A chronicle of the last great American showman, filmmaker William Castle, a master of ballyhoo who became a brand name in movie horror with his outrageous audience participation gimmicks.
We’re back from vacation. The 40oz. Of Horror Podcast was absent last week, but with good reason — Chad was MIA while visiting Eli Roth’s Goretorium. Is it worth the cost of admission? Chad has the answer.
Are Netflix original series worthy of marathon viewings? Chad and James go toe-to-toe and duke it out over original on-demand television — what is your opinion?
In WTF News, we talk about a company who will mail your enemies… well, something brown and smelly. And of course we have tons of horror news to catch you up.
Also, we must apologize for the drunken shitshow that was last episode. If you were drinking along, sorry for your hangover.
86-year-old Roger Corman is gearing up for a slate of remakes. The B-movie king tells the Hollywood Reporter that he’s making new versions of eight low-budget horror films based on stories by 19th century American writer Edgar Allan Poe that he adapted and directed in the 1950s and ’60s.
House of Usher will be followed by The Pit and the Pendulum, Premature Burial, Tales of Terror, The Raven, The Hunted Palace, The Masque of the Red Death and The Tomb of Ligeia.
This time, Corman will produce but not direct the films, with the first to shoot in 2013, followed by two a year after that on budgets of $2 million to $2.5 million (the originals were shot for $250,000 to $350,000, not adjusting for inflation, on 15-day schedules).
The new productions will be self-financed by Corman’s New Horizons Productions, which will give the films at least a short domestic theatrical release and offer international rights at the American Film Market.
Corman says his biggest concern is replacing his legendary leading man Vincent Price, who died in 1993. Corman hopes to find a fiftysomething actor known from TV who, he says, can bring the same level of “sensitivity and neuroticism that Vincent was able to bring.” READ MORE
Reviewed by Patrick Cooper
Bruce D. Clark’s Corman-produced Naked Angels was released two months after Easy Rider and I have a strong hunch they rushed through shooting and editing to cash in on the seminal hippy-biker film. Corman had set the outlaw biker bar high three years earlier with The Wild Angels and then Easy Rider successfully infused the genre with the hippy sensibilities of the time. Naked Angels takes this artsy-hippy approach and combines it with the best and worst aspects of the outlaw biker genre.
Michael Green (To Live and Die in LA) plays Mother, the anti-hero leader of the California biker gang Naked Angels. The gang’s name is misleading – none of them are all that naked and they’re certainly not angelic. They should be called the Denim Dickheads. The movie begins with Mother returning after an extended hospital stay. Their rivals the Las Vegas Hotdoggers beat Mother senseless and now that he’s out, he wants revenge. Revenge against the Hotdoggers, which has got to be the lousiest biker gang moniker ever.
The Angels mount up and head out to Vegas to skin some Hotdogs, but they can’t find them. They do manage to weed out one of their members at a bar, and he squawks about some hidden mine in the Nevada desert where the Hotdoggers are holed up. Mother and the gang head out into the desert without a clue of the mine’s whereabouts. Jealousies and concerns about Mother’s sanity begin to tear the gang up. When the gang refuses to run a train on Mother’s woman, their leader takes to the desert alone.
Like most drive-in biker movies, there’s not much plot. Long scenes of hauling ass through the desert are interspersed with sex and heaps of debauchery. There is some interesting things going on though. Still shot montages and trippy camera work (ala Easy Rider’s cemetery scene) abound and some of it is pretty damn good. There’s even an old west dream sequence. The scenes of hell-raising in Las Vegas are particularly great and capture the raunchy vibe of Sin City in the late-60s. The neon lights of the strip are contrasted nicely with the scorched earth of the endless desert.
Michael Green is one mean bastard. Some of the close-ups of his face make his eyes look the headlights of a truck, barreling right for your face. I wasn’t even sure what the hell was going on in one trippy scene, but a close-up of his face is superimposed with go-go dancing as he peels some skin off from under his eye. It’s disturbing and wonderful. The music is fantastic too, even if it seems out of place at times. It was composed and performed by Jeff Simmons, who would later join the Mothers of Invention.
