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Now displaying: Category: Decades of Horror 1970s
Jan 24, 2018

“What terrifying craving made her kill... and kill... and kill...” the intriguing tagline for Frightmare (1974), aka Cover Up, provides just a hint of what Dorothy Yeates (Sheila Kieth) is up to when her husband Edmund (Rubert Davies) isn't looking. And what does this mean for their children, Jackie (Deborah Fairfax) and Debbie (Kim Butcher), and their eating habits? Perhaps they're chips off the old butcher block...? Eh? Eh? Doc Rotten and Jeff Mohr are joined by Chad Hunt and Bill Mulligan to discuss this nearly forgotten British gem.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 67 – Frightmare (1974)

The film is from director Pete Walker who would give us similar intriguing genre movies House of the Whipcord, Schizo, and House of Long Shadows. The latter film features one of the last combinations of horror icons Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, and John Carradine. Pete Walker's muse, Sheila Keith, would appear in most of them. In Frightmare, she stars as the elderly Dorothy, recently released from a mental hospital who is up to her old tricks once again...cannibalism. Rupert Davies plays her husband, Edmund, in what would be his last role. The terrific character actor would appear in many British horror films such as Dracula Has Risen from the Grave, The Conqueror Worm, The Brides of Fu Manchu, and The Oblong Box. Together Keith and Davies are the reason to catch this underseen, underappreciated nugget from 1974. That and all the goofy bright red gore. Good stuff.

"Worse than your most shocking nightmare!" - the poster tagline promises a nightmare to shock us all.

As soon as we mentioned "Pete Walker," Bill's ear perked up and he lauded with excitement. On the podcast, he shares why he enjoys the filmmaker so. Also, he discovers this is the one film of his he had never seen. In fact, none of the hosts had caught Frightmare before assigning it to this episode. A rarity, indeed. The film is similar to classic low budget horror films from England at that time, such as Pscyhomania which we covered in episode 49. Everyone shares their newfound admiration for this film and their shared hatred for the "Debbie" character, especially Chad who confesses it takes a lot for someone to elicit such disgust. But, it is all in service of the film itself.

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 8, 2018

“The Fouke Monster always travels the creek...” the narrator of The Legend of Boggy Creek (1972) describes the nocturnal patterns of the Bigfoot-like creature spotted in Arkansas. The movie exploded onto the big screen and drive-in theaters nationwide in 1972 to the box office tune of $20 million big ones. And sparked a national fascination with the hairy cryptozoological monster. Doc Rotten and Jeff Mohr are joined by Chad Hunt and Bill Mulligan, along with HNR co-host Dave Dreher, to discuss what may be the most influential Bigfoot movie of the Seventies.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 66 – The Legend of Boggy Creek (1972)

The first film from director Charles B. Pierce, The Legend of Boggy Creek, is also one of the most successful b-movie Bigfoot movies of all time. The film is presented as a pseudo-documentary with non-actor recreating scenes where they encountered the beast from Fouke County, Arkansas. Pierce is also responsible for films such as The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976), The Evictors (1979), and the sequel Boggy Creek II: And the Legend Continues (1984). Full of local color and more passion than panache, the film inspired a decade of Bigfoot frenzy, "In Search Of" style copy-cats, and - quite possibly - films like The Blair Witch Project. Perhaps best appreciated now by those who experienced the film "back in the day." the film is a slow build to a showdown between a family and the Fouke Monster pounding at their door. Hurray for a frightened childhood of Bigfoot nightmares!

"Half-man, half-beast ... a mysterious creature has been stalking the woods and waterways near Fouke, Arkansas since the 1940s" - the poster tagline get straight to the point needing little embellishment.

Dave Dreher, self-professed Bigfoot aficionado, joins the regular Grue-Crew to revisit The Legend of Boggy Creek. Like, Doc, Chad, and Bill, Dave caught the film during its original run, remembering fondly the effect it had on his much-younger self; Jeff, however, only just this week finally saw the film for the first time. Time has not been a friend to Boggy Creek. Oh, well. The team shares their impressions of the film, their experiences with it in 1972, and the influence it had on their fascination with film and cryptozoology. Dave also chimes in with a rundown of director Pierce's accomplishments.

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 27, 2017

“Destiny! Destiny! No escaping that for me! Destiny! Destiny! No escaping that for me!” Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) comedically exclaims his realization of his true path...in his sleep...in Mel Brook's classic Young Frankenstein (1974). Brook's follow up to Blazing Saddles lovingly parodies the Universal Monster classics with a brilliant cast -- including Peter Boyle, Mary Feldman, Madeline Kahn, and Teri Garr -- and a witty, satirical script from Wilder. Doc Rotten and Jeff Mohr are joined by Chad Hunt and Bill Mulligan, along with HNR co-host Thomas Mariani, to discuss what may be the best horror-comedy of all time.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 65 – Young Frankenstein (1974)

Toward the end of 1974, Mel Brooks moves from Rock Ridge to Transylvania to send up the B&W horror films he - and co-writer Gene Wilder - loved so much. From Frankenstein to Son of Frankenstein many of the elements of those original films find their way into the film: the blind hermit, Ygor, Inspector Krogh (in the form of Kenneth Mars' Inspector Kemp) - and so much more. Yes, those are the original scientific lab equipment (by Kenneth Strickfaden) from the original Universal classics appearing once again. The cast, led by Wilder, is superb with Marty Feldman as Igor displaying untoppable comedic timing. Peter Boyle makes an impressive monster with Teri Garr and Madeline Kahn as Inga and Elizabeth, respectively. Cloris Leachman is comedy gold as Frau Blucher [cue neighing horses]. Young Frankenstein works on a number of levels due to the script and the cast...and the reverence and respect Brooks holds for the source material. Even with the film being parody and satire, filmed in black and white, it could easily be considered a followup to the Universal films released decades before.

"The Scariest Comedy of All Time!" - the poster tagline makes a bold promise upon which Young Frankenstein seemingly effortlessly delivers.

The Grue-Crew lovingly recall their first encounters with Young Frankenstein with Doc, Jeff, Chad, and Bill catching it in the theaters upon its first release while Thomas shares that the film serves as a gateway from comedy into horror. Everyone has their favorites lines from "where wolf?" to "what knockers" to "footsteps footsteps footsteps" - the film is full of them. "Put the candle...back!" It also contains an endless series of visual gags that delightfully tickle the funny bone, most of them at the expense of Marty Feldman. Jeff notices that the clock chimes 13 times as the film opens and shares how much in common Inspector Kemp has with his inspiration Inspector Krogh, right down to sticking the darts into his wooden arm - a scene played for dramatic effect in Son of Frankenstein. Bill admits being concerned when the musical number with Wilder and Boyle began; but, by the time the monster growls "Putting on the Ritz," he was sold. The amount of love and respect for this film from the Grue-Crew is only matched by that from Brooks and Wilder for the Universal classics that remain beloved all these years later.

