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Now displaying: Category: Decades of Horror 1970s
May 17, 2019

"Don't ask who I am or how I know, but there's going to be another of those killings today." Yes, another of those killings. Join your faithful Grue Crew - Doc Rotten, Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, and Jeff Mohr - as they pay tribute to the late Larry Cohen and discuss what is possibly his most underrated film, God Told Me To.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 96 – God Told Me To (1976)

A New York detective investigates a series of murders committed by random New Yorkers who claim that "God told them to."

Imdb

 

Larry Cohen, a legitimate genre legend, passed away on March 23, 2019. With Decades of Horror having already covered three Larry Cohen films - It’s Alive, The Stuff, and Q: The Winged Serpent -  the 1970s’ Grue Crew decided to remember him by delving into God Told Me To (1976).

Bill calls God Told Me To the “Larry Cohen-est” of all the Larry Cohen films and commends Cohen’s all-or-nothing philosophy of filmmaking while tackling the ideas included in this film on a low budget. To Doc, God Told Me To delivers Cohen’s best representation of the New York of the 1970s and delights in his use of stock footage from Space 1999. Andy Kaufman’s role in the film. Jeff reminds everyone of another Mike Kellen role in a legendary 1980s horror film and is again stunned by the “vagina-thing” that makes multiple appearances. Chad’s history with God Told Me To began with a lot of false starts until he eventually discovered the twist within the story and how it parallelled the public interest in Erich Von Daniken’s Chariots of the God.

As you’ve probably noticed, the Grue Crew loves Larry Cohen and loves God Told Me To more every time they watch it. God Told Me To is currently available on Shudder so check it out!

We want to hear from you – the coolest, grooviest fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1970s podcast hosts at docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

May 9, 2019

"There's something in the water at Lost River Lake. Something you can't see...something you can't feel...until it's too late!" Hey! That sounds like a great place to put a kids’ camp and an Aquarena vacation resort! Join your faithful Grue Crew - Doc Rotten, Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, and Jeff Mohr - as they maneuver their log raft through the perilous waters inhabited by Piranha!

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 95 – Piranha (1978)

When flesh-eating piranhas are accidentally released into a summer resort's rivers, the guests become their next meal.


IMDb

 

Piranha sailed unabashedly in the wake of the success of Jaws (1975), mimicking its story structure and several of its scenes. Joe Dante was glad to have the chance to direct his first feature and did his best to satisfy producer Rober Corman's repeated demands for, “More blood! More blood!”

It’s no surprise that Bill brings up the stop motion animated critter, assuming any coherent plot involvement and follow through was lost in budget cuts. Doc digs the after kill practical effects created by Rob Bottin in his first credited effort and recounts the two scenes that scared him the most in his youth. Chad professes his infatuation for water-creature-based horror movies and relates an experience from his youth that might explain his feelings.  He also loves Dick Miller’s portrayal of a Texan shouting, “Schmuck!” Jeff points out the score by Pino Donaggio, whose first film credit is for Don’t Look Now (1973) and who later became a favorite of Brian de Palma. He also extolls the virtues of the Scream Factory Blu-ray and its extras. In case you’re interested, Scream Factory is releasing a Limited Edition Steelbook with new content on June 11, 2019.

Your Grue Crew highly recommend this Roger Corman - Joe Dante collaboration. Though it's relatively low budget, Piranha is a funfilled gorefest. If for no other reason, tune in to hear Doc practice his piranha sound effect throughout the podcast.

We want to hear from you – the coolest, grooviest fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1970s podcast hosts at docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

May 6, 2019

“Why does the doctor always come at night?” It’s just a guess, but maybe he’s one of the children of the night? Join this episode’s Grue Crew - Whitney Collazo, Joseph Perry, Chad Hunt, and Jeff Mohr - as they visit the somnambulistic world of Carl Theodor Dreyer in his underrated classic, Vampyr (1932).

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 55 – Vampyr(1932)

A mysterious, somnambulistic young man wanders into a village where a castle owner's daughters are endangered by an elderly vampire and her associates.

- TCM.com

 

  • Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer (as Carl Th. Dreyer)
  • Writers: Sheridan Le Fanu (based on a book by) (as J. Sheridan Le Fanu), Christen Jul (screenplay), Carl Theodor Dreyer
  • Featured Cast:
    • Julian West (Nicolas de Gunzburg) as Allan Grey
    • Maurice Schutz as Der Schlossherr (The Lord of the Manor)
    • Rena Mandel as Gisèle
    • Sybille Schmitz as Léone
    • Jan Hieronimko as Der Dorfartz (The Village Doctor)
    • Henriette Gérard as Die alte Frau von Friedhof (The Old Woman from the Cemetery, Marguerite Chopin)
    • Albert Bras as Der alte Diener (The Old Servant)
    • N. Babanini as Seine Frau (His Wife)
    • Jane Mora as Die Krankenschwester (The Nurse)
    • Georges Boidin as Limping Man

Vampyr is as enigmatic a film as Dreyer is a filmmaker and despite the negative reviews at its release, has become somewhat of an underrated classic. Dreyer expects a lot from the audience so the plot is not an easy story to follow.

Whitney loves the visuals and wants to see it again to gain a better understanding. A film class was Joseph’s first experience with Vampyr and the most memorable scene for him is the death of the village doctor under an ever-growing mound of milled flour. Chad is seriously creeped out by the shadow people along with many other scenes and believes Vampyr is a bonafide horror classic. The extras included on the Criterion Blu-ray of the film gave Jeff a better understanding and Vampyr has rapidly become one of his favorite films. The Grue Crew gives Vampyr an enthusiastic recommendation! Be ready for a relatively opaque story accompanied by a visual feast!

The Decades of Horror: The Classic Era Grue Crew plan to release a new episode every other week. Hey, where else will you hear podcasts on films ranging from Nosferatu (1922) to Psycho (1960) to Strangler of the Swamp (1946)? The next episode in our very flexible schedule will be Nightmare (1964), a journey into mystery and psychological horror from Hammer Films.

Please send us feedback on the films we cover, ideas for future films, or the podcast itself. After all, without you, we’re just four somnambulistic horror freaks talking about the films we love. Send us an email at feedback@gruesomemagazine.com or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, the Gruesome Magazine Horror News Radio Facebook group or your friendly neighborhood podcast aggregator.

To each of you from each of us, “Thank you so much for listening!

Apr 24, 2019

"Are you telling me that an ape that lived two million years ago got out of that crate, killed the baggage man and put him in there, then locked everything up neat and tidy, and got away?"  Damn straight! Better bring in Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee to save the planet! Join your faithful Grue Crew - Doc Rotten, Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, and Jeff Mohr - as they take a ride on the Trans-Siberian Railroad, better known to those who ride it as the Horror Express.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 94 – Horror Express (1972)

In 1906, in China, a British anthropologist discovers a frozen prehistoric creature and must transport it to Europe by train.

