Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Astor, 1958, Director: Richard Cunha
Praise the film gods for allowing this cheese fest to be made! This celluloid treasure has everything a beer-and-pretzels-so-bad-it’s-good-movie party could ask for: a German mad scientist known as The Butcher executing ghastly experiments on an island full of blonde beach babes in hopes to make his hideously deformed wife beautiful again; his right-hand man named Igor; Nazi Gestapo imprisoning and torturing the aforesaid beach babes; clumsy fight scenes between the hero and Igor; the good guys’ near death escape from armed soldiers, an erupting volcano, and air force missile raids; and did I mention that the beach babes shake ass to a sexy, ritualistic dance, are clothed in brief two-pieces, and, oh, get morphed into ravenous, flesh-eating SHE DEMONS!?! This film is available on DVD from Image Entertainment. Check this bitch out.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Allied Artists, 1957, Director: Roger Corman
Being a cult classic and a Roger Corman film, one would think there'd be a better DVD release than what has been made available. This film can also be viewed in pieces on YouTube, but I've been holding out for a special edition. Anyone out there have a copy of the now out of print DVD, send it my way please.
Aka Blood of the Demon, Blood of My Heritage, American-International, 1957, Director: Herbert L. Strock
This downbeat, teenage vampire tale not only delivers a female monster, but a female mad scientist/high school teacher who is ultimately responsible for the havoc that takes place within a private preparatory school for girls. Nancy is not only victimized by her parents, who force her from her social life and drop her at the school, but also by her science teacher Miss Branding, who uses an amulet from the Carpathian Mountains to hypnotize her into becoming an ugly bloodsucker. Branding’s experiments are for the greater good, so a few deaths and the devastation of Nancy’s being are of no consequence to her. Nancy’s father has a honeymoon to enjoy with his new wife (just six weeks after his first wife’s death), so leaving his daughter with strangers to assume his parental responsibilities is not his concern. In the end, Nancy is the one who suffers, and there’s no denying that the adults are the real monsters. Even though there is a serious message about parents expecting the schools to raise their children, and teachers and school boards that are involved for all the wrong reasons, it’s hard to take the film too seriously when Jerry Blaine sings his song “Puppy Love” at a party, while all the girls break out in dance. Good stuff.
Monday, July 5, 2010
American-International, 1956, Director: Edward L. Cahn
The Paul Blaisdell creation, known as Cuddles according to Bob Burns, is the materialization of a prehistoric female that comes from the sea to kill the enemies of the carnie hypnotist Dr. Carlo Lombardi. The egomaniacal doctor uses deep hypnosis to transmigrate the soul of his assistant Andrea into her first life body, millions of years prior to her present self. His experiments with the controlled Andrea are to prove re-incarnation and gain recognition, but his plans are foiled by the balanced and open-minded Dr. Ted Erickson who falls in love with the lovely assistant.
I’ve watched this one several times and enjoy it more with each viewing. Check out the book It Came from Bob’s Basement: Exploring the Science Fiction and Monster Movie Archive of Bob Burns for anecdotes about the creation of the monster. Lions Gate released the film on DVD as a double feature with Day the World Ended (1955) a few years back, so check it out.