Thursday, July 31, 2008

Madhouse (1974)

Madhouse (1974)

As we wrap up Vincent Price in the 70's week at the the rant we come to Madhouse where Price plays horror actor Paul Toombs famous for playing "Dr Death," where Peter Cushing is his scriptwriter and Robert Quarry is his producer. This is the last of Price's starring horror roles and the last film he made for AIP. Soon the horror market would have little to do with its horror icon stars due to blockbuster horror flicks like Exorcist, Jaws and The Omen.

My first memory of this film was the painted cover of Famous Monsters of Filmland by Basil Gogos. This image would facinate me as much as Dr. Phibes or Theater of Blood. Along with catching The Tingler and The House on Haunted Hill on TV, the image alone would catapult Vincent Price to the top of my favorite actor's list (right next the Peter Cushing).

The movie itself would illude me for quite some time and I would see it for almost two decades. When finally seen, the movie would disappoint slightly while still retaining a sentimental quality. While the movie is entertaining, it doesn't deliver real scares or tension and feels like a swan song. The stars make this movie work. Vincent Price would only make a few movies with Peter Cushing and this would be where they would share the most screen time together. In Dr. Phibes Rises Again and Scream and Scream Again, they wouldn't even share a scene. Robert Quarry, also in Dr. Phibes Rises Again, would again share screen time with Price.

The movie was directed by Jim Clark and written by Angus Hall and Ken Levinson. The film also stars Adrienne Corri, Linda Hayden, Natasha Pyne and Barry Dennen.

So here it is ... Madhouse

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Theater of Blood (1973)

Theater of Blood (1973)

As we continue out look at Vincent Price horror movie trailers of the seventies, today we come across a gem: Theater of Blood.

Similiar to the Dr. Phibes movies, Price stars as Edward Lionheart a Shakespearean actor spurned by critics and thought dead when he took his own life. When those same critics start showing up dead, murdered by the most grizzly methods, the police begin to suspect that Lionheart has survived.

Where The Abominable Dr. Phibes used the Biblical plagues as a theme, Theater of Blood uses deaths found in the works of Shakespear as Lionheart's inspiration.

The film was directed by Douglas Hickox and written by Anthony Greville-Bell. The movie also stars Diana Rigg, Ian Hendry, Harry Andrews, Coral Browne and Robert Morely.

So here it is ... Theater of Blood

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Dr. Phibes Rises Again (1972)

Dr. Phibes Rises Again (1972)

Dr. Phibes would return again in 1972 again directed by Robert Fuest and starring Vincent Price. The sequel would pit Phibes against Darius Biederbeck played by Robert Quarry (Count Yorga Vampire). The mad doctor races to Egypt seeking the Scroll of Life to resurrect his deceased wife and disposes of his opposition with Egyptian theme: sand storms, scorpions, eagles.

Losing some of its appeal from the original, the film still manages to hold up and entertain. Price is, as always, fantastic in the starring role and the rest of the cast hold their own, especially the much needed addition of Robert Quarry.

The one strange thing about the two Phibes movies is the odd use of its star's most startling quality -- his voice, which is hidden behind a plot device that distorts it.

So here it is -- Dr. Phibes Rises Again

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)

Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)

In 1972 Vincint Price gave us perhaps his most original and iconic Horror Villain: Dr. Anton Phibes. A well crafted revenge film where the villain offs the doctors and persons responsible for the death of his wife. Thought dead himself, Phibes survives but with hideous scars where his face is nearly skull like uses the nine Biblical plagues as inspiration murdering using bats, bees, killer frog masks as weapons.

My first memory of seeing Phibes would be in a book called A Pictorial History of Horror Movies where Phibes is kissing Vulnavia. The idea of this chick kissing the skull faced monsters instantly seared my brain, the image would haunt me.