IMDb

  • Director: Eugenio Martín (as Gene Martin)
  • Writers: Arnaud d'Usseau, Julian Zimet
  • Producer: Bernard Gordon
  • Music: John Cacavas
  • Featured Cast:
    • Christopher Lee as Professor Sir Alexander Saxton
    • Peter Cushing as Dr. Wells
    • Silvia Tortosa as Countess Irina Petrovski (dubbed by Olive Gregg)
    • Telly Savalas as Captain Kazan
    • Alberto de Mendoza as Father Pujardov (dubbed by Robert Rietti)
    • Helga Liné as Natasha (dubbed by Olive Gregg)
    • Alice Reinheart as Miss Jones (dubbed by Olive Gregg)
    • Julio Peña as Inspector Mirov (dubbed by Roger Delgado)
    • Ángel del Pozo as Yevtushenko
    • José Jaspe as Conductor Konev
    • George Rigaud as Count Marion Petrovski

Does it need to be said how much Doc loves Horror Express? Peter Cushing! ‘Nuff said? Bill points out this is one of the few films in which Peter Cushing’s and Christopher Lee’s characters are working together and are both card-carrying members of the “good guys club.” The resemblance of Horror Express to John W. Campbell’s “Who Goes There?” was immediately obvious to Chad and made it a film he loves to love. Jeff digs Telly Savalas’ bigger-than-life performance and discusses producer Bernard Gordon’s writing career and time on the blacklist. The Grue Crew unanimously thought the “dinosaur-on-the-inside-back-of-the-eyeball” gimmick was pretty ridiculous but still cool as hell.

Basically, your faithful Grue Crew could not heap enough praise on Horror Express. Doc and Jeff pretty much geeked out on the quality and all the extras on the recent Arrow Blu-ray release and think everyone in the universe should own it!

We want to hear from you – the coolest, grooviest fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1970s podcast hosts at docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

Apr 10, 2019

"I don’t mind making it on the lawn. You wanna make it on the lawn?" Sure sounds like a line of dialogue from a movie from the 1970s, but a horror movie? Join your faithful Grue Crew - Doc Rotten, Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, and Jeff Mohr - as they follow the sound of Donovan’s voice and end up somewhere between night and dawn with George Romero’s Season of the Witch.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 93 – Season of the Witch (1972)

Synopsis:

A bored, unhappy suburban housewife gets mixed up in witchcraft and murder.


- IMDb

 

  • Writer/Director: George A. Romero
  • Featured Cast:
    • Jan White as Joan Mitchell
    • Raymond Laine as Gregg Williamson
    • Ann Muffly as Shirley Randolph
    • Joedda McClain as Nikki Mitchell
    • Bill Thunhurst as Jack Mitchell
    • Esther Lapidus as Sylvia
    • Neil Fisher as Doctor Miller
    • Virginia Greenwald as Marion Hamilton
    • Bill Hinzman as The Intruder

Season of the Witch, aka Jack’s Wife, aka Hungry Wives, is one of Romero’s lesser known works but it still packs enough content to make it worth the watch. This one was Chad’s pick and he managed to find a film by the legendary director that none of the Grue Crew had seen! Bill discusses how the story’s premise is grounded in the women’s liberation movement of the ‘70s and makes sure to point out that Bill Hinzman, who plays The Intruder in this film, also played the ghoul that killed Barbara’s brother in Night of the Living Dead. The more Doc talks about the film, the more he finds to like, especially Raymond Laine’s performance as Gregg, the hip, philandering college professor. Jeff, on the other hand, takes a liking to Ann Muffly’s portrayal of Joan’s friend Shirley and doesn’t take kindly to the fake-pot-prank Gregg plays on her at a party. The entire Grue Crew commended Jan White for her lead performance and agree that true horror fans, especially Romero completists, should see Season of the Witch.

We want to hear from you – the coolest, grooviest fans: leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1970s podcast hosts at docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

Mar 20, 2019

"If it were in your power, would you sacrifice your wife, your children for immortality? This is the story of a man who did!" The lesson? You have to keep your priorities straight. Join your faithful Grue Crew - Doc Rotten, Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, and Jeff Mohr - as they dive into the deep, dark hole where dwells The Asphyx.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 92 – The Asphyx (1972)

Synopsis:
English country squire Sir Hugo Cunningham searches for immortality by literally 'bottling up' the Spirit of the Dead, or Asphyx.

- IMDb

 

  • Director: Peter Newbrook
  • Writers:
    • Brian Comport
    • (story by) Christina Beers, Laurence Beers
  • Cinematographer: Freddie Young
  • Featured Cast:

The Decades of Horror 1970s Grue Crew unanimously expressed the following opinions regarding The Asphyx: 1) It’s based on a great premise; 2) Its reach exceeds its grasp; 3) The Asphyx is ripe … for a remake; 4) There has to be a better title! They had a bit of juvenile fun with that title. Chad couldn’t stop giggling while watching the movie and Jeff got caught up by it during the podcast.

The Asphyx is Peter Newbrook’s sole output as a director but Bill points out Newbrook’s experience as a camera operator on renowned films such as The Bridge On the River Kwai (1957) and Lawrence of Arabia (1962). In recalling the story, Jeff and Bill trade ridiculously complex and failure-prone methods devised to expose the Asphyx and Doc and Chad join in.

Your Grue Crew gives The Asphyx an enthusiastic recommendation. Despite some of the ridiculous and laughable choices made by the filmmakers, The Asphyx is an entertaining film with good acting from the four leads - Robert Stephens, Robert Powell, Jane Lapotaire, and the guinea pig - as well as excellent cinematography by Freddie Young. The Asphyx was available on Shudder when this episode was recorded but has since been taken down. It is currently available VOD on Amazon and as a Kino Lorber Blu ray.

We want to hear from you – the coolest, grooviest fans: leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1970s podcast hosts at docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

Feb 21, 2019

"Nothing is what it seems." You can say that again, especially when Nicolas Roeg is the director of the film. Join your faithful Grue Crew - Doc Rotten, Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, and Jeff Mohr - as they don their red raincoats in the rainy, English countryside and make a trip to Venice, Italy as depicted by Nicolas Roeg in his 1973 classic, Don’t Look Now.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 91 – Don’t Look Now (1973)

Synopsis: A married couple grieving the recent death of their young daughter are in Venice when they encounter two elderly sisters, one of whom is psychic and brings a warning from beyond.

The Decades of Horror 1970s Grue Crew is in universal awe of director Nicolas Roeg’s work in this film. Bill professes his undying love for Julie Christie’s mind and thinks Don’t Look Now is so well done, it would make an ideal subject for a film school project. It’s the legendary sex scene that Chad first heard about, but he now appreciates the movie for the complete cinematic experience it delivers. Doc is a fan of Donald Sutherland’s work and his performance in Don’t Look Now and reveals another set of leads that might have replaced Christie and Sutherland. Roeg’s penchant for depicting time as fluid rather than linear impressed Jeff as did all of the recurring motifs he uses in the film.

Don’t Look Now receives an enthusiastic thumbs-up from all of the members of the Grue Crew! It is currently available to stream on SHUDDER and Jeff also highly recommends the Criterion Blu-ray edition.

We want to hear from you – the coolest, grooviest fans: leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1970s podcast hosts at docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.


