Showing posts with label Halloween Horrors 2009. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Halloween Horrors 2009. Show all posts

Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween!!

Happy Halloween from all of us at Tomb It May Concern. A few more Halloween Horrors remain unwritten, but I can't resist a simple post to put up some cool images and hope that everyone enjoys some horror films for the spoooky holiday. Be it Slasher, Ghost, Universal, Hammer, EuroHorror, Zombie, Shot On Video In A Language You Don't Speak or anything else...have fun and stay spooky today!!
Click for the big images...and enjoy!

Halloween Horrors 25 - Attack of the Crab Monsters

Nothing says Halloween like a classic creature film from Roger Corman. This film always makes me smile when the Crab clickitey-clicks his way around, taunting and terrifying the unlucky group that landed on the incredible disintegrating island. I'm certain that Guy N. Smith drew his infamous Crustacean Domination sound effect from this cinematic clawful!

A group of scientists land on an isolated island to research the effects of the US military running nuclear weapons tests-but they find that things are already stirring before they can even get started. All that radiation has set free a GIANT killer crab! Perhaps the swift decapitation of one of the crew should have tipped them off... Some investigating takes place and the cast does a fantastic job carving out their spots. I'd say that Mel Welles was my favorite cast member (especially since he would later direct the awesome Lady Frankenstein)-but I've long remembered this film for the scuba gear clad Pamela Duncan, and even after many years since the Saturday Creature Feature has closed it's UHF signals down I still love seeing her pop out of the water.
And run. Oh, the running... but let us not forget why she runs!

Yep, the radiation has built a big bad beast out of the local sea life thanks to all those shake ups below the surface! And out comes the coolest crab of the 50s. But there is a twist. As the crab claims rights to the island it also ABSORBS the intelligence of it's meals! Now, this is something that freaked me out as a kid-once I really understood it. And it still does...I could not help but hear the hive mind of Prince of Darkness when old big claws was yammering away about how much trouble the soft humans were in. Bad enough to be a snack, but to give that smack the keys to conquering the world? Not good...

Attack of the Crab Monsters is fast and furious, with all the things I love about a Corman creature film. The man could take a few elements and make magic with them. Not once do I not believe we are on an island that is slowly sinking in to nothing even though the Bronson Caves are as familiar a location as any in the United States for genre films. I want the cast to win, even though I love the monster and think he is a little spooky despite rolling around bouncing over rocks. The sounds, the sights and all the fun of a monster movie rolled in to one brief hour of black and white happiness.

Well, maybe it isn't all happy... because the ending is one of the best in all of the Corman Canon as far as I'm concerned. The cast has survived at great cost! Sacrifices have been made! Heads have been chomped. A crab stands poised to use new found Atomic Intelligence to scissor pinch the world as it gives birth to a new race of HyperCrab! And though victory for the humans does happen, it is a Pyrrhic victory, because the island is shrinking and their is nothing left but the knowledge that the world is safe...but the nuclear tests WILL continue and it could happen again.
Ah, a classic chill from a film that seems so simple... If you have never enjoyed Attack of the Crab Monsters this is the right time of the year. Click Click Clicketey-Click!

"Once they were men. Now they are land crabs."

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Halloween Horrors 24 - Horrible Sexy Vampire

I'm finding that nothing says Halloween like Spanish Horror Films of the 70s. The Horrible Sexy Vampire is certainly not the best of the batch, but if ever a film celebrated the relentless pursuit of being horrible and sexy, it would be this vampire entry. It isn't horrible as in bad, it is horribly groovy. And loaded with some of the Spaniard-O-Sexo that goes down so smooth with a good beer and dark night and the shades pulled down in your home theater.

Opening with a classic sequence of a beautiful woman and her husband heading in to a motel for the night to shower (of course) and get a nights rest-the pair are attacked and killed by an INVISIBLE man! An invisible VAMPIRE really, and that made me wonder if he was pulling some trick with mirrors (har har) or this was just a cheap way to not clutter up a frame of a sexy nude woman by adding in a guy in a cape! Well, either way, it works. After this opening few moments the film gives us a ton of exposition about the local lore of the vampire. It seems that the young Count Oblensky has returned to The Black Forest to take a look at his castle. The only problem is that his still kicking around and eternally horny ancestor, Count Oblensky original style, is an invisible vampire that loves to bite young women and kill their lovers.