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 13, 2017

“You have nothing to lose but your mind.” One of the final Amicus anthology films is prepared to drive you insane as Dr. Martin (Robert Powell) interviews the patients of a mental asylum searching for the head doctor who recently lost his mind in Asylum (1972). Roy Ward Baker directs from a script by Robert Block featuring Peter Cushing, Britt Ekland, and Hebert Lom. Doc Rotten and Jeff Mohr are joined by Chad Hunt and Bill Mulligan along with special guest-host Eli Mohr.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 64 – Asylum (1972)

With titles like Dr. Terror's House of Horrors, Tales from the Crypt, and Torture Garden, Amicus Films threatened to give Hammer Films a run for their money...but never quite reached that goal. By the time they caught up with the studio that gave us Horror of Dracula and Curse of Frankenstein, the horror genre was maturing into its modern era as films like Night of the Living Dead, Rosemary's Baby, and The Exorcist captured the audience's attention. Asylum is one of the final films in their series of portmanteau films - and quite possibly one of its forgotten best. The wrap around story is woven into the film's fourth tale "Mannikins of Horror" featuring a murdering toy robot while Peter Cushing stars alongside Barry Morse in a tragic tale called "The Weird Tailor". Britt Ekland guides Charlotte Rampling down a sordid path in "Lucy Comes to Stay" while Richard Todd faces his slain wife's revenge in "Frozen Fear". A terrific film that has the Grue-Crew enjoying every frame.

"See what the author of 'Psycho' is up to now!" - the poster tagline pimps the fact that the screenwriter, Robert Bloch, is the man responsible for Alfred Hitchcock's beloved horror classic.

The Grue-Crew are thrilled to welcome Jeff's grandson Eli onto the show to review Asylum. A new experience for the lad, Eli starts off things noticing how the music in the first segment, Frozen Short, uses unusual cues to signal the various terrors that threaten Richard Todd in his basement. The Crew agrees with him about the acting as well, as each of the cast - especially Peter Cushing - give the film their all, providing the film with a bit more class that may be expected. Chad shares his own terrifying tale of facing a mannequin in his grandmother's attic when he was young, a fear that he would have to face in the "Mannikins of Horror" segment. Except for Eli, who recently caught the film for this podcast, the rest of the crew remember catching the film when it was originally released - or, in the case of Doc, re-released under the title House of Crazies.

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 26, 2017

“Maybe you two kids are on a trip or something. I don't know and I don't care.” Sheriff Jones (Richard Webb) has little patience for Bobby Hartford (Robert Walker Jr) and Lisa Clark (Gwynne Gilford) as they describe being attacked by a monstrous man-eating blob in Beware! The Blob (1972). Jeff Mohr, Chad Hunt, and Bill Mulligan are ready to pounce on Doc Rotten for suggesting this disastrous "treat" of a goofy horror film from director Larry Hagman - yeah, J.R. Ewing from the Dallas TV show (and Major Anthony Nelson from I Dream of Jeanie decades earlier). Oh, boy, this is going to get ripe.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 63 – Beware! the Blob (1972)

On a minuscule $150,000 budget shot almost entirely using friends and neighbors, Larry Hagman and Anthony Harris would craft a horror comedy sequel to Jack Harris' 50's monster movie classic The Blob (1958). Sadly, Beware! The Blob comes nowhere near as iconic or thrilling (or professional) as the film that inspired it. The supporting cast would include a who's who of TV actors of the Sixties and Seventies: Godfrey Cambridge, Richard Stahl, Carol Lynley, Marlene Clark, Gerrit Graham, Dick Van Patten, Del Close, Cindy Williams, Tiger Joe Marsh, and Burgess Meredith. While most everything about the film is subpar, on a curiosity level, the film is mildly entertaining. Beware this movie!

"It's loose again eating everyone!" - the poster tagline promises far more than the film delivers.

Being good spirits, the Grue-crew desperately try to find good things about the film. Mostly, they get distracted by all the cameos. The dialog, rumored to be mostly improvised, has the crew plugging their ears instead of covering their eyes. Still, there are some silly moments that give the film some gas but the effects are shotty and the direction is...worse. It is not difficult to see that this is Larry Hagman's sole cinematic directorial effort. Bill Mulligan wins the trivia award of the week for pointing out that Del Close, who has a cameo in this picture, is featured prominently in the 1988 remake from Chuck Russell. Go, team!

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 12, 2017

“What is all this about the dead coming back to life again and... having to be killed a second time? I mean, what the hell's going on here?” Peter West (Ian McCulloch) tries to make sense of the dead rising from their graves to eat the living in Zombie (1979). Doc Rotten returns and he brings Lucio Fulci to the 1970s podcast for the very first time. Jeff Mohr, Chad Hunt, and Bill Mulligan are on hand to discuss the highlights, the effects, the living dead, Italian horror, and Fulci's dreamlike plot structure. Oh, yeah, and a zombie versus a shark! What else do you need?

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 62 – Zombie (1979)

When George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead (1978) was released overseas, it was often known as Zombi. In Italy, Fulci's zombie epic was titled Zombi 2 without his knowledge or consent. His film is not a direct sequel to Dawn or any other living dead film. In fact, given the story, it would be more a prequel to the 1978 classic. When the film did cross the seas to play in the States, it kept the general idea of its moniker and became Zombie (1979). The film begins and ends in New York City but takes place mostly on a remote island with its lead characters looking for lost relatives, encountering the living dead and fighting for the lives.

"We are going to eat you!" - the poster tagline grabs its audience from the very get-go.

The Grue-crew explore the film, tackling Fulci's filming techniques, the acting, the dubbing, the gore, and so much more. The film is iconic with its scenes of zombie horror. If not the underwater zombie-vs-shark scene, then the Spanish Conquistadors rising from the grave to attack our heroes, including the famous zombie with the worms swarming out if its eye socket. Fulci also seems to have a fetish for eyes as the scene with the splinter is intense even today. The gore is plentiful and the final battle in the church turned hospital is non-stop white-knuckle intense. Bill Mulligan even starts off the podcast by suggesting that Fulci's Zombie is a favorite even over Romero's Dawn of the Dead.

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 30, 2017

 

“You are now in my domain gentlemen, and you shall not leave.” Doc Rotten is still on hiatus, diligently working on the next issue of the Gruesome Magazine quarterly print and electronic editions, but Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, and Jeff Mohr are back, along with guest-host Joey Fittos, to take that familiar journey from Transylvania to England, this time as told by producer/director Dan Curtis in 1974’s Dracula.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 61 – Dracula (1974)

Originally released as Bram Stoker’s Dracula until the rights to that name were acquired for Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 version, the film is now sometimes referred to as Dan Curtis’ Dracula. This TV movie was scheduled to premiere in October 1973 but was preempted by news coverage of an unfolding historical event and rescheduled for February 1974.

