Halloween Month continues! Independent filmmaker Earl Owensby churned out a long list of movies over the years, including this horror flick. For more Earl Owensby horror films click HERE
Owensby’s macabre Grim Reaper/ Fool Killer style monster from A Day of Judgment.
A DAY OF JUDGMENT (1981) – This movie plays as if Owensby collaborated with Reverend Estus W Pirkle like Ron Ormond did for the religious zealot/ Cold War potboiler If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do?
You can strip away that movie’s Cold War angle, though, since A Day of Judgment is set in the 1920s American south. Well, 1920s-ISH we’ll say since the usual fun Owensby anachronisms turn up repeatedly in assorted scenes.
Reverend Cage addresses a church that is virtually empty and bores the few faithful who remain by bitching and moaning about how poor attendance has been. He’s leaving town and is basically washing his hands of the place, warning that the increasingly sinful town will get what’s coming to it.
Next we have a series of scenes featuring some of the more sinful citizens of the deep southern town. Adultery, bigotry, covetousness, greed and outright murderous passions lurk behind every corner of this Mayberry-turned-Sodom and Gomorrah. These scenes go on so long even Larry Buchanan would scream “Pick up the pace, dammit!” at the screen.
A sinister, monstrously ugly man in black arrives in town, driving a horse-drawn carriage and sporting a long scythe. This figure is the film’s Grim Reaper/ Angel of Death/ Foolkiller- type menace. Continue reading
TALES OF THE THIRD DIMENSION (1984) was yet another of the six 3D movies released in the 1980s by Balladeer’s Blog’s old friend Earl Owensby. Earl was known as “The Dixie DeMille” since he and his film company operated almost exclusively out of North Carolina. To me he’s always seemed more like Roger Corman, however, since Owensby’s flicks were mostly just unpretentious B Movies made with so little money they were guaranteed to turn a profit.
Many of Earl’s film ventures are okay time-wasters but horror was definitely not his forte. Previously I reviewed three of Owensby’s other gems of Bad Movie Goodness: Wolfman, A Day of Judgment and Dogs of Hell. Recently I finally got a chance to watch his horror anthology Tales of the Third Dimension.
Let’s start with the title. Since we live in a 3-dimensional universe there is nothing eerie or macabre about anything from “the third dimension.” Usually movies reference the fourth or fifth dimension. And that brings us to the film’s biggest problem: it seems to be an attempt at horror-comedy, like some of the elements in the Creepshow movies. That being said I guess it’s possible that the title was supposed to be a joke … kind of. Continue reading
Owensby’s macabre Grim Reaper/ Fool Killer style monster from A Day of Judgment (1981).
What Larry Buchanan was to Texas …
What Bill Rebane was to Wisconsin …
What William Girdler was to Louisville and Andy Milligan was to Staten Island, Earl Owensby was to North Carolina. “The Dixie DeMille” himself is the subject as Halloween Month continues!
Low-budget filmmaker Earl Owensby occupies a unique niche in American movie making. Like Roger Corman before him, Owensby set out to be absolutely certain that his films made a profit and – again like Corman – a lot of his flicks were unpretentious B-Movies. Owensby notoriously never spent more than a million dollars on a film and never accepted a distribution deal that would net his company less than eight million dollars.
Many of Owensby’s movies are entertaining and boast decent production values, but for the sake of this review I will be looking at three of his lesser efforts that I feel fall into the fun-bad category.
WOLFMAN (1979) – With this movie Owensby completed his move from being a budget Joe Don Baker in vigilante movies like Challenge, The Brass Ring and Dark Sunday to being a budget Burt Reynolds in race-car and prison flicks like Death Driver and Seabo to being a regional horror film producer like Bill Rebane.
In a sprawling southern mansion the aged patriarch of the Glasgow family lies on his death-bed. A minister who is really a Satanist (Ed Grady) is in cahoots with some of Glasgow’s sleazy heirs to pass the family curse of lycanthropy on to the eldest Glasgow male – Colin Glasgow (Earl Owensby). You’d think that would happen naturally if you’re a fan of other werewolf films but Owensby plays by his own rules in this southern-fried wolfman movie. Continue reading