Tales from the Crypt (1972) - News Poster


Drive-In Dust Offs: Vault Of Horror (1973)

I’ve always had a great appreciation and fondness for horror anthologies, and I devoured horror comics as a kid; whether it was House of Mystery or Creepy magazine, they never failed to fire my imagination in short, sharp bursts. When the Romero/King collaboration Creepshow (1982) came out, my dream of seeing these kinds of stories translated to film was nothing but revelatory. I soon discovered it was not the first of its ilk, and began a journey through dusty video store shelves looking for its long-lost relatives. One of my first (and favorite) finds was Vault of Horror (1973), a five-fingered punch to my nascent, pubescent, omnibus-loving heart.

Released by Cinerama Releasing stateside in March and produced by Amicus (the fine folks behind its predecessor, Tales from the Crypt), Vault of Horror (aka The Vault of Horror, for the easily confused, I guess) was not as well received by critics as Tales,
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Drive-In Dust Offs: Empire Of The Ants (1977)

Schlock should never be a dirty word in the world of cinema. Some of my favorite films are utterly devoid of taste and frequently, refinement. The majority of drive-in treasures lie somewhere between perspiration and inspiration, covered in flop sweat and trying desperately to entertain. This is often where you’ll find the films distributed by American International Pictures, and always where you’ll see director Bert I. Gordon’s oeuvre. Empire of the Ants (1977) is no exception.

Released by Aip in July and bringing in $2.5 million, Empire was the follow up to Gordon and producer Samuel Z. Arkoff’s success from the previous year, The Food of the Gods, another “loose” H.G. Wells adaptation, and was an even bigger hit (in B.I.G. terms, anyway—everything’s relative, folks). Naturally dismissed by critics, Empire continues the winning Gordon formula of B stars and groovy, goofy, rear projection grisliness.
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The Abominable Dr. Phibes

The pomp and circumstance of Felix Mendelssohn’s “War March of the Priests,” as played on a grand pipe organ by a hooded figure seated in an opulent ballroom during the opening credits of The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971), perfectly sets the tone and timbre of director Robert Fuest’s film, both with playful irreverence and an eloquently ominous aural shroud of dread. The events we’re about to see play out in the film will hardly be a righteous procession of missionary or military zeal, as Mendelssohn’s music was originally intended to evoke. Instead, as it rings and bellows forth from the ornate instrument in this eerie chamber, one which feels at once haunted and strangely festive, Mendelssohn’s fervor is immediately cast with the unmistakable sense of having been drawn forth from someplace much darker than one of heavenly inspiration.

The organ itself rises from the bowels of
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The Nine Greatest Horror Film Stars of All Time

  • Cinelinx
Halloween is almost here. This is the time of year for putting your favorite horror films in the DVD player. When you think of horror movies over the decades, there are certain actors whose names are indelibly linked to the horror genre. In honor of Halloween 2016, Cinelinx looks at the nine greatest horror films stars of all time.

9) Robert Englund: He made a name for himself as the burnt-faced dream demon Freddy Kruger. His body of horror work includes...A Nightmare On Elm Street, Anoes 2: Freddy’s Revenge, Anoes 3: Dream Warriors, Anoes 4: The Dream Master, Anoes 5: The Dream Child, Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, Freddy Vs. Jason, The Phantom of the Opera, Nightmare Café, Night Terrors, Mortal Fear, The Mangler, Urban Legend, Sanitarium, The Funhouse Massacre, etc.

8) Jamie Lee Curtis: The woman who created the trend of females
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The Smallest Show On Earth: In Memory Of The Bijou (1957) And The Alger (1940-2015)

The delightful British comedy The Smallest Show on Earth headlines a great Saturday matinee offering from the UCLA Film and Television Archive on June 25 as their excellent series “Marquee Movies: Movies on Moviegoing” wraps up. So it seemed like a perfect time to resurrect my review of the movie, which celebrates the collective experience of seeing cinema in a darkened, and in this case dilapidated old auditorium, alongside my appreciation of my own hometown movie house, the Alger, which opened in 1940 and closed last year, one more victim of economics and the move toward digital distribution and exhibition.