This episode’s Grue Crew discuss Emmy winner Curtis’ start as the creator and executive producer of the daytime, horror/soap opera Dark Shadows (1966-71). He then went on to direct and produce a number of horror-related movies in the 1970s: The Night Stalker (1972) and The Night Strangler (1973), several TV-movie adaptations of well-known horror novels, and the theatrically released Burnt Offerings (1976).

Though your hosts find the script lacking in places, they do give props to frequent Curtis collaborator and horror icon Richard Matheson, who penned the screenplay for this version of Dracula. Despite this script’s faults, Curtis and Matheson do use a plot device lifted from Dark Shadows that doesn’t appear in Bram Stoker’s novel or any previous film versions but is used again by Coppola in Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

Academy Award winner Jack Palance tackles the title role. Curtis and he had worked together before on another TV movie, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1968). Chad, Bill, and especially Jeff, appreciate the feral quality of Palance’s performance, but Joey says, “He’s not my Dracula.” The rest of the cast - Nigel Davenport (Van Helsing), Murray Brown (Jonathan Harker), Fiona Lewis (Lucy), Penelope Horner (Mina), and Simon Ward (Arthur) - don’t have much to work with, possibly leading to their seemingly lackluster performances. The crew also point out that many of our listeners may recognize Sarah Douglas, one of Dracula’s brides, who later played Ursa in Superman (1978) and Superman II (1980).

When all's said and done, Mr. Fittos gives Dracula (1974) thumbs down. Though Chad and Jeff admit it doesn’t hold up to impressions from their first viewings, the other hosts think it is worth the watch for Palance’s performance.

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 16, 2017

“Something unspeakable has come home.” Not only is it unspeakable, but it has already died once. Doc Rotten is still on hiatus, diligently working on the next issues of the Gruesome Magazine quarterly print and electronic editions. In the interim, your regular host, Jeff Mohr, is joined by the capable and knowledgeable Bill Mulligan, film director, and Chad Hunt, comic book artist/writer and co-host of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era podcast. Join them as they follow the members of a family wracked by the effects of the Vietnam War in Deathdream.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 60 – Deathdream (1974)

The second of director Bob Clark’s three horror films, Deathdream (aka Dead of Night) is sandwiched neatly between Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things (Decades of Horror 1970s - Episode 12) and Black Christmas (Decades of Horror 1970s - Episode 34). Written by Alan Ormsby, the film tells the story of Andy (Richard Backus), a Vietnam War veteran who is killed-in-action and yet returns home the same day his family gets the news of his death. Though the death notice is not a mistake,  Andy’s parents (John Marley and Lynn Carlin) and sister (Anya Ormsby) assume it is, and celebrate his homecoming. As his physical condition deteriorates and his behavior gets more and more bizarre, Andy’s father brings the local doctor (Henderson Forsythe) home to take a look at his son. As the film progresses, Andy’s decay increases and the body count rises.

The foundation of Deathdream’s story is planted firmly in W. W. Jacobs’ 1902 short story, “The Monkey’s Paw.” In other words, be careful what you wish for! The story might also be seen as an allegory delving into the additional trauma experienced by returning Vietnam War veterans, stigmatized by society and struggling with PTSD, and the effect that trauma has on their family and friends.

Tom Savini partners with Alan Ormsby to provide the film’s effective, low budget makeup effects. Andy’s progressive decay is successfully depicted as he moves from seemingly normal to a rapidly decaying corpse. Deathdream is not a fun watch.This episode’s Grue Crew give the film a unanimous thumbs up with the following caveat: The filmmakers successfully tell a very depressing story. Deathdream is not a fun 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 theblacksaint@decadesofhorror.com or docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

Sep 19, 2017

“Rabbits aren't your bag, Roy.” It’s pretty safe to say rabbits aren’t anyone’s bag in Night of the Lepus, especially the pseudo-savage, overgrown, mutant versions in this film. The Black Saint was unable to join us for this episode and Doc Rotten is still on hiatus, diligently working on the next issues of the Gruesome Magazine quarterly print and electronic editions. Sometimes, you just can’t do everything you want to do, can you, guys? In the interim, your regular host, Jeff Mohr, is joined by the capable and knowledgeable Bill Mulligan, film director, and Chad Hunt, comic book artist/writer and co-host of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era podcast. Join them as they weave their way through the killer rabbits of Night of the Lepus.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 59 – Night of the Lepus (1972)

Night of the Lepus is director William F. Claxton’s only entry in the horror film. Most of his experience is in the western genre, so it’s no surprise that most of the cast are frequent performers in westerns. Highly recognizable leads and supporting cast are played by Janet Leigh, Rory Calhoun, Stuart Whitman, DeForest Kelley, and Paul Fix, who all give it the old college try, but they don’t have much with which to work.

The screenplay is written by Don Holliday and Gene R. Kearney and is based on The Year of the Angry Rabbit (1964), an Australian, comic/horror/science fiction novel by Russell Braddon. Though the plot is outrageous, the novel is appreciated for its comic shadings. In Night of the Lepus, however, the filmmakers forsake any attempt at humor and go straight for outright horror, a fatal mistake. Unfortunately, no matter how ominous the script or intense the acting, the special effects are not up to the task of inciting horror from domestic rabbits performing on miniature sets.

Despite its flaws, Night of the Lepus still holds a special place in the hearts of the members of your faithful Grue Crew. Jeff Mohr has on an ongoing bromance with Rory Calhoun. Though he agrees it is a terrible film, Bill Mulligan professes a love for many of the images in Night of the Lepus and uses them in his party videos. Now there’s a party we’d love to attend! Chad Hunt, well, Chad Hunt can’t figure out why, but when he’s channel surfing and runs across Night of the Lepus, he can’t keep from pausing to watch the proverbial trainwreck.