Feb 4, 2019

"Mind the doors!" is the haunting words uttered from the cannibalistic beast that searches for food in the forgotten classic, Deathline (1972), which U.S. drive-ins projected as Raw Meat. Join your faithful Grue Crew - Doc Rotten, Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, and Jeff Mohr - as they travel to the abandoned "tubes" under London along with Donald Pleasence and Christopher Lee.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode90 – Deathline aka Raw Meat (1973)

Synopsis:
There's something pretty grisly going on under London in the Tube tunnels between Holborn and Russell Square. When a top civil servant becomes the latest to disappear down there Scotland Yard start to take the matter seriously. Helping them are a young couple who get nearer to the horrors underground than they would wish.

IMDb

  • Writer/Director: Gary Sherman
  • Featured Cast:
    • Donald Pleasence as Inspector Calhoun
    • Norman Rossington as Detective Sergeant Rogers
    • David Ladd as Alex Campbell
    • Sharon Gurney as Patricia Wilson
    • Hugh Armstrong as The 'Man'
    • June Turner as The 'Woman'
    • Clive Swift as Inspector Richardson
    • James Cossins as James Manfred, OBE
    • Christopher Lee as Stratton-Villiers, MI5

Despite the misleading U.S. poster for "Raw Meat," the film, under its original title of DEATHLINE, is a curious and fascinating gem. Many horror fans know of the film, but not everyone has seen it. The under-appreciated classic has a lot going for it: a skilled direction from Gary Sherman (Dead & Buried); a delightfully funny performance from Donald Pleasence; a cameo from the legendary Christopher Lee; and, a creepy underground dwelling cannibal family known only as "him" and "her." The Grue-Crew dive into the movie's tone, effects, and cast as they discover many of the crew are catching it for the very first time. It may be time for you to do so as well...

We want to hear from you – the coolest, grooviest fans: leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1970s podcast hosts at docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

Jan 17, 2019

"Scream…So They Can Find You!" … because they’re dead … and they’re blind, don’t ‘cha know? Gruesome Magazine Patreon members have spoken in the latest poll to choose the film for this episode of Decades of Horror 1970s! Join your faithful Grue Crew - Doc Rotten, Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, and Jeff Mohr - as they take their second trip to Amando de Ossorio’s land of the Blind Dead in the curiously titled second film in the series, Return of the Evil Dead (1973).

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 89 – Return of the Evil Dead (1973)

Synopsis: 500 years after they were blinded and executed for committing human sacrifices, a band of Templar knights returns from the grave to terrorize a rural Portuguese village during its centennial celebration. Taking refuge in a deserted cathedral, a small group of people must find a way to escape from the creatures.

The Decades of Horror 1970s Grue Crew covered Tombs of the Blind Dead, the first film of Ossorio’s 4-film Blind Dead series, back in February 2016 on Episode 30. It beat out Texas Chainsaw Massacre (just to name one) in our first Patreon Poll! It took three years and another Patreon Poll for us to get around to the second movie in the series, Return of the Evil Dead, aka Return of the Blind Dead, and El ataque de los muertos sin ojos (original title). We promise it probably won’t take that long to get to the next one!

Chad and Jeff had never seen Return of the Evil Dead before and were delighted with what they saw. Chad thought the Mayor might be one of the most despicable characters he’d seen in a horror film. The humor in this movie caught Jeff’s attention as he noticed there is quite a bit more than is found in Tombs of the Blind Dead. Doc was tickled with the set up to a one-against-four embroglio between the protagonist and the Mayor’s gang of thugs. Once again, Bill’s encyclopedic knowledge of 1970s horror films comes in handy as the Grue Crew’s discussion branches into other films and he laments Ossorio’s never having a budget large enough to realize his full vision. Return of the Evil Dead receives the Grue Crew’s unanimous recommendation to lovers of 70s horror films. It is currently streaming on SHUDDER so if you haven’t seen it, what are you waiting for?

Rounding out the episode, Doc reads some listener feedback from Andy and saltyessentials on Episode 85 - Infra-Man, Episode 86 - Lake of Dracula, and Episode 87 - The Night Strangler.

We want to hear from you – the coolest, grooviest fans: leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1970s podcast hosts at docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

Jan 17, 2019

"Scream…So They Can Find You!" … because they’re dead … and they’re blind, don’t ‘cha know? Gruesome Magazine Patreon members have spoken in the latest poll to choose the film for this episode of Decades of Horror 1970s! Join your faithful Grue Crew - Doc Rotten, Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, and Jeff Mohr - as they take their second trip to Amando de Ossorio’s land of the Blind Dead in the curiously titled second film in the series, Return of the Evil Dead (1973).

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 89 – Return of the Evil Dead (1973)

Synopsis: 500 years after they were blinded and executed for committing human sacrifices, a band of Templar knights returns from the grave to terrorize a rural Portuguese village during its centennial celebration. Taking refuge in a deserted cathedral, a small group of people must find a way to escape from the creatures.

The Decades of Horror 1970s Grue Crew covered Tombs of the Blind Dead, the first film of Ossorio’s 4-film Blind Dead series, back in February 2016 on Episode 30. It beat out Texas Chainsaw Massacre (just to name one) in our first Patreon Poll! It took three years and another Patreon Poll for us to get around to the second movie in the series, Return of the Evil Dead, aka Return of the Blind Dead, and El ataque de los muertos sin ojos (original title). We promise it probably won’t take that long to get to the next one!

Chad and Jeff had never seen Return of the Evil Dead before and were delighted with what they saw. Chad thought the Mayor might be one of the most despicable characters he’d seen in a horror film. The humor in this movie caught Jeff’s attention as he noticed there is quite a bit more than is found in Tombs of the Blind Dead. Doc was tickled with the set up to a one-against-four embroglio between the protagonist and the Mayor’s gang of thugs. Once again, Bill’s encyclopedic knowledge of 1970s horror films comes in handy as the Grue Crew’s discussion branches into other films and he laments Ossorio’s never having a budget large enough to realize his full vision. Return of the Evil Dead receives the Grue Crew’s unanimous recommendation to lovers of 70s horror films. It is currently streaming on SHUDDER so if you haven’t seen it, what are you waiting for?

Rounding out the episode, Doc reads some listener feedback from Andy and saltyessentials on Episode 85 - Infra-Man, Episode 86 - Lake of Dracula, and Episode 87 - The Night Strangler.

We want to hear from you – the coolest, grooviest fans: leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1970s podcast hosts at docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

Jan 3, 2019

"It's the year 2022… People are still the same. They'll do anything to get what they need. And they need SOYLENT GREEN." It kind of makes you hungry, doesn’t it? Join your faithful Grue Crew - Doc Rotten, Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, and Jeff Mohr - as they tag along with Charlton Heston and Edward G. Robinson while they try to solve a murder case and partake of some delectable treats along the way in the world of Soylent Green.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 88 – Soylent Green (1973)

In 1966, Harry Harrison wrote a science fiction novel titled Make Room! Make Room! about the effects of rampant population growth on society and the planet. In 1973, the movie loosely based on Harrison’s book and titled Soylent Green was released. Soylent Green differed from Harrison’s novel in a lot of ways, but one, the addition of a form of cannibalism, has garnered the film a position in the cultural zeitgeist of the 45 years since its release.