Bruce D. Clark (best known for 1981’s Galaxy of Terror) only made a handful of movies and that’s a shame. He was one of the more talented hacks in Corman’s stable of filmmakers and Naked Angels has enough interesting things about it to make it stand-off in a saturated genre. The film is sure to satisfy outlaw biker fans and devotees to subversive ‘60s cinema.
Shout! Factory presents Naked Angels in full-frame, in a washed-out, muddy transfer. There are plenty of scratches and dirt. Shout! Factory doesn’t really seem to apply any restoration technology to these Corman releases, but in the case of Naked Angels, it enhances the film’s authentic, dusty biker vibe.
The mono audio is absent of hisses and the soundtrack sounds pretty good.
Reviewed by Patrick Cooper
Eddie Collins is one handsome-ass gym teacher. The ladies find him irresistible and his male students come to him for relationship advice. But Eddie is harboring some deep mommy issues – ones that cripple his dick and force his rage to boil over. When a woman comes onto him too strong, he flips out and runs away. The only way he can get his rocks off is by hiring a prostitute to dress up like his mother. During one sexual excursion with a woman, Eddie accidentally kills her. This act gets Eddie a little stiff in the trousers and low and behold, he’s discovered another way to get off.
And that’s about it. Written and directed by future Oscar-winner Curtis Hanson (LA Confidential), Sweet Kill is a lesser release in Shout! Factory’s “Roger Corman’s Cult Classics” DVD series. Besides the novelty of it being Hanson’s first film, I have no idea why they even bothered to release it. It’s not a very good movie and doesn’t display any of the craft Hanson later developed. It clunks from one scene to the next with no heightened suspense or even a hint of drama. 1950′s hunk Tab Hunter is appropriately creepy as Eddie, but his bursts of sexual frustration comes off as unintentional comedy most of the time. The rest of the cast is altogether unremarkable.
There are some fun scenes in the beginning with Eddie creeping around women’s apartments, sniffing panties and hiding behind curtains (his sneakers poke out the bottom – classic!). These scenes suggest he’s a full-blown prowling pervert, but this early deviant activity is ignored later in favor of his mommy issues. We never really get a good grasp on what the hell is wrong with this guy.
Sex scenes are drawn out and boring. After it was poorly received in theaters, Corman asked Hanson to go back and shoot some more sex scenes and edit them in. Then Corman re-released the film under the names A Kiss from Eddie and The Arousers, tricking suckers into seeing it again. In Hanson’s original script, the killer was a woman, but Corman made him change that too. The man is a groundbreaking producer, no doubt, but sometimes questionable as an artist.
The transfer is absolute garbage. It’s presented in fullscreen, but is a widescreen movie. Some scenes are so dark they’re nearly completely black. There are scratches and marks consistently throughout the entire film and overall it just looks shitty. This is really sub-par for a Shout! Factory release. They usually crap out these Corman releases with no supplements, so no surprise there, but this one looks particularly crappy.
This one is definitely for Corman completists only. I think even fans of ‘70s sleaze flicks will be disappointed with Sweet Kill.
A documentary on DIY producer/director Roger Corman and his alternative approach to making movies in Hollywood.
Opening in limited theaters December 16 from Anchor Bay Films is Corman’s World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel, Alex Stapleton’s Sundance documentary on DIY producer/director Roger Corman and his alternative approach to making movies in Hollywood.
“Boasting one of the most impressive collections of interview subjects I’ve ever seen for a Hollywood-based documentary, the only problem with Corman’s World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel is that it’s too short – I could easily listen to these guys tell stories about their various Corman productions for hours on end, but until the (hopefully jam-packed) DVD, 90 minutes will have to suffice.”
Click the title for the entire review. READ MORE
In The Velvet Vampire, a couple accepts an invitation from the mysterious Diane LeFanu (Celeste Yarnall, The Mechanic) to visit her in her secluded desert estate. Unaware that Diane is actually a centuries-old vampire, the couple soon realize that they are both the objects of her seduction and cravings…
When Baron Frankenstein is killed by his creation, his daughter Tania (Rosalba Neri, a/k/a Sarah Bay) creates her own creature using the brilliant mind of her assistant and the body of her dimwitted servant in Lady Frankenstein. She not only ends up with the perfect lover, but one that can destroy her father’s killer. Also starring Joseph Cotten (The Third Man) as Baron Frankenstein.
