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Now displaying: Category: Decades of Horror 1970s
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. 

Jun 7, 2018

"His brain came from a genius. His body came from a killer. His soul came from hell!" It should have worked, right? Join your faithful Grue Crew - Doc Rotten, Bill Mulligan, Chad Hunt, and Jeff Mohr - as they step into the asylum for a session with Dr. Victor, aka Baron von Frankenstein, in Hammer’s last Frankenstein film, Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell!

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 74 – Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1974)

Written by Anthony Hinds, as John Elder, Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell continues the stitched-together, Hammer Horror chronicle of Victor Frankenstein, currently “imprisoned” in an insane asylum. Even though considered an inmate, Frankenstein has blackmailed the deviant Asylum Director (John Stratton) and is now running the asylum and using the inmates to continue his experiments. He is aided in his work by a new inmate and Frankenstein fanboy, Dr. Simon Helder (Shane Briant); and a mute young woman named Sarah (Madeline Smith).

Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell marks several milestones in the Hammer canon. It is the last of their Frankenstein films and the last time Peter Cushing plays Frankenstein. Signalling the end of error, this is also the last film directed by Terence Fisher, a true horror icon.

Chad, though a little irked at the monster design when first viewed, came to appreciate its uniqueness and was horrified by the especially gruesome way the monster meets his end. Bill proclaims that through the wisdom gained with old age, he now realizes Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell is a masterpiece and places it among his Top 10 Hammer Horror films. Doc reminds us that David Prowse, playing the monster for the second time, is most remembered for his role as Darth Vader in the original Star Wars Trilogy. Being the relative Hammer novice of the bunch, Jeff announces his love for this film. It probably goes without saying your Grue Crew members are all unabashed lovers of all things Peter Cushing, but it had to be said anyway.

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 1, 2018

"Amazing companions on an incredible adventure... that journeys beyond imagination!" the tagline for Silent Running promises a sci-fi spectacle but the film is instead a rather intimate tale of astronaut Freeman Lowell descending into madness. Director Douglas Trumbull's space-epic is perhaps better known for the three small drones, Huey, Duey, and Luey. Join your faithful Grue Crew - Doc Rotten, Bill Mulligan, Chad Hunt, and Jeff Mohr - as they join Bruce Dern on his adventures aboard the Valley Forge.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 73 – Silent Running (1972)

Written by the impressive team of Deric Washburn, Michael Cimino, and Steven Bochco, Silent Running has a lot to say between the lines. While the film focuses upon its lead character, Freeman Lowell as played by Bruce Dern, the story dives into environmental and corporate politics, theories, and dire warnings of a not-to-distant future doomed to set Earth on a collision course with disaster. Visual effects pioneer, Douglas Trumbull, steps behind the camera to guide the spectacular visuals, some of which, were borrowed from unused scenes for his work on 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). His creation of the three drones would fascinate audiences in 1972 and directly influence the famous droids seen George Lucas' Star Wars (1977). Silent Running, despite is calculated pacing, is an influential film that bridges the gap between 2001 and Star Wars.

Sharing their thoughts about the film, the Grue-Crew relive the first time they saw the film back in the 1970s - Jeff in the theater, Doc on TV, and Bill later on video in college. Bill's take is based more of the political nature of the film, while Doc is focused on Bruce Dern and the drones. Chad and Jeff admire the film's visual excellent and careful storytelling. Doc shares his experience seeing the film for the first time in nearly 40 years on the big screen at the FantasticRealm Film Series at the Carolina Theater in Durham, NC. Regardless of their take, the Grue-Crew agree the film is important to film history and rise of science fiction film.

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 2, 2018

"The Day The Earth Was Turned Into A Cemetery!" the tagline for Phase IV promises a horror film the heady, occasionally trippy, sci-fi film cannot live up to. Yet, the film succeeds in establishing dread and exposing mankind's fragile relationship with nature and the planet. Join your faithful Grue Crew - Doc Rotten, Bill Mulligan, and Jeff Mohr - as they face an attack of killer ants who burrow into their fears.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 72 – Phase IV (1974)

In the early Seventies, every studio had their Sci-Fi epic, a version of their own 2001: A Space Odyssey. And Paramount wanted one too. What they got was Saul Bass's horror/sci-fi oddity Phase IV. Bass, better known for creating memorable title sequences for films such as Psycho, North by Northwest, and It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, brings a distinct artist's touch to the film giving it a heady, trippy aesthetic that makes the film stand out from the crowd. Sadly, the film did not connect with 1974 audiences, but the film has gained a cult following.  The cast includes Nigel Davenport, Michael Murphy, and Lynne Frederick as they face an army of intelligent ants of various kinds uniting to take over humanity.

