Day 15 – The Vampire Doll (1970)

0

On the 15th day in the 2018 Countdown to Halloween, we shift gears and head back to the Dread Media podcast for the first entry in the Bloodthirsty Trilogy, The Vampire Doll (1970)!

Take a listen to episode 581 to hear my thoughts on this once-rare Japanese classic. And as always, tell ’em Monster Movie Kid sent ya!

Availability:
The Bloodthirsty Trilogy is available on Blu-ray from Arrow Video.

Advertisements

Day 14 – The Ghost Breakers (1940)

0

2018 Countdown to Halloween – Day 14: The Ghost Breakers (1940)
Cast:        Bob Hope as Larry Lawrence
Paulette Goddard as Mary Carter
Richard Carlson as Geoff Montgomery
Willie Best as Alex

Based on The Ghost Breaker play by Paul Dickey & Charles W. Goddard
Screenplay by Walter DeLeon
Directed by George Marshall

Plot: After a radio show host becomes inadvertently involved in the murder of a gangster, he flees to Cuba and helps a young woman who is inheriting a supposedly haunted castle.

GB2

Richard’s Review: Bob Hope may be an acquired taste but I really enjoy many of his comedies and The Ghost Breakers is one of my favorites. There is just the right amount of balance between humor and creepy scenery on the island. In fact, there are some great visuals in the mansion on the island, worthy of any traditional horror classic. I also enjoy the Willie Best segments but they can be hard to watch at times. However, it’s not nearly as bad as other films, so it shouldn’t deter you from diving into this one. Highly recommended for a few laughs during the Halloween season.

Karla’s Thoughts: I really loved The Ghost Breakers as it was a fun and entertaining story. I loved that it actually featured a ghost but the zombie part seemed a little out of place, but still funny. I enjoyed the humor and chemistry between Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard. The Willie Best segments were a little hard to watch but not as bad as I expected. I would definitely watch this one again.

GB3

Trivia:

  • The Ghost Breaker play was filmed twice before, in 1914 and 1922, but both silent versions are lost. It was filmed one more time as Scared Stiffin 1953 with Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, which featured cameos by Bob Hope and Bing Crosby as skeletons.
  • This movie was released less than eight months after The Cat and the Canary after that film was such a success.
  • Bob Hope appeared in two radio adaptations in 1949 and 1951 on Screen Director’s Playhouse.
  • Richard Carlson would go on to star in several 1950s sci-fi and horror classics, such as Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) and It Came from Outer Space (1953).
  • Lloyd Carrigan’s character of Martin has three prominent scenes but is never seen again, leaving viewers to wonder if there were additional scenes that were deleted.

Availability: The best to add this to your video library is the Bob Hope Classic Comedy Collection. For less than $20, you get The Ghost Breakers and nine other films, including The Cat and the Canary (1939).

Day 13 – Santo en el Museo de Cera (1963)

0

2018 Countdown to Halloween – Day 13: Santo en el Museo de Cera (1963)
Cast:        El Santo as El Santo/The Saint
Claudio Brook as Dr. Karol
Norma Mora as Gloria
Ruben Rojo as Ricardo Carbajal

Story by Julio Porter & Fernando Galiana
Screenplay by Alfonso Corona Blake
Directed by Alfonso Corona Blake & Manuel San Fernando

Plot: Dr. Karol is up to no good as he is kidnapping people and turning them into real-life exhibits in his wax museum. However, they are still alive and part of his army, with which he plans to conquer the world.

Santo-Museo-2

Richard’s Review: This one is a homage to House of Wax and the Dr. Moreau movies. The evil Dr. Karol is turning people into mad wax creations but they are still alive to cause havoc. Then, as should be predicted by now, the creations turn on their mad creator. There is plenty of atmosphere here and a great follow-up to Santo contra Los Mujeres Vampiro. While we don’t see any real classic monsters here, there’s enough other adventure to keep you busy. Definitely recommended viewing!

Karla’s Thoughts: I really loved this one as it feels like a classic horror flick. That was due mostly to the evil scientist turning people into wax and it seemed more credible. Well, it didn’t make my scientific brain hurt as much. I also thought there was a better balance of wrestling in relation to the rest of the story. I’d definitely watch this one again.

Trivia:

  • One of the four Santo films dubbed into English and one of the three done by K. Gordon Murray.

Availability: You’ll need to do some searching for this Santo film as it’s a harder one to find on DVD with subtitles.

Special Thanks: Do yourself a favor and purchase a copy of The Mexican Masked Wrestler and Monster Filmography by Robert Michael “Bobb” Cotter. It has a ton of fantastic information and helped this writer flesh out the reviews for the Santo films.

Day 12 – Santo contra Los Mujeres Vampiro (1962)

0

2018 Countdown to Halloween – Day 12: Santo Contra Las Mujeres Vampiro (1962)
Cast:        El Santo as El Santo/The Saint
Lorena Velazquez as Zorina
Maria Duval as Diana Orlof
Jaime Fernandez as Inspector Carolos
Augusto Benedico as Professor Orlof
Ofelia Montesco as Tundra

Story by Antonio Orellana, Fernando Oses & Rafael Garcia Travesi
Adapted by Rafael Garcia Travesi
Directed by Alfonso Corona Blake

Plot: Tundra is a vampire priestess must fulfill a prophecy to save Zorina, queen of the vampires. She must turn Diana Orlof into a vampire but Diana’s father seeks the help of Santo to stop the evil vampires before it’s too late.

