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Now displaying: Category: Decades of Horror The Classic Era
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!

Dec 7, 2017

“For all they’ve tried, the Mexicans haven’t been able to destroy it,” says the electronic voice of the Venusian’s computer when describing Mexico in The Ship of Monsters (1960), aka La Nave de los Monstruos. Our very own Joseph Perry was so enamored with “Tiki Brain Guy” and Cyclops in Santo and Blue Demon Against the Monsters (Episode 19), he decided to take us back in time to 1960 to experience their earlier roles as Tagual and Uk, respectively. Ride along as this episode’s Grue Crew - Joseph Perry, Chad Hunt, Jeff Mohr, and special guest host Kieran Fisher - take an interplanetary voyage on The Ship of Monsters!

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 23 – The Ship of Monsters (1960)

In The Ship of Monsters, the female population of Venus is in desperate need of men for the purposes of procreation and the survival of their race, To that end, the Venusians organize a mission whereby a rocketship and its crew will embark on a voyage to various planets to retrieve the best men from each and bring them back to repopulate Venus. The ship’s crew, Gamma (Ana Bertha Lepe) and Beta (Lorena Velázquez), start their mission suitably clothed for space travel in their one-piece swimsuits.

By the time they get to Earth, they’ve acquired several male specimens: Tagual, Prince of Mars; Uk, a slobbering cyclops from the Red Planet; Utirr, a half-tick, half-spider creature with telescoping appendages from the fire planet; Zok, a sabre-toothed primate skeleton creature; and Tor, a robot from a barren planet whose population had long gone extinct. They are, indeed, a ship of monsters when they land on Earth and encounter the best male Earth has to offer, Lauriano (Eulalio González, aka Piporro), a tall-tale-telling cowboy with a decidedly comedic bent. Throw in an incognito vampire’s plot to take over Earth and an interspecies love story or two and you have the ridiculous, but hilarious tale told in The Ship of Monsters.

This Mexican production is directed by Rogelio A. González and and the very smart script is written by José María Fernández Unsáin and Alfredo Varela. Don’t let the cheap monster suits fool you! The filmmakers successfully skewer the alien invasion film genre as well as racism, colonialism, and a few other -isms in a way that will have you laughing out loud. The members of this episode’s Grue Crew each give The Ship of Monsters a very strong thumbs up!

Listen and you’ll be able to tell which of us made these comments regarding The Ship of Monsters:

  • “I think that was maybe the underlying message for the film with all this weird interspecies shenanigans.”
  • “Beta, she’s a naughty one.”
  • “You’re asking how blown was your mind when you really thought about it? I tried not to really think about it because I kept throwing up in my mouth a little bit.”
  • “I’ve seen Humanoids of the Deep like a thousand times so I’m not bothered by that stuff any more.”
  • “They had me at, ‘This is an atom.’”

We plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule is Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), selected and hosted 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  (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!

 

 

 

 

Nov 21, 2017

“Have a potato.” So said Horace Femm (Ernest Thesiger), one of our hosts as we all sat down to dinner. Join this episode’s Grue Crew as we seek shelter from the storm in The Old Dark House (1932). It seemed like a swell idea at the time. Erin Miskell was not able to join us on this one, so Chad Hunt, Joseph Perry, and Jeff Mohr had to do all the heavy lifting themselves. (They all shouted in their best impersonation of Joey Starrett in Shane,“Come back, Erin!”)

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 22 – The Old Dark House (1932)

The story of The Old Dark House begins with five weary travelers caught between avalanches on a stormy night and searching for a place to spend the night. The first to arrive are the Wavertons - Philip (Raymond Massey) and Margaret (Gloria Stuart) - and their travel companion, a light-hearted chap named Penderel (Melvyn Douglas). They are joined a short time later by Sir William Porterhouse (Charles Laughton) and his travel companion Gladys (Lilian Bond). Both groups of travelers are greeted at the door by Morgan (Boris Karloff), the owners’ mute and intimidating butler. They are soon joined by Horace Femm (Ernest Thesiger) and his sister Emma (Eva Moore). Eventually, the Femms’ guests learn of the third Femm sibling, the insane and dangerous Saul (Brember Wills), and meet his 102-year-old, bedridden father, Sir Roderick Femm (Elspeth Dudgeon). Many high jinx ensue in tandem with seriously dreadful and life threatening encounters.

The second of director James Whale’s four entries in the Universal horror pantheon, The Old Dark House is rife with the director’s signature shadow play, comedic overtones, and attention to detail.  The entire film takes place during the clichéd dark and stormy night lit only by flickering candlelight, oil lamplight, and fireplace flame, but cinematographer Arthur Edeson still delivers clear but menacing depictions of the the goings-on in The Old Dark House. Boris Karloff receives star billing in contrast to his “hidden” credit in Frankenstein (1931), but still is not given a single line of dialogue to utter.