Having never seen the film, Doc Rotten was able to finally catch Phase IV at a theatrical screening at the FantasticRealm Film Series. Having listened to The Black Saint and Bill Mulligan champion the film episode after episode, this was a must, as was including it on the Decades of Horror schedule. Now he can join Bill and Jeff Mohr in discussing the film's use of "nature" style film to chronicle the ants' attack on the desert community, it's distinctive set-design, and much of the movie's haunting imagery. The slow pace of the film builds towards a chilling and provocative conclusion that only Saul Bass could provide.

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 19, 2018

"What he doesn't know about vampirism wouldn't fill a flea's codpiece." Wow! He must know a lot about vampires, right? Of course, the quote is referring to this episode’s subject. Join your faithful Grue Crew - Doc Rotten, Bill Mulligan, Chad Hunt, and Jeff Mohr - as they feint, parry, and lunge along with this vampire swashbuckler Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter from Hammer Films.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 71 – Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter (1974)

After killing his mother and sister when they became vampires, Captain Kronos (Horst Janson) has dedicated his life to hunting vampires. As Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter begins, Kronos is summoned by his old friend Dr. Marcus (John Carson) when young women in his village have the life sucked out of them, their corpses looking like old women. Kronos arrives with Grost (John Cater), his hunchbacked partner, and Carla (Caroline Munro), a young woman they rescued from a pillory along the way. (No dancing on Sunday!) After dispatching a multitude of ne'er do wells while demonstrating his master swordsmanship, Kronos, and his comrades zero in on the Durward family and their matriarch (Wanda Ventham) as the probable source of the vampire, even as more women die.

Known primarily for his writing, Brian Clemens adds the director’s chair to his duties for Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter for only the second time in his career and his only feature film. Filmed in 1972 but not released until 1974, the film reveals a studio in decline. The film was intended to be the first of a new series but after an inadequate marketing campaign and a dismal performance at the box office, the idea was scrapped.

The Grue Crew admits Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter has some problems. Chad thinks the idea has promise but isn’t executed very well. Doc admits having trouble staying awake during the middle section but loves the setup and the finale. According to Bill, there could have been better insults than calling the bad guys Ratface, Fatty, and Big Mouth. Jeff has questions about some of the details in the story and feels there are gaps in the exposition, both in the showing and the telling.

Despite its flaws, the Grue Crew highly recommends Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter as part of the Hammer Films canon. This version of a vampire film has a lot to offer - a swashbuckling vampire hunter, Caroline Munro, a spaghetti western style showdown, Caroline Munro, burying dead toads for vampires to bestrode, Caroline Munro, Kronos with a bag over his head, Caroline Munro, and don’t forget Caroline Munro. No matter what, Chad wants to make sure you don’t forget Caroline Munro. Come on Chad! Who can forget Caroline Munro?

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 6, 2018

"Dig a big hole in the middle of the house?" It might sound crazy, but if you really want to become an oily maniac, that’s how the instructions begin. Join your faithful Grue Crew - Doc Rotten, Jeff Mohr, Chad Hunt, and Bill Mulligan - as they slide their way through the pros and cons of The Oily Maniac.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 70 – The Oily Maniac (1976)

The Oily Maniac, aka You gui zi, is a Shaw Brothers production directed by Meng Hua Ho and written by Lam Chua. Starring Danny Lee, Ping Chen, and Lily Li, the film tells the story of Shen Yuan, a crippled man who pledges to protect the daughter of a man in prison. The woman’s father implores Shen Yuan to copy the tattoo on his back and to use the spell it describes to protect his daughter. Soon Shen Yuan is forced to invoke the tattoo’s spell and is transformed into … the oily maniac, an avenging superhero or a monster, depending on your point of view.

Doc Rotten often proclaims his love of (or should we say obsession with?) Asian horror films, so it should be no surprise that he brought The Oily Maniac to the Decades of Horror 1970s Grue Crew’s attention. Chad points out the cheezy costume looking like it’s dipped in oil, the exposed beating heart, and its teeth. Jeff mentions a vague similarity to The Greasy Strangler (2016) and Doc points out that the director of The Greasy Strangler lists The Oily Maniac as inspiration. Doc also loved the monster’s scream and the way it tried to do kung fu, slinging oily maniac goo around and then turning into a swimming goo-puddle, traveling to the theme of Jaws.

Bill did not appreciate the “exploity” nature of the film in regards to female nudity and rape, and would’ve enjoyed the film more if it was less sleazy. The rest of the crew agrees that it was uncomfortably exploitive and that the gratuitous sex and rape scenes prevalent in 70s grindhouse films like The Oily Maniac are even harder to view today.