Luckily for Old School Oblensky, there are tons of women in the area of fine build and eager to remove clothing at the drop of a hat. Or soap. Or some dudes trousers. Regardless of the logic, the movie plays out for the first hour as a nudey flick with a little mystery added as young Oblensky tries to come to grips with the vampiric resident of the castle. Good thing that Val Davis, billed with the awesome pseudonym WALDEMAR WOHLFART, is up to the task of playing the confused descendant and the ready to implode under the weight of his own libido Count Oblensky with equal vigor, because he makes the film work between the frequent nude scenes.

After the first hour runs it's course, the film picks up as the elder Oblensky taunts his descendant in hopes of being killed! Just threatening him doesn't work though, the introduction of Patricia Loran as the beautiful young woman in the castle brings the film to life-and we have a vampire terrorizing the castle and eventually getting exactly what he wants. Me, I'm just happy to have Loran deliver the biggidy bam goods and exchange her Halloween costume for a perfect birthday suit! Booooooooooooo...YAH!

The Horrible Sexy Vampire is not a good horror film by any stretch, but as softcore Spanish fun, it succeeds and sure did keep me sitting straight up! It commits some horrific fashion crimes (check out that sweater above...I want one), and is paced poorly to say the least. The first major dialog sequence lasts more than 8 minutes...and while that isn't bad sometimes, it is completely static and reveals the secret origin of a Vampire that you just know is not going to be all that important anyways. But for groovy ladies, ghoulies and toe tapping tunes of could do a lot worse.

For a much better horror fix from director Jose Luis Madrid check out his next film, Seven Corpses for Scotland Yard-a unique mystery / horror film that features Paul Naschy bopping around London. If you enjoy oddball Spanish films in their unclothed glory, than you can't miss The Horrible Sexy Vampire...well, you could-but for the right viewer it is a lot of fun.

What, you still need convincing?? Well, I present to you, the younger Count Oblensky and his lady love...zowie!! Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Halloween Horrors 22 - 23 Crimson Executioners From the Grave!

Pacemaker sure knew how to package a double feature...what wall is complete without THAT artwork making it a brighter, funkier and more terrifying surface than one could dare dream of? So, I was inspired to recreate this double bill after the urge to revisit the realm of The Crimson Executioner struck. Bloody Pit of Horror is one of my favorite berserk 60s cinematic gems and I had never seen Terror Creatures From The Grave. Watching the films back to back was an amazing experience! Individually they are both a great time, but once you match them together, they are not only fun and crazy-but Eurotrash fans will enjoy looking at two films made by one man that share what appears to be very little between them.
So...on with the show.

Terror Creatures From The Grave, a lurid retitling of Five Graves For A Medium, is a solid Gothic style shocker that has a lot of small parts that make the whole a recommended experience. Some surprisingly violent episodes match up nicely with a unique twist on the typical haunted group of potential sleaze bags stories that usually take place in a spooky castle!

Albert (Walter Brandi) is a lawyer that finds himself at a spooky estate where the owner has left behind a beautiful widow (Barbara Steele) as well as other bizarre servants such as Kurt (Luciano Pigozzi looking young and scary) and hangers on as well. The one year anniversary of his death is approaching and everyone is looking for a piece of the money. That is all well and good, but there is this little matter of a bunch of severed hands hanging out in a glass case in the hall. That is NEVER a good sign when you are wandering around a black and white film in a castle.
Well, I'd pass on sleeping anywhere that keeps these specific hands, because they belong(ed?) to a group of "plague givers" that were intentionally killing off the locals back in the day. If there are ghosts afoot, I'd prefer they don't have the insta-death touch. And they do!

It all comes to a crashing finale when we realize that the deceased Baron Hauff is not kidding when his recorded voice intones "I've summoned them from their graves and now I am one of them" over and over. And I must admit, that particular sequence I found very exciting even though it does not lead directly to any gory action. It sets a great tone for the viewer not to be sure exactly what is happening until Massimo Pupillo decides to rip the roof off and just start killing everyone with an uprising of plague bearing ghosts!! Ah...Barbara Steele, nothing is as effective as marring her beauty to get a reaction!

