Remembering Barbara Shelley 1932-2020

“This world is the nurse of all we know, This world is the mother of all we feel, And the coming of death is a fearful blow To a brain unencompass’d by nerves of steel: When all that we know, or feel, or see, Shall pass like an unreal mystery.” – Percy Shelley, ‘On Death’ (1816) I was deeply saddened to learn that my favorite … Continue reading Remembering Barbara Shelley 1932-2020

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 few television appearances and a role in the Oscar-nominated film AN … Continue reading FRANKENSTEIN CREATED SUSAN DENBERG

MIND OVER MATTER: THE SORCERERS (1967)

Since director Michael Reeves’s unfortunate death in 1969 at the age of 25 his life has become the stuff of cinematic legend. His reputation as a sort of Byronic hero who challenged the British film establishment was secured when he died much too young due to an accidental drug overdose leaving behind just a handful of low-budget horror films that attained cult status in subsequent … Continue reading MIND OVER MATTER: THE SORCERERS (1967)

Pastoral Suspense: DEADLY STRANGERS (1975)

Today Sterling Hayden is best remembered by film lovers for his memorable roles in a number of classic noirs and westerns that air on TCM regularly as well as subsequent standout parts in Kubrick’s DR. STRANGELOVE: OR HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB (1964), Coppola’s THE GODFATHER (1972) and Altman’s THE LONG GOODBYE (1973). Late in life tall and brawny actor also made a brief but notable appearance in an unusual … Continue reading Pastoral Suspense: DEADLY STRANGERS (1975)

“The Voices of Terror – Twisting Two Minds!”

On its fog-shrouded surface, Kevin Billington’s VOICES (1973) is an unusual supernatural thriller involving ghosts and a haunted house but if you take the time to look beyond its spooky exterior you might be surprised by what you find there. This fascinating horror film has a rich and winding history that first took shape in 1953 and its roots are coiled through many horror classics that have … Continue reading “The Voices of Terror – Twisting Two Minds!”

Authority Is the Child of Obedience

Are human beings inherently cruel or do we learn cruelty by example? Does our genetic makeup dictate our personalities at birth or are we shaped by numerous circumstances including our environments and upbringing? To borrow the title of a current popular song, are we “born this way” or are we more complex creatures than our personal DNA map might suggest? The nature vs. nurture debate … Continue reading Authority Is the Child of Obedience

Something Is Always Left Behind: A PLACE OF ONE’S OWN (1945)

“Though I wait for thee a thousand years, through waiting will I love thee yet the more. And though I fill an ocean with my tears, my joy will thus be greater than before. And this my prayer for evermore will be, that in the end thou will come back to me.” – from A PLACE OF ONE’S OWN (1945) Autumn has arrived. It’s my favorite time … Continue reading Something Is Always Left Behind: A PLACE OF ONE’S OWN (1945)

MUMMY DEAREST: BLOOD FROM THE MUMMY’S TOMB (1971)

Hammer Films produced four Mummy movies between 1959 and 1971 and one of my favorites is Seth Holt’s BLOOD FROM THE MUMMY’S TOMB (1971). This unabashedly sexy horror extravaganza was the last Mummy movie made by the Studio that Dripped Blood and thanks to a great cast and some creative directing choices it turned out to be one of their best. But before it reached the screen the production … Continue reading MUMMY DEAREST: BLOOD FROM THE MUMMY’S TOMB (1971)

PARANORMAL POLICE PROCEDURAL: NOTHING BUT THE NIGHT (1972)

Nothing But the Night (1972) opens with a series of puzzling homicides. Each one is meant to look like an accident or suicide but in the tradition of Italian giallo thrillers, the murders are carried out by a mysterious black-gloved assailant. We soon learn that the victims were all elderly members of the private and highly elite Van Traylen Trust, a rather ominous institution that … Continue reading PARANORMAL POLICE PROCEDURAL: NOTHING BUT THE NIGHT (1972)

WOMAN OF STRAW (1964)

Sean Connery is celebrating his 81st birthday today so I thought it would be a great time to share my appreciation for his terrific performance in Basil Dearden’s entertaining thriller, WOMAN OF STRAW (1964). The handsome Scottish actor with a deep gravelly voice and piercing dark eyes has appeared in more than 65 films during his long career but WOMAN OF STRAW is one of … Continue reading WOMAN OF STRAW (1964)