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Now displaying: Category: Decades of Horror The Classic Era
Dec 30, 2018

“I expected to be frightened on my wedding night, but nothing like this!” With a quote like that, you might be expecting a body-horror film. Come to think of it, with retractable needles in fingers and eyeballs on hands, you might be right. Join this episode’s Grue Crew - Joseph Perry, Whitney Collazo, Chad Hunt, and Jeff Mohr - as they sing a chorus of “Old Man Larkin had a Phone” and laugh until the cows come home in Invasion of the Saucer Men (1957).

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 48 – Invasion of the Saucer Men (1957)

Directed by B-movie legend Edward Cahn and written by Al Martin and Robert J. Gurney Jr., Invasion of the Saucer Men is all about some Brussels sprout-headed aliens with eyeballs in their hands and hypodermic needles filled with 100%-pure alcohol, which extend from and retract into their fingers. The Saucer Men use their finger needles to inebriate a couple young hoodlums and Farmer Larkin’s bull, Walt. They also manage to kill Joe-the-alcoholic by increasing his already high blood-alcohol-content to a lethal level. Between these injection events, there's a lot of driving back and forth by young “hoodlums” while encountering Farmer Larkin (Raymond Hatton) repeatedly uttering “consarn,” a pair of small-minded opportunists (Frank Gorshin and Lyn Osborn), an amazing collection of incompetent military and law enforcement personnel, and an assortment of clueless, adult townspeople. There's even a couple (Gloria Castillo and Steven Terrell) whose plan is to elope amidst all this chaos. Now that’s what you call fun!

Invasion of the Saucer Men is as much a comedy as it is science fiction/horror and the Grue Crew had a lot of fun with it. Though the laughs are plentiful, they all agree there are some genuine scenes of horror. Whitney gets a kick out of Farmer Larkin’s dialect and wonders about the construction of Paul Blaisdell’s alien design, all the while cringing at Walt-the-bull’s injection event. Chad loved the creature design and has his own theory of why the Saucer Men landed. A lifelong fear of disembodied hands was the film’s gift to Joseph, but he’s glad the alien hand had an eyeball so it could see where it was going. Jeff takes a short jaunt into Raymond Hatton's filmography and thinks he might have figured out the significance of the title of the short story that served as the screenplay source material.

If you want a fun time combined with a few icky parts and innovative creature design, the Grue Crew recommends Invasion of the Saucer Men. It’s a hoot!

The Decades of Horror: The Classic Era Grue Crew plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule will be another Edward Cahn extravaganza, Invisible Invaders (1959)!

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era! After all, without you, we’re just a bunch of nincompoops talking about the films we love. Send us an email at feedback@gruesomemagazine.com, leave a review on iTunes, or comment at either GruesomeMagazine.com or the Gruesome Magazine Horror News Radio Facebook group.

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

Dec 13, 2018

“You can take all the baths you want. I’m not one to make a fuss about a thing like that.” Sounds like a great landlady, right? Join this episode’s Grue Crew - Joseph Perry, Chad Hunt, and Jeff Mohr - as they take as many baths as they want and go dancing at the Carnival of Souls (1962)! After all, who would make a fuss about that?

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 47 – Carnival of Souls (1962)

Sprouting from the imagination of director Herk Harvey and writer John Clifford, Carnival of Souls didn’t exactly take Hollywood by storm and, in fact, almost faded into oblivion. In the fifty-plus years since its original release, however, the film has gone from hard-to-get mythical status to legitimate legend with a coveted Criterion Blu-ray edition. As their only fictional film, Carnival of Souls is quite a legacy for Harvey and Clifford, a pair of co-workers at Centron Corporation, the maker of industrial and educational films.

Carnival of Souls tells the tale of May Henry (Candace Hilligoss) who narrowly escapes death as the car in which she is a passenger crashes through bridge guardrails and plunges into the river. As Mary’s life moves forward after the accident, she encounters the landlady (Frances Feist) at her new apartment, her new neighbor (Sidney Berger), the minister (Art Ellison) at the church where she plays the organ, and a doctor (Stan Levitt) who notices Candace is acting strangely. Throughout these encounters, Candace is haunted by the recurring vision of a ghoulish man (Herk Harvey). What does the ghoul want and who is he? What’s wrong with Candace? How will this all end?

Joseph saw Carnival of Souls in a theater during its official re-release in 1989-1990 and dug the film’s dreamlike surrealism. Chad and Jeff saw the film much later and were not quite as impressed but agree that decades of viewing Twilight Zone-type fare may have jaded them. The winning interpretation of the story comes from Chad while Jeff seems more interested in Herk Harvey’s background. The Grue Crew is unanimous in calling Carnival of Souls a must see for all horror fans.

The Decades of Horror: The Classic Era Grue Crew plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule will be Invasion of the Saucer-Men (1957)! Whitney Collazo is on a film shoot and couldn’t be with us for this episode but she should be back for this one.

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era! After all, without you, we’re just some whack-a-doodles talking about the films we love. Send us an email at feedback@gruesomemagazine.com, leave a review on iTunes, or comment at either GruesomeMagazine.com or the Gruesome Magazine Horror News Radio Facebook group.

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

Nov 29, 2018

“... I leave before the dark. We live over in town, miles away. … We couldn't hear you. In the night. No one could. ... No one will come any nearer than that. In the night. In the dark.”  Okay, get the picture? Hill House is an inviting and comforting place to stay, right? In fact, you’ll feel so at home, you might never want to leave. Join this episode’s Grue Crew - Whitney Collazo, Chad Hunt, and Jeff Mohr - as they brave a few nights in Hill House with The Haunting (1963)!

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 46 – The Haunting (1963)

Dr. Markway (Richard Johnson), a researcher in psychic phenomena, has gained permission to stay in Hill House, a 90-year-old mansion with an evil, deadly history. Markway invites six people with a variety of psychic abilities to accompany him as research assistants, but only two take the bait: Eleanor (Julie Harris), a woman with a history of poltergeist phenomena, and Theo (Claire Bloom), who has proven ESP abilities. Luke (Russ Tamblyn), a member of the owning family and a skeptic, comes along to keep an eye on his property. Mrs. Dudley (Rosalie Crutchley), one of the caretakers of Hill House, makes an appearance early on to ominously warn the researchers that after dark, they will be alone and no one will come to help them. Almost immediately, Hill House begins to exert its power over the interlopers. They only last three nights and not everyone survives The Haunting.

The film is brilliantly directed by Robert Wise, sandwiched between his Oscar-winning efforts on West Side Story (1961) and The Sound of Music (1965). Wise, one of Val Lewton’s acolytes at RKO, exhibits mastery of Lewton’s preference for implicit, rather than explicit, danger in The Haunting. The screenplay by Nelson Gidding, adapted from Shirley Jackson’s novel, The Haunting of Hill House (1959), deftly establishes the four personalities of the research team members, their interpersonal relationships, and how Hill House interacts with and affects them. The acting, cinematography, and music fit the filmmakers’ vision perfectly, ramping up its nearly unbearable, sinister atmosphere.

Once again, the Decades of Horror: The Classic Era Grue Crew have a much greater appreciation for the film they discussed than they had going into this episode. Whitney loves the character of Eleanor and Julie Harris’ portrayal. She also likes the way the story walks a tightrope between the supernatural and insanity. On the other hand, Chad is all over the supernatural justification of events in The Haunting and loves the scenes with the inexplicable pounding on the Eleanor’s and Theo’s bedroom walls. Jeff was entranced with the optical distortions created by Wise’s intentional use of a not-ready-for-primetime lens and loved the introductory “history of Hill House” scenes. Of course, Chad managed to, yet again, find a Batman reference. Your Grue Crew highly recommends The Haunting (1963) as one of the top haunted house films in history, and especially now as a comparison to the recent Netflix series, The Haunting of Hill House.

