Mihmiverse – Beware! The Blob (1972)

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This month on episode 69 of the Mihmiverse Monthly Audiocast, the Kansas City Crypt heads to the drive-in for the not-so-classic Beware! The Blob (1972)! It features a crazy cast that includes Robert Walker, Jr., Burgess Meredith, Sid Haig, Dick Van Patten, Larry Hagman and Cindy Williams!

Have you become a contributor of the upcoming films and specials from Christopher R. Mihm? Check out sainteuphoria.com for all of the latest news from the Mihmiverse. Find out about the new film, The Phantom Lake Kids in The Unseen Invasion, as well as as the latest on all of the other forthcoming film projects, including The Phantom Lakes Kids in The Beast Walks Among Us.

As always, tell ’em Monster Movie Kid sent you!BTB

Robert Wise – The Body Snatcher (1945)

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Robert Wise was one of the most beloved film directors of all time with a career spanning decades and films that covered a wide cinematic palate, ranging from horror to musical to action and science fiction. Although he left us back in 2005 at the age of 91, the legacy he left behind will be remembered forever.

Robert Wise BookA revised edition of author J.R. Jordan’s book, Robert Wise: The Motion Pictures, is now available and is a perfect way to spend some summertime afternoons. Every chapter is a thoughtful analysis of one of his films, starting off with The Curse of the Cat People (1944) and ending with his final film, A Storm in Summer (2000). The amazing read includes a foreword by actor Gavin MacLeod and an introduction by Douglas E. Wise, Robert’s nephew. I highly recommend it, especially if you enjoy any of his classic films. You might even discover some hidden gems that will leave you seeking out more of his films, which is the perfect way to keep his memory very much alive. It’s currently available on Amazon in hardcover and paperback editions, and gets the Kansas City Cinephile seal of approval.

Over the next several weeks, to help celebrate this fantastic book, I’ll be revisiting some past articles I wrote about some of his horror and science fiction genre related films. The following was originally published on the Monster Movie Kid website back on October 17, 2014. I’ve included updated links on the current home media availability of the films.Body Snatcher

The Body Snatcher (1945)

After a rather uninspiring performance in The Climax (1944), Karloff went to work on another film for Universal, House of Frankenstein (1944). It was another mad doctor role but it was exciting to see him alongside the monster, Dracula and the Wolf Man. However, it was his next film that allowed him to leave the laboratory behind and take on a very different role. Under the production of the legendary Val Lewton, The Body Snatcher (1945) is easily one of Karloff’s best films that showed us he was much more than a man in a lab coat.

The Body Snatcher is based on the classic Robert Louis Stevenson short story with a screenplay written by Philip MacDonald and Val Lewton (credited as Carlos Keith). It is set in Edinburgh in 1831 and tells the tale of Dr. Wolf MacFarlane (Henry Daniell, Professor Moriarty in the 1945 Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes film Woman in Green). Dr. MacFarlane runs a medical school where one of his students, Donald Fettes (Russell Wade, The Ghost Ship), has befriended a young paralyzed girl in need of surgery. While Fettes inspires the doctor to perform surgery and reignite his medical passions, there looms a mysterious presence in the background…cabman John Gray (Boris Karloff). It seems Gray “acquires” bodies for the good doctor by any means necessary. Gray and Dr. MacFarlane go back to the time of the infamous Burke and Hare trial as Gray holds a secret that could destroy the doctor.

Karloff is absolutely amazing in this picture. He greatly appreciated the opportunity to play such a well-written and developed character. It was refreshing for him to play something different than the countless mad scientist roles he had been playing. The relationship between Gray and MacFarlane allowed Karloff to display his acting abilities not always possible in some of his other films. When we first see him, he befriends the little girl and seems utterly charming. Seconds later, he shoots an evil look towards the doctor’s housekeeper that tells us all it not as it appears. In every scene, Karloff emits an evil charm that is frightening.BKBS

The Body Snatcher would be the eighth and final time Karloff and Bela Lugosi would work together. RKO Pictures insisted Lugosi be added to help with box office appeal and Lewton reluctantly wrote a role for Lugosi. His role is a very small one as Joseph, an assistant to Dr. MacFarlane. However, the scene between Karloff and Lugosi is amazing and a fitting way for the two to end their on screen performances together.

