Halloween Month continues here at Balladeer’s Blog, this time with the definitive horror/ sci-fi/ monster franchise in cinema. 2019 is the 40th anniversary of the original movie Alien and earlier this year six authorized (not fan-made) short films were released to mark the occasion.
Bill Paxton’s son is in two of them, but just his voice on the radio in one.
The six films range from okay to excellent but they ALL capture the feel of the creepy Alien universe far better than most of the sequels. To get you in the mood here is Alien: Harvest. The others are titled Alone, Containment, Ore, Species and Night Shift. Check out Harvest below then check out the others HERE
The living dead emerging from The Dead Pit (1989)
Balladeer’s Blog’s month-long celebration of Halloween continues! If you’re like me you’re bored with zombies and pseudo-zombies. The 21st Century is as mired in tiresome, cookie-cutter zombie flicks as the 1980s were in tiresome, cookie-cutter slasher flicks.
Here is a look at seven films which, while technically classified as zombie movies at least adopt unique perspectives and don’t follow established formulas.
THE DEAD PIT (1989) – This horror film was the directorial debut of the very prolific director Brett Leonard. While not a four-star movie The Dead Pit is enjoyable enough for the Halloween Season and should certainly appeal to anyone into 1980s horror flicks. This movie’s hybrid of zombie elements and slasher elements is both its charm AND the reason behind its love-it-or-hate-it status.
Don’t expect non-stop Resident Evil-level action but DO expect to see some in-your-face gore very early in the flick for lovers of guts and decomposition. A physician (Dr Swan) at a mental hospital discovers the secret sub-basement where a rival MD (Dr Ramzi) is subjecting hopeless patients to horrific experiments involving a combination of science and the supernatural. Continue reading
Halloween is celebrated all month long here at Balladeer’s Blog. Here’s my review of this Jean Rollin film. For even more reviews of horror films with a nudity theme click HERE
And for my look at three more Jean Rollin movies click HERE and HERE
The Nude Vampire
5. THE NUDE VAMPIRE (1970) – France’s Jean Rollin is one of those love-them-or-hate-them directors. The snooty French often bashed his films for their devotion to style over all else. Don’t believe reviews which claim that his movies have no comprehensible storylines.
Personally I find him more straightforward than Lynch or Jodorowsky. At any rate the central figure of this arthouse Euro-horror is indeed a beautiful female vampire in skimpy outfits and less. Continue reading
Halloween Month continues here at Balladeer’s Blog.
Paul “Jacinto Molina” Naschy was Spain’s King of Horror decades ago. Many of his films featured his recurring character Waldemar Daninsky, a tormented lycanthrope who was seeking a cure for his curse.
Long ago I reviewed Assignment: Terror (1969), which pitted Waldemar against aliens, a faux Frankenstein Monster, a vampire and a mummy. Here are three more from Naschy:
Dr Jekyll vs The Wolfman (1972), in which a descendant of the original Dr Jekyll uses the family formula to cure Waldemar of lycanthropy. Trouble is he starts turning into a kinky and murderous Mr Hyde on the nights of the full moon. (This is better than being a werewolf?)
There’s even a scene in a disco, for that quintessential 70s touch. (Don’t you hate people who use the word “quintessential”?] Continue reading
Halloween Month continues here at Balladeer’s Blog with my take on the top four (of ten) movies in the Hellraiser franchise.
HELLRAISER (1987) – “Jee-zuz WEPT!” Clive Barker helped translate his novel The Hellbound Heart to the big screen in this film. It’s incredibly rare for a novelist to get to DIRECT a movie version of one of his own works but Barker made the most of it.
Frank Cotton (Sean Chapman) has exhausted sexual sensation with women, men, corpses and animals. Seeking new stimulation he solves LeMerchand’s Puzzle Box, a “Rubik’s Cube From Hell” which leaves him at the mercy of the demonic inter-dimensional sadomasochists called the Cenobites of the Order of the Gash.
Suffering unimaginable torments as the M in this S&M relationship, Frank struggles to escape the Cenobites for good, even if it means sacrificing his brother Larry plus Larry’s wife Julia (Clare Higgins) and daughter Kirsty (Ashley Laurence). Continue reading
Halloween Month continues here at Balladeer’s Blog and so does the 200th anniversary year of Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein. FOR THREE MORE REVIEWS OF DAN CURTIS HORROR PRODUCTIONS CLICK HERE
FRANKENSTEIN (1973) – Dan Curtis was well-known for his Dark Shadows television series, the original Night Stalker telefilm and its sequel The Night Strangler. Throw in The Norliss Tapes, Trilogy of Terror and about a dozen more made-for-tv exercises in the macabre.