The Decades of Horror: The Classic Era Grue Crew plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule will be Herk Harvey’s one-off classic, Carnival of Souls (1962).

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the films we love. Send us an email or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, or the Gruesome Magazine Horror News Radio Facebook group.

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

Nov 15, 2018

“Look, Ann, this is a mistake any one of us might've made. And I'm getting a little sick of being called an irresponsible drunk, now believe me I am.” Who hasn’t accidentally unleashed a pack of killer creatures while irresponsibly drunk? Join this episode’s Grue Crew - Whitney Collazo, Chad Hunt, Joseph Perry, and Jeff Mohr - as they journey to a remote island and are trapped with The Killer Shrews (1959)!

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 45 – The Killer Shrews (1959)

Gordon McLendon, the owner of a chain of drive-in movie theaters and a network of radio stations, decided to cut out the middle man and formed a short-lived movie production company to crank out a pair of typical, regional horror films. He enlisted Ray Kellogg as his director and Jay Simms as his screenwriter. The products of their efforts are The Killer Shrews and The Giant Gila Monster (1959).

The Killer Shrews tells an oft-told tale of pseudoscience gone wrong. Scientists on a remote island experiment on shrews in search of a way to reduce food shortages and the effects of population growth by making people smaller. Instead, they manage to enlarge the tiny creatures to the size of large dogs.  Entering this cozy enclave is the captain of a charter vessel delivering supplies and his crewman, coincidentally arriving as a hurricane hits the island and are trapped. They soon learn that one of the island-dwellers recently released the enlarged shrews while “irresponsibly” drunk. The result is a horde of hungry, teeth-gnashing, rampaging killer shrews on the loose!  

The original residents of the island are played by Baruch Lumet (Dr. Craigis), Glendon McLendon (Dr. Baines), Ingrid Goude (Dr. Craigis’ daughter, Ann), Ken Curtis (Ann’s fiance), and Alfredo de Soto (Mario, their assistant).  James Best is Captain Thorne Sherman and Judge Henry Dupree is Rook Griswold, his crewman.

No one will ever mistake The Killer Shrews as a great movie. The effects, the dialogue, and some of the acting rank high on the cheese-factor scale. It is, however, a boatload of fun! Whitney recounts seeing the film as a child with her grandmother and gives us the “You do what you have to do” mantra of the low-budget, independent filmmaker. Though he has come to love it, Chad hated the movie when he saw it as a child. He also wishes Judge Henry Dupree and Alfredo de Soto had lasted longer into the film, though they both did have heroic deaths. Joseph points out that Baruch Lumet was director Sidney Lumet’s father and opines that James Best is giving it his all as the lead protagonist. The colorized version of The Killer Shrews gets a short test run from Jeff and he also reveals the connection between Ken Curtis and legendary director John Ford. Unsurprisingly, your Grue Crew gives a unanimous, cheese-dipped, thumbs-up to The Killer Shrews!

The Decades of Horror: The Classic Era Grue Crew plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule will be The Haunting (1963). We thought it was time to revisit the original following the recent release of The Haunting of Hill House as a Netflix series.

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the films we love. Send us an email or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, Stitcher, Google Podcast, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

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

Nov 1, 2018

“I know you'll think I'm crazy, but... in a half-an-hour the moon will rise and I'll turn into a wolf.” “You and 20 million other guys!” Join this episode’s Grue Crew - Chad Hunt, Whitney Collazo, Jeff Mohr, and Joseph Perry - as they chuckle and guffaw their way through the comedy classic, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948).

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 44 – Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

Once director Charles Barton was on board, Bud Abbott and Lou Costello reluctantly signed on for the Universal International Pictures’ production of Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. The film features a trio of Universal classic monsters - Dracula, Frankenstein (the monster), and the Wolf Man - as played by Bela Lugosi, Glenn Strange, and Lon Chaney Jr. respectively. Although the three monsters are there, the story-line doesn’t fit anywhere in the Universal monster canon, reinforcing its place as somewhat of a novelty among the other films.

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein’s plot features two baggage handlers, Chick (Bud Abbott) and Wilbur (Lou Costello), tasked with delivering two large, coffin-sized containers holding Frankenstein and Dracula to McDougal’s House of Horrors. Dracula is in league with Dr. Mornay (Lenore Aubert), a mad scientist of sorts. In the meantime, Lawrence Talbot is trying to prevent delivery of the crates. The cast is supported by Jane Randolph in her last credited role, and the ever-present Frank Ferguson. As the brilliant comic duo roam the castle, much hi-jinks ensue!

The Classic Era Grue Crew couldn’t stop gushing about Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. Chad goes into depth on the life of Bud Abbott and reminds us that this film includes Bela Lugosi’s second and last role as Dracula and Lon Chaney Jr.’s last role as the Wolf Man.  An infatuation with Jane Randolph, first revealed in Episode 37 (Cat People, 1941), is reiterated by Joseph. Whitney identifies noticeable differences in Lon Chaney Jr.’s makeup between that used in this film and 1941’s The Wolf Man (Episode 39), and expresses her appreciation for a strong female role as a scientist. Several connections with 1925’s Phantom of the Opera (Episode 42) are pointed out by Jeff, including cameraman/director of photography Charles Van Enger. They all remarked on this film’s ability to still have them rolling in the aisles after decades of watching it. Yes, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein is still funny and it’s a great “horror” film to watch as a family!

The Decades of Horror: The Classic Era Grue Crew plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule will be The Killer Shrews (1959), starring Roscoe P. Coltrane and Festus.

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the films we love. Send us an email or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, Stitcher, Google Podcast, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

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

Oct 22, 2018

“You're a fool, Andreas! A complete, utter fool! Your fate is to be what you are - as mine is to be what I am... your Master!”  It’s always best to know your place, and who could resist the commanding voice of Bela Lugosi, right? Join this episode’s Grue Crew - Joseph Perry, Chad Hunt, and Jeff Mohr (Whitney Collazo was on special assignment, but should be back next episode) - as they chase down the hidden 1940s gem, The Return of the Vampire.

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 43 – The Return of the Vampire (1943)

Remember that classic sequel to Tod Browning’s Dracula (1931)? The one featuring Bela Lugosi’s second appearance as Dracula? Well, this is it, except this is not a Universal Picture and Lugosi doesn’t play Dracula. Instead, The Return of the Vampire is a Columbia Picture and the names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent.

Directed by dependable journeyman Lew Landers, and written by Griffin Jay from an idea by Kurt Neumann, The Return of the Vampire features the legendary vampire, Armand Tesla. Really. His name is Tesla. Lugosi does double duty as Tesla and Dr. Hugo Bruckner, the famous vampire expert. The film also features an unexpectedly articulate, talking werewolf, whose lines are ably enunciated by Matt Willis. The hero of the story is Lady Jane Ainsley (Frieda Inescort), a very smart, take-charge scientist who out matches Sir Frederick Fleet (Miles Mander), the Scotland Yard Inspector on the case. The focus of Tesla’s efforts is the young and beautiful Nicki Saunders, played by the impressive and versatile Nina Foch. The cast is rounded out with some comic relief from two gravediggers (those guys are always funny) and a couple of detectives reporting to Sir Frederick Fleet.

Despite its relatively low budget, The Return of the Vampire has an impressive cast and crew and the Grue Crew all agreed it is far better than one might have expected at first. Joseph saw this as youngster and the final scene has stuck with him for all the decades that have passed. The werewolf looked more like a dog to Chad, but even so, he appreciated the character and the genuine arc he had. Jeff, on the other hand, was really impressed with the quantity and quality of the fog in the graveyard. At any rate, this episode’s Grue Crew strongly recommends The Return of the Vampire as somewhat of a hidden gem of the 1940s.