Lisa (Linda Blair, The Exorcist) was looking forward to a nice, relaxing vacation at the family cabin, but instead she bears witness to the brutal death of her friends and family at the hands of a group of mindless punks in Grotesque. As the thugs close in on Lisa, they don’t realize they are about to come face to face with something far more horrifying than themselves
From deep within the tomb of the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun, Professor Douglas McCadden ships the coffin of Ankh-Vanharis to the California Institute of Sciences, where X-rays reveal five diamondlike crystals hidden within the coffin. Technician Peter Sharpe steals the crystals, but he doesn’t notice that the powerful X-ray has revived a green fungus. When the coffin is opened at a university press conference, the reporters uncover more than they bargained for. The mummy has disappeared . . . the Time Walker is alive again!
Own it on DVD September 27 from Shout Factory.
An eight-tentacled nightmare hybrid of shark and octopus, “S-11” was created by genetic scientist Nathan Sands (Roberts) as the U.S. Navy’s next super-weapon. But when its control implants are damaged during a training experiment off the Mexican coast, the beast escapes to Puerto Vallarta to sample the local fare — bikini babes, jet-skiers, and spring-breakers. With the ocean terror now out of control and seemingly invincible, a ragtag group – comprised of a hotshot mercenary, an investigative reporter, and Sand’s biomechanical engineer daughter – have come together to stop the unholy beast from turning a seaside tourist resort into the ultimate human buffet.
But it won’t be easy: it possesses problem-solving intelligence, attacks without mercy or warning – it even has the ability to walk on land. Not to mention a decided affinity to snack on bungee jumpers… Kerem Bursin and Sara Malakul Lane co-star, with a hilarious cameo by Corman himself.
An exploration of the appeal of horror films, with interviews of many legendary directors in the genre.
I don’t know if I’m the only person here that watched “DRAGONBALL Z” as a kid, but for those of you that have please join me in this: “HOLY CRAP ARE THOSE CYBAMEN?!”. In all seriousness though, this October Blue Water Comics (the folks that bring you the illustrated life stories of Stephanie Myers, R Pats, and Lady GaGa, oh, and that “VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS” thing too) will be resurrecting the popular Roger Corman cult film “HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP” for a one-shot comic event! Below you can check out the specs and get all the details.
WRITTEN AND ILLUSTRATED BY: Benjamin Hall.
“The blood-crazed, mutant fish-men from Roger Corman’s 1980′s classic Humanoids from the Deep are back for more. When the humanoids crash an island high school graduation party, it’s all Ann, and her best friend Cindy, can do to survive.”
“HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP” Drops This October From Blue Water Comics! (MSRP-$3.99) READ MORE
Some years after having buried his beloved wife Ligea, Verden Fell meets and eventually marries the lovely Lady Rowena. Fell is something of a recluse, living in a small part of a now ruined Abbey with his manservant Kenrick as the only other occupant. He remains infatuated with his late wife and is convinced that she will return to him. While all goes well when first married, he returns to his odd behavior when they return to the Abbey from their honeymoon. The memories of Ligea continue to haunt him as well as her promise that she would never die.
Satan-worshiper Prince Prospero invites several dozen of the local nobility to his castle for protection against an oncoming plague, the Red Death. Prospero orders his guests to attend a masked ball and, amidst a general atmosphere of debauchery and depravity, notices the entry of a mysterious hooded stranger dressed all in red. Believing the figure to be his master, Satan, Prospero is horrified at the revelation of his true identity.
Loosly based on H.P. Lovecraft’s short story “The Case of Charles Dexter Ward”, this fright flick opens with a warlock(Vincent Price)placing a curse on a group of villagers about to burn him at the stake. Generations later, the warlock’s descendent(also Vincent Price)returns to the village to pick up where his ancestor left off.
