Full house


House Of The Long ShadowsYou are probably asking: If House Of The Long Shadows has in its cast John Carradine, Peter Cushing, Vincent Price, and Christopher Lee, why is it so obscure? Well, the four stars are in fine shape, but the rest of the movie…

Keith Bailey is the proprietor of The Unknown Movies Page.


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    The abominable human beings

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    THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN (1957)

    Some serious science fiction from Hammer about a scientist who joins an expedition searching for the legendary Yeti, and ends up finding a lot more than he expected…

    Scripted by Nigel Kneale, this low-key, thoughtful drama has much to say about Mankind’s place in the world and his claim to be the dominant species—finally concluding (as if we ever doubted it) that Home sapiens really, really sucks…

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    Liz Kingsley is the insane genius behind And You Call Yourself a Scientist!


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      Gangsters, Dinosaurs, and Naked Girls

      A trio of updates.

      NAKED GIRL KILLED IN THE PARK
      Guest writer Miguel Rodriguez says, “After some scenes of seduction and intrigue, Chris manages to get invited to a quiet weekend at the family villa in the country. It becomes clear that the set pieces of the amusement park and now the Spanish villa are the reasons for making this film. The locations are beautiful and ripe for filming and populating with gorgeous people. Add to the cast two servants and a voyeuristic mute stable boy and you start to have the eccentric group needed for an honest-to-god Giallo. Unfortunately, Brescia’s film neglects the base titillation and stylishly surreal nihilism of proper Gialli in favor of absurd family soap opera dramatics.”
      KING KONG
      A little late for “No, Not THAT One,” but still…Little time is wasted before the thrills commence, and with the entrance of an agitated group of soldiers we learn of a fearsome creature that is terrorizing the countryside. Hingoo dispatches King Kong, his personal strongman, to deal with the beast, and with that we cut to what will probably be the biggest surprise for any seasoned Bollywood viewer having his or her first introduction to the stunt film genre. It’s an honest-to-goodness man-in-a-suit giant monster, in this case looking like a cross between a dinosaur, a giant cow and a wild boar and which breathes steam out of its giant, flaring nostrils for good measure.
      CRUEL GUN STORY
      Cruel Gun Story tells the story of Togawa, a con who is sprung from prison early via the machinations of a mysterious underworld kingpin who communicates with him through an emissary, a former mob lawyer named Ito. Ito and his boss want Togawa to carry out a robbery that they’ve planned, involving an armored car shipment of racetrack receipts worth 120 million yen, and have hand selected a crew of four men to assist him in the task.

      Keith Allison is the chief bacchanologist at MEZZANOTTE.


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        Wanna see Dennis Weaver get seduced?

        Cocaine: One Man's SeductionWhile Cocaine: One Man’s Seduction has both some unintended laughs and some effective serious moments, the movie doesn’t work overall either as an exercise in camp or as an effective portrayal of the dangers of drugs.

        Keith Bailey is the proprietor of The Unknown Movies Page.


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          An Abnormal Amount of the New or at Least Recent

          Although I did revert to form a little at the last minute by reviewing a Jesus Franco film:

           

          The Belko Experiment (2017), in which unseen puppetmasters incite an epidemic of mass murder in a corporate office building…

          Europa Report (2013), in which astronauts searching for life on Jupiter’s coolest moon find what they’re looking for…

          Get Out (2017), in which meeting the parents is an even bigger nightmare than our hero was expecting…

          Iron Doors (2010), in which not everything screwy that befalls one on April Fool’s Day is a prank…

          Kong: Skull Island (2017), in which yet another “shared universe” meta-franchise sputters into life…

          Mansion of the Living Dead (1982), in which Franco hears someone call Horror of the Zombies the worst of the Blind Dead movies and says, “Agarra mi cerveza“…

          Night of the Tentacles (2012), in which the world’s most embarrassing heart attack leads to a pact with Satan even less carefully thought out than usual…

          The Vampire’s Coffin (1958), in which Count Laszlo Lavud sees how city living suits him…

          and…

          Zombie A-Hole (2012), which commendably bears absolutely no resemblance to the movie you just imagined upon reading that title.
           
           
           

          El Santo rules the wasteland-- and also 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting.


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            Dark Purpose

            One more!

            DARK PURPOSE

            George Sanders (who seems to just be playing Noel Coward) and Shirley Jones are an art assessor and his assistant who have come to the villa of Italian nobleman Count Paolo Barbarelli to take stock of his art collection. While at his secluded estate outside of Salerno, they discover that aside from the count and his housekeeper, who speaks no English, there’s an excessively aggressive German Shepard and a damaged young woman named Cora. Karen also discovers that Paolo lives an odd life, mostly secluded, disinterested in people who know him, and prone to fits of fiery temperament. But he’s also kind and interesting, so Karen chalks up his peculiarities to his Italian-ness and decides to fall in love. This being a thriller, the romance goes poorly.


            Keith Allison is the chief bacchanologist at MEZZANOTTE.


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              Bollywood Giallo Dance-Off

              The latest action.