Soylent Green is directed by Richard Fleischer from a script adapted from the novel and written by Stanley R. Greenberg with an extraordinary cast of stars, former stars, and character actors including Charlton Heston, Edward G. Robinson, Joseph Cotton, Chuck Connors, Leigh Taylor-Young, Brock Peters, Whit Bissell, Dick Van Patten, Mike Henry, Leonard Stone, Roy Jenson, and many more. The filmmakers do an impressive job of creating a dark, even depressing, world fifty years in their future where systemic corruption is the order of the day.

The Grue Crew is universal in their admiration of this film. Soylent Green was another checkmark on Doc's bucket list and he was surprised at how the story and the characters pulled him in even though he had known the punchline for years. Bill was surprised at how much the filmmakers got right in their predictions of the future and points out what a solid, journeyman director Richard Fleischer was. Edward G. Robinson’s performance in the face of his failing health made a lasting impression on Jeff as did the place held by women in the nihilistic future depicted in Soylent Green. Chad relates how unnerved he was by the future life depicted in Soylent Green and how the possibility of it coming true seemed so real.

Soylent Green is a dark, dark movie with a powerful message delivered by equally powerful performances, especially that delivered by Edward G. Robinson in what turned out to be his last role. The film receives the highest recommendation from your Grue Crew.

We want to hear from you – the coolest, grooviest fans: leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1970s podcast hosts at docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

Jan 3, 2019

"It's the year 2022… People are still the same. They'll do anything to get what they need. And they need SOYLENT GREEN." It kind of makes you hungry, doesn’t it? Join your faithful Grue Crew - Doc Rotten, Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, and Jeff Mohr - as they tag along with Charlton Heston and Edward G. Robinson while they try to solve a murder case and partake of some delectable treats along the way in the world of Soylent Green.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 88 – Soylent Green (1973)

In 1966, Harry Harrison wrote a science fiction novel titled Make Room! Make Room! about the effects of rampant population growth on society and the planet. In 1973, the movie loosely based on Harrison’s book and titled Soylent Green was released. Soylent Green differed from Harrison’s novel in a lot of ways, but one, the addition of a form of cannibalism, has garnered the film a position in the cultural zeitgeist of the 45 years since its release.

Soylent Green is directed by Richard Fleischer from a script adapted from the novel and written by Stanley R. Greenberg with an extraordinary cast of stars, former stars, and character actors including Charlton Heston, Edward G. Robinson, Joseph Cotton, Chuck Connors, Leigh Taylor-Young, Brock Peters, Whit Bissell, Dick Van Patten, Mike Henry, Leonard Stone, Roy Jenson, and many more. The filmmakers do an impressive job of creating a dark, even depressing, world fifty years in their future where systemic corruption is the order of the day.

The Grue Crew is universal in their admiration of this film. Soylent Green was another checkmark on Doc's bucket list and he was surprised at how the story and the characters pulled him in even though he had known the punchline for years. Bill was surprised at how much the filmmakers got right in their predictions of the future and points out what a solid, journeyman director Richard Fleischer was. Edward G. Robinson’s performance in the face of his failing health made a lasting impression on Jeff as did the place held by women in the nihilistic future depicted in Soylent Green. Chad relates how unnerved he was by the future life depicted in Soylent Green and how the possibility of it coming true seemed so real.

Soylent Green is a dark, dark movie with a powerful message delivered by equally powerful performances, especially that delivered by Edward G. Robinson in what turned out to be his last role. The film receives the highest recommendation from your Grue Crew.

We want to hear from you – the coolest, grooviest fans: leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1970s podcast hosts at docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

Dec 20, 2018

"This is the story behind the most incredible series of murders to ever occur in the city of Seattle, Washington. You never read about them in your local newspapers or heard about them on your local radio or television station. Why? Because the facts were watered down, torn apart, and reassembled… in a word, falsified." Join your faithful Grue Crew - Doc Rotten, Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, and Jeff Mohr - while they once again hangout with Carl Kolchak, this time in Seattle, as he solves the case of The Night Strangler (1973).

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 87 – The Night Strangler (1973)

After the success of The Night Stalker in 1972, Dan Curtis gathered the gang back together and the result was The Night Strangler. The gang, of course, included Richard Matheson to write the screenplay, and Darren McGavin and Simon Oakland to reprise their roles as Carl Kolchak and Tony Vincenzo. This time, producer Curtis would also direct and Bob Cobert would again provide the music. In his second appearance, Kolchak is after a killer that inhabits the Seattle Underground. His investigation discovers that six women have been murdered every 21 years since 1868, and guess what? Nobody believes Kolchak.

The crew of The Night Strangler is rounded out by seasoned veterans: cinematographer Robert B. Hauser and editor Folmar Blangsted. Curtis then gathered up some of the best character actors in the business to support McGavin and Oakland, including Jo Ann Pflug, Scott Brady, Wally Cox, Margaret Hamilton, John Carradine, Al Lewis, and last, but not least, Richard Anderson.

The Grue Crew loves The Night Strangler, almost without exception. Bill is not quite as enthusiastic as the rest but proclaims, “There is no bad Kolchak. There’s only great Kolchak and good Kolchak.” He also points out that Mathison’s script included one of the earliest depictions of a lesbian relationship on network TV, presenting Virginia Peters and Nina Wayne as husband and wife in a fairly matter-of-fact, sympathetic way. Chad once again voices his love, love, love for all things Kolchak with particular emphasis on the extra dose of humor in this outing. Doc is the Johnny-come-lately of the group as this was his first viewing of The Night Strangler, but that didn’t diminish his love for the film. In his view, this is when the relationship between Kolchak and Vincenzo depicted in the TV-series begins to take shape. Jeff also loves The Night Strangler despite its flaws, and provides a sampling of some of the extras included on the new Kino Lorber Blu-ray and pronounces it well worth the purchase price. As for as Richard Anderson? Long live Oscar Goldman!

If it’s been a bit since you’ve seen The Night Strangler, give yourself a treat. McGavin’s and Oakland’s energetic performances are a joy to watch and the constant stream of legendary supporting actors are the frosting on this Kolchak cake. 

We want to hear from you – the coolest, grooviest fans: leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1970s podcast hosts at docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

Dec 6, 2018

Who knew Dracula had a lake? Join your faithful Grue Crew - Doc Rotten, Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, and Jeff Mohr - as they go for a swim in Lake of Dracula (1971) volume two in Toho’s legendary vampire trilogy.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 86 – Lake of Dracula (1971)

At one time, because it was so hard to get, Toho’s Legacy of Dracula trilogy was thought of as a holy grail by fans of Toho and vampire movies. Through the wonders of the world in which we live, all three films are available via streaming sources and as Arrow Video Blu-rays, repackaged as The Bloodthirsty Trilogy: Vampire Doll (1970), Lake of Dracula (1971), and Evil of Dracula (1974).

Written by Ei Ogawa and Masaru Takesue, Lake of Dracula (the middle volume in the trilogy directed by Michio Yamamoto), tells the story of a Japanese descendant of Dracula in search of women to serve as his “brides.” Owing to the film’s title, it comes as no surprise that he hunts these women on the shores of a lake. The action soon moves to the vampire’s secluded home, a castle that looks curiously European, and an all-out battle ensues between one of the women’s boyfriends and Dracula’s descendant.