The Decades of Horror: The Classic Era Grue Crew plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule will be Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948), the runaway winner of our latest Patreon Poll. Yay! More Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney Jr., and Jane Randolph and our first film with Glenn Strange!

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the films we love. Send us an email or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, Stitcher, Google Podcast, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

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

Oct 5, 2018

“Feast your eyes--glut your soul on my accursed ugliness!”  Remember the old if-a-tree-falls-in-the-woods question? If Lon Chaney has a line in a silent-film and no one hears it, is it still a quote?  This episode’s Grue Crew says, “Yes! If it appears in quotes on an intertitle card!” Join this episode’s Grue Crew - Whitney Collazo, Chad Hunt, Joseph Perry, and Jeff Mohr - as they make their third trip to the land of silent screams and visit the Paris opera house as depicted in Universal’s The Phantom of the Opera (1925).

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 42 – The Phantom of the Opera (1925)

After the success of The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), Universal Pictures’ Carl Laemmle needed another vehicle for the considerable talents of Lon Chaney and seized on the timeless story told in Gaston Leroux’s 1910 novel, Le Fantôme de l'Opéra. Directed, at least in part, by Rupert Julian, The Phantom of the Opera tells the tale of a man, disfigured in both appearance and character. He is infatuated with a beautiful woman and plots to gain her trust by mentoring her singing career and follows that with subterfuge, manipulation, and coercion in an insane attempt to win her hand.

The cast of The Phantom of the Opera features Lon Chaney, Mary Philbin, and Norman Kerry. Of course, Chaney is the star of the film. Not only does he knock it out of the park with another groundbreaking effort in makeup artistry, but his performance as the Phantom/Erik is truly inspired. Universal’s Stage 28 set, designed by Ben Carré, deserves its own star billing as the grandeur of the Paris Opera House is recreated complete with stage, giant chandelier, opera boxes, cellars, and underground torture chambers.

The members of the Grue Crew are universally moved by Chaney’s artistry and dedication. Whitney recounts the joys of using collodion for makeup effects, the impact of seeing the film as a five-year-old, and her affection for the metal-band musical connections to The Phantom of the Opera. The multitude of different versions of the film, which one should you watch, and the true story of Mary Philbin’s lost love send Jeff down the rabbit hole again. Joseph agrees that the various versions and the multiple, creative hands in the pie are evident in the film. The pain experienced by Chaney as a result of the makeup appliances used for the Phantom make an impression on Chad, but he still manages to find yet another connection to the Batman TV series.

The Decades of Horror: The Classic Era Grue Crew plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule will be The Return of the Vampire (1943)! More Bela Lugosi!

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the films we love. Send us an email or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, Stitcher, Google Podcast, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

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

Oct 5, 2018

“Feast your eyes--glut your soul on my accursed ugliness!”  Remember the old if-a-tree-falls-in-the-woods question? If Lon Chaney has a line in a silent-film and no one hears it, is it still a quote?  This episode’s Grue Crew says, “Yes! If it appears in quotes on an intertitle card!” Join this episode’s Grue Crew - Whitney Collazo, Chad Hunt, Joseph Perry, and Jeff Mohr - as they make their third trip to the land of silent screams and visit the Paris opera house as depicted in Universal’s The Phantom of the Opera (1925).

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 42 – The Phantom of the Opera (1925)

After the success of The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), Universal Pictures’ Carl Laemmle needed another vehicle for the considerable talents of Lon Chaney and seized on the timeless story told in Gaston Leroux’s 1910 novel, Le Fantôme de l'Opéra. Directed, at least in part, by Rupert Julian, The Phantom of the Opera tells the tale of a man, disfigured in both appearance and character. He is infatuated with a beautiful woman and plots to gain her trust by mentoring her singing career and follows that with subterfuge, manipulation, and coercion in an insane attempt to win her hand.

The cast of The Phantom of the Opera features Lon Chaney, Mary Philbin, and Norman Kerry. Of course, Chaney is the star of the film. Not only does he knock it out of the park with another groundbreaking effort in makeup artistry, but his performance as the Phantom/Erik is truly inspired. Universal’s Stage 28 set, designed by Ben Carré, deserves its own star billing as the grandeur of the Paris Opera House is recreated complete with stage, giant chandelier, opera boxes, cellars, and underground torture chambers.

The members of the Grue Crew are universally moved by Chaney’s artistry and dedication. Whitney recounts the joys of using collodion for makeup effects, the impact of seeing the film as a five-year-old, and her affection for the metal-band musical connections to The Phantom of the Opera. The multitude of different versions of the film, which one should you watch, and the true story of Mary Philbin’s lost love send Jeff down the rabbit hole again. Joseph agrees that the various versions and the multiple, creative hands in the pie are evident in the film. The pain experienced by Chaney as a result of the makeup appliances used for the Phantom make an impression on Chad, but he still manages to find yet another connection to the Batman TV series.

The Decades of Horror: The Classic Era Grue Crew plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule will be The Return of the Vampire (1943)! More Bela Lugosi!

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the films we love. Send us an email or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, Stitcher, Google Podcast, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

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

Sep 24, 2018

“Whiskey and soda mix, not whiskey and science.” This statement is heard early in the cult classic, The Hideous Sun Demon, and this episode’s Grue Crew doesn’t buy it for a second. Join Chad Hunt, Joseph Perry, and Jeff Mohr as they study the statement’s validity and have a ball along the way with The Hideous Sun Demon (1958).

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 41 – The Hideous Sun Demon (1958)

Dr. Gilbert McKenna has “an accident” when he is handling highly radioactive material while suffering from a hangover. Gil seems to quickly recover, but when exposed to direct sunlight, he rapidly transforms into the hideous sun demon. Gil’s doctor prescribes avoiding the sun’s rays, but for a guy like Gil, that’s not as easy as it sounds. When the sun is down, Gil restlessly cavorts about town and encounters the beautiful Trudy (Nan Peterson) who is singing and playing air-piano at a rundown nightspot. Unfortunately, he also runs into her thuggish boyfriend George (Peter Similuk), who proves to be a problem. While all this is happening, Gil’s coworkers, Ann (Patricia Manning) and Dr. Buckell (Patrick Whyte), work to find a cure for Gil’s newly acquired condition.

A low budget creature feature inspired by the financial success of The Astounding She-Monster (1957), The Hideous Sun Demon is the brainchild of Robert Clarke who produces, directs, co-writes, and plays the lead in the film. Primary writers of the screenplay are E. S. Seeley Jr. and Doane R. Hoag.

Your Grue Crew wasn’t sure what to expect with The Hideous Sun Demon, but it turned out to be a barrel of fun, despite its low-budget related flaws. Jeff points out Clarke’s extensive use of family members in bit parts on the film. Chad feels it was like watching two different movies; one a fairly standard, radiation-created creature feature and the other, a noirish story complete with brutish thugs and a femme fatale. Joseph agrees that at times, it seems like Nan Peterson was channeling Marilyn Monroe with the lilt of her voice and the way she played a scene. At any rate, The Hideous Sun Demon was fun throughout and the Grue Crew gives it a big low budget, cult classic thumbs up!

The Decades of Horror: The Classic Era Grue Crew plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule will be the silent scream, The Phantom of the Opera (1925)! They can’t wait to discuss the brilliance of the legendary Lon Chaney!

