When one is addicted to collecting movies, the discs keep adding up leaving little or no room on the shelves in the movie room. It’s thanks to companies like Arrow, Indicator, Kino Lorber, Severin, Vinegar Syndrome and Scream Factory that I have to thank for the overflow of discs I’ve yet to get at.

Which brings us to October and Halloween. No better time than right now to cut into the Scream Factory output I’ve neglected to the point of shelf overload. 31 days, 31 titles. A few titles new to me that I’ve missed along the way, some old favorites that have turned up on blu ray thanks to the fine folks down at the Factory.

I’ve no intention of reviewing the disc releases themselves but rather shine the spotlight on some titles that suit the season with some recollections and or brief comments.

October 1st.

Released in 1986, Night of the Creeps, proved a winner on VHS back in the day and is still a hoot. Genre stalwart Tom Atkins as a Dirty Harry of sorts with one liners to match, “What is this? A homicide, or a bad B-movie?” teams with a young student who sure looks like Rusty Griswold to me, to take on the living dead just as prom night approaches. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that this is an enjoyable thriller considering it was directed by Fred Dekker who also helmed the cult hit, The Monster Squad in 1987. A great tag line when initially released that has wisely been reprinted on the cover here.

October 2nd.

Released in the long shadow of Jaws, 1977’s Tentacles brought to the screen an extra-large Octopus with an appetite to match. Having already directed a blatant Exorcist rip-off, Beyond the Door, Ovidio G. Assonitis, was well matched with this watery affair that offered up a paycheck to aging veterans John Huston, Henry Fonda, Shelley Winters and Claude Akins. On the plus side it’s nice to see Bo Hopkins taking center stage as the man best suited to put an end to the killing spree and what’s not to love about the film poster.

October 3rd.

Nomads (1986) A strong pedigree with John McTiernan behind the camera while Pierce Brosnan along with Lesley-Anne Down pose in front of it. Sadly it doesn’t add up to much. Brosnan dies just moments into the film but not before whispering into the ear of the good doctor Lesley. From here on out she’s haunted by images of Brosnan’s terrifying last days and learns the secret behind the film’s title. Kind of boring and uninvolving. Too bad she couldn’t have relived one of his James Bond adventures. Hard one to recommend. This was McTiernan’s first film as director and while forgettable, his next three outings were Predator, Die Hard and The Hunt For Red October. Now that’s one hell of a Trifecta.

October 4th.

Grave of the Vampire (1972) represents some classic drive-in fare that seems to be heavily influenced by the success of 1971’s television smash hit, The Night Stalker. Right down to the musical cues. When vampire/rapist Michael Pataki rapes a woman, her child grows into iconic tough guy William Smith who intends to hunt down his vampire father and put an end to his reign of terror that has ran for centuries. Plenty of in your face bloodletting and some decent make-up on Pataki make this an enjoyable “B” for those that like the low budget thrillers of the 70’s.

October 5th.

Day of the Dead (1985) was George A. Romero’s third go around in the world of flesh eating zombies. With a solid Romero script highlighted by Tom Savini’s magnificent ultra gory effects, this one is a perfect flick to catch this time of year and a fine follow-up to both Night and Dawn of the Dead. What I recall about this film early on is it took a while to see it uncut. The VHS release back in the day was heavily edited and missing much of Savini’s best work. Thanks to Anchor Bay’s DVD to finally unleash the film as it was meant to be seen and now looking better than ever on blu. The claustrophobic plot involves an underground military installation where a handful of soldiers are at odds with the scientists studying the walking dead and specifically their prized pupil/zombie, Bub.

October 6th.

Ghost Story (1981) This upscale production brings to the screen a select group of studio era names one might not associate with the horror film. Fred Astaire, John Houseman, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Melvyn Douglas play a quartet of aging friends with a dark secret in their past. A secret fifty years old that has come back to haunt them and by extension Craig Wasson in a double role as the sons of Fairbanks Jr. A little disjointed at times but an A for effort the film costars Alice Krige in a pivotal role and even has one time Oscar winner, Patricia Neal, briefly turning up as Astaire’s wife. Ghost Story proved to be the final film for both Douglas and Astaire. It was Fairbanks Jr.’s final theatrical role and as for Houseman, he soldiered on and I must say made for a wonderful driving instructor in The Naked Gun (1988).

October 7th.

The Last Man on Earth (1964) As part of Scream Factory’s second set of Vincent Price titles, this Italian import was the first adaptation of Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend to be brought to the screen. Filmed in black and white, it offered a departure from the colorful Poe cycle that Price was mostly identified with by this point in his lengthy career. Price is the title character that would eventually be played by Charlton Heston in The Omega Man (1971) and then Will Smith in the disappointing I Am Legend (2007). This is a title it took me years to see as it wasn’t readily available as were the majority of Price’s A.I.P. output with Corman and others. When I finally did see it, I found it disappointing and that’s mainly due to the fact that I grew up on Heston’s cult classic. Looking at the film now I realize it has a life of its own and one has to wonder if the undead walking the earth somehow influenced a Pittsburgh filmmaker by the name of Romero who in 1968 would change the face of horror.

Back with more next week……