HOLLYWOOD COMES TO HEARST CASTLE: MEMORIES & MUSINGS

Maybe it was the Hollywood homes featured in my last post or the ongoing worldwide celebration of Orson Welles 100th birthday? Whatever the reason, I spent a great deal of contemplating William Randolph Hearst and his massive hilltop estate at San Simeon last week. As any classic film fan worth their salt knows, the newspaper mogul once played host to many Hollywood stars and starlets … Continue reading HOLLYWOOD COMES TO HEARST CASTLE: MEMORIES & MUSINGS

FRANKENSTEIN: THE TRUE STORY (1973)

Film buffs tend to have obsessions. We fuss and fawn over particular actors and directors while attempting to see everything they ever appeared in or produced. One of my own personal obsessions isn’t an actor or a director but it’s a tale I enjoy seeing reimagined over and over again in different languages and in various settings. That tale is Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, The Modern … Continue reading FRANKENSTEIN: THE TRUE STORY (1973)

DRACULA VS. SPANISH DRACULA

Tod Browning’s DRACULA (1931) is rightly hailed as a horror classic while the Spanish-language version directed by George Melford was assumed lost and went largely unseen by modern audiences following its initial release until it was restored and distributed on home video in 1992. Both films were shot at the same time using the same sets but with different casts, which was a typical practice … Continue reading DRACULA VS. SPANISH DRACULA

What Ever Happened to Jennifer?

Jennifer’s gone missing. She was supposed to be looking after her uncle’s sprawling estate, which appears to have been abandoned since the Great Depression, but no one has seen her in weeks. Did she run off with an unknown lover? Did she swindle an undisclosed sum of money from her previous boss and head to Mexico on a cruise ship? Or was Jennifer murdered by … Continue reading What Ever Happened to Jennifer?

Telefilm Time Machine: Daughter of the Mind (1969)

Ray Milland sees dead people. Or to be more precise, Ray Milland begins seeing the ghost of his dead daughter in the made-for-TV movie DAUGHTER OF THE MIND (1969) based on a novel by author Paul Gallico (THE PRIDE OF THE YANKEES; 1942, BITTER VICTORY; 1957, THE SNOW GOOSE; 1971, THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE; 1972) and directed by Walter Grauman. This is one of the first telefilms that premiered on ABC’s Movie of … Continue reading Telefilm Time Machine: Daughter of the Mind (1969)

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 Tarantino, Steven Spielberg, and author Stephen King, Larraz remains relatively … Continue reading On Vampyres and Other Symptoms (2011)

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 is bored with conventional wisdom and decides to take up … 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 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)

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 Solange? (1972) as well as cornerstones of the genre such as … Continue reading DEATH WALKS TWICE: A GIALLO DOUBLE FEATURE