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the films we love. Send us an email or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, Stitcher, Google Podcast, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

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

Sep 6, 2018

“You, too, can feel the joy and happiness of hating.” Hmmm, words like joy and happiness used to describe hate? Sounds enticing, right? Join Chad Hunt, Whitney Collazo, and Jeff Mohr, along with guest host Bill Mulligan, as they they celebrate the early product of Mario Bava’s genius known as Black Sunday (1960).

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 40 – Black Sunday (1960)

“Viy,” a short story by Russian writer Nikolai Gogol, provides a loose foundation for the film’s screenplay, written by Ennio De Concini and Mario Serandrei. Mario Bava is the director and cinematographer of Black Sunday and a beautifully shot film it is. Even though Black Sunday is Bava’s first official credit as the director of a feature film, he has dozens of credits as cinematographer as well as a few uncredited turns as director.

Released in the U.S. by American International Pictures, Black Sunday tells the story of a brother and sister burned at the stake as vampires. Or is it witches? Just before having spiked iron masks slammed home on their face with a gigantic mallet, they curse all future generations of the family. Flash forward 200 years when an incredibly inept doctor breaks the seals on Princess Asa’s crypt and then her coffin, initiates her resurrection by dripping blood on her (The Doctor That Dripped Blood?) so she can seek vengeance on the current incarnation of her family. Her plan includes raising her brother Igor from the dead and swapping bodies with her beautiful lookalike descendent, Katia. Barbara Steele is brilliant as Princess Asa/Katia and Arturo Dominici plays her evil accomplice, Igor. Other key players include Katia’s father (Ivo Garrani) and the two doctors (John Richardson and Andrea Checchi).

Whitney is impressed by Barbara Steele’s ability to play two such dichotomous roles: the consummately evil Asa and the innocent Katia. It is the spiked, iron masks and how they are pounded in place in the opening scene that leaves an impression on Chad. Bill, an avowed Bava fan, extols the virtues of the black and white cinematography, the set design, and the shot construction. Wholeheartedly agreeing with Bill, Jeff adds how impressed he is with the camera movement within those sets. You’re probably not surprised the the Grue Crew thinks Black Sunday is a genuinely great film and is a sign of future promise Bava so expertly fulfilled.

We plan to release a new episode every other week. On the next episode in our very flexible schedule, we‘ll be covering the cult classic The Hideous Sun Demon (1958).

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the films we love. Send us an email or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, Stitcher, Google Podcast, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

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

Aug 23, 2018

“Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright.” Of course, that poem is in reference to the Universal Classic Monster film, The Wolf Man! Join Chad Hunt, Whitney Collazo, and Jeff Mohr, along with guest host Jacob Allen, as they take a midnight stroll with Larry Talbot through the fog-shrouded woods on a moonlit night. Be sure to bring your walking cane, the one with the silver wolf’s head! You will most certainly need it.

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 39 – The Wolf Man (1941)

This episode’s Grue Crew loves The Wolf Man so much, they recorded this podcast twice! Whether beset by electromagic gremlins or cursed directly from film by Maleva, the first recording didn’t take, so they all went back for seconds. And you thought they’d been goofing off.

The Wolf Man might embody Universal’s most original monster. Based on an original screenplay by Curt Siodmak and directed by George Waggner, the film started much of the werewolf mythology still used in film today. The solid cast, sporting seven Oscar nominations among them, is led by Lon Chaney Jr. as Larry Talbot, and includes Claude Rains as his father, Evelyn Ankers as the female lead Gwen, Ralph Bellamy as Colonel Montford, Patric Knowles as Gwen’s boyfriend, Warren William as Dr. Boyd, and Fay Helm as Gwen’s friend. To top it off, the cast is blessed with Maria Ouspenskaya as Maleva and the inimitable Bela Lugosi as her son, Bela. The supernatural elements of the story or rendered entirely believable by the work of Jack Pierce, makeup artist extraordinaire.

Your Grue Crew marvels at the many facets through which Larry Talbot’s affliction can be viewed. Siodmak was surely thinking of the persecution he fled in Nazi Germany, but the story can be seen as a metaphor for a multitude of other conflicts common to most individuals’ lives, thereby explaining the film’s resonance with so many viewers.

Whitney proudly admits to being inspired by Jack Pierce’s makeup art. Claude Rains is only 17 years older than Lon Chaney Jr., who plays his son, and Jeff wonders how old Daddy Talbot must have been when his oldest son was born. Jacob is awed by the direction and organization it must have taken to complete the film in a short amount of time especially while working around the lengthy makeup process. When it comes to The Wolf Man, Chad is all about the mythic stature of Maria Ouspenskaya. As you may have guessed, their recommendation, assuming you’ve already seen this film, is see it again and again! Now!

We plan to release a new episode every other week. On the next episode in our very flexible schedule, we‘ll be covering Mario Bava’s Black Sunday (1960).

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the films we love. Send us an email or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, Stitcher, Google Podcast, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

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

Jul 25, 2018

“It looks like a zoo in Hell!” Indeed it does! In fact, the whole film is a bit of a zoo. Join Chad Hunt, Joseph Perry, and Jeff Mohr, along with guest host Mike Imboden, as they visit the zoo in question, or in other words, discuss AIP's Die, Monster, Die!, a film that tied for first place in our latest Patreon poll. In the process, maybe they can figure out why the monster has to die twice.

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 38 – Die, Monster, Die! (1965)

Die, Monster, Die!, also known as Monster of Terror, is helmed by first time director Daniel Haller. Loosely based on the H.P. Lovecraft story, “The Colour Out of Space,” the screenplay is written by Jerry Sohl. In this version, the story depicts Nahum Witley (Boris Karloff) as the head of the Witley family. Some years ago, the family property was hit by a radioactive meteorite that caused mutations, followed by decay, in all living things. Of course, Nahum thought it a good idea to bring the meteorite into the house for experiments there and in the greenhouse.

Not surprisingly, the radiation causes the physical deterioration of Nahum’s wife (Freda Jackson), her maid, and his butler (Terence de Marney). Nahum’s wife summons their daughter’s boyfriend (Nick Adams) from America to come save their daughter (Suzan Farmer) from the same fate. However, Nahum’s not having it. The cast is rounded out nicely with supporting roles from Patrick Magee as Dr. Henderson and Sheila Raynor as the Dr.’s housekeeper.

This episode’s Grue Crew have a mixed reaction to Die, Monster, Die! They all agree Boris Karloff is the main attraction and does a fine job and that the film looks great. Jeff appreciated the set design and furnishings in the English mansion. The opening scenes of the Nick Adams character’s attempts to find a ride to “the Witley place” tripped Mike’s trigger, but more importantly, he wants more Merwyn! Joseph, Chad, and Mike are fans of Nick Adams from his appearances in a few Toho productions while Jeff favors his output in westerns, purely from a nostalgia viewpoint. Though this film has a lot of issues, the script being the major one despite Jerry Sohl’s other credits, the Grue Crew think it’s worth a watch, especially if you’re looking for something different. After all, they don’t make them like Die, Monster, Die! anymore.

We plan to release a new episode every other week. On the next episode in our very flexible schedule, we‘ll be covering Universal’s The Wolf Man (1941), the other film that tied for first place in our latest Patreon Poll.

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the films we love. Send us an email or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, Stitcher, Google Podcast, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

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

Jul 5, 2018

“They torment me. I wake in the night and the trail of their feet whispers in my brain. I have no peace. For they are in me.” Irena Dubrovna apparently has an icky feeling inside? Join Chad Hunt, Joseph Perry, and Jeff Mohr, along with guest host Whitney Modesta Collazo as they come on little cat feet and sit looking over Cat People on silent haunches. Wait. Does that sound familiar? Anyway, listen to the Grue Crew scratch below the surface of this unmitigated classic!