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 theblacksaint@decadesofhorror.com or docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

Sep 6, 2017

“Suzy, do you know anything about … witches?” Suzy Bannion doesn’t know much, but she’s about to find out a lot more, ... the hard way! As of the recording of this podcast, it’s just 12 days past the 40th anniversary of the U.S. release of Dario Argento’s Suspiria, a giallo masterpiece. Doc Rotten is still on hiatus, diligently working on the next issues of the Gruesome Magazine quarterly print and electronic editions. (Issue #2 is now available. Don’t miss out!) In the interim, your regular hosts, The Black Saint and Jeff Mohr, are joined by the capable and knowledgeable Bill Mulligan, film director, and Chad Hunt, comic book artist/writer and co-host of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era podcast. Join them as they are completely entranced by the magic of Argento’s audio and visual feast.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 58 – Suspiria (1977)

Suspiria is the story of an elite dance school in Germany that is a front for some supernatural shenanigans. The school is run by Madame Blanc (Joan Bennett), and its head instructor is the disciplinary Miss Tanner (Alida Valli). Suzy (Jessica Harper) is a young American who has recently arrived at the school. Life at the school is a dreamlike, nightmarish experience. Suzy’s life there is soon rocked by the brutal murders of two fellow students, Pat (Eva Axén) and Sara (Stefania Casini), and the school’s blind piano player, Daniel (Flavio Bucci).

Co-written (with Daria Nicolodi) and directed by Dario Argento, the film’s plot is a train wreck. Luciano Tovoli’s cinematography and the Goblin’s score, however, are so masterful, no one seems to care that exactly what happens or why it happens is never made clear.

The Black Saint and Bill Mulligan extol the effect the trailer had on them when they first saw it. Think involuntary bodily evacuation. The crew all think Suspiria is Jessica Harper’s film more than any other member of the cast. When they learn she got the part after Argento saw her performance in Brian de Palma’s Phantom of the Paradise, they throw some smack toward award-winning director and fellow Decades of Horror co-host, Christopher G. Moore (See Decades of Horror 1970s - Episode 40 - Phantom of the Paradise (1974)). Suspiria is filled with effective and memorable scenes that our fearless Grue Crew discuss in detail, especially the sequences that detailing the first murder, the razor wire girl, and the return of razor wire girl (more bodily evacuation). They also remark on the film’s omnipresent vivid and often inappropriate-to-life colors.

Find out that what Disney film The Black Saint has never seen. (What?!) Or hear The Black Saint’s story about meeting Dario Argento. Or find out why much of the time, the dancers’ behaviors seem juvenile.

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 theblacksaint@decadesofhorror.com or docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

Aug 22, 2017

"Things only seem to be magic. There is no real magic. There's no real magic ever." With this line, Martin laments the lack of real magic in life, even while claiming to be an 84-year-old vampire in a 20-year-old’s body. Join your Grue Crew as we pay tribute to George Romero by discussing Martin (1978), his personal favorite of his films, a truly unique and innovative take on vampires. Doc Rotten is still on hiatus, diligently working on the next issues of the Gruesome Magazine quarterly print and electronic editions. (Issue #2 is now available. Don’t miss out!) In the interim, your regular hosts, The Black Saint and Jeff Mohr, are joined by the capable and knowledgeable Bill Mulligan, film director, and special guest Thomas Mariani, the hardest working man in podcasting.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 57 – Martin (1978)

Written, directed, and edited by George A. Romero, Martin is an intense and realistic treatment that follows the exploits of Martin (John Amplas), a seems-to-be young man who claims to be 84 years old, and who certainly drinks human blood. The boy arrives in Pittsburgh to stay with his Uncle Kuda (Lincoln Maazel), who promises to save Martin's soul and destroy him once he is finished, but Martin's loneliness finds other means of release. Also in the mix are Martin’s cousin Christina (Christine Forrest) and her boyfriend Arthur (Tom Savini).

The Grue Crew doles out heaping helpings of praise for Martin. Bill Mulligan marvels at the high quality of the acting performances even though several key members of the cast have minimal film credits. Bill and Jeff Mohr point out Romero’s masterful editing and how it efficiently tells the story while eliciting tension, horror, and feelings of isolation and loneliness. Thomas Mariani observes that much of Martin’s interaction with other people might place him somewhere on the autism spectrum. Jeff is intrigued by the use of the call-in radio show to add insight into Martin’s mental state. The crew also discusses how the characters all seem trapped in one way or another. Martin and Kuda are trapped by their family legacy, while Christina and Arthur plot to escape the traditional trap set for everyone by the comfortable, slow torture of their surroundings.

Bill, Thomas, and Jeff each owned the finger guillotine magic trick Martin demonstrates in the film (The Black Saint ignored the trick and actually severed fingers) and we all remark on the effectiveness of Tom Savini’s simple and cost effective gags. Finally, as The Black Saint loses all semblance of control, we take a trip down memory lane and wax nostalgic about the different ways we each fed our hunger for horror films.

Check out the other Decades of Horror episodes that delve into the films of George Romero: Night of the Living Dead (1968), Creepshow (1982), Day of the Dead (1985), and The Dark Half (1993).

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 theblacksaint@decadesofhorror.com or docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

Aug 7, 2017

How'd you like to wake up with pieces of cat in your stomach?" Eww! So says one of the dubious, but fearless, vampire hunters in this episode’s featured film, Count Yorga, Vampire (1970). Doc Rotten is still on hiatus, diligently working on the next issues of the Gruesome Magazine quarterly print edition (You have yours, right?). In the interim, your regular hosts, The Black Saint and Jeff Mohr, are joined by the capable and knowledgeable Bill Mulligan, film director and bon vivant, and Chad Hunt, comic book artist/writer and host of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era podcast. Journey with this episode's Grue Crew as they don their crushed velvet smoking jackets and channel the Count.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 56 – Count Yorga, Vampire (1970)

In Count Yorga, Vampire, Count Yorga (Robert Quarry) gives pseudo-séances while scouting women to victimize with the aid of his ghastly assistant Brudah (Edward Walsh). Paul (Michael Murphy) and Mike (Michael Macready) attempt to rescue the Count’s most recent victims, Donna (Donna Anders) and Erica (Judy Lang), with the help of Dr. James Hayes (Roger Perry).

The brainchild of writer/director Bob Kelljan and producer/actor Michael Macready, Count Yorga, Vampire was made on a skintight budget of $64,000 while having the look of a film with a much bigger investment. Robert Quarry gives an excellent performance as the Count and creates a vampire unlike any other in cinema. At one time, Quarry was thought to be a successor to Vincent Price, but events did not unfold as planned. Viewers will almost certainly recognize Roger Perry and Michael Murphy as accomplished, capable actors who plied their trade in film and television throughout several decades.

Count Yorga, Vampire has several iconic scenes that still haunt The Black Saint years after he first viewed the film as a seven-year-old. In fact, he places it in his top ten horror films of the 1970s. Bill Mulligan questions the filmmakers’ explanation of the kitten scene and thinks something a little more horrific might be closer to the truth - with the help of Brudah, of course. Jeff Mohr loves the film but questions whether an overdubbed, long walk through the city was an effective way for Paul and Mike to devise a rescue plan. In fact, Chad Hunt thinks they are the stupidest vampire hunters in the history of vampire films. The rest of the crew couldn’t disagree. Though there might be some holes in the plot, the hosts all highly recommend Count Yorga, Vampire for its production values, horrific and memorable scenes, and stylized vision of vampires.

