I'm never going to claim THE DEVIL BAT is my favorite Bela Lugosi film BUT it is my favorite of his Poverty Row Horror films. It's a mad scientist lab full of crazy with Lugosi in full (slightly) secretive sinister mode which is enough to make almost anything a fun viewing experience. THE DEVIL BAT falls into the odd cinema space in my head where I can kick my brain into neutral, take it at face value and really enjoy it the way it was intended. But, I can also engage my critical faculties and swing back & forth between loving it and laughing at it. I truly love this film!
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
If you've not been reading the quarterly horror comic magazine The Creeps you have been missing out. The 11th issue is still on the shelves of your local Barnes & Noble (if you have a local Barnes & Noble) and is perfect October night entertainment for fans of the classic black & white horror comics of the 1970's.
Do yourself a favor and at least look over the previews available for each past issue at their website. Check it out and see if it's your kind of scary!
Monday, October 16, 2017
Sunday, October 15, 2017
Among the things I saw last month are two very different Stephen King adaptations. They show the problems inherent with moving from page to screen not just for King's horror tales but any story fashioned first as a book.
Put me in the (rather large) camp that found this new adaptation of King's massive novel to be excellent. Although I've read 19 of his novels and a couple of short story collections, the book IT is one of his that I've never read so I came to this film with only the 1990 TV mini-series for comparison. Wisely, the filmmakers chose to only tell the first half of the book's long story in this movie and I think this new film does an excellent job of placing the children's tale in the 1980's (as did the TV film) without bashing us over the head with 80's-isms. King was clearly trying to emulate favorite authors such as Ray Bradbury by placing the young versions of the characters center stage and this film actually captures that feeling well. The cast of kids are very good, the scares are very well done (even the cheap ones), the monster is brilliantly portrayed and the sense of the town of
Derry being a truly
dangerous place is put across well. I'm not sure if this is true in the novel
but in this version of the telling what we have is partially a haunted house
story and I love such things. I was quite pleased with this first half and hope
that the 30 years later portion in the second film won't flub things.
THE MERMAID (2016) - 7 (fast, silly Stephen Chow comedy)
HANDS OF THE RIPPER (1971) - 7 (rewatch)
DEATH NOTE (2017) - 7
THE FALLING (1987) - 2
NIGHTMARES (1983) - 5 (mediocre anthology horror film)
DARK SUMMER (2015) - 5 (too long ghost tale)
TERROR TRAIN (1980)- 6 (rewatch)
LATE PHASES (2014) - 7 (smart character study as werewolf film)
(2017) - 4 DARK TOWER
MADMAN (1981) - 6 (rewatch)
HOUSE (1977) - 7 (mad Japanese haunted house insanity)
WILD TALES (2014) - 9 (Amazing Argentinean anthology film)
ENTER THE DEVIL (1974) - 5 (Italian devil-possessed woman vs priest film)
SAW IV (2007) - 4 (rewatch)
DON'T TORTURE A DUCKLING (1972) - 8 (rewatch)
NIGHT OF THE SEAGULLS (1975) - 7(rewatch)
YOUR VICE IS A LOCKED ROOM AND ONLY I HAVE THE KEY (1972)- 8 (rewatch)
SAW V (2008) - 4
SAW VI (2009) - 5
SAW: THE FINAL CHAPTER (2010)- 5
IT (2017) - 8
LA VENGANZA DE LAS MUJERERS VAMPIRO (1970) - 6 (Santo vs vampire women and a mad scientist!)
WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO SOLANGE? (1972) - 8 (rewatch)
SEVEN DEATHS IN A CAT'S EYE (1973) -7 (rewatch)
STRANGE BEHAVIOR (1981) - 4 (flat and uninvolving)
EVIL LAUGH (1986) - 3 (rough low budget slasher)
NOTHING UNDERNEATH (1985) - 7 (pretty darned good giallo)
NIGHTBREED: DIRECTOR'S CUT (1990) - 7
Saturday, October 14, 2017
In an incredibly surprising announcement Quartet Records is releasing a CD with the scores of two Paul Naschy films! The big news is that at long last the score for Naschy's classic tale of mad terror HORROR RISES FROM THE TOMB is one of them. The film's music was written by Spanish composer Carmelo Bernaola who also scored COUNT DRACULA'S GREAT LOVE, HUNCHBACK OF THE MORGUE and CUT-THROATS NINE. If you've never seen HRFTT it can be difficult to describe the sound of the music but perhaps calling it a Gothic/psychedelic mixture that uses organ, strings, piano and wooden percussion will almost prepare a new listener for the experience. But not really. And since the score is only about 30 minutes long, the CD also features the complete score for a Spanish TEN LITTLE INDIANS variation in which Naschy played a small role. That just adds value to the pacakge!!
I ordered my copy immediately and if you want one you should too. There are only going to be 300 copies! Follow one of the links below to secure yours -
Friday, October 13, 2017
I have not yet indulged in my annual viewing of HALLOWEEN III (1982) but I did enjoy this fellow's brief history of the film's progress from disappointing failure to eventually being seen as an impressive stand alone Halloween story.
If you have never seen the film I would stay away until you do, but for the rest of us this is a interesting look at a twisted classic.
Thursday, October 12, 2017
Just in time for the creepy season John Hudson and I dive back into the films of Antonio Margheriti for a gothic horror that deserves to be better known. Set in a huge Scottish castle in which the ancestral family is both broke and (possibly) mad you just know that all kinds of shenanigans are going to be gotten up to! Adding to the complications are a mysterious black-gloved killer, a beautiful visiting cousin that is being pushed onto a handsome family member's...... member...uuuhhh...with an eye toward an heir, a gorgeous 'French' teacher that seems to lounge around the place waiting for sex, a family doctor with an eye to claiming some of the wealth tied up in the estate and an honest-to-God killer gorilla (called an orangutan throughout the film) running around the place occasionally scaring the hell out of people. Sounds like a couple of episodes of The Monkees, don't it?
Luckily, Margheriti knows what he's doing with all these bizarre elements so the film is entertaining and not confusing. Of course, with a black gloved killer roaming around the castle SEVEN DEATHS IN A CAT'S EYE has been called a giallo and we discuss my uncomfortable view of the film's place in the genre. We also talk about the variability of the 'Scottish' accents; the beautiful Jane Birkin; the castle locations; the use of the titular cat; the very odd vampire legend the film posits; the tricks of doing gothic tales in color and bloody straight razor murders. We also speculate about the contributions of legendary English language dubber Ted Rusoff beyond voicing the Priest character. Rusoff must have been important because he gets an onscreen credit at the beginning of the movie.
The show can be reached for comments or suggestions at email@example.com where we love hearing how many more ways we can insert pointless 1970's pop culture references into each episode. I'm not sure Hudson needs any help in this effort but all notes will be happily read. The Bloody Pit has a FaceBook page where interesting things occasionally get posted if you would like to join up. This episode ends with a new song from Queens of the Stone Age called 'Head Like A Haunted House' and an outtake that has us talking about The Village People. We are strange fellows!