Of course, the Grue Crew was excited to see Lake of Dracula and, it should again be no surprise, Bill is the only one to have previously viewed Lake of Dracula. Even so, he was excited to see a visually improved version. Everyone thought the film looked very much like what you would expect a Japanese version of a Hammer Film to look like. Bill surfaced several logic flaws in the story and the lack-of-depth of the characters but loved the look of the film. The somewhat plodding and visually muted early portions of the film were a distraction to Doc and Chad. However, Doc thought the final fight sequence was one of the better vampire battles he’d seen, and Chad thought the vampire himself (Shin Kishida) was the best part of Lake of Dracula. Jeff probably liked the film the most but couldn’t argue against the existence of the plot flaws and the generally lackluster early portion of the film. His judgment was understandably clouded by his infatuation with the porcelain-faced vampire bride. The entire crew agrees, whatever you do, don’t miss the scene with the crescent wrench-wielding Kyûsaku (Kaku Takashina). It defies … logic? Or physics? Or surely, something?

Even though Lake of Dracula is not the best vampire movie you will ever see, it is definitely worth watching for the place it holds in horror history as Toho’s contribution to vampire film canon and its unique take on vampire lore.

We want to hear from you – the coolest, grooviest fans: leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1970s podcast hosts at docrotten@decadesofhorror.com. 

Nov 21, 2018

"Greetings to you, Earthlings. I am Princess Dragon Mom. I have taken over this planet. Now I own the Earth and you'll be my slaves for all eternity." Oh no! What will we ever do? Never fear fellow Earthlings! Infra-Man to the rescue! Join your faithful Grue Crew - Doc Rotten, Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, and Jeff Mohr - as they try to describe the indescribable.  Of course, the topic for this episode is the Shaw Brothers 1975 classic, Infra-Man, the man beyond bionics!

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 85 – Infra-Man (1975)

What could be more fun than a band of ten-million-year-old mutant monsters and thirty henchmen bent on owning Earth and enslaving all Earthlings? What if their fearless leader’s curiously translated title is Princess Dragon Mom? And what if the Earthlings just happen to have, at the ready, a complete set of plans for a being to battle Princess Dragon Mom and her minions? A sort of Chinese Superman, if you will? With another curious translation - and there are plenty of them - this Chinese Superman, aka Zhong guo chao ren, became known in the U.S. as Infra-Man!

Under the category of more curious translations, in the original Chinese dub, the monsters of Infra-Man are named Demon Princess Elzebub, Witch Eye, Fire Dragon, Spider Monster, Plant Monster, Drill Arm, Long-Haired Monster, and Iron Armor Monsters.  However, they are renamed in the English dub as Princess Dragon Mom, She-Demon, Emperor of Doom, Giant Beetle Monster, Octopus Mutant, Driller Beast, Laser Horn Monster, and Iron Fist Robots.

Danny Lee plays Infra-Man and because this is the third of his films covered by the Grue Crew in 2018, Doc has proclaimed Lee their actor of the year. The Oily Maniac (1976) and The Mighty Peking Man (1977) are the other two of Lee’s Shaw Brothers releases they’ve covered. Chad saw this film at the time of its U.S. theatrical release. He loved it then and he loves, loves, loves it now! He also points out some pant-splitting moments in the film that Bill and Jeff missed; they’ll have to watch it again! Though he wasn’t ga-ga over Infra-Man the first time he viewed it, Bill has gained an appreciation of the film over the years. He jokingly wonders how Infra-Man decides when to use his powers and when not to use his powers. They all agree it’s a bit of a mystery that only adds to the film’s appeal. Only Jeff had not seen Infra-Man before preparing for this podcast and he is forever grateful to Chad, Doc, and Bill for introducing him to its wonders and thinks it is one of the funniest movies he’s seen in a long while. In fact, he’s so enamored of the film, he promises his next step is to introduce it to his grand-munchkins and to search out the pant-splitting.

The members of the Grue Crew all agree Infra-Man is not a good movie by any stretch of the imagination. However, watching it is more fun than a movie should be allowed to be. It’s time to make it a family viewing tradition! The Black Saint and Chad had often trumpeted their love of Infra-Man and Princess Dragon Mom in the past and the Decades of Horror 1970s Grue Crew decided now was the time. This one’s for you, Santos.

We want to hear from you – the coolest, grooviest fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1970s podcast hosts at docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

Nov 7, 2018

"So think about it and try to tell yourself wherever you may be, in the quiet of your home, in the safety of your bed, try to tell yourself, It couldn't happen here." As all horror fans know, of course, it could happen here. It always happens here! Join your faithful Grue Crew - Doc Rotten, Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, and Jeff Mohr - as they journey back to 1970s Las Vegas with Carl Kolchak in search of The Night Stalker (1972).

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 83 – The Night Stalker (1972)

Before it premiered in 1972, no one predicted the impact The Night Stalker would have on the horror genre as seen on network television. Produced by Dan Curtis, directed by John Llewellyn Moxey, written by Richard Matheson from a novel by Jeff Rice, the film unexpectedly set a ratings record for TV-movies. Its success led to a follow-up telefilm, The Night Strangler (1973), and a legendary TV series, Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1974-1975). To top it off, The Night Stalker was the first film in the successful pairing of Curtis and Matheson that would last for half-a-dozen films through Dead of Night (1977).

The story of The Night Stalker is told through a series of audio tape recordings, documenting an unprinted story written by Carl Kolchak, a rebellious, idealistic reporter. Kolchak believes a series of killings have been committed by a vampire but, not surprisingly, he can’t seem to convince anyone else. When the powers-that-be are finally forced to face the truth, a temporarily triumphant Kolchak discovers he’s been playing a rigged game all along.

Darren McGavin is Carl Kolchak as he creates an iconic character from Matheson’s brilliant screenplay. McGavin is supported by a cast of venerable character actors that include Simon Oakland as Vincenzo, Kolchak’s editor; Ralph Meeker as Bernie Jenks, one of Kolchak’s few allies; Claude Akins as Sheriff Butcher; Kent Smith as D.A. Paine; Charles McGraw as Chief Masterson; Elisha Cook Jr. as Mickey Crawford, Kolchak’s key source; and Larry Linville as Coroner Makurji. The superlative cast of The Night Stalker is rounded out by Carol Lynley and Barry Atwater, as Kolchak’s girlfriend Gail and the vampire Janos Skorzeny, respectively.

The 1970s Grue Crew all saw the television premiere of The Night Stalker and are adamant regarding how well it holds up. Chad reflects on the after-effects experienced by his young self when he first saw the film, and emphatically declares his love for all things Kolchak. As a vampire aficionado, Bill is impressed by the feral nature of Atwater’s portrayal of Skorzeny, and voices his appreciation for the unique elements this film brings to the vampire canon. Jeff talks about how well Bob Cobert’s score enhances the film and gives some shoutouts to the classic era of horror by means of a short quiz about two of the film’s many character actors. Kolchak’s signature attire (porkpie hat and shabby suit) gets Doc fired up and the final confrontation between Kolchak and Skorzeny fans his flame even higher.  As the Grue Crew’s fearless leader, Doc does his usual masterful job keeping everyone on track and what would a Gruesome Magazine podcast be without a demonstration of his skill at the innovative pronunciation of names? How many ways can you say "Janos Skorzeny?" (We love you, Doc!)