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 theblacksaint@decadesofhorror.com or docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

Jul 24, 2017

"I’ve been following you since the glory hole!" No, not that kind of glory hole, though you couldn’t be faulted for going there. You never know what to expect in writer/director Fredric HobbsGodmonster of Indian Flats. For the next few episodes of Decades of Horror 1970s, Doc Rotten is on super, secret, special assignment (actually, it’s not that secret, but it is pretty super-special) putting the finishing touches on the second issue of Gruesome Magazine and getting a good start on Issue #3. By the way, if you haven’t purchased Issue #1 yet, what are you waiting for? In lieu of Doc, The Black Saint and Jeff Mohr are joined by Chad Hunt, co-host of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and comic book artist/writer extraordinaire, and Bill Mulligan, film director/movie maven extraordinaire and fabricator of the title character of Christopher G. Moore’s award winning short film, Knob Goblins. Yes, it takes two “extraordinaires” to even attempt to make up for Doc!

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 55 – Godmonster of Indian Flats (1973)

Godmonster of Indian Flats is unlike anything this episode’s Grue Crew has ever seen. Bill Mulligan gives a brilliant 90-second synopsis of what the film might be about. Ultimately, the nearly, nonexistent plot is undecipherable with equal parts western, corporate conspiracy, eco-horror, mutant livestock, local legend, archaeological science fiction, creature feature, and landfill apocalypse, with a dash of Valley of the Gwangi thrown in for good measure. Despite the result, Godmonster of Indian Flats is an ambitious effort and may well be exactly as Hobbs intended it to be.

The cast members are fairly inexperienced unknowns with a few exceptions. The Black Saint remembers Christopher Brooks, who plays Barnstable, from The Mack, a 1973 blaxploitation film. Stuart Lancaster, as Mayor Charles Silverdale, was a frequent performer in Russ Meyer films such as Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965) and later had bit parts in two Tim Burton films, Edward Scissorhands (1990) and Batman Returns (1992). The Sheriff of Silverdale is portrayed by Robert Hirschfield, who Jeff remembers for his 94-episode stint on Hill Street Blues (1981-1985). The Godmonster itself is indescribable and must be seen to believe. Starting life as a mutant-hybrid sheep embryo, it is nurtured to its full 8-foot height by Professor Clemons (E. Kerrigan Prescott) in his secret lab with the help of his assistant Mariposa (Karen Ingenthron), who seems to develop a strange relationship with the Godmonster.

Fredric Hobbs has been described as, “a freaky filmmaker who takes the art of bad and cheesy filmmaking beyond this world into another dimension. combining illogical writing, completely random plot development, B-movie horror, and cheese … Hobbs makes some of the most mind warping movies ever in the sense that your mind tries to run away from the black hole that is Fredric Hobbs, in any way possible.” The Grue Crew’s recommendations for this film are as inventive as the film itself but are also given with a strong warning. Watch Godmonster of Indian Flats if you dare!

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 theblacksaint@decadesofhorror.com or docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

Jul 10, 2017

"To Stop This Mutha Takes One Bad Brutha" - The tagline from William A. Levey's Blackenstein (1973) promises a smashing blacksploitation classic that fails to materialize. However, that does not mean the film doesn't have its own merits. Woot! Let the fun begin! The Black Saint and Doc Rotten tackle another groovy horror film from the 1970s. Joining the grue-crew is Gruesome Magazine contributor and the host of Decades of Horror The Classic Era Jeff Mohr.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 54 – Blackenstein (1973)

Blackenstein was released on August 3, 1973. It made serious bank for its paltry $80K budget. The film itself is something to be seen. It is a disaster but yet somehow it is incredibly entertaining. The Grue-Crew dive into what makes Black Frankenstein enjoyable despite its many flaws. The cast ranges from the experienced - John Hart, who once played The Lone Ranger on TV - to the novice - Joe De Sue, who plays the titular monster. The plot mixes standard Frankenstein nonsense with imaginary science about DNA. Actress Ivory Stone stars as a doctor who reaches out to Dr. Frankenstein to save her boyfriend who returned from Viet Nam seriously maimed. The result is a creature that would make Karloff blush. On, my!

The Black Saint, Doc, and Jeff spend a bit of time - partially due to all the terrific extra content on the Severin Blackenstein Blu-ray - discussing the career and tragic death of the film's writer, Frank R. Saletri. If he had been able, he would have produced films such as Sherlock Holmes in the Adventures of the Golden Vampire, The Fall of the House of Blackenstein, and Black Frankenstein Meets the White Werewolf. Of course, rumor has it that his script for Black the Ripper was actually filmed. We may never know. Mr. Salertri was murdered in 1982 and his death remains unsolved. His story is as larger-than-life as the film on the 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 theblacksaint@decadesofhorror.com or docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

Jun 26, 2017

"Tear Him Up!" - The quote from Willard (1976) signals the beginning of the best scene in the film where Ernest Borgnine is attacked by hundreds of rats. It's a great scene. Meanwhile, Bruce Davidson watches on. Let the fun begin! The Black Saint and Doc Rotten tackle another groovy horror film from the 1970s. Joining the grue-crew is Gruesome Magazine contributor and the host of Decades of Horror The Classic Era Jeff Mohr.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 53 – Willard (1971)

Willard landed in theaters in the Summer of 1971 and launched the "nature strikes back" sub-genre of horror films. The modest film made a big impression at the box office and became a cult film over the years. Until recently, the film had become increasingly difficult to find and view - at least, a decent copy of it. The film is now available on Blu-ray from Shout Factory in pristine condition looking better than it has in years. Join the Grue-Crew as they look back at the film that frightened them in their youth, and discover how the film plays now 40 plus years later. The film features Bruce Davidson, Sondra Locke, Elsa Lanchester, and Ernest Borgnine in a terrific role. And, of course, all those damned rats!

The film can best be summed up by an experience The Black Saint shares about his son catching the cover for the first time and declaring that, in no shape or form, will he be watching that film. Willard still has what it takes to provide the creepy-crawlies with the rats themselves. But, the tone of the film, the direction, and the music make Willard feel very much like a TV movie of the week. That, however, does not make the film a bad film, it only tempers the memory of it shared by The Black Saint, Doc Rotten, and Jeff Mohr. The film boils down to its great performances and its core story of a man who doesn't fit in, relating to a colony of rats in his basement far more than a building full of co-workers. Everyone he knows from his boss to his mother belittles him at every turn except a pretty tempory clerk who befriends him. Pushed to the limits of his sanity, Davidson's Willard strikes back sending hit fleet of rats to do his bidding. And the Grue-crew goes wild.