It would be years later until I would finally see the film and instantly fall in love with it. A minor masterpiece of its time, the film was directed by Robert Fuest (Dr. Phibes Rises Again, Devil's Rain) and written by James Whiton and William Goldstein. The movies also stars Joseph Cotten (Lady Frankenstein, Baron Blood), Virginia North, Terry-Thomas (Vault of Horror), Sean Bury, Susan Travers and David Hutchenson.

So here it is ... The Abominable Dr. Phibes

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Trailer of the Day: Scream and Scream Again (1970)

Scream and Scream Again (1970)

As we continue our trip through the horror movie trailers of the seventies, this week's theme will be the films of Vincent Price.

In the late 50's and through the 60's, Vincent Prince became a horror icon starring in such films as House of Wax, House on Haunted Hill and the Poe/Corman films. In the early 70's he would continue his extraordinary output of horror starring roles creating one of his most iconic roles: Dr. Phibes.

In 1970, he would take a role in Scream and Scream Again, a bizarre cross between Frankenstein and James Bond. This film also has guest appearances by Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing.

So here is it: Scream and Scream Again (1970)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Trailer of the Day: Into the Mirror (2003)

Into the Mirror (2003)

Friday's preview trailer was for Mirrors and, for the second week in a row, the feature movie is a remake. Keeping to tradition, here's the trailer for the source material for that remake: Into the Mirror.

Released in Korea in 2003, Into the Mirror is directed by Kim Seong-Ho and stars Yu Ji-tae, Kim Myung-min, Kim Hye-na.

The story is about an ex-police officer forced to work as head of security of an immense shopping center. The re-opening of the mall is stalled with the mysterious deaths of a number of the employees. Rules as suicides, the detective thinks something else is responsible and is unprepared to discover a ghost may be the cause.

So here it is: Into the Mirror (2003)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Trailer of the Day: Mirrors (2008)

Mirrors (2008)

Fridays here at the rant are for new, upcoming horror film trailers. This week's spotlight is on Mirrors directed by Alexandre Aja (High Tension, The Hills Have Eyes), written by Aja and Gregory Levasseur and Starring Frank Mayers, Kiefer Sutherland, Matt Neufeld, Paula Patton and Cameron Boyce.

Opening in the US on August 15, 2008, Mirrors is about evil spirits that haunt an ex-cop's house through its mirrors.

Check out Mirrors here:

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Trailer of the Day: Sugar Hill (1974)

Sugar Hill (1974)

Every now and then a movie will come along that I completely overlooked or didn't even know about. Being a fan of horror films for over 30 years, finding these undiscovered gems is a rare and delightful event. Sugar Hill was one of those such films.

Caught in the past few years, Sugar Hill is a fun if slightly silly Voodoo/Zombie film from 1974. The zombies in this film are not the flesh eating George Romero variety, but more a call back to the White Zombie or Plague of the Zombies films.

This film succeeds because of its stars: Marki Bell, Robert Quarry (Count Yorga Vampire), Don Pedro Colley and Richard Lawson (Scream Blacula Scream). They basically execute a revenge film fueled by voodoo wielding zombies are their weapons. Fun stuff.

So here it is ... Sugar Hill (1974)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Trailer of the Day: The Return of Count Yorga (1971)

The Return of Count Yorga (1971)

Robert Quarry returns as Count Yorga with this 1971 sequel. Again, he brings a much needed weight to the project obviously taking the role seriously and injecting the character with authority. Between 1970 and 1974, Quarry would star in no less than 6 horror films and should have become a horror icon. Sadly, as the 70's came to the latter half, horror icons would fade and graphic effects and violence would take center stage. Horror movies change drastically throughout this time and, perhaps, he came just a tad too late. In addition to Count Yorga and The Return of Count Yorga, Quarry would bill in Dr. Phibes Rises Again, Deathmaster, Sugar Hill and Madhouse.

The films also features Mariette Hartley, Roger Perry, Yvonne Wilder and Craig T. Nelson (in his first role?). Directed and written by Bob Kelljan and co-written by Yvonne Wilder.

