Not only did I sit in on 31 horror and fantasy titles on blu ray thanks to Scream Factory for the Halloween month but I shoehorned a 6 day round trip to Nova Scotia in here as well AND still managed to squeeze in a few titles of varying genres which is my usual habit.
You can back peddle through my most recent posts to see what I had to say about those 31 titles but for the record here they are as follows…..
Night of the Creeps (1986), Tentacles (1977), Nomads (1986), Grave of the Vampire (1972), Day of the Dead (1985), Ghost Story (1981), The Last Man on Earth (1964), Fear In the Night (1972), Invaders From Mars (1986), The Night of the Werewolf (1980), Blood of the Vampire (1958), Invasion of the Bee Girls (1973), The Spell (1977), Ghost Warrior (1984), Ten to Midnight (1983), Man’s Best Friend (1993), Circus of Horrors (1960), The Doctor and the Devils (1985), Superbeast (1972), Blood From the Mummy’s Tomb (1971), The House Where Evil Dwells (1982), Saturn 3 (1980), The House That Screamed (1969), The Final Program (1973), The Vampire and the Ballerina (1960), The Beast Within (1982), Rasputin, The Mad Monk (1966), The House of Usher (1960), Blacula (1972), Scream Blacula Scream (1973) and The Omen (1976).
What else did I manage to sit in on?
East Side of Heaven (1939) Bing Crosby Silver Screen Collection DVD
Long before Tom Selleck, Ted Danson and Steve Guttenberg tried to raise a baby, Bing Crosby, found himself in a similar position when a baby has been left in his taxicab. Comical situations are compounded when it turns out the baby is the child of an heir to a fortune and the baby’s grandfather puts out a large reward. Bing finds himself a wanted man by both his fiancé, Joan Blondell, and police as a kidnapper leading to more farcical shenanigans. Fun Crosby flick that came just as he was on the cusp of his first Road picture with Bob Hope. I did find it amusing that Bing has a turntable in his cab and serenades his passengers. Kind of like Karaoke in a Cab for today’s crowds.
The Window (1949) Warner Archive DVD.
Superb Noir entry that sees a young boy witness a murder. His only problem is convincing the adults around him that he isn’t telling them a far-fetched story as he has been known to do. Nifty B flick from RKO starring Bobby Driscoll as the child who witnesses Paul Stewart and Ruth Roman kill a man when their scheme to rob him goes sideways. If only his parents Arthur Kennedy and Barbara Hale weren’t so sure he’s making it up for attention. His problems only get compounded when Stewart and Roman get wind of the youngster’s accusations. Recommended.
711 Ocean Drive (1950) Indicator Columbia Noir Set #2 blu ray.
Another title on Noir poster boy, Edmond O’Brien’s resume and a damned good one. He plays a telephone electronics wizard who finds he can sell his skills to a bookie operation led by Barry Kelly for more money than he’s ever dreamed of. He’s hooked and he’s hungry for power. It won’t be long before he’s running the show and romancing Joanne Dru who just happens to be married to a mobster. It won’t be long before Eddie starts to hire his killings resulting in both the police and the mob looking to put an end to his bookie operation. Top notch from director Joseph M. Newman.
Sudden Danger (1955)
A minor Noir entry starring Bill Elliott, Tom Drake and Beverly Garland. Elliott made a number of Dragnet like flicks that have been released to DVD thanks to the Warner Archive Collection. They clock in at a fast paced hour or so which works fine when I’m on a tight schedule or better still, when I know I’m going to fall asleep on the couch if I tackle anything longer than 70 minutes or so.
The Ride Back (1957) Kino Lorber blu ray.
Slow paced, performance driven western with William Conrad crossing the border into Mexico to bring Anthony Quinn north to face justice for the killing of a man. Never dull and superior work from both leads and surprisingly it’s actor Eddie Albert singing the title track over the credits to start and end the picture. Would make a nice companion piece to the classic 1957 western 3:10 to Yuma. Let me also add that is always a pleasure to be able to sit down and watch a western with my now 83 year old Father.