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 37 – Cat People (1942)

Cat People is the first film in RKO’s plan to release low budget horror films intended to compete with Universal’s output. The studio handed their new effort to first time producer Val Lewton, who had been recommended by David O. Selznick. Lewton enlisted first time screenwriter DeWitt Bodean to write the script and then surrounded himself with an excellent crew led by director Jacques Tourneur and cinematographer Nicholas Musuraca.

Cast as Irena Dubrovna, the film’s central character, Simone Simon’s mysterious and exotic look was key to the success of Cat People. Kent Smith took the role of her soon-to-be husband, Oliver Reed, with Jane Randolph rounding out the love triangle as Alice Moore, ostensibly Reed’s work colleague. The four main characters are rounded out by Tom Conway as Dr. Judd, a psychiatrist brought in to treat Irena’s obsession with the legend of her family’s curse and her accompnaying fears of intimacy. An able supporting cast, led by Alan Napier as another of Reed’s work colleagues and Jack Holt as Reed’s boss, make solid contributions to the feel and atmosphere of Cat People.

This episode’s Grue Crew all marvel at Tourneur’s and Musuraca’s use of shadows and fog to foster the eerie atmosphere present throughout Cat People and how truly terrifying the film is despite most of the action being hidden in shadows and not explicitly shown. Whitney is impressed by the stress and vulnerability she felt during the swimming pool scene and points out the impact the set design has on creating the film’s mood. Chad emphasizes the sophistication of the film, its tight script, and the existence of the storytelling technique known as the “Lewton Bus.” He also points out three - count ‘em, three - more connections to the Batman TV series. We learn of Joseph’s unrequited love for Jane Randolph (Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, 1948). Jeff and Joseph remark on some of the similarities that Cat People has with film noir and Jeff gets lost in the supporting cast. Of course he did. Needless to say, they all pronounce Cat People to be a must see film!

We plan to release a new episode every other week. On the next episode in our very flexible schedule, we ‘ll be covering Die, Monster, Die! (1965), the film that tied for first place in our latest Patreon Poll.

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the films we love. Send us an email or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

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

Jun 14, 2018

“Every bone in his body must be broken. But I'm not sure that's what killed him.” What?! Well then, what did kill him? Join Joseph Perry, Chad Hunt, and Jeff Mohr as they stowaway aboard a rocket from Mars in search of the answer found only in the 1950s, science fiction classic, It! The Terror from Beyond Space.

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 36 – It! The Terror from Beyond Space (1958)

As the film opens, Colonel Van Heusen has led a rescue mission to bring back Colonel Carruthers, the lone survivor of the first landing on Mars. Van Heusen is convinced that Carruthers slaughtered his entire crew, but Carruthers claims his crew was murdered by an unstoppable creature. Everyone soon learns that Van Heusen is wrong when the shadow of something monstrous is shown entering the ship through a hatch that has been inadvertently left open. Oops. As the ship lifts off, the crew is now confined with It! The Terror from Beyond Space, and the crew is picked off, one by one. Don’t forget, in space no one can hear you scream. Oops, again. That’s the tagline to a different movie, but you do see the similarity, right?

Directed by Edward L. Cahn and written by Jerome Bixby, It! The Terror from Beyond Space stars Marshall Thompson (Carruthers), Shirley Patterson (Ann Anderson), and Kim Spalding (Van Heusen). The able supporting cast is led by Ann Doran, Dabs Greer, Paul Langton, Robert Bice, and Ray Corrigan as It.

This episode’s Grue Crew appreciates the foreboding atmosphere created with shadows and smoke-shrouded scenes. Chad, an aficionado of practical effects artists, points out Paul Blaisdell’s work on the creature suit and calls It! The Terror from Beyond Space one of his favorite science fiction movies. Joseph recounts problems encountered with the ill-fitting head of the creature suit and “fun” is the operative word Jeff uses for the film. All three of the Grue Crew are impressed with the results obtained with the low budget and enthusiastically recommend the film to all.

We plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule (you might have noticed we did not cover Rosemary’s Baby this episode) is the classic, Cat People (1942).

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just a bunch of nutjobs talking about the films we love. Send us an email or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, Stitcher, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

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

May 24, 2018

Marie: “I wonder why he was so glad to see me?” Evans: “Mr. Kessler thought you had been murdered.” What?! Why would Mr. Kessler think such a thing? Maybe because several other people were murdered in his house? Is it possible the murders are connected? Join Chad Hunt, Joseph Perry, and Jeff Mohr, along with guest host Adam Thomas, as we take our second consecutive trip to Poverty Row, this time for a stay with Bela Lugosi at his deadly home in Invisible Ghost.

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 35 – Invisible Ghost (1941)

A Poverty Row film released by Monogram Pictures, Invisible Ghost is directed by Joseph H. Lewis, sometimes referred to as “Wagon Wheel Joe” for the style he employed for his many B-movie westerns. It tells the story of Charles Kessler (Bela Lugosi), whose wife (Betty Compson) has disappeared. As Kessler and his daughter Virginia (Polly Ann Young) resolutely remain in the house for Mrs. Kessler’s possible reappearance, people keep dying around them. How many have been murdered, we asked? “A lot,” we’re told. Then a man (John McGuire) is executed for one of the murders only to be replaced by his twin, and the murders continue even after the execution. Overseeing the whole mess is Kessler’s butler, Evans (Clarence Muse).

This episode’s Grue Crew are confused as to the whys and “what fors” of the story. There’s little rhyme or reason to the killer’s motivation. There’s no ghost. Nothing is invisible. Characters just die. Everything just is. Welcome to Poverty Row.

The hosts all recommend Invisible Ghost for Clarence Muse’s performance. IMDb and Wikipedia list co-writer Helen Martin as one in the same as the African American actress who starred as Pearl Shay in 227 (1985-1990) among her 60+ acting credits. Your faithful Grue Crew could find no other collaborating information and questioned this connection. Since recording the podcast, we have found other online mentions of her work on the script on the Classic Horror Film Board. If she is indeed the co-author of the screenplay for Invisible Ghost, it would explain why the part of Evans is written as such an integral, smart, and dignified character. If any of our listeners have additional verification regarding Helen Martin as a screenwriter, please let us know via comment or email.

Chad has a particular affection for the comic relief provided by Fred Kelsey, who plays Detective Ryan and Jeff points out the many, many, many roles with nicknames played by Ernie Adams, who plays Jules the gardner in Invisible Ghost. Adam marvels at the ineptitude of the police and the jarring cuts as several scenes in several locations cover a day in 20 seconds. Joseph loves the use of the visible wall as the camera follows characters from room to room. The hosts also get in another mention of the classic film noir Gun Crazy (1950) and yet another connection to Batman, this time the classic serials produced by the producer of Invisible Ghost, Sam Katzman. The Grue Crew also appreciates Invisible Ghost for giving Lugosi a chance to play a character counter to his usual monstrous characters. Please take an hour of your time and check it out!

We plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule is the classic, Rosemary’s Baby (1968).

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the films we love. Send us an email or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, Stitcher, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

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

May 10, 2018

“That evil noose was made when they found farmer Berkeley murdered in his field. They accused ferryman Douglas of the crime and hanged him. He swore that he was innocent, but that didn't stop them. It was then he spoke his curse.”  Yikes! Evil noose? Deadly curse? Sounds right up our alley! Join Jeff Mohr and Joseph Perry, along with guest host Mike Imboden, as we take our first trip to Poverty Row and brave the foggy swamp of Strangler of the Swamp!