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 theblacksaint@decadesofhorror.com or docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

Jun 18, 2017

"If You Survive This Night... Nothing Will Scare You Again." - The tag line for Alice Sweet Alice (1976) promises an evening of terror and suspense while delivering an early genre film from Brooke Shields. Let the fun begin! The Black Saint and Doc Rotten tackle another groovy horror film from the 1970s. Joining the grue-crew is Gruesome Magazine contributor and the host of Decades of Horror The Classic Era Jeff Mohr. Joining the usual Grue-Crew for this episode is New Jersey's very own scream queen, actress Genoveva Rossi.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 52 – Alice Sweet Allice (1973)

Also known as Communion and Holy Terror, Alice Sweet Alice is an overlooked classic from 1976 better known for having an early performance from actress Brooke Shields than the tight suspenseful Giallo thriller that it is. The film is a cult hit, especially in New Jersey where it was filmed. The story is better than one might expect with a shocking twist and a slow burn build to a chilling conclusion. Actress Genoveva Rossi joins the  Crew to discuss the film sharing that she grew up not far from where the film was made and recounts visits to many of the locations where the film was shot.

Along with Brooke Shields, Alice Sweet Alice features great performances from many of its stars especially Paula Sheppard who plays Alice and Alphonso DeNoble who plays the squalid landlord. But it may be Mildred Clinton as Mrs. Tredoni who quietly steels the show before the film is over. Both The Black Saitn and Jeff Mohr share the film made them jump and Doc quickly suggests that film is heavily inspired by  Nicolas Roeg's Don't Look Now, raincoats and all. Genoveva is full of interesting little tidbits from the film with her affection for Alice Sweet Alice coming across quite infectious.

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 theblacksaint@decadesofhorror.com or docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

May 17, 2017

"Unfortunately, in the state of society, as it exists today, we are not permitted to experiment on human beings. Normal human beings." - Christopher Lee's line in The Creeping Flesh (1973) sets up the odd tone of the film. Let the fun begin! The Black Saint and Doc Rotten tackle another groovy horror film from the 1970s. Joining the grue-crew is Gruesome Magazine contributor and the host of Decades of Horror The Classic Era Jeff Mohr. Rounding out the co-hosts this episode is Chad Hunt, Jeff's frequent co-conspirator on the Classic Era, joining the usual crew to discuss another awesome collaboration between horror icons Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 51 – The Creeping Flesh (1973)

Anytime we get to cover a Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee film, Doc is happy as a clam. The Creeping Flesh, despite its many flaws, lands in the win column for the good doctor. Jeff is equally delighted with the film, as is Chad regardless of his reservations. The Black Saint, however, is not thrilled with The Creeping Flesh one bit. He often challenges the group to back up their love for this oddball film. It isn't easy. The film has wonky pacing, illogical character decisions, bizarre side storylines that distract from the main tale, and not nearly enough of the title character. The Grew-Crew fear that many horror fans will side with The Black Saint on this one unless they are a Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee completist.

From time to time The Creeping Flesh scores with great acting from the two horror icons and typical high standards with costuming and set design. The creature's skeleton is quite marvelous as well, large and fascinating. The creeping flesh element of the film - however brief - is a highlight. And while actress Lorna Heilbron scores with Jeff Mohr her character's motivations for the final act come under question from the Grue-Crew. And, as often stated, whenever Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee share the screen, the film becomes immediately more entertaining. And, for those who love their Hammer Films, The Creeping Flesh comes complete with a brief, but welcomed, appearance from the one-and-only Michael Ripper. There's always that!

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 theblacksaint@decadesofhorror.com or docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

May 3, 2017

"Good morning. You are one day closer to the end of the world. You have been warned." - the tag line for The Omen (1976) goes a long way in frightening audiences, then and now. Following cinema's fascination with possession and satanism since Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist changed the face of horror, Director Richard Donner brings the threat of Revelations to the forefront without resorting to full-on supernatural, grounding the terror in reality as much as possible. This results in one of the biggest hits of the year. Let the fun begin! The Black Saint and Doc Rotten tackle another groovy horror film from the 1970s. Joining the grue-crew is Gruesome Magazine contributor Jeff Mohr.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 50 – The Omen (1976)

The Black Saint, Doc, and Jeff reflect on The Omen, remarking on how well the Richard Donner approached and manipulated the script. They examine a number of keys scenes pointing out how well they work in the genre, from the decapitation of David Warner's character to Lee Remick's character tumbling from the banister to the iconic scene where Patrick Troughton's priest is skewered by a severed lightning rod. Above all that is the incredible music provided by Jerry Goldsmith for which he won an Academy Award that year. The presence of esteemed actor Gregory Peck goes a long way in grounding the film and its terrifying themes. And actress Billie Whitelaw is absolutely frightening in the role of Mrs. Baylock.

For the fiftieth episode of Decades of Horror 1970s, we decided to tackle one of the big releases of the decade, also one featuring subject matter that is particularly unsettling for host The Black Saint. He has vowed to never watch The Exorcist again. Yes, for this show, he sets aside his reservations to view the film once again, share his thoughts and appreciation for the film, and comment on seeing the film back when it was first released. Jeff too saw the film in the theaters at that time and both he and the Black Saint remember the marketing that supported the film and the generally terrified reaction the audience gave during those screenings. C'mon Donner was dead set on scaring his audience, the editing and varied angels of Jenning's death scene alone illustrate how The Omen scared audiences then...and should still now.

Apr 5, 2017

"Seven Suicides - and they roared back as The Living Dead." - the tag line for Psyhomania (1973) plays heaving on the "Living Dead" implications from NoTLD despite this not being a zombie film in any fashion.  Also known as The Death Wheelers, the film does involve, bikers, death, destruction, and the devil -- maybe. Let the fun begin! The Black Saint and Doc Rotten tackle another groovy horror film from the 1970s. Joining the grue-crew is Gruesome Magazine contributor Jeff Mohr and fellow contributor Jerry Chandler.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 49 – Pyschomania (1973)

In the extras on the Psychomania Blu-ray, star Nicky Henson reveals that no one on the set thought that anyone would be talking about this film after its release; in fact, that is the reason he chose these types of films over TV work, thinking no one would ever see it. To his dismay, the film would be shown countless times on the late-nite feature securing it as a minor cult classic and a film he is most approached about decades later. Psychomania is also the final film for the late, great George Sanders known to many as the man who starred in All About Eve, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, and the genre efforts Village of the Damned, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Jungle Book (voice of Shere Khan the Tiger), or Batman (TV - as Mr. Freeze). While the film may be light on scares, it is heavy on thrills with its "groovy" stunt, something the director Don Sharp had experience with his previous films. Sharp is also the director behind Kiss of the Vampire, Curse of the Fly, and The Brides of Fu Manchu.

