG

MAE CLARKE: FRANKENSTEIN’S FIRST BRIDE

The name Mae Clarke might not immediately ring any bells. But the fair-haired, spirited, and sad-eyed beauty was a promising leading lady in pre-code Hollywood before personal disappointments, mental health issues, and a disfiguring car accident took their toll. When Clarke died in 1992 at age 81 most classic film fans remembered her as the … Continue reading MAE CLARKE: FRANKENSTEIN’S FIRST BRIDE

Telefilm Time Machine: SATAN’S TRIANGLE (1975)

One of my favorite actresses is the beautiful and enigmatic Kim Novak and one of the first made-for-TV movies she appeared in was SATAN’S TRIANGLE (1975). This surprisingly effective supernatural thriller combines elements of classic horror films such as PHANTOM SHIP (1935) and GHOST SHIP (1955) as well as THE EXORCIST (1973) into a spine-tingling original tale set on the stormy seas … Continue reading Telefilm Time Machine: SATAN’S TRIANGLE (1975)

“Nothing can eat your soul!” – THE WITCHES (1966)

Few things invoke autumn and the Halloween spirit in me as strongly as the stylized gothic horror films made by Hammer. The diversity and sheer volume of the studio’s output was impressive and this has occasionally led to some of their lesser-seen films being overlooked because they didn’t live up to critic’s expectations or they … Continue reading “Nothing can eat your soul!” – THE WITCHES (1966)

Celebrating Black Film Artists

In honor of Juneteenth, I decided to collect links to some of the articles I've written where I discuss the work of black film artists in one celebratory post. I hope it will encourage readers to seek out work by black directors, actors and writers that I've singled out and discover more of their incredible … Continue reading Celebrating Black Film Artists

TALKING WITH TRINA: AN INTERVIEW WITH TRINA PARKS

Tomorrow night TCM Underground will be airing the surprisingly surreal and smart blaxploitation comedy, DARKTOWN STRUTTERS (1975). I hesitate to tag DARKTOWN STRUTTERS with a simplistic label like “blaxploitation” because it’s really a cult movie that deserves a category of its own. The film manages to combine just about every popular movie genre imaginable including classic westerns and musicals, … Continue reading TALKING WITH TRINA: AN INTERVIEW WITH TRINA PARKS

Three Reasons to Spend Time with Cleopatra Jones

Decades before Wonder Woman made her feature film debut and the all-female Dora Milaje fighting force was introduced to movie audiences in BLACK PANTHER (2018), Tamara Dobson was winning hearts and kicking-ass with her powerful portrayal of Cleopatra Jones. Released by Warner Bros. in 1973, CLEOPATRA JONES was the studio’s big-budget response to a slew … Continue reading Three Reasons to Spend Time with Cleopatra Jones

“A FILM IS A PETRIFIED FOUNTAIN OF THOUGHT.” – JEAN COCTEAU

When Jean Cocteau’s name surfaces most of us think of the visionary artist, poet and director who made films such as BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (1946), BLOOD OF A POET (1930), LES PARENTS TERRIBLES (1948) and ORPHEUS (1949). Cocteau is all these things and more but he also happens to be one of my favorite film critics. I hesitate to call … Continue reading “A FILM IS A PETRIFIED FOUNTAIN OF THOUGHT.” – JEAN COCTEAU

WILLIAM MORTENSEN IN HOLLYWOOD

William Mortensen in his studio with a photo of Jean Harlow. Last month I was gifted with a copy of American Grotesque: The Life and Art of William Mortensen. This beautiful coffee table worthy book contains a compilation of work by William Mortensen (1897–1965), a brilliant, innovative and visionary photographer who once worked in Hollywood … Continue reading WILLIAM MORTENSEN IN HOLLYWOOD

The Doors Are Always Open at The Phantom Playhouse

A gentle reminder that The Phantom Playhouse - Cinebeats' sister site focused on horror cinema - is open for business and the tickets are always free. Its been updated recently and collects articles or links to all of my horror focused writing. If you know me you know that horror is my favorite film genre … Continue reading The Doors Are Always Open at The Phantom Playhouse

MISTRESS OF MENACE: BARBARA STEELE IN THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM (1961)

  “There was a depth to her. On the surface she was a beautiful brunette woman. Beneath that–and you could almost get poetic here looking into her eyes–you could see layer, upon layer, upon layer. I could probably best, and inadequately, describe it as a kind of exotic mystery.” – Roger Corman on Barbara Steele … Continue reading MISTRESS OF MENACE: BARBARA STEELE IN THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM (1961)

LOOKING INTO THE EYE OF THE DEVIL

EYE OF THE DEVIL (1966 aka 13) opens with an imaginative minute-long montage that reduces the entire film down to a series of disorientating images. It’s an impressive and beautifully edited beginning that you might expect to see at the start of an Ingmar Bergman film or in the middle of an Eisenstein picture and it … Continue reading LOOKING INTO THE EYE OF THE DEVIL

Celebrate LGBT+ Pride Month with Cinema

This an update to my original LGBT+ Pride Month post first published in 2015 that you can find here. As a film journalist, I have often tried to focus my attention on underappreciated films, unsung actors and lesser-known directors. Unsurprisingly, this has led me to write about a number of LGBT+ films and television programs … Continue reading Celebrate LGBT+ Pride Month with Cinema

VINCENT PRICE & GENE TIERNEY: A DOOMED ROMANCE

This post was part of my month-long celebration of Vincent Price–TCM’s October Star of the Month in 2013. Throughout the course of Vincent Price’s long career, he worked with some of my favorite actresses such as Barbara Steele, Diana Rigg, Jennifer Jones and Linda Hayden. But if I had to single out Price’s most important … Continue reading VINCENT PRICE & GENE TIERNEY: A DOOMED ROMANCE