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 34 – Strangler of the Swamp (1946)

Strangler of the Swamp tells the story of a ferryman, wrongly accused of murder and lynched, who curses his murderers before his death. Since that day, several members of his lynch mob have died strange accidental deaths which, not so coincidentally, resemble hangings. Motives of love, revenge, guilt, and money combine with supernatural elements to weave the threads of this story together.

Co-written and directed by Frank Wisbar, Strangler of the Swamp is a loose remake of Fährmann Maria (1936), a German film also co-written and directed by Wisbar. A Producers Releasing Corporation production, Strangler of the Swamp was shot on a shoestring budget like most Poverty Row films. The set was covered with a thick blanket of fog throughout the movie to hide the lack of a swamp or any water whatsoever. The cast wes filled with character actors and newcomers that included Rosemary La Planche; Blake Edwards, who went on to write and direct well known comedies such as the Pink Panther films; Robert Barrat; Charles Middleton, who played Ming the Merciless in the Flash Gordon Serials; Effie Laird; and Nolan Leary.

This episode’s Grue Crew comment that, even though the fog served a budgetary purpose, it is effective at creating an eerie atmosphere that serves the film well. Though you’ll never find Strangler of the Swamp on a traditional “best of” list, it can be placed in the top tier of Poverty Row pictures. Joseph, Mike, and Jeff recommend this film if you have any interest in Poverty Row films and maybe, just to see Blake Edwards before he hit the bigtime.

We plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule is Invisible Ghost (1941), another Poverty Row gem starring Bela Lugosi, selected by Chad Hunt.

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the films we love. Send us an email or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, Stitcher, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

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

 

Apr 26, 2018

“The question of death selection may be the most important decision in your life.”  What?! You get to select your own death? That’s usually not the case but in the world of John Frankenheimer’s Seconds (1966), that’s exactly what  the character played by John Randolph and Rock Hudson has to do. Yes, you read that right. They play the same character. Join Jeff Mohr, Chad Hunt, and Joseph Perry, along with guest host Bill Gabriel, as we spend a lot of seconds digging into Seconds!

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 33 – Seconds (1966)

This film’s title does not refer to the seconds on your watch, but to second chances. Seconds tells the story of one Arthur Hamilton (John Randolph), a middle-aged banker that has lost all interest in his life, his job, his wife (Frances Reid), and even his daughter. An old friend (Murray Hamilton) who Arthur thought was dead, reaches out to give him an opportunity to begin anew, a second chance if you will. Arthur looks into this possible new life and after some debate and eventually some blackmail, “decides” to take advantage of the offer. After his “death” and some plastic surgery, Arthur looks a lot like Rock Hudson and is rechristened Tony Wilson. As you probably suspect, even though the Company has orchestrated some female companionship (Salome Jens) for him, Tony’s new lease on life turns out not to be the panacea he expected.

Adapted for the screen by Lewis John Carlino from the novel by David Ely, Seconds has gone from box office failure to classic in the 50+ years since its release. Director John Frankenheimer surrounded himself with a high quality crew on all accounts, including cinematographer James Wong Howe who received an Academy Award nomination for his work on Seconds. Frankenheimer also enlisted a superb supporting cast, including Will Geer, Richard Anderson, Jeff Corey, Khigh Dhiegh, Wesley Addy, Nedrick Young, and Karl Swenson.

This episode’s Grue Crew gives Seconds the highest accolades and recommends it to all Grue Believers. Each of them also holds the opinion that Rock Hudson and James Wong Howe should have received Academy Awards for their work on this films. Don’t give this underappreciated classic a second thought. You must see Seconds!

We plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule is the Poverty Row gem, Strangler of the Swamp (1946), selected by Joseph Perry.

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the films we love. Send us an email or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, Stitcher, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

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

Apr 11, 2018

“I have never known birds of different species to flock together. The very concept is unimaginable. Why, if that happened, we wouldn't stand a chance! How could we possibly hope to fight them?”  Yikes! The ornithologist has a darn good point! Join Chad Hunt, Joseph Perry (He’s ba-a-a-ck!), and Jeff Mohr, along with guest host Dan Sellers, as we take a bird’s eye view of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds (1963).

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 32 – The Birds (1963)

Based on Daphne du Maurier’s short story of the same title and adapted to the screen by Evan Hunter, The Birds tells the story of Bodega Bay, a California coastal town terrorized by inexplicably aggressive and belligerent birds.The film stars Tippi Hedren (Melanie), Suzanne Pleshette (Annie), Jessica Tandy (Lydia), Veronica Cartwright (Cathy), and Rod Taylor (Mitch) under the direction of Alfred Hitchcock.

The stars are surrounded by a cast populated with some of the best character actors in the business, including Ethel Griffies as the ornithologist, Charles McGraw as the fishing boat captain, Lonny Chapman as the innkeeper, Doreen Lang as the hysterical mother, Karl Swenson as the drunken prophet, Joe Mantell as the cynical businessman, Ruth McDevitt as the owner of bird shop, Malcolm Atterbury as the deputy, Richard Deacon as Mitch's neighbor in San Francisco, Doodles Weaver as a fisherman helping with a rental boat, and William Quinn as a man in the diner. You might not recognize all of their names, but if you watched many movies or television shows from the 1950s through the 1970s, you will most assuredly recognize their faces.

Jeff points out The Birds has been called Hitchcock’s monster movie. Chad proclaims his love of Albert Whitlock’s matte paintings and explains the method used by longtime Disney employee Ub Iwerks in providing the special effects for The Birds. Joseph marvels at Hitchcock’s ability to build and hold tension and suspense, and they all agree the credit should be shared with editor George Tomasini. Dan discusses the prototypical “Hitchcock blonde” and confides to the Grue Crew that he’s just glad to be doing a podcast without Sammie Cassell.

We plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule is John Frankenheimer’s Seconds (1963), selected by Jeff Mohr.

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the films we love. Send us an email or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, Stitcher, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

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

Mar 28, 2018

“Just room for one inside, sir.” Hearing this, you might be relieved to discover there’s still room to accomodate you. On the other hand, if the speaker is a hearse driver, it would send chills up your spine. Join your ever faithful Grue Crew for this episode - Chad Hunt, Jeff Mohr and special guest Whitney Modesta Collazo - as they manage to avoid riding in a hearse, but still get caught in the neverending story framing the legendary British horror portmanteau, Dead of Night (1945)

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 31 – Dead of Night (1945)

As an anthology, Dead of Night consists of five independent shorts tied together by a powerful framing story, all of which creates a flashback within a dream within a dream. The five separate stories are The Hearse Driver (d. Basil Dearden, story by E. F. Benson), The Christmas Party (d. Alberto Cavalcanti, story by Angus MacPhail), The Haunted Mirror (d. Robert Hamer, story by John Baines), The Golfer’s Story (d. Charles Crichton, story by H. G. Wells), The Ventriloquist’s Dummy (d. Alberto Cavalcanti, story by John Baines), and the framing sequences directed by Basil Dearden. The film includes memorable performances from Michael Redgrave, Mervyn Johns. Googie Withers, Miles Malleson, Basil Radford, and Naunton Wayne.

Dead of Night, though not the first horror anthology film, set the standard for the anthologies that were to proliferate in the 1960s and 1970s. Also not the first ventriloquist and his dummy horror film, the influence of The Ventriloquist’s Dummy can be seen in media from an episode of The Twilight Zone (1962) to Magic (1978) and to Dead Silence (2007).

This episode’s Grue Crew were completely won over by Dead of Night and universally thought The Ventriloquist’s Dummy was their favorite piece. They each thought the framing sequence was ingenious and might well be their favorite of those used in all horror anthologies.

We plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule is Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds (1963), selected by Chad Hunt.