              GUMNAAM
              The Bollywood thriller Gumnaam isn’t shy about the sort of films that have influenced it. Adopting the sort of jet set internationality of the 1960s, it becomes an amalgamation of old-fashioned “old dark house” murder mysteries and pop-art modernism filtered through the lens of films like Arabesque, the James Bond franchise, and Charade starring Cary Grant, the title theme of which (by Bobby Darin) is adapted into “Gumnaam Hai Koi” (sung by Lata Mangeshkar), which in turn becomes the primary musical motif running through film.
              UNDERWORLD BEAUTY
              Ever since his rediscovery, it seems like Seijun Suzuki has had the term “Maverick Director” permanently affixed to his name like some kind of mandatory honorific. However, given the rigidity of the Japanese studio system within which he spent his peak years, Suzuki never would have had the opportunity to achieve that maverick status had he not at some point been able to tow the line and deliver the straightforward genre pictures that he had been hired to create. That he was capable of doing that and then some is more than amply demonstrated by Underworld Beauty, an outstanding little noir programmer that he directed during his early years at Nikkatsu.
              EYE IN THE LABYRINTH
              Rosemary Dexter is perhaps best known, though never talked about, for her role as Colonel Mortimer’s sister in 1965’s For a Few Dollars More. While uncredited, and with nary a line of dialogue, she provides the film and the Lee van Cleef character with a personal, forceful motivation other than bounty killing. Dexter had a natural charm and talent for acting, and it doesn’t hurt any that she was a breathtaking beauty who was willing to doff her clothes onscreen. The slyly wounded quality she brings to Mario Caiano’s Eye in the Labyrinth elevates the film beyond the more arch portrayals that are given by (and expected from) her co-stars, which include Adolfo Celi and Alida Valli. In fact, the film is more measured and understated on the whole than a great many of the films that can be classified as gialli.
              DO ANKHEN BARAH HAATH
              At the time of making 1957’s Do Ankhen Barah Haath (Two Eyes, Twelve Hands), Shantaram, while by no means in artistic decline, was a good few years beyond his most acclaimed works — those being a trilogy of social realist dramas Kunku, Manoos, and Shevari — that the director made while a partner in the Prabhat Film Company between 1937 and 1941. His previous film, 1955’s Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje, had been an uncharacteristic bid for commercial success, as would be the film that followed Do Ankhen Barah Haath, 1959’s NavrangDo Ankhen Barah Haath, on the other hand, was a clear return to form for him: a serious drama, shot in sober black and white, that dealt with a serious social issue.

              Keith Allison is the chief bacchanologist at MEZZANOTTE.


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                The gentle face of horror

                Born in 1913, Peter Wilton Cushing graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and began his acting career doing repertory theatre. He was in his mid-twenties when he made his first foray into Hollywood, making his film debut in 1939’s The Man With The Iron Mask—playing the back of Louis Hayward’s head. Several small roles followed, but this was a false start of sorts to his career. The war intervened, and its aftermath found Peter Cushing back in England. He had his most significant film role in Olivier’s Hamlet, in 1948—but it would be television in which he would make a name for himself during the 1950s. Working almost non-stop, Cushing won both popularity and critical praise for roles as diverse as Mr Darcy in Pride And Prejudice, Richard II in an adaptation of the play, Richard Of Bordeaux, and Winston Smith in 1984. His work won him a BAFTA in 1956, a year that also saw the founding of The Peter Cushing Appreciation Society (which is still going strong).

                Then, in 1957, a group of producers began looking for a reliable, talented – and not too expensive – actor to play a mad scientist. They got much more than they had bargained for when they cast Peter Cushing as Victor Frankenstein: his brilliant, iconoclastic performance in the lead of The Curse Of Frankenstein was significantly responsible both for the success of the film, and for the birth of what came to be known as “Hammer Horror”.

                And, like others before him, Peter Cushing subsequently found himself “typed”: his career from that point onwards was dominated by horror, science fiction and fantasy films, all of which were the better for his presence. One of the great “horror actors”, Cushing had the ability (often much needed) to elevate almost any production, never giving any sign of considering himself superior to his material. On his own and in partnership with his close friend, Christopher Lee, with whom he co-starred in twenty-two films, Peter Cushing would build one of the genre film’s great bodies of work.

                So join us this month as we celebrate the work of one of horror’s true gentlemen:


                All through May at the B-Masters’ Blog!

                 
                 

                Liz Kingsley is the insane genius behind And You Call Yourself a Scientist!


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                  High class horror

                  SocietyAlthough Society isn’t a perfect movie, it is almost certainly quite unlike any movie you’ve seen before. Especially its unforgettable ending.

                  Keith Bailey is the proprietor of The Unknown Movies Page.


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                    It crashes

                    WindowsNormally I applaud when any movie gets released on Blu-ray, but the recent announcement that Windows will be released on that format leaves me utterly bewildered. Is there really an audience for this?

                    Keith Bailey is the proprietor of The Unknown Movies Page.


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