“You mean to tell me my uncle actually charged people to go in there? And people actually paid?” –Matt Spenser (Bill Travers) upon first seeing the condition of the Bijou Kinema, in The Smallest Show on Earth

In Basil Dearden’s charming and wistful 1957 British comedy The Smallest Show on Earth (also
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Drive-In Dust Offs: The House That Dripped Blood (1971)

From the mid sixties to the mid seventies, omnibus (or anthology, or portmanteau if you’re really fancy) horror films were big business. And Amicus Productions ruled the roost. Between ’65 and ’74 they released seven such films, starting with Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors (not to be confused with Dr. Tongue’s Evil House of Pancakes) and culminating with From Beyond the Grave. Today’s film lands in the middle, The House that Dripped Blood (1971) showcasing a company just starting to hit their stride with anthologies.

Popularity of the omnibus format has ebbed and flowed throughout the last 50 years; after Amicus stopped making them, George Romero and Stephen King collaborated on one of the finest, Creepshow (1982), which didn’t so much kick start a revival as have everyone afraid to compete. Throughout the late ‘80s and ‘90s there were pockets of inspiration, Tales from the Hood (1995) and of course HBO
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The Last Great Horror Icon Is Gone: Where Are the Future Scare Masters?

  • Cinelinx
With the death of horror film legend Christopher Lee, the last of the legendary honor guard of horror has passed on. He was part of an elite group that created the horror genre. Lee’s passing is a reminder that it’s been a long time since we had a new horror film superstar. Is the day of the horror film specialist gone forever? Where are the big-screen boogie-men for the 21st century?

Once upon a time there were a group of actors, known as the ‘screen boogiemen’ who created the horror film/monster movie genre (starting in Universal Studios and later in Hammer Studios.) They were specialists who understood the psychology and performance style of horror cinema and became legends in the industry. The first was silent film star Lon Chaney Sr. (Phantom of the Opera, London After Midnight, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, the Unholy Three, the Monster,
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Drive-In Dust Offs: The Curse Of Frankenstein

Oh, to have been there at the drive-in in 1957 when this came out. Drive-ins were peaking in popularity, with over 4000 far and wide across North America providing countless hours of entertainment for youngsters, teenagers, and parents alike. However, if I was a little one and had seen this lurid and terrifying spectacle bleeding from the enormous outdoor screen, looming over the family car, I probably would have cried for my dad to rip off the attached speaker from the car window and make for the safety of home. And fast.

Released in the early summer of 1957, The Curse of Frankenstein was a huge hit worldwide, delighting audiences and – wait for it – appalling reviewers at the time. This isn’t much of a surprise. Curse is different from the Universal monster films of yore; even though it is set in the 1800’s, it has a direct, hip, and dare I say
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Ten truly memorable zombies

Are zombies really that memorable? When you think about it, today’s undead munchers are not exactly an interesting crowd since all they do between meals is wander around in a trance. The pre Romero vegetarians are even worse, as they spend most of their time under the thumb of a zombie master, although on the odd occasion they do rebel against their tyrannical leader.

Zombie movies are a dime a dozen these days, and apart from a few moderately successful variations, they haven’t progressed beyond the flesh-eating antics of Night of the Living Dead (1968). But on the odd occasion a couple of zombies stand out from the faceless crowd of walking corpses, and what some these ghouls lack in personality, they make up for in other ways.

So here’s a list of ten memorable zombies that stood out for me, as an avid horror movie fan.

See full article at Shadowlocked »

Fright Rags Unveils Limited Edition EC Comics Shirts, Featuring Classic Cover Art

  • DailyDead
Stephen King and George A. Romero grew up reading EC Comics. The macabre mayhem packed within those paneled pages provided horrific food for thought to the minds that would later produce awesome works of terror. Now Fright Rags is paying tribute to the timelessly influential horror comics publisher with a set of limited edition T-shirts featuring designs of classic EC Comics covers.