We want to hear from you – the coolest, grooviest fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1970s podcast hosts at docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

Oct 25, 2018

"The Hands of Jack the Ripper Live Again...As His Fiendish Daughter Kills Again...And Again...And Again..." Time for another Hammer Films production from the 1970s! Join your faithful Grue Crew - Doc Rotten, Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, and Jeff Mohr - as they tear (notice I didn’t use “rip”) into Hands of the Ripper (1971).

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 83 – Hands of the Ripper (1971)

This somewhat lesser-known Hammer film is directed by Peter Sasdy and written by Lewis Davidson from a story by Edward Spencer Shew. Hands of the Ripper tells the story of Anna (Angharad Rees) who is Jack the Ripper’s daughter, and Dr. Pritchard (Eric Porter) who thinks he can save Anna from the family curse. You see, when Anna was a toddler, she witnessed the death of her mother at the hands of dear old Dad. Now, as a young woman, she seems to be carrying on her father’s work, but is it the result of psychological trauma or is she possessed by her father’s murderous soul? As Pritchard searches for the answer, the body count rises.

Without Peter Cushing or Christopher Lee, Hammer’s frequent headliners, Hands of the Ripper was bound to receive less attention than films featuring one or both of them. The cast, however, does an excellent job. Rees and Porter are supported by Jane Merrow, Pritchard’s son’s blind fiance Laura; Derek Godfrey as Dysart, a character despicable in all aspects; Dora Bryan as Mrs. Golding, a fake psychic; Margaret Rawlings as Madame Bullard, a real psychic; Marjie Lawrence as Dolly, Pritchard’s housemaid; Keith Bell as Pritchard’s son; and Lynda Baron as Long Liz, a local prostitute,.

Despite not featuring Frankenstein or Dracula, Hands of the Ripper is a worthy addition to the canon of Hammer Films. Jeff is intrigued by the killer’s innovative use of everyday items to stab their victims. This one has long been a favorite of Doc’s and he points out the use of the Baker Street set at Pinewood Studios and how it added to the atmosphere and tone of the film. As an aficionado of Ripper lore, Chad thinks this story has a unique take and notices that Long Liz, one of the real Jack the Ripper’s victims, is used as the name of a character in this film. Bill ponders whether the killer suffers from some psychological or supernatural influences and ranks this film squarely in the middle of the pack as Hammer films go. Even though the story lays its cards on the table very early, the Decades of Horror 1970s Grue Crew think The Hands of the Ripper is absolutely worth a watch.

We want to hear from you – the coolest, grooviest fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1970s podcast hosts at docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

Sep 27, 2018

"I met this... six-year-old child with this blank, pale, emotionless face, and... the blackest eyes - the Devil's eyes." There’s absolutely no doubt you know who says that and who he is talking about. Join your faithful Grue Crew - Doc Rotten, Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, and Jeff Mohr - as they prepare for 2018’s neo-sequel by taking a nostalgic, but fear-filled trip back to Haddonfield and the first time he came back. Yup, it’s the big one. They’re talking Halloween (1978).

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 82 – Halloween (1978)

Whether or not you knew about John Carpenter before the release of Halloween, you certainly knew about him after its release. There have been a total of 10 Halloween films, 9 of which include the fellow with the “blank, pale, emotionless face, and … the blackest eyes - the Devil’s eyes,” but the first one is by far the best.

Carpenter’s and Debra Hill’s script takes its time developing a place in time and space and with people that feel familiar and even comfortable, making the presence of The Shape all the more menacing. Establishing the characters and relationships of the three girls - Jamie Lee Curtis, P.J. Soles, and Nancy Kyes - adds to the familiarity and comfortableness of the world the filmmakers have created. Donald Pleasence’s performance as Dr. Loomis exponentially ramps up the feelings of dread and Nick Castle’s performance as The Shape reinforces the idea of the presence of pure evil. Combine the script and the acting with Carpenter’s direction, his landmark, chill-inducing score, and Dean Cundey’s cinematography, and Halloween becomes one of the top horror films of the 1970s.

Of course, the members of the Decades of Horror 1970s Grue Crew shout their praises for Halloween. Chad is impressed by Jamie Lee Curtis’ portrayal of Laurie Strode as the somewhat shy, good-hearted girl without a boyfriend who obviously isn’t very experienced at smoking pot, but is a formidable opponent for The Shape. Jeff points out the time the filmmakers take to create suspense and dread, for example, Laurie’s 90-second walk across the street to come to her girlfriends’ aid. Cundey’s and Carpenter’s shot construction and camera movement earn Bill’s admiration. For Doc, it’s also about the time taken for each kill, building tension to the breaking point.

Yes, the lot of them slobbered and drooled their appreciation and love all over Halloween throughout the podcast. What did you expect? Frankly, this classic deserves a few more viewings in preparation for its new sequel, Halloween (2018).

We want to hear from you – the coolest, grooviest fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1970s podcast hosts at docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

Sep 13, 2018

"Action...Excitement...Spectacle beyond your wildest dreams!" Action? Check. Excitement? Check. Spectacle beyond your wildest dreams? Check! Join your faithful Grue Crew - Doc Rotten, Chad Hunt, and Jeff Mohr (much to his chagrin, Bill Mulligan was unable to join us for this one) - as they discover a film that actually lives up to its tagline, and of course, it’s a Shaw Brothers film! Yes, they are talking about The Mighty Peking Man.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 81 – The Mighty Peking Man (1977)

Initially released August 1977 in Hong Kong. The MIghty Peking Man didn’t see a U.S. release until March 1980. Directed by Meng Hua Ho and written by Kuang Ni, this film is the Shaw Brothers effort to cash in on the hoopla surrounding the Dino De Laurentiis production, King Kong (1976).

An expedition, led by an amoral and unscrupulous businessman (Feng Ku) and an altruistic and heartbroken hero (Danny Lee) plucked from a bar, sets out to capture the legendary, titular beast depicted in The Mighty Peking Man. In their search for the giant ape, the expedition also encounters Samantha (Evelyne Kraft), a female version of the Tarzan legend, who has devloped a deep bound with the beast. Eventually, the Mighty Peking Man is captured and transported to civilization where he is shackled and put on public display in a stadium. Not surprisingly, the beast breaks free of its chains, creating panic and chaos. Even less surprisingly, the story works its way to an epic battle atop a skyscraper. Does this sound familiar?

Despite the story’s similarities with past big ape movies, The Mighty Peking Man has one key plot difference that Chad, Doc, and Jeff greatly appreciated. Samantha has been living in the jungle ever since she was a child when the Mighty Peking Man rescued her from a plane crash, solidifying an explanation for their long term bond.