The Grue Crew recommends the cheesy monster scenes in The Oily Maniac but it is not for everyone.

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 19, 2018

"Open the window, Mark. Please! Let me in! It's OK, Mark, I'm your friend. He commands it!" If a floating Glick boy ever says this to you, no matter what, don’t open the window!  Doc Rotten is off on assignment for this episode, but regular hosts Jeff Mohr, Bill Mulligan, and Chad Hunt are joined by Joey Fittos, the Thug with a Mug, as they travel to the not-so-quaint and disturbing New England village of Salem’s Lot to discuss the equally disturbing 1979 miniseries, Salem’s Lot.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 69 – Salem’s Lot (1979)

The literary juggernaut known as Stephen King had already made the book-to-movie transition with Brian De Palma’s Carrie (1976) when Warner Brothers Television decided to adapt ‘Salem’s Lot, King’s second novel, to the TV miniseries format. Horror icon Tobe Hooper was enlisted to direct as was Paul Monash to provide the screenplay adaptation of King’s novel for an all star cast that includes James Mason, David Soul, Lance Kerwin, Bonnie Bedelia, Lew Ayres, Reggie Nalder, Geoffrey Lewis, George Dzundza, Julie Cobb, Elisha Cook Jr., Marie Windsor, Fred Willard, Ed Flanders, Kenneth McMillan, and more. The result was Salem’s Lot, a now legendary, 2-part miniseries first broadcast November 1979 on CBS.

Each of this episode’s Grue Crew viewed Salem’s Lot during its premiere broadcast. Joey proclaims Salem’s Lot as one of his all time favorite horror films. Bill also loved it, but was a little put out by specific scenes present in King’s novel that are not included in the miniseries. David Soul (Starsky and Hutch, 1975-79) as the star gave Jeff some misgivings prior to seeing the film and he was annoyed at first by the changes made in the transformation of his beloved ‘Salem’s Lot (the book) into Salem’s Lot (the movie). It didn’t take long, however, for him to be won over by what was, in truth, an excellent horror film. Chad, along with Joey and Bill, in hindsight, saw definite similarities between Salem’s Lot and Fright Night (1985).

The film’s over 3-hour runtime is surprisingly even-paced and despite the length, the viewer is never caught wondering how much time is left. Scenes that have been frozen in your grue Crew’s nightmares are discussed, including, but not limited to, the floating Glick boys and Geoffrey Lewis in a rocking chair. The story is so well told, there are several unscary scenes that are memorable for their dialogue or visual impact alone. Salem’s Lot gets an enthusiastic thumbs-up from the whole 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.

Feb 5, 2018

“It's not nice to fool with Mother Nature...... it can be HORRIFYING!” the overzealous tagline for The Mutations (1974), aka The Freakmaker, promises a monster film for the ages. To be fair, some stills from the film of the main "Venus-fly-trap" monster may back up that claim. However, most of the Grue Crew may beg to differ. And, then, there's Bill. Doc Rotten and Jeff Mohr are joined by Chad Hunt and Bill Mulligan to discuss this nearly forgotten British gem. Special guest host Adam Thomas settles in to help put Donald Pleasence in his place.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 68 – The Mutations (1974)

Learning that Vincent Price was the first actor cast as Professor Nolter in JackCardiff's The Mutations puts a lot of that role into perspective. With Donald Pleasence (Halloween) settling into the part in Price's place leaves all the necessary scene chewing off the cuff. But, hey, we still love as much Donald Pleasence as we can get. The fan-favorite fourth Doctor, Tom Baker (The Vault of Horror, Doctor Who) plays Lynch, Nolter's "henchmen" who continually gathers the mad scientist victims for his evil experiments...all in hopes that the good doctor will cure him of his deformities. In a subplot. Lynch is also the leader of a troop of "freaks" (as they are called in the film) who entertain patrons at a local amusement sideshow. Enter in a group of Nolter's students who get in the way of the madman's plot, including Julie Ege (The Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires) as Hedi. Before you know it, Hedi's friend Tony (Scott Anthony) is kidnapped by Lynch and turned into a horrific monster by Nolter. Chaos ensues. Hurray!

Both Doc and Bill fondly remember reading about The Mutations in Famous Monsters in the Seventies but were unable to catch the film until much later. Bill a decade or so ago, but Doc only this week for this show. Both were eager to watch the film to discuss here on Decades of Horror along with Chad and guest host Adam Thomas. However, while the finale is fun with the monster finally set loose and on the rampage, the plot meanders through each of its loosely connected subplots. Bill still champions the film while Adam curses Doc's name. Oh, dear. There's plenty to discuss, speculate, demonize, and enjoy with The Mutations and the Grue Crew cover it all.

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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