Chad and Jeff (he does go on) enthusiastically recommend repeated viewings of The Old Dark House. Joseph also recommends the film and promises repeated viewings in the future.

We plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule is The Ship of Monsters (1960) aka La Nave de los Monstruos, 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!

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 9, 2017

oin the Decades of Horror: The Classic Era Grue Crew for this episode – Erin Miskell, Jeff Mohr, and Joseph Perry – as we take our second journey in a row to Transylvania this time take in the silent scream splendor of Nosferatu (1922), the first cinematic version of Bram Stoker’s classic novel Dracula.

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 21 – Nosferatu (1922)

Nosferatu is most definitely based on Bram Stoker’s novel, but it is just as definitely an unofficial version. The filmmakers intentionally avoided obtaining the rights from the Stoker family, hence, the names along with a few other details, were changed to protect the not-so-innocent. As a result of their unsuccessful subterfuge, Dracula becomes Count Orlok/Nosferatu (Max Schreck), Harker is converted to Hutter (Gustav von Wangenheim), Mina is replaced by Ellen (Greta Schröder), Renfield is changed to Knock (Alexander Granach), and a new way to kill the undead is devised.

Directed by German expressionist legend F. W. Murnau, Nosferatu reinforces the director’s reputation as master of shadows. Jeff marvels at the shadows and shot composition of nearly every scene. This episode’s Grue Crew all agree that Henrik Galeen’s screenplay loses much of the character depth present in Stoker’s novel. Produced by Enrico Dieckmann and Albin Grau, Nosferatu was most influenced by Grau who also served as art director and costume designer, and even created some of the poster art.

It is hard to imagine Max Schreck as a normal human being after witnessing his portrayal of Count Orlok. In fact, many people over the years have speculated he was a real vampire.

Joseph makes sure we discuss Alexander Granach’s performance. His version of Knock seems to have set the mold for future portrayals of Renfield. Erin expresses her concerns for the dangers of one-dimensional female characters, such as Ellen, who represent pure good and whose only purpose throughout the film is to sacrifice herself for the benefit of everyone else.

All in all, they all agree. If you haven’t seen Nosferatu (1922), what’s the hold-up?

We plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule is another James Whale classic, The Old Dark House (1932), selected and hosted 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  (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!

Oct 25, 2017

“Flies? Flies? Poor puny things! Who wants to eat flies?... Not when I can get nice, fat spiders!” Join the Decades of Horror: The Classic Era Grue Crew for this episode – Erin Miskell, Chad Hunt, Jeff Mohr, and special guest Dave Dreher – as we take a trip to Transylvania and ride aboard the schooner Vesta, only to end up in the Seward Sanitarium and rundown Carfax Abbey in search of Dracula (1931).

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 20 – Dracula (1931)

Director Tod Browning and cinematographer Karl Freund collaborated during the production of Dracula to create some of the most lasting icons in horror film history. Bela Lugosi (Dracula), Dwight Frye (Renfield), and Edward Van Sloan (Dr. Van Helsing) are still the portrayals to which all later incarnations are compared. Though Lugosi is the star, your Classic Era Grue Crew all agree that Dracula is Dwight Frye’s movie as he changes from a serious and dignified professional to an unpredictable, maniacal, and downright disturbing lunatic.

Unfortunately, the characters of Lucy (Frances Dade) and Mina (Helen Chandler) are barely more than props to be victimized by Dracula and saved by Van Helsing and John Harker (David Manners). On the other hand, Renfield’s attendant Martin (Charles K. Gerrard) provides the very definition of comic relief. One of our Grue Crew also proclaims their love for Lupita Tovar, who plays Eva, the Spanish language version of Mina.

You’ll also find the answers to these questions:

  • How does the Tod Browning version of Dracula compare to the Spanish language production?
  • What could the Looney Tunes bad-behaved version of Little Red Riding Hood possibly have to do with Dracula?
  • How many degrees of separation are there between the Spanish language version of Dracula and the Star Wars film, Rogue One (2016)?

If you’re paying attention, you’ll find out which of this episode’s Grue Crew made each of these statements during our podcast on Dracula:

  • “Someone just kind of handed him (Dwight Frye) this steak of a role and he just sunk all of his teeth into it and chewed it for all it was worth.”
  • “Was I the only one, when you would see Martin on the screen, that was thinking of Eric Idle from Monty Python?”
  • “The woman had many, many issues. She surpassed issue and went straight to subscriptions.”
  • “Who decided an armadillo was scary?”

We plan to release a new episode every other week. In timing with Halloween, our next episode in our very flexible schedule is Nosferatu (1922), 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!

