Monday, September 26, 2016

THE MUMMY'S REVENGE (1975) on YouTube

One of the more difficult things for fans of Paul Naschy to cope with is the sad fact that there are several key titles from his most productive period that are AWOL on domestic video. They may have popped up om European DVD or Blu-Ray but over here we can access very few of the classics. One of his best (in my opinion) hasn't seen the light of US video release ever (if memory serves) and I consider it a damned crime! Luckily some kind soul has posted an English subtitled version of this under seen mummy epic in chunks on YouTube. Take the time this Halloween season to check it out and see why I consider it one of the three best mummy films of all time.

Sunday, September 25, 2016


The other night I popped in my DVD of Bert I. Gordon's giant arachnid epic EARTH VS. THE SPIDER (1958) to revisit something I knew I would enjoy. I was coming off a run of pretty crappy first time horror film viewings so I just wanted to see something fun that I could count on to entertain me. It had been several years since my last watch (why does that sound confessional?) so I was surprised to note that the film is only 72 minutes long. Cool, I thought. Fun, fast and over before you know it! Woo boy, was I wrong.

Don't misunderstand me - I still really enjoyed watching EARTH VS. THE SPIDER but this time I noticed things I had ignored in the past. For instance - the sheriff of the small mountain town is very dubious about the teenager's claims of a giant spider but still immediately calls for a tanker truck of DDT to deal with the situation. That's an odd plotting shortcut as I would have expected him to first be confronted with proof of this outrageous claim before calling in such extraordinary (and expensive) resources. I suspect this was done to keep the film short but it stands out as a strange move for such a skeptical authority figure.

Next I was amused to note just how long the hose from the DDT truck had to be to reach the spider's lair. The film makes it clear with all the footage of Carlsbad Caverns that the brave group of spider hunters are venturing very deeply into the cave. The workers just keep unspooling hose the entire time with nary a peep about the distance. That is one very long hose!

Third, and most distressing to me, is that even at this short length the film has stretches of dullness that could have been easily shortened. The second time we watch characters descend a hillside to examine a wrecked truck or walk a long distance into a cave I kept thinking that the editor had fallen asleep or stepped out for a smoke. Of course, I know that this footage is in the film to push the movie to feature length but it makes the whole thing feel overlong even with this brief running time.

While I enjoyed watching the film it was strange to notice these problems this time around. My memory was of an engaging if low budget giant monster vs. teenagers tale but what I got was a fairly average AIP effort that shows its weaknesses all too clearly. It's still a fun film for me and I assume for fans of genre cinema of the 1950's, but I think Mr. BIG did better work. Or did he? It might be time for a career retrospective.  

Friday, September 23, 2016

The Bloody Pit #43 - STARCRASH (1979)

Luigi Cozzi's science fiction epic STARCRASH is one of the wildest cinematic experiences of all time. The movie's script is a hot mess that feels like it was assembled in the dark from ideas jotted randomly on post-it notes. There is no logical progression from scene to scene or from idea to idea. When an explanation or solution was needed Cozzi just seems to have inserted a line of ridiculous dialog, had the characters smile at each other and kept moving. It is this almost total disregard for logic, sense or sanity that allows this budget challenged Italian production to reach mad heights of near genius.

When the idea of covering STARCRASH for the podcast suggested itself I found myself with an odd problem - everyone wanted to be part of this show! Randy Fox, Jeff Nelson and John Hudson all wanted the chance to talk about the film and relate their love for it. Troy Guinn also wanted to participate but scheduling kept him away from our recording session. Regardless, he found a way to be a part of the episode anyway! So, we gathered around a table one Friday night to go through this crazed movie marveling at it's odd twists and turns while trying to come to terms with our out sized affection for it. We touch on many of the plot elements that amuse us - there is no way to touch on them all in just two hours - while digging into the cool things that the film plays homage to and/or steals from classic genre movies. Since this show consists of a group of friends that have known each other for years you can expect a number of odd references (Peter Frampton 8-tracks?) and strange connections (Where's Waldo!) that will only make sense if you listen to our stream of conscious blather. If it gets out of hand, we apologize! We had a good time and we hope you do as well.

I read out a couple of email messages at the beginning of the episode and if you would like to comment on the show the email address is Drop us a line with any suggestions for future podcasts or to put us in our places if we've gone wrong. Thank you very much for downloading and listening! 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

STARCRASH (1979) on YouTube!

I'm just about ready to post the next episode of The Bloody Pit but I'm well aware that the subject of our show is.....obscure. So, to facilitate the viewing of Luigi Cozzi's sci-fi masterwork I present this link to the entire film posted over on YouTube. This is not the best way to see and appreciate the film (that would be the stellar Shout Factory Blu-Ray)  but it at least allows you to see it in the manner of a VHS copy. Check it out! 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Claudia Jennings in THE GREAT TEXAS DYNAMITE CHASE (1976)

I recently caught up with this fun little crime spree comedy/drama and really enjoyed it. I won't lie - I watched this because I wanted to see something with star Claudia Jennings and the film's 'R' rating promised some untamed 1970's style raunch, which it delivered! I really need to see the rest of Miss Jennings' film appearances starting with the brilliantly titled GATOR BAIT (1974). Wowsa! 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Brief Thoughts - THE HALLOW (2015)

I may be a little late to the game with this one but I was quite impressed with THE HALLOW (2015). It's a very well made monster story set in dark, spooky woods of a superstitious, rural area of Ireland. A couple and their newborn child move into a cottage near the forest to facilitate the husband's job of marking trees to be removed for a planned construction project. The locals warn them about poking round certain sections of the woods but are reluctant to spell out exactly why. Soon enough clues are dropped by fearful town elders, gnarled figures are dimly seen at night and odd, creepy events begin to plague the family in their new home. All these warning signs are ignored or brushed aside until finally an all out, nighttime assault on the cottage begins and the couple realizes that they - and especially their baby - are in much more danger than they ever considered possible. 

This is an atmospheric, nerve-jangling tale that handles the set-up of its monster mythology just as well as it does its third act assault and siege. The film is very well directed with a small, talented cast doing a uniformly strong job of making the entire affair affecting and believable. Adding to the dark tone of the story are the creatures lurking in the woods. The monster designs are fantastic and the performers in the elaborate effects liquidly shuffle and slither behind trees and rocks making the quick glimpses we get of them even more disturbing. Even when we can finally get a lingering look at them later on they still seem otherworldly and alien.

I recommend this very highly. You don't see very many new monster films these days that aren't geared toward automatic self-parody and I'm heartened to see such a good one can still get made.  For the curious it's currently on NetFlix and would make a good choice for the coming Halloween season. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

The Daddybones - "Welcome to the Dorkside"

I sometimes forget just how many talented people I know. Check out this great little video of a work buddy's band hitting every geeky touchstone possible in under four minutes.