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the films we love. Send us an email or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, Stitcher, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

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

Feb 28, 2018

“So, each day science, founded on years of research and truth, merges with feats, which put our old fashioned magicians to shame. Aladdin rubbed the lamp and the genie appeared. Today we can press a button, and the whole of mankind is obliterated.”  Professor Norman Taylor (Peter Wyngarde) utters this pronouncement to his students while standing in front of a classroom blackboard filled with references to the supernatural, superstition, ghosts, and witchcraft, on which he has written and underlined, “I DO NOT BELIEVE!” Eventually, Professor Taylor is convinced otherwise in Night of the Eagle (1962), released in the U.S. as Burn, Witch, Burn. Erin Miskell is still on sabbatical, flooding the world with “pineapple on pizza” memes, but you can join the rest of your regular Grue Crew - Joseph Perry, Chad Hunt, and Jeff Mohr - along with guest host Eli Mohr, as they attempt to navigate the academic politics of a university ruled by witches’ spells and talismans.

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 28 – Night of the Eagle (1962)

Based on Fritz Leiber Jr.’s classic horror novel Conjure Wife (1943), Night of the Eagle is directed by Sidney Hayers and adapted for the screen by none other than Charles Beaumont and Richard Matheson. The story centers around Norman Taylor and his wife Tansy (Janet Blair) who casts spells and uses talismans to advance Norman’s career and ward off evil counterspells coming from other witches, though it is not clear which witches are which. The rest of the players in this academic world of Night of the Eagle are Flora (Margaret Johnston) and Lindsay (Colin Gordon) Carr, Evelyn (Kathleen Byron) and Harvey (Anthony Nicholls) Sawtelle, Hilda (Jessica Dunning) and Harold (Reginald Beckwith) Gunnison, and students Margaret Abbott (Judith Stott) and Fred Jennings (Bill Mitchell).

Jeff goes all fanboy over Leiber, Beaumont, and Mathison; Chad proclaims his love for the scene played out in the mausoleum; Joseph points out the errant tape reel; and Eli admits you should not be sleepy when you watch Night of the Eagle or you might miss the wealth of clues, details, and foreshadowing present in the first two acts of the film. The Grue Crew en masse highlight Matheson’s and Beaumont’s seemingly slow to develop, but very tight script and highly recommend Night of the Eagle.

We plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule is Dead of Night (1945), selected by Jeff Mohr.

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the films we love. Send us an email or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, Stitcher, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

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

Feb 15, 2018

“Please don't treat me like a mental patient who has to be humored. I also majored in psychology.”  As a horror fan, how many times have you said those very same words? It gets old, doesn’t it? Erin Miskell is still on sabbatical binging on pizza with pineapple, but you can join guest host Jerry Chandler and the rest of your regular Grue Crew - Joseph Perry, Chad Hunt, and Jeff Mohr - as they attempt to hide behind a facade of sanity while, a little too gleefully, discussing one of Jacques Tourneur’s masterpieces, Night of the Demon (1957). Or is it Curse of the Demon? It’s hard to remember while faking sanity. We owe this selection to our faithful Patreon listeners who chose this film from a poll of six classic era titles.

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 28 – Night of the Demon (1957)

Directed by Jacques Tourneur. That statement, alone, should be enough to interest viewers in Night of the Demon. Written by Charles Bennett. That, too, should be enough for fans of early Hitchcock to perk up and take notice. Adapted from the M. R. James story, “Casting the Runes.” Now the interest of 20th century ghost story fans is peaked.

Night of the Demon tells the story of Professor John Holden (Dana Andrews), a hardline skeptic of the occult, as he does battle with the evil Doctor Karswell (Niall MacGinnis), the leader of a cult of Satan worshippers. Holden is joined in his fight by Joanna Harrington (Peggy Cummins), whose father was murdered as the result of a Karswell curse. The intrepid professor is also aided by Karswell’s mother (Athene Seyler) and fellow professional Mark O'Brien (Liam Redmond).

This episode’s Grue Crew universally loves Night of the Demon. They discuss the difference between the 95-minute U.K. version and the shortened 82-minute U.S. version, retitled Curse of the Demon, and which one they prefer. Hal E. Chester’s heavy-handed approach as a producer and its effect on Night of the Demon are also topics fcovered. You will also discover where each of them stand in the more demon vs. less demon debate. Which side are you on?

A bundle of listener feedback is also read this episode. A hearty handclasp and your loyal Grue Crew's love go out to Symon O’Hagan, Daphne Monary-Ernsdorff, Aaron Albrecht, Rafael Fernandez, Leontyne Jacquart, and saltyessentials for your feedback and your time!

We plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule is Night of the Eagle, (1962), aka Burn, Witch, Burn, selected by our very own Joseph Perry.

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the films we love. Send us an email or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, Stitcher, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

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

Jan 31, 2018

“Galvanism isn’t working. It needs nourishment.” “Blood?” “Yes, blood. Human blood.” “The blood of a young girl?” “That would do perfectly.”   Yup. That’s where they immediately went with no explanation, leaving your Grue Crew to wonder, “Why is it always the blood of a young girl?” Join this episode’s Grue Crew - Chad Hunt, Joseph Perry, Jeff Mohr, and guest host Mike Imboden - as they brave the film Peter Cushing considered to be the worst of his many films. The Blood Beast Terror (1968).

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 27 – The Blood Beast Terror (1968)

A Tigon British Films Production, The Blood Beast Terror is tells the story of a series of murders, the victims of which are mysteriously drained of blood. Inspector Quinnell (Peter Cushing) is on the case, with the help of the intrepid Sergeant Allan (Glynn Edwards), and soon crosses paths with Dr. Mallinger (Robert Flemyng) and his beautiful daughter Clare (Wanda Ventham). Mallinger, an entomologist, has discovered a way to transform humans back and forth between a giant death’s head moth and their human form. As Quinnell’s and Allan’s investigation progresses, the body count rises and the clues become more and more alarming. The cast is rounded out with a morgue attendant (Roy Hudd) providing comic relief, Mallinger’s manservant Granger (Kevin Stoney), and Inspector Quinnell’s daughter Meg (Vanessa Howard).

Your Grue Crew is unanimous in their opinion that the story has potential, but the film seems to be missing essential bits while at the same time, includes lengthy scenes with no apparent value. The Blood Beast Terror is directed by Vernon Sewell, known as a director of British B-movies, and written by Peter Bryan, who scripted such films as The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959), The Brides of Dracula (1960), and The Plague of the Zombies (1966). With those two filmmakers involved, it is difficult to see why the film feels so disjointed.

The saving grace of The Blood Beast Terror is Mr. Cushing’s acting and the film’s male and female versions of it’s monster. Jeff mentions that Mallinger’s manservant, Granger, looks more like a street thug than a butler and also wonders what’s up with the bird? According to Joseph, the entomological presentation Mallinger gives to his students is a spot on representation of a boring university lecture. Chad agrees that the low budget might have led to the missing chunks of the story. Even though the story seems to be missing pieces, Mike thinks the 88-minute run time feels much longer and points out the beginning of the film feels like three different movies, … and don’t forget the wiener dog. The entire Grue Crew thinks this film is ripe for a remake.

On this episode, the hosts also read listener feedback on the House of Wax (1953) episode from the Golden Age of Monster Movies FB Group: Steven Nevin, Leo Doroschenko, Viki Burns-Oexman, and Robert Browning; and the Horror News Radio FB Group: Albert Torres, Bill Gabriel, Jacob Allen, and John Slattery (for some reason, that name sounds familiar).

We plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule is Night of the Demon (1957), aka Curse of the Demon, selected by a Gruesome Magazine Patreon poll and hosted by Jeff Mohr, with guest host Jerry Chandler.

