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)

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

Ancient Evil is Now a Modern Industry: THIRST (1979)

In Rod Hardy’s THIRST (1979) we are introduced to Kate (Chantal Contouri), an attractive waif-like young fashion designer with a pet cat and a serious problem. Kate’s the last descendent of Countess Elizabeth Báthory, often cited as history’s first and most prolific female serial killer, and she’s been kidnapped by a group of power-hungry aristocratic vampires … Continue reading Ancient Evil is Now a Modern Industry: THIRST (1979)

The Spiral Staircase (1946)

The Spiral Staircase (1946) is a longtime favorite of mine and it has been hailed as a prototype for many of the best giallo films. With thoughts of murder and black-gloved killers running through my mind it seemed like a good time to revisit this classic thriller that features an Academy Award-nominated performance by Ethel Barrymore as … Continue reading The Spiral Staircase (1946)

On Vampyres and Other Symptoms (2011)

ON VAMPYRES AND OTHER SYMPTOMS (2011) is the clever title of a new documentary directed by Celia Novis focusing on the reclusive Spanish filmmaker, writer, and artist José Ramón Larraz. If Larraz’s name doesn’t ring any bells don’t be alarmed. Despite the fact that the 83-year-old director is well regarded by his peers which include Quentin … Continue reading On Vampyres and Other Symptoms (2011)

MATRIMONY, MADNESS AND MURDER: HATCHET FOR THE HONEYMOON (1970)

Modern weddings often bring out the worst in people. The attempt to meet family and social expectations while exchanging vows that occasionally read like a prison sentence can be a dangerous cocktail made worse by a deep focus on money matters. Instead of enjoying their “special day” couples and their accommodating families often end up … Continue reading MATRIMONY, MADNESS AND MURDER: HATCHET FOR THE HONEYMOON (1970)

DANCING THE MEPHISTO WALTZ

The legend of Faust is one of the oldest occult tales in the Western world. This German fable has been the basis of countless plays, poems, novels, musical compositions, works of art and films. Faust's story has been reinterpreted many times in various ways but most renderings portray him as an aging unsatisfied scholar who … Continue reading DANCING THE MEPHISTO WALTZ

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

AAAHOO! – SHE-WOLF OF LONDON (1946)

The setting is London in the early 1900s where a young Scottish woman named Phyllis Allenby (June Lockhart) is preparing to wed her beau (Don Porter). The happy couple’s plans are interrupted when someone or something begins killing locals at a nearby park. Terrified Phyllis is certain an old Scottish curse that has plagued her … Continue reading AAAHOO! – SHE-WOLF OF LONDON (1946)

VENOMOUS SNAKES & POISON ANTS: PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK (1975)

“What we see and what we seem are but a dream, a dream within a dream.” - Miranda in Picnic at Hanging Rock (a variation of A Dream Within a Dream by Edgar Allan Poe) In Peter Weir’s Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975), viewers are reminded again and again of the "venomous snakes and poison ants" that populate the Australian outback. … Continue reading VENOMOUS SNAKES & POISON ANTS: PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK (1975)

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 … Continue reading PARANORMAL POLICE PROCEDURAL: NOTHING BUT THE NIGHT (1972)

DEATH WALKS TWICE: A GIALLO DOUBLE FEATURE

The fine folks at Arrow deserve applause for their diligent efforts to release a number of exceptional giallo films on Blu-ray in recent years. Some of the films you can currently purchase from them include the suggestively titled Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key (1972) and What Have You Done to … Continue reading DEATH WALKS TWICE: A GIALLO DOUBLE FEATURE

GHOST STORIES: THE TIME OF THEIR LIVES (1946)

THE TIME OF THEIR LIVES is often referred to as an “Abbott and Costello movie for people who don’t like Abbott and Costello” but as a fan of the comic duo I find that proclamation a bit off base. The film does distinguish itself from the popular formula pictures they made during this period that often … Continue reading GHOST STORIES: THE TIME OF THEIR LIVES (1946)

“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)

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