Doc confesses to considering Psychomania as a guilty pleasure, sharing he first purchased the film as a blind-buy with an affordably priced "Goodtimes" VHS. The rest of the crew are not as warm to the film, but they all recognize that is does have some Seventies charm. While Santos generally dislikes the film, he does praise its score. The best part of the film is the oddball nature of how the film mixes the action with humor for the suicide scenes where the "Living Dead" off themselves so they can return to live eternal. The Crew debate the true nature of Sanders' character Shadwell and scratch their heads over all the "frog" imagery. Yes, the resurrection of the leader of the "Living Dead", Tom, as he flies out of his grave atop his motorcycle is the film's highlight. Psychomania is a unique film, a one of kind.

Mar 13, 2017

"See A*P*E ... defy the jaws of a giant shark ... destroy a teeming city ... demolish an ocean liner ... vanquish a monster reptile" - the tag line for A*P*E (1976) promises as much as the incredible poster for this race- to-the-theater King Kong rip-off from director Paul Leder. Yes, Yes! This is the film where the giant gorilla flips off the army ... in 3D, no less.  Let the fun begin! The Black Saint and Doc Rotten tackle another groovy horror film from the 1970s. Joining the grue-crew is Gruesome Magazine contributor Jeff Mohr and NC effects artist and film maker Bill Mulligan.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 48 – A*P*E (1976)

With a massive budget of $24,000, the team behind A*P*E created a King Kong rip-off film that has to be seen to be believed. Insanely goofy, horribly made, dreadfully written, hilariously inept, the film originally known as Super Kong is a disaster ... and bloody brilliant because of it. It is a true so-bad-it-is-good treasure ... and in 3-D to boot. It is getting a terrific 3D Bluray release from Kino Lorber Video and for those who love schlocky, horrible films that desperately want to be called guilty pleasure, then A*P*E is the film for you. Oh, the joy, the pure stupid joy! The Black Saint and Doc Rotten are joined by Jeff Mohr and Bill Mulligan to recap and review this bizarre entry into 1970s solid gold. Enjoy!

A*P*E features one of the worst gorilla costumes committed to film, ever. The seems are evident and the stitches come loose in the opening scene when APE fights a giant shark, revealing the undershirt underneath. Amazing! The film feels padded at 80 minutes long and features scene after scene of random locals running from the 36 foot gorilla, many of which can be seen smiling and laughing as they run. Rich! The army shows up late in the film so they can point their guns into the camera in "stunning" 3D effects. Marvelous! The gorilla shimmies, shakes, and dances his way across the South Korean landscape scaring villages, stepping over fake cows, wrestling live snakes, and tearing down buildings with glorious glee. Ah! There's nothing else left to say... watch the film if you dare. Regardless, listen to the Grue-Crew discuss A*P*E.

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 theblacksaint@decadesofhorror.com or docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

 

Mar 7, 2017

"There's a girl out there who might be running for her life from some gigantic turned-on ape." - the line for King Kong (1976) illustrates the odd tone to the  high-profile, big-budget creature feature remake. Dino De Laurentiis' monstrous epic provides fans with a U.S. man-in-suit Kaiju turn at the furry beast with a  young Rick Baker in the ape suit.  Let the fun begin! The Black Saint and Doc Rotten tackle another groovy horror film from the 1970s. Joining the grue-crew is Gruesome Magazine contributor Jeff Mohr.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 47 – King Kong (1976)

Joining Santos, Doc, and Jeff is the host of Decades of Horror 1980s and co-host of Horror News Radio Thomas Mariani who immediate jumps into how Dino De Laurentiis presents Kong himself. The giant gorilla is seen ogling Dwan played by Jessica Lange in a questionable manner that deserves the description in the show's opener "some gigantic turned-on ape." While there's always been a connection between Kong and Anne Darrow (from the '33 picture), the way they treat his attraction to Dwan is far less appealing than intended, for certain. Kong's motivation is all over the place as the Grue-Crew struggle to find good things to say about the 1976 rendition of this classic monster from the movies. The film was highly promoted upon its release in December of 1976 as Doc, Jeff, and Santos all remember, but the film failed to live up to the hype. While Doc and Jeff admit liking the film now more than prior, the film still disappoints in a huge Hollywood blockbuster-gone-wrong way.

John Guillermin (from The Towering Inferno) directs the film which stars Charles Grodin, Jeff Bridges, and Jessica Lange in lead roles. Rick Baker's Kong is superimposed into many shots with noticeable matte outlines giving the high production and low-grade sheen. While the ape costume itself is noteworthy, the integration of the effects into the film often fail their efforts. The huge mechanical King, which was all the rage in the promos and press at the time, is barely seen in the film, perhaps for the better. The film's tone dances between serious and satire - or, at least, feels like satire, regardless of original intention. According to Thomas, Grodin acts with his teeth in an amazing fashion while Bridges likely filled the large pit to capture Kong with smoke all on his own. Yeah, man. Prepare for Kong: Skull Island with this look back to a classic - or not so classic - King Kong adventure from 1976.

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 theblacksaint@decadesofhorror.com or docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

Jan 23, 2017

"Something is after Jessica. Something very cold, very wet... and very dead..." - the tag line for Let's Scare Jessica to Death (1971) sets the mood for this atmospheric, creepy, overlooked thriller. Zohra Lambert provides the film with a powerful performance while director John D. Hancock weave a terrifying tale of paranoia. Let the fun begin! The Black Saint and Doc Rotten tackle another groovy horror film from the 1970s. Joining the grue-crew is Gruesome Magazine contributor Jeff Mohr.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 45 – Let's Scare Jessica To Death (1971)

Let's Scare Jessica to Death is one of those classic Seventies titles that immediately sum up a tale and attract any horror fan's attention. Usually these films were all marketing and little content with the films being dismal. Most were Drive-In fare and many were instantly forgotten. It is a shame that many modern horror fans know very little of this terrific gem from 1971 - outside of, perhaps, knowing of the film's title. What horror fans are missing is a terrific little film with great performances, an intriguing tale, and moody, atmospheric direction. The film is directed by John D. Hancock and features Zohra Lambert, Barton Hayman, Kevin O'Connor, Mariclare Costello, and Gretchen Corbett.

Jeff Mohr joins the Grue-Crew for another look at a Seventies horror classic, seeming falling for Zohra Lambert in the process. The Black Saint and Doc Rotten agree with Jeff that she makes the film with a riveting, subdued, and haunting performance. The Grue-Crew find very little disparaging about the film, urging DoH fans to look out for Let's Scare Jessica to Death, praising the film for its tone, approach, direction and acting. The film looks great, Lambert deserves accolades for her role of Jessica, and the films ambivalence about its own details and origin provide an ominous conclusion to keep you thinking long after the film ends - in typical Seventies down-beat style. Decades of Horror approved.