Despite its low budget and relatively high cheese factor, this film has it all, including a boatload of fun! Chad has always loved the opening scene as the giant ape emerges from its lost world after an earthquake, wreaking havoc on the nearby village. Doc is particularly enamored with the sequence in which Samantha, adorned as usual in her 2-piece animal skin, climbs a light pole to escape a crowd. The Grue Crew is in agreement on the hilarity of some of the dialogue, admitting something might have been lost in translation.  

The Mighty Peking Man gets an emphatic recommendation from the Grue Crew! In fact, after covering The Oily Maniac (1976) on Episode 70 and now The Mighty Peking Man, the Grue Crew vows to cover Infra-Man (1975), another Shaw Brothers masterpiece starring Danny Lee, in the not too distant future.

We want to hear from you – the coolest, grooviest fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1970s podcast hosts at docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

Aug 30, 2018

"That's what's wrong with the present day horror films. There's no realism. Not like the old ones, the great ones. Frankenstein. Phantom of the Opera. Dracula - the one with Bela Lugosi of course, not this new fellow."  Could the speaker be referring to Christopher Lee, one of the stars of this episode’s topic? Join your faithful Grue Crew - Doc Rotten, Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, and Jeff Mohr - as they investigate the case of The House That Dripped Blood. Their first question? Where’s all the blood!

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 80 – The House That Dripped Blood (1971)

The House That Dripped Blood is the fourth Amicus Productions horror anthology your Grue Crew has covered on Decades of Horror 1970s. Directed by Peter Duffell and adapted by the legendary Robert Bloch from four of his stories, the four segments are tied together by a police detective investigating a disappearance from a peculiar house with a series of occupants who have all experienced decidedly sinister fates. The stories include “Method for Murder” - a writer’s thuggish, literary creation seems to have come to life; “Waxworks” - a forlorn man sees his lost love in a wax museum; “Sweets to the Sweet” - a stern father doesn’t want his daughter reading the wrong books or playing with dolls; and “The Cloak” - an over-the-hill actor in horror films purchases a cloak that unbeknownst to him, has mysterious powers.

The film’s all-star cast includes fan favorites Ingrid Pitt, Peter Cushing, and Christopher Lee. Additional standout performances in The House That Dripped Blood are given by Jon Pertwee, Denholm Elliott, Tom Adams, Joanna Dunham, Joss Ackland, the enigmatic Geoffrey Bayldon, Nyree Dawn Porter, and Chloe Franks.

The 70s Grue Crew is not bothered by the lack of blood (not a single drop, mind you) in The House That Dripped Blood. Bill goes on at length on how much he thinks of Ingrid Pitt, ,,, and he likes her performance in the film as well. Or maybe it is Chad who says that. Come to think of it, they are all a bit infatuated with Ms. Pitt. They all also remarked as to how disturbing Chloe Franks is as Christopher Lee’s innocent-looking daughter with the devilish smile. Jeff brings up Bloch’s tendency to build stories around ironic twists or jokes and how that tendency is in evidence in the segments of this film. Chad expresses his love for anthology films, and almost in unison, they all marvel at Geoffrey Bayldon’s quirky portrayal and just as quirky makeup as the proprietor of the shop in which the cloak is purchased. Rest assured that your Gure-Crew think The House That Dripped Blood is well worth a repeated watch and that they will definitely be covering more anthology films in the future.

We want to hear from you – the coolest, grooviest fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1970s podcast hosts at docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

Aug 15, 2018

"Well, I can't stand a thing about you, and that includes your hair!" How would you feel if your cousin came to stay and took over everything you own, including your family? Join your faithful Grue Crew - Doc Rotten, Jeff Mohr, Bill Mulligan, and Chad Hunt - as they take a short staycation with just such a family during Wes Craven’s Summer of Fear!

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 79 – Summer of Fear (1978)

This subject of this episode is the result of the podcast’s latest Patreon poll and as such, has been foisted on, … er, rather, carefully selected for the Grue Crew by the loyal listeners of Decades of Horror 1970s. Adapted from the novel Summer of Fear by Lois Duncan, a renowned writer of young-adult novels, the film was originally released as a TV-movie under the title Stranger in our House. Directed by horror icon Wes Craven, Summer of Fear is his first direct-to-television effort and premiered over a year after The Hills Have Eyes (1977). Summer of Fear tells the story of a family whose fairy tale existence is shattered when a cousin/niece comes to live with them after her parents are killed in an automobile accident. However, there is one big problem. Their guest is a witch, not a relative, and she is after everything they own.

The key figure in the story is the witch, as played by Lee Purcell, but the film’s starpower comes from Linda Blair as the family’s daughter. Her parents are played by Carol Lawrence and Jeremy Slate with Jeff East as her brother. Rounding out the cast in supporting roles are Macdonald Carey as an occult expert and early-career Fran Drescher as the daughter’s friend.

Amazingly, none of the Grue Crew had seen this film prior to preparing for the podcast. Neither Wes Craven nor Linda Blair nor even Fran Drescher had garnered their interest. Bill couldn’t  figure out why the witch couldn’t be seen in photographs, wondering when that became part of the witch canon. Jeff recalls Jeremy Slate from his earlier days in biker movies and westerns and gets a kick out of his portrayal as the bewitched father. Doc likes the film the most and enjoys seeing that much of Linda Blair, but, oh, the hair! Chad was not impressed with the witch’s here-again-gone-again Southern accent but still thought she was the most interesting character i the film. The Grue Crew universally agreed even though Summer of Fear is one of Craven’s lesser works, it’s worth a watch viewed as a picture on the world of the cast and crew at that point in their careers.

We want to hear from you – the coolest, grooviest fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1970s podcast hosts at docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

Aug 1, 2018

"Diabolical! Fiendish! Savage... You may not walk away from this one!" The Grue Crew are on a giallo kick, and as everyone knows, there’s always room for giallo. (Groan …) Join your faithful Grue Crew - Doc Rotten, Bill Mulligan, and Chad Hunt, along with guest host Chad Lab - as they count the baker’s dozen of kills delivered in Mario Bava’s A Bay of Blood.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 78 – A Bay of Blood (1971)

Like a lot of foreign films released in the U.S., A Bay of Blood had a bit of an identity problem as it experienced several re-titles. Originally known as Reazione a catena, among its many other titles are Twitch of the Death Nerve, Carnage, Blood Bath, and even The Last House on the Left, Part II.

Mario Bava serves as director, co-writer, and cinematographer in this giallo gem. An heiress is murdered at the outset and from then on, it is no holds barred as the rest of family schemes, maneuvers, and murders while trying to secure the family inheritance for themselves. You might need a scorecard to track who is being killed, how they are killed, and who the killers are. Yes, there are killers, as in plural. The first and second murders quickly reveal A Bay of Blood as not your ordinary run of the mill slasher flick.