So here it is ... The Return of Count Yorga

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Trailer of the Day: Count Yorga, Vampire (1970)

Count Yorga, Vampire (1970)

As a kid, vampires were primarily associated with Dracula. If it wasn't Bela Lugosi (and then later, Christopher Lee) then it wasn't a vampire. But reading through Famous Monsters, I would run across Count Yorga, Vampire. Who was this? What was this? Hmmm...

Star Robert Quarry (Deathmaster, Dr. Phibes Rises Again, Madhouse) brings a unique quality to the vampire legend, less regal and more authorative. Directed and written by Bob Kelljan (Scream Blacula Scream). Also starring Roger Perry, Michael Murphy, Michael Macready and D.J. Anderson.

Check out the trailer for Count Yorga, Vampire:

Monday, July 21, 2008

Trailer of the Day: Scream, Blacula, Scream (1973)

Scream, Blacula, Scream (1973)

The 70's were a special time in cinema and cultures and themes began to merge and redefine themselves. This time also bred some of the most unusual horror movie icons and subgenres of any time: Dr. Phibes, Count Yorga, killer mutant babies, melting people, giant killer sharks, possessed children left and right.

In 1972, Blacula was introduced to the horror loving public and was a minor hit: it won the first ever Horror Movie of the Year award at the Saturn Awards. In 1973, Blacula would return with Scream, Blacula, Scream. William Marshall would return as the title character and he would bring with him the always fantastic Pam Grier.

The story would mix in Voodoo with Blacula thinking that Lisa, a local Voodoo Princess (Grier), can reverse the curse of vampirism. Lisa, falling for Blacula's charm, would race to cure the vampire king before the local cops or Blacula's vampire deciples can stop her.

So here it is ... Scream, Blacula, Scream

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Trailer of the Day: Blacula (1972)

Blacula (1972)

As I continue my daily trek thru horror movies of the 70's, I look back to my youth reading Famous Monsters of Filmland and watching Creature Features on channel 20 in Washington DC feature Count Gore De Vol. I remember seeing images and reading articles about this little film called Blacula. It had even won best horror film at the 1972 Saturn Awards.
William Marshall's vampire visage would haunt me and, for years, I would place this film high on my 'to see' list.
I would eventually see it and love it. Blacula turned out to be a fantastic and iconic horror film for the 70's. William Marshall was a charming and frightening vampire and his vampire minions were creepy as well. Great stuff.

So here it is... Blacula (1972)

Directed by William Crain. Written by Raymond Koenig and Joan Torres. Starring William Marshall, Vonetta McGee, Denise Nicholas, Thalmus Rasulala, Gordon Pinsent and Elisha Cook Jr.

"Blacula is the story of Manuwalde, an African Prince. This movie presents a modern version of the classic Dracula story in a very chilling and inventive way. In 1780, after visiting Count Dracula, Manuwalde is turned into a vampire and locked in a coffin.. The scene shifts to 1972, when two antique collectors transport the coffin to Los Angeles. The two men open the coffin and unleash Blacula on the city of Los Angeles. Blacula soon finds Tina, who is his wife, Luva, reincarnated, and gains her love. Tina's friend, Dr. Gordon, discovers Blacula is a vampire and hunts him down."

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Trailer of the Day: [REC] (2007)


Yesterday, it was the upcoming October release of Quarantine. Today, I present a special feature: the original [REC] from which Quarantine is based. Check it out, even the trailer is similar.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Trailer of the Day: Quarantive (2008)

Quarantine (2008)

Friday's at the rant are for new upcoming horror films and today's spotlight is Quarantine.

Starring Jennifer Carpenter (The Exorcism of Emily Rose; Dexter), Johnathon Schaech (Prom Night) and Jay Hernandez (Hostel), directed by John Erick Dowdle (The Poughkeepsie Tapes) and written by John Erick Dowdle and Drew Dowdle, Quarantine is a remake of [REC] and will be released October 10, 2008.