Dec 28, 2016

"Creeping!...Crawling!...Crushing!" - Bill Rebane, the director who gave us Bigfoot Terror, presents to starving horror fans a horror film featuring a giant spider attacking a small town in Wisconsin. And, by giant spider, we mean a Volkswagon Bug dressed with a million eyes and eight furry legs. And it is bloody brilliant...in all the wrong ways. The Black Saint and Doc Rotten tackle another groovy horror film from the 1970s. Joining the grue-crew is Gruesome Magazine contributor Jeff Mohr and North Carolina film maker Bill Mulligan.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 44 – The Giant Spider Invasion (1975)

A film that many modern horror fans know as a MST3K favorite is a drive-in classic from 1975, The Giant Spider Invasion is a marvel of low budget film making. Despite some of the films many flaws, the film is inexplicably entertaining...for all the wrong reasons. So deliciously bad it is a wonder mess of a fun movie and the Grue-Crew are here to share their memories, their impressions, and their favorite scenes. The fun begins with Alan Hale Jr.'s first line of dialog, fondly remembering his run as The Skipper on Gilligan's Island - "Hi, little buddy!". But it is the spider effects - made for a whopping 10K - that make the film so memorable, earning its spot among the 100 Most Enjoyably Bad Movies Ever Made honestly.

The film also features Steve Brodie, Barbara Hale, Robert Easton, Leslie Parrish, Bill Williams, Kevin Brodie, Diane Lee Hart,  and Tain Bodkin. The plot is full of soap opera relationships spoiled by a dropping meteor that carries geodes full of crawling, deadly spiders and opening a black hole in the Wisconsin fields. Crawling out of that black hole is a hungry, murderous giant spider over 15 feet wide. Made for $300,000.00, the film reportedly made $22 Million. No small feat. Listen to Doc, The Black Saint, Jeff and Bill revisit The Giant Spider Invasion and then see it for yourself...if you dare.

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 theblacksaint@decadesofhorror.com or docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

Dec 13, 2016

"Pretty Sally Mae died a very unnatural death! ... But the worst hasn't happened to her yet! DERANGED ... confessions of a necrophile." - The tag line Jeff Gillen and Alan Ormsby's Deranged: Confessions of a Necrophile (1974) is Seventies Drive-In Exploitation at its best. The film, starring Roberts Blossom, is based upon the life of serial killer Ed Gein, considered the most accurate portrayal of his story until Ed Gein released in 2000 The Black Saint and Doc Rotten tackle another groovy horror film from the 1970s. Joining the grue-crew is Gruesome Magazine contributor Jeff Mohr.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 43 – Deranged (1974)

One of the great things about Decades of Horror 1970s is coming across films not seen in a very long time - or, like Deranged: Confessions of a Necrophile, seen for the very first time. While The Black Saint is a long time fan of the film - fighting for it to be covered on the podcast since the show started, Doc Rotten and guest-host Jeff Mohr are watching the film with a fresh set of eyes each some 42 years after its initial release. Deranged is produced (albeit uncredited) by Bob Clark (Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things, Dead of Night, Black Christmas) written by Alan Ormsby and co-directed by Jeff Gillen. Roberts Blossom stars as Ezra Cobb, modeled after Ed Gein. Blossom may be recognized from his later roles in Christine (George LeBay) and Home Alone (Old Man Marley). Santos gets to share his love for the film and finds Doc and Jeff equally impressed by the low budget shocker.

The story follows Ezra Cobb after his mother passes away. Lost without her, he resorts to digger her up nearly a years after her death. Studying taxidermy, he hatches a plan to restore her and begins robbing graves for "materials." Before long he sets his sights on fresher materials and the body count rises - as his madness grows. Blossom's performance drives the film but the effects - from first time effects artist Tom Savini - display in gruesome detail. One particular scene, long cut from the film restored in recent years, has Cobb peeling back the scalp of one victim so he can scoop out her brains. Later when his affection for a young waitress turns violent, the audience is treated to a dinner scene reminiscent of a later 1974 classic The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The film is made for fans of Seventies drive-in horror films. Catch it if you can.

Nov 23, 2016

"They're all going to laugh at you! They're all going to laugh at you!" - Margaret White's desperate pleading rings in her daughter's mind as she is consumed with rage after she is bathed in pig's blood at her senior prom in Brian De Palma's horror classic CARRIE (1976). It's the moment horror fans in the 1970s will never forget, when Carrie White wipes out most of the student body during the conclusion of the adaptation of Stephen King's first novel. The Black Saint and Doc Rotten tackle another groovy horror film from the 1970s. Joining the grue-crew for Carrie are award winning director Christopher G. Moore and Gruesome Magazine contributor Jeff Mohr.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 42 – Carrie (1976)

 Watching CARRIE now 40 years after it debuted on theater screens across the US, the film continues to astonish, frighten, and impress with its terrific cast, its terrifying story and its fantastic direction and score. The film hits home with teen anguish of being accepted in high school, fears of the unknown, and the lasting effects of guilt and rage. Carrie stars two fantastic actresses as Carrie White and her mother Margaret, both of whom were nominated for Oscars for their roles in the film. Sissy Specek leads the film as Carrie while Piper Laurie returns from a 15 year hiatus to star as her mother. Betty Buckley stars as Carrie's gym teacher, sensitive to Carrie's plight. Amy Irving, Nancy Allan, and P.J. Soles are cast as her school mates who tease and torment her. William Katt is Tommy Ross who catches Carrie's eye. And John Travolta is...well...Vinnie Barbarino. Dwerp. Brian De Palma brings every trick he knows to the film from split screens during the prom scene to Split Diopter during many important glimpses of Carrie's position in the story to a number of camera tricks lifted directly out of Alfred Hitchcock's cinematic arsenal. Along with the fantastic score from Pino Donaggio, Carrie is a classic that stands today just as well as it did back in 1976.

Guest host Christopher G. Moore is a self professed De Palma fan, despite his unfavorable opinion of Phantom of the Paradise, proclaiming Carrie as one of his very favorite films, horror or otherwise. Jeff Mohr chimes in with fond memories of the film, including the finale that gets the grue-crew remembering the impact and reactions of Carrie's final moments. Together with Doc and Santos, they even wager that Carrie is the best Stephen King adaptation even though it was the very first one. But it is the performances of Sissy Specek and Piper Laurie that truly anchor the film. Carrie's tragic character arc and Margaret's ill-fated antagonist make the film resonate to this day. The film is iconic, frightening and relevant - a must see, a genuine horror classic.

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