Fright Rags’ EC Comics shirts will be available for pre-order beginning this Friday, September 26th at 10:00am Est, and they are set to ship in early November. Expect a 5-6 week shipping period on all orders. These customized shirts are $27 per item, limited to 250 apiece, are printed in full color on 100% cotton shirts, and are available in the following shirts and sizes:

T-shirt – Small – 5x-Large Girl Shirt – Small – 2x-Large Zippered Hoodie (+ $20 design on back) – Small – 3x-Large

The artists and titles of the shirts are as follows:

See full article at DailyDead »

Happy Birthday Peter Cushing!

Very few actors had the kind of impact that Peter Cushing had on genre cinema. With a career that spanned nearly five decades, Peter Cushing had the chance to play Van Helsing, Victor Frankenstein, Doctor Who, Sherlock Holmes and dozens of other memorable characters, including Star Wars‘ Grand Moff Tarkin. Today would have been Peter Cushing’s 101st birthday and I thought it would be a great opportunity to highlight a number of his films, especially some of his lesser-known films, for new horror fans who may just be getting into Hammer films and other cult classics.

Born on May 26th, 1913 in Surrey, England, Peter Cushing would take on his first movie role in 1939′s The Man in the Iron Mask. His big splash in horror movies, and a long-time friendship with Christopher Lee, started with 1957′s The Curse of Frankenstein and continued for nearly forty years. While his role
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Diy Monster Makers: Retro-Style Classic Horror Figures by Distinctive Dummies

  • FEARnet
Diy Monster Makers: Retro-Style Classic Horror Figures by Distinctive Dummies
Most fans and collectors of vintage action figures have a soft spot for the toys turned out by Mego Corporation in the '70s. Their 8” action figure collections included classic monsters, Marvel and DC superheroes, and TV & movie characters based on everything from The Wizard of Oz to Charlie's Angels and Planet of the Apes. While Mego rode off into toy history in the early '80s (and we let out a collective sigh of mourning), custom artisans have taken it upon themselves to resurrect that company's style, from figure designs and costumes to the vintage box art. One of the new players in the retro-figure game is Thailand-based outfit Distinctive Dummies, who create limited-edition series of 8” retro-style horror movie figures, in addition to their original 12” figure line. Distinctive's limited editions include incredible likenesses of Vincent Price's characters in The Abominable Dr. Phibes and House on Haunted Hill (including
See full article at FEARnet »

Top 10 bad Santas

Top 10 Simon Williams Dec 21, 2012

You don’t want to find yourself on the naughty list when any of these Santas come to town…

Earlier this year we heard that Hot Tub Time Machine director Steve Pink had signed on to direct the follow-up to Terry Zwigoff’s 2003 black comedy hit, Bad Santa. As the festive season approaches, here's our look at the movies’ top ten villainous Father Christmases.

10. Santa Claus – Santa’s Slay (2005)

In this dark comedy horror, Santa Claus (played by former wrestling star Bill Goldberg) is actually a demon who, after years of killing on Christmas Day, is defeated by an angel in the year 1005 Ad and sentenced to deliver Christmas presents and good cheer instead for a thousand years. In 2005, having done his time, the evil Santa arrives on his sleigh pulled by his “hell-deer” to resume the killing once again.

On The Naughty List Because: In
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DVD Release: The House That Dripped Blood

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Feb. 26, 2013

Price: DVD $19.95

Studio: Hen’s Tooth

Ingrid Pitt vamps in The House That Dripped Blood.

British horror legends Christopher Lee (The Lord of the Rings trilogy) and the late Peter Cushing (Star Wars: Episode IV- A New Hope) star in the 1970 British horror film The House That Dripped Blood, which has long been out-of-print on DVD.