Check out the trailer here:

Plot Summary: "Television reporter Angela Vidal (Jennifer Carpenter) and her cameraman (Steve Harris) are assigned to spend the night shift with a Los Angeles Fire Station. After a routine 911 call takes them to a small apartment building, they find police officers already on the scene in response to blood curdling screams coming from one of the apartment units. They soon learn that a woman living in the building has been infected by something unknown. After a few of the residents are viciously attacked, they try to escape with the news crew in tow, only to find that the CDC has quarantined the building. Phones, Internet, televisions and cell phone access have been cut-off, and officials are not relaying information to those locked inside. When the quarantine is finally lifted, the only evidence of what took place is the news crew's videotape. "

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Trailer of the Day: The Legend of Hell House (1973)

The Legend of Hell House (1973)

Another 70's favorite of mine is The Legend of Hell House starring Pamela Franklin, Roddy McDowall, Clive Revill and Gayle Hunnicutt. The flick is directed by John Hough (Twins of Evil) and written by the great Richard Matheson. For me, this i s one of the best haunted house films out there with lots of atmosphere, thrills and great performances -- especially Roddy McDowall.

It may be that the film holds a special place for me having seen this in my youth when it had its network premiere in 74 or 75. During this time, before the coming of HBO and cable, networks could make a big deal out of showing films. It frightened me and my family at the time. What a blast.

This film is more about scares and tension and less about graphics and gore. It came out the same year as the Exorcist which would change the face of horror and which also took much of the luster out of this film's appeal at the time.

Check out the trailer!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Trailer News: Terminator Salvation

Terminator: Salvation (2009)

The official teaser for the latest Terminator flick was released today. Featuring Christian Bale as John Conner, Terminator: Salvation opens in 2009.

Trailer of the Day: The Devil's Rain (1975)

The Devil's Rain (1975)

Continuing our week of 70's horror and following yesterday's William Shatner opus, today we look at The Devil's Rain. Hah, this flick is pure fun and features an early cameo by John Travolta. Ernest Bornine chews up the scenery and Tom Skerritt tries to make sense of it all. It takes a long, long time to get to the title effect, the Devil's Rain; but, once it does, the effects are top notch for the time. Almost every actor gets to ooze and drip all over the place.

This is a gem. Check out the trailer.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Trailer of the Day: Kingdom of the Spiders (1977)

Kingdom of the Spiders (1977)

You can't get better than William Shatner! This is a fun and effective, if flawed, nature runs amok horror film. For some deep down dark reason, the fear of spiders is embeded into human nature. Even the smallest of these critters instills fear in the hearts of the many; the bigger, the scarier. And, you got to give the cast credit for allowing real, live LARGE spiders crawl all over them. This is the kind of film that makes 70's horror films so memorable.

Check this out!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Trailer of the Day: House on Skull Mountain (1974)

House on Skull Mountain (1974)

The heirs to a rich man's fortune are called together for the reading of the will at a creepy mansion outside of Atlanta. Soon they are being killed off one by one. The survivors try to find the killer before he finishes them all off.

Directed by Ron Honthaner. Written by Mildred Pares. Starring Victor French, Janee Michelle, Jean Durand, Mike Evans, Xernona Clayton.

After having watched and enjoyed such classics as Blacula, Scream Blacula Scream, Sugar Hill and more, I ran across this title. I've yet to see this flick, but I look forward to catching this someday soon. I've set my TiVo to look for it. If you've seen it, share your thoughts.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Trailer of the Day July 13: The Car (1977)

An old favorite from 1977, The Car. To me this is a classic. Pure cheese, you bet! But, man, when I saw this as a kid, I loved it!

The a magic to the films of the 70's, an innocence - making movies to make movies - just cinema.

The Car stars James Brolin and Kathleen Lloyd as a couple in love in a small sleepy desert town. Brolin is a single father and the town sheriff; Kathleen is the local school teacher. If they're relationship wasn't having enough trouble, along comes the car from hell to make things that much worse.

Check out this fantastic trailer!