Saturday, July 31, 2010



A digital TV station that I started picking up after the hi-jacking of the analog television signal by the Govt/Industrial/Media Complex a couple of years ago is THIS TV, a subsidiary of KOMO which plays MGM Studios properties. As I write this, they are running the Mario Bava-scripted and directed PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES, a 1965 release starring Barry Sullivan and Norma Bengell.

During its original American run it was released by AIP on a double-bill with the Nick Adam's/Boris Karloff B-horror DIE MONSTER DIE!, which was very loosely based on H.P. Lovecraft's short story, "The Colour Out of Space". While I can't substantiate it, apparently PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES was an influence on Ridley Scott's ALIENS. I have to admit, there are several plot elements that are very similar.

I'm having fun watching it. It's a good print, the costumes are cool, the soundtrack is moody and downright eerie, the chicks are groovy, and the film definitely has its moments.

It's great to see Saturday Night "Spook Shows" again!

Barry Sullivan and Norma Bengall in a tense moment from PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES

Evi Marandi played Tiona in Mario Bava's 1965 sci-fi vampire film

The Spanish poster

The English poster

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Lots of times movies are based on novels or short stories. The books are usually "optioned", where they sit on a shelf along with the hundreds of others that any movie studio sees fit to plunder. The B-movie shlocker, THE NAVY VS. THE NIGHT MONSTERS(1966), recently re-leased on DVD  was based on a novel by science-fictioneer Murray Leinster (pen name of Will F. Jenkins) entitled THE MONSTER AT WORLD'S END. The most memorable thing about the book was the fabulous psychedelic cover and the most memorable thing about the movie was Mamie Van Doren, and . . . oh, the tree monsters.

Friday, July 16, 2010


Bigfoot documentaries and flights of fancy about Bigfoot disguised as documentaries have been about as plentiful as Bigfoot sightings are scarce ever since the infamous 1967 Patterson film (see clip below). Twenty years later, in 1987, AMT Models introduced a plastic model of Bigfoot. The image was based on a composite of various sightings.

Just over 20 more years later, in November of this year, AMT is re-leasing the Bigfoot model. The new model kit will come in brand new packaging, featuring glow in the dark injected plastic parts, instruction sheet and detailed display base. 1/7 scale approx. 10 inches tall. Perhaps overstating the obvious, AMT has added the following to their promo: "Painting and modeling skills required" (!). Taking it further for them, one could imagine that one could choke on the parts and suffocate in the plastic packaging as well, so please, observe all precautions and, oh, have fun if you purchase one.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


The DARK SHADOWS FESTIVAL is slated for this weekend. Here's a few clips from past gatherings.

Friday, July 9, 2010


Jack Pierce wasn't the only Hollywood make-up man that created memorable monsters. Scott Essman, the producer and director who released a DVD documentary of the Universal Studios make-up genius just a couple of years ago now gives us an entire family of monster makers . . . the Westmores. Here's the press release from

"Tribute to Westmores – Hollywood Makeup Family – Arrives on DVD

This 30-minute program, written and hosted by Mark Arnott, is a docu-drama with numerous rare photos in which a presenter offers his case for granting the Westmores their long deserved "star" on Hollywood Boulevard's Walk of Fame.

Los Angeles, CA, July 01, 2010 --( In the history of the modern American cinema, there are but few legacies of makeup artists. While the legendary Burman and Dawn names each include three generations of makeup artists, there is but one lasting family that features four working generations: the Westmores of Hollywood. With ties to virtually every studio in the annals cinema, the Westmores have created classic monster makeups in top contemporary film and TV shows back to the earliest years of silent film.

Featured in the video are detailed descriptions of the greatest Westmore monster makeups, including the classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde with Fredric March, The Hunchback of Notre Dame with Charles Laughton, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein with Béla Lugosi, Glenn Strange, and Lon Chaney Jr., Man of a Thousand Faces with James Cagney, Raging Bull with Robert DeNiro, and Blade Runner with Harrison Ford.

This is the sixth tribute to makeup artists on DVD created by Visionary Cinema, following tributes to legendary figures Dick Smith (The Exorcist), John Chambers (Planet of the Apes), Jack Dawn (The Wizard of Oz), Jack Pierce (The Bride of Frankenstein), and Lon Chaney (the original Phantom of the Opera).

Host and head writer Mark Arnott is an accomplished stage, film and TV actor whose credits include the leading role in John Sayles' landmark movie The Return of the Secaucus Seven."

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


"Vampirism is not a disease, Julia. Vampires are the living dead!" - Professor T. Eliot Stokes (Thayer David)

DARK SHADOWS, the wildly popular 60s soap opera accomplished what no other daytime soap had ever done either then or since -- produce a feature-length motion picture of its namesake. Directed by Dan Curtis and titled HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS, it premiered on 9 SEPTEMBER 1970 in Detroit, Michigan and began its general release in New York the following October 28 (pretty close to Halloween, wouldn't you say?). This year marks the fortieth anniversary of its release. There will be a celebration at the annual DARK SHADOWS convention in Burbank, California July 16 through July 18.

Monday, July 5, 2010


Due to family matters, Tom Weisser, publisher of ASIAN CULT CINEMA magazine has decided to call it quits . . . for the time being. While he's living in Japan with wife Yuko he has turned over the chores of maintaining the two websites, ASIAN CULT CINEMA and WORLD CULT CINEMA to long-time manager Archie Cole. That means you can still shop at one of the best places to find cult DVDs on the web. Links to the site are on the sidebar to the right of this post.

Details of the story can be found at MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Not exactly Ray Harryhausen material, but nevertheless some of the strangest monsters you're ever liable to see. From the Mexico-produced LA NAVE DE LOS MONSTRUOS (SHIP OF MONSTERS) 1960.