Oct 13, 2017

“The day I died, I swore I would get my revenge!” Join the Decades of Horror: The Classic Era crew for this episode – Erin Miskell, Chad Hunt, Joseph Perry, Jeff Mohr, and special guest Mike Imboden – as we wrestle with Santo and Blue Demon Against the Monsters in honor of El Santo’s 100th birthday on September 23, 2017.

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 19 – Santo and Blue Demon Against the Monsters (1969-70)

Directed by Gilberto Martínez Solares and written by  Rafael García Travesi, Santo and Blue Demon Against the Monsters tells an age-old tale. An evil doctor rises from the dead and directs the efforts of as many monsters as he can resurrect to combat the heroes. More specifically, Dr. Bruno Halder (Carlos Ancira), who hates Santo, his brother Otto Halder (Ivan J. Rado), and his niece Gloria (Hedi Blue), is resurrected from the dead by his diminutive hunchback assistant Waldo (Santanón). With the aid of his zombie henchmen in green greasepaint, Bruno gathers together some of the world’s most famous monsters and plans to murder his foes . . . and worse. He even makes a duplicate Blue Demon do his evil bidding. Thankfully Santo is here to protect his fiancee, her father, and the world!

Exactly what does the, “Against the Monsters” of Santo and Blue Demon Against the Monsters refer to? The complete cast of resurrected monstruos includes El Vampiro, La Mujer Vampiro, Franquestein, La Momia, El Hombre Lobo, El Ciclope, and the creature Joseph Perry refers to as “Tiki-brain Guy.” That’s surely enough to take care of Santo and Blue Demon, right? Not on your life! Not if you know the full legend of El Santo!

If you’re paying attention, you’ll find out which of this episode’s Grue Crew made each of these statements:

  • “... I got to actually touch our fellow co-ghost.” … “Let me show you on the doll where exactly it happened.”
  • “It’s cheesy. It’s just a big piece of chunky, stinky Limburger cheese, but I love it.”
  • “This thing is a thing of beauty. Just shut up and take my money.”
  • “Even during the makeout sessions, everybody leaves the masks on!”
  • “I’m wearing my Luchador mask right now, actually.”
  • “Let me cheer things up with my favorite monster who I call the Tiki-brain Guy.”

We plan to release a new episode every other week. In timing with Halloween, our next episode in our very flexible schedule, in honor of Halloween, is Dracula (1931), hosted by Jeff.

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!

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 27, 2017

"They call them the haunted shores, these stretches of Devonshire and Cornwall and Ireland which rear up against the westward ocean. Mists gather here... and sea fog... and eerie stories…’’ Oooo, that’s some pretty scary stuff! (Channeling a little Second City TV) Join the Decades of Horror: The Classic Era crew – Erin Miskell, Chad Hunt, Joseph Perry, and Jeff Mohr – as we journey to the haunted shores and brave the classic ghost story, The Uninvited (1944).

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 18 – The Uninvited (1944)

The Uninvited is based on Uneasy Freehold, a novel by Dorothy Macardle, and adapted for the screen by Frank Partos and Dodie Smith. It is considered to be the first real ghost story that isn’t predominantly a comedy and includes genuine supernatural elements.

The story follows Pamela Fitzgerald (Ruth Hussey) and her brother Roderick (Ray Milland) as they fall in love with and purchase a house on the haunted shore. It doesn’t take long for strange sounds and manifestations to spook the siblings. They try getting answers from the house’s previous owner Commander Beech (Donald Crisp) and his granddaughter Stella Meredith (Gail Russell) but to no avail.They are then introduced to the enigmatic Miss Holloway (Cornelia Otis Skinner) who only creates more questions without providing any answers. They soon band with the local doctor (Alan Napier) and the three strive to solve the mystery of the house’s haunting. The main cast receives marvelous support from Barbara Everest as Lizzie Flynn, the domestic help; and Dorothy Stickney as Miss Bird, an eccentric resident of an insane asylum.

The film benefits from not only a stellar cast and source material but an equally stellar crew. Director Lewis Allen’s first feature, The Uninvited sports crew that includes Oscar and other award winners such as Charles Lang (cinematographer), Victor Young (music), Hans Dreier and Ernst Fegté (art directors), Edith Head (costume designer), and Farciot Edouart and Gordon Jennings (visual effects).

If you’re paying attention, you’ll find out which of this episode’s Grue Crew made each of these statements:

  • “(She) was the kind of dame that didn’t like film noir.”
  • “It’s like the old Ed Sullivan Show with the plate spinner …”
  • “She’s got the big neon sign.”
  • “Viva la Lucha Libre!”

We plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule is Santo and Blue Demon Against the Monsters (1969-70), 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!