For anyone who has seen a Val Lewton film before, you know exactly what to expect. A tale with some truly scary moments wrapped up in a movie where the horror elements are downplayed in a world full of shadows and mystery. The final scene is horrific and legendary director Robert Wise (The Day The Earth Stood StillStar Trek: The Motion Picture) walked away from the picture with a great deal of respect and a new opinion on the acting talents of Karloff.

The Body Snatcher was the first of three consecutive films Karloff did for producer Val Lewton. While Lewton only worked on 14 films, his 9 horror films stand out as not only his best but true classics of the genre. Karloff is amazing in this film and I highly recommend it. It’s now available on a fantastic Blu-ray edition from Shout Factory.Body Snatcher 2

Classic Horrors Club – I Married a Blob at the Drive-In

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Jeff and Richard have a wonderful evening’s entertainment lined up for you, one that will provide several hours of pleasurable relaxation and diversion for you and your family. Did you fail to dress up for tonight’s show? No tie, an old shirt and slacks, a house dress? Well, don’t give it a thought; we’re glad you came as you are. We just want you to enjoy yourselves…. a gay, pleasant evening for all!

Yes, we’re hitting the road for the summer. First stop: the Outdoor Theater in Clearwater, Florida, circa 1959. Let’s call the meeting to order remotely, it’s time for episode 44 to begin. This month, it’s a classic double feature with The Blob (1958) and I Married a Monster from Outer Space (1958)!

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Special thanks to our good friend Bill Mize from the Bill Watches Movies Podcast for his on-the spot report about the Outdoor Theater. We also thank Steve and Ben Turek from the Diecast Movie Review Podcast for their thoughts on The Blob and Beware! The Blob (1972)! We highly recommend both shows!

The Blob I Married a Monster from Outer Space 50s 60s

Do you want to share your feedback? Maybe you want to let us know what you’ve been doing during the recent pandemic. It’s easy and all of the cool kids are doing it!

Call us at (616) 649-2582 (CLUB) or email at classichorrorsclub@gmail.com.

Join us in our clubhouse at https://www.facebook.com/groups/classichorrors.club/!

We’d also appreciate if you’d give us an honest rating on Apple Podcasts or SoundCloud. Thank you!

You can find Jeff at:

Pre-order Spotlight on Horror: Classics of the Cinefantastique! It’s now scheduled for publication in July!

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Dread Media – Satanis: The Devil’s Mass (1970

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This week on the Dread Media podcast, Desmond Reddick celebrates episode 666 by asking the question: What’s your favorite Satan? It could be from a book or comic or movie or artwork or any other form. So, I sat down with Des and we talked about Satanis: The Devil’s Mass, a 1970 documentary that explores the world of Anton LaVey and the Church of Satan. It’s a bizarre trip that ultimately exposes LaVey as a con man, in my personal opinion. Weird flick? Absolutely, but fascinating. Awesome podcast? You better believe it.

This is a massive episode, clocking in at 7 hours and 15 minutes. So, if you you don’t have an entire work day to spare, feel free to skip ahead to 5:05:34 for my segment. Also, you should consider becoming a Patron of Dread Media because you could have received some fantastic commentary from Des for this movie!

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

OTR – Dragonwyck (1946)

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It is only fitting that we wrap up the old time radio portion of Vincent Price Month on May 27, the anniversary of his birth. So, this week on OTR Wednesday, let’s travel back to October 7, 1946, as Vincent Price and Gene Tierney star in Dragonwyck on the Lux Radio Theatre.