In Frankenstein Robert Foxworth stars as Dr Frankenstein and Bo Svenson portrays his famous monster in what was originally a two-part presentation on The Wide World of Mystery. (“He’s an artificially created monster who solves murders!”)
Susan Strasberg played the good doctor’s love Elizabeth, Willie Aames was William Frankenstein and John Karlen from Dark Shadows appeared as Otto.
Leif Garrett, soon to appear as one of the murderous children in Devil Times Five, was briefly glimpsed as a little boy running from the Frankenstein Monster. Heidi Vaughn and Brian Avery were along for the ride as the DeLaceys. Continue reading
THE BODY SHOP (1973) – Category: A neglected bad movie classic that deserves a Plan 9-sized cult following
HALLOWEEN MONTH CONTINUES! The horror film titled The Body Shop is one of my all-time favorite bad movie gems. It includes all the little extras that separate mere bombs from the truly legendary turkeys and, like another neglected classic, The Wizard of Mars (see my Bad Movie page for the review), just keeps getting worse and worse and weirder and weirder all the way to the end. Continue reading
Halloween Month continues with this look at the Mexican horror gem The Black Pit of Dr M. For Balladeer’s Blog’s extensive look at over a dozen Mexi-Monster films click HERE
The Black Pit of Dr M
THE BLACK PIT OF DR M (1958) – The Dr M of our title is Dr Masali, who runs an insane asylum in the very early 1900’s with his colleague, Dr Aldama. The two make a pact stating that whichever one of them dies first will contact the survivor from the other side with the secret of returning to life.
Aldama passes away and, true to his word, returns from the beyond and uses his long lost daughter to serve as the catalyst that sets Dr M on the road to returning to the flesh after death. He also includes a warning that our title doctor naturally ignores.
Hanged for a murder he didn’t commit, Dr M does indeed return to the flesh, but as Heavenly punishment for violating the Divine Order his soul is trapped in the body of his asylum’s hideously deformed and homicidally violent resident, Elmer. Continue reading
Here at Balladeer’s Blog we wring down the curtain on Halloween 2017 by revisiting our old friend Jose “Mojica” Marins, Brazil’s notorious King of Horror.
Marins’ most famous character is Ze do Caixao aka Coffin Joe, a figure who belongs alongside Dracula, Freddy Krueger, La Llorona and other horror icons from around the world.
Noteworthy movies include :
At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul (1963) – Brazil’s first-ever home-grown horror film was also the very first appearance of Coffin Joe, an undertaker who relishes exploiting and mocking the religious beliefs of the community.
The transgressive, hypnotic figure lords it over those he considers to be ignorant peasants and lesser beings. Ze’s reign of terror sees him inflict physical and psychological torture on his victims, including gouging their eyes out with his incredibly long fingernails.
The vile but charismatic monster is searching for a superior woman to mate with while killing off male rivals as well as women who don’t meet his expectations.
This Night I Will Possess Your Corpse (1967) – In this sequel Coffin Joe is even more powerful and depraved as he subjects Sao Paulo to another reign of terror. Ze is still searching for the perfect woman to bear his child and inflicting all manner of torture on his victims but this time around the viewer is treated to even more of the villain’s bizarre philosophy, which seems to be composed of equal parts Nietzsche and de Sade with a healthy sprinkling of Aleister Crowley tossed in.
This film is black & white like the original but features the acclaimed color portion featuring a trip to a Hell ruled by Coffin Joe himself. Continue reading
By reader request here’s my semi-regular Halloween Season blog post Zombies of Monticello, my mock movie review. I first ran this in 2013, but it may not seem as irreverent this year in the wake of the large-scale criticism of Thomas Jefferson.
ZOMBIES OF MONTICELLO (2013) – Halloween month continues at Balladeer’s Blog with this review of cult director Eddie Wozniak’s blood-soaked combination of horror and commentary.
Learn the REAL cause of Thomas Jefferson’s death on July 4th, 1826! On the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence the zombified corpses of all of Jefferson’s dead slaves rise from their graves and besiege him and his extended family in the Jefferson mansion at Monticello!
The pompous hypocrite who penned noble words about freedom and equality while OWNING other human beings tries everything to wipe out the undead legions pressing in on all sides. Continue reading