Just as I got on to a good roll life got in the way and I had to take a break for a quick trip to Nova Scotia and back so while I did get four Scream Factory titles under my belt for the third week of Halloween season, I’m also going to make three recommendations from the releasing company that I’d already featured previously in order to hit 7 titles for the week.
Demented, warped, bizarre. Take your pick but I loved this greasy low budget 70’s thriller starring one time Oscar winner Gloria Grahame. I previously put the spotlight on this one so please have a look and watch out for that guy with the hammer wearing the cool dude sunshades.
No Halloween season can be complete without a revisit to The Howling. Joe Dante’s superb werewolf tale that is not only a classic in its own right but an homage to the classic werewolf films that came before it with a stellar cast to boot. For a closer look please follow the link to see what I had to say about the film.
This nifty little 1950’s gem is proof positive that Richard Boone wasn’t always riding a horse or barking out orders in war films. Here he’s taking on a role one might see Vincent Price take on as a cemetery caretaker who makes a ghoulish discovery. As a long time, Boone fan, I had featured this one a while back, please have a look.
Now on to some newly opened blu rays to thin the backlog of titles sitting on the shelf via some double features as I still intend to watch 31 Scream Factory releases this month.
10 to Midnight (1983) represents action icon Charles Bronson’s one and only slasher film and it’s a thriller whose reputation continues to grow amongst cult fans since its original release. Charlie is a cop on the hunt for a serial killer targeting women and when his own daughter, Lisa Eilbacher, is the next intended victim, Bronson lets loose his inner vigilante. Excellent thriller from director J. Lee Thompson with a superior cast to match including Andrew Stevens, Wilford Brimley, Geoffrey Lewis, Robert F. Lyons and a very brave interpretation from Gene Davis as the killer. As far as Cannon Films go, this one is a classic.
Man’s Best Friend (1993) Seriously. Who doesn’t like to see Lance Henriksen play nasty? Crickets…. That’s what I thought. Here Lance plays a geneticist dabbling with man’s best friend. He’ll come to regret it when nosey reporter Ally Sheedy breaks into his lab and rescues Max, a dog that is Lance’s prized specimen and extremely deadly. Think of it as Cujo on steroids. No big deal but it’s damned near impossible not to sit in when Lance is chewing the scenery and letting his temper get the better of him.
Circus of Horrors (1960) offered up another leading role to Anton Diffring following his outing for Hammer in the underrated 1959 thriller The Man Who Could Cheat Death. Here he is very much like Peter Cushing’s Baron Frankenstein only in a modern-day setting. He’s a plastic surgeon who has run afoul of the medical society and after a fiery car crash takes up a new identity as a circus owner who has a penchant for beautiful yet scarred women in need of medical attention. Bloody and a very recognizable cast surround Anton. Among them Donald Pleasence, Yvonne Monlaur, Yvonne Romain, Kenneth Griffith and Walter Gotell who would find a home in the James Bond series as Russia’s General Gogol. Very Hammer like which is good enough for me even if the raging animals don’t always look very lifelike.
The Doctor and the Devils (1985) The script may have changed the names to Fallon, Broom and Dr. Rock but this is the bloody tale of Burke, Hare and Dr. Knox. Surprisingly produced by Mel Brooks, Timothy Dalton stars as the good Doctor in Victorian England who is more than willing to look the other way provided Jonathan Pryce and Stephen Rea continue to supply him fresh bodies for his research studies. The problem is the pair just can’t help themselves and begin to murder the poor and destitute to earn their pay. Gritty and again a very later day Hammer feel to this one thanks in part to the director, Freddie Francis, who actually helmed a number of 60’s thrillers for the studio including Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968) and The Evil of Frankenstein (1964). Julian Sands, Twiggy and Patrick Stewart also star. Worthy of a look.
Until the next wrap up…. “Unpleasant dreams.”