Vincent Price stars as Nicholas Van Ryn, an aristocratic patroon who brings his young cousin Miranda to his Hudson Valley mansion, Dragonwyck, to be a governess to his daughter. It’s one of his very best films and another fantastic pairing with the lovely Gene Tierney. So, turn out the lights and journey back to the mid 1880s.

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OTR – Laura (1945)

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We’ve been celebrating some of the non-horror films of Vincent Price this month, so we thought why not take a listen to one of his greatest radio appearances this week on OTR Wednesday. In 1944, Vincent starred in one of his all-time best films, horror or otherwise, when he appeared alongside the lovely Gene Tierney in Laura. The film was based on the novel by Vera Caspary and was a huge hit on the big screen. So, it should come as no surprise that the Lux Radio Theatre did their own adaptation.

Vincent reunited with Gene Tierney and Dana Andrews on February 5, 1945, and the results were amazing. So, sit back and enjoy a fantastic mystery from the golden age of radio.

Laura

Dread Media – Maniac (1980)

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This week on episode 664 of the Dread Media Podcast, I finally take a look at the grindhouse classic Maniac (1980), which features Caroline Munro and Tom Savini. This one is definitely a trip that was made all the better courtesy of The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs. If you have Shudder, it’s well worth checking out as well as Joe Bob every Friday night through the end of June.

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

OTR – CBS Radio Mystery Theater

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We wrap up our celebration of Sherlock Holmes on this week’s edition of OTR Wednesday with a tribute to the CBS Radio Mystery Theater. While not part of the true golden age of radio, it was part of an amazing revival that thrived in the 70s. The amazing series was created by the legendary Himan Brown, the man behind the classic Inner Sanctum.

From January 6, 1974 until December 31, 1982, a total of 1,399 episodes aired five nights a week on CBS radio. The series featured E.G. Marshall as our host from the beginning until February 1982. Tammy Grimes would take over for the remaining episodes. While the episodes were quite elusive for many years, they are now thankfully all available on the internet. Sadly, the original master tapes are still sitting in a vault somewhere but what is now available often includes original commercials and news breaks, which make them even more entertaining.

While I recommend the entire series, available on YouTube or at cbsrmt.com, we’re here to talk about Sherlock Holmes. Over the near nine-year run of the show, they adapted a classic Sherlock Holmes story at least nine times with actor Kevin McCarthy as the master detective and Court Benson as Dr. Watson.

So now, turn out the lights, brace yourself for the creaking door and prepare yourself for “the fear you can hear” as Sherlock Holmes investigates The Sign of the Four!CBSRMT

Mihmiverse – Basil Rathbone Meets Sherlock Holmes

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This month on episode 67 of the Mihmiverse Monthly Audiocast, the Kansas City Crypt continues the month-long celebration of the world’s greatest detective, Sherlock Holmes. Tune in to hear about the journey Karla and I are enjoying as we watch the entire Basil Rathbone film series.

Have you become a contributor of the upcoming films and specials from Christopher R. Mihm? Check out sainteuphoria.com for all of the latest news from the Mihmiverse. Find out about the new film, The Phantom Lake Kids in The Unseen Invasion, as well as as the latest on all of the other forthcoming film projects, including The Phantom Lakes Kids in The Beast Walks Among Us.

As always, tell ’em Monster Movie Kid sent you!shsw

OTR – The Immortal Sherlock Holmes (1938)

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Orson Welles as Sherlock Holmes? While it never happened on the big screen it did happen in the golden age of radio. On September 25, 1938, Welles and his Mercury Theatre Players hit the airwaves with their adaptation of the popular William Gillette play. Welles wrote the radio play and his vision of The Immortal Sherlock Holmes came to life on his radio program, Mercury Theatre on the Air. This program aired a little more than a month before the infamous War of the Worlds broadcast.

So, put down the violin, settle down in front of the warm fire and go back to the late 1800s as the master detective Sherlock Holmes prepares for one of his greatest mysteries. SHMT