Terror Creatures From Beyond The Grave is a great bit of Black and White Eurohorror that revels in spooky atmosphere, strange characters, strange behavior, a great score and some familiar faces to keep the audience on the edge of their seat. I was really impressed by not only the style, but the story-something that is lost on me in some gothic styled films. The history of the house and the events are intriguing and the solution to "is he really dead" is handled incredibly well. Not just well, but WEIRD.... Plus, Barbara Steele in the tub? Yeah, you want that. I sure do... A spooky Halloween treat for EuroHorror heads. The US DVD is apparently cut by a little bit and rather ugly looking, but I'll take it the best I can get it for now-certainly worth a rewatch if ever a nice definitive version is released.
So, Massimo Pupillo, director of gothic horrors...a subtle guy. Not afraid to splash a little blood around, but still...subtle and textured and a teller of layered tales. 1965 was fairly late in the game so he was probably ready wait wait. He directed one of my all time favorite horrors that has NO subtlety at all. THE SAME YEAR??? Welcome to my head clonking moment of the year and a wonderful time to rewatch a great TALE OF TORTURE...yes...THE BLOODY PIT OF HORROR.
But...the same director?

"Mankind is made up of inferior creatures, spiritually and physically deformed, who would have corrupted the harmony of my perfect body!"-Travis Anderson, all around loon and Crimson Executioner on weekends.

If I need to give you a synopsis of The Bloody Pit of Horror you just need to go watch it right now. This is prime gonzola out of controlla fun. Briefly, a bunch of models and their photographer are looking for bizarre places to shoot their sexy pictures. This is good, because we have sexy women in various states of disrobe and costume prancing about. Too bad for them that the prologue sequence showed us the demise of THE CRIMSON EXECUTIONER and we know his body is around them somewhere. They cross paths with the Striped Shirt Henchmen having Travis Anderson, who is played with all the delicacy of a meat cleaver striking a water balloon by Mickey Hargitay. In a clever twist, Anderson played in "muscle movies" and has a fantastic body...hmm... the only problem is, he is a little odd. Or a lot, because he doesn't like the impurity the women bring and decides to strap on his de Sade underoos and become The Crimson Executioner '65 edition. And those torture traps all work....

A lot of stuff happens and there is a little bit of plot involving Anderson's Ex-Wife the model finding her way here accidentally, but you won't worry about that. Everything is insane in this film, from the mysterious Batman like villainy of The Crimson Executioner (why does he have henchmen living in the castle), the ranting of Hargitay done to perfection, the beautiful women, the weird torture devices and a manic pace that I adore. The set piece with the ridiculous mechanical spider threatening Moa Tahi (who I saw recently in a few EuroSpy films!) is incredible. Webs on the walls, a trap on the floor and a beautiful woman hanging around terrorized just too much and reminds me why I love this kind of film. Even the decor is crimson, look for red chairs, red candles, red bannisters...The house of The Crimson Executioner drips the fluids of life...and don't get me started on The Lover of Death! Brilliant.

Bloody Pit Of Horror is a must see. Absurdly fetishistic, obnoxiously loud and utterly charming, I can't push you towards it enough. And to those who know how great it is, watch it again this Halloween!!

But what of the strange case of Massimo Pupillo in 1965? I still need to see a third film to really understand it and I can't find anything on La vendetta di Lady Morgan to check it out sadly. But looking at the plot and the cast which is a stunner and includes Erika Blanc, Gordon Mitchell and Paul Muller it sure is intriguing! Judging from these two films, Pupillo was a versatile guy that had a lot of warped ideas and could put across his vision, no matter how disparate they may seem on the surface, with a lot of style. Terror Creatures...feels like it was made 20 years earlier, while Bloody Pit could have been made at the very end of the 60s if not the early 70s and summed up not only the colorful horrors of Italy to come, but even the Batman television show, where Hargitay and his Crimson Executioner would have given The Joker a run for his hoo hoo hah hah!
I was amazed to see that someone could make a film inspired by Edgar Allan Poe and succeed, and then follow with a film inspired by Marquis de Sade and succeed as well. I don't know if even Jess Franco could have achieved that miracle.

Follow the poster at the top of this post...Double these up and be thankful for the gifts that a director that I could not have named a month ago has given us for all the ages... Your beautiful body...and mind...will never be the same!!