A Night to Remember (1958) ITV Studios DVD
A superb film chronicling the Titanic disaster starring Kenneth More in the lead role. We all know the story so not much to share here aside from the fact that star power is nowhere to be seen, the real story is in the bravery of those facing certain death and the ultimate tragedy the world is still infatuated with. Top notch F/X and for those who may wish to compare this Roy Ward Baker film with the James Cameron film, the similarities are very easy to point out. I’d never actually watched this one and have to wonder why it took me so long. Easily one of the best new to me films I’ll sit in on this year. Also want to make mention that the DVD copy I have had a great making of on the film and some original backstage footage that had actual survivors on set during the making of this classic.
Five Shaolin Masters (1974) Arrow Video Shawscope Collection Vol. 1 blu ray.
Another Shaw Brothers effort that sees an evil dictator looking to rule the land, but David Chiang and Ti Lung won’t stand for it and fully intend to strike back for the common man. Damn these flicks are fun.
Get Mean (1975) Blue Underground blu ray.
I thought I was about to watch a spaghetti western and while it started that way, I soon realized this Tony Anthony flick throws everything at us from typical Italian western fare to a Princess to medieval warring tribes, lost treasure and Tony playing one side against the other as if he was Toshiro Mifune. Odd entry though never dull.
Death Rage (1976) Dark Force Entertainment blu ray. Previously featured but a new blu ray featuring the original cut of the film prompted a revisit to what proved to be the final film of Yul Brynner’s career.
Whatever It Takes (1998) Vinegar Syndrome blu ray.
Far better than I had any right to expect this action flick of the VHS era stars Don “The Dragon” Wilson who along with his partner on the police force, Andrew Dice Clay, have set thrier sights on taking down crime kingpin, Fred “The Hammer” Williamson. To do so the pair are going in undercover to deal out their own brand of justice. Plenty of fireworks and action follow including the match we’re all dying to see at the fade-out. The Dragon Vs. The Hammer.
as of late ….
Last Seen Alive (2022) Amazon Prime.
A believable set up sends everyman (without any Green Beret skills) Gerard Butler into overdrive when his estranged wife mysteriously disappears from a truck stop gas station. Clearly distressed, Butler calls in local law enforcement to help but he seems to be the one they are looking at as suspect number 1 provided his wife really has disappeared. Time for some brute strength and for Butler to turn up the heat on some local toughs as he pieces things together and bullies his way through the balance of the film. Not bad.
42 Films Seen
15 new to me titles.
The most enjoyable revisit? 10 to Midnight has always been a Bronson fave so hard not to acknowledge it and as far as the Halloween season goes, The Omen remains one of my all time favorite horror films so easy to recommend.
From the new to me titles I’ll suggest you sit in on A Night to Remember if you’ve never seen it and considering I only saw the Gerard Butler flick for a recent title how about a nod to the surprisingly entertaining Whatever It Takes.
Also a reminder that I’m giving Letterboxd a try. It’s an app where you can keep track of what you watch but also check out what others are watching. If you know of the App you can find me with the handle MikesTake.
Feedback welcomed as always.
R.I.P to the Killer, Jerry Lee Lewis. The wildest piano playing hellraiser ever born.
Love these monthly Round-Ups Mike, you never fail to showcase some interesting films in your watch list. Eddie Muller showcased The Window on TCM’s Noir Alley a couple of times, a criminally underseen Noir with a unique spin in that a kid is the protagonist. I’m planning on getting the German Blu Ray of Death Rage myself, I’ll never patronize Dark Force Entertainment after they gave fans a hard time when questions were put to them about the release. Barbara Bouchet said in an interview once that Yul Brynner was unusually cruel to the crew on the film and she got him to stop by sending him a bouquet of carnations, which he had a superstition of. Tony Anthony knew how to sell and promote his projects, he was really talented in that aspect. A Dollar Between the Teeth and Blindman will remain his best work though.
I’d long heard The Window was a gem but for whatever reason never bothered with it, big mistake. Not sure about the D.F.E controversy, hadn’t heard of it but I did read that she didn’t get along with Yul. Still have to see Blindman. Have a copy so I should maybe grab my glasses and go find where I left it on the shelf.