Sep 13, 2017

“Whatever got her wasn’t human.” That is not what you want to hear while locked overnight in a haunted house. Join the Decades of Horror: The Classic Era crew – Erin Miskell, Chad Hunt, Joseph Perry, and Jeff Mohr – as we brave an overnight in the House on Haunted Hill (1959). William Castle, Robb White, and Vincent Price? What’s not to like.

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 17 – House on Haunted Hill (1959)

Directed by legendary gimmick-meister William Castle, House on Haunted Hill is a standard story about folks challenged to stay the night in a haunted house, but with a few twists provided by writer Robb White. Millionaire Frederick Loren (Vincent Price) carefully chooses five guests for his invitation only event -- Lance Schroeder (Richard Long), Nora Manning (Carolyn Craig), Dr. David Trent (Alan Marshal), Ruth Bridgers (Julie Mitchum), and Watson Prichard (Elisha Cook Jr.) -- and offers them each $10,000 if they survive the night. Also in attendance are Frederick’s wife Annabelle (Carol Ohmart), caretaker Jonas Slydes (Howard Hoffman), and his wife (Leona Anderson).

House on Haunted Hill is great fun and has some legitimate scares, but don’t spend too much time thinking about the plot. If you do, you might become obsessed with its holes and miss all the fun. The music by Von Dexter is suitably chill-inducing and is as good at setting the atmosphere as it is at setting the standard for horror films of its period.

Chad Hunt recounts his experience watching this in a theater that tried to duplicate Castle’s gimmick for this picture, which he called “Emergo.” Erin Miskell’s first memories of watching House on Haunted Hill are during a sleepover as a 10-year-old. Imagine the shrieks!

House on Haunted Hill treats its guests to the usual haunted house fare, including floating apparitions, mysteriously slamming doors, a hanging body, an unattached head, secret passages, a seriously scary old woman, an animated skeleton, blood dripping from the ceiling, and a conveniently placed vat of acid in the basement.

We also send out a hearty handclasp to our steadfast listener, saltyessentials for calling Decades of Horror: The Classic Era a podcast “you can’t do without.” Check out salty’s blog, which he calls Dead Man’s Brain or, what I watched last night.

We plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule is The Univited (1944), hosted 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  (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!

 

 

 

 

 

Aug 30, 2017

“In the midst of a mountain blizzard, I have experienced a terrifying incident unparalleled in human history. At the very moment we were about to die, I clearly saw the monster with my own eyes . . .” These words are read from the journal of a dead man who had come face-to-face with a half-man, half-beast monster living in the mountains of Japan. Join the Decades of Horror: The Classic Era crew – Erin Miskell, Chad Hunt, Joseph Perry, and Jeff Mohr – as we discuss the hard to find, third film of the Toho Company, Half Human, aka Jû jin yuki otoko.

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era

Episode 16 – Half Human (Jû jin yuki otoko,1955)

Directed by tokusatsu legend Ishirô Honda, Half Human tells the story of a group of student mountaineers (Akira Takarada, Momoko Kôchi) and their professor (Nobuo Nakamura) searching for two friends lost in a blizzard during the previous winter. Watching the students’ every move is a ruthless animal broker (Yoshio Kosugi) and his band on the hunt for the creature rumored to live in the mountains. The monster’s den is in a mountain cave and where he is worshipped by the local indigenous people, led by a Grand Elder (Kokuten Kôdô). As the students and the animal broker’s gang get closer to their quarries, they begin to clash, having a devastating effect on the monster and the tribal people.

Half Human has been banned by Toho for years and none of your faithful Grue Crew could find a high-quality copy. Possibly aligned with the forced unavailability of the film, we all had mixed feelings about Half Human. We all condemned the way the indigenous tribe is portrayed and the treatment doled out to Chika (Akemi Negishi) as she receives beatings from the Grand Elder and the other men of the tribe. For the most part, they all appreciated the special effects by Eiji Tsubaraya, another tokusatsu legend, especially the adult monster design. While we can’t unreservedly recommend Half Human, it is the third monster film from Toho and many listeners will recognize the actors from other Toho productions. It also has its place as an example of the discrimination of a people and abuse of women in the world over sixty years ago.

On the other hand, there is no reason to seek out the U.S. version unless you love the sound of John Carradine’s legendary voice. The American version, released in 1958, has had roughly half the original footage removed and replaced by a much smaller combination of scenes of Carradine sitting in his stateside office narrating the story to two colleagues. If you’re going to watch it, watch Jû jin yuki otoko instead.

We also have some great listener feedback this episode from Rafael Fernandez and our old friend salty-essentials Listen and you might just find out which of us does the funny voices.

We plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule is House on Haunted Hill (1959), hosted by our resident Vincent Price fangirl Erin.

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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