France, 18th century. Lieutenant Andre Duvalier has been accidentally separated from his regiment. He is wandering near the coast when he sees a young woman. He asks the road to Coldon, where he hopes to rejoin his regiment. But the woman doesn’t answer, doesn’t even greet him and walks away. Eventually she takes him to the sea, where she disappears in rough water. Andre loses conscience when he is trying to following her, and is attacked by a bird. He awakes in a house with an old woman and a numb man. She claims to never have seen the woman. After he leaves, he sees her again and when trying to follow her is saved by a man from certain death. He learns that to help the girl, he must go to castle of Baron Van Leppe. When he arrives, Andre sees the woman looking from a window. Baron Van Leppe is old and seems reluctant to let André in however. He claims there’s no woman in the castle, but shows André a painting which does indeed portray her. Andre learns that she is the baroness, who died twenty years ago. What is the baron’s secret?
In this tongue-in-cheek movie inspired by Poe’s poem, Dr. Craven is the son of a great sorcerer (now dead) who was once himself quite skilled at that profession, but has since abandoned it. One evening, a cowardly fool of a magician named Bedlo comes to Craven for help- the evil Scarabus has turned him into a raven and he needs someone to change him back. He also tells the reluctant wizard that Craven’s long-lost wife Lenore, whom he loved greatly and thought dead, is living with the despised Scarabus.
The twisted Richard III is haunted by the ghosts of those he has murdered in his attempt to become the King of England.
Three stories adapted from the work of Edgar Allen Poe. A man and his daughter are reunited, but the blame for the death of his wife hangs over them, unresolved. A derelict challenges the local wine-tasting champion to a competition, but finds the man’s attention to his wife worthy of more dramatic action. A man dying and in great pain agrees to be hypnotised at the moment of death, with unexpected consequences.
Emily Gault arrives at the Carrell mansion determined to rekindle an old relationship with Guy Carrell, despite the disapproval of his sister, Kate. Guy overcomes his all-consuming fear of being buried alive long enough to marry Emily but soon becomes obsessed again, building a crypt designed to guarantee that he will not fall prey to his most dreaded nightmare. Trying to prove that he has been cured of his phobia, he opens his father’s tomb and is shocked into a catatonic state. His worst fears are realized as he is lowered into a grave and covered over, apparently never to learn that the treachery of someone very dear to him was directly responsible for his predicament.
Francis Barnard goes to Spain, when he hears his sister Elizabeth has died. Her husband Nicholas Medina, the son of the brutest torturer of the Spanish Inquisition, tells him she has died of a blood disease, but Francis finds this hard to believe. After some investigating he finds out that it was extreme fear that was fatal to his sister and that she may have been buried alive! Strange things then start to happen in the Medina castle.
American crook Sparks Moran sees a chance to make a bundle when a Caribbean island has a revolution. He plans to help loyalists (and the national treasury) escape on his boat, then kill the men and blame their deaths on a mythical sea monster. Trouble ensues when the _real_ monster shows up!
Ev; her husband, Harold; and their lawyer friend, Martin, are skindiving while on vacation in Puerto Rico. When they resurface, they gradually conclude that an unexplained, temporary interruption of oxygen has killed everyone on the island – maybe in the world!
After a long journey, Philip arrives at the Usher mansion seeking his loved one, Madeline. Upon arriving, however, he discovers that Madeline and her brother Roderick Usher have been afflicted with a mysterious malady: Roderick’s senses have become painfully acute, while Madeline has become catatonic. That evening, Roderick tells his guest of an old Usher family curse: any time there has been more than one Usher child, all of the siblings have gone insane and died horrible deaths. As the days wear on, the effects of the curse reach their terrifying climax.
The founder and owner of a cosmetic factory, Janice Starlin (Susan Cabot), is concerned with the dropping sale results of her company. The scientist Eric Zinthrop (Michael Mark) offers to her his research with wasp enzymes that makes animals younger, and she immediately accepts to hire him, provided she becomes his human subject. She decides by her own to accelerate the treatment injecting additional serum trying to see earlier results, becoming the lethal “Wasp Woman”.