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the films we love. Send us an email or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, Stitcher, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 17, 2018

“I've harmed nobody, just robbed a few graves!” Right! What’s the harm in that? Especially if your name is Baron Frankenstein. Join this episode’s Grue Crew - Chad Hunt, Joseph Perry, and Jeff Mohr - as they celebrate the podcast’s first anniversary by taking on The Curse of Frankenstein (1957). It’s an episode of firsts. Besides their first anniversary, it’s their first Hammer film, first Peter Cushing film, and first Christopher Lee film. Well, it’s about time!

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 26 – The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)

Directed by Terence Fisher and written by Jimmy Sangster, both Hammer regulars, The Curse of Frankenstein is Hammer’s first outright gothic horror film and their first color film. With Peter Cushing as Dr. Victor Frankenstein and Christopher Lee as the Monster, co-starring for the first time, the die was set for many future Hammer film collaborations between the two. The cast is rounded out with Robert Urquhart as Paul Krempe, Victor’s mentor and partner; Hazel Court as Victor’s cousin and fiance, Elizabeth; Valerie Gaunt as Justine, the maid who is also having an affair with Victor; and Paul Hardtmuth as Professor Bernstein and the donor of the monster’s brain.

Under threat of lawsuit from Universal, the filmmakers made numerous changes to the classic story. The monster in The Curse of Frankenstein bears no resemblance to the Jack Pierce makeup Boris Karloff wears in Frankenstein (1931). Another major change depicts the Baron as a completely unsympathetic character, masterfully played by Cushing.

Jeff is surprised that Victor is engaged to his cousin, but admits social mores might have been a bit different in the nineteenth century.  Chad is genuinely angry with Victor’s total lack of moral character and how little regard he gives the other characters. Joseph points out how shocking the color and blood must have been in 1957. All three of them are wowed with the acting in The Curse of Frankenstein, especially that of Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing.

On the anniversary of their first episode, the Decades of Horror: The Classic Era Grue Crew take time to stress how thankful they are for their listeners and for Doc Rotten allowing them the freedom to do the podcast and for providing the structure to talk about what they love: horror films from the beginning of film through 1969.

They finish the episode by reading a listener comment from Saltyessentials about Episode 24 - Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956).

We plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule is The Blood Beast Terror (1968), selected and hosted by Joseph Perry.

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the films we love. Send us an email  (chadhunt@gruesomemagazine.com, erinmiskell@gruesomemagazine.com, jeffmohr@gruesomemagazine.com, or josephperry@gruesomemagazine.com) or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, Stitcher, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

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

Jan 3, 2018

“Everything I ever loved has been taken away from me, but not you, my Marie Antoinette, for I will give you eternal life.” A strange line indeed, especially when you discover Prof. Henry Jarrod is talking to a wax sculpture as if it is a living human being. Then you realize Vincent Price is the actor portraying Prof. Jarrod. The master of the macabre makes it all seem so much more normal. In this episode, your Grue Crew - Erin Miskell, Chad Hunt, Joseph Perry, & Jeff Mohr - wax poetic on the 3D groundbreaking House of Wax (1953).

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 25 – House of Wax (1953)

Directed by André De Toth and written by Crane Wilbur from a story by Charles Belden, House of Wax tells the story of Prof. Henry Jarrod, a brilliant sculptor whose works populate the wax museum he owns. Early on, his partner (Roy Roberts) burns down the museum in pursuit for ill gotten gains with Prof. Jarrod inside. Badly burned, Jarrod can no longer sculpt so he enlists the aid of two assistants (Charles Bronson, Nedrick Young) to create his wax statues in order to reopen the museum. His intent is to use two beautiful roommates (Carolyn Jones, Phyllis Kirk) as his “models” for Joan of Arc and Marie Antoinette. It seems, however, that Prof. Jarrod’s trauma has taken his artistic obsession to a new level and his plans are far more diabolical than they at first appear.

House of Wax holds the distinction of being the first major studio production filmed in 3D. Who can forget the paddle-ball-thumping barker in front of Jarrod’s museum for its reopening, repeatedly whacking the ball straight into the camera? Joseph proclaims his love for the 3D gimmickry of this era, various items thrown into the screen and all.

For Erin, this one is all about the actors, Vincent Price and Carolyn Jones in a supporting role, and she wonders if Price’s character is the protagonist or the antagonist. House of Wax is a remake of Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933) and Jeff discusses the difference in the way drug addiction is portrayed in the pre-code original and how alcoholism is portrayed in the 1953 version. Erin broadens the discussion of addiction beyond drugs and alcohol to include behavioral obsessions as depicted in the film. Chad carries that on to relate to the attachment that artists feel for their creations. Joseph admits yet another childhood trauma (remember Invasion of the Body Snatchers?) relating to mannequins as the result of House of Wax.

We plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule is The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), selected and hosted by Chad Hunt. Episode 26 will be our anniversary episode so we will also discuss the podcast’s first year.

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the films we love. Send us an email  (chadhunt@gruesomemagazine.com, erinmiskell@gruesomemagazine.com, jeffmohr@gruesomemagazine.com, or josephperry@gruesomemagazine.com) or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, Stitcher, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 20, 2017

“I've been afraid a lot of times in my life. But I didn't know the real meaning of fear until... until I had kissed Becky.” Have you ever kissed someone and realized they weren’t who they were? That’s the horror Miles Bennell is describing in this episode’s quote. Join Erin Miskell, Chad Hunt, Joseph Perry, and Jeff Mohr as they harvest the paranoia binbuster known as Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), Don Siegel's classic, black and white, science-fiction shocker. They had to hurry before they fell asleep and became ..., well, someone who wasn’t them.

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 24 – Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

Invasion of the Body Snatchers is ably directed by Don Siegel (The Beguiled, Dirty Harry, The Shootist, and Escape from Alcatraz) and adapted by Daniel Mainwaring from Jack Finney’s novel The Body Snatchers. The film tells the paranoiac story of an alien invasion that consists of giant pods that take over people’s memories and replicate their bodies, all while they sleep. No one will ever be the wiser! Well, almost no one. Talk about a good motivation for insomnia. In fact, one of the films working titles was Sleep No More.

Including a cast of topnotch, veteran, character actors - Kevin McCarthy (Dr. Miles Bennell), Dana Wynter (Becky Driscoll), King Donovan (Jack Bellicec), Carolyn Jones (Theodora Bellicec), and Larry Gates (Dr. Dan Kaufman) - the film delivers what it’s selling. Coming on the heels of Senator Joseph McCarthy’s communist witch hunt and even though Finney and Siegel claimed no hidden, political message, the Invasion of the Body Snatchers resonated with the public’s fear of unfair prosecution and the resulting drive for conformity. It is an example of a perfect sychronicity between a film and the time in which it appeared in history.

Each of the Grue Crew was affected by this film in their “formative” years and have carried some image or theme from the film throughout their lives, Joseph Perry shares an especially personal story of how the film affected him and his nightmares. When it comes to the rules of the “science” in Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Chad Hunt points out some contradictions, but in the end, agrees they don’t detract from the impact of the film. Jeff Mohr wishes the studio hadn’t added a narration and changed the ending with the addition of a prologue and an epilogue, but still considers the film to be one of his favorites of the 1950s. Being a product of its time, Erin Miskell points out the homogeneity of the people and pod people populating the story and laments the problem still existing to some extent today.

We plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule is House of Wax (1953), selected and hosted by Erin Miskell.

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the films we love. Send us an email  (chadhunt@gruesomemagazine.com, erinmiskell@gruesomemagazine.com, jeffmohr@gruesomemagazine.com, or josephperry@gruesomemagazine.com) or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, Stitcher, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

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

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