Speaking of slasher flicks, Doc identifies several very familiar looking kills and the influence A Bay of Blood must have surely had on Friday the 13th (1980), and hence, other 1980s slasher fare. Bill reveals, not that it was a big secret, that Bava is his favorite director and notes the appearance of Nicoletta Elmi for the second episode in a row following her role in Deep Red (1975). Most of the film’s characters have little to like, creating a bit of a hurdle for Chad Lab, but as the innovative kills mount, he quickly gets over it and comes to love the film. Chad Hunt helps the rest of the Grue Crew keep the characters straight and recounts his repeated cries of, “What? … What?! ... What?!!” as the killings unfolded. With so many murders from which to choose - hanging, spear, octopus, billhook, etc. - the Grue Crew can’t resist picking each of their favorite kills

Of course, this episode’s Grue Crew gives a unanimous recommendation to this classic giallo film. If you haven’t seen A Bay of Blood, it is guaranteed you will not guess who commits the final murders.

We want to hear from you – the coolest, grooviest fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1970s podcast hosts at docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

Jul 19, 2018

"I can feel death in this room! I feel a presence, a twisted mind sending me thoughts! Perverted, murderous thoughts... Go away! You have killed! And you will kill again!" Are you talking to me? Join your faithful Grue Crew - Doc Rotten, Bill Mulligan, and Jeff Mohr, along with guest host Chad Lab - as they follow the clues delivered by Dario Argento in his giallo tour de force, Deep Red (1975).

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 77 – Deep Red (1975)

Originally titled Profondo Rosso in Italy, also known as The Hatchet Murders in the U.S., Deep Red is written by Bernardino Zapponi and director Dario Argento. Gialli commonly feature a female lead, but in Deep Red, Argento went with a male lead, casting British actor David Hemmings in the role of Marcus Daly, who,from the square below, witnesses a murder taking place in a building window. Daly is drawn into the investigation and as the body count rises, he is aided by Daria Nicolodi as a reporter on the case. Other players include Daly’s friend Carlo (Gabriele Lavia), Carlo’s mother (Clara Calamai), and a very disturbing little girl (Nicoletta Elmi).

This episode’s Grue Crew was split on which version they watched: Bill and Chad Lab saw the American version with over twenty minutes edited from the run time, while Doc and Jeff viewed the full length Italian version. It should go without saying, but here it is anyway: they are all very impressed with Argento’s Deep Red! Some of the giallo tropes present, such as a black-gloved killer, are pointed out by Bill, while Doc highlights Argento trademarks, for instance, the protagonist recalling clues from memory to unveil the killer’s identity. Chad Lab points out the tantalising red herring Argento serves up and on which he then feasted. Jeff loved the way the clues are doled out and how some of the early clues aren’t even recognized as such. Of course, they all love the Goblin soundtrack!

If you haven’t seen Deep Red, see it now! If you have seen it, watch it again! Doc and Jeff recommend the uncut version, but both versions are fine movies!

We want to hear from you – the coolest, grooviest fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1970s podcast hosts at docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

Jul 12, 2018

"Oh yes, and this house will be here long, long after you have departed. You'll believe me." These ominous words turn out to be all too true for the summer renters of the Allardyce house. Join your faithful Grue Crew - Doc Rotten, Bill Mulligan, Chad Hunt, and Jeff Mohr - as they take a trip for a short summer stay with the Rolf family at the Allardyce house and encounter the horrors of Burnt Offerings (1976).

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 76 – Burnt Offerings (1976)

Directed and co-written by Dan Curtis of Dark Shadows, Nightstalker, and Trilogy of Terror fame, Burnt Offerings is co-written by frequent Curtis-collaborator William F. Nolan, adapted from Robert Marasco’s novel of the same title. The film begins with the Rolf family - Marian (Karen Black). Ben (Oliver Reed), their son David (Lee Montgomery), and Aunt Elizabeth (Bette Davis) - arriving at their too-good-to-be-true summer rental. The family is greeted by the property’s brother and sister owners - Roz (Eileen Heckart) and Arnold (Burgess Meredith) Allardyce - and Walker (Dub Taylor), their handyman. The Allardyces explain to the Rolfs that their only duties during their summer stay are to keep up the house and property and to feed Mother Allardyce, who will remain locked away and unseen in an upstairs bedroom. As soon as Roz, Arnold, and Walker leave for the summer, the house begins to have a very disturbing effect on each of the Rolfs.

Given that Curtis made his reputation in television, your Grue Crew marvel at the quality of the cast of this theatrical release.  Doc, Chad, and Jeff unabashedly love Burnt Offerings! On the other hand, Bill opines that haunted house films are not his thing, but even so, admits that Burnt Offerings is a pretty good example within its sub-genre. Doc expresses his appreciation for Karen Black’s performance and we discover that Chad has been a fan of Oliver Reed’s acting ever since Hammer’s The Curse of the Werewolf (1961), despite Reed's legendary antics. The entire Grue Crew were freaked-out by the Hearse Driver/Chauffeur (Anthony James) that appears from Ben’s (and Dan Curtis’) childhood nightmares. As the show winds down, Jeff burns the remaining time to go all fanboy on William F. Nolan to the point that no one else can give their final thoughts.

Doc also reveals a guest appearance he made on Episode 107 of The Horror Returns Podcast on which they covered three films from 1978: The Manitou, Piranha, and Martin. They also give a special shout out to the late Santos Ellin Jr. and all he has done to promote the genre we love so much. You can find The Horror Returns on iTunes or at this link: The Horror Returns

We want to hear from you – the coolest, grooviest fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1970s podcast hosts at docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

Jun 28, 2018

"I wish the dead could come back to life, you bastard, so then I could kill you again!" Join your faithful Grue Crew - Doc Rotten, Bill Mulligan, Chad Hunt, and Jeff Mohr - as they take a road trip to kick, examine, and generally disturb the sleeping corpses lying around in 1974’s Let Sleeping Corpses Lie.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 75 – Let Sleeping Corpses Lie (1974)

Directed by Jorge Grau and written by Sandro Continenza and Marcello Coscia, Let the Sleeping Corpses Lie pairs Edna Simmonds (Cristina Galbó) and George Meaning (Ray Lovelock) as two “accidental” companions traveling the English countryside during an ultrasonically created zombie apocalypse. Despite the SF-based zombie justification, a little schmear of blood on the eyelids of a fresh corpse inexplicably seems to  be a catalyst for the transformation of the corpse to the living dead. A throwback police inspector (Arthur Kennedy) decides our two protagonists are drug-crazed, hippie Satanists who are the cause of all the local mayhem and sets out to prove it.

Don’t be surprised if the plot sounds familiar even though you don’t recognize the title. Let Sleeping Corpses Lie is a film that never saw a title it didn’t like. Depending on when and where it was released, it was also known as The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue, aka Don’t Open the Window, aka Breakfast at the Manchester Morgue, aka Do Not Speak Ill of the Dead, aka Zombi 3, aka No profanar el sueño de los muertos, aka Non si deve profanare il sonno dei morti, aka … well, you get the idea.

Bill Mulligan and Chad Hunt put Let Sleeping Corpses Lie in their lists of top 10 zombie films. As a first time viewer, Jeff Mohr found the mausoleum scene to be particularly horrifying while Doc Rotten points out the finale as the hospital is another key scene. Suffice it to say, the entire Grue Crew see Let Sleeping Corpses Lie as a very influential film and heartily recommend it. If you haven’t seen it, what are you waiting for?

We want to hear from you – the coolest, grooviest fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1970s podcast hosts at docrotten@decadesofhorror.com. 

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