Santo-Los-Mujeres-2

Richard’s Review: This flick is so much fun and was my introduction to the films of Santo. I’ve seen both the dubbed version and the original Spanish version. Needless to say, if you can watch these films in their original language, that’s always the way to go. There is so much atmosphere in the opening sequence, you know you you’re in for a great time. Sure, there are some crazy plot points and maybe a little too much wrestling at times but Santo is definitely feeling comfortable in his role as our superhero to call on in our hour of need. The wrestling action plays into the story this time and the craziness is simply too fun to pass up. And the ending with Santo lighting the coffins and vampires on fire is fantastic (too bad it is seen in the trailer). Highly recommended!

Karla’s Thoughts: I really liked this one a lot and I can say this is my favorite Santo film so far. There was a little too much wrestling for me and it would cause me to lose track of the story. However, the rest was incredibly atmospheric . I found the way the vampires gathered blood to be unique but a little more convoluted than simply biting someone. Minor flaws aside, I would definitely watch this one again.

Santo-Los-Mujeres-3

Trivia:

  • Lorena Velazquez also starred in another popular cult classic, Las Luchadoras vs. La Momia (1964) aka The Wrestling Women vs. The Aztec Mummy.
  • Ofelia Montesco also starred in Santo vs El Estrangulador (1963).
  • One of four Santo films dubbed in English and one of three released in the United States by K. Gordon Murray.

Availability: You’ll need to do some searching for most of the Santo films. This one is most easily found under the title Samson vs. the Vampire Women but the original with subtitles is, of course, preferred if you can find it.

Special Thanks: Do yourself a favor and purchase a copy of The Mexican Masked Wrestler and Monster Filmography by Robert Michael “Bobb” Cotter. It has a ton of fantastic information and helped this writer flesh out the reviews for the Santo films.

Day 11 – Santo contra Los Zombies (1961)

0

2018 Countdown to Halloween – Day 11: Santo contra Los Zombies (1961)
Cast:        El Santo as El Santo/The Saint
Armando Silvestre as Lt. Sanmartin
Jaime Fernandez as Detective Rodriguez
Dagoberto Rodriguez as Detective Almada
Irma Serrano as Detective Isabel

Story by Fernando Oses & Antonio Orellana
Adapted by Antonio Orellana & Benito Alazraki
Directed by Benito Alazraki

Plot: An evil scientist creates zombies from dead criminals in a mad plot to conquer the world. Can Santo stop him before it’s too late?

Santo-Zombies-2

Richard’s Review: This film established many of the familiar plot points for the Santo film series. Santo is very much a superhero, with a secret headquarters, cool car and the police call on him for help when the bad guys cause trouble. Here, a mad scientist, complete with 1940 chapter serial type hood, is turning men into zombies. It gets a bit crazy once we realize the zombies are impervious to bullets and they seem to spark like robots. But, you have to go into these flicks knowing that logic seldom plays a key role in the plot and that Santo will break away from the action at any time to head down to the ring for a match. This is definitely a fun way to kick off a Santo marathon and well worth checking out if you can find it.

Karla’s Thoughts: I had to turn off my scientific brain to understand what type of zombies these were. I found it weird that they couldn’t be killed. The scientist almost seemed more like a Dr. Frankenstein type character. Not as much wrestling as some of the other movies, which is a good thing (for a non-wrestling fan). I enjoyed it and would watch it again. Not my favorite but not my least favorite either.

Santo-Zombies-3

Trivia:

  • Santo starred in 50 films between 1958 and 1982, with two other cameo appearances in genre-related films.
  • Santo turned down the opportunity to star in El Emascarado de Plata in 1952 for reasons unknown. El Medico Asesino took the lead role in that film but would not appear on film again until 1971 in Los Campeones Justicieros (The Champions of Justice).
  • Santo made his film debut with a smaller role in two films made in Cuba, Cerebro del Mal (1958) and Santo contra Hombres Infernales (1958). However, it wasn’t until this film that the familiar format for the Santo films would be established.
  • One of only four Santo films dubbed in English.

Availability: You’ll need to do some searching for this Santo film as it’s a harder one to find on DVD with subtitles.

Special Thanks: Do yourself a favor and purchase a copy of The Mexican Masked Wrestler and Monster Filmography by Robert Michael “Bobb” Cotter. It has a ton of fantastic information and helped this writer flesh out the reviews for the Santo films.

Day 10 – A Happy Hammer Halloween

0

On day 10 of the 2018 Countdown to Halloween, it’s time to head back to the Classic Horrors Club Podcast for episode 22 and a Happy Hammer Halloween! Jeff and I talk Hammer movies while taking a look at three classics with Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee: Curse of Frankenstein (1957), Horror of Dracula (1958) and The Mummy (1959).

Be sure to stick around to the end to learn how you can win one of three fabulous prizes:

  • The Boris Karloff Collection (DVD, courtesy of VCI Home Entertainment)
  • Guns of the Apocalypse (DVD)
  • Demon with the Atomic Brain (DVD)

To participate in our next meeting just call:

(616) 649-2582
That’s (616) 649-CLUB, or…

Email classichorrorsclub@gmail.com, or

Join us in our clubhouse at:

www.facebook.com/groups/classichorrors.club/

Classic-Horrors-Club

Day 9 – Guns of the Apocalypse (2018)

0

It’s day 9 in the 2018 Countdown to Halloween and it’s time to visit the apocalypse. Christopher R. Mihm has made the first ever “post-apocalyptic-spaghetti-midwestern” with Guns of the Apocalypse (2018) and it’s another Mihmiverse classic. Tune in to episode 48 of the Monthly Mihmiverse Audiocast for this month’s edition of the Kansas City Crypt, then head over to Saint Euphoria’s website to order your copy today!

As always, tell ’em Monster Movie Kid sent ya!