Here’s the set-up: A Scotland Yard Inspector’s (John Holloway) search for a missing film star (John Pertwee) leads him to a haunted house. The house sets the framework for four separate tales of terror.

All four stories center on the mysterious fates of tenants who have leased the mansion over the years: A writer’s murderous creation comes to life; a wax figure leads to a fatal argument between two men; a young girl becomes obsessed with witchcraft; and a film star buys a cape that adds
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Orloff: 'Apparitions Among the Graveyard Skies' – CD Review

  • FEARnet
Orloff: 'Apparitions Among the Graveyard Skies' – CD Review
There's a gazillion horror-themed metal bands out there, and while they're usually enthusiastic and sincere, only a handful manage to distinguish themselves with both talent and originality. So it's always an exciting moment, especially on Halloween, to unearth a black diamond of musical horror in the genre. There are also dozens of indie labels out there specializing in horror music, but one of the more prominent names in the field is Razorback Records, who have discovered some intriguing artists of many modes, ranging from old-school giallo rock like Sweden's Anima Morte and analog electronics with an '80s slasher vibe, to straight-up splatter-metal nastiness. One of the label's latest metal acquisitions is the Louisiana-based outfit Orloff, who take their name from Nosferatu's legendary villain and drape their death, doom and black metal creations in a shroud of gothic atmosphere. After hearing a three-song demo titled Swamp of the Ravens (named
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Newest in Roy Ashton Collection: Peter Cushing/Arthur Grimsdyke Action Figure!

Roy Ashton is known as one of the greatest make up artists to work in film, working for Hammer and Amicus and doing fantastic work in the horror genre. He’s a FM favorite.

Distinctive Dummies‘ newest action figure in the Roy Ashton collection is a 12″ Arthur Grimsdyke, from the Amicus film Tales From The Crypt. From the “Poetic Justice” segment, Roy turned actor Peter Cushing’s “kind hearted pensioner, Arthur Grimsdyke, into an undead Zombie who rises from the grave to wreak his ghostly revenge on the person who wronged him.”

The action figure comes with a custom pro print box, custom hand made clothing, and a torn out heart… all of which is authorized by the Roy Ashton estate.

It’s priced at $104.99 and ships July 23rd, and can be ordered here.
See full article at Famous Monsters of Filmland »

Retro Review: Asylum (1972)

Anthologies have always been a personal favorite of mine; I grew up hooked on series such as Amazing Stories, Monsters, and of course, the infamous Tales from the Crypt. One of the hardest things to pull off with an anthology film, is creating an interesting and easy to follow plot to connect each of the short stories it includes. When it comes to examples of a well planned and executed framing plot, the 1972 horror classic Asylum is always the first film that comes to mind.

Produced by Amicus (The Vault of Horror, Tales from the Crypt) the film revolves around a young psychiatrist applying for a position at an insane asylum. Upon arrival, the psychiatrist is informed that the previous doctor, whose job he is applying for has now become a patient. In order to prove himself worthy of the job, the young psychiatrist must past a test. After interviewing
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SXSW Review: ‘Little Deaths’ is Dirty, Vile, But We Like it Anyway

Lots of great stuff comes from Great Britain. Fish and chips, the Beatles, history, and the basis for all American television are but a few of the treasures that we’ve looked on with jealousy…and then shamelessly imported. Of course, movies and horror in particular are no exception, but perhaps one of the greatest things that the British perfected was the horror anthology. Amicus made a name for themselves with great anthology films like Tales from the Crypt, From Beyond the Grave and Asylum, films that starred fine British actors like Peter Cushing and Donald Pleasance. Taking a page from the past, three crazy directors have banded together to produce a new British anthology film, Little Deaths. It opens with Sean Hogan’s story entitled House & Home. Richard and Victoria are a typical couple, solidly upper middle class, maybe even more well to do than that. It’s clear from the get go that Victoria is
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